Epitome of Roman History/Book 1
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- BOOK I.
- CHAP. I. OF ROMULUS, THE FIRST KING OF THE ROMANS.
The founder of the city and empire was Romulus, the son of Mars and Rhea Sylvia. The priestess, when pregnant, confessed this fact of herself, nor did report, soon afterwards, testify a doubt of it, as, being thrown, with his brother Remus, into the river by order of Amulius, he could not be destroyed; for not only did the Tiber repress its stream, but a she-wolf, leaving her young, and following the children's cries, offered her teats to the infants, and acted towards them the part of a mother. Being found, in these circumstances, under a tree, the king's shepherd carried them into a cottage, and brought them up.
The metropolis of Latium, at that time, was Alba, built by Iulus; for he had disdained Lavinium, the city of his father Aeneas. Amulius, the fourteenth descendant from them, was now reigning there, having dethroned his brother Numitor, of whose daughter Romulus was the son. Romulus, in the first ardour of youth, drove Aemilius from the citadel, and restored his grandfather. Being fond, however, of the river, and of the mountains where he had been brought up, he thought of founding among them the walls of a new city. But as he and his brother were twins, it was resolved to consult the gods which of the two should commence the work, and enjoy the sovereignty. Romulus, accourdingly, took his station on Mount Aventine, and Remus on Mount Palatine. Romulus first saw six vultures; Remus was behind him in time, but saw twelve. Being thus superior in point of augury, Romulus proceeded to build the city, with full expectation that it would prove a warlike one, for so the birds, accustomed to blood and prey, seemed to promise.
For the defence of the new city a rampart appeared sufficient. While Remus was deriding its diminutiveness, and showing his contempt for it by leaping over it, he was, whether by his brother's order is uncertain, put to death. He was certainly the first victim, and consecrated the fortification of the new city with his blood.
But Romulus had formed the idea of a city, rather than a real city; for inhabitants were wanting. In the neighbourhood there was a grove, which he made a place of refuge; and immediately an extraordinary number of men, some Latin and Tuscan shepherds, others from beyond the seas, Phrygians who had come into the country under Aeneas, and Arcadians under Evander, took up their residence in it. Thus of various elements, as it were, he formed one body, and was himself the founder of the Roman people. But a people consisting only of men could last but one age; wives were therefore sought from the neighbouring nations and, as they were not obtained, were seized by force. For a pretence being made of celebrating some equestrian games, the young women who came to see them, became a prey; and this immediately gave rise to wars. The Vejentes were routed and put to flight. The city of the Caeninenses was taken and demolished; and Romulus also, with his own hands, offered the spolia optima, taken from their king, to Jupiter Feretrius. To the Sabines, the gates of Rome were given up by a young woman, though not treacherously; she had asked, as a reward, what they wore on their left arms, but whether she meant their shields or their bracelets, is doubtful. They, to keep their word, and be revenged on her, buried her under their bucklers. The enemy having thus gained admission within the walls, there ensued, in the very forum, so desperate an engagement, that Romulus intreated Jupiter to stop the shameful flight of his men; and hence a temple was afterwards erected, and Jupiter surnamed Stator. At last the women who had been carried off, rushed, with their hair dishevelled, between the contending parties, and separated them. This peace was made, and a league established, with Tatius; abd a wonderful event followed, namely, that the enemy, leaving their habitations, removed into the new city, and shared their hereditary portion with their sons-in-law, as a portion for their daughters.
The strength of the city being soon increased, this most wise monarch made the following arragment in the state; that the young men, divided into tribes, should be ready, with horses and arms, for any sudden demands of war; and that the administration of affairs should be in the hands of the older men, who, from their authority, were called Fathers, and from their age, the Senate. When he had thus regulated matters, and was holding an assembly of the people at the late of Caprea, near the city, he was suddenly snatched out of their sight. Some think that he was cut to pieces by the senate, on account of his excessive severity; but a tempest which then arose, and an eclipse of the sun, were apparent proofs of his deification. This opinion Julius Proculus soon after confirmed, asserting that he had seen Romulus in a more majestic shape than he had when alive; that he also commanded them to acknowledge him as a deity, as it pleased the gods that he should be called Quirinus in heaven; and that thus Rome should have the sovereignty of the world.
- CHAP. II. OF NUMA POMPILIUS.
The successor of Romulus was Numa Pompilius, whom, when he was living at Cures, a town of the Sabines, the Romans of their own accord solicited, on account of his celebrated piety, to become their king. It was he who taught them sacred rites and ceremonies, and the whole worship of the immortal gods, and who instituted the pontiffs, augurs, Salii, and other sacerdotal offices among the Roman people. He also divided the year into twelve months, and the days into those for legal business and for vacation. He appointed the sacred shields and the image of Pallas, as certain secret pledges of empire; and ordered the temple of double-faced Janus to be the symbol of peace and war. He assigned the fire of Vesta to the care of virgins, that its flame might constantly burn, in imitation of the stars of heaven, as a guardian of the empire. All these arrangements he pretended to make by the advice of the goddess Egeria, that his barbarous subjects might more willingly submit to them. In process of time, he brought that uncivilized people to such a condition, that they managed, with peity and justice, a government which they had acquired by violence and oppression.
- CHAP. III. OF TULLIUS HOSTILIUS.
To Numa Pompilius succeeded Tullius Hostilius, to whom the kingdom was voluntarily given in honour of his ability. It was he that established military discipline, and the whole art of war. Having, therefore, trained the youth in an extraordinary manner, he ventured to defy the Albans, a powerful, and, for a long time, a leading people. But as both sides, being equal in strength, were weakened by frequent engagements, the fortunes of the two people, to bring the war to a speedier conclusion, were committed to the Horatii and Curiatii, three twin-brothers, chosen on each side. It was a doubtful and noble conflict, and had a wonderful termination. For after three were wounded on one side, and two killed on the other, the Horatius who survived, adding subtlety to valour, counterfeited flight in order to separate his enemies, and then, attacking them one by one, as they were able to pursue him, overcame them all. Thus (an honour rarely attained by any other) a victory was secured by the hand of one man. But this victory he soon after sullied by a murder. He had observed his sister in tears at the sight of the spoils that he wore, which had belonged to one of the enemy betrothed to her, and chastised the love of the maiden, o unseasonably manifested, with his sword. The laws called for the punishment of the crime; but esteem for his valour saved the murderer, and his guilt was shielded by his glory.
The Alban people did not long keep their faith; for being called out, according to the treaty, to assist the Romans in the war againsty Fidenae, they stood neutral betwixt the two parties, waiting for a turn of fortune. But the crafty king of the Romans, seeing his allies ready to side with the enemy, roused the courage of his army, pretending that he had ordered them so to act; hence hope arose in the breasts of our men, and fear in those of the enemy. The deceit of the traitors was accordingly without effect; and, after the enemy was conquered, Tullius caused Metius Fufetius, as a breaker of the league, to be tied between two chariots, and torn in pieces by swift horses. Alba itself, which, though the parent of Rome, was nevertheless its rival, he demolished, but previously removed all the wealth of the place, and the inhabitants themselves, to Rome, that thus a kindred city might seem not to have been destroyed, but to have been re-united to its own body.
- CHAP. IV. OF ANCUS MARCIUS.
Next reigned Ancus Marcius, a grandson of Numa Pompilius, and of a similar disposition. He encompassed the city with a wall, made a bridge over the Tiber, that flows through the town, and settled the colony of Ostia at the junction of the river with the sea; even then, apparently, feeling a presentiment, that the riches and supplies of the whole world would be brought to that maritime store-house of the city.
- CHAP. V. OF TARQUINIUS PRISCUS.
Afterwards, Tarquinius Priscus, though sprung from a country beyond the sea, making application for the throne, obtained it through his industry and accomplishments; for, having been born at Corinth, he had joined to his Grecian wit the arts of Italy. This king increased the authority of the senate by adding to its number, and augmented the tribes with additional centuries; for Attius Naevius, a man eminent in augury, forbade their number to be increased. The king, for a trial of Naevius's skill, asked him if that which he had conceived in his mind could be done? The other, haing tried the question by augury, answered that it could. I was thinking then, replied the king, whether I could cut this whetstone with my razor. You can then, rejoined the augur; and the king cut it. Hence augury came to be a sacred institution among the Romans.
Nor was the ability of Tarquinius greater in peace than in war; for he reduced, by frequent attacks, the twelve tribes of Etruria, from whom were adopted the fasces, robes of state, curule-chairs, rings, horse-trappings, military cloaks, and the gown called praetexta. Hense also came the custom of riding in triumph, in a gilded chariot, with four horses; as well as embroidered togae, and striped tunics; and, in fine, all ornaments and marks of distinction by which regal dignity is rendered imposing.
- CHAP. VI. OF SERVIUS TULLIUS.
Servius Tullius was the next that assumed the government; nor was the meanness of his extraction any hindrance to his exaltation, though he was the son of a female slave. For Tanaquil, the wife of Tarquinius Priscus, had improved his talents, which were extraordinary, by a liberal education; and a flame, that had been seen surrounding his head, had portended that he would be famous. Being, therefore, on the death of Tarquinius, put in the king's place, by the aid of the queen, (as if merely for a time,) he exercised the government, thus fraudulently obtained, with such effect, that he seemed to have obtained it by right. By this king the Roman people were submitted to a census, disposed into classes, and divided into curiae and companies; and, through his eminent ability, the whole commonwealth was so regulated, that all distinctions of estate, dignity, age, employments, and ofices, were committed to registers, and a great city was governed with all the exactness of the smallest family.
- CHAP. VII. OF TARQUINIUS SUPERBUS.
The last of all the kings was Tarquinius, to whom the name of Superbus, or the Proud, was given, on account of his deportment. He chose rather to seize by violence, than patiently to wait for, the kingdom of his grandfather, which was held from him by Servius, and, having set some assassins to murder him, managed the power, obtained by crime, not more justly than he gained it. Nor did his wife Tullia differ from him in disposition; for, to salue her husband king, as she was riding in her chariot, she drove her startled horses over the blood-stained corpse of her father. He himself offended the senate by putting some of them to death, disgusted the whole nation by his pride (which, to men of right feelings, is more intolerable than cruelty,) and, after glutting his inhumanity at home, turned at length against his enemies. Thus the strong towns in Latium were taken, Ardea, Ocriculum, Gabii, Suessa, Pometia.
He was also cruel to his own family; for he scrupled not to scourge his son, in order that he might gain credit with the enemy when feigning himself a deserter. This son, being received, as he had wished, at Gabii, and consulting his father what he desired to have done, the father answered (what pride!) by striking off, with his staff, the heads of some poppies that chanced to grow higher than the rest, wishing it thence to be understood that the chief men at Gabii were to be put to death.
From the spoils of the captured cities, however, he built a temple, at the consecration of which, though the other gods gave up their ground, Juventus and Terminus, strange to say, stood firm. Yet the obstinacy of these deities pleased the augurs, as it promised that all would be firm and enduring. But what was extremely surprising, was, that at the foundation of the edifice a human head was found by the builders; and all were persuaded that this was a most favourable omen, portending that the seat of empire, and supreme head of the world, would be in that place.
The Roman people tolerated the pride of this king, as long as lust was not united with it; but this additional oppression they were not able to endure on the part of his sons, one of whom having offered violence to Lucretia, a most excellent matron, she put an end to her dishonour by killing herself. All power was then taken out of the hands of kings.
- CHAP. VIII. A RECAPITULATION OF THE ACTS OF THE SEVEN KINGS.
This is the first age, and, as it were, infancy, of the Roman people, which it had under seven kings, who, by a certain contrivance of the fates, were as various in their dispositions as the nature and advantage of the commonwealth required. Who was more daring than Romulus? Such a man was necessary to hold the government. Who was more religious than Numa? Circumstances required that he should be so, in order than a barbarous people might be softened by fear of the gods. What sort of man was Tullius, that author of military discipline? How necessary to warlike spirits, that he might improve their valour by discipline! What kind of king was the architect Ancus? How fitted to extend the city by means of a colony, to unite it by a bridge, and secure it by a wall! The decorations and insignia of Tarquinius, too, how much dignity did they add to this great people by the very dress! What did the census instituted by Servius effect, but that the state should know its own strength? Lastly, the tyrannic government of the proud Tarquin produced some good, and indeed a great deal; for it came to pass, by means of it, that the people, exasperated by wrongs, were inflamed with a desire of liberty.
- CHAP. IX. OF THE CHANGE OF GOVERNMENT.
Under the conduct and guidance of Brutus and Collatinus, therefore, to whom the dying matron had recommended the avenging of her cause, the Roman people, incided apparently by some impulse from the gods, to vindicate the honour of insulted liberty and chastity, suddenly deserted the king, made spoil of his property, consecrated his lands to their god Mars, and transformed the government to the hands of those asserters of their liberty, with a change only of its power and name; for they resolved that it should be held, not for life, but only for a year, and that there should be two rulers instead of one, least the authority, by being vested in a single person, or by being retained too long, might be abused; and, instead of kings, they called them consuls, that they might remember they were to consult the welfare of their citizens. So great exultation, on account of their newly recovered liberty, took possession of them, that they scarcely believed that they could carry their change of condition far enough, and deprived one of the consuls of his office, and expelled him from the city, for no other reason that his name and family were the same as those of the kings. Valerius Publicola, accordingly, being elected in his place, used his utmost endeavours to advance the dignity of the liberated people; for he lowered the fasces before them at a public assembly, and gave them the right of hearing appeals against the consuls themselves. He also removed his house, which stood upon an eminence, into the level parts of the town, that he might not offend people by appearing to occupy a fortress. Brutus, meanwhile, endeavoured to gain the favour of the citizens by the destruction and slaughter of his own family; for finding that his sons were endeavouring to bring back the royal family into the city, he brought them into the forum, and caused them, in the midst of an assembly of the people, to be scourged with rods, and then beheaded; in order that he might seem, as a parent of the public, to have adopted the people in the room of his own children.
The Roman people, being now free, took up arms against other nations, first, to secure their liberty, next, for the acquisition of territory, afterwards in support of their allies, and finally, for glory and empire. Their neighbours, on every side, were continually harassing them, as they had no land of their own (the very pomoerium belonging to the enemy), and as they were situated, as it were, at the junction of the roads to Latium and Etruria, and, at whatever gate they went out, were sure to meet a foe. At length, as if in a certain destined course, they proceeded against their opponents one after another, and, subduing the nearest, reduced all Italy under their sway.
- CHAP. X. THE WAR WITH PORSENA.
After the royal family was expelled, the first war that the people made was in defence of their liberty; for Porsena, king of Etruria, came against them with a large army, designing to restore the Tarquins by force. Yet, though he pressed them hard both with arms and with famine, and seizing the Janiculum, occupied the very entrance to the city, they withstood and repelled him, and struck him, at last, with such amazement, that, though he had the advantage, he of his own accord concluded a treaty of friendship with those whom he had almost conquered. Then appeared those Roman prodigies and wonders, Horatius, Mucius, and Cloelia, who, if they were not recorded in our annals, would now appear fabulous characters. For Horatius, being unable alone to repel the enemies that pressed him on all sides, swam across the Tiber after the bridge was broken down, without letting go his arms. Mutius Scaevola, by a strategem, made an attempt on the king in the midst of his camp, but having stabbed one of his courtiers by mistake, and being seized, he thrust his hand into a fire that was burning there, and increased the king;s terror by a piece of craft, saying, "that you may know what a man you have escaped, three hundred of us have sworn the same undertaking;" while, strange to relate, Mucius himself stook unmoved, and the king shuddered, as if his own hand had been burning. Thus the men displayed their valour; but that the other sex might not want its praise, there was a like spirit among the young women; for Cloelia, one of the hostages given to the king, having escaped from her keepers, crossed the river of her country on horseback. The king, in consequence, being struck with so many and so great prodigies of valour, bid them farewell, and left them free.
The Tarquins continued the war, till Brutus, with his own hand, killed Aruns, the king's son, and fell dead upon his body of a wound received from his adversary, as if he would pursue the adulterer even to Tartarus.
- CHAP. XI. OF THE WAR WITH THE LATINS.
The Latins also took part with the Tarquins, out of rivalry and envy towards the Romans, desiring that a people, who ruled abroad, might at least be slaves at home. At Latium, accordingly, under the leadership of Mamilius of Tusculum, roused their spirits as if to avenge the king's cause. They came to a battle near lake Regillus, where success was for a long time doubtful, till Posthumius, the dictator, thre a standard among the enemy, (a new and remarkable stratagem,) that it might be recovered by rushing into the midst of them. Cossus, the master of the horse, too, ordered the cavalry to take off their bridles, (thus was also a new contrivance,) that they might attack with greater force. Such at last was the desparateness of the engagement, that fame reported two of the gods, on white horses, to have been present to view it, and it was universally believed that they were Castor and Pollux. The Roman general accordingly worshipped them, and, on condition of gaining the victory, promised them temples; a promise which he afterwards performed, as payment to the gods who assisted him.
Thus far they contended for liberty. Afterwards they fought with the same Latins, perseveringly and without intermission, about the boundaries of their territory. Sora (who would believe it?) and Algidum were a terror to them. Satricum and Corniculum were provinces. Of Verulae and Bovillae I am ashamed to speak; but we triumphed. Tibur, now a portion of the suburbs, and Praeneste, a pleasant summer residence, were not attacked till vows for success had been offered in the Capitol. Faesulae was as much to us as Carrae was of late; the grove of Aricia was as considerable as the Hercynian forest, Fregellae as Gesoriacum, the Tiber as the Euphrates. That Corioli was taken, was thought (disgraceful to relate) such a cause for triumph, that Caius Marcius Coriolanus added a name from the captured town to his own, as if he had subdued Numantia or Africa. There are extant also spoils taken from Antium, which Maenius put up on the rostra in the forum, after capturing the enemy's fleet, if a fleet, indeed, it could be called; for there were only six beaked vessels. But this number, in those early times, was sufficient for a naval war.
The most obstinate of the Latins, however, were the Aequi and Volsci, who were, as I may say, daily enemies. But these were cheifly subdued by Lucius Quintius, the dictator taken from the plough, who, by his eminent bravery, saved the camp of the consul, Lucius Minucius, when it was besieged and almost taken. It happened to be about the middle of seed-time, when the lictor found the patrician leaning on his plough in the midst of his labour. Marching from thence into the field, he made the conquered enemies, that he might not cease from the imitation of country work, pass like cattle under the yoke. His expedition being thus concluded, the triumphant husbandman returned to his oxen, and, O faith of the gods with what speed! for the war was begun and ended within fifteen days; so that the dictator seemed to have hastened back to resume the work which he had quitted.
- CHAP. XII. THE WARS WITH THE ETRURIANS, FALISCI, AND FIDENATES.
The Vejentes, on the side of Etruria, were continual enemies of the Romans, attacking them every year; so that the single family of the Fabii offered extraordinary assistance, and carried on a private war against them. But the slaughter that befell them was sufficiently memorable. Three hundred (an army of patricians) were slain at Cremera, and the gate that let them pass, when they were proceeding to battle, was stigmatised with the name of wicked. But that slaughter was expiated by great victories, the enemies' strongest towns being reduced by one general after another, though in various methods. The Falisci surrendered of their own accord; the Fidenates were burned with their own fire; the Vejentes were plundered and utterly destroyed.
During the siege of the Falisci, an instance of honour on the part of the Roman general was regarded as wonderful, and not without justice; for he sent back to them, with his hands bound behind him, a schoolmaster who intended to betray their city, with some boys whom he had brought with him. Being an upright and wise man, he knew that that only was a true victory which was gained with inviolate faith and untainted honour. The people of Fidenae, not being a match for the Romans with the sword, armed themselves with torches and party-coloured fillets resembling serpents, in order to excite terror in the enemy, and marched out against them like madmen; but their dismal dress was only an omen of their destruction. How great the strength of the Vejentes was, a ten years' siege proves. It was then that the Roman soldiers first wintered under skins, while the extraordinary winter labour was recompensed with pay, and the soldiers were voluntarily bound by an oath not to return till the city was taken. The spoils of Lars Tolumnius, the king of the Vejentes, were offered to Jupiter Feretrius. The destruction of the city was at last effected, not by scaling-ladders, nor by a breach in the walls, but by a mine, and strategems under ground. The spoil was thought so great, that the tenth was sent to the Pythian Apollo, and the whole Roman people were called out to share in the pillage. Such was Veii at that time; who now remembers that it existed? What relic or vestige is left of it? Even the trustworthiness of our annals can hardly make us believe that Veii ever had a being.
