A fragment of Livy, most probably from book 116 (a ‘definitive’ portrait of Caesar following the account of his death), raised a question mark over Caesar's entire career. By citing it Seneca introduced a new angle, which has its own profound poetry — an analogy with the wind: ‘As things are, however, it could be said of winds what was commonly said of Julius Caesar, as reported by Titus Livy; it is uncertain whether it was better for the state that Caesar had been born or not’. It would be wrong to read this as a hostile judgement on Caesar. Rather it stems from a state of profound perplexity: because nobody would categorically ‘condemn’ the wind, although everybody knows what destruction it can wreak.
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