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The purpose of the present volame differs in «ome 
respects from that of the General History of Rome, of 
which it is substantially an abridgment. The larger 
work was designed for the reading public in general ; 
and the author accordingly felt himself at liberty to 
treat briefly, or to omit altogether, some points on which 
students making their first acquaintance with Roman 
History, as a part of their, spbopj work, must have in- 
formation. Hence the limits usp^ijly i^^signed; to the 
task of abridgment have nat>* in this instance,' been 
observed with absolute stric€r]efej&; - 'In^ tlie earlier 
chapters I have introduced some, incidents belonging 
to the legendary annals of* Rottfo,^ which it was not 
deemed necessary to notice in the General flistory ; and 
a few subjects of special importance have been treated 
rather at greater than at less length ; amongst these I 
may mention the constitution and magistracies of the 
Republic, the system of Roman law, and the system of 
colonisation. For one chapter, the forty-second, which 
gives an account of the Roman legions and their method 
of encampment, I am wholly responsible. My aim, 
throughout, has been, not so much to compress into a 
small space a vast amount of detail, as to select those 

vi Preface. 

incidents whicli have an intrinsic importance, or are 
likely to be attractive to the young, and thns to furnish 
a narrative, which, although it must necessarily be brief, 
may, I hope, be lifelike. 

The present volume is illustrated with thirteen maps 
and plans, which are for the most part based on those 
contained in the Public Schools Atlas of Ancient 

Charles Puller. 

•a * ■ • * 

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Chronological Table ... ^ ... . xxv 


The site of Rome— The seven hills— The Palatine— The Campagna 
— ^The Italian peninsula — ^The basin of the Mediterranean — 
Ultimate extent of the empire 1 


Origin of the Roman people — Mythology and tradition — The 
Siculi, the Ligures, the Pelasgians — ^The^Etruscans, the Sabinos, 
the Latins — ^Their ideas of religion — Their influence on Roman 
institutions .......... 5 


Early legends of Rome — Hercules and Cacus, Eyai^er, iEneas and 
the Alban kings — Romulus and Remus — Foundation of the 
city — Rape of the Sabines — Tarpeia — Numa Pompilius — 
Egeria — Rites of religion — Tullus Uostilius — The Horatii and 
Curiatii— Destruction of Alba Longa—Ancus M^rtius ; his 
works of construction ' . , .10 


Tarquinius Priscus — His great constructions — Influence of Etruria — 
Murder of Tarquin and accession of Servius Tullius — ^The city 
wall — Servius favours the people — His cruel murder — ^Tarquinius 
Superbus rules as a tvrant — His success in war — ^Treachery of 
Sextus Tarquinius at6abii — ^The Capitol — ^The Sibylline books — 
theemb&ssy to Delphi — ^Therape of Lucretia — Expulsion of the 
Tatquinii— Consuls appointed — ^VVar with Etruria — Lars Por- 
sena— Battle of Lake Regillus — Death of Tarquin — Unhisto- 
lical character of the narrative 15 


Ijfeneral survey of the Constitution — ^The Patricians — the populus 
Romanus — Patrons and clients — Tlie curies— The senate — ^The 
*pleb8* — ^The Servian constitution — The tribes — Their comitia 

viii Contents. 


—The centuries— Their comitia — The pontiffs — The curule 
magistrates — The consuls—The pnetor — The censors — ^The 
fiediles — The quaestors — The dictator 5^ 


The first consuls — ^Tho first dictator — ^The plebeians oppressed by 
debt — First secession of the ' plebs ' — Fable of the belly and 
themembers— The first tribunes of the *plebs' ... 82^ 


Agrariairlaw of Spurius Cassius — Policy of the Fabian house ; 
their slaughter at the Cremera — ^The consul Menenius im- 

?eAched — ^The Publilian law — Arrogance of Appius Claudius — 
lis suicide — Continual warfare — Story of Coriolanus — Story of 
Ciucinnatus « ?6 


Efforts of the plebeians to obtain equal laws with the patricians — 
The Terentilian law — ^Violence of K»so Quinctius — ^The Capitol 
seized \sw Appius Herdonius — ^The Aventine conceded to the 
plebs — ^The commission sent to Athens to study the laws of 
Greece — ^The Decemvirs — ^Murder of Sicinius Dentatus — ^Ty- 
rannj' of Appius Claudius — Death of Virginia — Second seccession 
to the Mons Sacer— Triumph of the plebs — The Valerian laws — 
The Duilian law — The laws of the twelve tables — General 
survey of Roman law 4B 


The Canuleian law gives the right of intermarriage — Military 
tribunes appointed— Spurius Maelius — Wars against Fidenaj — 
Against thciEquians and Volscians — ^The great war with Veii — 
Pay first given to the legions — ^Triumph of Camillus — His 
exile . » ^ ... 50 


The first Roman colonies— The Gauls invade Italy — Battll^of the 
Allia — Burning of Rome — Defence of the Capitol — Story of 
Manlius Capitolinus— Camillus deleats the Gauls , . . 53 


JJebuilding of Rome — ^Misery of the poorer classes — Death of Man- 
lius Capitolinus — ^TheLicinian rogations become law, b.c. 367 — 
The first plebeian consul — ^Tlie office of praetor created — The 
curule aediles appointed — Pestilence — Devotion of Mettus Cur- 
tius — Chronolc^cal table showing the gradual advance of the 
plebeians to political power . * 58 

Contents. ix 



Farther progress of tlie plebeians — ^Frequent dictatorships — Gallic 
wars — ^Manlius Toi-quatoa — Valerius Corvus— The first Stlmnite 
war, B.C. 843 — Mutiny at Capua and further constitutional 
changes consequent upon its success — The Genudan law — The 
laws of Publilins Philo— Grievances of the Latin people— The 
Latin war, b.c. 840— Seyerity of Roman discipline — Battle of 
Yesuvins — Setf-devotion of Decius — Subjugation and settlement 
ofLatinm. . . .' 6j2, 


Greek colonies in Italy — Alexander, king of Epirus, invades Italy — 
The second Samnite war, b.c. 824-^02 — ^The first proconsul— Disr 
aster to the Roman arms at the Caudine Forks — The Romans 
break faith with the Samnites — ^I'hey retrieve their disgrace, but 
sufier a great deftat at LantuIsB — The Samnites again defeated — 
Campania reduced — ^The Romans equip a fieet • . • 69 


Fabius defeats the Etruscans at the Vadimonian lake — Papirius 
Cursor triumphs over the Samnites — Conclusion of the second 
Samnite war--Censor9hip of Appius Claudius Csecus — The scribe 
Flavins publishes the forms of legal actions — The Ogulnian law 
— The Hortensian law — ^The third Samnite war, b.c. 299-290 — 
Defeat of the Gauls at Sentinum — Self-devotion of Decius — 
Conclusion of the third Samnite war — Cruel fate of Pontius 
Telesinus — Defeat of the Gauls at the Vadimonian lake, and of 
the Etruscans at Vulsinii — Progress of the Romans in Southern 
Italy 72 


Tarentum invites the aid of Pyrrhus, b.c. 281 — His victory at 
Heradea — Conduct of Fabricius — Pyrrhus again victorious — 
He departs to Sicily — He returns and threatens Rome, but is 
defeated near Beneventum — Roman conquest of Southern Italy 
— Table showing the chief races inhabitmg Italy in order from 
north to softth , 77 


The Roman tribes — Privileges of a Roman citizen— Position of the 
subject allies— The Latins— The Etruscans — ^The Sabellian races 
— The Greek cities — ^The Roman system of colonisation — The 
great military roads • , . . , . • , 81 


Commerdal greatness of Carthage — Her mercenary army— She 
aims at empire and gains a footing in Sicily— Rome brought 



face to face with Carthage — ^Polybias the historian— From this 
time the history of Borne becomes more trustworthy . .86. 


Greek settlements in Sicily— Messana occupied by Mamertine 
troops— Bome takes their part against Hiero, king of Svracuse 
' — Commencement of the first Panic war, b.c. 264— The ilomans 
land an army in Sicily and are joined by Hiero — ^They build a 
fleet and defeat the Carthaginians in the naval fight of Mylie 
— ^They invade Africa and threaten Carthage, but are defeated 
by the' Spartan Xanthippus — Storj-ofBegul us— Renewed fight- 
ing in Sicily — Roman victory at Panormus — Claudius suffers a 
naval defeat at Drepanum, b.c. 249— Lutatius Catulus retrieves 
the honour of the Boman fleet at the Agates Insulse, b.c. 241 — 
Close of the first Punic war 


Revolt of the Carthaginian mercenaries^Interval between the first 
and second Punic wars — Sicily the first Roman province — 
Conquest of Sardinia, Corsica, and Corcyra — ^The Illyrian war 
— The Gauls invade Etruria but suffer defeat — MarceUus effects 
the conquest of the Cisalpine, and dedicates 'spolta opima' — ^The 
Carthaginians undertake the conquest of Spain — Hamilcar — 
Hasdrubal — Hannibal, his early training — Fall of Saguntum— 
Progress of democracy at Carthage — Balanced condition of 
Boman politics— Decay of religion and morality at Rome — 
The Floralia and the snows of gladiators ... ^ 95 


The second Punic war— Hannibal crosses the Alps and invades 
Italj'— Batde of the Ticinus— Battle of the Trebia— Battle of 
the Lake Trasimenus — Fabius * Cunctator '—Great defeat of the 
Romans at Cannie — Hannibal withdraws into tlie South of 
Italy, and tries to raise the Greeks and Campanians . . 106 


Hannibal's army reposes at Capua — Roman successes in Spain — 
P. Corn. Scipio expels the Carthaginians and occupies the penin- 
sula — The revolt of Sardinia put down — Philip of Macedon is 
defied — The famous siege of Syracuse — Proceediugs of Hannibal 
— He threatens Rome, but is repulsed-^Terrible vengeance of 
Rome on Capua and Tarentum — Foreign alliances — Hasdrubal 
invades Italy, but is defeated and slain at Metaurus, b.c. 207 — 
P. Conielius Scipio — His popularity — He invades Africa and 
defeata Hannibal at Zama, b.c. 201 — Close of the second Punic 
war .. r •••«.««•• 113 

Contents, xi 



The good fortune of the Romans traced to the superiority of their 
character and the merits of their policy — Eagerness of the 
Italians to combat at their side — Rome confronted with Greece 
— Ck>ndition of Greece — Feebleness of Athens, Thebes, and 
Sparta — The Achsean league — ^The iEtolians — ^The Macedonians. 121 


The Romans commence the conquest of the East — Flamininus 
drives Philip of Macedon into his fortress of Pella — Fruitless 
negotiations— The victory of Cynoscephalie — Philip sues for 
peace — Flamininus proclaims the liberation of Greece, b.c. 194. 125 


War with Antiochns, king of Syria — He is defeated at Magnesia, 
B.C. 190, and retires beyond Mount Taurus — Formation of a 
kingdom of A-sia dependent upon Rome — Protracted guerilla 
wa^are in Spain — ^The Gaulsof the Cisalpine finally subjugated 
byScipio . . ^ . 129 


Deaths of three great men, Hannib 1, Scipio Africanus, and 
PhUopcemen, b.c. 183^— Perseus, king of Macedon, overthrown 
at Pydna, b.c. 168, and his counti-y reduced to a Roman 
province— Corinth sacked by Mummius, and Greece reduced to 
a province— The third Punic war, B.C. 149-146 — Carthage de- 
stroved, and Africa reduced to a province— The secular games 
celebrated — Bravo resistance of the Lusitanians under Viriathus 
— Numantia destroyed after a gallant defence • • » 133 


General account of the Roman empire after the conquest of Greece 
and Carthage — The adtaailiistration of the provinces — The 
Romans a money-loving people — Distribution of political power 
between the various ranks of so'^iety and public assemblies — 
Great power of the senate — Rich 'provincial appointments 
monopolized by the nobles — Position of the knights— The 
populace gratified with doles of corn and costly shows — The 
etrnggle between the senate and the knights for the plunder of 
^ fehe provinces tum» upon the f^pointment of the judges • • 140 


Decay of the old Roman religion — Study of Greek language and 
literature — Influence of Grecian women — ^The Roman poets 
imitate Greek models — Daily life of a noble Roman in the city, 
in the country, at the Campanian baths— Cato the censor . 144 

xii Contents. 


Tiberius Gracchus observes the depopulation of Italy and conceives 
the project of raising the oonditton of the Roman commonalty 
— Dangers of slavery on a large scale — Alienation between the 
upper and lower classes of Romans — ^Tiberius is elected tribune 
and proposes a distribution of lands — Opposition of the nobles — 
The Sempronian law is passed — ^Tiberius Gracchus is accused of 
aiming at royalty, add is killed in a riot • . . .. 147 


The Italians press their claims to Roman citizenship— Scipio 
^milianus supports them, but dies mysteriously — The leadiers 
of the commons espouse their cause — Revolt of Fregells sup- 
pressed— Caius Gracchus, tribune of the people, carries a series 
of popular measures — ^The provinces cry out for relief from a 
grinding tyranny— Caius founds colonies at Capua, Tarentum, 
and Carthage— He is driven to suicide by the hostility of the 
nobles • • , « 151 


The agrarian laws rendered inoperative by the nobles — ^Tbe 
Teutones and Cimbri invade Gaul and defeat the Roman 
legions — Affairs of Numidia — Intrigues of Jugurtha; he is 
vanquished b}*^ Metellus and Marius — Rise of Caius Marius ; 
he is elected tribune and consul ; he recruits his legions from 
the lowest class of citizens, and overthrows Jugurtha— Numi(Ua 
made a province — The Cyrenaica bequeathed to Rome— Marius 
undertakes the war against the Cimbri and Teutones — His great 
victories at Aquie Sextis and Yercella— His fi£th consulsmp • 15& 


Insurrection of the slaves in Italy and Sicily— Marius a sixth time 
consul — Factions in the city — Impeachment of Caepio — The 
' gold of Tolosa ' — ^Election of the chief pontiff transferred to 
the plebs — Altered position of the patricians — Marius favours 
the Italians — Sedition of Satuminus — ^The claims of the Italians 
to the Roman franchise supported by the plebeians— Explana- 
tion of this alliance — M. Livius Drusus, tribune of the people, 
tries to reconcile all parties — He is assassinated — The Social 
or Marsic war results in the concession of the franchise to the 
Italians 160 


Rise of P. Cornelius Sulla— Appointed to conduct the war against 
Mitbridates, king of Pontns,he turns back on Rome and chastises 
the Marian faction — Hairbreadth escapes of Marius — Cinna 
excites disturbance in the city- -He is deposed from the consul* 

Contents. xiii 

ship and expelled — He returns, accompanied by Marias, at the 
heiul of the revolted Italians — Politic inaction of Pompeios 
Strabo — ^Triumph of the Marian faction — Bloody proscription of 
the senatorial party-^Marios attains his seventh consulship 
and dies • . • • 166 


Ginna carries out the democratic policy of Marius — Sulla defeats 
Mithridates and expels him from all his conouesta— He leads 
back his veterans to Italy laden with spoil— The Capitol de- 
stroyed by fire— The Marian leaders raise an Italian armv, but 
are crushed by Sulla at the Colline gate of Rome— Fall of Prao- 
neste — Sulla proscribes and massacres his opponents — Catilina 
^-Cnteus Pompeius— Julius Ctesar — Sulla devastates Italy and 
colonises it anew with his veterans; he pursues the Marians in 
Gaul, Africa, and Spain — Insecurity of life and property — In- 
tolerable burthen of taxation •.•*••• 172 


Solla appointed dictator without limit of time ; he reconstitutes 
the republic in the interest of the oligarchy, reconstructs the 
senate, giving to it the entire legislative and judicial power, 
and curtails the power of the tribunes ; his sumptuary laws ; 
his belief in bis own good fortune ; he resigns the dictatorship 
and dies ; his ruthless poUcy of reaction doomed to failure in 
the end . . • 177 


Discontent of the provincials at the oppressive nature of the pro- 
coitsular governments; they suffer under heav}' taxation, 
usury, extortion, and pillage; no redress to be had— The 
poptdar leaders at Rome, debarred from any share in the spoils, 
expose the abuses of the system — Cicero's orations against 
Verres ; career of a provincial governor— Venality of the tri- 
bunals . . ' 181 


Chiefs of the aristocratic faction — Pompeius * Magnus* — Lepidus 
restores the power of the tribunate ; he heads a revolt oi the 
Marian faction, but is defeated and dies — Sertorius wages civil 
war in Spain and Africa ; he is assassinated, and the revolt is 

Suelled by Pompeius — An outbreak of gladiators headed by 
partacus is i>ut down by Crassus and Pompeius — ^Pompeius 
consolidates his influence in Spain and Gaul ; he is elected 
consul with Crassus— Character of M. Crassus — Character and 
policy of Caius Julius Ciesar •185 

XIV Contents. 


Fompeius and Crassus reverse the laws of Sulla, re-establish the 
tribunate, and re-admit the knights to the judicial bench — 
Pompeius r&ceives a special commission and clears the sea of 
pirates — Successes* of Luculliis against Mithridates^, his victory ' 
at Tigranocerta over the Armenian king ; he is superseded and 
Pompeius appointed to the Eastern command — Magnificence of 
Lucnllus ; his philosophic temper — Pompeius subdues Armenia, 
Syria, and Phcenicia, and proclaims the Euphrates to be the 
boundary of the empire ; he regulates the government of Pales- 
tine—Death of Mithridates — Settlement of the East . . 190 


Character of M. Porcius Cato — Caesar becomes aedile, and president 
of the tribunal forjudging cases of murder ; he cites Babirius 
before him for the murder of Satuminus — Curious issue of the 
appeal' to the people-^sesar vk elected ' Pontifex Maximus'— . 
Rumours of a conspiracy — ^Profligacy of the young nobles — 
Influence and intrigues of Catilina — State of Roman society ; 
coarseness of the men and frivolity of the women — Catilina 
matures his plotr-The Optimates prepare to encounter it — 
Cicero is elected consul, organises the forces of the republic, 
and learns the secrets of the conspirators — Tlie first Catilin- 
arian oration — Catilina allowed to quit the city ; his associates, 
Lentnlus and Cethegus, seized 198 


Trial und execution of the conspirators — Defeat and death of 
Catilina — Caesar is elected praetor— Conflict between the tri- 
bunes Metellus Kepos and M. Porcius Cato— Position and 
policy of Cicero — Clodius profanes the mysteries of the * Bona 
Dea '—Attitude of Pompeius on his return from the East^ 
Julius Caesar's debts ; he departs for his province of Farther 
Spain— Pompeius celebrates a splendid triumph ; he is af- 
fronted by the senate, and turns towards the popular party . 204 


rh« nobles lean on Cato— Caesar returns victorious from Spam, 
and is elected consul with the aid of Pompeius and Crassus — 
The first triumvirate— Caesar's consulship, b.c. 59 ; his liberal 
legislation ; he assumes the command in lUyricum, the Cisal- 
pine, and the Province — Clodius, elected tribune, procures the 
condemnation of Cicero— Cato's mission to Cyprus — Riotona 
factions of Clodius and Milo— Cicero is recalled « • • 209 


CKsar overruns Gaul ; he crosses the Rhine into cSiiMmy/ and 
twice invades Britain— Pompeius obtains a third extracrdinaor 

Contents. xv 

commission for supplying the city with corn ; he is refused the 
mission of restoring Ptolemseus to the throne of Egypt — 
Caesar's intrigues at I^ucca — Consulship of Pompeius and 
Crassus, B.C. 66 — Caesar's command in Gaul is renewed for a 
second period of five years — ^Tumults in the citj — Death of 
Julia — ^The Gauls revolt in various quarters — Vicissitudes of 
the contest — Gallant defence of his country by Vercingetorix 
— Caesar crushes him at Alesia, and finally subjugates Gaul,- 
B.C. 51 ; his liberal administration of the country ; his pre- 
eminent popularity with his subjects and his soldiers . «' 213 


The civil power begins to be overshadowed by that of the army — 
Account of the.Roman legion under Romulus, under Servius 
Tullius, under the early republic — The legions receive pay, but 
continue to be regarded as a citizen militia — The hastati — 
The principes — ^The triarii — ^The legion numbers about 6,000 
men at the date of the Latin war, b.c. 340 — Poly bins' account 
of the legion during the Punic wars — Its disposition in ranks, 
in cohorts, in maniples and centuries — ^The velites — The auxi- 
liary forces, * socii ' — Marius recruits the legions from the lowest 
class of citizens — The provincisls — Equipment of Caesar's 
legions— The cohors milliaria — ^The eagles and standards — ^The 
Roman camp in the later years of f he republic, the same under 
the empire — ^The recruiting of the legions; their numerical: 
and special titles * * , • 219 


Reception of the report of Caesar's successes at Rome — ^Pompeius 
takes Spain and Crassus receives Syria for his province — 
Crassus, at starting, is devoted to ill-fortune by the tribune 
Ateius— The Parthian monarchy — Crassus crosses the Eu- 
phrates and attacks the Parthians — The disaster at Carrhae — 
Cassius distinguishes himself— Crassus is captured and slain, 
and his remains insulted ' . . 229 


Interregnum owing to corruption and bribery — Rioting and blood- 
shed — Clodius slain in a fray with Milo — Pompeius is ap- 
pointed sole consul, b.c. 62 ; he detaches himself from Ctesar — 
Trial and banishment of Milo — Pompeius passes good laws, 
but violates them in his own person — Caesar's influence at 
Rome; ho sues for the consulship a second time; he is af- 
fronted by the senatorial party — Cicero proconsul in Cilicia — 
Indecision of Pompeius ; his illness and recovery — The sym- 
pathy of the Italians raises his confidence in himself— Pre- 
carious position of Caesar at the opening of the year 50 ; he is 
threatened with the loss of his province while Pompeius refuses 
to surrender Spain— Curio, as tribune, supports Cawar — Caesar 
quietly collects his forces— The senate refuses all his overtures 
and calls upon Pompeius to arm in defence of the state . • 233 

xvi Cofitents- 



Tendency of the Roman world towards monarch^-— Hopeful an- 
ticipations at home and abroad of the benefits to be derived 
from CflBsar's antocracy — Ciesar crosses the Rubicon — Pompeius 
quits Rome for the South of Italy — Caesar pursues, and takes 
many places — Surrender of Cortinium — Ctesar's clemency — The 
selfish design of Pompeius to conquer Rome and Italy for him- 
self with the aid of Oriental barbarians ; he crosses the Adri- 
atic with his troops ; many senators desert him — C»sar enters 
Rome and re-assures the citizens ; he rifles the temple ci 
Saturn; he subdues Sardinia and Sicilj", but his lieutenant 
Curio is defeated in Africa— C«sar conquers Spain, is appointed 
dictator, and afterwards consul ; his wise treatment of debtors 
and bankrupts — Ciesar secures his power on a basis of legality \ 
he joins his l^ons at Bmndisiam, b.c. 49 • • . • 239 


Review of the forces pitted against each other — Cassar crosses into 
Epirus and blockades Pompeius in his camp at Petra — Pom- 

gsius defeats Caesar in their first encounter— The battle of 
harsalia, August 9, b.c. 48; Caesar's great victory— Pom- 
Seius escapes to Egypt and is there murdered — Caesar pursues 
im by land, and reaches Alexandria from S^'ria ; he becomes 
enamoured of Cleopatra and takes her part against Ptolemaus 
— ^Burning of the £g}'ptian fleet and of the great museum — 
Caesar departs to Asia Minor and crushes Phamaces at Zela — 
Caesar a second and a third time dictator ; his campaign in 
Africa:— Battle of Thapsus — Suicide of Cato at Utica . • 246 


Honours showered upon Caesar at Rome— His four triumphs ; his 
games and largesses — Campaign in Spain — Battle of Munda — 
Deatii of Cnteus Pompeius, and of many prominent republicans 
— Caesar's fifth triumph — Concourse of foreigners at Rome — 
Caesar introduces some of them into the senate ; he respects 
the forms of the republic — ^The imperium and the pontincate 
made hereditary in his family — ^The dictatorship, the consul- 
ship for five years, the tribunate, the principate, the censor- 
ship, accumulated in his person — He aims at fusing the empire 
into one body politic ; he plans the redaction of a code of laws ; 
he reforms the calendar ; he proposes to build on a large scale 
— Caesar's private life and maimers ; his society ; his connection 
with Cleopatra ; his irreligion and superstition ; he prepares 
for a great war in the East 253 


The young Octavius in the camp at Apollonia— Caesar declines a 
kingly diadem ; conspiracy formed against his life by Cassiua 
and others — Character of M. Junius Brutus — Assassination of 
Caesar ^ the ides of March, b.c. 44 — ^The liberators take refuge 

Contmts. xvii 

in the Capitol ; the people regard them coldly ; they negotiate 
with M. Antonius — An amnesty proclaimed, and Ciesars acts 
confirmed — His will and bequests to the people — His funeral 
obsequies in the Forum — Speech of M. Antonius — Excitement 
of the people — Antonius paramount in the city ; he obtains a 
sanction for all Caesar's projected acts ; his arbitrary proceed- 
ings ; futility of the assassiuation 259 


Octavius returns to Rome and claims the inheritance of Caesar — ^The 
senate and the people favour him — ^The liberators repair to their 
provinces — Antonius attacks Cicero in the senate— Cicero re- 
torts ; the first Philippic — Octavius improves his position, de- 
taches some legions from Antonius, and raises fresh troops — 
Antonius leads his legions towards the Cisalpine — Cicero 
publishes his second Philippic against him — Prominent position 
assumed bv Cicero— The consuls Hirtius and Pansa make war 
on Antonius and are joined by Octavius — Both consuls are 
slain— Octavius suddenly combines with Antonius, who is Joined 
by other leaders and becomes master of the situation — Octavius 
marches on Rome and becomes consul — Partition of the empire 
between Octavius, Antonius, and Lepidus — ^The second Triuqi- 
Tirate — Proscriptions at Rome — Murder of Cicero . . . 264 


Brutus recruits his legions at Athens, and together with Cassius 
plunders Asia— Brutus terrified by a vision — Brutus and Cas- 
sius encounter Antonius and Octavius in the two battles of 
Philippi in Macedonia; their defeat and death — Fresh partition 
of the empire— Antonius remains in the East and falls into the 
snares of Cleopatra — Octavius returns to Italy — Fulvia stirs up 
a revolt against him— Antonius, in alliance with Sextus Pom- 
peius, invades Italy — Octavius opposes him — Peace is arranged 
and the empire again divided, Sextus Pompeius obtaining a 
share — Naval war between Octavius and Sextus -Victory of 
Naulochns won by M. Agrippa— Death of Sextus— Disgrace of 
Lepidus 271 


Honours offered to Octavius ; he accepts the tribunate ; his caution 
and moderation — Wise administration of Maecenas — Antonius 
invades Parthia ; his disastrous retreat ; he returns to Egypt — 
Octavia tries to wean him from Cleopatra, but is reposed — 
Antonius triumphs over Artavasdes, king of Armenia — Revels 
of the Alexandrian court — Octavius wages successful war 
beyond the Alps — Antonius winters at Samos and prepares to 
contest the empire with his colleague — His treason revea'ed 
in his testament — Octavius declares war against Egypt — He 
lands troops in Epirus — Desertions from the Antonian side-^ 
Battle of Actium, September 2, b.c. 31— Flight of Antonius^ 

xviii Contents', 


Treachery of Cleopatra— Octavius visitB Egypt ar.d is proof 
against the wiles of Cleopatra — Suicide of Antoniiis and Cleo- 
patra— Egj-pt reduced to a Roman province— Pre-eminent 
genius of Octavius 276 


Octavius returns to Rome and celebrates a triple triumph — He 
assumes: 1. The military command-iu-chief, with the title of 
Imperator prefixed to his name. 2. The functions of the 
Censorship without the title. 3. The Principate, or first place 
in the senate. 4. The Potestas Consularis in the city and the 
provinces ; partition of imperial and senatorial provinces. 5. 
The Potestas Tiibunicia. 6. The Sovereign Pontificate. 7. 
The name of Augustus — Policy of Augustus compared with 
that of Julius CsBsar — His cautious extension of the franchise — 
His disposition to preserve the old Roman laws— He restores 
the old religion, though himself without belief— His reactionary 
policy conciliates the support of the nobles — ^The people 
acquiesce easily in his yirtual ro^'alty — Simplicity of the 
emperor's habits — The poets of the court contribute to make 
him popular— -He receives the honourable title of * Father of his 
country' .282 


Division of the provinces between the emperor and the senate — 
Distribution of the legions — ^The fleet and the nayal stations 
— The finances — Population — Agrippa and Maecenas — Janus 
closed, B.C. 29 — JSlius Gallus in Arabia — Augustus makes a 
progi-ess through the East and recoyers the standards of Crassus 
from the Parthians, b.c. 20 — Celebration of the secular games — 
Movement among the barbarians on the frontier put down by 
Tiberius and Drusus *. 289 


The imperial family — Tiberius and Drusus employed in military 
service — Drusus invades Germany with slight success and fs 
sumained Germanicus ; his death — Tiberius recalled from 
Pannonia and married to Julia ; appointed to Gaul, but again 
recalled and made consul — Disgrace of Julia — ^Tiberius secludes 
himsdf in Rhodes — Fayour shown by the emperor to Agrippa's 
sons ; their death — I'iberius, restored to public life, is adopted 
by Augustus as his heir ; his successful campaigns in Ger- 
many ; his expedition into Bohemia ; the Pannonian revolt — 
Banishment of Ovid — Varus defeated by Arminius with the 
loss of three eagles — ^Tiberius vindicates the honour of the 
empire and enjoys a triumph — Melancholy of Augustus — ^The 

youn^ Germanicus takes command on the Rhiney- Augustus 
compiles hiB * Breviarium ' and dies, a.d. 14 


Contents, xix 



The Christian era—The * Pax Roraana ' — ^The policy of Augusts 
lamed at repression and control, not at conquest — Tiberius 
assumes imperial power — Mutinies on the Danube and the 
Rhine composed by Drusus and Germanicus — ^The lost eagles 
of Varus recovered — Germanicus recalled and sent to the £ast ; 
his death ascribed to poison — Attitude of the old aristocracy 
towards the emperor — The law of Majest}' — ^The debaters or 
informers — Jealous nature of Tiberius — -JSlius Sejanus, as . 
minister, removes Drusus by poison, and aspires to the imperial 
succession — He induces the emperor to withdraw to Capreae — 
Good influence of Livia ; her death, a.d. 29— Persecution of 
Agrippina and her family— Fall of Sej anus— Tiberius visits 
Rome by water but returns without landing — Indignation of 
the people — Charges of profligacy against Tiberius— Insanity 
imputed to bis Claudian blood — Despair drives many of the 
nobles to suicide — ^Three possible heirs to the empire ; Tiberius, 
Claudius, Caius and Tiberius Gemellus — Death of Tiberius — 
His degradt'd character — Prosperity of the empire during his 
reign 302 


Cains, sumamed CaUgnIa, becomes emperor, and promises well at 
first — He plunges into dissipation — His prodigality leads to 
cruelty — His grandiose architecture — He makes a spirited march 
into Gaul, and menaces Britain — His abortive triumph — His 
insane insolence to the nobles — He is assassinated — Elevation 
of Claudius by the soldiers — His gentleness and popularity — 
His uncouth figure and uxorious nature — His industry and 
liberal policy— He invades Britain, a.d. 43, and leaves the 
conquest to be prosecuted by Vespasianus and other generals — 
Caractacns — Ckudius treats the Oriental princes generoutily — 
Herod Agrippa restores the Jewish kingdom ; his death — ^l^ur- 
bnlence of the Jews — Story of the infamous Messalina— The 
domestic history of Claudius probably falsifled by Agrippina, 
who became his Avife — She obtains the adoption of her son 
Nsro, and hastens the end of Claudius by poison, a.d. 54 . .311 


Xero is preferred to Britannicns and raised to the empire by the aid 
of Seneca and Burrhus — The * Quinquennium Neronis' — Agrip- 
pina rouses her son's jealousy of Britannicns, who is removed by 
poison — Quarrel between Nero and Agrippina — He becomes 
ncentious and extravagant — His intrigue with Pop^oea — He 
orders the munler of Agrippina — Poppoea becomes his wife*- 
Proscription of the nobles and confiscation of their property-^ 
Seneca escapes a similar fate and retires from court — Nero de- 

eades himself by descending into the arena — Great fire of 
>me — Persecution of the Christians — Further proscriptions — 
Plot a<;aiust the emperor — Seneca and Lucan condemned to 
take their own lives— Xero visits Greece and destroys Domitius 

XX Contents. 


Corbulo— Persecution of the philosophers — ^Nero's golden house 
— Revolt of Galba and Vmdex— The legions of Virginias 
destroy Yindex, but support Golba — ^The armies of Spain and 
Gaul march on Rome— Contemptible despair of Nero— His 
miserable end, a.d. 68 — ^Extinction of the Julian family . , 319 


Galba assumes the empire and enters Rome — Piso is associated 
Mrith him — Otho proclaimed by the praetorians — Murder of 
Galba and Piso— Galba the representative of the best class of 
Roman officers — Revolt of the legions in Gaul — Vitellius pro- 
claimed emperor — Advance of his generals, Coecina and Valens 
— Otho confronts them, but is defeated at Bedriacum, and takes 
his own life — Political moderation of Vitellius — He enters 
Rome — Vespasian, supported by Mucianus, strikes for the 
empire — Mucianus advances from the East upon Italy — 
Gluttony and debauchery of Vitellius — Antonius Primus leads 
the van of Mucianus' army into Italy, defeats Valens and 
Ccecina at Bedriacum, and takes Cremona — ^Vitellius confronts 
him on the Nar, but yields without a blow — The adherents of 
Vespasian attacked and slaughtered iu the Capitol— Escape of 
Domitian — ^The legions of Vespasian enter Rome — Street fight- 
ing — Murder of Vitellius — Vespasian acknowledged emperor . 329 


Continuation of the conquest of Britain — Importance of London — 
Destruction of the Druids in Anglesey— Revolt of the Iceni 
under Boadicea suppressed — Revolt of the Gaulish auxiliaries 
under Civilis — Bravery of the legions — ^The rising put down — 
Government of Judaea under the first five Csesars — The Jews 
rebel in the last year of Nero's reign ; their resources and en- 
thusiasm ; the Sicarii ; Joseplius the historian — ^Titus invests 
Jerusalem— The faction of the Zealots — ^The operations of the 
siege — Famine and divers portents — Storming and destruction 
of Jerusalem, a.d. 70 333 


Plebeian origin of Vespasian ; his frugal habits of life — The Fla- 
vian gens takes the place of the Julian iu popular estimation — 
Vespasian restores the Capitol, destroys Nero's golden house, 
builds the Colosseum and other historical structures — He re- 
pairs the finances; extends the Latin franchise to Spain, 
promotes education — ^Persecution of the Stoic philosophers — 
Death of Vespasi»n, a.d. 79 — ^Pleasing character of Titus ; his 
love for Berenice ; his early death perhaps saved him from dete- 
rioration — Great fire at Rome — Eruption of Vesuvius ; Hercu- 
laneum and Pompeii destroyed — Accession of Domitian ; kit 
pedantic, vain, and licentious character — Agricola carries the 
Roman eagles in Britain as far north as the Tay ; he is recalled 
^Extravagance of Domitian leads to cruelty —Revolt of Satur- 

Contents. xxi 


ninuB in Gaul put down — ^Domitian tries to reform the morals of 
his people ; he persecutes the philosophers and the Christians — 
Flavius Clemens— Domitian is assassinated, a.d. 96 . . . 339 


M. Cocceius Nerva appointed emperor bv the senate — Adoption of 
Ulpius Trajanus — ^Death of Nerva — Trajan's warlike propensi- . 
ties; his pc^ularity; he receives the title of *Optimus — lie 
undertakes and carries out the conquest of Dacia — Trajan's 
Forum and column — His great works at Ancona and elsewhere — 
Trajan's expedition to ttie East — Armenia annexed — Parthia 
subdued — Babylonia occupied — The province of Assvria con- 
stituted — Death of Trajan — Condition of the Christians ; atti- 
tude of the Bom an rulers towards them — Plinv's letter to 
Trajan — Persecution at Antioch ; martyrdom u/ Ignatius — 
Accession of Hadrian —He withdraws from Trajan*s conquests ; 
he visits Britain, Gaul, Spain, Africa, Parthia, Athens, Antioch, 
and Alexandria — The Jewish revolt under Bar-Cochebas sup- 
pressed — Roman colony of ^lia Capilolina — Hadrian's in- 
quirin<r spirit — He returns to Rome — His buildings and restora- 
tions — Hadrian's Mok — Adoption of T. Aurelius Antoniifus — 
Death of Hadrian . 345 


Accession of Antoninus Pius — The ap:e of the Antonines — Period 
of repose and good government—Studious character of Antoni- 
nus ; his generosity combined with frugality ; his love of peace 
— The province of Britain extended to the Clj^de — Advance of 
scientific geography — Mildness and humanity of the govern- 
ment—Great constructions in the provinces — Serene cheerful- 
ness of Antoninus ; his tranquil death — Accession of Marcus 
Aurelius — ^The younger Verus associated with him in tlie 
empire — Disturbances on the frontiers — Verus despatched to 
the East — Pestilence, famine, and earthquakes — Superstitious 
fears of the people — Persecution of the Christians — ^I'he 
emperors repel the barbarians on the Danube — Death of Verus 
— Continual warfare on the Danube — The thundering legion — 
Insurrection of Avidius Cassius — Death of the younger Faus- 
tina — Gallant struggle of Aurelius against the barbarian 
hordes ; his death ; his hostility to the Christians — Progress of 
Christianity 353 


The reign of Commodus ; his profligacy and cinielty ; he is assassi- 
nated and replaced by Pertinax — ^The praetorians mutiny and 
slay the emperor — ^The empire put up to auction and bought by 
Didius Julianus — ^Three pretenders put forward by the legions ; 
Pesoennius Niger, Septimius Severus, and Chjdius Albinus — 
Sevems defeats and slays Julianns, and establishes himself 
at Rom<s— He conquers both his rivals, the one in Asia Minor, 

xxii Contents. 


the other in Gaul — He proscribes forty senators — ^The lawrer 
Papinian — Severus chastises the Parthians ; he visits Britain, 
and dies at York — Caracalla murders his brother Geta — His 
miserable life — He is assassinated by Macrinas who assumes 
the purple — Review of the empire from the time of Augustus — 
Compromise of the powers of the senate, the people, and the 
army — ^Tlie citizenship of Rome confened on' all her free sub* 
jects — Provincial laws incorporated into one system with the 
old laws of Rome — ^Toleration of many reli^ons side by side 
with that of Rome — Elafz^abalus, priest of the sun at £mesa, 
made emperor by the soldiers — After a brief reign he is assassi- 
nated, and his cousin Alexander Severus raised to the purple 
— Severus controls the legions ; his studious nature ; he favours 
the Christians ; he wages war with success in Persia and in 
Germany — Severus is Sain in a mutiny 359 


The barbarians, the Franks, the Allemanni, the Goths — Rise of 
the Persian monarchy, the Saracens — Rapid succession of 
emperoM — ^The usurper Maximin — ^The two Gordians — Maxi- 
mus and Balbinus — The third Gordian — Philip the Arabian 
celebrates the thousandth anniversary of the city, a.u.c. 1001, 
A.D. 249 — He is slain bj' Decius, who persecutes the Christians, 
and devotes himself in battle with the Goths — Gallus — 
iEmilianus — Valerian and his son Gallienus— Odenathus and 
Zenobia — Claudius — Aurelian — Tacitus — Probus — Cams — 
Carinus— Diocletian, a.d. 235-284 366 


The disorganised empire reconstituted by Diocletian on the basis 
of an Oriental monarchy — He divides the empire with Maxi- 
mian ; and again subdivides it with two Caesars, Galerius and 
Constantius Chlorus — Diocletian reigns over the East at Nico- 
media — After twenty years of victorious rule he abdicates and 
retires to Salonn — Insurrection of the Bagandse in Gaul — Op- 
pressive taxation — Diocletian persuaded by Galerius and Maxi- 
mian to persecute the Christtians — On the death of Constantius, 
his son Constantine is proclaimed emperor by the legions at 
York — He rules the West with moderation and vigour — He 
inclines towards the Christians — ^Elevation of Maxentius in 
Italy — Intrigues of Maximian — Death of Galerius— Licinius 
andMaximin both claim the empire of the East— Constantine 
defeats Maxentius at the Milvian bridge, and rules over Ital^' 
and Africa ; his pretended vision — ^The edict of Milan — ^Christi- 
anity first tolerated by law — Constantine attacks Licinius and 
extends his dominion eastwards ; he reorganises the armv and 
the laws ; he arbitrates between the Christian sects at kome 
and Aries, and persecutes the Donatists — ^The struggle between 
Constantine and Licinius — Battle of Adrianople — ^ConBtantine 
sole emperor, a.d. 323 373 

Contmts. xxiil 




The council of Nicaea — Domestic unhappiness of Constantine — 
Foundation of Constantinople — Superiority of the East in 
wealth and intelligence — Constantine's baptism on his death- 
bed, A.D. 337 — Division of the empire between his three sons — 
Fall of Constantine and Constans — Constantius becomes sole 
emperor — Condition of Rome and of tlie Romans— Worship of 
the goddess Roma — Constantius' triumphal entry into Rome — 
He learns the power of the Bishop of Rome — ^The Arian heresy 
— Liberius and Felix— Triumph of the orthodox church at 
Rome — The Arian heresy proclaimed at Ariminum, a.d. 359 — 
Death of Constantius, a.d. 861 . £80 


Earlv career of Julian ; he succeeds to the purple on the death of 
Constantius ; his apostasy from the Christian faith and attempt 
to revive the Pagan worship— Julian invades Persia; his 
victory and death, a.d. 363 — Constantine's policy indirectly 
favoured the church — Its pro.sfress hindered by conservative 
spirit of Roman aristocracy, and by dissensions between rival 
sects of Christians — Julian's attack on the Church by means 
of argument and ridicule — He forbids the Christians to teach 
in the schools — His attempt to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem 
fnutrated — Jovian leads back the army under a Christian stan« 
dard ; his death — Yalentinian succeeds him and divides the 
empire with Yalens — His court at Milan and Treves ; his wars 
with the Germans— Gratian associated with him in the empire 
of the West — Death of Yalentinian — Contest for the bishopric 
of Rome— Success of Damasus — Rise of the Papacy . . . 886 


Accession of Gratian — Under the influence of Ambrose, he refuses 
to wear the pontifical robes — ^The statue of Yictory removed 
At>m the senate-house — Agitation among the Pagans — ^Yalen- 
tinian II. associated in the empire — Gratian's successful wars 
— Death of Yalens and appointment of Theodosius I. to the 
empire of the East— Revolt of Maximus and death of Gratian 
— ^Yalentinian II. at Milan — Arrogance of Ambrose — ^Yalen- 
tinian driven out of Italy by Maximus — ^Theodosius defeats 
Maximus and restores Yalentinian — Yalentinian II. slain b}' 
Arbogastes — Eugenius, the grammarian, succeeds to the empire 
— He revives the hopes of the Pagans — He is overthrown bj' 
Theodosius— Christianity re-established — ^The penitence of 
Theodosius — ^Advance oi the Goths in the East — ^They submit 
to Theodosius — His sons Arcadius and Honorius asscmiA the 

Surple in the East and West respectively — Their ministers 
lunnus and Stilicho — Alaric ravages Greece, and invades Italy 
— He is defeated — Gaul and Spain overrun by barbarians— 
FaU of Stilicho 

xx:v Contents. 



Alaric advances to Rome and extorts a ransom from the city, a.d. 
408— He rednces Rome a second time, and sets up Attiuus as 
emperor under him — The Pagan partv again aspires to power 
— Attalus is overthrown — Rome sacked by the Goths under 
Alaric, A.D. 410 — The Christian churches respected — ^Alaric 
ravages Southern Italy ; his death — Final overthrow of the 
Pagan religion — Its close connection with the city of Rome — 
Augustine^s treatise, the * City of God ' — ^The triumph of the 
Church marred by much corruption . . . • . . 401 


The Goths treat the empire with respect — Ataulphus establishes 
the kingdom of the Visigoths — ^The Western provinces become 
generaUy independent of the empire — Roman culture lingers in 
Gaul and Spain — ^Various pretenders in Britain, Gaul, Spain, 
and Africa put down by the generals of Honorius — Ataulphus 
transfers his kingdom to Spain — The Vandals in Andalusia — 
Death of Honorius ; his contemptible character — Valentinian 
III. succeeds under the regency of his mother, Galla Placidia — 
Aetius, the last of the Romans ; Bonifacius, count of Africa — 
The Vandals under Genseric ravage Africa, and dominate the 
sea — The Huns — Attila, the * scourge of God,' invades Gaul, 
and suffers defeat at Cbldons — lie invades Italy, and is turned 
back from Rome by Pope Leo the Great — Valentinian III. 
assassinated by Maximus — Sack of Rome by the Vandals — 
A Vitus assumes the purple ; he is dethroned by Ricimer the 
Sueve, who confers the empire on Majorianus:— He abdicates 
and dies — Ricimer rales Italy with the title of Patrician — 
Series .of titular emperors; Severus, Anthemius, Olybrius, 
Glycerins, Julius Nepos — Orestes succeeds Ricimer as Patrician, 
and confers the empire on his son Romulus Augustnlus — The 
barbarian Odoacer extinguishes the empire of Uie West, aj>. 
476 ...... 40a 

Index 118^ 

d by Google 




















(1) Period of the Kings. 

Foundation of Rome. Romulus reigns for 37 years. 

One year of interregnum 

Numa Pompillus, elected king, reigns for 39 years. 

Two years of interregnum. 
Tullus Hostilius, chosen king, reigns for 82 }'ears 
Ancus Martins, elected king, reigns for 24 years 
Tarquinius Prisons ascends the throne, and reigns for 

40 years. 
Servius Tullius becomes king, and reigns for 44 years 
Tarquinius Superbus mounts the throne, and reigns 

for 26 years. 
Expulsion of the Tarquinii on February 24. The 

* Regifugium.' 
The Republic established. Election of the first con- 
suls. M. Junius Brutus and Tarquinius Collatinus. 
War with the Etruscans— death of Brutus , 
Lars Porsena attempts to restore the authority of Tar- 

quin by force. The episodes of Horatius Cocles, 

Cloelia, and Mucins Scaevola. 
Battle of the Lake Regillus. Final overthrow of 

Death of Tarquinius Superbus 










The above chronology is gathered from the statements of Livy and 
other Roman writers, but cannot be regarded as of much historical 










(2) The Early Republican Period. 

Foundation of the republic and election of the first 

The first dictator appointed. Spurius Lartius . 
First secession of the plebs to the Mons Sacer . 
First tribunes of the plebs appointed .... 

Agrarian law of Spurius Cassius 

Slaughter of the Fabian house on the banks of the 

The Publilian law transfers the election of tribunes of 

the plebs to the Comitia Tributa. 

» Years before Christ. ^ 

* Years of the city, lurbis condite. 






Chronological Table. 



























Episode of Ck>riolanus 

Dictatorship of L. Quinctius Cincinnatus . 
Commission appointed under the Terendlian law to 

study aud report upon the laws of the Grecian 

The decemvirs enter upon their office and prepare ten 
. tables of laws. PiTurder of Sicinins Dentatus. 
The second decern virate. The laws of the twelve tables 

Episode of Appius Claudius and Virginia. Second 

secession to the Mons Sacer. 
The Canuleian law gives the right of intermarriage 
Spurius MaeliuB slain by Servilius Ahala . 
Victory of Aulus Poslumius over the ^qui and Volsci 
Militarv tribunes appointed instead of consuls . 
The fall of Veil and triumph of Camillus . 
The exile of Camillus 

















































(3) Period of the Conquest of Italy. 

Battle of the AUia 

Sack of Rome by the Gauls . 

The Republic saved by Camillus 

Execution of Manlius Capitol inus 

The Licinian rogations become law 

L. Sextius the first plebeian consul. The office of 

praetor created. 
The Curule iEdiles first appointed 
Death of Camillus. The year of plague 
Self-devotion of Mettus Curtius 

[ Gallic wars. Exploit of Manlius Torquatus 

Exploit of Valerius Corvus 

Beginning of the first Samnite war 

Mutinjr of the legions at Capua. The Genucian law 

provides that both consuls may be plebeians. 
The laws of Publilius Philo passed . . . . 

Outbreak of the Latin war 

Battle of Vesuvius. Self-devotion of Decius Mus 
Invasion of Italy by Alexander, king of Epirus . 

The second Samnite war 

Publilius Philo the tirst proconsul . . . . 
The disaster at the Caudine Forks . . . . 
Defeat of the Romans under Fabius at Lautulae. 

Great defeat of the Samnites 

Campania reduced 

Outbreak of war with the Etruscans and Gauls . 
Fabius penetrates the Cimiuian forest, and gains the 

victonr of the Vadimonian Lake. 
The scribe Flavius publishes the forms of legal actions. 

The Ogulnian law opens the priestly offices to the 

Close of the second Samnite war . Digitized by v^iuiwuc . 
pteflnnning of the third Samnite war .... 

Chronological Table. 


























214 } 540 













Victory over the Gaols at Sentinum. Self-devotion of 

the younger Decius Mas. 

Clow of the third Samnite war 

Second victory, at the Vadimonian Lake, over the 

Etruscans and Gauls. 
Invasion of Italy by Pyrrhus. Defeat of the Romans 

at Heraclea. 
Capture of Tarentum. Roman dominion established 

over Southern Italy. 

(4) Period of the Punic Wars. 

Outbreak of the first Punic war. The Romans invade 

Naval victory of Duilius over the Carthaginians off 

Expedition against Africa under Regulus . 

Defeat of Regulus 

Victory of Caecilius Metellus at Panormus . 

Defeat of Claudius in the naval fight off Drepanum. 
Blockade of Lilybieum. 

Naval victory off the Agates insulaB .... 

Close of the first Punic war ..... 

Sicily constituted the first Roman province 

Sardinia and Corsica subdued 

lllyrian war. Corey i-a ceded to the Republic . 

The Roman Republic inx-ited by the Greeks to 
part io the Isthmian frames. 

War with the GnuIs of the Cisalpine . 

Triumph of iEinilius over the Gauls near Pisa . 

Triumph of Flaminius in the Cisalpine 

Conquest of the Cisalpine by Claudius Maroellus. 
Dedication of the spolia opima. 

Hannibal takes command of the Carthaginian army in 

Conquest of lllyria by the Romans. Saguntum de- 
stroyed by Hannibal. 

Hannibal's march across the Alps into Ital}% Defeat 
of the Romans on the Ticinus and again on the 

Defeat of the Romans by Hannibal at the Lake 

Great disaster to the Roman arms on the field of 
Cannie. Hannibal's army reposes at Capua. 

Hannibal's Italian allies defeated .... 

Hannibal takes Tarentum and threatens Rome. Con- 
quest of Syracuse by Marcellui*. 

Death of the two Scipios in Spain 

Defeat and death of Hasdrubal on the Metaurus 

The Carthaginians expelled from Spain 

Africa invaded by Publius Cornelius Scipio 

Hannibal quits Italy 

Great victory of Scipio Africanus over Hannibal at 

) take 


Chronological Table, 







Submission of Carthage. Close of the second Punic 


The Romans invade Macedonia 

Battle of CynoBcephalse 

The liberation of Greece proclaimed by Elamininus . 
Defeat of Antiochus, king of Syria, at Magnesia 
Formation of a 'kingdom of Asia' . . . . 
Death of Hannibal and Scipio Africanus . 

Death of Philopcemen . 

Final reduction of Spain to the condition of a Roman 

War with Perseus, king of Macedon .... 
Battle of Pydna. Fall of the Macedonian monarchy . 
Macedonia reduced to a Roman province . 
Beginning of the third Punic war. Death of Cato the 


Sack of Corinth by Mummius 

Achaia reduced to a Roman province .... 
Destruction of Carthage by Scipio ^milianus. The 

province of Africa constituted. 
War with the Lusitanians under Viriathus 
Destruction of Numantia 








(5) Period of the Civil Wars. 

Tiberius Gracchus, tribune of the people, proposes an 
agrarian law, the * lex Sempronia,* and is killed in 
a tumult at the expiration of his year of office 

Assassination of Scipio iEmilianus " . . . 

Revolt of Fregellae put down. Caius Gracchus, tri- 
bune of the people, admits the knights to the judi- 
cial bench and carries many popular measures. 

Caius Gracchus pursued to death by the Optimates . 

The Cimbri and Teutones threaten a descent upon 

They repeatedly defeat the Roman legions in the 
province of Gaul. 

e Romans interfere in the affairs of Numidia . 

Jugurtha summoned to Rome 

Campaign of Metellus and Marius in Numidia . 

First consulship of Marius. The legions first re- 
cruited from the proletarii. 

Capture of Ju^pirtha 

Second consulship of Marius. Death of Jugurtha . 

The election of the chief Pontiff transferred to the 

Marius' victory over the Teutons at Aquie Sextin 

Fifth consiQship of Marius. His victory over the 
Cimbri at Vercellae 

Sixth consulship of Marius. Sedition and death of 

Servile war in Sicily 

Great effort of the Italians to gain the franchise 


Chronological Table. 



































Assassination of M. Livius Drusus, the popular 

Outbreak of the Social or Marsic war, which extends 

to three campaigns. 
Ck)nclusion of the Social war. The franchise conceded 

to the Italians. 

First consulship .of Sulla 

Marius exiled 

Cinna and Marius proscribe the party of the Optimates 

at Rome. 
Sulla defeats Mithridates at Chaeronea 
Seventh consulship and death of Marius . 
Sulla's victory over Mithridates at Orchomenus 

The Capitol destroyed by fire 

Italy conquered by Sulla and his veterans . . 
Proscription of the Marian party in Rome . 

Sulla appointed dictator 

Triumph of Pompeius * Magnus ' over the Numidians 

Sulla resigns the dictatorship 

Death of Sulla 

Revolt and death of Lepidus 

Revolt of Sertorius in Spain 

The powers of the tribunate restored .... 
Lucullus, appointed to Cilicia, undertakes the war 

against Mithridates. 
Outbreak of the gladiators under Spartacus 
Spain and Gaul pacified by Pompeius .... 
Consulship of Pompeius and Crassu^ .... 
Prosecution of Verres by M. Tulliiis Cicero 
The Gabinian law confers an extraordinarv com- 
mission on Pompeius for three years, to clear the 

sei of pirates. 
Pompeius takes command in the East . » 

Julius Csesar elected aedile 

Syria and Phoenicia reduced to Roman provinces. 

Settlement of the East. 

Death of Mithridates 

Consulship of Cicero 

The Catihnarian conspiracy detected and suppressed . 

Cflesar elected Chief Pontiff 

Pnetorship of Caesar. The Clodian process 

Caesar departs to his province in Spain. Return of 

Pompeius from the East. 
Caesar's consulship. The first Triumvirate 
Caesar, proconsul in Gaul, defeats the Helvetii and 

the Suevi. Cicero exiled 

Cicero recalled. Caesar conquers the Belgic tribes. 

Extraordinary commission conferred on Pompeius 

for the supply of com. 
Cajsar's conquests in Aqnitania and Armorica • 
Caei^ar's invasion of Germany and Britain . 
Caesar's proconsulate extended to a second period of 

five years. Second consulship of Ponipei^l^l^^ 



Chronological Table, 
































Pompeius takes Spain for his province 

Crassus departs to his province of Syria . 

Caesar again invades iBritain. Revolt of the Belgic 

tribes in Gaul. 
Disaster to the Roman arms at Carrhse. Death of 

Caesar's victory at Alesia over 'the Gauls under Ver- 


Clodius slain in a fray by Milo 

Pompeius sole consul 

Cicero proconsul in Cilicia. Illness of Pompeius 
Csesar completes the subjugation of Gaul . 

Caesar's recall demanded 

He draws his forces towards the Italian frontier 
Caesar crosses the Rubicon, becomes master of Rome 

and Italy, conquers Spain, is appointed dictator and 

then consul 

Pompeius retires into Macedonia 

Civil war in Epirus and Tbessaly. Battle of Phar- 

salia on August 9. 
Flight of Pompeius to Egypt: his d-ath . 
Caesar traverses the East and meets Cleopatra in 


Caesar defeats Pharnaces at Zela 

Returns to Rome in September 

Caesar's campaign a^inst the Pompeians in Africa. 

Suicide of Cato at Utica. 
Caesar's four triumphs : he is appointed dictator for 

ten years. 
His virtual autocracy established .... 
Caesar's campaign in Spain. Final overthrow of the 

Pompeians at Munda. 
Assassination of Caesar on the Ides of March 

Marcus Antonius usurps power 

The young Octivius claims his uncle's inheritance, 

and gains the legions to his side. 
Brutus departs to his province in Greece, and Cassius 

to Syria. 
Cicero excites the senate against Antonius 
The consuls Hirtius and Pansa both slain in battle . 
Octavius combines with Antonius, is elected consul, 

and becomes master of Rome. 
The second Triumvirate: proscriptions. Murder of 

Defeat and death of Brutus and Cassius at Philippi. 

Partition of the empire. 
Antonius rules the East \iith Cleopatra at his 

Octavius returns to Rome. Civil war fomented by 

Fulvia. The Perusian war. 
Antonius and Sextus Pompeius invade Italy, but are 

reconciled with Octavius. 
Octavius espoases Scribonia ^l^' '^^^ ^.^ ^^ V*^^ l^ . 

Chronological Table. 









Octavius repudiates Scribonia and espouses Livia. 

War with Sextu^ Pompeius. 
Agrippa creates a fleet for Octavins . . . . 
Defeat of Sextos Pompeius at Naulochus. Defeat 

and disgrace of Lepidus. 
Campaign of Antonius in Parthia .... 
Antonius triumphs over the Armenian king Arta- 

Campaigns of Octavius in Illy ria and Pannonia . 
Antonius collects his forces at Epbesus . • « *• 
The treason of Antonius betrayed through his testa- 
Octavius, elected consul, proclaims war against Egypt, 

and carries his forces over to Epirus. 
Battle of Actium on September 2. Ignominious 

flight of Antonius. 
Octavius receives the submission of the East 
Suicide of Antonius and Cleopatra .... 
Egypt constituted a province ..... 
Octavius returns to Rome ; is acknowledged the chief 

of the commonwealth. 
Takes the title of Imperator, and the offices of Princeps 

SenatOs and Pontifex Maximus, with the powers 

of consul, censor, and tribune of the people. 
Octavius takes the name of Augustus. Close of the 

period of dvil wars. 

(6) Pebiod op the Empire : the Twelve C.£Sars. 









Foundation of the Empire. Triple triumph of Au- 

Janus closed 

Seduction of the Cantabri completed . . ... 

Expedition of iElius Gallus to Arabia 

Progress of Augustus through his Eastern dominions 

The standards of Crassus recovered from the Par- 

Celebration of the Secular games .... 

Journey of Augustus to Lugdunum in Gaul. Menac- 
ing aspect of the barbarians on the frontiers. Vic- 
tories of Tiberius and Drusus in Switzerland and 
the Tyrol. 

Expedition of Drusus into Germany. Death of 

Second expedition into Gsrmany. The outpost of 
Aliso established. 

Third expedition of Drasus Germanicus : he reaches 
the banks of the Elbe : his death. 

Death of Maecenas. Tiberius adopted as his heir by 

Successful campaign of Tiberius in Germany . 

Campaign against the Marcomanni in the Bohemian 


Chronological Table. 
















Disaster to the legions of Varus in the Teutoburg 

Death of Augustus 

Accession of Tiberius . 

The eagles of Varus recovered by the roung Ger- 

Death of Germanicus 

Death of Livia. Banishment of the elder Agrippina. 

Fall and execution of Sejanus 

Abortive visit of Tiberius to Rome .... 

Death of Tiberius 

Accession of Caligula 

Expedition of Caligula into Gaul .... 

Murder of Caligula. Accession of Claudius . . 

Invasion of Britain. Triumph of Claudius over 

Death of Herod Agrippa at Csesarea. Palestine 
annexed to the proconsular province of Syria. 

Execution of Messalina. Claudius marries the 
younger Agrippina. 

Death of Claudius. Accession of Nero 

Murder of Britannicus 

Agrippina put to death by order of her son 

Slaughter of the Druids in Anglesey. Revolt of the 
Iceni put down. Death of Boadicea. 

Great fire of Rome 

Persecution of the Christians. Conspiracy against 
the emperor. Deaths of Seneca and Lucan. Pro- 

Nero lodged in his golden house 

Revolt of Galba in Spain and of V index and Virginius 
in Gaul. 

Death of Nero, June 9 

Galba assumes the purple 

Piso Licinianus associated with him in the Empire . 

Galba and Piso assassinated January 15. Otho ac- 
claimed emperor by the praetorians. 

Otho overthrown by Caecina and Valens at Bedri- 
acum. Yitellius proclaimed emperor in Gaul. 

Vespasian proclaimed emperor in Syria on July 1 

The Capitol stormed and burnt by the Vitellians 

Vitellius put to death on December 21 . . . 

Vespasian established in the empire .... 

Siege and fall of Jerusalem. Triumph of Titus . 

Building of the Colosseum, of the arch of Titus, &c. . 

The legions in Britain commanded bv Agricola . 

Death of Vespasian. Accession of Titus . 

The cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii destroyed by 
a great eruption of Vesuvius. 

Great fire at Rome 

Death of Titus. Accession of Domitian . 

Fruitless wars in Dacia and Germany 

Agricola recalled by Domitian . . /^ — — -T^ ^ 

Death of Domitian, the last of the twelve Caesars 

Chronological Table. 











(7) The Age of the Antonines. 

Accession of Xerva » . 

Ulpius Trajaniis associated with Nerva in the empire 

Death of Nerva. Accession of Trajan 

CJonquest of Dacia commenced 

Conquest of Dacia completed 

Trajan's expedition to the East. Earthquake at An- 
tioch. Martyrdom of Ignatius. Conquest of As- 
syria beyond' the Tigris. 

Persecution of the Christians 

The Komans led by Trajan to the shorvs of the Per- 
sian Gulf. 

Death of Trajan. Accession of Hadrian .. 

Tlie province of Dacia relinquished ..... 

Hadrian's visit to Alexandria 

Revolt of the Jews under Barchochebas put down. 
Foundation of i£lia Capitolina on the site of Jeru- 

Return of Hadrian to Rome 

Death of Hadrian. Accession of Antoninus Pius 

Celebration of tlie secular games 

Death of Antoninus. Accession of Marcus Aurelius. 
Lucius Yenis associated with him in the empire. 

Expedition of Verus against Parthia. Year of pesti- 
lence, famine, and earthquakes. liUstrationof the 
city. Persecution of the Christians. 

Departure of the emperoi-s to confront the barbarfans 
on the Danube. I*eace concluded. 

Death of Verus » . . 

Unceasing warfare on the Danube .... 

Kevok of Avidius Cussius in tlie East. Death of the 
younger Faustina. 

Death of Marcus Aurelius. Accession of Commodus . 

Assassination of Commodus ..... 


(8) Seeies of Emperors elev.\ted to Power by the 


Pertinax raised to the purple by the proetorians . 

Pertinax slain bv the soldiers 

The empire sold to the highest bidder, Didius Julianus. 
Septimus Severus, chosen by the legions on the Danube, 
destroys Julianus and becomes master of Italy. 

Septimus Severus defeats Pescennius Kiger, the Oriental 
pretender to the empire, in Asia Minor. 

Severus defeats Clodius Albinus in Gaul, and is establfshed 
as emperor. Proscription of forty senators. The govern- 
ment of Rome conducted by the lawyer Papinian. Severus 
leads the legions to Seleucia and Ctesiphon in Parthia ; 
and ftfterwards into the highlands of Scotland. 

Death of Sevenis at York. Accession of Caracalla. M urder 

The franchise of Rome extended to all the free subjects of 
the enxnire. - 



Chronological Table. 

Caracalla assassinated by Macrinus in Syria 

Elagabalus, priest of the sun at Km esa, cousin of Caracalla, 

raised to the purple by the Syrian legions. Macrinus 

slain in battle. 
Elagabalus killed in a mutiny of the prietorians. Alex- 
ander Severus, his cousin, raised to the purple. Wars 

with the Persians and with the Sarmatians and Germans 

on the Danube. 
Alexander Severus slain in a mutiny. Usurpation of Maxi- 

min, a Thracian peasant. 
The two Gordians appointed emperors by the senate, but 

slain in Africa. 
Maximus and Balbinus raised to the purple by the senate . 
Maximin slain by his soldiers at Aquileia. ^Maximus and 

Balbinus suffer the same fate. Accession of the third 

Gordian. War with Persia. 
Gordian slain by Philippus the Arabian, who succeeds to 

the empire, 
u.c. 1001 ^ Celebration of Ihe Secular games 

Philippus slain by Decius at Verona 

The Msesian frontier threatened by the Goths 

Severe persecution of the Christians ... 

Decius and his son slain in battle with the Goths. Gallus 

ral^d to the purple and assassinated. uEmilianus raised 

to the purple and assassinated. 
Valerian and his son Gallienus joint emperors. Wars with 

the Franks and Goths. 
Valerian defeated and captured by Sapor, the Persian king . 
Syria defended by Odenathus and Zenobia .... 
Gallienus slain in a tumult. Accession of Claudius . 
Victory of Claudius over the Goths at Naissus in Msesia 
Death of Claudius. Accession of Aurelian .... 
Zenobia defeated and paraded at Aurelian*s triumph. The 

existing walls of Rome erected. 
Aurelian assassinated. Accession of Tacitus 
Accession of Probus. Victories over the Germans, the Goths, 

and the Persians. 

Accession of Carus in Gaul 

On the murder of Carus, Diodetian assumes the purple 

(9) Revival of Strong Government. Division of the 
Empire. Establishment of Christianity. 

Diocletian reconstitutes the empire on the basis of an 
Oriental monarchy. 

First division of the empire. Moximianus appointed Au- 
gustus of the West. 

Galerius appointed Ca&sar of the East ; Constantius Chlorus 
Caesar or the West. 

Triumph of Diocletian celebrated at Rome. Abdication of 
Diocletian and Maximian. 

Death of Constantius. Constantine saluted emperor by the 

troops at York. Digitized by VnWU^lC 

Death of Galerius and Maidmian 

Chronological Table, 


Four co-ordinate emperors ; Licinius and Maximin in the 
£a8t, Constantine and Maxentius in the West 

Constantine's victory over Maxentius at the Milvian 

Christianity tolerated by the edict of Milan. Battle at 
Mardia in Thrace between Constantine and Licinius. 

Council of Aries. Persecution of the Donatists . 

The sanctity of Sunday established by imperial edict . 

Constantine overthrows Licinius at Adrianople and becomes 
sole emperor. 

Council of Nicfea 

Foundation of Constantinople 

Death of Constantine the Great Accession of Constantius 
in the East, of Constans in Italy and Africa, of Constan- 
tine in the West 

Defeat and death of the younger Constantine at Aquileia . 

Constans slain in a mutiny by Magnentius .... 

Magnentius defeated at Mursa and afterwards slain ; Con- 
stantius established as sole emperor. 

Triumphal entry of Constantius into Rome .... 

Council of Ariminum. The Arian heresy proclaimed the 
state religion. 

Death of Constantius. Accession of Julian the Apostate . 

Death of Julian In Persia. Accession of Jovian . 

Death of Jovian. Accession of Valentinian I. Second 
division of the empire. Yalens established as emperor of 
the East ; Valentinian as emperor of the West. 

Death of Valentinian. Accession of Gratian 

Defeat and slaughter of Valens by the Goths at Adrianople. 
Theodosius promoted to the empire of the East. 

Valentinian 11. associated with Gratian in the empire 

Assassination of Gratian. Usurpation of Maxim us in the 
Western provinces. 

Valentinian IL driven out of Italy by Maximus. 

Defeat of Maximus by Theodosius at Sisc>a followed by his 
death at Aquileia. Valentinian II. re-established as em- 
peror of the West at Milan. 

Valentinian II. slain by the Frank Arbogastes. Accession 
of Engenius the grammarian. 

Eugenius, the champion of Paganism, overthrown by Theo- 
dosius in the passes of the Julian Alps. 

Death of Theodosius the Great. Third division of the 
empire between his two sons, Arcadius, emperor of the 
East, and Honorius, emperor of the West. 

(10) Pekiod of the Decay and Fall of the Western 

Greece overmn by the Goths under Alaric .... 
Alaric leads the Goths into North Italy, but is driven out 

by Stilicho. 
The barbarian host of Radagsesus destroyed by Stilicho at 

FseSUlae. Digitized by Vj WiJ V IC 

Stilicho put to death by order of Honorius • . • . 

^xxvi Chronological Table. 









Rome besieged and held to ransom by Alaric and his Gotlis 
Ostia seized by Alaric. The pagan Attalus made emperor 

at Borne. 
August 24, Rome sacked by the Goths. Death of Alaric . 
Death of Honorius. Accession of Valentinian HI. under 

the regency of Galla Placidia at Ravenna. 
Africa overrun by the Vandals under Genseric . 
Gaul invaded by the Huns under Attila. Defeat of the 

Huns by Actius at Ch&lons. 
Death of Valentinian 1 1 1. Usurpation of Maximus. Rome 

sacked by the Vandals under Genseric. 
Avitus invited from Gaul to fill the throne .... 

Avitus dethroned by Ricimer the Sueve .... 

Majorianus assumes the purple ...... 

Majorianus compelled to abdicate. Severus made emperor . 
Death of Severus. Italy ruled for two years by Ricimer, 

* the patrician.' 
Anthemius raised to the empire . . * . . . 
Rome taken a third time by the barbarians. Anthemius 

slain, and foUowtd in rapid succession by Olybrius, Gly- 
cerins, and Julius Nepos. 
Nepos compelled to abdicate by Orestes, *the patrician,* 

whose son Romulus Augustulus is raised to the purple. 
Romulus Augustulus deposed by the barbarian Odoacer. 

£xtinction of the Western Empire. 











1. The Site of Rome — ^Tiib Seven Hillst . • . • 2 

2. The Environs op Rome 7 

8. Plan of Rome under the Tarquins 16 

4. North Italy 65 

5. South Italy and Sicily — Greek Colonies underlined 78 

6. The Basin of the Mediterranean 98 

7. Plan of Carthage 138 

8. Asia Minor 168 

9. Syria and Armenia 19G 

10. Plan of Roman Camp 225 

11. The Roman Empire at its greatest extension. Th% 

fdtxmait lint of demareatinn between the Eastern and the 
Western Empuret it indicated 290 

12. Germany .Hmr^nlr* . . 297 

• • Digitized by VjiOOQlC * ^* 

JS. PiJkN.oF Imperial Rome . 840 




We speak familiarly of the Wstory of Greece, the history of 
Home, the histories of Egypt and Assyria in old times, of 
England and France in later times. There is, howeyer, a dis- 
tinction in the case of Rome which ought not to be lost sight 
of. Rome is the name, not of a comitry nor of a nation, but 
of a single city. In tracing its history we shall see how the in- 
habitants of one small settlement, at first a mere village, gradu- 
ally extended their dominion over realms and nations, till their 
home became the centre of a world-wide empire. A few other 
cities in the course of the world's history have enjoyed a some- 
what similar glory. Carthage is an instance in ancient, Venice 
another in more modern, times. But none of these can be 
said to approach Rome in the greatness and splendour of its 

It will be well to begin with a description of the place 
itself, the name of which has become more illustrious than that 
of any other spot on the earth's surface. 

Midway between the extremities of the Italian peninsula, 
and fifteen miles from the western coast, which is washed by 
the Mediterranean Sea, lies the site of ancient Rome. It 
occupies a cluster of low hills, amoDg which the stream of the 

The Site of Rome, and the 

CH. I. 

Tiber has formed for itself a winding cliauuel. These hills, 
which came to be distinguished as the ' seven hills of Home,' 
do not rise more than 160 feet above the level of the river. 
Far the larger part of the ancient city lay on the left or eastern 
bank of the Tiber ; but on the right bank rises a long ridge, 
which, not long after the foundation of the city, was fortified, 
and became an important outwork ; and in later times the 
walls of Rome were carried up to the summit of this ridge, 
and enclosed a portion of the right bank of the river within 


the limits of the city. The names of the seven hills on the 
left bank were these : the Palatine, the Tarpeian or Oapitoline, 
the Aventine, the Ooelian, the Esquiline, the Quirinal, and the 
Viminal. We are not to suppose that the seven hills were 
known by these names at the time that Rome was founded. 
Some of them, indeed, may have been so designated even then, 
but others undoubtedly acquired their names at a later period. 
The long ridge on the right bank of the Tiber was called the 
Janiculum, and its northern extremity, on which the church of 
St. Peter now stands, was known even in classical times as the 
Mons Vaticanus. Digitized by 

The hills of Rome on the left bank of the river form a large 

GH. I. Gradual Extension of her Dominion. 3 

segment of a circle, rising for the most part imperceptibly from 
the plain beyond, but falling more suddenly into liie interior 
hollow ; while at either extremity, to the north and south, they 
descend abruptly into the bed of the river. These points are 
known as the river faces of the Oapitoline and Aventine hills. 
Within the hollow thus formed rises one isolated eminence, 
with a level summit and precipitous sides, of a figure irregularly 
lozenge-shaped, each side measuring a little more or less than 
a quarter of a mile. This hill, which formed the germ of the 
city and Empire of Rome, and which is familiarly known as 
the Palatine, standing about 400 yards from the river bank, 
was so screened by the advancing horns of the semicircle of 
hiUs around it, and in early days by the dense jungle which 
choked the valleys on all sides, as to be hardly distinguishable by 
the eyes of a stranger from beyond the lindts of the enclosure. 

The Tiber, rushing past these eminences with its volume of 
rapid waters, could with difficulty be stemmed by oar or sail, 
and thus added materially to the strength of the position. 

Such a site, so screened from observation and so little 
accessible, was likely to attract the warlike tribes of Central 
Italy as a place for permanent settlement. 

Though traces may be discovered in the later manners of the 
Italians of their original descent from a race of nomads, yet we 
find them from the first dawn of history already settled in 
fixed abodes. The idea of the city as a centre of local govern- 
ment was no less familiar to them than to the Greeks. Their 
strongholds were for the most part perched upon hill-tops, and 
the cultivators of the little territory around them dwelt gene- 
rally within the shelter of their walls. The earliest legends of 
Rome indicate the occupation of the Palatine by a colony of 
Arcadians, one of the most primitive races of Greece; and 
Virgil describes the visit of the pious -^neas to the Arcadian 
king Evander, who was reigning there at the close of the Trojan 
War. At the time when our history opens, the Palatine 
seems to have been imoccupied by any city or fortress. The 
shepherd pastured his flocks there, and the wolf made his home 
in the caverns at its base. We shall see how it was seized 
by an oflfeet of the Latin race, and converted by them into the 
stronghold of a warlike and aggressive people. We shall see, 
too, how the competition and jealousy of her lawless neigh- 
bom's compelled the Romans (to give this people at ouce tlie 


4 The Site of ttome, ch. i. 

name which history has assigned them) to fight hard for their 
dailj liying. Now a nation that exists by fighting must also 
secure itself by alliances ; and so it came about that the Romans 
early learnt to relax from the exclusiveness of manners and 
kinship characteristic of the Italians. Their martial temper 
was indeed formed in the school of active warfare ; but they 
were nevertheless driven by circumstances or inclined by nature 
to sympathise with their allies and dependents, and to admit 
fresh infusions of blood together with fresh political ideas. 

Such was the good fortune of Home, or such the Providence 
whidi guided from the first the destinies of the Imperial city. 
First, tihe seven hills were united within the boundary of a 
single wall, and in the course of ages towns and villages, 
countries and continents, became connected together under one 
mighty polity* Bit by bit, and not without jealous resistance, 
the franchise of Rome, together with the rights and burthens 
of government, was conceded to the dwellers in rival cities and 
distant lands, until the Roman dominion grew into a world- 
wide empire, and all her subjects were Romans. 

Around the Palatine hill this first nucleus of the empire, 
from the Apennine chain to the shore of the Mediterranean, 
from Mount Soracte in the north to the promontory of Oirceii 
in the south, lies the undulating plain now known as the 
Oampagna. This constituted the first zone of the Roman 
conquests. The peninsula of Italy, with all the spurs and 
valleys of the Apennines, and the richer plains which lie be- 
tween those mountains and the sea, constitutes the second zone. 
Beyond Italy, we see the great basin of the Mediterranean 
confined by the ranges of the Alps and the Atlas, and by the 
mountains of Spain and Palestine, containing vast tracts of 
rich soil and multitudes of diverse peoples. All this varied 
portion of the earth's sur&ce, all these numerous peoples, con- 
stituted the Roman empire at the height of its power. And 
yet the Roman empire embraced other lands and other popu- 
lations also. Beyond the Alps lay Gaul, Germany, and Britain ; 
beyond the mountains of Greece and Ulyria extended the 
regions of Pannonia, Moesia, and Dacia; beyond the Taurus - 
and the Libanus were spread the realms of Pontus Armenia, 
Parthia, and Arabia, all of which owed allegiance — some for 
centuries, others for a few years only — ^to the power which was 
enthroned upon the Palatine. '^'^^' '^ ^wu^ic 

CH. II. Origin of the Roman People. 



When we come to trace the early records of the Roman people 
we shall have to note the distinction between history and 
legend. It will be well, even before we arrive at that pointy 
to glance at the mythology of the various races from whom the 
Romans were descended^ and gather some fidnt and shadowy 
hints concerning the early conditions of their existence. The 
Roman Oampagna, now for the most part a mere pasture ground 
for cattle, was undoubtedly in the primitive ages densely 
wooded with oak and ilex. The clearance of this forest pro- 
ceeded gradually from the time of the first kings, and even as 
late as the period of the Empire some traces of it still remained 
not far from the city walls. The earliest mythology of Rome 
and Italy points to the great change produced by the first in- 
troduction of husbandry. Satamus, the most ancient of the 
Italian divinities, is the god of sowing. His name marks the 
change from the life of the wandering hunter to that of the 
settled cultivator ; the close of a period of incessant war&re, 
and the beginning of an era of peace and civility. The age of 
Saturn is the age of gold. His consort Ops is the represen- 
tative of wealth, with which he is always associated. Again, it 
b an age of innocence and simplicity, of modesty and honest 
labour. It is an «ra of rustic equality, when everyone toiled 
for himself and gained his living by the work of his own hands, 
not by that of dependents and bondmen. The festival of the 
Saturnalia, in which the slaves of a later age were allowed for 
a few days all the license of free men, reminded the Romans 
of this happy period of equality and freedom. 

The scythe which Saturn wields in later mythologies as the 
god of 'Dme the destroyer, was in its origin the hook with 
which he taught men to prune their vines, to mow their grass, 
and to gather in their com. The same implement is also the 
symbol of the gods who derive from him Janus and "Vertumnus. 
Faunus, the son of Saturn, is represented as the inventor of 
mADuring. Pilumnus, another son, is the patron of the art of 
pounding conu The advent of the age of cultivation was cele- 

. 6 Origin of the Roman People, ch. ii. 

brated throughout the peninsula : the people were conscious of 
the benefit they derived from it ; and ItsJy became known as 
Satumia tellus, the land of Saturn. 

We next learn from tradition the names, and little more, 
of four distinct races which successively displaced each other 
on the soil of Rome. The age of gold was followed by an age 
of blood and iron. The earliest real name in Roman history is 
that of the Siculi. Dionysius, who compiled the most authentic 
account we have of Roman antiquities, tells us that Rome was 
first peopled by the Siculi. Other towns, such as Tibur and 
AntemuBB, are also reputed to have been founded by them. 
They seem to have spread from one end of Italy to the other, 
and to have been driven at last, by the pressiu-e of powerful 
tribes behind them, into the island of Sicily. To this island 
they gave the name which it still retains, and it is from them 
probably that the present population actually derive their 

Next to the Siculi came the ligures, and over them the 
darkness of antiquity settles with little less obscurity. We 
can, however, trace a connection between them and other 
known families of the human race. They seem to have been 
of the Basque stock, and it has been affirmed that some relics 
of their language still survive in Italy in the names of places. 
They in their turn had to submit to more powerful tribes, and 
shrank at last into one comer of the country which came to be 
known as Liguria. In that little strip of land between the 
foot of the Alps and the Mediterranean the peculiarities of 
their national character still continue to assert themselves. 
A very ancient tradition records the existence of a Septimon- 
tium, or political combination of seven hills, in a Rome far 
earlier than the historical city. This may have been the Rome 
of the Ligures. The names of Suburra, Esquilirius, and Oarinse 
have been derived from the Basque language. 

The next people who claim our attention are the Pelasgians. 
This race, we know, were the occupants of Greece before the time 
of the Hellenes, and were spread far and wide over the face of 
Southern Europe. Their character and language were closely 
allied to those of the Greeks. To them we may ascribe the 
legends of Hercules on the soil of Italy. Their settlement at 
.Rome may have given rise to the story of the Arcadian Evander 
having founded a Grecian city on the Palatine,, and a similar 

CK. II. 

Origin of the Roman People. 

cause, perhaps, explains the early belief that so many sites in 
Western Italy were first colonised from Greece. 

According to the prevailing tradition, the Pelabgians united 

with the Aborigines or primitive inhabitants of Italy to over- 
throw the dominion of the Siculi and the Ligures. The new 
possessors erected massive fortifications, of which many fine 

$ Origin of the Roman People, ch. il 

specimens may still be traced ; and thej impressed their mark 
more deeply upon Italy than any of their predecessors. 

Before we come to the point at which our historic narrative 
may begin, it will be well to mark, with the map of Central 
Italy before us, how critically the site of Rome was placed 
with reference to neighbouring powers that might be arrayed 
against her. Long a^r the wave of Pelasgian migration had 
passed away we find three important nations met together just 
at this point. The Tiber, descending almost due south from 
the Apennines to the Mediterranean, divided the country of 
the Etruscans from that of the Sabines and the Latins. Again, 
the Anio (now the Teverone), running westward into the Tiber 
three miles from Rome, formed the line of demarcation between 
the Sabines and the Latins. These three nations alike were 
accustomed to dwell in fortified cities, and this fact alone may 
suffice to convince us that they were not aborigines, but con- 
querors who had intruded by force of arms into the country. 
We find them all alike in possession of the old Pelasgic for- 
tresses, but in the Etruscan territory the conquest has been 
most complete. There the language of the Pelasgians has been 
obliterated ; and their conquerors have not only occupied their 
ancient strongholds, but have adopted as their own and closely 
copied the Pelasgic style of massive fortification. 

Whatever may have been the course of migration which led 
the Etruscans to their final settlement in Central Italy, their 
early connection with the East seems to be proved by the 
character of their institutions. Their religion was a mystery 
and a craft, like the Egyptian and other Eastern systems, and 
their priests were at the same time the warriors, the pro- 
prietors, and the statesmen of the commonwealth. Such was 
the Etruscan Lucumo, Mng, priest, and landlord, and as such 
he maintained himself, in spite of the advance of the com- 
mercial spirit among his people, some of whose cities on the 
Tyrrhene coast had become emporia of the traffic of the Medi- 
terranean. But in the eighth century before our era the power 
of the Etruscans had already sustained a blow. Their territory 
north of the Apennines had been wrested from them, and to 
the south they had ceased to maintain their advanced posts in 
Latium and Campania. They were confined to a confederacy 
of twelve cities in Etruria proper, strictly allied, and still by 
ffur the strongest and most important community in Italy. 

CH. n. Origin of the Roman People, 9 

Their religion was of a Tefined cbaiacter. They belieyed in 
a Supreme Being, a ProYidence or Fate, who was rather the soiil 
of the world itself than a person exterior to it. The lesser 
gods were emanations from this being. They believed also in 
a future state of rewards and punishments. They imagined 
that the will Of the deify and the course of future events might 
be ascertained by the observation of omens. Their soothsayers 
drew auguries from the flight of birds, from the appearance 
of the victims' entrails, from thunder and lightning and the 
heavenly meteors. 

The religious ideas of the Sabines and Latins, on the other 
hand, were less refined, and affected less mystery. Their ob- 
jects of worship were innumerable: the husbandman wor- 
shipped the genii of the winds and skies, the shepherd those 
who protected his flocks from the wild beasts or the murrain, 
the warrior those by whom his arrows were wafted to the 
mark or the crafty stratagem suggested. Every city had its 
guardian diviiiity ; every wood and stream its genius, its 
nymph or faun; every family oflfered a special service to 
the patron of the house, the deified spirit of its earliest 
ancestor. This family worship of the Ijares and Penates 
was regarded as of such solemn obligation that, in default 
of natural heirs, the practice of adoption was specially en- 
joined for its preservation; this usage seems to have been 
observed by the Etruscans as religiously as by the Sabines and 

The religious ideas of these three races united to form those 
of the Roman people ; and the threefold origin of the Roman 
state was no less strongly marked in its political institutions. 
From Etruria came the division into tribes, curies, and cen- 
turies ; the array of battle ; the ornaments of the magistracy, 
the laticlave, the praetexta, the curule chairs, and the lictors ; 
the arrangement of the calendar, and the art and science of 
messuration. From Latium were derived the names of praetor, 
consul, and dictator ; the fecials or military heralds ; the na* 
tional respect fi>r husbandry ; and finally the basis of the Latin 
language itself. From SabeUia, the region of the Sabines, 
were deduced the names of military weapons, one of which, 
the spear or quxriiy gave a second designation to the Roman 
people. The Roman title of Imperator seems to have been a 
popular application of the Sabine term embratva'. The patri* 

lo Early Legends. Foundation of Rome. ck. ni. 

ciate and the patroDBhip^ the habit of dwelliDg in cities, and 
the municipal governments of these latter were common to all 
the nations which surrounded Rome. Such was also the case 
with the division into ' gentes/ clans or septs^ and the remark- 
able extent of domestic authority accorded to tiie father and 
ihe husband. 



The myth which connects Hercules with the site of Rome 
represents the demigod in combat with the robber Oacus, who 
dwelt in a cave beneath the Aventine. The flames vomited by 
this monster may perhaps represent the volcanic fires which at 
one time certainly underlay the whole of this region. Next to 
the legend of Evander^ already noticed, comes that of JBneas, a 
fable no doubt of great antiquity, long current among the 
Romans, even before it became celebrated to all time through 
the poeiry of VirgQ and the noble prose of Livy. It runs as 
follows : JEneas, with his band of Trojans, storm-tost by the 
hate of Juno, but protected by superior powers and the eternal 
destiny of Rome, landed on the coast of Latium. His adver- 
saries fell before him ; and having allied himself by marriage 
with the royal house of the Laurentes, he reigned over their 
territory till he was drowned in the brook Numicius. His son 
Ascanius, or lulus, founded Alba Longa on a ridge beneath 
the Alban Mount, and there the descendants of the Trojan 
hero had held sway for 300 years, till disunion arose between 
the royal brothers Numitor and Amulius, and the one was 
dispossessed by the other. Rhea Silvia, the daughter of the 
vanquished chief, was vowed to chastity as a vestal virgin, but 
&he yielded to the embraces of the god Mars, and brought forth 
twins, whom their cruel uncle caused to be exposed. They 
were wafted, however, by the overflowing Tiber to the foot of 
the Palatine, where a she-wolf gave them suck till they were 
rescued by Faustulus, the keeper of the royal sheepfold. The 
boys, who bore the names of Romulus c<,nd Remus, were 
brought up as shepherds, and as they grew to man's estate they 

CH. III. The First Four Kings, H 

excelled in beauty, strength, and courage. Remus was seized 
in a combat with the shepherds of Numitor and brought before 
his grandfather, to whom Romulus was also introduced by 
Faustulus, and the secret of their birth disclosed. The youths 
were encouraged to attack the tyi-ant Amulius, whom they 
conquered and slew. Thereupon Numitor surrendered to them 
the tract firom the Tiber to the sixth milestone on the road to 
Alba. The brothers contested the honour of founding a city 
to be held by both in common. Appeal was made to the de- 
cision of augury. Remus, stationed on the Aventine, was the 
first to observe a flight of six vultures ; but Romulus, from his 
post on the Palatine, was straightway favoured with the sight 
of twelve, and the people at once acknowledged him victor. 
Romulus yoked together a bull and a heifer, both without spot, 
and with a brazen ploughshare drew a furrow round the 
Palatine. Then he commenced the building of the wall, but 
ere it had reached to man's height Remus leapt in derision 
over it, and Oeler, the Mend of Romulus, or Romulus himself, 
slew him in his ire. The slayer of Remus had 
haughtily exclaimed, ' So perish all who dare to city!^u.c. i! 
climb these ramparts!* and the words might be Before Christ 
accepted as of good omen. Yet the people and their 
chief felt the shame and peril they had incurred, and to avert 
the anger of the gods Romulus instituted a festival in honour 
of his murdered brother. 

Though himself, according to the legend, of royal birth, yet 
the followers whom Romulus collected round him were a crew 
of unknown and diverse origin. He invited the discontented 
and the lawless of all the country round to join him, and esta- 
blished an asylum for them on the Tarpeian hill. As soon as 
he deemed himself strong enough, he demanded wives from the 
neighbouring cities for the men he had thus collected; but 
such intermarriage was scornfully refused. Then he announced 
a festival in honour of the god Oonsus at the foot of the hill he 
occupied. The Sabines and the Latins crowded to the enter- 
tainment with their wives and daughters, when the Roman 
youth rushed upon them, and carried off the women to their 
stronghold. This was the famous rape of the Sabines. The 
Latins flew to arms, but were quickly defeated. The Sabines, 
biding their time and coming with greater force, actually pene- 
trated into the Roman fastness. Tarpeia, daughter of the 

12 Early Legends. Foundation of Rome, ch. hi. 

warder of the citadel, was tempted by the glitter of the Sabines* 
bracelets, and offered to open the gates for the gift of what 
they bore on their left arms. They entered at her bidding, but 
indignantly crushed her to death under the weight of their 
bucklers. A battle ensued in the valley between the Tarpeian 
and the Palatine. The Sabines prevailed, and were pursuing 
the Romans up the ascent of their own hill, when Eomulus 
vowed a temple to Jupiter, and the god miraculously stayed the 
assailants. The Romans in their turn drove the Sabines down 
into the valley. Then it was that the women, whom they had 
seized, threw themselves between the combatants and persuaded 
them not only to a reconciliation, but to a hearty friendship 
and alliance. The temple was duly erected and dedicated to 
Jupiter Stator. From age to age it was renewed and restored, 
and of late years its site has been laid bare and identified with 
tolerable certainty. 

After this imion the Palatine continued to be occupied by 
the Romans, while the Quirinal was assigned to the Sabines. 
The united people adopted in common the names of Romani 
and Quirites, the latter name being probably derived from 
gutm, the Sabine word for spear. The two kings, Romulus 
and Titus Tatius, reigned conjointly. The two peoples met to 
transact busmess in the valley between their respective hills, 
which spot came to be known as the Forum Romanum. 

At the end of five years Tatius was slain in a battle with 
the Laurentines, and from this time Romulus reigned alone 
over the combined nations. He was a brave and victorious 
ruler, and made successful war upon the Etruscan people of 
FideniB and Veil. After a prosperous reign of thirty-seven 
years the founder of the Roman state was removed suddenly 
from the world. During a review in the Campus Martins an 
eclipse of the sun took place, accompanied by an awfiil tempest, 
which dispersed the people. When they reassembled the king 
had disappeared. Whether he was consumed by the lightning, 
or, as suggested by the Romans of a later age, murdered under 
cover of the darkness, could not be ascertained ; but, in con- 
sequence of a vision vouchsafed to one Julius Proculus, he was 
believed to have been taken up to heaven in the chariot of his 
father Mars, and was thenceforward worshipped by the Romaics 
as a protecting deity under the name of Quxrinus. 

A year elapsed before the two allied pdoples could agree on 

CH. III. The First Four Kings. 1 3 

the choice of a successor. It was at last arranged that the 
Bomans should elect, but that their choice should be made 
from among the Sabines. 

The name of Numa Pompilius was received with acclama- 
tion. He was a disciple of Pythagoras, and reputed the wisest 
and most just of men. Moreover, he was a favourite u.c S9, 
of the gods, and under the guidance of the nymph »•<'• 7^^* 
Egeria, whom he consulted in her grotto at the foot of the 
Ooelian hill, he arranged the rites and ceremonies of the Boman 
religion. It was Numa who assigned their functions to the 
pontiffii, the augurs, and the fecials. To him was ascribed the 
institution of the College of Vestal Virgins, who should be 
chosen from the noblest families and have in their holy keeping 
the sacred fire, the palladium, and the penates of the city. He 
also appointed the Salii to guard the ancile, or shield, which 
had fallen from heaven, and to dance, as their name imports, in 
honour of Mars their patron. Numa forbade human sacrifices 
and the worship of idols or images. He encouraged the arts 
of agriculture, upon which the greatness of the Roman people 
was founded almost as firmly as upon arms. He also built the 
faQU)U8 temple of Janus, the gates of which stood open in time 
of war but were closed during peace. During the nine-and- 
thirty years of this happy reign the gates of Janus were kept 
constantly shut. 

The third king of Rome, Tullus Hostilius, was a complete 
contrast to the second. He was chosen by the Sabines from 
among the Romans. He was devoted throughout u.c. 80, 
his career to warlike enterprises, whereby he con- '^•^' ^7*- 
solidated and extended the power of the city. He made war 
on the people of Alba Longa ; but the chiefs on either side 
agreed to avoid a general encounter, for fear lest, weakened by 
mutual slaughter, both nations should fall an easy prey to their 
common enemy the Etruscans. The quarrel was decided by a 
combat of three champions on each side. The Horatii, three 
brothers, fought for Rome ; the Ouriatii, also three brothers, 
fought for Alba. Two of the Horatii were first slain, but the 
three Ouriatii, wounded and weakened, fell successively beneath 
the sword of the surviving Roman. A sister of the Horatii 
had loved a Ouriatius, and disloyally bewailed the victory of 
her countrymen. Horatius slew her in his indignation. The 
people, horror-struck, brought him before the king for judgment, 

14 Early Legends, Foundation of Rome. ctr. in. 

But Tullu» shrank from judging the man whose prowess had 
just gained a victory for Rome. Horatius was then brought 
before the Duumvirs, the judges who took cognisance of crimes 
of parricide, and they condemned him to be scourged and 
hanged. Then at last the murderer appealed to the people, 
and the people, moved \q mercy by the thought of his 'recent 
exploit, absolv^ him from the penalty. The people of Alba 
were now subject to the authority of Rome, but Mettus Fufe- 
tius, their king, chafed at this subordinate position. He in- 
trigued with the people of FidensB and Veii, and secretly 
incited them to a fresh war against Rome. Tullus summoned 
Mettus and his Albans to aid the Roman state against their 
enemies. The crafty Alban appeared with his army in the 
field, but took no part in the combat, and awaited the issue of, 
the battle. The Romans won a splendid victory, and next day 
Tullus wreaked stem justice on tiie traitor Mettus by causing 
him to be tied between two chariots and torn asunder. He 
next proceeded to destroy the city of Alba, and to transport 
the people by force from their ancient habitations to a "new 
home within the Roman city. They were compelled to settle 
on the Ooelian hill. Some of their nobles were admitted among 
the Roman patricians, but the bulk of them were excluded from 
the privileges of the governing class, and they formed the 
origin of the Roman plebs, of whose struggles with the patri- 
cians we shall hear so much as the history proceeds. After a 
warlike reign of thirty-two years, Tullus was struck dead by 
lightning while sacrificing to Jupiter Elicius. 

Ancus Martins, a Sabine, was next elected king. He was 
a man of peace, who encouraged agriculture and commerce, and 
* u.c. 113, devoted himself to improving the laws and restoring 
B.C. 641. ^e religion of Rome. When provoked to war, how- 
ever, by the Latin tribes, he knew how to make the Roman 
arms respected. He was chiefiy remarkable for his buildings 
and fortifications. To him are ascribed the wooden bridge over 
the Tiber (Pons Sublicius), the Mamertine prison under the 
Tarpeian hill, the port of Ostia at the mouth of the river, and 
the first imperfect ramparts on either bank, which foreshadowed 
the widespread walls of the imperial city. He reigned fbr 
twenty-four years, and died in peace and prosperity. 

Digitized by V^iUU^lC 

CH, IV. The Three Latter Kings: 1 5 



Unbeb the reign of Ancus a stranger had come to settle m 
Rome. He was the son of one Demaratus, a Greek of Oorinth, 
who had fled his native country, and established himself at 
Tarquinii, in Etruria. He had married an Etruscan woman 
named Tanaquil, and finding himself excluded as a foreigner 
from any share in the government of his adopted country, at 
his wife's suggestion he migrated to Rome. By her skill in 
augury she divined that her husband was destined to greatness. 
At Rome he adopted the name of Lucius Tarquinius Priscus. 
He soon "became a favourite both with the people and with the 
king. Ancus employed him in important affairs, and on his 
death-bed appointed him the guardian of his sons. On the 
death of Ancus, Tarquinius saw his opportunity and seized it. 
With the approval of the people, he set aside the sons of Ancus 
and seated himself upon the vacant throne. The u.c. ise, 
accession of Tarquin to the royal power marks ^•<'* ^^®- 
the influence of Etruria upon the growth of the Roman state. 
We now for the first time hear of public buildings rising in 
massive grandeur to adorn the city. Tarquin first embanked 
the river and drained the marshy low grounds which filled 
the valleys between the hUlfl of Rome. A large portion of 
the solid vaulting of this huge work, known as the Cloaca 
Maxima, remains standing to this day. He enclosed the 
Forum with porticos, and fortified the city with walls of 
hewn stone. He also began the buQding of the Capitol on 
the Tarpeian hill, which was thenceforth called the Capito- 
line; and in the valley between the Palatine and Aven- 
tine hills he enlarged the Circus Maximus, and there gratified 
the people with shows and games on a scale of magnificence 
hitherto unknown to them. He is reputed to have carried on 
successful wars against both his Latin and Sabine neighbours, 
and to have employed the captives taken in these wars to labour 
on the public works already described. The Romans asserted 
that he was the first to celebrate the Roman triumph ; and it 
was to Etruria that they ascribed the robe bespangled with 


The Three Latter Kings, 

CH. IV. 

gold, and the chariot drawn by four white horses, in which st 
many of their conquering generals afterwards ascended the 
Oapitoline hill. The lictors, who, with their fasces, attended on 
the chief magistrates, the robes and ornaments of official 
persons, the costume of the soldiers in the field, and perhaps 
even the toga worn by the citizens at home, were probably 
derived from the same source. After a reign of nearly forty 
years Tarquinius Piiscus was assassinated by the sons of Ancus 


Martius. But they were not allowed to profit by their deed of 
vengeance. Tanaquil closed the gates of the palace, giving out 
that the king was wounded but not dead. She then addressed 
the people from a window, and produced to them her son-in- 
law Servius Tullius as the elect of the senate and the designated 
successor of her husband. This device succeeded, and when 
u.c. 176, Tarquin's death could no longer be concealed, Servius 
B.C. 678. Tullius w«a accepted as king without opposition. 
Roman tradition declared of Servius that he was the son of a 

CH. IV. The Three Latter Kings, VJ 

slave girl born in the palace, wlio had been recommended to 
Tarquin by certain prodigies which surrounded his birth and 
infancy^ and who had further gained his master's favour by his 
character and talents. The Etruscan writers, on the other hand, 
claimed Servius as their own countryman, and asserted that his 
real name was Mastama, which he changed, on settling in Home, 
for the Latin patronymic of Servius Tullius. 

We cannot now decide between the truth of these rival 
stories. The reign of Servius was chiefly remarkable for the 
changes which he introduced into the Roman constitution, of 
which further notice will be taken in our next chapter. He 
was also, according to tradition, one of the great builders of the 
city. He gave to Rome the full extent which it attained 
during the whole period of the republic. He enclosed in one 
wall the various fortifications and detached buildings on the 
seven hills, uniting to the Palatine, the Aventine, the Capito- 
line and the Ooelian, the eastern half of the enclosure, which 
comprised the Quirinal, the Viminal, and the Esquiline. He 
then divided the city into four quarters, and the people into 
four tribes corresponding to them. Outside the city he dis- 
tributed the Roman territory among twenty-six tribes, and 
these again were divided according to the census of their pro- 
perty into classes and centuries. The reign of Servius was 
generally peaceful ; but the lands he acquired in war he distri- 
buted for the most part among the poorer citizens, and thereby 
he incurred the enmity of the old nobility, and became the 
victim of a conspiracy which they secretly favoured. The 
story relates that the two daughters of Servius were married to 
Lucius and Aruns, the sons of Tarquinius Priscus. But the pairs 
were ill-mated, for the ambitious and cruel Tullia was married 
to the gentle Aruns, while the proud Lucius was the husband 
of her softer sister. Lucius and Tullia were drawn towards 
each other by the similarity of their characters, and before long 
they made away with the brother and sister who stood in their 
way, and became united in a marriage stained by innocent 
blood. Lucius encroached upon the royal authority of his 
father-in-law, and boldly usurped the kingly seat in the senate- 
house. The aged king called upon the usurper to give place to 
him, but Lucius in reply hurled him down the steps of the senate- 
house, and as he was making his way home wounded and 
bleeding, he was followed and despatched by the adherents of 

1 8 The Three Latter Kings, ch. iv. 

Tarquin. The heartless Tullia hastened to salute her husband 
as king : her father's body lay bleeding in the road before her^ 
but she stopped not for that. Over the old man's corpse she 
ordered her chariot to be driven, and the parricide was stained 
with his blood. So great was the horror excited by this action 
that the street where it occurred waa ever after known as the 
Vicus Sceleratus. The people grieved for the loss of the good 
king who had cared for their interests, and from that day 
might be dated the long and jealous hostility between the 
plebeian and patrician classes. 

Lucius Tarquinius Superbus (so he was called on account of 
his pride) was a genuine tyrant. While he wielded the power 

u.c. 220, he had usurped, his will was the sole law of Rome. 

B.C. 634. Surrounded by a body guard, he murdered, pillaged, 
and banished according to his royal caprice. He gave his 
daughter in marriage to Mamilius, the chief of Tusculum, and, 
strengthened by this alliance, he succeeded in making Rome the 
mistress of the confederation of forty-seven Latin towns which 
had before been considered as allies standing side by side on a 
footing of equality. With the help of these subjects he carried 
the victorious arms of Rome into the country of the Hemici and 
the Vobci, and established Roman outposts in the midst of their 
conquered territories. The settlements of Signia and Oirceii, 
composed of Roman and Latin citizens transplanted from their 
own homes, and endowed with conquered lands, constituted the 
first of the long list of colonies with which Rome secured her 
conquests and enriched her people. Meanwhile trouble had 
arisen in another quarter. Many of those whom Tarquin had 
banished from Rome had been kindly received by the people of 
Gabii, and for some years an iiTegular warfare had been carried 
on between the two cities. Sextus, the youngest son of Tarquin, 
was now sent by his father to Gabii. He pretended that he 
was seeking re^e for his life, which was threatened by his 
father's violence. The Gabians received him with alacrity and 
employed him in their service, and so successful was he in the 
field, that they trusted him more and more, until at length the 
whole power of the city was confided to his hands. Thereupon 
he sent secretly to his father to inquire how he should act. 
Tarquinius was walking in his garden when the envoy reached 
him, and as he listened to his son's message he moved up and 
uovfn,' cutting off the heads of all the tallest poppies with his 

CH. IV. The Three Latter Kings, 19 

sticky but making no reply. The messenger returned and re- 
ported what he had seen. Sextus understood the unspoken 
hint, cmd before long he found means by divers pretexts to 
destroy or driye away all the leading men of the town, which 
he then delivered up to his father. 

The yoimger Tarquin was, like the elder, a great builder* 
His architects came from Etruria : his workmen were captives 
taken in the Volscian wars. His chief efforts were devoted to 
the completion of the Capitol, which had been begun by Priscus. 
This building, which became so famous and so sacred in after 
times, was a temple in which the three presiding deities of 
Home, Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, were to be worshipped 
under one roof. The name Oapitolium was said to be derived 
from the head of one Tolus which was found fresh and bleeding 
when the foundations were being dug. Beneath the substruc- 
tions of this august edifice were enshrined the prophetic books 
which had been sold to the king by the Sibyl of OumsB, and 
which were believed to contain predictions of the future des- 
tinies of Rome. One day a strange woman appeared before the 
king and offered him nine volumes at the price of 300 gold 
pieces. The king refused. She departed, and after burning 
three of the volumes returned and offered the remaining six at 
the same price. Again Tarquin -refused, and again the Sibyl 
destroyed three volumes, and once more insisted on the first 
price for the three she still offered. Then at last Tarquin 
yielded, and the volumes, now trebly precious, were henceforth 
preserved as the most sacred treasure of the Roman state. 
They were placed in the charge of two officers of high rank. 
In times of danger they were solenmly opened and consulted ; 
and more than once they became an important instrument of 
government in the hands of priests and nobles. 

We next hear of a prodigy which greatly alarmed the 
tyrant. One day a serpent crawled out from beneath the altar 
and devoured the flesh that was upon it. So fearful a portent 
demanded an explanation, and Tarquin sent his two sons Titus 
and Aruns, togetiier with his nephew Junius Brutus, who from 
motives of policy had for some time pretended to be half-witted, 
to inquire at the oracle of Delphi the meaning of what had 
occurred. After obtaining their answer, they further inquired 
on their own account which of them should succeed to their 
father^s power. ' He,' replied the priestess, ' who shall first 


20 The Three Latter Kings. ch. iv. 

salute his mother.' On their return the princes hurried to the 
chamber of the women, each of them eager to be the first to 
kiss his mother \ but Brutus, who better understood the riddle^ 
contrived to stumble, and so falling forwards he embraced the 
earth the mother of us all. 

Tarquin was at this time engaged with his army in besieg- 
ing Ardea, the capital of the Rutuli. The young Roman nobles 
found the time pass wearily in the monotonous duties of a 
blockade. One evening the sons of Tarquin were carousing 
with their cousin Tarquinius of GoUatia, when a dispute arose 
as to which of their wives at home was the most virtuous. At 
the suggestion of Oollatinus they mounted their horses and rode 
off through the night to Rome, so as to take the ladies by sur* 
prise. The princesses were found idling and amusing them- 
selves. Next OoUatia was visited, and there they found the Mr 
Lucretia, the wife of Oollatinus, busy among her maidens ply- 
ing the loom. The prize of virtue was readily conceded to her, 
and the young men rode back to camp. But Sextus, the son of 
Tarquin, inflamed by the sight of such beauty and virtue united, 
returned under cover of the night and asked for shelter as her 
husband's friend. He was hospitably entertained, but in the 
dead of night he entered Lucretia's chamber with his drawn 
sword, and with mingled threats and entreaties attempted to 
dishonour her. Her virtue was staunch against all attempts. 
Then he threatened not only to slay her, but also to kill a 
slave and lay his body beside hers, and to proclaim that he 
had found them so together. Dreading such a terrible disgrace 
she yielded, but as soon as Sextus was gone she sent for her 
husband Oollatinus and her father Lucretius, and on their 
aiTival, accompanied by Brutus and Volumnius, she told them 
the whole story, and then stabbed herself to the heart. Brutus, 
enraged at the perfidy of Sextus, threw off the mask of sim- 
plicity and took the lead at once. Snatching the dagger from 
her bleeding breast he swore solemnly to be avenged on the 
whole race of Tarquinius. The others followed Ms example. 
They bore the body to the Forum and explained to the people 
what had happened : the men flew to arms and ratified the 
oath of vengeance. At the head of a small party Brutus 
nurried to Rome, called the people together, and in burning 
sentences Iwd the matter before them. The Romans did not 
hesitate. A decree was passed at the instant to dethrone the 

CH. If. The Three Latter Kings. 2t 

tyrant \jid expel his descendants from the city. Tarqnin has- 
tened baeky but finding the gates closed against him, he retired 
into Etruiia, where he soon engaged friends to ^.c. 245, 
assist him. He then sent envoys to negotiate for ^.o. 609. 
the recovery of his property, and they incited the adherents of 
Tarquin in the city to plot for his restoration to power. Brutus 
and Oollatinus had been already appointed to exercise the 
government for a year with the title of consuls, and to them 
the plot was betrayed by a slave. The conspirators were all 
arrested, and among them were found two of Brutus' own sons. 
The liberator in his chair of office sat in judgment on them, and 
condenmed them all to death without exception. He himself 
presided sternly while his two sons paid for their treason with 
their lives. The property of Tarquin was given up to pillage : 
the femily was proscribed, and even Oollatinus was forced to 
flee. Valerius was chosen consul in his place. But Tarquin 
with the Etruscans at his back was now advancing. The 
consuls led forth the Koman legions to encounter him. In the 
battle which ensued Brutus and Aruns, the son of Tarquin, fell 
dead together, each slain by the other. As with the leaders so 
with the followers. They fell man for man, and the battle 
seemed to be drawn. In the night a voice was heard from the 
forest of Arsia proclaiming that Home had lost one man less 
than Etruria. This sufficed for the Etruscans, who retired in 
dismay. Brutus recived a public funeral, and the matrons of 
Home wore mourning in his honour for a year. 

