Augustus. The life and times of the founder of the Roman Empire (B.C. 63-A.D. 14)/The Roman Empire at the Death of Iulius Cæsar

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Chapter II

The Roman Empire at the Death of Iulius Cæsar

Vicinæ ruptis inter se legibus
urbes Arma ferunt ; sævit toto
Mars impius orbe.
- Virgil, Georgics I 510-511.





Natural boundaries of the Roman Empire.

At the death of Caesar the Roman Empire had been for the most part won. Egypt was indeed annexed by Augustus, though on a peculiar tenure, but subsequent additions were in a manner consequential, the inevitable rectifications or a long frontier. Such were the provinces of the Rhine, the Alps, and the Danube as far east as Moesia ; and to a certain extent the province of Galatia and Lycaonia (B.C. 25). The Rhine, the Danube, and the Euphrates seemed already the natural boundaries of the Empire on the north and east, the Atlantic Ocean on the west, and the African and Arabian deserts on the south. And these boundaries, with occasional odifications, and for the most part temporary extensions, continued to the end.

Its dangers.

But though the greater part of this wide Empire was already won, it was not all equally well organised and secured. Thus, in Northern Gaul, there were still Germans and other enemies to be conquered or repelled ; in Southern Spain a son of the great Pompey was in arms ; Macedonia was continually subject to invasion by Getæ, Bessi, and other barbarians ; the Dalmatians and neighbouring tribes made Illyricum an uncertain member of the Empire ; in Syria, Cæcilius Bassus an old officer of Pompey's was defying Roman armies, and inviting the aid of the Parthians always ready to cross the Euphrates into the Roman province.

Cæsar's precautions and preparations.

To confront two of these dangers Cæsar had collected a large army in Macedonia in the autumn of B.C. 45 to crush the Getæ, and then crossing to Syria to force the Parthian to respect the frontier of the Euphrates, or even to attack them in Mesopotamia. The former of these projects was no doubt important for the safety of the Empire, and was in after years successfully secured by Augustus and his legates. The latter was more visionary and theatrical, meant perhaps to strike the imagination of the Romans rather than to secure great practical advantage. After Cæsar's death Antony lost more than he gained by similar enterprises, and Augustus always avoided coming into actual contact with the Parthians, or attempting to extend his rule beyond the Euphrates. But there were dangers within the Empire no less formidable than from without. Its integrity had rested, and generally securely rested, on the loyalty of its provincial governors to the central authority as represented by the Senate, or, in the last resort, by the order of the people expressed in a lex or plebiscitum. It was the beginning of the end when these governors used the forces under their command, or the wealth and influence secured abroad, to defy or coerce the authorities at home. Sertorius, Sulla, and Cæsar himself, had shown that this was not an impossible contingency. It was against this danger that, among other reforms in the government of the Provinces, Cæsar's own law had provided that the tenure of a proprætor should be confined to one, and of a proconsul to two, years. But now that he was going on a distant expedition, calculated as likely to occupy three years, he took other precautions. Having provided for the chief offices at home,[1] he was careful to see that the provinces should be held by men whom he believed to be loyal to himself, and likely from their character and ability to maintain their peace and security. Being Consul and Dictator, and his acta being confirmed beforehand by Senate and people, he could make what nominations he pleased. A decree of the Senate was still taken as a matter of form, but the old practice (often a farce) of drawing lots for the provinces was abandoned ;[2] Pompey's law ordaining a five years' interval between curule office and a province was neglected, and Cæsar practically nominated the governors. But it raises a doubt as to the unfettered power or the insight of the Dictator that five of those thus nominated were among the assassins on the Ides of March.[3] Nor in other respects did his choice prove happy. The state of open war or dangerous unrest which shewed itself in almost all parts of the Empire after his death must be learnt by a review of the provinces, if we are to understand the problem presented to Augustus and his colleagues in the triumvirate, and the relief felt by the Roman world when Augustus finally took the administration into his own hands, and shewed himself capable of restoring law and order.