- CHAP. XIII. OF THE WAR WITH THE GAULS.
At this point, whether through the envy of the gods, or the appointment of fate, the rapid progress of the advancing empire was stopped, for a short time, by an invasion of the Galli Senones. Whether this period were more hurtful to the Romans by the disasters which it caused them, or more glorious by the proofs which it gave of their valour, I am unable to tell. Such, however, was the violence of the calamity, that I must suppose it inflicted upon them, by divine Providence, for a trial of their spirit, the immortal gods desiring to know whether the conduct of the Romans would merit the empire of the world. The Galli Senones were a nation naturally fierce, and rude in manners; and, from the vastness of their bodies, and the corresponding weight of their arms, so formidable in all respects, that they seemed evidently born for the destruction of men and the depopulation of cities. Coming originally from the remotest parts of the earth, and the ocean that surrounds all, and having wasted everything in their way, they settled between the Alps and the Po; but not content with this position, they wandered up and down Italy, and were now besieging the town of Clusium. The Romans interposed on nehalf of their allies and confederates, by sending, according to custom, ambassadors. But what regard to justice was to be expected from barbarians? They only grew more daring; and hence arose a conflict. After they had broken up from Clusium, and were marching towards Rome, Fabius, the consul, met them at the river Allia with an army. Scarecely ever was there a more disgraceful defeat; and Rome has therefore set a damnatory mark on this day in its calendar. The Roman army being routed, the Gauls approached the city. Garrison there was none; but then, or never, true Roman courage showed itself. In the first place the elder men, who had borne the highest offices, met together in the forum, where, the high priest performing the ceremony of devotion, they consecrated themselves to the infernal gods; and immediately afterwards returning, each to his own house, they seated themselves, dressed as they were in their long robes and richest ornaments, on their curule chairs, that, when the enemy came, they might die with proper dignity.
The high-priests and flamens, taking whatever was most sacred in the temples, hid part of it in casks buried in the earth, and carried part away with them in waggons. The virgins of the priesthood of Vesta, at the same time, followed, with their feet bare, their sacred things as they were conveyed from the city. But Lucius Albinus, one of the common people, is said to have assisted them in their flight; for, setting down his wife and children, he took up the virgins into his vehicle; so much, even in their utmost extremity, did regard for the public religion prevail over private affactions.
A band of the youth (which, it is certain, scarcely amounted to a thousand) took their position, under the command of Manlius, in the citadel on the Capitoline mount, intreating Jupiter himself, as if present in the place, that "as they had united to defend his temple, he would support their efforts with his power." The Gauls, meantime, came up, and finding the city open, were at first apprehensive that some stratagem was intended, but soon after, preceiving nobody in it, they rushed in with shouting and impetuosity. They entered the houses, which in all parts stood open, where they worshipped the aged senators, sitting in their robes on their curule chairs, as if they had been gods and genii; but afterwards, when it appeared that they were men (otherwise deigning to answer nothing), they massacred them with cruelty equal to their former veneration. They then threw burning brands on the houses, and with fire, sword, and the labour of their hands, levelled the city with the ground. But round the single Capitoline mount, the barbarians (who would believe it?) were detained six months, though making every effort, not only by day but by night, to reduce it. At length, as some of them were making an ascent in the night-time, Manlius, being awakened by the gabbling of a goose, hurled them down from the to of the rock; and, to deprive the enemy of all hope of success, and make a show of confidence on his own part, he threw out some loaves of bread, though he was in great want, from the citadel. On a certain fixed day, too, he sent out Fabius, the high-priest, from the citadel, through the midst of the enemy's guards, to perform a solemn sacrifice on the Quirinal hill. Fabius, under the protection of religion, returned safe through the weapons of the enemy, and reported that "the gods were propitious." At last, when the length of their siege had tired the barbarians, and when they were offering to depart for a thousand pounds of gold, (Making that offer, however, in an insolent manner, throwing a sword into the scale with unfair weights, and proudly crying out, "Woe to the conquered!") Camillus, suddenly attacking them in the rear, made such a slaughter of them as to wash out all traces of the fire with an inundation of Gallic blood. But with pleasure may we give thanks to the immortal gods on the very account of this great destruction; for that fire buried the cottages of the shepherds, and that flame hid the poverty of Romulus. What, indeed, was the effect of that conflagration, but that a city, destined for the seat of men and gods, should not seem to have been destroyed or overthrown, but rather cleansed and purified? After being defended, therefore, by Manlius, and restored by Camillus, it rose up again, with still more vigour and spirit, against the neighbouring people.
But first of all, not content with having expelled the Gauls from their city, theys so closely pursued them under the conduct of Camillus, as they were dragging their broken remains up and down through Italy, that at this day not a trace of the Senones is left in the country. On one occasion, there was a slaughter of them at the river Anio, where Manlius, in a single combat, took from a barbarian, among other spoils, a golden chain; and hence was the name of the Torquati. On another occasion they were defeated in the Pomptine territory, when Lucius Valerius, in a similar combat, being assisted by a sacred bird sitting upon his helmet, carried off the spoils of his enemy; and hence came the name of the Corvini. At last Dolabella, some years afterwards, cut off all that remained of them at the lake Vadimo in Etruria, that none of that nation might survive to boast that Rome had been burned by them.
- CHAP. XIV. THE LATIN WAR.
In the consulship of Manlius Torquatus and Decius Mus, the Romans turned from the Gauls upon the Latins, a people always ready to attack them from rivalry for empire, and now in contempt for the burnt state of the city. They demanded that the right of citizenship should be granted them, and a participation in the government and public offices; and presumed that they could now do something more than struggle for these privileges. But who will wonder that the enemy should then have yielded, when one of the consuls put his own son to death, for fighting, though successfully, contrary to orders, as if there were more merit in observing command than in gaining a victory; and the other, as if by the admonition of the gods, devoted himself, with his face covered, and in front of the army, to the infernal deities, so that, casting himself into the thickest of the enemy's weapons, he opened a new way to victory by the track of his own blood.
- CHAP. XV. THE SABINE WAR.
After the Latins, they attacked the nation of the Sabines, who, unmindful of the alliance contracted under Titus Tatius, had united themselves, by some contagion of war, to the Latins. But the Romans, under Curius Dentatus, their consul, laid waste, with fire and sword, all that tract which the Nar and the springs of Velinus inclose, as far as the Adriatic sea. By which success such a number of people, and such an extent of territory, was brought under their jurisdiction, that even he who had made the conquest could not tell which was of the greater importance.
- CHAP. XVI. THE SAMNITE WAR.
Being then moved by the intreaties of Campania, they attacked the Samnites, not on their own account, but, what is more honourable, on that of their allies. A league had indeed been made with both those nations, but the Campanians had made theirs more binding and worth of regard, by a surrender of all that they had. The Romans accordingly took up the war against the Samnites as if on their own behalf.
The region of Campania is the finest of all countries, not only in Italy, but in the whole world. Nothing can be softer than its air; indeed it produces flowers twice a year. Nothing can be more fertile than its soil; and it is therefore said to have been an object of contention between Bacchus and Ceres. Nothing can be more hospitable than its shores; for on them are those noble harbours, Caieta, Misenus, and Baiae with its warm springs, as well as the lakes Lucrinus and Avernus, places of retirements as it were for the sea. Here, too, are those vine-clad mountains, Gaurus, Falernus, Massicus, and Vesuvius the finest of all, the imitator of the fires of Aetna. On the sea are the cities Formiae, Cumae, Puteoli, Naples, Herculaneum, Pompeii, and, the chief of all, Capua, which was formerly one of the three greatest cities in the world, Rome and Carthage being the others.
In defence of this city, and this country, the Roman people attacked the Samnites, a nation, if you would know its wealth, equipped with gold and silver armour, and with clothes of various colours even to ostentation; if you would understand its subtlety, accustomed to assail its enemies by the aid of its forests and concealment among the mountains; if you would learn its rage and fury, exasperated to destroy the city of Rome by sacred laws and human sacrifices; if you would look to its obstinacy, rendered desperate by six violations of the treaty, and by its very defeats. Yet in fifty years, by means of the Fabii and Papirii, fathers and sons, the Romans so subdued and reduced this people, so demolished the very ruins of their cities, that Samnium may now be sought in Samnium; nor does it easily appear whence there was matter for four-and-twenty triumphs over them. But the greatest defeat that the Romans received from this nation was at the Caudine Forks, in the consulship of Veturius and Posthumius. For the Roman army being inclosed, by means of an ambush, within that defile, whence it was unable to extricate itself, Pontius, the general of the enemy, struck with such extraordinary good fortune, consulted his father Herennius how he should act, who, as a man of greater age and experience, judiciously advised him "either to release them all, or to put them all to the sword." But Pontius preferred making them pass, despoiled of their arms, beneath the yoke; so that they were not made friends by his mercy, but rendered greater enemies after such dishonour. The consuls, therefore, without delay, and in a noble spirit, removed, by a voluntary surrender of themselves, the disgrace of the treaty; and the soldiers, clamourous for revenge, and led on by Papirius, rushed furiously along the line of march, with their swords drawn (fearful to relate!) before they came to battle; and the enemy affirm that in the encounter the eyes of the Romans were like burning fire. Nor was there an end put to the slaughter, until they retaliated with the yoke upon their enemies and their general who was taken prisoner.
- CHAP. XVII. THE WAR WITH THE ETRURIANS AND THE SAMNITES COMBINED.
As yet the Roman people had warred only with single nations, but soon after it had to struggle with a combination of them; yet in such circumstances it was a match for them all. The twelve tribes of the Etrurians, the Umbri, the most ancient people of Italy, hitherto unassailed in war, and those that remained of the Samnites, suddenly conspired for the utter destruction of the Roman name. The terror excited by nations so numerous and so powerful was very great. The standards of four armies, ready for engagement, flew far and wide throughout Etruria. The Ciminian forest, too, which lay between Rome and Etruria, and which had hitherto been as little explored as the Caledonian or Hercynian forests, was so great an object of dread, that the senate charged the consul not venture on such a peril. But no danger deterred the general from sending his brother before to learn the possibilities of forcing a passage. He, putting on a shepherd's dress, and examining all around in the night, reported that the way was safe. Fabius Maximus, in consequence, terminated a most hazardous war without hazard, for he suddenly assailed the enemy as they were in disorder and straggling about, and, possessing himself of the higher grounds, thundered down on those below at his pleasure, the aspect of the war being as if weapons were hurled on the children of earth from the sky and the clouds. Yet final success was not secured without bloodshed; for one of the consuls, being surprised in the hollow of a valley, sacrificed his life, devoted, after the example of his father, to the infernal gods; and made this act of devotion, natural to his family, the price of victory.
- CHAP. XVIII. THE WAR WITH THE TARENTINES AND PYRRHUS.
Next follows the Tarentine War, one, indeed, in title and name, but manifold in victories; for it involved in one ruin, as it were, the Campanians, Apulians, and Lucanians, as well as the Tarentines, who were the authors of it, that is to say, the whole of Italy, and, together with all these, Pyrrhus, the most famous king of Greece; so that the Roman people, at one and the same time, completed the reduction of Italy and commenced their transmarine triumphs.
Tarentum was built by the Lacedaemonians, and was formerly the metropolis of Calabria, Apuliam and all Lucania; it was famous for its size, and walls, and harbour, and admired for its situation; for, being placed at the very entrance to the Adriatic, it sends its vessels to all the adjacent countries, as Istria, Illyricum, Epirus, Greece, Africa, and Sicily. A large theatre lies close upon the harbour, built so as to overlook the sea; which theatre was the cause of all the calmities that befel the unhappy city. They happened to be celebrating games, when they saw from thence the Roman fleet rowing up to the shore, and, supposing that they were enemies approaching, ran out and attacked them without further consideration; for "who or whence were the Romans?" Nor was this enough; an embassy came from Rome without delay, to make a complaint; and this embassy they vilely insulted, with an affront that was gross and disgraceful to be mentioned. Hence arose the war. The preparations for it were formidable, so many nations, at the same time, rising up on behalf of the Tarentines, and Phrrhus more formidable than them all, who, to defend a city, which, from its founders being Lacedaemonians, was half Greek, came with all the strength of Epirus, Thessalia, and Macedonia, and with elephants, till then unknown in Italy; menacing the country by sea and land, with men, horses, and arms, and the additional terror of wild beasts.
The first battle was fought by the consul Levinus, at Haraclea, on the Liris, a river of Campania; a battle so desperate, that Obsidius, commander of a Frentane troop of horse, riding at the king, put him into disorder, and obliged him to throw away his royal insignia and quit the field. He would doubtless have been defeated, had not the elephants, turning round, rushed forward to attract the attention of the combatants; when the horses, startled at their bulk and ugliness, as well as at their strange smell and noise, and imagining the beasts, which they had never seen before, to be something more terrible than they were, spread consternation and havoc far and wide.
A second engagement took place at Asculum in Apulia, under the consuls Curius and Fabricius, with somewhat better success; for the terror of the beasts had in some degree passed off, and Caius Minucius, a spearman of the fourth legion, having cut off the trunk of one of them, showed that the monsters were mortal. Lances were accordingly heaped upon them, and firebrands, hurled against their towers, covered the troops of the enemy with flaming ruins. Nor was there any stop to the slaughter till night separated the combatants; and the king himself, the last of those that retreated, was carried off by his guards, with a wound in the shoulder, on his own shield.
The last battle was fought by the same leaders, near what are called the Arusine plains in Lucania; but success was then wholly on the side of the Romans. Chance brought the termination of the struggle which valour would have given; for the elephants being again brought into the front line, the heavy stroke of a weapon descending on the head of a young one, made it turn about; and then, as it was trampling down numbers of its own party, and whining with a loud noise, its dam recognised it, and broke out of her place as though to revenge the injury done to it, disordering all about her, as if they had been troops of the enemy, with her unweildy bulk. Thus the same beasts, which had gained the first victory, and balanced the second, gave the third to the Romans without dispute.
Nor did they engage with Pyrrhus only with arms and in the field, but contended with him also in counsel, and at home within the city. For the subtle king, after his first victory, being convinced of the valour of the Romans, despaired of gaining success by arms, and had recourse to stratagem. He burnt the bodies of the Romans that were slain, treated the prisoners kindly, and restored them without ransom; and having afterwards sent ambassadors to the city, he sought, by every means in his power, to be received into friendship and to make a league with them. But at that period the conduct of the Romans approved itself in every way, in war and in peace, abroad and at home; nor did any other conquest, more than that over the Tarentines, show the fortitude of the Roman people, the wisdom of their senate, and the gallantry of their generals. What sort of men were those whom we find trampled down by elephants in the first battle? The wounds of all were in their breasts; some had fallen dead upon their enemies; all had swords in their hands, and threatening left in their looks; and their anger lived even in death itself. Pyrrhus was so struck with admiration at the sight, that he exclaimed, "Oh, how easy were it for me to gain the empire of the world, if I had Romans for my soldiers; or for the Romans, if they had me for their king!" And what must have been the expedition of those who survived, in recruiting the army? For Pyrrhus said, "I see plainly that I was born under the constellation of Hercules, since so many heads of enemies, that were cut off, arise again upon me out of their own blood, as if they sprung for the Lernaean serpent." And what kind of senate was there? when, on the address of Appius Caecus, the ambassadors were sent away from the city with their presents, and assured their king, who asked them what they thought of their enemy's abode, that "the city appeared to them a temple, and the senate an assembly of kings." And what sort of generals were there? either in the camp, when Curius sent back the physician that offered the head of king Pyrrhus for sale, and Fabricius refused a share of the kingdom offered him by Pyrrhus; or in peace, when Curius preferred his earthen vessels to the gold of the Samnites, and Fabricius, with the gravity becoming a cesnor, condemned ten pounds of silver, in the possession of Rufinus, though a man of consular dignity, as a luxury.
Who then can wonder that the Romans, with such manners, and with a brave soldiery, were victorious? And that in this one war with the Tarentines, they brought under their power, within the space of four years, the greatest part of Italy, the stoutest nations, the most wealthy cities, and the most fruitful regions? Or what can more exceed credibility than a comparison of the beginning of the war with the end of it? Pyrrhus, victorius in the first battle, laid waste Campania, Liris, and Fregellae, whilst all Italy was in alarm, and took a view of Rome, which was well-nigh captured, from the heights of Praeneste, filling the eyes of the trembling city, at the distance of twenty miles, with smoke and dust. The same prince being afterwards twice forced from his camp, twice wounded, and driven over sea and land into Greece, his own country, peace and quiet ensued; and so vast was the spoil from so many wealthy nations, that Rome could not contain her own victory. Hardly ever did a finer or more glorious triumph enter the city; when before this time you could have seen nothing but the cattle of the Volscians, the flocks of the Sabines, the chariots of the Gauls, or the broken arms of the Samnites; but now, if you looked on the capitives, they were Molossians, Thessalians, Macedonians, Bruttians, Apulians, and Lucanians; if upon the pomp of the procession, there was gold, purple, statues, pictures, and all the ornaments of Tarentum. The people of Rome, however, beheld nothing with greater pleasure than those beasts which they had dreaded, with their towers on their backs; which, not without a sense of their own capitivity, followed the victorious horses with their heads bowed to the earth.
- CHAP. XIX. THE PICENIAN WAR.
Soon after all Italy enjoyed peace, (for who would venture on war after the subjugation of Tarentum?) except that the Romans thought proper, of their own accord, to pursue those who had joined the enemy. The people of Picenum were in consequence subdued, with Asculum, their metropolis, under the conduct of Sempronius; who, as there was a tremor of the earth during the battle, appeased the goddess Earth by vowing a temple to her.
- CHAP. XX. THE SALLENTINE WAR.
The Sallentines shared the fate of the people of Picenum; and Brundusium, the chief city of the country, with its famous harbour, was taken by Marcus Atilius. In this contest Pales, the goddess of shepherds, demanded, of her own accord, a temple as the price of the victory.
- CHAP. XXI. THE WAR WITH THE VOLSINI.
The last of the Italians that fell under the government of the Romans were the Volsini, the richest of all the Etrurians, who sought aid against rebels that had formerly been their slaves, and that had turned their liberty, granted them by their masters, against their masters themselves, taking the government into their own hands, and making themselves tyrants. But these were chastised for their presumption under the leadership of Fabius Gurges.
- CHAP. XXII. OF SEDITIONS.
This is the second age of the Roman people, and, as it were, its youth; in which it was extremely vigorous, and grew warm and fervid in the flower of its strength. Thus a certain rudeness, derived from the shepherds, their ancestors, which still remained in them, betrayed something of an untamed spirit. Hence it happened that the army, having mutinied in the camp, stoned their general, Posthumius, for withholding the spoil which he had promised them; that under Appius Claudius they refused to conquer the enemy when they had the power; that on occasion of the soldiers, with Volero at their head, declining to serve, the fasces of the consul were broken; and that the people punished their most eminent leaders with exile, when they opposed their will: as Coriolanus, for desiring them to till their grounds, (nor would he have less severely revenged his wrongs in war, had not his mother Veturia, when we was leading on his forces, disarmed him with her tears,) and Camillus, because he seemed to have divided the plunder of Veii unfairly between the common people and the army. But the latter, with better fortune than Coriolanus, grew old in the city which he had taken, and afterwards avenged his countrymen, at their entreaty, on their enemies the Gauls.
- CHAP. XXIII. THE SUBJECT CONTINUED.
The first disagreement was occasioned by the tyranny of the money-lenders, who vented their resentment even on the backs of their debtors, scourging them as if they were slaves; and the commons, in consequence, withdrew under arms to the Sacred Mount, from which they were with difficulty recalled by the authority of Menenius Agrippa, an eloquent and wise man; nor would they have returned at all if they had not obtained tribunes for themselves. The fable of his, in the old style, so powerfully persuasive to concord, is still extant, in which he said that "the members of the human body were once at variance among themselves, alleging, that while all the rest discharged their duties, the stomach alone continued without occupation; but that at length, when ready to die, they returned from their disagreement to a right understanding, as they found that they were nourished by the food that was by the stomach reduced to blood."
