Skip to main content

Full text of "History of the Romans under the empire, Volumes 5-6"

See other formats

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at http : //books . google . com/| 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 


Digitized by 


Digitized by 



Hl^MvJ (?. Jk(tnJ\Arv 


Digitized by 


Digitized by 


H-Owy/Jl (?' ^k(rnJ\AlnA^ 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 








FBOif Tns Forsrn London edition, with a copious analthoal indiz. 






Digitized by 


KP ^^e-i 

V -- / ^ / - - 

Digitized by 





fibcclas raeoeeds to the empire.— HIb oondeeoension to the senate, and pretended f»> 
tectanee to aeeept power.— Mntlny of the legions in Fannonla and on the Bhln^ 
^■eDed hf Bnisiis and Gennanlens.— Oharacter of Germanlcoo.— His popalailty 
avakeos the jealoo^ of Tiberias. — Oampalgns of Germanicos beyond the Bhlne in 
Tft, 768, and W.—He rerlaits the scene of the dangfater of Yams.— Disaster on his 
TCtom bj sefc Ocrni anicns reaches the Weser.— Qnarrel between Anninios and hla 
toothar navtoa^— Battle of IdistaTisas.— Snooeeeire defeats of the Gcnna.Mr and bar- 
ren tiopldee of the Bomans.— Second disaster by sea.— The eagles of Yami recovered. 
—The frontkr ct the empire recedes finally to the Bhlne.— Betnm of Oermanions to 
Boaie, aiDd tiiamph there.— Gloomy forebodings of the i>eopIe (▲. d. 14-17., a, u. 767- 
Tm.) Fkge7 


Ifiaalea of Geraanleos to the East, and of BmsoB to niyricnm.— Betlrement of Marobo- 
dnu, and death of Anninin&— Germanlcas Jonmeys through Greece and Asia Minor. 
— ^Intrlgoes of Plso and Plandna against him. — ^He settles the a£Rdrs of Armenia, 
and Tlalts Bgypt— His sickness and death imputed to Plso.— Grief of the citizens.— 
Flso attempts to seize the goyemment of Syria.— Is baffled and sent to Borne.— 
Th» frlenda ct Germanicos aocose him before the senate.— His defence, snidde 
and eondemm^on.— Tiberius free firom sctpldon of the murder of Germanicos.— 
Impoetore of Clemens.— Intrigues of LIbo Drusos.— Deterioration in the condoct of 
Tlberhia,— Infloence of liria over hinu and of Sejanos (jl u. 770-778., a.'i>. 17-20.) 5C 


Ine fto et ton a ct the Oomltla: 1. Election of magistrates; 8. Legislation; 8. Jnrlsdio- 
tJen: TVaatferred to the senate, and hence to the emperor hlmselC- The emperor's 
control over the senate.— The law of M^estas : Its origin, application, and extension 
under Tiberias from acts to words and Ii^urious language.— Cases of constructive 
Mn j eafat . — Delation encouraged by Tiberius.— Consolidation of the Boman domlnionfl 
under nberian-^tatlone and discipline of the legions.- The government and im 

Digitized by 



proved trei»tmeiit of the prorlnces.— GoTenunent of Italy and the dtj.— Disalpatioa 
of the times.— Measures of Tiberias.— His own ylces and virtues.— His deference to 
the senate. — ^Defects of temper and demeanour .... Pago 06 


Comparison between Augustas and Tiberins.— Sojanus useftil without being formidable.— 
Disturbenoes in Afirfoa and revolt in GauL— Overthrow of Sacrovir (a. u. 774.).— The 
trlbonitlan power conferred upon I>rasus (jlu. 776.). — ^Intrigues of Bejanus? Estab- 
lishment of the pr»torian camp.— Dmsus poisoned by S^anus (▲. u, 776.).— Deteriora- 
tion of the prindpate of Tiberius.— Death of Cremntins, Oordus, and others. — Sejanus 
demands the hand of Llvilla, and is refused by Tiberius.— He conceives the project of 
withdrawing Tiberius from Bome.— Retirement of Tiberius to Capres (▲. u. 780.).— 
His manner of life there.— Further deterioration of his government— Death of the 
younger Julia and tLe empress livia (▲. ir. 782.) (▲. u. 774-782., a. d. 21-29.) 162 


Fhe fiite of the family of Germanicus. — Banishment of ^grlpplna and her son Nera— 
Disgrace and imprisonment of her son Drusas.^Perseoutlon of her friends.— Fate of 
Aslnius Gallus.— Culmination of the fortunes of S^)ann&-*-Hl8 alllanoe with the im- 
perial flunlly and consulship (▲. v. 784.).— Alarmed ftt the Jealousy of Tiberiu^ be oon- 
q»ires against him.— Tiberius determines, with the assistance of Macro, to overthrow 
him.- His arrest in the Senate-house, and execution. — ^Drascription of his adherents.— 
Vengeance for the murder of Drusua.— Savage oruel^ of Tiberius.- Horrible death 
of the younger Drusns.- Agrippina starves herseUl^InfSKtuation of Tiberius. — His 
mortification at the despondency of the nobles.— Voluntary deaths of Nerva and Ar- 
runtius.— Prospects of the succession.— Gains Caligula and the young Tiberius.— 
Ascendency of Macro.— lAst days and death of Tiberius (▲. ir. 790.).— Effscts of the 
reign of Terror: Alarm of the nobles; thoughtless dissipation of the populace.- The 
provinces generally well cared for and prosperous.- Example from the state of Judea 
(A. D. 29-87., A. r. 782-790.) . 214 


Tlie fhmlly of Herod the Great at Borne.— Berenice, and her children Horodlas and 
Agrlppa. — Herodlas repudiates hor husband PhiUppus, marries Herod Antlpos, and 
receives a principality in Palestine.— Agrlppa courts the young Calus,and imbues him 
with the ideas of Oriental sovereignty.— Falls under displeasure of Tiberius, and is 
arrested. — On the death of Tiberius he Is released, and taken into flivour by Cains.— 
First commencement of the new prindpate.— Liberality of Galas.- His subservienos 
to the senate.— Attempts to restore the Comltla.- Becomes consul, July, 790.— His 
industry In administration.— Magnificence of his shows.— He lUls Intr excessive dlsd- 
pation.— His dangerous illness.— Despair of the citizens and provincials. — On his re- 
covery his head turned by flattery.— Puts to death the yonng Tiberius, Macro and 
Ennia, and Silanus.— His extravaganoea, necessities, and cruelty.— Believes himself a 
God, and requires his subjects to worship him.— Indifference of the Romans and 
Greeks.— Resistance of the Jews.— Disturbances at Alexandria.— Agrlppft goes to 
Palestine: Intrigues against Antlpas and Herodlas: Obtains their banishment, and 
succeeds to their dominions.— Calus orders his statue to be set up In the Jewish syna- 
gogues, and in the temple at Jerusalem.- Mission of Phllo the Jew, and interview 
wlththflemperar(A.D. 87-40., A. 11.790-793.) 274 

Digitized by 




Be(l«etioBS on the defldencj of oar materials for the history of Cains.— Defects of hti 
cdacatioii and training.— His oontempt for political disguises.— The priesthood of the 
Arldan Diana. — Ooloesal character of his ooncepilons: His architectural eztraya- 
ganee&— The riadnct orer the Yelabram.— The hridge of boats at Bain.— His extrar- 
agant loznrj. — ^He pretends to eloquence. — His spite against great reputations, and 
belief in his own divinity.— Sjrstematlc persecntion of the wealthy nobles.— Massacre 
ct ezOea.- The people i^enated by taxation.- His expedition into GaoL— Overthrow 
of Lentnlns 6»tolicns and Lepidns.- Pretended invasion of Britain.— Betnming to 
Borne, he plays the tyrant without disguise.— Conspiracies against him.— He is slain 
by Cassias Cberea. (▲. n. «Mt, jl v. TD^-TM.) . Page 820 


The senate dellbcmtes on the state of aiEalrs.— The protorians carry off Claudius to their 
eamp and swear allegiance to him.- The senate yields and accepts him as emperor.— 
He prodalms an amnesty, excepting only duweaand a few others. — Contempt and 
negle^ with which he had been treated in his early years. — ^His devotion to literature. 
— ^He takes the policy of Aogustus as his model : 1. His military exploits and conduct 
of foreign afiklr& 2. His revision of the senate and knights, and census a. it. 80Q. 
8b His administration of religious aflhlrs. — Secular games a. u. 800. 4. His laborious 
administration of Justice. 0. His buildings and constructions: The AquaCIaadla: 
Hie Fcrtas Augusti: Draining of the lake Fudnus. & His public shows in the Am 
phitfaeatre, and mock sea-flght In the lake Fudnus.— Gluttony and intemperance as- 
cribed to him 864 


OUndlns subject to the influence, 1. Of women : His wives : MessaUna. 2. Of freedmen : 
Polybiua, Nardasus, &c.— Treatment of the sisters of Caius. — Banishment of Seneca. 
— ^Death of App. Bilanus.— Consplrscy of ScriboDlanus.— Invasion of Britain and 
trfnmph of Claudius.— Death of Valerius Asiatlcas.— Internal administration of Clau- 
dhtSL— Blvaliy of Messallna and Agrlppina.—Me8sallna*s amour with Slllus, and daring 
marriage with him.— Alarm and anger of Chmdius.— Her disgrace and death.— In- 
trignes for a successor. — Claudius marries Agrlpplna. — Her son Domltlus betrothed 
to his duighter Octavla: Adopted under the name of Nera— Influence of Agrlpplna: 
She founds the Colonla Agripplnensis.- Advancing popularity of Nero.— Agrlpplns 
dfeets the destruction of Leplda.— She poisons Claudius.— Nero succeeds to power.— 
Semarks on the diaraoter of Claudlas.— The adoration paid him during his life by 
Seneea, and abuse of him after his death.- 'lb- Apocolocyntoslfl.— Flattery of Nero. 
(A.v.T14-80T.,JLD.41-5i) . . . . 8M 

Digitized by 


Digitized by 






pjLmroni. xkd os thb Bsna, QuztuBD bt drubub akd gebicahicub. — 


14-17., A. u. 767-770.) 

rmay be recorded in praise of* Aagnstas, among few 
other BovereignB who have long survived the date of 
their early popularity, that no burst of general 
satisfisMstion hailed the announcement of his de- ready toa^ 
cease. The old man had no doubt become stale niccewioncr 
and wearisome to his countrymen ; a damp had ^*^^^ 
been cast on their spirits by the dull shade of a monoto- 
nous rule, which had long ceased to be relieved by gleams 
of adventitious splendour. The prosperity of his latter 
years had been clouded by alarming disasters; yet these 
had not so depressed the feelings of the nation as the leaden 
weight of an administration which seemed concerned onl^ 

Digitized by 



to avert motives of popular excitement. The generation 
which had admired Augustus a^the genius of beneficent 
government had descended into the tomb : it had been suc- 
ceeded by one which regarded him only as a despot, or, 
more .u^rfaltronrably still, as- a pedant. . Whatever discontent, . 
however, might lie' smothered beneath the external fonns ol 
loyal submission, the approaching end of his long domina- 
tion was anticipated in no quarter as the advent of a new 
era.' Augustus himself justly presumed that no party con- 
templated the restoration of the republic on his demise ; he 
was content to warn his successor against the personal am- 
bition of the most emii^eut nobles, those who might be ex- 
pected to covet the sovereignty, and those who without 
coveting might be deemed fit to wield it.* But the great 
mass of the citizens acquiesced at this crisis in the convic- 
tion that the man who had shared his later counsels would 
be appointed heir to his relinquished powers. They con- 
templated without a murmur the succession of Tiberius to 
the complete cycle of the imperial functions, from no per- 
sonal regard or admiration, nor from any deliberate. belief 
that he was the fittest of the citizens to assume preeminence, 
but from a half-conscious acknowledgment of his divine or 
legitimate right as the adopted son of the hero Augustus, 
himself the adopted son of the divine Julius. Such is the 
proneness of the human mind to discover a right for an once 
established apd uncontested might; so smooth is the path of 
usurpation, when it has once socceeded in scaling the bar- 
riers of the law* It was not in vain that Augustus had 
cherished among his subjeets the remnant of religious ieel« 
ing; he was irewarded by becoming himself the centre of 
their idolatrf , and imparting a ray of his own adorable god- 
head to. the heir of his name and titles. 

* T$c Anti, L 4.: *^Fostquam pnnrecta jam seneotus eegro et corpore foU 
gabatoTy aderatque finis et spes novae: paiuci bona libertatis incassnm dlsse- 
rcre: plures bellnm pavcscere, alii cupere: pars multo mauma imniincote« 
dorainos yariis mmoribns disscrere.** * 

» Tac Ann, I 13. 

Digitized by 


A. n. m.] uia)EB the empire. 9 

But with the fortunes of AugustuSy Tiberiafl did not in- 
herit that relianoe on his* personal merits which nerred the 
arm of his predecessor, and imbned him with so seiMistrwtor 
lofty a sense of his mission. Though certainly TUwioa. 
with no mean ability, both military and adininistratiYe, he 
seems to have been wanting in the higher quality of genit^ 
which seizes or makes its opportunities, and floats on the 
er38t of the swelling waves of a national inspiration. Of 
this he was himself painfully sensible ; and it was the con- 
sciousness that he could neither kindle the imagination of 
the soldiers like Julius, nor of the citizens like Augustus, 
that made him feel less secure of their obedience than he 
really was. He had suffered, indeed, though mainly through 
his own perverseness, a &31 from power, which rendered him 
keenly aUve to the precariousness of hie elevation, and to the 
dangers which attend on infirmities of temper in the great. 
The secret of his predecessor's success had lain, as he was 
perhaps aware, in the perfect equilibrium of his abilities and 
his temper, in the combination of genius with self-command; 
his own conscious deficiency in this particular chilled him as 
an omen of ultimate failure, as it had already been the cause 
of his temporary disgrace. Tiberius reigned in the constant 
apprehension of the. crash which he expected to overwhelm 
him ; the sword of Damocles seemed ever suspended over 
him ; and he scanned with angry perturbation the counte- 
nances of all who approached him, to discover whether they 
too saw the fatal spectre which was never absent from his 
own imagination.* 

At the critical moment he might himself have hesitated, 
and looked timidly around him ; but he was fortunate, if one 
may say so, in having in his mother Livia an 
ally endued with the unity of object and prompt- gu8tm«n- 
ness in action which so strongly characterize her 
■ex. Augustus, it seems probable, had not yet breathed his 

* One pasdng stroke from Pliny on this subject rivtls in effect the elabo> 
cste pttntlngs of TaeUas : ** Tiberiils trntissimos, nt oonstat, hoininm]^.^' HitL 
Nat lOTuL 5 

Digitized by 



last, and his step-son, liastUy recalled from the Dalmatian 
coast, was not yet in attendance on bis death-bed, when the 
empress boldly ventured to take the necessary measures to 
prevent the tidings of his decease being too soon made pub- 
lic* When, however, Tiberius was himself on the spot; 
there was no further occasion for disguise, and the demise of 
the late imperator was proclaimed at the same moment with 
the substitution of a successor.* The fidelity of the few 
troops about the capital, already bound by the military 
sacrament to their actual chiers coadjutor, was sufficiently 
assured ; obedience to the orders of Hberius had become 
habitual to them. Nor was there any real cause for appre- 
hension lest a rival should start up among the nobility of the 
capital Of the possible competitors already designated by 
Augustus, Lepidus, he had said, was equal to empire, but 
would disdain it ; Asinius CktUus might be ambitious of it, 
but was imequal to the post ; and one only, the rich and 
high-bom Arruntius, had the spirit both to desire, and, if oc- 
casion served, to contend for it.* But Arruntius bore no 
official distinction or military reputation ; no circumstances 
had combined to smooth his way to such an elevation, and 
the only immediate risk of competition lay in the members 
of the Cadsarean family itself Of these, Germanicus was at 
the moment absent : Drusus, the youthful child of Tiberias, 
had yet acquired no independent position ; but the wretched 
Agrippa still lingered in his island-prison, and the rumour 

* Tac. Ann, 16.:" ProvisiB qua ternpus monebat, simul exoessisse Angus* 
turn et renim potiri Neronem, fiona eadem tnliC 

* Tac. Arm, L 18. : ** M. Lepidom dixerat capaoem, aed aspemaxitem; GaU 
am AwnUim ayidmn, et minorem ; L. Amintiam non indignum, et si casos da- 
retor aasamm." IC. iBmilhis Lepidus was brother of the Paulus JEmfliaa, 
husband of the younger Julia, who oonsplred against Augustus. See chap. 
xxzyilL He continued in the eiuoyment of favour and di^tj till his death, 
A. u. '^SS. Tac Antu tL 27. ; see below. C. Ashiins Qallus was son of Asin- 

. ius PolMo, and married to Yipsania, the diroroed wife of llberius. For his 
death, 788, see below. L. Arruntius was son of a lieutenant of Augustus in 
the battfe of Aotlum (oonsul a. u, 782). His euidde, ▲. u. 790, will be msn- 
lioned in its place. 

Digitized by 


&.lT.7d7.j UNDER THB laiPIBE. l\ 

that Angnstas had recently visited him in secret, and held 
oat, not without tokens of affection, some hopes of release 
and &Toar, had excited the jealous fears both of Livia and 
her son. As soon as Augustus ceased to breathe, 
and even before his decease was proclaimed, an JSKSSon^ 
order was conveyed to the centurion in guard ^^^^"^^^ 
over the captive to put him to death* Such was 
the belief of the times ; but whether the order was issued 
by Livia, without her son's privity, or whether it was the 
first act of the new OsBsar's authority, the propagators of the 
rumour were not agreed. A hint seems indeed to have been 
thrown out that Augustus had instructed the keepers to kill 
their prisoner as soon as his own death should be known, to 
anti<dpste the risk of disturbance in the succession ; and Ti< 
berins publicly declared that the deed was not commanded 
by him; nevertheless he took no steps to explain the mys- 
tery, and the perpetrators of a crime thus officially acknowl- 
edged were allowed to renuun imquestioned.' 

With the announcement of the emperor's demise Tiberius 
summoned the senate by virtue of his tribunitian power.* 
The consuls Appuleius and Pompeius came for- _^^ 

_ , « . /. , <! ,. Tlberlns con- 

ward, as the first magistrates of the republic, to Tenet tiie sen- 
swear obedience to hun as their imperator, and 
the formula was repeated by all the officers of the state, 
and echoed by the soldiers and the citizens.' The ceremony 

' TwdttoB ascribes the act trithout hemtation to Tiberius : **Primiim fkdnns 
nofri princtpatafl ftnt Postmni Agrippe csodes'* .... and Dion follows him. 
Suetctiiiis speaks more dubiously: ^Qnos cocBcUlos dubimn fbit Angostosne 
moriens rdiqiiissei quo materiam timrahas post se subdaceret^ an nomine Au- 
gnsli liTia, et ea consdo llbmo an ignaro diotAsset" Yelleius seems to in- 
rinnate that Agrippa died before Angnsttis. In ^e will of the emperor, made 
sixteen months before his own decease, he made no mention of this grandson; 
but nothing can be bdlt on this onussion. Tacitus and Suetonius both agree 
that the oentoiion reported to Tlborius, **EActnm esse quod hnperftsset," and 
that Tiberias replied with anger, *'Neque imperasse se, et rationem &cti red- 
deDdam apud scnatum ;" but took no fhrther notice of the afiiur. See Taa 
Aim. I 6.; Suet 7%b. 22.; Dion, ML 3. 

* Suet 2U, 28. : ** Jure tribunitias potestatis coacto senatn.** 

* Tac Aim, I 7. : "Primi Goes, in verba Tiberii OoBsaris juraYcrc*^ In thb 

Digitized by 



passed smoothly without demur or soruple. Tiberius alone, 
perhaps, was astonished at the readiness with which his fet 
low-citizens accepted from the lips of their magistrates the 
obligation to maintain the imperial system in his person. 
The terms in which he had conyoked the fathers had been 
studiously moderate and cautious. He had carefully aroided 
committing himself to any personal riews : he had only re- 
quested that they should consult about the honours due to 
the deceased; while for himself he proposed to continue 
meanwhile in attendance on the venerated remains, the sole 
public ftmction which he claimed the right to discharge. 
Yet he had not scrupled to assume the ordinary ensigns of 
power at the emperor's death-bed, he had disposed the sen* 
tinels and given the watchword without reserve; even ii 
presenting himself in the forum and the senate he hac 
adopted a military escort ; still more, he had dispatched hif 
own orders to the legions in the provinces ; in short, he had 
shown no signs of hesitation in anythicg but his address to 
the senators themselves.* As associated indeed in the impe- 
rium he was perfectly competent to take these military 
measures; but the motive which impelled him to act so 
promptly was his fear of Germanicus, the commander of 
several legions and the favourite of the people, who, it might 
be apprehended, would rather choose to seize the supreme 
power at once than wait for its descent to him hereafter.' 

camp from which the usage was deriTed the legatua Imperatoris first uttered 
the oath of obedience — "preestitit Baoramentom" — to his general; then the 
oentoiions, and finally, the sdiMers — ^jorabant inyeiba legad"— 4ook Us oath 
upon themselyee. Bat the military sacrament had now become a general oath 
of allegianoe, which the consuls proposed, and the rest of the citizens rq>eated 
after them. Comp. Suet JuL 84. ; Appian, BelL Civ, ii. 145. 

' Tao. Arm, L c : " Defimoto Angusto signmn praetoriis oohortibus nt im- 
perator dederat ; excubise, arma, caetera aulse ; miles in Fomm mfles in Curiam 
oomitabotnr; Hteras ad exerdtus, tanquam adepto prindpatu, misit; nusquam 
eunotabundus nisi quum in Senatu loqneretur.'* Oomp. Suet Tib, 24. ; Dion, 

* Tac. 1. c. : " Causa prsedpua ex formidine ne Germaniccs, in ei\ju8 manu 
tot legioncs, immensa sodorum anxilia, n^rofl apud populam fliTor, habere im> 
pedum q[uam exspectare mallet** 

Digitized by 


A. U. 7«7.] tJin)£B THE EMPIBE. ' 13 

TiberiuB Iiad a fkrther reason for courting the soffirages of 
the senate, rather than commanding them : he was anxious 
to appear to owe his election to the national voice, rather 
than sl^) into the succession as the adopted heir of a woman- 
ruled dotard. It suited his temper, moreover, — and in esti- 
mating the acts of the moody Tiberius we must regard his 
temper even more than his policy, — ^thus to ascertain the 
real sentiments of the courtiers, whose voices he could have 
easily constrained* 

Already, sixteen months before his death, Augustus had 
sealed his will, and placed it beyond hb own reach in the 
custody of the VestiJfi,* By this instrument he _ 

, - , ^ - -. , , - , , Private testa- 

had made a careful disposition of his property, mentof Angiu 

after the manner of a private citizen. The bulk ^ 
of it he had bequeathed, after expressing his regret at the 
loss of CaiuB and Lucius, to Tiberius and Livia in unequal 
proportions, the former receiving two thirds, the latter one 
third only; but even this share was beyond what the law 
allowed to a widow, and required a special exemption from 
the senate.' It was provided at the same time that Livia 
should be adopted into the Julian &mily, and distinguished 
with the title of Augusta. In de&ult of the survival of 
these his first-named heirs, he called his grandsons and their 
children to the inheritance, one third of which was to de- 
scend to Drusus, the son of Tiberius, the remainder to be 
apportioned among Germanicus and his three male children. 
The unfortunate Julias were specially excepted from all bene- 
fit in this arrangement, and a clause was added by which 
thek remains were forbidden to rest in the Csesarean mauso- 
leum. Of Agrippa Postumus no mention seems to have been 
made. Failing all natural or adoptive successors, the em- 
peror had taken the precaution of inserting some names of 

' Suet Oct, 101. ; Tac Ann, I 8. ; Dion, Ivl 82, 83. 

• The lex VoconSa had allowed a widow to inherit only a fourth, and this 
had been rcdnced to a fifth by the lex Papia Poppasa, It may be said, bow- 
en:r, that livia bad been released from the seTerity of this law by receivhig 
the Job trimn liberonim. Dion, Iv. 2. See Reimar's note on Dion, Ivi 82. 

Digitized by 



the chief nobility, even such as he was known to have re- 
garded during his lifetime with distrust and dislike, either 
to conciliate their favour towards his descendants, or as an 
empty display of generosity. But the property which, after 
fifty years of power, the emperor had to bestow, did not ex- 
ceed what might be expected from a citizen of the first 
rank ; and it was burdened by liberal donations to the public 
treasury, to the citizens individually, to the legionaries and 
the guards of the palace, and also to a few private friends.* 
LastpnbUo ^ regarded public af&irs, the last counsels he 
**"*^'*- gave his children and the commonwealth were 

exhortations to prudence and moderation. He requested 
that no ostentati<m of magnificence should induce them to 
emancipate many slaves at his ftmeral ; that they should ab- 
stain from admitting the subjects of the empire indiscrimi- 
nately to the honours and privileges of the ruling race ; that 
they should simmion all men capable of affairs to a share in 
their administration, and not accumulate all public ftmctions 
in a single hand ; lastly, that they should rest satisfied with 
the actual extent of the frontiers, nor risk, by the lust of ftu> 
ther conquests, the loss of the provinces they possessed: for 
so he had paused himself in the career of his own successes, 
and preferred to present gain or personal glory the perma- 
nent interests of the republic* 

Tiberius was anxious that the citizens should notice the 
deference paid by the deceased ruler to their presumed su- 
premacy, and fancy that the empire, with its various pow- 

' Tac. L c: '^Poptilo et plcbi ccccxxxt., preetoriarora cohortium militibua 
ringola numinmn millia, legionarils ccc., cohor^us dvimn Rom. occca nmn- 
moB Tiritim dedit*' 

* Dion, hrl 33. These oounselB seem to hare been appended to the regis* 
ter of the empbe (its forces, revenues, &c), which Augustus bequeathed to the 
state. Tac Ann, L 11.: **Proferri libcUum recitarique jussit: opes ptd)lic89 

oontindi)antar, kc addideratque consilium coercendi intra ierminos im- 

periL** See chap, zxzix. It was still a question, howerer, whether this last 
advice was the result of care for the public weal, or of envy towards his 8U(y> 

Digitized by 



era and prerogatives, was still their own to give 
or to withhold. The senate and people vied onn decreed 
in the hononrs they heapf^ on the memory of so 
loyal a sovereign. The body, it was decreed, should bo 
borne into the field of Mars through the gate of triumph, 
but Tiberius himself interfered to moderate the officious zeal 
of individual courtiers. The populace signified their resolve 
to consume the remains in the forum, and an armed guard 
was required to prevent this irregularity, to avert the riots 
which might have ensued, and spare the superstitious |eel- 
ings which would be hurt by it. But the vapid admiration 
of the sated sight-seers of Rome was finally contented with 
the decorous solemnities of a national apotheosis. The 
senate, the same body, at least in name, which had struck 
down another Caesar sixty years before, which had conceded 
honours to his corpse under bitter compulsion, and driven his 
adorers from his shrine with blows and menaces, now com- 
bined with all classes of the citizens in a common act of ex- 
travagant adulation. The procession of the knights who 
attended on the bier held its march from the suburban sta- 
tion of Bovillaa to the centre of the city ; orations in praise 
of the deceased were pronounced by Tiberius and his son 
I>msus from the steps of the Julian temple and from the 
rostra; from the forum the honoured remains were borne 
upon the shouldeis of the senators to the place of cremation 
in the Campus Martins. Temples, priests, and holy observ- 
ances were decreed to the divine Augustus, as before to the 
divine Julius, for a praetor was found to affirm that he had 
seen his soul ascend from his ashes into the celestial abodes. 
This testimony, such as it was, followed an ancient and aus- 
picious precedent, and was rewarded with a splendid present 
from Livia.* On the death of Caesar no such vision had been 
required : Rome and the world believed without a witness, 
that a spirit more than human had exchanged life fi:)r immor- 

Meanwhile a scene was being enacted in the Senate 
' Suet Oct 100.; Dion, Ivi. 46. 

Digitized by 



House of much more importance to the interests of the oiti- 
TTberins in the ^^^^ thsLB. that which concemed the remains of 
■^^^ fallen greatness just consigned to the tomb. 

Tiberius had learnt from the policy of his sire that, however 
bold and decided his moyements might be in the camp and 
the provinces, he must govern the nobles in the city by craft 
and management Following implicitly the example which 
had been set him on more than ono solemn occasion, he now 
met the professions of submission to his authority, which the 
senators eagerly tendered, with pretending to shrink from 
its^acceptanoe. He began with uttering ambiguous general- 
ities about the vast extent of the empire, and the arduous- 
ness of the task of governing it.^ From thence he proceeded 
to insinuate that the charge was in fact too great for a single 
hand, and might tax the powers of more than one associate. 
He hinted, perhaps, at the policy of appointing a third tri- 
umvirate, to divide the cares to which Augustus had alone 
been equal ; as it had required the vigour of three combined 
imperators to wield the sword of CsBsar. He was not una- 
ware that among the traditions of the republic the triumvir- 
ate was more obnoxious than even the monarchy, and he 
might anticipate that the fear of returning to a rule stamped 
with the fatal impress of massacre and civil war, would 
throw his hearers on the only other feasible alternative, the 
perpetuation of imperial supremacy. The senators received 
his harangue in silence, rather from uncertainty as to his real 
wishes than from any hesitation of their own; for, with the 
exception of the few among them who might cherish jsehemes 
of personal aggrandizement, there can be no doubt that the 
general sentiment was to acquiesce, however reluctantly, in 
the substitution of Tiberius for Augustus. But the smooth 
progress of the trick was presently interrupted by the cap- 
tious question of Asinius, who ventured to ask the speaker 
what part of the imperial functions he was prepared himself 

YeD. il 124. : " Veluti luctatio civitatis fuit pugnands cum Coosare senatoa 
populique, ut station! paterna sticcederet; illitis at potius oeqnalcm dTcm qaam 
emlnentem licerct agere prinoipem." 

Digitized by 



to accept. Hberiiis iras for a moment embarrassed ; but re- 
covering himself he replied adroitly that it was not for him 
to choose or to reject any particular charge, when for his 
own part he would willingly be excused from all. The rash 
or petulant inquirer sought to cover his retreat by declaring 
lie had no other motive in asking, but to show by the answer 
he should elicit that the state was one and indivisible, and 
could only be governed by a single head. The session ended 
with the understanding of all parties that the 

lit • •111^ m« ^^ the fplMV • 

government should contmue m the hands of Ti- tions of em- 
berius, with all the functions amassed by his pre- Ldt nnder- 
decessor.' No formal decree, however, was pro- h^^^ tii»-* 
nonnced to this effect ; he already possessed the ^"^ 
imperium, which required no further instrument to give him 
the control of the legions and provinces ; the tribunitian and 
proconsular power had been granted on a previous occasion, 
and the prerogatives of the consular were sufficiently under- 
stood without a distinct and formal recognition. The prin- 
cipate was, perhaps, virtually conferred without a special 
act, by tacitly yi^ding the first voice in the senate, while 
the popular suffrage, in which lay the disposal of the chief 
pontificate, might be easily taken for granted. The time 
had eome when, whatever artifices might still be required 
for the management of the senate, the chief of the state 
need keep terms no longer with the popular assemblies. The 
appointment of the consuls, with the forms of 
voting, was now finally withdrawn from the cen- S^nri^^cl" 
tunes, and therewith the last frail remnant of the JboiiBhei'^*^ 
(lolitical privileges of the Roman people was sub- 
stantially abolished. The emperor henceforth nomiuated 

*■ Tm. Aroh I 11-13. ; Suet. Tib, 24. ; Oomp. Dion, IvlL 2. That there was 
no regular decree on this oocasioii, as was usual in later times, for conferring 
Um Imperial prerogatives, appears ficom the tsiat ihaX Tadtos and Suetonhis are 
Bot agreed as to the tuni -the ^scossion oltimatelj took: the former gives ns 
to nndervtand that Tlheriss broke up the meeting without any spedfio deelara* 
tion of assuming tha empire; but Suetonius says, expresslj, tlttt he agreed to 
flndertake the charge, at least for a season. 

VOL. T. — 2 

Digitized by 



four candidates, and allowed the senate simply to make 
choice of two among them : hut the aspirants for honour 
were no longer subjected to the humiliation of suing, or the 
pain of being refused, and the express recommendation of 
the emperor himself was considered as in feu^t authoritative. 
The senators accepted with gratitude the relief from a deli- 
cate and invidious responsibility, and the people submitted 
to the change with scarce an audible murmur.' 

While the supreme power was thus quietly changing 
hands at the centre of the empire, events of no little mo- 
^. ^ .^ ment were happenintr on the firontiers, where the 

DlBoontent of i i» /• i . 

gei^^iii se^ds of future revolutions were sown by a 
mutinous soldiery. The insubordination which 
CaBsar had experienced more than once among his own le- 
gionaries, was the effect of his indiscriminate enlistments^ 
and the licentious principles he had instilled into his follow- 
ers. The three legions which now occupied Pannonia xmder 
Junius Blaasus were composed in a great measure of recruits 
promiscuously levied to repress the recent revolt. Though 
among these many veterans were mingled, it seems impossi- 
ble that the complaints they put forth of having served 
thirty or even forty years without obtaining their discharge, 
could have been true of any large number. Harassed as the 
actual veterans may have been by a service protracted, under 
the necessities of the times, far beyond the legitimate period, 
we may conjecture that the turbulence of the recent levies 
had given an impulse to their dissatis&ction. They com- 
plained of their wounds and privations ; of the intolerable 
harshness of camp discipline; of the meagreness of their 
daily dole; of the miserable and distant recompense of 
allotments on a barbarous frontier. The few days of rest or 
rej&icing which the legate allowed them, on the confirmar 

' Tw^Afm, L 15.: *'Tam primam a oampo oomitia ad Patrea tran^lata 
Bonft^** etc. ; bat ai the doee of this book (o. 81.) the BtSAt author remarks, in 
^iparent contradiction to this statement, **De comitiis oonsiilaribas, qvw torn 
primnm illo prindpe ac deinceps fuere, tix qaidqnam firmare aodm," etc. The 
fubject wiU be treated more fully in a subsequent chapter. 

Digitized by 



iion of the empire to Tiberius, were occupied by tUe most 
ardent spirits in &nning the sparks of sedition ; yet it must 
be obseryed, that among all their murmurs they never pre- 
tended that the death of Augustas released them from their 
legitimate subjection to his associate.^ 

The authority of Blaesus was soon overthrown. The 
troops insisted that the term of their service should be defi- 
nitely fixed at sixteen years.* They demanded 
also a further advance in the rate of the legion- to<raen the 
ary's pay, which Julius Ciesar had already raised ™^ ^' 
to double the earlier standard of the republic* The legatus 
was compelled to send his son to Rome as the bearer of these 
reqoisitions, which wore the character of a defiance, for the 
Roman in the camp lost every right of the freeman ; his 
only patron was the tribune in the Forum, his sole means of 
redress his vote in the Comitia. Nor while awaiting a reply 
from the emperor and senate, did the soldiers return frankly 
to obedience. Conscious of the crime of indiscipline, they 
broke into frenzies of anger and jealousy, struck or slew 
their centurions, and insulted their commanders. Drusus, 
being dispatched promptly with some praetorian cohorts to 
recover ihs^r fidelity, found them in open mutiny, occupying 
their camp and drawing their rations, but refusing every 
work and exercise. The prince was famished with no defi- 

> Tac. Aim. I 16. 

* Hitherto the term of servioe for the legionary was twenty years, and six* 
teea f<^ the praetorian, the name by which the guards of the emperor's person, 
and tent or palace, came now to be distingmshed. But even at the end of that 
period Augustus had introduced the custom of exauctoratio, by which the le- 
ponariee were reBcTed from some of the more serere duties of the service, but 
stm retuned onder their colours, histead of missio or complete discharge. 

* The aoldiera demanded the denarius per day instead of the ten ases. The 
denarius had been r^sed to the iralue of sixteen, or, as some say, twelve ases, 
and. such was apparently ^e increased demand. But if I understand Pliny 
rightly, this point they never actually gained : the denarius continuing always 
to be ooonted as ten ases in military payments. SvL Nat, xlxiiL 8.: ^'Dena- 
rfami an mifitari stipendio semper pro x assibus datum." But the whole ques- 
tfoQ is involTed In great difficulty. See lipaus, Excurs. vl and vii. in T^ sod 
the notes of Walthcr, Bitter, and other commentators. 

Digitized by 



nite instruotions ; his father had withheld from him the 
requisite authority for conceding demands which he still 
hoped to evade. The soldiers were infuriated at this disap- 
pointment. Drusus was actually attacked by tumultuary 
bands and with difficulty rescued ; night intervened, but the 
morning seemed about to dawn on the entire defection of 
three legions. Suddenly the moon became eclipsed, and be- 
fore it emerged from the ominous shadow, clouds had gath- 
ered in the sky, and seemed, to the affrighted and ignorant 
multitude, to threaten its total extinction. The men were 
struck with dismay ; and while the fit of fear or remorse 
was upon them, Drusus seized the moment for promises and 
caresses. In return for some vague assurances of redress 
from the emperor, he engaged them to surrender their ring- 
leaders, on whom he inflicted the ftill vengeance of outraged 
discipline, with the consent and approbation of the fickle 

Almost at the same moment, and fi*om similar motives of 
discontent, a mutiny had broken out also among the legions 

on the Rhine. The danger was far greater in 
ikS'SS^'fhe *^is case than in the other; the army of the 
^gjoDtontha Rbenish frontier numbered not less than eight 

legions, posted in two divisions in the Upper and 
Lower Grermania ; and the direction of the entire force was 
intrusted to Germanicus, as commanding in chief through- 
out the whole province of GauL Not only did the muti- 
neers clamour for higher pay and more indulgent treatment; 
but the legions of the lower province proclaimed that they 
would carry the youthful Caesar in triumph to Rome, and 
gird him with the sword of their deceased leader. They 
obtained complete mastery over their officers, and the legate 
Aulus CflBcina; and their outbreak was scarcely kept in 
check by the yet undecided attitude of the upper division, 
which C. Silius still restrained from open mutiny. Germani- 

' Taa Ann, i. 16-30. : "Promptum ad aspcriora ingenium BruBo erat: to> 
oatoe 'Vibtilenum et Percennluin interfici jubct" But could any commandef 
have done otherwiBe? 

Digitized by 



COS WAS absent at Ltigduniun, where he was presiding over 
the censns of the GauGsh states. Here he received the 
news of the late emperor^s death, with orders from Tiberius 
to tender to the provincials the oath of allegiance to the 
elect of the senate. This duty he was intent on discharging, 
without apprehension of any military outbreak, when the 
report of the state of affidrs in his camp interrupted his 
proceedings. The soldiers had assailed their officers with 
violence ; they had mnrdered tribuiies and centurions ; obe- 
dience wafl at an end, and the legate himself was constrained 
to deliver into their hands the objects of their bitterest 

The Roman quarters among the Ubii had been for some 
days in a state of confUsion and anarchy^ when Qermanicus 
arrived and threw himself boldly into the midst. 
The young Cfissar was personally adored by the SSSwiKm 
soldiers ; nor, had it been otherwise, were any of J'^,lJ^jJ^ ^ 
them prepared to discard the authority of a scion 
of the imperial house. On his appearance among them they 
cast themselves at his feet, imploring his sympathy with 
their just complaints, the most aged of the veterans seizing 
his bands, it was said, and thrusting them, as if to kiss them, 
'within their lips, that he might feel their toothless gums, and 
learn to appreciate the length of their ill-requited services. 
Some showed him the scars of their wounds, others the 
marks of the centurion's vine-rod. The men soon lashed 
themselves into fresh fury, and with loud cries adjured Ger- 
manicus to lead them straight to Rome, and assume the em- 
pire under their protection. The young Ce^B&v shrank with 
horror from such a treason, and possibly they might in their 
frenzy have done violence to his person had not his attend- 
ants snatched him hastily from their grasp. But meanwhile 
their emissaries were soliciting the adhesion of the legions 
of the Upper Germania, stationed at Moguntiacum; and 
while undecided as to their ultimate objects, they already 
talked of commencing their rebellion by the plunder of the 
' Tac Ann, I 31, 82. ; Snet TO. 26. ; Dion, Ivil 5. 

Digitized by 



Ubii and the cities of GauL "nie military chiefe were well 
aware that this dissolution of discipline on the frontier 
would bring the Oermans immediately across it, and the 
ciyil war which most ensue between the fSuthful allies of 
Rome and her own insurgent children would be aggravated 
by foreign invasiony and possibly by provincial revolt. As- 
sembled in the imperator's tent, they hastily concerted ap 
offer of terms to the soldiers, to which they pledged the 
name of Tiberius himself. Besides the required revision of 
the term of service, ample donatives in money were prom- 
ised, as soon as the legions should return to winter quarters. 
This was not enough. The insurgents demanded that the 
stipulated sum should be paid down on the instant, and the 
private coffers of Germanicus and his officers, as well as of 
the emperor himself were ransacked to satisfy them.* 

This sacrifice was after all' unavailing. The appearance 

of envoys firom the senate, charged to examine the soldiers' 

demands, was the signal for a fresh disturbance ; 

of Gmanioofl, for the alarm quickly spread that the concessions 

and his 1000088 ^1 A 1 « « 

in qaeiiing the made ou the spur of momentary danger would 
"" ^' fail to be ratified on maturer deliberation. The 

more violent of the mutineers persuaded their comrades to 
refuse all acconmiodation, and so formidable was the atti- 
tude now assumed, that Germanicus was forced to surrender 
the eagles to the keeping of the rebellious legionaries, and 
in fact to relinquish the command. At most he could only 
secure a retreat for the envoys, on whom the fury of the in- 
surgents was about to fiaill, and at the same time for his wife 
and children, whom he was anxious to remove to a place of 
safety. Agrippina, a woman of masculine spirit and devoted 
to her husband, could hardly be persuaded to quit his side. 
When she at last took leave, with a few female attendants, 
carrying in her arms her infant child Caius, the pet and 
playfellow of the soldiers, the feelings of the spectators were 
moved to remorse. Germanicus seized the moment to remind 
them of the claims of his own &mily upon them, and of the 
1 Tao. Ann. I 84-86. 

Digitized by 



loye thej had borne to his &ther Bmsns ; nor did he fail to 
reoall to remembrance the glories of Augustus, the victories 
of Tiberius, and the spirit with which the immortal Julius 
had quelled the mutiny of his soldiers by addressing them as 
cUtxens. This last passionate appeal proved successfuL The 
insurgents fell on their knees, and implored him to punish 
the guilty, to spare the penitent, and lead the pardoned host 
ilirectly against the enemy. They conjured him to recall his 
wife and child, and not leaye them as hostages in the land of 
the Gauls, but retain them under the safeguard of the Ro- 
man legions. Nor did they fail to deliver of their own 
accord to the punishment of the axe and rod those whom 
they regarded as their ringleaders, whom their officers gladly 
left it to themselves to point out. The ferocious zeal with 
which each offender denounced such as he chose to think 
more guilty than himself presents a fearful picture of human 

When we meet among the scions of the imperial house 
with one described as eminently virtuous and noble, we must 
prepare to hear that his career was melancholy, 
that his promise ended in disappointment, and oJjSlSkiSJ 
lus death was premature. Such a death at least 
doubly gilds his virtues, while it may anticipate the develop- 
ment of crimes or vices. Of all the chiefs of Roman his- 
tory, none has been represented in fairer colours than the ill- 
fitted Germanicus. We have seen already that he was the 
nephew of Tiberius, being the son of the gallant Drusus, 
whose title he was permitted to inherit, by a daughter of the 
triumvir Antonius.* Augustus had connected him still more 
closely with himself, by uniting him to the child of Agrippa 
by his own daughter Julia. Adopted by Tiberius, he was 
placed on the same line of succession as his cousin Drusus, 
to whom he was two or three years senior ; and after the 
deaths of Caius and Ludus Csdsar, who had shone so briefly 
as twin stars in the firmament, the fortunes of the two 
Tac Ann. i. 87-44. 
• Suet Claud, 1.; Califf. 1.; Pint Antm, 87. 

Digitized by 



adopted brothers seemed to rise together in auspicious cou- 
junction.^ Whatever brilliant future might be in store for 
Germanicus, the Romans, if we may believe their posthu* 
mous testimony t^ his merits, were fully persuaded that he 
deserved it. His natural abilities had been carefully culti- 
vated. He had been trained equally in ■ the art of war and 
the exercise of civil employment. His first laurels had been 
gained in his twenty-second year, in the wars of Pannonia 
and Dalmatia, the successful issue of which was in a great 
measure ascribed to his energy and conduct.* In the year 
765 he had been summoned to the consulship, and in the 
highest rank of magistracy, young as he was, his country- 
men had marked in him all the skill in affairs which is com- 
monly attained only by experience. The government of the 
Gaulish provinces, too extensive a command to be entitled a 
mere proconsulate, followed on the expiration of his Amo- 
tions in the city ; and there, at the head of eight legions, 
before the most formidable opponents of the Roman power, 
he stood in the eyes of the soldiers and provincials as little 
less than an emperor himself The large training of the 
highest Roman education had fitted him, amidst these public 
avocations, to take a graceful interest in literature. His 
compositions in Greek and Latin verse were varied, and 
perhaps more than respectable for school exercises, with 
which only they should be compared.' Nor did he neglect 

' Germanicus, bom in September 739 (see above, ch. xxiviii.), was now, at 
the dose of 767, in his twenty-ninth year. The date of the birth of Drusua is 
not accurately known ; it was probably a short time before the separation of 
Tiberius from his mother Vipsania, in 742. 

' Dion, Ivi Iff. See above. 

* The Greek comedy of Germanicus (Suet Califf. 8.) was probably a mere 
scholastic imitation, suoh as was generally the character of the Greek verses of 
the young Roman nobles. The translation of Aratus which is, I think properly, 
ascribed to him, was a tour cfo force, to which we can hardly attach any practi- 
cal use, though even CScero occupied himself in a similar Version of the poet 
of astronomy. But Ovid solidts his patronage for the most learned of his owr< 
works, at a time when such applications were not merely oompUments, FasL 
I init Gomp. Ex, PonL iv. 8. 67. 

Digitized by 


▲. n. 7670 UKDEB THE EMPIRE. 25 

the praotiee of oratory, which he employed, as was always 
ppedally recorded of those whose memory the Romans do- 
lighted to honour, in the defence rather^han the proseontion 
of the accused.* His manners were eminently civil both at 
home and abroad, snoh as became the son of the man who, 
according to the fond belief of the citizens, would have re- 
stored the commonwealth ; and while he comported himself 
towards his coiQitrymen as an equal, his demeafnour to for- 
eigners and allies was afhble and condescending. In the 
camp his behayiour was in striking contrast both with the 
reserve of Augustus and the mal-address of Tiberius. He 
liTed freely among his soldiers, whose humours he sought to 
flatter, like the first and greatest of the Caesars, by sympathy 
and kindness. When he explored his men's sentiments on 
the eve of a perilous imdertaking, by traversing their quar- 
ters disguised at night, he might hear his own merits made 
the theme of their conversation, and assure himself of the 
confidence they reposed in his valour and fortune.* His pop- 
ularity with aU classes, especially with the soldiers, was MIy 
shared by his consort. The greatest praise they could be- 
stow on a woman was to liken her to the Roman matrons of 
a hallowed antiquity, and to bless her for her love to her 
husband, and the fertility which they hailed as its surest 

The strong contrast which the character of Oermanicus 
thus presented to that of his uncle might have given cause for 
jealousy and distrust even in a private family: jeAioosy of n- 
between members of a ruling dynasty, the course ^^^^ 

* Sact La; Dion, Ivi 26.; Ovid, Iktk I 21.: 

** Qoffi sit enim ctdU facmidia sensimus oris^ 
CMcsk pro irepidis com tolit arma reis.' 

* T«c Ann, il 18. The oocarion will be specified below. 

* Agrippintt bore her htisbaiid nine children, of whom three died in infancy, 
fhe others, tiiree sons and as many daughters, survired their fiither, and irill 
an find a place in these pages. Saei Calig. 7. With regard to one who died 
In ddldhood, a pleasing trait is recorded of Angostus : ^ Insigni festivitatei 
eojns effigiem habitu Capi(Uni8 in ede Capitolin» Yeneris Livia dedicavit, An 

I in cobicnlo nio positam, qnoUesconque introiret, exosculabatur." 

Digitized by 


26 ni3T0BY OF TH£ ROMANS [A. a 14 

and Buccession of which were established on known and 
long-respected principles, it would have led no doubt to 
estrangement and i]|utual dislike ; but the misfortune of Ti- 
berius and his nephew lay in the vagueness of the title by 
which the one enjoyed power, and the other might be ex- 
pected to aspire to it. The claim of Julius Csesar to reign 
over the Romans was emphatically that of the worthiest 
He founded his usurpation on the virtual presumption that 
the republic required a chief, and he was himself the fittest 
to become such. It was the aim of Augustus, of which ho 
never lost sight for a moment, to strengthen his human right 
as the heir of Julius by the divine right, to which he also 
pretended, of moral fitness. This human right, if I may so 
call it, of inheritance might be strengthened in the third de- 
scent ; but Tiberius, painfully alive to his own deficiencies, 
and conscious of no personal claim to the reverence of his 
countrymen, felt that the divine right no longer pertained to 
him, and was constantly harassed by the apprehension that 
the Romans, still looking for the worthiest to reign over 
them, would turn from him to the younger scion of the wor- 
thiest of Roman houses. Every despot is discontented at 
being outshone by the rising glories of his presumptive suc- 
cessor ; but few have the excuse of the unfortunate Tiberius, 
who felt that every laurel placed on the brow of Germanicus 
constituted a claim, not to succeed him on the throne, but 
to eject him from it. Other usurpers have stepped at once 
within the circle of admitted principles of descent. The 
subjects of a Napoleon or a Cromwell were familiar with the 
idea of dynastic sovereignty ; but it was otherwise with the 
children of the old Roman republic. The Csesars had every 
rule and principle of monarchy to create ; and it was not till 
they had established the rights of legitimacy, that the em- 
perors could feel the personal security, which was the best 
guarantee for their temperate exercise of power. The mutiny 
of the German legions revealed to Tiberius a secret of fatal 
ngnificance. The cries of the legionaries Ccescur Germanicui 

Digitized by 


A. U. 767.1 UNDER THS EMPIBE. 27 

wiU not endure to be a eui^ect^ confirmed the presentiment of 
bis own self-disparaging conscience.^ 

After all, this distrust of his own ^ilities, which were 
certainly considerable, was the great and &tal defect in tho 
character of the self-tormentor. The state of pu- 
pilage in which he had been held by Augustus S%mp™*Si 
may account perhaps for this self-disparagement, JiJ^Sii"*** 
and for the meanness with which he ultimately 
threw himself on the support of a favourite far less able 
than himselC The trifling results of his own last campaign 
in Germany made him the more jealous of the plans now 
urged by Germanicus for the entire subjugation of the inso- 
lent victors of Teutoburg. Yet it was more than ever neces- 
sary to employ the discontented legions, who had placed 
themselves without reserve under their young Caesar's orders, 
and to precipitate them headlong on the Elbe was the surest 
way of averting a march upon the Tiber. The soldiers them- 
selves were burning for occupation ; they were anxious to 
wash out in blood the stain of mutiny, which ever left a dark 
and burning spot on the conscience of the Roman legionary. 

During the crisis of these military outbreaks, the em- 
peror^B conduct was marked by consummate artifice and 
caution. He successftilly evaded binding him- «. ^,- 
self to any precise stipulation by which his su- dealing with 
preme authority could be compromised, while 
he allowed his son and nephew to treat with the mutineers, 
and amuse them with specious hopes beyond their power to 
confirm.* His advisers at Home urged him to go in person 
and quell the Bedition by the majesty of his presence, as, 
until the latest periods of his reign, Augustus, on every 
great emergency, had quitted the city for the provinces. 

* Taol Ann, I 81. : ^Magna spe fore ut Germanicus Caesar imperimn aHe- 
nm pati nequiret** 

* The cry tat a dxteen years* serrice seems to hare been listened to, but 
TIberfais looii afterwards took occasion to disregard his concession, and fixed 
twentj yean for the regular lee^onaiy term. Tac. Ann, I 78.: "Ita proxima 
•editionte male conBoHa .... abolita in postenun.** 

Digitized by 



Always professing to be about to take some decided step, 
Tiberius continued to allege excuses for indecision and inac- 
tivity. He was a\ii^re that at Rome he was supported by 
the name and influence of the senate, which as a body was 
entirely devoted to the imperial government. In the camp, 
on the contrary, he knew not on whom he might depend, or 
how fer the traditions of military allegiance still retained 
their potency. By remaining within the precincts of the 
city he could escape direct comparison with Drusus and 
Germanicus, from which he shrank with the instinct of self- 
distrust; and there he was under the protection of the 
armed force of the capital, which at the moment of assuming 
power he had bound to his service by the most solenm for- 
mulas. Moreover, his own jealous nature suggested that to 
whichever of the two camps, the Pannonian or the Glerman, 
he should repair, he might awaken the jealousy of the other. 
Finally he argued, it rather befitted the majesty of the im- 
perial power to judge of the complaints of its subjects at a 
distance, than to wrangle with them on the spot. Neverthe- 
less, to break the force of the petulant mu murs which as- 
sailed him, Tiberius pretended to have resolved to quit 
Rome for the firontiers, and caused preparations to be made 
for his anticipated departure. But first the winter season, 
and when that was past, the pressure of business at home, 
still furnished him with pleas for delay. His own ministers 
and intimates were long deceived as to his real intentions, 
the citizens still longer, and longest of all the provinces them- 
selves.' Meanwhile he was anxious to court the good opin- 
ion of the senators by the general conduct of his administra- 
tion at home. In matters of personal concern he rivalled and 
even exceeded the moderation of Augustus him- 
beri^in the self He intcrposcd with specious words to re- 
strain the extravagant compliments showered on 
liim by the nobles, and checked the servile impatience with 

' Tac Arm, I 47. : " Oeteram, nt Jam jamque itaras, legit ebmites^ oonqui- 
riTft impo^Hmentaf adornavit naTes : moz hiemem ant negotia varie eausatiu^ 
priroo pndentes, dcin ynlgum, divUssime prorincias fefeUif 

Digitized by 



wbich they pressed forward to swear obedienoe to his enact- 
ments, not only past but future. In the senate he suffered 
all men to discuss his measures with freedom, and propose 
motions of their own, on which he was often ambng the last 
to declare his sentiments. He was proud of the appellation 
of Prince, but would not endure to be addressed as Lnpe- 
rator or Dominua* While he encouraged the appointment 
of priests, rituals, and games in honour of his deified prede- 
cessor, he vehemeiitly riepelled the preposterous adoration 
proffered to himself by citizois or provincials. Tct the mod' 
oration of Tiberius was simply politic, and was tinged by no 
ray of generosity or clemency. The hapless Ovid he suf- 
fered still to languish in the exile from which neither en- 
treaties nor flatteries availed to release him.* The lapse of 
fifteen years had not softened his spite against his miserable 
consort, who was now treated with even increased rigour in 
her confinement at Rhegium, till she sank under her sorrows 
and possibly under the most cruel privations, in the first 
months of her husband's elevation.* Her paramour, Sem- 
proniua Gracchus, retained in an island off the coast of 
Africa during the lifetime of Augustus, was slain by one of 
the earliest mandates of his successor. The only trait of gen- 
tleness the new ruler exhibited was in his behaviour to his 
mother, whom he never ceased to regard wit^ respect and 
even with awe, allowing himself to be guided or thwarted 
by her to the last, with the docility of his childish years.^ 
Nevertheless, though he sufibred Livia to assutne great au- 
thority over himself he strictly forbade, as a Roman matron, 
her taking any ostensible share in public affairs, and curtailed 

' Dion, Im % 8. 

• The date of Ovid's death, **-8et 60," may range between April 7Vo and 
April WL 

* Tac. Ann, I 53. The death of the elder Julia is placed bj tlua writer 
wkhliL the yesr 767, wUch embraeed IHtle more than three months of the new 
|)finci|i«te. T«t he speaks of her death as the resnh of the long and deBbci^ 
ate s eye ritto e of the new teperor: **Inopia ac tabe longa peremit, obscnram 
Sore Deoem kmgiixiuitate exiUi ratns.** 

< Kon, lYil 12. 

Digitized by 



the excessive honours the senate wonld have lavished upon 

But we must return from Rome to the frontiers once 
morCi with the historian Tacitus, and follow the culminating 
GomunieoB ^^^ ^^ ^^® ^®^ Gennauicus. No sooner had he 
^8^^'ui« q^el^ed the sedition in his camp, than the young 
*^«- Ceesar, postponing to a fitter moment the busi- 

ness of the census at Lugdunum, transported his impatient 
soldiers across the Rhine, and promised them an opportunity 
of effacing the stain of disaffection in the blood of the na- 
tional enemies. The slaughter of Varus was yet unavenged, 
and the r last incursion of Tiberius had failed to restore the 
authority of the empire on the right bank of the river. An 
attempt, indeed, had been made to define the frontier of a 
Transrhenane province between the Lippe and the Ruhr by 
the line of the Csesian forest, and a supplemental rampart of 
wood and earth ; but this work had been left incomplete, and 
Germanicus now cut his way through it without hesitation.* 
He was resolved to place the bulwarks of the Roman empire 
mudi further to the east. Dividing his forces into four corps 
(wedges the Romans called them, and the name was well 
applied to the service in which they were employed, of 
breaking their way through every obstacle, and splitting to 
the heart the vast region before them), he swept a large ex- 
tent of territory with fire and sword, and startled from their 
lairs the warriors of many formidable nations. The Marsi, 
whom he first reached, were taken unprepared, and made to 
suffer severely; the Bructeri, Tubantes, and Usipetes re- 
treated before him, or evaded his onset, and wide as he 
spread his battalions he could not force them to join battle. 
Harassed on the flanks and rear, it was only by a great 
effort that he succeeded in shaking off the enemy whom ho 

' Tac Ann, i. 50. : ** Propero agmine sylram Oaeslam, limitemqve a Tlbeilo 
oceptum, Bcindit*' Of the OBBsian forest nothing ia known except from this 
passage. It extended probably along the right bank of the Rhine between the 
streams menUoned in the text, and the lines commenced bj llberiiis were a 
rampart of earth and palisades beyond it. 

Digitized by 


▲.v. 76a.] UNDER THE EMPIRE. 31 

could DOt assail, and eyentnally bringing back Lis troops 
with no great loss to their winter quartets. This incursion, 
it must be remembered, was made towards the close of the 
year, when he conld not expect to obtain any considerable 
results. Hberins, it is said, received the account of these 
proceedings with mixed feelings. The suppression of the 
mutiny relieyed him from anxiety ; but he was &r from satis- 
fied with the sacrifice, as he deemed it, of dignity, and the 
compromise of state principles by which it had been achiev* 
ed«* Neyertheless he consented to sanction the pledges his 
son and nephew had given ; and in addressing the senate he 
enlarged on the merits of Gkrmanicus, while he affected to 
speak with modest reserve on those of his own son Dmsu& 
Nor did he fiiil to crown the trifling exploits of this desul- 
tory incursion with the honour of a triumph, the celebration 
of which, however, was to be deferred till the conclusion of 
the war, and the anticipated conquest of Germany. 

In the following year, a. v. 768, Qermanicus recommenced 
his operations at an earlier season, and with more definite 
plans. He had equipped a force of eight legions Renewed om- 
for the field, with perhaps an equal number of SSSISia?^ 
aonliaries and irregular skirmishers; four of ^.^.is, 
these legions were directed to cross the Rhine •^v.ies. 
tx>m the great camp at Vetera, under the conmiand of the 
able and experienced Csecina, and penetrate into the territory 
of the Cherusci ; the other four were led by the Caesar him- 
self into the district of the Taunus, and were destined to 
keep in check the Chatti, whose powerful confederation was 
ever ready to harass the flank of a Roman armament in the 
corth, or even to seize the opportunity of invading the 
Gaolish province. The resistance opposed by the Chatti in 
the field was easily overcome. The Romans destroyed their 
stronghold, known by the name of Mattium; and having 

^ TaeUoB adds (^fvi. I 52.) that he was mortified bj the gkny Gennanioos 
acquired. It ia pooiible that tlie jFOong geoeraTa popularitj at Rome caused 
his aoecaaa to be magnifted or extolled beyond its destfta. It waa evidently 
lac too slender to cause bi itself any reasonaUe ground of Jealousy. 

Digitized by 



thus crippled their means of annoyance, returned to tho 
Rhine, to co5perate in another direction with the expedition 
of Caecina. The short interval which had elapsed since the 
defeat of Varus, had sufficed to divide the victorious Che- 
rusci into hostile parties. Segestes, the fevourer of the Ro- 
mans, besieged by his son-in-law Arminius, solidted their 
relief. He could ofi^r, in return for their assistance, many 
spoils of the Yarian disaster; and was able to deliver to 
them many noble women, the wives or children of the chiefs 
of his nation. Among these was Thusnelda, his own daugh- 
ter, the consort of Arminius, a woman of high spirit, and 
more attached to the cause of her husband than that of her 
parait. These important hostages were transferred to the 
other side of the Rhine. The wife of Arminius was sent to 
Ravenna in Italy, where the child she bore him was bred in 
the fashions of his captors, and lived, we are told, to expe- 
rience some sport of adverse fortune, the particulars of which 
have failed to descend to us.* The division to whom this 
easy success had fallen was recalled once more to the Roman 
quarters, and Tiberius himself conferred on Qermanicus the 
title of imperator. 

Arminius and his &ithful Cheruscans were exasperated at 
this treachery of their old chief, which seems indeed to have 
Gcrmanicusre- disgustcd evcn those among them who would 
^theSra^to? ^^^® laboured for a compromise between the 
of YaruB. hostile powers. The defection of Inguiomerus, 

a kinsman of Arminius, but one who had leant hitherto to 
the Roman side, convinced Oermanicus that there was no 
longer room for craft and diplomacy, but that the whole of 
north Gcermany must be thoroughly subdued by the sword, 
or finally abandoned. The temporizing policy of Augustus, 
who hoped gradually to sap the spirit of liberty by the 
charm of Roman caresses, must now be regarded as a failure ; 

' Tadtas related it in his Aimala ; and it must have found a plaoe in one 
of the lost portions of that woriw, probably in the great lacona in the fifUi book / 
which refers to the date n.a 784.: "Educatns RaTennsB paer quo mox luii 
brio conflictatus sit in tempore memorabo." Arm, I 68. 

Digitized by 


A.U.t68.] tJKDBR THE EMPIRB. 33 

msalt and injury had exasperated the German chiefs beyond- 
hope of reconciliation ; arms alone conld decide whether the 
empire should be extended to the'Elbe, or restrained hence- 
forth within the barrier of the Rhine. This was the result 
to which the young OsBsar's impetuosity had brought affairs 
on the frontier: it remained to be seen whether the same 
ardent spirit could effect the conquest of the people whom it 
had BO thoroughly alienated. Towards the summer his plans 
were matured for a simultaneous attack in three directions 
on the Cherusci, as the heads of a general confederacy. 
Ctecina was ordered to lead his force through the country of 
the Bructeri to the Ems ; a body of cavalry was dispatched 
by a more northerly route along the borders of the Frisii to 
the same destination ; while Germanicus himself embarked 
with four legions, to coast the shores of the continent, and 
enter the river at its mouth. The three corps effected their 
junction with that precision to which the Romans had now 
attained by repeated experiments, having swept away all 
resistance throughout the region between the Lippe and the 
ocean, which their eagles had before scarcely penetrated. 
Csecina had overthrown the Bructeri in an engagement of 
some magnitude, and had recovered the eagle of the Ninc- 
teenCh legion. The division of Germanicus ascended the 
waters of the Ems, or skirted its banks, till it reached the 
forest of Teutoburg, where it explored the vestiges of the 
great disaster after the lapse of six years, and traced with 
mournful interest the remains of the camps of Varus, which 
showed by their diminished size and unfinished defences the 
failing strength and decreasing numbers of the flying force 
at each successive nightfeU. The soldiers collected the 
bones of their slaughtered countrymen, still ly- 
ing, some in heaps together, others scattered at oupBpawtothe 
unequal distances, and paid them funeral rites, rianghtered 
erecting over the remains a monumental barrow 
o€ which tke OaB8a^ himself placed the first sod.^ Advanc* 

' Tac. Ann, L 61, 62.: **Capido Ooesarcm inyadit solyendi suprema militk 
bos dodque .... primam exstraendo tumulo cespitem Csesar posoit.^' 
VOL. T. — 8 

Digitized by 



ing further, their excited feelings were relieved by an oppor- 
tunity for action* Arminios had availed himself of the re* 
cesses of his forests to conceal a portion of his forces, and 
the Romans were too eager for the onset to take due precau- 
tions against surprise The presence of mind of Germanicus 
saved them from a severe disaster ; but though the victory 
remained at last undecided, it became prudent to withdraw 
from the field, and retire to the stations already fortified on 
the Ems. From hence, on the approach of the winter season, 
they were led back to the frontier by the same routes by 
which they had advanced. Cascina making his way through 
woods and marshes to the head of the causeway of Domi- 
tius, was attacked by Arminius, and reduced to perilous 
straits. Enclosed within his lines by overpowering numbers, 
he owed his deliverance to the rashness of the Germans, who 
once repulsed were easily thrown into confusion by a dexter- 
ous manoeuvre. A great slaughter ensued among them, 
from which Arminius made his escape with some loss of 
honour. The Romans thus relieved continued their home- 
ward march, and arrived in safety at Vetera, where the ru- 
mour of their surprise and destruction had already preceded 
them. The residents of the left bank, in their alarm, would 
have broken their conmiunications, and abandoned the fugi- 
tives to their fate, had not Agrippina shown herself worthy 
of her husband's and her father's courage. Placing herself' 
at the head of the bridge, from which she refused to move, 
she awaited the return of the remnant of the rout ; and as 
the long train of four unbroken legions defiled, with ensigns 
displayed, before her, she addressed them with the warmest 
acknowledgment of their deserts, her heart swelling with 
wifelike pride and emotion.* 

The return of Germanicus himself was subjected to perils 
of another kind, and clouded with seiious disasters. He had 
descended the Ems on board his vessels ; but when he put 

' Ttc Ann, I 69. The writer obtained this anecdote from the dder Pliny, 
irho wrote an account of the German campaigns. Vetera Gastra is the mod 
em Xanten, nearij opposite to WeseL Mannert Gtoffr iil 431. 

Digitized by 


A.n.768.] UKI>£B THE EMPIRE. 35 

out to sea, among tlie shallows of the Fiisian 
coasty he found it necessary to lighten them. For numicas ai^ hii 
this purpose he disembarked two legions, charg- ^ "*" 

ing them to oondnct their march homeward within sight of 
the ocean. Obeying these directions, however, too closely, 
a great number of the men were lost in the equinoctial tides, 
which OTerflowed the level shores, and swept away a large 
portion of their stores and ba^age.^ The main strength of 
the legions was at last collected once more in winter qaar^ 
ters ; but to recruit them to Uieir proper footing, and supply 
their &11 complement of horses and equipments, it ^as ne- 
cessary to put under requisition, not the Rhenish j»:ovinces 
only^but the whole extent of Gkiul, and even Spain and Italy. 
The collection of means of transport for such forces as the 
Roman generals moved year by year in these regions, over 
wide tracts of uncultivated heath or woodland, from which 
every vehicle and beast of burden was swept by the retreat- 
ing natives, must have taxed to the utmost the resources of 
all the provinces of the West The more we study the his- 
tory of these expensive though fruitless campaigns, the more 
shall we admire the powers of the Roman government, the 
effective organization of every branch of its service, and the 
well-trained energies of all its officers, from the imperator to 
the centurion and primipile.* 

It appears from this narrative that the success of 6er- 
manicus to, these forays had been dubious at best. He had 
left no more solid monument of his prowess than 
the barrow erected over the Yarian remains ; and man at the 
this the natives indignantly levelled as soon as or these oun- 
his back was turned. No fortress had been 
established to check the enemy's return into the tracts from 
which he had been for a moment dislodged ; no roads had 
been formed to assist the advance of a ftiture expedition ; 
the savage mode of warfare which the invader had as usual 

' IVus. Ann, I YO. 

' Tftc; Ann, 71.: **Ad supplenda exeroitas damna cerUyere Gallie, Hit- 
panisei Italia ; qaod caiqae promptum, anna, equos, annim, offeronteBi'* 

Digitized by 



permitted himself in ravaging the country with fire and 
Bword, had made it not less untenahle by Roman settlers 
than by its native possessors. Tiberius was far from satisfied 
with these results ; and while he suffered the citizens to re- 
gard the surrender of Segestes and the capture of Thusnelda, 
the sole trophies of the campaign^ as substantial tokens of 
Buccess, for which not Grermanicus only, but his lieutenants 
also, might deserve the triumphal insignia, he was at heart 
deeply vexed with the real failure of the yearns exertions. 
His ill-humour vented itself in murmurs against his nephew's 
conduct, who had damped, he said, the courage of the le- 
gionaries by showing them the bloody traces of a Roman 
defeat ; he even pretended that, in performing funeral rites, 
Germanicus had profaned the sanctity of his Augural office. 
He cavilled at the spirited movement of Agrippina, in which, 
he insinuated, she had overstepped the duties of her sex, to 
ingratiate herself with his legions. What would be left, he 
asked, for the imperators themselves to do, if their wives 
could venture to pass along the lines of the maniples, to ap- 
proach the standards, and offer with their own hands lar- 
gesses to the soldiers. He complained that the mutinous 
spirit of the army had been conjured by the intrigues of a 
woman, when the name of the chief of the commonweal tli 
liad failed to coerce it.* 

The assumption of so ungracious an attitude towards the 

defenders of the national interests, in the midst of foreign 

foes and domestic sedition, was at best impolitic ; 

TheHoimms , ^-^ i -. • » I 

ofi-cndcd at this the Romaus regarded it, moreover, as unjust and 
base, and unworthy of the descendant of their 
magnanimous Cassars. They ascribed it, however, less to 
the jealous temper of their ruler himself, than to the sinister 
influence of a lowborn favourite, impatient of a rival's suc- 
cesses, who now prompted his master's apprehensions, and 
suggested the recall of Germanicus that he might no longer 
spend the blood and treasure of the empire in schemes for 

* Tac Ann. I 69. " Compressam a mulierc scditioncm, cui nomcn Prinoi 
dIs obsistore non quirerit." 

Digitized by 


A. U. '769.] TJIiD£i; THE EMFIBE. 3'j 

bis own adyanoemcnt, firom which the nation denred no 
benefit.' This fatal adviser will be brought more formally 
on ihe stage at a later period : it is enough to say of hirn 
now that Tiberius listened with complacency to his question- 
able counseL But the hesitation now becoming habitual 
with him in all public a&irs still prevented him £rom acting 
upon it ; while the young Ocesar, burning lor martial &me, 
and equally unconscious, perht^pSy both of the suspicions 
raised against him, and of the failure of his recent enter* 
prise, was redoubling his pr^arations for another campaign, 
and dreaming of more conclusive suceesseg.' 

The fiulure of the last expedition was ascribed at the 
Roman quarters to no defect in the valour of the soldiers, or 
the skill of their chiefe, but simply to the natu- Third cam- 
ral diflicukies of the route they had chosen, gJljcSi.^'^' 
which layfhrther to the north, and was more A.».ia 
embarrassed by swamps, forests, and broad riv- ^ ^' ^^• 
crs, tiian the regions with which the invliders acquainted 
themselves in their earlier operations. It may be supposed, . 
moreover, that the inhospitable wilderness was exhausted of 
its scanty resources. Accordingly, Germanicus prepared a 
naval armunent on a larger scale than before, which he col- 
lected in the islimd of tixe Rhino and Wahal, and directed 
through the channel of the lake Flevus to the ocean.* Be- 
fore embarking, however, he sent his legate 0. Silius, to 
make a demonstration against the Ghatti in the south, and 
led himself a force of six legions along the valley of the 
Lippe, to secure the roads and strongholds, and provide for 
the ddence and supply of his armies on their return.^ Tliis 
done he transported the main strength of his armaments in 
a thousand vessels, to the mouth of the Ems, thus saving 
them a great amount of lime and &tigue. Leaving his 

' Tac 1. c : " Accendebat hoec onerabatque Sejanua." 

• Tac Ann, il 6. 

' He descended into this lake by the Fossa Diusiana, the channel which 
Drnsos cat, as before mentioned, from the Rhme to the Yssel. 

* Tac Afin, il 6. 

Digitized by 



ships at their anchorage under Bofficieut protection, he then 
directed his march towards the south-east, so as to strike the 
He oonfronti ^T^k of the Wcser at a spot where the Germacns 
toAjSrS^e ^^ assembled a large force. In the ranks of the 
Weeer. invading army there was a brother of Arminius 

entrusted with a command, whose fidelity to the Romans 
was attested by the loss of an eye in their service, and by 
the surname of Flavius, which he had adopted as the client 
of a Roman officer. Arminius, we are told, demanded a 
parley with the renegade across the stream which divided 
the hostile arrays ; and when, according to the agreement, 
they were left to converse alone, b^an by inquiring the oc- 
casion of his wound. Flavins specified the place and the 
engagement. And tohat, demanded the other, w<u your re- 
ward? Increase of pay ^ a gold chain and chaplety with 
other military distinctions^ was the reply. And when the 
Germain freeman retorted with a sneer on these vHe badges 
of servitude^ the Romsmi^ed Flavins continued unabashed to 
.urge on him the obvious inducements to submissibn, duch as 
the magnitude of the Roman power, the clemency of the 
emperor, the kindness with which his wife and child had 
been treated, and, on the other hand, the sure penalty of re- 
sistance. Arminius replied by appealing with fervour to the 
love of their country, the memory of their Others, and the 
venerable names of their ancestral divinities : he contrasted 
with pride his own position, as the chief of his own people, 
with the subaltern rank of his recreant brother. From argu- 
ment the debate was presently swayed to rebukes and mu- 
tud invectives, tmtil, exasperated as they were, they would 
have plunged into the stream and decided their controversy 
in its waves had not the comrades of Flavins interfered and 
carried him away, leaving Arminius vainly defying with up- 
lifted voice and hands the adversaries whom he could not 

The next morning the Romans effected the passage cf the 

* Tac. Ann, \l 9, 10. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


Weser in the &ce of the enemy, not unwilUng perhaps to 
give way, and draw them ihrther into the heart oornMmiciMex- 
of a thick jungle with a broad river in the rear. JJj'S wSS?' 
In the depths of a sacred forest thcJ Oermans had ^^ 
collected the forces of many nations, and were preparing to 
assail the invaders^ camp by night. The imagination of onr 
eloqnent historian Tacitus kindles ydth the approaching ca- 
tastrophe of the great epic of the German wars, and from 
the Homeric dialogue of his Flavins and Arminius, he pro- 
ceeds to charm us with the night adventure of his hero Ger- 
manicns. Not trusting entirdy to the reports of his brave 
but sanguine officers, — and the spirit of flattery, he thought, 
might sway the representations of his personal attendants, — 
the imperator resolved to explore, disguised, and at night, 
the real temper of the soldiers, and ascertain how far he 
might rely on the courage which had never yet been &irly 
confronted with the victors of the Teutoburg. Wrapt in his 
Gaulish bearskin, and attended by a single companion, he 
traversed the lanes of the camp and leant over the tent- 
ropes. The soldiers he found everywhere vying with one 
another in the praise* of their young general : one boasted of 
his nobl€i descent, another of his manly beauty; his patience, 
his kindness, his serene temper were in the mouths of alL 
To-morrow, they said, in the ranks, they would prove their 
gratitude and affection : they would sacrifice to vengeance 
and glory the fidthless foe who had violated the peace of 
Rome. At this moment an emissary of Arminius riding to 
the foot of the rampart, proclaimed aloud in the Latin tongue 
his leader's promise of wives, lands, and a daily largess to all 
who would abandon the Roman service and take refuge in 
the ranks of freedom. The offer was received with shouts 
of indignant scorn. Xet but the day breaky exclaimed the 
legionaries, let btU battle be joined, and toe toill seize each for 
himself on wives and lands and plunder. Germanicus with- 
drew well pleased with the result of his experiment, which 
was succeeded by a dream of favourable omen. The har- 
angue he addressed next morning to his men contains a Aivid 

Digitized by 



descripiioD of the disadvantage tinder which the barbarian 
laboured, from the size and weight of his weapons, his want 
of defensive armour, his slow and unwieldy motions, his 
ignorance of discipline, and impatience both of toil and pain. 
Everything that made him most terrible at first sight was 
found, when examined, an encumbrance and a defect. En« 
couraged and confirmed in their hopes and expectations, the 
Romans prepared cheerfiiUy for the combat.^ On the other 
hand. Arminins and his associates were not less 

AnnlniaB en- ., t^, iii/*i* 

eonngos the prompt and eneriretic. Each at the head of his 
own people described the Koman army as the 
mere remnant of the Yarian legions, the swiftest of foot, 
who had saved themselves once by flight from German ven- 
geance : they were no other tban the recreants of the Rhen- 
ish camps, who would rather rise against their own officers 
than rally in the &ce of the enemy. These, they said, were 
the slaves who had been reduced by stripes, the wretches 
who had skulked from pursuit of the brave Cherusci to the 
furthest shores of the ocean. Nor were the Germans suffered 
to forget how cruel and rapacious these ruffians had shown 
themselves in their moments of success : the freedom of the 
patriot warriors was the last possession left them ; let them 
now defend it with their lives." 

The position of the Germans occupied the declivity of the 

hills which bounded the valley of the Weser, extending into 

the broad plain at their foot and restinff on a 

Orcat battle ,., ,.,« ,, ^ 

and victory of wood m the rear, which, from the absence of un- 
dergrowth, presented no obstacle to a retreat.* 
The Romans, however, having crossed the stream at various 
points, contrived by skilful movements to outflank their 
opponents ; and while the cavalry gained the wood behind 

* Taa Ann, il 12, 13. * Tac Ann, il 14. 

' Tacitus calls the spot " Campus cul Idistaviso nomen." There m no due 
for identifymg it See the article on the word in Smith's Dictionary of Ocop' 
ra/>Ay/in which Grimm is said to have shown that the plain was probably 
called IdisiaTiso, that is, the maldcn'i mcadoxf}^ from idisi, a maiden, and wie^c, 
a meadow. 

Digitized by 



them, the main strength of the legions engaged their attenr 
tioQ in the plain. The front line of the^ Germans, drawn np 
at the foot of the hills, was driven back and songht refnge 
in the wood, at the same mom^iit that the bodies kept in re* 
senre behind, assailed by the Roman horse^ were dislodged 
from its shelter, and driven headlong towards the plain. 
The Chemsei, the bravest and steadiest of the native forces, 
had occnpied the centre of the declivic j ; bnt ndither their 
resohite courage, nor the skill and vigour of their letider Ar- 
minins, availed to sustain them against the overwhelming 
pressure of the conflicting tides of fiigitives on either side. 
Thus thrown into confusion, the rout of the Germans was 
rapid and complete. Arminius and Inguiomerus still naain- 
tained the unequal eontest with conspicuous gallantry ; but, 
hemmed in between the advancing forces of the Bomans, 
their destruction seemed inevitable, and they owed their 
lives, as was suspected, to the treachery of some German 
auxiliaries, who suffered them to burst through their ranks, 
disfigured and wounded. Broken in front and rear, the 
remnant of their host took flight at every point where they 
could find an opening : great numbers were slain in attempt* 
ing to cross the river before, many more fell in the wood be- 
hind them, where they climbed the trees for safety, but were 
transfixed with arrows, or crushed by the felling of the trees 
themselves : over an area of ten miles in width the ground 
was thickly strewn with the bodies of the slain; and if the 
combat itself had been soon decided, the pursuit and slaugh- 
ter o<mtinued without intermission till nightfidL At the 
close of the day the victors reared a great mound of eaith, 
whidi they surmounted with the arms of their slaughtered 
enemies, and the chains found ready in their caimp for bind- 
ing their captives. On the summit they raised a stone pil- 
lar inscribed with the pames of the conquered tribes ; and, 
finally, the army saluted the absent Tibmus with the title 
of Imperator, ascribing the fortune of the day, with redou- 
bled loyalty, to. his sacred anspices^^ 

» Tac. Ann, ii. 16-lS. 

Digitized by 



Yet no sooner had they completed these memorials of 
their triumph than the worsted foe rallied, it seems, for an- 
Renewed en- Other contost. Doubtless the victory had been 
SSi*i^Mof ^^ ^^^® complete than the flatterers of the em- 
theBemana. pj^^ q^ i}^q panegyrist of Gcrmanicus had repre- 
sented it. The barbarians, we are assured, were about to 
fly beyond the Elbe, and relinquish their territories for ever, 
when the report of the erection of this insulting monument 
roused them fh)m their panic and despair. Once more fling- 
ing aU timid counsels to the winds, they seized a spot sur- 
rounded by woods and morasses, and defended by an old na- 
tive earthwork, and there collecting in a mass formidable 
alike from its numbers and resolution, defied the advance of 
the conqueror. Here invasion reached its limits. Germani- 
cus indeed led his legions steadily to the foot of the well- 
manned lines. He made skilful dispositions for attacking 
them. He forced the mound, entered the narrow area within 
which the Germans were thronged densely together, with a 
swamp behind, and incapable of retreat. The struggle was 
furious and bloody. Everything was against the Germans ; 
the closen^s of the combat, in which their long swords and 
even their unwieldy frames were a disadvantage ; the recol- 
lection of theii late defeat ; and the consciousness that their 
last stronghold was stormed before their faces. Even Ar- 
minius had lost his gallant spirit; broken by repeated de- 
feats or the wounds he had sustained, he was less decided in 
his orders and less conspicuous in the medley. Never, on the 
other hand, did Germanious more strenuously exert himself. 
He strove to carry with hw own hand the victory his dispo- 
sitions had brought within his grasp. Throwing his helmet 
from his head, that no Roman might fail to recognise him, he 
adjured his soldiers, in the midst of their ranks, to todouble 
blow on blow, and give no quarter : this, he cried, was no 
day for making captives, but for utterly destwying the Ger- 
man nation* Multitudes of the barbarians were slain, while 
the invaders acknowledged but a trifling loss. Nevertheless 
the legions, we are told, were recalled from the scene of 

Digitized by 


L.U.769.] U^DEB TBE EMPIRE. 43 

elanghter to their camp for the night, while we hear nothing 
of the rout cr retreat of the enemy. It is admitted that the 
engagement of the cavalry in another quarter was indecisive. 
Kg song of triumph arose on the dispersion of the great Ger- 
man confederacy, at the abandonment of their country, or 
their flight behind the Elbe ; there is no word of their suing 
for peace or pardon. If Germanicus erected yet another 
trophy, and emblazoned it with a flaunting inscription, pro- 
claiming that he had subdued all the nations between the 
Rhine and Elbe, the narrator of his exploits himself confesses 
that the boast was vain and presumptuous. Of all the native 
tribes the Angrivarii alone offered to capitulate; but their 
humble submission appeased, it is said, the vengeance of the 
conqueror, and he consented to accept it as a national ac- 
knowledgment of defeat.* 

Nor was it from any anxiety about his own return that 
Germanicus acquiesced so easily in this pretended pacifica- 
tion. The second month of summer saw his 
legions Withdraw from their advanced posts m mwiicas agtin 
the Cheruscian territory, and retire, some by land, ^ 
but a large force on board the numerous flotilla which had 
wafted them to the mouth of the Ems." The vessels were 
assailed by severe gales, and once more suffered terribly from 
the violence of the winds and waves, though the fears of the 
timid mariners may have magnified the loss and danger. 
These disasters, however, sufficed to raise the Germans again 
in arms, so little had they been dispirited by the dubious 
success of the recent invasion. Germanicus, always prompt 
and active, however questionable we may think his skill in 
conducting, or forethought in planning, his expeditions, col- 
lected his troops without delay, and by a rapid incursion into 
the lands of the Marsi and Chatti, checked at least the 
contagion of their revolt. The recovery of the last of the 

■ Tic Amu il 19-22. 

* Tac. Afm, il 23.: '^Adolta jam ft^tate:"^ thus explained by gerritiB 00 
Fiig. BcL X. H.; <?<wy. i. 48. 

Digitized by 




Varian eagles shed a final gleam of glory over 

hBiioiie^'ir the entertrises of Rome in this quarter. Onco 
more the legions were led hack to their winter 
stations. The young Csesar was assured that the enemy had 
nerer felt sudi consternation and despair, as when they found 
him prepared t6 take the field at the moment when his fleet 
was lying wrecked on their shores. Never were they so much 
disposed to entertain counsels of submission, as during the 
winter that followed. One more campaign, he was convinced, 
would complete the conquest of the North. But while med- 
itating on his future triumphs, he was admonished by many 
letters firom Tiberius, that it was time to abandon projects 
which had reaped in fistct nothing but recurrmg disappoint^ 
ments. It was time, the emperor suggested, to change the 
policy which had hitherto reigned in the Roman quarters, 
and relinquishing the employment of military force, which 
had been attended with grave losses both by sea and land, 
trust to the surer and safer method of engaging the enemy 
in domestic dissensions. Closely as the German confederates 
had been bound together under the pressure of foreign ag- 
gression, seeds of disunion were still rife among them, and 
the policy of intrigue, ever patient and watchful, could hardly 
&il in the end to undermine the nationality of the barbarians. 
If further laurels, he added, were yet to be g&ined by arms, 
it was fair to leave the harvest to be gleaned by the strip- 
ling Drusus, for whose maiden sword no other foe but the 
Germans was left.* 

' Tac. Ann. ii* 26. Suetonius (7^.' 52.) adds that Tiberius was generally 
reputed to have disparaged the fflorious successes of Germanicus, as prejudicial 
to the public interesta. It is yexatioua, howcYcr, to obserre how little reliance 
we can place on the panegyric of Tadtos. Hia stoiy of the last campaign 
bears strong foaturea of romance. Tbe interview of the German brothers ia 
an heroic ^isode. It is not nsnal with ordinary mortals to oonyerse across a 
stream an hundred yards in width. The night watch of Germanicos, though 
not in itself improbable, is suspiciously in unison with the epic colour of the 
general narrative; and the splendid Tictories ascribed to hfan are evidently be* 
lied by the results. The account of fhe sUpwreck of the flotilla is a dang of 
turgid extraTogances, amplified perhaps from the statement wUch Ilhiy may 

Digitized by 



The reasoning of Tfiberios was specious, and the course 
he suggested required only vigilance and perseverance to be 
ftilly successfuL But in laying down a line of The frontiers 
tra^tional policy, which might demand the care SjJSiybSSdld 
of many years, and of more than one or two gener- ^^ **^ ^^^^ 
ations to eflffect it, he could pledge neither himself nor his 
fuecessors to persist in it. In fact, the central government 
ceased from this time to taJce any warm interest in the sub- 
jugation of the Germans; and the dissensions of their states 
and princes, which peace was not slow in developing, at- 
tracted no Roman emissaries to the barbarian camps, and 
rarely led the legions beyond the frontier, which was now 
allowed to recede finally to the Rhine.* The conquests in- 
deed of Germanicus had been wholly visionary: the language 
of Tacitus is equally extravagant both in vaunting his tri- 
umphs, and in blazoning his disasters ; and the almost total 
silence of Dion, a fer more sober authority, on the exploits 
of the popular hero, stamps his campaigns with merited in- 
significance. Nevertheless there seems no reason to doubt 
that the discipline of the legions, and the conduct of their 
officers, even without the genius of a Sulla or a Cffisar at their 
bead, must gradually have broken the resistance of the north- 
em freemen, and that little more of toil and patience was 
wanting to make the Elbe the permanent frontier of their 
conquests. This accession of temtory would have materially 
abridged the long line of the national defences, and the gar- 
risons of the Elbe and Danube might have afforded each 
other mutual support in the peril of a barbarian invasion. It 
is not impossible that the result of one or two more cam- 
paigns at this critical moment might have delayed for a 
hundred years the eventual overthrow of the Roman Empire. 
It would be too much to say that the failure of such a result 
is to be regretted ; nor can we venture to lament, for the 

btve foanded, with littlo discrimination, upon the fears and fancies of the sniv 

* We ihall tmoe at a later period some further advances of the empire be- 
tween the upper Rhine and Danube. 

Digitized by 



Bake of the Germans themselves^ that they were not at this 
period reduced to subjection to a power of higher and finer 
organization than their own. But while the gallantry with 
which the Germans defended their savage homes must always 
excite our admiration, while we applaud their courage and 
self-devotion, and thrill at the echoes of their shouts of defi- 
ance and songs of triumph, it will be well to guard against 
an unreflecting sympathy with that misnamed liberty for 
which they so bravely contended. The liberty of the Ger- 
mans was at best only the licence of a few chie& and warriors, 
backed by a dark and a bloody superstition, in which the 
mass of the people, the bravest and least corrupted part of 
the nation, had no genuine share.^ Notwithstanding the 
false colours he has aimed at throwing over it, the picture of 
Teutonic freedom which Tacitus gives us is gloomy and re- 
volting, with its solitary caves or wigwams in the forest, its 
sexes undistinguished in dress, its women, cared for indeed, 
but not for their charms or virtues, but as beasts of burden 
and implements of labour. That it was powerless to eflfect 
any progress, or to rise of itself to a higher sphere of civili- 
zation, appears from the continued barbarism of the four 
succeeding centuries, during which it roamed its forests un- 
assailed by Rome, and constrained by no foreign pressure. 
The instincts of Order and Devotion, which distinguished 
the northern conquerors of Europe, lay undeveloped in the 
germ, till, in the course of Providence, they met the forms 
of Law and of Religion which they were destined so happily 
to impregnate. As with their own lusty youths, to whom 

' Tadtos, in his canons but fimdful picture of Teatonio life and manners^ 
would make it appear that the whole body of freemen were equal and inde- 
pendent.; but this is contrary to all experience, and is opposed to the usage of 
dient or retainerdiip, which seems to have been common in Germany as wdl 
as in GauL The slayes of the Germans, as our author himself remarks (6^ 
fnan. 26.), were not domestic, like the Roman, but attached to the soil ; they 
were in fact not slaves, but serfs, and as such we may be assuretl that thoy 
bore arms in thdr lords' following. The Gennan polity was probably no other 
than clanship, under which a system of the grossest tyranny is upheld by a 
perverted sentiment of houoor. 

Digitized by 


A. U. 770.] UNDER THE EMPIRE. 4) 

the commerce of the sexes was forbidden till they had reached 
the iidiiess of manly vigonr, the long celibate of German 
intelligence may seem designed by a superior Wisdom to 
crown it with inexhanstible fertility.* 

The offer of the consulship, which the emperor now ten- 
dered to his nephew, was equivalent to a command to abandon 
the camp ; and Germanicns was compelled, with ^ 

^'^ \ . V . , ,. . . ^ J, . Germanlona to 

Bore reluctance, to relinquish his visions of im- recalled to 
mortal glory for the empty pageant of municipal 
honours. It was natural that he should see, in this sudden 
abridgment of his triumphs, not the prudence but the jealousy 
of his chief; and such unquestionably was the general view 
of the army, delighted with his liberality and condescension, 
and of the people, not unwilling to form, the most un&vour- 
able judgment on the acts of a ruler so destitute of the 
genial graces which captivate an unreflecting populace. Yet 
it cannot in fairness be imputed as a crime to the emperor, 
if he desired to break the connexion between his kinsman 
and the distant legions of the Bhine, which had already eX' 
pressed their readiness to carry him to Rome and place him 
on the throne of the Caesars. Germanicus, with the gener- 
. osity and perhaps carelessness which belonged to his charac- 
ter, had given some ground of umbrage by offering largesses 
to the soldiers from his own resources, such as, under a mon- 
archical regime, can only proceed safely from the monarch 
himself; and Tiberius merely followed the policy of his pre- 
decessor in allowing no more than two or three successive 
campaigns to the same leader, beneath the same eagles, and 
in the same quarter of the empire. 

With the close of the year 769, Germanicus quitted the 
scene of his high-spirited efforts, being summoned to cele- 
brate the triumph which was offered him in lieu ^Frhimpii of 
of victory.* Of this flattering distinction, indeed, ^j,^ 
the emperor took to himself the lion*s share. A.v',m. 

' Tac CUmum, 2a : *'Sera jarenmn Veniu, eoqne loexluaiatft pubert«8.'* 
* 1Vie.AiiiLu.41.: ''B^himqae, qaUoonfioereprohibltasefO^proocmfecto 
babc^Mttnr " 

Digitized by 



Hie triumphal arch, which was erected on the slope of the 
Capitoline, was designated by the name, not of Germanicus, 
but of Tiberius.* The recovery of the eagles of Varus, and 
the overthrow of the Germans, were together blazoned on 
the medals which commemorated the solemnity.* As the 
victor approached the city, the populace, full of enthusiasm, 
poured forth from the gates to the twentieth milestone to 
meet him, and thd ardour of the pnetorians, the body-guiirds 
of the emperor himself, was not less conspicuous than if they 
had served under his colours or partaken of his benefactions.' 
The triumph was celebrated on the 26th of May ; the Che- 
rusci, the Ohatti, the Angrivarii, and generally the nations 
between the Rhine and Elbe, were specified as the vanquished 
enemy.* Captives were forthcoming, of noble bbth and dis- 
tinction among their people, to adorn the ceremony ; and it 
was without remorse, without even compassion, that the 
Romans beheld Thusnelda, the betrayed wife of Arminius, 
led before them, with the infant child whom she had borne 
in servitude and sorrow.* The spoils of war were also ex- 
hibited, and the mountains and rivers of Germany, together 
with the battles themselves, were represented in pictures or 
emblematically designated. But the citizens gazed at none 
of these shows so intently as at the figure of the young ira- 
perator himself, conspicuous for the manly graces of his per- 

* Tac. L c : "FIxic anni arcus propter ajdein Saturai ob recopta Bigna cum 
Varo amiflsa, dnctn OcFmamci, auspidis llberii .... dicator.*' This arch of 
TiberioB, as it ia called, but I know not on what precise auliboTitj, stood on the 
slope of the dlTus Capitolinos. Dezobiy 8ai^>o0ef that it waa small and plain, 
from its haying apparently been erected and dedicated in the coarse of one 
year. Another arch of llberius was erected by the emperor Claudius near the 
theatre of Pompeius. Suet ClatuL 11. 

■ See Eckhd, Dodr. Numm, vi 209. : " Signis receptis dericds Germanis." 
Tiberius took the title of Qermanicus (Dion, IviL 8.), but declkied that of Pater 
Patriae. Tac. Ann, L V2. 

» Suet CaUg. 4. 

* Tba Aim, it 41. : ^ 0. Geedlio^ L. Pomponio, cOss., Germanicus Crosar, 
4. D. Til Kal. Jonias, triumpharit de Ohemscia, Obattisque, et AngiiTariis.** 

* Strabo, vil p. 291. : who gives the child the name of Thumcllcua. 

Digitized by 


A. U. 770.] UIIDEK THS EMFfBB. 49 

son, and surrounded in bis chariot hj the five male descend- 
ants of his fruitful union with Agrippina. Surely there was 
no room, behind so well-plenished an equipage, for the slave 
who attended the happiest of heroes in the crisis of his feli- 
city, and whispered in his ear that he was only mortal I Yet 
the spectators at least required no such grisly memento. In 
the midst of their brilliant jubilee they were smitten with 
a painful misgiying : they remembered how their affection 
for the &ther, Drusus, had been blighted by sudden disap- 
pointment, how Maroellus, the uncle, had been snatched away 
In Ae glow ot his youthful popularity : brief and ilMcerred, 
they murmured to themselves, toere the loves of the Roman 

' Tae. Ana, IL 41. : ** Breres et infatstoe popidi Roman! ftmores.** The 
Bat of esrfj boeaTements of the same dafld rs&^A be enlarged with the namea 
of CSains and Lneias OoBear, and erea of Agrippft PostomoB ; biit I do not ven* 
tore to step beyond the Bnea traced by Tadtos, and attach to any of these the 
same pahifid reminiscences he lias spedfled in the case of the others. 

78 TOL. T.-4 

Digitized by 




mssioii or oBRHAincos lo the K4J3?, and or dbubgs to ULnuom. — Mmna» 

UYIA OYER HDf) AMD OF SEJAMUS. (a. D. 17-20.), A. U. 110-112. 

THE cloud wliich lowered on the countenance of the 
Roman people was dispelled by an act of opportune 
liberality, Tiberius now stepped forward in the 
mani^ to the name of his adopted son to bestow on the citi- 
zens a largess of three hundred sesterces a-piece, 
and they hailed with acclamations the announcement that 
the senate, at his desire, had chosen their &yourite for 
the consulship of the ensuing year. It was considered as a 
special mark of honour that the emperor deigned to accept 
the same office in conjunction with him. But ere the period 
for his assuming it had arrived, a new duty had been found 
for him to discharge. The affairs of the East required to be 
set in order. The demise of Archelaus, the king of Cappa- 
docia, who had lately died at Rome of distress and appre- 
hension, under a charge preferred against him in the senate, 
had offered an opportunity for annexing that country to the 
empire, and its ample revenues had enabled Tiberius to re- 

Digitized by 


A.U.m.1 U2n>ER THE EMPIRE. 51 

dace by one-half the tax of a hundredth on sales.^ The or- 
ganisation of this new acquifiition remained to be completed. 
At the same time the people of Commagene, and the still 
antonomons districts of Cilicia, were said to desire, on the 
recent death of their natiye princes, to be subjected to the 
direct dominion of the Bomans, while the proyindals of 
Jndea and Syria, on their part, were exclaiming against the 
weight of the imperial burdens, and entreating to be partially 
reHered from them.* Nor was tihe peace which had reigned 
between Rome and Parthia since the interview of their chie& 
on the Euphrates secure and satis&ctory. After more than 
one court-reyolution, Vonones, a son of the great Phraates, 
whj(»a Augustus had retained as a hostage, perhaps at his 
&thei's desire, and had bred in Roman manners, had been 
called to the throne by the yoice of his countrymen, and 
placed th^e with the consent of the imperial government. 
But his subjects soon manifested disgust at the foreign habits 
of their new ruler, and ventured to discard him. He took 
refuge, it appears, not among his old friends the Romans, but 
in the kindred land of Armenia, which iwt only offered him 
an asylum, but, in the actual vacancy of its own throne, ac- 
cepted him precipitately as its sovereign. Hereupon Arta- 
banns, chief of the neighbouring kingdom of Media, but 
hiniself of the royal race of the Arsacidse, whom the Parthians 
had invited to rule over them, required the Armenians to sur- 
render die fiigitive : but Silantis, the proconsul of Syria, was 
instructed to anticipate this result, and had succeeded in 
getting possession of his person by artifice, to be kept in 
custody within the Roman frontiers, and employed on some 
future occasion. The Parthians were indignant at the loss 

' Tae. AsfmL U. 42. : "Friid^as ^as lerari posse oentesimts veotigal pro- 
ftissod, dnoeniesimam in postermn f totuit*' But Oappftdoda was prorerbially 
ft poor country: "Uancipiis looaples eget eons d^padocom rex:** pet^ps 
•omo treasures were found aocnmnlated in the rojal strongholds. 

• Tac; 1. a : "PtoTincfae Syria atque Jndsea, fesssB oneribns, deminntionem 
triboti orabant'* For the annexation of Jndea on the banishment of Archo- 
IsoB, flee abo^e^ ohap. aniiiftoavt. 

Digitized by 



of their yictim, the Axmemaiis mortified at the insult to the 
object of their choice ; but Sikims was directed to amuse 
apd negotiate with both powers, and avoid an open mptane by 
all the arts of dipilomacy^^ Tiberius might hope that the 
mi^sipn of a chief of higher name and authority, attended 
by an imposing force, and surrounded with the pomp of im- 
perial dignity, would awe, as on former occasions, the murw 
murs of his rivals into silence* Resolved not himself to 
abandon the helm of government, and deeming his own son 
DruBus too inexperienced for the arduous office, he made 
choice of Germanicus to represent the majesty of the OTipire 
in the East. For this purpose he placed him in the same po- 
sition as Agrippa had held under Augustus, and required the 
senate to confirm by a decree his appointment to an extraoi> 
dinary command over the i»rovinces beyond the Hdlespont^ 
with full powers for making war or peace, for annexing 
provinces, enfranchising cities, and modifying their burdens. 
Tiberius would allow no delay. The young Caesar was di- 
rected to cross the sea the same autumn, and the consulship, 
which he had been summoned from Germany to hold, he was 
permitted to retain in Asia.' 

In the course of the same year Drusus was sent into Uly- 
ricum, with directions to watch the movements of the Ger- 
^^ ^^^ mans on their southern firontier.* Of the two 

Drains at tho • t^ 

Bam9 too Bent prmccs Dmsus was. supposed to be the emperors 
favourite, and such, as his own child in blood and 
the child of his cherished Yipsania, he might naturally be. 
But the citizens cast themselves on the opposite side, and 
showered all thek affection on Germanicus, whose character 
was made to shine in popular narratives in contrast with that 
of his less fortunate cousin. A reason for this preference 
they discovered in the &ct of his higher maternal descent, 
for Germanicus was the son of an Antonia ; while the mother 
of Drusus was a Vipsania onlyj and his grandsire, Pomponius 

* For the aflbirs of Parthia and Annecda in detail, see Tao. Arm, il 1-4. 
» Tac. Afoi. !l 48. • Tac. Arm. ii 44. 

Digitized by 


A.U.770.] XmUER THE EJiPIRfi. 58 

AtticQS, the fiiend of Cicero, was a simple knight.* Bat the 
coxunns, or brothers as ihej were legally styled, were xincon- 
sdoTis of these jealousies, or at kast nnilfie^^ed by them. 
Whalerer dissimilarity there might be in their tempers, they 
Hred in perfect amity. Hberius was anxious that Drusus 
Bfaonid emxdate the elder prince in the career of public toils 
and honours. He was glad to remore him from the dissipa- 
tions of the capital ; he was desirous also of completing his 
military training ; it was surmised by some that he felt more 
secure In his own elevation above the laws when each of his 
diildretx stood at the head of one of the chief armies of tbe 
F^ubHo. But the state of aflEkirti on the Danubian frontier 
undoubtedly required the presehce of a commander on whose 
loyalty and zeal the emperor could fully rely, and the mis- 
sion both of Germanicus and Drusus seems to have been 
dictated by a legitimate policy. 

The withdrawal of the Roman forces from the boH of 
Germany had restored peace to its northern districts ; but no 
sooner were Arminius and his Cheruscans reliev- war between 
ed from their annual aggressions, than they turn- SlmSSd'the 
ed tbeir arms on their own brethren, the Suevi in ^*'^^« 

' , ▲. p. 17-19. 

the south. ITie kingdom of Maroboduus, which a. v. my-m. 
he professed to rule afler the fashion he had learnt in the 
city of the universal conquerors, gave umbrage to the na- 
tional spirit of the yet untamed barbarians. Even among 
his own subjects there were many who viewed his innovations 
with disgust. On the first onset of the Cherusci, the Sem- 
nonefl and Langobardi, who were numbered among the 
Suevic tribes, went over to them ; and this defection was but 
partially balanced by the caprice of Inguiomerus, the bravest 
of the northern patriots, who, with a band of clients and re- 
tainers, attached himself to the service of Maroboduus. Nor 
indeed had the Cherusci been so long confi*onted with the 
Roman legions without acquiring some knowledge of their 
tactics. When the two native armies met in the field they 
were jRmnd to be armed and marshalled alike, after the fash 

* Tac. Ann, il 48. 

Digitized by 


34 HI8T0BT OF THE BOMANS [A.]). Ifi. 

ion of the masters of the art of war. Each of the rivals 
could yaont that they had learnt to baffle the terrible Romans 
with their own weapons: the Cherosci conld point to the 
spoils they had wrested from Yams ; the Marcomanni boasted 
that they had kept Tiberias himself at bay and sent him back 
nnlanreUed across the Bannbe. The battle which now en- 
sued between them resulted in the defeat of Maroboduus ; 
and upon this, many of the tribes he had enlisted under hift 
standards passed over to the other side : when he could no 
longer make head against the triumphant Arminius, he pros- 
trated himself before the emperor and implored his succour. 
Tiberius replied that he had no right to look for assistance 
froin the power £rom which he had himself withheld aid in 
its contest with the Cherusci: nevertheless the Romans w^e 
magnanimous as well as powerM, and would not refuse to 
interfere to save their new client from destruction. It was 
under these circumstances that Drusus was dispatched to the 
Danube, with directions ostensibly to negotiate terms for 
Maroboduus : but he received, it would seem, more private 
instructions, to raise fresh enemies against him, and secretly 
effect his ruin from another quarter.' Shielded from the vio- 
lence of Arminius, the king of the Marcomanni was over- 
thrown by the intrigues of Catualda, a chief of the Goth- 
ones, who had suffered some injury at his hands. Driven 
across the Danube, he addressed a letter to Tiberius, in 
which he solicited an asylum in the Roman terri- 
BMkBBh^^ tories, and his request was coldly granted. Re- 
nun domin- tained in honourable confinement at Ravenna, he 
'^^^ was constantly amused with the hope of being 

rest/jred to power by the Roman armies : but the expected 
moment never came, and after lingering in suspense and dis- 
appointment through a period of eighteen years, he died at 
last an object of scarcely merited contempt to the few who 
yet remembered that he had been a king and the founder oi 
a kingdom.* 

The success of the artifices of Tiberius against Germai 

» Tac. Ann. U. 44-46. • Tac Ann. H 68. 

Digitized by 



liberty was further exemplified in the eSer he is said to }iay<'. 
received at this period from a chief of the Chatti, BMthor Ar- 
te effect the removal of Armioiiis privily. The '^'^. ^^ 
barbanan demanded to be fomiidied with some ^^•'ni. 
subtle poison, such as the Romans were but too skilM in pre- 
paring. This ne&rioas proposal was recited to the senators 
by the emperor's command, that they might hear his gener^ 
oos reply to it. Hieir fathers, he remioded them, had foiv 
bidden the employment of poison against Pyrrhns, for the 
Romans w^re wont to avenge themselves on their enemies, 
not by secret machinations, but op^y and with arms.^ But 
the empire, in &ct, had no more now to fear from the infln- 
enoe of its ancient antagonist; for Arminios, the bulwark of 
German independence^ degenerated in the hour of his tri- 
umph fiom the virtues of a patriot chiei^ and himself affect- 
ed the tyranny over his countrymen which he had baffled in 
Germanicus, and rebuked in Mux)boduus. His people re- 
torted upon him the l^sons of freedom with which he had 
inspired them, and after a struggle of some length and many 
vicissitudes, he was slain by domestic treachery. The liber- 
ator of Germany had achieved victory over the Romans, not 
in their youth and weakness, like Pontius or Porsena, but at 
the period of their highest power and most varied resources. 
His life was extended through thirty-seven years only, dur- 
ing twelve of which he had eiijoyed the chief place among 
his countrymen : his name, though its reputation was cloud- 
ed at its close, continued long to be chanted in their house- 
holds as the watchword of libeirty and glory : but to the 
Greeks, whose view was limited to the world of Hellas, the 
fiime of the German hero remained unknown ; and e^en the 
Romans disregarded it in comparison with more ancient ce- 
lebrities, till Tacitus rescued it from obscurity, and poured 
on it the full flood of his immoi^tal ek>quence.* 

■ Tac Ann, iL 88. See, for the generositj of Fabriciua, Plutarch in PyrrK 
12.; Gic. <20 Q^. HL 22.; YaL Max. yi 5. 1. and other writers. 

* Taa Ann, L o. If tiie twelve years of his anthority are counted &om 
flia defeat of Yarus (762), his death would take place m 744. Tacitus does 

Digitized by 



The operations "which ooeoired at the same period on the 
southern frontier of the empire were of Httle political impor^ 

tanee. While the Afiican provinces were mtm- 
ftrinu in ^ bercd among the most opulent of the ftoman pos^ 

sessions, they were, from the character of the 
country, generally exempt irom the barbarian warfiure by 
which so many oth^ districts were harassed or alarmed. 
The skirts of the long chain of the Atlas, indeed, always 
harboured tribes of unsubdued and predatory barbarians ; 
but the strength of the African hordes was so feeble, their 
means and resources so lindted, that their warfere was rather 
that of a banditti than of hostile natrons. Only when mar- 
shalled by a chief of Roman origin or training could they 
become formidable either from their skill in war or their 
powers of combination. Thus in the wars of the first O^sar, 
a knight named Sittius had placed himself at the head of a 
disciplined force, with whi6h he had seemed for a moment to 
hold the balance between the contending Actions of tlome 
itsel£ We now read of the exploits of a native warrior 
named Tacfarinas, who turned the science he had acquired in 
the Roman camp, as a captain of Numidian auxiliaries, into 
an instrument of arrogance and insult to the majesty of the 
empire.* Having deserted the Service of the proconsul, he 
had gathered round him the bands of roving robbers who 
infested the mountains, and had divided them into troops 
and compaides. Accepted as their chief by a tribe called the 
Musulani, he had associated with them the Moorish warriors on 
their borders, who owned the eway of a leader named Ma- 
zippa : while the one body, armed and trained after the man^ 
ner of the legidns, formed the main strength of thes6 confed- 
erate forces, the other, following the fashion of the country, 
skirmished actively on its flunks, and carried fire and sword 
within sight of the Roman cantonments. Disaffection was 
spreading among the subject nations of the province itself^ 

not mark the date very distinctlj. Dion only once mentions the name of A^ 
miniofl, in connexion with Yarns, and never aUndes to hhn again. 
' Tao. Ann, ii. 62. 

Digitized by 


A.n«tn.] UNDER TES IMPIBfi. 5^ 

when the prooonsul Farias Cftmillag advanced with the ibrces 
nnder his comnuuid to repress it by a deoisxre blow. The 
d^Dooe of the peaceftd province had been entrosted to a sin- 
gle leg^um with its aoxUiary cohorts^ and this little afmy well 
hmdled was sofficient to overcome all resistance in t^e field. 
Taefiirinas, confident in the tactics he had learnt from his 
kte mast^fi, v^itored to give battle, and suffered a speedy 
defeat. Hie proconsol claimed the honoars of a conqaeror; 
and Tiberias, it was somdsed, was the more willing to grant 
them on aocoont of the obscnrity of his name, which, high 
as it once stood in the fbsti of the r^nblic, had been iUas- 
trated by no distinctions since the almost for^tten days of 
the Oaolifih invasion*^ Camillas himself had%ad no previ- 
ous experience in arms ; nor was he now elated with success, 
or tempted, as the chastiser of a horde of savages, to believe 
himself a mighty geiraraL He was not indeed aware of the 
fact, soon proved by the event, that his success was illusory 
and indecisive. 

Germanioas, afW passing but a few months in Rome, had 
departed by Ancona and the Dalmatian coast, where he had 
had an interview with Drusus, to assume his «!riberiufl m, 
ample powers in the East. By the first day g?*^^^ 
of the new year, the commencement of his con- 
BoUiip, he had arrived at Nic<^lis, the dty a. v. in. 
founded by Augustus on the shores of the Ambracian Gulf. 
The descendant in blood of Antonius, and in law of Octavius, 
might behold with mingled feelings the scene of a battle so 
fortunate, and at the same time so &tal, to his race.* From 
thence he diaped his course through Athens, where he recom- 
mended himself to the citizmis by his studied moderation, in 
dismissing all his lictors but one ; and received in return the 
highest compliments the Athenians could confer, which con* 

' Tae. L c.: '^Nam poet redperatorem UrbiS) filramqne ejus Camllhim, 
peoes afias familiafl imperatoria lans fherat** 

' Tbe, Amt^ il. 68. : ^^SacratM ab Avgosto manubias (the beaks suspended 
in the tenpfe of Apollo) oastraqne Anionii, cum recordatioDe mijoram saonim 

Digitized by 



sisted, it would seem, in a studied panegyric on their own 
greatness.^ From Athens he crossed to Euboaa, and thence 
to Lesbos, in the osnal track of the Roman proconsuls* From 
Lesbos, howeyer, he took a wider sweep, visiting the Pro- 
pontis and the cities on both its shores, and entering Hie 
Euzine Sea, partly to gratify his interest in scenes of hktoric 
celebrity, partly to console and encourage by his presence 
the places which had suffered most severely from the vicissi- 
tudes of war and the oppression of unjust rulers.' Only the 
year before no less than twelve cities of the interior had been 
overthrown or damaged by a destructive earthquake : but 
steps had been already taken through a special commission 
of inquiry, ana by the prompt renussion of several years^ 
tribute, to repair the effects of this extraordinary visitation.' 
Germanicus does not seem to have made it part of his busi- 
ness to visit the sufferers, llis travels were prompted per- 
haps chiefly by curiosity of a character more or less enlight- 
ened. Thus, for instance, he steered for the coast of Samo- 
thracia, in order to be admitted to the mysterious rites of the 
Cabiric priesthood, but could not reach it firom adverse winds. 
He landed, however, on the shore of Slum, again skirted the 
coast of Asia, and consulted the oracle of Apollo at Claros, 
where the priest who revealed the answer of the divinity is 
said to have given him an intimation of the early death 
which awaited him. 

The interests which Germanicus thus appears to have in- 
dulged were scarcely worthy, perhaps, of the prince to whom 
piaoCwBoa public afl&irs of so much importance were en- 
JJintodi^^- trusted, at a moment when every step he took 
801 of Syria. ^^ watchcd, as he must bave known, with jeal- 
ous scrutiny, not only by the emperor, but by at least one 

' Tac. La:** Excepere Grseci quaBsitissimis honoribus, vctera suonim faciA 
dictaqae pneferentes, quo plus dignatioms adulatio haberet.'' 