(I) The Gauls

The Gauls now included three districts, the status of which was somewhat unsettled, (I) Cisalpine Gaul, that is, Italy between Etruria and the Alps, was still nominally a province, though Cæsar's law of B.C. 40 had granted full civitas to the transpadane, as that of B.C. 89 had to the cispadane, towns. It had formed part of Cæsar's province from B.C. 58 to B.C. 48, and he seems to have retained it until after the battle of Pharsalia, when he appointed first Marcus Brutus and then C. Vibius Pansa to it. Though part of Italy, and generally peaceful, it had great military importance in case of an invasion from the north. After March B.C. 44 it was to be in the hands of Decimus Brutus, who had long served under Cæsar, and was regarded by him with special confidence and affection. Antony's attempt to wrest it from Decimus Brutus brought on the first civil war after Cæsar's death.

(2) Transalpine Gaul technically consisted of "the Province," that is, South-eastern France, from the Cevennes on the west to Italy, and from the Lake of Geneva on the north to the sea. But since Cæsar's conquests there had to be added to this the rest of France, Belgium, and Holland as far as the Rhine. No formal division into distinct provinces had yet been made. In B.C. 49 Decimus Brutus, after driving out Ahenobarbus, the governor named by the Senate, remained in command of the whole till B.C. 45, when he returned in Cæsar's train to Italy. But in the course of these four years, or on his return, (3) Belgica was separated from the rest and assigned to Hirtius, who, however, governed it by a legate named Aurelius, without going there himself.[4] In the course of the next year a farther division was made : Aurelius retained Belgica ; Lepidus, with four legions, was appointed to "the Province" (afterwards called Gallia Narbonensis) together with Hispania Citerior ; while L. Muriatius Plancus governed the rest, consisting of what was afterwards two provinces Aquitania and Lugdunensis. Plancus and Decimus Brutus were named consuls for B.C. 42, and therefore their governorships necessarily terminated at the end of B.C. 43, and might do so earlier. In the course of B.C. 43 Plancus founded Lugdunum[5] (Lyon), which was afterwards the capital of the central province of the four organised by Augustus. But though the organisation of this country was not complete, Cæsar's conquest had been so decisive that no advantage was taken of the civil war by the natives to attempt a rising.[6] There seem to have been some insignificant movements in B.C. 42, but it was not for some years later that any danger of importance arose there. The Belgæ had been expected to rise on Cæsar's assassination, but their chiefs hastened to assure Hirtius's legate of their adhesion to the Roman government.[7]

(3) Illyricum.

The province of Illyricum had been formed about the same time as that of Macedonia (B.C. 146), but its limits had fluctuated, and it had not received much continuous attention. It included places, such as Dyrrachium, Corcyra, Issa, Pharus, which had been declared free after the contest with Queen Teuta in B.C. 228, but were practically under Roman control. Yet some of the most powerful tribes not only did not acknowledge Roman authority, but made frequent incursions upon Roman Illyricum. The most dangerous of these were the Dalmatians, with whom several wars are recorded. In B.C. 117 L. Cælius Metellus occupied Salonæ ;[8] in B.C. 87-5 Sulla won a victory over them ;[9] in B.C. 78-77 C. Cosconius, after a two years' campaign, took Salonæ by storm.[10] But little was really effected in securing the province against its enemies. It was let much alone so long as its tribute was paid, and was put under the governor sometimes of Macedonia, sometimes of Cisalpine Gaul. In Cæsar's case (B.C. 58) it was specially assigned, like the rest of his province, and he seems at first to have intended to go there in force and subdue the hostile barbarians. But the Gallic campaigns drew him away, and he only once actually entered Illyricum (B.C. 54) to overawe the invading Pirustæ. In the last year of his proconsulship (B.C. 50) some troops which he sent against the Dalmatians were cut to pieces. The result of this was that the barbarians, fearing his vengeance, adhered to Pompey in the civil war, whose legate, M. Octavius, with a considerable fleet, maintained himself there,[11] and in B.C. 49 defeated and captured Gaius Antonius, whom Cæsar sent against him.[12] At the beginning of the next year Aulus Gabinius, while trying to lead a force round the head of the Adriatic to join Cæsar, lost nearly all his men in a battle with the Dalmatians.[13] After Pharsalia Gabinius was sent back to assist Cornificius, who had been despatched to Illyricum as proprætor after the mishap of Gaius Antonius ; but he was again defeated and shut up in Salonæ, where he died suddenly.[14] In B.C. 47, however, P. Vatinius, having joined Cornificius, defeated and drove Octavius out of the country.[15] After serving also in the African campaign, of B.C. 46, Vatinius was sent back to Illyricum with three legions (B.C. 45) expressly to reduce the still independent tribes. At first he gained sufficient success to be honoured by a supplicatio,[16] but after Cæsar's death he was defeated by the Dalmatians with the loss of five cohorts, and was driven to take refuge in Dyrrachium.[17] Early in B.C. 43 he was forced to surrender his legions to M. Brutus, who, however, in the year and a half which preceded his death at Philippi, was too busy elsewhere to attend to Illyricum.[18] Hence the expeditions of Pollio in B.C. 39,[19] and of Augustus in B.C. 35 were rendered necessary, and they for a time secured the pacification of the country and the extension of Roman provinces to the Danube.

