Part 5 out of 15

After the term of Fabius as dictator had expired, new consuls were chosen.
They commanded the largest army Rome had ever put in the field. The
opposing forces met at Cannae in Apulia. The Carthaginians numbered less
than fifty thousand men; the Romans had more than eighty thousand troops.
Hannibal's sole superiority lay in his cavalry, which was posted on the
wings with the infantry occupying the space between. Hannibal's center was
weak and gave way before the Romans, who fought this time massed in solid
columns. The arrangement was a poor one, for it destroyed the mobility of
the legions. The Roman soldiers, having pierced the enemy's lines, now
found themselves exposed on both flanks to the African infantry and taken
in the rear by Hannibal's splendid cavalry. The battle ended in a hideous
butchery. One of the consuls died fighting bravely to the last; the other
escaped from the field and with the wreck of his army fled to Rome. A
Punic commander who survived such a disaster would have perished on the
cross; the Roman commander received the thanks of the Senate "for not
despairing of the republic." [5]


The battle of Cannae marks the summit of Hannibal's career. He maintained
himself in Italy for thirteen years thereafter, but the Romans, taught by
bitter experience, refused another engagement with their foe. Hannibal's
army was too small and too poorly equipped with siege engines for a
successful attack on Rome. His brother, Hasdrubal, led strong
reinforcements from Spain to Italy, but these were caught and destroyed
before they could effect a junction with Hannibal's troops. Meanwhile the
brilliant Roman commander, Publius Scipio, drove the Carthaginians from
Spain and invaded Africa. Hannibal was summoned from Italy to face this
new adversary. He came, and on the field of Zama (202 B.C.) met his first
and only defeat. Scipio, the victor, received the proud surname,


Exhausted Carthage could now do no more than sue for peace on any terms
that Rome was willing to grant. In the hour of defeat she still trusted
her mighty soldier, and it was Hannibal who conducted the final
negotiations. The conditions of peace were severe enough. The
Carthaginians gave up Spain and all their ships except ten triremes. They
were saddled with a huge indemnity and bound to engage in no war without
the consent of Rome. Carthage thus became a dependent ally of the Roman


In describing the course and outcome of the Second Punic War our
sympathies naturally go out to the heroic figure of Hannibal, who fought
so long and so bravely for his native land. It is clear, however, that
Rome's victory in the gigantic struggle was essential to the continued
progress of classical civilization. The triumph of Carthage in the third
century, like that of Persia in the fifth century, [6] must have resulted
in the spread of Oriental ideas and customs throughout the Mediterranean.
From this fate Rome saved Europe.



Carthage had been humbled, but not destroyed. She still enjoyed the
advantages of her magnificent situation and continued to be a competitor
of Rome for the trade of the Mediterranean. The Romans watched with
jealousy the reviving strength of the Punic city and at last determined to
blot it out of existence. In 149 B.C. a large army was landed in Africa,
and the inhabitants of Carthage were ordered to remove ten miles from the
sea. They resolved to perish in the ruins of their capital, rather than
obey such a cruel command.

[Illustration: A TESTUDO
A relief from the Column of Trajan, Rome. The name _testudo_ a tortoise
(shell) was applied to the covering made by a body of soldiers who placed
their shields over their heads The shields fitted so closely together that
men could walk on them and even horses and chariots could be driven over

[Illustration: Map, THE EXPANSION OF ROMAN DOMINIONS 264-133 B. C.]


Carthage held out for three years. The doubtful honor of its capture
belonged to Scipio Aemilianus, grandson, by adoption, of the victor of
Zama. For seven days the legionaries fought their way, street by street,
house by house, until only fifty thousand inhabitants were left to
surrender to the tender mercies of the Romans. The Senate ordered that the
city should be burned and that its site should be plowed up and dedicated
to the infernal gods. Such was the end of the most formidable rival Rome
ever met in her career of conquest. [7]


The two European countries, Sicily and Spain, which Rome had taken from
Carthage, presented to the conqueror very different problems. Sicily had
been long accustomed to foreign masters. Its civilized and peace-loving
inhabitants were as ready to accept Roman rule as, in the past, they had
accepted the rule of Greeks and Carthaginians. Every year the island
became more and more a part of Italy and of Rome.


Spain, on the contrary, gave the Romans some hard fighting. The wild
Spanish tribes loved their liberty, and in their mountain fastnesses long
kept up a desperate struggle for independence. It was not until the Romans
sent Scipio Aemilianus to Spain that the Spanish resistance was finally
overcome (133 B.C.).


All Spain, except the inaccessible mountain district in the northwest, now
became Roman territory. Many colonists settled there; traders and
speculators flocked to seaports; even the legionaries, quartered in Spain
for long periods, married Spanish wives and, on retiring from active
service, made their homes in the peninsula. Rome thus continued in Spain
the process of Romanization which she had begun in Italy. [8] She was to
repeat this process in Gaul and Britain. [9] Her way was prepared by the
sword; but after the sword came civilization.


While Rome was subduing the West, she was also extending her influence
over the highly civilized peoples of the East. Roman interference in the
affairs of Macedonia found an excuse in the attempt of that country,
during the Second Punic War, to give aid to Hannibal. It was a fateful
moment when, for the second time, the legion faced the phalanx. The easy
victory over Macedonia showed that this Hellenistic kingdom was no match
for the Italian republic. Macedonia was finally made into a subject state
or province of Rome. Thus disappeared a great power, which Philip had
founded and which Alexander had led to the conquest of the world.



Having subdued Macedonia, Rome proclaimed Greece a free state. But this
"freedom" really meant subjection, as was amply proved when some of the
Greek cities rose in revolt against Roman domination. The heavy hand of
Roman vengeance especially descended on Corinth, at this time one of the
most beautiful cities of the world. In 146 B.C., the same year in which
the destruction of Carthage occurred, Corinth was sacked and burned to the
ground. [10] The fall of Corinth may be said to mark the final extinction
of Greek liberty. Though the Hellenic cities and states were allowed to
rule themselves, they paid tribute and thus acknowledged the supremacy of
Rome. A century later, Greece became in name, as well as in fact, a
province of the Roman Empire. [11]


Rome, in the meantime, was drawn into a conflict with the kingdom of
Syria. That Asiatic power proved to be no more capable than Macedonia of
checking the Roman advance. The Syrian king had to give up the greater
part of his possessions in Asia Minor. The western part of the peninsula,
together with the Greek cities on the coast, was formed in 133 B.C. into
the province of Asia. Thus the same year that witnessed the complete
establishment of Roman rule in Spain saw Rome gain her first possessions
at the opposite end of the Mediterranean.


Roman supremacy over the Mediterranean world was now all but complete. In
264 B.C. Rome had been only one of the five great Mediterranean states. In
133 B.C. no other power existed to match its strength with that of Rome.
To her had fallen in the West the heritage of Carthage, in the East the
heritage of Alexander. Rome had built up this mighty empire at a terrible
cost in blood and treasure. Let us see what use she was to make of it.



Rome's dealings with the new dependencies across the sea did not follow
the methods that had proved so successful in Italy. The Italian peoples
had been treated with great liberality. Rome regarded them as allies,
exempted them from certain taxes, and in many instances gave them Roman
citizenship. It did not seem possible to extend this wise policy to remote
and often barbarous lands beyond the borders of Italy. Rome adopted,
instead, much the same system of imperial rule that had been previously
followed by Persia and by Athens. [12] She treated the foreign peoples
from Spain to Asia as subjects and made her conquered territories into
provinces. [13] Their inhabitants were compelled to pay tribute and to
accept the oversight of Roman officials.


As the Romans came more and more to relish the opportunities for plunder
afforded by a wealthy province, its inhabitants were often wretchedly
misgoverned. Many governors of the conquered lands were corrupt and
grasping men. They tried to wring all the money they could from their
helpless subjects. To the extortions of the governors must be added those
of the tax collectors, whose very name of "publican" [14] became a byword
for all that was rapacious and greedy. In this first effort to manage the
world she had won, Rome had certainly made a failure. A city-state could
not rule, with justice and efficiency, an empire.


In the old days, before Rome entered on a career of foreign conquest, her
citizens were famous among men for their love of country, their simple
lives, and their conservative, old-fashioned ways. They worked hard on
their little farms, fought bravely in the legions, and kept up with
careful piety all the ceremonies of their religion. But now the Roman
republic was an imperial power with all the privileges of universal rule.
Her foreign wars proved to be immensely profitable. At the end of a
successful campaign the soldiers received large gifts from their general,
besides the booty taken from the enemy. The Roman state itself profited
from the sale of enslaved prisoners and their property. Large sums of
money were sometimes seized and taken to Rome. When once peace had been
made, the Roman governors and tax collectors followed in the wake of the
armies and squeezed the provincials at every turn. The Romans, indeed,
seem to have conquered the world less for glory than for profit.


So much wealth poured into Rome from every side that there could scarcely
fail to be a sudden growth of luxurious tastes. Rich nobles quickly
developed a relish for all sorts of reckless display. They built fine
houses adorned with statues, costly paintings, and furnishings. They
surrounded themselves with troops of slaves. Instead of plain linen
clothes they and their wives wore garments of silk and gold. At their
banquets they spread embroidered carpets, purple coverings, and dishes of
gilt plate. Pomp and splendor replaced the rude simplicity of an earlier


But if the rich were becoming richer, it seems that the poor were also
becoming poorer. After Rome became mistress of the Mediterranean, her
markets were flooded with the cheap wheat raised in the provinces,
especially in those granaries, Sicily and Africa. The price of wheat fell
so low that Roman peasants could not raise enough to support their
families and pay their taxes. When agriculture became unprofitable, the
farmer was no longer able to remain on the soil. He had to sell out, often
at a ruinous sacrifice. His land was bought by capitalists, who turned
many small fields into vast sheep pastures and cattle ranches. Gangs of
slaves, laboring under the lash, gradually took the place of the old Roman
peasantry, the very strength of the state. Not unjust was the famous
remark, "Great domains ruined Italy." [15]


The decline of agriculture and the disappearance of the small farmer under
the stress of foreign competition may be studied in modern England as well
as in ancient Italy. Nowadays an English farmer, under the same
circumstances, will often emigrate to America or to Australia, where land
is cheap and it is easy to make a living. But these Roman peasants did not
care to go abroad and settle on better soil in Spain or in Africa. They
thronged, instead, to the cities, to Rome especially, where they labored
for a small wage, fared plainly on wheat bread, and dwelt in huge lodging
houses, three or four stories high.


