EVENTS OF THE WAR.—The Romans were fully alive to the peril, and prepared to meet it. Even the proletarians, who were not liable to military service, were enrolled. The first great battle took place at Heraclea, near the little river Siris (280 B.C.). Then the Roman cohort and the Macedonian phalanx met for the first time. It was a collision of trained mercenary troops with the citizen soldiery of Rome. It was a struggle between the Greek and the Roman for the ascendency. The confusion caused by the elephants of Pyrrhus, an encounter with which was something new and strange to the Romans, turned the tide in his favor. "A few more such victories," said Pyrrhus, "and I am ruined." He desired peace, and sent Cineas as a messenger to the Senate. But Appius Claudius, who had been consul and censor, and was now old and blind, begged them not to make peace as long as there was an enemy in Italy. Cineas reported that he found the Senate "an assembly of kings." In the next year, the two armies, each with its allies numbering seventy thousand men, met at Asculum (279). After a bloody conflict, Pyrrhus remained in possession of the field, but with an enormous loss of men. The Syracusans in Sicily, who had been hard pressed by the Carthaginians, now called upon him to aid them. He was not reluctant to leave Italy. The Romans captured all the cities on the south coast, except Tarentum and Rhegium. After two years' absence, Pyrrhus returned to Italy. His fleet, on the passage from Sicily, was defeated by the Carthaginians. At Beneventum, he was completely vanquished by the Romans, who captured thirteen hundred prisoners and four elephants. Pyrrhus returned to Epirus; and, after his death (272), Milon, who commanded the garrison left by him in Tarentum, surrendered the city and fortress. The Tarentines agreed to deliver up their ships and arms, and to demolish their walls. One after another of the resisting tribes yielded to the Romans, ceding portions of their territory, and receiving Roman colonies. In 266, the Roman sway was established over the whole peninsula proper, from the Rubicon and the Macra to the southern extremity of Calabria.
CITIZENSHIP.—In order to understand Roman history, it is necessary to have a clear idea of the Roman system in respect to citizenship. All burgesses of Rome enjoyed the same rights. These were both Public and Private. The private rights of a Roman citizen were (1) the power of legal marriage with the families of all other citizens; (2) the power of making legal purchases and sales, and of holding property; and (3) the right to bequeath and inherit property. The public rights were, (1) the power of voting wherever a citizen was permitted to vote; (2) the power of being elected to all offices.
CONQUERED TOWNS.—"The Roman dominion in Italy was a dominion of a city over cities." With regard to conquered towns, there were, (i) Municipal cities (municipia) the inhabitants of which, when they visited Rome, could exercise all the rights of citizens. (2) Municipal cities which had the private, but not the public, rights of citizenship. Some of them chose their own municipal officers, and some did not. (3) Latin Colonies, as they were called. Lands ceded by conquered places were divided among poor Roman citizens, who constituted the ruling class in the communities to which they were transplanted. In the Latin colonies, the citizens had given up their public rights as citizens. (4) Towns of a lower class, called Praefectures. In these, the principal magistrate was the Prefect, who was appointed by the Praetor (Praeter Urbanus) at Rome.
THE ALLIES (Socii).—These were a more favored class of cities. They had their relation to Rome defined by treaty. Generally they appointed their own magistrates, but were bound, as were all subject cities, to furnish auxiliary troops for Rome.
THE LATIN FRANCHISE.—This was the privilege which was first given to the cities of Latium and then to inhabitants of other places. It was the power, on complying with certain conditions, of gaining full citizenship, and thus of taking part in elections at Rome.
ROMAN COLONIES.—The Roman Colony (which is not to be confounded with the Latin Colony referred to above) was a small body of Roman citizens, transplanted, with their families, to a spot selected by the government. They formed a military station. To them lands taken from the native inhabitants were given. They constituted the ruling class in the community where they were established. Their government was modeled after the government at Rome. They retained their rights as Roman burgesses, which they could exercise whenever they were in that city. By means of these colonies, planted in places wisely chosen, Italy was kept in subjection. The colonies were connected together by roads. The Appian Way, from Rome to Capua, was built in the midst of the conflict with Samnium. It was made of large, square stones, laid on a platform of sand and mortar. In later times the Roman Empire was traversed in all directions by similar roads.
PERIOD III. THE PUNIC WARS: TO THE CONQUEST OF CARTHAGE AND OF THE GREEK STATES. (264-146 B.C.)
CHAPTER I. THE FIRST AND SECOND PUNIC WABS (264-202 B.C.).
