chapter  9
6 Pages

Civil War and the Ending of Bellum Civile II

Varrus’ words show the reader the true face of civil war: former allies become rivals on the battlefield and former friends and colleagues face each other in armed combat. The same men who not so long ago stood on opposite sides must now work together as a single unit. This notion seems absurd: how could you expect your former enemies to be loyal to you? Varrus’ words seemed perfectly logical and persuasive, so it would take all of Curio’s rhetorical skills to refute them and sever the ties between his troops and their former brothersin-arms. Caesar notes that whilst there was no immediate reaction to Varrus’ words from the soldiers, they nonetheless were quickly absorbed, and fear soon invaded Curio’s camp (BC II 29.1-2). The reason for this terror was the direct consequence of civil war.