- CHAP. XIII. THE SEDITIOUS NATURE OF THE TRIBUNITIAL POWER.
The Tribunitial Power furnished occasions for all kinds of seditions; a power which, under pretence of maintaining the rights of the common people, (for whose protection it was established,) but in reality to acquire power for itself, courted the favour of the populace by proposing laws respecting the division of lands, the distribution of corn, and the disposal of judicial proceedings. In all these laws there was indeed a colour of equity. For what was more just, than that the commons should have their full rights from the senate, that a people who had conquered all other nations, and was master of the world, might not live without altars and hearths of their own? What was more equitable, than that the poorest class of people should be maintained from the public treasury of their country? What was more conducive to the security of equal liberty, than that, while the senate settled the provinces, the authority of the equestrian order should be supported by judicial privileges? Yet these very objects led to harm, and the unhappy state became a prize for its own overthrow. For the transference of the judicial power from the senate to the knights, caused peculation with regard to taxes, the patrimony of the of the government; while the purchase of corn exhausted the treasury, the nerves of the commonwealth. And how could the common people be put in possession of lands, but by the ejection of those that already occupied them, who were themselves a part of the people, and who moreover held their estates, as bequeathed to them from their forefathers, by prescription of time and right of inheritance?
- CHAP. XIV. THE SEDITION OF TIBERIUS GRACCHUS.
Tiberius Gracchus kindled the first flame of contention, a man who was unquestionably the first in Rome for family, person, and eloquence. But he, whether dreading to be involved in the odium of Mancinus's surrender, (as he had been one of the sureties for the performance of that treaty,) and joining in consequence the popular party, or moved by a regard to equity and justice, and taking pity on the commons, in order that a people who had conquered all other nations, and was master of the world, might continue exiles from their own altars and hearths, or from whatever motive he acted, entered upon a great political measure, and, when the day for propounding the bill for it was come, ascended the Rostra attended with a vast train of followers; nor did the nobility, on the other side, fail to meet him with a body of opponents, among whom were the rest of the tribunes. But when Gracchus observed Cnaeus Octavius opposing his laws, he laid hands upon him, in violation of the rights of the tribunitial body and the privileges of their office, and thrust him from the Rostra; and, besides, put him so much in fear of instant death, that he was obliged to lay down his office. Gracchus was in consequence made one of three commissioners for the division of the lands. But when, to complete his objects, he requested, at the comitia, that his term of office might be prolonged, and a party of the nobility, and of those whom he had expelled from their lands, rose up against him, a sanguinary conflict ensued in the forum. Having, upon this, fled to the Capitol, and exhorting the people to save his life, touching his head, at the same time, with his hand, he excited the idea that he was asking for royalty and a diadem. The people, therefore, at the instigation of Scipio Nasica, being roused to take up arms, he was, with apparent justice, put to death.
- CHAP. XV. THE SEDITION OF CAIUS GRACCHUS.
Shortly after, Caius Gracchus was animated with equal ardour to become the avenger of his brother's death and the maintainer of his laws. Endeavouring, accordingly, with similar tumult and terror, to reinstate the people in their forefathers' lands, promising them the late bequest of Attalus for their support, and becoming elated and influential by means of a second tribuneship, he pursued for a time, with the support of the common people, and apparently successful course; but when Minucius, another of the tribunes, ventured to oppose his laws, he had the boldness, relying on the aid of partisans, to take possession of the Capitol so fatal to his family. Being driven thence, with a great slaughter among his party, he sought refuge on Mount Aventine, where, a number of the senators assailing him, he was cut off by the consul Opimius. Insult was also offered to his dead body; and the sacred head of a tribune of the people was paid for to his assassins with its weight in gold.
- CHAP. XVI. THE SEDITION OF APULEIUS.
Apuleius Saturninus, however, still persisted to promote the laws of the Gracchi, so much was he encouraged by Marius, who, being always an enemy to the nobility, and presuming, moreover, on his consulship, endeavoured, after killing openly, at the comitia, Annius his competitor for the tribunate, to introduce in his stead one Caius Gracchus, a man without tribe or name, but who, by a forged pedigree, had represented himself as one of the family of the Gracchi.
Apuleius, exulting with impunity amidst so many and so great outrages, applied himself, with such determination, to pass the laws of the Gracchi, that he even prevailed upon the senate to take an oath to promote his object, threatening such as hesitated that he would procure their exile.</ref>That he would procure their exile] Aqua et igni interdicturem. "That he would interdict from fire and water," the common form of words used in the sentence of banishment.</ref> Yet there was one who chose exile rather than to take the oath. After the banishment of Metellus, therefore, when the nobility were greatly dispirited, and when he was domineering in his third year, he proceeded to such a height of audacity, that he even disturbed the consular comitia with a new murder. In order to make Glaucias, an abettor of his insanity, consul, he ordered his rival Caius Memmius to be slain, and, in the midst of the consequent tumult, joyfully heard himself called king by his followers. But the senate afterwards combining against him, and Marius, as he was no longer able to support him, becoming his opponent, a pitched battle was fought in the forum, and, being driven from the field, he took refuge in the Capitol. Being, however, besieged, and deprived of water, and producing in the minds of the senators, by the representations of his deputies, a belief that he repented of what he had done, he was allowed to come down from the Capitol, and was received, with the leaders of his party, into the senate-house, when the people, bursting into the building, overwhelmed him with sticks and stones, and tore him to pieces before he was dead.
- CHAP. XVII. THE SEDITION OF DRUSUS.
Last of all, Livius Drusus, depending not only on the influence of the tribuneship, but on the authority of the senate, and the consent of all Italy, endeavoured to promote the same laws, and, by attempting one thing after another, excited so violent a combustion in the state, that not even the first flash of it could be endured; and, being cut off by a sudden death, he left a war as an inheritance to his posterity. The Gracchi, by their law respecting the judicial power, had divided the Roman people into two parties, and made of one nation a state with two heads. The Roman knights, feeling strong in such extraordinary privileges, as having the lives and fortunes of the greatest men in their hands, were, by intercepting the public revenues, robbing the state at their pleasure; while the senate, weakened by the banishment of Metellus and the condemnation of Rutilius, had lost all the pride of their dignity. In this state of affairs, Servilius Caepio and Livius Drusus, men equal in wealth, spirit, and dignity, (whence the rivalship that animated Drusus arose,) proceeded to maintain, the former the cause of the equestrian order, and the latter that of the senate. Standards, eagles, and banners accompanied each, and there was as much hostility in one city as there could have been in two camps. Caepio, in the first place, making an attack upon the senate, singled out Scaurus and Philippus, leaders among the nobility, to prosecute them for bribery at elections. Drusus, to oppose these proceedings, attracted the populace to his side by the prospect of passing the laws of the Gracchi, and inspired the allies, by means of the same laws, with the hope of obtaining the civic franchise. There is a saying of his remembered, "that he left nothing for any one to give away, unless he would distribute dust or air." The day for proposing the bills arrived, when suddenly so vast a multitude showed themselves on all sides, that the city seemed to be beset with a crowd of enemies. Yet the consul Philippus ventured to oppose the bills; but an officer, seizing him by the throat, did not let him go till the blood gushed from his mouth and eyes. The bills were accordingly proposed and passed by force. But the allies, immediately afterwards, demanded the civic franchise which had been offered as the price of their assisting to pass them, when death, meantime, carried off Drusus, who was unable to keep his word, and who was sick of the disturbances which he had rashly excited; a death very seasonable at such a crisis. Nevertheless, the allies did not, on that account, cease to demand, by force of arms, the performance of Drusus's promise from the Roman people.
- CHAP. XVIII. THE WAR WITH THE ALLIES.
Though this war be called a war with the allies, to extenuate the odium of it, it was, if we acknowledge the truth, a civil war. For as the people of Rome united in itself the Etrurians, the Latins, and the Sabines, and derives one blood from them all, it formed one body of those several members, and is one people composed of them all. Nor did the allies with less disgrace excite an insurrecton within Italy than the citizens within the city.
When the allies, therefore, had with great justice demanded the freedom of a city which they had strengthened by their exertions, (with the hope of which Drusus, from a desire of getting power, had inspired them,) the same firebrand that burned Drusus, inflamed the allies, after he was cut off by the perfidy of his fellow-citizens, to take up arms and attack the city. Than such an outbreak what could be more sad, what more calamitous? when all Latium and Picenum, all Etruria and Campania, and at last Italy itself, rose up in arms against their metropolis and parent; when those monsters of ingratitude from the municipal towns led all the flower of our most brave and faithful allies under their several standards, Popedius heading the Marsians, Afranius the Latins, their whole senate and consuls the Umbrians, and Telesinus the Samnites and Lucanians; and when a people that was arbiter of princes and nations could not govern itself, and Rome, that had conquered Asia and Europe, was assailed from Corfinium.
The first step in the war was to have been taken on the Alban Mount, when, on the destival of the Latin Feriae, the consuls, Julius Caesar and Marcus Philippus, were to have been assassinated amidst the sacrifices and altars. That atrocity being prevented by a discovery, the whole fury of the war burst forth at Asculum, where certain commissioners, who had come from Rome, were slain in the midst of a crowd at the public games. This outrage bound them, as it were by an oath, to prosecute this impious war. Immediately, therefore, the various signals for hostilities sounded through tribes and cities from every quarter of Italy, Popedius, the leader and authro of the war, hurrying about from one place to another. Neither the devastation spread by Hannibal, nor that by Pyrrhus, was so great as the present. Ocriculum and Grumentum, Fesulae and Carseoli, Reate, Nuceria, and Picentia, were laid waste with slaughter, fire, and sword. The forces of Rutilius, the forces of Caepio, were alike defeated. Julius Caesar himself, having lost his army, and being brought back to Rome covered with blood, passed through the city a wretched corpse. But the great good fortune of the Roman people, always more remarkable in adversity than prosperity, rose again in all its might. Their generals, respectively, defeated the people whom they attacked; Cato dispersed the Etrurians, Gabinius the Marsians, Carbo the Lucanians, Sylla the Samnites; and Pompeius Strabo, laying waste the country about Asculum with fire and sword, did not cease from destroying, till, by the overthrow of the place, he had made atonement to the manes of so many armies and consuls, and to the gods of so many devastated cities.
- CHAP. XIX. THE WAR AGAINST THE SLAVES.
Though, in the preceding war, we fought with our allies, (which was bad enough,) yet we contended with free men, and men of good birth: but who can with patience hear of a war against slaves on the part of a people at the head of all nations? The first was with slaves occurred in the infancy of Rome, in the heart of the city, when Herdonius Sabinus was their leader, and when, while the state was distracted with the seditions of the tribunes, the Capitol was besieged and wrested by the consul from the servile multitude. But this was an insurrection rather than a war. At a subsequent period, when the forces of the empire were engaged in different parts of the world, who would believe that Sicily was much more cruelly devastated by a war with slaves than in that with the Carthaginians? This country, fruitful in corn, and, in a manner, a suburban province, was covered with large estates of many Roman citizens; and the numerous slave-houses, and fettered tillers of the ground, supplied enough force for a war. A certain Syrian, by name Eunus, (the greatness of our defeats from him makes us remember it,) counterfeiting a fanatical inspiration, and tossing his hair in honour of the Syrian goddess, excited the slaves, by command of heaven as it were, to claim their liberty and take up arms. And that he might prove this to be done by supernatural direction, he concealed a nut in his mouth, which he had filled with brimstone and fire, and, breathing gently, sent forth flame together with his words. This prodigy at first attracted two thousand of such as came in his way; but in a short time, by breaking open the slave-houses, he collected a force of above sixty thousand; and, being adorned with ensigns of royalty, that nothing might be wanting to his audacity, he laid waste, with lamentable desolation, fortresses, towns, and villages. The camps even of praetors (the utmost disgrace of war) were taken by him; nor will I shrink from giving their names; they were the camps of Manilius, Lentulus, Piso, and Hypsaeus. Thus those, who ought to have been dragged home by slave-takers, persued praetorian generals routed in battle. At last vengeance was taken on them by our general Perperna; for having conquered them, and at last besieged them in Enna, and reduced them with famine as with a pestilence, he threw the remainder of the marauders into chains, and then crucified them. But over such enemies he was content with an ovation, that he might not sully the dignity of a triumph with the name of slaves.
Scarcely had the island recovered itself, when it passed from the hands of a Syrian slave to those of a Cilician. Athenio, a shepherd, having killed his master, formed his slaves, whom he had released from the slave-house, into a regular troop. Then, equipped with a purple robe and a silver sceptre, and with a crown on his head like a king, he drew together no less an army than the fanatic his predecessor, and laying waste, with even greater fury, (as if taking vengeance for his fate,) villages, fortresses, and towns, he vented his rage upon the masters, but still more violently on the slaves, whom he treated as renegades. By him, too, some armies of praetors were overthrown, and the camps of Servilius and Lucullus taken. But Aquilius, following the example of Perperna, reduced the enemy to extremites by cutting off his supplies, and easily destroyed by famine forces which were well defended by arms. They would have surrendered, had they not, from dread of punishment, preferred a voluntary death. Not even on their leader could chastisement be inflicted, though he fell alive into our hands, for while the people were disputing who should secure him, the prey was torn to pieces between the contending parties.
- CHAP. XX. THE WAR AGAINST SPARTACUS.
We may, however, support the dishonour of a war with slaves, for though they are, by their circumstances, subjected to all kinds of treatment, they are yet, as it were, a second class of men, and may be admitted to the enjoyment of liberty with ourselves. But the war raised by the efforts of Spartacus I know not what name to call, for the soldiers in it were slaves, and the commanders gladiators; the former being persons of the meanest condition, and the latter men of the worst character, and adding to the calamity of their profession by its contempibleness. Spartacus, Crixus, and Oenomaus, breaking out of the fencing school of Lentulus, escaped from Capua, with not more than thirty of the same occupaion, and, having called the slaves to their standard, and collected a force of more than ten thousand men, were not content with merely having escaped, but were eager to take vengeance on their masters. The first theatre for action that attracted them was Mount Vesuvius. Here, being besieged by Clodius Glaber, they slid down a passage in the hollow part of the mountain, by means of ropes made of vine-branches, and pentrated to the very bottom of it; when, issuing forth by an outlet apparently impracticable, they captured, by a sudden attack, the camp of the Roman general, who expected no molestation. They afterwards took other camps, and spread themselves to Cora, and through the whole of Campania. Not content with plundering the country seats and villages, they ravaged, with terrible devastation, Nola and Nuceria, Thurii and Metapontum. Being joined with new forces day after day and forming themselves into a regular army, they made themselves, out fo osiers and beasts' hides, a rude kind of shields, and out of the iron from the slave-houses forged swords and other weapons. And that nothing proper might be wanting to the complement of the army, they procured cavalry by breaking in the herds of horses that came in their way, and conferred upon their leader the ensigns and fasces that they took from the praetors. Nor did he, who of a mercenary Thracian had become a Roman soldier, of a soldier a deserter and robber, and afterwards, from consideration of his strength, a gladiator, refuse to receive them. He afterwards, indeed, celebrated the funerals of his own officers, who died in battle, with the obsequies of Roman generals, and obliged the prisoners to fight with arms at their funeral piles, just as if he could atone for all past dishonours by becoming, from a gladiator, an exhibitor of shows of gladiators. Engaging next with the armies of the consuls, he cut to pieces that of Lentulus, near the Apennines, and destroyed the camp of Caius Cassius at Mutina. Elated by which success, he deliberated (which is sufficient disgrace for us) about assailing the city of Rome. At length an effort was made against this swordsman with the whole force of the empire, and Licinius Crassus avenged the honour of Rome, by whom the enemies (I am ashamed to call them so) being routed and put to flight, betook themselves to the furthest parts of Italy. Here, being shut up in a corner in Bruttium, and attempting to escape into Sicily, but having no ships, and having in vain tried, on the swift current of the strait, to sail on rafts made of hurdles and casks tied together with twigs, they at last sallied forth, and died a death worthy of men. As was fitting under a gladiator captain, they fought without sparing themselves. Spartacus himself, fighting with the utmost bravery in the front of the battle, fell as became their general.
- CHAP. XXI. THE CIVIL WAR OF MARIUS AND SYLLA.
This only was wanting to complete the misfortunes of the Romans, that they should raise an unnatural war among themselves, and that, in the midst of the city and forum, citizens should fight with citizens, like gladiators in an amphitheatre. I should bear the calamity, however, with greater patience, if plebeian leaders or contemptible nobles had been at the head of such atrocity; but even Marius and Sylla, (O indignity! such men, such generals!) the grace and glory of their age, lent their eminent characters to this worst of evils. It was carried on, if I may use the expression, under three constellations, the first movement being light and moderate, an affray rather than a war, for the violence prevailed only between the leaders themselves; in the next rising, the victory spread with greater cruelty and bloodshed, through the very bowels of the whole senate; the third conflict exceeded not merely animosity between citizens, but that between enemies, the fury of the war being supported by the strength of all Italy, and rancour raging till none remained to be killed.
The origin and cause of the war was Marius's insatiable ambition of honours, in endeavouring to procure for himself the province decreed to Sylla by a law of Sulpicius.</ref>A law of Sulpicius] Silpicia lege. Sulpicius was a tribune of the people who had procured a law to be passed for this purpose.</ref> Sylla, provoked at this injustice, immediately led back his legions, and, putting off the war with Mithridates, poured two bodies of troops into the city by the Esquiline and Colline gates. Here Sulpicius and Albinovanus designedly throwing their troops in his way, and sticks, stones, and other weapons, being discharged on him on all sides from the walls, he himself also threw weapons in return, and forced a passage even by fire, and triumphantly occupied the citadel on the Capitoline hill as a captured fortress, a place which had escaped being taken by the Carthaginians and the Gauls. Having then, by a decree of the senate, pronounced his opponents enemies to the state, he proceeded to the utmost severities, by forms of law, upon the tribune who was present, and others of the adverse faction. Flight like that of slave saved Marius, or rather Fortune preserved him for another war.
In the consulship of Cornelius Cinna and Cnaeus Octavius, the fire, which had been but imperfectly suppressed, burst forth afresh, ebing excited, indeed, by a disagreement between the consuls themselves, on a proposal being made to the senate for recalling such as the senate had declared enemies. The assembly met armed with swords, but the party that preferred peace and quiet prevailing, Cinna was driven from the country, and fled to join Marius. Marius then returned from Africa, the greater for his misfortunes; for the report of his imprisonment, chains, flight, and exile, had surrounded his dignity with a certain awe. At the name of so great a man people flocked together from all parts; slaves, (a disgraceful proceeding,) and persons condemned to the prisons, were armed in his cause; and the unhappy general easily found an army. Claiming by force, therefore, a restoration to his country from which he had by force been expelled, he might seem to have acted with justice, had he not stained his cause with cruelty. But as he returned at enmity with gods and men, at the first irruption of his fury, Ostia, the ward and foster-child of the city, was pillaged with miserable havoc; and his army next entered Rome in four bodies, Cinna, Marius, Carbo, and Sertorius, dividing the troops amongst them. Here, when the whole force of Octavius had been driven from the Janiculum, and a signal had been immediately after given for the slaughter of the leading men, somewhat more cruelty was shown than would have been practiced in a town of the Carthaginians or the Cimbri. The head of the consul Octavius was exposed upon the Rostra; that of Antonius, who had held the consulship, was displayed on Marius's dining-table; the Caesars were killed by Fimbria in the midst of their own household-gods; the two Crassi, father and son, each in the sight of the other; the hooks of the executioners dragged Baebius and Numitorius through the middle of the forum; Catulus released himself from the insults of his enemies by swallowing fire; Merula, the priest of Jupiter, sprinked the face of Jupiter himself with blood from his veins; Ancharius was stabbed in the sight of Marius himself, because, forsooth, he did not stretch out that fatal hand Such and so many deaths of senators did the seventh consulship of Marius produce, between the calends and ides of the month of January. What would have happened if he had completed the year of his consulship?
In the consulate of Scipio and Norbanus the third tempest of civil rage thundered forth with its whole fury, eight legions, and five hundred cohorts, being ranged in arms on the one side, and on the other Sylla returning from Asia with his victorious army. And since Marius had been so cruel to the party of Sylla, how much further cruelty was necessary that Sylla might be avenged on Marius? The first conflict took place at Capua, near the river Vulturnus, where the army of Norbanus was instantly put to flight, and the forces of Scipio, immediately afterwards, surprised, while hopes of peace were held out to them. The younger Marius and Carbo, being then made consuls, as if despairing of ultimate victory, but purposing not to fall unavenged, sacrificed to their own manes, as it were, beforehand, with the blood of the senate; and the senate-house being beset, its members were led forth, as prisoners from a gaol, to be put to death. What slaughters were committed in the Forum, in the Circus, in the open temples! Quintus Mucius Scaevola, one of the pontifices, embracing the Vestal altars, was almost buried in the same fire with them. Lamponius and Telesinus, eladers of the Samnites, wasted Campania and Etruria more cruelly than Pyrrhus and Hannibal had done, and revenged themselves under pretence of supporting their party. But at Sacriportus, and the Colline gate, all the forces of Marius were defeated. At the former place Marius, at the latter Telesinus, was conquered. the end of the war, however, was not the end of the massacres; for swords were drawn even in peae, and vengeance was taken even on such as had voluntarily surrendered. It was a less atrocity that Sylla cut to pieces more than seventy thousand men at Sacriportus and the Colline gate, for it was then war; but it was a greater than he ordered four thousand unarmed citizens to be butchered in the Villa Publica. Were there so many killed in peace, and no more? Who, inded, can reckon those whom every one that would, killed in the city? until Fufidius admonishing Sylla that "some ought to be left alive, that there might be people for them to rule," that great proscription-list was put forth, and two thousand were selected, out of the equestrian and senatorial orders, to be sentenced to die. This was an edict of a new kind. It grieves me to state, after these proceedings, that the deaths of Carbo, Soranus the praetor, and Venuleius, were subjects of sport; that Baebius was severed limb from limb, not by the sword, but by the hands of men, like wild beasts; and that Marius, the brother of the general, was kept alive awhile at the sepulchre of Catulus, his eyes being put out, and his hands and legs being cut off one after another, that he might die as it were piecemeal.
