The World's Greatest Books, Vol XI.
Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

Part 3 out of 6

than a committee of generals each in control of his own division. Hence
Xenophon was invited to accept the position. On consulting the omens he
declined, recommending that, since Cheirisophus was a Lacedaemonian, it
would be the proper thing to offer him the command, which was
accordingly done.

The force now sailed from Sinope as far as Heraclea. Here the
contingents from Arcadia and Archaea--more than half the force--insisted
on requisitioning large supplies of money from Heraclea. Cheirisophus,
supported by Xenophon, refused assent; the Arcadians and Achaeans
consequently refused to serve under their command any more, and
appointed captains for themselves. The other half of the army was also
parted in two divisions, commanded by Cheirisophus and Xenophon

From Calpe the Arcadians and Archaeans made an expedition into the
interior, which fared so ill that Xenophon, hearing by accident of what
had happened, was obliged to march to their relief. To his satisfaction,
however, it was found that the enemy had already dispersed, and the
Greek column was overtaken on the way back to Calpe. The general effect
of the episode was to impress upon the Arcadians and Archaeans that it
was commonsense for the whole force to remain united.

The usual operations were carried on for obtaining supplies, report
having arrived that Cleander, the Lacedaemonian governor of Byzantium,
was coming, which he presently did, with a couple of galleys but no
transports. From information received, Cleander was inclined to regard
the army as little better than a band of brigands; but this idea was
successfully dissipated by Xenophon. Cleander went back to Byzantium,
and the Greeks marched from Calpe to Chrysopolis, which faces Byzantium.

Here the whole force was at last carried over to the opposite shore, and
once more found itself on European soil, having received promises of pay
from the admiral Anaxibius. Suspicions of his real intentions were
aroused, and Xenophon had no little difficulty in preventing his
soldiery from breaking loose and sacking Byzantium itself.

Ultimately, the greater part of the force took service with the Thracian
king Seuthes. Seuthes, however, failed to carry out his promises as to
payments and rewards. But now the Lacedaemonians were engaged in a
quarrel with the western satraps, Tissaphernes and Artabazus; six
thousand veterans so experienced as those who had followed this famous
march into the heart of the Persian empire, had fought their way from
Cunaxa to Trapezus, and had supported themselves mainly by their
military prowess in getting from Trapezus to Europe, were a force by no
means to be neglected, and the bulk of the troops were not unwilling to
be incorporated in the Lacedaemonian armies. And so ends the story of the
Retreat of the Ten Thousand Greeks.

* * * * *


History of Greece

George Grote, born at Beckenham, England, Nov. 17, 1794,
entered the bank founded by his grandfather, from which he
withdrew in 1843. He joined the group of "philosophic
Radicals," among whom James Mill was a leader, and was a keen
politician and reformer, and an ardent advocate of the ballot.
His determination to write a sound "History of Greece" was
ensured, if it was not inspired, by Mitford's history, a work
full of anti-democratic fervour and very antagonistic to the
great Greek democratic state of Athens. In some respects his
work is a defence of the Athenian democracy, at least as
contrasted with Sparta; it appeared in twelve volumes between
1846 and 1856, and covered Greek history from the earliest
times "till the close of the generation contemporary with
Alexander the Great." It at once occupied, and still holds,
the field as the classic work on the subject as a whole,
though later research has modified many of his conclusions.
His methods were pre-eminently thorough, dispassionate, and
judicial; but he suffers from a lack of sympathetic
imagination. He died on June 18, 1871, and was buried in
Westminster Abbey.

_I.--Early History_

The divine myths constitute the earliest matter of Greek history. These
may be divided into those which belong to the gods and to the heroes
respectively; but most of them, in point of fact, present gods, heroes,
and men in juxtaposition. Every community sought to trace its origin to
some common divine, or semi-divine, progenitor; the establishment of a
pedigree was a necessity; and each pedigree contains at some, point
figures corresponding to some actual historical character, before whom
the pedigree is imaginary, but after whom, in the main, actual. The
precise point where the legend fades into the mythical, or consolidates
into the historical, is not usually ascertainable.

The legendary period culminates in the tale of Troy, which belongs to a
period prior to the Dorian conquest presented in the Herakleid legend;
the tale of Troy itself remaining the common heritage of the Greek
peoples, and having an actual basis in historical fact. The events,
however, are of less importance than the picture of an actual
historical, political, and social system, corresponding, not to the
supposed date of the Trojan war, but to the date of the composition of
the Homeric poems. Later ages regarded the myths themselves with a good
deal of scepticism, and were often disposed to rationalise them, or to
find for them an allegorical interpretation. The myths of other European
peoples have undergone a somewhat similar treatment.

Greece proper, that is, the European territory occupied by the Hellenic
peoples, has a very extensive coast-line, covers the islands of the
AEgean, and is so mountainous on the mainland that communication between
one point and another is not easy. This facilitated the system which
isolated communities, compelling each one to develop and perfect its own
separate organisation; so that Greece became, not a state, but a
congerie of single separate city states--small territories centering in
the city, although in some cases the village system was not centralised
into the city system. On the other hand, the Hellenes very definitely
recognised their common affinity, looked on themselves as a distinct
aggregate, and very emphatically differentiated that entire aggregate
from the non-Hellenes, whom they designated as "barbarians."

Of these states, the first to come into view--post-Homerically--is
Sparta, the head of the Dorian communities, governed under the laws and
discipline attributed to Lycurgus, with its special peculiarity of the
dual kingship designed to make a pure despotism impossible. The
government lay and remained in the hands of the conquering Spartan
race--as for a time with the Normans in England--which formed a close
oligarchy, while within the oligarchical body the organisation was
democratic and communistic. For Sparta, the eighth and seventh centuries
B.C. were characterised by the two Messenian wars; and we note that
while the Hellenes generally recognised her headship, Argos claimed a
titular right to that position. As a general rule, the primitive
monarchical system portrayed in the Homeric poems was displaced in the
Greek cities by an oligarchical government, which in turn was overthrown
by an irregular despotism called _tyrannis_, primarily established by a
professed popular leader, who maintained his supremacy by mercenary
troops. One after another these usurping dynasties were again ejected in
favour either of a restored oligarchy or of a democracy. Sparta, where
the power of the dual kingship was extremely limited, was the only state
where the legitimate kingship survived. Corinth attained her highest
power Under the despot Periander, son of Cypselus. Of the Ionian section
of Greek states, the supreme type is Athens. Her early history is
obscure. The kingship seems to have ended by being, so to speak, placed
in commission, the royal functions being discharged by an elected body
of Archons. Dissensions among the groups of citizens issued in the
democratic Solonian constitution, which remained the basis of Athenian
government, except during the despotism of the house of Pisistratus in
the latter half of the sixth century B.C. But outside of Greece proper
were the numerous Dorian and Ionian colonies, really independent cities,
planted in the coast districts of Asia Minor, at Cyrene and Barka in
Mediterranean Africa, in Epirus (Albania), Southern Italy, Sicily, and
even at Massilia in Gaul, and in Thrace beyond the proper Hellenic area.
These colonies brought the Greek world in touch with Lydia and its king,
Croesus, with the one sea-going Semitic power, the Phoenicians, with the
Egyptians, and more remotely with the wholly Oriental empires of Assyria
and Babylon, as well as with the outer barbarians of Scythia.

Between 560 and 510 B.C., Athens was generally under the rule of the
despot Pisistratus and his son Hippias. In 510, the Pisistratidae were
expelled, and Athens became a pure democracy. Meanwhile, the Persian
Cyrus had seized the Median monarchy and overthrown every other
potentate in Western Asia; Egypt was added to the vast Persian dominion
by his son Cambyses. A new dynasty was established by Darius, the son of
Hystaspes, who organized the empire, but failed to extend it by an
incursion into European Scythia.

The revolt of the Ionic cities in Asia Minor against the governments
established by the "great king" brought him in contact with the
Athenians, who sent help to Ionia. Demands for "earth and water,"
_i.e.,_ the formal recognition of Persian sovereignty, sent to the
apparently insignificant Greek states were insolently rejected. Darius
sent an expedition to punish Athens in particular, and the Athenians
drove his army into the sea at the battle of Marathon.

Xerxes, son of Darius, organised an overwhelming force by land and sea
to eat up the Greeks. The invaders were met but hardly checked at
Thermopylae, where Leonidas and the immortal three hundred fell; all
Greece north of the Isthmus of Corinth was in their hands, including
Athens. But their fleet was shattered to pieces, chiefly by the
Athenians under Themistocles and Aristides at Salamis, and the
destruction of their land forces was completed by the united Greeks at
Plataea. A further disaster was inflicted on the same day at Mycale.

_II.--The Struggles of Athens and Sparta_

Meanwhile, the Sicilian Greeks, led by Gelo of Syracuse, successfully
resisted and overthrew the aggression of Carthage, the issue being
decided at the battle of Himera. The part played by Athens under the
guidance of Themistocles in the repulse of Persia gave her a new
position among the Greek states and an indisputable naval leadership. As
the maritime head of Hellas she was chief of the naval Delian League,
now formed ostensibly to carry on the war against Persia. But the
leaguers, who first contributed a quota of ships, soon began to
substitute money to provide ships, which in effect swelled the Athenian
navy, and turned the contributors into tributaries. Thus, almost
automatically, the Delian League converted itself into an Athenian
empire. In Athens itself an unparalleled personal ascendancy was
acquired by Pericles, who made the form of government and administration
more democratic than before. But this growing supremacy of Athens
aroused the jealous alarm of other Greek states. Sparta saw her own
titular hegemony threatened; the subject cities grew restive under the
Athenian yoke. Sparta came forward professedly as champion of the
liberties of Hellas; Athens, guided by Pericles, refused to submit to
Spartan dictation, and accepted the challenge which plunged Greece into
the Peloponnesian war.

The Athenians concentrated on the expansion of their naval armaments,
left the open country undefended and gathered within the city walls, and
landed forces at will on the Peloponnese. Platsea, almost their sole
ally on land, held out valiantly for some time, but was forced to
surrender; and Athens herself suffered frightfully from a visitation of
the plague. After the death of Pericles, Cleon became the most prominent
leader of the aggressive and democratic party, Nicias, of the
anti-democratic peace party. Over most of Greece in each state the
oligarchic faction favoured the Peloponnesian league, the democratic,
Athens. The general Demosthenes at Pylos effected the surrender of a
Lacedaemonian force, which temporarily shattered Sparta's military
prestige, a blow in some degree counteracted by the brilliant operations
of Brasidas in the north, where, however, both he and Cleon were killed.

Meanwhile, Athens was awakening to the possibilities of a great
sea-empire, in consequence of her intervention having been invited in
disputes among the Sicilian states. As the outcome, incited by the
brilliant young Alcibiades, she resolved on the fatal Sicilian
expedition. The expedition, planned under command of Alcibiades and
Nicias, was dispatched in spite of the startling mutilation of the
Hermae, a sacrilegious performance attributed to Alcibiades. It had
hardly reached Sicily when he was recalled, but made his escape and
spent some years mainly in intriguing against Athens. The siege of
Syracuse was progressing favourably, when the Spartan Gylippus was
allowed to enter and put new life into the defence. Disaster followed on
disaster both by sea and land; finally, the whole Athenian force was
either cut to pieces or surrendered at discretion, to become the slaves
of the Syracusans, both Nicias and Demosthenes being put to death.