- CHAP. XXIV. THE SUBJECT CONTINUED.
The licentiousness of the Decemvirate gave rise to the second disagreement, which occurred in the middle of the city. Ten eminent men of the city, chosen for the purpose, had, by order of the people, drawn up in a body certain laws which had been brought from Greece, and the whole course of the administration of justice had been arranged in twelve tables; but, though the object of their office was accomplished, they still retained the fasces that had been delivered to them, with a spirit like that of kings. Appius Claudius, above all the rest, advanced to such a degree of audacity, that he destined for dishonour a free-born virgin, forgetting both Lucretia, and the kings, and the laws which he himself had written. When her father Virginius, therefore, saw his daughter unjustly sentenced, and dragged away to slavery, he slew her, without any hesitation, in the midst of the forum, with his own hand; and, bringing up the troops of his fellow-soldiers, he dragged the whole band of tyrants, beset with an armed force, from the Aventine Mount to imprisonment and chains.
- CHAP. XXV. THE SUBJECT CONTINUED.
The question of the propriety of intermarriages raised a third sedition, it being demanded that plebeians be allowed to intermarry with patricians. The tumult broke out on Mount Janiculum, Canuleius, a tribune of the people, being the leader in it.
- CHAP. XXVI. THE SUBJECT CONTINUED.
An ambition for public honours occasioned a fourth sedition, from a demand being made that plebeians should be admitted to magistracies. Fabius Ambustus, the father of two daughters, had married one to Sulpicius, a man of patrician family, and the other to Stolo, a plebeian. The latter, on some occasion, being rather scornfully laughed at by her sister, because she had been startled at the sound of the lictor's staff, (which was unknown in her family,) could not endure the affront. Her husband, in consequence, having gained the tribuneship, obtained from the senate, though much against their will, a share in public honours and offices for the plebeians.
But in these very seditions, you may not properly admire the conduct of this great people; for at one time they supported liberty, at another chastity, at another the respectability of their birth, at another their right to marks and distinctions of honour; and mong all these proceedings, they were vigilant guardians of nothing more than of liberty, and could by no bribery be corrupted to make sale of it; though there arose from time to time, as was natural among a people already great, and growing daily greater, citizens of very pernicious intentions. Spurius Cassius, suspected of aiming at kingly power by the aid of the agrarian law, and Maelius, suspected of a similar design, from his excessive largesses to the people, they punished with instant death. On Spurius, indeed, his own father inflicted the punishment. Ahala, the master of the horse, killed Maeliis in the middle of the forum, by order of Quinctius the dictator. Manlius, also, the defender of the Capitol, when he behaved himself too arrogantly, and unsuitably to the rank of a citizen, presuming on having liberated most of the debtors, they precipitated from that very citadel which he had preserved. In this manner, at home and abroad, in peace and war, did the Roman people pass the period of adolescence, that is to say, the second age of their empire, in which they subdued with their arms all Italy between the Alps and the sea.
- BOOK II.
- CHAP. I. INTRODUCTORY.
After Italy was conquered and subjugated, the Roman people, now approaching its five-hudredth year, and being fairly arrived at maturity, was then truly robust and manly, (if robustness and manhood may be attributed to a nation,) and had begun to be a match for the whole world. Accordingly (wonderful and scarcely credible to relate!) that people who had struggled with their neighbours at home for nearly five hundred years, (so difficult was it to give Italy a head,) overran, in the two hundred years that follow, Africa, Europe, Asia, and indeed the whole world, with their wars and victories.
- CHAP. II. THE FIRST PUNIC WAR.
The victor-people of Italy, having now spread over the land as far as the seam checked its course for a little, like a fire, which, having consumed the woods lying in its track, is stopped by some intervening river. But soon after, seeing at no great distance a rich prey, which seemed in a manner detached and torn away from their own Italy, they were so inflamed with a desire to possess it, that since it could neither be joined to their country by a mole or bridge, they resolved that it should be secured by arms and war, and reunited, as it were, to their continent. And behold! as if the Fates themselves opened a way for them, an opportunity was not wanting, for Messana, a city of Sicily in alliance with them, happened to make a complaint concerning the tyranny of the Carthaginians.
As the Romans coveted Sicily, so likewise did the people of Carthage; and both at the same time, with equal desires and equal forces, contemplated the attainment of the empire of the world. Under the pretext, therefore, of assisting their allies, but in reality being allured by the prey, that rude people, that people sprung from shepherds, and merely accustomed to the land, mad eit appear, though the strangeness of the attempt startled them, (yet such confidence is there in true courage,) that to the brave it is indifferent whether a battle be fought on horseback or in ships, by land or by sea.
It was in the consulship of Appius Claudius that they first ventured upon the strait which has so ill a name from the strange things related of it, and so impetuous a current. But they were so far from being affrighted, that they regarded the violence of the rushing tide as something in their favour, and, sailing forward immediately and without delay, they defeated Hiero, king of Syracuse, with so much rapidity, that he owned he was conquered before he saw the enemy. In the consulship of Duilius and Cornelius, they likewise had courage to engage at sea, and then the expedition used in equipping the fleet was a presage of victory; for within sixty days after the timber was felled, a navy of a hundred and sixty ships lay at anchor; so that the vessels did not seem to have been made by art, but the trees themselves appeared to have been turned into ships by the aid of the gods. The aspect of the battle, too, was wonderful; as the heavy and slow ships of the Romans closed with the swift and nimble barks of the enemy. Little availed their naval arts, such as breaking off the oars of a ship, and eluding the beaks of the enemy by turning aside; for the grappling-irons, and other instruments, which, before the engagement, had been greatly derided by the enemy, were fastened upon their ships, and they were compelled to fight as on solid ground. Being victorious, therefore, at Liparae, by sinking and scattering the enemy's fleet, they celebrated their first naval triumph. And how great was the exultation at it! Duilius, the commander, not content with one day's triumph, ordered, during all the rest of his life, when he returned from supper, lighted torches to be carried, and flutes to play, before him, as if he would triumph every day. The loss in this battle was trifling, in comparison with the greatness of the victory; though the other consul, Cornelius Asina, ws cut off, being invited by the enemy to a pretended conference, and put to death; and instance of Carthaginian perfidy.
Under the dictatorship of Calatinus, the Romans expelled almost all the garrisons of the Cathaginians from Agrigentum, Drepanum, Panormus, Eryx, and Lilybaeum. Some alarm was experienced at the forest of Camarina, but we were rescued by the extraordinary valour of Calpurnius Flamma, a tribune of the soldiers, who, with a choice troop of three hundred men, seized upon an eminence occipied by the enemy to our annoyance, and so kept them in play till the whole army escaped; thus, by eminent success, equalling the fame of Thermopylae and Leonidas, though our hero was indeed more illustrious, inasmuch as he escaped and outlived so great an effort, notwithstanding he wrote nothing with his blood.
In the consulship of Lucius Cornelius Scipio, when Sicily was become as a suburban province of the Roman people, and the war was spreading further, they crossed over into Sardinia, and into Corsica, which lies near it. In the latter they terrified the natives by the destruction of the city of Olbia, in the former by that of Aleria; and so effectually humbled the Carthaginians, both by land and sea, that nothing remained to be conquered but Africa itself. Accordingly, under the leadership of Marcus Attilius Regulus, the war passed over into Africa. Nor were there wanting some on the occasion, who mutinied at the mere name and dread of the Punic sea, a tribune named Mannius increasing their alarm; but the general, threatening him with the axe if he did not obey, produced courage for the voyage by the terror of death. They then hastened their course by the aid of winds and oars, and such was the terror of the Africans at the approach of the enemy, that Carthage was almost surprised with its gates open.
The first prize taken in the war was the city of Clypea, which juts out from the Carthaginian shore as a fortress or watch-tower. Both thjis, and more than three hundred fortresses besides, werew destroyed. Nor had the Romans to contend only with men, but with mosters also; for a serpent of vast size, born, as it were, to avenge Africa, harassed their camp on the Bagrada. But Regulus, who overcame all obstacles, having spread the terror of his name far and wide, having killed or taken prisoners a great number of the enemy's force, and their captains themselves, and having despatched his fleet, laden with much spoil, and stored with materials for a triumph, to Rome, proceeded to besiege Carthage itself, the origin of the war, and took his position close to the gates of it. Here fortune was a little changed; but it was only that more proofs of Roman fortitude might be given, the greatness of which was generally best shown in calamities. For the enemy applying for foreign assistance, and Lacedaemon having sent them Xanthippus as a general, we were defeated by a captain so eminently skilled in military affairs. It was then that by an ignominious defeat, such as the Romans had never before experienced, their most valiant commander fell alove into the enemy's hands. But he was a man able to endure so great a calamity; as he was neither humbled by his imprisonment at Carthage, nor by the deputation which he headed to Rome; for he advised what was contrary to the injunctions of the enemy, and recommended that no peace should be made, and no exchange of prisoners admitted. Even by his voluntary return to his enemies, and by his last sufferings, whether in prison or on the cross, the dignity of the man was not at all obscured. But being rendered, by all these occurences, even more worthy of admiration, what can be said of him but that, though Carthage had not submitted, he triumphed over Fortune herself?
The Roman people were now much keener and more ardent to revenge the fate of Regulus than to obtain victory. Under the consul Metellus, therefore, when the Carthaginians were growing insolent, and when the war had returned into Sicily, they gave the enemy such a defeat at Panormus, that they thought no more of that island. A proof of the greatness of this victory was the capture of about a hundred elephants, a vast prey, even if they had taken that number, not in war, but in hunting. Under the consulship of Appius Claudius, they were overcome, not by the enemy, but by the gods themselves, whose auspices they had despised, their fleet being sunk in that very place where the consul had ordered the chickens to be thrown overboard, because he was warned by them not to fight. Under the consulship of Marcus Fabius Buteo, they overthrew, near Aegimurus, in the African sea, a fleet of the enemy which was just sailing for Italy. But O how great materials for triumph were then lost by a storm, when the Roman fleet, richly laden with spoil, and driven by contrary winds, covered with its wreck the coasts of Africa and Syrtes, and of all the islands lying amid those seas! A great calamity! But not without some honour to this eminent people, from the circumstances that their victory was intercepted only by a storm, and that the matter for their triumph was lost only by shipwreck. Yet, though the Punic spoils were scattered abroad, and thrown up by the waves on every promontory and island, the Romans still celebrated a triumph. In the consulship of Lutatius Catulus, an end was at last put to the war near the islands named Aegates. Nor was there any greater flight during this war; for the fleet of the enemy was laden with provisions, troops, towers, and arms; indeed, all Carthage, as it were, was in it; a state of things which proved its destruction, as the Roman fleet, on the contrary, being active, light, free from incumbrance, and in some degree resembling a land-camp, was wheeled about by its oars like cavalry in a battle by their reins; and the beaks of the vessels, directed now against one part of the enemy and now against another, presented the appearance of living creatures. In a very short time, accordingly, the ships of the enemy were shattered to pieces, and filled the whole sea between Sicily and Sardinia with their wrecks. So great, indeed, was the victory, that there was no thought of demolishing the enemy's city; since it seemed superfluous to pour their fury on towers and walls, when Carthage had already been destroyed at sea.
- CHAP. III. THE LIGURIAN WAR.
After the Carthaginian war was ended, there followed a time of repose indeed, but short, and as it were only to take breath. As a proof of peace, and of a real cessation from arms, the Temple of Janus was then shut for the first time since the reign of Numa. But it was immediately and without delay opened again. For the Ligurians, and the Insubrian Gauls, as well as the Illyrians, began to be troublesome. Indeed, the two former nations, situate at the foot of the Alps, that is, at the very entrance to Italy, stirred up, apparently, by some deity, lest the Roman arms should contract rust and mould, and at length becoming, as it were, our daily and domestic enemies, continued to exercise the young soldiery in the business of war; and the Romas whetted the sword of their valour on each of those nations as upon a whetstone. The Ligurians, lying close to the bottom of the Alps, between the rivers Varus and Macra, and shrouded in woody thickets, it was more trouble to find than to conquer. Defended by their position and facilities of escape, and being a hardy and nimble race, they rather committed depradations as occasion offered, than made regular war. After all their tribes, therefore, the Salyi, the Deceates, the Oxybii, the Euburiates, and the Ingauri, had baffled the Romans for a long time with success, Fulvius at length surrounded their recesses with flames, Baebius drew them down into the plains, and Posthumius so disarmed them that he scarcely left them iron to till the ground.
- CHAP. IV. THE GALLIC WAR.
The Galli Insubres, who were also borderers upon the Alps, had the tempers of savage beasts, and bodies greater than human. But by experience, it was found that, as their first onset was more violent than that of men, so their subsequent conduct in battle was inferior to that of women. The bodies of the people about the Alps, reared in a moist atmosphere, have somewhat in them resembling their snows, and, as soon as they are heated in fight, run down with perspiration, and are relaxed with any slight motion, as it were by the heat of the sun. These had often at other times sworn, but especially under their general Britomarus, that they would not loose their belts before they mounted the Capitol. And it happened accordingly; for Aemilius conquered and disarmed them in the Capitol. Soon after, with Ariovistus for their leader, they vowed to their god Mars a chain made out of the spoil of our soldiers. But Jupiter prevented the performance of their vow; for Flaminius erected a golden trophy to Jove out of their chains. When Viridomarus was their king, they vowed the arms of the Romans to Vulcan; but their vows had a very different result; for Marcellus, having killed their king, hung up his arms to Jupiter Feretrius, being the third spolia opima since those of Romulus, the father of the city.
- CHAP. V.
The Illyrians, or Liburnians, live at the very root of the Alps, between the rivers Arsia and Titius, extending far over the whole coast of the Adriatic. This people, in the reign of a queen named Teutana, not content with depredations on the Roman territory, added an execrable crime to their audacity. For they beheaded our ambassadors, who were calling them to account for their offences; and this death they inflicted, not with the sword, but, as if they had been victims for sacrifice, with the axe; thy also burnt the captains of our ships with fire. These insults were offere, to make them the more offensive, by a woman. The people were in consequence universally reduced to subjection, by the efforts of Cnaeus Fluvius Centimalus; and the axe, descending on the necks of their chiefs, made full atonement to the manes of the ambassadors.
- CHAP. VI. THE SECOND PUNIC WAR.
After the first Carthaginian war, there was scarcely a rest of four years, when there was another war; inferior indeed in length of time, (for it occupied but eighteen years,) but so much more terrible, from the direfulness of its havoc, that if any one compares the losses on both sides, the people that conquered was more like one defeated. What provoked this noble people was, that the command of the sea was forced from them, that their islands were taken, and that they were obliged to pay tribute which they had before been accustomed to impose. Hannibal, when but a boy, swore to his father, before an altar, to take revenge on the Romans, nor was he backward to execute his oath. Saguntum, accordingly, was made the occasion of a war; an old and wealthy city of Spain, and a great but sad example of fidelity to the Romans. This city, though granted, by the common treaty, the special privilege of enjoying its liberty, Hannibal, seeking pretences for new disturbances, destroyed with his own hands and those of its inhabitants, in order that, by an infraction of the compact, he might open a passage for himself into Italy.
Among the Romans there is the highest regard to treaties, and consequently, on hearing of the siege of an allied city, and remembering, too, the compact made with the Carthginians, they did not at once have recourse to arms, but chose rather to expostulate on legal grounds. In the mean time the Sagintines, exhausted with famine, the assaults of machines, and the sword, and their fidelity being at last carried to desperation, raised a vast pile in the market-place, on which they destroyed, with fire and sword, themselves, their wives and children, and all that they possessed. Hannibal, the cause of this great destruction, was required to be given up. The Carthaginians hesitating to comply, Fabius, who was at the head of the embassy, excalimed, "What is the meaning of this delay? In the fold of this garment I carry war and peace; which of the two do you choose?" As they cried out "War," "Take war, then," he rejoined, and, shaking out the fore-part of his toga in the middle of the senate-house, as if he really carried war in its folds, he spread it abroad, not without awe on the part of the spectators.
The sequel of the war was in conformity with its commencement; for, as if the last imprecations of the Saguntines, at their public self-immolation and burning of the city, had required such obsequies to be performed to them, atonement was made to their manes by the devastation of Italy, the reduction of Africa, and the destruction of the leaders and kings who engaged in that contest. When once, therefore, that sad and dismal force and storm of the Punic war had arisen in Spain, and had forged, in the fire of Saguntum, the thunderbolt long before intended for the Romans, it immediately burst, as if hurried along by resistless violence, through the middle of the Alps, and descended, from those snows of incredible altitude, on the plains of Italy, as if it had been hurled from the skies. The violence of its first assault burst, with a mighty sound, between the Po and the Ticinus. There the army under Scipio was routed; and te general himself, being wounded, would have fallen into the hands of the enemy, had not his son, then quite a boy, covered his father with a shield, and rescued him from death. This was the Scipio who grew up for the conquest of Africa, who was to receive a name from its ill-fortune.
To Ticinus succeeded Trebia, where, in the consulship of Sempronius, the second outburst of the Punic war was spent. On that occasion, the crafty enemy, having chosen a cold and snowy day, and having first warmed themselves at their fires, and anointed their bodies with oil, conquered us, though they were men that came from the south and a warm sun, by the aid (strange to say!) of our own winter.
The third thunderbolt fell at the Trasimene lake, when Flaminius was a commander. There also was employed a new stratagem of Carthaginian subtlety; for a body of cavalry, being concealed by a mist rising from the lake, and by the osiers growing in the fens, fell upon the rear of the Romans as they were fighting. Nor can we complain of the gods; for swarms of bees settling upon the standards, the reluctance of the eagles to move forward, and a great earthquake that happened at the commencement of the battle, (unless, indded, it was the trampling of horse and foot, and the violent concussion of arms, that produced this trembling of the ground,) had forewarned the rash leader of approaching defeat.
The fourth, and almost mortal wound of the Roman empire, was at Cannae, an obscure village of Apulia; which, however, became famous by the greatness of the defeat, its celebrity being acquired by the slaughter of forty thousand men. Here the general, the ground, the face of heaven, the day, indeed all nature, conspired togather for the destruction of the unfortunate army. For Hannibal, the most artful of generals, not content with sending pretended deserters among the Romans, who fell upon their rear as they were fighting, but having also noted the nature of the ground in those open plains, where the heat of the sun is extremely violent, the dust is very great, and the wind blows contantly, as as it were statedly, from the east, drew up his army in such a position, that, while the Romans were exposed to all these inconveniences, he himself, having heaven, as it were, on his side, fought with wind, dust, and sun in his favour. Two vast armies, in consequence, were slaughtered till the enemy were satiated, and till Hannibal said to his soldiers, "Put up your swords." Of the two commanders, one escaped, the other was slain; which of them showed the greater spirit, is doubtful. Paulus was ashamed to survive; Varro did not despair. Of the greatness of the slaughter the follwing proofs may be noticed; that the Aufidus was for some time red with blood; that a bridge was made of dead bodies, by order of Hannibal, over the torrent of Vergellus; and that two modii of rings were sent to Carthage, and the equestrian dignity estimated by measure.
It was afterwards not doubted, but that Rome might have seen its last day, and that Hannibal, within five days, might have feasted in the Capitol, if (as they say that Adherbal, the Carthaginian, the son of Bomilcar, observed,) "he had nown as well how to use his victory as how to gain it." But at that crisis, as is generally said, either the fate of the city that was to be empress of the world, or his own want of judgment, and the influence of deities unfavourable to Carthage, carried him in a different direction. When he might have taken advantage of his victory, he chose rather to seek enjoyment from it, and, leaving Rome, to march into Campania and to Tarentum, where both he and his army soon lost their vigour, so that it was justly remarked that "Capua proved a Cannae to Hannibal;" since the sunshine of Campania, and the warm springs of Baiae, subdued (who could have believed it?) him who had been unconquered by the Alps, and unshaken in the field. In thge mean time the Romans began to recover, and to rise as it were from the dead. They had no arms, but they took them down from the temples; men were wanting, but slaves were freed to take the oath of service; the treasury was exhausted, but the senate willingly offered their wealth for the public service, leaving themselves no gold but what was contained in their children's bullae, and in their own belts and rings. The knights followed their example, and the common people that of the knights; so that when the wealth of private persons was brought to the public treasury, (in the consulship of Laevinius and Marcellus,) the registers scarcely sufficed to contain the account of it, or the hands of clerks to record it.
