Caesar’s portrayal of the senate session not only enables him to present his cause better, it also reveals from the outset his resentment – even scorn – for the current senate, especially at the early stages of the war. e work undoubtedly emits a formidable anti-senate message. Caesar believed that the senate, which in his view mostly consisted of his rivals, was a weak and meek body, dysfunctional and indecisive. During the session the Pompeians spoke rst: their views were hostile to Caesar, while his adherents spoke in favour of a peaceful settlement to the conict. Caesar specically emphasizes how the feeble senators were being coerced to vote against him by the vociferous consul and the terror of Pompey’s army camped nearby. He conveys this same idea three times (BC I 2.6, 3.1, 3.4-5), but this is not a sign of unrevised or hasty writing. It is the deliberate underlining of what he believes is be a crucial point. is is the heart of his indictment of Pompey, the inimici Caesaris and the senate as a whole. If the Pompeians succeeded in terrorizing the feeble senators, what would become of the powerless people? Caesar’s self-designated role as the people’s guardian could only be understood in the light of this senate-

meeting. Furthermore, in addition to the pressure Pompey imposed on the weaker senators, the additional gathering of the senate in the evening (aer it has already dispersed) also indicates that the political procedure was unlawful, since, as Welch comments, ‘ancient politics had to happen in the daylight.’6 Caesar alludes here to a common Pompeian practice of nocturnal movement which will recur throughout the narrative.7 Welch argues that, according to Cicero, ‘the res publica was about light’,8 and therefore the deliberate night gatherings of Pompey and his followers carries signicant meaning.