(4) Spain.

At the death of Iulius Spain was also a source of great danger and difficulty. Since B.C. 197 it had been divided into two provinces—Citerior and Ulterior—separated by the Saltus Castulonensis (Sierra Morena) each governed by a prætor or pro-prætor. In B.C. 54 Pompey introduced a triple division. Of his three legates Afranius held Hispania Citerior ; but the farther province was divided between Petreius, who held the district as far west as the Anas (Guadiana}, afterwards called Bætica, while Terentius Varro governed the country west of that river with Lusitania. Having forced Pompey's legates to surrender the country (B.C. 49), Cæsar seems not to have continued the triple division. Q. Cassius was sent to Hispania Ulterior, M. Lepidus to Hispania Citerior. But Cassius offended his own soldiers as well as the natives, and had to escape by sea, being drowned on his way home. Nor did his successor Trebonius do much better in B.C. 47 ; for many of his soldiers deserted to Gnæus Pompeius when he came to Spain after the defeat at Thapsus in the spring of B.C. 46.[20] And though Gnæus Pompeius perished soon after the battle of Munda (B.C. 45) his younger brother Sextus survived. At Cæsar's death he was already at the head of a considerable fleet which enabled him to control Sicily and re-occupy Bætica, when its last Cæsarean governor the famous C. Asinius Pollio left it to join Antony in Gallia Narbonensis in the summer of B.C. 43. The upper province had meanwhile been governed by the legates of Metellus, who was about to return to it and Galiia Narbonensis with four legions when Cæsar's death introduced new complications.[21]

(5) Sicily.

Sicily for eight years after Cæsar's death was practically separated from the Empire. In B.C. 49 it had been easily won over to Cæsar's authority by C. Curio, and after his success in Spain against Pompey's legates Cæsar had nominated Aulus Allienus[22] as its proprætor. In B.C. 46 Allienus was succeeded by M. Acilius[23] (afterwards sent to Achaia), who in his turn was succeeded by T. Furfanius Postumus (B.C. 45). Finally, among Cæsar's arrangements for B.C. 44 was the appointment of Pompeius Bithynicus to Sicily. His father had served under Pompey and had perished with him in Egypt; and Bithynicus seems to have feared retaliation from the Pompeians if they returned to power; for on the death of Cæsar we find him writing to Cicero in evident anxiety as to his position.[24] He failed to hold the island against Sext. Pompeius, who landed in B.C. 43, and after sustaining a slight reverse at Messene forced Bithynicus to yield him a share in the government, and shortly afterwards put him to death because he believed him to be plotting against him.[25] Sicily therefore had to be restored to the Empire by the triumvirs, a task which fell chiefly to Augustus.

(6) Sardinia.