Once again the Etruscans attempted under Lars Porsena to 
bring back the tyrant Tarquin to Rome. Then it was that 
Horatius Oocles held the bridge for a moment single-handed 
agidnst the Tuscan host, while the timbers crashed down into 
the Tiber behind him under the strokes of the Roman axes. 
This too was the occasion when the maiden Oloelia, who had 
been given up as a hostage to Porsena, escaped by swimming 
the Tiber on horseback. Another story of this time is that of 
Mucius Sc8Bvola, who with three hundred other youths had 
sworn to take the life of Porsena. Mistaking the king^s secre- 
tary for the king, he struck the former, and when captured and 
threatened with torture by Are if he did not reveal the whole plot, 
he calmly thrust his right hand into the flame on an altar close 
by, and suffered it to be burnt without a groan. Porsena 
granted him life and liberty, and, filled with admiration at these 

M The Three Latter Kings. ch. tv. 

deeds of heroism, retiied from Borne and abandoned Taiquin to 
his fate. 

The discrowned tyrant now took refuge ^th his son-in-law 
Mamilins at Tusculum, and with the aid of the Latin people 
u.c. 308, made one last effort to recover his kingdom. The 
B.0. 496. battle was fought on the shores of the lake RegiUus, 
near Alba. In the ciisis of the combat Valerius vowed a temple 
to Castor and Pollux. Presently two youths of eminent beauty 
and stature were seen fighting on white horses in front of the 
Romans and turning the enemy to flight. While the victors 
were still engaged in the pursuit, the same unearthly warriors 
appeared suddenly in the Forum, washed their arms at the 
fountain of Jutuma, announced the victory and straightway 
vanished. The leaders on both sides had met in single combat. 
The aged Tarquin retired wounded irom the field. His last 
surviving son Titus was slain, so was his son-in-law Mamilius 
of Tusculum. Among the Romans fell a Valerius, a Hermiuius, 
and an iEbutius. Tarquin, though he escaped with his life, 
despaired of obtaining any further succour. He retired to 
OimisB, and there perished in a miserable old age. 

With the death of the second Tarquin our sketch of the 
legendary history of the seven kings of Rome comes to an end. 
It seems to have been accepted without question by the early 
Roman writers, both poets and historians; it was doubtless 
known as a familiar tradition among the people ; and it is so 
woven into fche whole literature of Rome, that every student of 
Roman history is boimd to be familiar with it. And yet it 
must be clearly understood that the narrative given above is 
not of the nature of trustworthy history, and it may be well • 
here to notice some of the grounds for assigning to it only a 
legendary value. 

(1). The supernatural incidents scattered through the story 
are clearly unhistorical. Such are the miraculous births of 
Romulus and of Servius Tullius ; the suckling of Romulus and 
Remus by the she-wolf; the translation of Romulus to heaven 
in the lightning chariot of his father Mars ; the intercourse 
between l^ama Pompilius and the nymph Egeria ; Tarquin's 
augury of greatness from the strange behaviour of the eagle 
when he entered Rome ; the appearance of the divine beings 
Oastor and Pollux at the battle of the lake Regillus. 

(2). The chronology of the story is not consistent with ex- 

CH. IV. The Three Latter Kings. 23 

perience or with itself. The period of 240 years is assigned 
to the reigns of only seven elective kings, of whom four died 
violent deaths, and one was dethroned some years before his 
death. This statement gives an average of thirty-four years to 
each reign ; whereas in five centuries of the authentic history of 
Venice we find that forty doges, who were also elective rulers, 
reigned on an average only twelve and a half years each. The 
inconsistencies of the chronology in the family history of the 
Tarqmns and Servius Tullius are easily detected. 

(3). As often happens in legendary stories, we find the 
same series of events related twice over with slight modifica- 
tions and ascribed to different persons. In the case before us 
the story of Tullus Hostilius corresponds in many of its details 
to that of Romulus, while Ancus Martius is the exact counter- 
part of Numa. The forty-three years of profound peace ascribed 
to Numa's reign are quite incredible when compared with the 
warlike careers of his predecessor and successor. 

(4). Many of the incidents are palpably of Greek origin ; 
such are the stories of the craft used by Sextus Tarquinius 
towards the Gabians, and of the message sent to him in dumb 
show by his father, the originals of both of which may be 
found in the pages of Herodotus. The visit of Brutus and the 
two sons of Tarquin to the oracle of Delphi was doubtless in- 
vented by some Greek writer of later times. 

(6). The whole account of the Regifugium and of the war 
with the Etruscans under Porsena h&primdfacie incredible, and 
a manifest perversion of the facts to flatter the vanity of the 
Roman people. Circumstances are recorded by Pliny and other 
Roman writers which make it certain that Rome was at this very 
time so completely subjugated by the Etruscans that the use of 
iron, except for agricultural purposes, was forbidden to its 



The time has now come to take a general survey of the political 
system under which Rome was governed during the period of 
Ihe kings, together with the changes said to have been Intro- 


24 The Constitution of ch. v. 

duced by Servius Tullius. This will enable us better to under- 
stand the position of affairs when the republic canoLe to be the 
established order of the state. 

It has been already pointed out that there were three 
distinct national elements which united to form the body of the 
Koman people, viz., a Latin element, a Sabine and an Etruscan. 
Corresponding with this threefold ori^, we find that in the 
time of Romulus the Eomans were divided into three tribes, 
the Ramnes, the Tatienses or Titles, and the Luceres. The 
last-named tribe was for a long time regarded as of inferior 
dignity to the two others, and its chiefs were distinguished as 
fixtrei minorum gentium. The Ramnes, or first followers of 
Romulus, took precedence of both the other tribes. The persons 
who composed these three tribes may be looked upon as the 
foimders of the Roman state. They were also the founders of 
the great Roman fiamilies. They constituted, in the first instance^ 
when Rome was yet a small city, the whole body of Roman 
citizens. As such they were jealous of their civic rights and 
did not lightly confer them upon strangers, but were careful to 
pass on their exclusive privileges to their own children. As 
time went on, extensive tracts of country, many important 
cities, and whole tribes of neighbouring people became subject 
to the authority of Rome, and a large population was naturally 
attracted to the capital. These new comers however were not 
generally admitted to the rights of citizens, but occupied an 
inferior position ; and thus the families descended from the 
original Romans were separated off into a distinct class. Poli- 
tical power, being concentrated in their hands, became to them 
a 8oiu*ce of superior wealth. They, and they alone, formed the 
Popvlus Itomanus. They were also spoken of as Patres or 
Patricii. In a word, they constituted a hereditary nobility. 
There existed, however, an important link between these noble 
families and the less favoured classes. The chief of each 
Patrician gens could take under his protection any outsiders 
whom he chose, and admit them to some of the privileges of 
his house. The persons so received were called his clients, and 
they adopted his Gentile or femUy name. They followed him 
to the wars like the vassals of some feudal prince in the middle 
ages. In peace they formed a petty court around him. They 
were expected to render him obedience and money service when 
he needed it, as for instance when he had a fine to pay, or 
wanted to portion his daughters. He was called their Patron 

CH. V. the Roman Commonwealth. 25 

(patronus). It was his duty to protect them from oppression, 
to relieve them in poyerty, to expound the law to them, and 
to plead for them personaUy as an adyocate whenever they were 
brought into the law courts. These clients of the great houses 
formed a numerous body intermediate in position between the 
patricians and the conunon people.^ They enjoyed an inferior 
Mnd of citizenship, but had no votes in the patrician assemblies. 

Each of the three tribes was divided into ten curies, and 
each cury into ten gentes or houses. Thus there were thirty 
curies and three hundred gentes. From time to time this whole 
body of citizens was convened in an assembly or comitia, 
entitled the * Comitia Ouriata.' The votes were given by curies, 
but the vote of each cury was determined by the independent 
sufirages of the citizens who composed it. Ilie business trans- 
acted consisted of the election of magistrates, including the 
king himself; the declaration of war, and ratification of peace ; 
appeals in criminal cases involving the life or death of a Roman 
citizen ; and the passing of new laws. It must be observed, 
however, that this comitia had no power to propose any 
change in the law; the curies could only vote aye or no 
upon the questions submitted to them by the king or his repre- 
sentative. The assembly of the curies was held within the city, 
and the transaction of business was always preceded by a solemn 
religious service. It was only on rare occasions that this 
comitia was called into action. 

The ordinary afi&irs of the state were entrusted to the 
management of a more select body under the illustrious title of 
the senate. The name indicates that this was originally a 
council of elders, who aided the king with their advice and 
experience. Such a council generally existed in all the petty 
states of ancient Greece and Italy. In Borne it was chosen 
in early times fix)m among the curies, and therefore represented 
the patrician class only. The king was chosen by the senators 
and reconomended by them to the curies for election. He in 
his turn presided over their meetings and selected those who 
should fill vacant places. The senate controlled the finances, 
imposed taxes, and voted the money required tor pulli? pur- 
poses. The senate also discussed all changes in the law, and 
managed the foreign affiiirs of the state. 

The number of senators corresponded closely tontfie" number 

1 From what sources the clients were originally drawn is a que9tion 
not yet conclusively answered. 

26 The Constitution of ch. v. 

of patrician houses, being at rirst 100, then, after the incor- 
poration of the Titienses or Sabines, 200, and at last, when the 
three original tribes had been united, 300. A body guard of 
armed and mounted nobles called knights (equites) or celeres 
was appointed to attend on the person of the king. Their 
number was the same as that of the senators, viz. 300, and they 
ranked next in dignity to them. Throughout the regal and 
republican periods of Roman history, extending over 700 years, 
and beyond this, late on in imperial times, we shall constantly 
meet with these two important orders of senators and knights 
side by side, claiming exclusive rights to fill some of the highest 
offices of state. During the republican period the senators could 
no longer be appointed by the king, for there was none, and tlie 
custom grew up for all those who had been elected to public 
office as consuls, praetors, censors, sediles or quaestors, and had 
passed their year of office, to have seats allowed them in the 
senate house, where they might speak, but could not vote ; and 
from this body of citizens it was the duty of the censor to call 
up all who were not unworthy to fill the vacancies in the senate 
as they might occur. Under Tarquinius Priscus a new group 
of patrician houses or gentes was added to each of the three 
ancient tribes, so that each tribe thenceforth consisted of two 
divisions, and the patrician families were arranged in six 
different groups or divisions. 

Thus far we have spoken only of those citizens who traced 
their origin to the first founders of Rome, or whose families had 
been raised by royal favour to a position of equality with them. 

We must now take notice of the fact that around this central 
cluster of families a large population soon began to collect. 
Some were captives in war, whom the Roman armies had 
removed from their own homes and compelled to settle within 
the precincts, or at least within the territory, of Rome ; others 
were strangers who took up their abode there voluntarily for pur- 
poses of trade. They were tolerated and made use of as soldiers 
in time of war, but had no share in the government ; they 
were not allowed to marry into the patrician families, or even 
to traffic with them ; nor did they obtain any share of the 
lands conquered in war. These people were classed together 
under the general name of plebs, as the patricians were under 
that of poptUus. They dwelt mainly in the valleys which 
separated the hills of Rome one from another, till Ancus Martius 
assigned the Aventine hill specially to them. Many were 

CH. Y. the Roman Commonwealth, 27 

scattered over the surroimding country as farm-bailifiB and 
labourers in the employ of the rich patrician landowners. In 
the course of time many of these plebeians began to amass riches. 
They were thrifty in trade ; they lent money on usury ; they 
made a profit by farming the estates of the patricians. As the 
plebeian class rose in numbers and importance, the patrician, 
like every exclusive aristocracy, had a tendency to decay, and 
many noble flEunilies died out and disappeared. Under these 
altered circumstances there arose a need for some re-arrangement 
of the relations between the one class and the other, and the 
interest of the civil history of the republic turns mainly upon 
the continual struggled by which the plebeians raised them- 
selves to the same level of dignity and politicnl power with their 
haughty rivals. We have seen that Tarquinius Priscus did 
ennoble some plebeian families, and thus recruited the strength 
of the patricians. But after him came Servius Tullius, who, as 
a foreigner by birth, seems to have had little sympathy with 
the ezclusiveness of the Roman patriciate, and who, as a wise 
statesman, saw that the time was come when the Roman state 
required a broader basis ; accordingly he made an effort to weld 
together the two classes into one compact body of citizens. 
For this purpose he made use of two instruments, the tribe» and 
the centuries ; that is to say, he reorganised first the civil and 
next the military power of the nation. 

First as to the tribes. He divided the whole Roman terri- 
tory into thirty districts, four within the city, and twenty-six 
outside. The people, without distinction of birth or wealth, he 
divided into thirty corresponding tribes. Each tribe had its 
chief officer, the tribunuSf who kept the list of its families, 
and levied the tax * trUndum ' payable by each. Every tribe 
had also its own judges and police, its own tribunals, its own 
temples. From time to time the people were convened to an 
assembly of the tribes called the comitia tributa; but these as- 
semblies did not at first deal with important afiairs of state. 
They might rather be likened to our parish vestries. They 
elected their own tribal officers, taxed themselves for such local 
purposes as roads and police, and made by-laws for their own 
self-government. In course of time, however, as the plebeians 
rose in importance, the comitia tributa also acquired more 
weight and power, and began to deal with state affairs, while 
their chief officers, the tribunes of the plebs, came to exercise 
irraftt political influence and authority. 

28 The Constitution of ch» v* 

But the most effective scheme devised by Servius for uniting 
the Roman people into one body was the military constitution 
of the centuries. Every five years a census v^as taken, both of 
the people and of their property. This census was accompanied 
by religious rites for the purification of the city, and the period 
of five years was called a lustrum and used as a mode of 
reckoning the lapse of time. After each census the people were 
divided into six classes, according to their wealth, and these 
classes were again subdivided into centuries. The people, thus 
classified, were convened in a public assembly called the comitia 
centuriata. They met outside the city In the Oampus Martins, 
because they met as a militia under arms. The business trans- 
acted was the same as had previously belonged to the comitia 
curiata. The classification of this popular army was arranged 
as follows. 

First came the cavalry, consisting of eighteen centuries of 
equites or knights. Six of these were provided by the six 
divisions of the three original tribes, and to them Servius added 
twelve new centuries of the richest plebeian femilies. Next 
came the infantry, divided as follows : — 

Cawdry =18 

Infantry : — 

Property. Centuries. 

/ 40 of old men \ 
Clasal. . . 100.000as8esandupw(ls ''^''f/"^^'^^ =82 

^ and artillerists ^ 
Class II. . From 75,000 asses to 100,000 | 1 of old men ]. ^ go 

asses. ^ 10 of yomig men > 

Class III. . From 60,000 asses to 76,000 f 10 of old men ) ^ gn 

asses. I 10 of young men > 

Class IV. . From 25,000 asses to 50,000 , 10 of old men ) ^ go 

asses. I 10 of young men > 

Class V. . From 12,500 asses to 25,000 / 16 of old men 

asses. 15 of young men 

Accensi or reserved troops -l 1 century 
Bandsmen (comicines and 

tubicines). ^ 2 centuries 

Class VI. . Proletarii — persons whose / 

property was too small 

to be reckoned, and there- -j 1 century }■ = 1 

fore were only polled 

(jcapite censi), ^ 

Total ... =194 

Note. — The above table follows Livy's account of the centunes. 
Cicero and Dionysius of Halicamassus make no mention of the one 
century of accensi, and therefore reckon one centurj' less, or 193 in all. 

cH, V, the Roman Commonwealth, 29 

It will be seen at once how much power accrued by this 
system to the wealthier citizens, for as the votes were ^ven by 
centuries, and the first class, together with the knights, con- 
tained more centuries than all the others put together, it follows 
that whenever the knights and the richest plebeians combined 
their votes, the question was at once settled without calling 
for the suffi-ages of the poorer citizens at all. During the 
sitting of the comitia centuriata, a red flag was hoisted on the 
Janiculum^ guarded by a picket of roldiers. Origiaally the 
striking of this military ensign denoted the approach of a 
hostile Etruscan force, and the comitia was instantly broken up 
to allow the citizen soldiers to rush to the defence of their 
ramparts. Subsequently the signal might be given on the 
demand of any tribune who should declare the omens to be 
adverse, as at the soimd of thunder, or even the falling of rain. 
In any case, on the appearance of the signal, the business of 
the assembly was at once suspended. The decisions of the 
centuries were still supposed to require confirmation by the 
comitia curiata, which consisted of patricians only ; but this 
nominal control did not long continue effective. 

A more important instrument of power was, however, long 
maintained by the patricians in their own hands, viz. the entire 
regulation of the national religion. The Pontifex Maximus, 
who was aided by a college of minor pontiffs, at first four, after- 
wards fifteen in number, was the high priest of the Koman 
religion. He was not the priest of any special divinity, but it 
was his business to see that the worship of all the various 
deities recognised at Rome was duly observed both in public 
and private. He appointed the flamens or priests of individual 
gods, of which the three principal were those of Jupiter, Mars, 
and Quirinus. He also appointed and controlled the vestal 
virgins who guarded the fire sacred to Vesta, and the augurs 
who watched the flight of birds and inquired the divine will 
from the entrails of victims. The pontifex had moreover a 
criminal jurisdiction in certain cases, and he regulated the 
calendar by the intercalation of an extra month, according to 
the imperfect system ascribed to Numa. As no public assembly 
could be held except on certain lawful days, and no business 
could be transacted unless the auguries were declared favour- 
able, it is evident that the patrician pontije^^ j^|ifj^Y^^^ with 
no little power. 

30 The Constitution of eft. v. 

Among the insigDia of soyereignty imported into Home from 
Etruria by the Tarquins was the sella curulis or curule chair. 
It was a stool of simple form supported by two pairs of curved 
legs, the members of each pair crossing in the centre. It 
was adorned with ivory, and it is possible that the shape of 
the legs may have been derived from that of an elephant's 
tusk. This form of chair was preserved throughout the re- 
publican period, and assigned as a throne of office to the chief 
magistrates^ who were called in consequence ewnde magis- 
trates. Their titles and functions shall now be described in 

1. The constds, two in number, who shared the power 
formerly held by the kings, but resigned it at the end of a year 
to their elected successors. To avoid a conflict of authority, 
the two consuls generally exercised supreme power month by 
month in turn, and in time of war it was usual for one to 
command in the field while the other ruled over the city at 
home. The consul was the general-in-chief of the army. He 
was also the chief judge in the law courts. He presided in the 
senate and in the other public assemblies, either in person or 
by deputy. He conducted negotiations with foreign states, 
and expended the public moneys with the consent of the senate. 
He was, in fSsujt, the chief executive officer, who carried out 
what had been determined by the republican assemblies. Each 
consul was attended by twelve lictors or guards, armed with 
fasces, consisting of a bundle of rods with an axe inserted 
in their midst. The word ' consul ' has been derived by 
the analogy of * exul ' and * prsBSul ' from con and salio, indi- 
cating that they marched together with joint power and equal 

2. The prator. This title is derived from pree-ire, to go 
before. It was the old Latian term for a commander of an 
army, and was so used in Rome in very early times. The term 
'prsBtorium' derived from it never ceased to designate the 
'general's tent' or ^head-quarters' of a Roman camp. In the 
Roman republic, however, the conml was the general of the 
army and the titie of prator lost its old signification. In the 
year b.c. 366 a new office was created, to designate which this 
title was revived. The praetor's duties were very similar to 
those of the consul, but were exercised under the control and 
authority of the higher magistrate. The praetor was attended 

CH. V. the Roman Commonwealth. 3 1 

by only six lictors, and in later times tbeir number was reduced 
to two. In the absence or in case of the death of the consul 
a praetor might command a Homan army. In the city his 
especial function was the administration of justice. In the 
year B.C. 246 a second praetor was created to settle disputes 
between foreigners, or between foreigners and citizens. In 
later times additional praetors were sometimes appointed to 
gOYem newly conquered proviaces. 

3. The censors, two in number. Originally, the duty of these 
officers was to keep the register of the citizens and of their 
property. The function of selecting fit persons to fill vacancies 
in the senate, and also of elevating plebeian notables to the 
rank of knights, next passed into their hands. Out of this 
power grew a general authority to inquire into the conduct of 
all citizens both in public and private life. Not only criminal 
actions, but such failings as extravagance, harsh conduct to 
relatives, remaining too long unmarried, and the like, were 
liable to be noted by the censors. They could punish persons 
of position by erasing their names from the album of the senate 
or of the equestrian order ; while citizens of a humbler rank 
might be posted, and their misdeeds subjected to a public 
reprimand or censure. In later times the finances of the state 
feU much under the control of the censors. 

4. The aedUes were at first plebeian officers, the conservators of 
the public buildings, the temples, the roads, the sewers, and the 
aqueducts. They also superintended the markets, and distri- 
buted the doles of cheap com which at a later period were 
made to the common people at the public expense. In the 
year B.C. 366, ir.c. 389, two patrician aediles were appointed, 
with the title ./EdUes CundeSy in addition to those already 
existing. They exercised an authority very similar to that of 
their plebeian colleagues, but it was their especial business to 
conduct the public games and theatrical performances, and 
on ^hese objects they often lavished vast sums from their 
private resources. This was done to win the favour of the 
populace, and to secure their election to the higher offices of 

6. The qucegtors were in the first instance the accoimtants 
and secretaries of the treasury of the republic. They collected 
the revenue, and made the payments out of the public funds. 
They also registered the laws passed by the senate; it wa9 

32 Constitution of Roman Commonwealth, ch. v. 

their business to entertain enyoys from foreign states, and they 
had the charge of all public funerals and public monuments. 
These quaestors, who were of curule dignity, must be dis- 
tinguished from the military quaestors, who filled the place of 
adjutants or paymasters to ^e legions. 

Such were the magistrates by whom the commonwealth was 
ordinarily ruled, and such the gradation of their offices, the 
' course of honours ' through which a candidate for the highest 
distinctions must pass to attain the title of 'nobilis,' and 
ennoble botb bimself and his family. If the authority of the 
consul was hardly less extensive than that of the king whom 
he replaced and who was regarded as a tyrant or despot, it 
was restricted to the term of a single year, and was shared by 
him with a colleague. But in seasons of great emergency aris* 
ing either from the stress of foreign war or popular sedition, 
the whole power of the state was flung boldly into the hands 
of a single ruler, restricted only by the limitation of his office 
within the short period of six months. 

6. The dictator^ as he was called, was nominated by one of 
the consuls, who must be authorised so to do by a decree of the 
senate. During his brief term of office he combined the power 
of both the consuls. To his person the wbole of the twenty- 
four consular lictors were attached. He himself appointed 
a second in command with the title of ' Master of the horse ' 
{Magister equitum). Many were the occasions when the patri- 
cian class, acting tiirough the senate and the consuls, used this 
power of creating a dictator as a check upon the plebeians, when 
their political agitation became too menacing. 



The dates of the events hitherto recorded from the building 
of Rome to the Regifugium, or expulsion of the kings, are 
not really known with any certainty. But more confidence 
may be placed in the date assigned to the Kegifugimn, 

cH. VI. Cruel Oppression of the Plebeians. 33 

because &om that period the Eomans began to record the lapse 
of time by driving a nail every year into the temple of Minerva, 
ftnd also by carefully preserving a list of the sue- xj.o. 246, 
cessive consuls. We shall henceforth be guided in ^•<'- ^^' 
our chronology by the Roman writer Varro, and aided by the 
modem investigations of Fynes Clinton and Fischer. 

On the expulsion of their king, the Romans elected L. 
Junius Brutus and L. Tarquinius OoUatinus to be the two first 
consuls. They are said to have revived the constitution of 
Servius Tullius, which had been overthrown during the tyranny ^ 
of Tarquin. They restored to the plebeians their own judges, 
and gave them a right of appeal to the comitia tributa. They 
distributed among them many lots of public land, and called 
up 100 of them to the senate. It was not long before Ool- 
latinus was driven into exile as a near relative of Tarquin. 
Valerius replaced him. Then Brutus, within the year of his 
consulate, fell in battle against the Etruscans. Valerius re- 
mained alone in power, and the people, noticing that he was 
building a mansion for himself on one of the hills, murmured 
that he was aiming at the kingly power. Forthwith he had 
the rising walls of his house destroyed, and contented himself 
with a modest cabin on the slope of the hill. He also carried 
a decree by which royal rule was prohibited, and the very 
names of king and kingdom made accursed for ever in Rome. 
His patriotism was rewarded by the splendid surname of 

During the ensuing years there followed a continual suc- 
cession of wars against Etruscan, Sabine, and Latin enemies, 
and, according to some accounts, Rome was for a time subdued 
and disarmed by Porsena. At any rate, there is no doubt that 
she suffered the loss of all her territory on the right bank of 
the Tiber, and this loss seriously crippled the resources both of 
the state and of some of the citizens. In the year B.C. 601 the 
first dictator, Spurius Lartius, was appointed, and in b.c. 496 
the same ofiice was revived in the person of Aulus Postumius, 
who led the Roman army to victory in the great battle of 
Lake Regillus. 

Up to this time the pressure of foreign war had held the 
two great classes of the Roman people together. But this 
union did not long endure. In spite of the favour shown to 
the plebeians, first by Servius and then by Brutus and Valerius, 


34 Cruel Oppression of the Plebeians. ch. vi. 

the patricians regaided them with intense jealousy, and aimed 
at reducing them to a condition of abject servitude. This they 
tried to effect by the operation of the Roman law of debt. It 
has been explained that when any territory was conquered in 
war it was treated as the property of the state, and the pa- 
tricians contrived to have it granted to them at a nominal rent, 
so that they really enjoyed it as their own possession. Of 
course they extracted a large income from this source. The 
booty taken in war was also paid into the treasury of the 
patricians. They also received fees for various services from 
their numerous clients, and they kept all profitable trade in 
their own hands. In this way the patricians amassed large 
sums of money. The plebeians, on tibe other hand, were for 
the most part poor struggling husbandmen, heavily taxed, ex- 
posed to severe losses by the incursion of hostile armies, and 
often in want of ready money. The patricians were ready 
enough to lend it to them, but exacted for its use a high rate 
of interest. Meanwhile, in cases of debt the law gave every 
advantage to the lender as against the borrower. It entitled 
him to seize the estate of his debtor to the last ftirthing, to 
lock up the bankrupt in prison, or sell him into slavery with 
all his family ; and where the creditors were numerous, they 
were authorised, in default of payment, to cut their debtor's 
body in pieces and share it between them. These laws applied 
equally to all Bomans, but the plebeians were the chief suf- 
ferers by them. They groaned under the burden of debt and 
the harshness of their creditors, and but little was wanting to 
rouse them to fury against their oppressors. One day during 
u.c. 2«9, the consulship of Appius Claudius and P. Servilius 
B.C. 496. an old man rushed into the Forum, clothed in rags 
and bound with fetters, and appealed to the people for pro- 
tection. He was recognised as one of the bravest centurions 
in the Roman army. On his breast he bore the scars of 
honourable wounds received in battle. On his back were seen 
the marks of recent stripes. This incident so inflamed the 
people that a tumult arose. At the same moment it was an- 
nounced that the Volscians were in arms. The consuls sum- 
moned the people to enlist. The plebs refused, and defied 
the law. The consuls promised that their wrongs should be 
redressed, and even offered release from their debts to all who 
would serve. The ranks wei*e soon filled. The enemy was 

CH. VI. Secession to *Mons Sacer! 35 

defeated. Servilius led home his yictorious army; but the 
senate, with Appius at their head, now refused to fulfil their 
bargain, and ordered the debtors back to their prisons. The 
people, however, resisted this measure by force. In the fol- 
lowing year their discontent became so menacing, that the 
senate appointed as dictator to quell the sedition Valerius 
Volesus. He dealt wisely and mildly with the insurgents, and 
earned their goodwill ; but his eiforts at conciliation failed^ and 
at length the plebeians seceded in a body from the u.c. 260, 
city to a rising ground three miles distant, which b.c.494. 
was afterwards called the ' Mons Sacer,' or Sacred Hill. A 
civil war seemed imminent ; but both parties shrank from such 
a suicidal course. The patricians then sent the ten first of the 
senate to treat with lie seceders. One of the mediators, 
Menenius Agrippa by name, addressed to them the famous 
fable of the belly and the members. It ran as follows: — 
' There was a time when all the members rebelled against the 
belly. " It is not just," said they, " that we should labour as 
we do in our several ways, and all for the benefit of this idle, 
good-for-nothing belly, which lies at its ease in the middle, 
and does nothing but enjoy itself." They therefore agreed to- 
gether to do no more work for the belly. The hands should 
refuse to carry any food to the mouth ; the mouth should not 
receive any ; the teeth should not chew any. Thus they would 
starve the belly into a greater activity. But even as they did 
so they found themselves enfeebled and emaciated, and they 
then perceived that it was to the belly they owed the support 
of their own life, and that if it received much, it also dis- 
tributed to all the other members the nourishment which they 
required.' This fable was readily applied by his hearers to 
the schism between themselves and the patricians, and they 
acknowledged that the two classes of citizens were dependent 
one upon the other, and that neither could do without the 
other. Peace was made, and this time the senate acted with 
good fidth : the imprisoned debtors were set free, and the in- 
solvent released from their obligations. 

By far the most important result of this settlement was 
that the plebs acquired the right of appointing officers of their 
own, whose power should be an effectual check on that of the 
patrician magistrates. 

The tribunes of the plebs were henceforth declared inr 

36 Tribunes of the People. ch. vi. 

Tiolable in their persons. To slay them was a sacrilege. Any 
who should dare to do so became accursed and an outlaw : his 
life might be taken by any man, and his property was confis- 
cated. The patrician pontiffs still retained the power of 
hindering the action of the public assemblies with their ritual 
and augural punctilios, but henceforth the tribunes of the plebs 
might in their turn put a veto on the decrees of -the senate 

The institution of the tribunes affected the whole subse- 
quent history of Eome. First, it kept the consuls in check ; 
in time it acquired for the plebs a share in all the privileges of 
the populus ; and at length it effected a fusion of the rival 
Orders of the early commonwealth. When, after the great 
conquests of Rome, the struggle of classes lay no longer be- 
tween patricians and plebeians, the power of the tribunes still 
supported the cause of the people, and secured its final triumph 
in the establishment of the empire. The emperors themselves 
assiuned the name and office of tribunes, and claimed- to be' the 
protectors of popular rights. 

Truly the secession to the Mons Sacer was ' not a revolt, 
but a revolution.' It was fitting that so important an event 
should be celebrated with special solemnities. Vows were 
made, sacrifices were offered, and an altar "was erected to Jove 
the Thunderer, under which name the best and chiefest of the 
gods was venerated. The compact between the two orders was 
invested with peculiar sanctity under the title of the Leges 



Encouraged by the guarantees which they had won for their 
personal liberty, the plebeians now began to a^tate for the 
redress of another crying grievance. This was the monopoly 
of land in the hands of the patrician class. Land was in those 
days the chief source of wealth, and the plebeians complained 
that they were unjustly excluded from their fair share of it. 
In the early days of Rome each of the citiEens had a space of 
two jugera (about an acre and a* half) assigned to him as his 

CH. vii. Agrarian Agitation, %f 

own property. This was called quiritary land^ and passed from 
father to son by inheritance. The remainder of the Roman 
territory (ager Komanns) was supposed to be the property of 
the state. A portion of this was pasture, which was treated 
as a common grazing ground for the cattle of the citizens, and 
for this privilege they paid so much a head upon their cattle to 
the public treasury. The other portion was arable land^ and 
this was divided among the patricians, who held it, not as their 
own property, but as tenants of the state, and they were bound 
to pay to the treasury an annual rent of one-tenth of the 
produce in the case of com land^ and two-tenths in the case of 
vineyards and olive gardens. 

As the plebeian population increased around them, and 
with it the extent and value of the public land grew greater, 
the patricians jealously excluded the plebeian class from all 
share in the advantages which they themselves enjoyed. They 
would 'not even allow them to graze their cattle on the common 
pastures; and, further, they neglected to pay the iinnual 
tithe and the grazing money which was due from them to the 
treasury. Thus, as the public domain was enlarged by war, 
the patricians grew more and more wealthy, while at the same 
time they evaded the . taxation which the law imposed upon 
them. Meanwhile the plebeians, who supplied the in&ntry of 
the army by which these valuable conquests were won, re- 
ceived no share of the spoils, and were heavily loaded with 
taxation. No wonder that they chafed at such injustice. 
There had indeed been times when a more generous treatment 
had been accorded to them. Servius Tullius had favoui-ed the 
plebeians, and assigned much of the public land to them ; and 
after the expulsion of the Tarquins, Brutus had pursued the 
same just policy. But it was not long before the patricians 
reversed this order of things, and even succeeded in ousting 
the plebeians from the small share of public land in their 

In the year B.C. 493, the year of the first appointment of 
tribunes, Spurius Oassius was consul. He listened to the com- 
plaints of the plebeians, perceived their justice, and assmned 
the part of a champion of popular rights. He encountered 
great opposition^ but having been elected consul a second and 
a third time, he at length, in B.C. 486, brought the matter to a 
crisis. It had always been held that the public lands occupied 

$8 Agrarian Agitation, ch. vii. 

by citizens belonged really to tbe state, and might at any time 
be resmned by it. Accordingly Spurius Oassius, in concert 
with the tribunes, demanded that these lands should be re- 
sumed and distributed afresh, so that plebeians as well as 
patricians might have a fair share of them. He further de- 
manded that all the occupiers should be required to pay strictly 
their legal rent or tithe, and that out of these payments a fund 
should be formed to furnish pay in war time to the poorer 
citizens^ who could ill afford to leave their farms untilled 
without some remuneration. This was the first proposal of the 
&mous agrarian laws, of which we shall hear so much as the 
history of Rome proceeds. The senate was roused to indig- 
nation by these demands, which threatened the wealth and 
power of the patricians at their very source. But such was 
the force of the popular party that all resistance was over- 
borne. The law was passed, and the patricians determined 
that, so fer as in them lay, it should become a dead letter. 
At the end of his year of office, Spurius Oassius was accused, 
it is said, before the comitaa curiata of treason. The people 
whom he had befriended made no efibrt to save him. He was 
u.c. 269, condemned, and suffered the last penalty of public 
B.C. 485. scourging and beheading at the hands of the con- 
sular lictors. The senate then repudiated the execution of the 
agrarian law, and, in order to divert public attention from the 
subject, engaged for several years in petty wars against the 
Volscians, the -^quians, and the Veientines. The noble house 
of the Fabii were the leaders of this reaction, and for seven 
successive years one of the two consuls was a member of this 
powerful family. The plebeians, paralysed by the loss of their 
champion, clamoured in vain for the promised distribution of 
lands. Menenius, the tribune, threatened to put his veto on 
the levy of troops. But the consuls betook themselves beyond 
the walls of the city, where the protection of the tribunes did 
not extend, and, summoning the citizens before them, caused 
them to be there enlisted, not without threats and violence. 
They succeeded, moreover, in sowing division among their 
opponents, and gained over one tribune to neutralise the veto 
of his colleagues. The soldiers, however, thus reluctantly 
compelled to enlist, had still one remedy in their hands. In 
the year 480 B.C. they reftised to complete a victory over the 
Veientines, or to seize the booty which was in their power, in 

CH. vii. Heroism of the Patricians. 39 

order to deprive K»80 Fabius, the cchbuI, of the honour of a 

Soon after this a change occurred in the policy of the great 
Fabian gens. From being the foremost supporters of aristo- 
cratic priyilege, they wheeled round and assumed the lead of 
the popular party. In B.C. 479, under the command of three 
brothers of tiie Fabian house, the legions won a brilliant vic- 
tory over the people of Veii and their Etruscan allies. In the 
following year Eieso Fabius was elected consul by the suffirages 
of the people, which overwhelmed the opposition of the pa- 
tricians. Kseso, who had been the actual accuser of Oassius, 
now undertook to compel the execution of the agrarian law 
proposed and passed by him. But the resistance offered by the 
senate to this measure was so obstinate, that even Eieso 
Fabius, backed by the influence of the greatest &mily in Rome, 
and the whole power of the conmionalty to boot, was forced 
to give up the contest. He determined to quit Rome with all 
his gens, and retire into voluntary exile. The Fabii established 
themselves on the banks of the Oremera, a few miles to the 
north of Rome, in face of the hostile Yeiians^ and there main- 
tained the war of the commonwealth with their own gallant 
band, 806 in number, supported by 4,000 clients. In r.c.277, 
this chivalrous and unequal contest they were at last ^-C' *^^* 
overpowered and exterminated. Of the whole Fabian race only 
one child survived, who had been left behind in Rome as unfit 
for such desperate service. 

The Fabii were doubtless betrayed by the aristocratic party 
in Rome, for, at the time of their destruction, the consul 
Menenius stood with his army only four miles off, and made no 
effort to aid them. The people grieved at the slaughter of 
their champions, and, disgusted at the desertion of Romans by 
a Roman, impeached Menenius, who was found guilty and 
condemned (b.c. 476). They also extorted from the senate 
the right to cite even the consuls before the comitia tributa. 
This right was a powerful weapon, and was used effectuaUy. 
Within twenty-seven years, seven consuls and many illustrious 
patricians were .thus accused and condenmed to exile or to 
death. In the year 473 b.c. the tribune On. Genucius exercised 
this right by impeaching the consuls L. Furius and 0, Manlius 
before the assemoly of the tribes, for their neglect to enforce 
the agrarian law. Next day the tribune was found dead in 

40 The Publilian Law, ch. vh. 

his bed^ and no doubt was entertained that he had been mur- 
dered by his patrician opponents. The plebs were stricken 
with terror, and the consuls hoped to profit by the confusion, 
to wreak their vengeance on other popular leaders. Volero 
Publilius was seized^ and ordered to be stripped and scourged 
by the lictors, but, being a powerful man, he dashed them 
aside, and called upon the people for help. A tumult ensued, 
the lictors and the fasces were overthrown, and the consuls 
barely escaped with their lives. Two years later Publilius was 
chosen tribune of the people. He cdstinguished himself by 
introducing the famous ^ lex Publilia,' by which it was enacted 
that the tribimes of the people should be elected by the comitia 
of the tribes instead of by the centuries. This measure became 
law in the year 471 B.C., but not without a struggle. In the 
course of it Volero, with his energetic colleague Laetorius, 
established the people in arms on the summit of the Tarpeian 
hill. The senate had no choice but to yield a reluctant con- 
sent. They had hitherto used the influence of wealth in the 
comitia of the centuries to favour the election of tribunes who 
would be subservient to the patrician order. In the assembly 
of the tribes wealth had no prerogative, and the votes were 
given, man by man, so that the power of the numerous plebeians 
was overwhelming. By the same law the number of the 
tribunes was increased from two to five. 

Nevertheless the contest between the two orders continued 
with unabated violence and with alternate success ; for each 
possessed weapons which the other could not parry. It was in 
vain that the tribune Sp. Icilius obtained the enactment of a 
law whereby it was made a capital ofience for anyone to inter- 
rupt a tribune while he was addressing the assembly. The 
senate, under the guidance of the haughty Appius Claudius, 
answered by declaring war against the -^qui and the Volsci. 
The plebeians were compelled to serve under his orders. In the 
camp the consul was master of their persons and of their lives. 
He treated them with the utmost rigour of discipline, and they 
cursed him to his face. In the face of the enemy they refused 
to fight under such a leader. Appius chastised them with 
unsparing severity. They submitted with sullen desperation to 
the rods and axes of the lictors. But their day of vengeance 
was at hand. The campaign must come to a close at last. The 
consul must return to Rome ; and once within the walls he 

CH. Vll. 

CoriolcmuS^ 41 

muBt lay down his military authority, and &11 himself under 
the civil authority of the tribunes. In fact, no time was lost in 
citing him to answer for his tyranny before the tribes, u.o. 284, 
He replied with his usual arrogance; but he knew b.c.470. 
that his fate was ineyitable, and went home from the meeting 
to escape condemnation only by suicide. 

Throughout the course of these political struggles, the state 
of warfare between Eome and her neighbours never ceased. 
Year after year in the spring the consul led forth his legions 
into the plains of the Oampagna, to do battle against Latins or 
Hemicans, ^quian or Volscian foes. These wars were but 
marauding expeditions, which produced some plunder, no doubt, 
but scarcely any permanent result. As autumn drew on the 
Komans hastened back to reap their own harvests; for the 
soldiers of Bome were also her husbandmen. The winter was 
a period of repose and enjoyment. This constant succession of 
campaigns furnished many opportunities for brilliant feats of 
arms; and the great &milies exulted in the stories they 
could tell of the patriotic exploits of their own heroes. 
The legend of the Fabii has been already mentioned ; those of 
Ooriolanus and of Oincinnatus must now be noticed. 

Oaius Marcius Ooriolanus was a proud patrician youth, 
descended from Ancus Marcius< He was one of the bravest of 
the brave. In a war against the Volscians he captured Oorioli, 
one of their cities, and derived from it the title which he has 
made illustrious. Within the city he bore himself haughtily 
towards the people, and resented their growing power. They 
refused him the consulship: he retaliated in the following 
year, when a famine prevailed, by proposing that no com 
should be distributed to the people unless they first consented 
to abolish the office of their tribunes. He was impeached and 
condenmed to banishment. Then he threw himself into the 
arms of the Volsd, whom he had before defeated. The Volsci 
placed him at their head, and under his command penetrated 
far into the Roman territory, destroying the property of the 
conunons, but sparing, as was observed, that of the senators. 
The Boman power was crippled by disunion; there was no 
army to send against him. The people, in an agony of terror, 
deputed the chiefs of the senate to meet and propitiate him. 
He was deaf to their entreaties. Next day they charged their 
priests and augurs to mediate for them in the name of the 

4^ Cincinnatus, 


gods of Eome. Still he was obdurate. At last there went 
forth from the city a procession of Roman matrons^ headed by 
Veturia his mother and his wife Volumnia, accompanied by his 
little children. The mother reproached, the wife entreated, 
the children pleaded mutely for forgiveness. Unable to resist 
such an appeal, Ooriolanus yielded. In bitter distress of mind 
he turned his back for the last time on Eome, and led the 
Volseians back to Antium, where he ended his days in exile. 
Thus did the women of Home once more save the city, and to 
commemorate the event a temple was built on the place of 
meeting dedicated to the ' Women's Goodspeed.' The most 
probable date of this occurrence is B.C. 468, u.c. 286. 

Such is the most famous legend of the war with the Volsci. 
The contest with the -^qui furnished another not less dear to 
the memory of the Romans. In the course of this struggle 
the consul Minucius, with his army, was surrounded by tiie 
enemy on Mount Algidus, and in imminent danger of destruc- 
tion. Five horsemen escaped and carried the news to Rome. 
It was decided at once to appoint a dictator. The people with 
one voice called for L. Quinctius, better known as Oincinnatus 
from his curly locks, to lead them. The officers who were sent 
to inform him of his election found him ploughing his little 
farm clothed in nothing but a kilt. On learning the object of 
their visit he bade his wife to throw his toga over his shoulders, 
that he might receive the messengers of the commonwealth 
with due respect. He then accompanied them to the city, 
where he appointed L. Tarquitius, who was, like himself, brave 
though poor, to be his master of the horse. The citizens were 
quickly enrolled, and each man was ordered to provide himself 
with twelve stout stakes and food for five days. At sunset 
they set out, and by midnight had reached the scene of the 
conflict. The ^quian camp completely enclosed that of the 
Romans. Then Oincinnatus caused his men to surround the 
-^quians, and when all were at their posts a shout was raised, 
the stakes were quickly pitched, and the whole party set to 
work to dig a ditch and raise a rampart round the enemy. The 
Romans within, encouraged by the shout, kept the .^uians 
engaged in fighting all night, and when day dawned the latter 
found themselves ensnared between the two Roman armies. 
They surrendered. Oincinnatus made them aU pass under the 
yoke (* jugum '), constructed like a doorway, with two spears 

CH. VII. Heroism of the Patricians. 43 

upright and one laid crosswise over them. Their leader^ Grac- 
chus Oloelius, he carried in chains to Eome ; and from the 
.^Equian camp and their city of Oorbio he took a large booty, 
with which he enriched his troops. On his return he ^.c 296, 
led his army in triumph to the Oapitol, and within ^-c- 468. 
sixteen days of his appointment he resigned the office of dictator 
and returned to labour humbly on his farm. 

Whatever degree of credence we may accord to these 
stories of military prowess, their existence seems to indicate 
how weak the power of Some had become during the first fifty 
years of the republic compared to what it had been under the 
later kings. In fiEtct, it could not be otherwise so long as the 
commonwealth was a prey to such disunion as has been de- 
scribed. Yet it was amid these chequered wars and these 
internal discords that she was forming the race of heroes whose 
bravery, whose resolution, and whose military obedience were 
to effect the conquest of the world. 



The leaders of the plebeian class next turned their attention to 
the removal of another very serious grievance. They began to 
aim at placing all Boman citizens, of whatever class, on a foot^ 
ing of equality before the law. Hitherto all knowledge of the 
law and of legal proceedings, and even the right to legal 
redress, had been an exclusive privilege of the patrician class. 
The commons might indeed settle disputes among themselves 
according to their own customs, and for that purpose might 
plead before the tribunals of their own plebeian magistrates, but 
as against the patricians, and in the highest courts of Eoman 
law, they had no recognised standing— no acknowledged right 
to equal justice. They were therefore at the mercy of the 
consuls and other patrician magistrates, who might, and no 
doubt often did, treat them with arbitrary injustice. The need 
began to be felt for a clearly defined code of law, which should 
be binding with equal force upon all citizens alike, and should 

44 Demand for Equal Laws, ch. vin. 

be justly administered, without distinction between ricli or 
poor, patrician or plebeian. 

With this object in view, the tribune Terentilius Harsa 
proposed that a commission of five or ten persons should be 

TT.0.293, appointed to define the arbitral powers of the 

B.C.463. consuls. The tribes in their comitia accepted the 
measure^ but the senate and the curies rejected it. During the 
ensuing ten years this proposal continued to be a bone of con« 
tention between the rival orders. The young patricians, headed 
by KflBSo Quinctius, the son of Oincinnatus, tried to overawe 
the plebeians by violent brawling. When the comitia of the 
tribes assembled, they mingled among the crowd of voters and 
impeded the proceedings. At last Easso was impeached by the 
tribunes, and had to flee the city for his life, leaving his father 
to forfeit Ms bail, which amoimted to a fine so great that its 
payment reduced him to poverty. 

Soon after, the Oapitol was stealthily seized at night by a 
party of outlaws headed by Appius Herdonius, a Sabine, and 
it is not unlikely that young Quinctius was the real instigator 
of this attempt. If so, he paid the penalty with his life, for the 

u.c. 294, whole body of intruders was put to the sword. 

B.C. 460. The stru^le continued with increasing bitterness. 
Year by year the same tribunes were re-elected, and in B.C. 465 
ten tribunes were elected. In the following year the tribune 
Icilius carried a measure by which the whole of the Aventine 
hill, which was public domain, was given up to the poorer 
plebeians. It was at once occupied by them, and, being a very 
strong position, it became the citadel of the plebeian order, and 
added much to their political strength. Two years later, 
B.C. 452, L. Sicinius Dentatus became tribune. This man was 
the hero of the plebeians, a soldier of extraordinary valour, 
covered with wounds and decorations. Under his leadership 
the resistance of the patricians was at length overcome, and 
the measure of reform so long urged by Terentilius became 

Three conunissioners, all of them patricians, were at once 
appointed, and sent to study the systems of law in force at 
Athens and elsewhere among the Greeks. When their report 
had been received, in the month of March, B.C. 450, all the 
ordinary magistrates were superseded, and their offices for the 
time suspended, while the entire government was entrusted to 

CH. VIII. The Decemvirate, 45 

a board of ten coinmissionerB called Decemyiriy who were at the 
same time to prepare the new code of laws. The plebeians, 
perhaps wisely, acceded to the claim of the patricians, as 
recognised expounders, of the existing laws, to occupy all the 
places in the commission that should revise it. It was, how* 
ever, in an evil moment that they consented to waive the most 
precious of their privileges, the right of appeal from the 
decisions of the superior magistrates to the comitia of the 
tribes. On March 16, the decemvirs entered upon their office, 
exercising supreme authority day by day in turn. Their rule 
was mild and peaceable enough, in spite of the fact that the 
leading spirit among them was Appius Claudius, one of the 
same haughty family as his namesake mentioned above. 
During the year they promulgated ten tables of laws, which 
were laid before the comitia of the centuries and of the curies, 
and, being accepted by both, were engraved on bronze tables 
and hung up in the Oomitium. At the end of twelve months 
the decemviri laid down their power, and fresh ones were 
elected. Appius, however, had been throughout his year of 
office sedulously courting the favour of the people ; and his 
intrigues now led to his re-election, B[alf of his new col- 
leagues were plebeians, but his strong will soon dominated all 
the others, and the decemvirs now assumed the character of 
irresponsible tyrants. No assemblies were held; the senate 
even was never convened ; in the course of the year two more 
tables of laws, making twelve in all, were promulgated ; they 
were received with strong disapprobation, and evidently bore 
the impress of the prejudiced mind of Appius. The year of 
office elapsed, but the decemvirs showed no intention of resign- 
ing their power. 

The war with the .^uians and Sabines was renewed, and 
the patricians seized the opportunity to procure the murder of 
the brave Dentatus at the hands of Roman soldiers. In the 
city, Appius Claudius ruled with unchecked des- u.c. soe, 
potism, but at length he overstepped the limit of b-o-***- 
Roman endurance and brought the whole febric of his power 
to the ground. 

As Appius sat in the Forum to administer justice, he 
noticed a maiden of great beauty, who went daily with her 
nurse to a school near the Forum. The wicked tyrant deter- 

. tt t TW\\ Digitized by vtivJv_ . , 

mined to get possession of her. The girl was Virginia, 

46 Story of Virginia, ch. vni. 

daughter of a distinguished plebeian named Virginius^ and 
betrothed to Icilius, who had been tribune. Finding that her 
father was away in the camp, the decemvir prompted one of 
his clients to seize the girl in the street and lay claim to her as 
the offspring of his slave and therefore his property. The 
claim yrdA made, and referred amid fierce popular excitement 
to the tribunal of Appius himself. The attitude of the people 
was so menacing, that he was constrained to defer judgment 
till next day, that the evidence of the father might be heard. 
Virginia's friends took care to apprise her father of the danger 
she was in. He reached Rome in time to appear with her 
next day before the judgment seat of Appius : both he and 
Icilius implored the people to stand by them in their need. As 
soon as Appius had taken his seat he ordered Virginia to be 
given up to the man who claimed her. Her father, foreseeing 
the fate in store for her, took her aside for a moment, and 
snatching a knife from a butcher's stall close by, stabbed her 
with it to the heart. Brandishing the reeking Imife, he vowed 
vengeance on the tyrant, and then hurried to the camp. 

Such a story soon roused the blood of Roman soldiers ; they 
plucked up their standards, and were quicky camped upon the 
Aventine. In the city the decemvir's lictors had been over- 
come, and Appius himself driven ignominiuusly from the 
Forum. Two of the decemvirs, Horatius and Valerius, sym- 
pathised with the people and joined in the cry for liberty. The 
next step was a secession to the Mons Saeer. Preceded by the 
legions, the whole plebeian population marched out of the city 
and left the patricians in sole occupation of it. As usual, this 
course produced its effect. The decemvirs resigned their 
power, and Horatius and Valerius were sent to make terms 
with the plebs. The seceders returned to Rome, and occupied 
the Aventine and the Oapitol in arms. There they elected 
their tribunes, among whom were Virginius, Icilius, and 

Valerius and Horatius were chosen consuls ; and on their 
proposal it was enacted that henceforth a law passed by the 
people in their tribes (plebiscitum) should be binding upon the 
whole Roman people. The tribune Duilius also proposed and 
passed a law, iJiat it should be a capital offence to leave the 
people without tribunes, or to create any magistrate against 
whom there should be no appeal. Appius O^udius and his 

CH, VIII. The System of Roman Law. 47 

colleague Oppins^ the two most unpopular of the decemyirs, 
anticipated their condemnation and took their own lives in 
prison. The rest were allowed to go into exile, their property 
being confiscated ; and then a general amnesty was proclaimed. 
*The consuls, next led their armies into the field, and gained a 
decisive victory over the .^uians and Sabines. The senate, 
however, refused them the honour of a triumph, and ti.c. 8O6, 
thereupon this privilege was seized upon by the b.c.448. 
plebeian assembly, which decreed that these popular and suc- 
cessful leaders should ascend the Capitol in triumph. 

The fragments which remain to us of the laws of the 
twelve tables are but scanty, and, such as they are, they do not 
favour the supposition that the plebeians gained much by the 
new legislation they had brought about. This remark applies 
with especial force to the two last tables, which contained 
many provisions imjust and oppressive towards the inferior 
class. It may, however, be well in this place to take a survey 
of the old system of Koman law, noticing, as we proceed, those 
points which were either confirmed or altered by the twelve 

One of the foundation stones of Roman law was the abso- 
lute authority of a father over his children ; this extended so far 
that he might sell his son into slavery, and if at any time the 
son regained his liberty, he at once returned under the dominion 
of the father, who might, if he pleased, sell him again and 
again into slavery. This parental authority was in the main 
confirmed by the new code, but a limit was placed to the 
father's power by the provision that when a son had been 
three times sold, and had three times recovered his liberty, he 
became free from parental control. But at the same time that 
he did so, he lost his relationship to his father and could no 
longer inherit from him* The father had uncontrolled power 
to dispose of his property by wiU. It had indeed been custo- 
mary for all wills to be read in the Oomitium, where they 
might be confirmed or rejected ; but henceforth this became a 
mere formality, and a citizen's right was recognised to leave all 
his property to one chUd, or even to an entire stranger, if he so 
willed ; but as his own enjoyment of property during his life- 
time had been unfettered, so he was prohibited from limiting 
the enjoyment of his successor by any conditifMi^H Thus no 
entail could be created. 

48 System of Roman Law, ch. vm. 

Women were at all times required by the Eoman law to be 
under guardianship^ either of a husband or of a father^ brother, 
or other near male relation. They might inherit property, but 
they could not alienate it without their guardian's consent.. 
Under the old law, if a woman lived for a year with any man, 
she passed under his power as a wife ; but by the twelve tables 
she was enabled to evade complete subjection to her husband 
by absenting herself from him for three nights in the year. 
Formerly the patricians not unfrequently married plebeian wives, 
but the children did not inherit their father's superior rank. 
The twelve tables prohibited such marriages altogether. 

Property, — ^As regards land which formed part of the public 
domain, no length of possession could entitle a citizen to the 
freehold ; but as regards land which was the property of a 
private person, any one who could prove two years of undis- 
turbed possession was entitled to claim it as his own, unless it 
had been first acquired by force or fraud. The twelve tables 
expressly forbade a stranger to own land at all. Possession 
for one year was sufficient to confer a legal right to slaves or 
moveable property. When land or chattels were sold, the 
purchaser must seize it with his hand and claim it as his own 
in the presence of five witnesses and of the seller, the money 
being weighed out and paid over at the same time. This mode 
of transfer was called * mancipatio,* and was the privilege of 
Soman citizens only. Moveable property might also be sold 
before a magistrate, in which case the purchaser laid claim to 
it, and the seller, being questioned by the magistrate, allowed 
the claim to be good ; the property was then adjudged to the 
claimant. These legsd customs were confirmed by the twelve 
tables. The usual manner of settling disputes about the right 
to property was for the two litigants to appear before a judge 
and to stake each of them a certain sum (called ^ sacramentiim ') ; 
the cause was then heard and decided by the judge, and the 
losing party forfeited his stake to the public treasury. When 
the suit concerned property of large value the stake amounted 
to 500 asses, in less important cases only fifty asses were 
required. When the question to be decided was whether a 
person was a slave or a free man, the smaller stake only was 
required, and while the suit was pending the man was left at 
liberty and presumed to be fi^. 

In certain cases a man might seize his adversary's property. 

CH. viii. The System of Roman Law, 49 

eyen without a judge's warranty in order to compel him to pay 
a debt. An^ if^ after a case had been heard and adjudged in 
oourt^ the loser did not pay what he owed^ then his adversary 
vras entitled to seize him, and drag him a prisoner to his own 
house, and there keep him in chains. The twelve tables con- 
firmed the old harsh law of debtor and creditor, except that 
they restricted the amount of interest which might be legally 
enforced to about ten per cent. 

In the case of injuries to the person, the letter of the law 
demanded an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but a 
broken bone might be compensated by a payment of 300 asses, 
and smaller injuries by a sum of twenty-five asses ; and it may 
be stated generally that this harsh law of retaliation was not 
strictly enforced. A thief caught in the act was scourged and 
handed over as a slave to the man whom he had injured. 
Other thieves had to make restitution of double the amount 
stolen. Injuries to the character were very severely punished : 
anyone found guilty of publicly libelling a fellow-citizen was 
beaten with a cudgel and publicly degraded. The beating may 
probably in some cases have been fatal. This law made people 
very careful how they criticised or satirised any poweiful 

Onme%, — The crimes of murder, arson, witchcraft, treason, 
and injuring a neighbour's com by night were puni^ed with 

The changes introduced into the Roman constitution by 
the laws of the twelve tables were as follows :— 

An appeal to the people was allowed from every sentence 
pronounced by a magistrate ; and the verdict of the people • 
was final, and overruled every previous decision. Capital 
punishment might only be inflicted by the people assembled in 
their centuries. 

Privilegia, or laws aimed at particular individuals, were 
declared invalid. 

A debtor, whose person was adjudged to his creditor in 
pledge (^ nexus '), was to be in the eye of the law on a footing of 
equality with a free man. 

These laws of the twelve tables were solemnly enacted by 
the people, and seem to have been regarded with satisfaction, 
as reasonably fair in spite of the distinctions between, the two 
orders which they perpetuated. 

go The Decemvirate, ' ch. viit. 

It should be observed that at the same time that the decrees 
of the Oomitia Tributa were made binding upgn the whole 
Roman people, the patricians and their clients were inscribed 
upon the roll of the tribes. It is also worthy of remark that 
Valerius and Horatius were the first Roman magistrates who 
actually bore the title of consuls. Previous to their time the 
chief officers of the state werei called prsdtors. 



NoTWiTHBTANBiNa the progress which the plebeians had made 
in fi:«eing their order from the oppression of the Roman 
aristocracy, there still remained veiy substantial differences 
between the political condition of the two classes. This in- 
equality was mainly supported by the exclusive right to perform 
the ceremonies of religion still rigidly maintained by the 
patricians. It was accounted a profanation for any but a 
patrician to approach the altars of the presiding deities of Rome. 
Thus the pontifices and the augurs still belonged to the higher 
class, and without their sanction no votes could be given, no 
proceedings could be valid in the popular assemblies. More- 
over, the consuls and the other curule magistrates were charged 
with certain sacred functions, and for this reason no plebeian 
had AS yet been admitted to fill those high offices. It was no 
doubt in this direction that the plebeians looked for their next 
step in advance. They strongly resented the sharp line of 
demarcation which had been drawn by the decemvirs between 
the two orders, when they prohibited intermarriage between 
them. In B.o. 445 the tribune Oanuleius, in the fiice of strong 
opposition, carried a law by which this prohibition was 
repealed, and the fiill right of intermarriage between the two 
orders of citizens established. 

An attempt made in the same year to throw open the 
consulship to the plebeians did not succeed ; but in the year 
B.a 420 it was arranged that the military authority of the 
consuls, the imperium, might be transferred to six officers 

cH. IX. Continuation of the Struggle. S i 

called military tribunes, and to these offices the plebeians were 
eligible. At the same time the sacred dignity of the consul- 
ship was carefully separated &om this new military office, and 
transferred to the curule magistrates called Censors, who could 
only be chosen from among the patricians. During the fifty 
years which followed, the command of the armies was some- 
times entrusted to military tribunes, and sometimes to consuls, 
as of old, but in practice it rarely happened that any but 
patricians were elected to these high conunands. Afterwards 
the old custom of electing annually two consuls became again 
the invariable rule, and so continued for many centuries. 

Meanwhile the annals of the city present the usual succession 
of contests with the neighbouring nations, varied by internal 
dissensions. In B.C. 439 a terrible famine prevailed : the efibrts 
of the government to procure com were unavailing, but a 
wealthy plebeian, Spurius Mselius, was more successfiil. He 
purchased large supplies of com in Etruria, which he sold at 
low prices or distributed gratis. This generous conduct made 
him a great favourite with the people, and so alarmed were 
the patricians at his popularity, that they appointed the aged 
Oindnnatus dictator, witiii Servilius Ahala as master u.c. 3i5, 
of the horse. Mealius was accused of aiming at b.c. 439. 
royalty, and when he sought protection among the people from 
his adversaries, was brutally murdered by Ahala in the Forum. 
This violence led to a fresh outbreak of the people, and Ahala 
was obliged to flee the city. 

During the next eight years hostilities were carried on 
against the city of Fidenee^ and againsttheiE]quians,in the course 
of which dictators were several times appointed. In B.C. 431, 
a great effi)rt was made by the .^Equians and Yolscians united 
to conquer Home. Aulus Postumius was named dictator, and 
gained a crowning victory over these enemies at Mount Algidus. 
The severity of Roman discipline is illustrated by an incident 
of this campaign. During the manoeuvres, the dictator's son 
left the post assigned to him and engaged the enemy. He 
returned victorious, but his inexorable father sentenced him to 
death for having acted contrary to his orders. The victory of 
Moimt Algidus was followed by a truce for eight years with 
the -^Equians and Volscians. The arms of Rome were next 
turned in another direction. Twelve miles north of the Tiber, 
on a mountain spur, pretected on three sides by steep escarp- 


52 Continuation of the Struggle ch. ix. 

ments, stood the Tuscan city of Veil. It was strongly fortified ; 
it surpassed Rome in the solidity and grandeur of its buildings, 
and was rich with the products of industry and art. Against 
this powerful riyal the hostility of Rome was directed, with 
short intervals, throughout the next thirty years, the last 
ten of which were consumed by a dege comparable to that of 

After a desultory warfare which produced little permanent 
result, the siege was begun in the year b.o. 406. Year after 
year it continued with varying success. The position of Veil 
made it impossible for the assailants to blockade it completely 
and to reduce it by famine. The Romans, however, clung tena< 
dously to their purpose, and maintained the siege at all seasons 
of the year. This was an entirely new feature in Roman war- 
fare, and compelled them to adopt a most important change in 
their military system. Up to this time the soldiers had fought 
without pay, and had even supplied themselves with food, 
returning always in the autumn season to their own homes to 
harvest their crops. Now, however, that they were required 
to remain under the standard for several years in succession, 
they could no longer maintain themselves. The government 
perceived the necessity and yielded to it. Pay was granted to 
the troops from the public treasmy. This was the first step 
towards the establishment of a standing army and of a regular 
profession of arms. Without it the leaders of the legions could 
never have advanced the eagles far beyond the sight of the 
seven hills ; but with it followed in inevitable sequence the 
elevation of the leaders themselves into candidates for sovereign 
power. The siege of Veii foreshadowed the fall of the re- 

While the siege was proceeding, some alarm was excited 
at Rome by an unaccountable rise of the waters of the Alban 
lake which overflowed its banks. The portent was considered 
so grave that an embassy was sent to inquire its meaning from 
the oracle of the Delphian Apollo. The reply came back, that 
so long as the Alban lake continued to overflow Yeii could not 
be taken. The Romans therefore set to work, and cut a 
tunnel through the mountain side, by which the superabundant 
water was drained oflT. They then confidently looked for the 
conquest of their stubborn enemy. The command of the legions 
was now entrusted to M. Furius OamUlus as dictator. He 

CH. IX. between Patricians and Plebeians. 53 

infused a new spirit into the siege, and seeing no prospect of 
stopming the strong defences of the city, he droye a mine 
heneath them whose inner extremity opened into the shrine of 
Juno within the "Veian fortress. Through this strange entrance 
Oamillus, with a chosen hand, gained access to the heart of the 
city. His men forced open the gates, and, the whole Roman 
army pouring in, he was soon master of the place. Little mercy 
was shown to the brave defenders, who were massacred or sold 
as slaves. The spoil was of immense value, and was divided 
among the Soman people* A little of it, which had been vowed 
by OamilluB to the Pythian Apollo, was sold and exchanged for 
gold, which, in the form of a rich golden bowl, was duly 
sent to Delphi. Such a triumph as that of Camillus had never 
been seen before. In a gilded chariot drawn by four white 
horses, and arrayed in a splendour worthy of the gods them- 
selves, he passed up the Sacred Way ( Via Sacra) to the capital. 
So much glory had already inspired him with a fear u.c. 368, 
lest the vengeance of the gods should fell upon him. ^°* ^^' 
Six years later his fears were realised. He was then accused 
of having embezzled part of the spoil of Veii, and ^.c. 364, 
driven into exile. As he passed the gates he invoked ^-o- 3^* 
a malediction on the ungrateful people. This also was fulfilled^ 
for before the year was out the Gauls had entered Rome. 



The conquest of Veii added largely to the extent of the Roman 
territory, and as the inhabitants had been either put to the 
sword or carried into slavery at Rome, their fertile lands were 
available for division among the Roman citizens. The patricians, 
aa nsual, tried hard to keep so valuable an acquisition in their 
own hands, but at length the just claims of the plebeians pre* 
vailed, and lots of seven jugera or five acres of land were 
granted to any plebeians who chose to apply for them. Thus 
the lands of Veii were colonised, and the Ager Romanus extended 
te north within the ancient limits of Etruria. Durinof the 
years which preceded the war with Veii a similar policy had been 

54 The Sack of Rome by the Gauls. ch. x, 

pursued with the lands of other conquered towns. At Ardea, 
at Yelitrse^ at Labiciun, colonies of Roman citizens had been 
established ; and the Oity of the Seven Hills exercised sovereign 
power over a wide district which extended far out of sight of 
her own walls. The dominion of the rising republic was soon 
to be severely shaken^ if not threatened with complete extinc- 

The Gauls, who occupied the West of Europe from the 
Bhine to the Atlantic, were constantly pressed upon by hordes 
of barbarians advancing from east to west. This pressure caused 
them from time to time to seek an outlet for their teeming 
population into some, new country. More than a century 
previous to the period we have now reached in the history of 
Rome, the Gauls had passed the defiles of the Alps and had 
taken possession of the rich valley of the Po. In effeding this 
they overcame the resistance of the Etruscans, whose dominion 
had extended as far as the Alps. During a century the range 
of the Apennines formed a dividing line between these two 
opposing powers. But now, under the leadership of Brennus, 
the Gauls passed the line of the Apennines and laid siege to 
Olusium. The Romans in alarm sent three envoys, all members 
of the Fabian gens, to check their advance by negotiation. Fail- 
ing to produce any efiPect, the ambassadors most unwisely took 
part with the Etruscans in the defence of thdr city. The 
Ghiuls protested against such a violation of the laws of war. 
The Romans recognised the justice of their complaints, but 
were too proud to deliver up their erring citizens. It was 
determined to defy the Gauls, and an army was at once sent 
forward to meet the advancing invaders. The two hosts 
encoimtered near the small stream of the Allia, on the left bank 

u.c. 864, of the Tiber, at a point only eleven miles from Rome. 

B.0. 890. The Romans were entirely routed, and a remnant 
only of their legions driven headlong back to the ciiy. No 
further resistance was attempted ; the walls were abandoned, 
and the people, panic-stricken, fled, with such of their property 
as they could carry, into Etruria and the nearest cities of 
Latium. The flamen of Quirinus and the Vestal Virgins with 
the. Sacred Fire retired to Caere. But the Romans of the old 
patrician houses, the only true citizens as they claimed to be, 
would not thus desert the citadel of their nation and the shrines 
gf their gods. They q^uickly collected their most portable 

CH.X. The Sack of Rome by the Gauls. 


56 The Sack of Rome by the Gauls. ch. x. 

treasures and sucli supplies of food as were at hand, and awaited 
in the Capitol the arrival of the Gauls. A story was told in 
after times of how the senators of Rome, seated in the Forum 
in their chairs of office, received the invader with dignified 
composure, and for a moment overawed him. It was not till 
one of the Gauls, who impertinently stroked the white beard of 
the aged Papirius, was stricken to the ground by a blow of the 
senator's ivoiy-headed staff, that the barbarians gave loose to 
their savage nature and ruthlessly massacred the whole august 

The city was now given up to pillage and fire ; but the 
Capitol was defended by its steep escarpments of rock, and its 
brave garrison withstood the first assault of the Gauls. They 
therefore set themselves down to reduce it by famine. Mean- 
while some of the fugitives from the Allia, joined by others who 
had escaped from the city, rallied among the ruins of Veil, 
They aclmowledged M. Csedicius as their captain, and they so 
far recovered their confidence as to aspire to raise the siege of the 
Capitol ; but it was felt that Oamillus was the only leader wbom 
they could follow in such an enterprise with hopes of success. 
Camillus, however, was still an outlaw and an exile in Ardea. 
Then Pontius Oominius, a brave plebeian youth, swam down 
the Tiber, scaled the Tarpeian rock, laid before the senate the 
proposal of those at Veil, and made good his return, carrying 
wifh him a full pardon for Camillus and a commission to him 
to assume the dictatorship of the Koman state and save the 
republic. This bold deed very nearly caused the capture of the 
beleaguered fortress. The Gauls noticed the footsteps of 
Cominius on the ledges of the rock, and judged that where one 
had descended others might climb up. In the dead of night 
a party of them began to mount by this difficult path. The 
garrison were lapped in slumber. No sentinel was posted at a 
point deemed to be inaccessible. But happily the geese which 
were kept in the temple of Juno were scared by the noise of 
the intruders, and made a loud outcry. Manlius heard the 
Bound and gave the alarm. He was just in time to meet the 
first Gkiul who reached the top of the ascent, and to dash him 
down upon the heads of those who followed. The Capitol was 
saved, and for this signal service Manlius was honoured with 
the proud title of Oapitolinus. ^^ ^^ ^^^ 

Camillus accepted the call of his countrymen in their hptir 

CH. X. Camillus, 57 

of need. He organised the scattered forces of tlie Eomans 
into an army, and advanced to relieve Itome. But before he 
could arrive, the defenders of the Capitol were reduced to the 
last extremity of famine and compelled to make terms with 

The Gaul demanded a thousand pounds of gold. When the 
treasure was being weighed, complaint was made that the con- 
querors were using unjust weights. * Vsb victis.* ' Woe to the 
worsted,' replied Brennus, and so saying cast his heavy sword 
into the scales. As Idvy tells the tale, it was at this moment 
that Oamillus appeared upon the scene with his troops. He 
broke off the capitulation, drove the Gauls out of the town, 
defeated them near Gabii, and destroyed them to a man. This 
story, though well devised to save the honour of Home, 
was scarcely believed by the Bomans themselves. One &ct, 
however, is certain; that a treasure, whose existence was 
explained by the story just related, was preserved long after in 
the vaults of the Oapitol, and was reputed to be there kept to 
redeem the city in case of its being a second time conquered by 
the Gauls. When Julius Oaesar rifled the treasury, he found 
and appropriated this gold. ' There is no more fear of a Gaulish 
invasion,' he exclaimed ; ' I have conquered Gaul.' It is probable 
that a great deal of this story had its origin in the poetry and 
the traditionary legends of the Koman people ; but we cannot 
doubt the truth of the main fact related in it. Bome was 
certainly sacked and burned by a horde of Ghiulish barbarians. 
After their departure the town was so hastily and irregularly 
rebuilt that the lines of the new streets often crossed the 
sewers of the ancient city. The mischief done by them accounts 
for the destruction or loss of almost every earlier monument of 
history and antiquity. From this date the records of Bome 
make a new start ; her annals are complete without a break, 
and the memorials of her deeds multiply as the years proceed. 
Oamillus, the second founder, as he was gratefully entitled, of 
the city, was in fact the original founder of historic Bome. 

d by Google 

58 The Licinian Rogations. ch. xi. 



It was indeed to the brave spirit of Oamillufl that the Romans 
now owed the regeneration of their state. In their despair 
they would fain have deserted the blackened ruins of theb city, 
and have betaken themselves in a body to Veii. He persuaded 
them to build anew upon the old foundations, using for the 
purpose the materials of dismantled Veii. 

From the ruins of the city were recovered the augural staff 
of Romulus, the twelve bronze tables of the laws, and some 
fragments of older legislation and of ancient treaties. But the 
most serious loss which Rome had suffered consisted in the 
dispersion and destruction of so large a portion of her citizens. 
Oamillus again may enjoy the credit of the wise liberality with 
which the rights of the city were accorded to the people of 
Oapena, of Falerii, and of other places in the Veientine terri- 
tory, out of whom four new tribes were formed and added to 
the existing list. Such an accession of strength was greatly 
needed ; for the ancient enemies of Rome — ^Volscians, ^quians, 
Etruscans, Latins — pressed hard upon her now that she was so 
enfeebled, and once again she must contend day by day in a 
desperate struggle for existence. Even the colonies of Rome, 
Velitrae and Oirceii, banded themselves with the Latian towns 
of Praeneste and Antium against her ; but this coalition was 
crushed under the successive dictatorships of Oamillus, Gossus, 
and Quinctius. 

We must now return to the internal state of the Roman 
people. As in the case of the conquest of Rome by Porsena, 
so now after the sack of Rome by the Gauls, distriess and em- 
barrassment fell upon the poorer classes. They had lost their 
all; houses, bams, implements of agriculture, had all to be 
replaced ; and, to make matters worse, the government imposed 
additional taxation in order to replace the gold paid to Brennus. 
Debt and insolvency, the natural consequences of such distress, 
ensued. The slave barracks (ergastula) were filled with cap- 
tives, and the people once more cried out against the harshness 
of the usurers. Marcus Manlius Oapitolinus stood forward as 
the champion of the debtors. He paid the debts of 400 

cH. XI. The Ltcinian Rogations, 59 

prisoners, thereby impoverishing his own estate. The patri- 
cians, alarmed at his growing popularity, pretended that he 
was aiming at royal power. They appointed Oossus dictator, 
and by his orders Manlius was thrown from the very Tarpeian 
rock on whose summit his valour had once saved Home. His 
house on the Capitol was razed, and the Manlian gens resolved 
that none of them should ever take the name of u.c. 369, 
Marcus. The plebeians, deprived of their champion, ^c* 38«. 
whom they had deserted in his need, fell into still deeper 
misery. In B.C. 377, 0. Licinius Stolo and L. Sextius were 
created tribunes of the people. They were re-elected for ten 
successive years, and their courage and perseverance gained a 
victory for the popular cause which marks an epoch in Boman 

The Licinian rogations, as they ai*e commonly called, were 
three in number : — 

1. That interest should be remitted on all existing debts ; 
the capital alone to be repaid within three years. 

2. That no citizen should be permitted to occupy more than 
500 jugera, about 320 acres, of public land, nor to graze more 
than a limited number of cattle upon the common pastures ; 
also that payment of the annual tithe or rent to the state 
treasury should be rigidly enforced, and that small lots of land, 
to the extent of seven jugera or £ve acres, should be assigned 
to all poor citizens. 

3. That the ofEce of consular tribunes should be abolished ; 
that two consuls should be annually elected as of old, and that 
one of the two should always be a plebeian. 

The first of these proposals was intended to alleviate the 
widespread distress of the poorer classes. 

The second was meant to guard against the recurrence of 
such a state of general poverty and debt by largely mcreasing 
the number of small freeholders. 

These were points which had been urged before, and perhaps 
from time to time conceded, and the same might occur again 
with little actual result. 

But the third proposal threatened the patricians with the 
loss of their most valued privilege. They therefore did all in 
their power to hinder it from becoming law. For some time 
they succeeded in sowing discord among the tribunes of the 
people ; when this manoeuvre failed, anfl^' tti^^ '^'fbVttb^ wer^ 

6o The Licinian Rogations, ch. xi. 

unanimously demanded by the tribunes, they had recourse to 
the old remedy of a dictatorship. But even the age and ser- 
vices of the venerable Oamillus failed to impose submission on 
the people. He retired from the contest. The three rogations 
were passed into law by the comitia of the tribes, the senate 
giving a reluctant consent to them. The centuries then elected 
L. Sextius for their plebeian consul, and the curies retaliated 
by refusing to grant him the Imperium, which could not be 
conferred without a religious ceremony. Oivil war was on the 
point of breaking out, when the aged Oamillus interposed as 
peace-maker and persuaded the senate and the curies to accept 
u.o. 887, what was inevitable. The election of Sextius was 
B.C. 367. confirmed, and Oamillus, having saved the state a 
third time, closed a long era of civil discord by the dedication 
of a temple to Ooncord. 

As some compensation to the patrician party, the chief ju- 
dicial power was now separated from the consulship, and the 
new office of prsBtor created and reserved to them. The titie 
indeed was not a new one, as for many years it had been used 
to designate the chief magistrates of the republic until the title 
of consul came into vogue. But the office, as distinct from the 
consulship, was new. The prsBtor henceforth was to hold su- 
preme authority in the city whenever both the consuls should 
be absent on military service. He was to declare the law and 
preside at the tribunals. In token of his dignily he was to be 
attended by six lictors. At a later period this magistracy was 
doubled ; the prsstor Urbanus being charged with the adminis- 
tration of the law as between citizen and citizen, the praetor 
Peregrinus imdertaking' the settlement of all causes in which 
persons of foreign origin were concerned. The first praetor 
was Spurius Oamillus, and his name seems to express the amal- 
gamation which was now taking place between the patricians 
u.c. 888, and the plebeians. Oamillus, the hero of the Furian 
B.C. 866. house, though a genuine patrician, was represented 
as the author of the reconciliation between the two orders, 
while the prsenomen of Spurius seems to be always assigned by 
history or legend to a champion of the plebeians. Such were 
Spurius Oassius, Spurius Maelius, and Spurius Metilius, all alike 
noble sufierers in the cause of plebeian independence, and such 
perhaps, under happier circumstances, wjas the first of the Boman 
praetors, Spurius Oamillus. 

CH. XI. The First Plebeian Consul 6\ 

A further concession was made to the patricians by the 
creation of the office of curule sediles. The plebeian asdiles 
had been two in number, and were, like the tribunes, inviolable 
in their persons. Two more were now added, who were to be 
always patricians. Their duty was to preside over the celebra- 
tion of the public games. They enjoyed the dignity of a curule 
chair in the senate ; they were privileged to wear the toga 
prsetexta, with its broad purple border, and to display in their 
halls the images of their illustrious ancestors. After the first 
election tlus office was thrown open to the plebeians,, and be- 
came the first step in their advancement to the senate and the 
highest offices of the state. On the occasion of their first ap- 
pointment a fourth tribe, to include the plebeians, was added to 
the three old ones of Kamnenses, Tatienses, and Luceres. Thus 
at length the long-sustained struggle came to an end, and the 
commons of Rome were admitted to full citizenship side by 
aide with her old nobility. 

The following year, B.C. 366, witnessed the death of 
Camillus, the great dictator, the saviour of the state, the 
greatest of all the heroes of Roman story till we come to Julius 
Caesar. He fell a victim to the pestilence which in that year 
visited the city for the sixth time since the Regifugium. Rome 
was then, as now, an unhealthy place at the best of times, but 
the Romans noted with superstitious anxiety the occurrence of 
epidemic diseases, and such calamities were often commemo- 
rated by the dedication of a shrine to Apollo, Febris, or Me- 
phitis. Sometimes the whole consistory of gods was to be 
propitiated by a lectisternium, when the images were taken 
from their pedestals, borne in procession through the city, and 
laid upon couches in the Capitol before tables loaded with 
sacrificial ofierings. The pestilence of the year 366 deserves to 
be noted, as, by the advice of the priests, stage plays were now 
for the first time introduced into Rome from Etruria. To 
about the same date must be assigned the romantic story of 
Mettus Curtius. A deep chasm had opened in the middle of 
the Forum, and such a portent inspired general fear of some 
impending calamity. What should be done to appease the 
wrath of the gods ? It was annoimced that the chasm would 
never dose until it had received the most precious thing in 
Rome. Gold and jewels were in vain cast in; then Mettus 
Curtius came forth fully armed and mounted on his war-horse* 

62 The First Plebeian Consul, ch. xi. 

^ Rome/ said he^ ' holds nothing of greater value than arms and 
valour/ So saying, he spurred his horse, and, devoting himself 
to his country and to the gods, plunged out of sight into the 
gulf. With this offering the gods were satisfied and the chasm 
closed up. 

Chronological Table showing the gradual advance of the Plebeians to 

political equality with the Patricians, 
B.C. u.c. 

494. First secession to the Mons Sacer. First tribunes of the 260 

plebs appointed, with power to veto a law ; their per- 
sons to be inviolable. 
486. Agrarian law of Spurius Cassius ...... 268 

471 Pablilian law ; tribunes to be elected bv Comitia Tributa . 288 
454. Icilian law ; Aventine hill assigned in lots to the plebeians 300 
452. Terentilian law ; commission appointed to collect informa- 802 

tion about the laws of Greece. 
449. Laws of the twelve tables published. Usury placed under 305 

restriction. £very capital sentence to be subject to an 

appeal to the people in Comitia Centuriata. 
448. Valerian law; Flebiscita made binding on the whole 306 

Roman people. The honours of a triumph first decreed 

by the people. 
445. Canuleian law gives the right of intermarriage between 309 

the rival orders. 
423. Consular tribunes substituted for consuls ; plebeians to be 334 

367. Licinian rogations passed. Agrarian laws re-enacted. One 387 

consul to be a plebeian. 
356. Mardus Rutilus, first plebeian dictator .... 398 
4^51. Mardus Rutilus, first plebeian censor 403 


B.C. 365-325. 

Wb must now pass lightly over a period of forty years, during 
which the forces of Rome were engaged in a continual suc- 
cession of struggles with foreign enemies. These short cam- 
paigns fkbound with episodes illustrating the valour of indi- 
vidual Romans. No great struggle between the two orders of 
citizens "belongs to this period, but several steps were made in 
advance by which the remaining distinctions between them 
were still further obliterated. Thus in the year B.C. 866 a 


Gallic Wars.. 63 

plebeian, C. Marcius Rutilus, for the first time held the high 
office of dictator. He gained a victory over the Etruscans, and 
when the curies refused to grant him a triumph, the tribes in 
their comitia decreed him that honour. Five years later, B.C. 
^51, the same Marcius attained to the august magistracy of the 
censorship, hitherto strictly confined to the patricians. In B.C. 
337 the office of prsBtor was in like manner filled by a plebeian, 
and thus one by one all the highest dignities of the state be- 
came the common appanage of either order. 

Between the years 365 and 342 a dictator was created no 
less than fourteen times. Six of these appointments were made 
for the defence of the city against foreign enemies; the re- 
mainder were generally for the holding of elections in times of 
public excitement, Three of these dictators were appointed in 
B.C. 360^ 359, and 357 to make head against the Gauls ; one 
repulsed the Hemicans in 361, another the Etruscans in 355, 
and a third the Aunmcans in 344. 

The Gauls, after their first retreat from Rome, did not 
fail to return and renew thek attacks upon the republic. 
They had indeed penetrated far beyond the Roman terri- 
tory into Campania and even Apulia. But in these forays 
they gained no firm hold on the countries which they in- 
vaded. Their furious assaults were terrible to unstable 
troops, but the constancy of the Romans seldom failed to baffie 
and repel them. Their reputed size and strength, together 
with the impression made by their sacking of the city, caused 
the Romans to regard them with fear and anxiety, and the 
appearance of the Gauls in the neighbourhood was the signal, 
not so much for a war as for a * Gallic tumult,' when every 
citizen was called to arms, and the whole nation rushed in 
a mass to the rescue. On one occasion the Gauls were facing a 
Roman army on the Anio, when a gigantic barbarian advanced 
upon the bridge and offisred to %ht any Roman champion. 
Manlius, by permission of his general, accepted the challenge, 
and, in spite of his small stature, brought his huge adversary 
to the ground. He received the surname of * Torquatus,' from 
the . gold chain or * torque ' which he stripped from the dead 
Qaul's neck. A similar encounter took place in the extreme 
south of Latium, in which M. Valerius was aided by a crow, 
which settled on his helmet and struck put fiercely at his 
eji^my with beak and claws and wings. From Ihis incident he 

64 Gallic Wars, ch. xii. 

gained the surname of 'Ooryus/ For some time the Gauls 
maintained themselves among the Alban hiUs^ from whence, 
on one occasion^ they advanced to the very foot of the OoUine 
gate. Their presence there broke up the confederation of Latin 
towns which Borne had long held in alliance^ and also en- 
couraged the Hemici, the Aurunci, the Etruscans of Caere and 
Tarquinii, and the Volscians of Privemum, all ancient foes of 
the republic, to renew their attacks upon her. From these 
continual contests Borne emerged triumphant, but the difficulty 
experienced by her in subduing these petty tribes seems to 
point to some internal weakness in her own state. We know 
that the Boman soldiery were pre-eminent for their bravery 
and discipline, and we can only attribute the long delay in 
establishing the supremacy of the republic to the civil dissen* 
sions which were still rife within the walls. 

The time had now arrived when the power of Bome was 
to assert itself beyond the bounds of Latium, and new enemies 
in consequence were to be encountered. The highlands of 
Central and Southern Italy were at this time occupied by the 
great Sabellian race, of which an ofihoot under the name of 
Sabines had largely contributed to form the Boman people 
itself. Further to the south the same race were known by the 
kindred name of Samnites. A body of these mountaineers had, 
some time before, descended from the fastnesses of the Apen- 
nines, seized upon the fertile plains of Campania, and estab- 
lished themselves as a class of patrician rulers in the luxurious 
u.c. 411, city of Capua. They were soon estranged from their 
B.0, 843. kinsmen, who still dwelt among the hills, and a 
quarrel breaking out between the Samnites and the Capuans^ 
the latter appealed to Bome for aid. 

Now the Bomans had for nine years past been in dose 
alliance with the Samnites, and had no business to give aid or 
countenance to their enemies. It was pretended indeed that 
the people of Capua formally surrendered themselves to the 
dominion of Bome, and on this plea the republic tried to justify 
her treachery to the Samnite nation. In any case war was 
declared against the Samnites, and after a successful campaign 
of one yearns duration^ the mountaineers were driven back to 
their hill forts, and a Boman army was quartered for the 
winter in Capua. ^ , ,, 

JT Digitized by 

The rich plain of Campania lay at the mercy of Bome. It ii 

CH. xn. The Latin War, 65 

prolMtble that the prospect of valuable lands to be divided 
among the conquerors was the real cause of the troubles which 
now arose both within and without the Eoman state. During 
the winter a mutiny broke out in the army at Oapua : the dis- 
contented soldiers marched in a body to Bovillsa, on the road 
to Rome. Valerius Oorvus, appointed dictator, led an army 
against them; but his levies, instead of fighting, fraternised 
with the mutineers. 

The government were forced to submit to the people in 
arms. A series of laws were passed for the relief of debtors, 
for the redress of military grievances, for the regula- u.c. 413, 
tion of consular elections : this last law, proposed by ^'C. 34i! 
the tribune Genucius, enacted that botii consuls might hence- 
forth be plebeians. It is clear that the old aristocracy saw 
that the time was now come when Airther resistance to the 
demands of the plebeians would be both useless and unreason- 
able. And this is confirmed by the fact that two years later, 
B.C. 339, under the dictatorship of Publilius Philo, himself a 
plebeian, a law was passed by which the consent of the senate 
was declared unnecessary to the establishment of laws passed 
by the people in the comitia of the centuries ; the plebiscita 
were henceforth to have the force of law, whether or no they 
were sanctioned by the seniEite. It must not be supposed that 
the infiuenee of the senate was destroyed by this measure. In 
practice this first Publilian law was very rarely put in force, 
but in case of a deadlock between the two assemblies it became 
a constitutional principle that the senate must give way. The 
second and third of the Publilian laws ordained that one of the 
censors must be a plebeian, and threw open the prsdtorship also 
to the lower class. PublUius was himself the first plebeian 
praetor, b.c. 337. 

The success of the Roman mutineers in obtaining all that 
they demanded from their rulers produced a strong el^ct upon 
the Latin auxiliaries, not Roman citizens, who had fought by 
their side throughout the Samnite war. They also had claims 
and grievances to urge, and they now began to hope that their 
demands might be listened to in the same spirit of concession. 
In this they were disappointed. The strife between patricians 
and plebeians was at length laid to rest. A new and very 
similar struggle was on the point of beginning between the 
citizens of a united Rome and the people of Latium, who ac- 

66 The Latin War cr. xn. 

knowledged iter primary among tfaeir ot'ties and liad ftnr^t 
cheerfully under her banners as aflies and auziliwiaB. TiMW 
peo]^« now eent a deputation to Rome to piopeee ^taX ik&y 
should he ineorporated on a footfing of e^imlitf in 1^ ftennti 
state a&d enrolled ataiong her citiiseiie. They also dnmaidhid 
that one of the eonsuls and tme-haif of the eenate shoidd be 
choeen from amo^ the Latiae. The RomAiiB peroeiVed that 
their allies wanted to secure a share in the riefa ianda and ho6tj 
expected from the tSon^uest of Oanipama. Tiny were greedily 
determined to keep tfaeee advantages to themselyee. The fffe** 
posals of the Latins were scomfuily rejected imd tMr amlMe* 
sadOTs hardly escaped outriige (b.O. 34D-888>< War wm now 
ineyitaUe. The Latins etoie of the same stodraa the Romans; 
the same hrare spirit animated them; atid they dMermined to 
stry^e a blow for their iotdep^idenee. They marohed from ike 
fortified cities of Prflsneste, Tibur^ Tuscului^ Arioia> and 
VelitrsB: they w^^ jomed by the Volseians of Antium a^ 
Pritremtim ) aild they roused the Oampanians to cast in l^ei^ lot 
with them and so defend their threatened terrftoiy. The 
Romans on their side taeuie en allianee with the Bftabitee, 
whom they had just defeated, and marching tiirough their 
mouitaki country faced the Latian legions in Otenpania. The 
two consuls who led thw army were T. Manlius Torquatos «nd 
P. Deeius Mue, both of thena conspicttous elara^es idf tite 
her(»o severity cwd patriotism of the frndeftt Retoans. Li the 
beginning of the campaign OTders were given that no one 
should engage the enemy exc^ by exj^fess eommaBMl of his 
superior officer. Yoimg Manlius, the son ef the coikstd^ bebg 
lefider of a troop of hcwse, was challenged to single combat by 
the TiBcujaa Mettius. IJnable to beaSf the )[Hrovocatioii^ he 
fought and slew his enemy, and carried the arms of the Tub- 
culan to his father. The consul without hesHation condemned 
the noble youth to death for breach of disdpline. He f^ 
beneath the lictor's axe amid the lamentatioAe of hie young 
comrades, to wh(Hu the consul Manlius was ever after an object 
of aversion. The decisive battle of the campaign wae fou^t 
under Mount Vesuviue, and in the Coume of it the plebeiaii 
consul, Deeius Mus, sacrificed himself in his cottnti:y\3 eattse. 
The Roman consuls had been warned in a dream that in the 
impending combat the army was doomed to perish on one eide, 
the general on the other. They agxeed tiat Whichever of Aem. 

en. xij. TAe Latin War. 6f^ 

seemed to be lodng ground should solemnly devote himself to 
death. It fell to the lot of Decius to fulfil this vow. He 
repeated after the chief pontiff the sc^emn form of devotion, 
and then rushed siDgle-handed into the serried ranks of the 
enemy, and was- afterwards found amid heaps of slain who had 
Mkax beneath his sword. The victory, though stubbornly 
contested, reiiiaiiied ^ith the Eomans. The Latins rallied 
once more at Tri&num, but w^re there easily defeated. They 
tixen betook themsdlves 'to th^r fenced cities, and the re*- 
maindefr of tiie war eon»sted in a series of sieges, in which the 
Botoans tedueed t^e sti^ong places oi Latium one by one. At 
Antium they ot^ptured tiie enemy's ships, which had loDg been 
aoetistonied to prey Qp^ Boman commerce. The brazen 
beaks of these ships were cut off and fixed to the orator's 
platform in the Forum, whieh thence acquired the name of the 
Bostra. Thus <ihe Latin confederation fell completely imder 
the dominion of Rome ; but the conquered were treated with 
moderation. Tibmr anfd Prseneste were allowed to retain their 
own laws and ma§^E^ates: other cities were occupied by 
Boman igasnsons tmder the name of colonies : others retained 
l^ir own lands and usages, but were placed under t^ control 
of a Boman prefect. For the most part the Latin population 
were «dmitted to a kind of inferior dti^enship, with rights of 
commerce emA ktennarriage^ but without the sufirage. This 
fraocyse came to be known as the ' Latium ' or ' jus Latii/ and 
was in later times exteladed to many other eonquered countries. 
By ihtii sttccess in the Latin war ike Romans gained a large 
aceesBion to their public domain and to their state revenues, for 
the mibjeet Latins W6re at once required to contribute their 
sh«re of taxation to the Boman treasAJy. Two new tribes were 
fomed oat of portions of the conquered territory; and a large 
population beeune liable to serve ia the legions wh^iever 
required by the cottsul so to do. Individual Bomans quickly 
became owneM of large estates throughout the newly acquired 
te^tory ; aasd the froinlier of the Ager Bc«ianuswas pushed as 
hi so&tk As Oapiiia and the river Voltuinus. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

68 The Second Samnite War. ch. xiii. 



Tee history of Rome comes now for the first time into direct 
contact with that of Greece. For several centuries the coasts 
of Sicily and Southern Italy had been occupied by numerous 
Greek settlements which rivalled; if indeed they did not out- 
shine^ the cities of their mother country in wealth and noag^ 
nificence. Syracuse, Messana^ Tarentum, Psestum^ Neapolis^ 
OumsB, may be mentioned as some of the most conspicuous 
among them. These alien colonies subjugated and enslaved the 
native inhabitants of the sea-coast districts, but between them 
and the Lucanian and Bruttian tribes, who still maintained 
their independence in the mountainous interior of Oalabria, 
a state of chronic warfare existed. With aU their artistic 
culture and acuteness of intellect, the Greeks were wanting in 
the strong political common sense which is necessary to the 
formation of a powerful and united state. Their disunion had 
already much enfeebled them, and the native races were pro- 
portionately encouraged in their attacks upon them. 

At this very time Alexander the Great was preparing to 
lead his Macedonian phalanxes to the conquest of the East ; and 
his uncle, Alexander, king of Epirus, was not indisposed to 
pursue a similar enterprise towards the West (b.o. 382). The 
Tarentines invited him to aid them against their Italian neigh- 
bours, and he responded to the call. Landing with his army 
at Tarentum he overran the south of Italy, and won many 
victories against the Lucanians, the Bruttians, and the Samnites. 
The Romans were not sorry to see so powerful an enemy press- 
ing upon the Samnites, and having no further need of their aid 
against the Latins, they allied themselves with Alexander, but 
the latter soon after fell by the hand of an assassin, and his 
ambitious projects were frustrated. The Samnites were by 
this time aware that unless they were content to see the whole 
of Oampania in Roman occupation they must make a stand 
agunst the advance of the republic. The Greek city of PaUe- 
polis, which adjoined Neapolis (Naples), was in a state of civil 
discord: the Romans sided with thoopillty of nobles; the 

CH. XIII. The Second Samnite War. 6g 

Samnites threw a garrison into the town to aid the popular 
party. Thus the gauntlet was thrown down; and the second 
Sanmite war, which lasted 22 years, from B.C. 826 to B.C. 304, 
beg:an. Publilius Philo, as consul, laid siege to Palsepolis, 
which after a long defence submitted. This siege was the 
occasion of afresh innovation in the Roman system of govern- 
ment. The. consul was detained before Palsepolis beyond 
the period assigned to his magistracy; and by a recent en- 
actment it was forbidden to re-elect him during the next ten 
years. The services of Philo could not be dispensed with, and 
so the difficulty was overcome by appointing him u.o. 428, 
pro-consul. Such was the origin of the office which at ^•^' ^^e.' 
a later period gave leaders to the Eoman armies quartered in 
distant provinces or engaged in conquests of many years' dura- 

While the pro-consul stayed to push the siege of Palsepolis, 
two consular armies advanced into the Samnite territory. 
Roman diplomacy had not been idle, and the alliance of the 
Lucanians and Apulians to the south, of the Marsians and Pelig- 
nians to the north of Samnium had been secured. Thus the 
enemy was isolated and surrounded ; but these brave moun- 
tcdneers fought gallantly for theb homes and their pasture lands. 
They contested every inch of ground. The struggle lasted 
with varying success year after year, and conducted as it was, 
sometimes in open plains^ sometimes in mountain passes, some* 
times in pitched battles, more often in assaults upon fortified 
places, in ambuscades and surprises, it continued to train the 
Roman legionary to the skilftil use of his weapons and the 
highest power of endurance. Nor less did it serve as a school 
of tactics for the leaders in these varied services. In the 
course of it we meet once more with a now familiar story, 
illustrating the severity of Roman discipline. In b.o. 324, 
Papirius Cursor the dictator, during a short absence from the 
camp, left strict injunctions with his master of the horse, Fabius 
Rullianus, not to engage the enemy. Fabius, however, seized 
a favourable opportunity, fought, and won a great victory. 
Paprius, on his return, threatened to execute the successful 
general for his breach of orders. The culprit escaped to Rome 
and appealed for protection to the people^ but no power 
existed, not even that of the tribunes^ which could bar the 

TO The Second Samnite War. ch. xm. 

diotatoi^s right to piuiisk him. Fapinus iaskted on ^e neoes- 
ditj of maintainiiig discipMne, but at last yielded to the probers 
of the senate and the people, and granted Fabhis his l^e. In 
this same year^ b.c. 324, Alexander the Great reposed at Bah}ion 
after completing the conquest of the Pernan monarchy. For 
three years longer the war continued without any incident of 
importance, but in 321 a great success fell to*the Samnitee. 
Theb leader, Pontius of Telesia, was enabled to entice the two 
consuls with four legions into a defile at Oaudium, where they 
were compelled to surrender unconditionally. The Samnite 
general consulted his aged father as to how he should dispose of 
his captives. The old man counselled two courses, either to 
put the whole of them to death, or else to set them all at 
liberty without conditions, and after sudi an act of g^erosity 
to count on Roman gratitude for a lasting peace. Pontius pre- 
ferred a middle course ; he inasted upon humiliating his con- 
quered foes ; and he induced the consuls to promise on behalf 
of Rome that the old alliance with Samnium should be 
renewed and that the Roman conquests and colonies on Sam- 
nite ground, including Fregellas and Oales, should be given up. 
To this the consuls, Postumius and Yeturius,in their extremity 
consented and b(»ind themselves by an oath. They then, 
together with two qusBstors, two tribunes of the people, twelve 
military tribunes, 12,000 foot soldiers and 600 horsemen, sub- 
mitted to pass man by man under the yoke : two spears set up- 
right with a third across them. THhA 600 knights were retained 
as hostages fer the fulfilment of the treaty. 

On the return of the consuls with theb army to Rome, the 
city was filled with dismay and indignation. Such a disgrace 
to the RoBoan arms was felt to be intolerable. The people and 
the senate refused to ratify the treaty, and the unhappy 
Postumius, who had himself concluded it, now eagerly coun- 
selled its rejection. He and his colleague dared not resume the 
insignia of their office; and after two abortive attempts to 
create a dictator, the two noblest dtizen^ Papiriua Ouraor and 
Publilius Philo, were appointed to replace them in the consul- 
ship. Postumius, with all the officers who had taken the oath, 
was now sent back to Oaudium and handed over in fetters to 
the Samnite chief. As the fecial delivered him to IV)ntiue, 
jPostumi^s exQlflwed, <I 9^ now ne laD|er^^Q^aa haH a 

0H. xiii, Ths Second Samnite War. ji 

SaDmiie;' lk«a tiiiwa^ louiid ke stsruak ^ saoved per^ 
kenM 9mtk eaUed t^n the Romans to av^i^ 1^ u»iilt wkich 
tii^ aaj^ lecko^as a pxatoKt for a xigkteoua war. J^ fluch a 
flimgr pratenee did the Bomaaa tiy to cloak the gvofislffea^ of 
faith of which they had been guilty. They justly incurred the 
rebuke which Pontius bestowed upon them, while he contemp- 
tuously released tha whole of the prisoners^ and refused all 
compensation for the violated treaty. The Roman annalists 
related stories enough to show that the disaster of the Oaudine 
Forks was retrieved by the va^lour of Eoman arms. The very 
soldiers who were there passed under the yoke are said to have 
^feat^d the Samn^s. vs^ Apvlia, to hay^ cUscharged Pontius 
himself with 7,000 of his tiK>ops vn^er the yoke, to hare 
released the 600 hostages by force of arms, and to have re- 
eevered by the captuie of Luceria aU the arms and trophies 
fHneadttred at Oaudium. So eisact a retribution bears all the 
nwrks ci bdng invented. 

Qb the otiMF hand, it appears that soon after their suecess at 
Oaudiiua the Samnites conquered tibA Bomaa ix^lony of Fre- 
geUfld on the Lirisy and also tha Apulian town of Lueeria, which 
was in aHiaaee witioi Bome, and the republic had enough to do 
to nouuntam ita communioationfl with OampttBda and its hold 
upon the intervening coimtry. For two years, from B.e. 81^ 
did, hmtilitftes w^core auapanded, and the BomAsatook advantage 
of tiie tvufoa to abolish the local government of C^pua and to 
eatabHah a pre&et of their own as ruler tibeie. The Mtax waa 
again wnewed with many changes of fortune. Great efforts 
were made to tempt the aubjeot races into a zevoh against 
Borne. The Ladns, however, stood iinu; the Aurunci 
waferad and drew down upon ^emselves 9t\ severe a puiueh- 
ment, that their name heneeforth disappears from vo-440, 
yatory. In Capua a conspiracy was set on foot^ 9.c9^. 
but was put down with a high l^oid, and the leaders of it threw 
themaelves sa their awn swords, ^e dictator Fabius auifered 
a B^aUe defeat at the pass of Lautulss in Oampania, but this 
dkastor waa balanced by a great victory near Oaudium, whieh 
eoat thadefeated Samnites 30,000 Hvee. The scale began to 
turn once more in favour of the Bomana ; and the Sammtee^ 
eoBs^ious of an ineieafiiT<g pcessuve upon them, were obliged to 
content l^emselTes with the oentsal region of the Apenniaee, 

Digitized by Vj VJiJ V I C 

72 The Second Samnite War. ch. xiii. 

and to withdraw from aU attempts to m^tain their ascendency 
over the regions bordering on the coast. The Romans now for 
the first time began to develop their strength at sea^ and we 
hear of a Boman fleet commanded by two maritime prefects. 



We have now reached the middle period of .the struggle be- 
tween Rome and Samnium^ and it would seem that the success 
of the republic and the spread of her dominion over a large 
extent of subject territory began to excite alarm among her 
more northern neighbours. The pride of the Etruscans was 
touched to the quick, and the Gauls, who still hovered on the 
ridge of the Apennines, became aware that unless these new 
conquerors were checked, their own fields of plunder would be 
very closely limited. 

For forty years peace had been maintained between Rome 
and Etruria, but in the year 811 b.o. a combination of Tuscan 
cities attacked the Roman outpost of Sutrium. The war which 
follows is described by Livy as a series of exploits and triumphs, 
in which victory always favoured the arms of Rome. The 
names of the Roman heroes are some of them already familiar 
to us. A Fabius, a Papirius, a Valerius, again and again mount 
the Capitol with the white robe and laurel chaplet; but to 
these are now added the representatives of other noble houses 
—the Junii, the Fulvii, the Curii, the Sempronii. The chief 
source from which Livy drew the materials for his history of 
this war, which is by no means to be implicitly trusted, seems 
to have been the family annals of the Fabian house ; and, as in 
the case of former Etruscan wars, so in this, a Fabiua occupies 
the most conspicuous place. 

Fabius Maximus Rullianus, after relieving Sutrium, ven- 
tured to lead his army through the gloomy defiles of the 

Digitized by VnWVJ V I C 

CH. XIV. Conquest of Samnium. 73 

Oiminian forest into the heart of the richest district of Etruria. 
The senate^ terrified by his rashnessi sent to forbid so danger- 
ous an adventure. But before the message reached him he 
had already penetrated the forest^ and won a great victory oyer 
the enemy. By the shores of the Vadimonian lake he gained 
another triumph (b.o. d09)| which compelled the powerful cities 
of Oortona, Perusia, and Arretium to sue for peace and accept 
an alliance with Rome. 

During this campaign of the consul Fabius in Etruria^ his 
colleague Marcius was worsted by the Samnites, and his . 
whole army was threatened with a disaster like that of the 
Caudine Forks. The senate determined to appoint Papirius 
Cursor dictator. No one, however, except a consul could 
lawfully nominate a dictator. Marcius was beleaguered by the 
enemy, and Fabius was called upon to exercise his power. 
Unfortunately Papirius, on whom he was thus invited to confer 
an authority superior to his own, was the very man who, as 
dictator on a former occasion, had so implacably tried to take 
his life. Fabius might well shrink from again placing himself 
by his own act within the power of his ancient enemy. But 
he nobly repressed all personal considerations, and complied 
with the request of the senate. Papirius rescued the army of 
Marcius &om its danger, and celebrated a splendid triumph 
over the Samnites, Fabius was rewarded in like manner for 
his victorious campaign in Etruria. 

The Samnite war was still carried on with ferocity and 
with varying success on either side, till at length, after twenty- 
two years of warfare, peace was made B.C. 302, and the second 
Samnite war came to an end. 

It will be well to take this opportunity to glance at the 
internal history of the Eoman republic. In the year 312 B.C. 
the name of Appius Olaudius once more arrests our attention. 
A descendant of the notorious decemvir, he was in that year 
appointed to the censorship, and signalised his tenure of the 
office in more than one way. It was his duty to revise the 
lists both of the citizens and of the senators. In doing this he 
disregarded old traditions, and admitted unusual numbers of 
alien residents and of freedmen and their descendants to the 
full privileges of Roman citizens. In filling the vacancies in 
the senate he pursued a similar policy, and elevated many 

Digitized by VnWVJV IC 

^4 Roman Successes in cu, xiv. 

fflmona o£ \am Vixtk, «Dd eTon mni «f finednMn, to thft mu^ of 
aeoMors. It was also bU duty aa censor to snqpenutond the 
fizoeution of vorka of pul^ utility^ and in this d^paatment he 
naanifasted do kas eneigy* Be apent vast sums and aafdoyod 
thoiifl»nd8 of workmen on the eonstruction of an mittednet, 
and of the gxaat Ap^aian road, which led past Arieia to the 
Ldzb and Oampania. This was the fint of the great lines of 
communication which in later times steaded from Rome 
to the extremities of Europe: and its originator dss^fYos to 
have his nanae commemorated In oonnectioB with so vsefel a 
work. The innovations of Appius were most distasteftd to the 
patricians, hut wore hailed wi^ delight by the oonmK)n people ; 
and when the time came for him to resign his office^ he declined 
to do so, trusting, perhaps, to Ms popularitj, and determined, 
no doubt, to carry out the great works wlddi he had begun. 
An attempt was made to impeach him, but it faSed } and the 
nobles declared that he was slxuek with blindness and his 
whole geas exterminated soon after ft>r an act of mipiety. 
This story was perpetuated in the name by which he is known 
in histoiy ^Appius Olaudiur ^Officas. In B.o. d04, Fabius 
Maximus became censor, and he insisted that tiie new citizens 
admitted by daudius should all be ^ooUed f»2ong the four 
urban tribes, a measure which greatly -restricted the inftumce 
of this lowest class ot voters in l^e conntia. 

