“Prelude to Civil War:”
On 1 January 49 BC the consuls began to do everything in their power to remove Caesar from his governorship. He had held it for ten years and its term had expired. Caesar now intended to seek the consulship for 48 and return to internal politics. This is just what his opponents wished to prevent. Before he could offer himself as a candidate he was to lay down his command and return to Rome as private citizen. Once there, he was to be prosecuted for various breaches of the constitution of which he had been guilty during his previous consulship in 59 BC. It was clearly intended that this should take place under military protection, so that he would be unable to put pressure on the court, and also, no doubt, so that the court would not be entirely free from pressure in reaching the verdict. It seems to have been hoped that in this way Caesar’s political existence could be destroyed and the power of the Senate regime finally restored. Irrespective of whether or not Caesar really was an opponent of the traditional order, he had persistently interfered with its proper functioning during his previous consulship. It was therefore to be feared that if he succeeded in becoming consul again he would push through various demands against the will of the Senate and thereby become so powerful that repeated conflicts and repeated defeats for the Senate could be foreseen.