Part 3 out of 5

inveterate love to the Caesarian general, were still prevalent."

Domitius Celer, one in intimate credit with Piso, argued on the contrary,
"that the present event must by all means be improved; it was Piso and not
Sentius who had commission to govern Syria; upon him, were conferred the
jurisdiction of Praetor, and the badges of magistracy, and with him the
legions were instructed: so that if acts of hostility were by his
opponents attempted, with how much better warrant could he avow assuming
arms in his own right and defence, who was thus vested with the authority
of general, and acted under special orders from the Emperor. Rumours too
were to be neglected, and left to perish with time: in truth to the
sallies and violence of recent hate the innocent were often unequal: but
were he once possessed of the army, and had well augmented his forces,
many things, not to be foreseen, would from fortune derive success. Are we
then preposterously hastening to arrive at Rome with the ashes of
Germanicus, that you may there fall, unheard and undefended, a victim to
the wailings of Agrippina, a prey to the passionate populace governed by
the first impressions of rumour? Livia, it is true, is your confederate;
Tiberius is your friend; but both secretly: and indeed none will more
pompously bewail the violent fate of Germanicus, than such as for it do
most sincerely rejoice."

Piso of himself prompt to violent pursuits, was with no great labour
persuaded into this opinion, and, in a letter transmitted to Tiberius,
accused Germanicus "of luxury and pride: that for himself, he had been
expulsed, to leave room for dangerous designs against the State, and now
resumed, with his former faith and loyalty, the care of the army." In the
meantime he put Domitius on board a galley, and ordered him to avoid
appearing upon the coasts or amongst the isles, but, through the main sea,
to sail to Syria. The deserters, who from all quarters were flocking to
him in crowds, he formed into companies, and armed all the retainers to
the camp; then sailing over to the continent, intercepted a regiment of
recruits, upon their march into Syria; and wrote to the small kings of
Cilicia to assist him with present succours: nor was the younger Piso slow
in prosecuting all the measures of war, though to adventure a war had been
against his sentiments and advice.

As they coasted Lycia and Pamphilia, they encountered the ships which
carried Agrippina, with hostile spirit on each side, and each at first
prepared for combat; but as equal dread of one another possessed both,
proceeded not further than mutual contumelies. Vibius Marsus particularly
summoned Piso, as a criminal, to Rome, there to make his defence: he
answered with derision "that when the Praetor, who was to sit upon
poisonings, had assigned a day to the accusers and the accused, he would
attend." Domitius, the while, landing at Laodicea, a city of Syria, would
have proceeded to the winter quarters of the sixth legion, which he
believed to be the most prone to engage in novel attempts, but was
prevented by Pacuvius, its commander. Sentius represented this by letter
to Piso, and warned him, "at his peril to infect the camp by ministers of
corruption; or to assail the province of war;" and drew into a body such
as he knew loved Germanicus, or such as were averse to his foes: upon them
he inculcated with much ardour, that Piso was with open arms attacking the
majesty of the Prince, and invading the Roman State; and then marched at
the head of a puissant body, equipped for battle and resolute to engage.

Neither failed Piso, though his enterprises had thus far miscarried, to
apply the securest remedies to his present perplexities; and therefore
seized a castle of Cilicia strongly fortified, its name Celendris: for, to
the auxiliary Cilicians, sent him by the petty kings, he had joined his
body of deserters, as also the recruits lately intercepted, with all his
own and Plancina's slaves; and thus in number and bulk had of the whole
composed a legion. To them he thus harangued: "I who am the lieutenant of
Caesar, am yet violently excluded from the province which to me Caesar has
committed: not excluded by the legions (for by their invitation I am
arrived), but by Sentius, who thus disguises under feigned crimes against
me, his own animosity and personal hate: but with confidence you may stand
in battle, where the opposite army, upon the sight of Piso, a commander
lately by themselves styled their _Father_, will certainly refuse to
fight; they know too, that were right to decide it, I am the stronger; and
of no mean puissance in a trial at arms." He then arrayed his men without
the fortifications, on a hill steep and craggy, for all the rest was
begirt by the sea: against them stood the veterans regularly embattled,
and supported with a body of reserve; so that here appeared the force of
men, there only the terror and stubbornness of situation. On Piso's side
was no spirit, nor hope, nor even weapons save those of rustics, for
instant necessity hastily acquired. As soon as they came to blows, the
issue was no longer doubtful than while the Roman cohorts struggled up the
steep: the Cilicians then fled, and shut themselves up in the castle.

Piso having the while attempted in vain to storm the fleet, which rode at
a small distance, as soon as he returned, presented himself upon the
walls; where, by a succession of passionate complaints and entreaties, now
bemoaning in agonies the bitterness of his lot, then calling and cajolling
every particular soldier by his name, and by rewards tempting all, he
laboured to excite a sedition; and thus much had already effected, that
the Eagle-bearer of the sixth legion revolted to him with his Eagle. This
alarmed Sentius, and instantly he commanded the cornets and trumpets to
sound, a mound to be raised, the ladders placed, and the bravest men to
mount, and others to pour from the engines volleys of darts and stones,
and flaming torches. The obstinacy of Piso was at last vanquished; and he
desired "that upon delivering his arms he might remain in the castle till
the Emperor's pleasure, to whom he would commit the government of Syria,
were known;" conditions which were not accepted; nor was aught granted him
save ships and a passport to Rome.

After the illness of Germanicus grew current there, and all its
circumstances, like rumours magnified by distance, were related with many
aggravations; sadness seized the people; they burned with indignation, and
even poured out in plaints the anguish of their souls. "For this," they
said, "he had been banished to the extremities of the Empire, for this the
province of Syria was committed to Piso, and these the fruits of Livia's
mysterious conferences with Plancina: truly had our fathers spoken
concerning his father Drusus; that the possessors of rule beheld with an
evil eye the popular spirit of their sons; nor for aught else were they
sacrificed, but for their equal treatment of the Roman People, and
studying to restore the popular state." These lamentations of the populace
were, upon the tidings of his death, so inflamed, that, without staying
for an edict from the magistrates, without a decree of Senate, they by
general consent assumed a vacation; the public courts were deserted,
private houses shut up, prevalent everywhere were the symptoms of woe,
heavy groans, dismal silence; the whole a scene of real sorrow, and
nothing devised for form or show; and, though they forbore not to bear the
exterior marks and habiliments of mourning; in their souls they mourned
still deeper. Accidentally some merchants from Syria, who had left
Germanicus still alive, brought more joyful news of his condition: these
were instantly believed, and instantly proclaimed: each, as fast as they
met, informed others, who forthwith conveyed their light information with
improvements and accumulated joy to more, and all flew with exultation
through the city; and, to pay their thanks and vows, burst open the temple
doors: the night too heightened their credulity, and affirmation was
bolder in the dark. Nor did Tiberius restrain the course of these
fictions, but left them to vanish with time: hence with more bitterness
they afterwards grieved for him, as if anew snatched from them.

Honours were invented and decreed to Germanicus, various as the affections
and genius of the particular Senators who proposed them: "that his name
should be sung in the Salian hymns; curule chairs placed for him amongst
the priests of Augustus, and over these chairs oaken crowns hung; his
statue in ivory precede in the Cercensian games; none but one of the
Julian race be, in the room of Germanicus, created flamen or augur:"
triumphal arches were added; one at Rome; one upon the banks of the Rhine;
one upon Mount Amanus, in Syria; with inscriptions of his exploits, and a
testimony subjoined, "that he died for the Commonwealth:" a sepulchre at
Antioch, where his corpse was burnt; a tribunal at Epidaphne, the place
where he ended his life. The multitude of statues, the many places where
divine honours were appointed to be paid him, would not be easily
recounted. They would have also decreed him, as to one of the masters of
eloquence, a golden shield, signal in bulk as in metal; but Tiberius
offered to dedicate one himself, such as was usual and of a like size
with others; for that eloquence was not measured by fortune; and it was
sufficient glory, if he were ranked with ancient writers. The battalion
called after the name of the Junii was now, by the equestrian order,
entitled the battalion of Germanicus, and a rule made that, on every
fifteenth of July, these troops should follow, as their standard, the
effigies of Germanicus: of these honours many continue; some were
instantly omitted, or by time are utterly obliterated.

In the height of this public sorrow, Livia, sister to Germanicus, and
married to Drusus, was delivered of male twins: an event even in middling
families, rare and acceptable, and to Tiberius such mighty matter of joy,
that he could not refrain boasting to the fathers, "that to no Roman of
the same eminence, before him, were never two children born at a birth:"
for to his own glory he turned all things, even things fortuitous. But to
the people, at such a sad conjuncture, it brought fresh anguish; as they
feared that the family of Drusus thus increased, would press heavy upon
that of Germanicus.

The same year the lubricity of women was by the Senate restrained with
severe laws; and it was provided, "that no woman should become venal, if
her father, grandfather or husband, were Roman knights." For Vistilia, a
lady born of a Praetorian family, had before the Aediles published herself
a prostitute; upon a custom allowed by our ancestors, who thought that
prostitutes were by thus avowing their infamy, sufficiently punished.
Titidius Labeo too was questioned, that in the manifest guilt of his wife,
he had neglected the punishment prescribed by the law; but he alleged that
the sixty days allowed for consultation were not elapsed; and it was
deemed sufficient to proceed against Vistilia, who was banished to the
Isle of Seriphos. Measures were also taken for exterminating the
solemnities of the Jews and Egyptians; and by decree of Senate four
thousand descendants of franchised slaves, all defiled with that
superstition, but of proper strength and age, were to be transported to
Sardinia; to restrain the Sardinian robbers; and if, through the malignity
of the climate, they perished, despicable would be the loss: the rest were
doomed to depart Italy, unless by a stated day they renounced their
profane rites.

After this Tiberius represented that, to supply the place of Occia, who
had presided seven and fifty years with the highest sanctimony over the
Vestals, another virgin was to be chosen; and thanked Fonteius Agrippa and
Asinius Pollio, that by offering their daughters, they contended in good
offices towards the Commonwealth. Pollio's daughter was preferred; for
nothing else but that her mother had ever continued in the same wedlock:
for Agrippa, by a divorce, had impaired the credit of his house: upon her
who was postponed, Tiberius, in consolation, bestowed for her fortune a
thousand great sestertia. [Footnote: L8300.]

As the people murmured at the severe dearth of corn, he settled grain at a
price certain to the buyer, and undertook to pay fourteenpence a measure
to the seller: neither yet would he accept the name of _Father of his
Country_, a title offered him before, and for these bounties, now again;
nay, he sharply rebuked such as styled these provisions of his, _divine
occupations_, and him, _Lord_: hence freedom of speech became cramped and
insecure, under such a Prince; one who dreaded liberty, and abhorred

I find in the writers of those times, some of them Senators, that in the
Senate were read letters from Adgandestrius, prince of the Cattans,
undertaking to despatch Arminius, if in order to it poison were sent him;
and an answer returned, "that not by frauds and blows in the dark, but
armed and in the face of the sun, the Roman People took vengeance on their
foes." In this Tiberius gained equal glory with our ancient captains, who
rejected and disclosed a plot to poison King Pyrrhus. Arminius however,
who upon the departure of the Romans and expulsion of Maroboduus, aimed at
royalty, became thence engaged in a struggle against the liberty of his
country; and, in defence of their liberty, his countrymen took arms
against him: so that, while with various fortune he contended with them,
he fell by the treachery of his own kindred: the deliverer of Germany
without doubt he was; one who assailed the Roman power, not like other
kings and leaders, in its first elements, but in its highest pride and
elevation; one sometimes beaten in battle, but never conquered in war:
thirty-seven years he lived; twelve he commanded; and, amongst these
barbarous nations, his memory is still celebrated in their songs; but his
name unknown in the annals of the Greeks, who only admire their own
national exploits and renown; nor even amongst the Romans does this great
captain bear much distinction, while, overlooking instances of modern
prowess and glory, we only delight to magnify men and feats of old.


A.D. 20-22.

Agrippina, notwithstanding the roughness of winter, pursuing without
intermission her boisterous voyage, put in at the Island Corcyra,
[Footnote: Corfu.] situate over against the coasts of Calabria. Here to
settle her spirit, she spent a few days, violent in her grief, and a
stranger to patience. Her arrival being the while divulged, all the
particular friends to her family, mostly men of the sword, many who had
served under Germanicus, and even many strangers from the neighbouring
towns, some in officiousness towards the Emperor, more for company,
crowded to the city of Brundusium, the readiest port in her way and the
safest landing. As soon as the fleet appeared in the deep, instantly were
filled, not the port alone and adjacent shores, but the walls and roofs,
and as far as the eye could go; filled with the sorrowing multitude. They
were consulting one from one, how they should receive her landing,
"whether with universal silence, or with some note of acclamation." Nor
was it manifest which they would do, when the fleet stood slowly in, not
as usual with joyful sailors and cheerful oars, but all things impressed
with the face of sadness. After she descended from the ship, accompanied
with her two infants, carrying in her bosom the melancholy urn, with her
eyes cast steadily down; equal and universal were the groans of the
beholders: nor could you distinguish relations from strangers, nor the
wailings of men from those of women, unless that the new-comers, who were
recent in their sallies of grief, exceeded Agrippina's attendants, wearied
out with long lamentations.