After the retirement of Ap]Mus from the censorship, his 
dark, On. Flavins, who was a freedman's son, was elected a 
curule asdile. In his former post he had become ftuniliar with 
the forms of Roman law, ^e knowled^ of which bad been 
always jealously guarded by the old patrician houses as thmr 
own special craffe and mystery. These forms Flavins now 
published to the world, together with a legal calendar, and in 
so doing he struck one more blow at the fast waning privileges 
of the old aristocracy. 

In B.C. 800> the tribune Ogulniufl carried a measure by 
which the pontifical and augural offices were thrown open to 
plebmn candidates ; and thus the control of the naMonal re^ 
ligion, as well as the technical knowledge of the law, was 
surrendered to the whole body of cHisens, and no longer con- 
fined to a particular class. Notwithstandymg these numerous 
concessions to the popular party, the power of the patriciate 
died haid, and the embers of the long conflict continued to 

CH. XIV. ktruria a$hd Southern Italy, J^ 

■BonkUr. In b.o. 287, after the oonehisioiB of the l^ixd Sam- 
Dxte wMr> we hear onoe mare of the lower elass being oppressed 
by ^ harden of debt, of dieputee about an agrarian law, and 
even of a seoession of the commoos to the JanieuhinL Moet 
likely the quarrel in this case referred to the di-nsion of the 
conquered lands in Campania. It was oooiposed by Horteneius, 
who was appcanted dictator for the purpose ; and, a« usual, it 
resulted in a complete Tictory fer the commons. The ^.o. 467. 
Hortensian law established the goyemment of Borne ^^ 997. 
on a thoroughly democratic fo(^ing. Nothing now remained 
to the eomitia of the centuries but the election of the ccmqsuIs, 
prsstoffs^ and censors. All the other magistrates were eleeted 
by the eomitia of the tribes, where birth and wealth had no 
privilege and only heads were counted. The entire kgislative 
power^and even the decioon of such questions as peace or war, 
fell into the hands of the democratic assembly. 

To return to the extenial history. In B.c. 209 the third 
Samnite war broke out, and it continued down to b.o. 290. 
We now find the Samnites allied with the Qauls and the 
Elinmranfl against Rome, and the legions of the republic have 
to nuudi to the north, to the southland to the east, in quest of 
these ubiquitous enemies. TheEoman annals report another 
long series of martial eitptoits, victories, and triumphs. It will 
suffice to specify one great battie, that of Sentinum, u.o. 4M. 
in whii^ almost for the fiorst time, the Romans 6.c. 296. 
bfiicted a severe defeat on the Gauls in the open field. Q. 
Fabius Mazimus was again the leader of the Romans ; but the 
chief honour of the day was due to his plebeian colleague, 
Decius Mos, who^ emulating the self-devotion of his father in 
the hat4e of Vesuvius, gallantly plunged into the ranks of the 
enemy, and retrieved the fortune of the day by his noble 
sacrifice. livy^s account of this battle is full of pM^uresque 
detaiia, to which, however, we cannot in general give much 
credit. In particular, his mention of the Gauls using scythed 
chariots is suspicious. On no other occarion do we bear of 
these machinee aa being used by the Gauls of Italy, and it 
seems fhr more probable that livy has borrowed them &om 
GsBsar^s authentic account of the battles with the Belgian 
Gauls on the Rhine and in Britain, in which they undoubtedly 
pUyed a conspicuous part. Another incident which throws 
susficion o» the accuracy of livy's narrative is the iSftct that 

^6 Roman Successes in ch. xrv. 

the tomb of one of his heroes^ L. Cornelius Sdpio Barbatus, 
still exists, and the inscription on it, which is well preserved, 
makes no mention of those exploits on which livy lays the 
greatest stress, while it records others which are lightly, if at 
all, referred to by the historian. 

The year B.C. 290 marks the close of the long conflict with 
Samnium. After a last crushing defeat, the gallant Samnite 
chief, Pontius Telesinus, was led captive to Rome, and cruelly 
put to death in revenge for the disgrace he had inflicted on the 
legions so long before at the Gaudine Forks. 

Latium and Oampania, the country of the SabineS and of 
the Samnites, were all now fully subjected to the dominion of 
Borne. But northward the Etruscans were still hostile, and 
the Gauls soon recovered their courage after the defeat of 
Sentinum. To the south the Greek population of the coasts 
were leagued with the native Lucanians and Bruttians and the 
durvivors of the Samnite people against the conquering city. 
Tarentum stood at the head of this loose array, which was too 
feeble to cause any disquietude at Rome. On the border of the 
Apennines the case was different. Arretium, by its fidelity 
to Rome, drew on itself the attacks of other Etruscan forces, 
aided by the restless Gauls. The Senones too, the same Gaulish 
tribe which had sacked Rome a century before, now crossed 
the Apennines in force. The prsetor Metellus, who opposed 
u.c. 469, them, was left dead upon the field, with seven tri- 
B.0. 285. ijunes and 13,000 legionaries. Fresh efforts had to 
be made. The consul Dolabella, advancing through Picenum, 
attacked the Gauls in the rear, and ravaged their settlements ; 
while his colleague confronted their army, and defeated them 
in a great battle on the shores of the same Yadimonian lake 
which had witnessed a former triumph of Roman valour. 
The Gauls now made terms, and the lii^ering hostility of the 
Etruscans was crushed by Goruncanius in the concluding vic- 
tory at Vulsinii. 

Meanwhile the war progressed in the south. The Greek 
city of Thurium implored the succour of the republic against 
the banditti of Lucania. Not without difficulty, Fabricius 
succeeded in raising the siege, and a Roman garrison was left 
in charge of the city. The booty acquired in this campaign 
was enormous. Not only the treasury, but the individual 
soldiers were enriched, and a fatal thirst for plunder was gene- 

cH. XIV. Etruria and Soutliern Italy, 77 

rated which: soon turned the armies of Some into an organised 
instrument of spoliation. The rich cities of Magna Grsecia 
became alarmed, and Tarentmn, the wealthiest, the most 
Inzurioos, and unfortunately the least warlike of them all, 
determined to stand on her defence, or rather to trust her de- 
fence to foreign auxiliaries. 


THE WAR WITH PTEtRHlTS, B.C. 281-276. 

The champion, under whose protection the Tarentines dared to 
brave the hostility of Rome, was Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, a 
cousin of Alexander the Great, and nephew to Alexander the 
Epirote, whose descent upon Italy thirty years before has been 
already mentioned. Inspired by his cousin's triumphant career 
in the East, he doubtless dreamed of subduing a similar empire 
in the West. Beyond the Greek settlements of Tarentum and 
Orotona in Italy, lay the fertile plains of Oampania and Latium, 
and the cities of Eteuria, the Egypt of the West, renowned for 
their wealth and their artistic treasures. Beyond Sicily lay 
the dominion of Oarthage, whose commercial activity enabled 
her to rival the splendour of Tyre. Here were prizes enough 
to tempt a bold adventurer ; but Home, little known and less 
heeded by the Greeks, had to be reckoned with : and the event 
proved that she was destined to be not their subject but their 

Not long after the occupation of Thurii, a Roman fleet, 
endeavouring to intrude into the harbour of Tarentum, was 
driven off with serious loss by the Tarentine navy. Negotia- 
tions followed, and an embassy headed by Postumius was sent 
to demand satisfaction for the injury. He was grossly insulted, 
and his toga befouled by a wretched buffoon: holding up his 
dress before the mocking Tarentines, ' This stain,' said he, ' shall 
be washed out in your blood ! ' Returning to Rome he dis- 
played the defiled garment in the senate house, but though 
the offended dignity of Rome clearly demanded a declaration 

The War tvitk Pyrrhus. cii. xtr. 

cm XT. Tlu Wi^r wtih FytrhUi. 79 

of war, ibe lenAto heoftatsd £te some chajs. Ib f«et ike poi^- 
lion of Tarebtum wad imtteAlly so strong, that its capture 
woald be no «Rsy matter. The B^nan eeaate eould Hot see 
tfaeit w&j to acbieVe thalt objeet) ez^pt by the ud of theif 
frieaids withui the hostile Walls^ aod the Boldes of Tarratum 
were not iiidiafioe^ to betray th^ citj into thek hands. Whni 
therefore the ^meiil ^SmiMtH Bfla%i>^ advanced with aA a^my 
iBtotha TuentiiieteiritOiy^he still ofiS»ed thesaioeteiVMi^ peace 
M had been piroposed by Pocrtioiiius. These oiB»s weie indeed 
on the point of beilig agreed to, when the airrival of C^neae^ the 
oonfidenliai mimsfler of F^iriiae, with promises of his lAaster^s 
sapport^ n)^ the scheme. In the sprhig of b.o. 8d0y Pyrrhus 
arrived with his army, consistiBg <^ 36^000 korse azfd foot 
sddiefa^ and twenty elephimta He at once assnmed the 
flnstaiy over the lasy aAd dissolute mob who had donght his 
protection, and they were not long in wearying Of his authcmty. 
Moreover, th^ aid which he had been led to eiqpeet from the 
native Italian states was not fprthcmning ; and he had no 
choice bat to accept the challenge of th6 Boman j^n6ral. The 
armies met at Hleradeay on the banks of the SiriS) Mid thai^s 
to hie elephants, and to tiie coiifiision produced b^ them among 
the Roman ranks, Pyrrhus remained the victor. But though 
the beaten anny loet 15,000 m«n^ the vonquerote left 13^000 on 
the field : and such a loss they could very ill affsid. Well 
migikt Pyrrhus eizdaim that ' sudi another victory would be 
worse than a defbat' Still, he was now in a better positioft to 
o^T teitas such as the Bomons migiit accept He demanded 
only seeurity for his Italian illies, «nd Consented to return him- 
self acvMS lj^ sea. 

Oineas, whose eloqHience wae fortified with tich presents 
for the senators and their wires, conveyed these offers to 
Rome. OmoBB was anaaed to find hie gold returned upon his 
hands, and his proposals of peace proudly declined. On his 
return he described the Eoman senate as an assembly of kings, 
and his account of the simple grandeur of the Boman people 
wae very discouraging to tdre invader. 

The Romans took a special pride in leooitiiting the incidents 
Of thai war, in whidi tMir valour, their constancy, and above 
1^ theb magnanimity baffled th« nkiU and i^ence of Greek 
eiivQtettoB. Much no doubt "tey cdourefd^ and much th^ 
imagined; but the picture draVim by Ihe^ of the satioBiil 

8o The War with Pyrrhus. ch. xv. 

character lias lived, and has encircled the name of Rome with 
a halo of enduring glory. Fabricius is remembered for his 
cool self-possession when the invader tried to terrify him into 
dishonourable terms by the close neighbourhood of his monstrous 
elephants, and for the integrity which resisted all attempts to 
bribe him. Indeed so great was the admiration and confidence 
inspired by this spirit, superior both to fear and interest, that 
Pyrrhus allowed his prisoners to visit Rome on parole to cele- 
brate the Saturnalia, and they aU kept their word and returned 
into captivity to a man. This indulgence, said another story, was 
granted in return for the generosity of the senate in disclosing 
to their enemy the treachery of his physician, who had oflfered to 
poison him. When the two armies again met in battle, a Decius 
announced that he would imitate the example of his glorious 
ancestors by devoting himself to death for the success of the 
Roman arms. Pyrrhus threatened to put him to death, if taken, 
as a sorcerer in league with infernal powers. But this threat did 
not deter him, and his self-devotion was not unrewarded. The 
victory indeed remained with Pyrrhus, but, as before, it was not 
less disastrous than a defeat. He now found his position in 
Italy untenable, and leaving only a garrison in the citadel of 
Tarentum, he betook himself to Sicily to aid the Greeks in that 
island against the Carthaginians. There had been treaties of 
amity and commerce between Rome and Carthage, and the latter 
now proposed an alliance against their common enemy. Rome 
stiffly refused, and during the three years that Pyrrhus was 
engaged in Sicily, the legions reduced his allies on the conti- 
nent. In B.C. 27^ he returned to Italy, and this time marched 
towards Rome. Near Beneventum he fell in with the army 
of Manius Ourius strongly posted on high ground. Pyrrhus 
rashly tried to storm the Roman camp, but he was repulsed, 
and his army cut to pieces ; even the elephants were turned to 
his disadvantage, as the Romans had now learned to scare these 
bulls of Lucania (as they derisively called them) with fiery 

Pyrrhus returned in utter discomfiture to his own country, 
and soon afber perished in an obscure combat at Argos. He 
left; a strong garrison in the citadel of Tarentum, and it was not 
till three years later, B.C. 272, that the surrender of this force 
and of the Tarentine fleets gave to ft^,J^^<^a?^jiii&,^ complete 
mastery over the South of Italy. . 

<M. XV. TAe D^^minmi of Rome* 8 1 

TMi qf Italian raw in gfc^aj^ical order from North to South. 

GftiOs . . In the plains of the Po, and in Umbria, on the 

Adnatic coaat 
Etroscims . . iEtruria px^per. 
g ( Sabines \ (^Equians, Marsi, Peligni, Rutuli.) 

^ c^ -J Lucaniana . 
* iBruttians . 

Yolaeiana I ^^"" ^^ Latium and hill country o/ Northern 

Aurwicafts: I Campania. 
Greek qties of M«gna Gxt^fM : - 

Tarehtum, Croton, Sybaris, Locri, Thurii, Rhegium. 
Greek cities of Campania: 

Oumtt, Palapolia, Neapdis, Peeistam. 

Central rifkgQB and vnUeyg of the Ap«min«8. 



Ik the lealm of nature it is found that the mgour and vitality 
of a plant are proportionate to the length of time it has taken 
to arrive at maturity. The same principle holds true with 
Kgnd to human institutions. Those that grow slow last long. 
Tke Greeks under Alexander effected in ten years the con- 
queail of the East. But this mushroom empire quickly fell to 
pieceey and the Oriental populations suhjected to Hellenic 
sw»y were never Hellenised. The Romans, on the other hand, 
oaaiky aocompliahed the suhjugation of Italy after a struggle 
of amaring pertinacity, which lasted 120 years; but Rome 
succeeded in thoroughly Romanising her oonquests, and she 
planted her laws, her language, her arts, her political usages, 
from end to end of Ihe peninsula. When, as time rolled oa^ 
she extended her dominion beyond the sea, the same perma- 
nenee and solidity dharacterised her new conquests, and even to 
thiB day every oountry of Western Europe is to a great extent 
moulded by her influence. We must now endeavour to set 
Ibrth in what way the first important zone of Roman conquest 
1PM consolidated and organised, so as to produce such gveat and 

, , . ■ "^Digitized by VjW*.^^"" 

pawnanffiBt results. 


82 The Roman Tribes. ch. xvi. 

From early times the Roman people were resident partly in 
the city, and partly in the surrounding country. Under the 
Servian constitution there were four urban and twenty-six rural 
tribes. After the Etruscan invasion imder Porsena, the Ager 
Komanus was much diminished in extent, and the number of 
rural tribes was reduced to sixteen. One more tribe was added 
when the Claudian gens migrated with all its followers to 
Rome, and was received into the body of citizens. Thus we 
obtain the number of twenty-one, which may be called the 
original tribes. As the republic extended the limits of its 
dominion, portions of the conquered territory were added to 
the Ager Romanus, and the people settled on these lands were 
incorporated into new tribes, and so grafted into the body of 
Roman citizens. Between the years 384-264 B.C., twelve new 
tribes were formed in this way ; and some years later two more 
were added, to include the population of the Sabine moimtains. 
Thus in 264 B.C. we may reckon the Roman citizens as 
enrolled in thirty-three trib^, and scattered over a tract of 
country which included most of Latium, the southern part of 
Etruria, the Volscian region, and the northern half of Cam- 
pania. It will be seen at once that a -great preponderance of 
power lay in the hands of those citizen^ who belonged to the 
twenty-one original tribes, for it is not likely that their num- 
bers more than equalled those of the outlying tribes, and yet 
they exercised twenty-one votes against twelve only of these 
latter. Another source of power to the urban and suburban 
tribes was the rule that a Roman citizen could only exercise 
his political privileges in the Roman Forum or the Campus 
Martins ; and it follows from this that those who lived in or 
near to Rome had much more influence on public affairs than 
those who lived at a distance. 

The Romans had no idea of representative government. A 
citizen who wished to exercise his franchise must come himself 
to Rome, and vote in person. Roman citizenship, however, 
carried with it other rights besides that of political franchise; 
and was highly prized by its possessors. These were — 1. Abso- 
lute authority over wife and children, slaves and chattels; 
2. A guarantee for Ms personal liberty, exemption from stripes, 
and from capital punishment, except by the vote of the people 
in the city, or under military authority in the camp ; 3. Access 
to civil honours and employments ; 4. The possession of land 

CH. XVI. The Citizenship of Rome, 83 

and goods, subject only to the rules of Eoman law ; 6. Exemp- 
tion from all taxes and tributes imposed at discretion on sub- 
jects of the state. 

The Roman citizens enrolled in these thirty-three tribes (at 
a later period, 35), were the men who had conquered Italy ; 
and when they came to organise their conquests they had no 
intention of sharing their dominion with the subject races. 
Rome remained the sovereign head of Italy. The Roman 
senate wielded the entire power of the subject states, and 
though the latter continued to exercise self-government to a 
great extent, yet in their relations with foreign states they were 
simply at the beck and call of Rome, and had no choice but to 
obey her mandates. There was indeed one class of subjects 
who were nominally citizens of the republic (cives sine suflBra- 
gio), but this distinction was one little to be desired, and was 
in reality a badge of servitude. The population of certain 
towns, among which may be mentioned Caere, Anagnia, and 
Capua, were reckoned in the Roman census, and were draughted 
into the Roman legions. Their own laws were superseded, 
and Roman law introduced in their place. A Roman prefect 
administered this law and ruled over them. Thus they bore 
all the burdens of Roman citizenship, yet they had no political 
franchise, and retained scarcely any trace of their ancient 
independence. Their position was altogether inferior to that 
of the allied or confederated states, which occupied the greater 
part of the peninsula. We must now consider the condition 
of the allies and of the colonies. 

The alliea were — 1st. The Latins, by which term must be 
understood those ancient Latin communities, such as Tibur and 
Praeneste, which had been allowed to retain their old laws and 
institutions. They most of them enjoyed the privileges of 
trade (conmiercium), and intermarriage (connubium), with the 
citizens of Rome, and also the jus-Latii, which entitled such 
of their citizens as had held the highest local magistracies to 
rise to the dignity of Roman citizenship. 

2nd. The Etruscans. The cities of Etruria were allowed 
to maintain a nominal independence, but the Roman senate 
constantiy supported the aristocratic faction in each city, 
which in turn was steadfastiy devoted to the Roman 

drd« The Sabellian populations, the Sanmites, the Lucanians, 

84 The Allies. 


the Apuli&Ds, the Bruttiaiis, and many ndiior tiibea. These 
racee for the most part retained their old lands, their old laws, 
and their old system of self-government. The oaly excepticm 
being the^ in certain districts tracts of valuable land were 
seized by the Boman senate and divided amoag the colonifitB 
sent out by them to garrison the conquered countries. 

4th. The Greek cities of the southern coasts wbioh retained 
their old condition as free self-^-goveming communities, though 
here and there, as in the case of Tarent^m, a Boamn ganison 
was established in the dtadel to ensure their fidelity. These 
allies were all bound to Rome by solemn covenants, any breach 
of which she had the power and the will to punish. They paid 
no tribute. Their internal government remained almost un* 
altered in their own hands. The one condition of thdr aUianoe 
was that in case of war they must fiimish a fixed quota of 
troops to fight side by side with the Boman legions. The Greek 
maritime cities were bound to furnish ships to the Boman fleet 
instead of troops to the army. The fighting men fumiaked by 
these numerous allies were, not at fizat organised in flepamte 
legions, but were brigaded, so to speak, with the legions of 
Boman citizens, in such proportions, that in each legion half 
the infantry and two-thirds of the cavalry were allies, the 
remainder being citizen soldiers of Bome. It remains to 
consider the powerful instrument by which Baime bound 
together these subject nations, and gradually imbued tibem 
with her own spirit, till at length in laws, in language, and 
in institutions they became united into one body police, with 
herself. This instrument was colonisation. The colonies were 
divided-into two elasses-r-lst, Boman ooktnies, and 2nd, Latin 

ThB Moman colomeSy such aa Sutrium, Yelitrse, Aixdea, were 
formed in the early days of her success. They consisted of Beman 
citizens, who, in exchange for yaluable granta of land, con- 
sented to qtdt ih^ homes, and to found newjaettlements at a 
distance. They carried with them all their rights and privileges 
as Boman citizens, and the laws of Bome ; and if at any time 
chance or business carried them to the capital, they were as 
ftee to vote in the assemblies as if they had never left it. At 
the same time, in their own communities, they were orgaaued 
politically on the model of the parent state. They were rulod 
by two annually elected magistorates, entitled duumTirs, cor- 

CH. XVI. The Roman Colonies, 85 

reepoBdiag to the consuls. They had their own popular 
assemrUjr, sod their own senate, their own military chest, and 
th^r own aarmed fSorce. In all respects their goyemment ^as 
constituted so m to reproduce in miniature the polity of Borne. 
The cities of Putec^i, Salemum, and Buxentum, may be men- 
tioned as infitttaees of true Roman colonies, founded at a much 
later peiiod. 

After tile subjugation of Latium (b.Ow d38) i% be^me the 
usual practiee to send out, not Boman but Latin colonies. 
These ooHkBowimttes doneisted mainly of persons who were not 
B(»iaB eitiaeaS) and if aay true Eomans chose to join them 
they were required to Cast in their lot completely with their 
new comrades, and to forfeit all right to vote or to become 
magistrates in Rome. They were, howerer, petmitted to 
retain the move priyate rights of citizenB enumerated above. 

In the course of seventy years after the settlement of Latium 
as many as twenty of tliese colonies were established in all 
parts of Itidy. The prin(Mpid of these may be mentioned as 
follows : — 

LuceriA, Venusia, and Brundusium, in Apulia; Fregellee, 
Literamna, in the Yolseian territory on the frontier of Samnium ; 
(3ales uid Oosa, in Campania; Beneventum, in the Samnite 
country; Ariminum, in the Gaulish region on the Adrialic 
coast; Nanua, in Umbria; Pfestum, a maritime colony in 
Lucania. Etruria was already sufficiently controlled by the 
old Roman colonies of Sutrium and Nepe, and so were the 
^Equians, the Rutulians, and the Volscians by similar establish- 
ments at ^sula, at Ardea, and at Antiiun. 

During the long period of seventy years covered by the 
Samnite and Tarentine wars, the losses suffered in battle caused 
a great drain upon the forces of the republic, but, as has been 
shown, the roll of citizens was recruited by the admission of 
new tribes at frequent intervals. On the whole, we may 
estimate the number of citizens at the end of this period at 
about 380,000, which represents a total population of 1,200,000 
souls. Some of the new colonies were veiy populous; for 
instance, Luceria is said to have been occupied by 14,000 meui 
Beneventum, by 6,000, Venusia by 20,000 ; and tiieir establish- 
ment would have caused a still further heavy drain upon the 
Roman population, but for the timely device of planting these 
new settlements with Latin allies who were Jiot citizenlihi 

86 The Roman Roads. ch. xvi. 

Besides the colonies^ there was yet another instrument 
ftdopted by the Boman republic to consolidate its empire — the 
practice of road-making. It was in the midst of the great 
struggle with Samnium (b. c. 312) that the censor Appius con- 
structed the road from Eome to Oapua^ which bore his name. 
It was built in the most solid fashion^ and paved with large 
square stones, some of which even now remain in their places. 
Upon such a pavement the legions could march with all their 
baggage with speed and certainty, in all weathers and in all 
seasons. The value of such a means of communication soon 
became apparent. Within fifty years the Valerian Way was 
laid to Gorfinium, the Aurelian skirted the coast of Etruria, the 
Flaminian penetrated the Apennines to Ariminum, and the 
^milian continued this line to Placentia. This was but a first 
instalment of the work, and as the Eoman empire expanded, 
the Koman roads were carried through Gaul to the furthest 
extremities of Spain and England. But they were so planned 
as always to lead from the centre to the circumference. There 
is an old proverb which says that all roads lead to Eome. 
This was once literally true ; and it was of set purpose that 
Eome neglected and discouraged the cross lines of communica- 
tion. She always jealously guarded against free intercourse 
between her diverse subjects, and even in the matter of road- 
making she carried out her political motto, ^ Divide et impera.' 



Five centuries had elapsed since the foundation of the Eoman 
state : two centuries and a half since the constitution of the 
republic. At the close of this period we see Eome firmly 
established in the position of undisputed mistress of aU Italy. 
For a space of more than a hundred years next ensuing the 
conquest of the western world was held in debate between the 
Eomans and the Carthaginians. The history of that struggle 
is full of interest, for upon its result depended the fate of many 
generations of the human race. The progress of mankind towards 
a higher morality and an improved civilisation hung in the sc^e, 

CH. XVII. The Dominion of Carthage, 87 

Carthage was one of many offshoots from the Syrian city of 
Tyre. Along the southern and western coasts of the Mediter- 
ranean Sea stood a number of maritime colonies planted by 
Phoenician rovers. They were at first independent of each 
otlier and of the parent city. On land they did little more 
than maintain their restricted territories against alien and bar- 
barous neighbours. The sea was their element^ and upon it 
their enterprising spirit led them into distant adventures, and 
their genius for commerce rendered them rich and prosperous. 
Among these trading communities Carthage had taken the 
lead. She had united them into one powerful state, and, at 
the same time, had brought under her own settled government 
a large extent of territory stretching east and west along the 
African shore, and as far inland as the limit of the desert 
would permit. But her chief resources were derived from her 
commercial relations with trading ports on almost every coast 
of the Mediterranean. The sea was the free highway of a 
hundred millions of people, who were kept apart by the want 
of roads no less than by political jealousies. The Carthaginians 
made themselves the common carriers of this vast population. 
With the Greeks, the Phoenicians, and the Egyptians, their 
relations were strictly commercial, and for a long time they 
kept themselves free from political complications with any other 
people. Their trading stations studded the coasts of Africa, 
Spain, Sardinia, and Corsica. They traded with the Phocseans 
of Massilia (Marseilles), and through them with the teeming 
population of Gkiul. They worked the iron mines of Hva 
(Mba), the silver mines of the Balearic Isles, and the gold 
mines of Spain. They traded with the Britons for tin, and 
sailed as far as Jutland in quest of amber. Wherever they 
found it necessary, they protected their establi^hments by forts, 
which they manned with hired soldiers. These mercenary 
forces consisted of Libyans and Moors from Africa, of Spaniards, 
of Gauls, of Greeks, and even of Italians. They were highly 
paid and their families well cared for, by which means they 
were attached to the service, and when sent abroad, left always 
hostages behind them. Their officers were the young scions of 
that proud and wealthy aristocracy which for centuries main- 
tained its hold on the government of Carthage, and whose 
power was never shaken by a breath of revolution. 

The wealth and feebleness of the Gre^itsettlements in Sicily 

88 Rome brought face to facehmtk Carthage, ch. km 

#rdttempt^d tht» Oftrflia^nifuis to dnt^rtain thoughts o^ddtablish- 
iD]^ a foreign eitapfV^, and tMs fithfe step eventually led to tiieir 
ruin. Bom6 a&d Oart&n^ had long biden Wal^&ing dd)S aildtltdf 
witk j^dtitty, eaeh perhaps aMid Mb ptovofce the feS6ilte6nt 
of the oth»r. Thtt attd)cfc of Pyrrhtri on tiiB Homaiis de^tfi to 
offer a -favouraWd opportioaii^ td the Oarthaginiand. I'liey 
seiz€d it and ohtiiiii^d a ^oti% ift th^ island, hut iti &o doing 
ttrey gave Jro*f of aii AmHtioB which the ilomatiis #6idd not 
tolerate so iv&ar their owb boi^r». Borne ^as quicMy on the 
alert to Arrest the schemes of her rival, ihd to protect the 
victHtts whoiii shift YtbA prematurely menac^. 

Before enteinng upon the particular of the great strug^iid 
between Eome aMd Carthage) it Mil be wiell to remind the 
reader that from this epoch we obtain for the fii^st tinie the 
gruidaiiice of m historian of gbod feith, who lived near enougb 
ia time to ttie events which he relates to haVe the means of 
rerifyitig them Mth some accuracy. Polybius, our chief autho- 
rity for the iniftideBts of the Punic wars, Was bom within fifey 
years of their commeireement, and enjoyed frequent oppor- 
tunities of commuEnicating with many of the chief actors in them. 
He "^v^as an educated Gr^ek writer, who knew the difference 
betweett faithful historical writing and the mere collecting of 
legehdi^y tales. He was ac6ustomed to seek and to sift the 
evidence upon whieh he founded his rianrtitive : he was also 
truthful and impartial, and what he tolld us of his own know- 
ledge W6 mAy eonfidently abeept as a fact. Moreover, he passed 
many years as a h^stf^e at Home, and his intimacy with the 
yotinger Scipio |«wiufed him acctess to the oftcial documents 
of An earlier tiijae. His history was probably Written about a 
cetttury after the beginmng of the first Punic war. 


THE FIRST PUiaC WAS, b!c. 264-841. 

FAilnt reports of Pyrrhus that on quitting the shores of ^cily 
he exclaimed, ' What an arena do we leave for the Carthaginians 
and the Romans to contend on ! ' The struggle for the domimon 
of the trllatei^ island was in truth immment between these 

CH. xvni. Tfa Fif^ Pn^ IVaK 89 

tw« potrek«; and wilfeiit tlUd isladd hy two other powen, 
iraither of itmm vtyon^ 0)K>bgi t6 stAfid albtte, «md thelrefore 
hoA of ti^m under thtt M^ceesity f)f cfaoosiBg with Whieh of 
the two ^fWKter eoftibatiafits h Wo^d ^erre. 

Tke OfMan ^(^eifites of Measan^^ 8yra«\)9e, Oatana, £g«ita. 
pMMmidl) nad LUyteiMn^ ibl*ttied a loofie fsdenitbii which had 
fcft CMltoi^ldB c(mt»olled the island^ hut which had now neither 
t^ ttt«Djg^ nor the nerte t& defend itself against a powerM 
en^AMMl en^asiy. T^eir riehes And Ibxury presented many 
oliSeets of cvi^^ly td a stranget^ and the Ourthtginiond had 
lon^ VMb assiailillg atld ^aderniining their position by intrigue 
©v*& fflore than hy fojtee. Their recourse to PyrrhuB tor a5d 
iMugtkt the Hematts int^ the fields and placed them between 
two firee. Besides tbe Gnseks there were Italians in Sicily, 
bands of mei^nary soldiers whb had thrust themselves into 
some of the strong plaees on the coast. One of these, a troop 
of Mamertmes ffom Bfutttum, had seized upon the citadd of 
Messtffta, the dibet important j^sce in all Sicily as the port of 
piMisagie from CMabria. llie Romans had shortly before oyer- 
come and destroyed just such a band of adventtireiB who hAd 
fie&ipkA Rhegium, on the opposite shore. 

They wert ndw incited by the MamertitoeB to take the con- 
traiy part, and sttpport these brigands in their lawless occupa- 
tion ^ Messafflt. The senate h^itated to adopt a policy so 
flagrantly inconastent. But th^ assembly of the tribes voted 
in f3»rour of their new clients : nb tribune opposed his teto, and 
the ^etihUf perhaps not unwillingly, consented. Some wad Well 
aware that if she wished to cidn(]iuer Sicily, Messana w&s the 
tery iey 6( the position ; the most convenient place in the 
whole island for landing her troops. It was decreed that a 
military fbrCe should be sent to the assistance of u.c. 490, 
Ihe Mamertines, who were then threatened by ffiero, ^.c. iw. 
Mng of SyiacasiB) and little reassured by the treacherous ovei^ 
tmies of fbe Carthaginians to secure l^em against him. 

One of the tribunes, 0. Claudius, crossed over in a small 
boat, and conveyed the assurance of assistance to follow ; but 
the Carthaginian and Syracusan fleets held command of the 
sea, and the Romans, being deficient in naval force, were baffled 
in theiir attempts to cross. Hanno, the CafthaginJan admiral, 
iNMBtfiilly declared that he would no longet suffer them to 
XB^^tfy witti the sea, evsn so much as to wash their hands in 

90 Tlte First Punk War. ' ch. xvm. 

it. The treacheiy of some of the Mamertmes had delivered 
the citadel into his hands, and he incautiously came down from 
his stronghold to arrange terms of peace with the tribune 
Claudius. The latter audaciously seized his person, and he 
engaged to surrender the citadel as the price of his release. A 
band of Eomans was admitted, and from that moment Messana 
passed under the dominion of Rome. The Carthaginians 
punished their commander by death on the cross, and massacred 
all the Italian mercenaries in their army for fear of another 
betrayal. They also laid siege to the town, but failed to prevent 
the Romans from carrying over sufficient troops to nudntain 
their position there. At last the consuls, having collected 
35,000 men on Sicilian ground, were enabled to attack and 
disperse the besieging forces, and in the course of the following 
year as many as sixty-seven cities fell into their hands. The 
Carthaginians retired to Africa, and Hiero of Syracuse, dis- 
mayed at the success of the Romans, hastened to make peace 
with them. His country thus escaped the ravages of war, and 
the Romans profited largely by his alliance, drawing from him 
ample supplies for their army. 

In B.C. 262, the consuls attacked Agrigentum, where the 
Carthaginian Hannibal was stationed with a small force of 
mercenaries, and it was only after a seven months' siege, and a 
bloody victory over a relieving army, that they captured it. 
The Carthaginians were now falling short of money, and theii 
mercenaries clamouring for their pay caused them much alarm. 
On one occasion they betrayed 4,000 of these Gaulish soldiers 
into a Roman ambuscade simply to be rid of them. The 
Romans proudly remarked that their soldiers, though also in 
arrears of pay, fought loyally for their coimtry and their 
standards. At the end of the third year of the war, Rome 
had left; to Carthage no more than a few maritime ports in the 
island ; but at sea Carthage was still supreme, her navy ravaged 
some of the coasts of Italy and threatened all, and was often 
able to harass the Roman armies by intercepting the supplies 
destined for them. It seems that at this time the Romans 
were not only destitute of war vessels, but devoid also of the 
knowledge required for their construction. It was not till 
chance threw upon the coasts of Latium a Carthaginian qidn- 
quireme that they obtained a model upon which to work. Then, 
indeed, the activity displayed by the republic was marreUous. 

CH. xviii. The Naval Victory of Mylce, gy 

In the short space of two months^ forests were cut down, timbers 
sawn^ and not fewer than a hundred galleys of large size and 
adequate solidity constructed. While the ships were building, 
thousands of landsmen from the inland towns and yillages of 
Italy, and proletarians of the lowest class from Rome, were set 
to' work to practise rowing upon benches on the dry land. 
These hastily trained levies were no match in nautical 
manoeuvring for the skilled mariners of Carthage ; they were 
therefore instructed to grapple and board the enemy rather 
than to attempt to outsail him or to charge him with the beaks 
of their vessels. For this purpose they were provided with 
solid frames of timber, which were to be dropped upon his deck 
and used as drawbridges, so that the contest might be decided 
by a hand-to-hand encounter between the crews. The result 
of these tactics was, that in the first great naval engagement 
between the two rivals, the Carthaginians were overpowered 
and chased to Sardinia, with the loss of half their u.c. 4d4, 
fleet and many thousands of killed and woimded. ®-.^- '^^' 
Their leader, on landing, was seized and crucified by his own 
mercenaries. Such was the victory of MylsB, the first naval 
triumph of the Bomans, brilliant in itself and an encouraging 
presage of their success in the future. From that time foiv 
ward, the Bomans never feared to meet the Carthaginians at 
sea, Uiough the fortune of war was by no means invariably on 
their side, the balance of victory being held pretty evenly between 
the two nations. Meanwhile the exultation at Rome was 
unbounded. A triumph was voted to the admiral Duilius ; a 
column was erected in the Forum to commemorate his achieve- 
ment ; and it was decreed that he should never go through the 
city at night without a procession of torch-bearers to illuminate 
his passage. 

So complete was the victory that the Romans could afibrd 
to divide their forces; and while one portion was sent to 
complete the destruction of the enemy's fleet and to commence 
the conquest of Sardinia and Corsica, the other was directed 
upon Sicily to prosecute the war there. This force only 
escaped a great disaster through the gallantry of the tribune 
Oalpumius, who covered their retreat from an ambuscade by 
the sacrifice of himself and a brave band of 300 followers. 

The war continued in Sicily without decided success on 
ather side^ till at len^h the Cftrthaginians were driven to the 

92 Regulus invades Africa, ch. xviii. 

westetn etttemity of the islaad, where they fortified themselves 
strongly in I)re|)anuin and Lilybeeum. 

An enormoitt aTmament was now fitted oat by tlbDaie, and 
^nt, under the command of Manlius Vulso and Atmus Regrulus^ 
to at«w5k Oirthage itself. This array of 330 vessels, 100,000 
8attdr8,«nd 40,000 tegionaties, was encountered off the southern 
coftst of Sicily by an equal, if not superior, force. The Cartha- 
ginians were Worsted, and lost mote than 100 of their ships, the 
remainder escaping to Africa, whither they were hotly pursued 
by the victorious Bomans. It is difficult to attach credit to the 
numbers here stated, as they are five times as great as those 
engaged at Tra^dgar. 

A^ca had long been to the Bomans a land of monsters 
and imaginary terrors. On landing upon its shores they were 
much alarmed, and hesitated to advance, thus giving time to 
the Carthaginians to prepare their d^ence. One story popular 
at B<Ai!e asserted that the invading army was detained on the 
banks of the ifver Bagrada by the venomous breath of a mighty 
serpent 180 feet long. After securing his means of supply and 
retreat, Begulus did advance, and defeated the enemy in various 
encounters, capturing luany prisoneirs and a vast amount of 
plunder. The senate, elated and oveiw;onfident at his success, 
then recalled his colleague and on&-half of the legions. With 
his diminished ft>rce Begulus succeeded in taking Tunes, kilChg 
and capturing mlany thousands of his opponents. But now the 
Carthaginians called to their aid Xanthippus, a Spartan general 
of great skill and courage. Under his command, and aided, 
as the Bomans declared, by a mighty host of elephants, they 
inflicted a great defeat upon the invaders. Carthage was saved, 
v.c. 499, ftnd Begulus and a large part of his army made pri- 
B.C. 255. soners. The stoiy of Begulus b too picturesque and 
too wdl known to be passed over in silence, however good 
reasons there may be for doubting the truth of it. 

It is related that five years after his capture the Cartha- 
^nians, being anxious to arrange terms of peace and an ex- 
change of prisoners, despatehed an embassy to Borne to ne- 
gotiate. With it ^ey sent Begulus, whom they bound on 
pd^(^ to return to captivity if their offers were rejected. The 
senate was well inclined to accept the proposed teims, but, to 
the stdrprise and admiration of all, Begulus exhorted them not 
to da io> beRC^us6 he tfcotiglit sttch a'^Com^ would be to the 

CH. xviii. The First Puim fVar. 93 

adnaitage c^f Oarthnge. Besistiqg tbe eBtreatiM. of 143 friends, 
he revised to break Mt parole ; he lefusefL even ta eater the 
city, or 'to yiait his wife and ehildren. Fixisig hia eyes siemlj 
on the ground, he took has way baek into captivity ; and the 
Garthagioiaiis^ wpaoved by his hrave and hoaomahle conduct, 
wreaked th^ veogeance upon him by a series of horrible tor- 
tures which ended only with his death. The story proceeds 
to reUte how two noble Carthaginians were handed over to 
the widow of Be^j^us, who tortured them to death with a 
barbaiity quite equal to that by which her husband had perished. 
It is not inc^redible that the Carthaginians, who were given to 
human sacrifices and other bloody rites, may have been guilty 
at times of great cruelty to their Roman prisoners ; but this 
particular story is not supported by the evidence of the most 
trustworthy historians. 

The Bomans were deeply moved by the defeat of their 
African expedition, and, despite another naval victory, they 
recalled the legions to Italy. Presently after, they suifeied 
another ^;ieat disaster, when 270 of their ships were dashed to 
pieces in a storm on the Sicilian coast. Carthage, taking 
courage from her rival's misfortune, despatched a new fieet 
vnth a new army and 140 elephants to recommence the war in 
Sicily. Put the senate was diligent also, and in the course of 
three months the consuls, one of whom was Cn. Cornelius 
Scipio, embarked with their l^ons on a freshly constructed 
'fleet of 220 galleys, and, appearing unexpectedly before Pa- 
normus, succeeded in reducing that important city. In the 
next year the Roman fleet made a plundering expedition to 
the African coast, and on its return was again shattered by a 
tempest off the coast of Lucania. Discouraged by these re- 
peated losses at sea, the senate determined to maintain only 
such a fleet as would suffice to protect the shores of Italy and 
the communications with the army in Sicily. The legions 
quartered there seem to have felt themselves abandoned \ and 
it was only by the severest measures that disc^line could 
be enforced among them. When, however, the Carthagioian 
Hasdrubal ventured to attack them in Panormus, they fought 
with their wonted bravery under the coimnand of C^ciUus 
Metellus. The African elephants were put to flight, 17.0. ao4, 
and ^lyarried confusion among the Carthaginian host ; ^-c* ^^P* 
while the Romans, attacking them in flank, cooipletely routed 

94 The First Punic War. ch. xviii. 

them. A hundred elephants, captured and conveyed to Rome, 
were exposed to be liunted hy the populace in the circus, and 
the Eomans at last made up their minds that these monsters 
were not really formidable adversaries. 

This signal defeat disposed the Carthaginians to wish for 
peace, and led to the despatch of that embassy, already men- 
tioned, of which Regulus formed part. 

Failing in this attempt, and being too exhausted to con- 
tinue the struggle in the open field, the Carthaginians retired 
to their fortresses of LilybsBum and Drepanum, at the western 
extremity of the island. In the autumn of the year 250 B.C. 
the Romans undertook the siege of LilybsBum with an immense 
fleet and army. For many months the attack was carried on 
with all the engineering devices known to the ancients ; but 
the defence was spirited and successful. The Carthaginian 
fleet, too, proved its superiority at sea, and sailed in immolested 
to relieve the beleaguered fortress. At length, despairing of 
success, the Romans converted the attack into a blockade, 
which, however ineffectual, was maintained till the termination 
of the war nine years later, when the place was at last ceded 
to Rome under the conditions of peace. In 249 B.c. the consul 
Claudius was sent to the seat of war with supplies and re- 
inforcements. Soon after his arrival he sought out the Car^ 
thaginian fleet, which was moored in the neighbouring port of 
Drepanum; but he was easily outmanoeuvred by Adherbal, 
the Punic admiral, and of his fleet of 210 ships only 30 escaped. 
Twenty thousand Roman legionaries were made prisoners, and 
many more perished in the battle or by drowning. Such a 
defeat had not been suffered by Rome since the day of the 

It is noteworthy that the Romans chose to attribute this 
disaster to the impiety of their commander. A story was told, 
and repeated in more enlightened times, to the effect that on 
the morning of the battle of Drepanum, when the omens were 
consulted, Claudius was informed that the sacred chickens 
refused to eat. ^ Let them drink,' he profanely exclaimed, and, 
casting them into the sea, he advanced to meet the destruction 
with which the gods did not delay to punish his wickedness. 

About the same time his colleague Junius, while leading 
a convoy of provision ships to the relief of the besiegers at 
LilybsBum, si^Fered shipwreck off Oamarina, and 800 sluploads 
of provisions went to the bottom. 

CH. XVIII. The First Punic War, 95 

During the six years that followed the Eomans made no 
attempt to recover the empire of the sea. The Carthaginian 
Hamilcar; snmamed Barcas^ or the lightnings roved the seas 
unopposed, and led his mercenaries on pltmdering expeditions 
all along the coasts of Sicily and Southern Italy. After a 
while the Oarthaginian fleets returned to the peaceful ways of 
commerce^ and then, in B.C. 242, the senate seized the oppor- 
tunity, constructed and equipped a fleet of 200 galleys, and 
sent it^ imder the command of Lutatius Catulus, to challenge 
the enemy off Drepanum. Here he remained practising Ms 
crews and his pilote for nearly a year, and at length, in the 
spring of B.C. 241, he encountered the enemy off the j^gates 
InsulflB, and won a splendid victory over them. This victory 
decided the war. Oajrthage. was exhausted, and obliged to sue 
for peace. The long-contested fortresses of LilybsBum and 
Drepanum were ceded at last to Eome, but Hamilcar and his 
brave garrison were allowed to march out with the honours of 
war. Carthage also undertook to respect the independence of 
Hiero and the other Greeks in Sicily, to give up idl that she 
had acquired in that island, to restore her prisoners, and to pay 
to Home a considerable indemnity. So ended the first Punic 
war, after a struggle of twenty-four years' duration, u.c. 678, 
The losses on both sides had been enormous ; those ^-c- 241. 
of Rome were the heaviest. But at the cost of these sacrifices 
she had established her position as a great naval power, and 
had made her arm felt &r beyond the limits of Italy. Her 
bravery, her skill, and her fortitude thus tried and ap- 
proved, seemed to mark her out already for the conquest of 
the world. 



It. may seem surpriang that, throughout the long and exhausting 
contest just described, the Roman state was never once attacked, 
or even harassed, by the many Italian tribes whom she had but 
lately deprived of their independence. This immunity was, how- 

9^ Raman CoHqutsts in the ch. xix. 

ever^ the fruit of her ow« good polusy. The oeii|uered nstioDS 
of Itftly soon began to feel the iTnineme advantftge of living at 
peace among ihexnselTes as membeis of one gieat confederation. 
MorMfveir, tb£ enteirpriaing and warlike spirits among them 
Ibond an amjile outilet foor theb notarttal energy in the jwnks of 
. the Soman kgiona. Here they were admitted to fight as alHes 
side hy aide with their conquerors, and to share not only the 
privation% hut also the pay, the plunder, and the honours of 
the repubtiean soldieia. Under such conditions their sym- 
pathies wore soon strongly enlisted in the cause of Borne. It 
was far otherwiae with Oarthage. No bond of union existed 
between the great eomm^cial city and her aUies and meroe* 
naries, but the pay which she ofibred or the fear whi<^ she 
inspired.' Defeated and bankrupt as she was at the end of the 
first Punic war, she soon had to ^Eu^e still atemer troubles. 

The meioenaries returning firom Sicily found that their 
wages, long over due, could not be paid. They mutinied 
wholesale, and were quickly joined by 70,000 Libyans and 
Numidians. All North Africa was in a blase, and Oarthage 
must bestir heiself if she would escape destruction. Uqder the 
guidance of Hamilcar Barcas a new citizen aimy was enlisted 
and oigamsed, with the aid of a few meKenary battalions who 
remiuned faithfrd. In the course of three years of cruel and 
horrible warfiure the rising was put down, and Carthage restored 
to bar position as queen of Africa. But, as 'the piice-of this 
salvation, her government su£g^red a great political change. 
The popular party in arms, with BJamilcar Barcas at its head, 
had retrieved the fortunes of the state. They now claimed a 
voice in its government, and the old aristocracy had no option 
but to submit to their demands. 

The first Punic war had lasted twenty-four years, and a 
period of equal length, bating one year only, elapsed before the 
two nations came again into coUiaion. The interval was em- 
ployed by both of them in largely extending thdr dominions. 
The Romans first consolidated ^oUy into a pvovince. Suich 
was the name applied by them to a conquered region beyond 
the limits of Italy ; and Sicily was the first of the many pro- 
vinces, which, at a later date, made up the vast extent of the 
Boman empire. The little kingdom of the Syracusan Hieio 
was permitted to retain a nominal independence, and so were 
Messina and some other cities whicli had done'goMl lemee to 

CH. XIX. Cisalpine and in tJu Islands. 97 

the republic. In return they were required to bind tbemselTes 
to a s^ct alliance with Home. 

The major part of the island was placed under the govern- 
ment of a Eoman officer, who bore the title of praetor, and the 
natives were compelled to surrender large tracts of land to 
Roman proprietors, and to pay a yearly tithe of com and other^ 
produce. The natives were prohibited from buyiug land. They 
might sell, and doubtless many of them, impoverished by the 
war, were eager to do so, but lie purchasers must be Romans. 
In this way a large portion of this fertile island became the 
property of the conquering race. 

When the revolt of the Carthaginian mercenaries took place 
in Africa, a similar outbreak occurred among the troops 
stationed in Sardinia. Rome forbade Oarthage, by a threat of 
instant war, to interfere. She, however, stepped in herself, 
and after some hard fighting reduced that island and Corsica 
to the condition of a conquered province. A praetor was ap- 
pointed to administer the government, and the unfortunate 
natives were deported in large numbers and sold in the slave- 
markets of Rome. 

The eastern shores of the Adriatic, indented by winding 
bays and sheltered by cotmtless islands, had long been the nest 
of a swarm of pirates, who not only destroyed the commerce of 
those seas, but endangered the Roman territories on the Adri- 
atic coast. These Dlyrian buccaneers, under their queen Teuta, 
had of late become over bold. Corcyra had fallen under their 
dominion. Not a few Greek cities on the coast had been 
plundered, and others were threatened with destruction by these 
barbarians. In the year 229 B.C. Rome determined to put them 
down. One campaign sufficed, and not only were the Illyrians 
reduced within their proper limits, but Corcyra was added to the 
territories of the republic, and an alliance, amounting almost to 
a protectorate, was concluded with the numerous Greek towns 
along the coast. The people of Hellas were overjoyed at being 
relieved from such savage neighbours. The Romans were 
hailed as a race of heroes, and solemnly invited by u.c. 626, 
Corinth to take part in the Isthmian games, while »c- 228. 
at Athens they were declared to be honorary citizens and ad- 
mitted to the Eleusinian mysteries. 

The next great step in advance made by the Roman power 
was the conquest of tiie whole Gaulish territory between her 



Raman Conquests in the ch. xix. 

CH. XIX. Cisalpine and in the Islands, 99 

own northern frontier and tke Alps. Hitherto her meet ad- 
Tanced positions had been Ariminiini on the upper and Luca 
on the lower coast. The whole valley of the Po and the 
northern slopes of the Apennines were still in the power of her 
long-dreaded enemies the Gauls. Most fortunately for Rome, 
during her protracted contest with Carthage these foes had 
been divided among themselves. 

The Boii and Senones, who were nearest to the Etruscan 
and Umbrian frontier, were harassed and pressed upon by the 
poorer tribes of the Genomani, the Insubres, and the Ligurians. 
These Gauls now made common cause together, and, aided by 
numerous hordes from beyond the Alps, gathered up their 
strength for a fresh assault upon the wealthy regions of the 
Bouth. The Eomans were in consternation. The Gapitol had 
been struck by lightning. The SybiUine books, on being con- 
sulted, declared that danger was to be apprehended from the 
Gauls. Superstitious terrors filled the people vnth alarm, and 
these were only allayed by the barbarous sacrifice of two Gauls, 
a man and a woman, and two Greeks, who were buried alive in 
the centre of the city. 

But no efforts were spared to ward off the impending 
calamity by energy and prudence. A 'Gallic tumult' was 
proclaimed, and all the citizens were called to arms. Legions 
were enrolled and sent to the front. Every city was required 
to strengthen its defences and to lay in stores of arms and 
provisions. Above all, the senate, vrith its usual craft, engaged 
the Genomani and Veneti to act in the rear of the Gauls and 
threaten their territories if they should venture to advance into 
Italy. The force of the invaders was thus crippled at the 
outset, and they were unable to pour into the Roman territory 
more than 60,000 foot and 20,000 horse, a number with which 
the Romans, with 350,000 men capable of bearing arms, might 
well be able to cope. 

The Gauls, however, advanced undismayed, and pushing 
adroitly between two opposing armies, crossed the Apennines, 
and descended into the valley of the Amo. The first Roman 
force which closed with them was repulsed, and only saved 
from destruction by the opportune arrival of a second. Evading 
the pursuit of the combined armies, the Gauls retreated with 
their booty, but unexpectedly found themselves confronted, 
near the mouth of the Amo, by a third Roman army, which 

too Roman Conquests in the ch. xix. 

had just landed at Pisa on its letnm from Sardinia. Thus 
U.C.529, surrounded, the invaders were completely over- 
B.0. 225. powered. One of the consuls, 0. Regulus, fell in the 
hattle; the other, ^milius, pushed across the frontier and 
carried the war into the enemy's country. There it continued 
to rage for three years, as the Gauls fought gallantly in defence 
of their homes. 

One of the heroes of this war was Flaminius, a leader of the 
popular party which hegan now to form a strong opposition to 
the ruling aristocracy of the city. He was a favourite with 
the people on account of an assignment of lands he had made 
them in the neighbourhood of Ariminum. His opposition to 
the nohles was evinced hy the contempt with which he cast 
aside the tranmiels of augury. On one occasion the senate, in 
their jealousy, sent letters warning him agamst an engagement 
because the omens were unfavourable. Not till he had fought 
and won would he open the letters, and then he quietly re- 
marked that it was too late to act upon them. At the end of 
a successful campaign he demanded a triiunph, and when the 
senate refused it, the people interfered and decreed him full 
n.c.53i, honours by a vote in their assembly. Flaminius 
B.C. 223. secured for himself more solid and enduring honour, 
as the builder of the great Flaminian Way, the direct road from 
Home to the Gallic frontier near Ariminum. This remained 
for many centuries the great highway of the legions from Home 
to the north, and by means of it the republic could strike at 
any moment a sudden blow at her deadliest enemy. 

Another hero of this war, indeed the general under whose 
command the conquest of the Cisalpine was effected, was M. 
Claudius Marcellus, consul in the year B.C. 222. He won a 
brilliant victory at Clastidium, and, in conjunction with his 
colleague Calvus Scipio, captured Mediolanum (Milan), the 
most important station of the Gkiuls beyond the Po. But the 
especial glory of the great Marcellus was derived from his 
slaying of the Gaulish king Viridomarus in personal combat. 
Twice only in the history of Rome had such an exploit been 
'performed, by Romulus, and by Tullus Hostilius. Marcellus, 
for the third and last time in the history of the city, as leader 
of a Roman army, slew with his own hand the leader of the 
enemy, and dedicated his armour, the spolia opima. the prize 
of prizes, to Jupiter Feretrius in the Capitol. ^ "^ ^^'^ 

CH. XIX. Cisalpine and in the Islands^ lOI 

Marcelliis gained a triumph over the Gaols and Germans \ 
he was five times consul^ and rendered many signal services ; 
but it is for his capture and dedication of the spolia opima that 
Virgil specially celebrates him. 

The conquest of the Cisalpine was consolidated by carrying 
on- the military road from Ariminum to the foot of the Alps, 
and planting colonies at Cremona and Placentia, In the fol- 
lowing year the Roman eagles were carried into the peninstda 
of Istria^ and access by land was thereby secured into the re- 
.gions beyond the Adriatic. The empire of Rome was marching 
• onwards with the steps of a giant. At the close of the first 
Punic war the Roman senate had declared that they were at 
peace with all the world, and that the temple of Janus should 
be shut We have seen how that in Sardinia, in Illyria, and 
in Cisalpine Gaul the arms of Rome had been actively em- 
ployed during the next twenty years ; but the time has now 
come when we must turn our attention once more towards 
the south and west to understand the circumstances which 
were preparing the next and most terrible storm of war which 
was soon to burst over the Roman state. 

Affcer the subjugation of the revolted mercenaries had been 
completed, the veteran Hamilcar stood at the head of the Car- 
thftginiftTi state ; but finding himself thwarted by the aristocratic 
faction under the leadership of Hanno, he turned his energies 
in the direction of Spain, which he undertook to reduce under 
the sway of Carthage. Hispania or Iberia, with its fertile soil, 
its rich gold mines, and its hardy population, was a prize 
worthy to be contested by the greatest of nations. The con- 
queror of such a country would secure great store of the pre- 
cious metals, large openings for conunerce^ and an inexhaustible 
supply of willing and vigorous recruits. 

The Carthaginian senate, accustomed to regard commerce 
rather than arms as the mainstay of their national greatness, 
looked with jealous apprehension on the warlike schemes of 
their great captain. But Hamilcar, having once extorted per- 
mission to wage his warfare in Spain, was at no loss to make 
the war self-maintaining. 

By mingling in the politics of the natives, and taking the 
part of one tribe against another, he advanced his power step 
by step over large portions of their territory. He used the 
booty thus acquired to bribe his adversaries at home, and pro- 

I02 Carthaginian Conquests in Spain, ch. xix. 

bably the mass of his countrymen were soon dazzled by the 
splendour of the results he obtained for them. When after 
some years of successful aggressions Hamilcar was slain in 
Lusitania, the popular party in Carthage insisted on the appoint- 
ment of his son-in-law, Hasdrubal, to complete his under- 

The soldier was succeeded in this case by the statesman. 
The wise policy of Hasdrubal conciliated the native tribes and 
won the confidence of their chiefs. His influence was exerted 
to pacify their intestine feuds, and to weld them into a strong 
and united confederacy imder the direction of his own republic. 
In the excellent port of New Carthage, or Oarthagena, conve- 
niently near to the Punic coast, he established a strong base 
for future operations. The Romans took alarm, and, under a 
threat of inunediate war, compelled him to enter into a com- 
pact not to extend his conquests beyond the line of the Ebro. 
They professed to interfere in the interest of the Massalians, 
with whom they had formed an alli^ce as a check on the 
Transalpine Gauls. They had also entered into friendly rela- 
tions with the people of Saguntum, who dwelt to the south of 
the Ebro. Having taken these precautions, and appealing to 
the faith of their treaty with Carthage, which bound both 
parties mutually not to molest each other's allies, they awaited 
the course of events with renewed confidence. 

In the year B.C. 221, Hasdrubal perished by the hand of a 
Gaulish slave in revenge for the slaying of his master. The 
armies of Carthage in Spain at once acclaimed Hannibal, the 
son of Hamilcar, as their commander. This famous general 
was then twenty-six years of age. His childhood and youth 
had been ^ spent in the camp, where he had learnt the art of 
war from his father, and that of government from his brother- 
in-law. When he was but nine years old he witnessed the 
solemn sacrifice ofiered by his father Hamilcar for the success 
of the enterprise which he was on the point of launching 
against Spain. At the close of the ceremony the father bade 
his child devote himself to the service of his country by swear- 
ing with his hand on the altar never to be the friend of the 
Eomans. The oath was taken, and the young Hannibal, 
keenly sensible of its ob%ation, cherished, through all the 
trials of his Iberian campaigns, the resolution to avenge some 
day on Home the shame and injuries of Carthage. In the 

CH. XIX. Hannibal takes Command. 103 

year 219, two years after Hannibal assumed the command in 
Spain, news arrived in Home that he was threatening Sagun- 
tum. The consuls, who were just entering upon the final con- 
quest of Ulyria, did not change the destination of their armies, 
but sent a message to Hannibal reminding him of the treaty, and 
sternly forbidding him to meddle with the allies of Home. 

The young hero replied to the ambassadors in a defiant 
tone, and proceeded with his designs against Saguntum. The 
inhabitants, nerved perhaps by the hope of aid from Rome .which 
never reached them, made a glorious defence, and when all 
their resources were exhausted, perished amid the conflagration 
of their city kindled by their own desperation. 

The republic of Carthage, an older foundation than that of 
Home, had advanced a hundred years beyond its rival in poli- 
tical development. The old Punic aristocracy had for centuries 
ruled the commonwealth with definite alms and consistent 
policy. The instrument of their power was the great merce- 
nary army, and when this collapsed, the control of public 
afiairs passed in a great measure into the hands of the popular 
faction. It might have been thought that this transfer of 
power would lead to the infusion of new life and vigour into 
the government of Carthage ; but in efiect it quickly resulted 
in a surrender of the forces of the state into the hands of her 
military leaders. It was no longer at Old Carthage, in the 
councils of the senate, or even the assemblies of the people, 
that her policy was to be determined, but rather at New Car^ 
thage, in the tent of her ablest captain, swayed perhaps himself 
by the demands of officers and soldiers. When the senate 
accepted the nomination of Hannibal by the army in Spain« 
it gave itself a chief and submitted its policy to his dictation. 
Its fate was the same as that which befeU the Koman fenite a 
century later, when the long dominant aristocracy was con- 
strained, imder the pressure of an armed democracy, to foUow 
the course prescribed by the leaders of its legions in the pro- 
vinces. Home, it is true, possessed many provinces and many 
generals, and might hope to play off one of these against 
another, and so retain substantial power in her own hands. Yet 
such a course must inevitably lead sooner or later to civil war, 
and so it was that Rome was forced to accept the wars imposed 
upon her by a SuUaor a Csesar, just as Cartha|^e^<^^^|r^l^itted 
to the dictation of Hannibal. ^ '^ ^ ^ 

I04 Roman Politics, ch. xix. 

The safeguard proyided by the Komans against this danger 
was the rule which limited supreme command to the short 
period of one year. But when the outposts of the republic 
were stationed far beyond the frontiers of Italy, this rule was 
found impracticable, and the proconsular authority was granted 
for periods of five years, which gave time enough for an able 
general to mould the legions to his will, and attach them to his 
person. When, as in the case of OsBsar, the five years' ride was 
still further prolonged, or, as in the case of Pompeius, extended 
over many provinces, the opportunity could not be far distant 
when the Roman republic must be converted into a monarchy. 

At the time, however, vrith which we are now concerned, 
these dangers were still remote. The constitution of Eome 
stood for the moment in a curiously balanced condition. The 
old privileges of the aristocracy had been swept away. The 
Licinian, the Publilian, and the Hortensian laws had esta* 
blished the equal right of every citizen, no matter what his 
birth or his fortune, to be elected to the highest offices. The 
legislative power was in the hands of the comitia of the tribes, 
where numbers alone prevailed. Nothing could be more tho- 
roughly democratic in form than the constitution of Rome ; yet 
by a happy fortune the aristocratic sentiment survived ; and 
the result was that her magistrates and ber generals were still 
almost uniformly nobles. At the same time there was no 
monopoly. New men from time to time arose from the ranks 
of the people, and showed a capacity for leadership ; they too 
were admitted to the councils and the offices of tiie republic. 
They were thus ennobled themselves, and founded noble houses 
for their children. So happy a balance of the constitution was 
not likely to be long maintained. It was due to an exalted 
sense of public duty and self-control, which are not often, nor 
for long together, found in any community. Indications too 
were not wanting that the austere morality of Rome was 
already trembling towards its fall. 

The sanctity, for instance, of matron life, was a cardinal 
foundation of Roman morality. Ofiences against the marriage 
tie seem not to have been contemplated as possible in early 
times, and accordingly no provision had been made for divorce. 
In B.C. 231, at the instance of Spurius Oavilius, who wished to 
put away his wife for barrenness, a measure v^as passed which 
enabled him and others to divorce their wives by a formal pro- 

cH. XIX. Roman Religion. idj 

cees of law. But his example was too readily followed, and 
nothing did moie to undennine the old severity of Homan morals 
than the laxity thus introduced into the holiest and most delicate 
of all human relations. The religious system of Rome, at the 
same time, had become fixed in sterile rigidity. The ancient 
usages of the Italian and Etruscan nations remained entire ; 
but whatever spiritual principles may have at one time germi* 
nated within them, little beyond the mere husk now survived. 
Superstition still maintained an elaborate apparatus of auguries 
and sacrifices, of vows and supplications, but neither spiritual 
doctrine nor moral teaching were connected with them. All 
their observances had no other object than to avert a temporal 
injury or acknowledge a temporal benefit. It is not surprisiog 
that under such circumstances the faith of the Romans in their 
ancient deities, and in the value of religion itself, should be in 
a state of decay. That such disbelief was prevalent is proved 
by the stoiy of Claudius, who flung the sacred chickens into 
the sea, and by that of the family of the Potitii, who, being 
entrusted with the cult of Hercules, abandoned all care of the 
demi-god to their slaves. The people of Rome were beginning 
to be conscious of the hoUowness of their religion, and to look 
elsewhere for something better. This they vainly hoped to 
find by importing some of the gods of Greece and Asia. A 
solemn embassy was sent, B.C. 291, to Epidaurus in the Pelo- 
ponnese, to ask for a statue of ^sculapius, and to obtain in* 
struction in the observances of his worship. And not many 
years after the period at which we are now arrived, the sen- 
sational worship of the Good Goddess, or Phyrgian Oybele, was 
introduced. These new forms of religion seem to have checked 
the progress of impiety for a time, but for moral and spiritual 
purposes they were no more efficacious than the old ones. 

Two other incidents are worthy of notice here. 

In 238 B.C., the popular spectacle of the Floralia was first 
celebrated. The idea of it was simple and innocent — the dedi- 
cation of the first fruits of the year at the opening of the 
summer season. Yet it was speedily degraded into an orgie of 
sensual dissipation, which for centuries did more than anything 
else to demoralise the Roman youth. Within two years of its 
institution was bom M. Porcius Oato, the austere and pedantic 
censor, of world-wide celebrity. This man straying, perhaps 
inadvertently, into the theatre where, the Floralia were being 

I06 Roman Morality, ch. xix. 

exhibited, felt constraiued to turn his back upon them and fiee 
from the contamination of the spectacle. 

The institution of gladiatorial shows preceded that of the 
Floralia by several years. It was in the first year of the first 
u.c. 490, Punic war that Marcus and Decimus Brutus set 
B.C. 264. forth in public a combat between swordsmen at the 
obsequies of their father. The brutal excitement of these 
bloody exhibitions soon became popular among the Romans, 
and before long they formed part of the recognised apparatus 
by which candidates for office secured the favour of the electors. 
The rude and fierce captives of foreign war were at first set 
on to slay one another. After a time schools of gladiators were 
established, at which troops of slaves were trained to fight with 
elegance and skilL The Romans pretended to believe that 
these cruel spectacles helped to train them in sentiments of 
manly pride and contempt for woimds and death ; but no true 
critic of human nature can fail to trace to their influence the 
hardening of the heart and conscience of the mass of the Roman 



Hitherto the Carthaginian generals had manoeuvred against 
the Romans on the neutral ground of Sicily and Sardinia. 
They had boldly confronted them in defence of their own soil 
when the legions ventured to invade Africa, but they had 
shrunk from assailing the power of Rome on her own territory. 
Such, however, was the audacious enterprise to which Hannibal 
now addressed himself. He reckoned upon the alliance of the 
Samnites and Etruscans,' who had but recently yielded to the 
Roman power. He was perhaps too apt to confoimd the honour- 
able service of the Roman citizen with the mercenary spirit of 
his own forces. Above all, he relied upon the implacable enmity 
which still subsisted between the Gauls of the Cisalpine and the 
enemy with whom they had so long contended. On all these 
points Hannibal did in fact miscalculate, and accordingly his 
skill, his valour, his constant resolution were all unavaUing. 
No doubt he had little means of rightly weighing the data on 

CH. XX. The Second Punic War, \o^ 

which he proceeded ; but the event proved that his invasion 
of Italy was grounded on hopes that proved utterly fallacious, 
and in his blind confidence he did not shrink from flinging 
away upon it all the resources of his country which his father 
had so long and carefully husbanded. 

Taking advantage of the employment and dispersion of the 
Roman legions in so many quarters, the young captain crossed 
the Ebro with a force of 90,000 foot and 12,000 u.o. «36, 
horse, attended by a squadron of thirty-seven ele- ^•^- ^i^- 
phants, in the beginning of the summer of the year B.C. 218. 

With a long and difficult march of 800 miles in view across 
both the Pyrenees and the Alps, it may seem that the summer 
was already too late a season to start on such an expedition. 
The guerilla warfare in which the natives opposed him, and 
the difficulty of raising supplies for his vast armament, enforced 
upon him circumspection and delay. At the foot of the 
Pyrenees he was glad to leave 10,000 men under his brother 
Hasdrubal, and so reduce the number of mouths he had to feed. 
He further dismissed an equal number of Spanish auxiliaries. 
In crossing the frontier, which he did at some point near the 
Mediterranean coast, his army consisted of only 50,000 foot 
and 9,000 horse. He marched to the Rhone without opposition, 
but found his passage of that river barred by the Gauls, and 
his advance delayed by the necessity of collecting boats to 
convey his troops across. Detaching a small force to cross the 
stream higher up and fall upon the rear of his opponents, he 
effected the passage on the fifth day, but the season had now 
fallen deep into the autumn. 

Hannibal doubtless intended to follow the coast line into 
Italy, marching between the Alps and the sea. Had he crossed 
the Rhone a few weeks earlier, he might perhaps have fallen 
upon the Roman outposts before he was expected, and found 
no legions arrayed against him. But those few weeks sufficed 
to baffle his calculations. The Romans indeed were taken by 
surprise. Even after the fall of Saguntum they still delayed 
to take vigorous measures, never dreaming of the audacious 
enterprise which Hannibal was preparing against them. In the 
summer of the ensuing year they had collected as usual their 
two consular armies, of which they destined the one under 
P. Oomelius Scipio to act against Hannibal in Spain, the other 
under Sempronius to attack the Carthaginians in Africa. 

I08 The Second Punic War. ch. xjt. 

When the news of Hannibal^s advance upon Italy reached Rome^ 
it became necessary to change these plans at once. A portion 
of Scipio's army which had not yet embarked for Spain was 
directed to make for the coast of Gaul at Massalia, and seek 
to intercept his progress. Sdpio reached his destination too 
late to stop the invader on the banks of the Rhone. A casual 
encounter between Ms own outposts and a body of Numidian 
horse first made him aware of this fact. But Hannibal was 
too wary to engage the Romans at once. Counting perhaps 
on the effect of his presence in Italy in raising the population, 
he would not risk the chances of defeat while the entire 
destruction of the Roman power seemed within his grasp. 
He would not fight till he had planted himself on Italian 
soil. He would not pit his Numidians and Spaniards against 
the Romans till they should be borne along in triumph by 
the whole mass of Gauls and Etruscans, Samnites, Greeks, and 

Avoiding therefore a combat with Scipio, and striking out 
a devious course through the peninsula or island which lies 
between the Rhone and the Isere, he ascended the stream, 
and led his troops into the heart of the Alps, which it seems 
probable that he crossed by the pass known as the Little St. 
Bernard. The Allobroges, through whose country he was pass- 
ing, aided him with supplies and clothing, and the Boii of the 
Gisttlpine encouraged him to make the passage of the Alps and 
descend into their territory, towards which they undertook 
to guide him. 

But it was now late in October. The mountain paths were 
already encumbered with snow. Little food or shelter was to 
be found in these wild regions, and the goodwill with which 
the natives had at first received Hannibal soon changed into 
hostility towards a soldiery which was obliged to live at free 
quarters upon them. Neither the men nor the elephants of 
Africa were braced to the endurance required for such an 
adventure. Both men and animals perished in great numbers. 
Hannibal, however, pressed forward with indomitable energy. 
He overcame the resistance of the Allobroges, who now thought 
to destroy him among the mountain defiles, and forced his 
way over ice and through snow across the slippery summit of 
the pass. Strange stories were told of his blasting the rocks 
with fire and vinegar. These exaggerated reports probably 

cH. XX. Hannibal crosses the Alps, 109 

indicate that the Carthaginians had to use the spade as well as 
the sword^ and to exert such engineering skill as they possessed 
in clearing a track along which the troops could pass. When 
at length they descended into the smiling valleys of the Cisalpine) 
, their numbers were reduced to 20,000 foot and 6,000 horse, with a 
pitiful array of seven elephants. Hannibal had conquered his 
difficulties, but now commenced his disappointments. No 
allies offered themselves, no auxiliaries joined his slender ranks. 
The Gauls awaited the issue of the first encounter before 
declaring for either party. The Bomans, roused to a sense of 
their danger, evinced their accustomed alacrity. Sempronius 
was recalled from Carthage. Scipio, who had not dared to 
follow Hannibal's march across the Alps, had transported his 
troops by ship from Massalia to Pisa ; there he had been rein- 
forced by new levies brought to him by the preetor, and he was 
now posted on the banks of the Po, ready to meet the invaders. 
The latter, eager for the conflict, advanced almost to the 
Tidnus, on the left bank of the Po, when at last they met the 
van of the Eoman army which v^as preparing to oppose them. 
At this juncture a victory was of the first necessity to the 
darings invader. Without a victory he could get no allies, and 
v^thout allies he was lost. The affair of the Ticinus was 
but a skirmish, but the advantage clearly rested with Hannibal. 
Scipio retired across the Po, and two thousand Gauls at once 
passed over from the Eoman camp to the Carthaginian. The 
champion of Africa seemed at one blow to have justified his 
audacious enterprise. Scipio had broken down the bridge over 
the Ticinus, and established himself at Placentia, where he was 
joined by the legions of Sempronius, who had marched by land 
the whole distance from Lilybseum to Messana in Sicily, and 
again from Khegium to the Po. The courage of the Bomans 
revived. They quitted their fortifications, and took up a 
position on the left bank of the Trebia. The forces on either 
side might be now about equal, and amounted probably to 
40,000 men. Hannibal was eager for a pitched battle. Scipio 
had been wounded, and was not yet able to resume his com- 
mand; Sempronius was longing for an opportunity of dis- 
tinguishing himself. The combat was not long delayed. It 
was decided by the superior tactics of Hannibal, who posted 
his brother Mago with a chosen band in ambush, and threw 
the Romans into confusion by a timely di^t^^^Hhi^l'^rear. 

I lo Hannibal defeats the Romans, ch. xx. 

Their main body made good its retreat to Placentia, but great 
numbers were cut off from it and destroyed on the banks of 
the Trebia, the little stream which gave its name to the famous 
battle of the day. The legions escaped in two directions, Scipio 
retiring upon Ariminum and the upper coast^ Sempfonius 
crossing the Apennines into Etruria. 

Hannibal was left master of the Cisalpine^ but did not re- 
ceive from the Gauls the assistance he had hoped for. Early 
in the year 217 he crossed the Apennines into the valley of the 
Lower Amo, where he lost an eye through fatigue and sickness. 
The consular armies^ now commanded by 0.- Servilius and 0. 
FlaminiuS; still clung to their defences^ the one at Ariminum, 
the other at Arretium. 

Hannibal made many attempts to entice them into an en- 
gagement, but without success. At length he plunged boldly 
into the heart of Italy, where the rich plateau of the Middle 
Tiber would funush his restless soldiers with supplies and 
booty. He carried on the war, wherever not restrained by 
views of policy, with unrelenting barbarity, destroying every- 
thing with fire and sword, and performing to the letter a vow 
he had made to give no quarter to a Roman. Flaminius was 
aroused at last to follow him. It was by the waters of the 
Lake Trasimenus that he came up with the terrible marauders. 
A. fog prevailed at the time. The Eomans were entrapped in 
a defile, from which their advanced troops released themselves 
with severe loss ; but the main body was cut to pieces, and the 
consul slain on the field. 

When the news of the disaster reached Rome, the senate, 
which had made light of their losses at the Ticinus and the 
Trebia, could no longer disguise the crisis. One consul was 
slain, the other was crouching behind the walls of Ariminum, 
200 miles away, and the victor of Trasimenus was between 
him and Rome. The senate decided to appoint a dictator for 
the preservation of the state. Their choice fell on Q. Fabius 
Maximus, the chief of the party of the nobles. His master 
of the horse was Minudus Rufus, a fSavourite with the people. 
Prayers and sacrifices foUowed, and the gods were entertained 
at a Lectistemium. Meanwhile an army of four legions was 
speedily enrolled, and Fabius led it in quest of Hannibal 
wherever he might be found. For Hannibal, disappointed of 
aid from the Etruscans, had marched off mto the country of 

cH. XX. Fabius * Cunctator' in 

the Samnites instead of descending straight upon the city. He 
found himself actually in no less a strait than the Romans 
whom he had thrice defeated. He seems to have despaired 
of more effectual aid from the Samnites and Pelignians, and 
he now sought to stir up the discontent of the Greek popu- 
lation of Southern Italy. But even among them he found 
himself an ohject of fear and hatred, regarded as a barharian 
who massacred his captives and fed his soldiers on their flesh. 
Even the Greeks felt that blood, as it is said, is thicker than 
water, and were more drawn to the kindred Romans than to 
the alien race of Tyre and Carthage. The people of Neapolis 
and Pffistum stripped the gold from their temples and sent it 
to the senate. Hiero of Syracuse, faithful as ever, sent money 
and stores to the utmost of his power. Once more Hannibal 
had made a terrible miscalculation. 

The policy of Fabius was delay, and he obtained therefrom 
his illustrious sobriquet of ^cunctator.' He garrisoned the 
strong places : he cleared the country of supplies around the 
enemy's camp : he harassed him by constant movement ; but 
he refused an engagement. At last Fabius began to close 
upon him in the valley of the Vultumus, and seemed to have 
caught him in a trap. Then Hannibal showed his genius by 
the famous stratagem of driving cattle at night among the hills 
with blazing torches on their horns, and thus, by distracting the 
attention of his enemies, he managed to evade their blockade. 

The Romans, mortified at this escape, began to murmur 
against the policy of delay. Their courage was indeed main- 
tained by hopeful news from distant quarters, and Carthage 
seemed to have forgotten her great general in his difficulties. 

The brief dictatorship of the cunctator expired all too soon. 
Fabius was replaced by two consuls. The nominee of the 
senate, Paulus JSmilius, was well disposed to follow the policy 
of his predecessor in command; but Terentius Yarro repre- 
sented the blind impatience of the people. The two consuls 
held conunand of their immense force of 80,000 foot and 6,000 
horse on alternate days. They disagreed and paralysed each 
other^s action, Varro constantly threatening, and Paulus as 
regularly declining to give battle to Hannibal, whom they had 
followed to the field he had himself chosen at Cannse, on the 
borders of Apulia. The broad plain favoured the action of his 
Numidian cavalry. It was the day of Varro*s command. The 

112 Battle of Cannes. ch. xx. 

Koman force was double the Oartha^nian in iiuinl)er. In his 
blind confidence Yarro advanced in a massive column, instead 
of extending his line to surround the weaker enemy. Hannibal, 
on the contrary, surrounded Varro. He allowed him to pene- 
trate to his cenlre, and then enveloped his entangled and serried 
ranks with clouds of horse and light-armed infantry. The 
Eomans were routed. The carnage was immense. No less 
than 45,000 of the Eomans and their auxiliaries perished, and 
among them the consul Paulus, Minucius, the late master of 
the horse, 21 tribunes, 80 senators, and innumerable knights. 
Rome had received many terrible blows in this campaign, but 
the slaughter of Oannae was the most disastrous of all. 

Hannibal, though urged by his officers to advance, stiU 
hesitated to attack Eome. Oannie was 200 miles from the 
city, and the route lay across many mountains and rivers, and 
was bordered by Eoman colonies and garrisons. He knew the 
delays and perils he would have to encounter, and that his 
allies would insist upon lingering on the way to kill and bum 
and amass plunder. Even if arrived before the walls, he might 
ask himself, what profit would it be to him ? Eome was not 
now to be taken by surprise, as in the time of Brennus. He 
resigned bimself to the task of stirring up disaffection among 
the people of Southern Italy, while awaiting assistance from 
Carthage, and gradually providing the means required for lay- 
ing siege to the city of * the seven castles.' 

The alarm of the Eomans greatly exaggerated the amount 
of defection which actually occurred among the South Italians. 
The open country districts doubtless furnished the conqueror 
with supplies, but few only of the fortified places opened their 
gates to him, and he became constantly engaged, during the 
years that followed, in subduing their resistance. 

The Eomans, surprised to find themselves relieved from the 
peril which seemed immediately to threaten them, set to work 
with alacrity to raise new legions, sweeping into them not 
only proletarians, but also debtors, criminals, and even slaves. 
While this enrolment was in progress, Varro, the author of the 
disaster, returned in dejection to the city. Instead of disgracing, 
or even upbraiding, him, the senate went forth to meet him, 
and voted him their thanks 'for not having despaired of the 
republic' They entrusted him again with a command, and 
sent him back at the head of a consular army to the very 
country which had been the scene of his discomfiture. 

cH. XXI. The Second Punic War. 113 


THE SECOND PTJNic Y^ATL—conttrmed, 

The memorable battle of Oannae was fought atthebeginnizigof 
August, B.C. 216. No movements of importance took place on 
either aide for the remainder of the year. Hannibal, who was 
in want of money, proposed to the Roman senate to ransom 
those of their countrymen who were prisfmers in his hands, but 
his offers were stead&sHy refused. At the close of the cam- 
paigning season he chose fo^ his winter quarters the luxurious 
city of Oapua, which opened her gates to him. The period of 
repose which followed was the turning-point in his career. 
The hardy veterans, who had marched so far and won so many 
victories under his banner, were demoralised by the seductions 
of a dissipated city. The iron bonds of discipline were relaxed, 
and the speil waa broken which had seemed hitherto to render 
his arms invincible. 

Meanwhile the Romans, threatened as they were by a foiv 
midable enemy in the heart of Italy, adopted the bold policy of 
striking at Oarthage in various directions. They were no 
doubt aware that Hannibal, as the representative of the Barcine 
&U3tion, had many enemies in Carthage. They calculated also, 
that the wealthy merchants of that city would be more eager 
to defend their markets, and their mines, whoever they were 
endangered, than to spend blood and treasure in support of 
Hannibal's rash adventure. It was of vast importance to them 
to prevent such support being sent to the invaders. 

The two Scipios commanded the legions in Spain, and in the 
year 216 they drove back a Carthaginian army under Has^ 
dnibal, which was advancing to reinforce Hannibal in Italy. 
They then crossed the Ebro and retook the fortresses captured 
from the Saguntines. The struggle which followed was an 
obstinate one, the Carthaginians making great efforts to retain 
a conquest so rich both in men and gold. In 212 the two 
Scipios suffered a defeat and were both slain. But in the fol- 
lowing year P. Cornelius Scipio was sent to assume the com- 
mand, and in the course of five years he overthrew the power 
of Carthage throughout the peninsula, and drove her armies 
back to Africa. In 215, king Hiero of Syracuse^We ^faithful 


114 "The Second Punk War. ch. xxi. 

ally of Rome, died. This event was followed by the defection 
of Syracuse from the Roman cause, and the Carthaginians, 
trusting to the diversion so created, stopped the succours which 
Mago was leading to his brother Hannibal, and sent them to 
Sardinia instead. Thus supported, the Sardinians rose against 
Rome, and at the same time Philip of Macedon offered to come 
over and help the invaders of Italy. All these dangers were at 
once confronted and defied by the Roman state. The prsBtor 
ManliuB destroyed the Carthaginian army landed in Sardinia. 
Philip, before he was ready to move, found himself anticipated 
u.c. 642, by a Roman invasion of his own dominions. Marcel- 
B.C. 212, lua^ now for the third time consul, reduced Syracuse, 
after an obstinate defence, rendered memorable by the me- 
chanical devices of Archimedes. 

We may now return to Hannibal in his winter quarters at 
Capua, B.C. 216-15. There he lay in ease and security, expect- 
ing the arrival of his brother Mago from Africa, or of Has- 
drubal from Spain, and countmg upon a large accession of force 
through the adhesion of the cities of Magna Gh^cia. Finding 
himself disappointed in both these expectations, he bestirred 
himself to attack the numerous strong places held by the 
Romans in his vicinity. In these attacks he met with many 
reverses. He was repulsed with heavy loss before CumsB and 
Nola. Fabius crossed the Vultumus and captured three places 
near to Capua. Sempronius Longus defeated a Carthaginian 
division in Lucania, and drove it southward into Bruttium ; 
while Valerius and Marcellus chastised the revolted tribes of 
the Hirpini and the Samnites, To crown the misfortunes of 
Hannibal, a large body of Spanish foot and of Numidian horse 
deserted him, and went over to the Romans. 

Abandoned by his countrymen, and ill-seconded by his 
friends, Hannibal slill proved himself a dangerous foe. In the 
year 212 he balanced die conquest of Syracuse by Marcellus by 
himself taking Tarentum. Thence he burst away northward, 
passed by the Roman army which was actively pushing the 
siege of Capua, and showed himself before the walls of Rome. 
The citizens closed the gates and determined on a vigorous resis- 
tance. Part of the force before Capua was quickly despatched 
to their assistance ; and Hannibal, who had no resources ade- 
quate to a serious siege, and whose threatened attack was mere 
bravado, had to retire from the dangerous position in which he 

CH, XXI. The Second Punic War, 11$ 

had placed himself. Capua soon after fell under the steadfast 
operations of the besiegers^ and the consuls Fabius and Fulyius 
proceeded in cold blood to make a terrible example of the 
place which, once conquered^ spared, indulged and cherished, 
had dared to revolt against the republic. 

Oapua, with a circuit of five or dx miles round her walls, 
had boasted herself a rival of Rome. Capua was the home of 
all the highest art and luxury of Greek civilisation. But her 
citizens had none of the qualities which might have entitled 
them to defy the martial mistress of Italy, and when the 
support of Hannibal was withdrawn they quickly succumbed. 

Seventy of her senators fell under the rods and axes of the 
lictdrs; three hundred men of birth and rank were thrown into 
chains ; the whole people were sold as slaves. The city and its 
territory were declared to be Koman property, and were even- 
tually repeopled by a swarm of Roman occupants. As a paltry 
Italian coimtry town, it long retained its doubtful repute as the 
fiur Circe whose charms had enervated the host of Hannibal. 

The conquest of Capua was effected in 211, and in the same 
year a treaty was made with the people of -^tolia, by which 
they were secured against the aggressions of Philip of Macedon, 
and Home gained a basis for her future operations on the 
©astern side of the Adriatic. In the same year too Mar^ 
cellus celebrated a triumph on the Alban hill, and poured into 
Rome the plimder of Syracuse. In the following year Lsevinus 
reduced Agrigentum, and Scipio the new Carthage. Rome con- 
tracted an alUance with Syphax, king of an African tribe on the 
western side of Numidia, who was glad of support against 
Carthage ; and she also renewed terms of friendship with the 
Egyptian Ptolemy. The year :b.c. 209 was marked by the 
capture of Tarentum, on which city the Romans vented their 
animosity by selling 30,000 of its people into slavery. 

Hannibal continued to make energetic efforts to aid the 
unfortunate nations which had cast in their lot with his own, 
but neither from the east nor the west did he receive any aid 
himself. A solitary gleam of success was shed upon his arms 
in Apulia, where he surprised Marcellus, for the fifth time 
consul, and slew him in an ambush. At length Hasdrubal 
decided to leave Spain to its fate. He collected all his forces, 
and, eluding the watch maintained by Scipio, crossed the Pyre- 
nees, and reached the Rhone far inland near its confluence with 


1 16 Italy Invaded by Hasdrubal. ch. xxi. 

the Saone. Thence he followed the same route that his brother 
had taken across the Alps, probably the pass of the Little St. 
Bernard, and, in conjunction with a strong force of Gaulish 
auxiliaries, advanced into the great plain of the Cisalpine. 
He seems to have met with no opposition, from the natives, and 
l^e Roman generals, feeling themselves too weak to overthrow 
him, retired before him. He pursued his way along the upper 
cosAt, manifestly intending to effect a junction with Hannibal 
in the south. 

The Romans had exerted themselves to the utmost to meet 
the danger, which had for some months threatened them. The 
great MarceUus was lost to them, and both Fabius and Fulvius 
were advanced in years and in the decay of their power: 
L»vinus had given offence to the ruling party in the senate and 
was passed over. The consuls chosen were 0. Claudius Nero 
from among the Patricians, and M. Livius from am(»ig the 
Plebeians. Nero was detached to keep Hannibal in check in 
Bruttium, while Livius was charged to resist the new invader. 
To this task his strength proved unequal, and Hasdrubal 
marched on, leaving the garrison of Placentia behind him, 
crossed the Rubicon, captured Ariminum, found the line of the 
Metaurus undefended, and only paused when he came in front 
of the camp of Livius before the walls of Sena. From this 
position he sent horsemen to inform Hannibal of his arrival and 
of his line of march 3 but they fell into the hands of Neio, and 
the letters they bore betrayed his plans to the Roman general. 
Nero acted with promptitude and resolution. Making a feint 
to deceive his opponent, he suddenly quitted- his camp with a 
portion of his force, and made a dash to the northward in aid 
of Livius, whom he urged to make an immediate attack. Has- 
drubal, however, noticed that his enemy had been reinforced, 
and retired behind the Metaurus. There he was brought to bay 
and forced to give battle. A fiank attack under Nero decided 
the combat. The invaders were completely routed, and Has- 
u.c. 647, drubal himself was slain in the medley. Nero now 
B.C. 207. hastened back to the south and announced the Roman 
victory to Hannibal by throwing his brother*s head into his 
camp. The Carthaginian must have felt that his last chance of 
maintaining himself in Italy had vanished ; yet he obstinately 
held his ground at the extremity of the peninsula, and kept the 
armies of both consuls occupied for the ensuing year. The 

cH. XXI. Tke Second Punic War, 117 

victors of Metaurus celebrated a triumph amid the wild rejoic- 
ings of the people, now relieved from the danger which had 
been so imminent. 

In Italy the new consuls did little to provoke the weary 
and dispirited hero, and the war languished. But in Spain the 
Eoman cause was making great strides under Scipio, the aWegt 
general the Romans had ever had. The withdrawal of Has- 
drubal with so large a force from Spain, had reduced the 
strength of the Carthaginians there to a low ebb, and left them 
dependent upon the support of the fickle Iberians. In the year 
206 they relinquished Spain to Scipio, leaving only the city of 
Gades in the keeping of Mago, and Scipio at once prepared to 
carry the war into Africa. He confirmed the compact already 
existing with the Numidian Syphax, and concluded a similar 
treaty with the Mauritanian Massinissa. The Eoman senate 
hesitated to invade Africa while Hannibal still lingered in 
Italy ; but in 206 they elected Scipio to be consul, and assigned 
him Sicily for his province, and prudently made peace with 
their enemies in Macedonia, before venturing on the bold enter- 
prise to which their champion was urging them. Among the 
national heroes of Rome none was more renowned or more 
popular than P. Cornelius Scipio. The account of his exploits 
given by Livy perhaps derives its romantic character from the 
chronicle of some family panegyrist. Scipio, who was refined 
beyond the wont of his rough countrymen, affected the manners 
and the society of the Greeks. Popular among the Romans, he 
was far more so among their Italian allies, who regarded him 
as their great protector against Hannibal. It was said that 
when the senate jealously refused him the men and money 
requisite for his descent upon Africa, the Italian states united 
to furnish him with an armament, and urged him to abandon 
the Fabian policy, which, however advantageous to Rome, had 
brought prolonged misery upon the Italian peninsula. So 
great was his popularity that Roman writers constantly 
asserted that wherever he set his foot Scipio might have esta- 
blished himself as a king, and it is certain that, excepting 
Julius Osesar, no leader ever won and retained such a hold upon 
the imagination of the Romans. 

It has been already explained that the interference of Rome 
with Ulyria brought her into contact with Macedonia. Philip of 
Macedon had entertained the envoys of Hannibal and consented 

Il8 Africa Invaded by Scipio. ch. xxi. 

to aid ^im in his invasion of Italy, gladly assuming the part of 
defender of Greece against the threatened aggressions of Eome. 
The republic, in this strait, exerted the diplomatic astute- 
ness for which it was remarkable. It made a treaty with the 
^toiians, who were at war with their Grsecian neighbours, 
according to which those lawless brigands were to be at liberty 
to seize and retain any Greek town which they could conquer, 
while Rome was to receive the slaves, the money, and the rest 
of the plunder, as her share of the spoil. At tiie same time 
it engaged in alliance with nations still further eastward, and 
contrived to keep Philip constantly occupied with the arms of 
Attains, of Pergamus in Asia Mnor, of Antiochus of Syria, 
and of the barbarous tribes on his northern frontier. Thus the 
aid he had promised to Hannibal was deferred from year to 
year, and at length, after the victory of Metaurus, the Mace- 
donians finally abandoned him, and entered into bonds of amity 
with the successful republic. 

Scipio, backed by the strong impulse of popular favour, did 
at last overcome the resistance of the senate, and was free to 
undertake his African enterprise ; but in the outset his career 
was checked by the perfidy of Syphax, who, it was said, was 
seduced from his loyalty by the persuasions of the Carthaginian 
lady Sophomsba. It was evident that a long contest lay be- 
fore Scipio, which would require all his constancy and reso- 
lution to bring to a successful issue. At this prisis a last effort 
was made to reinforce Hannibal. Mago abandoned Gades, 
which he could no longer hold, and, carrying with him all the 
wealth of that commercial capital, and aJl the troops he could 
muster, made for the Ligurian coast, where he hoped to secure 
the aid of the Insubrian and other Gkiulish tribes. He was, 
however, checked, if not routed, by a Roman army, and him- 
self disabled by a wound. The Carthaginian senate at once 
recalled him, and at the same time ordered Hannibal to quit 
Italy and hasten to the defence of his own country. Meanwhile 
Scipio, having landed in Africa in the year 204 B.C., began by 
laying siege to Utica. He seems to have found no disposition 
to revolt against the Carthaginian government dther 
among their native levies or their mercenary troops. 
His solitary ally, Massinissa, was a fugitive with a few hundred 
horsemen, having been driven out of his own realm by Syphax. 
His advice, however^and his knowledge of the country were 

CH. XXI. The Battle of Zama, 1 1 9 

probably of value to the Roman commander. Scipio achieved 
a complete victory over the African army opposed to him, and 
Massinissa foUowed up the blow by the capture of Syphax, 
which neutralised at once the Numidian alliance. But in his 
turn Scipio sustained a reverse in the loss of his fleets and the 
stout resistance of the Uticans forced him to raise the siege of 
their town. He seems to have contemplated making peace 
with. Carthage, and envoys were sent to Rome to arrange 
terms. But the Roman senate, exulting in the defeat of 
Mago and the recall of Hannibal, would listen to no such 

Hannibal reluctantly quitted the land where he had won so 
many victories. Before doing so, he suspended in the temple 
of Jimo, at the extreme point of the Lacinian promontory, a 
number of bronze tablets, on which were recorded, in the Punic 
and Greek languages, the chief events of the war. These were 
seen by Polybius, and may have served to correct the boastful 
narratives of the Roman annalists. He is reported to have 
massacred the Italian soldiers who refused to follow him into 
AMca ; but the Romans were fond of representing him as a 
monster of perfidy and cruelty. 

Hannibal sailed from Orotona in the autumn of 203. He 
departed unmolested, landed at Leptis, and spent the winter at 

The best part of another year passed by before the two 
great generals confronted each other in order of battle. At 
length, on October 19, B.C. 202, the battle of Zama was fought 
on the banks of the river Bagradas, to the west of Carthage. 
Despite the superior forces of Hannibal's army and his array 
of eighty elephants, victory declared for the Romans. The 
Carthaginian horse, being disordered by the elephants, were 
routed and dispersed by the Numidian cavalry ranged on the 
side of Rome. The mercenaries gave way before the Roman 
legions, and came to blows with the Punic militia drawn up 
in support of them. A desperate struggle ensued, which was 
decid^ by the return of the Roman and Numidian cavalry to 
the field, who, falling upon the rear of the Carthaginian army, 
completed their discomfiture. The Punic host was not only 
routed, but destroyed. Hannibal escaped by flight, and Scipio 
was at once advanced to the highest pinnacle of military glory 
as the conqueror of the conqueror of Trasimenus and Cannes. 

I20 Scipio Africanus, ch. xxi. 

There remained, however, a yet higher glory to achieve, and 
Scipio made it his own by his moderation and generosity. 
Oarthage lay at last at the feet of Rome, and there were many 
who u^ged her entire destruction after the manner of Veii, or 
the treatment, little less severe, which had been inflicted on 
Oapuaand Tarentum. But Scipio withstood the clamour of 
his vengeful countrymen. He abstained irom demanding the 
delivery of Hannibal into his hands, and allowed Oarthage to 
retain her own laws and her A.frican territory. He required 
her, however, to surrender all her ships of war but ten, and 
all elephants, to pay 10,000 talents in ten years, to give over 
100 hostages between the ages of fourteen and thirty, and, 
what was worst of all, to engage to make no war, even in 
Africa, without the permission of the Homan people. Hannibal 
himself proved to his countrymen the necessity of submission. 
Massinissa was established in his kingdom as the ally and 
vigilant outpost of Bome at the gates of Carthage ; fuid then 
Scipio returned with his army to Italy, traversed the southern 
half of the peninsula with an immense concourse of the people 
who had witnessed so many of his rival's victories, and entered 
Home in the most splendid of triumphs. 

Scipio received the illustrious surname of Africanus, being 
the first Roman (if we except the dubious instance of Oorio- 
lanus) who derived a title from the country he had conquered. 
His statue was placed, in triumphal robes and crowned with 
laurel, in the temple of Jupiter. Some acclaimed him as the 
offspring of Jove himself. It is said, indeed, that the people 
were ready to offer him the consulship for life. It seems that 
they were already far advanced towards the temper which, in 
later times, welcomed an imperial master. The moderation of 
Scipio was proof against this temptation. Perhaps it might 
have been better for Rome had he yielded to it. It seems 
possible that at this crisis a true patriot might have accepted 
the post of a constitutional sovereign, and done much to check 
the downward progress of public life, which became now 
marked and rapid. Such, at least, was the opinion set forth 
by Oicero at a later period, when the opportunity had passed 
away. The noble families of Rome had by this time developed 
and inherited a high character as citizens and patriots, and it 
may be that, under a limited monarchy, these virtues would 
have controlled the elements of evil germinating in the Roman 

cH. XXI. The Second Punic War. 121 

state. As events turned out, they were incapable of stemming 
the torrent of national corruption, which, in less than another 
half century, broke down every moral barrier. 



The fortune of war is proverbial, and every warlike people has 
passed, perhaps more than once, through a crisis, when so re 
slight turn of af^rs might have changed success into irre- 
paraUe ruin. The Eomans were devout believers in Fortune : 
there was no deity to whom they paid their vows more as- 
siduoualy. They dwelt fondly on their own enduring good 
luck, which had preserved them from destruction by the 
Etruscans under Porsena, by the Volscians under Ooriolanus, 
by the G^uls under Brennus, by the Samnites under Pontius, 
by the Greeks under Pyrrhus, and now, lastly, by the Oartha<- 
ginians under Hannibal. In each of the struggles here referred 
to their existence as a nation was at stake. In none did it 
come so near to ruin as in that which was decided by Scipio at 
Zama. The war with Hannibal was, in truth, the most critical 
epoch of Homan history. 

We cannot doubt that the continued success of the Eoman 
people and their final triumphs over the Gauls, the Italians, 
and the Africans, were really due to their own superiority of 
character. They had a strength and firmness of mind, which 
gare them confidence in themselves, and in one another. They 
had a sense of mutual dependence and of brotherly feeling. 
Above all, they were conspicuous for their power of self- 
command; and, side by side with this faculty, grew up the 
power to command others, and the consciousness that they were 
fit to rule mankind, and had a great destiny to accomplish. 
Thus they came to regard their own city as the natural centre 
of the universe, and to a genuine Eoman prolonged absence 
from Rome was as terrible as death itself. 

On the other hand, the Gauls were semi-barbarians, without 

122 Political Fortune of the Roman State, ch. xxit. 

political ideas. The Etruscans were slaves driyen to the field of 
battle by an effete and debased aristocracy. The Carthaginians 
were traders and speculators, who made the public interests 
subservient to private ends. Another principal secret of Roman 
success was their skill in adopting the races which they con- 
queredy and infusing into theu the spirit of their own national 
Ufe. Every Boman colony became a nucleus round which there 
grew up a semi-Romanised population, eager to imitate the 
manners of Rome, and proud to accept from it the first rudi- 
ments of its national life. Every Latin colony, and, next to 
these, every Italian colony, receiving a certain foretaste of the 
Roman franchise, learnt to regard itself as an inchoate member 
of the race which ruled throughout the peninsula. It was no 
blind chance which saved Rome from Pyrrhus or Hannibal, 
but this system of assimilation, which rendered the Italian 
ally no less determined an opponent than the Roman himself. 
From the moment that the legions were enrolled into a per^ 
manent standing army, and quartered on the frontiers, the 
Gauls, the Etruscans, the Italians crowded into the ranks, eager 
to exchange their provincial insignificance for the excitement 
of a military career under the Roman standards. They were 
attracted by the hopes of plunder and of promotion. They 
might look for a share in the sack of cities and in the ravage of 
fields. The Italian cities and colonies were always ready to 
contribute both men and money for a raid on the riches of 
Capua and Tarentum, or on the slave-producing barrenness of 
Illyria or Spain. ■ For the Roman officers war had peculiar 
charms, for the honours of successful warfare formed the surest 
road to civil distinctions, and the wealth obtained by plunder, 
when distributed among the voters in the Forum, contributed 
largely to the same result. While the bravest and most 
generous citizens were retained under the standards at a dis- 
tance, the elections fell into the hands of the meaner class who 
were left in the city, and who soon learnt to sell the offices of 
the state to the richest candidates. These men dispensed the 
consulships and prsdtorships to whom they would, and the 
custom now became general of soliciting their favour by doles 
of bread, by gladiatorial shows, and by other extravagant 
entertainments. Thus there grew up, not only in Rome, but 
throughout Italy, a passion for war, which not even the losses 
and sacrifices of the Punic war could abate, and which no 

CH. XXII. Condition of Italy. 123 

wisdom or foresight on the part of consuls or dictators could 
control. The withdrawal of these hardy races from the labours 
of the field was of course destructiye to the ancient system of 
agriculture in Italy. A multitude of small holdings, each 
worked by its free owner and his family, had existed. In the 
course of three generations, from the invasion of Pyrrhus to 
the dialodgement of Hannibal, these became transformed into 
a few score of large properties, tended by slaves under the 
control of a hired bailiff. In spite of the democratic forms of 
the Roman constitution, circumstances were throwing the 
power more and more into the hands of a small class of wealthy 
and privileged persons. These magnates maintained their po- 
sition partiy by corruption and partiy by force, but as yet they 
were, for the most part, animated by a spirit of patriotism, 
with a not imworthy pride in themselves^ their ancestors, and 
their country. They still appealed to illustrious examples, and 
believed in those examples themselves. They were still, on 
the whole, a virtuous aristocracy ; but their virtue began to 
tremble to its fall, and in the course of another half century 
the demoralisation of the Bomans became complete, and in- 
flicted the most grievous sufferings upon the world around 

Heavy as were the losses endured by Home in repelling the 
invasion of Hannibal, her military strength was soon, renovated 
by the admission of the subject races to her legions. The 
labours of the field were transferred to captives taken in war. 
Debts contracted by the state were easily paid by assignments 
of land. She continued to found colonies wherever the native 
population had been swept away or enfeebled. She drew into 
her own ports the commerce of Oarthage and of the states with 
which Oarthage had traded, and this commerce received at this 
time an enormous impulse from the suppression of piracy and 
the pacification of the great highway of the Mediterranean, 
especially in its western waters. 

The Greeks had watched the contest with anxiety. They 
were well aware that whichever nation were victorious, its 
greed of empire would not long leave them unmolested. The 
East was covered, so to say, with the ruins of the empire of 
Alexander, which had been so hastily built up that it was 
unable to cohere for a single century. In Asia ten states had 
been formed out of the provinces first occupied by the Seleu- 

1 24 Condition of Greece ch. xxn. 

cides. Thrace had regained its independence under its own 
native princes. Egypt still remained a separate kingdom, ruled 
by the Ptolemies with <^e swords of Greek mercenaries. The 
continent and the islands of Greece proper had returned to 
their ancient condition, forming a cluster of small republics 
and tyrannies, which had no unity or cohesion, and whose 
policy was chiefly guid«d by mutual jealousy. Sparta perhaps 
retained the most of her old martial spirit, but the Spartans 
had dwindled m numbers to a paltry tribe of seven hundred. 

The Achsean league, a confederation of petty states on 
either side of the Gulf of Corinth, had acquired some political 
weight, but the people of Oorinth were content to look on, 
while their town was occupied by a Macedonian garrison, and 
their citadel by another of Achaeans. Philip of Macedon still 
swayed a great military power, but he was hampered by the 
jealousy of Attalus, king of Pergamus, and of Ptolemy, king of 
Egypt. Rhodes aimed at no dominion on land, but maintained 
an active commercial life. The ^tolians, a mere nation of 
bandits, formed a centre of lawless anarchy, a thorn in the side 
of all their neighbours. * 

At Thebes political life was quite extinct, and the case of 
Athens, once the foremost city of the world, was not much 
better. Her navy was limited to three vessels : her commerce, 
on which her greatness had depended, was at a standstill : with 
the decline of liberty her social activity had become paralysed, 
and the enervated descendants of the ancient free men of Hellas 
were content to live upon the stores accumulated by their an- 
cestors, and, as these became exhausted, to perish with them. 

Macedonia was undoubtedly the most warlike and vigorous 
of the Greek communities. Her people were still proud of the 
victories they had gained under their great conquerors, and her 
monarchs still dreamed of reviving the glories of Philip and of 
Alexander. But the nation was poor, and depressed by long 
subjection to tyrants : men of genius were hardly to be found. 
The phalanx — the deep and closely-serried array, which had 
broken the looser order of the Greeks, and scattered the inco- 
herent masses of the Persians, was no match for the long but 
well-supported lines of the Roman legions. The weight of its 
attack was lost on an organised force of cohorts and maniples 
which could yield and re-form, wheel to right and left, and 
skirmish in front or rear ; and its power of enduring resistance 

CH. XXII. and Macedonia. 125 

might be worn out by Roman perseverance. In her campaign 
against the Greeks and Macedonians, Rome was enabled to 
dispense with large armies of many legions. Her smaller forces 
were more quickly manoeuvred and more easily provisioned, 
and her blows were proportionally more sudden and effective. 

Moreover, Macedonia was enfeebled by the wide extension 
of her dominion. She maintained garrisons in many scattered 
positions throughout Greece — in Thessaly, in Eubcea, in Opus 
and Locris, Phocis and Elatea, at Goiinth, and in Arcadia* 
She held many of the Greek islands and numerous towns and 
posts in Asia Minor and in Thrace, notably those on the Propon- 
tis and the Bosphorus, which guarded the passage between the 
two continents. This condition of things made her the object 
of jealous hostility both in Europe and Asia, while her militaiy 
force was dissipated over too wide a circuit. To consolidate 
the forces of such an empire would have required the genius of 
another Alexander; but, in truth, under no circumstances 
could she have withstood the steady advance of the Roman 
power, which was now brought into contact with her through 
the^geiu^y of the ^tolians. 



Ten years before the conclusion of the struggle with Hannibal, 
war had been declared against Macedonia; but no serious 
campaign had been undertaken, and after a time these hos- 
tilities were suspended. Philip profited by the interval to aid 
the Carthaginians with a contingent of 4,000 men, who fought 
against Rome at Zama. 

Now that Carthage was reduced to submission, the senate 
determined to chastise Philip, and decreed the renewal of the 
war against him. In the year 200 B.C. P. Sulpicius Galba and 
0. Aurelius Cotta were appointed consuls ; and steps were 
taken to provide the first of these with an army with which to 
eonquer his new proyince of Macedonia. But the people, who 

126 War with Philip. ch. xxiii. 

were jealous of the power and privileges now exercised by the 
nobles^ professed to be weary of war, and in spite of distribu- 
tions of land) sumptuous games, and largesses of com and 
money, they refused to do as they were bid, and voted in the 
comitia of centuries against the war. The tribune Bsebius 
undertook to make a criminal charge against the senate ; but 
his office no longer commanded the respect it once did. The 
fathers abused and insulted him, and, through the consul, once 
more urged their policy upon the conunons. The centuries 
voted a second time, and now ratified the decision of the real 
masters of the commonwealth. This transaction shows how 
completely, under the military regime of the preceding century, 
the aristocracy of Rome had recovered its mastery over the 

The Bomans were in fact about to plunge, little as they 
suspected it^ into a career of eastern conquest, which did not 
stop till it led them to the Caspian and the Persian Gulf. They 
were jealous perhaps of Greece ; anxious to deprive Oarthage 
of a possible ^ture ally. But their main incentive to this war 
was the greed of plunder and the lust of dominion, which Iliad 
taken possession of nobles and people alike. The marvellous 
sweep of Alexander over Asia had fired the imagination of 
mankind. This had stirred up Oarthage to aim at the conquest 
of a western empire. This had stirred Pyrrhus, and might at 
any moment stir Philip- to a similar enterprise. The same idea 
was doubtless vaguely present to the Boman mind, impelling 
them too to push forward their ever-growing empire. A pre- 
text was easily found. The Athenians were determined to 
shake oiF the Macedonian yoke, and they applied to the Bomans 
to help them. Their petition was strongly supported by 
LsBvinus, the commander of the legions on the Macedonian 
border, who reported how he had been insulted and defied by 
Philip. ' You think,* said the latter to -^milius, ' you may do 
anything with me because you are a yoimg man, and a fine 
young man, and a Boman ! But if you want war you shall 
have it.' Such language was well calculated to determine the 
policy of the vacillating Boman populace. 

llie Gauls in the North of Italy, and the Bruttians in the 
South, required still to be held in check,, and not more than 
20,000 men could be spared to send across the Adriatic. This 

i» i_ jT» 1 • i Digitized by , 

lorce, nowever, sutnced m the course of two campaigns, b.c. 