Meanwhile, the truce between Athens and Sparta had been ended, and war
again declared. Sparta occupied permanently a post of the Attic
territory, Deceleia, with merciless effect. The Sicilian disaster moved
the islanders, notably Chios, to revolt, by Spartan help, against
Athens. She, however, renovated her navy with unexpected vigour. But,
with her fleets away, Alcibiades inspired oligarchical intrigues in the
city; a _coup d'etat_ gave the government to the leaders of a group of
400. The navy stood by the democratic constitution, the 400 were
overthrown, and an assembly, nominally of 5,000, assumed the government.
A great Athenian triumph at Arginusae was followed later by a still more
overwhelming disaster at AEgos Potami.

The Spartan commander Lysander blockaded Athens; starvation forced her
to surrender. Lysander established the government known as that of the
Thirty Tyrants, who were headed by Kritias. Lysander's ascendancy
created in Sparta a party in opposition to him; in the outcome, the
Spartan king Pausanias helped in the overthrow of the Thirty at Athens
by Thrasybulus, and the restoration of the Athenian democracy.
Throughout, the conduct of the democratic party, at its best and its
worst, contrasted favourably with that of the oligarchical faction.

These eighty years were the great period of Athenian literature and art:
of the Parthenon and Phidias; of AEschylus, the soldier of Marathon; then
Sophocles and Euripides and Aristophanes; finally, of Socrates, not
himself an author, but the inspirer of Plato, and the founder of ethical
science; according to popular ideas, the typical Sophist, but in fact
differing from the Sophists fundamentally.

_III.--The Blotting Out of Hellas_

The triumph of Sparta has established her empire among the Greeks; she
used her power with a tyranny infinitely more galling than the sway of
Athens. The Spartan character had become greatly demoralised. Agesilaus,
who succeeded to the kingship, set on foot ambitious projects for a
Greek conquest of Asia; but Greece began to revolt against the Spartan
dominion. Thebes and other cities rose, and called for help from Athens,
their former foe. In the first stages of the ensuing war, of which the
most notable battle was Coronea, Sparta maintained her supremacy within
the Peloponnesus, but not beyond. Athens obtained the countenance of
Persia, and the counter-diplomacy of Sparta produced the peace known by
the name of the Spartan Antalcidas, establishing generally the autonomy
of Greek cities. But this in effect meant the restoration of Spartan

In course of time, however, this brought about the defiance of Spartan
dictation by Thebes and the tremendous check to her power inflicted at
the battle of Leuctra, by Epaminondas the Theban, whose military skill
and tactical originality there overthrew the Spartan military prestige.
As a consequence, half the Peloponnese itself broke away from Sparta; a
force under Epaminondas aided the Arcadians, and the Arcadian federation
was established.

Hellenic Sicily during these years was having a history of her own of
some importance. Syracuse, after her triumph over the Athenian forces,
continued the contest with her neighbours, which had been the ostensible
cause of the Athenian expedition. But this was closed by the advent of
fresh invaders, the Carthaginians, who renewed the attack repulsed at
Himera. Owing to the disaster to Athens, her fleets were no longer to be
feared by Carthage as a protection to the Hellenic world; and for two
centuries to come, her interventions in Sicily were incessant. Now, the
presence of a foreign foe in Sicily gave intriguers for power at
Syracuse their opportunity, of which the outcome was the subversion of
the democracy and the establishment of Dionysius as despot.

His son, Dionysius II., succeeded, and was finally ejected by the
Corinthian Timoleon, who, after a brilliant career of victories as
Syracusan general against Carthage, acted as general liberator of
Sicilian cities from despotisms, laid down his powers, and was content
with the position, not of despot, but of counsellor, to the great
prosperity of Sicily as a whole.

Going back to the north of Greece, the semi-Hellenic Macedon with a
Hellenic dynasty was growing powerful. Philip--father of Alexander the
Great--was now king, and was resolved to make himself the head of the
Greek world. His great opponent is found in the person of the Athenian
orator Demosthenes, who saw that Philip was aiming at ascendancy, but
generally failed to persuade the Athenians to recognise the danger in
which they stood. Philip gradually achieved his immediate end of being
recognised as the captain-general of the Hellenes, and their leader in a
new Persian war, when his life was cut short by an assassin, and he was
succeeded by his youthful son Alexander.

The Greek states, awakening to their practical subjection, would have
thrown off the new yoke, but the young king with swift and overwhelming
energy swept down from Thrace upon Thebes, the centre of resistance, and
stamped it out. He had already conceived, in part at least, his vast
schemes of Asiatic conquest; while he lived, Greece had practically no
distinguishable history. She is merely an appendage to Macedon.
Everything is absorbed in the Macedon conqueror. With an army incredibly
small for the task before him, he entered Asia Minor, and routed the
Persian forces on the river Granicus. The Greek Memnon, the one able
leader for the Persians, would have organised against him a destructive
naval power; but death removed him.

Alexander dispersed the armies of the Persian king Darius at the Issus,
captured Tyre after a remarkable siege, and took easy possession of
Egypt, where he founded Alexandria. Having organised the administration
of the conquered territories, he marched to the Euphrates, but did not
engage the enormous Persian hosts till he found and shattered them at
the battle of Gaugamela, also called Arbela. Darius fled, and Alexander
swept on to Babylon, to Susa, to Persepolis, assuming the functions of
the "Great King." The fugitive Darius was assassinated. Alexander
henceforth assumed a new and oriental demeanour; but he continued his
conquests, crossing the Hindoo Koosh to Bactria, and then bursting into
the Punjab. But his ambitions were ended by his death, and their
fulfilment, not at all according to his designs, was left to the
"Diadochi," the generals among whom the conquered dominions were parted.
Athens led the revolt against Macedonian supremacy, but in vain.
Demosthenes, condemned by the conquering Antipater, took poison. The
remainder of the history is that of the blotting out of Hellas and of

* * * * *


Troy and Its Remains

Heinrich Schliemann was born at Kalkhorst, a village in
Mecklenburg-Schwerin, on January 6, 1822, and died on December
27, 1890. During his early childhood an old scholar, who had
fallen upon evil days, delighted him with stories of the great
deeds of Homeric heroes. At the age of fourteen he was
apprenticed in a warehouse, but never lost his love for
antiquity, and unceasingly prayed to God that he might yet
have the happiness to learn Greek. An accident released him
from his low position, and he went to Holland and found a
situation in an office. He now began to study languages,
suffering extraordinary denials so as to be able to afford
money for his studies. In 1846 he was sent by his firm to
Russia, learning Swedish and Polish, and next acquired Greek.
Later, he travelled in Europe and the East, making a voyage
round the world. At last he realised the dream of his life.
Inaugurating a series of explorations in Greece and Asia
Minor, Dr. Schliemann gained fame by his discoveries at
Tiryus, Mycenae, and Troy, largely solving the problems of
antiquity and archaeology associated with these localities.
"Troy and Its Remains" is published here in order that, having
read in the classical histories, we may see how the ancient
world is reconstructed for modern readers, by the records of
one of the most famous of archaeologists.

_I.--Searching for the Site of Troy_

_Hissarlik, Plain of Troy, October_ 18, 1871. In my work, "Ithaca, the
Peloponnesus, and Troy," published in 1869, I endeavored to prove, both
by my own excavations and by the statement of the Iliad, that the
Homeric Troy cannot possibly have been situated on the heights of
Bunarbashi, to which place most archaeologists assign it. At the same
time I endeavoured to explain that the site of Troy must necessarily be
identical with the site of that town which, throughout all antiquity and
down to its Complete destruction at the end of the eighth or beginning
of the ninth century A.D., was called Ilium, and not until 1,000 years,
after its disappearance--that is, in 1788 A.D.--was christened Ilium
Novum by Lechevalier, who, as his work proves, can never have visited
his Ilium Novum.

The site of Ilium is on a plateau 80 feet above the plain. Its
north-western corner is formed by a hill about 26 feet higher still,
which is about 705 feet in breadth and about 984 feet in length, and
from its imposing situation and natural fortifications, this hill of
Hissarlik seems specially suited to the acropolis of the town. Ever
since my first visit I never doubted that I should find the Pergamus of
Priam in the depths of this hill.

On October 10, 1871, I started with my wife from the Dardanelles for the
Plain of Troy, a journey of eight hours, and next day commenced my
excavations where I had, a year previously, made some preliminary
explorations, and had found, among other things, at a depth of 16 feet,
walls about 6-1/2 feet thick, which belong to a bastion of the time of

Hissarlik, the Turkish name of this imposing hill at the north-western
end of the site of Ilium, means "fortress," or "acropolis," and seems to
prove that this is the Pergamus of Priam; that here Xerxes in 480 B.C.
offered up 1,000 oxen to the Ilian Athena; that here Alexander the Great
hung up his armour in the temple of the goddess, and took away in its
stead some of the weapons therein dedicated, belonging to the time of
the Trojan war.

I conjectured that this temple, the pride of the Ilians, must have stood
on the highest point of the hill, and I therefore decided to excavate
this locality down to the native soil, and I made an immense cutting on
the face of the steep northern slope, about 66 feet from my last year's
work. Notwithstanding the difficulties due to coming on immense blocks
of stone, the work advances rapidly. My dear wife, an Athenian lady, who
is an enthusiastic admirer of Homer, and knows almost the whole of the
Iliad by heart, is present at the excavations from morning to night. All
of my workmen are Greeks from the neighbouring village of Renkoi; only
on Sunday, a day on which the Greeks do not work, I employ Turks.

_Hissarlik, October_ 26, 1871. Since my report of the 18th I have
continued the excavations with the utmost energy, with, on the average,
80 workmen, and I have to-day reached an average depth of 13 feet. I
found an immense number of round articles of terra-cotta, red, yellow,
grey, and black, with two holes, without inscriptions, but frequently
with a kind of potter's stamp upon them. I cannot find any trace of
their having been used for domestic purposes, and therefore I presume
they have served as _ex votos_ for hanging up in the temples.

I found at a depth of about five feet three marble slabs with
inscriptions. One of these must, I think, from the character of the
writing, be assigned to the third century, the two others to the first
century B.C. A king spoken of in the third century writing must have
been one of the kings of Pergamus.

The view from the hill of Hissarlik is magnificent. Before me lies the
glorious Plain of Troy, traversed from the south-east to the north-west
by the Scamander, which has changed its bed since ancient times.

_Hissarlik, November_ 18, 1871. I have now reached a depth of 33 feet.
During these operations I was for a time deceived by the enormous mass
of stone implements which were dug up, and by the absence of any trace
of metal, and supposed that I had come upon the Stone Age. But since the
sixth of this month there have appeared many nails, knives, lances, and
battle-axes of copper of such elegant workmanship that they can have
been made only by a civilised people. I cannot even admit that I have
reached the Bronze Period, for the implements and weapons which I find
are too well finished.

I must, however, observe that the deeper I dig the greater are the
indications of a higher civilisation. And as I thus find ever more and
more traces of civilisation the deeper I dig, I am now perfectly
convinced that I have not yet penetrated to the period of the Trojan
war, and hence I am more hopeful than ever of finding the site of Troy
by further excavations; for if ever there was a Troy--and my belief in
this is firm--it can only have been here, on the site of Ilium.

_II.--Trojan Life and Civilisation_

_Hissarlik, April 5, 1872._ On the first of this month I resumed the
excavations which were discontinued at the end of November.

In the ruins of houses I find, amongst other things, a great number of
small idols of very fine marble, with or without the symbols of the
owl's head and woman's girdle. Many Trojan articles found in the ruins
have stamped on them crosses of various descriptions, which are of the
highest importance to archaeology. Such symbols were already regarded,
thousands of years before Christ, as religious tokens of the very
greatest importance. The figure of the cross represents two pieces of
wood which were laid crosswise upon one another before the sacrificial
altars in order to produce holy fire. The fire was produced by the
friction of one piece of wood against another.