Tiberius had despatched two Praetorian cohorts, with directions, that the
magistrates of Calabria, Apulia and Campania, should pay their last
offices to the memory of his son: upon the shoulders therefore of the
Tribunes and Centurions his ashes were borne; before went the ensigns
rough and unadorned, with the fasces reversed. As they passed through the
colonies, the populace were in black, the knights in purple; and each
place, according to its wealth, burnt precious raiment, perfumes and
whatever else is used in funeral solemnities: even they whose cities lay
remote attended: to the Gods of the dead they slew victims, they erected
altars, and with tears and united lamentations, testified their common
sorrow. Drusus came as far as Terracina, with Claudius the brother of
Germanicus, and those of his children who had been left at Rome. The
Consuls Marcus Valerius and Marcus Aurelius (just then entered upon their
office), the Senate, and great part of the people, filled the road; a
scattered procession, each walking and weeping his own way: in this
mourning, flattery had no share; for all knew how real was the joy, how
hollow the grief, of Tiberius for the death of Germanicus.

Tiberius and Livia avoided appearing abroad: public lamentation they
thought below their grandeur; or perhaps they apprehended that their
countenances, examined by all eyes, might show deceitful hearts. That
Antonia, mother to the deceased, bore any part in the funeral, I do not
find either in the historians or in the city journals: though, besides
Agrippina, and Drusus, and Claudius, his other relations are likewise
there recorded by name: whether by sickness she was prevented; or whether
her soul vanquished by sorrow, could not bear the representation of such a
mighty calamity. I would rather believe her constrained by Tiberius and
Livia, who left not the palace; and affecting equal affliction with her,
would have it seem that, by the example of the mother, the grandmother too
and uncle were detained.

The day his remains were reposited in the tomb of Augustus, various were
the symptoms of public grief; now the vastness of silence; now the uproar
of lamentation; the city in every quarter full of processions; the field
of Mars on a blaze of torches: here the soldiers under arms, the
magistrates without the insignia, the people by their tribes, all cried in
concert that "the Commonwealth was fallen, and henceforth there was no
remain of hope;" so openly and boldly that you would have believed they
had forgot, who bore sway. But nothing pierced Tiberius more than the
ardent affections of the people towards Agrippina, while such titles they
gave her as "the ornament of her country, the only blood of Augustus, the
single instance of ancient virtue;" and, while applying to heaven, they
implored "the continuance of her issue, that they might survive the
persecuting and malignant."

There were those who missed the pomp of a public funeral, and compared
with this the superior honours and magnificence bestowed by Augustus on
that of Drusus the father of Germanicus; "that he himself had travelled,
in the sharpness of winter, as far as Pavia, and thence, continuing by the
corpse, had with it entered the city; round his head were placed the
images of the Claudii and Julii; he was mourned in the Forum; his encomium
pronounced in the Rostras; all sorts of honours, such as were the
inventions of our ancestors, or the improvements of their posterity, were
heaped upon him. But to Germanicus were denied the ordinary solemnities,
and such as were due to every distinguished Roman. In a foreign country
indeed, his corpse because of the long journey, was burnt without pomp;
but afterwards, it was but just to have supplied the scantiness of the
first ceremony by the solemnity of the last: his brother met him but one
day's journey; his uncle not even at the gate. Where were those generous
observations of the ancients; the effigies of the dead borne on a bed,
hymns composed in memory of their virtue, with the oblations of praise and
tears? Where at least were the ceremonies and even outside of sorrow?"

All this was known to Tiberius; and, to suppress the discourses of the
populace, he published an edict, "that many illustrious Romans had died
for the Commonwealth, but none so vehemently lamented: this however was to
the glory of himself and of all men, if a measure were observed. The same
things which became private families and small states, became not Princes
and an Imperial People: fresh grief indeed required vent and ease by
lamentation; but it was now time to recover and fortify their minds. Thus
the deified Julius, upon the loss of an only daughter; thus the deified
Augustus, upon the hasty death of his grandsons, had both vanquished their
sorrow. More ancient examples were unnecessary; how often the Roman People
sustained with constancy the slaughter of their armies, the death of their
generals, and entire destruction of their noblest families: Princes were
mortal; the Commonwealth was eternal: they should therefore resume their
several vocations." And because the Megalesian games were at hand, he
added, "that they should even apply to the usual festivities."

The vacation ended, public affairs were resumed; Drusus departed for the
army in Illyricum, and the minds of all men were bent upon seeing
vengeance done upon Piso. They repeated their resentments, that while he
wandered over the delightful countries of Asia and Greece, he was
stifling, by contumacious and deceitful delays, the evidences of his
crimes; for it was bruited abroad, that Martina, she who was famous for
poisonings, and sent, as I have above related, by Cneius Sentius towards
Rome, was suddenly dead at Brundusium; that poison lay concealed in a knot
of her hair, but upon her body were found no symptoms of self-murder.

Piso, sending forward his son to Rome, with instructions how to soften the
Emperor, proceeded himself to Drusus: him he hoped to find less rigid for
the death of a brother, than favourable for the removal of a rival.
Tiberius, to make show of a spirit perfectly unbiassed, received the young
man graciously, and honoured him with the presents usually bestowed on
young noblemen. The answer of Drusus to Piso was, "That if the current
rumours were true, he stood in the first place of grief and revenge; but
he hoped they were false and chimerical, and that the death of Germanicus
would be pernicious to none." This he declared in public, and avoided all
privacy: nor was it doubted but the answer was dictated by Tiberius; when
a youth, otherwise easy and unwary, practised thus the wiles and cunning
of age.

Piso having crossed the sea of Dalmatia, and left his ships at Ancona,
took first the road of Picenum and then the Flaminian way, following the
legion which was going from Pannonia to Rome, and thence to garrison in
Africa. This too became the subject of popular censure, that he
officiously mixed with the soldiers, and courted them in their march and
quarters: he therefore, to avoid suspicion; or, because when men are in
dread, their conduct wavers, did at Narni embark upon the Nar, and thence
sailed into the Tiber. By landing at the burying-place of the Caesars, he
heightened the wrath of the populace: besides, he and Plancina came
ashore, in open day, in the face of the city who were crowding the banks,
and proceeded with gay countenances; he attended by a long band of
clients, she by a train of ladies. There were yet other provocations to
hatred; the situation of his house, proudly overlooking the Forum, and
adorned and illuminated as for a festival; the banquet and rejoicings held
in it, and all as public as the place.

The next day Fulcinius Trio arraigned Piso before the Consuls, but was
opposed by Vitellius, Veranius, and others, who had accompanied
Germanicus: they said, "that in this prosecution Trio had no part; nor did
they themselves act as accusers, but only gathered materials, and, as
witnesses, produced the last injunctions of Germanicus." Trio dropped that
accusation; but got leave to call in question his former life: and now the
Emperor was desired to undertake the trial; a request which the accused
did not at all oppose, dreading the inclinations of the people and Senate:
he knew Tiberius, on the contrary, resolute in despising popular rumours,
and in guilt confederate with his mother: besides that truth and
misrepresentations were easiest distinguished by a single judge, but in
assemblies odium and envy often prevailed. Tiberius was aware of the
weight of the trial, and with what reproaches he was assaulted. Admitting
therefore a few confidants, he heard the charge of the accusers, as also
the apology of the accused; and left the cause entire to the Senate.

Drusus returned the while from Illyricum; and though the Senate had for
the reduction of Maroboduus, and other his exploits the summer before,
decreed him the triumph of ovation; he postponed the honour, and privately
entered the city. Piso, for his advocates, desired Titus Arruntius,
Fulcinius, Asinius Gallus, Eserninus Marcellus, and Sextus Pompeius: but
they all framed different excuses; and he had, in their room, Marcus
Lepidus, Lucius Piso and Liveneius Regulus. Now earnest were the
expectations of all men, "how great would prove the fidelity of the
friends of Germanicus; what the assurance of the criminal, what the
behaviour of Tiberius; whether he would sufficiently smother, or betray
his sentiments." He never had a more anxious part; neither did the people
ever indulge themselves in such secret murmurs against their Emperor, nor
harbour in silence severer suspicions.

When the Senate met, Tiberius made a speech full of laboured moderation:
"That Piso had been his father's lieutenant and friend; and lately
appointed by himself, at the direction of the Senate, coadjutor to
Germanicus in administering the affairs of the East: whether he had there
by contumacy and opposition exasperated the young Prince, and exulted over
his death, or wickedly procured it, they were then to judge with minds
unprejudiced. For, if he who was the lieutenant of my son violated the
limits of his commission, cast off obedience to his general, and even
rejoiced at his decease and at my affliction; I will detest the man, I
will banish him from my house, and for domestic injuries exert domestic
revenge; not the revenge of an Emperor. But for you; if his guilt of any
man's death whatsoever is discovered, show your just vengeance, and by it
satisfy yourselves, satisfy the children of Germanicus, and us his father
and grandmother. Consider too especially, whether he vitiated the
discipline and promoted sedition in the army; whether he sought to debauch
the affections of the soldiers, and to recover the province by arms: or
whether these allegations are not published falsely and with aggravations
by the accusers, with whose over-passionate zeal, I am justly offended:
for, whither tended the stripping the corpse and exposing it to the eyes
and examination of the populace; with what view was it proclaimed even to
foreign nations, that his death was the effect of poison; if all this was
still doubtful, and remains yet to be tried? It is true I bewail my son,
and shall ever bewail him: but neither do I hinder the accused to do what
in him lies to manifest his innocence, even at the expense of Germanicus,
if aught blamable was in him. From you I entreat the same impartiality:
let not the connection of my sorrow with this cause, mislead you to take
crimes for proved because they are imputed. For Piso; if the tenderness of
kinsmen, if the faith of friends, has furnished him with patrons, let them
aid him in his peril, show their utmost eloquence, and exert their best
diligence. To the same pains, to the same firmness I exhort the accusers.
Thus much we will grant to the memory of Germanicus, that the inquest
concerning his death, be held rather here than in the Forum, in the Senate
than the common Tribunals. In all the rest, we will descend to the
ordinary methods. Let no man in this cause consider Drusus's tears; let
none regard my sorrow, no more than the probable fictions of calumny
against us."

Two days were then appointed for maintaining the charge; six for preparing
the defence, and three for making it. Fulcinius began with things stale
and impertinent, about the ambition and rapine of Piso in his
administration of Spain: things which, though proved, brought him under no
penalty, if acquitted of the present charge; nor, though he had been
cleared of former faults, could he escape the load of greater enormities.
After him Servaeus, Veranius, and Vitellius, all with equal zeal, but
Vitellius with great eloquence urged "that Piso, in hatred to Germanicus,
and passionate for innovations, had by tolerating general licentiousness,
and the oppression of the allies, corrupted the common soldiers to that
degree, that by the most profligate he was styled _Father of the Legions_:
he had, on the contrary, been outrageous to the best men, above all to the
friends and companions of Germanicus; and, at last, by witchcraft and
poison destroyed Germanicus himself: hence the infernal charms and
immolations practised by him and Plancina: he had then attacked the
Commonwealth with open arms; and, before he could be brought to be tried,
they were forced to fight and defeat him."

In every article but one his defence was faltering. For, neither his
dangerous intrigues in debauching the soldiery, nor his abandoning the
province to the most profligate and rapacious, nor even his insults to
Germanicus, were to be denied. He seemed only to wipe off the charge of
poison; a charge which in truth was not sufficiently corroborated by the
accusers, since they had only to allege, "that at an entertainment of
Germanicus, Piso, while he sat above him, with his hands poisoned the
meat." It appeared absurd that amongst so many attending slaves besides
his own, in so great a presence, and under the eye of Germanicus, he would
attempt it: he himself required that the waiters might be racked, and
offered to the rack his own domestics: but the Judges were implacable,
implacable from different motives; Tiberius for the war raised in the
province; and the Senate could never be convinced that the death of
Germanicus was not the effect of fraud. Some moved for the letters written
to Piso from Rome; a motion opposed by Tiberius no less than by Piso. From
without, at the same time, were heard the cries of the people, "that if he
escaped the judgment of the Senate, they would with their own hands
destroy him." They had already dragged his statues to the place from
whence malefactors were precipitated, and there had broken them; but by
the orders of Tiberius they were rescued and replaced. Piso was put into a
litter and carried back by a tribune of a Praetorian cohort; an attendance
variously understood, whether as a guard for his safety, or a minister of

Plancina was under equal public hatred, but had more secret favour: hence
it was doubted how far Tiberius durst proceed against her. For herself;
while her husband's hopes were yet plausible, she professed "she would
accompany his fortune, whatever it were, and, if he fell, fall with him."
But when by the secret solicitations of Livia, she had secured her own
pardon, she began by degrees to drop her husband, and to make a separate
defence. After this fatal warning, he doubted whether he should make any
further efforts; but, by the advice of his sons, fortifying his mind, he
again entered the Senate: there he found the prosecution renewed, suffered
the declared indignation of the Fathers, and saw all things cross and
terrible; but nothing so much daunted him as to behold Tiberius, without
mercy, without wrath, close, dark, unmovable, and bent against every
access of tenderness. When he was brought home, as if he were preparing
for his further defence the next day, he wrote somewhat, which he sealed
and delivered to his freedman: he then washed and anointed, and took the
usual care of his person. Late in the night, his wife leaving the chamber,
he ordered the door to be shut; and was found, at break of day, with his
throat cut, his sword lying by him.