' Tac Ann. il 64. 

* Tac Ann, iL 47. : **£odem anoo (110) chiodeoim celebres Abub uibes oon* 
lapse nootamo motu terr» .... mhtiqae ex Senata placttit qui pnMentia 
Bpectaret refoveretqnc" A preetorian senator was sent to obviate any jealousy 

Digitized by 


A.U.m.1 0in>IR THS SHPIRE. 59 

powexfhl rival amobg tbe nobles.* It k poBfiible, indeed, 
Uiftt the innoceiit cluuraoter of a traTeiler and a aigbtseer 
was purposely adopted to.diBarm Baspicion: bat ia fiict a 
wiaer sum tbmoi tbe yoimg Ckemr would baye Mt tbat be was 
mote eoncemed to guard* by yigoroua and deeiaLye moye- 
meeats agaiii0t tbe intrigues of a fellow-^nl^ect l^ian tbe dis- 
trofit of tbeir raler« On appointing Germanicafl to tbe com* 
mand in tbe Eastern proyinees, Tiberias bad taken tbe pre- 
eaation, so bis condnct was interpreted, of remoying from 
tbe goYemment ^ Syria tbe prinee's friend and adbei:ent 
ailangg, and placing ihete a man wbose pride and personal 
pretensions migbt be used as an instroment for controlling 
bis ambitioiU* Gn»as Pukx/on wbbm Ibis ap^ Mdeoftbe 
p(»ntnient was conferred, was a member of tbe S^^J^an- 
Calpomian gens, wbicb tdldmed as bigb an antir |gS^ a^* 
qoity as any of tbe pldest families of Rome, ahd ^* 
at least in tbe last oentory of tbe repabUo^ bad repeatedly fill- 
ed die bigbest magistraoies; Tbe snmame of PiiK> wsis com- 
mon to more tban one brancb of tbis noble boose, and tbe 
pr8en<»nen Cnsas bad descended to tbe personage now before 

on the part of tlic consular governor of the province. It is just possible that 
tills ml^t be the reason why Germanicns omitted to visit the iigored cities. 

' TbcHob ootioefl the antiquarian spirit of the Greeks rather contemptuously. 
JStL S. 4L : **Speetata opakntia danisqne vegun, qnaiqiie afia Isetcon antlquita- 
tflraa Grnooram genus incert^ vetustati affigit** But the Boman noUea 
showed their Hellenic culture by affecting a similar taste; thus Gsepai^ the 
Geesar at least of Luoan, spent a day in visiting the plain of Troy, under the 
guidance of a native cicerone : " Herceas, monsiralor ait, non respicis aras ? " 
I^art, it. 079. Comp. viii 861.: "Nam quis ad exustam Cancro torrente 
SyeBcnlHt^et hnbrifera riccas sub Pleiade Thebas, Spectator Nm t " and the 
whole ^>iiH of the desor^itioii of the 1^ in tiie tenth bo<^ See also the 
addren to Oder in Statiii8» i^. il 2. 197.: 

" Te prseaide noscat 
Unde paludod foscunda licentia Nil! .... 
Doe et ad ^finatfaloe Hanea tiU beOiger urbia 
Cowfitor HyMteo perftunu neetare durat . . . ." 
* Tia& Amu it 48. The dang^iter of SOanuB was betrothed to Nero, the 
fcdetl son of Gemanicbs, then a mere cfaUd. The marriage seemB never to 
have taken place. 

Digitized by 


60 HIST0fi7 OF THB HOSINS [A.D.1& 

UB ftom ft £sith«r wko had fimght thioogh the wan oi CdbBxt 
and PompeiUB^ had shared the doattem of CaBshoi and Bru' 
tot, and tbovgh pardoned by Octavius, had dijsdanied to bo- 
licit employmcnit under the new hudtntkniB.^ Only when 
Bpontaneonily oflbred him by the em{)«Tor had he deigned to 
aoeept the oonBidship. On^Bos Fiao, the son, was routed a 
pioiid man among the proudest of ofasles, the magnates of 
the expiring free state and the rising' empire ; a class whose 
intense sdf^asaertion was inflamed by funily names^ &mily 
rites, Jkmily images and ensigns. The dedine ei their nmn- 
bers after Uie slaughter of the Sidlan wars had imparted still 
greater oonceatration to this :fediDg; and oisiming oomplete 
equality among tbemselyeflr, ti^y hesitated to admowledge a 
8i^>eri0r even in the emperor himself To an .Amilius or a 
Calpumius, a Lepidus or a Fiso, the son of an Octavius was 
still no more than a plebeian imperator, raised to power by 
a turbulent commonalty ; a breath, they &lt, had made him, 
and a breath, they fondly believed, might yet oTorthrow him. 
Whether as an emperor or a private senator, whatever might 
be his actual powers, his pretensions to legitimate right they 
haughtily despised and repudiated. They had marked, no 
doubt with peculiar jealousy, the alliance of the plebeian 
Octavius with one of their own houses, the Claudian, the 
nobility of which it was impossible to gainsay : but this 
served only to convert their disdain into jealousy, and impel 
them to a state of antagonism or rivalry, fix)m which they 
had before held contemptuously aloo£ When once invited 
to compare themselves with their ruler, it was easy to peiv 
suade them that each had individually a claim to empire, to 
the full as good as the man whom fortune had placed in the 
ascendant. Piso deemed himself the natural equal of Tibe* 
rius, or if he had any misgivings of his own, his consort 

* Tte. Ann, L e. ; Oonq^ 8niHh*8 Diet <if Oiam, Bi^ffn^^ art Fiso, nos. 
22, 28. There wese also two Onsos Ftooe before the laBUnentioned, one qasee- 
tor toFtonpdtisfai Ihe FSratio War, ^ ether the asaodate of Gatflfaia» iim> 
derad in %muil It ia iiot dear from wluoh of theae the FSaoa hi the text 4e> 

Digitized by 


A-u.-m.] amm& the emphub. ei 

Pbmokia^ tiie dai^hter of Manatius Flaneur, the ehief who 
far a BUXBieiii had tYimmed the soalee between tiie annecl 
fiietioiis ot the TqpvfoliC) wae <tf a- t^np^ to diipel ot over- 
rale ihena* This iiuporioiia w^oman- had ftrnted, Fiandna, wife 
m^reFfer^sn iatiiiiaof with tie e&rpreBB-fiM)ther, ^2f&^ 
in whose pime for prelonghig tlie tut^ge of ^^^ 
TiheriHB she had pvobahly bovne a part. She had learnt to 
deq^se the son in the eaiUaet of the mother. Still more did 
the TainglonDos pair look sooisifliinjr on tiie ehildren of the 
man for wbom ihey had so little respect fahnselfi Piso be- 
lieved that he was appointed to the gofemment of Syria in 
order to ^eek-tibe ambitions designs which it was so easy to 
impute to* Ctermanicns^ and Plancina may have been instmct- 
edby li^toplay the "rival to Agrippina; fbr the people at 
least, were eariiy persnaded> that the imperial house was al- 
ready a prey to domestic jealousies. Conscious of their own 
prefbrmeo for Oermanicus, they were not less conTmced of 
the partiality of nbcnus for Drusas, and they were persuad- 
ed that the fertility of AgrippSma, the consort of the one, 
must be a source of mortificaTtion and dislike, when contrast- 
ed with the barrenness of liviHa, the wifo of the other.* 

The misrion whi(^ Piso seems to have considered as co- 
vertly confided to. him, that of thwarting his superior, and 
bringing his authority into contempt^ he began condnotorriM 
to discharge with zeal, and even precipitate vehe- iasjiia. 
mence, from tiie moment he qtdtted Italy, following Oer- 
manicus to Athens, he pretended to reflect on his unseemly 
derogation from the inajesty of the ruling people, in paying 
his tribute of courteous admiration to the monuments of the 

' Taa Ann, ii. 4S. Thft mam UviUS) the duoiimfcbe of Lhria, was vmA 
fiteqaeotly to dietiiigiiiBh the ^ti£d of Diasua ftooi 4he empresB^nother. liTilU 
was % daoj^ier of the dder Prnsiis, and aiater ci£ Gennamcoa, manied ftnt to 
Gainfl OBBsar ia Ycry eariy youth, and, on hb deoeaae, to the son of Tlberlnfl, 
her coosfaL She may have had one danght^ Julia, afterwards imited to Nerp 
DrasBS and RnbdlSns Rlandna, in the firsi ten years of her second marriage; 
hm it was not tiU'/VSthat she bore a son, 4me of twini, named Olberiuste 
meDns. See AfWK il 84 

Digitized by 



citj of Minerva. The prince^ diough not uninformed of this 
insolent beharioiir, neyertheless treated Ms subordinate with 
marked kindness : on one occasion he even sared his life, by 
sending him assisti^ce when in danger from a storm at sea, 
and when his death, if he had be^ overwhelmed in the wa* 
ters, might have been tairlj ascribed to accident. From 
Rhodes, where they. met for the first time, Fiso proceeded 
direct to the eastern provinces, while his chief BtiU lingered 
on his route : and on reaching Syria and the quarters of the 
legions, began without delay a course of conduct which 
seems to point, not so much to a studied hostility to German- 
icus, as to a rash and crude design of seizing s«pr^ne power 
for himsel£ Kot only did he adopt every method of corrup- 
tion, to make himself a party among the officers and soldiers ; 
he went so far as to dismiss both ceaturions and tribunes of 
his own authority, and to remodel the command of the troops 
to suit his own purposes.^ The men, debaudied already by 
the general relaxation of discipline, seem to have been easily 
won over; and even the provincials, unconscious, it would 
appear, of the true duties of a Romui imp^*ator, applauded 
his indecent indulgence, and entitled him the Faiher of the 
Legions^ In these artifices he was warmly seconded by 
Plancina, who courted the soldiers by appearing at their re- 

' The exact podtion of Fiso towards Germanicns, which seems to have 
allowed him considerable, but iH-defined aathoritj, is mariced by the term w^ 
ior ai^lied to lum by Tiberius at a later period, Anai, iiL 12. It will be re> 
membered that when the young Caius Caesar was sent by his grandfather Aa- 
gostus to compose the affiurs of the East, a redor was provided him^ to advise 
or even, inexperienced as he was, to direct his public measures. His first redor 
was Quirinius {Ann, iS. 48.), who, as A. Zumpt has shown in his Commefd 
Epignqth, ii., was probably proconsul of Syria at the time of his arrivaL The 
appointment of Fiso seems to have been meant as an imitalton of the policy 
of Augustus. Intheprooonsulof SyiiaGeimanicusrecdvednot anseiM*, but, 
as an older man, an o/^utor only, whose duties were less deariy defined ; there 
is no reason to suppose that llberius had any sinister view in giving him this 
honorary assistant 

' Taa Ann, ii 66.: ''tJt sennone vulgi Farens Legionum haberetnr." It 
is not dear perhaps whether the writer means by wlgui the generaHty of the 
provincials, or the rank and file of the army itsel£ 

Digitized by 


▼iewB and exerciaes, a practice which the Romans pronouuced 
anfeminine ; and the romonr was industnonsly spread that 
the ocmdnot of her husband, and her own constant abase of 
GennanieaB mid Agrippina, were not displeasing to the em- 
peror himsel£ . 

Strange indeed it must appear, if these proceedings have 
been truly reported, and if, as we are assured, he was Ailly 
acquainted with them, that Germanicus should 
haye postponed their repression to any other lesYMtttnioo- 
objeci of his mission whatever. Such conduct r^umr^ 
could have no other result, whatever the feeling ***.*^"^ 
which or^inally prompted it, than militiEuy insubordination, 
and discord in camp and council; and it is difficult to con* 
e^ve that the vicegerent of the emperor could have any 
other duty so urgent as that of enuring the first gerkns of 
civil commotion. Germanicus, however, was advised other- 
wise. The settleinent of the relations of the empire with 
Armenia was tilie direct object of hid mission, and to this he 
calmly devoted his whole attention. In order to give full 
weight to the terms he was instructed to impose, he marched 
in person within the Armenito £r<»iUers at the head of his 
forces. Instead, however, of restoring the fujgitive Vonones, 
still retained in custody in Syria, to the throne from which 
the jealousy of the Parthians had ejected him, he affected to 
consult the wishes now expressed by the capricious Arme- 
nians themselves, in appointing in his room a son of Polemo, 
king of Pontus, named Zeiio, whose early train- He crowns ze- 
ing in their own Customs, gave him a nearer claim dSid»mof*Ar- 
to their regard. In the royal city of Artaxata, "•'^^ 
and surrounded by many of the native nobility, the Bo- 
man Cffisar placed the diadem on his destined vassaPs head, 
saluting him in the name of his new subjects with the title 
of Artaxias, signifying greatness or sovereignty. To the 
envoys of Artabanus, who professed an ardent wish to culti- 
vate the friendship of Borne, and begged for their chief the 
honour of an interview on the Euphrates, he replied with 
the dignity which befitted his position, and the modesty, at 

Digitized by 



the same time, which wafi peculiar to himsel£ He assented, 
moieover, to the request of the Parthians that he would at 
least leluorFe Yomones further fiKun the Aoxttier, and assigned 
him a residence at PompeiopoliB, on ihB OiUcian coast. Yon- 
ones, it seems, had been making interest with Piso and 
Plancina, and built on their influence his hopes of returning 
in triumph to Armenia or even to Parthia. It was surmised 
that the ease with which Ctennamous yielded on this point 
to the desires of Artabanus was purtly owing to the hostile 
relations subsisting between himself and the Syrian procon- 
sul Piso had offended him, as an imperator, beyond for- 
giveness in disobeying hia' commands respecting the moTC- 
ment of troops, aind theinoeting between them, which took 
place at their wintor quarters at Cyrrhus, had been marked 
by coldness on the one aide, and defiance hardly disguised on 
the other. Piso had taken on himself to check the custom- 
ary adulation of an eastern prince, who had offered Germani- 
ous a crown of gold, of much greater weight thim that he 
tendered to Ms subordinate, rejecting the present to himself 
with pretended indignation, and exclaiming that the compli- 
ments addressed to his superior befitted the son, not of a 
Roman prince, but of a Parthian tyrant.* 

The formal reduction of Oommagene and Cappadooia to 
the conditioa (^ provinces, completed the work of the year. 
Germanicns '^ *^ following wlntcr Germanicus made a tour 
viuito Bg^t. in Egypt, with the professed object of examining 
A. D. Id. the state of that province ; but his ardour in the 
^^'"^^ study of antiquities was, it would appear, a more 
urgent motive for hia journey.* His behaviour to the natives 
there was as usual ertudiously moderate and courteous : he 
not Only appeared among them unattended by soldiers, and 
in the peaceful garb of a Greek philosopher, as Scipio had 
visited^ Sicily in the heat of the Punic war, but opened the 

* Tac Ann, ii 56-68. 

• The motive which Suetonius alleges, to take measures for the relief of an 
impending scardtj, is not mentioned bjTadtus, and seems at least superfluous 
Suet !nb, 52. : Tac. Ann. ii. 59. 

Digitized by 


A. U. "^Tft.] UKDfiR THE BMPIRB. 55 

granaries £ot the cheaper and more abtmdant supply of grain. 
Hberios fa said to liave addrensed him with a gentle reproof 
for a condescension which was deemed tmworthy of his sta- 
tion ; but the afBdrs of Egypt lay beyond the sphere of his 
raiflsion, and he was rebuked more pointedly fbr disregarding 
Ac rule estabUshed by Augustus, that no senator nor even a 
knight should enter Egypt at all, except with the emperor's 
special permisrion* While, however, these unfavourable re- 
marks were yet unknown to G^er^ianicus, he continued his 
progresB, ascending the N'ile from Canopus, visiting the Pyr- 
amids and temples on its banks, and listening with awe and 
wonder to the mysterious music which breathed from the face 
of Memnon.* He consulted, moreover, the oracle of the bull 
Apis, and received, it was said, an ominous response.* Nor 
did he retrace his steps till he had reached Elephantine and 
Syene, the iurthest limits of the empire.' The real objects 
of his mission to the East had been already accomplished, 
and he might amuse his leisure with contemplating the won- 
ders of the land of mystery and fable ; but the notice which 
now reached him of the emperor's displeasure, hastened per- 
haps Ins departure from it. The senate indeed, while it lis- 
tened with silent deference to the murmurs of Tiberius, con- 
curred in voting an ovation to his nephew for his settlement 
of the afTairs of Armenia, and an ovation also to his son for 
the capture of Maroboduus. The two princes were invited 
to enter the city in solemn procession together.* But Ger- 

> Tac. ^nn. a. 60. *T)iD.m8t.JSfaLyia.1l. 

*■ X«a iL 61.: **Elq>binUiien «o Syenen, danstra (dim Bominl imperii; 
quod mmc (ia the timeof Xnjan) mbrom ad mare pateadi;" meaning pttiiaps 
the Indian Ocean. Syene, the modem Afisooan, was supposed to lie under the 
Tropic of Cancer, a flu*t which the ancients established from the direct rajs of 
Ae Bim bc£hg Tidble there, as Ihey affirmed, at the summer solstice at the bot- 
tom of a wtfL Thfo phouancnon, however, might be obsenred at any tpoi 
withimaqurterof 4 digteeof theactoal eirde. ]fannert.x.L 822.; Kalte- 
bfvv Cftogr. L 9. Ito exact latitude^ hideed, U 24^ 5' N., wlrfle the tropical 
circle is 23* 28', a difTerence of 87'. It is sidd, however, that the indination 
of the shadows is still not perceptible to the eye there. 

• Tac Atm. IL 64. 

VOL. T. — 5 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


oermudcasM- D^^o^s ^ow shaped his couTse from Egypt to 
fcnriiB to Syria. Syria, where he found that his regulations and 
appointments had been audaciously orerruled by Piso. The 
warmth to whidi he was at last excited by this insolence 
seems to have determined the offender to quit the province 
of his own accord. Piso had already made preparations for 
relinquishing his post, when the feeble state of health into 
which the Csasar now fell induced him to defer Iris departure. 
Presently, however, the young prince seemed to revive, and 
the provincials vied with one another in courtly demonstra- 
tions, at which Piso was so mortified as to break out into 
actual violence against the astonished populace of Antioch. 
Retiring, however, no further than Seleucia, he there pro- 
posed to await the event of his chiers sickness, which had 
His ddkneas again returned ; whUe the attendants of German- 
•cm SdmiSi**'" icus munuurcd their suspicions that he had ad- 
teredbyPiflo. ministered poison to their patron. They pre- 
tended, moreover, that he had assailed his life with magical 
incantations, in proof of which they produced charms and 
amulets, with the remains of human bones, hidden under the 
floor of his apartment, and the name of Gkrmanicus inscribed 
on leaden tablets buried amongst these implements of witch- 
craft. The Romans were fully persuaded of the pretended 
powers of sorcery, and they had ample experience perhaps 
of the actual effects of poison: yet it hardly occurred to 
them that the use of the one must be superfluous as an ad- 
junct to the other. We may be allowed to think that in 
producing this secondary proof of Piso's criminality, they 
have weakened the credibility of the primary accusation.' 

Meanwhile the messengers whom Piso sent to inquire 
dfter the prince's health were naturally regarded as spies, if 

not as assassins. Germanious, it seems, was him- 
naaicna. Self Mly impressed with the idea that he was 

A.». ml^ the victim of treiachery, and he dictated from his 

bed a letter to the culprit, in which he formally 

" Tac. Ann, ii, 69.; Dion, Ivii. 18. 

A. v. TO 

Digitized by 


A.U.n2.1 UKBBB THE BHPiaE. 67 

reoonneed his inaidioiifl pret6nak»ii to fiiendahip/ At the 
sme time he eommanded him to surrender the ^iBigiui of 
ftiiA<«it7, and, as some related, to quit the proTince, fearing 
to expose to his implacable halj^ on his' own anticipated 
demise, tihe lives and fortunes of his defenceless femily.* 
Whether eommanded or only admonished, Fiso snllenlj sub- 
mitted. He put himself on board a ressel, and sailed -west- 
ward : nevertheless he contirraed to lii^r on his route, 
awaiting the moment of the princess dissolation to return, 
and boldly sei^e again the proconsular power in Syria. 6er- 
manicas grew rapidly worse. With his feiling breath he 
called his Mends into his presence, and adjured them to 
prosecute Piso and Plancina ais the real authors of his death, 
and charge the senate to avenge his murder with a stem and 
righteous judgment. Many brave and noble spirits were 
assembled round his bed, devoted to the republic and the 
Cesarean &mily, and this appeal to their affection was not 
made in yauL They promised to hold his last wishes sacred ; 
nor did they fell in their promise.* Finally the dying man 
turned to his feithM Agrippina, whose heart was ready to 
break with grief and rage, and implored her to moderate 
her transports, to check the fiiry of her indignation, and for 
the sake of their children, so dear to both, abstain from any 
show of pride which might give offence to personages more 
powerful, as he said, than herself This covert allusion was 
supposed to point at Hberius himself; and the rumour was 
eagerly unbraced by a licentious populace, that their favour- 
ite with his last breath had warned his relict to beware the 
maKce of her natural guardian.* 

He character of Germanicus, as I have already inti- 
mated, is represented as one of the most ^interest* 
ing of Roman history. It is embellished by the on biB<£in«^ 
warmert and most gracefid touches of the great* ^' 
est master of pathos among Roman writers, and invested 

' Tac Ann, u. 70. : ** Componit q>isto]as, qads amicitiam ei renaQtiabai." 

* Tac 1. c : " Addimt pleriquo, Jossmn provinda decodere.** 

• Tac Ann. il Tl. * Tac Ann. ii, IX 

Digitized by 



with a gleam of moumlui splendour by the laments and ao* 
clamationa of the popnlace to whoih he was endeared. It is 
the more diffienlt to form a just ecftmiate of it, from t&e im- 
possibility of distinguishing, in the pages of Tacitns, tho gen- 
uine statements of history from th^ glois put- upon them by a 
sentimental adml^n On the whole, the impression we may 
most jnstly receive is, tlmt Grermanious was a man of warm 
and generous temper, but too soft,* pefhaps^ and flexible in 
dispoeitioxt erer to have become a patriot or a bero. Hia 
condescension to the snsc^tibiHtieB of the Athenittis and 
Alexandrians was rather puerile than statesmanlike. It is a 
childish affectation in a ruler to pretend to be an equaL T%ie 
hard and self-eontrolling^ Tiberius was right inreproTingit. 
The emperor, the real man of the worid, trained in aetion 
and suffering, knew better the painM requirements of the 
imperial station. Kor, again, was the taste the young prince 
exhibited for mere curiosities, and the excitement of sight- 
seeing, quite worthy of his deep responsibilities. His pro- 
ceedings, indeed, are described by Tacitus in the spirit of a 
dilettante, and some portion at least of the frivolity which 
seems to attach to them may be laid perhaps to the charge 
of the author rather than of the actor himsdif Such, never- 
theless, under the circumstances of the times, was not the 
stuff of which the ruler of a hundred millions of men could 
auspiciously be made. We shall meet, as we proceed, with 
similar examples of well-disposed youths bom in the Roman 
purple, di^laying in early life almost feminine graces of 
character, but degenerating under the trials and bni'dBna of 
maturer years into timid and selfish tyrahts. But it is futile 
perhaps* and presumptuous to draw conclusions from Bxlch 
slight and shadowy data as we possess : the remains of 6er- 
manicus have be^i embalmed in some of the tnost eloquent 
pages of history, and it seems a kind of desecration to turn 
him in his tomb. 

The decease of the illustrious Ceesar drew tears from the 
provincials, and even from the people of the neighbouring 
countries, while allies and tributaries felt that thev had lost 

Digitized by 





in him a generoas friend and {protector* Solemr 
nised a dktanoe from the homie of his race, his ^^room^ 
fhnerftl was not adornod with the images of his maderM^e 
anoestore, irhkAk oocupied their niehes along '^ 
(he walk of the paternal mansion: bat the place and 
cireqmwtaTiccfl of his death, out off as he was by prema* 
tare disease £sur fr^mi his n^tiye soil, on the spot whioh his 
Tirtaea and geiiiiis had made his own,, throw someoolonr of 
exoBse over the fond idea of a lesemblanoe between him and 
the great Alexander.^ The chacaoter of the renowned Mace- 
donian oonqaeror was indeed the type to which the Romans 
were constantly turning. . Pompeins had emulated it ; even 
Crassns had ai^ied to it; the flattecers of Octavios had con- 
fidently ascribed it to their patron. The claims of Gkrmani* 
cos to sooh a comparison were slight indeed: the only points 
of similitade that oonld be pleaded for him were his youth 
and generosity, the first an nniyersal, the second a common 
attribute of early manhood: yet sneh is the charm of these 
qualities that they gained him more perhaps of hia country- 
mai'a admiration than if he had conquered a Mithridates, or 
ayenged Ae defeat of Carrh». His body was consumed in the 
forum at Antioch, after being exposed to public ^ogpMUmBct 
view naked Such as were already preoccupied ^^^ 
with the conviction of his assasiunation are said to have 
traced on it indubitable marks of poison; while less preju- 
dioed observers, it was admitted, perceived no indications to 
justify the suspicion. The firiends of Germanicus, however, 
were intent on bringing the supposed culprits to justice. 
They seiaed a woman named Martina, a creature of PlanciIU^ 
and one already obnoxious in popular estimation to the 
chai^ of a professed poisoner, and sent her to undergo ex- 
amiaatioyi at Rome, while they concocted their formal accu- 
sations against both Piso and his wife. The lieutenants of 
the deceased prince, and as many senators as were present, 
took on themselves, in the absence of any regular authority, 

• Taa Jnn, iL 1Z. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


to choose a proconsul for Syria, in anticipation of the legiti- 
mate appointment of the emperor. It was important for 
their views against the late proconsul to occupy the place he 
had so reluctantly vacated, and i^ut the doors of the prov- 
ince against his unauthorized return* The imperium was 
devolved, after some discussion among tbem and the compe* 
tition of more than one candidate, upon Gmeus Sentius/ 
Agrippina herself made no longer stay in Syria, but embark- 
ed with her children, and, bearing the ashes of her husband, 
directed her course for Rome.* 

Piso me^iwhile awaited the longH>xpected assurance of 
his enemy's demise at the island of Cos. His triuoqph was 
Indecent oxQit- uisolently avowod. He did not hesitate to offer 
fetioAdCFiflcK Yows and sacrifices on the occasion; and his 
wife, it was remiarked, chose that moment for putting off the 
garb of mourning which she had recently adopted for the 
death of a sister.' Nor were there wanting among the ad* 
herents of the disgraced proconsul advisers who counselled 
bim to return without delay to Syria, and claim the province 
as his own. His dismissal, if such it really was, had been ir- 
regular ; it had been unauthorized either by the emperor or 
the senate ; the substitution of a successor might be repre- 
sented as violent and indecent. His son Marcus, however, 
would have dissuaded him f^om so daiing an act, so near akin 
to treason and rebellion, and recommended rather his contin- 
uing on his course to Rome, and seeking at the emperor's 
hands restitution of the government of which he had been, 
as was alleged, so arbitrarily deprived.^ The bolder adviee 
prevailed. The more 'Rberius actually rejoiced in the death 
of the prince he so deeply distrusted, the more, it was argued, 
would he, for appearance sake, steel himself agamst the ap- 
peal of that prince's acknowledged enemy. At the same 
time the pride of Piso revolted against the indignity of kneel- 
ing even to the noblest of the Romans. If terms were to be 
made, he would make them sword in hand. Without abso> 

* Toe Ann, u. H. Taa Ann, il 75. • Tic L c 

* Tac Ann. il W. 

Digitized by 


A.U.rr2.1 UNDER THB iaiPIRE. 71 

latelj coniemplatiiig an armed inBUrrectioii against the im- 
perial antfaority, he still rashly &ncied Uiat his position 
vonld be more secnre and independent at the head of the 
Syrian legions, than as a solitary suppliant *^* « ew th 
the door of the palaee. He addressed a letter to gov«rDmentof 
the emparor, setting forth his complaints agfetinst 
Germanicns, and representing his claims to the government 
of whi<^ he had been abmptly deprived. Then summoning 
to him his guards and centurions, he retraced his steps tow- 
ards Antioch. Landing on the coast, he intercepted some 
detachments which were marching into Syria, while at the 
same time he required the petty chiefs of Cilicia to furnish 
him with their stipendiary forces.^ The Mediterranean itself 
was not wide enough to allow the foes of Agrippina to pass 
her without meeting.' An altercation ensued between them, 
which nearly led to a desperate encounter; but when Vibius 
Marcus, who conducted the widow homeward, cited the as- 
sassin, as he freely styled him, to purge himself at Rome, 
Piso abstained from a. hostile defiance, and replied that he 
would not fail to appear at the legitimate summons of the 
pnetor. At the outset of his daring enterprise his courage 
seems to have already failed him. His forces, indeed, were 
altogether inadequate to the service for which he had design- 
ed them, and his only hope must have lain in the cowardice 
or want of faith of the chie& opposed to him. But S^itius 
stood his ground firmly. He repelled Domitius, the officer 
whoan FSso had sent before him to secure a footing in Syria ; 
and, when Piso himself took reftige in the fortress of Gelen- 
deria in CSli^ia, advanced with the forces of the province 

* T^ Ann, il IS. CSficIa Aspera, as has been fihown by Zionpl (Cbmm. 
B^fiffr H.X was annexed to tbe proTinoe of Syria after its separation by Au- 
^stas from C^pros, wbidi-was soireadered to the senate. Hence we infer 
that (^drinins, who gained the triumphal ornaments for his yiotories orer the 
Homonadenflee, a CSUdan tribe, was actually governor of Syria. Tac. Ann, 
ill 48. Acoordm^^y the bold act of Fiso in armmg the militia of this <fis- 
trict was not an invasion of another governor's authcrity, but only the i 
lion of what he pretended to be rightftilly his own. 

■ Tac. Ann, ii. 79. 

Digitized by 



against him, and sat down resolutely to reduce it In vain 
did Piso try all the arts of persuasion and corruption, on both 
the men and their leaders. Baffled and redu^d to de^air 
he sued for leave to remain unmolested in the place, on sur- 
rendering his armA, till the question of the Syrian govern- 
ment should be decided by the emperor. His conditions 
were rejected, and no other indulgence was accorded him 
than leave to quit his place of refiige, and take ship direct for 

ThuB defeated in an enterprise so questionable in its char- 
acter, Piso must have felt his position, whether as a suppliant 

for the prince's fevour or a claimant for his justice, 
ti^Bpiiuuis for £Etr more insecure th^m it had been before he 

rashly turned back j&*om Cos. The temper of the 
citizens was inflamed violently against him. In their breasts, 
at least, there was no doubt of his guilt ; and the freedom 
with which, ia the bitterness of their sorrow, they coupled 
the names of Tiberius and Livia with those of the detested 
Piso and Plancina was far more likely to irritate the emperor 
against him, than induce him to throw a. shield over his mis- 
fortunes. The first news which arrived at Rome of the 
failmg health of Qermanicus had excited popular suspicion 
against his uncle : it was muttered that his reputed patriot- 
ism, and the desire ascribed to him to restore the republic, 
were the cause of the fatal hostility of the head of his house. 
On a premature announcement of his death the whole city 
spontaneously assumed all the outward marks of an appoiut^ 
mourning; and when again fresh arrivals from Syria pro- 
claimed that he was still living, the people passed to the 
opposite extreme of fr*antic exultation, till the doors of the 
temples were burst with the pressure of the crowd of grate- 
ful worshippers.' But the &tal assurance of his actual decease 
_ was not long d^yed. The usual honours paid to 
tiooB of grief the dead Caesars were decreed him with more than 

on his flwthi 

usual genuineness of feeling. Triumphal arches 
» Tac Ann, il 79-81. « Suet CWy. 6.; Tac. Arm, H 82 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

^U. 772.1 UNDER THE EMPIB& 73 

were erected to him, not in Rome only, but on the Rhine 
ftnd among the heights of the Amanus ; and it was recorded 
upon them that he had died for the republic^ His ^tnes 
were set np in yarious cities, and sacrifices made before them ; 
finallj his bast was placed in the libraries and public galler- 
ies among the masters of Roman eloquence. The exhibition 
of this feeling was directed personally to- the hero : the rest 
of the imperial house could claim no share in it.' When 
livilla, the wife of Drusus, herself the sister of the lamented 
prince, brought forth at this time a twin-birth of sons, and 
Hberius proudly boasted that neyer before had such good 
fortune be&Uen a parent so illustrious, the people took no 
part in his rejoicings, but rather murmured at an event which 
seemed to add weight and influence to a rival branch of the 
CaBsarean £unily.* 

The arrival of Agrippina and her mournful equipage, first 
at Bmndisiam, and presently in the city, awoke the sorrows 
of the people to a louder and if possible a more Aniva^afht 
universal explosion. The funeral honours granted SS^JJ** ** 
by the emperor were not wanting in decent jn>.20. 
solemnity. He ordered the magistrates of every a. u. im 
district through which it passed to meet and attend it on its 
way ; he directed that tribunes and centurions should bear 
the urn on their shoulders, and the altars of the Dii Manes 
should smoke with propitiatory sacrifices. Drusus, with the 
younger brother and children of Germanicus, went forth as 
fiu: as Tarridna to meet it: the consuls, the senate, 
and a large concourse of all ranks fell in with oarspiadttMiB 

At • -^ J ^ xi- -x « by flie people. 

the procession as it drew nearer to the city.' 

But one thing seemed still wanting to complete these funeral 

* Tie. Anm. tt. 88. 

Tie. Atm, ii: 84. Of these children one was Tiberias Gemellus, whose 
ttune wQl sppear agohi on these pages : the other seems to have died in in^ 

• Other extraordinary ^gns of grief are recorded by Suetonius, L c. Even 
foreign princes laid aside thefar royal ornaments on the day when this solem- 
nity was reported to them; the king of the Partbiims abstahied from the state 
exerdse of hunting. 


Digitized by 



honoum The emperor, the chief of the hoase which had lost 
80 difltiiignished a member, the chief of the state which 
moomed so cherished a hero, was himself absent. Eyen 
within the city, and after the dear remains had been oon- 
ReMTTedde- signed to the CsBsarean mausoleum, Tiberius 
SriSs and' ^* abstained from appearing in public, and letting 
^^^ his people behold him in the same garb of mourn- 

ing as themselves. Livia also maintained a similar reserve ; 
nor less did Antonia herself, the mother of the deceased. 
The suspicions already current against Tiberius and the aged 
empress were confirmed by this unaccountable coldness : it 
was rumoured that they kept close within the palace lest the 
people should discover that under the guise of sorrow their 
eyes were really tearless ; and Antonia, it was believed, was 
forbidden to attract attention to their absence by showing 
herself to the citizens.' These surmises were, perhaps, hardly 
fisdr. Tiberius may have had no personal affection for his 
nephew : he was probably jealous of him, and mortified at 
his popularity : in the midst of the wailing citizens he, at 
least, might have been no genuine mourner. Yet it is diffi- 
cult to suppose that one so long trained in dissimulation 
would have found it hard to cast a decent cloud over his 
countenance, and a man so crafty and politic as he is repre- 
sented, would have affected at least the feeling of the hour, 
however little he may have really shared it. The fact is, 
however, that the breast of Tiberius was something very 
different from a mere calculating machine. He had strong 
feelings, and even violent prejudices on certain points of 
conduct. He detested all outward expression of sensibility 
from temper rather than policy. The lightness and frivolity 
of the Italian character, enfeebled as it now was by moral 
and sensual indulgence, its vehement gesticulations, its ready 
laugh or sigh, its varying smiles and tears, he despised with 
cynical indignation. Self-sufficing himself and always self- 
controlled, he scorned the woe or the pleasure which seeks 

> Tac. Ann, iil 8. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


relief or sympathy firom any outward demonstrations. There 
was, moreover, a dogged obstinacy about him which for- 
bade him in this case to yield to the wishes and expectations 
of the people, jnst as on a former occasion he had held out 
morosely against the reasonable inclinations of Angnstns. 
He was in fact one of those very nnamiable men who subject 
their conduct to harsh interpretations from mere perverse- 
ness of temper, and the dislike and distrust they create in 
the breasts of those around them. In certain positions in 
life such men are unayoidably thrust into crimes, and into 
such we shall soon find Tiberius impelled without the power 
of resistance. But it is probable that at this period at least 
he was much misconstrued, and the time has not yet come 
to employ those sable colours in which the brush of his de* 
lineator must eventually be dipped. 

The injustice, indeed, of the historians generally, and even 
of a Tacitus or a Suetonius, could touch him no further in 
his tomb : but it is not too much to say that the injustice of 
the Romans of his own day went far to confirm the vices, 
and exasperate the hatred, they so impatiently _^ ^ , 

, . % ^ , .t^ . . . ^^. TIberinschecki 

proclaimed. Such was the mconsistency of his tho flow or pop. 
character that Tiberius was keenly alive to the ^ °^' 

popuhr opinion which he allowed himself so wantonly to 
outange. He had long felt soreness and resentment at the 
distaste his countrymen had from an early period evinced for 
him. Mortified at the disappointment of his wish, if not his 
^<^ts, to conciliate them, not the less was he piqued at the 
success of his juredecessor in the same course, from whose ar- 
ti&es his own |^de revolted. The wound festered in silence 
and concealment. Conscious of unpopularity himself he be- 
came jealous of every mark of popular fitvour towards others, 
and conceived by degrees a deetdly fear of the guileless mul- 
titude of dupes and drones around him. Speaking of his 
position in relation to his people, he is said to have used the 
expression, I hold a wolf by the ears.^ The description was 

' Soet Tib, 25. : ** Ut ssepe lupum ee aoribus tenerc <Hceret" Dosatas or 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


a totally false one : it was the excuse of a coward to him- 
sel^ which he sought presently to justify by acts of spasmod- 
ic ferocity; but the populace, meanwhile, unconscious of its 
master's alarms, and ali^e only to his infirmities, indulged in 
the luxury of woe with a levity as frivolous as it proved 
eventually &taL l^ot content with maliciously comparing 
with this neglect of Tiberius the warm &eling exhibited by 
Augustus on the death of Drusus, his going forth two hun- 
dred miles in the depth of ivinter to meet the bier, conveying 
it in person into the forum, and pronouncing tiie funeral ad- 
dress from the rostra, they lavished all their praises and ac- 
clamations on the widow of their frivourite, declaring her the 
true glory of Rome, the only genuine child of their late mas- 
ter, the last surviving specimen of ancient virtue.* Their 
vows for her safety were mingled with passionate adjurations 
for the health and happiness of her of&pring, and their escape 
from the perils which surrounded them. Tiberius chafed at 
these ebullitions of ill humour, and was provoked to dieck 
them by an edict, in which he gravely declared that many 
noble Romans had died for the republic, but none had been 
bewailed with such an outburst of sensibility. It was well, 
he said, that it should be so, well for himself and for the peo- 
ple ; but let some moderation be observed. There was a cer- 
tain dignity and reserve becominflr a prince and an imperial 
people, which might be disregarded by private persons and 
petty commonwealths. . Enough had been given to sorrow ; 
let them remember the example :of the divine Julius on the 
loss of his only daughter, of the divine Augustus on the 
death of his grandsons. How often had the Roman people 
borne with firmness the rout of its legions, the slaughter of 
its generals, and the overthrow of its noblest fitmiliesl 
Princes are morUdy the state is ebemoL Let every one return 
to his chairs : let emery one^ he added, — ^for ihe season of the 

Terence {FKarm, iii. 2. 21.) gives the Greek proverb : ruv l^av Ix^ rhv Ubtrnv 
Q^ ixstv (Aif h^lvai dinnifuu. Baumgarten Grasiiis on Saet L a 

' Tac. Arm, SiL 4.: ^'Decos patri®, solum Angnsti Bangnlnem, unicpm anti- 
qoitatis spedmeo.'' 

Digitized by 



Megalesian games was at band, — lei every one resume his 
amusements. And so the great tide of life closed over the 
remains of Germanicns.^ 

While he was thus sowing the seeds of a long and deep 
misunderstanding between himself and his people, Tiberius 
was reflecting, with gloomy misgivings, on the 
late proceedings of Flso. Though morbidly jeal- cause to the 
ous of any encroachment on the paramount aur ^^^^^^ 
thority he claimed at home and abroad, he was not the less 
fixed in his resolution not to obtrude it on general notice by 
a direct yindication. His aim was to throw on the senate the 
burden of defending the prerogatives it had, as he pretended, 
spontaneously conferred on him. Accordingly, while he 
watched the acts of the proconsul, scrutinized his motives, 
and strove to penetrate his designs, he was not less vigilant 
in observing the disposition of the nobles, and estimating the 
support they would tender to himself Piso's daring attempt 
to recover a province from which he had been officially dis- 
missed was an insult to the government : biit would the sen- 
ate regard it as an insult to itself ?— did it identify the empe- 
ror's cause with its own ? — might it not rather decline to in- 
terfere between the master and the instrument he had him- 
self chosen, and lean, at least in inclination, to the side of a 
member of its own body, in opposition to the authority which 
rivalled and controlled it? Such considerations as these, 
which Piso himself fully understood, weighed forcibly on 
Tiberius, and made his measures appear uncertain and vacil^ 
lating. The culprit relied on the boldness and decision of his 
attitude. When required by Sentius to refer his cause to the 
judgment of the emperor, he did not hesitate to accept the 
challenge. From the coast of Cilicia he had proceeded in the 
direction of Rome ; nevertheless he did not care to betray by 
his haste any symptoms of anxiety. He travelled slowly 
from city to city, and instead of taking the direct route by 
Dynhachinm and Bmndisium, sent his son in advance with 

> Tac. Anti, iil 6. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


letters full of obsequious deference to the emperor, while he 
stepped himself aside into Dalmatia to obtain an interview 
withDrusns, who had returned therefrom attending the obse- 
quies of Germanicus. Tiberius received the young man with 
courtesy and even favour. Drusus, on the other hand, whose 
demeanour was generally open even to bluntness, affected a 
reserve and caution, in which he had evidently been instruct- 
ed by his father, but assured Piso of his hope and trust ti at 
the rumours about the manner of the Csesar's death would 
prove entirely groundless.^ 

The mindjs both of the citizens and the chiefs of the state 
being in a feverish state of excitement, every step the cul- 
Ho reaches P^* *^^^ became a matter of suspicion and mis- 
^^^ construction. K on landing at ^cona he fell in 

with a legion on its march to Rome, having been removed 
from Pannonia under orders for Africa, and accompanied it 
for some miles on its route, it was reported that he had un- 
duly courted the favour of the officers and soldiers ; i^ again, 
he left it at Namia, and betook himself to the easier trans- 
port of a vessel down the Tiber, it was suggested that his 
conscious guilt sought to avoid just suspicion, or that his 
treasonable plans were not yet fixed and mature. It was 
charged against him as a grave misdemeanour that he had 
allowed his bark to be fiistened to the walls of the Csesarean 
mausoleum on the margin of the Campus Martins. The 
pomp and even the affectation of cheerfulness with which he 
took his way into the city, attended by a retinue of clients, 
together with his wife Plandna, and a bevy of her female 
friends, gave umbrage to a populace bent on taking offence. 
They pointed with malicious spite, as their ancestors might 
have done two or three cwituries before, to the mansion of 
the Pisos overhanging the forum, in proud defiance of the 
commons below, and resented, as tokens of guilty ambition, 
the laurels and fiags with which it was decorated to receive 
its long absent master ; nor less at the number of friends and 

' Tao Ann. iil 7, 8. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

A.T3.778.1 UNI)£B THE EMPIRE. 79 

courtiers, who repaired thither to salute him and partake of 
his hospitality/ The death of the poisoner Martina, which 
occurred suddenly on her passage to Rome, was regarded by 
many as a device of the accused himself, or was taken as an 
indication of collusion between him and his prosecutors.' 

Such being the temper of the public mind, and so strong 
the appearances of Piso's double guilt, there could be no lack 
of accusers to spring up, smd seize the occasion g,g, 

to make a show of their eloquence, their zeal for ^Jg^ ^{Jat 
law and justice, their love for the Roman people ™* 
and the £nnily of their ruler. It might rather be apprehend- 
ed that the ends of justice would be defeated by the precipi* 
Nation of intemperate assailants, or even by the. false play 
of pretended enemies. Accordingly when Fulcinius Trio, a 
young noble, ambitious of notoriety, came forward, thfe day 
after Piso^s arrival, to lodge an impeachment against him, the 
real fiiends of Germanicus, those to whom he had personally 
committed the vindication of his cause, were alarmed for the 
success of their maturer plans. Two of these, YitelHus and 
Veranius, immediately entered the court, and protested 
against Triors right to prosecute at all, declaring at the same 
time for themselves that they were not come to declaim in 
behalf o£ Germanicus, but to attest by their solenm evidence 
the feet of Piso's criminality. These representations were 
judged to have weight, and Trio was refused permission to 
make his oration against the culprit, as regarded his alleged 
misconduct in the East : he was indulged, however, with an 
opportunity of uttering an harangue on the early career of Piso, 
and of blackening his character, to the extent of his ability, 
by a general defematicm. Such were the facilities the Roman 
procedure gave to the young and ambitious declaimer : but 
attacks like tiiese were mere empty displays of rhetoric, and 
served no purpose but to amuse the idle or gratify the ma- 
licioTDU. Meanwhile Piso^s friends, disregarding such frivolous 
demonstrations, and fixing their attention on the real point 

* Tac Arm, iil 9. • Taa Ann. iil 7. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


of attack, were striving to secure the emperor himself as 
judge in the case ; for the emperor's consular or tribunitian 
power gaye him formal jurisdiction in the criminal trials, 
whenever he chose to exercise it. Piso had every reason to 
shrink from an appeal to the people ; nor was he without 
grave apprehension of the bias of the senators against him. 
His best chance of a &vourable, or even of a fair hearing lay 
before the tribunal of 'Hberius himself, who had at least no 
partiality for Oermanicus, and who, it was well known, 
was indisposed to parade himself as the author of strong 
measures against senators and nobles. But Tiberius, on his 
part, shrank from the invidious position of a judge In a case 
so delicate. Not directly refusing the onerous responsibility, 
he seated himself indeed on the bench with certain of his 
own intimates as his assessors ; but after listening for a time 
to the denunciations of the one party, and the obtestations of 
the other, he finally remitted the adjudication of the cause 
intact to the senate/ 

Nothing now remained for the accused but to prepare his 
defence in the regular way. He solicited the noblest and 

trial f ^^^®8* ^^^ i^ ^^® ci^y *o plead his cause. L. 
Piio before tha Ammtius, Asiuius Qallus, S. Pompeius, and 
others hardly less illustrious, refused on various 
pretences to defend him. M. Lepidus, L. Piso, and Livineius 
Regulus, at length promised to stand by him ; and great was 
the admiration of the citizens at the confidence of the fiiends 
of Germanicus on the one hand, and the assiurance of the 
culprit on the other ; while they anxiously asked one another 
what the conduct of Tiberius would be, and whether he would 
sternly repress all personal feeling, and leave free scope to the 
force of truth and the influence of eloquence and reason.' The 
proceedings indeed were opened by the emperor in a speech 
The proceed- ^^ Studied faimess and moderation.* He repre- 
IfSeJSh frJto^ sented that Kso had been a trusty officer of Au- 
TiSerina. gustus, and that he had himself; not without the 

« Tac Ann, iiL 10. • Taa Ann. iil 11. 

* Taa Ann. ill 12.: **Die Senatus Cssar orationcm habuit meditato tcro- 

Digitized by 




consent of the senate, attached him as a coadjutor to Grer- 
manicus.^ Whether in that capacity he had exasperated his 
chief by contumacy and rivalry, whether he had betrayed 
satisd&ction at his death, or even actually effected it, it was 
for the senate, he said, impartially to decide : if the former, 
he would himself resent it as a &ther, but he woxdd not jtidi* 
daily punish it as a prince ; but if the latter, it would be the 
duty of the senators on their part to visit the murderer with 
a murderer's reward, and console the &mily of the deceased 
with the vengeance which the law prescribed. He recom« 
mended them to examiine careftdly the charges of seditious 
mtrignes and irregular ambition ; and whether the culprit 
had actually attempted to recover his province by arms, or 
bis fiiults had been exaggerated by the malice of his accusers, 
whose over-zeal the emperor felt bound at the outset to stig- 
matise and r^ress.' For tohcU right had theyy he asked, to 
expose the body to the public eye^ and incite provincials and 
foreigners to examine the pretended tokens of poison which 
it was impossible to test^ if after aU the crime was still un- 
proved and matter of judicial inquiry f^ He went on to 
charge the judges not to allow his private sorrow, great as 
he assured them it was, to influence their decision ; to exhort 
the accused to omit no topic suitable for his own defence, or, 
if necessary, for the inculpation of Oermanicus himself; to 
encourage his advocates to exert their eloquence to the ut- 
most in the cause of the unfortunate defendant ; finally, he 
begged all parties to disregard any popular surmises that 
might be promulgated to his own personal discredit in the 

Thus encouraged, or possibly perplexed and frightened, 

' Tac. L c;: **Ad}iiU)rcm Gerttftnico datimi.^* For tho force of this ex- 
pregd o D, 806 abore. 

' TadtOBBajs, ** Annfe ropetiU proyinda;" that is, he diumed by force 
of arms poeae^sioii of At» own provinca If he had occapied a post such as 
Cdfl&derifl in another province, and employed its natiye forces, there wonld 
tiare been no qileflUon of the gravity of his crime, and no excose for neglecting 
to ammadrert upon it A« Zampt, OommenL EjngrajiK ii. 
VOL. V. — 6 

Digitized by 



the senators addressed themselves to the work before them. 
Speeches In ao- "^^^ ^7^ ^^^ allowed to the managers of the 
eoaotion. prosecution for exhibiting their charges; then, 

after an interval of six days, three more were granted for 
the defence. Fulcinios Trio, who had thrust himsdf, as has 
been said, into the front, began with a long and desultory at- 
tack on the conduct of Piso when he formerly governed in 
Spain ; an abuse of rhetoric only sanctipned by custom, but 
which could hardly produce even the petty result to which 
it was directed, of creating an un&vourable impression 
against the accused in the minds of his judges. An import- 
ant part of the space allotted for the prosecution was wasted 
in this unprofitable skirmish. When, however, the genuine 
accusers stood forward with the decisive features of the case 
in hand, they found the tribunal, from whatever reason, so 
well disposed towards them, that they were not required to 
bring on every point the most conclusive evidence. Servseus, 
Veranius, and Vitellius followed one another in denouncing 
the culprit with equal fervour, and the last of the three with 
conspicuous eloquence, for his enmity to Germanicus, his in- 
trigues with the soldiery, his attempts, only too successAil, 
by poison and magic, agsdnst the life of his commander, and 
finally, his armed assault on the prerogatives of the republia 
Had Piso not been first conquered as an enemy, argued Vi- 
tellius, he could not have been now prosecuted as a criminal. 
Then followed an interval for the judges to reflect, and for 
the accused to prepare his defence. On most points of at- 
tack neither refutation nor excuse were possible; the politi- 
cal charges were too patent to be rebutted, too flagrant to be 
palliated. Here at least the replies of Piso were weak and 
Piso defends Vacillating. The charge of poison, however, he 
himicit did not shrink from meeting with a steadfiwt de- 

nial ; and this, indeed, either from mismanagement on the 
part of the prosecution, or from the real absence of any rea- 
sonable grounds of proof, had completely broken down ; for 
it was founded not on any alleged connexion between Piso 
and the notorious Martina, nor on testimony extorted from 

Digitized by 



his slaves, whom he freely tendered for exammation on the 
rack, but on the monstrous and incredible story, that, at a 
banquet given by the prince, while reclining at his side, he 
had with his own hands communicated poison to the viands 
on the table.^ The rumours of magical incantations were 
invented perlu^ for the populace of Antioch i^id Bome : 
though repeated in the presence of the senators, we hear of 
DO attempt either to substantiate or refute thenu But the 
judges, some on one account, some on another, were implac- 
able. Tiberius himself could not forgive the attempt upon 
the province, and the senators, for the most part, were obsti- 
nately convinced that the prince had met his death by unfidr 
contrivance. There prevailed, however, among them a vague 
8u^[ncion that there had been collusion of some sort between 
Piso and the emperor himself. It is possible that some of the 
judges or the accusers ventured to suggest that Piso's instruc- 
tions should be produced, and that this was refused both by the 
one and the other.* Meanwhile the people had satisfied them- 
selves of the full atrocity of the culprit^s guilt They sur- 
rounded the tribunal with cries of vengeance, threatening that 
if acquitted by his judges, they would tear the murderer to 
pieces with their own hands. They would have broken the 
busts and statues of Piso within their reach, and exposed them, 
in de&ult of his own mangled limbs, on the Gemonian stairs, 
had not a military force arrived in time to protect them. The 
criminal was reqioved from the bar in a closed litter, ^tte^d- 

' Slaves could not be questioned by torture against their own master, ex- 
cept, under the emperors, in cases of treason ; but he ndght offer them to be 
tortured ts witnesses in his fityour. Rdn, OriminaUJMU der BSmer,' p. 543. 
Ffnj mentions {SuL JM, zL 11.) thfti YHeUtus Ia his 8pee<^ stia extuii in 
tbe writer'fl dij, argued that poisoci had been administered, fi«m the fiuct he 
asserted that the heart of GennaBicus would not burp, (Coxap. Suetw CaUg* 1,) 
The same, howcTcr, was believed to occur m the case of the morbus cardiacus 
(heartburn or cardialgia : v. Hardouin'a note) ; and Fiso pleaded that this was 
Oie malady of Germanicus. 

* At this place there is an unfortunate lacuna in the MSS. of our authority 
Taoiftiis: the words, ** soriprissent .... ei^K>etalante6 ; quod hand minus T^ 
bertns quam Piso abnoere," seem to point obscurely to this supposition. 

Digitized by 



ed bj a tribnne of the prsetorians: some supposed that thia 
was to shelter him ^m the popular indignation, bat others 
already whispered that it was determined to sacrifice him,* 

Thus ended the first day of the defence, and the calprit 
re-entered his house with a gloomy presentiment of defeat. 
Thus far, however, his wife had afiected to unite her cause with 
his, and had loudly declared that she would share his fortune 
for good or for evil If the general feeling was not less strong 
against her than against her husband, she might indulge in 
warmer hopes of protection from the favour of Livia ; and as 
long as her interests were united with his, he might truBt to 
escape under the shelter of her superior influence. But while 
Piso was battling desperately for his life in the Senate-house, 
Plancina was soliciting the empress in the recesses of the pal- 
ace, keeping more aloof firom him as the charges seemed to 
press harder, urging excuses for herself independent of him, 
and finally separating her cause from his. As soon as Piso 
Deserted by discovered this, he felt that his last hope was 
Smmite b5^^ gone. Hesitating to confront his accusers again, 
^^ he was with difRculty prevailed on by his sons to 

nerve his resolution for a second appearance before his 
judges. There he heard the charges once more repeated, 
and underwent interrogations which seemed to wax more 
manifestly hostile : but when he looked towards Tiberius, 
and observed how cold and reserved was his demeanour, how 
studiously he repressed every mark either of compassion or 
anger, he felt that his doom was inevitable. Carried back 
once more to his own dwelling, he called for his tablets, as 
if to compose the perOTation of his defence, wrote a few lines^ 
which he sealed and delivered to a freedman, after which he 
bathed 'and dressed as usual for supper, and retired, after 
taking it, to his couch. At a late hour of the night, seizing 
the moment of his wife leaving his bedchamber, he ordered 
the doors to be closed. The first who entered at daybreak 

' Tac. Arm. IS. 18, 14.: "Yario romore, cnstoB ealatis an mortia exactov 

Digitized by 



discorered him lying with his throat severed, and his sword 
on the ground beside him.* 

Such an ^id at snch a moment gave lise to many whis* 
pered surmises. The Romans, ever prone to snspect foul 
play and underhand contrirance, could easily h6 ^ ^ 
led to impute the catastrophe to the emperor him- Pieo to pat to 
self: and it is worth while to notice that our his- emperor's or- 
torian reveals to us on this occasion the question- eouiteiMneed 
able sources to. which we seem to owe many of ^ ^ 
his gravest xncrhninations. I have heard old people mention^ 
he says, ^kca JPiso had o^%en certain papers in his handy the 
contents of which he did not puNidy divtd^e / but that his 
friends used to affirm that they were the a^ual instructions 
addressed to him' by Tiberius regarding the unfortunate 
Oermanicus, These he had resolved to lay before the sena- 
torSj andreveed therecd guHt of the emperor^ had not iSefanuSy 
the confidant of TiberiuSydissuccded him by fcdse hopes from 
his purpose. They added thaJt he did not kiU himself y but 
vxjLSy in point of fact^ assassin(Ued,* The writer concludes 
this narration, however, with cautioning the reader that he 
does not affirm this circumstance as an ascertained &ct ; and 
Bucb, it must be remarked, is too frequently his habit, to be 
excused, perhaps, only from the paucity of trustworthy doc- 
uments in his reach, — to insinuate the truth of popular ru- 
mours undeor pretence of merdy recounting them. It is not 
too much to assert that he really metos us to believe most 
of the stories he thus repeats, imder the protest that he can- 
not vouch for theuL With this caution agamst the seduo- 
tive influence of the most doquent of historians, I return to 
the narrative beHDve us% 

TiberitM etftesm^ it seems, his mortification at the death 
ol the eriminal: he might easily fbresee and deploi^ the sus- 
oicums to whidi it would expose him. He al- gont«noe 
lowed the son of the deceased to read to the Sen- •v^'^v^' 

* T»a Arm. iiL 15. 

* Tac Ann, iit 16. : ** Quorum neutrum asscyerayerim : neque tamen occu 
fere dsbm narratom ab iiB qoi nostram ad juyentamdurayerunt.** 

Digitized by 



ate the last words his &ther had written, which were now found 
to contain a vindication of his own children from the charge 
of treason from which he had failed to relieve himself, and 
an appeal to the emperor in their favour, hj the five and 
fbrtj jears of his own faithM services, by the consulships 
accorded him hj Augustus, and the friendship extended to 
him hj liberins himself Such, he said, was his last dying 
petition. Of the &lse Plancina he made no mention at alL 
The case for the defence being thus abruptly cut short, the 
accusers might still use their right to reply. But the sena- 
tors were not unmoved at the spectacle of war still waged 
against a prostrate and insensible victim. They were satis- 
fied with expunging Piso^s name from the Fasti, and confis- 
cating a portion of his estates, decreeing at the same time 
that his elder son Marcus should be banished for t^i years, 
and Cnadus, the younger, renounce the prsenomea he had de- 
rived from his father. Tiberius interfered to obtain s<Hne 
mitigation even of this sentence, protesting that it was too 
much to. disgrace the xiame of Piso, when that of Marcus 
Antonins, -who had fought against his country, and of Juhis, 
who had dishonoured the imperial house, were allowed to re- 
tain their place in the rolls of honour. He spared also the 
property of the deceased, on this, as on other occasions, dis- 
playing a laudable abstinence in this respect But he had 
used his influence, in deference to his mother, to screen Plan- 
cina from prosecution ; and so poignantly did he feel the dis- 
grace of this interference, so much was he mortified at the 
murmurs of the citizens, as to seek to repair his credit by a 
show of lenity and moderation towards her hnsband and 
fiimily. At the same time, he restrained the adulation which 
would have decreed him extraordinary honours fi>r thus 
avenging the loss of Germanicus. It was no matter, he pro 
tested, of public joy and thanksgiving; it was the last act 
of a domestic calamity, fit only to be buried in the recesses 
of his own memory. Upon the accusers, however, he be- 
stowed places in the priesthood, and promised to elevate Trio 
to civil distinctions, cautioning him at the same time to use 

Digitized by 



his powers of oratory with temper and discretion in fu* 

A cahn review of the circomstiuioes of this celebrated 
trial aeems to leave no cloud of suspicion on the conduct of 
the emperor himselC It results clearly from the rR>etfo» frM 
acknowledgments of the narrator, whose hostilir .^i^iii^^^ 
ty to Tiberius is strongly marked, as we shall S^;^J5.'*' 
Bee, throughout the course of his history, that the j^^ prooCof th« 
evidence in proof of the murder was completely ^a"^*^- 
nugatory. Still less does there appear any reasonable 
ground to implicate Tiberius himself in the schemes of Piso, 
even supposing Piso's guilt in this respect to be still matter 
of question. The fSsmlt, which gave rise to the most unfa- 
vourable surmises, lay in his want of firmness and decision 
in conducting the case. However deeply irritated at his 
proconsul's contumacy, he could not divest himself of the 
jealous distrust of his too subservient nobles, which impell- 
ed him constantly to throw on tibem the responsibility of an 
inquiry, which, as chief of the state, was legitimately his 
own. The position he held was a source of unceasing idann 
and anxiety to him. Already he found himself beset by the 
first dangers of an intruding dynasty, the repeated apparition 
o£ Aral claimants and pretenders. The first steps of his il- 
lustrious predecessor had been dogged by the upstart Ama- 
tiufl. At a later period Augustus had been persecuted by a 
bold impostor, who declared himself the real son of Qctavia, 
for whom Marcelhis had been substituted by iraud.* The 
death of the wretched Postumus was speedily followed by 
the enterprise of one of his slaves, named Cle* Entcrprtee of 
mens, who pr^wided to represent him. On the gj^^^^ 
demise of Augustus, this man, we are told, form- a.d.i«. 
ed ihe design of hastening to Plamasia, and car- ^ ^ '^* 
rying off his master to the l^ions on the Rhine. He might 
hove succeeded, but for the slowness of the merchant vessel 
in which he sailed for the island. On arriving there he found 

> T«s. Afwi. ai 17-19. « VaL Max. ix. 15. 2, 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


the prince already despatched. Concdving at once a still 
more daring project, he secreted or dispersed the ashes of the 
murdered man, to destroy the eyidence of his death, and re- 
tired for a time to Cosa, on the opposite coast of Etruria, till 
his iisir and beard were grown, to fayoor a certain likeness 
which he actually bore to him. Meanwhile, taking a few 
intimates into his confidence, he spread a report, which found 
ready listeners, that Agrippa still liyed. He glided from 
town to town, showing himself by twilight, fbr a few min* 
utes only at a time, to men prepared for the sudden appa- 
rition, until it became noised abroad that the gods had sayed 
the grsmdson of Augustus from the fate intended fi>r him, 
and that he was about to yisit the city and daim his rightftd 
inheritance* At Ostia, Cl^nens was receiyed by a great 
concourse of people, and numbers repaired priyily to him on 
his entrance into Rome. It was long, howeyer, brfore Ti- 
berius could resolye to4tct yigorously against him. He would 
rather haye left the yulgar imposture to die a natural &ath, 
than interfere to check it with the bruit of arms. At last 
he determined to exert himself The pretender was speedily 
entrapped, by two simulated belieyers, and brought bound 
to the palace. When asked by Tiberius what right he had 
to assume the name of Agrippa? The actmCy he replied, 
that you have to that of CoB$ar. The names of no loftier 
accomplices could be extorted from him, and it is probable 
that t^ design was from first to last merely a wild cono^ 
tion of his own. Tiberius was glad to bury the wk^ mat- 
ter in obliyion. He put the man to death in the iteoesses of 
the palace, and had the body secretly removed, nor did he 
cause inquiry to be made into any circumstances of the at* 
tempt, though some of his own fiEimily and many knights 
and senators were said to haye priyily &youred, and eyen 
giyen money to adyance it.. Such was the receiyed account 
of the affidr; as much, that is, as the empefoi^ chose to re- 
veal, or the people yentured to guess of it." 

» Tac. Arm, II 89, 40. ; Suet Tib, 25. • Dicffl, Ivil 1ft. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


Bat tiie sally of an obscare dare was &r lees formidable 
than the intrigues of illnstrioiis nobles, equals of the emperor 
hunself in birth and ancestral honours. It was intrinMof 
a tradition of the party which Tiberius historj- ^^f™"^ 
cally rejMresented, that every scion of a consular ^^' t»- 
house was a possible candidate for the empire ; and if his 
own jealousy ever slept for a moment, officious advisers were 
not wanting to ezdte his fbars, and urge him to renewed 
v^ilanee. A young noble named libo Drusus, of the Sen- 
bonian gens, the same winch had given consorts to both 
Octavius and Sextus Pompdus, was suspected, from the ac- 
cession of Tiberius, of cherishing the jMroject of supplanting 
himu His juveiiile ambition had been fostered by the arti- 
fices of a pretended friend, who had tampered with the 
weakness of his character, and led him into criminal relations 
with the soothsayers and diviners^ who were casting the 
horoscopes of the unwary, and flattering with dangerous 
dreams every illicit aspiration. libo admitted to his bosom 
the wildest hopes of fulfilling the pretended destiny of his 
illustrious ancestors. The sharer of his counsels betrayed 
them in due time to the emperon Such, however, was the 
apprehension Tiberius entertained of the influence of a noble 
name, that he dM not venture at once to check him. On 
the contrary, he continued for more than a year to load him 
with honours; while such was his fear of personal violence, 
that, when Libo assisted him at a sacrifice, he caused him to 
be fhmished with a knifl^ of tin; and' in conversing with * 
Idm, pretended always to lean oonfidentially on his arm, to 
prevent him from drawing forth the weapon which he might 
cany beneath his girdle.^ It was not till he had obtained 
distinct proof that libo had Consulted a magician, who pre- 
tended to evoke the dead for linhallowed inquiries, that Ti- 
berius ventured to convene the senatej to ddibercOejHB the 
tenour of his summons ran, ^^pan a ^eadfuH and momiraita 
crime. libo was soon made aware of his danger. He 

» Suet m. 25. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


clothed liimself in monrning, and glided from honse to 
house, suing in vain for the advocacy of his illustrious 
friends. All shut their doors, or turned their bad^s upon 
hinu On the day of the trial, he appeared in the senate 
without a patron, and studied only to excite commiseration 
by real or pretended sickness. Of accusers there was no 
lack. Among them was Firmius, the false Mend already 
noticed, and Fulcinius Trio, the rabid declaimer. The 
charges produoed embraced some of the wildest fictions. 
One of the prosecutors asserted that he had been promised 
gold enough to pave the Appian Way to Brundisium. On 
this and other testimonies scarcely less trivial, it was de- 
termined to examine his slaves ; and as the law forbade the 
examination of a master^s slaves against him in a capital 
case, Tiberius caused them to be enfi^nchised before sub- 
jecting them to the question. Libo now felt that his fate 
was decided. Returning home, after the first day's investi- 
gation, for as yet the personal liberty of the noble Roman 
was never restricted, even under a capital chaise, he sat 
down to table, but after some hesitation, accomplished his 
own destruction.^ The prosecution was carried on notwith- 
standing ; and when the culprit's guilt was finally declared 
to be proved, Tiberius asserted that he intended to pardon 
him, had he allowed him the opportunity.' 

The readiness of the senators to combine against the 
presumed enemies of the prince, the zeal with which they 
ApprehensionB ^^ ^^^ ^^® another in leading the prosecution 
of Tiberiu*. against them, the eagerness with which they 
united in decreeing their death, and the confiscation of their 
property, all these tokens of devotion might have reassured 
even the fears of Tiberius, and made tdm feel secmre of the 
submission of his courtierB. But it seems to have had rather 
the contrary effect of alarming him. He saw in it the most 
fiital evidence of the degradation of the Roman character, 

' Thus when Cicero assigned the Catilinarian conspirators to the cnstodj 
of certain nobles, the legal fiction of their freedom ttbs ostcnubly respocted. 
• Tac. Ann, II 27-31. 

Digitized by 



and he augured from it that the time would arriye when, 
erery bond of reli^ous feeling being broken, the loyalty 
with which Augustus had inspired his subjects would give 
way to selfish passions, and the man who should succeed in 
oat-bidding him in popularity, would become master of 
their renal affections. These apprehensions were increased 
by erery expression of freedom hazarded by his anticipated 
rivals, which he presumed to be grounded on the conviction 
that their time was coming, and that there was in the com- 
munity a large mass of feeling which responded to their 
pretensions. Among the nobles there was a certain class 
who affected to indemnify themselves for the loss of substan- 
tial liberty by petty sallies of impatience, and scarce dis- 
guised irony, and among these Piso had been eminently con- 
spicuous. Thus, for instance, when Tiberius had announced, 
on a certain occasion, that, contrary to his usual reserve, he 
would give his opinion on a particular charge in person, Piso 
▼aitured to ask, would he speak first or last? — iffrst^ he 
added, I shaU have a guide to foUow ; if lasty I fear lest I 
may through ignorance dissent from you. Such, says Taci- 
tus, were some of the last traces of expiring liberty.^ 
While, however, any such traces, however slight, still re- 
mained, the shadowy phantom of the Republic continued to 
flit before the eyes of the Cedsar. There was still, he appre- 
hended, a germ of sentiment existing, on which a scion of 
his own house, or even a stranger, might boldly throw him- 
sd^ and raise the standard of patrician inde|>endence. The 
death of Piso concurred with that of Gtermani- Believed brtii* 
ens to relieve him from the terrors of tiiis hateM SSikw i^T 
anticipation* From this time he begait really to ^^^ 
reign. He was well aware, indeed, that he had fastened on 
himself the hatred of the citizens by the mere suspicion of 
his complicity in deaths which had so manifestly served his 
interests; he knew that all his adts and measures would 
henceforth be construed to his injury, and a dark cloud of 

Tac AniK i. 74. Coxnp, il 8b. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


national difltmst hang fbr ever on his memory. But, oii the 
other hand, these -vrere the mere shadows of eviL To the 
loss of his good name .he was becoming more and more hard- 
ened. The flattery of poets and historians, even the clam< 
orons applause of the populace, he could buy again if he 
chose ; but with his cynical contempt for his people, he did 
not think them worth the cost in shows and largesses. He 
now felt himself safe from the machinations of his nearest 
enemies, and free to exchange the disguised autocracy of his 
predecessor, which he wanted himself the tact and modera- 
tion to wield, for the direct and harsh exercise of uncon- 
trolled dominion. 

Nevertheless, while Tiberius was thus rising supreme 
oyer the laws of his country, and the lives and fortunes of 
Secret iniiocnce ^^® citizcns, he was uot himself exempt from cer- 
of Livia, ^ain concealed and mysterious influences, which 

continued almost insensibly to direct and control him. The 
first of these was the will of Livia, who seemed now, in ex- 
treme old age, to reap the full fruits of her ambition, the 
passion to ^hich she had subjected every other inclination 
through her long career of intrigue. Her son had risen un- 
der her auspices, and mainly, perhaps, by her direct contriv- 
ance, to the summit of power which she had so deeply cov- 
eted for him, and her own influence over him had increased 
rather than diminished with hb success. All Rome regarded 
the empress-mother with &r more awe and obsequious sub- 
mission than the empress-consort. If she had really been 
the mistress of the councils of Augustus, he at least had re- 
tained the distensible power. But the habits of obedience 
she had early impressed on her son rem^ed deeply stamped 
on his retentive disposition; nor, however much her yoke 
might sometimes gall him, had he the spirit to reject it when 
he became the master of all the world besides, llie women 
whom she admitted to her intimacy presumed to defy the 
laws, under her protection. On one o<$casion her favourite, 
Urgulania, being cited as a witness before the senate, re- 
fused to appear, and the prsetor was complaisantly sent to 

Digitized by 



take her examination in piirate, a privilege not accorded 
eyen to the Bacred character of the YeetaJlB.^ On another, 
the same Urgolania was the cause of a straggle for supremr 
acy between Tiberius and his mother. It was considered a 
remarkable instance of firmness on his part, that he insisted 
on her paying down the fine imposed on her by a judicial 
sentence. But the greatest triumph of Livia^s authority was 
seen in the acquittal of her friend Plancina. The emperor, 
constmimate as was his power of dissimulation, fidled to dis- 
guise the disgust he felt at the part he was reduced to play 
m defer^u^ to this love of power. 

Another influence behind the throne has already been 
glanced at, in accounting for the Jealousy Tiberius felt of the 
martial aspirations of Germanicus. The most 
eloquent of the emperors flatterers, m con- 
cluding his brief survey of Roman history which has come 
down to us, with a review of the opening promise, such as 
he represents it, of this ill-&ted reign, after painting in 
flaunting colours the virtues and successes of the third 
Caesar, glides into the reflection, that the good fortune of 
the greatest men is generally to be traced in part to the 
merits of their most cherished advisers. Thus the valour 
of the Scipios was supported by the genius of the Lselii, 
and Augustus himself reclined on the arms of an Agrippa 
and a Taurus. In like manner, he adds, did Tiberius rejoice 
in the powerful aid of Lucius Sejanus, a man of rare ability, 
vigorous alike in mind and body, a loyal servant, a cheerfhl 
companion, one whose natural modesty evinced his actual 
desert, uid smoothed the way for his well-merited advance- 
moit* This and much more does Yelleius say in the pnuse 
of the &vourite of Tiberius, the man whose name has be- 
come a by-word in history for all that is most fulaome in 
adulation, most base in dissimulation, most atrocious in 
crime. Sejanus belonged to the -Lilian gens, perhaps by 
adoption^ and his paternal fisimily was only of equestrian 

* Tftc. Ann. 3. 84.: "Tiberius hactenna indulgere malri dvil^ ratos." 

• Vefldns Patewnlug, il 127. 

Digitized by 



rank.^ On the motlier'B side he is said to have descended 
from a more illustrious ancestry. He was bom at Yolsinii 
in Etroria. He se^ns to have first established his fortunes 
on the fkvonrs of a wealthy debauchee ; ' but when he sno- 
ceeded in attaching himself to the person of the young Caius 
C<esar, the prospect of public eminence began to open upon 
him. On his second patron's premature decease he trans- 
ferred himself to the service of Tiberius^ oyer whom he soon 
acquired an influence, which it became the object of his life 
to confirm and extend. But the arts by which such influence 
is obtained over a timid and self<listrusting character, how- 
ever sly and suspicious, do not always imply any great su- 
periority of talent ; and the enemies of Sejanus refhsed to 
allow the object of their abhorrence the praise even of emi- 
nent talents. They would only admit that he was active 
and hardy in frame, and was not deficient in boldness and 
enterprise: he had, they said, the address to conceal his 
own vices, while he was shrewd in unmasking the disguises 
of others. His pride and meanness were equal one to the 
other, and he could carry a pretence of moderation in his 
demeanour, while his lust of power and lucre was really 

On his patron's succession to the empire, Sejanus was 

found usefol, and retained the influence he had acquired by 

. ^ his skill in relieving him firom the weiffht of his 

Sejanus prefect ^, ,,,. 

of the Fw- burdens without seemmg to take them on hmi- 
sel£ Tiberiru sent him on a confid^itial mission 
to advise the young Drusus in Pannonia; but he was speed- 
ily recalled from this distant service, and appointed colleague 
with his &ther in the command of the preBtorian cohorts, 
quartered in the vicinity of the oapitaL This charge placed 
him in a position of the strictest intimacy with the emperor, 

' L. Miua Sqjanufl was the sou of Seias Strabo, a Roman knight 

" Tac. Antu Iv. 1. ; Dion, Ivii. 19. Thifl was M. Apicius, the second of the 

three noted gooimands of the name, who are supposed to have flourished in 

BQCoessUm from the time of Angostos. 
• Tacl. c.; Dion, L c. 

Digitized by 


A.U.rrs.1 ONDEB THE EMPnCB. 95 

oyer whose personal safety it was bis duty to watch, urhile 
he provided for the execution of his orders in Rome. Here 
he may have suggested that distrust of Germanicus to which 
the Romans ascribed the hero's recall from the Rhenish 
frontier; he may have prompted the mission of Piso, as a 
check on the presumed ambition of the young prince in 
Asia ; he may have whispered to the proconsul of Syria an 
assurance that his opposition to his chief would not be dis- 
tasteful to the sovereign power at home. However this may 
be, Tibenus required a staff to lean upon, and Se^amis was 
strong enough and bold enough to supply one. Anxious as 
the new emperor was, from his first accession, to know every- 
thing, and to do everything himself; impatient as he was of 
leaving affairs to take their course under a wise but distant 
superintendence, and jealous of all interference with his own 
control ; yet, finding day by day that the concerns of his 
vast administration were slipping away beyond the sphere 
of his personal guidance, from the inability of any single 
mind to embrace them all together, he was reduced to the 
necessity of falling back on extraneous assistance ; and he 
preferred, from the character of his mind^ to draw irregular 
aid from a domestic favourite, rather than throw irresponsi- 
ble power into the hands of his remote vicegerents. He 
controlled the satraps in his provinces by the agency of a 
vizier at home. 

Digitized by 




TiiK nmenoNs or thb ooiotia.: 1. SLEcnoN of magistrates; 2. le(iisla- 
now; 8. jimiSDionoM: niAimR&BXD to tbm sknaib, and bencse to 


THE democracy, when roused to deadly struggle against 
the aristocracy, generally gains the victory ; but the 
,^ fruits of victory it has seldom the capacity to re- 

Genoral result •, -,^ , * • 

of the BtragKi* taiiL The empire of the Caesars was founded, as 
mocracf and we have sccn, on the passions and just claims of 
^' the popular branch of the Roman community ; 
but while the show of power, its trappings, and even its 
emoluments, fell again into the hands of the nobility, the 
real substance eluded, as usual in such cases, the grasp both 
of the one and the other. We have already remarked the 
care of Augustus to raise the dignity of the senatorial order, 
while he repressed all free action in the commons, and de- 
prived them, one by one, of the prerogatives they had ac- 
quired through so many revolutions. Though the descend- 
ant and representative of Marius, he was in feet, as regarded 
the relations of the two rival orders of the state, no other 
than a second SuUa.^ 

' See Hoeck's HSm. Oetch, x 3. p. 60. folL I have found the advantage of 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


But whaterer remained to be done, to reduce the Roman 
plebs to utter insignificance, was speedilj effected by the 
regulations of Tiberius. The balance between Tbebaiimoe 
the conflicting powers of the state was only ^?S ai^j^ 
trimmed for the moment by the sagacity and *°^ 
fortune of Augustus, for whom aH parties were content to 
waive the exaction of their legitimate or pretended rights. 
When a successor followed, with less personal authority and 
less delicacy in the management of it, the machine of govern- 
ment might have been in danger of collapsing. The appoint- 
ment of magistrates, the enactment of laws, the constitution 
even of the judicial tribunals, had all been left unfixed in 
principle, and abandoned, as occasion arose, to the wisdom 
and moderation of the emperor, on which all equally relied. 
The Romans acquiesced in the fiction which was now palmed 
upon them of equal laws and a regular constitution : but in 
fact the limits of every department of government were nor- 
mally undefined. This was a state of things More logical 
which, however passive in temper the mass of ^SJ^ti-*^* 
the nation had now become, could not longer ^^ 
endure in the face of a restless and sensitive nobility. Tibe- 
rius, moreover, firom the character of his mind, required a 
more logical development of the polity he had undertaken to 
direct, and that polity had begun spontaneously to assume, 
as the condition of its existence, both outward form and in- 
ternal organization. 

The transfer of the business of the popular assemblies to 
the senate is announced, as we have seen, by Tacitus with a 
coolness and indifference which may seem scarcely nj-^fM 
worthy of its apparent importance. Whatever ^ctio^oftb* 
the aspirations of the historian may have been 
for the so-called liberty of the old aristocracy, the traditions 
of which he has hallowed by his eloquent declamations, it is 
probable that no Roman of his day, the second century fi-om 
the fall of Roman independence, really felt the value of the 

baving before me this author's hudnoos rlew of the constitation of the em* 
pire mider Tiberius. 

80 TOKT— 7 

Digitized by 



forms of the free state, which had so long passed from degra- 
dation to obliyion. But in fact the change which he here 
announced was less important than at first sight it appears. 
On the other hand, the action of the Comitia had been al- 
ready paralysed for half a century, and was now only quick- 
ened occasionally by the emperor himself to serve his own 
purposes, while, on the other, its presumed functions, though 
thus ostensibly abolished, were not in reality absolutely ex- 
tinguished. The Ainctions of the Comitia, whether the peo- 
ple met by tribes or centuries, were properly threefold, tho8€ 
of Election, of Legislation, and of Jurisdiction ; and it will 
be desirable to pause at this point of our narration, to review 
briefly the position in which the empire found these functions 
respectively. — 

L The popular privilege of election, whether of the high- 
er or the lower magistrates, had been limited by the first 
I. The eUefioB Cffisar, and after him by the triumvirs. In the 
ofmagistntea. plenitude of their confidence, the people had 
urged their patron, the Dictator, to assume the sole nomina- 
tion to all civil offices ; and it was by a mere act of grace on 
his part that the free choice of one half of them was remit- 
ted to the popular assemblies, while of the other he accepted 
only the right to nominate and recommend, the latter act 
being of course virtually equivalent to a direct appointment.' 
The proceedings of the triumvirs were merely irregular and 
revolutionary.* They grasped the direct appointment of all : 
but it was among the first cares of Augustus, on succeeding 
to his parentis inheritance, to return to the principles set 
forth by Csesar, and restrict himself to the nomination of one 
half of the magistrates, leaving to the assemblies of the 
tribes and centuries the unfettered election of the rest. He 
claimed only a veto on the nomination of unworthy candi* 
dates ; but while he reserved to himself the decision of what 
should constitute merit or demerit, he reduced in fact the 

^ With the exception of ibe consuls, the appointment of whom he reserred 
loleljr to himself: Dion, zliil 46. See alMve, <^ zzi 
■ Appian, iv. 2., r. Y8. ; Dion, xlvil 15., xlvl 85. 58. 

Digitized by 



Kicoession to all places of trust and power to a matter of 
personal &yoar. Such was the pretended restoration of the 
prerogatives of the people, for which Augnstus obtained 
credit : * it was a part of the general system of dissimulation 
with which he deceived a willing people, a system which 
could only succeed in the hands of one whose personal mer- 
its were dearer to them than any consistent AngMtMnom- 
theory of government. It was with a peculiar SJSf S^ 
feeling of complacency that they beheld, year c®"***^ 
after, the solemn mockery of the emperor's descent into the 
Field of Mars, when he led his clients by the hand, recom- 
mending their (daims, and asking for them the suffrages of 
all comers, till he finally registered his own vote in their be- 
bal£* Such was the practice of Augustus through the greater 
part of his long reign. Towards its close, when he could 
less ea^y bear the fatigue of this repeated exertion, he con- 
tented himself with furnishing his nominees with written 
credentials, and spared himsdf the trouble of attending per- 
sonally with them.' Even this was not precisely a novelty ; 
it was following the precedent of the Dictator, and it was 
accepted by the people as a sufficient recognition of their 
ultimate right of election. They continued to go through the 
ancient forms of polling, with the bridge, the penfold, and 
the urn ; and with respect at least to those places to which 
the emperor abstained from nominating, a stranger only his- 
torically conversant with the system of the freenstate might 
have found perhaps nothing in the methods of procedure to 
awaken him from his dream of the republic of the Scipios. 

With an instrument of government so conveniently ad- 
justed to his hand, so facile and flexible to every touch, it 

* Suet OeL 40.: *<Goiiiitionim prietiiram jus redoxit" Dion, ItI 46.: rd 

' Soei. OcL M. : ** Qqotiet mapatratuiim comltils interessety tribns com 
caafidatb mds cfacmnibat, sapplkabatque more solemnL Ferebat et ipse 8a£> 
fn^nm, ut mras e popnlo.** 

* DkB, Ir. S4.: ypdfifuira riva kxriBui mvicni rf re vTJftu koI t<,' d^ft^ 

Digitized by 


100 histout of the bohans 

,^^ is not likely that Augustus ever thought of plac. 

nates to tho ing further restrictions on the pretended freedom 
of election. Hberius, however, found it advis- . 
able to announce that the reform which he himself meditated 
had already been conceived and planned by his predecessor.' 
But the transfer of power, or rather of the show of power, 
which he made, did not extend to closing the assemblies 
_ ^ . . either of the tribes or centuries for purposes of 

The Oomlll* -^ -^ 

stui meet to ao- elcctiou. While he continued the system of nom- 

oopt tbeap-,. _ _, i-... 

pdntmentsof mation and recommendation, addressmg it not 
to the Comitia but to the senate, he still allowed 
the people to meet in their accustomed places, and with 
the ancient forms, to accept and ratify the choice of the su- 
perior order.' Hence we find the term Comitia still occasion- 
ally employed, though not quite correctly, to represent the 
election of magistrates ; and the meetings of the people in 
the booths or septa, and on the plain of the Campus Martins, 
continued to take place periodically to a much later period 
of the imperial history.* The candidates, already assured of 
their appointment, waited on the steps of the neighbouring 
temples while the auspices were taken and other tedious sol- 
emnities, which had long lost their significance, performed ; 
und these were finally closed by the announcement of a her- 

' Vdl. iL 124. : **Primuin principaliam ejus openim Aiit ordmatio comitlo> 
rum quam mana sua Bcriptam D. Augustus reliquerat'* The pretexts aeagiied 
may be surmised from the further remarks this author makes on the subject 
(C 126.): **revocata in forum fides; submota foro seditio, ambitio campo, dis- 
cordia cunse; scpultssque ac situ obsitte justitia, sequitas, industria civitati 

* Thus although in Asm. 1 16. Tacitus had sdd that the Comitii; were now 
transferred from the Campus to the Senate-house, in the eighty-first chapter of 
the same book he describes the action of the Comitia as stiU continuing: **De 
comitiia oonsularibus qu» tum primum illo princ^ ao deinoeps fhere Tix quid- 
quam firmare ausim: . . . ." Comp. Dion, MiL 20. I hare stated in the text 
wliat appears to liave been the ordinary arrangement ; but this, it must be un- 
derstood, was Subject to occasional irregularities. 

' The Comitia of the tribes under the empire met no longer in the Forum, 
but in the Septa Julia of Agrippa in the Campus Martius. Dion, liii. 28. 

Digitized by 



aid that the election had fallen on the nominee of the em- 
peror.* From henceforth, however, we are to consider not 
only that every consular appointment is made by the mere 
voice of the emperor, but that every other magistrate is 
chosen by the senate, partly on the imperial nomination^ 
partly with a show of free selectipn, and finally, that to these 
at least the popular sanction is also ostensibly given.' The 
effect of the reform, therefore, is after all not the transfer of 
any substantial power from the one assembly to the other, 
but simply an additional ray of pale and doubtful lustre 
cast on the laticlave of the senator. 

n. The second function of the Comiiia, that of legislation, 
stood on a somewhat different footing from that of election. 
The popular prerogative of choosing the officers ^^ Th« power 
of state had never been called in question through- ^ legiaiauon. 
out the career of the republic : it might be considered as ab- 
solutely inherent in the people and inalienable from them. 
Jealous of its own rights, and disposed to encroach upon all 
others, the senate notwithstanding had never ventured to 
claim a share in the appointment of magistrates who were to 
preside over the common weal. But the limits of the pop- 
ular authority in the making of the laws, on the other hand, 
had been a constant subject of dispute between the two great 
powers of the state. Previous to the enactment of the &- 
mous Lex Hortensia, one of the great charters of the rights of 
the commons, the Scita of the Plebs were not binding on 
citizens generally until they had been ratified by the senate. 

' See the description of this ceremony in Fliny, Pancff, 63., and the pas- 
gages from Suet DomiL 10. and Sencc ^. 118., which are brought to illus- 
trate it. 

* The practice of a later period, as described by Dion Q^m. 20.^ was prob- 
ably the same in sobetanoe as that of the Hberian : rOv d^d^ ludric dAAoc 
ipxof cuToinfTuv c^eXiyeTO 5awf ^OtXe^ kclI a^ ig rd awidptov hiirefiney rotf 
41^ cwtardc fnrrtfy ointp inzb n&vruv ^povvro, tovc Si iirl rk rote itxaUiftaat^ 
waX hd ry SfioXoyt^ rtf rk KKtip<^ voto()fievo^ • koI perii tovto ic rh rbv Siipmt 
Koi ic rb fcl^doc (the oentaries and the tribes) ol irpoo^wovrec tArif^ r^ ^PX<^ 
6etaQ Ivem, Koddmp Kai vvv Cxm h slxdvi doxetv ylyvetOtu^ laUnmt diredet 

Digitized by 



The Comitia of the tribes were now rendered completely in- 
dependent of the superior order: nevertheless it was some 
time before they asserted the powers thus secured to them in 
defiance of the senate, with which they had been long accus- 
tomed to co-operate harmoniously. The most flourishing 
period of the Roman free-state was that in which the two co- 
ordinate bodies were aware of their respective prerogatives, 
but each abstained from pressing them against the interests 
Independent of the othcr. While the people were the real 
i^'^Sm iS- depositaries of legislative i)ower, the senate en- 
dSSees o/wn- i^J^^ the right of nominating provincial govem- 
*^ ors, and through them of ruling the provinces : 

its decrees regarded the general administration of the em- 
pire, and these, as well as the appointments it made, were 
honourably respected by the assemblies of the commons. 
When, however, the Gracchi and their successors on the 
tribunitian benches thought fit violently to resent the advan- 
tages which the senate drew to itself fit>m this division of 
government, the several prerogatives of the two orders, 
never accurately adjusted, were easily made to clash. The 
equilibrium of mutual forbearance once disturbed, it was im- 
possible to restore the balance. Though the popular right of 
legislation was admitted, the senate had many ways of 
thwarting, as well as influencing it indirectly. The dema- 
gogues, to counteract this influence, resorted to the violent 
measure of requiring the assent of the senators to their most 
obnoxious propositions, under pain of judicial penalties.^ This 
state of chronic hostility and defiance was only for a moment 
suspended by the reforms of Sulla, who compelled the tribes 
to submit the iScita to the ratification of their rivals the sen- 
ate.* But the time had passed when the selfish and gnuqnng 
measures of the senatorial body could be reconciled with 
the claims of the inferior order to its ftdl share in the general 
government, and all Sulla's legislation fell with a crash 
together, under the pretended patronage of Crassus and 

> AppiaD, BdL CVr. I 29. • Applan, JBell. Civ. I 50. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


Pompeias. Henceforth the legislative monopoly of the oo- 
mitia remained nnqnestioned : it was only subject to tlie indi« 
rect checks still left in the hands of the consuls and augurs. 
It was perhaps from their consciousness of the existence of 
these checks, however, that the leaders of the people gen- 
erally contrived to secure the approval of a majority of the 
senate for their measures, and maintained to the last a show 
of concurrent legislation/ 

Nor had the senate indeed refrained, on its part, from 
encroaching on the legislative functions of its rivals, and 
snatching by various devices a substantive power xeguuttre 
of legislation for itselC It demanded that its SiTfaSSSk 
CoMuUa should have the same independent force ^^ "* ■®°**** 
aa the ScUa of the Plebs. As fer as regarded merely ad- 
ministrative regulations, there was nothing in this contrary 
to ancient and legitimate usage ; the SenatusconsuUtem Ultir 
mum^ so often alluded to, by which the senate gave full 
powers to the consuls in cases of emergency, was only an 
extreme application of its undoubted right to secure the 
efficiency of the executive in every act and movement. The 
senate pretended, however, still further to the right of 
annulling the resolutions of the comitia ; and here again an 
extreme Instance of its exercise has been more than once 
noticed, in the special release it accorded from certain laws, 
if not from the whole cycle of the laws of the commonwealth. 
To such encroachments the tribes were forced to submit 
whenever one of their tribunes had been gained by the oppo- 
site £M>tion, an event of no uncommon occurrence ; but no 
legitimate right could be established on a series, however 
long, of exceptional irregularities, against which the great 
body of the people had never fidled to protest Augustus, 
as the champion of the people, was careftil to give friU force 
to their legislative prerogative. Though he generally pro- 
posed his measures to the senate, and obtained its formal 
oonsent to the ordinances which emanated in fact from the 

■ See Dion, xxxvL *I. 20., xxxrdiL Y.; Appian. BdL Civ, il 12.; Hoeck, 
B8m, G€$^ L S. p. 68. 

Digitized by 



small committee of its body which he took into intimate 
counsel, he seems to have always submitted them to the 
comitia of the centuries also, and obtained for his Julian 
legislation the sanction of every order of the state.^ His 
long and busy reign sufficed to settle the principles of law ; 
it remained for his successor rather to regulate the details 
of government, than reconstruct its essential forms. Hence 
Tiberius, averse by temper to the multiplication of legal 
enactments, had little occasion to call into play the full 
machinery of law-making. With the wider diffusion of the 
franchise the resident citizens of Rome ceased to represent 
the interests of the conquering race ; while the provincials 
were assuming more real importance in the eyes of the ruler, 
and the administration of the provinces, which had always 
been the function of the senate, became more and more co- 
ordinate with the general administration of the empire. 
Accordingly, without any ostensible reform, or the direct 
abolition of the popular prerogative, we find the power of 
making laws practically withdrawn, under Tiberius, from 
the comitia of the tribes. Two instances only are known of 
Leges passed in the regular course under his administration, 
while the Conmlta of the senate arc sufficiently numerous.' 
But the rights of the people in this respect were never for- 
mally annulled ; and even through another century examples 
are cited of laws passed and ratified according to the usage 
of antiquity. The decrees of the senate, however, came, at 
least immediately after Tiberius, to be designated in many 
cases as laws, and to carry the full force of the more regular 

^ Hdneccins, AnAq. Romany I tit 2. 44. Projects of law which had been 
ssDotkmed bjr the senate were afterwards demanded (rogata) of the Comitia 
Cuntariata, by which they were ratified ss leges. But the Scita of the Comida 
Tributa were made eqniyalent to leges by the lex Hortensia. 

' The lex Jimia Korbana (Gd. t 22., iil 66. ; Ulp. L 10.), and the Lex Yl- 
eellia (Ulp. ilL 5. ; Hoedc, BSm, Oeteh, I 8. p. 69.). On the other hand, exam- 
ples ot senatosoonsulta constantly occur In Tacitus atad Dion. The whole 
series of the leges JnliaB is a monument of comitial legislation under Angostus. 

• Thus Ulpian (cariy in the third century, jl d.) says, " Non ambigitur scna- 

Digitized by 



We huve in this a second instance of the way in wliicb 
an appearance of authority was eiven to the senate, which 
in &ct was a mere idle show. The l^islative Transferred to 
pow^B of this assembly were restricted, just as ^^JS?oSi. 
the electrr e, by the real and substantial preroga- teth?empcw 
tive of the «nperor, supreme alike over all. ^^^^'^^ 
Much reliance,indeed, cannot be plaoed on the assertion of 
Dion that the s^iate formally invited Augustus to make 
what proposals he {leased, and proposed even to bind itself 
by an oath beforehand to accept them as laws ; for in the 
b^pnning of the empire the senate could hardly have as- 
sumed any such power of dispensing with the concurrence 
of the p<^ular assembly.^ That it obsequiously placed its 
own suffiage at his disposal is credible enough ; but even 
this is to be understood of an extraordinary and momentary 
abdication of its proper responsibility. Kor in £skct did Au- 
gustus himself definitively accept it. When, however, he 
chose himself a cabinet, consisting of a select number of sena- 
tors, including the consuls and princes of his own £unily, to 
confer witli on affiiirs of state, the senate did undoubtedly 
transfer all its proper functions to this body, which was in 
fact a standing committee of its own order, and was con- 
sidered to represent the wisdom of the whole. The measures 
which had been discussed and adopted by this conclave were 
still promulgated before the entire assembly, by which they 
were accepted with acclamation, and through this channel 
the prince of the senate acquired unlimited power of legisla- 
tion. Tiberius, it seems, did not retain this select counciL 
His measures emanated from his own breast alone, except 

turn jus facerc posse.^ Diff. L 3. § 9. AsconiaB had long before spedfied the 
cajes in which the senftte could control the l^isUtire prerogatiTe of the 
people : " Qaatnor onmino genera sont in qtiibns per senatmn more m^jonmi 
•tatnatur afiqnid de l^bus. Usimi est cjnsmodi, i^acere legem abrogari: idte- 
rm, qcm lex lata ease dlcetur ea non videri pi^nhim teneri: tertium est de 
legmn dcrogatioiiibiifl." The fourth case, whidi Asconins omits, refers to the 
Ufibm aoUfere, Asoon. tfi Cmnd, p. 61. ed. OrelL See Rdn, Cnmkud-Hethl 
drt MOm, p. 02. 
» IHoo, Ut. 10. 

Digitized by 



when he chose to take a private cotinsellor, such as Sejanus, 
into his confidence. He convened the Others to listen to an 
address from his own month, in which he explained the scope 
of his plans, and proposed them for the assembly's consider- 
ation ; or he put up some private member to make the propo- 
sition, when he chose to disgnise his own inclinations, fie 
introduced also the custom of sending a written despatch to 
be read to the assembly in his absence, in which his views 
on any project of law, proposed by himself or by another, 
were declared or insinuated.^ But in all these cases the 
senate was regarded as competent to discuss and amend, and 
even, if it had the courage, to reject, though the latter alter- 
native may have never been actually assumed. Many 
instances, however, are recorded of individual senators argu- 
ing upon the imperial proposition, and even condemning it, 
and, at least at the conmiencement of the Tiberian principate, 
it was deemed a refinement of flattery to affect such freedom 
of discussion. This, perhaps, is the limit to which the im- 
perial authority extended in the matter of legislation at this 
period : it was piracticaUy complete, but in outward show 
reached only to recommendation. It must be understood, 
however, that tUe senate, in its proneness to adulation, was 
constantly representing itself as the devoted slave of tbo 
prince, and the mere registrar of his decrees ; accepting, in 
short, the practice as if it were the law of the time, and 
satisfying its own pride and dignity by a mental reservation^ 
to the effect that its concession to its chief was a mere volun- 
tary cession of its undoubted prerogatives, which it might at 
any time resume, and which, in fact, on the death of each 
emperor, reverted ipso facto to itself, to be ceded to his 
successor or withheld from him at its own proper pleasure.' 

' The eiMBtola or libeUos of the piinceps was recited by one of the qumtora, 
who was called his candidatoa. IHgeO, L 13. § 4. : "Ex qiuostoiibus quidam 
Bant qui oandidati Prindpis dicuntixr, qniqiie epistolas ^jtis in aeoata legont" 

* It was not) I think, till the time of tho JUitonines, as we shall see her» 
after, that the Oratio or Bescriptom of the emperor was referred to in the 
same terms as a Lex. Comp. Di^eti, xxiii. 2. §g 57, 68, 60. 

Digitized by 



nL In regard to criminal jurisdiction the loss of the 
popular assemblies was still more complete and signal, while 
the senate, at least in outward appearance, gained 
an tliat the people had lost. From early times lua jnrudiotion 
tiiere had been a certain riyaby between the two and of £Se mi- 
powers in respect to jurisdiction, and the mutual 
limit of dieir prerogatives on this point was not strictly 
defined. The people in their centuries, — the assembly in 
which wealth and station were most fully represented, and 
not merely numbers, as in the tribes,— ^claimed the ultinoate 
right of deciding on the citizen's caputs that is, his civil 
status, and, at least in political cases, it was before this 
assembly tiiat the chief mi^istrates were required to summon 
offenders. But, on the one hand, the comitia of the tribes 
encroached gradually on this prerogative ; on the other, the 
senate claimed exclusive juris^ction over the acts of the 
citisem in the provinces, and, by some irregular and unex- 
plained usurpation, sometimes within the bounds of Italy 
also.* The last renmant of the supreme power originally 
inherent in the people, was the right of appeal to it, which 
was always possessed by the criminal in capital cases ; though 
even here too the senate presumed to evade the princifde of 
the law, by declaring in extreme cases the state in danger, 
and thrusting extraordinary powers in the hands of the con- 
suls. Thus the accomplices of Catilina were brought to trial 
before the senate, condenmed, and executed without appeal, 
much to their own astonishment at the vigour of the pro- 
ceeding, and not without great offence to the people, or 
at least to their leaders. But throughout the r^^^^^^v 
last century of the free state the jurisdiction *^«^^- 
both of the comitia and the senate was almost 
completely over-ridden by the institution of the Qucestiones 
perpehKB^ the permanent or fixed tribunals, and the old con- 

' TUsJnrisactlcm of the senate in the provinces was a part of its aiminifl* 
tnSkst eompetenoe therein throng its oiBoen. Poljbms asserts that in his 
tfane it had Jvis^ctfon also wtthfai the bounds of Italy in cases of treason, oon* 
ipvaqr, and murder. PoWbu tL 18. ; Hoecic, i 8. p. 08. 

Digitized by 



test between the two political bodies of the commonwealth 
was exchanged for a competition among its leading classes 
for admission to these tribunals, or a preponderance in them. 
The appeal to the people was tacitly extinguished by 
Augustus, who reserved the right of judgment in the la0t 
Tho appeal resort to himself alone, in virtue perhaps of his 
SoSf Se^io tribunitian i)ower, by which he was the consti- 
10 the emperor, tutcd guardian, and in some sense the Ticegerent 
of the tribes.^ But both he and still more his next successor 
invited the senate to take cognisance of many offences which 
had hitherto been subjected to the jurisdiction of the fixed 
^ , ^ tribunals. Meecenas, we are told, advised that 

Cognlsanoeor „ - . - . . , 

chfl»Magainst all chargcs against senators, their wives and 
children, should be referred to the senate alone ; 
and it has been supposed, no doubt too hastily, that the 
counsels popularly ascribed to this minister indicate the 
actual course pursued by his master.* In this case, however, 
it woiild be too much to affirm that either the first or the 
second princeps actually transferred from the tribunals to the 
senate the cognisance of all charges against members of its 
own body. In Piso's process, for instance, though the cul- 
prit was himself a senator, the prosecutors commence their 
proceedings by invoking tlie emperor to investigate the afiaii 
in person, and he declines the task as inconvenient rather 
than irregular. He goes on to say in his reply that, in re- 
mitting the affair to the judgment of the senate, he evinces 
Ills regard to the rank of Germanicus ; for in a less conspicu- 
ous case the appointed tribunal for murders would have been 

' The comitia of the centuries, as has been before remarked, represented 
the Roman people in thdr military character, and, therefore, were held, not in 
the Forom, but beyond the walls : the distinctiTe meaning and rights of this 
assembly became extinguished as the citizens ceased to oonstitate tiie military 
force of the r^ublic 

' Dion, liL 31. Hoeck relies on this passage as if it were an express state- 
ment of the law or practice mider Augustas. It is, however, pretty well un- 
derstood, as I hare dsewhere remarked, that the coonsds the historian putt 
into the mouth of Kiec^ias represent more correctly the usage of his own timc^ 
t. e. the tMrd century. 

Digitized by 


U5D£R THE EHPIfiE. 109 

fully competent to undertake ihe process.' It would appear, 
however, that the QusBStiones, though still existing, were 
gradually degraded from the high position they held under 
the republic. The senate receired jurisdiction in cases not 
<nily of Mc^estae and jRq)eiundcB, that is, of Treason and 
Extortion, but of Murder, Poisoning, Bribery, and others : 
and this was not confined perhaps to charges against mem- 
bers of its own order. A less inyidious and at the same time 
a more brilliant prerogative of this body, however, was that 
of deciding upon the offences of allies and dependent sover- 
eigns against the interests of the Roman state and its chie£ 
This was a function which the assembly had TheBeiMtoim. 
claimed from an early period, as the executive of bwomes^^e" 
the Roman people abroad ; new had it ever been ^^SS^^ 
wrested from the senate by the comitia, nor ^^^°* 
transferred to any special tribunal On the whole, the 
senate, frt>m the time of the Tiberian principate, may be de- 
scribed as a high Court of Criminal Jurisdiction of the most 
comprehensive kind. 

The Romans, consistently with their inveterate jealousy 
of all that savoured of monarchical authority, re^ed to as- 
sign the highest judicial competence to any single pjuvnoimt jn- 
judge ; and when the unwieldy proportions and e^|^SS?ito!** 
grofls unfidraess of such a tribunal as that of the '^ 
people themselves, assembled in their comitia, became no 
longer tolerable, they invented, in the Quiestiones Perpetuse, 
a sort of virtual representation of themselves by standing 
committees. The number of members of each of these boards 
might vary from three or four to twenty or thirty, or even 
more. Charges of inferior gravity were referred to a com- 
mission, consisting nominally of a hundred members, but 

' Toe Arm, iiL 12. : " Id solum Germanico snper leges prsesiiterimiis, quod 
In ooris potfau quam in foro, ipud senatom qoam apud jndicea, de morte ejus 
aaqaixitar." An ordinary case of murder would hare been tried by the qtto»- 
stores h omjq d ii in a basilica a^ioining the Forum. The qusstiones perpetosB 
were, by legil fiction, committees of the tribes, and the basilicas weie the oom- 
mitteeHrooms of the Forom, their place of assembly. 

Digitized by 



Bometimes in reality much exceeding that number. The 
vital principle of the most perfect syBtems of modem proce- 
dure, which secures the responsibility of the judge by isola- 
ting him from the rest of the community, and bringing public 
opinion to bear on him from the eminence of his character 
and position, was abhorrent from the democratical spirit of 
the Romans, and the fixed idea of their polity, that truth 
was to be found in the decidons of a majority. These views, 
however, were irreconcileable with the principles of mon* 
archy; and the emperor had, in &ct, no alternative, but 
either to ap}>oint special judges of eminence enough to make 
their decisions respected, or to become himself the controller 
of the decisions of a more numerous and less responsible 
body. From the moment that judicial competence was 
spread over a body of six hundred members, the concentra- 
tion of actual jurisdiction in the hands of their chief became 
inevitable. It is of little consequence, therefore, to inquire 
from which of his special frmctions the princeps might most 
logically derive the judicial prerogative which was soon 
found to attach to him ; whether it proceeded from the sover- 
eignty of the people lodged virtually in his person ; whether 
from the military autocracy of the imperium; or whether 
from the combination of the consular, the prooooflular, and 
the tribunitian powers, each of which undoubtedly confefred 
jurisdiction in particular cases. Of the first of these hypotii- 
eses, it may be remarked that the sovereignty of the people 
was certainly not at this, period directly and legitimately 
transferred to the emperor ; ^ of the second, that the judicial 
functions of the imperator were restricted to the camp ; • and 

' Even at a much later period the baais of the imperial power assumed bj 
Ulpian, after Gaius, is of com^ a mere legal fiction : " Quod populus d et in 
earn omnem suam potestatem conferat" 

* Dion affirms (Hii. 17.) that the emperor derived from his impeiimn the 
right of puttmg senatorB and knights to death withm the oity. This is one of 
many passages of this writer of the third century hi whioh he pats the admit> 
ted usage of his own daj on the footing of eariier and legithnate prindi^ea. 
n-e practice employed, as we shall see, by Tiberias himself; hi the latter part 

Digitized by 



of the last, that the jorisdiction of the three niagifitracieH 
aboye named wae in each case specifically limited ; nor would 
the combination of all together extend so far as to cover that 
claimed and exercised by the ^nperor, which was, indeed, 
practically onlimited. It may be admitted, however, that it 
was the jurisdiction of the emperor in these several capacities 
that gave him his ground of vantage for consolidating his 
more sweeping pretensions. In proportion as these powers 
themselves became more extensive, so did the judicial quali<^ 
cation they imparted become less strictly defined. The im* 
perial prerogative of Pardon was an extension or distortion 
of the tribunitian right of Succour ; that of revising or annul- 
ling the decrees of the senate was an exaggeration of the 
privilege of Intercession ; said we can imagine how, when the 
emperor was thus raised above all legitimate principle and 
usage, both accused and accusers might combine to cast 
themselves at the foot of the throne, and solicit the arbitra- 
tion of a judge from whose pre-eminence they might expect 
impartiality. The Romans, it must always be remembered, 
were to the full as impatient in thrusting irregular powers 
upon their ruler as he was in usurping them.' From the 
combination of both these impulses, the jurisdiction of the 
senate had become, before the death of the second princeps, 
entirely dependent on his direction ; and whenever his inter- 
ests were at stake, the judicial sentence of the fathers was no 
other than the expression of his will inspired by himsel£ In 
the same way, moreover, the decisions which he pronounced 
with his own mouth were generally merely the echoes of his 
private pleasure.* Accordingly, except in certain outward 

of his reign, was a mero tisarpati<m of the Bword, and bore no oonstitational 
Mnotion. It was predselj fbr sadtt nsurpadonB as tlxU that the acta of certain 
of the e m perora were fonnallj rescinded by the senate after their deaths. 

* Hence the memorable expression ascribed to Tiberias himself^ with regard 
to theBoman people: "0 homines ad senritntem paratos." The sentiment 
was no donbt commonly in men's mouths. So CsBsar in Lucan : ** Detrahimna 
domfauM vM serviro parato.*' Fhan, I 861. 

• See Hoeck, I 8. 68. ; citing Suet 7V>. 60. 62. ; Tac Arm, lil 70. 

Digitized by 



shoW) and the popular estimation thereto altaclnng, the 
senate derived little or no advantage fit>m its apparent 
triumph over the people in the matter of jurisdiction. In 
this as in other respects it was the mere passive instrument 
of the emperor's will, and its character became insensiblj 
degraded by the consciousness that all its magnificent pre* 
tensions were no better than empty shadows. With a set 
of high-sounding formulas ever in its mouth, it was, in fact, 
only blowing bubbles for the amusement of a frivolous popu- 
lace. — 

Such was the process by which the three sovereign rights 

of the Roman people were gradually taken from them and 

^ transferred in name to the rival body of the senate. 

BnproinacT of • 

the tmpwoT la but in £etct to the emperor himsel£ Henceforth 
ktton, ftndla- it depended on the personal character of the chief 
whether the government of Rome assumed or not 
the appearance of that autocratic despotism which it really 
was, however the fact might be disguised. As regarded the 
right of jurisdiction, Tiberius continued for the most part to 
maintain the principle of administration which he had assert- 
ed from the first, that of using the senate as the ostensible 
instrument of his government. He refrained generally, as in 
Piso's process, from assuming judicial powers himself, and 
referred all suitors fi>r his decision to the great assembly of 
the state. This moderation sufficed to satisfy the mass of his 
subjects. The reform of the rights of election caused but a 
slight murmur among the people from whom they were 
finally withdrawn ; ' the abolition of their legislative and 
judicial competence was accepted without a sign of mortifi- 
cation. The populace of Rome had bidden fiirewcU to all its 
political interests, and it is only from their connexion with 
politics that the rights of legislation and jurisdiction are ever 
interesting to the great body of a nation. The senate itself 
was flattered by the appearance of a victory over the rivals 
with whom it had waged such long and dubious warfare. 

' Tac Ann, I 15. : ** Neque popolos adcmptum jua qucstus est ni^i inaa* 

Digitized by 



It miglit amuse itself with the idea that it bad foand oom- 
pensation for the disasters of Pharsalia and Philippi, and 
that the chiefi who had heen borne to power on the shoulders 
of the popular party had been compelled, even in the moment 
of their eleyation, to negotiate the support of the i>ower 
which they had worsted in the field. But the _ 

, , . - 1 , « The emperor's 

pnnceps had m feet ffot the senate completely control over the 

,,..^ Z» ^ -, senate throoKh 

under his mfluence. The powers of the censure thepowors^ 
alone, the highest and most venerable perhaps ^* 

of any functions of administration, gave him, under the feirest 
disguise, a direct means of controlling it. The sum of twelve 
hundred thousand sesterces being fixed as the qualification 
for a place in the assembly, the emperor encouraged men of 
birth, whose fortunes had fallen below this standard, to 
apply to him for an increase of means ; at the same time he 
took care to let them feel, by an occasional repulse, accom- 
panied with harsh observations, how mere a matter of favour 
such an indulgenxse would be. After aiding, as peouon of a 
it was styled, the census of several of the body, p«»p«»en»t<w. 
his rejection of the petition of a pauper senator named Hor- 
talus, a grandson of the illustrious Hortensius, caused con- 
siderable dismay. How the wealth accumulated by that 
busy advocate had been dissipated, does not appear; but 
alr^Euiy under the principate of Augustus, Hortalus had 
received a pecuniary gratification, to enable him to marry 
and rear a family, and maintain the honours of his historic 
house. Still, however, was he haunted by the demon of 
poverty. Kising in his place in the senate-house, at the open 
doors of which he had stationed his four sons, and turning 
himself on the one hand to the bust of Hortensius, conspicu- 
ous among the images which adorned the hall, on the other 
to that of Augustus, he addressed a speech to Tiberius, en« 
treating him, in the names of both, to afibrd him the succour 
he required. But whether from a settled policy of degrading 
the representative of a great republican name, or from per- 
sonal dislike, or, as Tacitus insinuates, merely from a spirit 
of surly opposition to the inclination of the senators around 

TOL. T.— 8 

Digitized by 



him, Tiberius not only rejected the application, but rebuked 
it as presumptuous and importunate. The divine AtigustuSy 
he said, game you money epontaneotulyj without solicitation^ 
nor did he mean to bind himself or me to r^f^eat the same 
liberality on aU occasions. He consented, however, to gratify 
the senate by making a trifling present to the children ; after 
which he made no further effort to save the rapid decline and 
degradation of their house.* 

This control over the senate was still further assured by 
the right of its piinceps to convene it at his own pleasure on 
^ . extraordinary occasions, as well as to proroirue 

The emperor's . ,, '' , , ' . _ __ ^ , , 

control over uw its Ordinary sittmcrs. If be could not legiti- 
lawoT Mfljes- matcly require it to dmrm every proposition he 

placed before it, he was enabled at least to defeat 
at once any motion that was disagreeable to himself either 
by dissolving the assembly, or even by putting his veto up- 
on the transaction. The utmost liberty it continued to pos- 
sess extended not to acts, but merely to language, if the in- 
distinct murmurs and inteijectional sarcasms which were 
occasionally heard within its walls could be dignified with 
such an appellation. But every such indication of inde- 
pendent opinion, however disguised and smothered, was 
watched with a jealousy which the substance of power never 
allowed to slumber, and the law of Majestas or Treason, 
which Tiberius brandished ovec the heads of his counsellors, 
was an instrument of flexible and searching application for 
unveiling their hidden sentiments, no less than for controlling 
their conduct. 