We know very little about this poorer population of Rome. They must have
lived from hand to mouth. Since their votes controlled elections, [16]
they were courted by candidates for office and kept from grumbling by
being fed and amused. Such poor citizens, too lazy for steady work, too
intelligent to starve, formed, with the other riffraff of a great city,
the elements of a dangerous mob. And the mob, henceforth, plays an ever-
larger part in the history of the times.


We must not imagine, however, that all the changes in Roman life worked
for evil. If the Romans were becoming more luxurious, they were likewise
gaining in culture. The conquests which brought Rome in touch, first with
Magna Graecia and Sicily, then with Greece itself and the Hellenic East,
prepared the way for the entrance of Hellenism. Roman soldiers and traders
carried back to Italy an acquaintance with Greek customs and ideas.
Thousands of cultivated Greeks, some as slaves, others as freemen, settled
in the capital as actors, physicians, artists, and writers. There they
introduced the Greek language, as well as the religion, literature, and
art of their native land. Roman nobles of the better type began to take an
interest in other things than simply farming, commerce, or war. They
imitated Greek fashions in dress and manners, collected Greek books, and
filled their homes with the productions of Greek artists. Henceforth every
aspect of Roman society felt the quickening influence of the older, richer
culture of the Hellenic world. It was a Roman poet who wrote, "Captive
Greece captured her conqueror rude." [17]



In 133 B.C., a year otherwise made memorable by the final subjugation of
Spain and the acquisition of Asia, efforts began Rome to remedy some of
the disorders which were now seen to be sapping the strength of Roman
society. The first persons to undertake the work of reform were the two
brothers, Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus. The Gracchi belonged to the highest
nobility of Rome. Their father had filled a consulship and a censorship
and had celebrated triumphs. Cornelia, their mother, was a daughter of
Scipio Africanus, the conqueror of Hannibal. A fine type of the Roman
matron, she called her boys her "jewels," more precious than gold, and
brought them up to love their country better than their own lives.
Tiberius, the elder brother, was only thirty years of age when he became a
tribune and began his career in Roman politics.


Tiberius signalized his election to the tribunate by bringing forward his
celebrated agrarian law. He proposed that the public lands of Rome, then
largely occupied by wealthy men who alone had the money necessary to work
them with cattle and slaves, should be reclaimed by the state, divided
into small tracts, and given to the poorer citizens. By getting the people
back again on the soil, Tiberius hoped to revive the declining agriculture
of Italy.


This agrarian law, though well intentioned, did not go to the root of the
real difficulty--foreign competition. No legislation could have helped the
farming class, except import duties to keep out the cheap grain from
abroad. But the idle mob at Rome, controlling the assemblies, would never
have voted in favor of taxing their food, thus making it more expensive.
At the same time the proposal to take away part of the public domains from
its possessors roused a hornet's nest about the reformer's ears. Rich
people had occupied the public land for so long that they had come to look
upon it as really their own. They would be very sure to oppose such a
measure. Poor people, of course, welcomed a scheme which promised to give
them farms for nothing. Tiberius even wished to use the public funds to
stock the farms of his new peasantry. This would have been a mischievous
act of state philanthropy.


In spite of these defects in his measure, Tiberius urged its passage with
fiery eloquence. But the great landowners in the Senate got another
tribune, devoted to their interests, to place his veto [18] on the
proposed legislation. The impatient Tiberius at once took a revolutionary
step. Though a magistrate could not legally be removed from office,
Tiberius had the offending tribune deposed and dragged from his seat. The
law was then passed without further opposition. This action of Tiberius
placed him clearly in the wrong. The aristocrats threatened to punish him
as soon as his term of office was over. To avoid impeachment Tiberius
sought reelection to the tribunate for the following year. This, again,
was contrary to custom, since no one might hold office for two successive
terms. On the day appointed for the election, while voting was in
progress, a crowd of angry senators burst into the Forum and killed
Tiberius, together with three hundred of his followers. Both sides had now
begun to display an utter disregard for law. Force and bloodshed,
henceforth, were to help decide political disputes.


Tiberius Gracchus, in his efforts to secure economic reform, had
unwittingly provoked a conflict between the Senate and the assemblies. Ten
years after his death, his brother, Gaius Gracchus, came to the front.
Gaius quickly made himself a popular leader with the set purpose of
remodeling the government of Rome. He found in the tribunate an office
from which to work against the Senate. After the death of Tiberius a law
had been passed permitting a man to hold the position of tribune year
after year. Gaius intended to be a sort of perpetual tribune, and to rule
the Roman assemblies very much as Pericles had ruled the people at Athens.
[19] One of his first measures was a law permitting the sale of grain from
the public storehouses to Roman citizens at about half the market price.
This measure, of course, won over the city mob, but it must be regarded as
very unwise. It saddled the treasury with a heavy burden, and later the
government had to furnish the grain for nothing. Indiscriminate charity of
this sort increased, rather than lessened, the number of paupers.


Having won popular support, Gaius was able to secure the additional
legislation which he deemed necessary to carry out his brother's work. He
reenacted the land laws for the benefit of the peasantry and furnished
work for the unemployed by building roads throughout Italy. He also began
to establish colonies of poor citizens, both in Italy and in the
provinces. This was a wise policy. Had it been allowed to continue, such
state-assisted emigration, by providing the landless poor of Italy with
farms abroad, would have relieved the economic distress of the peninsula.


Gaius now came forward with another measure which marked him as an able
and prudent statesman. He proposed to bestow the right of voting in the
Roman assemblies upon the inhabitants of the Latin colonies. [20] He
thought, also, that the Italian allies should be allowed to intermarry
with Romans and hold property under the protection of the Roman law. No
doubt Gaius believed that the time might come when all the Italian peoples
would be citizens of Rome. This time did come, thirty years later, but
only after a terrible war that nearly ruined Rome.


The effort by Gaius to extend Roman citizenship cost the reformer all his
hard-won popularity. It aroused the jealousy of the selfish city mob,
which believed that the entrance of so many new citizens would mean the
loss of its privileges. There would not be so many free shows and so much
cheap grain. So the people rejected the measure and, turning from their
former favorite, failed to reelect him to the tribunate. When Gaius was no
longer protected by the sanctity of the tribune's office, [21] he fell an
easy victim to senatorial hatred. Another bloody tumult broke out, in
which Gaius and three thousand of his followers perished. The consul who
quelled the disturbance erected at the head of the Forum a temple to
Harmony (_Concordia_).


The pathetic career of the Gracchi had much significance in Roman history.
They were the unconscious sponsors of a revolutionary movement which did
not end until the republic had come under the rule of one man. They failed
because they put their trust in the support of the Roman mob. Future
agitators were to appear with the legionaries at their heels.



Although Rome now ruled throughout the Mediterranean, she was constantly
engaged in border wars in one corner or another of her wide dominions.
These wars brought to the front new military leaders, of whom the first
was Gaius Marius. He was a peasant's son, a coarse, rude soldier, but an
honest, courageous, and able man. Marius rose to prominence in the so-
called Jugurthine War, which the Romans were waging against Jugurtha, king
of Numidia. That wily African had discovered that it was easier to bribe
the Roman commanders than to fight them; and the contest dragged on in
disgraceful fashion year after year. Marius at last persuaded the people
to elect him consul and intrust him with the conduct of the war. By
generalship and good fortune he speedily concluded the struggle and
brought Jugurtha in chains to Rome.


A few years later Marius had another opportunity to win distinction. He
became the defender of Rome and Italy against a dangerous invasion of
Germanic barbarians, who were ravaging Transalpine Gaul and the Po Valley.
The decisive victories which Marius gained over them removed a grave
danger which threatened the Roman world. The time had not yet come for
ancient civilization to be submerged under a wave of barbarism.


The second military leader whom this troubled period brought forth was
Lucius Cornelius Sulla. He was a man of noble birth, and with his social
gifts, his appreciation of art and letters, his knowledge of men and the
world, presented a sharp contrast to Marius. Sulla's great abilities
quickly brought him into public notice; he rose rapidly from one office to
another; and in the Social War showed his skill as a commander. This
struggle was the consequence of Rome's refusal to grant the rights of
citizenship to her Italian allies. The strength of the rebellion lay among
the Samnites and other peoples of central and southern Italy. The war came
to an end only when Rome promised the franchise to all Italians who
returned to their allegiance. Before many years had passed, the
inhabitants of nearly all the Italian towns south of the Rubicon River
received Roman citizenship. It was this same wise policy of making
conquered peoples equal with herself that afterwards led Rome to grant
citizenship to the inhabitants of the provinces. [22]


What military honors were gained in the struggle belonged to Sulla. His
reward was the consulship and an appointment as general in still another
conflict which distracted Rome had to face. While that city had been busy
with civil enemies and barbarian foes, a powerful state, known as Pontus,
had been growing up in Asia Minor. Its king, Mithradates, overran the
Roman provinces in the Orient and threatened to annex them to his own
kingdom. But Sulla, with greatly inferior forces, compelled Mithradates to
abandon his conquests, surrender his fleet, and pay a large indemnity. If
Marius had the honor of repelling the barbarian invasion of the West,
Sulla had the honor of preserving Rome's possessions in the East.


