Saber and Scroll


Excerpted on author's behalf:

Julius Caesar and Titus Labienus were friends forced to fight one another because they could not deny the influence of dignitas and amecitia, two social values the Roman Republic forced them to recognize. As young men, they campaigned together in Asia. They returned to Rome and fought the optimates in the Senate and later, barbarians in Gaul. Nevertheless, in 45 BC at the Battle of Munda, they fought one another as enemies, and there Labienus fell. Caesar triggered a civil war when he crossed the Rubicon in 49 BC to defend his dignitas. Bound by amecitia, Labienus joined the opposition, Pompey, and the optimates. The study that follows begins with a discussion on related historiography and sources, followed by an outline of the conflict between the optimates and the populares. It then examines the significant cooperation between both men and determines this cooperation was rooted in genuine friendship not mutual benefit. Dignitas and amecitia divided the two friends and an analysis of these two values is given. Last, a survey of the Battle of Munda describes a tragic end to a once flourishing friendship.



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