Majestas, according to the Ovidian apologue, was the 
daughter of Dignity and Respect, who first after the disper- 
oriffte of th ^^'^^ ^^ primeval chaos taught the rules of oourt- 
•awofiiigM- esy to the rude and undisciplined divinities. 

Ages rolled away, and when the Giants rose in 

' Tac Ann, il 87, 88. 
•OTid,J^aity. 28.: 

Toneo Honos pUddoque decens Reyercniia Tulta 
Corpora to^timis imposaere torifl.** 

Digitized by 



armB to restore uniyersal anarchy, Jore oyerthrew them 
with his bolts, and defended the majesty of the gods, never 
agam to he presmnptnonsly asssiled. Henoe, she ever sits 
beside him; she cherishes and protects him; the awe in- 
spired by her influence m^es his sceptre to be obeyed with- 
oat force of arms. She has descended also npon the earth. 
Romnlos and Numa acknowledged and adored her ; nor less 
did their saccessors, each in his own generation. She it is 
that makes oar fstthers and mothers to be respected; she at- 
tends upon oar y oaths; she protects oar virgins ; she com- 
mends to the consul his fasces and ivory chair; finally, she 
rides aloft on the laurelled chariot of the imperator/ Sach 
was the language by which a flatterer of Augustus might 
divert the imagination of his countrymen firom the idea of 
the abstract majesty of law and constitutional principle, to 
that of the glory which surrounded the person of the ruler; 
irom the recollection of kings and consuls to the contempla- 
tion of the emperor himself over whom all the ensigns of 
office were suspended. Under the empire the law of majesty 
was the legal protection thrown round the person of the 
chief of the state : any attempt against the dignity or safety 
of the community became an attack on its glorified repre- 
sentative. Nevertheless, it is remarkable that the first legal 
enactment which received this title, half a century before 
the foundation of the empire, was actually devised for the 
protection, not of the state itself but of a personage dear to 
the state, namely, the tribune of the people. Treason to the 
state indeed had long before been known, and defined as 
PerdueUtOj the levying c^ war against the commonwealth. 
Laws on this subject had existed from the time of the kings. 
But the crime of majesty was first specified by TbeUx Apa- 
the demagogue Apuleius, in an enactment of the ^•'^ ^«^- ^ 

HoDot and Beverentia are correlatives: the one is the honooiable atation or 
sffioe^ the other the respect due to it 

'* ma datoe DsMces commeadat, eburqne curole ; 
IDa oorooatia alta trinmphat eqiiis.'* 

Digitized by 



year 054, for the purpose of goarding or exalting the dignity 
of the champion of the plebs. Any attempt against the pre- 
rogatives of this popular officer was declared to be an as^ 
sault on the greatness and dignity of the commonwealth 
itself: to detract from the majesty of the tribune was an 
offence which the new law smote with the penalties of 

The law of Apuleius was followed by that of another tri- 
bune, Yarius, conceiyed in a similar spirit. But it was the 
object of SuUa, in the ample and methodized 
^ lex Como-' scopc of his Comclian constitution, to withdraw 
the definition of majesty from a mere offence 
against public officers, to attempts on the general interests 
of the commonwealth. The dictator conceiyed and em- 
bodied, in the spirit of a proud republican, the noble sentir 
ment of a patriot of our own, that There is on earth a far 
diviner thing^ Veiled though U be^ than parliament or king. 
He recalled men^s minds from the vulgar personifications to 
which democracy naturally inclines, to the higher abstrac- 
tions of an enlightened political wisdom. The distinction 
between Majestas and Perduellio henceforth vanishes : the 
crime of Treason is specifically extended from acts of vio- 
lence to measures calculated to bring the state into con- 
tempt. It is made to include not only acts of commission, 
but many cases of the neglect or imperfect performance of 
duty.' It is now majestas in a public officer, not only if he 

' Among the numeroiifl treatifles upon tfaifl sabjeot I have particiilariy re- 
ferred to some chapters in the wixk of Bern, on the Criminal Law of the Bo- 
mans. He asdgns the date of the lex Apuleia to 664 u. a, not 652. The per- 
sonal application of the law appears in a passage of Gcero {De Invent ii. VJ.) : 
" Migestatem minoisti qnod tribunum pL de templo dedoxisti ; " but the moro 
general definition of the crime is given in the Ad Eermn, IL 12. : " Majestatem 
is minuit) qui ea tollit, ex qaibns dvitatis amplitado constat** Agidn, the two 
branches of the crime are combmed in one Yiew (De ^wmL ii 17.): ** Hijes- 
tatem minuere est, de dignitate, ant amplitadine, aut potestate populi, ant eorum 
quibus popnlns potestatem dedit, aliqnid derogare : ** or once more, ** Aliquid 
de re poblica, qonm potestatem non habeas, administrare.** Rdn, Orim,-JiedU 
ier HOfmer, p. 609. 

* Thus on the words of C^cerc aj^last 7crres (2 Vcrr, I 8S.), " Quid im- 

Digitized by 



wages war withont due authority from the state, or betrays 
his trust to the enemy, or foments sedition among the citi- 
zens or mutiny among the soldiers ; but if he shrinks from 
asserting to the frill the prerogative of his office, whether 
military or civil, or forbears to deliver his prisoners to the 
proper authorities for pxmishment or ransom.^ To remove or 
overthrow a monument of the glory of the commonwealth, 
such as a statue or a trophy, might afford ground for a 
charge of this nature, as wounding the pride of the nation 
or touching its honour." 

The motive for Caesar's legislation on the subject of ma- 
jestas, in which he went further iuto details than Sulla, but 
in no respect diverged from his principles, was no other per- 
haps than a determination to obliterate every monument of 
the usurpation of the senate, and its redoubted dictator. 
Cffisar was the hereditary antagonist of Sulla, and, to com- 
plete the frill cycle of his rivalry, it was necessary that he 
should emulate his predecessor in legislation as well as in 
arms and administration. The chief provisions TheiexJuiia 
of the lex JuMa on this subject have been pre- ^ M^ert«t«. 
served to us by the jurists of the later empire ; but we are 
not perhaps quite competent to decide how far the law, as it 
came frt>m Julius himself, was modified by his next succes- 
sors. It is still a disputed point whether Augustus promul- 
gated any distinct lex Julia of his own upon Majestas^ 
though there is no question that in some respects he ex- 
tended the law of his predecessor, including in his definition 
the publication of written pasquinades against the emperor, 
as an indirect mode of bringing the person of the ruler into 

mmmsti jua legationifl,'* the Paeudo-Asoonius remarks (Orell. p. 182.): "Qui 
potestatem snaxn In administrando non defenderit, imminoti magistratus veloti 
mi^jestatia Ibbsk reus est** 

* Onaar'a Ja?enito act d audacity in pmushiiig his captive pirates, and re- 
iosiDg to ddtver them to his superior officer, was a defiance of the Cornelian 
kw of Xi^CBtas. 8ee abore, di. ill 

' This is oaie of the chatges Gieero brings ag^unst Yorres (2 Verr, ir. 41.), 
of wliich he afBirms, " fist nu^jestatasqaod imperii nostriglorisDroramcpiepiibi 
icaran momimenta erertere atqoe aq[>ortSTe ausos est*' 

Digitized by 



oonteinpt, and smoothing tbe way for disaffection and re- 
sistance. This is perhaps the only trace of any desire on 
the part of the two first emperors to give the law a special 
application for their own protection ; and even in the Corne- 
lian law some provision seems to have been made to check 
the licence of railing against the constituted authorities.^ 

It will be important, for the jost appreciation of later 
usage in respect to this grave offence, the highest, except 
sacrilege, known to the Roman law, to place before our eyca 
a comprehensive sketch of the Julian enactments regarding 
^ ^ , ^ it. Majestas, then, was defined to be injury to 

Provision 8 of , n • ^ f • 

the Julian Law the State : — 1., lu respect of its public enemies, as 
^ ^' by the surrender of cities or persons, the abetting 
or assisting them in their enterprises, desertion to them, cow- 
ardice in action against them, and the like : 2., in respect of 
its internal constitution, as by illicit combinations, clubs, and 
conspiracies, or more openly by sedition and riot : 3., in re- 
spect of its officers, as when one magistrate encroached on 
the functions of another, or withheld from his successor the 
forces of his province, or released a criminal from punish- 
ment, or made war without public authority; or, again, 
where one compassed the death of a public officer, or wrested 
from him his prerogatives : 4., from the falsification of the 
public documents. — ^It was necessary to the establishment of 
the crime to prove the criminal intention ; but the attempt 
was held to be equally obnoxious to the law as the act it- 
self and the accomplice by aid or counsel was amenable to 
the same punishment as the principal.' This punishment 
was simple and uniform. It consisted in the interdiction of 
fire and water, which was practically equivalent to banish- 
ment, and was attended with confiscation of property, being 

' CSc ad DUl iU. 11. : "£t bI Sulla ToluU ne in quemvis impune dedamare 

' See Rein {Mrnvnal-Becht^ pp. 618-628.), chiefly from the writings of the 
jorista. Tacitos {Jbm, L V2.) statea the prino^>le of the law: '*Si qqis pro* 
ditione exerdtum ant {debem BeditionibnB, denique male gesta re pnblica miyes- 
tatem popnli Roman! minuiaBet : facta ai^ebantur, dicta impune erant*' 

Digitized by 



the same penalty which attached to the more ancient crime 
of perdaellio/ The trial of charges of this kind was regu- 
larly reserved for one of the special tribmials. 
During the brief period of Csesar^s power it guBtDsinite 
does not appear that Hiis tribunal was ever *^^ 
called into action. Trials for majesty were few even un- 
der the long piincipate of his successor. Augustus care- 
fully abstained from the employment of an engine which 
he well knew must, fiY)m the nature of things, tend to 
fix in men's minds a sharp distinction between the chief 
of the state and the state itself The sacredness which 
attached to the tribunitian office, now vested in himself, 
Goxdd not &il to raise the person of the ruler above the ab- 
stract ideas of constitutional principle; but he was anxious 
not to hasten the moment when the people of Rome should 
regard the law of treason merely as a device for their ruler's 
security. He felt himself protected by other and stronger 
safeguards ; while the chief danger of his position actually 
lay in the risk of his disguise being torn too rudely fi'om 

It has been already shown how the natural policy of Ti- 
berius pointed in another direction. The second princeps 
required qpecial guarantees for his security. 
Aocordinely, from the very conunencement of protection do- 

.^^' , , ^ . , .. manded for tho 

ms reign, we mark a change m popular opmion, penon of the 
which he fostered and encouraged. The person *™^^*^' 
of the emperor begins now to be the great subject of the law 
of treason : though not formally so pronounced, the idea that 
the emperor is himself the state begins to predominate in the 
nationid feeling over every other. The emperor is now in 
the world what the gods are in Olympus, a being to be 
reverenced and feared simply for himself, without regard to 
his attributes, or the qualities he may be supposed to em« 
body. Attempts on his life become heinous deeds, only to 

' Tae. Aim, ilL 60.: "Bonis udIb^ aqua et igni aroeator: quod perinde 
cenaeo ao si kga mi^jeatatlf teneretnr." Comp. iil $8. 68^ ir. 42. ; Paulns, t. 

Digitized by 



be compared with sacrilege against the blessed divinities. 
Not only such overt acts, however, but any conduct or lan- 
guage which could be construed into the compassing of his 
death, became involved in the crime and penalties of treason. 
Rome was full of soothsayers or magicians, who pretended, 
by casting horoscopes or evoking dead men's spirits, to com- 
municate a knowledge of future events. By playing on the 
credulous cupidity of heirs or fortune-hunters, these impos- 
tors acquired wealth and consideration. In the age of Catul- 
lus, a wicked parent might wish for the death of his son, or 
the son disclaim all sorrow for the loss of his parent : but in 
the next generation Ovid could represent the guilty spend- 
thrift as inquiring into the years of the sire who stands be- 
tween himself and fortune.* To inquire thus into the years 
of the emperor, to explore, that is, the secret of his destined 
term of life, was now reputed treasonable : there must be, it 
was argued, some stronger motive for such an inquiry than 
mere indecent curiosity: the man who sought to ascertain 
beforehand the day of the emperor's doom must have some 
illicit interest in the dire event ; he must cherish the hopes 
of a traitor in his heart.* Not only pasquinades and inju- 
rious publications of every kind directed against the emperor 
were now comprehended in the qualification of majestas, but 
also abusive and insulting language, which Augustus had so 
magnanimously tolerated. The two first Caesars, and gener- 
ally the best and wisest of their successors, allowed ample 
licence to the tongue, in the fi*eedom of which the Romans 
continued to demand indulgence long after they had sur- 

' Compare, among the signs of human degeneracy in Coiallua, Ur. 401. : 
'* Destitit eztinctos natos higere parenteB : 

OpUvit genitor primaBvi funcra nati *' 

irilh Ovid, Metam, i 148. : 

'* Bliu8 ante diem patrios inquirit in annoa." 
' Paulus, >. 21. 8. : " Qui de salnte prindpis vel de smnma reipublica 
mathematioos .... consolit, com eo qd responderit capite punitor.** TertaH 
ApoL 85. : " Cut opus est perscrotaii super OnBaiis salute, nisi a quo aliqdd 
adversus illmn cogitatut yel optatur aut poet ilium speratur et susUnetur ? *' 

Digitized by 



rendered all independence of action.* This licence of Ian* 
goage was fostered by the manner of their edu- ucenoe of 1mi- 
catioD« We have seen how they were brought Sl^^ow^ 
up from childhood as gladiators in the arena of ™*^ 
debate and declamation: fence of tongue was the weapon 
with which they were to maintain against every assailant 
their honour, their fortunes, and their lives. Beadiness of 
speech and ease in the handling of the weapons of retort and 
sarcasm were carried from the schools of rhetoric to the tri- 
bunals of the forum, and again from the places of their pub- 
lic exercise to the private assembly or banquet. Scurrility 
of language was indeed characteristic of the Italians, and was 
common to all classes: it extended from the senators and 
knights to the lowest of the populace ; it startled alike the 
decorum of patrician nuptials and enlivened the humours of the 
Saturnalia. The coarse ribaldry of the Fescennine farces 
embodied the same spirit of unbounded personality which 
glows in the polished sentences of Cicero, or flashes from the 
point of an epigram of Catullus. According to Roman hab- 
its of thought, and agreeably perhaps to the theory of the 
Roman polity, the private life and habits of the citizen were 
as much the property of his fellow-countrymen as his con- 
duct in pubUc aflairs. His domestic vices were charged as 
crimes against society, and an accusation of bribery or extor- 
tion was habitually introduced by a pretended exposure of 
sins of lewdness or intemperance. This licence of de&mation 

' ntie laws of the twdve inbles had specified defamatory wriiioga, or pub- 
fictlion generally, as one kind of Ii\jaria ; but the exocssirc seyerity of the 
peoalfty, iriiich was no leas than death, seems to show that the crime was not 
practically yisUed at all. The disose of this process gave occasion for the 
praetors to issue notices against libd in their edicts, and one or two cases occur, 
under the free state^ of actions for slander, for satirical writings, or misrepre- 
sentations on the stage. Fines and ciril in&my were the penalties now attadied 
to tiib oflfenoe. Sulk, and alter him Augustus, le^slated speeifically upon the 
subject of th4 fiunosi libelli; confining themselyes, however, to writings only, 
and allowini; ftafl Hcenoe to merely oral abuse. For the proceedings of Augus- 
tus, see Soet OeL 61. ; Tac. Ami, L 72. See this subject fully discussed by 
Bm, pp U4 S&S, 

Digitized by 



was the birthright of the free Roman, of which he was often 
more jealous than of his independence in thought and action. 
He might subject himself to the arbitrary authority of a tri- 
bune or a dictator without a murmur, as long as he was per- 
mitted to retort upon them with jests and scandalous anec- 
dotes. No goyemment could maintain itself on the basis of 
popular opinion without repressing these extravagant excess- 
es. When the chief of the state was raised to an endnence 
from which he could not descend into the arena of personal 
controyersy, it became a necessary act of policy to restrain 
the licence of attack by measures of adequate severity.* 

Two accounts are given us of the provocation whidi in- 
duced Augustus to extend or restore the laws against de&mar- 
tory writings. On the one hand, we are told that 
suataiandTi-' he was offended by the licentiousness of a writer 
n>eot to ii^a- named Cassius Severus, who lashed the most illus- 
as iftngiug*. ^yj^^g Qf the citizens of both sexes indiscriminately." 
We may infer, therefore, from this statement, that the em- 
peror now afforded the protection of the law to women as 
well as to men, which was probably a novelty ; at least, the 
principle of the original laws of libel was founded on the civil 
dignity of the citizen, to which a woman could lay no claim.* 
On the other hand, it is stated that he was moved to this 
course by an attack made on himsdf by Junius Novatus, a 
partisan of the unfortunate Agrippa. If this be true, the 
confirmation of the law must have been among the latest acts 
of the aged emperor^s reign.* In either case, its does not ap- 
pear that the first princeps gave himself any other protection 

* On <me occasion Angnstus threatened to retort: "Faciam sdaf .^Hanua 
et me lingoam habere; plara erlm de co loquar : " bnt he abstained novcrtho- 
leflfl from oommitting himself to the nneqaal encomiter. Saet Oct 61. 

* Tac. Aim, L 12, : " Commotua Oassii Severl Ebidine qui viros foeminasque 
Ulustres procaonms soriptiB difiamaverat.'' 

' Ii^jmia was aoTthing which onfarourablj afitscted the pubHc estimation 
of a citizen, and consequentiy his power of serving the state. Bat Angnstus 
treated Defiunation not as Injuria, but as tf^f estas, the greater scope of which 
enabled him to throw the sliield of the law over iUustriooB women also. 

* Suet Ocl,lc 

Digitized by 



in this partioular than what he allowed to* every citizen. As 
T^aarded himself, he is said to have been yiery mild in prose- 
eoting or punishing this o£^2Dce, and to have refused to in- 
inqnire at all into mere oral invectives.* Very different, 
however, was the conqluot in this respect of his uneasy suc- 
eessor. The awkward and img^oial manners of Tiberius 
had been an early subject of ilkiatured remark : he was al- 
ready accused of gross intemperance, against which many 
pungent epigrams were directed.' But as he rose in iBmi- 
nence and power, the attacks on him assumed a more serious 
fbrm, impugning his character as a ruler, imputing to him 
crusty beyond the law, and a pride indecent even in the first 
of the citizens* The free insinuation of disagreement be- 
tween the prince and his mother might lead to inconvenient 
revelations of his domestic privacy.* When on his first ac- 
cession to power his pleasure was taken by the praetor about 

' Suet OcL 55. He cpnt^nted himself, according to this writer, with con- 
tradicting bj proclamatioii some of these attacks, and forbade the senate to 
prohibit by a decree the introduetion of pbethmnons abuse of the emperor in 
wBIg. B«t Dion (hi 27.) eaya that he caused some libels ogainst hhn to be 
bunt, and punished the wiiterg. 

* Snet. 1V>» 42. The 6ui^>08ed firagment quoted bj Burmann is in fact this 
passage of Soctomus versified : 

" Exinde plebs QuiriUum vocavit 
Non Claudium Tiberium Neronem, 
Sed Galdium Biberium Meroncm." 
Comp.Suct TiB. 69.: 

** Fastidit Yinum qnia jam sitit iste cmorem ; 

Tam bibif hunc avide quain bibit ante memm.^* 
• Tac Ann,X 72: "Hunc quoque asperarere carmhiay hioertis auctoribua 
Tidgata, in tosritiain superfaiamque ejus, ei disoordem com matre flnhuun.'* 
We maj coi^eeive the ^ffhot on prince oad peopAe of soch anepigram as ihe 
Ibflofiriiig placarded ioa the walls of a iiM>dem £ur(^>ea^ 

**jLsjpict felioem tibi non tibi, Bcmule, Sullam : 
Kt Marinin A vis aspieei sed reducem : 
Nee non Antoni civilia bella moventis, 

Neo semel infeotus aspke csode manus : 
Bt cSc^ Boma pent: regnabit sanguine multa 
Ad r^um quisquis venit ab exsilio." 

Digitized by 



the appointment of the special oommiasion for Majestas, he 
eyaded the question with a general reply. He did not intend 
to alloTT these cases to Ml under the jurisdiction of an inde- 
pendent tribunal, but to reserve them for the cognisance of 
his own instrument, the senate; or perhaps at this time he 
had not really determined what course he should pursue. 
At first he met such accusations with a magnanimity worthy 
of a great monarch : Let them hate me^ he was heard to ex- 
claim, 08 long 08 in their hearts they reyi>eot me; in a free 
state, he added, both mind and tongue should be free: but 
unfortunately he could not maintain this elevation of senti- 
ment, and the bitterness with which he presently revenged 
himself on his detractors was supposed to prove that the 
charges against him were pointed with the &tal sting of 

When, however, it once became known that the new 
princeps was jealous of his estimation in the minds of the 
Crime of Mid- citizens, and would not suffer himself or his 
J^^^^^ position to be disparaged by railing defemation, 
to wofda. there were many to urge him forwards, and im- 

pel him beyond the bounds he may have originally prescribed 
to himself It was impossible to maintain any clear distinc- 
tion between the guilt of written and merely spoken libels. 
It might be said, indeed, that the one admitted of direct 
proo^ while the other could only be prosecuted on the pre- 
carious ground of hearsay evidence ; or that the one argued 
deliberate intention, the other might be a momentary ebulli- 
tion of thoughtless spleen ; or, lastly, that the one was a 
crime recognized by the ancient laws, the other was not less 
expressly countenanced by them as a privilege of the Roman 
freeman. But all these considerations gave way, and not 
unjustly, to the conviction that the malice might be the same, 
the injury equal in either case, and that common sense and 
equity demanded that they should both be brought under 

* Suet Tib, 42.: '^Oderint dam probent: ddn rem oertaqae esse ipse 
fecit fidem.** 28. : ** In oiviUte libera Hngvam mentemque liberas esse de- 

.Digitized by 



the same category of crime. Tiberias was encouraged, not 
by courtiers only, but by jurists and philosophers, in extend- 
mg the definition of majesty from writings to words ; and in 
so doing, he only carried out a sound and reasonable princi- 
ple. But this was not alL It was easy to see that there 
might be many other ways of bringing the person of the 
sovereign into contempt, besides either writings or words. 
The same jurists who could not blind themselves to the 
logical sequence from one of these to the other, were at a 
loss to distinguish from them a variety of actions, some 
monstrous and many merely ridiculous. Thus Falanius, a 
knight of obscure position, was accused of disre- oanstrncUTo 
spect to the princeps, amounting to the guilt of Sae^F^b- 
treafion, inasmuch as he had admitted a low and te?M^'^^'* 
profligate actor to assist in celebrating the rites a. p. 15. 
of the deified Augustus. Another of the same ^.r-Tea. 
class, named Rubrius, was charged with having forsworn 
himself in the name of that illustrious divinity, and again, of 
allowing, at the sale of a villa, the sacred image to be sold 
along with it. It was pretended that disrespect towards the 
deceased Cssar was an injury to his living successor. But 
Tiberius refused to subscribe to this doctrine. He wrote a 
letter to the consuls in favour of the accused, asserting that 
Livia herself, in exhibiting games in her husband's honour, 
had not deemed it requisite to inquire into the life and man- 
ners of all the professional people she employed ; adding that 
perjury in the name of Augustus was no more a subject for 
human laws than the violation of an oath to Jupiter ; and 
ending with the memorable aphorism, profime perhaps in the 
mouth of any one not himself next of kin to divinity, that 
the gods should be left to mind their own. honour.^ About 
the same time a man of higher rank and oharac- cue<aGmdiu 
ter, named Granius Marcellus, apparently a con- MwceUiw. 
nexion of the imperial house, then pnetor of Bithynia, was 

' Tac. Ann, LIZ.: ^ Jnsjurandiim perinde SBStimandum qoam si JoTom fo> 

Digitized by 



accused by an officer of his own staff of having uttered ir 
conversation some reflections on the emperor's personal 
habits ; a charge which, we are assured, it was impossible to 
refute, so strong was the presumption against any man of 
having remained on the profligacy which was notorious to 
all the world. But a more specific charge against the prastor 
was that of having placed his own effigy in a higher and 
more conspicuous place than those of the Caesars, which, as 
remotely connected with his family, adorned the hall of his 
mansion : it was even suggested, as an impious flattery at 
which the emperor's modesty would revolt, that he had re- 
moved the head from an image of Augustus, and replaced it 
with that of his living successor. In this case also Tiberius 
rebuked the officious zeal of the prosecutor. The culprit was 
acquitted of the charge of treason ; but he happened to lie 
at the time under a charge of extortion in his province, and 
on this the senate was permitted to condemn him.* 

But of all the charges of this nature now preferred, none 
was more extravagant than that against Lutorius Prisons, a 
CaseofLuto- knight who had obtained great success with 
1*115 PriscuB. some verses he had composed on the death of 
Gcrmanicus. Tiberius himself, relaxing from his usual re- 
serve and parsimony, had rewarded the well-timed compli- 
ment with an imperial largess. On the occasion of an illnesA 
which occurred to Drusus, the poet was tempted to try the 
fortune of hid muse again, and prepared a second dirge, in 
anticipation of a second demise in the Caesarean family. 
Drusus recovered ; but the author's vanity prevailed over 
prudence and propriety, and he recited his verses before a 
fashionable audience. The ifiatter became noised abroad, an 
information was laid against the culprit, and on the motion 
of Haterius, a consul designate, the senate condemned him to 
death as guilty of speculating on a Caesar's death, and there- 
fore, by an easy inference, of compassing it by wishes and 
prayers. Of the senators two only ventured to excuse him 

' Tac Atm. 1 14. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


on the groond of thoaghtleseness and levity: exile they 
woidd have regarded as safficient punishment for a £tult 
which conld hardly he expected to find imitators. But their 
representations were unavailing. The wretched man was 
dragged to prison and immediately strangled. Tiherius, 
who was absent from Rome at the time, was mortified at this 
sanguinary proceeding, and still more, perhaps, at the in- 
decent haste with which it had been conducted. Refiraining 
from any direct censure of Haterius, or the senate generally, 
he contented himself with praising the sentiments of the 
more merciM minority, and decreed that henceforth an inter- 
val of ten days should always elapse between sentence and 
execution, to leave room fi^r the exercise of pardon. 7%is 
considerate provision continued in force not only during the 
government of Tiberius, but under his successors also.^ 

But the senate pietended, in its servile adulation, to 
grieve at the restraint which the emperor thus imposed on 
its headlong zeal in defence of his dignity. A oigeofEnniua. 
knight named Ennius was soon afterwards do- a.d.22. 
nonnced for having melted down an image of the ^ ^- ^^ 
emperor, and converted it into plate for the service of the 
table. On this oocasion Tiberius peremptorily forbade pro- 
ceedings to be instituted. Thereupon, Ateius Capito, now 
grown grey in reputation as the most eminent jurist of his 
times, assumed the tone of injured liberty, and complained 
that the Others should be debarred from the free exercise of 
their undoubted right of judgment : the crime, he declared, 
was a grave one, and however mild he might be in avenging 
a xHivate wrong, he for one could not suffer the majesty of 
the republic to be assailed with Impunity. Tiberius knew 
the man, the hoary apologist for the Caesarean usurpation, 

' For the story of Lntorius PriBona, see Tac. AnsK iH 49-51^ under the 
date 1. u. 774. i. d. 21. Dion (in IviL 16.) relates that a certain Yibius RuAis 
prided lumself on poeseflung two great cnriositiefl, the relict oi doero, and the 
dMdr ia which Onsar was slain, as if the one could make him an orator, and 
the other an emperor; and seems to think it showed great moderation in Ti* 
berios to oreilook sndi a treasonable Imagination. 

Digitized by 



and could appreciate at its proper value this empty show of 
zeal for independence. He paid no regard to the objection, 
but persisted in his interference ; not displeased at the 
jealousy with which the jurist was henceforth more gener- 
ally regarded, who thus disgraced his own name, and de- 
graded in the eyes of the citizens the dignity of his sci- 

Such, indeed, was the proneness of the senate to this 
mode of flattery, that no public charge against an illustrious 
CMeofSUaniw. citizen seems to have been thought complete, 
^^ ^ unless coupled with the imputation of disrespect 
A.V.11S. towards the emperor.* Thus about the same 
time we hear of Silanus, proconsul of Asia, being accused of 
extortion; but no sooner was the impeachment set forth, 
than a consular, an sedile, and a praetor started up with some 
other vague charges against him, as that he had profaned 
the divinity of Augustus^ and disparaged the mqjesty of 
TiberixM, In the trial which followed, the emperor seems 
to have disdained to take notice of these accessory incrimi- 
nations. The case against Silanus was sufficiently clear. 
He had not the courage or the eloquence to defend himself, 
but threw himself despairingly on the imperial clemency, and 
the dignity of his own fiunily, for protection. Tiberius, 
however, fortified by the conduct of Augustus in a case of 
similar guilt, and glad to gratify the popular sentiment by 
making an example of so noble a culprit, encouraged tho 
senate to proceed to sentence against him ; and when it de- 
creed the punishment of relegation to an island, interfered 
only to mitigate the penalty by naming Cythera as the place 
of confinement, instead of the more inhospitable rock of 

Tiberius had exhibited similar magnanimity in two pre- 
vious cases, which are reserved to be mentioned together, 

> Tao. Aim, iiL 70. 

' Tac. Ann. iil 88. : ** PostulaTerat repetundis, addito Bujefitatis crimtne, 
:|iiod tnm omnium aooosatioDimi oomplemeotum erat" 
* Tao. Ann, iil 66-69. 

Digitized by 



beoaoBe they relate to women ; for political 

, / , /. . Caseof Apulota 

charges against women were a new feature m uidLepkbk 
Roman procedura Apnleia Yarilia was a con- a.d.i7. 
nejdon of the imperial fiunily, being a grand- 
daaghter of Octayia ; as such, the crime of adultery, with 
whi<di she was charged, beclEune on offiaice against the law 
of Majesty. But to enhance her giiilt, expressions of disre- 
spect towards Augustus and Tiberius, aud even against 
liyia, were imputed to her. Upon the first and principal 
charge the emperor was satisfied with referring the prosecu- 
tors to the Julian law of adultery : he refioused to listen to 
the charge of disrespect towards himself and his mother ; the 
inonuation of an offence against the sanctity of Augustus he 
would alone permit to be made the subject of inquiry. This 
last charge speedily ML to the ground ; but the licentiousness 
of an illustrious matron, which was amply proved, was pun- 
ished with removal beyond the two hundredth milestone.' 
Nearly similar to this was the case of Lepida, who combined 
with her .^Smilian ancestry a connexion with the SuUan and 
Pompeian houses, and who was esteemed of sufficient politi- 
cal importance to be subjected to charges of adultery and 
poi6<m]ng, aggravated by inquiries through the soothsayers 
into the destinies of the imperial fiunily. In this instance, 
also, we find Tiberius exercising great moderation in regard 
to the charges which affected himself, first desiring the senate 
to dismiss them idtogether^ and when it persisted, forbidding 
the examination of l^e culprit's slaves against her. She was 
ultimately convicted on the other accusations, and interdicted 
&re ai^ watar ; but even then, the confiscation of her estates, 
whidi diould properly have followed, was remitted.' 

Such was the moderation of Tiberius for several years 
from the commencement of his reign, in the defence of his 
own person and position ; such was the difficulty ^he injustice 
m which he was placed by the overweening zeal aSj^w??^ 
of flatterers, and still more by the ambition or «!«»*«**<«». 

Tac Ann. ii 60. * Tac. Ann, iiL 22, 28. 

VOL. v.— 9 

Digitized by 



capidity of senators, who sought distinction or profit from 
the trade of criminal acensation. Tibenns himself besides 
the desire he manifested for the attainment of sabstantial 
justice, was admitted on all hands to be free from the socdid 
vices so common among liia countrymen. He was, to use 
the strong but rough expression of Tadtus, ^rm enwxgh 
againat mofiey.^ But if he has £dled in other respects to 
obtain frt>m history all the justioe he sought to obtain for his 
people, the cause lay partly in himself, and in the peculiar 
infirmity into which his excess of zeal betrayed him. The 
mind of Tib^us was characterized by a certain painful pre- 
cideness : he was possessed with, the Ht^ious spirit which 
insists on its presumed rights, in spite of every inoonyenience. 
He was deficaent in bt^adth of view, aad sought in vain to 
compensate for it by subtlety and acoteness. Accordimgly, 
we are not surprised to find that the general and statesman, 
the chief of innumerable armies, and the head of a confederacy 
of nations, was moreover a purist in his use of language, and 
fond of disputing with the grammarians on the exact mean- 
ing of words, fiiU of notes and queries on the most trifliflg 
and puerile subjects of literary curiosity, in which certainly 
truth could not be attained, and as certainly was not worth 
attaining.* Tiberius carried in short to the throne the tern- 
per of a pedant, and a pedant on the throoe is in danger of 
Bi8 encfrarofre- becoming a tyrant. Hence the encourageiQent 
St^^^t he unfortunately gave to the criminal informers, 
iuiiBfom«ra. Qy delators; an encouragement which he soon 
aclmowledged to be pernicious, and withdrew ia dismay, till 
the distrust and apprehensions of inoreasing years drove him 
again into the same fatal oourse. The delator was properiy 
one who gave notice to the fiscal officers of moneys that had 

' Tac. Ann, iU. 18. : **SaiiB finnps Adrersiim pedDBiMO.** 
' Suet 216. 10, : " AflbctaUone et morositate nimia obscurabat stjlum , . . 
monopoUuin nominaturus prius Teniam postukyit" Pion (Ivii 16.) sajs that 
he suflTered a project of law to drop rather than use a Grec^ word for which 
there waa no Latin equivalent Gomp. also, the story of Capito, hi IviL 17^ 
and Suet de lUuttr, Gramm, 22. 

Digitized by 



become due to the treasury of tbe state, or more strictly to 
the emperor's fisotts,* The title was first extendecl firom this 
oarEOW sphere to persons who lodged infonnatloii iu ease of 
any off^iees panishable hy fine ; and when Angostas under- 
took to legislate <sonjtproh^nsiVely on the subject of marriage, 
its obligations and its TSolfttions^ be was induced, by tiie 
grettt difficulty of ezecnting the prpyisions of an nnpopnlar 
enactment, to subsidize by pecumary rewards informers 
againsfr its transgresBcnrs.* It was the aim of Augpstos to 
attack erery citizen to some peculiar branch of industry : 
wherever he eould he gave direct occupation ; in many other 
cases he indirectly pointed out where it might be foitnd. fie 
now called into eidstence a new employment, tho^h he did 
Bot himself live to see its progress and development. Many 
were the fcnights and senistors who no^w learnt to make a 
traffic of their eloquence and accomplishments, in the Service 
of the emperor, by the vindication of his unpopular laws. 
They reaped their reward not in money only, — ^though a 
portion of the- pecumary .mulct lell regxdady to their sluure, 
and the senate not rarely' deoreed ihem a special remunera- 
tion, — but in political distinction also, and even in a notoriety 
akin to £une. Their love of power was amply gratified, 
when they saw the crimihal, a man perhaps of the noblest 
birth and highest position, quail before their weU-known 
esei^ and audacity, and desist from a hopeless contest with 
their acknowledged powers of persuasion Feared by the 
great, they became the patixms aod champions of the people, 
who were always ready to behold in the attack on noble 
offenders a vindication of popular rights and principles, 
lliey acquired in the fomm some portion of the consideration 
wkieh< sttaohed of old to tiie sturdy independence of the 
tribones, while tiiey were thrust into the favour and confi- 
dence of the prinoeps, or at least of his nearest advisers in the 

' See Bein, Crimmal^JReeht^ p. 814, note. 

* Tac Ann, iu. 28. : ** Inditi coatodes, et lege Fapia Foppsea pncmlis ii> 

Digitized by 



palace. The trade of the delator became thus, under bad 
emperors, the broad and beaten track of a crafty ambition.* 

But this in&mous practice became so marked a feature in 
Roman society, and affected so painfiilly the imaginations of 

the people, that it will be well to spend a few 
Bomut for a^ moments here in depicting to onrselyes its action 

more widely. We most trace it back, like every 
other pest of the imperial times, to its first origin imder the 
republic, when the evil inherent in its principle was disguised 
or even ennobled by loftier aims, and by the freshness of its 
growth m an atmosphere of freedonu The liberty of the 
Romim citizen, the prime jewel of his existence, was to be 
maintained at any price. It was maintained by a system of 
universal terrorism. Every citizen was invited to watch 
over the conduct of his compatriots, and to menace every 
deviation from the path of civil virtue with a public accusa- 
tion. Every young noble was trained in the art of pleading, 
partly to enable him, when his own turn came, to defend 
himself, but primarily to ftimish him with weapons of ofifenoe, 
and thereby with the means of self«dvancement. Khetorio 
was an instrument of power, by whidi he might expect to 
make himself admired by the people, and feared by competi- 
tors of his own class. He fought his way to public honours 
on the floor of the law-courts, dragging successively from 
their benches the tribunes, the praetors, and the consuls, be- 
fore whom he first b^an his career of eloquence. The in- 
trigues and treasons of the men in power did not always 
suffice to ftimish victims for this mania of impeachment : it 
was necessary to extend the inquisition into the .provinces, 
and summon before the bar of Roman opinion the governors 
^ho had sinned, if not against the laws of the republic 
against those at least of humanity and justice. To interest 
the citizens, to inflame their passions, to bias their judgments 
on the subject of crimes thus perpetrated on remote provin- 

" On the rewardfl of the delatorfi, see Sact Tib. 61. ; Dion, Iviii. 14. ; Tac. 
Ann. iL 82., iv. 80., vl 47. 

Digitized by 



cials, required great exertion of art and eloquence ; but the 
geniuB and industry of the young advocates and their teachers 
k^t pace wiA every demand upon them. Feelings of party 
were appealed to in the place of genuine patriotism. The 
truth of the accusation became of little importance ; it was 
the great tiinm}^ of the rhetorician, not unfirequently gained 
to baffle the interests of a political Miction, without regard to 
the intrinsic merits of i&e case. The young orator, who at 
the age of nineteen or twenty could sway the votes of a 
bench of judges against some veteran proconsul, grown grey 
in the servioe of the state, waff marked as sure to rise to the 
highest political eminence.' The energy and aggressive 
spirit of the Romans was ever conspicuous in the toga no 
less than in the sagum ; they {^referred the attack to the 
defence, in the forum as well as in the field. 

It was the glory of Oicero that he abstained in his early 
career, while yet his &me was to be acquired, from this 
ccMQunom routine of prosecution, and sought the j^^ ^^^^^t, un- 
less dazzling career oi a pleader for the accused. ^g^t^J^ 
Yet in the most glowing of his effusions, both in }S^[?^ ^^ 
public and private causes, he appears as the «««"»• 
assailant; and neither humanity nor policy prevent him from 
dedaring himself ike enemy of the man against whom he 
seeks to enfist his hearers' prejudices.' Thei Romans made 
no scruple of avowing their personal animosities ; the spirit 
of revenge with them was a virtue which a man would affect 
if he had it not.' In the heart of the Roman friendship 

* Thus GrassQB mjuntaiaed an accnsation at nineteen years, Csesar at 
tirenty-one, Polfio at twenty-two. Tac. de OraL 84. ; QuintiL Ind. xiL 6. 

* There sne some ccaions passages in the speech de Fr<nnncus CdrmdarilnUy 
in irliidi doero excuses faSmself fbr seeming to waire his notorioos hostility to 
Obnr: '^S. Me commtmis ntOitatis habere rationem non ddoris md.^ '*18. 
Aooepi iigiiriain; inhnicns esse debni; non nego.^ '^20. Hoc tempore rd 
paUictt consdere, inimidtias in aliad tempos reservare deberem." 

* Tac. de OraL 86.: '^Asdgnatse domibos inimidtise. 40. Jus potentissi* 
nram qnemqne yexaniiU, atqne ipsa inimidtiannn gloria." But, ii. 63. : " Ut 
ixmn mSbae, et in senatmn nnper asdtus, magnis inimidtiis claresceret.^ 
Gmnpagny, Chan, I p. 287. 

Digitized by 



occupied the place of love ; it was invested with a sanctity 
and solemnity of obligation which approached almost to 
chivalry : but the reaction from it was an emnity not less 
deeply felt nor less solemnly pronounced: tlife foe was not 
less devoted than the friend.^ Neither shame therefore nor 
humanity interfered to.chec); this passion .for aecusation^in 
which the Romans were to the full as unscrupulous and un- 
unfeeling, though dealing with their own countrymen, as 
they w^e in mvading the lands of the, forcigx^. This fear- 
ful vice was gilded under the ^ee state by the splendour of 
the objects to. which it was directed, the magnit^deof the 
interests invojlved, and the abilities and powers of the giants 
it sumu^oned to the contest.' In the atmosphere of liberty it 
called many corresponding virtues into action ; it produced 
on the whole one of the higjiiest .manifestations of human 
nature, and taking the good with tbi& evil^ we may not 
perhaps be entitled to regret the existence whijCh w^ per- 
mitted to it. But for the same vice, as it appeared under 
the empire, no such excuse can be offered. Th^ too, as 
soon as the young patrician had quitt^ the st^ools #f the 
declaimers, h^ longed to make a trial of his aowmplishments, 
and sought an object on which to flesh the n^ide^ sword of 
his eloq;;LeQce, There were no longer party interests into 
which to throw himself^ the class of intrigiiipg politicians 

' The Duel, the.legjitunaitd dp^ccadaa t X)f private varftu^^ould bariei no 
place in Roman society, which ^regarded man aa the citizen only, an unit in- the 
body corporate. Personal violence was prohibited by law, and even carrying 
arms was interdicted. The CW, the resource of sullennesa and shyness, is, I 
believe, a strictly English institution ; and the formal renunciation of inendship 
was the last resource of outraged feelmg among the Romans. Thu9 Qennani- 
cus sends Piso a solenm deolaraUon that their friendship is at an eQd. Tibe- 
rius forbids Labeo his house. Tac Ann. tL 29. : ** Horem fuisse mnjoiibus, 
quoties dirimerent ami^itlas, interdicere dome, eumque finem gratia panere.** 
In reply to the common apology for the duel, that it prevents assassination, it 
may be remarked that assassination was almost unknown to a late period 
among the Romans. 

* llie reader should refer to the passage of Tacitus de Orot, S4-dV^ one 
of the most interesting in ancient literature. 

Digitized by 



BO longer existed, wlioeis attempts agaiilst the liberties ai the 
commonwealth demanded his yigilanoe and invited his ex- 
posute ; the provinces, administered at. last on settled princi* 
pies, and. kept under the eye of the eeoitral govemment; 
afforded still some, but much rar^, oases of pmbUc ivrojng tc 
denoonce and avenge. What reinained then-ftrr the young 
aspiriknt ? how exereise the gifts he had so long been fbster- 
mg in private, and ventilate abroad the talents to which 
schools and saloons had accoided snoh ihspiriting acdama- 
ti<Mis ? The progress of sp^ial legislation^ diverted as it was 
from the poblio to the private career of the Soman, entering 
into his dwelling lind penetrating the recesses of his home 
life, gave birth to mabi&ld mibdes of transgression and eva- 
don, such as the prying ey^s of ^ domestic spy alone conld 
track. The government, whidn mi^t despair of vindicating 
its authority by the exertions of its own officers, was grateful 
to the passion for foifensic distinclio^Ei, which now urged the 
aspirant for fame to drag to light every petty violation of 
every Mvolous enactment* Aiseording, to the spirit of 
Roman criminal procedure^ the informer and the pleader 
were one and the same person. There was no pabUc accuser 
to manage the prosecution for the government oninfocmation 
from whatever aouroas. derived ; but the spy who discovered 
the delinquency was -hijaself the man to demand of the senate, 
the prsBtor, or the judge, an opportunity of proving it by his 
own eloquence and ingenuity. The odium of prosecution 
was thus ilemoved from the government to the private delator; 
an imm^miBe advantage to a rule of force which pretended 
to be popular. The common right of accusation, the birth^ 
right of tJbe Boman citizen, the paUadium^ so esteemed, of 
Roman j&eed^om, beqadie thus the most convenient inatiument 
of despotism. But however odious such a profession might 
genen^y make itself, whatever' the infemy to which it would 
be consigned by posterity, those who practised it reaped the 
rcivard they sought in money and celebrity, in influence and 
authority, in the fiivour of the prince, and not rarely in the 
applause of the multitude. They could wreak their malice 

Digitized by 



on their private enemies under the guise of zeal for the pubkc 
sernce ; they might gratify the worst of passions, and exult. 
^Lnder the shadow of the imperial tyranny, in the exercise of 
a tyranny hardly less omnipotent of their own. The social 
corruption such a state of things produced grew fast and 
rankly, and is marked by the swift progress of the contagion 
from the first raw and ignoble professors to men of real dis- 
tinction in the state. Beginning with youths fresh fi'om 
school, or the teachers of rhetoric themselves, it soon spread 
to magistrates and consulars, and many of the most illustri- 
ous statesmen of the early empire were notorious for their 
addiction to thiB meanest and most debasing of vices. 

As for Tiberius himself, the fistnaticism with which he 
strove to execute in detail the laws bequeathed him by his 
Encourage- predccessors, induced him early to stoop to the 
tionhjT^ degradation of countenancing the i»-actice of 
^^ delation. Kefusing to bend under the enormous 

burden of public affairs, and disdaining or ^ring to associate 
with himself any assistant, as Augustus had wisely done 
from the first, he strove pertinaciously to make himself 
famih'ar with the whole machinery of government, and to 
take a personal share in all its procedure. He was constant 
in attendance on the judicial trials of the senate, but only to 
secure the impartiality of its decisions ; he fitSsisted also at 
the tribunals of the magistrates, taking his seat at the ex- 
tremity of the bench, to avert the suspicion of unfiedrly in- 
fluencing them.^ Delation he prized as the machinery by 
which the true ends of justice could, as he imagined, most 
readily be obtained. When he discovered the vile uses to 
which it was put, and felt its impolicy and unpopularity, he 
did not refiise to check and discourage it ; and he established 
a new tribunal of fifteen senators, by the weight of whoso 
character he may have hoped to moderate it, and afford, as 

' Suet 2%. 33. : " Ao primo eatenua interveniebat ne quid pcrpenm fieret 
«... assidebatque juxtim yel ex adverso in parte primort"- Comp. Tac. 
Ann. L 16,: '^In cornu tribunalis.** Dion, Ivii. 7. But, as Tadtua remarks 
•*Dum Teiitati consulitur, libertas corrumpebatur." 

Digitized by 



was said, some alleTiation to the peril and terror of the citi- 
zens.* Certain it is that the records of the earlier years of 
the Hberian despotism abonnd in eyidence of the emperor's 
solicitude for the pure administration of justice, and the con- 
stant straggle in which he was engaged with the reckless 
spirit of yiolence and cruelty, of which accusers and judges 
equally partook. Ultimately his own stead&stness and con- 
stancy gave way. He yielded to the torrent he could no 
longer stem alone. He resigned himself to the sedulous at- 
tentions of an eyil counsellor, who rdieved him by consum- 
mate artifice, without his consciousness, of great part of his 
burden, and persuaded him to neglect the rest, and leaye the 
corruption of society to take its course. Tiberius was in- 
duced to acquiesce in the necessity of vices he had originally 
striyen to resist, and to wrap himself in the selfish conviction that 
his own safety was the highest object of government. Then 
came the full development of the occult principles of the law 
of treason ; then came the fierce and fimatical stimulus which 
was given to the appetite fi:>r delation : the conflgration raged 
over Kome and Italy, involving every noble mansion in its 
blaze, and overthrowing many to their foundations.' It was 
ruled to be criminal to perform before an emperor's effigy on 
a coin or ring any act which would be indecent in the pres- 
ence of the emperor himself, such as to strip a slave for 
chastisement, or even to strip oneself &t the bath; finally, a 
citizen was condemned for entering a brothel with a piece of 
money on which the imperial countenance was stamped.' 
While the fountain of justice was polluted by „ ^ 
founding mquiry mto these offences on no ex- or the Law or 
press laws, but only on perverse and extravagant 
deductions firom tihem, the legitimate forms of procedui'c 

> Tac Ami. iii 2S. 
Tac. 1. 0. : " Urbemque et Italiam et qnod asqaam avium corripuerant^ 
mnltoramqae exdai status.** Oomp. Atm. L 73. : ** Qnibus initiis, quanta H- 
berii arte» grayisamiim ezitinm iirepeeriti dein Fepressum sit^ postremo aneiit, 
omielaqiie oonlpuoiL'' 

* Suet T^b, 69. It mtist remembered that the emperor's was not the onlj 

Digitized by 



were no longer carefully preserved. Though in cslbgs of 
majestas the senate alone was the authorized tribunal, the 
prince gradually claimed to take cognisance of them himself 
Tiberius ceased to abide by the ordinary rules of evidence. 
Augustus hiniBelf had evaded the principle of law, that a 
slave might not be examined by torture against hiB master, 
by causing him to be seized and sold to a ))ubIio officer, and 
then stretdved as the slave 6f another on the rack.^ Bat 
even thia formality was no longer observed. The penalty of 
death was feequeiutly substituted for banishment^ and the 
worst precedent of the Sullan proscriptions was sometimes 
followed, in subjecting the oriminaPs children to the same 
fate as himself iThe property of the condemned was confis- 
cated : if his life was spared, he might be disqualified from 
making a will ; and if he perished before sentence by his own 
hand, baffled justice might avenge herself by the infliction of 
A.D.22. postbumous infiuny.* On the case of .^EliuA 
A. 0.715. Satuminus, who was flung from the Tarpeian 
rock for a libel on the emperor, an historian remarks that this 
was one only of many instances of the infliction of death for 
reflections on the life and habits of Tiberius ; upon which he 
adds, that the Romans marvelled at the impolitic jealonsy 
which thus exposed by public processes details whi^h, 
whether true or false, acquired from these processes only 
their general not<niety and acceptance. People, he says, 
imagined Tiberius must be mad to insist, often against the 
explicit denial of the accused, that crimes and vices had been 
imputed to him, which a man of s^ise would have willingly 
left unnoticed. But fer the wisdom and policy of his general 

head stul stamped upon the current coiqs. Other members of the Caesarcan 
famity partook of that honour. The gold and silrer cohiage was hnperial, but 
Augustus allowed the senate to issue the copper currency. The names, how- 
erer, of the triumyiii monetales do not occur on medals after the year ^40, 
aooonfilig to Edthd, Dodr, Nwrnm. v. 64. 

* Dion, Iv. 6. ; Tac Aml vL 67. 

* Tac Ann, n. 81. This was called "danmatio memories." Soetonhw 
crowns this confusion of law and justice by saying, " Omne crimen pro oapi- 
tali reoqitum." 

Digitized by 



administeition, -^t^hich was still patent to tlie world, tMs hy- 
pothesis of insanity wotiM haye recelTed general assent : as 
it was, his conduct in this respect could only be viewed as a 
strangeexampleof human inconsistency. The particulars, how* 
erer, of these charges, thus scrupulously and minutely detailed 
in the language of legalprocedure, werepreserred in the public 
records, which thus became an official repository for every 
cahmmy against the emperor which floated on the impure 
surface of common conversation. We cannot but suspect 
l^t this was the storehouse to which Tacitus and Suetonius, 
or the obscurer writers from whom they drew, resorted for 
the reputed details of a princess habits, whom it was the 
pleasure and interest of many parties to blacken to the ut- 
most. The foulest stories current against Tiberius were 
probably the very charges advanced against him by libellers 
such as Satuminus, which he openly contradicted and de- 
nounced at the time, and which would have sunk into obliv- 
ion with the mass of contemporary slander, but for the rest- 
less and suicidal jealousy with which he himself registered 
and labelled them in the archives of indignant justice.* 

The subjects of Tiberius, we ate assured, conceived a 
high opinion of the wisdom and policy of his general admin- 
istration. Even Tacitus, not a favourable nor oonwudation 
even a just critic of his character, admits that his SomtaiSH^ 
conduct in regard to the law of majesty was the ^^t***^"^ 
only blot on a government distinguished, at least for many 
years, by prudence, equity, and mildness.' But Tacitus, as 
we shall presently see, is &t from ionsistent with himself in 
this, as in other expressions of opinion. The first and 
most mrgent duty of the oHef of the empire, following 
the traditions of the consular administration, was to main- 
tain tilie honour and secTurity of her possessions abroad, and 
against ibe foreigner on the frontiers. The law of empire, in 

Dion, Ivil. 22, 23. 
* Tic. Ann. iv, 6. : ^ Leges, si majestatis qoacslio eximeretur, bono in nsu.** 
Bj this we are not to onderstEmd merely the Judicial prooednre, bat the ban- 
dling of the broad prindpfes of adminiatration. 

Digitized by 



the popular view, was continnal progress and aggression. Tc 
extend the limits of his own province was the business of 
every proconsul, and to extend the limits of every province 
was still reputed the paramount duty of the imperator, him- 
self the universal proconsuL The first idea of Cfesar, on at- 
taining sovereignty in the city, was to effect the annexation 
of Parthia. Augustus had no such wild ambition, no such 
blind instinct of conquest: he sedulously abstained in many 
quarters from pushing forward the conquering eagles, feeling 
as he did that the extent of his possessions was already quite 
as great as one arm could control, too great indeed, as had 
been amply demonstrated, for the jealous co-rule of consuls 
and senators. Neverfheless Augustus had never wholly de- 
sisted from aggressive warfare beyond the limits of Ter- 
minus. In Egypt and Arabia, as well as still later in Ger- 
many, he had maintained views of conquest, though he had 
refrained from putting out in any quarter the whole strength of 
his armies. During his reign the empire had been increased 
with solid additions ; and it had been no vain boast of his 
courtiers that he had advanced its frontiers into new zones 
and under unknown constellations.^ Yet Augustus, it was 
well known, had lefl to his successor, as a legacy of political 
wisdom, the counsel not to extend the limits of Roman sov- 
ereignty. This advice Tiberius frankly accepted. He with- 
drew his legions, as soon as the ambition of Germanicns 
would permit him, within the Khine; and if he allowed cam- 
paigns to be still waged in the valleys of the Atlas, these 
were strictly for security and not for conquest. His abstain- 
ing from the plantation of military colonies in the provinces, 
was a pledge of the sincerity of his peacefiil policy." Instead 
of extending the frontiers, he was intent on consolidating his 
possessions within them, converting tributary kingdoms into 
taxable provinces, and reducing restless barbarians to some 

« Viig. ^«h. Ti 795. : 

" Jacet ultra aidexa tellus, 
Extra airni iSolifique Tioes ....** 
* 8oe A. Zumpt: Commeni. Epigrc^ I 881. 

Digitized by 



Uiing more than a nominal sabjeotion. It was under this 
reign, aocordinglyy that the fer regions of Africa, so long ex- 
posed to plunder and disturbance from the nomade hordes in 
the recesses of their mo^jntiuns, were placed in a state of se- 
curity, which continued unassailed for centuries ; that the 
authority of Rome was first established permanently through- 
out the wild district of Thrace, so important for connecting 
the conquest of Rome on the Danube with the sources of her 
wealth in the Lesser Asia; that Cyzicus and Cappadocia 
were incorporated in the uniyersal empire, and made to con- 
tribute firom their wealth or porerty to relieve the pampered 
impatience of taxation in Rome and Italy. All these were in 
fayist substantial conquests, though they might not be known 
by such a title, in which the emperor spared no artifice nor 
even fraud, while he cautiously abstained; as &r as possible, 
from the use of arms.* The reign of Tiberius deserves, ac- 
cordingly, to be marked as an era of no trifling moment in 
the consolidation of the Roman power. It is probable that 
his own contemporaries were by no means imaware of this, 
and abundantly satisfied with a policy which threw many of 
their burdens on their subjects and auxiliaries. Victories and 
triumphs could have done no more. But a hundred years 
later, as we shall see, another emperor arose, who added wide 
provinces to the unwieldy bulk of his dominions, and per- 
fcnmed martial exploits which recalled the days of the Scipios 
and Csesars; and transient and fruitless as his successes 
proved, they served to point an unfavourable and unjust com- 
parison with the bloodless gains of his predecessor. Tacitus, 
who wrote under the inspiration of the glories of Trajan, 
though admitting the general wisdom of the third CsBsar's 
policy, condescends to sneer at his abstinence flpom conquest, 
as something pusillanimous and uhworthy of the Roman name.* 

> Soei. 716. 87.: "Ho8tilefl motus per legates compescmt ; neo per eos 
nia cnncteoter et neoessaiio. Rcges sospectosque ^couminatioDibiis magis et 
qoenfis qmim t! repreaeit" 

* Tae. Arm. ir. 82. : ** Prinoeps proferendi imperii incariosas erat" Gosh 
pare ir. 4. with a direct allasion to the conqueats of Tnyan, ** Qaanto sit an- 

Digitized by 



While, however, AuguBtus had been obliged to entrust 

the conduct of hia campaignB to princes raised almost to an 

equal rank and power with himself, his succes- 

Stations of tho ^_ ^..^^ , « 

Mriontaiukv sor, by re&aimng £ram^ aggressive war&ie, with 
all the vast combinations it required, could ke^ 
all his lieutenants in the modest position befitting their vo- 
cation, and spare the elnpire the perils which might flow 
from an excited smd pampered ambition. The legions were 
maintained in the same staticms as under Augustus^ The 
bank. of ^he Rhine was still guarded, as we have s^n, by 
eight, four in the Upper, and afi many in the Lower Ger- 
mania. The Iberian provinces were secured by three only : 
for their reduction, though recent, was now jvstly deemed 
complete. Mauret^iia, which Augustus had at one time in- 
corporated with the empire, had been again erected into a 
tributary kingdom, and given to Juba, as a present j&om the 
Boman people. The African provinces were held by two 
legions, and two more were stationed in Egypt. Four were 
assigned for the protection of the East; they were quartered 
principally at Berytus on the Mediterranean, at Antioch and 
Gsesarea, or in scattered detachments on the heists of the 
Taurus and Libanus : they showed a front to the Parthians 
on the Euphratesy and supported the trembling thrones of the 
petty Qhie& of the Cau<^Bus, who were maintained as a check 
on the more powerfiil sovereigns of the plains. Thrace was 
eonsigpoied to the defence of kings of its own nation, under 
Roman superintendence ; while two legions were posted on 
the Danube in Pannonia, and* as many on the same stream, 
after it took the name of Ister, in the lower regions of Moesia. 
Two more divisions, making a total complement of five-and 
twenty, were quartered in Dalmatia^and formed a reserve 
for the armies of the East, while at the same time they were 
neat enough to awe the submissive populations of Greece and 
Lesser Asia. Their position at Apollonia, Dyrrhachium, or 

gustias imperitatum." Here again, as in the case of delatioiiy we we bow 
Taoltus^B estinuKte of &e polioj of TiberioB is coloured by bis Rowing ooncep- 
tionfl of his own master's glory. 

Digitized by 



Kicopolis was more important from ita juroKimity to Italy, of 
which, in &ot, tbey cos^tuted Yirtaally the garridon; for 
the empire still preaerred the tradition of the repahlic, that 
the legions were the instruments of foreign domination, not 
of domestic authority y and no legionary force was allowed 
to pitch its teats within the sacred Uiaits of the land, all the 
free inhabitants of which were now Bontan citizens. The 
police of Italy was entrusted to a force of the name of which 
she had not yet learnt to be jealous^ Three Urban and three 
Praetorian cohorts, the city guards and the life guards, kept 
watch OTor the security of the metropolis and the person, of 
the ruler; but th^se it was thought necessary to leyy exclur 
siTely from the most central districts of the peninsula, from 
Latium itself or from Umbria and Etroria, and the ancient 
colonies of the Latin franchise/ Slender as these forces ap- 
pear for the defence of so vast a territory, we are to remem- 
her that the auxiliary troops dispersed in the provinces 
where they were most needed are not included in the list; 
and these, we are assured, in general terms, may have 
equalled the number of the legionaries.' 

It ndght he easier to maintain the fidelity and discipluie 
of these numerous armies in the excitement of warfare than 
under the daU monotony of the camp in time of The discfpHuo 
peace. Tiberius's supoess in this respect,— ibr ll^l^f" 
after the first commencement of his reign there ™^t«inei 
was no mutiny^ nor even the seditioos attempt of a diseon- 

* In giving tbia list of the legions, Tacitus (Ann. iv, 6.) refers particularly 
to the ninth year of Tiberius (a. u. 776. a. d. 28.). He does not mention, and 
seems indeed not to know of any German guards at Kome. Angifetas, we 
hATe eeen, bad snob a body^goaMl; hot he diaaitsed them after the defeat of 
y arm, and it is probable that ^ey wece not re^mbodied by ^ sueiMSBOr. 

' Tadtos pcdnts out this dififereace betireen the l^ns and <^e auxiliary 
cohorts, that the latter were constantly moved from place to place, while the 
former were kept stationary. The exact proportion of auxiliaries was uncer- 
tain, and no doubt varied. Dion, Iv. 24. That they were generally about 
equal to the l^onaries may be deduced from Tacitus^ Ann, iv. 6. Suet 7T6. 
19. and from the arrangements of the Hyginian camp. Sec Harguardt Id 
Becker's R<xm, AUertK iil 2. p. 3G5. 

Digitized by 



tented officer, — aroue no doubt from his firmness in refiisiiig 
conoession to demands for relaxation and indolgenoe. The 
complaints which startled him on his accession to power were 
put down partly by the vigour of his envoys, the princes of 
his own family, but partly also by vague assurances of re- 
dress, extorted fh)m his first alarm; these however he re- 
tracted or evaded on recovering his presence of mind. The 
crisis, it may be allowed, was one at which any actual con- 
cession might probably have broken down the whole system 
of iron discipline on which the obedience of the legions rest- 
ed. Nor would Tiberius encourage the soldiers to look for 
extraordiiiary gratuities by occasional largesses, such as 
Augustus and Caesar before him had so liberally dispensed. 
After paying them the sum bequeathed them by his prede- 
cessor, which indeed he thought it became Mm to double, he 
made no further appeal to their favour and gratitude, except 
on one important occasion, at a late period of his reign, in 
requital for a particular service.* He trusted, for securing 
their devotion, solely to the regard they entertained for his 
title of Imperator, and the deserts by which he had attain- 
ed it. 

Not only the respect in which the commonwealth was 
held by foreign potentates, but the submission and awe of the 
The goTMiiort pn>vincial populations, depended mainly on the 
^ptfor*^nu finnness of the hand which kept her soldiers to 
y«ar>inoffloe. |heir standards.* The tranquillity and content- 
mept of the provinces under Tiberius bear witness to his 
merits as commander of the Roman armies. While writers 
with whom we are the most fitmiliar depict the character of 
this CsBsar in the most hideous colours, and only with manifeet 
reluctance admit any circumstances which bespeak the model - 
ation and equity of his rule, it is remarkable that the inde- 
pendent testimony of two provincial authorities combines to 

' Tic. Ansi, I 86. ; Dion, Ivn. 5. ; Suet Tib, 48. 

* YelL iL 126. : "Diflhsa in orienUfl ocddentisqiie tractua, et quidqnid men- 
diano ant septcntrione finitor, pax augnsta per oinnes tefrarum orbis angolof 
a latrocinioram metn servat immnnes.'* 

Digitized by 



sfisnre us that in the provinces at least his administration was 
beneficent, and his memory held in honour. Thus Philo of 
Judea speaks in glowing terms of the wisdom and mildness 
of the goyemment of Alexandria nnder the auspices of Tibe- 
rius, and exsdts still more eloquently the happy condition of 
the world at the moment of his demise.^ Again, the Jewish 
historian Josephns confirms the statement of others, that this 
emperor departed widely from the ordinary principle of pro- 
vincial administration, in prolonging the stay of the procon- 
sols from its nsnal brief term to a longer and ultimately to an 
indefinite period.* This novel usage, he assures us, though 
allowing that it coincided with the emperor's habits of pro- 
crastanalion, and a certain infirmity of purpose which grew 
upon him in age, was conceived in a spirit of equity, and in- 
tended to remove the maan cause of the sufierings of the 
provinces, in the ardour with which each new governor had 
hastened to make his fortune. Tiberius was wont to justify 
his policy by an appropriate apologue:—^ number of flies 
had settled on a soldier^s wound^ and a compassionate passer- 
by vHMs about to scare them away. The sufferer begged him 
to refrain. These flies^ he saidj have nearly sucked their fuU^ 
and are beginning to be tolerable : if you drive them offy they 
wis be immediaiefy succeeded by fresh comers with heerver ap- 
petites. The progress indeed of regular government seemed 
to demand a change on this point, which should enable the 
sffiiirs of the empire to be conducted by fixed and imiform 
procedure, while it spared the people the fluctuations as well 
as the expenses incident to a continual change of governors. 
It serves to mark the transition now in progress in the gov- 
ernment of the provinces, from the sway of an encamped pro- 
consul to that of an established viceroy. There seems no 
reason to doubt that the conduct of Tiberius in this par- 
ticular, stripped of all unfair interpretation, was part of a set- 

* PhOo m Fla/cc 1, 2. ; IjegoL in OctL 2. : rtc yhp tSiiv , , , , <Ak iBttitfiaae 
%ai KaTevX6y7i r^ inrtp^bovc koI ir6yToc X6ryov Kpeirrovoc evirpayiac. Thia 

I pasfiage will deserve to be noticed more particulnriy &t a later period. 

* Jooepb. Aniiq. Jud. xyia 7. § 5. 
83 VOL. v.— 10 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


tied and well-meant policy, however much it may have in* 
dulged the personal indolence, to which alone his detractors 
have chosen to ascribe it, or agreed with his jealous indispo* 
sition to multiply the number of distinguished and confi- 
dential coadjutors.* But it caused, we may suppose, great 
dissatisfaction among the candidates for place and emolu- 
ment, and may be ranked among the motiyes of the hatred 
of the nobility towards him. 

This change in the view in which the provinces were to 
be regarded, no longer as prostrate enemies, but as common 
children of the state with the citizens themselves, 
trefttment of appears in the acknowledgment first made by Ti- 
o pro oca. |jgj.£^g ^f ^j^^ ^^^.y ^f extending the public liber- 
ality to the wants of the national dependents. A great step 
was gained in the cause of humanity and civilization, a great 
advance towards the overthrow of the selfish prejudices of 
conquest, when the subjects were admitted to have claims on 
the state as well as obligations towards it. It marks the 
commencement of what has been called the reaction of the 
provinces upon Rome, when, on the occasion of an earth- 
quake, which overthrew not less than twelve cities of Lesser 
Asia, the prince proclaimed aloud that it was an imperial 
calamity and merited relief from imperial resources.* The 
control of the provincial governors was no longer left to the 

' Suet TO. 41. 68. ; Tac. Ann, i. 80., ti. 27. Dion (Iviil 28.) aocounta 
for it differently : roeovrcv irX^dog tw re &^Xuv xdl tuv povXevrCw hicCiken 
dart TO^c hpxP^^^ '^<^ iihipw6vQ^ role ^ karpart^Kdrac M rpla^ Tcitc * 
inarevKdrac M i§ hrj toq ^y^fioveiac ruv ^dvctv^ diropi^ tuv iiade^o/Uvuv 
ttVT^vc cxslv. But whatever be the merits of the sjetem, it was introduced in 
(act not by Tiberius, but by Augustus. See Dion, Iv. 28. 

• Tac Ann. iL 47. (a, u. 770. a. d. 17.^ alluded to also by Pliny. EtML XaL 
II 86. : *'£odem anno xiL celebres Asia uibes collapsie noctumo mota terne.** 
Their taxes were remitted fbr a term of years, large sums were granted tiiem 
m ready money, and a spedal commissioner was sent by the senate to superin- 
tend its application. See above, chap. zliiL The twelve <9tie8 all lay in the 
district of Lydia. TbiB earthquake is perhaps the most destructive of any on 
record. Comp. Yon Hofl; ErdcherJUUh, Iv. 169. But even while I write the 
dty of Broussa b trembling to its foundation with ano^^r 

Digitized by 



caBBoal and interested activity of self-constituted accusers, or 
to the jealousy of political partisans : never before had the 
officials been kept in the path of moderation and purity by 
the restraints of a systematic procedure ; and the many in- 
stances in which they were still accused and convicted of 
rapacity and injustice may be accepted in proof, not of the 
increased frequency of their guilt, but of greater vigilance in 
detecting it. It will be remarked, also, on examining the 
eases of this kind recorded, that they refer more commonly 
to the senatorial, such as Asia and Africa, than to the impe- 
rial provinces.^ In the latter the officials were appointed 
more directly by the emperor himself^ and their duties and 
prerogatives more definitdy prescribed. Good conduct, 
whether in the highest posts or the lowest, secured them un- 
disturbed enjoyment of their places for many years or even 
lor their lives. The happier lot of these provinces is attest- 
ed by the &ct, that to be removed from the rule of the sen- 
ate and placed under that of the emperor, was regarded as a 
boon by the provincials themselves.* The old plan, indeed, 
of farming the revenues of the provinces by the publicani, 
now as heretofore generally Roman knights, still continued 
in force : the time had not yet arrived, perhaps, when this 
system, which recommended itself quite as much for its sim- 
plicity and convenience as for the means it afforded of en- 
riching the ruling class, could be dispensed with. The cor- 
poration of publicani, which engaged for the revenues of a 
district, required the heads of towns and cantons to assess 
the proportions of houses and fSatmilies; and probably the 
levy was thus on Ihe whole more equitably as well as more 
economically made, with the aid of local knowledge, than it 
would have been by processes more familiar to ourselves, and 
adapted to more homogeneous populations. But Tiberius 
deserves credit for the firmness with which he resisted the 
temptations which commonly beset a government under this 

' See Hoeok, Ham. Otteh. L 8, 98. 

' Gomp. Tac. Ami. L 76. ** Aohalam et Macedoniam onera dcprecantet 
Israri in pneaens prooonsnlari imperio tradique Osesari placuit.*' 

Digitized by 



method of taxation. He refused to apply the screw to hia 
financial agents, and require the larger return which he was 
assured might easily be extracted from them. A good Bhep' 
herdy he was wont to say, mttst shear his she^ and not fiay 
them} Among his wholesome regulations for the protection 
of the proyincials against the rapacity of their rulers was a 
decree, by which the officers, however guiltless they might 
be themselves, were made responsible for the misconduct of 
their consorts in this particular : for the women, it waa found, 
were more prone to take bribes and sell the favours of the 
government than the men. He ruled, however, after a de- 
bate, the details of which are curious and not uninstructive, 
that the attendance of the wives upon their husbandfi abroad 
was a less evil than such as might flow from forbidding them 
that indulgence.' 

But the care of Tiberius was not confined to the provinces. 
He devoted himself with untiring industry to the reform of 
Go eminent f *^^^^®^^ ^ *^® govcmment of Italy, to assuring 
Italy and the general security and tranquillity, and alleviating 
distress. He protected the inhabitants from rob- 
bers and banditti by military posts in various places, and 
stimulated the diligence of the city police. His measures 
for maintaining order in the capital were temperate and well 
considered. Instead of treating the players, whose over-ar- 
dent admirers were constantly fighting and rioting about 
them, as mere servants of the government, and subjecting 
them again, as before the time of Augustus, to the rods of 
the Pr83tor, he was satisfied with reducing the public grants 
for their encouragement, and forbiddii^ the senators from 
entering their dwellings, and the knights from trooping 
round them in the streets : the theatre alone, he declared, was 
Control oror appropriated to visiting them. At the same 
the pkyera. ^imc, they were no looger hdd responsible for the 
peace of the city ; but the penalty of banishment was de- 

' Suet 716. 32. : " Boni pastoris esse tonderepecns non d^obwe. Ckunp 
Tac Ana. iv. 6.; Dion, lyil 10. 
» Tac Ann. iv. 20. foil 

Digitized by 



fioonced against the spectators ivho should cause disturbances 
there.^ On occasion, however, of a riot which occurred in 
the year 776, we find that both the players themselves, and 
the leaders of the theatrical factions, were expelled together 
fix»n the city, nor was the emperor prevailed on, by the 
most pressing instances, to recall the ofienders.* 

This interference with their amusements was a grave of- 
fence to the populace. When Tiberius limited the number 
of gladiators in the arena, the citizens complained with bitr 
terness that he took no genial pleasure in the old Roman re- 
creatioBS. They were indignant at having their draught 
of blood measured to them by drops. Though 
all classes were equally addicted to the crime or en expeued 
folly of consulting conjurors and diviners, the 
measures which Tiberius enforced, after the example of Au- 
gustus, Agrippa, and the legislators of the free state before 
them, for expelling the astrologers from Italy, caused &r less 
difisatis&ction. This latter prohibition, indeed, was easily 
evaded.* The emperor himself, the most superstitious of his 
nation, could not resolve to rid his own palace of the herd of 
soothsayers, who so well knew how to play upon his fears 
and h<^>e6. While he indulged himself in prying into his 
own future fiites, he could not prevent the inquiries of friends 
or enemies, flatterers and intriguers: to cast the imperial 
horoscope became the dangerous amusement fit)m which few 
courtiers or politicians had the finnness to abstain. The 
Mathenuxtieiy said Tacitus, are a class who mislead the am^ 
bitious and disappoint the powerful ; who will always be for- 

' Tac AmL I 75.; Suet Tib, 34. Cozap. DiffttL zlTiU. 19. 28. § 8.; Veil 
ii. 12s.: ««CompraBifttbefttnliB86ditio.'' 

* QabL 7^. 87.; Tac Ann. iy. 16. 

' Tac Ami, it 82. One of these people waa thrown from the Tarpeian 
rock, another was beaten to death with the stick, the ancient military puniah^ 
meni. Tacitaa saja, " Ckmsules extra portam Ksquilinam, cum dassicum. ca> 
nere jeaaissept, more prisoo adyertere.'' Thia is expkdned by Suetonius, i\i%r. 
49.: ^Nndi hominis cerricem insurere Airc» et corpus Tirgis ad necem cfe^ 

Digitized by 



bidden a place among us, yet will always be retained 

These measures against the astrologers were not more in- 
effectual than those which Tiberius also took for the suppres- 
Snpprossion of ®^^^ ^^ Egyptian and Jewish rites. He was not 
Md^^"' led, howeyer, to these regulations by the prinoi- 
^^^ pies which animated his predecessor. He did 

not regard himself as the defender, or restorer of the ancient 
cult, as the patron of Roman observances in opposition to 
novel and extraneous usages. He looked merely to the prac- 
tical evils which might result from any heterodox movement, 
and his zeal against these Oriental innovations was roused by 
the mystery in which they were for the most part shrouded, by 
the nocturnal ceremonies which they generally affected, and 
by the connexion with the dreaded inquiry into the future 
generally ascribed to them. A single case of gross scandal 
imputed to the priests of Isis at Rome was sufficient perhaps 
to give colour to the emperor^s strong proceedings against 
that cult and its followers. The statue of the goddess was 
precipitated into the Tiber, and her rites forbidden in the 
capital.' Similar measures were taken against the religious 
observances of the Jews at Rome. When required to enlist 
in the Roman armies, this people pleaded their ancient na- 
tional prejudice against military service, and the indulgence 
it had enjoyed from earlier Csasars. But this refosal was now 
made a pretext for accusing them of disloyalty, for the pro- 
hibition of their worship, the demolition of their sacred in- 
struments and vestments, and finally their expulsion from 
Italy. Four thousand freedmen, of Jewish origin or tenets, 
were drafted from Rome into Sardinia, to repress the brigand- 
age of that wild region.* It would seem, however, that at a 

^ Tac. EisL I 22. : ^ Gcntis hominum potentibus infidum, sperantibofl fal- 
laz, quod in civitate nostra et vetabitiir semper, et retinebitur." 

' See in Joseplras (AnUq, xriiL 8.) the story of Mundns, whose Hocntionf 
pasdon was gratified bj the priests of Anubis. 

* Taa Ann. il S6. : ** Qaataor millla libertini generis ca superstitione in- 
fecta: et si ob scnivitatem cgbIi interissent, yile damnum.** I infer firom tht 

Digitized by 



later period Tiberias relaxed in his severity towards this peo- 
ple, and adopted means of conciliating them. They were 
fiun to belieye that the harshness of his earlier legislation was 
due to the malignant influence of the detested Sejanus.^ 

The establishment of a regular system of legal protection 
for subjects of every degree went hand in hand with the 
abolition or limitation of such irreirular substi- 

^ .. 1 . , « ,.,,., Limitation of 

tutes.for It as the nght of asyhtm, with which thorightofMy^ 
religious feeling had stepped in where human law 
fidled to perform its duty. It was chiefly in the eastern prov- 
inces that this right of asylum was recognised, and sanction- 
ed by long usage and &vour. * The multiplication of these 
places of refuge, fostered by the cupidity of the priest, had 
extended a dangerous impunity to all manner of crimes, and 
increased the number of oflenders. Such, however, was the 
influence of the priests x>n the superstition of the vulgar, that 
every attempt to check this encouragement to disorder had 
been vehemently resented, and had led in many cases to dis- 
turbances and riots. Tiberius undertook to abate the nui- 
sance, and acted with good sense and decision. He required 
the cities which exercised this right of protection in their 
cherished &nes, to produce just grounds, by prescription or 
legal ordinance, for the claims they advanced. He limited 
the extent of territory to which the privilege should apply, 
for it was claimed not for the sacred walls only, or the outer 
inclosure of the temple, but often for large tracts of land 
around them; he defined, perhaps with greater strictness, 
the character of the oflences to which protection should be 

coDstroction that ^e writer here expresses the sentiineat of the decree itself 
latber thm his owxl Sset. TSb, 86. : '* Jadftorom jurentatCTi per speciem 
BfterMncnti in prorinciaa graTioris ooeli distribuit." Comp. Seneo. ^. 108. 
The inddeot has been akeady referred to in chap. xxjJv. The victims, as I 
supposei were partly Jews by extraction, but peilu^ more generally prose- 
lytes of Greek or Asiatic origin. 

* Fhila Ze^ ad Cm, 24. On the statement of TertuBian (ApoL 5.^ k- 
garding the iayoiir, as he pretends, of Tiberias totwards Christianity, I shall 
ipeak on a futore occasion. 

Digitized by 



granted ; and thus, without abolishing the institution itself 
he set some bounds to its licence, with the approbation, no 
doubt, of the wisest of his subjects.^ In Rome, the centre 
of law and rights well understood, the privilege of asylum 
had never flourished as in the more disturbed regions of the 
East. Nevertheless the tribunitian sanctity of the emperor 
became gradually extended to his statues, and culprits or fu- 
gitive slaves, on touching an image or picture of the august 
personage, were allowed to defy the law, and the privileges, 
otherwise unbounded, of their masters. This means of pro- 
tection was soon turned to a weapon of offence ; holding up 
an imperial coin between hid thumb and finger, any ruffian 
might stand in the pubHc streets and rail with impunity 
against the honourable and noble : the client might abuse 
and threaten his patron, the slave might even raise his hand 
against his master. This flagrant abuse was not checked, for 
none ventured to brave the delators, who might easily frame 
on the attempt a process of majestas, until a senator having 
been pelted with opprobrious language by a woman, a noto- 
A.i).2i. rious delinquent, whom he was bringing to jus- 
A.U.774. tice, Drusus himself at the request of the per- 
plexed fathers, interposed and threw the offender into prison, 
in spite of the emperor^s image which she eloquently brand- 
ished in his face.' 

This insolent defiance of public opinion and the general 
sense of morality was an ominous sign of the times. Ko 
Fioomnt diflsi '''i°*P*^""T l^ws, though Sanctioned by the wittcst 
Mdonoftbe politicians, and invoked by the uneasy con- 
sciences of the citizens themselves, availed to 
stem the dissipation and extravagance, which increased with 
every restriction upon nobler aims and occupations. Hie 
vast sums notoriously e»:pended on the dainties of the table, 

' Suet 7f&. 87.: ''Abolevit et Tim moremque asyloram qxm usqizam 
erant;" but Tadtos (^fui. iU. 60.) modifies this statements ** Grebresc^Mf 
GreBcas per orbes ficentia atqne impnnitat asyla statuendi .... fiicta ecnatiis 
coDSolta qnis, magno com honore, modus tamen pnescribobatni." 

• Tao. Aim. iiL 86. 

Digitized by 



the profosion of table ornaments, plate, and jewellery, and 
the eztrayagant prices giren for articles of mere fashion, 
sm^ aa vases of mixed Corinthian metal, and boards of 
Nomidian citron-wood, proroked the indignation of the mo- 
rose Tiberins.^ He nrged the senate to repression. Bat his 
ooonseliers were indisposed to strong measures, and the em- 
peror himself lioon wearied of the hopeless stroggla Con- 
tenting himself with some trifling r^nlations for appearance 
sake, he acknowledged with a s^h that the times were not fit 
for a censorship of manners. When the »diles represented 
that the somptoary laws of Augustus, fixing the prices for 
certain articles of luxury, were habitually disre- 
warded, he replied that those after all were but spainorohMk- 
trifling matters compared with the real dangers tury kwB. 
accruing to the cominonwealtb ficom the demands a. i>. 28. 
of selfish cupidity and the accumulation of great ^ ^' 
estates. Itafy^ he exclaimed, yea^ Home herself depends for 
her daUy food on foreign. harvests^ on the vicissitudes qf the 
weaiheTy and the unc^^tain hianowrs of the Ocean. Unless 
our provinces come to our'supporty toiU our farms maintain 
us, or our forests feed usf He alluded to the neglect of 
eulldTatioa throughout the peninsula, which was now gen- 
erally remarked, and to the complaints which had grown in 
force for a hundred and fifty years, of the decline of the an- 
cient strength of tibie country, the population of free labour- 
ers. This, he said, was a graver concern than the price of 
plates and dishes; the latter migbt be a fitting matter for 
the sediles to care &r, as consuls, prsBtors, and every other 
magistrate had each their proper sphere of vigilance; but 
something of higher and inore general interest was demand- 
ed of the princeps. While therefore he maintained the peace 
and credit of the empire, and quelled the turbulence or cor- 
ruption of the assemblies, and the faction of the senate, — 

' TertnU. de paUio^ 5. : " M. TuUiua quingenUs millibus orbem dtri emit, 
qua bis tantam Ariniaa Gallus pro mensa ejasdem MauretanisB numerat.'' 
Coop. Lucan, ix. 426^ x. 144. ; Petronius, Safyr, 119. ; Martial, ix 60. ; Plin. 
yat m$L Y. 16. 

Digitized by 



while he provided for the wants of the day before him, and 
supplied an abondance of grain to the city, — ^he cast on the 
sBdiles the care of the somptnary enactments which were 
vainly expected to train the age to economy, but which the 
age rejected with insolent contempt.* 

As regarded public morality, Tiberias marched in the 
steps of his predecessor, not indeed in tiie spirit of an enthu- 
8hameie8sne86 siast, or with any ardent aspirations for the 
u both sexM. purity of the Roman blood or honour of the Ro- 
man name, but as a matter of duty and discipline. He re- 
sented the insensibility to shame of many of the young 
citizens even of knightly or senatorial fkmiUes, who in their 
passion for displaying their accomplishments as singers or 
dancers on the stage, a degradation strictly forbidden to their 
class, contrived to get themselves legally degraded, to ena- 
ble them thus to present themselves with impunity. Against 
this ignoble evasion new and more stringent edicts were lev- 
elled. In making the licentiousness of a Roman matron a 
public offence, Augustus had overshot his mark. Among 
other impediments which arose to the enforcement of the 
Julian legislation on this delicate subject, it was found diffi- 
cult to induce disinterested persons to prosecute as public 
accusers. Possibly it was with the view of obviating the 
scandal of open procedure in such lamentable oases, that 
Tiberius revived the primitive usage, and delivered the cul- 
prits to be tried and punished by their own kinsmen, ajter 
the manner of the ancients. In the olden time, these domes- 
tic tribunals had inflicted even death for trifling indecorums. 
But the law allowed the defenceless fiuil ones a method of 
escape, which some women did not scruple to embrace. The 
penalties of irregularity were strict and severe; but from 
these professed prostitution was exempted, and imjoiunity 
might be purchased by exchanging the decent stole of ma- 

' Tao. Ann, iil 63, 64. ; Yell IL 126. : " Revocftta in forum fides, summota 
e foro seditio, ambitio campo, discordia curia «... qoando <mn«n^ 
moderatior ? " 

Digitized by 



tronhood for the toga of the avowed courtesan.' While re- 
sort to this disgraoeM refuge was confined to a few plebeian 
cases it attracted little notice ; when, however, wives of men 
of the highest class were found to inscribe themselves on the 
ledile's list, to escape the loss of dowry, confiscation, and 
banishment, the penalties of the Julian law, the prinoeps de- 
tenoined to close this last means of retreat, by is new and 
sweeping edict.' 

llie Roman legislators had never been famous for adher- 
ing in their own persons to the rules they enforced on their 
fellow-citizens. What then, it may be asked, , 
was the private character of the mian who show- *^^>^ ^ '^' 
ed himsdf thus harsh and prudish in his public 
capadty? His amusements and relaxations, no mean ele- 
ment in the character of every Roman, were Mvolous rather 
than corrupt ; nor, yet at least, can he fairly bo charged with 
habits of excessive indulgence. In regard to women, there 
is no evidence against the morals of Tiberius up to the period 
we are now considering : towards the wife of his choice he 
had shown strong affection, while as to the worthless consort 
who was imposed upon him, however sternly he may have 
resented her profligacy, we know not that it was provoked 
by jsimilar profligacy on hid part. The prejudices of the 
Romans were early excited against him, and no reliance can 
be placed on their malioious assertions that his natural re- 
serve was a mask assumed to conceal the grossest improprie- 
ties. On this score, neidier history nor anecdote has any 
story at this time against him: the charge of habitual intem- 
perance rests chiefly upon a ribald epigram, which may have 
originated in the licence of the camp ; • while the saying as- 

' Hor. J3aL I 2. 68.: "Quid intereet in matroiia, andUa, peecesve iogata?" 

' Tmx Amu 11 85. ; Suet Tib. 85. The enactment on this suljeot, cited 

by Pepinian (2>^. xItIiL 5. 10.), ia {wobably that of Tiberius: ** Holier qon 

efitands pcenm adnlterii gratia lenodninm feoerit aut operas suas soensB k>oa> 

▼erit, adolterii acoosari danmariqne ex senatosoonsalia potest" 

' PUnj asserts faideed that Tlbenns was intemperate in his youth, bat ad- 
mits that no such charge QOxd(' be laid agounst him in his latter years. FUn. 

Digitized by 



cribed to him that a man must be a fool who required a phy- 
sician after thirty, seems to show that he enjoyed robust and 
equal health, such as was never maintained through a long life 
by a eonfirmed drunkard.^ Nor can we doubt the untiring 
perseyerance with which Tiberius devoted himself through at 
least the greater part of his principate to the engrossing cares 
of his station, cares which above all others demanded a clear 
head and a sound body. For several years he never quitted 
the dust and din of Rome for a single day, and his time was 
given without intermission to the discussions of the senate, 
to the procedure of the tribunals, to conferences widi foreign 
envoys, and every other detail of his world-wide administra- 
tion. The charge of profligacy, up to this period, but slightly 
supported by external testimony, fSitlls to the groimd before 
such strong internal evidence of its falsehood. 

But the morality of Tiberius was not confined to absti- 
nence from gross vice, or refraining from luxuries and indul- 
iiiB Bimpiidty gences which might have been less unsuitable to 
•ndfrugou^. )jig position.^ He was anxious to exhibit the an- 
cient ideal of the Roman statesman in practising the house- 
hold virtues of simplicity and frugality. His domestic econ- 
omy, formed on the pattern of Augustus, received additional 
hardness and severity from the habits of the camp, with which 
he had been so long &miliar. The number of his slaves was 
limited; the fi^dmen who managed his private concern? 

BitL NaU ziv. 28. : '* In Benecte jam soverus ; Bed ipaa juycnta ad menixa pror 
nior fiierat*' He tells an anecdote, or rather a popular Bunnise, which must 
be taken for what it is worth, that he selected Lucius Piso for the post of pru. 
feet of the city on account of his admirable qualities as a boon companion ; as 
for instance, that he could drink for two days and nights without intermissioDL 
riin. L c Comp. Senec EpitL 83. 

^ The holding of iUs paradox, attribnted to ^ great Napoleon and others, 
always indicates exuberant health and spirits. Suetonius says of Hberius on 
this pouit {jy>, 69.): ** Valetodhie prospera usus est, tempore quidem prind* 
patus p«ne toto pn^we illttta, qnamTis a Irieesimo SBtatSs anno aibUrata earn 
suo rexerit, sine acUumento oonsilioqne medloorum.*' iMtns (^fwi. tI 46.) t 
** Solitos ehidere medioorom artes, atque eos qui poet trioesfamnn ntatis annum 
ad hitemoacenda corpori sno ntilia Td noxia alien! oonsOii in^gerent** 

Digitized by 



were kept strictly within the bonds of modesty and propriety. 
Their senrices were rewarded with exactness, bnt at the same 
time parsimonionsly ; nor did their employer oyer surrender 
to them any portion of his res^ authority, or allow them nn- 
dne inflnence orer himself/ The carefn&ess he esMbited in 
the government of his hqiasehold was an earnest of the econ- 
omy of his public administraition } and as snch the citizens 
might, at least, have admired it, how ev^ few imitators it could 
find among them. But Augustus had had the art of combin- 
ing personal simplicity witii a wise liberality' in public mat- 
ters, which was beyond the conception of his more narrow- 
minded successor. The people were piqued at the cessation 
of the largesses which used to flow to them from the coffers 
of thdr inimitable &vourite. Tiberius, who took no pleasure 
in the sports of the theatre or circus, and could not, like Au- 
guBtus, good-humouredly affect it, reduced the salaries of the 
mimes and the numbers of the gladiators. He lavished no 
treasures on the decoration of the city, content to execute 
with Bcmpulous fidelity the designs his predecessor had left 
uncompleted. Yet he too could, on worthy occasions, exhibit 
munificence on an imperial scale. His reli^ to the ruined 
citieB of Asia was eoncdved in the spirit of an Augustus or a 
JnliuB, and the aid he extended to the decayed scions of no- 
ble hoQses at home showed that he could be generous from 
pdicy, 88 weH as sparing from tettper.' In times of scarcity 
he did not fail to check the rise of prices, according to the 
best lights of his day, by compensating the dealers in grain 
from his own means; and from the same well-managed re- 
sources he indemnified the citizens for their losses by the great 

' Tk. Attn. IT. 7w: ** Ban per Italiom Osesaria agri, modeeta semtia, intra 
paooos libertoa domus: ac a 4iuaiido emu pcivalis disoeptaret^ forum ao Jus." 
But a darker colour is presently dashed into the modest drab: ^qjm canota 
non qnidem comi via sed horiidus ac plerumqne formidatus, retinebat tamen, 
donee;'' fux, 

' YdL ii 126. : " Fortmta non civium tantommodo sed uibium damns 
princjj^ mmilfioeiilia TiDdioat" 

Digitized by 



fire which ravaged the quarters of the Caalios and Ayentine.' 
The whole empire reaped abundant fruits from this pmdent 
confiiderateness, in the undiminished supply of all sources of 
public revenue, and the opening of new ones. The govern- 
ment was enabled to fidfil every engagement with punctual- 
ity : its civil officers, regularly and adequately paid, had no 
excuse for extortion, its soldiers were kept within the bounds 
of discipline, and, receiving punctually their daily dole, sub- 
mitted without a murmur to the labours of the camp and the 
threats of the centurion. 

At the same time, with all his frugality, Tiberius obtain- 
ed the rare praise of personal indifference to money, and for- 
bearance' in claiming even his leiritimate dues.' 

His modcrnHon _ f^.*,, .,,, 

in regard to In many cases in which the law enriched the 

money'. » ^ % a i ^ • 

emperor with the property of a condemned crim- 
inal he waved his right, and allowed it to descend to the 
heir. He frequently reiused to accept inheritances bequeath- 
ed him by persons not actually related to him, and checked 
the base subservience of a death-bed flattery. With all these 
genuine merits towards the commonwealth, he was not blind 
to the advantage he might derive from pretending to another 
virtue, which ranked high in the estimation, of the Romans, 
^ ^ , but to which he had no real claim. From the 

Els show of - _ , , , , _ _ , 

deferenoe to Commencement of his prmcipate he anfected the 

the senate* . . i /» 

most obsequious deference to the state, as repre- 
sented by the senate, the presumed exponent of its wilL His 
first care was to make it appear to the world that his own 
pre-eminence was thrust on him by that body, which alone 
could lawfiQly confer it. We have seen under what dis- 
guises, and by what circuitous processes, he had gradually 
drawn into his own hands the powers, by which he seemed 
only seeking to enrich the senate at the expense of every 
other order. The promptness of its adulation, the proneness 

* Comp. Tac. Ann. il 87., Iv. 64., vi. 45.; VeU. il 180.; Suet. 7%. 48. 
Dion, ItMI 26. 

' Tocitufl (^itfi. ill 18.) says of hhn, as before quoted, ** Satis finnus, nt 
ssnpe memoravi, adversus pecuniam.*' Comp. Dion, ItIL 10. 17. 

Digitized by 


t7ND££ THE EUPIRfi. I59 

of its Bervility, he strove to check sometimes with grave dig- 
nity, at others with disdainful irony. When it proposed to 
call the month of November, in which he was bom, after his 
name, as July and Angnst had derived their titles from his 
predecessors, Whai^ he asked, wiU you do if there should he 
thirteen CcBsare f ^ He wonld not dlow himself to be called, 
in die addresses of its members, Dominua or Ziordy as the styk 
of a slave towards his master, nor his employments Sacred^ 
as belonging only to divinity \ nor, again, would he have it said 
that he required its attendance at his summons. He never 
entered the Curia with an escort of guards, or even of un- 
armed depend^its, and rebuked provincial governors for ad- 
dressing their despatches to himself, and not always to the 
senate.* His own communications to the august order were 
conceived in a tone of the deepest respect and even subser- 
vience. I now eay^ he would declare, ae I have often said 
before^that a goodand 'useful prince s?undd be the servant of 
the senate^ and the people generally ^ sometimes of individual 
magistrcUes, Such was his demeanour throughout the first 
years of his government : it was only late, and by degrees, 
that he drew forth the arm of power fi*om the folds of this 
specious disguise, and exhibited the princeps to the citizens 
in the fulness of his now established authority. But even to 
the last, though capricious and irregular in his behaviour, we 
are assured that his .manner was most commonly marked by 
this air of deference, and the public weal continued still to be 
manifestly the ruling object of his measures.' 

We have here before us the picture of a good sovereign 
but not of an amiable man« Had Tiberius been so fortunate 
OS to have died at the close of a ten years' prin- ^ . , 

• Tli6 piromise of 

cipate, he would have left an honourable though biflreimmar- 

. . , , .• « ««i *>y defects 

not an attractive name m the annals of Rome : of temper and 

he would have represented the Cato Censor of 

the empire, by the side of the Scipio of Augustus and the. 

' Dion, Ivil 18. » Suet 716. 27. »0. 82. 

' Suet 7\b. 29. 83. : '' Faulaam Frinc^pem exseruit^ pneetititque, et si Ta> 
rium diu, commodiorem tamen saspras et ad utUitates publicas proniorcm.** 

Digitized by 



Camillus of Cassar. The stenmess and eTen craelty he had 
80 often exhibited would have gained him no discredit with 
the Romans, so long as they were exerted against public 
offenders for the common weal, and for no selfish objects. 
Even the suspicion which from the first attached to him of 
haying procured the death of Agrippa was probably little re- 
garded : the exile of Augustus was alieady branded as a 
monstrous production of nature which ought never to have 
been reared, and might with little blame be got rid o£ But 
as the fine and interesting features of his person were marred 
by a constrained and impleasing mien and expression, so the 
patience, industry, and discretion of Tiberius were disparaged 
by a perverse temper, a crooked policy, and an uneasy sensi- 
bility. The manners of the man, a martinet in the camp, a 
clerk in the closet, a pedant in the senate-house, carried with 
them no charm, and emitted no spark of genius to kindle the 
sympathies of the nation. The princeps, from his invidious 
and questionable position, if once he &iled to attract, could 
only repel the inclinations of his subjects. If they ceased to 
ascribe to him thehr blessings, they would begin without de- 
lay to lay to his charge all their misfortunes. The mystery 
of the death of Grermanicus threw a blight on the fame of Ti- 
berius from which he never again recovered. From that mo- 
ment his countrymen judged him without discrimination, and 
sentenced him without compunction. The suspicion of his 
machinations against Gknnanicus, unproved and improbable 
as they really were, kindled their imaginations to feelings of. 
disgust and horror, which neither personal debauchery, nor 
the persecution of knights and nobles, would alone have suf- 
ficed to engender.* 

' Tacitas, we have seen, had q>eoial indaoements to do less than Joatioe to 
Tiberhis; neyertheless, his aocouni of the tyrant is not on the whole incon- 
sistent But there is no part of Dion^s history in which he fails so much as in 
his ddineation of this Offisar^s ^aracter. It is a mere Jumble of good and 
bad aotimis, for which the wziter sometunes apologizes, and insinuates as his 
excuse that the author of them was mad. The stories, hewerer, themsdves 
are often extrayagant and puerile. Such, for histance, Is that of the ardiitect, 

Digitized by 



wiio, being Bentenced to banlBhrnent by TiberiuB from mere spite, because be 
had perfor med the wonderful (eat of Btraigfatening an indmed wall, in order to 
ingratiftte himself with the tjrant, threw a glass yeesel to the ground, {ncked up 
the fragments, and set them together again, whereupon he was immediately 
pot to death, as too derer to be suffered to lire. (Dion, ItIL 21. comp. Petro 
wUf Satyr, 61, The origin of the story may be traced perhaps to a statemont 
b PDny, BitL ITaL xzxtL 66.) There is something Oriental in the turn whiok 
tiie fiuicy of Dion not nnfrequently taliea. 

Digitized by 




AND OF THE EMPRESS LITU (a. U. 782.). (a. U. 774-782. A.D. 21-29.) 

I HAVE described the rise and progress of Tiberius to a 
distinguished eminence among Roman statesmen: I 
Comparison be- ^^^6 now to introducc the reader to the decline 
tus^dK" and fall of hb well-earned reputation. The ruin 
If'^niSSSd' o^ 80 fair a character, and the frustration of such 
tteminofabu- respcctable abilities and virtues, was not the 
A.©. 21. work of a day, nor the effect of any single crime 
A.U. 747. or failure. The temper of the times and the vir- 
cumstances of his position presented the most formidable ob- 
stacles to a sustained good goyemment, which the Romans 
had not perhaps the patriotism to appreciate or support. 
But the honourable ambition of the second princeps to see 
everything with his own eyes, and execute everything with 
his own hands, was in fact itself suicidal Augustus, with 
the Roman world exhausted and prostrate at his feet, crav- 
ing only to be moulded by his policy and informed with in- 
spiration from his mouth, had accustomed himself from the 
first to act by able and trusty ministers. He was wisely 

Digitized by 


k. U. 774] imDKR THE EMPIRE. 


content to see many things with the eyes of a Maecenas, to 
act in many things with the hands of an Agrippa. His 
bravest auxiliary he yentnred generously to connect with 
himself by the bonds of a &mily alliance. At a later period 
he educated the members of his own house to relieve Hirn^ one 
after another, of some of the Amotions of his station. Ti- 
berius he associated with himself on terms of almost complete 
equaHty. But Augustus was a man of genius : he was the 
soul of the Roman empire: fame, fortune, and conscious 
ability had inspired him with unwavering self-reliance. It 
was impossible for his successor, bred in the sphere of an ad- 
jutant or an official, to have the same lofty confid^ioe in 
himself^ and to discard with a smile the suggestions of every 
vulgar jealousy. Tiberius, thoroughly trained in the routine 
of business, might believe himself competent to the task of 
government ; he might devote himself with intense and rest- 
less application to every detail of the public serrice, and 
straggle against his overwhelming anxieties with desperate 
and even gallant perseverance. But he was animated by no 
inward consciousness of power, and when he felt himself 
baffled by the odds against him, he could not look round 
serenely for the help he needed. Those of his own household 
he repelled from him as enemies, and instead of choosing the 
ablest counsellor in the fittest quarter, allowed himself to fall 
under the influence of the nearest and least scrupulous intri- 
guer. Even Sejanus he did not formally appoint as his min- 
ister, nor avowedly surrender to him any definite share in his 
affidrs; but he yielded him his own mind and will in all . 
things, let the conduct of the empire slip insensibly out of 
his own hands, and allowed the world to despise him as the 
puppet of his own minion. 

It has been already represented that Tiberius, from the 
character of his mind, preferred the services of an obscure 
and humble client to those of an associate of lofty Th« jedonsy 
rank and corresponding pretensions. Accord- Jj^jfjlthi 
mgly, in giving his confidence to Sejanus, he JS^^bSenuo? 
never contemplated raising him to a position of ^^^^ 

Digitized by 



IndependeDt authority: on the contrary, he conceived that 
the meanness of his origin, the subordinate office he filled, and 
above all, perhaps, the mediocrity of his talents, were a suffi- 
cient guarantee against his rising into rivalry with himself. 
Tho Imperial "^^ imperial family still flourished with numer- 
*^*^^- ous scions : among these his own son occupied 

the first place ; and this prince, since the death of his cousin 
Germanicus, united every claim of birth, years, and ability 
_, ^ to share with his father the toils and honours of 

Tiberias and . 

DniBut,coii- administration. In the year Y74, accordingly, 
Tiberius appointed himself consul in conjunction 
with Drusus, an union, however, of which the citizens, it is 
said, augured unfavourably : for all the previous colleagues 
of Tiberius — ^namely. Varus, Kso, and Germanicus — ^had per- 
ished by violent and shocking deaths/ Both in this in- 
stance, and in a fifth, which afterwards followed, these fore- 
bodings, it will appear, were destined to be fiitally fulfilled. 
A deep gloom was settling on the imperial palace, from 
whence no light gleamed to cheer the Roman people, and 
dispel with the prospect of ftiture prosperity the misgivings 
which now assailed them. The emperor began to betray a 
disposition for retirement and solitude. The moments he 
could abstract from the ceaseless pressure of business he de- 
voted to consultation with astrologers and diviners, listening 
to their interpretation of his dreams, and requiring an expo- 
sition of the occult meaning of every sound that reached him, 
or vision that flashed upon his sight. In order perhaps to 
secure himself from observation in pursuits which he had in- 
terdicted to the citizens, he vras now anxious to escape from 
the city, where his residence had been for many years un- 
broken, so painful was the assiduity he had bestowed on the 
details ol his vast administration. For this purpose he with- 
drew to the pleasant coast of Campania, professing that his 
health required change of scene and alleviation of labour, 
leaving the eonduot of the executive iii the hands of Drusus, 

Tac. Ann, iil 81. ; Dion, IviL 20. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

A. U. 774.1 UNDEB THE EMPIRE. 165 

thoagh he retained a vigilant supervision of aJQ&irs, and con- 
stantly explained his views and wishes in despatches address- 
ed to the senate. The behaviour of the young consul, thus 
watched and guided, seems to have been temper- character of 
ate and judicious. He smoothed the differences ^^^^^ 
between the proudest and most turbulent of the nobles ; and 
his interference was the more graceM as it was employed to 
enforce an act of submission On the part of a Lucius Sulla, a 
contemporary of his own, towards Domitius Corbulo, a man 
of greater age and political experience.^ He checked, as we 
have seen, the licentious appetd to the imperial majesty as a 
protection for calunmious' railing, and evaded rather than 
opposed the unseasonable rigour of the reformers, who asked 
the senate to prohibit the governors of provinces from taking 
their consorts with them. He had himself, he said, derived 
much comfort from the society of his own partner in his vari- 
ous military missions, and Livia, still the mirror of Roman 
matrons, had marched by the side of Augustus from Rome 
to every frontier of the empire. Drusus at this time was 
thirty years of age. From his earliest adolescence he had 
been employed in the career of arms, and he had already 
been diatiii^aished by a previous consulship in the year 768.* 
He was well known therefore both to the soldiers and the 
people; and though neither the one nor the other bestowed 
on him the regard they had lavished on his cousin, he was 
not on the whole unpopular with either. Even his vices 
were favourably contrasted with those of his father. He 
might be cruel and sanguinary in his enjo3rment of the sports 
of the circus ; the sharpest of the gladiator's swords received 
from him the name of Drusian: but this was better, in the 
popular view, than the moroseness of Tiberius, who evinced 
no satisfaction in such spectacles at aU. He might be too 

' Tac Aml ill 81. This Corbulo must be distinguished firom another of 
Ihe flBDid name, whose exploits and mdanoholy fkte will occupy some of our 
fotore pages. He had alroMly filled the oflice of praetor, and Is represented as 
an eldcvly personage. The younger Oorfoulo died nearly fifty years lat^. 

* Tac. Anru I 55. : "Druso 09«aie, 0. Norbano Ooss. a.u. 768." 

Digitized by 



much addicted to revelry and caroosing : but this again was 
a &alt which a few years might correct, and which showed 
at least some geniality of temper, more amiable than his 
father's reserve.* We have a surer evidence of his merits in 
the affection in which he had lived with his more popular 
cousin, and the tenderness he displayed for the bereaved 
children. Of these the eldest, known by the name of Nero, 
was now sixteen ; the second, Drusus, was younger by a 
single year ; while Caius, the third, was only eleven. The 
family of Germanicus had consisted altogether of nine, a 
number apparently very unusual in a Roman household.' 

Some fresh incursions of Tacfarinas at this period within 

the borders of the African province induced the emperor to 

address a missive to the senate, to whom the 

Renewed dis- ... 

tnrbancei in government attached, requinng it to appomt an 
efficient proconsul without delay, to undertake 
the task of finally reducing him. The provinces allotted to 
the senate were precisely those in which there was least ap- 
prehension of serious hostilities, or prospect of the active em- 
ployment of their governors in the camp. To equip an army 
for actual service, to select an experienced commander, and 
send him forth to reap laurels, and perhaps to earn a triumph, 
was to trench upon the imperial prerogative ; the submissive 
senators shrank from exercising a right which accident had 
thus put into their hands, and begged to refer the choice to 
the emperor. With his usual dissimulation, Tiberius affected 
some displeasure at the duties of the fathers being thus 
thrown on himself; for he already bore, as he decided, a 
heavier burden than one man could well sustain. He refused 
to do more than nominate two candidates, M. Lepidus and 
Junius BIbdsus, between whom he required the senate to make 

' Tac. Ann. iL 4f , iil 87.; Dion, Ivii. 18, 14. ; Plin. SttL NaL xiv. 28.: 
^ Neo alio magis DnisuB Csesar regenerasse patrem Hberiom ferebatur.** 

* The horrid piaotioe of exposure and infanticide—^ Nmnemm liberorum 
finire,*' as Tadtafl gently qualifies it (Ottm, 19.)-*-ha8 been already referred ta 
The fact that women bore no distinctiTe prsenomen, is terribly significant It 
icems to show how few daughters in a family were reared. 

Digitized by 



the final selectioii. Both disclaimed the honour ; 
hnt BlsBSus was nncle to Sejanna, and for him, as pXted pro- 
was well known, the appointment was actnally ^^^ 
reserved. The excuses of Lepidus were accordingly accept* 
ed ; those of his rival, probably less sincere, were courteously 
waived ; and the fevourite was gratified by the elevation of 
a kinsman, of no pre'^ous distinction, to a place of power, 
which he might employ perhaps, at some fiiture period, for 
the advancement of his own fortunes.* 

The consulship of Drusus was distinguished, however, by 
commotions of fer greater importance in another quarter. 
The success with which the Germans had defend- 
ed tbeir liberties against the invaders, had not 
been unobserved by the nations, pacified though they were, 
and bowed to the yoke for three quarters of a century, with- 
in the Khine. For their advantage the discovery seemed to 
be made that the legions were not invincible ; perhaps they 
read the secret of this decline of their efficiency in the muti- 
nous spirit which had been manifested in their encampments. 
The panic which had recently pervaded Italy, the alarm 
Augustus had himself exhibited, and the violent measure of 
expelling the dreaded Germans from the city, were taken as 
a ooniession of weakness. At the same time the exactions 
of the fiscal officers were continued and perhaps redoubled ; 
the demands made for military supplies had become intoler- 
ably grievous : at last some diiefs of the native tribes, men 
who bad b^en distinguished with the franchise of the city, 
and admitted to the name and clientele of the imperial house, 
were roused by the general discontent, or their own ambi* 
tious hopes, to intrigue against the power of the conquerors. 
The ramifications of their conspiracy extended, it was said, 
through every tribe in the country ; its chief centres were 
among the Belgsd in the north, and the Mdm in the interior; 
the most prominent of its leaders in the one quarter bore the 
Roman appellation of Julius Florus, in the other that of 

' Tac Ann, Hi, 85. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


Jalios Sacrovir, a name which seems to mark him as a man 
of priestly family, and armed, therefore, with all the influ* 
ence of his proscribed caste. But the measures of the patriot 
chiefs were dbconcerted by the premature outbreak of the 
Andi and Turones. Sacrovir himself, in order to save ap- 
pearances, was compelled to head his auxiliary cohorts by 
the side of the legionaries, and assist in coercing his own im- 
prudent allies. N'eyertheless his real sentiments did not es- 
cape suspicipn ; and when he threw off his helmet on the 
field of battle, in the exuberance, as he protested, of his 
courage and resolution, some of the rebel captives did not 
hesitate to declare that he had made himself known to his 
friends to divert their missiles in other directions. Tiberius 
was informed of this presumed treachery, but he thought fit 
to take no notice of it* 

The speedy reduction of the Turones and Andi did not 

suppress the meditated revolt. When the moment arrived 

the Bel&:se were not unfaithful to their enficasce- 

InsorrecUon of ° . _ _. , . ,. 

the Beign sop- mcuts, notwithstanding this discouragement. 
Florus gained a few Treviran auxiliaries, and 
gave the signal for revolt by the massacre of some Roman 
traders. His ranks were soon swelled by followers of his 
own dan, and by the needy and oppressed of the surround- 
ing tribes ; but unable to make head against the Romans in 
the field they were driven to seek a refuge in the dense for- 
ests of the Ardennes. Here they were surrounded, captured 
and disarmed, chiefly by the efforts of a personal enemy of 
Florus, a Gaul who himself bore the name of Julius Indus. 
Florus now threw himself on his own sword, and the Belgian 
^ insurrection was at once suppressed. The resist- 

Ke^stanoe of 

the jBdui VHP auce of the ^dui under Sacrovir, who flew at the 

same time to arms, was more resolute and proved 

more formidable. The vigour of this tribe was greater, its 

resources and alliances more coiudderable, and the forces of 

' Tac Ann, ill 40. : '* Eodem anno Gallianim dvitates ob magnitadixiem 
laris alieni rebeUionem coeptiTere.*' Jbid, 41. : " Tiberius .... aloit dubita^ 
tione beUam." 

Digitized by 



the RomaiiB were stationed at a greater distance from it. 
The rumour of the disafieption was even greater than the 
reality. It was reported at Rome that no less than sixty-four 
Gaulish states had revolted in a body, that the German tribes 
had united their forces with them, that the obedience of 
either Spain was trembling in the balance. The flower of 
the youth of the entire province was collected in the impe- 
rial university at Augustodunum. Arms had been purchas- 
ed or fiibricated in secret, and there were many brave young 
hands to wield them. The chiefs of every clan were follow- 
ed to the field by hosts of slaves and clients, very imperfect- 
ly equipped ; but considerable reliance was placed on the 
native gladiators, of whom some troops were maintained in 
the Romanized capital, who were clad in complete chain or 
scale armour, and were expected to form a firm and impene- 
trable phalanx.* It required a pitched battle, with numer- 
ous armies arrayed on both sides, to bring this last revolt to 
an issue. Nevertheless, when Silius, the Roman general, was 
at leisure to direct two legions, with their auxiliaries, from 
their quarters in Belgica, against the centre of this insurrec- 
tion, its power of resbtance was found to be far below the 
alarm it had created. The Roman soldiers were cnwhod br si- 
animated with the most determined spirit ; the ^^ 
hope of plunder among the opulent cities of the long pacified 
province nerved their discipline and courage, while the ap- 
proach of the successors of the Csesarean conquerors spread 
dismay among the raw levies of the Gauls. At the twelfth 
milestone jfrom Augustodunum the insurgents awaited the 
advance of the Romans.* Their main body, consisting chiefly 
of the naked or light-armed, was speedily broken and put to 

* Tac. Ann, iil 43. : " CrupeHarios vocant" Thierry derives the woid from 
the Gadio *' crup,** *^ resserrer et aoasi rendre impotent ; crupach et crioplach. 
perdas, manchof Thierry, Gcadoia^ iil 275, 

* The site of this battle must, in all {nrobalnlity, have been to the north of 
Angastodiminn, on the road into Belgica, from whence the Romans were ad* 
Tandng. li would, therefore, be ahnost on the spot where Osesar routed the 
Hebetii in hia first campaign. 