Sardinia was important for its supply of corn. In B.C. 49 Cæsar's legate Q. Valerius Orca occupied it without difficulty, its governor, M. Aurelius Cotta, escaping to Africa. In B.C. 40 Orca was succeeded by Sext. Peducæus.[26] But the arrangements made between that date and B.C. 44 are not known, for Peducæus appears to have been in Rome from the end of B.C. 45.[27] In the first division of the provinces by the triumvirs (November, B.C. 43) it fell to Octavian's share,[28] though Suetonius remarks that Africa and Sardinia were the only two provinces never visited by him.[29] Meanwhile Sext. Pompeius occupied it,[30] and it was not recovered till B.C. 38.

(7) Africa Numidia.

The province of Africa the ancient territory of Carthage may be taken with this western part of the Empire. It had long been a peaceful province, but in B.C. 46 it was the scene of the great rally of the Pompeians after the disaster at Pharsalia. Since their final defeat at Thapsus it had been farther secured by Cæsar's colony at Carthage (B.C. 46-5), and had been governed by a fervent Cæsarean, C. Calvisius Sabinus. At the end of B.C. 45 Sabinus returned to Rome, and Q. Cornificius (once Cæsar's quæstor) was named to succeed him. But affairs in Africa had been complicated by the formation of a new province from the dominions of Iuba, called sometimes New Africa, sometimes Numidia (B.C. 46). Of this new province the first proprætor was the historian Sallust, succeeded in B.C. 45 by T. Sextius with three legions. On Cæsar's death, therefore, there were two men in Africa who might possibly take different views of the situation. Cornificius indeed friend and correspondent of Cicero shewed at once that he meant to stand by the Senate. A few months later he was confirmed in this resolution by the fact of his continuance in office depending on the senatorial decree of the 20th of December,[25] whereas Antony had commissioned Calvisius Sabinus (who had never withdrawn his legates from Africa) to go back to the province.[31] Accordingly, after Antony's defeat at Mutina (April, B.C. 43), the Senate felt strong enough to order Sextius to transfer his three legions to Cornificius, who was himself under orders to send two of them to Rome.[32] This was done, and with the remaining legion Cornificius maintained his position in Old Africa, when the Triumvirate was formed in November, and was able to offer protection to many of the proscribed. But Sextius now claimed both provinces, as having fallen to Octavian's share. He enrolled troops in his own province and obtained the help of Arabion, of the royal family of Numidia and chief of the robber tribe of Sittians ; and though Cornificius had the stronger force, he was presently defeated and killed. Octavian, however, looked upon Sextius as a partisan of Antony rather than of himself, and presently sent C. Fuficius Fango to supersede him. Sextius seems to have foreseen that differences would occur between Antony and Octavian likely to give him a chance of recovering his province. Therefore under pretence of wishing to winter in a genial climate he stayed on in Africa. His opportunity came with the new distribution of provinces after Philippi (October-November, B.C. 42). Old or "Prætorian" Africa fell to Antony, New Africa or Numidia to Octavian. But upon the quarrel between Octavian and Fulvia (supported by Lucius Antonius) in B.C. 41, Sextius was urged by Fulvia to demand the praetorian province from Fango as properly belonging to Antony. After several battles, in which he met with various fortunes, Fango was at last driven to take refuge in the mountains, and there killed himself. Sextius then held both provinces till, in B.C. 40, the triumvir Lepidus took possession of them as his share of the Empire.[33]

Thus the Western Provinces, in spite of Cæsar's precautions, were all in a condition to cause difficulty to his successors in the government. The Eastern Provinces were for the most part in a state of similar disorder. Illyricum has already been discussed, as most conveniently taken with the Gauls. For those farther east Cæsar's arrangements were no more successful in securing peace than in the West.

(8) Macedonia.

The victory at Pharsalia put Macedonia under Cæsar's control, and he apparently continued to govern it till B.C. 45 by his legates. While in Egypt (B.C. 48-7), fearing, it seems, that it might be made a centre of resistance,[34] he directed Gabinius to go there with his legions, if the state of Illyricum allowed of it.[35] We have no farther information as to its government till the autumn of B.C. 45, when a large military force was stationed there ; and in that, or the following year, Q. Hortensius son of the famous orator was made governor. Marcus Brutus was named by Cæsar to succeed him in B.C. 43, and Hortensius did, in fact, hand over the province to him at Thessalonica at the beginning of that year. But meanwhile Antony had induced the Senate to nominate himself (June, B.C. 44). He withdrew five of the legions and then managed to get the province transferred to his brother Gaius. When Antony was declared a hostis, the Senate revoked the nomination of Gaius and restored the province, along with Illyricum, to M. Brutus, who was in fact already in possession, having defeated and captured Gaius Antonius.