When the punishments of individuals were nearly over, the first municipal towns of Italy were put up to sale, Spoletium, Interamniusm, Praeneste, and Florence. As to Sulmo, an ancient city in alliance and friendship with us, Sylla (a heinous act) ordered it, though not taken by siege, to be destroyed; just as enemies condemned by the law of arms, and malefactors sentenced to death, are ordered to be led to execution.
- CHAP. XXII. THE WAR WITH SERTORIUS.
What was the war with Sertorius but a consequence of Sylla's proscription? Whether I should call it a war with foreign enemies, or a civil war, I do not know, as it was one which Lusitanians and Celtiberians carried on under the conduct of a Roman. Sertorius, a man of great but unsuccessful ability, becoming an exile and fugitive from that fatal proscription, disturned sea and land in consequence of his ill-treatment; and, trying his fortune, at one time in Africa, and at another in the Balearic isles, and being driven over the Ocean, went as far as the fortunate Islands, and at length armed Spain. A brave man easily unites himself with brave men; nor did the valour of the Spanish soldiery ever appear greater than under a Roman general. Nor was he indeed content with Spain, but extended his views to Mithridates and the people of Pontus, and assisted that king with a fleet. And what would have happened if they had formed a junction? The Roman state could not withstand so powerful an enemy as Sertorius by means of one general only. To Metellus was joined Cnaeus Pompey: and these two wasted his forces for a long time, though always with doubtful success; nor was he at last subdued in the field, until he was betrayed by the villainy and treachery of those about him. Having pursued his forces through almost all Spain, they were long in reducing them, the contests being always such that victory was dubious. The first battles were fought under the command of the lieutenant-generals; Domitius and Thorius making a commencement on one side, and the brothers Herculeii on the other. Soon afterwards, the two latter being overthrown at Segovia, and the former at the river of Anas, the generals themselves tried their strength in the field, and at Lauron and Sucro suffered equal loss on both sides. Part of our army them devoting itself to the devastation of the country, and part to the destruction of the cities, unhappy Spain suffered for the disagreement between the Roman generals, till Sertorius, being cut off by the treachery of his people, and Perperna being defeated and given up, the cities themselves submitted to the power of the Romans, as Osca, Termes, Tutia, Valentia, Auxima, and, after having endured the extremity of famine, Calagurris. Spain was thus restored to peace. The victorious generals would have the war accounted rather a foreign than a civil one, that they might have the honour of a triumph.
- CHAP. XXIII. THE CIVIL WAR UNDER LEPIDUS.
In the consulship of Marcus Lepidus, and Quintus Catulus, a civil war that was kindled was suppressed almost before it began; but how violent was it! It was a spark of the great civil contention that had spread abroad its fires from the very funeral pile of Sylla. For Lepidus, in his presumption, being eager for a change in the state of affairs, prepared to annul the acts of that eminent man, and not indeed unjustly, if he could have done so without much injury to the commonwealth. But he would not; for since Sylla, as dictator, had proscribed his enemies by the right of war, if Lepidus recalled those of them that survived, for what other end were they recalled than for a war? And since Sylla had assigned the estates of the condemned citizens, though seized unjustly, yet by form of law, a demand for their restitution would no dount disturn the city that was now tranquillised. It was expedient, therefore, for the sick and wounded republic to continue upon any terms, lest its wounds should be torn open by the dressing.
Lepidus, then, having alarmed the state, as with the blast of a trumpet, by his turbulent harangues, set out for Etruria, and thence brought arms and an army against Rome. But Lutatius Catulus and Cnaeus Pompey, the captains and ringleaders under Sylla's tyranny, had previously occupied the Milvian bridge, and the Janiculan hill, with another army. Being repulsed by these generals in the first encounter, and afterwards declared an enemy by the senate, he fled back, without loss, to Etruria, and thence retired to Sardinia, where he died of disease and sorrow of mind. The conquerors, which was scarcely ever the case in the civil wars, were content with re-establishing peace.
- BOOK IV.
- CHAP. I. THE INSURRECTION OF CATILINE.
It was in the first place expensive indulgence, and, the next, the want of means occasioned by it, with a fair opportunity at the same time, (for the Roman forces were then abroad in the remotest part of the world,) that led Catiline to form the atrocious design of subjugating his country. With what accomplices (direful to relate!) did he undertake to murder the senate, to assassinate the consuls, to destroy the city by fire. to plunder the treasury, to subvert the entire government, and to commit such outrages as not even Hannibal seems to have contemplated! He was himself a patrician; but this was only a small consideration; there were joined with him the Curii, the Porcii, the Syllae, the Cethegi, and Antronii, the Varhunteii, the Longini, (what illustrious families, what ornaments of the senate!) and Lentulus also, who was then praetor. All these he had as supporters in his horrid attempt. As a pledge to unite them in the plot, human blood was introduced, which, being carried round in bowls, they drank amongst them; an act of the utmost enormity, had not that been more enormous for which they drank it. Then would have been an end of this glorious empire, if the conspiracy had not happened in the consulship of Cicero and Antonius, of whom one discovered the plot by vigilance, and the other suppressed it by arms.
The revelation of the atrocious project was made by Fulvia, a common harlot, but unwilling to be guilty of treason against her country. The consul Cicero, accordingly, having convoked the senate, amde a speech against the accused, who was then present in the house; but nothing further was effected by it, than that the enemy made off, openly and expressly declaring that he would extinguish the flame raised against him by a general ruin. He then set out to an army which had been prepared by Manlius in Etruria, intending to advance under arms against the city. Lentulus, meanwhile, promising himself the kingdom portended to his family by the Sibylline verses, disposed throughout the city, against a day appointed by Catiline, men, combustibles, and weapons. And not confined to plotting among the people of the city, the rage for the conspiracy, having excited the deputies of the Allobroges, who happened then to be at Rome, to give their voice in favour of war, would have spread beyond the Alps, had not a letter of Lentulus been intercepted through the information of Vulturcius. Hands were immediately laid on the barbarian deputies, by order of Cicero; and the praetor was openly convicted by the senate. When a consultation was held about their punishment, Caesar gave his opinion that they should be spared for the sake of their rank, Cato that they should suffer the penalty due to their crime. Cato's advice being generally adopted, the traitors were strangled in prison.
But though a portion of the conspirators were thus cut off, Catiline did not desist from this enterprise. Marching, however, with an army from Etruria against his country, he was defeated by a force of Antonius that encountered him on the way. How desperate the engagement was, the result manifested; for not a man of the rebel troops survived. Whatever place each had occupied in the battle, that very spot, when life was extinct, he covered with his corpse. Catiline was found, far in advance of his men, among the dead bodies of the enemy; a most glorious death, had he thus fallen for his country.
- CHAP. II. THE WAR BETWEEN CAESAR AND POMPEY.
Almost the whole world being now subdued, the Roman empire was grown too great to be overthrown by any foreign power. Fortune, in consequence, envying the sovereign people of the earth, armed it to its own destruction. The outrages of Marius and Cinna had already made a sort of prelude within the city, as if by way of trial. The storm of Sylla had thundered even further, but still within the bounds of Italy. The fury of Caesar and Pompey, as with a general deluge or conflagration, overran the city, Italy, other countries and nations, and finally the whole empire wherever it extended; so that it cannot properly be called a civil war, or war with allies; neither can it be termed a foreign war; but it was rather a war consisting of all these, or even something more than a war. If we look at the leaders in it, the whole of the senators were on one side or the other; if we consider the armies, there were on one side elevemn legions, and on the other eighteen, the entire flower and strength of the manhood of Italy; if we contemplate the auxiliary forces of the allies, there were on one side levies of Gauls and Germans, on the other Deiotarus, Ariobarzanes, Tarcondimotus, Cotys, and all the force of Thrace, Cappadocia, Cilicia, Macedonia, Greece, Aetolia, and all the East; if we regard the duration of the war, it was four years, a time short in proportion to the havoc made in it; if we attend to the space and ground on which it was conducted, it arose within Italy, whence it spread into Gaul and Spain, and, returning from the west, settled with its whole force on Epirus and Thessaly; hence it suddenly passed into Egypt, then turned towards Asia, next fell upon Africa, and at last wheeled back into Spain, where it at length found its termination. But the animosities of parties did not end with the war, nor subsided till the hatred of those who had been defeated satiated itself with the murder of the conqueror in the midst of the city and the senate.
The cause of this calamity was the same with that of all others, excessive good fortune. For in the consulship of Quintus Metellus and Lucius Afranius, when the majesty of Rome predominated thoughout the world, and Rome herself was celebrating, in the theatres of Pmpey, her recent victories and triumphs over Pontus and Armenia, the overgrown power of Pompey, as is usual in similar cases, excited among the idle citizens a feeling of envy towards him. Metellus, discontented at the diminution of his triumph over Crete, Cato, ever an enemy to those in power, calumniated Pompey, and raised a clamour against his acts. Resentment as such conduct drove Pompey to harsh measures, and impelled him to provide some support for his authority. Crassus happened at that time to be distinguished for family, wealth, and honour, but was desirous to have his power still greater. Caius Caesar had become eminent by his eloquence and spirit, and by his promotion to the consulate. Yet Pompey rose above them both. Caesar, therefore, being eager to acquire distinction, Crassus to increase what he had got, and Pompey to add to his, and all being equally covetous of power, they readily formed a compact to seize the government. Striving, accordingly, with their common forces, each for his own advancement, Caesar took the province of Gaul, Crassus that of Asia, Pompey that of Spain; they had three vast armies,, and thus the empire of the world was now held by these three leading personages. Ther government extended through ten years. At the expiration of this period, (for they had previously been kept in restraint by dread of one another,) a rivalry broke forth between Caesar and Pompey, consequent to the death of Crassus among the Parthians, and that of Julia, who, being married to Pompey, maintained a good understanding between the son-in-law and fathr-in-law by means of this matrimonial bond. But now the power of Caesar was an object of jealousy to Pompey, and the eminence of Pompey was offensive to Caesar. The one could not bear an equal nor the other a superior. Sad to relate, they struggled for mastery, as if the resources of so great an empire would not suffice for two. Accordingly, in the consulship of Lentulus and Marcellus, their first bond of union being broken, the senate, that is, Pompey, began to think of a successor to Caesar in the consulate; nor did Caesar refuse to comply with their wishes, if regard were but had to him at the following election. But the consulship, which ten tribunes of the people, with Pompey's approbation, had recently decreed him in his absence, was now, as Pompey remained neutral, refused him. It was insisted "that he should come and sue for it according to ancient usage." He, on the other hand, demanded what had been decreed him, and declared, that unless they adhered to their word, he would not part with his army. A decree was accordingly passes against him as an enemy.
Caesar, provoked at these proceedings, resolved to secure the rewards of arms by means of arms. The first scene of acion, in this civil war, was Italy, of which Pompey had occupied the strongholds with light garrisons. But they were all ovrpowered by the sudden advance of Caesar. The first signal for battle sounded from Ariminium, when Libo was expelled from Etruria, Thermus from Umbria, and Domitius from Corfinium. The war would have been finished without bloodshed, if Caesar could have surprised Pompey at Brundusium; and he would have surprised him, had he not escaped by night through the barricade of the beseiged harbour. Dishonourable to relate! he that was recently at the head of the senate, the arbiter of peace and war, fled across the sea, over which he had once triumphed, in a single vessel that was shattered and almost dismantled. Nor was Pompey driven from Italy sooner than the senate was forced from the city, which Caesar having entered, when it was almost evacuated from fear of him, created himself consul. The sacred treasury, too, as the tribunes were slow in unlocking it, he ordered to be broken open, seizing the revenue and property of the Roman people before he seized their empire.
Pompey being driven off and put to flight, Caesar thought it better to regulate the provinces before proceedings to pursue him. Sicily and Sardinia, to be assured of corn, he secured by means of his lieutenant-generals. In Gaul there were no remains of hostility; for he himelf had established peace in it. But Marseilles, when he wished to pass through it on his way to the Spanish armies of Pompey, ventured to shut her gates against him. The unhappy city, desirous of peace, fell into a war through fear of war. But, as it was fortified with walls, he lft it to be reduced for him in his absence. The men of the Greek city, in opposition to the effeminacy of its character, ventured to break through the enemy's lines, to set fire to their machines, and angage them with their vessels. But Brutus, to whom the conduct of the siege had been intrusted, defeated them by land and sea, and utterly subdued them. At length, when they surrendered, everything was taken from them, except, what they valued above everything, their liberty.
In Spain, a doubtful, varied, and bloody contest awaited Caesar with Petreius and Afranius, the generals of Pompey, whom, when they were lying encamped at Ilerda, near the river Sicoris, he attempted to besiege, and to cut them off from the town. In the mean time, by an overflow of the river in the spring, he himself was prevented from getting provisions. Thus his camp was assailed by famine, and the besieger was himself in a manner besieged. But when the river subsided, it left the plains free for devastation and contest. Caesar then pressed fiercely upon the enemy, and, having overtaken them as they were retreating to Celtiberia, forced them with a mole and line of circimvallation, and consequent privation of water, to capitulate.
Hither Spain was thus secured; nor did Farther Spain long resist. For what could one legion do, after five had been defeated? Varro, therefore, readily submitting, Cadiz, the Strait of Gibraltar, the Ocean, and everything else, acknowledged the superior fortune of Caesar. Fortune, however, in Illyricum and Africa, made some attempt against him in his absence, as if on purpose that his successed might be made more striking by something unfavourable. For when Dolabella and Antony, who were ordered to secure the entrance to the Adriatic, had pitched their camps, the former on the Illyrian, the latter on the Curictian shore, at a time when Pompey was master of a vast extent of sea, Octavius Libo, Pompey's lieutenant-general, suddenly surrounded both of them with a large force from the fleet. Famine forced Antony to surrender. Some flat boats sent to his assistance by Basilus, such as want of ships had obliged them to make, were caught, as it were, in a net, by means of ropes stretched under the water, through a new contrivance of the Cilicians in Pompey's service. Two of them, however, the tide brought off; but one, which bore some men of Opitergium, struck upon the shallows, and underwent a fate deserving to be remembered by posterity. A party of something less than a thousand men sustained, for a whole day, the weapons of an army that entirely surrounded them; and, when their valour had no way of escape, they agred, in order to avoid a surrender, and at the instigation of the tribune Vulteius, to kill one another.
In Africa the valour of Curio was equalled by his ill-fortune; for, being sent to secure that province, and elated with the conquest and rout of Varus, he was unable to make a stand against the sudden arrival of the king Juba and the Mauretanian cavalry. After he was defeated, he might have fled; but shame prompted him to die with the army which was lost by his rashness.
But fortune now summoning the pair of combatants, destined to contend for the empire of the world, Pompey fixed on Epirus for the seat of warfare, nor was Caesar slow to meet him; for, having settled everything in his rear, he set sail, though the middle of winter obstructed his passage by unfavourable weather, to pursue the war; and, having pitched his camp at Oricum, and finding that part of his forces, which had been left with Antony for want of ships, made some delay at Brundusium, he grew so impatient, that, to get them over, he attempted so sail alone in a spy-boat at midnight, though the sea was tempestuously agitated by the wind. A saying of his to the master of the boat, who was alarmed at the greatness of the danger, is well remembered; "What dost thou fear? Thou carriest Caesar."
When the forces of Caesar and Pompey were assembled from every quarter, and their camps were pitched at no great distance, the plans conceived by the generals were widely different. Caesar, naturally daring, and eager to bring the affair to a conclusion, displayed his troops, and challenged and harassed the enemy, sometimes besieging their camp, which he had inclosed with a wall of sixteen miles in circuit; (but what hurt could a siege do to those who, from the sea being open, had an abundance of supplies?) sometimes by fruitless attacks on Dyrrachium, (a place which even its situation rendered impregnable,) and, at the same time, by constant engagements with their parties as they sallied out, (at which time the extraordinary valour of Scaeva the centurion was displayed, into whose shield a hundred and twenty weapons penetrated,) as well as by plundering such cities as had joined Pompey, among which he wasted Oricum, and Gomphi, and other strongholds of Thessaly. To counteract these attempts, Pompey contrived delays, and declined to fight, in order that he might wear out the enemy, who were hemmed in on all sides, with want of provisions, and that the ardour of his impetuous opponent might be exhausted. But the prudent plan of the general did not long avail him; the soldiers found fault with the inaction in which they were kept, the allies with the protraction of the war, and the nobility with the general's love of power. Thus the fates hurrying him on, Thessaly was chosen as the theatre for battle, and the destiny of the city, the empire, and the whole of mankind, was committed to the plains of Philippi. Never did fortune behold so many of the forces, or so much of the dignity, of the Roman people collected in one place. More that three hundred thousand men were assembled in the two armies, besides the auxiliary troops of kings and nations. Nor were there ever more manifest signs of some approaching destruction; the escape of victims, swarms of bees settling on the standards, and darkness in the daytime; while the general himself, in a dream by night, heard a clapping of hands in his own theatre in Rome, which rung in his ears like the beating of breasts in sorrow; and he appeared in the morning (an unlucky omen!) clad in black in the centre of the army.
As to the army of Caesar, it was never possessed of greater spirit and alacrity. It was on his side that the trumpets first sounded, and the darts were first discharged. The javelin of Crastinus, too, was noticed as that of the beginner of the battle; who, being soon after found among the dead bodies of the enemy, with a sword thrust into his mouth, proved by the strangeness of the wound the eagerness and rage with which he fought. Nor was the issue of the contest less wonderful. For though Pompey had so much larger a number of horse, that he seemed capable of easily hemming in Caesar, he was himself hemmed in. When they had fought a long time without advantage on either side, and Pompey's cavalry had galloped foreard at his command from one of the wings, the German cohorts on the other side, at a given signal, suddenly met the horse in their course with so furious a charge, that the cavalry seemed to be but infantry, and the infantry to advance with the force of cavalry. On the overthrow of the retreating horse followed the destruction of the light-armed foot. Consternation then spreading wider and wider, and the troos of Pompey throwing each other into confusion, the slaughter of the rest was effected as with one hand, nor did anything contribute to the overthrow of the army so much as its magnitude. Caesar exerted himself greatly in the battle, acting a middle part, as it were, between a commander and a soldier. Some sayings of his, too, which fell from him as he rode about, were caught up; one of which was cruel, but judicious and conducive to the victory, "Soldiers, strike at the face;" another, uttered when he was in pursuit, was intended only for effect, "Spare your countrymen."
Happy had Pompey been, though in misfortune, had the same fate that overwhelmed his army fallen upon himself. He survived his honour, to flee on horseback, with more disgrace, through Thessalian Tempe; to reach Lesbos in one small vessel; to be driven from Syedrae, and to meditate, upon a desert rock of Cilicia, an escape to Parthia, Africa, or Egypt; and finally, to die on the shore of Pelusium, in sight of his wife and children, at the word of a most contemptible prince, at the instigation of eunuchs, and, that nothing might be wanting to his calamities, by the sword of Septimius, a deserter from his own army.
With the death of Pompey who would not have supposed that the war had been concluded? But the ashes of the fire of Thessaly burst forth into flame again with much more violence and heat than before. In Egypt, indeed, a war arose against Caesar without the influence of Roman faction. Ptolemy, king of Alexandria, having committed the crowning atrocity of the civil war, and assured himself of the friendship of Caesar by means of Pompey's head, but Fortune, at the same time, demanding vengeance for the manes of so great a man, an opportunity for her purpose was not long wanting. Cleopatra, the king's sister, falling at the feet of Caesar, intreated that a part of the kingdom might be restored to her. The damsel had beauty, and its attractions were heightened by the circumstance that, being such as she was, she seemed to have suffered injustice; while Caesar had a dislike for the king her brother, who had sacrified Pompey to the fortune of party, and not from regard to Caesar, and who would doubtless have treated Caesar himself in a similar manner, had his interest required it. Caesar, desiring that Cleopatra should be reinstated in power, was immediately beset in the palace by the same persons that had assassinated Pompey; but with wonderful bravery, though only with a small body of troops, he withstood the efforts of a numerous army. In the first place, by setting fire to the neighbouring houses and dockyards, he kept at a distance the darts of his eager enemies, and then suddenly made his escape to the island of Phaos. Being driven from thence into the sea, he swam off, with wonderful good fortune, to his fleet that lay at hand, leaving his military cloak in the water, whether by chance, or with a view to its receiving, instead of himself, the shower of darts and stones hurled by the enemy. At length being taken up by the men of his fleet, and attacking the enemy on all sides at once, he made atonement to the manes of his son-in-law by a conquest of that perfidious nation. Thedotus the king's guardian, the author of the whole war, and Pothinus and Ganymede, monsters that were not even men, after fleeing in various directions over sea and land, were cut off by death. The body of the king himself was found buried in the mud of the river, distiguished by a golden coat of mail.
In Asia, too, there arose a new commotion from Pontus, Fortune apparently, and as it were purposely, taking this opportunity to terminate the kingdom of Mithridates, that as the father was conquered by Pompey, the son might be conquered by Caesar. King Pharnaces, presuming more on our dissensions than on his own valour, poured into Cappadocia with an army ready for action. But Caesar, engaging him, overthrew him in one battle, and that, as I may say, not an entire one, falling upon him like lightning, which, in one and the same moment, comes, strikes, and is gone. Nor was it a vain boast on the part of Caesar, "that the enemy was conqered before he was seen."