Digitized by 



flight ; the mail-clad stood their ground, because they were 
unable to shift it ; but poles, axes, and pitchforks completed 
the T^ork of the sword, and once overthrown the iron masses 
could rise no more, 

Sacrovir the Druid, the leader and soul of the rebellion, 
had effected his escape from the field ; but his associates, now 
Death of Sa- cowcd and Spiritless, refused to defend Augus- 
SEtton^f 2?' todunum, and threatened to deliver him into the 
^"- hands of the victors. Flying from thence to a 

neighbouring homestead, he engaged his few faithful com- 
panions to sacrifice themselves over his body in mutual com- 
bat, having first fired the house, and involved the scene of 
blood in a general conflagration. It was not till this catas- 
trophe was accomplished that Tiberius could proclaim, in a 
letter to the senate, the origin and at the same time the com- 
pletion of the war.* He could now afford, without exciting 
too much apprehension, to give it full and fiiir account of the 
recent danger, and to apportion their due meed of praise to 
his commanders, while he claimed for himself the merit of 
having directed their movements from a distance. He con- 
descended to excuse himself and Drusus for having allowed 
an affair of so much moment to be transacted in the field 
without their own active participation. It was, he felt, some- 
thing new in the military annals of the republic, that the 
imperator, the commander of her armies and the minister of* 
her policy, and the consul, the executive instrument of her 
will, should entrust her vital interests to the hands of tribunes 
and lieutenants ; but the capital was becoming, under the 
regimen of a single man, of far more importance than the 
frontiers, and any cause of alarm from abroad must redound 
with double force on the centre of the empire. Now that the 
alarm was removed, he added, he might venture himself to 
quit Rome, and visit the districts so recently disturbed. The 

' Tac. Arm, VA. 47. : *' Turn demmn !nberiii8 ortum patratumqne benom se- 
natoi Bcripeit." Y^eiiui (ii. 129.) turns this into a compUmnt : ^ Quanta 
moIiB bellum .... mira odetitate compreBstt, ut ante P. R. Ticisse quam bd- 
tare oognoBceret, nuntiosque periculi Tictoriie prooederet nnntios 1 " 

Digitized by 


senate applauded his sagacity, and decreed a Supplication 
for the return he promised from his sojourn in a suburban 
pleasure house, such as had often been tendered for Augus- 
tus, after distant and perilous expeditions. The proposal of 
an individual flatterer, that he should be invited to enter the 
city from Campania ndtb the honours of an ovation, he de- 
clined, not perhaps without some resentment at an excess 
of officious adulation, which seemed to savour of mock- 

Probably the emperor had no real intention of quitting 
Italy. Bis years and increasing infirmities might furnish a 
colourable excuse ; the constant pressure of busi- tiie Tribnni- 
ness close at liome was in fact an adequate rea- ft^^^*' ****"' 

I Qpon 
son. Prom day to day the obsequious senators SSSfoi wnST" 
continued to urge him to regulate by his mere ^b^rfo** 
word every public concern, and as regularly did he reply 
with formal and diffuse epistles, reproving them for their in- 
dolence or timidity, and then proceeding to discuss, balance, 
and decide the questions submitted to his attention. In the 
year 775, on the completion of 'his son's consulship, he de- 
sired the senate to confer on him the tribunitian power in 
conjunction with himself as Agrippa had been joined with 
Augustus, and afterwards himself in the highest of all hon- 
orary titles. It was as a mere title indeed rather than a sub- 
stantive office and function that the jealous emperor meant 
this dignity to be imparted. As such it might suffice to an- 
swer the murmurs he anticipated on the avowal of his own 
debility. Nevertheless, amidst every outward demonstration 
of subservience and respect, the new appointment was can- 
vassed in some quarters with fireedom, and received with ill- 
disguised dissatis&ction. The pride, it is said, of the pre- 
sumptive emperor made him unpopular in the senate ; and he 
was not reputed to have yet fairly earned, though indeed he 
had served the republic at home and abroad for eight years, 
a claim to be thus designated as the future autocrat of Rome. 
The loyalty of the Romans, at least of the proud and quer- 
ulous nobles, bore still a skin of soft and delicate texture 

Digitized by 



which might be wonnded by the slightest shifting of the 
trappings in whkh it had arrayed itself* 

But this discontent at the elevation of Drosus, and the 
complaints that he, at least, had no excuse from age or in- 
firmity for declining the hardships of distant 

Arabltlon and ," ,.» t ■, i • 7» i tt 

iDtrigoM of se- service, to which nevertheless his mther did not 
^^ choose to dismiss him, were prompted or fos- 

tered, we may believe, by the artifices of Sejanus. The un- 
paralleled indulgence this man had obtained from his patron 
only inspired him with the ambition of supplanting the more 
legitimate object of imperial fovour. His influence had 
acquired the government of Africa for his uncle, and with 
it the command of an army, and the conduct of an important 
war. On the successfol issue of the campaigns in which 
Blsesus was now engaged, and on the final defeat, as he 
vaunted, of the daring foe, who, though regarded by the 
liomans as no better than a deserter and a bandit, had pre- 
sumed to offer terms of accommodation with the emperor on 
the footing of a rival potentate, Sej^ius succeeded in getting 
him leave to accept the imperatorial title from his soldiers ; 
a military distinction now rarely and reluctantly accorded, 
treading, as it aj^>arently did, too closely on Uie imperial 
designation of the chief of the state himself Even Augustus 
had disoonntenaneed the licence earned and claimed by the 
legions at the close of a well-fought day. Blsesus was the 
last Roman officer in whose case this military salutation was 
formally sanctioned by the emperor. It was only as the 
proconsul of a senatorial province that he could have any 
pretence for hearkening to it; and it was authorised this 
last time out of regard only for Sejanus, Tiberius resolving, 
we may believe, never again to place a nominee of the senate 
in a position to merit it' It was fitting that the last sur- 

' Taa Ann. HI 56, 69, 

• Taa Ann, iii 74. De U Bleterie remarks (Mrni. Acad. Imer, xxi.) that 
Cornelius Batbus, the last private citizen who triumphed, and Blsesus, the last 
who was saluted imperator, were both proconsuls of a senatorial provinoe, the 
only one in which military operations might be anticipated. The next emperor 

Digitized by 



viTing witness of the glories of the ancient Republic shoald 
expire with this linal flicker of its military independence. 
At the close of this year, the commencement of 
the sixty-fourth since the fetal era of Philippi, seqnietofju- 
Jama Tertulla, the niece of Cato, the wife of 
Cassias, the sister of Bmtas, was carried to the resting place 
of her illostrioos house.' In her had centred the revenues as 
well as the traditions of many noble femilies, and she grati- 
fied a just pride by distributing her riches by will among 
the most distinguished personages of the city, omitting only 
the emperor himself* Tiberius bore the slight without re- 
main, and permitted the virtues of the deceased to be cele- 
brated in a speech from the rostra, which could not ML to 
revive the memory of a thousand republican glories. But 
the leaders of the fimeral procession, when they carried be- 
fore the bier the images of the Manlii, the Quinctii, the 
Servilii, and the Junii, and of twenty in all of the noblest 
houses of Rome, were instructed to forbear fipom exhibiting 
the busts of Cassias and Brutus, who, in the pithy words of 
the historian, were in fact all the more remarked for the 
absence of their illustrious effigies.* 

The success which had thus fer attended the intrigues of 
Sejanus, had inspired him iieith hopes the most unbounded. 
The prefecture of the city, with which he had ^ 
been invested, was the inmiediate instrument of ushe* the Pr»- 
the imperial will, and though it had been held **™^* 

before him by Messala, Taurus, and Piso, among the most 
honoured names in Rome, it was not of a nature to confer 
either power or dignity itself But the new adventurer con- 
ceived a design of using it to advance an inordinate ambition. 
Hitherto the soldiers of the prsBtorian guard, who were 
pkced under his orders, were quartered, nine or ten thousand 

»iU.diew the leipon of Afdca. from the command of the eenatorial proconsul, 
and plaeed h, as we shall aee^ under an officer of hia own appcuntmentk 

* The battle of Philii^ was fought in the antomn of 112. 

* Tac. Arm. iil 76. : '*Sed pnalblgebant Casmus atque Brotus eo ipso quod 
•ffigics eorum non yisebtintur." 

Digitized by 



in number, in small barracks at yarious points throughout 
the city, or in the neighbouring towns.* Dispersed in these 
numerous cantonments, they were the less available on a 
sudden emergency: their discipline was lax, and scattered 
up and down among the citizens, they were liable to be 
tampered with by the turbulent or disloyal Yet Augustus 
had never ventured on a step so bold and novel as to bring 
them altogether into a camp, and let the citizens see and 
number the garrison by which they really were enthralled. 
He had kept no more than three cohorts or eighteen hundred 
men in the city or at its gates. It was left for the days of 
confirmed and all but acknowledged royalty, and the private 
ambition of a minister, to achieve this regal consummation. 
Perhaps the terror of the Varian disaster, when the city 
itself was supposed for a moment to be defenceless against a 
foreign foe, gave the first excuse for the change which was 
Its site and di- Speedily introduced. Beyond the north-eastern 
mcnsioDA. angle of the city, and between the roads which 
sprang from the Yiminal and Colline gates, the prefect 
marked out a regular encampment for the quarters of these 
household troops. The line of the existing enclosure which 
was traced about two centuries later, exhibits a rectangular 
projection, by which the limits o( the spot and its dimensions 
are still ascertained. An oblong space, the sides of which 
are five hundred and four hundred yards respectively, em- 
bracing an area of two hundred thousand square yards, was 
arranged like a permanent camp for the lodgment of this 
numerous force.' Having collected his myrmidons together, 
the prefect began to ply them with flatteries and indul« 
gences : he appointed all their officers, their tribunes and 

' Tac Ann. Iv. 2. Dion, 10,000, Tacitos and Suetonius, 9000. 

* The dimensions of the prtBtoriaii oamp are ghren in Bunscn^s Home, iii. 2. 
359. The ordinary camp, according to the arrangonent of Polybius, was a 
■quaie of 20V7i English feet for a consular army ci two legions, or including 
allies, 19,200 men. TiAa area would contain 480,000 square yards. See Gen- 
eral Boy*s MUUtiy AfUiquiHtB of the JRomoM in Briiam. According to the 
system of Hyginus, in the time of Trajan, t^e soldiers were pocked much mort 

Digitized by 



centoiionSy and at the same time fotmd means, throngh the 
agency of the senate, of advancing his creatnres to employ- 
ment in the provinces. It was strange to see how Tiberins 
shut his eyes to the manccnvres thus practised before his 
fiice. On the most public occasions he loudly proclaimed 
that Scjanus was tfhe associate of his own labottrs : he per- 
mitted his busts and statues to be set up in the theatres and 
forums, and even to receive the salutation of the soldiers/ 

Still, notwithstanding these unprecedented marks of 
&vour, and the symptoms they revealed of the emperor's 
infirmity, Sejanus could not &il to see, in the re- 

•■• /»-rx « 4»-i. Machinations 

cent elevation of Drusus, how far his master yet of sctjanoB 

jk t • 1 f dn • against DruflUB. 

was from contemplatmg the transfer of empire 
from his son to a stranger. To remove the rival whom ho 
despaired of supplanting was become necessary for his own 
security; for Drusus was instinctively hostile to him; he 
had murmured at his pretensions, unveiled his intrigues, and 
in the petulance of power had even raised his hand against 
him.* The prince had complained that his fether, though 
having a son of his own, had in fact devolved no small por- 
tion of the government on a mere alien. Sejanus, he mut- 
tered, was regarded by the people as the emperor's actual 
colleague : the camp of the praetorians was the creation of 
his caprice for the advancement of his authority ; the soldiers 
had transferred to him their military allegiance, and his 
image had been openly eidiibited as an object of popular 
interest in the theatre of Pompeius.* Moreover he had 
already contracted an alliance with the fkmily of the Csesars 
by the betrothal of his daughter to a son of Claudius, the 
surviving brother of Germanicus.* But Drusus was married 

* Toe. h. %. : ^^Eacfli Tiberio fttqne ita proDO, at sodiim labonim non modo 
in setmonibiis, sed i|Hui FbtreB et Popalom celebraret; ooliqae per theatra et 
ton. effigioi igva, inteiqie priacipSa legioiuim siaeret." 

* Tac Jam, t7. 8. * Taa ^ita iv. 1. 

* Tac Ann, ill 29. : ** Adyersis animis acoeptnm quod fitio Cla«dii sooer Se* 
jamia deetmaretar." This marriage £d not take effect, DniBci% the BOn of 
Cbndioa, dying by a nnsolar accident while /et a child, a few days after the 

Digitized by 



to a weak and vain woman, whom Sejanns, by affecting a 
violent passion for hor, had succeeded in sedncing and at* 
taching vehemently to his interests. Divorcing, as the first 
step in his designs, his own consort, Apicata, he had extend- 
ed to Livilla the prospect of marriage with himself, and 
therewith of a share in the empire to which she encouraged 
him to aspire. Such at least was the story which was long 
afterwards revealed by the confessions of their slaves under 
torture ; a story of little value, perhaps, except as displaying 
the current of popular opinion ; for the wife of Drusus, it 
might be supposed, was already nearer to the throne than 
the paramour of Sejanus. Probably the unfortunate woman 
consulted no other tempter than her own passion, and was 
persuaded to listen to his solicitations for the removal of the 
obstacle between them.* With the help of a confidential 
physician and a corrupt slave, they contrived, after many 
delays, to administer poison to the prince, of which he lin- 
gered long enough to give his decline the appearance of s 
casual sickness, brought on, as some imagined, by intemper- 

The loss of the unfortunate son of Tiberius seems to have 
been attended with none of those passionate regrets which 

betrothal Snei Claud, 27.: "Drosmn Pompeiis impubercm amisit piro, pei 
lusmn in Bublimc jacto ct hlatu oris excepto, etrangulatum ; ciii ct ante pauooa 
dies filiam Sejani despondisset" Dion, Ix. 82. 

' Tac. Ann, ir. 8.: ^'Scjanns, maturandum ratos, deligit Tenenmn, quo 
paolatim Srrepente, fortmtos morbos mddmularetnr: id Dniso datum per Lyg* 
dam spedonem, ut octo poet annos oognitmn eat." Another Tersioii of the 
story, which Taoitns cannot refrain from repeating, thon^ he acknowledges 
how little it deserred credit, was, that Scjanus oontriyed to poison the cap 
which Drosos was about to present to Ids &ther, and warned Tiberius not to 
accq)t it; whereupon Drusus, having no suspicion of the fraud, and anxious in 
his innocence to ayert suspicion, himself swallowed the drau^t Hbcrius, 
however, was persuaded that he committed the suidde in despair on befog dis- 
ooTcred. Tac Arm, iv. 10. Such were the frntastio horrors whSdi obtained 
credence among the dtlsens, and such wild credulity is perhaps the ftrongest 
evidence of their fears and suiTerings. 

* This was the cause, accordmg to Suetonius {Ttb, 62.), to whldi Tiberius 
hhnself was induced to attribute it. 

Digitized by 


A.U. 778.] UNDER THE EMPIEE. 177 

have thrown a mournful interest OTer the de- FumiieM real 
cease of his nephew. The family of the popular SbSiS^ttL 
favoorite seemed, on the contrary, to gain fresh ^^^^ 
lustre from the disaster which thus befell the rival branch of 
the imperial house. No suspicion was aroused, no inquiry at 
least was made into the cause of the young Cesar's death. 
The iiiiage of antique fortitude which Tiberius pretended to 
present, caused some curious remarks, but little admiration, 
among the soft impulsive people, who had long cast aside 
the iron mask of their ancient discipline* Entering the sen* 
ate, where the consuls, in sign of public mourning, had relin- 
quished their place of honour, and were sitting promiscuous- 
ly on the common benches of the senators, he bade them 
resume their curule chairs, and declared that for himself, he 
found his only consolation in the performance, more strict 
than ever, of his public duties. Tearing himself from the 
corpse of his child and the embraces of his &mily, he rushed, 
with redoubled devotion, into the affair^ of the republic. He 
lamented the extreme age of his mother Livia, his own de- 
clining years, now deprived of the support of sons and 
nephews, and asked leave to recommend to the fkthers the 
last survivors of his hopes, the youthful children of German- 
icus. The consuls sprang to their feet, and left the room to 
conduct the young Nero and. Drusus into the assembly. 
They placed them before the emperor, who taking them by 
the hand exclaimed: These orpJians I placed under the pro* 
tection of their uncle^ entreating him to regard them as his 
own. Now that he too is dead^ J turn to f/ot^/athers^ and 
acfjure you by the gods of owr ootmtry to receive, cherish, and 
direct these grectt-grandihUdren ofAugtistus. Then turning 
to the young men he added : Nero and Drusus, behold yovr 
parents : in the station to which you have been bom, your 
good and evil are the good and evU of the state.^ 

In betraying the hoUowness of his conduct to a genera- 
tion keenly alive to an overacted hypocrisy, Tiberius showed 

* Tac Ann, ir. S. : ** Ita nati estis at bona malaque vestra ad rem pubU- , 
cam pertineani" 

VOL. V. — 12 

Digitized by 



The Komwis ^^^ ^^^^^^ ^^ Comprehended the character of the 
ri2i?*^^d- tinies. Augustus might repeat the farce of pre- 
Storf thew^ tending to restore the Republic ; but when the 
public second princeps now proposed, in the ftdness of 

his simulated affliction, to imitate this magnanimity, every 
feeling of compassion for the loss he deplored and of admira* 
tion for his fortitude was overwhelmed by a sense of ridicule. 
It was a relief to both parties to divert their thoughts with 
the splendid pageant of a ftineral, in which the long line ol 
heroes of the Julian and Claudian houses, from uSneas and 
the Alban kings on the one side, from Clausus, the Sabine 
chieftain, on the other, was represented by their genuine or 
imaginary effigies. Even while Tiberius was pronouncing 
the expected eulogy on the virtues of the deceased, Sejanus, 
attending at his side, might be emboldened, by the coolness 
_ with which the citizens received it, to plan the 

The mftscnilne _, «,. « •■ • e* i» -i 

virtaes of complctiou of his schemcs by a series of fresh 

Agrlpplna. , , __ _ a • • /» 

atrocities. The brave Agiippma was not of a 
character to be corrupted like the weak Livilla : her virtue 
was invincible, and her vigilance never slept in guarding her 
children from the perils that environed them. But the cir- 
cumstances of her bereavement, and the favour which had 
been extended to her enemy Planeina, had left a fatal impres- 
sion on her mind. With a rooted distrust of the emperor she 
joined a bold and no doubt a fierce and violent spirit. Like 
a true Roman she exercised without fear or shame the na- 
tional licence of the tongue, and in a court where no whisper 
was not repeated, proclaimed aloud to every listener the 
wrongs of which she deemed herself the victim.* The fer- 
tility with which her marriage had been blest had been long 
a source of jealousy to the morbid self-love of the empress- 
mother, which even in extreme age, and though her son had 
reached the summit of her wishes, was piqued by the mater- 
nal taunts of this Niobe of the palace." The court was filled 
with spies and intriguers, encouraged by Sejanus, with the 

' Tertull. Apol, 26. : « lUa lingua Romana." • Tac. Ann: It. 12. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


assurance of favour from the emperor himself^ to place the 
worst coDStmction on her words and actions, and to entice 
her hj insidious artifices to utter erery sentiment of pride 
and impatience. To the suspicion that he was hostile at 
heart to his nephew's family, Tiherius gave peiiiaps some 
colour by the moroseness with which he repelled the compli- 
ment to them, by which some of his least wary courtiers now 
souirht to eratify him. When the priests direct- _^ 

^ , iiii i«> -•« 1 -, •■■■ ^ Tlberlui ap- 

ed that vows should be offered for the health of puentivjemi- 

the prmceps himself, conjommg therewith the uy of G«niuui 
names of Nero and Drusus, he rebuked them im- 
patiently for their unseasonable officiousness^ But with his 
usual maladroitness, the terms he used were such as seemed 
to imply a feeling of jealousy towards the young men. He 
complained that to join them with himself in this prayer for 
the imperial family was to make as much of their health, 
young and yigorous as they were, as of the grave infirmity 
of years under which he felt himself to labour. Did you this^ 
he peevishly added, at the request of Agrippino^ or were you 
moved to it by her menaces f When they protested warmly 
agwist either imputation, he recollected himself and con- 
fined himself to a moderate rebuke, at the same time desiring 
the senate to abstain henceforth from exciting a giddy ambi- 
tion by premature distinctions.^ Sejanus followed in his 
master's key, and declared his alarm lest the state should be 
split into &ctions by the partisans of Agrippina and her 
children. He even recommended measures for reducing the 
influence of certain nobles who had shown most alacrity in 
serving them. Tiberius, sore and vexed with himself and all 
about him, acquiesced in every counsel his only fieivourite ad- 
ministered to him : he showed his ill-humour by a captious- 
ness which could never refrain from bitter speeches even on 
the most trifling occasions. Disregard and sympathy seem- 
ed to be equally distasteful to him. When the citizens of 
Ilium sent envoys to condole with him on the death of Dru* 

" Tac. Arm, ir. 17. 

Digitized by 



sus, a deputation which could not reach him till some monthn 
after the event, he condoled with them in return for the loss 
of their excellent countryman Hector.* 

The year V76, the ninth ofTiberius, is marked by Tacitus 
as the turning point in character of the second principate. 
Up to this time the government, he affirms, had 
of the prind- been conducted with honour and advantage to 
Sias from the the commonwcalth ; and thus far the emperor, 
^°" he adds, might fairly plume himself on his do- 

mestic felicity, for the death of Germanicus he reckoned 
among his blesHngs^ rather than his afflictions. From that 
period, however, fortune began to waver : sorrows and dis- 
appointments harassed him and soured his temper: he be- 
came cruel himself, and he stimulated cruelty in others,* 
The mover and contriver of the atrocities which followed, it 
was allowed on aXl hands, was the wretched Sejanus. Their 
instruments were the corrupt and profligate courtiers, who 
pressed foi'ward to earn the rewards of delation, and soon 
outstripped by their assiduity even the ardour of Sejanus 
himself. While the intrigues of the aspiring favourite were 
directed against the friends and allies of the family of Ger- 
manicus, Tiberius was perhaps unconscious, in his retirement, 
of the secret machinations of the prefect, and seemed to won- 
der more and more at the zeal of his subjects in hunting 
down all whom they presumed to be his enemies, and bring- 
ing them to condign justice. His personal fears, and by this 
time the selfishness of his character, had degenerated into ex- 
cessive timidity, were constantly excited by the pretended 
i*at«ofC.8i- discovery of plots against him. The wife of 
"'^^ SiliuB, the pacifier of Gaul, was a friend of Agrip- 

pina ; her husband accordingly was marked out for the first 
victim, and accused of the gravest crimes against the state.* 
It was affirmed that he had connived at the ripening pro- 
Suet, ra. 52. 

* Tac. Ann, It. 1. : " Cum repcnte turbare fortuna ccfipit; sjevire ipse aut 
BJcvientibus vires praebcre." 
■ Tac Ann, iy. 19. 

Digitized by 



jects of Sacrovii*, instead of cmahing the conspiracy in the 
germ : even when Tictorious, his triumph, it was insinuated, 
was sullied by selfish cupidity, and the MthM subjects of 
the empire had been made to gi*oan under exacti(ms which 
should have been confined to those who ha J joined in the 
rebellion. Such, it was said, were the yehemence and perti* 
nadty with which these charges were pressed upon him, that 
despairing of his defence, he anticipated the inevitable sen* 
tence by a voluntary death.^ He was not perhaps wholly 
innocent. But his wife, moreover, was driven into banish- 
ment; and the emperor'js appetite for prosecution was at 
length whetted, to the great satis&ction of the delators, by 
the rich plunder which he was persuaded to taste. The 
treasures which Silius was convicted of having extorted from 
the provincials were in no case restored to thenu Among the 
throng of courtiers who sought to gratify the government by 
enhancing the penalties of the condemned, the only course 
which remained for the best and wisest senators was to miti- 
gate indirectly the dangers of the accused, by restricting the 
rewards of delation. M. Lepidus earned distinction in this 
small but honourable band by the proposal, a.i>.25. 
which was, however, probably ineffectual, that a.u.778. 
the profits of the accusers should be limited to one fouith of 
the culprit's fortune, while the remainder was to be restored 
to his guiltless children. It was deemed v^rthy of remark, 
sunidst so nmny instances of servility in the nobles and jeal* 
ousy in their masters, that such a proposal should have been 
made at all, and made without being resented. Tacitus, as 
a disciple of the school of the fisttalists, of which the language 
at least was fashionable in his day, is constrained on this oo- 

* The object of this suicide, a course to which we shall find the accused not 
onfi-equentlj resort, was the hope of preventing the confiscation of property 
which would follow upon a judicial sentence. Silius, whatever gains he had 
acquired in his province, had been enriched by the liberality of Augustus, 
and m seizing upon his fortune for the fiscus, Tiberius for the first, time showed 
an appetite for personal lucre: "Prima ci^ pccuniam alicnam diligenUa.** 
TwcAtin, iv. 20. 

Digitized by 



casion to inquire whether the favour or hostility of princes is 
a matter of mere chance and destiny, or whether there may 
not still be room for prudent counsel and good sense in the 
conduct of human affiurs ; whether a secure path of life, how- 
ever hard to trace, might not still be discovered amidst the 
perils of the times, between the extremes of rude independ- 
ence and base servility.^ The great defect of the Romans 
at this period lay in their want of the true self-respect which 
is engendered by the consciousness of sober consistency. 
Bred in the speculative maxims of Greek and Roman repub- 
licanism, they passed their manhood either in nnleaming the 
lessons of the schools, or in exaggerating them in a i^irit of 
senseless defiance. 

Silius, it would seem, had laid himself open to the attacks 
of the informers, and there were others against whom the 
Prosocotton favouritc's intrigues were directed, whose pubHo 
cvSmutiiwc^r- ^^^^ or personal vices had alienated from them 
^^ the compassion of the citizens. Nevertheless 

another of his victims seems to have been a man of real 
merit, though not of such a description as to engage for 
him a great amount of popular sympathy. Cremutius Cor- 
dns, a follower of the Stoic philosophy, had composed the 
Annals of the Roman Commonwealth during the period of 
the Civil Wars. He had praised the patriotism of Brutus, 
and had called Cassius t?ie last of the Romans^ a phrase 
which, under the circumstances of the time, was not a mere 
speculative inquiry, but a pxmgent incentive to violence. 
Augustus, indeed, had actually perused the volume, and 
though he found in it no panegyric on himself, did not com- 
plain of it as disloyal or dangerous. But Augustus was 
strong in the affections of his people, and could afford to dis- 
regard the sophisms of the most vehement of declaimers. 
Tiberius was &r from sharing the confidence of his prede* 

* Taa Atm^ !▼. 20. : ** Unde dubitare cogor fato et sorte nascendl, ut oeten, 
Ita Prindpom inclinatio in hos, offensio in illos : an sit aliqnid in nostiis con- 
aiUis, lioeatqne inter abniptam contumaciam et dcforme obsequium pei^cre itci 
pcriculis et metu Tacuom '* 

Digitized by 


A.U.778,] UNDER THE EMPIBE. 183 

ccssor. He felt or fancied every moment that he felt his 
throne tottering ; bat this very sense of weakness induced 
him to abstain from any act which might arouse the people 
from the lethargy into which they had fallen. It was not 
till the conduct of afi^iirs came into the hands of a minister 
with personal ends to serye, that such experiments were 
made on the general patience, as the prosecution of a respect- 
able citizen, like Cremutius, for the expression of a political 
opinion. The accusers were clients of Sejanus, and though 
we know not what was the special object of the fiivourite's 
hostility, we may suppose that the philosopher was known 
as a partisan of Agrippina. Whafever, however, was his 
resd crime, the charge against him was that of exciting the 
citizens to rebellion ; a diarge which no judge in modem 
times could deem to be rebutted by the reply that the os- 
tensible objects of his praise had been dead seventy years. 
To urge as an argument that Augustus had tolerated his 
language a little while before was merely trifling : every 
government must judge of the licence that may be granted 
to hostile criticism, and the circumstances of the later period 
were essentially different from those of the earlier. But the 
victim of Sejanus had to security for a fair trial, a reasona- 
ble hearing, or a temperate sentence. He provoked his 
judges and aggravated his offence by anticipating injustice 
by violence. Cremutius, now an old man, having delivered 
himself of a speech, such perhaps as Tacitus ascribes to him, 
full of bitter invective against the government and the times, 
went home without awaiting the proceedings with which he 
was threatened, and put an end to his own life by starvation. 
His books were ordered to be burnt ; but some copies of 
them were preserved, and all the more diligently studied by 
the few who had secreted them.* 

It must be remembered that in the peculiar position of 
Tiberias, policy required him to give wide scope to individ- 

" Tac Ann, iv. 51, 36. Comp. Suet Tib. 61.; Califf, 16.; Dion, Ivii. 24.; 
Senec. ConsoL ad Marc 1. 22. 

Digitized by 



ual action in matters that did not immediately 

TlbcrluB Inter- . . j '^ -rn xi. 

feres to check concem his own powcF and security. For the 

the delator*. .. ^ - . -i -^^ •• . ^ 

persecution of citizens by citizens he was not at 
least legally responsible : and it was one of those shadows 
of liberty which he was careful in conceding, to allow his 
subjects the gratification of their private enmities before the 
ordinary tribunals. The peculiar constituti<m of the Komaa 
legal procedure, which permitted and indeed urged every 
citizen to assume the character of a public prosecutor, served 
to exonerate the chief of the state, in the view of his own 
countrymen, from a large portion of the odium which later 
ages have cast upon him. At the same time the firmness he 
occasionally exhibited, in spontaneously interposing to check 
the licentiousness of his people, was regarded by the citi* 
zens as a token of extraordinxu'y consideration, and contin* 
ued to secure him, among so many motives they had for dis- 
liking him, no small share of their respect and even &vour. 
Thus, when Plautius Sylvanus, a pra3tor, was hurried beforo 
hiin, on the charge of having murdered his wife, and pleaded 
that she had, unknown to him, laid violent hands on herself, 
he marched direct to the chamber of the accused, and satis- 
fied himself by personal examinatioh of the unquestionable 
signs it exhibited of a struggle and murder. Such vigour 
aud presence of mind could not fail to make a favourable 
impi^ession on the multitude.^ When Salvianus brought a 
charge against a noble citizen on the day of the Latin Ferias, 
he resented the desecration of that holy season, and caused 
the intemperate accuser to be himself banished.' Again, 
when Serenus was condemned for seditious intrigues, on the 
accusation of his unnatural son, and the senate proceeded 
without hesitation to sentence him to death, Tiberius inter- 
posed to annul the decree, and desired his precipitate judges 
to pass a second vote. Hereupon Asinius Gallus proposed 
that, instead of death, the criminal should be relegated to 
the isle of Gyarus or Donusa ; and again Tiberius, observing 

» Tao. Arm, iv, 22., a. u. 111. « Tac Ami, \t, 36., A. v. IIS. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


that those barren rocks were destitute even of water, d^ 
dared that where life was conceded the necessaries of life 
ought not to be withheld.^ In the case of a knight named 
Cominins, who had been condemned for the publication of 
libellous yerses against himself he extended to the convicted 
criminal a free pardon.* Suoh instances of lenity might con- 
trast &vourably with the relenUess ferocity of the nobles 
towards one another ; they allowed the citizens still to be- 
lieve that in the dangerous times on which they had fallen, 
their best protection lay in the chief of the commonwealth, 
elevated by his station above the ordinary passions of the 
envious and malignant among themselves. They _ „ 
were full of gratitude to tnm also for the good acknowledge 
fortune which seemed to attend on his public ad- tnne or hStA- 
ministration. He had been enabled to suppress, 
by a happy accident, an alarming insurrection of slaves in 
Apulia, the nurse of servile seditions.* The year 711 had 
witnessed the final pacification of Africa.* While the em- 
peror, out of compliment perhaps to the success attributed 
to Bkesus, had imprudently withdrawn a large part of the 
forces in the province, and encouraged the restless Tacfarinas 
to renew his attempts in that quarter, the gallantry of the 
new proconsul Dolabella had sufficed to bring the enemy to 
bay, to overpower and reduce him to self-destruction. The 
citizens rejoiced at this ccmsummation of a tedious and ex- 
pensive warfare, which had sometimes threatened their sup- 
plies, and were proud at beholding an embassy from the re- 

' Tac Ann, ir. 80. The treatment of the exiles eeems generally to have 
beoi eufBdentl J mild. They fleem to have been allowed to a great extent tho 
choice of thdr isbmd ; and when Augustus forbade them to settle at any spot 
wHhin fifty miles of the continent, he excepted the pleasant retreats of Cos, 
lUiodca, and Lesbos. He also confined them to a single Teesel of a thousand 
amphons and two pjnnaoes fi>r the voyage and conveyance of their &miUee, 
which further were limited to twenty sUves or fireedmen. Dion, Wl 27. 

• Tac Ann, iv. 81., i. u. 111. 

* Tac Ann. ir. 28. : **I8 demmn annus populum Romanom longo adversum 
Romidam Tacforinatem bcllo absolvit.^' 

Digitized by 



mote Garamantes, which came to solicit their clemency. 
Such, however, was the influence of Sejanus that Tiberius 
relused the triumphal ornaments to the victor, in order not 
to dim the lustre of the honours already accorded to the 
favourite's uncle.' But in the provinces, where the genuine 
merits of the emperor were known without those drawbacks 
which were but too notorious at Home, his popularity was 
perhaps unalloyed. When he insisted on referring to the 
senate the charge of malversation, which the people of Asia 
brought against his procurator, and the fathers, thus encour- 
aged, ventured to condemn the culprit, the grateful provin- 
cials decreed a temple to Tiberius in conjunction with*Livia 
and the Senate of Home. This example was about to be 
followed by the people of Further Spain : but on this occa- 
sion the emperor declined the honour ; an act of modesty for 
which he acquired little credit, at least among his own coun- 
trymen, who negarded it as pusillanimous and mean. The 
best of mortals^ they complacently urged, Jiad ever aspired 
to the highest distinctions; thus Sercules and Bacchus a/mong 
the Greeks^ and Quirinus among tJie HomanSy h(zd sought 
and gained a place among the gods of Olympus: Augustus 
had lived a heroes life in the hopes of such an apotheosis. 
JPrinceSy they said, mag command the present^ but U should 
be their dearest ambition thus to take pledges for the future; 
indifference to fame is in fact a disregard of virtue.^ 

At the extraordinary elevation td which he had now ar- 
rived, the head of the favourite began to whirl, and to his 
Sejanus de- fevered imagination the utmost objects of his 
riMtho^hSd*" ambition seemed almost within reach. Once ad- 
•f uvmic mitted within the pale of the C»sarean family, 
there would be no distinction, divine or human, which he 
might not expect to &11 on hinu The last and most arduous 
step yet to be effected by his own happy boldniess, was to 
secure his entrance therein by marriage with the widow of 
Drusus. If he had any hesitation at the last moment in tak- 

* Tac Ann, ir. 26. 

' Tac, Ann, iv. 88. : "Contcmpta fam» contemii rirtutes." 

Digitized by 



big the plunge which must mar his fortunes, if it failed to 
make them, the instances of Livilla herself, the partner of 
his guilt and the depositary of his secret, could not safely 
be disregarded ; the impatience of the woman overcame the 
last lingering scruples of his discretion* Sejanus composed 
an address to the emperor; for Tiberius, shy and ever fearful 
of committing himself, had now adopted the custom, most 
foreign to the free-spoken habits of the Roman nobles, of 
requiring every suit to be made to him in writing. The far 
vour of AuffustuSy urged the suitor, in the first instance^ and 
UxUerly the many tokens of approbation ?ie had received firom 
his successor J had taugJU him ever to confide his wishes to the 
ears of Uie prince^ even before disclosing them to the immor-' 
tal gods. For splendid honours he had never sued; to watch 
and toil in the ranks for the safety of his imperator was his 
privilege and pleasure. JSTevertheless fie had attained the 
fairest ofaU distinctions^ in being associated in many public 
ftmcHons with the Ca^ar himself This was the foundation 
of his present hopes. Augustus^ he had heardy in seeking to 
establish his daughter^ had deigned to review the order of 
Roman knighthood. Were a husband now required for Id- 
villa, would not Tiberius cast his eye upon a friend, one 
pledged to be content with the glory of such a connection, and 
never to renounce the laborious duties already laid upon him. 
For his own part. Tie should be amply satisfied with the secur 
rUy he sTiould thus obtain against the maUce of Agrippina, 
and that for his children's scbke, not for his own; for him- 
self it was enough, and more than enough, to hxxve lived so 
long in the intimacy of a prince so illustrious. 

Tiberius, on receiving this application, which appears to 
have been wholly unlooked for, penned a hasty answer at 
the moment, in which he praised the regard Se- ^8 gi^t u ny 
janus had ever shown him and referred slightly J*®*®^ 
to the favours with which he had, on his own part, requited 
it. JBe desired, he said, a short time to consider the matter 
more fuQy ; and finally replied, that, while other men were 
permitted to look solely to their own advantage, princes in aU 

Digitized by 



affairs of moment must have regard to tJie opinion of the 
world. Accordingly^ he continued, Tie would not resort to 
the answer which lay easiest and nearest at hand — nam^y^ 
that it was for LaviUa herself to determine whether^ after 
Drusus^ she would wed (mother^ or contimie to bear her ad- 
verse fortune under the roof of her faJther4nrlaw / further^ 
that she had a mother and a grandmother^ advisers nearer 
than himself; — wo, he would act more straightforwardly^ 
and represent in person to his friend the objections which 
reaUy militated against Ms suit. The passions of Agrip- 
pinUj he would remind him, would unquestionably break out 
more vehemently than ever, if the marriage of Zivilla^should 
sever the imperial family ; the rivalry of the women of Cce- 
sar*s hoicse would undermiTie the fortunes of his children, 
Se^anus, he added, wa^i deceived if he imagined that it was 
possible for him to remain in his present modest rank. Once 
wedded to a Caius CcBsar, and again to a Drusus, his new 
wife would never deign to end her career in aUiance with a 
simple knight. Could tJie emperor himself permit it, did he 
think that the Boman people would endure it, who had wit' 
nessed her brother, her faiker, and their noble ancestors all 
crowned successively with the highest honours of the state ? 
Was it true that Augustus had for a moment contemplated 
the union of his daughter with the knight JP^oculeius, yet to 
whom did he actually espouse herf^flrst, to the illustrious 
Agrippa, and, secondly, to Tiberius himself, to the man, in 
short, whom he had destined for his successor. But in say- 
ing this the emperor felt that he touched on delicate ground* 
Sejanus was too useful to be discarded, too formidable to be 
driven to despair, and he dared not directly cut off from him 
even the audacious hope of association in the empire, or of 
succession to it. Accordingly he concluded with £ur words, 
hinting that he had yet more important confidences in store 
for the friend of his bosom, and that no distinction was in 
fact too great for his transcendent merits, when the proper 
time should arrive for worthily acknowledging tfaenu* 
> Tac. Ann, ir. 89, 40. 

Digitized by 


A. D. 778.] UNDER THE EMPIRE. 1S9 

If such was the language Tiberius really held, I see no 
reason to doubt its sincerity. It was bis habit to proride 
for present exigencies by any artifice that of- jaarmandre- 
fered, but to leave the more distant future to cir- SS^M^f se- 
cumstances. I do not imagine that he had formed ^"^^ 
at this period any deliberate intention of thwarting the am- 
bitious views of his favourite, or had destined any one of his 
own kindred to the succession. But he shrank with a selfish 
instinct from encouraging in any quarter hopes which might 
get beyond his control, and again, he was alarmed at the 
consequences of too abruptly quashing them; so that be- 
tween the one apprehension and the other, his whole study 
was to keep the presumptions of those iU'ound him in a state 
of perpetual suspense. This was the Tiberian scheme of pol- 
icy. Let those who describe Tiberius as a man of consum- 
mate ability and penetrating genius, represent it, if they can, 
as something eminently deep and subtle : to me it seems to 
bear the impress of great moral infirmity, while its execution 
was as clumsy as its conception was feeble. It may be ques- 
tioned, however, whether this occurrence, the account of 
which I have taken, with all other historians, from Tacitus, 
is after all correctly represented. Sejanus, we are given to 
understand, was too well versed in courts, and familiar with 
the forms of an official refusal, to retain ailer receiving this 
answer any portion of his hopes : he regarded it, further, as 
the token of a settled enmity and design for disgracing him. 
Yet it would seem, in point of fact, that even after this re- 
buff he was not forbidden to cherish still his brilliant antici- 
pations, and that at a later period Livilla was suffered to en- 
ter at least into betrothal with him.* Nor, according to the 
statements of Tacitus himself did he exhibit at the time any 
signs of despair. He proceeded without a pause to repair 

' Dion (iTiiL 7.) calls her afterwardB his fisTiXAwft^Ci which seems to im- 
ply her being actoaUy betrothed ; and ve can put no less definite meaning cer- 
tamij OQ the plmse ffener^ which is implied to hhn in the fragment, obscure 
and oormpt it is tnie, of Tac Arm, y. 6. I am compelled to 8u^>ect that Tac> 
ttus has sacrificed the truth to introduce this interesting dramatic interlude. 

Digitized by 



the broken meshes of his intiigaes ; and while he postponed, 
at least for the moment, his views of an imperial alliance, 
he revolved new plans for making doubly sure the impend- 
ing ruin of his rival Agrippina. But he was anxious to re- 
move the emperor from the constant sight of the pomp with 
which he continued to surround himself^ of the crowds that 
haunted his levees, and proclaimed aloud that he was the 
real fountain of all imperial favour: on the one hand he 
feared the jealousy of his master; on the other, it was hardly 
less dangerous for the favourite to waive the importunate 
admiration of sycophants and courtiers. To divert the one 
and yet retain the other, one means only presented itself, 
namely, to induce the emperor to quit the arena of public 
life, and bury himself in a distant retreat, whence all his 
orders would pass through the hands of the minister/ The 
immediate attendants of the imperator were properly his 
centurions and tribunes; these were the sentinels at his 
chamber-door, the companions of his daily exercises; by their 
hands every letter to the consuls or senators would be con- 
veyed : and Sejanus, as captain of the praetorians, and the 
source of favour and promotion among them, could thus 
keep close watch upon the correspondence of his chie^ as 
soon as he should have debarred him from personal inter* 
course with the citizens. 

The repeated excursions Tiberius had now made from 
Home, and his long continued cessations from the irksome 
Qna^ibe- routine of residence in the city, had confirmed 
•ndA^p^ina* ^is inclination for indolence and retirement; 
A D. ««. ^^^ ^^ there any difficulty in persuading him 
A.u.7m ^Ijjj^ IjJq increasing infirmities demanded re- 
pose, after so many years of labour. But before he betook 
himself to the retreat he had perhaps long contemplated for 
his old age, some striking scenes of anger and recrimination 
occurred between him and Agrippina, which confirmed and 

' Tac Aim, ir. 41.: ** Sejanus non Jam de matrimonio, led altina metaeni 
.... hue flexit ut Tlberium ad Titam procol Roma ftw>"«ia locis degeodam 
iropelleret. Multa qnlppe proridcbat ....'* 

Digitized by 



exasperated' whatever ill feelings subsisted between them. 
Among the attacks and insults which were hazarded against 
the wretched princess by the suitors for the favour of Sejanus, 
was the prosecution of her cousin Claudia Pulchra by a noble 
delator, on a charge of adultery combined with majesty.* It 
was affirmed that she had sought to employ poison against 
the emperor's life, as well as the more subtle influence of 
oharms and incantations. When the trial came on, Agrip- 
pina rushed into the emperor's presence, at a moment when 
he was in the act of saciiflcing to his Other's divinity. 
Should the mime man^ she exclaimed, offer victims to Augus- 
tus, and aUo persecute hie children f To this blunt address 
she added a shower of invectives against him, together with 
vehement protestations of her kinswoman's innocence. For- 
getting for once, under this unexpected attack, the pertina- 
dous reserve in which he was wont to wrap himself, Tiberius 
at last broke silence with a Greek quotation, implying. Must 
Ihe denounced as a tyrant becatise you are not a queen ?* 
BebnfFed by this cold sarcasm, Agrippina retired hastily to 
her chamber, and flung herself on her couch, where rage and 
mortification, combined with the news of Claudia's condem- 
nation, threw her into a dangerous fever. When Tiberius 
visited her sick-room, the poor creature's spirit was so much 
broken, that she burst into tears, and implored hiTn to take 
pity on her solitary state by giving her a husband to support 
and defend her. She was still young, she said, and might 
become again a mother, and brought up in all the dignity of 
Roman matranhood, she could find no solace except in a 
lawful husband. There were many nobles, she remarked, 

' Upsios cannot trace the origin of this Clandiay or her affinity with Agrip> 
{WML She IS oftUed her §obrma, l e. condn bj the mother's side; and from 
ner name I oonceive that fehe was descended from the Claudia, dan^^ter of P. 
Caodius Pcddier, to whom Angastas was ori^nally affianced, and whose hus- 
band is not known. Her onl j real connexion with the imperial fronilj lay in 
the nnioD of her son QuintUios Yams with a daughter of Agrippina and Ger- 

• Taa Ann. W, 62.: ^* Goireptamqae Graeco rersa admomdt: non Idea 
Indi quia non regnaret'* 

Digitized by 



who would proudly assume the right of protecting the widow 
and children of Grermanicus. Tiberius, thus abruptly solicit- 
ed on a point which deeply concerned his policy, might have 
replied in neariy the same terms as those he had addressed 
to Sejanus : his duty to the state, as Tacitus himself allows, 
would not suffer him to countenance a request which must 
issue in jfresh jealousies and enmities between the members 
of the imperial family. But he did not choose to reveal to 
an impatient woman the apprehensions to which the accom- 
plishment of her wishes would subject him, or make the 
humiliating confession that he could not venture in all respects 
to follow the exalted policy of Augustus : lest he should 
give an opening for inconvenient discussion, he left her, in 
his awkward way, without speaking a word. The scene 
which thus passed in the recesses of the palace was not 
generally disclosed, but was recorded in her private memoirs 
by the daughter of Agrippina herself, a personage of whom 
I shall have much to relate hereafter.* 

In the height of her distress, and when the vexations of 
her position had thrown her more than ever off her guard, 
« . . Sejanus contrived to instil fresh and yet more 

Suspicions ,,. .. . , .,«,.% 

aguiDst Tib«- shocking suspicions mto the mmd of the unfortu- 
into the mind natc prmccss, which served only to complete the 
^^^ disgust and alienation of Tiberius. The minister's 
creatures ventured, imder the guise of friendly care for her, 
to insinuate that her uncle was seeking an opportunity of 
poisoning her, and enjoined her to avoid partaking of food at 
his table. The widow of Germanicus was residinor under the 
roof of the head of the Csssarean family : there was no 
separate establishments for princes or princesses of the blood 

' Tac. Ann, ir. 68.: "Qu» Keronis prindpis mater vitam soam et oasus 
flnonxm posteris xnemoraTit" It is natural to sarmise that the lerelatioiifl of 
the palaoe which our historians relate, are derired in a groat measure from 
theee fkmilj memdrs, and it is impossible to overiook the probability that the 
ocmduct both of mberins and Sejanus would be seriously misrepresented by an 
hereditary enemy to both. At a later period I shall hare occasion to show 
more particulariy how another history appears to have been vitiated by the 
same writer's unscrupulous malice. 

Digitized by 


A.U.m.] mJDER THE EMPIRE. 198 

imperial ; bat it was only on special occasionis, perhaps, that 
the emperor invited the females of his house to sup in com* 
pany with him, Agrippina had neither the temper nor the 
art to dissemble. Keclining by the side of her host, she 
rejected every dish presented to her with cold and impassive 
mien, and without excuse or observation. Tiberius could 
not fail to remark her behaviour, nor to guess its motive. 
To assure himself, he offered her some apples with his own 
hand, recommending their flavour ; but she, all the more 
confirmed in her suspicions, handed them untasted to the 
attendants. Hereupon Tiberius turned to his mother on the 
other side, and muttered that none could wonder at any 
show of harshness in his conduct towards one who scrupled 
not to intimate her apprehensions of his intent to poison 
her. The incident was speedily noised abroad, and the 
rumor prevailed that he was actually meditating her destruc- 
tion, and, not daring to effect it by public process before the 
&ce of the citizens, was contriving secret means of assassi- 

Informed by his spies of the whispers thus circulating 
among his subjects, Tiberius was annoyed, if not seriously 
alarmed. He tried to rive another current to ^ 

, '^ , ■ , Eleren cities 

men's thoughts, and directed their attention to ©r Asia oon- 

^ tend for the 

the cunous rivalry now presented by eleven chief honour of mak. 

^ , . /• ; . , ^ ingTiberln* 

conmiumties of the provmco of Asia, each of their tutelar di- 
which sought to approve itself the worthiest 
claimant for the honour of erecting a temple to Rome and 
her glorious imperator. The pretensions they severally ad- 
vanced were all nearly similar, appealing to the splendour 
of their mythological origin, as founded by some Jove- 
descended hero, to their connexion with Troy, the reputed 
parent of Rome herself, or to their well-attested fidelity to 
their conquerors. The claims of Hypcepe, Tralles, Laodicea, 
Magnesia, Pergamus, Ephesus, Sardis, and others, were heard 
lucoessively ; but all were finally postponed to those of 

• Tac. Ann. iv. 64. 
84 TOL. V. — 18 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


Smyrna, whose people bad crowned their merits towards the 
Republic by stripping the raiment from their own backs to 
supply the necessities of Sulla's army. Tiberius attended in 
the senate throughout these discussions, which were pro- 
tracted for several days, and showed himself more busy and 
active in public matters than had been usual with him for 
some time past/ Nevertheless, he had been long meditating 
a final retirement from Home ; and the increasing suspicions 
and even offensive remarks of the citizens tended no doubt 
to ripen this resolution. Five years before he had allowed 
himself to be absent for a whole twelvemonth in Campania : 
he now sought the same retreat once more ; but this time he 
probably determined in his own mind never again to return. 
The motives of this determination were variously assigned 
by the ancients, and it is probable that more than one com- 
,^ ^ ,. bined to produce a resolution so important. Wo 
totee retiring may believc that It was at least partly owing to 
the influence of Sejanus, who desired, as has been 
before observ^ed, to withdraw his jealous master from the 
daily sight of his favourite's undue pre-eminence. It is pos- 
sible also that Tiberius may have been anxious to escape 
from the dominion his mother still continued to exercbe over 
him 5 for he was conscious that he owed the empire to her 
influence over Augustus, or so at least she was herself firmly 
persuaded, and never allowed him to forget it. It seems 
probable, however, that he was thus driven into solitude by 
the infirmity of his own temper ; by his dislike of the show, 
and trappings of public life; by the shyness which was 
natural to him, and which had been undoubtedly increased 
to a morbid degree by the long and painful solitude of his 
banishment at Rhodes. As he grew older he seemed more 
to lose his presence of mind in public ; and if sometimes a 
senator broke out into invectives against him, or assailed 
him with unseasonable questions, he became confused and 

' Tac Aim. iy. S5, 66. Tliat the temple was to be spedaUy dedicated to 
Tiberius, though not mentioned in this place, appears by comparing it with ^a 

Digitized by 



agitated. His temper was exasperated by the imputations 
made or insinuated against him, and the change of severity 
in his judgment on criminals piqued him to actual ferocity, 
which afterwards all the more distressed and alarmed him.^ 
For this retirement he had been, as we have seen, a long 
time preparing, and the motives which now impelled him to 
it were, we may suppose, the same which had long been 
&miliar to his thoughts, to which increasing years had 
given strength and poignancy. The bitterest of Motires m- 
his enemies, however, dedared that he had no «ibeduiiiiin. 
other wish than to exercise in secret the cruelty and atrocious 
lewdness to which, they asserted, he was utterly abandoned ; 
or that he was ashamed of exhibiting to the public gaze the 
ungraceful leanness of his bent and shrivelled figure, the 
baldness of his forehead, and a &ce deformed by spots and 
pimples, or the patches with which he concealed them.' 
We have already seen reason for questioning the habitual 
intemperance and dissoluteness of Tiberius, to which such 
disfigurements as these were popularly imputed; but the 
prejudice against him was deeply rooted in the minds of the 
Romans, and was confirmed by repeated stories of the black- 
est colour, and the disgust at the horrid monster expressed, 
it was said, by every woman to whom he made his loathsome 

Hie immediate pretext for quitting Rome was the object 
of dedicating temples recently erected to Jupiter at Capua, 
and to Augustus at Nola, the spot from whence Tiberius quits 
the late emperor had ascended into the heavens.* ^™^ 
It was in the year 119 that Tiberius slunk, as it were, out of 
the city, with only a single senator, named Oocceius Nerva, 
in attendance upon him, nor, besides Sejanus himself, more 

* Compare particularly the story in Tac. Ann, iv, 42.: "Csesar objectam 
M. adTerBos reoa indementiain eo pervicadua amplezos.'' 

* 1^ Ann. iv. 67.: *^Eraiit qui orederent in senectute coiporia quoque 
haUtom pvdoil fcdne.** Ha was now (a. u. 119) in his sixty-seyenth year. 
''Traditiir etiam matris impotentia. extrosum.'* 

* Suet 7V>, 45. 

Digitized by 



than one knight.* The rest of his retinue was composed of 
a few men of learning, chiefly Greeks, and some of them, no 
donbt, astrologers. The departure of the chief of the state 
from the centre of government, except to command armies 
abroad, or daring the recess of business allowed in the sum- 
mer heats, had been so unusual, that, while the emperor^s 
real intentions were still confined to his own bosom, tfee 
vulgar were busy in conjecturing the result, and the search- 
ers of the heavens, ever fiiithiul interpreters of the popular 
instinct, whispered that their art revealed to them that he 
was destined never to return. It was dangerous to give 
publicity to such surmises, which the sanguine and impa- 
tient shaped readily into the assurance that his death was at 
hand, and so brought many into trouble on the charge of 
anticipating the prince's decease.* The conjecture, indeed, 
proved literally correct, though not in the way that was 
anticipated. Tiberius never again entered Bome: but no 
man, says Tacitus, could have imagined that a Roman would 
voluntarily abandon his country for a period of eleven years. 
Harsh, indeed, and unreal the historian's phrase may ap- 
pear to our notions, to abandon one^s country^ or, more 
strongly still, to exist without a country^ thus 
nunsmeant bj applied to a citizen quitting the walls of Bome to 
^^dSning reside in a suburban retreat on the coast of Gam- 
'*"^* "" ' pania.* Doubtless we may trace in it something of 
an aflection of antique sentiment, from which Tacitus is by 
means always exempt, not strictly in accordance with the 
genuine feelings of the time. We have seen, indeed, how 
deeply Gicero was moved at the thought of quitting the 
neighbourhood of his beloved city. His sensibility was more 
acute than other men's, but it only pointed m the same direc- 
tion as theirs. The levity of Milo on the occasion of his ban- 

' Tac L c 

* Tac. Ann, iv. 68.: ^^Ferebant periti ocalestiam, lis motibus sidenixa ex- 
oesaisse Roma Tiberium xA reditos Wi n^^aretur; imde exhii cauaa multis Mi. 
properom finem vitSB oonjectantibus mlgantibiisqae.'* 

* Tac. Ann, iy. 68. : **nt libens patria careret*' 

Digitized by 


A.U.779.] UNDER THE £1IPIBE. 197 

khment oaased, perhaps, some reyulsion in the sympathy cf 
his party with him. Even in the camp of Pompeius the fu- 
gitiye patriots could scarcely retain their assurance that they 
were still genuine Romans.^ But we have seen how desper- 
ate was Cicero's affliction at being esiled beyond the seas; 
how loath he was to follow the seltocpatriated consuls ; how 
anxious at the first moment to make his peace with the con- 
queror and return; how, in the last crisis of his fortunes, the 
imminent perils of his post at Rome could not induce him 
finally to desert it. Cicero would hare been hardly less un- 
happy in a Campadian retirement than in Greece or Macedo- 
nia, if doomed irrevocably to sojourn among its foreign as- 
sociations ; for in this respect the change fi*om Rome to Na- 
ples was hardly less complete than that to Rhodes or Athens. 
The Greek cities of Campania were, as we have seen before, 
in almost every particular, accurate and vivid copies of those 
beyond the sea : their foreign manners and habits, attractive 
as they were to the world-worn seeker for amusement and 
relaxation, were reputed by every true Roman altogether un- 
worthy of his constant adoption. Rome was the proper 
sphere of his business and duty, the shrine of the gods, the 
sacred soil of Uie auspices^ the tribunal of the laws, the sta- 
tive camp of the warrior nation. There the Roman girded 
himself fi>r the work of his great moral mission, to spare the 
subject, but beat down the proud ; elsewhere he might loose 
his robes and put off his sandals^ and indulge in recreations, 
which his conscience, strictly questioned, could scarcely dis- 
tinguish firom vices.' To play the Grcek^ for which his vo- 
cabulary fumbhed him with a short expressive term, was in 

* The arguments of Lucan against this sentiment are not miinstracUv& 
Thanal. t. 26. : "" Reram nos smnma sequetur 

Lnperiumque comes .... non unquam perdidit ordo 

Mntato sua jura solo .... 

Ordine de tanto quisquis non exsulat, hie est'* 

* Thus OBBsar was reproached as " ptier male pnecinctus.'' The loose trail- 
fiig of his toga in the fi>ram was objected to Maecenas. Such a want of eti- 
qnette was reputed a token of dissoluteness of morals. Suet Ner. 61. : ** Adeo 

Digitized by 



fiis view pleasant but wrong: ^ it might be exoased in the 
oyerwronght statesman, in the ezhaosted soldier, in the mere 
thoughtless youth ; but only as an exception to the common 
rule of life and conduct, as a rare holiday breaking the stem 
routine of daily practice, to which his birth and breeding de- 
voted him. The Roman must live and die in harness. An 
Atticus renounced with the forms and duties of Roman life 
most of the rights and privileges of a Roman citizen. As 
an Athenian burgher he forfeited the firanchise of the con- 
quering state ; and the exemption he enjoyed from the ca* 
lamities of the civil war was, in another view, the penalty he 
paid for the loss of the name of Roman. But assuredly such 
were not the sentiments of the citizens of the age of Tiberius, 
still less those of a century later. life at Rome, while it 
still retained most of the outward formfi of antiquity, the 
harsh restrictions upon freedom of action and conversation 
which had been endured by the Scipios and Catos, had lost 
the charms of political independence, for which alone they 
had been content to endure them. The Roman noble now 
chafed at th.e stiff etiquette of his ancestors ; he shrank from 
the impoi-tunate observation of his clients ; he loathed the 
obeisances of his subjects, conscious that he deserved them 
neither by personal merits, nor substantial power ; he rejoic- 
ed to escape from a multitude of jealous critics to companions 
who had no claim to watch or control him, who considered 
his countenance as a favour, and never paused to reflect 

pudendas ut . . . . prodierit in publicum sine cinctu et 'disoalceatus.*' Hor. 
8at, ill. 11.: 

" Quin ubi se a wlgo el scena in secreta remdrant 
Virtus ScipiadflQ et mitis sapientia Leeli, 
Nugari cum illo et disdncti hidere, donee 
Deooqu^etur olus, solitL" 
' Hor. Sat, iu 2. 11. : " Si quern Romana fieitigat 

Militia assuetum Gnecarf 
Hence also "graocatus,'* ^ grtecanicus,** applied to the manners of Romans im^ 
tated from the Greek. ** Gnecanicus milefl,'* a dissolute or luxurious soldiec 
See Facdolati in too. 

Digitized by 



whether it was unworthy in him to give, or in themselves to 
accept it. Still the actual abandonment of the prescrlpUve 
post of duty was rare and remarkable. It was affirmed, for 
instance, of Lucius Piso, one of the chief magnates of the 
Hberian senate, that in his disgust at the proceedings of the 
delators, he had expressed among his compeers, a determina- 
tion to withdraw from the city, and therewith from public 
life altogether. It had been well for him had he actually 
executed this threat : he had the ccmrage to bring the fiivour- 
ite of the empress to justice, but not to quit the scene of his 
dangerous activity, and only avoided by Ae opportuneness 
of his death the penalty of charges of which he was speedily 

The retirement of Tiberius himself from the public stage 
was however in no respect a real relinquishment of public 
occupation. No one supposed that he would , , 

* _ _ . , _ TiberiuBdoes 

cease thereupon from retammgf the supreme over- not abandon 
sight of the anairs of the commonwealth ; nor, m ^ 
the existing state of political usage, was there any real im« 
pediment to his ruling the empire from his quiet retreat. The 
undefined character of the supreme authority had this ad- 
vantage for its possessor, that it bound him to no stated 
functions, requiring his presence at certain times, at certain 
places. The consul must take the auspices, and these could 
be taken only at Rome ; a dictator must perform the rites of 
the Latin Feri» on the Alban hill 5 a tribime must not absent 
himself from the city during the period of his office: but 
none of these restrictions applied to one who retained the 
power of all these officers, but was exempt from their re- 
strictions. Even though in theory the safety of the state 
might be regarded as entwined with the performance of cer- 
tain religious ceremonies by the chief pontiff^ yet from the 
time at least of Julius Cicsar, the presence of that august 

^ Tao. Ann, il 84.: ** Inter quse L. Bbo ambitnm fori, ssevitiatD ofatorum 
aocoMtloiiea mmitantium, ixuTepans abire se et oedere Urbe, Yictunon in aliquc 
•bdito et longinqno rure testabatur." Comp. It. 21» This was not the L. Piso. 
prefect of the dty. 

Digitized by 



official bad been for many years dispensed witb, and tbere 
was notbing new at least in Tiberias delegating to otbers, or 
altogetber omitting, duties wbicb bis imperial predecessors, 
and Lepidos in bis retreat at Circeii, bad beei?L permitted to 
waive. Nevertbeless tbis act was not witbout grave signifi* 
cance. Wbenever Augustus bad witbdrawn £:om tbe heart 
of tbe empire, it was only to impart fresb vigour to tbe ac- 
tion of its extremities : never for a moment bad be resigned 
bis ostensible place as tbe prime mover of tbe wbole macbine, 
or let bis subjects imagine tbat tbe wbeels of government 
could continue to revolve by tbe mere impulse once com* 
municated to tbem. Tbe retreat to Campania was tbus a 
great step in tbe development of despotism, tbe greatest step 
perbaps of all, inasmucb as it made it at once apparent tbat 
tbe institution of monarcby was an accomplisbed fact, and 
no longer tbe creature of variable popular caprice. 

Tbe retirement of Tiberius did not fail, bowever, to be 

followed by a succession of public calamities, and these were 

generally ascribed to so strange and inauspicious 

cnnenceflas- a proceeding. A private speculator bad under- 

retireroent of takcu, as a matter of profit, one of tbe magnificent 

works wbicb in better times it was tbe privilege 

of tbe chief magistrates or candidates for tbe highest offices 

to construct for tbe sake of glory or influence. In erecting a 

vast wooden amphitheatre in the suburban city of Fidense, 

he had omitted the necessary precaution of securing a solid 

foundation ; and when the populace of Rome, unaccustomed, 

from tbe parsimony of Tiberius, to their &vourite q>ectacle8 

at home, were invited to the diversions of the opening day, 

. . .^ which they attended in immense numbers, tbe 

FJill of the am- . _ ' _ _ ' _ 

pwtheatre at mighty mass gave way under the pressure, and 
covered them in its ruins. Fifty thousand per- 
sons, or according to a lower computation not less than 
twenty thousand, men and women of all ranks, were killed 
or injured by this catastrophe, which called forth an edict 
from the senate, forbidding any one henceforth to exhibit a 
gladiatorial show, unless bis means were independent and 

Digitized by 


A.U. 780.] UNDER THE EMPIRE. 201 

ample, while the rash projector was driven into exile ; a mild 
punishment, perhaps, if it was right to punish him at alL 
The care and attention lavished on the sufferers by^the 
vealthieet people at Rome, the spontaiieous offering of med« 
ical care and attendance, served at least to remind the citir 
sens of the best days of the republic, in seasons of public 
cahunity. But this sorrow had not been forgotten when it 
was redoubled by the disaster of a great fire, 
ivhich ravaged the whole of the CseUan hill and <^"tbe oaeiiMi 
a considerable area of the city besides, occiqHed 
with dwellings of every class. This catastrophe, however, 
gave Tiberius .oooadon to exhibit a munificence and consid- 
eration for his people, for which he had not yet acquired 
credit' The senate decreed that the hill should henceforth 
bear the name of Augustus, in memory of this imperial lib- 
erality, and more particularly because^ in the midst of the 
genend destruction, an image of the emperor, it was report- 
ed, had alone been left standing and unscathed. A similar 
prodigy had occurred in the case of another personage of the 
imperial house, the fisimous Claudia Quinta, whose effigy had 
twice escaped the flames, wd been placed thereupon as a 
sacred relic in the temple of the Mother of the gods.* 

But to more intelligent observers these calamities were 
fiur less alarming than the steady advance of the toils which 
were gradually surrounding the fiunily of Ger- progress <4 do- 
manicas. Though the charges urged against its ^^**°- 
members were managed by private delators, none could doubt 
that Sejanus himself was the mover of the horrid conspiracy. 
The first approaches against' this illustrious house were made 
cautiously from a distanoe ; it was deemed advisable to sap 
the outworks of the family in the persons of its remoter con- 
nexions, before assailing the citadal, and attacking the mother 
of the princes and the princes themselves. Domitius Afer, 
the same who had prosecuted Claudia Pulchra to condemna- 

> Venioi, li 130. 

' Tac Ann, It. 62-64. It iB hardly neecasarj to obeerve that the new name 
of the Cariian soon fell into disuse. 

Digitized by 



tion, proceeded to advance charges of treason oi licentious* 
ness against her son, Qointilins Yams, the husband of one 
of the daughters of Grermanioos.^ In this odious prosecution 
he was joined by Dolabella, a kinsman of the unfortunate 
youth. The conduct of the first caused at least no surprise, 
for he was poor and delation was his trade : but Dolabella 
had no such excuse ; and when he, highborn and wealthy as 
he was, stood forwwd to shed noble Hood, the same which 
flowed fai his own veins, the citizens were astonished and in- 
dignant. For<mce the senators ventured to stem the tor- 
rent of delation, which Bejanus was evidently directing to 
his own guilty purposes. They resolved before pronounemg 
sentence to await the decision of the emperor himsel£' Sudi 
was the state of affairs, under the sway of the &vourite and 
his creatures, that Tiberius was regarded as the last hope and 
refiige of the oppressed. Possibly, for we hear no move of 
the result, his interference saved the victim on this occasion. 
Nevertheless the power of Sejanus, whatever shock his re- 
cent rebuff may have given it, was now completely re-estab- 
lished. A fortunate accident had enabled him to prove his 
devotion to the emperor by saving his life at the risk of his 
own. In the course of an entertainment which Tiberius had 
held in the cool recess of a grotto in Campania, the roof of 
the cavern had suddenly given way, and covered the tables 
and the guests themselves. Sejanus, in the midst of the 
confusion, had thrown himself across the prostrate body of 
his master, and bending in the form of an arch, with a great 
exertion of his herculean strength, had shielded him from the 
falling fragments.* This act of courage had made a great 
impression on Tiberius, and seemed at least to have obliter- 
ated the unfavourable feelings which the late affisdr between 

^ This QuinUlioB Yaros was the son by Claudia Puldira of the Yarns who 
poriahed in Germany. Bjb manias to a daughter of Agi^pina, whose name 
is not known, is mentioned by M. Seneca, Contrcv. 1 1. 8. It is strange that 
Tacitus should have omitted to menUon this connexion ; but we haveseea that 
he was not well informed as to the position of Claudia. 

• Tttc. Arm, iv. 66. « Tac Afm, iv. 69. ; Suet TO. 89. 

Digitized by 


A. n. 790.] UNDER THE EMPIRE. 203 

ihem miglit have excited. The mimster, to whom 
a double Aare of the cares of goTemment were tout of 6fj»- 
now confided, could easily peHBuade the senators 
that his inflaence with his master was quite unbounded, and 
that no cloud had erer passed oT<er the sunshine in which he 
basked. He set spies to watch erery wo^d and movement 
of Nero, the ddest child of Agrippina, and suborned the 
wife and brother of the luckless youth to urge him to indis- 
cretions, and aggravate them by misrepresentation. Such, 
however, were the young prince's admirable sense and con- 
duct that no handle could be found for framing an accusation 
against him; while the rash and thoughtless Drusns too 
often laid himself open to the machinations of the common 
enemy of their fkmily/ 

Having performed the dedication of the temples in Cam- 
pania, which had furnished the immediate pretext for his re- 
moval from Home, Tiberius, in the year 780, 
crossed the bay of Napfes in quest of the spot tirefttotheiai- 
which he had already destined for his final re- " ^^^ 
treat.* In vain had he issued orders, while traversing the 
dense populations of the continent, that no man should pre- 
sume to disturb his sullen meditations, and had even lined 
his route with soldiers to keep his importunate admirers at a 
distance. The concourse of idle and gaping multitudes 
whom his arrival brought everywhere together became more 
and more odious to him, and the sullenness with which he 
spumed observation gave colour to the notion that he 
shimned exhibiting to strangers the deformity of a diseased 
and bloated countenance. He hastened to bury himself in 
the pleasant solitudes of the little island of OapreoB. While 
yet in the maturity of his powers Augustus had been at- 
tracted by the charms of this sequestered retreat; he had 
been struck particularly with the omen of a blighted ilex 
reviving here during a visit he paid to the spot. Its genial 
climate, he conceived, might conduce to the maintenance of 

' Taa Ann, iv. SO. • Tac Ann, iv, 67. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


bis own health in more advanced age, ^dd with this view he 
obtained the cession of it fi*om the Neapolitans, to whose 
city it belonged, in exofa^ige for the more important nor, as 
i>eMrti>tion of ^ep^^^j lc8fl salubrious island of jEnaria.* Ca- 
capnm. p^^^ ^ this time indeed was little better than a 

barren rook, the resort of wild goats, from which it derived 
its name, about eleven miles in oircoit : but it lay within two 
hoars' row c^Misenum, the great naval station of the Lower 
Sea. Easily accessible from the mainland at one point, 
which it required little vigilance to secure, the island is sin- 
gularly difficult of approach at every other. Its shores con- 
sist of limestone clifis, sheer precipices in most parts plong- 
iog directly into the deep sea. They are farrowed here and 
there by those caverns celebrated for the play of coloured 
light in their recesses, which, after having amused and aston- 
ished the curious of our time as recent discoveries, are now 
ascertained to have been the forgotten haimts of Roman lux- 
ury. In the interior, an uneven but cultivable surface rises 
at cither end of the island to the height of one thousand and 
two thousand feet respectively ; the eastern or lower pro- 
montory having been, according to tradition, the &vourite 
sojourn of Tiberius, and its dizzy cliff the scene of his savage 
executions. Wo have bpfore noticed the channel, six mile9 
wide, which separated it from the coast of Campania, whence 
it seems to have been divorced by a convulsion of nature, 
and the two famous sea-marks which faced each other on 
opposing summits, the pharos of Capresa and the temple of 
Surrentum. But while few other spots could have combined 

' iBnaria or Inarime was f&mooB for its modicinal spnngs : ** JEnariseqiia 
locus medieos." Stat ^S^. iii 6. 104. Augustas got poaseeskm of Capreo in 
the year 126, Dion, 111 48. Comp. Suet. OcL 92. Viigil, on his return from 
Greece in 735, devoted the remaining months of his life to the revision of the 
iEneid at Naples, and some passages even in the earlier books bear marks of 
interpolation at this period. Possibly the reference to Cseprcn (u£h. rii. 736.) 
is meant as a compBmeat to Augustus : ** Tel^t>oum Capreas cum regna taierel 
Jam senior.'' Augustus, then Just completmg his forty-fifth year, was on the 
vexge of Roman seniority. 

Digitized by 


A.n.7dO.] UNDER THB EMPIBE. 205 

the requisitOB of solitade and difficult approach with such 
actual proximity to the Beat of gOTemment^ TiberiuB was 
not insensible to the chairms of its climate, and even the at- 
tractions of its scenery ; to the freshness of its evenitg 
breeze, the coolness of its summers, and the pleasing mild- 
ness of its winters.^ The yillas he erected on the &ir- 
est dtes within these narrow limits, twelTC in number and 
named after the greater gods of the Olympian consistory, 
enjoyed, we may suppose, every variety of prospect, com* 
manded crvery breath of air^ and caught the rays of the 
sun a^ every point of his diurnal progress.' From the 
heights of Capre» the eye comprehended at one glance 
tbe whole range of the Italian coast from the promontory 
of Circe to the temples of pAStum, clearly visible through 
that transparent atmosphere. The Falemian and Gauran 
ridges, teeming with the noblest vineyards of Italy, the 
long ranges of the Samnite Apennines, even to the dis^ 
tant Lncanian moimtains, formed the framework of the 

^ Statius {Sylu. WL 6.) invitcB Lis -wife to Lho shores of his daUto Far* 
thcnope : 

^Qaas et mollis hyems et firigida temperat scstas ; 
Quas iinbolle ^tum toipentibus alluit andis." 
Could the lady resist So sweet an invitation to so sweet a place ? 

' Tac L o. In bis channing description of the villa of PoUius on the Sur- 
reodno promontory , Statiofi specifiee the varions objects in view from the spot, 
which Me neariy the same as those conmianded by Gaprees. The spadovs resi^ 
denoe of his friend comprised all the advantages which oould be son^t for in 
the divers localities of the Hberian pleasure-houses: '*Qu8D rerum turbal 

Ingenium an domini mirer prius f hsec domus ortus 
Proeincit^etl^oebitenerumjubar; illacadentem 
Detinet, exaotamque negat dimittere lucem «... 
HsDC pelagi damore fremont; hado tecta sonoros 
lignorant fluctos, terxasque silentia malunt .... 
.... Quid mille revolvam . 
Culmina, visendique vices ? sua cmque voluptas 
Atque omni proprium thalamo mare, transque jacentem 
Kerea diversis servit sua terra fenestris • . . ." 

Stat Sfflv. il 2. 44. 

Digitized by 



picture, while VeBuvius reared its then level crest, yet nn- 
Bcarred by lava, directly in the centre. Facing the fionth, 
the BpeoCator gazed on the expanse of the Sidlian Beit. So 
wide id the horizon that it is, perhaps, no fiction that at some 
favourable moments the outlines of the fiery isles of J^lus, 
and even of Sfcily itself, are within the range of vision. The 
legends of Circe and Ulysses, of Cimmaiaii darkness and 
Fhlegrsean flres,^ of the wars of the Giants with Jupiter, and 
the graceful omens which attracted the first settlers to these 
shores fipom Greece, had perhaps a strange fascination for the 
Wom-6ut boldier and politician.* Reclining on the Bl9pes of 
CapresB, and gazing on the glorious landscape before him, 
Tiberius might dream of a fairyland of the poet's creation, 
and seek some moments of repose from the hard realities of 
his eternal task, to perplex his attendants with insoluble 
questions on the subjects of the Sirens' songs and the name 
of Hecuba's mother.* Nor could he be unmoved, though 
dallying with these fanciful shadows, by the deep interest 
which the records of actual history had thrown over the 
fateful scene. There lay the battle-fields of the still youth- 
ful republic : there the rugged Koman was first broken by 
the culture of Hellas : there captive Greece first captured her 
conqueror. There were the plains in which the strength of 
Hannibal had wasted in ignoble luxury ; and the dark crater 
of Vesuvius, from whence had issued the torrent of servile 
insurrection, when the empire of the world was for a mo- 
ment shaken by the rage of a Thracian bondman. The great 
Italian volcano had slumbered since the dawn of history. 
Tokens indeed were not wanting on t^e sur&ce of the fires 
still seething beneath the plains of Campania ; the sulphur- 

' Stat /%fo. iil5.79.: 

** Partihenope, cm mite solum trans foqnora vecta 
IpoeDioniea monstravit ApoUo oolumba." 

* Suet 7^. 70. : ''Maxime tamen curaVit nbtitiam historisB fabularis, oaqot 
ad ineptiaB atque derisum. Nam et grammaticofl, quod genus hominnm, nt 
diximns, mdxime appetebat, ejusmodi fere qusBstionibus experiebator : qusB 
mater HecubsB : quod Achilli nomco inter virgines fuisset : quid Srenes cantare 
■int floUHB." 

Digitized by 


A. U. 780.J UNBEB THB EMPIRE. 20'} 

ous exhalations of Baisa and Pateoli still attested the truth 
of legends of more violent igneous action on which the lo<5al 
mythology was hnilt. But even these legends pohited to no 
eraption of Yesavius: no cone of ashes rose then as now 
from its bosom ; and cities asd villages clustered at its foot 
or hung upon its flanks, unconscdouis of the elements of con- 
vulsion hushed in grim repose beside thent* 

During his protracted sojourn in this pleasant locality the 
imperial hermit crossed • but rarely to the continent, and 
twice only made as if be would revisit the city." 
The seclunon of his lonely rock was guarded with Tfb^os at oa- 
the strictest vigilance, and thif. chastisement he ^^^^ 
was said to have inflicted on the unwary fishennen who 
landed on the forbidden coast increased the mysterious hor- 
ror with which: it came soon to be regarded.' But day by 
day a regular service of couriers brought despatches to him 
from die continent ; nor did he ever relax from the scrupu- 
lous attention, in which he had so long been trained, to the 
details of business SQut him by his ministers, which must 
have employed his ndnd and tasked his patience for many 
houiB. He was surrounded moreover in the recesses of his 
privacy by a number of literary men, professors of Greek 
and other foreign extraction, among whom he diverted him- 
self with abstruse inquiries, such as have been already no- 
ticed, into the most unprofitable questions of mythology or 
grammar. Distraction of mind was tl^ object of his literary 
recreations ; but like the generality of his busy and restless 
countrymen, he had no taste for matters of really interesting 
inquiry, and his studies, if not pernicious, were at best 
merely curious. He was peculiarly addicted to conversation 
with the soothsayers, of whom he entertained a troop about 

' Tse. L e.: '*ProQ>ectabatqae jAulchenimimi ernnm, imfteqaain Vedurius 
moos afdeeoens fidlem loca yerteret" This was written about thirty yeara 
after Uie dfistrootion of Heroalaoeiim and Pompeii 

* Soet 7I&. 12,: "Bia omnino toto secessos tempore Romam redire co- 
1," adL aim. V8S. IBS. Oomp. Tac Ami, tI 1.; Dion, Iviil 21. 25. 
Suet TO. 60. 

Digitized by 



his person, making constant experiments of their skill in the 
e:!famination of the lives and fortunes of his associates. 
Snch was the account which reached the city of the life of 
the imperial misanthrope : it was coloured no doubt and dis* 
torted, inflamed and exaggerated : nevertheless it did not 
suffice to satisfy the prurient curiosity of the citizens, stimu- 
lated beyond its wont by the extraordinary circumstance of 
his retirement from public observation. They filled the 
hours they supposed to be vacant from business with amuse- 
ments of a &r less innocent character, with debaucheries of 
the deepest dye, and cruelties the most refined and sanguinr 
ary : they accused the Bomaa Csesar of the crimes of a Me- 
dian or Assyrian ; as if their perverted imaginations de- 
lighted in contrasting the most exquisite charms of nature 
with the grossest depravation of humanity: and all these 
charges, whether or not they were in his case really true, of 
which we have little means of judging, found easy credence 
from the notorious vices of their own degraded aristocracy.' 
The retirement of Tiberius to CapresB Bas been justly 
regarded as an important turning-point in his career ; inas- 
Fnrtherdeto- much as, having thereby screened himself firom 
SiJSSift rf* tt^e hated gaze of his subjects, he could thence- 
™^*^ forth give the rein, without shame or remorse, to 

the worst propensities of his nature. From this time un- 
doubtedly we find him less anxious to moderate the excessive 
flatteries of the sehate, or to mediate between its servile 
ferocity and the wretched victims of the delators. Even on 
the calends of January, the strictest holiday of the Roman 
year, he could turn his solemn missive of vows and congratu- 
lations to a demand for the blood of Titius Sabinus, of dis- 
tinguished equestrian &mily, who had been betrayed by a 
base intrigue.* WJiat a commencement for the new year is 
this! exclaimed the afEHghted citizens. WJuxt viotims are 
these toith which S^anns requires to be appeased/ What 

» Suet m, 48-46. 

• Tac Arm, W. 68.: " Junio Slano et Silio Nenra coss. (a. r. 1BI\ foedom 
aim! principium incessit." 

Digitized by 


A.XJ. 780.] UNDEB THE SMPIRB. 209 

day from henceforth toiU pcLSB toUhoiU an execution^ if a 
9eason so holy and festive must he profaned toUh the chain 
and cordi Bat the emperor had attained a position in 
wbkli lie conld despise these murmurs. The complaints he. 
urged upon the senate of the peril in which he &ncied him- 
self to stand, as the mark of so many secret conspiracies and 
machinations, were interpreted into dark insinuations against 
his own nearest kindred : every member of the imperial 
family, cut off by age or accident, was supposed to relicTe 
him either from the fear of intrigues, or the mortification of 
being obserred or thwarted. Presently the Romans imag- 
ined that the cares of empire were neglected : an outbreak 
of the Frisii, which seems in &ct to have been speedily re- 
pressed, was exaggerated by. their undue i^prehensions ; 
and it was believed that Tiberius disguised the real extent 
of the disaster to avoid the necessity of sending a special 
legate to retrieve it.^ Nevertheless the senate, we are told, 
was not so much concerned for a frontier injury, aa for the 
perils by which it seemed itself environed at home ; and 
against these it could devise no other precaution than the 
most lavish adulation of the emperor. It decreed an altar to 
Clemency and another to Friendship, by the side of which 
images of Tiberius and Sejanus were to be erected, and at 
the same time importuned its prince with fresh entreaties for 
the happiness of once more beholding him. But neither 
Tiberius myr his favourite vouchsafed a visit to the city or 
its vicinity. They contented themselves with leaving the 
island, and exhibiting their august presence at the nearest 
point of the Campanian coast Thither flocked the senators, 
die knights, and numbers of the inferior citizens, more appre- 
hensive of their reception by^Sejanus than even by Tiberius 
himself: nor did the minister's conduct belie the dread they 
had conceived of him, since the retirement of his master had 
ierved to exalt him to a higher pinnacle than ever. Amidst 
the various avocations of life in the city, the trooping of 

» Tac Amu iv. 72, 
TOU T. — U 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


flatterers and conrti^ tp liifl levees miglit be less op^ to 
remark ; ' but in the eoxmtry, where there was no other 
occupation and no other diversion, every one's eyes intently 
watched all the rest, and the Romans were shocked' at the 
evidence they presented to one. another of the extent of theii 
own servility. At last Sejanus, in his arrogance, as they 
said, forbade them even to throng his doors or crowd around 
him on the sea-shore ; he was afilaid no doubt of the jealousy 
of his master ; and they returned in dismay and dejection to 
their homes, to expiate hereafter as a crime the intimacy they 
had so blitidly pressed upon Mm.* 

The year t81, the first of Tiberius's sojourn at Caprese, 
beheld the death of the unfortunate Julia, the grand-daugh- 
D th f J li *^ ^^ Augustus, in the barren island of Trimerus, 
the yonMer, off the coast of Apulia ; a woman whose amours 
danghtorof An- had oncc threatened to raise up candidates for 
*^ ^ the throne, but who in her disgrace had been «o 

completely abandoned by her friends and family that she 
owed, it was said, the protraction of her miserable existence 
for years to the ostentatious compassion of Livia.* She was 
speedily followed to the grave by this hateful protectress. 
The mother of the emperor, having held in her own hands 
for seventy years the largest share, it may be, of actual 
power of any personage in the state, paid at last the debt of 
nature, at the moment when her son had effected his escape 
from her oversight, and had perhaps for the first time defied 
Death of the ^^ influence. She died in the year Y82, at the 
empress Uvia. advanced age of eighty-six, a memorable example 
of successful artifice, having attained in succession, by craft 
if not by crime, every object she could desire in the career 
of female ambition.' But ^he had long survived every 

» Tao. Awi, ir.H, ' 

' Taa' AfUL It. li, : '* AngiBtaB ope so&tentata, qiue florei^ privignos cum 
per ocealttim.sabyertfflsetj miserioordiam eiga adflictoe palam ostentabak'* 

• Tao. Ann, t. 1. ; Dion, IviiL 2. Pliny makes her eighty-two: but afl Ti- 
beriuB was now in his serentieth year, the earlier date assigned for her birth ia 
oudonbtedly the true one. Plin. Hi^ Nat, xiv. 8 

Digitized by 


k. U. 781.J ONDBR THB EMPIBB. 21 1 

genuine attachment fiHe may at any time have inspiied, nor 
has a single roice heen raised by posterity to supply the 
want of honest eulogists in her own day. He^ obsequies 
gave occasion for the first pubKe appearance of Cains, the 
yonngest of the sons of Genn^nicns, at this time in his 
seventeenth year, to pronounce her funeral oration ; for Tibe- 
rius excused himself from attending, while he persisted in 
making no change in the usual disposition of his day, and 
forbade the senate, pretending that such was her own desire, 
to decree divine honours to the deceased/ At the same 
time he took occasion to show his sens^ of the liberty he had 
recovered by his mother's death, by some pointed remarira 
on the servile flattery of the tooman^s JHendSy her associates. 
These remarks were directed, it was believed, more particu- 
larly against the consul Fufius, who had ventured, under the 
powerfiil protection of the empress, to indulge in unseemly 
sneers against the emperor himself." While such was the 
demeanour of Tiberius, it was evident that he felt no per- 
sonal regret for the loss he had sustained, and the funeral 
passed over with little ceremony or magnificence. Even the 
will of Livia remained for a long time unexecuted.* 

The obsequies of the consort of Octavius were celebrated 
under the name she had long borne in ptiblic of Julia Au- 
gusta. By admission into the Csesareaii family 
she had become invested with the undefinable 
charm of ffu>4esoended glory common to the childrein of 
Yenufl and lulus, which might seem to extend to her a right- 
ful daim to apotiieosis hereafter, together with her husband 
and his divine parents But her union with Octavius had in 
the meantime entitled her to a share in the high and express- 
ive designation of August, which. was soarcely distinguished 

' Tac Arm. t. 1. 2. ; Dloi^ Iviil 2. 

* Tac L c. : *'Dicaz idem, et G5berium iM)erbi0 £M)etliB Srridere MliUa." 

* Suet Tii, 61. In thw and tto preoediog chapter laflten e ee mtt gLven of 
toe hnpatiance with whidi Tiberius latterly bore the domhiatioxi of his mother; 
hit hanh langoage towards her and about her, and the indifferenee he manilesfe' 
ed at her decease. 

Digitized by 



in the popular apprehension from that of mistress or sovereign. 
She glided gracefully firom the wheel and the women^s 
chamber to the chair of council and even to the throne of 
state : the first of Roman matrons she had been suffered, if not 
to assume a public capacity, at least tobe addressed as a public 
character.' Though little scrupulous, we may believe, in the 
pursuit of her personal objects, she was not without a right 
royal sense of the true dignity of her unexampled position. 
To the sterner counsels of her husband she brought the 
feminine elements of softness and placability. The policy of 
Augustus in his later years was impressed with the mildness 
and serene confidence of his consort ; and even under the 
gloomier tyranny of his successor her chamber was the asy- 
lum of many trembling victims of persecution, her extended 
arm bade defiance to the arts of an Afer and the power of a 
Sejanus.' Nor was her private benevolence less conspicu- 
ously exerted in behalf of noble indigence. She caused many 
poor but well-bom children to be educated at her own ex- 
pense, and gave portions to many marriageable maidens.' Her 
fidelity to her husband may have been the result of prudence, 
her devotion to her son a calculation of ambition ; but it is 
impossible not to read in the monuments of her innumerable 
household, the tiuers of her person, the attendants at her re- 
pasts, the ministers of her charities, whom she survived to 
bury in one £Eimily mausoleum, tokens of kindness and 

^ Thus we find her addressed in the CoiuokUio de morte Drud as Frinoeps. 
The setiate upon ber death decreed her an arch, and the title of Mater Pataris, 
which Tiberius refused to ratify : neyertheless medals exist on which such a 
legend appears, and it is a question whether these were not struck in her bon- 
our even during the lifetime of Augustus. See Eckhel, tL 154, 156. Liria 
ultimate obtuned ddfication under the prindpate of her grandson Claudius. 

* Dion, tci Koi k^fUa avnf^ b ftff^/d^ i^X^ ywatkl, i^/ij^iaavTO, bri te 
ovK bXlyovg a^ iaea^xet, lail bn irdidac iroXXuv krerpd^t. VelL iL 130. : 
** Per omnia diis quam bominibus similior foemina, c^jus potentiam nemo sensit 
nisi aut tevatione periculi ant acoessione dignitatis." 

' The Bonum Juno was as mereifiil as she was modest, if we maj bdiere a 
fantastic story of Dion's : yxfftvoifc ^ore ivdpac diravr^avrac oirrf ical ftiXXoi^ 
rof 6id TovTo SmwruS^aecBai kjoctv tiicwaa brt Mhf &v6piAvT(Jv Talc ct^^ 
voiMJoic ol TOtovTOt dto^powfi, Dion, I c. . 

Digitized by 


A. 13. 782.] UKDEB THE EMPIRE. 213 

generofiitjr, however mingled with pride, which appeal forci- 
bly to our admiration.' Bat a later generation conld never 
forgive her for being the mother of Tiberius ; and every step 
by which the tyrant, the patron of the informers, the deci* 
mater of the senate, advanced to the sovereignty of the 
Roman people was ascribed to the ambition, the arts, and 
the crimes of the unfortunate Livia. The proscriptions were 
forgotten in fifty years, the delations never. 

1 The single columbarium of livia wbicb baa been disooyered, and prob- 
abl J there were more, contains the ashes of aboTO a thousand of her dayes and 
freednun : the dirersity of their employments, all of which are carefuDy r^ 
corded, is, as maj be supposed, almost infinite. See Wallon, Esdavage^ IL 146^ 
foli. after Gori. 

Digitized by 




ibi ri.Ti or Tnx fakilt of germahicitb. — bamishmsnt or aobifpina and hb 




EXAMPLE FROM THE STATE OF JUDEA. (a, D. 29-78T., A. U. 782-790.) 

THE first incident which marked the withdrawal of Livia's 
protecting wing from the afficted, was the appearance 
Tiberinicom- o^ ^ harsh despatch from Tiberius to the senate, 
JJSJSJS^p. directed against Agrippina and her son Nero. 
piM«dSSu This letter, it was beUeved, had been written 
some time earlier, but withheld through the influence of the 
empress, who, while she was gratified by the depression of 
the fiimily of Germanicus, had neyertheless exerted her- 
self, not without success, to shield it from ruin. The emperor 
now complained in bitter terms of the alleged misconduct of 
his grand-nephew ; not, indeed, of any political intrigues to 
his own prejudice, but of personal vices and dissoluteness: 

Digitized by 


A.U,782.] UKDEB THS EMPIBK. 215 

against the chaste matron, his mother, he had not yentnred 
to utter even such imputations as these, but had confined 
himself to reproving once more the yehemence so often re- 
marked in her language and demeanour. The senators were 
in great perplexity : ready as they were to carry out the 
commands of their master, however atrocious, they d^r^ not 
act on murmurs which coni-eyed no express order, and made 
no demand on their active interference. While they delib- 
erated, however, warned by one of their own bo^y to take 
no hasty step in so delici^te a matter, the people ass^nbled 
before the doors, and bearing aloft the d£gies of their fa- 
vourites, shouted aloud that the letter was an abominable 
forgery, and the lives of the emperor^s nearest kindred were 
menaced without his knowledge, and in defiance of his incli- 
nations. These cries evidently pointed at Sejanus as the 
contriver of a foul conspiracy ; but the favourite, perceiving 
his danger, played dexterously on his master's fears, repre- 
senting the movement as an act of rebellion, the images of 
Nero and Agrippina as the standards of a civil war, till he 
wrung from him a second proclamation, in which the impet- 
uosity of the citizens was sternly rebuked, the tardiness of 
the senate reproved more mildly, and the charges against the 
culprits repeated, with a distinct injunction to proceed at 
once to consider them with due forqiality.* 

Thus encouraged and stimulated to take their part, the 
senators declared that they had only been withheld from a 
more zealous defence of the imperial majesty by ^ 

• i. , « . . . fTT^ . They are Tmn- 

the want of denmte mstmctions. Sejanus tn- isiuidtoiai- 
umphed; accusers spnoig up at his beck; the ^ 
proeiee^ was carried through, we may believe, with all the 
disregard of decency and justice for which the tribunal of 
the &Uiers had Icmg been in&mous ; and though we have lost 
the details of it, we know that its result was fatal to its tm- 
fortonate victims, and that both the mother ^d son were 

Ttc. Atm, T. 6., A. V. 782. From this point there is a lacuna of two 
jears in the annals of Tadtos. 

Digitized by 



banished to barren islands, the one to Pandateria, the other 
to Pontia. True to the indomitable ferocity of her character, 
the she-wolf Agrippina resisted the atrocious mandate with 
yiolence, and in her struggle with the centurion in whose 
charge she was placed, such was the horrid story which ob- 
tained credence with the citizens, one of her eyes was act- 
ually struck from her head.' Sejanus now urged his success 
with redoubled energy. He had removed his two most con- 
spicuous rivals to an exile from which the members of the 
imperial family were never known to return. Drusus still 

remained, of an age and character to compete 
tains the di»- with Mm in the career of his ambition. Tiberius 
ymSgerDra- retained this prince, together with his younger 

brother Caius, about his own person at Capreee : 
there was the more reason to fear the favour he might acquire 
with his aged relative ; nor were there the same opportuni- 
ties for misrepresenting his conduct, or urging him by insid- 
ious advisers into political intrigues. But Sejanus, in seduc- 
ing the affections of his consort Lepida, found the means of 
undermining his credit with the emperor. The faithless 
spouse was engaged, by the promise perhaps of marriage 
with Sejanus, as the wife of another Drusus before her, to 
excite the jealousy of Tiberius against her husband ; and 
thus even the recesses of the imperial retreat, in which the 
old man had sought to bury himself from the crimes and 
follies of the world he. hated, were opened to the machina- 
tions of his most intimate friends and relatives. Drusus was 
dismissed from Capreie, and ordered to repair in disgrace to 
Rome. But Sejanus was not satisfied with this indication of 
the sovereign's anger : fearing lest his master might change 
his mind, he induced the consul Cassius Longinus to make a 
motion in the senate on the prince's presumed misconduct ; 
and the &thers hastened to respond to it by declaring him a 
public enemy. Drusus was immediately placed under arrest ; 
but the privileges of noble rank still exempted him from con- 

' Soet m, 63. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


finement in the Mamertine dungeons, and he was thmst, in 
mockery of the free custody which was his legal right, into 
a subterranean chamber of the palace.* 

Livia, as we have seen, had been surrounded in her later 
years by a little court of her own fUvourites, and among 
Ttberini TMCTQ. ^^^^ were many grumblers and captious enemies 
etktet the of the cmpcror, who obtained leave, by flattering 

the vamty of their mistress, to vent even m her 
ears their ill-feeling towards the chief of the state. In vain 
had Tiberius chafed under the jeers of this licensed coterie ; 
the influence of his mother had protected it, and he had been 
compelled to brood in secret over mortifications which he 
had not the spirit to resent. But he had not forgotten a 
murmur or a smile ; and as soon as the patroness of the 
group was removed, he made his long-checked vengeance 
felt by its membeni in succession. The friends of Agrippina 
and her children he regarded in, a still more serious light. 
They constituted, in his view, not a private clique of dissatis- 
fied scoffers, but a political faction ; they were not discon- 
tented with his conduct or government, but, as he thought, 
and others doubtless thought the same, prepared as foes and 
rivals to substitute another government, the government at 
least of another, in its room. In the councils of this faction 
lay, as he conceived, the germs of a revolution of the palace 
and even of civil war. Among itd chiefs were men of the 
Cruel fcto of highest birth and character. ITone was more dis- 
^frfeiSd St^^ tinguished than Asinius Gallus, now an old man, 
'^^'^w**^ and a veteran dissembler, whose pretensions have 
already been noticed.' This man had presumed to take to 
wifi: the unfortunate Vipsania, the same from whom Tiberius 
had been compelled to separate himself; and besides the per- 
sonal feelings which this marriage had caused him, Tiberius 
beheld in it a covert aspiration to a share in the imperial in- 
heritance. At the commencement of his principate he had 
been openly treated by Asinius as an equal in an assembly 

' duet. 7^, 54. ; IHon, iTiii. 3., ▲. IT. 783. At this point there IB a short 
break in the rcmaios of Dion's history. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


of equals. In consequence he had never ceased to regard 
him with jealousy ; and when latterly he observed him pay- 
ing marked court to Sejanus, he resented it perhaps as an at- 
tempt to disguise increasing hostility to himselfc* When 
Asinius eame at last to Capreae, as the bearer of a vote of 
fresh honours to the favourite, Tiberius received him indeed 
with the utmost apparent cordiality, but at the same time 
clandestinely dispatched an accusation against him to the 
senate, and the senate proceeded to pass sentence upon him 
without a hearing, at the very moment that he was being en- 
tertained at the emperor's table. The consuls sent a prsetor 
to Capreae to arrest him before the eyes of his host, who af- 
fected surprise and sympathy, and desired that he might bo 
kept in honourable custody till he should come in person to 
take cognisance of so lamentable a case.* This period, how- 
ever, never arrived ; and it was not till after three years of 
close and cruel imprisonment that Tiberius consented at last 
to give the word, not for his release, but for his execution, 
accompanied, it was said, with the savage remark, Noio at 
Iccst J have taken him back to favour.* 

The base dissimulation of Tiberius, which he now seemed, 
from long habit, to practise almost imconsciously, and where 
for his own purposes it was least required, may serve to ag- 
gravate our disgust at his callous insensibility. We need not 
suppose, however, that it was from any wanton cruelty that 
so long a punishment was inflicted on the sufferer. Among 
ppocTMtiimtion the infirmities which grew on Tiberius with sA- 
SinrfmS." vancing age were irresolution and procrastina- 
'*"■• tion, and neither in giving audience to an em- 

' Of Asiniofl, Augustas, as we hare seen, had said tbat be was ambitious 
but incapaUe. Tbe conceit and csptiousneeB of his fed)le character appeois in 
the preetuBipUon with ^hich, like his ikther Follio, he criticized the langoaga 
and genius of Goero. QuintiL xil 1. 22. ; Gell. Md. AtL xvil 1. ; Suet» 
CZawdL 41.; Plin. i^wet vil 4. 

• Dion, IviiL 8. 

' Dion, Iviil 28. : who repeats, howerer, the same expression on another 
occasion. Comp. also Suet TH, 61. : "£t ui recognoscendis custodiis precanti 
cuidam poenss maturitatem respondit : nondum tecum in gratiam redii." 

Digitized by 


A.U.788.] UNDER THE £MPIRK 219 

Lassy, iK>r in deciding the &te of a criminal, could he deter* 
mine to act with, the promptness which befitted his position.' 
His jealousy once aroused with regard to Sejanus, he could 
not nerve himself to any definite course of action. The 
clamours even of the insensate populace had not been lost 
upon him ; though every demand for the punishment of his 
relatives had come to him direct from the senators, he could 
Dot but perceive that the &vourite might have moved them 
to it. From the objects of suspicion thus indicated to him, 
every suspicion rebounded on the head of the favourite him- 
self While he sought to disguise his doubts and anxieties, 
yielding in every point, more readily than ever, to the coun- 
sels of his insidious adviser, and consenting at his instance to 
the disgrace of his kinsmen or courtiers^ he shrank day by 
day fiom issuing the order which should deprive him irre- 
coverably of their services. Thus while he kept Asinius and 
Drusus in confinement to gratify Sejanus, he could not yet 
resolve to deliver them to the executioner. Meanwhile he 
continued to heap fresh honours on his minister with a rest- 
less profusion, which itself implied distrust. Though the 
hopes Sejanus had conceived of entrance into the Julian 
house throuirh an union with Livilla had been dis- ^ ■ .^ 

^ Sejanus 1>«- 

couraired and deferred, it appears that the em- comes affianced 
peror relaxed aner a tune m his opposition to 
them, and that they were crowned, as has been said, at least 
with the ceremony of a betrothal The marriage indeed 
may never have taken effect, though so completely was the 
connexion of Sejanus with his master secured by the mere 
act of affiance, that he receives from Tacitus the title of his 
son-in-law.* But the loss of the greater part of the fifth 
book of Tacitus's Amials deprives us of our surest guide to 
the machinations of the emperor and his minister. It would 

' Joseph. Antiq, Jud, xyiiL 7. 6. 

" Tac Ann. v. 6^ tI 8. See above. Zonaraa (xL 2.) says expressly that 
he was married to Julia, daughter of Drosos ; but Julia, the only daughter of 
DrasQS we know of^ was married to Nero. Tac. Ann. iil 29., iv. 60., tI 27. 
See Ritter on Ann. vl 8., Suet. Tih 66. : "Spe affinitatis dcceptum.*' 

Digitized by 



Beem probable, however, that Tiberiug, soon after tbe con- 
finement of DrusuB, became alarmed at tlie formidable atti- 
tude his favourite had: assumed ; and we may believe that, in 
conferring upon him the last marks of confidence he was 

really meditating his overthrow. Nevertheless 
to the consul- whcn^ On the first day of 784, Sejanus entered 
^^^' with Tiberius on the consulship, the worshippers 
of his uprisen star were disturbed by no presentiment of its 
impending decline. The origin of Sejanus was not such as 
to entitle him to an honour from which Msecenas had modest- 
ly shrunk ; but his flatterers, ascending higher in the annals 
of the republic, compared his rise with that of a Ooruncanius, 
a Carvilius, a Marius, or a Pollio. It was no novel principle, 
they declared, for the senate or people to choose the best 
men for distinction regardless of their birth ; and it was now 
left for Tiberius to show that the wisdom of the emperor 
was not inferior to that of the citizen.* While, however, all 
orders vied with one another in the respect they paid to 
Sejanus, while the petitioners who had flocked to the minis- 
ter in Campania had been more numerous than those who 
courted the prince himself, while games and holidays were 
voted in hm honour, and before his images or pictures altars 
were raised, vows conceived, and sacrifices offered, an excess 
of flattery which the emperor had personally spumed, Tibe- 
rius trembled more and more for his own safety, and was anx- 

^OTis at least to remove their idol from his pres- 
8- lanuB con- cncc. Accordingly, when he associated Sejanus 

with himself in the consulship, he deputed him 
to perform alone the actual functions of both in the city ; and 
now Sejanus, it was remarked, was emperor of Rome, while 
Tiberius was merely lord of an island.* The senators receiv- 
ed the leader of their debates with acclamations, and Sejanus, 
though not unconscious of the workings of jealousy in his 
master's mind, persuaded himself that he had reached an 

* TdL il 128. 

• Dion, \y\jL 6. : &(TTe aweXdvri eliretv, mrrov fih avTOKpiropa^ rbv J^ T« 
fifpiov vjjalapx^ tiva ehat doKeiv. 

Digitized by 


A.U.7a4.] UNDER THE EMPIEB. 221 

eminence firom which he could control or even defy them. 
The a'ttachment of the citizens towards him was now, hecon* 
ceiyed, amply demonstrated : the alacrity widi which they 
hailed him as the emperor's colleague betokened their full 
consent to his seizing the undivided empire. The decree of 
the senate, which now conferred on him jointly with Tiberius 
the consulate for five years^ sounded in his ears like the en- 
tire surrender of the government to his hands^ as it had for- 
merly been surrendered to Augustus ; and if any material 
resources were yet required to secure his usurpation, ke could 
widd, as he conceived, in his faithful pnetorians the final ar- 
bitrament of the sword. 

Since his accession, however, to the principate, it had 
been the custom of Tiberius to retain his consulships only 
for a short period. In 771 he had abdicated of- _^ . 

TibmtiB And 

fice after a few days; m 774 after three months.^ sejanus resign 
Now also, far from acceptmg the proffered five 
years, he resigned the consulship in the fifth month ; and Se- 
janus, it seems, was required at the same time to give way 
to a consul sufiect.' Faustus Cornelius Sidla was supplied 
in the place of the one, Sextidius Catullinus received the 
fasces from the other. Sejanus possibly now felt for the first 
time that he was treading a downward path. The pattering 
decree by which his consulship was held' up to th^ imitation 
of all future magistrates, the ofier of the proconsular power 
which was at the same tinue made to him, and his ^evation 
by the emperor to the dignity of the priesthood^ would all 
fail to reassure him ; for at the same time Gains Csesar was 
advanced to the priesthood also, and the favour with which 
the young prince was mentioned in an imperial rescript had 
been accepted by the citizens as a token that he was actually 
iestined for the succession. Uneasy and irresolute in tho 
midst of his success, Sejanus bethought himself of the re- 

' The consulship of 784 was T^berius's fifth. See Tao. Amu ill 31. Sue> 
Urnius, m caning it his third, is speaking only of his principate. 

* Qoeck, Jiom. Ge9ck.lB» p. 168. from Noria. JSpuL Gner. Thei, 

Digitized by 



source which had hitherto never failed him, of a persopal in- 
terview with his patron. He asked permission to visit his 
affianced bride, who was retained beneath the roof of her 
father-in-law at Capre», nnder the pretext of a sickness 
^^^ from which she was suffering. But to this de- 

ftiMw to se^ Be- mand Tiberius returned a refusal, though soft- 
*"^ ened by the excuse that he was himself prepar- 

ing speedily to remove with his family to Rome.* This re- 
pulse was followed by a decree forbidding divine honours to 
be paid to any mere mortal, and fatal significance was at- 
tached to a letter, throughout which the bare name of Seja- 
nus was mentioned, without the addition of any of his titles. 
At the same time some of his personal enemies, it was ob- 
served, received unusual favours ; all which things were not 
overlooked by an anxious and vigilant herd of courtiers, as 
ominous of impending disgrace. Already the crowd of sen- 
ators and freedmen began to waver in their devotion to the 
upstart. But, on the other hand, his spirits were sometimes 
raised by the hints the emperor took care to drop of his own 
failing health; by the death of Nero in his confinement, 
starved, as was reported, by his unnatural nucleus com- 
mands ; • and by the appointment of his creature Pulcinius 
Trio to the consulship for the latter part of the year. He 
was most concerned, however, by the manifest failure of the 
hopes he had entertained of the good will of the people, 
whose predilection for Caius, the youngest of the beloved 
family of Sermanicus, had recently been warmly expressed. 
Regretting that he had wanted courage to strike openly 
while armed with the authority of the fiisces, he 
tteaaares began now to couccrt with his nearest intimates 

**" the means of assassination. The arrival of H- 

' This dctoifl to be the meaning of Dion, Iviil Y. : 6^ oiv Ttpipwc Ttuf tf Iv 
epoabvaic hrlftfjctv avT^oh ftfjv Kot fitrenifitlfaTOf iAAd Kot airr^mi/Uv^ ol 

X^pov fulvai irpo^a^ev, 

* The death of Nero, which falls withhi the i>eriod for wliich we htTe loni 
the narration of Tacitus, is learnt from Suetonius, 7t6. 6. 

Digitized by 


A.U.784.] UNDER THE EMPIRE. 223 

bcrias at Rome would fumisli ample opportunity to a friend, 
a kinsman, and a minister. Several of the senators had en- 
gaged in the enterprise, the guards had been tampered with 
and, it was hoped, secured; but the plot was soon extended 
beyond the limits of safety. One of the con- ^^ eonsfinej 
spirators, named Satrius Secundus, already infa- *■ diTuiged. 
mous as a delator, revealed it to Antonia, the aged mother 
of Germanicus, a woman of noble character, who preferred, 
of the two persecutors of her race, to save Tiberius and 
destroy Sejanus.' 

The emperor, possessed of all the proofs he required, hes- 
itated, as usual, to act. He shrank from openly denouncing 
the traitor, and demanding his head of the sen- MeMowsof ti- 
ate; and against a covert surprise Sejanus had S^y'c^slja- 
Buffieiently guarded himself The stroke of Ti- ^^ 
berius was prepared with infinite cunning, and executed with 
consummate dexterity and boldness. He entrusted it to 
Sertorius Macro, an officer of the body guard, on whom, in 
the absence of Sejanus, he had, perhaps, relied for his per- 
sonal security at Capre®. To thid man he g^vc a commis- 
sion to take the command of the praetorians at Rome, and 
even • empowered him, in the last necessity, to lead forth 
Drusus from his dungeon, and place him at the head of af- 
feirs.* It might not be safe, however, to assume authority 
over a jealous soldiery, devoted, apparently, to their familiar 
chie^ and estranged from an emperor whose person they 
had almost forgotten. But Macro, resolute and crafty, was 
not daunted. He aspired to fill himself the place of Sejanus, 
and so lofty an ambition was to be deterred by no ordinary 
peril. Reaching Rome at midnight, the 17th of October, 
he sought an interview with Memmius Regulus, now the 
colleague of Trio in the consulship, and known for his stead- . 

' Jose^. Aniiq. xriiL Y. 6. This conspiracy is unknown to Dion appar- 
cotlj, but ^aded to by Tadtos, Suetonius, and Jofiephus. Tlie loss of this 
portioB of tiie Anni^ has deprived us of disUnct proof of it, but it was moo* 
tioned no doubt in the Memoirs of Agrippina. 

* Tac Ann. vl 28.: Suet 7%. 65. 

Digitized by 



fast loyalty. Opening to him the purport of his mission, he 
required him to convene the senate early in the temple of 
Apollo, which adjoined the imperial residence on the Pala- 
tine. The spot was somewhat removed from the common 
thoroughfares of the city, and the approach to it by three 
narrow gates might be easily guarded against a sudden at- 
tack. Another recommendation might be its proximity to 
the place where Drusus was confined, should it become ne- 
cessary to produce him. Macro next repaired to Grsecinus 
Laco, the captain of the TJrban police, and with him con- 
certed measures for occupying the avenues to the temple 
with his armed force, while he should himself amuse the 
dreaded pra3torians, and keep them close in their distant 
quarters. Thus prepared, he threw himself in the way of 
Sejanus, as the minister, wondering at the hasty summons, 
and foreboding no good to himself from it, was proceeding 
to the meeting escorted by an armed retinue. To him Macro 
blandly intimated that the occasion for which the fathers 
were convened was in fact no other than the gracious ap- 
pointment, now about to be announced, of Sejanus himself 
to the tribunitian power, an appointment equivalent, as gen- 
erally understood, to formal association in the empire. In- 
toxicated with the prospect of the consummation, at the 
moment when he had rashly resolved to hazard every thing 
on a daring treason, Sejanus was thrown completely off his 
guard. Shaking off at the temple door the attendance of 
his clients and soldiers, he entered with a light step and 
smiling countenance; while Macro, hastily communicating 
to the praetorians without that he was appointed their pre- 
fect, and promising them an ample largessx>n his installation, 
induced them to return with him to their camp, and attend 
while ho announced the circumstance to their comrades. lie 
only waited to present the emperor's letter to the consuls, 
and then withdrew quietly in the tumult of applause which 
greeted it, leaving Laco to watch the proceedings. He re- 
quired a little time to compose the temper of the guards, of 
whose ready acceptance of his appointment he could not 

Digitized by 



feel secure. With this object the letter of Tiberius had been 
made more than usually diffuse. The oonsuls handed it in 
due form to the qusastor, and as soon as the buzz of expecta* 
tion, and the compliments, already passing between Sejaaus 
and his flatterers, who comprehended the great body of the 
senate, were hushed, it was deliberately recited. 