At all depths we find a number of flat idols of very fine marble; upon
many of them is the owl's face, and a female girdle with dots. I am
firmly convinced that all of the helmeted owls' heads represent a
goddess, and the important question now presents itself, what goddess is
it who is here found so repeatedly, and is, moreover, the only one to be
found upon the idols, drinking-cups, and vases? The answer is, she must
necessarily be the tutelary goddess of Troy; she must be the Ilian
Athena, and this indeed perfectly agrees with the statement of Homer,
who continually calls her _thea glaukopis Athene,_ "the goddess with the
owl's face."

_Hissarlik, June 18, 1872._ I had scarcely begun to extend a third
cutting into the hill when I found a block of triglyphs of Parian
marble, containing a sculpture in high relief which represents Phoebus
Apollo, who, in a long woman's robe with a girdle, is riding on the four
immortal horses which pursue their career through the universe. Nothing
is to be seen of a chariot. Above the head of the god is seen about
two-thirds of the sun's disc with twenty rays. The face of the god is
very expressive, and the folds of his robe are exquisitely sculptured;
but my admiration is specially excited by the four horses, which,
snorting and looking wildly forward, career through the universe with
infinite power. Their anatomy is so masterly that I confess I have never
seen so masterly a work.

It is especially remarkable to find the sun-god here, for Homer knows
nothing of a temple to the sun in Troy, and later history says not a
word about the existence of such a temple. However, the image of Phoebus
Apollo does not prove that the sculpture must have belonged to a temple
of the sun; in my opinion it may just as well have served as an ornament
to any other temple.

I venture to express the opinion that the image of the sun, which I find
represented here thousands and thousands of times upon the whorls of
terra-cotta, must be regarded as the name or emblem of the town--that
is, Ilios. In like manner, this sun-god shone in the form of a woman
upon the propylaea of the temple of the Ilian Athena as a symbol of the

This head of the sun-god appears to me to have so much of the
Alexandrian style that I must adhere to history, and believe that this
work of art belongs to the time of Lysimachus, who, according to Strabo,
after the time of Alexander the Great, built here the new temple of the
Ilian Athena, which Alexander had promised to the town of Ilium after
the subjugation of the Persian Empire.

Were it not for the splendid terra-cottas which I find exclusively on
the primary soil and as far as 6-1/2 feet above it, I could swear that
at a depth of from 26 to 33 feet, I am among the ruins of the Homeric
Troy. [The reader should bear in mind that Dr. Schliemann finally came
back to this opinion.] For at this depth I have found a thousand
wonderful objects; whereas I find little in the lowest stratum, the
removal of which gives immense trouble. We daily find some of the whorls
of very fine terra-cotta, and it is curious that those which have no
decorations at all are always of the ordinary shape, and of the size of
small tops, or like the craters of volcanoes, while almost all those
possessing decorations are flat, and in the form of a wheel.

Metals, at least gold, silver, and copper, were known to the Trojans,
for I found a copper knife highly gilded, a silver hairpin, and a number
of copper nails at a depth of forty-six feet. I found many small
instruments for use as pins; also a number of ivory needles, and some
curious pieces of ivory, one in the form of a paper-knife, the other in
the shape of an exceedingly neat dagger. We discovered one-edged or
double-edged knives of white silex in the form of saws in quantities,
each about two inches long; also many hand millstones of lava, and some
beautiful red vases, cups, vessels, jugs, and hand plates. In these
depths we likewise find many bones of animals; boars' tusks, small
shells, horns of the buffalo, ram, and stag, as well as the vertebrae of
the shark.

The houses and palaces in which the splendid terra-cottas were used were
large and spacious, for to them belong all the mighty heaps of stone,
hewn and unhewn, which cover them to the height of from 13 to 20 feet.
These buildings were easily destroyed, for the stones were only joined
with earth, and when the walls fell everything in the houses was crushed
to pieces by the immense blocks of stone. The primitive Trojan people
disappeared simultaneously with the destruction of their town. [Here, as
well as in what goes before, Dr. Schliemann writes on the supposition,
which he afterwards abandoned, that the remains in the lowest stratum
are those of the Trojans of the Iliad.]

Upon the site of the destroyed city new settlers, of a different
civilisation, manners, and customs, built a new town; but only the
foundation of their houses consisted of stones joined with clay; all the
house-walls were built of unburnt bricks. I must draw attention to the
fact that I have found twice on fragments of pottery the curious symbol
of the _suastika_, or crossed angles, which proves that the primitive
Trojans belonged to the Aryan race. This is further proved by the
symbols on the round terra-cottas. The existence of the nation which
preceded the Trojans was likewise of long duration, for all the layers
of _debris_ at the depth of from 33 to 23 feet belong to it. They also
were of Aryan descent, for they possessed innumerable Aryan religious
symbols. Several of the symbols belonged to the time when Germans,
Pelasgians, Hindoos, Persians, Celts, and Greeks still formed one

I found no trace of a double cup among this people, but instead of it
those curious cups which have a coronet below in place of a handle; then
those brilliant, fanciful goblets, in the form of immense champagne
glasses, and with two mighty handles on the sides; they are round below,
so that they can only stand on their mouths. Further, all those splendid
vessels of burnt earthenware, as, for instance, funeral, wine, or water
urns, five feet high; likewise, all of those vessels with a beak-shaped
mouth, bent back, and either short or long.

I have met with many very curious vases in the shape of animals with
three feet. The mouth of the vessel is in the tail, which is upright and
very thick, and is connected with the back by a handle. In these strata
we also meet with an immense number of those round terra-cottas--the
whorls--embellished with beautiful and ingenious symbolical signs,
amongst which the sun-god always occupies the most prominent position.
But the fire-machine of our primeval ancestors, the holy sacrificial
altar with blazing flames, the holy soma-tree, or tree of life, and the
_rosa mystica_, are also very frequently met with here.

This mystic rose, which occurs very often in the Byzantine sculptures,
and the name of which, as is well known, is employed to designate the
Holy Virgin in the Roman Catholic liturgies, is a very ancient Aryan
symbol, as yet, unfortunately, unexplained. It is very ancient, because
I find it at a depth of from 23 to 33 feet, in the strata of the
successors to the Trojans, which must belong to a period about 1,200
years before Christ.

At a depth of 30-1/2 feet, among the yellow ashes of a house destroyed
by fire, I found silver-ware ornaments and also a very pretty gold
ear-ring, which has three lows of stars on both sides; then two bunches
of earrings of various forms, most of which are of silver and terminate
in five leaves.

I now come to the strata of _debris_ at a depth of from 23 to 13 feet,
which are evidently also the remains of a people of the Aryan race, who
took possession of the town built on the ruins of Troy, and who
destroyed it and extirpated the inhabitants; for in these strata of ten
feet thick I find no trace of metal, and the structure of the houses is
entirely different. All the house-walls consist of small stones joined
with clay. In these strata--at a depth of from 23 to 13 feet--not only
are all the stone implements much rougher, but all the terra-cottas are
of a coarser quality. Still, they possess a certain elegance.

A new epoch in the history of Ilium commenced when the accumulation of
_debris_ on this hill had reached a height of 13 feet below its present
surface; for the town was again destroyed, and the inhabitants killed or
driven out by a wretched tribe, which certainly must likewise have
belonged to the Aryan race, for upon the round terra-cottas I still very
frequently find the tree of life, and the simple cross and double cross
with the four nails. In these depths, however, the forms of the whorls
degenerate. Of pottery, however, much less is found, and all of it is
considerably less artistic than that which I have found in the preceding
strata. With the people to whom these strata belonged--from 13 to 6-1/2
feet below the surface--the pre-Hellenic ages end, for henceforth we see
many ruined walls of Greek buildings, of beautifully hewn stones laid
together without cement, and the painted and unpainted terra-cottas
leave no doubt that a Greek colony took possession of Ilium when the
surface of this hill was much lower than it is now.

It is impossible to determine when this new colonisation took place, but
it must have been much earlier than the visit of Xerxes reported by
Herodotus, which took place 480 years before Christ. The event may have
taken place 700 B.C.

_III.--Homeric Legends Verified_

_Pergamus of Troy, August_ 4, 1872. On the south side of the hill where
I made my great trench I discovered a great tower, 40 feet thick, which
obstructs my path and appears to extend to a great length. I have
uncovered it on the north and south sides along the whole breadth of my
trench, and have convinced myself that it is built on the rock at a
depth of 46-1/2 feet.

This tower is now only 20 feet high, but must have been much higher. For
its preservation we have to thank the ruins of Troy, which entirely
covered it as it now stands. Its situation would be most interesting and
imposing, for its top would command not only a view of the whole plain
of Troy, but of the sea, with the islands of Tenedos, Imbros, and
Samothrace. There is not a more sublime situation in the whole area of
the plain of Troy than this.

In the ashes of a house at the depth of 42-1/2 feet I found a tolerably
well preserved skeleton of a woman. The colour of the bones shows that
the lady, whose gold ornaments were near by, was overtaken by fire and
burnt alive. With the exception of the skeleton of an infant found in a
vase, this is the only skeleton of a human being I have ever met with in
the pre-Hellenic remains on this hill. As we know from Homer, all
corpses were burnt and the ashes placed in urns, of which I have found
great numbers. The bones were always burnt to ashes.

_Pergamus of Troy, August 14, 1872._ In stopping the excavations for
this year, and in looking back on the dangers to which we have been
exposed between the gigantic layers of ruins, I cannot but fervently
thank God for his great mercy, not only that no life has been lost, but
that none of us has been seriously hurt.

As regards the result of my excavations, everyone must admit that I have
solved a great historical problem, and that I have solved it by the
discovery of a high civilisation and immense buildings upon the primary
soil, in the depths of an ancient town, which throughout antiquity was
called Ilium and declared itself to be the successor of Troy, the site
of which was regarded as identical with the site of the Homeric Ilium by
the whole world of that time. The situation of this town not only
corresponds perfectly with all the statements of the Iliad, but also
with all the traditions handed down to us by later authorities.

_Pergamus of Troy, March 22, 1873. _During this last week, with splendid
weather, and with 150 men on the average, I have got through a good
piece of work. On the north side of the excavation on the site of the
Temple of Athena I have already reached a depth of 26 feet, and have
laid bare the tower in several places.

The most remarkable of the objects found this week is a large knob of
the purest and finest crystal, belonging to a stick, in the form of a
beautifully wrought lion's head. It seems probable that in remote
antiquity lions existed in this region. Homer could not so excellently
have described them had he not had the opportunities of watching them.

_Pergamus of Troy, May 10, 1873._ Although the Pergamus, whose depths I
have been ransacking, borders directly on the marshes formed by the
Simois, in which there are always hundreds of storks, yet none of them
ever settle down here. Though there are sometimes a dozen storks' nests
on one roof in the neighbouring Turkish villages, yet no one will settle
on mine, even though I have two comfortable nests made for them. It is
probably too cold and stormy for the little storks on _Ilios anemoessa_.

My most recent excavations have far surpassed my expectations, for I
have unearthed two large gates, standing 20 feet apart, in a splendid
street which proceeds from the chief building in the Pergamus. I venture
to assert that this great double gate must be the Homeric Scaean Gate. It
is in an excellent state of preservation.