(9) Greece.

Closely connected with Macedonia was Greece, which had been left, since B.C. 146, in a somewhat anomalous position. Thessaly indeed, was, to a great extent, incorporated with Macedonia ; but the towns in Bœotia, as well as Athens and Sparta, were nominally free, though connected with Rome in such a way as to be sometimes spoken of separately as "provinces." So with the towns in the Peloponnese once forming the Achæan League. The League was dissolved and each town had a separate fœdus or charter.[36] But with all this local autonomy Greece was practically governed by Rome, and in certain cases the proprætor of Macedonia exercised jurisdiction in it. But as yet there was no "province" of Greece or even of Achaia, with a separate proconsul or proprætor. Cæsar, as in other cases, made temporary arrangements which afterwards became permanent under Augustus. In B.C. 48, Q. Fufius Calenus, one of his legates, was sent to take possession of Greek cities in Cæsar's interest, and remained at Patræ with troops till B.C. 47, exercising authority over the whole of the Peloponnese.[37] In the autumn he went home and was rewarded by the consulship for the rest of the year. But in B.C. 46, Cæsar appointed Serv. Sulpicius Rufus governor of Greece, and his authority seems to have extended throughout the Peloponnese and as far north as Thessaly.[38] Sulpicius returned to Rome at the end of B.C. 45, or beginning of B.C. 44, and does not seem to have had a successor. Greece appears to have been tacitly allowed to revert to its old position of nominal freedom and real attachment to Macedonia. M. Brutus at any rate, as governor of Macedonia, assumed that he had authority in Greece. After the re-arrangement at Philippi (B.C. 42), it fell to Antony's share, who, for a time at least, yielded Achaia to Sext. Pompeius.[39]

The Asiatic provinces.

(10) Bithynia and Pontus.

As Cæsar was meditating a settlement of Syria, it was important that the Asiatic provinces should be in safe hands. To Bithynia and Pontus—among the newest of Roman provinces—L. Tillius Cimber had been nominated. We know nothing of his antecedents except that we find him among the influential friends of Cæsar in B.C. 46 ; but his provincial appointment was readily confirmed by the Senate after his share in Cæsar's death.[40] He devoted himself to the collection of a fleet, with which he aided the pursuit of Dolabella, and afterwards assisted Brutus and Cassius.

(11) Asia.

The province of Asia was quiet and wealthy. For financial and strategic reasons it was specially necessary at this time to have it in safe hands. Cæsar had nominated C. Trebonius, who had been his legate in Gaul and Britain, and had often been intrusted with important commands. He had stuck to his old general in the civil war and had been rewarded by the prætorship of B.C. 48, and the province or Farther Spain in the next year. Though he was not successful in Spain Cæsar continued to trust him sufficiently to send him to Asia. Pie did not actually strike a blow in the assassination, but he aided it by withdrawing Antony from the Senate on a treacherous pretence of business. His appointment was readily confirmed by the Senate, and he went to Asia purposing to fortify towns and collect troops to aid the party of the assassins. It was this not alone his participation in the murder which caused Dolabella, probably at the instigation and certainly with the approval of Antony,[41] to put him to death when refused admittance by him into Smyrna or Pergamus. At the end of the year the Senate had arranged that he was to be succeeded by one of the Consuls, Hirtius or Pansa. But after his murder the province remained in the hands of his quæstor,[42] and on the death of Hirtius and Pansa at Mutina it was transferred by the Senate to M. Brutus (to be held with Macedonia), who in the course of B.C. 42 made a progress through it to hold the conventus, to collect men and money, and to meet Cassius. It was, no doubt, heavily taxed ; and after the battle of Philippi Antony took possession of it and again unmercifully drained its resources.

(12) Cilicia.

