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He was a legate of Julius Caesar's starting around 58 BC and served as an envoy to Pompey in 50. It was reported that Hirtius dined with Caesar, Sallust, Oppius, Balbus and Sulpicius Rufus on the night after Caesar's famous crossing over the Rubicon river into Italy on 10 January 49 BC.
Initially a supporter of Mark Antony, Hirtius was successfully lobbied by Cicero, who was a personal friend, and switched his allegiance to the senatorial party. He then set out with an army to attack Antony who was besieging Mutina. In concert with Pansa and Octavian (the future Emperor Augustus), Hirtius compelled Antony to retire but was slain in the fighting (around 25 April or 27 April). He was honored with a public funeral, along with Pansa who died a few days later.
Hirtius added an eighth book to Caesar's De Bello Gallico and is the likely author of De Bello Alexandrino. The ancients thought he also wrote the De Bello Africo and De Bello Hispaniensi, but it is now considered more likely that he acted as an editor. Hirtius' correspondence with Cicero was published in nine books, but has not survived.
Suetonius in Chapter 68 of his Life of Augustus writes that Lucius Antonius, the brother of Mark Antony, accused Augustus of having "given himself to Aulus Hirtius in Spain for three hundred thousand sesterces." This alleged homosexual liaison would have taken place in 46 BC, during the civil wars when Julius Caesar took Octavian to Spain and Aulus Hirtius was serving there. However, it is more likely that this was mere slander by Mark Antony, who was Octavian's political opponent at the time. Allegations of homosexual submissiveness was a common method of political attack in the Roman Republic and it is impossible to know how much of it was true.
- De Fato, a dialogue by Cicero, where Hirtius is an interlocutor
- Cicero. On the Orator: Book 3. On Fate. Stoic Paradoxes. Divisions of Oratory, pg. 189. Translated by H. Rackham. Loeb Classical Library 349. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1942.
- Dando-Collins, Stephan (2002). The Epic Saga of Julius Caesars Tenth Legion and Rome. p. 67. ISBN 0-471-09570-2.
- Syme, Roman Revolution p. 95. Hirtius was already consul-designate for 43 on the Ides of March, therefore likely a nominee of Caesar's.
- Cicero, De Fato I
- Suetonius, Augustus 68, translated by John Carew Rolfe.
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Marcus Antonius and Gaius Julius Caesar and Publius Cornelius Dolabella (suffectus)
| Consul of the Roman Republic together
with Gaius Vibius Pansa Caetronianus
Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus and Quintus Pedius