a1 Balliol College, Oxford.
The purpose of what follows is to show that if we assume March 1, 50 as the date on which ended the five years of imperium given to Caesar by the Lex Licinia Pompeia, we have a hypothesis which ‘works,’ in the sense that, as far as its relevance extends, it enables us to frame a coherent account of the dispute between Caesar and the Senate in the two years preceding the outbreak of civil war. The method followed will be to give a narrative based on that hypothesis and on the evidence which we possess. Many, at least, of the arguments and conclusions here adopted have been put forward already by various writers. I may mention, as an excuse for raising this question again (quippe qui cum ueterem turn uulgatam esse rent uideam), that a few suggestions will be made which I have not seen elsewhere. For the sake of clearness some very trite matters which belong to the years before 51 will first be recalled.