Sejanus composed himself to endure the long preamble 
of the imperial missive, such as had before often taxed his 
patience, but never so much as on this fetal occa- g,^ dispatdi u 
sion.* It ooDMnenced with a passing ireference to ^® ""****• 
various af&irs of state ; then diverged to a gentle reproof of 
Sejanus himself for some trifling neglect ; thence wandered 
again to more general subjects, mixed with strange, and as 
it seemed fentastio, complaints of the solitude of the poor 
old man, and his precarious position. It required one of the 
consuls to come with a militaiy force to CapresB, and escort 
the princeps into the city, that in the midst of his feithful 
citizens he might securely unbosom his griefs. From these 
desultory complaints, however, the letter descended grad- 
ually to particulars, and proceeded to demand the punish- 
ment of certain personages well known as adherents of Se- 
janus. For some time the senators had been growing unr 
easy, not knowing what upshot to anticipate to a missive, 
the tone of which waxed less and less in harmony with the 
addresses to which they had been accustomed. One by one 
they slunk away from the minister's side, and left him won- 
dering and irresolute, still clinging to the hope that all 
would end as he wished, and shrinking to the last from 
the appeal to force, which must irrevocably compromise 
hiua. The agitation of the assembly became more marked. 
Sejanus looked anxiously around. Suddenly, before the 
whole letter was yet unrolled, he found himself closely 
thronged by the chiefs of the senate, and precluded from 
shifting his position, while the sentence with which the long 
missive terminated denounced him by name as a traitor, and 

■ JuYenal, x. 71. : " Verbosa et gnindis epistola yenit A. Capreis." 
VOL. T.— 15 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


required the consolB to place Wm under arrest. Regulus 
called on him to surrender. TTnaccustomed to hear the voice 
of authority, or bewildered with the sense of danger, he 
paused, and on a second summons demanded in confusion 
whether he was actually called ? Once more the summons 
was repeated, and as he rose, Laco confronted him sword in 
hand, the senators sprang in a body to their feet, and heaped 
insults and reproaches upon him ; while Regulus, fearing the 
risks of delay, staid not to put the question to the vote, but 
Scjanoa Is ar- ^^ *^® ^"* voicc givcu for his arrcst, bade the 
"'**^ lictors seize his hands, and hurried him off under 

an escort of guards and magbtrates. Rapidly as he was 
transported from the Palatine to the Mamertine dungeon, for 
no measures of law or etiquette were kept at a crisis of such 
peril, the populace was already apprised of his disgrace, and 
as he was led across the forum he might behold with his 
own eyes the consunmiation of his fall, in the overthrow of 
his statues with ropes and hatchets. The effigies of public 
men, conspicuous in the Sacred Way, or enshrined in halls 
and theatres, served often to divert from more important ob- 
jects the fury of an enraged populace. To crush the marble 
image of an enemy to powder, to break the gold or brass for 
the melting pot, and condemn to ignoble uses the hated 
limbs and lineaments, was the first impulse of scorn and pas- 
sion, and might sometimes save his palace from destruction 
and his family from outrage.* Macro in the meantime had 
not been less successful in the camp. By boldly advancing 
his offers to an immense amount, he had appeased the first 
Outbreak of sedition among the soldiers, and when the sena- 
tors as^tertained that they were secure on that side, they met 
again the same day in the temple of Concord, as the spot 
nearest to the prison. Here, encouraged by the acclamations 
of the people and the indifference of the praetorians, they 
proceeded to anticipate the well-perceived wish of the sover- 

Sec the well-known lines of Juyenil, x. 61. foil. : 

"£x facie toto orbe secunda 
Fiunt uroeoli, pdres, sartago, patdlaa." 

Digitized by 

Google 784.] UNDER THE EMPIRE. 227 

eign, ty decreeing death to the traitor. Seja- gn^p^tto 
nus was immediately strangled in the depths of ^**^ 
Ms prison, and his body dragged to the foot of the Gemonian 
stairs for exposure. His death was followed without delay 
by the arrest of his family, his kinsmen and Mends, the ac- 
complices of his cherished schemes, or the instruments of his 
fi-aud and cruelty ; while every one who hated the fevourite 
or professed to love the emperor hurried to the spot where 
his remains were lying, and trampled with contumely on the 
ruins of power.' 

The first days which followed this catastrophe at Rome 
were filled with scenes of confusion and slaughter. The 
populace rushing from one extreme to the other, conftiaion »t 
now denounced the fallen minister as the per- 5?w^S»^ 
verter of the emperor's well-known generosity, c^^ena. 
and wreaked on his fiiends and creatures their vengeance for 
every wrong inflicted by Tiberius on the children and adher- 
ents of Germanicus. The piietorians were offended at the 
superior reliance the emperor had placed on the police, and 
vented their unreasonable indignation in acts of riot and 
plunder. The senators, one and all, apprehensive of the jeal- 
ousy both of the emperor and the populace, rushed headlong 
to condemn every act of flattery they had so lately commit- 
ted. They decreed that none should wear mourning for the 
traitor, that a statue of Liberty should be erected in the 
forum, that a day of rejoicing should be held, and finally 
that the anniversary of the happy. event should be sanctified 
by extraordinary shows and solemnities. Excessive honours, 
they proclaimed, should never again be paid to a subject : 
and no vow should be conceived in the name of any mortal 
man, save of the emperor only.* Yet, so inconsistent is ser- 
vility, they heaped in the same breath distinctions almost 

* Dion, Iviil 9-11. ; Seneca de Tranqu, Aram, u. 9. : " Quo die fflum sena- 
tufl dedoxcrat populus in frosta diyisit.*' Juvenal, L c. 

' The few existing coins of Sejanus haye been purposelj defaced, Eckhel, 
Docir. Nwnm, vii. 195. We have busts ascribed to Brutus, CScero, and An- 
tonius, but none, 1 believe, of the dfegraccd minion of Tiberius. 

Digitized by 



equal to tnos'e of Sejanus upon both Macro and Laco, which 
only the good sense of those fortunate officers induced them 
to decline. They urged Tiberius to accept the title of Father 
of his Country, an assumption he had ever modestly declined, 
and now again rejected with becoming resolution, a$ well as 
the proposal that the senate should swear to all his acts. 
His rugged nature was softened by the sense of his delirer- 
ance. The iron tears glistened on his cheek. Steadfast ae I 
fed myself he said, in good and patriotic principles^ yet dU 
things human are liable to change ; and never ^ so may the 
gods hdp me, wiU Ibindthe fathers to respect all the future 
acts of one who^ even by falling from his right senses, may 
at any time fall from virtue,* 

Tiberius, however, on his solitary rock had suffered hours 
of intense and restless anxiety. The desperate resolution to 
Intense nnxto^ which he had braccd himself for the destruction 
of Tiboriufl. Qf Sejanus had given a shock to his whole sys- 
tem, and during the interval of suspense he seemed alto- 
gether unnerved. He had disposed a system of telegraphic 
communications to reach from Rome to Caprero ; and while, 
planted on the highest pinnacle of his island, he watched for 
the concerted signal of success or failure, a squadron of the 
swiftest triremes lay ready below to waft him, if required, 
without delay to the legions of Gaul or Syria.* When at 
last the news of the arrest and execution reached him, though 
relieved from an intolerable anxiety, he was yet so iar from 
recovering his equanimity that he reftised admittance to the 
deputation of senators, knights, and citizens sent in haste to 
congratulate him; nor would he even grant an interview 
to Regulus, his well-tried adherent, when he came, as the 
letter had directed him, to escort the emperor to Rome with 
a military equipage. 

That the fall of a discarded favourite should be followed 
by the disgrace of his family, and perhaps of his intimate 

Suet 7%. 67. 
• ' DJon, Iviii 13.; Suet Ttb. 65. : " Speculabundtis ex alUssima rupe." 

Digitized by 


A. U. 781.1 VNDEB, THE EMPIRE. 229 

associates, would not be extraordinary under any 

•••1 • -t . At • n 1 • Pioflcriptlon of 

monarcnical regime ; out the wide and sangui- the friends of 
nary proscription which now descended on the ^**°™* 
nobility of Rome may confirm our surmise of the actual 
guilt of Sejanus, and of the discovery of a real plot against 
the ruler. Had indeed the long gathering discontent of the 
citizens Gome at last to ahead? were the murmurs which, 
whether waking or, sleeping, ever pressed on the ears of Tij- 
berius, actually about to explode in revolt or assassination ? 
was the long day-dream of his life, that he held a tool/ hy 
the ears, on the point of being realized in a &tal catastro- 
phe? Such at least was the conviction under which his 
courage and even his reason staggered. Tormented as he 
was by these miserable alarms, we can be little surprised at 
the bloodshed in which he sought to drown his apprehen- 
sions. Yet in the midst of his frenzy, he was not unmindful 
of his accustomed policy^ The culprits whom he demanded 
for punishment were, at least at first, a few only of the most 
conspicuous; and thc;se, with perhaps one or two exceptions, 
he was content to reserve for a future sentence. The choice 
as well as the condemnation of the majority of these vic- 
tims fell to the senate itself, which partly from hatred of the 
fallen minister, partly to ingratiate itself with its terrified 
master, lent a ready ear to the delators, or impelled the 
course of justice with encouragements and rewards. Among 
the first to follow the fortunes of Sejanus was his imcle 
Bkesus, the object but recently of such special honours. 
Yet the sons of BIsbsus were spared ; and even a brother of 
the great criminal was suffered to escape, though, if we may 
believe a strange anecdote wbich has been reported to us, he 
had ventured to hold up the emperor to unseemly ridicule.* 

* The volantary deaths of two Blsasi, eridently near relations and probably 
BODS of Blffisus the ondei are mentioned on a latter occasion. Tac. Ann, Ti 40. 
Ladns Scjanos, as praetor, had taken the fancy of ridiculing Tiberius, who wai 
bald, by coIlectiDg a set of bald performers for the Floralia. The 6000 Bnk 
boys, who were i^polnted to light the populace on their return from the theatre, 
were an doeely sharen. Tiberius pretended not to notice the insult Bald 

Digitized by 



One of his nearest associates, named Terentius, was suffered 
to plead that, in giving his confidence to the favourite in the 
height of his influence, he had done no more than follow the 
example of Tiberius hiraseli A horrid story indeed is re- 
lated of the execution of the young children of Sejanus, who 
were hurried off to death, with circumstances perhaps of 
more than ordinary atrocity, in the first frenzy of the pro- 
scription.* It has been imagined that the historian Velleius 
Paterculus, whose brief but spirited sketch of Roman affairs 
terminates with the sixteenth year of Tiberius, and who is 
notorious for his flattery of Sejanus, was involved in the gen- 
eral wreck of the fallen minister's adherents : but there seems 
no reason to suppose this, the work itself having evidently 
•cached its destined termination.* On the whole, it would 
appear that Tiberius, hardly less afraid to follow up his blow 
than in the first instance to strike it, was satisfied with 
watching from his retreat, which for several months he did 
not venture to quit, the proceedings of the senate against all 
who could be deemed his enemies. Nor was it only fear for 
himself that alternately exasperated and unnerved him. A 
terrible disaster recurred to his memory. The death of his 
son had been unexpected and premature. Sejanus had so- 
licited the widow in marriage. Suspicion worked fiercely in 

men, adds the historian, were from that time called Sojani, one docs not well 
sec why. Dion, Iviii 19. 

■ The story can only be told in the words of Tacitus himself: "Portantur 
in carcerem filius imminentimn intelligcns, puella adeo nescia, ut cfebro intcr- 
rogaret, quod ob delictum, et quo fraheretur? neque fiicturam ultra: et posse 
se pnerili verbere moneri. Tradunt temporis ^jos anctoreB quia trimnTirali 
ST^plioio adflcl yirginem inauditum habebatur, a caniifice laqueum juxta com- 
pressam : «xin oblisis faudbus, id setatis corpora in Gemonias abjecta.'* Ann^ 
y. 9. By the salvo, " tradunt,** &c., I conceive the writer to intimate that the 
story was not detailed in all its horrors by accredited histories, but was one of 
the flying anecdotes of the day (comp. Amu L 1.: "Bccentibus odiis compo 
sitae**), which he found too piquant to omit fh>m liis tableau. Compare the 
reference to it in Suetonius, who carelessly generalizes the particular stoiy into 
an ordinary occurrence. 2V6. 61. Dion (Iviii 11.) merely copies from the 

• Veil. iL 131. : "Vote flniendum volumen sit,** 

Digitized by 


A.U. 784] UNDER THE EMPIRE. 231 

the tyrant's brain. Had Drusns perished by poison, and was 
Sejanns the murderer ? The surmise was speedily yerified. 
Apicata, the divorced wife of Sejanns, had been spared in 
the search after the accomplices of his recent crimes. Her 
hatred to the husband who had so deeply injured her was a 
sufficient guarantee perhaps for her innocence of all concert 
with him now. But when she saw her children involved in 
the fiite of their fether she was distracted with conflicting 
feelings. As the last revenge she could take on 

M-iii • 1 It Vengeance on 

the cause of all her misery, she revealed every the murderers 
circumstance connected with the death of Brusus, 
with which she appears to h^ve made herself well acquainted, 
the amours of Sejanns and Livilla, their guilty hopes and 
machinations, and the means by which they eflected the de- 
struction of their victim. Having made this disclosure, and 
excited the horror and dismay of the emperor to a pitch of 
frenzy, she put an end to her own life. Eight years had 
elapsed since the crime had been committed ; but means for 
investigating the circumstances were still at hand, nor were 
objects wanting on whom the thirst for vengeance might be 
wreaked. The slaves and other agents employed were 
sought out and questioned in the presence of l^berius at 
Oapreae, and the guilt of Livilla established beyond a doubt.* 
The public execution of a daughter of the imperial house was 
still an act from which the emperor would shrink ; but he 
had other means not less sure for punishing her, and the re- 
port that, spared the cord or the falchion, she was starved to 
death in the custody of Antonia seems not unworthy of 

Early in the year 785 Tiberias crossed the narrow strait 
which separates CapresB from Surentum, and made a progress 

* Tho Btories of the tortnreS which used to be enacted in the presence of 
nberios at Oaprete for his amusement, of the bodies thrown over the difib, &a 
(Soet 716. 62.), originated probably in the report of the proceodfaigs of this da- 
mestic tribmiaL. 

* Ck)mp. Suet TO. 62. with Dion, Ivui. 11. 

Digitized by 



alone: the Campanian coast, as if about to reyisit 

Tiberias qnita , . ■ .^ , mf -x- x-n -ir m ji 

capreie aud ap- lus Capital, The citiEeiis, stul Willing to deceive 
**"*^ ^ *" themfielves as to his character and motives, were 
exulting in the assurance that with the fall of Sejanus a 
marked and happ7 change would appear in his behaviour. 
To the blighting influence of an unworthy favourite they 
fondly ascribed the reserve, the moroseness, and hardness of 
their master's temper, forgetting how the germs of these 
vices had been already manifested in his early youth, and 
that they were such as advancing years could not £ul to 
confirm and aggravate* But as they had lately clapped 
their hands with savage delight over every fresh victim 
offered to the emperor's safety, so they were now prepared 
to welcome the emperor himself, as one restored from an 
unjust exile, and to exchange with him smiles of mutual love 
and reviving confidence. From Rhodes he had returned to 
the cold embrace of a haughty father ; from Caprero he 
would be welcomed by the acclamations of a humble and 
self-reproachful people. But the ardent greeting they re- 
served for him was destined never to be tendered. They 
were surprised, perhaps, to hear that his excessive timidity 
had induced him to quit the land, and take refuge on board 
a trireme, which bore him up the Tiber, while guards at- 
tended on his progress, and rudely cleared away the specta* 
tors from either bank. Such was the strange fashion in 
which he ascended the river as far as the CsBsarean Grardens 
and the Kaumachia of Augustus ; but on reaching this spot, 
and coming once more beneath the hills of Rome, he sud- 
denly turned his prow without landing, and glided rapidly 
down the stream, nor did he pause again till he had regained 
his island.' This extraordimuT- proceeding, the effect of fear 
or disgust, caused no doubt deep mortification among the 
populace. It was followed by indignant murmurs, and 
petulantly ascribed to the foulest motives. Such, it was 
muttered, was the caprice, not of a princeps or an imperator. 

* Tac Arm, vl 1. 

Digitized by 



the child of law and organized goyonunent, but of a king ; 
each a Mug as ruled with despotic sway over the slaves of 
Asia ; such a king as, guarded in the citadel of Ctesiphon or 
Artaxata, despised all human feelings^ and trampled on all 
principles, sporting, for his selfish pleasure, with not the 
lives only, but the honour of his miserable subjects ; such as 
tore from them their children to mutilate or deflower, and 
stimulated his brutal passions by the nobility of his victims. 
All this and worse was now freely ascribed to the . 

- -^ 111. 1 AtrodoniM- 

recluse of Caprese : he slunk, it was asserted, centionsness 
from the sight of the good and pure, to the 
obscurity of his detestable orgies ; he was the patron of 
panders, the sport of minions ; he was drunk with wine, and 
drunk with blood ; the details which were freely circulated 
of his cruelty jmd licentiousness were coloured from the mpst 
loathsome scenes of the stews and the slave-market. 

Such, unfortunately, was the open and flagrant character 
of Roman vice, that even the best and purest of the citizens 
were too much familiarized with its worst feat- TWsiioeiitioiis- 
ures to shrink from describing it with hideous STol^SoTii. 
minuteness. We may be permitted to cast a veil ^^'^^ 
over a picture which called up no blush on the face of that 
generation, the fidelity of whigh, as regards Tiberius himself, 
we have no right either to affirm or deny. The excessive 
sensuality of the Itoman nobles, pampered by all the appli- 
ances of art and luxury, was in fact the frenzy of a class 
deprived of the healthy stimulus of public action, and raised 
above the restraints of decency and self-respect. The worst 
iniquities ascribed to Tiberius may be paralleled in the con^ 
duct of private individuals, the accounts of which may have 
been coloured by a prurient imagination, but at least have 
not been distorted by malice.* The senators, however, 

• If I accept the charges of Tacitus and Suetomus agidnst Tiberius, it is 
from mj persuasion of the general diaracter of Tice in high places, as pour- 
trmyed hy Jurenal, Plhiy, Beneca, Petronius, and hi feet almost erery writer of 
these timea. Gems, mosaics, and other objects have been found in modem 
times at Capri, representing, It is said, the very monstrosities indicated by tie 

Digitized by 



evinced no shame at the degradation into which their chief 
had Allien. They hastened to vote that the estates of Seja* 
nuB should he confiscated, not to the treasury of the state, 
but to the private purse of the emperor ; and then, appre- 
hending perhaps that his late hasty retreat had been caused 
by distrust of his subjects, ordained that whenever he vouch- 
safed to visit the Curia a special gUard of their own body 
should attend upon him. A similar honour had been tendered 
to Julius Cajsar, and even Augustus, on a certain occasjon, 
had availed himself of such a protection ; it is not easy, 
therefore, to understand why it should have been left in this 
case to one of the least considerable of the order to propose, 
or be discussed and sanctioned with a smile of ridicule/ 
Tiberius, however, declined the equivocal compliment, which, 
indeed, would have little served to calm his fears had ho 
really entertained the intention of again entering the senate- 
house ; for it was among his proposed guards themselves, of 
whom few were not related to or associated with some of his 
victims, that his most dangerous enemies were numbered. 
At this moment his breast was torn by conflicting alarms. 
When his first fury against Sejanus was satiated, or his first 
blind . apprehensions removed, he showed an inclination to 
desist from the proscription, stnd allow himself in more than 
one instance to be swayed to mercy ; not from compassion 
or clemency perhaps, but through fear of irritating too 
many families, and . aggravating the perils against which he 
was guarding. But, on the other hand, the spirit of delation 
which he had evoked was now too potent to be laid. . It had 
become the ambition, the glory, the livelihood of many ; and 
to deprive them of it was to sow the seeds of perilous dis- 

historians, and have been considered as conclusive proo& of the facts diaiged 
against him. It is quite possible, howeyer, that these objects were suggested 
by the descriptions themselyesL At all eyeots it must be remembered that the 
island was occupied bj many successive proprietors after Tiberius, and among 
them by the virtuous H. Aurelius, all of whom must have had these bdecent 
figures constantly in their sight The age and the class must bear their share 
of the common guiU : ** factum defendite vestrum, consensistis cnim.** 
* Tac. Ann. vi 2. ; Dion, Ivlil 17. 

Digitized by 


A. U. 78^] UKDER THE EMPIRE. 236 

satisfaction among the clererest, the boldest, and the most 
desperate class of citizens. While trimming the vessel of 
his fortnnes between this Scylla and Charybdis, another rock 
soon appeared ahead* News was bronght to Rome that a 
pretender to the name of the unfortnnate Dmsus, stiU a 
prisoner in the palace, had appeared m Achs^ and Asia, and 
had deceived many by the similarity of his person, and the 
devotion to him of some of the freedmen of the emperor 
himself As the reputed son of Germanicns he was received 
in various quarters with open arms. The Greets were easily 
moved by anything strange and novel ; the legions of Egypt 
and Syria, to which he was making his way, had loved and 
admired the man he claimed for his fhther. But the vigour 
of the imperial cotomanders speedily checked his enterprise. 
He was pursued across the JEgean and the 
Isthmus of Corinth to Nicopolis in Epirus, where, arrebted nnd 

- , - * . * * put to death. 

it appeared, havmg been more strictly interroga- 
ted, he had retracted his first assertion, and represented him- 
self as of noble, but inferior and less in^ddious parentage. 
From Epirus he had taken ship as if for Italy, while the 
emperor was duly apprised by his lieutenants that he might 
be expected to arrive there. This, according to some ac- 
counts, was the last that was publicly heard of him : other 
writers, however, f)retended to know for certain that he fell 
into the hands of the emperor, and was promptly destroyed.' 
The miserable ends of Drusus and Agrippina, which 
followed at no long interval, were possibly determined and 
hastened by this untoward event. When "nbe- „ _,^, ^ 

, "^ _ _ „ A 1 TV Horrible end 

nus perceived how easily even a false I>rusus ^^J^®'*"^ 
might lead a movement against him, he might be 
impelled at last to make his decision regarding the fate of 
the real one. What that decision would be could not be for 
a moment doubtful. The poor youth hiad been too fearfully 
wronged to be again trusted with liberty. Yet Tiberius 

* TacHos (Ann, ▼. 10.) reUtes this oocurrenoe towards the end of the year 
784, while Dion (Iriii 26.) places ft as late as 787, snpporing, perhaps, that it 
could not bare occurred before the death of the real Drusus. 

Digitized by 



most have regretted the step he had taken, at the suggestion 
of Sejanus^ of alienating his innocent kinsman from hinu It 
was not that he wished to clear the £eld of promotion for a 
grandson by the removal of his grand-oiephews. To Cains, 
the youngest son of Germanicus, he was at the moment dis- 
playing the highest favour, while he kept his mother and 
brother in such cruel durance. To the stripling Cains he 
seemed already to hold out the prospect of succession : he 
bred him under his own eye at Capre© ; he kept him close 
in attendance on his person, and gave him in marriage 
one of the noblest maidens of the city, the daughter of 
M. Junius Silanus.* It was rumoured, not unnaturally, 
that he was about to reconcile himself to the surviving mem- 
bers of his nephew's family, to atone for the death of Nero 
by the release and reinstatement in their proper honours of 
Drusus and Agrippina. But the relentless monster had 
determined far otherwise. Not only had he destined Drusus, 
afler three years' confinement, to deathj but he xdlowed him 
to perish in lingering torment by withholding from him 
necessary food. On the subject of death by starvation the 
Romans seem to have had a peculiar feeling which we can 
hardly understand. In many cases of suicide which occurred 
about this period, we find the sufferer choosing rather to 
perish miserably by inanition than to gij^e hinuself a blow. 
More particularly we may observe in the imperial murders 
which have been recorded, that the victim was often left to 
die of mere want, and untouched by the sword. A super- 
stitious notion may have been current that death by famine 
was a kind of divine infliction ; it might seem like simply 
leaving nature to -take its appointed course. The Romans 
were so femiliar with the practice of exposing infants, and 
even the infirm and old among their slaves, that they may 
have regarded with some lenity the crime of murder in this, 
as they deemed it, extenuated form. It was merely, forsooth, 
leaving to the care of the gods those whom it was incon- 

' Suet Ca%. 12.; Tac. Amu yl 20. y. Junius Silanus xas the broUier 
of Decimus Silanus, the paramour of the younger Julia. 

Digitized by 



Tcnient or impolitic to care for oneselC Tiberius, with a 
blnntness of perception which seems aknost inconceiyahle, 
addressed a letter to the senate, detailing in the minutest 
way the circumstances of this miserable death, showing 
how the poor wretch had prolonged Ins existence for nine 
days by gnawing the stuffing of his pallet, and recording 
every sigh and groan he had tittered, even to the last impre- 
cations he had heaped on his tormentor. - Every syllable was 
duly vouched by the testimony of slaves, who had been set 
to watch his last moments. It is impossible to believe that 
this was a mere wanton piece of unnatural cruelty. It must 
have had a political purpose ; and we may conjecture that it 
was meant, first, to establish on unquestionable testimony, 
the actual demise of Drusus ; and, secondly, to prove that no 
drop of the Julian blood had been shed, no spark of hi^ 
divine spirit extinguished, by the hand of the executioner.* 

The senate shuddered, we are assured, with horror at the 
recital of this abominable epistle ; but the prosecution of the 
house of Gtermanicus had not yet reached its Agrippj^ui 
climax. After the downfall of Sganus, in whom •'•^^^^ *»e»»^ 
she recognised her fiercest enemy, Agrippina may have al- 
lowed herself to indulge fresh hopes. But it soon became 
only too manifest that the crimes of Sejanus, by which she 
had herself so grievously suffered^ were made a pretext for 
cruelties with which they had no connexion, and that the ex- 
asperation of the emperor against his old minister would 
bring no alleviation to the lot of that minister's victiriis. She 
oontinned to linger in cheerless exile : whether in that soli- 
tude she was afflicted with the intelligence of her two elder 
sons' miserable end, or suffered to learn the favour with 
which her youngest was at the same time entertained, she 
seems in either case to have soon despaired for herself, and 
to have resolved to escape by her own deed from miseries 
which were now past relieC It was reported that she put an 
end to her own existence by pertinacious abstinence^ from 

» Tac Ann, vl 24. ; Sad Tib. 66. ; Dion, IvUiL 18. (a. u. 786. A. D. 88.) 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


fi>od) in spite of tlie emperor's command that nourishment 
should be forced upon her ; an act of fortitude not unworthy 
of her determined and vigorous character. Even after her 
death Tiberius was base enough to insult her memory, by 
charging her with a criminal amour, and insinuating that 
she had abandoned life in disgust and mortification at the 
execution of her lover Asinius. The common voice of her 
fellow-^itiaenB, not too prone to believe in virtue, absolved 
her from this foul accusation ; her faults were not those at 
least of feminine weakness, and had her chastity been as- 
sailable, it would not perhaps have withstood the artifices of 
Sejanus.* Nevertheless, that her memory might be branded 
with ignominy, Tiberius required the senate to pronounce 
the anniversary of her birth a day of evil omen, and to note 
in the calendar as providential coincidence that her death 
had occurred on the day of the punishment of Sejanus* He 
claimed credit for himself that he had not taken her life by 
violent means, and had forborne from exposing her body in the 
GemonisB. The senate acquiesced and applauded as it was 
required, and decreed solemn thanks to the emperor for his 
clemency ; moreover, that a yearly festival should be cele- 
brated on the auspicious eighteenth of October. The remains 
of Agrippina and her children were excluded from the mau- 
soleum of the Csesars, until Caius at a later period caused them 
to be exhumed from their ignoble sepulchres and removed to 
^he resting-place which became them.' 

The prosecution meanwhile of the friends of Sejanus had 
continued unabated, the emperor vying with his own crea^ 
VsMMreofae ^urcs and flatterers in discovering matter of ac- 
SSSSl'of^Sflja- cusation against every one who proved 
^^ or credibly suspected of participation in his guilt. 

' I will not dwell upon the faults of Agrippiua; but it most be observed 
(hat even Tacitus represents them in very strong language: **^qui impatiena, 
dominandl avida, virilibus curis foemluarum ritia exuerat*' 

■ Tac Amu tI 25. Agrippina ^d on the 18th of October, ^86, two years 
after Sejanus. Comp. Suet Tib. 83, 64. ; CaUff, 16. ; Dion, Iviil 22., lix. ». 
The bones of Drusus only were dispersed and could not bo recovered. 

Digitized by 


A.U.:86.] UND£& THE EMPIBE. 23d 

But Tiberius had . actually shed tlie blood of a few only: 
his Tictims were quartered as captives on the magistrates and 
nobles, or confined, perhaps, in stricter duraaice within his 
own palace. Some of them had been plundered and reduced 
to beggary 2 some, perhaps, had been tortured ; some were 
guilty, but their lives protected by their powerful connexions ; 
other, unquestionably innocent, might be personally obnox- 
ious. Tiberius was harassed by the anxiety of determining 
how to {^portion their punishments ; whom it might be safe 
to pardon, and whom it would be invidious to destroy. Sud- 
denly the tyrant was seized with a horrid caprice, a fit, it 
may be, of madness, on the verge of which his unquiet brain 
was ever trembling, and he conceived the idea of relieving 
himself from his perplexity by a single stroke of the pen. 
He issued an order, such as there was no parallel for in his 
previous policy, and such as, in one so little wont to initiate 
a novelty either in counsel or in act, can hardly be ascribed 
to anything but uncontrollable frenzy, that all the captives 
of the Sejanian conspiracy should at onee be put to death as 
traitors. The order was executed without oompunction. 
Not men only, but women ; not adults only, but children, 
were involved in the frightful massacre :. some were noble, 
many of baser birth; in sopie places they. perished singly, in 
others they fell in pnmiiscuous slaughter one upon another. 
The mangled bodies were exposed in the Gemoni^ and guards 
were placed around to drive away their mourning relatives, 
or to watch and report their laqientations. After some days' 
exposure the remains were dragged to the river bank and 
flung into the stream, and even those which were cast baci 
upon the land were forbidden the rites of sepulture. The 
common duties of humanity, says Tacitus, were abandoned 
in the general terror; and all natural compassion cowered in 
silence beneadi the tyranny that reigned rampant in every 

' Twc Ann. vl 19. Comp. Suet (TO. 61.), who, however, specifies twenty aa 
the greatest number tliat fcU, at least on any one day, and the massacre prob- 
ably passed off in a single pait)zjsm. The language of Tacitus, it may be pre* 

Digitized by 



It has been suggested that there may have been a 
touch of insanity in the conduct of Tiberius at this period. 
Despair and ^^^ Certainly there is something more than the 
wStyof Ti'bo. "^^^^ atrocity of the acts themselves to counte- 
'•^ nance a supposition vhich may afford, perhaps, a 

slight' relief to the mind of the reader. The blood of the 
Claudii, as we have before noticed, was tainted, apparently 
through many generations, with an hereditary vice, some- 
times manifesting itself in extravagant pride and insolence, 
at others in ungovernable violence ; and the whole career of 
Tiberius from his youth upwards, in its abrupt alternations 
of control and indulgence, of labour and dissipation, had 
been such in fact as might naturally lead to the unsettlement 
of his mental powers. This inward disturbance showed it- 
self in a very marked manner in the startling inconsistency 
which became now more and more apparent in his conduct. 
While at this period Tacitus denounces in the most glowing 
terms the vehemence and recklessness of his cruelty, the 
particular anecdotes he relates of his behaviour are generally 
indicative of transient fits of leniency. He was extremely 
sensitive, says Suetonius, to the pasquinades which circulated 
against him in the capital, to the imputation freely cast on 
him of degrading and secret enormities, and to the ihrious 
invectives of his perishing victims. The king of the Par- 
thians had the audacity to address him a letter, in which he 
noted with disgust his indolence and shameless indulgences, 
and urged him to satisfy by a voluntary death the sentiment 
of universal execration. Yet these charges and insults 11-^ 
berius himself freely published to the world at the very time 
that he complained so bitterly of them : no man cot^d say 

somed, la ooAsiderably exaggerated. But Luoan's tableau of the proscriptions 
is not iiiq>robablj coloured from the account he had himself heard bom the 
witnesses of this dreadM sacrifice (il 101.) : 

^ Nobilltas cum plebe peiit, lateque vagatur 
Ensis, et a ndlo rerocatum est pcctore ferrum .... 

.... nee jam alreus amnem, 
Nee rctinent ripap, rcdeuntque cadavera campo.** 

Digitized by 


A.U.78a.l UKBER THE EHPIRE. 241 

wone tbingfi of him than he epontaneously and consciously 
admitted of himself in the extraordinary reyelations he made 
of his own feelings. At last, we are told, he fell into a state 
of disgust and desperation. A letter he addressed to the 
Benate has been in part preserved to us by his awe-stridken 
contemporaries, whom it deeply impressed, breathing as it 
does the very spirit of incipient madness in the terrors of a 
distressed conscience, unable to &sten on the precise and 
proper object of its perturbation. What to write to ycu^ 
JFhtherSy at this junctyre^ he said, or h<m r^t to iorite^ or tohcU 
to forbear from writin^^ the Gods cor^ound me worse them I 
fed day hy day eonfowided^ if Iknow,^ So had his crimes 
and abominations, says Tacitus, redounded to his own pun- 
ishment. JVbr in vain^ the historian goes on to moralize, 
was the wisest of philoscphers wont to mcUntain that^ could 
tJie hearts of tyrants be opened to owr gasse^ we sTumld behold 
there the direst wotmds and tdeers; for the mind is torn with 
cruelty J htstj and evil inclinations^ not less truly than the body 
by blows.* 

The despair of the now miserable tyrant is hardly less 
strongly markedin his distress at the circumstances of the death 
of an attached adviser and servant, Cocceius Ner- hi^ niorttfl«i- 
Ta, a man held high in repute as a legal authority, ^° ^ oS©?"*' 
and one whose character and attainments were «*"^"^ 
among the most respectable supports of the CaBsarean govern- 
ment. The fortunes of Kerva were flourishing in the full sun- 
shine of his master's favour ; his health of body was unimpair- 
ed, and his mind mature and vigorous : he had no outward cause 
of chagrin, none of apprehension for the ftiture. Yet this 
man, it was announced, had formed the resolution of termin- 
ating his own existence ; for it had become the fashion to 
make an avowal to one's friends and finmily of such an inten- 
tion. Tiberius sought the suicide's chamber, where he was 

* Tac. Ann. vl 6. under the date 786 : "His verbis exorsua est, Quid serf- 
bam Tobifl, P. C, ant quomodo scribam, aut quid omnino non sciibam hoc tem> 
pore, Di me Deeeque pejus perdant quam perire me quotidie sentio, si sdam.** 

* Tac. Amu L o. from Plato de BepubL p. S75. ; Bitter fai loa 
86 TOL, V. — 16 

Digitized by 



calmly awaiting, in discourse with his Mends and relations, 
with resolute refusal of all sustenance, a slow and painful 
death* liberius entreated him to explain the motive of this 
desperate determination, to which, however, the sufferer 
could not be persuaded to return a distinct answer. With 
friendly zeal he solicited him to desist from it, but again 
without success. Lastly, he urged how injurious it would be 
to his own reputation as emperor, if one of his nearest inti- 
mates should thus make, as it were, his escape from life 
without even assigning a motive to allay the agitation of the 
public mind. Nerva calmly waived all discussion upon the 
subject, and the all-powerful ruler found himself repulsed 
and impotent in the presence of one who had sentenced him- 
self to death* Those who were best acquainted with the 
real 8<mtiments of the suicide averred that the melancholy 
state of affairs had filled the sage's mind with alarm and in- 
dignation, and that he had deliberately resolved to shun the 
future with honour, while still uninjured and unassailed.^ 

Nor, it may be believed, did the example of Nerva remain 
without imitators. None of them, however, was so illustri- 
ous as L. Arruntius, a noble, as we have seen, so 
doatb or At- distinguished in character and position that Au* 
gustus had not omitted to note him among those 
chiefs of the senate who might, as he said, have contended 
with his own heir for the empire. This man, however, not- 
withstanding this invidious distinction, and in spite of the 
crabbed humour with which he had ventured to gibe at the 
emperor himself, had escaped unharmed almost to the last 
year of Tiberius. Yet from the fortitude of his crowning act 
we believe that he had merited this escape by no unworthy 
compliances : he had merely abstained from irritating his 
master^s jealousy by measuring himself with him in overt 
opposition. On the occurrence of a disastrous inundation, it 
was to Arruntius that the task was assigned of providing 
for the future security of the city, T^hich inyplved perhaps 

* Taa Ann, yi. 20. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

A. U. rse.] UNDER THB EMPIBE. 243 

Bome arbitraiy interference with the rights of property, of 
which the Romans, however great the necessity for it might 
be, were always excessively jealous. At one period Tiberius 
proposed to remove him from Rome by the honourable ap- 
pointment of a government in Spain ; but again, unable to 
prevail on himself to entrust a possible rival with so much 
power, he had kept him by his own side in the capital, requuv 
ing him to execute his ofice by the hands of legates. The dela- 
tors had been eager to &sten a charge upon one who stood 
so exposed to their aim ; but he had defeated at least one ac- 
cusation, and secured the punishment of his assailants. At 
last, however, he was more fatally involved in a charge 
brought against a certain Albuoilla, the wife of Satrius, the de- 
nouncer of Sejanus. Treasonable practices, impiety, as it was 
phrased, against the emperor, had been alleged against her ; 
and as the looseness of her conduct was notorious, the known 
or supposed partners of her debauchery were presumed from 
that circumstance to be concerned also in her disloyalty. 
Among these was Ammtius ; but so little could be really 
advanced against him, or so adverse or indifferent was Tibe- 
TiuBtothe prosecution, that the accused were pemrittedto 
remain at large with only a vague charge hanging over them. 
Some of them by merely keeping quiet escaped all further 
animadversion. The friends of Arruntius would have per- 
suaded him to rely on the emperor's clemency, and make no 
movement on his own part. But he proudly refiised to owe 
his safety to an evasion. The 8ame conduct^ he declared, 
does not become aU men alike. I have lined long enough 1 
have nothing to regret but Ttaving endured Ufeeo long amidst 
so momy insults and dangers^ exposed as Ifiave been to tJie 
arroganee formerly of JB^amcSj and now of Macro : — for 
Macro had by this time become almost as obnoxious as his 
predecessor. — 7Vw«, I rmght perhaps stiU secure myself for 
the brief period which yet remains to ths aged emperor ; but 
how coidd I hope to escape intact through the reign of his 
successor f With these words he caused his veins to be open- 
ed, and allowed himself to bleed to death. He foresaw a 

Digitized by 



more intolerable servitude impendiDg, and resolved to flee 
alike from the recollection of the past, and the prospect of 
the future. Though Arruntius himself might have escaped 
on this occasion, Albucilla was eventually condemned and 
executed; while those of her accomplices were selected for 
banishment or disgrace who were most obnoxious for their 
crimes, and particularly for that of delation.* 

In the midst of his terrors and his cruelties Tiberius was 
distressed and perhaps amazed at the evidence these deeds 
afforded of the horror in which his government 
the poii<7 oTTi- was uo w held. If in the proscription of all, even 
^ of his nearest kin, who had seemed to menace his 

power, he had shown himself sanguinary and relentless, yet 
these were but few in number ; they belonged, moreover, as he 
might presume, to a class too far exalted above the mass even 
of the nobles of Rome to excite much general sympathy. 
Why, he might ask, should the Romans interest themselves 
in mere &mily quarrels, and the bootless question, which can- 
didate for the tyranny should actually elimb the throne? 
But, on the other hand^ he may have flattered himself that 
in the punishment of many bad citizens, by which his reign 
had been distinguished, he had shown a sense of equity and 
public spirit. Every Roman was concerned in his overthrow 
of an upst^Ui) like Sejanus ; in the just retribution he had 
launched at the detestable delators, the foes not of the prince 
but of the people themselves ; in the high moral feeling he 
had displayed in chastising the vices of women of quality ; 
in pronouncing sentence on an Albucilla, a Claudia, an Uc- 
gulania, and recently on Plancina : for the wife of Cnous 
Piso, thpitgh long protected, first by the fevourof Livia,and 
still hAerhj the disinclination of Tiberius to give a triumph 
to Agrippina, had at last been sacrificed to the unappeased 
ennuty of the citizens. He might affect to plead for himself, 
as his successor afterwards pleaded for him, that it was not 
he that had warred against the senate, but the senators against 

' Tac. Ann, tI 47, 48. under the year 790. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


one anotlier. Of the fotir great nobles indeed whom Augos* 
ins specified as not unfit to compete with him for enptpire, 
tlireeiiad since peri$hed by violent deaths. NorcanTlbe- 
rins himself be relieved from the guilt of efiecting the death 
of Aj^inius Gallus. Of neither Piso^ however, nor Arruntiufi 
could it be said thi^t he had devised and compassed his de* 
struction ; and the considerataon in which Lepidus continued 
to be held shows that the highest rank and position w^cre not 
necessarily fatal to their possessor/ M. .^Slmilius Lepidus, 
the son of jSimilius Paulus and a Fausta ComeUa, who thus 
combined in his origin descent fit>m the most illustrious of 
the Boman houses, might have considered himself a far greater 
man than any Oetavius or Antonius, and have looked down 
with complacent superiority upon e\ren a Julius or a Claudius. 
But this distinguished noble had acquiesced in the choice, if 
such we qiay call it,. of the Roman people: taught by the 
insignificance into which hi£i kinsman ^e triumvir had fallen, 
that the day of great names bad passed, that the uobles were 
unworthy to bear rule and the people incompetent, he had suf* 
fered tbe chief of the Claudii to take precedence of him in the 
senate ; and while occupying himself the second place, he had 
used his influence discreetly and liberally, and had succeeded 
more than once in tempering the severity of his coUeagties.* 
Another of the notabilities of the preceding reign, who had also 
retained his 'honours under Tiberius, was Lucius Piso, chief 
pontiff and prefect of the city, a man of ability without ambi- 
tion, who had discharged the functions of a difficult post with 
tact andconsiderateness, while in the senate his voice had al- 
ways been given on the side of justice, and when that was de- 
feated, had at least recommended moderation.' Such were the 

' The^ four nobks are bere mentioned together, becaofie Tadtas leares it 
uncertain wfaeAer Onsns Hbo or Airontiai was one of the three especially des- 
ignated by Angnstos. ^ De prioribus (ie. GaUna and Lepidos) consentitnr ; pro 
Ammtio qmdam Cn. Fisonem tradidere.** He adda, nntnily aa we have seen : 
** Omneeqne pcseter Lepidum, Taiiis mox crinunibHS, straente Tiberio, circnm* 
renti nxnt^ Amu 1 18. 

' For instancee of the influence of Lepidus, see Tac. Aim, iiL 60., iv. 20. 

* YeD. ii 98.; Tac Ann, Yt 10.: **L. I^so pontifez, rarum in tanta clari 

Digitized by 



men who, without despairing of their position, and flying to 
death or retirement, conld find a sphere for their yirtaes eve* 
under the strong constraint of the imperial government ; and 
from more than one passage of Tacitus, severe as he is in 
judging the crimes and policy of Tiberius, it appears to have 
been well understood among the nobles, that even under had 
princes there is still a sphere for great men / th^ loyalty and 
moderation combined with industry and vigour obtain the 
more genuine honour^from the proneness of the proud and 
turbulent to rush on certain ruin without advantage to any.* 
It may be true that Tiberius, in one of his gloomiest 
moods, dissatisfied with himself yet indignant at the dissatis- 

faction of his people, actually gave vent to his 
snoceesioii to vcxatiou in the memorable quotation from a 

tragic writer. After my death perish the world 
in fire} But the same sentiment has been ascribed to other 
tyrants in later times, and may be regarded as erpr^sive 
merely of the judgment mankind in general have formed of 
their extravagant selfishness. As regards Tiberius, indeed, 
it may have been put into his mouth by a later generation 
which had suffered under the sway of successors even worse 
than himself, and believed that in consigning them to such 
mthless rulers he had evinced a wanton indiffer^ioe to their 
misery, if not rather a fiendish exultation in it. But our 
estimate of the conduct of Tiberius in this particular must 
be founded on a fair consideration of the circumstances in 
which he was placed. We must not suffer ourselves to be 

tudlne, &cto obiit" (aim. 785): *'uullius serrilis sentcntiffi sponte auctor, e( 
quoticns necessitas ingnierct, cupienter moderans .... ISAoa ad octogefiimum 
annum processit .... prsdcipua ex eo gloria quod pncfectus urbi recens oon- 
tiDuam potestatem, et insolentaa psrendi grayiorem, mire temperavit*' For the 
Bcandalous oharges against the piefeoi Piso, see abore, ^ap. zUt. 

* Tac Am. iv. 2a; Agryc, 42. 

• Dion, ItiL 23. : twto rh &px<uov ifiov dav6vToc ydia fux&v^tj wupL See 
the allufflODS to the sentiment in the and^ts, CSa dejin. i 19. ; Senec<l9 Clan, 
XL 2. ; Suet Ner, 88. ; Claudian tn Rufin, il 19. in Reimar's note. Comp. Suet 
7\b, 62. : ^' Identidem feUoem Priamum vx)oabat, qaod supentes omninm saomm 

Digitized by 


A.D.790.] UNDER THE EMPIRE. 247 

biassed by the notions of a later age, to which the principle 
of direct appointments had become familiar. After weighing 
the statements of different writers, we shall see reason proba* 
bly to accede to that of Tacitus in preference to others, 
according to whom Tiberias made no appointments, desig- 
nations, or recommendation of a successor to the imperial 
prerogatives. He could not have done so without directly 
violating the settled principle of his government, which he 
pretended to found on the spontaneous concession of the 
people. The establishment of monarchy was not even yet 
recognised as a Qoustitutional fact. The chief of the Julii 
might appoint, like any private citizen, the heir to the do- 
mestic rites and honours of his house ; but this inheritance 
conveyed no title to the Imperium or Principate, the Consu- 
lar or the Tribunitian power. Herein lay, as Tiberius was 
well aware, the secret of the new government's weakness • 
this uncertainty as to the future was the main cause of the 
tyranny into which he had himself insensibly lapsed. No 
greater blessing could have been bestowed on the Romans 
by a wise and honest ruler than the transmutation of their 
polity from a pretended commonwealth to an acknowledged 
monarchy. But dire experience had not yet perhaps taught 
them to acquiesce in the assumption by their dying chief of 
a power over their political future^ Would they respect his 
disposition of their indefeasible prerogatives after his decease ? 
Would they not, on the obntrary, resent it? This was a 
question which Augustus had not ventured to ask. Yet the 
founder of the empire had been too deeply interested in the 
success of his work to leave its prospects to blind chance. 
He had shown himself anxious, during his own term of 
government, to pave the way for the recognition of his in- 
tended successor, by graduidly investing the proposed heir 
of his private fortunes with public honours and titles akin to 
his own; so that llberius had been able, on his father's 
decease, to glide, almost unobserved, into the sovereign 
power. Such undoubtedly was the generous policy which 
became a ruler to whom the interests of the state were really 

Digitized by 



dear, and who Bought to found the greatness of his own house 
on the prosperity of the people. But to such a policy th(» 
spirit of Tiberius was not perhaps equaL A cruel misfortune 
had deprived him of Germanicus ; but so had Augustus also 
lost his Agrippa. Drusus was remoyed firom him by the 
treachery of an unworthy favourite ; but in like manner his 
predecessor had had to mourn the early and illromened loss 
of Caius and Lucius. Here, however, the parallel ceased. 
While the first princeps continued after every disappointment 
to repeat his genuine efforts to secure the principles of fiuuily 
succession, and called Tiberius himself, in default of still 
nearer kinsmen, into alliance and partnership, in the empire ; 
the second sacrificed all to an unworthy jealousy, and chose 
rather to murd^ his nephews than to risk the chance of being 
supplanted by them. 

Accordingly, towards the end of his career, Tiberius found 
himself supported by only thfee sur\iving males of the line- 

age of CsBsar, and none of these had received any 
members of the training in public life. Tiberius Claudius Drusus, 

bom in the year 744, was the last of the sons oi 
the eldest Drusus, and the nephew of the reigning emperor, 
by whom ho had been adopted on his fitkther's death, at the 
desire of Augustus. But Claudius (to give him the name 
by which he will become familiarly known to us) was re* 
puted to be infirm both in health and understanding. Like 
Agrippa Postumus, he was destined from early youth to be 
excluded from public afihirs, and all political instruction had 
been purposely withheld from him. Tet he was not perhaps 
destitute of talents; he devoted himself to the study of 
books, and possibly he appreciated them, while the weakness 
of his bodily frame contributed to keep him from the ruder 
and coarser diversions, to which the want of practical em- 
ployment might have driven a bolder and more vigorous 
man. His character and attainments, however, we shall 
have a future occasion to estimate more precisely : for the 
present it is enough to say that he had probably owed his 
life, amidst the fall of so many of his relations, to the general 

Digitized by 


A.U. 7M.] UlfDER THE EMPIRE. 249 

eonviotion that he was unfit to rule, and therefore not to be 
feared a0 a candidate for the suffirages of the people. Upon 
him the emperor soaicely deigned to bestow a thought at 
thig crisis. Two othek-s^ however, there were, both much 
younger than Claudius, between whom the hopes of the 
Julian house were diyided : Gains, the youngest son of Ger- 
manicufl, and Tiberius, sumamed Gemellus, the child of the 
second Drusus ; the ^e grand-nephew, the other grandson, 
of the emperor, but both equally reputed his sons or grand- 
S(Hi8 by adoption.^ Of these Gains was bom in the year 765, 
Tiberius in 112.* The fomier had been enrolled at an early 
age among the augurs and pontiffs, and had since be^ ad- 
ranoed to the qmestorship, the first Step in the legitimate 
career of honours ; the latter had not yet been ititroduced 
into public fife, his tender years hardly yet perndtting it. 
From neither of these str^>ling8 certainly could the emperor 
anticipate any rivalry with himself; but untried and almost 
unknown as they still were, he shrank from insulting even his 
subservient senate by claiming for them the highest preroga- 
tives. The daughters of Germanicus he had married to 
citizenfl of distinctidn. Julia was imited to Yinicius, whose 
municipal and equestrian extraction had been recently illus- 
trated by the rise of both his fitther and grand&ther to the 
consulship.* Drusilla had wedded a Gassios, whose family 
was plebeian, though it vied with the noblest of Kome in 
antiquity and reputation, besides the peculiar lustre which 
had been shed upon it in more recent tiites. A third daugh- 

* It baa been mentioned before that Agrippina had borne fire sons and four 
daughters to Germanicus. The deaths of Nero and Drusus have been recorded 
in thdr place : two other sons seem to have died in infancj. Caius, the young- 
est of the fire, was now the sole surriTor. 

* This Tiberias bad also the name of GemoIIns, which seems to show that 
he was one of the male twins whom lirilla bore to Drusus in the year 112. 
Tac. Arm. il 84. ; see above, ohapt^ zlill The otber child, as has been said, 
probably died in inikncy. 

* Tac Amu tL IS. TbidaS) the patron of Yellehu Pateroohis, was prob* 
ably an adherent of SqjaaoB^ and owed his alliance with the Ososaresn ftmily to 
the &Tour of so powerful a friend. 

Digitized by 



ter, who bore her mother's name, Agrippina, was affianced 
to a man of higher rank than either of these, a Onjeus Domi- 
tius Ahenobarbus, descended lineally from the three Domitii 
whose names have been successiv^y rignaliiEed in these 
pages. A fourth, whose name has not been recorded, was 
united to the son of Quintilius Yams. Again, after the 
death of her husband Nero Germanicus, the younger Julia, 
the daughter of Drusus and liTiHa, had been espoused to 
Rubellius Blandus, a second connexion which might properly 
be regarded as an unworthy descent from the first, inasmuch 
as his nobility dated only from the last generation.^ But in 
casting his eyes on these, and perhaps other scions of the 
old aristocracy, Tiberius could discover none whose eminence 
entitled him to be exalted above all the rest of his order ; 
the levelling effects of his tyranny were already manifest in 
the general mediocrity of talent in the senate, and the public 
mind was not unprepared to admit the rule of hereditary 
succession as a state necessity. 

The bitterest of Tiberius's enemies admits, not as it 
would seem without some inconsbtency, that he was anxious 
^^ _. at heart to settle the succession on a secure foot- 

Tiborlas ap- 

^nto^aa ing, and would have disregarded, in making his 
Gemellus heirs choice, the Opinion of his contemporaries, could 

of hl8 pilYSte ,,^, ,^, ,./• 

fortune. he have felt assured of the approbation of a 

A.i>.85. grateftd posterity. Nevertheless, after much 
restless deliberation, the failing old man was con- 
strained to leave it in all the uncertainty above described : 

' Tac. Ann, vl 27. : " Ci^jus avum Tibui*tem equitem Romaniun pleriqoe 
meminerant*' Juvenal (yiU. 89.) employs the name of Rubellius to. represrat 
the pride of those who have greatness throat iqxm them : 
"Tecum est mihi sermo, Bubdll 

Blande: tomes aho Bmsoram stemmate tanqtiam 

Feoeris ipse aUqoid propter qiiod nobilia esses. 

Ut te condperet qiue Bangoine fulget lull ; 

Kon qnn Tentoso coDdueta sob aggece texit'* 
Domitius, Yinidns, Casdas, and Rnbellhis are mentioned together in Ann, vi. 
45. as the four progcneri, grandsons-fai-law of Tiberius. 

Digitized by 


A.U.700.] UNDER THE BHPIRE. 251 

he abandoned to fatej says Tadtas, the decision to which he 
woi hdmaelf WMqudL^ Bat already in the year 788 he had 
made a testament^ appointing Oaias and Tiheiiua co-partners 
in his priyate heritage, with whatever advantage might 
thence acome to them in regard to their public pr^nsions ; 
and in the event of tiie death of either, the survivor was des- 
tined to inherit from the deceased.' The elder of the two 
princes at least was not unmoved by the prospeict of the foi^ 
tones which seemed so likely to be&U him. Caius was not 
insensible to the advant£^ he enjoyed in popu- atinsGemumi- 
lar favour, and especially among the soldiers, as SSSmSr c»- 
the son of Germanicus. Though actually bom "«?^ 
in the peaceful retirement of Antium, he had been carried in 
infancy to the stations of the Bhenidi legions, and bred up 
in the midst of the soldiery, and he gladly countenanced, we 
may suppose, the common belief that he had first seen the 
light in the camp.' As a child, he had been accoutred in 
the military garb, and it was from the boots, or oalig», which 
he was made to wear, that the soldiers gave him his familiar 
nickname of Caligula. The mutiny on the Bhine was act- 
ually qudled, it was said, by showing to the troops their 
young pet and playfellow. But these rude caresses were not, 
as he early learnt, to be accepted without danger, and he 

' Taa Asm. tI 46. : ** Quippe iUi ncm peiinde corea gratia prosentium qaam 
in po6tero6 ambitio: mox incertafl animi, fesso corpora coBsiUum, col inipar 
erat, fato permisif 

• Suet TO. n^. 

' Saet Ca%. 8. : " tJbi natiis "ait incertnm divcrsitas tradcndmn fadt On. 
LentehiB GaBtuliciia ISbuii genitam aoribit ; PliniuB Secundoa in Treveria, tioo 
Aralnatiiio, anpra cenflaentea .... Yeraieuli, imfieraiite mox eo diTolgaU, 
apad hibemaa l^onaa prooreatom indicant : 

In caatris natos, patriia nutritus in armia 
Jam designati Prindpia omen erat 
Egno in actis Antii editunx inrenio.*' 

* Tac. ^iiii.i. 41.) Dion^lyii, 6.; Suet Cdig, 9.: ^^Caligula oognomcn 
castrenrf joco tnxit, qma manipnlano nabitn inter milites educabatnr • . . . 
port exoeaBua Aogoeti tamultoantea .... acdna hand dnble oonapecta soo 

Digitized by 



was careful to disgtiise the pleasure he took in the fiivour in 
which the citizens held him. Nor less anxiously did he con- 
ceal any emotions of an opposite character, which thd suffer- 
ings of his mother or brothers may have awakened in his 
breast. A practised dissembler from his early years, for 
from the first dawn of consciousness he found himself the 
inhabitant of a palace, and closely attached to the person of 
the allrdreaded imperator, he studied to clothe hia counte- 
nance day by day with the expression assumed by Tibenus 
himself, to penetrate his sentiments and echo, as it were, his 
very words. He was ever on the watch to anticipate the 
wishes of the tyrant, and, at a later time, the remark of the 
orator Fassienus obtained a great success, that no man was 
ever a better servant, or a worse master.* 

Caius CsBsar, by the direction of his grandsire, had mar- 
ried in 786 Claudia, or OlaudUla, the daughter of M. Junius 
Macro obtains Silauus ; but this consort he had lost in the third 
^uS!"^ year of their union.* At this latter period the 
A. D. 8«. ^^^ of Tiberius was visibly approaching. While 
A.U. 78it his bodily strength was failing his mind contin- 
ued unimpaired, and the power as well as the habit of dis- 
simulation retained its full vigour to the last. No conscious- 
ness of his own decay could extort from him any disclosures 
of his actual views regarding the imperial inheritance. The 
ambitious and intriguing spirits at Rome trembled in uncer- 
tainty as to the fixture, and Tiberius kept his courtiers stiU 
attached to his side by refiising to indicate by word or ges- 
ture in what quarter they should look for his successor. He 
even let it be supposed, it would seem, that, dissatisfied with 
the prospect opened to him within the limits of the OsBsarean 
family, he meditated removing both the grandson and the 

* Tac Ann. tI 20. : " Immanem aniroum subdola modestia tegens . . . 
qualem diem Tiberius indniasety pari habitn, non multom distantibus Terbifl. 
Unde mox edtom Paarieni oratoris dictum percrebuit ; neqne mdioiem unqoani 
seryum, tieqoe deteriorem dominam ftdese." 

* Tao. Attn, vl 20. Saetoidiia (<Xi%. 12.) ^es her name Biore ooneotfy, 
Jonia GlandiHa. Dion Is inaccurate in placing the marriage in 788. : hiil 3S. 

Digitized by 



grand-nephew hj death.' Nevertheless the arts of the vet- 
eran dissemhler could not hfind the wariest of his observers, 
fince the overthrow of Sejamis, the bold and erafty Macro 
had wielded no small share of that ndnist^s power, bnt he 
had never snoceeded in gaining the personal fisrroar and con- 
fidence of his master. Though at the head of the praetorians 
and of the polke of the city, he had not been advanced to 
the more biilfiant honours of the state. For these he most 
be content to look to the exigencies of a new reign, in which 
his talents and position might command still higher promo- 
tion; and it-was now his object to divine the future emperor, 
and bind him to himself by some signal service. As shrewd 
in observation as he had proved himself bold in action, he 
fixed without hesitation upon Oaius as the destined chief of 
the state. To secure an ascendency over him he employed 
the artifices of his wife Ennia, who insinuated herself into 
the afiections of the young aiid idle voluptuary at a moment 
when his fiincy was unoccupied, and soon acquired for her 
husband allthe influence he desired. You leave the setting 
sun to court the rising^ muttered Tiberius, whom nothing 
could escape : but he gave no further token of displeasure, 
and the people accepted the words, which were speedily 
noised abroad, as an intimation that already in his own mind 
he had determined to transmit the empire to his grand- 
nephew. Another sentence, which was ascribed to him, 
seemed not less significant of this intention. Observing one 
day a cloud pass over the countenance of Caius, on his mak- 
ing a gesture of kindness towards the young Tiberius, for 
whom he seems to have felt some yearning of natural afiec- 
tion, he was reported to have said to him, You wiUhiU him 
and another wiU JeiU you.* The young dissembler had never 
been able to impose on his uncle's practised sagacity. Hbe- 
rius had observed, not, it is said, without a maUgnant satis- 
faction, the gross i^cniuality and cruel or degrading sports in 

' Suet TV>. 62. 

• Tta Awi, tI. 45. : *« Ocddes tu hnnc, et te alius." Dion, Iviil 28. Oomp. 
Pbflo, Lc 

Digitized by 



which he delighted, hoping, as was commonly surmised, that 
they would divert him fix>m the aspirations of a premature 
ambition, or even expecting, as some ventured to suggest, 
that the crimes of the ensuing reign would, extinguish the 
recollection of his own.^ 

Tacitus, as we have seen, assures us that Tiberius aban- 
doned the imperial succession to fiette ; by which he evidently 
means that the emperor addressed no direct in- 

IdeM regsrdlng , , ^ , 

thediBpoeaiof junction or recommendatiou to the senate upcm 

the saooession: *'_, _,_ _ __- _ '^__ 

ezpreasion of a Subject ou which, as he well knew, he could 
exercise no real authority. In the phrase itadf, 
the current language of the philosophy of the time, there is 
nothing remarkable ; nor do I imagine that there is any allu- 
sion in it to the story upon this subject narrated by Jose- 
phus, which deserves, however, to be recorded in illustration 
Aneedototoid of the character of the age. Tiberius, says the 
by Joeephus. Jewish historian, on his return to Capre» from 
his last visit to the continent, was seized with a consumptive 
attack, which at first did not threaten danger : but as the 
disorder gained ground he began to feel that his end was 
actually approaching; whereupon he commanded Euodns, 
the most confidential of his freedmen, to send his two grand- 
children to him betimes the next morning, that he might ad- 
dress them before he diad. After giving this direction, he 
prayed the gods to make known to him by some token which 
of the two they destined to succeed hkn : for although his 
wish was to leave the empire to the young Tiberius, he feU 
that his own inclination ought to yield to the manifestations 
of the divine wilL Accordingly he proposed to himself a 
sign by which that will might be discovered ; and this was, 
that whichever of the princes should first come into his pres- 
ence, him he would regard as called to the empire. Having 
thus piously placed himself in the hands of the gods, he pro- 
ceeded, with a natural inconsistency, to pontrol, if possible, 
their decrees, by desiring the tutor of Tiberius to make sure 

» Suet Ca-^^. 11.; Dion, lyiil 28. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

A. U. 790.J UKDEB THE EMPIRE. 295 

and bring his charge at the earliest hour possible. Bat this 
prince, spending some time over his morning meal, Was aot- 
oaUy forestalled by Cains, much to the emperor's regret, 
who was moTed to tears at the unhappy fortune of his own 
ofl^ring, not only excluded by proyidettoe &om the sbvei^ 
eign power, but exposed, as he well knew, to the direct risk 
of destruction. Commanding himself howeyer, with a great 
effi>rt he said to Cains, ilfy M>n, oii^Aot^A Tibetws is nearer to 
my^f than you are^ yet both of my oten choice, and in obe- 
dience to the godsj into your hands I commit the empire of 
.Rome. To these solemn words he added^ according to the 
same authority, an earnest entreaty that he would continue 
to loTe his unprotected kinsman, enforced by a wamiag of 
the perils of his own position, and of the pains which wait 
on human ingratitude** 

Of all our principal authorities for the history of this 
period Josephus xmdoubtedly stands the nearest in point of 
time; neyertheless, bred as he was in the ideas lAatdaysof 
of a foreigner or a provincial, his information on T^berfM- 
matters of constitutional principle is often at fault ; and the 
anecdote just rdated is of little historical value, except as 
showing the more indulgent way in which the character of 
Tiberius might be regarded beyond the precincts of Rome 
or Italy. This writer is not indeed correct in the place he 
assigns for the death of the emperor, a point on which a 
Roman historian could hardly have made a mistake. It was 
early in the year 790 that Tiberius, now in his seventy-eighth 
year, quitted for the last time his retreat in Capre», and 
moving slowly from villa to villa, arrived within seven miles 
of the city on the Appian Way. Again, having taken one 
more view of its distant buildings, he turned his back finally 
upon them, terrified, so it was reported, by an evil omen, and 
retraced his languid steps along the coast of Campania.* At 
Astura he fell »ck ; but having a little recovered he pro- 
seeded onwards to CircciL Here, anxious to avert suspicion 

' Joseph. Aniiq, JvcL xriii. 6. 9. 
» Suet. Tib. 12. : "Ostento territua." 

Digitized by 



of big illness, he not only presided at the exercises of the 
eamp, but eyen cast jarelins with his own hand at the beasts 
which were driven before his seat in the amphitheatre. By 
this exertion the old man both strained snd overheated him^ 
self; yet though his symptoms -grew worse, he insisted on 
continuing Ids progress as far as IMlsenum, where he pos- 
sessed the voluptuous villa of Lucullus ; nor would he allow 
any change to be made in his sensual and perhaps intemper- 
ate habits at table.* Hia courtiers and attendants looked on 
with awe and trepidation. Every one felt assured tTiat the 
days of the tyrant were numbered ; yet every one feared to 
pay his court too soon by a day or an hour to the expected 
heir of his fortunes. All eyes were turned on Charicles, the 
emperor's confidential physician; and Caius himself, per- 
haps, was the first to urge him to contrive to feel the dying 
man's pulse, for Tiberius persisted to the last in disguising 
his actual condition, and thus ascertain how much life was 
yet left in him. Charicles, it seems, was about to quit the 
court for a few days : possibly his master had dismissed him 
on purpose to blind the eyes of the watchfiil observers 
around him. Rising from the table, and taking the empe- 
ror's hand to kiss it, he managed to touch the wrist. Tibe- 
rius noticed the touch atid immediately guessed its motive. 
He called for fresh dishes and more wine, nor would he con- 
sent to break up the festivities till a later hour than ordina- 
ry.* On rising he even received one by one t^e salutations 
of all his guests, according to his wont, keeping all the 
while an erect posture, smd addressing to each a word in 
replj. But Charicles had attained his object, and his science 

* Suet L c. : " l^hil ex ordine qnotidiaxio pnetennilteret, 00 couviyia quidem 
ftc ceeteras yohiptatefl, partim intemperantia, partim dissimulatione." Bat Plm j, 
in Uie passage before cHed (BuL Not xiv. 28.), while he allows the intemper- 
ance of ITIberhu in his jonth, expresslj declares that his abstemioasnesB was 
strict if Hot aiist^re ("serems atijae etJbm bbsvom :" the words are perhaps cor- 
mpt) in this respect in later years. Tao. ulnn. tI. {K>* : ^ Jam nberimn corpus, 
jam vires, nondum dissimulatiodeserebat: idem animi rigor; sennone ac Tultq 
ratentus, qnsBsita interdnm comitate quamyis manifestam defectionem tegebat '* 

• Tac. L c. : " Instaurari epnlas jubet, discumbitque nltra solltum." 

Digitized by 


A.U.t90.] Uin)EB THE BMPIBB. 257 

was not to be deemed. He assured Macro that the patient 
could not snrYive more than two days. .Tiberius was the 
ukore anzions, it was said, to regain Gapreea, becanse he was 
offended at the ne^eet of the senate taexpedite the condem* 
nation of some criminals he had required it to sentence, and 
could not venture on a Bttcke of authority excq>t fiom his 
inaccessible citadeL But whether or not this were so, his 
hopes and &ars were all about to close, and 0]4>re» he was 
destined never again to visit. Un&vourable weath^ com- 
bined with the advance of his malady to retain Ahim at Mi- 
senum; and whether his dissolution was altogether natural, 
or hastened by fi>ul means, as commonlysuspected, it was 
not perhaps delayed beyond the tenn assigned to it by the 
phvddan. The actual circumstances of the tv* 

• 1 *i -i^i *-. His death. 

rant's end were variously reported. On the 17th 
of the calends of April, or the 16th of March, says Tacitus, 
he had fainted away, and it was imagined he had ceased to 
breathe. The courtiers trooped without dday to congratu- 
late CaiuSy who quitted the chamber to surround himself^ as 
was supposed, with the ensigns of power, when suddenly it 
was reported that the sick man's voice and vision had re- 
turned, and he had called to his attendants for nom^hment. 
The consternation was umversali the crowd hastily dis- 
persed, and every man framed his oountenanoe to a look of 
ignorance or anxiety. Caius bimsdf was struck speechless 
in expectation of immediate punu^mient. But Macro was at 
his side, and Macto was resolute and prompt as ever. JSk^ 
more beddoAes upon Ait7»,.he whispered, €md lea^e him.^ 
Tacitus insinuates without hesitation that he was stifled, and 
his account has been most commonly followed ; he refers, 
however, to nc authority.* On the other hand, a contempo- 

' Tm.L c: "GnsttrinaaentftimfizwaBaiimaispeiiOTifltiiiia^^^ 
Macro inlrepiduB, oi>priii^ seMiiiiiyeota nraltn yesUi Jntwt, diaoeOipie a Urn* 

' Thus Dion, hriiL 2S.: Sefaac ofo ixeivoc ft^ Jca2 62tfiS)C innmid^y dre 
iji^ayuv ri mT^avTi am-f^ itc in^ pX^fiii^o/Uvi^y idiiice^ ml IfiSria iroCUd itdt 
wax^ iK Kol OepfiOffiat rwdc deoftevt^y irpockfiaKt * itaX tAroi hithtvi^ oMv, 
ewapa/ihov voi tArtf mi rw HAk{)uvoc. 
VOL. T. — 17 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



rary of the events seems to describe the old man's death as 
simply nataiaL Feding himself sinking, said Seneca, Tibe- 
rias tookoff his ring, and held it fbr a little while, as if aboot 
to present it to some one as an instrument of antfaority ; bat 
so<m jeplaoed it on his ^finger, and lay for a time motionless : 
then suddenly he called for his attendants, and when no one 
answered, raised hknself fitmi his bed with fiuling strength, 
and immediately fell lifeless beside it^ This account was 
distorted by othelci into the denial of necessary sostenance, 
and actoal 4eath by exhaustion, while some did not scruple 
to affirm that Oaius had caused him to be poisoned** 

Caesar, the high-handed usurper, met an usurper's death, 
by open yiolenoe in the light of day. Augustus, after fifty 
_ , ^ years of the naildest and most equitable rule the 

The character ^^ ,., ^*ii i. 

of Tiberias not timcs admitted, sank at last by a slow and pam- 
less decay into the arms of those dearest to him, 
amidst the respectful sympathies of an admiring people. 
The end of Tiberius, whether consummated by treachery or 
not, was shrouded in gloom and obscurity; the chamber of 
mortality was agitated to the last by the intrigues and fears 
of the dying man and his survivors. The fellow country- 
men of the detested tyrant seem to have deemed it fitting 
that one whose life was to them a riddle should perii^ by a 
mysterious death. For my own part, I would rather repre- 
sent him as a naan whose character was suffici^itly trans- 
parent^ whose apparent inoonsistenoies, often exaggerated 
and misrepresented, may generally be explained by the na- 
ture of his position, and the political illurions with which he 

' Suet 7U, 1Z, : " Seneca eum scribit, intellecta defeetione,'* &o. The Met 
Seneca, who is known to hare written a history of his own timeB, died towards 
the end of llberiqB, at an advanced age. This must be the account of his son 
ibe phikMopher; b«it there is no such passage in his existing works. Suetonius 
hi another place {Oatiff, 12.) gires aowther aoooant: ''Oaios veneno Tlberiom 
aggressus est,** &o. 

' Tacitas g^res March Id. for the date of this event, Dion, March 26. Ti- 
berius, bom KoYember, 712, was hi the middla of his^erenty-eigfatii year. 
Dion, L 0. : kfiUi 6i ima Koi ipdoft^xoifra Ir^, koI ft^vac ri^wipaCt m) ^P^ 

Digitized by 



W9B reqtdred to enoircle himseHl It is the charaeter of the 
age in which he was plaoed, an age of rapid though fdlent 
transition, rather than of the man hinrmelf, which invests him 
with an historical interest. This is the point to which it 
will be well to direct oar attention, before letting the cnrtain 
drop <m the personage with whom the forms of the republic 
perished, and the despotism of the GsBsars finally dropped its 

The practice of delation, so rapidly developed under the 
rule of Tiberius, introduced a new principle into the govern- 
ment of his day, and marked it with features of jadnnentor 
its own. It is hardly possible to overrate the ef- ^J ^SJr°" 
fects of this practice on the general complexion ^ Tiberiwi. 
of the Roman polity, nor is it easy to exaggerate the horror 
with which it came to be regarded. It was an attempt to 
reconcile the despotism of the monarch with the fotms of a 
republic ; to strengthen the sovereign power by weakening 
its subjects ; to govern the people by dividii^ them, by de- 
stroying their means of combination among themselves, by 
generating among them habits of mutual distrust and fear, 
and finally plunging them into a state of political imbecility. 
We have already seen how this system- was in &ct the prod- 
uct of peculiar circumstances rather than the creaticm of a 
defiberate will ; nevertheless the chief of the state was made, 
not unnaturally, to bear the whole responsibi&ty of it, and 
the disgust of the nobler spirits of Rome at the tyranny of 
spies and informers was turned against the prince himisel^ in 
whose interest at least, if not at whdse instigaldon, tb^ en* 
ormities were for the most part perpetrated. If we examine 

' Thna Perguson concludes his history of the Roman republic with the 
death of Tiberius. Tacitus describes, according to his view, the different epochs 
in the diantcter of Tiberius. Ann. tL 61.: "Homm quoque tempom illi 
drrenti €greg^ Tita fion^e^ quoad prinatus, vel ia inq^eriis nh Jkngusto 
fiut: occnltnm ae subdolum fingenifiB yirtutibua, donee Gennaoiciifl ac Dmsus 
raperfuere: idem inter bona malaque mixtus, incolumi matre: intestabilis 
saevitia, sed obtedis libidinibus, dum Sejanum dilexit timuitye : postremb in 
soelefa simnl ac dedecora prorupit, postquam, remoto pudore et metu, sno tan* 
torn ingenio ntebatur.'* 

Digitized by 



theaathoritiee for the history of the reign wehaye beenreriew 
ing, we shall find that thofle who were nearest to the times 
themselrea have, generally treated Tiberins with the greatest 
indnlgenca Yelleios Pateroolus indeed, and Yalerins Max^ 
imus, his contemporaries and subjects, must be regarded as 
mere courtly panegyrists: but the adulation of the one, 
though it jars on ears accustomed to the dignified self-respect 
of the earlier Romans, is not more high-flown in language and 
sentiment than what our own writers have addressed to the 
Georges, and even the Charleses and Jameses, of the English 
monarchy ; while that of the other is chiefly ofiensive from 
the connezi<m in which it stands with the lessons of virtue 
and patriotism which his book was specially designed to il- 
lustrate. The elder Seneca, the master of a schodi of rheto- 
ric, to which science his writings are devoted, makes no men- 
tion of the emperor under whom he wrote ; but his son, bet- 
ter known as the statesman and philosopher, though he was 
under the temptation of contrasting the austere and aged 
tyrant with the gay young prince to whom he was himself 
attached, speaks of him with considerable moderation, and 
ascribes the worst of his deeds to Scjanus and the delatom 
rather than to his own evil disposition/ In the pages of 
Philo and Joeephus, the government of Tiberius is represent- 
ed as mild and equitable : it is not till we come to Suetonius 
and Tacitus, in the third generation, that his enormities are 
blazoned in the colours so painfully fiimiliar to us. It will 
suffice here to remark that both thede later writers belong to 
a period of strong reaction against the Cesarean despotism, 
when the senate was pennitted to rabe its venerable head 
and resume a show at least of imperial prerogatives; when 
the secret police of Home was abolished, delation firmly re- 
pressed, freedom of speech proclaimed by the voice of the 
emperor Idmsel^ and the birUiright of the citizen respectful- 
ly restored to him. There ensued a strong revulsion of feel- 
ing, not against monarchy, which had then become an ao- 

* Senect, Ej), 21. ; de Jknef, iil 26. ; Coruol ad Marc, 15 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


cepted inadtotioQ, but against the cormptiong which had 
tnined it iBto tyraimy ; and Tiberius, as the reputed founder 
(^ the syBtem of delation, bore the odium of all the crimes 
of all the t3rrant8 who had aacceeded hinu Tacitus admits 
that the affakn of Tiderius were misrepresented during his 
power by fear, and after his death by spit^ : yet we cumot 
doubt that Tacitus himself often yields to the bias of his de- 
tractors, while Suetonius is at be^ indifferent to the truth.^ 
After aU, a sober discretion must suspend its belief regarding 
many of the circumstancea^ above recorded, and adcnowledge 
that it is only through a treacherous and distorting haze that 
we haye scanned the features of this ill-omened principate. 

Nevertheless, the terror which prevailed in the last years 
of Hberius, to whomsoever it is chiefly to be ascribed, exer- 
ciaed a Mefol influence over society at Rome, ^he reign of 
and shows by ^ects which are still ^scoverable taworfttEaiiw. 
that it has been but little exaggerated. It has left perma- 
n^it traces of itself in the manifest decline and almost total 
extinction of literature under its pressure. The Roman 
writers addressed only a small class in the capital ; tp be pop- 
ularly known in the provinces, to be read generally through* 
out the Roman world, was a privilege reserved for few, and 
anticipated perhaps rarely by any. Even in the capital the 
poet and historian oomposed their works for a circle of a 
few thousand knights and senators, for the friends and fiuni- 
lies of their own few hundreds of acquaintances, whom they 
invited to encourage their efibrts by att()nding their recita* 
tions. The paralysis which beniunbed the energies of the 
Roman nobility at this crisis of terror and despair, extended 
naturally to the organs of their sentiments and opinions. Not 
history only and philosophy suffered an eclipse, ita effect upon 
but poetry also, which under Augustus had been "*«»^n»- 
the true expression of the national feelings, became mute 

' Tac. Ann, L 1. : **Tiberii Gaiiqae, et dandii, ao Neronis res, floN^tibai 
{pels ob metom fklne, postqaam oooiderant r^emiUnu odHt oompoaitB ■onk'* 
There Mema reason to believe that the boetility to Tibeiiiia'a memoiy incteaaed 
rather than diminished in the course of the socceeding oentoiy. 

Digitized by 



when tlie feelings themselyes could no longer be trusted with 
utterance. We have seen how Cremutius was subjected to 
persecution :for pronouncing that Brutus and Cassius were 
the last of the Romans. A tragedian was accused, and if 
accused we may presume perhaps that he was condemned, 
for speaking evil of the king of men, Agamemnon ; and va- 
rious authors were assailed, and their writings sentenced to 
proscription, to whose recitations the last ptinceps had him- 
self listened with indulgence.' The poems whidi were tol- 
erated were generally the most tijfling and perhaps Ucentious 
in character.* The sly irony of the fable, a style of compo- 
sition adopted by slaves, and imitated from the servile Orien- 
tals, seems not unsuitable to these perilous times.' The name 
of Phsedrus belongs in all probability to the Tiberian period, 
but it is curious tJiat no later writer for four centuries should 
have cared to notice him.* Similar or worse has been the 
fate of a more serious writer, Manilius, the author of an elab- 
orate poem on Astronomy and its spurious sister Astrology, 
a theme of some danger under the circumstances of the times, 
but whiidi'he has treated with irreproachable discretion ; it 
is owing perhaps to the disgrace under which tiiie forbidden 
science fell that this innocent work lapsed into entire obliv^ 

' Suet 716. 01. It wiU be remembered by scholars that Atrides is the in- 
ridioos. niokntuae often applied hj the poets to the Bomon tyrants. CJomp. 
Juvenal} !▼• 65. : " Itur ad Atridem." 

' Such seems to have been the character of the verses of Lentulus Gsetiil- 
Icus. Martial, prof, I ; Plin. ^. v. 8. 

' Phtedrus says of his own style of composition {ProL ad, iii. 88) : 
^ Kmic fiibnlanun car sit inventmn genus 
Brevi dooeibo. Servitos obnozia, 
Quia qutd volebat non andebat dioere, 
Affectus proprios in &belhi8 transtolit." 
* Pheedms is supposed to have been a fireedman of Tiberius. Seneca tx 
horts Folybius, a freedman of Claudius, to divert his mind by writing fkbles a 
few years later : but even then he calls this kind of composition, " Intentatum 
Bomanis ingeniisopus." Senec ComoL adPolyb, 21. HartaaiOii 20.)«lhide8 
to a Fhsdms, bnt not apparently as a fabulists ^* An somulatnr improbi jocos 

Digitized by 


A. U. 790.] UNDER THE EHPIRE. 265 

ion, and has escaped the mention of any writer of an 

The deep gloom which settled on the face of higher so- 
ciety at Rome was heightened by its contrast with the friy- 
olons dissipation of the populace, who thonsch de- 
priTcd of the gutter of a bnUiant court, and snr- among the pop- 
rounded by signs of monming and humiliatkm 
among their natural leaders, not the less abandoned themselves 
to the sensual enjoyments which alone they relished, and re> 
joiced in their utter indifference to political principles, to 
parties and to men. They clamoured with exultation orer 
the body of the traitor ; nevertheless, had the goddess Ifur- 
sia^ says the moralist, bift favoured her Mruecan iwtan/j had 
hut the falee intriguer eireumverUed the guHekes old marij on 
the instant they would have been heard proda/iming S^anus 
a Ccesc^ and an Augustus,* In the one class was abandon^ 
ment of public life, shame, despair and suicide; — ^tbe intoler- 
able evils of the time drove men not to religious consolations, 
but to a restless inquiry into the ftiture, or a vain attempt to 
lull the sense of the present in philosophic apathy:— the 
other rushed headlong, hour by hour, to the baths, shows, 
and largesses, or shouted at the heels of the idol of the mo- 
ment, or sighed and perhaps murmured at his loss, and 
speedily resigned itself to oblivion of the fitful ^notion of 
the day. 

We must be careM notwithstanding to observe that both 
the shame and the degradation were for the most part con* 
fined to the city and its vicinity, which lay in the ^eneni stste 
very shadow of the despot. Tiberius was con- SLjSSSr to tb« 
tent to sacrifice Rome to the exig^des of his P«>v*n«e* 

' In ihis total absence of the " testimonia yeterum,^' the date of Manlliue !s 
uoertained fh>m his allusions to the death of Yarns (I 897.), to Augustus as 
still liring (i. 922), and agam to the island of Bhodes as the ** hospitimn rectori 
rrineipb oibeia.*' iv. 764. 

* imrenal, x, 74. : ''Idem popnlus, si Norsia Tusco 

Fayisset, si opprcssa foret secura scnectus 
Prindpis, hac ipsa Sejanum diceret hora 

Digitized by 



position ; but he ruled the proyinces on the whole in a Ro« 
man spirit, and maintained the dignity of the empire for the 
most part intact from the centre to the frontiers. The stabil- 
ity of the system, if decaying at the heart, might still be 
measured by the strength and solidity of its members. At 
no period did the bulwarks of the Roman power appear more 
secure and unassailable. The etforts of Drusus and his son 
to overpower the Germans on their own soil had been stu^ 
pendens ; they had wielded forces equal at least to those 
with which CteSBT had added €raul to the empire, and yet 
had not permanently advanced to the eagles in any direction. 
But, on the other hand, it was soon found that the Germans 
were only formidable under the pressure of an attack. When 
the assault relaxed, the power they had concentrated in re- 
sistance crumbled readily away. With the death of Arminius 
all combined hostility to Rome ceased among them. They 
never dared to retort in concert the invasions under which 
they had suffered. Meanwhile the arts and manners of the 
South advanced incessantly among them ; their political dis- 
sensions were fostered by the enemy, a&d in the weakness 
caused by mutual jealousy they turned with awe and wonder 
to the image of the immense and undivided empire, the skirt 
of whose robe trailed majestically on tihieir borders- At the 
same time the long respite from military escactions allowed 
the pursuits of ease and luxury to fructify within the limits 
of the provinces. Gaul was no longer drained from year to 
year by the forced requisitions of men and horses, of arms 
and stores, which had fed the eqchausting campaigns of Ger- 
manicus. Her ancient cities decked th^nselvea with splendid 
edifices, with schools and theatres, aqueducts and templea 
The camps on the Rhine and Danube were gradually trans- 
formed into commercial stations, and became emporiums of 
traffic with the north of Europe, where the fur and amber of 
the Hercynian forests and the Baltic coast were exchanged 
for wine and oil or gold and silver, those instruments of lux- 
ury which nature was supposed, in mercy or in anger, to have 

Digitized by 


A.U.790.] TODEB THE EMPIBE. 265 

denied to the German barbarians.' Sach a state of nfftdre' 
allowed the emperor to persist in his fayoorite plan of leay- 
ing the provincial goyemors for years unchimged at their 
posts. Each succeeding proconsul was no longer in a feyer 
of haste to aggrandise himself hj the plunder or renown of 
a foray beyond the frontiers. The administration of the 
provinces became a matter of ordinary routine ; it lost its 
principal charms in the eyes of the senators, who could at 
last with difficulty be induced to exchange the brilliant pleas- 
ures of the capital, with all its mortifications and perik, for 
the doll honours of a distant prefecture, l^othing is more 
significant of the actual improvement in the condition of the 
subject than this fact, which is advanced by Tacitus aa a proof 
of the decay of public spirit and the degeneracy of the age.* 
Nor can I discover in general the justice of accusing Ti- 
berius of neglecting the safety of his remote possessions, 
which seem, on the contrary, to have flourished vignanceof 
securely in the. armed peace of his august em- JSSS^lJe 
pire.' In Gaul the revolt of Sacrovir and his "o'^tifi"* 
Belgian confedesates was effectually suppressed : the out- 
break of the Frisians seems, though at some cost q^i ^^ q^ 
of blood, to have been speedily quelled.* Wor ™^^' 
have we any distinct confirmation of the assertion of Sue- 
tonius, that Tibepius sufered the province to be ravaged 
with impunity by the Germans, which, if true, can apply 

' Tac G€rm, 5. : ^ Argentum et aurum propitii an iratl Dt negayerint du- 
bito.'' Tlus weU-known assertion, so remarkably inaccurate, as it has proved, 
in fact, was provoked perhaps by the &ilure of the first speculadon in Nassau 
mines. See Tac Ann, tl 20. : ** Onrtins Rufos ... in agro Mattiaoo reduserat 
q»eeii8 qnaeremdya Tenia avgenti; tinde (enttis fhictas, neo in lei^^am ftdi** 

* Taa AmK vi 27.: "£gregiiim quemque et legcndis ezerdtibasidoDeimi, 
abonefe id mimos.*' Tlie distnut,. however, or indifference of l^berins was 
more distuictly shown in his keeping some of his governors at home for years 
after nominally appointing them. Such were the cases of JBHius Lamia and Ar- 
rmtiiuL Tac L c 

' Suet 7%b. 41. : ^ Armeniam a ParUus occnpaii, Moeiiam a Dads Sarmat- 
Isqiie, GalHaa a Gennanis vastarl neglezit" 

* Tac. Atm, iv, 12, 

Digitized by 



only to some transient violation of the frontiers. That dis- 
grace indeed to this extent actnally attended the Roman 
goyemment seems not improbable, from cirenmstances which 
have transpired regarding the conduct of the commander in 
those parts, For many years the legions of the Upper 
Rhine were confided to a senator of high consideration ; but 
he was said to haye gained the devotion of both his own sol- 
diers uid those of the lower province, by the ' popularity of 
his manners and the laxity of his discipline.^ Such conduct 
proceeded) we may confidently affirm, either from culpable 
negligence or from criminal aspirations. Tibmus was doubt- 
less alarmed. Lentulus 6»tulicus, such was the officer's 
name, was denounced by a delator ; but his marriage with 
the daughter of Sejanus seemed a surer ground of attack 
than a charge of incapacity or treason. Tiberius pretended 
to listen to an accusation thus artfuUy framed, the s^iators 
were blinded, and Gsetulicus was threatened with removal 
and disgrace. Undismayed, he addressed from his camp a 
letter to the emperor, urging that he had not sought connex- 
ion with the minister of any motion of his own, but at the 
suggestion of Tiberius himself; that if he had been deceived 
by the arts of the traitor, hi3 iault was only the same as* his 
master's: it was unjust that he should suffer for an error 
which had been in fisict common to both. His loyalty, he 
protested, was unshaken, and so it would remain as long as 
he was himself trusted; but the arrival of a successor to his 
command he should regard as no other than a sentence of 
death, and to such he would reftise to bow. The emperor, 
he boldly added, might continue to rule the state, but ho 
would retain the government of his own province. The 
rumour of so proud a defiance struck the citizens with aston- 
ishment ; but GaBtulicus kept his place, and tho impunity 
which was thus accorded to a son-in-law of Sejanus engaged 
them to believe it. Tiberius, they whispered, knew well 
how deep was the general dissatisfection with his rule : he 

* Taa Anil, vi. 30. : " EflUsae demcntiaj, modicus soreritalc^ ' 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

A. U. 790.] UKDEB THK EMPIBB. 26) 

was cohscioufl also of the infirmities of age, and aware that 
his aathority rested after all on opinion rather than on its 
own intrinsic force. Be refrained from risking a collision.* 

Kor does the assertion of Tiberius^s indifference seem to 
be better founded with regard to Mcesia. Tacitus steps fre- 
quently aside from his domestic narrative to re- 
cord the affiiirs of this region and the exploits of 
the emperor's lieutenants ; while Appian makes special men- 
tion of the conquest of Mcesia under Tiberius, and of the 
establishment of provincial government in this quarter by 
bis hand.* Sabinus, Pandus, and Labeo seem to have held 
the command there successively during the first half of this 
prindpate, and these men at le^t were not allowed to in- 
dulge in indolence, for their ezertioiis and victories are a 
theme to which the historian repeatedly refers. At a later 
period, indeed, we shall read of an incursion of the Roxo- 
lani, a people of Sarmatia, during a season of commotion at 
Rom^ and this is not improbably the occurrence which Sue- 
tonius had actusdly in view.* Moesia, in the reign of the sec- 
ond prineeps, was one of the best appointed of the imperial 
provinces. Two legions were quartered in it, and a military 
road from the borders of Pannonia led along the bank of the 
I>anabe to the Euxine at Tomi, thus securing the communi- 
cations of the presidiary cohorts through the whole length 
of the only exposed frontier. The north-eastern comer of 
the province, for the Romans did not care to occupy the pes- 
tilential marshes of the Dobrudscha, was also connected by 
a eoast^road with Byzantium on the Thraoian Bbsphorus.* 

But the emptiness of these charges can be more clearly 
^faown in the case of the dependent kingdom of Armenia, 

• TWc L 0.: ^'BepuUnte l%erio pttblSoim 8H>i odiam, extremam statem, 
mtgisqae fiana qnam tI vUf^ i«s iiiat." We shall seb reaoon at a later penod 
to believe that the ooTnmftnd of GsetulicuB was really fravght with danger to the 
imperial interests. 

• Taa Attn, fl. 66^ iv. 5. ; Appian, lUyriea^ 30. 

• Taa JBRtL L 76.— a. u. 828. a. d. 70, CJomp. Suet L a 
€hrcmd9 Chermns, p. 609. 

Digitized by 



which, accordmg to the tome authority, Tibaius 
BuiFered to be seized by the Parthians, and wrest- 
ed fmm the patronage of the empire. It appears, on the 
contrary, from the particular recital of Tacitus, that the 
bold occupation of this kingdom by Artabanus was imme- 
diately resented by the emperor with the energy of a younger 
man. Not only were the wild mountaineers of the Caucasus, 
the Iberians and Albanians, invited to descend upon the in- 
truders; nqt only were the sons of Phraates r^eased from 
their long detention at Rome, and directed to present them- 
selves on their native soil, and claim the allegiance of their 
father's subjects ; but a Roman general, L. Yftellius, a man 
of distinguished valour and experience, was deputed to lead 
the forces of Asia and Syria against the enemy; and while 
it was hoped that a vigorous demonstration would suffice to 
hurl him back from the territory in dispute, instructions were 
not withheld, it would appear, to push on if necessary, and 
smite the Parthians with the strong hand of the empire. 
But these combinations proved speedily successful. Arta- 
banus, already detested by many of his most powerful sub- 
jects, was compelled to descend from his throne, and take 
refuge in the fer wilds of Hyrcania ; while Tiridates, the son 
of Phraates, was aco^ted in his room. The army, which 
had crossed the Euphrates, returned victorious without strik- 
ing a blow, though, by a subsequent revolution, Artabanus 
was not long afterwards restored, and admitted, upon giving 
the required hostages, to the friendship of his lordly rivals.^ 
If Tibmus refrained from enlarging his em|jire by fresh 
conquests, he was not the less intent on consolidating the 
Thnoe, Csppar imwieldy mass by the gradual incorporation of 
rff *^ ^ the dependent kingdoms inclosed within its lim- 
^'ts. The contests between two rival brothers, Cotys and 
Rhascuporis, in Thrace, gave him a pretext for placing the 
fairest part of that country under the control of a Roman 
officer, thus preparing the way for its ultimatie annexation.* 

* Tac Ann, vi 81-37.; Joseph. ArUiq. xviii. 6. 

• Tac. Arm. il 67. 

Digitized by 


A. U. 790.] USfiEB THE £HnBX. 269 

On the death of Archdans, king of Cappadooia in 770, his 
cooBtry was declared a Boman prorince, and sttbjeoted to 
the rale of aa imperial procurator.^ At the same period the 
frontier kingdom of Ckmrniag^e 'vas jdaced under the goy* 
omment of a proprsetor.* Syria, the great stronghold of the 
Roman power in the £a8t, was «till ddrted by several tribu- 
tary IdngdomB or edmarchies, such as CShalcis, Emesa, Da- 
mascus, and Abilene; but the dependency of Judea, the 
wealthiest and proudest of all these Tassal states, had' been 
wrested under Augustus from the dynasty to whidx it had 
been entrusted, and was still subjected by his successor to 
the control of the proconsul at Antioch. 

Herod the Ch^at, on his death-bed, had sent his seal, to- 
gether with an ample present, to Augustus, in token of the 
entire dependence upon Rome in which he hdid ^ .^ ^ 
his donmuoDR This act of vassalaire procured puestine b«- 

twecn the sons 

him, periiaps, the ratification of the disposition of Herod the 
he had made of his territories between Archelaus, 
Herod Antipas, and Philippus. To the first was allotted the 
kingdom of Judea, including Samaria and Idumea, but with 
the loss of the cities of Gbiza, Gkdara, and Hippo, which 
were now annexed to- the government of Syria. To the sec* 
end feil the districts of Galikaa t6 the west, and Persea to 
the east of the Jordan; while the Trac]Mmitis,<Auranitis, 
and Ghinlonids formed with Ituri»a the tetrarchy of Philip, 
extdding northward to the borders df Damascus.' But the 
rival kinsmen were not satisfied with this division. Arche- 
laus and Antipas repaired to Rome to plead agsdnst one 
aDoiher; but while they were urging their suits before the 
tribunal d the senate, the provisional government which the 
Romans Ittd established in Judea was suddenly attadced on 
all ndes by bodies of armed insurgents. Th^ leaders, how- 
ever, were not men of rank or commanding influence, and 
the revolt was in no sense a national movement. It was 

* Tto. Ann. H. 42.; Dion, IriL 17.; Saet 7^. 2»,; Qtnho, zil p. 584. 

' Tao. Ann. IL 56. 

' Joseph. JtUiq, xviL 11. S ^ 

Digitized by 



speedily eroshed by Varus, then proconsul of Syria, the 
same who ten years afterwards perished so miserably in Ger- 
many, and punished with the atrocious severity too common-* 
ly employed in such cases.* Arohelaus, confirmed m his sov- 
ereignty, continued to reign in these lamentable auf^ioes in 
Judea. His subjects, still mindfid of the sons of 
bn^mc^of their beloved Mariamne, never regarded him 
with&voor; and it has been mentioned how they 
complained to Augustus of his tyranny, and obtained hi6 
removal from the throne. He was ^aUy sent into exile at 
Vienna in GauL 

The fall of Archelaus left the throne of Judea and Sama- 
ria without a direct claimant, and the emperor took the op- 
portunity of attachinsr them to the Roman domin* 

Judea annexed f-l«. ... ,, i.t 

totbeRomaa lous.' TMs aoqmsition was placed under the 
general administration of the proconsul of Syria, 
but governed more directly by an imperial procurator, wiio 
took up his abode at Csesarea Philippi Of the character of 
the new government we find no complaints even in the Jew- 
ish writers whose accoxmts of this period have been preserv- 
ed to us. Both Augustus and his successor appear to have 
instructed their officers to continue to respect the peculiar 
habits and prejudices of the Jews : ' whatever may have 
been the ordinary severities of iloman domination, it was 
not till the arrival of Pontius Pilatus, about the middle of 
the reign of Tiberius, that any special grievance was inflicted 
upon them. They complained that the new procurator oom- 
mencedbis career with a grave and wanton insult. He en* 
tered Jerusalem with standards flying, upon which, accord- 
ing to the usage of the time, the image of the emperor was 
displayed. The old religious feeling of the Jews agaiost 
norernihent of *^ representation of the human figure was rous- 
ronttuaKitu. ^^ ^o indignation: they remonstrated with the 

" Joseph. Bell, Jud. li. 5. ; ArUiq, xvil 10. 

* Fischer {JRam, Zai. a 169.) fixes the aiiDexati<Ai of the proTinoe to th« 
iMt half of this year. Comp. Dion, Iv. 27. ; Joseph. Anfiq. xviiL 2. 1. 

• Phllo, h^at, ad Cai^ Z1, 

Digitized by 


A. U. 790.] DNDUB THE EMPIEK 271 

procurator) nor would they listen to his excuse that the Ro- 
mans had their oustoms as well as the J^ws, and that the 
remoTal of the emperor's portrait feom, his ensigns by an 
officer of his own might be regarded as a crime agdnst his 
majesty* But if Tiberius was merdy the creature of the de- 
lators in his own capital, in the provinces he retained his 
good sense and independence. Perhaps it was by a special 
authcNTization firom him that Pilate consented to- withdraw 
the obnoxious images.^ Keyertheless, the Jews^ under the 
guidance of their priests, continned to watch every act* of 
his administration with inveterate jealousy, and when he 
ventured to af^y a portion of the temple Tevenues to the 
construction of an aqueduct for the supply of their city, 
broke out into violence which provoked him to severe meas- 
ures of repression. Mutual exasperation led probably to 
farther riots, followed by sanguinary punishments: the. gov- 
ernment of Pilate was chai:ged with cruelty and exaction, 
and at last the provincials addressed themselves to Vitellitis, 
the govenjor of Syria,' Nor were their expec- 
tations disappoint^ The proconsul required lAhmeniorPi- 
hia procurator to quit the province, and submit . 
bixmelf to the pleasure of the offended emperor. Tiberius, 
indeed^ was already dead before his arrival^ but the new 
mler attended without delay to his lieutenant's repiresenta- 
tions, and Pilate was dismissed with ignominy to Yienna.* 
From the oonfidence with which Tiberius was appealed to on 
a matter of such retnote concern, it would seem UmI the vig- 
ilance of his control was not generally relaxed even in the 
last moments of his life. 

WUle Judea and Samaria were thus annexed to the Ro^ 
man province, Galilee, and the outlining regions of Peraea (^ 
and L^urtoa, were still suffered to remain under (^yu^itton of 
Owar native rulers; and the dominions of the ^^o^ 
great Herod became, as we shall see, once more government. 

* JoMfihu.AnUq^Jud, xviil 4. 1,; BeH^JtuLu. 9. 3. 

* Joseph. AnHq, Jvd, xyili. 6. 2.: fcoi IlfAaroc, Sixa Ireatv dittrpliJHic M 
lovSaiovCt c*f T6fitpf fyrretyvrOy Taj£ 'Ovtre^^iov kvro^MCf ovk bv avretveiv. 

' Joseph. I c ; Euseb. BmL Eocl H. 7. 

Digitized by 



nnited transiently under a single sceptre at no distant period. 
If, however, we consider the condition of the Jewish provin- 
cials under the Roman &sces, we shall find reason to believe that 
it was fer from intolerable, and presented probably a change 
for the better from the tyranny of their own regal dynasties. 
Doubtless the national feeling, as ikr as it extended, was out- 
raged in its cherished prepossessions by the substitution of a 
foreign for a native domination. The nobles and the priests, 
who preserved and reflected this sentiment, and who suffered 
in consideration under foreign sway, fostered the prejudices 
of the people to the utmost, excited their discontent, &nned 
the flame of sedition, and then betrayed thdr clients to the 
sword of relentless executioners. It may be admitted that 
the fiscal exactions of the procurator were more uniformly 
rigid than those of Herod, whose remission of a lai^e por- 
tion of his people's taxes had gained him favour in the midst 
of his atrocities. Yet the amount of freedom and security 
enjoyed by the Jews under a Quirinius and a Pilate shows 
the general leniency of the Roman government at this period. 
The warm descriptions of provincial felicity by the Jewish 
authority Philo, which will be cited hereafter, may be colour- 
ed to suit a purpose, and it may be impossible to produce 
any distinct fisu5ts to support this general conjecture. Yet 
indications are not wsuiting in the writings of the Evange- 
lists, which contain, abstracted from their religious 8%nifi- 
cance, the most interesting record in existence of the social 
condition of antiquity, — ^fbr they alone of all our ancient doc- 
uments are the productions of men of the people, — <to show 
that the mass of the population of Judea was contented and 
comparatively happy under the rule of the Roman procura- 
tor.^ Such is the impression I receive from the representa- 
tions of conmion life in the Scriptures of the New Testament. 
The instances they allege of cruelty and injustice are drawn 
from the conduct of the Jews towards one another^ rather 

* These writings refer In point of time to the tniddle of the reign of Tiberius, 
The dates Yariously assigned for the Crucifixion range firom ▲. n. 27 to ▲. d. SB 
Clinton fixes it at a. d. 29, a. u. 782, the sixteenth year of "nberius. 

Digitized by 


A. U. 7900 U5I>BR THE EMWBE. 278 

than of the foreigner towards the native. The Scribe and the 
Pharisee are held up to odium or contempt, not the minister 
of police or the instrument of government. The Romans 
are regarded in them as the protectors of the people against 
their domestic tyrants. The duty of paying them tribute is 
urged as the proper price of the tranquillity they maintain ; 
their fiscal officers are spoken of with forbearance ; their sol- 
diers are cited as examples of thoughtful toleration ; the vice 
of the provincial ruler is indifference and tmbelief rather 
than wanton violence; and the tribunal of the emperor him- 
self is ^pealed to as the last resort of injured innocoice. 
The fi«edom of movem^it enjoyed by the subjects of Rome, 
the permission so fdUy allowed them of passing from town 
to town, from frontier to frontier, of assembling together for 
social and religious objects, of flocking in crowds into the 
city or the wilderness, at the call of popular leaders or 
preachers, all indicate a state of peisoDAl liberty which 
might be envied throughout the continent of Europe at the 
present day.* 

' It may be said perhaps that this indolgenoe was owmg to the want of 
means of lepreaBion rather than of ^e deebe to repress. The hnperfecttons of 
Che pollee of the einpire, from the dendemess of hs mflitary force, were com- 
t»eB0ated by the severity of ito piudBlBnerita.' 
VOL. v.— 18 

Digitized by 





Eicorrr. — stalls under pispleasurb of tiberius, and is arrssied.~on the 

THE EMPEROR, (a. D. 87-40. A. U. 790-798.) 

THE 8011 of Philip, king of Macedon, could find among 
the free citizens of the Grecian republics no youth of 
, , . , equal rank to compete with him in the frames of 
edncatod at Olympia, and the heir of an Augustus or Tibenus 
might already disdain the companionship of the 
children of Roman knights and senators. But the capital of 
the world was now frequented by the scions of many royal 
&inilies. The children of dependent sovereigns, invited to 
receive a Roman education, were retained there as pledges 
for their parents' fidelity ; the pretenders to disputed thrones 

Digitized by 


A.U. 790] UNDER THB EMPIRE. 21 1 

were encouraged to lay their claims before the emperor in 
person, and allowed to wait year after year for his final de- 
termination. A distingnished society of royal hirth was 
thus CoUected together in the centre of republican equality, 
objects of remark and interest to those aroimd them, to 
whom they communicated the ideas in which they had them- 
selves been bred quite as &8t as they imbibed the notions of 
tlieir conquerors. 

The awe with which these illustrious strangers might at 
first regard the institutions of their mighty mistress would 
naturally abate upon closer acquaintance with them. They 
found the Romans profoundly dissatisfied with the noble 
polity of their ancestors, discarding one by one the guaran- 
tees of their ancient freedom, and abandoning themselves to 
an ignorant admiration of the hollow splendour of Oriental 
despotism. What remained of the equal laws to which the 
vital ferces of the conquering republic had been ascribed, 
appeared to their closer examination a mere shadow and pre- 
tence. Unable to appreciate the real energy which still 
moved under these antiquated forms, and the influence his 
old traditions still practically exerted upon the Roman 
citizen, they learnt to look with complacent disdain upon 
the names of the senate and people. The Roman nobles, on 
the other hand, notwithstan^g the public and official con- 
tumely with which they treated the most illustrious of their 
subjects, did not fail to admire, in their hearts, with a blind 
reverence, the social presoripiions of eastern civilieation, and 
were not slow to acquire, under the tuition of these gallant 
kings and princes, a glowing interest in the forms of Oriental 

In this circle of distinguished foreigners the dynasties of 
Thrace and Cappadocia, of Egypt, Syria and Armenia, were 
all represented. But none among them were at ^^^^ 
this time so conspicuous as the members of the ^ncatedat 
family of Herod the Judean, some of whom were 

" Hot. Sai, I 3.12.: " Modo rcgcfl atque trctrarchos, Omnia magna loqnena.*^ 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


domiciled for many years at Rome, and admitted to the 
most intimate acquaintance with the princes of the Osdsarean 
house. The imperial city was in fact at this period the 
common asylum of ^nany imfortunate princes who would 
in their own country have been e^osed to certain destruo- 
tion from the horrid precautions of dynastic jealousy. I 
have Hot paused to enumerate precisely the members of his 
own family whom the tyrant of Judea had successively put 
to death. For many years his own children had been 
screened £rom his fury by the shadow of the imperial palace : 
when at last they had been restored, at his instance, to their 
native soil, they had been led speedily to the scaffold before 
the eyes of their indignant countrymen. But Augustus had 
again interfered to Save the nK)n6ter's grandchildlreA* Hero- 
deSj the son of Aristobulus, to whom the name of Agrippa 
had been given in compliment to the emperor's fiietid and 
minister, had been removed to Borne soon after his fiither's 
death, and with him his mother Berenice, and 

His mother , ' 

Bereaic© nod his elder sister Herodias.^ These children united 

BlBter Herodlas ,,, i-, .i«>i -.-»*•. 

the blood of the rivals Salome and Maruunne : 
tlieir nearest kinsmen had perished by the hands of the exe- 
cutioner, and the dominions which should luive descended 
to their father Aristobulus and his brother Alexander had 
been divided amoiig their tmcles, the offspring of their 
grandfather's later marriages. At Rome, however, they had 
been received with kindness. Antonia, the daughter of the 
triumvir, might remember the intimacy which had subristed 
between her father and Herod, and she introduced the 
grandchildren of the king of Judea to the society of her own 
ofispring by Drusus.' Herod Agrippa, bom in the year 743, 
was but one year older than Claudius, the youngest of her 
children, with whom he was bred up in the closest intimacy. 

* Josepb, AnUq, Jttd, xviil 6. 3. : rbv 'Aypl^rirav , . . Oaiftaroc a^t^rarov 
yeyevijfihfcv, df l/c 7r<iw Idi^rov^ mi irapa iraaccv 66^av ruv eiddruv avrbv^ inX 
roa6vdt rjv^ifin Swdiuoc, xviii 7. 1. : Upddov rov PaaiXiuc b2uyov irob t^ 
rcXevn^f 'Aypinirag kv r^ *l?6fiy duuT&jizvoQ, 

• Joseph. Antiq, Jttd, xyiiL 7. 1. 

Digitized by 


A. U. 790. J UliDER THE JiiMPIBE. 277 

Both Herod and his sister inherited the ambitious spirit oi 
their h<>iii5e. Upon the disgrace of Archelaus, and the va* 
eancy of the throne of Jndea, they might hope, through 
their interest with the mlers of the empire, to recover that 
portion of their ancestral inheritance. Notwithstanding, 
however, their intrigues and aspirations, the imperial gov- 
ermtteut still retained its new acquisition, and showed no 
diq[MMitio& to reUnqoidi it. All their views were now co- 
vertly directed to saving some inferior provinceor principality 
from the wreck of their ;grandsire's sovereignty. But the 
schemes of the sister were thwarted by the indolence of her 
husband Philippus, while the golden hopes still cherished by 
the brother could only be revealed in the royal magnificence 
he displayed in a private station. The liberality with which 
he courted the chiefs of Borne, and led the career of prodi- 
gality among tixem, soon exhausted his resources and plunged . 
him into desperate embarrassments. Nor could he retrieve 
his affidrs by flattery of the emperor, for Tiberius, after the 
death of Drusus, refused to see any of the young prince's 
companions, whose presence would have renewed his sorrow. 
Philippus, the despised husband of Herodias, was a son 
of Herod the Great by a second Mariamne, who had easily 
resigned himself to the obscure privacy which, 
on aocoiint, perhaps, of his acknowledged imbe- t«ch^ him»eif 
cility of character, had been assigned him on the 
division of his fisther's fortunes. The union of an uncle and 
a nieoe was abhorrent to Boman notions, and these, we may 
suppose, were still more oflended when Herodias, impatient 
at the restraint imposed upon her by a consort she disdained, 
and solicited at the same time in marriage by another imcle, 
AntipaSy presumed to repudiate Philippus by her own act, 
and unite herself with his half-brother.' Nevertheless, the 
favour of the imperial family now smoothed the way before 
her. She returned with her new husband to Samaria, the 
province which had been erected into a sovereignty in his 

' Joeeph. Aniiq, JueL xriiL 6. 4. : Itti avyxvcei fpoviaaaa tuv iraTptup. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


favour, and obtained a subordinate appointment for hei 
brother as governor of the city of Tiberias. But Agrippa 
did not long remain satisfied with this inferior positicm. The 
compassion of friends and kinsmen furnished Mm with Amds 
for recommencing his career of politic extravagance at Borne, 
to which spot in the decline of the reigning emperor, he once 
more betook himself* He threw himself with renewed ftay 
vour into the pleasures and dissipations of his imperial pi^ 
trons, drew' off gradually from his early associate, the stupid 
and neglected Claudius, in whose prospects there was little 
to encourage him, and having to choose for an ally betwe^i 
the grandson and the grand-nephew of Tiberius, shrewdly 
attached himself to the latter.* Agrippa was twice the age 
of the stripling Caius : intelligent and active, and well versed 
in men and affairs, he soon acquired unbounded ascendency 
over the young prince, now trembling in the uncertainty of 
his own fortunes, and oscillating between the brightest hopes 
of power and the direst apprehensions. To Caius such a 
friend and mentor as the Jewish chief was invaluable. With 
Agrippa he passed the hours he could steal ftom. the exacting 
jealousy of his uncle ; from him he learnt the customs of the 
East and the simple machinery of Asiatic despotism, and im- 
bibed a contemptuous disgust at the empty forms of the Re- 
public, which served only, as he might in his blind inexperi- 
ence imagine, to impede the march of government, while 
they contributed nothing to its security. He saw the loath- 
ed and abject Tiberius cowering in terror before a senate 
more abject in its terrors than himself, hiding his person frx)m 
the sight of his subjects, feeling his way before evety step, 
and effecting every end by intrigue and circumvention; 
while the petty lord of a Syrian plain or watercourse was 
every inch a king ; while in the little town of Samaria, as he 

' Joseph. ArUiq. Jud, xriiL *I, 8. : &x^^ ^ 'Ake^avdpeioQ irXiuv Ma 
AXe^dvdpov deiTcu tov A^apdpxou /tvpiddac elxoffi ddveia aimf dovvai. In 
this and other enterprises Agrippa was asdsted bj the good sereices of his wiTq 
Cyprus, the daughter of Fhasael, a brother of Herod the Great 

• Joseph. Antiq. Jud, rvUL 7. 4. 

Digitized by 


k. U. 190.] UNDER THE EMPIRE. 279 

heard, every word of the tetrarch was obeyed without re- 
monstTande or hesitatioiL 

But it was not in the Bimplieity of their despotic author- 
ity oolj that the sorereigns of the East so far transcended, 
he was assured, the princes and imperators of the He inflames iiii 
rival hemisphere. Their wealth was more abun- ^Sf^J^. 
dant, for all the possessions of their subjects were SiSdSSr^^f** 
held only in dependenoe upon them; their splen- i«n»^«». 
dour was more dasding, for thirty generations of autocrats 
had striven to exoel one another in the arts of magnificence 
and display. The capitals of the Oriental monarchs far ex- 
ceeded in beauty and oonyenience the mass of dark and 
smoky cabins, in which the conquerors of the world were 
still doomed to burrow. But of all the cities of the East 
none equalled Jerusalem in splendour.' The great Herod 
had adorned it with buildings, the magnificebce of which 
outshone anything that could yet be seen at Rome. His 
theatres and gymnasiums, his forums and colonnades, were 
of the oostliest materials and the noblest proportions. The 
precincts of the temple, which he rebuilt upon the holiest of 
Jewish sites, and enlarged with an outer court of much 
greater dim^isions, might have contained all the £mes of 
Rome toge^er. For fifty years marble had been piled upon 
marble in constructing it.* It occupied the whole summit 
of the hill of Moriah, next to Zion the most prominent quar- 
ter of the city, and rising upon enormous substructions from 
the deep valleys beneath, seemed Hke one immense citadel, 
the Capitol of the Jewish nation.' On the rival summit of 

* Piiny (ITist, Kai, v. 14.) calls Jerusalem, " longc clarissima urbium Orienr 
Ua, ncm Judsra modo ;^* refening, it may be supposed, to its external splendour 
rather than to its historic fiune. Although this writer maj be suspected of a 
wish to flatter his patrons Vespasian and Titos, its conquerors, his glowing lan- 
guage is floffidenilj borne out by Josephus, Strabo, and Tacitus. 

' Jof^>hiiB dates the commencement of the third temple from the dghteenth 
year of ^rod*8 idgn, Juir. ^84^ b. 0. 20, and it was not yet fhUy completed. 
Joseph. AnUq, Jud, xr. 11. 1., zx. 9. 7.» 

• Strabo, xtL 2. p. 768,; Tac BitL t. 12. : "Templum fa modum ards.'* 
Jo9q>h. Bdl. Jud, v. 5., rl 6. 

Digitized by 



Mount Zion, tlie highest elevation in Jerusalem, was planted 
the royal residence ; no modest mansion for the most emi 
nent of Roman senators, but a palace worthy of the name, 
an abode befitting an Oriental potentate, erected not by the 
contributions of the populace, but by confiscation of the es- 
tates of the great and powerful of the land. Sorronnded 
with lofty walls and towers, springing, like the temjde, from 
the depths of the gorges beneath, containing yast halls and 
ample corridors, its courts filled with trees and grass-plots, 
with reservoirs, fountains, and running streams, it was a pal- 
ace, a villa, and a fortress all in one.^ Zion and Moriah j&tced 
each other across the deep and narrow trench of the . Tyro- 
pcBon, and the temple and palace were connected by a bridge 
or oauseway, across which the sovereign marched above the 
heads of his subjects, as the sun passes in the heavens £ix>m 
cloud to cloud. If the kin^s of Judea had abstained as yet 
from claiming the title of divinity, from regard to the fan- 
tastic scruples of their people, such at least was the honour 
to which the Eastern potentates might generally pretend, 
and such, should he ever be restored to authority in his na- 
tive land, Agrippa himself already meditated to assume. 
n^ tbe B«r The slaves of Asia adkno wledged their sover^gns 
lovereigzu. as the solc fountains of life and property ; they 
regarded them as above the law or beside the law ;. no privi- 
leged ranks and classes of men, no traditions and prescrip- 
tions of accustomed usage, stood between them and their 
arbitrary caprices ; uncles and nieces, brothers and sisters, 
sons and mothers might marry at their wiQ: ' to the multi- 
tude they held in fact the place of Gods upon earth ; to deny 
them the title might seem mere senseless prudery. 