Such were the occurences with foreig enemies. But in Africa he had a fiercer contest with his own countrymen than at Pharsalia. A tide of civil fury had driven the relics of the shipwrecked party to this country; relics, indeed we should hardly call them, but rather a complete warlike force. The very calamity of the general had strengthened the obligation of their military oath; nor did the succeeding eladers show any degeneracy; for the names of Cato and Scipio had a sufficiently effective sound in the room of that of Pompey. To the force on that side was added Juba, king of Mauritania, as if that Caesar might carry his conquests the further. There was therefore no difference in the fields of Pharsalia and Thapsus, except that the efforts of the Caesarians were greater and more vigorous, as being indignant that the war should have grown up after the death of Pompey. The trumpeters (what had never happened before) sounded a charge of themselves, before the general gave an order for it. The overthrow began with Juba, whose elephants, new to war, and lately brought from the woods, were startled at the sudden noise, and his army immediately took to flight. Nor were the leaders too brave to flee, though the deaths of them all were not inglorious. Scipio got off in a ship, but, as the enemy overtook him, he thrust his sword into his bowels, and when some one asked where he was, he retrned this answer, "The general is well." Juba, habing betaken himself to his palace, and having banqueted sumptuously on the following day with Petreius the companion of his flight, offered himself, at table, in the midst of their cups, to be killed by his hand. Petreius slew both Juba and himself, and the half-consumed meats, and funeral dishes, were mixed with the blood of a king and a Roman. Cato was not at the battle, but, having pitched his camp on the Bagrada, guarded Utica, as a second barrier of Africa.</ref>As a second barrier of Afrca] Velut altera Africae claustra. Thapsus having been the other.</ref> Hearing, however, of the defeat of his party, he did not hesitate to die, but even cheerfully, as became a wise man, hastened his own death. Dismissing his son and attendants with an embrace, and reading in the night, by the light of a lamp, that book of Plato which treats of immortality of the soul, he afterwards rested a while, but, about the first watch, having drawn his sword, he pierced his breast, which he had uncovered with his hand, more than once. After this the surgeons would needs trouble him with plasters, which he endured till they were gone, and then opened the gashes afresh, when a vast quantity of blood issuing foth made his dying hands sink on the wounds.
But as if there had hitherto been no fighting war, and the party of Pompey, arose again; and Spain exceeded Africa in the struggle as much as Africa had exceeded Thessaly. What now attracted great regard to the party, was, that the two generals were brothers, and that two Pompeys had appeared instead of one. Never, therefore, were there fiercer encounters, or with such dubious success. First of all, Varus and Didius, the lieutenant-generals, engaged at the very mouth of the Ocean. But their vessels had a harder contest with the sea, than with one another. For the Ocean, as if it would punish the discord of fellow-citzens, destroyed both fleets by shipwreck. What an awful scene was it, when waves, storms, men, ships, and arms, mingled in contention at the same time! Consider, too, the frightful nature of the situation itself; the shores of Spain, on the one side, and of Mauretania on the other, closing as it were together; the internal and external seas, and the pillars of Hercules overhanging them, while all around was agitated with a battle and a tempest.
Soon after, they applied themselves, in various quarters, to the sieges of cities, which, between the leaders on one side and the other, paid a severe penalty for their alliance with Rome. Of the battles, the last was fought at Munda. Here the contest was not attended with Caesar's previous success, but was long doubtful and threatening, so that Fortune seemed evidently hesitating how to act. Caesar, too, before the battle, was more low-spirited than ordinary, whether from meditating on the instability of human things, from a feeling of mistrust of his long-continued prosperity, or from dreading Pompey's fate after having obtained Pompey's station. But in the course of the battle there occurred an incident, such as no man ever remembered to have heard of before; for when the two armies, equal in fortune, had been wholly engaged in mutual slaughter, there happened suddenly, in the greatest heat of the combat, a deep silence, as if by common consent, on both sides. This was an expression of general feeling. At last came the dire misfortune, strange to the eyes of Caesar, that after fourteen years of service, his tried body of veterans gave ground. They did not indeed flee, but they seemed to resist rather from being ashamed to retreat than from real courage. Springing off his horse, therefore, he rushed like a madman to the front of the battle, where he stayed and encouraged those that were shrinking, and made his influence felt through the whole body with eye, hand, and voice. Yet, in the confusion, he is said to have meditated death, and to have shown plainly by his looks that he was inclined to hasten his end, had not five battalions of the enemy, which then marched across the field, and which had been sent by Labienus to defend the camp that was in danger, caused an appearance of flight. This the crafty general either believed, or took advantage of the movement to make it appear; and, advancing on the enemy as if they were fleeing, he both raised the courage of his own men, and damped that of his opponents. The party of Caesar, thinking themselves conquerors, pressed forward with greater spirit; that of Pompey, supposing some on their side to be fleeing, commenced a general flight. How great the slaughter of the enemy was, and how great the rage and fury of the conquerors, may be estimated from the following circumstance. The fugitives from the battle having taken refuge in Munda, and Caesar, giving orders that they should immediately be besieged, a rampart was formed of dead bodies heaped on one another, which were held together by being stuck through with lances and javelins; a spectacle that would have been horrible even among barbarians.
When Pompey's sons had lost all hope of victory, Caesonius, having overtaken Cnaeus, who had fled from the field of battle, and was making his way, with a wound in his leg, to some desert and solitary place, slew him in the town of Lauron, still fighting, and proving that his spirit was not utterly broken. Fortune, meanwhile, hid Sextus in Celtiberia, and reserved him for other wars after Caesar's time.
Caesar returned triumphant to his native city. The Rhine, the Rhone, and the subjugated Ocean formed of gold, represented his first triumph, for Gaul. The second was for Egypt; when the Nile, Arsinoe, and the Pharos burning like fire, were displayed. The third was for Pharnaces and Pontus. The fourth was displayed for Juba and the Moors, and twice-conquered Spain. But Pharaslia, Thapsus, and Munda, were nowhere to be seen; yet how much greater were those actions for which he had no triumph!
There was now, at last, an end of hostilites. The peace that followed was free from bloodshed, and atonement was made for the war by clemency. No one was put to death by Caesar's order except Afranius, (it was enough that he had pardoned him once,) and Faustus Sylla, (he had learned to be afraid of sons-in-law,) and the daughter of Pompey with her children by Sylla; in which proceeding regard was had to posterity. His countrymen, therefore, being not ungrateful, all kinds of honours were conferred on him as the sole governor of the state; as statues in the temples, a radiant crown to wear in the theatre, a raised seat in the senate-house, a cupola on his own house, and a month in the heavens. He was, besides, called Father of his country, and Perpetual Dictator; and at last, whether with his own consent is doubtful, the ensigns of royalty were offered him on the Rostra by the consul Antony.
But all these honours were but as decorations laid on a victim doomed to die. The envy of others overcame the clemency of the ruler, and his very power of conferring benefits was insupportable to the free. Nor was long delay granted him, before Brutus and Cassius, and others of the nobility, conspired to put him to death. How great is the power of fate! The knowledge of the conspiracy had spread widely; an account of it, on the very day fixed for its execution, had been presented to Caesar himself; nor was he able, when he sacrificed, to find one in a hundred victims propitious. Yet he ventured into the senate-house, meditating an expedition against the Parthians. Here, as he was sitting in his curule chair, the senate fell upon him, and he was struck to the ground with three-and-twenty wounds. Thus he, who had deluged the world with the blood of his countrymen, deluged the senate-house at last with his own.
- CHAP. III. CAESAR AUGUSTUS.
The Roman people, when Caesar and Pompey were killed, thought that they had returned to their state of pristine freedom; and they would have returned to him, had neither Pompey left children, nor Caesar an heir; or, what was worse, had not Antony, once the sharer and afterwards the rival of Caesar's power, survived to be the incendiary and disturber of the succeeding age. For as Sextus Pompey sought to recover what was his father's, consternation was spread over the whole sea; as Octavius tried to revenge his father's death, Thessaly was again to be disquieted; and as Antony, a man of fickle disposition, either showed displeasure, that Octavius should succeed Caesar, or, from love of Cleopatra, was ready to degenerate into a king, the Romans could not otherwise find safety but by taking refuge in a state of servitude. Yet, in the midst of their great distractions, it was a source of congratulations to them that the sovereign power fell into the hands of Augustus Caesar, rather than those of any other man; for he, by his wisdom and prudence, reduced to order the body of the empire, which was distracted in every part, and which, doubtless, would never have coalesced and harmonised again, had it not been regulated by the direction of one president, as by one soul and mind.
In the consulship of Mark Antony and Publius Dolabella, when Fortune was proceeding to transfer the empire to the Caesars, there arose various and manifold convulsions in the state; and, as it happens in the annual revolution of the heavens, that the constellations by their motions occasion thunder, and make known their change of place by change of weather, so, in the change of condition in the Roman government, that is, of the whole human race, the body of the empire was shaken throughout, and distracted with all kinds of perils, and civil wars both by land and sea.
- CHAP. IV. THE CONFLICT AT MUTINA.
The first occasion of civil commotion was Caesar's will, whose second heir, Antony, enraged that Octavius was preferred before him, raised a desperate war to set aside the adoption of the spirited young man. Seeing that he was but a tender youth, under eighteen years of age, and therefore a fit and proper subject, as he thought, for any ill-usage, while he himself was of high dignity from his long service with Caesar, he proceeded to dismember his inheritance by clandestine acts of injustice, to attack him personally with opprobrious language, and to hinder, by all imaginable artifices, his co-optation into the Julian family. At last, to crush the young man entirely, he openly took up arms against him, and, having got an army in Cisalpine Gaul, besieged Decimus Brutus, who opposed his movements, in Mutina; but Octavius Caesar, recommended to public favour by his age and injuries, and by the greatness of the name which he had assumed, recalled the veterans to arms, and, though but a private person, engaged (who would believe it?) with a consul. He relieved Brutus from the siege at Mutina, and drove Antony from his camp. On that occasion, too, he behaved gallantly in action; for, wounded and covered with blood, he carried back an eagle, which had been committed to him by a dying standard-bearer, upon his shoulder into the camp.
- CHAP. V. THE SIEGE OF PERUSIA.
The distribution of lands among the soldiers occasioned another war; lands which Caesar assigned the veterans in his army as the reward of their service. Fulvia, the wife of Antony, girt with a sword in the field like a man, stimulated Antony's mind, which otherwise was always sufficiently ill-disposed, to action. By rousing the husbandmen, therefore, who had been driven from their lands, he produced another war. Caesar now attacked him as one attacks an enemy, not by private opinion, but by the suffrages of the whole senate, shut him up within the walls of Perusia, and, by means of a wretched famine, that had recourse to every expedient, forced him at last to a surrender.
- CHAP. VI. THE TRIUMVIRATE.
When Antony, even alone, was a hindrance to the public quiet, and a trouble to the state, Lepidus was joined with him, as one fire to another. What could Caesar then do against two armies? He was necessitated to join in a most cruel league with their leaders. The views of all the three were different. The desire of wealth, of which there was a fair prospect from a disturbance of the state, animated Lepidus; the hope of taking vengeance on those who had declared him an enemy, instigated Antony; the death of his father unavenged, while Cassius and Brutus lived offensive to his manes, actuated Caesar. With a view to a confederacy for these objects, a peace was made among the three generals. At Confluentes, between Perusia and Bononia, they joined hands, and the armies saluted each other. After no good precedent, a Triumvirate was established; and the state being subjugated by force of arms, the proscription, first introduced by Sylla, was revived. Its fury embraced no fewer than a hundred and forty senators. The deaths of many, who fled into all parts of the world, were shocking, cruel, and mournful; such, indeed, as no one can sufficiently lament. Antony proscribed Lucius Caesar, his own uncle; Lepidus, Lucius Paulus, his own brother. It was now a common practice to expose the heads of such as had been killed, on the Rostra at Rome; but, though such was the case, the city could not refrain from tears, when the head of Cicero, severed from his body, was seen on that very Rostra which he had made his own; nor was there a less concourse to see him there than there had formerly been to hear him. These atrocities proceeded from the lists of Antony and Lepidus. Caesar was content with proscribing the assassins of his father; the deaths of whom, had they been less numerous, might have been thought just.
- CHAP. VII. THE WAR RAISED BY CASSIUS AND BRUTUS.
Brutus and Cassius seemed to have cast Caesar, like another king Tarquin, from the sovereignty; but the liberty, which by his assassination they had hoped to restore, they entirely lost. After the murder was committed, they fled from the senate house to the Capitol, being afraid, and not without reason, of Caesar's veterans, who did not want inclination to avenge his death, but had no leader. As it appeared, however, that desolation threatened the commonwealth, vengeance was not then thought proper to be pursued.
But, to escape the eye of the public grief, Brutus and Cassius withdrew into Syria and Macedonia, the very provinces assigned them by the Caesar whom they had slain. Vengeance for Caesar was thus delayed rather than smothered. The government being regulated, therefore, rather as it was possible than as it was requisite, by the Triumviri, and Lepidus being left to guard the city, Caesar, accompanied by Antony, prepared for a war against Cassius and Brutus, who, having collected a vast force, had taken post on the same ground that had been fatal to Cnaeus Pompey. But evident omens of destined calamity were observed on this occasion. Birds, accustomed to feed on dead bodies, flew around the camp as if it were already their own. An Ethiopian meeting the troops, as they were proceeding to the field of battle, was too plainly a dismal sign. Some black phantom, too, appeared to Brutus in the night, when he was meditating, after his custom, with a lamp by his side, and, being asked what it was, replied, "Thy evil Genius." Thus it spoke, and vanished from his eyes while he was wondering at its appearance.
In Caesar's camp the birds and victims gave predictions with equal significance, but all for the better. Nothing, however, was more remarkable, than that Caesar's physician was admonished in a dream, that "Caesar should quit his camp, which was destined to be taken," as afterwards happened. For when the battle had commenced, and both sides had fought for some time with equal spirit, (though the leaders were not present, one of whom sickness, and the other fear and indolence, had detained from the field, yet the invincible fortune, both of the avenger and the avenged, supported the party, the danger being at first equally threatening to either side, as indeed the event of the conflict showed,) the cam of Caesar was taken on the one side, and that of Cassius on the other. But how much more powerful is fortune than conduct, and how true is that which Brutus said when he was dying, that "Virtue existed not in reality, but merely in name!" A mistake settled the victory in this battle. Cassius, at a time when one of his wings was giving way, observing his cavalry, after having surprised Caesar's camp, coming back at full speed, imagined that they were fleeing, and withdrew to a neighbouring hill, where the dust and confusion, with the approach of night, obstructing his view of the action, and a scout, whom he sent for the purpose, being slow in bringing intelligence, he concluded that his party was utterly defeated, and caused one of his followers to strike off his head.
Brutus, having lost his very soul in Cassius, and being resolved to adhere strictly to their compact, (for they had agred that both should survive the battle, or neither,) presented his side to one of his attendants, that he might run him through with his sword.
Who cannot but wonder, that these wisest of men did not use their own hands to despatch themselves? But perhaps this was avoided from principle, that they might not, in releasing their most pure and pious souls, stain their own hands, but, while they used their own judgment, might allow the crime of the execution to be another's.
- CHAP. VIII. THE WAR WITH SEXTUS POMPEY.
Though the assassins of Caesar were cut off, the house of Pompey was yet left. One of the young men, his sons, had fallen in Spain; but the other had escaped by flight, and, having collected the relics of the unhappy war, and armed a body of slaves, kept possession of Sicily and Sardinia. He had now also covered the sea with a fleet. But how different was he to his father! The one had suppressed the Cilician pirates; the other carried pirates in his own vessels. This youth was entirely overpowered, in the Strait of Messina, with a vastly superior force; and, had he attempted nothing afterwards, would have carried with him to the grave the reputation of a great commander. But it is the mark of a great genius to hope always. After his defeat he fled, and sailed to Asia, where he was destined to fall into the hands and fetters of enemies, and, what is most intolerable to the brave, to die by the sentence of his foes under the axe of the executioner. There never was a more wretched flight since that of Xerxes. For he who, a short time before, was master of three hundred and fifty ships, fled with only six or seven, putting out the light of his own vessel, casting his rings into the sea, and looking anxiously behind him, yet not afraid that he should perish.
- CHAP. IX. THE PARTHIAN WAR, UNDER VENTIDIUS.
Although Caesar, by defeating Cassius and Brutus, had disabled their party, and, by cutting off Pompey, had extirpated its very name, yet he could not succeed in establishing peace as long as that rock, knot, and obstacle to the public tranquillity, Antony, remained alive. He himself, indeed, by reason of his vices, was not wanting to his own destruction; but by indulging, from ambition and luxury, in every irregular course, he first freed our enemies, then his own countrymen, and lastly the age in which he lived, from the dread of him.
The Parthians, on the overthrow of Crassus, had assumed greater courage, and had heard with joy of the civil discords among the Romans. As soon, therefore, as an opportunity showed itself, they did not hesitate to rise in arms, especially as Labienus earnestly incited them, who, having been sent thither by Brutus and Cassius, such is the madness of civil discord, had solicited the enemies of Rome to assist them. The Parthians, under the conduct of Pacorus, a youth of the royal family, expelled the garrisons of Antony. Saxa, Antony's lieutenant-general, owed it to his sword that he did not fall into their hands. At length, Syria being taken from us, the evil extended itself more widely, as the enemy, under pretence of aiding others, were conquering for themselves, and would have continue to conquer, had not Ventidius, also a lieutenant-general of Antony, overthrown, with incredible good fortune, not only the forces of Labienus, but Pacorus himself, and all the Parthian cavalry, along the whole plain betwen the Orontes and Euphrates. The slain amounted to more than twenty thousand. Nor was this effected without stratagem on the part of the general, who, pretending fear, suffered the enemy to come so close to our camp, that, by depriving them of room for discharging their arrows, he rendered them useless. The prince fell fighting with great bravery; and his head being carried about through the cities which had revolted, Syria was soon recovered without further war. Thus by the slaughter of Pacorus we made compensation for the overthrow of Crassus.
- CHAP. X. THE WAR OF ANTONY WITH THE PARTHIANS.
After the Parthians and Romans had made trial of one another, and Crassus and Pacorus had given proof of their mutual strength, their former friendship was renewed with expressions of equal regard on either side, and a treaty with the king concluded by Antony himself. But such was the excessive vanity of the man, that being desirous, from a love of distinction, to have Araxes and Euphrates read under his statues, he suddenly quitted Syria, and made an inroad on those very Parthians, and that without any cause or reason, or even pretended proclamation of war, as if it were among a general's accomplishments to surprise people by stealth. The Parthians, who, besides having confidence in their arms, are crafty and subtle, pretended to be alarmed, and to retreat across the plains. Antony, as if already victorious, instantly pursued, when suddenly a body of the enemy, not very numerous, rushed suddenly forth, like a storm of rain, upon the Romans, who, as it was evening, were tired with the day's march. Discharging their arrows from all sides, they overwhelmed two legions. But this was nothing in comparison with the destruction that would have met them on the following day, had not the mercy of the gods interposed. One of the Romans who had survived the overthrow of Crassus, rode up to the camp in a Parthian dress, and having saluted the soldiers in Latin, and thus gained credit with them, told them of the danger which threatened them: saying, that "the king would soon come up with all his forces; that they ought therefore to retreat, and take shelter in the mountains; and that possibly, even if they did so, enemies would not be wanting." In consequence, a smaller number of enemies overtook them than had been intended. Overtake them, however, they did; and the rest of the army would have been destroyed, had not the soldiers, while the arrows were falling on them like hail, fortunately sunk down, as if they had been taught, upon their knees, holding up their shields above their heads, and making it appear as if they were killed. The Parthians then refrained from shooting. When the Romsn afterwards rose up, the proceeding appeared so like a miracle, that one of the barbarians exclaimed, "Go, and fare ye well, Romans; fame deservedly speaks of you as the conquerors of nations, since you have escaped death from the arrows of the Parthians." After this, there was no less endured from want of water, than at the hands of the enemy. The country, in the first place, was deadly from its drought; the river, too, with its brackish and bitter water, was more deadly to some; and besides, even good water was pernicious to many, being drunk greedily when they were in a weak condition. Subsequently the heat of Armenia, the snows of Cappadocia, and the sudden change of climate from one to the other, was as destructive as a pestilence. Scarce the third part, therefore, of sixteen legions being left, and his silver being everywhere cut up with hatchets, the excellent general, begging death, from time to time, at the hands of a gladiator of his, escaped at last into Syria, where, by some unaccountable perversion of mind, he grew considerably more presuming than before, as if he had conquered because he had escaped.
- CHAP. XI. THE WAR WITH ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.
The madness of Antony, which could not be allayed by ambition, was at last terminated by luxury and licentiousness. After his expedition against the Parthians, while he was disgusted with war and lived at ease, he fell in love with Cleopatra, and, as if his affairs were quite prosperous, enjoyed himself in the queen's embraces.
The Egyptian woman demanded of the drunken general, as the price of her favours, nothing less than the Roman empire. This Antony promised her; as though the Romans had been easier to conquer than the Parthians. He therefore aspired to sovereignty, and not indeed covertly, but forgetting his country, name, toga, and fasces, and degenerating wholly, in thought, feeling, and dress, into a monster. In his hand there was a golden sceptre; a scymitar by his side; his robe was of purple, clasped with enormous jewels; and he wore a diadem, that he might dally with the queen as a king.
At the first report of his new proceedings, Caesar had crossed the sea from Brundusium to meet the approaching war. Having pitched his camp in Epirus, he beset the island of Leucas, Mount Leucate, and the horns of the Ambracian Gulf, with a powerful fleet. We had more than four hundred vessels, the enemy about two hundred, but their bulk made up for their inferiority in number; for, having from six banks of oars to nine, and being mounted with towers and high decks, they moved along like castles and cities, while the sea groaned and the winds were fatigued. Yet their magnitude was their destruction. Caesar's vessels rose from three banks of oars to not more than six, and being therefore ready for all that necessity required, whether for charging, retreating, or wheeling around, they attacked, several at once, each of those heavy vessels, too unwieldy for any kind of contest, as well with missile weapons, as with their beaks, and firebrands hurled into them, and dispersed them at their pleasure. Nor was the greatness of the enemy's force shown by anything so much as by what occurred after the victory. The vast fleet, being shattered in the engagement, spread the spoils of the Arabians and Sabaeans, and a thousand other nations of Asia, over the whole face of the deep. The waves, driven onward by the winds, were continually throwing up purple and gold on the shore. The queen, commencing the flight, made off into the open sea with her gilded vessel and sails of purple. Antony immediately followed.
But Caesar pursued hard on their track. Neither their preparations, therefore, for flight into the Ocean, nor the securing of the two horns of Egypt, Paraetonium and Pelusium, with garrisons, were of the least profit to them. They were almost caught by Caesar's own hand. Antony was the first to use his sword against himself. The queen, falling at the feet of Caesar, tempted his eyes in vain; for her charms were too weak to overcome the prince's continence. Her suit was not for life, which was offered her, but for a portion of the kingdom. Despairing of obtaining this from Caesar, and seeing that she was reserved for his triumph, she took advantage of the negligence of her guard, and withdrew herself into a mausoleum, a name which they give to the sepulchres of their kings. Having there put on her best apparel, as she used to be dressed, she placed herself by her dear Antony in a coffin filled with rich perfumes, and, applying serpents to her veins, died a death resembling sleep.