I remember to have heard from ancient men, that in the hands of Piso was
frequently seen a bundle of writings, which he did not expose, but which,
as his friends constantly averred, "contained the letters of Tiberius and
his cruel orders towards Germanicus: that he resolved to lay them before
the Fathers and to charge the Emperor, but was deluded by the hollow
promises of Sejanus: and that neither did Piso die by his own hands, but
by those of an express and private executioner." I dare affirm neither;
nor yet ought I to conceal the relations of such as still lived when I was
a youth. Tiberius, with an assumed air of sadness, complained to the
Senate, that Piso, by that sort of death, had aimed to load him with
obloquy; and asked many questions how he had passed his last day, how his
last night? The freedman answered to most with prudence, to some in
confusion. The Emperor then recited the letter sent him by Piso. It was
conceived almost in these words: "Oppressed by a combination of my enemies
and the imputation of false crimes; since no place is left here to truth
and my innocence; to the Immortal Gods I appeal, that towards you, Caesar,
I have lived with sincere faith, nor towards your mother with less
reverence. For my sons I implore her protection and yours: my son Cneius
had no share in my late management whatever it were, since, all the while,
he abode at Rome: and my son Marcus dissuaded me from returning to Syria.
Oh that, old as I am, I had yielded to him, rather than he, young as he
is, to me! Hence more passionately I pray that innocent as he is, he
suffer not in the punishment of my guilt: by a series of services for
five-and-forty years, I entreat you; by our former fellowship in the
consulship; by the memory of the deified Augustus, your father; by his
friendship to me; by mine to you, I entreat you for the life and fortune
of my unhappy son. It is the last request I shall ever make you." Of
Plancina he said nothing.

Tiberius, upon this, cleared the young man of any crime as to the civil
war: he alleged "the orders of his father, which a son could not disobey."
He likewise bewailed "that noble house, and even the grievous lot of Piso
himself, however deserved," For Plancina he pleaded with shame and guilt,
alleging the importunity of his mother; against whom more particularly the
secret murmurs of the best people waxed bitter and poignant. "Was it then
the tender part of a grandmother to admit to her sight the murderess of
her grandson, to be intimate with her, and to snatch her from the
vengeance of the Senate? To Germanicus alone was denied what by the laws
was granted to every citizen. By Vitellius and Veranius, the cause of that
prince was mourned and pleaded: by the Emperor and his mother, Plancina
was defended and protected. Henceforth she might pursue her infernal arts
so successfully tried, repeat her poisonings, and by her arts and poisons
assail Agrippina and her children; and, with the blood of that most
miserable house, satiate the worthy grandmother and uncle." In this mock
trial two days were wasted; Tiberius, all the while, animating the sons of
Piso to defend their mother: when the pleaders and witnesses had
vigorously pushed the charge, and no reply was made, commiseration
prevailed over hatred. The Consul Aurelius Cotta was first asked his
opinion: for, when the Emperor collected the voices, the magistrates
likewise voted. Cotta's sentence was, "that the name of Piso should be
razed from the annals, part of his estate forfeited, part granted to his
son Cneius, upon changing that name; his son Marcus be divested of his
dignity, and content with fifty thousand great sestertia, [Footnote:
L42,000.] be banished for ten years: and to Plancina, at the request of
Livia, indemnity should be granted."

Much of this sentence was abated by the Emperor; particularly that of
striking Piso's name out of the annals, when "that of Marc Anthony, who
made war upon his country; that of Julius Antonius, who had by adultery
violated the house of Augustus, continued still there." He also exempted
Marcus Piso from the ignominy of degradation, and left him his whole
paternal inheritance; for, as I have already often observed, he was to the
temptations of money incorruptible, and from the shame of having acquitted
Plancina, rendered then more than usually mild. He likewise withstood the
motion of Valerius Messalinus, "for erecting a golden statue in the Temple
of Mars the Avenger;" and that of Caecina Severus, "for founding an altar
to revenge." "Such monuments as these," he argued, "were only fit to be
raised upon foreign victories; domestic evils were to be buried in
sadness." Messalinus had added, "that to Tiberius, Livia, Antonia,
Agrippina and Drusus, public thanks were to be rendered for having
revenged the death of Germanicus;" but had omitted to mention Claudius.
Messalinus was asked by Lucius Asprenas, in the presence of the Senate,
"Whether by design he had omitted him?" and then at last the name of
Claudius was subjoined. To me, the more I revolve the events of late or of
old, the more of mockery and slipperiness appears in all human wisdom and
the transactions of men: for, in popular fame, in the hopes, wishes and
veneration of the public, all men were rather destined to the Empire, than
he for whom fortune then reserved the sovereignty in the dark.

A few days after, Vitellius, Veranius and Servaeus, were by the Senate
preferred to the honours of the Priesthood, at the motion of Tiberius. To
Fulcinius he promised his interest and suffrage towards preferment, but
advised him "not to embarrass his eloquence by impetuosity." This was the
end of revenging the death of Germanicus; an affair ambiguously related,
not by those only who then lived and interested themselves in it, but
likewise the following times: so dark and intricate are all the highest
transactions; while some hold for certain facts, the most precarious
hearsays; others turn facts into falsehood; and both are swallowed and
improved by the credulity of posterity. Drusus went now without the city,
there to renew the ceremony of the auspices, and presently re-entered in
the triumph of _ovation_. A few days after died Vipsania his mother; of
all the children of Agrippa, the only one who made a pacific end: the rest
manifestly perished, or are believed to have perished, by the sword,
poison, or famine.

The qualifying of the Law Papia Poppaea was afterwards proposed; a law
which, to enforce those of Julius Caesar, Augustus had made when he was
old, for punishing celibacy and enriching the Exchequer. Nor even by this
means had marriages and children multiplied, while a passion to live
single and childless prevailed: but, in the meantime, the numbers
threatened and in danger by it increased daily, while by the glosses and
chicane of the impleaders every family was undone. So that, as before the
city laboured under the weight of crimes, so now under the pest of laws.
From this thought I am led backwards to the first rise of laws, and to
open the steps and causes by which we are arrived to the present number
and excess; a number infinite and perplexed.

The first race of men, free as yet from every depraved passion, lived
without guile and crimes, and therefore without chastisements or
restraints; nor was there occasion for rewards, when of their own accord
they pursued righteousness: and as they courted nothing contrary to
justice, they were debarred from nothing by terrors. But, after they had
abandoned their original equality, and from modesty and shame to do evil,
proceeded to ambition and violence; lordly dominion was introduced and
arbitrary rule, and in many nations grew perpetual. Some, either from the
beginning, or after they were surfeited with kings, preferred the
sovereignty of laws; which, agreeable to the artless minds of men, were at
first short and simple. The laws in most renown were those framed for the
Cretans by Minos; for the Spartans by Lycurgus; and afterwards such as
Solon delivered to the Athenians, now greater in number and more
exquisitely composed. To the Romans justice was administered by Romulus
according to his pleasure: after him, Numa managed the people by religious
devices and laws divine. Some institutions were made by Tullus Hostilius,
some by Ancus Martius; but above all our laws were those founded by
Servius Tullius; they were such as even our kings were bound to obey.

Upon the expulsion of Tarquin; the people, for the security of their
freedom against the encroachment and factions of the Senate, and for
binding the public concord, prepared many ordinances: hence were created
the Decemviri, and by them were composed the twelve tables, out of a
collection of the most excellent institutions found abroad. The period
this of all upright and impartial laws. What laws followed, though
sometimes made against crimes and offenders, were yet chiefly made by
violence, through the animosity of the two Estates, and for seizing
unjustly withholden offices or continuing unjustly in them, or for
banishing illustrious patriots, and to other wicked ends. Hence the
Gracchi and Saturnini, inflamers of the people; and hence Drusus vying, on
behalf of the Senate, in popular concessions with these inflamers; and
hence the corrupt promises made to our Italian allies, promises
deceitfully made, or, by the interposition of some Tribune, defeated.
Neither during the war of Italy, nor during the civil war, was the making
of regulations discontinued; many and contradictory were even then made.
At last Sylla the Dictator, changing or abolishing the past, added many of
his own, and procured some respite in this matter, but not long; for
presently followed the turbulent pursuits and proposals of Lepidus, and
soon after were the Tribunes restored to their licentious authority of
throwing the people into combustions at pleasure. And now laws were not
made for the public only, but for particular men particular laws; and
corruption abounding in the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth abounded in

Pompey was, now in his third Consulship, chosen to correct the public
enormities; and his remedies proved to the State more grievous than its
distempers. He made laws such as suited his ambition, and broke them when
they thwarted his will; and lost by arms the regulations which by arms he
had procured. Henceforward for twenty years discord raged, and there was
neither law nor settlement; the most wicked found impunity in the excess
of their wickedness; and many virtuous men, in their uprightness met
destruction. At length, Augustus Caesar in his sixth Consulship, then
confirmed in power without a rival, abolished the orders which during the
Triumvirate he had established, and gave us laws proper for peace and a
single ruler. These laws had sanctions severer than any heretofore known:
as their guardians, informers were appointed, who by the Law Papia Poppaea
were encouraged with rewards, to watch such as neglected the privileges
annexed to marriage and fatherhood, and consequently could claim no legacy
or inheritance, the same, as vacant, belonging to the Roman People, who
were the public parent. But these informers struck much deeper: by them
the whole city, all Italy, and the Roman citizens in every part of the
Empire, were infested and persecuted: numbers were stripped of their
entire fortunes, and terror had seized all; when Tiberius, for a check to
this evil, chose twenty noblemen, five who were formerly Consuls, five who
were formerly Praetors, with ten other Senators, to review that law. By
them many of its intricacies were explained, its strictness qualified; and
hence some present alleviation was yielded.

Tiberius about this time, to the Senate recommended Nero, one of the sons
of Germanicus, now seventeen years of age, and desired "that he might be
exempted from executing the office of the Vigintivirate, [Footnote:
Officers for distributing the public lands; for regulating the mint, the
roads, and the execution of criminals.] and have leave to sue for the
Quaestorship five years sooner than the laws directed." A piece of
mockery, this request to all who heard it: but, Tiberius pretended "that
the same concessions had been decreed to himself and his brother Drusus,
at the request of Augustus." Nor do I doubt, but there were then such who
secretly ridiculed that sort of petitions from Augustus: such policy was
however natural to that Prince, while he was but yet laying the
foundations of the Imperial power, and while the Republic and its late
laws were still fresh in the minds of men: besides, the relation was
lighter between Augustus and his wife's sons, than between a grandfather
and his grandsons. To the grant of the Quaestorship was added a seat in
the College of Pontiffs; and the first day he entered the Forum in his
manly robe, a donative of corn and money was distributed to the populace,
who exulted to behold a son of Germanicus now of age. Their joy was soon
heightened by his marriage with Julia, the daughter of Drusus. But as
these transactions were attended with public applauses; so the intended
marriage of the daughter of Sejanus with the son of Claudius was received
with popular indignation. By this alliance the nobility of the Claudian
house seemed stained; and by it Sejanus, already suspected of aspiring
views, was lifted still higher.

At the end of this year died Lucius Volusius and Sallustius Crispus; great
and eminent men. The family of Volusius was ancient, but, in the exercise
of public offices, rose never higher than the Praetorship; it was he, who
honoured it with the Consulship: he was likewise created Censor for
modelling the classes of the equestrian order; and first accumulated the
wealth which gave that family such immense grandeur. Crispus was born of
an equestrian house, great nephew by a sister to Caius Sallustius, the
renowned Roman historian, and by him adopted: the way to the great offices
was open to him; but, in imitation of Maecenas, he lived without the
dignity of Senator, yet outwent in power many who were distinguished with
Consulships and triumphs: his manner of living, his dress and daintiness
were different from the ways of antiquity; and, in expense and affluence,
he bordered rather upon luxury. He possessed however a vigour of spirit
equal to great affairs, and exerted the greater promptness for that he hid
it in a show of indolence and sloth: he was therefore, in the time of
Maecenas, the next in favour, afterwards chief confidant in all the secret
counsels of Augustus and Tiberius, and privy and consenting to the order
for slaying Agrippa Posthumus. In his old age he preserved with the Prince
rather the outside than the vitals of authority: the same had happened to
Maecenas. It is the fate of power, which is rarely perpetual; perhaps from
satiety on both sides, when Princes have no more to grant, and Ministers
no more to crave.

Next followed the Consulship of Tiberius and Drusus; to Tiberius the
fourth, to Drusus the second: a Consulship remarkable, for that in it the
father and son were colleagues. There was indeed the same fellowship
between Tiberius and Germanicus, two years before; but besides the
distastes of jealousy in the uncle, the ties of blood were not so near. In
the beginning of the year, Tiberius, on pretence of his health, retired to
Campania; either already meditating a long and perpetual retirement; or to
leave to Drusus, in his father's absence, the honour of executing the
Consulship alone: and there happened a thing which, small in itself, yet
as it produced mighty contestation, furnished the young Consul with matter
of popular affection. Domitius Corbulo, formerly Praetor, complained to
the Senate of Lucius Sylla, a noble youth, "that in the show of
gladiators, Sylla would not yield him place." Age, domestic custom, and
the ancient men were for Corbulo: on the other side, Mamercus Scaurus,
Lucius Arruntius, and others laboured for their kinsman Sylla: warm
speeches were made, and the examples of our ancestors were urged, "who by
severe decrees had censured and restrained the irreverence of the youth."
Drusus interposed with arguments proper for calming animosities, and
Corbulo had satisfaction made him by Scaurus, who was to Sylla both
father-in-law and uncle, and the most copious orator of that age. The same
Corbulo, exclaiming against "the condition of most of the roads through
Italy, that through the fraud of the undertakers and negligence of the
overseers, they were broken and unpassable;" undertook of his own accord
the cure of that abuse; an undertaking which he executed not so much to
the advantage of the public as to the ruin of many private men in their
fortunes and reputation, by his violent mulcts and unjust judgments and

Upon this occasion Caecina Severus proposed, "that no magistrate should go
into any province accompanied by his wife." He introduced this motion with
a long preface, "that he lived with his own in perfect concord, by her he
had six children; and what he offered to the public he had practised
himself, having during forty years' service left her still behind him,
confined to Italy. It was not indeed, without cause, established of old,
that women should neither be carried by their husbands into confederate
nations nor foreign. A train of women introduced luxury in peace, by their
fears retarded war, and made a Roman army resemble, in their march, a
mixed host of barbarians. The sex was not tender only and unfit for
travel, but, if suffered, cruel, aspiring, and greedy of authority: they
even marched amongst the soldiers, and were obeyed by the officers. A
woman had lately presided at the exercises of the troops, and at the
decursions of the legions. The Senate themselves might remember, that as
often as any of the magistrates were charged with plundering the
provinces, their wives were always engaged in the guilt. To the ladies,
the most profligate in the province applied; by them all affairs were
undertaken, by them transacted: at home two distinct courts were kept, and
abroad the wife had her distinct train and attendance. The ladies, too,
issued distinct orders, but more imperious and better obeyed. Such
feminine excesses were formerly restrained by the Oppian, and other laws;
but now these restraints were violated, women ruled all things, their
families, the Forum, and even the armies."