Josepti. BelL Jud, ▼. 4. 4. 
' The steadfast abhorrence of Uie Romans for these irregularities is ooc d 
the finest traits id their character Comp. Lucan, Phart, viil 397. : 

'^Nom harbara nobis 
Est ignota 7enus? . . , Epulis vesana meroquo 
R^ Don oHoB exoeptos logibus horret 
Concubitus •*..*' 

Digitized by 


A.U.790.] UNDER THS EHPIBB. 281 

Such was the soTereignty of which Agiippa talked, and 
aach, when the associates conversed together on the future 
Buocesfiion to the principaie of Tiberius, was the , • 

^ ^ 1^ 1- xif ' \ Influence of 

fioyereigiity to which the youii^ aspirant wad en- these oriental 
couraged to look. We shall laraee throughout 
the Jnief career of Caius, the- first despot or sorere^n prince 
of Borne, the influence of the ideas which his friend thus 
opened to him. We are arriyed at a period when the per- 
sonal character of their ruler has come to exercise a decisive 
influence on the sentim^ats no leas than on the welfsure of the 
Roman people, and throngh them of the world at large. It 
becomes the more important thereibre to note the conditions 
under which that character was formed. Since the over- 
throw of the renegade Antonius,.Rome had enjoyed a respite 
from the invasion of Asiaitic principles and notions. Augus- 
tas had set up bulwarks against them which Tiberias had 
not £uled to tespect : it i*emained for the puerile selfishness 
of Gaiilis, under tuition of the wily foreigner, to introduce 
into the city an dement of disunion more fatal to her polity 
and manners than the arms of Jt triumvir or the edicts of an 
imperator.- The prostitution of personal dignity by self- 
display in the theatre and circus ; the assumption of the di- 
vine charMter, to the utter destruction of all remaining 
sense of religion ; excessive extravagance in shows and build- 
ings ; indulgence of self and indulgence of the pc^ulace, 
together with savage oppression of the nobler classes ; un- 
stinted gratification of brutal ferocity ;-^all these are attri- 
butes of Oriental sovereignty, which Caius was first of the 
Roman emperors to exercise, buit in which some of his suc- 
ecasors rioted, if possible, even more fi;iriously than himsel£ 
Oaius, now in the nuddle of hk twenty-fifth year, was by 
nature more impressible than was usual with his hard and 
prosaic countrymen.^ The poetical and riietori- 
cal exercises to which he had been directed, with- both in mind 
out the compensating influence of severer train- " 

^ Dioa notes that Gains at the moment of llberiiifl's death wanted fivt 
months and foor days to complete bis twenty-fifth year. lix. 6. 

Digitized by 



ing, which had been tinldndly withheld from him, had im- 
parted perhaps a certain flacddity to his character, confirmed 
by the enervating yolnptnoasness in which he had been 
steeped from his cradle. His constitution W2is weakly. Ic 
childhood he had been subject to fits, and though he ont> 
grew this tendency, and learnt to bear fatl^e of body, he 
was not unfreqnently seized with sudden fiiintings. Early 
indulgence in every caprice, and prematura dissiimtion, had 
strained his nerves and brain, till at last a temperament nat- 
urally excitable, and harassed by constant fever, seemed al- 
ways to tremble on the verge of deUrium. It was said of 
him, at least in his later years, that he never slept for more 
than three hours together. Through the weary darkness of 
the night he would toss in restless agitation on his bed, or 
pace with hurried and unequal strides the long resounding 
corridors, shouting impatiently for the dawn. ' His dreams 
were wild and terrible, and in his waking visions his mind 
seemed ever on the stretch with the vastness of its shadowy 
images, in which he £mcied he beheld the great Spirit of the 
Ocean, and engaged in converse with him. Hie might and 
majesty of the Caesarean empire, as of a Titan that defied 
the Gods, inflamed his perturbed imagination, his concep- 
tions expanded like the welling visions of a dream, and his 
grasp of power was a fitful struggle to realixe a stok man^s 

While the germs of this unhappy temperamient; so pitia- 
ble in a private man, so fearful in a ruler, were stiU underel- 
Agripjpa Rr- opcd in his youthfiil frame, deep must have been 
bSrinlwdM- ^^^ charm to Caius of his conversations with 
iowMiOTof* -A^grippa, which revealed to him glimpses of a 
^^^^^ yet unknown world of splendour and enjoyment. 

But they were dangerous, as indeed every step, word, and 
look in his position was &BXLght with danger. It happened 

' Saei CkUiff, 50.: ''Yaletude ei neqae corporis neqae animi constiUU 
Puer comitiali morbo yexatus, &c : mentis yaletudinem et ipse senserat . . . 
indtabttor insomnia mozime; noqoe eaim plus qoam tribus noctuniis horia 
quiosoebaV &c 

Digitized by 

Google . 

A. U. 790.] UNDER THB EMPIRE 283 

that the firiends were one day taking the air together in a 
carriage, irhen the Jndean took occasion to express his hope 
that no long time wonld elapse before the realization of their 
oheriahed widies ; that the sceptre would soon drop from the 
grasp of the aged emperor, and be plaoed in the hands of his 
nephew. But the charioteer listened as he drove, and re- 
pented the conTersation to Tiberias. Agrippa was sudd^y 
arrested and placed in confinement, where he remained, xm« 
heard and untried, for the six months which intervened be> 
fore the emperor's final illness. Caius trembled at this dis- 
grace, the prelude, as he might anticipate, to his own, and 
redoubled the servile com;j^nces with which he paid court 
to the tyrant. Antonia, whose influence was still in the as- 
cendant, averted the dai^er frcnn her grandson, and suc- 
ceeded in softening in some degree the rigour of Agrippa's 
c^tivity.^ Tiberius was getting visibly weaker. The min- 
iates <^ the imperial tyranny were on the watch, and at 
every symptom of his end approaching made some relaxation 
in their treatment of the prisoners, who at his death might 
suddenly be restored to liberty and power. The friends of 
Agrippa were not, it seems, prevented from visiting him, and 
Bome there were who wei^ not afraid of doing so. One day 
a freedman entered his chamber with an air of mysteiy, and 
whispered in his ear in the Jewish language, the lAon is 
dead,* It seems that the premature report of the emperor's 
death had reached him. The captive understood his mean- 
ing, and cried aloud with joy. When the centurion who 
guarded him was admiUed to a knowledge of the secret, he 
urged his prisoner to take a seat at his own table, and cele- 
brate with festivity the event .from which they both antici- 
pated his speedy deliverance. But suddenly the news ar- 
rived of the emperor's unlooked-for recovery. He had quit- 
ted his residence, it was added ; he had summoned his at- 
tendants; he was already on his way to Rome. Dire was 

> JoMph. AnHq. ML xrfii 1. S. 

• JoMph. AnHq. JwL xviii. 7. 10. : ewreifca^ i^f^avrl^ y^^MJO^Tf 'BfipaU 

Digitized by 



the consternation in the prison, as at the same moment in the 
palaca The pleasant party was rudely broken np. Trem- 
bling for the consequences of his imprudence, the centurion 
sought to compensate by redoubled yiolence for the indul- 
gence he had shown his prisoner. He loaded Agrippa with 
chains, and threatened him loudly with death. The confir* 
mation of the first report came opportunely to restore his 
equanimity, and to allow Agrippa to profit by the order 
which soon arrived firom Cains for his release. 

But the alarm which had been excited by the premature 
announcement of the tyrant's decease was not uniyersally 
allayed by this confirmation of the eyent. Too 
5*'nwiu«s^ many still feared that it was only a devioe to dis- 
SjjrS2&**' ooyer the real sentiments of the people, and sub- 
^SSt Mm. J®^ *^ * bloody punishment all who should ven- 
ture to give utterance to the general satisfiustion* 
Some condenmed victims were awaiting in prison the expira- 
tion of the ten days' respite which the law allowed them ; 
and it was believed, we are assured (such was the horror of 
the times), that when the death of Tiberius was announced, 
the gaolers, either refusing to credit it, or in de&uH of au- 
thority for . refraining, consigned those whose term had ar- 
rived, in spite of their cries and obtestations, to the hands 
of the executioner.^ There is reason, indeed, to believe, that 
this atrocity, a parallel to which has actually occurred in 
modem times, was merely a popular invention : but the re- 
port served to exonerate still more the fury of the multi- 
tude, which, on the assurance that the lion was really dead, 
burst out into wild exclamations of disgust and hatred. ^ 
berhu^ to the Tiber, they cried, and called, it is said, fi:>r the 
hook and ropes to drag the body to the Gemoni» taid to the 
river, that the goddess Earth and the spirits of the buried 

' Suet. wHft. 75. This i tory, which is given as a popular rumouE, is opposed 
to the express dedaration of Dion (lyiii 27.X that, on the first oocorrenoe of Ti- 
berias*s iUnees, the condemned were requited to await the eweai, and is nol en- 
titled to much credit. The parallel case alluded to is that of the last Tictinif 
of Robespierrer 

Digitized by 


A. JJ. 190,] UNDER THE EMPIBE. 285 

miglit not receive it into their holy keeping.^ fiat this ebul- 
lition of feeling, if it has been truly represented to us, was 
not lasting : a calmer expression of popular disapprobation, 
which demanded that the remains should be hastily con- 
sumed at a distance, and not brought to Rome at aU, was 
also q)eedily overruled ; and it was left to the senate to de- 
cide, with the consent of the new chief of the state, how the 
body of the lato emperor should be disposed of^ and how his 
memory should be treated^* 

If the populace of the dty really entertained any vehe- 
ment dislike of their late mler, it was not for his cruelty, by 
which they had been little affected, but for the TheirmorTi. 
ongenial austerity of his government, at which JSJSIbjtte 
they had long repined, and which they might •*"*■**• 
erpect to give way, under the sway of a gay and gallant 
youth, to an era of festivities and amusements; The senate, 
which had &r more reason to hate the patron of Sejanus and 
the delators, comported itself at least with decent gravity. 
The announcement of the emperor's actual decease was 
brought to the &thers by Macro, in a letter from Caius. He 
was commissioned to present to them at the same time the 
testament of Tiberius : but while he desired in his new mas- 
ter's name that all the posthumous honours formerly as- 
signed to Augustus, the public funeral, the confirmation of 
his acts, and the deification, should now be decreed to his 
successor, he declared that the dying man's disposition of his 
patrimony was the act of an incapable dotard, and required 
that it should be solemnly annulled. The legal validity of 
this instrument, as we have seen, could extend only to the 

' Suet L 0.: **Ut pftrs, Tiberium in l^berim, damittreDt : pan Terrain 
aatrem, Beofluae Manes oranot^ ne mwtuo sedem idlam, niai inter impios, 

' Tlie people demanded that the body should be consmned in the amphi- 
theatre at Atdla, the pnblic place nighest at hand, instead of bemg brou^t to 
Bome; ako that it should be MmtufteZoAmi, scorobed and not burnt decentl/ 
to ashes, as was -jsual with the cheap and hurried obsequies of blayes and crim- 

Digitized by 



private property of the testator ; but all felt how strong a 
claim it would constitute to a division of political sover^ 
eignty, and Macro might, perhaps, actually represent to the 
senators how incongruous it was to give a presumptive right 
"to the empire to a stripling like the young Tiberius, who had 
not yet readied the age which entitled him even to a seat in 
their assembly.* The late emperor's wish to make his grand*^ 
son and grand-nephew joint-heirs of all the property oi 
power he might be able to bequeath was too generally known, 
perhaps, to admit of the suppression o£ his testament ; but 
Macro was assured of the &vour in which the child of Ger- 
manicus was held by the people, and he counted on certain 
means of overcoming whatever reluctance the Others might 
have to cancel it.' The rush, indeed, of the populaoe into 
the Curia decided and hastened their resolution. The will 
was set aside ; a public funeral was appointed ; but the con- 
sideration of further honours for the deceased was postponed 
to a decree by which all the functions and dignities of em- 
pire were at once conferred upon Oaius.' 

Full of anxiety at the fortunes which were about to open 
upon him, the young emperor placed himself at the head of 

' The idea that the two princes were left co-heirs of the empire was strongly 
Impressed upon the minds of all our Greek authorities. See Dion, lix. 1. ; Philo, 
Lcff, ad Cat. 4. Josephus sajs that Tiberius recommended his grandson to Caius 
as his associate in power. 

* Dioojlix. 1. 

' Suet Cahff, 14. This biography is headed in the editions of Saetonins 
with the name of Caligula, and I refer to it under that title : but it should be 
remarked that Suetonius in his text always calls this prince Caius or Caius 
Csesar, and such is the appellation given him imiformly by Tacitus, Seneca, and 
Pliny, as well as the Greek writers generally. I need not say that such is also 
his designation od medals. Aurelius Victor, in his trifling abridgment of his- 
tory, is perhaps the first writer who pves him the name of Oaligula. Thisi, •■ 
has been mentioned, was a mere nickname of the camp, and though It coo* 
tinned current there, the emperor himself always resented it: "Neo impune 
cessit primipilario clood Calignlam dixerat" Senec. de OontLSap, 18. The 
later acceptance of the name is doe perhaps to the caretesa fp^^mrifttt, who 
wished to layo tbemselTes trouble in distinguishing between the rarious OoBeara 
who bore the prsonomcn of Caius. 

Digitized by 


A.U.790.] UNDEB THE EMPIRE. 287 

the mourning procession which condncted the re- 

mams of Tibenns from Midcnum to Home. The ue obcMmuies 

people streamed forth from the towns on the way 
and from the city itself to meet him, as the leader of a tri- 
ani]dial rather than of a funeral pageant. Along the road- 
side altars were decked for sacrifice, and steamed with in- 
cense ; torches Uazed and flowers were strown in profusion 
before him. Every joy and blessing were invoked upon his 
heady and Toices were heard throughout the crowd address- 
ing him with the most endearing appellations.^ In the uni- 
versal delight and. anticipation of good days to come, the 
Climes and injuries of the dead tyrant were forgotten, and 
to the execution of the decree in his honour no resistance 
was offered, Though basking in the sunshine of popular fa^ 
vour, the behaviour of the young aspirant, for he could 
hardly yet feel secure of hii^ position, was measured and dis- 
creet. As chief mourner at the imperial obsequies, he pro- 
nounced a funeral oration, the tone of which was sober and 
moderate, respectful alike to the deceased and to his people, 
nor unaccompanied with a decent tribute of tears. From the 
merits of Tiberius he turned with warmer enthusiasm to the 
exploits of Augustus and Germanicus, and traced to those 
sainted heroes of his line his own personal claims to the re- 
gard of the Boman people. From the forum the body was 
carried with the proper ceremonies to, the Campus Martius 
for cremation, and the ashes finally enshrined in the Csesar- 
ean mausoleum.' At the close of the solemnities, Caius pre- 
sented himself in the senate-house, and addressed the fathers 
and others there assembled in a speech full of flattery and 
submissiveness. He declared himself the child or ward o^ 
the senators, prepared to share with them the toils and pleas- 
ures of office, and to guide all his actions according to their 
wise direction.' "Nor did he &il to assilme a tone of regret 

* Suet CaUff. 13. : " Super fiiusta omina sidus, et p illam, et pupom ot 
almnniim appdlanteft.'* 

* finer. CaSg. 16.; Dioo, iTiii 28., lix. 8. 

* Dion, lix. 6. 


zed by Google 


at being unable to accomplish the xate emperor's wishes with 
regard to his infant grandson. At his tender f/earSy he said^ 
he stands yet in need of tutors, teachers^ and guardians : btet 
ItoiU be more than tiOoTy teacher, or guardian to him f 1 
toiU be his father, <md he shall be to meets a son.^ At the 
same time he scmpolously executed the will of Tiberius in 
every other particular. It comprised liberal donations to 
the praetorians and t6 the citizens generally: the former he 
doubled, the latter he increased by the sum which had been 
promised but never paid them, on his own assumption of thr 
toga, together with the interest accruing. Nor were the po- 
lice of, or the legions beyond the bounds of Italy, 
forgotten in this prudent liberality, which was still further 
enhanced by the payment of the bequests of livia, which 
her parsimonious son had neglected to carry into effect.* 
For this and still greater profusion ample provision was 
found in the treasures accumulated by Tiberius, the sum of 
which was differently stated by the authorities of the day, 
but which, on the estimate of Suetonius, which is not the 
Iiighest, may have amounted to twenty-one millions of our 

Nor were the liberal acts of the new emperor confined to 
this promiscuous munificence in gifts and largesses. He is- 
ubewicondnct ^^®^ ^ general pardon to the occupants of the 
of the n«w em- imperial prisons, and recalled the banished from 
their exile. The informations and pretended evi- 
dence relating to the treasonable practices which had been 
imputed to his mother and brothers, he burnt publicly in the 
forum, declaring at the same time that he had abstained from 
perusing them, and had not acquainted himself even with the 
names of the delators.* When a paper was presented to him 

* Philo. leg, ad Cm. 4. : iyo) <J^, ^^, Traidayuyovc koX 6tdaffK6Xovc kcU ori- 
TpSfTOvc iirepP&Xdv, kfuxvrbv f/dij ypd^ iraripa^ vlov 6^ hicdvov, 

' Suet Tib. 51. ; Ca%. 16. ; Dion, liz. 2. 

* Saet CaBg, 87.: "Totom illud Tiberii Csesaris Tides 80 sepUes miOiee 
sesterdum." SeBstcrtia 27 x 100,000 = 2,700,000 = at 8i. the seBtertlum, 
21,600,000^ « Dion, Ux. 6. 

Digitized by 


A.U.790.] UNDER THE EMPIRE. 289 

which pnrported to divulge an intrigue against him, he re- 
jected it with the exclamation that he had given cause of 
offence to no man.' He proscribed the most in^mous minis- 
ters of vice, the creatures of the worst of the nobles, and as 
it was reported of Tiberius himself expelling them indig- 
nantly from the city, and was with difficulty dissuaded from 
throwing them into the sea. The writings of Labienus, 
Cremutius, and Cassius Sevems, which the senate had sup- 
pressed, were at his instance restored to circulation : it was 
for the interest, he declared, of every good prince that his- 
tory should be written and read. He published the accounts 
of the state, after the example of Augustus, an example 
wlncb Tiberius from indolence or reserve had neglected to 
follow. As r^arded the judicial functions of the emperor, 
the beliaviour of Caius was eminently popular, in abolishing 
the appeal to himself from the tribxmal of the superior mag- 
istrates. Into the means and cbaracter of the senators he 
made no invidious inquisition; they had suffered enough 
under the Tiberian persecutions: but he revised strictly, 
though with no undue severity, the roll of the equestrian 
order, enriching it with the addition of many new members 
fit)m the wealthiest classes of Italy and the provinces; and 
he added a fifth decuria to the bench of juices, which waa 
overburdened with its duties. Under his auspices many pro- 
vincial communities received the gifb of Roman citizenship.* 
The heir of the Drusi attempted, as Suetonius expresses it, 
to revive the Comitia for the election of magistrates ; but his 
magnanimous policy was defeated by the indifference of the 
nobles to public office, for the candidates, it seems, were sel- 
dom more numerous than the places, or if a greater number 
at any time offered, they contrived to come to a private ar- 
rangement among themselves.' The centuries convened for 

* Suet CaRg. 15. : " CJontendens, nihil »ibi admigsum <w cuiquani Invisufi 

• See Agrippa'9 speech in Philo, leg. ad CaL c 36. : i>ihjv iyluv KOTpidai 

* Suet CaSff. 16. : ''Tentavit et comitiorum more reyocato sufflagia populo 
B8 TOL. v. — 19 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


the election found they had nothing to do, but go through 
the empty forms and disperse. After two years' trial, Caius 
resumed the plan of direct nomination recommended to Him 
by his predecessors, and as far as the real substance went, 
the usage of popular election was finally suppressed. Such, 
together with the remission of the percentage on sales in 
Italy, an impost which, though trifling in its amount, seemed 
to trench on the cherished immunity of the conquering race, 
and many acts of liberality to individuals, were the benefi- 
cent measures which ushered in the reign of the new empe- 
ror.* Btts piety towards his own relations was not less con- 
spicuous, nor did it serve less to recommend him to the re- 
gard of the citizens. Lnmediately aft^ his first appearance 
in the senate, he hastened, amidst the prayers ftnd vows of 
the people — ^for the weather was tempestuous — ^to seek in 
person the ashes of his mother and brother in their desolate 
islands. Having collected these august remains, and care- 
fiilly inumed them, he conveyed them in his own arms to 
Rome, ascending the river from Ostia with funeral pomp, and 
laid them in the imperial ipausoleum, appointing at the same 
time an annual service in memory of the deceased. The 
name of the month of September he changed to Germanicus, 
an alteration which was not destined to survive him, and 
conferred upon Antonia, through a decree of the senate, all 
the distinctions which the piety of Tiberius had before as- 
signed to Livia.* Claudius, who had hitherto been left in the 
obscurity of the equestrian rank, he invited to assume the 
consulship in conjunction with himself, and saluted the young 

reddere." Dion no doubt expresses a common and probably a just (eeling of 
the i^judiciousDesss of this attempted concession of political rights to a people 
who seemed Incapable of using them discreetly : tovc cT ifi^povac iXwn^oro, 
t%oyi(fafthwK iri idtv M rdic iroXXoic cd hpxaX aiOtc yhuvrcu .... iroTJka ko^ 
ietv^ avftpifftrat, lix. 9. Comp. Veil ii 124., cited above. 

' Them acts, which all belong to an early period in this reign, have been 
here brought together in one view, though some of them may date, perhaps, in 
its second year. The revival of the Gomitia was made in 791 : the first consul^ 
ibip of Caius was assumed without any pretence of election. 

• Dion, lix, 8. 

Digitized by 


A. U. 790.] UNDER THE EMPIRE. 291 

nberius, on the day of his claimiDg the toga, with the title 
of Prince of the Roman Youth. His natural sensibility 
prompted him, farther, to demand honours for his three sis- 
ters, a thing imheard of under the Roman commonwealth. 
It was ordained that the sacramental oath of the citizens to 
the emperor should contain the words, Iioill not hold mi/self 
nor my oum children dearer than Caius Cceaar and his sis^ 
terSy and that every motion of the consuls in the senate 
should conclude with the invocation of a blessing upon him 
and them together.* All these measures were accepted with 
unbounded delight by the jubilant populace. When Caius 
assumed, at the instance of the senate, the collective honours 
of the empire, he had insisted on making a single exception, 
declining with the modesty of tender youth the appellation 
of Father of his Country.* This conduct the people regard- 
ed peirhaps with satisfaction, as a tribute to the Nemesis 
which scans with evil eye the heights of human prosperity ; 
nor were they less pleased, we may believe, at his refraining 
from pressing on the senate the confirmation of Tiberius's 
acts. The name of the tyrant disappeared from henceforth 
from the public instruments, in which the titles and functions 
of suoceeding empa*ors were recited.* The vulgar notion of 
Peity was that of a Being who presides with dignified inter- 
est over the sports and amusements of his creatures, and to 
such a character the gloomy recluse of Caprc» had, in the 
estimation of the Romans, no claim whatever. If the sen- 
ate, with its usual servility, would have acquiesced in the 
apotheosis of a tyrant who had degraded and decimated it, 
the citizens interposed to forbid the honour, and Caius made 
no effort to enforce it. The enthusiasm with which the early 
promise of the new principate wad received, might be esti- 
mated from the multitude of an hundred and sixty thousand 
victims which, it was computed, were offered in gratitude to. 
the Qods in the course of the first three months. Its birth- 
day, it was decreed, should be sanctified with the name and 

• Suet Califf, 16. * Dion, lix. 3. » Dion, lix. 9. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


rites of the Parilia, as the era of the new foundation of the 

The young man's personal defects and vices, of which 
some mention has already been made, were unknown, it must 
be observed, at this time to the mass of the citi- 
Boishipof ' zens. The canning and selfishness which we have 
^ already noticed in him, the ferocity which found 

pleasure, it is said, in the sight of torments and executions, 
his unworthy taste for the company of dancers and gladia- 
tors and for vulgar shows, the defects in his education, and 
his moral inaptitude for all elevating subjects of thought, 
had been concealed irom the eyes of the Romans in the re- 
cesses of the palace. For five years his residence had been 
mostly confined to Caprese. At a later period it was report- 
ed that, in spite of all his dissimulation, he had not been able 
to conceal the vileness of his nature from Tiberius himself^ 
and the monster was supposed more than once to have re- 
marked, not without a grim satisfaction, that Caius lived for 
his own and all men's perdition, and that he was rearing a 
serpent for the Romans, and a Phaethon for the universe.* 
But if any vague rumours of this prince's faults reached the 
ears of the multitude, they were easily excused in a son of 
Germanicus, on the plea of inexperience and bad example. 
The Romans had yet to learn the horror of being subject to 
a master who had never been trained to mastery over him- 
sel£ His accession to the principate was signalized, as we 
have seen, by unexpected moderation, by profhse liberality, 
and by some traits of generous feeling ; but when on the 
calends of July, three months later, he assumed the consul* 
ship, he confirmed their warmest anticipations by an address 
to the senate, in which he exposed without reserve all the 
vices of his predecessor, and denounced them to general exe- 
jsration. At the same time he promised to conduct his own 
career on very different principles, and declared himself the 

' Suet Califf. 14. 16. 

* Saet CaUff 11.: **£xitio sao omniumque Oaium vivere, et se natrl 
tern pop. Romano, Phacthontem orbi terranun edacare.** 

Digitized by 


A. 0.790.] UNDER THE EHPIBK 293 

devoted minister of the august assembly before him. The 
fiitherSy apprehensiye that such auspicious sentiments might 
one day change, thought it possible to fix them by decreeing 
that the harangue which contained them should be aimually 
recited in their presence. During the two months hib devotion to 
which followed Caius seems to have striven assid- *«s»»«»- 
uously to redeem his pledge of good government. Untrain- 
ed as he was, and immoderate alike in. every caprice, he 
threw himself perhapjs into this work with feverish impetu- 
osity. The liberal and equitable measures connected with 
his name may be for the most part referred to this brief 
period, during which he placed himself in fact as well as in 
name at the head of affaii'S. Two summer months were hon- 
ourably spent in a labour which was probably beyond his 
strength. On the arrival of the last day of August, the an- 
niversary of his birth, he proposed to exchange the duties of 
industry for those of festive hospitality. His popularity, 
which had gone on increasing from day to day, was crowned 
by the ardour with which, descending from the awM chaii* 
of state, he plunged into the full tide of the national amuse- 
ments, by the splendour of the shows he exhibited, and the 
novelty as well as variety of the dissipations he provided. 
He professed to restore the golden age of Augustus, the age, 
as he imagined, of universal recreation, whic)i had suffered a 
gloomy eclipse under the leaden sceptre of Tiberius. The 
consecration of a temple to the divine founder of the empire, 
which had been slowly completed by his successor, furnished 
a fitting memorial for the birthday of the reign- 5,^ |^„^ g„, 
ing sovereign. The magnificence which was now tertJtomentB. 
displayed was such as had not been witnessed at least by two 
generations. The ceremony was conducted by Caius him- 
self in a triumphal robe, borne in a chariot drawn by six 
horses : after the completion of the sacrifices, a hymn was 
sung by a select chorus of noble children, whose fathers and 
mothers were both alive ; a banquet was given, not to the 
senators only, but also to their wives and families, as well as 
to the mass of the citizens ; the festival was followed by an 

Digitized by 



entertainment of divers kinds of music, and by horse and 
chariot races, recurring in rapid succession through two 
days. Four hundred bears, and as many lions and panthers, 
were slaughtered in the amphitheatre ; patrician youths en- 
acted the game of Troy ; while the emperor himself presided 
over these manifold sports, and sate benignly through them 
with his sisters by his side, and surrounded by the ministers 
of the Augustan hero-worship. That no citizen might be 
required to absent himself from a scene in which his prince 
condescended to take delight, the public offices were closed 
and business suspended, and even the term of private mourn- 
ing was abridged. Widows, provided at least they were not 
pregnant, might straightway marry without scandaL To 
set the spectators quite at ease, they were not required to 
make their obeisance to the emperor; they were even per- 
mitted to disencumber themselves of their sandals, as at a 
private entertainment, and to cover their heads for protec- 
tion against the sun, as in the forum and the streets. This, 
it is said, was the first occasion of the use of cushioned 
benches at the games ; but as yet this indulgence was con- 
fined to the senators only.* 

Such a festive inauguration of amusements long disused 
might be excimed on the first celebration of an imperial birth- 
He rushes Into ^^Jy ^* *^® ^^^^et of a youug prince's reign, and 
diasipauon. ^t the closc of a wcary session of public busi- 
aess. But with Caius it was- the opening of a new era of 
enjoyment from which he never afterwards desisted. Re- 
signing in the third month the chair of magistracy he rushed 
for recreation into the wildest dissipations. While the con- 
sul sufiectus supplied his place at the head of afiairs, the em- 
peror abandoned himself to a long holiday of uninterrupted 
amusement, His enthusiasm for the public spectacles was 
the frenzy of one just escaped from the dreary confinement 
of a hermitage. Soon sated with every fresh object, he 
sought renewed excitement in variety and strangeness. He 

' Dion, lix. 7. ; Suet CaHff. 17. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

iLn.790.] UNDER THE EMPIRE. 295 

introduced the novelty of nocturnal spectacles, at which thf 
whole city was illominated with lamps and torches. Money 
and/riands, at his command, were thiown liberally to the 
populace. He indulged too in a giddy humour which was 
not always dignified. On one occasion, when he feasted the 
citizens at a gorgeous banquet, he was so pleased with the 
justice a certain knight did to the luxuries before him, that 
he ordered his own plate to be offered to him. A senator, 
who similariy gratified him, was inscribed at once on the 
li^ of prsetors. The games of the circus were continued, 
with occasional interludes, through the whole twelve hours 
of the day ; and on some special festivals the arena was 
strown with cinnabar and borax, and the chariots driven by 
none under the rank of a senator.' But even these follies 
were less criminal than the vices and sensualities to which 
they led the way. If Gains desired that his people should 
riot without stint in the pleasures which had so long been 
grudged them, not less was he resolyed to indulge himself 
to the utmost in the gratification of every sense. He let fall 
the mask, hitherto but loosely worn, of discretion and mod- 
esty, and revelled with furious appetite in the grossest vo- 
luptuousness of every kind. The consequence of these ex* 
cesses was not slow to follow. The young man's weakly 
constitution was unable to bear the strain to which he sub- 
jected it, and in the eighth month of his delirious dream he 
was prostrated by a severe and dangerous illness, q^^ f^^ ^^ 
Hie warm sympathy which was now displayed Degpftirofthe 
for him, not in Rome only but throughout the p®**^*®- 
provinces, shows how large a space the chief of the Roman 
state already filled in the interests of the vast population 
orer which he seemed so conspicuously to tower. Multitudes 
crowded round the palace in which he lay, both by day and 
night, making anxious inquiries after his health. A citizen, 

* Saet. CaUff, 18. Pliny mentions this nsc of cinnabar (minium) and borax 
^duTiocoIIa). BkL NaU xxxiil 27: "Yisumque jam est Kerom's prindpis 
epectacnlis arenam Cird cbiysocolla stemi, qumn ipse concolori panno amiga^ 
taras esset.*' He describes tiiese sabstances in xzxiii 26, 87. foil 

Digitized by 



Afranios Potitos, Bolemnly devoted his own life for the 
princess preservation, and a knight named Atanius SecnndoB 
vowed to descend into the arena, and fight among the glad- 
iators, in the event of his happy restoration. Such were the 
extravagances which found fitvonr in that day of unreal and 
fantastic sentiment. The Romans, themselves were not per- 
haps nnconscions of the folly which they encouraged and ap- 
plauded, and the story that Caius on his recovery compelled 
his devotees, the one to kill himsell^ the other to risk the 
chances of mortal combat, was possibly invented as an ex- 
pression of the prevailing cynicism of the tiities.^ 

The account which has been preserved to us of the grief 

and dismay of the provinces at the prospect of the emperor's 

early loss is remarkable, not only as a testimony 

•oddiitreaflin to the wide-sprcad interest in his person, but for 

the proTlnoes. , . . ^ , * , , 

the picture it presents of the general prospenty 
at this epoch. We must remember that the shadow of the 
Tiberian tyranny extended little beyond the inmiediate pre- 
cincts of Rome and Capreae, and though the description 
which follows is fSuitastically drawn, it seems to betoken an 
actual state of substantial and permanent well-being, not 
confined to a single locality, nor dependent on the li& of an 
individual, but flowing from a well-orgimized and universal 
system of administratioiu Who, asks Philo, the Jewish 
philosopher of Alexandria, was not amazed and ddighted cU 
beholding Caiu$ asmme the ffovemmeni of tJie empire^ tra$^ 
quit and toeU ordered aa it toaa, fitted and compact in aU its 
members, North and South, JSast and West, Greek and Bar- 
barian, Soldier and GiviUan, aU combined together in the 
en^yment of a common peace aa^ prosperity I It abounded 
everywhere in accumulated treasures of gold and saver, coin 
and plate; it boasted a vast force both of horse and foot, by 
land and by aea, and its resources flowed in a perennial 
stream. Nothing was to be seen throughout our cities but 
zUars and sacr\flces, priests clad in white and garlanded, the 

Dion, III. 8. 9. ; Soet CaUfi, 14, 18. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

A.U.790.] UNDEE THE EMPIRE. 297 

joyous minuters of the generaZ mirth; fcstiocUs and assemr 
bUeSj frntsiocd contests and horse racesy wakes by day and $^ 
niffhty amasementSy recreationSj pleasures of every kind and 
addressed to every sense. The rich^ he oontinnes, no longer 
trampled ttpon the poor^ the strong %ipon the weak^ masters 
ttpon servants^ or creditors on their debtors; but the indo- 
pendmceof every ekus met with dtte respect; so that the 
8atumi(xn age of the poets might no longer be regarded as a 
fktioHy so nearly was it revived in the Ufe of that blessed 
era. Bach iras the state of things at the accession of Caius ; 
such, he addsi, it reiAained for a space of seven happy months, 
at the end of which the news anived of the alarming iUness 
of the empelror.' Alas I he had discarded the simplicity of 
his earlier mode of living; he had abandoned himself to 
wine and lust and manifold excesses, and in that short space 
he had reached the brink of a premature grave. When these 
sad newSy says Philo, were spread among the nationSy—for 
the season for sailing was about to close with the decline of 
mOurnny and all who did not wish to winter abroad were has- 
tening home from every quartery — every enjoyment was at 
once ecu€ asidSy every city and house was douded with sorrow 
and dyecHony in proportion to its recent hilarity, AU parts 
of the world sickened with CaitiSy and were worse sick than 
hCyfof his was the sickness of the body onlyy theirs of the 
eouk AU m^i reflected on the evils of anarchyy its warSy 
piagiiesy and devastationsyfi-om which tJiey foresaw no pro- 
tecHon but in the emperor's recovery^ JBtU as soon <is the 
disease began to abatCy the rumour swiftly r&iched every cor- 
ner of the empirCy and universai were the excitement and 
anxiety to hear it from day to day cor\firmed. The safety 
of theprincewas regarded by every land and Island as iden- 

' The sccmitj and outward prosperitj of the empire under this prindpate 
may be further inferred from the carious comment of Oroeius : *' Servi rebelles 
el fiigittTl (^adiatores pertermere Bomam, erertere Italiam, Sciliam deleTere, 
jam p«ne utuTerso humano generi toto orfoe metaendi In didbns antem 
Salntia boo est, teiQpctfibafl Ghiistiaoia, oonrellere qcdetem non potest yd OeBsai 
faifestus.*' Ores. viL 6. 

Digitized by 



tical vsith its own. Nor teas a single cotmtry ever so mter- 
ested before in the health of any one man^ as the whole world 
then was in the preservation of the adorable Cavus. 80 
hlindy oonolndes the sage, is the mind of man to the maUers 
that most necBrly concern it, guessing a/nd imagining this and 
tTuxtj but in fact knowing nothing.^ 

Thid exti^yagant flattery, such as that against which the 
mature good sense of Pompeius had not been proof, easily 

turned the weak and giddy brain of Cains Csesar. 
nig^by He began in his wild hallucinations to regard the 

life which had been saved by so many prayers 
as something sacred and divine, and to justify to himself any 
means that might seem conducive t<i its protection. He felt 
aggrieved by the nearness of the youthM cousin whom he 
had deprived of his inheritance, and quickly persuaded him- 
self that his existence was a source of danger to the occu- 

pant of the throne. It was enough to affirm that 
y^nng Tiberius the wTctched objcct of his jcalousy had plotted 

against him : the citizens had no love nor inters 
est but for the child of Germanicus, the giver of all good 
gifts to them ; and when Caius caused him to be privately 
despatched, not venturing still, from a sense of shame per^ 
haps rather than of distrust, to bring him to trial, they ac- 
quiesced in the murder as an act of wholesome expediency.* 
A centurion presented the poor lad with a sword, with the 
order to thrust it into his own bosom ; but so untrained was 
he in the use of weapons, that he was obliged, it was said, to 
ask instruction how to use it effectually.* 

The charm which blinded the Romans to the crimes and 
vices of their new ruler was simply the contrast he presented 
Degraded man- ^ '^ manners to the sullen recluse who had 
nerBofCaius. robbcd them of their pleasures. Caius was en- 
dowed with no personal recommendations of figui*e or coun- 

» Philo, Ug, ad Cat, i, 

* Fhilo, kg, ad Oat, 10. : aKocv6vtfvov hpx^ defffibc ^i>ffeuc iudvirroc . . 
9VT0C A waBecv kfikXhfctv bv , , , , lax^p&npoc &i» ijuiriHtro , . . 

• Suet Califf, 28. ; Dion, lix. 9 ; Philo, L c 

Digitized by 


A. U. 790.1 UHDEB THE EMPIRE. 299 

tenance. His features, if not altogether devoid of beauty, 
were deformed by a harsh and scowling expression, and seem 
eren in the rigid marble to writhe with moscolar contortion. 
His head was bald; hi6 compl^on sallow and livid; his 
body was loi^, and his neck and legs slender ; his gait was 
shambling, and his voice hoarse and dissonant.' Bat he was 
popular with the rabble, and the knights and senat(»rs, who 
bad lately trembled before the Bpvereign^ now cowered be- 
fore the rabble ; for he lived in the eyes of the people : all 
. his actions were public ; he sate through the day the ob- 
served of all observers in the cirous ; even his vices and sen- 
sual indulgences, gross and startling as they were, he made 
matters of parade and ostentation. The habits of Greece 
and Aoa had suffered the rulers of the state to take part in 
the puUio contests of skill and agility, from which the pride 
of the Bcmiui noble revolted; kings of Hellenic blood had 
not disdained to contend for prizes in the lists at Antioch or 
Selucia; even the renegade Antonius had striven for mastery 
in the schools of Alexandria. With such examples before 
him, Caius, the first of the Boman emperors, did not forbear 
firom unging and dancing in public, under the tuition of a 
noted tragedian.* His passion for the sports of the circus 
led him to descend in person into the arena as a charioteer, 
and even it is- said, as a gladiator.* If the base multitude 

' Suetonius {Calig. 50.) and Seneca (de consL Sap, 18.) Tie with one another 
in inTCsting this prince with the most odious traits of deformity : ** Statura fdt 
emfaienti, oolore extMdIido,: oorpore enormi, gradlltate matima eerrids et cm- 
ram, ocolis ei tempbribus conca^ fixmte lata et torra^ a^o rare ao ctrea 
Tertioem nullo, hirsutus csetera.'* **Tanta illi palloris inflaniam testantis foedi- 
tas erat, tanta oculomm sub fronte anili latentium torvitas, tanta capitis des- 
tituti et emendicatis capillis aspersi deformitas," &c. This is mere sign-pafait- 
ing. Medals and busts concur in giving us such a countenance as I have de- 
Bcribed in the text 

• Dion, lix. 5. 29.; Phflo, leff. ad C(d. 80. 

• Dion, Kx 6. : wptii6vToc 6h 6^ rvb xp^vov ml if ^^Xufia Koi if 6,y6vtafia 
roXluv irpo^/^jfer apft&ra re ydp fpuaxtt koI lfiavoidxil(rtv, hpx^t re i;fpif<Taro, 
Kol TpayoStav hnKpharor koX rcnrra ftkv irav &el hroiei • aira^ Si irore rohc 
*r/x!jrouf t^ yepovtrlac OTravdf wjcrdf , &c Koi in' 6vayiau6v n poVXevfia pera- 
tzefirl)dfievoCy i^px^aro. 

Digitized by 



were delighted at seeing knights and senators driven to ex- 
hibit themselves for their amosement, much more were they 
charmed at the condescension of the etmperor himself, in 
bearing a part, like the deities of old, in the sports and conr 
tests of his creatures. From this time, under imperial en- 
couragement, charioteering began to take the place of a state 
Institution. The rival parties or factions were known by 
their colours^ — ^the Green, the Blue, the Red, and the White, 
— and the people enlisted themselves on the sides of their 
&voarites with an ardour that menaced sometimes the peace 
of the city. The Green was the faction to which Cains at- 
tached himself: he frequented its stables, lived fimiiliarly 
with its grooms and drivers, and gave all his oonfidenee to 
some of its most noted perfbrmers. He endowed it with a 
separate place of exercise, a circus or stadium, in the four* 
teenth region of the city, to which the name of Gaian con- 
tinued long afterwards to be attached.^ 

The nobles might sigh over this odious degradation of 

the majesty of the Csesars ; yet it was better, they mi^iit 

think, that Gains should prostitute it in these 

Bloodiness of ,_, i i .. . t .< i 

th« gudifttorbi tnnmg amusements, than guard it with the cruel 
jealousy of Tiberius. As long as the empercn* 
and people were amused together, they hoped to enjoy in 
tranquillity their own voluptuous indolence ; but Uiey must 
have beheld with dismay the prodigality which in a few 
months had squandered all the savings of the late reign, and 
began to call for fresh contributions ; nor could they have 
been unconcerned at the increasing bloodshed and ferodty 
which now distinguished the gladiatorial shows. The am- 
phitheatre of Taurus was not spacious enough for the com- 

' Dion, lix. 4.; Suet CaUg, 55.: ^Trasiiue feotioni addictus «t deditus." 
On one occasion he presented a charioteer of the Green, named Entjchus, with 
a smn of 2,000,000 seeteroes, or 16,000^ Saet L c ; Joseph. Aniiq. ML xiz. 
8. It was, I siq>po0e, in his enthusiasm for the art that he threatened, aooord* 
faig to Suetonius (a 55.^ to make his hoiae Incitatus, or Gallopef; a oodbuL 
Dion belieres that he actually did make him a priest of his own divinity (lix 

Digitized by 


A. U. 790.] Uin>EB THE EMPIRE. 


batants wha were knnohed into tiie arena. The Septa in the 
Campus Martins, and other oapaoions bnildings, were seized 
fyr tiiese erod oer^aionies. Not only did the anperor him- 
self exhibit these i^ectacles ; he required the prators and 
fedilee, who sinco the disose of popular election had been 
relieved from this serrioe, to confonn onee more to the cus* 
tcHn of the commoBweahh. Hie restrictions imposed by 
Augustus on the number of the gladiators were utterly 
swept away. It was the del^ht of Gains to witness, not the 
dexterous f<Mice of single pairs of swordsmen, but the pro- 
miseaous struggling of anxied faatads togedier. He was not 
content with the combats of slaves or criminals, or even of 
ooeanonal volunteers from the rttnks of Roman citizenship. 
He compelled the free and noble to expose themselves in 
these hoirid oontests on various pretences, and on one ooesr 
Am presented as many as six-and-twenty knights together. 
The combats with wild beasts were carried on with the same 
prodigality of human blood« Once, when the number of 
criminahi condemned to this service was not found sufficient, 
he suddenly commanded some of the spectators within the 
raibi to be dragged into the arena, and opposed defenceless 
to the li^ms.^ 

Cains was not slow, as might be expected, to profit by 
the lessons he was thus taking in the art of sheddiiig blood. 
There was still am)ther personage in Borne on ,, ^ _ 

_ ,,,,...., ., , Macro ud En- 

whom he looked with no less jealousy than on ntoHepntto 
the innocent Tiberins, the man to whom he owed 
his empire and possibly eren his lifa The disposition of the 
late emperor towards his nephew had been always doubtfid. 
It was. supposed by many that he detested his evil nature, 
and meditated his removal for the safety of one nearer to 
him« Macro, the tyrant's sole confidant, had boasted to 

*■ Dion, Hx. 10. ; Suet. Califf. 27. The story is notmiliko some of the traits 
of cynical irony of which we read in Gains, and may not be beyond the bounds 
of crediluHty: the addition that he caused the tongues of these victims to be 
cat out, to prevent thdr oatcriee, seems a mere extravagant fiction. He was 
generaOj careibi to keep on good tenns with the populace. 

Digitized by 



Caius that he had Bared him from destruction not less than 
three times. Whether this were tme or not it was at least 
indiscreet to refer to it, and in hastemng the end of Tiberias^ 
and engaging the senate to accept his successor, Macro had 
laid obligations on Cains too great to be repaid. By this 
time the connexion between the prince and Ennia had be- 
come irksome to the licentious loyer, as yet too shy to break 
his chains without blushing. He had promised to make her 
his empress, but he now hesitated to satisfy her clum. On 
the one huid, the husband ventured to give unpalatable 
counsels. He urged, it is said, high and generous yiews of 
the duties of empire, and rebuked, perhaps, the wanton levity 
which disgraced the purple of the Csesars. On the other, 
the wife pressed the fulfilment of the engagement made to 
her, and lavished on her sated admire caresses' which now 
only disgusted him. Caius had released his firiend Agrippa 
from confinement, and had conferred x>n him the sovereignty 
of a district in Palestine. But he did not immediately dis- 
miss him to the enjoyment of it ; his society was too agree- 
able, his counsels too convenient, to be at once dispensed 
with.' The prince continued to imbibe lessons in kingcraft 
from the Eastern politician, and to emulate, under his ex- 
perienced guidance, the behaviour of Asiatic autocrats ; and 
we shall not, perhaps, err in ascribing to this influence the 
resolution he adopted of ridding himself first of his cousin, 
and soon afterwards of his unamiable mentor. The storm 
which was impending over Macro was soon made visible to the 
courtiers. Caius was observed to frown at his approach, and 
heard to mutter, I am no longer a boy^ but see^ here is my 
tutor; here is the subject ijoho fancies himsdfaruler: lioho 
was bom a prince^ nursed by emperors^ cradled in the cabinet 
ofsteUSj must bow forsooth to an audacious upstart^ a novice 
affecting the airs of a hierophant? The minister, as may be 
supposed, did not long survive the utterance of such senti- 
ments by such a master. Macro received, as the last favour, 

* Joseph. Afiiiq. Jud. xviiL Y. 11. • Phllo, Ug,adCm,%. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

A.U.790.] UNDER TH£ EMPIRE. 3O3 

permission to be his own executioner, and Eunia, the partner 
of his intrigues, and equally disappointed in their success^ fell 
at the same time with him«^ 

The destruction of the emperor's greatest benefactor was 
soon followed by the murder of a man of much higher dis- 
tinction, and one whom fix>m his station, ezpe- ^ snantis 
rienoe, and intimate connexion with himself he SS^SSf t» 
might haye regarded as the most able and fidth-^ °^^ 
fhl of his friendSb Oaius had been united, as has been men« 
tioned, in early youth to Claudia^ the daughter of M. Junius 
Silanus, a p«tK>nage whose ancient nobility might entitle 
him above almost any other citizen to the honour of an im- 
perial alliance. The prince's fathers-law had been treated 
with the bluest distinction both by Tiberius, with whom he 
had ingratiated himself by discreet but not servile flattery, 
and afterwards by his successor. He had been appointed to 
the goyemment of Africa ; but latterly the jealousy of Caius 
had been excited against him, the death of his daughter had 
relaxed the bonds of affinity between them, and the advice 
he presumed to offer was ill-receiyed and, periiaps, unskilfully 
tendered. The command of the Iqo^on and one half the pa- 
tronage of the province had been withdrawn from him, and 
placed in the hands of another officer, who was sent to watch 
bim, and his innocently providing himself with an antidote 
to seasickness was represented, we are told, as a precaution 
against poison. Preparations were made, at the emperor's 
instance, for bringing him to trial for treasonable designs;. 
but on the refusal of a noble orator to conduct the accusation, 
he was got rid of more summarily by an order to kill him- 

The emperor's pecuniary necessities, in which his extrav- 

» Snet Ca%. 26.; Dion, lix. 10. 

* Suet Cal^, 23. ; Dion, lix. 8. ; and more particuUriy Philo, lepaL ad Cat. 
f . I cumot bpt regard this stoiy as suspicioas. It was a strong act of policy, 
and, in the disturbed state of tlie African frontier, not an unreasonable one, to 
weaken the ann of the senatorial proconsul by pladng an imperial legatus by 
his side. Such an encroachment, howcTcr, on the indq)endence of the senate 
mi^t naturally be resented, and an inyldious fiction be grafted on it 

Digitized by 



agance had already inyolyed him, were perhaps the primary 
Bcpid snoocs- motive of thifl and other atrocities which quickly 
Sotsui^oS- followed. The treasmy was exhausted, and nn- 
^^•<*****^ popular taxes had been remitted; bnt his pas- 
sion for show and expenditure increased with indulgence, and 
the appetite of the people required to be pampered with 
novelty and variety. The fetal fecility of murder, without 
even the intervention of any judicial process, offered a dire 
temptation to power unchecked by principle or pity. Dela- 
tion, ever ready at his beck, was too dear an instrument for 
the prodigal to use. Informers and orators required a por- 
tion of the victim's fortune, and their most zealous efforts 
might sometimes fail of success ; but a simple order to the 
accused to despatch himself was attended witii no expense, 
and it was moreover sure to be efiectuaL TWs was the pro- 
cess by which the emperor's blows were made generally to 
fell on men whose sole crime was their riches; but if any 
pretext was wanted, the papers, real or pretended, of Tibe- 
rius, the same which he had recently professed to destroy 
unopened, sufficed to famish matter of accusation. The two 
crimes most commonly alleged, as most odious to the nobSity 
on the one hand, and to the populace on the other, were 
complicity in the bloody artifices of Sejanus, and hostility 
to the house of Oermanicus.^ 

While the feelings of the profligate were thus becoming 
hardened in cruelty, they were suddenly embittered by a do- 
DesD^of nicotic loss, which, spoilt and pampered as he 
Oftiosonflia was, sccms to have shattered his reason. The 

death of hU , ' . «^ . , , , i 

ttitor Dniiiik. three Sisters of Caius have already been mention- 

A.F 791. ^ 

ed. The scandalous rumours of the day insin- 
uated that he had indulged an incestuous passion for all of 
them in turn, a horror almost unknown among all the horrors 
of Roman vice, and which only once before had been ascribed 
by party malice to a profligate of an earlier age. The pub- 
lic honours he had obtained for them, and certain marks of 

' Dion, lix. 4, 6, 10 , Ix. 4. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

A.U. 790.] UNDEB THB EMPIRE. 805 

&YOiir he was said to bestow on them in private, hardly 
mffioe to establish the credit of this oharge as regards at 
least two of the sisters ; but the commerce of Caius with 
Pnuilla is too ciicomstantially attested to be reasonably re* 
jected* He had been rebuked, it is said, foir this intrigue by 
Antonia while yet a Btrq>ling. Tiberias muted Dmsilla to 
Cassins Longinius ; but Cains, when he attained to power, 
separated her fiom her husband, and after living fi>r some 
time op^y with her, gave 1^ to an unworthy fitvourite, M. 
Lepidas, who seems to have resigned her to hun ftgain with* 
out semid& His passion for this poor creature knew no lim« 
its. In his illness, if we may believe our accounts, he had 
actually named her heiress of the empire and of his official 
dignitieB.^ But he recovered, while she shortly afterwards 
fell sick and died« Cains was plunged in a frenxy of despair. 
He commanded that she should be honoured with a puUic 
fonezal of extnuurdinary magnificence, that all business 
should cease, and even the commonest a&in of domestic life 
be suspended on pain of death.* For himself, he rushed from 
the city to the soUtude of his Alban villa, declared that he 
was incapable of appearing in the distressing pageant, and 
abandoned himself instead to the most trifling amusements.* 
Once again he burst from his retreat, and with Hs beard and 
hair nntrimmed hastened down the Italian coast till he reach- 
ed Sicily, where he diveiiied himself with the ordering of 
some public games at Syracuse. When this humour was 
satisfied, he returned not less abruptly to Rome, to dose the 
season of mourning and appoint divine honours for the de* 
ceased. The senate acquiesced without hesitation. Not only 
did it decree her the honours of the blessed Li via, but added 
that her gilded statue should be placed in the Curia, and 

* Suei. Cb%. 24.: "H(9redemq1loqllehooorama^1le imperii soger instituit* 

* Sset L e. : ** Jnsiithiin Indizlt; ki quo noBoe, UiiaBe, ofwiMMwe, cam pa- 
lentilHis int eonjiige liberisre, capital fbit" Gomp. Dion, lix. 11. 

' SeoMft, Otm».ta Fbi^M.: " OoiiBt>eotam dviom siMHiim profagH . . . 
Justa ncn pneetitit^ aed in Albaao soo taneria ae Ibro, prorocatis htjaamodi 
aliia occapatioiiil>afl» aoerbiflBimi fororis levabai mala.** 
VOL. v.— 20 

Digitized by 



another in the temple of Yenns, to which the same adoTUtiou paid as to the daughter of Jupiter. She was to 
beitf in heaven the title of Panthea, the UniYeirsal Divinity ; 
a temple was to be erected to her; men and women were en< 
joined to provide themselves with her oonseorated images 
for their private devotions ; women were to swear henorforUi 
by no other name. The worship of Drusilla or Panthea was 
imposed a duty upon all the cities of Italy and the provinces. 
A senator, livius GeminuB, swore that he had with his own 
eyes beheld her ascend into heaven, and he confirmed the as- 
sertion by stead&stly imprecating corses on himself and his, 
if he spake not the truth. The perjury was awarded on earth 
by the gift of a -million of sesterces. Having strained his 
morbid feelings to this pitch of &natacism, the crazy monster 
relieved them by an outburst of cynical humour. He de- 
clared that if any man dared to mourn for his sister's deatii 
he should be punished, for she had become a goddess ; if any 
one ventured to rejoice at her deification, he should be pun- 
ished also, for she was dead.' 

So far was Caius constant to this fantastic passion that 
he never afterwards swore, it is said, by any other name 
Odnsmaniea, than Drusilla's. His Unbridled &ncy had befi>re 
^dSSjKili impelled him to snatch himself a wife from the 
^"^*°^ arms of heif husband, after the manner, as he 

himself pompously proclaimed, of Romulus and Augustus ; 
and this victim being repudiated a few days only after the 
deification of Drusilla, he repeated the same feit with 
another.* The first of these wives was Orestilla, the consort 
of Cn. Piso, the son of the enemy of G^ermanicus; the other 
was Lollia Paulina, the most celebrated beauty of her days, 

' Suetonius, Dioo, li ca Seneca, howeyer, bj whom the story was proba- 
bly suggested, gires it no such extrayagant turn : " Eodem tempore quo templa 
illi oonstituebat ac pulTinaria, eos qui parum moesti fVierant cnideli afficiebat 

* Suei. CaUff. 20. On the occsidon of his marriage with OrestiDa, the wife 
of 0. FIso : ''Ifotrimonium sibi repertum exemplo Romuli et Augusti." The 
first had thus carried offHersilia (Hut Bam. 14.), the last Liyia. 

Digitized by 


A. U. 791.] UNDER THB EHPUIB. 307 

who was united to a distingtdshed noble, MemmioB Regains, 
the consul who had arrested Sejanns.' But Cains was not 
smitten, perhaps, so much by the charms of her person as of 
her estate, for she was the richest woman in Koine, the heiress 
of the extortioner of Gaul ; and the emperor, like a mere 
private spendthrift, was driven to restore his shattered for- 
tunes by a judicious alliimce. Lollia displayed hei magnifi- 
cence with a pomp truly imperial. I have Been her^ says 
Pliny, on no oceaeion of ^peoial eolemnity^ bitt at a plain 
ciiizen^s bridal suppery all covered toith pearls and emeralde'-- 
her hair and head-dresSy earSy neeky and finger e — worth as 
much €U forty mUHona of seatereee. Such was the style in 
which she came to witness the act of marriage. Jforwere 
these the love tokens of a princely prodigal; they were the 
treasures of her grandsirCy amassed from the spoils of prov- 
inces. Such was the end of all this rapine. JLoUitts suffered 
disgrace and perished by his own hojndy thai his grand* 
daughter forsooth might blaze by lamp-light in the splendour 
of forty millions.* But once united to the rapacious empe- 
ror, she was not suffered long to parade this brilliancy. She 
too was repudiated in her turn by the inconstant prince, and 
we can hardly suppose that she was suffered a second time 
to carry off her jewels with her.* Kevertheless, we shall 
find her recommended again for her riches m the bride of 
another emperor ; nor does Pliny, in noting the splendour of 
her fortune, remark how suddenly she was deprived of it. 

In the second year of his principate Cains performed an 
imposing ceremony, the distribution of crowns and sceptres 
to various foreign applicants. The solemnity was Herod Agtipm 
not the less interesting from the respect he paid l^^^f^^j 
to the forms of the republic. A silken curtain, ^ the East, 
then most rare and precious, was drawn across a lofty stage 

» DioD, lix. 12. • Plin. HUt, NiO, ix. 68. 

* Soet Califf, 26. : **Breyiqae miasam fedt interdicto ci\}a8qnaiii in perpe- 
tonm ooita.** This pioliibilkm meuts, periiaps, fhftt she was forbidden to con- 
tniet another marriage, m order that the emperor might not be required to r» 
store her portion. 

Digitized by 



in the forum ; and the emperor was discovered seated be- 
tween the consola He recited the decree of the senate, 
which conferred the throne of Itorsea upon Soemus, of the 
lesser Armenia upon Cotys, of Thrace upon Rhsemetalces, 
and of Pontus upon Polemo.* At the same time Agrippa, 
who recently, on the death of Philip, had been gratified with 
his tetrarchy, to which the districts of Abilene and Coele-Syria 
had been added, was allowed, after long delay, to repair to his 
new dominions.* As the first pledge of his amity, the emperor 
had already presented him, on his release from custody, with a 
chain of gold of equal weight with the iron fetters which 
had bound him to his warder. This present was no more 
than a token perhaps of the riches which were at the same 
time heaped upon him, which enabled him to exhibit his ac- 
customed magnificence in Rome during the period that Caius 
still chose to retain him about his own person. But these 
shining marks of favour, and the consciousness of his per- 
sonal influence, did not fail to inspire him with more ambi- 
tious views. He aimed at recombining under his sceptre the 
broken fragments of the great sovereignty of Herod, one 
portion of which was now under the immediate government 
of Roman officials, another still occupied by his kinsman 
Antipas and his sister Herodias. He employed perhaps the 
period of his prolonged sojourn in Rome in imbuing his pa- 
tron^s miad with distrust of the rulers of Samaria ; and the 
mutual recriminations of the Jewish princes, which the gov- 
ernment forbade to issue in an appeal to arms, could only be 
controlled eventually by the direct dedsion of the emperor. 

It was in the fall apparently of the year 791 that Agrippa 
sailed for the East. The speediest and surest voyage from 
Agrippa arrives Romc to Palestine lay not by way of Brundisium 
ra hiJ'^J^ a^d t^® Hadrian and Carpathian seas, but by the 
Paiortine. longer routc of Puteoli and Alexandria, on ao- 

^ Dion, lix. 12. 

' Joseph. Antiq. JmL xriS. 7. 11. Agrippa was reliered from his attend^ 
ance on his patron in the second year of the Caian prindpate^ on promising to 
return whenever his presenoe was required. 

Digitized by 


A. U. 791.] UNDEll THE EMFIEE. 309 

count of its &vourable winds, and the superiority of the 
yessels which ran between those important havens. It was 
to Alexandria, therefore, on the recommendation of the em- 
peror himseh^ that Agrippa in the first instance repaired. 
His presence there gave rise to scenes of disorder, which 
were not without their influence on the future fortunes of the 
Jewish people, and must not be passed oyer in silence. 

No one yet perhaps could augur that the Jewish people, 
the citizens of a narrow and obscure comer of the empire, 
would one day divide the interest of mankind Th© Jews at 
with Rome itself in a great and mortal struggle, f^^^^ 
Yet no othOT city but Jerusalem might seem at »»**^«^ 
tins period to rival the ^pital of the C»sarg, as the centre 
of a compact and at the same time a wide-spread nationality, 
and the beloved metropolis of innumerable colonies planted 
in every land. "No other city was so bound to the hearts of 
its children throughout the world by its customs and tradi- 
tions, its feith and its aspirations. No other possessed with- 
in its l>osom the germs of universal conquest : it yet remain- 
ed to be seen whether circumstances Would suffer the mate* 
rial extension of its power over alien nations, or whether its 
authority should eventually be confined to a moral and spir- 
itual pre-eminence. But as the presence of the Roman was 
felt on every foreign shore as that of a material organizer 
and controller, so the Jews appear in some mysterious way 
to have rebuked, by the force of their character, wherever 
they established themselves, the feeble decrepitude of the 
races around them^ The disintegration of ancient nationali- 
ties was nowhere more manifest than in the teeming oity of 
Alexandria, where the Greek and Copt mingled in ill-cement- 
ed union, and were bound most strictly together by their 
common hatred of the Jews residing among them. Ilio 
number of this foreign race in Egypt has already been stated 
at a million; of the five sections of the great emporium of 
the East two were principally inhabited by Jews, and they 
were found scattered in considerable force throughout the 
others. But if the proportion of this element to the indigen- 

Digitized by 



ous population was so large, its habits were less gregarious, 
its temper less excitable : it was devoted to the quiet pursuit 
of commerce or letters ; it had no wish for the exercise of 
arms, nor was it ientmsted with them« The native Alexan- 
drians, however, regarded these Jewish denizens as aliens to 
be hated and despised ; lively and turbulent themselves, they 
were ever ready to break out in violence against their graver 
neighbours, and it required all the vigilance and impartial 
austerity of the Roman rule to protect the one from the 
bitter animosity of the other. Th6 arrival of Agrippa seems 
to have been the signal for an outburst of this national jeal- 
ousy. It was the humour of the Alexandrians to mock and 
injure the Jews on all occasions : they now chose to make 
the new king of the Jews a special object of derision, and 
for this purpose taking an idiot of the name of Carabas, well 
known in their streets, they crowned him with a diadem of 
papyrus leaves, put a reed in his hand, and bore him in mock 
triumph through the city, attended by a body-guard of chil- 
dren armed with sticks.* On i?eaching the quarters of their 
foes they redoubled their shouts and acclamations, saluting 
him with the titles of Lord and King. Instead of checking 
this outrage, by which the Jews were naturally exasperated, 
the Roman Governor, Avilius Flacctis, seems to have en- 
couraged, and applauded it. This man, after serving Tiberius 
discreetly in the command of Egypt for the space of five 
years, had fallen out of favour with the new emperor, and 
wafl seeking, as the Jewish party imagined, to recover it. 
The cheridied epmity of Jewish political leaders to Rome, 
and the uneasy jealousy of the state towards them, was well 
known to the men who bore rule in these parts : the Roman 
officials h€id themselves too often provoked them purposely 
]>y injustice, in order to make their exaq)eration a pretext for 
harsher measures of repression. Such perhaps was the ob- 
ject, which Flaccus now had in Yiew ; sach at le^ it appear- 
ed to the sufilsrers themselves, one of whom, the most dis* 

• i^hUo, in Flaocum^ 6. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

&.U. 791.] UNDER THE EMPIRE. 311 

tingnished name in their seeular literature, has denoimoed it 
with no Uttle eloquence and feeling. Tiberius had fbrbiddec 
the worship of his pretended diyinity in Rome : even in the 
proYinces he had restrained and discouraged it. He knew that 
it was. absurd ; and nothing iabsurd in politics, he shrewdly de- 
tmmined, could continue to be always safe. But the crude 
inexperience of his youthM successor was troubled by no 
such scruples. The goyemors of the promces were induced 
to beHeVe that they could in no way pay court to him more 
palatably, than by impelling their subjects to the adoration 
of the CsBsar. The excessire repugnance of the Jews to ad- 
mit any representations of the human form into 
their places of religious meeting incited Flaocus emAerorin. 

■I ^ ., . «i .,. . , -i ■, trudea Into the 

to adopt this means of humiliatmg them, and he Jewish btiw- 
instigated their fellow-citizens in Alexandria to ^*^^^ 
demand that statues of the emperor should be erected in 
their synagogues. Tumults and bloodshed quickly followed. 
The Alexandrians, as the strongest party, drove Dfstiirbancea 
the Jews into a angle quarter of the city, plan- at Alexandria. 
dering and burning their residences throughout the rest, and 
subjecting many of them to death and tortures. But the 
prefect, who had acted thus shamefully, found that in his zeal 
he had £itally overreached himself. The government at 
Rome, always sensitive about the condition of Egypt, was 
seriously alarmed and offended. He was sumr ^ 
moncd home to answer for the peril into which he BofoanV^- 
had brought the stordtouse of Italy, and s^t- ^' ^, 
thither in chains by his successor Bassus.^ 

Agrippa hastily quitted the scene into which his presence 
had introduced so terrible a disturbance, and prosecuted* his 
voyage to Palestine. His arrival in his new prin- umiBiimeiiiof 
dpiality excited the alarm and jealousy of the 2^^^^" 
rulers of Samaria, on whose con^passion he had ^^ ^ 
so lately lived. Antipaswas wary, and circum- a.c.7»2. 
spect, slow, perhaps, to feel, and still slower to move ; He- 

■ Ffailo in Flaee. 6-18. : rovro KOtydrannf iirifistve ^XdxKO^ h x^ VC 
a^9fyuT0f iroXefUov rpSmv l^uyprfiilq, Joseph. AwHq, Jy4» xviii. 9. 1. 

Digitized by 



rodias, more quick and prompt, if not really more ambitions 
than her husband, urged him with all her influence to repair 
to Rome, and sue for the province of Jndea, or at least for 
such a confirmation of his actual sorereignty as might se- 
cure it against the intrigues of their artful neighbour/ It 
was long before she could preyail on him to risk the voyage 
to Italy, whence so many occupants of Eastern thrones had 
never returned. At last they sailed together for Baiae, where 
Caius was then sojourning, closely followed by Agrlppa, 
with charges against them of complicity with a new revolu- 
tion in Parthia, and of preparing to hold. Samaria against the 
Romans with seventy thousand stand of arms they had tliere 
collected. The result of the interviews which the rivals had 
successively with the emperor was that Antipas was de- 
prived of his sovereignty, and relegated, first to Lugdnnum, 
and afterwards to the distant province of Spain.* Herodias, 
as the daughter of Antonia's firiend Berenice, was indulged 
with an offer of pardon, together with some p<»taon of her 
estates; but this, with the high spirit of a Jewish matron, 
she firmly rejected, and insisted on sharing her husband's 
disgrace. The fortunate Agrippa was now grati- 
e^ea sunaria, fied with the addition of Samaria to his domin- 

ID Moition to 

hJs totnrohj ions. The province of Judea alone remained to 

of GaUloo. . - ^ . ^ -r^ , 

reunite the sovereignty of Herod. 
Caius had now played the autocrat without restraint or 
remonstrance for inore than two years, and his pride had 
cuiudaimsdi. ^®^ inflated to the highest pitch. The foreign 
Tine wonhiii. priuccs, whom he had assembled about his throne 
and admitted to his table, had pampered him with fulsome ad- 
ulation. They had vied with one another in dcong homage to 
him as the dispenser of crowns ; they had suffered him to 
regard and treat them as his vassals, and acknowledged 
themselves as merely ministers of his paramount authority. 
When they contended among themselves for precedence, he 

' Salvador (u 454.) reminds us how Antipas is characterized as a/oz in the 
Ooepels. St Luke, xiil 82. 
• Joteph. AtUiq, xtUI 8. 2. 

Digitized by 


A.U. 793.] UKDfB THE EMPIRE. 8I3 

cut short the dispute with the maxim of Homer, One chiefs 
one king. It is mentioned, as the height of his daring inso- 
lenoe, that he o^ ^ assumed the diadem, and converted the 
shadow of the principate into the reality of a royal mle»^ 
Bat the Eastern King was always near allied to Diyinity. 
This was a politloal dogma which the Macedonians had 
found established in Asia, and they had willingly availed 
tbemaelYes of it. Regarding the Godhead as a Spirit of Joy 
and Bounty only^ without the sterner attributes and moral 
excellences attached to him by the Western and Northern 
world, the Oriental, and the Greek especially, was prone to 
discover an emanation of Divinity in every human dispenser 
of worldly blessings. CHver of good things^ CHver of pros- 
perity ,, was the title with which he was content to address 
the Judge and Supreme Ruler of the Universe : * it was easy 
to divert his adoration from the supreme to the lesser givers, 
has own ohie& and kings, who were nearer to him, and whose 
bounty ho could more sensibly appreciate. If they were not 
almighty, even the Gods above were subject one to another, 
and all to Fate : * if they were vicious and impure, the Gods 
too had their pleasant vloes: their follies and even their 
crimes were liUle regarded as long as these imperfections 
did not touch the mass of their worshippers. It was long 
before Uie higher moral sense of the Romans oould yidd as- 
sent to this degrading view of the Deity;: but when the 
populace grew thoroughly corrupt, and imbued in a great 
degree with Oriental phantasies, tibe upper diss, with no 
belief of its own, was wiUix^ that they should amuse and 
deceive themselves by aily belief however ' pre|K)6terous. 
The divine honours paid to so many of his race, and the r^- 

' Suet. CaSff. 22. : ** Exdamavit, elf xolpavoc ^<rr« e^c paat^^bci Nee mul- 
torn abfoit quin Btatim diadema sumeret, speciemqae principatus in regni fop 
uam oonTerteref 

* GalUmachns, in Jov, 91. : SCrrop iduv^ dCn-op itTn^fwaivifc . . • 

• Stat J$ifh. ill 8. 62. : 

Imperium Superis ; sed habent et Nomina legem.** 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


alar form which the CsBsar-worship was assumkig amidst the 
rains of ancient rituals, made a lively impression on the im- 
a^nation of the excitable Caius. When eleven cities of 
Asia contended before the senate for the honour of devoting 
themselves to the worship of Tiberias, the claims of Miletus 
and Ephesns had been rejected because they were too deeply 
engaged in the service of Apollo and Diaiia.^ The cult of 
the emperor, they were given to understand, ought, wherever 
it was established, to precede every local religion ; or rather 
his worshippers ought to divide their vows and sacrifices 
with no other patron. The principle thus gravely asserted 
Caius carried out without compunction. He aspired not 
only to be recognised as a God, but claimed the same pre- 
enmience among the Gods as he enjoyed without a rival 
among human potentates. His assumption of the name aad 
attributes sometimes of Hercules, sometimes of Baoohos, 
sometimes of Apollo, was the whim of his monstrous imsnf^ 
ination; but when he announced that he was the Latian Ju- 
piter himself, still more when he pretended to converse as 
an equal or superior with Jupiter, and challenged him with 
an Homeric verse to combat, he asserted that the worship of 
the Caesar was paramount throughout the world to every othei 
formula of religious devotion.* 

This assumption of divinity, in which even the Romans 
acquiesced, met, we may suppose, with no resistance, and 
This cia!m ftd- ^^ admitted almost without remsu-k in the pror- 
^^^E^' inees generally. The Athenians might sigh to 
"'^^ see the heads of some of their noblest images 

stnudcofi^ and the trunks carried to Rome to be united to 
the features of a barbarian emperor ; but it was tbe insult to 
art, taste, and feeling, not to their languid religious princi- 

* Tac. Arm, W. 65. 

* Suet Califf, 22. : " Cum Capitolino Jove secreto fabulabatur, modo insu- 
Burransi, ao prflDbens inyicem aurem, modo clarius nee sine jurgiid. Nam com* 
minantia audita est : ^ f/6vdeip\ 1j ty& aiy II xxiil 724. Comp. Dion, Ux, 
S8., and a storj in Seneca, de fra^ I ult 

Digitized by 



pies, which they chiefly resented?" Bat with the Jews, both 
at home and abroad, it was far otherwise. Where, indeed, 
their Bombers were few, and their sense of nationality weak- 
ened by distance or disp^sion, the ordar to set up the em- 
peror's statue in their synagogues might excite no direct 
resistance; but wherever numbers and union, as but resented 
well as obstiaate prejudices, gave them strength, S^by^*^ 
they sternly refused to admit the accursed thing ^^'' 
within their walls, and defied the powers of earth to intrude 
it on them. At Alexandria the contest had issued in riot 
and bloodshed. The Jews were overpowered for the time. 
We have seen indeed that the indiscretion with which the 
prefect had encouraged their assailants had been followed by 
his disgrace ; but this had been merely a popular persecu- 
tion, and the resistance of the Jews to it might be excused, 
and its abettor punished. Wheuj however, the decree of the 
senate should be launched, with the sanctions of law and 
power, for the establishment of the emperor's worship, in the 
synagogue, opposition to it would be regarded with far other 
eyes, the liai^ of the multitude would be backed by all the 
force of Borne, and the hands of the prefect str^gthtoed for 
a complete and final victory. When Bassus arrived to take 
the place of Flaccus, he bore, periiaps, in his hands the in- 
strument of this spiritual tyranny. The triumph of the 
Jewish party was but short-lived. Kot only in' Alexandria 
but, as they were informed^ in Judea imd throughout the 
w<^d, the decree for the worship of "Ac idol of stone would 
be q>eedily enforced without remorse. Possibly there was 
still a moment of smp^se before the bolt felL The Alexan- 
drian Jews sought to avert it by a direct appeal to the sense 
or mercy of the emperor. Among many learned, and elo- 
quent men who adorned their persuasion, was lub that tiitie 
one of peculiar eminence, whose profoxmd erudition and skill 
in moulding the belief of his country to the philosophy of 

* Soet I o. We must remember the in&tuated worship they ht»d them- 
■elres paid to Antonlos hi the guise of Bacchus more than seventj years beAntk 

Digitized by 



the Greeks, have given him a high place in the ranks of class* 
„ . . ical literature. Philo the Jew, as he was spe- 

MlSSiODOf , _, _ , ^ _ ,. . .11. ^ 1 

Philo tbe Jew. cially designated, to distinguish him m>m the 
A. A. 40. many scholars who once hore the same name but 
have long passed into oblivion, was now sent 
with four others as a deputation from his countrymen in 
Egypt, to lay before Cains the grievances under which they 
suffered, to explain the nature of their religious scruples, and 
to avert if possible the wrath of the self-styled Divinity by 
protestations of loyalty and true devotion. 

The account of this embassy, which the illustrious envoy 
has himself left us, is one of the most curious monuments 
intorriewof of autiquity. No other fragment of ancient his- 
^rs tJiS" ^" *o^> excepting perhaps the fourth of Juvenal's 
^^ Satires, gives us so near an insight into the actual 

domestic life of the rulers of the world ; and though the 
style of Philo is laborious and turgid, and the character of 
his mind, ever exercised in weaving plausible unrealities, 
sudi as to engage little danfidence in his judgment or even 
in his statements of £9U^t, nevertheless we ioannot rise from its 
perusal without feeling that we have made a personal ac- 
quaintance, to use the words of another sophist, with the 
kind of beast called a tyrant^ As Antipas and Agrippa had 
contended which should outstrip the other in first reaching 
the prince's ante-chamber, so the Alexandrians sent now 
their deputation as well as the Jews, and both the one and 
the other landed almost iat the same moment on the coast of 
Campania. The Jews were ntueh dkmayed at hearing on 
their arrival that Petionius, the governor of Judea, had been 
commanded to erect a colosl3aI figure of the Csssarin the 
temple of Jerusalem, even in. the Holy of Holies ; * and that 
the consummation of this crowning impiety, retailed fi:>r a 

V The saying of Apollonius of Tjana, twenty years later, as reSl^ed by 
Philostratos, iv. 87. : rb 3i O^piov tovto 6 KoXovaiv ol irolXdi H/ponwoKolrr^ 
&7r6<nu ol Ke^aXotl avrtf oldoc, ofrre d yafiijt^nwx^ re Koi KopxapoSovv larn* 

* Fhilo, loffoL ad Oamn^ 26. : olx^(^ if*^ ^^ lep6v hv6pt6vra K6?uotrGi^ 
tiffwdTo rCnf adirrav ivared^yai 6 PdiOC vpockra^e Aide ^irlxX^tv aitrov, ^ 

Digitized by 


A. U. 79S.J UNDEB THE EHPIBE. 8 x 7 

moment bj that officer's heaitation at the prayers, the mar- 
mnrs, ttnd the menaces of the true believers, was urged more 
imp^utively than before by a fresh ii^iinction from Bome,^ 
and now only^ awaited the completion of the abominable im- 
age by the hands of Phoenician artificers. At this moment 
the tyrant waa flitting from one of his villas to another, fol- 
lowed by trains of courtiers and petitioners, and among them 
the rival envoys of Egypt, long nnable to obtain an au- 
dience. At last he summoned these last to an interview to- 
gether in the gardens of Mwcenas, which he had connected 
with the ample pleasure grounds of the Lamias, and where 
he was engaged in planning extensions and alterations, to 
adapt the proudest seats oi the nobility to the proportions 
of a royal residence. This was the spot, says Philo, chosen 
whereon to enctct the catastrophe of the great drama of Jew- 
ish nationaUty.^ Sere, he continues, \oe fourhd the tj^ranty 
surrounded hy stewards, architects, and workmen, — every haU 
and chamber thrown open for his inspection, — ranging from 
room to room. CaUed into his presence, toe advanced rever- 
ently and discreetly, saluting him by the title of AugusPus 
and Imperator. Halting for a moment in his eccentric 
course, he suddenly addressed them. Whca, said he, are 
you the Ood-haters, the men toho deny my divinity, confessed 
by aU the world besides f* and he raised his hand towards 
heaven with a frightful execration. The Alexandrians pressed 
forward in their turn with odious adulation. Xord and mas- 
ter, said their spokesman Isidorus, stiU more, and more justly, 
wHl you hate them, when you learn thai ofcMmcmkind these 

Jews alone have refused to sacrifice for your safety. 

L(yrd Caius, Lord Cams, exclaimed the Jews, we are slan- 
dered* We have sacrificed for you, we ha/ve offered hecu- 
tombs, we have not feasted on the flesh of our victims, btU 

* FhOo, kff, ad Cau 44. : KeWi yap lirl Trapovaiv i/uv 1} /card Trdvrof rci 
Khovc Ifie^Xe aiajvopartiaO<u ipafiarvKoiXa. 

* Phflo, L c : hfiu^ hark 61 SeofuceiCt ol Oedv ft^ vo/jU^ovreg elval fte^ rd» 
^ irapa iraffiv rote 5AAo«c ivofuiXxryrinhofV, 

* Pbflo, c. 45. : Ki}pu r4le, avKxypavroh/utfa. 

Digitized by 



have made holocatuts of them^ not once but thrice already: 
first token you aammed the empire, again when you were 
restored from your dire disease^ once more for the suooese of 
your eajpedition against the Germans. . . . Beitso, replied 
he, ye sacrificed for me, but not to me. The anfortunate 
Jews were struck dumb with abysm/U terror.^ For a mo- 
ment they were relieved by the emperor suddenly rushing 
off to some distant apartments, some upstairs, some below, 
examining their proportions and decorations, approving here, 
ordering changes and reconstructions elsewhere. The en- 
voys were hurried in his train, backwards and forwards, the 
Alexandrians pressing on with them, and ever jeering and 
mocking them, as in a play. But at the next pause in his 
career, Caius turned round abruptly with the question, Pray, 
gentlemen, vshy do not you eat porJef Whereat the Alexan- 
drians in their glee so far forgot themselves as to burst into 
loud uncourtly merriment, which brought on them firowns 
and shrugs from some of the emperor's attendants. The 
moment was favourable to the Jewish envoys, and they an- 
swered discreetly, JEhery people h,as its special customs ; our 
opponents are not without their own peculiarities. • • Soma 
nations, one of them meekly suggested, refrain from eating 
thefiesh of young lambs. . . Qv/Ue right too, screamed the 
emperor, their meat is had. Pleased with his joke, whidi 
took the Jews by surprise, he went on more mildly to inquire 
into the national usages of their countrymen : but when tiiey 
began to address him in a set speech, explaining and justify* 
ing the principles of their polity, he soon cut them short, 
afraid> as Philo surmised, to listen to a justification which he 
should be unable to refute, and rushed back to his architeo- 
tural fancies. Among the wonders before them, the envoys, 
terrified as they were, could not help remarking the windows 
of one chamber filled with a transparent stone, admitting 
the light but warding off the wind, and tempering the burn- 
ing rays of the sun. Once more the emperor came up to 

» PhUo, c 45. : fpltai fiiOioc. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


tbem, and desired them, with less asperity than at first, to 
resmne their explanations; but again he interrupted them 
after a few words by nmning off to superintend the arrange- 
ment of some pictures. The Jews continued still to follow 
bim, more dead than aliye from fear, putting in from time to 
time a few words of solicitation or apology, but addressing 
themselTes all the while in silent prayer to the great God of 
their &ther8. He had mercy^ says Philo, upon t^, and 
turned at last the emperor* a heart to pity. . . Men toho think 
me no Qody exclaimed Gaius, ixre more unfortunate^ after aU, 
than criminal/ and with this remark he left the place and 
dismissed them. Though his last words were not ungracious, 
the Jews perceived that they had failed in the object of their 
miflsi<Hi, and retomed home with heayy hearts, with no hope 
in the compassion or justice of man. They betook them- 
selves to their God, and they found deliverance. The reso- 
lution indeed of the tyrant was in no wise shaken ; the in- 
stances even of Agrippa, whom the Jews engaged to plead 
their cause, and to enforce moral with political arguments, 
were totally unavailing.* The orders to Petronius were re- 
peated with mcreasing stringency, and every plea and pre- 
text for delay disregarded. The Jews, stung to madness, 
were prepmng to defend their holy place at the price of 
their national existence, when in a moment a blow, that 
might seem heavenrdirected, struck down the monster, and 
paralysed the sacrilege. But the crimes of this semi-Oriental 
divinity have yet to be described more particularly, before 
we can rejmce as it deserves in the just retribution of his 

* Joeeph. AnHq. Jud. xviii. 9. 8. According to Uiis writer Caius at 6ne 
moment yielded to Agrippa, and rescinded his orders to Petronius ; but on 
hearing of tiie resistaooe the Jews were prepared to make^ repeat^ them 
iDOte TohflBieBtij tfaaa crrer. The Usfc vasaN^ howerer, did not reach Petro> 
unit tiH aftor the news had srriTed of the tyrant^s death. Ck>mp. Tac HwL v. 
9. : " JoBsi a Odo Cfesare effigiem ^us in templo locare, arma potius sumpse* 
cunt : qoem motum Coesaris mors diremit." 

Digitized by 





msRcis or his iDUCAnoN and TRAiNma. — ^his gomtsuft vob pouncAL 

DI8amaE£(. — THK priesthood or THX ABICUN DIANA.~<X>L0S8iX CHARAC- 
HIM. — ^HE IS SLAIN BY CASSIUS CHOREA, (a. D. 39-41., A. U. 792-794.) 

THE loss of several books of the annals of Tacitus leaves 
ns dependent for our knowledge of the domestio events 
Theprinetpato o^ ^^ third principato on the meagre pi^es of 
k[S?^5i£^f Dion and Suetonius. Of that immortal work, 
^^^*^ every gap in which jnaj be equally deplored as 

a loss to history and to philosophy, four books, from the sev- 
enth to the t^ith, contained the affidrs of less than ten years ; 
a larger space proportionally than the writer had allowed to 
the details of the Tiberian administration ; £rom whenoe we 
may conclude that the later period was even more prolific 
than the earlier in important and interesting events. If two 
or even three of these books were appropriated, as we may 
suppose, to the reign of Gains, many circumstances must un- 
doubtedly have been deemed worthy of more particular con- 
sideration than we find in the dry statements of Dion, and 
the desultory anecdotes of the Roman biographer, and must 
have occupied, in the thoughtful view of a wiser writer, no 

Digitized by 


A.n.790.] UNDER THE EMPIRE. 321 

unimportant place in the general history of his countrymen. 
We may presume that in them the afiairs of the Bonotan 
admixiistration in the East (of which we now derive onr 
information from Jewish sootcea only) were treated with the 
fdloeas of detail and w^th of lapgnage which became the 
pen of the most doqnent of historians, and with all that 
deep interest in the. subjefct which must have beenl^ltby 
one who had lived to wituess the struggle and awM caitas- 
trophe in which they had resulted. From them we should 
have leamty perhaps, the ^r^l nature of the complaints of the 
Alexandrians against the Jewfi, and have been admitted, at 
least, to a funiliiir acqnaint^ce with the condition of the 
Egyptian capital, with its mixed population of surly Copts, 
Bubtie and garrulous Greeks^ reserved $nd busy Hebrews, 
We should hav^ traced, in a few burning touches nevdSt* to 
be obliterated, the fierce unyielding character of that mar- 
vellous people, to whom, as the surest of humati depositaries, 
were oommitted the oracles of God. We should have re- 
ceived more particular details of the false and offensive 9tate- 
ments regarding the origip of the intruders from Palestine, 
wMch mroulated among their enemies, and which, as we dis- 
oorer from the allusion of Tacitus himself at a later period, 
were accepted by the Romans with the prone credulity of 
national exasperation.^ 

But more especially we might expect to have found in 
these lost books a judicious and- temperate survey of the state 
of public feeling at Rome, and a co?iparative HowTadtns 
view of the genius of the nation as it appeared ^Sated^e 
under the first and under the third princeps; «mp«wc»!afl. 
with an estimate of the manifest decHne of national senti- 
ments, and dieoay of ancient ideas, which cpnld render 
possible the existence of a tyranny Oriental in its features, a 
reign of abject terror and self-abasement in the centre erf the 
Wfestem capital, in the midst of every outward appliance 
of luxury and festive enjoyment. We should have seen 

' Tactitufl, HisL v. 2-b. 
VOL. T.— 21 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


X^erhaps portrayed in glowing characters the cironmstance 
which marked the great distinction between the deq>otism 
of a Tiberias imd a Cains : that the one blighted widi its 
chill shadow the germs of national enjoyment ; while the 
other, though &r more wanton and ferodons, suiTOimded 
itself with all the most alluring forms of gaiety and voluptu- 
ousness. Aboye all, we should have admired the dark jncture 
of the terrible emperor himself, drawn as Tacitus only could 
have drawn him, as a deified Tarquin or a crowned and 
sceptred Gatilina. In a few striking lines he has already 
described him to us, such as he was in early youth, a de- 
graded and servile dissembler, drowning all sense of honour 
and affection in obscene sensuality, making himself unworthy 
of life for mere life's sake:^ in another place a single 
expt'ession escaping from his pen, implies his belief in the 
monster's insanity ; * and this no doubt is the view of his 
character which the complete account of his career, had it 
descended to us, would have brought out in Ml and startling 

The most cursory examination, indeed, of our existing 
authorities will show that, while they seem to vie in reciting 
« .V, t^o worst atrocities of the Oaian principate, thwe 

Possibly some . ,.,.,,. * ,. -» 

iiOastieehafl is much m which thciT accounts contradict each 

been done to 

tte ch«racter Other, and much about which a thoughtful reader 
is constrained to suspend his credence. Critics, 
accordingly, have not been wanting who, rejecting as con- 
fused and incredible the bulk of this hostile testimony, have 
suggested that Caius was in truth the victim of the capital 
and the noWlity, a protector of the provinces and the popu- 

* Tac Ann, tL 20. 

* Tac Ann, tm, 8. ; '^'Gaii torbaU mens.** Again, Imt not quite ia tiM 
tame seoie {Hid, ir. 48)» ^'TittbidaB aaimi.'' Seneca, ia a pMtage qaotod 
•bOYQ^ speaks of his imania as sufficieotly manifest So again (Ootu, odFotyb^ 
86.), "Fuiiosa Inoonstantia.** StaUos, kylv. iil 8. 70. "funis agitatos." Sue- 
tonius assures us that he was himself sensible of his infirmity, and proposed to 
take a course of hellebore hi retirement CaUg, 60. His distraction of mind, 
his habitual fever and sleeplessness, as described by this writer, are strongly 
Indicatiye of intermittent insanity. 

Digitized by 



laoe, whose oharacter was blackened with desperate malice 
by the ammosity of partisans. Even the adyerse testimony 
oi Taoitoa, they wonld nrge, might have served, as in the 
case of Tiberias, to discredit some statements of his col- 
leagues, and tlms to miti^^te onr idea of the crimes of the 
object of their common hostility. It is possible we might 
read in the character of Cains, thns sifted by oross-ezamin* 
ation of the adverse witnesses, an anxiety to avoidi the 
errors of his predecessor; and that as Tiberias sedaded 
himself fiom his people, and fell into the hands of an on- 
worthy £Eivoarite, his saccessor may have resolved to know 
everything and do everyliang himself, to rely on no minister 
or adviser, bat rashmg onceasingly &om Rome to Italy, 
&om Italy to the provinces, to inform himself of every detail 
of his world-wide administration : a task to which no i&an 
was equal, least of all & skMy yboth of imperfect edacation 
and anbahmced intellect, — a task which had overstrained 
the energy of a Jnlias, the si^^ity of an Aagtistos, and the 
pradent indostry of a Tiberias. That there was a period at 
the commencement of his brief prindpate daring which there 
was at least a straggle between beneficent wishes and selfish 
inclinationfl, whai his liberal and patriotic declarations were 
not conscioasly insincere, nor his deference to the people and 
senate aanimed at the mere dictate of fear, cannot &Mj be 
dispnted. His activity was certainly remarkable ; many of 
his plans of pablic improvem^it were as wise as they were 
bold ; the vigilance of his government never relaxed ; thongh 
well aware of the perils of his position, he was harassed by 
no craven timidity ; we hear of no complaints nnder him of 
aflQurs neglected, and foes enoooraged : yet he yielded himself 
to no minister or favonrite ; he did his own work with a 
vdiement impetaosity, no less conspieaoas in the toils of 
administratioii than in the excesses of debauchery. Never- 
theless, the verdict of antiqoity has gone against him. The 
qaestion with our imperfect lights will not bear to be re- 
opened ; and we have no other course but to join in the 
general condemnation pronounced upon the miserable strip- 
Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


ling, of whom the best that can Jye said is that the wildness 
of a brain, stricken in the cradle -with hereditary insanity, 
was aggravated by the horrors of his nnnetaral position^ 
Acc^ting the commcm impression of his character as on the 
whole sufficiently established, I shall besatisfied with point- 
ing out, in one or two remarkable instances^ the apparent 
misrepresentation of conduct really wise and laudable. 

The men, it must be obseryed, who had preceded Gaius 
in empire had all been trained to rule by kmg exemse, and 
DiflftdvuititfOT ^d tested their powers in the best of sehools, in 
SSSed^to** manly obedience to the circumstances which 
powee. controlled them* Ouus alone had inherited his 

autocracy without undergoing this discipline, for the mere 
abject servility of his submission to his uncle does not des»-ve 
th^ name of a moral and reasonable training. It was only 
fot a short time that he had enjoyed any expectation of 
eventually succeeding, and the sole course whidti then offered 
for reaching the glittering prise was to crouch unremarked 
in the shadow of the emperor's footstool. He was jealously 
precluded from the efforts which might have helped to fit 
him tor the arduous post before him. Such instruction as he 
received was confined to merely literary exerdses : the habit 
of declamation, though ostensibly the training of a Cicero 
or a Demosthenes, had in fitct no more bearing on real affiiirs 
than the lessons of a modem' schoolboy. When we read 
that Oaius pronounced a funeral harangue over the Mer of 
Livia at the age of fifteen ; that Augustus and Julius Osesar, 
and others, performed similar feats in still tenderer years, 
we must consider these exercitationa as mere conventional 
themes, composed by rule and measure, and under a tutor's 
eye. As a scholar Gains showed some vivacity, and achieved, 
perhaps, some success ; the remarks recorded of him in later 
years show natural wit and cleverness:^ but there is no 
reason, to suppose that his mind expanded by exercise and 

* As, for instance, his calling livia an Ulysset inpetlicoats (" Ulyxem stola- 
tum^), and describing the style of Seneca, the philosophep, as unUmpfred tnor^ 
'or (" arenam sine calce "). Suet Caiiff, 28, 58. 

Digitized by 



observatu^i, or that he ever learnt much more than what his 
pedagogues instilled into iiim.* Snch talents and snch ao- 
oompliahments had none of the bone and muscle of true 
intellectnal strength, a^d ooold impart no jast self-reliance 
to the pupil, who entered almost at the sarnie moment on 
manhood and on ^mpire^ ■ There is, however, imother respect 
in which the praotioal training of the earlier emperors, de- 
nied to CainS) aided in the development Of their native genius 
fcff government. At this crisis in the life of the Koman 
peofde, when soci^y, shaken to its basis, trembled' on the 
verge of hopeless anftroby, the broad enunciation of a princi* 
pie or theory of government might have overturned it in a 
naofment. It was not for the eaftty of ther rulers only that 
it was requisite to rest in pmetieal expedi^its ; it was much 
more essential to the wel&re of the people that they shotdd 
be kepi in ignorance of the real views of their rulers, and 
allowed to indulge is the dream of independence, from 
whieh they derived thdr selfo-espeot, and walked with firmer 
step and ereotei^ carriage. If the substance of freedom was 
irretrievably lost^ it would have been mere cynicism to strip 
tbem of the shadow which they still mistook for it, and 
deprive them of the la^ consolations of their brilliant servi- 
tude. This was the lesson which Augustus and Tiberius 
learnt in the school of experietice, before their time arrived 
for applying it : but suoh a lesson was never impressed on 
the rude mind of their successor. Caius, when he found 
himself the master of a legion of slaves, felt neither shame 
nor scruple in proclaiming his own power, and exacting their 
devotion. He despised as ignoble the caution of his prede- 
cee0(»r8 in .disclaiming ,the full ackowledgment of Hmr un- 
doubted prerogatives. He regarded himsd^ not as a 
Princeps or Imperator, but as a King ; and if he did not 

* It must be aSoirod, boweter, that Joeepbus {^An&q, ML ^z. % 5.) speaks 
Di^ily of tbto prince's edncatSon, though be admits that it was nullified by the 
corse of his poidtSon : hnpirrtvot rt r«y icatr* ainbv iroX*r6v, cv ftijp ivTiffxelv 
tia re kyhero avr^ rd U iff fraidetac avXXeyevTa ayaBh irpbc rbv hny^vra 
dXeOpov abr^ {nrb t^c k^ovciac 

Digitized by 



extort from his subjects the odious Utld, he allowed the idea 
to become impressed on them by jurists and moralists ; so 
that we may now begin to trace the dawning in the Roman 
mind of the theory of royal prerogative. The complete and 
irresponsible power he claimed over the persons and property 
of his people, and even the soil on which they stood, was 
derived neither from hereditary nor elective right : it was 
the prey of the strongest, which Fate had placed in his 
hands, and which Force only could secure to him.' His 
wild untutored intellect could grasp, perhaps, no higher or 
subtler principle of authority than this : it was ever present 
to his mind and harassed it with perpetual anxiety : he lived 
in constant oscillation between the exultation of unrestrained 
enjoyment and the depressing consoionsness of danger : he 
strained his imagination to realize by the most wanton ex- 
cesses the substance of unlimited power, at <me mom^it as 
an eocciten^ent, at another as a relief smd consoll^tic^.. 

Many instances are given of the$e exoQ^sed, to some of 
which the course of our narrative will compel us to refer. 
stnnge Btoiy ^ mention one only in this place, which seems to 
h^ oF^f ' illustrajte, in a form which may be r^^^-ded, per- 
Arician Diana, j^j^pg^ ^^ mythical rather than strictly true, tie 
turn which the position of Caius gave to his reflections. In 
the dark recesses of the woods which overshadowed the 
lake of Kemus, stood a chi^l of the Taurio Diann, whose 
sanguinary rites on the shores of the Cimmerian Bospborus 
were remembered, though no longer practised, in the milder 

* Thus, we read in Seneca, de Bene/, vu. 4. : " Jure ciyiH omnia Regis sunt, 
et tamen ilia quorum ad regem pertinct tmiversa possessio, in singdos dominos 
deMaripte sunt, ei imaqiueqiie res babei poBseBsore&i foam .... Ad reget po- 
testas omniom perttBet, ad singiilos pn^iietas.*' Tine^ he ia here lading dowo 
a general principle : but its appUoability to the Roman polity of hia day ia hardly 
disguised. So again (yil 6.): ^ CsBsar omnia habet, fiscus, ^us prirata tantum 
ac sna; et uniTeraa in imperio cjis suat, inpatximonio prq^ria.^ (Plin. Frnt^. 
60.x pnuaing the moderation of Tnjan: "Est quod Caesar non snum videt" 
Compare, at a later period, Galus, u. 7. : **In provinciali solo dominiura popuU 
Bomani est vel CsBsaris. Memento,'* said Cuus of himself (Suet CaUff. 29.^ 
** omnia mihi et in omncs licere." 

Digitized by 


A. TJ. 790.] UNDER THE EMPIRB. 327 

dime of Latinm. Nevertheless, the belief still commonly 
prerailed that the priest, or king as he was d^iominated, who 
ministered at her altar was qualified for his offioe by the 
slaughter of his predecessor, and held it Only by the tenure 
of strength in combat or swiftaiess in flight againi^ the next 
aspirant. &ich was the I^end of the shrine, which had be* 
come embodied in the poetical ritual of Ovid, and was noted 
even in the grayer treatise of the geographer Strabo,^ If so 
wiM an usage had ever actually existed, and received the 
sanction of authority, we may believe that it had long Mien 
into desuetuda But the story rendered current by the cred- 
ulity of popular antiquarians excited the curiosity and hor- 
ror of the vulgar ; and Gains, ever logical in his deductions^ 
and a shrewd prosoriber of all hollow pretensions, affected 
indignation that the actual ineumb«it of the office, the cham- 
pion of tiie grove, should enjoy his dignified indolence xmr 
challenged. He instigated, we are assured, a stronger man 
to seek him in his retreat, imd required him to defend his 
preferment with his life.* We may imagine the grim satis- 
fiietionwith which the imperial philosopher might reduce 
this theory of succession to practice. Such, at all events, 
was the view he took of his own position. He r^^arded him- 
self sometimes perhaps with a bitter smile, as no other than 
the minister of a bloody destiny, once raised to power by a 
deed of blood, and liable to be cast down not less suddenly 
by another. 

The contemplation of his extraordinary position as the 
drified autocrat of the world, lying as it did almost beyond 
the verge to which a Roman's imagination could oaiiui imbibes 
at this period extend, jeems to havefiUed this J^^sS^,^* 
vain creature's mind with an inward assurance, »»*""• 

'Grid, J'oitiil 271.: 

**fiegiia teneofc fortesque manu pedibuaqae fbgaoee, 
Et pent exemplo poetmodo qiusque suck*' 
Oomp. Strabo, v. 8. p. 289* : rd 9 'AprefiUrmf b koXowh ISi/tog . . . , «i2 
y6p Tt papPapuobv Kpanl koI iKuSutiv irepil rd lep^ iOot' ^i^pilc wfv iarlv oej, 
KepUTKOTTuv T^c hrtdioBiCy hroi/ioc hfiivtoBai. 

* Suet CaL 36. : **Nemoreii^ regi, quod multos jam aimos potiretur sacer- 
dotio, Tafidiorem adversarium subomayit." 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


which he mistook perhaps for the inspiration of divinity, 
that Jie iras altogether a being of different texture from the 
common clay of mortality. As shepherds orherddmen differ 
in species from the animals they dispose o^ so, he boldly 
argued, mnst the ruler of the Roman world belong to a higher 
and grander existence than the troop of slaves he governs.* 
When this conception had taken possession of him, it became 
his passion to realize it in every outward act ; to prove to 
himself, to manifest to the world, that he was subject to none 
of the laws by which mere men are controlled; that his 
transcendental being was elevated above the restnunts of all 
inferior eidstences ; that he stood in incommunicable digmty 
far aloof from the ordinary sympathies of humanity: while 
no conception was so daring, no combination so preposter6us, 
as to be beyond his power to execute. Thus, oai the one 
hand, we find him taking a pride in showing himself inacces- 
sible to the ordinary sentiment of pity, steeling himself to 
the sight of pain, and at last feeling, or a&cting perhaps to 
feel, an actual pleasure in it; * exulting again in the defiance 
of the rules of common decency^ and indulging in open 
shamelessness of behaviour, for the mere wanton sport of of- 
fending and horrifying his assoctates* It was in this spirit 
that he complained that his reign was signalized by no great 
public calamity, such as the Yarian massacre, or the fall of 
the theatre at FidensB.* On the other hand, he delighted in 
the execution of the most fitntastic projects, to prove, as it 
would seem, that he was lord both of sea and land, and of 
all the powers of nature, and that nothing was too extrava- 
gant, nothing too amazing, for the deified Csesar to effect. 
Tp stand on the summit of a lofty basilica and scatter money 

' Philo, fc^.tn CW. 11. 

* It pleased him to say that he practised the ddiMrrpe^o, or steadfastness 
of the Stoics, in aocostoming liimself to gaze upon human soffedDg without 
blenching. Pliny remarks, as a pecoliarity of this emperor's eyes, that they 
seldom or never winked : he calls tb«n *^ ocnli rigentes ^ (if. 2f. xL 64.) ; but 
whether this was natural, or had haea attahied by muscular effort, he does not 

■ Suet. CaSff. 81. 

Digitized by 



to the populace, seemed to him an act of divitxeniuiiifioenice; 
to Bail aloi^ the Oampanian eoaat in enormoofl gsdley s^ cap- 
ped with portieoeB, baths, and bahqnet halls, interspersed 
inth gardens and (orchards, delighted him as a defian<)e of 
the dements.^ 

We find the colossal character of this ironder-worker's 
eonoeptions ronning; as generally with the Roman potentates, 
in the direction of material constmetiosis. To 

-- - , _ _ _ Colossal con- 

puu mown itt order to re^er€etjio change the sqtuxre oeptioofor 
into the round /-^"^aoh^ in a word, was the idea chf^tonSsxl 
which g^Teraed the passion of the time for build* ^^■*^®**- 
ing, whi<di was constantly projecting the bay of the tribune 
firom the flat wall of the basiUoa, rq)lacing the obk»ig tem« 
pie of €hfece with the circular dome-yaulted Pantheon, and 
turning the arch, the genuine inyention of native art, to sup- 
port story above story, and rear Antiochs and Alexandrias 
upon the area of Rome. To build was to create^ and to 
create was divine. Fired with the persuasion of his august 
divinity, Cains rioted hi the number and magnifloence of his 
architectural undertakings. He completed the temple of 
Augustus, which Tiberius had left unfinished, and effected 
the repair or restoration of the theatre of Fompeius, which 
had suffered by an accidental conflagration, while he com- 
menced an amphitheatre of his- own on the site of the Septa 
in the Campus.' The great aqueduct which conveyed the 
waters of the Aqua Claudia to Rome, together with those of 
the Anio Novus, whidi were conducted in a s^arate chan- 
nel above them, was also designed by Caius, though the work 
was &r too gigantic to be accomplished during his short ten- 
ure of power. The furthest point from which these streams 
were carried was more than fifty-six miles ftbm the city ; but 
for a distance of nearly ten miles the channel was suspended 
on an unbroken series of arches, which in some places ex- 

' Suet CaUff. 37. : "Nihil tarn effioore eononpisoebat qaiua quod posseeffid 

* Suet CaSff. 21.: ** Opera sub Tiberio semiperfecta . . • abeol?iC' 

Digitized by 



oeeded an Irandred feet in keight.^ Thk wits reputed in 
eretj respect the greatest of all the fine works of this kind 
executed at Rome ; and however jieedleaa and eztraYagiint 
may have been the ostentation displayed in its method of 
construction, we must not feil to admire the utiHty of its de- 
sign. Several works are enumerated whieh Gains projected 
for the decoration of the provinces, but of these none per- 
haps were completed, nor indeed did they deserve to be so ; ' 
unless we except one of a different kind, the cutting of the 
Isthmus of Oorinth, the expediency of which is so mamfeet^ 
that it is much to be wondered that unong the many project- 
ors who designed, none ever succeeded in efS^ting it. It is 
hardly possible to give serious credit to one of the plans 
ascribed to him, that of building a <uty in the passes of 
the Alps. It seems more reasonable to suspect that the peo- 
ple chose thus to caricature some scheme of beneficenoe, 
such, for instance, as the establishment Of a hospice' in tine 
wilderness of snows.* The creation of harbours of refuge 
at Rhegium and on the opposite coast of Skalj for the com 
ships which encountered the perils of the Messanian straits 
was worthy of a prudent government ; but though design- 
ed and begun, the undertaking languished for lack of funds. 
The importAi ^^^ ^^ nevcT Completed.^ The enlargement of 
paiMBof Gains, the palace of the OeBsars was a freak of Oriental 
extravagance* From the northern angle of the Palatine hill 
where the modest residence of Augustus had overlooked tho 
forum, Caius extended a series of chambers and arcades to 
the valley beneath, uid made the t^nple of Oastor and Pol- 
lux serve as a vestibule to the imperial abode. The emperor, 
it is said, would frequently take his stand between the statues 
of the twin deities, the guardians of the city, and thus ex««. 

> Plln. Hid, NaL xxxvi. 24. 10. ; FronUnus, de Aqucedud^ 13, U. ; Becker, 
lidm. AUertK I 704. 

* Suet L c: "DestinaTerat et Sami Poljcratis regiam restituere, HileU 
Didymeom peragere.*' Com. Dkm, Hx. 28. 

* Suet L c: "In Alpium Jugo urbem condere." 

* Joseph. Antiq. Jud. xix. 2. 5. 

Digitized by 


A.V.191.] UNDER THE EMPIRE. 33 1 

hibtt bimself for the adoration of the passers by. But h« 
aflEected to ocmverse with Jupiter himBelf, enshrined in the 
temple of the Oapitol^and fbr this purpose he required a 
readier iDeans of aec^s to the saored motmt. 
Aeoordingly he carried a yiaduct fh>m the Palar »<3roH tiie Ye- 
tme to the Capttoline, a bold oonstmetion, sus- ™^ 
pended above the buildings of the Yelabmm, and designed^ 
we may suppose^ to riyal the bridge oyer the TyropcBum at 
Jerusalem, oi» of the chief wonders of the Eastern metrop- 
olis, of which he had often loved to hear.^ 

That so vast a siruoture should have been flung boldly 
across so wide and deep a goige, and completed within the 
space of two or three years, may excite our wonder, and al- 
most stagger our belief yet it may seem still more astonish- 
ing that every remnant and vestige of it should have been 
swept entirely away. It is probable indeed, that this demol- 
ition was c<Hi8ummated within a few years after the first 
completion of the edifice. But this is only one out of many 
instances of the promptness with which the great Roman 
builders overthrew whatever stood in the way of newer and 
generally still grander designs, and transferred the enormous 
piles of hewn materials to ftesh and often very different des- 
tinations* The most remarkable and renowned, however, of 
this emperor's creations was constructed of &r less solid ma- 
terials, and nevOT intended perhaps to serve any other than 
a temporMy purpose. If we may beUeve the accounts we 
have received from various authors, the great „. ^ , 

' ® His bridge 

bridge 'of boats which Caius threw across the *cPOiith« 
Baian Gulf from Banli to Puteoli was a freak of 

' Soei Ckdiff. 22. : " ^per temptmn August! ponte transmisso Palatiom 
CapitoHmnqiie ooi^jimzit*' The site of this temple is not known, but it may 
rtej wefl b»Te been at the foot of the Palatine and of the house of Angostos. 
The width of the valley from crest to crest is above two hundred yards. Pliny 
takes occasion from this junction of one quarter of the city with another to say, 
with a bold penrerdon of language, that Gains mrrmmehd Rome with his palace : 
**BiB Tidimns nrbem totam cingi domibus principum Ctdl etNeronis." SitC 
NuL zxxvL 24. 6. 

Digitized by 



insane vanity, the most extravagant toy, perhaps, that btunan 
folly ever invented to sport with one day and oast away the 
next. Between Bnm and Banli, on the western ride of this, 
celebrated bay, a spit of land projects a few hundred yards 
into the sea towards the opposite point of Puteoli, about two 
miles distant; and this is also nearly the depth of the BiTC 
defined by these two prominent headlands. From Puteoli, 
on the other hand, a mole advanced into the water, built upon 
arches, the remains of which extend twelve hundred feet ; 
and thus there existed on either side of the bay the rudi- 
ments, the one natural the other artificial, of a com|d6te mole 
or breakwater. It was by a parallel mound or bank at the 
bottom of this bay that the sea was excluded from the Lu- 
crine Lake and the Avemus beyond it. The great work of 
Agrippa, who converted this lake into a haven by perforat- 
ing the mound with a ship-canal, has beai noticed in an ear- 
lier chapter. It was not beyond the means, nor above the 
bold conception, of a wise and paternal ruler to improve on 
this political masterpiece, by the construction of a mole, vast, 
indeed, as its dimensions must have been both in length and 
depth, at the entrance of the outer gulf Such was the prin- 
ciple of the works effected by the steadfast energy of a later 
emperor, which still exist at Civita Vecchia or Centumc^lba ; 
and the great amount of shipping which must have been 
often assembled at Puteoli, as well as the importance of its 
cargoes, might have justified the expense and grandeur of 
such an undertaking. But no such purpose can be aaeribed 
to Caius ; his object was as selfish as the means he employed 
were showy and unsubstantiaL The ancient legions of the 
bay ascribed the dyke of the Lucrine, a broad shingle-bank 
thrown up in the course of ages by the sea, to the creative 
power of Hercules ; and the ambition to vie with the man-god 
was more powerful with the self-styled divinity, who affected 
to rival him, than any magnificent conceptions of imperial 
policy. He ransacked, we are told, the havens far and near 
to collect every vessel he could lay hands on, till commerce 
was straitened in every quarter, and Italy itself threatened 

Digitized by 


A. U. 792.] UlfDEB THB EMPIRE. 333 

with fiunine. These yeasds ho yoked together side by side, 
in a double line, extending from one shore to the other.' On 
this broad and well-oompacted base he placed an enormons 
platform of timber ; this again he covered with earth, and 
paved, after the manner of a military highroad, with stones 
hefwn and laid in cement. The way thus buiU was ftimished 
with nnmeroas stations or post-honses, for the use of which 
fresh water was conveyed by an aqueduct from the continent.* 
Such, it seems, was this extraordinary bridge : it could never 
have been intended to retain it permanently; it was doubt- 
less necessary to restore the vessels which had been pressed 
into tire service of the prince's vanity; but he determined 
before abandoning his work to enact on it a peculiar pageant, 
the novelty and brilliancy of which should transcend every 
recorded phantasy of kings or emperors.* The venerable 
seer ThrasyUus had prophesied, it seems, at an earlier period, 
that the young Caius would no more become emperor than 
he would ever drive his chariot across the gulf of Baite.* 
Gains had indeed attained to power, yet the words might 
still ring ominonsly in his ears ; pride and superstition com- 

' DioB^ lax, 17. : o^' ovKep koX Xifidc ivrery IroAi^i koX h V6ftif ii&Xiara 
iax»fp^ eytvero. We may be allowed to suspect that tlus statement is founded 
upon a remark of Seneca which will hardly bear it out J)e Brev, ViL 18. : 
**Dum iUe pontes naribus jungit, et Tiribus imperii ludit, aderat .... afimen- 
toram egesta^ Exltia pone et fkme oonstith .... superb! regis imitatio.^ 
Bui tii« scarcity he speaki of occurred at the moment of Oaius^a death, whldi 
waa two years later, when there waa found, it was said, to be no more than seveD 
or eij^t days* consumption of com in the granaries. 

* Suet CdHg. 19. ; Dion, lix. 17. ; Jos^h. Antiq, Jvd, xix. 1. The first 
makes the length 8S00 paces, the second 26 stades, the lost 80 stades ; but the 
real difltanoe ifl about two miles. 

* Soel. 1. 0. : ''Komma atque hiaofitum genus spectaenU esco^tatvit" En- 
menina {Paneg, m ComtanL 18.) alludes to this pageant, which he calls, in his 
courtly binguage, **I)eHcata rectatio prindpis otioeL" Clinton. F<uL Horn, 
App. p. 5. 

* Suet. 1. c : ** Non magis Caium imperaturum quam per Bidanum sinum 
equis discursurum." The author tells xa that he had as a boy heard his grand* 
Citho' mention this, as supposed in the palace to hare been the real motive for 
this whimsical undertaking. 