Here, therefore, by the side of the double gate, at Ilium's Great Tower,
sat Priam, the seven elders of the city, and Helen. From this spot the
company surveyed the whole plain, and saw at the foot of the Pergamus
the Trojan and Achaean armies face to face about to settle their
agreement to let the war be decided by a single combat between Paris and

I now positively retract my former opinion that Ilium was inhabited up
to the ninth century after Christ, and I must distinctly maintain that
its site has been desolate and uninhabited since the end of the fourth
century. But Troy was not large. I am extremely disappointed at being
obliged to give so small a plan of the city; nay, I had wished to be
able to make it a thousand times larger, but I value truth above
everything, and I rejoice that my three years' excavations have laid
open the Homeric Troy, even though on a diminished scale, and that I
have proved the Iliad based upon real facts.

Homer is an epic poet, and not an historian; so it is quite natural that
he should have exaggerated everything with poetic licence. Moreover, the
events he describes are so marvellous that many scholars have long
doubted the very existence of Troy, and have considered the city to be a
mere invention of the poet's fancy. I venture to hope that the civilised
world will not only not be disappointed that the city of Priam has shown
itself to be scarcely a twentieth part as large as was to be expected
from the statements of the Iliad, but that, on the contrary, it will
accept with delight and enthusiasm the certainty that Ilium did really
exist, that a large portion of it has now been brought to light, and
that Homer, even though he exaggerates, nevertheless sings of events
that actually happened.

Homer can never have seen Ilium's Great Tower, the surrounding wall of
Poseidon and Apollo, the Scaean Gate of the palace of King Priam, for all
these monuments lay buried deep in heaps of rubbish, and he could have
made no excavations to bring them to light. He knew of these monuments
only from hearsay and tradition, for the tragic fate of ancient Troy was
then still in fresh remembrance, and had already been for centuries in
the mouth of all minstrels.

* * * * *


Commentaries on the Gallic War

Caius Julius Caesar was born on July 12, 100 B.C., of a noble
Roman family. His career was decided when he threw in his lot
with the democratic section against the republican oligarchy.
Marrying Cornelia, daughter of Lucius Cinna, the chief
opponent of the tyrant dictator Sulla, he incurred the
implacable hatred of the latter, and was obliged to quit Rome.
For a season he studied rhetoric at Rhodes. Settling in Rome
after Sulla's death, Caesar attached himself to the illustrious
Pompey, whose policy was then democratic. In B.C. 68 he
obtained a quaestorship in Spain, and on returning next year
reconciled the two most powerful men in Rome, Pompey and
Crassus. With them he formed what became known as the First
Triumvirate. Being appointed to govern Gaul for five years,
Caesar there developed his genius for war; but his brilliant
success excited the fears of the senate and the envy even of
Pompey. Civil war broke out. The conflict ended in the fall of
Pompey, who was defeated in the fateful battle of Pharsalia,
and was afterwards murdered in Egypt. Julius Caesar now
possessed supreme power. He lavished vast sums on games and
public buildings, won splendid victories in Gaul, Egypt,
Pontus, and Africa, and was the idol of the common people. But
the jealousy of many of the aristocrats led to the formation
of a plot, and on March 15, 44 B.C., Caesar was assassinated in
the Senate House. This summary relates to the commentaries
known to be by Caesar himself, certain other books having been
added by other Latin writers. It will be noticed that he
writes in the third person. This epitome is prepared from the
Latin text.

_I.--Subduing Celtic Gaul_

Gaul is divided into three parts, one of which the Belgae inhabit; the
Aquitani another; those who in their own language are called Celts, in
ours Gauls, the third. All these differ from each other in language,
customs, and laws. Among the Gauls the Helvetii surpass the rest in
valour, as they constantly contend in battle with the Germans. When
Messala and Piso were consuls, Orgetorix, the most distinguished of the
Helvetii, formed a conspiracy among the nobility, persuading them that,
since they excelled all in valour, it would be very easy to acquire the
supremacy of the whole of Gaul. They made great preparations for the
expedition, but suddenly Orgetorix died, nor was suspicion lacking that
he committed suicide.

After his death, the Helvetii nevertheless attempted the exodus from
their territories. When it was reported to Caesar that they were
attempting to make their route through our province, he gathered as
great a force as possible, and by forced marches arrived at Geneva.

The Helvetii now sent ambassadors to Caesar, requesting permission to
pass through the province, which he refused, inasmuch as he remembered
that Lucius Cassius, the consul, had been slain and his army routed, and
made to pass under the yoke by the Helvetii. Disappointed in their hope,
the Helvetii attempted to force a passage across the Rhone, but, being
resisted by the soldier, desisted.

After the war with the Helvetii was concluded, ambassadors from almost
all parts of Gaul assembled to congratulate Caesar, and to declare that
his victory had happened no less to the benefit of the land of Gaul than
of the Roman people, because the Helvetii had quitted their country with
the design of subduing the whole of Gaul.

When the assembly was dismissed, the chiefs' of the AEdui and of the
Sequani waited upon Caesar to complain that Ariovistus, the king of the
Germans, had seized a third of their land, which was the best in Gaul,
and was now ordering them to depart from another third part.

To ambassadors sent by Caesar, demanding an appointment of some spot for
a conference, Ariovistus gave an insolent reply, which was repeated on a
second overture. Hearing that the king of the Germans was threatening to
seize Vesontio, the capital of the Sequani, Caesar, by a forced march,
arrived there and took possession of the city. Apprised of this event,
Ariovistus changed his attitude, and sent messengers intimating that he
agreed to meet Caesar, as they were now nearer to each other, and could
meet without danger.

The conference took place, but it led to no successful result, for
Ariovistus demanded that the Romans should withdraw from Gaul and his
conduct became afterwards so hostile that it led to war. A battle took
place about fifty miles from the Rhine. The Germans were routed and fled
to the river, across which many escaped, the rest being slain in
pursuit. Caesar, having concluded two very important wars in one
campaign, conducted his army into winter quarters.

_II.--Taming the Rebellious Belgae_

While Caesar was in winter quarters in Hither Gaul frequent reports were
brought to him that all the Belgae were entering into a confederacy
against the Roman people, because they feared that, after all Celtic
Gaul was subdued, our army would be led against them. Caesar, alarmed,
levied two new legions in Hither Gaul, and proceeded to the territory of
the Belgae. As he arrived there unexpectedly, and sooner than anyone
anticipated, the Remi, who are the nearest of the Belgae to Celtic Gaul,
sent messages of submission and gave Caesar full information about the
other Belgae.

Caesar next learned that the Nervii, a savage and very brave people,
whose territories bordered those just conquered, had upbraided the rest
of the Belgae who had surrendered themselves to the Roman people, and had
declared that they themselves would neither send ambassadors nor accept
any condition of peace. He was informed concerning them that they
allowed no access of any merchants, and that they suffered no wine and
other things tending to luxury to be imported, because they thought that
by their use the mind is enervated and the courage impaired.

After he had made three days' march into their territory, Caesar
discovered that all the Nervii had stationed themselves on the other
side of the River Sambre, not more than ten miles from his camp, and
that they had persuaded the Atrebates and the Veromandui to join with
them, and that likewise the Aduatuci were expected by them, and were on
the march. The Roman army proceeded to encamp in front of the river, on
a site sloping towards it. Here they were fiercely attacked by the
Nervii, the assault being so sudden that Caesar had to do all things at
one time. The standard as the sign to run to arms had to be displayed,
the soldiers were to be called from the works on the rampart, the order
of battle was to be formed, and a great part of these arrangements was
prevented by the shortness of time and the sudden charge of the enemy.

Time was lacking even for putting on helmets and uncovering shields. In
such an unfavorable state of affairs, various events of fortune
followed. The soldiers of the ninth and tenth legions speedily drove
back the Atrebates, who were breathless with running and fatigue. Many
of them were slain. In like manner the Veromandui were routed by the
eighth and eleventh legions; but as part of the camp was very exposed,
the Nervii hastened in a very close body, under Boduagnatus, their
leader, to rush against that quarter. Our horsemen and light-armed
infantry were by the first assault routed, and the enemy, rushing into
our camp in great numbers, pressed hard on the legions. But Caesar,
seizing a shield and encouraging the soldiers, many of whose centurions
had been slain, ordering them to extend their companies that they might
more freely use their swords.

So great a change was soon effected that, though the enemy displayed
great courage, the battle was ended so disastrously for them that the
Nervii were almost annihilated. Scarcely five hundred were left who
could bear arms. Their old men sent ambassadors to Caesar by the consent
of all who remained, surrendering themselves. The Aduatuci, before
mentioned, who were coming to the help of the Nervii, returned home when
they heard of this battle.

All Gaul being now subdued, so high an opinion of this war was spread
among the barbarians that ambassadors were sent to Caesar by those
nations that dwelt beyond the Rhine, to promise that they would give
hostages and execute his commands. He ordered these embassies to return
to him at the beginning of the following summer, because he was
hastening into Italy and Illyricum. Having led his legions into winter
quarters among the Carnutes, the Andes, and the Turones, which states
were close to those in which he had waged war, he set out for Italy, and
a public thanksgiving of fifteen days was decreed for these
achievements, an honour which before that time had been conferred on

_III.--War by Land and Sea in Gaul_

When Caesar was setting out for Italy, he sent Servius Galba with the
twelfth legion and part of the cavalry against the Nantuates, the
Veragri, and the Seduni, who extend from the territories of the
Allobroges and the Lake of Geneva and the River Rhone to the top of the
Alps. The reason for sending him was that he desired that the pass along
the Alps, through which the Roman merchants had been accustomed to
travel with great danger, should be opened.

Galba fought several successful battles, stormed some of their forts,
and concluded a peace. He then determined to winter in a village of the
Veragri, which is called Octodurus. But before the winter camp could be
completed the tops of the mountains were seen to be crowded with armed
men, and soon these rushed down from all parts and discharged stones and
darts on the ramparts.

The fierce battle that followed lasted for more than six hours. During
the fight more than a third part of the army of 30,000 men of the Seduni
and the Veragri were slain, and the rest were put to flight,
panic-stricken. Then Galba, unwilling to tempt fortune again, after
having burned all the buildings in that village, hastened to return into
the province, urged chiefly by the want of corn and provision. As no
enemy opposed his march, he brought his forces safely into the country
of the Allobroges, and there wintered.

These things being achieved, Caesar, who was visiting Illyricum to gain a
knowledge of that country, had every reason to suppose that Gaul was
reduced to a state of tranquillity. For the Belgae had been overcome, the
Germans had been expelled, and the Seduni and the Veragri among the Alps
defeated. But a sudden war sprang up in Gaul.

The occasion of that war was this. P. Crassus, a young man, had taken up
his winter quarters with the seventh legion among the Andes, who border
on the Atlantic Ocean. As corn was scarce, he sent out officers among
the neighbouring states for the purpose of procuring supplies. The most
considerable of these states was the Veneti, who have a very great
number of ships with which they have been accustomed to sail into
Britain, and thus they excel the rest of the states in nautical affairs.
With them arose the beginning of the revolt.

The Veneti detained Silius and Velanius, who had been sent among them,
for they thought they should recover by their means the hostages which
they had given Crassus. The neighbouring people, the Essui and the
Curiosolitae, led on by the influence of the Veneti (as the measures of
the Gauls are sudden and hasty) detained other officers for the same
motive. All the sea-coast being quickly brought over to the sentiments
of these states, they sent a common embassy to P. Crassus to say "If he
wished to receive back his officers, let him send back to them their

Caesar, being informed of these things, since he was himself so far
distant, ordered ships of war to be built on the River Loire; rowers to
be raised from the province; sailors and pilots to be provided. These
matters being quickly executed, he hastened to the army as soon as the
season of the year admitted.