But how can I sufficiently praise the wisdom of the centuries in the choice of magistrates, when the younger sought advice from the elder as to what consuls should be created? They saw that against an emeny so often victorious, and so full of subtlety, it was necessary to contend, not only with courage, but with his own wiles. The first hope of the empire, now recovering, and, if I may use the expression, coming to life again, was Fabius, who found a new mode of conquering Hannibal, which was, not to fight. Hence he received that new name, so salutary to the commonwealth, of Cunctator, or Delayer. Hence too it happened, that he was called by the people the shield of the empire. Through the forests of Samnium, and through the Falerian and Gauran forests, he so harassed Hannibal, that he who could not be reduced by valour, was weakened by delay. The Romans then ventured, under the command of Claudius Marcellus, to engage him; they came to close quarters with him, drove him out of his dear Campania, and forced him to raise the siege of Nola. They ventured likewise, under the leadership of Sempronius Gracchus, to pursue him through Lucania, and to press hard upon his rear as he retired; though they thenm fought him (sad dishonour!) with a body of slaves; for to this extremity had so many disasters reduced them; but they were rewarded with liberty; and from slaves they made them Romans.
O amazing confidence in the midst of so much adversity! O extraordinary courage and spirit of the Roman people in such oppressive and distressing circumstances! At a time when they were uncertain of preserving their own Italy, they yet ventured to look at other countries; and when the enemy were at their throat, flying through Campania and Apulia, and making an Africa in the middle of Italy, they at the same time both withstood that enemy, and dispersed their arms over the earth into Sicily, Sardinia, and Spain.
Sicily was assigned to Marcellus, and di not long resist his efforts; for the whole island was conquered in the conquest of one city. Syracuse, its great and, till that period, unconquered capital, though defended by the genius of Archimedes, was at last obliged to yield. Its triple wall, and three citadels, its marble harbour, and the celebrated fountain of Arethusa, were no defence to it, except so far as to procure consideration for its beauty when it was conquered.
Sardinia Gracchus reduced; the savageness of the inhabitants, and the vastness of its Mad Mountains, (for so they are called,) availed it nothing. Great severity was exercised upon its cities, and upon Caralis, the city of its cities, that a nation, obstinate and regardless of death, might at least be humbled by concern for the soil of its country.
Into Spain were sent the two Scipios, Cnaeus and Publius, who wrested almost the whole of it from the Carthaginians; but, being surprised by the artifices of Punic subtlety, they again lost it, even after they had slaughtered the enemy's forces in great battles. The wiles of the Carthaginians cut off one of them by the sword, as he was pitching his camp, and the other by surrounding him with lighted faggots, after he had made his escape into a tower. But the other Scipio, to whom the fates had decreed so great a name from Africa, being sent with an army to revenge the death of his father and uncle, recovered all that warlike country of Spain, so famous for its men and arms, that seminary of the enemy's force, that instructress of Hannibal, from the Pyrenaean mountains (the account is scarcely credible) to the Pillars of Hercules and the Ocean, whether with greater speed or good fortune, is difficult to decide; how great was his speed, four years bear witness; how remarkable his good fortune, even one city proves, for it was taken on the same day in which siege was laid to it, and it was an omen of the conquest of Africa that Carthage in Spain was so easily reduced. It is certain, however, that what most contributed to make the province submit, was the eminent virtue of the general, who restored to the barbarians certain captive youths and maidens of extraordinary beauty, not allowing them even to be brought into his sight, tnat he might not seem, even by a single glance, to have detracted from their virgin purity.
These actions the Romans performed in different parts of the world, yet were they unable, notwithstanding, to remove Hannibal, who was lodged in the heart of Italy. Most of the towns had revolted to the enemy, whose vigorous commander used even the strength of Italy against the Romans. However, we had now forced him out of many towns and districts. Tarentum had returned to our side; and Capua, the seat, home, and second country of Hannibal, was again in our hands; the loss of which caused the Punic leader so much affliction, that he then directed all his force against Rome.
O people worthy of the empire of the world, worthy of the favour and admiration of all, not only men but gods! Though they were brought into the greatest alarm, they desisted not from their original design; though they were concerned for their own city, they did not abandon their attempts on Capua; but, as part of their army being left there with the consul Appius, and part having followed Flaccus to Rome, they fought both at home and abroad at the same time. Why then should we wonder that the gods themselves, the gods, I say, (nor shall I be ashamed to admit it,) again opposed Hannibal as he was preparing to march forward when at three miles' distance from Rome. For, at every movement of his force, so copious a flood of rain descended, and such a violent storm of wind arose, that it was evident the enemy was repulsed by divine influence, and the tempest proceeded, not from heaven, but from the walls of the city and the Capitol. He therefore fled and departed, and withdrew to the furthest corner of Italy, leaving the city in a manner adored. It is but a small matter to mention, yet sufficiently indicative of the magnanimity of the Roman people, that during those very days in which the city was besieged, the ground which Hannibal occupied with his camp was offered for sale at Rome, and, being put up to auction, actually found a purchaser. Hannibal, on the other side, wished to imitate such confidence, and put up for sale the bankers' houses in the city; but no buyer was found; so that it was evident that the fates had their presages.
But as yet nothing had been effectually accomplished by so much valour, or even through such eminent favour from the gods; for Hasdrubal, the brother of Hannibal, was approaching with a new army, new strength, and every fresh requisite for war. There had doubtless been an end of Rome, if that general had united himself with his brother; but Claudius Nero, in conjuntion with Livius Salinator, overthrew him as he was pitching his camp. Nero was at that time keeping Hannibal at bay in the furthest corner of Italy; while Livius had marched to the very opposite quarter, that is, to the very entrance and confines of Italy; and of the ability and expedition with which the consuls joined their forces, (though so vast a space, that is, the whole of Italy where it is longest, lay between them,) and defeated the enemy with their combined strength, when they expected no attack, and without the knowledge of Hannibal, it is difficult to give a notion. When Hannibal, however, had knowledge of the matter, and saw his brother's head thrown down before the camp, he exclaimed, "I perceive the evil destiny of Cathage." This was his first confession of that kind, not without a sure presage of his approaching fate; and it was now certain, even from his own acknowledgement, that Hannibal might be conquered. But the Roman people, full of confidence from so many successes, thought it would be a noble enterprise to subdue such a desparate enemy in his own Africa. Directing their whole force, therefore, under the leadership of Scipio, unpon Africa itself, they began to imitate Hannibal, and to avenge upon Africa, the sufferings of their own Italy. What forces of Hasdrubal, (good gods!) what armies of Syphax, did that commander put to flight! How great were the camps of both that he destroyed in one night by casting firebrands into them! At last, not at three miles' distance, but by a close siege, he shook the very gates of Carthage itself. And thus he succeeded in drawing off Hannibal when he was still clinging to and brooding over Italy. There was no more remarkable day, during the whole course of the Roman empire, than that on which those two generals, the greatest of all that ever lived, whether before or after them, the one the conqueror of Italy, and the other of Spain, drew up their forces for a close engagement. But previously a conference was held between them concerning conditions of peace. They stood motionless awhile in admiration of each other. When they could not agree on a peace, they gave the signal for battle. It is certain, from the confession of both, that no troops could have been better drawn up, and no fight more obstinately maintained. This Hannibal acknowledged concerning the army of Scipio and Scipio concerning that of Hannibal. But Hannibal was forced to yield, and Africa became the prize of the victory; and the whole earth soon followed the fate of Africa.
- CHAP. VII. THE FIRST MACEDONIAN WAR.
When Carthage was overcome, no nation was ashamed of being conquered. The people of Macedonia, Greece, Syria, and all other countries, as if carried away by a certain tide and torrent of fortune, immediately shared the destiny of Africa. But the first of all were the Macedonians, a people that had formerly aspired to the dominion of the world. Though Philip, therefore, was then king, the Romans seemed nevertheless to be fighting against king Alexander. The Macedonian war was greater from its name than from any regard due to the nation itself. It had its origin from a treaty of Philip, by which he had joined to himself Hannibal when he was previously triumphant in Italy. Further cause was then given for it, by an application from Athens for relief against the injuries against the king, at a time when, beyond the just rights of victory, he was wreaking his fury against their temples, altars, and the sepulchres of the dead. To petitioners of such consideration the senate thought it right to give assistance; for kings, commanders, peoples, and nations, were now seeking protection from this one city. Under the consul Laevinius, therefore, the Roman people, having entered the Ionian Sea for the first time, coasted along the whole of Greece with their fleet, as if in triumph; for it carried all the spoils of Sicily, Sardinia, Spain, and Africa; and a laurel that grew up in the general's ship, promised certain victory. Attalus, king of Pergamus, came of his own accord to their assistance; the Rhodians, too, came, who were a naval people, and who struck terror into all parts by sea with their ships, while the consul did the same on land with his horse and foot. The king was twice defeated, twice put to flight, and twice despoiled of his camp; but nothing was more terrible to the Macedonians than the sight of their wounds, which were not inflicted with darts, arrows, or any Grecian weapon, but with huge jevelins, and swords of no less weight, and gaped beyond what was necessary for producing death.
Under the conduct of Flaminius, too, we penetrated the mountains of the Chaonians, which were before impassable, and the river Aous, flowing through steep places which form the very barriers of Macedonia. To have effected an entrance, was victory; for the king, never afterwards venturing into the field, was forced to submission in one engagement, which was far indeed from being a regular battle, at the hills which they call Cynoscephalae. But the consul granted him peace, and restored him his kingdom; and afterwards; and afterwards, that no enemy might be left behind, reduced Thebes, Euboea, and Laceaemon, which was making some attempts at opposition under its tyrant Nabis. To Greece he then restored its ancient condition, allowed it to live according to its own laws, and to enjoy its ancient liberty. What rejoicings, what shouts of pleasure, were heard, when this was proclaimed by the herald and the quinquennial games, in the theatre at Nemea! What an emulation of applause was there! what flowers did they heap on the consul! They called on the herald to repeat the proclamation, in whicn the liberty of Achaia was declared, again and again; nor did they enjoy the declaration of the consul less than the most harmonious concert of flutes and harps.
- CHAP. VIII. THE SYRIAN WAR AGAINST KING ANTIOCHUS.
Antiochus immediately followed the fate of Macedonia and king Philip; fortune, by a certain influence, and as if by design, directing affairs in such a manner, that as the empire had advanced from Europe into Africa, and that the order of its victories might keep its course accourding to the situation of the quarters of the world. As far as the report of it was concerned, there never was any war more formidable, when the Romans reflected upon the Persians and the east, upon Xerxes and Darius, and the times when impassable mountains are said to have been cut through, and the sea to have been hidden with sails. An apparent menace from heaven also alarmed them, for Apollo, at Cumae, was in a constant perspiration; but this was only the fear of the god, under concern for his beloved Asia.
To say the truth, no country is better furnished with men, money, and arms than Syria; but it had fallen into the hands of so spiritless a monarch, that the highest praise of Antiochus was that he was conquered by the Romans. There were two persons who impelled the king to war; on the one hand Thoas, prince of Aetolia, who complained that his service in the war against Macedonia had not been sufficiently rewarded by the Romans; on the other, Hannibal, who, conquered in Africa, exiled from his country, and impatient of peace, was seeking through the whole world for an enemy to the Roman people. And how great would the danger have been to Rome, if the king had been guided by his directions, that is, if the desperate Hannibal had wielded the whole power of Asia! But the king, trusting to his resources, and to the mere title of monarch, thought it enough to begin the war. Europe, without dispute, was now the peoperty of the Romans; but Antiochus demanded from them Lysimachia, a city founded by his ancestors on the coast of Thrace, as if it were his by hereditary right. By the influence of this star, so to speak, the tempest of the Asiatic war was raised. But this greatest of kings, content with having declared war, and having marched out of Asia with a great noise and tumult, and taken possession of the islands and coasts of Greece, thought of nothing but ease and luxury, as if he were already a conqueror.
The Euripus divides from the continent, the island of Euboea, which is close to it, by a narrow strait, the waters of which are continually ebbing and flowing. Here Antiochus, having erected tents of cloth of gold and silk, close to the murmuring noise of the stream, while the music of flutes and stringed instruments mingled with the sound of the waters, and having collected roses, though it was winter, from all quarters, formed levies, that he might seem in every way a general, of damsels and youths. Such a king, already vanquished by his own luxury, the Roman people, under the command of the consul Acilius Glabrio, having approached while he was still on the island, compelled him to flee from it by the very news of their coming. Having then overtaken him, as he was fleeing with precipitation, at Thermopylae, a place memorable for the glorious death of the three hundred Spartans, they obliged him (not having confidence in the ground so as to make resistance even there) to flee before them by sea and land. Without the least delay they proceeded straight into Syria. The king's fleet was committed to Polyxenides and Hannibal, for Antiochus himself could not endure to look on the figt; and it was wholly destroyed by the Roman general, Aemilius Regillus, the Rhodians lending him their assistance. Let not Athens plume itself on its victories; in Antiochus we conquered a Xerxes; in Aemilius we equalled Themistocles; in our triumph at Ephesus we matched that at Salamis.
The Romans then determined on the entire subjugation of Antiochus under the generalship of the consul Scipio, whom his brother Africanus, recently conqueror of Carthage, voluntarily accompanied in the character of lieutenant-general. The king had given up the whole of the sea; but we proceeded beyond it. Our camp was pitched by the river Maeander and Mount Sypilus. Here the king had taken his position, with so many auxiliary and other forces as is quite incredible. There were three hundred thousand foot, and no less a number, in proportion, of cavalry and chariots armed with scythes. He had also defended his army, on either side, with elephants of vast size, making a gay appearance with gold, purple, silver, and their own ivory. But all this mighty force was embarrassed by its own vastness, as well as by a shower of rain, which, pouring down on a sudden, with wonderful luck for us, spoiled the Persian bows. There was at first consternation, next flight, and then a triumph. To Antiochus, vanquished and suppliant, it was resolved to grant peace and a portion of his kingdom; and this the more readily, because he had so easily yielded.
- CHAP. IX. THE AETOLIAN WAR.
To the Syrian war succeeded, as was to be expected, that of Aetolia; for after Antiochus was conquered, the Romans pursued the incendiaries of the Asiatic war. The charge of taking vengeance on them was committed to Fulvius Nobilior, who immediately, with his engines of war, assaulted Ambracia, the metropolis of the nation, and sometime the royal residence of Pyrrhus. A surrender followed. The Athenians and Rhodians supported the intreaties of the Aetolians for mercy; and, as we remembered the aid which they had given us, we resolved to pardon them. But the war spread widely amongst their neighbours, and through all Cephallenia and Zacynthus; and whatever islands lie in that sea between the Ceraunian mountains and the promontory of Malea, became a portion of our conquests in that war.
- CHAP. X. THE ISTRIAN WAR.
The Istrians shared the fortune of the Aetolians, whom they had recently assisted in their warlike efforts. The commencement of the enemy's military operations was successful, but that very success was the cause of their overthrow. For after they had taken the camp of Cnaeus Manlius, and were devoting themselves to the enjoyment of a rich spoil, Appius Pulcher attacked them as they were mostly feasting and revelling, and not knowing, from the influence of their cups, where they were. Thus they yielded up their ill-gotten prey with their blood and breath. Apulo, their king, being set on horseback, because he was constantly stumbling from intoxication and lightness of head, could scarcely be made sensible, after he came to himself, that he was a prisoner.
- CHAP. XI. THE GALLO-GRECIAN WAR.
The disaster of the Syrian war involved in it also the Gallo-Grecians. Whether they had really been among the auxiliaries of king Antiochus, or whether Manlius, too desirous of a triumph, merely pretended that they were, is doubtful. But it is certain that, though he was successful, a triumph was denied him, because the senate did not approve of his reasons for the war.
The nation of the Gallo-Grecians, as the name itself indicates, mere mixed and adulterated relics of the Gauls who had devastated Greece under Brennus, and who afterwards, marching eastwards, settled in the interior of Asia. But as the seens of fruits degenerate when their soil is changed, so the native savageness of those settlers was softened by the gentle air of Asia. In two battles, therefore, they were routed and dispersed, although they had left their abodes at enemy's approach, and retreated to certain lofty mountains which the Tolostobogi and Testosagi then occupied. Both these tribes, being harassed with slings and arrows, surrendered themselves, promising to observe uninterrupted peace. But those that had been captured excited our wonder by attempting to bite their chains with their teeth, and offering their throats one to another to be strangled. The wife of king Orgiagon, having suffered violence at the hands of a centurion, made her escape, by a remarkable effort, from her guards, and brought the soldier's head, which she had cut off, to her husband.
- CHAP. XII. THE SECOND MACEDONIAN WAR.
While nation after nation fell in the ruin of the Syrian war, Macedonia again roused herself. The recollection and consideration of their former eminence excited that brave people to action. To Philip had succeeded his on Perses, who thought it unbecoming the dignity of the nation, that Macedonia, by being once conquered, should be conquered forever. The Macedonians accordingly arose under him with much more spirit than they had shown under his father. They then induced the Thracians to join their party, and thus tempered the dexterity of the Macedonians with the robust valour of the Thracians, and the daring spirit of the Thracians with the discipline of the Macedonians. To this arrangement was added the prudence of the prince, who, having surveyed the face of the country from the top of Haemus, and having pitched several camps in steep places, had so secured his kingdom with men and arms, that he seemed to have left no access for enemies, unless they came down from heaven.
But the Romans, under the consul Marcius Philippus, having entered the province, and having carefully explored the approaches by the lake of Astrus, over troublesome and dangerous hills, and heights which seemed inaccessible even to birds, forced a passage for themselves, and, by a sudden inroad of war, alarmed the king, who was lying secure, and apprehending nothing of the kind. His consternation was so great, that he ordered all his money to be thrown into the sea, lest it should be lost, and his fleet to be burned, lest it should be set on fire.
Under the consul Paulus, when stronger garrisons, in great numbers, had been stationed on the frontiers. Macedonia was surprised by other ways, through the consummate art and perseverance of the general, who made a feint on one part, and effected an entrance at another; and whose mere approach was so alarming to the king, that he durst not meet the enemy in the field, but committed the management of the struggle to his generals. Being vanquished, therefore, in his absence, he fled to the sea, and took refuge in the island of Samothrace, trusting to the well-known sanctity of the place, as if temples and altars could protect him whom his mountains and arms could not defend.
No monarch longer cherished regret for his lost dignity. When he wrote as a suppliant to the Roman general, from the temple to which he had fled, and set his name to the letter, he added King to it. But no general was ever more respectful to captive majesty than Paulus. When his enemy came within sight, he invited him into his tent, entertained him at his own table, and admonished his own sons to worship fortune whose power was so great.
The triumph over Macedonia the Roman people also estimated and viewed as among the most glorious that they had ever known; for they occupied three days in witnessing it. The first day displayed the statues and pictures; the second, the arms and treasures; and the third, the captives and the king himself, who was still in a state of amazement, and as it were stupified at the suddenness of his calamity.
The people of Rome received the joyful news of this victory long before they learned of it from the general's letter; for it was known at Rome on the very same day on which Perses was conquered. Two young men, with white horses, were seen cleansing themselves from dust and blood at the lake of Juturna; and these brought the news. It was generally supposed that they were Castor and Pollux, because they were two; that they had been present at the battle, because they were wet with blood; and that they had come from Macedonia, because they were still out of breath.
- CHAP. XIII. THE ILLYRIAN WAR.
The contagion of the Macedonian war involved the Illyrians. They had served in it, having been hired by king Perses to harass the Romans in the rear. They were subdued without loss of time by the praetor Anicius. It was only necessary to destroy Scorda the capital, and a surrender immediately followed. The war was indeed finished before the news reached Rome that it was commenced.
- CHAP. XIV. THE THIRD MACEDONIAN WAR.