Digitized by 



bined, perbapB, to urge him on, and he declared that he would 
driye across the bay, not alone in his chariot, hot attended 
by an army, and arrayed as an emperor indeed. The great 
world of Rome mastered on the shores around to witness 
the imperial miracle. From Poteoli to Misenum the semicir- 
cle of the bay was crowded with admiring multitudes ; the 
loungers of the baths and porticoes si^ed forth from their 
cool retreats ; the promenaders of the Lucrine beach checked 
their palanquins and chariots, and hushed the stoains of their 
delicious symphonies ; the terraces of the gorgeous villas 
which lined the icoast, and breasted the fierii and sparkling 
ripple, glittered with streamers of a thousand colours, and 
with the bright array of senators and matrons, drowning the 
terrors which day and night beset them in shrieks of childish 
aodamation.. The dang of martial music echoed from i^ore 
to shore. From Bauli the emperor descended upon the 
bridge, — haying first sacrificed to the gods, and chiefly to 
Neptune and Envy, — arrayed in a coat of mail adorned with 
preciouB gems, which had been worn by Alexander the Great, 
with his sword by his side, his shield on his arm, and crown^ 
ed with a chaplet of oak-leaves/ On horseback, followed by 
a dense column of soldiers, he traversed the solid footway, 
and charged into Puteoli as a conquering foe. There he in- 
dulged his victorious army with a day of rest and expecta- 
tion* On the morrow be placed himself in a triumphal car, 
and drove back exulting, in the garb of a charioteer of the 
Green at the games of the Circus. The mock triumph was 
adorned by pretended captives, represented by some royal 
hostage^ from Parthia, at the time in custody of the Boman 
government. The army followed in long procession. In the 
centre of the bridge the emperor halted, and addressed an 

' Suei DloDy IL cc Thefi^e saorifbces geem hardly in aooordanoe with Cuii8*s 
diaracter, but that to LiTor or Enyy is perhaps significant in connexion with 

^ IMram qui oontadit Hydram .... 
C<imperit kmdiam supremo fine domaii** 

Hor. SpimL ii. 2. 10 

Digitized by 


A. U. 192.\ UNDER THE EMPIRE. 335 

harangue to his soldiers on the greatness of their victory, 
from a tribunal erected for the purpose. He contrasted the 
narrow stream of the Bosphorusand the Helleepont, at most 
aeyen stades in width, with the broad ocean which he had 
yoked in chains, and dedared that the exploits of Xertes and 
Darius were trifles compared with his mightier enterprise/ 
After wearying both himself and his hearers with this pro- 
digious folly, he distributed money among them, and invited 
them to a banquet^ At this entertainment the emperor re- 
tained his place on the bridge, but the soldiers were eolleeted 
around him for the most part in vessels. It extended far into 
the night, and. at nightfall the bridge and the ships were il- 
luminated with torches, and at the signal the whole curving 
line of coast shone forth, as in a theatre, with innumerable 
lights.' Charmed with the stillness of the water, and the 
brilliancy reflected upon it, the populace crowded rotmd in 
boats, and partook of the mirth and festivity. But their 
holiday did not end without a fHghtful disaster, many of the 
speciaAoTS in the boats or on the bridge being jostled ac- 
cidentally into the wiaves. Those who fell, and those 
who might have saved them, were, it seems, equally 
intoxicated; the light was uncertain; no one gave, or 
none received orders; and the emperor himself, we are 

' It is rcmarktble that there dbould be no aUudooi to this exidoU is Plhiy 
or the poeta, to whom it might often have furnished an apt illuetratioii ; as, for 
instance, when Juvenal says; 

"Qiidqaid Onada mendax 
Andet in histoiia, eum stratam dasrihna iadcm 
Siqipoflituni]pte rotb solidum mace.'* x. 174. 
or Lncan; 

**Tale8 fiEuna eaxiit tumidvm super nqaoia Xentem 
Oontnixisse Tias, tmtiiftim ewm/MMiiftut ouRir 
Europamque AsiiB^ Beatonqua admovit Abyda'' 

J'harK ii. 672. 
' TiMd deseripUon of Dion is more than nsaally viirid: nov 7^ Xf*P^ 
tniPoeiMfC *vrof» ifvp itmrruxiBtv^ naB6.nt(ik» didrp^ riviy hdelpfiriy &tfTe fjaf6e> 
miaw liLaQitotv Tw tfarfr v ywioBoL' KxiL yap r^v vifiera vfiipav, Ctcireo iw r^ 
(l&Xcffaav 73^, im^cu rftk'kqcev. Vi%, 17. 

Digitized by 



told, was overcome with wine : whether drunk or sober, it is 
not impossible that he enjoyed the horror of the scene, and 
even forbade assistance to be rendered to the sufferers.* 

Among the tasteless extravagances of the day there was 
none to which the vulgar rich more commonly devoted 
themselves than that of the table. It was not so „_ 


much their ambition to surround themselves with laxmj or um 
the most graceful or gorgeous appliances of 
luxury, with richly Aimished chambers, with exquisite music, 
with couches and tables of costly materials and elaborate 
woi^kmanship, though all these too had their votaries, as to 
amaze their guests with the extraordinary money value of 
the. articles they managed to. consume. It was for their 
rarity only that nightingales and peacocks, and the tongue 
and brain of phoenicopters, whatever these creatures may be, 
c6uld be regarded as delicacies ;. still less could it give any 
pleasure to the palate to swallow pearls dissolved in power^ 
fill acids. But such was the rampant luxury of Caius, in 
which he strove to imitate or rather to outdo the Oriental 
Cleopatra. In this and other particulars of the same kind 
he succeeded probably m surpassing all previous examples : 
he contrived, we are assured, to expend the amount of eighty 
thousand pounds sterling on a single repast; and having 
effected this, he could say complacently, a man should he 
frugci^ except he he a Cceear.* This vehement ambition to 
be the first in everything he deigned to undertake, extended 

' Suetonius says plainly {CaUg, 82.) : "Qaum multos e litorc invitesaet ad 
lie, repente omneB prs<^tayit Quosdam gubemacula apprehendenteB, ocmtis 
remisque detrusit in mare." Bui aoeording to DijOn Ihe iiitoxicatlon was geor 
eral : hjifirXrfaOtXi 61 xai vwepicopi^ koI cirov icdl fiidtfc ytvdfuvoQ^ ovptnoi^ /<^ 
Tinf kralpav kc ri^ OdXamav ^frd t^ ya^pac ^i>i>if^ 4!vx^6ic ^^ Koi rdp iX- 
Xuv tv nXoiotc kfipdXovc J;t^i'Ot( iropoirAcdooc KoHSvatv^ Late koX anoXkaOai 
rlvac' ol yap wleiovc tea lire p fLeBi)ovre(,i<j{iOifamf, 

* Suet Cs%. 87.: ''Aut fragi esse hominem oportere aut OiBBearem.*' 
Oompw Senec. (^m$. ad ffeUr. 9, 11. The ftmous epicure Apiokis, fai the rdgn 
of Tiberius, was said to have devoured in his career of good liriag an hundred 
millioiiB of sesterces, or 800,000^, and to have pu^an end to his 1^ when be 
found that he had only ten millions, or 30,0002^, left. 

Digitized by 


A-U.792.] UNDER THE EMPIRE. 537 

to many unworthy objects besides gluttony and charioteer- 
ing. It was a little better directed when the cdua affecu to 
CflBsar presented himself before the senate or the ^ " *«»**• 
tribnnals as an orator, and made perhaps some effort of mind 
and nnderstanding to deserve the acclamations which were 
only too snre to follow. On one occasion, at least, a man 
who had unfortimately incurred his displeasure was saved 
by sacrificing his own reputation as a speaker to the vanity 
of his imperial antagonist.* But even the victims of tyranny 
might not always show such forbearance towards it, and 
Cains, in the midst of the apjplause with which his genius was 
greeted, must have frequently felt mortification at the real 
hollowness of his pretensions. His passion for fame degener- 
ated, as might be expected in so base and selfish a nature, 
into s brutal envy of the &me of others, and a passion for 
destroying every well-earned reputation. He caused, we are 
told, the statues of the heroes of the republic, which Augus- 
tus had set up in the Campus, to be overthrown and broken, 
so that the names could not be restored to the figures they 
belonged to;" after which he issued a decree, which itself 
was not perhaps unreasonable, though opposed to the most 
cherished customs of antiquity, that no statue of a living 
man should be erected, at least without a special authoriza- 
tion from the chief of the state. He proceeded, ^^ gp,t^ 
however, with still baser spite to deprive the J^iu^of 
images of Dlustrious houses of the insignia by ▼■rtw^kind^ 
which they were distinguished ; as, for instance, the Cincin- 
nati of their ringlets, and the Torquati of their golden 
collars. He forbade the last collateral descendant of the 
great Pompeius to bear the surname of Magnus ; nor would 
he allow the modest worth of Agrippa to be honoured by 
placing his efligies, as in the Pantheon and elsewhere^ by the 

' See the tUny of Domitius Afer in Dion, lix. 19. : inrelire ftkv obSh oMk 
afrtXofy^aro, Bavn&l^tiv Si 6^ koX Koraneir^pfiai r^ deiv&rtrra rov TaUm 
Tpoaitoafa&fuvoc . • . hr^t, 

* Soet Calig. 84. : ** Ut restitui salvia titulis non potacrint** 

90 VOL. v. — 22 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


side of those of Augustus.* Desceuded himself from this pie* 
beian statesman, he resented his origin as degrading to a 
CsBsar, and let it be understood that he was actually the grand- 
son of Augustus, through an incestuous commerce with the 
unhappy Julia.' He heaped his insensate injuries not less 
basely on another description of greatness, in commanding 
the works of Virgil and Livy to be removed from the libra- 
ries ; for the one, he said, had neither genius nor learning, 
the other was a negligent blunderer." He even threatened 
to abolish the immortal songs of Homer. Plato ea^pelhd tTie 
father of fiction from his state ; Mohy^ he asked, should not 
Ifrorn mine f With suoh principles of conduct, or rather 
with such impulses, it might be expected that the tyrant 
would deride with a sneer the curious labours of the jurists, 
and accordingly, we are told, that he proposed not only to 
abolish the institution of the jurisconsults, but even threat- 
ened to annul every existing canon in Rome and throughout 
the empire, and make his own word and will the sole measure 
of law to mankind.* 

Such were the passionate freaks by which this in&tuated 
being strove to realize to himself the omnipotence which he 
cwnsr^^im- claimed. In the strange perverted state of re- 
SSttM^of^u * ligious conceptions at the period, I see no reason 
own divinity. ^^ doubt that Caius was really possessed witli a 
vague notion of his own divinity.* The gods of those days, 

- Suet. Caltg, 23. ; Dion, Ix. 6. « Suet Calig, L c 

' In this, as in other cases, it sccins not impossible that the extravagance 
Imputed to Gains b a blind or wilful peirerdon of his enemies. A deficiency 
of faiyention in Tvtfgl and of acooracy in liyy may snrdy be adnutted by em- 
peror or author without the Imputation of uAWorthy jealoosy. 

* Suet CaUg. 84. ; Fhilo, leg. ad CaL 17. : vdftav y^ ^<Afuvoc favrdv, 
TG^ tOv iKOfforaxov vofioOerav 6c Ktvdc fffyjuc Ihxv, 

* Hoeok, who only wants the faculty of imagination to be an historian of a 
nigh class, cannot comprehend the fhct of this belief I am senuble how im- 
peifect is my account of the phenomenon, but I fed no difficulty in crediting it : 

" Nihil est quod credere de se 
Kon possit cum laudatur Dts aequa potcstos." 

Juvenal, iv. 70. 

Digitized by 


A. U. 792.] UNDER THE EMPIRE. 339 

if they did not actually tench the earth, flitted, at least, very 
near to its surface. To partake iu some sense or other of the 
godhead was the dream of philosophers as well as the hoast 
of tyrants. Nor was Caius capahle of that lofty irony with 
which Augustus or Tiberius could look with complacent 
seem on the flatteries of vulgar courtiers. It was not diffi* 
cult to persuade him of the truth of that which all around 
bim asserted ; nor had he sufficient power of reasoning, when 
any misgiying of the &ct obtruded itself to analyse the idea 
of diyinity, and compare his humanity with it. This is far 
from 1^e same thing as a conviction of the £EK}t itself Gains, 
we may suppose, was, £rom the feeble constitution of his mind, 
incapable of a stead&st conviction, or of grasping truth at 
alL His intellect was passively recipient in such matters : 
he imbibed the notions suggested to him, and if occasionally 
he sported with lliem in the exuberance of his levity, we 
are not to suppose that he scornfully disbelieved the charac- 
ter with which the world had invested him. The divinity, 
indeed, which he aflected was something very different from 
the moral inspiration claimed by his predecessors. It was all 
outward and sensuous. In his passion for scenic represent 
tation, he delighted to array himself in the garb of Hercules 
or Bacchus, or even of Jnnd and Venus, to brandish thie club 
or the thyrsus, or disguise himself in a female headdress, and 
enact the part of the deity in the temples or in his private 
apartments.^ Whatever god h^ aflected to be, the senate 
and people shouted vehemently around him, with the admira- 
tion of spectators in a theatre rather than the reverence of 

Our accounts of the principate of Oaius have not generally 
preserved the regular order of events. The building of the 
bridge is placed by Dion, our only annalist, in 792, 
and it is probable that the triumphal show was penecauon of 
ejuubited m the sprmg of that year. This era is 
important, as marking apparently the final exhaustion of the 
ordinary revenues of the state^ which sank under this wild 
" IMon, lix. 26. 

Digitized by 



paroxysm of extravagance, and required a new development 
of tyranny to recruit them. From this period we may date 
the confirmed and systematic persecution of the rich nobility, 
which gave this reign, notwithstanding all the fair promise 
of its commencement, a bad pre-eminence in crime in the eyes 
of the senate. Hitherto, amidst all his follies or atrocities, 
Gains had continued still to wear the mask with which he 
had begun his career, and professed to abominate the conduct 
of his predecessor and to abjure his policy. The creatures 
of the Tiberian government, those especially who had made 
themselves detested by delation, were still in disgrace ; and 
the vituperation of the late emperor, in which many tongues 
were now heard to indulge, had been regarded as a passport 
to favour with his successor. The senate continued to in* 
dnlge in this delusion to the last ; until Caius, resolved to 
repair his fortunes by a course of prosecution and confiscar 
tion, and to revive in all its horrors the application of the 
law of majesty, ventured to introduce his new policy by an 
open panegyric on the ruler he had so lately denounced. If 
we are to believe the historian, he did not pretend to the 
grace of consistency. Iwrn Emperor^ he exclaimed, to the 
amazement of his auditors, and I may say one thing to-day 
and tJie contrary to-morrow : but it is not for youj citizens 
Cains eniorfzcs ^^^ fiuljects^ to dssail the memory of him vsho 
thejrovOTnmont toos oncc your chief He then proceeded to 
enumerate the persons who had perished under 
Tiberius, and showed or pretended to show that, in almost 
every case, they had been the victims of the senate rather 
than of the emperor ; some had accused them, others 
had borne &lse witness against them, all had combined in 
voting for their destruction. Moreover^ he continued, with 
pitiless logic, if Tiberius was in faulty you sTiould not have 
decreed him honours in his lifetime^ or having done so, you 
should not after his death have cmnuUed them. You it toas^ 
senators^ he exclaimed, ioho swelled tfie pride of S^anus 
by your JlatterieSy and then destroyed the monster you had 
yourselves created. You wronged your prince ; you mur^ 

Digitized by 


^U.7»a.] UNDEIk THE ElfPIRK. 34 1 

dered his minister: lean look for no good at your hands. 
And then he went on to introduoe the prosopopceia of 
Tiberias himself; addressmg him, approving of all he had 
said, and recommending him to love none of them, nor 
to spare any : for they aU haJte j/ou, tJicy all wish for your 
deathj and they toill kill you if they can. Then look not 
to pleasing them, nor core for lohat they say of you; 
but care only for your own toill and pleasurSy and provide, 
€18 is meet and right, for your own august safety. At the 
end of this wild harangue Cains ordained that the laws of 
majesty should be again enforced, and that they should be 
graven a&esh on brazen tablets. The senate and people 
trembled, we are told, alike at the visions of terror which 
were opened to them. The fathers were at first struck dumb 
and could make no reply; the next day they met together 
again to pay servile court to the tyrant. They lauded his 
speech as a monument of truth and regard to his uncle's 
memory, thanked him for his mercy in pardoning them and 
suffering them still to live, and decreed that his august words 
should be recited annually in their hearing, and sacrifices 
performed to the imperial clemency. To these compliments 
were added the more ordinary honours of a golden statue, a 
choral festival, and an ovation.* 

It is hardly possible to resist the impression that these 
proceedings have been represented to us in a grotesque cari- 
cature ; nor is that impression diminished when 


we come to examine the details of the persecu- i^anoiirpecii- 
tion which followed. Tet there is a certain con- 
sistency in the ghastly banter which equally in the pages of 
Dion and Seutonius, of Josephus and Philo, forms the pe- 
culiar feature in the character of this tyrant among his kin- 
dred. The Bomans were astounded at the deposition of their 
consuls firom office fi;>r neglecting, so little even yet had the 
etiquette of royalty been established among them, to ordain 
a festival on the anniversary of the emperor's birthday. 
They were still more scandalized at three days being suffered 

» Dion, lix. 16. 

Digitized by 



to pass without the appointment of their successors, and the 
republic being left for that interval without its highest magis- 
trates.* It seems, howeyer, that Oaius assigned another mo- 
tive for the disgrace of these consuls. They had kept holiday 
for the victory of Augustus over Antonius. Now Augusttis 
was the grandfather of the emperor's mother Agrippina; but 
on the other hand, Antonius bore the same relation to his 
father Germanicus ; and we are told that he had whimsically 
declared beforehand, that, whether they mourned or feasted 
on the occasion, he would convict them equally of treason.* 
Even when the cupidity of the ever-needy despot demanded 
the blood of the wealthiest senators, he could still make 
sport of his own tyranny. Thus we read that when, on the 
condenmation and death of Junius Priscus, his wealth was 
found to fall much below the amount anticipated, the em- 
peror affected to regret that his victim had decdved him, 
and thrown away his own life through want of candour. 
The condemnation at this time of L. Annaeus Seneca, distin- 
guished at a later period as one of the chief of Roman phi- 
losophers, seems to show that he had become already noted 
for the riches which have thrown some slur on his reputation 
as a teacher of wisdom. He was saved by the assurance 
conveyed by a friend that he was already far advanced in a 
decline, and that his possessions might soon be grasped with- 

* Suet Calif;, 26.': "OonsuDbus oblitis de nataH suo ediccre abrogavit 
magistratom, fuitqne ttidtio sine lamma potestate reqrabfioa.** 

* Dion (Ux. sa) places this event nnder the year 792. Ciuub oommenoed 
It as consul with, L. Apronius. He laid down the office himself after thirty 
days, and was succeeded by Sanquinius. Apronius hdd the office six months. 
It does not appear who were the unfortunate consuls who suffered from this 
frolic. One of them put himself to death from mortification; but, as Ciuus^s 
birthday was August 81., and the battle of Acthnn Sept 2., we must conclude 
that the dqKMltion took place m Septemba*. Dion goes on to say that Gaius 
hereupon.resumed the eonsulshjp, abolished the Oomitia, and appelated Domi- 
tius Afer his colleague. But as he went into Gaul, as we shall see, this same 
year with the avowed object of engaging in a campaign, for which the season 
must have been very £s^ advanced in October, the story is liable to some snA- 

Digitized by 


A.n.798.] UNDER THE EMPIRE. 343 

oat even the trouble of a prosecution. Caius had devisecl 
various means for drawing into his cofiers the estates of the 
rich nobles on their deaths. In this oase the accused was 
allowed, perhaps, to compound for life bj bequeathing his 
prop^i^y to the emperor, and sacrificing on the altar of his 
Clemency; It is to this insatiable cupidity that Mmwwreof the 
we may, perhaps, ascribe an act of cruelty, which, «**«^ 
as it ifl represented to us, seems such a mere ferocious caprice 
that we should hesitate to belieye it of any but a confirmed 
madman. I can only give the story in the words of Philo, 
and leave it to the reader to form his own conclusions upon 
it. CcntsSy they «ay, h/ing one niglU dkejplese^ begem to think 
of the nolle eooUee in the islands^ and hoto^ though nomtnaUy 
muff earing paine (md penaUies^ they were (xctuaUy enjoying a 
H/e of easej quiety and hxx^jiry. " Wha;t sort of exile^^ he 
said to himself, " is this foreign sofoum of theirs^ revelling 
as they do in abundance of aU good things^ and living in a 
pleasant retirement the Uves of true philosophers f^^ And 
thereupon he issued orders to put the most illustrious of them 
to deaths FkxecfuSy the late prefect of Alexandria, being first 
on the list. It would seem at least from this anecdote, as 
has been elsewhere intimated,, that the ordinary condition of 
the exiles was one of considerable indulgence, and that they 
were allowed the enjoyment of their fortunes. That the em- 
peror should have caused some of the wealthiest to be exe- 
cuted upon very trifling pretexts in order to seize on their 
possessions seems only too probable.* 

But the spendthrift pat no curb on his lavish prodi- 
gality, and his necessities became more and more ^^ ^^^^ 
urgent continually. Had he limited his demands ^^^ ^f 
for plunder to the class of the wealthy aristoo* 

' PhOo, In Ftaee, sub fin. Comp. Diem, lix. la and Soet Galig, 28., who 
ghres a ftUl finer point to the story. "ReYOcatum queodam * Tetere exilio 
Boadtatna, qoidntm ibi iiicete consueBset, respondente eo per adolationem, 
DcoB semper oraTi ut, qnod eyenit, periret Tiberius et tu imperares ; opioans 
tiln qooque ezules snos mortem imprecari, misit circom insnlas qui uniyersos 

Digitized by 



racy, he might have still retained the fevour of the pop^ 
ulace, on whose amusements so much of his ill-gotten 
richer was expended ; but when, in order to provide a n)ore 
certain and constant flow of gold into his coffers, he von< 
tared to smite the mass of the cith&ens with new or in* 
creased taxation, he converted the whole Boman people into 
an enemy, and stood thenceforth naked in the eyes of his* 
tory, without fiiend or apologist. The conqueni^ nation, 
whatever else it had lost, still retained an e^tcessive jealousy 
of taxation, which it blindly confounded with tribute. It 
was still the privil^e of the Koman, whatever other distinc- 
tions he had surrendered, to be exempt &om the most direct 
imposts. It was still the fiction of the commonwealth thai 
the Boman paid in personal service the contribution for the 
support of his empire, which was conmiuted to the subject for 
money. But in fact, at this time, the citizen was using every 
endeavour to escape both from one burden and the other, 
and the light taxation which Augustus had already imposed 
upon him barely compensated for the general relaxation of 
his civil and notary obligations. It might have been the 
wish of a wise and benevolent ruler to equalize the burdens 
of the empire by bringing Italy under the same fiscal yoke 
as the provinces. But neither Augustus nor Tiberius had 
ventured to levy custom on the commerce or productions of 
that £ivoured spot ; and the decree by which Cains now im- 
posed a rate on imports at the harbours on the coast, and at 
the gates of the cities in the interior, and even of Borne it- 
self^ must be taken as a token of caprice or tyranny rather 
than of an equitable intelligence. Yet it might not be un- 
reasonable to suppose that the fees he exacted from suitors 
before the tribunals were intended to improve the position 
of the judges, and render the course of justice more pure ; 
and even the tax he is said to have levied upon prostitution 
may have been meant as a measure of policy and outward 
decorum. It is easy to understand the outcry it would raise- 
and the gross charges it might suggest against the emperor 

Digitized by 


A. U. 792.1 UNDER THE EMPIRE. 345 

himsell' It was believed that, among less innocent contriv* 
ances for rausing his revenues, he had actually succeeded in 
maiking gold, of excellent quality, but so little iu quantity as 
not to de&ay the expense of the manu&cture.* It is not ; 
improbable that he attained the same end by debasing the 
curreney.* The delight with which he contemplated the 
gold he. thus samassedwas represented as something mon- 
strous and insane: at times it was affirmed he would cause 
it to be spread in heaps upon the floor, and wade in it with 
bare &et, or fling himself down and roU frantically upon it.'* 
Whatever flsbvour he may have once enjoyed with the popu- 
lace from the q>lendour of the shows with which he indulged 
ihem,— ^ &vour which was already, perhaps, beginning to 
wane from satiety, and even frx>m disgust, — ^it was speedily 
swallowed up in feelings of indignation and resentment. 
The universal selfishness which he had so long pampered 
tamed in a mass against him. The citizens refused to obey 
in die theatre his s^al to applaud or to condemn : they be- 
held with indiflerence the feats of the imp^ial athlete him- 
self ; the shows and games, whidii they had regarded almost 
as their daily food, ceased at last to attract them ; * and it 
was probably in vexation at this sullen yet passive disobe- 
dience, which baffled both his menaces and caresses, that he 
ottered his well-known exclamation, accompanied no doubt 
with the significant gesture by which he intimated his cruel 
will to hia headsmen, Would that the people of Home had 
but one neck/* 

» SneL OaRff. 40. » Plin. JBist. Kai, xxxui. 22. 

' Thus we find that, "Emptum plus min^ asse Ca¥ano," was an expression 
for anjthiDg partionltilj wortbless. Btat Syln, b. 9. 22. The copper coinage 
of Oaios was called in by his sacoessor. Dion, k. 22.- : * Saet OaUg, 42. 

* We shall the lees wonder at the self-restraint on their part if we accept liter- 
ally the story of Suetonius, that he amused himself sometimes by causing the 
awning fai the circus to be withdrawn, and forbidding the scorched spectators 
from retiring. It must be remembered, howeyer, that as the drcus was neyer 
more than partially yeiled, a large portion of the multitude must haye always 
been exposed to the heat of the sun. Suet Cdlig, 26. 

* Suet Caltg, 80. 82. Comp. Senca Apocolocyni, G. " Gcstu illo 8olut» 
manufl .... quo decollare homines solcbat" 

Digitized by 


346 HISTORY OF THE BOliAlfS [A.D.a«. 

We may place the mnmmery of the Baian triumph in the 
spring or eariy summer of 702, the season when the Cam- 
Cains tmder- paniau coast was most thronged with lounging 
SS^'^mT ^^^ gazing multitudes, and which on that ao- 
tiM Gtnnma. oount would most probahly be chosen for the 
emperor's grand act of self-glorification. This, wears told, 
was promptly followed by the fiercest access of his tyranny 
and the increasing exactions which his empty treasury re- 
quired« But nearly at tiie same moment Caius, — ^I follow 
now implicitly the accoiints we have receiTed,-^ptetended 
to have a nobler object in view. On making a progress to 
the CUtumnus, two or three days' journey from Rome, in the 
autunjn of the. same year, he remarked how slender wa$ the 
number of his escort (^BataTian horsemen, and the thought 
came suddenly into his head that the battalion might be re- 
cruited by a successful incursion into the German territories* 
He announced that the barbarians were encroaching on the 
Roman frontiers, and required his powerftd arm to check 
them ; but his mind was filled at once with visionB of th« 
sums he might extort firom the provincials both of Graul and 
Spain, to replenish his coffers, and slake -his craving tUrst 
for gold. From the Glitumnus, accordingly, he set out, ap- 
parently without even returning to Rome ; the legions and 
auxiliaries he required for his expedition were directed with 
all speed to follow. For his own part his march was irregu- 
lar and intermittent; sometimes so rapid that his guards 
could hardly keep up with him, even though they laid their 
colours on the backs of their animals ; sometimes, again, so 
tardy and deliberate that be was borne himsdf on men's 
shoulders, and the cities through which he was to pass were 
required to sweep the roads and lay the dust before him.* 
He was attended throughout by a train of players and glad- 
iators, dancers and women, the vile retinue of a Parthian 

' Suetonius {Califf. 43.) speaks of this expedition as a sudden thought^ 
which is quite consistent with the character before us. Dion (lix. 21.) differs 
upon this and other minor points ; but in general the two accoupts agree re- 

Digitized by 


A.U.V92.] Uia>£B THE EMPIRE. 347 

soTereign. On reachiiig tlie camp on the Rhine, he displayed 
hifl sense of discipline by animadrerting severely on the offi* 
cers whose contingents weie slow in arriving at head qnar- 
ters : some whose telm of service was on the point of expir- 
ing, he degraded, on the preteict of their age and infirmities, 
and reduced the pay or pensions of the veterans to one half 
of tiie stun guanmteed them.' But' after all there was no 
enemy to chastise ; and tlie yonng warrior^ devised the expe- 
Sient cf sending a fe^ captives across the i^er, and pladng 
them in concealment, while the alann was sounded in the 
prsBiorinm that the foe was at hand. Therenpon, rising has- 
tily from table with his gtiests, be galloped, attended by a 
few bodyguards only, into the wood, dispelled the pretended 
adversaries, plucked some branches from the trees, and sus^ 
pended on them the trophies of his victory: then returning, 
he upbraided the legions which had lagged behind, and re- 
warded his companions with a new kind of military chaplet, 
in which the sun, moon, and stars were represented, and to 
which he gave the name oi the dtvwn eotptorcOory. But 
enough of this mummery. The pretended victory, we are 
told, was duly notified in alaureUed letter to the senate; 
and the fiith^rs were p€ftulantly upbraided ibr indulging in 
their banquets, their baths and theatres, while their emperor 
was Exposing his august person to the darts of the barba- 
rians. At the same time the submission of a fugitive prince 
from Britain was accepted and blazoned forth as the capitu- 
lation of ^e whole island. * 

To me indeed it seems impossible to mistake the spirit 
of caricature in which these accounts are written ; and 
even had we no clue to a better understanding ^^ lunation of 
of the circumstances, I should be little disposed th«foregoiiig 
to confide in them. But it will be remembered 
how, towards the close of the reign of Tiberius, the com- 
mand of the legions on the Rhine was left by him reluctantly 
in the hands of a chief whom he had not the courage to dis« 

» Suet. Calig, 44. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


possess. Lentolas Grstolicns had ddSed the emperor, and 
the emperor had saccnmbed to his menaces* Tiberias was 
old and timid, and satisfied perhaps that the obedience of the 
legions would at least last his own time : but Cains partook 
neither of his fears nor his confidence. The idaxation of 
discipline by this l^ate had given occasion to attacks on the 
part of the Glermans. Bat it was mach more dangeroos to 
the imperator, as a token of independence on the part of his 
own officer; and it was with the bold detemiinatioB, as I 
conceive, to pat down this rising spirit, that Csios, under 
pretence of deifending the fiontiers, left Rome for Gaol, to 
defend himself and his imperial authority. In daring Cains 
was not deficient ; perhaps he had not sense enoogh fiuriy to 
estimate the dangers which beset him. Bat at such a crisis 
daring was the best wisdom, and the apparition of the re- 
doubted emperor in the midst of a disaffected camp, together 
with some examples of sternness, which showed that he was 
not to be trifled with, may have actually saved the state 
from a bloody and bootless revolution. 

The senators, in the tyrant^s. absence, to return to the 
narrative before us, were indulging in a happy resjMte from 
otiotat ^^^^ troubles, and had willingly offered vows in 

Lngdunum. ^\^q templcs for cvcTy success he could desire, and 
recommended the provinces to follow their example.^ As 
the season drew to a close C^us repaired to Lugdunum, the 
spot &om which Augustus and Germanicus had directed the 
administration of the country, and conducted its census. 
From hence he issued requisitions to the cities for extraordi* 
nary contributions, and devised methods of extorting money 
from the nobles. Offences against the state were investi* 
gated and multiplied, and punishment only redeemed by the 
payment of heavy fines. So well was he satisfied, it would 

* Suet Cali^. 45. Philo, alluding to these religioua cercmomes, describes 

them not aa thanksgivings for victories gained, but as vows for future successes. 

Comp. kff.adCoLmtk passage ah^ady referred to (c. 45.): xal yhp mcofttw 

. . sa J the Jewish envoys . . . irpCirov fiiv , . . rpirov <W, icari r^y 

tXni6a rijc Tepftavudjc vltofc. 

Digitized by 


A.V.192,] tJKDfiR THE BMPmE. 349 

seem, by these experimentB of the actual riches of his Gaul* 
iflh subjects, that he ooziceiyed an extraordiuary plan for di- 
verting a laige portion of them, with little risk or tronble, 
into his coffers. Orders irere de^atohed to Rome to trans- 
mit to Lngdammi the costly fomitnre and decorations oi 
0ome of the :imperiBl residences. These it was determined 
to sdil by auction, and it was expected that the vanity of the 
admiring natires would induce them to pay profusely for ob- 
jects of such peevdiar interest. The precums goods amred, 
teansported by innumerable carriages and beasts of burden, 
the reqniaitian fi>r which snfficed fi>r « time to cripple the 
industry of itdy ; and Oaius himself as auctioneer, explained 
and eulogised the several articles, and urged his courtiers to 
bid warmly against each other. j7%i9, he said, is a vase or 
sUUue which Antanius senej¥om Egypt : ihaJb is 
a fern or picture \ohtoh Augustus orcught with imperial 
him from the JEcut; thi^ wcls a trcphg of my 
father^s ; this was a trinket of my mother^s.^ Such a recom* 
mendation was of course felt as a command, and the sale 
proceeded gloriously. ' The sums, however, thus scraped to- 
geiher were flung the next moment away. A large portion 
was spent in a dc^iativB to the Gallic legions; not less per- 
haps was squandered on the games which were now solem* 
nissed in the Gallic capital The provincial nobles had already 
imitated games in honour of Augustus, which were enacted 
before his altar: the lively genius of the nation had begun 
to emulate the literary efibrts of Greeoe and Rome^ and con^ 
tests in doqueace and versification held a prominent place in 
these exhibitioBS.: Whatever might be the merit of these 
trials of wit and fency, Oaius, with the low humour natural 
to him, proceeded to degrade them by the unseemly penalties 
he inflicted on the unsuccessful competitors, some of whom 
were required to obliterate their compositions with their 
tongues, or be cast headlong into the Prions waters of the 

> Dkm, lix. 21. ; SueU OaUff. 89. 

' Saei. Ccdiff, 20. Comp. the allusion of JuTenal: "Lugdunciisem rhetof 
dictarus ad aram *' (i. 44.). 

Digitized by 



Whatever were the freaks of cruelty or folly with which 
the tyrant actually disgraced Ids sojourn among the Gauls, 
Conspirftcy 7®^ ^ ^® "^"^ *^® enterprise in the light in which 
■gainBiCiaiii. J liaye ventured to place it, as a bold stroke of 
defensive policy, we shall be disposed to look with some in- 
dulgence on the bloody executions with whidi it is said to 
ExecQtion of havc been attended. Whether it be the case that 
L?pwSJSJ*lid* G»tulicus resented his chjeTs intrusion by eon- 
f^^f spiring against his life aind pow^r, ot wiiet^er the 
Agt'pp*"' sentence of deatb which now descended on him 
was only & tyrant's measure of precaution, there oaa be lit> 
tie doubt that the position he occupied was inoompatiUe 
with the dignity or safety of the imperial throne. . There 
seems, however, reason to surmise that he laid hiiiiself open 
to the blow by an act of direct provocation. Oaius was ac- 
companied into Gaul by his surviving sisters, and by some 
of the habitual companions of his pleasures among the nobil- 
ity of Rome. Of these none was so conspicuous as M. .^Smil- 
ius Lepidus the youthful minion before mentioned, whom, he 
had united to Drusilla, and wh<mi, as was.geafirally believed, 
he had intended to associate with her in the succession. The 
weakness of the emperor's health, and his late severe illness, 
might have seemed for a moment to brii^ this splendid iu- 
heritance almost within vesich of the fortunate aspiranU The 
sceptre of the world, for which the ^milii had so 6ften con- 
tended, seemed about to descend into hisr grasp. But the 
death of hb patron's favourite sister suddenly obscured the 
prospect. Still doomed to a private station, he eontinued 
perhaps to brood over his disappointment ; and it ia not im- 
probable that the charge now advanced against Lepidua, of 
intriguing with Julia or Agrippina, or even with both at 
once, and of combining with them to overthrow the ruler of 
the state, was in fiiet substantially true. The authority and 
abilities of Gsetulicus, if gained to their side^ would lend 
strength to the blow ; and discontented as he probably was, 
and perhaps alarmed for his own safety, nothing is more 
likely than that Gaetulicus was drawn, as some accounts rep* 

Digitized by 


A.U. 798.] UKD£B THE EMPIRE. 35I 

resented, into their conspiracy. Such at least was the btate- 
ment which Gains caused to be circulated. The secret of the 
plot was betrayed, and its leaders seized and cnt off in Gknl, 
at the end of the year ^92. The gnilty sisters were con- 
denmed to banishment, and Agrippina was compelled to 
carry the nm oontuning hor paramonr's ftsbes on foot to 
Rome. In the accoont of this affair which Gains transmitted 
to the senate for publicatioii, he disclosed without recierve 
every particular of their wanton and dbameless Uycb ; thongh 
the Bomans were fully persuaded that, however vieions they 
had proyed themselyes, the brother had been their seducer, 
and the partner of their worst iniquities. At the same^he 
sent three swords, which he declared had been intended for 
his assassination, witii directions that (hey sbonld^be sus- 
pended as Yotiye offerings in the temple of Mars the Avenger. 
As his sisters, at his desire, had received many distinctions 
from the senate ; he enjoined that in the future no such ex- 
traordinary marks of favour should be conferred on any of 
his own rdations.' 

On receiving their master^s account of the conspiracy he 
had detected, and the danger from which he had reUeyed the 
state by its discovery, the senators had hastily ^n oTttton 
sent a deputation to convey theic humble congrat- J^^^^ 
ulations, and offer him the honours of an ovation : ^ conspiracy. 
but he complained of the number of the envoys as beneath 
the importance of the occasion j and of the. ovation as uur 
worthy of so great an achievement^ he treated }m yisitors 
as spies, and particularly resented the mission of Claudius, 
who accompanied them, as sent to direct and admonish him 
with the authority of an uncle. He was on the Rhine^at the 
time of their arrival ; and it was said that, in his ill-humour, 
he even suffered Claudius to be thrown into the stream. 
Great was the tenror which this reception created at Rome, 
where dire apprehensions already reigned of the proscrip- 
tions which might be expected to follow on the recent dis* 

* Suet Califf. 24.; aaiuL 9. Dion, lix. 22. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



olosores. The fhrious caprices of the emperor were mani- 
fested again in his sndden repudiation of Lollia, whom he 
accused of sterility, and the advancement of Mi- 

Cains marries , • ^ . .\ , » -. « 

MiioniA Cjbso- lonia Oeesonia, with whom he was known to have 


been for some time connected, to the perilous 
honour of his hand. This woman, whose name was long 
held in detestation, is represented to us as neither young nor 
handsome ; but it was belieyed that she had attracted and 
retained her lover's interest by the use of philtres, which con- 
tributed to unsettle his mind, and render him more intracta- 
ble than ever. Ciesonia had borne three children to a former 
husband, and was &r advanced in pregnancy at the time of 
this marriage. When, however, a daughter was bom to him 
within a month of the nuptial solemnity, Gains did not scru- 
ple to acknowledge the child as actually his own, to carry it 
to the temples of the gods, to lay it in the lap of Minerva, 
and to give it the CcBsarean appellation of Julia Drusilla.* 

From Graul Caius had announced to the senate that he 
Cains assnmes "^^.s about to assumc the consulship for the third 
j^tiUrd oonsni- ^jjj^^ ^^ ^^^ commencement of 798 at Lugdunum, 
^ J, ^ and had at the same time indicated whom he re- 
^^'^9^ quired to accept it as his colleague. But this 
nominee happening to die a few days before the first day of 
January, the fathers were thrown into perplexity, the tri- 
bunes and praetors not venturing to convene the senate on 
their own responsibility while there was still a consul absent 
fipom the city. They Pushed tumultuously to the Capitol, 
and performed the customary sacrifices, not omitting to pros- 
trate themselves before the emperor's vacant chair, and lay 
upon it the new year's presents, which, from the time of Au- 

' Dion, lix. 28, 28. ; Jtnr. vl 616. ; 8aet Califf. 25. ; Joseph. Antiq. xix. 1. 
Suetonius aslurei ub thai the en^eror was the more oomrinoed that the child 
was hia own, by the ferocity it showed from his birth, attacking with its naila 
the eyes and countenances of its playfellows. It should be obserred that Dion 
speaks of its bdng carried to the Capitol ; but it is clear that the marriage and 
birth took place In Oaul. The conflision in Dion's chronology of this reign is 
▼ery great 

Digitized by 


A.U.Y92.1 U5DBB THE EMFIBE. 353 

gustufl, the Caasars had been wont to accept on these solemn 
occasions. This done, they repaired <^ their own aecord to 
the Senate-honse, and, n^lecting all state afBsurs, consumed 
the day in complimentary harangues and fulsome adulation 
of the tyrant. On the third day they reeoyersd somewhat 
of their presence <xf mind* The prs&tors constituted them- 
selyes a commission for conducting the business of the sen- 
ate, and c<myened it in the usual form. NcTcrtheless, such 
was the abject terror in which it lay,.that it dared not pro- 
ceed to any matters of administration till it was announced 
that Caius had abdicated his fimetions on the andreeinisai 
twelfth day, and that the consuls designate were "^^tweBuxda/. 
at liberty to ascend their chairs. The first act of the senate 
under their presidency was to decree that the birthdays of 
Caius and Drusilla should be solemnized with the same hon- 
ours as that of Augustus ; but their countrymen excused this 
new baseiiess, by asserting that the decree was made in com- 
pliance with an expressed command.- The fears of the be- 
wildered nobles were more particularly excited at this mo- 
ment by the report that their persecutor was attended in Gaul 
by a routine of foreign princes, such as Agrippa and Anti- 
ochus of Commagene, who, as they apprehended, were in- 
structing him in the arts of Eastern sovereignty; and the 
jQiot of his haying summoned PtolemsBus, son of Juba, king 
of Manretania, to his presence, and put him to death for the 
sake of his ridies, caused gloomy forebodings among such of 
the patricians at home as stiU retained their much coveted 

The conspiracy had been detected, the disloyal punished ; 
the legions, warned by the fate of their contumacious chief^ 
were transferred to Servius Galba, by whom discipline was 
enforced with pristine severity. Furloughs were withheld, 
the labours of the camp were redoubled, the soldiers were 

> Dion, 111. 24. 

* IHon, L c.: Snei Cdig. 2S. Ptolomffias was ibe son of Juba by Cloopa* 
Ua Seleoe, daughter of H. Anlonius. He was, therefore, the grandsoii, Odui 
the great grandson, of the triumvir. 
TOL. v.— 23 

Digitized by 



taught both to work and to fight, and to feci the difierenco 
between a dissokite intriguer in the pnetorium and a stem 
warrior of the ancient stamp. When they ventured, in the 
relaxation of a camp spectacle, to applaud him, he drily re- 
buked thdr unwarrantable freedom with the order to keep 

their hands under their cloaks.^ The winter of 
ezD«diaon''or tos was occupied m preparationdfor a descent 

upon Britain, and themflitary season was opened 
by the emperor's advance £K>m Lugduntim, or from the 
Rhine, to the shores of the chimneh The troops which he 
had assembled in Gaul are said to have been exceedingly 
numerous ; the enterprise he had in view was nothing less 
than the complete reduction of the islimd, the submission of 
which had been promised him by a recent fugitive. At 6es- 
soriacum the legions were mustered in great force. While 
awaiting the moment of embarkation, they were directed one 
day to take up a military position on the beach; horse and 
foot were drawn up in onier of battle fronting the waves of 
the ocean, and the whole armament of catapults and other 
engines of war was arrayed on their flanks, or in the rear, as 
if for immediate engagements Caius himself reviewed his 
army from a trireme at sea ; then landed and placed himsetf 
on a lofty tribunal, as about to give the signal for battle. 
Suddenly, amidst the clang of trumpets and measured voices 
of the centurions, the order issued to pile arms and pick up 
shells, with which every man hastened to fill his helmet and 
laid them at Hhfi emper^Mr's feet Collected into a vast heap 
together, these spoils of tJie ocean^ as Caius described them, 
were sent to Rome, and the senate was directed to deposit 
them with due solemnity among the treasureis of the palace 
and CapitoL In token of this pretended victory, the empe- 
ror, we are told, caused a lighthouse to be erected to guide 
vessels by night into the harbour; and the campaign being 
thus auspiciously terminated, he presented the men with a 

' Soet in Oalb, 6.; ** A Ckio GGBsare G«etuI!co subsUtatoa, poetrkBe qnam 
ad leglones vfolt, solenni forte spectaculo plandcntea inhSbuit, data tessera ut 
mantis pcBnnUa ooniinerent.*' 

Digitized by 


iuU.79S.] UNDER THE EMPmS. 355 

largess of a hundred seeterces apiece, and, as if this liberality 
had exceeded all preyions examples, bade them retire, g^lad 
and rich, d&tmi his presence.^ The good fortmie which has 
given US a dne to the real proceedings of Cains on the Rhine, 
through the mists of maUcions misrepresentations, seems here 
wholly to desert ns. Yet I hesitate to beliere that the ^BrU- 
i$h easpedUionj as it was sarcastically denominated, was snch 
a moDstrons farce as it has been described. The erection of 
a lighthoose indicates at least an intelligent purpose, and 
cannot have been a mere whimsical fancy. Pos^bly Cains 
was diyerted from a real intention of attacking Britain, by 
some act of submission, from which he anticipated the open- 
ing of freer and more regular communications with the 
^naliyes. Even the picking of shells may be a grotesque mis- 
representation of receiving a tribute of Hutupian pearls. 

Nevertheless, whatever distrust we may feel of the bur- 
lesque account of this exploit transmitted to us, ^j^, ^,^^5 ^ 
the claim Cains now advanced to a triumph, as *rfa™pJ>- 
for a glorious success, was no donbt utterly extravagant ; nor 
is it incredible that the tricks with whidi he is said to have 
given colour to it, were hardly less absurd than they are de- 
scribed. Seven tunes, he declared, the army had aoknowlf 
edged his victories by saluting him as Imperator. The 
British chief Adminius, who had solicited through . his aid 
restoration to power, was retained, he said, as a pledge of 
the barbarians' submission. He had placed his foot upon the 
ocean, and reduced it to dependence for ever. Accordingly 
he issued orders to the imperial procurators to prepare a 
triumph on the most magnificent scale that had ever yet been 
attempted ; but directed them at the same time not to lavish 
on it the treasures of the fiacus, but to extort the requisite 
sums from the citissens and provincials, for which purpose he 
gave them full authority over the property of all his subjects. 
Meanwhile he collected, for lack of veritable captives, a few 

' Soet Cdliff. 40. ; Dion, lix. 25. Compare the references to this affair in 
ThcitoB {Agrie^ 13., German, 81): "Mox ingcntes Caii Coesaria mintD in Iu(K 
brimn versae." 

Digitized by 



German slaves or fugitives, or hired the tallest and bulkiest 
of the Gaols themselves, caosiiig them to dye their hair red 
and let it grow, to acquaint themselves with the language of 
the tribes beyond the Rhine, and assume German i^pella* 
tions.* To make the intended ceremony still more imposing 
he directed the galleys in which he had put to sea to be im* 
pelled against the stream of the Rhine and thence drawn 
overland to the rivers of Gaul, and thus conveyed to Rome. 
The legions were wafted by this circuitous course more ex- 
peditiously, perhaps, than they could have mu*ched by land ; 
and CaiuB led them throughout in person, and visited on his 
way the stations on the Lower Rhine, in which his &ther 
had planted his tent, and with which his own childhood 
had been familiar. Possibly he conferred here with Galba on« 
the last measures he might require to punish the d^gns of 
Gsdtulious, and his harsh and violent temper may have 
prompted him to a more bloody inquisition than he foimd it, 
on reflection, prudent to enforce. But the report that he now 
remembered the mutiny of certain legions against Germani- 
cus, and the expulsion of Agrippina from the camp, with him- 
self an infant in her arms, and proposed in his fury to mas- 
saere, after twenty-five years' interval, the whole of the bat- 
talions which bore their name, and when dissuaded from this 
bloody purpose was only deterred by his fears from decimat- 
ing them, is surely too extravagant for beliet* 

* Suet, Calig, 47. : "Coegitque non tantum nitUare et subniittere comam, 
sed et sermoncm Gcrmanlcum addiscere et nomina barbarica ferre." Compare 
the evident allusion to thia trick, real or imputed, in Pereiua, vl 45.: "Jam 
lutea gausapa capti^, Essedaque, ingentesque, locat C^onla Rhenos." But after 
an the captiyeB of Gaius were nerer, perhaps, exhibited fai Rome at all ; and we 
have in Tadtoa a similar aceonnt of an in^MMtore piaetifl6d,a8 he assares w, at 
a later period bj Domidan {Agrk. 80.), Foesiblj the habit of wearing fiilao 
flaxen hair had made the citizens suspicious of the genuineu 

' Suet. Calig. 48. : ** Ck)nsilium iniit nefands atrodtatis legiones . . . con* 
tniddandi .... 'dxque a tarn precipiti cogitatione rcvocatua inhiberi nullo 
modo potuit quin dedmare Telle persereraret Vocatos itaque ad condoaem 
incrmes .... equitatu armato circumdedlt Sed quum yideret suspecta re 
plerosque dilabi ad resumenda . . anna profugit concioncm,** ^ Kot^ 

Digitized by 


A. U. 7d3.] UNDER TOB EMPIRE. 357 

It has been recorded how, when Augustns was journey- 
ing simply habited among the Alps, a Ganl who had design- 
ed to attack him was restrained by the imposing majesty of 
his conntenance.* Far different was the impres- cai^^a rotum* 
sion which the stage-divinity of Caius made on toKcoie. 
the rude minds of the provincials. One of them, beholding 
liim on his tribtmal glittering with the insignia of Jove, was 
Bcen to smile : the emperor demanded what he thought of 
him; I think you a greai abmrditf/y -wslb the blunt reply. 
Possibly the imperial mummer at the moment had been think- 
ing the same ; at all events, his sense of humour was touched, 
and the man, being no better than a low artificer, was allow- 
ed to escape unpunished.* He reserved all his anger for the 
nobles and senators, who, it seems, not venturing to decree 
him honours after their late ungracious reception, and appre- 
hensive lest his claim to congratulation on his maritime suc- 
cesses might prove no more than a grim jest, had neglected 
to invite him to enter the city in triumiph. I am coming^ 
he exclaimed, lam cominff—but not for the senate— for the 
knights and people toho alone deserve my presence among 
tJ^em. For Uie senate IwiU neither he a prince nor a citizen^ 
btit, clapping his hand on hb sword, an imperator and a con- 
queror. He then forbade any of the order to come forth to 
meet him, and waiving the offer of a triumph, which they 
had too long withheld, made his entry with the solemnity of 
an ovation only, and scattered money to the populace. His 
return took place on his birthday, the last day of August, in 
the year V93.' 

The last, and in the eyes of the Romans themselves the 
most abominable, phase of the Caian tyranny remained still 

witbsUndbg the pardcularity of tbis account, I must reject the whole as in- 

" Su^ OdU 79. 

■ Dion, lix. 26. : Ktu 5f aneicpivarOj Ipd yhp mrrh rh ^)filv^ In uiya Tooa 
yjptiitar not oMhf fUvroi deivbv iitade^ aiar&rouoc y^p nv. 

• Suet. Cciig, 49. 

Digitized by 



cwiw flnaiiy ^o be exhibited. They had witnessea nis a88amp« 
r^?Sd ^ tion of divinity with a smile ; and even the rivaby 
•ufocraL ^e had affected Tvith the Jupiter of the Capitol, 

whose thunders he pretended to imitate, and with the tale 
of whose parricide and incest he had met the imputation of 
similar crimes against himself had excited no other feeling, 
perhaps, but one of placid amusement.^ The selfish coward* 
ice with which the nobles had beheld the cruelties inflicted 
on so many of their own class, without raising a hand, or 
even a murmur, on their behalf, amazing as it seems to us at 
first sight, may be accounted for by the distrust of one 
another, with which the system of delation had g^ierally 
imbued them. The people growled with indignation at the 
unwonted exactions imposed on them; nevertheless, they 
could not long resist the seductions of new shows and largess* 
es. The style and character of the principate had been 
coloured indeed more and more by the arbitrary usages of 
Eastern monarchy ; no rule or privilege could continue to 
hold its ground against the will of the prince, whose caprices 
could be enforced with the naked sword by a devoted body- 
guard. But it was not till he entered Home in the garb of au 
Imperator, and made the forum his camp and the palace his 
prsstorium, — ^it was not till he brandished the fasces in the 
eyes of the citizens, and subjected them to military law, — 
that Caius really appeared to Roman imaginations a^ a Pisis- 
tratus or a Tarquin. From this time the die was cast, and he 
finally abandoned all the decorous fictions of the republic 
He avowed himself a tyrant, and continued thenceforth to 
wear the outward ensigns of autocracy without scruple.* He 

' AureL Vict do Ccetar, 4. : ** Cum Jovem se ob incestum .... assererei.'' 
Comp. Dion, lix. 26. : Zei>c rt elvat cffAdrrcro, koI di^ tovto koI ywatpv aXXatc 
re iro'^Xtug koI rate hdeX^dic lioXtara cweivat wpoe^aaiaaro. 

' Aurel. Victor, de CcBtar, 4.: *^B\a elatns dominum did, atque insignt 
regni capiti nectere tentaTerat" In the Epitome the same author asserts that 
Cains actnallj wore the diadem* Suetonius, in a passage before rderred to^ 
says that he was very near assummg it, and only desisted on the assaranoe that 
he had risen above the highest eminence of kings and sovereigns. CaUff, 22. 

Digitized by 


A. V. 793.] UNDER THE EMPIBE. 359 

can bardly have been nnconscions that this overt act of 
nsnrpation would raise him up more dangerous enenaies than 
all his previous atrocities.^ Another Cains had perished by 
the dagger, and such was the fate which he must have ap- 
prehended for himself. But the disdain he felt for the 
wretched people he had trampled upon, seems to have forti- 
fied hifi courage. When a plot against his life was discover- 
ed by the treachery of one of the conspirators, 
and the persons in^plicated in it tried to s^ve agiS^bim 
themsdves by denounoii^ some of his most fami- 
liar associates, such as the captain of his guards, and his 
fiivouiite fireedman Callistus, he went up boldly to the ac- 
cused, Imred his breast^ and offered them a sword to take his 
life if they really desired it* This, at least, was not the act 
of a coward, such as Caius is gen^*ally represented ; nor, it 
may be added, in spite of many furious declamations against 
him, can we charge him with bloody severity in revenging 
this attempt upon his person. Cerialis, the leader of the 
ccmspiracy, though put to the question to reveal its extent, 
was suffered to escape with his life, to perish many years 
after m a similar enterprise against another master.* 

The senate, however, seized the occasion to recover their 
master's &vour by decreeing solemn games for his preserva- 
tion, and by offering him a seat in the Curia so crowning ex- 
far elev^ed above the floor that his person should gj"^^ **' 
be inaccessible to an assailant.* This anxiety to prf^cipttte. 
place him as it were beyond their own reach may indicate 

> JoeephnB mentioiiB, among tbe aAroeiUes of Gaiua which gave tlie ^reat* 
est ofifenoe, hia aHowing bUtos to lay infbrmatioDS against tbdr masters. Aniiq, 
six. i 2. Another provocation was the report that he meditated transferring 
the seat of empire to Aleiumdria or Antium, his birthplace. Suet Califf, 49. 

' Zonaras, zi 6. 

' Tac. Ann, xvi 17. The language of Seneca in his treatise on Anger {di 
Ira^ 19.) strongly exemplifies the baneful passion against which he preaches. It 
is impossible to attach much importance to dennnclations, the climax of which 
is that Galas allowed some of his victims to be executed at night *' Quid tarn 
tnauditum quam noctumum supplicium? . . quantulum fUit lucom exspeo 

* Dion, lix. 26. 

Digitized by 



tliat the intended attack upon him, like that upon Julius 
CsDsar, was to have been made in the Senate-house, and that 
the consent of the whole body of senators was fallj expected. 
In the face of such evidence of the general detestation in 
which he was held, Caius still relied en disarming his foes by 
inspiring them with mutual jealousy and distrust. Shrink* 
ing from combination and almost from conv^sation with one 
another, they vied in paying ahject court to the tyrant, or to 
the yilest of his creatures. Among the foremost of these 
was a freedman named Protogenes, who was said to carry 
about with him two tablets, inscribed the Sword and the 
Dagffer^ which contained the names of the persons destined, 
the one to execution, perhaps, the other to assassination/ 
Whenever this noted delator entered the Senate-house, the 
fathers crowded round to take him obsequiously by the 
hand. On seeing a certain Scribonius Proculus thus coming 
forward to greet him. What! he exclaimed, durst thou salute 
mey enemy as thou art to Ooesar f and at the words the sen- 
ators fell upon the wretched man, and stab1>ed him to death 
with their styles.* Such an instance of slavish pusillamimity 
might reassure the emperor amidst the dangers by which he 
was actually environed. He indulged more freely, periiaps, 
than ever in the notion of his own omnipotence, and rioted 
in the fantastic caprices to which such a notion seemed al- 
ways to prompt him. One day, at a public banquet^ when 
the consuls were reclining by his side, he burst suddenly into 
afit of laughter; and when they courteously inqmr^ the 
cause of his mirth, astounded them by coolly replying that 
he was thinking how by one word he could cause both their 
heads to roll on the floor.' He amused himself with similar 

* Dion, 1. c. SuetoniuB {Catig. c. 49.) says that these ypdftfMra Xvypd 
were diBOOvered among ihe emperor's papers after his death. At the same 
tune a chest was also found, filled with a great yarletj of poisons, the power 
and qoaHtlee of which were carefbllj mariced, as asoertidned by experiment 
When they were thrown into t^e sea, the fishes perished fkt and near. 

■ Dion, L 0. 

* Suet CaUff, 82. : " Quid nisi mio moo nntu Jogulari utrmnque Testram 
s'.atim posse?'* 

Digitized by 



banter eyen with bis wife CeBSonia, for whom he i^eems to 
have had a stronger feeling than for any of his former con- 
aorta. While fondling her neck he is reported to have said, 
JFhir (xstiiSj haw ecmly I could Hver iV 

Bat the end of this monstrous principate, not yet four 
yean old, was already drawing nigh ; and, if we may be- 
lieve oor accounts, the tyrant's overthrow was cons^ixnej^ 
due not to abhorrence of his crimes <» indigna- ouriocaam. 
ticm at his assaults on the Roman liberties, so much as to 
resentment at a private afBront. Among the indiscretions 
which seem to indicate the partial madness of the wretched 
Caius, was the caprice with which he turned from his known 
foes against his personal friends and familiars. Thus he sac- 
rificed to a freak of ill-humour the tragedian Apelles, the 
companion of his pleasures, and instigator of many of his ex- 
cesses. No one felt himself secure, neither the freedmen who 
attended on his ]>erson, nor the guards who watched over 
his safety. Among these last was Cassius Chaerea, tribune 
of a pnetorian cohort, whose shrill woman's voice provoked 
the merriment of his master, and subjected him to injurious 
insinuations.' Even when he demanded the watchword for 
the night the emperor would insult him with words and ges- 
tures. Ghierea resolved to wipe out the affix>nt in blood. 
He sought Callistus and others, the same apparently who had 
before been accused of conspiring against Caius, and who 
had lived in apprehension ever since. He soothed the jeal- 
ousies which Oaius had sown between them, persuaded them 
to trust one another in their common peril, and organized 
with them and some of the most daring of the nobles a plot 
against the emperor's Ufa Yet this was not a conspiracy of 
the senate : it had no consular or prsBtor at its head, nor had 
It any ulterior project in view. There was no design of sac- 

' Soet C<i%. 88. : '* Tarn bona cervix dmol ao jossero demctetnr." 
* Suet Cadg. 66. : Senec. de emat Sap. 18. : ** ClueresB Iribmio militam 8e^ 
mo lum pro manii erat, languidos sono et infracta voce Buspectior. Hide Oaiui 
rignom petenti modo Veneris, modo Priapi dabat^' Josepb. AnHq, Jnd, xiz. 
L 5. ; Dion, lix. 29. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


rificing the tyrant in the Curia, and proclaiming tyranny at 
an end. From want of resolution the deed was postponed 
from day to day, and not portents only, but some treacher- 
ous whispers may have warned the emperor to bewaire qf 
Caasvus/ A woman named Quintilia, the mistress of one of 
the conspirators, reused under torture to discover the de- 
sign,* • Caius contented himself with despatching an order 
for the execution of a Cassius. Longinus, proconsul of Aria, 
who was accordingly summoned to Borne, but arrived there 
just too late to suffer by the tyrant's mandate.* At last, 
after many delays, the festival of the Palatine games wati 
fixed on for carrying the project into effect. Four days did 
Caius preside in the theatre, surrounded by the friends iski 
guards who wete sworn to slay him, but still lacked the 
courage. On the fifth and last, the 24th of January 794, 
feeling indisposed from the evening's debauch, he hesitated 
at first to rise. His attendants, however, prevailed on him 
to return once more to the shows ; and as he was passing 
through the vaulted passage which led from the palace to 
the Circus, he inspected a choir of noble youths from Asia, 
who were engaged to perform upon the stage. He was 
about to call them back into the palace to rehearse their 
parts before him, but the leader of the band excused himself 
on account of hoarseness. Caius was still engaged in con- 
versation with them when ChsDrea and another tribune, Sar 
binus, made their way to him : the one struck him on the 
liiroat from behind with his sword, while the other was in 
the act of demanding the watchword. A second 
blow cleft the tyrant's jaw. He fdll, and draw- 
ing his limbs together to save his body, still screamed, 1 
live/ Hive/ while the conspirators throngmg over him, and 
crying, again/ again/ hacked him with thirty wounds. 

' Joseph. AnI&q, Jxid, L c. 

' Saet Calig, 67. ; Dion, lix. 29. This, bowerer, would suppose an interral 
of neailj two months, which seems hardly admissible. Cassius had been the 
husband of Dnisilla, whom he was forced to relmquish to Caius, to be united 
to H. Lepidus. 

Digitized by 


A.n.79i.] UNDER THE EMPIRE. 353 

The bearers of his litter rushed to his assistance with their 
poles, while his body-guard of Grermans struck wildly at the 
assassins, and amongst the crowd which surrounded them, 
killed, it was said, more than one senator who had taken no 
part in the afEair. The conspirators extricated themselves 
from the narrow passages, and left the body where it felL 
It was borne in secret by firiendly hands to the pleasure 
grounds of the Lamian palace, and •there hastily and imper- 
fectly consumed, and thrust into a shallow tomb. At a later 
period, the sisters Liyia and Agrippina, restored from ban- 
ishinent, exhumed it, reduced it solenmly to ashes, and con- 
signed it again to a more decent sepulchre. Till this was 
done the shade, we are assured, could have no rest itself nor 
would it suffer the keepers of the garden to slumber undis- 
turbed at night.* 

' Suet CaUg, 59. OahiB was slain in hiB thirtieth year. His reign lasted 
three yearOi ten months, and ei^t days, from the 16th of March, V90, to 21th 
of Jan. '^M. 

Digitized by 







THUS, after an interval of eighty-four years, another 
Cains CaDsar fell by the hand of the assassin, but one 
conftision of ^^^ would never have been mentioned in con- 
thoaasaMins. junction with the first, except for the likeness 
of his name and of the manner of his death.^ The parallel, 
however, was not confined to the first act of the tragedy; its 
subsequent scenes presented a repetition of nearly similar 
circumstances; — ^the same confiiBion among the assassins 
themselves, the same hasty and ill-concerted attempts at 
establishing the fireedom they had recovered, and, lastly, a 
like defeat and overthrow by the strong and well-directed 
will of a military power. It would seem that the Romans, 
strong as they were in individual enterprise, and though 
trained by all their habits to deliberation in common, were 

* Tae. Etti, i!l 68. : " Repentina yis dictatorem CaesarGm oppresserat 
occultas Galmn insidise.^* 

Digitized by 



ItUle capable of oombining to any purpose; possibly the 
very force of their personal oharactei*8, and the yehemence 
of their wiUs, rendered them, in the gravest crises of their 
history, thus mSifit for united action. 

When each of the conspirators had thrust his weapon 
into the mangled body, and the last shrieks of its agony had 
been «l«iced, they escaped with all speed froi^ Tbeeonnit 
the corridor in which it lay ; but they had made J^STfci^'i- 
no dispositions ibr what was to follow, and were i">«»**on- 
content to leaye it to the consuls and senate, amazed and un« 
prepared, to decide on the future destiny of the republic. 
Among ihe first of the emperor^s friends who penetrated to 
the spot where he fell, was the trusty Agrippa, who threw a 
mantle over the body, and tried for a moment to conceal the 
fact of his death. But Ihe violence of the German guards, 
and the sturdy bearing of a consular, Valerius Asiaticus, 
who proclaimed aloud that the tyrant had ceased to breathe, 
and how much he regretted having borne no part in the 
transaction himself, made it fully known, and at the same 
time daunted the courage of those who might have avenged 
it. There remained no other duty for Agri|^ to perform 
but to carry off. the remains, and while awaiting the course 
of events, consign them hastily to the grave. While the 
Germans were awed by the imposing attitude of Valerius, 
some cohorts of the city guards accepted the orders of the 
consuls, and occupied the public places under their direction. 
At the same time the consuls, Sentius Satuminus and Pom- 
ponins Secundus, the latter of whom had been substituted 
for Caius himself only a few days before, convened the sen* 
ate, not in the accustomed Curia, because it bore the name 
of Julian, but in the temple of the Capitoline Jupiter. The 
first act of the sitting was to issue an edict in which the tyr- 
anny of Caius was denounced, and a remission of the most 
obnoxious of his taxes proclaimed, together with the prom- 
ise of a donative to the soldiers. The fathers next proceeded 
to deliberate on the form under which the government should 
be henceforth administered. On this point no settled princi- 

Digitized by 



pies prevailed. Some were ready to vote that the memory 
of the CsBsars should be aboliflhed, their temples overthrown, 
and the free state of the Scipios and Catos restored ; otiiers 
contended for the continuance of monarchy in another £un- 
ily, and among the ohiefi of nobility more than one candidate 
sprang up presently to claim it. The debate lasted late into 
the night ; and in default of any other q)edfic arrangement, 
the consuls continued to act as the leaders of the common- 
wealth. Satuminus obtained a decree in honour of the re- 
storers of public freedom, and especisdly of Cassius Chserea, 
the head and hand of the conspiracy. When the hero ap- 
proached the curule chairs and demanded the watchword of 
the consuls, he was entrusted, amidst vociferous acclama- 
tions, with the sacred name <^ IJiberttf, The senators sepa- 
rated. Ohserea delivered the word to the four Urban co- 
horts, and despatched a tribune named Lupus to execute the 
vengeance of the state on the wretched Ciesonia, whose re- 
puted influence over her husband marked her as an object of 
particular detestation, and on her child, the monster's only 

£ut while the senate deHherated^ the prcetorian gruarch had 
resolved.* Accident presented them with an object to rally 
The protorUiM rouud, and a keen sense of interest combined 
dS^totii^" "^^^ *^® consciousness of power to determine 
8TO»I5t them to exert the strength which their union and 
gunoetobim. discipline gave them. In the confusion which 
ensued on the first news of the event, several of their body 
had flung themselves furiously into the palace, and begun to 
plunder its glittering chambers. iNTone dared to offer them 
any opposition ; the slaves and freedmen fled or concealed 
themselves. One of the inmates, half hidden behind a cur- 
tain in an obscure comer, was dragged forth with brutal vio- 
lence; and great was the intruders' surprise when they reo- 
ognised him as Claudius, the long despised and neglected 

• Suet CdUg, 60.; Dion, Ix. 1. ; Joseph. AnJ&q. Jud. jdx. 2. 

• Gibbon, DeeL and FaO^ ch. iii. 

Digitized by 


A.U. 794.] UlTDER THE EMPIBE. 3Q7 

nncld of the murdered emperor.' He sank at their feet al* 
mo6t Benseless with terror: but the soldiers in their wildest 
mood still respected the blood of the Caesars, and instead of 
slaying or maltreating the suppliant, the brother of German- 
icu«, they hailed him, more in jest perhaps than earnest, with 
the title of Imperator, and carried him off to their camp. 
Daring the night, while the senate was still debating, and the 
Boldiers, now collected in greater numbers, were pressing the 
empire, which he dared not yet accept, with more determina- 
tion upon him, the consuls, informed of his place of retreat, 
sent some of the tribunes to invite him to their meeting, to 
deliver hie opinion upon the state of affairs. To this simi- 
mons he timidly replied that he was detained in the camp by 
A>rce, and the clash of arms and menacing attitude of the 
soldiers seemed sufficiently to confirm the excuse. In the 
morning, when it was found that the senate had come to no 
conclosion, and that the people crowding about its place of 
meeting were urging it with loud cries to appoint a single 
chief, and were actually naming him as the object of thdr 
choice, Claudius found courage to suffer the prsetorians to 
Bwear all^ianee to him, and at the «ame time piromised them 
s donative of fifteen thousand sesterces apiece.' At the 
same time Agrippa, who had quitted the half-burnt bones of 
Caius to repair to the long-deserted associate in whose for- 
tune he now confided, went in his interest to the senate, and 
exhorted it to yield with a good grace to the force which 
was about to be arrayed against it. While protesting that 
all his own wishes were on its side, he declared that there 
was no hope of its success in the impending struggle. TJie 
prcBiorians^ he said, besides their gre<xt€r mmberSy ar^ trained 

^ Saet Claud, 10.: ^'Prorepeit ad solarimn proximmn, interqne protenta 
foribm Tda se abdidiC The Bolarimn was the terrace or portico outside the 
hoose ; the windows which opened upon it were furnished with curtains. Some 
lustoriaDS haye adopted Burmann's imnecessaiy conjecture ^scalarium,'' as if 
daodios had hidden himself under the stidrs. Dion says, iv yuvf^ irov aicoTetv^ . 
Joaephua, Kord ri irpoaparHv i^Syoic fioBfiiai x^^plov, AtUiq, Jud. ziz. 8. 

* Suet. Claud. 10. : ** Primus Osesarum fidem militis etiam prsemio pigne* 
latos.** This fatal example wo shall find regularly followed for the future. 

Digitized by 



and veteran soldiers ; ottrforees are a mere hanc^id qf daves 
andfreedmen.^ He earnestly counselled it to temporize and 
negotiate. On the other hand, he secretly urged Claudius to 
persist in his claims to unconditional submission, though he 
recommended him to speak of the august assembly in terma 
of respect and consideration, to flatter its vanity by affecting 
to consult it, and by promising to approve himself in all 
things a ruler of a different stamp from the tyrant who had 
goaded it to its futile assertion of liberty.' 

The senators assembled once again in the temple of Jupi- 
ter ; * but now their numbers were reduced to not more than 
a hundred, and even these met rather to support 
rabmits, and the pretcusions of certain of their members, 
Giandios m who aspired to the empke, among whom were 
emperor. Valerius, Asiaticus, and Minucianus, the hus- 

band of Julia, than to maintain the cause of the ancient 
republic. But the formidable array of the praetorians, who 
had issued from their camp into the city, and the demonstra- 
tions of the popular will, daunted all parties in the assem- 
bly : even the guards in which it confided, vacillated, and 
Ch»rea in vain protested, almost alone, against the substitu- 
tion, as he said, of an idiot for a madman; while Sabinus 
sullenly declared that he would not survive the advent of 
another GfiBSar to power. Presently the "Urban cohorts 
passed over, with their officers and colours, to the opposite 
side. All was lost: the praetorians, thus reinforced, led their 
hero to the palace, and there he commanded the senate to 
attend upon him. Nothing remained but to obey and pass 
the decree, which had now become a formal act of investi- 

' The Ylgflefl, or Urban ooborte, were a corps of fireedmen, accordizig to ttie 
institation of AngustoB. Besides them, the senators might have armed their 

• Suet. Dion, IL cc. ; Joseph. Antiq, Jud, xix. 4. 

* Josephns sajs in the temple of Jupiter "^iK^poc or Victor. He may 
mean Jupiter Stator, whose temple below the Capitoline was not unfrequently 
used for its meetings by the senate, or, more probably, this b his way of ex« 
pressing the temple of Jupiter in the Capitol, to whom the spoils of victorr 
(vuarripia) were dedicated. 

Digitized by 



tore, by whidi the name and honcmrs of Imperator were be- 
sto-wed upon the new chief of the commonwealth. Such was 
the first creation of an emperor by the military power of the 
preetorians : we shall witness at no distant period the inter- 
ference of a still stronger power, that of ihe legions them- 
selyes, in the work.* 

Snrronnded by drawn swords Claudius had found courage 
to face his' nej^ew's murderers, and to yindicate his author- 
ity to the citizens, by a strong measure of retri- cianaiospro- 
bution, in sending ChsBrea and Lupus, with a few ^Sty.SoS^C 
others of the blood-embrued, to immediate exe- cSaSTaiui a 
culion ; while SabinuS, omitted from the proscrip- *^ **»•* 
tion, iDept his word to his associates by throwing himself on 
his own sword. Claudius was satisfied with this act of vig- 
our, and proceeded, with a moderation but little expected, 
to publish an amnesty for all the words and acts of the late 
mterregnum.* Nevertheless for thirty days he did not ven- 
ture to come himself into the Curia, so terrible was the im- 
pression the deed of blood had made upon him, and so con- 
scious was he of his personal inferiority to the nobles who 
had aspired to the place he occupied in virtue of his name 
alona When at last he recovered courage to take his seat 
between the consuls, he caused the prefect and tribunes of 
his guard to attend constantly about his person, a precaution 

' AureL Yici. de Ccaar» 4. : " Ita Bomas rogia potestas firmaia.*' A cma 
of CSaodios bears on one side tlie legend impsr. bxcbft. (impeiatore recepto); 
on the other, PEjrroiL bkceft. (prsstorianls recq>ti8). Eckhel, Doetr, Imnm. 
▼L 235. 

* Saet. Claud, 11.: *' Imperio stabilito nihil antiquios duzit quam id biduum 
. . . memorisB eximere/* Dion, Ix. 8. Orosioa speaks In magniloqaent lan- 
guage of HbUs act of demency, yii. 6. This Ohristian writer takes a peculiar 
Tiew of the rdgB of Claacfitis. At its commencement, he says, the apostles 
Peter and Panl came to Rome, the fiiith was preached, and Rome was blessed 
in eooMqnence whh many signal advantages — a merciM emperor, a wise ad- 
ministraiion, prosperity at home and abroad. But after Claudius expelled the 
Jews or CSuistlaos from the city, all this was changed. Rome was harassed by 
fiunine, the emperor abandoned himself to sanguinary tyranny, and perished in 
the end ndscrably by poison. 
VOL. V. — 24 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


to whioh Tiberius had occaaOnally consulted, but which 
Gaios had boldly disregarded.^ The same apprehensions fol« 
lowed him from the Curia to the council-room, to the hall of 
audience, and even to the private apartments of the palace. 
Beibre the curtains which veiled the entrance to his ante* 
chamber guards were posted to examine all who entered. 
Down to a late period of his principate even women and 
children were not exempted from the seurch, lest they should 
bear about them concealed weapons. Satellites, lance in 
hand, were stationed at the head and foot of his couch at the 
banquet, and he was even served at table by soldiers. This 
jealous custom he retained to the end of his reign, and it 
became an established etiquette of the court under his suc- 
cessors. Even when he visited a sick friend, for Claudius 
affected as far as possible the obliging manners of a patrician 
citizen, he caused tiie chamber of the invalid, and even his 
bedclothes, to be carefully examined.' 

The personal fears, indeed, of the new emperor contrib- 
uted with a kindly and placable disposition to make him 

anxious to gain his subjects' good-will by the 
modonttionor r^entlencBS and urbanity of his deportment.' 

Far from assuming the cold reserve of Tibenus, 
or the ferocious pride of his nearest predecessor, Claudius 
showed himself frdl of consideration for all who had any 
claims on the prince and father of the people. His procla- 
mation of amnesty was followed by the pardon of numer- 
ous exiles and criminaU, especially such as were suffering 
tmder sentence for the crime of majestas. The wretched 
sbters of Caius were recalled, and allowed to return to their 

' Tac. Ann, tI 16. 

* Suet Claud. 85* : ^ Quanquam jactator dvilitatia.*' IHon (Iz. 8.): <^ the 
guards in the banquet hall : lud tovtq ftiv i^ Ueivov KoraSuxfikv lui dnipo 6el 
yiyvercu. Of the personal search : i dfr Ipewa i duL ir&vruv M 'Oveairaindinm 

' Aurel Victor, de Ccetar. 4.: "Fleraqoe per formidtnem tameo tgrtfjia 

Digitized by 



domestio duties or dissipations.^ Many harsh enactments of 
the late mler were annulled, and compensation made wher- 
ever it was possible. Confiscated estates were relinquished. 
Moderation and generosity characterized the fiscal measui^ 
of the ap^iing reign: the new-year's presents, which Caius 
had not only accepted but solicited, — ^to enable him, as he 
said, to bear the expense of rearing a daughter, — ^were 
waived, and even interdicted. The emperor refused the in- 
inheritance of any man who had relatives of his own ; he 
persisted, moreover, to the last in declining the pnenomen 
of Imperator.' The statues of which Caius had plundered 
Oreeoe and Asia were generally sent back, and the temples 
he had seised for his own cult, — ^as for instance, that of 
Apollo at Miletus, one of the finest edifices of the age, — 
were restored to their proper divinities. The honours which 
Claudius paid to the memory of his brother Germanicns and 
his parents, as well as to Livia and to Augustus, were ac< 
cepted as a pledge that he would take these illustrious exam* 
pies for his model, and fi>r their sake he was excused for not 
withholding respect even from Caius and Tiberius.* The 
discovery Claudius made, or pretended, of lists of intended 
victims^ and of the fisttal pdlson-chest, added to the horror of 
tiie citixens at the monster from whom they had escaped, 
and made them doubly grateful for the goodness of his suc- 
cessor. The popularity of the new prince, though mani- 
fested, thanks to his own discretion, by no such grotesque 
and impious flatteries as attended on the opening promise of 

* IHon, Ix. 4. Suet (Claud. 12.) says that he obtained the express sanction 
of the senate for erery snch act of grace. 

' Soet. Claud, 12. This peculiarity is confirmed by the coins and inscrip- 
tions. See Eckhd, Dodr. Mtmrn, tL 247. The moderation of Claudiiis is 
fpedfied also by Dion, Ix. 5. 

' Soet C^tntd. 11. : " Ja^nrendam noqne sanotlus sibi, neque erebrins . . . 
LogiutiBii. AfisB UMm divines honores .... parcaxtibns Inferias 
, . Ne Maronm qoidem Antoniom inhonoratom transmisik Tiberio 
ticom peregit'* Though be aboUdied the acts of Oaii»-4hose 
•r Tiberius bad been aboHshed befbro— he reftised to make a feettral of the 
day of his assaadnation. 

Digitized by 



Gaius, was certainly not less deeply felt. When^ a few 
months after his accession, daring a temporary absence, a 
report was spread of his assassination, the people were yio- 
lently excited ; they assailed the soldiers and the senate with 
cries of treason and parricide, and were not appeased till the 
chief magistrates came forward, and solenmly protested thai 
their &yoarite was safe, and returning rapidly to the oity.^ 

The confidence indeed of the npper classes, after the 
bitter disappcnntment tiiey had so lately suffered, was not 
TbeMrirHfe to be SO lightly won. The senate and knights 
oTciMidiai. might view their new ruler with indulgence, and 
hope for the best ; but they had been too long accustomed 
to regard him as proscribed from power by constitutional 
unfitness, as imbecile in mind, and which was perhaps in 
their estimation even a wotse defect, as misshapen and hal^ 
developed in physical force, to anticipate from him a wise or 
„ ^ ., . vifforous administration.' The neglect with 

Ho had been f. , , . -. . , . , . 

treated with which his cducation was treated m his eaiiy 

neglect and _ , , -• , , . v» 

contempt for vcars wheu he was abandoned to the care of 

his infirmities '' j ^t_ • ^ x- i» a 

of mind and nurses, and the mstructions of a coarse and sense- 
^' less pedagogue, who exasperated his infirmitifiB 

by ill-usage, was owing probably to the crime which a 
Roman parent seldom forgave, the weakness of his constitii* 
tion and the distortion of his fr«me.* In another rank he 
would have been exposed perhaps in in&ncy ; as the son of 
Drusus and Antonia he was permitted to live : but he be* 
came from the first an object of disgust to his parents, who 
put him generally out of their sight, and left him to grow 
up in the hands of hirelings without judgment or feeling. 

> Saet. Claud, 12. 

* Atirel Yiot. de CeB$ar, 4.: *<£t aonh quia Fecors erat mitisaimiu ridfibft* 
tur improdcntibiia." 

* Suet Ciaud, 2.: ''Etfun poet tatdam reoeptem alien! arUtrii ei sab 
pOBdagogo fuit; qaem baibanim et olim supetjamentariani, ex indnstria «bl 
appositom, at se quibueconqae de caoBiB quam fleyiaaime coeroeret" . FkiUlus, 
the eldest son of the first Scipfo AMcanas, is perhaps the only known instance 
of a Roman of his birth and station withheld, onder the oonunonweahh, frost 
public afiEaira bj the delicacj of his constitution. Cic BruL 19. ; Ojf. 83. 

Digitized by 


A.U.7M.I UNBEB THE EMPlfiE. 373 

The child wm bora at Lagdanum, in 744, on the finit of 
Auguflt, the Auspicious day of the dedication of the altar of 
AugnstuSy and received the name of Tiberius Claudius J>ra- 
SOS) to whidi was afterwards added that of Glermanicus, on 
the i»«iiatare decease of his &lher. His childhood and 
youth were one loi^ siekness^ unoheered by parental aififeo- 
tion ; and he seems to have been deemed from the &8t unfit 
lor any bodily exaxdses. His mother was not ashamed to 
call him a monater of a man, an ab<»rtion of nature i the 
greatest expreisioai of contempt she could apply to any one 
was to call him more a fool than her son Claudius. His 
grandmotiber livia held him in disdain, and seldom even 
spoke to him : her admcmitions were given in short and sharp 
letters, or conveyed to him by the mouth of others. His 
sister livilla^ on onoe heaiing that he might possibly be 
called hereafter to power, exclaimed loodly at the unworthy 
fate of the Boman people to fall nnder such a governor. 
Augustus himself who should have known human nature 
better^ and who might have felt sympathy with bodily in- 
firmity, oould not endure that any of his race should lack 
Uie personal qualities which befitted the highest station, and 
slighted the poor youth both in public and in his own fiunily. 
Some fiagmenta of the emperor's correspondence are cited, 
to show the little esteem in which he held him.* Thus he 
consults with Livia how the youth is to be treated, and how 
&x it will be proper to produce him in public. He may be 
sufSsred to attend at a pontifical banquet, if he will submit 
to conform to the example and guidance of a cousin ; but he 
can not be permitted to witness the games of the circus fix)m 
the conspicuous elevation of the imperial lodge. He must 
not be se^i at the festival of the Latin Feii», either at Alba 
or in Rome. K he can follow the sacred procession up the 
mountain with his brother Germanlcus, people will ask why 
he is not entrusted with municipal office, which of course is 
out of the question. I toish, says Augustus, thai the poor 

> Soet Claud,^ 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


erecUure uxndd take pains to imitate some respectable persofb- 
age in bearing^ gaitj and gestwre^ • . • • You may 
imagine^ he adds, Jtaw surprised I was to find something to 
Uke in his declaiming^ for you hnou> that he cannot ordinor 
rily even speak sods to be understood. With this strong 
prejudice against his grandchild, we cannot wonder that thd 
emperor allowed him to enjoy no higher distinction than the 
formal dignity of the Angnrate, and that in tlie distribution 
of his legacies, in whi<^ he carefiilly marked the degrees of 
his esteem, he left him no more than the trifling bequest of 
eight hundred sesterces.' 

The obscurity in which the young man was retained by 
Augustus, continued still to envelope him under the next 

,. „, prindpate. He petitioned Tiberius to besuffered 

Withheld from *^ ^ . /%;, ,,^ ^^ 

aetiyeiifcLbe to partake of the honours and burdens of the 

deyoteshlm- _, i- ••/•■■ « 

seiftoutenry State, but the empty distmction of the consular 
ornaments was the utmost that was conceded to 
him. After this mortification he relinquished all hope of 
public service, and retired to his country seats, wh6re he 
associated, as was reported, with none but the meanest com- 
panions. The men of his own class, indeed, were too busy 
in paying court to the emperor or his favourites to att^id to 
a despised outcast : his early friend Agrippa, as we have 
seen, deliberately cast him off as an unprofitable acquaint- 
ance. Yet tiiere is no evidoKse of his having replaced these 
selfish companions by less worthy associates. The charges 
of drunkenness, gambling, and addiction to women, all which 
were now heaped upon him, are probably exaggerated.* 
The extent of his literary labours, in which he rivalled the 
most industrious students of antiquity, seems alone to pre- 
clude the possibility of excessive habitual irregularity. 

' Suet Cfkttvl 4. Champ$ffij obsecres (CJMn, I 881.): ''Augusle ne 
raimait pas ; il n^en fit jamaiB qu^un Angure : il le trouvaU trop imbecile ponr 
fiure autre chose que deviner raTenir.'* 

* Suet Claud, 6. : " Seper yetercm segniti» notam, ebrietads qnoque et 
alen infamiam subiit" Gomp. c. 83. Tac Ann, xil 49. : *' Quom priTatoa oliiD 
oonyersatione scurranim incrs otinm oblectaret*' 

Digitized by 


A. U. 794.1 UKDEB THE EHPIBiL 375 

Olaudios, we are told, c<mipoeed a history of Roman affiiirs 
from the battle of Actium in no Iobb than forty-one books ; 
to this he added a biography of himself or memoir of his 
own times, in eight, a history of the Etruscans in twenty, and 
of the Carthaginians in eight alsa^ Besides these ponderous 
historical works, he composed a defenceof Cieero against the 
criticisms of Asinius Gallus, a comedy in the 6re^ language, 
and a treatise on the art of dice-playing.' It may be sus- 
pected, indeed, that a great ^Bxjt of the labour of these 
yarioos compositions was shared by the grammarians and 
learned freedmen with whom the literary Roman generally 
surrounded himself; * but whatever allowance we make for 
their aanstance, it will still appear that he possessed ^ power 
of application quite inconsistent with the weakness of 
intellect which hk maUgners so freely imputed to liim« 
Neverthdess these req>e6table occupations gained him no 
consideration. Tiberius treated him to the last with a con- 
tumely and injustice which seems to have reyolted the 
citizens. Caius, out of deference to the general sentiment, 
elevated him to the consulship, and allowed him to appear 
at the spectacles in the place which befitted him, where he 
sometimes represented the absent emperor himself; but in 
private he was still subjected to the grossest indignities, and 

* Tlie first of tbese works he began origlnallj {h)m the death of Gaosar, but 
was admonished by Mb mother and livia that Ae theme was Oi suited to his 
positlim. Of his own- liii he wrote ''magis hiepte qoam inelegantcr,^ which 
seems to mean that the style was better than the sabjeot 

* Suet. Clavd. 41. 42. The Etroscan and Carthaglman histories were writ- 
ten in Greek: I suspect from this that Claudiuses historical works were mostly 
compilations, or even transcripts. The Latin language probably afforded him 
no ori^nals on these fordgn subjects. Claudius had also some grammatical 
fimcies. He wished to introduce three new letters into the Soman alphabet, 
the digamnm, the psi, and another which is not known. See lipdus's note on 
Ta«. .imi. zi. 14. They and V^ may still be traced on some monuments of this 
rogn, bat they did not surviye it 

* Soettoiua (L c) mentions a Sulpidus Flavus as assistmg, and the great 
htstoiian JAyj as eneooiaging, him in his historical laboiii*. In the sanie way 
ve read of Ateias Philok)gn8 making historical collections for the use of Sallust 
and Asinius PoUio. Suet, de iHuslr, Gramm, 10. 

Digitized by 



the emperor's boon compaoiioiis were encouraged to make 
sport of his reputed imbeoility. Thus, for instanoe, if he 
came at any time late to the imperial supper table, the guests 
would spread themselves on the couches and keep him stand- 
ing ; if he fell asleep after eating, they would put rough 
gloves on his hands, to enjoy his concision when he rubbed 
his eyes on waking.^ Such were the consequences at Rome 
and in the palace of being bom of a weekly oonsiitution, and 
of having suffered from paralyski, of halting on one leg, of 
trembling in hand and head, and of having perhi^ the 
speech affected with thick and imperfect utterance.* Even 
the good nature which the poor man exhibited under these 
trials of his temp^ was turned into ridicule, and dienounced 
as a sign of the weakness of his understanding. That the 
judgment c^ one from whom the practicid knowledge of men 
and things had been withheld was not equal to his learning, 
and that the infirmities of his body affected his powers of 
deicision, his presence of mind, and steadfEtstness of purpose, 
may easily be imagined : nevertheless, it may be allowed 
that in a private station, and anywhere but at Rome, Clan* 
dius would have passed muster as a respectable, and not^ 
perhaps, an useless member of society* 

The opinion which is here given of this prince's character 
may possibly be influenced in some degree by the study of 
GiMdiiu ftflbets ^ countcnanoe in the numerous busts still exist- 
^^^ ^"^ ^Sf which represent it as one of the most inter- 
-^°«^*°^ esting of the whole imperial series. If his figtire, 
as we are told, was tall, and when sitting appeared not un- 
gracefiil, his face, at least in repose, was eminently handsome. 

' SoeU OlautL 8. Coiiiii. the satirical htcku de morie ClaudUy or JpoeoUh 
cynUmM of Seneca (In fin.): "Appaniit snbito C. CsBsar, ei petere iUian In 
serritatem coBpit: produoit testes qui iDnm Tiderant ab illo flagris, fenilis, oola- 
phis yapulantem.*' 

* Suet. Olmd, 30.; Dion, Iz. 2.; Juvenal, tL 620.: "Tremnlmn cH>ut 
. . . • nianantia labnu" Senea ApotoL i ''BonSB statune, bene oanmn . . . . a» 
ridne caput movero, dextnun pedem trahere .... respondisse nesclo quid per 
tnrbato sono et voce confusa.^* 

Digitized by 



Bat it is impossible not to lemark in it an expression of pain 
and anxiety wUeh forcibly arrests our sympathy. It is the 
face of an honest and well-meaning mon, who feds himself 
aneqaal to the task imposed upon him. There is the look of 
perplexity in which he may have pored over the mysteries of 
Etroacan lore^ carried to ^e throne of the worlds and engi^- 
ed in the deq>est problems of finanoe and dtizenship. There 
is the expression of fatigue both of mind and body, which 
speskB of midnight watches over books, yaried with mid- 
night carouses at the imperial table, and the fierce caresses 
of rival mistresses. There is the glance of fear, not of open 
enemies, but of pifetended friends ; the reminiscence of wan- 
ton blows, and the anticipation of the deadly potion. - Above 
all, there is the an^ous glance of dependenoe, which seems 
to cast about for a model to imitate, ftr ministers to shape a 
policy, and for satellites to execiite it. Ihe model Claudius 
found was the policy of the veneia1;ed Augustus; but his 
ministers were the most profligate of women, and the most 
selfish of emancipated slaves. This imitation of the measures 
of the great founder of the empire is indeed the key to the 
public policy of the Claudian principati^ Both at home and 
abroad we diall find the new ruler following the Unes already 
traced by his illustrious ancestor; and our examination of 
his career of sovereignty will place .in the strongest light the 
points of difiference between the middle of the eighth cen- 
tury of Rome and its terminatioB. — 

L The commencement of the new reign vras marked 
by the renewed activity of the annies on the frontiers. 
Scrvius Galba, confirmed in his command on LMiutMyen- 
the Rhine, led his forces across that river into tt?:fj?^rf 
the territory of the Chatti, whom he had found oiaadiua. 
some pretext for visiting with the terror of the Roman 
arms, Corbulo gained some successes over the Chauci, 
constructed roads and canals for the further prosecution 
of his enterprises, and was preparing to accomplish the 
long-intermitted task of German subjugation, when com* 

Digitized by 



manded to desist from so large and perilous an nndertaking.' 
At the same time, at the southern extremity of the empire, 
the majesty of Rome w&s vindicated against theMaurusians, 
a people of the still unsettled province of Mauretania.* Sue- 
tonius Paullinus was the first of the Romans that crossed the 
range of the Atlas. Penetrating a tea days^ march south* 
ward, he reached a river which was called the Gir, one of the 
streams perhaps which &11 from the southern slopes of those 
mountains, and are lost in the sands of the Sahara.' But 
Claudius determined to carry into effect the plan which Au- 
gtistus had prematurely announced, of an inv^on and 
thorough reduction of the great island of Britain. As his 
ancestor had proposed to follow in person the steps of Julius 
C93sar, so Claudius was not content to leave this important 
achievement in the hands of his lieutenants, but, untrained 
as he was to arms, he quitted the cares of administration in 
the capital, and joined his legions on the further side of the 
channel* The particulars of this deliberate aggression will 
deserve to be fully related in another place : it is enough here 
to say that it was completely successful ; and though little 
resistance was offered, and Claudius himself found no enemy 
to confront him in the field, it was of sufficient importance to 
merit the distinction of a triumph, which the emperor claim- 
ed, and led with great pomp and ceremony in the year 797. 
Claudius proved himself not unworthy of the honour, which 
of all Roman conquerors SuUa and Augustus had alone 
usurped before him, of extending the limits Of thepomtBrium 

' Taa Ann, xl 18, 20. Our authorides do not distin^sli between tUs 
and the Ck>rbulo who has been mentioned under the reign of Tiberins. I 
hare there shdwn that they wece certainlj different persona. Of this Oorbulo 
more wiU be said on a hiter occasion. * Dion, Ix. 9. 

* Flin. SUL NaL t. 1. This river seems to have been confounded with the 
Kiger, of which the ancients had some vague reports. The dze^ durecdon, and 
periodical sweHing of the Niger suggested the idea of its connexion with the 
NQe, wliidi wiis not quite extinct in recent times. "£t Glr notissimus anmii 
JBthiopuin, simili mentitos guigite Nilum." Claudian, de laud, SOL I 252. 

« Suet OlmuL 17.; Dion, Ix. 19. foil 

Digitized by 



in token that the fix)ntiier8 of the empire had been advanced 
under his aiupices.* 

The foundation of coloniee had been one of the great pnb* 
lie merits of Ai^nstus. It had gratified the soldiers ; it had 
giyen independence to many needy citizens ; it youndntion of 
had prored his personal disinterestedness^ in the ^^»^^ 
relinqoishment of tracts of tributary domain, and the aban- 
donment of some sources of the imperial revalue^ On the 
other hand, the parsimony of Tiberius had been manifested 
in his abstaining from these popular bene&otions. No colony 
of Hberius is mentioned ; none of his careless and grasping 
successor Caius. But Claudius was distinguished imK>ngthe 
Roman Lnperators by his politic qiunificen<^ in this particu- 
lar. It was his ambition to lengthen the- cords and strength- 
en the stakes of the empire ; — ^he restored some impoverished 
foundations in Italy, and establi^d uew colonies in the 
frontier provinces. The famous cities of Treves, Cologne, 
and Colchester owe their origin, among others, to his hand, 
and their celebrity partly perhaps to the wisdom with which 
he chose their sites, and the bounty with which he endowed 

Prom his place between the consuls in the Senate-house, 
Claudius, as the chief of the Roman people, dispensed crowns 
to subject potentates with imperial munificence. „ , . 

__, ,. «iii-., « His oondaol In 

The suppliants who had thronged the court of regard to ft>r- 
Tiberius and Cains were relieved from their pain- 
ful attendance, and sent to play the tyrant in their turn at 
home. Antiochus, long a petitioner m the antechamber of 
the senate, was now restored to the throne of Commagene ; 

* Tac. Ann, xil. 28. : " Pomoerium aaxit Caesar, more priaco, quo iis qui 
protolere imperimn, etiam tennlnos urbis propagare daiur. Nee tamen duces 
Bomiml, qatnquam magxds natiombus subactia, rtsurpayerant nisi L. Sulla et D. 
AuguBtaa." AuieL Victor, de Cmar. 4.: '^Retentf.^es seu dad imperio 
Bomaao." ^Minheim traces on the medals of daudius tiliat he receiyed the 
title of Lnperator no leas than twenty-seren tidies. Spanh. dA tuu Nvm, iL 404. 
Augustas had recdyed it only twenty-one times. Tac Arm. I 9. 

* See A Zumpt, ^ de coloniis Romanorum milltaribus.** Ocmun, Efigr, v 

Digitized by 



ftnd Mithridates, who claimed descent from the great Eaetcrc 
hero, received a grant of the kingdom of the Bosphorofi, for 
which Polemo, its recent occnpant, was indemnified with a 
district of Cilicia.* The services of Herod Agrippa, who 
had managed so adroitly to aid in secnring the empire for 
Clandios, received a brilliant and complete reward, not only 
in the confirmation of his authority in Gklilee, but in the ad« 
dition to his dominions of Samaria and Jndea. By the ces- 
sion of this wealthy province the kingdom of the Great Herod 
was once tnore reunited, and constituted far the inosi impor- 
tant of all tiie vassal sovereignties of the empire. At the 
same time the little district of Ohalcis in Syria was erected 
into a principality for a younger brother of Agiippa. The 
Jews, though they had welcomed the transfer of their coun- 
try from Antipas and Herodias to the less capricious juris- 
diction of a Roman proconsul, accepted this new arrange- 
ment with marked satisfaction. Agrippa was personally 
popular with them, and the memory of the first Herod, tyrant 
as he was, was still held in admiration by the great body of 
the people. But besides this, the emperor had accompanied 
his new dispositions with decrees, in which the impious en- 
croachments of Gains on their national privileges were for- 
maUy disavowed, the malice of their oppugners in the great 
Eastern cities restrained, and the friee enjoyment of their re- 
ligious usages specifically confirmed. The return of Agrippa 
to Palestine and his entry into Jerusalem was a inationiBd tri- 
umph. He studied to retain the approbation of his subjects 
by acts of munificence, and flattered their.pride by his ihow 
of independence. But when he ventured on tiie royal act of 
extending and strengthening the fortifications of his capital, 
he was sternly reminded of the realities of his position by 
the interdict of the proconsul of Syria, and compelled to de- 
sist. Nor could the circumstances of his own kingdom suffer 
him to forget that his subjects were divided into two rival 
parties, whose claims he was required constantly to compro* 

' Dion, U, 8. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


mke, and whom he could hardly hope, with all his craft, to 
combine into a nation of common and united sentiments. 
While the Jewish element, bent fanatically on the mainten- 
ance of its ancient customs, and jealous of every transgres- 
sion of its cherished principles, expected him to conform 
strictly to its religious rites, to court its priesthood, and offer 
sacrifice in its temples, the Pagans and Helienizers, hardly 
less numerous or powerful, elerated him aboye all laws and 
usages, and pressed on him with impetuous zeal the attributes 
of divinity. At Jerusalem Agrippa enacted the Jew with 
solemn gait and tragic countenance, amidst general acclama- 
tion ; but at OsBsarea he allowed the more genial part of the 
Greek to be imposed on him. It was at a festival in this 
Hellenic capital, after an harangue he had addressed to the 
populace, that they shouted. It is tJie voice of a ^^^ ©f Herod 
god, not of a man. His mirth was turned into ^^^^ 
sadness. He was smitten at the same instant with a sore 
disease, and died after a few days' illness, at the premature 
age of fifty-four.' This uneiq>ected catastrophe seems to have 
unhinged the plans of the Roman government. So impor- 
tant a charge as the sovereignty of Palestine could be in- 
trusted only to a tried servant of the emperor; and even 
Agrippa had given cause of jealousy by the relations he had 
cultivated with the princes on his frontier. None of his family 
merited to succeed him. His brother Herod was allowed to 
continue in the obscure dignity of his petty chiefdom, and 
his son Agrippa, already resident as a hostage in Rome, was 
retained there in honourable custody; while the dominions 
of the great Idumean reverted once more to the control of 
the proconsul of Syria, and acquiesced, with a few uneasy 
murmurs, in its fiill incorporatioci with the empire. 

n. From the day that the first Oiesar fell beneath the 
daggers of a senatorial &ction, it had become a tradition of 
the state to regard the senate as the natural n cimidiiis 
counterpoise to the emperor, and as a rival whom S^^Si 
it wag necessary for him to amuse with flatteries, ■***•**• 

' Josephos, Aniiq. Jud. xix. 8. : AcL Apott xiL, A. v, W. i. d. 44. 

Digitized by 



or control by force. The mutual jealousy of tLeee two co- 
ordinate authorities^ long kept in check by the discretion of 
Augustus, had been exasperated by a sense of mutual wrong 
under Tiberius, and had broken out in furious yiolence under 
his overbearing successor. But Claudius, on his accession, 
freely acknowledged that the overthrow of Gains by a just 
retribution had. convinced him of the folly of all hostile ^m- 
onstrations, and he solemnly proclaimed his intention ot eon* 
stituting the senate the Mend and confidant of his own ad- 

It was a fundamental principle of the Roman municipal 

polity that the citiaen should contribute in his person, the 

subject in his means, to the service of the state. 

AtUr the ex- __ -i i i» 

unpieorAtt- The great problem of statesmen was to make 
fisestiieust' thcse two obligations balance one another; to 
^ ^ ^' compensate the commonwealth for the immunity 
from taxation of a portion of its children by laying on them 
the most onerous and important employments. The mem- 
bers of the senate were made responsible for the discharge 
of thd highest magistracies ; but in order that these offices 
should be adequately filled by men of fortune equal to their 
expense, and of consideration suitable to their dignity, it 
was necessary to maintain this functionary reservoir cour 
stantly at the same exalted level, to prevent it sinking from 
the poverty or meanness of its individual members too low 
to fiunish the required supply. Hence, the expediency of 
the frequent revisions of the list of the senate, such a^, under 
the i^public, had been executed by the censors at rapidly 
recurring intervals, and had been repeated more than once 
by Augustus. But tiie last of these solemn inquisitions, on 
which the eyes of the dtizeiis had alwajrs turned with in- 
tense and even superstitious interest, had taken place as far 
back as the year 757.* Tiberius had shrunk fit>m the labour 

* Jos^h. Bdl. ML il 11. 2. 

' Dkm, It. 18. Thifl seems to have been the last eztraordiiArj Lectio 
Benatos : but probably the censure of the year 7<(7, Jnst before Augostas'f 
death, did not pass without some spedal cases of removaL 

Digitized by 



or the odium of renewing them. Cjuus had wantonly neg- 
lected to do 60. It was left for Claadias^ whose mind teemed 
with antique prepossessions, and who was appalled by no 
dradgery, to follow the example of the founder of the em- 
pire, and consolidate afresh the basis of the civil administra- 
tion. The fierce independence of the &thers had been tamed 
by indolence or fear, and we hear no more on this occasion 
of the resentment of the expelled members^ or the Bmnnurs 
of the body in general Claudius desmnded of thepi a true 
statement of their means, and insisted on their possessing 
the requisite qualification; nor can we suppose that he neg- 
lected the show at least of inquiring into their mantier of 
life, and yisiting with condemnation such aa appeared un- 
worthy to stand at the heiiid of Roman society. But he was 
mild and temperate in the exercise of his authority. Hay- 
ing no political factions to court or intimidate, he had no 
need to expose himself to the charge of political partiality ; 
and he showed himself liberal in supplying the needs of no- 
ble but imporerished &milies. Nevertheless, this revision 
thinned the benches of the Curia, and showed the citizens 
but too plainly that the progress of affidrs, even since the 
time of CsBsar and Augustus, had concentrated wealth in 
few hands, and swept many illustrious houses into obscurity. 
To remedy this eviL to obliterate the traces of _ ., 

• ' He Bnppiles va- 

this social revolution, Claudius proposed to call jandM ftwn 
np to the senate the wealthiest of the knights ftmniesmthe 
and even of lower ranks.^ Nor did he confine 
his view within the limits of Italy. The senate had already 
received accessions from Spain, Afinca, the Narbonensis, and 
other provinces. The Jus Honorum, or claim of admission 
to the senate and the magistracies, which were filled from 
the senate or served themselves to replenish it, had been 
formerly conceded to the citizens of many foreign h^ <,p^g th« 
communities by Caesar, Pompeius, and Angus- ^toUi«**°' 
tus. The principle thus acknowledged aw?iited ®«°^ 

» Tac. Ann. %l 26. ; Dion, Ix. 29. 

Digitized by 



further extension, on fitting occasions, from every new ruler; 
and Claudius had both precedent and expediency in his 
favour when he decreed its application to the whole of Gktllia 
Comata, or at least, as the first step in the process, to the 
JSdui, the first Gallic ally of Rome, the friends and brothers, 
as they had been styled, of the Roman people. This prefer- 
ence of the Gauls over other subjects was justified by their 
tried fidelity dormg the period which had elapsed since their 
conquest. It was tendered as a boon at the close of their 
first century of submission. But it was really owing to the 
fikvour with which the emperor regarded their country as his 
own birthplace, and still more, perhaps, to the intimate rela- 
tions his father and brother had held with it during their 
long administration there. The measure was received in- 
deed with some murmurs of discontent : undoubtedly it de- 
served to be explained more luculently, both as to its motives 
and anticipated results, than in the rambling and inconclu- 
sive arguments actually used by its propounder, as we may 
judge from the fragment of the speech in which he recom- 
mended it, preserved on a brazen tablet which was discov- 
ered three centuries ago at Lyons.^ But its advantages re- 
quired in fact no imperial expositor. On the one hand, the 
attraction of provincial notabilities to Rome might be re- 
garded as a security for the fie^ithful service of the connex- 
ions they left behind ; on the otho', the wants and interests 
of the province might thus be brought directly to the knowl- 
edge of the imperial city itself: in short, it was a step 
towards the fttsion of the two great elements of society at 
the time, an advance in the development of political unity, 

' See the oontoito of the "Tabula ere»da»Lagdtim entte ad latiiiS.Sc^ 
tbai, A. 1629, quB dandii Imp. ontionem oontmeat super civitate GaUie danda,* 
in an excursion of LipduB to Tac. Arm. xl 28. They have been publidied with 
a oommentaiy by Zell in Germany, according to Hoeck^s references : but I have 
not Been the tract myselC It is curious to compare this genuine transcript of 
the emperor's words with the paraplirase, if sudh it may be called, of Tadtos 
(Ann, xL 24.) ; which is hnportant, as showing what degree of authenticity may 
be claimed for the speeches and conrersattons he attributes to his characters. 

Digitized by 



and as snob it assisted in the genial task of meting the sym- 
pathies of the wc^ld together. At a kter period another 
happy oonseqaeni^e appeared, in the effect produced on the 
highw dasses at Rome bj the simpler tastes of these repre^ 
soitaliyes of provincial manners. The senseless extrava- 
ganee of ihe childrea of the oon^^ors, and their Tile imita- 
tion of the Greeks and Orientals, were sluuned by the decent 
sctferespect of the yet nncormpted barbarians.* 

The order thus revised and rendered worthy of its impe- 
rial Amotions was required to apply with assiduity to its 
dutaes, and firesh penalties w^ere assigned to in- _ ^. 
dolenoe and absence. The senate evinced tts re^ yisM the iiBt of 
newed activity nnder this- reign by the promulr 
gation of a great variety of Istws. The second or equestrian 
order was. subjected to a similsur inquisition, and refreshed 
onoe more with the in&sion ot baser blood.* Notwithstand- 
ing the creation of new patrician houses by Augustus, this 
cast^ to which some of the most solemn religious functions 
appertained, continued to dwindle away, and required addi- 
tional grafts.' The effects of hi^ury^ of vice and celibacy, 
had proved moire &tal thanf the sword of the executioner. 
But all these causes combined to decimate the ancient fami- 
Ufts ; and wo observe, more and mote, the rise of new names 
into Atstkfcctbn, and lose sight in the same pro- ^^ 
portionr of old and cherished appdlativcf s.* In or- cfara^la^ ^ 
der to eorry ont these reforms, Claudius assumed ^ 

' Tao. Jiwu iU. tiS, : "Notv bominfie e sAunicipiis et oolomia «tqae etiaoi 
proTinciis in Senatum crebro assumpU domeeticam parcimoniam intulenmi.*' 

* Soet. Claud, 16. 

* Tae. Ann. xL 25. : **Faii€i8 jam Teliqnis laouHamm quas Romulus mcyo- 
nm ct L. Bratos ininoitmi gefitium acppenarerant; eihaustis edam quas dicta* 
tor OssHT lege Oassia et prinoeps Augustas 1^ Sesnia sublegere.*' 

* Tk6 baitMUEiam of Ibe double gentile name seems to appear iirst about this 
period, as in the grammarian Remndus Fannius Palsemon, originally a slave. 
We meet iritii the same in Nsefvius Sertorius, and also in Milonia Ctcsonia. 
Tbit usage may owe its origin to adoption, the namo of both the original and 
the adoptlT€i gens being now often retdned in coi^nnctlon. From this time Uie 
doable appellative oocars very frequently. At find the names so ooi\joinod 

92 TOL. v. — 25 

Digitized by 



tbe ceoBorsliip in 800, and held a lustram.* Augustus, an 
we have seeo, when he performed this solemnity, had ab- 
stained from adopting the title of Censor. Whatever his 
motive for this innovation may have been, his snccessor was 
more punetilious in preserving the name, together with the 
functions of the office. The enumeration of the citizens on 
this occasion gave a result of 5,984,072 males of military age, 
which may imply a total Roman population of not less than 
25,419,066.* Thirty-four years before the return amounted 
to only 4,897,000, or a total of about 17,400,000; and this 
considerable diflerence is not to be accounted for by the 
mere increase of population in the course of a single genera- 
tion. While, however, it may be taken as evidence, in some 
degree, of the general prosperity which is for the most part 
indicated by a rapid increase of births over deaths, we must 
consider it also as a result of the fresh introductions into the 
class of citizens which were in progress under Tiberius and 
Caius. This increase was still more developed under ihe 
next prindpate. It is probable that Claudius conferred the 
boon on many communitiea as well as individuals ; and it is 
not impossible that both he uid Cains made a traffic of it fer 
their private advantage. Such, at all events, was undoubt- 
edly the case with, his ministers and &vourite8, many of 
whom amassed enormous fortunes by procuring the franchise 
from their master for wealthy applicltnts. The Roman cHi* 
zen was still exempt from the most onerous requisitions of 
the state, the poll and land tax ; and the twentieth on sue- 
oesoonfi was lightened to him when the property descended 

<rcre generaUj obscure ones ; at a later period we shall be startled bj a Jufius 
Galpumius, an .£lias Aorelius, a daodiu BatUins, a Fhmus Valerius Anrdhn, 

> Tac. Ann. xl 13, 25.; Suet, ClamL 16.; Dion, Ijl 29.; Plin. Eki, Koi. 

' See Tacitus (I c.) compared with the somewhat different etatement of 
Eusebius. For the proportion of males between 17 and 60 to (be sum of a 
population, see Clinton, FcuiU BelL iil 4{^7, 461. Bm^ J^otm^ Cfmk. I % 

Digitized by 



m a direct line* The sele of the fiiunchise by the emperor 
was in faet no other thui the spendthrift's economy ; it was 
Hying ujpon the capital of the state. The fatal extravagance 
of the system was first perceived at a somewhat later period, 
and W0 shall see some checks pnt on the claim to immunity 
by fiucceeding emperors. 

nL Nor did the example of Augustus fail to remind his 
nuious imitator that the care of the national religion is 

amoiur the first duties of the conservative re- „ 

former. Claudius promptly acqmeseed m the fortheoonM^ 
general disgust T^th which the impieties of Cams nattonai rt 
had been regarded. The assumption of the spe- 
oial attributes of divinity, the club of Hel*cules, and the 
thyrsus of Bacchus, and the caricature of the national deities, 
which had disgraced the last reign, found no favour or in- 
dulgence from him. The Orientalism which had pervaded 
the court and sanctuary under the disdple of Agrippa, was 
swept sternly away by the historian of Etmria. In other 
matters the measures of Claudius, as ohief of the state relig- 
ion, seem to have been generally practical and usefhl. He 
limited the number of holidays, which were become a serious 
impediment to business ; but as regarded the foreign cults 
which had so often intruded into the city, and been so often 
banished from it, he contented himself with proscribing such 
only as seemed politically dangerous* The Jews, who had 
beffloi expelled by Tiberius, but who seem to have lately re^ 
covered their poaiti^m there Uirough the influence of Agrippa, 
were treated with indulgence, till the disturbances they ex- 
cited by seditions or domestic dissensions caused them to be 
chased once more from the city** The spirit of tiie antiqua- 
rian was again visible in the treaty Claudius contracted with 
Agrippa by the sacrifice of a swine in the forum ; in his 
restoration of the expiattory ofibrings of Servius in the grove 
of Diana ; and in his proposing to appoint a senatorial com- 

' See Biim, hr. 26., and €Kerig>8 explantttfon of Flin. JPaneff. 39. 
* Suet dmuL 25. : ** JndsBOB impoIsoreOhreflio assidne tamnltaantes Homa 
expntit*^ On this celebrated passage more will be said hereoilet. 