Marius and Sulla were rivals not only in war but also in politics. Sulla
naturally espoused the aristocratic cause and stood as the champion of the
Senate. Marius just as naturally became the head of the democratic party.
The rivalry between the two leaders finally led to civil war. During
Sulla's absence in the East the democrats got the upper hand at Rome and
revenged themselves by murdering their political foes among the
aristocrats. The reign of terror ended only with the sudden death of
Marius, just after he had been elected to his seventh consulship. A few
years later Sulla returned to Italy with his army and defeated the
democrats in a great battle outside the Colline Gate of Rome. Sulla
signalized his victory by ordering the assassination of every prominent
man in the democratic party.


Sulla regarded this legalized butchery as a necessary step in his self-
appointed task of putting the Roman government once more to rights. He now
received the title of "Perpetual Dictator," with complete authority to
govern the state until the new order of things should be established. Rome
thus came under the rule of one man for the first time since the expulsion
of the kings.


The various measures by which Sulla intrenched the Senate in power did not
long survive his death and hence had no lasting influence on Roman
politics. After a rule of three years Sulla voluntarily gave up the
dictatorship and retired to his villa on the bay of Naples. He died a few
months later. The Senate honored him with a public funeral, the most
splendid that Rome had ever seen. His monument bore an inscription which
the dictator himself is said to have composed: "No friend ever did him a
kindness and no enemy, a wrong, without being fully repaid." [23] That was
one epitaph which told the truth.



The struggle between Marius and Sulla, decided as it was by the sword,
marks a stage in the decline of the Roman Republic. The careers of these
two men showed how easily the state could be ruled by a successful
commander who had his soldiers behind him. After Sulla's death his friend
Pompey became the leading figure in Roman politics. Pompey's first service
was in Spain, where the adherents of Marius sought to humble the Senate
and the aristocratic party by encouraging the Spaniards to rise against
Roman rule. Having crushed this rebellion, Pompey returned to Italy in
time to take part in putting down a formidable insurrection of slaves,
outlaws, and ruined peasants. He was next intrusted with the war against
the pirates, who swarmed in the Mediterranean, preyed on commerce, and
plundered wealthy cities near the coast. Brilliant success in clearing the
seas of these marauders led to his being sent to the East to end the war
with Mithradates, who was once more in arms against Rome. Pompey drove the
Pontic monarch from his kingdom and then annexed Syria to the Roman
dominions. When Pompey returned to Rome in 62 B.C., he brought with him a
reputation as the most successful general of his time.

[Illustration: GNAEUS POMPEIUS MAGNUS (Spada Palace, Rome)]


We have seen how steadily since the days of the Gracchi the Roman state
had been moving toward the rule of one man. Marius, Sulla, and Pompey each
represent a step in the direction of monarchy. Yet there were still able
and patriotic leaders at Rome who believed in the old order of things and
tried their best to uphold the fast-perishing republic. No republican
statesman was more devoted to the constitution than Cicero. A native of
Arpinum, the same Italian town which had already given birth to Marius,
Cicero came to Rome a youth without wealth or family influence. He made
his way into Roman society by his social and conversational powers and by
his capacity for friendship. His mind had been carefully trained under the
influence of Hellenic culture; he had traveled and studied in Greece; and
throughout life he loved to steal away from the tumult of the Forum and
the law courts and enjoy the companionship of his books. Though the proud
nobles were inclined to look down on him as a "new man," Cicero's splendid
eloquence soon gave him prominence in politics. He ranks in fame as the
second orator of antiquity, inferior only to Demosthenes.

[Illustration: MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO (Vatican Museum, Rome)]


Cicero rose to prominence through his prosecution of Verres, a thieving
governor of Sicily. Verres had powerful friends among the nobles at Rome
and counted on his influence and wealth to escape punishment. He openly
boasted that he had plunder enough to live in luxury, even though he had
to surrender two-thirds of it as fees to his lawyers and bribes to the
jury. But Verres had not reckoned with the brilliant young advocate who
took up the cause of the oppressed provincials. Cicero hurried to Sicily
and there collected such an overwhelming mass of evidence that the bare
statement of the facts was enough to condemn the criminal. Verres went
into exile. Cicero became the head of the Roman bar. Seven years later he
was elected consul.


The year of Cicero's consulship was marked by an event which throws a
lurid light on the conditions of the time. Lucius Catiline, a young noble
of ability, but bankrupt in character and purse, organized a conspiracy to
seize Rome, murder the magistrates, and plunder the rich. He gathered
about himself outlaws of every description, slaves, and starving peasants
--all the discontented and needy classes throughout Italy. He and his
associates were desperate anarchists who sought to restore their own
broken fortunes by overturning the government. The spread of the
insurrection was checked by Cicero's vigorous measures. In a series of
famous speeches he exposed Catiline's plans to the astounded Senate.
Catiline then fled to his camp in Etruria and shortly afterwards perished
in battle, together with three thousand of his followers. Cicero now
gained fresh popularity and honor. The grateful citizens called him
"Father of his Country" (_Pater Patriae_).


Rome at this time held another prominent leader in politics, namely, Gaius
Julius Caesar. He belonged to a noble family, but his father had favored
the democratic cause and his aunt had married Marius. After Sulla's death
Caesar threw himself with energy into the game of politics at the capital
city. In these early years the future statesman seems to have been a
demagogue of the usual type, who sought through the favor of the people a
rapid rise to power. He won the ear of the multitude by his fiery
harangues, his bribes of money, and his gifts of food and public shows.
Caesar's expenditures for such purposes were enormous. Before he was
twenty-four he had spent all his private fortune. Henceforth he was
"financed" by the millionaire Crassus, who lent him the money so necessary
for a successful career as a politician.


Caesar and Crassus, the two leaders of the democratic party at Rome, now
joined with Pompey in what is called the First Triumvirate. To this "ring"
Pompey contributed his military reputation, Crassus, his wealth, and
Caesar, his influence over the Roman mob. Supported both by the people and
by the army, these three men were really masters of Rome. An immediate
result of the First Triumvirate was the appointment of Caesar as governor
of Cisalpine and Transalpine Gaul.

[Illustration: GAIUS JULIUS CAESAR (British Museum, London)]


The story of his career in Gaul has been related by Caesar himself in the
famous _Commentaries_. This book describes a series of military successes
which have given the author a place among the world's generals. Caesar
overran Transalpine Gaul, twice bridged the Rhine and invaded Germany,
made two expeditions to Britain, and brought within the Roman dominions
all the territory bounded by the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Rhine, and the
Atlantic Ocean.


Caesar's conquests in Gaul are more than a chapter in the history of the
art of war. They belong to the history of civilization. Henceforth the
frontier of prehistoric Europe retreated rapidly to the north. The map of
the ancient civilized world widened from the Mediterranean basin to the
shores of the Atlantic. Into the conquered lands came the Latin language,
the Roman law, and the customs and institutions of Rome. Gaul speedily
became one of the most flourishing parts of the Roman world. "Let the Alps
sink," exclaimed Cicero, "the gods raised them to shelter Italy from the
barbarians, but now they are no longer needed."


During Caesar's long absence in Gaul the First Triumvirate was suddenly
ended by the death of one of its members. It had been a part of their
bargain in dividing the Roman world that Crassus should have the
government of Syria. But this unlucky general, while aspiring to rival
Caesar's exploits by new conquests beyond the Euphrates, lost his army and
his life in battle with the Parthians. Besides checking the extension of
the Roman arms in the remote East, the disaster had its effect on Roman
politics. It dissolved the triumvirate and prepared the way for that
rivalry between Caesar and Pompey which formed the next step in the
downward course of the republic.


The two men were now rapidly drawing apart. Pompey grew more and more
jealous of Caesar and more and more fearful that the latter was aiming at
despotic power. He himself had no desire to be king or dictator. He was
equally determined that Caesar should not gain such a position. In this
attitude he had the full support of Cicero and the other members of the
Senate. They saw clearly that the real danger to the state was Caesar, not


Caesar's command in Gaul was to expire in 49 B.C. The senatorial party
desired that he should return to Rome without an army. His opponents
intended to prosecute him when he became a private citizen. Caesar had no
inclination to trust himself to their tender mercies and refused to
disband his legions unless his rival did the same. Finally the Senate,
conscious of Pompey's support, ordered him to lay down his arms on pain of
outlawry. Caesar replied to this challenge of the Senate by leading his
troops across the Rubicon, the little stream that separated Cisalpine Gaul
from Italy. As he plunged into the river, he exclaimed, "The die is cast."
[24] He had now declared war on the republic.


Caesar's bold movement caught the senatorial party unawares. Pompey could
not gather his legions before his audacious foe reached Rome. Finding it
impossible to make a stand in Italy, Pompey, with the consuls and many
senators, withdrew to Greece. Caesar did not follow him at once. He
hurried to Spain and, after a brilliant campaign only six weeks in length,
broke down the republican resistance in that peninsula. Having now secured
Italy and Spain, Caesar was free to turn his forces against Pompey in the

[Illustration: Map, THE EXPANSION OF ROMAN DOMINIONS 133-31 B.C.]


The final battle took place on the plain of Pharsalus in Thessaly.
Pompey's troops, though nearly twice as numerous as Caesar's, were
defeated after a severe struggle. Their great leader then fled to Egypt,
only to be foully murdered. Pompey's head was sent to Caesar, but he
turned from it with horror. Such was the end of an able general and an
honest man, one who should have lived two hundred years earlier, when Rome
was still a free state.