By some appointment of destiny, as if it had been so agreed between the Carthaginians and Macedonians, that they should each be conquered a third time, both assumed arms at the same juncture, though the Macedonians took the lead in shaking off the yoke, being grown more formidable than before by having been despised. The occasion of the war is almost to be blushed at; for one Andriscus, a man of the lowest rank, seized the throne, and commenced a war against the Romans, at the same time. Whether he was a freedman or slave is doubtful, but it is certain that he had worked for pay. Being, howeverm from a resemblance to king Philip, generally called Pseudo-Philip, he sustained the person and name of a king with the spirit of a king. The Romans slighting these proceedings on his part, and being content with the services of the praetor Juventius against him, rashly engaged the man when he was strengthened not only with the troops of Macedonia, but also with vast forces from Thrace, and they that were invincible against real kings, were defeated by this imaginary and pretended king. But under the consulship of Metellus they took ample revenge for the loss of their praetor and his legion; for they not only reduced Macedonia to servitude, but brought the leader in the war, who was given up to them by a petty prince of Thrace to whom he fled, in chains to the city, Fortune indulgently granting him this favour in his misfortunes, that the Roman people triumphed over him as a real king.
- CHAP. XV. THE THIRD PUNIC WAR
The third war with Africa was both short in its duration, (for it was finished in four years,) and, compared with those that preceded it, of much less difficulty; as we had to fight, not so much against troops in the field, as against the city itself; but it was far the greatest of the three in its consequences, for in it Carthage was at last destroyed. And if any one contemplates the events of the three periods, he will understand that the war was begun in the first, greatly advanced in the second, and entirely finished in the third.
The cause of the war was, that Carthage, in violation of an article in the treaty, had once fitted out a fleet and army against the Numidians, and had frequently threatened the frontiers of Masinissa. But the Romans were partial to this good king, who was also their ally.
When the war had been determined upon, they had to consider the end of it. Cato, even when his opinion was asked on any other subject, pronounced, with implacable enmity, that Carthage should be destroyed. Scipio Nasica gave his voice for its preservation, lest, if the fear of the rival city were removed, the exultation of Rome should grow extravagant. The senate decided on a middle course, resolving that the city should only be removed from its place; for nothing appeared to them more glorious than that there should be a Carthage which should not be feared. In the consulship of Manlius and Censorinus, therefore, the Roman people having attacked Carthage, but giving them some hopes of peace, burned their fleet, which they voluntarily delivered up, in sight of the city. Having bnext summoned the chief men, they commanded them to quit the place if they wished to preserve their lives. This requisition, from its cruelty, so incensed them, that they chose rather to submit to the utmost extremities. They accordingly bewailed their necessities publicly, and shouted with one voice to arms; and a resoltion was made to resist the enemy by every means in their power; not because any hope of success was left, but because they had rather their birthplace should be destroyed by the hands of the enemy than by their own. With what spirit they resumed the war, may be understood from the facts that they pulled down their roofs and houses for the equipment of a new fleet; that gold and silver, instead of brass and iron, was melted in their forges for the construction of arms; and that women parted with their hair to make cordage for the engines of war.
Under the command of the consul Mancinus, the siege was warmly conducted both by land and sea. The harbour was dismantled of its works, and a first, second, and even third wall taken, while nevertheless the Byrsa, which was the name of the citadel, held out like another city. But though the destruction of the place was thus very far advanced, it was the name of the Scipios only that seemed fatal to Africa. The government, accordingly, applying to another Scipio, desired from him a termination of the war. This Scipio, the son of Paulus Macedonicus, the son of the great Africanus had adopted as an honour to his family, and, as it appeared, with this destiny, that the grandson should overthrow the city which the grandfather had shaken. But as the bites of dying beasts are wont to be most fatal, so there was more trouble with Carthage half ruined, than when it was in its full strength. The Romans having shut the enemy up in their single fortress, had also blockaged the harbour; but upon this they dug another harbour on the other side of the city, not with a design to escape, but because no one supposed that they could even force an outlet there. Here a new fleet, as if just born, started forth; and, in the mean while, sometimes by day and sometimes by night, some new mole, some new machine, some new band of desperate men, perpetually started up, like a sudden flame from a fire sunk in ashes. At last, their affairs becoming desperate, forty thousand men, and (what is hardly credible) with Hasdrubal at their head, surrendered themselves. How much more nobly did a woman behave, the wife of the general, who, taking hold of her two children, threw herself from the top of her house into the midst of the flames, imitating the queen that built Carthage. How great a city was then destroyed, is shown, to say nothing of other things, by the duration of the fire, for the flames could scarcely be extinguished at the end of seventeen days; flames which the enemy themselves had raised in their houses and temples, that since the city could not be rescued from the Romans, all matter for triumph might at least be burned.
- CHAP. XVI. THE ACHAEAN WAR.
As if this age had been destined for the subversion of cities, Corinth, the metropolis of Achaia, the ornament of Greece, situated, as if for an object of admiration, between the Ionian and Aegean Seas, soon after shared the fate of Carthage. This city (a proceeding unworthy of the Roman name) was destroyed even before it was counted among the number of undoubted enemies. The cause of the war was Critolaus, who used the liberty granted him by the Romasn against themselves, and insulted the ambassadors sent from Rome, whether by personal violence is doubtful, but certainly by words. Revenge for this affront was committed by Metellus, who was at that time settling the state of Macedonia; and hence arose the Achaean war. In the first place, Metellus, now consul, cut to pieces the forces of Critolaus on the open plains of Elis, and along the whole course of the Alpheus. The war was indeed ended in one battle; and a siege threatened the city itself; but (such is the fortune of events,) after Metellus had ought, Mummius came to take the victory. He scattered, far and wide, the afmy of the other general Diaeus, at the very entrance of the Isthmus, and dyed its harbours with blood. At length the city, ebing forsaken by the inhabitants, was first plundered, and then pulled down to the sound of trumpets. What a profusion of statues, of garments, of pictures, was then burnt or scattered abroad! How great wealth the general then both carried off and burned, may be known from this fact, that whatever Corinthian brass is held in esteem throughout the world, we find to have been the relics of that conflagration. The ruin of that most opulent city even made the value of this brass the greater, inasmuch as, when many statues and images were melted together in the fire, veins of brass, gold, and silver, ran together into one mass.
- CHAP. XVII. AFFAIRS IN SPAIN.
As Corinth followed the fortune of Carthage, so Numantia followed that of Corinth. Nor was there a single place, throughout the whole world, that was afterwards untouched by the Roman arms. After the famous conflagrations of these two cities, there was far and wide, not with different nations one after another, but, as it were, one war pervading the whole world at the same time; so that those cities seemed, as if by the action of the winds, to have dispersed certain sparks of war over the whole globe. Spain never had the determination to rise in a body against us; it never thought of uniting its strength, or making an effort for empire, or combining for a general defence of its liberty; else it is so surrounded on all sides by the sea and the Pyrenees, that, by the very nature of its situation, it is secure from all atacks. But it was beset by the Romans before it knew itself, and was the only one of all their provinces that did not discover its strength till it was subdued.
The war in this country lasted nearly two hundred years, from the time of the first Scipios to Caesar Augustus, not continuously or without intermission, but as occasions excited the Romans; nor was the dispute at first with the Spaniards, but with the Carthginians in Spain, from whom proceeded the contagion, and connexion, and causes of all the contentions. The two Scipios, Publius and Cnaeus, carried the first Roman standards over the Pyrenaean mountains, and defeated Hanno, and Hasdrubal the brother of Hannibal, in important battles; and Spain would have been carried as it were by assault, had not those gallant men been surprised by Punic subtlety in the height of victory, and cut off at a time when they were conquerors by land and sea. That Scipio, therefore, who was afterwards called Africanus, the avenger of his father and uncle, entered the country as a new and fresh province, and having speedily taken Carthage and other cities, and not being content with having expelled the Carthaginians, made the province tributary to us, reduced under our dominion all places on either side of the Iberus, and was the first of the Roman generals that prosecuted a victorious course to Gades and the mouth of the Ocean.
But it is a greater matter to preserve a province than to acquire one. Generals were accordingly despatched into several parts of the country, sometimes one way, sometimes another, who, with much difficulty, and many bloody engagements, taught those savage nations, which had till then been free, and were consequently impatient of control, to submit to the Roman yoke. Cato the Censor humbled the Celtiberians, the main strength of Spain, in several battles. Gracchus, the father of Tiberius and Caius Gracchus, inflicted on the same people the demolition of a hundred and fifty cities. Metellus, who was surnamed Macedonicus, deserved also to be called Celtibericus, for when he had with great glory reduced Contrebia and the Nertobriges, he with greater glory spared them. Lucullus conquered the Turduli and Vaccaei, from whom the younger Scipio, having been challenged by their king to a single combat, carried off the spolia opima. Decimus Brutus, taking a somewhat wider range, overcame the Celts and Lusitanians, and all the tribes of Gallaecia, crossed the river of Oblivion, and object of dread to the soldiers, and having pursued a victorious route along the shore of the Ocean, did not turn back until he beheld, not without some dread and apprehension of being guilty of impiety, the sun descend into the sea, and his fire buried in the waters.
But the main difficulty of he war was with the Lusitanians and Numantines; and not without reason; for they alone, of all the nations of Spain, had the good fortune to have leaders. There would, indeed, have been difficulty enough with all the Celtiberians, had not Salendicus, the author of their insurrection, been cut off at the beginning of the war. He would have been a great man, from the union of craft and daring in his character, if the course of events had favoured him. Brandishing a silver spear, which he pretended to have been sent him from heaven, and conducting himself like a prophet, he drew upon him the attention of every one. But having, with corresponding rashness, penetrated the camp of the consul in the night, he was slain near his tent by the javelin of a sentinel. The Lusitanians Viriathus stirred up, a man of the most consummate craft, who, from a hunter becoming a robber, was from a robber suddenly made a leader and commander, and who would have been, if fortune had seconded his attempts, the Romulus of Spain. Not content with defending the liberty of his countrymen, he for fourteen years wasted all that belonged to the Romans, on both sides of the Iberus and Tagus, with fire and sword. He attacked the camps of praetors and governors, defeated Claudius Unimanus, wit the almost utter destruction of his army, and erected, in the mountains of his country, trophies adorned with the robes and fasces which he had taken from our generals. At last the consul Fabius Maximus overcame him, but his victory was disgraced by his successor, Pompilius, who, eager to bring the matter to an end, proceeded against the hero, when he was weakened and meditating a surrender, by the aid of fraud and treachery and domestic assassins, and conferred upon his adversary the glory of seeming to have been invincible by any other means.
- CHAP. XVIII. THE NUMANTINE WAR.
Numantia, however inferior to Carthage, Capua, and Corinth, in wealth, was, in regard to valour and distinction, equal to them all. If we look to the conduct of its inhabitants, it was the greatest glory of Spain; for, though without a wall, without towers, situate only on a slight ascent by the river Douro, and manned only with four thousand Celtiberians, it held out alone, for the space of fourteen years, against an army of forty thousand men; nor did it hold out merely, but also several times repulsed them, and forced them to dishonourable treaties. At last, when it was found impregnable by its present assailants, it was necessary, they thought, to apply to him who had destroyed Carthage.
Scarcely ever, if we may confess the truth, was the pretext for a war more unjust. The Numantines had sheltered certain Segidians, some of their own allies and relatives, who had escaped from the hands of the Romans. The intercession which they made for these refugees had no effect; and when they offered to withdraw themselves from all concern in the war, they were told to lay down their arms as the condition of a treaty on fair terms. This was understood by the barbarians to signify that their hands were to be cut off. In consequence they immediately flew to arms, and under the conduct of Megara, a very determined leader, attacked Pmpeius; yet, when they might have cut his army to pieces, they chose rather to make a treaty with him. They had next for an assailant Mostilius Mancinus, whose troops they so dispirited, by continual slaughters, that not a man of them could endure the looks or voice of a Numantine. Yet, when they might have put all his followers to the sword, they preferred making a treaty also with him, and were content with despoiling his men of their arms. But the people of Rome, incensed at the ignominy and shame of this Numantine treaty, no less than at the Caudine treaty of former days, expiated the dishonour of their miscarriage, for the present, by the surrender of Mancinus. But afterwards, under the leadership of Scipio, who was prepared by the burning of Carthage for the destruction of cities, they grew outrageous for revenge.
At first, however, Scipio had a harder struggle in the camp than in the field, with out own troops than with those of Numantia. For the soldiery, under his orders, were of necessity exercised in constant, excessive, and even servile labour.</ref>Excessive—labour] Injustic—operibus. "Injustus," says Duker, "for 'immodicus and nimius. Some have proposed to read insuetis, but Madame Dacier defends injustus by a reference to Virgil, Geo., iii., 346:
-- Haud secus ac patriis acer Romanus in armis,
-- Injusto sub fasce viam dum carpit."</ref> Such as knew not how to bear arms, were ordered to carry an extraordinary number of stakes for ramparts; and such as were unwilling to be stained with bloo, were forced to defile themselves with dirt. Besides, all the women and servant-boys, and all the baggage except what was requisite for use, was dismissed.
Justly has it been said, that an army is of the same worth as its leader. When the troops were thus reduced to dicipline, a battle was fought, and that was effected which none had ever expected to see, namely, that every one saw the Numantines fleeing. They were even willing to surrender themselves, if nothing but what was endurable by men had been required of them. But as Scipio was eager for a full and absolute victory, they were brought to such despair, that, having gorged themselves, as if for a funeral banquet, with half-raw flesh and celia, (a name which they give to a drink of the country made from corn,) they rushed out to battle with a determination to die. Their object was understood by our general, and to men defying death the opportunity of fighting was not granted. But when famine pressed hard upon them, (as they were surrounded by a trench and breastwork, and four camps,) they intreated Scipio to be allowed the privilege of engaging with him, desiring that he would kill them as men, and, when this was not granted, they resolved upon making a sally. A battle being the consequence, great numbers of them were slain, and, as the famine was still sore upon them, the survivors lived for some time on their bodies. At last they determined to flee; but this their wives prevented, by cutting, with great treachery, yet out of affection, the girths of their saddles. Despairing, therefore, of escape, and being driven to the utmost rage and fury, they resolved to die in the following manner. They first destroyed their captains, and then themselves and their native city, with sword and poison and a general conflagration. Peace be to the ashes of the most brave of all cities; a city, in my opinion, most happy in its very sufferings; a city which protected its allies with honour, and withstood, with its own force, and for so long a period, a people supported by the strength of the whole world. Being overfpowered at length by the greatest of generals, it left no cause for the enemy to rejoice over it. Its plunder, as that of a poor people, was valueless; their arms they had themselves burnt; and the triumph of its conquerors was only over its name.
- CHAP. XIX. SUMMARY OF THE ROMAN WARS FOR TWO HUNDRED YEARS.
Hitherto the Roman people had been noble, honourable, pious, upright, and illustrious. Their subsequent actions in this age, as they were equally grand, so were they more turbulent and dishonourable, their vices inceasing with the very greatness of their empire. So that if any one divides this third age, which was occupied in conquest beyond the sea, and which we have made to consist of two hundred years, into equal parts, he will allow, with reason and justice, that the first hundred years, in which they subdued Africa, Macedonia, Sicily, and Spain, were (as the poets sing) golden years; and that the other hundred, which to the Jugurthine, Cimbrian, Mithridatic, and Parthian wars, as well as those of Gaul and Germany, (in which the glory of the Romans scended to heaven,) united the murders of the Gracchi and Drusus, the Servile War, and (that nothing might be wanting to their infamy) the war with the gladiators, were iron, blood-stained, and whatever more severe can be said of them. Turning at last upon themselves, the Romans, as if in a spirit of madness, and fury, and impiety, tore themselves in pieces by the dissensions of Marius and Sylla, and afterwards by those of Pompey and Caesar.
These occurrences, though they are all involved and confused, yet, they may appear the more clearly, and that what is bad in them may not obscure what is good, shall be related separately and in order. And in the first place, as we have begun, we shall give an account of those just and honourable wars which they waged with foreign nations, that the daily increasing greatness of the empire may be made manifest; and we shall then revert to those direful proceedings, those dishonourable and unnatural contests, of the Romans among themselves.
- CHAP. XX.
After Spain was subdued in the West, the Roman people had peace in the East; nor had they peace only, but, by unwonted and unexampled good fortune, wealth left them by bequests from kings, and indeed whole kingdoms at once, fell into their possession. Attalus, king of Pergamus, son of king Eumenes, who had formerly been our ally and fellow-soldier, left a will to the following effect: "Let the Roman people be heir to my property." Of the king's property the kingdom was a portion. The Romans accordingly entering on the inheritance, became possessors of the province, not by war and arms, but, what is more satisfactory, by testamentary right.
But as to what followed, it is hard to say whether the Romans lost or recovered this province with the greater ease. Aristonicus, a high-spirited youth of the royal family, brought over to his interest, without much difficulty, part of the cities which had been subject to the kings, and reduced a few, which offered resistance, as Myndus, Samos, and Colophon, by force of arms. He then cut to pieces the army of the praetor Crassus, and took Crassus himself prisoner. But the Roman general, remembering the dignity of his family and the name of Rome, struck out the eye of the barbarian, who had him in custody, with a wand, and this provoked him, as he intended, to put him to death. Aristonicus, not long after, was defeated and captured by Perperna, and, upon giving up all claim to the kingdom, kept in confinement. Aquilius then suppressed the relics of the Asiatic war, by poisoning certain springs, (a most dishonourable proceeding,) in order to force som cities to a surrender. This act, though it hastened his victory, rendered it infamous; for, contrary to the laws of the gods and the practices of our ancestors, he desecrated the Roman arms, which had till then been pure and inviolate, by the use of detestable drugs.
- BOOK III.
- CHAP. I. THE JUGURTHINE WAR.
This was the state of things in the east. But in the southern quarter there was no such tranquillity. Who, after the destruction of Carthage, would have expected any war in Africa? Yet Numidia roused herself with no small effort; and in Jugurtha there was something to be dreaded after Hannibal. This subtle prince assailed the Romans, when they were illustrious and invincible in arms, by means of his wealth; and it fortunately happened, beyond the expectation of all, that a king eminent in artifice was ensnared by artifice.
Jugurtha, the grandson of Masinissa, and son of Micipsa by adoption, having determined, from a desire of being sole king, to put his brothers to death, but having less fear of them than of the senate and people of Rome, in whose faith and protection the kingdom was placed, effected his first crime by treachery; and having got the head of Hiempsal, and then turned his efforts against Adherbal, he brought the senate over to his side, (aftr Adherbal had fled to Rome,) by sending them money through his ambassadors. This was his first victory over us. Having by similar means assailed certain commissioners, who were sent to divide the kingdom between him and Adherbal, and having overcome the very integrity of the Roman empire in Scaurus, he prosecuted with greater confidence the wicked course which he had commenced. But dishonesty cannot long be concealed; the corrupt acts of Scaurus's bribed commission came to light, and it was resolved by the Romans to make was on the fratricide. The consul Calpurnius Bestia was the first general sent to Numidia; but Jugurtha, having found that gold was more efficient against the Romans than iron, purchased peace with him. Being charged with this underhand dealing, and summoned, on the assurance of safe conduct, to appear before the senate, the prince, with equal boldness, both came to the city and procured the death of Massiva, his competitor for the kingdom of Masinissa, by the aid of a hired assassin. This was another reason for war against Jugurtha. The task of inflicting the vengeance that was to follow was committed to Albinus; but Jugurtha (shameful to relate!) so corrupted his army also, that, through the voluntary flight of our men in the field, he gained a victory, and became master of our camp; and an ignominious treaty, as the price of safety to the Romans, being added to their previous dishonour, he suffered the army, which he had before bought, to depart.