- CHAP. XII. THE WARS WITH FOREIGN NATIONS.
This was the termination of the civil wars. Those which followed were with foreign nations, and started up in various parts of the world while the empire was distracted with its own troubles. Peace was new; and the swelling and proud necks of the nations had not yet accumstomed to the curb of bondage, recoiled from the yoke that had been but recently imposed upon them. The part of the world lying to the north, peopled by the Norici, Illyrians, Pannonians, Dalmatians, Mysians, Thracians, Dacians, Sarmatians, and Germans, was in general the most violent.
The Alps and their snows, to which they thought that war could not reach, gave confidence to the Norici; but Caesar, with the aid of his step-son, Claudius Drusus, subjugated all the people of those regions, the Brenni, Senones, and Vindelici. How savage these nations were, their women plainly proved, for, when weapons failed, they threw their very infants, after having dashed them on the ground, in the faces of the soldiers.
The Illyrians lie at the foot of the Alps, and guard their deep valleys, which are a sort of barriers of defence to them, surrounded by precipitous torrents. Against this people Caesar himself underttok an expedition, and ordered bridges to be constructed in order to reach them. Here the waters and the enemy throwing his men into some confusion, he snatched a shield from a soldier hesitating to mount a bridge, and was the first to march across; and when the army had followed, and the Illyrins, from their numbers, had broken down the bridge, he, wounded in his hands and legs, and appearing more comely in blood and more majestic in danger, did great execution on the enemy's rear.
The Pannonians were defended by two forests, as well as by three rivers, the Drave, the Save, and the Ister. After laying waste the lands of their neighbours, they had withdrawn themselves within the banks of the streams. To reduce them, he despatched Vibius, and they were cut to pieces along both the rivers.</ref>Along both the rivers] In utrisque fluminibus. Three rivers are mentioned above, tribus fluviis, Dravo, Savo, Histroque. But Histro is not found in all the manuscripts, and Salmasius conjectures satis acribus fluviis, Dravo Savoque.</ref> The arms of the conquered were not burnt, according to the usage of war, but were gathered up, and thrown into the rivers, that the news of the victory might thus be conveyed to those who still held out.
The Dalmatians live for the most part in woods, whence they boldly sally out to commit robberies. This people Marcius had before, as it were, deprived of a head, by burning their city Delminium. Afterwards Asinius Pollio, he that was the second orator in Rome, deprived them of their flocks, arms, and lands. But Augustus committed the final subjugation of them to Vibius, who forced the savages to dig the earth, and collect the gold from its veins, for which this nation, naturally the most covetous of all people, seeks with care and industry, so that they appear to hoard it for their own purposes.
To describe how cruel and inhuman the Mysians are, and how much the most barbarous of all barbarians, would be a horrid task. One of their leaders, calling for silence in front of the army, exclaimed, "Who are you?" The answer retuirned was, "The Romans, lords of all nations." "So you may be," they retorted, "if you conquer us." Marcus Crassus took their words for an omen. They, having straightway offered up a horse before their lines, made a vow that "they would sacrifice, and eat, the bowels of the Roman generals that they should kill." I could suppose that the gods heard them, for they could not endure even the sound of our trumpets. Domitius, a centurion, a man of stolidity sufficiently barbarous, yet effective against men like himself, struck the savages with no small terror, by mounting a pan of coals upon his helmet, and shedding from his head, which appeared on fire, a flame excited by the motion of his body.
Before these the people of Thrace had revolted. These barbarians had been accustomed to the military standards, discipline, and arms of the Romans. But being subdued by Piso, they showed their violent spirit even in captivity, attempting to bite their chains, and thus punishing their own fierceness.
The Dacians live among the mountains. But, whenever the Danube became passable by being frozen, they were accustomed, at the command of Cotiso their king, to make descents, and lay waste the neighbouring country. This people, so difficult of approach, Caesar Augustus determined to drive back. Having despatched Lentulus for this perpose, he repulsed them beyond the further bank, and built garrisons on this side of the river. The Dacians were not, therefore, conquered, but repelled, and left for a future opportunity.
The Sarmatians occupy wide plains, in which they ride about; and it was though sufficient to prevent them, by the expertions of the same Lentulus, from crossing the Danube. They have nothing on the face of their territory but snows and a few woods, and such savages are they, that they known not what peace is.
I wish he had not thought it of so much importance to conquer Germany. The dishonour with which it was lost was greater than the glory with which it was gained. But because he knew that Caesar, his father, had twice made bridges over the Rhine to prosecute the war against the country, he was desirous, in honour of him, to make it a province, and it would have been made so effectually, if the barbarians could have endured our vices as well as our government. Drusus, being sent to the country, first subdued the Usipetes, and then overran the districts of the Tenctheri and Catti. Of the remarkable spoils of the Marcomanni he raised a high mound, by way of a trophy. Next he attacked, at the same time, the three powerful tribes of the Cherusci, Suevi, and Sicambri, who had commenced the war by burning twenty of our centurions, regarding this proceeding as a bond of union, and entertaining such confident hopes of victory, that they divided the spoil by agreement beforehand. The Cherusci chose the horses, the Suevi the gold and silver, and the Sicambri the captives. But all happened contrary to their expectations; for Drusus, proving conqueror, divided their horses, cattle, gold chains, and themselves, as spoil, and sold them. For the defence of the provinces, too, he fixed garrisons, and bodies of guards, along the Meuse, the Elbe, and the Weser. On the banks of the Rhine he raised more than fifty fortresses. He built bridges at Bonn and Gesoriacum, and secured them with ships. He opened a way through the Hercynian forest, which, till that time, had been unpenetrated and unattempted. At length such peace was made throughout Germany, that the inhabitants seemed changed, the ground different from what it was, and the air milder and softer than it was wont to be. And when that brave young man died there, the senate gave him a surname from the province, (an honour which they had never bestowed on any other general,) not from flattery, but in testimony of his merit.
But it is more difficult to retain provinces than to acquire them. They are obtained by force, but secured by justice. Our exultation was accordingly but short. The Germans had been defeated rather than subdued. Under the rule of Drusus they respected our manners rather than our arms. But when Drusus was dead, they began to detest the licentiousness and pride, no less than the cruelty, of Quintilius Varus. He ventured to call an assembly, and administered justice in his camp, as if he could restrain the violence of barbarians by the rods of a lictor and voice of a crier. But the Germans, who had long regretted that their swords were covered with rust, and their horses idle, proceeded, as soon as they saw the toga, and felt laws more cruel than arms, to go to war under the conduct of Arminius, while Varus, meantime, was so well assured of peace, that he was not the least alarmed, even by a revious notice, and subsequent discover of the plot, made by Segestes, one of the enemy's chieftains. Having, therefore, risen upon him unawares, and fearing nothing of the kind, while he, with a strange want of precaution, was actually summoning them to his tribunal, they assailed him on every side, seized his camp, and cut off three legions. Varus met his overthrow with the same fortune and spirit with which Paulus met the day of Cannae. Never was slaughter more bloody than that which was made of the Romans among the marshes and woods; never were insults more intolerable than those of the barbarians, especially such as they inflicted on the pleaders of causes. Of some they tore out the eyes, of others they cut off the hands. Of one the mouth was sewed up, after his tongue had been cut out, which one of the savages holding in his hand, cried, "At last, viper, cease to hiss." The body of the consul himself, which the affection of the soldiers had buried, was dug out of the ground. To this day the barbarians keep possession of the standards and two eagles, the third, the standard-bearer, before it fell into the hands of the enemy, wrenched off, and keeping it hid within the folds of his belt, concealed himself in the blood-stained marsh. In consequence of this massacre, it happened that the empire, which had not stopped on the shore of the Ocean, found its course checked on the banks of the Rhine.
Such were the occurrences in the north. In the south there were rather disturbances than wars. Augustus quelled the Musulanians and Getulians, who border on the Syrtes, by the agency of Cossus, who had thence the surname of Getulicus. But his successes extended further. He assigned the Marmardiae and Garamantes to Curinius to subdue, who might have returned with the surname of Marmaricus, had he not been too modest in setting a value on his victory.
There was more trouble with the Armenians in the east, whither Augustus sent one of the Caesars his grandsons. Both of them were short-lived, but only one of them died without glory. Lucius was carried off by disease at Marseilles, Caius in Syria by a wound, whilsy he was engaged in recovering Armenia, which had revolted to the Parthians. Pompey, after the defeat of king Tigranes, had accustomed the Armenians to such a degree of bondage as to receive rulers from us. The exercise of this right, after having been interrupted, was, by Caius Drusus, recovered in a slight struggle, which, however, was not without bloodshed. Domnes, whom the king had made governor of Artaxata, pretending that he would betray the place, struck Drusus as he was intent on perusing a scroll, which the assasin had just presented to him as containing an account of the treasures. He was hurt, but recovered of the wound for a time. But Domnes, pursued on all sides by the incensed army, made some atonement to Caesar while he still survived, not only by his sword, but a burning pyre, on which, when wounded, he cast himself.
In the west, almost all Spain was subdued, except that part which the Hither Ocean washes, and which lies close upon the rocks at the extremity of the Pyrenees. Here two very powerful nations, the Catabrians and Asturians, lay exempt from the dominion of the Romans. The spirit of the Cantabrians was the more mischievous, more haughty, and more obstinate in raising war; for not content with defending their liberty, they also attempted to domineer over their neighbours, and harassed, with frequent inroads, the Vaccaei, the Curgonii, and the Autrigonae.
Against this people, therefore, as they were said to be pursuing violent measures, an expedition was not committed by Augustus to another, but undertaken by himself. He advanced to Segisama, where he pitched his camp, and then, dividing his army, he inclosed by degrees the whole of Campania, and caught the savage people, like wild beasts, as with a circle of nets. Nor were they spared on the side of the Ocean, where theur rear was vigorously assailed by a fleet. His first battle against the Cantabrians was under the walls of Vellica. Hence they fled to the lofty mountain Vinnius, which they thought the waters of the Ocean would ascend sooner than the arms of the Romans. In the third place, the town of Aracillum made violent resistance; but it was at last taken. At the siege of the mountain Medullus, (which he had surrounded with a trench of fifteen miles in length,) when the Romans pressed forward on every side, and the barbarians saw themselves reduced to extremity, they eagerly hastened their own deaths at a banquet, with fire, sword, and a kind of poison, which is there commonly extracted from yew-trees; and thus the greater part escaped the captivity which threatened them. Of this success, obtained by his lieutenant-generals Antistius, Furnius, and Agrippa, Caesar received the news while wintering on the sea-coast at Tarraco. He himself, arriving at the place, brought some of the inhabitants down from the mountains, bound others by taking hostages of them, and sold others, by right of war, for slaves. The achievement appeared to the senate worthy of the laurel and triumphal chariot, but Caesar was now so great that he could despise chariots.
The Asturians, at the same time, had come down in a vast body from their mountains; nor had they undertaken an enterprise rashly, like barbarians, but, having pitched their camp at the river Astura, and divided their forces into three parts, they prepared to attack three camps of the Romans at once. With such brave enemies, coming upon us so suddenly and in such order, there would have been a doubtful and desperate combat, (and would that I could think the loss on both sides would have been equal!) had not the Trigaecini betrayed them. Carisius, forewarned by the latter people, and coming up with his army, frustrated the enemy's designs, though not even thus without bloodshed. Lancia, a strong city, received the survivors of the routed army. Here there was so fierce an encounter, that firebrands were called for to burn the city after it was taken, when the general with difficulty prevailed with the troops to spare it, "that it might be a monument of the Roman victory as it stood, rather than burnt."
This was the termination of the campaigns of Augustus, as well as the rebellion in Spain. The fidelity of the Spaniards towards us was afterwards unshaken, and peaced remained uninterrupted; a consequence resulting as well from their own disposition, which was now more inclined to tranquillity, as from the managment of Caesar, who, dreading their confidence in the mountains where they sheltered themselves, ordered them to occupy and inhabit the part in which his camp had been, and which was level ground. This regulation was noticed as one of great prudence. The country round about contains gold, and yields vermillion, chrysocolla, and other pigments. He accordingly ordered the soil to be worked. Thus the Asturians became acquainted with their treasures hid in the earth, but searching for them for others.
All nations in the west and south being subdued, and all to the north between the Rhine and Danube, as well as all to the east between the Cyrus and Euphrates, the other countries also, which had not fallen under the authority of Rome, yet grew sensible of her grandeur, and reverenced a people who had conquered so many nations. The Scythians and Sarmatians sent ambassadors to us, desiring our friendship. The Seres, too, and the Indians who live under the very sun, coming with jewels and pearls, and bringing also elephants among their presents, thought they proved their respect to Augustus by nothing so much as the length of their journey, which they had taken four years to complete. The complexion of the men showed that they came from another climate. The Parthians, also, as if they repented of their victory, brought back, of their own accord, the standards which they had taken on the overthrow of Crassus.
Thus there was everywhere, throughout the whole world, uniform and uninterrupted peace or agreement; and Caesar Augustus, in the seven hundredth year from the foundation of the city, ventured to shut the temple of double-faced Janus, which had been shut twice before, in the reign of Numa, and when Carthage was first conquered. Afterwards, applying his thoughts to secure transquillity, he kept in order, by many strict and severe laws, an age which was prone to every vice, and plunging fast into luxury. For these great achievements, he was styled Perpetual Dictator, and Father of his Country. It was debated, too, in the senate, whether, as he had established the empire, he should not also be called Romulus; but the name of Augustus was thought more sacred and venerable, in order that, while he still lived on earth, he might in name and title be ranked among the gods.
- ↑ Ch. XIII. By judicial privileges] Judiciorum regno. The law respecting the choice of judices was several times altered. At first they were chosen only from the senators; afterwards, by a law of Caius Gracchus, only from the equites; next, by a law of Caepio, from both orders; and various changes succeeded. See Adam's Rom. Antiq., p. 236, 8vo. ed.
- ↑ Caused peculation with regard to taxes] Vectigalia supprimebat. "It was easy for the equites, (many of whom were farmers of the revenues,) when they were granted by the law of Gracchus the privilege of being judices, to favour those of their own class on trials, and thus to allow much malappropriation of the public money." Stadius. "Supressa vectigalia are intercepta et in privatos usus conversa. 'Supprimere pecuniam' for to convert to one's own use occurs in Cic. pro Cluent., c. 25, 36." Duker.
- ↑ Ch. XIV. Mancinus's surrender] Mancinianae deditionis. See ii., 18.
- ↑ A people who had conquered, &c.] The same words occur in the preceding chapter. Probably, as Duker observes, they ought to be omitted in one of the passages.
- ↑ Ch. XVI. His competitor] The competitor of Apueleius. Valerius Maximus, ix., 7, 3, says that he was killed by the people, but calls him Aulus Numius. The manuscripts of Florus vary as to the name.
- ↑ Ch. XVII. Extraordinary privileges] The judices being now elected from the equites. See note on c. 13.
- ↑ Intercepting the public revenues] Interceptis vectigalibus. See note on c. 13.
- ↑ Metellus] See c. 16.
- ↑ Rutilius] He had held the consulship, and was a man of high character, but was brought to trial for extortion, and condemned by a factio of the equitea Stadius.
- ↑ Ch. XVIII. With great justice] Justissime. "This does not seem to be consistent with what is said above, that the allies excited an insurrection with disgrace to themselves (flagitio). Unless Florus means that though the demands of the allies were just, yet they ought to have borne patiently with the refusal of them on the part of Rome, which they were to regard as their mother-city, just as children bear with hard treatment from their parents." Duker.
- ↑ Their whole senate and consuls the Umbrians] Umbros totus senatus et consules. Lipsius, Freinshemius, Faber, Perizonius, Graevius, and Duker, are unanimous in suspecting this passage of being corrupt. The name of a leader seems to be wanting. Perizonius thinks that we should read Popedius Marsos et Latinos; Afranius Umbros; Egnatius Samnium; Lucaniamque Telesinus. "Egnatrius was an eminent general of the enemy, whom Livy, Epit., lib. lxxv. calls nobilissimum ducem, and whom it is not likely that Florus would have omitted to mentioned." Duker.
- ↑ Ch. XIX. To have been dragged home] Retrahi. Many editions have distrahi.
- ↑ Ch. XX. Without sparing themselves] Sine missione. "That is, even to death. Missio was leave to withdraw from the battle, which was sometimes granted to conquered gladiators; but when it was determied that they should fight till one of them was killed, the struggle was said to be sine missione. Freinshemius.
- ↑ Ch. XXI. But even Marius and Sylla] Quum vero—Marius et Sylla. All the commentators see that this passge stands in need of some correction. Freinshemius conjectures jam vero. Lipsius and Madame Dacier, with less felicity tum vero.
- ↑ Under three constellations] Tribus—sideribus. See note on ii., 18.
- ↑ The tribune who was present] Sulpicius, apparently.
- ↑ At enmity with gods and men] Dis hominibusque infestus. Desperate, concious that both gods and men were already enraged at him, and not caring how much further he provoked them.
- ↑ The Caesars] Caius and Lucius, two brothers.
- ↑ He did not stretch out that fatal hand, &c.] Quia fatalem illam scilicet manum non porrexerat salutanti. Ancharius apprached to salute Marius, but Marius did not hold out his hand to him; the followers of Marius, therefore, despatched him, according to directions which they had previously received.
- ↑ Villa Publica] See the pseudo-Sallust's Second Epistle to Caesar, c. 5.
- ↑ Like wild beasts] Ritu ferarum. As beasts would be torn.
- ↑ Enemies condemned, &c.] The concluding sentence of this chapter is nearly unintelligible. It stands thus in Duker's edition: Nam Sulmonem, vetus oppidum, socium atque amicum (facinus indignum!) nondum expugnatusm, it obsides jure belli, et modo morte damnati duci jubentur: sic damnatam civitatem iussit Sulla deleri. For obsides Gronovius proposed to Graevius to read hostes, which succeeding critics have approved. Modo no one has attempted to explain, except Wopkens, (Lect. Tullian, 5, transcribed by Duker,) who says tht it means nulla quaestione adhibita, caeco impetu, or, as we should say, "off-hand." I have given to the passage, in the translation, the sense in which I must suppose that Florus intended; omitting the word damnatam.
- ↑ Ch. XXII. Being driven over the Ocean] Missusque in Oceanum. Missus, as the critics observe, can hardly be right. Lipsius conjectures victus, Perizonius fusus.
- ↑ Domitius and Thorius] Leiutenant-generals of Metellus: the brothers Herculeii, on the side of Sertorius, are mentioned by Frontin., i., 5, 8, Livy, Epit., xc., Eutrop., vi., 1, and other authors.
- ↑ Roman generals] Sertorius and his opponents. Sertorius was by birth a Sabine.
- ↑ Ch. XXIII. But how violent was it!] In all the editions the passage stands, Sed quantum lateque fax illius motus ab ipso Syllae rogo exarsit! Quantum lateque is mere nonsense, as all the commentators allow, except Perizonius, who would name it equivalent to quam late, but, as Duker remarks, he should have shown that other writers so express themselves. N. Heinsius conjectures quantum quamque late; Duker, quam late; Is. Vossius, quam longa lateque. I have not attempted any close adherence to the text. Madame Dacier was inclined to expunge both quantum and lateque.
- ↑ Ch. I. To destroy the city by fire] Distringere incendiis urbem. So as distringendam libertatem, Sen. Benef., vi., 34, where Lipsius would read destringendam.
- ↑ Human blood] See Sall., Cat., c.22.
- ↑ Openly and expressly declaring] Seque palam professo incendium, &c. The passage is evidently corrupt. Madame Dacier would strike out professo; Graevius would eject palam, and read ex professo, adverbially. Gronovius would read seque palam professo, &c., which Vossius, Rupertus, and apparently Duker, approve, and which seems to be the only reasonable was of correcting the passage.
- ↑ Tarcondimotus] A prince of Cilicia; Cotys, a king of Thrace.
- ↑ At the diminution of his triumph over Crete] Ob imminutum Cretae triumphum. "Not complaining without reason, for the greatest ornament of his triumph, the captive leaders, had been kept back by Pompey." Vell. Pat., ii., 40. Dion. Cass., lib. xxxvi.
- ↑ Three vast armies] Tres maximos exercitus. These words are without a verb in the original. "Some verb," says Graevius, "such as habuere, must have been lost out of the text; or the three words must have been an interpolation."
- ↑ In opposition to the effeminacy of its character] Non pro mollitie nominis. "Not in accordance with report, which represented all the Greeks, not excepting those of Marseilles at that period, as unwarlike and spiritless; for that the people of that city had then degenerated from their former reputation for valour, sjhown by Bos on Cic., Ep. Att., x., 12." Duker.
- ↑ Curictian shore] Curictio litore. "From Curicta, a town at the entrance of the Adriatic, called by Ptolemy ??????ta." Salmasius. The copies vary greatly; some have Corcyraeo; others Cretico.
- ↑ A thousand men] Not in one boat; though it would seem to be so from the text.
- ↑ A hundred and twenty weapons penetrated] Centum atque viginti tela sedere. Some copies have centum atque quadraginta. In Caesar, B. C. iii., 58, it is stated that the number of holes in the shield was a hundred and thirty.
- ↑ As with one hand] Quasi una manu. "That is, very easily, without effort; no great force being necessary to effect it." Rupertus.
- ↑ Driven from Syendrae] Pulsis Syedris. "Syedra is mentioned by Ptolemy among the maritime towns of Cilicia; Stephanus calls it a city of Isauris, which is often confounded with Cilicia." Salmasius. Before Salmasius the reading was pulsis (or Pulsus) Hedris, which puzzled all the editors.
- ↑ Damsel] Puella.
- ↑ Dislike for the king, &c.] Odium ipsius regis, &c. There seems to be something wanting in the text here, as Freinshemius and Duker observe.