Caesar at once ordered his army, divided into several detachments, to
attack the towns of the enemy in different districts. Many were stormed,
yet much of the warfare was vain and much labour was lost, because the
Veneti, having numerous ships specially adapted for such a purpose,
their keels being flatter than those of our ships, could easily navigate
the shallows and estuaries, and thus their flight hither and thither
could not be prevented.

At length, in a naval fight, our fleet, being fully assembled, gained a
victory so signal that, by that one battle, the war with the Veneti and
the whole sea-coast was finished. Caesar thought that severe punishment
should be inflicted, in order that for the future the rights of
ambassadors should be respected by barbarians; he therefore put to death
all their senate, and sold the rest for slaves.

About the same time P. Crassus arrived in Aquitania, which, as was
already said, is, both from its extent and its number of population, a
third part of Gaul. Here, a few years before, L. Valerius Praeconius, the
lieutenant, had been killed and his army routed, so that Crassus
understood no ordinary care must be used. On his arrival being known,
the Sotiates assembled great forces, and the battle that followed was
long and vigorously contested. The Sotiates being routed, they retired
to their principal stronghold, but it was stormed, and they submitted.
Crassus then marched into the territories of the Vocates and the
Tarusites, who raised a great host of men to carry on the war, but
suffered total defeat, after which the greater part of Aquitania of its
own accord surrendered to the Romans, sending hostages of their own
accord from different tribes. A few only--and those remote
nations--relying on the time of year, neglected to do this.

_IV.--The First Landing in Britain_

The following winter, this being the year in which Cn. Pompey and M.
Crassus were consuls [this was the year 699 after the building of Rome,
55 before Christ; it was the fourth year of the Gallic war] the Germans,
called the Usipetes, and likewise the Tenchtheri, with a great number of
men, crossed the Rhine, not far from the place at which that river falls
into the sea. The motive was to escape from the Suevi, the largest and
strongest nation in Germany, by whom they had been for several years
harassed and hindered from agricultural pursuits.

The Suevi are said to possess a hundred cantons, from each of which they
send forth for war a thousand armed men yearly, the others remaining at
home, and going forth in their turn in other years.

Caesar, hearing that various messages had been sent to them by the Gauls
(whose fickle disposition he knew) asking them to come forward from the
Rhine, and promising them all that they needed, set forward for the army
earlier in the year than usual. When he had arrived in the region, he
discovered that those things which he had suspected would occur, had
taken place, and that, allured by the hopes held out to them, the
Germans were then making excursions to greater distances, and had
advanced to the territories of the Euburones and the Condrusi, who are
under the protection of the Treviri. After summoning the chiefs of Gaul,
Caesar thought proper to pretend ignorance of the things which he had
discovered, and, having conciliated and confirmed their minds, and
ordered some cavalry to be raised, resolved to make war against the

When he had advanced some distance, the Germans sent ambassadors,
begging him not to advance further, as they had come hither reluctantly,
having been expelled from their country. But Caesar, knowing that they
wished for delay only to make further secret preparations, refused the
overtures. Marshalling his army in three lines, and marching eight
miles, he took them by surprise, and the Romans rushed their camp. Many
of the enemy were slain, the rest being either scattered or drowned in
attempting to escape by crossing the Meuse in the flight.

The conflict with the Germans being finished, Caesar thought it expedient
to cross the Rhine. Since the Germans were so easily urged to go into
Gaul, he desired they should have fears for their own territories.
Therefore, notwithstanding the difficulty of constructing a bridge,
owing to the breadth, rapidity, and depth of the river, he devised and
built one of timber and of great strength, piles being first driven in
on which to erect it.

The army was led over into Germany, advanced some distance, and burnt
some villages of the hostile Sigambri, who had concealed themselves in
the woods after conveying away all their possessions. Then Caesar, having
done enough to strike fear into the Germans and to serve both honour and
interest, after a stay of eighteen days across the Rhine, returned into
Gaul and cut down the bridge.

During the short part of the summer which remained he resolved to
proceed into Britain, because succours had been constantly furnished to
the Gauls from that country. He thought it expedient, if he only entered
the island, to see into the character of the people, and to gain
knowledge of their localities, harbours, and landing-places. Having
collected about eighty transport ships, he set sail with two legions in
fair weather, and the soldiers were attacked instantly on landing by the
cavalry and charioteers of the barbarians. The enemy were vanquished,
but could not be pursued, because the Roman horse had not been able to
maintain their course at sea and to reach the island. This alone was
wanting to Caesar's accustomed success.

_V.--Caesar on the Thames_

During the winter Caesar commanded as many ships as possible to be
constructed, and the old repaired. About six hundred transports and
twenty ships of war were built, and, after settling some disputes in
Gaul among the chiefs, Caesar went to Port Itius with the legions. He
took with him several of the leading chiefs of the Gauls, determined to
retain them as hostages and to keep them with him during his next
expedition to Britain, lest a commotion should arise in Gaul during his

Caesar, having crossed to the shore of Britain and disembarked his army
at a convenient spot advanced about twelve miles and repelled all
attacks of the cavalry and charioteers of the enemy. Then he led his
forces into the territories of Cassivellaunus to the River Thames, which
river can be forded in one place only. Here an engagement took place
which resulted in the flight of the Britons. But Cassivellaunus had sent
messengers to the four kings who reigned over Kent and the districts by
the sea, Cingetorix, Carvilius, Taximaquilus, and Segonax, commanding
them to collect all their forces and assail the naval camp.

In the battle which ensued the Romans were victorious, and when
Cassivellaunus heard of this disaster he sent ambassadors to Caesar to
treat about a surrender. Caesar, since he had resolved to pass the winter
on the continent, on account of sudden revolts in Gaul, demanded
hostages and prescribed what tribute Britain should pay each year to the
Roman people.

Caesar, expecting for many reasons greater commotion in Gaul, levied
additional forces. He saw that war was being prepared on all sides, that
the Nervii, Aduatuci, and Menapii, with the addition of all the Germans
on this side of the Rhine, were under arms; that the Senones did not
assemble according to his command, and were concerting measures with
Carnutes and the neighbouring states; and that the Germans were
importuned by the Treviri in frequent embassies. Therefore he thought
that he ought to take prompt measures for the war.

Accordingly, before the winter was ended, he marched with four legions
unexpectedly into the territories of the Nervii, captured many men and
much cattle, wasted their lands, and forced them to surrender and give
hostages. He followed up his success by worsting the Senones, Carnutes,
and Menapii, while Labienus defeated the Treviri.

Gaul being tranquil, Caesar, as he had determined, set out for Italy to
hold the provincial assizes. There he was informed of the decree of the
senate that all the youth of Italy should take the military oath, and he
determined to hold a levy throughout the entire province. The Gauls,
animated by the opportunity afforded through his absence, and indignant
that they were reduced beneath the dominion of Rome, began to organise
their plans for war openly.

Many of the nations confederated and selected as their commander
Vercingetorix, a young Avernian. On hearing what had happened, Caesar set
out from Italy for Transalpine Gaul, and began the campaign by marching
into the country of the Helvii, although it was the severest time of the
year, and the country was covered with deep snow.

The armies met, and Vercingetorix sustained a series of losses at
Vellaunodunum, Genabum, and Noviodunum. The Gauls then threw a strong
garrison into Avaricum, which Caesar besieged, and at length Caesar's
soldiers took it by storm. All the Gauls, with few exceptions, joined in
the revolt; and the united forces, under Vercingetorix, attacked the
Roman army while it was marching into the country of the Sequani, but
they suffered complete defeat. After struggling vainly to continue the
war, Vercingetorix surrendered, and the Gallic chieftains laid down
their arms. Caesar demanded a great number of hostages, sent his
lieutenants with various legions to different stations in Gaul, and
determined himself to winter at Bibracte. A supplication of twenty days
was decreed at Rome by the senate on hearing of these successes.

* * * * *



Publius Cornelius Tacitus was born perhaps at Rome, shortly
before the accession of the Emperor Nero in 54 A.D. He married
the daughter of Agricola, famous in the history of Britain,
and died probably about the time of Hadrian's accession to the
empire, 117 A.D. He attained distinction as a pleader at the
bar, and in public life; but his fame rests on his historical
works. A man of strong prepossessions and prejudices, he
allowed them to colour his narratives, and particularly his
portraits; but he cannot be charged with dishonesty. The
portraits themselves are singularly powerful; his narrative is
picturesque, vivid, dramatic; but the condensed character of
his style and the pregnancy of his phrases make his work
occasionally obscure, and particularly difficult to render in
translation. His "Germania" is a most valuable record of the
early institutions of the Teutonic peoples. His "Histories" of
the empire from Galba to Domitian are valuable as dealing with
events of which he was an eye-witness. His "Annals," covering
practically the reigns from Tiberius to Nero, open only some
forty years before his own birth. Of the original sixteen
books, four are lost, and four are incomplete. The following
epitome has been specially prepared from the Latin text.

_I.--Emperor and Nephew_

Tiberius, adopted son and actual stepson of Augustus, was summoned from
Illyria by his mother Livia to the bedside of the dying emperor at Nola.
Augustus left a granddaughter, Agrippina, who was married to Germanicus,
the nephew of Tiberius; and a grandson, Agrippa Postumus, a youth of
evil reputation. The succession of Tiberius was not in doubt; but his
first act was to have Agrippa Postumus put to death--according to his
own statement, by the order of Augustus. At Rome, consuls, senators, and
knights hurried to embrace their servitude. The nobler the name that
each man bore, the more zealous was he in his hypocrisy. The grave
pretence of Tiberius that he laid no claim to imperial honours was met
by the grave pretence that the needs of the state forbade his refusal of
them, however reluctant he might be. His mother, Livia Augusta, was the
object of a like sycophancy. But the world was not deceived by the
solemn farce.

The death of Augustus, however, was the signal for mutinous outbreaks
among the legions on the European frontiers of the empire; first in
Pannonia, then in Germany. In Pannonia, the ostensible motive was
jealousy of the higher pay and easier terms of service of the Praetorian
guard. So violent were the men, and so completely did the officers lose
control, that Drusus, the son of Tiberius, was sent to make terms with
the mutineers, and only owed his success to the reaction caused by the
superstitious alarm of the soldiery at an eclipse of the moon.
Germanicus, who was in command in Germany, was absent in Gaul. Here the
mutiny of the Lower Army, under Caecina, was very serious, because it was
clearly organised, the men working systematically and not haphazard.

News of the outbreak brought their popular general, Germanicus, to the
spot. The mutineers at once offered to make him emperor, a proposal
which he indignantly repudiated. The position, in a hostile country,
made some concession necessary; but fresh disturbances broke out when it
was suspected that the arrival of a commission from the senate meant
that the concessions would be cancelled. Here the reaction which broke
down the mutiny was caused by the shame of the soldiers themselves, when
Germanicus sent his wife and child away from a camp where their lives
were in danger. Of their own accord, the best of the soldiers turned on
their former ringleaders, and slew them. And the legions under Caecina
took similar steps to recover their lost credit. Germanicus, however,
saw that the true remedy for the disaffection would be found in an
active campaign. The desired effect was attained by an expedition
against the Marsi, conducted with a success which Tiberius, at Rome,
regarded with mixed feelings.

The German tribe named the Cherusci favoured Arminius, the determined
enemy of Rome, in preference to Segestes, who was conspicuous for
"loyalty" to Rome. Germanicus advanced to support the latter, and
Arminius was enraged by the news that his wife, the daughter of
Segestes, was a prisoner. His call to arms, his declamations in the name
of liberty, roused the Cherusci, the people who had annihilated the
legions of Varus a few years before. A column commanded by Caecina was
enticed by Arminius into a swampy position, where it was in extreme
danger, and a severe engagement took place. The scheme of Arminius was
to attack the Romans on the march; fortunately, the rasher counsels of
his uncle, Inguiomerus, prevailed; an attempt was made to storm the
camp, and the Romans were thus enabled to inflict a decisive defeat on
the foe.