At this time, to support, not so much the Roman empire as its honour, arose Metellus, who, with great subtlety, assailed the enemy with his own artifices; an enemy who sought to deude him, sometimes with intreaties, sometimes with threats, sometimes with flight that was evidently pretended, but sometimes with such as seemed to be real. But the Roman, not content with devastating the fields and villages, made attempts on the principal cities of Numidia, and for a long time sought in vain to reduce Zama; but Thala, a place stored with arms and the king's treasures, he succeeded in capturing. Afterwards he pursued the prince himself, deprived of his cities, and forced to flee from his country and kingdom, through Mauretania and Getulia. Finally, Marius, having greatly augmented the army, (for, from the obscurity of his birth, he enlisted numbers of the lowest class of people,) attacked the king when he was already defeated and disabled, but did not conquer him more easily than if he had engaged him in full and fresh vigour. The same general, also, with wonderful good fortune, reduced Capsa, a city built by Hercules, lying in the middle of Africa, and defended by serpents and sandy deserts, and forced his way, by the aid of a certain Ligurian, into Mulucha, a city seated on a rocky eminence, the approach to it being steep and apparently inaccessible. Soon after he gave a signal overthrow, near the town of Cirta, not only to Jugurtha himself, but to Bocchus, the king of Mauretania, who, from ties of blood, had taken the part of the Numidian prince. But the Mauretanian, distrusting the condition of his own affairs, and apprehensive of being involved in another's ruin, offered to purchase, by the surrender of Jugurtha, a treaty and alliance with Rome. That most treacherous of princes, accordingly, was ensnared by the treachery of his own father-in-law, and delivered into the hands of Sylla, and the people of Rome at last beheld Jugurtha loaded with chains and led in triumph, while the king himself, conquered and captive, looked again on the city which he had vainly prophesied "was to be sold, and doomed to perish if it could not find a buyer." But if it had been to be sold, it had a purchaser in him, and since he did not escape, it will appear certain that it is not destined to perish.
- CHAP. II. THE WAR WITH THE ALLOBROGES.
Thus did the Romans succeed in the south. In the north there much more sanguinary proceedings, and in a greater number of places at once. Nothing is more inclement than these regions. The air is severe, and the temper of the inhabitants similar to it. From all this tract, on the right and the left, and in the midst of the northern quarter, burst forth savage enemies. The Salyi were the first people beyond the Alps that felt our arms, in consequence of Marseilles, a most faithful and friendly city, having complained of their inroads. The Allobroges and Arverni were the next, as similar complaints from the Aedui called for our assistance and protection against them. The river Varus is a witness of our victories, as well as the Isara and Vindelicus, and the Rhone, the swiftest of all rivers. The greatest terror to the barbarians were the elephants, which matched the fierceness of those people. In the triumph there was nothing so conspicuous as king Bituitus, in his variegated arms and silver chariot, just as he had fought. How great the joy was for both victories, may be judged from the fact that both Domitius Aenobarbus, and Fabius Maximus, erected towers of stone upon the places where they had fought, and fixed upon them trophies adorned with the arms of the enemy: a practice not usual with us, for the Roman people never upbraided their conquered enemies with their victories over them.
- CHAP. III. THE WARS WITH THE CIMBRI, TEUTONES, AND TIGURINI.
The Cimbri, Teutones, and Tigurini, fleeing from the extreme parts of Gaul because the Ocean had inundated their country, proceeded to seek new settlements throughout the world; and being shut out from Gaul and Spain, and wheeling about towards Italy, they sent deputies to the camp of Silanus, and from thence to the senate, requesting that "the people of Mars would allot them some land as a stipend, and use their hands and arms for whatever purpose they pleased." But what lands could the people of Rome give them, when they were ready to fight among themselves about the agrarian laws? Finding their application, therefore, unsuccessful, they resolved to obtain by force what they could not get by intreaty. Silanus could not withstand the first attack of the barbarians, nor Manlius the second, nor Caepio the third. All the three commanders were routed, and driven from their camps. Rome would have been destroyed, had not Marius happened to live in that age. Even he did not dare to engage them at once, but kept his soldiers in their camp, until the impetuous rage anf fury, which the barbarians have instead of valour, should subside. The savages, in consequence, set off for Rome, insulting our men, and (such was their confidence of taking the city) asking them whether they had any messages to send to their wives. With not less expedition than they had threatened, they marched in three bodies over the Alps, the barriers of Italy. But Marius, exerting extraordinary speed, and taking a shorter route, quickly outstripped the enemy. Assailing first the Teutones, at the very foot of the Alps, in a place which they call Aquae Sextiae, in how signal a battle (O heavenly powers!) did he overthrow them! The enemy possessed themselves of a valley, and a river running through the midst of it, while our men wanted water; but whether Marius allowed this to happen designedly, or turned an error to his advantage, is doubtful; certain it is, however, that the courage of the Romans, stimulated by necessity, was the cause of their victory. For when the troops clamoured for water, "You are men," he replied; "yonder you have it." Such, in consequence, was the spirit with which they fought, and such the slaughter of the enemy, that the Romans drank from the ensanguined stream not more water than blood of the barbarians. Their king himself, Teutobocchus, who was accustoed to vault over four or six horses at once, could scarcely mount one when he fled, and being taken prisoner in the neighbouring forest, was a remarkable object in the triumph, for, being a man of extraordinary stature, he towered over the trophies themselves.
The Teutones being utterly cut off, Marius directed his efforts against the Cimbri. This people had made a descent, even (who would believe it?) in the time of winter, which raises the Alps still higher than ordinary, rolling forward, like a falling mass of rock, from the Tridentine heights into Italy as far as the Adige. Attempting the passage of the river, not by the aid of a bridge or of boats, but, with the stupidity of savages, trying to stem it with their bodies, and making vain efforts to stop its current with their hands and shields, they at last blocked it up with a mass of trees thrown into it, and so got across. And had they immediately marched for Rome in a body, and eager for battle, the danger to the city would have been great; but delaying in the parts about Venice, where the climate of Italy is most luxurious, their vigour was diminished by the very mildness of the country and atmosphere. When they had been further relaxed by the use of bread, cooked flesh, and pleasant wines, Marius opportunely came up with them. They requested our general to fix upon a day for battle, and he appointed the next. They enagaged in an open plain, which they called the Raudian field. There fell on the side of the enemy to the number of sixty thousand; on ours fewer than three hundred. The barbarians were slaughtered during an entire day. Marius had also assisted valour by artifice, in imitation of Hannibal and his stratagem at Cannae. In the first place, he had fixed upon a foggy day, so that he could charge the enemy before they were awar of his approach; and, as it was windy also, he manoevred so that the dust was driven into the eyes and faces of the enemy; while, in addition, he had arranged his troops to face the east, so that, as was afterwards learned from the prisoners, the heaven seemed to be on fire from the glittering of the Roman helmets and the reflection of the sun's rays from them. But the struggle with the enemies' wives was not less severe than that with themselves; for the women, being mounted on waggons and other carriages, which had been ranged around as a defence, fought from them, as from towers, with spears and pikes. The death of these savages was as glorious as their contest for victory; for when, upon sending an embassy to Marius, they failed to obtain their liberty, and sacerdotal protection, which it was not lawful to grant, they either fell, after strangling or braining the whole of their children, by mutual wounds, or hanged themselves, with ropes made of their own hair, upon tress and the yokes of their waggons. Their king Bojorix fell in the battle, fighting furiously, and not without avenging himself.
The third body, the Tigurini, which, as if for a reserve, had taken post on the Noric heights of the Alps, dispersing in different ways, and betaking themselves to ignoble flight or depradations, at last quite disappeared. This joyful and happy news, of the deliverance of Italy and the securing of the empire, the people of Rome received, not, as is usual, by the mouths of men, but, if we may believe it, by the intervention of the gods themselves. For the very same day on which the contest was decided, two young men, crowned with lurel, were seen, in front of the temple of Castor and Pollux, to deliver a letter to the praetor; and a general rumour prevailed in the theatre of a victory over the Cimbri, attended with the expression, "May it be happy for us." What could be more wonderful, what more extraordinary, than this? For as if Rome, raised on her won hills, had taken a view of the battle, the people were clapping their hands in the city, as is the case at a show of gladiators, at the very moment when the Cimbri were falling in the field.
- CHAP. IV. THE THRACIAN WAR.
After the Macedonians were subdued, the Thracians, please the gods, rebelled; a people who had themselves been tributary to the Macedonians, and who, not satisfied with making inroads into the neighbouring provinces of Thessaly and Dalmatia, advanced as far as the Adriatic. Being content with this as a boundary, nature apparently stopping their progress, they hurled their weapons into the waves. No cruely, however, during the whole course of their march, had been left unexercised by their fury upon such as they took prisoners; they offered human blood to the gods; they drank from men's skulls; they made death, from fire and sword, more ignominious by every kind of insult; and they even forced by tortures infants from their mothers' wombs.
Of all the Thracians the most savage were the Scordisci; and to their strength was added cunning. Their situation among woods and mountains agreed with their temper. An army, accordingly, which Cato commanded, was not only routed or put to flight by them, but, what resembled a prodigy, entirely cut off. Didius, however, drove them back, as they were straggling and dispersed in unrestrained devastation of the country, into their own Thrace. Drusus repelled them further, and hindered them from crossing the Danube. Minucius made havoc of them all along the banks of the Hebrus, though he lost many of his men when the river, which deceived them with its ice, was attempted by his cavalry. Piso passed over Rhodope and Caucasus. Curio went as far as Dacia, but was afraid to penetrate the darkness of its forests. Appius advanced to the Sarmatians, Lucullus to the Tanais, the boundary of those nations, and to the lake Maeotis. Nor were these most savage of enemies subdued by any other treatment than such as they exercised on others; for cruelties by fire and sword were inflicted on all that were taken prisoners. But nothing seemed more horrid to these barbarians than that they should be left with their hands cut off, and be obliged to live and survive their sufferings.
- CHAP. V. THE MITHRIDATIC WAR.
The Pontic nations lie to the north, along the sea on the left, and have their name from the Pontus. Of these people and countries the most ancient king was Aeetes. After him reigned Artabazes, who was spring from of the seven Persians. Then came Mithridates, the mightiest of all kings; for though four years were sufficient to defeat Pyrrhus, and seventeen to conquer Hannibal, this monarch held out for forty years, till, being subdued in three great wars, he was, by the good fortune of Sylla, the bravery of Lucullus, and the greatness of Pompey, entirely brought to nothing.
As a pretext for war, he alleged to Cassius, our ambassador, that "his borders were wasted by Nicomedes, king of Bithynia." Moved, however, by a spirit of ambition, he burned with a desire to grasp all Asia, and, if he could, all Europe. Our vices gave him hope and confidence; for while we were distracted by civil wars, the opportunity of attacking us tempted him; and Marius, Sylla, and Sertorius showed him from a distance that the side of the empire was exposed. In the midst, therefore, of these sufferings and disturbances of the commonwealth, the tempest of the Pontic war, as if seizing its opportunity, suddenly descended, as from the extreme heights of the north, upon a people wearied and preoccupied. Its first interruption at once snatched Bithynia from us. Asia was next seized with similar terror, and our cities and people without delay revolted to the king. He himself was active and urgent, and exercised cruelty as if he thought it a virtue. For what could be more atrocious than one of his edicts, ordering all citizens of Rome that were in Asia to be put to death? Then, indeed, homes, temples, and altars, and all obligations, human and divine, were violated.
This terror in Asia opened to the king also a passage into Europe. Accordingly, Archelaus and Neoptolemus, two of his generals, being despatched thither, the Cyclades, Delos, Euboea, (and all the islands except Rhodes, which adhered to us more firmly than ever,) with Athens, the very glory of Greece, were seized by his troops. The dread of the king even affected Italy and the city of Rome itself. Lucius Sylla, therefore, a man excellent in war, hastened to oppose him, and repelled, as with a push of the hand, the enemy who was advancing with equal impetuosity. Athens, a city which was the mother of corn, he first compelled, by siege and famine to eat (who would believe it?) the flesh of human beings; and then, having undermined the harbour of the Piraeus, with its six walls and more, and having reduced the most ungrateful of men, as he himself called them, he yet spared them for the honour of their deceased ancestors, and for the sake of their religion and fame. Having next driven the king's garrisons from Euboea and Boeotia, he dispersed the whole of his forces in one battle at Chaeronea, and in a second and Orchomenus; and shortly after, crossing over into Asia, he overthrew the monarch himself, when the war would have been brought to a conclusion, had he not been desirous to triumph over Mithridates rather speedily than completely.
The following, however, was the condition in which Sylla placed Asia. A treaty was made with the people of Pontus. He recovered Bithynia for king Nicomedes, and Cappadocia for Ariobarzanes. Asia thus became ours again, as it had begun to be. But Mithridates was only repulsed. This state of things, accordingly, did not humble the people of Pontus, but incensed them. For the king, being caught, as it were, with the hope of possessing Asia and Europe, now sought to recover both by right of war, not as belonging to others, but because he had before lost them.
As fires, therefore, which have not been completely extinguished, burst forth into greater flames, so Mithridtes, with an increased number of forces, and indeed with the whole strength of his kingdom, descended again upon Asia, by sea, by land, and along the rivers. Cyzicus, a noble city, adorns the shore of Asia with its citadel, walls, harbour, and towers. This city, as if it had been another Rome, he assailed, with his whole warlike force; but a messenger, who, (surprsing to relate,) seated on a stuffed skin, and steering his course with his feet, had made his way through the middle of the enemy's ships, (appearing, to those who saw him from a distance, to be some kind of sea-monster,) gave the citizens courage to make resistance, by assuring them that Lucullus was approaching. Soon after, distress reverting upon the king, and famine, from the long continuance of the siege, and pestilence, as a sequel to the famine, pressing grievously upon him, Lucullus surprised him as he was endeavouring to retreat, and slew so great a portion of his army, that the rivers Granicus and Aesapus were reddened with blood. The crafty king, well acquainted with Roman avarice, ordered the baggage and money to be scattered about by his troops as they fled, as a means of retarding the course of the pursuers.
Nor was his retreat by sea more fortunate than that by land; for a tempest, in the Pontus Euxinus, falling on a fleet of above a hundred ships, laden with warlike stores, shattered it with so miserable a havoc, that its fate presented the appearance of the sequel to a sea-fight, as if Lucullus, by some compact with the waves and storms, had delivered the king to the winds to conquer.
The whole strength of his mighty kingdom was now greatly impaired; but his spirit rose with his misfortunes. Turning, therefore, to the neighbouring nations, he involved in his destruction almost the whole of the east and north. The Ibrians, Caspians, Albanians, and the people of both Greater and Lesser Armenia, were solicited to join him; and Fortune, by every means in her power, sought glory, and name, and titles, for her favourite Pompey, who, seeing Asia excited with new commotions, and one king rising after another, thought that he ought not to delay till the strength of the nations should be united, but, having speedily made a bridge of boats, was the first of all before him to pass the Euphrates, and overtaking the king in the middle of Armenia, suppressed him (such was his good fortune!) in one battle. The engagement took place by night, and the moon was Pompey's ally; for having, as if fighting on his side, stationed herself in the rear of the enemy, and in front of the Romans, the men of Pontus, by mistake, discharged their weapons at their own long shadows, taking them for bodies of the enemy. IN that night, indeed, Mithridates was utterly overcome; for he was able to do nothing afterwards; though he made all manner of efforts, like serpents, which, when their head is crushed, threaten with their tails to the last. Having fled from the enemy to the Colchians, he sought to alarm, by a sudden descent, the coasts of Sicily and our own Campania, to form a communication between the Bosporus and Colchis, then to hasten through Thrace, Macedonia, and Greece, and so to make a sudden inroad into Italy. But this he only conceived; for, being prevented from the execution of it by a revolt of his subjects, and by the treachery of his son Pharnaces, he at last ended by the sword the life which he had in vain attempted by poison.
Pompey, meantime, in pursuit of the remains of the rebels in Asia, was hurrying through divers nations and countries. Following the Armenians eastward, and capturing Artaxata, the metropolis of the kingdom, he allowed Tigranes, on offering submission, to retain his throne. Then, steeing his course by the stars, as in a voyage over the sea, towards the Scythian north, he overthew the Colchians, gave quarter to Iberia, spared the Albanians, and, pitching his camp at the foot of Mount Caucasus, commanded Orodes, king of the Colchians, to remove down into the plains, and required also Arthoces, who ruled the Iberians, to give his children as hostages. Orodes, too, who sent him from his country of Albania a golden couch and other presents, he amply rewarded. Afterwards, turning his army to the south, and madding Mount Libanus in Syria, and Damascus, he led the Roman standards through the well-known groves of perfumes, and the forests of frankincense and balm. The Arabians, if he gave them any commission, were ready to execute it. The Jews made an effort to defend Jerusalem; but this city he also entered, and saw the grand mystery of an impious nation laid open, as it were, under a golden sky. And being chosen arbiter between two brothers, who were disputing about the throne, he gave sentence that Hyrcanus should be king, and cast Aristobulus, as he was unwilling to submit to his decision, into chains. Thus the Roman people, under the leadership of Pompey, having traversed the whole of Asia where it is broadest, made that the middle province of their empire which they had previously accounted the last. For except the Parthians, who preferred coming to a treaty, and the Indians, who were as yet ignorant of us, all Asia, between the Red and Caspian Seas and the Ocean, was under our jurisdiction, having been either conquered or overawed by the arms of Pompey.
- CHAP. VI. THE WAR AGAINST THE PIRATES.
In the mean time, while the Romans were engaged in different parts of the world, the Cilicians had spread themselves over the sea, and, by the obstruction of commerce, and the disruption of bonds of human society, had made the seas as impassable by their piracies as they would have been rendered by a tempest.
The state of Asia, disturbed by the wars of Mithridates, gave confidence to these desperate and audacious robbers, who, under cover of the confusion of a war raised by others, and the odium against a foreign prince, roved up and down without control. Even at first, under a leader named Isidorus, they did not confine themselves to the neighbouring sea, but exercised their piracies between Crete and Cyrene, and between Achaia and the Malean Gulf, which, from the spoils that they took there, they named the Golden Gulf. Publius Servilius was sent against them, who, though he worsted their light and nimble brigantines with his heavy and well-appointed ships of war, did not obtain a victory without much bloodshed. He was not, however, content with driving them from the sea, but sacked their strongest towns, stored with spoil that they had been long in collecting, Phaselis, Olympos, and Isaurus, the very stronghold of Cilicia, whence, conscious that he had achieved a great exploit, he assumed the name of Isauricus.
Yet the pirates, though humbed by so many losses, could not, on that account, confine themselves to the land, but, like certain animals, which have a twofold nature for living either on land or in water, they became, upon the retreat of the enemy, impatient of remaining ashore, and spring back again into the waters, extending their excursions, indeed, somewhat more widely than before. So that Pompey, who had been so fortunate already, was considered a fit person to secure a victory over these depredators, and this was made an addition to his Mithridatic province. Resolving, accordingly, to suppress, at once and for ever, a plague that had dispersed itself over the whole sea, he proceeded against it with extraordinary measures. As he had a large naval force, both of his own and our allies the Rhodians, he secured the entrances both of the Pontus and the Ocean, with the aid of several captains and commanders. Gellius was stationed in the Tuscan sea, Plotius in that of Sicily. Gratilius guarded the Ligurian bay, Pompeius the Gallic, Torquatus the Balearic; Tiberius Nero had charge of the Strait of Gibraltar, where the entrance to our sea opens; Lentulus watched the Lybian sea, Marcellinus the Egyptian, the young Pompeys the Adriatic, Terentius Varro the Aegean and Pontic, Metellus the Pamphylian, and Caepio the Asiatic; while Porcius Cato locked up the mouth of the Propontis like a gate, with his ships drawn across it. Thus, whatever pirates were to be found in any harbour, bay, creek, recess, promontory, strait, or peninsula, were enclosed and secured, as it were, with a net. Pompey himself directed his efforts against Cilicia, the source and origin of the war. Nor did the enemy shrink from engagement with him, not, indeed, from confidence in their strength, but, as they were hard pressed, they were willing to appear daring. But they did nothing more than meet the first onset, for immediately afterwards, when they saw the beaks of our ships encircling them, they threw down their weapons and oars, and, with a general clapping of hands, which was with them a sign of supplication, intreated for quarter. Never did we obtain a victory with so litte bloodshed. Nor was any nation afterwards found so faithful to us; a state of thinsg which was secured by the remarkable prudence of the general, who removed this maritime people far from the sight of the sea, and tied them down, as it were, to the inland parts of the country. Thus, at the same time, he both recovered the free use of the sea for ships, and restored to the land its own men.
In this triumph what shall we most admire? Its espedition, as being gained in forty days? Its good fortune, as not a single ship was lost? Or its durable effect, as the Cilicians, in consequence of it, were never after pirates?
- CHAP. VII. THE CRETAN WAR.
The Cretan war, if we would but admit the truth, we ourselves occasioned, solely from a desire of subduing that noble island. It was thought to have favoured Mithridates, and we resolved to take vengeance for this offence by force of arms. The first who invaded the island was Marcus Antonius; and, ideed, with such vast hopes and confidence of success, that he carried in his vessels more chains than arms. He, however, paid the penalty of his rashness, for the enemy captured most of his ships, and the dead bodies of the prisoners were suspended from the sails and tackling. In this manner the Cretans, with their sails spread, rowed back in triumph to harbours.