After Pharsalus there still remained several years of fighting before
Caesar's victory was complete. He made Cleopatra, the beautiful queen of
Egypt, secure in the possession of the throne and brought that country
into dependence on Rome. He passed through Asia Minor and in one swift
campaign crushed a revolt headed by the son of Mithridates. The conqueror
sent tidings of his victory in a laconic dispatch: "I came, I saw, I
conquered." [25] After subduing the remnants of the senatorial party in
Africa, Caesar returned home to crown his exploits by a series of splendid
triumphs and to enjoy less than two years of untrammeled power.



The new government which Caesar brought into being was a monarchy in all
except name. He became dictator for life and held other republican
offices, such as the consulship and censorship. He refused the title of
king, but accepted as a civil magistrate the name of _imperator_, [26]
with which the soldiers had been wont to salute a victorious general.
Though he abolished none of the old republican forms, the Senate became
simply his advisory council, the assemblies, his submissive agents the
consuls, praetors and tribunes, his pliant tools. The laurel wreath, the
triumphal dress, the conqueror's scepter--all proclaimed the autocrat.



Caesar used his power wisely and well. No massacres or confiscations
sullied his victory. He treated his former foes with clemency and even
with kindness. No sooner was domestic tranquillity assured than, with
restless energy, he entered on a series of far-reaching reforms.


Caesar's measures sought to remove the economic evils which a century of
discord had made so manifest. By restricting the monthly distribution of
grain to those actually in need, he tried to discourage the public charity
which was making the capital city a paradise for the idle and the
shiftless. By planning great colonies beyond the sea, notably at Corinth
and Carthage, he sought to provide farms for the landless citizens of
Italy. His active mind even found time for such matters as the
codification of Roman law, the construction of great public works, and the
improvement of the coinage and the calendar. [27]


Caesar's reforms in the provinces had an epoch-making character. He
reduced taxes, lessened the burden of their collection, and took into his
own hands the appointment of provincial magistrates. Henceforth oppressive
governors and swindling publicans had to expect swift, stern punishment
from one whose interests included the welfare of both citizens and
subjects. By granting Roman citizenship to communities in Gaul and Sicily,
he indicated his purpose, as rapidly as possible, to convert the
provincials into Romans. It was Caesar's aim to break down the barriers
between Rome and her provinces, to wipe out the distinction between the
conquerors and the conquered.


Caesar did not live to complete his task. Like that other colossal figure,
Alexander the Great, he perished before his work as a statesman had hardly
more than begun. On the Ides of March, 44 B.C., he was struck down in the
Senate-house by the daggers of a group of envious and irreconcilable
nobles, headed by Cassius and Brutus. He fell at the foot of Pompey's
statue, pierced with no less than twenty-three wounds. His body was burnt
on a pyre in the Forum, and his friend, Antony, pronounced the funeral


In the light of all the possibilities of beneficent government which
Caesar was revealing, his cowardly murder becomes one of the most
stupendous follies recorded in history. Caesar's death could not restore
the republic. It served only to prolong disorder and strife within the
Roman state. As Cicero himself said, hearing the news, "The tyrant is
dead; the tyranny still lives."



The murderers of Caesar called themselves the "liberators" of the
republic. They thought that all Rome would applaud their deed, but the
contrary was true. The senatorial order remained lukewarm. The people,
instead of flocking to their support, mourned the loss of a friend and
benefactor. Soon the conspirators found themselves in great peril.
Caesar's friend and lieutenant, Antony, who became sole consul after
Caesar's death, quickly made himself master of the situation. Brutus and
Cassius were forced to withdraw to the provinces which had been previously
assigned to them by Caesar, leaving Antony to rule Rome as his successor.


Antony's hope of reigning supreme was soon disturbed by the appearance of
a new rival. Caesar, in his will, had made his grandnephew, Octavian, [28]
his heir. He now came to Rome to claim the inheritance. In that sickly,
studious youth people did not at first recognize the masterful personality
he was soon to exhibit. They rather reechoed Cicero's sentiment that "the
young man was to be praised, complimented, and got rid of." [29] But
Octavian easily made himself a power, winning the populace by paying
Caesar's legacies to them and conciliating the senatorial party by siding
with it against Antony. Men now began to talk of Octavian as the destined
restorer of the republic.


Octavian, however, entertained other designs. He had never been sincere in
his support of the Senate, and the distrustful policy of that body soon
converted him into an active foe. From fighting Antony, Octavian turned to
alliance with him. The two antagonists made up their differences, and with
Lepidus, one of Caesar's lieutenants, as a third ally, marched on Rome at
the head of their legions. The city fell again under military rule. The
three men then united in the Second Triumvirate with full authority to
govern and reorganize the state. The advent of this new tyranny was
signalized by a butchery almost as bloody as Sulla's. Cicero, who had
incurred the hatred of Antony by his fiery speeches against him, was the
most illustrious victim. More than two thousand persons, mainly men of
high rank, were slain. The triumvirs by this massacre firmly established
their rule at Rome and in the West.


In the East, where Brutus and Cassius had gathered a formidable force, the
triumvirs were not to win without a struggle. It took place on the plain
of Philippi in Macedonia. The two battles fought there ended in the
suicide of the republican leaders and the dispersal of their troops. This
was the last attempt to restore the republic by force of arms.


Though the republic had been overthrown, it remained to be seen who would
be master of the new empire, Antony or Octavian. The triumvirate lasted
for more than ten years, but during this period the incompetent Lepidus
was set aside by his stronger colleagues. The two remaining members then
divided between them the Roman world. Octavian took Italy and the West;
Antony took the East, with Alexandria as his capital.


In the western half of the empire Octavian ruled quietly and with success.
Men were already congratulating themselves on the return of peace under a
second Caesar. In a few years Octavian, from an obscure boy of eighteen,
had grown to be one of the most powerful personalities of his age.


In the eastern half of the empire things did not go so well. Antony was
clever, but fond of luxury and vice. He had married a sister of Octavian,
but he soon grew tired of her and put her away for the fascinating
Cleopatra. [30] The Roman world was startled by tidings that she had been
proclaimed "queen of kings," and that to her and her sons had been given
the richest provinces in the East. It was even rumored that Cleopatra,
having enslaved Antony with her charms, planned to be enthroned as queen
at Rome.


Antony's disgraceful conduct aroused the Roman people. They willingly
followed Octavian to a war against one who seemed a national enemy. A
naval battle in the bay of Actium, on the coast of Epirus, decided the
issue. The fight had hardly begun before Cleopatra and Antony sailed away,
leaving their fleet to take care of itself. Octavian pursued the
infatuated pair into Egypt. Antony committed suicide, and Cleopatra,
rather than be led a captive in a Roman triumph, followed his example.
With the death of Cleopatra the dynasty of the Ptolemies [31] came to an
end. Egypt henceforth formed a province of the Roman Empire.


Octavian, on his return to Rome, enjoyed the honors of a three days'
triumph. [32] As the grand parade moved along the Sacred Way through the
Forum, and thence to the temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline, men noted
that the magistrates, instead of heading the procession as was the custom,
followed in the conqueror's train. It was a significant change. Octavian,
not the magistrates of Rome, now ruled the Roman world.



The republic, indeed, was doomed. A hundred years of dissension and civil
warfare proclaimed clearly enough the failure of the old order. Rome was a
city-state suddenly called to the responsibilities of universal rule. Both
the machinery of her government and the morals of her people were
inadequate for so huge a task. The gradual revolution which changed this
Roman city-state into imperial Rome, judged by its results, is perhaps the
most momentous movement in the annals of mankind. Let us summarize its


In 133 B.C. Roman society had been corrupted and enfeebled as the result
of foreign conquests. The supreme power in the state more and more tended
to fall into the hands of a narrow oligarchy--the senatorial nobility. Its
dishonesty and weakness soon led to efforts at reform. The attempts of the
Gracchi to overthrow the Senate's position and restore popular sovereignty
ended in disaster. Then, in quick succession, arose a series of military
leaders who aimed to secure by the sword what was no longer to be obtained
through constitutional and legal means. Marius, a great general but no
politician, could only break down and destroy. Sulla, a sincere but
narrow-minded statesman, could do no more than prop up the structure--
already tottering--of senatorial rule. Pompey soon undid that work and
left the constitution to become again the sport of rival soldiers. Caesar,
triumphing over Pompey, gained a position of unchallenged supremacy. After
Caesar's death, imperial power was permanently restored in the person of
Octavian. The battle of Actium in 31 B.C. made Octavian master of the
Roman world.


But the Romans were not yet an old and worn-out people. On the ruins of
the old republican order it was still possible to build up a new imperial
system in which good government, peace, and prosperity should prevail for
more than two centuries. During this period Rome performed her real, her
enduring, work for civilization.


1. Write a summary account (500 words) of Roman expansion 264-133 B.C.

2. On outline maps indicate the possessions of Carthage and Rome at the
beginning of the First Punic War; at the beginning of the Second Punic
War; at the end of the Second Punic War.

3. On outline maps indicate the boundaries of the Roman world in 133 B.C.
and in 31 B.C. and the division into provinces at these dates.

4. What events are connected with the following places: Zama; Cannae;
Actium; Pharsalus, and Philippi?

5. Who were Quintus Fabius Maximus, Mithradates, Catiline, and Cleopatra?

6. Identify the following dates: 146 B.C.; 264 B.C.; 133 B.C.; 201 B.C.;
44 B.C.; and 63 B.C.

7. Why has Carthage been called the "London" of the ancient world?

8. What is meant by the statement that Carthage is a "dumb actor on the
stage of history"?

9. Was Rome wise in adopting her new policy of expansion beyond the limits
of Italy?

10. Give some examples in modern times of war indemnities paid by defeated

11. Why did the Romans call the Second Punic War the "War of Hannibal"?

12. What is a "Fabian policy"? Do you know why Washington was called the
"American Fabius"?

13. What reasons can you give for Hannibal's early successes and final

14. Show the signal importance to Rome of her control of the sea during
the Second Punic War.

15. Comment on this statement: "As the rise of Rome was central in
history, the Second Punic War was central in the rise of Rome."