- ↑ Comes, strikes, and is gone] Venit, percussit, abcessit. He uses the preterperfects for the sake of greater effect, as Pearce imagined that Longinus used the aorists in sect. i., ?f?? d?—t? te p???µata d???? s??pt?? p??ta d?ef???se, ?a? t?? t?? ??t???? ?????a? ??ed???at? d??aµ??, which passage Smith, believing in Pearce, translated, "The sublime—with the rapid force of lightning, has borne down all before it, and shown at one stroke the compacted might of genius." Both should have known better. Minellius aptly compares Vell. Pat., ii., 7: Ego vix crediderim tam mature tantam urbem floruisse, concidisse, resurrexisse. See Sall., Jug., c. 106, coenatos esse.
- ↑ Had strengthened the obligation, &c.] By exciting them to avenge his death.
- ↑ Nor were the leaders too brave, &c.] Et duces fortius quam ut fugerent, &c. Thus stands the passage in Duker's edition, and almost all others, though Salmasius long ago substituted nec, and Freinshemius, Madame Dacier, Perizonius and Duker himself, admitted that the sense demanded the alteration.
- ↑ Funeral dishes] Parentalia fercula. Because Petreius and Juba slew themselves over them.
- ↑ At the very mouth of the Ocean] In ipso ostio Oceani. Near the straits of Gibraltar. "Not far from Crantia, as Dion., ib. xliii., has it, or Cateia, as Hirtius de Bell. Hispan., c. 32." Freinshemius.
- ↑ The internal and external seas] Mare et intestinum et externum. The Mediterranean sea, within the strait of Gibraltar, and the Ocean without it.
- ↑ This was an expression of general feeling] Hic omnium sensus erat. "These words are a contemptible gloss." Freinshemius. "I think otherwise; Florus means that all the soldiers, by this silence, testified what they felt, that they wished an end to be put to civil contention." Graevius. "If this was Florus's meaning, he ought to have expressed it more plainly, by adding or prefixing something to the words." Duker.
- ↑ Arsinoe—displayed] In ferculus—Arsinoe. Madame Dacier thinks that by Arsinoe Florus means the picture of a city by that name; Duker supposes that he intends the portrait of Arsinoe, the sister of Cleopatra, but observes that he must have erred from not knowing that Arsinoe herself was led in the triumph with other captives, as is told by Dion Cassius, lib. Xliii. Ferculum was a sort of frame or stage on which things were carried in triumphal processions.
- ↑ For which he had no triumph] He did not triumph on account of those battles, says Freinshemius, because in them he had conquered, not foreigners, but his own countrymen. See iii., 22, fin. "Yet that the representations of the contests at Pharsalus and Thapsus, as well as the portraits of the brave men who fell in them, Scipio, Cato, and Petreius, were carried in triumph, is stated by Appian, Bell. Civ., lib. ii.; * * * * that he triumphed, a fifth time, for his victory over the Pompeys at Munda, is testified both by Dion Cassius, l. xliii., and by Plutarch in his life of Caesar." Duker.
- ↑ And Faustus Sylla, (he had learned to be afraid of sons-in-law,) &c.] Et Faustum Sullam: dedicerat generos timere: filaimque Pompeii cum patruelibus ex Sulla. Under the term sons-in-law Florus comprehends Pompey and Faustus Sylla. Caesar had learned from Pompey to dread a son-in-law, and he now dreaded Faustus Sylla, who, as florus appears to think, was his grandson-in-law, by having married Pompey's daughter. But on this point Florus, as Graevius remarks, is in error, for Julia, Caesar's daughter, died childless; and Faustus Sylla's marriage with a daughter of Pompey by another wife did not at all connect him with Caesar. To the word patruelibus no critic has professed to give a satisfactory sense; it admits, indeed, of no explanation, for patruelis is a "cousin-german," and to whom can we suppose that Florus called the children of Faustus Sylla "cousin-germans?" I have therefore, instead of it, adopted parvulis, the conjecture of Perizonius, approved both by Graevius and Duker.
- ↑ Regard was had to posterity] Posteris cavebatur. Lest, if any offspring of Sylla should be left, it might be the means of raising a new war. But Hirtius, De Bell. Afric., c. 95, gives a quite different account of the matter, saying that Caesar "granted the daughter of Pompey, and her children by Faustus Sylla, their lives and all their property."
- ↑ Ch. III. His father's death] The death of Julius Caesar, his father by adoption.
- ↑ Was ready to degenerate into a king] Descisit in regem. "An elegant expression, and agreeable to the feelings of the old Romans, to whom the name of king was detestable." Freinshemius.
- ↑ Ch. IV. Second heir] Secundus hoeres. "Camers says that he has nowhere else read this, but I remember to have read it in Dion. Cass., lib. xliv. The second heir is he who takes the place of the first should the first die before the death of the testator." Vinetus.
- ↑ Ch. VI. What could Caesar then do, &c.] The word Caesar is wanting in the text, but Graevius shows the necessity of adopting it.
- ↑ Confluentes] At the confluence of the Moselle and the Rhine, now Coblenz.
- ↑ After no good precedent] Nullo bono more. "In allusion to the preceding triumvirate of Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus." Duker.
- ↑ Ch. VII. Vengeance was not then thought proper, &c.] Displicuit ultio. After these words follow cum consulis abolitione decreta, of which, according to the unanimous voice of the commentators, no sense can be made, and which I have consequently omitted.
- ↑ Fear and indolence] Metus et ignavia. That Antony was thus kept from the field, seems to be a gratuitous assertion on the part of Florus. Plutarch merely observes that "some said Antony was absent from the battle, and did not arive in the field till his men were in pursuit of the enemy." Vit. Ant., c 28. See also Vit. Brut., c. 61. No other authority is adduced on the subject.
- ↑ Virtue existed—merely in name] This saying of Brutus is wholly inapplicable here. Florus first uses virtus in a military sense, (for conduct or ability,) and then confounds it with virtus in a moral sense.
- ↑ Both should survive the battle, or neither] Ita enim par superesse bello convenerat. Of these words, from which the critics extract no satisfactory sense, I have borrowed Clarke's translation. Freinshemius seems to offer the best emendation: Ita enim super isto bello convenerat. "Quid sibi velit hic par," says Salmasius, "non video."
- ↑ From principle] Ex persuasione. "The word persuasio is also applied to the sentiments and principles of the philosophers by Quintilian, xii., 2." Duker. The sentiment at the conclusion of this chapter is, as Salmasus says, sufficiently turgid.
- ↑ Ch. VIII. With a vastly superior force] Tanta mole. The tanta is evidently corrupt. Tollius conjectures tandem tota mole.
- ↑ Casting his rings into the sea] Annulis in mare abjectis. What rings are meant, is a point of dispute. Madame Dacier and Duker think that they are the rings Sextus Pompey wore on his fingers, and which he threw away that he might not be known by them. Rupertus supposes that they were the fetters worn by the rowrs who were the slaves of Pompey, (fetters being called rings by Martial, Epig., ii., 29, xi., 38,) and which were thrown away that they might make less noise; a supposition much less probable than the other.
- ↑ Not afraid that he should perish] Non timens ne periret. "Here I accept the interpretation of Rupertus, who says that Sextus Pompey had hopes of safety from Antony." Duker.
- ↑ Ch. IX. Knot and obstacle] Nodus et mora. "In imitation of Virgil, Aen., x., 428: Pugnae nodumque moramque. Freinshemius.
- ↑ More than twenty thousand] Viginti amplius millium fuit. "The author is obscure," as Duker remarks, "from excess of brevity," for he leaves it uncertain whether the slaughter was of the cavalry or of the whole army. I have followed the interpretation of Faber.
- ↑ Ch. X. With its brackish and bitter water] Salinacidis, sc. aquis, according to Salmasius, whom Graevius and Duker follow. A word compounded of salinus (for salsus) and acidus. Others write the word salmacidus, as in Plin. H. N., xxxi., 8, 22; but Salmasius's method appears the better.
- ↑ And his silver being everywhere cut up with hatchets] Quum argentum ejus passim dolabris concideretur. Thuis was done, according to Plutarch, by Antony's own soldiers, during a riot. "Those who were known to be possessed of gold or silver were slain and plundered, and the money conveyed in the baggage was carried off. Last of all his [Antony's] own baggage was seized, and the richest bowls and tables were cut asunder and divided among the pillagers." Life of Antony, c. 64. Langhorne's Translation.
- ↑ Into a monster] In illud monstrum. That is, into that momster of a king, such as he is afterwards described. See note on desciscit in regem, c. 3.
- ↑ Preparations—for flight into the Ocean] Praeparata in Oceanum fuga. Florus alludes to the project of Cleopatra, to draw her vessels over the Isthmus of Suez from the Mediterranean into the Red Sea, and to flee to some more remote country. See Plutarch, Vit. Anton., c. 89.
- ↑ A name which they give to the sepulchres of their kings] Sepulcgra regum sic vocant. Salmasius and Freinshemius would eject these words, as a mere intruded gloss.
- ↑ In a coffin] In solio. "Solium is here put for the loculus (coffin) in which dead bodies were buried; as in Plin H. N., xxxv., 12; Q. Curt., x., 1, 32." Freinshemius. Also Suet. Ner., c. 50; Solium Porphyretici marmoris.
- ↑ Ch. XII. How savage these nations were] Quae fuerit callidarum ventium feritas. The word callidarum, with which none of the critics are satisfied, I have omitted. Salmasius conjectures Alpicarum; Nic. Heinsius Validarum.
- ↑ A sort of barriers] Et quaedam quasi claustra. I read ut with Gruter.
- ↑ Here the waters and the enemy, &c.] Hic se et aquis et hoste turbantibus. "I cannot see the propriety of the promoun se, and could wish it were absent. * * * But if for se were substituted suos, there would be no obscurity." Duker.
- ↑ More comely in blood and more majestic in danger] Speciosior sanguine, et ipse periculo augustior.
- ↑ He that was the second orator in Rome] Hic secundus orator. "I know n ot what these words mean, unless it be that Pollio was second to Cicero. I would rather read facundus; * * * but, to say the truth, I am inclined to think the words a mere gloss, which somebody had written in the margin of his copy as his own description of Pollio." Freinshemius. Vinetus, Isaac Vossius, Madame Dacier, Tollins, and Duker, are of the same opinion.
- ↑ The people of Thrace] Thracum maxime populus. I have omitted maxime, as unintelligible. Madame Dacier and Graevius would read maximus.
- ↑ Drusus] Step-son of Augustus; the same that is mentioned by Horace, Od., iv., 4.
- ↑ Gesoriacum] Afterwards called Bononia, whence its modern name Boulogne.
- ↑ More difficult to retain, &c.] He has the same remark, ii., 17.
- ↑ To this day—two eagles] Aquilas duas adhuc barbari possident. Freinshemius observes that there were recovered before the time of Florus; one by Stertinus, as is stated in Tacit. Ann., i., 60; and the other by Gabinius, as is told by Dion Cassius, lib. lx. "Lipsius, on Tacit. Ann., ii., 25, expresses a suspicion that Florus copied his account from some Roman historian who wrote before the recovery of the eagles." Duker.
- ↑ His grandsons] Sons of his daughter Julia and Marcus Agrippa.
- ↑ Hurt] Strictus. Stringere, used in this way, is generally leviter vulnerare.
- ↑ Hither Ocean] Citerior Oceanus. What Florus meant by Citerior Oceanus, neither Ryckius, nor Madame Dacier, nor Duker, can settle. The Cantabri and Astures were situate near the end of the Pyrenees furthest from Rome, on the Atlandtic Ocean.
- ↑ By degrees] In diem. "From day to day." Perizonius, Freinshemius, and Graevius, would read indidem; but this, as Duker, observes, is superfluous, when unde precedes.
- ↑ Of Vellica] All the editions have Belgicae; but there is no place of this name known in Spain. Vellicae is the conjecture of Stadius, approved by Gruter, Graevius, and Perizonius.
- ↑ Chrysocolla, and other pigments] Chrysocollae, et aliorum colorum. Crysocolla is generally considered the same with borax. Good, in his notes on Lucretius, vi., 1077, says that is "a mineral sand, found on the shores of the Red Sea, of an elegant green colour, denominated by the nations of modern times tincar or tincal." See Pliny, H. N., xxxiii., 5. Borax is also said to be found in great quantities in [...]hibet.
- ↑ The complexion of the men, &c.] Et Tamen ipse hominum color, &c. The 'tamen, as Madame Dacier remarks, is worse than useless, giving a ridiculous meaning to the sentence. It is wanting in one of Ryckius's manuscripts, and in some editions. I have omitted it.
- ↑ Uniform and uninterrupted] Cuncta atque continua. Cuncta is read in all manuscripts and editions, but is, as Graevius observes, unintelligible. I have preferred una, the conjecture of Gronovius. Lipsius had previously suggested juncta.
- ↑ Peace or agreement] Pax—aut pactio. All people were quiet, as having either, from being conquered, accepted terms of peace, or consenting to abstain, at least for the present, from hostilities. The latter class, as Duker observes, were those of whom Florus speaks a little above; nations who, though not actually subdued by the Romans, were sensible of their supriority, and respected their power.
Seditionum omnium causas tribunicia potestas excitavit, quae specie quidem plebis tuendae, cuius in auxilium comparata est, re autem dominationem sibi adquirens, studium populi ac favorem agrariis, frumentariis, iudiciariis legibus aucupabatur. Inerat omnibus species aequitatis. Quid tam iustum enim quam recipere plebem sua a patribus, ne populus gentium victor orbisque possessor extorris aris ac focis ageret? Quid tam aecum quam inopem populum vivere ex aerario suo? Quid ad ius libertatis aequandae magis efficax quam ut senatu regentem provincias ordinis equestris auctoritas saltem iudiciorum regno niteretur? Sed haec ipsa in perniciem redibant, et misera res publica in exitium sui merces erat. Nam et a senatu in equidem translata iudiciorum potestas vectigalia, id est imperii patrimonium, supprimebat, et emptio frumenti ipsos rei publicae nervos exhauriebat, aerarium; et reduci plebs in agros unde poterat sine possidentium eversione, qui ipsi para populi erant, et tum relictas sibi a maioribus sedes aetate quasi iure possidebant?
Primam certaminum facem Ti. Gracchus accendit, genere, forma, eloquentia facile princeps. Sed hic, sive Mancinianae deditionis, quia sponsor foederis fuerat, contagium timens et inde popularis, sive aequo et bono ductus, quia depulsam agris suis plebem miseratus est, ne populus gentium victor orbisque possessor laribus ac focis suis exsultaret, quacumque mente rem ausus ingentem, postquam rogationis dies aderat, ingentis stipatus agmine rostra conscendit, nec deerat obvia manu tota inde nobilitas; et tribuni in partibus. Sed ubi intercedentem legibus suis C. Octavium videt Gracchus, contra fas collegii, ius potestatis iniecta manu depulit rostris, adeoque praesenti metu mortis exterruit, ut abdicare se magistratu cogeretur. Sic triumvir creatus dividendis agris cum ad perpetranda coepta die comitiorum prorogari sibi vellet imperium, obvia nobilitas manu eorum? quos agris moverat. Caedes a foro coepit, Inde cum in Capitolium profugisset plebemque ab defensionem salutis suae manu caput caput tangens hortaretur, praebuit speciem regnum sibi et diadema poscentis, atque ita duce Scipione Nasica, concitato in arma populo, quasi iure oppressus est.
Statim et mortis et legum fratris sui vindex non minore impetu incaluit C. Gracchus. Qui cum pari tumultu atque terrore plebem in avitos agros arcesseret, et recentem Attali hereditatem in alimenta populo polliceretur, iamque minius et inpotens altero tribunatu secunda plebe volitatis, obrogare auso legibus suis Minucio tribuno, fretus comitum manu fatale familiae suae Capitolium invasit. Inde proximorum caede depulsus cum se in Aventinum recepisset, inde quoque obvia senatus manu ab Opimio consule oppressus est. Insultatum quoque mortis reliquiis, et illud sacrosanctum caput tribuni plebis percussoribus auro repensatum.
Nihilo minus Apuleius Saturnius Gracchanas adserere leges non destitit. Tantum animorum viro Marius dabat, qui nobilitati semper inimicus, consulatu suo praeterea confisus ... *** Occiso palam comitiis A. Ninnio competitore tribunatus subrogare conatus est in eius locum C. Gracchum, hominem sine tribu, sine notores, sine nomine; sed subdito titulo in familiam ipse se adoptabat. Cum tot tantisque ludibriis exsultaret inpune, rogandis Gracchorum legibus ita vehementer incubuit, ut senatum quoque cogeret in verba iurare, cum abnuentibus aqua et igni interdicturum minaretur. Vnus tamen exstitit, qui mallet exsilium. Igitur post Metelli fugam omni nobilitate perculsa, cum iam tertium annum dominaretur, eo vesaniae progressus est, ut consularia quoque comitia nova caede turbaret. Quippe ut satellitem furoris sui Claudium consulem faceret, C. Memmium competitorem interfici iussit, et in eo tumultu regem ex satellitibus suis se appellatum laetus accepit. Tum vero iam conspiratione senatus, ipso quoque iam Mario consule, quia tueri non poterat, adverso, directae in foro acies; pulsus inde Capitolium invasit. Sed cum abruptis fistulis obsideretur senatuique per legatos paenitentiae fidem faceret, ab arce degressus cum ducibus factionis receptus in curai est. Ibi eum facta inruptione populus fustibus saxisque coopertum in ipsa quoque morte laceravit.
Postremo Livius Drusus non tribunatus modo viribus, sed ipsius etiam senatus auctoritate totiusque Italiae consensu easdem leges adserere conatus, dum aliud captat ex alio, tantum conflavit incendium, ut nec prima illius flamma posset sustineri et subita morte correptus hereditarium in posteros suos bellum propagaret. Iudiciaria lege Gracchi diviserant populum Romanum et bicipitem ex una fecerant civitatem. Equites Romani tanta potestate subnixi, ut qui fata fortunasque principum haberent in manu, interceptis vectigalibus peculabantur suo iure rem publicam; senatus exsilio Metelli, damnatione Rutili debilitatus omne decus maiestatis amiserat. In hoc statu rerum pares opibus, animis, dignitate (unde et nata Livio Druso aemulatio accesserat) equitem Servilius Caepio, senatum Livius Drusus adserere. Signa et aquilae et vexilla deerant: ceterum sic urbe in una quasi in binis castris dissidebatur. Prior Caepio in senatum impetu facto reos ambitus Scaurum et Philippum principes nobilitatis elegit. His ut motibus resisteret Drusus, plebem ad se Gracchanis legibus, isdemque socios ad plebem spe civitatis erexit. Exstat vox ipsius, nihil se ad largitionem ulli reliquisse, nisi si quis aut caenum dividere vellet aut caelum. Aderat promulgandi dies, cum subito tanta vis hominum undique apparuit, ut hostium adventu obsessa civitas videretur. Ausus tamen obrogare legibus consulo Philippus, sed adprehensum faucibus viator non ante dimisit quam sanguinis in os et oculos redundaret. Sic per vim latae iussaeque leges, sed pretium rogationi statim socii flagitare, cum interim imparem Drusum aegrumque rerum temere moratum matura, ut in tali discrimine, mors abstulit. Nec ideo minus socii promissa Drusi a populo Romano reposcere armis desierunt.
Bellum, quod adversus socios gestum est, sociale bellum vocetur licet, ut extenuemus invidiam; si verum tamen volumus, illud civile bellum fuit. Quippe cum populus Romanus Etruscos, Latinos Sabinosque sibi miscuerit et unum ex omnibus sanguinem ducat, corpus fecit ex membris et ex omnibus unus est; nec minore flagitio socii intra Italiam quam intra urbem cives rebellabant. Itaque cum ius civitatis, quam viribus auxerant, socii iustissime postularent, quam in spem eos cupidine dominationis Drusus erexerat, postquam ille domestico scelere oppressus est, eadem fax, quae illum cremavit, socios in arma et expugnationem urbis accendit. Qui hac clade tristius? quid calamitosius? cum omne Latium atque Picenum, Etruria omnis atque Campania, postremo Italia contra matrem suam ac parentem urbem consurgerent; cum omne robur fortissimorum fidelissimorumque sociorum sub suis quisque signis haberent municipalia illa prodigia, Poppaedius Marsos et Paelignos, Latinos Afranius, Vmbros Plotius, Egnatius Etruscos, Samnium Lucaniamque Telesinus; cum regum et gentium arbiter populos ipsum se regem non posset, ut victrix Asiae et Europae a Corfinio Roma peteretur.
Primum fuit belli in Albano monte consilium, ut festo die Latinarum Iulius Caesar et Marcius Philippus consules inter sacra et aras inmolarentur. Postquam id nefas proditione discussum est, Asculo furor omnis erupit, in ipsa quidem ludorum frequentia trucidatis qui tunc aderat ab urbe legatis. Hoc fuit inpii belli sacramentum. Inde iam passim ab omni parte Italiae duce et auctore belli discursante Poppaedio diversa per populos et urbes signa cecinere. Nec Hannibalis nec Pyrrhi fuit tanta vastatio. Ecce Ocriculum, esse Grumentum, ecce Faesulae, ecce Carseoli, Aesernia, Nuceria, Picentia caedibus, ferro et igne vastantur. Fusae Rutili copiae, fusae Caepionis. Nam ipse Iulius Caesar exercitu amisso cum in urbem cruentus referretur, miserabili funere mediam etiam urbem perviam fecit. Sed magna populi Romani fortuna, et semper in malis maior, totis denuo viribus consurrexit; adgressique singulos populos Cato discutit Etruscos, Gabinius Marsos, Carbo Lucanos, Sulla Samnites; Strabo vero Pompeius omnia flammis ferroque populatus non prius finem caedium fecit, quam Asculi eversione manibus tot exercituum, consulum direptarumque urbium diis litaretur utcumque.