CH. XXIII. War with Philip. 127 

200 and 199, to free Athens; with this exception, no im- 
portant success was achieved. 

In 198 T. Quinctius Flamininus was chosen consul by the 
senate and forced upon the popular assembly, in spite of t^e 
fact that he was by law ineligible, not haying served any of 
the inferior magistracies. At the head of a strong reinforce- 
ment he started promptly to assume his command, and at once 
began to act with vigour. Marching with all his forces across 
the Macedonian frontier, he compelled Philip to give battle, 
and after a hard-fought struggle the latter was forced to retreat 
with his army into his stronghold at Pella. The Roman leader 
now invited the support of the states of Southern Greece : many 
of them gave their adhesion, though some held back. Flami- 
ninus, however, proclaimed that the general vote was in favour 
of the Romans, and declared himself the protector of the 
Achaean league and champion of the liberties of Greece. At 
the end of his year of consular office his power was prolonged 
with the title of proconsul, and being anxious to have the credit 
of a peaceful settlement of affairs, he invited Philip to a con- 
ference at the pass of Thermopylae. The ^tolians tried to 
irritate and insult the Macedonian tyrant, but Flamininus 
soothed him and persuade^ him to send ambassadors to the 
Roman senate. The very first demand was that PHilip should 
withdraw from the fortresses of Demetrias, Ohalds, and Oorinth, 
which he had vaimtingly called the * fetters of Greece : ' his 
agents declined even to discuss such a proposition, and the 
negotiation fell to the ground. 

But the other states .of Greece were now more disposed to 
recognise and to side with the Roman power. In 197 Flami- 
ninus advanced to Thermopylae, supported by the Greek auxi- 
liaries and a body of iEtoUan cavalry. Philip shrank from 
meeting him in the hill country, and retired before him into 
the plain of Thessaly. There, at a place called Oynoscephalae, 
he waited for him, and a great battle was fought. The Mace- 
donian army was disposed in two phalanxes, each of 8,000 men. 
The first of these broke through the lines of the legions, which, 
however, closed in upon it again with no material loss ; the 
other was attacked whUe in process of formation and scattered 
to the winds. The victory of the Romans was so decisive that 
Philip sued for peace, and was glad to accept from the Roman 
senate easier terms than he could have obtained from his ene- 

1 28 Greece liberated by the Romans ch. xxm. 

mies Bearer home. It was not the policy of Kome to crash 
men who might hereafter be useful to her as allies. Negotia- 
tions for a settlement of the numerous states and cities of 
Greece occupied the oisuing year, and in B.C. 196, at the Isth- 
mian games, at which the representatives of every Grecian 
community attended, it was proclaimed with sound of trumpet 
that the Roman senate, and T. Quinctius, its general, had 
liberated the whole of Greece from the power of Macedonia. 
The Greeks threw themselves into a phrenzy of joy, crowning 
their self-styled liberator with garlands, and unheeding the 
obvious fact that they had but exchanged one master for 
another. Athens was now established as a free state, with the 
islands of Delos and Paros added to her small dominion. 
Corinth was restored to the Achaean league, and the provinces 
of Thessaly, Epirus, and Illyria were broken up into a number 
of petty independent republics. Scattered over Asia Minor 
lay many Greek communities nominally subject to Ptolemy, 
king of Egypt ; and while PhiUp was engaged hand to hand 
with the Romans, Antiochus, king of Syria, seized the oppor- 
tunity to annex tiiese (Meek settlements. He now threatened 
to cross the Hellespont and attack Philip, and at the same 
time sent envoys to Flamininus to jiegotiate for the peaceable 
retention of his conquests. The Roman general in reply sent 
orders to Antiochus to relinquish every Greek city he had 
seized, and to give up the idea of crossing over into Europe. 
He then turned his attention to affidrs in another quarter. 
Sparta had fallen under the tyranny of Nabis, and had become 
more and more alienated from the rest of Greece, to which she 
properly belonged. Argos had also submitted to the same 
tyrant. Flamininus now stirred up the Greeks to curtail the 
power of this upstart. The Achaean league, at his instance, 
declared war, and he led their forces side by side with the 
legions to the gates of Sparta. Nabis was soon reduced to 
extremities. Argos was taken from him, as well as a portion of 
his own territory ; but in spite of the protests of the Achaeans, 
Rome as usual refused to destroy one adversary for the advan- 
tage of another. 

Flamiiiinus had now exercised the imperium as consul and 
pro-consul for nearly four years, and the time was come for 
him to retire. He was instructed to withdraw all the Roman 
garrisons, and to leave the Greeks at liberty to govern tbenx- 

CH. XXIII. from the Macedo7iian Power, 129 

selves. He summoned tbe states to a general assembly and 
took a solenm leave of them, exhorting them to use well the 
■gift of freedom conferred upon them by Rome. The u.c. 660, 
scene was one of great excitement, and Flamininus ^-c- 194. 
himself was moved to tears of emotion. In Quinctius Flamini- 
nus and Scipio Africanus, two of the noblest types of Roman 
greatness, we find sternness and even ferocity in action, com- 
bined with remarkable tenderness of feeling : we also find that 
personal ambition was subordinated in them to a generous 
spirit of patriotism, No two Roman heroes more justly deserved 
the triumph, the reward of patriotic virtue, than the conqueror 
of Hannibal and the liberator of the Greeks. 

Meanwhile Greece, so generously emancipated by her Roman 
conquerors, enjoyed a period of repose, a respite from the 
Macedonian tyranny which had oppressed her for 150 years. 
She had recovered strength and self-command enough to con- 
trol the jealous ambition of her several states, now united in 
one political system. The numbers she could maintain in her 
own barren and mountainous country were but small, but imder 
the protection of Rome she might revive her old commercial 
industry, which had made her rich and populous. The destruc- 
tion of her works of art might now be stayed, and she might 
hope to acquire, by the charms of her art and of her literature, 
a powerful influence over the rougher and stronger race which 
was beginning to dominate the Western world. In order to 
enjoy these advantages it was necessary that she should be 
submissive ; power was now beyond her grasp ; and those were 
her best friends and truest patriots who understood this neces- 
sity, and controlled their ovm and their countrymen's im- 



Now that Greece and Macedonia lay at the feet of Rome, there 
remained no barrier of importance between her and Asia, and 
her conflict with the Eastern powers could not be long delayed. 
Across the narrow waters of the -^gean Sea, in the ancient city 

I30 The Romans expel ch. xxrv. 

of EphesuS; sat Antiochus, king of Syria. Surrounded with all 
the luxury and magnificence of an Oriental despot^ exulting in 
his title of ' the Great j glorying in the success of his arms against 
the Bactrians and the Indians, he paid no heed to the summons 
of Flamininus to withdraw from Asia Minor. On the contrary, 
he dreamed of an empire to rival that of Gyrus or of Xerxes. 
Throwing his troops across the Hellespont, he advanced into the 
heart of Greece, and it was not till he had traversed Thessaly 
and reached Thermopylas that he was encountered and driven 
back across the sea by the consul Acilius, b.c. 191. In the 
following year the Roman legions under Scipio Africanua and 
his brother Lucius first set foot in Asia. Philip, eager for th 
discomfiture of Antiochus, was the good friend and faithi'iil 
ally of the Roman leaders. The forces of Antiochus were 
numerous, and they were commanded by no less a general than 
the veteran Hannibal, who had found a refuge at the Ephesian 
court, and had doubtless used all his infiuence to rouse the 
hostility of his new master against the Romans, whom he so 
much detested. But even Hannibal could make nothing of the 
wretched Asiatics that marched under his standards. They 
were scattered like chaff before the wind by the hardy warriors 
of Rome, fresh from the schools of Gaulish and Spanish warfare. 
The Romans were always victorious over Asiatics^ and in craft 
and policy were little if at all inferior to them. Antiochus was 
soon reduced to sue for peace. The answer was that he must 
evacuate Asia Minor and retire behind the Taurus. He preferred 
to risk a great battle. This was fought and won by Lucius 
T7.C. 564, Scipio at Magnesia. In it 30,000 Romans over- 
B.C. 190. threw 60,000 Asiatics, and pretended to have slain 
50,000 of them, with the loss of only a few hundreds on their 
own side. On that day the fate of Asia was sealed. Antiochus 
at once yielded all that was required of him : he renounced all 
claim to Asia Minor, surrendered his chariots, his elephants, 
and his treasures, and gave up his fleet to be burnt by the con- 
querors ; he would doubtless have given up Hannibal also, but 
the Oarthaginian had already made good his escape. 

The immediate result of the defeat of Antiochus was the 
formation of a kingdom of Asia. Eumenes, king of Pergamus, 
had sided with the Romans, and he accepted the position of a 
puppet king, nominally the ally, really the subject of Rome, 
over the provinces which artretch from the Hellespont to Mount 

CH. XXIV. Antiockus from Asia Minor. 131 

Taurus. The natiye chie& aod people were content to accept 
his role; hoping no doubt to find in it some better guarantees 
for peace and security than they had for a long time enjoyed. 
The Boman senate began already to flatter itself with the 
spectacle of the kings who attended servilely upon it. Mean- 
while in the far East, the nations dwelling on the Euphrates, 
and even the remote court of Persia, heard with awe the name 
of the Koman republic, whose empire now extended to the 
frontier of OUicia. 

In 189 B.C., Manlius and Fulvius succeeded the Scipios as 
consuls* They were probably the first of the Eoman com- 
manders who ventured to declare war without orders from 
home. Manlius attacked and defeated the Galatians, the most 
warlike tribe of Afda Minor ; while Fulvius treated the -^to- 
lians with equal severity, — and thus secured the homeward 
march of the victorious legions ; though not a little of their 
enormous booty was snatched from them by an insurrection of 
Thracians on their fiank. The Romans kept faith with Greece, 
and withdrew all their armies across the Adriatic, content 
with the renown of their invincible legions throughout the 
East In the year 189, Lucius Scipio enjoyed a military, and 
.^Emilius a naval triumph over Antiochus, and Scipio assumed 
the title of Asiaticus, in emulation of his brother the conqueror 
of A&ica. 

It must not be supposed that the activity of the Romans 
was confined during the wars of Greece and Asia to the eastern 
quarter of the world. Both in Italy and in Spain the legions 
were all this time fully employed. The warlike tribes of Spain, 
which had gladly helped the Romans against Carthage, showed 
little disposition to submit quietly to their new masters. Beyond 
the mines of gold and silver which the PhoBnician traders had 
discovered, there was little indeed for the Romans to gain in 
the barren mountains of Spain. These mines too were few and 
difficult of access, and even the Romans must have known that 
it was cheaper to trade for their products than to fight for them. 
We can only attribute the pertinacity with which Rome con- 
tinued to assail the liberties of Spain to a love of fighting for 
its own sake, and a dogged determination to impose the yoke of 
her authority. Disastrous as were these wars in many respects, 
they still served the policy of Rome as a splendid school of 
military training both for her soldiers and her generals, and 


132 Spain and the Cisalpine reduced, ch. xxiv. 

continued to do so during the 200 years through which the 
struggle lasted. 

In the year 200 B.C., after the defeat of Hannihal and the 
conquest of Carthage, the Romans might consider themselves 
masters of the Iberian peninsula. They occupied all the chief 
cities on the coast, and the rude tribes of the interior acknow- 
ledged their supremacy. But when the attempt was made to 
organise the whole territory as a Eoman province; the natives 
broke out into a general insurrection (b.c. 197), and the prsdtor 
Sempronius was slain. With the Oeltiberians of the mountain 
region were united the Lusitanians of the West, and the 
Vaccaeans and Vettones of the East. Without cities, without 
conmiissariat, without military organisation of any kind, and 
without allies, they yet maintained a guerilla warfare, which 
long defied the power of Rome. Victory after victory was 
gained by the discipline and endurance of the legions, with 
little result except the devastation of the country. M. Porcius 
Oato was conspicuous among the Roman leaders for his ruthless 
severity. He could boast that he had dismantled 400 strong- 
holds between the Pyrenees and the Baetis. A Onseus Scipio, 
a Fulvius, a Quinctius, a Oalpumius, are named among the 
victors in this petty war&re, and Sempronius Gracchus, whose 
sons became afterwards so illustrious, was the destroyer of 300 
forts. He also made some eiforts to persuade his barbarian 
enemy to adopt a more civilised life, and perhaps deserves the 
credit of a milder policy. 

From the year 178 B.C., Spain might be regarded as con- 
quered a second time ; but meanwhile Rome had another task 
of the same kind to accomplish in repressing the outbreaks of 
the Italian Gauls. 

In the year 200 the Carthaginian Hamilcar headed a revolt 
of 40,000 Gfauls, who burnt Placentia and attacked Cremona. 
This city was, however, saved by the prsetor Furius, who 
defeated the insurgents with heavy loss. Three years later 
this war was still of sufficient importance to occupy both con- 
suls with their entire armies ; and it was by the treachery of 
their own countrymen that the Gkiuls were finally overcome. 

The great Scipio brought the war to a close by the reduc- 
tion of the Boii, whom he drove out to seek a new home on 
the banks of the Danube. 

We may now consider the Gauls of the Cisalpine as finally 

cH.xxiv. Death of Hannibal. 133 

subdued; and their country reduced to the form of a Eoman 
province. Colonies were established or revived at Placentia, 
Cremona^ Bononia, Mutina, and Parma ; while those planted at 
Pisa and Lucca kept guard over the still unsubdued Ligurians. 
Multitudes of Gaids were at this time transplanted into Sam« 
nium and other depopulated tracts of Central Italy. In b.c. 
177 disturbances occurred in Corsica and Sardinia, which were 
controlled by Sempronius Gracchus, and so many of the natives 
were sold into slavery, that 'Sards to sell' became a cant 
phrase for anything that was cheap and worthless. 



The year of the oity 571, B.C. 188, is rendered notable by the 
deaths of three men of great mark in history. 

Hannibal, when he escaped out of the hands of Antiochus, 
took refuge, first in Crete, and afterwards with Prusias, king of 
Bithynia. Here he at length ceased from his fruitless intrigues 
against Home, and busied himseK in obscurity with the affairs 
of his new patron. But once more Home demanded, with a 
threat of war, that he should be given up. Prusias sent troops 
to arrest him, and finding no possibility of escape, Hannibal 
swallowed the poison which he had kept concealed about his 
person. Such an end was tragic, but it was at least dignified, 
and it saved him from the still lower intrigues and greater 
obscurity into which he must have fallen had his life been pro- 
longed. It is plain that his part was played out. He had 
undertaken a task beyond the strength of any one man. Hero 
as he was, he contended against a nation of heroes, and his 
defect of judgment led to inevitable failure. He has often been 
compared with the first Napoleon : the one seems by general 
assent to be regarded as the most eminent of ancient, the other 
of modem commanders. In estimating his career and character 
we must bear in mind that everything the Romans wrote of 
him was tinged with deep and ignoble prejudice. To his 
credit as a soldier we must place the marvellous skill and 

134 Macedonia, Greece, and cii. xxv. 

courage which enabled him to midntain so long his invadon of 
Italy with means apparently quite inadequate. On the other 
hand, as a politician he failed signally. His scheme of uniting 
all the races of Italy against Home was grandly conceived ; 
but it came to nought ; and by this want of political mastery 
the enterprise of his life was ruined. 

Hannibal died in discomfiture and exile. The same year 
witnessed the decease of his great rival Scipio Africanus, who 
had lived long enough to see the unbounded authority he once 
enjoyed fade away under the fickle breath of popular fiivour. 
His treatment of Antiochus was denounced as too lenient^ and 
his brother Lucius was charged with malversation in his 
accounts. Publius indignantly tore up the papers presented to 
him against his brother, but was himself promptly charged with 
arrogance and incivism. Lucius was heavily fined. The great 
AfricanuS; on being accused before the people, disdained to reply 
except by recounting his own signal services. Reminding the 
people that the day of his trial was the anniversary of the 
victory of Zama, he called upon them to desist from this 
miserable prosecution, and to march with him to the Capitol, 
there to return thanks to the immortal gods. This bold stroke 
succeeded, and the accusation fell to the ground ; but Scipio 
retired to his seat at Liternum in Campania^ refused again to 
visit Rome, and directed that even his remains should not be 
taken back there for interment. 

In the same year died Philopoemen, who both for his valour 
and his statesmanship deserves to be called ' the last of the 
Greeks.' Chosen eight times for their general by the Achaean 
league, he exerted all his influence to keep the Greeks united 
among themselves, and to restrain them from provoking the 
irresistible power of Rome. He lived in usefulness and honour 
to his seventieth year. Then he became entangled in a quarrel 
with the Messenians, and fedling into the hands of a personal 
enemy, he was treated with great indignity, and compelled at 
last to swallow hemlock. In vain did the Greeks rise to avenge 
his death and do honour to his remains. The last of their 
heroes had perished, and it is to their credit that they showed 
an adequate sense of Ms value. 

The years which next followed formed a proud period in 
Roman annals. The unimportant wars which still continued in 
Spain and Istria were crowned with unbroken success. But 

CH. XXV. Africa reduced to Provifices, 135 

naw for the first time the kings and potentates of the earth 
bogan to send envoys to Rome, and to court the people whom 
they recognised as their patrons and protectors. From the 
Asiatic kingdoms of Bithynia, of Gappadocia, of Armenia ; from 
the conuuonwealths of Achaia, Sparta, and Ehodes ; from the 
asdent reahn of Egypt, embassies thronged the streets of Home 
and crowded the antechambers of the senate house. The 
Eomans became intoxicated with this wondrous tide of glory 
and good fortune \ and the policy of moderation which had 
spared the weakness of Greece, and borne with the petulance of 
Macedonia; now gave place to ruthless ambition and greed of 
plunder. Philip of Macedon had allowed his son Demetrius to 
be educated at Kome, but on his return home the youth became 
an object of jealousy to his father, who soon sacri- u.c. 575 , 
ficed him to tiie interests of his brother Perseus, ^c- 179. 
Piulip not long after followed him to the grave, leaving in 
Perseus an able and high-spirited successor. 

Perseus anticipated the impending struggle, and quietly 
prepaared for it. At length (b.c. 1 70), the storm burst upon hiir . 
On the suggeetionof Eumenes, king of Pergamus, he was charged 
¥ath injuring the allies of Borne. War was declared, and in 
the first encounter the consul Licinius was worsted. Perseus 
still ofiered to make terms, but was told that Borne would 
never negotiate with an armed enemy — he must make uncon- 
ditional submission. He determined on a desperate resistance, 
and for two years made head against his enemy. In b.o. 163 
^milius Paulus won the battle of Pydna, and crushed the 
Macedonian power. 

The whole country submitted at once, and Perseus, in the 
vain hope of mercy, surrendered himself to the Bomans. After 
marching in the triumphal procession of his conqueror, he was 
imprisoned, and a few years later died, not without suspicion 
of foul play. The Bomans transported all the chief people of 
Macedonia into Italy, and divided the conquei'ed country into 
four distinct republican governments, whose inhabitants were 
forbidden to intermarry. It was not till seventeen years lat^ 
(B.C. 151), that an unsuccessful revolt gave them the oppor* 
tunity of finally destroying the independence of Macedonia and 
converting it into a Boman province. 

After the war with Perseus was ended, Bome made a 
stringent inquiiy into the conduct of thosmJ]^a^^|;^ which 

1 36 Sack of Corinth. ch. xxv. 

had seemed to sympathise with the last asserter of independence. 
Eumenes was insidted and threatened. Rhodes was selected 
for punishment, and deprived of her continental territory in 
Asia Minor. In Epirus, the gallant ^milius Paulus was made 
the instrument of a ruthless devastation. 

It was imposable to ^:s. on the Achaean government any 
act of disloyalty. And yet their time too was come. On the 
evidence of a traitorous informer many eminent men were 
charged with having held conununication with Perseus. They 
were required to defend themselves from the charge at Home. 
Once in Italy, they were detained without trial, and placed 
under surveillance in distant provincial towns. 

Polybius the historian happened to be one of these unfor- 
tunate hostages, and after seventeen years of exile, he and his 
fellow-prisoners were restored to liberty, through the friend- 
ship of Scipio ^milianus and the advocacy of Oato the censor. 

This unjust treatment of the Grecian notables was a presage 
of the fate reserved for their country. In the fluctuating course 
of a democratic government, Achaia fell under the rule of an 
intemperate fection, forgetful of their complete dependence on 
the Roman power. A quarrel with Sparta led to the inter- 
ference of Roman commissioners who came over to settle the 
dispute. They were treated with insolence by the AchsBans, 
and replied by commanding that Sparta, Argos, and Corinth 
shoidd be released &om the Achsean league. The demagogues 
promptly organised a revolt ; they set the slaves at liberty and 
armed them, they forced war contributions from an imwilling 
people. Metellus oiFered them easy terms of submission, but 
this last chance of averting ruin from their country was thrown 
aside, and a paltry force was sent to occupy the pass of 
Thermopylae. These misguided patriots could make no stand 
against the legions, and were swept away with great slaughter. 
Metellus advanced without further impediment to Oorinth. 
There, his term of office having expired, he transferred the 
command to his successor Mummius, a man of a rude and harsh 
nature. The taking of Corinth by this barbarian was a scene of 

The amount of valuable plunder acquired by the Romans 
was enormous. Gold in abundance was recovered from the 
ruins, but the master-pieces of Greek art, the bronzes more 
precious than gold, the pictures, the statues, were ruthlessly 

^ DigitizecTbyVjIJUVlC '' 

CH. XXV. The Third Punic War. 137 

destroyed and lost to the world for ever. Corinth was re- 
planted as a Roman colony a hundred years later, and rose 
once more to eminence. But with the sack of Corinth the 
history of Greece, the classic land of genius and of freedom, 
comes to an end. Thenceforth she sinks into the u.c. 6O8, 
portion of a Roman province. The same year, 146, bc 146.' 
which witnessed the fall of Greece was signalised also by the 
destruction of Carthage. Ever since her great defeat at Zama, 
the existence of Carthage, Rome's greatest rival, had been a pro- 
tracted agony. Massinissa and the Nimiidians were free to 
insult her, and to encroach upon her territory; and she dared 
not retaliate, but by sending complaints to Rome. The senate 
entertained these complamts and promised redress, but nothing 
came of it. At length Cato was sent as envoy to Carthage to 
inquire into her wrongs. On his return he denounced her 
before the senate as too powerful a neighbour to be suiFered to 
stand erect. Plucking some fresh figs from the folds of his robe, 
* This fruit,' he exclaimed, ' has been brought from Carthage— 
so nigh to us is a city so strong and so prosperous— Carthage 
must be destroyed.' 

Cato was at this time in the full ripeness of authority and 
influence. He was a constant speaker in the senate, and every 
one of his speeches ended with the words ' Carthage must be 
destroyed.' The senate waa not unwilling to follow his guidance. 
Li the year 149 a pretext for war was found in the fact that the 
Carthaginians had taken up arms against Massinissa. The 
Roman senate promptly declared war against Carthage, and at 
the same moment despatched an army of 80,000 men under 
the consuls Marcius Censorinus and Manilius Nepos, who were 
privately instructed not to desist till Carthage lay in ruins. 
The threatened people, aware of their inability to cope with 
Rome, sued abjectly for peace and were ready to consent to any 
terms. Called upon to send 300 hostages of noble birth to 
Sicily, they obeyed. Next, in compliance with the consul's 
orders, they surrendered all their arms and engines of war : 
200,000 complete sets of armour were conveyed in waggons to 
the Roman camp. Censorinus praised their readiness to submit, 
and announced that now it only remained for them to quit 
Carthage, which the Romans purposed to destroy, but that they 
were at liberty to build for themselves another city on any 
aite ten miles inland. This cruel command overwhelmed the 


Tke Third Ptmic War, 


eDvoys with despair. On their return to their city, all who had 
counselled submission were attacked by the people ; resistance 
to the death was resolved on, and the most heroic efforts were 
made to replace the surrendered arms, and to put the city in a 
state of defence. The very women are said to have cutoff 
their long hair to furnish bow strings for the archers. These 
gallant efforts were not without result. For three whole years 


the Carthaginians stood at bay behind their walls. Hasdrubal, 
who commanded their forces in the field, held his own succesa* 
fully against the Eoman consul. But the siege was doggedly 
maintained, and in the course of it the Roman army more than 
once owed its safety to the activity of a young officer, Scipio 
i£milianu8, the son of ^milius Paulus, who had been adopted 
by Scipio, the son of Africanus. In 147, Scipio visited Rome 
to offer himself a candidate for the aedileship, but so high ctid 

cH. XXV. Destruction of Carthage and l^umantia, 139 

his reputation stand, that the people elected him conBul, though 
he was not yet of legal age to hold that office, and assigned 
him A-Mca for his proyinca Scipio set to work with alacrity to 
improye the discipline of Ms troops, and to reduce the hostile 
city ; but it was no easy task which lay before him. Another 
year elapsed before he succeeded in effectually blockading the 
place, and when famine began to tell upon tiie defenders, he 
slowly fought his way into one quarter after anol^ier, till only 
the citadel, called Byrsa, remained untaken. This fortress 
also fell before long. Scipio spared the lives of the enemies, 
but gave up the city to be sacked, and then levelled it with the 
ground. The Punic territory was soon reorganised as a Boman 
province under the name of Africa, and Scipio on his return 
enjoyed a triumph, and took the title of Africanus. In this 
same year, which marks the disappearance from u.c. 6O8, 
history of the Grecian and Carthaginian states, the ^.o. 146. 
secular games were for the fourth time celebrated at Home. 

During the years which followed, Spain was the only country 
which gave exercise to the Roman arms. Successive praetors 
continued slowly and painfully to reduce it under authority. 
For eight years the Lusitanian chief Viriathus constantly 
defied theltoman generals, and subjected them to many defeats. 
At length the consul OsBpio infamously bribed three of his 
officers to murder him in his sleep. After his death the resist- 
ance of the Spaniards centred in the heroic little town of 
Numantia, near the sources of the river Douro. Though its 
people numbered but 8,000 armed men, they repeatedly worsted 
successive Roman consuls with armies amounting to 30,000. 
At length, in B.C. 134, Scipio the conqueror of Carthage was 
chosen consul, and sent to bring this troublesome war to a close. 
As before, his first efforts were directed to improving the dis- 
cipline and the endurance of his troops. Then with a force of 
60,000 men he blockaded Numantia, and at last reduced it by 
funine. Most of its brave citizens had already perished by the 
sword. The few that survived were either brought to Rome 
to grace the victor's triumph, or sold as slaves on the spot. 
Numantia was razed to the ground, and never again rose from 
its ruins ; but the gallant defence made by its people against 
overwhelming odds deserves to be commemorated to the end 

of time. Digitized by VnUUV IC 

I40 General View of the Roman Empire, ch. xxvi. 



The power of Home was now paramount in the four great 
peninsulas which project into the Mediterranean, together with 
its principal islands, while her authority was recognised at 
almost every point of the coast line. Italy, the centre of this 
power, was governed by the prsetor and other ma^trates of 
Rome. Spain, Greece, and Asia Minor were reduced substan- 
tially to the form of provinces, as were also the islands of the 
Tyrrhene, the Ionian, and the -zEgean seas. The province of 
Airica comprised the old dominion of Carthage, on either side 
of which the kingdoms of Egypt and Numidia enjoyed a 
nominal independence. At the eastern end of the Mediter- 
ranean, the Jews were in alliance with the republic, Rhodes 
was still indulged with freedom, and in Asia a few petty states 
were allowed to maintain their native governments. lUyria 
offered little temptation to Roman cupidity, but the subjection 
of Macedonia was fiilly assured. In the south of Gaul the 
cities of Massilia and Narbo were in alliance with the senate, 
and were shortly to be used as the foundation stones of a 
Roman province of Gaul beyond the Alps. The first, a most 
flourishing centre of commerce, was a colony of Phocsean 
Greeks from Ionia ; the other was a city of native growth and 
a centre of local civilisation. 

The government of a Roman province was in fact a military 
occupation. Year by year at first, in later times every third 
year, a proconsul or a propraetor came from Rome to command 
it. He was supported by one or more legions with numerous 
auxiliary battalions, and on all points his word was law. Only 
to the Roman senate was he responsible, and on his return his 
quaestor was required to submit a report of his proceedings, 
which might be disavowed, but so long as the interests of the 
republic had not suffered he was tolerably safe. In administer^ 
ing justice to the provincials, he was restricted only by his own 
edict issued on assuming the government. The provinces were 
organised on the model already described in the case of Etruria 
and Samnium. The various communities were treated with 
varying degrees of favour. Some retainedy^titefe'^ld local 

CH. XXVI. General View of the Roman Empire, 141 

goyemment. Some received the Latin or Italian franchise. 
Some forfeited their land to the domain of the republic. Tolls 
and eustoms were levied, and a tax upon the produce of the 
land furnished a constant revenue to the state. The wealth 
arising from this source on the conquest of Macedonia enabled 
the conquerors to remit the land tax from the entire soil of 

The rule of the proconsuls and their cohort of subordinate 
of&cials was one of tyranny and spoliation. Neither the pro- 
perty, the honour, nor even the lives of the provincials were 
secure from them ; and their rapacity was rather encouraged 
by the senate, as it tended to weaken the conquered race and 
cut the sinews of future revolt. Perhaps it was fortunate that 
so many of these spoliators took delight in seizing the choicest 
works of ancient art, and carrying them to Rome. The pro- 
vincials, who understood the value of these treasures, groaned 
over their loss, and scoffed at their ignorant spoilers ; but it 
turned out that the metropolis of the world was the safest re- 
ceptacle for these precious relics. Meanwhile in Spain and in 
Asia the energies of yoimg and vigorous races continued to 
extract wealth from the soil more rapidly than their masters 
could consume it. In Greece and in Africa, on the other hand, 
the nations once so dominant seemed stricken with palsy and 
steadily diminished both in numbers and in resources. They 
had had their day, and could not survive the loss of freedom ; 
while to the younger and lustier nations, rebounding from the 
shock of conquest, the empire of Rome brought a new life of 
progress and development. 

The Roman people, dispersed over this great empire in 
numerous offices of civil and military command, maintained 
their ancient valour, their stem discipline, their zeal for the glory 
and the authority of Rome. The wealth of the East and of the 
West, which had inflamed their cupidity, had not yet enervated 
their vital force. Three centuries were to elapse before the 
great wave of Roman conquest should have spent its force. 
And yet already the seeds of decay were beginning to germinate 
in the body politic, and to detract from the healthy vigour of 
the national life. We shall do well to pause and take note of 
these signs of decadence. 

Notwithstanding their high reputation for disinterested 
Tirtue, there never was a people so devoted to money-making 

142 General View of the Roman Empire, ch. xxvi. 

as the Romans. They amassed riches by all means, by plunder, 
by osury , by commerce. To the possession of wealth they showed 
the most slavi^ deference^ and hence, whatever might be the 
form of their constitution, power drifted into the hands of the 
richer dasses, as soon as the old privileges of birth had dis- 
appeared. We have already seen how the old patrician 
pystem, with its exclusive privileges, had passed away. The 
comitia of the curies was, indeed, still sometimes convened for 
tne performance of certain religious rites, but it had no political 
weight. The real power resided in the comitia of Uie cen- 
turies and tribes ; and in both of these it was ingeniously con- 
trived that property should prevail over numbers. The comitia 
of the centuries, with its division of the people into classes, was 
indeed from the beginning avowedly constructed so as to 
give a paramount influence to Wealth. As the comitia of the 
tnbes acquired political importance, the same result was at- 
tained in their case by giving the censor the power to inscribe 
all the poorer citizens in the four urban tribes, leaving in the 
hands of the rich the control of the remaining thirty-one tribes. 

The functions of these two assemblies, both essentiaUy aris- 
tocratic, were twofold — elective and legislative. The centuries 
elected the consuls, the prntors, and the other curule magistrates. 
The tribes elected the inferior officers. Both assemblies could 
pass laws which were binding upon the whole people, but 
neither of them could initiate a law ; they could but give or 
refuse their sanction to measures already approved by the 
senate. If a consul, a prestor, or a dictator had a new law to 
propose, he laid it before the centuries ; if a tribune had a 
measure to recommend, he laid it before the tribes. In both 
cases the approval of the senate must be first obtained ; and 
if in some instances we hear of honours being conferred by 
popular vote in defiance of the opposition of the senate, these 
must be regarded as acts of irregular encroachment. The 
equestrian centuries (the knights) included among them aU the 
richest of the citizens ; and as the higher magistrates received 
no salary, but on the contrary had to bear the heavy expense of 
providing public amusements, none but rich men could aspire 
to high office, and therefore none below the rank of knight were 

Such of the knights as had filled the higher magistracies 
acquired with their families the title of ^nobileSf and were 

CH. XXVI. Internal Governmmt of the Republic. 143 

eligiUe to fill vaeancies in the senate. This assembly was, 
however^ limited in nimiber to 600 ; a high standard of pro- 
perty was enforced ; and every five years the censors revised 
the list; striking off the poor and imworthy, and selecting the 
most distinguished men to fiU their places. Those who had 
attained to tiie rank of nobles strove hard to maintain their 
own position, and to keep out from it those who were still only 
of knightly rank. The latter were no less eager to advance 
themselves. Hence arose the political conflict of the senate 
and the knights, which, in the later years of the republic, 
mipiics, and even repeats the phrases of, the early struggle 
tu i'itiicians and plebeians. The privileges and flie 
power of the senate were enormous. The laws, the finances, 
foreign policy, the army, the government of the provinces, were 
all regulated by it, and to the senate alone every officer of the 
state was responsible. If its power was limited by the right of 
the tribunes to veto its decrees, their opposition might be com- 
bated by sowing dissension among them, or in the last resort by 
the creation of a dictator. Sometimes arbitrary power was 
conferred on the consuls by the decree ^ Viderent Oonsules ne 
aliquid detrimenti res publica caperet.' Both these resources 
were intended only to be used against danger arising from a 
foreign enemy, but they were often perverted to serve the pur- 
poses of the senate in tiie civil strife of politics. Against these 
arbitrary measures the people had one defensive weapon. No 
citizen could be sentenced to loss of life or of civil status 
without an appeal to the people. If the consuls on any pretext 
violated this right, they were themselves liable to be sentenced 
by the comitia of the tribes. 

In addition to their rank and power the senators enjoyed 
great opportunities of growing rich. The proconsuls and pro- 
praetors who ruled the provinces, though they received no 
salary, amassed vast wealth in the form of gifts and bribes from 
their subjects. When the rich fields of Greece and Asia were 
opened to theii cupidity, the nobles abandoned usury and com- 
merce for the n ore lucrative employment of provincial govern- 
ments. They allowed the knights a large share in the occupa- 
tion of the most fertile domain land, and confined the poorer 
classes to the common pastures. The discontent arising from 
this treatment led to the &tal scheme of distributing cheap or 
gratoitoiis doles of com^ which was levied as tribute on the 

144 General View of the Roman Empire, ch. xxvi. 

provinces of Sicily and Africa. The populace were also 
amused and pampered by splendid shows in the circus, the cost 
of which was borne by the candidates for high office ; and so 
heavy was the outlay required for this purpose, that by the 
time a man had attained, through successive elections, to the 
office of consul, his resources were so crippled that, only by 
means of a rich provincial appointment, could he hope to pay 
his debts and retrieve his fortune. Thus the provinces were 
made to pay for the voluptuous idleness of the Roman people. 

Meanwhile the jealous knights, debarred from these guilty 
grQ,tifications, kept a watch on the provincial rulers and in- 
voked the laws against them. Murder, bribery, peculation, 
corruption on the seat of justice, were crimes of which the 
comitia of the tribes took cognisance, and that assembly was 
not indisposed to judge severely the misdeeds of wealthy 
nobles. The senate, however, instituted a new tribunal, com- 
posed solely of members of their own order, to judge this class 
of offences, and thus foiled the attack of the knights. The 
efforts of the latter were then turned to securing for themselves 
a share of this jurisdiction, and they hoped by that means to 
compel the senate to give them also a share in the provincial 



The wide-spread intercourse of the Romans with foreign 
nations, which resulted from their extensive conquests, pro- 
duced great changes in their habits of mind and in their mode 
of life. Greece, as was natural, influenced them the most. The 
old Sabine deities, such as Oonsus, Lunus, and Jutuma, drop out 
of sight. The Hellenic deities, Apollo, iBsculapius, Oybele, 
and Bacchus, are fast becoming the favourite objects of worw 
ship. But the religious ideas of Greece were quickly followed 
by the doubts and disputes of her sceptical philosophers ; and 
these were made familiar to the Romans by the poet Ennius, 
a countryman of their own. The magistrates did indeed mion* 

CH. XXVII. Influence of the Greeks. 145 

tain the old ceremonial of processions, sacrifices and auguries, 
as an engine of state policy, but the higher classes had ceased 
to believe in their efficacy ; and since the plebeians had been 
admitted to the priesthood and the augurship, the nobles cared 
little for the old traditions. Their attitude of mind is pitihUy 
expressed by Enniiua : ' If there be gods at all, at least they do 
not concern themselves with the care of human afifurs.' 

The nobles began now to p&y great attention to Greek lan- 
guage, and literature, and mann«%. Their houses swarmed 
with. needy Greeks, whom they employed to teach the grammar 
and the language to ^themselves and to their children. Others 
composed chronicles of the Boman people Qr annals of the noble 
families whom they served ; and these last were food of tracing 
their masters' pedjgree to Hercules or ^neas, or some other 
Greek or Trojan hero. Tlie Greek women, fescinating and 
accomplished as they were, did much to subjugate th^ Roman 
conquerors, and were the cause of cruel wrofigs to the rough and 
homely matrons of Italy. Ennius, the first of the Latin poets, 
and a native of Calabria, was well versed in the ^^c poetry of 
Homer, and introduced it to the Eomajis both by translation 
and imitation. 

He found many followers ; and for more than a century the 
Bonoans, deserting their old Satumian verse, laboured hard at 
reproducing in their own tongue the Greek hexameter. Their 
success in the end was marvellous, and culminated in the 
polished diction and poetical rhythm of Virgil. They were 
hardly less successful in naturalising the Grecian drama. 
Enough of the plays of Plautus and Terence survives to show 
how well they learnt to move in the fetters of the Greek comic 
muse; and the names of many other play-writers attest the 
abundance of this dramatic literature. 

Glancing at the manners and customs of the Eomans of 
high rank at this period, we may observe how the life of the 
cily becomes distinguished from that of the country, and that 
of the Oampanian baths from both. The first was the life of 
the Forum and the temples : its dominant idea, the service of 
the state, and the performance of public duties. In the morn- 
ing, the formal reception of freedmen, and the giving of legal 
opinions to clients j towards noon, public business in the Forum 
or the senate-house ; then preparation for public speaking with 
hired rhetoricians, followed by retirement for a short mid-day 


1.46 Corruption of Roman Simplicity, ch. xxvii. 

sleep. The afternoon was devoted to active exercises in the 
Oampus Martins, such as swimming, wrestling, and fencing. 
Supper followed, diversified with singing and hufibonerj ; and 
so to bed at sundown. 

In the country the Roman was up with the sun to super- 
intend his farm : part of his day was devoted to hunting, fish- 
ing, and other field sports, and the remainder to study, or 
writing, or sleep. At the baths there was a complete holiday. 
Barefoot and lightly clad in a Grecian dressing-gown, the 
Roman lounged through the day in idle gossip, in frequent 
bathing, in listening to the light songs and music of foreign 
artists. The Roman was generally proud of his stem routLae 
of self-imposed duty, and ashamed of these indolent relaxations ; 
but the syren Sloth was gradually gaining his ear, and step by 
step the love of business gave way to the love of luxury and 
ease. Not till then did guilty ambition prompt him to seek in 
the conduct of public a£&irs a personal and selfish aggrandise- 

At this period, indeed, the power of the state was so com- 
pletely in the hands of a small group of families closely con- 
nected by intermarriage^ that it might not have been difficult to 
convert so aristocratic a government into a limited monarchy. 
The elder Scipio AMcanus, had he chosen to seize the oppor- 
tunity, might undoubtedly have held the position of a king or 
a doge during his lifetime, and perhaps he might have founded 
a dynasty. But the opportunity passed by, and it was not long 
before a reaction set in against the nobles, and leaders were not 
wanting, some honestly, some of evil design, to inflame the 
hostility of the masses. The poet NsDvius, who was driven 
into exile by the influence of the Scipios and the Metelli, 
avenged himself by satirizing Ms haugh^ enemies. Oato the 
censor, too, lost no opportunity of rebuking the nobles for their 
pride, their insolence, their neglect of the old Roman traditions. 
This rude but vigorous sdon*of the Latin homesteads served 
the state in peace and war, and won his way to the highest 
honours of the consulship and the censorship. He clung to 
the simple and austere habits of the old Roman life, and waged 
imceasing war against the luxurious manners imported from 
abroad. Harsh, punctilious, censorious, often indeed unjust 
and cruel, he allowed no place to the common feelings of 
humanity if they seemed opposed to his stem sense of duty, th© 

CH. xxvji. Cato the Censor. 147 

duty of advancing the interests of the state, of the fann, of the 
household. Severe to all alike, his enemies, his women, his 
slaves, his cattle, he never relaxed unless it were into some 
grim jest. Yet he respected the laws of courtesy : he was not 
rude in speech. Even when he counselled the dismissal of the 
Greek philosophers from Rome, he did not treat them un- 
civilly ; and in his old age, despite his hatred of everything 
foreign, he so far yielded to the popular current as to make 
himself master of the Greek language. 



Now that the arms of Rome were everywhere triumphant, 
external wars ceased for a time to be of much importance, and 
our attention must he turned to the internal commotions which 
followed each other in quick succession in Rome and Italy. 
The first of these was the agrarian agitation set on foot by 
Tiberius Gracchus, the son of Sempronius Gracchus and Oo3> 
nelia, the daughter of Scipio Airicanus. His brother Oaius 
figures, like himself, in this narrative, and his sister was mar- 
ried to Scipio Africanus the Younger. In the year 137 B.C. 
the young Tiberius was traversing Etruria on his way to join 
the armies of Rome before Numantia. His route lay through 
many famous cities, once the centres of art and civilisation, 
now perishing in poverty and decay. But that which made 
the deepest impresdon on his mind was the absence of popu« 
lation in the rural districts through which he passed. Where 
were the Etrurian people who had fought so stubbornly against 
Rome ? Where were the smiling homes and Jfruitful fields of 
the Roman eolonists who had«been planted there after the 
conquest ? The traveller looked in vain for any trace of an 
Italian peasantry; he met with none but a few wretched 
herdsmen, and, on addressing them, he found that they were 
foreigners of strange features and barbarous idiom — Thracians, 
Africans, or Iberians. 

How this state of things came about must now be explained. 
The old nobility of Etruria, deprived of political importance 


148 The Agrarian Law of ch. xxviil 

and stripped of much of their land and wealthy had sunk oui 
of fflght among the mixed population of Rome and other large 
towns. The amount of land granted in possession to the 
colonists was small compared to the vast tracts which had been 
leased at low rents to a few privileged nobles. The licinian 
law strictly provided that these leases should be revocable at 
any moment, and that the land now occupied by the nobles 
might be granted in possession to the poorer citizens, whenever 
occasion arose for such a division. But in practice such grants 
were made out of newly conquered territory, and the old occu- 
pations were not disturbed. These vast estates were handed 
down from fether to son for many generations, and came to be 
regarded as the private property of the noble tenants. The 
Roman magnate who claimed their produce lived in profusion 
at Rome, or in some luxurious villa, and left their cultivation 
to be carried on by slaves. But the multiplication of slaves 
was found, after a time, to be both dangerous and expensive ; 
and when copious supplies i cheap com came flowing in from 
Sicily and Africa, the cultivation of grain was to a large extent 
given up in Italy, and vast tracts of country were converted 
into pasture, on which a few rude herdsmen, captives of war, 
sufficed to tend the sheep, the cattle, and the swine which 
ranged the woods. Tiberius Gracchus, who had been highly 
educated by his mother Oomelia, and who, himself of plebeian 
origin, inherited a disposition to side with the commons in their 
struggle with the privileged nobility, seems to have partiy 
understood the causes of the desolation he had witnessed, and 
to have revolved them deeply in his mind. He proceeded to 
Spain, and served as qusBStor to the proconsul Mancinus. 
There he gained experience and distinction, and inspired all — 
even the enemy— with confidence. On his return to Rome 
honours and rewards were showered upon him for good service 

The young quaestor now extended his inquiries to other 
parts of Italy, and found that the state of things which he had 
observed in Etruria was general throughout the peninsula. 
Everywhere the old native nobility had disappeared : the free 
cultivators had been drafted into the army ; the land was ao* 
cumulated in the hands of the wealthy few ; and the peasantry 
were represented by scanty bands of captive labourers. No 
wonder, then, that the Roman arms should be suffering disi^ 

cH. XXVIII. Tiberius Gracchus. 149 

asters in Spain I There had been a time when Italy could arm 
700,000 foot soldiers and mount 70,000 cavaliers— all free men, 
all trained warriors ; but now, if another Pyrrhus or Hannibal 
should attack her, where were the resources of Italy to resist 
him P True it was that, if the population of the country had 
diminished, that of the towns had increased. If the legions 
could no longer be recruited in the rural parts of Italy, they 
might still be replenished from tiie mass of Romans and Italians 
who formed the ruling race throughout the provinces of Ghreece 
and Africa and Asia Minor. True it was, also, that this con- 
verfflon of com land into pasture was to a certain extent a 
natural and economical process, and the same change was going 
on in Greece. For, however flunous these two countries might 
have been in the past for their rich crops of grain, there could 
be no doubt that the cultivation of cereals was fiir more profit- 
able under the warmer sun of Sicily and Africa, while the cool 
upland pastures and rich meadow lands of Italy and Greece 
rendered them peculiarly well adapted to the breeding of 

It was not likely that the dispersion of a few thousand 
freeholders over Italy would materiaJly alter this state of affairs. 
And yet this abandonment of the country to slaves was fraught 
with danger to the state, and presented a problem which de- 
manded attention. Already in Sicily the slaves had risen by 
hundreds of thousands under the leadership of Eunus. They 
had even gained some victories over the troops sent to repress 
them, and a year of desolating riots and murderous executions 
elapsed, before they were compelled to yield to the discipline of 
the Roman legions, and to submit their necks once more to the 
stem yoke of Roman slavery. Such outbreaks had been fre- 
quent enough on a smaller scale, and the Roman maaters had 
not failed to assert their authority and to punish the rebels ; 
but the quiet which ensued was a repose full of suffering on the 
one side and of insecurity on the other. 

Bat Tiberius regarded the policy of his countrymen ftom 
another point of view also. If he aimed at the elevation of the 
lower classes by free grants of land, he wished also to depress 
tiie undue exaltation of the nobles. The gulf was ever widen- 
ing and growing deeper between the two classes. The free 
eitiaens of Rome were reckoned, a few years later, at 400,000, 
while not more than 2,000 could be designated as men of 

1 50 The Agrarian Law of ch. xxviii. 

property. The few grew richer and richer on the rents of 
their estates and the spoils of the provinces. The many were 
encouraged to regard themselves as a nation of warriors, to 
despise the peaceM and profitable pursuits of trade, and to lead 
idle and useless lives in dependence on the largesses of their 
wealthy rulers. Such a pernicious state of things might well 
make a vigorous reformer eager for change. But the time was 
not yet. The nobles were now all-powerfiil, and firmly deter- 
mined to remain so. 

There were two roads at Borne to honour and influence. 
The one 'lay through the regular course of the curule magis- 
tracies, culminating in the consulship, which could not law- 
fully be attained by any man before his forty-third year. 
Such a career must be one of slow and uncertain advancement. 
Tiberius was impatient. As a plebeian he was eligible to the 
tribimeship, which would give him power equal, in some re- 
spects, to that of the consul, and would confer upon him 
the security of personal inviolability — a consideration of great 
importance to a man who was about to meddle with burn- 
ing questions. Tiberius sued for the tribuneship, and was 
eagerly acclaimed by the people, who understood his alms, 
and encouraged him to recover the public land for the poor 

The young reformer at once proposed to enforce the Licinian 
law, which limited the possession of public domain to an extent 
of 500 jugera. He proposed to soften the application of the 
law by making certain additional assignments to those occu- 
piers who had children, and giving some further compensation 
to those who were deprived of their holdings. In spite of this, 
the nobles whose estates were threatened regarded the measure 
as one of sheer confiscation, and opposed it with all their force. 
Fierce debates ensued, but the voice of reason was soon drowned 
in the clamour of an excited populace. The senate then 
prevailed upon one of the tribunes, Octavius by name, to oppose 
his veto to the action of his colleague. Tiberius at once in- 
duced the tribes to expel his opponent from office, and, after 
some rioting, a triumvirate, consisting of Tiberius, with his 
brother Oaius and his father-in-law, A. Claudius, was ap- 
pointed to put the law (the lex Sempronia) in force. The 
nobles now took advantage of the clauses providing for com- 
pensation to raise endless questions and delays. They also had 

CH. XXVIII. Tiberitis Gracchus. 1 5 1 

recourse to the old artifice of instilling into the minds of the 
people doubts of their champion's sincerity. They insinuated 
that he had accepted a diadem and purple robe as presents 
from abroad ; and they drove him to strengthen his position by 
the lavish distribution among the people of the treasures be- 
queathed to the state by Attalus^ Mng of Pergamus. This act 
was a glaring encroachment on the prerogative of the senate, 
and it was followed by the still more hostile proposal to admit 
the knights to seats on the judicial bench hitherto reserved to 
senators. This privilege of presiding at political trials was 
eagerly coveted. It conferred authority over the lives and 
fortunes of the highest officers, and doubtless gave many op- 
portunities for profitable corruption. 

Time went on ; the tribune's year of office expired, and he 
asked to be re-elected. The nobles opposed him, and a riot 
ensued. In the confusion Tiberius, it was said, raised his hand 
to his head to protect himself. ^ He demands the diadem ! ' 
shouted his opponents. Scipio Nasica urged the consul to slay 
the would-be tyrant. When he hesitated, Scipio veiled his 
head as one about to perform a sacrifice, and called on the 
citizens to avenge themselves on the traitor. The two factions 
now fell to blows, and the tribune's party was worsted. Ti- 
berius himself was killed with a club on tiie Oapitol, just out- 
side the doors of the temple of Jupiter. As many as 300 of 
his partisans perished, and their bodies were cast ignominiously 
into the Tiber. This was the first blood shed in civil war 
between the citizens. The practice became only too common 
during the century which intervened before the establishment 
of the empire. 



The death of Tiberius Gracchus, which was soon followed by 
that of Appius Claudius, left two vacancies in the commission 
appointed to carry into effect the lex Sempronia. These were 
filled up by Fulvius Flaccus and Papirius Carbo ; but so great 
were the difficulties of their task, so ingenious the obstacles 

152 Popular Career of Caius Gracchus, ch. xxix. 

thrown in their way^ and so active the hostility of the senate, 
that no progress was made, and the law remained almost 
wholly inoperative. 

At this conjuncture Scipio ^milianus, who also bore the 
title of Africanus, returned victorious from Numantia. His 
military renown and his virtuous character seemed to point 
him out as the fittest umpire between the rival factions. His 
sympathies indeed were all on the aristocratic side, but both in 
speech and action he was conspicuous for moderation. 

A new influence was now introduced into Roman politics 
by the agrarian agitation of the Gracchi — vis., that of the chiefs 
of the old Italian races. These provincial nobles had been 
admitted to some of the privileges enjoyed by their Roman 
conquerors. They too occupied large tracts of domain land, 
and had no mind to see their estates parcelled out among the 
needy rabble of the Forum. At the same time they chafed at 
their continued exclusion from the Roman franchise. While 
crowds of clients and freedmen were enrolled as citizens of tiie 
sovereign republic. They now chose Scipio as their patron, 
and loudly called for admisaon to the full rights of citizenship. 

But Scipio's career was suddenly cut off. He was found 
dead in his bed. It was asserted that no wound could be dis- 
covered on the body. Suspicion fell on his wife Sempronia, 
and on her mother Cornelia, the mother of the GraccH ; but 
the senate declined to prosecute the inquiry, and to the senate 
the odium was generally attached. 

The Italians were gtruch vnth consternation. They had 
been silently working their way towards the franchise. Per* 
nema, one of their leaders, had actually risen by regular steps 
from a provincial magistracy to the Latin francnise, thence to 
the Roman franchise, and finally to the dignity of consul. But 
the death of Scipio encouraged the senate to proscribe the 
claims of these ambitious subjects, and even to decree thdr 
expulsion from the city. Hereupon Caius Gracchus and the 
consul Fulvius, the leaders of the popular party, espoused the 
cause of the Italians. The senate removed Fulvius to the 
command of an army and C. Gracchus to an official poet in 
Sardinia. The Italians were exasperated at their disappoint- 
ment, and the little town of FregellsB rashly flew to arms. The 
nobles promptly put down and punished the revolt, and the 
spirit of the Italians was thereby daunted for another genera- 

cH* XXIX. Popular Career of Cuius Gracchus. 153 

tion. Yet the struggle thus begun eyentuallj raieed tlie pro- 
Tinces, through a series of civil wars, to the lerel of Rome 

The next move of the nobles was to impeach Oaius Gracchus 
for sedition ; but in this they failed, and the accused was elected 
tribune and urged to carry his brother's plans into effect* His 
designs, however, were both more revolutionary and more in- 
terested than those of Tiberius. He began by threatening his 
opponents with impeachment and driving them into exile. 
'fi^ done, he reaifinned the principle of his brother's agrarian 
law by repeated popular votes. Next he introduced a series of 
highly popular measures. He appointed by law a regular 
gratuitous distribution of com to the poor. He levied duties 
on articles of luxury. He supplied the soldiers with clothing 
at the public expense. He founded colonies for some, and pro* 
vided employment, on the construction of roads and bridges, for 
others among the needy citizens. 

All these measures were advocated by the great tribune in 
eloquent speeches ; but that which won him especial favour 
with the people was, that in speaking from the rostra he, first 
of all Romans, turned his back upon the oomitium where sat 
the patrician curies, and addressed himself directly to the mass 
of humbler citizens. 

A more serious change was that by which the knights were 
at last admitted to a share in the judicial appointments. The 
provinces were crying out for relief from the exactions and 
oppression of their governors, who were all of senatorial rank. 
So long as the senators continued to be their sole judges, the 
misdeeds of these men were secure from punishment, and the 
oppressed could have no hope of relief. The tribune took ad- 
vantage of this loud outcry for justice, and installed the knights 
in the tribunals. 

'Oaius made the republic double headed,' was the keen 
remark of antiquity. This, however, was scarcely true, for, in 
the Romali state, tiiere had always been a double element. The 
powers of the consul and of the tribune, of the senate and of 
the people, had always been arrayed in conflict against each 
other. Oaius did but place in the hands of Hie monied classes, 
as distinguished from the nobles, a new weapon of substantial 
power. The conflict between the senators and the knights was 
destined to last a hundred years, and in the course of it the 

1 54 Popular Career of Caius Gracchus, ch. xxix. 

knights did good service in allaying civil discord and main- 
taining respect for the law. But no new measure of justice 
was to be had from these new judges. They, the financial 
agents, the tax farmers, the capitalists of the republic, were as 
harsh and rapacious in their treatment of the provinces as ever 
the senators had been, and it was not till a stronger hand was 
imposed upon them by the autocrat of the empire that the 
tyranny of either the knights or the senators was effectually 

Meantime the claims of the Italians were still imsatisfied : 
they hungered keenly for admission to the Roman franchise, 
for a share of the public lands, for access to the honours and 
emoluments of office, most of all for the immunity they might 
enjoy as citizens from the arbitrary exactions and still more 
arbitrary violence they were wont to suffer at the hands of 
Boman officers. Hitherto the prejudices and jealousy of the 
Roman populace had steadily opposed their admission, but 
now the mass of the citizens seem to have been generally 
won to the generous views of Oaius Gracchus. The nobles 
were deeply alarmed, and were still more incensed by the 
tribune's plans for founding colonies at Oapua, Tarentum, 
and Oarthage, the very towns which had been Rome's most 
hated rivals. 

Oaius in an evil moment vacated the tribimeship and visited 
Africa on business connected with the colony at Oarthage. In 
his absence the nobles plotted his destruction, and elected 
Opimius, their ablest leader, to the consulship. On his return 
he was no longer protected by the inviolability of the tribune's 
office. He was insulted by one of the consul's lictors; and 
when his partisans interposed in his defence, the senate, hastily 
summoned, declared the state in danger, and invested Opimius 
with arbitrary power. The consul's party was the stronger. 
Oaius was driven from his refuge on the Aventine, the hill of 
the plebeians; he had to cross the Tiber by the Sublician 
bridge, and seeing that his escape was cut off, he required one of 
u.c. 638, his own slaves to give him the death-blow. Opimius 
B.C. 121. iia4 promised to pay for his head with its weight in 
gold, and the story runs that the brains were extracted and 
their place supplied with lead. Oaius was pronounced a rebel, 
his estates confiscated, his widow deprived of her dowry. The 
nobles did all in their power to brand the two illustrious til- 

CH. XXIX. Popular Career of Caius Gracchus, 155 

bunes as seditious demagogues. But the people were passion- 
ately devoted to the memory of their champions, and at a later 
period erected statues in their honour. » 



The nobles, flushed with triumph, now confidently expected to 
imdo all the work of the Gracchi and to reassert their own 
supremacy. The partisans of the murdered tribunes, though 
decimated, were not cowed ; yet, despite their resistance, the 
Sempronian laws were gradually reversed. Under the agrarian 
laws but few allotments had been made, and the recipients of 
these had been forbidden to alienate their land. This prohibi- 
tion was now revoked, and the consequence was that rich capi- 
talists quickly swallowed up the petty allotments of the poor, 
who preferred the lazy life of the capital to the hard work of a 
remote farm. No further notice was taken of the demands of the 
Italians, and the censors were told to expunge from the list of 
senators und knights all who were suspected of leaning towards a 
reform of the constitution. The nobles were aided in this reaction 
by an alarm of danger from without. In the year B.C. 113 Rome 
heard with anxiety that hordes of barbarians known as the 
Oimbri and Teutones were descending upon the northern slopes 
of the Alps and threatening to pass into Italy. The republic 
possessed at this time a powerful force, commanded by Papirius 
Oarbo, and engaged in reducing the wild country which lay 
between the Adriatic and the Danube. Oarbo barred the passes 
of the RhsBtian Alps and turned the course of these northern 
hosts westward into Gaul ; Rome could again breathe freely. 
Such a crisis is apt to calm the troubled sea of political life. 
The masses feel their own helplessness in the presence of a 
pow^erful enemy, and their need of superior guidance. In this 
case the nobles, strong in their habit of united action, under- 
took the defence of the republic; the people patiently sub- 
mitted to their control. Between the Alps and the Rhone the 
Romans had by dint of hard fighting established a dominion 
known as the Province. Into this country she now poured her 

IS6 The Cimbri and Teutones, ch. xxx. 

tinnies. But so powerful were the hosts of the inyadera, that 
in the years b.c. 100 to 107 the legions were four times 
defeated and their generals slain or captured. In one day the 
camps of Manlius and OsBpio were stormed, and the slaughter 
was equal to that at OanniB or the Allia. Yet the yictors re- 
frained from entering Italy, and contented themselves with 
ravaging Gaul; some even penetrated through the Pyrenees 
into Spain. 

TMs respite was fortunate for the Bomans, as a fresh 
trouble was now arising in the south. At the time when 
Carthage was destroyed Rome had favoured and encouraged 
her ally Massinissa, king of Numidia, till his kingdom had so 
increased as to surround the province of Africa, and he in his 
turn became an object of jealousy to the republic. 

At the death of Massinissa his kingdom was shared between 
his three sons, but by the death of two of them the sole domi* 
nion had lapsed to HiGcipsa. He again had tiiree sons, of whom 
Jugur£ha, though illegitimate, was far liie ablest. Micipsa 
would fain have been rid of him, and sent him with succours to 
Scipio before Numantia. There the youth learned the art of 
war, and also acquired a knowledge of the Roman character. 
On the death of Micipsa he inherited one-third of the kingdom, 
but before long he had slain one of his brothers, Hiempsal, and 
driven the other, Adherbal, to seek support at Rome. Jugurtha 
strengthened his cause by lavish bribery, and the senate 
decreed the division of Numidia between the two rivals. Again 
v.c. 64S, Jugurtha disturbed the settlement, and, having cap- 
B.C. iia. tured Adherbal, put him to a cruel death. The 
Romans, headed by the tribune Memmius, insisted on vindicating 
the honour of the republic. A consular army was despatched, 
but the expedition ended in a speedy and dishonourable peace. 
An outcry was now raised against the venality of the nobles, 
iEmilius Scaurus being especially pointed at. The Numidian 
was summoned to Rome ; a safe-conduct was assured to him, 
but he was required to disclose the details of his bribery. He 
pretended to do all that was required of him, but secretly 
contrived that one of the tribunes should interfere and stop 
n.o. 644, the proceedings. On his departure, as he passed 
B/j. 110. ^0 gates, he exclaimed, * Oh venal city 1 destined 
quickly to perish, as soon as a purchaser shall be found for thee.' 
Jugurtha returned in 8a£»ty to his own country, but he was 

CH. XXX. War with Jugurtka. 1 57 

followed by a Boman army, which, however, did not serioaely 
molest him. During the absence of the consul Albinus at Rome 
his brother Aulus made a dash at the royal treasures. He was 
defeated, and his army passed under the yoke. Albinus was 
then again sent out to renew the war. A &esh demand was 
made for punishment on those who had accepted Jugurtha's 
bribes, and four consulars and a pontiff were condemned. It 
was a season of public alarm and public severity. The consul 
SUanus had just been routed by the Oimbri. Italy was in 
dangw of an invasion. Yet in ^ite of this the other consul, 
Q. Oecilius Metellus, was despatched to Africa to supersede 
Albinus, and to revive the spirit and the discipline of the 
Roman troops. 

Metellus came of a most honourable stock, and was person- 
ally conspicuous for his integrity. He was ably seconded by 
an officer of rising reputation, who had carved his own way 
upwards to high military rank. Gains Marius, a native of 
Arpihum, in the Volscian moimtains, began life, so it was said, 
as ft fium labourer* In his early years he entered the ranks, 
and wnen fighting in Scipio's army before Numantia he 
attracted his general's notice by his prowess and by his rea^ 
subnussion to discipline. Scipio even pointed him out as a 
possible successor to his own proud position as the first general 
of Rome. The ambition of the young Italian was roused. On 
the return of peace, he plunged into politics and was elected 
tribune as a representative man of the people. A fortunate 
marriage allied him with the noble family of the Oeasars, and 
this connection probably introduced him to the notice of 
Metellus. Under such leaders the legions recovered their dis- 
cipline and became once more invincible. The intrigues of 
Jugurtha were baffled, his combinations broken up, and in due 
time his arms sustained a crushing defeat. Thenceforward he 
avoided a pitched battle, and when Metellus attacked and 
plundered town after town the Numidian horse hovered on his 
flanks and caused great suffering to the Roman troops. 
Metellus now tried to bring his adversary to bay by attacking 
the strong fortress of Zama; but the defence was courageous 
and successful : the Numidians broke into the Roman camp in 
rear of the assailants and endangered their position, which was 
only secured by the prompt action of Marius and his cavalry. 
Metellus was compelled to raise the siege^ and^lie then opened 

158 Rise of Cuius Marius. ch. xxx. 

commimicatioiis with Jugurtha's closest Mends, whom he bribed 
to betray their master. The plot was discovered, and Jugurtha 
executed the traitors without mercy. Haunted by fear and 
suspicion, having no one in whom he could trust, hated for his 
cruelties, he retreated to Thala, in the desert ; but even here 
Metellus pursued him, and he with difficulty escaped by night, 
A pause now occurred in this African warfare, and Marina 
asked his general's leave to repair to Home and sue for the 
consulship. Metellus scornfully bade him to stay where he 
was; but Marius was the idol of his soldiers, and highly 
popular in Bome. His rude manners and his bold bearing 
towards the nobles endeared him to the masses. He found 
means to prevail over the opposition of Metellus, and at the 
last moment, by a great effort, he reached the city in time. 
The people not only elected him consul, but appointed him to 
the province of Numidia in defiance of the senate, who proposed 
to maintain Metellus there as proconsul. 

Marius openly exulted in his success, and lost no oppor- 
tunity of flaxmting his own humble origin in the face of the 
defeated nobles. He at once set to work to organise an army 
which should be devoted rather to his own personal ambition 
than to the welfare of the republic. Hitherto the legions had 
been recruited :&om the middle classes, who had some stake in 
the country. Marius enlisted mainly the proletarians — the 
rabble of the Forum — and they, with the example of their low- 
born leader's success before them, and thirsting for plunder, 
flocked to his banner. 

Metellus, finding himself superseded by his lieutenant, retired 
in disgust to Rome, where, however, a triumph and the title of 
Numidicus were accorded to him. Marius prosecuted the war 
against Jugurtha with great activity. The Numidian found 
safety only in the desert, whence he long continued to defy the 
power of Rome. But he was at last betrayed by his ally 
Bocchus, the king of Mauretania. Loaded with chains, unpitied 
by his former subjects, he was dragged through his own do- 
u.c. 6S0, minions by Sulla, the consul's lieutenant. At Rome 
.B.C. 104. \^Q ^j^g reserved for two years to grace the triumphs 
of his conquerors, and then left to perish miserably of cold 
and hunger in the prison beneath the Capitol. 

Marius remained for some time longer in Africa to regulate 
the affidrs of Nmnidia, the eastern portion of which he annexed 

cH. XXX. Triumphs of Marius, 159 

to the Roman province of Africa^ while the remainder was 
handed over to native prmces. A few years later Ptolemseus 
Apion, the last of the Greek kings of Oyrenaica^ bequeathed his 
kingdom to the Bomans. A shadow of independence was 
allowed to the five principal cities of the country, but Leptis 
was occupied by a Boman garrison. 

When Maiius returned in b.c. 104 to claim his triumph, the 
consulship of the year had been already thrust upon him in his 
absence. The Oimbri were again threatening to attack the 
Province and to cross the Alps. Since the loss of five armies 
in that quarter the Bomans had simply maintained a defensive 
attitude in their fortified cities. But the republic was impatient 
of this disgrace, and demanded a leader who could expel the 
invaders ; &e nobles, therefore, stifled their jealousy, and agreed 
to elect Marius to a second consulship and appoint him to the 
conduct of the war. 

The raw levies of Marius stood in fear of the huge and 
hideous barbarians, but the latter were scattered about in dis- 
order and left him time for preparation. Marius set Hs troops 
to cut a dyke from the mouth of the Bhone for the transport of 
supplies. It was many months before he judged his legions 
fit to face the enemy ; and during this interval a third and a 
fourth consulship were conferred upon him, so grave was the 
situation, and so thorough the confidence of Borne in her 

At last the barbarians began to move. The Oimbri and 
Helvetii undertook to invade Ttaly through the Tyrol, while 
the Teutones and Ambrones were to crush Marius and to 
advance along the coast of Liguria. They were to unite their 
forces on the banks of the Po. Marius retained his post in the 
Transalpine province, while his colleague Oatulus led another 
army to the banks of the Adige. Marius with difficulty kept 
his men close in camp and waited till the Teutones began their 
advance upon Italy. Then he followed them, choosing his own 
ground, and offered them battle near Aquae SextisB, the modem 
Aix. The barbarians were eager for the encounter. First the 
Ambrones, and two days later the Teutones, furiously assaulted 
the Boman lines. But both attacks were repulsed with 
immense slaughter : the legions were kept well in hand, and 
the invaders were completely routed. The memory of that 
fearful carnage was preserved ia the name of the Putrid Plain; 

i6o Victories of Marius. ch. xxx. 

and is still retained in the name of Ponrri^reSi the Tillage 
which now marks the spot. 

Marius reserved the richest spoils to grace hin triumph, the 
refit he consumed in a yast bonfire, the troops standing round 
crowned with chaplets. Just as he was on the point of land- 
ling the pile, a horseman rode up with the news of his election 
to a fiftJi consulship. The memory of this inddent also sur- 
viyes in the Locality. Each y«ar the villagers assemble on a 
certain hill and kindle a huge bonfire amid shouts of ' Victoire ! 
Victoire I ' 

Meanwhile the Oimbri had made their way a<^roe9 the Alps 
by t^ Brenner pass, the only one which was practicable for 
their numerous waggons. The mwe report of the fierceness of 
the invaders sufficed to dismay the soldiers of Oatulus, and 
headed l^ their leader they retreated in ccmfusion. Marius had 
been summoned in haste to Bome. He lost no time in effects 
ing a junction between his own victorious troops i^d those 
of Oatulus, and he confined the Oimbri to the further bank 
of the Po. The barbarians declined a battle, but sent to de- 
mand lands of Marius for themselves and the Teut<»B. ' The 
Teutons,* he replied, ' have got all the soil they need on the 
other side of the Alps.* The Oimbri could no longer delay the 
u.c. ess, %H which took place at Oampi Baudii, near Veiv 
B.C. 101. cellsB, and ended in their total defeat and destruction. 
The victory was really won by Oatulus and his lieutenant 
Sulla, as Marius in a furious charge was carried beyond the 
enemy's ranks. Tet the popular voice gave the chief glory to 
their favourite hero, who was hailed as the third founder of 
Home along with Homulus and Oamillus. Many years elapsed 
before the alarm caused by this Oimbric invasion was efi^ced 
from the minds of the Romans. 

XHB eTBueeiiE op the rcALiAirs pob the fraitghise. 

Dttbing the absence of Marius in Gaul, the city had been 
harassed by domestic troubles of a new kind. The slaves of 
Italy had revolted. Oomposed of m^n of all nations and 

cH. XXXI. The Struggle for the Franchise, i6i 

classes, there were many among them who chafed bitterly at 
the degradation of servitude. Isolated outbreaks had been 
frequent and sometimes not without a measure of success. 
Numerous leaders had appeared, several of whom deluded their 
followers by pretending to magical or prophetic powers. In 
this case the insurrection spread from Campania u.c. 665, 
to Sicily : more than one Boman army was beaten ^-c* ^' 
by these miserable hordes ; and it was not till 100,000 of the 
insurgents had been slain that the flame was subdued for a 

In the year that followed his return to Rome, Marius was 
for the sixtii time elected consul. Careless himself of political 
objects, engrossed with the single thought of maintaining his 
own pre-eminence, he readily lent himself to the cries of faction. 
And such cries were then frequent in the Boman Forum. 
The people were bent on reviving the agrarian laws of the 
Gracchi The knights were clamouring for the monopoly of 
the judicial offices. Personal spite and envy were rife among 
them, and these vented themselves on Q. Servilius Csepio. A 
few years before he had captured Tolosa in Gaul by an act of 
treachery, and had appropriated to himself the golden plunder 
of the Gaulish temples. Subsequently he had suffered defeat at 
the hands of the Cimbri, and now this misfortune was attributed 
by the popular voice to the vengeance of the gods on th^ 
impious robber. 'The gold of Tolosa' was the cause of his 
disaster, and became as such proverbial. The iUnstarred leader 
was threatened by the people with confiscation of his goods and 
degradation from office. The senate tried to defend him, but a 
riot ensued, ^milius Scaurus, the prince of the senate, was 
wounded ; and CsBpio suffered an ignominious fate. 

In the year 103, the right of electing the chief pontiff was 
grasped by the popular assembly. This important political 
office had hitherto been wielded by the patricians alone : it still 
continued to be reserved to them. But the patricians had 
ceased to be identified in interest and feeling with the ruling 
oligarchy of the nobles or Optimates, as they are now commcmly 
tailed, and as popular leaders they inflicted some of the rudest 
shocks upon the old traditions of the republic. At the same 
time the knights succeeded in wresting the judicia completely 
out of the hands of the senators, and vesting them exclusively 

1 62 The Struggle of the Italians ch. xxxi. 

in their own order. Marius, as consul, displayed neither courage 
nor presence of mind in the face of civil discord. His action 
too was ixc from popular. In one measure, however, he gained 
the support of the tribunes ; that is, in the favour he showed to 
distinguished Italian soldiers. On many of these he bestowed 
grants of land in the Transalpine province, the soil of which he 
argued had been lost to the native population and reconquered 
by the Bomans to be disposed of at their own pleasure. The 
opposition of the nobles was only overcome by a popular tumult 
headed by the tribune Satuminus. Marius held aloof and let 
the storm take its course ; and in the end Metellus, the leader 
of the aristocratic faction, disgusted at the insults heaped upon 
him, retired into voluntary exile. Upon the arrogant tribune 
the nobles soon had their revenge. Satuminus asked for 
re-election to the office of tribune. He was opposed, and violence 
was used on both sides. In self-defence he seized upon the 
Oapitol with a body of armed partizans. The nobles denounced 
him as aspiring to royalty, and the people listened again to the 
cry so often fatal to their leaders. The state was declared to 
be in danger, and Marius charged with its defence. He soon 
reduced the insurgents by cutting off their supply of water, and 
the people took the life of their Mend and patron without 

This was perhaps the last moment when a limited monarchy 
might have been established at Home. Oould the people have 
found an honest and able man to exercise such power as had 
already been wielded by Marius ; could the nobles have yielded 
to the just claims of their own commons and of the Italians, 
a better form of government than the naked despotism of 
Augustus and Tiberius might have been evolved. There still 
survived among the citizens enough of patriotic virtue to fit 
them for a free political life. While they controlled private 
ambition by a sovereign authority, they might have retained 
some control over the sovereign himself. But the event proved 
that neither party in the state was enlightened enough to 
entertain the idea of such a compromise. The empire was 
the only possible remedy for the evils which now menaced the 
state. Tlie Italians had for some time been demanding the 
Boman franchise ; but we must not suppose that these pre- 
tensions were based upon the idea of their being entitled by 
right to such a privilege. They had been subdued by Bome, 

CH. XXXI. for the Franchise, 163 

and in that stage of the world's history conquerors and con- 
quered alike never thought of questioning that the winners in 
a fight were justly entitled to keep for themselves all the 
privilege and all the power they could grasp. To yield any* 
thing would have been understood as a concession not to justice 
but to fear. There was in truth little to attract the "subject 
masses in the privileges of Koman citizenship. The military 
service enforced upon the citizens, and the restraints which 
hindered them from the pursuits of trade and art, were evils to 
be avoided. The prizes of political office were far beyond their 
reach. The real motive which stirred them was the desire for 
land suggested by the agrarian agitation of the Gracchi. The 
Italians saw the lands which once belonged to their fathers in 
the possession of a few wealthy nobles. But they themselves 
still tilled and enjoyed those lands subject to paying a rent to 
the noble proprietors. Now, if these lands were to be divided 
equally among the plebeians of Home, the Italian peasant 
would be ousted from his farm unless he could claim his 
share in the distribution as being himself a citizen of Home. 
Thus the plebeian agitation for land and the Italian agitation 
for citizenship moved side by side in close alliance; and 
when the knights, in their struggle for ascendency with the 
Optimates, availed themselves of this external aid, the aristo- 
cratic order found itself arrayed in defence of its prerogative 
against a more powerful combination than it had ever faced 

The Optimates formed a well-organised party, knit together 
in close discipline with their bands of clients and retainers, 
trained to the use of their sufirage as well as of their arms. 
The Italians had the strength of numbers, for they included all 
the races, from the Rubicon in the north to the Straits of 
Messina in the south, which had so long and stubbornly with- 
stood the arms of Rome. Their free mimicipal constitution 
had also produced a race of able speakers and statesmen. The 
Oimbric war had trained many thousands of brave veterans 
who were now disbanded. Besides these resources they had a 
powerful friend in the Roman tribunate. M. Livius Drusus, a 
noble by birth, warmly espoused the cause of the Italians, yet 
without abandoning his hereditary order. He sought honestly 
to reconcile and unite the interests of three contendipg fi^tione. 
He restored the judicia to the senators^ at ' t^e swne time 


164 The Struggle of the Italians ch. xxxi. 

admitting 300 knights into the senate ; he promised lands to the 
needy citizens and the longed-for franchise to the Italians. 
The yiews of this wisest and ablest of demagogues were large, 
and his bearing frank and brave. ' Bcdld me/ said he to his 
architect, ' a house wherein all my countrymen may witness all 
I do.' At the same time he purchased support on all sides by 
an unexampled profusion which did not fail of its object. For 
a long time the senate and the people united to do him honour. 
When he fell sick, vows were offered for his recovery from 
end to end of Italy. Drusus, however, could not patronise 
the Italians without incurring the hostility of the privileged 
class at home. A story is told of his nephew, M. Pordus Oato, 
then a child of four years old, being asked by a Marsian chief 
at his uncle's table to support the Italian cause. The little 
Oato sturdily refused ; toys and sweetmeats failed to move him. 
At last the Marsian seized him by the leg and held him out of 
window with violent threats. Still the same obstinate refusal ; 
and the Italian sighed to think what resistance he must expect 
from the men of Home, when a child could be so inflexible. 
Drusus, finding both the knights and senators growing more and 
more alienated from him, was forced to lean more unreservedly 
on the foreigners, whom he tried hard to restrain from unlawful 
violence. But they passed beyond his control. Pompaddius 
Silo, the chief of the Marsians, marched on Rome with 10,000 
men in arms. The senate consented to parley and to discuss 
his claims ; every effort was used to detach the supporters of 
the Italian cause ; and on the day of voting the consul Marcius 
Philippus tried to break up the meeting. One of the tribune's 
officers seized and throttled him. The city was filled with the 
fiercest excitement. No one knew whom to trust ; armed bands 
u.c. 668, paraded the streets ; and in the confusion, Drusus, as 
B.C. 91. he entered his house, was struck by the dagger of an 
assassin. As he fell he exclaimed, ' When will Rome find so 
good a citizen P ' The assassin escaped in the crowd. 

The senatorial faction, to which the murder was generally 
imputed, proceeded with all haste to reverse their victim's 
measures and to impeach his partisans, among whom were 
many of the noblest Optimates. The illustrious ^milius 
Scaurus was among others accused before the popular tri- 
bunal He deigned only to reply, ' Varius, the Iberian, charges 
iEmilius Scaurus, prince of the senate, with exciting the 

CH. XXXI for the Frafickise. 165 

Italians to revolt. Scaurus denies it Eomans! which of 
them do you believe ? ' The people absolved him with accla- 

The Italians, deprived of all support within the city, flew to 
amis. The Marsians, with Pompaedius Silo at their head, took 
the lead. With them were associated the people of Picenum, 
of Samnium, of Lucania and Apulia, and others ; all, in fact, who 
belonged to the great Sabellian race. These tribes confederated 
themselves into a great republic, whose government was to be 
modelled on that of Home ; but the Etrurians, the Latins, the 
Umbrians, the Oampanians, and the Gauls of the Oisalpine, 
adhered to the fortunes of Rome. 

There is no doubt that the forces of which Home could dis- 
pose far outnumbered those of the new league. To the roll of 
Koman citizens, numbering at this time 400,000 men, must be 
added at least 120,000 for her Italian allies, besides all the 
auxiliaries which she might draw from her provinces beyond 
the peninsula. She held, moreover, the chief fortresses con- 
nected by the great military roads throughout the territory of 
her adversaries. On the other hand, she dared not weaken her 
garrisons scattered through Greece and Asia, Spain and A£rica : 
the temper of her allies was uncertain ; and her own citizens, 
as well as their leaders, were split up into jealous factions. The 
social or Marsic war began in the year B.C. 90, and lasted 
through three campaigns. The republic was taken by surprise, 
whereas the Italians had long been preparing for the struggle. 
These latter fought with much constancy, and in the end gained 
their object, despite the long roll of deifeats recorded against 
them by Eoman historians. 

Among the captains of the Eoman legions were many men 
already famous or destined later to become so. The veteran 
Marius, as a known sympathiser with the Italians, was not 
trusted with extensive command ; but his former lieutenant, 
L. Cornelius Sulla, gained the chief laurels of the war. With 
him were ranged a OsBsar, a Eutilius, and a Pompeius Strabo. 
The young Cnaeus Pompeius served his first campaign ; and 
Oicero, the chief of Roman orators, earned his first and only 
stipend. In the midst of their reputed victories the Romans' 
were forced to concede the very privilege for which they were 
fighting. The lex Julia conferred the franchise on the Etru- 
rians and Umbrians, and two years later the lex Plautia Popiria 

l66 The Social War. ctt. xxxt. 

extended this boon to tlie confederated Italians. Ten tribes 
were added to the thirty-five abeady existing : yet it turned 
out that after all this bloodshed, but few of the Italians cared 
to make the requisite journey to Rome, where alone the fi'an- 
chise could be obtained or exercised. Between the years B.C. 
114 and B.C. 86, the number of citizens only increased from 
394,000 to 463,000, and sixteen years later it did not exceed 
460,000. Nevertheless the issue of the social war produced a 
most important result. It created a precedent for the whole- 
sale admission of subjects to the full privileges of membership 
of the republic, which was afterwards followed in many 
quarters of Spain, of Gaul, and of Africa, while the Latin 
franchise was still more widely extended. 

There can be little doubt that the liberal policy, which thus 
conceded just demands and discarded inveterate prejudices, saved 
the Roman state from disruption and decay at a most critical 
period of its history. 



From this time forward the history of Rome becomes more 
and more a chronicle of the lives and rivalries of her great 
warriors and statesmen. At the close of the Marsic war, SuUa 
was forty-nine years old, Marius about seventy. Though over^ 
shadowed thus far by the fame of the older captain, Sulla 
seized every opportunity of gaining distinction. Nor was 
Marius indifferent to his growing reputation. He envied him 
also his superior birth and education, for Sulla was a scion of 
the noble house of the Oomelii, and was skilled both in writing 
and speaking Greek. In spite of this affectation of literature, 
his nature was coarse, and he was addicted to gross debauchery 
and to low company. He is described as having piercing blue 
eyes of a sinister expression, while his complexion, disfigured 
by pimples and blotches, was compared by the Greeks to a mul- 
berry sprinkled with meal. His manners were h«ughty, and 
though not insensible to pity, no single act of kindness or 
generosity is recorded of him. The nobles, without liking him, 

CH. XXXII. Rise of Cornelius Sulla. 167 

accepted him as their champion^ and he on his part was filled 
with the idea of exalting his own order and ruling Borne by 
means of it Sulla became consul u.c. 666, and had the credit 
of bringing the Marsic war to a close. Before his term of office 
expired war broke out with Mithridates^ king of Pontus, and 
Sulla had the strongest claim to command the legions in Asia. 
Marius indeed was jealous, and tried to displace him, but to no 
purpose, for the nobles had now found a champion on whom 
they could place more reliance. 

Mithridates was by birth of Persian extraction, and in 
Addition to the realm of Pontus he had extended his sway over 
the northern and eastern shores of the Euxine Sea. Phrygia, 
once his, had been wrested firom him by the Bomans ; but he 
had revenged himself by placing his infant son on the throne of 
Oappadocia. His armies were recruited from the hardy moun- 
taineers of the Caucasus and the Taurus. His generals were 
probably Greeks and not wanting in military sj^. He was 
himself a man of vigorous intellect and of robust frame. Among 
the stories told of him, one represents him as foi:)tifying his 
system against poison by daily absorbing a dose of it ; another^ 
as being able to converse with his subjects in twenty-five 
difierent languages. 

In the year B.C. 93 Bome had already interfered to annul 
the appointments of Mithridates in Oappadocia. Sulla^ then 
prcetor in Cilicia, had enforced the decree of the republic, and 
the king of Pontus made no resistance. But when Italy was 
convulsed with the social war, he again took arms to expel the 
Boman nominee from Oappadocia. Again the Boman senate 
asserted its will by force, and again Mithridates yielded. 
Finding himself, however, severely pressed by the Boman 
armies, he turned at bay and routed them ; then raising the 
whole native population, he effected a general massacre of the 
Boman citizens in Asia, 80,000 or even 150,000 in number 
according to various statements. 

To avenge this outrage Sulla was now ordered to the East 
at the head of a powerful army. Marius, still brooding over 
his disappointment, began a fresh intrigue with the Italians, 
who were still dissatisfied with their position in the state. He 
raised a tumult in the city, and got himself nominated to the 
eastern conmiand in place of his rival. Sulla, however, had 
not yet quitted Italy, and having assured himself of the devo- 


Massacre of Roman 


cH. XXXII. Citizens by Mithridates. 169 

tion of his soldiers, he promptly faced about and inarched on 
Eome with six legions. The people were struck with con- 
sternation by this bold move : resistance was impossible, and 
Marius barely succeeded in effecting his escape when Sulla 
entered Eome as a conqueror. 

On the morrow Sulla summoned the people to the Forum, 
and explained to them that a faction had compelled him to use 
force. He then rescinded the acts just passed in favour of the 
Italians^ and decreed the repeal of the time-honoured rule of 
die constitution which gave the force of law to the plebiscita 
or resolutions of the popular assembly. Thus the -violence of 
Marius impelled his rival to a counter-revolution, by which the 
power of the popular tribunes was swept away. 

Meanwhile Marius was fleeing for his life and hiding his 
head, upon which a price had been set. After many hair- 
breadth escapes he got on board a small trading ship bound 
&om Ostia to Libya, but landed again, under the torments of 
sea-sickness, near Girceii. Affcer wandering for some time 
among the desolate pine-forests of that coast^ he was at last 
captured crouching among the reeds at the mouth of the Liris. 
He was dragged to Mintumce, where the magistrates deter- 
mined to put him to death and claim the reward offered. A 
Gimbrian slave was sent to despatch him, who declared that a 
bright flame shot from his eyes, and a voice issuing from the 
gloom demanded, ' Wretch I dare you to slay Gains Marius ? ' 
The barbarian fled, exclaiming ^ I cannot kill Gains Marius ! * 
The magistrates and the people, alarmed by this omen, con- 
nived at the escape of their prisoner to AMca. There, as he 
meditated among the ruins of Garthage, Marius was warned by 
the Boman governor to begone ; and he at last found a refuge 
on an island near the African coast. 

While the conqueror of the Gimbri was thus fleeing for his 
life, and his triumphant rival engaged in the war with Mith- 
ridates, fresh troubles broke out in Italy. The Samnites^ led 
by another Pontius Telesinus, again revolted, and being joined 
by bands of slaves and robbers, threatened a descent upon 

Metellus Pius, who was sent to crush them, could do no 
more than hold them in check. A Roman army was stationed 
in Picenum under the command of Pompeius Strabo, who had 
delayed to surrender his imperium at the close of the Social 

I70 Civil War. ch. xxxn. 

war. The senate sent the late consul Kufus to receive .the 
legions at his hands, but a muliny broke out ; Rufus was slain, 
and Strabo resumed his command without punishing the muti- 
neers. The legions of Rome had slipped from the hands of the 
government and become the personal following of their im- 
perators. Nor was the government more powerfiil at home. 
In the absence of Sulla the demagogue Oinna, backed by a 
noisy faction, demanded the recall of Marius and the exiles, 
and the full and final enfranchisement of the Italians. Such a 
demand was certain to be resisted. A disturbance arose in 
the Forum : blood was shed, but the event proved that Oinna 
had miscalculated his strength. He was overpowered by 
Octavius, his colleague in the consulship, and driven with his 
partisans out of the city. Oinna seems to have counted on 
Strabo and his army ; but Strabo preferred to wait and watch 
the turn of events. 

Oinna was promptly and illegally degraded from the con- 
sulship. Proscribed and outlawed, he fled into Oampania, and 
called upon the new Italian citizens to support their patron. 
He soon collected an armed following. Many exiles of the 
Marian party joined him ; among them Q. Sertorius, an officer 
of distinction. Nor did be fail to unite himself with the Sam- 
nites and Lucanians, the avowed enemies of the republic. 
Marius himself, threading the ambuscades of a thousand ene- 
mies, was acting in concert with him. Suddenly appearing 
on the coast of Etruria, he was quickly joined by some friends 
at the head of five hundred fugitive slaves, who demanded no 
better than to fight for vengeance and plunder. With such a 
following the reckless anarch Marius marched upon Rome from 
the north, while Oinna approached it from the south. Sertorius 
and Oarbo menaced her from other quarters, and Rome saw 
herself encircled by four armies of rebellious citizens, backed 
by the Sanmite insurrection. The senate hastily recalled 
Metellus, bidding him make peace with the Sanmites on any 
terms. This he failed to do; but leaving a small force to 
watch them, he hurried back to the city. His lieutenant was 
soon overpowered, and the Samnites rushed on to Rome, vowing 
they would have no peace tiU the covert of the Roman wolves 
was destroyed. In their despair the senate appealed to Strabo, 
but he would not stir. Soon after a mutiny broke out in his 
camp, in which he would certainly have perished but for the 


Civil War. 171 

devotion of his son, the young Pompeius. Pestilence now 
broke out, whicli decimated the city and the hostile forces 
outside the walls. Strabo was carried off by it. The senate 
next tried to make terms with Oinna, and failing of that, asked 
for an amnesty. Oinna was seated in his curule chair with 
lictors and fasces around him. Behind him stood Marius, 
clothed, as an exile and an outlaw, in black rags, squalid and 
unshorn. His gloomy looks foreboded the proscriptions that 
were to follow. The consul Octavius had been assured of 
safety and refused to escape. He was at once decapitated and 
his bleeding head suspended from the rostra. Never u.c. 667, 
before had such a sight been seen in Rome, but civil ^•^- ®^' 
war soon made the practice familiar. A general massacre en- 
sued. Senators, knights, and meaner citizens were ruthlessly 
slaughtered. Some of the noblest men in Rome were among 
the slain — Orassus, who had been both consul and censor ; An- 
tonius, celebrated as the greatest of the Roman orators ; two of 
the Julii, kinsmen of Julius Oaesar, the future dictator. Marius 
•wrapped himself in silence, but instructed his followers to spare 
only those to whom he gave his hand to kiss. At first the 
adherents of Sulla and the aristocratic faction were singled out 
for slaughter, but soon the assassins were joined by slaves and 
Italians, who murdered indiscriminately on their own account. 

This wholesale carnage was at length arrested, but many 
executions- still took place under forms of judicial process. 
Oatulus, the colleague of Marius in his last battle against the 
Oimbri, pleaded for his life upon his knees. ' You must die, 
was the stem answer, and he was compeUed to suffocate him- 
self with charcoal. The chiefs of the revolution next pro- 
ceeded to reorganise the government, nominating themselves 
without election to the highest magistracies. 

Marius became consul for the seventh time. At the age of 
seventy, broken in health, he reached the summit of his aspira- 
tions. He even proposed to take command of the u.c. 668, 
legions, and wrest from Sulla the conduct of affairs ^-c- 86. 
in the East ; but his strength and his spirits alike gave way. 
After enjoying the highest favours of fortune, and suffering her 
worst buffets, he was weary of life. One evening, after supper, 
he told the story of his life to some friends, and remarked that 
no man of sense ought to trust again to so balanced a fortune. 
Next day he kept his bed, and at the end of seven days died. 

1 72 Death of Marius, ch. xxxii. 

of no apparent illness. He was honoured with a public funeral, 
and it is related that the tribune Fimbria caused the venerable 
Mucins ScsBvola, chief of the Koman jurists, to be sacrificed on 
the pyre. The victim was, however, not slain, but carried off 
by his Mends and restored to life. It seems probable that this 
pretended sacrifice was no more than tlie drawing of a drop of 
blood to satisfy an ancient superstition. 



Marius died in January, early in his year of office, and Oinna 
chose Valerius Flaccus to fill the vacancy. He then set him- 
self to carry out the long-promised enfranchisement of the 
Italians, by suppressing the ten Italian tribes, and enrolling 
the new citizens among the thirty-five tribes of the city. The 
Sanmites and Lucanians still scorned the ofiered privilege. 
The consul next proclaimed an adjustment of debts, by com- 
pelling creditors to accept the copper ' (w ' in payment for the 
silver sesterce, whose value was four times as great. This 
done, Flaccus took command of the legions destined for the 
Pontic war, and proceeded to the East to confront Sulla. 

Before Sulla left Rome, Mithridates had already gained 
enormous successes. Not only Bithynia, Oappadocia, and the 
Roman province of Asia, with its rich capital Ephesus, but 
the islands of the ^gean, Athens herself, and a large part of 
Greece, had acknowledged his dominion, and welcomed him 
as a deliverer. By the time that Sulla had crossed the 
Adriatic his task had swelled to the reconquest of half the 

When Sulla quitted Italy in B.C. 87, he determined to secure 
his own fortunes rather by the devotion of his soldiery than by 
the fiivour of any political party in Rome. With this object in 
view he would gorge them with plunder. In fact, he en- 
couraged, instead of checking, their licence, and his path was 

CH. XXXIII. Sulla defeats Mithridates, 173 

marked by devastation and sacrilege. The sacred treasures of 
Ejadaimis and Olympia fell into his hands. Athens was 
stormed and sacked with more than the usual Roman barbarity. 
In Boeotia he encoimtered a vast army of Orientals, and totally 
routed them at the great battle of OhsBroneea. u.c. 668, 
Flaccus now appeared and summoned him to sup- ^•^' '*^- 
render his command, but at that moment Mithridates threw 
a second army within his reach, and in a second victory at 
Qrehomenos, Sulla broke the power of the king of Pontus and 
cleared the stage of Greece for his conflict with the Roman 
consul. Meanwhile Flaccus was assassinated in a mutiny, and 
Fimbria promoted to his place by the soldiers. They however 
had no mind to cope with Sulla, but demanded to be led into 
Asia, there to ransack the provinces. Mithridates u.c 669, 
narrowly escaped falling into their hands, but was ^-c- 85. 
saved by Lucullus, Sulla's lieutenant. By this manoeuvre Sulla 
secured the advantage of imposing his own terms upon him. 
He in fact surrendered Bithynia and Oappadocia, and the 
Roman province of Asia, with a large part of his fleets and 
treasures, and was admitted into amity with the republic. 
Sulla then turned suddenly on Fimbria, and without xj.c. 670, 
fighting won over his army by bribery. Fimbria re- **-^- 8*- 
fused the safe-conduct offered him, and fell upon his own sword. 
With the news of Fimbria's death and the surrender of 
Mithridates, there reached Rome the announcement of Sulla's 
speedy return, and of his determination to pimish his foes and 
those of the republic. The senate, half of which consisted of 
Marians, was greatly alarmed, yet, though they made an effort 
to pacifiy the conqueror, they forbad the consuls to arm for 
their own defence. Cinna and Oarbo, the successor of Flaccus, 
disregarded their feeble interference, levied fresh troops, and 
invited the Samnites and Lucanians to join them. Oinna was 
soon after killed in a mutiny, and Oarbo remained sole consul. 
His brief usurpation was a career of lawless violence. Sulla, 
who returned to Italy at the head of 80,000 devoted veterans, 
felt that he could despise any raw levies raised by such 
chiefs as Oarbo, Sertorius, and the younger Marius. Nor did he 
dread the hostility of the Italians, who had little concert among 
themselves, and whose states he detached one by one from the 
common cause. Meanwhile Metellus Pius raised his standard 
in Liguria, and the young Pompeius in Kcenum. ^^-'^^^ 

174 Sulla crushes the Marian Faction, ch. xxxiii. 

At this crisis, on July 6, B.C. 83, the city was thrown into 
consternation by a great fire which destroyed the Oapitol and 
consumed even the Sibylline books. This destruction of the 
sanctuary of the nation seemed to portend the closing of one 
era and the opening of a new one in the destinies of Kome. 

Sulla advanced triumphantly through Apulia and Oampania. 
Carbo and the younger Marius had assumed the consulship at the 
commencement of the year B.C. 82. The former undertook to 
oppose Metellus and Pompeius in the north, and did so with some 
success. Marius, whose task it was to stop the advance of Sulla, 
was soon defeated, and retired into the fortress of Prseneste. 
SuUa, leaving a sniall force to watch him, passed on to Etruria 
to grapple with Oarbo, who defended himself gallantly at 
Olusium. After contesting several battles, Oarbo was at length 
overthrown near Ravenna by Metellus, and eventually escaped 
to Africa. Sertorius had already fled to Spain. 

Only Marius remained, and the Samnites under Pontius 
Telesinus. These brave mountaineers, passing by Preeneste, 
made one gallant dash at Rome on the first of November. Sxilla, 
however, was close behind them, and engaged them just 
outside the OoUine gate. Sulla's own wing of the army was 
routed ; but Orassus with the right wing saved the day and 
completely broke the Samnite force. Of the Italians 8,000 were 
made prisoners : all Roman officers found among them were put 
to the sword. 

Pontius Telesinus, greviously wounded, was slain by the 
conqueror on the field of battle. He was the last of Rome's 
Italian enemies. He could but have hoped for one day of 
plunder and conflagration, and this being denied him he might 
be content to die among 50,000 brave men, of whom a full half 
were Romans. When the Prsenestines saw the heads of the 
Italians and the Marians paraded before them they opened 
their gates, and young Marius caused his own slave to de- 
spatch him. A few cities, as Norba, Nola and Voltaterrse, held 
out for short periods, but in two years' time the struggle in 
Italy died out, and it only remained to crush the lingering 
resistance of the Marian party in Africa and Spain. 

Up to this point, Sulla had been essentially a party leader. 
Perhaps the haughty jealousy of Marius and the contrast 
between the origin and manners of the two great captains, had 
inclined him more than anything else to identify himself with 

<:k. pcxiii. mid devastates Italy, 175 

the cause of the oligarchy. But the opposition he encountered 
in Italy from the Etrurians and Samnites expanded his views 
and transformed him from the chief of a Roman faction into 
the head of the Eoman nation. He had reconquered the East, 
and disregarding with pitiless scorn the cries of the provincials, 
he had riveted their chains anew upon Greeks and Asiatics. 
Now he had reconquered Italy, and was prepared to treat the 
Italians with a like severity. 

Sulla's first care was, however, to take a bloody revenge for 
the cruel proscriptions of Marius and Oinna. On the morning 
after the battle of the Oolline gate his 8,000 Samnite prisoners 
were cut to pieces by his soldiers in cold blood in the Campus 
Martins. Prseneste next felt the weight of his iron hand, and 
then returning to Kome he mounted the rostra and harangued 
the people. He vaunted his own irresistible power ; promised 
kindness to those who obeyed him well ; and threatened dire 
punishment against all of every rank who had provoked hia 

These words were a signal to his creatures. The massacre 
of the Marian party was at once begun, and many a private 
vengeance was wreaked under cover of the wholesale slaughter. 
The relatives of Marius naturally were the first to suffer, and 
Oatilina hunted one of them to death with cruel torments. 
The corpse of the great warrior himself was torn from its 
grave on the banks of the Anio, and cast into the stream. The 
troubled ghost, according to the poet Lucan, continued to haunt 
the spot on the eve of impending revolutions. 

Sulla, being questioned in the senate whether victims enough 
had been slain, produced a list of eighty names ; two days later, 
230, and the next day as many more were added. ^ By and 
by,' he said, 'he might remember more.* The proscribed were 
outlawed, and a price set upon their heads, their property was 
confiscated, and their descendants made incapable of holding 
public office. 

From December 82 to June 81, these authorised murders 
continued not only in Home but in every city of Italy. The 
slaves and favourites of Sulla even sold the right of adding the 
names of any man's private foes to tlie list of the pio^cribed. 
No wonder that such frightful crimes aroused indignant mur- 
murs among the Roman people. 

Sulla took care to associate with himself as milny as he 

176 Sulla crushes the Marian Faction^ ch. xxxn. 

could in the guilt of these cruelties, and to make them conspicu- 
ous by the rewards with which he loaded them. On Oatilina, 
the most unscrupulous of all, a man of blasted character and 
ruined fortune, he heaped golden favours. Orassus, ' the richest 
of the Komans,* now laid the foundation of his enormous wealth. 
Onseus Pompeius, though he held aloof from the proscriptions, 
executed his master's vengeance upon captives taken in arms : 
he further divorced his wife and married Sulla's step-daughter 
Metella. OflBsar, then a youth of eighteen, was connected by 
blood with Marius and by marriage with Cinna. Sulla con- 
tented himself with requiring him to repudiate his wife. 
OflBsar refused, and fled into the mountains : the assassins were 
on his track, but so many pleaded in favour of his youth and inno- 
cence that Sulla consented to spare him, remarking at the time, 
' In that young trifler there is more than one Marius ! * OsBsar 
prudently withdrew from the scene of danger, and joined the 
army of the East. 

The slaughter which took place in these proscriptions at 
Bome is thus estimated. Of senators from one to two himdred 
perished; of knights from two to three thousand; of the 
common people an unknown multitude. But the destruction ot 
the Italians was far more sweeping. Whole cities were depo- 
pulated ; the Samnite people were annihilated ; and of all their 
cities Beneventum alone vras left standing. The people of 
Prseneste were exterminated. The Etrurians suffered little 
less. The thriving cities of Spoletum, Volaterrse, and Interamna 
were given over to fire and sword. FflBsulse was dismantled, 
and the new city of Florentia built out of its ruins. Through- 
out large districts all the chief people perished, all the pro- 
prietors were dispossessed. The void thus created was Med 
by the plantation of military colonies from end to end of the 
peninsula. As many as 120,000 of Sulla's veterans are said to 
have been thus established. In this great convulsion the traces 
of ancient manners and even of languages disappeared. Etrus- 
can civilisation was buried out of sight, to be rediscovered 
after twenty centuries in the tombs of forgotten Lucumons. 

It was now the turn of the provinces to suffer a like 
chastisement. Greece and Asia had already been scourged by 
Sulla. He now pursued his enemies throughout Sicily, Africa, 
Gaul and Spain. Metellus in the Cisalpine, Flaccus in the 
Narbonensis, Pompeius in Sicily, and Annius in Spain, exe- 

CH. XXXIII. and devastates Italy. I ^*J 

cuted the tyrant's cruel behests. At the same time the un- 
suhdued Thracians and the restless Mithridates threatened a 
new war in the East. The shores of Greece and Italy swarmed 
with Asiatic pirates. The Apennines from north to south 
were infested with hordes of ruined fugitives who had no 
resource left but robbery and violence. IVoperty was insecure 
under the very walls of populous cities ; and even free citizens 
were liable at any moment to be kidnapped and sold into 
slavery. Such was the ghastly state to which the civilised 
empire of the Romans had been reduced by anarchy and 

Though Sulla had returned to Home laden with the spoils 
of the East, he soon stood in need of fresh supplies of money to 
maintain his government. Accordingly the provinces were 
loaded with fresh taxation. No matter what immunities had 
been promised, what treaties made, all were forced to contribute. 
So severe was the strain, that some cities were obliged to 
pledge their public lands, their temples, their ports, the very 
stones of their walls. Sulla sold the sovereignty of Egypt to 
Ptolemy Alexander II., requiring him to leave it by will to the 
Roman people, and donations were extorted from other kings 
and potentates. Thus did the shock of a Roman revolution 
carry desolation and suffering to the furthest limits of the 



After the battle of the OoUine gate, Rome lay at the feet of 
Sulla ; but so long as the consuls Marius and Oarbo survived, 
lie could exercise no lawful authority within the city. As 
proconsul, as imperator, he was omnipotent in his own camp, 
and accordingly he set up his praetorium in the Campus 
Martins, and from thence, while respecting the letter of the 
law, he trampled imder foot its spirit. Before the end of the 
year both Marius and Carbo had perished by a violent death, 
and the field was cleared for Sulla's exaltation»y v^Ijs rj)oliticnl 


178 Sulla becomes Dictator, ch. xxxiv. 

ideas took the fonn of violent reaction to the ancient oligarchy 
of the patrician families ; and as they had often in times past 
had recourse to a dictator to repress the growing power of the 
commons, so now Sulla asked for and received from the obedient 
senate the unlimited authority of a dictator. Once more, after 
a lapse of 120 years, the citizens beheld the four-and-twenty 
lictors marshalled round the throne of a ruler who wielded 
supreme power both civil and military. Hitherto no man had 
held the dictator's office for more than six months : Sulla was 
to hold it so long as he deemed good. He was to reconstitute 
the commonwealth, and to this end the whole of their hardly 
won liberties were placed at his disposal by the Roman people. 
Consuls were elected in the year 81 to act as his suborcQnates. 
In the year b.g. 80 he himself was consul as well as dictator, 
with Metellus Pius for his colleague, but in the year following, 
though elected, he declined the consulate. 

The dictator now set to work to restore so far as was 
practicable the old system, which gave to a few privileged 
families a complete ascendency in the state. Sulla, we have 
seen, had cut off 200 senators by his proscriptions. Marius had 
probably slaughtered an equal number. The remainder had 
been decimated on the field of battle. To replenish this void, 
the dictator selected 300 from the equestrian order, and the 
senate thus renovated seems to have numbered about 400. 
The vacancies which thenceforth occurred would be more 
than supplied by the succession of men who had filled high 
office. Thirty years later the number of senators was not less 
than 500. A seat in the senate had never been treated as 
a hereditary privilege at Rome, but the high offices, whose 
tenure alone gave access to the senate, had been restricted to 
one or two hundred families, which were thus sure of being 
represented in the great council. To these families Sulla 
wished to confine the entire legislative power. He repealed 
the lex Hortensia, by which the resolutions of the tribes re- 
ceived the force of law. He next restored to the senate the 
monopoly of judicial power, and transferred to their tribunal 
the qu»stiones perpetuse, the cognizance of many crimes which 
had hitherto been judged by the popular assembly. The tri- 
bunes were next deprived of their power of initiating new 
measures in the comitia tributa, and of their right of veto on 
the legislation of the senate. The office of tribune was further 

csH. XXXIV. Sullds Policy of Reaction, 179 

mado to incapacitate its holder irom aspiring to any of the 
higher magistracies. By thus disparaging its leaders, SuUa 
counted upon depriving the popular assembly of its power. 
The comitia of the centuries was not meddled with. It was 
allowed to retain the election to the higher magistracies, in the 
confidence that wealth and dignity would have sufficient in- 
fluence on the electors. The appointment of the pontifis was, 
however, taken from the people, and the whole apparatus of the 
state religion once more placed in aristocratic hands. As a 
last security, the senate was made independent of the censorship, 
which the rival party had used to purge it for their own 

Meanwhile the roll of citizens had been so diminished by the 
slaughter of the ciyil war that means must be found to recruit 
it. On this accoimt the Italians were left in possession of the 
franchise. Ten thousand slaves had been left without masters 
by the proscriptions, and these Sulla contemptuously enfran- 
chised, inscribing them on the list of his own gens— the 
Oomelian. We have already seen how the dictator had planted 
120,000 veterans in military colonies, and endowed them with 
lands and the franchise. Doubtless he reckoned upon them to 
support his policy at need. But it turned out otherwise : these 
old soldiers, accustomed to scenes of violence, proved idle as 
husbandmen, discontented and turbulent as citizens. 

The legislation of Sulla descended further into minute par- 
ticulars of social and civil economy. He passed a law forbidding 
any man to hold the same office twice within ten years. He 
carefully regulated the authority of the proconsuls, and by a 
law of treason closely limited their power of independent action. 
He even hoped to revive the virtues of the ancients by sump- 
tuary laws, which fixed the precise sums which might be spent 
on the pleasures of the table, and even the prices of the articles 
which should be consumed. As invariably happens in such 
cases, these laws soon became obsolete. 