This speech was heard by few with approbation, and many proclaimed their
dissent; "for, that neither was that the point in debate, nor was Caecina
considerable enough to censure so weighty an affair." He was presently
answered by Valerius Messalinus, who was the son of Messala, and inherited
a sparkling of his father's eloquence: "that many rigorous institutions of
the ancients were softened and changed for the better: for, neither was
Rome now, as of old, beset with wars, nor Italy with hostile provinces;
and a few concessions were made to the conveniences of women, who were so
far from burdening the provinces, that to their own husbands there they
were no burden. As to honours, attendance and expense, they enjoyed them
in common with their husbands, who could receive no embarrassment from
their company in time of peace. To war indeed we must go equipped and
unencumbered; but after the fatigues of war, what was more allowable than
the consolations of a wife? But it seemed the wives of some magistrates
had given a loose to ambition and avarice. And were the magistrates
themselves free from these excesses? were not most of them governed by
many exorbitant appetites? did we therefore send none into the provinces?
It was added, that the husbands were corrupted by their corrupt wives: and
were therefore all single men uncorrupt? The Oppian Laws were once thought
necessary, because the exigencies of the State required their severity:
they were afterwards relaxed and mollified, because that too was expedient
for the State. In vain we covered our own sloth with borrowed names: if
the wife broke bounds, the husband ought to bear the blame. It was
moreover unjustly judged, for the weak and uxorious spirit of one or a
few, to bereave all others of the fellowship of their wives, the natural
partners of their prosperity and distress. Besides, the sex, weak by
nature, would be left defenceless, exposed to the luxurious bent of their
native passions, and a prey to the allurements of adulterers: scarce under
the eye and restraint of the husband was the marriage bed preserved
inviolate: what must be the consequence, when by an absence of many years,
the ties of marriage would be forgot, forgot as it were in a divorce? It
became them, therefore, so to cure the evils abroad as not to forget the
enormities at Rome." To this Drusus added somewhat concerning his own
wedlock. "Princes," he said, "were frequently obliged to visit the remote
parts of the Empire: how often did the deified Augustus travel to the
East, how often to the West, still accompanied with Livia? He himself too
had taken a progress to Illyricum, and, if it were expedient, was ready to
visit other nations; but not always with an easy spirit, if he were to be
torn from his dear wife, her by whom he had so many children." Thus was
Caecina's motion eluded.

When the Senate met next, they had a letter from Tiberius. In it he
affected to chide the fathers, "that upon him they cast all public cares;"
and named them M. Lepidus and Junius Blesus, to choose either for
Proconsul of Africa. They were then both heard as to this nomination:
Lepidus excused himself with earnestness; he pleaded "his bodily frailty,
the tender age of his children, and a daughter fit for marriage." There
was another reason too, of which he said nothing; but it was easily
understood: Blesus was uncle to Sejanus, and therefore had the prevailing
interest. Blesus too made a show of refusing, but not with the like
positiveness, and was heard with partiality by the flatterers of power.

The same year the cities of Gaul, stimulated by their excessive debts,
began a rebellion. The most vehement incendiaries were Julius Florus and
Julius Sacrovir; the first amongst those of Treves, the second amongst the
Aeduans. They were both distinguished by their nobility, and by the good
services of their ancestors, who thence had acquired of old the right of
Roman citizens; a privilege rare in those days, and then only the prize of
virtue. When by secret meetings, they had gained those who were most
prompt to rebel; with such as were desperate through indigence, or, from
guilt of past crimes, forced to commit more; they agreed that Florus
should begin the insurrection in Belgia; Sacrovir amongst the neighbouring
Gauls. In order to this, they had many consultations and cabals, where
they uttered seditious harangues; they urged "their tribute without end,
their devouring usury, the pride and cruelty of their Governors: that they
had now a glorious opportunity to recover their liberty; for that since
the report of the murder of Germanicus, discord had seized the Roman
soldiery: they need only consider their own strength and numbers; while
Italy was poor and exhausted; the Roman populace weak and unwarlike, the
Roman armies destitute of all vigour but that derived from foreigners."

Scarce one city remained untainted with the seeds of this rebellion; but
it first broke at Angiers and Tours. The former were reduced by Acilius
Aviola, a legate, with the assistance of a cohort drawn from the garrison
at Lyons. Those of Tours were suppressed by the same Aviola, assisted with
a detachment sent from the legions, by Visellius Varro, lieutenant-
governor of lower Germany. Some of the chiefs of the Gauls had likewise
joined him with succours, the better to disguise their defection, and to
push it with more effect hereafter. Even Sacrovir was beheld engaged in
fight for the Romans, with his head bare, a _demonstration_, he pretended,
_of his bravery_; but the prisoners averred, that "he did it to be known
to his countrymen, and to escape their darts."

An account of all this was laid before Tiberius, who slighted it, and by
hesitation fostered the war. Florus the while pushed his designs, and
tried to debauch a regiment of horse, levied at Treves, and kept under our
pay and discipline: he would have engaged them to begin the war, by
putting to the sword the Roman merchants; and some few were corrupted, but
the body remained in their allegiance. A rabble however, of his own
followers and desperate debtors, took arms and were making to the forest
of Arden, when the legions sent from both armies by Visellius and Caius
Silius, through different routes to intercept them, marred their march:
and Julius Indus, one of the same country with Florus, at enmity with him,
and therefore more eager to engage him, was despatched forward with a
chosen band, and broke the ill-appointed multitude. Florus by lurking from
place to place, frustrated the search of the conquerors: but at last, when
he saw all the passes beset with soldiers, he fell by his own hands. This
was the issue of the insurrection at Treves.

Amongst the Aeduans the revolt was stronger, as much stronger as the state
was more opulent; and the forces to suppress it were to be brought from
afar. Augustodunum, [Footnote: Autun.] the capital of the nation, was
seized by Sacrovir, and in it all the noble youth of Gaul, who were there
instructed in the liberal arts. By securing these pledges he aimed to bind
in his interest their parents and relations; and at the same time
distributed to the young men the arms, which he had caused to be secretly
made. He had forty thousand men, the fifth part armed like our legions,
the rest with poles, hangers, and other weapons used by hunters. To the
number were added such of the slaves as had been appointed to be
gladiators; these were covered, after the fashion of the country, with a
continued armour of iron; and styled _Crupellarii_; a sort of militia
unwieldy at exercising their own weapons, and impenetrable by those of
others. These forces were still increased by volunteers from the
neighbouring cities, where, though the public body did not hitherto avow
the revolt, yet the zeal of particulars was manifest: they had likewise
leisure to increase from the contention of the two Roman generals; a
contention for some time undecided, while each demanded the command in
that war. At length Varro, old and infirm, yielded to the superior vigour
of Silius.

Now at Rome, "not only the insurrection of Treves and of the Aeduans, but
likewise, that threescore and four cities of Gaul had revolted; that the
Germans had joined in the revolt, and that Spain fluctuated;" were reports
all believed with the usual aggravations of fame. The best men grieved in
sympathy for their country: many from hatred of the present government and
thirst of change, rejoiced in their own perils: they inveighed against
Tiberius, "that in such a mighty uproar of rebellion, he was only employed
in perusing the informations of the State accusers." They asked, "did he
mean to surrender Julius Sacrovir to the Senate, to try him for treason?"
They exulted, "that there were at last found men, who would with arms
restrain his bloody orders for private murders." And declared "that even
war was a happy change for a most wretched peace." So much the more for
this, Tiberius affected to appear wrapped up in security and unconcern; he
neither changed place nor countenance, but behaved himself at that time as
at other times; whether from elevation of mind, or whether he had learned
that the state of things was not alarming, and only heightened by vulgar

Silius the while sending forward a band of auxiliaries, marched with two
legions, and in his march ravaged the villages of the Sequanians, next
neighbours to the Aeduans, and their associates in arms. He then advanced
towards Augustodunum; a hasty march, the standard-bearers mutually vying
in expedition, and the common men breathing ardour and eagerness: they
desired, "that no time might be wasted in the usual refreshments, none of
their nights in sleep; let them only see and confront the foe: they wanted
no more, to be victorious." Twelve miles from Augustodunum, Sacrovir
appeared with his forces upon the plains: in the front he had placed the
iron troop; his cohorts in the wings; the half-armed in the rear: he
himself, upon a fine horse, attended by the other chiefs, addressed
himself to them from rank to rank; he reminded them "of the glorious
achievements of the ancient Gauls; of the victorious mischiefs they had
brought upon the Romans; of the liberty and renown attending victory; of
their redoubled and intolerable servitude, if once more vanquished."

A short speech; and an unattentive, and disheartened audience! For, the
embattled legions approached; and the crowd of townsmen, ill appointed and
novices in war, stood astonished, bereft of the present use of eyes and
hearing. On the other side, Silius, though he presumed the victory, and
thence might have spared exhortations, yet called to his men, "that they
might be with reason ashamed that they, the conquerors of Germany, should
be thus led against a rabble of Gauls as against an equal enemy: one
cohort had newly defeated the rebels of Tours; one regiment of horse,
those of Treves; a handful of this very army had routed the Sequanians:
the present Aeduans, as they are more abounding in wealth, as they wallow
more in voluptuousness, are by so much more soft and unwarlike: this is
what you are now to prove, and your task to prevent their escape." His
words were returned with a mighty cry. Instantly the horse surrounded the
foe; the foot attacked their front, and the wings were presently routed:
the iron band gave some short obstruction, as the bars of their coats
withstood the strokes of sword and pike: but the soldiers had recourse to
their hatchets and pick-axes; and, as if they had battered a wall, hewed
their bodies and armour: others with clubs, and some with forks, beat down
the helpless lumps, who as they lay stretched along, without one struggle
to rise, were left for dead. Sacrovir fled first to Augustodunum; and
thence, fearful of being surrendered, to a neighbouring town, accompanied
by his most faithful adherents. There he slew himself; and the rest, one
another: having first set the town on fire, by which they were all

Now at last Tiberius wrote to the Senate about this war, and at once
acquainted them with its rise and conclusion, neither aggravating facts
nor lessening them; but added "that it was conducted by the fidelity and
bravery of his lieutenants, guided by his counsels." He likewise assigned
the reasons why neither he, nor Drusus, went to that war; "that the Empire
was an immense body; and it became not the dignity of a Prince, upon the
revolt of one or two towns, to desert the capital, whence motion was
derived to the whole: but since the alarm was over, he would visit those
nations and settle them." The Senate decreed vows and supplications for
his return, with other customary honours. Only Cornelius Dolabella, while
he strove to outdo others, fell into ridiculous sycophancy, and moved
"that from Campania he should enter Rome in the triumph of ovation." This
occasioned a letter from Tiberius: in it he declared, "he was not so
destitute of glory, that after having in his youth subdued the fiercest
nations, and enjoyed or slighted so many triumphs, he should now in his
old age seek empty honours from a short progress about the suburbs of

Caius Sulpitius and Decimus Haterius were the following Consuls. Their
year was exempt from disturbances abroad; but at home some severe blow was
apprehended against luxury, which prevailed monstrously in all things that
create a profusion of money. But as the more pernicious articles of
expense were covered by concealing their prices; therefore from the
excesses of the table, which were become the common subject of daily
animadversion, apprehensions were raised of some rigid correction from a
Prince, who observed himself the ancient parsimony. For, Caius Bibulus
having begun the complaint, the other Aediles took it up, and argued "that
the sumptuary laws were despised; the pomp and expense of plate and
entertainments, in spite of restraints, increased daily, and by moderate
penalties were not to be stopped." This grievance thus represented to the
Senate, was by them referred entire to the Emperor. Tiberius having long
weighed with himself whether such an abandoned propensity to prodigality
could be stemmed; whether the stemming it would not bring heavier evils
upon the public; how dishonourable it would be to attempt what could not
be effected, or at least effected by the disgrace of the nobility, and by
the subjecting illustrious men to infamous punishments; wrote at last to
the Senate in this manner:

"In other matters, Conscript Fathers, perhaps it might be more expedient
for you to consult me in the Senate; and for me to declare there, what I
judge for the public weal: but in the debate of this affair, it was best
that my eyes were withdrawn; lest, while you marked the countenances and
terror of particulars charged with scandalous luxury, I too should have
observed them, and, as it were, caught them in it. Had the vigilant
Aediles first asked counsel of me, I know not whether I should not have
advised them rather to have passed by potent and inveterate corruptions,
than only make it manifest, what enormities are an overmatch for us: but
they in truth have done their duty, as I would have all other magistrates
fulfil theirs. But for myself, it is neither commendable to be silent; nor
does it belong to my station to speak out; since I neither bear the
character of an Aedile, nor of a Praetor, nor of a Consul: something still
greater and higher is required of a Prince. Every one is ready to assume
to himself the credit of whatever is well done, while upon the Prince
alone are thrown the miscarriages of all. But what is it, that I am first
to prohibit, what excess retrench to the ancient standard? Am I to begin
with that of our country seats, spacious without bounds; and with the
number of domestics, a number distributed into nations in private
families? or with the quantity of plate, silver, and gold? or with the
pictures, and works, and statues of brass, the wonders of art? or with the
gorgeous vestments, promiscuously worn by men and women? or with what is
peculiar to the women, those precious stones, for the purchase of which
our corn is carried into foreign and hostile nations.

