Caesar: Life of Colossus

“Thus runs the story. In so many ways it encapsulates the legend of Caesar, who was always in charge whatever the situation. Here is the young aristocrat who mocked his captors, scorned the ransom they demanded, and never once lost his poise. Once again we have the same self-confidence that had faced down Sulla the dictator, as the patrician failed to be cowed by overwhelming force. There is also the charm, which could win over a band of cut-throats as easily as Roman citizens or soldiers. After his release, Caesar acted swiftly, his force of character making others do his bidding even though he had no power to command them, and won a sweeping victory. Caesar had promised to capture and execute the pirates, and that is precisely what Caesar had done, in spite of the reluctance to act of the propator who actually governed the province. It was a display of his fearlessness, determination, speed of action and ruthless skill, while the final act provided an instance of the clemency he would later parade as one of his greatest attributes. It is a very good story and one which doubtless leant itself to embellishment with each retelling.”
“Caesar’s whole career was based on trying to win friends rather than destroy enemies.”
“As far as we can tell Caesar seems to have welcomed almost anyone, eager as he always was to do as many favours as possible and so place more men under obligation to him.”
“His personal example was vital in encouraging the soldiers to meet his standards. Caesar led the column on training marches and in the field, sometimes on horseback, but more often on foot.”
“The proconsul could only be in one place at a time, and later paid tribute to his legates, who set about organizing the troops nearest to them without waiting for instructions from him.”