But though Sulla strove thus minutely to restrain his fellow- 
citizens, he was never master of his own violent caprices. 
Again and again he broke the laws he had himself enacted ; and 
no man might with impunity thwart his will. Meanwhile his 
marvellous success inspired him with a fanatical belief in 
Fortune, the only divinity in whom he really believed, and 
whose fftvourite he claimed to be. By resigning power at the 


l8o Death of Sulla, ch. xxxiv. 

moment of his highest exaltation he hoped to avert the 
Nemesis which haunted him with the prospect of a fatal 

In the year 79 Sulla abdicated the dictatorship, saying that 
the work of reconstitution for which it had been given him 
u.c. 676, was now accomplished. The Romans were amazed 
B.C. 79. at this act of self-devotion, and beheld with awe the 
tyrant descend from his blood-stained tribunal and retire with 
unmoved composure into the privacy of a suburban villa. 
Aged and infirm, and sated perhaps with pleasure as well as 
power, he renounced public life only when his strength and 
spirits were rapidly failing him. Surrounded by buffoons and 
dancers, he continued a sensualist to the last, yet he did not 
abandon literature, and dictated memoirs of his own life almost 
in his dying moments. Though stained with the blood of so 
many thousands, and tormented by a loathsome disease, he 
quitted life without remorse or repining. Fearful perhaps of 
the fate of Marius, he directed his body to be burned and not 
buried, as had been the custom of his house. His monument 
in the Campus Martins bore an inscription attributed to him- 
self, which stated that none of his friends ever did him a kind- 
ness, and none of his foes a wrong, vdthout being largely 
requited. Sulla died in the year B.C. 78, at the age of sixty. 

Slowly, and vdth many a painful struggle, had Rome out- 
grown the limits of a rustic municipality. The few hundred 
families which at first sufficed for all the functions of her 
government had been compelled to incorporate allies and rivals 
into their body and to enlarge their institutions. Sulla tried 
hard to revive the spirit of the old restrictions. The old 
families no longer existed: he replaced them with a newer 
growth, but he would have confined the government of the 
empire to this small section of the people. The attempt was 
blind and bigoted; it was not less futile than unjust, and 
though perhaps many of his contemporaries were as wanting in 
enlightenment as Sulla himself, and popular prejudice favoured 
his views, he was none the less fighting against nature. Ten 
years sufficed to overthrow the whole structure of his re- 
actionary legislation. The champions of a more liberal policy 
sprang up in constant succession, and carried on the work of 
union and comprehension which was everywhere in progress. 
The old spirit of exclusiveness, whicli^liai^^'^long fatally 

CH. XXXIV. Estimate of his Work, i8l 

dominated the communities of Greece and Italy^ was giving 
way to a general desire for unity. By the development of the 
mighty empire of Rome, Providence was preparing mankind 
for the reception of one law and one religion. 

But though Sulla's domestic policy came to nought, he had 
not lived in vain. As dictator he wasted his strength in at- 
tempting the impossihle ; as proconsul he saved Rome. The 
revolt of Greece and Asia, with a man of genius like Mithri- 
dates at its head, might have been fraught with as much danger 
to Rome as that which menaced her when Hannibal was 
stirring up the Gauls and the Samnites to rebellion. The 
victory of OhseronaBa re-established the Roman empire over 
Greece, never again to be shaken there. Sulla chased the 
invader back to Asia, bound him by treaties, and compelled 
him by armed force to abstain from further meddling with the 
Roman provinces ; and though it took twenty years more to 
subdue Mithridates completely, yet, for the work he accomplished 
in averting this crbis, Sulla deserves to be immortalised in the 
annals of Rome. 



We have seen that Sulla had restored to the senate the 
monopoly of the judicia. No man of inferior rank could judge 
one of the Optimates for his misdeeds. Protected by tMs 
powerful defence, the Optimates now pushed to its utmost limit 
the system of violence and extortion under which they had 
long misgoverned the provinces. They could treat with scorn 
the 'new men* — the men of talents and education, but of 
moderate birth and fortune — many of whom were eager to 
force themselves into notice by denouncing the crimes of their 
superiors. But the distress of the provinces became at last too 
bitter to be borne. They supplied a mass of discontent always 
ready to the hand of an a^tator. Thus a second period of 
civil war now opens, outside of Italy, with the revolt of the 

1 82 Rapacity of the ch. xxxt. 

Spaniards in the West, and the maritime confederacy of the 
pirates in the East. 

The provinces had always been governed on the principle 
that the native races were to be treated as conquered subjects. 
The government, civil and military, was quartered upon the 
inhabitants. Houses and establishments must be provided, and 
the entire charge for the maintenance of the proconsul and his 
retinue must be borne by the local revenues. It is true that 
the proconsul waa supposed to serve the state gratuitously, but 
in practice he was left free to remunerate himself by every 
kind of extortion, and no remedy existed for the most arbitrary 
injustice. The legions were provisioned and paid at the cost of 
the provincials. The produce of the land was tithed to furnish 
tribute to the conquering city, and both this and other taxes 
were farmed by Eoman contractors, who made large fortunes 
by the business, and who were encouraged rather than checked 
in their extortions by public opinion at home. But the rulers 
of the world were not content with the extortion of money 
from their subjects. Objects of art were sought for and seized 
with cruel rapacity: every proconsul, quaestor, and tribime 
must bring home with him some trophies of this kind. Statues 
and pictures, marble columns, gold and gems, were pillaged 
from the temples and carried off to Bome. Usury was another 
instrument of oppression, and as no compunction was shown in 
levying the taxes, whole communities were sometimes driven 
to pledge their revenues to Koman money-lenders. These last 
were empowered by law to recover their dues by the severest 
process. In one case the agent of a noble Eoman shut 
up the senators of a provincial town in their curia, till five 
of them died of starvation, to recover the debts due to his 

On rare occasions indeed a province might enjoy the sweets 
of revenge, though with little prospect of redress or security 
for the future. The popular leaders and orators hungered in 
vain for a share of these golden spoils, and, being excluded from 
them, they affected sympathy with the provincials and high- 
minded indignation against their oppressors. From time to 
time cases arose of such glaring and infamous misgovemment, 
that it was impossible for any tribunal to leave them unpunished. 
Among the remains of Roman eloquence preserved to us are 
more than one of these indictments, In Cicero's famous 

CH. XXXV. Provincial Governors. 183 

orations against Verres is found a graphic portrait of a pro- 
Tincial tyrant. 

Alwut the time of Sulla's abdication, Oaius Verres, a young 
noble, accompanied the pnetor Dolabella to his government 
of Cilicia. As he passed along he extorted a sum of money 
from the chief magistrate of Sicyon, by smoking him with a 
fire of green wood in a close chamber till he gave in. At 
Athens, at Delos, at Chios, Erythrsea, and Halicamassus he 
shared with his chief the plunder of the temples. At Samos 
Verres stripped a feunous temple on his own account. At 
Ferga he scraped the heavy coat of gilding from the statue of 
Diana. From Miletus he stole a fine ship provided for his 
conveyance. At Lampsacus he sought to dishonour the daughter 
of the first citizen of the place. Being resisted by her father 
and brother, he charged them with attempting his life, and the 
governor of the province obliged him liv cutting off both their 
heads. Such were the atrocities of the young ruffian while 
yet a mere dependent of the proconsul. Being appointed 
qusestor, he quicMy amassed from two to three millions of 
sesterces beyond the requisitions of the public service. 

Verres could now pay for his election to the preetorship, 
and one year later he started as proprsstor for the rich province 
of Sicily. Once there, he set to work to make money. He 
sold everything — ^his patronage and his decisions, making sport 
of the laws, of the religion, the fortunes, and tiie lives of the 
provindals. Not a single senator of the sixty-five cities of the 
island was elected without paying his bribe to the proprsetor. 
He levied for his own profit many hundreds of thousands of 
bushels of grain beyond Ihe authorised tithe. So ruinous were 
his exactions that the country was threatened with depopula- 
tion. In less than three years, out of 778 farms only 333 
remained in cultivation, llie people refused to till the land if 
Verres alone was to reap the harvest. 

But Verres was an amateur and an antiquary, and had a 
taste for art as well as a thirst for lucre. Wherever he stopped 
he extorted gems, vases, trinkets, antiques, curiosities, ornaments 
of gold and silver, even statues of the gods the objects of local 
worship, from anyone who happened to possess them. No one 
dared to complain. Antiochus, king of Syria, was robbed in 
this way of a splendid candelabrum enriched with jewels 
which he was about to dedicate in the Oapitol at Home. All 

1 84 Cuius Verres, ch. xxxv. 

these treasures were sent off to Italy to decorate the villa of 
the proprietor. The Roman treasury suffered as well as the 
Sicilian people; for Verres embezzled the sums adyanced to 
pay for the supply of com to the city. He left the fleet with- 
out equipments, and when it was worsted by the pirates he 
executed the officers for cowardice. He crowned his enormities 
by crucifying a Roman trader on the beach in sight of Italy, 
that he might address to his native shores the ineffectual cry, 
' I am a Roimin citizen.' 

Such was the charge brought by Cicero against Verres, and 
though he was backed by all the influence of his party, he 
dared not meet it. Similar impeachments were frequently 
brought forward by young and popular orators against other 
provincial governors. But they rarely produced any result. 
If one proconsul was condemned, his successors were only the 
more eager to grasp the wealth which might secure their 
acquittal. They boasted that three years of office would 
suffice: the first to make their own fortunes, the second to 
reward their followers, the third to purchase the suflrages of 
their judges. The sordid rapacity of the provincial governors 
rendered the dominion of Rome as formidable in peace as was 
her hostility in war. It grew with her growing luxury and 
corruption, and side by side with it grew and increased the 
shameless venality of the tribunals. The knights were justified 
in pointing to the corruption of the senatorial judges, and pro- 
testing that during the forty years they had sat upon the 
judicial bench no such prostitution of justice had existed. The 
truth was that the vices of the provincial governments were but 
symptoms of a general relaxation of morality. On the one 
hand the spread of foreign conquests and the opening of new 
sources of wealth had inflamed cupidity and ambition. On the 
other, half a century of civil war had broken down the old 
respect for law and order. The constitution of Sulla was now 
to be assailed by the knights, but this time the struggle was to 
be conducted, not on the field of battle, but in the law-courts. 

d by Google 

CH. XXXVI. Ponipeius ' Magnus' 185 



The civil wars had lopped the heads of every Boman faction. 
Sertorius and Ferpema, the most prominent survivors of the 
Marian party, had escaped to Spain and there raised the 
standard of revolt against the republic itself. After the death 
of SuUa the senatorial party could still reckon among its 
leaders a Metellus, a Oatulus, and a Lepidus, but these, although 
of the highest birth^ were none of them men of commanding 
ability or influence. Both Metellus and Oatulus were thoroughly 
trusted by the senate, and had done good service in keeping the 
legions true to the aristocratic government. Lepidus, on the 
other hand, although the chief of the illustrious ^milian gens, 
failed to secure the confidence of the senate. He was connected 
by marriage with the popular party, and was thought likely to 
desert his own order. He was about fifty years of age. Lu- 
cuUus and Orassus, ten years his juniors, had attained to high 
distinction and were ambitious of rising yet higher. 

In the presence of such chiefs there was room enough for 
younger and better men to rise to the head of affairs. 

Onffius Fompeius was but thirty years of age. The son of 
Strabo, a soldier of fortune, he had been cradled in the camp, 
and made himself the idol of the soldiers. 

He carried over the army to Sulla at a critical moment, but 
he always contrived to maintain the personal devotion of the 
soldiers to himself. At the dictator's bidding he pursued the 
Marian party in the Cisalpine, in Africa, and in Spain, and 
showed himself capable of being a cruel partisan. Like Sulla, 
he was fond of literature and practised the art of public speak* 
ing. He was neither covetous nor licentious, a great dissembler, 
sometimes benign and aflable, sometimes haughty and morose, 
but devoid of those warm and generous qualities which make 
and retain friends. Sulla however was jealous of his popularity, 
and required him to disband his troops in Africa. Fompeius 
replied by leading them to Rome : the whole city went out to 
meet him, and Sulla was compelled to head the procession, 
9nd hail the youthful con(]^ueror with the title of ' Magnus.' 

1 86 Rise of Pompeius * Magnus,^ ch. xxxvi. 

Pompeius^ though not yet a senator^ demanded and obtained a 
triumph. The nobles for the most part mistrusted the youthful 

Pompeius had not yet held any civil ofice, and being too 
young to sue legally for the consulship, he exerted his influence 
to procure the election of Lepidus as an avowed opponent of 
SuUa^s policy. As soon as Sulla died, Lepidus began to talk of 
repealing his laws, but Pompeius affected to hold the balance, 
and threw his weight into the scale of the other consul Oatulus. 
Lepidus proclaimed the restoration of the powers of the tribu- 
nate. Tie senate was amazed at his audacity, but submitted, 
merely binding the two consuls by oath to keep the peace. 
On the expiry of his year of office Lepidus assumed the 
government of the Narbonensis, and there throwing off the 
mask he rallied the Marian party and raised the standard of 
rebellion. Junius Brutus, the governor of the Cisalpine, sup- 
ported him, and the two advanced to the Milvian bridge, a few 
miles only from the city. They were opposed by Oatulus and 
Pompeius, who commanded the forces of the senate. The 
n.o. 677, rebels suffered three defeats. Lepidus escaped to 
B.0. 77. Sardinia, where he died of fever. Brutus was cap- 
tured, and the revolt was quickly put down, happily without 
sanguinary reprisals being taken. The wariest of the Marians 
had held aloof from this precipitate movement, and Perpema 
led the renmant of the beaten army to swell the forces of 
Sertorius in Spain. 

Sertorius, a Sabine by birth, had taken a prominent part 
with Marius in the civil wars, but was untainted with the guilt 
of the proscriptions. Under the ascendency of Sulla he with- 
drew into Spain, where he was hailed by the provincials as a 
deliverer from the iniquitous proconsular government. Driven 
out of Spain by the armies of the dictator, he took refuge in 
Africa, where he gained friends and resources, and defeated an 
army sent against him by Sulla. From Africa he crossed at 
the call of the Lusitanians into Spain, and placed himself at 
the head of a widespread revolt. Metellus, who commanded 
for the senate, had neither the vigour nor ability to cope with 
Sertorius, who broke several armies of the republic, and for the 
moment established an independent sovereignty in the peninsula. 
But he had now to encounter the whole power of Rome wielded 
by the young Pompeius. This aspiring warrior had refused to 

CH. XXXVI. His Victories in Spain, 187 

disband his legions, but was wUling to lead them against the 
enemies of the republic. Armed with proconsular powers, he 
traversed Gaul and Spain, and for some time met with doubtful 
success in the conflict with Sertorius. On the retirement of 
Metellus the abilities of Pompeius came into full play. Mean- 
while Sertorius had foolishly assumed the airs of a Roman 
tyrant, rather than a patriot champion, and finding himself 
threatened in consequence with desertion, he is said to have 
caused the massacre of the children of the chie& whom he kept 
as hostages under the pretence of educating them. This reck- 
less crime broke his party in pieces. Ferperna caused him to 
be assassinated, and stepped into his place at the head of the 
Marian army, but he was overthrown and captured in the first 
engagement, and sought to ransom his life by disclosing the 
names of his adherents in the city. Pompeius refused to in- 
spect the list. The captive was put to death, and b.c 71. 
the rebellion finally quenched. Pompeius, in recon- ^•^' ^'^> 
stituting the governments of Spain and Gaul, found means to 
attach to himself a strong parly of personal adherents. 

The struggle of Sertorius in Spain had lasted eight years. 
Meanwhile the popular party in Home were recovering their 
confidence. In the year 76 the scarcity of grain caused much 
discontent and agitation ; Aurelius Gotta the consul consented 
to restore the ancient privileges and status of the tribunes, 
and the tribune Oppius ventured to exercise his veto without 
opposition from the senate. At the same time the outcry 
against the infamies of the provincial governors became louder 
than ever, and a demand arose for purer tribunals to put down 
the mischief. Pompeius was calling for increased support : the 
Oriental pirates were sacking towns and temples on the Italian 
coast : Mithridates was threatening a second irruption into the 
eastern provinces. Not money only but men were in request to 
recruit the legions and defend the state. Then it was that 
Licinius the tribune stood forth, and exhorted the people to 
withhold their names untH the senate yielded to their just 
demands. The senate temporised; and on a vague promise 
that Pompeius on his return would satisfy the popular claims, 
the tribunes withdrew their opposition. 

Among the perils of this eventful period which had em- 
boldened the tribunes was an outbreak of gladiators in Cam- 
pania, which spread to a formidable insurrection. The shows 

1 88 Revolt of Spartacus ch. xxxvi. 

of the arena were now the favourite diversion of the Bomans, 
The majority of the gladiators were slaves, captives, and crimi- 
nals. A troop or family of these unfortunates broke loose at 
Oapua, and after pillaging an armourer's shop, established 
(7.0. 681, themselves in the crater of Vesuvius, at that time 
B.C. 78. quiescent. Their leader was Spartacus, a Thracian 
of great strength and courage, and endowed with a natural 
genius for command. Attacked by a detachment sent agamst 
them from Oapua, they exchanged their own imperfect weapons 
for the arms and armour left upon the field. Their numbers 
were fast recruited by Apulian shepherds, restless military 
colonists, and others who hungered for plunder. In the course 
of three years the niunbers of Spartacus' band were reckoned 
at forty, seventy, and even a hundred thousand. Though 
master for a time of Southern Italy and of the plunder of many 
cities, Spartacus received no countenance from the old Italian 
tribes, and perceiving his weakness, he wished to lead his 
warriors across the Alps to their own homes in Gaul and 
Thrace. But the plunder of all Italy seemed within their 
reach, and they despised his warnings. Spartacus ignomi* 
niously defeated both the consuls at the head of well-appointed 
armies; but dissensions arose, his forces lost cohesion, and 
were cut off in detail, and he led the remnant towards Sicily, 
in the hope of reviving the servile war of half a century before. 
At the extreme limit of Italy he was caught and enclosed by 
Orassus, but bursting through the Roman lines with a small 
force, he hurried northwards, and for a time Rome seemed to 
lie at his mercy. Orassus urged the senate to I'ecall Lucullus 
from Asia and Pompeiiis from Spain ; then, fearing lest his 
rivals should rob him of his glory, he redoubled his efforts and 
finally succeeded in capturing and slaying Spartacus; but 
Pompeius arrived in time to share in the destruction of the 
fugitives, and his partial countrymen awarded him the honours 
of the victory. 

Pompeius had inscribed upon his trophy in the Pyrenees 
that he had taken 876 cities between the Alps and the Pillars 
of Hercules. This statement points us to a fact of much deeper 
significance. Pompeius had not merely subdued and spoiled so 
many fortresses ; he had reorganised the government of every 
community. He had disposed, not merely of offices, but of 
^states and territories, in such a way as to bind to himself a 

CH, xxxvi. put down Oy Crassus, 189 

whole tribe of partisans, clients, and dependents, and to trans- 
form one-half of the empire into a province of his own. This 
policy of forming an empire within an empire was something 
new in the annals of Roman ambition, but was carried out still 
more fully by his great rival, Julius Oaesar. When Pompeius 
returned to Rome the greatest of her children, he might doubt- 
less have seized the reins of government by force ; but he pre- 
ferred to trust to his former popularity, and though he still 
wanted some years to the legitimate age for the consulship, 
and had served none of the inferior magistracies, he had but to 
ask and at once to be elected consul by the acclamar ^.c. 683, 
tions of a grateful people. Orassus, though far from ^.c. 71. 
popular, received lie support of Pompeius, and was chosen as 
his colleague. 

M. Licinius Orassus was among the foremost men of his 
time. He belonged to a noble family proverbial for its wealth, 
but he lost his patrimony in the civil wars of Marius, and 
thenceforward, as a partisan of Sulla, he devoted himself to 
amassing riches. He made money as a speculator, as a usurer^ 
as a pleader, and by other devices. He Vas surrounded by a 
numerous following of mortgagees and debtors, and was trusted 
as a safe and shrewd politician by the men of money who were 
amassing fortunes out of the spoil of the provinces. The cause 
of the knights found a steadfast patron in M. Orassus, and 
though his name was not so brilliant as that of Pompeius, his 
influence was no mean power in the state. 

A third aspirant to power, young and yet unknown to fame, 
now enters upon the scene. Oaius Julius Oaesar, the greatest 
name in history, was descended from a patrician family which 
pretended to trace its origin to lulus, the son of -^neas, by the 
goddess Venus. The Julii, as was natural, had generally sided 
with the faction of the nobles, but Marius had married a Julia, 
and the young Oaius, his nephew, took part with him. He 
conflrmed this connection by espousing a daughter of Oinna, 
and deemed himself the rightful heir to the leadership of the 
popular cause. He perceived, as did many others, that the 
republican form of the government was become a hollow fiction, 
and that circumstances were tending to prepare the Roman 
people for subjection to a single ruler. To this revolution he 
lent his whole strength with a frankness which laid him open ' 
to attack. But though suspected, feared, and denounced, 

igo Julius Ccesar, ch. xxxvi. 

Caesar was beloved more than any public man in Rome by 
all wbo came under the fascination of his genial and generous 

No one yet foresaw his ^ture eminence. Oicero, indeed, 
could not fail to mark his brilliant talents and personal beauty, 
but when he saw him studiously disposing his curling locks and 
his trailing robe, he declared that so frivolous a creature could 
never endanger the institutions of his country. Offisar, indeed, 
was at that time chiefly known as a leader of fashion among 
the dissolute youth of his class; but even his early exploits 
betray the buoyant self-confidence of his nature. At the siege 
of Mitylene he merited a civic crown by saving the lives of 
his fellowH9oldiers. When captured by pirates, he scornfully 
doubled the ransom they demanded, but at the same time 
pledged himself to bring them to punishment, a promise which 
he amply redeemed. When he went as quaestor into Spain, 
ne wepty it is said, at the sight of a statue of Alexander, who 
had already conquered a world at the age at which his own 
public career was only just commencing. 



The few years which had elapsed since the death of Sulla had 
witnessed a great change in the attitude of parties. Up to 
that time, with a few exceptions, as in the case of the Gracchi, 
every statesman's birth and connections determined his course 
in politics, and attached him either to the senatorial or the 
popular party accordingly. From that time forward the in- 
terests of party ceased to be identified with those of class : the 
men who aspired to power all issued from the ranks of the 
nobility, and whether they fiEivoured the popular cause, as they 
one and all professed to do, or whether they gave a temporary 
support to the senatorial fiEtction, they were guided, not by 
devotion to the public interests, but by the desire of personal 
aelf-aggrandisement. „^,^^,,^ 

PompeiuB and Crassua had entered on their consulship in 

cH. xxxvir. Rise of M, Tullius Cicero. 191 

tlie year B.C. 70, not without grave suspicion on the part of the 
nobles of the popular reforms they might be disposed to carry 
out. The consuls soon justified these apprehensions. Their 
first step towards securing popular favour was to reverse the 
measures of Sulla, already shaken, and to restore to the tribunes 
of the people their ancient prerogatives. In this they were 
supported by the vigorous agitation of the youthful Oaesar, 
and the resistance of the senate was overborne. The provincials 
at once found powerful champions willing to listen to their 
indignant complaints, and the popular leaders resolved to bring 
the character of the judges to the test. 

Osesar threw himself forward to expose the iniquities of 
Dolabella in Cilicia and of Antonius in Achaia. Both culprits 
were scandalously acquitted. Pompeius himself encouraged 
the rising orator, M. Tullius Cicero, to denounce the crimes of 
Verres. This man was powerfully supported. His defence 
was undertaken by Hortensius, the ablest advocate in Rome, 
the acknowledged 'king of the law courts.* It was further 
hoped, by delaying the trial, to secure the appointment of 
judges favourable to the accused. The prosecutor was young 
and little known, being a new man, a municipal of Arpinum, 
of knightly family, but of no further distinction. He had 
indeed already pleaded with marked ability, and had shown 
much spirit in resisting the tyranny of Sulla. As quaestor in 
Sicily he had been active and upright, and the Sicilians now 
enlisted his services in their behalf. Oicero bestirred himself 
to collect his evidence, and strenuously resisted the call for 
delay. The consuls were knovTn to approve the prosecution, 
and the result was that Verres shrank from the trial and re- 
tired into voluntary exile.' Oicero, in feet, never delivered his 
famous orations, but he published them as an impeachment of 
the system against which they were directed; and so great 
was the effect produced by them, that the consuls ventured 
at once to restore to the knights their share in the judicia. 
Pompeius next required the censors to purge the list of the 
senate, a function of which Sulla had deprived them. Sixty- 
four senators were removed from the order, and the whole 
body was made to feel that it was the instrument of the 
commonwealth and not its master. All the blood of Sulla'^ 
nroscriptions had secured for his work only eight years of 

* . , * Digitized by VjCtU VIC 

existence. ^ 

tg2 Pompeim and Crassus. ch. xxxvn, 

Pompeius, consul though he was, belonged only to the 
equestrian order. As such he was the more readily recognised 
by the people as their champion. His popularity intoxicated 
him and inflamed his Tanity. He required Orassus to treat 
him with obsequious respect. To the multitude he assumed 
an air of haughty reserve. By degrees he withdrew from the 
publicity of the Forum, and affected so much of royalty in his 
manners, that the people became estranged from him. At the 
end of two years he perceived that he risked losing their favour 
entirely unless he could kindle it anew by some striking exploit. 
An occasion soon offered worthy of his genius. 

The Mediterranean, the great highway of ancient conmierce, 
swaimed with pirates. From Greece, from Asia, and, above 
all, from Oilicia, thousands of mariners had escaped from the 
iron grasp of Roman conquest and taken to the free life of sea 
rovers. Their ships were reckoned at a thousand. Cities and 
temples lay at their mercy. Their streamers were gilded, 
their oars inlaid with silver, their sails were dyed with Tyrian 
purple. Such were the romantic stories current about tiiem. 
They took special delight in displaying their pride and petu- 
lance towards Home and her citizens. Misenum, Oaieta, even 
Ostia, at the mouth of the Tiber, had suffered from their 
marauding visits. Two praet'ors were carried off from the 
mainland with their lictors and ensigns : travellers were stopped 
and plundered on the Appian Way. Rome would not rouse 
herself to chastise them, until, in an evil moment for their own 
security, they attacked the convoys of grain ships, and cut off 
the supplies of food destined for the imperial city. Servilius 
Tj.c. 676, first, and after him Metellus, had attacked their 
B.C. 78. strongholds in Oilicia and driven them out to sea ; 
but on their own element they still held their own against the 
power of Rome. 

When, however, the corn ships of Sicily and Africa failed 
to arrive, and the largesses of grain were abruptly stopped, 
when famine seemed to be imminent, the people, in their panic, 
adopted a desperate remedy. In the year 67 the tribune 
Gabinius proposed that some man of consular rank should be 
invested for three years with absolute authority over all the 
waters of the Mediterranean, together with its coasts for fifty 
miles inland. Despite the alarm and opposition of the senators, 
the motion was carried : Pompeius was acclaimedj and a force 

CH. XXXVII, Pompeius disperses tke Pirates, 193 

of 120,000 infantry, 5,000 cavalry, and 500 gaUeys placed 
under his orders. The appointment of Pompeius put an end to 
the crisis, and the price of provisions immediately fell. The 
new admiral chose twenty-four senators for his lieutenants, 
and divided the Mediterranean into thirteen portions, appointing 
a squadron and commander for each. By these tactics he soon 
captured the greater part of the pirate ships, and could boast 
that in forty days he had completely cleared the Western 
vtraters. Such of them as escaped fled with all speed to Oilicia, 
chased by Pompeius himself vdth a select squadron. In their 
own waters they offered battle, but were routed and chased to 
their fortress of Ooracesium. Here the moderation of their 
conqueror encouraged them to capitulate, and Pompeius was 
satisfied vnth dispersing them in small parties among the 
neighbouring cities. The plague of piracy was stayed for a 
time at least, and the victor deserves the credit of one of the 
most successful operations of Eoman war&re. 

As the favourite of the people, Pompeius was vigorously 
supported by Osesar, who was now more closely connected 
with him by marriage with one of his kinswomen. Osesar, 
however, was covertly advancing his own schemes. He desired 
to detach Pompeius from the senate, and to frustrate the 
project, which he and Oicero seemed to entertain, of uniting 
the rival orders under a virtual dictatorship. Osesar's idea was 
to attain to sovereignty by using the championship of one 
faction for the coercion of all the others. 

Pompeius loved the forms of the constitution only because 
they could so easily be relaxed for his convenience. Supreme 
power he would not seize, because he expected it to be thrust 
upon him. He loved extraordinary commissions as tokens of 
his virtual sovereignty; and Oaesar liked them too as steps 
in the direction of monarchy. Moreover, Osesar desired the 
absence of Pompeius from the city to make room for his own 
intrigues there. Three months had sufficed for the suppression 
of the pirates. Another pretext was not wanting for conferring 
on the successful imperator a second command not less extensive 
and more permanent. Mithridates was again in arms; the 
East was in a blaze of rebellion, and the generals of the republic 
were receding before it. 

In the year 74 Lucullus had been consul, And G$ul had 
Ib^en assigned to him as his province, TSuf lie coveted the 

194 Victories of Lucullus ch. xxxvii. 

splendour of an Eastern command, and by great efforts and 
ignoMe condescensions he contrived to get his destination 
altered to Oilicia. 

LucuUus crossed into Asia with a single legion to receive 
the obedience of the forces still posted beyond the ^gaoan. 
Here he at once set to work to restore the discipline of the 
soldiers, and to repress the cruel excesses both of the militaiy 
and civil powers towards the provincials. Mithridates was 
already in the field at the head of 150,000 men, trained to the 
use of Roman weapons, and relieved from the luxurious en- 
cimibrances usually fatal to Oriental armies. The native 
population welcomed him as an avenger. For four years the 
contest was waged, and the success of Lucullus was at last 
signal. Mithridates, expelled from Pontus, took refuge with 
Tigranes, king of Armenia, who, trusting in the invincible 
strength of his mailed cavalry and the difficult nature of his 
mountainous country, defied the forces of the republic. The 
kingdom of Armenia was then at the height of its power. No 
longer confined to the mountain tract in which the Euphrates 
and the Tigris rise, it stretched from the Euxine to the Caspian 
and encroached westwards upon Oilicia, Oappadocia, and a 
large part of Syria. In the great battlo of Tigranocerta the 
Armenian king first learnt the irresistible might of Roman 
valour. His mailed horsemen were cut to pieces, and Lucullus 
would have pushed on to Artaxata the capital, but for the 
murmurs of his soldiers. Turning to the right, he captured 
Nisibis ; but the soldiers were weary of their long and distant 
service ; the officials whose rapacity Lucullus had checked 
made their voices heard at Rome ; Ihe demagogues, jealous of 
his splendid success, charged him with protracting the war for 
the sake of plimder ; and just as he was on the point of crushing 
Mithridates with his whole force, he received from Rome the 
unreasonable command to send back a portion of his troops. 
His successes were at once arrested and reversed, and tixe 
provinces suffered from fresh incursions. 

This vacillation in the policy of the government had been 
brought about by the tribunes in the interest of Pompeius. It 
was represented that Lucullus had failed in his contest with 
Mithridates, and the tribune Manilius proposed to confer upon 
Pompeius enormous powers for the destruction of the enemy. 
Unlike the bill of Gabinius, this proposal of Manilius was not 

CH. xxxvii. over Mithridates, 195 

justified by necessity : it was a device for the gratification of 
unlawful ambition. The people^ however, supported it with 
acclamations; the eloquence of Cicero reconunended it to 
waverers ; OiBsar and Omssus smiled upon it ; and the dissuasions 
of Oatulus and Hortensius were overborne. Pompeius u.c. 688, 
was still abroad when the appointment was notified »•<'• *^- 
to him. He pretended to accept it unwillingly, but it was 
well known that he was burning with envy of Lucullus' 
brilliant command, and longing to eclipse the triumphs of his 
rival in the distant regions of the East When the two 
generals met they scarcely dissembled their mutual jealousy. 
The one disregarded every disposition made by his prede- 
cessor, and disparaged his exploits ; the other could retort that 
Pompeius, as usual, had come to crush a foe abeady broken, 
and to snatch the laurels won by other hands. In fietct, the 
lictors of Lucullus bore fasces wreathed with fresh green laurel : 
those of his rival, issuing from an arid desert, had only withered 
branches to exhibit. The lictors of the one offered some of 
their fresh leaves to the others, and this was taken as an omen 
that Pompeius wbs about to gather the reward of his prede- 
cessor's victories. 

On his return to Rome, the people aggravated their ill- 
treatment of Lucullus by withholding for three years the 
triumph he had so justly merited. But he paid little heed to 
their conduct. He had not ruled the East for seven years 
without amassing vast wealth, and he now contentedly retired 
to the privacy of his villa to enjoy it. The sumptuous splendour 
of his banquets has passed into a proverb. His gardens, his 
pictures and statues, his library open to public use, formed a 
new era in the culture of his countrymen. Pompeius might 
ridicule him as a ' Xerxes togatus,' a retired Xerxes ; but he 
was philosopher enough to smile at these jests, and to receive 
his ancient rival on Mendly terms. 

No sooner was the imperium transferred to Pompeius than 
Mithridates sued for peace. Unconditional submission was 
required of him, and he girded himself once more for war. But 
the Roman army was twice as numerous as tliat of their enemy, 
and a battle on the banks of the Lycus in Armenia gave a 
complete victory to the republic. Mithridates, failing to find a 
refuge in Armenia, escaped through the Caucasus into Colchis. 
Armenia, distracted by the intrigues of its princes, fell eom- 



Pompeius subjugates the East, ch. xxxvii. 

pletely under the power of Pompeius ; and now the Romans 
stood face to face with the Parthians on the banks of the 
Euphrates^ neither side venturing to attack the other. In the 
spring of 65, Pompeius pressed on as far as the Phasis in pursuit 
of the fugitive Mithridates; the next winter he passed in 



Pontus^ indulging his soldiers in all the license which LucuUus 
had so sternly repressed. Then, finding that the Euxine and 
the Caspian were barren both of fame and booty, he turned his 
steps southward, hoping that the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf 
might reward him with the wealth of Cyrus and the renown of 

In the spring of B.C. 64 Pompeius crossed the Taurus and 

ck. xxxvii. Death of Mithridaies. 19/ 

marched upon Syria, which, together with Phoenicia, he quickly 
reduced to a Koman province. Antiochus, the last of the 
SeleucidsB, was relegated to a petty sovereignty, and the 
Euphrates was proclaimed to be the boimdary of the empire. 
The realm of Palestine to the southward owed its independence 
to the heroism of the Maccabaean family, to whose representative 
the Jewish people continued to pay willing homage. But now, 
two brothers, Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, contested the priest- 
hood, to which the temporal sovereignty was attached. Aris- 
tobulus, favoured by the mass of the people, had expelled his 
elder brother, and proclaimed himself king. Hyrcanus appealed 
to Pompeius, who undertook to restore him to his throne. 

The Jews, however, took up arms in defence of their own 
choice. They were soon driven into the fortress of Jerusalem, 
which, after a three months' siege, was stormed on a day of 
religious ceremonial. Pompeius, in defiance of all remon- 
strances, penetrated into the Holy of Holies, but he abstained 
from rifling the temple of its treasures, and contented himself 
with reconstituting the government in dependence u.c. 691, 
upon the republic. At this point the sudden death ^•^- ^^' 
of Mithridates recalled the proconsul to dispose of his vacant 

The aged king, driven beyond the Caucasus, had established 
himself in the Oimmeiian Ohersonesus. There he revolved 
new dreams of aggression. He conceived the scheme of uniting 
the wild hordes of Scythia with the restless tribes of Thrace, 
and leading the huge barbarian host through the eastern gorges 
of the Alps, to ravage Italy itself. But the plan was never 
executed. He fell a victim to a conspiracy of his own favourite 
son Pharnaces, whose life he had once spared when taken in 
rebellion. He is said to have so fortified his system that poison 
took no effect upon him, and he was obliged to throw himself 
on the sword of a slave. Pharnaces was allowed to retain the 
kingdom of the Bosporus. The kingdoms of Galatia, Oappa- 
docia, and Paphlagonia were settled upon native princes. 
Thirty-nine cities were founded or repeopled by Pompeius. 
The eastern frontier, from the Lycus to the Jordan, was orga- 
nised under Roman proconsuls or native vassals, while Pontus, 
Oilicia, Syria, and Phoenicia were definitively inscribed upon 
the list of provinces. ^.^^^^^^ ^^ v^wu^ic 

%gS Marcus Parcius Cato, en, hxxviu. 



DuBin^o the absence of Pompeius in Asia the extreme section 
of the oligarchical party ranged themselves mider their natural 
chiefs — men of ancient lineage, such as Oatulus, LuculluSy and 
Marcellus. But none of these were conspicuous either for 
ability or energy, and their best speaker, Hortensius, was being 
speedily eclipsed by the upstart Cicero. But there was one 
man in their ranks, a plebeian by extraction, in whose zeal and 
courage, however defective his judgment, they could securely 

Marcus Porcius Cato was the great-grandson of Cato the 
Censor, a name long revered for the probity and simplicity of 
its bearer. like his ancestor, he believed in the mission of a 
superior caste to govern Eome, of a superior race to rule the 
world. Of a temper naturally humane, he schooled himself to 
maintain the doctrine of absolute authority in the state and in 
the family. Yet he alone of his party sighed over the atrocities 
with which the triumphs of the aristocrats under SuUa had been 
stained. Austere by habit, frugal and of simple tastes, be rose 
above the temptations of his class to rajdne and extortion. 
A disciple of the Stoic philosophy, he aimed at strict integrity 
of conduct, while, as a priest of Apollo, he studied bodily self- 
denial and practised the religion of asceticism. Doubtless, in 
public life, he fell short at times of his high principles : while, 
in private, he was puffed up with conceit of his own virtues, 
confident in his judgments, inaccessible to generous impulses, 
caustic in his remarks on others, the blind slave of forms and 
of prejudices. A party composed of such men as Cato would 
have been ill-matched with the crafty intriguers opposed to 
them. On the other hand, the chiefs of the opposite faction, 
Pompeius, Crassus, and CsBsar, were all working independently 
towards the abasement of the old governing party of the 
Optimates. Cicero, who, like them, sought principally his own 
personal advancement, lent them his powerful aid. Ccesar had 
made himself a marked man as early as B.C. 68, by defying the 
law of Sulla, and exhibiting the bust of Marius among the 

CH. xxxvin. Progress of Julius Ccesar 199 

images of his &milj. He had made an oration over his aunt 
Julia, the widow of the proscribed hero, and had pleaded, not 
in yain, for an amnesty to some of the Marian exiles. After 
his return from the qusestorship in Spain, he rose to be aedile, 
and, in spite of 1,300 talents of debts, delighted u.c. 689, 
the people with the lavish munificence of his b.o. ee. 
shows, the cost of which was defrayed by his rich colleague 

As soon as he became sedile, Osesar demanded a mission to 
reduce Egypt to the form of a province. That country, through 
which all the commerce of the Bast already passed, was certain 
to prove a mine of wealth to any Roman officer who should 
govern it. Orassus and Osesar disputed its plunder, but the 
Optimates were eager to inflict a rebuff on their enemy. 
Mustering all their forces, they postponed the question about 
Egypt, and invited Caesar instead to preside over the tribunal 
which inquired into cases of murder. Caesar seized the oppor- 
tunity to brand with a legal stigma the dictatorship of Sulla 
by condemning two obscure wretches who had been implicated 
in the guilt of his proscriptions. He next caused Rabirius, an 
aged senator, to be charged before him with the murder of 
Satuminus. Cicero pleaded for him, but in vain. Rabirius 
appealed to the people, and though the deed had been done 
thirty-six years before, and it was notorious that Rabirius had 
not been guilty of it, yet the people were fiercely excited, and 
would certainly have defied all justice and mercy for the sake 
of a party triumph, had not the praetor struck the flag on the 
Janiculum while the tribes were assembled. This ancient 
signal of the approach of an Etrurian enemy was equivalent to 
an immediate call to arms. It was still respected : the assembly 
was dissolved, and the people, who had just before clamoured 
for innocent blood, laughed at the trick by which their fury 
y had been arrested. Caesar had shown his power, and was 
content to let the matter drop. 

The leaders of the people determined to reward so bold a 
champion by getting him elected to the office of chief pontiff, 
which would render his person inviolable. Neither the laxity 
of his morals nor his contempt for religion need be any bar to 
Caesar's advancement to this high office. His duties would be 
simply ceremonial. Catulus competed with him for the dignity, 
and offered him a bribe to withdraw. But the Optimates were 

i200 Corrupt State of ch. xxxviir. 

planning a charge of treason against him, and the pontificate 
was necessary to his safety. "When he left the house, he said 
to his mother, ' This day your son will be either chief pontiff 
or an exile.' Oaesar was triumphantly elected. 

For some years past rumours had been rife in the city of a 
revolutionary conspiracy of the darkest kind. The nobles had 
sounded the alarm, and had insinuated that Csesar, Orassus, 
and other august citizens, whom they feared and hated, were 
privy to the plot. Doubts have indeed been raised whether 
the whole story of this conspiracy was not invented by the 
party of the estimates, but the burning eloquence of Oicero 
and the plain testimony of Sallust must convince any impartial 
student that the plot was u terrible reality. 

The wealth ai^d luxury introduced into Rome by the con- 
quest of the Bast had grievously corrupted the once simple 
character of the Boman citizens. Dissipation had reduced the 
noblest houses to beggary, while a few crafty usurers fattened 
on the plunder of a multitude of spendthrifts. Political and 
private gambling had converted men of birth and station into 
needy adventurers, nil the more dangerous from their high 
comiections and their gallant bearing. Among these reckless 
bravoes none was so conspicuous or so able as L. Sergius 
Oatilina. Although of good and ancient lineage, his crimes 
were those of a brutal nature, and both his brother and his son 
were believed to have fallen victims to his ferocity. Laden 
with the infamy of such deeds, he yet asked for and obtained 
the prsBtorship, and succeeded to the government of AMca, 
On his return, B.C. 66, he was about to offer himself for the 
consulship, when a charge of malversation in his government 
was brought against him by a profligate youth named Publius 
Olodius. Presently the rumour ran that OatDina was plotting 
with his dissolute associates to murder the consuls and seize 
the government by force. It was whispered that Orassus was 
to be made dictator, with OsBsar for his master of the horse. 
Piso, who had a command in Spain, was to organise an armed 
force to balance the legions of the senate under Pompeius. 
The scheme, it was alleged, was opportimely detected, and the 
chief conspirators marked. Proceedings were threatened against 
them, but were stopped by the intervention of a tribune. 
Nothing occurred, and nothing was formally revealed. The 
affair remained, and must ever remain, dark and dubious. 

cH. xxxviii. Roman Society, 2oi 

Strange as it may seem, Oatilina did not slirink from suing 
for the consulship in the following year, nor did he fail to 
obtain the support of Oicero and of other" honourable men. Over 
the corrupt patrician youth Oatilina exercised the most extra- 
ordinary ascendency. He was their friend and their idol, and 
io him they looked for assistance in every act of wickedness or 
meanness. They vaunted his strength and vigour, his address 
in bodily exercises, his iron frame, which could endure alike 
the toils ot war and the excesses of debauch. 

The state of society then existing at Rome may perhaps 
explain how such a man could acqmre so much influence. The 
Bomftn nobles passed much of their time in camps, amid the 
excitement of battles and sieges. Their pride was fed by 
trophies and triumphs, by retinues of captive slaves, by the 
spoils of palaces. During the intervals of repose, they found 
little satisfaction in the quiet enjoyments of art and literature. 
At home they domineered over all j wives, children, clients, 
slaves, were subject to their will. In public they associated 
only among themselves, and held aloof in haughty isolation 
from all beneath them. The boys, indeed, received a rough 
education at the hands of slaves ; but the girls got none at all. 
The Roman matron was taught even to vaunt her ignorance as 
a virtue. As a natural consequence she could be no companion 
to her lord ; she could not enter into nor understand his interests 
and occupations, she did not even share in his amusements, and 
these accordingly degenerated into debauches. Thus did the 
morose and haughty Roman stand isolated in the centre of his 
family and of society around him. Nor did he uplift his thoughts 
with any feeling of reverence to the gods above. A century 
before, Polybius had praised the Romans for their earnestness 
in religion. Doubtless they had respected the gods, as avengers 
of crime and patrons of virtue. They feared the divine power, 
but never dreamed of adoring the divine goodness. Their 
religious acts were little more than charms, to ward off the 
caprice or ill-nature of the powers above. And now, while 
religious belief had almost died out among the educated, super- 
stition was more rampant than ever among the ignorant. 

In the midst of a society thus hastening to dissolution, 
Oatilina moved about with agitated gait, his eyes bloodshot, 
his visage ashy pale, maturing his schemes of blood. Involved 
in ruinous debt, his last hope of extrication had been the 

202 The Catilinarian ch. xxxym. 

plunder of a province. The spoils of his prsslxHship ha4 been 
wrested from him, and access to the consulship denied him. 
But he trusted to his rank to shield him, and with unblushing 
efi&ontery sought the aid of men of the highest family. 

The young prodigals called for new tables, or the abolition 
of debts, and after that they would rush gaily into a revolu- 
tion, and divide the public offices among them. Among these 
desperate plotters were two nephews of Sulla, and two mem- 
bers of the Cornelian house, Lentulus and Oethegus ; even the 
actual consul, Antonius, was suspected of being privy to their 
designs. They counted on the support of the men who had 
been ruined by Sulla, and on the readiness of the rabble to 
join in tumult and pillage. They expected, too, the armed 
assistance of the veterans who had already squandered their 
estates, and of the Italians who still cherished their hostility to 
Borne. They proposed to enlist the gladiators of Oapua, and 
some would even arm a new insurrection of slaves and criminals, 
but to this last enormity Oatilina would not consent. 

Some of the Optimates watched the coming storm with 
secret satisfaction. They were eager for an opportunity to 
resume some of the power they had surrendered to Pompeius, and 
to let their great patron know that, in his absence, they could 
still save and rule the state without him. They purposed to 
make Oicero consul, and to use him as their instrument in 
restoring their own ascendency. He had been prsstor in the 
year 66, but had re^ed to quit the Forum for the sordid emolu- 
ments of a province. He was next designated for the consul- 
ship, and, being in favour with the people, was easily elected. 
He entered on his office in the year 68, and devoted himself to 
the interests of the oligarchy. As the year advanced, the 
schemes of Oatilina drew all attention, and as soon as his suit 
for the consulship had been again rejected, he prepared to act 
at once. The plot was betrayed in all its details to Oicero, 
who communicated his information to the senate, and a decree 
was passed that the consuls 'should provide for the safety ot 
the state.' But every move was hazardous. The time had 
passe 1 when a consul could draw his sword like Ahala or 
Opimius and rush upon those whom the senate had denounced 
as its enemies. Such an act would have violated one of the 
most cherished privileges of the people — that every citizen 
accused of a capital crime might appeal to the tribes. Yet the 

CH. xxxvni. Conspiracy. 203 

danger waa imminent Arms were being collected. The day 
was fixed for the rising, and each man had his post assigned to 
him. The veterans were flocking in. The fleet at Ostia was 
supposed to be gained, and assbtance promised from Spain and 
Africa. The legions were far away with Pompeius. Rome 
had neither a garrison nor a police. At the concerted moment 
the insurgents were to advance from various quarters on the 
city, and their confederates within to fire it in a hundred places. 
By good fortune two proconsuls, Marcius Bex and Metellus 
Grelicus, arrived at the instant with troops from the East 
Marcius was despatched to face the rebels in Etruria ; Metellus 
sent on a similar mission into Apulia. Some levies were de- 
spatched to encounter the men of Picenum. The Oapuan gladia- 
tors were dispersed in small parties, and Bome was placed in a 
state of siege. Citizens were enrolled, guards posted at the gates, 
the streets patrolled ; Oicero assumed milita^ command in the 
dty, and marshalled his countrymen against their invisible foe. 
The consults next step was to summon the arch-conspirator 
to discover himself. On November 7, he convened the senate 
in the temple of Jupiter Stator on the Palatine. Gatilina 
appeared in his place ; his fellow-senators shrank from contact 
with him. Then the consul arose and poured forth his famous 
oration, the first Catilinarian. Perfectly informed of the 
criminaFs guilt, he taxed him with it in the plainest terms ; 
yet he dared not bring him to justice. Till clearer proofe 
could be obtained, rigorous measures would have been called 
tyrannical. Cicero's object was to frighten him away from 
Bome into the camp of his armed adherents, so that an act of 
overt rebellion might strip him of every privilege. Pointing to 
a group of devoted partisans, who crowded the steps of the 
temple and only awaited a signal to tear the victim in pieces, 
he vowed that he would crush the movement and chastise the 
conspirators. Catilina had kept his seat full of rage and fear 
throughout the impassioned address, trusting to the secret 
&vour of some and to the incredulity of others. At the threat 
of violence he started to his feet, muttering some protestations 
of loyalty mingled with sneers at his foreign accuser. But the 
senators clamoured against him as an enemy and a parricide. 
Then, losing all self-command, he rushed wildly forth, ex- 
claiming that he would smother the C9i]|^^;^^^f^his own 
house in the ruin of the city. 

r804 The Conspirators ch. xxxvin. 

At Dightfall he left the city umnoleBted and joined his 
friends in Etruria. He left instructions to his accomplices in 
the city to assassinate the consul if possible, and to he ready 
for an outbreak as soon as he should appear before the walls. 
Cicero's harangue had completely succeeded in forcing him into 
undisguised rebellion. The next thing to be done was to un- 
mask the other conspirators who still kept quiet. The consul's 
spies watched all their movements, but he dared not strike till, 
through their imprudence, he had got written proofs in his hands. 
Certain Gaulish envoys were returning home in ill-humour, 
after vainly petitioning the senate against the tyranny of their 
Roman governors. These men were tampered with, and a 
document signed by Lentulus and Cethegus was betrayed to 
the consul. Cicero at once summoned the chief conspirators, 
seized their persons^ and, with the letter in his hand, arraigned 
them before the senate. No defence was possible. They were 
found guilty of corresponding vdth the enemies of Eome with 
the intent of delivering up the city to the fury of the Gauls and 
Etrurians. Rome could once more breathe freely. 



Now that the conspiracy was throttled in its birth, the ruling 
party tried hard to incriminate in it their adversaries Crassus 
and Ccesar. They urged Cicero to produce evidence agamst 
CsBsar; but he was too wise to join in such a course, well 
knowing that Caesar's popularity was strong enough to shield^ 
not only himself, but any culprit associated with him. The 
difficulty of dealing with the five convicted conspirators had 
yet to be overcome. Cicero, doubtful of the issue, hesitated to 
leave their sentence to the decision of the tribes. Neither 
could he act legally by the mere direction of his own order. So 
for, he had scrupidously adhered to the forms of law, even to 
the arresting of Lentulus with his own hand, because none but 

CH. XXXIX. Tried and Executed, 205 

a consul might put a pr»tor under restraint. Finally, he had 
caused the criminals to be declared perduelles, or public 
enemies, in order to strip them of the rights of citizenship 
before proceeding to their punishment. He now threw himself 
once more upon the senate. The fathers met in the Temple of 
Concord ; Silanus, consul designate, spoke first, and pronounced 
for death. All the consulars followed on the same side. 
Orassus had absented himself, and Osesar, it might be thought, 
would gladly clear himself by sacrificing the culprits. But 
such a manoeuvre Osesar utterly disdained. He gave his vote 
for perpetual imprisonment, and, encouraged by him, many 
raised their voices for mercv. Oicero tried to check the current 
of opinion, but, mighty as he was in the Forum, he had little 
influence over the senate. It was different, however, when Cato 
rose, and, in a tone of deep conviction and unflinching courage, 
demanded the execution of the criminals. The audience 
swayed round again to the side of severity, and issued the fatal 
sentence. The knights, who waited impatiently for the result, 
were furious against Ocesar, and could hardly be restrained 
from assassinating him. Cicero took care that the sentence 
should be executed without delay. The condemned men were 
brought to the Tullianum, the prison under the Capitol, and 
there strangled. When Cicero, who attended to the last, 
traversed the Forum on his way home, he exclaimed to the 
crowds of people through which he made his way, ' They have 
lived ! ' and the people shuddered in slLence. 

Outside the walls of Home, the of&cers of the senate had 
been no less successful in repressing the insurrection. In 
Etruria alone was the resistance serious and obstinate. Oatilina 
had there assembled 20,000 men, but of these one-quarter only 
were fully armed. Against him there advanced from Rome 
the consul Antonius, whose loyalty Oicero had purchased, 
while his rear was menaced by a second army under Metellus. 
The news of the executions at Rome threw Oatilina into despair. 
His men deserted him by whole cohorts, and soon no more 
than 4,000 remained under his standard. Foreseeing the ruin 
which must fall upon him, he tried to escape westward into the 
province, but the passes were blocked by Metellus, and he was 
forced to turn and face Antonius again. The armies met near 
Pistoria. The half-hearted consul feigned sickness, and left the 
/jOHunand of his legions to Petreius. After a short but sharp 

2o6 Cicero Vacates the Consulship, ch. xxxtx. 

struggle the rebels were cut to pieces^ and the head of Oatilina, 
who died fighting gallantly in advance of his troops, was cut 
oif and sent to Rome. 

The Optimates plumed themselves on the completeness of 
their work, accomplished without any aid from Pompeius. 
Thej might venture next to defy the Great Captain himself. 
Oicero shared to the full this feeling of self-satisfaction, and 
believed himself secure at the head of the party whom he had 
saved. But in so thinking he misjudged his own position. 
The party felt no devotion to their preserver ; nay, they were 
quite ready, perhaps anxious, to sacrifice him, if ever they were 
called to account. The service which Oicero had rendered 
to the state was signal enough to justify his glowing self- 
appredation, but, as regards his influence and position in the 
party to which he clung, he was quite mistaken. 

While the generals of the republic were still hunting the 
common enemy in the Apennines, the leaders of the senate 
were already quarrelling over the election of consuls for the 
ensidng year. 0»sar, however, had gained the prsBtorship, and 
a creature of Pompeius, Metellus Nepos, had been chosen one 
of the tribunes, and had attached himself to Osesar with the 
design of af&onting the dominant &ction. The execution of 

u.c. 693, the traitors had been already denounced as a murder. 

B.C. 62. Oicero, on resigning the fiisces, presented himself to 
give an account of his consulship. But Nepos interposed. ' The 
man,' he said, *who condemned our fellow-citizens unheard, 
shall not himself be listened to,' and he required him to confine 
himself to the customary oath that he had obeyed the laws. 
' I swear,' cried Oicero, ^ that I have saved the state.' Amid 
the applause, both of nobles and people, Oato hailed him as 
' father of his country.' Upon Nepos further threatening to 
recall Pompeius, Oato, himself a tribune, defied him with 
personal violence. Nepos, proclaiming that his sanctity was 
assailed, fled to his patron's camp. The senate declared his 
office vacant, and at the same time suspended Oaesar from his 
functions as preetor. The people, however, rose in tumult, and 
compelled the consuls to restore their favourite. 

Oicero had become sobered from his recent intoxication. 
He was alarmed at the coldness of Pompeius and the open 
enmity of Orassus. Threats of impeachment had been 
muttered, and he was anxious to allay these resentment% 

CH. XXXIX. Impiety of P, Clodius. 207 

He now sought to appease Giassus. He publicly lauded 
the zeal of OsBsar in disclosing the designs of Oatilina. He 
who had lately exclaimed ^ Let arms give place to the gown I ' 
now prostrated himself before Pompeius, whom he exalted 
above Scipio as a saviour of the state. The aim of Cicero had 
been to weld together the senators and the knights by the bond 
of a common interest, but when he saw that the Optimates 
spumed the alliance, he thought it most prudent to throw him- 
self wholly upon the aristocracy, which had employed, but did 
not the less despise him. He failed to secure the real sympathy 
of Pompeius, of Orassus, or of Osdsar; whOe the surviving 
friends of Oatilina vowed vengeance against him. 

An incident now occurred by which it was hoped to sow 
discord between Caesar and the popular party. P. Clodius, the 
accuser of Catilisa, had ingratiated himse^ with the people. 
This young profligate penetrated into Ceesar^s house in feniale 
attire, while the mysteries of the Bona Dea were being cele- 
brated. He was detected and expelled, but the outrage was 
soon made public, and the nobles did their best to magnify the 
scandal. Caesar, as chief pontiff, was forced to take a prominent 
part ; but, on the one hand, the culprit was an instrument of his 
own poHcy, on the other, his honour and his office were com- 
promised. He evaded the difficulty by divorcing his wife, 
giving as a reason that ' the wife of Caesar should be beyond 
suspicion.' But he showed little eagerness for the punishment 
of Clodius, who, perhaps through his intervention, was enabled 
to borrow money and bribe his judges. 

Early in the year B.C. 61 Pompeius arrived at the gates of 
Home and demanded a triumph for his conquests in the East. 
Trusting to his own transcendent merits to obtain for him any 
honours he might desire, he had dismissed the main body of 
his troops at Brundisiimi with the promise of lands to be divided 
among them. The Optimates interpreted the act as an indica- 
tion of timidity before their own imposing attitude. As an 
imperator was forbidden by law to enter the city, Pompeius 
invited the senate and the people to meet him in the Campus 
and hear from his own mouth the policy he meant to adopt. 
Of his own actions he spoke magniloquently, on civil affairs 
with moderation, of the senate respectfully, but not one word 
of approval would he vouchsafe to their recent measures. 
Cicero took occasion to descant upon the great dangers from 

2o8 Ccesar takes Command in Spain, ch. xxxix. 

•which he had saved the state ; but neither praise nor sympathy 
could be extorted from the great Pompeius. 

The time was now come when Oaesar might advance iiis 
power by accepting a military conmiand of importance. The 
province of Farther Spain was offered to him ; but he was so 
deep in debt that, as he avowed, he wanted 250 millions of 
sesterces (about 2,000,000^. sterling) to be ' worth nothing.' 
He was also hindered by a decree which forbade any magistrate 
to go abroad till the Clodian process should be decided. The 
first difficulty was got over by the help of the wealthy Orassus, 
who was willing to elevate OsBsar, so that he might lower 
Pompeius, and who took the treasures ot Spain in pawn in 
return for 200,000/. which he advanced for Osesar's pressing 
needs. The other impediment Caesar boldly disregarded, judg^ 
ing that when once he had got possession of his government, 
and taken conmiand of his forces, his enemies could not insist 
on his recall. 

The senate was obliged to put up with the affront, but 
soothed its pride by mortifying Pompeius, withholding the 
ratification of his acts, and the satisfaction of his veterans. 
Lucullus and Metellus had enjoyed their triumphs without 
question, but the conqueror of Mithridates was harassed with 
ungracious delays, and his triumph was not celebrated till nine 
months after his return. When the time for it at length 
arrived, the display of spoils and tropMes was such as Home 
had never before witnessed. The proconsul boasted that he 
had conquered twenty-one kings. His banners announced that 
he had taken 800 vessels, 1,000 fortresses, 900 towns ; 89 cities 
he had founded or restored; he had poured 20,000 talents 
(5,000,000/.) into the treasury, and almost doubled the national 
revenues. This third triumph completed his world-wide glo- 
ries ; the first had marked his victories in Africa, the second 
those in Europe, and now he had brought, as it were, the 
whole world within the sphere of his conquests. Nevertheless, 
on descending from his chariot, Pompeius found himself alone 
in the city where he had been once attended by crowds of 
flatterers and admirers. The senate was cold or hostile, Cicero 
u.c. 694, relaxed in his adulation, and the ratification of 
B.C. 60. the hero's acts was still petulantly withheld. On 
his renewing the demand for lands for his veterans, he was once 
more met with a refusal. Deeply chagrined 'litt^tfee treat- 

cH. XXXIX. The first Triumvirate, 2>oc^ 

ment he experienced^ he might now regret the disbanding of 
his legions^ and the more so as the approaches he began to 
mal^e to the popular party met with little response. OaBsar 
was already lodged in their hearts, and they cared for no other 



The destruction of Oatilina^ the humiliation of Pompeius, and 
the absence of Osssar combined to inflate the Optimates with 
confidence in themselves and in their headstrong leader Oato. 
Cicero was mortified to see so unpractical a statesman preferred 
to a philosopher like himself. His remarks on Oato, though 
pointed no doubt by wounded yanity, are substantially just. 
^ No man/ he said, ^ means better^ but he ruins our affairs ; he 
speaks as a citizen of Plato's republic, not as one dwelling 
among the dregs of Bomulus.' ' We have only one statesman/ 
he added, meaning Pompeius ; for he was now drawing nearer 
to this chief; who had at length publicly done justice to the 
acts of his famous consulship. 

The Optimates no doubt were living in afooFs paradise amid 
their palaces and their fish-ponds, but in the absence of Caesar 
their opponents were irresolute and disunited. Ceesar, on 
assuming his command in Spain, made war promptly on the 
natives, ingratiating himself vrith his officers and soldiers, and 
filling his own pockets as well as theirs with plunder. One 
campaign sufficed to free him &om debt, and to reveal to him 
his own military capacity. Thereupon, in the course of the 
year 60, as the elections drew near, he threw up his command, 
and appeared suddenly before the city. He claimed a triumph, 
but his position as an imperator was not consistent with that 
of a candidate for the consulship. The nobles refused to relax 
the law in his favour, and to their surprise Caesar at once 
relinquished the triumph and sued for the consulship. At the 
same time he effected a close alliance with Pompeius and 
Crassus. The glory of the first, the wealth of the second, and 


2ia Ccesar^s Consulship, ch. xl. 

the popularity of the third combined to give to this triumvirate 
a paramount power over public affairs. Each of them was in 
reality hoping to use the other two as instruments for his own 
advancement to the first place in the commonwealth: but 
Osesar was the first to profit by the combination, for his allies 
pledged themselves to raise him to the consulship. 

Csesar was backed by a rich Candida te, Lucceius, who bore a 
large share of his expenses: the nobles opposed to him the 
wealthy Bibulus. Even Oato consented to use bribery against 
bribery. Caesar's election was carried with Bibulus for his 
colleague. Osesar now courted the people more than ever. 
He distinguished his term of office by an agrarian law which 
assigned lands to the Pompeian veterans and to a large number 
of poor citizens. This bill was furiously opposed by Oato, who 
with Bibulus and Lucullus tried to dissolve the assembly on a 
plea of unpropitious omens. They were all three very roughly 
handled by the people. Oaesar sat immoved in his chair, and 
the law was carried amid the clash of arms in the Forum. 

Osesar's consulship was an epoch of grave importance from 
the free expression it gave to the views of the popular party. 

While the nobles, dismayed at their discomfiture, shrank 
from all public action, and Bibulus shut himself up in his house 
for the remainder of his term, Osesar was proposing laws in the 
comitia for regulating the tribunals, for controlling the pro- 
consuls, for improving the position of the provincials. IVom 
the fii'st he had declared himself the patron of the oppressed 
provinces, and now that he was in power, he fulfilled his 
promises. The people supported his liberal measures as a 
fresh defiance of the aristocratic party, not from any liberal 
sympathies of their own. Oicero, who could not understand 
the consul's broad and generous policy, passed his time in 
literary leisure at Tusculum and Formise, but cast back vristM 
glances at the arena of public life. The movements of Olodius, 
who was taking steps towards the tribunate, caused him much 
uneasiness; for he judged rightly that they portended an 
attack upon himself. Further disquietude was caused by the 
arrest of a villain named Vettius, who avowed that he had been 
suborned by Oato and others to assassinate Osesar and Pom- 

All parties may have felt it a relief when Osesar's consulship 
drew to a close. Every obstacle, every rival had yielded to his 

cH. XL. Ccesar Proconsul of GauL 211 

ascendency. He himself saw clearly that the days of the free 
state were numbered, and the example of Pompeius, expecting 
in fretful inaction the offer of supreme power, warned him that 
the sovereignty of the empire must be seized, not waited for. 
He resolved to quit the city, gather resources in the field of 
foreign adventure, and return as a conqueror to claim the 
diadem. Frank and generous as he was, we may well believe 
that he foresaw what benefits he might confer on Home and 
the empire under the personal rule of a large-minded adminis- 
trator. The people, whom he had delighted with shows and 
largesses, overruled the decree of the senate, and granted him 
the provinces of the Cisalpine and Illyricum for five years, with 
an army of three legions. Symptoms of distiu-bance had been 
noticed among the tribes beyond the Alps. The Allobroges 
had risen, and been put down. The Helvetii were preparing 
for a migration which threatened to encroach on the province. 
Strong measures of repression were called for. In spite of 
Cato's warnings, the senate not only acquiesced in the assign- 
ment by the people, but added to it the Transalpine province 
also. The proconsulate of Oeesar in the West might now rival 
in importance the extraordinary Eastern command lately given 
to Pompeius. 

After vacating the consulship at the end of the year 69, 
Caesar lingered for a time outside the walls to watch the course 
of events, and especially the manoeuvres of young Clodius, who 
by his aid had now gained the tribuneship. This shameless 
demagogue found himself in a position of great u.c. 696, 
power, courted by Pompeius, and able by promises ^'C- *®' 
of popular favour to control the action of the consuls, who were 
greedy and necessitous. He confirmed his influence by poprl&r 
measures, requiring that the supply of cheap com should be 
henceforth gratuitous, and forbidding the consuls to dissolve 
the comitia under pretence of observing the heavens. He further 
deprived the censors of their power of degrading knights and 
senators at their sole discretion. He next set himself to work 
the downfall of his personal enemy Cicero. He moved the 
people to interdict fire and water to whosoever should have 
inflicted death on a citizen without an appeal to the tribes- 
Cicero, though not named, was clearly pointed at. Declining 
Caesar's offer of a post in his province, he descended into the 
Forum in the garb of a suppliant and pleaded with the citizens 


212 Banishment of Cicero. ch. xl. 

for help and for compaasion. The senators were disposed to 
stand by him, but the consuls supported Olodius, and the 
tribune raised a tumult in the streets and pelted Oicero and 
his sad corUge with mud and stones. Pompeius, when appealed 
to, coldly repulsed him. Olodius convened the tribes outside 
the walls to allow the attendance of OsBsar, who, after con- 
demning the execution of the conspirators, faintly exhorted the 
people to forego revenge and condone the offence. 

Oicero had already retired from the city, but the implacable 
Olodius caused him to be sentenced by name. Oicero was 
banished four hundred miles from Borne, or beyond Italy. It 
was declared capital even to propose his recall. His estates 
were confiscated, his cherished villa at Tusculum given over to 
be pillaged by the consuls, and his mansion on the Palatine 
pulled down, part of the site being cynically dedicated to the 
goddess Liberty, so as to render its restitution impossible. 

The triumvirs were not ill-pleased with the sentence which 
struck the senate through Oicero. The noUes were mortified 
by the affiront to their policy, but felt that they were not Mly 
discredited as long as Oato remained at their head. At the 
instigation of his patrons, Olodius now directed his manoeuvres 
against the most just and virtuous of the Bomans by imposing 
upon him the odious task of dispossessing Ptolemy, king of 
Oyprus, upon grounds wholly Mvolous and iniquitous. He was 
required to bring the luckless monarch's treasures to Rome, 
and to annex his island to the empire. Oato acted in blind 
obedience to the decree of the people ; but if Olodius hoped to 
corrupt him by the handling of so much wealth he was dis- 
appointed, and when Oato returned two years later, the dema- 
gogue had fallen too low to harm him by his false insinuations 
The successes of Olodius soon turned his head, and he ventured 
to affiront both Oaesar and Pompeius. The latter was even 
intimidated into the belief that a plot was formed against his 
life, and shut himself up in his house. But Osesar came to his 
rescue, and the next elections freed him from persecution, while 
they raised some decided friends of Oicero to the consulship. 

The new consuls at once demanded the orator's recall. 

They declared that Olodius was by his birth incapable of being 

ir.c. 697t tribune, and that all his acts were invalid ; more- 

B.C. 67. over, that the decree which had condemned Oicero 

.was a privilegium, as directed against an individual, and so 

CH. XL. Casar's Conquest of GauL 213 

contrary to the fundamental laws of Rome. The demagogue, 
divested of his office, had no resource but violence. The nobles 
armed a party of swordsmen under Milo to encounter him. 
For seven months the two factions shed each other's blood in 
the sight of the affirighted citizens. At last in August Milo 
was triumphant. The tribes could meet in safety, and the recall 
of Oicero was voted by acclamation. 

The patriot's return was likened to a triumphal procession. 
All Italy Arom Brundisium to Rome came out, as he tells us, 
to meet him. But his seventeen months of exile had revealed 
the weakness of his character by the unmanly dejection to 
which he had yielded. He had shown in the hour of his trial 
that Rome was only the second object of his thoughts, himself 
the first. He could not disguise from himself that he had been 
made the sport of men far inferior to himself in ability and 
honesty ; and he sighed to think that the signal exploit of his 
career was after all no better than a splendid failure. 



Cjesar entered his province in the spring of the year 68, and 
during the foUowing years was intently occupied in subduing 
the tribes of Gaul from the Rhone to the Seine, the Rhine, and 
the Atlantic. He barred the passage of the Helvetii into the 
Roman province by means of a chain of earthworks near the 
site of the modem Geneva. As they poured westward by a 
more northern route he followed and routed them on the banks 
of the Saone, finally crushing them in a second victory among 
the upper waters of the Seine. He next drove back the 
Suevi who had crossed the Rhine under their chief Ariovis* us, 
and having thus relieved the Gkiuls from both their assailants, 
set himself to form alliances with some tribes and to sow dis- 
cord among others, with a view to the eventual subjugation of 
them all. The .^dui and Arvemi, each with selfish aims of 
their own, were disposed to assist in the ruin of their common 

214 Qesar invades Britain, ch. xli. 

In the following year Oeesar broke the confederacy of the 

Belgic tribes in the north-east, and in his next campaign worsted 

TT.o. 697, the Veneti at sea, and reduced the most part of 

B.C. 67. the north-western districts. At the same time 

his lieutenants overran the south-western region known as 

Aquitania. G^aul was now to a great extent subdued ; but in 

u.c. 699, order to find fresh foes and fresh plunder for his 

B.C. 56. legions, Osesar, in b.c. 55, bridged the Rhine and 

invaded the German forests. In the autumn of the same year 

he crossed for a reconnaissance of a fortnight's duration into 

Britain, but having sufiered some losses at sea, he withdrew 

into Gaul for the winter. In the following smnmer he landed 

a second time in Kent, and fording the Thames above London, 

defeated the Trinobantes before their stockade in Hertfordshire. 

u.c 700, But he found no inducement to remain in the 

B.G. 54. island, and after exacting the promise of a small 

tribute, he turned his thoughts once more to Home, satisfied 

with having occupied his troops and amused his countrymen 

by the record of his adventures. 

During this period of active warfare, Gsesar had kept a watch 
on the march of events in the city. Year by year, as the season 
for campaigning closed, he repaired to the baths of Lucca, the 
most convenient point within his territory at which to receive 
his numerous partisans, and consult with them on measures of 
home policy. During his long absence Pompeius and Grassus 
were scheming independently for supreme power. A scarcity of 
corn had occm:red, and, with Gicero's aid, Pompeius induced 
the senate to give him an extraordinary commission, and place 
him for the third time above the laws. He was authorised to 
appoint officers to collect supplies of grain fix)m all parts of the 
empire, and to fix the prices himself, for the space of five years. 
Gicero accepted a place on the commission. The whole scheme 
was a mere device for restoring to Pompeius the paramount 
authority which four years before he had unwarily resigned. 

Nevertheless, whether from indolence or mismanagement, 
Pompeius does not seem to have strengthened his position by 
his new powers. He found himself more than ever exposed to 
the intrigues of the nobles and the violence of the mob, and he 
was defeated in an attempt to get a further appointment which 
was coveted as a valuable prize. 

Ptolemeeus, king of Egypt, had been dethroned by his 

cH. xLi. CcBsar intrigues at Lticca. 2 1 5 

subjects, and the senate proposed to restore him by force. 
This duty they wished to entrust to Lentulus, one of their own 
party ; but the intrigues of Pompeius baffled them. He, in his 
tiurn, was refused when he sought the appointment for himself. 
The turbulence of the mob and of the demagogues became 
worse than ever. The statue of Jupiter on the Alban mount 
was struck by lightning, and general consternation was caused 
by this portent of impending revolution. Pompeius and Orassus 
were filled with mutual distrust, and the senate muttered 
threats of impeachment, exile, or even death against Caesar. 

Osesar meanwhile held a kind of court at Lucca. Con- 
Bulars, officials, nearly half the senate crowded to his receptions. 
A hundred and twenty lictors, it was said, might sometimes be 
counted at his door. Both senators and knights returned to 
Rome delighted with his courtesy and generosity. Many 
began to foresee the approaching end of the republic. Indeed 
the machinery of the free state was at a deadlock. The consuls 
and the tribunes, the senate and the people, mutually checked 
each other and paralysed the action of the state. The elections 
for the ensuing year were not held, the consuls pretending that 
the auspices were adverse, but at the same time abstaining 
from all public duties, as men deprived of their legitimate 
power by the fury of the mob. When the curule chairs fell 
vacant, the tribunes disregarded the legal forms of an inter- 
regnum, and convened the tribes irregularly. Young Orassus 
appeared on the scene with a detachment of Osesar's veterans 
from Gaul, and with their aid Pompeius and Orassus secured 
the consulship for themselves, and the other offices u.o. 699, 
for their friends. M. Oato, who sued for the praetor- ^c- 55. 
ship, was mortified by being set aside in favour of the in- 
famous Vatinius. 

Osesar had patched up a truce between Pompeius and 
Orassus at Lucca, and had used his influence with the people 
to secure for them the provinces of Spain and Syria. In 
return they helped him to obtain a renewal of his own com- 
mission for a second period of five years. The pretext put 
forward was that Gaul yet required to be orgam'sed by the 
same strong hand which had subdued it. But Osesar meant to 
use the interval in confirming his influence over his legions, 
trusting to time to dim the lustre of his rivals and prepare the 
empire for himself. OsBsar did not gain his object without 

2i6 Ccesar's Secofid Period of ch. xli. 

resistance on the part of the nobles ; but they were no longer 
championed by men of dignity and position, like Lucullus or 
Oicero. Oato, who had much degenerated through daily contact 
with yiolence and vulgarity, andFavonius, a mere party brawler, 
were their leaders. Oato had to be lifted on men's shoulders 
in order to force his way into the place of meeting. His long 
and angry invective was answered by the brandishing of clubs 
and the throwing of brickbats. The Optimates were driven 
from the comitia, not without bloodshed. It was after one of 
these scenes that Pompeius returned home with some drops of 
blood sprinkled on his robe. His young wife Julia, 0«8ar*s 
daughter, met him, and, horrified at the sight, was seized with 
premature labour and died soon afterwards. 

OsBsar had used the first five years of his proconsulship 
to good purpose in reducing Gaul throughout its length and 
breadth, and in daunting the fierce tribes of Gtormans and 
Britons near its frontiers. He might now hope to use the 
resources of his province for his own aggrandisement. Though 
chief of the popular party at home, he always supported the 
nobles agamst the democracy abroad. He maintained the form of 
popular assemblies as a convenient means of levying tribute, and 
what he took from one tribe he used in buying the friend- 
ship of others ; while he charmed all with the sweets of Roman 
civilisation and the prospect of Roman citizenship. Hitherto 
the Gauls had offered no general resistance to their conqueror. 
A few tribes here and there had fought and yielded. Their 
first serious revolt arose in the Belgic Gaul, and had for its 
centre the country of the Treviri. It was supported by the 
Nervii, the Eburones, and the Lingones. These tribes were 
balanced by the Remi, the Senones, and the ^dui, which 
remained stedfast to Rome, and prevented the disturbance 
from spreading southwards. The campaign of the year 54 was 
signalised by a great disaster to the Roman arms ; but Osesar 
promptly retrieved it, and relieved the camp of his lieutenant, 
U.C.701, Cicero's brother, by a brilliant victory over the 
B.C. 63. Nervii. In the following year he quelled the in- 
surrection in the North, and induced his Gaulish allies to wreak 
a bloody vengeance on the nation of the Eburones. 

Scarcely was his back turned upon this scene of massacre 
when a fresh revolt broke out in the centre of the country, and 
the district which lies between the Seine and the Garonne w^ 

cH. xLi. Proconsular Power. 217 

in a flame. At Genal)us, on the Loire, a number of Boman 
eettlers were massacred. The Druids incited the people to the 
war, but the command was taken by Vercingetorix, ^ chief of 
the Arvemi, who, alone among the Gauls, stands forth as 
a military genius, and whose heroic defence of his country 
deserves the highest praise. At his hands Osesar suffered a 
severe defeat at Geigovia, near the AUier. The proconsul lost 
his sword, and his retreat into Italy was cut off. But in truth 
Italy at that time offered him no asylum. In Gaul he must 
either conquer or die. His lieutenant, Labienus, succeeded in 
pacifying the more northern tribes, and with the whole force 
at his command OsBsar once more showed a bold front to his 
enemy. This time Vercingetorix was defeated, and led his 
routed army into the city of Alesia, near the modem Dijon, 
where he entrenched himself with 80,000 men. Csesar enclosed 
his beaten enemy, together with a large concourse of non- 
combatant fugitives, in a second circumvallation, and in due 
time compelled the surrender of the whole force by famine. 
The captives' lives were spared, but Vercingetorix, who merited 
a better fate, was reserved to grace his captor's triumph and to 
perish miserably in the dungeons of the Capitol. In u.o. 703, 
the eighth year of Osesar^s proconsulship the subju- ^-c- «!• 
gation of the vast region between the Alps, the Rhine, the 
Pyrenees, and the ocean was complete. 

The conquest of Gaul was not achieved without an enormous 
loss of life, but in constituting the government of his province 
OflBsar pursued a new and liberal policy. He founded no 
military colonies to control the natives and to possess their 
lands. His object was not to bring Home into his province, 
but to turn the eyes of the provincials towards Rome, to give 
them an interest in the imperial city, and to use their support 
in furthering his own designs. He left them then their land, 
their laws, and their i*eligion : in a great measure their own 
self-government was undisturbed, though doubtless directed by 
Roman agents. Honours and privileges were showered upon 
their chiefe and cities. But the courteous manners of the 
magnanimous Roman won more hearts even than his bene- 

At the same time that OsBsar was thus riveting the yoke of 
Roman dominion upon the vast territories of Northern, Eastern, 
and Western Gaul, he had another task to accomplish in the 

2 1 8 CcBsar's A rmy. ch. xli» 

old soutkem province, the Narbonensis. The government of 
that region had been confided by Pompeius to adherents of his 
own, who belonged to the party of the senate. These. men 
OsBsar displaced in all directions, filling the offices of govern- 
ment with friends and partisans on whom he could depend, 
rewarding with lands and largesses all who did him good 
service. At the same time he kept his legions fully recruited 
and in a high state of discipline and efficiency. His gallant 
and generous bearing and his splendid military genius had 
captivated the youth of Gaul, who flocked eagerly to his 
standards. Indeed, Caesar's conquest of Gaul was mainly 
eflected by the swords of Gaulish soldiers. When he entered 
upon his proconsulship, the only troops he took over from his 
predecessors were the legions numbered the 7th, 8th, and 9th, 
which had probably been raised by Metellus in the Cisalpine. 
The legions numbered 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and 16th, 
were aU originally levied within the limits of Transalpine Gaul. 
But few of these soldiers could have been of Roman or Italian 
origin. They were most likely recruited among those tribes on 
whom the Latian franchise had been confeized ; but to each 
of them were attached a number of foreign cohorts, subject to 
the same discipline, equipped vdth the same arms ; and these 
auxiliaries, after a few campaigns, became as trusty and as 
efficient as their regular comrades. One legion was undoubtedly 
composed solely of Qfl-uls, who were distinguished by wearing 
a lark or a tuft of lark's feathers in their helmets, and the legion 
thus acquired its name ' Alauda.' To a vain and excitable, 
a proud and pugnacious race, like the Gauls, service under 
such a general as Caesar was eminently attractive ; and in spite 
of the severity of his discipline and the toilsome labours he 
required of them, their devotion to his person was absolute. 
Unlike Pompeius, Lucullus, and all the other generals of his 
time, Caesar alone might boast that his troops had never 
mutinied, and that when captured by the enemy they invariably 
refused to serve against him. Such were the legions with 
which Caesar conquered Gaul ; with them he was now about 
to conquer the empire of Rome. 

d by Google 

cH. xLii. TIte Roman Legion, 219 



Wb have now reached a turning point in the history of Rome 
at which the civic institutions begin to be overshadowed by 
tihe military organisation. Hitherto the annual magistrates, 
legally elected, have ruled the state ; the laws have been framed 
by the people in their comitia, by the Optimates in the senate. 
These have been the prevailing forces in the commonwealth. 
But they are fast hastening to their fall, and their place is to 
be taken by a successful soldier, an imperator, whose power is 
only limited by his life. The will of the armed legions wiU 
henceforth prevail over that of the citizens. We shall do well, 
therefore, to form a clear conception of the Roman army, of its 
actual condition in Caesar's time, and the steps by which it had 
been developed. From the beginning to the end of Roman 
history the legion Q legio,' derived from ' legere,' to choose) is 
the name used to express an organised body of troops. It 
corresponds, perhaps, more nearly to a cofys (Tarm^e than to 
any other term in modem military phraseology ; for the legion 
included both heavy infantry, light infantry, cavalry, and such 
rude forms of engineering appliances and artillery as were 
known to the ancients. In the legendary accounts of Romulus 
the legion is stated to have contained 3,000 foot soldiers and 
300 cavalry, each of the three tribes contributing 1,000 of the 
one and 100 of the other. Passing on, as we must do, for want 
of any trustworthy sources of information, to the legion as it 
was organised under the Servian constitution, we find a more 
complete and elaborate system. The nation is now divided into 
thirty tribes, and also arranged according to the distribution of 
property under five classes. For every legion that was required 
for the service of the state, the first class supplied forty cen- 
turies of thirty men each, who were armed at their own expense 
with helmet, breastplate, shield, and greaves, besides sword and 
spear ; total 1,200 men. The second and third classes together 
supplied a like number of men, also armed at their own expense, 
but less fully equipped with defensive armour; total 1,200. 
I The fourth and fifth classes supplied a third body of 1,200 men, 

220 The Roman Legion ch. xlti. 

who were unprovided with defensive annour, but carried heavy 
javelins (pila), with which to harass the approaching enemy. 

The 2,400 men drawn from the first three classes were ar- 
ranged in order of battle ten deep^ the first five ranks being 
occupied by the heavily-armed men of the first class, and the 
five ranks behind being filled by the half-armed men of the 
second and third classes, who gained some protection from the 
defensive armour of their richer comrades in front. The un- 
armed troops of the two lowest classes were formed in a loose 
body apart called a ' caterva.' The cavalry, 300 in number, 
was supplied by the eighteen centuries of knights, which com- 
prised all the patricians and the richest of the plebeians. 

Such was probably the constitution of the Roman legion in 
the early years of the republic. It is important to observe that 
these soldiers received no pay and were armed at their own 
expense : they were simply citizens withdrawn for a few weeks 
or months from the pursuits of civil life, and destined to return 
thereto as soon as the campaign was ended. For many cen- 
turies, even after the payment of the legionaries had been in- 
troduced, this continued to be the fundamental idea of the 
Roman militia ; and so late as the period of Lucullus, B.C. 66, 
we find the legions murmuring and disposed to mutiny because 
they were not at once led homewards when the war with 
Mithridates, for which they had been enlisted, was at an end. 

The great effort made by the Romans under Oamillus in 
the long siege of Veii, B.C. 400, made it necessary to retain the 
lemons under arms winter and summer for several years, and 
as the soldiers were thus prevented from supporting themselves 
or their families by productive industry, the system of state 
payment for their services could no longer be avoided. As the 
Roman dominion expanded, as long and distant wars against 
such enemies as the Samnites, the Gauls, the Carthaginians, 
came to be of frequent occurrence, the necessity for paying the 
soldiers continued to be imperative, and the old practice of 
unpaid service passed out of popular remembrance. 

Another change occurred about the same time, and has 
likewise been attributed with some probability to Oamillus, 
though we have no certain knowledge as to who was the 
author of it. Instead of the solid mass and serried ranks of the 
Greek phalanx which had formed the battle array of early 
times, we find, about the period of the I^tin war, B.o. 840, that 

cH. xLii. before the Punic Wars. 221 

the legion was subdiTided into snaall companies or maniples, 
and disposed in a looser order of "battle. The front rank con- 
sisted of fifteen maniples of young and vigorous men, whose 
principal weapon was a long spear (hasta), and thence called 
' hastati.' Each maniple contained sixty men, and spaces were 
left between the maniples to allow the troops behind to advance 
between the lines if necessary. The second rank was formed 
of the 'principes/ heavily armed troops of superior age and 
strength, many of them protected by shirts of mail, in addition 
to helmet, greaves, and shield, and carrying both heavy javelins 
and swords. Their number and order of battle was the same 
as that of the hastati. 

Behind the principes stood the 'triarii,' or veterans, on 
whom the brunt of the battle did not fall till both the ranks of 
younger men had been worsted ; these agun were supported by 
two more ranks of less trusty warriors called respectively the 
rorarii and accensi, and these three rear ranks numbered 900 
men each, or 2,700 in all. 

The rorarii were armed with light javelins, and they began 
the battle by advancing between the companies of the foremost 
ranks and skirmishing in front of the array before the armies 
came to cbse quarters, retiring through the lines when the 
shock became imminent. The accend stepped into the posts 
of those who had fallen, and supplied their place to the best 
of their power, doubtless using the weapons of their dead or 
wounded comrades. From this enumeration we obtain, as the 
full strength of the legion at this period, 76 maniples of 60 men 
each, or 4,600 men, in addition to which we must reckon two 
centurions and a standard bearer to each maniple, which brings 
up the total to 4^726, in round numbers 6,000 infantry, besides 
the invariable force of 300 cavalry. 

The Greek historian Polyluus, who passed many years of 
his life at Borne about the period of the third Punic war 
(B.C. 149), and who had opportunities of obtaining trustworthy 
information concerning all that related to the war with Han- 
nibal (B.C. 218), has left us a dear account of the state of the 
Roman legion during the great contest with Carthage. 

At that time, say B.C. 200, it seems that the ordinary 
strength of the legion was somewhat in excess of 4,000 men, 
but that in great emergencies the numbea^tw!^ increased to 

222 During the Punic Wars, ch. xliu 

The three first ranks of the array were still designated by 
the names hastati, principes, triarii, and there is no change to 
record in the quality and armament of these troops. Their 
numbers, however, and their subdivisions, are different. The 
two front ranks now contain 1,200 men apiece, marshalled in 
ten maniples of 120 each, while the triarii, or veterans, number 
only 600, in ten maniples of 60 each, making a total force of 
3,000. The names rorarii and accensi have disappeared, and 
in their place we find 1,000 of the poorest and youngest recruits 
allotted to each legion as light troops or skirmishers, with the 
appellation ' velites.' 

The increased strength of the maniples has caused them to 
be subdivided into two centuries, each of which is commanded 
by a centurion and his lieutenant, * optio,* so called because he 
was selected by the firee choice of his centurion. 

The legion is further arranged in ten cohorts, each of which 
contained 400 soldiers, and was thus composed : — 

One maniple of hastati .... 120 

„ principes .... 120 

„ triarii ..... 60 

Proportion of velitea 100 

Total ... 400 

The legion thus contained 4,000 infantry disposed in ranks, 
in cohorts, in maniples, and centuries : but to this force must 
be added the officers and standard bearers, viz., 6 tribunes, 
who commanded the legion in monthly rotation, 60 centurions, 
and as many standard bearers ; total 4,126. The force of 300 
cavalry, divided into ten 'turmae,' must, of course, also be 
reckoned; but in addition to this the dominant position of 
Rome in Italy has now brought into the field a large con- 
tingent of auxiliary forces supplied by the subject allies, * socii.' 
The allied infentry attached to each legion equals in number 
the Roman infantry, while the cavalry force is twice or thrice 
as numerous as the Roman cavalry. In this way the entire 
force of the legion may now be reckoned at from nine to ten 
thousand men. A consular army consisted of two legions, and 
when both consuls took the field at the head of their armies, 
the force amounted to nearly 40,000. 

Throughout the best period of the republic^ ser we in the 
ranks of the Roman legion was accounted a privilege, and was 

CH. XLii. Changes introdticed by Marius, 223 

not only reserved to Boman citizens, but to those of them 
whose fortune was not less than 4,000 copper pounds. Ex- 
ceptions to this rule did undoubtedly occur. Thus after the 
disaster at CannsB 8,000 slaves were purchased by the state 
and equipped as soldiers. They fought bravely, and were re- 
warded with freedom. Still, the rule stated above was almost 
universally maintained down to the beginning of the first cen- 
tury before Christ. The great democrat Marius first introduced 
the practice of recruiting the legions from all classes of Roman 
citizens without distinction of fortune. The basis of the army 
was further extended by the admission of the Italians to the 
right of citizenship after the Social War, B.C. 88. Throughout 
the vast dominion of Rome multitudes of provincials were ad- 
mitted by purchase or favour to civic rights, and it soon became 
the practice to raise the legions principaUy in the provinces, 
while under the Empire the prsdtoiian troops alone were re- 
cruited among the youth of Italy. The changed condition of 
the legion arising from these causes shall now be described, 
and it should be observed that the legions which fought under 
OaBsar are those now spoken of. 

The numbers of the Roman legion proper, without auxiliaries, 
now range from 6,000 up to 6,200 men, but may be taken as 
about 6,000 in general. 

AU the legionaries are armed and equipped alike : the old 
distinctions of hastati, principes, &c., have disappeared. In- 
stead of the old arrangement in three or five lines, with open 
spaces between the maniples and the young soldiers in front, 
we now find the legion arrayed in two lines, each of which is 
divided into five cohorts, and the veterans occupy the front 

The velites are no longer heard of, but for skirmishers there 
are attached to each legion troops of foreign mercenaries highly 
trained in the use of their own peculiar weapons. Such were 
the bowmen of Crete, the slingers of the Balearic Isles, and the 
javelin men of Mauretania. The principal division of the legion 
is now the cohort: the maniple is still maintained, but the 
centmy comes into greater prominence. 

Before the date of the battle of Pharsalia, B.C. 48, an im- 
portant modification had been introduced in the constitution of 
the cohorts. Hitherto the ten cohorts had been all equal in 
numeiical strength : we now find the fii'st cohort, to which tL§ 

224 The Standards. Th^ Camp, ch, xlii. 

custody of the eagle is committed^ raised to a double standard 
and enjoying a special dignity, with the title of ' cohort milliaria.' 
Thus if the number of legionaries be taken at 5,940, we s^iall 
have the first cohort numbering 1,080 men, while the other 
nine muster but 640 each. 

The eagle was carried by the first centurion of the first 
cohort. It consisted of a small image of the bird with expanded 
wings, made of silver or bronze, and carried at the top of a 
staff. Each cohort had also its separate standard, consisting of 
a dragon woven into a cloth banner, which hung from a cross- 
bar near the top of the staff. Under the empire this figure of 
a dragon was replaced by a representation of the reigning em- 
peror^s head, which became an object of worship to the soldiers, 
and after Oonstantine this was again replaced by a representar 
tion of the Saviour's head, which constituted the sacred la- 

In 086says time the cavalry was almost entirely recruited 
among the provincial population : the few Roman equites who 
might be present with the legion acting as aide&-de-camp to 
the general or in some athez post of special honour. 

The equipment of the foot soldier was extremely burden- 
some. In addition to helmet, cuirass, and shield, he carried a 
pUum, a sword, and a dagger, provisions for three days, various 
implements used in entrenching the camp, and stakes for pali- 
sading it. The location, construction, and fortification of the 
camp were objects to which the utmost attention and scientific 
skill were devoted by the Eoman commanders. No army passed 
a single night without entrenching itself; the position must be 
easily defensible, wood and water must be accessible : ^01 in 
selecting a camping ground was regarded as a most important 
qualification in a general. 

Let us endeavour to form a clear conception of the con- 
struction of a camp, such as would be made night after night, 
throughout a long march, by a consular army of two legions, 
with auxiliaries, in the best period of the republic, say B.C. 200. 
The number of troops to be accommodated would beabout 20,000, 
viz., 6,000 legionaries and the same number of auxiliaries for 
each legion. 

The camp then is carefully laid out in a square of 2,017 
Boman feet, whose four sides may be supposed to face the four 
cardinal points of the compass. Immediately upon reaching 


The Roman Camp, 


the ground parties of soldiers are told oiF under their centurions 
to dig the ditch and raise the mound on the inner side of it, 
two sides of the square, say the east and west sides, being- 
undertaken by the legionaries, and the other two, north and 
south, by the auxiliaries. In the centre of these two last-men- 




A » 













100 3Sa 
4 S 

4 a 
* 8 

4, 3 


























4 8 

4 3 

4 8 

4 3 

* 3 

* 1 a' I *-' 


3 4 

a' 4' 

*' 4' 
S' 4' 











VIA oyuiM 












A. Pnetoriutn. 

B. Quaegtorium. 
c. Foruin. 

D. Tents of military tribunes. 
„ P I Extraordinarii. 

' • j Infantry outside ; cavalry In- 

' \ side. 

1,1'. Eqnites. 

2, 2'. Triarii. 

3, 3 . Frincipes. 
4,4'. Hastati. 

6, 6'. Cavalry of the allies. 
6, 6'. Infantry of the allies. 

tioned lines openings are left 50 feet wade to serve as gates, 
fortified, however, with barriers, and known as the Porta Prae* 
toria and Porta Decumana respectively. 

The ramparts on the east and west sides are also pierced 

226 The Roman Camp ch. xlii. 

•with gateways 100 feet wide ; these, however, are not centrally 
situated^ their distance from the southern end being twice as 
great as it is from the northern end of the enclosure. They 
are designated as the Porta Principalis Dextra, and Sinistra re^ 
spectiyely. The mound, when completed, is fenced with stout 
stakes planted on its summit, and sentries drawn from the ranks 
of the velites are posted at frequent intervals all along the 
rampart. Strong pickets both of horse and foot are, at the 
same time, thrown forward to a condderable distance outside 
each of the four gates. 

Eetuming to the interior of the camp, which has been 
pitched according to one unvarying plan while the ditch and 
mound were in process of construction, we find the following 
arrangements. From east to west, uniting the two Portse 
Principales, runs a broad street 100 feet in width, called the 
Principia. Along its north side are pitched the tents of the 
twelve military tribunes, six for each legion, with their baggage 
and horses in rear of them. From the centre of the north side 
opens a space 200 feet square, in the middle of which stands 
the PraBtoriura, the tent of the commander of the army, gene- 
rally the consul. On one side of the Prsetorium is a large open 
space used ns a Forum' or place of assembly, for the delivery of 
speeches and celebration of sacrifices. On the other side is th^ 
Quaestorium, the establishment of the quaestor, who acts as 
quartermaster and paymaster of the army, taking charge at the 
same time of all the booty which may have been captured. 
East and west of the Forum and the Quaestorium, and also along 
the whole northern face of the camp, are pitched the tents of 
the extraordinani^ both equites and pedites. These were picked 
troops furnished l)y the allies for the special duty of guarding 
the Prsetorium and the Quaestorium. The infantry are quartered 
outside of the cavalry, and a clear space 200 feet wide is left 
between the outermost tents and the rampart. 

We now pass to the south side of the Principia. There is 
but one street running parallel to that main passage: it is 
called the Via Quintana, and it is situated nearly half way 
between the Principia and the south end of the camp : it is but 
50 feet wide. At right angles to these two streets, opening 
out of the Principia and crossing the Quintana, are five narrow 
streets each 60 feet wide. The centre one of the five opens 
exactly opposite the Praetorium, and divides the quarters of the 

CH. xLii. in Imperial Times. 227 

two legions from one another. Facing inwarda upon this 
street are the tents and stahles of the equites, 300 horses on 
either side. Back to back with them, and facing upon the first 
of the side streets in either half of the camp, stand the tents of 
the veteran triarii, 600 for each legion. Facing them across 
the street are the principes, back to back with whom come the 
hastati. The two outermost streets then occur, and beyond 
them stand the quarters of the allies — the cavalry inside, the 
infantry facing outwards to the ramparts. A clear space of 200 
feet surrounds all the tents, and then we reach the vallum with 
its stockade. An elaborate system of posts and sentinels is 
organised to guard the gates, the Prfetorium, the Queestorium, 
and indeed every individual portion of the camp. A watch- 
word is issued by the consul, and the rounds are made during 
the night by men selected from the equites by lot. 

Many more details might be given, which must, however, 
be sought elsewhere. It will suffice here to add a short notice 
of the changes introduced into the camp system under the 
Empire. We will still maintain the supposition that the sides 
of the camp face the four cardinal points of the compass ; but, 
of course, it will be understood that this supposition is made 
only for convenience of explanation, and that in reality the 
camp might face in any direction that best suited the peculiari- 
ties of the ground. 

The first thing to be noticed is that, owing to the inferior 
discipline and more mercenary character of the imperial forces, 
as compared with the republican, the amount of labour ex- 
pended on the construction and fortification of the camp is far 
less than it was in the earlier times ; and, as a consequence, the 
troops are crowded together into a much smaller space, and the 
defences are of a slighter character. We have to deal with an 
army of three legions, together with Praetorian cohorts or body 
guards, numerous officers of the imperial court, and large 
supplements of barbarian cavalry and light infantry, in all 
not less than 40,000 men, who are now encamped in an 
enclosure less than that formerly allotted to a consular army of 
20,000 men. The form of the camp is no longer a square but 
an oblong, with the angles rounded off, the long sides measuring 
one-third more than the short ones, which may be supposed to 
face north and south. The position of the Principia and the 
Via Quintana are scarcely altered, except that the portion of 

225 Recruiting and Titles ch. xlii. 

the camp north of the Principia is somewhat more elongated 
in proportion. The Prsetorium now occupies the very centre of 
the camp between those two cross streets, and the legionaries, 
as being moat trustworthy, are quartered nearest to the ram- 
part all round, and separated from it by a much narrower open 
interval than of old. Their lines are bounded on the inner side 
by a street called the Via Sagularis, which makes the entire 
circuit of the camp. Within that street the foreign auxiliaries 
have their quarters, but the immediate neighbourhood of the 
Preetorium is, of course, guarded by the encampment of the 
Praetorian cohoi-ts. The most northerly section of the camp 
is now bisected by a street which runs due north from the 
Principia to the Porta Preetoria, and the number of minor 
streets, by which the camp is intersected, is considerably 

A few remarks must here be added concerning the sources 
from which the legions were recruited, and the period of their 
service. During the second and third centuries, before the 
Christian era, all citizens whose fortune exceeded 4,000 copper 
pounds, and whose ages lay between seventeen and forty-six, 
were liable to be drafted into the army, and might be called 
upon to serve either for twenty years in the infantry, or for ten 
in the cavalry. None could be appointed a military tribune, 
nor even sue for election to a civil magisti-acy, until he had 
served at least half of the full term. When the full term had 
expired, the legionary was entitled to an honourable discharge. 
He was called * emeritus,' and generally received a grant of 
land ; in great emergencies, however, he might still be recalled 
to the standards for a short period. The changes introduced 
by Marius caused the military career to become much more of a 
profession than it had been, and the rule requiring legionary 
service of any aspirant to a magistracy was relaxed ; while at 
the same time it often happened that old soldiers were induced, 
by attachment to their generals, or by hopes of promotion or 
plunder, to prolong their service beyond the stipulated term 
of ten or twenty years. Under the Empire the term of service 
was fixed at sixteen years for the Praetorian guards and twenty 
for the legionaries. The latter, however, were entitled during 
their last four years to serve together in a separate body with a 
distinct flag, whence they received the name of ' Vexillarii.' 
These troops were excused from all manual labour, and their 

CH. xut of the Legions. 229 

Bole duty was to fight when occasion arose ; the infringement 
of this privilege was the frequent cause of mutinies in the 
imperial camps on the Rhine and the Danuhe. 

Under tbe imperial system many of the legions became per- 
manent organisations, which retained their titles, and in some 
cases their stations, unaltered for centuries. These titles were 
both numerical and special. Thus as many as five legions were 
called by the title ^Tertia,* and these could only be distin- 
guished from each other by their special titles, one of them 
being known as ' Tertia Parthica,' another as * Tertia Gallica,' 
and so on, the title generally indicating the war for which the 
legion was raised, or the country where it was recruited, or the 
commander who incorporated it. In some cases the titles were 
more fanciful in their character, as in the case of Caesar's 
favourite Gaulish legion entitled *Alauda,' from the plume 
resembling a lark's crest worn in the head-piece. Thb legion^ 
at first only an auxiliary force, was subsequently incorporated 
in the imperial army as ' Legio Quinta Alaiida.' During the 
five centuries of imperial rule, the names and numbers of the 
legions of necessity varied ; old organisations died out, and new 
ones were created as occasion arose. It may suftice to point out 
that under Augustus the legions were twenty-five in niunber; 
under Alexander Severus, a.d. 230, thirty-three at least, of 
which nineteen had retained their identity from the- tima of 
their incorporation by Augustus. 



The adventurous career of Caesar in Gaul excited the keenest 
interest among his countrymen in Rome. They heard his 
successes recited in the solemn decrees of the senate. They 
saw the buildings with which he decorated the city loaded 
with trophies of the conquered Gauls. Their admiration was 
Mndled into rapture by the eulogies of Cicero, who exalted 

230 PompeitLS, Proconsul of Spain, ch. xliil 

tlie triumphs of their great proconsul above those of all 
the ancient imperators. 'Marius/ said he, 'drove back the 
Gauls from Italy, but Caesar has penetrated their fastnesses 
and conquered them. The Alps were planted there by the 
gods, as a barrier against the barbarians, to shelter Kome in her 
infancy. Now let them sink, and welcome ; from the Alps to 
the Ocean she has no enemy to fear.' 

The Romans might well marvel at the splendid performances 
of the man whom they had known a few years before only as 
the profligate spendthrift, the elegant debauchee. But his 
enemies hoped that his strength would give way under the 
toils of protracted wai'fare. Instead, they heard with amaze- 
ment how this sickly gallant was climbing mountains on foot, 
swimming rivers, riding his horse unbridled, sleeping amid 
rain and snow in the depths of forests and morasses. If he 
spared his body at times it was only to exercise his mind; 
reading and writing on various subjects, maintaining an im" 
mense correspondence, official and private, dictating to four or 
even to seven secretaries at once. The prolongation of Caesar's 
command for a second period of five years was looked upon by the 
people as a pledge of their hero's advancement to supreme 
power. The senate viewed it with bitter vexation, and Cato 
went so far as to propose that he should be given up to the 
enemy on the pretence of some breach of faith with them. Pom- 
peius and Crassus smiled at their colleague's advancement, each 
of them hoping to profit by the precedent for his own exaltation. 

Pompeius, as proconsul of Spain, rejoiced to find himself 
once more at the head of an army. Six legions were assigned 
him for his government ; but, contrary to all usage, he chose 
to administer it by his lieutenants, while he remained himself 
in Italy. During the remainder of his consulship he strove by 
lavish shows and largesses to recover his waning popularity. 
In vain did he open his splendid theatre in the Campus Martius^ 
the first stone structure of the kind ever built in Rome. It 
could seat 40,000 spectators, and was adorned with gold, marble, 
and precious stones. At the opening ceremony 500 lions were 
hunted in the arena, and eighteen elephants were opposed to a 
trained band of gladiators ; but the citizens were sickened by 
the sufferings of such noble victims. 

Crassus, who for sixteen years had not appeared in camp, 
was impatient to seize upon his province. He longed to emulate 

CH. xLiii. Crasstts departs to Syria, 231 

the triumphs of Pompeius in Asia, of Caesar in Gaul, and Taunted 
that from his province of Syria he would penetrate to the 
farthest limits of the East, to the Indus and the Persian Gulf. 
But the nobles were uneasy and jealous, and by means of the 
tribune Ateius excited the religious scruples of the people 
against a scheme of unprovoked invasion. Ateius met him 
at the gates on his departure, and, casting incense upon a 
burning brazier, devoted the impious aggressor to the infernal 
gods. Both citizens and soldiers were deeply impressed, and 
the expedition seemed from the first doomed to ill-fortune. 

The Parthians, the most powerful nation of the East, who 
occupied the realm of Cyrus and Darius from the Caspian to 
the Persian Gulf, were an oiFshoot of the great Scythian or Tartar 
stock. Two hundred years after the death of Alexander they 
overthrew the Macedonian dynasty in Seleucia, and but for the 
Romans would have subdued Syria also. Their progress was 
checked by Rome on the banks of the Euphrates ; aad for many 
centuries Rome was the last bulwark against these barbarians 
of the widespread Greek civilisation of the East. The Par- 
thians indeed had in a measure exchanged the rude simplicity 
of their ancestors for the voluptuous ease of their Hellenic 
capitals; but the nation still retained its fame for martial 
prowess, and its mail-clad bowmen, mounted on agile horses^ 
were formidable alike in the charge and in the retreat. 

Crassus, on reaching his province, crossed the Euphrates 
at once, unopposed, and took and garrisoned several towns. 
On the approach of winter he retired to Syria to u.c. 700, 
collect resources, to extort tribute and plunder, ®<^' ^• 
and to prepare supplies for a long and distant campaign. The 
Parthians sent an envoy to demand whether his aggressions 
imported a declaration of war on the part of the Republic. 
When he haughtily replied that he would give them an answer 
in their own capital, the Parthian smiled, and pointing to the 
palm of his hand, declared that hair would sooner grow there 
than the Romans ever see Seleucia. The confidence thus felt 
or feigned impressed the Roman soldiery, who were already 
made anxious by reports of the prowess of this new enemy. 
Unfiavourable omens were announced, but Crassus heeded them 
not. He had secured the aid of Artabazes, king of Armenia, 
but neglecting his wise counsel to adopt a northerly well-watered 
xoute^ he determined to advance across the desert of Mesopo« 

232 The Disaster at Carrkce, ch. xliii. 

tamia. A treacherous guide led the army away from the river 
into the midst of treeless, sandy wastes, where the soldiers 
u.c. 701, fainted with toil and thirst, and were scared by the 
B.C. 53. dreary scenery around them. He then gave the 
Romans the slip, and betook himself to the Parthians whom he 
had so well served. 

After a few days' eastward march, Orassus reached a stream 
where for the first time he encountered the enemy. Orodes, 
the Parthian Mng, had sent forward his vizier Surena to watch 
and check his movements. The legions were taken by surprise, 
supposing the enemy to be flying before them. Oassius, an 
able officer, advised the extension of their line, but Orassus 
obstinately formed his troops into a massive square, scarcely 
giving them time to drink at the stream. The close Roman 
formation supplied a good mark to the stonn of Parthian 
arrows; but was useless in attacking their light cavalry. 
Crassus ordered his son to charge at the head of his small force 
of Gaulish cavalry. The youth attacked gallantly, but, deprived 
of the support of the legions, was soon overpowered and slain. 
The Parthian arrows continued to thin the Roman ranks, and 
when evening fell the survivors sank exhausted on the ground. 
Crassus in this terrible emergency proved utterly helpless. 
Oassius and other officers gave the signal for retreat, and the 
remnant of the legions staggered through the darkness back 
towards Oarrhae, where their last outpost had been left. With 
the help of the garrison, Crassus was barely enabled to reach its 
walls. The place, however, was judged to be indefensible, 
and the broken army began its retreat in several detachments. 
The Parthians, however, overtook Crassus and harassed his 
division severely. Could he hold out but a few hours longer 
he would reach the hills, and be safe from the attacks of his 
mounted pursuers. At this juncture some liberated Roman 
prisoners came into camp primed with stories of the clemency 
of the Parthian monarch, and bearing an invitation to Crassus 
to capitulate on favourable terms. The undisciplined soldiery 
clamoured for submission, and the proconsul, against his own 
judgment, yielded to the outcry. A meeting was arranged 
between hiai and Surena, in the course of which the two 
parties came to blows, and Crassus with his officers was 
slauahtered. The main body of the army escaped to the hills, 
but tlio expedition had cost the Romans 20,000 slain and 

CH. xLiii. Anarchy in the City, ^33 

10,000 made prisoners. These last were kindly treated, and 
allowed to settle in the country. 

The bead and liand of Orassus were sent to Orodes ; and 
the victorious Parthian soldiers were amused with a burlesque 
imitation of a Roman triumph. Orodes allied himself by mar- 
riage with the Armenian Artabazes, and duiing the festivals 
which ensued the head of the murdered Orassus was introduced 
to give point to the declamation of an actor. Among other 
insults offered to this bloody trophy, the story runs that molten 
gold was poured into the mouth of the avaricious Roman. 