"I am not ignorant that at entertainments and in conversation, these
excesses are censured, and a regulation is required: and yet if an equal
law were made, if equal penalties were prescribed, these very censurers
would loudly complain, _that the State was utterly overturned, that snares
and destruction were prepared for every illustrious house, that no men
could be guiltless, and all men would be the prey of informers_. And yet
bodily diseases grown inveterate and strengthened by time, cannot be
checked but by medicines rigid and violent: it is the same with the soul:
the sick and raging soul, itself corrupted and scattering its corruption,
is not to be qualified but by remedies equally strong with its own flaming
lusts. So many laws made by our ancestors, so many added by the deified
Augustus; the former being lost in oblivion, and (which is more heinous)
the latter in contempt, have only served to render luxury more secure.
When we covet a thing yet unforbid, we are apt to fear that it may be
forbid; but when once we can with impunity and defiance overleap
prohibited bounds, there remains afterwards nor fear nor shame. How
therefore did parsimony prevail of old? It was because, every one was a
law to himself; it was because we were then only masters of one city: nor
afterwards, while our dominion was confined only to Italy, had we found
the same instigations to voluptuousness. By foreign conquests, we learned
to waste the property of others; and in the Civil Wars, to consume our
own. What a mighty matter is it that the Aediles remonstrate! how little
to be weighed in the balance with others? It is wonderful that nobody
represents, that Italy is in constant want of foreign supplies; that the
lives of the Roman People are daily at the mercy of uncertain seas and of
tempests: were it not for our supports from the provinces; supports, by
which the masters, and their slaves, and their estates, are maintained;
would our own groves and villas maintain us? This care therefore,
Conscript Fathers, is the business of the Prince; and by the neglect of
this care, the foundations of the State would be dissolved. The cure of
other defects depends upon our own private spirits: some of us, shame will
reclaim; necessity will mend the poor; satiety the rich. Or if any of the
Magistrates, from a confidence of his own firmness and perseverance, will
undertake to stem the progress of so great an evil; he has both my
praises, and my acknowledgment, that he discharges me of part of my
fatigues: but if such will only impeach corruptions, and when they have
gained the glory, would leave upon me the indignation (indignation of
their own raising); believe me, Conscript Fathers, I am not fond of
bearing resentments: I already suffer many for the Commonwealth; many that
are grievous and almost all unjust; and therefore with reason I intreat
that I may not be loaded with such as are wantonly and vainly raised, and
promise no advantage to you nor to me."

The Senate, upon reading the Emperor's letter, released the Aediles from
this pursuit: and the luxury of the table which, from the battle of Actium
till the revolution made by Galba, flowed, for the space of an hundred
years, in all profusion; at last gradually declined. The causes of this
change are worth knowing. Formerly the great families, great in nobility
or abounding in riches, were carried away with a passion for magnificence:
for even then it was allowed to court the good graces of the Roman People,
with the favour of kings, and confederate nations; and to be courted by
them: so that each was distinguished by the lustre of popularity and
dependances, in proportion to his affluence, the splendour of his house,
and the figure he made. But after Imperial fury had long raged in the
slaughter of the Grandees, and the greatness of reputation was become the
sure mark of destruction; the rest grew wiser: besides, new men frequently
chosen Senators from the municipal towns, from the colonies, and even from
the provinces, brought into the Senate their own domestic parsimony; and
though, by fortune or industry, many of them grew wealthy as they grew
old, yet their former frugal spirit continued. But above all, Vespasian
proved the promoter of thrifty living, being himself the pattern of
ancient economy in his person and table: hence the compliance of the
public with the manners of the Prince, and an emulation to practise them;
an incitement more prevalent than the terrors of laws and all their
penalties. Or perhaps all human things go a certain round; and, as in the
revolutions of time, there are also vicissitudes in manners: nor indeed
have our ancestors excelled us in all things; our own age has produced
many excellences worthy of praise and the imitation of posterity. Let us
still preserve this strife in virtue with our forefathers.

Tiberius having gained the fame of moderation; because, by rejecting the
project for reforming luxury, he had disarmed the growing hopes of the
accusers; wrote to the Senate, to desire the _Tribunitial Power_ for
Drusus. Augustus had devised this title, as best suiting the unbounded
height of his views; while avoiding the odious name of _King_ or
_Dictator_, he was yet obliged to use some particular appellation, under
it to control all other powers in the State. He afterwards assumed Marcus
Agrippa into a fellowship in it; and, upon his death, Tiberius; that none
might doubt, who was to be his successor. By this means, he conceived, he
should defeat the aspiring views of others: besides, he confided in the
moderation of Tiberius, and in the mightiness of his own authority. By his
example, Tiberius now advanced Drusus to the supreme Magistracy; whereas,
while Germanicus yet lived, he acted without distinction towards both. In
the beginning of his letter he besought the Gods "that by his counsels the
Republic might prosper," and then added a modest testimony concerning the
qualities and behaviour of the young Prince, without aggravation or false
embellishments; "that he had a wife and three children, and was of the
same age with himself, when called by the deified Augustus to that office:
that Drusus was not now by him adopted a partner in the toils of
government, precipitately; but after eight years' experience made of his
qualifications; after seditions suppressed, wars concluded, the honour of
triumph, and two Consulships."

The Senators had foreseen this address; hence they received it with the
more elaborate adulation. However, they could devise nothing to decree,
but "statues to the two Princes, altars to the Gods, arches," and other
usual honours: only that Marcus Silanus strove to honour the Princes by
the disgrace of the Consulship: he proposed "that all records public and
private should, for their date, be inscribed no more with the names of the
Consuls, but of those who exercised the Tribunitial power." But Haterius
Agrippa, by moving to have "the decrees of that day engraved in letters of
gold, and hung up in the Senate," became an object of derision; for that,
as he was an ancient man, he could reap from his most abominable flattery
no other fruit but that of infamy.

Tiberius, while he fortified the vitals of his own domination, afforded
the Senate a shadow of their ancient jurisdiction; by referring to their
examination petitions and claims from the provinces. For there had now
prevailed amongst the Greek cities a latitude of instituting sanctuaries
at pleasure. Hence the temples were filled with the most profligate
fugitive slaves: here debtors found protection against their creditors;
and hither were admitted such as were pursued for capital crimes. Nor was
any force of Magistracy or laws sufficient to bridle the mad zeal of the
people, who confounding the sacred villainies of men with the worship
peculiar to the Gods, seditiously defended these profane sanctuaries. It
was therefore ordered that these cities should send deputies to represent
their claims. Some of the cities voluntarily relinquished the nominal
privileges, which they had arbitrarily assumed: many confided in their
rights; a confidence grounded on the antiquity of their superstitions, or
on the merits of their kind offices to the Roman People. Glorious to the
Senate was the appearance of that day, when the grants from our ancestors,
the engagements of our confederates, the ordinances of kings, such kings
who had reigned as yet independent of the Roman power; and when even the
sacred worship of the Gods were now all subjected to their inspection, and
their judgment free, as of old, to ratify or abolish with absolute power.

First of all the Ephesians applied. They alleged, that "Diana and Apollo
were not, according to the credulity of the vulgar, born at Delos: in
their territory flowed the river Cenchris; where also stood the Ortygian
Grove: there the big-bellied Latona, leaning upon an olive tree, which
even then remained, was delivered of these deities; and thence by their
appointment the Grove became sacred. Thither Apollo himself, after his
slaughter of the Cyclops, retired for a sanctuary from the wrath of
Jupiter: soon after, the victorious Bacchus pardoned the suppliant
Amazons, who sought refuge at the altar of Diana: by the concession of
Hercules, when he reigned in Lydia, her temple was dignified with an
augmentation of immunities; nor during the Persian monarchy were they
abridged: they were next maintained by the Macedonians, and then by us."

The Magnesians next asserted their claim, founded on an establishment of
Lucius Scipio, confirmed by another of Sylla: the former after the defeat
of Antiochus; the latter after that of Mithridates, having, as a testimony
of the faith and bravery of the Magnesians, dignified their temple of the
Leucophrynaean Diana with the privileges of an inviolable sanctuary. After
them, the Aphrodisians and Stratoniceans produced a grant from Caesar the
Dictator, for their early services to his party; and another lately from
Augustus, with a commendation inserted, "that with zeal unshaken towards
the Roman People, they had borne the irruption of the Parthians." But
these two people adored different deities: Aphrodisium was a city devoted
to Venus; that of Stratonicea maintained the worship of Jupiter and of
Diana Trivia. Those of Hierocaesarea exhibited claims of higher antiquity,
"that they possessed the Persian Diana, and her temple consecrated by King
Cyrus." They likewise pleaded the authorities of Perpenna, Isauricus, and
of many more Roman captains, who had allowed the same sacred immunity not
to the temple only, but to a precinct two miles round it. Those of Cyprus
pleaded right of sanctuary to three of their temples: the most ancient
founded by Aerias to the Paphian Venus; another by his son Amathus to the
Amathusian Venus; the third to the Salaminian Jupiter by Teucer, the son
of Telamon, when he fled from the fury of his father.

The deputies too of other cities were heard. But the Senate tired with so
many, and because there was a contention begun amongst particular parties
for particular cities; gave power to the Consuls "to search into the
validity of their several pretensions, and whether in them no fraud was
interwoven;" with orders "to lay the whole matter once more before the
Senate." The Consuls reported that, besides the cities already mentioned,
"they had found the temple of AEsculapius at Pergamus to be a genuine
sanctuary: the rest claimed upon originals, from the darkness of
antiquity, altogether obscure. Smyrna particularly pleaded an oracle of
Apollo, in obedience to which they had dedicated a temple to Venus
Stratonices; as did the Isle of Tenos an oracular order from the same God,
to erect to Neptune a statue and temple. Sardis urged a later authority,
namely, a grant from the Great Alexander; and Miletus insisted on one from
King Darius: as to the deities of these two cities; one worshipped Diana;
the other, Apollo. And Crete too demanded the privilege of sanctuary, to a
statue of the deified Augustus." Hence diverse orders of Senate were made,
by which, though great reverence was expressed towards the deities, yet
the extent of the sanctuaries was limited; and the several people were
enjoined "to hang up in each temple the present decree engraven in brass,
as a sacred memorial, and a restraint against their lapsing, under the
colour of religion, into the abuses and claims of superstition."

At the same time, a vehement distemper having seized Livia, obliged the
Emperor to hasten his return to Rome; seeing hitherto the mother and son
lived in apparent unanimity; or perhaps mutually disguised their hate:
for, not long before, Livia, having dedicated a statue to the deified
Augustus, near the theatre of Marcellus, had the name of Tiberius
inscribed after her own. This he was believed to have resented heinously,
as a degrading the dignity of the Prince; but to have buried his
resentment under dark dissimulation. Upon this occasion, therefore, the
Senate decreed "supplications to the Gods; with the celebration of the
greater Roman games, under the direction of the Pontifs, the Augurs, the
College of Fifteen, assisted by the College of Seven, and the Fraternity
of Augustal Priests." Lucius Apronius had moved, that "with the rest might
preside the company of heralds." Tiberius opposed it; he distinguished
between the jurisdiction of the priests and theirs; "for that at no time
had the heralds arrived to so much pre-eminence: but for the Augustal
Fraternity, they were therefore added, because they exercised a priesthood
peculiar to that family for which the present vows and solemnities were
made," It is no part of my purpose to trace all the votes of particular
men, unless they are memorable for integrity, or for notorious infamy:
this I conceive to be the principal duty of an historian, that he suppress
no instance of virtue; and that by the dread of future infamy and the
censures of posterity, men may be deterred from detestable actions and
prostitute speeches. In short, such was the abomination of those times, so
prevailing the contagion of flattery, that not only the first nobles,
whose obnoxious splendour found protection only in obsequiousness; but all
who had been Consuls, a great part of such as had been Praetors, and even
many of the unregistered Senators, strove for priority in the vileness and
excess of their votes. There is a tradition, that Tiberius, as often as he
went out of the Senate, was wont to cry out in Greek, _Oh men prepared for
bondage!_ Yes, even Tiberius, he who could not bear public liberty,
nauseated this prostitute tameness of slaves.


A.D. 23-28.

When Caius Asinius and Caius Antistius were Consuls, Tiberius was in his
ninth year; the State composed, and his family flourishing (for the death
of Germanicus he reckoned amongst the incidents of his prosperity) when
suddenly fortune began to grow boisterous, and he himself to tyrannise, or
to furnish others with the weapons of tyranny. The beginning and cause of
this turn arose from Aelius Sejanus, captain of the Praetorian cohorts. Of
his power I have above made mention; I shall now explain his original, his
manners, and by what black deeds he strove to snatch the sovereignty. He
was born at Vulsinii, son to Sejus Strabo, a Roman knight; in his early
youth, he was a follower of Caius Caesar (grandson of Augustus) and lay
then under the contumely of having for hire exposed himself to the
constupration of Apicius; a debauchee wealthy and profuse: next by various
artifices he so enchanted Tiberius, that he who to all others was dark and
unsearchable, became to Sejanus alone destitute of all restraint and
caution: nor did he so much accomplish this by any superior efforts of
policy (for at his own stratagems he was vanquished by others) as by the
rage of the Gods against the Roman State, to which he proved alike
destructive when he flourished and when he fell. His person was hardy and
equal to fatigues; his spirit daring but covered; sedulous to disguise his
own counsels, dexterous to blacken others; alike fawning and imperious; to
appearance exactly modest; but in his heart fostering the lust of
domination; and, with this view, engaged at one time in profusion,
largesses, and luxury; and again, often laid out in application and
vigilance; qualities no less pernicious, when personated by ambition for
the acquiring of Empire.