On quitting the province of Cilicia in July, B.C. 50, Cicero left it in charge of his quæstor, C. Cælius Caldus. Whether, in the confusion of the first years of civil war, any successor was appointed we do not know. The province needed some re-settlement, for in B.C. 47 Cæsar stopped at Tarsus, on his way to Pontus, for some days, to meet the chief men and make certain regulations, of which he does not tell us the nature.[43] But it seems that then, or shortly afterwards, it was considerably reduced in extent. The Phrygian "dioceses" Laodicea, Apamea, and Synnada were assigned to Asia, as well as most of Pisidia and Pamphylia. The remainder Cilicia Aspera, and Campestris, with Cyprus seem to have been held somewhat irregularly by Caesar's own legates. It was afterwards treated by Antony as though at his own disposal, Cyprus and Cilicia Aspera being presented to Cleopatra, part of Phrygia with Lycaonia, Isaurica, and Pisidia to Amyntas, king of Galatia. The province, in fact, as known to Cicero, was almost separated from the Empire until reorganised by Augustus.

(13) Syria.

The province of Syria was extremely important in view of the danger from the Parthians. Bounded on the north by Mount Amanus it included Phœnicia and Cœle-Syria as far south as the head of the Red Sea and the eastern mouth of the Nile. On the east it was bounded by the Euphrates and the deserts of Arabia. After the organisation of Pompey in B.C. 63 it had been administered by proconsuls and the usual staff. In B.C. 57-6 it was held by Gabinius, who employed his forces for the restoration of Ptolemy Auletes to the throne of Egypt. In B.C. 54-3 it was held by Crassus ; and after his fall at Carrhæ it was successfully defended and administered by C. Cassius as quæstor and proquæstor. In B.C. 51-50, while Cicero was in Cilicia, it was ruled by Bibulus ; and in B.C. 49 Pompey secured it for his father-in-law, Q. Cæcilius Metellus Scipio, who collected troops and went to the aid of Pompey in Thessaly, and after Pharsalia escaped to Africa. It was then put in the hands of the quæstor, Sextus Iulius, a connection of the Dictator, with some legions, one of which had been left there by Cæsar in anticipation of the coming Parthian war. But a new complication had been introduced by Q. Cæcilius Bassus. This man had been with Pompey at Pharsalia and had escaped to Syria, where for a time he lived obscurely. But after a while, by tampering with the soldiers of Sextus Iulius, who was both incompetent and vicious, he induced them to assassinate their commander and transfer their allegiance to himself.[44] Professing to be lawful proconsul of Syria he fortified himself in Apamea, and there repulsed forces sent by Cæsar under Antistius Vetus and L. Statius Murcus successively. He made some agreement with the Parthians which secured their aid ;[45] and though Murcus was reinforced by Crispus governor of Bithynia, Bassus was still unsubdued at the time of Cæsar's death. There had been, therefore, a double need for a strong man in Syria, and Cæsar had nominated C. Cassius, the former defender of it against the Parthians. After Cæsar's death, however, Dolabella secured the passing of a law transferring Syria to himself with the command against the Parthians. But some irregularity in the auguries taken at the comitia gave Cassius a plausible excuse for ignoring this law. Consequently when Dolabella entered the province from the north, Cassius did so from the south. After some successful movements in Palestine, Cassius induced Murcus and Crispus, and finally Bassus himself, to hand over their legions to him, as well as Trebonius's legate, Allienus, who was bringing some legions from Egypt.[46] Thus reinforced he shut up Dolabella in Laodicea and frightened him into committing suicide. Syria therefore remained in the hands of Cassius ; and when he fell at Philippi it was vacant. In accordance with the agreement made with Octavian after that battle it fell to the lot of Antony, who retained it personally, or by his legates, till his death.

(14) Egypt.

Egypt was still an independent kingdom, ruled since B.C. 47 by Cleopatra. Nevertheless, there was a considerable Roman force stationed in it, partly left by Gabinius, when he restored Ptolemy Auletes in B.C. 57-6, partly stationed there by Cæsar himself. They must have been somewhat in the position of the English troops supporting the authority of the Khedive, but prepared to resist all outside interference. So in this case the Romans retained a preponderating influence, though with no legal authority or right of raising revenue. These troops appear to have been in a very disorderly state, and in B.C. 50 murdered two of the sons of Bibulus who were among their officers.[47]

(15) Cyrene and Crete.