16. What provinces had been formed by 133 B.C. (map facing page 184)?

17. What parts of the world belonged to Rome in 133 B.C. but were not yet

18. Might Rome have extended her federal policy to her territories outside
of Italy? Was a provincial system really necessary?

19. Compare a Persian satrapy with a Roman province.

20. Would import duties on foreign grain have revived Italian agriculture?

21. Why did the cattle breeder in Italy have no reason to fear foreign

22. Compare the Athenian practice of state pay with the Roman "bread and
the games of the circus."

23. Had the Italians triumphed in the Social War, is it likely they would
have established a better government than that of Rome?

24. Was Marius or was Sulla more to blame for the Civil War?

25. Explain the real meaning of Sulla's "perpetual dictatorship."

26. Why was the rule of the Senate, unsatisfactory though it was, to be
preferred to that of the Roman populace?

27. Why is the First Triumvirate described as a "ring"? Did it have an
official character?

28. Why does the First Triumvirate mark a distinct step toward the
establishment of the empire?

29. Why can wars with barbarous and savage peoples be justified as "the
most ultimately righteous of all wars"?

30. Can you suggest why Caesar's conquest of Gaul had even greater
importance than Pompey's conquests in the East?

31. Was Caesar justified in leading his army against Rome?

32. Had Pompey triumphed over Caesar, is it probable that the republic
would have been restored?

33. What contrasts can you draw between Caesar and Alexander?

34. Justify the aphorism, "In the midst of arms the laws are silent," by
the statements in this chapter.

35. How do you account for the failure of the republican institutions of


[1] Webster, _Readings in Ancient History_, chapter xv, "Hannibal and the
Great Punic War"; chapter xvi, "Cato the Censor: a Roman of the Old
School"; chapter xvii, "Cicero the Orator"; chapter xviii, "The Conquest
of Gaul, Related by Caesar"; chapter xix, "The Makers of Imperial Rome:
Character Sketches by Suetonius."

[2] See page 123.

[3] See page 155.

[4] See page 149.

[5] Livy, xxii, 61.

[6] See page 100.

[7] In 29 B.C., one hundred and seventeen years after the destruction of
Carthage at the end of the Punic wars, a new town was founded near the old
site by the emperor Augustus. It became in time the third city of the
Roman Empire. It was destroyed by the Arabs in 698 A.D.

[8] See page 158.

[9] See pages 184 and 197.

[10] Corinth offered too good a site to remain long in ruins. Resettled in
46 B.C. as a Roman colony, it soon became one of the great cities in the
empire. It was to the Corinthians that St Paul wrote two of his

[11] The Greeks were not again a free people until the nineteenth century
of our era. In 1821 A.D. they rose against their Turkish masters in a
glorious struggle for liberty. Eight years later the powers of Europe
forced the Sultan to recognize the freedom of Greece. That country then
became an independent kingdom, with its capital at Athens.

[12] See pages 39-40 and 104.

[13] In 133 B.C. there were eight provinces--Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica,
Hither Spain, Farther Spain, Illyricum, Africa, Macedonia, and Asia. See
the map facing page 184.

[14] In the New Testament "publicans and sinners" are mentioned side by
side. See _Matthew_, ix, 10.

[15] _Latifundia perdidere Italiam_ (Pliny, _Natural History_, xviii, 7).

[16] See page 155.

[17] Horace, _Epistles_, ii, 1, 156.

[18] See page 103.

[19] See page 150.

[20] See page 155, note 2.

[21] See page 150.

[22] See page 204.

[23] Plutarch, Sulla, 38.

[24] Suetonius, _Julius Caesar_, 32.

[25] _Veni, vidi, vici_ (Suetonius, _Julius Caesar_, 37).

[26] Hence our word "emperor."

[27] Before Caesar's reform (46 B.C.) the Roman year consisted of 12
months and 355 days. As this lunar year, like that of the Greeks, was
shorter than the solar year, it had been necessary to intercalate an
additional month, of varying length, in every alternate year. Caesar
adopted the more accurate Egyptian calendar of 365 days and instituted the
system of leap years. His rearrangement made the year 11 minutes, 14
seconds too long. By 1582 A.D. this difference had amounted to nearly 10
days. Pope Gregory XIII modified the "Julian Calendar" by calling Oct. 5,
1582, Oct. 15, and continuing the count 10 days in advance. This
"Gregorian Calendar" was adopted by Great Britain in 1752 A.D. and
subsequently by other Protestant countries. It has not won acceptance in
Russia and Greece. The difference between the two systems--the Old Style
and the New Style--is now about 13 days.

[28] His name was Octavius, but after his adoption by Caesar he called
himself Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus.

[29] Cicero, _Letters_, xix, 20.

[30] See page 185.

[31] See page 127.

[32] See page 160.



66. AUGUSTUS, 31 B.C.-l4 A.D.

[Illustration: AUGUSTUS (Vatican Museum, Rome)]


The period of two hundred and eleven years, between the accession of
Augustus and the death of Marcus Aurelius, is known as the Early Empire.
As we shall now learn, it was a time of settled government and of internal
tranquillity. Except for a brief period of anarchy at the close of the
reign of Nero, it was also a time of regular succession to the throne.
Nearly all the emperors were vigorous and capable rulers. The peace and
prosperity which they gave to the Roman world amply justify--if
justification be needed--the change from republic to empire.


Few persons have set their stamp more indelibly on the pages of history
than Octavian, whom we may now call by his more familiar name _Augustus_
("Majestic"). Augustus was no military genius to dazzle the world with his
achievements. He was a cool and passionless statesman who took advantage
of a memorable opportunity to remake the Roman state, and who succeeded in
the attempt. Absolute power, which destroys weaker men, with Augustus
brought out the nobler elements of character. From the successful leader
of a party he became the wise and impartial ruler of an empire.


Augustus had almost unlimited power. His position was that of a king, as
supreme as Julius Caesar had ever been. Better, however, than Julius
Caesar, Augustus realized that an undisguised autocracy would only
alienate public opinion and invite fresh plots and rebellions, Augustus
intended to be the real master, but he would also be careful to conceal
his authority under republican forms. The emperor was neither king,
dictator, nor triumvir. He called himself a republican magistrate--
_Princeps_ [2]--the "First Citizen" of the state.


Augustus gave up the externals, only to keep the essentials, of royalty.
He held the proconsular authority, which extended over the frontier
provinces and their legions. He held the tribunician authority, which made
his person sacred. As perpetual tribune he could preside over the popular
assemblies, manage the Senate and change its membership at pleasure, and
veto the acts of almost any magistrate. In the provinces and at home in
the capital city the emperor was supreme.


Augustus ruled a vast realm. In it all the dreams of world dominion which
Alexander had cherished were more than realized. The empire included
nearly the entire circle of the Mediterranean lands. On the west and south
it found natural barriers in the Atlantic Ocean and the African desert. On
the east the Euphrates River had formed, since the defeat of Crassus, [3]
the dividing line between Rome and Parthia. The northern frontier, beyond
which lay the Germanic barbarians, required, however, additional conquests
for its protection.

[Illustration: Map, THE EXPANSION OF ROMAN DOMINIONS 31 B.C.-180 A.D.]


The Danube River made an admirable boundary for much of the Roman
territory between the Black Sea and the Rhine. Augustus annexed the
district south of the lower course of this river and formed it into the
province of Moesia (modern Serbia and Bulgaria). The line of the upper
Danube was later secured by the creation of three new provinces on the
northern slopes of the Alps. [4] Henceforth the Balkan peninsula and Italy
on the northeast, where the Alpine passes are low and comparatively easy,
were shielded from attack.


After the conquests of Julius Caesar in Gaul the Rhine had become the
frontier between that country and Germany. Augustus repeatedly sent the
legions into western Germany on punitive expeditions to strike terror into
its warlike tribes and to inspire respect for Roman power. It is doubtful,
however, whether he ever intended to conquer Germany and to convert it
into another province. His failure to do so meant that the Germans were
not to be Romanized as were their neighbors, the Celts of Gaul. The Rhine
continued to be the dividing-line between Roman civilization and Germanic


The clash of arms on the distant frontiers scarcely disturbed the serenity
of the Roman world. Within the boundaries of the empire the Augustan Age
was an age of peace and prosperity. The emperor, with unwearied devotion,
turned to the task of ruling wisely and well his vast dominions. He
followed the example of Julius Caesar in his insistence on just government
of the provincials. [5] In Italy he put down brigandage, repaired the
public highways, and planted many colonies in unsettled districts. In Rome
he established a regular police service, organized the supply of grain and
water, and continued, on a larger scale than ever, the public games. So
many were his buildings in the capital city that he could boast he had
"found Rome of brick and left it of marble." [6] Augustus was also very
successful as a religious reformer. He restored numerous temples that had
fallen into decay, revived the ancient sacrifices, and celebrated with
pomp and majesty the festivals that had been neglected. These reforms gave
new vigor to the Roman state religion.

An inscription on the walls of a ruined temple at Ancyra (modern Angora)
in Asia Minor. It is a copy of the record descriptive of the reign of
Augustus which that emperor in his will decreed to be inscribed on bronze
tablets and placed before his mausoleum at Rome.]