The authority of his command over the guards, which was but moderate
before his time, he extended, by gathering into one camp all the
Praetorian cohorts then dispersed over the city; that thus united, they
might all at once receive his orders, and by continually beholding their
own numbers and strength, conceive confidence in themselves and prove a
terror to all other men. He pretended, "that the soldiers, while they
lived scattered, lived loose and debauched; that when gathered into a
body, there could, in any hasty emergency, be more reliance upon their
succour; and that when encamped, remote from the allurements of the town,
they would in their discipline be more exact and severe." When the
encampment was finished, he began gradually to allure the affections of
the soldiers, by all the ways of affability, court, and familiarity: it
was he too who chose the Centurions, he who chose the Tribunes. Neither in
his pursuits of ambition did the Senate escape him; but by distinguishing
his followers in it with offices and provinces, he cultivated power and a
party there: for, to all this Tiberius was entirely resigned; and even so
passionate for him, that not in conversation only, but in public, in his
speeches to the Senate and people, he treated and extolled him, as _the
sharer of his burdens_; nay, allowed his effigies to be publicly adored,
in the several theatres, in all places of popular convention, and even
amongst the Eagles of the legions.

But to his designs were many retardments: the Imperial house was full of
Caesars; the Emperor's son a grown man, and his grandsons of age: and
because the cutting them off all at once, was dangerous; the treason he
meditated, required a gradation of murders. He however chose the darkest
method, and to begin with Drusus; against whom he was transported with a
fresh motive of rage. For, Drusus impatient of a rival, and in his temper
inflammable, had upon some occasional contest, shaken his fist at Sejanus,
and, as he prepared to resist, given him a blow on the face. As he
therefore cast about for every expedient of revenge, the readiest seemed
to apply to Livia his wife: she was the sister of Germanicus, and from an
uncomely person in her childhood, grew afterwards to excel in loveliness.
As his passion for this lady was vehement, he tempted her to adultery, and
having fulfilled the first iniquity (nor will a woman, who has sacrificed
her chastity, stick at any other) he carried her greater lengths, to the
views of marriage, a partnership in the Empire, and even the murder of her
husband. Thus she, the niece of Augustus, the daughter-in-law of Tiberius,
the mother of children by Drusus, defiled herself, her ancestors, and her
posterity, with a municipal adulterer; and all to exchange an honourable
condition possessed, for pursuits flagitious and uncertain. Into a
fellowship in the guilt was assumed Eudemus, physician to Livia; and,
under colour of his profession, frequently with her in private. Sejanus
too, to avoid the jealousy of the adulteress, discharged from his bed
Apicata his wife, her by whom he had three children. But still the
mightiness of the iniquity terrified them, and thence created caution,
delays, and frequently opposite counsels.

During this, in the beginning of the year, Drusus one of the sons of
Germanicus, put on the manly robe; and upon him the Senate conferred the
same honours decreed before to his brother Nero. A speech was added by
Tiberius with a large encomium upon his son, "that with the tenderness of
a father he used the children of his brother." For, Drusus, however rare
it be for power and unanimity to subsist together, was esteemed
benevolent, certainly not ill-disposed, towards these youths. Now again
was revived by Tiberius the proposal of a progress into the Provinces; a
stale proposal, always hollow, but often feigned. He pretended "the
multitude of veterans discharged, and thence the necessity of recruiting
the armies; that volunteers were wanting, or if already such there were,
they were chiefly the necessitous and vagabonds, and destitute of the like
modesty and courage." He likewise cursorily recounted the number of the
legions, and what countries they defended: a detail which I think it
behoves me also to repeat; that thence may appear what was then the
complement of the Roman forces, what kings their confederates, and how
much more narrow the limits of the Empire.

Italy was on each side guarded by two fleets; one at Misenum, one at
Ravenna; and the coast joining to Gaul, by the galleys taken by Augustus
at the battle of Actium, and sent powerfully manned to Forojulium.
[Footnote: Frejus.] But the chief strength lay upon the Rhine; they were
eight legions, a common guard upon the Germans and the Gauls. The
reduction of Spain, lately completed, was maintained by three. Mauritania
was possessed by King Juba; a realm which he held as a gift from the Roman
People: the rest of Africa by two legions; and Egypt by the like number.
Four legions kept in subjection all the mighty range of country, extending
from the next limits of Syria, as far as the Euphrates, and bordering upon
the Iberians, Albanians, and other Principalities, who by our might are
protected against Foreign Powers. Thrace was held by Rhoemetalces, and the
sons of Cotys; and both banks of the Danube by four legions; two in
Pannonia, two in Moesia. In Dalmatia likewise were placed two; who, by the
situation of the country, were at hand to support the former, and had not
far to march into Italy, were any sudden succours required there: though
Rome too had her peculiar soldiery; three city cohorts, and nine
Praetorian, enlisted chiefly out of Etruria and Umbria, or from the
ancient Latium and the old Roman colonies. In the several Provinces,
besides, were disposed, according to their situation and necessity, the
fleets of the several confederates, with their squadrons and battalions; a
number of forces not much different from all the rest: but the particular
detail would be uncertain; since, according to the exigency of times, they
often shifted stations, with numbers sometimes enlarged, sometimes

It will, I believe, fall in properly here to review also the other parts
of the Administration, and by what measures it was hitherto conducted,
till with the beginning of this year the Government of Tiberius began to
wax worse. First then, all public, and every private business of moment,
was determined by the Senate: to the great men he allowed liberty of
debate: those who in their debates lapsed into flattery, he checked: in
conferring preferments, he was guided by merit, by ancient nobility,
renown in war abroad, by civil accomplishments at home; insomuch that it
was manifest, his choice could not have been better. There remained to the
Consuls, there remained to the Praetors the useful marks of their
dignities; to inferior magistrates the independent exercise of their
charges; and the laws, where the power of the Prince was not concerned,
were in proper force. The tributes, duties, and all public receipts, were
directed by companies of Roman knights: the management of his own revenue
he committed only to those of the most noted qualifications; mostly known
by himself, and to some known by reputation alone: and when once taken,
they were continued, without all restriction of term; since most grew old
in the same employments. The populace were indeed aggrieved by the dearth
of provisions; but without any fault of the Prince: nay, he spared no
possible expense nor pains to remedy the effects of barrenness in the
earth, and of wrecks at sea. He provided that the Provinces should not be
oppressed with new impositions; and that no extortion, or violence should
be committed by the magistrates in raising the old: there were no infamous
corporal punishments, no confiscations of goods.

The Emperor's possessions through Italy, were thin; the behaviour of his
slaves modest; the freedmen who managed his house, few; and in his
disputes with particulars, the courts were open and the law equal. All
which restraints he observed, not, in truth, in the ways of complaisance
and popularity; but always stern, and for the most part terrible; yet
still he retained them, till by the death of Drusus they were abandoned:
for, while he lived they continued; because Sejanus, while he was but
laying the foundations of his power, studied to recommend himself by good
counsels. He then had besides, an avenger to dread, one who disguised not
his enmity, but was frequent in his complaints; "that when the son was in
his prime, another was called, as coadjutor, to the Government; nay, how
little was wanting to his being declared colleague in the Empire? That the
first advances to sovereignty are steep and perilous; but, once you are
entered, parties and instruments are ready to espouse you. Already a camp
for the guards was formed, by the pleasure and authority of the captain:
into whose hands the soldiers were delivered: in the theatre of Pompey his
statue was beheld: in his grandchildren would be mixed the blood of the
Drusi with that of Sejanus. After all this what remained but to supplicate
his modesty to rest contented." Nor was it rarely that he uttered these
disgusts, nor to a few; besides, his wife being debauched, all his secrets
were betrayed.

Sejanus therefore judging it time to despatch, chose such a poison as by
operating gradually, might preserve the appearances of a casual disease.
This was administered to Drusus by Lygdus the eunuch, as, eight years
after, was learnt. Now during all the days of his illness, Tiberius
disclosed no symptoms of anguish (perhaps from ostentation of a firmness
of spirit) nay, when he had expired, and while he was yet unburied, he
entered the Senate; and finding the Consuls placed upon a common seat, as
a testimony of their grief; he admonished them of their dignity and
station: and as the Senators burst into tears, he smothered his rising
sighs, and, by a speech uttered without hesitation, animated them. "He, in
truth, was not ignorant," he said, "that he might be censured, for having
thus in the first throbs of sorrow, beheld the face of the Senate; when
most of those who feel the fresh pangs of mourning, can scarce endure the
soothings of their kindred, scarce behold the day: neither were such to be
condemned of weakness: but for himself, he had more powerful consolations;
such as arose from embracing the Commonwealth, and pursuing her welfare."
He then lamented "the extreme age of his mother, the tender years of his
grandsons, his own days in declension;" and desired that, "as the only
alleviation of the present evils, the children of Germanicus might be
introduced." The Consuls therefore went for them, and having with kind
words fortified their young minds, presented them to the Emperor. He took
them by the hand and said, "Conscript Fathers, these infants, bereft of
their father, I committed to their uncle; and besought him that, though he
had issue of his own, he would rear and nourish them no otherwise than as
the immediate offspring of his blood; that he would appropriate them as
stays to himself and posterity. Drusus being snatched from us, to you I
address the same prayers; and in the presence of the Gods, in the face of
your country, I adjure you, receive into your protection, take under your
tuition the great-grandchildren of Augustus; children, descended from
ancestors the most glorious in the State: towards them fulfil your own,
fulfil my duty. To you, Nero; to you, Drusus, these Senators are in the
stead of a father; and such is the situation of your birth, that on the
Commonwealth must light all the good and evil which befalls you."

All this was heard with much weeping, and followed with propitious prayers
and vows: and had he only gone thus far, and in his speech observed a
medium, he had left the souls of his hearers full of sympathy and
applause. But, by renewing an old project, always chimerical and so often
ridiculed, about "restoring the Republic, reinstating it again in the
Consuls, or whoever else would undertake the administration;" he forfeited
his faith even in assertions which were commendable and sincere. To the
memory of Drusus were decreed the same solemnities as to that of
Germanicus; with many super-added; agreeably to the genius of flattery,
which delights in variety and improvements. Most signal was the lustre of
the funeral in a conspicuous procession of images; when at it appeared in
a pompous train, Aeneas, father of the Julian race; all the kings of Alba,
and Romulus founder of Rome; next the Sabine nobility, Attus Clausus, and
his descendants of the Claudian family.

In relating the death of Drusus, I have followed the greatest part of our
historians, and the most faithful: I would not however omit a rumour which
in those times was so prevailing that it is not extinguished in ours;
"that Sejanus having by adultery gained Livia to the murder, had likewise
engaged by constupration the affections and concurrence of Lygdus the
eunuch; because Lygdus was, for his youth and loveliness, dear to his
master, and one of his chief attendants: that when the time and place of
poisoning, were by the conspirators concerted; the eunuch carried his
boldness so high, as to charge upon Drusus a design of poisoning Tiberius;
and secretly warning the Emperor of this, advised him to shun the first
draught offered him in the next entertainment at his son's: that the old
man possessed with this fictitious treason, after he had sate down to
table, having received the cup delivered it to Drusus, who ignorantly and
gaily drank it off: that this heightened the jealousy and apprehensions of
Tiberius, as if through fear and shame his son had swallowed the same
death, which for his father he had contrived."

These bruitings of the populace, besides that they are supported by no
certain author, may be easily refuted. For, who of common prudence (much
less Tiberius so long practised in great affairs) would to his own son,
without hearing him, present the mortal bane; with his own hands too, and
cutting off for ever all possibility of retraction? Why would he not
rather have tortured the minister of the poison? Why not inquired into the
author of the poison? Why not observed towards his only son, a son
hitherto convicted of no iniquity, that slowness and hesitation, which,
even in his proceedings against strangers, was inherent in him? But as
Sejanus was reckoned the framer of every wickedness, therefore, from the
excessive fondness of Tiberius towards him, and from the hatred of all
others towards both, things the most fabulous and direful were believed of
them; besides that common fame is ever most fraught with tales of horror
upon the departure of Princes: in truth, the plan and process of the
murder were first discovered by Apicata, wife of Sejanus, and laid open
upon the rack by Eudemus and Lygdus. Nor has any writer appeared so
outrageous to charge it upon Tiberius; though in other instances they have
sedulously collected and inflamed every action of his. My own purpose in
recounting and censuring this rumour, was to blast, by so glaring an
example, the credit of groundless tales; and to request of those into
whose hands our present undertaking shall come, that they would not prefer
hearsays, void of credibility and rashly swallowed, to the narrations of
truth not adulterated with romance.