The district between Egypt and Roman Africa, called Cyrene, was once joined to Egypt and then governed by a king of its own (B.C. 117). This king (Ptolemy Apion), dying in B.C. 96 without issue, left his dominions to the Romans. The Roman government took over the royal estates, and placed a tax on the principal product of the country—silphium (valuable for its medicinal qualities)—but did not organise it as a province. The five principal cities[48] were allowed to retain a pretty complete autonomy. But upon disagreements between these states breaking out, the whole country in B.C. 74 was reduced to the form of a province governed by a quæstor pro prætore.[49] Six years later (B.C. 68-7) complaints as to the harbouring of pirates caused Q. Cæcilius Metellus to reduce Crete also.[50] When Pompey superseded Metellus in B.C. 67, he introduced certain changes in the administration of both provinces, though there is no proof that he combined them as was done at a later date. In B.C. 44 indeed, they were assigned separately Crete to Brutus and Cyrene to Cassius[51] while Antony produced a memorandum of Cæsar's directing that Crete should be restored to liberty,[52] that is, should cease to pay tributum. At the division of the provinces after Philippi both were assigned to Antony, and he assumed the right some years later of forming out of them a kingdom for his daughter by Cleopatra.

The general disorders in the Empire.

It will be seen therefore that at Cæsar's death there was hardly any part of the Empire in which there were not elements of mischief more or less active. The most peaceful district was perhaps Greece, though it managed to put itself under the frown of the triumrirs by sympathising with Brutus, and later on under that of Octavian by sympathising with Antony. The disturbances which most affected the actual residents in Rome and Italy were those in Sicily and Sardinia, Gaul and Illyricum. The man who should put an end to these would seem a saviour of society. The struggles in the far East, though from a financial point of view they were of considerable importance, would not loom so large in the eyes of the Italians. We have now to trace the steps by which Augustus was able to satisfy the needs of the state ; to restore peace and plenty to Italy ; to organise and safeguard the provinces ; and thus to be almost worshipped as the visible guarantee of order and tranquillity.