Even during the lifetime of Augustus worship had been offered to him by
the provincials. After his death the Senate gave him divine honors and
enrolled his name among the gods. Temples rose in every province to the
deified Augustus, and altars smoked with sacrifices to him. Emperor
worship spread rapidly over the ancient world and helped to unite all
classes in allegiance to the new government. It provided a universal
religion for a universal empire. Yet just at the time when this new cult
was taking root, and in the midst of the happy reign of Augustus, there
was born in Bethlehem of Judea the Christ whose religion was to overcome
the worship of the emperors and with it all other faiths of pagan
antiquity. [7]



For more than half a century following the death of Augustus his place was
filled by emperors who, either by descent or adoption, claimed kinship
with himself and the mighty Julius. They are known as the Julian and
Claudian Caesars. [8] Though none of these four princes had the political
ability of Augustus, two of them (Tiberius and Claudius) were excellent
rulers, who ably maintained the standards set by that great emperor. The
other two (Caligula and Nero) were vicious tyrants, the recital of whose
follies and crimes occupies much space in the works of ancient historians.
Their doings and misdoings fortunately exerted little influence outside
the circle of the imperial court and the capital city. Rome itself might
be disturbed by conspiracy and bloodshed, but Italy and the provinces kept
their prosperity.


The reign of Claudius was marked by the beginning of the extension of the
empire over Britain. For nearly a hundred years after Caesar's expeditions
no further attempt had been made to annex that island. But its nearness to
Gaul, already thoroughly Romanized, brought the country within the sphere
of Roman influence. The thorough conquest of Britain proved to be no easy
task. It was not until the close of the first century that the island, as
far north as the Scottish Highlands, was brought under Roman sway. The
province of Britannia remained a part of the empire for more than three
hundred years.


During Nero's reign half of Rome was laid in ashes by a great fire, which
raged for a week. But a new Rome speedily arose. It was a much finer city
than the old, with wide, straight streets instead of narrow alleys, and
with houses of good stone in place of wooden hovels. Except for the loss
of the temples and public buildings, the fire was a blessing in disguise.


After the death of Nero the dynasty that traced its descent from Julius
and Augustus became extinct. There was no one who could legally claim the
vacant throne. The Senate, which in theory had the appointment of a
successor, was too weak to exercise its powers. The imperial guard and the
legions on the frontiers placed their own candidates in the field. The
Roman world fell into anarchy, and Italy became once more the seat of
civil war. The throne was finally seized by the able general, Flavius
Vespasianus, supported by the armies of the East. He and his two sons,
Titus and Domitian, are called the Flavian Caesars.

[Illustration: POMPEII]


During the reign of Vespasian a revolt of the Jews was crushed, and
Jerusalem was captured by Titus, Vespasian's son. It is said, doubtless
with exaggeration, that one million Jews perished in the siege, the most
awful that history records. The Holy City, together with the Temple, was
destroyed, and a Roman camp was pitched upon the spot. We may still see in
Rome the splendid arch that commemorates this tragic event. [9]


The relief shows Roman soldiers bearing the spoils of the Temple at
Jerusalem. Among these are two trumpets, the table of the shewbread, and
the seven-branched golden candlestick.]


The reign of Titus is chiefly memorable for the destruction of Pompeii and
Herculaneum, two cites on the bay of Naples. After long inactivity the
volcano of Vesuvius suddenly belched forth torrents of liquid lava and
mud, followed by a rain of ashes. Pompeii was covered to a depth of about
fifteen feet by the falling cinders. Herculaneum was overwhelmed in a sea
of sulphurous mud and lava to a depth of eighty feet in many places. The
cities were completely entombed, and in time even their location was
forgotten. Modern excavations have disclosed a large part of Pompeii, with
its streets, shops, baths, temples, and theaters. The visitor there gains
a vivid impression of Roman life during the first century of our era. [10]

68. THE "GOOD EMPERORS," 96-180 A.D.


The five rulers--Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus
Aurelius--whose reigns cover the greater part of the second century, are
sometimes called the Antonine Caesars, because two of them bore the name
Antoninus. They are better known as the "Good Emperors," a title which
well describes them. Under their just and beneficent government the empire
reached its greatest prosperity.

[Illustration: NERVA (Vatican Museum, Rome)
A remarkably fine example of Roman portrait statuary.]


The emperor Trajan rivaled Julius Caesar in military ability and enlarged
the Roman world to the widest limits it was ever to attain. His first
conquests were in Europe and resulted in the annexation of Dacia, an
extensive territory north of the Danube. Thousands of colonists settled in
Dacia and spread everywhere the language and arts of Rome. Its modern name
(Rumania) bears witness to Rome's abiding influence there. Trajan's
campaigns in Asia had less importance, though in appearance they were more
splendid. He drove the Parthians from Armenia and conquered the Tigris-
Euphrates valley. To hold in subjection such distant regions only
increased the difficulty of guarding the frontiers. Trajan's successor,
Hadrian, at once abandoned them.

[Illustration: COLUMN OF TRAJAN
A bronze statue of Trajan formerly occupying the top of the monument has
been replaced by a figure of St Peter. The column is decorated with a
continuous spiral relief representing scenes from the Dacian War. About
twenty five hundred separate designs are included in this remarkable


Hadrian distinguished himself as an administrator. He may be compared with
Augustus in his love of peace and in his care for the interests of the
provincials. Hadrian made two long journeys throughout the Roman world. On
the frontiers he built fortresses and walls, in the provinces he raised
baths, aqueducts, theaters, and temples. Scarcely a city throughout the
empire lacked some monument to his generosity. Hadrian left behind him the
memory of a prince whose life was devoted to the public welfare--the first
servant of the state.

The wall extended between the Tyne and the Solway a distance of seventy
miles. It was built of concrete faced with square blocks. The height is
nearly twenty feet, the thickness about eight feet. Along the wall were
numerous towers and gates and a little to the north of it stretched an
earthen rampart protected by a deep ditch. A broad road, lined with
seventeen military camps, ran between the two fortifications.]


The last of the "Good Emperors," Marcus Aurelius, was a thinker and a
student, but he enjoyed little opportunity for meditation. His reign was
filled with an almost uninterrupted series of campaigns against the
Parthians on the Euphrates and the Germans on the Danube and the Rhine.
These wars revealed the weakness of the frontiers and rapidly growing
strength of the barbarians. After the death of Marcus Aurelius the empire
entered on its downward course. But before passing to this period of our
study, we may take a survey of the world under Roman rule, during the two
centuries between Augustus and Marcus Aurelius.

[Illustration: MARCUS AURELIUS IN HIS TRIUMPHAL CAR (Palace of the
Conservatori, Rome)

A panel from an arch erected by the emperor.]



The Roman Empire, at its widest extent in the second century, included
forty-three provinces. They were protected against Germans, Parthians and
other foes by twenty-five legions, numbering with the auxiliary forces,
about three hundred thousand men. This standing army was one of Rome's
most important agencies for the spread of her civilization over barbarian
lands. Its membership was drawn largely from the border provinces, often
from the very countries where the soldiers' camps were fixed. Though the
army became less and less Roman in blood, it always kept in character and
spirit the best traditions of Rome. The long intervals of peace were not
passed by the soldiers in idleness. They built the great highways that
penetrated every region of the empire, spanned the streams with bridges,
raised dikes and aqueducts, and taught the border races the arts of
civilization. It was due, finally, to the labors of the legionaries, that
the most exposed parts of the frontiers were provided with an extensive
system of walls and ramparts.

[Illustration: THE PANTHEON
The original building was the work of Agrippa, a minister of Augustus. The
temple was reconstructed by Hadrian who left the Greek portico unchanged
but added the rotunda and the dome. This great dome, the largest in the
world, is made of solid concrete. During the Middle Ages, the Pantheon was
converted into a church. It is now the burial place of the kings of


The Roman system of roads received its great extension during the imperial
age. The principal trunk lines began at the gates of Rome and radiated
thence to every province. Along these highways sped the couriers of the
Caesars, carrying dispatches and making, by means of relays of horses, as
much as one hundred and fifty miles a day. The roads resounded to the
tramp of the legionaries passing to their stations on the distant
frontier. Travelers by foot, horseback, or litter journeyed on them from
land to land, employing maps which described routes and distances. Traders
used them for the transport of merchandise. Roman roads, in short, were
the railways of antiquity. [11]

[Illustration: THE TOMB OF HADRIAN
The building was formerly topped by another of smaller size which bore a
statue of the emperor. In medieval times this stately tomb was converted
into a castle. It is now used as a museum. The bridge across the Tiber was
built by Hadrian.]



In her roads and fortifications, in the living rampart of her legions,
Rome long found security. Except for the districts conquered by Trajan but
abandoned by Hadrian, [12] the empire during this period did not lose a
province. For more than two hundred years, throughout an area as large as
the United States, the civilized world rested under what an ancient writer
calls "the immense majesty of the Roman peace." [13]


The grant of Roman citizenship to all Italians after the Social War [14]
only increased for a time the contrast between Italy and the provinces.
But even before the fall of the republic Caesar's legislation had begun
the work of uniting the Roman and the provincial. [15] More and more the
emperors followed in his footsteps. The extension of Roman citizenship was
a gradual process covering two centuries. It was left for the emperor
Caracalla, early in the third century, to take the final step. In 212 A.D.
he issued an edict which bestowed citizenship on all freeborn inhabitants
of the empire. This famous edict completed the work, begun so many
centuries before, of Romanizing the ancient world.


The grant of citizenship, though it increased the burden of taxation,
brought no slight advantage to those who possessed it. A Roman citizen
could not be maltreated with impunity or punished without a legal trial
before Roman courts. If accused in a capital case, he could always protect
himself against an unjust decision by an "appeal to Caesar", that is, to
the emperor at Rome. St. Paul did this on one occasion when on trial for
his life. [16] Wherever he lived, a Roman citizen enjoyed, both for his
person and his property, the protection of Roman law.



The Romans were the most legal-minded people of antiquity. It was their
mission to give laws to the world. Almost at the beginning of the republic
they framed the code of the Twelve Tables, [17] which long remained the
basis of their jurisprudence. This code, however, was so harsh, technical,
and brief that it could not meet the needs of a progressive state. The
Romans gradually improved their legal system, especially after they began
to rule over conquered nations. The disputes which arose between citizens
and subjects were decided by the praetors or provincial governors in
accordance with what seemed to them to be principles of justice and
equity. These principles gradually found a place in Roman law, together
with many rules and observances of foreign peoples. Roman law in this way
tended to take over and absorb all that was best in ancient jurisprudence.