The slaughter of a proconsul and the rout of several legions, 
the gravest disaster which had befallen the Roman arms since 
the first victories of the Cimbri, made but a faint impression 
upon the citizens, whose whole attention was absorbed by the 
state of affairs at home. One of the triumvirate was now dead, 
the imion between the two survivors had been already weakened 
by the death of Julia, the daughter of one and the wife of the 
other. Corruption and violence in the city continued to grow 
to such a pitch of extravagance as to compel the best men of 
the state to contemplate in their despair the necessity of a 

The year 701 opened with an interregnum which lasted six 
months. No comitia had been held, and no consuls elected, 
owing to the flagrant bribery of the candidates. The prolonga- 
tion of the crisis, however, alarmed Oato, who, in the name of hia 
party, made advances to Pompeius to come forward and require 
an election to be held. Pompeius gladly responded to the invi- 
tation. When he interposed to facilitate the election of Oalvinus 
and Messala, the nobles once more hailed him as their champion. 
The difficulty of getting consuls duly elected recurred, and 
the following year, B.C. 62, opened with an interregnum. This 
time it was violence rather than bribery that hindered the 

234 Murder of Clodius, ch. xliv. 

course of the law. Milo, Scipio, and HypssDus demanded the 
consulship with arms in their hands ; every day was marked 
by scenes of riot and bloodshed in the Forum. Amid many 
obscure murders which disgraced this period, one stands out 
conspicuous for its disastrous consequences. It happened that 
Milo was travelling on the Appian Way escorted, as was his 
wont, by a troop of armed retainers. A few miles from the 
city he was met by Otodius similarly attended. A quarrel 
arose between the two parties, and Olodius, wounded in the 
struggle, took refuge in a neighbouring tavern. Milo gave way 
to his fury, attacked the house, and caused his enemy to be 
dragged forth and slain. The corpse was picked up by a pass- 
ing friend, and brought to Rome. The people, on recognising 
their fevourite demagogue, burst into riotous tumult ; benches, 
books, and papers were snatched from the curia of the senate ; 
fire was set to the funeral pile thus formed, and, together with 
the remains of Clodius, a considerable section of the city was 
consumed. Elotous attacks ensued upon the houses of Milo 
and other nobles. Milo repelled his assailants with bloodshed, 
and after some days of uproar order was restored. 

The outrageous violence thus exhibited by nobles and 
people alike manifestly threatened the Republic with anarchy 
and dissolution. Men of peace, like Oicero, held aloof from 
the Forum, where force and bribery had taken the place of 
law and justice. Oato himself, though unshaken in courage, 
despaired of the ancient principles of the commonwealth, and, 
much as he loved liberty, was driven to seek in the authority of 
a personal ruler protection for the state and for society. ' It 
is better,' he said, ' to choose a master than to wait for the 
tyrant whom anarchy will impose upon us.* But, in fact, no 
choice remained in the matter. There was but one man at 
whose feet Rome could throw herself. With bitter reluctance 
Bibulus proposed the appointment of Pompeius as sole consul, 
and Oato supported him. They might hope that the great mao 
would use his power with moderation, would restore order in 
the city, and would find means for compelling the proconsul of 
Gaul to surrender his province and disband his armies. Such 
results might be cheaply purchased by a year of despotism. 
Pompeius did his best to soothe their anxieties, and declared 
that he would take Oato as his adviser,^]f^4^ji^^^i^^te in the 
interests of freedom, ^ 

cH. xLiv. PompeiuSy sole Consul. 235 

The sole consul entered upon his office at the end of February, 
r.c. 702, and at once adopted without reserve the policy 0^ the 
Optimates. For himself he kept firm hold on his proconsular 
imperium and his Spanish province ; but throwing oif all 
pretence of an alliance with Caesar, he undertook to wrest out 
of his hands the power which he wielded. To please the popu- 
lace Milo was surrendered to stand his trial. Cicero prepared 
an oration in defence of him, in which he would have congra- 
tulated the state on being delivered from such a ruffian as 
Olodius ; but when he rose to address the tribunal, the furj'^ of 
the people, and the presence of an aimed force introduced by the 
consul, dismayed him. He stammered through a shoit and 
nerveless speech, and sat down, leaving his task half finished. 
Milo was found guilty and banished to Massilia ; and when 
Cicero sent him a copy of. the splendid declamation he had 
purposed to deliver, he sarcastically remarked that he thought 
himself lucky in that it had never been spoken, ' else,' said he, ' I 
ahould not be now enjoying the delicious mullets of this place.* 

Pompeius had little difficulty in restoring tranquillity to the 
city, weaiy of riot and bloodshed. As the pupil of Sulla, the 
conqueror of the Marians, he was justly feared. But he failed 
to conceive any large measures of reform which might infuse 
new life into the commonwealth. He passed laws against 
bribery ; he prohibited the eulogies which the powerful friends 
of an accused man used to utter before the judges in his 
behalf; he decreed that no magistrate sbould have a province 
till five years after he had quitted office, and that no man 
should sue for a public charge while absent from home. These 
excellent laws he himself violated whenever it suited his con- 
Tenience; pleading in his own person for his father-in-law, 
Metellus Scipio ; claiming a renewal of his proconsulship while 
he was actually consul; and favouring Caesar's candidatm*e 
for a second consulship, though he was absent in Gaul. 

The brilliant successes of Caesar had made a deep impression 
on the citizens, which was kept alive by the splendid structures 
reared at his expense in their midst. On the site of the Curia 
Hostilia, lately burnt down, rose the stately hall of Julius, and 
a space was cleared hard by for the construction of a grand 
piazza — ^the Forum Jiilii. To the disgust of the senatorial 
leaders, Caesar, however far away, still controlled the elections 
in the city; and now that he chose to sue for a second consul* 

236 C(Bsar sues for a second Consulship, ch. xliv; 

ship, it was found impossible to resist him, and even Pompeius, 
though he did so with a bad grace, had no choice but to 

Ofesar's demand was not dictated by vanity. His term of 
proconsular government was about to expire, and it was a 
matter of vital importance to him, involving his personal 
safety, that he should return to Rome protected by the dignity 
of the consular oilice. His enemies were already open-mouthed 
against him. Both impeachment and assassination were dis- 
cussed among them. They scanned the news from Gaul in 
eager hope of hearing that some disaster had befallen him ; and 
nothing would have pleased them better than to learn that the 
•conqueror of Gaul had met the fate of the invader of Parthia. 
After ten years of military autocracy it was impossible for 
Caesar to step down quietly into the position of a private citizen. 
The jealousies aroused by his elevation were too bitter. Could 
he at this point of his career attain the consulship, he might 
pass from thence once more to the rank of proconsul, and again 
defy his foes at the head of his legions. It is difficult to say 
whether this necessity was of his own contriving ; but it existed, 
and upon it turned the impending establishment of the Empire. 
At the end of six months Pompeius brought his sole 
consulship to an end by associating with himself Metellus 
Scipio, his father-in-law. Before quitting office he* took care to 
prevent the succession of Oato to the consulship by securing it 
to Serv. Sulpicius and M. Marcellus. The latter, a violent 
aristocrat, insisted on the recall of Osesar, though the senate 
had just decreed a supplication of twenty days in honour of 
his victory over Vercingetorix. He also aimed another insult 
at the proconsul by ordering a citizen of the Latin colony of 
Novum Oomum (the modern Como), which was under Caesar's 
patronage, to be beaten with rods. Caesar and his friends re- 
sented the indignity as a studied af&ont to the popular chieftain. 
Pompeius still lingered at the gates of Rome in command 
of his legions, as usual, in critical moments, vacillating and 
uncertain what course to pursue. Cato and Marcellus con- 
tinued to thunder against the Gallic proconsul, while Cicero, 
the most prudent member of the party, was prevailed upon 
r.c. 703, to accept the distant government of Cilicia. The 
B.C. 61. orator was unwilling to quit the centre of aifwrs, 
jwid despite the scornful neglect with which he was treated by 

CH. xLiv. Illness of Pompeius, 237 

tte oligarchs, he clung to the hope that he might once again be 
called to interpose and save the state a second time. He de- 
parted, however, and on reaching Oilicia found that a threatened 
inroad of the Parthians had been already repelled by Cassius. 
He earned the title of imperator in petty warfare against the 
robber tribes of the hill country, and flattered himself that 
he might be permitted to celebrate a triumph for this paltry 
success. His civil administration was upright and moderate, 
in startling contrast to the tyranny of other proconsuls. 

In reply to Marcellus's demand for Caesar's immediate 
recall, Pompeius proposed to allow him six months' respite ; a 
half measure which both irritated him beyond hope of recon- 
ciliation and gave him an interval for preparation. The foolish 
behaviour of Pompeius at this crisis may probably have been 
due to the fact that he was already sickening of a serious 
. malady. His life was for some time despaired of at Neapolis, 
and the danger he was in aroused a remarkable demonstration 
of sympathy among the Italians, who crowded the temples to 
pray for his recovery, and besieged his litter with congratula- 
tions as he slowly returned to Rome on his convalescence. It 
is no wonder that the sick man misjudged the value of all this 
popularity, and supposed that his great name was a charm of 
all-powerful might. He could not guess that the same voices 
which now welcomed him the loudest would so soon be raised 
in frenzied acclamation around the conqueror of Gaul. 

At the beginning of the year 60, the state of the political 
game stood thus : the senate had secured the accession of two 
consuls of their own party, C. Marcellus, who was devoted to 
their cause, and Paulus ^milius, who had in fact sold him- 
self to Csasar for the means of building his splendid basilica. 
Caesar's commission in Gaul would not naturally expire till the 
end of 49 ; but it was determined, that if he persisted in suing 
for the consulship, a successor should be at once appointed to 
relieve him of his military command before he should appear in 
the city as a candidate. Caesar's friends might reasonably 
insist that in that ca^ like measure should be meted to his 
rival Pompeius. Among the new tribunes was one Scribonius 
Curio, whose devotion to Caesar could only be explained by his 
liaving been bought with Gallic gold. He was of aristocratic 
birth, and in spite of dissipated habits had attracted the favour- 
able notice of Cicero. Caesar, however, had relieved him from 

238 Ccesar's Preparations. ch. xliv. 

emlnTrassment, and had offered bim prospects bj whose bril- 
liancy he was easily seduced. Meanwhile Osesar was using 
the truce accorded to him in organising his resources, and 
moving his troops quietly towards the Italian frontier. The 
senate, too, was well armed and confident. Pompeius could at 
any moment transport his seyen legions across the sea from 
Spain. It was supposed that Csesar^s veterans were disaffected, 
and his resources exhausted. Atticus imagined that he could 
embarrass him by calling in a debt of 50 talents. Marcellus 
now proposed that Caesar should be recalled from November 
next ensuing, nearly a full year before the expiration of his 
command. Curio replied by threatening a similar motion 
against the command of Pompeius. If this were not passed he 
was prepared to veto the other. The consul was outmanoeuvred, 
and resorted to violent language ; but the people hailed Cario 
with acclamations. 

Matters were evidently hastening to a crisis, yet no pre- 
parations were made for tbe impending struggle. If Marcellus 
urged Pompeius to concentrate in Italy his Spanish forces, he 
was checked by the great warrior's vainglorious reply: 'I 
have but to stamp with my foot to raise legions in Italy.' 
Thus reassured, the senate decided to recall Caesar at once. 
Curio vehemently remonstrated; the attitude of the people 
was menacing ; and the vacillating senate, by a second decisive 
vote, demanded the simultaneous resignation of both proconsuls. 
Meanwhile Caesar stationed himself at Ravenna, ominously near 
the frontier of Italy, and continued to draw his troops towards him. 
Marcellus, foreseeing the Imminent danger, sought out Pompeius 
in his Alban villa, thrust a sword into his hand, and invited 
him to take command of all the troops in Italy for the defence 
of the commonwealth. Caesar was still strictly within his 
rights, but the position of Pompeius was no longer legal. Curio 
protested against the proconsul's call to arms, declared that the 
inviolability of his office no longer protected him, and that the 
laws had ceased to reign, and suddenly quitted the city for his 
patron's camp. 

The pretext which Caesar wanted to justify his meditated 
course was now provided; but he determined to wait and 
draw his opponents further into the snare. He therefore pro- 
posed to the senate to resign his Transalpine province, retaining 
only the Cisalpine and Illyricum with two legions. This offer 

CH. xLiv. His Rupture with the Senate, 239 

beingrejected, lie would be content to lay down all his commands 
if Pompeius would do tlie same. Failing the acceptance of this 
condition, he would come in person to Bome to avenge his 
own and his country's injuries. The government refused to 
listen to these overtures ; the consuls pronounced the state in 
danger ; and the senate proclaimed that Csssar, if he did not 
lay down his arms, should be treated as a public enemy. In 
vain did the tribunes Antonius and Gassius interpose their veto 
in Caesar's interest. In this supreme crisis, the senate refused 
to be bound by constitutional rules. Pompeius occupied the 
city and its environs with military force. The refractory tribunes 
were threatened with punishment Antonius and Oassius, 
together with Ourio, fled as if for their lives. In leaving the 
city, they signified that they threw up their outraged offices, 
for the tribune was forbidden to step outside the walls during 
his term of service. Arrayed in all the dignity of violated 
independence, they knew that they would be eagerly received at 
the proconsuPs quarters, and paraded through the camp as the 
cause and justification of war. 



It has been argued in defence of the revolt which Csesar was 
about to perpetrate that the action of his opponents was 
technically illegal. But the situation cannot be rightly judged 
on such simple grounds. Caesar's irregular ambition had brought 
things to such a pass that it was impossible for any government 
to keep strictly within the law in resisting him. His justifica- 
tion, if there be one, is rather to be sought in the decay of 
ancient ideas, in the disorganisation and corruption of the 
existing system of the Eepublic, in the fact that the altered 
circumstances of Rome required a new form of government, 
and impelled men by an irresistible tendency to seek it under 
the authority of a personal ruler. Such a consummation had 
been already foreshadowed by the consulships of Maiius and 

240 Review of tJu Situation, ch. xlv. 

Oinna, by the dictatorship of Sulla, by the wide and protracted 
commands entrusted to Pompeius and Csesar. Such autocracies 
had satisfied the nobles, so long as they were wielded by the 
chiefs of their own order. The people were no less disposed 
to accept them, if only they might choose their sovereign for 
themselves. The men of philosophic mind who still clung to 
the ancient forms of the Republic, under which liberty had so 
long flourished, were aware that those forms had ceased to be 
living realities, and that license rather than liberty now grew 
tmder their rank shelter. 

Two letters exist which purport to have been addressed 
to Caesar at this juncture. Though ascribed on insufficient 
authority to the historian Sallust, they probably express the 
sentiments of men of his class and character. In them Csesar 
b invited to assume the government as the man who alone can 
remedy the disorders of the state. * Save Rome,' exclaims the 
writer. * Save this mighty empire from decay and dissolution. 
Infuse a new element of life into this corrupt and disorganised 
populace by introducing numbers of foreign citizens. Crush the 
factions of tyrants at home, and extend far abroad the roots of 
the Roman community. Exact military service from all, but 
limit the term of it. Let the magistrates be chosen for their 
virtues, not for their wealth. Let the impartial eye of a 
supreme ruler watch over and control this reformed polity, so 
that neither fear nor favour nor private interest may interfere 
to stifle its free growth.' This exposition of the views of 
intelligent public men was supported by the mass of the middle 
class, the men who were working their way to wealth by trade 
and humble industry. A general distrust was felt of the 
ascendency of the nobles, who had so often resorted, in their 
own selfish interests, to a policy of revolution and proscription. 
At this very time it was reported that a list had been prepared 
of forty senators and many humbler citizens doomed to slaughter, 
and Csesar^s accession to power was anticipated as an era of 
peace and security. Great weight accrued to Csesar's cause 
from the favour in which he was held among the foreign subjects 
of the Republic. To them monarchy was more familiar than 
the forms of a commonwealth, from whose franchise they were 
themselves for the most part excluded. Caesar was personally 
beloved by multitudes who had never seen him, as the patron 
of the subject races. Not satisfied with the incorporation of 

XH. xLv. CcBsar crosses the Rubicon. 241 

the Italians^ he had advanced the Oispadane Gauls to the 
franchise, and the Gaals beyond the Po and even beyond the 
Alps might expect similar favour at his hands. In Greece and 
in Asia he had attached many communities to himself by his 
liberal policy. Foreign nations might well hope that Caesar was 
.preparing, like a second Alexander, to mould the whole Roman 
world into a mighty monarchy under equal laws. 

The tribunes had quitted the city on the night of January 6. 
The consuls thereupon repaired to the camp of Pompeius, 
virtually resigning their authority to him. Fresh u.c. 705, 
troops were levied, but the legions in Spain were ^-c* **• 
left as a check upon Caesar in his rear. Arms and money 
were forcibly collected, and the temples of the Italian towns 
were rifled of their treasures. Caesar, who was informed of his 
enemies' plans, received the news of these proceedings by an 
express. He at once appealed for support to the one legion he 
had with him at Kavenna. On the 15th he sent forward some 
cohorts to the Rubicon, the frontier of his province, some twenty 
miles distant. The same evening he followed in person and 
crossed over with a small detachment. At Ariminum he was 
joined within a month by two legions. Three legions he 
stationed at Narbo to watch the Pompeian forces in Spain, 
while the remainder of his troops were concentrated in Southern 
Gaul, ready to face either east or west as occasion might 
demand. The actual force of the invaders, barely 6,000 strong, 
could hardly have resisted their opponents, who counted thrice 
their number. But as soon as the news reached Rome that the 
Rubicon had been passed, Pompeius, seized with consternation, 
marched through the southern gate of the city, and was followed 
along the Appian Way by a crowd of citizens terrified at the 
bare idea of an onslaught of Gaulish barbarians. 

Some pretence at negotiation followed, and Pompeius was 
encouraged by the defection of Labienus, Caesar's best officer. 
Caesar advanced ; Arretium, Iguvium, and Auximum promptly" 
received him. The road to Rome lay open ; but hearing that 
his adversaries were crossing the peninsula to the Adriatic 
coast, he turned to the left, traversed Piceniuu, took Cingulmn 
and Asculum, and attacked the important fortress of Corfinium, 
where Domitius with a small garrison had been stationed. 
The latter called upon his fleeing general for support, but 
Pompeius coldly refused, and continued his march. In vain 


242 Flight of Poinpeius. ch. xlv. 

did Domitius prepare to stand a sie^e. No sooner did Caesar 
appear before the place than the garrison delivered it, with 
their commander, into his hands. Caesar, with characteristic 
clemency, spared his captive and gave him his liberty — the first 
instance perhaps of such magnanimity in the history of Roman 
civil wars, though not the last in Caesar's generous career. 
Whatever the officers might do, the soldiers of the garrison 
joined the victor's standard with alacrity, and his forces swelled 
to formidable numbers. As he advanced, the Italians, alienated 
by the fierce denunciations of Pompeius, pronounced in his 

Meanwhile Pompeius, without a halt, led the consuls and 
magistrates to Bnindisium, whence he at once despatched 
several legions to Epirus, remaining himself to accompany the 
last of his divisions. Caesar arrived at the gates in time to 
dispute his embarkation, but being destitute of ships, was unable 
eft'ectually to hinder it. 

In sixty days Caesar had made himself master of Italy. In 
face of heavy odds and confident predictions of failure he had 
accomplished this enterprise. Meanwhile his rival was dragging 
the nobles of Home aftei him in his rapid and ignominious 
flight. In vain did they clamour to be led against the invader, 
and heap reproaches on their chosen champion. He was not to 
be diverted from his plans ; and he would not disclose them. 
At last, as he stepped on board at Brundisium, the love of 
home and country prevailed with many over every other feeling, 
and again the Appian Way was crowded with knights and 
senators; but this time with their faces towards the city. 
Many of these no doubt were indolent voluptuaries, who could 
not bear to forego their accustomed luxuries ; but others were 
good citizens, who began to suspect some treachery in their 
leader. The ominous words were often in his mouth, ' Sulla 
could do this, why should not I ? ' — a warning that no victory 
of Caesar was now so much to be dreaded as a victory of 
Pompeius. Those who clung to his fortunes were the needy 
spendthrifts and reckless adventurers of the party who hoped 
to profit by an abolition of debts and confiscation of properties 
on their return. 

The flight of the great captain was not a mere panic, but 
part of a settled plan. His object was not to restore the chiefs 
of his party to power, but to grasp it for himself. He would 

CH. xLv. . Ccesar enters Ro?ne, 243 

call upon the servile nations of the East to trample on the free 
citizens of Western Europe. War against Italy ! war against 
Rome I was the cry of the most daring and profligate in his 
camp. * We will starve the city into submission ; we will not 
leave one tile upon a roof throughout the country/ was echoed 
by Pompeius himself. 'He left the city/ says Cicero, *not 
because he could not defend it, not as driven out of it ; but this 
was his design from the first, to move every land and sea, 
to call to arms the kings of the barbarians, to lead savage 
nations into Italy not as captives but as conquerors. He is 
determined to reign like Sulla, as a king over his subjects ; and 
many there are who applaud this atrocious design.' 

The flight of the consuls and the senate left Osesar in 
possession of Italy and of Rome, and with them of all the 
material and moral resources he required. Cicero, whom he met 
in Campania, declined to follow him, and his scruples Caesar 
could aflbrd to respect. His first business, however, was to 
assure the citizens that the}' had no slaughter nor pillage to 
fear from him. He entered the city unattended ; and while he 
engaged to give 2,000 sesterces to each of his soldiers, and 300 
to every citizen, he made no requisitions, but de manded only 
the treasure hoarded in the temple of Saturn beneath the 
Capitol. The gold here deposited was believed to be the actual 
ransom of the city recovered from the Gauls by Camillus, and 
was held sacred to the one purpose of repelling a Gallic 
invasion. The tribune Metellus forbade it to be seized, but 
Caesar pushed him aside. ' The fear of a Gallic invasion/ he 
said, * is for ever at an end. I have subdued the Gauls.* 

In the absence of the regular government the city was 
placed under militai'y control j but it was of the utmost impor- 
tance to secure the regular supply of corn, and the granaries of 
Rome, Sardinia, Sicily, and Africa were all held by Pompeian 
lieutenants. Sardinia was quickly mastered by Caesar's troops, 
and Curio had no difticulty in driving Cato out of Sicily ; but 
when he passed on with his troops into Afiica he met with a 
stubborn resistance. Aided by the Numidian Juba, the Pom- 
peians engaged him on landing and speedily overpowered him. 
Curio was slain, his troops were driven back into Italy, and 
Africa remained to Pompeius. 

Leaving Rome under the command of Lepidus. and Italy 
under that of Antonius, Caesar set outPfor ^pamVo'^'l go/ he 
B 2 

244 Ccesar conquers Spain, ch. xlv. 

said; ' to engage an army without a general ; I shall return to 
attack a general without an army/ On bis way thither he was 
delayed by the defection of Massilia, which had been stirred up 
by Domitius to declare for Pompeius and the senate. Caesar 
left a considerable force to blockade the place, and hurried on 
to take command of the three legions which had preceded bin* 
into Spain. His position there soon became precarious. He 
was in want both of money and of provisions, and his camp 
was cut off by a flood which swelled the rivers Segre and 
Cinga, and swept away the bridges. The enemy exulted in the 
certainty of his destruction ; but by the use of light coracles, 
such as he had seen in Britain, he maintained his communica- 
tions. When the two armies met face to face a parley ensued, 
and the Pompeian legions, with little hesitation, passed over 
to his side. 

This rapid conquest of Spain was soon followed by the 
reduction of Massiiia. Domitius, however, again escaped, and 
rejoined his associates in Epirus. The western provinces of the 
empire were now completely Caesarian. Seciu-e in his rear, the 
conqueror could direct his undivided forces against his only for- 
midable opponent, from whom he had just wrested the principal 
strength of his army. Caesar was still at Massiiia when he 
learnt that the people of liome had proclaimed him dictator. 
It mattered little that the appointment had been irregularly 
made, that he had been nominated by the praetor and not by 
a consul, that he had been acclaimed by the people instead of by 
the senate. It was better that he should rule under a known 
historical title than with none at all. The people rejoiced 
to see themselves at last governed by a master of their own 
choosing, and forgot that his power rested on the army and not 
on themselves. Caesar did not forget it, neither did his soldiers. 
The ninth legion mutinied at Placentia, and demanded the 
rewards he had promised them at Brundisium ; but he sup- 
pressed the revolt with firmness and severity. His position 
was once more secure. 

The special need for a dictatorship at this moment arose out 
of a fiscal crisis. The large class of debtors and repudiators, 
who had supported Caesar's schemes, demanded their reward in 
the shape of a cancelling of their debts. Numbers of citizens 
had been reduced by the money-lenders, who charged interest 
of froTp twelve to forty per cent., to a state of intolerable bondage. 

CH. xLv. Ccesar's wise Measures, 245 

These were the men who had favoured the conspiracy of Cati- 
line, and they confidently expected from Osesar a forcible inter- 
ference in their behalf. A precedent was not wanting in the 
history of the republic of a compulsory reduction of all debts by 
three-fourths. But the dictator, absolute as he was, refused to 
listen to this cry for confiscation. He appointed arbiters for 
the valuation of debtors' property, and insisted on its sale. The 
only relief he would afford the bankrupts was to disallow the 
claims for usurious interest, and to distribute grants of land 
among the most distressed. An ample largess of corn added to 
the general contentment. An amnesty was also granted to all 
those who had been exiled by Pompeius, excepting Milo and 
Antonius, the consul who had taken the field against Oatilina. 
Oaesar held the dictatorship only eleven days, and did not even 
appoint a master of the horse. He then caused himself to be 
elected consul together with Servilius Isauricus. The other 
magistracies were conferred upon his adherents with every due 
formality, and before issuing from Rome to join his legions at 
Brundisium, he declared war against the public ene^ny, at the 
Latin feriae, on the Alban Mount. 

Nothing was now wanting to the regularity of his govern- 
ment : neither the decrees of the senate, for he had assembled 
more than half that body at Rome, nor the election of the 
people, the sanction of the curies, and the taking of the auspices 
on the spot appointed by custom and religion. Caesar, as pro- 
consul, was a rebel from the moment he quitted his province ; 
but as soon as he became consul legitimately installed, the 
right, in the eyes of the Romans, passed to his side, while his 
adversaries were changed into enemies and traitors. The re- 
presentative of the people had become the guardian of usage 
and public order, while the champion of the oligarchy derived 
his arbitrary power from the passions of a turbulent camp. 
Such was the political aspect which the struggle had now 
assumed, though, in reality, the contest was one of personal 
rivalry between the two chiefs. 

d by Google 

246 Review of the Opposing Forces, ch. xlvi. 



In the eyes of the Eastern potentates Pompeius was still the 
greatest captain and statesman in the world. From Galatia 
and Oappadocia, from Thrace, Oilicia, and Commagene, kings 
and princes obeyed his call, and assembled at Thessalonica, 
bringing with them a host of horsemen, bowmen, and slingers. 
For the nucleus of his army he had five legions which had 
followed him from Italy, and four more which he had sum- 
moned from their stations in the East. Nine complete legions 
may have amounted to 45,000 men : the cavalry and auxiliaries 
may have swelled the number to 100,000 ; the motley host of 
the allies was countless. These swarms of soldiers had to be 
dispersed, for the country could not maintain them together. 
Moreover, half the legionaries were raw levies which required 
careful training. Pompeius bad another difficulty to contend 
with in the rival pretensions and discordant counsels >erf his 
officers. Lentulus, Marcellus, Domitius, the regenade Labienus, 
Oato, and Cicero were all striving to gain his ear and sway his 
judgment. Thus during nine months did Pompeius make his 
preparations and mature his plans on the coast of Epirus. 

Cs&sar could boast no such mighty armament, but his legions 
drawn from Spain and Gaul, from Italy and the Cisalpine, 
were for the most part tried and trained veterans, devoted to 
his imperium, and their officers were no less staunch. With 
such a force at his command, wielded by one mind, striking like 
a single arm, Cresar need not encumber himself with numbers. 
At the end of the year 49 he was ready at Brundisium to 
embark with seven legions, numbering only 15,000 men and COO 
horse. Pompeius held command of the sea with a fleet of 500 
galleys ; but Bibulus, who commanded it, was careless, and 
Ctesar boldly crossed the Adriatic with the first division of his 
forces. His transnorts. in returninsr to fetch the second di^i- 
sion, were interceptei, and Csesar had to content himself with 
evasive movements, till M. Antonius could equip a second 
convoy and bring over the remainder of his troops. 

On the voyage Antonius was driven by the winds to a point 

cH. xLvi. Ccesar attacks Pornpeius. 24J 

a hundred miles away from where his chief was stationed, and 
Pompeius, who lay between them, might easily have over- 
powered him. But this he failed to do. CsBsar effected his 
junction with his lieutenant, and, throwing himself between 
Pompeius and his magazines at Dyrrachium, calmly proceeded 
to draw lines of circumv illation round his enemy on the 
promontory of Petra, where his camp was pitched. This 
manoeuvre did little harm to Pompeius, who could draw his 
supplies from the sea ; but the spectacle of the great Pompeius 
thus blockaded by his daring nssailant gave an impetus to the 
favour in which Csesar s cause began to be held even in the 
countries where he was least known. Greece and Macedonia 
assured him of support, and thus encouraged, he pressed his 
blockade of Petra, and reduced his enemy to great straits by 
cutting off the streams which supplied his camp with water. 
Pompeius would not face his assailant, but led a large force 
round to attack him in the rear, and in this, their first encounter, 
he utterly routed Caesar's troops, and might have destroyed 
him altogether. Caesar fell lick upon his new friends in 
Macedonia and Thessaly, and Pompeius was urged to seize the 
opportunity of recrossing the Adiiatic and making a bold stroke 
for tlie recovery of Italy and Rome. But the East had still too 
strong a fascination for him, and turning his back once more on 
Home, he directed his forces on Macedonia, though too late to 
overtake his rival, who had already penetrated into Thessaly, 
and occupied the great valley of the Peneus. 

The nobles in the senatorial camp amused themselves with 
quarrelling over the expected spoils of war, and both Cato and 
Cicero were so disgusted by their truculent threats that they 
stayed behind in lilpirus. 

Pompeius at length moved southward from Laiissa and 
offered battle to Caesar, who stood posted on the banks of the 
Enipeus, not far from the conspicuous hill on which towered 
the fortress of Pharsalia. In spite of his superior numbers both 
of legionaries and of cavalry, without counting his host of 
foreign auxiliaries, Pompeius for a long time shrank from the 
issue of battle. 

At length on August 9, shortly before noon, the Pompeian 
army deployed on the plain, with the stream of u.c. 706, 
Enipeus on their rght. The Caesarians, less than ^'^' **• 
half their number of infantry, and vastly inferior in cavalry, 

24S Battle of Pharsalta, ch. xlvi. 

promptly accepted the challenge. Their left wing rested on 
the stream ; their right was covered by the few squadrons of 
brave German horsemen which formed the whole of Oaesar^s 
cavalry. The Pompeian infantry were ordered to await the 
onset of the enemy. Caesar commanded his legions to charge, 
and this they did with effect, wasting no force upon the 
slaughter of the barbarian allies, but pressing hard upon the 
Roman legions. The cavalry of Pompeius charged in their 
turn, clothed in complete armour, and outnumbering their 
German opponents seven times. The latter bravely withstood 
the shock, striking at their enemies' unprotected faces, and 
slowly retiring upon their supports. This cavalry contest 
decided the battle. The Pompeian horsemen broke their ranks 
and retired in disorder. Caesar seized the opportunity to bring 
up his reserves, and charging at the same moment both in 
front and in flank, he threw tbe Pompeian infantry into 
disorder. As soon as Caesar saw that fortune had decided in 
his favour, he gave orders to spare the Roman citizens, but to 
destroy the foreigners. Pompeius had already withdrawn to 
his camp, and when he found that his routed battalions were 
in full flight, he mounted his horse and galloped oft' towards 

Pompeius seems to have risked his whole fortune upon the 
issue of this one battle. No provision was made for the con- 
tingency of defeat; no attempt to rally the forces of his 
powerail, though broken, party. Passing by Larissa, he gained 
the ^gean coast near the mouth of the Peneus, and there 
embarked on board a merchant ship with a few of his officers. 
At Lesbos he picked up his wife Cornelia, and as he passed 
along the coast of Asia he was joined by a few more of his 
adherents. The wild idea of taking refuge with the king of 
Parthia seems to have occurred to him, but this was overruled, 
and he steered instead for Egypt, where he would be inacces- 
sible to an enemy destitute of a fleet, and where he might 
yet hope to collect his friends, and prepare for another 

The fugitive arrived at Pelusium with about 2,000 men. 
By the will of the late king his daughter Cleopatra was destined 
to wed her brother Ptolemaeus, then a mere stripling, and to 
reign conjointly with him under the guardianship of a council 
of state. Cleopatra, hovrever, had been expelled the kingdom. 

CH. xLvi. Death of Pompeius. 249 

and was at this momeiit tbreatening to invade it, and recover 
her rights by force. The king's army was drawn up on the 
eastern frontier to oppose her, and the small band of Pompeius 
might have secured the victory to either party. The royal 
council determined not to accept his dangerous alliance, but at 
the same time to prevent him from joining the other side. He 
was treacherously inveigled into a boat without an escort, and 
there murdered, his head cut off, and his body cast into the 
surf, whence it was shortly washed up on the beach. His 
freedman recognised the mutilated corpse, and burnt it on a 
rude pyre made from the wreck of a fishing boat. The ashes 
he buried in the sand, and placed over them a stone, on which 
he trailed, with a blackened brand, the word ' Magnus.' Thus 
perished the great Pompeius at the close of his fifty-eighth 
year, and such were the sorry honours paid to the last hero of 
the Commonwealth — to him who had gsdned three triumphs 
over the three continents of the ancient world, had been thrice 
consul, and once without a colleague, whose proconsulate had 
extended over the East and West alternately, who might 
have demanded the dictatorship, and perhaps have seized the 

The victor of Pharsalia never failed to improve his suc- 
cesses by promptness and decision. He left one division to 
watch Oato in Illyricum, and another to complete thereductiori 
of Greece. Attended only by a squadron of horse and one 
legion, he hotly pursued Pompeius by way of the Hellespont, 
'where he received the submission of Oassius. Thence he 
'marched across Asia Minor and Syria, and taking ship from the 
Syrian coast, reached Alexandria with 4,000 men a few days 
after the death of Pompeius. The head of his enemy was 
shown to him, but he turned from it with horror, and ordered 
the remains to be honourably interred. 

When Caesar marched into the capital with the ensigns of 
a Koman consul at the head of his army, the people took 
offence, and bloody affirays began between the Oaosarians and 
the men of the Egyptian army. Caesar, who was in want of 
money, soon got possession of the king's person ; at the same 
time he admitted Cleopatra to an interview, became enamoured 
of her, and avowed himself her lover and her champion. The 
young king's advisers trembled for their lives, and raised the 
populace against the intruders, who ^ere shut up in a confined 

250 ' Vem\ ViJz, Vici! ch. xlvi. 

quarter of the town, and reduced to great straits for want of 
water. To keep open his retreat by sea Osesar fired the 
Egyptian fleet, and in the conflagration thus caused, the great 
library of the museum, with 400,000 volumes, was destroyed. 

Caesar's position in the midst of a hostile population became 
more and more precarious. In vain he attempted to seize the 
isle of Pharos by a coup de main. He was repulsed, and only 
saved his life by swimming, bearing (it was said) his Commen- 
taries in one hand. At length the reinforcements he was 
waiting for arrived, and enabled him to assume the oflTensive. 
Ptolemoeus perished. The Egyptians submitted, and Cleopatia 
was established as their queen. 

Caesar, whose finances were at a low ebb, felt his mouth 
watering for the treasures of Egypt, the richest country in the 
world. Perhaps it was the need of gold rather than the fasci- 
hations of the ^ Serpent of the Nile,' which caused him to delay 
three months longer in the country. But he was roused to 
action by the encroachments of Phamaces, the son of Mithri- 
dates, who had taken advantage of the divisions of the re- 
public to attack his neighbours Deiotarus and Ariobarzanes. 
These princes, though they had just been fighting on the side 
of Pompeius, appealed to Calvinus, Caesar's lieutenant, for 
help. Calvinus received orders to support them, but he was 
worsted in battle, and Pharnaces overran Asia Minor. In 
April, 47, Caesar quitted Alexandria, landed at Tarsus, traversed 
Cilicia and Cappadocia, and encountered the barbarian host at 
Zela, in Pontus. In one battle he overtlurew and destroyed the 
power of Pharnaces. In five days the war was at an end. ' I 
came, I saw, I conquered,' was the boastful phrase in which he 
announced his success to the senate. Pompeius had taken 
years to subdue Mithridates. 

It may be imagined with what anxiety those who remained 
in Rome watched Caesar's operations in Epirus and Thessaly. 
Even the victory of Pharsalia scarcely set their minds at rest, 
for they heard that the conqueror was plunging still further 
into the distant East. Nevertheless his adherents removed the 
statues of Pompeius and Sulla from the Forum, and even his 
secret enemies were constrained to join in demonstrations of 
sympathy and confidence. Power, practically unlimited, was 
conferred upon him by successive decrees, and in October, 
B.C. 48, Caesar was created dictator fertile ^second time, and 

cH. xLvi. CcBsar returns to Rome, 251 

also tribune of the people for his Kfetime. He appointed M. 
Antonius his master of the horse and commandant in Rome. 
Brave, but violent and dissolute, Antonius had neither the 
vigour nor the prudence which the situation required. Rumours 
of Osesar's perils at Alexandria began to circulate, and en- 
couraged some of his opponents to ventura on seditious dis- 
turbances. Antonius hesitated, uncertain how to act, until a 
personal affront from the tribune Dolabella, who had intrigued 
with his wife, aroused his passion ; he attacked the turbulent 
mob with arms, and filled the streets with slaughter. It 
was well that the dictator appeared in person in September, 
B.C. 47. 

Caesar's return was marked by no proscriptions. lie did, 
however, confiscate the estates of Pompeius, and of others 
who were still in arms against him. During the three months 
he remained in Rome he worked hard at reconstructing the 
government ; he nominated himself and Lepidus as consuls for 
the ensuing year, and caused himself to be again created dic- 
tator. To his partisans and to tbe people he was lavish of his 
gifts, but some of his legions, notably the tenth, were dissatis- 
fied. They marched in open mutiny from Campania to Rome 
to demand the fulfilment of their general's promises. Caesar 
mustered them in the Campus, approached them unattended, 
and invited them to declare their grievances. His presence 
daunted them ; they could only ask for their discharge. ' I 
discharge ycu, Quirites,' replied the imperator, and they shrank 
abashed by his rebuke. So purely military had been the rela- 
tion between themselves and Caesar, that they felt it a humilia- 
tion to be now no more than citizens. 

Caesar now departed to crush the remainder of his enemies 
in Africa. Cicero had already returned mournfully to Italy, 
but the deh^ of Pompeius' mighty army had gradually been 
assembled in Africa under the command of Scipio, Cato, and 
Cnaeus Pompeius. The seven days' march of Cato and his 
legions through the desert, torrid with heat, and infested with 
serpents, w recorded with pride by Roman writers as the 
boldest exploit of their soldiers, and a monument of Cato's 
intrepid endurance. 

The forces commanded by Scipio amounted to ten complete 
legions, and the Numidian Juba could bring 120 elephants and 
multitudes of light cavalry into the field. The officers of this 

252 Suicide of Cato. ch. xlvi. 

great army began to discount their future triumphs, but the 
want of money, and the want of unity among their chiefs, 
forced them to await inactively the attack of their enemy. 
Scipio, the imperator, Varus, the proconsul of the province, and 
Juba, the Numidian king, contended for the supreme command. 
Oato, alone of the chiefs, acted with his single- minded patriot- 
ism. His associates got rjd of him by charging him with the 
defence of Utica, while they remained at Adrumetum. Early 
in the year 46 an envoy arrived with a summons to surrender 
to OsBsar the imperator. In reply they put him to death as a 
deserter. But Oaesar was not fer behind him. He landed at 
Leptis with five legions, and began at once to intrigue with 
the Mauretanian and Numidian princes. He then advanced 
and offered battle to Scipio, who shrank from it till Juba had 
u.c. 708, joined him. At length, on April 4, the armies met 
8.0.4"). on the field of Thapsus. Caesar's troops rushed 
eagerly to the attack, and their leader, abandoning his tac- 
tics, gave the word ^ Good luck I * galloped to the front and 
charged at their head. One after another the elephants, the 
Numidias cavalry^ and the legions of Scipio gave way. The 
resistance made was slight ; the rout of the Pompeians com- 
plete; the slaughter immense. Both Scipio and Juba fled 
tiom the field, but perished soon after. 

Oato and his officers were disposed to make a stand at 
Utica, but yielding to the entreaties of the inhabitants, they 
determined to surrender the city. When Ocesar approached, 
Oato invited his subordinates, and all who would, to escape by 
ship. For himself he determined to remain at his post. While 
the embarkation proceeded he sat down to supper with his son 
and some other attached friends, discoursing during the repast 
on the highest themes of philosophy. He then retired to his 
chamber to read Plato's volume on the immortality of the soul. 
During the night he stabbed himself with his sword, and the 
wound not proving immediately fatal, he tore it open with his 
own hands. Osesar, when he heard of it, lamented that he had 
lost the pleasure of pardoning him. But, in fact, Oato was too 
honest and consistent to submit to a tyranny, however merciful 
and beneficent. Life would have teen unendurable to him, 
except as a free citizen of a free republic. With the establish- 
ment of Oeesar's tyranny, Oato regarded his own career as 
prematurely closed, and deemed it his duty to extinguish an 
abortive existence. 

cH. xLvii. Honours and powers conferred on Ccesar, 253 



When Csesar returned to Italy in July, there was no limit to 
the fulsome adulation with which ^e senate heaped honours 
upon him. A supplication of forty days was decreed in honour 
of his victory. Two statues of him were put up, one of them 
inscribed to ' Caesar the demigod.* His image was to be borne 
in the procession of the gods at the lectisternia ; temples even 
were dedicated to Caesar's clemency, which were soon perverted 
to the worship of his own divinity. The seventh month of the 
year, the fifth of the ancient calendar, Quintilis, received the 
new name of Julius, which it still retains. The dictatorship 
was now conferred upon him for ten years, and with it the 
powers of the censorship for three years, by which means he 
acquired the right to revise the list of knights and senators at 
his will. He was authorised to nominate to one-half of the 
curule magistracies, the consulships only excepted, and to 
appoint governors to the praetorian provincas. In the senate 
he took his seat on a golden chair between the two consuls, and 
was the first to give his opinion. If he did noi yet assume the 
diadem, he wreathed his temples with laurel, and prefixed to 
his name the title Imperator. Nor was the glorious title of 
' Father of his country,' conferred by decree upon Camillus, by 
acclamation upon Cicero, withheld from Caesar. He celebrated 
four triumphs — over the Gauls, over Ptolemseus, over Phar- 
naces, over Juba; but he claimed none for the victory of 

Caesar's next care was to gratify his soldiers with ample 
largesses and the people with costly entertainments. A multi- 
tude, probably numbering close upon 200,000, were feasted at 
22,000 tables ; and after the banquet such shows were exhibited 
in the circus — such combats of wild beasts and gladiators — as 
had never been seen before. Over the theatre was stretched an 
awning of silk, the rarest production of the East; and the 
Komans were shocked to see some of knightly rank descend 
into the arena. Caesar also opened a new Forum, and paid special 
honours to Yeuus, his ancesti'ess and the patroness of his house. 

254 Ccesar's Triumphs and Clemency, ch. xlvii. 

As soon aa these ceremonies were over the imperator 
started, late in September, for Spain, to crush the lingering 
resistance to his rule still maintained there by Ongeus Pompeius. 
Oaesar had hitherto left this motley crew of adventurers and 
robbers to be dealt with by his lieutenants, but their ill success 
roused him to make an effort in person. After some months of 
warfare and not a little peril, he finally stamped out the revolt 
on the field of Munda in March, B.C. 45. Great numbers of the 
old republican party peiished ; among them Varus, Labienus, 
and Onaeus Pompeius himself. Sextus, the younger son of the 
great Pompeius, alone escaped, to lead a wandering life as 
chief of a band of outlaws, among the wild Iberian mountains, 
u.c. 709, Caesar then spent several mouths in settling the 
B.C. 45. affairs of the Western provinces, and re-entered 
Rome in September. 

On his return he celebrated a fresh triumph over the 
Iberians. Games and festivals followed, to the delight of 
the populace. At these there were present a wondrous con- 
course of all the nations of the Roman world. Moors and 
Numidians, Gauls and Iberians, Britons and Armenians, Ger- 
mans, and even Scythians. The Jews offered their homage 
gladly to the only Roman who had treated them with kindness 
and respect. Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt, was there, her 
crown in her hand, offering her treasures and her favours to her 
admirer and preserver. The subjects of the Empire entered 
Rome in Caesar's train, and thus inaugurated the union of the 
capital with the provinces. It is Caesar's glory that, when thus 
raised to the height of power, his hand fell heavily on none of 
his fellow-citizens. The nephew of Marius forgot the ruins of 
Carthage and the marshes of Minturnae, and scorned to retaliate 
the proscriptions of Sulla. Even Cicero, the most humane of 
his own party, was amazed at the victor s clemency. With 
generous good taste, Caesar ordered the restoration of the sta- 
tues of Sulla and Pompeius to their places before the rostra. 
Towards the institutions of the Republic he showed a similar 
deference. While grasping the substance of absolute power, 
he allowed the shadows of the old free government, the senate, 
the comitia, the magistracies, to remain almost unchanged. It 
is true that he had little restraint to fear from a senate of 
which two-thirds were nominees of his own. The number of 
this assembly was now raised to 900, and among the new 

en. xLvii. Ccesar's Autocracy, ^55 

additions were provincial allies, soldiers, perhaps even captives. 
Discredit fell upon the senate from the number and quality of 
these strange senators, but much more from the gross servility 
they displayed towards their master. Oajsar refused many of 
the prerogatives they offered him, but he retained, as champion 
of the people, the office of tribune, which rendered his person 
inviolable. He also consented that the imperium or military 
rule and the dignity of supreme pontiff should be made heredi- 
tary in his family. This provision marked before all the world 
his actual royalty, and though he never assumed the title of 
king, his golden chair and the regal magnificence of his robe 
denoted in all public assemblies his kingly power. 

The dictatorship for life, the consulship for five years, with 
the command of the public treasure, secured to Caesar the 
executive power of the state ; the imperium gave him the com- 
mand of its forces ; the tribunate gave him a veto on its legis- 
lation. As pjnncepSf or first man of the senate, he guided the 
debates of the national council ; as censor, or ciistos motntmy he 
controlled its composition. As chief pontiff, he could use the 
engine of the state religion to give a divine sanction to his 
acts. These various offices united to make him the autocrat of 
the Roman commonwealth; yet in assuming them he did 
nothing inconsistent with the forms and precedents of the 

There is good reason to think that in thus laying the foim- 
dation of his empire, Osesar aimed at something higher than the 
mere gratification of his personal ambition. By attaching to 
his own person distinguished foreigners, and promoting them to 
places of dignity in the city and in the senate, he gave the first 
impulse to the fusion of his world-wide dominion into one 
national body. With the same object in view he extended the 
franchise to the medical profession, who were mostly of Greek 
origin, and to other whole classes of subjects : he prepared to 
do the same for Sicily, the nearest and the oldest of the pro- 
vinces. Instead of endowing his veterans, after the manner of 
Sulla and Pompeius, with estates which they knew not how to 
cultivate, Ocesar preferred to reward them with gifts of monev', 
and to keep them under his standards ready for further service. 
As a further step towards the imification of his vast dominion, 
he set on foot an elaborate geogi'aphical survey of the Empire. 
He next undertook the preparation of a code of Roman law. 

256 Reform of the Calendar, ch. xlvil 

This had to be compiled from many sources, from thousands of 
recorded judgments aud precedents, from the edicts of prcetors 
and pontiffs, from ancient traditions and customs. Oicero had 
recognised the urgent need for such a work. Osesar did more ; 
he saw that it could be done, and had he lived ten or twenty 
years longer, he would have anticipated by six centuries the 
glory of the imperial legislator Justinian. 

Another work of great utility, the reformation of the 
calendar, was carried out by the great Julius, and posterity has 
called it by his name. As early as the days of Numa, the 
I'^ngth of the solar year, the period of the earth's revolution 
round the sun, had been fixed, with a remarkable approach to 
accuracy, at 365 days and six hours. At the same time a lunar 
year, or twelve lunar months, occupies a period of 364 days, 
and this latter number was taken as the basis of the old Eoman 
year, which accordingly fell short by eleven days and six hours 
of the true length of a solar year. In four years this de'ect would 
accumulate to forty-five days, which were made good by interca- 
lating every second year an additional month of twenty-two and 
twenty-three days alternately. Afterwards one day was added to 
the 354, so as to make the number 365, an odd one, which was 
thought more lucky. In order to compensate for this superfluous 
addition, the system of intercalating the short months was 
modified by a very intricate process. The pontiffs, who regu* 
lated the calendar, purposely shrouded their system in as much 
mystery as possible, and then used it to serve political or 
private ends. Thus they would arbitrarily add a month to one 
year, so as to extend the term of office of a partisan, or the 
date of a friend's debt falling due. In another year they would 
withhold the rightful addition of a month, in order to favour 
some provincial governor who had made his fortune and wished 
to return home. The uncei-tainty thus produced had become 
an intolerable grievance, and at the time of OBSsar's advent to 
power it had been aggravated by the neglect of the pontiflfe for 
several years to add any intercalary months at all, so that in the 
year B.C. 46 the calendar was eighty days in advance of the real 
date. The consuls who should have entered on their office on 
January 1, 46, really commenced their functions on October 13, 
47, Osesar, as chief pontiff, had made it his business to acquire 
a thorough knowledge of astronomy. He determined to correct 
the imperfections of the old calendar, and called to his aid 

CH. xLvir. C(Bsat^s Private Life. 257 

Sosigenes, tbe best astronomer of his time. He decided tbat 
the year 45 B.C., the first of the new era, should begin on the 
day of the first new moon after the shortest day. In order to 
efiect this, 90 days had to be added to the year 46. First an 
intercalary month of 23 days was inserted between the 23rd 
and 24th of February ; next at the end of November two extra 
months of 80 days each, followed by one extra week, were 
inserted. This year, B.C. 46, contained 446 days, and was long 
remembered as the year of confusion. On January 1, 45, the 
Julian calendar, which is substantially the same as our own, 
came into operation, with its ordinary year of 365 days, and the 
additional day in February every fourth year, or leap year, to 
compensate for the six hours left out of account in each of the 
intervening years. Oaesar^s calendar, though a great improve- 
ment on its predecessor, was not perfect. In the course of 
centuries the error accumulated to as much as twelve days, and 
this was again corrected by Pope Gregory XIII. in 1662, and 
provision was made in the Gregorian calendar to prevent any 
such error recurring in the future. This important correction 
was adopted in England in the middle of the last century ; it 
has never yet been accepted in Russia and in other countries 
where the authority of the Greek Ohurch prevails. 

Like almost all the great men of Home, Caesar had a passion 
for material construction, but only a few of the great works 
which he designed were completed or even commenced. The 
substructions of his basilica and his forum are the sole remains 
of them which can now be traced. 

In private life Gaesar took a leading place among the intel- 
lectual men of his time. It is pleasing to learn how the bitter- 
ness of political strife was softened among Roman statesmen 
by social intercourse of a cheerful, kindly nature. Literature 
and philosophy, especially that of the Epicurean school, con- 
tributed to the interest of a refined and genial society. Osesar 
drew around him a group of thoughtflil, scholarly, large- 
minded men, among whom he could unbend from the cares of 
empire and give himself up to festive mirth. At table he was 
distinguished for his moderation; but his numerous amours 
excited much scandal, and none more so than his passion for 
Cleopatra, whom he had installed in his palace and gardens on 
the other side of the Tiber. The noblest Romans, not excepting 
Cicero himself, flocked to her receptions, but when it waa 


258 His Superstition, His Haughtiness, gh. xlvii, 

rumoured that Caesar meditated raising this barbarian foreigner 
to the dignity of his wife, public feeling was shocked at such a 
vinlation of religious and social customs. Cleopatra did indeed 
bear him a son, but if he ever cherished a wish to maiTj her, h^ 
refrained from gratifying it. 

In religion Csesar was an uncompromising sceptic. He had 
no belief in a future state, the foundation of all religion, and h« 
set at nought the omens and auguries of the priests. Yet he 
failed to shake himself free from the thraldom of superstition. 
He crawled on his knees up the steps of the temple of Venus to 
propitiate Nemesis. He addressed a prayer to the gods before 
the battle of Pharsalia, and appealed to the omens before 
crossing the Rubicon. He even carried about with him in 
Africa a certain Cornelius, a man of no personal distinction, 
but whose name might be deemed propitious on the battle- 
fields of Scipio and Sulla. 

In his intercourse with the Roman magnates, the repre* 
sentatives of the republican patriciate, Caesar was not so much 
at ease ; indeed, to some extent he stood in a false position. 
Autocrat though he was, he still professed to be the first citizen 
of a republic ; and the grandees of Rome, accustomed to perfect 
equality in their intercourse with one another, were mortified 
at what seemed to them his haughty and capricious bearing. 
He, for his part, must have been keenly alive to the fact of his real 
sovereignty, and however modestly he might choose to represent 
his position, he would be disposed to exact deference and 
courtesy from those who seemed inclined to presume. He was 
their master, and it was right that they should know it. Once, 
when the senators came in a body to communicate to him their 
decrees in his honour, he received them without rising from his 
seat. After all, his natural and most befitting place was at the 
head of bis legions, to whom his imperium was an acknowledged 
sovereignty. He accordingly projected a fresh war of conquest 
in which Parthia wSs to be subdued up to its farthest limits ; 
and when this should be accomplished, he proposed to return 
across the Tanais and Borysthenes, subduing the barbarians of 
the North, and finally assailing the Germans in the rear. At 
the close of the year 45, he directed his troops to assemble in 
lUyricum, there to await his arrival. He contemplated a long 
absence, and provided for the succession of chief magistrates 
for the two follovnng years. On January 1, 44, he entered on 
his fifth consulship, with M. Antonius for his colleague. 

CH. xLviii, He declines the Diadem. 259 



The destined heir of Caesar's imperium was ali'eady in the 
camp at ApoUonia, taking lessons in arts and arms under the 
ablest teachers. Caius Octavius, the son of Caesar's sister's 
daughter, now in his nineteenth year, though delicate in health, 
was a youth of high promise. Caesar had shown him much 
favour, had advanced his family from the plebeian to th« 
patrician class, and had allowed it to be understood that he 
purposed to adopt his great nephew as his son, and to bequeath 
to him his patrimony and the dignities which the senate had 
declared hereditary in his family. The idea of a dynasty and of 
the hereditary succession of their rulers was unfamiliar to the 
Republican Romans, but it began now to be whispered, both 
among his friends and his foes, that Caesar would Uke to be 
hailed as king. Two or three attempts were made to give the 
people an opportunity of adopting the suggestion spontaneotisly ; 
but these were not responded to, and Caesar cautiously pre- 
tended to deprecate such an honour. At length, on February 
15, the day of the Lupercalia, a more determined effort was 
made to get the title conferred on him by acclamation. Caesar 
presided over the festival, seated on his gilded chair. The 
consul Antonius, who was taking a prominent part in the 
ceremonies, approached the dictator with a diadem, and offered 
it to him as the gift of the Roman people. Some faint applause 
was heard, but when Caesar put the tempting circlet from him, 
a loud burst of genuine cheering rent the air. On the diadem 
being again offered, Caesar exclaimed, 'I am not king; the 
only king of the Romans is Jupiter:' and he ordered the 
diadem to be suspended in the Capitol. 

The dictator's prudence had baffled any attempt to excite 
public feeling against him ; yet among many of the nobles a 
bitter hostility was aroused by the bare thought that any man 
should presume to lord it over them as a king. A plot was 
formed for his destruction by sixty or eighty conspirators, 
among whom were some who professed the warmest devotion 
to him. Decimus Brutus had received the government of the 
Cisalpine from him. Trebonius, Casca, Cimber, and others 

s 2 

26o M. Junius Brutus, ch. xLvm. 

had received various marks of his favour, O. Cassius, who 
was most likelj the author of the plot, had recently been ap* 
pointed prsetor. He was a vain, vindictive^ jealous man^ whose 
pale looks and acrid humour had not esct^ped Oaesa/s watchful 

The conspirators required the charm of a popular name to 
sanction their projected t}Tannicide. M. Junius Brutus, the 
nephew of Oato, pretended to trace his descent from a third son 
of that foimder of the Republic who had not scrupled to take 
the life of his own two eldest sons. His mother was of the 
family of Ahala, the slayer of Spurius Mselius. His wife, 
Porcia, was the daughter of Oato, a woman of masculine spirit, 
firm and severe like her father. Brutus himself was a weak, 
vain, unstable man, who affected the character of a philosopher, 
yet clutched with sordid — even iniquitous greed at the emolu- 
ments of public life. Of all the Pompeians he had been the last 
to join, the earliest to desert the banner of the Republic. After 
Pharsalia he successfully courted the favour of Oaesar, who 
raised him to an eminence which pleased and dazzled him. The 
weakness of his character may be estimated from the means 
employed to work upon him. A paper affixed to the statue 
of the ancient Brutus with the words, * Would thou wert now 
alive;* billets thrust into his hand inscribed 'Brutus, thou 
sleepest ; thou art no longer Brutus,* shook the soul of the 
philosopher to its centre. Oassius, who had married his sister, 
easily drew him into the plot, and pretended to regard him as 
its chief support and contriver. His name struck a chord of 
association which ensured a large measure of popular sympathy 
whenever the deed should be done. So long as Caesar remained 
in the city, opportunities would not be hard to find, for he 
insisted upon going about unarmed and without escort, pro- 
testing that it was better to die at once than to live always in 
fear of dying. But so soon as he should quit the city for the 
camp, his safety would be assured by the fidelity of the soldiers. 
It was apprehended, not without reason, that once more at the 
head of the legions he would not return as a citizen to Rome. 
Nay, it was possible that he might not choose to return to Rome 
at all, but transfer the seat of empire to some new site, Ilimn, 
perhaps, or, if the charms of Cleopatra should retain their power, 
perhaps Alexandria. 

Such considerations fbrbiade delay. The imperator's departure 

t:H. xLviiL Assassination of CcesaK 261 

was imminent. The senate was convened for the Ides of 
March, the loth of the month, and it was determined to strike 
the blow at the sitting of that day. Hints of impending danger 
reached Osesar's ear ; even the inauspicious day was brought 
to his notice ; he would fain have excused himself from attending 
the assembly. But his fears were laughed away by Decimus, 
and he went. As he moved through the Forum to the theatre of 
Pompeius in the Campus more than one person tried to warn him 
of his danger. As he passed the Augur Spurinna he observed 
to him pleasantly, ' The Ides of March are come.' * Aye, Caesar,' 
replied the sage, * but they're not gone.' He entered the hall, 
his enemies closing around him, and keeping his friends at a 
distance, Trebonius being specially chained to detain Antonius 
at the door. On his taking his seat, Oimber approached with a 
petition for his brother's pardon. The other conspirators joined 
in the supplication, grasping his hands and embracing his neck. 
Csesar put them from him gently, but Cimber seized his toga 
with both hands and pulled it over his arms. Then Caeca, 
who was behind, drew his dagger, and grazed his shoulder with 
an iU-directed stroke. 0«sar disengaged one hand with a cry, 
and snatched at the hilt. ' Help I ' cried Casca, and in a moment 
fifty daggers were aimed at the victim. CS»8ar defended him* 
self for an instant, and wounded oneuan T>i4th has stylus^ but 
when he distinguished Brutus in the press, the steel flashing iik 
his hand also, ' What ! thou too, Brutus ! ' he exclsimed, let go 
his grasp of Casca, and, drawing his robe over his &ce, made 
no ^rther resistance. The assassins Stabbed Mm through «nd 
through, and he fell dead at the foot of Pompeius* statue. 

By the time the deed was done, the conspirators found 
themselves alone in the hall. Senators, lictors, attendants, all 
had fled. Antonius had slipped away unobserved to his own 
house. Great consternation fell on the citizens, who expected 
riot and massacre to follow; for while Decimus had armed 
some gladiators for his own and h's friends' defence, the city 
was filled with Cseaai's veterans, and Lepidus with a legion was 
just outside the walls. 

The assassins now marched to the Forum to seek the public 
approval of their deed. They shouted that they had slain a king 
and a tyrant, lut they met with no response. Dismayed by 
this cold reception, they took refuge with their armed guards on 
the Capitol^ and were joined there during the evening by Cicero 

262 Antoftins grasps dt Power. ch. xlviii. 

and others of the RepublicaD party. Next day Brutus descended 
into the Forum and tried to stir the populace by a speech. He 
was coldly listened to, and finally driven back to his refuge 
on the Capitol. During the past night Antonius had not been 
idle J he had secretly obtained from Calpumia, Caesar's wife, 
the dead man*s will, and his private treasures. With the help 
of his brothers he had also appropriated two million sesterces 
from the public treasury. Provided with these resources, he 
had made overtures to Lepidus, and received his promise of 

Antonius, the minister and favourite companion of Caesar, 
was regarded by many as his natural successor. Hitherto 
known chiefly for his bravery and dissipation, he was now about 
to display the arts of a consummate intriguer. He opened a 
negotiation with the liberators, and with their consent, as consul, 
convened the senate on March 17, near the Forum ; but the 
murderers dared not leave the Capitol, and the discussion of 
their deed was carried on in their absence. 

The majority of the senate would have declared Caesar a 
tyrant ; but Antonius pointed out that this course would have 
the effect of annulling all his acts and appointments, and there- 
upon those who were interested in maintaining them resisted 
the proposal with all thdr might. 

At length, by the advice of Cicero, a compromise was 
agreed to. No judgment was pronounced either upon Caesar 
or his murderers, but an amnesty or act of oblivion was decreed, 
which left Caesar s acts unchallenged, and yet assured the safety 
of the liberators. The populace acquiesced, and invited the 
latter to descend from the Capitol, Antonius and Lepidus 
sending their children as hostages. The dictator's assignment 
of the provinces was then confirmed. Trebonius succeeded to 
Asia, Cimber to Bithynia, Decimus to the Cisalpine, while 
Macedonia was secured to Brutus, and Syria to Cassius, on the 
expiration of their term of ofiice at home. Antonius, however, 
remained master of the situation. If Caesar was not a tyrant, 
his will must be accepted, and his remains interred with public 
honours. Antonius recited the will to the people, in which 
Caesar nominated Octavius his heir, and bequeathed his gardens 
by the Tiber to the Roman people and 300 sesterces to every 
citizen. The liberality of their departed favourite exasperated 
the rage of the people against his murderers. The funeral 

CH. xLviii. Obsequies of Ccesar, ^.63 

pyre had been built in the Campus Martius, but the body lay 
in state in the Forum on a bier of gold and ivory. At its head 
bung the victim's toga hacked by the assassins' daggers ; the 
twenty-three wounds by which his life blood had ebbed away 
were represented on a wax figure visible to all. Antonius, as 
chief magistrate of the Republic, now stepped forward to recite 
the praises of the mighty dead. The people, deeply moved by 
the sad spectacle before them, had been further excited by 
dramatic representations of the deaths of Agamemnon and Ajax 
by the treason of their nearest and dearest. Antonius read the 
decrees which had heaped honours upon Caesar, had declared 
his person inviolable, his authority supreme, himself the father 
of his country. Then he pointed to the bleeding corpse which 
neither laws nor oaths had shielded from outrage, and vowed 
that he would avenge the victim whom he could not save. 
The people, in a frenzy of enthusiasm, insisted upon burning the 
body where it lay in the midst of the Forum. Chairs, tables, 
brushwood, were hastily piled together and the body laid upon 
them. The temple of Castor and Pollux stood hard by, and 
it was averred that two majestic youths, armed with sword 
and javelin, were seen to apply the torch. As the flame rose, 
the veterans hurled in their arms, the matrons their ornaments, 
even the children's trinkets were devoted. The foreigners 
present in the city, Gauls, Iberians, Africans, Orientals, were 
not behind the citizens in their demonstrations of reverence 
and grief for the dead. The success of Antonius was complete. 
The people, excited to fury, seized burning brands, and rushed 
to fire the houses of the conspirators. These attempts were 
repulsed, but Brutus and his associates dared not show them- 
selves in public. Antonius now interfered to stop the rioting 
with armed force ; he also took steps to conciliate the senate ; he 
passed a resolution abolishing the office of dictator; and he 
proposed the recall of Sextus, the last survivor of the Pompeii. 
He at the same time communicated with the liberators Brutus 
and Ca.ssius, who were in hiding, and offered them his good 
offices and protection. In return for all this, he asked one 
favour — the right to enlist a body-guard for his own protection. 
The senate weakly assented ; and in a short time he had 6,000 
men under arms. 

The senate had confirmed Caesar's acts, and this sanction 
Antonius caused to be extended to those which had been 

264 Octavius claUns the ch. xlviii. 

merely projected. He himself possessed all Gsesar's papers, 
and, having gained his secretary, Faberius, could forge autho- 
rity for anything he chose. Everything lay at his feet, and 
things which Ottsar had not dared to do, Antonius did in his 
name. By the sale of places, and even of provinces, he quickly 
amassed wealth, and proceeded to purchase senators and 
soldiers and tributary sovereigns, even his own colleague Dola- 
hella. Thus supported, he coolly reversed the dictator's dis- 
position of the provinces, depriving Brutus and Oassius of their 
promised governments, claiming Macedonia for himself, and 
giving Syria to Dolahella. ' The tyrant is dead,' murmured 
Cicero, ' but the tyranny still lives.' This was strictly true, and it 
might surely have been foreseen. The crime of tbft liberators 
had borne no fruits, and therefore was a blunder and a fdlly> 
Within a week Antonius had set himself up as a second tyrant 
hardly less powerful than the first. But another aspirant now 
enters upon the scene; a third tyrant, more powerful than 
either Cs&sar or Antonius, but craftier and more fortunate, was 
about to seize the sovereignty, and establish the empire of 



The young Octavius, busy with his martial exercises among the 
legions at Apollonia, was surprised by the news of Caesar's 
assassination. His mother's letters determined him to return 
to Rome, and before he started he received an assurance that 
the legions would support him. On landing in Apulia almost 
alone, he first learnt the contents of Caesar's will, his own 
adoption and inheritance. He at once boldly assumed the name 
of Caius Julius Ceesar Octavianus, and presented himself to the 
soldiers at Brundisium as the adopted son of the great impe- 
rator. He was received with acclamations; the friends of 
Caesar began to fiock around him, but the young adventurer 
wisely declined any display of force. In temperate language 
he addressed the senate, clainoing, as a private citizen, the 

CH. xLix. Inheritance of Ccesar, 26^ 

inheritance of a deceased father. As he passed through 
Oumae he visited Cicero, and gained his lavoiirable opinion. 
At the end of April he entered Home, and found that Antonius 
was absent from \he city. 

Despite the warnings of his moti&er, this youth of eighteen 
years Resented kimself before the praetor and claimed Caesar's 
inheritance. He harangued the peopk, and pledged himself to 
discharge the sums bequeathed to them by his father. 

Before the return of Antonius in May, Octavianus had 
made many friends and conciliated many enemies. In a 
Mendly tone he reproached Antonius for leaving the assassins 
unpunished, and demanded of him Csesar^ treasures. The 
consul replied that none such existed ; the money left had all 
been public treasure, and was already spent. Octavianus, un- 
dismayed by this failure of resources, proceeded to sell what 
^remained of Cd&sar's property, and all his own, borrowed of his 
friends, ana at length amassed a sufficient sum to discharge the 
obligation he had assumed. The people were delighted by this 
generous sacrifice, and Antonius perceived with amazement 
that his youthful rival was not to be despised ; but the influence 
he had already gained with the people was too strong to h% 
shaken either by craft or violence. 

Meanwhile the conduct of the liberators was timid aud 
uncertain. Dedmus had indeed repaired to his government in 
the Cisalpine ; Cassius, on receiving a pressing invitation from 
the legions in Syria, yielded to Cicero's counsel, and, in defiance 
of the decree which had superseded him in favour of Dolabella, 
set out for his province. Brutus still lingered on the coast of 
Campania, and, only after long delay, nerved himself at last to 
the task of calling tlie patriots to arms in Greece and Macedonia. 
Cicero had actually embarked to join these conspirators in the 
East, but being driven ashore in Calabria by stress of weather, 
could not be persuaded to quit the £oil of Italy, and turned his 
steps, with mournful presentiments, towards Rome. In the 
West Sextus Pompeius had appeared at the head of a powerful 
fleet on the coast of Gaul, and encouraged the rising hopes of 
the Republicans. In the city and in the senate Antonius still 
reigned supreme by force of arms, balanced only by the growing 
autliority of Octavianus. 

On September 1 the senate was convoked, and Ottsar's 
name was to be enrolled among the Roman divinities. An- 

266 Cicerds Philippics ck. xlix. 

tonius seized the opportunity to attack Oicero, who had returned 
to Rome the day before, but was not then present, threatening* 
to demolish his house on the Palatine. Next day, in the 
absence of Antonius, Cicero defended his own conduct both 
in leaving the city and in returning to it ; and then turning 
to the administration of Antonius, he burst into an eloquent 
invective. He denounced the consul's arbitrary exercise of 
power, his venality, his hypocrisy, the falsehood by which he 
had sheltered his own unlawful deeds bebind the pretended 
authority of the dead imperator. The senate listened with 
admiration, and their applause warmed the orator to renewed 

In this the first of Cicero's great orations against Anto- 
nius, known as the Philippics, in allusion to the harangues of 
Demosthenes against Philip of Macedon, be confined himself to 
denouncing the policy of his enemy, and left his personal 
habits untouched. A few days later Antonius retorted upon 
Cicero with a violent tirade against the orator s entire career, 
accusing hire of the murder of the Catilinarians, the assassi- 
nation of Clodius, the rupture between Caesar and Pompeius ; 
denouncing him to the legions as the secret contriver of their 
hero's death. Cicero prudently kept out of the way of the 
armed guards of Antonius ; he retired to his villa near Naples, 
and the two enemies, though they continued to wage this war 
of words, never saw each other alive again. 

All this time Octavius was silently advancing his projects, 
and undermining Antonius' position. By promises and lar- 
gesses he was seducing the soldiers from their allegiance. On 
October 8 the consul hurried off to Brundisium to stay the 
defection of his legions, which, he heard, had been tampered 
with. Octavius at the same time left the city to visit his 
parent's colonies in Campania, Umbria, and the Cisalpine, 
among which he collected 10,000 men. He also made 
strenuous efforts to gain Cicero, and through him the senate, 
whose sanction he required, to give legality to his enterprise. 
He loaded the pliant statesman with compliments and caresses, 
calling him his &ther, and promising docility and obedience. 

Antonius, too, was acting with energy and decision ; by a 
combination of severe punishments and liberal promises, he 
succeeded in reclaiming some, at least, of his wavering batta- 
lions. He then returned to Rome to denounce Octavius before 

CH. xLix. against Antonius. 267 

the senate for levying troops without authority, but only to 
find that two of his legions had just passed over to his rival* 
His position was becoming untenable. Sulla, Marius, Oeesar^ 
Pompeius, every party leader, had in turn abandoned the city, 
where the senate was paramount, to recruit his forces in the 
field. Antonius had received from the senate the government 
of the Cisalpine, and he now summoned Decimus to withdraw 
from that province ; but the Republican proconsul would only 
yield to force. Antonius then raised his standard at Tibui*, 
and marched to Ariminum at the head of four legions ; Lepidus 
was marching from Spain to join him with four more. Pollio, 
with four others, remained in Spain, and Plancus, with an 
equal number, was in Farther Gdul. These were the forces on 
which it was thought Antonius might rely in his contest with 
the Republicans, but they were widely scattered. The loyalty of 
the soldiers was imcertain, that of their commanders still more 
80. Octavius had by this time collected five legions under his 
command at Arretium, and occupied an independent position, 
ready to side with either party, or to fall upon the \ictor. 
Many citizens supported his pretensions, and the senate itself 
accepted him as llieir champion. 

Such was the complication of afiairs in the month of 
November. Oicero meanwhile was working with feverish 
anxiety to unite all parties against Antonius. He exhorted 
Decimus ; he caressed Octavius ; he watched eagerly for the 
action of Brutus and Oassius, Trebonius and Cimber in the 
East. In the West he trusted mainly to the loyalty of Hirtius 
and Pansa, the consuls elect. The moment had arrived for the 
publication of the second Philippic, already poliahed in private 
to the keenest edge of satire. It branded Osesar as a traitor and a 
tyrant, Antonius as a monster. It directed the eyes of all to 
Oicero himself as the mainstay of the Commonwealth, and called 
on every citizen to arm. The effect was electrical. Both people 
and senate repudiated and defied the iniquitous usurper. The 
consuls elect were confirmed in their loyalty to the Republic by 
the outburst of public feeling. Oicero, elated by the applause 
which echoed around him, felt himself for the moment the 
chief of the Conmion wealth, and enjoyed the noblest triumph 
of any Roman since the days of Africanus or Camillus. 

Before the end of the year Antonius had confined Decimus 
within the waHs of Mutina. The senate urged Octavius to 

268 Combinution against Ataonius. ch. xlix. 

attack him ; but it was not till the spriDg of the year 43 that 
he took the field in conjunction with Hirtius and Pansa, the 

Daring their absence from the city, Oicero, though without 
an office, was allowed to take the helm of affairs. Ilis eloquent 
harangues inspired all men with confidence and devotion. He 
filled the treasury with voluntary contributions from the loyal 
and fines levied on the disaffected. He maintained an active 
u.c. 711, correspondence with the chiefs in the provinces, 
B.C. 43. assuring each in turn of the constancy of all the 
others, and encouraging them with glowing accounts of the 
strength and resources of the party. 

Antonius was compelled to raise the siege of Mutina by the 
advance of Hirtius and Octavius. While pretending to nego- 
tiate with them, he suddenly turned upon Pansa, who was on 
his way to join them, defeated, and mortally wounded him. 
Hirtius saved the beaten force from utter rout, and a few days 
later, in conjunction with Octavius, inflicted a defeat on the 
Antonians. Hirtius lost his life in this engagement, and thus 
both consuls were stricken down. The senate and people at 
Rome, overjoyed by the victory, carried Oicero in triumph to 
the Oapitol, and sainted him as the true victor of Mutina. The 
contest seemed to be at an end. Decimus was pursuing An- 
tomos; Plancus was advancing to block the passes into Gaul; 
Brutus and Oassius in the East, and Seztus <m the 4sea, all seat 
tidings of success. 

Before he expired, the consul Pansa warned Octavius that 
the senate meditated treachery towards him, and advised Mm 
to be reconciled with Antonius. The crafty young schemer 
had already determined on that course. He quarrelled with 
Decimus as the murderer of his father OsBsar. He let Antonius 
know that he had no wish to crush him, and stood aside to allow 
him to effect a junction with Lepidus in the Transalpine. 
Plancus terminated his long indecision by casting in his lot 
with the stronger party, and thus Antonius found himself at 
the head of twenty-three legions. 

This was the dreadful reality to which the senate now 
awoke from their dream of easy victory. They had thought to 
use Octavius as their tool^ and then to cast him aside. He 
had asked for and been refused the consulship. He now 
crossed tthe Rubicon at the head of eight legions^ and marched 

CH. xLix. The second Triumvirate^ 269 

on Home to seize the prize by force. Some feeble attempts at 
defence were made, but one after another the senators and 
consulars slipped through the gates and went over to the in- 
truder's camp. Cicero, alarmed for his safety, made his escape* 
On September 22 the people pretended to elect Octavius to the 
consulship, with his kinsman Pedius for colleague. Next day 
the audacious stripling completed his twentieth year. The^ 
first act of the new consul was to summon the murderers of 
Caesar before his tribunal. Judgment passed against them by 
de&ult, and they were interdicted fire and water. 

Octavius was now in a position to make terms with 
Antonims on a footing of equality. Placed between two such 
powers, and deserted by li^ancus, Decimus was lost. His 
troops deserted from him wholesale. He tried to escape into 
Macedonia^ but was captured and put to death by Antonius. 
The blood of the assassin cemented the union between the 
Cflesarian leckders. Towards the end of October, Antonius, 
Lepidus, and Octavius met near Bononia to share their conquests 
between them. It was agreed, after three days' parley, that 
Octavius should resign the office of consul, while, under the 
title of a triumvirate for the establishment of the Conunon- 
wealth, the three chiefs should reign together over the city, 
the consuls, and the laws. They claimed absolute authority 
irrespective of senate or people, together with the power of 
appointing te all the magistracies. The provinces were par* 
titioned as follows ; Italy was to be held in common by all 
three ; the two Gwols fell to Antcmius ; Africa and the islands 
fell to Octavius. These two, with twenty legions each, were 
to carry on the war, while Lepidus, with Spain and the 
Narbonensis for his province, was to control the empire from 
Rome in the interest of all three. The troops were satisfied 
with the promise of largesses and estates, and insisted that 
Octavius should espouse a daughter of Fulvia, wife of An- 
tonius, as a ratification of the compact. 

The triumvirs now sent an order to Pedius to slay seven- 
teen of their principal adversaries. The order was promptly 
executed, but Pedius died from horror and disgust at being 
made the instrument of such a slaughter. The triumvirs then 
marched into the city, and occupied the temples and towers 
with their troops under arms. On November 27 the trium- 

. i.«-rkr .. —JUigitized by 

Yirate was proclaimed. Before qmttmg Rome to combat the 

270 Murder of Cicero: ch. xlix. 

murderers of Caesar in the East, the triumvirs' determined to 
leave no enemies behind them. A formal but limited proscrip- 
tion was decreed. Each picked out the names of the victims 
Jie personally required, and each purchased the right to pro- 
scribe a kinsman of his colleagues by surrendering one of his 
own. The list was headed vrith the names of a brother of 
Lepidus, an uncle of Ajitonius, and a cousin of Octavius. Cen- 
turions and soldiers were sent in quest of the doomed men, and 
a good many probably perished without warrant. The heads 
of the proscribed were affixed to the rostra, but the triumvirs 
did not always pause to identify them. 

On the other hand, many of the proscribed escaped ; some 
to Macedonia, some to the fleet of Sextus Pompeius. Cicero 
himself was not overtaken till a month later. On the first 
news of the proscription, Cicero took refuge with his brother in 
an island near Antium, and even made good his escape to sea ; 
but instead of proceeding in all haste to Macedonia, he twice 
disembarked, and at length retired to his villa near Formiae. 
The danger of delay was imminent ; his slaves placed him in a 
litter and hurried him towards the shore ; but the opportunity 
■had been lost. He was pursued and overtaken by the assassins. 
Cicero's party was the more numerous, and would have drawn 
in his defence, but he forbade them. The Ktter was set down, 
and, fixing his eyes upon his murderers, Cicero offered his out- 
stretched neck to the sword. The head was severed from the 
body and carried to Rome, where Antonius set it up with 
exultation in front of the rostra. Fulvia, it is said, pierced the 
tongue with her needle, in revenge for the sarcasms it had 
uttered against both her husbands. 

Amid such scenes of horror the year came to a close. On 
January 1, 42, Lepidus and Plancus became consuls. In spite 
of the general mourning and dismay, they insisted on celebra- 
ting the commencement of their reign with public festivities. 
Both of them claimed and held a triumph for victories unknovm 
to history. ' The consuls triumph,' said the soldiers, ' not over 
the Gauls but over the Germans 1 ' Each of them had in fact 
sacrificed a brother in the proscriptions. The massacres had 
now ended, but funds were needed, and a period of confiscation, 
forced loans, and heavy requisitions, ensued. 

The citizens were made to swear obedience to ,all Caesar's 
laws, and to accord him divine honours. Octavius undertook 

CH, T^Lix. Brutus and Cassias, '2yi 

to drive Sextiis out of Sicily, but found the straits too strongly 
guarded by his piratical fleet Antonius crossed without delay 
to the coast of Epirus, 



The Greeks took little interest in the political struggles of their 
Koman masters, though they had a traditional preference for 
republican forms, Athens, the capital, the head-quarters of 
philosophy, was a sort of university, frequented by aspiring 
youths of every nation. Among these was the genial satirist 
known to us as the poet Horace. 

Brutus, the philosopher, on presenting himself at Athens 
and claiming the government of the province, met with a hearty 
reception and ready support. The Pompeian veterans, scattered 
through the country since Pharsalia, flocked about him ; the 
arsenals, the revenues, the forces of the province were placed at 
his disposal ; and in the army which he proceeded to organise, 
many of the Roman students at Athens received commistiuns : 
among them ihe young pcet Horace was made a tribune. The 
neighbouring kings and rulers sided with the new governor, 
who soon overpowered the partisans of the triumvirs. 

Oassius, who, since the Parthian campaign of Grassus, en- 
joyed a high reputation in the East, haid established himself 
with equal success in his province of Syria. It seems strange 
that these two Republican leaders, with ample forces at their 
disposal, made no effort to resist the usurpation of the triumvirs 
in Italy. Probably both of them were very much in the hands 
of their soldiery, who preferred marauding expeditions against 
weak and wealthy enemies such as Rhodians and Lycians, to 
severe fighting against well-trained legions as poor as them- 
selves. Both Brutus and Gassius did in fiEtct devote themselves 
mainly to extracting booty from the regions subject to their 

Laden with the plunder of Asia, the armies were about to 

^y2 Battle ofPhitippi. cr. e. 

pass over iDto Macedonia. It is related that Bnitufl, wliile 
watching in his tent one night, beheld standing before him a 
terrible phantom, which en being questioned replied, ' I am thy 
eyil demon ; thou shalt see me again at Philippi.' The Epicu- 
rean Oaflsius made Bght of the apparition. With 30^000 foot 
and 20,000 horse, well-appdnted troops, he had no misgivings. 
The triumvirs meanwhile were advancing across Macedonia 
with a still more numerous host, but owing ta their weakness 
u.c. 712, ftt sea they were but ill-supplied. The two armies 
B.C. 42. came face to face about twelve miles east of Phi- 
Hppi. Antonius was opposed to Cassias next the sea ; Octavius 
fronted Brutus more inland. Oassius, aware of his enemy's 
shortness of supplies, tried to restrain the impatience of his 
colleague, but in vain. On the day of battle Octavius was 
ill ; his division was overthrown by that of Brutus, and he was 
carried off in the midst of his retreating army. But Antonius 
had inflicted an equal defeat on Oassius, and the latter, ignorant 
of his colleague's success, thought the cause lost, and slew himi- 
self in despair. 

The effect of this fatal deed was disastrous. Cassius, ac-' 
customed to command^ had exercised some control over the 
soldiers ; but the mild student who survived was powerless to 
do so. Despite his lavish largesses and easy discipline, numbers 
of them deserted his standard. Still the army of the triumvirs, 
straitened for provisions, was in little better condition, and 
could Brutus have refrained from fighting, he might have won 
a bloodless victory. Instead, he renewed the battle of PhiJippi, 
after an interval of twenty days, on the same ground. This 
time the Osesarians broke the ranks of their opponents and 
assailed them in their camp. Next day Brutus found that his 
reserve of four legions refused to fight, and he had no resource 
but to follow the example of Oassius and commit suicide. 

Antonius and Octavius were now completely successful, 
and many important opponents of their policy fell into their 
hands, on whom they did not scruple to wreak a cruel 
vengeance. Octavius in particular is said to have shown him- 
self most implacable on this occasion. Some portion of the 
beaten army escaped with the fleet to reinforce the armament 
. of Sextus Pompeius. 

The victors now made a fresh partition of the empire, 
, Octavius taking Spain and Numidia, Antonius^ 'dl&tf beyond 

cii. L. Antoniiis and Cleopatra, 273 

tho Alps and Illyricum. The Cisalpine was for the first time 
combined with Italy itself, and the whole peninsula they held 
in common. Lepidus was contemptuously excluded from all 
share of the empire, but was afterwards allowed to take the 
small province of Africa. 

Octavius, still sufteiing in health, returned to Italy. Anto- 
nius remained in the East, where his own licentious nature 
was encouraged by the dissolute habits of the people. Forget- 
ting the claims of his soldiers, he lavit^hed his wealth upon 
himself and his parasites. Coarse and easy tempered, he loved 
flattery if seasoned with wit. He had seen and admired 
Cleopatra in Caesar's train, and, having reached Cilicia, he 
summoned her to appear before him to answer for having sided 
with Cassias in the recent contest. Cleopatra, confident in her 
ready wit and personal charms, s.iiled up the Cydnus to Tarsus 
in a gilded vessel, with purple sails and silver oars, to the 
sound of flutes and pipes. She assumed the character of 
Venus, and Antonius that of Bacchus. The two divinities 
held their gorgeous revels on board, and it was an easy matter 
for the wily Egyptian to gain the mastery over the rude soldier. 
Antonius cast away all thought of domestic claims and schemes 
of empire, and retired with her to Alexandria, to lose the 
world in her arms. 

Early in the year B.C. 41, Octavius arrived in Italy charged 
with the invidious task of settling the Caesarian veterans on 
the lands of the native proprietors. Fulvia, daring and am- 
bitious, was virtually ruling the state through her influence 
over the consuls. She resented the appearance of Octavius on 
the scene, and, hoping to win back her husband from his 
Egyptian charmer by stirring up troubles in Italy, she en- 
couraged the Italians to resist the assignment of their lands to 
the veterans. A short civil war ensued, but Agrippa, the best 
friend and ablest ofiicer of Octavius, shut up the malcontents 
in Perusia, and reduced them to capitulate by stress of famine. 
The news of Octavius' growing ascendency in Italy, together 
with an attack of the Parthians on Syria, at length aroused 
Antonius from his dream of pleasure. Despatching his lieu- 
tenant Ventidius to repel the Parthians, he started himself for 
Italy with some legions and a powerful fleet. At Athens he 
met his wife Fulvia, who upbraided him for his desertion of 
her ; but he letorted bitterly upon her, ancl s£ie soon after died 


274 Sextiis Pompeius. . ch. l. 

broken-hearted. Passing thence to the shores of the Adriatic, 
he made a compact with Sextus Pompeius, who transported 
him across the straits, and together they proceeded to plunder 
the south-eastern coasts of Italy. Sextus had heen so long an 
exile from Rome that he was looked upon as no better than a 
foreigner or barbarian ; and the man who in company with 
such an ally assailed the sacred soil of Italy, was justly regarded 
as an invader. When therefore Octavius drew the sword to 
resist his advance^ the people hailed him as the champion of 
their hearths and their gods. For the moment, however, the 
soldiers were stronger than the people. They compelled their 
chiefs to treat, and with the help of Oocceius Nerva, PoUio, 
and Maecenas, a new partition was arranged. Antonius re- 
ceived the whole eastern half of the empire from the Adriatic 
to the Euphrates. Octavius took the entire west, and Africa 
was abandoned to Lepidus. The peace was cemented by the 
marriage of Antonius, now a widower, with Octavia, the sister 
of the young Osesar ; and the rivals, outwardly reconciled, 
hastened to Rome to celebrate their alliance with games and 

Octavius, to whom the government of Rome now fell by 
right, controlled the mutinous disposition of the soldiers, and 
tranquillised the people by regular distributions of grain. He 
had already repudiated Claudia, the daughter of Fulvia, 
whom he married to satisfy the soldiers, and he now wedded 
Scribonia, a relative of Sextus Pompeius. This led to a re- 
conciliation with the wild sea rover. Sicily, Sardinia, and 
Corsica were assigned to him as his share of the empire ; and 
he was charged to clear the sea of pirates, as his father had 
done. The three chiefs banqueted together, not on land, where 
the imperators might be too powerful, nor at sea, where the 
pirate chief could make himself master of his guests, but on 
board a vessel moored within the harbour.' Msenas, an officer 
of Sextus, proposed to cut the cable and carry them out to sea ; 
but Sextus forbade it, muttering that Msenas should have done 
the deed, but not have asked leave to do it, Sextus still 
cherished some hopes of e japire, and alone among the Romans 
based his hopes on maritime ascendency. Surrounded by 
foreign adventurers, he had forgotten the habits— even, it is 
said, the speech — of a Roman. He affected to be the son of 
Neptune, and pretented to the honours of a demigod/^ 

cH. L. Agrippa creates a Navy. 275 

The ill-assorted alliance did not long continue. Octavius 
l^pudiated Scribonia, in order to espouse Livia, whom he 
forced from her husband, Tiberius Nero. Sextus was the first 
to arm, and Antonius, at the instance of his consort Octavia, 
assisted Octavius against him with a fleet of 130 galleys, in 
return for which he demanded 20,000 legionaries for the war 
he was preparing against Parthia. 

Antonius then rejoined Cleopatra in the East, sending his 
wife home to her brother's care. Msenas proved a traitor to 
bis own master, and with his aid Octavius soon recovered 
Sardinia and Corsica ; but his attempts at naval warfare were 
unsuccepsful till the conmiand was taken by the valiant and 
prudent Agrippa. 

On January 1, 37, M. Vipsanius Agrippa became consul, 
and set himself to the task of wresting the command of the 
seas from Sextus. Like the old heroes of Rome in their wars 
against Carthage, he had to begin by creating a navy. u.c. 717, 
For this purpose a commodious harbour was needed ^•^- ^^^ 
on the southern coast of Italy, and this he obtained by uniting 
the lakes Avernus and Lucrinus, near Naples, and admitting 
the waters of the sea to them. The artificial port thus pro- 
duced he named Portus Julius, in honour of his master. Here 
he prepared his galleys and exercised his seamen, and in the 
ensuing spiing he attacked Sicily at its three salient angles. 
Octavius in person conducted the assault on Messana, but was 
more than once repulsed ; Lepidus gave but little assistance. 
At last Agrippa completely defeated Sextus in the great sea- 
fight at Naulochus, and the latter collected his treasures and 
abandoned Sicily for the East. Antonius, however, would not 
receive him, but finally crushed him in another great naval 
battle. Lepidus ventured to match himself against Octavius in 
Sicily, but was quickly overcome. Octavius spared his life, 
and this most feeble scion of the great ^milian house lingered 
on through more than twenty years of retirement at Circeii. 

Digitized by VjOOQlC 


275 Cautions Progress of Octaviiis, ch. lt. 



On the deposition of Lepidus, his conqueror commanded not less 
than 45 legions, 25,000 horsemen, and 37,000 light troops; 
besides a fleet of more than 600 galleys. Bat he had now to 
reckon with his own victorious soldiers, who demanded large 
rewards in lands and money. To satisfy these claims Octavius 
imposed severe exactions, especially on Sicily. On his return 
to Rome, the people, rejoicing in the abimdance of corn which 
had followed on the clearance of the seas, received him trium- 
phantly. The senate would have heaped honours upon him, 
but he accepted only the trihunician inviolability, an ovation, 
and a golden statue. He declined to take from Lepidus the 

Deeply impressed by the fate of OsBsar, Octavius was very 
watchful over the safety of his own life. Though in reality 
engaged upon the enterprise of raising himself above the laws, 
he took no step however daring without trying to secure for 
it the semblance of legality. Before re-entering the city he 
rendered an account of all his acts to the people, excused his 
proscriptions by the plea of stem necessity, and promised 
clemency for the future. He proceeded to restore their ancient 
prerogatives to the magistracies : and the wise administration 
of Maecenas reconciled many enmities. Life and property were 
secured by tbe institution of a cohort of city guards. An 
active police scoured the whole peninsula, rooting out the bands 
of robbers, releasing many kidnapped freemen from the factories 
of the great proprietors, and restoring to their masters, or 
putting to death, multitudes of fugitive slaves who were at 

About midsummer of the year 36, Antonius had assembled 
100,000 men on the Euphrates to complete the conquest of the 
u.c. 7^8, Parthians. Cleopatra joined him on his way, but 
B.C. 36. ije gent her back to Egypt, promising soon to return 
to her there. The season was now so far advanced that he had 
to march in great haste, and on reaching Praaspa, 300 miles 
beyond the Tigris, he found that the engines needed for a siege 

CH. u* AnUnius at the Egyptian Court, 277 

Bad feUen far into the rear. He tried ta reduce the city by 
b'ockade^ but found his own supplies cut off by the Parthian 
horsemen, and was soon obliged to beat a hasty retreat. The 
severe winter of that elevated region was imminent, and his 
legions suiiered intense hardships duiing a march of twenty- 
seven daj; 8. Antonius hurried his weary soldiers, with great loss 
and suiiering, back to Syria, where Cleopatra met him, and with 
her he returned unabashed to Alexandria. 

The imperator chose to represent this shameful retreat as a 
victory, and Ocbivuis humoured his conceit, and so maintained 
a coi-dial understanding with> him. Octavia, howeiiex, deter- 
mined to make an effort to wean her husbaad from the fatal 
influence which enthralled him. She set out for the £ast^ 
carrying with her magnificent presents, clothing for his soldiers, 
beasts of burden, money, equipments, and a body-guard of 
2,000 picked men splendidly arrayed. At Athens she received 
a conuuand from her husband to advance no further,, and she 
had no choice but to return with dignity to Home. In the 
following year he made an inroad into Armenia, ti.c. 720^ 
carried otf king Artavasdes in gilded chains to ^•^- ^^ 
Alexandria, and, to the disgust of all Roman citizens, celebrated 
a triumph in the streets of his foreign capital. 

The Egyptian court now plunged into the gi'oesest de- 
bauchery, the queen leading tbe way, and contriving a suc- 
cession of new pleasures for the Roman voluptuary. If she 
would retain her seat upon the throne of the Ptolemies, she 
must keep her lover constantly amused. If she coidd succeed 
in converting him into an Oriental despot, she might yet bope 
to rule supreme upon the Capitol. All her talents, which were 
of the most varied kiud, were called iuto requisition,, as well as 
the lighter artifices of her sex. Painters- and sculptors grouped 
t'le illustrious pair together, and the coins of the kingdom bore 
the efiigies and titles of both. Masques and revels- followed in 
quick succession, and the princely lovers assume! the characters 
of Isis and Osiris. 

The rumours of these orgies caused much resentment at 
Rome, where Octavius was advancing in popularity, and 
beginning to fill the space in the public eye left vacant by 
Csesar^s death. His manners were affable, his u.c. 721, 
concern for the public weal unwearied. After the ^•^- •^^• 
leduction of Sicily, he had established a mild but firm govemr 

2/8 AntoHUis collects his Forces. ch. li. 

ment at Rome. lie had then encountered with success some 
of the rudest tribes amon^ the Alpine passes, in Dalmatia, 
lUyria, and the remote Pannonia. At the en d of three campaigns, 
in one of which he obtained the distinction of an honourable 
wound, the senate decreed him a triumph, but he deferred its 
celebration. Already at the beginning of 33, the rivals had 
entered upon angry recriminations, Antonius objecting that he 
had not received his share of troops and pro^dnces on the 
deprivation of Lepidus, while Octavius retorted by chai-ging 
him with the murder of Sextus, the capture of Artavasdes, an 
ally of the republic ; above all, with his scandalous connection 
with the Egyptian queen, and his acknowledging her child 
Oaesario as a genuine son of the dictator. Antonius, who had 
been preparing an expedition against the Parthians, suddenly 
changed the destination of his legions to Ephesus. Thither his 
officers were directed to bring numerous fresh battalions levied 
throughout Greece, Africa, and Asia. Thither, too, he summoned 
the barbarian chiefs from the Caspian to the Syrtis to assemble 
with their hosts of auxiliaries. Cleopatra contributed not only 
a contingent of troops, but a squadron of the most powerful 
galleys ever launched upon the Mediterranean. The object of 
all these preparations was not avowed. Antonius pretended 
to be absorbed in frivolities. He passed the winter at Samos, 
lavishing his resources upon a splendid Dionysian festival, and 
the new Bacchus repeated his former extravagances while tha 
empire of the world was trembling in the balance. 

During the year 32, the consuls were Domitius Ahenobarbus 
and Sosius, both nominees of Antonius; but their influence 
was counterbalanced by the defection of some important 
partisans from his cause. Plancus returned from the East, 
charged with the testament of Antonius, which he was to 
deposit in the custody of the Vestal virgins. This document he 
betrayed to Octavius. The senate learnt with horror that the 
renegade triumvir had recognised Csesario as the legitimate heir 
of Csesar, that he had distributed crowns and provinces among 
his own bastards, and directed his own body to be entombed 
with Cleopatra's in the mai:8)leum of the Ptolemies. No one 
could any longer doubt the truth of the rumours which asserted 
that he had pledged himself to subject Rome to the caprices of 
the queen of Egypt, to remove to Alexandria the eeat of empire, 
to prostrate the gods of the Capitol before the monsters of the 

cH. LI, Octavius proclaims War. 279 

IWe. All eyes were turned upon Octavius as the designated 
saviour of the nation and of i+s faith. He refrained, however, 
as yet from declaring Antonius a public enemy, and contented 
himself with proclaiming war against Egypt. With the sanci 
tion of the senate he assumed the consulship, with Messala 
for his colleague, at the beginning of the year 31. u.c. 723, 
At such a crisis the legitimate office was more ^•^- ^i- 
effective, as it had always been more popular, than any extra-» 
ordinary commission. 

To the remonstrances of his own friends, who urged him to 
dismiss Cleopatra, Antonius replied by divorcing his legitimate 
wife. Preparations for war were pushed forward on both sides. 
The forces of Antonius numbered 100,000 infantry and 12,000 
horse. He was supported by many kings and potentates of the 
East. His fleet counted 600 gaUeys, some of which had eight 
and even ten banks of oars. 

The infantry of Octavius was less by 20,000, his cavalry 
about equal, and his fleet, commanded by the skilful Agrippa> 
comprised no more than 150 ships, slighter but more manage- 
able than those of his enemy. Finding the straits unguarded, 
Octavius carried his troops over into Epirus, and from that 
moment defection began both among the Roman and barbarian 
leaders on the other side. Antonius thought himself surrounded 
by traitors, and required Cleopatra herself to taste all the viands 
set before him. 

Both on land and at sea the Western power began to assert 
its superiority in the preliminary encounter. The two armies 
had been gradually concentrated on the shores of the Ambracian 
gulf, which was occupied by the fleet of Antonius. Here 
Antonius challenged his rival to decide the contest by single 
combat, but received a contemptuous refusal. He began to 
despair of victory, and to meditate an inglorious escape by sea 
to Egypt, leaving his army to retreat as best it might into 

At length on September 2, at midday, with a light favouring 
breeze, the huge galleys of the Oriental fleet sailed forth into 
the open eea. Too unwieldy for attack, they were provided 
with ponderous defences, and the light vessels of Octavius 
could make but little direct impression on them. u.c. 728, 
The Liburnian triremes, however, were manoeuvred ^.c. 31. 
with activity and intelligence. They rowed round and round 

28o Battle of Actium. ch. li. 

their unwieldy adversaries, sweeping away their banks of oars, 
distracting their defenders with flights of arrows, and at last 
applying fire to the crippled monsters. In the midst of the 
flight Cleopatra's galley hoisted its sails, threaded the maze of 
combatants, and stood away for Egypt. Antonius leapt into a 
boat; atid hurried after her in disgraceful flight. The rage and 
shaine of his adherents filled them with despair; yet they 
Inaiirfained the contest with determination, till, one by one, their 
huge vessels took fire and burnt to the water's edge. Three 
hundred galleys were captured. 

The army on shore for some time refused to believe in the 
faint-hearted conduct of its chief; and it was not till Oanidius, 
the general in command, passed over to Octavius' quarters that 
the gallant legions could be induced to make their submission. 

On the point of land, the actS, which overlooked the scene 
of the battle, stood a little chapel of Apollo, known as the 
Actium. From this pLace the great sea fight, which decided 
the fate of Rome and of the world, derived its name ; and on 
this spot Octavius instituted the festival of the Actian games, 
which was celebrated every five years for many generations. 

The conqueror had nothing now to fear from Cleopatra and 
her minion ; he could allow their punishment to bide its time. 
Maecenas had bean left to govern Rome ; and Agrippa was now 
despatched to pacify Italy, which was still disturleJ, while 
Octavius visited Greece, and received a glad welcome from its 
people. Thence he passed on to Asia, where provinces and 
dependent kingdoms promptly submitted to him. During the 
winter he visited Rome for a few days, and was escorted from 
Brundisium by a crowd of citizens, knights, and senators. Once 
more he was forced to sell his own property and that of 
his nearest friends to satisfy the claims of his veterans ; and, 
promising an ample largess out of the spoils of Egypt, he 
started in the spring to complete his victory over the fugitives. 

The news of Antonius' defeat at Actium, and of the sub- 
mission of his land army, had preceded him to Egypt ; and on 
his arrival there he found his authority renounced by the 
Roman legions. He was hardly restrained from suicide ; but 
on rejoining Cleopatra at Alexandria he found her preparing 
with masculine activity to defend herself. One after another, 
however, her allies fell away from her, and then she conceived 
the idea of fleeing with her treasures to the utmost parts of 

CH. LI. Death of Antonius. 28 1 

Arabia. Some of her ships were even dragged across the 
Isthmus of Suez to the Red Sea, but were there destroyed by 
the Arabs. The project had to be abaudoned, as was also the 
still wilder scheme of taking flight to Spain and raising that 
turbulent province against the heir of Caesar. After an interval 
of sullen isolation. Antonius returned to his mistress, and 
plunged with her into recklesb orgies till the time should come 
for both to die^ 

Meantime both the one and the other pleaded for mercy 
separately from the victor. Antonius received no reply; 
Cleopatra was encouraged to hope for favour if she would rid 
the world of Antonius. Octavius was resolved to make her 
kingdom his own, but be wished to exhibit her alive at his 
triumph, and he was most anxious to possess himself of the 
treasiures of the Ptolemies, which she had it in her power to 
secrete or destroy. His agents suggested to her that Octavius 
was young and might yield to the power of her charms ; and 
in the hope of a last conquest she determined to betray her 
paramour. As the conqueror approached, Antonius, encouraged 
by some success in a cavalry skiimish, prepared to strike one 
blow for empire, but at that moment both his navy and his 
troops, seduced by the queen's artifices, deserted him. He was 
at the same time falsely informed that she had committed 
suicide. All was now over with Antonius, and he inflicted 
upon himself a mortal wound ; but before he died, the queen 
caused him to be conveyed to the tower in which she had taken 
refuge, and he expired in her arms. 

Octavius' first care on entering Alexandria was to secure the 
queen alive. This was accomplished with some difliculty ; she 
returned to the palace, resumed her state, and prepared to receive 
the visit of Octavius. Much depended for her on her success in 
this interview, and she used eveiy artifice to excite the pity if 
not the love of her young conqueror. Octavius fixed his eyes 
coldly on the ground, asked for a list of her treasures, and 
bidding her be of good courage, quitted her. Cleopatra was 
dismayed at her failure ; but on learning that she was certainly 
to be removed to Rome, she made up her mind to die. She 
retired to the tower of her mausoleum, where lay the body of 
Antonius, and was next day found dead with her two women. 
The manner of her death was never certainly known, but at the 
triumph of Octavius a wax image of her was carried in the 

282 Foundation of the cii. 1.1. 

procession, with the aims encircled by serpents, and this con- 
firmed the popular rumour that she perished by the bite of an 
asp conveyed to her for the purpose in a basket of figs. Her 
child by Julius was cruelly put to death ; the dynasty of the 
Ptolemies ceased to reign, and Egypt became a Roman pro- 

With the death of Antonius the period of civil wars and 
political strife comes to an end. The struggle so long main- 
tained by the people against the nobles has ended in the sub- 
mission of both parties alike to a supreme ruler. The hour has 
come, and with it has appeared the one man capable of using 
it for the establishment of a durable monarchy upon a firm 
foundation. Had Antonius triumphed at Actium, his profligate 
empire would have quickly fallen to pieces. The pre-eminent 
genius of Octavius is attested by the permanence of the edifice 
which he erected. The creations of his hand were rooted in 
the ancient ideas and habits of the people ; they stood the test 
of time, unlike the fabrics of SuUa's and Caesar's power, which 
quickly collapsed and peiished. We must now examine the 
system adopted by the real founder of the Roman empire, 
which endured in its main features for more than two cen- 
turies, and continued to animate the governments of Rome and 
Constantinople down to the commencement of modern history, 
if indeed it can be said to bo even yet extinguished. 



Aptee regulating his new province, Octavius made a progress 
through his Eastern dominions, rewarding his allies, and dis- 
possessing his enemies. He passed the winter at Samoa, 
wishing perhaps to allow more time for his proscriptions to be 
forgotten, before he returned in triumph to Rome. When at 
u.c. 726, last he reached the city, in the middle of 29, he waa 
B.C. 29. welcomed with enthusiasm. He had now to choose 
whether he would be a citizen of the commonwealth or its 
ruler. The firamework of the republican government still 

CH. LiL Empire by Augustus. 283 

existed ; both senate and people continued to exercise their 
prerogatives. Octavius himself professed only to wield a 
delegated authority. He had laid down the extraordinary 
powers of the triumvirate ; it was as consul commissioned by 
the state that he conquered at Actium and subjugated Egypt. 
His acts in Greece and Asia awaited the confirmation of the 
senate. So moderate and loyal did he seem, that his popularity 
was unbounded. 

As soon as the ceremony of his triple triumph was ended, 
Octavius ought by law to have disbanded his army, and laid 
down his command. This necessity he evaded, for the senate, 
eager to flatter and caress him, conferred upon him the title of 
Imperator, and allowed him to prefix it to his name, as Julius 
Osesar had done, whereby he became permanent conmiander 
of the national forces. Every ordinaiy command ceased the 
moment the Imperator entered the city, but Octavius, as em- 
peror, might wear the insignia of military power even within 
the city. This prerogative, indeed, he never exercised, and his 
example was followed by his successors. They generally relin* 
quished even the formal title of imperator in their ordinary 
intercourse with their subjects, and were content to appear as 
princes or premiers of the citizens. 

Having thus secured to himself the army, the instrument of 
substantial power, Octavius sought to disguise the real founda- 
tion of his authority by raising the estimation of the senate as 
the representative of the national will. Julius Otesar first, and 
after him the tiiumvirs, and especially Antonius, had degraded 
the senate by swelling its numbers to a thousand, and thrusting 
into it foreigners and men of low condition, Octavius now 
assumed the powers of the censorship, by virtue of which he 
ejected from the senate many who were unworthy to sit in so 
august an assembly, reducing the number to six hundred, and 
requiring strictly a property qualification. 

Upon the senate thus remodelled, Octavius conferred addi- 
tional dignity by placing himself at its head as Princeps, the 
most honourable of all republican titles, and one which had 
always been held for life. The military command he soon 
offered to resign, and, after a long afiectation of resistance, 
accepted it only for a term of ten years, but it was afterwaids 
repeatedly renewed to him. The powers both of the consul 
and of the censor, but without the titles, were in like manner 

284 Prerogatives of the Emperor, ch. lii* 

renewed to hiin from time to time, and by virtue of them he 
occupied the highest place in the city, and was recognised as 
the chief of the state, the head of both its legislative and 
executive departments, the organ of its ibreign relations. The 
Komans had been wont to say that their consul was, in fact, a 
king, checked by the presence ot a colleague, and by the limited 
term of his office. Octavius, however, holding his authority 
for life, and sitting paramount above the titular consuls, reigned 
under the forms of a republic as real king of the Romans. In 
addition to these powers Octavius claimed proconsular authority 
over the whole empire. As imperator he had shared with th« 
senate the administration of the provinces, choosing for his own 
those in which large armies were maintained ; he stDl generally 
allowed the senate to appoint the governors of the districts 
assigned to it, but even in these he now claimed an authority 
paramount to theirs. The prerogative of the emperor was 
completed by the acquisition of the powers of the tribunate, 
which were conferred on him in perpetuity. The chief value 
of this power lay in the popularity of its name. The peoplcj 
long accustomed to look upon the tribunes as the champions 
of their liberties, could not imagine that they were really the 
slaves of one who held that title. When Octavius, after the 
df ath of Ijepidus, assumed the dignity of sovereign pontiff, he 
combined in his single hand the most invidious instruments of 
patrician tyranny and plebeian independence. 

