Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson
Caesar had to choose whether he would march against Rome, from which his cavalry at Arretium were already only about 130 miles distant, or against the legions encamped at Luceria. He chose the latter plan. The consternation of the opposite party was boundless. Pompeius received the news of Caesar's advance at Rome; he seemed at first disposed to defend the capital, but, when the tidings arrived of Caesar's entrance into the Picenian territory and of his first successes there, he abandoned Rome and ordered its evacuation. A panic, augmented by the false report that Caesar's cavalry had appeared before the gates, came over the world of quality.
The senators, who had been informed that every one who should remain behind in the capital would be treated as an accomplice of the rebel Caesar, flocked in crowds out at the gates. The consuls themselves had so totally lost their senses, that they did not even secure the treasure; when Pompeius called upon them to fetch it, for which there was sufficient time, they returned the reply that they would deem it safer, if he should first occupy Picenum. All was perplexity; consequently a great council of war was held in Teanum Sidicinum (23 Jan.), at which Pompeius, Labienus, and both consuls were present. First of all proposals of accommodation from Caesar were again submitted; even now he declared himself ready at once to dismiss his army, to hand over his provinces to the successors nominated, and to become a candidate in the regular way for the consulship, provided that Pompeius were to depart for Spain, and Italy were to be disarmed.
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