Thus, as the extension of the citizenship carried the principles and
practice of Roman law to every quarter of the empire, the spirit of that
law underwent an entire change. It became exact, impartial, liberal,
humane. It limited the use of torture to force confession from persons
accused of crime. It protected the child against a father's tyranny. It
provided that a master who killed a slave should be punished as a
murderer, and even taught that all men are originally free by the law of
nature and therefore that slavery is contrary to natural right. Justice it
defined as "the steady and abiding purpose to give every man that which is
his own." [18] Roman law, which began as the rude code of a primitive
people, ended as the most refined and admirable system of jurisprudence
ever framed by man. This law, as we shall see later, has passed from
ancient Rome to modern Europe. [19]


The conquest by Latin of the languages of the world is almost as
interesting and important a story as the conquest by Rome of the nations
of the world. At the beginning of Latin in Roman history Latin was the
speech of only the Italy people of Latium. Beyond the limits of Latium
Latin came into contact with the many different languages spoken in early
Italy. Some of them, such as Greek and Etruscan, soon disappeared from
Italy after Roman expansion, but those used by native Italian peoples
showed more power of resistance. It was not until the last century B.C.
that Latin was thoroughly established in the central and southern parts of
the peninsula. After the Social War the Italian peoples became citizens of
Rome, and with Roman citizenship went the use of the Latin tongue.


The Romans carried their language to the barbarian peoples of the West, as
they had carried it to Italy. Their missionaries were colonists,
merchants, soldiers, and public officials. The Latin spoken by them was
eagerly taken up by the rude, unlettered natives, who tried to make
themselves as Roman as possible in dress, customs, and speech. This
provincial Latin was not simply the language of the upper classes; the
common people themselves used it freely, as we know from thousands of
inscriptions found in western and central Europe. In the countries which
now make up Spain, France, Switzerland, southern Austria, England, and
North Africa, the old national tongues were abandoned for the Latin of


The decline of the Roman Empire did not bring about the downfall of the
Latin language in the West. It became the basis of the so-called Romance
languages--French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Rumanian--which arose
in the Middle Ages out of the spoken Latin of the common people. Even our
English language, which comes to us from the speech of the Germanic
invaders of Britain, contains so many words of Latin origin that we can
scarcely utter a sentence without using some of them. The rule of Rome has
passed away; the language of Rome still remains to enrich the intellectual
life of mankind.



The world under Roman rule was a world of cities. Some had earlier been
native settlements, such as those in Gaul before the Roman conquest.
Others were the splendid Hellenistic cities in the East. [20] Many more
were of Roman origin, arising from the colonies and fortified camps in
which citizens and soldiers had settled. [21] Where Rome did not find
cities, she created them.


Not only were the cities numerous, but many of them, even when judged by
modern standards, reached great size. Rome was the largest, her population
being estimated at from one to two millions. Alexandria came next with
more than half a million people. Syracuse was the third metropolis of the
empire. Italy contained such important towns as Verona, Milan, and
Ravenna. In Gaul were Marseilles, Nimes, Bordeaux, Lyons--all cities with
a continuous existence to the present day. In Britain York and London were
seats of commerce, Chester and Lincoln were military colonies, and Bath
was celebrated then, as now, for its medicinal waters. Carthage and
Corinth had risen in new splendor from their ashes. Athens was still the
home of Greek art and Greek culture. Asia included such ancient and
important centers as Pergamum, Smyrna, Ephesus, Rhodes, and Antioch. The
student who reads in his New Testament the _Acts of the Apostles_ will get
a vivid impression of some of these great capitals.

Bath, the ancient Aquae Sulis, was famous in Roman times for its hot
springs. Here are very interesting remains, including a large pool,
eighty-three by forty feet in size, and lined at the bottom with the
Roman lead, besides smaller bathing chambers and portions of the ancient
pipes and conduits. The building and statues are modern restorations.]


Every municipality was a Rome in miniature. It had its forum and senate-
house, its temples, theaters, and baths, its circus for racing, and its
amphitheater for gladiatorial combats. Most of the municipalities enjoyed
an abundant supply of water, and some had good sewer systems. The larger
towns had well-paved, though narrow, streets. Pompeii, a small place of
scarcely thirty thousand inhabitants, still exists to give us an idea of
the appearance of one of these ancient cities. And what we find at Pompeii
was repeated on a more splendid scale in hundreds of places from the
Danube to the Nile, from Britain to Arabia.


The municipalities of Roman origin copied the government of Rome itself.
[22] Each city had a council, or senate, and a popular assembly which
chose the magistrates. These officials were generally rich men; they
received no salary, and in fact had to pay a large sum on entering office.
Local politics excited the keenest interest. Many of the inscriptions
found on the walls of Pompeii are election placards recommending
particular candidates for office. Women sometimes took part in political
contests. Distributions of grain, oil, and money were made to needy
citizens, in imitation of the bad Roman practice. There were public
banquets, imposing festivals, wild-beast hunts, and bloody contests of
gladiators, like those at Rome.


The busy, throbbing life in these countless centers of the Roman world has
long since been stilled. The cities themselves, in many instances, have
utterly disappeared. Yet the forms of municipal government, together with
the Roman idea of a free, self-governing city, never wholly died out. Some
of the most important cities which flourished in southern and western
Europe during the later Middle Ages preserved clear traces of their
ancient Roman origin.



The first two centuries of our era formed the golden age of Roman
commerce. The emperors fostered it in many ways. Augustus and his
successors kept the Mediterranean free from pirates, built lighthouses and
improved harbors, policed the highways, and made travel by land both
speedy and safe. An imperial currency [23] replaced the various national
coinages with their limited circulation. The vexatious import and export
duties, levied by different countries and cities on foreign produce, were
swept away. Free trade flourished between the cities and provinces of the
Roman world.


Roman commerce followed, in general, the routes which Phoenicians had
discovered centuries before. After the annexation of Gaul the rivers of
that country became channels of trade between western Europe and Italy.
The conquest of the districts north and south of the Danube opened up an
important route between central Europe and the Mediterranean. Imports from
the far eastern countries came by caravan through Asia to ports on the
Black Sea. The water routes led by way of the Persian Gulf to the great
Syrian cities of Antioch and Palmyra and, by way of the Red Sea, to
Alexandria on the Nile. From these thriving commercial centers products
were shipped to every region of the empire. [24]

The ship lies beside the wharf at Ostia. In the after-part of the vessel
is a cabin with two windows. Notice the figure of Victory on the top of
the single mast and the decoration of the mainsail with the wolf and
twins. The ship is steered by a pair of huge paddles.]


The importation and disposal of foreign goods at Rome furnished employment
for many thousands of traders. There were great wholesale merchants whose
warehouses stored grain and all kinds of merchandise. There were also many
retail shopkeepers. They might be sometimes the slaves or freedmen of a
wealthy noble who preferred to keep in the background. Sometimes they were
men of free birth. The feeling that petty trade was unworthy of a citizen,
though strong in republican days, tended to disappear under the empire.


The slaves at Rome, like those at Athens, [25] carried on many industrial
tasks. We must not imagine, however, that all the manual labor of the city
was performed by bondmen. The number of slaves even tended to decline,
when there were no more border wars to yield captives for the slave
markets. The growing custom of emancipation worked in the same direction.
We find in this period a large body of free laborers, not only in the
capital city, but in all parts of the empire.


The workmen engaged in a particular calling frequently formed clubs, or
guilds. [26] There were guilds of weavers, shoe-makers, jewelers,
painters, musicians, and even of gladiators. These associations were not
organized for the purpose of securing higher wages and shorter hours by
strikes or threat of strikes. They seem to have existed chiefly for social
and religious purposes. Each guild had its clubhouse for official meetings
and banquets. Each guild had its special deity, such as Vesta, the fire
goddess, for bakers, and Bacchus, the wine god, for innkeepers. Every year
the guildsmen held a festival, in honor of their patron, and marched
through the streets with banners and the emblems of their trade. Nearly
all the guilds had as one main object the provision of a proper funeral
and tomb for deceased members. The humble laborer found some consolation
in the thought that he belonged to a club of friends and fellow workers,
who after death would give him decent burial and keep his memory green.


Free workingmen throughout the Roman world appear to have led reasonably
happy lives. They were not driven or enslaved by their employers or forced
to labor for long hours in grimy, unwholesome factories. Slums existed,
but no sweatshops. If wages were low, so also was the cost of living.
Wine, oil, and wheat flour were cheap. The mild climate made heavy
clothing unnecessary and permitted an outdoor life. The public baths--
great clubhouses--stood open to every one who could pay a trifling fee.
[27] Numerous holidays, celebrated with games and shows, brightened
existence. On the whole we may conclude that working people at Rome and in
the provinces enjoyed greater comfort during this period than had ever
been their lot in previous ages.

[Illustration: A ROMAN VILLA
Wall painting, Pompeii.]


It was an age of millionaires. There had been rich men, such as Crassus,
[28] during the last century of the republic; their numbers increased and
their fortunes rose during the first century of the empire. The
philosopher Seneca, a tutor of Nero, is said to have made twelve million
dollars within four years by the emperor's favor. Narcissus, the secretary
of Claudius, made sixteen million dollars--the largest Roman fortune on
record. This sum must be multiplied four or five times to find its modern
equivalent, since in antiquity interest rates were higher and the
purchasing power of money was greater than to-day. Such private fortunes
are surpassed only by those of the present age.