Utcumque, etsi cum sociis - nefas - cum liberis tamen et ingenuis dimicatum est, quis aequo animo ferat in principe gentium populo bella servorum? primum servile bellum inter urbis Herdonio duce Sabino in ipsa urbe temptatum est, cum occupata tribuniciis seditionibus civitate Capitolium obsessum est et a consule receptum; sed hic tumultus magis fuit quam bellum. Mox imperio per diversa terrarum occupato, qui crederet Siciliam multo cruentius servili quam Punico bello esse vastatam? terram frugum ferax et quodam modo suburbana provincia latifundis civium Romanorum tenebatur. Hic ad cultum agri frequentia ergastula catenatique cultores materiam bello praebuere. Syrium quidam nomine Eunus - magnitudo cladium facit ut meminerimus - fanatico furore simulato dum Syriae deae comas iactat, ad libertatem et arma servom quasi numinum imperio concitavit; inde ut divinitus fieri probaret, in ore abdita nuce quam sulpure et igne stipaverat, leniter inspirant flammam inter verba fundebat. Hoc miraculum primo duo milia ex obviis, mox iure belli refractis ergastulis sexaginta amplius milium fecit exercitum; regisque, ne quid malis deesset, decoratus insignibus castella, victos, oppida miserabili direptione vastavit. Quin illud quoque ultimum dedecus belli, capta sunt castra praetorum - nec nominare ipsos pudet - castra Manli, Lentuli, Pisonis, Hypsaei. Itaque qui per fugitivarios abstrahi debuisset, praetorios duces profugos proelio ipsi sequebantur. Tandem Perperna imperatore supplicium de eis sumptum est. Hic enim victos et apud Hennam novissime obsessos cum fame quasi pestilentia consumpsisset? reliquias latronum compedibus, catenis crucibusque punivit; fuitque de servis ovatione contentus, ne dignitatem triumphi servili inscriptione violaret.
Vixdum respiraverat insula, cum statim Servilio praetore a Syro reditur ad Cilicem. Athenio pastor interfecto domino familiam ergastulo liberatam sub signi ordinat. Ipse veste purpurea argenteoque baculo et regium in morem fronte redimita non minorem quam ille fanaticus prior conflavit exercitum, acriusque multo, quasi et illum vindicaret, vicos oppida, castella diripiens, in servos infestius quam in dominos quasi in transfugas saeviebat. Ab hoc quoque praetorii exercitus fusi, capta Servili castra, capta Luculli. Sed Titus Aquilius Perpernae usus exemplo, interclusum hostem commeatibus ad extrema delevit; comminutasque copias fame armis facile delevit; dedidissent se, nisi suppliciorum metu voluntariam mortem praetulissent. Ac ne de duce quidem supplicium exigi potuit, quamvis vivus in manus venerit; quippe dum circa adprehendendum eum multitudo contendit, inter rixantium manus praeda lacerata est.
Enimvero et servilium armorum dedecus feras; nam etsi per fortunam in omnia obnoxii, tamen quasi secundum hominum genus sunt et in bona libertatis nostrae adoptantur: bellum Spartaco duce concitatum quo nomine appellem nescio, quippe cum servi militaverint, gladiatores imperaverint, illi infimae sortis homines, hi pessumae auxere ludibriis calamitatem. Spartacus, Crixus, Oenomaus effracto Lentuli ludo cum triginta aut amplius eiusdem fortunae viris europe Capua; servisque ad vexillum vocatis cum statim decem milia amplius coissent, homines non modo effugisse contenti, iam et vindicari volebat.
Prima sedes velut ara Veneris mons Vesuvius placuit. Ibi cum obsiderentur a Clodio Glabro, per fauces cavi montis vitineis delapsi vinculis ad imas eius descendere radices et exitu inviso nihil tale opinantis ducis impetu castra rapuerunt; inde alia, castra Vareniana, castra deinceps Thorani; totamque pervagarunt Campaniam. Nec villarum atque vicorum vastatione contenti Nolam atque Nuceriam. Thurios atque Metapontum terribili strage populantur. Adfluentibus in diem copiis cum iam esset iustus exercitus, e viminibus pecudumque tegumentis inconditos sibi clipeos et ferro ergastulorum recocto gladios ac tela fecerunt. Ac ne quod decus iusto desset exercitui, domitis obviis etiam gregibus paratur equitatus, captaque de praetoribus insignia et fasces ad ducem detulere. Nec abnuit ille de stipendiario Thrace miles, de milite desertos, inde latro, deinde in honorem virium gladiator. Qui defunctorum quoque proelio ducum funera imperatoriis celebravit exsequiis, captivosque circa rogum iussit armis depugnare, quasi plane expiaturus omne praeteritum dedecus, si de gladiatore munerator tum fuisset. Inde iam consulares quoque adgressus in Appennino Lentuli exercitum cecidit, apud Mutinam Gai Crassi castra delevit. Quibus elatus victoriis de invadenda urbe Romana - quod satis est turpitudini nostrae - deliberavit. Tandem enim totis imperii viribus contra myrmillonem consurgunt pudoremque Romanum Licinius Crassus adseruit; a quo pulsi fugatique - pudet dicere - hostes in extrema Italiae refugerunt. Ibi circa Bruttium angulum clusi, cum fugam in Siciliam pararent neque navigia suppeterent, ratesque ex trabibus et dolia conexa virgulis in rapidissimo freto frustra experirentur, tamen eruptione facta dignam viris obiere mortem et, quod sub gladiatore duce oportuit, sine missione pugnatum est. Spartacus ipse in primo agmine fortissime dimicans quasi imperator occisus est.
Hoc deerat unum populi Romani malis, ut iam ipse intra se parricidale bellum domi stringeret, et in urbe media ac foro quasi harena cives cum civibus suis gladiatorio more concurrerent. Aequiore animo utcumque ferrem, si plebei duces aut, si nobiles, mali saltem ducatum sceleri praebuissent. Tum vero - pro facinus - qui viri! qui imperatores! decora et ornamenta saeculi sui, Marius et Sulla, pessimo facinori suam etiam dignitatem praebuerunt.
Bellum civile Marianum sive Sullanum tribus, ut sic dixerim, sideribus agitatum est. Primum levi et modico tumultu maiore quam bello, intra ipsos dumtaxat armorum duces subsistente saevitia; mox atrocius et cruentius, per ipsius viscera senatus grassante victoria; ultimo non civicam modo, sed hostilem quoque rabiem supergressum est, cum armorum furor totius Italiae viribus niteretur, eo usque odiis saevientibus, donec deessent qui occiderentur.
Initium et causa belli inexplebilis honorum Marii fames, dum decretam Sullae provinciam Sulpicia lege sollicitat. Sed inpatiens iniuriae statim Sulla legiones circumegit, dilatoque Mithridate Esquilina Collinaque porta geminum urbi agmen infudit. Inde cum consuli Sulpicius et Albinovanus obiecissent catervas, suas, et saxa undique a moenibus ac tela iacerentur, ipse quoque iaculatus incendio viam fecit arcemque Capitolii, quae Poenos quoque, Gallos etiam Senones evaserat, quasi captivam victor insedit. Tum ex consulto senatus adversariis hostibus iudicatis in praesentem tribunum alioque diversae factionis iure saevitum est; Marium servilis fuga exemit, immo fortuna alteri bello reservavit.
Cornelio Cinna Gnaeo Octavio consulibus male obrutum resurrexit incendium, et quidem ab ipsorum discordia, cum de revocandis quos senatus hostes iudicaverat ad populum referretur; cincta quidem gladiis contione, sed vincentibus quibus pax et quies potior, profugus patria sua Cinna confugit ad partes. Redit ab Africa clade maior; si quidem carcer, catenae, fuga, exilium horrificaverant dignitatem. Itaque ad nomen tanti viri late concurritur, servitia - pro nefas - et ergastula armantur, et facile invenit exercitum miser imperator.
Itaque vi patriam reposcens, unde vi fuerat expulsus, poterat videri iure agere, nisi causam suam saevitia corrumperet. Sed cum dis hominibusque infestus rediret, statim primo impetu cliens et alumna urbis Ostia nefanda strage diripitur. Mox in urbe quadruplici agmine intratur. Diverse copias Cinna, Marius Carbo, Sertorius. Hic postquam manus omnis Octavi depulsa Ianiculo est, statim ad principum caedem signo dato aliquando saevius quam aut in Punica aut in Cimbrica urbe saevitur. Octavi consilis caput pro rostris exponitur, Antoni consularis in Mari ipsius mensis. Caesares a Fimbria in penatibus domorum suarum trucidantur, Crassi partes et filius in mutuo alter alterius aspectus. Baebium atque Numitorium per medium forum unci traxere carnificum. Catulus se ignis haustu ludibrio hostium exemit. Merula flamen Dialis in Capitolio Iovis ipsius oculos venarum cruore respersit. Ancharius ipso vidente Mario confossus est, quia fatalem illam scilicet manum non porrexerat salutanti. Haec tot senatus funera intra Kalendas et idus Ianuarii mensis septima illa Marii purpura dedit. Qui futurum fuit, si annum consulatus inplesset?
Scipione Norbanoque consulibus tertius ille turbo civilis insaniae toto furore detonuit; quippe cum hinc octo legiones, inde quingentae cohortes starent in armis, inde ab Asia cum victore exercitu Sulla properaret. Et sane cum tam ferox in Sullanos Marius fuisset, quanta saevitia opus erat, ut Sulla de Mario vindicaretur? Primum apud Capuam sub amne Volturno signa concurrunt, et statim Norbani fusus exercitus, statim omnes Scipionis copiae ostentata spe pacis oppressae. Tum Marius iuvenis et Carbo consules quasi desperata victoria, ne inulti perirent, in antecessum sanguine senatus sibi parentabant, obsessaque curia sic de senatu quasi de carcere qui iugularentur educti. Quantum funerum in foro, in circo, in patentibus templis! nam Mucius Scaevola pontifex Vestalis amplexus aras tantum non eodem igne sepelitur. Lamponius atque Telesinus, Samnitium duces, atrocius Pyrrho et Hannibale Campaniam Etruriamque populantur, et sub specie partium se vindicant. Apud Sacriportum Collinamque portam debellatae omnes hostium copiae; ibi Marius, hic Telesinus oppressi. Nec idem tamen caedium qui bello finis fuit. Stricti enim et in pace gladii, animadversumque in eos, qui se sponte dediderant. Minus est, quod apud Sacriportum, apud Collinam septuaginta amplius milia Sulla concidit: bellum erat.
Quattuor milia deditorum inermium civium in Villa Publica interfici iussit: isti tot in pace non plures sunt? Quis autem illos potest conputare, quos in urbe passim quisquis voluit occidit? Donec admonente Fufidio vivere aliquos debere, ut essent quibus imperarent, proposita est ingens illa tabula, et ex ipso equestris ordinis flore ac senatu duo milia electi, qui mori iuberentur: novi generis edictum. Piget post haec referre ludibrio habita fata Carbonis, fata Sorani, Plaetorios atque Venuleios, Baebium sine ferro ritu ferarum inter manus lancinatum, Marium, ducis ipsius fratrem, apud Catuli sepulchrum oculis effossis, manibus cruribusque effractis servatum aliquandiu, ut per singula membra moreretur. Possis singulorum hominum singulorum ferre poenas: municipia Italiae splendidissima sub hasta venierunt, Spoletium, Interamnium, Praeneste, Florentia. Nam Sulmonem, vetus oppidum socium atque amicum - facinus indignum - non expugnat aut obsidet iure belli; sed quod modo morte damnati duci iubentur, sic damnatam civitatem iussit Sulla deleri.
Bellum Sertorianum quid amplius quam Sullanae proscriptionis hereditas fuit? Hostile potius an civile dixerim nescio, quippe quod Lusitani Celtiberique Romano gesserint duce. Exsul et profugus feralis illius tabulae, vir summae quidem sed calamitosae virtutis malis suis maria terrasque permiscuit; et iam Africae, iam Balearibus insulis fortunam expertus usque in Oceanum Fortunatasque insulas penetravit consiliis, tandem Hispaniam armavit. Viro cum viris facile convenit. Nec alias magis apparavit Hispani militis vigor quam Romano duce. Quamquam ille non contentus Hispania ad Mithridatem quoque Ponticosque respexit regemque classe iuvit.
Et quid futurum fuit satis tanto hosti, cui uno imperatore resistere res Romana non potuit? additus Metello Gnaeus Pompeius. Hi copias adtrivere viri, prope tota Hispania persecuti. Diu et ancipiti semper acie pugnatum est; nec tamen prius bello quam suorum scelere et insidiis exstinctus est. Prima per legatos habita certamina, cum hinc Domitius et Thorius, inde Herculeius proluderent; mox hoc apud Segoviam, illis apud Anam flumen oppressis, ipsi duces comminus invicem experti apud Lauronem atque Sucronem aequavere clades. Tum illis ad populationes agrorum, his ad urbium excidia conversis, misera inter Romanos duces Hispania discordiae poenas dabat; donec oppresso domestica fraude Sertorio, victo deditoque Perperna, ipsae quoque in Romanam fidem venere urbes Osca, Termes, Clunia, Valentia, Auxuma et infame nihil non experta Calagurris. Sic recepta in pacem Hispania. Victores duces externum id magis quam civile bellum videri voluerunt, ut triumpharent.
Marco Lepido Quinto Catulo consulibus civile bellum paene citius oppressum est quam inciperet: sed quantulacumque fax illius motus ab ipso Sullae rogo exarsit. Cupidus namque rerum novarum per insolentiam Lepidus acta tanti viri rescindere parabat; nec inmerito, si tamen posset sine magna clade rei publicae. Nam cum iure belli Sulla dictator proscripsisset inimicos, qui supererant revocante Lepido quid aliud quam ad bellum vocabantur? Cumque damnatorum civium bona addicente Sulla quamvis male capta iure tamen tenerentur, repetitio eorum procul dubio labefactabat compositae civitatis statum. Expediebat ergo quasi aegrae sauciaeque rei publicae requiescere quomodocumque, ne volnera curatione ipsa rescinderentur. Ergo cum turbidis concionibus velut classico civitatem terruisset, profectus in Etruriam arma inde et exercitum urbi admovebat. Sed iam Mulvium pontem collemque Ianiculum Lutatius Catulus Gnaeusque Pompeius, Sullanae dominationis duces atque signiferi, alio exercitu insederant. A quibus primo statim impetu retro pulsus hostisque a senatu iudicatus incruenta fuga Etruriam, inde Sardiniam recessit, ibique morbo et paenitentia interiit. Victores quoque, quod non temere alias in civilibus bellis, pace contenti fuerunt.
Catilinam luxuria primum, tum hinc conflata egestas rei familiaris, simul occasio, quod in extremis finibus mundi arma Romana peregrinabantur, in nefaria consilia opprimendae patriae suae compulere. Senatum confodere, consules trucidare, distringere incendiis urbem, diripere aerarium, totam denique rem publicam funditus tollere et quidquid nec Hannibal videretur optasse, quibus - o nefas - sociis adgressus est! Ipse patricius; sed hoc minus est: Curii, Porcii, Sullae, Cethegi, Autronii, Varguntei atque Longini, quae familiae! quae senatus insignia! Lentulus quoque tum cum maxime praetor. Hoc omnis inmanissimi facinoris satellites habuit. Additus est pignus coniurationis sanguis humanus, quem circumlatum pateris bibere: summum nefas, nisi amplius esset, propter quod biberunt. Actum erat de pulcherrimo imperio, nisi illa coniuratio in Ciceronem et Antonium consules incidisset, quorum alter industria rem patefecit, alter manu oppressit. Tanti sceleris indicium per Fulviam emersit, vilissimum scortum, sed patriciis innocentium. Tum consul habito senatu in praesentem rem peroravit; sed non amplius profectum, quam ut hostis evaderet seque palam ac professo incendium suum restincturum ruina minaretur. Et ille quidem ad praeparatum a Manlio in Etruria exercitum proficiscitur signa inlaturus urbi. Lentulus destinatum familiae suae Sibyllinis versibus regnum sibi vaticinans, ad praestitutum a Catilina diem urbe tota viros, faces, tela disponit. Nec civili conspiratione contentus legatos Allobrogum, qui tum forte aderant, in arma sollicitat. Et isset ultra Alpes furor, nisi altera proditione Volturci praetoris litterae tenerentur. Statim Ciceronis imperio iniecta est barbaris manus; palam praetor in senatu convincitur. De supplicio agentibus, Caesar parcendum dignitati, Cato animadvertendum pro scelere censebat. Quam sententiam secutis omnibus in carcere parricidae strangulantur. Quamvis parte coniurationis oppressa, tamen ab incepto Catilina non destitit; infestis ab Etruria signis patriam petens obvio Antonii exercitu opprimitur. Quam atrociter dimicatum sit, exitus docuit. Nemo hostium bello superfuit; quem quis in pugnando ceperat locum, eum amissa anima corpore tegebat. Catilina longe a suis inter hostium cadavera repertus est, pulcherrima morte, si pro patria sic concidisset.
Iam paene toto orbe pacato maius erat imperium Romanum, quam ut ullis externis viribus opprimi posset. Itaque invidens Fortuna principi gentium populo ipsum illum in exitium sui armavit.
Ac Mariana quidem Cinnanaque rabies iam intra urbem se praecluserat, quasi experiretur. Sullana tempestas latius, intra Italiam tamen detonuerat. Caesaris furor atque Pompei urbem, Italiam, gentes, nationes, totum denique qua patebat imperium quodam quasi diluvio et inflammatione corripuit, adeo ut non recte tantum civile dicatur, ac ne sociale quidem, sed nec externum, sed potius commune quoddam ex omnibus et plus quam bellum. Quippe si duces eius inspicias, totus senatus in partibus; si exercitus, hinc undecim legiones, inde decem et octo, flos omnis et robur Italici sanguinis; si auxilia sociorum, hinc Gallici Germanique dilectus, inde Deiotarus, Ariobarzanes, Tarcondimotus, Cotys et Rhascypolis, omne Thraciae, Cappadociae, Macedoniae Ciliciae, Graeciae totiusque robur orientis; si moram belli, quattuor anni, sed pro clade rerum breve tempus; si locum et spatium ubi commissum est, intra Italiam; inde se in Galliam Hispaniamque deflexit reversumque ab occasu totis viribus in Epiro Thessaliaque consedit; hinc in Aegypton subito transiluit, inde respexit Asiam, Africae incubuit, postremo in Hispaniam remigravit et ibi aliquando defecit. Sed non et odia partium finita cum bello. Non enim prius quieverunt, quam in ipsa urbe medio senatu eorum qui victi erant, odia victoris sese caede satiarent.
Causa tantae calamitatis eadem quae omnium, nimia. Si quidem Quinto Metello Lucio Afranio consulibus cum Romana maiestas toto urbe polleret recentesque victorias. Ponticos et Armenios triumphos, in Pompeianis theatris Roma cantaret, nimia Pompei potentia apud otiosos, ut solet, cives movit invidiam. Metellus ob inminutum Cretae triumphum, Cato adversus potentes semper oblicus detractare Pompeium actisque eius obstrepere. Hinc dolor transvorsum egit et ad praesidia dignitati paranda impulit. Forte tunc Crassus genere, divitiis, dignitate florebat, ut vellet tamen auctioris opes; C. Caesar eloquentia et spiritu, ecce iam et consulatu adlevabatur; Pompeius tamen inter utrumque eminebat.
Sic igitur Caesare dignitatem comparare, Crasso augere, Pompeio retinere cupientibus, omnibusque pariter potentiae cupidis de invadenda re publica facile convenit. Ergo cum mutuis viribus in suum quisque decus niterentur, Gallicam Caesar invadit, Crassus Asiam, Pompeius Hispaniam; tres maximi exercitus, et in his orbis imperium societate trium principum occupatur. Decem annos traxit ista dominatio ex fide, quia mutuo metu tenebantur. Crassi morte apud Parthos et morte Iuliae Caesaris filiae, quae nupta Pompeio generi socerisque concordiam matrimonii foedere tenebat, statim aemulatio erupit. Iam Pompeio suspectae Caesaris opes et Caesari Pompeiana dignitas gravis. Nec ille ferebat parem, nec hic superiorem. Pro nefas, Sic de principatu laborabant, tamquam duos tanti imperii Fortuna non caperet. Ergo Lentulo Marcelloque consulibus rupta primum coniurationis fides. De successione Caesaris senatus idemque Pompeius agitabat, nec ille abnuebat, si ratio sui proximis comitiis haberetur. Consulatus absenti, quem decem tribuni favente Pompeio nuper decreverant, tum dissimulante eodem negabatur: veniret et peteret more maiorum. Ille contra flagitare decreta, ac, nisi fides permaneret, non remittere exercitum. Ergo ut in hostem decernitur. Hic Caesar agitatus statuit praemia armorum armis defendere. Prima civilis belli harena Italia fuit, cuius arces levibus praesidis Pompeius insederat; sed omnia subito Caesaris impetu oppressa sunt. Prima Arimino signa cecinerunt. Tum pulsus Etruria Libo, Vmbria, Thermus. Domitius Corfinio. Et peractum erat bellum sine sanguine, si Pompeium Brundisi opprimere potuisset. Et ceperat; sed ille per obsessi claustra portus nocturna fuga evasit. Turpe dictu! modo princeps patrum, pacis bellique moderator, per triumphatum a se mare lacera et paene inermi naves fugiebat. Nec Pompei ad Italia quam senatus ab urge fuga turpior: quam paene vacuam metu Caesar ingressus consulem ipse se fecit. Aerarium quoque sanctum, quia tardius aperiebant tribuni iussit effringi, censumque et patrimonium populi Romani ante rapuit quam imperium.
Pulso fugatoque Pompeio maluit prius ordinare provincias quam ipsum sequi. Siciliam et Sardiniam, annonae pignora, per legatos habet. Nihil hostile erat in Gallia; pacem ipse fecerat. Sed ad Hispanienses Pompei exercitus transeunti per eam duci portas claudere ausa Massilia est. Misera dum cupit pacem, belli metum in bellum incidit; sed quia tuta muris erat, vinci eam sibi iussit absenti. Graecula civitas non pro mollitia nominis et vallum rumpere et incendere machinam ausa, etiam congredi navibus; sed Brutus, cui mandatum erat bellum, victos terra marique perdomuit. Mox dedentibus esse omnia ablata praeter quam potiorem omnibus habebant libertatem.