It was at this time that the disastrous practice was instituted of
informers bringing charges of treason against prominent citizens on
grounds which Tiberius himself condemned as frivolous. The emperor began
to make a practice of attending trials, which indeed prevented corrupt
awards, but ruined freedom.

Now arose disturbances in the east. The Parthians expelled their king,
Vonones, a former favourite of Augustus. Armenia became involved, and
these things were the source of serious complications later. Tiberius
was already meditating the transfer of Germanicus to these regions. That
general, however, was planning a fresh German campaign from the North
Sea coast. A great fleet carried the army to the mouth of the Ems;
thence Germanicus marched to the Weser and crossed it. Germanicus was
gratified to find that his troops were eager for the impending fray. A
tremendous defeat was inflicted on the Cherusci, with little loss to the
Romans. Arminius, who had headed a charge which all but broke the Roman
line, escaped only with the utmost difficulty.

Nevertheless, the Germans rallied their forces, and a second furious
engagement took place, in which the foe fought again with desperate
valour, and were routed mainly through the superiority of the Roman
armour and discipline. The triumph was marred only by a disaster which
befel the legions which were withdrawn by sea. A terrific storm wrecked
almost the entire fleet, and it was with great difficulty that the few
survivors were rescued. The consequent revival of German hopes made it
necessary for two large armies to advance against the Marsi and the
Catti respectively, complete success again attending the Roman arms.

Jealousy of his nephew's popularity and success now caused Tiberius to
insist on his recall. At this time informers charged with treason a
young man of distinguished family, Libo Drusus, mainly on the ground of
his foolish consultation of astrologers, with the result that Drusus
committed suicide. This story will serve as one among many which
exemplify the prevalent demoralisation. In the same year occurred the
audacious insurrection of a slave who impersonated the dead Agrippa
Postumus; and also the deposition of the king of Cappadocia, whose
kingdom was annexed as a province of the empire.

A contest took place between the Suevi and the Cherusci, in which Rome
declined to intervene. Maroboduus, of the Suevi, was disliked because he
took the title of king, which was alien to the German ideas, being in
this respect contrasted with Arminius. The Cherusci had the better of
the encounter.

_II.--The Development of Despotism_

Germanicus on his recall was in danger, while in Rome, of being made the
head of a faction in antagonism to Drusus, the son of Tiberius. He was
dispatched, however, with extraordinary powers, to take control of the
East, where Piso, the governor of Syria, believed that he held his own
appointment precisely that he might be a thorn in the side of
Germanicus. The latter made a progress through Greece, settled affairs
in Armenia and Parthia, and continued his journey to Egypt.

Piso's machinations, encouraged by the reports which reached him of the
emperor's displeasure at the conduct of Germanicus, caused the gravest
friction. Finally, on the return from Egypt through Syria, Germanicus
became desperately ill. He declared his own belief that Piso and his
wife had poisoned him; and, on his death, the rumour met general
credence, though it was unsupported by evidence. Agrippina returned to
Rome, bent on vengeance, and the object of universal sympathy. Piso
attempted to make himself master of Syria, but failed to win over the
legions, and then resolved to return to Rome and defy his accusers.

About this time Arminius was killed in attempting to make himself king.
Shortly before, Tiberius had rejected with becoming dignity a rival
chief's offer to poison the national hero of German independence.

On the arrival in Italy of Agrippina with the ashes of Germanicus, the
popular and official expressions of grief and sympathy were almost
unprecedented. This public display was not at all encouraged by Tiberius
himself. Drusus was instructed to emphasize the fact that Piso must not
be held either guilty or innocent, till the case had been sifted.
Tiberius insisted that not he, but the senate, must be the judge; the
case must be decided on its merits, not out of consideration for his own
outraged feelings. Piso was charged with having corrupted the soldiery,
levied war on the province of Syria, and poisoned Germanicus. All except
the last charge were proved up to the hilt; for that alone there was no
evidence. Piso, however, despaired, fearing less the ebullitions of
popular wrath than the emotionless implacability of the emperor. He was
found dead in his room; but whether by his own act or that of Tiberius,
was generally doubted. The penalties imposed on his wife and son were
mitigated by the emperor himself.

A number of notorious scandals at this period emphasise the degradation
of morals and the disregard for the sanctity of the marriage tie in a
society where children were regarded as a burden, in spite of official
encouragement of the birth-rate. There was an instructive debate on a
proposal that magistrates appointed to provinces should not take their
wives with them.

Risings in Gaul of the Treveri and Aedui created much alarm in Rome; the
composure of Tiberius was justified by their decisive suppression.

In Africa, Blaems successfully suppressed, though he did not finally
curb, the brigand chief Tacfarinas, who had been building up a nomad
empire of his own. It was under Dolabella, the successor of Blaems, that
Tacfarinas was completely overthrown and slain.

Hitherto the rule of Tiberius had been, on the whole, prosperous. But
the ninth year marks the establishment of the ascendancy of AElius
Sejanus over the mind of the emperor, whereby his sway was transformed
into a foul tyranny. Not of noble birth, Sejanus had neglected no means,
however base, to secure his own favour with Tiberius and with the
Praetorian Guard, of which he held the command. He was now determined to
get rid of Drusus, the son of Tiberius, as the most dangerous obstacle
to his ambitions. He accomplished his purpose by administering a poison,
of which the operation was unsuspected till the facts were revealed many
years later by an accomplice. Then the young sons of Germanicus became
the accepted representatives of the imperial line, for the infant sons
of Drusus died very shortly afterwards. Accordingly, Sejanus now
directed his attacks against the more powerful persons who might be
regarded as partisans of the house of Germanicus.

Despite the multiplications of prosecutions, it is to be noted that it
was still possible for a shrewd and tactful person, as exemplified by
the career of Marcus Lepidus, to uphold the principles of justice and
liberty without losing the favour of the emperor. Among other
prosecutions, that of Cremutius, whose crime was that of praising the
memory of Brutus and Cassius, demands attention, as the first of the

The ambitions of Sejanus received a check when he had the presumption to
request Tiberius to grant him the hand of the widow of Drusus in
marriage. In order the more surely to bring disgrace on the house of
Germanicus, he now implanted in the mind of Agrippina a conviction that
Tiberius intended to poison her. That such suspicions were mere
commonplaces of that terrible time is well illustrated by the story.
Incapable of hiding her feelings, the persistent gloom of her face and
voice, and her refusal of proffered dishes as she sat near Tiberius at
dinner, attracted his attention; to test her, he personally commended
and pressed on her some apples; this only intensified her suspicions,
and she gave them to the attendants untasted. Tiberius made no open
comment, but observed to his mother that it would hardly be surprising
should he contemplate harsh measures towards one who obviously took him
for a poisoner.

_III.--Morbid Tyrant and Dotard_

It was at this time that Tiberius withdrew himself from the capital, and
took up his residence at a country seat where hardly anyone had access
to him except Sejanus; whether at the favourite's suggestion or not is
uncertain. The retreat finally selected was the island of Caprae.

The monstrous lengths to which men of the highest rank were now prepared
to go to curry favour with Tiberius and Sejanus was exemplified in the
ruin of Sabinus, a loyal friend of the house of Germanicus. The
unfortunate man was tricked into speaking bitterly of Sejanus and
Tiberius. Three senators were actually hidden above the ceiling of the
room where he was entrapped into uttering unguarded phrases, and on this
evidence he was condemned.

The death of the aged Livia Augusta removed the last check on the
influence of Sejanus.

[The account of his two years of unqualified supremacy, and of his
sudden and utter overthrow has been lost, two books of the "Annals"
being missing here.]

From this time, the life of Tiberius at Caprae was one of morbid and
nameless debauchery. The condition of his mind may be inferred from the
opening words of one of his letters to the senate. "If I know what to
write, how to write it, what not to write, may the gods and goddesses
destroy me with a worse misery than the death I feel myself dying
daily." The end came when Macro, the prefect of the Praetorians, who, to
save his own life and secure the succession of Gaius Caesar Caligula, the
surviving son of Germanicus, caused the old emperor to be smothered.

[The record of the next ten years--the reign of Caligula, and the first
years of Claudius--is lost. When the story is taken up again, the wife
of Claudius, the infamous Messalina, was at the zenith of her evil

While the doting pedant Claudius was adding new letters to the alphabet,
Messalina was parading with utter shamelessness her last and fatal
passion for Silius, and went so far as publicly to marry her paramour.
It was the freedman Narcissus who made the outrageous truth known to
Claudius, and practically terrorised him into striking. Half measures
were impossible; a swarm of Messalina's accomplices in vice were put to
death. To her, Claudius showed signs of relenting; but Narcissus gave
the orders for her death without his knowledge. When they told Claudius
that she was dead, he displayed no emotion, but went on with his dinner,
and apparently forgot the whole matter.

A new wife had to be provided; Agrippina, the daughter of Germanicus,
niece of Claudius himself, and mother of the boy Domitius, who was to
become the emperor Nero, was the choice of the freedman Pallas, and
proved the successful candidate. Shortly after, her new husband adopted
Nero formally as his son. It was not long before she had assumed an air
of equality with her husband; and all men saw that she intended him to
be succeeded not by his own son Britannicus, but by hers, Nero.

Meanwhile, there had been a great revolt in Britain against the
propraetor Ostorius. First the Iceni took up arms, then the Brigantes;
then--a still more serious matter--the Silures, led by the most
brilliant of British warriors, Caractacus. Even his skill and courage,
however, were of no avail against the superior armament of the Roman
legions; his forces were broken up, and he himself, escaping to the
Brigantes, was by them betrayed to the Romans. The famous warrior was
carried to Rome, where by his dignified demeanour he won pardon and
liberty. In the Far East, Mithridates was overthrown by his nephew
Rhadamistus, and Parthia and Armenia remained in wild confusion. The
reign of Claudius was brought to an end by poison--the notorious Locusta
was employed by Agrippina for the purpose--and he was succeeded by Nero,
to whom his mother's artifices gave the priority over Britannicus.

_IV.--The Infamies of Nero_

At the outset the young emperor was guided by Seneca and Burrus; his
first speech--put into his mouth by Seneca, for he was no orator--was
full of promise. But he was encouraged in a passion for Acte, a
freed-woman, by way of counterpoise to the influence of his mother,
Agrippina. The latter, enraged at the dismissal of Pallas, threatened
her son with the legitimate claims of Britannicus, son of Claudius; Nero
had the boy poisoned. In terror now of his mother, he would have
murdered her, but was checked by Burrus. Nero's private excesses and
debaucheries developed, while the horrible system of delation
flourished, and prosecutions for treason abounded.

About this time the emperor's passion for Poppaea Sabina, the wife of
Otho, became the source of later disaster. Beautiful, brilliant, utterly
immoral, but complete mistress of her passions, she had married Nero's
boon companion. Otho was dispatched to Lusitania, and Poppaea remained at
Rome. Poppaea was bent on the imperial crown for herself, and urged Nero
against his mother. A mock reconciliation took place, but it was only
the preliminary to a treacherous plot for murdering the former empress.
The plot failed; her barge was sunk, but she escaped to shore. Nero,
however, with the shameful assent of Burrus and Seneca, dispatched
assassins to carry out the work, and Agrippina was slaughtered.