The heaping-up of riches in the hands of a few brought its natural
consequence in luxury and extravagance. The palaces of the wealthy, with
their gardens, baths, picture galleries, and other features, were costly
to build and costly to keep up. The money not lavished by a noble on his
town house could be easily sunk on his villas in the country. All Italy,
from the bay of Naples, to the foot of the Alps, was dotted with elegant
residences, having flower gardens, game preserves, fishponds, and
artificial lakes. Much senseless waste occurred at banquets and
entertainments. Vast sums were spent on vessels of gold and silver,
jewelry, clothing, and house furnishings. Even funerals and tombs required
heavy outlays. A capitalist of imperial Rome could get rid of a fortune in
selfish indulgences almost as readily as any modern millionaire not
blessed with a refined taste or with public spirit.


Some of the customs of the time appear especially shocking. The brutal
gladiatorial games [29] were a passion with every one, from the emperor to
his lowest subject. Infanticide was a general practice. Marriage grew to
be a mere civil contract, easily made and easily broken. Common as divorce
had become, the married state was regarded as undesirable. Augustus vainly
made laws to encourage matrimony and discourage celibacy. Suicide,
especially among the upper classes, was astonishingly frequent. No one
questioned another's right to leave this life at pleasure. The decline of
the earlier paganism left many men without a deep religious faith to
combat the growing doubt and worldliness of the age.


Yet this dark picture needs correction at many points. It may be
questioned whether the vice, luxury, and wickedness of ancient Rome,
Antioch, or Alexandria much exceeded what our great modern capitals can
show, During this period, moreover, many remarkable improvements took
place in social life and manners. There was an increasing kindliness and
charity. The weak and the infirm were better treated. The education of the
poor was encouraged by the founding of free schools. Wealthy citizens of
the various towns lavished their fortunes on such public works as baths,
aqueducts, and temples, for the benefit of all classes. Even the slaves
were much better treated. Imperial laws aimed to check the abuses of
cruelty, overwork, and neglect, and philosophers recommended to masters
the exercise of gentleness and mercy toward slaves. In fact, the first and
second centuries of our era were marked by a great growth of the
humanitarian spirit.



Just as the conquests of Alexander, by uniting the Orient to Greece,
produced a Graeco-Oriental civilization, so now the expansion of Rome over
the Mediterranean formed another world-wide culture, in which both Greek
and Roman elements met and mingled. A new sense of cosmopolitanism arose
in place of the old civic or national patriotism. Roman elements met and
mingled. A new sense of cosmopolitanism arose in place of the old civic or
national patriotism.

[Illustration: A ROMAN TEMPLE
The best preserved of Roman temples. Located at Nimes in southern France,
where it is known as La Maison Carree ("the square house"). The structure
is now used as a museum of antiquities.]

This cosmopolitan feeling was the outcome of those unifying and
civilizing forces which the imperial system set at work. The extension of
Roman citizenship broke down the old distinction between the citizens and
the subjects of Rome. The development of Roman law carried its principles
of justice and equity to the remotest regions. The spread of the Latin
language provided the western half of the empire with a speech as
universal there as Greek was in the East. Trade and travel united the
provinces with one another and with Rome. The worship of the Caesars
dimmed the luster of all local worships and kept constantly before men's
minds the idea of Rome and of her mighty emperors. Last, but not least
important, was the fusion of alien peoples through intermarriage with
Roman soldiers and colonists. "How many settlements," exclaims the
philosopher Seneca, "have been planted in every province! Wherever the
Roman conquers, there he dwells." [30]

The amphitheater at Arles in southern France was used during the Middle
Ages as a fortress then as a prison and finally became the resort of
criminals and paupers. The illustration shows it before the removal of the
buildings about 1830 A.D. Bullfights still continue in the arena, where,
in Roman times, animal baitings and gladiatorial games took place.]


The best evidence of Rome's imperial rule is found in the monuments she
raised in every quarter of the ancient world. Some of the grandest ruins
of antiquity are not in the capital city itself, or even in Italy, but in
Spain, France, England, Greece, Switzerland, Asia Minor, Syria, and North
Africa. Among these are Hadrian's Wall in Britain, the splendid aqueduct
known as the Pont du Gard near Nimes in southern France, the beautiful
temple called La Maison Carree in the same city, the Olympieum at Athens,
and the temple of the Sun at Baalbec in Syria Thus the lonely hilltops,
the desolate desert sands, the mountain fastnesses of three continents
bear witness even now to the widespreading sway of Rome.

A block of stone 68 feet long 10 feet high and weighing about 1500 tons.
It is still attached to its bed in the quarry not far from the ruins of
Baalbec in Syria. The temples of Baalbec seen in the distance were built
by the Romans in the third century A.D. The majestic temple of the Sun
contains three megaliths almost as huge as the one represented in the
illustration. They are the largest blocks known to have been used in any
structure. For a long time they were supposed to be relics of giant


The civilized world took on the stamp and impress of Rome. The East,
indeed, remained Greek in language and feeling, but even there Roman law
and government prevailed, Roman roads traced their unerring course, and
Roman architects erected majestic monuments. The West became completely
Roman. North Africa, Spain, Gaul, distant Dacia, and Britain were the
seats of populous cities, where the Latin language was spoken and Roman
customs were followed. From them came the emperors. They furnished some of
the most eminent men of letters. Their schools of grammar and rhetoric
attracted students from Rome itself. Thus unconsciously, but none the less
surely, local habits and manners, national religions and tongues,
provincial institutions and ways of thinking disappeared from the ancient


1. On an outline map indicate the additions to Roman territory: during the
reign of Augustus, 31 B.C.-14 A.D.; during the period 14-180 A.D.

2. On an outline map indicate ten important cities of the Roman Empire.

3. Connect the proper events with the following dates: 79 A.D.; 180 A.D.;
and 14 A.D.

4. Whom do you consider the greater man, Julius Caesar or Augustus? Give
reasons for your answer.

5. Compare the Augustan Age at Rome with the Age of Pericles at Athens.

6. What is the _Monumentum Ancyranum_ and its historic importance
(illustration Monumentum Ancyranum, section 66. Augustus, 31 B.C.-l4 A.D.,
topic The Augustan Age)?

7. How did the worship of the Caesars connect itself with ancestor

8. In the reign of what Roman emperor was Jesus born? In whose reign was
he crucified?

9. How did the "year of anarchy" after Nero's death exhibit a weakness in
the imperial system?

10. How many provinces existed under Trajan?

11. What modern countries are included within the limits of the Roman
Empire in the age of Trajan?

12. Compare the extent of the Roman Empire under Trajan with (a) the
empire of Alexander; and (b) the empire of Darius.

13. Give the Roman names of Spain, Italy, Gaul, Germany, Britain,
Scotland, and Ireland.

14. Contrast the Roman armies under the empire with the standing armies of
modern Europe.

15. Trace on the map, page 205, the Roman roads in Britain.

16. "To the Roman city the empire was political death; to the provinces it
was the beginning of new life." Comment on this statement.

17. Why should Rome have made a greater success of her imperial policy
than either Athens or Sparta?

18. Compare Roman liberality in extending the franchise with the similar
policy displayed by the United States.

19. Compare the freedom of trade between the provinces of the Roman Empire
with that between the states of the American Union.

20. On the map, page 48, trace the trade routes during imperial times.

21. Compare as civilizing forces the Roman and the Persian empires.

22. What was the _Pax Romana_? What is the _Pax Britannica_?

23. Compare the Romanization of the ancient world with that process of
Americanization which is going on in the United States to-day.

24. Explain this statement: "The Roman Empire is the lake in which all the
streams of ancient history lose themselves and which all the streams of
modern history flow out of."

25. "Republican Rome had little to do, either by precept or example, with
the modern life of Europe, Imperial Rome everything." Can you justify this


[1] Webster, _Readings in Ancient History_, chapter xix, "The Makers of
Imperial Rome: Character Sketches by Suetonius"; chapter xx, "Nero, a
Roman Emperor."

[2] Hence our word "prince".

[3] See page 184.

[4] The provinces of Pannonia, Noricum, and Raetia. See the map facing
page 184.

[5] See page 187.

[6] For a description of ancient Rome see pages 292-296.

[7] Jesus was born probably in 4 B.C., the last year of the reign of
Herod, whom the triumvirs, Antony and Octavian, had placed on the throne
of Judea in 37 B.C.

[8] A Roman emperor was generally called "Caesar" by the provincials. See,
for example, _Matthew_, xxii, 17-21, or _Acts_, xxv, 10-12. This title
survives in the German _Kaiser_ and perhaps in the Russian _Tsar_ or

[9] In 131 A.D., during the reign of the emperor Hadrian, the Jews once
more broke out in revolt. Jerusalem, which had risen from its ruins, was
again destroyed by the Romans, and the plow was passed over the
foundations of the Temple. From Roman times to the present the Jews have
been a people without a country.

[10] See Bulwer-Lytton's novel, _The Last Days of Pompeii_.

[11] See the map on page 205 for the system of Roman roads in Britain.

[12] See page 200.

[13] Pliny, _Natural History_, xxvii, 1.

[14] See page 179.

[15] See page 187.

[16] See _Acts_, XXV, 9-12.

[17] See page 151.

[18] _Institutes_, bk. i, tit. i.

[19] See page 331.

[20] See page 127.

[21] Several English cities, such as Lancaster, Leicester, Manchester, and
Chester, betray in their names their origin in the Roman castra, or camp.

[22] See page 149.

[23] For illustrations of Roman coins see the plate facing page 134.

[24] See the map on page 48.

[25] See page 107.

[26] Latin _collegia_, whence our "college."

[27] See pages 263 and 285.

[28] See page 183.

[29] See page 267.

[30] Seneca, _Minor Dialogues_, XI, 7.



74. THE "SOLDIER EMPERORS," 180-284 A.D.


The period called the Later Empire covers the two hundred and fifteen
years from the accession of Commodus to the final division of the Roman


Back to Full Books