At a subsequent period, Metellus, after wasting the whole island with fire and sword, drove the inhabitants to their fortresses and towns, and took Gnossus, Erythraea, and Cydonia, the mother, as the Greeks are wont to call it, of its cities; and so cruel was his treatment of the prisoners, that most of them poisoned themselves, while others sent offers of surrender to Pompey, who was then at a distance. Pompey, though fully engaged in Asiatic affairs, nevertheless despatched Antonius as his deputy to Crete, and thus gained reputation from another man's province. But Metellus enforced the rights of war on the enemy only the more unmercifully, and, after suppressing Lasthenes and Panares, captains of Cydonia, returned home victorious; yet from so remarkable a conquest he gained nothing more than the surname of Creticus.
- CHAP. VIII. THE BALEARIC WAR.
As the family of Metellus Macedonicus was accustomed to military surnames, it was not long, after one of his sons became Creticus, till the other was called Balearicus. The Balearic Isles, at that time, had infested the seas with piratic outrages. You would wonder that a savage people, living in the woods, should venture even to look upon the sea from the tops of their rocks. But they had the courage to go on board some ill-made boats, and, from time to time, surprised vessels sailing by with unexpected attacks. Seeing also a Roman fleet approaching from the sea, and looking upon it as a prize, they ventured to engage it, and, at the first onset, covered the shps with a vast shower of small and great stones. Every one of them fights with three slings; and who can wonder that their execution with these instruments is very sure, when they are the only weapons of the nation, and the use of them is their only exercise from their infancy? A child receives no food from his mother but what he has struck down with his sling at her bidding. But they did not long frighten the Romans with their stones; for, when they came to close combat, and felt the effects of our beaks, and the weapons that fell on them, they set up a bellowing like oxen, and fled to the shore, where, dispersing themselves among the nearest hills, they were to be found before they could be conquered.
- CHAP. IX. THE EXPEDITION TO CYPRUS.
The fate of the islands was come; and Cyprus, in consequence, was taken without a war. Of this island, which abounded in wealth from times of old, and was for this reason sacred to Venus, Ptolemy was king; but such was the fame of its riches, and not without cause, that a people who had conquered nations, and was accustomed to give away kingdoms, ordered, at the instigation of Publius Clodius the tribune, that the king's property, though he was their ally and still living, should be brought into the public treasury. Ptolemy, upon the news of this decree, hastened his death by poison. Porcius Cato, however, brought the wealth of Cyprus in Liburnian vessels into the mouth of the river Tiber, an event which replenished the treasury of Rome more largely than any triumph.
- CHAP. X. THE GALLIC WAR.
When Asia was subdued by the efforts of Pompey, Fortune conferred what remained to be done in Europe upon Caesar. There were still left the most savage of all nations, the Gauls and Germans; and Britain, though separated from the whole world, had yet one to conquer it. The first commotion in Gaul arose from the Helvetii, who, lying between the Rhone and the Rhine, and finding their country insufficient for them, came forth, after setting fire to their cities, (an act equivalent to an oath that they would not return,) to ask of us new settlements. But Caesar, having asked for time to consider of their application, prevented them, meanwhile, from getting off, by breaking down the bridge over the Rhone, and straightway drove back this warlike nation to their former abodes, as a shepherd drives his flocks into the fold. The next affair was a war with the Belgae, which was attended with far more bloodshed, as being a struggle with men fighting for their liberty. In the course of it were displayed many brave acts among the soldiery, and a remarkable one of the general himself, who, when his troops were on the point of flight, having snatched a buckler from a retreating soldier, hurried to the front of the army, and restored the battle by his own extertions. Then followed a naval war with the Veneti, but there was a greater struggle in it with the Ocean than with the ships of the enemy; for the vessels were rude and ill-shaped, and were shattered as soon as they felt our beaks; but the contest was obstructed by the shallows, as the Ocean, retiring by its usual ebbs during the engagement, seemed disposed to put a stop to the war.
There were also other diversities of operation, according to the nature of the people and the ground. The Aquitani, a crafty nation, betook themselves to their caverns; Caesar ordered them to be shut up in them. The Morini dispersed themselves among their woods; he ordered the woods to be set on fire.
Let no one say that the Gauls are mere senseless warriors; for they act with cunning. Indutiomarus called together the Treviri, Ambiorix the Eburones; and the two, in the absence of Caesar, having entered into a conspiracy, fell upon his lieutenant-generals. Indutiomarus was valiantly repulsed by Dolabella, and his head carried from the field. Ambiorix, however, placing an ambuscade in a valley, gave us by that contrivance a defeat, so that our camp was plundered, and our treasure carried off. Then we lost Cotta, and Titurius Sabinus, one of the legates. Nor was any revenge afterwards taken on Ambiorix, as he lay in peretual concealment beyond the Rhine.
Yet the Rhine was not, on that account, left unassailed; nor was it just that the receiver and protector of our enemies should escape. The first battle against the Germans on its banks arose indeed from very just grounds; for the Aedui made compaints of their inroads. And how great was the haughtiness of Ariovistus! Whe our ambassadors said to him, "Come to Caesar," "And who is Caesar?" he retorted; "let him come to me, if he will. What is it to him what our Germany does? Do I meddle with the Romans?" In consequence of this reply, so great was the dread of the unknown people in the Roman camp, that wills were publicly made even in the principia. But the greater the vast bodies of the enemy were, the more they were exposed to swords and other weapons. The ardour of the Roman soldiers in the battle cannot be better shown than by the circumstances that when the barbarians, having raised their shields above their heads, protected themselves with a testudo, the Romans leaped upon their very bucklers, and then came down upon their throats with their swords.
The Tencteri were the next that made complaint of the Germans. Caesar, then, of his own impulse, crossed the Moselle by a bridge of ships, and passed even the Rhine itself, to seek the enemy in the Hercynian forests. But the whole nation had fled away to their thickets and fens, so great alarm did the Roman force, suddenly appearing on that side of the river, excite in them. Nor was the Rhine crossed by Caesar only once, but even a second time, when a bridge was built over it. The consternation of the barbarians grew then much greater, for when they saw their Rhine taken captive with a bridge, which seemed to them as a yoke laid upon it, they all fled a second time to their woods and marshes, and, what was most vexatious to Caesar, no enemies remained to be conquered.
All, therefore, by land and sea, being subdued, he cast his eyes upon the wide Ocean, and, as if the world which the Romans possessed as not sufficient for them, he meditated the conquest of another. Having accordingly equipped a fleet, he set sail for Britain. He crossed the water with extraordinary expedition, for, having started from a harbour of the Morini at the third watch, he reached the island before mid-day. The shores were crowded with a tumultuous assemblage of the enemy, and their chariots, as if in consternation at the sight of something strange, were hurrying backwards and forwards. Their trepidation was in consequence a victory to Caesar, who received arms and hostages from them while they were in alarm, and would have proceeded further along their coasts, had not the Ocean punished his daring fleet with a wreck. He returned, therefore, for the present, into Gaul; but, having augmented his fleet, and reinfoeced his army, he ventured again upon the same Ocean, and pursued the same Britains into the Caledonian forests, taking one of the Cavelian princes prisoner. Content with these exploits, (for his object was not to get a province, but a name,) he sailed back with greater booty than before, the Ocean itself being also more tranquil and proptious, as it it acknowledged itself to be under his power.
But the greatest rising of all the Gauls, which was also the last, was when that prince, so formidable for his stature, martial skill, and courage, (his very name, Vercingetorix, being apparently intended to excite terror,) drew together all the Arverni and Bituriges, in conjunction with the Carnutes and Sequani. This king, upon festivals and days of assembly, when he had the people collected in great numbers in the groves, roused them, by his high-spirited harangues, to recover their former liberty and rights. Caesar was at that time absent, levying troops at Ravenna, and the Alps had grown higher during the winter, so that they thought his passage stopped. But he, (such was his happy temerity at the report of these proceedings,) foring a way with a light-armed troop over tops of mountains previously impassable, and over nows never before trodden, reached Gaul, collected a force from the different winter-quarters, and secured a position in the midst of the country before he was apprehended to be on the borders of it. Proceeding then against the cities that took the chief part in the insurrection, he overthrew Avaricum, with its garrison of forty thousand men, and burned to the ground Alexia, though relying upon a force of two hundred and fifty thousand. The whole stress of the war was at last collecetd about Gergovia, a city of the Arverni, which eighty thousand men defended with the aid of a wall, a citadel, and precipitous rocks. This great city he first weakened by famine, surrounding it with a rampart, palisades, a trench, (the river being let into the trench,) eighteen towers, and a high breastwork; and afterwards, when the inhabitants ventured upon sallies, he slaughtered them from the ramparts with swords and pikes; and at last forced them to surrender. The king of the place himself, (the greatest ornament of the victory,) after having come as a suppliant to the Roman camp, and thrown his royal ensigns and arms at the feet of Caesar, exclaimed, "Receive them: thou, O bravest of men, hast conquered a brave man."
- CHAP. XI. THE PARTHIAN WAR.
Whilst the Romans, by the instrumentality of Caesar, were subduing the Gauls in the north, they received a grievous blow from the Parthians ion the east. Nor could we complain of Fortune; there was no consolation for the disaster. The avarice of the consul Crassus, who, in deiance of gods and men, was longing eagerly for Parthian gold, was punished with the destruction of eleven legions, and the loss of his own head.
Metellus, a tribune of the people, had cursed Crassus, as he was going out of Rome, with bitter execrations. After the army had passed Zeugma, the Euphrates swallowed up the standards which had been carried into it by a sudden whirlwind. When he had pitched his camp at Nicephorium, ambassadors, sent to him by king Orodes, urged him "to remember the treaties made with Pompey and Sylla;" to which the consul, whose heart was set upon the king's treasures, made, witout even a pretext of justice, no other reply than that he would give his answer at Seleucia. The gods, therefore, the avengers of violated treaties, refused their assistance neither to the secret artifices, nor to the open valour, of our enemies. The first military error of Crassus was to desert the Euphrates, which alone could supply him with provisions or secure his rear. He then trusted a Syrian named Mazaras, a counterfeit deserter, till, under his guidance, the army was led into the middle of an open plain, and exposed to the enemy on every side. Scarcely, in consequence, had he reached Carrae, when Sillaces and Surenas, the king's generals, displayed their standards waving with gold and silken banners. Immediately afterwards, the cavalry gathering around, whowered upon the Romans their arrows as thick as hail or rain. The army was thus cut off with a direful slaughter. The consul, being invited to a conference, would, upon a given signal, have fallen alive into the hands of the enemy, had not the Parthians, in consequence of resistance from the tribunes, hastened to prevent his escape with their swords. Yet even thus his head was carried off, and made an object of derision to the enemy. His son, almost in the sight of his father, they cut off with the same weapons. The relics of the unhappy army, scattered wherever the hope of escape drove them, through Armenia, Cilicia, and Syria, scarcely brought home the news of the disaster.
The head of Crassus, when cut off, together with his right hand, was carried to the king, and treated by the enemy, not unjustly, with mocking insult. Molten gold was poured into his mouth, that the flesh of him whose mind had burnt with desire of gold, might, when dead and inanimate, be burnt with gold itself.
- CHAP. XII. A RECAPITULATION.
This is the third age of the Roman people, described with reference to its transactions beyond the sea; an age in which, when they had once ventured beyond Italy, they carried their arms through the whole world. Of which age, the first hundred yeats were pure and pious, and, as I have called them, golden, free from vice and immorality, as there yet remained the sincere and harmless integrity of the pastoral life, and the imminent dread of a Carthaginian enemy supported the ancient discipline. The succeeding hundred, which we have reckoned from the destruction of Carthage, Corinth, and Numantia, and from the inheritance bequeathed us by king Attalus in Asia, to the times of Caesar and Pompey, and those of Augustus who succeeded them, and of whom we shall speak hereafter, were as lamentable and dsigraceful for the domestic calamities, as they were honourable for the lustre of the warlike exploits that distinguished them. For, as it was glorious and praiseworthy to have acquired the rich and powerful provinces of Gaul, Thrace, Cilicia, and Cappadocia, as well as those of the Armenians and Britons, which, though of not much advantage, were great names to add to the splendour of the empire, so it was disgraceful and lamentable, at the same time, to have fought at home with our won citizens, with our allies, our slaves, and gladiators, while the whole senate was divided into parties. And I know not whether it would not have been better for the Roman people to have been content with Sicily and Africa, or even to have been without them, while still enjoying the dominion of Italy, than to grow to such greatness as to be ruined by their own strength. For what else produced those intestine distractions but excessive good fortune? It was the conquest of Syria that first corrupted us; and the succession afterwards, in Asia, to the estate of the king of Pergamus. Such wealth and riches ruined the manners of the age, and overwhelmed the republic, which was sunk in its own vices as in a common sewer. For how did it happen that the Roman people demanded from their tribunes lands and subsistence, unless through the scarcity, which they had by their luxury produced? Hence there arose the first and second sedition of the Gracchi, and a third, that of Apuleius. From what cause did the equestrian order, being divided from the senate, domineer by virtue of the judiciary laws, if it was not from avarice, in order that the revenues of the state, and trials of causes, might be made a means of gain? Hence again it was that the privilege of citizenship was promised to the Latins, and hence were the arms of our allies raised against us. And what shall we say as to the wars with the slaves? How did they come upon us, but from the excessive number of slaves? Whence arose such armies of gladiators against their masters, if it was not that a profuse liberality, by granting shows to gain the favour of the populace, amde that an art which was once but a punishment of enemies? And to touch upon more specious vices, did not the ambition for honours take its rise from the same excess of riches? Hence also proceeded the outrages of Marius, hence those of Sylla. The extravagant sumptuousness of banquets, too, and profuse largesses, were not they the effects of wealth, which must in time lead to want? This also stirred up Catiline against his country. First, whence did that insatiable desire of power and rule proceed, but from a superabundance of riches? This it was that armed Caesar and Pompey with fatal weapons for the destruction of the state.
Of all these domestic distractions of the Roman people, distinct from their foreign and justifiable wars, we shall give an account in their proper order.
- Ch. I. From them] Ab his. That is, from Aeneas and Iulus. It should properly be ab hoc, from Aeneas only.
- A place of refuge] Asylum.
- Not treachrously] Nec dolo. Florus means she intended no treachery to her countrymen, but wished to rob or disarm the enemy by depriving them of their bracelets or shields.
- Tatius] King of the Sabines. Comp. c. 15.
- The Senate] Senatus. From senes, old men.
- Ch. IV. The city] Moenia muro amplexus est. "That moenia is often used for the buildings in cities, is shown by Salmas, ad Lamprid. Comm[..], c. 17. Schulting ad Senec. Controv., vi.; and Gronov. Obs., ii., 12." Duker
- The father answered (what pride!) by striking off, &c.] Excutiens—(quae superbia!) sic respondit. "Florus, in ascribing this to pride, speaks rather with reference to Tarquinius' general character for pride, than acording to what was really the case on this occasion; for it was rather to be attributed to prucence, in order to prevent his designs from being betrayed." Graevius. There is a similar misrepresentation a little above, where the scourging of Sextus Tarquinius, which was merely a stratagem, is attributed to his father's cruelty.
- Asserters of their liberty] Brutus and Collatinus.
- The very pomoerium belonging to the enemy] Statim hostile pomoerium. Pomoerium here means the ground immediately outside the wall.
- Certain destined course] Contagione quadam. Thus Cicero uses contagio for the natural connexion of causes and effects, naturae contagio, ipsa rerum contagio, De Fato, c. 3, 4.
- Though he had the advantage] Superior. This does not agree well with repulit, "repulsed him," just above.
- Ch. XI. Cossus] "Florus has erroneaously said Cossis instead of Titus Aebutius Elva. Cossus was master of the horse under the Dictator Aemilius Mamercinus, A.U.C. 327." Stadius. "That Florus has made a mistake is admitted by all except Robortellus, who would expunge he word 'Cossus.'" Freinshemius.
- Carrae] A city of Osroene in Mesopotamia, where Crassus was killed. See iii., 11.
- Gesoriacum] A harbour of the Morini in Gaul, afterwards called Bononia.
- The Tiber] Tiberis. This can hardly be right, though it has been generally adopted for the old reading Tigris. Florus would scarcely have instanced the river that actually ran through the city. Davies, in his translation, has Livis.
- Flamens] Flamines. A Flamen was a priest appointed to any particular deity; as the flamen of Jupiter, the flamen of Mars, &c. It is a word of uncertain derivation, but probably for plamen or pileamen, from pileus, or cap which they wore. See Dion. Halicarn., ii., 64.
- Ch. XIII. Otherwise deigning to answer nothing] Alioqui nihil respondere dignantes. The exact signification of the word alioqui, is, as Duker observes, "sufficiently obscure." N. Heinsius, by a happy conjecture, alters it into alloq[..] which (with the preceding ubi changed into ibi) makes excellent sense.
- Torquati] From torques, a chain or collar for the neck. Corvini from corvus, a raven.
- Ch. XVI. Places of retirement—for the sea] Quaedam maris otia. "He elegantly applies this term to these estuaries, into which the sea pours itself, and there, as it were, rests and takes its ease." Salmasius. Lucretius uses the word otia for resting-places, v., 1386.
- To ostentation] Ad ambitum. "Ryckius righly interprets ambitus 'ostentation'." Duker.
- Ch. XVIII. A large theatre] Majus theatrum. The word majus puzzles the commentators. Salmasius conjectures that there may have been two theatres, a greater and a less. Some copies have urbus theatrum, and Freinshemius conjectures amphitheatrum.
- Without further consideration] Sine discrimine. Without waiting to discriminate whether they were enemies or not.
- An affront that was gross, &c.] Valerius Maximus, ii., 2, says that Posthumius, one of the ambassadors, urina respersum fuisse; Dion. Halicarn. Excerpt. Legat., c. 4, intimates something worse.
- To attract, &c.] In spectaculum belli. A phrase of doubtful meaning. See Duker, who refers to Sallust, Jug., c. 101, Tum spectaculum horribile campis pa[...]dibus, and to Florus above, c. 11, interfuisse spectaculo (sc. praelii) deos.
- Liris] This word is elsewhere found only as the name of a river. Freinshemius takes it here for that of a town. Minellius suggests that Florus may mean the banks of the Liris.
- Ch. XXII. But the latter, with better fortune, &c.] Sed hic melior [obsessis] in capta urbe consenuit. Obsessis occurs in some copies, but Duker and Graevius omit it. The city which he had taken was Veii. But it is not said in any other author that Camillus spent his old age at Veii. Salmasius understands consenuit of pining at the misfortunes of his country; but this interpretation is so forced that it seems less reasonable to accept it than to suppose Florus to have been mistaken.
- Ch. XXVI. Respectability of their birth] Natalium dignitatem. They maintained that all citizens were of sufficiently respectable birth to intermarry with the patricians.
- Ch. II. Reunited, as it were, to their continent] Ad continentem suum revocanda bello. As bello jungenda occurs immediately before, Freinshemius and Duker, though they retain the latter bello in the text, as it is found in all copies, advise its omission.
- Messana] Now Messene.
- That strait—strange things, &c.] The strait of Messina. "By strange things (Monstris) he means Scylla and Charybdis." Salmasius.
- To our annoyance] Infestum.
- Notwithstanding he wrote nothing, &c] Licet nihil scripsit sanguine. "A hallucination of Florus, who inadvertently attributes to Leonidas what was done by Othryades. Leonidas wrote nothing with his blood, as far, at least, as we learn from the writings of antiquity. But such an act is universally attributed to Othryades, both by poets and prose writers." Salmasius. Othryades was the survivor of the three hundred Spartans who fought with three hundred Argives for the right of possessing a piece of land called Thyrea. Being ashamed to return to Sparta alone, he slew himself on the field of battle, first writing on his shield, with his blood, that Thyrea belonged to the Lacedaemonians. For an account of the combat, see Herod., i., 82. Freinshemius thinks the words are not Florus's, but those of some glossator. Gronovius would read licet nonnihil scripserit sanguine, which would be no great improvement.