Anceps variumque sed incruentum in Hispaniam bellum cum legatis Gnaei pompei, Petreio et Afranio, quos Ilerdae castra habentes apud Sicorim amnem opsidere et ab oppido intercludere adgreditur. Interim abundatio verni fluminis commeatibus prohibet: sic fame castra temptata sunt, obsessorque ipse quasi obsidebatur. Sed ubi pax fluminis rediit et populationibus et pugnae campos aperuit, iterum ferox instat et cedentes ad Celtiberiam consecutus aggere et vallo et per haec siti ad deditionem compulit. Sic citerior Hispania recepta est, nec ulterior moram fecit. Quid enim una post quinque legiones? Itaque ultro cedente Varrone Gades, fretum, Oceanus, omnia felicitatem Caesaris sequebantur.
Aliquid tamen adversus absentem ducem ausa Fortuna est circa Illyricum et Africam, quasi de industria prospera eius adversis radiarentur; quippe cum fauces Hadriani maris iussi occupare Dolabella et Antonius illa Illyrico, hic Curictico litore castra posuissent, iam maria late tenente Pompeio, repente legatus eius Octavius Libo ingentibus copiis classicorum utrumque circumvenit. Deditionem fames extorsit Antonio. Missae quoque a Basilo in auxilium eius rates, quales inopia navium fecerat, nova Pompeianorum arte Cilicium actis sub mari funibus captae quasi per indaginem. Duas tamen aestus explicuit. Vna, quae Opiterginos ferebat, in vadis haesit memorandumque posteris exemplum dedit. Quippe vix mille iuvenum manus circumfusi exercitus per totum diem tela sustinuit, et cum exitum virtus non haberet, tandem, ne in deditionem veniret, hortante tribuno Vulteio mutuis ictibus inter se concucurrit. In Africa quoque per et virtus et calamitas Curionis fuit, qui ad recipiendam provinciam missus, pulso fugatoque Varo iam superbus, subitum Iubae regis adventum equitatumque Maurorum sustinere non potuit. Patebat victo fuga; sed pudor suasit, ut amissum sua temeritate exercitum morte sequeretur.
Sed iam debitum par Fortuna flagitante sedem bello Pompeius Epiron elegerat; nec Caesar morabatur. Quippe ordinatis a tergo omnibus, quamvis hiemps media prohiberet tempestate, ad bellum navigavit; positisque ad Oricum castris, cum pars exercitus ob inopiam navium cum Antonio relicta Brundisii moram faceret, adeo impatiens erat, ut ad arcessendos eos ardente ventis mari, nocte concubia, speculatorio navigio solus ire temptaverit. Exstat ad trepidum tanto discrimine gubernatorem vox ipsius: "Quid times? Caesarem vehis". Contractis in unum undique omnibus copiis positisque comminus castris diversa erant ducum consilia. Caesar pro natura ferox conficiendae rei cupidus ostentare aciem provocarem, lacessere; nunc obsidione castrorum, quae sedecim milium vallo obduxerat - sed quid his obessent obsidio, qui patente mari omnibus copiis abundarent? - nunc expugnatione Dyrrachi inrita, quippe quam vel situs inexpugnabilem faceret; ad hoc adsiduis in eruptione hostium proeliis, quo tempore egregia virtus Scaevae centurionis emicuit, cuius in scuto centum atque viginti tela sederunt: iam vero urbium direptione sociarum, cum Oricum et Gomphos et alia castella Thessaliae vastaret. Pompeius adversus haec nectere moras, tergiversari, sic hostem interclusum undique inopia commeatuum terere, usque dum ardentissimi ducis consenesceret impetus. Nec diutius profuit ducis salutare consilium. Miles otium, socii moram, principes ambitum ducis increpabant. Sic praecipitantibus fatis proelio sumpta Thessalia est, et Philippicis campis urbis, imperii, generis humani facta commissa sunt. Numquam ullo loco tantum virium populi Romani, tantum dignitatis Fortuna respexit; trecenta amplius milia hinc illic praeter auxilia, reges et senatum. Numquam inminentis ruinae manifestiora prodigia: fuga victimarum, examina in signis interdiu tenebrae. Dux ipse in nocturna imagine theatri sui audiens plausum in modum planctus circumsonantem et mare cum pullo pallio - nefas - apud principia conspectus est. Numquam acrior neque alacrior exercitus Caesaris fuit; inde classica prius, inde tela. Adnotatum quoque committentis aciem Crastini pilum, qui mox adacto in os gladio - sic inter cadavera repertus - libidinem ac rabiem qua pugnaverat ipsa novitate volneris praeferebat.
Sed nec minus admirabilior illius exitus belli. Quippe cum Pompeius adeo equitum copia abundaret, ut facile circumventurus sibi Caesarem videretur, circumventus ipse est. Nam cum diu aequo Marte contenderent, iussuque Pompei fusus a cornu erupisset equitatus, repente hinc signo dato Germanorum cohortes tantum in effusos equites fecere impetum, ut illi esse pedites, hi venire in equis viderentur. Hanc stragem fugientis equitatus levis armaturae ruina comitata est; tunc terrore latius dato, turbantibus invicem copiis, reliqua strages quasi una manu facta est; nec ulla res magis exitio fuit quam ipsa exercitus magnitudo. Multus eo proelio Caesar mediusque inter imperatorem et militem. Voces quoque obequitantis acceptae, altera cruenta, sed docta et ad victoriam efficax "miles, faciem feri!", altera ad iactatione conposita "parce civibus!", cum ipse sequeretur felicem utcumque in malis Pompeium, si eadem ipsum quae exercitum eius fortuna traxisset. Superstes dignitatis suae vixit, ut cum maiore dedecore per Thessalica Tempe equo fugeret, ut una navicula Lesbon applicaret, ut Syedris, in deserto Ciliciae scopulo, fugam in Parthos, Africam vel Aegypton agitaret, ut denique in Pelusio litore imperio vilissimi regis, consiliis, spadonum et, ne quid malis desit, Septimi desertoris sui gladio trucidatus sub oculis uxoris suae liberorumque moreretur.
Quis non peractum esse cum Pompeio crederet bellum? Atquin acrius multo atque vehementius Thessalici incendii cineres recaluerunt. Et in Aegypto quidem adversus Caesarem sine partibus bellum. Quippe cum Ptolemaeus, rex Alexandriae, summum civilis belli scelus peregisset et foedus amicitiae cum Caesare medio Pompei capite sanxisset, ultionem clarissimi viri manibus quaerente Fortuna causa non defuit. Cleopatra regis soror, adfusa Caesaris gentibus partem regni reposcebat. Aderat puellae forma, et quae duplicaretur ex illo quod talis passa videbatur iniuriam, odium ipsius regis, qui Pompei caedem partium fato, non Caesari dederat, haud dubie idem in ipsum ausurus, si fuisset occasio. Quam ubi Caesar restitui iussit in regnum, statim ab isdem percussoribus Pompei obsessus in regia quamvis exigua manu ingentis exercitus molem mira virtute sustinuit. Ac primum proximorum aedificiorum atque navalium incendio infestorum hostium tela summovit, mox in paeninsulam Pharon subitus evasit; inde depulsus in maria mira felicitate ad proximam classem enatavit, relicto quidem in fluctibus paludamento seu fato sue consilio, ut illud ingruentibus hostium teli saxisque peteretur. Tunc receptus a classicis, suis undique simul hostes adortus de inbelli ac perfida gente iusta generi manibus dedit. Quippe et Theodotus magister auctorque totius belli, et ne virilia quidem portenta, Pothinus atque Ganymedes diversa per mare et terras fuga morte consumpti. Regis ipsius corpus obrutum limo repertum est in aureae loricae honore.
In Asia quoque novus rerum motus a Ponto, plane quasi de industria captante Fortuna hunc Mithridatico regno exitum, ut a Pompeio pater, a Caesar filius vinceretur. Rex Pharnaces magis discordiae nostrae fiducia quam suae virtutis infesto in Cappadociam agmine ruebat. Sed hunc Caesar adgressus uno et, ut sic dixerim, non toto proelio obtrivit, more fulminis, quod uno eodemque momento venit, percussit, abscessit. Nec vana de se praedicato est Caesaris, ante hoste victum esse quam visum.
Sic cum exteris; at in Africa cum civibus multo atrocius quam in Pharsalia. Hunc reliquias partium naufragatum quidam fugae, aestus expulerat; nec reliquias diceres, sed integrum bellum. Sparsae magis quam oppressae vires erant; auxerant sacramentum ipsa clades imperatoris, nec degenerabat ducum successio. Quippe satis ample sonabant in Pompeiani nominis locum Cato et Scipio. Accessit copiis Mauretaniae rex Iuba, videlicet ut latius vinceret Caesar. Nihil ergo inter Pharsaliam et Thapson, nisi quod amplior eoque acrior Caesareanorum impetus fuit, indignantium post Pompeium crevisse bellum; denique, quod alias numquam, ante imperium ducis sua sponte signa cecinerunt. Et primum strages a Iuba coepit, cuius elephanti bellorum rudes et nuper a silva consternati subito clangore lituorum in suos sese circumegere. Stati exercitus in fugam, nec duces fortius quam ut effugerent. Non inconspicua tamen mors omnium. Iam Scipio nave fugiebat; sed adsecutis hostibus gladium per viscera exegit et, ubi esset quodam requirente respondit hoc ipsum: "Bene se habet imperator". Iuba cum se recepisset in regiam, magnifice epulatus est postero die cum Petreio fugae comite superque mensas et pocula interficiendum se ei praebuit. Ille et regi suffecit et sibi, cum interi semesi in medio cibi et parentalia fercula regio simul Romanoque sanguine madebant. Cato non interfuit bello. Positis apud Bagradam castris Vticam velut altera Africae claustra servabat. Sed accepta partium clade nihil cunctatus, ut sapiente dignum erat, mortem sibi etiam laetus accivit. Nam postquam filium comitesque ab amplexu dimisit, in noctem lecto ad lucernam Platonis libro, qui inmortalitatem animae docet, paulum quieti dedit; tunc circa primam vigiliam stricto gladio revelatur manu pectus semel iterumque percussit. Ausi post hoc virum medici violare fomentis. Ille passus, dum abscederent, rescidit plagas secutaque vi sanguinis manus in ipso volnere reliquit.
Quasi numquam esset dimicatum, sic arma rursus et partes quantoque Africa supra Thessaliam fuit, tanto Africam superabat Hispania. Plurimum quantum favoris partibus dabat fraternitas ducum et pro uno duos stare Pompeios. Itaque nusquam atrocius nec tam ancipiti Martem concursum est. Primum in ipso ostio Oceani Varus Didiusque legati conflixere. Sed acrius fuit cum ipso mari quam inter se navibus bellum, siquidem, quasi furorem civicum castigaret. Oceanus utramque classem naufragio cecidit. Quinam ille horror, tempore fluctus procellae, viri, naves, armamenta confligeret! Adde situs ipsius formidinem, urgentia in unum hinc Hispaniae, inde Mauretaniae litora, mare et intestinum et externum imminentesque Herculis speculas, cum omnia undique simul proelio et tempestate saevirent. Mox circa obsidione urbium utrimque discursum est, quae miserae inter hoc atque illos duces societatis Romanae poenas dabant. Omnium postrema certaminum Munda. Hic non pro cetera felicitate, sed anceps et diu triste proelium, ut plane videretur nescio quid deliberare Fortuna. Sane et ipse ante aciem maestior non ex more Caesar, sive respectu fragilitatis humanae, sive nimiam prosperorum suspectam habens continuationem, vel eadem timens, postquam idem esse coeperat quod Pompeius; et in ipso proelio, quod nemo umquam meminerat, cum diu pari Marte acies nihil amplius quam occideret, in medio ardore pugnantium subito ingens inter utrosque silentium, quasi convenisset et hic omnium sensum esset; "Quo usque?" novissime illud inusitatum Caesaris oculis - nefas - post quattuordecim annos probata veteranorum manus gradum recto dedit, quos, etsi nondum fugerant, apparebat tamen pudore magis quam virtute resistere. Itaque ille ablegato equo similis furenti primam in aciem procurrit. Ibi prensare fugientis, confirmare signiferos, orare, hortari, increpare, per totum denique agmen oculis, manibus, clamore volitare. Dicitur in illa perturbatione et de extremis agitasse secum et ita manifesto voltu fuisse, quasi occupare mortem manu vellet; nisi quod cohortes hostium quinque per transversam aciem actae, quas Labienus periclitantibus castris praesidio miserat, speciem fugae praebuissent. Hoc aut et ipse credidit aut dux callidus arripuit in occasionem, et quasi in fugientes invectus simul et suorum erexit animos et hostis perculit. Nam et hi, dum se putant vincere, fortius sequi, et Pompeiani, dum fugere credunt suos, fugere coeperunt. Quanta fuerit hostium caedes, ira rabiesque victoribus, sic aestimari potest, quod a proelio profugi cum se Mundam recepisset, et Caesar obsideri statim victos imperasset, congestis cadaveribus agger effectus est, quae pilis tragulisque confixa inter se tenebantur - foedum etiam in barbaros. Sed videlicet victoriam desperantibus Pompeis liberis, Gnaeum proelio profugum, cruore saucium, deserta et avia petentem Caesonius apud Lauronem oppidum consecutus, pugnantem - adeo nondum desperabat! - interficit; Sextum fortuna in Celtiberia interim abscondit aliisque post Caesarem bellis reservavit. Caesarem in patriam victor invehitur, primum de Gallia triumphum trahens: hic erat Rhenus et Rhodanus et ex auro captivus Oceanus. Altera laurus Aegyptia: tunc in ferculis Nilus, Arsinoe et ad simulacrum ignium ardens Pharos. Tertius de Pharnace currus et Ponto. Quartus Iubam et Mauros et bis subactam ostendebat Hispaniam. Pharsalia et Thapsos et Munda nusquam: et quanto maiora erant, de quibus non triumphabat!
Hic aliquando finis armis fuit; reliqua pax incruenta pensatumque clementia bellum. Nemo caesus imperio praeter Afranium (satis ignoverat semel) et Faustum Sullam (docuerat generos timere Pompeius) filiamque Pompei cum parvulis ex Sulla (hic posteris cavebatur). Itaque non ingratis civibus omnes unum in principem congesti honores: circa templa imagines, in theatro distincta radiis corona, suggestus in curia, fastigium in domo, mensis in caelo, ad hoc pater ipse patriae perpetuusque dictator, novissime, dubium an ipso volente, oblata pro rostris ab Antonio consule regni insignia. Quae omnia velut infulae in destinatam morti victimam congerebantur. Quippe clementiam principis vicit invidia, gravisque erat liberis ipsa beneficiorum potentia. Nec diutius lata dominatio est, set Brutus et Cassius aliique patres consensere in caedam principis. Quanta vis fati! Manaverat late coniuratio, libellus etiam Caesari datus eodem die, nec perlitare centum victimis potuerat. Venit in curiam tamen expeditionem Parthicam meditans. Ibi in curuli sedentem cum senatus invasit, tribusque et viginti volneribus ad terram datus est. Sic ille, terrarum orbem civili sanguine inpleverat, tandem ipse sanguine suo curiam implevit.
Populum Romanus Caesare et Pompeio trucidatis redisse in statum pristinum liberatis videbatur. Et redierat, nisi aut Pompeius liberos aut Caesar heredem reliquisset, vel, quod utroque perniciosius fuit, si non collega quondam, mox aemulus Caesarianae potentiae, fax et turbo sequentis saeculi superfuisset Antonius. Quippe dum Sextus paterna repetit, trepidatum toto mari; dum Octavius mortem patris ulciscitur, iterum fuit movenda Thessalia; dum Antonius varius ingenio aut successorem Caesaris indignatur Octavium aut amore Cleopatrae desciscit in regem ***.
Nam aliter salvus esse non potuit, nisi confugisset ad servitutem. Gratulandum tamen ut in tanta perturbatione est, quod potissimum ad Octavium Caesarem Augustum summa rerum redit, qui sapientia sua atque sollertia perculsum undique ac perturbatum ordinavit imperii corpus, quod haud dubie numquam coire et consentire potuisset, nisi unius praesidis nutu quasi anima et mente regeretur. Marco Antonio Publio Dolabella consulibus, imperium Romanum iam ad Caesarem transferente Fortuna, varius et multiplex motus civitatis fuit. Quodque in annua caeli conversione fieri solet, ut mota sidera tonent ac suos flexus tempestate significent, sic tum Romanae dominationis, id est humani generis, conversione penitus intremuit omnique genere discriminum, civilibus, externis, servilibus, terrestribus ac navalibus bellis omne imperii corpus agitatum est.
Prima civilium motuum causa testamentum Caesaris fuit, cuius secundus heres Antonius, praelatum sibi Octavium furens, inexpiabile contra adoptionem acerrimi iuvenis susceperat bellum. Quippe cum intra octavum decium annum tenerum et obnoxium et opportunum iniuriae iuvenem videret, ipse plenae ex commilitio Caesaris dignitatis, lacerare furtis hereditatem, ipsum insectari probris, cunctis artibus cooptationem Iuliae gentis inhibere, denique ab opprimendum iuvenem palam arma moliri. Et iam parato exercitu in Cisalpina Gallia resistentem motibus suis Decimum Brutum obsidebat. Octavius Caesar, et aetates et iniuria favorabilis, et nominis maiestate quod sibi induerat, revocatis ad arma veteranis, privatus - quis crederet? - consulem adgreditur, obsidione Mutinae liberat Brutum, Antonium exuit castris. Tunc quidem etiam manu pulcher apparuit. Nam cruentus et saucius aquilam a moriente signifero traditam suis umeris in castra referebat.
Alterum bellum concitavit agrorum divisio, quod Caesar veteranis patris pretium militiae persolvebat. Semper alias Antonii pessumum ingenium Fulvia tum gladio cincta virilis audaciae uxor agitabat. Ergo depulsos agris colonos incitando iterum in arma ierat. Hic vero iam non privatis, sed totius senatus suffragiis iudicatum hostem Caesar adgressus intra Perusiae morus redegit compulitque ad extrema deditionis turpi et nihil non experta fame.
Cum solus etiam gravis paci, gravis rei publicae esset Antonius, quasi ignis incendio Lepidus accessit. Quid contra duos consules, duos exercitus? Necesse fuit venire in cruentissimi foederis societatem. Diversa omnium vota, ut ingenia. Lepidum divitiarum cupido, quarum spes ex perturbatione rei publicae, Antonium ultiones de his qui se hostem iudicasset, Caesarem inultus pater et manibus eius graves Cassius et Brutus agitabant. In hoc velut foedus pax inter tres duces conponitur. Apud confluentes inter Perusiam et Bononiam iungunt manus, et exercitus consalutabat. Nullo bono more triumviratus invaditur, oppressaque armis re publica redit Sullana proscriptio, cuius atrocitas nihil in se minus habet quam numerum centum et quadraginta senatorum. Exitus foedi, truces, miserabiles toto terrarum orbe fugientium. Quis pro indignitate rei ingemescat, cum Antonius Lucium Caesarem avunculum suum, Lepidus Lucium Paulum fratrem suum proscripserint? Nam Romae capita caesorum proponere in rostris iam usitatum erat; verum sic quoque civitas lacrimas tenere non potuit, cum recisum Ciceronis caput illis suis rostris videretur, nec aliter ad videndum eum, quam solebat ad audiendum, concurreretur. Haec scelera in Antonii Lepidique tabulis: Caesar percussoribus patris contentus fuit, ideo ne in inulta fuisset, etiam iusta eius caedes haberetur.
Brutus et Cassius sic C. Caesarem quasi Tarquinium regem depulisse regno videbantur, sed libertatem, quam maxime restitutam voluerunt, illo ipso parricidio perdiderunt. Igitur caede perfecta cum veteranos Caesaris, nec inmerito, timerent, statim a curia in Capitolium confugerat. Nec illis ad ultionem deerat animus, sed ducem nondum habebant. Igitur cum appareret, quae strages rei publicae immineret, displicuit ultio, cum caedes probaretur. Igitur Ciceronis consiliis abolitione decreta, ne tamen publici doloris oculis ferirent, in provincias ab illo ipso quem occiderant Caesare datas, Syriam et Macedoniam concesserant. Sic vindicta Caesaris dilata potius quam oppressa est.
Igitur iam ordinata magis ut poterat quam ut debebat inter triumviros re publica, relicto ad urbis praesidium Lepido, Caesar cum Antonio in Cassium Brutumque succingitur. Illi comparatis ingentibus copiis eadem illam, quae fatalis Gnaeo Pompeio fuit, harenam insederant. Sed nec tum inminentia destinatae cladis signa latuerunt. Nam et signis insedit examen et adversae cadaverum pabulo volucres castra quasi iam sua circumvolabant, et in aciem prodeuntibus obvius Aethiops nimis aperte ferale signum fuit. Ipsique Bruto per noctem, cum inlato lumine ex more aliqua secum agitaret, atra quaedam imago se optulit, et, quae esset interrogata, "Tuus", inquit, "malus genius", ac sub oculis mirantis evanuit.
Pari in meliora praesagio in Caesaris castris omnia, aves victimaeque, promiserant. Sed nihil illo praesentius, quod Caesaris medicus somnio admonitus est, ut Caesar castris excederet, quibus capi inminebat; ut factum est. Acie namque commissa cum pari ardore aliquandiu dimicatum foret, et quamvis duces inde praesentes adessent, hinc alterum corporis aegritudo, illum metus et ignavia subduxissent, stabat tamen pro partibus invicta fortuna et ultoris et qui vindicabatur, ut exitus proelii docuit. Primum adeo anceps fuit, ut - par ultrimque discrimen - captas sint hinc Caesaris castra, inde Cassi. Sed quanto efficacior est fortuna quam virtus! Et quam verum est, quod moriens efflavit, non in re, sed in verbo tantum esse virtutem! Victoriam illi proelio error dedit. Cassius inclinato cornu suorum, cum captis Caesaris castris rapido impetu recipientes se equites videret, fugere arbitratus evadit in tumulum. Inde pulvere et strepitu, etiam nocte vicina eximentibus gestae rei sensum, cum speculator quoque in id missus tardius nuntiaret, transactum de partibus ratus uni ex proximis auferendum praebuit caput. Brutus cum in Cassio etiam suum animum perdidisset, ne quid ex constituti fide resignaret - ita enim non superesse bello convenerat - ipse quoque uni comitum suorum confodiendum praebuit latus. Qui sapientissimos ac fortissimos viros non miretur ad ultimum non sui manibus usos? Nisi hoc quoque ex persuasione sectae fuit, ne violarent manus, sed in amolitione fortissimarum piissimarumque animarum iudicio suo, scelere alieno uterentur.