Nevertheless, while Octavius thus amassed one prerogative 
after another, he discreetly avoided drawing attention to his 
really sovereign power by the assumption of any distinctive 
title. Antonius had formally abolished the dictatorship. No 
voice was allowed to hail the new Caesar as * king.' Yet the 
teed was felt of some distinguishing name to express the new 
power which had arisen. Various titles were discussed between 
the emperor and his friends, and at length the epithet ' Au- 
gustus,' hitherto applied only to the temples and servicer of 
the gods, was proposed and determined on. The worship of 
Octavius as a god was spreading tacitly in the provinces, 
though as yet forbidden in Italy ; the name of Augustus gave 
a fresh impulse to the sentiment of adulation which already 
possessed the people. 

The question has often been discussed whether or no Julius 
Csesar had formed any definite scheme for the constitution of 

CH. Lii. His Conservative Policy. 285 

tlie Homan empire. It may well be that, Lad his life been 
prolonged, he might have moulded the whole mass of the 
citizens and subjects of Rome into one body politic under his 
own autocratic rule. Judging from his treatment of the Gauls 
both in Italy and beyond the Alps, it seems certain that his 
policy would have been to break down the barriers which 
divided citizens from subjects, and to fuse all the various races 
which peopled the Roman empire into one vast nation on the 
basis of equal rights, with one language and one law for all 
alike. The conquests of Alexander, with the consequent wide 
diffusion of the Greek tongue, had familiarised the world with 
this idea in practice, and the specidations of every school of 
philosophy encouraged mankind to look forward with longing 
to such a consummation, as the greatest blessing that could be 
conferred upon the human race- The Epicurean philosophy and 
the popular traditions inherited by Julius Osesar both inclined 
him to favour such ideas, which, to an old-fashioned Roman, 
must have seemed nothing short of revolutionary. 

The policy of Augustus was on this point, as on most others, 
diametrically opposed to that of his great uncle. Julius had 
fallen just as the throne had been attained ; Augustus, ever 
studious to avoid a like fate, marked his uncle's footsteps only 
to avoid them. Julius had openly, and without extenuation, 
grasped at kingly power ; his nephew strove by every means to 
disguise the reality of his own kingship behind the mask of 
republican forms. Julius had aspired to mould mankind into 
one great nation, and had thereby alienated the old national 
party in Rome. Augustus steadily opposed these subversive 
notions. Resisting all the pressure brought to bear upon him, 
he stoutly maintained that the Romans were a peculiar people, 
the born sovereigns of mankind, the conquerors and rulers of 
the world. This statement, however, must be understood with 
discrimination. Augustus, the child of the popular party, 
could not altogether repudiate the doctrines as the represen- 
tative of which he had risen to power ; he, too, extended the 
Roman franchise to the provincials, but always in a cautious 
and temperate manner, taking care to give due effect to the 
opposing doctrine which asserted the privileged character of 
the Roman people. The exact colour of his system, which had 
shifted its hues during his early career, seems to have been 
definitely fixed from the day when, arrajed against the foreign 

286 Law and Religion, ch. lti. 

forces of his rival Antonius, he came forth at tlie head of the 
senate, the people, and the gods of Home, as the champion of 
the whole nation, without respect to class or party. 

The extension of the Roman franchise was by no means the 
only matter concerning which a conflict of ideas was in pro- 
gress. Roman prsetors and proconsuls had carried the Roman 
law into every province of the empire, but they had also been 
compelled to take account of the usages and principles of juris- 
prudence already established among the conquered races, 
many of which were more in harmony than the hard old laws 
of Rome witb the advancing cultivation and humanity of the 
age. These foreign principles of law were gradually asserting 
themselves, and forcing their way even into the Roman Forum. 
There arose two schools of Roman lawyers, the conservative 
and the liberal. It has been already stated that Julius contem- 
plated a codification of Roman law, and it is probable that he 
aimed at a large modification of the old laws of the republic, 
so as to bring them into harmony with the more liberal juris- 
prudence of other countries. Augustus threw his weight into 
the opposite scale, and strove to preserve the ancient laws as 
little changed as possible. 

In the realm of religion the conflict of ideas was the 
hottest of all. For two centuries Rome had in vain attempted 
to maintain her old mythology and ritual in face of the new 
ideas which crowded in upon her from foreign parts. Now 
Greeks, Egyptians, Syrians, even Jews, as subjects of the 
empire, demanded the recognition and free exercise of their 
religious creeds and usages. The metropolis of the world had 
become the common receptacle of all existing beliefs and cere- 
monials. Here, too, Augustus exerted all his force to sustain 
and revive the old national traditions. For his own part he 
seems to have been devoid of all belief in any of the speculative 
systems current in his time, and derided the ideologists who 
were not content, as he was himself, with taking the material 
world as he found it, and putting it to its practical uses. But 
he perceived the danger of leaving the multitude to be tossed 
to and fro by a constant succession of new and exciting blasts 
of doctrine on such a subject. Augustus was engaged in con- 
structing a fixed and enduring order of affairs. Accordingly 
he repaired the crumbling temples, revived the priesthoods, 
and renewed the ancient ceremonials. The Fasti of the court 

CH. Lii. Conciliation of the NoUes. 287 

poet, Ovid, were, in fact, a calendar of the ritual of the year. 
The Romans were given to understand that their new chief, 
who had once saved their country from conquest, and their 
gods from desecration, had now placed the one under the pro- 
tection of the other, and bound them together by a pledge of 
mutual recognition. 

The policy of Augustus was on all sides essentially reac- 
tionary. Yet we need not suppose that he was blind to the 
force of circumstances prevailing around him, or that he 
expected ultimately to arrest the progress of ideas* It was 
enough for him if he could divert or moderate them ; enough, 
at least, if he could persuade his countrymen that he was doing 
more than anyone else could do to maintain their empire on the 
stable foundalious of the ancient ways. It is just possible that 
a man of greater genius and boldness might have moulded his 
opportunity to a higher issue by guiding the revolutionary 
forces which he strove merely to restrain. But we must 
acknowledge how grand was the result which, following his 
own temper, and the bent of his own character, he did actually 
effect. The establishment of the Roman empire was, after all, 
the greatest political work that any human being ever wrought. 
The achievement of Alexander, of Caesar, of Charlemagne, of 
Napoleon, is not to be compared with it for a moment. 

The name of Julius Osesar was the watchword of the 
veterans who conquered imder his nephew, and it continued 
dear to the mass of the citizens, as that of the man who had 
crushed the oligarchy and avenged the Sullan massacres. Yet 
the great writers of the Augustan age reflect but little of this 
enthusiasm. Virgil and Horace have no panegyrics for the elder 
Caesar. We need not attribute this silence to any unworthy 
jealousy on the part of Augustus of the memory of his great 
predecessor. It was the result of political design. As soon as- 
the rivalry of Antonius was crushed, the attitude of Augustus 
towards the aristocracy completely changed, and he thence-^ 
forth devoted to its interests all the powers he had received 
from the triumphant democracy. The nobles could not long 
refuse their support to a conqueror who carried out their own 
ideas of conservatism and reaction, who promoted the son of 
Cicero and the friend of Brutus to the highest offices, and who 
offered to themselves, without reserve, careers^ of honourable 
and lucrative employment. At the same tune thS lower 

288 Acquiescence of tfie People, ch. lh. 

classes were tranquilliEed and amused by shows and largesses, 
and relieved from the burthen of military service. Citizens of 
all ranks were set at ease by the cessation of political proscrip* 
tions, flattered by the assurance that their empire over the 
nations was completed and secured, comforted by the know- 
ledge that the favour of the gods had been purchased, and 
the stability of the state ensured by the piety of the emperor. 

The easy acquiescence of the Romans in a regal tyranny 
thus slightly disguised ceases to be surprising when we con- 
sider, firstly, the weariness engendered by a whole century of 
civil strife and bloodshed; and, secondly, the fact that the 
race of Irue old Roman citizens had to a great extent died out, 
and their places had been filled by a crowd of bastard citizens 
of miscellaneous origin. To such a mongrel nation royal rule 
could hardly imply degeneracy or decay. Had not Macedonia 
been glorious under Philip and Alexander ? Had not Sparta 
and even Rome itself been conspicuous for heroism under a 
dynasty of kings ? The Romans had ceased to value or under- 
stand free politici\l life, but they could appreciate old customs, 
religious traditions, wise laws ; and as they watched the revival 
or establishment of such institutions, they looked forward hope- 
fully to a new career of growth and progress. 

In his personal habits and demeanour Augustus carefully dis- 
tinguished between the Imperator and the Princeps. He with- 
drew from the familiarity which Csesar had used towards his 
legionaries, no longer addressing them as 'comrades,* but always 
as ' soldiers.' But in private life, amid aU the magnificence which 
he encouraged on the part of his nobles, he himself was studiously 
simple and modest. His house on the Palatine was moderate 
in size and ornament. His dress was that of a plain senator, 
woven by the hands of Livia and her maidens in her own 
apartment. He traversed the streets as a private citizen, with no 
more than the ordinary retinue of slaves and clients, courteously 
addressing the acquaintances he encountered, taking them by 
the hand, or leaning on their shoulders, allowing himself to be 
summoned as a witness in their suits, and attending at their 
houses on occasions of domestic interest. At table he was 
sober and decorous; his guests were few in number, and 
chosen for the most part for their social qualities. Augustus 
was specially fortunate in the poets he attracted to his court 
and person. Horace taught his contemporaries to acquiesce in 

cii. LIU • The Provinces, 289 

the new regime securely and contentedly, while Virgil kindled 
their imaginations and shed over the empire of the Csesars the 
halo of legendary antiquity. In the temples on days of puWio 
service, around their own hearths on every ordinary occasion, 
the Romans were taught to remember in their prayers the 
restorer of order, the ci eater of universal felicity, and to pour a 
libation for a blessing on themselves and on CaBsar the father 
of his country. 

This title, the proudest any Roman could obtain, had long 
been bestowed by the citizens in private on their hero and 
pati-on, when at kst the senate took up the voice of the nation, 
and conferred it upon him with due solemnity. The proposal 
was received and confirmed with eager acclamations, and 
Valerius Messala, one of the noblest of the order, was deputed 
ta offer the title in the name of the senate and the people. 
' Conscript fathers,' replied the emperor, ' my wishes are jjow 
fulfilled, my vows are accomplished. I have nothing more to 
ask of the Immortals, but that I may retain to my dying day 
the unanimous approval you now bestow upon me.' 



Italy, which now extended from the Alps to the Straits of 
Messana, was divided into eleven regions, and governed by the 
praetor in the city. The rest of the empire was apportioned 
between the emperor and the senate. The imperial provinces 
were as follows : the Tarraconensis and Lusitania in Spain ; 
Gaul beyond the Alps, including Upper and Lower Germany — 
the districts bordering upon the Rhine ; Pannonia and Mace- 
donia ; Ccele Syria and Phoenicia ; Cilicia, Cyprus, and Egypt. 
To the senate were assigned Bsetica, Numidia, Africa, Cyren- 
aica, Achaia, Asia, and the great islands off the coast of Italy. 
Dalmatia and Illyricum, at first given to the senate, were soon 
afterwards taken by the emperor in exchange for the Nar- 
bonensis and Cyprus. Palestine was added by Augustus to 



Military System 

CH. Lin. 

the empire, whicli then included every coast and island of the 
Mediterranean except Mauretania. Those parts of the empire 
such as G^aul, Pannonia, and Thrace, which extended him- 
dreds of miles away from the inland sea, were little more than 
wild forests. The populous and civilised parts of the Roman 

dominion, including all the great cities and centres of commerce, 
formed but a fringe along the shores of the Mediterranean. 

The possession of this great central waterway was most 
favourable to the peaceful development of the empire. The 

CH. Lii!. of the Empire, 291 

facility thus afibrded for the iiitercliange of commerce and of 
thought hound all the proyinces together in the honds of a 
common interest, and so secure was the peace which resulted 
from this cause that the Mediterranean provinces were left 
almost wholly without military garrisons. Italy, and Rome 
itself, were in like manner almost destitute of regular defenders, 
the emperor heing content to confide his personal safety to a 
few cohorts of hody-guards or prgetorians. It was not till the 
reign of his successor that these troops were collected into a 
camp at the gates of the city. Their numher never exceeded 
10,000 or 20,000. The legions, which formed the standing 
army of the empire, were relegated to the frontiers or to turhu- 
lent provinces. Three legions occupied Spain ; the hanks of 
the Rhine were guarded hy eight; two were quartered in 
Africa, two in Egypt ; four were posted on the Euphrates and 
four on the Danuhe ; and two were held in reserve in Dalmatia, 
whence, if required, they could easily he summoned to Rome. 
Each of these twenty-fivo legions mustered 6,100 foot and 720 
horse ; they were recruited for the most part among the suhject 
races outside Italy, and the local auxiliaries attached to each 
legion, and armed and drilled after their native usage, ahout 
douhled the numhers of the force, raising the total of the 
imperial armies to 340,000 men. The Italians claimed exemp- 
tion from legionary service and were enlisted only in the prse- 
torian cohorts. 

Augustus was the first to estahlish a regular and permanent 
navy, which he stationed under the supreme command of 
Agrippa at Misenum, Ravenna, and Forum Julii or Fi-^jus in 
Gaul. These fleets kept the pirates in check, secured the free 
transmission of grain to the capital, and convoyed the ships 
which hrought trihute in money from the East and the West. 

The sources of public revenue were numerous and varied. 
The public domain had indeed for the most part lapsed into the 
hands of private proprietors. The land-tax had been remitted 
to the soil of Italy since the conquest of Macedonia, but was 
levied in every other part of the empire ; no citizen or subject 
-was free from the pressure of the poll-tax. Mines and quarries, 
fisheries and salt-works, were public property farmed for the 
state. Tolls and customs were levied on every road and in 
every city, and every sort of personal property, including slaves, 
yaid an ad valorem duty. Augustus imposed a rate of one* 


2g2 Agrippa and McBcenas. <jh. liii, 

tweutieth upou legacies, but tlris experiiueiit caused consider- 
able murmurs. Egypt and Africa paid a special contribution 
in grain for the supply of Italy and Rome, and the emperors 
found themselves obliged to keep up the old Ticious practice of 
doles and largesses, whereby provincial industry was taxed to 
support idle arrogance at home. The empire under Augustus, 
bounded by the Rhine, the Danube, the Euphrates, Mount 
Atlas, and the Atlantic Ocean, had almost reached the farthest 
limits that it ever permanently retained, though the conquest 
of Britain had yet to be undertaken. The population of tbis 
vast region is computed at about 100,000,000, and during the 
Jong period of peace and prosperity which ensued, it probably 
continued to increase for another century. The population of 
Rome may be roughly reckoned at 700,000. and though it long 
continued to increase, it does not seem to have ever much 
exceeded 1 ,000,000, a number which was probably approached, 
if not equalled, by the census both of Antioch and of Alex- 

The new ruler set about embellishing his capital by the 
erection of temples and public buildings. In this he was 
seconded by his nobles, and especially by his friend Agrippa, 
who, having secured by his signal services in the field th^ 
second place in the commonwealth, loyally abstained from 
aiming at the first. In the year B.C. 23, when Augustus, 
prostrated by fever, seemed unlikely to recover, it was to 
Agrippa that he handed his ring, a hint, as it was deemed, 
that it was on him he would most desire that the empire should 
be conferred. To Agrippa he entrusted, on his recovery, an 
Eastern command which made him almost an equal and a 
possible rival to himself. 

Augustus was further supported by the tact and prudence 
of 0. Oilnius Maecenas. This man had governed Italy for him 
during his struggle with Antonius, and long remained his chief 
adviser : to his suggestions the Romans ascribed the first out- 
lines of the imperial system of government. The genial 
character of Maecenas attracted to his side the best and ablest 
men of the day, and secured the favour of the literary class. 
,At his table Virgil, Horace, Varius, and Pollio discussed, in the 
presence of Ai^ustus, all the various schemes of philosophy 
and politics, and brought them to an amicable settlement. 

The principal events of the reign of Augustus, which 

CH. Liir. The Reign of A ugnsUis, ^93 

Extended over more than forty years, were of little mark, and 
may be shortly enumerated. His triple triumph u.c 726, 
in 29 over the Illyrians, the Egyptians at Actium, ^'^' ^a. 
and Cleopatra herself, has been already mentioned. Peace 
being thus restored to the world, he solemnly closed the temple 
of Janus, a happy event of which the citizens could recall only 
two previous instances, and which deeply impressed them. An 
outbreak of the Oantabrian mountaineers in Spain compelled' 
the emperor to take the field against them. Stricken by sick- 
ness, he quitted the camp and left his generals to complete 
their reduction. On the accomplishment of this conquest he 
closed Janus a second time. The Pax Romana, as u.c. 729, 
it was proudly designated, did not however remain ^•<^' ^o- 
long without disturbance, either on the frontier or in the' 
interior. Neither was the old spirit of Roman aggression yet 
wholly pacified. The proposal to retrieve the ill-success of 
Caesar against Britain was indeed discussed, but prudently 
abandoned. In the year 24, the Roman greed of u.c. 780, 
conquest and plunder was gratified by the despatch ^•<^- 24. 
of an expedition under ^lius Gallus into the spice regions of 
southern Arabia. It returned with heavy loss and no advan- 
tage gained, and the mortification of Augustus at this failure 
was scarcely compensated by the success of Petronius in 
southern Egypt, and the tribute he exacted from the Ethiopian 
queen Candace. 

In the year 21, Augustus, who had just put down the 
abortive conspiracy of Murena, ventured to leave Rome on a 
long progress through his Eastern dominions. In Sicily he 
planted colonies at Syracuse and elsewhere. In Greece he 
"bestowed special favours on Sparta, while he withdrew from 
Athens her lucrative privilege of selling her franchise. After 
wintering at Saraos, he advanced through Asia to Syria, where 
lie punished the people of Tyre and Sidon for their turbulence, 
and perhaps even as far as Palestine, where he seems to have 
granted some extension of territory to Herod, king of Judeea, 
The chief object of this proconsular tour was to recover the 
standards of Orassus from the Parthians. Tiberius Claudius 
advanced with an army into Armenia, and Phraates the Par- 
thian at once conceded hb demands. Contemporary medals 
represent him as doing homage at the feet of the emperor's 
representative and receiving the crown from his hands, Tha 

294^. ' The Secular Games. ^ cu. liii.^ 

long-lost trophies, the brazen eagles, cherished objects of the 
soldiers' devotion, were restored by Tiberius to his father, and 
by him transmitted to Rome, and suspended in the temple of 
u.c. 734, Mars the Avenger. They were greeted by the 
B.C. 20. people with acclamations, and by the poets with 
paeans of triumph. 

After receiving a renewal of his powers for a second term 
of five years in B.C. 18, Augustus determined to celebrate his 
restoration of the state by holding the secular games with 
solenin ceremony. They were supposed to be held every 
hundredth or hitndred and tenth year of the republic, and the 
Tj.c. 737, Sibylline books, on being consulted, sanctioned the 
B.C. 17. celebration. Heralds traversed the streets, inviting 
every citizen to attend upon a spectacle * which none of 
them had ever seen, and none coidd ever see again.' The 
ceremonies were very simple. Sulphur, pitch, wheat, and 
barley were distributed. The Aventine, the Palatine, and the 
Oapitoline were paraded by the multitude. Sacrifices were 
offered; the game of Troy was enacted; and the festival 
ended with the performance of a choral ode of praise and 
thanksgiving, probably the actual hymn included among 
Horace's poems as Carmen Saeculare. 

In the year 15, the security of the empire was threatened by. 
barbarian tribes along its whole northern frontier. On the 
Lower Rhine the legions had been defeated by the Germans 
with the loss of an eagle. The mountain tribes of Switzerland 
were menacing the Cisalpine. The Istrian peninsula was 
invaded by the Parmonians and Noricans. The Dalmatians 
were in revolt. Macedonia was ravaged by the Maesians, and 
Thrace by the Sarmatians. Augustus himself travelled as far 
as Lugdunum in Gaul to inquire on the spot into the weakness 
u.c. 739, of the admmistration of that province. At the 
B.C. 15. ganae time Drusus Claudius Nero, the emperor's 
younger stepson, overthrew the Rhaetians among the Alps 
near Trent, and defeated the barbarous tribes in the valley of 
the Inn ; while Tiberius followed the course of the Rhine as 
far up as the Ijake of Constance and crushed the enemy in that 


en. Liv. Tlie Imperial Family. ^95 



We are enteriDg on the career of an imperial dynasty. The 
consuls and tribunes of the Boman commonwealth, though the 
titles and offices still surrive; Ml henceforth into a position of 
minor importance. The emperors indeed, from Augustus 
onwards, will commonly assume the title of consul, and in- 
vaiiably maintain their grasp on the tribunician power, dating 
the years of their reign by the intervals of its renewal. But 
those who are associated with them in these offices are oyer- 
shadowed by the superior dignity and power of tlie imperial 
throne. On the other hand, the kindred of the emperor will 
occupy a prominent place in the state, for from among them 
the rulers of the world are to be chosen. 

Octayia, the sister of Augustus, and wife of Antonius, had 
a son by a previous marriage named M. Marcellus, who, in 
default of sons to his uncle, was for some time the hope of the 
house. This youth gave high promise of ability, as we learn 
ijom the matchless praises bestowed upon him by Virgil, and 
to him Augustus gave for wife his only child Julia, the 
daughter of Scribonia. But Marcellus died in 23 at the age of 
twenty, leaving no offspring. Julia was soon remarried to 
M. Agrippa, and by him had several children, to one of whom 
the succession to the empire might be reasonably expected to 
fall. The two eldest sons, Caius and Lucius, orrew up, and 
were advanced in the public service, but both of them were cut 
oil* in early life, the one in the year a.d. 4, the other in a.d. 7. 
A third son, Postumus, was pronounced by his grandfather 
imfit for public life, and was put aside if not murdered by his 
order. There were also two daughters, Julia, married to 
jEmilius Paulus, and Agrippina, the wife of Claudius Ger* 
znanicus, of whom more remains to be told. 

So few and obscure were the direct descendants of the 
great emperor, but he had attached another branch to the stem 
of his house by hu last marriage with Livia DrusiUa This 
noted matroui the first woman who attained a public position 

2gd Campaigns of Drusiis. cii. uv. 

and became a real power in the state, liad been married to 
Tiberiiis Claudius Nero, and had already borne him a son, 
Tiberius. In the year B.C. 38, Octavius, aft«r divorcing Scribo- 
nia, snatched Li via from her husband and married her himself. 
A few months later she bore a second son, Drusus, of whom 
Octavius was reputed to be the father. Livia bore no more 
children, but maintained her dominion over the heart of her 
husband, and secured for her two sons the first place in his 
affections. Tiberius and Drusus were both men of ability, and 
proved worthy of the confidence placed in them. These two 
Stepsons of the emperor first distinguished themselves in com- 
mand against the Alpine mountaineers, and were afterwards 
entrusted with the more important task of combating the 
Germans and Pannonians. 

Augustus required of both an entire devotion to his interests 
and those of the state, exposing them to the hardships of a pro- 
longed warfare far from the pleasures of the capital. While 
Tiberius was sent to quell an insurrection in Pannonia, Drusus 
was charged with the administration of Gaul. He signalised 
his government of that disturbed province by raising an altar 
to Augustus at Lugdunum, thus confronting the influence of 
the Druids by the awful associations connected with the majesty 
of the emperor and the fortune of Rome. 

The Rhine, defended by a chain of fortified posts, had long 
formed the frontier of the empire ; but the impetuous youth 
who now commanded the legions in that quarter aspired to the 
Conquest of Germany and the reduction of Central Europe to 
the same state of subjection as Gaul or Spain. Starting from 
the north-eastern frontier of Gaul, Drusus attacked the Usipetea 
and Sicambri in the country of the Lippe and the Lahn, the 
modem provinces of Westphalia and Nassau. His aim was to 
penetrate as far as the Weser, and the seats of the powerful 
Ohauci and Chenisci, now known as Hanover and Detmold. 
With this object he despatched an expedition by sea to the 
mouths of the great rivers which fall into the German Ocean, 
so as to surprise the enemy in flank and rear. He eaaly drove 
iT.c. 742, the Germans before him by land, but his maritime 
B.C. 12. armament was shattered by the waves and shallows, 
and he was forced to beat an inglorious retreat. 

In a second campaign the eagles were advanced as far as the 
Weser, but the Germans retired steadily, refusing to risk a 

CH. LlV. 

Map of Germany, 


Digitized by VjOOV IC 

29* Death of DrusHS Gemtanictts, ch. uv, 

battle ; and Drusus did not extricate himself without difficulty 
from his perilous position. An outpost was planted at Aliso, 
fitfty miles east of the Rhine; and for his successes the emperor 
granted him the triumphal ensigns and the honour of an ovation, 
but refused him the title of imperator. Meanwhile the exploits 
of Tiberius against the Pannonians were deemed worthy of a 
similar recognition. Augustus had the satisfaction of exhibiting 
both his stepsons to the people in the character of national 
heroes. In the year 11 B.C. Tiberius was married to Jidia^ and 
about the same time Octavia died. 

In the year 10 B.C. Augustus again visited Gaul, and 
yielding to the instances of Drusus, autJiorised another expedi* 
tion beyond the Rhine. This time the Roman army penetrated 
through the country of the Ohatti as far as the river Elbe. 
But the Ouerusci still retired before them. Drusus became 
alarmed at the perils of his situation. Unfavourable omens 
were reported; and after erecting a trophy to mark their 
farthest point, the legions retreated, but before reaching the 
Rhine, the young conqueror was killed by a fall from his horse. 
Augustus conveyed the remains with ample honours to Rome, 
and himself pronounced an oration over the body when it was 
buried in his own mausoleum in the Campus Martius. The 
title of Germanicus, which had been conferred on the young hero, 
was allowed to descend to his son. 

Tiberias, who had succeeded in consolidating the Roman 
power south of the Danube, was now sent to Gaid to complete 
his brother's conquests. His campaigns in the years 8 and 7 
produced but little result, and he was soon withdrawn by the 
emperor to Rome, and made consul for a second time. 

After the death of Agrippa in the year 12 and that of 
Drusus in the year 0, the hopes of the people and of Augustus 
became centred in Tiberius, but the union between him and 
Julia proving fruitless, the emperor began to look to her children 
by Agrippa for the future support of his power. At the time 
of Tiberius' recall, her two elder sons Caius and Lucius were 
about fourteen and ten years old respectively. Oaius had 
already served his first campaign. But the conduct of Julia 
now became so scandalous that the emperor was constrained 
to banisb ber to an island. It may be that her disgrace waa 
caused by the jealousy of Li via ; but if so the intrigue was 
only half successful, for the fall of the mother seemed to increase 

CH. LiVc- ' Career of Ttbertits.- 299. 

the grandfatlier^s affection for tke children. Tiberius retired in 
disgust to Rhodes, where he remained for seven years in moody 
and indolent seclusion. When, tired at last of his self-imposed 
banishment, he asked permission to return, the emperor coldly 
forbade him. This prohibition was afterwards withdrawn, but 
Tiberius was still excluded from all public affairs, and made to 
give place to his more favoured nephews, until the premature 
death of these princes rendered his succession imperative. 

The position of the emperor had become lonely. The death 
of Agrippa had been followed, in B.C. 8, by that of Maecenas. 
The need of heirs to secure a peaceful succession to the empire 
was pressing. Accordingly in a.d. 4 Augustus adopted Tiberius 
as his son, and invested him with tribunician power, at the 
same time requiring him to adopt the young Germanicus, 
together with his own child by his first consort Vipsa-nia, who 
bore the name of Drusus. Tiberius now again put himself -at 
the head of the legions in Germany. Ilis campaigns of the 
yeara a.d. 4 and 5 were remarkable for their boldness and 
success. Tiberius in person led his army from Aliso to the Elbe, 
while a powerful force was sent round by sea from the Rhine, 
and sailing up the Elbe effected a junction with the land army. 
The Germans indeed still pursued their policy of refusing a 
battle, aud thus the Roman general had no victories to boast of; 
yet the influence of the empire in Central Europe was much 
increased by these repeated advances, and the young chiefs of 
the German tiibes began to crowd to Rome, accompanied by 
their followers, there to learn the arts of civilisation. Tiberius 
contemplated the complete subjugation of Germany; but he 
lacked the military ardour of a Osesar or a Pompeiiis, nor was 
he heartily supported by the emperor. Augustus perceived the 
dangerous preponderance which the army was beginning to 
acquire in the empire. The mercenary legions clamoured for 
increased pay and privileges, and cried out against their long 
detention on the frontiers. The citizens, content to live in 
idleness on the dole of public corn, grew more and more reluc- 
tant to endure the hardships and discipline of the camp. The 
soldiers of the Rhine and the Danube threatened to become 
Rome s direst enemies. 

In A.D. G Tiberius transferred his own command horn the 
Rhine to the Danube. Starting from Camuntum, the modern 
Presburg, he plunged with six legions westward into the great 

300 The Eagles of Varus. ch. liv. 

Hercynian forest, the modern Bohemia. At the same time his 
lieutenant Saturninus, with a like force, marched eastward from 
the Rhine to meet him. This was another bold and skilful 
combination which deserves unqualified admiration. It was on 
the point of being completed when the reported outbreak of an 
insurrection in Pannonia disconcerted the plans of Tiberius. 
Flis first duty was to secure the peace and safety of the empire. 
Both armies were ordered to retire upon their respective bavses ; 
and this operation was conducted without loss or dishonour. 

The struggle of the Pannonians, protracted through three 
years, was formidable enough to try the resources of the empire 
and to bring discredit upon the emperor himself. Augustus 
had outlived the favour with which he had been so long 
regarded, and he was harassed by the scandals brought upon hi» 
family through the misconduct of a younger Julia as shameless 
as her mother. The exile of Ovid, which occurred in a.d. 8, was 
most likely due to a political intrigue, for which his friend 
Maximus suffered death and Agrippa Postumus was disgraced 
And secluded. 

The closing years of Augustus were further clouded by h 
great military disaster. The government of the half-constituted 
provinces beyond the Rhine had been entrusted to Quintilius 
Varus. This officer tried to rule the rude Germans by the 
subtle system of Roman law rather than by the sword. His. 
well-meant endeavours irritated the Germans to the point of 
r.c. 762, rebellion. Headed by their hero Arminius, they 
A.D. 9. compelled the proconsul to take the field against 

them with three legions. The Roman army, entangled in the 
Teutoburg forest, was utterly routed, the proconsul slain, and 
three eagles captured. The Romans had sufiered no such 
defeat except on the three fatal days of the AUia, of Oannse, 
and of Oarrhse. 

Aided by Tiberius, the emperor gallantly confronted the 
danger of a general rising in the north and of seditions in the 
city. The Gauls and Germans in Rome were placed under 
strict control. With the utmost difficulty fresh troops were 
levied, and after a whole year devoted to preparations, Tiberius, 
accompanied by the young Germanicus, once more led the 
legions across the Rhine. This expedition amounted to little 
more than a military promenade. The Romans were now too 
wary to pursue the enemy into their forest fastnesses. At the 

GH. Liv, Ikath of Augustus, 50 1 

end of a few weeks they retired behind the Rhine, which became 
once more the frontier of the empire. Tiberius now returned to 
Jlome to celebrate his triumph over the Pannonians. The 
citizens were reassured by this solemnity, and, reckless of recen|; 
losses, still believed in the invincibility of Roman arms. But 
the aged Augustus sank into a state of nervous despondency, 
allowed his hair -and beard to gi'ow untrimmed for months, 
and was heai'd to exclaim, * Varus ! Varus I give me back my 

Germanicus now assumed the coihmand on the Rhine, while 
Tiberius was detained in Rome, and seemed more than ever 
secure of the succession ; though it was rumoured that Augustus 
chafed at the moroseness of his temper^ and formed a gloomy 
augury of his career in power. 

Conscious of his approaching end, the emperor, for the third 
time during his reign, ordered a census of the empire to be 
taken. This was completed in a.d, 14. He spent the next 
few months in compiling a brief statement of his acts, which 
has most fortunately been preserved to modern times by its 
inscription on the wall of a temple still standing at u.c. 767, 
Ancyra. This record extends over a period of ^'D-I*- 
fifty-eight years, and details with simple dignity all the under- 
takings he accomplished, the offices he served, the honours he 
enjoyed, his liberality and magnificence, his piety towards the 
gods, his patriotism in behalf of the city. His last summer was 
spent in moving gently from one villa to another, until death laid, 
his hand upon him at Nola. Tiberius hurried to his death-bed^ 
and Livia gave out, whether truly or not, that he had arrived 
in time to receive his parting injunctions and perform the last 
offices of filial piety. Augustus had arrived at the verge of 
seventy-seven, and had lived in safety with his ambitious consort 
for half a century. The vulgar surmise that Livia poisoned 
him seems hardly worth a thought, except to warn us against 
too easy belief in many surmises of the same sort which we 
shall hereafter meet with. 

The closing scene of this illustrious career was very peacefuL 
After desiring that his grey hairs and beard might be set in 
order, Augustus asked his friends around him whether he had 
played well his part in life's drama, and then muttered a verse 
from a comic epilogue inviting them to greet his exit with 
applause. He then fell into Livia's arms, commending to he^ 

302 The Pax Romana. ch. liv. 

tlie memory of tbeir long union . Though cheered hy no reli^ous 
hope, he was supported on the verge of the abyss by the 
assurance that he had confirmed by a great achieyement tho 
Ibrtunes of the Roman state. 



The Christian era, the date of the Hrth of Christ, has been 
assigned by the commonly-received chronology to the year 
753 of the city, but it is now ascertained that it ought to have 
been fixed four years earlier, that is, in the year B.C. 6 or 
tr.c. 749, at which time Quirinius or Oyrenius was first governor 
of Syria. The early Christian writers asserted that at the 
moment of the Divine Birth all the world was at peace. This 
statement can scarcely be accepted as literally true, since there 
hardly ever was a time when, either on the frontiers or in some 
one of the provinces, warlike operations were not in progress. 
Yet the reign of Augustus was essentially a period of peace. 
All civil strife was at an end, and there was no powerful 
nation or state with which Rome was engaged in deadly 
contest. The Roman peace, * Pax Romana/ as it was proudly 
called, reigned over the vast extent of the empire, and this, when 
contrasted with the centuries of unresting warfare which had 
gone before, made a deep impression on the minds of the 
Romans. The poetry of the Augustan age echoes with jubi- 
lant strains in honour of it. The transition of the Roman 
mind from aspirations of unlimited aggression to views of 
mere repression and control was sudden, but not the less 

From this time forth an attack upon any foreign power 
became the exception to the settled policy of the rulers, and 
the people could hardly be roused even to avenge a national 
dishonour. The frontiers were now well defined, fortified, and 
garrisoned, and still further protected in many places by zones 
of depopulated countiT, or nominallv independent states in 

their front. . " - Digitized by v^uuv^ic 

CH. Lv. Accession of Tiberius. 303 

For forty-four years, from the battle of Actium to the death 
of Augustus, the control of this vast and peaceful empire had 
been wielded by a single hand. The emperor had chosen his 
counsellors from among men of the second rank ; his generals 
from among the members of his own family. Thus, neither in 
the state nor in the army, had any of the old nobility the oppor- 
tunity of attaining to such prominence as might have encou- 
raged him to advance his claim as a rival candidate for the 
throne. No attempt of the kind was made. The decease of 
Augustus and the accession of Tiberius were announced to, 
and accepted by, the soldiers. The only precaution taken was 
to assas^ate the wretched Agrippa Postumus in his secluded 

Tiberius at once summoned the senate. The testament of 
Augustus declared him heir to all bis private fortune, and this 
was readily accepted as a devolution of his public pre-eminence. 
The consuls and all the officers, both of the state and of the 
army, swore obedience to him as their imperator. All the re- 
maining functions of imperial power were heaped upon Tiberius, 
and after a slight show of resistance, he consented to become 
the chief of the Roman people. At the same time, first funeral 
honours, and next divine honours, were eagerly decreed to the 
body and the soul of the deceased Augustus. The apotheosis 
of dead emperors became henceforth a recognised institution of 
the state. 

Before Tiberius was secure of his position at Rome, the dis- 
content of the legions on the Danube and the Rhine broke out 
into open mutiny. They complained of their long service, 
their slender pay, and the total lack of plunder. The emperor 
despatched his son Drusus to Pannonia, and by the accident of 
an opportune eclipse, he was enabled to quiet the disturbance 
with some slight concessions. 

On the Rhine Germanicus was placed in great danger. 
His legions proposed to carry him in triumph to Rome and 
make him emperor. He with difficulty repressed their en- 
thusiasm, and in order to divert their thoughts led them into 
the heart of Germany to recover the eagles lost by Varus. 
This expedition, like so many others, returned at the close' 
of the season without the gain of any solid advantage. 

Tiberius remonstrated with the young Csesar, who none the 

304 The Young GerinanicUs,, ch. lw 

less renewed the attempt in the following year with better 
u.c. 768, success. On this occasion the resistance offered by 
A.D. 15. Arminius was weakened by ti'ibal dissen^ons. The 
land and sea armaments united their forces, and were able to 
yisit the scene of the disaster in the Teutoburg forest, where 
they buried the corpses of their countrymen and recovered two 
of the eagles lost by Varus. Next spring Germanicus made a 
third campaign over the same groimd, in the course of which 
he recovered the last of the Yarian eagles^ and succeeded in 
defeating the fuU force of Arminius in a pitched battle. In 
both these campaigns heavy loss was suffered by the detach- 
ment of Roman troops which returned from the war by sea ; 
and Tiberius complained, with increasing vehemence, of these 
expensive and bootless enterprises. 

Germanicus had proved himself an able general, yet his 
recall from his northern command was determined on. The 
provinces of Asia needed the presence of a proconsul of more 
than usual dignity. Cappadocia and Commagene were to be 
reduced to the form of provinces, Syria and Judaea were 
uneasy under the weight of their taxation. The Parthians 
would be more loyal to their engagements if they were once 
more overawed by the presence of a near relative of the 
emperors, the vicegerent and representative of his father s 
majesty and power. 

Germanicus not unwillingly undei-took this Oriental mis- 
sion, visiting with interest the celebrated sites of Greece and 
Western Asia, and winning the goodwill of everybody by his 
gentleness and affability. After placing the diadem on the 
head of the Armenian king in his own capital, and settling the 
affairs of Commagene and Cappadocia, he amused himself with 
a tour through Egypt. Throughout this prolonged journey he 
was accompanied and jealously watched by Cnssus Piso, a 
noble of high rank, appointed by the emperor with the title of 
adjutor. On his return from Egypt, Germanicus sickened and 
died of a wasting illness. The people, who loved him as 
heartily as they detested Tiberius, were fully persuaded that he 
had been poisoned, and when it was found that Piso had profited 
l^y the death of his superior to seize upon his vacant appoint- 
ment, that noble was promptly summoned to appear before the 
senate and justify his conduct. Piso returned to stand his 
trial, but when the time came for him to make his defence, he 

CH. Lv: The Laiv of Majesty. 305 

was found dead with his throat cut and his bloody sword 
beside him. There seems no reason to doubt that he committed 
Suicide, but popular rumour asserted that Tiberius had caused 
him to be assassinated to silence any testimony against 

The death of Piso points our attention to the antagonism 
which now began to make itself felt between the old aristo- 
cracy of the republic and the growing power of the empire. 
The number of tbese illustrious families had been greatly 
thinned by the civil wars ; the pride and self-assertion of those 
who survived was only the more intensified. To an -^milius, 
a Calpumius, a Lepidus, or a Piso, the son of Octavius was no 
more than a plebeian imperator raised to power by the breath 
of the commonalty. His pretensions to legitimate right they 
despised and repudiated. Each of them conceived that he had 
as good or better right to rule than the upstart whom fortune 
had placed in the ascendant. Piso doubtless deemed himself at 
least the natural equal of Tiberius. 

Against the intrigues of these discontented nobles the 
emperors found it necessary to defend themselves by special 
measures of repression. Fifty years before the foundation of 
the empire, a law of majesty had bee a enacted for the protec- 
tion of the tribunes. Any attack upon the person or the 
dignity of the tribune was declared to be an assault upon the 
majesty of the commonwealth, and was punished as treason 
against the state. Of this law Augustus availed himself to 
prevent the publication of pasquinades against the emperor, as 
well as to repress more serious attempts at sedition. Under 
Tiberius, howerer, the position of the emperor came to be 
regarded with increasing adulation, as one altogether sacred 
and apart from conmion men, as that of the gods on Olympus. 
Not only attempts on the life of the emperor, but any words or 
writings which detracted from his unapproachable dignity, were 
treated as heinous crimes only to be compared with sacrilege. 
To inquire of a soothsayer into the yeirs of the emperor was 
made treasonable; to speak a disrespectful or abusive word 
against the emperor was equally so. 

When to a law of this sweeping nature was added a system 
of spying and informing, which was set on foot and encouraged 
by Tiberius, it is no matter of surprise that during his reign 
many of the nobles, both men and women, fell under its severe 


3o6 Rise of ^liits Sejamts. ch. lv, 

penalties. The informers were rewarded with a large share of 
the confiscated fortunes of their victims, and so degraded were 
many of the nohles, that they did not scruple to acquire wealth 
in this way by preying upon their own order. By such mean 
and crafty devices Tiberius was enabled to mask for a time, 
under the forms of justice, the studied cruelty with which he 
broke down the independence of the class he feared and 

Conscious of his own lack of commanding ability, morose 
and reserved by temperament, the emperor was intensely jea- 
lous of all who possessed the qualities in which he was most 
deficient. This feeling, soothed for a time by the death of the 
gallant and popular Germanicus, was soon revived against hia 
widow Agrippina, who stood no less high in popular favour. 
His own son Drusus, though constantly employed in military 
affairs, was not loved by the Roman people, nor did the em- 
peror regard him with any confidence or aifection. Tiberius 
had indeed recalled him to Rome, and, by conferring on him 
both the consulship and the tribunician power, had virtually 
associated him with himself in the empire. But it was not on 
Drusus that he really leant for support. The man on whom 
the emperor relied as his intimate counsellor and useful instru- 
ment was iElius Sejanus, the captain of the praetorian guards, a 
courtier of no high distinction in birth, accomplishments, or 
abilities — ^perhaps preferred for this veiy want of distinction. 

Sejanus conceived the daring ambition of securing to himself 
the succession to the imperial throne. To effect this object it 
would be necessary to destroy aU the branches of the imperial 
family who might have legitimate claims to it. He began by 
removing Drusus by poison, having first debauched his wife 
Livilla, whom he hoped to marry after her husband's death, 
and so raise himself into the line of succession. He further 
fomented his master's iU-feeling against Agrippina and her 
family, to whom he imputed a spirit of restiess intrigue. 
Lastly, he exerted all bis influence to induce the emperor to 
withdraw from the vexations of public life at Rome to the 
voluptuous retreat of Caprese, and to leave in his minister's 
hands the entire control of state affairs. 

One good influence still exercised some restraint over the 
miiid of Tiberius, distracted by fears and lealousies, that of hia 
mother Livia. To her adroitness throughout tni reign of 

CH. Lv, Death of Livia. 307 

Augustus, and especially at the moment of Lis death, he 
■undoubtedly owed his own elevation. His obligations to her 
he had always acknowledged to the extent of almost allowing 
her to share his power. It is probably to her influence that we 
may attribute his one act of justice to the family of Ger- 
manicus in marrying that prince's daughter, a younger Agrip- 
pina, to On. Domitius Ahenobarbus. From this union sprang 
the future emperor Nero. 

The elder Agrippina continued to live in constant fear 
-of the tyi'ant, which her high spirit did not suffer her to 

Tiberius at length rebelled against the pretensions of his 
mother, and mustered courage to forbid her to take part in public 
aflairs, while he withdrew himself to Oaprese, and left Sejanus 
in sole possession of all ostensible power. 

At last Livia died in the year 59, in her eighty-second, or 
as some compute, in her eighty-sixth year. Tiberius ^.c. 782, 
scarcely disguised his satisfaction, took no part in ^'^' 29- 
the ftmeral, and forbade her deification, which the senate had 
obsequiously proposed. 

Released from her restraining influence, he fell more than 
ever into the hands of his minister. The first act which 
marked this change for the worse was the despatch of a harsh 
letter to the senate denouncing the elder Agrippina and her eon 
Nero, but leaving the assembly to guess what measures would 
be most pleasing to its master. The people thronged about the 
senate house protesting that the letter was a forgery, and a 
foul conspiracy of Sejanus, The latter, however, profited by 
this movement to excite the fears of Tiberius, and induce him 
to command an inquiry into the political conduct of the widow 
and her children. Accusers were readily found ; the trial was 
hurried through, and both mother and son were banished to 
the barren islands of Pandateria and Pontia. Agrippina is 
said to have resisted the attempt to remove her, and to have 
lost an eye in the struggle. Two other of her sons, Dnisus and 
Oaius, still remained, and these Tiberius retained about his own 
person at Oaprese: but at the suggestion of Sejanus one of 
them, Drusus, was soon after dismissed from the island, and 
imprisoned in a dungeon at Rome. 

Many of Agrippina's friends now fell under proscription, 
while Sejanus seemed to be advancing in his audacious projects, 


3o8 'Fall of Sejamts, ch. lv, 

and rising still higher in favour. He was appointed consul 
jointly with the emperor, and encouraged to hope for a mar- 
liage with Livilla. The people whispered that Sejanus was 
emperor of Rome, while Tiberius was lord of one island only. 
The senators crowded about the leader of their debates with 
every demonstration of devotion, and when they decreed him 
consular powers for five years, he regarded it as a surrender of 
the government into his hands. 

Tiberius, however, was becoming afraid of a favourite who 
had grown too powerful, and had already determined to over- 
throw him. Aft«r the lapse of a few months he resigned the 
consulship, and required Sejanus to do the same. He then 
announced his intention to visit Rome, and so played upon the 
fears and ambitions of his minister as to goad him into form- 
ing a plot for the emperor's assassination. Tiberius obtained 
proofs of this conspiracy, and then took into his confidence 
Macro, an officer of his body-guard, whom he commissioned to 
. take command of the praetorian guard. He further directed 
him to confer with the consuls, and to have the senate con- 
vened. At this sitting a long and rambling letter from the 
emperor was read, in the course of which he complained of the 
solitude of the poor old ►Osesar and his precarious position, and 
required one of the consuls to bring a military force to Oapreae 
and escort him to the city. The letter, after wandering from one 
subject to another, suddenly closed with an appeal to the consul 
to arrest Sejanus as a traitor. The ex-minister found himself 
hustled and seized by the chiefs of the senate; Macro had 
already taken command of the prsetorian guard, and without 
further delay Sejanus was dragged to the Mamertine prison 
u.c. 784, ftnd there strangled. His remains were afterwards 
A.D. 31. cagt out and publicly insulted in the streets, and 
his family and friends shared his fate in a general massacre. 

Tiberius watched for the telegraphic signals from Rome in 
an agony of suspense. The swiftest triremes lay ready to waft 
him to Gaul or Syria should his combinations be frustrated. 
Even when he knew that his orders had been executed, he 
still lingered for months upon his lonely rock, while a relentless 
proscription was carried on by the senate against all who could 
be deemed his enemies. 

Early in the following year, a.d. 32. Tiberius crossed the 

, . 1*1 -1. . , ^ ^Digitized by- VjOV^: , _ 

iiarrow strait which divides Oaprese from the mainland at 

CH. Lv, Depravity of Tiberius: 309 

Surrentum, and began his progress to Rome. The citizens 
joyfully prepared to welcome their emperor in their midst, but 
were rather astonished to learn that he had left the land and 
was advancing in a galley up the Tiber, preceded by guards 
who rudely cleared away all spectators from the banks. In 
this strange fashion he arrived at Caesar's gardens, but no 
sooner did he find himself once more beneath the hills of Rome, 
than he turned his prow without landing, and never paused in 
his retreat till he had regained his island. The Romans were 
intensely mortified by this proceeding. Their indignation and 
disgust broke forth in loud murmurs against the emperor. lie 
wjis spoken of as the patron of panders, the sport of minions ; 
as being drunk with wine and blood ; as being ashamed to face 
honest people, and unable to tear himself for a moment from 
his detestable orgies and vile debaucheries. 

It has been conjectured with much probability that the strange 
conduct of Tiberius may have been due to a taint of hfireditary 
insanity in the blood of the Olaudii, which had been wont to 
break out in that family during many generations either in the 
form of extravagant pride or ungovernable violence. The 
ancients, however, considered that the morbid ferocity and 
unhappiness of this emperor were simply the natural penalty 
of the evil and licentious life which he led. Be this as it may, 
Tiberius was not alone in his despairing ajid miserable frame of 
mind. Some of the noblest Romans of his time were driven to 
suicide by a similar feeling of degradation and despair. Cocceius 
Nerva, a man of the highest character and attainments, occupying 
a high position in the state, enjoying a flourishing fortune and 
perfect health, deliberately starved himself to death. Arruntius 
and others imitated his example. This form of death was aleo 
imposed by the tyrant upon the young Dnisus, who had for some 
time languished in the dungeons of the imperial u.c. 786, 
palace, and was voluntarily chosen by Agrippina ^'^' ^^' 
as the only escape from the miseries and bereavements of her 
life in exile. It was thus through his own perverseness and 
cruelty that Tiberius, as he approached the end of his life, found 
himself supported by only three surviving males of the lineage 
of Caesar, and none of these gave any promise of political ability, 
or had received any training in public life. Among these three 
princes, who all stood in the position of his adopted sons, he 
must choose his successor, ITiey were as follows : (1) Tiberius 

3 10 Death and Character qn. lv* 

Claudius Drusus, born iJ.c. 744, B.C. 10 — nephew of the emperor, 
and son of the elder Germanicus. He was reputed weak in 
mind, and had been excluded from public life by Augustus ; 
he was, however, fond of books and literary pursuits. He 
afterwards became the emperor Claudius. (2) Caius, the 
younger son of Germanicus and Agrippina, born a.d. 12 — a 
favourite with the legions for his father's sake, and nicknamed 
by them Caligula from the military buskin (caliga) which he 
wore as a child in the Rhenish camps. During his long residence 
in the palace at Caprese he learnt to dissemble, and by patient 
and obsequious service disarmed the jealousy of his great-uncle. 
He afterwards became the emperor Caligula. (3) Tiberius, 
surnamed Gemellus, born A.D. 19, son of the younger Drusus 
who was starved in the vaults of the Palatine, and nephew of 
Caligula. He was made coheir with Caligula of the emperor's 
property, but soon after the accession of the latter was put to 
death by his order. 

As the end of Tiberius drew near he became more and more 
dependent upon Macro, the captain of his body-guard, but he 
steadily refused to nominate an heir to the empire for fear 
his officers should transfer their devotion from himself to his 
destined successor. WTien at length he lay in a state of torpor 
resembling death, it is said that Macro made sure of the tyrant's 
departure by having him smothered under blankets. His death 
occun'ed on March 16, a D. 37. 

The character of Tiberius was execrated by the Romans, 
and their execrations have been justly echoed by all posterity. 
For cruelty and debauchery no man has attained a name so 
detestable. It is, however, important to remark that the 
crimes and vices of this monster were of a personal and private 
sort, and did not largely affect his government of the empire. 
Those who came into personal contact with him, the senators, 
the nobles, his own kinsmen and counsellors, and the citizens of 
Rome, could not but be degraded by his evil influence. The 
wide-spread provinces of the empire were happily beyond the 
reach of his poisonous example, and flourished during his reign 
with a peaceful prosperity previously unknown. The impe- 
rial arms, though little exercised, were everywhere respected. 
The embers of agitation in Africa and Gaul were quietly 
extinguished. The manners and arts of Rome extended their 
away year by year deeper into the hearf' ott^rmaSi\ The 

CH. LV. of Tiberius, 3 1 1 

Parthians were overawed. Palestine was annexed, and tlie 
Jews found the imperial rule far more mild and equable than 
that of their own princes had been. In one important parti- 
cular Tiberius changed the system under which the provinces 
of the empire were governed. It had besn the practice to 
change the proconsuls after two or three years of office. Tibe- 
rius left them sometimes unchanged for many years together, 
Urnd to this cause, more perhaps than any other, we may attribute 
the exceptional felicity enjoyed by the Roman empire during 
his reign. 



At the age of twenty-five Caius Caesar, commonly known as 
Caligula, assumed the reins of power. Young, handsome, and 
courteous, though utterly inexperienced, he was eagerly wel- 
comed by the senate, the army, and the people. His weakly 
constitution, his liability to fits, and the feverish excitability 
of his brain render it probable that his Claudian blood carried 
with it the germs of insanity. But at the outset of his career, 
all men were charmed by the generosity and modesty of his 
conduct. After promising ample largesses to the people and 
the soldiers, he proclaimed an amnesty to all political prisoners 
and exiles. He publicly burnt the informations put into his 
hands by the spies and sycophants of the previous reign, and 
proscribed their vicious authors. He allowed the political 
writings which had been suppressed by the senate to be freely 
circulated. He revised the roll of the senate and the knights, 
bestowing his favour on those most worthy of it. Lastly, he 
earned the popular applause by the piety with which he conveyed 
the ashes of his mother and brother from their lonely u.c. 790, 
resting places to the mausoleum of Augustus. It ^'^' ^^* 
was a relief to the citizens that he did not insist on the 
deification of the hated Tiberius. 

On assuming the consulship he promised to devote himself 
to public business, and during the next two months his just and 
liberal measures proved that he had redeemed his pledge. On 

3^2 Follies and Cruelties ch. lvi. 

the arrival of his birthday on August 1, this industry was 
exchanged for profuse and magnificent hospitality. The con- 
secration of a temple in honour of Julius, the founder of hia 
race, was celebrated with a triumphal procession, with sacrifices, 
hymns, and banquets at which the emperor himself presided, 
with his sisters at his side, surrounded by the priests and flamens 
of the Augustan hero-worship. 

Business henceforth gave place to enjoyment. With a wild 
frenzy of delight he plunged into gross and voluptuous dissipa- 
tion, which soon upset his weak constitution and laid him on a 
sick-bed in imminent danger of death. The interest taken in 
his health, the anxiety shown for his recovery, turned his weak 
head, and filled him with exaggerated notions of the importance 
and sacredness of his life. His first act on recovering was to 
put to death his nephew Tiberius. 

Macro, the prsBtor'an captain, had introduced him as emperor 
to the army and to the senate, and had since then stedfastly 
supported him. Macro's wife, Ennia, had surrendered herself to 
his passion. These two were next executed by his order with- 
out trial of any kind. The illustrious Silanus, whose daughter 
the emperor had married, was recalled from Africa, arraigned 
on some charge, and summarily ordered to kill himself. These 
cruel deeds were most likely prompted by the requirements of 
his reckless extravagance. 

The death of his sister Drusilla, with whom he carried on 
an incestuous commerce, further embittered him and drove him 
on to madness. After decreeing to her divine honours by the 
name of Panthea, the crazy monster declared that if any man 
dared to mourn for her death, he should be punished, for she 
had become a goddess ; if anyone rejoiced at her deification, 
he should be punished also, for she was dead. 

This incident illustrates the logical character of Caligula's 
mind, which frankly asserted itself in his system of government. 
Augustus and Tiberius had learnt in the school of experience to 
indulge their subjects with a pretence of independence. Caius 
knew himself to be the master of a nation of slaves, and it 
pleased him to assert his autocracy openly, in Oriental fashion, 
such as he had learnt from Herod Agrippa, king of Judaea, with 
whom he was brought up in the palace of Tiberius. It pleased 
him also that everything about him should be on a grand 
imperi(il scale. Strange it is that he should have been guided by 

CH. Lvr. of Caligttla. % 1 3 

fluch a principle in his choice of his fourth wife^ Csesoma ; but 
in his architectural undertakings it led him to good results. 
He completed the temple of Augustus, restored the theatre of 
Pompey, and laid the foundations of an amphitheatre of his 
own. He designed and began the noble aqueduct caUed Aqua 
Claudia, a work of manifest utility, whose ruins still bear wit- 
ness to its splendour. One of his extravagant freaks was the 
throwing of a bridge or gallery from his own residence on the 
Palatine across the valley to the Capitol, in order, as he said, 
that he might be next neighbour to Jupiter, with whom he 
claimed equal divinity. A similar undertaking was the con- 
struction of a bridge across the bay of Baiae from Bauli to 
Puteoli. A spit of land already existed on the one side, and a 
mole 1,200 feet long on the other. These two points were 
connected by a bridge of boats, and across the causeway so 
constructed the emperor led a body of troops in triumph. The 
show was witnessed by a crowd of spectators, many of whom 
fell into the water and were drowned, the emperor, it is asserted, 
being delighted by the accident, and forbidding them to be 

Tasteless extravagance was now the order of the day, and 
nowhere more so than at the tables of the rich. Dishes of 
costly rarity were sought for, such as peacocks, nightingales, 
and tb^ tongues and brains of phaenicopters (possibly flamin- 
goes). Caius is reported to have spent as much as 80,000^. on 
a single feast, exclaiming at its conclusion, ' A man should be 
frugal except he be a Caesar.' His vanity led him to aim at 
pre-eminence not only in gluttony but also in charioteering 
and in oratory. Envious of the fame of the ancient heroes of 
the republic, he cast down their statues, and deprived Ihe 
images of illustrious houses of their distinguishing marks, the 
Cincinnati of their ringlets, the Torquati of their golden collars. 
He forbade the last descendant of the great Pompeius to bear 
the surname of Magnus ; and he rejected with contumely the 
works of Virgil and Livy from the public libraries. 

From such unworthy acts of brutality he roused himself in 
the year 39 to undertake a spirited enterprise. Lentulus 
GsBtulicus, proconsul of the Khenish provinces, had defied 
Tiberius and refused to suiTender his command. It u.c. 792, 
is probable that he was engaged in a conspiracy a.d. 39, 
with persons of distinction at Home against the new emperor. 

314 Murder of Caligula. ch. Lvr. 

Oaius, however, marched into Gaul, and to the frontier of the* 
Rhine, put down the plot, cut off the leaders of it, and banished 
his own sisters, whom he found to be implicated. 

In the following year he announced his intention of invading 
Britain. At Gessoriacum (Boulogne) he marshalled his legions, 
and reviewed them from a galley at sea ; then the trumpets 
soimded, and the emperor issued the absurd command to pile 
ftrms and pick up shells on the beach. These ' spoils of the 
ocean,' as Oaius called them, were forwarded to the senate at 
Home, with the order to deposit them among the treasures in 
the Capitol. 

Having thus, as he pretended, reduced the ocean to sub- 
mission, he returned to llome to celebrate a gorgeous triumph. 
As he approached the city he learnt that the penate had failed 
to pass the necessary decrees, and, filled with fury against that 
body, he gave up the idea of a triumph. His treatment of the 
nobles now became unbearably insolent. One day, he threatened 
to make his horse a consul. Another, he laughingly suggested 
to the consuls, as a good joke, that with one word he could 
cause their heads to roll on the floor. 

The end of this monstrous principate was drawing near, 
tiot from general indignation of the senate or people, but from 
resentment at a private affront. Oassius Ohserea, a tribune of 
the praetorians, vowed vengeance on the emperor for softie gibe 
with which he had lightly stung him. Associates who had 
grievances to avenge were soon found, and the conspirators 
only waited for the propitious moment to strike the blow. 
Four days did Oaius preside at the theatre surrounded by the 
men who had sworn to slay him. At last, as he was passing 
through a vaulted passage from the palace to the circus, Ohserea 
and another tribune, Sabinus, fell upon him and struck him 
tr.c. 794, down. Others of the party kept rM the German 
A.D. 41. body-guards till he had been despatched with thirty 
wounds. The assassins all escaped, and the body was hastily 
buried. The senate, to which the tyrant's death was promptly 
announced, was thrown into confusion, and undecided how to 
act. They could only agree to destroy the infant child of the 
late Osesar and its mother Osesonia. The decision, however, 
was taken out of their hands. Some of the guards roaming 
through the palace discovered, hiding behind a curtain, a 
person whom they recognised as Olaudius, the uncle of their 

CH. Lvi, Accession of Claudius. 3 1 J 

murdered chief. They led him, more dead than alive with 
fear, to the camp of the preetorians, and demanded a largess. 
He promised lavishly. Then the soldiers hore him on their 
shoulders to the curia^ and required the senators to accept him 
as the last living representative of the Caesars. All opposition 
quailed hefore the will of the soldiers : the offices and honours 
of empire were at once heaped upon the man who, up to that 
day^ had been deemed unfit to discharge the meanest functions 
of civil or military government. Any transient bope of re- 
storing the republic collapsed. The treasury and the granaries 
were empty, and if Rome did not appoint an emperor, she must 
accept a dictator. 

Claudius at once avenged his nephew's death by the exe- 
cution of Chserea and Sabinus, but his timid nature shrank 
from blood-shedding, and he preferred to propitiate bis nobles 
rather than attempt to crush them. He was careful, however, 
to secure his own life. Guards were constantly posted round 
his person at table, and on all public occasions ; and none was 
suffered to approach him without being searched for concealed 
weapons. Thus reassured, Claudius proclaimed au amnesty to 
all political exiles, and displayed in many particulars a kind 
and generous spirit. He restored to Greece and Asia the 
statues of which Caius had robbed them. He paid special 
honours to the memory of Germanicus, Augustus, and Livia. 
So popular did he become, that when, by chance, a lepoit of 
his assassination was spread abroad, the people were violently 
excited ; they assailed the senators and soldiers with cries of 
treason and panicide, and were not to be appeased till their 
fevourite appeared in person before them. 

The contemporary accounts represent this emperor as feeble 
in health, with shambling gait, and misshapen limbs and 
figure. His busts, however, show a fine intelligent counte- 
nance harassed by pain and perplexity of spirit. Uxorious by 
temperament, he married a number of wives in succession, but 
was free from the libidinous excesses common among his class 
and family. His special weakness was gluttony ; but at the 
outset of his reign he was debarred by poverty from the wild 
extravagances of Caius, and he dared not, like him, replenish 
his coffers by the proscription of his nobles and the confiscation 
of their estates. 

Claudius began at once to devote his time and his powers to 

3 1 6 Conquest of Britain. ch. lvl 

the pul>lic service. Thoagh his wits may have heen slow, his 
industry was untiring and his zeal sincere. In the administra- 
tion of justice he would tire out his legal assessors hy his 
unwearied application to business. If some of his measures 
^ere pedantic and old-fashioned, others displayed a breadth of 
view and liberality of spirit unknown since the time of the 
great Julius. Indeed he carried out the policy of his great 
ancestor by largely extending the R<jman franchise to the 
provincials. In the control of the provincial governors, and the 
vindication of the majesty of Rome on all the frontiers of the 
empire, he was no less successful. But his most brilliant enter- 
prise was the invasion and actual subjugation of Britain. In 
u.c. 796, the year 43 Aulus Plautius landed with four legions, 
Aj). 43. probably on the coast of Kent, and, having over- 
come all resistance, crossed the Thames into the country of the 
Trinobantes, who occupied Essex and Hertfordshire. Here the 
emperor joined the army, and so active were his movements, 
that within sixteen days he had subdued this people and 
planted a colony, Oamulodunum (now Colchester), on the site 
of their capital. 

Claudius then returned at once to Home, but his lieutenants 
Continued to prosecute the conquest with success. Vespasianus 
reduced the western country as far as the Exe and the Severn. 
Gstorius Scapula advanced to the Wye and the foot of the 
Welsh mountains. The Britons, headed by Oaractacus, made 
a gallant but fruitless resistance. They were utterly routed, 
and their leader, who had escaped from the field, was soon after 
betrayed to the Romans, and carried off to Rome to figure in 
the triumph which Claudius had justly earned. This tiiumph 
was conducted after a new fashion. In the course of it the 
captive Caractacus was allowed to address the emperor in a 
speech not unworthy of a patriot ; and the latter, to his credit^ 
spared his prisoner's life. 

In the East, Claudius effected a new settlement of the 
frontier provinces. Many suppliant princes who had thronged 
the court of Tiberius and Caius were sent off to govern their 
native realms in dependence upon the sovereign empire. Among 
these was Herod Agrippa, who was not only confirmed in bis 
sway over Galilee, but received in addition the province of 
Palestine. The Jews, who had been on the brink of rebellion, 
owing to the threat of Caius to set up his statue in their temple. 

XH. Lvi. The Jews at Rome, 317 

were pleased with this concession and celebrated the return of 
Agrippa to Jerusalem as a national triumph. The reign of 
Ilerod was not of long duration. In tbe following year, a.d. 44, 
at Csesarea, after addressing the people, he was saluted by tie 
' Hellenising section of them as a god. His death by a terrible 
disease followed within a few days ; his son was retained in Italy 
as a hostage ; and Judaea became once more part u.c. 797, 
of the proconsular province of Syria. For several ^^' ***• 
generations the Jews had been accustomed to roam beyond the 
narrow limits of their own country. Wherever trade was 
active, in the great cities of the Euphrates, in Alexandria, in 
the ports of Greece and Asia Minor, they had settled in large 
numbers. Such a colony existed also at Rome, and occupied 
a quarter of their own. Many of these people were highly 
cultivated, and ingratiated themselves with the best families, to 
whom their religious doctrines began to be familiar. Julius 
Caesar and Augustus showed them much favour, but owing to 
their turbulence and quarrelsome disposition, Tiberius punished 
them by deporting 4,000 of them to Sardinia. Under Claudius 
they gave similar cause of offence to the government. It may 
be that their hatred of the rising sect of Christians was tbe 
cause of these troubles. A scarcity of corn occurred, and finding 
it difficult to provide the Roman populace with food, the govern- 
ment took the opportunity to order a general expulsion of the 

The subjection of Claudius to his wivas has been much 
dwelt upon by historians, and has rendered him a by-word for 
weakness and stupidity. After divorcing first one and then 
another, he married for his third wife the infamous Valeria 
Messalina. Her infidelities and the arts by which she deceived 
her husband are described as surpassing all bounds. At length, 
during the emperor^s absence from Rome, she cast her eyes 
upon a young and virtuous noble named Silius, and we are 
assiired publicly went through the ceremony of marriage with 
him. Claudius was with difficulty roused to a sense of his 
dishonour, and gave the order for them both to be ^.c. goi, 
executed. It has been hinted, however, that the a.d. 48. 
emperor had already divorced his wicked wife, and himself 
brought about this second marriage in order to satisfy the pre- 
diction of a soothsayer that the husband of Messalina was 

, . 1 , J J il Digitized by VniJVJ VIC 

destined to a speedy death. ^ 

'3 1 8 The Wives of Claudius, .cir. 1,^1. 

It is important to oWorve here that the materials for the 
history of this period are far from trustworthy. Even the great 
Tacitufl is not to he implicitly relied on. There is distinct 
reason to helieve that the affairs of Claudius were studiously 
misrepresented. The most popular account of them was derived 
from the scandalous memoirs of Agrippina, which were greedily 
accepted and repeated by the ribald anecdotists of the next 
generation. Her aim in writing them seems to have been to 
blast the fame of Messalina, whose vacant place she filled, to 
discredit Claudius, and to magnify her own merits and those of 
her son Nero. 

On the death of Messalina there ensued a great struggle in 
the palace for the succession to the imperial couch. Claudius 
had allowed the management of aflairs to fall for the most 
part into the hands of freedmeh, all of whom were of Greek 
origm. Narcissus, Callistus, and Pallas put forth each a candidate 
for marriage with the emperor. Agrippina, who gained the 
prize, is said to have owed it even more to her own seductive 
arts than to the favour of her powerful advocate, Pallas. This 
second heroine of the name was a daughter of Germanicus, sister 
of Caius Caligula, and niece of the reigning emperor. The 
objections to the maniage of an uncle with his niece were 
easily overruled. 

Agrippina began at once to exert all her influence to secure 
the succession to her own son by a former husband, Domitius 
Ahenobarbus. She spared no pains, and probably no falsehood, 
to disgust her facile spouse with the memory of the wretched 
jMessaUna, by whom he had a son named Britannicus. Claudius 
consented to adopt the young Domitius into his family, by the 
name of Nero, placed him on a level with his own child, and 
allowed him to be betrothed to Octavia, the sister of Britannicus. 
Agrippina, who had been bom among the Rhenish camps, was 
careful to keep up her interest and popularity with the army ; 
and for this purpose foimded the military colony of Colonia 
Agrippinensis, now Cologne. She took her seat beside the 
emperor at all military spectacles, and had her Image stamped 
with his upon the coins. 

Under the influence of his freedmen and his ambitious consort, 
Claudius was induced to sully hb later years by many acts of 
cruelty. By the time that Nero, now in his sixteenth year, was 
married to Octavia, the plans of Agrippina had ripened. The 


His Death, 319 

constitution of the emperor, weakly from the first, was beginning 
to break up, and his wife resolved to hasten his end. She took 
counsel with the infamous Locusta, who made a profession of 
the art of poisoning. During a journey taken by the r.c. 807, 
emperor into Campania for the benefit of his health, ^^' ^' 
she found means of introducing poison into a dish of mushrooms, 
of which he was very fond. Perhaps the dose was too strong, 
for he vomited and the drug failed of its effect, Agrippina 
hastily secured the services of the physician in attendance, who 
thrust a poisoned feather down the patient's throat under pre-» 
tence of assisting him, and the efifect was sufliciently rapid. 



The reign of Claudius had been, on the whole, a period of 
general prosperity and contentment forthe empire. The machine 
of government, both in the. city and in the provinces, had worked 
smoothly and steadily. The success of the legions in Britain 
And in Germany had added lustre to the Roman name. Both the 
senate and the populace had been treated with consideration and 
generosity. Yet in spite of his inoffensive character, the feebly 
dulness of Claudius, and his want of self-respect in the matter 
of his wives, brought upon him more contempt and odium than 
all the vices of the Csesars before him. This feeling was care- 
fully encouraged by Agrippina, in order to lower the estimation 
of Britannicus, and enhance the popular expectation of her own 
child, Domitius Nero. 

Seneca, the philosopher, had been charged with the educa- 
tion of the prince. Burrhus, the prefect of the praetorians, had 
undertaken to maintain his claims to the empire. With the 
help of these two men, Agrippina found no difficulty in thrusting 
3ritannicus aside and installing the upstart Nero on the imperial 
throne. The beauty of his person, the grace of his demeanour, 
and his reputation for rare talents and accomplishments, 
inclined the Romans to welcome him as their ruler. These 
brilliant hopes seemed for some time destined to be fulfilled. 

320 Nero and Agrippina. ch. lvii. 

Under Seneca's guidance, aided by the manly sense of Buirlius, 
Nero held the balance between the senate and the people, 
and gratified both. His teachers urged upon him counsels of 
moderation, courtesy, and clemency, which he carried out in 
practice. The first five years of Nero's reign, the famous 
* Quinquennium Neronis,* were long celebrated as an era of 
virtuous and able government. The wise statesmen, in whose 
hands Nero was little more than an instrument, were content 
simply to protect the machinery of government from disturbance, 
and the Roman world enjoyed the privilege of being ruled wiiif 
a ' masterly inactivity.' 

The young emperors worst enemy was his own mother, 
Agrippina. From the day of his accession she resolved to share 
his state and power. She was borne in the same litter with 
him ; she stamped the coins with her own head beside his ; she 
received ambassadors, and sent despatches to foreign courts. 
Finding that her influence upon her son was altogether evil, 
Seneca and Burrhus brought about the disgrace and dismissal 
of Pallas, her freedman and confidant, on a charge of treason. 
Agrippina threatened to use her influence with the army, and 
even hinted at setting up Britannicus as the rightful heir to 
the empire. These threats roused Nero's jealousy agcdnst the 
u.c. 808, young prince; the services of the vile Locusta 
A.D. M. \ret^ again employed, and the innocent stripling 
was poisoned at a banquet in the palace in the pi-esence of the 
guilty emperor. 

The schism between the mother and son became now, 
complete. Her intrigues with the chiefs of the army were 
disclosed to him, and he retaliated by withdrawing the guard 
from her house, and never paying her a formal visit without the 
precaxition of being surrounded by soldiers. It was rumoured 
that both mother and son entertained designs upon the life of 
the other. Nero at length insisted upon his mother's conduct 
being inquired into. She was declared innocent of conspiring 
against him, and she in turn had the satisfaction of bringing 
some of her accusers to punishment. As time went on, the 
young emperor sank more and more into licentious and extra- 
vagant habits : by the former what remained to him of natural 
good feeling was becoming fast extinguished ; by the latter he 
was being entangled in necessities, which could not fail to drive 
him to tyrannical and bloody excesses. If he still ingratiated 

CH. Lvii, Murder of Agrippina. %2\ 

himself with the people by remis^oiis of taxation, he was ahout 
to indemnify himself by the proscription of the wealthiest of 
the nobles, and the confiscation of many vast estates. 

The most beautiful woman then in Rome, and one of the 
most licentious, was Poppaea Sabina, wife of the dissolute 
Salyius Otho. She entangled Nero in an amour with her, and 
suffered him to send her husband to a distant govemment in 
Lusitania, while she employed aJI her arts to obtain the divorce 
of Octavia, and her own elevation to the imperial couch. The 
great obstacle in her way was the power and influence of the 
empres&-mother, who angrily supported Octavia in her rights. 
Poppeea revived against her the charges which had been examined 
and rebutted four years before, and Nero, under the teaching of 
Poppaea, was less unwilling to believe them. 

The tyrant now determined on the murder of his own mother. 
He contrived that as she crossed the smooth waters of the 
bay of Baiae her galley should founder. To the disappoint- 
ment of her son, Agrippina escaped to land, and sent a message 
to him. He assembled his ministers, and at last extracted from 
them the counsel for which he was longing. . Seneca and Burrhus 
felt that the palace must be relieved from the intrigues which 
had so long harassed it. They consented to complete the frus- 
trated crime by the hand of assassins. A pretext was easily 
invented, the order was given, and the empress was despatched 
without delay. As she lay prostrate before her murderers, 
* Strike,' she cried, 'the womb that bore a monster.* u.c. 812, 
Nero is reported to have himself inspected the corpse, ^^' *^' 
and expressed his admiration of its beauty. Such were the 
horrors over which Roman society then shuddered and gloated. 

Popp»a now obtained entire sway over the tyrant, living 
with him openly as his mistress, and encouraging him to give 
himself up to the coarsest and most disgusting pleasures. It 
was not till three years later that she cared to obtain the divorce 
and exile of Octavia, her own release from Otho, and finally 
her marriage with Nero. Installed as empress, she bore him 
one child, and died soon after from the effects of a kick in- 
flicted by her husband during a second pregnancy. 

The faithful Burrhus was relieved by death from the sight 
of his prince's increasing depravity. It was rumoured that 
Nero had had him poisoned, but of this there is no sufficient 
evidence^ Many nobles, however, were at this ttme pposcribed^ 

322 < Great Fire of Ronte, ch. lvh. 

and their wealth appropriated by the tyrant. The great freed- 
men of the court of Claudius, Dor3rphorus and Pallas, fell in 
like manner and were little regretted. Seneca himself^ who 
had amassed great riches by usury, narrowly escaped a similar 
fate. He succeeded in disproving the charges brought against 
him, but accepted the warning of lus danger and retired from 
court. Nero was not sorry to be relieved of the restraint of 
his presence. Casting aside the stately traditions of the Roman 
nobility, the emperor now strove to make himself the idol of 
the populace, the scum of all nations with which Rome was 
inundated. He descended into the arena, contending vdth pro- 
fessional singers and musicians, and taking part in the games 
of the circus. The rabble shouted with delight, but the nobles 
shuddered at the degradation of their order. 

It was in the summer of the year 817, the 64th of our era, 
that the great fire broke out which consumed six out of the 
fourteen quarters of Rome. Springing up in the eastern 
portion of the city> and fanned by an east wind, it swept away 
all the buildings which occupied the hollows below the Pala- 
tine. For six days the fire burned furiously, and scarcely had 
it died down, when another fire began in the opposite quarter, 
and consumed all the region between the Pincian and the 
Capitoline. Many venerable temples, works of art, and monu- 
ments of antiquity perished in the fiames. The people were 
panic-stricken and highly excited. It was asserted that incen- 
diaries had been seen at work, and on being questioned, had 
declared that they acted under orders. It was rumoured that 
the emperor watched the fire from his palace, and amused him- 
self with enacting the drama of the destruction of Troy in view 
of it. The belief gained ground that he had himself caused the 
conflagration as a spectacle for his own wanton enjoyment. 

So deep was the indignation of the people that the throne 
of Csesar seemed to rock upon its base. Nero hastened into the 
streets, distributed in aid of their present necessities all the 
money he had at hand ; and then, with characteristic cruelty, 
determined to divert public attention by a persecution which 
should transfer the odium from himself to his innocent victims. 
The Jews were not popular in the city ; but the new sect of 
Christians, which had lately arisen among them, was beginning 
to excite alarm by the number of conversions it had effected 
among the highest class of Romans. The Christians were 

CH. Lvii, Persecution of the Christians. 323 

teputed to withdraw from public and social life, and to hold 
doctrines hostile to the laws and customs of Rome. It may be 
that some of them had incautiously announced their expecta- 
tion of the destruction of the world by fire before the coming 
of their Loi-d. It is probable that the Jews would fan any 
suspicions directed against the new sect. At any rate, Nero 
accused the Christians of having caused the conflagration, and 
commanded their execution. Numbers of victims were seized, 
wrapped in pitched cloth, and set on fire, so as to bum like 
torches. Even the refuse of the Roman mob was at last moved 
to pity ; but their first fury had been diverted from the emperor, 
and it subsided into vague distrust or careless contempt. 

Meanwhile Nero continued from time to time to replenish 
his cofiers by the proscription of the wealthiest nobles. In 
spite of the jealousy with which the Osesars had regarded them, 
this Class had contrived to accumulate great possessions, espe- 
cially in land. It is said that half the soil of the province 
of Africa was held in fee by no more than six proprietors. As 
one after another was attacked by the tyrant, the survivors 
became alarmed and conspired against him. Many of the chief 
people in Rome joined the plot, at the head of which stood 
Oalpumius Piso, who hoped in cai?e of success to be elevated by 
the senate to the throne. Seneca and his nephew Lucan gave 
their adhesion to the scheme: but the combination was be- 
trayed, and collapsed without ever striking a blow. xi.q. 81 7, 
Seneca and Lucan were required to take their own ^'^' **• 
lives. The people seem to have had no sympathy with what 
was after all a purely aristocratic faction. They still pre- 
ferred the names of Marius, of Oaesar, and even of Nero, the 
champions of the plebs, to any which the senate would deign 
to invoke. 

The ease with which this senatorial revolt had been quelled, 
betrayed Nero still further to his ruin. He felt relieved from 
all restraint imposed by the opinion of Roman society. His 
vain exhibitions of himself and his supposed accomplishments 
disgusted even slaves and foreigners. During a tour which he 
made in Greece the Romans heard with indignation of their 
emperor contending for prizes at the Grecian festivals. All 
classes were thoroughly weary of him, but it was reserved 
neither for the senate nor the people of Elome to effect a change. 
A third force^ that of the army on the distant frontiers, was 


324 Persecution of the Pkilosof Iters, ch. lvil 

preparing to assert its power. Such a catastrophe as a pro- 
Tincial governor marchiog in arms against his imperator and 
driving him from the throne, had never yet occurred ; though 
in more than one instance the CsBsars had descended with 
irresistible might upon their lieutenants, and snatched from them 
the power which began to he too great. 

It may be that jealousy of Domitius Oorbulo, the Syrian 
proconsul, was the motive which led Nero to the East. If so, 
the emperor was misguided by his own miserable vanity. This 
popular and successful commander was thoroughly loyal to his 
master, and when Nero required him to throw himself upon his 
own sword, he lost in him one of his most trusty servants. 
Meanwhile G^ba, his general in Spain, on whom he blindly 
relied, was preparing to draw the sword against him. 

In the year 68 Nero returned to Rome from Greece, urged 
by repeated warnings irom his freedman Helius, whom he had 
left as governor of the city. He had amused the Greeks, he 
had pretended to compliment them with the gift of freedom : 
he had at least begun the useful work of cutting through the 
Isthmus of Corinth. On the other hand, he had robbed them of 
thousands of statues and artistic treasures for the decoration of 
his own capital. He had also offended them by his persecution 
at Home of the stoic philosophers Seneca, Barea, Thrasea, and 
others. The gravity and earnestness of these men, in an age 
which had heard the early teachings of the gospel, began to 
draw men's minds away from the contemplation of the tyrant's 
greatness. Such a fact was sufficient to excite his jealousy 
against them, as against the Christians. Both philosophers and 
Christians were really quiet inoffensive subjects: both sub- 
mitted patiently to the emperor's ruthless edicts ; but while the 
sufferings of the men of science passed into oblivion, those of 
the men of faith left a burning memory behind them, which 
brought about in course of time the greatest of all social and 
moral revolutions. 

Nero returned to find his capital rebuilt and beautified in 
Grecian style, and to occupy his splendid pala:.'e, his golden 
.House as it was called, which extended its luxiudous precincts 
not only over the Palatine, but over portions of the, Cffilian and 
Esquiline as. well. Gardens, lakes, baths, pleasure grounds, 
were included in the imperial domain, with bridges and galleries 
to connect the various mansions. ^Now at lastj^' said Nero, 

CK. Lvii. Revolt of Galba, 325 

* I am lodf?fid as a man should be/ and the saying was remem- 
bered against him. 

Meanwhile plots were rife in the armies of Spain and Gaul, 
and in the city the temper of the nobles was gloomy, that of 
the mob uncertain. 

The emperor returned in excellent spirits on account of the 
favourable oracle obtained by him at Delphi. ' Beware ! * said 
the prophetess, ' of the seventy-third year.' To a youth of 
thirty such a warning seemed to promise a long career. It 
proved to have another and a fatal meaning. Ho entered 
Naples, Antiiun, and Rome in a succession of triumphs, but 
only to hear the news that a revolt was imminent. Galba, the 
governor of Hither Spain, was in league with Vindex of Farther 
Gaul. Galba had his omens too. In his childhood the great 
Augustus had let fall to him the words, ' You too shall some 
day taste of empu-e.' He was now in his seventy-third year. 
It was upon Vindex that Nero firet fixed his attention. He 
called upon Virginius to lead the legions of Germauia against 
him. The soldiers were loyal, though their general was not ; 
they cut the legions of Vindex to pieces, and the rebel leader 
perished with his troops. Then they changed their minds, and 
proposed to raise their own commander to the purple, but Vir- 
ginius preferred to follow in the wake of Galba, and thus the two 
great provinces of the West prepared to march against Rome. 

Some months elapsed before the legions of Gaul and Spain 
could reach the heart of Italy. Nero seemed incapable of devi- 
sing any serious defence ; and diuring this period of suspense 
displayed the contemptible weakness of h:s character. When 
the danger became imminent, he tore his hair and robes and 
cried aloud in abject terror. Abandoned by all men, he had no 
resooice left but suicide ; no guard or gladiator could be found 
to pierce his breast ; even his casket, which contained the 
poison supplied to him by Locusta, had been stolen. When 
night came on, he took horse with one or two attendants and 
«3caped from the city to the neighbouring villa of his freedman 
Phaon. Here he lingered a few hours in utter prostration of 
spirit, when news arrived that the senate, on hearing of his 
lUght, had proclaimed him a public enemy and sentenced him 
to a shameful death. Taking two daggers from his breast, he 
tried again and again to nerve himself to the fatal deed ; but it 
'Was not till the sound of horses' hoo& was heard, and the 

326 Death of Nero: gh. lvii. 

messengers of death were plainly closing upon him, that he 
placed a weapon to his hreast and hade his slave Epaphroditus 
drive it home. The corpse was imperfectly consumed on the 
spot, and the remains afterwards huried in the Domitian gar- 
dens on the Fincian. It is recorded as a striidng circumstance 
that even such a monster as Nero found some unlqiown hands 
to strew flowers upon his urn. 

Nero perished on June 9, OS (u.c. 821), at the age of thirty 
years and six months, in the fourteenth year of his principate. 
Kis child hy Poppaea had died in infancy, and a later marriage 
had proved unfruitful. With him the stock of the Julii, 
refreshed as it had heen hy grafts from the Octavii, the Olaudii, 
and the Domitii, hecame extinct. Each of the six Caesars had 
married repeatedly, Claudius as often as six times ; many of 
these unions had heen fruitful, yet no descendant of any sur- 
vived. A large proportion of them had fallen victims to 
political jealousy. Such was the price paid hy the emperor's 
family for their splendid inheritance. The empire, however, 
had enjoyed, for a hundred years, immunity from civil discord 
and promiscuous hloodshed, till the secret was discovered that 
a prince could he created elsewhere than at Rome, and from 
this time the succession of the Eoman emperors was most 
conunonly effected hy the distant legions, and seldom without 
violence and slaughter. 



Servius SuLPicirs Galba had heen proclaimed imperator hy 
the legions in Spain on April 13, almost two months hefore the 
actual fall of Nero, On hearing of the emperor^s death he 
advanced to Narho, where he met the envoys charged hy the 
consuls and the senate to acknowledge his claim to empire. 
Competitors indeed started up in various quarters, and among 
them, Nymphidius, the prefect of th^ j)r^t<^j^^^^t none 

CH. Lviii. Ga/ia and Piso, 327 

of them could make head against the fortunes of Galba^ who 
assumed the title of Csesar, and proclaimed him- ^.c, 822. 
self the successor of the great Julius. He entered A-d* c^* 
Rome as a victorious general on January 1 of the following 

Galha was a man of ancient family^ a successful soldier, 
and a strict disciplinarian, but he possessed no grace of manner 
to persuade, nor force of genius to command. He felt insecure 
of the obedience of the great proconsuls, with their numerous 
legions posted on the Rhine and the Euphrates. He therefore, 
with the help of some of the chief citizens, who went through 
the form of an election, associated with himself in power Piso 
Licinianus, a noble of distinction. The new Caesar, however, 
was as austere and unpopular as Galba himself, and the 
emperor's parsimony towards the soldiers, who expected a 
liberal donative, grievously disappointed them. 

No man in Rome was so mortiiied by Piso's elevation as 
Otho. This noble, whom Nero had removed to Lusitania when 
he took from him his wife Poppsea, had re-entered Rome in 
Galba*s train. 

He at once took advantage of the discontent which was 
rife among the troops, and as early as January 14, the fifth 
day after Piso s election, his intrigues had so far succeeded, 
that the praetorians were prepared to carry him to their camp 
at nightfall, and present him to the people as the choice of the 
soldiers in the morning. But Otho acted with more delibera- 
tion. On the morning of the loth Galba was sacrificing before 
the temple of Apollo on the Palatine, when the aruspex 
informed him that the signs were inauspicious and portended 
a foe to his household. Otho was standing by and accepted 
the words as an omen. He quitted the emperor's side, and 
descended into the Roman Forum. Here he was met by a 
handful of soldiers, who hailed him as imperator, and with 
drawn swords bore him to the praetorian camp. The revolt 
was at once complete. 

Galba had not yet finished his sacrifice when the report of 
the mutiny reached him. 

Hasty measures were taken to ascertain the fidelity of the 
cohort on guard, and of the German and Illyrian troops quar^ 
tered in the Campus and the city. Both soldiers and people 
appeared to be indifi^erent and indisposed toini^ifr'teither for or 

328 Fall of Galba. ch. lvhi* 

against the imperator. Galba turned iiTcaolutely from one to 
another of his advisers. At last he sent Piso before him to the 
Forum. Presently a report was spread that Otho had been 
slain by the praetorians. One of the guards waved a bloody 
sword, exclaiming that it was he who had killed Otho. ' Com- 
rade/ said the old man, ' who commanded you ? ' The words 
were treasured up as worthy of a Roman imperator, but they 
struck no chord of loyalty among the soldiers or the people. 
By the time that Gklba had overtaken Piso in the Fonim, ha 
was met by the tumultuous band of the praetorians advancing 
with Otho in their midst. A single cohort surrounded Galba^ 
but they quickly made common cause with their comrades. 
The emperor's litter was overturned at the Cuitian pool beneatli 
the OapitoJ, and there Galba was hacked to pieces. The murder 
of Piso soon followed, though for a moment he made a brave 
defence, and forced his way into the temple of Vesta, where, 
however, he found no secure asylum. The praetorians, fully 
sensible of their own importance, demanded to choose their 
own prefects* The Empire had in fact become a military 

The sudden fall of this unfortunate ruler must have caused 
great disappointment to all the more sober citizena Such 
among them as were superior to the popular illusion in favour 
of a prince of the Julian race, to which a kind of divine right 
seemed already to attach, might well have imagined that one of 
the most able and experienced of their military chiefs would 
have held sway over the people and the legions with a firm and 
equal hand. The men who now governed the provinces, nobles 
by birth, senators in rank, judges and administrators as well as 
captains by office, represent the highest and largest training of 
the Roman character, for they combined a wide experience of 
men and affairs with the feelings of a high-born aristocracy 
and the education of polished gentlemen. They were con* 
querors, but they were also organisers. They were the true 
promoters of the Roman civilisation which has left its impress 
upon Europe for so many centmies. The citizens felt assured 
that it must be through personal mismanagement that Galba, 
the representative of this class, had failed to command success. 
Tacitus, speaking solemnly in the name of his countrymen, 
after summing up h's many excellent qualities, declares that all 
men would have pronounced him fit to rule had he but never 

Digitized by VjjiJ^ VIC 

CH. Lviri; Brief Reign of Otho. 329 

ruled. Undoubtedly^ he should have condescended to hribe the 
soldiers at the outset; this would have given him a breathing* 
time^ and afforded the only chance of controlUng them. His 
successors took care not to fall into the same error. Some 
failed notwithstanding, but others succeeded in consequence. 
Meanwhile the legions in Gkiul and on the Rhine, under the 
command of Valens, Osecina, and Vitellius, had already refused 
the military oath to Galba at tiie opening of the year. Vitel- 
lius was put forward as their candidate. The other chiefs of 
the army acquiesced in his superior claimu and consented to act 
as his lieutenants, and it was resolved at* once to march upon 
Home. Valens and Osecina, as bolder and better captains, led 
the advance. Vitellius delayed his progress till he was assured 
of the adhesion of the Narbonensis and Aquitania to his cause. 
Otho, to whom the senate had already taken the oath of 
fidelity, on hearing of the defection of Vitellius, offered to 
satisfy all his claims, and even to share the empire with him. 
This offer Vitellius had the spirit to refuse. 

As soon as it became evident that the empire must be 
decided by the sword, Otho quitted Rome at the head of all the 
forces he could muster. He encountered the army of Osecina 
as they were marching across the Cisalpine, and inflicted a 
severe check upon them. But when Valens, coming from the 
Western Alps, effected his junction with them, the two com- 
manders assumed an attitude of defiance, and challenged Otho 
to a decisive battle at Bedriacum, near the confluence of the 
Adda and the Po. After a resolute and bloody contest the 
victory remained with the Vitellians, whereupon the Othonians 
promptly admitted them to their camp and made common 
cause with them. The position of Otho, who was surrounded 
b}' a band of fidthful followers, might still not be desperate. 
J3ut he determined to refrain from further resistance, and, 
hopeless as he was of preserving his life from his enemies, he 
saciificed it with his own hand. Vitellius was lazily descend- 
ing the Saone in a barge to avoid the iatigue of marching. At 
LugduBum he met Valens and Osscina returned victorious from 
the Cisalpine, and thereupon he assumed the ensigns of empire. 
Some cruel executions followed, but not many. The Romans,, 
indeed, gave him little credit for generr>sity, and insisted that 
his clemency was merely the indifference of a gross debauchee, 
who cared for nothing but his gluttonous gratifications. As he 

33o Vitellius assumes the Purple. ch. lviii, 

marched slowly along, all the country round was swept for 
delicacies for his table. But his edicts at least were moderate 
and popular. He waived for the present the title of Augustus, 
and-positively refused that of Caesar. He directed the diviners, 
the favourites of Otho and Nero, to be expelled from Italy, and 
forbade the Eoman knights to disgrace their order by fighting 
in the arena* It was acknowledged that his wife Galeria and 
his mother Sextilia conducted themselves in their high positions 
with noble simplicity. During his advance into Italy he asso- 
ciated with himself Yirginius, the most generous Roman of his 
day, who had openly espoused his cause. Yet the Romans 
were slow to forgive the victor in a battle against Romans. 
They declared that when he reached Bedriacum he showed no 
remorse at the death of so many of his countrvmen. At last 
he would have entered the city, cloaked and booted, in the 
garb of war, at the head of his conquering troops ; but from this 
atrocity he was dissuaded, and at the Milvian Bridge he laid 
down his military ensigns, and traversed the streets in the civil 
praetexta, the soldiers following, but with sheathed swords. 

Thus far the armies of the East had taken no part in the 
contest. They were fully occupied in watching the Parthians, 
in controlling the Egyptians, and in suppressing the revolt 
which in the last year of Nero's reign had broken out in 

Mucianus was proconsul of Syria. Second to him in com- 
mand, but held in no less honour by the soldiers, was T. Flavius 
Vespasianus, a plebeian by birth, who with his son Titus was 
actively employed in Palestine. Both these generals had 
nominally acquiesced in the claims of Galba, of Otho, of Vitel- 
lius, in succession, but had given them no active support. 
Vespasian was inspired with a fanatical belief in his own good 
fortune, and under the influence of oriental diviners became 
tilled with the idea that he was destined for empire. Mucianus 
u.c. 822, conceded to him the first place and lent him all his 
A.D. 69. influence. On July 1, the soldiers proclaimed him 
imperator, to which the titles of Osesar and Augustus were 
speedily added. Mucianus now undertook to lead one division 
into Italy ; Vespasian remained for a time in Syria to maintain 
the frontiers and concert alliances ; to Titus was entrusted the- 
conduct of the war in Palestine. 

Mucianus advanced slowly, no preparations having been 

tH. Lviii. Vespasian proclaimed Emperor. ' 331 

made in advance. He was joined by three Illyrian legions, 
who recognised in him the avenger of Otho the friend of Nero. 
The seeds of further defection were sown by letters to the 
troops in Spain^ in Gaul^ and in Britain. 

At the moment that the Syrian legions were proclaiming 
Vespasian, Vitellius was making his entry as emperor into 
Bome. So far as he took any part in public aJSau's, his 
behaviour seems to have been modest and becoming. But he 
left the real government to be managed by Valens and Oaecina 
with gross oppression and extortion, while he surrendered him- 
self wholly to the vilest debauchery. Within the few months 
of his power he spent nine hundred millions of sesterces (seven 
millions of pounds sterling) in vulgar and brutal sensuality. 
The police of the city was neglected. The soldiers, imcontroUed, 
inflicted great hardships on the citizens. The freedmen, 
Asiaticus and Polycletus, became powers in the state. The 
degradation of Rome was complete : never before had she sunk 
so low in luxury and licentiousness. Three legions of Vespa- 
sian had crossed the Alps under Antonius Primus, who led the 
van of Mucianua' army. Valens and Csecina, with a powerful 
force, were despatched to oppose him. But Piimus confidently 
challenged them to the combat and defeated them on the plains 
of Bedriacum. Cremona fell into his hands and was given 
over to plunder and burning. 

Vitellius was still at Rome grovelling in his beastly indul- 
gences, refusing to credit the account of his disasters, but 
wreaking his fears and jealousies upon the best of the nobles 
within his reach. The Flavian generals sent him back their 
prisoners, that he might learn the truth from their own mouths. 
Vitellius saw, interrogated, and straightway slaughtered them. 
At last he quitted the city at the head of the praetorians. 
Primus crossed the Apennines to encounter him, while the 
populations of Central Italy rose against him. The two armies 
confronted one another in the valley of the Nar, but the. Vitel- 
lians yielded without a blow. Terms were offered by Primus 
which were confirmed by Mucianus and greedily accepted by 
the defenceless emperor, who consented to retire quietly into 
private life. But in an evil moment he was persuaded to 
return to Rome, and there, at the head of a desperate faction, he 
attacked the adherents of Vespasian under his brother Sabinus 
imd drove them into the Capitol. An assault followed, in the 

332 Fall of Vitellius. ch. lviii. 

course of which fire was freely used, and the most augast 
sanctuary of the Roman people was burnt to the ground. 
Vitellius watched the struggle from the palace opposite, the 
people from the Forum and Velabrum beneath. The citizens 
were keenly reminded of the sack of Home by the Gauls, for 
the soldiers of Vitellius came from Gaul, and were mostly of 
Gaulish extraction. At length thef^e Gauls and Germans burst 
in with yells of triumph and put the Flavian defenders to the 
sword. But Domitian, the younger son of Vespasian, who had 
taken refuge in the holy precincts, contrived to slip away in 
dL«guise. The Flavian legions, under Mucianus and Antonius 
Primus, were now steadily advancing upon the city. One last 
effort was made by the Vitellian soldiers and the rabble of the 
city to resist them, but in vain. The victors entered pell-mell 
with the vanqiushed, for the gates of Rome now stood always 
open ; and the combat was renewed from street to street, the 
populace looking gaily on, applauding or hooting as in the 
theatre, and helping to drag the fugitives from the shops and 
taverns for slaughter. Rome had witnessed the conflicts of 
armed men in the streets under Sulla and Oinna, but never 
before such a hideous mixture of levity and ferocity. 

Through all these horrors the Flavians forced their way, 
and drove the Vitellians to their last stronghold, the camp of 
the praetorians. A fierce conflict ensued. The assailants had 
brought with them the engines requisite for a siege. They 
cleared the battlements with catapults, raised mounds to the 
level of the ramparts, and applied torches to the gates. Then, 
bursting into tbe camp, they put every man still surviving to 
the sword. Vitellius, on the taking of the city, had escaped 
from the palace to a private dwelling on the Aventine ; but 
tinder some restlees impulse he returned and roamed through 
"his deserted halls, dismayed at the solitude and silence, yet 
shrinking from every sound and the presence of a human being. 
At last he was discovered, half-hidden behind a curtain, and 
ignominiously dragged forth. With his hands bound, his dress 
torn, he was hurried along, amidst tbe scoffs of the multitude, 
and exposed to the insolence of the passing soldiery. Wounded 
and bleeding, he was urged on at the point of the lance ; hia 
bead was kept erect by a sword held beneath to compel him to 
show himself, and to witness the demolition of his own statues. 
At last, after suffering every form of insult, he was despatched 

CH. Lviii. Affairs in Britain, 333 

with many wounds at the GemonisB, to which he had been 
thus brutally dragged. The death of Yitellius finally cleared 
the way for Vespasian, to whom, though still far distant, the 
senators decreed all the honours and prerogatives of empiie. 
Primus and Mucianus adhered faithfully to him, and paid their 
court to his son Domitian as his acknowledged a.u. 823, 
representative. Vespasian and Titus were appointed ^^* ^^^ 
consuls at the commencement of the new year, and to a civil 
strife of eighteen months soon succeeded a stable pacification. 



Our attention has been for some time confined to events whose 
interest centres in Bome itself. We must now make a short 
digression to notice three episodes of frontier fighting— the 
further subjugation of the Britons, the suppression of the 
mutiny of the Gaulish tribes, and the final conquest of Judeea. 

1. After the defeat of Oaractacus, the southern part of 
Britain, from the Stour in the east to the Exe and Wye in the 
west, formed a compact and organised province, the govern- 
TSkSsat of which was directed from Oamulodunum (Oolcheirter). 

Londinium, though neither colonised nor fortified, had 
already become a great centre of continental trade, from which 
com and cattle and handsome slaves were exported in exchange 
for the manufactures of the Belgian and Rhenish cities. Roads 
of earlier than Roman construction traversed the country irom 
Dover and Richborough to Seaton and Brancaster, to the 
Severn, the Dee, and the Northern Ouse, and all of them passed 
through Londinium. Four legions occupied the country. The 
Second, which, under the command of Vespasian, had subdued 
the south-west, was quartered at Oaerleon, on ti^e Usk. The 
Ninth kept guard over the independent tribe of the Iceni at 
Brancaster, on the Stour. The Twentieth, at Chester, watdbed 
the Brigantes, who maintaiued their independence in the North. 
The Fourteenth was engaged in carrying on the conquest of 
North Wales. Numb^ of Druids, escap^lEri^ « France^ 

334 Revolt of the Iceni. ch. lix, 

together with their British colleagues, retreated before the 
conquerors into the sacred isle of Mona (Anglesea). 

The Fourteenth legion, led by Suetonius Paulinus, haying 
reached Segontium (Caernarvon), prepared rafts to carry the 
infantry over the Menai Strait, while the cavalry swam their 

A.D. 61, horses across the channel. The Britons made a 

u.c. 814. gallant resistance in defence of their liberty and 
their faith, but they were massacred in numbers by the Roman 
soldiery, and the Druidical worshi{) was finally abolished. 

Suetonius was suddenly recalled by news of disaster in his 
rear. The Iceni, headed by their Queen Boadicea, who burned 
to avenge the insults offered by Romans to herself and her 
daughters, had burst in great multitudes across the Stour, had 
sacked and burned both Oamulodunum and Verulamium, in 
Hertfordshire, putting the colonists to the sword ; and when 
Suetonius appeared upon the scene he was unable to save 
Londinium from the like fate. The Britons vastly outnumbered 
the Roman legions, and, flushed with conquest, for some time 
harassed them severely. Suetonius, confident in the discipline 
of his troops, coolly watched his enemies as they encumbered 
themselves with plunder, and offered them battle on ground 
of his own choosing. The event proved that his confidence 
was well founded ; despite the eloquence and courage of 
Boadicea, the barbarians wavered and broke before the steady 

A.D. 61, onset of the legions ; 80,000 of them were slain ; 

u.c. 814. their queen committed sijicide, and the revolt of the 
Iceni was subdued. 

This outbreak had cost the Roman colony dear both in 
wealth and numbers. It is said that 70,000 of them perished. 
But these losses were quickly repaired. The Roman yoke, 
now firmly fixed, brought peace and prosperity to the country, 
whose wealth of flocks and mines was rapidly developed. 
Before the death of Nero, the Roman province extended to the 
Mersey and the Trent. The Britons had fought bravely for their 
freedom, but they were quick to perceive the advantages of a 
higher civilisation, and submitted more readily than many other 
nations to their Roman conquerors. 

2. We may now turn to the mutiny of the Gaulish auxi- 
liaries. A large portion of the upper classes of Gaul had been 
thoroughly incorporated into the Roman Empire and were 
reckoned as Roman citizens. From aiion| these natives and 

CH. Lix. Revolt of Gaulish Troops, 335 

the Homan colonists, the legions were recruited which garrisoned 
the country, and watched the frontier of the Rhine. A yet 
larger portion of the population were still looked upon as subjects 
and Gauls, and from this class auxiliary troops were leyied, 
which were brigaded with the legions, but occupied an inferior 
position. During the civil wars which followed the death of 
Nero, both Gralba and Vitellius haddmwn largely on the strength 
of the legions in Gaul ; the auxiliaries in consequence found 
themselves in a great preponderance of numbers over the 
regular troops. Advantage was taken of this circumstance by 
Civilis, a Romanised Batavian, to seduce his countrymen from 
their allegiance, and incite them to claim the right of choosing 
an emperor for themselves. The legions on the Rhine adhered 
to the cause of Vitellius. Oivilis and his Batavians declared 
for Vespasian, and the Gaulish auxiliaries throughout the 
Khemsh camps joined their forces to his. It soon appeared, 
however, that the movement was in reality directed towards 
the liberation of the country. Oivilis himself was put forward 
as the chief of an independent empire. The steadiness with 
which the legions, weakened and ill-commanded as they were, 
resisted this mutiny is well worthy of notice. Outnumbered 
in the field, they shut themselves up in strong camps and stood 
a siege. They were relieved, and before long again overmatched 
by the mutineers ; but in the face of heavy odds they held the 
country bravely for Rome. As soon as Vespasian was firmly 
seated on the throne, he despatched Mucianus and Domitian 
with supports to these brave legions, but even before the succour 
reached them, they had mastered their enemy and driven the 
Gaulish hero out of his island in the Rhine into the German 
forests. Olassicus and Tutor, two of the native chiefs, weie 
slain. Oivilis, however, made terms, and was allowed to 
return and live peaceably at home. Julius Sabinus, who claimed 
descent from tbe first Osesar, after living for nine years in woods 
and caves, threw himself upon the clemency of Vespasian, but 
was at once put to death. Thus ended the last national effort 
of the Gauls. It was strictly confined to the soldiery, and never 
stirred the mass of the people. Its leaders were all officers in* 
the Roman army whose aim was self-aggrandisement. Ther 
two great elements of Gaulish nationality, the nobility and the 
priesthood, had been absorbed and assimilated by the Empire. 
The nobles were content to become centurions and tribunes; 

33^ R^oli of the Jews. ch. vol 

the Druids rejoiced in tbe titles »nd pensiaBS of augnrs and 
ilamens. We shall hear no more either of one or of the other. 

3. Contemporary with these events in the West was the 
last desperate struggle of the Jews for their national inde- 
pendence^ which issued in its final extinction hy Titus* 

Under the first five of the OsBsars^ Judaea, though suhject to 
the empire, generally enjoyed a semhlance of independent 
government under its native princes of the &mily of Herod, 
'pasaing, however, at times under the direct control of Roman 
officers styled procurators who represented the authority of the 
governor of the province of Syria. After the death of Herod 
Agrippa, A.D. 44, the country was permanently annexed to 
Syria, and was governed hy a procurator, who redded at Caesarea. 
The Jews were at this time in a ferment of political and 
religious excitement. Many false Ghrists appeared and drew 
the people after them. The nation was pervaded hy an uneasy 
expectation of some great impending change. Caligula nearly 
caused an outbreak hy his command that his own statue should 
he erected in the temple ; his death occurred in time to avert 
a catastrophe. Claudius showed more respect for their religious 
scruples ; hut the violent temper of the Jews rendered the 
task of government a most difficult one, and many oppressions 
and cruelties were exercised hy the local governor without the 
emperor^s sanction. At last, under the harsher government of 
Nero, the spirit of disaffection grew to a head, and burst into 
open rebellion. The fanatical pride of the people, stimulated 
by their priests, asserted itself in a tone of defiance which Home 
would never brook, and which required to be put down with a 
strong hand. Some there were no doubt who counselled 
moderation and submission, but the general feeling was one 
of more bitter and persistent hostility than Borne had any- 
where else encountered. 

The resources of the Jews were more formidable than might 
le supposed, judging from their small extent of territory, which 
scarcely exceeded that of Belgium or Portugal in the present 
day. But the population was unusuaUy dense, and had been 
exempted from tbe military levies which had exhausted many 
provinces. The fiower of their youth had been trained indeed 
to arms, but only to serve under native leaders upon their own 
soiL Armed troops of brigands were at hand to swell tbe ranks 
of a national army. A sworn band of assassins, the Sicarii^ the 

CH. Lix. Vesfasian and TittiS^ 337 

men of thedagger, urged their desperate meaeures upon the priests 
and nobles on peril of their lives. The names of Maccabseus, 
of David, and of Joshua were invoked with genuine enthusiasm. 

Casting aside the authority of the procurator in Judeea and 
of Agrippa the younger in Itursea, the Sanhedrim constituted 
itself a priestly and revolutionary government for the whole of 
Palestine. They divided the country into seven military dis- 
tricts, the command in Galilee being entrusted to Josephus, 
the historian. He represented himself as an able commander, 
but his countrymen have regarded him with good reason as a 
traitor to their cause. Vespasian was the captain to whom the 
conduct of the war was entrusted by Nero. Josephus claims 
to have held lotapata against him for forty-seven days, but the 
Jewish historian was captured in the final assault, and thence- 
forth became the flatterer, and perhaps the instrument, of the 

During two campaigns which followed the fall of lotapata, 
Vespasian slowly overran and ravaged the whole of Palestine 
without attempting to attack Jerusalem. During the struggle 
for the succession in Rome he withdrew to Osesarea, and from 
the day when he was saluted emperor by the troops, a.d. 69, 
he ceased to direct the affairs of Palestine, which were com- 
mitted to the charge of his son Titus. In the year 70, Titus 
advanced with four legions and numerous auxiliaries— a force 
of 80,000 men — upon the devoted city. The defences of Jeru- 
salem, both natural and artificial, were remarkaWy strong. Be- 
hind them stood 24,000 trained warriors, and a host of irregular 
combatants ; but the hundreds of thousands of worshippers 
assembled for the Passover, and shut up within the walls, were 
an element of weakness rather than of strength in the defence. 

A yet more potent source of weakness lay in the fierce 
factions by which the Jews were distracted. Hitherto the 
moderate party, headed by Ananus the high-priest, had con- 
trolled the city. In this great emergency all the fierce and 
fanatical spirits, known as the party of the Zealots, flocked in 
from the country, with Eleazar at their head. They insulted 
and threatened all who were favourable to a compromise with 
Rome, and in a short time made themselves masters of the 
temple and its strong enclosure, and forced the whole people to 
submit to their dictation. 