For a moment remorse seized Nero, but it was soon soothed; Burrus headed
the cringing congratulations of Roman society, to which Thrasea Paetus
was alone in refusing to be a party. The emperor forthwith began to
plunge into the wild extravagances on which his mother's life had been
some check. He took cover for his passion for chariot-driving and
singing by inducing men of noble birth to exhibit themselves in the
arena; high-born ladies acted in disreputable plays; the emperor himself
posed as a mime, and pretended to be a patron of poetry and philosophy.
The wildest licence prevailed, and there were those who ventured even to
defend it.

About this time the Roman governor in Britain, Suetonius, crossed the
Menai Strait and conquered the island of Anglesea. But outrages
committed against Boadicea, queen of the Iceni, stirred that tribe to
fierce revolt. Being joined by the Trinobantes, they fell upon the
Romans at Camulodunum and massacred them. Suetonius, returning hastily
from the west, found the Roman population in panic. The troops, however,
inspired by the general's resolution, won a decisive victory, in which
it is said that no fewer than 80,000 Britons, men and women, were

Not long after, Burrus died--in common belief, if not in actual fact, of
poison; and Seneca found himself driven into retirement, while
Tigellinus became Nero's favourite and confidant. Nero then capped his
matricide by suborning the same scoundrel who had murdered Agrippina to
bring foul and false charges against his innocent wife, Octavia; who was
thus done to death when not yet twenty, that her husband might be free
to marry Poppaea. As a matter of course, the crime was duly celebrated by
a public thanksgiving.

The dispatch of an incompetent general into Asia resulted in a most
inglorious Parthian campaign. Nero, however, was more interested first
in extravagant rejoicings at the birth of a daughter to Poppaea, and then
in equally extravagant mourning over the infant's death. It was well
that Corbulo, marching from Syria, restored the Roman prestige in the
Far East.

These events were followed by the famous fire which devastated Rome;
whether or no it was actually Nero's own work, rumour declared that he
appeared on a private stage while the conflagration was raging, and
chanted appropriately of the fall of Troy. He planned rebuilding on a
magnificent scale, and sought popularity by throwing the blame of the
fire--and putting to the most exquisite tortures--a class hated for
their abominations, called Christians, from their first leader,
Christus, who had suffered the extreme penalty under Pontius Pilate,
procurator of Judaea, in the reign of Tiberius.

A very widespread conspiracy was now formed against Nero, in favour of
one Gaius Calpurnius Piso; Faenius Rufus, an officer of the Praetorians,
who had been subordinated to Tigellinus, being one of the leaders. The
plot, however, was betrayed by a freedman of one of the conspirators.

* * * * *


The Conspiracy of Catiline

The Roman historian Caius Crispus Sallust, who was born at
Amiternum in 86 B.C., and died in 34 B.C., lived throughout
the active career of Julius Caesar, and died while Anthony and
Octavian were still rivals for the supreme power. It might be
supposed from his works that he was a person of eminent
virtue, but this was merely a literary pose. He was probably
driven into private life, in the first place, on account of
the scandals with which he was associated. He became a
partisan of Caesar in the struggle with Pompey, and to this he
owed the pro-consulship of Numidia, on the proceeds of which
he retired into leisured ease. Sallust aspired with very
limited success to assume the mantle of Thucydides, and the
role of a philosophic historian. He displays considerable
political acumen on occasion, but his assumption of stern
impartiality is hardly less a pose than his pretense of
elevated morality. His "Conspiracy of Catiline"--the first of
his historical essays--was probably written, in part at least,
with the object of dissociating Caesar from it; the lurid
colors in which he paints the conspirator are probably
exaggerated. But whether true or false, the picture presented
is a vivid one. This epitome is adapted specially from the
Latin text.

_I.--The Plotting_

I esteem the intellectual above the physical qualities of man; and the
task of the historian has attracted me because it taxes the writer's
abilities to the utmost Personal ambition had at first drawn me into
public life, but the political atmosphere, full of degradation and
corruption, was so uncongenial that I resolved to retire and devote
myself to the production of a series of historical studies, for which I
felt myself to be the better fitted by my freedom from the influences
which bias the political partisan. For the first of these studies I have
selected the conspiracy of Catiline.

Lucius Catilina [commonly called Catiline] was of high birth, richly
endowed both in mind and body, but of extreme depravity; with
extraordinary powers of endurance, reckless, crafty, and versatile, a
master in the arts of deception, at once grasping and lavish, unbridled
in his passions, ready of speech, but with little true insight Of
insatiable and inordinate ambitions, he was possessed, after Sulla's
supremacy, with a craving to grasp the control of the state, utterly
careless of the means, so the end were attained. Naturally headstrong,
he was urged forward by his want of money, the consciousness of his
crimes, and the degradation of morals in a society where luxury and
greed ruled side by side.

The wildest, the most reckless, the most prodigal, the most criminal,
were readily drawn into the circle of Catiline's associates; in such a
circle those who were not already utterly depraved very soon became so
under the sinister and seductive influence of their leader. This man,
who in the pursuit of his own vices had done his own son to death, did
not hesitate to encourage his pupils in every species of crime; and with
such allies, and the aid of the disbanded Sullan soldiery swarming in
Italy, he dreamed of subverting the Roman state while her armies, under
Gnaeus Pompeius, were far away.

The first step was to secure his own election as consul. One plot of his
had already failed, because Catiline himself had attempted to move
prematurely; but the conspirators remained scatheless. Those who were
now with Catiline included members of the oldest families and of
equestrian rank. Crassus himself was suspected of complicity, owing to
his rivalry with Pompeius. The assembled conspirators were addressed by
Catiline in a speech of the most virulent character. He urged these
social outcasts to rise against a bloated plutocracy battening on the
ill-gotten wealth to which his audience had just as good a title. He
promised the cancellation of all debts, the proscription of the wealthy,
and the general application of the rule of "the spoils to the victors."
He had friends at the head of the armies in Spain and Mauritania, if
Gaius Antonius were the other successful candidate for the consulship,
his co-operation, too, could be secured. Such was the purport of his
speech; but I do not credit the popular fiction that the conspirators
were solemnly pledged in a bowl of mingled wine and blood.

Rumours of the plot, however, began to leak out through a certain
Fulvia, mistress of Quintus Curio, a man who had been expelled from the
senatorial body on account of his iniquities; and this probably caused
many of the nobility to support, for the consulship, Cicero, whom, as a
"new man," they would otherwise have religiously opposed. The result was
that Catiline's candidature failed, and Cicero was elected with Gaius
Antonius for his colleague.

At length Cicero, seeing that the ferment was everywhere increasing to
an extent with which the ordinary law could not cope, obtained from the
senate the exceptional powers for dealing with a national emergency
which they had constitutional authority to grant. Thus, when news came
that a Catilinarian, Gaius Manlius, had risen in Etruria at the head of
an armed force, prompt administrative measures were taken to dispatch
adequate military forces to various parts of the country. Catiline
himself had taken no overt action; he now presented himself in the
senate, was openly assailed by Cicero, responded with insults which were
interrupted by cries of indignation, and flung from the house with the
words "Since I am beset by enemies and driven out, the fire you have
kindled about me shall be crushed out by the ruin of yourselves."

Seeing that delay would be fatal, he started at once for the camp of
Manlius, leaving Cethegus and Lentulus to keep up the ferment in Rome.
To several persons of position he sent letters announcing that he was
retiring to Marseilles; but, with misplaced confidence, he sent one of a
different and extremely compromising tenor to Quintus Catullus, which
the recipient read to the senate. It was next reported that he had
assumed the consular attributes and joined Manlius; whereupon he was
proclaimed a public enemy, a general levy was decreed, Antonius was
appointed to take the field, while Cicero was to remain in the capital.

_II.--The Downfall_

Meanwhile, Lentulus at Rome, among his various plots, intrigued to
obtain the support of the Allobroges, a tribe of Gauls from whom there
was at the time an embassy in Rome. The envoys, however, took the advice
of Quintus Fabius Sanga, and while he kept Cicero supplied with
information, themselves pretended to be at one with the conspirators.

Risings were now taking place all over Italy, though they were
ill-concerted. At Rome, the plan was that when Catiline's army was at
Faesulae, the tribune Lucius Bestia should publicly accuse Cicero of
having caused the war; and this was to be the signal for an organised
massacre, while the city itself was to be fired at twelve points
simultaneously. The insurgents were then to march out and join Catiline
at Faesulae.

The Allobroges were now departing, carrying with them letters from
Lentulus to Catiline; but according to a concerted plan, they were
arrested. This provided Cicero with evidence which warranted the arrest
of Lentulus and other ringleaders in Rome; and its publication created a
popular revulsion--the lower classes were not averse from plunder, but
saw no benefit to themselves in a general conflagration of Rome.

A certain Lucius Tarquinius was now captured, who gave information
tallying with what was already published, but further incriminated
Crassus. Crassus, however, was so wealthy, and had so many of the senate
in his power, that even those who believed the charge to be true,
thought it politic to pronounce it a gross fabrication. The danger of an
attempted rescue of Lentulus brought on a debate as to what should be
done with the prisoners. Caesar, from whatever motive, spoke forcibly
against any unconstitutional action which, however justified by the
enormity of the prisoners' guilt, might become a dangerous precedent. In
his opinion, the wise course would be to confiscate the property of the
prisoners, and to place their persons in custody not in Rome, but in
provincial towns.

Caesar's humanitarian statesmanship was answered by the grave austerity
of Cato. "The question for us is not that of punishing a crime, but of
preserving the state--or of what the degenerate Roman of to-day cares
for more than the state, our lives and property. To speak of clemency
and compassion is an abuse of terms only too common, when vices are
habitually dignified with the names of virtues. Let us for once act with
vigour and decision, and doom these convicted traitors to the death they
deserve." The decree of death was carried to immediate execution. In the
meantime, Catiline had raised a force numbering two legions, but not
more than a quarter of them were properly armed. He remained in the
hills, refusing to give battle to Antonius.

On hearing the fate of Lentulus and the rest, he attempted to retreat to
Gaul, but this movement was anticipated and intercepted by Metellus
Celer, who was posted at Picenum with three legions. With Antonius
pressing on his rear, Catiline resolved to hazard all on a desperate
engagement. In exhorting his troops, he dwelt on the fact that men
fighting for life and liberty were more than a match for a foe who had
infinitely less at stake.

Thus brought to bay, Catiline's soldiers met the attack of the
government troops with furious valour, their leader setting a brilliant
example of desperate daring, and the most vigilant and vigorous
generalship. But Petreius, on the other side, directed his force against
the rebel centre, shattered it, and took the wings in flank. Catiline's
followers stood and fought till they fell, with their wounds in front;
he himself hewed his way through the foe, and was found still breathing
at a distance from his own ranks. No quarter was given or taken; and
among the rebels there were no survivors. In the triumphant army, all
the stoutest soldiers were slain or wounded; mourning and grief mingled
with the elation of victory.

* * * * *


Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire--I

Edward Gibbon, son of a Hampshire gentleman, was born at
Putney, near London, April 27, 1737. After a preliminary
education at Westminster, and fourteen "unprofitable" months
at Magdalen College, Oxford, a whim to join the Roman church
led to his banishment to Lausanne, where he spent five years,
and acquired a mastery of the French language, formed his
taste for literary expression, and settled his religious
doubts in a profound scepticism. He served some years in the
militia, and was a member of parliament. It was in 1764, while
musing amidst, the ruins of the Capitol of Rome, that the idea
of writing "The Decline and Fall" of the city first started
into his mind. The vast work was completed in 1787. "A Study
in Literature," written in French, and his "Miscellaneous
Works," published after his death, which include "The Memoirs
of his Life and Writings," complete the list of his literary
labours. He died of dropsy on January 16, 1794. The portion of
the work which is epitomized here covers the period from the
reign of Commodus to the era of Charlemagne, and includes the
famous portion of the work dealing with the growth of the
Christian church.