To proceed; whilst Tiberius was pronouncing in public the panegyric of his
son, the Senate and People assumed the port and accent of mourners, rather
in appearance than cordially; and in their hearts exulted to see the house
of Germanicus begin to revive. But this dawn of fortune, and the conduct
of Agrippina, ill disguising her hopes, quickened the overthrow of that
house. For Sejanus, when he saw the death of Drusus pass unrevenged upon
his murderers, and no public lamentation following it; undaunted as he was
in villainy since his first efforts had succeeded; cast about in himself,
how he might destroy the sons of Germanicus, whose succession to the
Empire was now unquestionable. They were three; and, from the
distinguished fidelity of their governors, and incorruptible chastity of
Agrippina, could not be all circumvented by poison. He therefore chose to
attack her another way; to raise alarms from the haughtiness and contumacy
of her spirit; to rouse the old hatred of Livia the elder, and the guilty
mind of his late accomplice, Livia the younger; that to the Emperor they
might represent her "as elated with the credit and renown of her
fruitfulness; and that confiding in it, and in the zeal of the populace,
she grasped with open arms at the Empire." The young Livia acted in this
engagement by crafty calumniators; amongst whom she had particularly
chosen Julius Posthumus, a man every way qualified for her purposes; as he
was the adulterer of Mutilia Prisca, and thence a confidant of her
grandmother's; (for over the mind of the Empress, Prisca had powerful
influence) and by their means the old woman, in her own nature tender and
anxious of power, was rendered utterly irreconcilable to the widow of her
grandson. Such too as were nearest the person of Agrippina, were promoted
to be continually enraging her tempestuous heart by perverse

This year also brought deputations from the Grecian cities; one from the
people of Samos; one from those of Cooes; the former to request that the
ancient right of Sanctuary in the Temple of Juno might be confirmed; the
latter to solicit the same confirmation for that of Aesculapius. The
Samians claimed upon a decree of the Council of Amphictyons, the supreme
Judicature of Greece, at the time when the Greeks by their cities founded
in Asia, possessed the maritime coasts. Nor had they of Cooes a weaker
title to antiquity; to which likewise accrued the pretensions of the place
to the friendship of Rome: for they had lodged in the Temple of
Aesculapius all the Roman citizens there, when by the order of King
Mithridates, such were universally butchered throughout all the cities of
Asia and the Isles. And now after many complaints from the Praetors, for
the most part ineffectual, the Emperor at last made a representation to
the Senate, concerning the licentiousness of the players; "that in many
instances they raised seditious tumults, and violated the public peace;
and, in many, promoted debauchery in private families: that the _Oscan
Farce_, formerly only the contemptible delight of the vulgar, was risen to
such a prevailing pitch of credit and enormity, that it required the
authority of the Senate to check it." The players therefore were driven
out of Italy.

The same year carried off one of the twins of Drusus, and thence afflicted
the Emperor with fresh woe; nor with less for the death of a particular
friend. It was Lucillius Longus, the inseparable companion of all the
traverses of his fortune smiling or sad; and, of all the Senators, the
only one who accompanied him in his retirement at Rhodes. For this reason,
though but a new man, the Senate decreed him a public funeral; and a
statue to be placed, at the expense of the Treasury, in the square of
Augustus. For by the Senate, even yet, all affairs were transacted;
insomuch that Lucillius Capito, the Emperor's Comptroller in Asia, was, at
the accusation of the Province, brought upon his defence before them: the
Emperor too upon this occasion protested with great earnestness, "that
from him Lucillius had no authority but over his slaves, and in collecting
his domestic rents: that if he had usurped the jurisdiction of Praetor,
and employed military force, he had so far violated his orders; they
should therefore hear the allegations of the Province." Thus the accused
was upon trial condemned. For this just vengeance, and that inflicted the
year before on Caius Silanus, the cities of Asia decreed a temple to
Tiberius, and his mother, and the Senate; and obtained leave to build it.
For this concession Nero made a speech of thanks to the Senators and his
grandfather; a speech which charmed the affections of his hearers, who, as
they were full of the memory of Germanicus, fancied it was him they heard,
and him they saw. There was also in the youth himself an engaging modesty,
and a gracefulness becoming a princely person: ornaments which, by the
known hatred that threatened him from Sejanus, became still more dear and

I am aware that most of the transactions which I have already related, or
shall hereafter relate, may perhaps appear minute, and too trivial to be
remembered. But, none must compare these my annals with the writings of
those who compiled the story of the ancient Roman People. They had for
their subjects mighty wars, potent cities sacked, great kings routed and
taken captive: or if they sometimes reviewed the domestic affairs of Rome,
they there found the mutual strife and animosities of the Consuls and
Tribunes; the agrarian and frumentary laws, pushed and opposed; and the
lasting struggles between the nobles and populace. Large and noble topics
these, at home and abroad, and recounted by the old historians with full
room and free scope. To me remains a straitened task, and void of glory;
steady peace, or short intervals of war; the proceedings at Rome sad and
affecting; and a Prince careless of extending the Empire: nor yet will it
be without its profit to look minutely into such transactions, as however
small at first view, give rise and motion to great events.

For, all nations and cities are governed either by the populace, by the
nobility, or by single rulers. As to the frame of a state chosen and
compacted out of all these three, it is easier applauded than
accomplished; or if accomplished, cannot be of long duration. So that, as
during the Republic, either when the power of the people prevailed, or
when the Senate bore the chief sway; it was necessary to know the genius
of the commonalty, and by what measures they were to be humoured and
restrained; and such too who were thoroughly acquainted with the spirit of
the Senate and leading men, came to be esteemed skilful in the times, and
men of prowess: so now when that establishment is changed, and the present
situation such as if one ruled all; it is of advantage to collect and
record these later incidents, as matters of public example and
instruction; since few can by their own wisdom distinguish between things
crooked and upright; few between counsels pernicious and profitable; and
since most men are taught by the fate of others. But the present detail,
however instructive, yet brings scanty delight. It is by the descriptions
and accounts of nations; by the variety of battles; by the brave fall of
illustrious captains, that the soul of the reader is engaged and
refreshed. For myself, I can only give a sad display of cruel orders,
incessant accusations, faithless friendships, the destruction of
innocents, and endless trials, all attended with the same issue, death and
condemnation: an obvious round of repetition and satiety! Besides that the
old historians are rarely censured; nor is any man now concerned whether
they chiefly magnify the Roman or Carthaginian armies. But, of many who
under Tiberius suffered punishment, or were marked with infamy, the
posterity are still subsisting; or if the families themselves are extinct,
there are others found, who from a similitude of manners, think that, in
reciting the evil doings of others, they themselves are charged: nay, even
virtue and a glorious name create foes, as they expose in a light too
obvious the opposite characters. But I return to my undertaking.

Whilst Cornelius Cossus and Asinius Agrippa were Consuls, Cremutius Cordus
was arraigned for that, "having published annals and in them praised
Brutus, he had styled Cassius the last of the Romans:" a new crime, then
first created. Satrius Secundus and Pinarius Natta were his accusers;
creatures of Sejanus: a mortal omen this to the accused; besides that
Tiberius received his defence with a countenance settled into cruelty. He
began it on this wise, casting away all hopes of life:

"As to facts, I am so guiltless, Conscript Fathers, that my words only are
accused: but neither are any words of mine pointed against the Emperor, or
his mother; who are the only persons comprehended in the law concerning
violated majesty. It is alleged that I have praised Brutus and Cassius;
men whose lives and actions have been compiled by a cloud of writers, and
their memory treated by none but with honour. Titus Livius, an historian
eminently famous for eloquence and veracity, signalised Pompey with such
abundant encomiums, that he was thence by Augustus named Pompeianus; nor
did this prejudice their common friendship. Neither Scipio, nor Afranius,
nor even this same Cassius, nor this same Brutus, are anywhere mentioned
by him as _traitors_ and _parricides_, the common nicknames now bestowed
on them; but often, as great and memorable men. The writings of Asinius
Pollio have conveyed down the memory of the same men, under honourable
characters. Corvinus Messala gloried to have had Cassius for his general:
and yet both Pollio and Corvinus became signally powerful in wealth and
honours under Augustus. That book of Cicero's, in which he exalted Cato to
the skies; what other animadversion did it draw from Caesar the Dictator,
than a written reply, in the same style and equality as if before his
judges he had made it? The letters of Marc Anthony; the speeches of
Brutus, are full of reproaches, and recriminations against Augustus; false
in truth, but urged with signal asperity: the poems of Bibaculus and those
of Catullus, stuffed with virulent satires against the Caesars, are still
read. But even the deified Julius, even the deified Augustus, bore all
these invectives and disdained them; whether with greater moderation or
wisdom, I cannot easily say. For, if they are despised, they fade away; if
you wax wroth, you seem to avow them to be just.

"Instances from the Greeks I bring none: with them not the freedom only,
but even the licentiousness of speech, is unpunished: or if any correction
is returned, it is only by revenging words with words. It has been ever
allowed, without restriction or rebuke, to pass our judgment upon those
whom death has withdrawn from the influence of affection and hate. Are
Cassius and Brutus now in arms? do they at present fill with armed troops
the fields of Philippi? or do I fire the Roman People, by inflammatory
harangues, with the spirit of civil rage? Brutus and Cassius, now above
seventy years slain, are still known in their statues, which even the
conqueror did not abolish: and as these exhibit their persons, why not the
historian their characters? Impartial posterity to every man repays his
proper praise: nor will there be wanting such as, if my death is
determined, will not only revive the story of Cassius and Brutus, but even
my story." Having thus said he withdrew from the Senate, and ended his
life by abstinence. The Fathers condemned the books to be by the Aediles
burned; but they still continued concealed and dispersed: hence we may
justly mock the stupidity of those, who imagine that they can, by present
power, extinguish the lights and memory of succeeding times: for, quite
otherwise, the punishment of writers exalts the credit of the writings:
nor did ever foreign kings, or any else, reap other fruit from it, than
infamy to themselves, and glory to the sufferers.

To proceed; for this whole year there was such an incessant torrent of
accusations, that even during the solemnity of the Latin festival, when
Drusus for his inauguration, as Governor of Rome, had ascended the
Tribunal, he was accosted by Calpurnius Salvianus with a charge against
Sextus Marius: a proceeding openly resented by the Emperor, and thence
Salvianus was banished. The city of Cyzicus was next accused, "of not
observing the established worship of the deified Augustus;" with
additional crimes, "of violences committed upon some Roman citizens." Thus
that city lost her liberties; which by her behaviour during the
Mithridatic war, she had purchased; having in it sustained a siege; and as
much by her own bravery, as by the aid of Lucullus, repulsed the king, But
Fonteius Capito, who had as Proconsul governed Asia, was acquitted, upon
proof that the crimes brought against him by Vibius Serenus were forged:
and yet the forgery drew no penalty upon Serenus: nay, the public hate
rendered him the more secure: for, every accuser, the more eager and
incessant he was, the more sacred and inviolable he became: the sorry and
impotent were surrendered to chastisement.

About the same time, the furthermost Spain besought the Senate by their
ambassadors, "that after the example of Asia, they might erect a temple to
Tiberius and his mother." Upon this occasion, the Emperor, always resolute
in contemning honours, and now judging it proper to confute those, who
exposed him to the popular censure, of having deviated into ambition;
spoke in this manner: "I know, Conscript Fathers, that it is generally
blamed, and ascribed to a defect of firmness in me, that when the cities
of Asia petitioned for this very thing, I withstood them not. I shall
therefore now unfold at once the motives of my silence then, and the rules
which for the future I am determined to observe. Since the deified
Augustus bad not opposed the founding at Pergamus a temple to himself and
the city of Rome; I, with whom all his actions and sayings have the force
of laws, followed an example already approved; and followed it the more
cheerfully, because to the worship bestowed upon me, that of the Senate
was annexed. But as the indulging of this, in one instance, will find
pardon; so a general latitude of being adored through every province,
under the sacred representations of the Deities, would denote a vain
spirit; a heart swelled with ambition. The glory too of Augustus will
vanish, if by the promiscuous courtship of flattery it comes to be
vulgarly prostituted.

"For myself, Conscript Fathers, I am a mortal man; I am confined to the
functions of human nature; and if I well supply the principal place
amongst you, it suffices me. This I acknowledge to you; and this
acknowledgment, I would have posterity to remember. They will do abundant
right to my memory, if they believe me to have been worthy of my
ancestors; watchful of the Roman state; unmoved in perils, and in
maintaining the public interest, fearless of private enmities. These are
the temples which in your breasts I would raise; these the fairest
portraitures, and such as will endure. As to temples and statues of stone,
if the idol adored in them comes to be hated by posterity, they are
despised as his sepulchres. Hence it is I here invoke the Gods, that to
the end of my life they would grant me a spirit undisturbed, and
discerning in duties human and divine: and hence too I here implore our
citizens and allies, that whenever my dissolution comes, they would with
approbation and benevolent testimonies of remembrance, celebrate my
actions and retain the odour of my name." And thenceforward he persevered
in slighting upon all occasions, and even in private conversation, this
divine worship of himself. A conduct which was by some ascribed to
modesty; by many to a conscious diffidence; by others to degeneracy of
spirit. "Since the most sublime amongst men naturally covet the most
exalted honours: thus Hercules and Bacchus amongst the Greeks, and with us
Romulus, were added to the society of the Gods: Augustus too had chosen
the nobler part, and hoped for deification: all the other gratifications
of Princes were instantly procured: one only was to be pursued insatiably;
the praise and perpetuity of their name. For by contemning fame, the
virtues that procure it, are contemned."

Now Sejanus, intoxicated with excess of fortune, and moreover stimulated
by the importunity of Livia, who, with the restless passion of a woman,
craved the promised marriage, composed a memorial to the Emperor. For, it
was then the custom to apply to him in writing, though he were present.
This of Sejanus was thus conceived: "That such had been towards him the
benevolence of Augustus; such and so numerous, since, the instances of
affection from Tiberius, that he was thence accustomed, without applying
to the Gods, to carry his hopes and prayers directly to the Emperors: yet
of them he had never sought a blaze of honours: watching and toils like
those of common soldiers, for the safeguard of the Prince, had been his
choice and ambition. However what was most glorious for him he had
attained; to be thought worthy of alliance with the Emperor: hence the
source of his present hopes: and, since he had heard that Augustus, in the
disposal of his daughter, had not been without thoughts even of some of
the Roman knights; he begged that if a husband were sought for Livia,
Tiberius would remember his friend; one whose ambition aimed no higher
than the pure and disinterested glory of the affinity: for that he would
never abandon the burden of his present trust; but hold it sufficient to
be, by that means, enabled to support his house against the injurious
wrath of Agrippina; and in this he only consulted the security of his
children. For himself; his own life would be abundantly long, whenever
finally spent in the ministry of such a Prince."