- A vast prey—not in war, but in hunting] Sic quoque magna praeda, si gregem illum non bello, sed venatione cepisset. "The sense is, it would have been a considerable capture if he had taken these hundred elephants, not in battle, but in hunting, in which more are often taken." Graevius. "In this explanation Perisonius acquiesced." Duker. Most readers, I fear, will wish that a better were proposed.
- Coasts—of all the islands lying amid those seas] Duker's edition, and almost every other, has omnium imperia gentium, insularum littora, implevit, which Graevius has pronounced, and others have seen, to be nonsense. Tollius for imperia proposed promontoria; but I have thought it better to follow the conjecture offered by Markland, (Epistle to Hare, p. 88, cited by Duker,) omnium inter mari jacentium insularum, &c., though this is rather bold, and not supported by anything similar in Florus.
- Two former nations—daily and domestic enemies] Utrique quotidiani et quasi domestici hostes. As Florus speaks of three nations, and then says utrique, the commentators have been in doubt which of them are meant by that word. I have followed Salmasius, with whom Perizonius coincides. The Illyrians were more remote than the other two.
- Ch. VI. Quite a boy] Praetextatus admodum. "As we say admodum puer, admodum adolescens. Salmasius. He had but just laid aside the toga praetexta, and assumed the toga virilis.
- This was] Hic erat. Duker and others read erit.
- The third thunderbolt, &c.] Trasimenus lacus tertium fulmen Hannibalis. Literally, the Trasimene lake was the third thunderbolt of Hannibal," an affected mode of expression.
- Reluctance of the eagles, &c.] Aquilae prodire nolentes. The standards were fixed in the ground, could scarcely be pulled up.
- Two vast armies] Duo maximi exercitus. The armies of the two consuls, Paulus Aemilius and Varro.
- Two modii] The modius, in Dr. Smith's Dictionary, is said to be equal to 1 gall. 7.8576 pints, English measure. Two modii will therefore be nearly 8¾ gallons.
- Bullae] A sort of ornament suspended from the necks of children, which, among the wealthy, was made of gold. It was in the shape of a bubble on water, or as Pliny says, (H.N., xxxiii,. 1,) of a heart.
- But how can I sufficiently praise, &c.] Quid autem in deligendis magistratibus quae centuriarum spaientia, &c. As these words want coherence, Graevius would omit the quid, and read In deligendis autem magistratibus quae, &c. Duker thinks it sufficient to understand dicam or memorem: Quid autem memorem—quae sapientia, &c.
- But they were rewarded with liberty, &c.] The whole of the concluding sentence of this paragraph, in Duker's edition, as well as most others, stands thus: Nam huc usque tot mala compulerant, sed libertate donati, fecerant de servitute Romanos. The passage is in some way corrupt, as all the commentators have noticed. Salmasius conjectures, Sed libertate donati. Fecerat de servis virtus Romanos. No better emendation has been proposed.
- Making an Africa in the middle of Italy] All the editors have either Mediamque de Italia Africam facerent, or Mediamque jam de, &c. I have followed the conjecture of N. Heinsius, Mediaque de Italia Africam facerent.
- Mad Mountains] Insanorum montium. "A frigid and absurd conceit of Florus. These mountains were on the sea, and startling in name rather than in reality. Livy speaks of them, lib. xxx., A Corsica in Sardiniam trajecit [Claudius]. Ibi superantem Insanos Montes—tempestas—desjecit classem." Salmasius.
- Caralis, the city of its cities] Urbemque urbium Caralim. Now Cagliari.
- Nor shall I be ashamed, &c.] Why should he be ashamed to admit that Rome was saved by the aid of the gods? To receive assistance from the gods was a proof of merit. The gods help those who help themselves, says the proverb. When he says that the gods "again opposed Hannibal," he seems to refer to what he said above in speaking of the battle of Cannae, that the deities, averse to Carthage, prevented Hannibal from marching at that time to Rome.
- In a manner adored] Tantum non adoratum. "Not being able to take the city," says Graevius, "he seemed to have come only to look at it and turn away as those do who adore any object. This is the meaning of Florus's conceit."
- A laurel that grew up, &c.] Nata in praetoria puppe laurus. This is mentioned by Livy, xxxii., 1, as having been reported to the senate by the proconsul P. Sulpicius.
- Beyond what was necessary for producing death] Ultra mortem. "Majora erant quam necesse esset at mortem inferendam." Ryckius. Some copies have ultra more[..].
- Aous] A river of Illyricum, flowing into the Ionian Sea, mentioned by Livy, xxxii., 21, xxxviii., 49.
- Achaia] The name which the Romans gave to Greece as their province.
- Ch. VIII. To begin the war] Bellum movere. So, just below, contentus fortiter indixisse bellum.
- This star] Hoc velut sidere. "That is, this dispute was the cause of the Asiatic war, as the rising or setting of certain stars, such as Arcturus, the Hyades, and Pleiades, occasions tempests. Nam ut tempestatis saepe certo aliquo caeli signo commoventur, sic in hac comitiorum tempestate populari saepe intelli[...], quo signo commota sit. Cic. pro Muraen., c. 17." Duker.
- In our triumph at Ephesus] Ephesiis. "We muct read Epheso, for the Romans did not fight with the Ephesians, but with the fleet of Antiochus at Myonesus, not far from Ephesus." Graevius.
- No less a number, in proportion, &c.] Equitum falcatorumque curratum non minor numerus. It is necessary to supply the words in proportion in the translation. "The sense is, that the number of cavalry and chariots was not less than the multitude of infantry required." Freinshemius.
- Ch. IX. We remembered the aid, &c.] "The assistance which they had given us against Philip, which Hannibal, in Livy, xxxvi., 7 and Livy himself .ib. xxxiii., thought of so much consequence, that they attribute to it the victory of the Romans. Julian, too, in his Caesars, speaks highly of the Aetolians, and says that they were not conquered by the Romans without extreme hazard." Freinshemius.
- But the Romans] Nam—populus Romanus. As nam seems out of place here, N. Heinsius suggested tamen.
- The lake of Astrus] Astrudem paludem. As this lake is nowhere else mentioned, the critics in general think the passage is corrupt; and Salmasius proposes to read Bistonidem paludem. Livy, in his narrative of the same circumstances, (xliv., 2,) has Ascuridem paludem.
- Thrown into the sea, lest it should be lost, &c.] An allusion, as Freinshemius thinks, to Martial, Ep. ii., 80:
-- Hostem cum fugeret, se[...] annius ipse peremit:
-- Dic rogo, non furor est, ne moriare, mori?
-- Fannius, to 'scape his foes, stopp'd his own breath:
-- Was he not made to die from fear of death?
- Critolaus] He was chief of the Achaean league.
- Ch. XVII. Carthage] That is, New Carthage, in Spain.
- Mouth of the Ocean] Oceani ora. The Strait of Gibraltar, Fretuna Gaditanum.
- A greater matter to preserve a province, &c.] He makes the same on#bservation in b. iv., c. 12.
- The Nertobriges] This word is probably corrupt. It ought apparently to be the name of a town, not of a people; and it has been proposed to substiture Nertobrigam.
- The river of Oblivion] Otherwise called Limia, or Limius. Strabo, lib. iii,; Pomp. Mel., iii., 1; Cellar., ii., 1. It was called the river of Oblivion from the loss of some troops on its banks, in some of the contentions of the Spaniards among themselves. The word transiit, or some such verb, is, as Duker observes, wanting in the text.
- Ch. XVIII. Several times repulsed them] Saepius aliquando perculit. This is the reading preferred by Lipius. Duker has saevius, which Graevius interprets Saevius quam Carthago, Capua, et Corinthus. But these names are at too great a distance from such an interpretation.
- By the surrender of Mancinus] Deditione Mancini. Mancinus was placed, by the consul Publius Furius, at the gate of Numantia, unarmed, and with his hands tied behind him. But the Numantines refused to receive him. See Vell. Pat., ii., 90, 5. The subject is also mentioned by Appian, and by Plutarch, Life of Tib. Gracchus.
- Celia] a sort of cerevisia, or beer. See Plin. H. N., xxii., 25. "Probably," says Scheller, "a Spanish word."
- Lived for some time on their bodies] Aliquantisper inde vixere. The commentators agree in giving this sense to inde. See Val. Max., vii., 6, 2.
- Attalus—left a will] See note on the Letter of Mithridates, Fragments of Sallust's History, p. 242.
- Subject to the kings] Eumenes and Attalus.
- Ch. I. The very integrity of the Roman empire] Ipson Romani imperii mores. "Because Scaurus seemed of all men the most grave and abstinent." Freinshemius. See the note on Sall. Jug., c. 15.
- Fratricide] Parricidam. See note on Sall., Cat., c. 14.
- light that was evidently pretended—such as seemed to be real] Jam simulata jam quasi vera fuga. There is something corrupt in this passage; for as Duker and Perizonius observe, there is no conceivable difference between quasi vera fuga and simulata fuga. The manuscripts vary a little, but afford no help.
- But if it had been to be sold] Jam ut venalis fuisset. Madame Dacier proposed nam ut. Some editions have tamen ut.
- Ch. III. From the extreme parts of Gaul] Ab extremis Galliae. As Gallia occurs again, a few lines below, it is apparent that there is something wrong in the passage. Cluverius, Germ. Antiq., i., 10, ii., 4, iii., 22, suggests that we should read Germaniae. Graevius and Duker say that the most ancient inhabitants of Gaul were Germans, and that thereofre Florus may reasonably have used Gallia as synonymous with Germania. I have little doubt, however, that Cluverius is right; for Florus was too careful of his language to made so inelegant a repetition as exclusi Gallia after ab extremis Galliae profugi.
- Wheeling about] Quum—regyrarent. The latter word is a conjecture of Salmasius, approved by Graevius. Duker retains the common reading remiurarent, which is manifestly corrupt.
- The people of Mars] Martius populus. They intimated that one warlike people ought to oblige another warlike people.
- Raises the Alps] Quae altius Alpes levat. "This is very true," saus Graevius, "for now is spread over snow, and is turned, they say, into stone." See c. 10, hyeme creverant Alpes.
- He had fixed upon a foggy day] Nebulosum diem. To attribute these strategems to Marius, in imitation of Hannibal, is absurd. Marius was asked to fix a day for battle, and chose the next, without knowing whether it would be foggy or clear. The fog, too, as Florus says, was so dense that the Gauls could not see the Romans approaching; yet he states that there was sunshine reflected from the Roman helmets, and making the heaven seem in a blaze.
- Sacerdotal protection] Sacerdotium. "They did not desire, as Madame Dacier supposes, to institute any sacerdotal body, either peculiar to themselves, or in common with any other priests, but merely requested to be committed to the custody of the Vestal virgins. Orarunt ut—virginibus Vestalibus dono mitterentur, affirmantes oeque se, atque illas, virilis concubitibus expertes futuras. Val. Max., vi., 1, fin." Duker.
- Of a victory over the Cimbri, &c.] Frequensque in spectaculo rumor Victoriaw Cimbricae Feliciter, dixit. Ths stands the passage in Duker's text, and, I believe, in all others, as if Victoriae were a dative depending on feliciter, and the sense were, "Good fortune for the victory over the Cimbri." In this sense Gruter and Freinshemius expressly say that the words are to be taken, and adduce a passage or two from Suetonius in which feliciter is joined with a dative. But these datives in Suetonius are, as Duker observes in his note, datives of the person; and both he and Scheffer doubt whether a dative of the thing, such as victoriae, can properly be used with feliciter. Duker therefore proposes to take victoriae Cimbricae as a genitive with rumor, and to let feliciter stand by itself, as in Phaed., v., 1, 4: Feliciter, subclamant. In this sense I have given the passage in the translation.
- Ch. IV. Please the gods] Si diis placet. A contemptuous expression, similar to our phrase God wot, as "Peter, God wot, thought to do it."
- Death, from fire and sword] Mortem tam igni quam fumo is the common reading. I have adopted Wasse's conjecture, ferro. Duker, indeed, endeavours to support fumo by reference to Cicero, Verr., i., 17, where a man is described as tortured by fumigation, and to Vulcat. Gall., iv., with the notes of Casaubon and Salmasius. But there would be no needed to say that the Thracians added insult to death by smoke, a death sufficiently insulting in itself.
- Forced by tortures, &c.] Extorquere tormentis. "Tormenta accipio funes circa ventrem tensos et ligatos. Tormento tensior, Priap. Carm., v. Vide ibi Scalig. Colv. et Scip. Gentil. ad Apul. Apol. non longe a princ. Quauquam etiam aliis modis compresso ventre partus extorqueri potest." Duker.
- Ch. V. Along the sea on the left] In mare sinistrum. The Pontus Euxinus which lies on the left of those sailing from Italy into Asia Minor.
- With its six walls and more] Sex quoque et amplius muris. "What six walls were those," says Graevius, "that were overthrown by Sylla? From the records of antiquity it does not appear that the Piraeus had any other than the two long walls." He therefore conjectures that these six walls must have been merely walls erected for the occasion, one behind the other, as successive defences against the besiegers; a conjecure which he supports by a reference to Appian's account of the siege. Duker agrees with Graevius. Bede, indeed, on the Acts of the Apostles, and Orosius, vi., 2, speak of the Piraeus as being fortified with a sevenfold wall, )spetemplici muro,) but they seem merely to have been misled by this passage of Florus.
- Most ungrateful of men] Ingratissimos hominum. As having banished or ill-treated most of their benefactors and great men, Theseus, Solon, Miltiades, Cimon, Demosthenes, &c.
- Rather speedily than completely] Cito quam vere. "Florus has here fallen into an error, for Sylla did not triumph over Mithridates till some years afterwards, at the conclusion of the civil war. Nor did he make peace with Mithridates from desire of a triumph, but that he might be at liberty to turn his arms against the faction of Marius, which was then dmineering in Italy." Duker.
- He recovered Bithynia for, &c.] In all the editions the passage stands thus: Recevit Bithyniam a rege Nicomede, ab Ariobarzane Cappadociam. This, as all the commentators observe, is evidently corrupt. I have followed the emendation proposed by Salmasius: Recepit Bithyniam regi Nicomedi, Ariobarzani Cappadociam. Lipsius conjectured, Recepit Bithyniam a Rege Nicomedes, Ariobarzanes Cappadociam.
- Asia and Europe] Graevius and Madame Dacier wished to expunge Europa from the text, but Duker desires to preserve it, as Mithridates, in the preceding part of the war, had had a view to a portion of Europe as well as to all Asia. But as alienam and raptam follow in the singular, the expunction seems justifiable.
- First of all before him] Omnium ante se primus. A mode of expression common among the Greeks, as in Xen. Sympos., c. viii., 40: Ίεροπρεπέστατος δοκέις έιναι τών προγεγενημένων, "You seem the greatest ornament to the priesthood of all that were before you." So Milton, Par. L., iv., 323:
-- Adam, the goodliest man of men since born,
-- His sons, the fairest of her daughters Eve.
Other examples might be found in abundance.
- Long shadows, taking them, &c.] Umbras suas quasi hostium corpora, &c. Not very likely. Lipsius would strike out suas; but it occurs in all the copies.
- To form a communication between the Bosporus and Colchis] Colchis tenus jungere Bosporon. "These words labour under no small obscurity. To me, however, Florus seems to mean nothing more than that Mithridates wished, as appian states, to attach to himself the natives lying between the Bosporus and Colchis, and, with their aid, to trasfer the war into Europe." Duker. Madame Dacier thought of explaining jungere Bosporon by "jungere ripas Borpori ponte ex navibus," but this would deprive Colchis tenus of all meaning.
- The grand mystery—under a golden sky] Iliud grande impiae gentis arcanum patens, sub aureo uti caelo. Thus stands the passage in Duker. Some editions have sub aureo vitem caelo, but vitem is a mere conjecture of Lipsius, from a passage in Josephus, Ant., xiv., 3, where it is said that Aristobulus sent to Rome, as a present to Pompey, a golden vine. This conjecture Salmasis, Graevius, and Selden, unite in condemning. Graevius himself proposed sub aureo uti velo, observing that Pompey entered the Sactum Sanctorum, and saw in it nothing but empty space, covered with a veil embroidered with gold.
- Ch. VI. Did not confine themselves] non contenti. The non is not in Duker's text, but the necessity for it is shown in the notes both by him and Graevius. The sea between Crete and Cyrene, and the Malean Gulf, could not be called priximum mare with reference to Cilicia.
- Brigantines] Myoparonas. A word compounded, according to Festus, of two words, myon, (as Scaliger reads,) and paron, both signifying vessels of some kind. Turnebus, Adversar., iii., 1, thinks that they had their name from the island 'Paros and the city Myus. Scaliger, on Festus, would derive the word from μΰς, a mouse, and Paros, on the supposition that they were shaped something like the body of a mouse.
- Was made an addition to his Mithridatic province] Mithridaticae provinciae facta accessio. "Florus is in error in supposing that the war against the pirates was an addition or appendix to the Mithridatic war, for he was not sent against Mithridates till the war with the pirates was ended, as is clear from Cicero pro Leg. Manil., Plutarch, and Appian." Duker.
- Extraordinary] Divino. As δίος and δαιμόνιος ae used among the Greeks.
- Entrances both of the Pontus and the Ocean] 'Utraque Ponyi et Oceani ora. Both the Thracian Bosporus and the Fretum Gaditanum, or Strait of Gibraltar.
- Pompeius] Duker conjectures Pomponius, as in Appian.
- Ch. VII. Took Gnossus] It is necessary to supply, in the Latin text, cepit or some other verb, which, as Duker observes, seems to have been lost.
- Mother of its cities] Urbium matrem. Its metropolis.
- Ch. IX. For this reason] Ob hoc. "I see no ground for this assertion: it was rich, therefore sacred to Venus. It would surely rather have been sacred to Juno. To me, therefore, it appears that we should read, not ob hoc, on account of this, but ad hoc, in addition to this." Freinshemius. This conjecture is approved both by Graevius and Duker.
- Liburnian vessels] Liburnis. "Those vessels were now called Liburnian, which were previously termed triremes, quadriremes, &c., as is shown by Scheffer, de Milit. Nav., ii., 2." Duker. Their name from the Liburni, a people of Illyricum. The reader may consult the commentators on Hor. Epod., i., 1.
- Ch. X. Even in the principia.] Etiam in principiis. "He means either that the chief men of the army, miltary tribunes, refects, and others, who were quartered in the principia, made their wills; or that the common soldiers, seized with terror, betrayed their feelings by making their wills under the very eyes of the general and the other officers." Duker. "The lower part of the camp was separated from the upper by a broad open space, which extended the whole breadth of the camp, called principia, (Liv., vii., 12,) where the tribunal of the general was erected, where he either administered justice or harangued the army. Tacit. Annal. i., 67, Hist., iii., 13; where the tribunes held their courts, (jura reddebant,) Liv. xxviii., 24; and punishments were inflicted, Suet, Oth., c. 1, Aug., c. 24; where the principal standards of the army, and the altars of the gods stood, Tacit. Annal., i. 39." Adam's Rom. Ant., p. 343, 8vo. ed.
- With a testudo] Testudine. See Sall. Jug., c. 98.
- The Moselle] Mosula. Generally written Mosella.
- All—by land and sea] Omnius—terra marique. By mari the people and places on the coast are meant.
- Harbour of the Morini] Morino porto. What harbour Florus means, is uncertain. The Morini were on the coast of the English channel, opposite Dover.
- One of the Cavelian princes] Unum e regibus Cavelianis. None of the editors think this reading sound. "Freinshemius excellently conjectures unum e regibus Cassivelauni, or unum e regibus Cassivelaunum; for though Caesar dd not take Cassivelaunus himself, Florus may mean that he took some captain or petty prince of Cassivelaunus." Graevius
- The Alps had grown higher during the winter] Hyeme crereant Alpes. See note, c. 3, on quae altius Alpes levat.
- Receive them] Habe. Duker has Habes in the text, but recommends in his note the imperative, which it can scarcely be doubted is the true reading.
- Ch. XI. Carrae] See i., 11.
- Ch. XII. Of the pastoral life] Pastorae sectae. "That secta is used for a way and manner of life, is well known." Duker. Sectam rationemque vitae, Cic. pro Cael., c. 17.
- That of Apuleius] see c. 16.