Sublatis percussoribus Caesaris supererat Pompei domus. Alter iuvenum in Hispaniam occiderat, alter fuga evaserat contractisque infelicis belli reliquiis, cum insuper ergastula armasset, Siciliam Sardiniamque habebat; iam et classe medium mare insederat. O quam diversus a patre! Ille Cilicas extinxerat, hic se piratica tuebatur. Puteolos, Formias, Volturnum, totam denique Campaniam, Pontias et Aenariam, ipsa Tiberini fluminis ora populatus est. Subinde congressus Caesaris naves et incendit et demersit; nec ipse tantum, sed Mensas et Menecrates, foeda servitia, quos classi praefecerat, praedabundi per litora cuncta volitabant. Ob haec tot prospera centum bubus auratis Peloro litavit spirantemque equum cum auro in fretum misit, dona Neptuno hoc putabant, ut se maris rector in suo mari regnare pateretur. Eo denique discriminum ventum est, ut foedus et pax cum hoste - si modo hostis Pompei filius - tamen feriretur. Quantum id, sed breve gaudium fuit, cum in Baiani litoris mole de reditu eius et bonorum restitutione convenit, cumque invitante ipso in navem discubitum est, et ille sortem suam increpitans "hae sunt" inquit "carinae meae"; haud incomiter, quod, cum in celeberrima parte urbis, Carinis pater eius habitasset, ipsius domus et penates in navi penderent. Sed inportunitates Antonii, et Pompeianorum bonorum, quorum sector ille fuerat, praeda devorata, possessio manere non poterat: detrectare coepit foederis pactum.
Itaque et ille ad arma rursus, et in totis imperii viribus classis in iuvenem comparata est, cuius molitio ipsa magnifica. Quippe interciso Herculanae viae limite refossisque litoribus, Lucrinus lacus mutatus in portum eique interrupto medio additus est Avernus, ut in illa aquarum quiete classis exercita petitus in Siculo freto iuvenis oppressus est, magnique famam ducis ad inferos secum tulisset, si nihil temptasset ulterius; nisi quod magnae indolis signum est sperare semper. Perditis enim rebus profugit Asiamque velis petit, venturus ibi in manus hostium et catenas et, quod miserrimum est fortibus viris ad hostium arbitrium sub percussore moriturus. Non alia post Xerxen miserabilior fuga. Quippe modo trecentarum quinquaginta navium dominus cum sex septemve fugiebat extincto praetoriae navis lumine, anulis in mare abiectis, pavens atque respectans, et tamen non timens nisi ne reperiretur.
Quamvis in Cassio et Bruto partes sustulisset, in Pompeio totum partium nomen abolevisset, nondum tamen ad pacis stabilitatem profecerat Caesar, cum scopulus et nodus et mora publicae securitatis superesset Antonius. Nec ille defuit vitiis quin periret, immo omnia expertus ambitu et luxuria primum hostem, deinde cives, tandem etiam terrore saeculum liberavit.
Parthi clade Crassiana altius animos erexerat civilesque populi Romani discordias laeti acceperant. Itaque ut prima adfulsit occasio, non dubitaverunt et erumpere, ultro quidem invitante Labieno, qui missus a Cassio Brutoque - qui furor scelerum! - sollicitaverat hostes in auxilium. Et illi Pacoro, duce, regio iuvene, dispulerant Antoniana praesidia; Saxa legatus ne veniret in potestatem a gladio impetravit. Denique, ablata Syria, emanabat latius malum, hostibus sub auxilii specie sibi vincentibus, nisi Ventidius, et hic legatus Antonii, incredibili felicitate et Labieni copias ipsumque Pacorum et omnem Parthicum equitatum toto inter Oronten et Euphraten sinu late cecidisset. Viginti amplius milium fuit. Nec sine consilio ducis, qui simulato metu adeo passus est hostem castris succedere, donec absumpto iactus spatio adimeret usum sagittarum. Rex fortissime dimicans cecidit. Mox circumlato eius per urbes, quae desciverant, capite Syria sine bello recepta. Sic Crassianam cladem Pacori caede pensavimus.
Expertis invicem Parthis atque Romanis, cum Crassus et Pacorus utrimque virum mutuarum documenta fecissent, pari rursus reverentia integrata amicitia, et quidem ab ipso foedus Antonio cum rege percussum. Sed - immensa vanitas hominis - domus titulorum cupidine Araxen et Euphraten sub imaginibus suis legi concupiscit, neque causa neque consilio ac ne imaginaria quidem belli indictione, quasi hoc quoque ex arte ducis esset obrepere, relicta repente Syria in Parthos impetum fecit. Gens praeter armorum fiduciam callida simulat trepidationem et in campos fugam. Et hic statim quasi victor sequebatur, cum subito nec magna hostium manus ex improviso et iam in fessos via sub vespere velut nimbus erupit et missis undique sagittis duas legiones operuerunt. Nihil acciderat in comparationem cladis, quae in posterum diem inminebat, nisi intervenisset deum miseratio. Vnus ex clade Crassiana Parthico habitu castris adequitat et salute Latine data, cum fidem ipso sermone fecisset, quid inmineret edocuit: iam adfuturum cum omnibus copiis regem; irent retro peteremque montis; sic quoque hostem fortasse non defore. Atque ita secuta est minor vis hostium quam inminebat; adfuit tamen. Deletae reliquiae copiae forent, nisi urgentibus telis in modum grandinis quidam forte quasi docti procubuissent in genua milites, et elatis supra capita secutis caesorum speciem praebuissent. Tunc Parthus arcus inhibuit. Dein rursus cum se Romani extulissent, adeo res miraculo fuit, ut unus ex barbaris miserit vocem: "Ite et bene valete, Romani! Merito vos victores fama gentium loquitur, qui Parthorum tela fugistis." Non minor ex via postea quam ab hostibus accepta clades. Infesta primum siti regio, tum quibusdam salmacidae [fluvius] infestiores, novissime quae iam ab invalidis et audite hauriebantur noxiae etiam dulces fuere. Mox et ardores per Armeniam et nives per Cappadociam et utriusque caeli subita mutatio pro pestilentia fuit. Sic vix tertia parte de sedecim legionibus reliqua, cum argentum eius passim dolabris concideretur, et subinde inter moras mortem ab gladiatore suo flagitasset egregius imperator, tamen perfugit in Syriam, ubi incredibili quadam mentis vecordia ferocior aliquando factus est, quasi vicisset, qui evaserat.
Furor Antonii quatenus per ambitum non poterat interire, luxu libidine extinctus est. Quippe cum Parthos exorsus arma in otio ageret, captus amore Cleopatrae quasi bene gestis rebus in regio se sinu reficiebat. Hunc mulier Aegyptia ab ebrio imperatore pretium libidinum Romanum imperium petit; et promisit Antonius, quasi facilior esset Partho Romanus. Igitur dominationem parare nec tacite; sed patriae, nominis, togae, fascium oblitus totus in monstrum illud ut mente, ita habitu quoque cultuque desciverat. Aureum in manu baculum, ad latus acinaces, purpurea vestis ingentibus obstricta gemmis: diadema deerat, ut regina ex et ipse frueretur. Ad primam novorum motuum famam Caesar a Brundisio traiecerat, ut venienti bello occurreret, positisque castris in Epiro omne litus Actiacum, Leucadem insulam montemque Leucatem et Ambracii sinus cornua infesta classe succinxerat. Nobis quadrigentae amplius naves, ducentae non minus hostium; sed numerum magnitudo pensabat. Quippe a sensis novenos remorum ordines, ad hoc turribus atque tabulatis adlevatae castellorum vel urbium specie, non sine gemitu maris et labore ventorum ferebatur; quae quidem ipsa moles exitio fuit. Caesaris naves a bini remigum in senos nec amplius ordines creverant; itaque habites in omnia quae usus posceret, ad impetus et recursus flexusque capiendos, illas gravis et ad omnia praepeditas singulas plures adortae missilibus, simul rostris, ad hoc ignibus iactis ad arbitrium dissipavere. Nec ulla re magis hostilium copiarum apparuit magnitudo quam post victoriam. Quippe inmensae classis naufragium bello factum toto mari ferebatur, Arabumque et Sabaeorum et mille aliarum Asiae gentium spolia purpura auroque inlita adsidue mote ventis maria revomebant. Prima dux fugae regina cum aurea puppe veloque purpureo in altum dedit. Mox secutus Antonius, sed instare vestigiis Caesar. Itaque nec praeparata in Oceanum fuga nec munita praesidiis utraque Aegypti cornua, Paraetonium atque Pelusium, profuere: prope manu tenebantur. Prior ferrum occupavit Antonius, regina ad pedes Caesaris provoluta temptavit oculos ducis. Frustra quidem; nam pulchritudo infra pudicitiam principis fuit. Nec illa de vita, quae offerebatur, sed de parte regi laborabat. Quod ubi desperavit a principe servarique se triumpho vidit, incautiorem nancta custodiam in mausoleum se (sepulchra regum sic vocant) recipit. Ibi maximos, ut solebat, induta cultus in referto odoribus solio iuxta suum se conlocavit Antonium, admotisque ad venas serpentibus sic morte quasi somno soluta est.
Hic finis armorum civilium: reliqua adversus exteras gentes, quae districto circa mala sua imperio diversis orbis oris emicabant. Nova quippe pax, necdum adsuetae frenis servitutis tumidae gentium inflataeque cervices ab imposito nuper iugo resiliebat. Ab septentrionem conversa ferme plaga ferocius agebat, Norici, Illyrici, Pannonii, Dalmatae, Moesi, Thraces et Daci, Sarmatae atque Germani.
Noricis animos dabant Alpes, quasi in rupes et nives bellum posset ascendere; sed omnes illius cardinis populos, Breunos, Vcennos atque Vindelicos, per privignum suum Claudium Drusum perpacavit. Quae fuerit Alpinarum gentium feritas, facile est vel per mulieres ostendere, quae deficientibus telis infantes suos adflictos humi in ora militum adversa miserunt.
Illyrici quoque sub Alpibus agunt imasque valles earum et quaedam quasi claustra custodiunt abrupit torrentibus inplicata. In hos expeditionem ipse sumpsit fierique pontes imperavit.
Hic et aquis et hoste turbantibus, cunctanti ad ascensum militi scutum de manu rapuit et viam primus ingressus est. Tum agmine secuto cum sublatus multitudine pons succidisset, saucius manibus et cruribus, speciosior sanguine et ipso periculo augustior terga hostium praecidit.
Pannonii duobus acribus fluviis, Dravo Savoque vallantur. Populati proximos intra ripas se recipiebant. In hos domandos Vinium misit. Caesi sunt in utrisque fluminibus. Arma victorum non ex more belli cremata, sed rupta sunt et in profluentem data, ut Caesari nomen eis qui resistebant sic nuntiaretur.
Dalmatae plerumque sub silvis agebant; unde in latrocinia promptissimi. Hos iam pridem Marcius consul incerta urbe Delminio quasi detruncaverat, postea Asinius Pollio gregibus, armis, agris multaverat - hic secundus orator - sed Augustus perdomandos Vibio mandat, qui efferum genus fodere terras coegit aurumque venis repurgare; quod alioquin gens omnium cupidissima eo studio, ea diligentia anquirit, ut illud in usus suos eruere videatur.
Moeni quam feri, quam truces fuerint, quam ipsorum etiam barbari barbarorum horribile dictu est. Vnus ducum ante aciem postulato silentio: "Qui vos estis?", inquit, responsum invicem: "Romani gentium domini". Et ille "ita" inquit "fiet, si nos viceritis". Accepit omen Marcus Crassus. Illi statim ante aciem inmolato equo concepere votum, ut caesorum extis ducum et litarent et vescerentur. Deos audisse crediderim: nec tubas sustinere potuerunt. Non minimum terroris incussit barbaris Comicius centurio satis barbarae, efficacis tamen apud tales homines stoliditatis, qui foculum gerens super cassidem, agitatum motu corporis, flamman velut ardenti capite funditabat.
Thraces antea saepe, tum maxime Rhoemetalce rege desciverant. Ille barbaros et signis militaribus et disciplina, armis etiam Romanis adsueverat; sed a Pisone perdomiti in ipsa captivitate rabiem ostendere. Quippe cum catenas morsibus temptaret, feritatem suam ipsi puniebat.
Daci montibus inhaerent. Inde Cotisonis regis imperio, quotiens concretus gelu Danuvius iunxerat ripas, decurrere solebant et vicina populari. Visum est Caesari Augusto gentem aditu difficilem summovere. Misso igitur Lentulo ultra ulteriorem perpulit ripam; citra praesidia constituta. Sic tum Dacia non victa, sed summota atque dilata est.
Sarmatae patentibus campis inequitant. Et hos per eundem Lentulum prohibere Danuvio satis fuit. Nihil praeter nives pruinasque et silvas habent. Tanta barbaria est, ut nec intellegant pacem.
Germaniam quoque utinam vincere tanti non putasset! Magis turpiter amissa est quam gloriose adquisita. Sed quatenus sciebat patrem suum C. Caesarem bis transvectum ponte Rhenum quaesisse bellum, in illius honorem concupierant facere provinciam; et factum erat, si barbari tam vitia nostra quam imperia ferre potuisset.
Missus in eam provinciam Drusus primos domuit Vsipetes, inde Tencteros percucurrit et Catthos. Nam Marcomannorum spoliis et insignibus quendam editum tumulum in tropaei modum excoluit. Inde validissimas nationes Cheruscos Suebosque et Sicambros pariter adgressus est, qui viginti centurionibus in crucem actis hoc velut sacramento sumpserant bellum, adeo certa victoriae spe, ut praedam in antecessum pactione diviserint. Cherusci equos, Suebi aurum et argentum, Sicambri captivos elegarant; sed omnia retrorsum. Victor namque Drusus equos, pecora, torques eorum ipsoque praedam divisit et vendidit. Praeterea in tutelam provinciae praesidia atque custodias obique disposuit per Mosam flumen, per Albin, per Visurgim. In Rheni quidem ripa quinquaginta amplius castella dixerit. Bonam et Gesoriacum pontibus iunxit classibusque firmavit. Invisum atque inaccessum in id tempus Hercynium saltum patefecit. Ea denique in Germania pax erat, ut mutati homines, alia terra, caelum ipsum mitius molliusque solito videretur. Denique non per adulationem, sed ex meritis, defuncto ibi fortissimo iuvene, ipse, quod numquam alias, senatus cognomen ex provincia dedit.
Sed difficilius est provincias optinere quam facere; viribus parantur, iure retinerentur. Igitur breve id gaudium. Quippe Germani victi magis quam domini erant, moresque nostros magis quam arma sub imperatore Druso suspiciebant; postquam ille defunctus est, Vari Quintili libidinem ac superbiam haud secus quam saevitiam odisse coeperunt. Ausus ille agere conventum, et incautus edixerat, quasi violentiam barbarum lictoris virgis et praeconis voce posset inhibere. At illi, qui iam pridem robigine obsitos enses inertesque maererent equos, ut primum togas et saeviora armis iura viderunt, duce Armenio arma corripuit; cum interim tanta erat Varo pacis fiducia, ut ne prodita quidem per Segesten unum principum coniuratione commoveretur. Itaque improvidum et nihil tale metuentem ex improviso adorti, cum ille - o securitas! - ad tribunal citaret, undique invadunt; castra rapiuntur, tres legiones opprimuntur. Varus perditas res eodem quo Cannensem diem Paulus et fato est animo secutus. Nihil illa caede per paludes perque silvas cruentius, nihil insultatione barbarum intolerantius, praecipue tamen in causarum patronos. Aliis oculos, aliis manus amputabant, unius os sutum, recisa prius lingua, quam in manu tenens barbarus "tandem" ait, "vipera, sibilare desisti." Ipsius quoque consulis corpus, quod militum pietas humi abdiderat, effossum. Signa et aquilas duas adhuc barbari possident, tertiam signifer, prius quam in manus hostium veniret, evulsit mersamque intra baltei sui latebras gerens in cruenta palude sic latuit. Hac clade factum, ut imperium, quod in litore Oceani non steterat, in ripa Rheni fluminis staret.
Haec ad septentrionem: sub meridiano tumultuatum magis quam bellatum est. Musulamios atque Gaetulos, unde illi Gaetulici nomen latius quam ipsa victoria. Marmaridas atque Garamantas Quirinio subigendos dedit. Potuit et ille redire Marmaricus, sed modestior in aestimanda victoria fuit.
Ad orientem plus negotii cum Armeniis. Huc alterum ex Caesaribus, nepotibus suis, misit. Ambo fato breves, sed alter inglorius. Massiliae quippe morbo Lucius solvitur, in Syria Gaius ex volnere occubuit, cum Armeniam ad Parthos se subtrahentem recepit. Armenios victo rege Tigrane in hoc unum servitutis genus Pompeius adsueverat, ut rectores a nobis acciperent. Intermissum ergo ius per hunc recuperatum non incruento, nec multo tamen certamine. Quippe Donnes, quem rex Arsaces Parthis praefecerat, simulata proditione adortus virum intentum libello, quem ut thensaurorum rationes continentem ipse porrexerat, stricto repente ferro subiit. Et tunc quidem Caesar recreatus est ex volnere in tempus et **** Ceterum barbarus undique infesto exercitu oppressus gladio et pyra, in quam se percussus inmisit, superstiti etiam nunc Caesari satisfecit.
Sub occasus pacata erat fere omnis Hispania, nisi quam Pyrenaei desinentis scopulis inhaerentem citerior adluebat Oceanus. Hic duae validissime gentes, Cantabri et Astures, inmunes imperii agitabant. Cantabrorum et prior acrior et magis pertinax in rebellando animus fuit, qui non contenti libertatem suam defendere proximis etiam imperitare temptabant Vaccaeosque et Turmogidos et Autrigonas crebris incursionibus fatigabant. In hos igitur, quia vehementius agere nuntiabantur, non est expeditio mandata, sed sumpta. Ipse venit Segisamam, castra posuit; inde tripertito exercitu totam Cantabriam amplexus efferam gentem ritum ferarum quasi quadam cogebat indagine. Nec ab Oceano quies, cum infesta classe ipsa quoque terga hostium caederentur. Primum adversus Cantabros sub moenibus Bergidae proeliatum. Hinc statim fuga in eminentissimum Vindium montem, quo maria prius Oceani quam arma Romana ascensura esse crediderant. Tertio Aracillum oppidum magna vi repugnat; captum tamen postremo fuit Medulli montis obsidio, quem perpetua quindecim milium fossa comprehensum undique simul adeunte Romano postquam extrema barbari vident, certatim igne, ferro inter epulas venenoque, quod ibi ex arboribus taxeis exprimitur, praecepere mortem, seque pars maior a captivitate, quae morte gravior ad id tempus indomitis videbatur, vindicaverunt. Haec per Antistium Furniumque legatos et Agrippam hibernans in Tarraconis maritimis Caesar accepit. Mox ipse praesens hoc deduxit montibus, hoc obsidibus adstrinxit, hoc sub corona iure belli venundedit. Digna res lauro, digna curru senatui visa est; sed iam tantum erat Caesar, ut triumphos augeri contemneret. Astures per id tempus ingenti agmine a montibus niveis descenderant. Nec temere sumptus, ut barbaris, impes; sed positis castris apud Asturam flumen trifariam diviso agmine tria simul Romanorum adgredi parant castra. Fuissetque anceps et cruentum et utinam mutua cladem certamen cum tam fortibus tam subito, tam cum consilio venientibus, nisi Brigaecini prodidissent, a quibus praemonitus Carisius cum exercitum advenit. Pro ut victoria fuit oppressisse consilia, sic tamen quoque non incruento certamine. Reliquias fusi exercitus validissima civitas Lancia excepti, ubi cum locis adeo certatum est, ut cum in captam urbem faces poscerentur, aegre dux impetraverit veniam, ut victoriae Romanae stans potius esset quem incensa monumentum.
Hinc finis Augusto bellicorum certaminum fuit, inde rebellandi finis Hispaniae. Certa mox fides et aeterna pax, cum ipsorum ingenio in pacis artes promptiore, tum consilio Caesaris, qui fiduciam montium timens in quo se recipiebant, castra sua, quia in plano erat, habitare et incolere iussit: ibi gentis esse consilium, illud observari caput. Favebat consilio natura regionis: circa enim omnis aurifera et chrysocollae miniique et aliorum colorum ferax. Itaque exerceri solum iussit. Sic Astures nitentes in profundo opes suas atque divitias, dum aliis quaerunt, nosse coeperunt.
Omnibus ad occasum et meridiem pacatis gentibus ad septentrionem quoque, dumtaxat intra Rhenum atque Danuvium, item ad orientem intra Cyrum et Euphraten, illi quoque reliqui, qui inmunes imperii erant, sentiebant tamen magnitudinem et victorem gentium populum Romanum reverebantur. Nam et Scythae misere legatos et Sarmatae amicitiam petentes. Seres etiam habitantesque sub ipso sole Indi, cum gemmis et margaritis elephantos quoque inter munera trahentes, nihil magis quam longinquitatem viae inputabant - quadriennium inpleverant; et tamen ipse hominum color ab alio venire caelo fatebatur. Parthi quoque, quasi victoriae paeniteret, rapta clade Crassiana signa ultro rettulere. Sic ubique certa atque continua totius generis humanis aut pax fuit aut pactio, aususque tandem Caesar Augustus septingentesimo ab urbe condita anno Ianum geminum cludere, bis ante se clusum sub Numa rege et victa primum Carthagine.
Hinc conversus ad pacem pronum in omnia mala et in luxuriam fluens saeculum gravibus severisque legibus multis coercuit, ob haec tot facta ingentia dictator perpetuus et pater patriae. Tractatum etiam in senatu an, quia condidisset imperium, Romulus vocarentur; sed sanctius et reverentius visum est nomen Augusti, ut scilicet iam tum, dum colit terras, ipso nomine et titulo consecraretur.