For a present answer, Tiberius praised the loyalty of Sejanus;
recapitulated cursorily the instances of his own favours towards him, and
required time, as it were for a thorough deliberation. At last he made
this reply: "That all other men were, in their pursuits, guided by the
notions of convenience: far different was the lot and situation of
Princes, who were in their action to consider chiefly the applause and
good liking of the public: he therefore did not delude Sejanus with an
obvious and plausible answer; that Livia could herself determine whether,
after Drusus, she ought again to marry, or still persist his widow, and
that she had a mother and grandmother, nearer relations and more
interested to advise. He would deal more candidly with him: and first as
to the enmity of Agrippina; it would flame out with fresh fury, if by the
marriage of Livia, the family of the Caesars were rent as it were into two
contending parties: that even as things stood, the emulation of these
ladies broke into frequent sallies, and, by their animosities, his
grandsons were instigated different ways. What would be the consequence,
if, by such a marriage, the strife were inflamed? For you are deceived,
Sejanus, if you think to continue then in the same rank as now; or that
Livia, she who was first the wife of the young Caius Caesar, and
afterwards the wife of Drusus, will be of a temper to grow old with a
husband no higher than a Roman knight: nay, allowing that I suffered you
afterwards to remain what you are; do you believe that they who saw her
father, they who saw her brother, and the ancestors of our house, covered
with the supreme dignities, will ever suffer it? You in truth propose,
yourself, to stand still in the same station: but the great magistrates
and grandees of the state, those very magistrates and grandees who, in
spite of yourself, break in upon you, and in all affairs court you as
their oracle, make no secret of maintaining that you have long since
exceeded the bounds of the Equestrian Order, and far outgone in power all
the confidants of my father; and from their hatred to you, they also
censure me. But still, Augustus deliberated about giving his daughter to a
Roman knight. Where is the wonder, if perplexed with a crowd of
distracting cares, and apprised to what an unbounded height above others
he raised whomsoever he dignified with such a match, he talked of
Proculeius, and some like him; remarkable for the retiredness of their
life, and nowise engaged in the affairs of state? But if we are influenced
by the hesitation of Augustus, how much more powerful is the decision;
since he bestowed his daughter on Agrippa, and then on me? These are
considerations which in friendship I have not withheld: however, neither
your own inclinations, nor those of Livia, shall be ever thwarted by me.
The secret and constant purposes of my own heart towards you, and with
what further ties of affinity, I am contriving to bind you still faster to
me; I at present forbear to recount. Thus much only I will declare, that
there is nothing so high but those abilities, and your singular zeal and
fidelity towards me, may justly claim: as when opportunity presents,
either in Senate, or in a popular assembly, I shall not fail to testify."

In answer to this, Sejanus no longer soliciting the marriage, but filled
with higher apprehensions, besought him "to resist the dark suggestions of
suspicion; to despise the pratings of the vulgar, nor to admit the hostile
breath of envy." And as he was puzzled about the crowds which incessantly
haunted his house; lest by keeping them off he might impair his power; or
by encouraging them, furnish a handle for criminal imputations; he came to
this result, that he would urge the Emperor out of Rome, to spend his life
remote from thence in delightful retirements. From this counsel he foresaw
many advantages: upon himself would depend all access to the Emperor; all
letters and expresses would, as the soldiers were the carriers, be in
great measure under his direction; in a little time, the Prince, now in
declining age, and then softened by recess, would more easily transfer
upon him the whole charge of the Empire: he should be removed from the
multitude of such as to make their court, attended him at Rome; and thence
one source of envy would be stopped. So that by discharging the empty
phantoms of power, he should augment the essentials. He therefore began by
little and little to rail at the hurry of business at Rome, the throng of
people, the flock of suitors: he applauded "retirement and quiet; where,
while they were separate from irksome fatigues, nor exposed to the
discontents and resentments of particulars, all affairs of moment were
best despatched."

Next were heard ambassadors from the Lacedaemonians and Messenians, about
the right that each people claimed to the Temple of Diana Limenetis; which
the Lacedaemonians asserted to be theirs, "founded in their territory, and
dedicated by their ancestors," and offered as proofs the ancient authority
of their annals, and the hymns of the old poets. "It had been in truth
taken from them by the superior force of Philip of Macedon, when at war
with him; but restored afterwards by the judicial decision of Julius
Caesar and Marc Anthony." The Messenians, on the contrary, pleaded, "the
ancient partition of Peloponnesus amongst the descendants of Hercules;
whence the territory where the temple stood, had fallen to their king; and
the monuments of that allotment still remained, engraven in stone and old
tables of brass; but, if the testimony of histories and poets were
appealed to; they themselves had the most and the fullest. Nor had Philip,
in his decision, acted by power, but from equity: the same afterwards was
the adjudgment of King Antigonus; the same that of the Roman commander
Mummius. Thus too the Milesians had awarded, they who were by both sides
chosen arbitrators: and thus lastly it had been determined by Atidius
Geminus, Praetor of Achaia." The Messenians therefore gained the suit. The
citizens also of Segestum applied on behalf of "the Temple of Venus on
Mount Eryx; which fallen through age, they desired might be restored."
They represented the story of its origin and antiquity; a well-pleasing
flattery to Tiberius; who frankly took upon himself the charge, as kinsman
to the Goddess. Then was discussed the petition from the citizens of
Marseilles; and what they claimed, according to the precedent of Publius
Rutilius, was approved: for Rutilius, though by a law expelled from Rome,
had been by those of Smyrna adopted a citizen: and as Volcatius Moschus,
another exile, had found at Marseilles the same privilege and reception,
he had to their Republic, as to his country, left his estate.

During the same Consuls, a bloody assassination was perpetrated in the
nethermost Spain, by a boor in the territory of Termes. By him, Lucius
Piso, Governor of the Province, as he travelled careless and unattended,
relying on the established peace, was surprised, and despatched at one
deadly blow. The assassin however escaped to a forest, by the fleetness of
his horse; and there dismissed him: from thence travelling over rocks and
pathless places, he baffled his pursuers: but their ignorance of his
person was soon removed; for his horse being taken and shown through the
neighbouring villages, it was thence learned who was the owner; so that he
too was found; but when put to the rack to declare his accomplices, he
proclaimed with a mighty and assured voice, in the language of his
country, "that in vain they questioned him; his associates might stand
safely by and witness his constancy: and that no force of torture could be
so exquisite as from him to extort a discovery." Next day as he was
dragged back to the rack, he burst with a vehement effort from his guard,
and dashed his head so desperately against a stone, that he instantly
expired. Piso is believed to have been assassinated by a plot of the
Termestinians; as in exacting the repayment of some money, seized from the
public, he acted with more asperity, than a rough people could bear.

In the Consulship of Lentulus Getulicus and Caius Calvisius, the triumphal
ensigns were decreed to Poppeus Sabinus for having routed some clans of
Thracians, who living wildly on the high mountains, acted thence with the
more outrage and contumacy. The ground of their late commotion, not to
mention the savage genius of the people, was their scorn and impatience,
to have recruits raised amongst them, and all their stoutest men enlisted
in our armies; accustomed as they were not even to obey their native kings
further than their own humour, nor to aid them with forces but under
captains of their own choosing, nor to fight against any enemy but their
own borderers. Their discontents too were inflamed by a rumour which then
ran current amongst them; that they were to be dispersed into different
regions; and exterminated from their own, to be mixed with other nations.
But before they took arms and began hostilities, they sent ambassadors to
Sabinus, to represent "their past friendship and submission, and that the
same should continue, if they were provoked by no fresh impositions: but,
if like a people subdued by war, they were doomed to bondage; they had
able men and steel, and souls determined upon liberty or death." The
ambassadors at the same time pointed to their strongholds founded upon
precipices; and boasted that they had thither conveyed their wives and
parents; and threatened a war intricate, hazardous and bloody.

Sabinus amused them with gentle answers till he could draw together his
army; while Pomponius Labeo was advancing with a legion from Moesia, and
King Rhoemetalces with a body of Thracians who had not renounced their
allegiance. With these, and what forces he had of his own, he marched
towards the foe, now settled in the passes of the forest: some more bold
presented themselves upon the hills: against the last, the Roman general
first bent his forces in battle, and without difficulty drove them thence,
but with small slaughter of the Barbarians, because of their immediate
refuge. Here he straight raised an encampment, and with a stout band took
possession of a hill, which extended with an even narrow ridge to the next
fortress, which was garrisoned by a great host of armed men and rabble:
and as the most resolute were, in the way of the nation, rioting without
the fortification in dances and songs, he forthwith despatched against
them his select archers. These, while they only poured in volleys of
arrows at a distance did thick and extensive execution; but, approaching
too near, were by a sudden sally put in disorder. They were however
supported by a cohort of the Sigambrians, purposely posted by Sabinus in
readiness against an exigency; a people these, equally terrible in the
boisterous and mixed uproar of their voices and arms.

He afterwards pitched his camp nearer to the enemy; having in his former
entrenchments left the Thracians, whom I have mentioned to have joined us.
To them too was permitted "to lay waste, burn, and plunder; on condition
that their ravages were confined to the day; and that, at nights, they
kept within the camp, secure under guard." This restriction was at first
observed; but, anon lapsing into luxury, and grown opulent in plunder,
they neglected their guards, and resigned themselves to gaiety and
banquetting, to the intoxication and sloth of wine and sleep. The enemy
therefore apprised of their negligence, formed themselves into two bands;
one to set upon the plunderers; the other to assault the Roman camp, with
no hopes of taking it; but only that the soldiers alarmed with shouts and
darts, and all intent upon their own defence, might not hear the din of
the other battle: moreover to heighten the terror, it was to be done by
night. Those who assailed the lines of the legions were easily repulsed:
but, the auxiliary Thracians were terrified with the sudden encounter, as
they were utterly unprepared. Part of them lay along the entrenchments;
many were roaming abroad; and both were slain with the keener vengeance,
as they were upbraided "for fugitives and traitors, who bore arms to
establish servitude over their country and themselves."

Next day Sabinus drew up his army in view of the enemy, on ground equal to
both; to try, if elated with their success by night, they would venture a
battle: and, when they still kept within the fortress, or on the cluster
of hills, he began to begird them with a siege; and strengthening his old
lines and adding new, enclosed a circuit of four miles. Then to deprive
them of water and forage, he straitened his entrenchment by degrees, and
hemmed them in still closer. A bulwark was also raised, whence the enemy
now within throw, were annoyed with discharges of stones, darts, and fire.
But nothing aggrieved them so vehemently as thirst, whilst only a single
fountain remained amongst a huge multitude of armed men and families:
their horses too and cattle, penned up with the people, after the
barbarous manner of the country, perished for want of provender: amongst
the carcasses of beasts lay those of men; some dead of thirst, some of
their wounds; a noisome mixture of misery and death; all was foul and
tainted with putrefaction, stench, and filthy contamination. To these
distresses also accrued another, and of all calamities the most
consummate, the calamity of discord: some were disposed to surrender;
others proposed present death, and to fall upon one another. There were
some too who advised a sally, and to die avenging their deaths. Nor were
these last mean men, though dissenting from the rest.

But there was one of their leaders, his name Dinis, a man stricken in
years, who, by long experience, acquainted with the power and clemency of
the Romans, argued, "that they must lay down their arms, the same being
the sole cure for their pressing calamities;" and was the first who
submitted, with his wife and children to the conqueror. There followed him
all that were weak through sex or age, and such as had a greater passion
for life than glory. The young men were parted between Tarsa and Turesis;
both determined to fall with liberty: but Tarsa declared earnestly "for
instant death; and that by it all hopes and fears were at once to be
extinguished;" and setting an example, buried his sword in his breast. Nor
were there wanting some who despatched themselves the same way. Turesis
and his band stayed for night: of which our General was aware. The guards
were therefore strengthened with extraordinary reinforcements: and now
with the night, darkness prevailed, its horror heightened by outrageous
rain; and the enemy with tumultuous shouts, and by turns with vast
silence, alarmed and puzzled the besiegers. Sabinus therefore going round
the camp, warned the soldiers, "that they should not be misguided by the
deceitful voice of uproar, nor trust to a feigned calm, and thence open an
advantage to the enemy, who by these wiles sought it; but keep immovably
to their several posts; nor throw their darts at random."

Just then came the Barbarians, pouring in distinct droves: here, with
stones, with wooden javelins hardened in the fire, and with the broken
limbs of trees, they battered the palisade: there with hurdles, faggots
and dead bodies, they filled the trench: by others, bridges and ladders,
both before framed, were planted against the battlements; these they
violently grappled and tore, and struggled hand to hand with those who
opposed them. The Romans, on the other side, beat them back with their
bucklers, drove them down with darts, and hurled upon them great mural
stakes and heaps of stones. On both sides were powerful stimulations: on
ours the hopes of victory almost gained, if we persisted; and thence the
more glaring infamy, if we recoiled: on theirs, the last struggle for
their life; most of them, too, inspired with the affecting presence of
their mothers and wives, and made desperate by their dolorous wailings.
The night was an advantage to the cowardly and the brave; by it, the
former became more resolute; by it, the latter hid their fear: blows were
dealt, the striker knew not upon whom; and wounds received, the wounded
knew not whence: such was the utter indistinction of friend and foe. To
heighten the general jumble and blind confusion, the echo from the
cavities of the mountain represented to the Romans the shouts of the enemy
as behind them: hence in some places they deserted their lines, as
believing them already broken and entered: and yet such of the enemy, as
broke through, were very few. All the rest, their most resolute champions


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