_I.--Rome, Mistress of the World_

In the second century of the Christian era, the Empire of Rome
comprehended the fairest part of the earth, and the most civilised
portion of mankind. On the death of Augustus, that emperor bequeathed,
as a valuable legacy to his successors, the advice of confining the
empire within those limits which nature seemed to have placed as its
permanent bulwarks and boundaries--on the west the Atlantic Ocean, the
Rhine and Danube on the north, the Euphrates on the east, and towards
the south the sandy deserts of Arabia and Africa. The subsequent
settlement of Great Britain and Dacia supplied the two exceptions to the
precepts of Augustus, if we omit the transient conquests of Trajan in
the east, which were renounced by Hadrian.

By maintaining the dignity of the empire, without attempting to enlarge
its limits, the early emperors caused the Roman name to be revered among
the most remote nations of the earth. The terror of their arms added
weight and dignity to their moderation. They preserved peace by a
constant preparation for war. The soldiers, though drawn from the
meanest, and very frequently from the most profligate, of mankind, and
no longer, as in the days of the ancient republic, recruited from Rome
herself, were preserved in their allegiance to the emperor, and their
invincibility before the enemy, by the influences of superstition,
inflexible discipline, and the hopes of reward. The peace establishment
of the Roman army numbered some 375,000 men, divided into thirty
legions, who were confined, not within the walls of fortified cities,
which the Romans considered as the refuge of pusillanimity, but upon the
confines of the empire; while 20,000 chosen soldiers, distinguished by
the titles of City Cohorts and Praetorian Guards, watched over the safety
of the monarch and the capitol.

"Wheresoever the Roman conquers he inhabits," was a very just
observation of Seneca. Colonies, composed for the most part of veteran
soldiers, were settled throughout the empire. Rich and prosperous
cities, adorned with magnificent temples and baths and other public
buildings, demonstrated at once the magnificence and majesty of the
Roman system. In Britain, York was the seat of government. London was
already enriched by commerce, and Bath was celebrated for the salutary
effects of its medicinal waters.

All the great cities were connected with each other, and with the
capital, by the public highway, which, issuing from the Forum of Rome,
traversed Italy, pervaded the provinces, and was terminated only by the
frontiers of the empire. This great chain of communications ran in a
direct line from city to city, and in its construction the Roman
engineers snowed little respect for the obstacles, either of nature or
of private property. Mountains were perforated and bold arches thrown
over the broadest and most rapid streams. The middle part of the road,
raised into a terrace which commanded the adjacent country, consisted of
several strata of sand, gravel, and cement, and was paved with granite
or large stones. Distances were accurately computed by milestones, and
the establishment of post-houses, at a distance of five or six miles,
enabled a citizen to travel with ease a hundred miles a day along the
Roman roads.

This freedom of intercourse, which was established throughout the Roman
world, while it extended the vices, diffused likewise the improvements
of social life. Rude barbarians of Gaul laid aside their arms for the
more peaceful pursuits of agriculture. The cultivation of the earth
produced abundance in every portion of the empire, and accidental
scarcity in any single province was immediately relieved by the
plentifulness of its more fortunate neighbours. Since the productions of
nature are the materials of art, this flourishing condition of
agriculture laid the foundation of manufactures, which provided the
luxurious Roman with those refinements of conveniency, of elegance, and
of splendour which his tastes demanded. Commerce flourished, and the
products of Egypt and the East were poured out in the lap of Rome.

Though there still existed within the body of the Roman Empire an
unhappy condition of men who endured the weight, without sharing the
benefits of society, the position of a slave was greatly improved in the
progress of Roman development. The power of life and death was taken
from his master's hands and vested in the magistrate, to whom he had a
right to appeal against intolerable treatment. These magistrates
exercised the authority of the emperor and the senate in every quarter
of the empire, inflexibly maintaining in their administration, as in the
case of military government, the use of the Latin tongue. Greek was the
natural idiom of science, Latin that of government.

_II.--The Seeds of Dissolution_

But while Roman society persisted in a state of peaceful security, it
already contained within itself the seeds of dissolution. The long peace
and uniform government of the Romans introduced a slow and secret poison
into the vitals of the empire. The minds of men were gradually reduced
to the same level, the fire of genius was extinguished, and even the
military spirit evaporated. The citizens received laws and covenants
from the will of their sovereign, and trusted for their defence to a
mercenary army. Of their ancient freedom nothing remained except the
name, and that Augustus, sensible that mankind is governed by names, was
careful to preserve.

It was by the will of the senate the emperor ruled. It was from the
senate that he received the ancient titles of the republic--of consul,
tribune, pontiff, and censor. Even his title of _imperator_ was decreed
him, according to the custom of the republic, only for a period of ten
years. But this specious pretence, which was preserved until the last
days of the empire, did not mask the real autocratic authority of the
emperor. The fact that he nominated citizens to the senate was proof, if
proof were needed, that the independence of that body was destroyed; for
the principles of a free constitution are irrecoverably lost when the
legislative power is nominated by the executive.

Moreover, the dependence of the emperor on the legions completely
subverted the civil authority. To keep the military power, which had
given him his position, from undermining it, Augustus had summoned to
his aid whatever remained in the fierce minds of his soldiers of Roman
prejudices, and interposing the majesty of the senate between the
emperor and the army, boldly claimed their allegiance as the first
magistrate of the republic. During a period of 220 years, the dangers
inherent to a military government were in a great measure suspended by
this artful system. The soldiers were seldom roused to that fatal sense
of their own strength and of the weakness of the civil authority which
afterwards was productive of such terrible calamities.

The emperors Caligula and Domitian were assassinated in their palace by
their own domestics. The Roman world, it is true, was shaken by the
events that followed the death of Nero, when, in the space of eighteen
months, four princes perished by the sword. But, excepting this violent
eruption of military licence, the two centuries from Augustus to
Commodus passed away unstained with civil blood and undisturbed by
revolution. The Roman citizens might groan under the tyranny, from which
they could not hope to escape, of the unrelenting Tiberius, the furious
Caligula, the profligate and cruel Nero, the beastly Vitellius, and the
timid, inhuman Domitian; but order was maintained, and it was not until
Commodus, the son of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, the philosopher,
succeeded to the authority that his father had exercised for the benefit
of the Roman Empire that the army fully realised, and did not fail to
exercise, the power it had always possessed.

During the first three years of his reign the vices of Commodus affected
the emperor rather than the state. While the young prince revelled in
licentious pleasures, the management of affairs remained in the hands of
his father's faithful councillors; but, in the year 183, the attempt of
his sister Lucilla to assassinate him produced fatal results. The
assassin, in attempting the deed, exclaimed, "The senate sends you
this!" and though the blow never reached the body of the emperor, the
words sank deep into his heart.

He turned upon the senate with relentless cruelty. The possession of
either wealth or virtue excited the tyrant's fury. Suspicion was
equivalent to proof; trial to condemnation, and the noblest blood of the
senate was poured out like water.

He has shed with impunity the noblest blood of Rome; he perished as soon
as he was dreaded by his own domestics. A cup of drugged wine, delivered
by his favourite concubine, plunged him in a deep sleep. At the
instigation of Laetus, his Praetorian prefect, a robust youth was admitted
into his chamber, and strangled him without resistance. With secrecy and
celerity the conspirators sought out Pertinax, the prefect of the city,
an ancient senator of consular rank, and persuaded him to accept the
purple. A large donative secured them the support of the Praetorian
guard, and the joyous senate eagerly bestowed upon the new Augustus all
the titles of imperial power.

For eighty-six days Pertinax ruled the empire with firmness and
moderation, but the strictness of the ancient discipline that he
attempted to restore in the army excited the hatred of the Praetorian
guards, and the new emperor was struck down on March 28, 193.

_III.--An Empire at Auction_

The Praetorians had violated the sanctity of the throne by the atrocious
murder of Pertinax; they dishonored the majesty of it with their
subsequent conduct. They ran out upon the ramparts of the city, and with
a loud voice proclaimed that the Roman world was to be disposed of to
the best bidder by public auction. Sulpicianus, father-in-law of
Pertinax, and Didius Julianus, bid against each other for the prize. It
fell to Julian, who offered upwards of L1,000 sterling to each of the
soldiers, and the author of this ignominious bargain received the
insignia of the empire and the acknowledgments of a trembling senate.

The news of this disgraceful auction was received by the legions of the
frontiers with surprise, with indignation, and, perhaps, with envy.
Albinus, governor of Britain, Niger, governor of Syria, and Septimius
Severus, a native of Africa, commander of the Pannonian army, prepared
to revenge the death of Pertinax, and to establish their own claims to
the vacant throne. Marching night and day, Severus crossed the Julian
Alps, swept aside the feeble defences of Julian, and put an end to a
reign of power which had lasted but sixty-six days, and had been
purchased with such immense treasure. Having secured the supreme
authority, Severus turned his arms against his two competitors, and
within three years, and in the course of two or three battles,
established his position and brought about the death of both Albinus and

The prosperity of Rome revived, and a profound peace reigned throughout
the world. At the same time, Severus was guilty of two acts which were
detrimental to the future interests of the republic. He relaxed the
discipline of the army, increased their pay beyond the example of former
times, re-established the Praetorian guards, who had been abolished for
their transaction with Julian, and welded more firmly the chains of
tyranny by filling the senate with his creatures. At the age of
sixty-five in the year 211, he expired at York of a disorder which was
aggravated by the labours of a campaign against the Caledonians.

Severus recommended concord to his sons, Caracalla and Geta, and his
sons to the army. The government of the civilised world was entrusted to
the hands of brothers who were implacable enemies. A latent civil war
brooded in the city, and hardly more than a year passed before the
assassins of Caracalla put an end to an impossible situation by
murdering Geta. Twenty thousand persons of both sexes suffered death
under the vague appellation of the friends of Geta. The fears of
Macrinus, the controller of the civil affairs of the Praetorian
prefecture, brought about his death in the neighbourhood of Carrhae in
Syria on April 8, 217.

For a little more than a year his successor governed the empire, but the
necessary step of reforming the army brought about his ruin. On June 7,
218, he succumbed to the superior fortune of Elagabulus, the grandson of
Severus, a youth trained in all the superstitions and vices of the East.

Under this sovereign Rome was prostituted to the vilest vices of which
human nature is capable. The sum of his infamy was reached when the
master of the Roman world affected to copy the dress and manners of the
female sex. The shame and disgust of the soldiers resulted in his murder
on March 10, 222, and the proclamation of his cousin, Alexander Severus.

Again the necessity of restoring discipline within the army led to the
ruin of the emperor, and, despite thirteen years of just and moderate
government, Alexander was murdered in his tent on March 19, 235, on the
banks of the Rhine, and Maximin, his chief lieutenant, a Thracian,
reigned in his stead.

_IV.--Tyranny and Disaster_

Fear of contempt, for his origin was mean and barbarian, made Maximin
one of the cruellest tyrants that ever oppressed the Roman world. During
the three years of his reign he disdained to visit either Rome or Italy,
but from the banks of the Rhine and the Danube oppressed the whole
state, and trampled on every principle of law and justice. The tyrant's
avarice ruined not only private citizens, but seized the municipal funds
of the cities, and stripped the very temples of their gold and silver

Maximus and Balbinus, on July 9, 237, were declared emperors. The


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