  1. Dolabella consul for the last half of B.C. 44 with Antony ; Pansa and Hirtius, B.C. 43 ; Plancus and Dec. Brutus B.C. 42. Probably M. Brutus and C. Cassius (or certainly the former) B.C. 41 [Plut., Cæs. 62 ; Cic., ad Fam. xii. 2]. For B.C. 43 prætors and other magistrates were named, but for the next years only consuls and tribunes.
  2. Dio, 43, 47, καὶ ἔς γε τὰ ἔθνη ἀκληρωτὶ ἐξεπέμφθησαν.
  3. M. Brutus, C. Cassius, Dec. Brutus, L. Cimber, C. Trebonius.
  4. Cic., ad Att. xiv. 9 ; Cæs., b. c. ii. 22 ; Plut., Ant. xi.
  5. Dio, 46, 60.
  6. Cæsar had auxiliaries in Spain from Aquitania B.C. 49 ; Gæs., b. c. i. 39.
  7. Cicero, ad Att. xiv. 5, 8, 9.
  8. Livy, Ep. 62. Appian says that Metellus did not fight, but was received as a friend, wintered at Salonæ, and then went home and claimed a triumph (Illyr. xi.).
  9. Eutrop., v. 4.
  10. Id. vi. 4 ; Oros., v. 23.
  11. Cæs., b. c. iii. 5, 9.
  12. Livy, Ep. 110 ; App., b. c. ii. 47.
  13. Id., b. c. ii. 59.
  14. Cæs., b. Alex. 42-3.
  15. Id., 34-6.
  16. Cic., ad Fam. v. 10 (a), 10, 11.
  17. App., Illyr. 13.
  18. App., b. c. iv. 75 ; Dio, 47, 21. Vatinius was ill, and his late reverses had lost him the confidence of his men, who insisted on being transferred to Brutus.
  19. Dio, 43, 42 ; Horace, Odes, iii. 1, 13.
  20. Cæs., b. Alex. 48-64 ; Hisp. 7, 12.
  21. App., b. c. ii. 107.
  22. Wrongly called Aulus Albinus by Appian, b. c. ii. 48 ; see Klein, die Verwaltungsbeamten der Provinzen, p. 83.
  23. Cic., ad Fam. xiii. 30, 36, 50, 78, 79 ; Cæs., b. Afr. 2, 26, 34.
  24. Cic., ad Fam. vi. 16, 17.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Dio, 48, 17, 19 ; Livy, Ep. 123 ; Appian, b. c. iv. 84. A certain M. Casinius was nominated to Sicily for B.C. 43, but did not go there, perhaps owing to the order of the Senate (meant to support Dec. Brutus) made on the 20th of December, B.C. 44, that all governors should retain their provinces till farther orders (Cic., ad Fam. xii. 22, 25).
  26. App., b. c. ii. 48.
  27. Cic., ad Att. xv. 7 ; xvi. 3.
  28. App., b. c. iv. 2 ; Dio, 46, 55.
  29. Sueton., Aug. 47. This probably means after his accession to sole power. According to Nicolas, 11-12, he visited Africa with Cæsar in B.C. 45. See p. 13. There is no record, however, of his ever having been to Sardinia.
  30. App., b. c. v. 67. The hold of Sext. Pompeius on Sardinia was recognised in the "treaty" of Misenum made in B.C. 39 (Dio, 48, 36 ; App., b. c. v. 72).
  31. Cicero, 3 Phil. § 26 ; ad Fam. xii. 22, 23, 30.
  32. Appian, b. c. iii. 85, 91.
  33. Appian, b. c. iv. 36, 53-56 ; v. 26 ; Dio, 48, 21-23. It seems impossible to reconcile Appian and Dio. The course of events here indicated agrees chiefly with Dio, whose account appears on the whole the more reasonable.
  34. Cæs., b. c. iii. 102.
  35. Id., b. Alex. 42.
  36. Drawn up by the commissioners after the fall of Corinth, B.C. 146.
  37. Cicero, ad Att. xi. 15 ; Caesar, b. c. ii. 56, 106 ; Dio, 42, 14.
  38. Servius had fought against Cæsar at Pharsalia, though his son was with Cæsar. After the battle he retired to Samos and refused to continue the war. See Cicero, ad Fam. iv. 3, 4, II, 12 ; vi. 6 ; xiii. 17, 19, 23, 25, 28.
  39. App., b. c. v. 72.
  40. Cicero, ad Fam. vi. 12 ; App., b. c. iii. 2.
  41. See Cicero, 13 Phil. 23 (Antony's letter).
  42. P. Cornelius Lentulus Spinther. See his letter to Cicero, ad Fam. xii. 14, 15.
  43. Cæs., b. Alex. 66: rebus omnibus provinciæ et finitimarum civitatum fonstitutis is all that we are told.
  44. Dio, 47, 26. Appian gives two accounts of Bassus. In the first he represents him as the real commander of the legions, while Sext. Iulius was the nominal chief. He, however, gives an alternative account more in accordance with that of Dio. See App., b. c. iii. 77 ; iv. 58, sq.
  45. Cicero, ad Att. xiv. 9.
  46. Id., ad Fam. xii. 11 (Cassius to Cicero) ; xii. 12.
  47. Cicero, ad Att. vi. 5 ; Valer. Max., vi. 1, 15.
  48. Cyrene with four other cities—Apollonia, Ptolemais, Arsinoe, Berenice—formed a Pentapolis. (Livy, Epit. 70.)
  49. App., b. c. I. iii. sq. ; Sall., hist.fr. ii. 39.
  50. Vell. Pat., ii. 34 ; Dio, 36, 2 ; Iust. 39, 5 ; Livy, Epit. 100. The laws of Crete were left in force (Cic., Mur. § 74 ; pro Place. § 30).
  51. App., b. c. iii. 12, 16, 36 ; iv. 57 ; Dio, 47, 21.
  52. Cicero, 2 Phil. § 97.