Digitized by 



miBsiou to examine the conduct and efficiency of the Haruspi* 
cinal discipline.^ The chief pontiff ^elebi^ed the completion 
of the eighth century with the ceremony of secular games. 
Bat in this his vanity seems to haye prevailed over 14s liter* 
ary prepossessions, for he could not but have been aii^are 
that the Etruscan Sseculum bore no refetrence to a period of 
an hundred years ; nor, in fact, had more than sixty-three 
years elapsed since Augustus had summoned the jRomana to 
behold a solnmity v>kich none then living ha^ btfpre eemh^ 
and none shottid ever see ugam,* 

IV. Among other merits which history has ascribed to 
Augustus was the sedulo^is industry with which, afle^ the 
^ ^ ^ manner of the, old. patricians, he had ocouified 

MidindiiAtrjr lumsclf With disponsmg justice to the .<»itiaens. 
theadmiaiftra- The paticut appUcatiOu of his laboDotis t>llower 

lion of juBtlce. . , . • ^^» ^- t 

was emmently conspicuous m this practice also. 
Sometimes in the open fornix, soiaetimes in the neighbouring 
basilicas, Claudius, old atid infirm as he was, would endure 
from hour to hour, every day of business, the drudgery of 
judicial investigations, fmd give at least decent attention to 
the clamorous appeals of the advocates, who, emboldened by 
his unexampled patience and good nature, would venture not 
unfrequently to worry and even insult him. So little did he 
spare himself in this irksome duty, that hi^ measm^e for cu]> 
tailing the numerous Qon-days of the calendar was ascribed 
to a wish to gain v^re time for tl\e labours of the tribunals.* 
When, after a long miming sitting, be arose bI last for 
refreshi^ent^ — even if, as on one occasiion, tibe odour dT a 
pontifical banquet, prepared in the adjoining temple, sc^rved 

» toA.J»iu AW. 

*, Tio. ^Ami xi ll,;Hiii. BUL iViiC.vli. AS. 'Ehe aeeukr games off An- 
goatus -wea^ a.u. IZI) those of Caaa4itto a. it. 800k **Qiiitfo tox pnwonia 
irrisa eet^ invitantU more Bolemm ad liidoa,.qaos nee speotasset qoioqaam, neo 
BpectataruB asset: quum juperessent adhu^; qui spectaverant, et histrioBuii^ 
producti olfan, tone qaoque prodacereutur.^ Buet CUmcL 21. ; FUn. L c. 

* Saet Cimid, 14, 15.; Dion. Iz. 4, 17. Comp. the satMeil JpoeO^e^niO' 
m: "Si memoria repetla, cjgo eram qui tibi ante templom tunm Jus die^tMun 
totis diebuB mease Julio et Augusto.*' 

Digitized by 



to hasten his movements, — the petitioners for a hearing 
wonld sometimes obstmct his passage and cHng about his 
person, till he meekly resumed his seat, and devoted the after- 
noon also to their affidrs.' However this passion fer judicial 
functions might be open to caricature, and hoTvever his intel- 
lectual infirmities might betray themselves in occasional 
haste, frivolity, or indecision, the conduct of Claudius seems 
to have been actuated by a sincerely beneficent intention, 
and shows beyond dispute the principles of moderation and 
equity which distinguished him. A man can hardly be 
naturally a tyrant who takes pteasuro in meting out justice, 
and deciding questions of right. It was with real satisfaction 
therefore, we may believe, that Claudius suppressed the laws 
of majesty, and forbade the practice of delation ; that he re- 
linquished the most grievous exactions of his predecessor ; 
that he promised never to subject a Roman citizen to torture ; 
that he declined to raise th« festivals of his house to the 
dignity of national solemnities. When he repressed the 
encroachments of the freedmen, and caused false pretenders 
to the franchise to be capitally punished, and again when he 
withdrew the liberty which Caius had allowed to slaves of 
giving evidence against their masters, he consulted principles 
of Roman law to which the citizens attached considerable 
importance. It was not in the interests of humanity, but of 
a jealous and inquisitorial policy, that such indulgences had 
been granted, and it gave occasion to intolerable licence. 
The justice indeed of Claudius was little tempered with 
mercy. Under his reign more parricides, it was said, were 
adjudged to the ancient punishment of the sack than in all 
the ages that had elapsed before it.* Nevertheless, one of 
his enactments at least remainB to show that Eis views with 
respect to the servile population were milder and more 
enlightened than those of previous legislators. He ordained 
that the sick slaves exposed m the temple of ^sculapius 
should, if they recovered, obtain their freedom ; but the 

> Suet. Claud, 15, 88. 

* Suet CUxud, 84.: Sonec de dem. I 28. 

Digitized by 



masters who ridded themselyes of their obligatioiiB to the old 
and 'infirm by actually putting them to death, as may have 
been sometimes done, he declared guilty of murder. We 
may hope that this, the only recorded instance of his con- 
sideration for that degraded caste, was in fact but a single 
specimen of a more extensive legislation.^ 

y. In the construction of enormous works of magnificence 

or utility the Romans beheld the most flattering reflection of 

their own greatness. The undertakings of 

eoDstmotiong Ohtudius Were not unworthy of this 6olossal age 

ofCUadipa. « . , . 't ? 

of matenal creations; yet they were not the 
mere fantastic conceptions of turgid pride and unlimited 
power. The aqueduct begun, as we have seen, by Caius, 
was completed, after several years' labour, by his successor, 
from whom it derived the name of Claudian, by which it 
was thenceforth distinguished. This channel secured for the 
city the purest and most abundant of all its supplies of water, 
and enriched the populace with the cheapest and most useM 
of its luxuries. The charges which have been made against 
Oaius, of withdrawing first the vessels, and afterwards the 
carts and waggons of Italy from their ordinary employment 
in conveying food to the population, and of leaving Rome at 
his death with no more than a week's consumption of grain 
in store, though involving probably considerable misrepre- 
sentation, seem, nevertheless, to have been grounded on the 
scarcity which actually broke out more than once, and lasted 
for several years, during the government of his successor. 
It must be considered among the difficulties with which the 
feeble old man had to contend, and it may serv^e to enhance 
our idea of the merits of his laborious administration, tikiat 
,he received fbom the selfish tyrant before him the legacy of 
empty granaries, as well as an exhausted treasury.* It is 
not impossible that the senate's ready acquiescence in the 

' Suet Claitd, 25.: '*Qaod si quis necare mallet quern quam exponcre^ 
caedis crimine teneri." Gomp. Dion, Ix. 18, 29. 

• AureL Victor, de C«ar 4.; Senea Ai?iw. Vit, 18.; C. Ciwap " deoed^ 
bat .... septem aot octo diemm dbuia snpereflse." 

Digitized by 



clioice of ibe prsetoruuis was determined by the prospect of 
a fiunme m the eity, a popular riot, ^nd a serr ile insnrrection ; 
and the repoblicans of t^e day may well haye consented to 
waive their speculative principles in &voinr of an emperor, 
at a mom^it when the tribes and centuries, of antiquity 
would have demanded the creation of a dictator. It has 
been seen that the Alexandrian com ships came to anchor at 
Pute^li, more than an hundred miles from, the place of their 
oai^^o's destination. Such was^ the want, of harbours or 
secusre roadsteads along the strand of Latium, that it was 
only the smaUeor coasting vessels of Gaul or Spain that could 
venture to run to land at any nearer point. The mouth of 
the Tiber had become nearly choked up by the accumulation 
of sand, and the few vessels that now sought the quays of 
Ostia were generally obliged to ride at anoh<»r in the offing. 
The engineers despaired of clearing and keeping open a 
passage in the main stream of the river ; but they now, imdei' 
the direction of Claudius, resorted to the plan of cutting a 
new channel from the right bank, a little above the deserted 
harbour, and constructing an artificial haven, with the aid of 
two moles advanced into the sea. The entrance was illumi^ 
nated by a light-house; and from hence&rth, as long as 
science and industry survived in the capital of the world, 
the vessels which supplied it with its first necessary could 
come hy day or by night to a safe and convenient anchorage, 
and transfer their fright to the barges, to be propelled 
against the descending current by the labour of T^e Portns 
men or horses.* To this haven was given the SBTSr&Srt 
name of Portus Romanus or Portus Augusti, to ^*^ 
distinguish it from the now niegiected. establishment of Ostia. 
Claudius himself deserves, the entire credit of this bold and 
salutary imdertaking ; for he persisted in it notwithstanding 
the remonstrances of his timid oagineers, and the great out- 
lay it required. Its importance was speedily shown ; for in 

" Buet Claud, 20.: Dion, Ir. 11.; Plin. m$L KaL ix. 8., xri *J^, § 2. An 
immense resfl^ wMdi Caius had constnicted to oonvej an obeliok from Alex- 
andria to Bome^ was snnk to foim the foundation of the mole. 

Digitized by 



the eleronth year of his zeign the ^uplre was vifiitecl by a 
scarcity, which seems to have followed on the failure of the 
crops throughout the proTinces, and redoubled exediona 
were required to save die capital from famina Rome was 
in an uproar ; the multitude surrounded the emperor in the 
forum, and assailed him with the most violent gestures*' 
The precautions of Augustus on similar occanonSy with tiie 
expulsion of foreigners from the city, were again resorted la 
The importation of grain into Rome required mote method 
and attention than had hitherto been given to it ; and the 
completion of a harbour to which com could be l^rougbt at 
all seasons, was wisely followed by a measure to encourage 
the construction of ships of greater size than had usually 
been employed in the trade. 

Another undertaking, though its object was merely of 
local utility, deserves to be recorded for its magnitude. The 
The emiBitfv MarsJaus had represented to Augustus the disaa- 
^2! ^* ^™ *^ which their country was liable from the 
swelling of the waters of the Fucinus, a basin 
among their mountains in the heart of Italy, nearly thirty 
miles in circumference, which receives the draini^e of several 
valleys, but has no apparent natural outlet. Among the lime- 
stone liills which encircle it there are probably subterranean 
ckfts through which, as in other regions of similar forma- 
tion, a portion of its waters drains away ; but they are not 
capable of expansion with the increase of volume within, and 
in seasons unusually wet the lake overflowed the lips of its 
crater, submerging a great extent of valuable land. The 
tunnel by which the superfl^uous waters of the Alban lake, a 
much smaller reservoir, are still carried off was a work of Iha 
early Bepublia But this emissary is little more than a mile 
in length, while the perforation required for the Fucinus, 
which Augustus shrank from undertaking, was not less than 

' Four fiuQines are specially mentioned as occurring in this reign : — 1. at 
Borne in the first and second year; 2. in Judea fai the fourth: 8. in Greece in 
the ninth ; 4. at Borne in the derenth. Brotier on Tae. Arm. ziL 48. Comp. 
Suet Claud. 18.; Joseph. AfUiq.Jud.ix, 2. 6.; Act. J/m«CxL 28. 

Digitized by 



tliieeu Claudius howeyer was not deterred by difficulties 
wU^ labour and money eould surmount. He did not, per- 
Imps, stop to oileukte with aocuraoy the real utility of the 
irork. He commanded it to be done, 4And Ms command Tras 
executed ; Vat it occupied thirty thousand men for eleven 
years, an amdunt of labour which no doubt might have been 
more profitaUy* toployed in many ot^er ways. tTnlikfe the 
Alban tunndi, wiiioh has continued to discharge its waters 
without intermission for twaand twenty centuries, the emis- 
sary of ibe FncintiB fell speedily into decay, and required to 
be tepaiied and restored to dffieiency by a later emperor. It 
has now been comi^etely choked up fer many hundreds of 
yeaars, and die meadows on the shelving bank of the lake are 
Blill subj^ as in ancient times, to the caprices of the 

YL Abaiiurcls for the Amusement of the populace may 
prepay be mentioiied next after such as were intended for 
Hs weU being; for in view of the Roman admin- yj Measnres 
ifltrator tke two were of co-ordinate and almost ^^^SiltT^ 
equal nteeessity. If, on the one hand, he provid- «»**»««• 
ed the people with cheap corti, on the otWer, that they might 
hare no' reasonable pretext for discontent, he was careful 
to Aimldk them with the im&iling excitement of magnificent 
p«UiO exhiHtiovfBL Accordingly, if Claudius executed im- 
mense works 6f eiigineering, for supplying the metropolis 
with 1^ater> tofr seoniing the access of her richly^eighted 
flotillas, <^ for averting a periodical inundation, not less wa^ 
he required to watch with sinmlated intercut the long-pro- 
traeted combbts of men and beasts, in which the multitude 
expectied their ruler to share theit own barbarous satisfaction. 
We have already admired the patience with whlcli Augustus 
subiiuitted to this tiix on his time and temper. Tiberius, we 
have fli^n, eould not school his stubborn mind to a similar 
sacrifice. Caius shared the vulgar taste for brutal excite- 
ment, and in this instance, at least, could court popularity 

* Suet a<nid. 20.; Dion, U. 11. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


while he gratified his own appetite. Clandius, patient and 
plodding by nature, regarded this condescension as a legiti- 
mate portion of the rontine to which he had devoted himself; 
and 1^ sate throngh the weary hours of popular amusement 
without interest, it may be believed, but, at the same time, 
without disgust. His constitutional insensibility did not 
even require the rest and diyersion of mind which were com- 
The ffiwUato- ™only demanded even by the mass of the pop- 
riaidbowa. ulaoc. In the shows of the amphitheatre, after 
the morning exhibitions, there was an interval allowed for 
rest or refreshment, during which the spectators retired for 
the most part Scorn the spot, to resume their places at a later 
hout. Claudius, it' was observed, rarely availed himsdf of 
this respite. His bodily infirmities perhaps made him averse 
from change and motion, and he was content to retain his 
seat in the imperial tribune, and witness the interludes of 
rope-dancing and jugglers' feats, which formed a languid en- 
tertainment in the intervals of blood-shed. It is said, indeed, 
that he was not satisfied with these innocent recreations, and 
sometimes called for afresh supply of gladiators to fill the 
hours of suspense.^ I^ at least, the spectators made the de- 
mand, he would comply with it with his usual apathy. Tlie 
general taste for these spectacles was increasing, and under 
Claudius it certainly received no check. He suffered himself 
indeed to be made the tool of the popular humour here as 
elsewhere, condescending to bandy coarse jokes with the 
multitude, and degradhig the majesty of empire to the 
level of vulgar buflRwnery ; nor can we resist the testimony 
of our authorities to his brutal indifference to human sufifer- 
ing, and his morbid curiosity in scrutiniadng, and as it were 
analysing it in his victims^* 

Augustus had exhibited a mock sea-fight in the basin he 
constructed on the bank of the Tiber, and Claudius directed 

* Suet Claud, 84. ; Dion, Ix. 13. 

* Saet L c : ** Saoviim et Bangumarium natura fuisse, magnis minimisqQO 
tppandt rebus. Tonnenta qutestionum .... exigebat coram .... JugnlaH 
jubebat ut exflpirantium fades videret** 

Digitized by 



a Bhow of siege operations, and the storming of a otty, in 
the meadowB of the Campus Martins ; but we do not read 
that on either of these occasions the illusion was earned to 
the extent of aetmal bloodshed. It was very dif- ound gp^jtu- 
SeretA, however, with the extraordinary spectar ^^f on ttS 
cle which Claudius, towards the close of his reign, ^« I'uflMuM. 
paraded on the Fncine lake, to celebrate the compleUon of 
hill wofk there, and the first admission of its water into the 
tunnel he had constructed. He summoned the population of 
Rome and Italy to witne^ from the surrounding hille the 
manoBurres of two fleets of triremes and quadriremes, man- 
ned by armies of gladiators^ while yessels filled with soldiers 
were posted on the shores to prevent desertion, and cut of 
retreat. One authority estimates the opposing armaments at 
twelve vessels each, another at fifty; while Tacitus, whose 
numbers arenot genehdly excessive, declares that the com- 
batants engaged were as many as nineteen thousand, and 
that the whok cii^ouil; of the hkB was lilied with the flotilla 
winch guarded them; an exaggetation maniiestly of the 
most flagrant kind. Befinements of luxury formed a horrid 
combination with the atrocity of the ispeetaicle. Claudius, 
armed and doaked as an Imperator, with his consort in a 
military mantle by his side. Seated himself on a throne over- 
looking the waters, attended by senators, knights, and sol- 
diers. The combatants, who were styled Sicilians and Rho- 
dians, d^ed before him, and saluted him; imd when he 
graciously returned their greeting, it was understood as an 
intimation that the contest was not intended to be mortal' 
When the vessels were drawn up in array, the figure of a 
Triton in silver was made to emerge suddenly from the lake, 
and sound the signal for engagement. They went through 
the manoeuvres of a sham fight, advancing and retreating, 
striking and rebounding from each other ; but the emperor, 
we are told, was not satisfied with this peaceful display, and 
ordered the attack to commence in earnest. Dion assures us 

' Suet. Clattd, 21.: "Ave imperator, morituri te salutant" 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



(liat, when the men hesitated to destroy one another, he caus- 
ed his own flotilla to diarge, and cnt them in pieces. Sne- 
tonius^ more soberly, only suggests that he thought of doii^ 
so ; bat Tacitus here at least is more moderate ihaMt eiltieripf 
his compeers, and announces that, ^ftet many wotindli, tine 
combatants were separated and disnussed* Sudi remaifatbk 
disorepatioies in the relation of a matter of tmth patent no- 
toriety may put us on our guard against many astbunding 
anecdotes of their times with which thtise authors perplex 
and proEToke u&' 

In, readii^ of the shattered health and frame of thepxinoe 
who was raised unwillingly to the throne from his desk, at a 
p^jB^jaijjn. penod fiar beyond the middle of life, untrained 
^SSSSaS^ *>r government, and with no natural bent tow* 
^^^»^^ ards aflSurs, we cannot but admire the force of the 
Roman character, which aiq>ears to haye borne this feeble 
creature through labours wliioh might task the highest pow- 
ers and the happiest dispositioii* Yet this incessant strain of 
mind and body seems to have been favourable to his heaUh, 
which recovered its tone under the labours of the piincipate. 
The wear and tear of a life so tryii^ required no doubt the 
support of stimulants ; the excess in eating and drinking to 
which Claudius is said to have been addicted, and which has 
made his name notorious for gluttony, was at first perhaps 
no more than indulgence of the craving which his exhausted 
powers naturally excited. Encouraged by the artifice of the 
wives and parasites who ruled him, he lapsed more and more 
into gross intemperance, and the pains of indigestion, from 
which he sufibred so acutdy as to meditate, it was said, es- 
caping from them by suicide, were caused, we may believe, 
by this habitual abuse,* His jaded appetite was excited by 

' Tac Arm, xil 56. ; Suet. Claud, 21. ; Dion, Ix. 83. It seemB to baT« 
been in connexion with this exhibition that Claudius gave a banquet at the head 
of the cmiBsaiy, at which the sudden rush of the water into the tunnel before the 
proper moment was very near causing a fnghtAil catastrophe. Tadtus, c 67. ; 
Suet e. 82. 

• Suet aaul 81. 

Digitized by 



the splendour of his banquets and the numbers of the com- 
pany : his viands were often spread in ample halls or pleas- 
ure grounds, and his couches crowded by many hundreds of 
guests. On such occasions he gratified his senses to the ut- 
most, and seldom rose from table till he had gorged to re- 
pletion, and required to relieve his stomach by vomiting. In 
judging of the character of the poor old man, whose private 
failings have been elevated into notoriety, some allowance 
must be made for the coarseness of the times, and the ordi- 
nary licence of his associates. Nor must we forget how 
readily the scandalous anecdotes of the day were accepted 
by annalists and biographers as veritable history. With re- 
gard to women, the intempenmoe of whidi he is accused may 
be almost eoi]£ned to the ease witli which he passed 
from the caresses of one lawftil wife to those of a suc- 
cessor: of all the Csesars Claudius stands, on the whole, 
the most nearly free from the charge of illicit and dis- 
giaceM indulgences.' 3ut now for tiie first time a^Beme 
the story of the prince's wives beoomes the history of the 
priiunpate; the dtyof^ Scipio and Augustus recedes for a 
moment ttam our view, and we seem to stray, as in a way- 
ward dream, through the saloons of Versailles or Aranjuez. 

> Soet Cl<md.ZZ, T#aofhuto«l9faT<mnjt^«r9nanedbyTacit«$(^^ 
xl 80.), and Dion has a passing remark on his intemperance with regard both 
to wine and women. But the particulars of his alleged excesses, from which 
his ghittony has become so geuerallj hif^mous, are confined to the scandalouf 
dvoiiicle of Us biographer. * 

Digitized by 





BcuBonAiruB.— nmmoir of bbitiiv imd tbifiiph ow 0LADi>nrs.^-Di;A!iH or 

HUa OF ittttOw— ^MfLUSMCB (Mf JiOltlPnMA; BHI lO0in)0 IBS OOBOHIA AilBI^ 
81S» — ^TLATIERY OF NERO. (a. V, 794-807. A. D. 41-M.) 

THE ruler to whom the conduct of aflOiirs was now en- 
trusted had been bred, beyond the usual term of infan- 
ciwidius Bub- cy> ^1 1^® women of the imperial household ; for 
l^ktt 0?^ *^® weakness of his sickly fhime still required the 
women. ^j^j.^ ^f female nursing at an age when the young 

Roman was ordinarily transferred to his tutors and the 
masters of his athletic exercises. To the last he continued 
to feel the need of the petty attentions and ministrations 
of the gentler sex. In early adolescence his guardians 
proposed to provide for his domestic comfort by espousing 
him to consorts of their own selection; but of those who 
were successively chosen for the honour two were lost to him 
before marriage ; the one being rejected on account of the 
offence her parents had given to Augustus, the other dying 

Digitized by 



ontowardly on the day appointed for the nuptials/ Ciandiua 
was at last united to Plautia UrgnlaniUay who, to judge 
from the names she thus combined, was the daughtei; p^haps 
of PlautiuB Silyanus^ a distinguished oonunaoder ki Panno^ia, 
whose tragio story has been related under the prin6^ate of 
Tiberius, and was descended &om Frgulania, the proudest of 
the friends of Livia.' By this noble bride Clan^us became 
the father of two children : the first of them was the I>rusu8 
to whom the daughter of Sejanus was affianced abnjostat his 
birth, and who died in infancy ; the second was a girl, and 
receiyed tixe name of Claudia. But when her mother was 
detected intriguing with a freedman of the household, and 
repudiated by her hfusband, Claudius disowned the. infant, 
andshodked the Romans by causing it, at the age of five 
montiis, to be ruthlessly abe^doned«* By .^Ua Petina, the 
daughter perhaps of ^Uus Tubero, to whom he next imited 
himself he had one child only, whom he called after his 
mother Antonia, and wbo became ftfflanced to Cmens Pom- 
peius Magnus the s<m of a Crassus, who thus, by a strange 
fiivour of fortune, combined.a descent from two triumvirs, 
with an alliance with the families of three others.^ The union 
with Petina lasted probably some years ; and it was in the 
reign of Cains, as we may suppose, that Claudius divorced 
himself from her on some trifling disagreement, A third 
marriage with Valeria Messalina speedily followed : the two 
children she bore him came into the world towards the com- 

* Bnet Clamd, 26. The first was .Emilia Lepida, the great graoddangfater 
of Aiigiistafl, being the child of his granddaughter Julia by L. Panlhis, and sis- 
ter of H. iEndliiis Lej^dns, the Mend and victim of Oaius Oallgula ; the second, 
UTia Medulfina, of the family of the Cammi. 

* For Plantitts SiWanns, see Tac Atm, It. 22. ; Veil. ii. 112. ; Dion, Ir. 34. 
He iras the grandson of Frgulania, the friend of liria. 

* {VieL Oktud. 27. It seems not tudikdly that this horrid act was perpe- 
trated in imitation of Angostas, who forbade the infhnt of the younger Julia to 
be noorished. But to cast away a child which had once been taken up^ was an 
abuse of the paternal aathbrity from wlueh the filings of the Ilomans revolted. 

* For iElins Tubero see Tac Ann. xii. 1. 

Digitized by 



menoement of his principate.* The shamelessness of the 
women of the higher ranks has been noticed on former oc- 
ocudowi : the precarionsness of the position they held in mar- 
riagejoems to kare made them despair of acquiring, or at 
least oif long retaining, domestic inflnence; and they too 
often abandoned themselves to indulgences, from which they 
had no motives either of affection or pradence to withhold 
them. Ot «U Ae Roman matrons, however, Mei^salina has 
acquired the most infkmons oelebrity : her mime has been 
nsed even to onr own times as the greatest byword of re- 
preach to her Bex ; the satirist has striven in vtdn to Influence 
the glowing colours which the historiaa has flashed up<m her 
crimes. As the wife of a man whom she probably despised, 
it would seem absurd to suppose that she put any unusual 
check on the wanton passions of her class ; yet we may see 
reason hereafter to question, at least to their full extent, the 
enormities ibr which she has been so signally notorious. 

MessaUna was the daughter of Valerius Messata Bsurbatus, 
sometimes called also Messalinus, who Stood in the relation of 
_ ^ cousin to Claudiiks by marriage: for his wife, 

Clmniotor and ,_^ "^ ^ 

iiifliMaeedr Domitia Lepida, was a granddaughter, while 
Claudius was himself the grandson, of the trium- 
vir Antonius. This Lepida seems to have been herself disso- 
lute as well as ambitious, and such wer6 the qualities which 
descended from her to her child." Nevertheless Messalina, 

' The Bon, who reodyed a few yean after hia birth the Bomame of Britaa- 
nicafl, had completed, aooording to Tadtoa, hia fourteenth year in 808 {Ann, 
ziiL 16.), and waa therefore bom i. u. ?94 : i£, howerer, he waa only two yean 
younger than Kero (see Arm, xil 25.), he must hare been bom aa early aa 792 
or 798. Saetonina also contradicta himself in aaying that the child waa bom 
on the 20tk day alter hia &ther^ aoceeaion (i. e. in Feb..794),and in hia aeaond 
conaolahip ; for thia did not cnmmmea till 795. I take the middle of these 
date% Tis. Feb. 794L It does not appear whether the danghtei:^ oaUed Ootaria, 
waa older or yoon^ than her brother. 

' Taa Atuu xii. 64. Domitia Lq>ida waa slater to Ch. Domiliai^ the hus- 
band, aa will be afterwards recorded, of Agripploa minor, and father of the Kmp 
peror Nero. She waa daughter to L. Domitius by Antonia f7iq;or, according to 
Suetonius, — rnvwr^ according to Tacitus, less correctly, — and, therefore, grand* 

Digitized by 


A. a. 7H.] UNI»at THB EMPIRE. 401 

at the time when 6b« eooqeated to attMh herself to the foi^ 
timea of Claudiua, <x>ald ha^e had no profli>eot iof a thuone. 
Howeyer little she may hare legarded her hnabaad, dieolaBg 
no doobt to tiie poaiUon ahe had itoquired with hjin, all the 
more yehemently m it was atrangjB and anexpeoted, and her 
mo^ eM»edt efforlfi^ Jier riced a»d her citimee^ would l» d^ 
rected, we m$j stipfo^ to securing it. Whatever may 
have been the irregularity of hear .coi>diict» it WM donbtleii 
her wi^h to diaguise it jGrom hitn^ and she anoeeeded in. keep- 
ing him convincedy at least to the Iftst niomenli» of h» entire 
deyptednesi. Bat his eharaoter was too Weak to. allow her 
to put ^tire tr^fit in his conyictions : he Iraa^ in fiiet, con- 
stantly swayed by the inflnenoe of one or another of tboee 
about him; the whisper of a ftiend or oonrtier might Mast 
her dearest schemesi and her intrigues were directed to se- 
ciuang in her interest the persons by whom he.was moat 
elosely sncronnded* . For this purpose; we are asanred^ she 
amassed m<mey and she layished favours. She joined with 
the ministers of the court in selling appointments to the 
wealthiest appUcanl^ in extorting bribes by threats and 
proseouUons, in procuring the ccmfiscation of the efltates of 
nobleSy and persuading the emperor to bestow them on her^. 
self; thus enriched^ she sought to bind her accomplices to her 
side by diyiding her plund^ with them, 4nd entaa^yuj^ them 
in her fasewf^ing caresses. Periloixs: as tiudi a guilty icom-. 
merce wae, 6he eiurried it on wjth boldness and saccess, and 
contjivted during seyeral years to etgoy the foil confidence 
of her husbaaid, while she dosed the lips both of her para- 
mours and yiotims. But the connexion in which she may 
thus haye placed herself with the fireedmen of the palaoe, the 
real punisters of the court and instruments of the imperial 
pleasure, has proyed fatal at least to her reputation with 
posterity. Whateyer were her yices and domestic treasons, 
they might have been oyerlooked perhaps by historians, who 

daoi^ter of tlie triamTir Antomus and OctoTia. Comp^ Taa Arm, i¥. 44. : 
Soet ^«^. 6. 

VOL. T. — 26 

Digitized by 



were geuerally oontent to rebuke the petulance and ambition 
of women with a contemptuous eneer ; ' but no ia&my could 
be too atrocioQS to charge upcm the matron who was guilty 
of a orimiaal asBociation with a Polybius or Nax^isfius, the 
rile €(veciaa ministers of a Roman imperator^ the men who 
sounded a lower -depth even in the d^ths^ of delation, by 
saciificing the best blobd of Quirinua to the cupidity of 
branded and base4>om foreigners. 

llie regimen of women who trafficked in offices of state, 
an enormity hitherto unknown in Rome, might hare been 
The regimen of ^^g^^^ as the last degradation of the oommon- 
theih»edm«ii. wealth, had it not been followed by ibe still 
moTB degrading regimen of freedmen« Next to his women 
it was by his freedmen that Claudius, we are told, was gOT- 
emed. The facUity of enfranchisement has been already 
menticmed. We have seen how the slaTOs of a noble house- 
hold were of two very diffluent classes ; of which the lower 
Gonmsted of mere menial drudges, the rude boors of Thraoe, 
Africa^ or Cappadodia; while the upper, prinoipaUy from 
Greece and Syria, comprised the polished instruments of &s- 
tidious luxury, exquisitely trained and educated, and accus- 
tomed, by every compliance, however abject, to ingratiate 
Uiemselves with their sensual and pampered masters. While 
the former dass had Uttle hope perhaps of improving their 
condition, or escj^ing, if not prematurely worn out by toil, 
a neglected and even an abandoned old age, the latt^ might 
ddcidate on securing their fi^edom early, after whi(di tiiey 
enjoyed a thousand opportunities of rendering themselves as 
necessary to their patron as they had previously been to 
their master. The intercourse of the Roman noble with, his 
feUow-citizens had been always stiff and ceremonious : the 

' It was ValeriuB Measala, or M«Baftliniis, the fitther of the empreai, who 
had resisted, in the time of Tiberius, the proposition that the wives of provin- 
cial governors should be forbidden to accompany thdr husbands abroad. He 
had Qsed the proud old Boman aignment : " Tin in eo culpam si fcemina roodmn 
exoodat** This man and Aurelius Ootta Messalfams seem to have both bees 
sonsofMessalaCorvinus. See Ruperti on Tadtus, ^im. il 82. 

Digitized by 


A.U. 794] UNDER TH£ EllPIRE. 403 

many privileges they had in oommon gave even the plebeian 
a clidm to fbrmal respeot fitnn his patrician neighbour ; and 
it was rarely that the ties of eonfldenoe and easy ftiend^p 
siKbsisted: between men so nearly eqn&l in odnsideration, 00 
often rivals, and always liable to become so. Bat the Ro^ 
man magnate wearied of the tmceasing round of convention^ 
alities in whieh he moved, and longed for associates with 
whom he might unbend in real familiarity, without demean^ 
ing hifflself to the company of mere slaves. The fashion of 
employing fi«edmen for the service of the patrician house* 
hold, and the management of donftestic affistirs, was first im- 
ported into Rome by the conquerors of the East, by Sulla, 
LuouHus, and Pompeius ; — ^who were too proud,- irfber enjoy- 
ing the sabnuBsion of kings and potentates, to reoognise the 
equality of their fellowK^itizens. CsBsar indeed, with his 
usual magnanimity, had disdained to avail himself of this 
unworthy indulgence. The ascendancy he naturally exer- 
cised over all that came in contact with him, enabled him to 
secure the spontaneous services of men of bkth and con^d- 
eration hardly inferior to hk own, such as Matins, Oppius, 
and Hirtius. Such were the stewards of his revenues, the 
mani^rs of his pubKc and private benevolences, Romans in 
birth and blood, men attached to him by real firiendship, but 
who felt that they could ply without disgrace before his 
acknowledged superiority. But even the inhmtor of a 
throne bad no such personal influence as nature's emperor, 
the first of the CsBsars. Augustus, great as he was in genius 
as wen as m station, scarcely found such willing subservienee 
among the citizens of his native country. Agrippa became 
too powerftd to continue really his friend ; the self-respect 
even of Msecenas grew at last irksome to hinu He had re- 
course to the venal attachment of his freedmen, whose fidel- 
ity exacted no requital, and hardly expected an acknowledg- 
ment ; and of these he held many in intimacy, and cultivated 
their esteem. The names of Polybins and Hilarion, of Li- 
dnus, Eunus, and Celadus, occur in history or inscriptions 

Digitized by 



amoug the tmsty freedmen of the first princeps.' Ho neithev 
requked of them degrodiDg services, nor again did he Bn&r 
them to gorge themselyes with the s^ils of his stutors. He 
enjoyed the solace of their iBtimacy, and when most an^icte 
for privacy^ and the eyer-coveted respite fix>m the fonbalitaieB 
of patrician life, it was in the suburban yilla of one of these 
humble miniaters that he would diaburden Mmself of ^ the 
cares of his station.' Tibetius, whose strict Belf-4iscipline, 
at leait till the latter years of his retirement, was ^yen more 
severe and unr^nttting, sdlowed himself no such relaxation ; 
his fifeedmen were few in number, and seem to have eiy oyed 
no portion of his confidence. The perturbed Spirit of Cains 
was agitated by restless furies which never suffered him tc 
sedc repose, or court the charms of mmplieity for a moment 
During the fitful fever of his brief grasp of power he nevei 
threw off the public man and the sovereign ; he never sought 
the shade, or cast upon another the cares and toils of his aw- 
ful pre-eminence. None ev^ possessed more th^ a moment- 
ary influence over him. But the fashion of keying fceed- 
men always in attaidance on the Roman noble had become, 
from the prevailing indolence of the age, by this time gen- 
eral, and Caius had many such about his court, though he 
deigned to make little use of tbeuL Wh^ therefore, a 
prince succeeded to whom ministers and confidants were a 
necessity, the institution was ready to his hands. The va- 
rious services, partly official, pitrtly menial, which monarohs 
in modem times have been allowed by the spirit of fidudal- 
ism to exact from their noble vassals, were disdiarged for 
Claudius by these Grecian adventurers. Pdybius was the 
director of his studies, who unrolled for him perhaps tiie 
dusty volumes of Etruscan lore, in which he pretended to 
instruct his countrymen. Narcissus was his secretary ; Pal- 
las was his steward. To Felix, the brother of Pallas, he 
gave the command of a province and an army. The eunuch 
Posides, whatever his special fimctions may have been, was 

' Suet Od, 67, 101. with notes of Baumgartcn-Crusius. 
• Suet. Oct 12. 

Digitized by 


UDOBg tittt clafis of his inldmate attendauts whioli the Bonoaii 
boROwed from the domestic establishmeiitfl of the East. 
NaroiBSiis was the most confidentiaL of hia adyisers ; HaFpo< 
craty Myron^ Amphaws, I^eroikaotes^ amd DmsUlamui are 
mastiooiBAf though, with no specified offices^ among the 
finnida andiavooidteSy who^. shared in the oaxes, or amused 
the Idflore off a patron who lacked tbe^ faculty, of originating 
for himself dither hia employments or hk diyenionsL^ lliese 
were the men who secured the intimacy of 'the chief of the 
Roman noiuiity ; they oeotqpied his attention to the exclusion 
of senators and consulars ; they suggested the measures of 
his administration, engaged fayourable audiences for foreign 
potentates, directed the i^pointment of proconsuls andle^ 
gates, controlled the march of armies and the campaigns of 
impefators^: tbese.werethe men who det^amned wiih Mes- 
salma who the victims of delation, who were tJie 
fiktlest for saeiifiee, who the most pliant ibr oofmption ; to 
these erecy noble Bomoa, every wealthy fojeeigner, paid 
court by presents and flatteries; upon these. Messalina be* 
stowed her own figtvoan^ and pYoemred for them within the 
walls of the palaoe.itself the noblest women of Roma* Most 
of these men amassed colossal fortunes ; the wealth of Pal* 
las and Narcissus became proverbial; and lAen CHaadiiis 
was OBoe heard to complain of the slendemess of 4iis own 
ioq>eri&L revemies, it was replied that he would be ridi 
enough if his two wealthy freedmen would deign to take 
him into paortmership.' Bo<ih the one and the other of these 
&VQiiri!tes were honoured by the senate with the ingigTita of 
high magistracies, thou^ it was impossible to admit ikem 
to such oflkea thmnselves, and they were loaded, moreover, 

• BttoL Clmd. 38.; Senec ApoeoL 14.; TertuU. (If Pa2?. 9. 

• Saet Claud. 24.; Dion, Ix. 2, 17, 18. 

• Suet Claud. 28. : " Abmidatunim si a duobus libertia in consordum re^ 
dperetiir.** Of Narcisstifl Dion says (Ix. 84.), fivpidSac irXeiovc ftvpiav clj^e, isdl 
wpo&elxov tAr^ ir67^ic koI pdaiXeic Of Pallag Tacitus (^fwi, m 68.): "Pai- 
lanti centies quadragles sestertium censuit consul deslgnatus.** Juvenal, i 108. : 
'* Ego possideo plus Pallante et Liciis.*' 

Digitized by 


406 HISTORT OF THE mUAIiS [A. D. 41 

with enormonB grants of publio money.' As long as ths 
good xuxderetanding between the empress and the fireedmen 
was maintdned by mutual compliances, the emperor re* 
mained the infatuated victim of their heinous conspiiBcy. 
He continued to be deluded for years with the notion that 
he was governing Rome with the energy of an ancient con- 
sul or dictator, but his operations, contrived and guided by 
their hands, were little more than the mere shadows of bov« 
ereignty : if he made the laws, the administration of them, 
in which alone the real government consisted^ was still sub- 
jected to their control, and was exercised from East to West 
by their creatures. Claudius, under the influence of his 
wives and children, enacted not their prince but their minis- 
ter.' / 

Such at least is the conclusion to which the testimony of 
all our authorities would lead us* Nevertheless, if the evil 
influences of the Claudian court were so paramount as they 
are described, it must be deemed strange that its publio pol- 
icy was BO well directed, and on the whole so nobly executed, 
as we have se^i it to have been, and that the scandals of the 
reign of Messalina and the freedmen are confined for the 
most part to the interior of the palace. It will be seen, as 
we proceed, that the worst enormities of the government of 
ClaudiiBS refer to affiurs on which we are quite imable to 
speak with certainty ; while the merits of his prineipate, what- 
ever estimate we may form of them, relate precisely to the 
matters which are most patent to the judgment of history. 
To retuni, however, to the narrative before us. Even im the 
first year of the new reign, while the publio oonduet of the 
emperor, both at home and aln^ubd, was earning merited ap- 
plause, the imperial family was torn with jealousies, and 
harassed by intrigues. Among the first acts of Claudius 

' Toa Ann, xl 38., xil 58. Pliny {^jpp. vii. 29., viiL 6.) mentions the 
^enatoBoonsultam, and the monument erected to Pallas with an inscription. 

' Saet Claud, 29. : " His uxoribnsque deditus, non principon sed minis 
trum egif* 

Digitized by 


A. D. tM.] UMDSR f HE BMPIRB. 407 

WM the reeall from bankhment of the siBtere of 
Caiwr but Meemima, it Ib said, wms jealous of ^^gS£» 
JuHa's faBomatioas, and, irritated at the secret (t^uE^^tof 
intsrviewB she was reported to enjoy with her ^""^ 
tuude, succeeded. in driying her onoe more into exile fi>r her 
repoted irregnlarMaes. Her punishment was shared by the 
{dnioBopher Seneca, who was alleged to have crminaliy in- 
tnigued with her. He was confined, by a decree of ibe sen- 
ate;, to the rude and unhealthy island of Corsica.* Baairtanent of 
Here he was detained for some years, apparently ^^^^^^ 
lall the fall of MeHsalina herself; yet it is at least Ttmsjksir 
Ue, that his voice, which has uttered some of the fiercest 
deuoneiaiiens of the crimes and vices of the emperor, should 
be totally silent on the enormities of the empress. It has 
already been noticed that Caius had intended to put the 
great Stoic moralist to death for no other reason than the 
raputatioB of his wealth, and at a later period we again .read 
of him as oiie of the richest men of his tima It would 
seem, therefore, that on this occasion he was not deprived of 
his estates ; and if Messalina was really the pi:omoter of his 
exile, the prosecutioai cannot be imputed to the cupidity so 
generally ascribed to her. Of the wretched Julia we hear 
no more but that the malice of her persecutors was not yet 
satisfied, and that she was not sufiered :long to survive her 
seecmd disgrace.* 

The year 796 was marked, according to the same authorir 
ties, by a crime of still deeper atrocity, aisimBed to the same 
baneful influence. The sbamelessness of the em- p;^^ ^f ^^ 
prees and the weakness of the man she gov- p^msJJ^^- 
cmed, were frightfolly exemplified in the death of Appius 

' DioD, Ix. 8. ; Senec. ComoL ad Polyb, 80, 83. (XancBafl, ssjs Se&eot, 
'^me dcjecit qnidem, sed impulBmii a ibrtana et otdetiteni Bustiiiiut, et in pr»> 
eeps edntem lenHer ^Hsm mamis yasoB modcntlotie' depoMifc.'* An enenqr of 
Seneca denounces him ft a later period as ''domns Qermaniei adidteram.* 
Tac. Ann, ziiL 42. 

• Saet. C^mtd, 29. ; D'on. Ix. 8, 18. 

Digitized by 



Silanos.' This noblemaa^ the head ni this period of the great 
Janian house^ was oomieeted with the /Rmilii^ the Gassii, 
and with the Oasars themselyes : Claudiiis proposed to draw 
still closer the bonds of allianee between their ftrailies, and 
strengthen thereby the bulwarks of Msiown imperial throne*' 
With this riew he recalled him from the coinmand of a pror* 
inde iki Spain, united hdm in marriage with the mother of the 
empress^ and sffianoed his son to his own daughter OotaTi% 
then a tender. i]i&nt4 But, from whaterer eawse, Messaliiis, 
it seems, eonceiyed an implaeable enmity against him: it 
was surmised that she had oast on him amarous glanoes 
which he bad mA deigned to return ; at all erehts, she re- 
solved on hici destf action, and eonoerted with Narcissus an 
extraordinary plan &>r its accomplishment. Early one morn- 
ing the fSft-v^unte, f^v Narcissus at this moment stood iore* 
most in his patron's graces, burst suddenly into his apart- 
ment, with affected alarm, and related that he haid dreamt 
that Bight that the emperor had been murdered by Silanus. 
MessaUna, the partner of the imperial chamber, tbctieupon 
declaied that, strange to relate, the rerysame Tiskm had 
occurred also to hersel£ Glaiidius was horrified and bewil* 
dered. At the neit moment Silanus presented himself ac- 
cording to a parevious i^ointment ; but iik Ins eoBStemation 
the appointment had slipped altogether from the emperor's 
memory, and he beheld in his unseasonable intmsioii a {H^oof 
of his meditated, erime. The oonfederates seized their ^- 
yantage: they hastily extoirted from thdir dupe an order for 
their victim's arrest and immediate execution ; and the next 
day Claudius recounted the ocouriiMice to the senate, and 

' DUm (Ix. 14.) oallfl him erroneoiisly Gains Appius Silanas : his pnBDomeii 
WAS Api^nsi and his nqmen Juaiss. 

* Appius Silanus wa)i married tot to. A^Wh JjeigidtL, the great graaddaiij^ 
ter eC Augustas, throHghthe two Juliaa Bj her he had two sons, Marcos and 
Imciiis^ sad a dau^ter Jupia Calvina. Leilas the trinmTir and Gassius the 
tribmie were among the connexions of this fiunil^. Oaios Caligula had married 
Claudia or Claudilla, daughter of a M. Slaaus, consul in 112^ See the Geaea 
logical Tables at the end of this chapter. 

Digitized by 


A. U. 794.] UKDER THE EMPIRIi. 409 

puUioly thanked the Mthfol eervant who, eyen in his sleep, 
had watched over his patron's safety.* In this or similar 
wayS) we are assured, died many others also, who seemed to 
stand in the way of Messalina and her confederate. When- 
ever they wanted to rid themselves of an enemy, liothing 
was easier than to exeite the dotard^s apprehensions and pro- 
cure a sentence of death^ disgrace, or banishment. In his 
moments of terror he was ready to subscribe his name to 
any order of cruelty or injustice : as soon as the paroxysm 
had subside^ he would forget all that had passed, and was 
faiown to inquire sometimes the next day for the persons he 
had so recently consigned to the executioner, and to wonder 
at their absence from his table. When reminded of the 
etam of their non-appearance, he was visibly surprised and 
mortified.* It seems probable that this imputation of ex- 
traordinary weakness and obliviousness is merely a perver- 
mod of some actual instances of absence of mind, not unpar- 
donable, perhaps, in one so painfblly occupied with cares 
and manifold occupations ; but we have seen enough of the 
eanestness and general good sense of Claudius to question 
the troth of charges wMch would ascribe to him, while yet 
in the Ml activity of his faculties, whatever they may have 
been, the in&tuation of second chil^hness. 

Meanwhile the spirit of resistance to the imperial tyranny 
wln^ had so long slumbered in the breasts of a trampled 
aristocracy, but had at last awakened under the ^^ 
insane despotism of Caius, continued to pervade vinietannsand 
the ranks of the senate and knights. The blow 
struck by Ohserea had been, as we have seen, almost acci- 
dental; it was unconnected, at least, with any general con- 
Sfuiacy ; and the midden resolve of the praetorians found the 
chieft of the state unprepared and vacillating. But smce 
the opportunity for acting had passed away, many plans of 
action had been discussed and concerted. The ease with 

* Suet Claud. 87. ; Dion, 1. c Tacitaa alhides to thia mardor. Ann. zl 

* Suet Claud. 89. ; IMod, 1. c 


Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


which the tyrant had been overthrown astonished the men 
who had so long shrunk from the attempt. The obtmaion 
of a weak, but not the less dangerous despot upon them, 
though at first sullenly acquiesct-d in, was all the more deeply 
resented. A common sympathy drew together many of the 
nobles to overthrow the existing government and replace it 
by a better system, or at least by a better man. Their eyes 
were oast upon Annius Yinicianus, as apparently the fittest 
of their class to reconstruct the authority of the senate. 
But the fruitless act of the gallant tribune had warned them 
that it was not enough merely to strike down the occupant 
of the throne ; it was necessary to secure the suj^rt of a 
legionary force, strong enough to control the prsetoriaas, and 
protect die cradle of new-bom liberty. Of the special claims 
of Yinicianus to the post assigned him we have no account ; 
from his name we may conjeicture that he was a Yinioius, 
allied to the reigning family, and adopted into the ancient 
house of the AnniL Among the conspirators was Furius 
CamilluB Scribonianus, proconsul of Dalmatia; and this man, 
endeared perhaps to the troops he commanded by the late 
successes of a Gamillus in Africa, if not by the reooUeotion 
of his ancestor's elicits against the <3auls, ofibr^ to bring 
a military force to support the contemplated movement; In- 
toxicated with the confidence of success, he hurled defiance 
at the emperor from his camp beyond the Adriatic, and sum- 
moned him scornfully to descend from his throne and hide 
his head in obscurity. Claudius, we are assured, was smit- 
ten with consternation. He took the warning of the rebel 
legate into serious consideration, and actually debated with 
his courtiers on the necessity of submission.' But the vaunts 
of Gamillus, as it soon appeared, were empty and inefiectuaL 
When he disclosed his intentions to the soldiers, and invited 
them to follow him into Italy, in the name of the anoint 
republic, he found them altogether indifierent, or rather hos- 
tile to a cry they scarcely comprehended. When they turned 

> Suet Claud, 18, 85.; DioD, Iz. 15. Tacitus alludes to the erent^ which 
^e had narrated in one of bis lost books, in Arvfi, xll 52. 

Digitized by 



their swords i^ainfit him he had no resource bat in speedy 
flight to an island off the coast; and even there he seems to 
have been speedily surprised and killed by one of his angry 
officers.^ The legions which had behayed with such unex- 
pected fidelity were loaded with caresses by the emperor. 
The Seventh and Eleventh received from the senate the ap- 
pellations of Olaudian, Pious, and FaithfuL The discovery 
of the plot was followed by a bloody proscription. The 
guiltiest or the most conspicuous, and among them Yini- 
eianus himself, were subjected to judicial sentence ; others 
escaped oondelnnatkni by suicide. Claudius in his terror 
forgot his regulations regarding tl^ testimony of slaves, and 
invited denunciations without scruple from every quarter: 
yet it is leoorded that he generally spared the fiEuidHes of the 
culprits, and remitted in tiieir &voar the confiscation of the 
forfeited estates. Among the sufferers was one only of the 
rank of praetor; and he was required to abdicate his office, 
before the emperor would subject him to the punishment of 
the sword* Narcissus and Pcdybius, supported by Messa- 
lina, bore the principal odium of this inquisition; those who 
suffered, and those who esci^d, wece supposed to owe tiieir 
fortune respectively to the demands advanced by court- 
&vourite8 for their condemnation or acquittal, and these, in 
either case, sought only their personal emolumenjk. The 
fitmouE and affeeting story of Arria and P»tus is oonnected 
with this prosoriptioii, and. may serve to impress it on our 

The discovery of this formidable combination against his 
life and power might easily render the shy and suspicious 
emperor a mere puppet henceforth in the hands of his advis- 
ers.* Then commenced, we might suppose, in earnest the 

* TaoHos {SUL il 75.) mentimifl fhlB deed, tiie name of Hie solAer, and the 
fact of hia reoelTing h^ prottiotioii in eonseqaeiioe. It to oorloas thai a dr- 
comstanoe, apparently bo notorious, should have been unknown to Dkm, who 
MjB that OamOlus threw himself on his own sword. 

* Suet Dion, U. eo. Ttie story of Arria and PsBtns is told at length by the 
yoonger Pliny, £^ ill IS. Oorap. Martial, i. 14. 

* lliere is an obecore referenoe to a second attempt against Claudius by 

Digitized by 


412 UISTOKT or THE BOHAKS [A. 0.42 

reign of Mesaalins and the fireedmen : thenceforth 
•iBtenOTistiw the pretended ruler of the state might be ex* 
ooDdnotoT pected to withdraw more and more from public 

observation, and every anair of government to 
be transacted by the agency of his confidential instruments. 
The man who had deliberated on retiring from power at the 
first challenge of an audacious rival, who -again, after the 
suppression of the revolt, essayed, as we are assured, to ab- 
dicate, but was prevented by influence behind the throne, 
could scarcely recover courage to wield the sceptre of the 
world from the height of the Palatiom.^ Accordingly, we 
may picture- to ourselves the cormptum which would now 
pervade every department of public afSurs, subject as they 
were to the control of a degraded and venal crew, and veiled 
by their contrivance from the scrutiny of the nominal ruler. 
We may imagine the wiles o£ the depraved and wanton Mes- 
salina ; how she steeped the senses of her consort in brutal 
indulgences; how she pandered to his grossest appetites, 
while she gratified her own imiorous caprices or satiated her 
cupidity unobserved. All this, indeed, and more, stands re- 
corded on the page of what is designated as the history of 
Rome ; and it is only here and there that a comer of the 
veil is raised, and we are permitted to see the unfortunate 
Claudius still acting as emperor of the Romans, still presiding 
on the tribunals, still listening with patience, if not with 
fisivour, to the pertinacious attacks on Ids own powerful freed- 
men, which the most eloquent pleader of the day did not 
hesitate to launch against them,* still asdsting at the delib- 

Asinius Gallus, son of the GalluB whom Tiberius had put to death, and StatQiup 
Corvinus, the one the grandson of PoUio, the other of Kessala, in Suetonius, 
Cktud, 13. and Dion, Ix. 27. The conspiracy was abortiYe, and Its anthon 
Bcem iO' hate been treated wif^ contemptnons leoitj. Of GaUos XAan says, 
uiwcpSrttToc Kol dvaetdioTOToc £nfy iciuc roimv Kara^ponnfiei^y yOAJTa uaKKw I 
thdvmv Ct^Xev, 

« Suet Claud, 86. 

* Qointil JnsL OnsL il 8, SI. : ** Afer cum ageret contra Ubertqm daudii 
OeBsaris, et ex diyerao quidam oonditkniis ^nadem, ci\}ii0 erai litigator, eMte* 
massed Piwterea tu BeDH>er in libertoa OaBearis dids: Neo meherook^ inqnit 

Digitized by 



erations of the senate, still oontrolling the affiurs of prov- 
inces and nations^ devidng schemes and settling the details of 
colonization, thirsting for vdlitary toils in addition to his in- 
tense applicati(m to business at home, and, coward as we are 
assured he was, actni^y quitting B(»ne, the Iboos of hostile 
intrigue, and throwing himself, like another AngostoQ, into 
the wildest fastnessess of barbarian enemiesL Such aie the 
strange inecAisistenCies of the history belbre us, which it oaly 
remains for us to set over against one another, but ^ich we 
cannot pretend to reconcile or explain. 

Accordingly, the year 796, the next which followed on 
the abortive attempt of the malcontents, witnessed the pro* 
gress of Claudins with military pomp from Ostia 

• ,. ^Tk*> 1. Campaign ind 

mto the heart of Bntam, ati expedition the par- triuBphor 
ticniars of which may be reserved for another 
chapter. Claadins was absent from the city six months. On 
his return he was greeted by the senate with a decree for a 
triumph, an hondur not unmerited by his suecess.' He assum- 
ed in token of his exploits the title of Britannicus, an appel- 
lation which was communicated, moreover, to his infiint son, 
and whicli has superseded in history the name of Tiberius 
Claudins Germanicus, by which the child had been originally 
designated* The triumph of Claudius was rendered remark- 
able by his voluntary selfabasement in climbing the steps of 
the Capitoline temple on his knees, an act peifiemed, per- 
haps, in imitation of Julius Csdsan* It was followed by 

quidqaam profido." This was the same Donutios Afer who had aided Scganus 
in persecuting the fiunily of Germanicus, and who had pretended to be oyer- 
come by the eloquence of Caius. Pliny and Qnintillan speak of him as the 
greatest orator of liis Ume, and we have seen that he was one of the supplest of 
courtiers. Yet he stood up against the freedmen of Clau^us, and survived 
uiost of them, dying at last in prosperity and honour in the uzth year of Nero » 
Tac Arm, liv. 19. 

' Suet Claud. 17.; Tac Affrie, 18.; Dion. Ix. 19. foil.; Plin. BUL J^al- 
xxxiiL 16. On his return Claudius seems to have abandoned the .£milian Way, 
and embarked on the canal by which Augustus connected the Po with the 
Adriatic at Ravenna. Plin. ff, N. iil 20. 

* Dion, Ix. 20. See above, chapter xiz. 

Digitized by 



solemn games, and was made the occasion of bestowing many 
gracioas distinctions, both ciyil and military, on the most de- 
serving officers of the state. If Claudius was proud of ap- 
pearing to rival Augustus, not less did he pique himself on 
comparing his beloved Messalina to the chaste and noble 
Livia. To her accordingly, as to the consort of the first 
princeps before her, were decreed at his instance a seat of 
honour by her husband's side on all public occasions, and the 
permission to ride in the carpentum, which had formerly been 
forbidden to the sex by the law of Oppius, and was still gen- 
erally confined to sacerdotal personages at the greatest so- 
lemnities,' So unworthy, however, was the chief ofHhe Ro- 
man matrons of these honourable distinctions, that when the 
brass coinage of Caius was csdled in by the decree of the sen- 
ate, she obtained the metal to cast of it statues of a dancer 
named Mnester, with whom she was furiously smitten,' Like 
so many others of the men on whom she fixed her admira- 
tion, Mnester, if we may believe the historians, was moved 
neither by caresses nor menaces to gratify her, and was at 
last only driven into her embraces by the express command 
of the emperor himself, to who^ she had ventured shameless- 
ly to apply for it. In this and many other cases, we are told, 
Messalina solicited a like indulgence firom her fond and&cito 
spouse, and he without hesitation complied.' At other times, 
when she wandered fh>m the imperial couch in quest of the 
coarsest gratifications, she would cause one of her handmaids 

* Dion, L c ; Suet Clavd, 17. Comp: Calig, 16. He had previously made 
an exception in favour of bis mother Antonla. Of the use of the carpentum 
Tacitus says {Ann, xii. 42.), " Qui mos saccrdotibus et sacris antiqmtus conces- 

* The senate, according to Dion, caused the brass coinage which bore the 
head of Caius to be melted down from disgust at the tyrant's memory. IMon, 
L c: icol h-pdxOn f^ tovto, ov fUvfoi koX ic rb fiiXnov vxa^xoc kx^H^t^^^ 
d^' avdpiavToc, iC r. X. I have already shown that there is reason to sormiae 
that this coinage was debased, and am disposed to doubt the whole of Dion*f 
itoiy concerning it 

* Dion, L c. : rb ^ avrb tovto kcu irpbg AAAouf avxvovi ivparrev 

Digitized by 


A«U. 796.J CTKDER TH£ EMPIRE. 415 

to take her place by the side of the besotted Blumberer.* It 
Beetns neceBsaiy to say thns much upon the subject, disgust- 
ing as our authorities have represented it, in order to show 
how grossly improbable are the details of Messalina^s licen- 
tiousness, and to guard the reader against too easy a belief 
in some astounding incidents which have yet to be related. 

We seem, indeed, in perusing the narrative before us, to 
be weltering in a dream of horrors, which, nevertheless, ex- 
ert over us a kind of fascination, and however ,, , . 


we may pause at intervals to question the phan- pro«©Miii 
tasms they present to us, forbid us to shake off 
our constrained assent to their reality. The destruction of 
Julia, which had followed shortly after her second banish- 
ment, was succeeded at no long interval by the death of her 
husbamd Yinicius. Messalina, says the historian, was appre- 
hensive of has vengeance : Messalina, adds the historian in 
the same sentence, was incensed at his repudiation of her li- 
centious advances. If such different stateonents are not in 
themselves absohitely incompatible, it will be admitted at 
least that they are open to suspicion ; and when we find that 
the ovOTthrow of Vinicius was effected by no overt act, no 
public charge and judicial sentence, but was popularly as- 
cribed to the occult agency of poison administered by the 
oontriviuiiee of the empress, a cloud of distrust must be al- 
lowed to rest on the whole story.* Hitherto we have been 
fcft to the inferior authority of Dion or Suetonius ; but now, 
at last, we seem to recover the guidance of a firmer hand, 
and the next act of Mesealina's wickedness is described in the 
pi^es of Tacitus. The great chasm in this writer's annals 
extends from the death of Tiberius, at the end of his sixth,' 

' Dion, Ix. 18. compiired wiUi the weD-known passage in the sixth satire of 
JuyenaL AnrcUos Victor and the elder Pliny repeat also some lA^ndaloos 
itorioB wMch bear on their foces strong marks of a prurient inyentaoD. It will 
appear from her mother's age, which will be noticed by and bj, that Messalina 
most haTe been married from the nnrsery. She can hardly hare been more 
than eighteen at this time. 

• IMcn, Ix. 27. 

Digitized by 



to the seventh year of ClaudioBi in the middle of Im elerenth 

book* In this year, the 800th of the city, Va- 

TaiertttB Ail- lerius Asiaticns, whose high position among the 

nobles of Rome has already been meniionad, 
was one of the consuls. The connexion imputed to him with 
a woman named Poppsea is said to have given offenoe toMes- 
salina, who coveted, moreover, the gardens of LuouUutf on 
the Pincian hill, which he had inherited, and which he was 
adorning with more magnificence than ever. She induced a 
delator named Suilins to assail the pair with a charge of 
adultery, and caused Sosibius, the tutor of her diild Britan« 
nicus, to suggest to the emperor at the same time how dan- 
gerous were the wealth and influence of such a man, one who 
was supposed to have been a chief instigator of tho murder of 
Caius, who had extolled the act and claimed glory &r it in 
public, whoso high consideration extended from the city to 
the provinces, and who, it was reported, was about to betake 
himself to Gaul, of which he was a native, and where he had 
great connexions, and place himself at the head of the Qer^ 
manic legions. The army was already becoming an object 
of jealousy to the emperor. Claudius was in a moment 
alarmed at the prospect of rebellion and civil war. He im- 
mediately sunmioned his guards, and sent Crispinus, the pre- 
fect of the praetorians, with a detachment to Baisd, where 
Asiaticus was seized in his villa, thrown into chains, and 
hurried to the city. The consul was not allowed to defend 
himself before the senate : the trial, if such it may be called^ 
was conducted in the private apartments of the empei^r, in 
the presence of his creatures and fireedmen. Charges of li^ 
centiousness and of treasonable practices wero strangely 
mixed up together, and advanced against him by Suilius and 
Messalina herself; but these he treated with lofty disregard, 
till the imputation of disgraceful effeminacy roused the spirit 
of the Roman noble within him. His energetic and passion- 
ate defence had great effect upon Claudius, and even drew 

Tac. Ann, xl 1 

Digitized by 


▲•U.600.] UNDEB THE EMPIRE. 417 

tears of fiensibilitj from the empress, who slipped out of the 
room to ooBoeHl her emotion, whispering only to a confeder- 
ate} as $he jMissed, that the criminal, nbvertheless, mtiBt not 
be BTxfbrei to eeolpe.^ AsiaticuB was remanded, but PoppsBa^ 
in llie meanwhile, nnder tbe terror of impending condemna- 
tion, wad induced to |>ut an end to her own life. The catas- 
trophe wais conceded from Claudius, who invited her hus- 
bsobd some days afterwards to his table, and wondered why 
hd had <^me without his wife. I have just lost her^ he quiet- 
ly replied, and sadb down to supper.* 

Asi^&^ the prosecutors of the unfortunate Asiaticus was 
Im ViteUiiis, one of the most notorious of the class of court 
flatterers, in which he was the jnore infamous 
fr^mi his high birth and station. Under Tiberius teriM^°Lvi'- 
he had governed' Syria, and had done good ser- 
vice to the state uid its ruler in requiring the king of Parthia 
to pay homage to the emperor's portrait on the legionary 
itandfikrds.' He was the first of the citizens who actually 
adored Cains as a god. On his return fix>m his province he 
entered the august presence with his head covered, with 
measured steps and downcast eye^ as a worshipper, and 
finally prostrated hitoself at the feet of the divfaiity. When 
Cains, in his maddest mood, asked him if he had never seen 
him in the embrace of Luna, he adroitly replied that the 
Qods alone had the privilege of beholding one another.* 
From this time Yitellius reigned at Rome as the prince of 
flatterers. After the death of his first patron he attached 
himself not less sedulously to Claudius and his favourites. 

• Tic L c : "Ad quod f iinctam ftito responderit" The husband of Poppe3a 
waa a 80^0. 

' 6a6t VM. 1. 2.; CaU^, 14.: Dion, lix. 81 

* Dion, L & : B«r£X^4oc fiihf o^, kKglOev hp^hfuvo^^ iravraa koX fttr& rovrd 
rove i^^^ovc KoXcuaig impepd^ero. When GUndhis was performing the cere* 
monies of the hundreth year, Yitellius addressed him with the words **Sspe 
(adas,** a oostomary greeting on occaaiotDB of ordinary sacrifice, but inyolTing a 
magnificent hyperbole in the case of a Secular rite. 

TOL. v.— 27 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


Ho sought and obtained the honour of taking ofi* MessaHna'n 
Bandalfl, one of which he would carry in his bosom and fce^ 
qoently take out and kiss with fervour. He placed golden 
Btatues of Narcissus and Pallas among the images of his own 
^mily. Envied for his success in this career of ignominy, 
he became the object of many scandalous imputations, and 
the high-minded Asiaticus complained that he should owe 
his ruin to the arts of so shameless a libertine. "Vitellius 
himself pretended to lament the fall c^his ancient friend ; he 
enumerated the services of Asiaticus and his family, and 
when Claudius actually deliberated on acquitting him, made 
a merit of demanding for him the &vour of being allowed to 
choose his mode of death. Claudius, ever swayed by the 
last speaker, graciously consented, and with thk proviso the 
sentence was recorded against him. Asiaticus declined the 
counsel of his friends to starve himself, a course which might 
leave an interval for the chance of pardon ; and after the 
lofty fashion of the ancient Romans, bathed, perfumed, and 
supped magnificently, and then opened his veins and let 
himself bleed to death. Before dying he inspected the pyre 
prepared for him in his own gardens, and ordered it to be 
removed to another spot, that an umbrageous plantation 
which overhung it might not be injured by the flames.^ 

The success of this accusation seems to have incited 
SuiUus to further delations, and the success of Suilius stimu- 
Dni^^^^ lated the cupidity of many other delators. The 
m^St^the fondness of Claudius himself for judicial proce- 
**^*' dure made this in fiwjt a delicate mode of flattery. 

He was proud to find his own vigilance in maintaining justice 
responded to by zeal and activity in the accusers, and he 

* Tac Ann. xL 8. : ** Tabtmn iili secoritatis noTiBdmsB fait Saoh \b the 
generoos patridan^s senfle of the Tories of his ftJoSlj estate whidi '^Mancipio 
imUi datar, omnibus uso." The sotmrban plantaticms of the Boman nobility 
might be now of three hundred years' growth. Properthis may describe to ns 

«< Nemus omne saias intendat Tertice sylyas, 
Urgetnr qnontis Caucasus aboribus." i. 14. 6. 

Digitized by 


A.U. 800.] Uia)£R THE EMPIRE. 419 

plumed himself on not disappointing them in the pi-omptness 
of his convictions, and the severity of his sentences. How- 
ever well-meaning Claudios may have been, however much 
he may have confided in his own conscientionsness, it is but 
too apparent that, amidst the glitter of false rhetoric, and 
the noisy display of fEtlse sentiment around him, he had not 
the strength of will or understanding to struggle for the 
truth, or aim steadily at the right. If the imperial judge 
was laborious, it may be beUeved that he was not unfre- 
quently capricious and fitful. The cause which had dragged 
painfully through a long morning sitting may have been 
interrupted occasionally by an intemperate carousal, and 
only resumed with feelings of weariness and disgust. After 
all the plodding industry he manifested, he was accused| not 
perhaps without foundation, of giving sentence often with 
only one side heard, sometimes with neither.* With a 
master so vain and so unstable, surrounded by a crew of 
greedy parasites all playing on his weaknesses, the last hope 
of the class over whom these accusations were always im- 
pending was to mitigate, if possible, the zeal of the accusers 
by diminishing their temptations. An ancient law of the 
r^ublio had forbidden the noble advocate to accept fee or 
reward for the exercise of his eloquence at the bar of justice; 
yet for many generations this dignified piece of legislation 

' Beneo. AjxKoL 11.: 


Potuit cliitu discere caasas * 

Una tantom parte audita, 

Sicpe et neutra.** 
The satirist is confirmed, or copied, "by Suetonius in saying that Claudius put 
to death in the course of his reign thirty seni^tors and above three hundred 
kniglits. The numbers may readily be suspected. We may remember the 
three faundred idiom, according to one account, Caesar slew after Thapeus, the 
three hmidred killed by Antonkui at Bnm(^um, the three hundred sacrificed 
by OctaTios at Penisia. The alanghten ascribed to Claudius were not massa- 
cres, but judicial executions, and these rarely, perhaps, for crimes agamst him- 
lelfl His stolid nature knew no mercy, and he consigned to death without re- 
morse eveiy victim of a sanguinary code and of a harsh and barbarous pro- 

Digitized by 



had been treated as a dead letter. Hortensius and CicerO| 
and many able pleaders, before and since, had erectod fortunes 
on the gratefol acknowledgments of th^ur elieiito; Mid tho 
penalty which Augustas had sanctioned fotr a yi<^tion of 
this law had probably been rarely enforced** Th^ assign* 
m^t by Tiberias to the delators of a share in the .spoils of 
their yictims was an infiingment of the spirit of this regolft^ 
tion : but the defence of the imperial miyesty was sapposed 
to OTerrlde every other consideration. Now at la3t|. a^er a 
long interval, the nobles who had faUed to overthrow the 
new tyranny by arms, sought to repress it by ai^ appeal to 
the law of Cincius, and demanded in fact of Claodioii tha 
abolition of what his predecessors had dem^d their surest 
safeguard. Claudius, with that strict submissioii to the 
letter of the law which seems to have been merer strongly 
marked in him than the sense of equity or of right season, 
allowed the matter to be brought into public, discas8ion4 
C. Silius, a consul designate, ventured to advocate the return 
to the ancient principles, while thQ ordinary practice ha^ 
an unpopular defender in the delator Suilius. iNevertheless, 
the senate could not shut its eyes to, the injustice and im* 
policy of forbidding aU remuneration to oratorical talent, 
and contented itself with restricting it to the sum of 10,000 
sesterces, about eighty pounds sterling, for the advocacy of 
any single cause ; a limitation which, had it been actually 
enforced, as we cannot suppose was the case, must have 
greatly discouraged the profession, the high consideration of 
which has generally been found the strongest bulwark 
against the authority of unscrupulous governments. It was 
not by such methods that the vice of delation was to be 
checked ; nor do we find that this abortive recurrence to the 
principles of a simpler state of society had the slightest effect 
in controlling it. As far, however, as we can understand the 
circumstances, the conduct of Claudius seems to do him 
much honour,' 

» DioD, liy. 18. 

• Tac Ann, xi. 5-7. On the "lex C^cia,** see Cic. de Oral, il 71., and 

Digitized by 


k. U. 600.] UNDEB THB EMPIBE. 42] 

Hie 8ubjagatk>ii of'Sonthem Britain was celebrated in 
the year 800 hj the oyation of Auhta Hautias, the same 
aUe and anncesafai officer who had prepared the ^^ ^^^^ 
way for the trimnph of the empatir three yearg «»™^ 
heibre^ The honour of the greater triumph conld not be 
conferred on a fientenant ; but Ohmdiiis showed no tuiwotthy 
jealousy of his exploits, the most glorious^ perh^s, of any 
iiDoe the time of Cssar ; and after investing hhn with the 
trinmjdial ornaments, the iMctelled crown and robe, aetoally 
walked on his left hand, while Planthis rode himself on 
luMsebaek through 'the streets to the CapitoU This was 
nnqoeatioBably the greatest hononr imperial Rome ever 
bestowed on a soibject; bat the modesty of Plautins was 
e^inal to his aterit, and' he iKmtinaed to enjoy the favour of 
his masters by giving their jealoosy no umbrage. The city 
had now completed eight centuries of fimie and fortune, ac- 
cording to popular computation, and though only sixty-three 
years had elapsed since Augustus, following the pontifical 
tradkions, had been called on to celebrate secular games, 
Claudius, in his turn, was easily persuaded that the auspicious 
era deserved to be commemorated by a similar solemnity. 
Aniong other festivities, the Game of Troy was rehearsed 
by noMe youths, and Britannicus, then in his seventh year, 
was introduced to the people, as a participator in the cere- 
mony^ or at least a witness of it. But another child, the son 
of the emperor's niece Agrippina, by her deceased husband 
Domitius, made a more conspicuous figure. The i^ of 

Tac JLfm. xiil 42., xy. 20. ; Plin. Ep, v. 21. The "lex CSnda" eeema to have 
embraced two parUculan : 1. the prohibition of fees for advocacy ; and, 2. cer- 
tain TestrictfoDfl upon gifts in general. With the second of these we ore not 
bere eonoeraed: as regards the firsts it is difBcoH to suppose there was not 
0ome ^Bstinctkm made between fees paid by a cUeot fbr his defeaoe, and re- 
wards awtfgiwd by the state for the proseeation of a criminal : the latter may 
oataraUy have become a matter of jealousy to the class who foimd themselves 
BO often placed as criminals at the bar; but to tlie other no reasonable objec- 
tion oodd be advanoed. I do not find, however, any such distinction referred 
to in the few passages which relate to this law. 
* Soet aaud, 24. ; Dion, Ix. 80. 

Digitized by 



Lucios Domitius exceeded his coasin's by three years : he 
was beautiful in person, and he was the grandson of the stillr 
lamented Gertoanious, and on all these aocounts, it was to hm 
that the Romans looked with present fiiTOur^ and of him liiat 
they formed the fairest auguries.' The appearance of the two 
children on that day, lund the difTer^it reception they en- 
countered, might be taken by a thoughtful spectator as a 
presage of the fate that was reserved for them, of the prema- 
ture death of the one, and the guilty glories of the othei; 

Our history, at least in its earliest stages, has presented 
a succession of antagonisms between the lords of human kind, 
Th« first deadly ^^^ nK>rtal duels of a Sulla and Marins, a CaBsar 
wOT^ ftt ^°^ Pompeius, an Octayius and Antonius : but 
^°*^ these deadly feuds have been cotifined to tlie 

harder and coarser sex; the rivalry of Cleopatra and Octavia 
was a oontest of beauty and fascination, expressed only by 
lofty scorn on the one side, and by sly depreciation on the 
other. But we have now before us a contest of anodier 
stamp. The shows of the arena at this period were some- 
times disgraced by the combats of armed Amazons ; but the 
qourt of Claudius was the first to present the hideous spec- 
tacle of two women, of the highest birth and rank, and 
closely Qonnected by ties, of blood and marriage, engaged 
in a desperate encounter of intrigue and perfidy, ending in 
the violent overthrow of the one and the rise of the other, 
but equally in the eternal injfiimy of both. Considering how 
little regurd was generally paid to women in private, and 
still less in public life at Rome, nothing seems to me to mark 
Eo much the feebleness of Claudius, as the licence thus 
assumed by two rival princesses to convulse the world with 
a quarrel of the boudoir, and the power they had to stamp a 
character on the history of their times. 

Messalina had in vain procured the banishment of Julia, 
while her sister Ai^rippina, certainly not inferior in beauty, 

^ Taa Ann, xi 11. It seems most probable, Imiidst the conflicting ao 
counts, that Britannicus was bom early in 794, and Nero In 790, December 15 
Suet Ner. C. Comp. Tac. Ann, xii. 25. 

Digitized by 


i.u. 800.] msmK thb empire. 42^ 

energy, and nnprincipled ambition, was Boffered 

, • » -n riTL * • Mutnal hatred 

te remain in Rome. The emperors mece con- of Mtwwuim 

, m « , ■ And A^ppiiuL 

turned to occupy a place next to the empress 
herself in the imperial household, to divide with her the 
attentions of the courtiers, and even to exert her blandish- 
ments, not without effect, on the unwary good nature of 
her uncle. We may imagine the jealousy of the reining 
&Tourite ; the* anxiety with which she would watch every 
movement of an aspirant whom she had injured and mooaoed^ 
and from whom she had no mercy to expect, of a woman 
leagued with her enemies and intriguing with her £riends ; 
her fears for the affections of her husband, for the fidelity 
of his freedmen, for the precarious prospects of her son. 
Watdied in turn by an able and unsparing foe, with ftill 
access to the ear of Claudius, and ever ready to abuse it, the 
stay of the wretched she had oppressed, the hope of the 
ambitious she bad repelled, Messalina must have been indeed 
the weakest of her sex, if she really paraded the utter disre- 
gard of decorum as wdil as duty, which has been ascribed to 
her. It Seems incredible that the husband should be sufiered 
to remain ignorant of wrongs which eould so easily be di- 
vulged to him, were they so gross and notorious as after her 
death they were declared to have always been. While 
Messalina lived and reigned, it might be more dangerous 
to slander her ; but we must observe that Agrippina be- 
came both the victor and survivor in the strife between 
them. Wlto Cian doubt that it was then her aim to disgust 
the mind of Claudius with the woman he had once admired, 
to disgust both him and the citizens with the child she pre- 
tended to have borne him, and thus prepare the way by 
unscrupulous detraction for the elevation of her own son 
above Britannicus ? By constituting herself the narrator of 
the contest she made history tell the tale as she wished it to 
be told. She had succeeded in representing Messalina to 
posterity in the same hideous colours in which she had before 
represented her to her contemporaries. Historians, wearied 
with the vain task of seeking for truth in documents of state 

Digitized by 



and imperial manifestos, tamed eageriy to revelations of the 
palace yonclisafed by an inmate of its recesses, an acti^ess in 
its inost priyate sceDes ; and the memoirs of Agripphia ^ei^ 
no doubt accepted as an authority on transactions which she 
wa0 most ooncemed in trioking with the &lsest colours. An 
anecdotist such as Suetonius, or a professioned satirist Hke 
Juvenal, would readily embrace the piquant calumnies of a 
triumphant intriguer : that even Tacitus yielded to the same 
attractions, may be fidriy assumed from his referring to these 
very memoirs as authentic documents on another, nor a less 
delicate subject^ We have no choice, however, but to read 
the story in the light in which these brilliant declaimers 
have plstced it, only bearing in mind the fbul source from 
which it has, in all probability, descended to us, and re- 
marldng such tokens of its distortion from the txnith as an 
attentive perusal cannot fail to suggest to us. 

Nor must we overlook the circumstance thai otheirs be- 
sides Agrippina were interested in overthrowing the object 
of their fear, no less than of her detestation. The 
oompire with coufbderacy which had so long subsisted betw^n 

^^ the empress and the freedmen might be dissolved 

by mutual jealousies and intrigues. Polybitra, who had 
reigned supreme in the imperial household, was th^ fiiend 
of Seneca, and as such it seems probable that he became at- 
tached to the party of Agrippina. Messalitia procured at 
last hifl disgrace; and this was doubtless the last triumph 
she obtained over the rising influence of her rival The tri- 
umph cost her dear. It alarmed and alienated from her the 
other nufiions of the palace. When they feund that the 
guilty commerce they had so long maintained with her had 
ceased to secure their own lives and fortunes, they might 
easily be persuaded to transfer their power to the opposite 

' FUny, whose appetite for infonnaUon was on most subjects indiscrimiBAte^ 
consulted the memoirs of Agrippina as Teritable history. See his prefiioe and 
JBitL yoL yH. 6. 8. ; and comp. Tac Ann, iy. 54. Nor is there any difficulty 
in beliering that a story once accredited became repeated with eten additional 
colouring by succeeding writers. 

Digitized by 


A.U.800.] VmWBi THE SMP^BB. 42fi 

fiida They aided) igi we sbaU jee^ in the overthrow of MeB> 
Balina: it may readily be believed that they effected their 
SQOoesB by firaud^ and defended it by unBoropnloiu falsdiood. 
Mesaalina^B exuuity towards A^ppiaa aad I^omitius was 
redoijibled, we are told, at perceiving the maiafest disposition 
of the citi^Eens in their &vonr: and she would . 

- ^ , . , . , , Amofor of Meg- 

have songht means pf destroying her nval by MtiMv^^ai. 

suborned aocnsetrs^ had shd not been preoeonpied ^ 
at the moment by a new and stmnge passion^ wbieh feemed 
alun to fiusdnatlon. She bad.&Uen in love wiih Gains Siliii» 
before, maitionedy who was reputed not only the handsosaest, 
bat one of the most virtnotis of the noUee.^ She had in- 
sisted on his divorcing his wife, in order to obtain ealire pos* 
see^on of hinu Silios was either nneonsoions at first how 
deadly her caresses were, or pn^sibly he conceived that to 
reject her advanQe$ would be certain destmetMni, while in 
admitting them there might be chances^ at least, of escape. 
To her caresses she added bribes, md held ont the hope of a 
more splendid destiny, till he yielded to her demands, and 
was amased to find himself oonrted wjthoai reserve,. his 
house besi^ed by her repeated visits, all his movements 
watched and Allowed. Brilliant presents were throat ^npon 
him, the highest public office laid at his feet, and finally the 
slaves, the fireedmen, and all the glittering retinue which 
attended the emperor himself, were arteyed before his door, 
as if the fortunes of the principate had been actually trans* 
ferred to him.' 

But Messalina was inconstant; her amour with Silins, 
however flagrant its guilt, lost somewhat of its oharm from 

■ Juvenal, x. 33 i.: 

** Optimus bjc et fomiosissimus idem 
Gcntia patridsB rapitur miser, extinguendus 
HessalinsB ocuGs." 
Thig C. Silios is supposed to have been the son of Silius the commander of the 
Booian ft>rces in Gaul under Tiberius, -who was consul a. v, 766, and put an end 
to his own life, being charged with Majestas, in 111 : SCQ above. 
• Tac Ann, xi. 12. 

Digitized by 



it* yery openness and &eility, and the object 

siUiuw of her oapricions passion perceived that she too 

A.D.4& often strayed from him U> new and unknown 

riYals. He was mortified ahd alarmed, and ven- 
tured to demand the immediate ftdfihnent of her most 
glowing promises. Let ns wait no longer, he sidd, on the 
old man's slow decay: the innocent might be content to 
bide their time, and amuse themselves with the pleasures of 
anticipation ; but guilty as they were, they muet act at onoe 
with promptitude and boldness. He urged that be was now 
single and childless, and prepared to adopt Britannicus : were 
Claudius once removed, Messalina, he vowed, should retain 
in his arms all the power and splendour she had enjoyed by 
the side of the emperor. He would seize the supreme au« 
thority, but he would reign in the name of Messalina's son, 
the last soKA of the Cesarean family. To these instances, 
however, his paramour was now less eager to listen; not 
from any lingering regard for her miserable husband, but 
through fear of raising her lover to a position in which, in 
his turn, he might prove unfazthM to herself. Nevertheless 
the prospect of a pretended marriage still inflamed and stim* 
ulated her, from the very grandeur of its infamy, which 
gives the last flavour to crime in the imagination of the most 
-, „ « wanton of criminals.' J am ideU moare^ says 

Tacitus aflarma * 

that MeMattBft Tacitus, whose steps we have been closely follow- 

and Billns were , , y» , •»/.««. .w»-» •» 

Ktniiriymw. mg, whot a Jtction and faole %t toiu be aetmed, 
that in a tofjon which knows everything^ and 
keeps no sees'eiSj any human being ever reaehed such a pitch 
of audaoOy^ hast of aO one a constU designcOe^ the other the 
consort of the sovereign, cm to meet on a day cgppoirOed, toith 
witnesses to sign and seal, as for a regular and legitimate 
marriage/ that she should listen to the words of the diviners, 
approach the temples^ sacrifice to the Gods, and recline her- 
self at the nuptial board; finally, that she should surrender 
herself as to the embraces of a husband, and the rites of the 

' Tac Jinn, xi 26.: **Nomeii tamen raattimonii ooncnpivit, ob magmto 
dinem infamise, cvQva apud prodigoe noTissima Toluptas est*' 

Digitized by 


^U. 801.] UKDEB THE EMPIRE. 427 

nuptial efuxmber. But fait ht it from me to invent or to ooU 
CfwrfoT the mxxnyeTs adke: I only relate precieely that which 
those who have gone before me have themselves heard and 
commuted to writing^ 

The hiiitoriki requires us to believe, — and his accoimt 
oorresponds "with those of every other existing authority^ — 
that Messalina was actually married to Silius incmiibnitT of 
with tiie most formal ceremonies, during the *W5»<«»^ 
lifetime of her legitimate husband, and mthout any act 
of divoroe having passed between them; for the deed, 
though enacted publicly before all the rest of the world, 
was done without the husband's knowledge, who was the 
last to learn the disgrace which had fallen on his house.* 
Such an incident has assuredly no parallel in civilized life: 
to admit it as a &ct, we must suppose at least that the 
most sacred forms and feelings of society were at the time 
c(mfounded or abjured, that the Romans of the age of Clau- 
dius were living alike without laws and national princi- 
ples. But lor such a supposition there is no ground what- 
ever. There was at this period no such relaxation of con- 
ventional restrictions ; on the contrary, the reign of Clau- 
dius, himself a formalist and a purist, was probably marked 
by a strong reaction of strictness and austerity on the most 
ddicate points of usage. If the law allowed a woman for- 
mally to repudiate her husband, yet such an act could only 
be done by direct communication with him ; wheveas Tac- 
itus dedares that Messalina demanded the rites of mar- 
riage with Silius unknown to Claudius, and therefore while 
still the legal wife of a living husband.* Can we suppose 
that the culprits, however reckless themselves, would have 

' Tm. Anh, xi 27. : '^Haud sum ignaniB &biilofiim visnm in . . . . bc4 
uihil oompositum miraculi causa, Temm audita soriptaque senioribus tradam." 

* Jarena], 1. a: ^'Dedecns ille domus aciei nltunns." This is not a mere 
plmiae of rhetoric, bat is fully ooofirmed by the historians. 

* For the womb's fiocDse of diroroing their husbands under the later re- 
tmblio and the empire, see Gto. td Dhh riii 7. ; Senea d$ Bmtf. iiL Id. ; ¥a^ 
tial, tI. 7. ; Juvenal, tI 224. 

Digitized by 



found creatures so Bubserrient to their wild behests as to 
rush OH the oertain puiiishmeiit vrldoh must have awidted 
their abettiiig them ? In accepting the common story of this 
marriage we are driven at least to the notion that Claadiup 
was reputed at the time no better than an idiot, with whom 
any eiLtravagance might be ventured : yet we have seen am- 
ple grounds to tMnk far more favouraUy both of his under* 
standing and courage. It happ^ts, however, that a word 
dropped almost, as it would seem, accidentally by Suetonius 
supplies a clue to the real character of this ektraordinary 
event, and may remove from the story at least its grossest 
improbability. It is not clear, indeed, whether ^e writer 
himself believes the version of the occurrence at which he 
hint?. This circumstance, however, is of little importance 
to its CQrrectness; for Suetonius, as we have seen, was too 
food of ^ ribald scandal to brook the overthrow of the p<^u- 
lar tale of wonder. Claudius, it is suggested, had been as- 
TbetMiriag* Bured by the diviners that evil was about to be- 
5K?ijl§itt"- ^all ^^^ husband of Messalina. From such supei^ 
SoTMiMeit Btitions few indeed at that time wrere exempt, 
and his yielding to them is no argument of peoulikr weak- 
ness. He conceived the idea of evading his impending &te 
by marrying his wife to another nian. It was rumoured, 
accordingly, thut the nuptials of Silius w>ere actually of the 
emperor^s own oontrivanoe ; that he in fact not only recom- 
mended and urged them, but, to prevent evasion, sealed himp- 
self the documents necessary to their validity.^ It is not 
mentioQed, indeed, but of tlds there can be no reasonable 
doubt, that he had previously divorced his wife in due form, 
in order to make her new marrii^e legitimate. Simple and 
unceremonious as the act of divorcement might be, it was 
nevertheless of immense significance. The scandalmongers 

' Saet Claud, 29, : **Nam illnd ommeai fid«m exoesserlV quod inipi^ quM 
Hessalina cum adultero Silio feoerat, tab^ks dotla et ipso oODsigiiayority Mud" 
im qtiad d$ indmdria mnmlarmhtrf ad aYVtendiiin tnmsfenendiimqQe pcrioolan^ 
quod immSnfice ipei per qnndain ostcnta portenderetor.'' The oonstonotf on of 
the sentence is difScult^ but its meaning can hardly be doubted. 

Digitized by 


A.U.801.] UNDEB THE EHFIBE. 429 

of the day, the paradtes of Claudius, the &es of Mcssalina, 
above all, Agrippina herself in her memoirs, may haye com- 
bined, each for reasons of their own, to heighten the colonr- 
ing of the story by dropping this ess^itial feature in it ; but 
it seems fan more likely that this ccmspiracy against the truth 
of history ahoold have succeeded, than that the marriage 
itself -with its bright array of Auspices and Flamens, of at- 
texidants and witnesses, should have been celebrated in defi- 
ance of law, religion, and the common feeling of the pe<^Ie, 
without the SMiotion of the emperor and husband. 

The sequel of the narrative, as told by Tacitus himself 
win tend to confirm this view. The emperor^s household 
were struck with consternation, and the freed- ooaibiiuitian of 
men, who wielded his power, trembled, we are JJSiSrtMSSi- 
assured, at a revolution of the palace so strange ^*^ 
and ominous. From the passion which MessaUna had con- 
ceived for ^ius, they had already anticipated danger, even 
befi>re it reached the height of an audacious defiance. Gat 
listus, Pallas,, and Narcissus had all shared in the alarm, and 
had combined to deter her firom the indulgence of an in- 
tr^ue, mxae perilous to herself and to them than any of the 
licentious loves to which she had before abandoned herself 
That she should stray to the embraces of afreedmauythat an 
obscure player, such as her favourite Hnester, should dcmee 
htrntelf into the chamber of the empress, might be a dis- 
grace to the emperor; but the intrusion there of a patrician 
and a senator, a man of ability as well as consideration, was 
in fiEU^ a defiance to themselves.' When, however, it ap- 
peared that their .oppositi<m would have no other effect than 
to expose them to her resentment, they desisted firom their 
futile admonitions, and the two first of the associates seem to 
have resigned themselves to let things take their course. 
Narcissus, however, whether from personal apprehensions, or 
urged by Agrippina, determined that the empress should &1L 

* Taa Ann, xl 28.: "Dum histrio cubicultua piincipis insultaTeriti dedo- 
008 qnidem inlatum ; sed discidium procul abfuisse ; nunc juveDem nobilem 
» . . . migorem ad spcm acdngi." 

Digitized by 



The marriage with Silius, once effeoted, — and it mattered lit- 
tle how it had actually been brought about, — might be rep- 
resented as an insult to the husband, treason agaiust the 
prince, impiety towards the Qods. Nerertheless, thoi^h 
plainly required to defend himself the state, and the people 
with a high hand, the firmness of Claxidius could not be de- 
pended upon ; sueh was the sluggishness of his &dings, snob 
his devotion to his consort, so many the deeds of blood he had 
already perpetrated at her demand. Caution and artifice were 
required in dealing with one so weak, so easily impresBible 
by the first speaker, but not less easily moved by his next 
successor. As soon as Messalina's daring jnx)ject was exe- 
cuted^ and while^ as we are assured, it was yet unknown to 
Claudius, who was at the time p^orming sacrifices at Ostia, 
Narcissus persuaded two women, with whom his master was 
familiar, to break to him the terrible news. One of these, 
named Calpumia, demanded an interview, and throwing her- 
self at his feet annoxmced with loud lamentations the drcunoh 
Btances of his dishonour. The other, a Grreek freedwoman, 
named Cleopatra, who was standing by, thereupon inquired 
her authority, and she desired, as had been pre-arranged, 
that Nardssus should be interrogated^ Thus brought upon 
the scene, the favourite humbly confessed his fault in having 
too long concealed the crimes of his mistress, and her amours 
with many a noble citizen, with a Titius, a YettiuS, and a 
Plautius; but the present case, he asserted, was more atro- 
cious than any of these, and he could no longer keep silence. 
Did Ciauditsa know that he had been divorced by his own 
wife t that' the people J the senaiey the soldiera^ hadaUwitnew- 
ed the marHage of SUiusf woe he yet uneonscious that, tm- 
less he acted with vigour , the city was even now in the poioer 
of the husband of Messalina f • 

* Of these women Tacitus says wiA a circumlocution which is meant for 
delicacj; '* Quarum is oorporibus madme insaererat" Yet it ia hnpoesible not 
to suspect that this Galpurnia is the same whom Agrippina afterwards sub- 
verted, " Quia formam ejus laudaverat princcps, mdla Ubidine^ sed fortuito ser- 
mone.*' See Ann jdi 22, 

• Taa Amu xi, 29, 80. : " An disd^um tuum nosti ? nam matrimonium 

Digitized by 



A.n. 801.] UKDXB THE EMPIBE. 43] 

Olandios, we are assured, was surprised and astojnded 
at tbis reyelation of guilt in one whoee fid^ty he had never 
doubted. It was difficult to persuade him of the ^ 

« _, /»i. -1.11 Claudius In- 

met; but It was coBurmea again and again by the eenseduMi 
officers of hi& household. The plans of Narcis- 
sus had been well laid : aU conspired to assure the etnperor 
that he was the victim of an abominable mme ; that his 
honour, and still more his power and safety, were &tally 
eonipix>mised. Even on the supposition that he had himnftlf 
set this marriage on foot with the object which has been sugr 
gested, we may stiU understaiid how the r^resentations of 
interested advisers might persuade him to regard it r&rj dif- 
ferently after its aeoompHshment, and make him feel that his 
device for evsk&iag a distant danger had actually entangled 
him in another more imminent. But, however this may be, 
he readily acceded, we are told, to the instances of those 
about him, nr^g him to thrqw himself at once into the 
camp of the preatoiions, and postpone revenge or justice till 
he had secured his safety. Their object was to prevent an 
interview between him and his wife. On his way to Rome 
he was almost overpowered by his* alarms* Am I y,H em- 
perorf , , , Is SUiuano longer a subject? were the ques- 
tions he was continually asking : and so great was hui terror, 
such the apparent prostration of his power of will and pur- 
pose, that YitelUus and Largus, who accompanied him iii his 
carriage, feared to animate a courage which they apprehend* 
ed would again fail him at the last moment.^ 

The scene now changes to the suburban palace of the 
bridegroom, where MessaUna was abandoning herself to vo- 
luptuous transports. The season was mid-au^ Nuptial orgiet 
tumn, the vintage was in full progress ; the wine- o'^**^^"^ 
press was groaning, the ruddy juice was streaming ; women 
girt with scanty fhwnskins danced as drunken Bacchatials 
aroimd her: while she herself, with her hair loose and dbor- 

8QH ^dit popuhis ot Scnatos et miles ; ac ni propere agis, tenet Urbem maii* 


' Tac Ann, xi 81. : "An ipse imperii potens ? an Silius privatiis eseet ? ** 

Digitized by 



dered, brandished the thyrsus in the midst, and Siliasby her 
side, bnsldned and orowned with iyy, tossed his head to the 
flaunting strains of Silenus and the Satyrs. Yettios, one, it 
seems, of the wanton's less fortunate paramoors, attended the 
ceremony, and climbed in merriment a lofty tree in the gor- 
den« When asked what he saw, he replied, An a/toful storm 
from Ostia / «id whether there was actually each an ap- 
pearance, or whether the words were spdken at random, they 
were accepted afberwards as an omen of the catastrophe 
which quickly followed.* 

For now in the midst of these wanton orgies the rmnour 
swiftly spread, and swiftly messengers arriyed to oonfirm it, 
Constomaticii ^^^^ Claudios knew it aU, Uiat Claudius was on 
^e^empSor^^ his Way to Bomc, and was coming in anger and 
'"♦'^ for vengeance. The lovers part : SiHus for the 

forum and the tribunals ; Meesalina for the shade of her gar- 
dens on the Pincian, the price of blood of the murdered 
Asiaticus. The jovial crew was scattered on ev^y side : but 
meanwhile armed soldiers had surrounded the spot, and all 
that could be seized were thrown suddenly into chains. Mee- 
salina, sobered in a moment by the lightning flash which re- 
vealed her danger, had not lost her presence of mind. She 
iresolved to confront the emperor. She summoned her son 
and daughter to accompany her into their Other's pree&aoe ; 
at the same time, entreated the chief 6f the Vestals to attend 
her, and intercede for her with the supreme pontifil Three 
only of her women ventured to remahi by her side : with 
these she traversed the l^igth of the city on foot; but her 
ai^)earaQee in distress and mourning, on whidb she had 
counted for commiseration, attracted no voice or gesture of 
compassion, «nd mounting a common cart at the gates she 
proceeded sadly on the road to Ostia.' 

Claudius was at the same time advancing, but slowly and 
timidly ; for, amongst his other causes of alarm, he distrust- 

' Tao. I c : "Sire cepenU ea species, seu forte lapsa vox in pittflaginn 

■ Tac. Ann. xi. 82. 

Digitized by 


A.U. dOl.] UNDEB THS SMPIR£. 433 

ed the loyalty of Lnsios Geta. the prefect of his 

-1-.1 ."111 •■ Meeting of 

ffaardfl. and knew not whether he was about to oiaadiat ud 

X ^ ^. XT • MesaaJUia. 

enter Itome as an emperor or a captive. K arcis- 
sns, however, was at hand, and boldly urged that, at such a 
crisis, the command of the soldiers should be transferred for 
a single day to one of his trusty freedmen, at the same time 
offering himself to take it. Claudius consented ; Katcissus 
assumed the command ; and while the train moved slowly 
along, insisted on taldpg his seat in the emperor's carriage, 
lest Yitellius and Largus, less resolute than himself should 
allow his courage to evaporate. Ev^i to the last indeed 
Claudius still vacillated. At one moment he exclaimed, with 
fitfiil vehemence against the abominable crimes of his consort, 
but again he melted into tears at tiie recollection of her chil- 
dren ; while Yitellius, not knowing how the matter might 
end, discreetly confined himself to such exclamations as, 
Sow shocking 1 and^ i# it powibiUf !N'arcissus oou^d pre- 
vail neidier on him nor on Largus to reason calmly with their 
master, and confirm him in the apprehension of his intoler- 
able wrong. . Such were the circumstances under which Mes. 
salina came in sight, and requested leave to present to him 
Britannicus and Octavia. Narcissus could only whisper in 
his ear the odious name of Silius, and remind him of the di- 
vorce, the marriage, and the treason, while he thrust letters 
at the same moment into his hand containing proof of her 
numerous infidelities. He contrived indeed to prevent the 
children being shown to him ; but the Vestal Yibidia forced 
her ^ay into the emperor's presence, and claimed perh£4[M the 
privilege of her order to save a passing criminal from death. 
Narcissus was obliged to assure her that his master would 
himself hear the culprit, and give her an opportunity of de- 

Claudius meanwhile uttered not a word. Yitellius af- 
fected ignorance of the circumstances alleged. Execution of 
and shrank from the responsibility of giving j®a{{^e*nt1>fMi 
any orders. Narcissus took the lead, and every «cco«>pi^««* 

^ Tao. Ann. zl 38, 84. 
94 TOL. r. — 28 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


one yielded to him the position he had thus boldly usstrmed. 
He reqnired the honse of Silius to be thro\^ open, and 
caused the emperor to be conducted thither. In the hall 
stood the image of Silius the fkther, disgraced by liberins, 
which the senate had ordered to be overthrown ; while the 
effigies of the Neros and Drusi, the kinsmen of the emperor 
himself, wore placed ignominiously behind it When his in- 
dignation had been sufficiently inflamed by this spectacle^ 
which seemed of itself to proclaim the criminality of the 
culprit's projects, Claudius was hurried to the camp. Hie 
pnetoiians stood to arms to receive him: he was thrust on 
the tribunal, and, prompted by Narcissus, made to utter a 
few confused words, whereupon they called aloud for the 
condign punishment of the guilty. Silius, arrested and 
brought in fetters to the spOt, declined to defend himself; 
nor would he stoop to any entreaties except only for speedy 
death. He was executed forthwith, together with Titius, 
Vettius, and altogether seven knights of distinguished fam- 
ily, accused of abetting him in his crime.* Mnester the dan- 
cer was added to the numbei', that, among so many honoura- 
ble victims, no pity might seem to be extended to a mere 
ignoble player, though he vehemently protested that no man 
had so stoutly resisted the seductions of MessaHna, and that 
he was among the first on whom, had she succeeded, ber re- 
sentment was destined to fall Anoth^ youth of family, 
named Montanus, was included in the proscription, for no 
other crime than that of having for a single day found fkviour 
in the eyes of the adulteress. 

Nevertheless Messalina still hoped. She had withdrawn 
again to the gardens of Lucullus, and was there engaged in 

' The ** lex Julia de adultcris " required that there should be seren Roman 
dtizens witaeases to a divocce ; and if it be trae that Clandios bad actoallj di- 
Toroed his wife in order to marry lier to Silius, it seems not unlikely th^t thest 
were the parties, whom it was thought adyisable to remove. The act of divorce 
Iras read by a fireedman, and this part may have been enacted by Mnester, 
Paulus m Diffeif, xxir. 2. § 9. Comp. Juvenal, vl 46. : " CJoUige sorcinuiusi 
dicet libertus, et exi.^ 

Digitized by 


A.U. 801.] UKBER THE EMPIRE. 435 

eomposing addreseea of suppKcation to her hus- Yadnatron of 
bandy in which her pride and long-accnstomed SStb oTmSI 
insolence still faintly struggled with her fears. """^ 
Naroissiis was not insensible to his danger, and was anxions 
to strike hid last blow without delay. But the emperor still 
paltered with the treason* He had retired to his palace ; he 
had bathed, ^anointed, and Iain down to supper; and warmed 
with wine and generous cheer, he had actually despatched a 
mesaiige to the pooii' encUure^ as he caUed her, hidding her 
come the next day and plead her cause before him. Narcis- 
sus knew how easy might be the passage €rom compassion to 
love; eren the solitary night and the vacant couch would 
kindle, hie feared^ a sentiment of yearning and compunction 
in the fond' dotard's mind. Gliding ftcfta the chamber, he 
boldly ordered a tribune and some centurions to go and slay 
his victim. Such^ he said, vxu the emperor* 8 command; and 
his word was obeyed without hesitation. Under the direc- 
tion of the freedman Euodus, the armed men sought the 
outcast in her gardens, where she lay prostrate on the 
ground, hy the side of her mother Lepida. While their for- 
tunes flourished dissensions had existed between the two ; 
but now, in her last distress, the mother had refhsed to de- 
sert her child, and only strove to nerve her resolution to a 
voluntary death. J</«, she tirged, is otoer ; nought remainB 
to look for but a decent exit from it. But the soUl of the 
reprobate was corrupted by her vices ; she retained no sense 
of honour; she continued to weep and groan as if hope still 
existed; when suddenly the doors were burst open, the tri- 
bune and his swordsmen appeared before her, and Euodui 
assailed her, dumVstricken as she lay, with contumelious and 
brutal reproaches. Roused at last to the consciousness of 
her desperate condition, she took a weapon from one of the 
men's hands and pressed it trembling against her throat and 
bosom. Still she wanted resolution to give the thrust, and 
It was by a blow of the tribune's falchioa that, the horrid 
deed was finally accomplished. The death of Asiaticus was 
avenged on the very spot; the hot blood of the wanton 

Digitized by 



smoked on the pavement of hid gardens, and stained with a 
deeper hue the variegated m$trbles of Lncallos. The body 
was given up to her mother. Claudius had not yet risen 
from table when it was announced to him that Messalina was 
no more. Whether she had fallen by her own hand or by 
another's was not distinctly declared ; nor did he inquire. 
Again he called for wine, pledged his guests, heard songs 
and music, and exhausted all the formalities of the banquet. 
Nor on the folloVing day did he allude to the droumstance, 
or manifest any emotion of joy or hatred, of anger or sor- 
row, neither on seeing the triumphant foes of Messalina, nor 
her sorrowing children. The senate favoured the oblivion 
he seemed to court for the event, by decreeing that her name 
should be effaced from all public and private monum^its. 
Narcissus was rewarded with the ornaments of the qusestor- 

Such were the circumstances of the fall of Messalina, as 
they were commonly related and believed. Stamped with 
Intrigues for ^^® authority of Tacitus and Juvenal, they have 
JJJJ^JJfJ^ since been received and repeated by all histo- 
Hefleaiiiu. ^iaus of the empire. Whatever the crimes of the 
miserable woman may have been, — ^and the stain of wanton- 
ness, as well as of cruelty so often in her station allied to it, 
is indelibly attached to her name, — there seems reason to 
surmise that her enormities have been exaggerated by sinis- 
ter influence, and that the last fatal act, in particular, for 
which she suffered, was misrepresented by a monstrous arti- 
fice. It may still remain doubtftd whether she was the vic- 
tim of Agrippina's ambition or of the fears of the freedmen ; 
whether these two powers combined together for her over* 
throw, or whether each followed Its own objects with mutual 
jealousy and distrust The factions which still festered in 

* Tac Ann, xl 87, 38.; Dion, Ix. 81.; Suet Claud. 89. Thia writer men- 
tions, as an instance of the forgetftilnesa or absence of mind of Claadlos, that 
after the death of MesialiBa, he was heard to mk at supper, Tf^my h^ M 
noi ixmuf *^ cm domfaia non veniret" Messalina can hardly have been moirc 
than twenty-throe or twenty-four at her death. 

Digitized by 


1.U.80S.] • UNBEB THE EMPIRE. 437 

the bosom of the palace soon made themselves odiously ap- 
parent. During the first fever of his apprehensions, and 
while still, periiaps, under the wing of his faithful praeto- 
rians, Claudius, it is said, in the fulness of his heart, had 
made confidants of his soldiers, and had dechired to them, 
that since matrimony had succeeded so ill with hun, never 
again would hd subject himself to the caprices of another 
consort; if he forgot this vow they might hack him in pieces 
with their swords.* But this resolution was of very short 
c^uration. His fi*eedmen had determined otherwise; the 
most' powerful among them sought each to secure his power 
by raising a client of his own to the first place in his affec- 
tions, and he was too easily led by the artifices of those about 
him to make any resistance to wishes which were seconded 
by his own amorous temperament. But he was perplexed 
by the difficulty of choosing between the candidates offered 
for his selection, all of whom were equally ready to yield to 
hinu Narcissus intrigued for JElia Petina, the same whom 
Claudius had formerly repudiated ; Callistus for LoUia Pau- 
lina, the rejected of the emperor Cains, while Pallas became 
the champicm of Agrippina herself The first was recom- 
mended on the ground of her former intimacy, as well as her 
connexion with the imperial house through the family of the 
Antonii ; the second had the merit, in addition to her im- 
mense riches, of being childless, and therefore the less likely 
to regard Britannicus with jealousy ; the last, besides her 
descent from Germanicus, and the popular favour which ac- 
companied her, had the advantage of being able to plead her 
own cause covertly, by the opportunities consanguinity gave 
her of hanging fondly upon her uncle, and enticing him with 
her unsuspected caresses." If the charms of . ^. . 

A . . , , t -i ^ • Ambition f Qd 

Agnppma, then perhaps three and thirty years artifloes of 
of age, had already passed their prime, her pow- 

' Saet. Claud, 26. : '* Quateans slM matrlmonia male oedeteni permansurum 
•e !nt»Ubata ; ae nIM permazkiBisset non recDsatomm oonfodl mambiis ipsomm.'* 

' Suet Claud, 20. : ** Per jus oacoli et blanditiarum oocasi<me8 pellectus in 
tmorem.*^ Of the three rivals Tacitas says, **Suam quasque nobilitatem, for> 

Digitized by 



ers of artifice and intrigue had reached their foL maturity; 
and she soon effected the impression at which she ^dmed.^ 
Ere yet the emperor had avowed his intention of e^ousing 
her, she was conscious that the pri^e was within her reach, 
and began to exercise over him the influence of a wife. She 
began ahready to extend her views to the eleyati<m of her 
son Domitius by uniting him to the orphan Octavia ; and as 
the girl was affianced to Lu<dus Silanu^, the son of the muiv 
dcred Appius, she did not hesitate to plan the frustration of 
that arrangement by aiming a scandalous chaiige against the 
betrothed husband. She gained over Yitellius; this supple 
courtier pretended, that as censor two years before, he had 
noted the young man^s immoralities, and now insinuated a 
charge of incest against him.* Claudius, as guardian of the 
public virtue, was shocked, as the confederates expected, at 
this odious imputation, and allowed Yitellius, although the 
censorship was passed and the lustrum closed, to promulgate 
his edict for removing him fi-om the senate.* The blow was 
the more severe inasmuch as he had been advanced that year 
to the praetorphip ; and he was now degraded without being 
heard in his own defence, perhaps even before he was awiu:^ 
of the conspiracy against him. This was the first step 
towards rescinding the act of his betrothal, which Speedily 

niam, X)poe contendere." The first qualification seems to apply espeeiaMj to 
Petina, the second t^ Agr^pina, and the laet to LoUia; and it aeeioB clear Soom 
what follows {Ann, xu. 22.) that the (Hvorced wife of Caioe bad not been de- 
prived of the magnificent dowry she had brought him. 

' -Agrippina seems totiave been bom in 769. Suetonius tells us (Cah'ff, 1.) 
that the three sisters were bom in consecutive years, and the burth of JuKa 
(Livilla hi SnetoniUs) is placed by Tadtus ia 111, Agripplna seems to have 
been the eldest of the three. ' 

* Taa Ann, zil 4. : ^* Nomine Censoris serviles iaUadtfl obtegena.^' Yitel- 
lius had been joined with Claudius in the office. Of Silanus Seneca says 
(ApocoL 8.) : *■'■ Sororem suam fcstlyissimam omnium puellarum, quam omncs 
Tenerem Tocarent, malut Junonem vocare.*' 

' Tao. L 0. : "Lecto pridem Scnatu." The order had been duly revised, and 
in strictness the removal of the culprit J(rom its ranks should have Awaited 
another Icotio. 

Digitized by 


A (J. 802.] UNDER THS EMPIKB* 439 

folloTred. The office to which he had been prefiored in con- 
lideration of his- affinity to the imperial house, he was ro 
quired to resign on the last day of the year ; and thus dis* 
graced he was suffered, for a time at least, to hide himself in 
obscurity, while the way was smoothed for the destined nup- 
tials of Domitius and Octavia. 

Yet an obstacle still intervened between Agrippina and 
the elevation to which she aspired. Ancient usage and the 
national sentiment long engrafted upon it, though 
with i|o express legislative declaration, forbade aancuonstho 
among the Bomans the marriage of an uncle and mu4« ^itkit 
niece. Claudius had just declared his horror at 
incest, and h^re was an union proposed to him to which that 
term in its full force at least popularly applied. It had been 
rumoured, indeed^ whether truly or not, that the first CaBsar 
was prepared to defy the national sense of delicacy ; but 
Claudius had less courage, and if it was easy to overcome his 
moral scruples, it was more difficult to confirm his resolution. 
Again Yitellius came forward to Ag^ippina's assistance. He 
took occasion to demand publicly of the emperor whether he 
would submit to the blin^ pr^udice9 of the populace, or be 
swayed by tb^ counsel and authority of the senate? Claudius 
decorously replied that he was himself only one of the 
citizens, and could not venture to controvert the judgment ' 
of the fathers of the. republia Then repair^ I conjure youy 
to thA palace^ anc[ there atoait my (fominff^ said Yitellius 
earnestly ; and then. entering the C^ria, he besought an im< 
mediate hearing on a sulject, most important, as he declared, 
to the commonwealth. After expatiating with feeling on 
the splendid solitude of the Csesar in the recesses of his 
palace, and his need of a faithfid partner to share his pleas- 
ures and anxieties, he protested, that if Claudius now yearned 
for a consort, he had amply proved by his long devotion to 
the laws that he was yielding to no unworthy impulse. The 
orator proceeded to enlarge on the happy fortune of the 
times, in having a prince who sought only a legal marriage, 
instead of invading, as others had been known to do, the 

Digitized by 


440 HISTORY OF THE BO]t[A>'S [A.D. 49. 

marriage rights of the citizens ; and then recommending the 
claims and merits of Agrippina, he argued with all the art 
of a practised rhetorician against the prejudices which seemed 
to forbid so eligible an union. Other nations, he ssdd, pe^ 
mitted such alliances ; nor was it beneath the dignity of 
Rome to consult the customs even of foreigners. Formerly 
the marriage of cousins had been prohibited, yet its recent 
permission had produced no eviL^ Similar results, he argued, 
would follow a wise relaxation in the present instance also ; 
and prejudices, after all, were the growth of habit and usi^, 
and would follow the current of legislation. The compliance 
of a part, at least, of his audience outran eyen the eloquence 
of the speaker. The harangue was hardly concluded before 
a tumult of assentation arose which admitted of no further 
discussion, but threatened, if he yet hesitated, to overbear 
the princess scruples by force. A multitude had already 
collected, crying aloud that the Roman people was of one 
mind with the senators. Vitellius swiftly bore the news to 
his anxious master, and Claudius, passing rapidly through 
the crowd of the forum, amidst a burst of acclamations, 
entered the Curia and moved for a decree to legalize the 
marriages in question. Claudius and Agrippina were united 

MurriiiM f ^ *^® ^^^ ®^^* ^^ i^gl^t seem a delicate mode 
cuodius and of flattery to contract these preposterous alliances ; 
^^ but a knight, named Alledius, was the only 

citizen who could be induced, by the hope of the prince's, or 
even of Agrippina's favour, to do such violence to natural 
feeling.* This, however, was of little importance ; the con- 
science of the feeble Claudius was easily put to sleep, and it 

* Tac. Ann, xii. 6. : •* Sobrinanim diu ignorato." On the marriage of cou- 
Bina germaiiy the commentators refer to Plutarch, Qtuetf, Mom. 6., who shows 
the occasioii, hut not the date of the restricfion b^ng remored. The union of 
Marcellus and Julia was an illustrious instance in later times. But manitge 
of nncIjBS with nieces was forbidden. The law of Claudius licensed marriage 
with a brother's daughter, but not with a sister's, and this distinction was fai 
force m the time of Gaius. Sec /nut, L 62 

• Tac Ann. xil Y. 

Digitized by 


A.U.809.1 UKDER THS EMPIBE. 441 

became the bosiness of his mistress, now enthroned by his 
side, to lull it constantly by gentle opiates, through the 
coorse of wickedness on which she was about to enter/ 

It is not unimportant to notice these lingering scruples, 
this sol^nn discussion, and this sudden downfall of the bar- 
riers of religious principle, at a moment when ^ 

1 » 1 1 «i . 1 . • -I'-i <•• •■ TTie authority 

the whole bent of legislation had been studiously of the seimte 
directed to preserve or restore the sanctions of ^ernMSmof 
ancient usage^ They mark, on the one hand