The Zealots themselves were further split into three factions, 

338 Siege and Fall of Jerusalem. ch. lix. 

Eleazar, at the head of the residents in Jerusalem, held the 
inner enclosure of the temple. The more moderate John of 
Giscala was lodged in the outer precinct. Simon Bargiora, with 
a third army, undertook the defence of the ramparts. Through 
the assassination of Eleazar, John became master of the entire 
temple. Between him and Simon there still reigned mutual 
jealousy and defiance. 

Titus advanced from the north and planted his camp on the 
ridge of Scopus. Provided with powerful engines and siege 
artillery, he proceeded methodically to break down the successive 
defences ; but so energetic was the resistance offered, that he did 
not effect a lodgment within the first wall without heavy loss. 
All attempts at conciliation were savagely rejected, and the 
besiegers blockaded the second circuit and the fortress of 
Antonia. Famine soon prevailed among the Jews, who sufibred 
the direst horrors. The terrors of the people were excited by 
the report of prodigies. The fanatic Hanan traversed the 
streets crying, * Woe to Jerusalem ! * till at last, exclaiming 
* Woe to me also ! * he fell by a blow from a Roman catapult. 
The Romans affirmed that the gates of the temple had burst 
open of their own accord, and a voice more than human had 
been heard exclaiming, ' Let us depart hence ! ' 

The tower of Antonia fell, and the temple became unten- 
able. John and Simon, united in their last danger, retired 
into the upper city on Zion, breaking down the causeway which 
connected it with the temple on Moriah. The temple itself 
was stormed and, contrary to the orders of Titus, destroyed by 
fire. Josephus was now sent to parley with the besieged, but 
was spurned by them as a renegade. Titus himself tried in 
vain to bring them to terms. Such clemency was unexampled ; 
but his patience was now exhausted, and he vowed to destroy 
the entire city. The attack proceeded. Thousands of Jews 
fell in unavailing sallies; thousands died of famine; the 
remainder were captured and sold into slavery. The two 
leaders endeavoured to escape into the country by rock- 
hewn galleries underneath the city. They failed, and were 
captured. John was imprisoned for life. Simon was reserved 
to grace the conqueror's triumph. Titus, whom the soldiers 
had saluted Imperator, hastened to Rome in fear lest his father's 
jealousy might be excited against him. But Vespasian was a 
man of sense and feeling, and the confidence between father 

ck. Lix. Accession of Vespasian.. 339 

and son was never shaken. The diBstruction of Jerusalem, the 
subjugation of Palestine, redounded to the glory and aggrandise^ 
ment equally of both. 



The accession of Vespasian, the head of the Flavian house, 
marks an epoch in Roman history. The first six emperors born 
or adopted into the family of the Julii, might boast of blue 
patrician blood illustrated from ancient times by consuls and 
imperators and other leaders of men. Even after the death of 
Nero, a Sulpicius, a Salvius, or a Vitellius, if he had been per- 
sonally successful, might have transferred to his own family 
that halo of divinity by which the Julii had seemed to reign by 
right divine ; for they all belonged to the class to which the 
tradition of power attached in Rome. Vespasian, on the other 
hand, was a man of low birth. The Flavii were not only ple- 
beians, but plebeians whose gens had never been ennobled by 
a single distinguished ancestor. Vespasian had risen to emi- 
nence by his own prudence and ability, and was now thrust 
upon the astonished senate by the will of the soldiers. The 
people welcomed the choice ; and the fortunate accident which 
made the Flavii the defenders of the Capitol when assailed by 
impious adversaries, might seem to sanctify the new dynasty 
in the eyes of a superstitious people, and prepared the way for 
the deitication of Vespasian after his death, and the ascription 
of divine honours to Domitian even during his lifetime. 

The new emperor, mature in years, and accustomed to 
simple habits of life, set an example of frugality to the reckless 
spendthrifts of the Roman aristocracy which happily they were 
not slow to follow. And thus the nobles, whose grandfathers 
had been demoralised by the plunder of Greece and Asia, 
became once more reconciled in their way of living to the mass 
of humbler citizens. 

The taiumphs of her arms in Biitain, on the Rhine, and in 
Palestine, had placed Rome at the summit of her power, and a 
happy augury for the future might be drawn from the restora- 



His great Constructions^, 

CH. LX. 

tion of her great national sanctuary on the Capitol, which it was 
given to Vespasian to undertake and carry out. The demolition 
of Nero*s golden house added still further tp his popularity. On 
one part of its site he erected the splendid baths to which Titus 

gave his name ; on another rose tte vast Flavian amphitheatre 
known as the Colosseum, probably from the colossal image of 
Nero which stood before its entrance. The arch of Titus, which 
still commemorates his conquest of Judssa, was not completed 
and dedicated till the accession of Donutian, 

CH. LX, His. Reign and Death. 341 

During tlie ten years of Vespasian's tranquil reign, he ap- 
plied himself to the restoration of the finances which had been 
squandered by Nero, Loyally supported by the legions and 
their officers, he compelled his troops to rest content with 
moderate rewards. As a tribute to the memory of Galba, the 
Latin right was conceded to the whole of Spain. On the other 
hand, Greece, which had been enfranchised by Nero, was again 
reduced to the condition of a taxable province. Many depen- 
dent kingdoms and republics in the East were absorbed into the 
empire. It need not surprise us that Vespasian was charged 
with parsimony and avarice, when we learn that he estimated 
the needs of the public treasury at four myriad millions of ses- 
terces, or 320,000,000/. 

Vespasian knew how to spend wisely as well as how to 
Save. His vast constructions have already been mentioned^ 
but he deserves especial credit as the first of Roman emperors 
who expended public money on a system of national education. 
He aimed at attaching the literary class to the empire, and the 
appointment of Quintilian, the rhetorician, to the consulship 
marks the increased estimation in which the class of teachers 
was held. It is to be regretted that he foimd it impossible to 
show similar favour to the philosophers of the Stoic and Cynic 
schools. Resenting the brutality of the soldiers, these men 
intrigued against the government which rested on them for 
support. Vespasian revived against them the persecuting laws 
of the republic, and drove them out of the city ; and his 
memory must always sufier for the execution of Helvidiua 
Prisons, the great luminary of the Stoics. 

At the ripe age of seventy, full of toils and honours, Ves- 
pasian died of natural decay, demanding in his last u.c. 832, 
moments to be raised upright, as ' an imperator ^^' '^• 
ought to die standing.' From the day when the legions in the 
East had saluted Titus by the title of imperator, his father had 
wisely admitted him to a substantial share of power. Titus in 
return had relieved him from some of the most dangerous and 
invidious tasks of government: he came to the undivided 
sovereignty not without a character, at least among the nobleSf 
for craft and cruelty ; but he was still the darling of the soldiers 
fmd a favourite with the people. He bore the reputation of a 
scholar and a refined thinker, and he is the hero of one of the 
very few love-romances of Roman history. ^ f IiS46ve for Bere« 

342 Reign of Titus. ch. lx. 

nic^ sister of Agrippa, king of Ohalcis, was returned l)y her, 
And slie followed him to Rome in the expectation of becoming 
his wife ; but the Roman prejudice against intermarriage with 
a foreigner was too strong to be disregarded, and the lovers 
were compelled reluctantly to part from one another. 

During his short reign Titus won the respect and affection 
of all classes, but especially of the nobles. To their grateful 
recollection we doubtless owe the preservation of his famous 
dictum that he had * lost a day * when he had let twenty-four 
hours pass without the performance of some beneficent action. 
Two years after his accession he died of premature decline, and 
had no choice but to nominate his unworthy brother Domitian 
as his successor. Perhaps his early death saved him from the 
downward course which so many gallant princes had rmi before 
him. His profuse expenditure had already exhausted the 
treasures accumulated by Vespasian ; and even Titus, ' the 
delight of the human race,' as he was fondly termed, could 
hardly have escaped the stain of cruelty in his efforts to replace 
them. This short principate witnessed two grave calamities. 
A fire, scarcely less disastrous than that in the reign of Nero, 
swept over the city, damaging the new temple on the Oapitol, 
u.c. 833, and destroying many public buildings which had 
A.D. 80. escaped the earlier conflagration. Still more re* 
Downed in history is the great eruption of Vesuvius, by which 
u.c. 832, the cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii were de* 
A.D. 79. stroyed ; the one buried under a flood of molten lava, 
the other under a shower of burning ashes. For ages all 
memory of these buried cities passed out of men's minds, till in 
the middle of the last century their site was rediscovered ; and 
the excavations carried on since that time, and still actively 
proceeding, have brought to light innumerable objects of 
interest which illustrate the arts, the commerce, and the daily 
life of a civilisation long since passed away. 

The first of the Flavian emperors had displayed, even upon 
the throne, the frugality, the simplicity, and the manly firmnes? 
which were characteristic of the yeomen of the Sabine hills 
His sons were not proof against the seductions of a court and 
city life ; and the younger of them, Domitian, who now assumed 
the imperial purple, showed a marked deterioration of character. 
His jealousy of the military renown of his father and brother 
failed to arouse him to deeds of warlike prowess \ and though 

CH. Lx. DofHitian, Agricdd, 34J 

a student during his years of obscurity, he never emulated his 
brother^s fame as a scholar. A pedant and a disciplinarian 
towards the vices of others, he was cruel and licentious himself. 

Domitian could not refuse to dedicate the Arch of Titus, 
which celebrated the conquest of Judsea by his father and 
brother, but he was bent on rivalling them in the admiration 
of the citizens and the adoration of the soldiers. Accordingly 
he put himself at the head of the legions on the Lower Danube, 
and took part in two campaigns against the Sarmatians and 
the Dacians. Whatever flatteries the court poets may have 
written, history is silent as to his exploits ; one of his armies, 
we know, suffered a disastrous defeat ; yet he gave himself the 
honour of a triumph and assumed the name of Germanicus. 

Meantime his lieutenant in Britain, Agricola, was carryings 
the Roman eagles far beyond the limits of the Mersey and the 
Trent. Taking the command in the year 78, he a.d. 78,. 
completed the conquest of North Wales, and then ^•<^- ^^^• 
advanced his camps to the line of the Tyne and the Sol way. 
Here he was confronted by the wild and restless tribes of 
Caledonia, and in seven successive campaigns he reduced the 
country as far north as the Tay. At ths same time his fleet 
explored the coast as far as Cape Wrath and proved that 
Britain was an island ; while some of his land troops, from the 
Mull of Galloway, beheld the coast of L'eland a new region, 
which he was assured might be conquered by fi; single legion. 
So much success excited the jealousy of Domitian, ^.d. 34, 
and Agricola was recalled to Rome, where he lived ^'^' ^^^' 
in high honour with both prince and people for several years. 

Domitian^s vanity would not be satisfied without an arch of 
triumph to rival that of his brother. Ilis colossal equestrian 
statue was already erected in front of his father's temple. The 
people at the same time demanded games and shows in in-* 
creasing profusion. To meet all these expenses, in the absence 
of plunder from abroad, he was obliged to levy large gifts^ 
under the name of golden crowns, on the nobles and provincials 
of the empire. Such a course of action produced its natural 
consequence, discontent, which culminated before long in insur- 
rection. L. Antonius Saturninus, a descendant both of the 
triumvir and of the popular tribune, commanded two legions on 
the Rhine. He seduced his own soldiers, and made an alliance 
with the German tiibes across the frontier.j yS^s^plan was to 

344 Legislation of Domitian. ch. lx. 

march on Eome in the winter season, and, trusting to the 
unpopularity of the emperor, to strike a blow for power. He 
was, however, quickly defeated and slain. Domitian, who had 
faced the emergency with courage, took steps to prevent the 
recurrence of such an attempt. He broke up the armies of the 
empire into smaller commands, and forbade the hoarding of any 
considerable sums of money in the military chests. At the 
same time he took the opportunity to wreak his vengeance by 
arbitrary executions upon all who had excited hia suspicion. 

In one respect it must be owned that Domitian's rule was 
directed, however inconsistently, to the good of the public. 
He was a disciplinarian, and he determined to try to reform the 
morals of his people. His religion was a vile superstition, but, 
such as it was, he was in earnest about it. He began by inquir- 
ing into the irregularities imputed to certain of the Vestal 
Virgins. Two of them were convicted, and mercifully allowed 
to take their Own lives ; a third, Cornelia, was condemned to 
suffer the full penalty of the law, that is to be waUed up alive 
with only a crust of bread and a flask of water. With the 
same object, viz. to propitiate the divine patrons of marriage, he 
enforced the laws against adulter}^, and put some check upon 
the spread of disgusting forms of Oriental effeminacy. In spite 
of the fact that one of his own special favourites was the actor 
Paris, who was infamous for his dissolute life, the imperial 
reformer next directed his severities against the singers and 
dancers in the theatres. With the mimes, according to ancient 
precedent, were included the astrologers, and the same pro- 
scription was further extended to the philosophers, so that 
Apollonius of Tyana, the most noted moral teacher of his time, 
was expelled with others of his class from Italy. The Christians, 
whose progress among the upper classes was beginning to excite 
alarm, did not escape persecution. Flavins Clemens, a cousin 
of the emperor, was sentenced to death on a charge of Judais- 
ing ; he has always been reckoned among the Christian martyrs. 
Domitian teased and irritated all classes, and his cruelties 
were wont to 'be aggravated by a certain grim humour. He 
lived in constant fciir of assassination, and surrounded himself 
with guards and informers ; but all his precautions failed to 
A.1). 96, secure him. A child is said to have found in his 
A.r. 949. chamber the tablets on which he had designated the 
empress and some of his own household for death. A plot was 

<:h. L3t. Reign of Nerva. .345 

at once formed in the palace, and the blow was struck by the 
freedman Stephanus. Thus the noblest blood of Rome was 
avenged by menials. 



By the death of Domitian, the race of the Flavii expired, as 
that of the Julii had done before. No heir existed who 
could claim the empire as of right. The senate at once asserted 
its privilege of appointing to the vacant throne ; and the eleva* 
tion of M. Oocceius Nerva by the selection of the senate marks 
another important epoch in the history of the empire. Domitian 
was the last of the ' twelve Caesars,* so called most likely because 
Suetonius composed the biographies of those twelve only. His 
successors continued to assume the title, but they held the 
office by a very different tenure. Nerva was not the creation 
of military power, nor the descendant of a line which owed its 
origin thereto. He was the nomJTiee of the senate, and the 
first of five emperors selected b5 Jiat body, who were the 
worthiest rulers Rome ever had, and who gave to the empire 
more happiness and prosperity than any others. Nerva too 
was not a native of Rome, nor even of Italy ; his family had 
long been settled in Crete ; and after him the emperors in long 
succession were of provincial if not foreign extraction. 

Nerva began his reign by heaping indignation on the memory 
of the murdered emperor, and punishing the base instruments 
of his cruelty. The praetorians indeed demanded the sacrifice 
of Domltian's murderers, and Nerva, though he boldly resisted 
the cry of vengeance, found it impossible to shield them. As 
soon as their swords were sheathed, he determined to curb the 
pretensions of the soldiers by adopting as his heir and partner 
in the empire the best and bravest of his officers. M. Ulpiua 
Trajanus was in command on the Rhine, but his name and 
character* were well known. When Nerva mounted the Capitol 
and proclaimed his adoption, the senate acquiesced without a 
demur. The praetorian guards trembled before the legions of 
a resolute chief, and shrank back into their camp. The aged 

346 Brilliant Reign of Trajan. ch. lxl 

Nerva, by this master stroke of policy, firmly established his 
authority, and continued to exercise it in dignified tranquillity, 
till death removed him after a short reign of sixteen months. ^ 

No one dreamt of opposing the lawful succession of Trajan. 
He belonged to a good old Roman family long settled in Spain, 
in which country he had been born. As a soldier and a pro- 
vincial, he might be- disposed to content himself with the 
command of the legions at a distance, and to leave the govern- 
ment of the city in the hands of the senate. So, doubtless, hoped 
the nobles, and so it proved to be. Trajan, in the full vigour of 
his age and confident in his own ability, had not yet reaped his 
Jaurels, but was eager to gain triumphs and annex provinces. 
He rekindled in the Romans the old spirit of conquest, and, 
cheered by their applause, devoted the greater part of his reign 
to two great enterprises, the subjugation of a vast territory 
beyond the Danube, and the overthrow of the Parthian empire 
on the Euphrates and the Tigris. 

Trajan, on receiving the reins of power at Cologne, at once 
sent a promise to the senate that no member of that body 
should suffer capital punishment under his rule. Before quitting 
the province he secured the Rhenish frontier by establishing 
new colonies and military stations. He threw a bridge across 
the river at Mainz, and advanced the outposts of the empire to 
Hochst and Baden. He then repaired to Rome, and, as we 
learn from the courtly ^ Panegyric * of Pliny, won the fevour of 
all classes of the citizens by his gracious demeanour. So secure 
was he of the loyalty of the soldiers, that he ventured to reduce 
by one-half the customary largess. When he handed to the 
prefect of the praetorians the poniard which was the symbol of 
his ofiice, he could boldly say, * Use this for me, if I do well ; 
if ill, against me.* The popularity of Trajan was already, during 
this brief sojourn, so unboimded, that the senate conferred upon 
him, in addition to the usual imperial titles, the transcendent 
appellation of 'Optimus,* the Best, a distinction which was 
never enjoyed by any other emperor. 

Meanwhile the legions on the frontiers were longing for 
active warfare, and their imperator was as eager for fresh 
triumphs as themselves. But he determined not to meet the 
expenses of war by imposing fresh burdens of taxation on the 
citizens. His campaigns should be self supporting, and should 
enrich the treasury by adding new regions to the list of tributary 

CH. Lxr. Conquest of Dacia, 347 

provinces. The Romans were still, as it proved, a martial 
naiion, and well disposed to second the bold advance of Trajan. 
Between the Danube and the Carpathians lay the wild tract of 
mountain, plain, and forest known as Dacia, represented on the 
modem map by the countries of Hungary, Transylvania, and 
Roumania. The Dacian tribes were swayed by a single ruler, 
known to the Romans by the name or title of Decebalus. In 
the year 101 Trajan began the conquest of this region. Mar- 
shalling his forces at Sissek, on the Save, he descended the 
stream into the Danube. Along the bank of this a.d. 101, 
great river he constructed a road, and at Severin he ^^' ^^• 
spanned the current with a solid bridge whose foundations may 
still at times be seen. At the end of two campaigns he had 
overrun much of the country, and had occupied the royal city, 
where he afterwards planted his colony of Ulpia Trajana. The 
hill fortress of Decebalus was stormed, and the conquered chief, 
together with his nobles, destroyed themselves. The a.d. 104, 
column of Trajan still stands at Rome, and bears, in ^'^' s*^* 
its bronze reliefs, the record of this conquest ; around its base 
still stretches the open space of Trajan's Forum, and the ruins 
of the temple erected there at a later period for the worship of 
his divinity. Dacia was completely subjugated, and so effectually 
colonised by the Romans, that to this day the language of the 
people is substantially the Latin tongue. 

On his return to Rome, a.d. 106, Trajan devoted himself to 
adorning the city and the empire with splendid constructions, 
defraying the expenses out of the tribute of his conquered 
province, and building not for himself but for his people. At 
Ancona the arch of Trajan still reminds the traveller that that 
chief port of the Adriatic was constructed by him. The port 
of Oivita Vecchia is to this day sheltered by Trajan's mole ; 
another of his works was the existing bridge over the Tagus at 
Alcantara. A writer three centuries later says that 'Trajan 
built the world over,' and Constantino compared him to a wall» 
flower because his name so often met the eye inscribed upon 
his buildings. 

After an interval of eight years, devoted to works of peace 
and to the administration of a beneficent government, Trajan 
quitted the city for the East, to reduce the Parthians to sub- 
mission. Chosroes, the Parthian ruler, alarmed by his advance, 
Oent envoys to propitiate him, but the presents they bore were 

'348 Conquest of Parthia. ch. lxi. 

xejected. At Antioch, delay was caused by a tremendous 
•earthquake; in which yast numbers of people, including one of 
the Roman consuls, perished, and the emperor narrowly escaped 
destruction. After repairing the losses caused by this disaster, 
he led his legions to the frontier of Armenia, and summoned 
to his presence the usurper Partbamasiris. This prince was 
required to lay his diadem at the feet of Trajan, and formally 
to acknowledge that his kingdom belonged to Rome. After 
suffering grave indignities, he wks dismissed, and, if the histoiy 
may be trusted, was waylaid and murdered, to the disgrace of 
the emperor who gave the order. 

Having thus settled the position of Armenia, Trajan ad- 
vanced upon the Parthians by the same route which had proved 
&tal to Orassus, but, unlike the luckless triumvir, he drove the 
enemy before him, established himself firmly in the region of 
Adiabene, and before the end of the year 116 had constituted 
the new province of Assyria beyond the Tigris, and had justly 
earned the title of Parthicus. 

The winter was passed at Nisibis or Edesss, :;'jd early in the 
spring of 116 the Roman army descended the Euphrates by 
water. The Parthian monarch fled into Media, and his capital, 
Ctesiphon, surrendered without a blow. Trajan advanced 
through Babylonia to the shores of the Persian Gulf, and longed 
to rival the achievements of Alexander. But the disturbed 
state of the country behind him convinced him that he had 
reached his limit. On his return march he stormed and 
destroyed Seleucia, and on reaching Otesiphon placed a creature 
of his own on the throne of Parthia. Armenia and Mesopo- 
tamia, with some portion of Arabia, were reduced to the form 
of provinces ; but they were never solidly incorporated with the 
empire, and before their conqueror had reached Antioch on his 
homeward march, they had already severed the unwelcome 
connection. Trajan had been wounded in an attack upon the 
little fortress of Atra, and did not live to see Rome again. He 
died in 117 at Selinus, in Oilicia, after a short illness. He had 
reached the age of 65, and had reigned nineteen years and a 
half. Though more of a rough soldier than a courtly scholar, 
his manners were kindly and gracious, and he has left a higher 
name than any of his predecessors in the purple for generosity 
and manliijess of character. He deserved to be the favouritei 

igi ize y ^ 

CH. Lxi. The Christians tmder Trajan, 349 

as he was, both of the nobles and of the people, both of the 
city and of the provinces. 

Trajan's expedition to the East may very probably hare 
been caused by the uneasiness of the rulers of the empire about 
the restless intrigues of the Jews, and a vague consciousness of 
the growing iiumbers of the Christians, who, for aught they 
Iraew, might be aiming in secret at political ends. After the 
destruction of Jerusalem, the Jewish hopes of a Messiah were 
carefully inquired into, and all who pretended to a descent from 
David were prosecuted. But the Jewish religion was stiU 
tolerated at Eome, and throughout the empire, as a national 
cult. The Christians, as professing an irregular and unrecognised 
creed, were outside the protection of the law, and during the 
Flavian period a wave of persecution passed over them. When, 
however, it became evident that these new sectaries cherished 
no schemes of rebellion, the authorities relaxed their severity 
and were content to require of them the acknowledgment that 
< Caesar was their master.' 

During Trajan's reign, Pliny the younger was governor of 
Bithynia, and persons were often charged before him with the 
crime of being Christians. His practice was to question them, 
and if they boldly confessed the fact he considered it to be 
his plain duty to condemn them to death. Finding, however, 
that this treatment only increased their numbers, and convinced 
of the moral innocence of his victims, he vrrote to the emperor 
for instructions on the subject. Trajan recommended mild 
measures, commanding that the Christians should not besought 
for, and that denunciations of them, which emanated chiefly 
from the Jews, should be discouraged. Still, if any were 
accused, and professed their guilt, the majesty of the law must 
be upheld. Meantime multitudes of Jews as well as of Roman 
citizens continued to join the new religion. The East was rife 
with reports and expectations of a coming deliverer. The con* 
flagrations at Rome and the fetal eruption of Vesuvius added to 
the alarm produced by the Christian prophecies of an approaching 
destruction of the world by fire. The claim of the Christians 
to superior morality excited the passions of the populace, which 
is always intolerant of such professions. The manifest fact that 
a secret association, uniting in its bonds numbers of persons of 
eyery class, was advancing in power and organisation dis- 
turbed the minds of the rulers, who were accustomed ruthlessly 

350 Accession of Hadrian. ch. lxi. 

to suppress every combination of the kind. AlUthese influences 
seem to have been kindled into fierce activity by the coincidence 
of a destructive earthquake with the emperor's visit to Antioch, 
The fanaticism and terror of the sufferers broke forth ag^ainst 
the Christians, and Trajan stained his good name by encouraging 
a cruel persecution which became memorable for the martyrdom 
of the Christian bishop Ignatius in the arena of Antioch. 

At the same time the Jews, driven from their own land, 
and scattered throughout the East, were intriguing in every 
city, in Alexandria, in Antioch, even in distant Seleucia, striving 
to unite their own people in a combined movement against the 
might of Rome, stirring up Parthians, Armenians, and Arabians 
against the common enemy. All these schemes had been dis- 
concerted by Trajan's sudden and vigorous expedition ; but his 
conquests, though brilliant, had lacked stability, and it became 
an embarrassing problem for his successor whether to maintain 
or to relinquish them. 

On Trajan's death without issue, the empress Plotina at 
once announced his chosen heir to be P. -^lius Hadrianus, his 
cousin, and, like himself, of Spanish birth. Both senate and 
people acquiesced in the choice, for Hadrian was distinguished 
for virtue and ability. The remains of Trajan were conveyed 
to Rome and buried beneath his column. Hadrian 
lingered in the East to pacify the disaffected pro- 
vinces, and wisely determined to return to the policy of Augus- 
tus, to restrict the limits of the empire, and to abandon the 
recent conquests. Then he returned to Rome to receive the 
homage of the senate, and began his reign in a spirit of modera- 
tion and liberality. 

Full of activity both of mind and body, Hadrian visited 
every province of the empire, commanding the legions in person 
wherever danger threatened, and leaving marks of his progress 
in public buildings and in improved government. His first 
expedition was to the new Dacian province, which was threat- 
ened by encroaching tnbes of Sarmatians. At the head of 
his legions he defeated these barbarians, but deemed it wiser, 
after his first success, to withdraw behind the Danube, and 
even to break down Trajan's bridge. At the outset 
* of this campaign a conspiracy was formed against 
him, and he was obliged, notwithstanding his promise to shed 
no senators' blood, to put it down with severityV^^c^^^ 


His Travels. 351 

After a short interval spent at Rome, Hadrian visited the 
North of Britain, where the Caledonian tribes were giving much 
trouble. Here he built roads and military stations, fortified the 
country from sea to sea between the camps of Agricola on the 
Tyne and the Solway, bridged the Tyne at Newcastle, and fixed 
the provincial government at York. The mineral wealth of 
the North of England was then attracting numerous settlers, 
as it has done again so conspicuously in this nineteenth cen- 
tury. From Britain he passed on through Gaul and Spain, and 
crossed the Mediterranean to quiet some disturbances in Maure- 
tania. Thence he turned his steps to the extreme eastern 
frontier, where the restless Parthians were again menacing war. 
In a personal interview he prevailed on Ohosroes to leave the 
empire at peace. Journeying homeward through 
Asia Minor and Greece, he stayed long at Athens ; 
and after visiting Rome and Carthage, returned once more to 
the East — to Athens, Antioch, and Alexandria. 

In the course of sixty years since the campaigns of Vespa- 
sian and Titus, the Jews in Palestine had increased in numbers, 
and they now broke into a fierce insurrection headed by Bar- 
Cochebas, the 'Son of the Star.* Hadrian had inquired 
curiously into many religions, that of the Jews among others. 
They had hoped he had become a proselyte, and they now 
denounced him as an apostate; but he ruthlessly a.d. I3.s, 
put down their rebellion, slaughtered their people -^-u* ^^^* 
in vast numbers, and planted the colony of ^Elia Oapitolina 
on the site of their sacred city. 

Hadrian distinguished between the Jews and the Chris- 
tians. The latter he recognised as loyal citizens, and dis- 
couraged the local persecutions to which they were exposed. 
During his sojourn at Athens, they ventured to approach him 
as a seeker after truth; and he listened graciously to the 
apologies of Quadratus and Aristides, who were famous for 
their wisdom and learning. 

At Athens Hadrian had shown himself an intelligent 
inquirer into the highest questions of human speculation. At 
Alexandria he appeared rather as an explorer of curiosities. 
Egypt, the granary of Rome, had been jealously guarded by the 
emperors as their own special province. No Roman of rank 
might even visit it without express permission. This prohi- 
bition served but to whet the curiosity of the Romans about 

352 Hadrian's Buildmgs, ch. lxl 

that land of mystery. The splendid ruins of antiquity ; the 
distant past from which that civilisation had descended ; the 
strange worship of bulls, and cats, and crocodiles ; — ^all these 
might well excite the interest of intelligent travellers. The 
emperor examined all the wonders oi' Egypt, visited the pyra- 
mids, inscribed his name upon the vocal head of Menmon, and 
expressed his delight and admiration. 

But the people of Alexandria were wont to mock at 
Romans and other strangers as children of a younger civili- 
sation than their own; and they showed little respect for 
Hadrian. When his favourite Antinous perished by drowning 
in the Nile, they outraged the grieving emperor with their 
ribald scoffs. He refrained with difEculty from chastising the 
offending city, but quitted the country in disgust. At Antioch 
he met with no better treatment, being exposed to the gibes 
and insinuations of a frivolous people ; and he showed his resent- 
ment by adorning the city vnth no public buildings, such as he 
had lavished on the places which had entertained him on his 
travels. From Antioch he repaired to Athens and remained 
there, enjoying its arts and sciences for some length of time, 

Hadrian returned to Home in 134, and began at once to 
adorn the city with splendid buildings. The temple of Venus 
and Rome, now but the fragment of a ruin, was the grandest 
temple in the city. But his most magnificent work was his 
own mde» or mausoleum, whose solid mass is still conspicuous 
in the castle of St. Angelo. When first erected it had far more 
of architectural ornament than now. Tier over tier of columns 
graced its sides, and above it soared a gilded dome surmounted 
by the statue of the founder, who was ultimately buried beneath 
it. Besides these new constructions, Hadrian restored many of 
the older buildings, such as the Pantheon, the temple of Augus- 
tus, and the baths of Agrippa. He piqued himself on his 
knowledge of all matters, but especially of architecture, and is 
said to have put Apollodorus, the architect, to death for an 
uncourtly criticism of one of his designs, Favorinus, the rheto- 
rician, yielded to his authority on questions of grammar, re- 
marking that ' it is ill disputing with the master of tiiirty legions.' 

Hadrian reigned supreme in the loyalty of the soldiers, and 
in the favour of the senate and of all classes of citizens. Yet 
he chose to associate vvith himself in the purple a young and 
Mvolous noble, 0. Oonunodus Verus, This worthless partner 

CH. Lxr. Death of Hadrian. 353 

of hia empire was entrasted with a command on the Pannbnian 
frontier, but he soon fell into a decline, and in the third year of 
his feeble sovereignty died. Hadrian hastened to 
supply his place. Assembling the chiefs of the 
senate^ he announced to them that his choice had fallen on 
T. Aurelias Antoninus, a man of mature age and proved ability. 
The new emperor was required to adopt two h^rs, Annius 
and Lucius Verus, both of the family of the, lately deceased 

The life of Hadrian himself was not protracted beyond the 
middle of this year. He suffered much from maladies for which 
medicine afforded no relief, and is said to have become initable 
and sanguinary in his last years. At one time he would take 
refuge in magical arts, at another in poison or the dagger of the 
suicide ; but he was kindly watched and tended, and expired in 
comparative tranquillity, leaviug to the world as his last legacy 
a playful and poetical address to his own departing spirit. 



Titus Attbelius Antokinitb was already in his fifty-second 
year when he began to reign. In honour of his adoptive father 
he changed his style to Titus ^lius Hadrianus Antoninus ; and 
to this the senate added the epithet Pius. He is commonly 
known as Antoninus Pius. He was married to Arria Gkileria 
Faustina, and had several children, but only one daughter, 
Faustina, survived, and her he joined in marriage with his .' 
nephew Aurelius, whom he had adopted at the same time as the 
young Verus. The name of Antoninus, which was borne 
equally by Pius and by his successor Marcus Aurelius, becaine, 
next to that of Augustus, the most honoured in the long 
imperial series. The age of the Antonines is generally reckoned 
as beginning with the accession of Nerva. It was a period of 
peace and prosperity, and of good, we may almost say, of con- 
stitutional government; but in the course of it the ancieint 
martial valour of the Boman people was perishing for want of 

exercise. Digitized by >^1UU^IC 

354 Antoninus Pius. ch. lxii; 

The two Antoninea wero philosophers in the purple, who 
governed their i)eople in concert with the senate on the highest 
principles of virtue. The elder could seat himself in his 
Ulirary on the Palatine and rule the empire from its centre. 
But for the exifi^encies of frontier wars, the younger, Aurelius, 
iv'ould have passed a no less studious life. Both of them, hy 
their promise to shed no senator's blood, were pledged to 
frugality in the public service ; and both redeemed their pledge. 
Antoninus, while he remitted some customary taxes, was mag- 
nificent in gifts and largesses and public works ; and when the 
full treasury of Hadrian was emptied, he replenished it by the 
sale of the impeiial furniture. 

The internal history of this happy reign was entirely un- 
eventful. On the frontiers, indeed, there was frequent ti'ouble, 
especially on the Danube and in Africa, but this mild prince, 
who judged it better to save one citizen than to slay a thousand 
enemies, adopted the policy of buying off the invaders. In 
Britain, however, after a revolt of the Brigantes had been put 
down, the defences of the empire were carried farther north, 
and a second wall was built across the island between the 
estuaries of the Clyde and the Forth. The space thus gained 
to the Roman province between the walls of Agricola and 
Antoninus was rapidly filled up by Roman colonists, who were 
constantly pushing forward even beyond the limits of protec- 
^on. In the most distant regions of Parthia, Armenia, and 
Scythia, the emperor of Rome was accepted as the supreme 
arbiter of national quarrels. Yet the policy of Augustus was 
adhered to, and the limits of the empire were not extended ia 
that direction. This period of quiet equilibrium was signalised 
by some great works of geographical interest, the ' System of 
Geography ' of Ptolemy, the * Itinerary ' of Antoninus, and the 
* Periplus of the Euxine and of the Erythraean or Indian Ocean ' 
by Arrian. 

The greatest glory of Antoninus is the unremitting care with 
which he studied to promote the welfare and happiness of his 
people. Humanity, under him, made a great step in advance. 
Not content with repressing the exactions and injustice of the 
tax-coUectors, he required his officers to spare the needy and 
indulge the unfortunate. Not only did he economise the public 
resources, but he sacrificed his own fortune to the service of the 
state. He celebrated the secular gameg/^|Ji^^t splendour. 

cH. Lxir. Marcus Aurelius. 355 

and adorned the city with a graceful column as well as by the 
completion of Hadrian*s mausoleum. The amphitheatre at 
Nismea and the aqueduct of the Pont du Gard, the noblest 
monuments of Roman art beyond the Alps, are also ascribed to 
his munificence. Antoninus also contributed important addi- 
tions to the code of Roman law, and his judgments were 
marked by equity and humanity. His paternal kindness 
towards the Ghnstians was. even more generous than that of 

The special characteristic of Antoninus was his cheerfulness. 
No philosophical dispute, no popular outburst of petulance^ 
could disturb the serenity of his temper. Content with his 
political surroundings, with the society of his friends, with the 
religion of Ids time, he was troubled by no anxieties. Power 
made no difference in him. Kind, modest, affable, and abste- 
mious as he had always been, such he continued to be as 
emperor. To his imworthy consort Faustina he was more 
than forgiying, taking no notice of her irregularities, and when 
she died, as fortunately she did in the early years of his princi- 
pate, he assigned her divine honours, and never married again. 
After reigning for twenty-three years he died, a.d. 161, giving 
to Ids guard as his last watchword, ' Equanimity.' 

Marcus Aurelius, who now succeeded to the throne, had 
been for some time associated in the government. In presiding 
on the tribunals, in guiding the deliberations of the senate, in 
receiving embassies and appointing magistrates, he had shrunk 
from no fatigue, but his heart was still in his philosophical 
studies. Plato had maintained that states would surely flourish, 
were but their philosophers princes or their princes philoso- 
phers ; and the hope that he might prove this doctrine true 
encouraged Aurelius in his undertaking. By Hadrian's direc- 
tion, Antoninus had adopted the young Verus at the same time 
with Aurelius, but he had treated the two on a very different 
footing. While marrying Aurelius to his own daughter, and 
treating him with confidence as his destined successor, he had 
excluded from public life the weak son of a dissolute sire. 
Aurelius at once reversed tius wise decision, and elevated his 
brother to a position equal to his own, conferring upon him 
every dignity which he enjoyed, not even withholding the title 
of Augustus. For the first time two Augusti sat together in 

the purple. Digitized by Vj WU^ IC 


356 Pestilence, Famine^ IVar. ch. lxii. 

The first years of the new reign were troubled by distur- 
bances in various parts of the empire. Lusitania broke into 
insurrection. Spain was invaded by the Moors. The Chatti 
crossed the fi*ontiers into Gaul and Rhsetia. In Britain the 
legions were disaffected. But the most serious 
alarm was caused by war with Parthia, and a 
disaster to the Roman arms at Elegia, on the Euphrates, com- 
parable to that of OarrhsB. Aurelius despatched Verus to the 
East with experienced officers to guide him; but before he 
reached the seat of war/ Avidius Oassius had already retrieved 
the fortunes of the empire by a series of victories, which opened 
the gates of Otesiphon and Seleucia, and revived the memory of 
Trajan's conquests. Verus hastened back to Home, but the 
returning army brought with it the seeds of a terrible pestilence, 
which spread its devastations throughout the West. Famine, 
fires, and eari;hquakes succeeded to the plague, and the public 
terror was brought to a climax by the report of a powerful 
irruption of barburians across the Danube. Superstitious fears 
took possession both of the people and of the prince. Theee 
calamities were attributed to the anger of the gods, and the 
progress which the Christians were making pointed them out 
as suitable victims to appease the divine wrath. Aurelius 
purified the city by a solemn lustration and a lectistemium of 
seven days, and then, to his lasting disgrace, gave orders for a 
cruel persecution of the Christians. 

Aurelius now set out for the seat of war accompanied by 
Verus. The legions were sickly and desponding ; the citizens 
scarcely hoped for their victorious return. Already 
the outposts were in retreat, and the colonists were 
flying before a numerous and organised host of invaders. But 
the memory of Trajan was still held in awe on the Danube. 
Before the emperors reached the Alps, the shadow of their 
great name had gone before them, and sufficed to repel the 
intruders and make them sue for peace. In the following year 
they visited Illyricum and made provision for the defence of 
the empire in that quarter ; and on their return to Home in the 
autumn of 166, Aurelius was relieved,, by the death of the 
feeble Verus, of one source of anxiety and embarrassment. 
From this time forward Aurelius knew no respite from distant 
warfare. Germans, Scythians, and Sarmatians attacked the 
northern frontier. From hifi bead-quarters at Camuntum 

CH. Lxii, Fr6ntter Wars. 357 

(Presburgr), be had to confront them on the frozen Danube in 
winter, on the arid 8teppes in summer. Once his army was 
surrounded by the Quadi, and cut off from its supply of water, 
when a sudden storm fiUed the camp with rain water, and dis- 
prdered the enemy with lightnings. The marvel was attributed 
by some to the incantations of an Egyptian sorcerer, by others 
to the favour of Jupiter Pluvius ; by the Christians it was 
averred to be due to the prayers of a Christian legion tra- 
ditionally known as the thundering legion. The incident is 
represented, and may still be studied, among the sculptures on 
the Aurelian column at Home. 

From the northern frontier Aurelius was suddenly called 
away by the revolt of Avidius Cassius in the East. This able 
and ambitious general spread a report of the em- 
perors death, and invited his soldiers to raise him 
to the purple. He is said to have been urged to this treason 
by the empress Faustina herself, who was as dissolute in her 
conduct as her mother had been, and to whom Aurelius was as 
blindly indulgent as Antoninus had been. Before the emperor 
reached the scene of action, Cassius had fallen by the hand of 
his own soldiers, and Faustina fell sick and died on the journey. 
Aurelius commanded her deification, but the Homans execrated 
her memory, not only for her own vices, but also as the mother 
of the detested Commodus. The Stoic emperor pardoned the 
supporters of the fallen traitor, and, to prove his own spotless 
innocence, caused himself to be initiated in the mysteries at 
Eleusis. On his return to Bome he celebrated a triumph over 
the Sarmatians, together with his son Commodus, now entering 
upon manhood. But the pressure of the northern tribes 
became again intolerable. Once more the philosophic emperor 
was forced to plunge into the noisy turmoil of the camp. With 
failing health, with an exhausted treasury, and troops thinned 
by the desolating plague, he toiled on for three more years at 
what seemed a fruitless task. One great victory is claimed for 
his arms ; and a final triumph began to seem almost within 
reach, when he was carried off by a fever at Vinde- 
bona (Vienna). He at least escaped the mortifica- 
tion of seeing the great Sarmatian war closed by a disgraceful 
peace which was soon after purchased by the Romans. 

Marcus Aurelius, though not endowed with brilliant mili- 
tary genius, yet commanded his legions with courage an4 

3 $8 M. Atirelws a Persecutor. ch. txit 

earnestness, and was not ill seconded by his officers and men. 
But the armies of Rome were no longer what they once had 
been. These troops of foreign mercenaries were not to com- 
pare for martial vigour with the old Italian militia ; and the 
population of the empire was seriously crippled by the plague. 
On the other hand, the Germans and Scythians opposed to him 
flowed forward in irresistible hordes, with all the audacity that 
belongs to the lusty youth of nations. From this time forward 
the tide of victory began to set against the empire. The 
attitude of Rome became purely defensive, and though bhe 
fought bravely, her defence was crippled by a sense of weak- 
ness, and at length by anticipation of defeat. Aurelius seems 
to have perceived, before his countrymen, this downward 
course on which the empire was entering, and to have been 
saddened by the pixwpect. 

The despondency of the imperial philosopher is strongly 
marked in the book of * Meditations,' in which he closely 
analyses his own character and motives. Stoicism had become 
to this, the last great representative of the sect, more than ever 
a matter of conscience and religion ; and as such it not im* 
naturally kindled in his mind a feeling of hostility to the pro- 
fessors of the young and vigorous system which was soon to 
supplant it. The fastidious pride of the Roman philosopher 
could not brook the simple creed on which the Christian leant, 
and by which he ruled himself in action. To live for the state, 
to sacrifice every passion and every interest to the good of the 
state, was the fundamental rule of life to Aurelius. When, 
therefore, he found the Christians withdrawing on religious 
grounds from the duties of the public service, he had found an 
excuse for treating them with cruelty ; and the result was that 
on every occasion of military defeat, inundation, or pestilence, 
he yielded to the cries of the infuriated populace, and crowds of 
Christian martyrs were hurled ' to the lions * in the arena. 

In spite of this wholesale persecution, the new religion 
was steadily advancing in its influence over men's minds, 
Greece and Rome were falling more and more under the influence 
of the East, and the speculations of Oriental philosophy excitedr 
more interest than any other topics. Christianity, derived 
from an Oriental birthplace, seemed to lift the veil from some 
of the deepest mysteries of theosophy, and to satisfy the 
craving of mankind. Digitized by ^^yu^ic , 

CH. Lxiii. CommGdus, Periihax, 359 



We need not dwell long on the reign of the wretched Oommodiis 
the unworthy son of a noble father. At first he allowed the 
government to be administered by the wise statesmen by whom 
his father had surrounded him, and veiled his own profligacy 
within his palace walls. But his own sister Lucilla plotted 
aorainst his life, and the assassin she had hired, as he aimed the 
blow, announced that it was sent by the senate. Gommodus 
escaped, but was thenceforward filled with deadly enmity 
against the senators, and contrived on various false accusations ' 
to rid himself by death or exile of all the most distinguished 
among them. The government then fell into the hands of a 
succession of favourites, some of whom plotted against their 
master, were detected, and executed, while others were sacri- 
ficed to the clamours of the discontended populace. 

The emperor maintained himself upon the throne by 
largesses to the preetorians, and extravagant amusements for 
the people. He himself fought as a gladiator in the arena 750 
times, and delighted to exhibit his prowess by slaying hecatombs 
of wild beasts with bow or javelin, always under due protection. 
He afiected the character of Hercules, and these barbarous 
feats made him a favourite with the rabble. The provinces 
continued to enjoy a quiet and orderly government, but those 
who came in contact with the tyrant were never safe from his 
capricious cruelty. At length, after twelve years of 
empire, he was assassinated by his favourite concu* 
bine Marcia, in concert with Eclectus his chamberlain, and Lsetiie 
the prefect of the jjraetorians. 

Fertinax, a distinguished senator, was at once put forward 
as his successor, and accepted by the praetorians, by the senate, 
and by the people. He was a cultivated and experienced statesr 
man of the same stamp as Galba, but unfortunately without a 
military foUowing. For this reason he lay at the mercy of the 
prsBtorians, and had no choice but to buy their favour with a 
liberal donative. He had no intention, however, to remain a 
mere puppet in their hands, and soon began to enforce discipline 

360 Scptimius Severus . ch, lxiii. 

among them. This they would not endure^ and before three 
months had expired they broke into open mutiny, forced their 
way into the palace, fell upon the emperor and slew him. His 
bhort reign of eighty-seven days had been a contrast indeed to 
that of Commodus. The exiles were recalled ; life and property 
were once more secure; and the finances were recruited by 
legitimate means. There was no power in Rome nor even in 
Italy which could resist the organised force of the praetorians, 
and these mercenaries proceeded to offer the empire for sale to 
the highest bidder. Didius Jiilianus, a senator, satisfied their 
rapacity by the offer of a sum equal to 200/. sterling to each of 
the 12,000 soldiers. He was presented to the senate as the 
choice of the soldiers, and the conscript fathers could but 
submit in silent wrath to the force of arms, and accept the 
upstart emperor. Not so the armies on the frontiers. In three 
independent quarters they flew to arms. The legions on the 
Euphrates saluted their commander Pescennius Niger as 
emperor ; those on the Rhine conferred the purple on Clodius 
Albinus ; the soldiers who kept guard on the Danube nominated 
Septimius Severus. The last-named leader was an African by 
birth, full of enei-gy and ability, and when once the movement 
was resolved on, he lost not a moment in executing it. Hif) 
troops were practised in arms, well disciplined, and near to 
Italy. He led them at once to Rome, and without striking 
a blow reduced the prsetorians to submission, captured the 
wretched Julianus, and put him to death after a reign of two 
months only. The first act of Septimius was to disarm and 
disperse the praetorians who had supported his rival. He then 
organised his own most trusted legions as an imperial guard of 
50,000 men. Leaving the capital securely in their hands, he 
advanced steadily to the East to try conclusions with Niger. 
Arrived within striking distance, he summoned him to surrender 
to the emperor acknowledged by the senate. The eastern pre- 
tender, however, showed fight, but to little avail ; his forces 
were defeated, first at the passage of the Hellespont, and again 
in the defiles of Oilicia ; he himself was taken and slain. 

Severus was now at liberty to deal with his rival in the 

West. Olodius Albinus, though gluttonous and indolent, was not 

A D 1 94 ^thout soldierly qualities, and his troops were of high 

mettle. Severus encountered him at Lugdunum^ in 

Gaul. A desperate battle ensued between the rival armies. 

.CH. LxiiT. conquers his Competitors. 361 

and the result was for some time uncertain, but the fortune of 
Severus ag^ain prevailed. Albinus was routed, captured, and 
put to death. The enterprise of Severus was crowned 
with complete success^ not ill-earned by boldness, 
energy, and conduct. In these qualities he might fairly be 
compared to the great Julius, but he was wanting in the clemency 
which distinguished the first CsBsar. On his return to Rome, 
Severus made a searching inquisition into the temper of the 
senators towards him, and finding that many among them were 
kinsmen or friends of one or other of his late rivals, and that no 
strong affection was felt for him by the remainder, he did not 
hesitate to strike terror by the execution of forty of their 
number. The senators stood aghast at his cruelty, but they were 
cowed and gave him no further trouble. 

The rule of Severus was a pure autocracy; but it was 
equitable and beneficent. He spent little time at Rome, which 
he could leave securely guarded by his praetorian army, while 
the dvil government was carried on by the lawyer Papinian. 
Severus once more led the Roman legions to Gtesiphon and 
Seleucia, and impressed upon the Parthians a lasting respect for 
the power of Rome. In his later years he visited Britain, and 
penetrated far into the wilds of Caledonia ; but he concluded 
that the safest limit of the empire was the line laid down by 
Hadrian, which he ordered to be strengthened by a second 
rampart. Severus died at York, giving as his last ^ ^ ^^^ 
watchword ' Laboremus,' as though, in his opinion, 
the spade were quite as effective an implement of war as tho 

Julia Domna, the wife of Septimius Severus, adorned her 
imperial station with many high qualities, but she had the mis- 
fortune to be the mother of two princes, one of whom became 
almost the greatest monster of the whole imperial series. These 
two brothers, Bassianus, generally known by the nickname of 
Oaracalla, and Geta, were present with their father in Britain 
At the time of his death. They both set out at once for Rome, 
but so ill-disposed were they towards each other that they 
kept apart throughout the long journey. The quarrel continued 
to rage between them in the capital, till at length Oaracalla 
poniarded his brother with his own hand in his mother's arms. 
The fratricide made no secret of his crime, and proceeded to 
.secure his own safety by the slaughter of every man and womaA 

•3^)2 . Caracalla. Macrinus; ch. Lxia 

whom he regarded as an adherent of the murdered Geta. 
Thousands perished, and among them Fadilla, the last surviving 
daughter of Aurelius, and Papinian, the minister of SeveruS, 
who had refused to write a public defence of the infamous deed. 
Haunted by the furies of an evil conscience, this rude, illiterate, 
and hideous monster soon fled from Rome and roamed about 
the remoter provinces of the empire, not pretending to take 
command of the armies, but slaking his cruel thirst for blood 
wherever the fancy took him. At Alexandria he revenged 
himself for some popular gibes by a frightful massacre. His 
miserable life was protracted by frequent changes of residence 
for six years. He was Idlled at last on tha borders 
'of Syria at the instigation of his chief minister 
Macrinus, one of the prefects of the city, who found that his 
own life was in danger from the tyrant. 

Macrinus easily bribed the soldiers on the frontier to pro- 
claim him emperor, and in spite of some murmurs at the 
elevation of another African of low birth, he was for the time 
recognised by the senate and the people of Home. He remained, 
however, in the East, and set himself to improve the discipline 
of the legions, and to reduce their emoluments within more 
reasonable limits. This effort, though much needed, and 
prudently exerted, produced discontent among the soldiers, and 
led to the speedy downfall of the usurper. 

It wlU be well to pause at this point and take a general 
view of the situation of the empire. The system of govern- 
ment introduced by Augustus was in form and in fact a com- 
promise or balance between three great powers in the state— 
the senate, the people, and the army. The emperor, as prince 
of the senate, tribune of the people, and conunander of the 
army, professed to derive his authority from each of these three 
forces, and to exercise it as their constitutional representative. 
The rule of Augustus embodied this idea in practice with 
marvellous accuracy. That of his successors in the main con>- 
formed to it loyally, in spite of the capricious vagaries of a 
Caligula or a Nero. Under the Flavii, the empire rested some- 
what more avowedly upon the will of the legions. Under 
Nerva and his successors, the influence of the senate was appa- 
rently increased, and served to mask the really preponderant 
power of the army. Throughout this period the popular 
element in the commonwealth^ the Boman mob^ fell more and 

€H. LxiiL Citizenship made Universal,, 363 

more into contempt. It was enough to feed it and to amuse it 
Its suii'rages could always be purchased. But in the mean time a 
new and more important Boman people was growing year by 
year in numbers and in influence. The liberal policy of JuHuS 
Osesar towards the Gauls and other foreign races had bee9 
revived by Claudius, and from his time forwards large numbers 
of provincials were from time to time admitted as citizens of 
Home. The sums paid for the enfranchisement of individual^ 
formed an important source of revenue to the imperial treasury. 
These new citizens cast in their lot with the Roman officials, 
supported them in their despotic government, and helped them 
to control any popular movements which might arise. Under 
Hadrian this class of provincial citizens already comprised 
nearly the whole free population. Under Caracalla, by the 
advice of the wise jurisconsults whom his father had placed 
around him, the edict was issued by which the citizen^ip of 
Borne was conferred upon all. 

Side by side with this great social revolution, the trans?* 
formation and codification of the law had been advancing with 
rapid strides. The old municipal law of Rome was quite 
inadequate to the needs of a world-wide empire ; and genera* 
tions of lawyers had been working under imperial supervision 
to incorporate the legal principles and usages of other civilised 
communities into that logical snd harmonious system which 
became in later times the basis of modem European law. 
At the foundation of this world-wide system of citizenship and 
law lay a principle utterly repugnant to old Roman ideas, a 
principle which owed its gradual acceptance to the teaching of 
the Stoic philosophers — that of the universal brotherhood and 
natural equality of all men. The Romans learnt it from the 
Greeks. It was earnestly maintained by Cicero and Seneca, 
embodied in wise laws by the philosophic jurists of the em- 
pire, and authoritatively enforced by Hadrian, Antoninus, and 

The current of religious thought flowed in like manner in 
an ever-widening channel. The gods of Greece and Egypt 
were admitted side by side with those of Italy into the Roman 
Pantheon. The GhtuHsh deities Taranis and Hesus were 
identified vdth Jupiter and Mars, and the Druidical priesthood 
was replaced by a hierarchy of Flamens and Aruspices. The 
Jewish religion was recognised^ and Christianity, though never 

364 Elagabalus^ Priest of the Sun. tn. Lxiit. 

authorised, and often persecuted, was generally tolerated. 
During the period of peace and prosperity which followed the 
death of Marcus Aurelius, no inquisition was made into the 
belief of the Ohristians. Their manners and teaching began to 
exercise a wholesome influence upon society ; the number of 
converts among families of high rank increased ; and the 
Christian bbhope, especially the bishop of Bome^ became almost 
a recognised power in the state. 

Under these circumstances Home was not unprepared for 
•the strange phenomenon which now burst upon the world. 
The children of Mars and Quirinus were required to accept as 
their chief, their prince, and their supreme pontiff, a stripling 
from Syria, a priest of the Sun, clothed in the Oriental tiaiti 
and linen stole, and invested by the devotees of his cult and 
nation with a peculiar personal sanctity ; and they did ac- 
cept him. On the fall of Oaracalla, the empress-mother, Julia 
Domna, put an end to her life ; but her sister Julia Msesa, herself 
•a widow, retired to Antioch with her two daughters, Soemias 
and Mamsea, who were also widows. Soemias the elder had 
^one son, Bassianus. Mamsea had also a son named Alexander. 
«The young Bassianus, conspicuous for the beauty of his £Eu;e and 
figiure, became priest of the Sun in the temple at Emesa. The 
legions stationed there chafed at the hard discipline of Macrinus; 
they fancied they could detect in the features of Bassianus 
some resemblance to the house of Sever us ; tbey pretended that 
he was the son of Oaracalla, and by a sudden movement pro- 
claimed him emperor. Macrinus was taken by surprise, and 
dismayed by the popularity of his rival ; the praetorian troops 
in attendance upon him were faithful, and almost made up by 
their valour for the numbers of effeminate Orientals to whom 
,they were opposed, but Macrinus fled, and, with his son, was 
AD 218 ^'^^^^y taken and slain. The contending armies 
promptly fraternised, and the senate acquiesced in 
an appointment which bore some semblance of a return to the 
principle of hereditary descent. 

The deity of the Sim was worshipped at Emesa under the 
form of a rude black stone, and under the name of Elagabalus. 
His priest was de^gnated by the same name, and is known 
among the Roman emperors as Elagabalus. Ignorant alike of 
Itoman history and Roman manners, the Oriental youth trans* 
^ferred his superstitious cult, his filthy depravity, and his 

CH. Lxiii. ; Alexander Severus. "\ 365 

effeminate drefis unchanged to the city of Augustus and 
Antoninus. The period of his rule, which was happily not 
prolonged, marks the lowest depth of infamy and degradation 
to which imperial Rome ever sank. His grandmother Msesa 
persuaded him to make his cousin Alexander, a . 

youth of better promise, his colleague in the empire, 
and soon after the praetorians mutinied, and put an end to his 
miserable life and principate. 

Alexander was readily accepted as his successor, and took 
the additional name of Severus. Under this amiable prince 
the empire enjoyed some years of peace, and was relieved from 
much of the taxation imposed by the necessities of warlike or 
profligate rulers. His minister, Ulpian, carried forward the 
important work of codifying the law. Eaised to power at the 
early age of eeventeen, Alexander was too much under the 
influence of his mother Mamsea, who seduced him into some 
acts of injustice and cruelty towards his wife and his father-in- 
law. The praetorians, when they found that the child whom 
they had placed upon the throne was resolved to keep them 
under control, broke into mutiny. But their anger was directed 
more against the minister than the emperor. The citizens rose 
in arms to defend Ulpian, but in vain ; he was seized and mas- 
sacred within the palace. Alexander watched his opportunity 
to avenge the deed upon Epagathus, the praetorian leader ; and 
as time went on he displayed a firmness in dealing with his 
mutinous legions which enabled him to acquire the mastery over 

Without being a profound student or an acute philosopher, 
Alexander was fond of literature and eager to make himself 
acquainted with the lives and teaching of the best and wisest of 
mankind. Among the images set up in his chapel as objects of 
devout contemplation, are said to have been those of Orpheus, 
Abraham, and Jesus Christ. Amid the cheerful contentment 
which reigned around him, he was never tempted to raise a 
persecuting hand against the Christians. 

At length the affidrs of the East, where the Persian 
monarchy had risen upon the ruins of the Parthian, compelled 
him to take the field. His operations were conducted on a 
grand scale, but resulted in no substantial success, though one 
great victory is ascribed to him. From Asia he returned to 
the camps of the Danube and the Rhine, and there his careeE 

36^ The Franks and Allemannu ch. lxih. 

was abraptly cut short by a mutiny, whicli raised to the purple 
au obscure Thracian peasant named Maximinus. 
This barbarian emperor was conspicuous for his 
gigantic stevture and rude prowess ; but he was entirely illite- 
rate, and ignorant even of the Greek language. 



The usurper Maximin was followed by a succes^on of 
emperors whose brief and feverish reigns, with one or two 
exceptions, have little to interest us. It will suffice to record 
their names, and the circumstances of their elevation to the 
purple, after first casting a general glance upon the relations of 
Home to the communities around her. The rulers of the state 
will henceforth be stationed on the frontiers ; and the city of 
Rome will fall out of notice, until our attention is recalled to 
it by the triumph of the Christian religion. 

The increasing force and activity of the barbarians forms 
the chief political feature of the period before us. We find 
them now associated into three powerful confederations, each 
of which in turn proved too strong for the imperial forces. 
About the time at which we are now arrived, the tide of inva- 
sion was turned on the Rhenish frontier, and the German tribes 
began to force their way into the Roman provinces. The 
Chauci, the Qhatti, and the Cherusci, united under the common 
designation of the Franks, at length overcame the resistance of 
the legions on the Lower Rhine, and carried their devastations 
through the whole extent of Gaul. Thence they passed into 
Spain, and, seizing the ships in the harbours, traversed the 
Mediterranean to its most distant shores. The Frankish con- 
quests, however, were not permanent, and after the storm was 
passed the Roman power was re-established within its ancient 

On the Upper Rhine and the head waters of the Danube, 
in the countries now known as Baden, Bavaria, and Bohemia, 
four important tribes, the Suevi, the Boii,the Marcomanni, and 

ctt. Lxiv. The Goths and Saracetis,. 367 

the Quadi, were banded together under the title of Allemanni. 
After a protracted struggle with the garrisons of RhsBtia and 
Pannonia, the Allen^ianni^ in a.d. 272, burst the barrier of the 
Alps, and spread desolation over Northern Italy as far as 
Eavenna. The invaders, it is true, failed to acquire any firm 
footing, and yielded to the enervating effect of the soft Italian 
climate; but the empire was made painfully sensible of ita 
weakness, and even Home itself was seen to He almost at the 
mercy of the barbarians. 

The Goths, the most formidable of all the barbarians, 
became known to the Eomans at this period. They appeared 
on the Lower Danube with their kindred Getse, and that river 
proved no effective barrier to their progress. They were daring 
navigators, who did not fear to traverse the broad and stormy 
Euzine. They ravaged the coast of Asia Minor ; they sacked 
the rich cities of Trapezus, Oyzicus, and Nicomedia ; 
at last they penetrated the Hellespont, and carried 
the terror of their name through Greece and the islands of the 
^gean, and as far even as Calabria. 

In the far East the empire was assailed by another power. 
The waning monarchy of Parthia had expired, and in its place 
a young and vigorous Persian dynasty had arisen. Ardshir the ' 
son, and Sapor the grandson of Sassan, took advantage of the 
weakness of the empire, and once more reduced Amienia to 
dependence upon them. They repelled the attack of Alexander 
Severus, recovered possession of the recent Koman conquests, 
and in their turn ventured to invade the Roman provinces of 
Asia Minor. Further south the Saracens began to come into 
notice, harassing the borders of civilisation in Palestine and 
Egypt. Throughout the empire the country parts were infested 
by bands of brigands, and government scarcely existed outside 
the walls of the cities. Innumerable finds of the hoarded 
coins of this period attest the prevalent sense of insecurity. Of 
the emperors whose faces appear on the coins of these troubled 
times, two things are worthy of note. First, however selfish 
might be their personal ambition, they never neglected the 
paramount duty of defending the empire against all assailants ; 
and second, none of them ever dreamt of tearing a limb from 
the empire and setting himself up as an independent provincial 
monarch. The all looked to Rome as the centre of authority, 
and assumed the titles and functions of Roman emperors. 

368^^ The Gordidns. Philippus, ch. lxivw^ 

The usurpation of Mazimin was deeply resented by the 

senators, and the two Gordians, father and son, who held high 

office in Africa, stood forward as the representatives of this 

feeling and the opponents of the Thracian upstart. They 

assumed the purple^ and in concert with the senate prepared to 

defend Italy against Maximin, but they were attacked by the 

neighbouring governor of Mauretania : the younger 

was slain in battle, and the elder driven in despair 

to kill himself. Maximus, a rude but able soldier, and Balbinus, 

a cultivated orato?, were chosen by the senate to supply their 

place, and with them was associated a third Gordian, the 

grandson of the elder, a mere boy, who received the title of 

Osesar. Maximin advanced into Italy and laid siege to 

Aquileia, and being delayed tbere by the gallant resistance of 

the place, his soldiers mutinied and murdered him. 

'A few months later Maximus and Balbinus fell 

victims in the same manner to their soldiery, and the young 

Gordian assumed the purple as sole emperor. 

For five years the government was ably administered by 

his minister, Misitheus. Gordian in person repelled an attack 

of the Persians upon Syria. But Misitheus died, and his 

successor Philippus, an Arabian, conspired against 

his master. Gordian was slain by his own soldiers 

on the Euphrates, and Philippus reigned in his stead. 

This Oriental prince has been claimed as a convert to 
Christianity. The most important act of his reign shows that 
A.D. 248, be did not scruple to propitiate the gods of Home by 
A.U. 1001. the most solemn of all their rites. On April 21, 
A.D. 248, he celebrated the thousandth anniversary of the foun- 
dation of the city with great pomp, and performed the secular 
games veith all the splendour given to that festival by Augustus 
and his successors. He was anxious perhaps to reassure the 
citizens at a moment when the Goths, a new and formidable 
enemy, were threatening the empire on the side of MsBsia.. 
But his own troops were in open mutiny headed by Maximus, 
who pretended to the empire. Philip despatched Decius 
against him, but Decius in his turn was set up by the troops as 
a rival claimant to the throne. The issue was decided between 
them at Verona in a battle in which Philip was defeated and 

Once more the Romans saw at their Jy^bfCfS^etor of the 

CH. Lxiv; Decrus, Valerian, 369 

best Koman blood, who was also a brave soldier. Becius 
belonged to the old plebeian bouse famous in bistory for its 
patriotic devotion. He bad not scbemed for power, but it bad 
been tbrust upon bim. In bis opinion Eome could only be 
saved by a victorious army^ and tbe discipline of tbat army 
could only be maintained by a return to ancient Koman 
principles. In tbe eyes of one wbo put bis trust in tbe gods of 
Home, toleration was a weak mistake, and Decius insisted that 
tbe Christians should conform to the ancient ordinances of the 
state. Tbe Goths were threatening invasion ; and as in former 
crises of a similar kind, so now^ but with unexampled severity, 
persecution fell upon the believers. Tried by the test of heathen 
vows and sacrifices^ many false professors doubtless fell into 
apostasy; but the true remnant were drawn together more 
closely than ever, and confirmed each other in the faith by 
many noble examples. The storm of persecution, though sharp, 
was transient. Decius hastened to the scene of war in Meesia 
to prepare bis legions for the coming struggle, leaving Valerian 
in charge of the city with the office and title of censor. In 
three campaigns Decius opposed a manful resistance 
to tbe encroaching foe ; and at length gained the 
distinction of fallings first of all the Koman emperors^ on the 
field of battle. A gallant son perished with him, but the 
devotion of these latter Decii gained no triumph for Kome. 

The senate nominated for his successor an officer named 
Gallus, who at once purchased a humiliating peace; but all 
parties were dissatisfied : Gallus was murdered by the soldiers, 
and an officer of the Danubian army, ^milianus, took his 
place. Against this new pretender Valerian now 
advanced at the head of the army of tbe Khine, and 
^milianus in his turn was assassinated. Valerian, with his 
son Gallienus, wore the purple for the period, now unusually 
long, of seven years. He was not destitute of civic virtues, and 
bore his dignity with grace and moderation; but he proved 
incapable of dealing with the barbarians, and during his reign 
the frontier provinces were often overrun by the Franks and the 
Goths, At length Valerian girded on his sword, and marched 
to the Euphrates to check the career of the conquering Sapor. 
He was, however, defeated and captured at Edessa ; and after 
suffering unheard-of indignities, the Persian tyi-ant mounting 
Qn bis captive's back into tbe saddle, be died, and bis skin, 

B B 

370 Gallienus. Zenobia. ch. lxiv. 

tanned and painted purple, was suspended in a temple. Sapor 
advanced into Asia Minor ; but was content to return to Persia, 
carrying with him a multitude of slaves. The 
indolent Gallienus made no attempt to repair the 
honour of the empire, which was better sustained by Odena- 
thus, a Syrian chieftain, who defended Palmyra^ and who 
assumed the title of emperor. 

While GaUienus lingered in vicious ease at Rome, a host of 
pretenders sprang up in every quarter of the empire. Roman 
writers have called them the thirty tyrants, and their number 
did not fall short of nineteen; but one after another they 
perished by the hands of their own troops or by the arms of 
the emperor's loyal lieutenants. Odenathus alone was accepted 
83 a colleague by Gallienus, and honoured with the title of 
Augustus. He and his gallant queen Zenobia were the most 
distinguished persons of that obscure but turbulent epoch. 

In due course Gallienus met with a violent end in a tumult 
in the camp. In his last moments he nominated for his 
successor, Olaudiud, a man of courage and ability, 
though of mean birth and foreign extraction. With 
him begins a brief revival of military glory. The civil contests 
of the last few years had exercised the legions, and elicited 
such military ability as might exist. At the same time the 
city of Rome had been completely severed from the imperial 
camp. By a decree of Gallienus the senators were prohibited 
from taking any part in military affairs. The citizens acquiesced, 
and were content to lead an easy life, busied only with the 
ceaseless war of words, interested in the disputes between the 
Neo-Platonists and the Christian sects, while the defence and 
government of the empire were left to provincials and strangers, 

Claudius routed the Goths in the great battle of Naissus in 
MaBsia, and assumed the name of Gothicus. He then prepared 
A D 270 ^ advance against the Persians, and to compel the 
submission of Odenathus and Zenobia; but his 
career was cut short by a natural death at Sirmium on the 
Danube, and he nominated the gallant captain Aurelian for his 
successor. This man, the son of an lUyrian peasant, proved' 
himself one of the ablest chiefs of the Roman lemons. He 
defeated the Goths on the Danube, but prudently withdrew the 
outposts of the empire from the northern bank of that river. 
"With his legions largely reinforced by barbarian cohorts, he 

CH. Lxiv. Aurelian, Probus. 371 

hastened to the East, and encountered no unworthy rival in 
Zenobia, queen of Palmyra. Zftnobia, who was guided by the 
counsels of the philosopher Longinus, enjoyed and deserved a 
high reputation for political capacity. She resisted the Roman 
emperor in the field ; but was overpowered and carried captive 
to Rome to grace her conqueror's triumph. Aurelian, however, 
spared her life, and she long lived in dignity and honour at 
Hadrian's villa near Tibur. The emperor, who was a stera 
disciplinarian, was preparing to carry out a virulent 
persecution of the Christians when he fell by assas- 
sination ; and such was the respect in which he was held by the 
legions, that they consented to wait six months for the nomi* 
nation of his successor by the senate. One substantial monu- 
ment of his short reign remains in the existing walls of Rome, 
which were first erected in his time as a defence against the 
Allemanni who had penetrated into the heart of Italy. The 
walls of Servius had long been outgrown, and the new enclo- 
sure, with its circuit of twelve or thirteen miles, contained 
within it aU the suburbs, and comprised an area three or four 
times that of the Servian. The city of Aurelian (Orleans) in 
Gaul, built on the foundations of the ancient Genabum, was 
another of his works. He designed it as a check upon the 
encroachments of the Franks and Allemanni, and his name i9 
still perpetuated in its modem appellation. 

Aurelian's successor, Tacitus, was selected by the senate. 
He was a man of good birth and of good character ; 
but his great age rendered him incapable of enduring 
the fatigues of war, and he succumbed after a campaign of a 
few months against the Scythians. 

Again the army undertook to create an emperor, and made 
an excellent choice in Aurelius Probus, a tried and bnlliant 
general, and, like Aurelian, a native of Sirmium. Probus 
defeated the Germans on the Rhine and the Danube : he next 
overthrew the Goths ; and then, marching to the extreme east 
of the empie, compelled the Persians to agree to an honourable 
peace. The peace of the empire being thus secured, Probus 
employed his legions in draining marshes and planting vine- 
yards. He also re-established the cultivation of the vine in 
Spain, Gaul, Britain, and the Danubian provinces, where it had 
been prohibited since Domitian's time in the interest of the 
Italians. But these peaceful labours were distasteful to the 

BB 2 

372 Carus, Diocletian. ch. lxiv. 

legionaries, and, after a useful reign of six years^ Probus was 
killed in a mutiny. 

The prize of empire fell next to Gaul. Oarus, who was 
chosen hy the legions to fill the vacant throne, was a native of 
Narbonne. He, too, was a hardy soldier who paid no attention 
to Rome, but spent his life in the camp. His son Oarinus 
was of a violent and brutal temper ; yet Carus was reluctantly 
compelled to leave the young OsBsar in command of the western 
provinces, while he himself led a fresh expedition against the 
Persians. Oarus was the first Koman emperor who penetrated 
in person beyond Otesiphon on the Tigris ; but the fates seemed 
to forbid the transgression of that limit by a Roman general, 
and Oarus was suddenly cut off, whether by accident or 
treachery is uncertain. His son Numerian at once led the 
legions homewards ; but he also was struck down, and it iai 
probable that the deaths of both father and son were due to 
the ambition of their lieutenant Aper, who undoubtedly aimed 
at the succession. 

Meanwhile another chief, the Dalmatian Diodes or Diocle- 
tianus, was on the watch for his own advancement. He had 
risen from the lowest ranks by sheer force of talent, and had 
been early assured by a prophetess that he was destined for 
empire, and that he would attain it by the slaughter of a boar. 
Assiduous hunting in the forests of Gaul and Msesia had won 
lor him no prize of power. But now he knew that his hour 
was come ; and, as he thrust his sword into the bosom of Aper 
to avenge his murdered chief, he confidently called upon the 
army and the senate to recognise his own claims and lift him 
to the purple. The army of the East adhered staunchly to him. 
Oarinus, at the head of the forces of the West, disputed his 
succession, and showed high military capacity in more than one 
victorious engagement. But the star of Diocletian 
was in the ascendant. His rival was cut off by an 
assassin ; and the man who best imderstood the needs of the 
empire and of the age was left in undisturbed commaDd of the 
resources of the state. 

d by Google 

CH. Lxv. Reorganisation of the Empire, %T}^ 



The accession of Diocletian to power marks a new epocli in the 
history of the Roman empire. The old names of the repuhlic, 
the consuls, the tribunes, even the senate itself, have by this 
time lost all political significance. The empire of Rome is 
henceforth constituted as a pure Oriental Autocracy ; and the 
very name of citizen falls into disuse. If the provincial magis- 
trates and assemblies still retain some of their ancient functions, 
they are strictly limited in their action to matters of police 
and finance. Hitherto the senate had been popularly regarded 
as the legitimate centre of administration and source of authority ; 
but in practice it was rarely able, and then only on sufferance, 
to assert its right to select the chief of the state. The result of 
this weakness was that the provinces lay at the mercy of the 
armies. At any moment the empire might be torn asunderinto as 
many kingdoms as there were armies. The chief of the strongest 
army called himself emperor ; but, in the absence of a central con- 
trolling power, only the fortune of war or the chance stroke of thef 
assassin's dagger could decide who should be emperor. The danger 
of disruption was becoming yearly more imminent, when Dio- 
cletian arose to knit the empire once more together into a living 

Since the reign of Gallienus the senators had been for- 
bidden to take any part In military matters ; and this rule, in 
which they indolently acquiesced, had deprived them of the 
last remnant of substantial power. Accorc&ngly, in framing his 
new imperial constitution, Diocletian took no account of the 
senate ; but such was the traditional dignity of that once splendid 
assembly, that the emperor prefen-ed to remain at a distance 
from the city where it still held its sittings. In order to put 
an effective check upon the ambition of his officers, Diocletian 
associated with himself three other chiefs, each of whom should 
rule over a separate quarter of the empire, and combine in 
maintaining their common interest. His first step was to choose 
for his colleague Maximianus, an lUyrian peasant, whom he 
invested with the title of Augustus, a.d. 286. Maximianus was 
deputed to control the Western portionoiofe tiie empire, while 

374 First Division of the Empire, ch. lxv. 

Diocletian took command in the East. But; finding the burden 
of government more than could he home hy two rulers, he, in 
the year 292, created two Caesars, the one, Qalerius, to share 
with him the empire of the East ; the other, Oonstantius Ohlorus, 
to divide the West with Maximian. The Csesars were bound 
more closely to the Augusti by receiving their daughters in^ 
marriage. Each of these four princes reigned as a king in his 
own territory, having his own court and capital as well as his 
own army and camp ; though the supremacy of Biocletain was 
fully recognised. Diocletian reigned at Nicomedia over ABia 
Minor, Syria, and Egypt; his Csesar, Galerius, resided at 
Sirmium, and governed the Danubian and Macedonian provinces. 
Maximian occupied Italy, Africa, and the adjacent islands, with 
his head-quarters at Milan ; while Oonstantius, established at 
Treves, undertook the defence of the Rhenish frontier, and 
drew the forces needed for the task from the martial provinces 
of Spain, Gaul, and Britain. 

All the four emperors found serious work to do in quieting 
rebellious subjects, overthrowing pretenders to sovereignty, or 
repelling foreign foes; but they all acted with energy and 
success. Egypt was pacified, Mauretania humbled ; Galerius 
reduced the Persians to submission; Oonstantius discomfited 
the Allemanni who had invaded Gaul, and put down the pre- 
tenders Oarausius and AUectus in Britain. Thus victorious in 
every quarter, Diocletian celebrated his twentieth year of power 
by a triumph at the ancient capital, and then returned to 
Nicomedia. He soon afterwards formed the resolution to 
relieve himself of the cares of government, and called upon 
Maximian to do the same. On May 1, a.d. 806, being then 
fifty-nine years of age, Diocletian performed the act of abdica- 
tion at Morgus in Msesia, where he had first assumed the purple 
at the bidding of the soldiers. On the same day a similar scene 
was enacted by his colleague Maximian at Milan. Diocletian, 
completely successful in all his plans, crowned his career of 
moderation and self-restraint by confining himself during the 
remainderof his life to the tranquil enjoyment of a private station. 
He retired to his residence near Salona, in his native province 
Dalmatia, and amused himself during his declining years with 
the cultivation of his garden. 

During the reign of Diocletian a serious outbreak of the 
labouring population occuiTed in Gaul, i^feiiystem of imperial 

en. Lxv. The Bagandce, The Christians, 375 

taxation was intensely oppressive. The peasants, though legally 
fifee, were in fact registered and bound to the soil, in order to 
guard against any of them evading his share of the taxes. 
The restriction thus placed upon the natural movements of 
population produced, in years of famine, pestilence, or war, the 
direst distress. At the best of times the local officials could 
only escape ruin for themselves by grinding to the utmost the 
classes below them. Under this evil system, the wealth and 
population of the empire were fast sinking, while the luxury of 
the magnates and the necessities of the government increased. 
Gaid had suffered much from the incursions of the barbarians and 
from civil wars during the last half-century, and the distress 
thus caused led to the insurrection of the Bagandae or rustic 
banditti. For several years the country was overrun with 
troops of famished and furious marauders, who attacked all 
property, and, in the case of Autuu, sacked and destroyed one of 
the chief centres of Gaulish civilisation. The insurrection at 
length died out ; but the imperial government failed to learn 
from it the urgent necessity of devising some less exhausting 
system of taxation. 

The Christian writers have represented the BagandsB as 
believers who had been driven to desperation by repeated per- 
secutions. This statement is not corroborated by the pagan 
records, and there are strong grounds for doubting the truth of 
it; but it does seem likely that the insurrection opened the 
eyes of the government to the explosive nature of the prevailing 
cQscontent, and inclined them to regard Christianity with a 
jealous and hostile eye. Certainly it was at this time that the 
most general and violent effort was made to stamp out the new 
faith altogether. Diocletian was opposed to such a course ; but 
both Maximian and Galerius m*ged it upon him, and at length 
prevailed. The persecution which followed was systematic and 
relentless. Constantius, however, refused to take part in it, and 
the Christians in Gaul, the country of the Bagandse, were 
unmolested. Though Diocletian allowed himself to be persuaded 
against h^s better judgment to become a persecutor, we need 
not suppose that his cruelties were prompted by any super- 
stitious fear of the offended pagan deities such as had dictated 
the earlier persecutions. Neither is it probable that he had any 
fanatical desire to prop the tottering edifice of pagan philosophy 
ftnd superstition against the assaults of the new Mthi^iThe aim 

376 Death of Constantius Chloru^. ch. lxv. 

of Diocletian's life had been to ite-establish a powerful central 
government, which might command absolute obedience through^ 
out every comer of the empire. In this he had succeeded ;• but 
meanwhile the growing power and organisation of the Christian 
Church had become a state within a state. Courts and prefects 
did not like to see their authority rivalled by that of metro- 
politans and bishops. Diocletian would not brook the existence 
of a power independent of his own sovereign will ; and it was in 
order to extirpate such a power that he declared internecine war 
against the Church. He had undertaken a task which was 
beyond his or any man's strength, and which was doomed to 
failure. He had underrated the moral force, the unquenchable 
vitality of a society, which could not only survive but multiply in 
defiance of his ruthless edicts. He lived to see the persecution 
come to an end, and perhaps even to hear, in his retirement, of 
the edict of Milan, which guaranteed to the Christians once for 
aU an established position in the commonwealth. 

Notwithstanding the ability which Diocletian had dis- 
played in the government of his realm, the distribution of power 
he affected to make on his abdication seems to indicate caprice 
or weakness. Instead of inviting the two Caesars to step into 
the superior position of Augusti, and associate each with him- 
self a CflBsar of his own choice, he allowed Galerius to nominate 
both the new princes ; and Constantius was required to accept 
for his Csesar one Flavins Severus, to the injury of his own son 
Constantine's claims. Constantius was at the time lying sick in 
the north of Britain. Galerius was watching for his death, 
and hoping to secure for himself supreme authority over the 
whole empire. But Constantius was beloved by his subjects, 
and especially by the many Christians who had taken refuge 
under his sway, for his moderation. He was also admired by the 
soldiers for his victories over the Allemanni and the Cale- 
donians. At the moment of his death, they pro- 
claimed his son Constantino emperor in their camp 
at York, and this nomination was received with enthusiasm by 
all classes throughout the West. Galerius did not venture to 
oppose it ; but insisted that Constantino should be content with 
the fourth place among the associated princes with the sub- 
A.D. 806. ordinate title of Caesar. Constantino affected to be 
A.D. 812. satisfied, and devoted himself during six years to the 
administration of the Northern provi^j^Hf^ ^^ ,jj^ thoroughly 

CH. Lxv. Death of Maxiinian and Galerius, 377 

quelled the barbariaDS in Britain^ and put the Roman province 
in a complete state of defence. He re-established the pro- 
Tincial government which had been overthrown by Oarausius* 
Thence he hastened to the Ehine, where the Germans werfr 
making fresh incursions, and completed his victory at Novio^ 
magus by a terrible massacre of his captives. To his own sub- 
jects he was merciful and kind, protecting the Christians^ and 
easing the burden of taxation which had pressed so hard upon 
the people of Gaid. Though personally indifferent to every 
form of religion, he perceived that Christianity was a rising 
power. His imagination was fascinated by it ; and his vigorous 
understanding recognised the fact that the Christians were the 
best husbands and fathers, the most honest dealers, perhaps the 
bravest of soldiers, certainly the most loyal of subjects. How- 
ever small their numbers compared to those of the pagans, 
their effective force was indefinitely multiplied by their zeal 
and earnestness, and by the admiration their long sufferings 
had extorted. While watching his opportunity for raising him- 
self to the highest place in the empire, Constantino was perhaps 
already meditating an alliance with the greatest moral power of 
the period. 

Meanwhile the senate at Home awoke for a moment from 
its torpor, and, resenting the interference of Galerius with Italy, 
decreed the title of Augustus to Maxentius, the son of their 
late ruler Maximian. Maximian himself issued from his retire- 
ment on the plea of aiding the cause of his son, and sought 
to secure the support of Constantine by giving him his daughter 
Fausta in marriage. Maxentius soon drove his father out of 
Italy, and the old man found a refuge with his son-in-law in 
Gaul. Here his restless spirit drove him to make repeated 
efforts to recover the imperial power which he had resigned. 
His schemes were more than once frustrated, and he himself 
pardoned by Constantine, whose soldiers were ardently devoted 
to their emperor. At length Maximian contrived a plot to take 
the life of his generous benefactor. He was foiled and per- 
emptorily required to put an end to his own existence. 
In the following year occurred the death of Galerius, 
whose cruelties have rendered his name a by-word, and whose 
death from a loathsome disease was regarded by the Chris- 
tians as a divine retribution. Severus was already dead ; and 
Xicinius, by birth a Dacian peasant, had been promoted in hia 

378 Constantine Emperor of the West ch. lxv. 

place. Mazimin, the nephew of Galerius, had been for some 
years the Oaesar of the East. On the death of Galerius, Licinius 
took possession of the empire of the East, and he, with Maximin, 
MaxentiuSy and Oonstantine, divided the Roman world between 
them; aU four claiming the superior title of Augustus. 
Licinius and Gonstantine were both able and ambitious; the 
two other princes were weak and indolent. Scarcely had 
Galerius expired, when Gonstantine crossed the Alps to attack 
Maxentius. He gained three brilliant victories — at Turin, at 
Verona, and lastly at the Milvian Bridge, two miles from 
Home, where Maxentius, after his defeat, was dro wned 
^^' ' in the Tiber. Gonstantine was received with ac- 
clamations in Rome, and speedily acknowledged emperor of 
the West throughout Italy and Africa. In the 3 ear 813 he 
issued at Milan the famous eHict which assured the Ghristians 
not only of his protection but also of hb favour. He after- 
wards affirmed with a solemn oath that while on his march 
from Gaul he had beheld the vision of a brilliant cross in the 
heavens inscribed with the legend, * By this conquer ! * 

Gonstantine, who now saw Rome for the first time, affected 
to treat the senate with respect ; but he took care to prevent 
the city from ever agwn giving laws to the empire by disband- 
ing the preetorian guards and destroying their camp. He veiled 
his own personal faith in studied ambiguity, assuming the office 
of Ghief Pontiff of the old national religion, and erecting 
statues of some of the gods of Olympus on his arch of triumph. 
Gonstantine had accepted the proffered alliance of Licinius, had 
given him his daughter in marriage, and had engaged him to 
set his seal to the edict of Milan. Bearing it back with him to 
the East and placarding it on the walls of Nicomedia, Licinius 
evoked the enthusiasm of the Ghristians, and had little difficulty 
in crushimr his rival Maximin, who, after suffering three defeats, 
poisoned himself at Tarsus. But Gonstantine was jealous of 
the success of Licinius, and, pretending to have discovered an 
intrigue against himself, advanced with a small force to take 
him by surprise. A drawn battle on the plain of Mardia in 
Thrace led to an agreement by which Illyricum, Macedonia, 
Greece, and part of MsBsia were ceded to Gonstantine and incor- 
porated with the Western empire. During the nine years that 
this compact remained in force, Gonstantine was actively 
engaged in reorganising his army and consolidating his vast 

CH. Lxv. Ecclesiastical Councils. 379 

dominions. He reduced the strength of the legions to 1,500 
men, and multiplied the number of them. He admitted slaves 
to the ranks, and generally selected barbarian captains for 
command. At the same time he was busily employed in 
revising the laws, hoping to bring Christians and pagans to live 
harmoniously together under equal laws; but he soon found 
that it was impossible to bring the Christians themselves into 
agreement. The bishops invoked his authoiity and besought 
his interference to reconcile the differences between the sects. 
He held councils at Bome and at Aries, where the 
question in debate turned upon the treatment of the 
weak brethren who had lapsed from the faith in the time of per- 
secution. The Donatists rejected the emperor's decision, which 
was contrary to their views, and he was obliged to have recourse 
to the arm of power. The first imperial council of the Church 
t^as the signal tor the first ecclesiastical persecution. Constanline 
tvas quite disposed to coerce the sectarians into uniformity, and, 
although but half persuaded to be a Christian, he made impor- 
tant concessions to the believers. In the year 321 he enacted 
that no secular labour or civil action, except the emancipation 
of a slave, foe permitted on the ^day of the Sun,' and that 
Christian soldiers be allowed to quit their ranks on that day, 
and attend their religious services. Yet while the principles 
of the Christians were thus respected, their churches protected, 
and their endowments secured to them, Constantino did not 
break with paganism. He was still Chief Pontiff of Jupiter, 
' best and greatest' Vows and prayers might still be addressed 
to the pagan deities and even to the genius of the emperor. 
He even looked forward to being himself enrolled, after death, 
among the objects of national worship. 

All this time Ldcinius was growing mere and more jealous 
of the Western emperor, and of the favour with which the 
Christians regarded him. He foresaw that a struggle between 
them was inevitable, and he foolishly weakened his own cause 
by withdrawing his protection from the Christians. When at 
last the two emperors took the field against each other, Licinius 
openly avowed himself the champion of the pagan gods, and 
the contest became that of the new faith against the old. Con- 
stantine assembled his forces in Greece to the number of 
130,000 men, with the labarum or monogram of Christ dis- 
played upon his standard. licinius encountered him at the 

38o Constaniine * the Great! ch. lxv. 

Bead of 166,000 men, and with a host of aruspiced and diviners 
in his train. The armies met at Adrianople, Constantino 
giving for his watchword * God our Saviour.' The 
Western army, in spite of its inferior numhers, 
carried all before it, and Licinius was driven for refuge into the 
fortress of Byzantium. Thence he was dislodged by Orispus, 
the son of Oonstantine, at the head of the fleet ; and after some 
further efforts at resistance he retired to Nicomedia and made 
a full submission to the victor. He was promised his life, but 
the promise was not long observed. On the death of Licinius^ 
Constantino saw himself at length sole and undisputed sove- 
reign of the whole Roman world. 



OoNSTANTiNB Well deserved the title of ' Great ' which has 
been affixed to his name in common with thof© of only two 
other conspicuous heroes of ancient history. The changes 
effected under his auspices were of more value and importance 
to the world than any achievements of Alexander or of Pom- 
pey. The establishment of Christianity, by itself, and I'egarded 
only as a politic measure, entitles its author to the highest 
honour; and the victories of Constantino in the field, the 
extont of his dominion, and the firm grasp with which he held 
it, were all unsurpassed by any ancient sovereignty. 

From the time of his elevation to sole power he became 
more than ever the protector of the Christians, and no flattery 
was too strong to express their gratitude towards him. In the 
year 325 the strange sight was witnessed of a Roman emperor, 
Chief Pontift* of the pagan religion, surrounded by guards and 
officers of state, presiding over the deliberations of an assembly 
of Christian bishops. This occurred at the famous Council of 
Nicsea, where, after the testimony of the bishops as to the 
tradition of their several dioceses had been received, the final 
judgment on the most abstruse dogmas of the faith was pro- 
nounced by Constantino. The pagans, indeed, asserted that hia. 

CH. LxvL Foundation of Constantinople. 381 

devotion to Ohristianity was due to his need of absolution for 
a domestic crime^ which had been refused to him by the priests 
of the old religion. It is certain that his domestic relations 
were unhappy. Dissension raged between his mother Helena 
and his wife Fausta. He treated his brothers with great 
injustice, and excluded them from public life. His eldest son, 
Orispus, had been borne to him by an early favourite before his 
marriage with Fausta. The latter was jealous of the favour 
in which Orispus was held, fearing it might result in injury to 
her own legitimate offspring. A palace intiigue led to the 
sudden execution of Orispus, and the death of Fausta fol- 
lowed soon after. From the date of that tragedy Oonstantino 
was never free from gloomy remorse. He roamed from city to 
city, fixing his court most commonly in Gaul, at Treves, or 
Lyons, and never visiting Eome except to celebrate the 
twentieth year of his reign. These wanderings came to a close 
at length, when he determined to erect for himself a new 
capital. For many hundreds of years Eoman statesmen had 
looked eastwards ; the chief wealth and intelligence and 
population of the empire were to be found in the eastern 
provinces. Sulla and Pompey had returned to Home dazzled 
and debauched by the splendour and the pomp they had 
^oyed in Asia. Antonius and Osesar had been suspected of 
a design to make themselves Oriental despots. Augustus had 
entertained the idea of rebuilding Ilium. Diocletian had 
actually for a time transferred the chief seat of empire to 
Nicomedia. Oonstantine went beyond aU his predecessors. He 
had marked the advantageous position of Byzantium when he 
pursued Licinius within its walls. He now determined to 
build a new Rome upon the site and make it the administrative 
centre of the empire. With prescient ambition he marked out 
its walls in person, embracing an area as large as that of Bome; 
Here he required his nobles to settie and build palaces for their 
families. Leaving the city and senate of Bome undisturbed, 
he quietiy created a new senate and a new hierarchy of officers, 
and gave them a dignity equal to that of the ancient capital. 
The new metropolis basked in the sunshine of the imperial 
presence, and Bome soon sank into the position of a mere pro- 
vincial capital such as Alexandria, Antioch, or Treves. Oon- 
stantinople became the mistress of the world, and succeeded to 

. * _ . . , .^. _.. . Diqitizsd by VJWVJvIC 

Rome's proudest title, 'The City.' ^ 

382 Death of Constdntine, ch. lxvi. 

This transfer of the seat of empire to the East was due to 
something more than the caprice of the emperor. The position 
of Rome as the centre of imperial power had. been due solely to 
her military supremacy. Throughout the long period of the 
growth of the republic and of the empire, Greece and the East, 
rather than Rome, had been the source whence the intellectual 
movement of the world had sprung. The laws, the literature, 
the philosophy, and now at length the religion of the empire, 
derived their origin from the lands which lay to the east of 
Italy. In wealth, in population, in culture, in intelligence, the 
Greeks and Orientals surpassed the people of Rome and Italy ; 
and, now that the conquerors of the world had lost their once 
pre-eminent qualities of martial hardihood and practical states- 
manship, it was but natural that power should drop from their 
Hands. Another reason for the change may be found in the 
fact that the most dangerous external foes of the empire were 
now to be found in the East. The renewed vitality of the 
Persian monarchy, and the pressure of the Gothic hordes upon 
the line of the Lower Danube, required the constant presence 
and vigilant attention of the ruler in that quarter of the empre. 
A better centre of operations against these enemies than the 
new capital could not have been found. Constantinople, in 
fact, never succumbed to the power of the Goths. It proved a 
t>ulwark to the Eastern half of the empire against their attacks, 
and, by diverting their advance into a more westerly line of 
march, it exposed Italy and Rome to the full force of their 

Here, then, at the southern end of the western shore of the 

Bosphor?^ at the point of junction of two continents, Ctonstan- 

tine reared his imperial city, where for another 

thousand years the traditions of Roman dominion 

were maintamed. Here he passed the la£t six years of his 

successful life. 

Here he celebrated, in 336, the thirtieth anniversary of hia 

elevation to the purple. In the following year, while leading 

his army against the Persian Sapor, he died at 

Nicomedia, receiving at last on his death-bed the 

sacrament of baptism which he had so long delayed, and which 

he probably regarded as a passport to heaven. 

According to his directions, the empire was divided between 
his three sons. Oonstantine, the eldest, ruled over the Western 

CH. Lxvi. Cdnstantius sole Emperor. 383 

provinces, probably at Treves. Constans, the youngest, occu- 
pied Italy, lUyricum, and Africa, but held his court not at 
Borne, nor even in Italy, but at one of the Pannonian fortresses. 
Oonstantius succeeded to the government of the East, making 
Constantinople his capital, and maintaining, during his long 
reign of forty years, the struggle begun by his father against the 
Persian monarchy. It was not long before Oonstantine and 
Constans quairelled and fought. Their forces met 
at Aquileia, and the death of Constantino, which 
ensued, left Constans master of the entire West. He took up 
his residence in Gaul and led a life of indolent dissipation, till 
he was surprised by a mutiny of his soldiers, and 
despatched by their leader Magnentius. The mur- 
derer assumed the purple, and was acknowledged emperor of 
the Western provinces; but the lUyiian legions refused to 
recognise him, and set up an officer of their own, Vetranio, as 
his rival. Constantius heard at Edessa of this double revolt 
against the authority of the house of Constantine. He quickly 
retreated from the Pernan frontier, and, marching across Asia 
Minor and through his capital, he never halted till he con- 
fronted Vetranio near Sirmium. A conference was arranged ; 
the aged Vetranio, touched by a feeling of loyalty, admitted 
the superior claims of his great master's son, descended from 
his throne, did obeisance, and was forgiven. This reconcilia- 
tion was followed by a decisive battle with Magnentius at 
Mursa, in Pannonia. After a bloody encoimter the usurper 
was routed. He fled first to Aquileia, thence to Rome, and 
finally to Gaul, but was at last taken and killed. 
Oonstantius became undisputed ruler of the united 
empire. At the time of Constantino's death the soldiers had 
murdered all the scions of the house of Chlorus except the 
emperor's three sons and two of their cousins, Gallus »^ ^ ^^ 
and Julianus. Constantius now found it necessary 
to his security to execute his cousin Gallus, leaving but one 
collateral branch of his house, Julianus. 

It was now thirty years since Constantine had left Rome. 
A generation of Romans had arisen who had never seen an 
emperor nor witnessed a great military pageant. The senate 
still sat : the consuls still gave their names to the successive 
years: but no affairs of state were discussed: no provincial 
government was directed from the whilom mistress of the 

3^4 '^^^ Divinity of Rome, ch. lxvl 

world. Here, amid the treasures of art collected during 
centuries of supremacy, amid the cultivated society which had 
long gravitated to the centre of empire, the wealthiest and 
idlest of the old aristocracy still loved to congregate. Since 
the edict of toleration all tongues had been loosened ; Christians 
and pagans proclaimed their opinions in hot and sometimes 
angry debate. But the peace was not broken. Substantial 
harmony prevailed among all parties. For fifty years Rome 
had enjoyed a period of tranquil prosperity, such as might, 
perhaps, be compared advantageoudy even with the favoured 
era of the Antonines. 

Although the sceptre had in reality departed from Rome, 
the citizens were far indeed from recognising the fact. They 
did not abate one jot of their ancient pride in themselves and 
their city, however little ground there might be for such self^ 
satisfaction. The success of Rome had always been attributed 
to the reverence of her people for the national gods *, and, despite 
the progress of Christianity, this feeling was by no means extin- 
guished. The belief in such deities as Jupiter, Venus, or 
Apollo, had, it is true^ almost died out ; but in their place the 
divinity of Rome itself, the genius of the empire and of the 
city, had taken a firm hold on the aiFections and the devotion 
of the people. The goddess Roma had her temple, the most 
magnificent of all: she was doubtless there represented by 
an image of bronze or marble ; but the most perfect embodi- 
ment of this ideal divinity was the person of the reigning 
emperor. It had now for centuries been the custom to accord 
divine honours to the emperors after death ; and even during 
life a kind of divine sanctity had long been attached to their 
persons. The Orientals worshipped the emperor as a god 
without hesitation, and even in the West vows were made and 
sacrifices were ofiered in his name. Christian though he might 
profess to be, the emperor did not disclaim these honours nor 
refuse to accept such worship. Surrounded by this halo of 
superhuman power and dignity, Constantius made his public 
entry into the imperial city, which he now saw for the first 
time. He was filled with admiration for the splendid build- 
ings and monuments which met his eye in all directions : the 
temples, the palaces, the theatres, the aqueducts, the memorial 
columns, and the triumphal arches : but he was trained to self- 
control J and, as he moved along slowly iathisthaiii^iie never 

CH. Lxvi, Arianism -^J Constantius, 385 

suffered his eye to glance to tlie right or left, he moved no 
feature nor finger, except when ia passing under some lofty 
archway he was observed to bow his small figure slightly, as 
though he were wont to esteem himself something more 
elevated than human. So unapproachable a superiority did he 
aftect that he never suiFered anyone to sit beside him in his 
chariot, nor associated with himself in the consulship one who 
was not of the imperial family. 

Oonstantius had now to learn with surprise how great was 
the position and power of the bishop of Rome ; and how that 
the faith of the Christians was a force capable of resisting even 
his imperious will. Already during his father's lifetime the 
doctrines of the presbyter Arius had been widely accepted in 
the East. His heresy, which placed the second person of the 
Trinity in a lower scale of divinity than the first, was embraced 
by many as a compromise with Polytheism. The Council of 
Nicaea condemned the heresy, and the heretic was banished ; 
but before his death Ci)nstantine restored Arius to favour, and 
Constantius accepted his teaching and proscribed the orthodox 
believers. He went so far even as to depose Athanasius from 
his see, and when the latter took refuge at Home, and was 
welcomed by Pope liberius, Constantius had called upon the 
Pope to condemn and excommunicate him. Liberius had man- 
fully resisted the emperor's dictation : he had been exiled to 
Thrace, and during his absence an Arian bishop, Felix, had 
l)een thrust into the see. The Christians then absented them-* 
selves from the churches ; and now that the heretical tyrant 
appeared among them, the women came in long procession, like 
the Roman matrons of old, to remonstrate with him for his 
sacrilege. Constantius tried to compromise by declaring that 
Jjiberius and FelLx should both be bishops of Rome conjointly. 
He delivered his decree in the Circus. * Shall we have factions 
in the Church as in the Circus?' exclaimed the indignant 
multitude. ' One God, one Christ, one Bishop I ' was th^ 
universal cry. 

Liberius, broken in spirit by his distant banishment, sub- 
mitted to the imperial will, and was allowed to return to 
Rome ; but the Christians were not to be so easily subdued. 
When Felix attempted to perform episcopal functions in public, 
they broke into open riot. The streets and the baths vrere 
deluged with blood. The factions of Marius and Sulla wer^ 


386 ' Julian the Apostate. ch. lxvi. 

renewed, not for men but for piinciples. Eventually Felix 
fled. Idberiufi resumed his throne, and was not again dis- 
turbed. He prudently stayed away from the council held by 
Oonstantius at Ariminum, at which the Arian heresy was 
formally proclaimed and made the predominant faith. The 
Council of Ariminum sate in the year 359. Oonstantius himself 
died in 861. 



After the slaughter of GaUus, already mentioned, the only scion 
of the house of Oonstantine who survived was Julianus. He 
had been educated in the Christian religion, and had studied first 
at Milan and afterwards at Athens, where he devoted himself 
eagerly to the philosophy and the creeds of Pagan antiquity. 
Through the favour of the empress Eusebia he was advanced 
to the rank of Caesar^ and invested in 355 with the govern- 
ment of Gaul, which was suffering from the incursions of the 
Allemanni. His administration of the province was eminently 
successful ; the invaders were driven out ; the Rhenish frontier 
was strengthened. Fixing his capital at Lutetia, the modem 
Paris, he enlarged and beautified that city, and laid the founda- 
tions of its future eminence. Oonstantius became jealous of 
Ids reputation, and required him to despatch four of his legions 
to the Persian frontier. The soldiers refused to be detached 
from the command of their favourite captain, and compelled 
him to assume the purple and raise his standard against the 
legitimate emperor. Julian led his troops through South 
Germany towards the Danube and Constantinople. He was 
already received with acclamations in the Eastern capital before 
Oonstantius was aware of his approach. The 
emperor started at once from Antioch to confront 
his younger rival, but, worn out with fatigue and anxiety^ he 
cied in Cilicia, and Julian was received in every quarter as his 

Julian, who had never been in Rome, at once crossed the 
Bosphorus, and proceeded to Antioch to prepare for an invasion 

eft. LXAai. His Expedition to Persia. 387 

of Persia. His short reign was spent entirely in Asia. At 
Antioch he cultivated the intimacy of the pagan men of letters, 
and especially of the sophist Libanius. He quickly threw off 
the profession of Christianity, and restored with much ceremony 
the ritual and the sacrifices of the pagan deities. Julian pre-< 
tended to discover the most refined philosophy hidden under 
the forms of a vulgar idolatry ; he also affected an austere life 
of self-denial, and aimed at proving by his practice that the 
morality of Paganism was superior to that of Christianity. The 
people of Antioch, who, though nominally Ohiistian, were a 
loose and frivolous race, resented his apostasy and chafed at the 
severity of this pagan puritan. 

Julianas expedition against Persia was a brilliant advance. 
He floated down the Euphrates with a powerful army, and then 
waited for reinforcements from Armenia before undertaking the 
siege of Ctesiphon. Disappointed of these succours, he never- 
theless penetrated into the interior of Persia. Sapor retreated 
before him, allowed him to pass by his forces, and then attacked 
the exhausted Eomans in the rear. Julian repulsed the enemy 
with great spirit, but was slain in the pursuit. The Christian 
Jovian was acclaimed emperor on the field of battle, and he 
succeeded in extricating his legions from their perilous position. 
The imperial apostasy had triumphed for two years only, and, as 
every Christian held, had been signally punished. 

The history of Rome has now become little else than the 
history of the progress of Christianity. To this progress the 
apostasy of Julian gave indeed a transient check, but it was 
succeeded by an era of more vigorous advance. The religious 
policy of Constantine had been conspicuous for its moderation. 
He tolerated and even favoured Christianity, but he took no 
hostile action against the ancient religion. He retained the title 
of Chief Pontiff to the end of his life, and the Roman senate, the 
stronghold of Paganism, refused to regard him as an apostate, 
and enrolled him at last among the gods. Doubtless Constantine 
was politic as well as zealous. He would not forfeit the support 
of the pagans by overt hostility, yet some of his measures were 
calculated to advance the interests of the new creed and to 
depress the position of the old. When the Christian ministers 
were allowed to share with the pagan priesthood their immunity 
from the burdens of municipal ofiice, it was a clear gain to them, 
lor they were not weighted, like their rivals, with the cost of 
c c 2 / 

388 Obstacle^ to the spread of Christianity, ch. lxvii. 

public sliows. The laws enacted by Constantine against divina* 
lion and magic were a great discouragement to the aruspices 
and to the pagan priests in general, whose services were closely 
connected with magical arts and incantations. The closing on 
moral grounds of the temples of Venus, which had become mere 
resorts of public licentiousness, was another blow to the old 
system, and foreshadowed its approaching dissolution. 

The Ohristians might well be hopeful of the triumph of their 
cause ; yet they were still in a minority, and their progress 
was delayed by two important circumstances. The withdrawal 
of the emperors from Home threw the prestige of authority into 
the hands of the senate and the nobles, who, as the representatives 
of the oldest traditions of the city, adhered almost universally 
to Paganism. The intellectual classes, the sophists and the 
orators, supported the nobles in their resistance to the new 
faith. Altogether Paganism was the fashion at Rome. It was 
rarely that the Ohristians could boast of a convert among the 
leaders of society; and when such an event occurred they 
chanted their victory in no measured tones. The conversion of 
Victorinus, the most popular champion of the worship of the 
pagan deities, and especially those of Egypt, made a great stir. 
When it was announced that he was about to recantin public 
his old opinions, and make a solemn profession of.hki Christian 
faith, crowds flx>cked to hear him, and the impression produced 
by this and similar incidents upon the popular mind was very 

The progress of . Christianity was furtl^er impeded by the 
dissensions of Christians among themselves. It is not sur- 
prising that in a society collected from every clime and nation 
divers interpretations of its fundamental teaching fhould spring 
up; and when persecution ceased and a sense of security, 
succeeded, tliese divisions became embittered. There arose a 
puritan party under the name of Donatists, who insisted upon 
tightening the bonds of discipline, and tore the Church asunder 
under the pretence of binding it more closely together. The 
heresy of the Arians touched the most essentisd doctrine of the 
Church, and there could be no peace between them and the 
orthodox. The favour shown to this heresy by successive 
emperors, and the more facile acceptance it met with among 
all classes, including even the barbarian tribes, embittered the 
feelings of its faithful opponents. Council after council was 

CH. Lxvii. Jidiatis revival of Paganism. 389 

held to endeavour to reconcile these irreconcilable differences j 
and at length the quarrel between the rival Churches became 
a scandal in the eyes of their adversaries. * No beasts of the 
field/ it was remarked by them, ^ are so fierce against one 
another as the Ohristians against the Ohristiaus.' 

Meanwhile Paganism, with little abatement of external 
splendour, was slowly crumbling to decay. The temples were 
still open ; the sacrifices were not disused : the priests enjoyed 
their endowments. But all enthusiasm for the system was 
dead ; the prodigality of offerings and ceremonies was curtailed ; 
the temples fell into disrepair ; the priesthood, with its atten-* 
dant expenses, was regarded as a burden rather than an honour. 
Had the Church been more united, she might perhaps even now 
have entered* upon the inheritance of her predecessors. 

Such were the circumstances under which Julian the 
Apostate determined to strike a blow for the ancient faith. 
His cultivated mind combined the graceful legends of Homeric 
mythology with the moral and spiritual theories of the philo- 
sophic schools. Christianity presented itself to him as the 
religion of the court, deformed by many corruptions, as the 
religion of a depraved tyrant, who had been the persecutor of 
his family and the murderer of his only brother. He recoiled 
from a faith which was disfigured by such gross moral incon- 
sistencies in the highest places both of the Church and of the 

Julian did not venture to adopt the barbarous practices of 
the persecutors of old in devoting the lelievers to the sword, the 
fire, and the lions. His own nature was averse to cruelty, and 
the temper of the times was more humane than it had been. 
At first he contented himself with writing down the religion 
of the Galileans, as he contemptuously called them, thinking to 
brand them with ignominy in the eyes of the Greeks and 
Romans by noting their obscure provincial origin. He next 
took the harsher step of shutting the schools and colleges against 
them, and forbidding them to exercise the function of sophists 
or teachers, thinking so to degrade them in the eyes of the 
learned and literary among his subjects. 

Julian also made an effort to refute, by a material proof, the 
pretensions of his adversaries. The Christians pointed to the 
destruction of the temple at Jerusalem as a fulfilment of their 
Master's prophecy. They maintained that it could never b^ 

390 Indifference of the People. ch. lxvii. 

rebuilt. Julian sent workmen to tlie spot, with orders to clear 
away the ruins, and prepare the foundations on which to recon- 
struct the temple. According to the acc