THE FIRST PUNIC WAR.—By dint of obstinacy, and hard fighting through long centuries, the Romans had united under them all Italy, or all of what was then known as Italy. It was natural that they should look abroad. The rival power in the West was the great commercial city of Carthage. The jealousy between Rome and Carthage had slumbered so long as they were threatened by the invasion of Pyrrhus, which was dangerous to both. Sicily, from its situation, could hardly fail to furnish the occasion of a conflict. The Mamertines, a set of Campanian pirates, had captured Messana. They were attacked by Hiero II., king of Syracuse. A part of them besought help of the Romans, and a part applied to the Carthaginians. The gravity of the question, whether Rome should enter on an untried path, the end of which no man could foresee, caused hesitation. The assemblies voted to grant the request. The Romans had begun as early as 311 to create a fleet. The ships which they now used, however, were mostly furnished by their South Italian allies. They crossed the channel, and drove out the Carthaginian garrison from Messana. The Carthaginians declared war (264). Hiero was gained over to the side of the Romans; and after a bloody conflict, with heavy losses to both armies, the city of Agrigentum was captured by the Romans. The Romans were novices on the sea, where the Carthaginians were supreme. Successful on the land, the former were beaten in naval encounters. One of the most characteristic proofs of the energy of the Romans is their creation of a fleet, at this epoch, to match that of their sea-faring enemies. Using, it is said, for a model, a Carthaginian vessel wrecked on the shore of Italy, they constructed quinqueremes, vessels with five banks of oars, furnished with bridges to drop on the decks of the hostile ships,—thus giving to a sea-fight a resemblance to a combat on land. At first, as might be expected, the Romans were defeated; but in 260, under the consul Caius Duilius, they won their first naval victory at Mylae, west of Messana. The Roman Senate decided to invade Africa. A fleet of three hundred and thirty vessels sailed under the command of the consul M. Atilius Regulus, which was met by a Carthaginian fleet at Ecnomus, on the south coast of Sicily. The Carthaginians were completely vanquished. The Romans landed at Clupea, to the east of Carthage, and ravaged the adjacent district. There Regulus remained with half the army, fifteen thousand men. The Carthaginians sued for peace; but when he required them to surrender all their ships of war except one, and to come into a dependent relation to Rome, they spurned the proposal. Re-enforcing themselves with mercenaries from Greece under the command of the Spartan, Xanthippus, they overpowered and captured Regulus in a battle at Tunis (255). A Roman fleet, sent to Clupea for the rescue of the troops, on the return voyage lost three-fourths of its ships in a storm. The Carthaginians, under Hasdrubal, resumed hostilities in Sicily. He was defeated by the consul Caecilius Metellus, at Panormus, who included among his captures one hundred elephants (251). The story of the embassy of Regulus to Rome with the Carthaginian offer of peace, of his advising the Senate not to accept it, of his voluntary return according to a promise, and of his cruel death at the hands of his captors, is probably an invention of a later time. The hopes of the Romans, in consequence of their success at Panormus, revived; but two years later, under Appius Claudius at Drepanum, they were defeated on sea and on land. Once more their naval force was prostrated. Warfare was now carried forward on land, where, in the south of Sicily, the Carthaginian leader, Hamilcar Barca, maintained himself against Roman attacks for six years, and sent out privateers to harass the coasts of Italy. Finally, at Rome, there was an outburst of patriotic enthusiasm. Rich men gave liberally, and treasures of the temples were devoted to the building of a new fleet. This fleet, under command of C. Lutatius Catulus, gained a decisive victory over the Carthaginian Hanno, at the Aegatian Islands, opposite Lilybaeum (241). The Carthaginians were forced to conclude peace, and to make large concessions. They gave up all claim to Italy and to the neighboring small islands. They were to pay an indemnity, equal to four million dollars, in ten years. The western part of Sicily was now constituted a province, the first of the Roman provinces.
CONQUEST OF CISALPINE GUAL.—The Carthaginians were for some time busy at home in putting down a revolt of mercenary troops, whose wages they refused to pay in full. The Romans snatched the occasion to extort a cession of the island of Sardinia (238), which they subsequently united with Corsica in one province. They entered, about ten years later (229-228), upon an important and successful war against the Illyrian pirates, whose depredations on the coasts of the Adriatic and Ionian seas were very daring and destructive. The Greek cities which the pirates held were surrendered. The sway of the Romans in the Adriatic was secured, and their supremacy in Corcyra, Epidamnus, and other important places. The next contest was a terrific one with the Cisalpine Gauls, who were stirred up by the founding of Roman military colonies on the Adriatic, and by other proceedings of Rome. They called in the help of transalpine Gauls, and entered Etruria, on their way to Rome, with an army of seventy thousand men. They met the Roman armies near Telamon, south of the mouth of the Umbro, but were routed, with a loss of forty thousand men slain, and ten thousand men prisoners (225). The Romans marched northward, crossed the Po, and subdued the most powerful of the Gallic tribes, the Insubrians (223). Other victories in the following year reduced the whole of upper Italy, with Mediolanum (Milan) the capital of the Insubrians, under Roman rule. Fortresses were founded as usual, and the great Flaminian and Aemilian roads connected that region with the capital. Later, Cisalpine Gaul became a Roman province.
CARTHAGINIANS IN SPAIN.—Meantime Carthage endeavored in Southern Spain to make up for its losses. The old tribes, the Celtiberians and Lusitanians in the central and western districts, and the Cantabrians and Basques in the north, brave as they were, were too much divided by tribal feuds to make an effectual resistance. The national party at Carthage, which wished for war, had able leaders in Hamilcar and his three sons. By the military skill of Hamilcar, and of Hasdrubal his son-in-law, the Carthaginians built up a flourishing dominion on the south and east coasts. The Romans watched the growth of the Carthaginian power there with discontent, and compelled Hasdrubal to declare in a treaty that the Ebro should be the limit of Carthaginian conquests (226). At the same time Rome made a protective alliance with Saguntum, a rich and powerful trading-city on the south of that river. Hasdrubal was murdered in 221; and the son of Hamilcar Barca, Hannibal, who was then only twenty-eight years old, was chosen by the army to be their general. He laid hold of a pretext for beginning an attack upon Saguntum, which he took after a stout resistance, prolonged for eight months (219). The demand of a Roman embassy at Carthage—that Hannibal should be delivered up—being refused, Rome declared war.
When the Carthaginian Council hesitated at the proposal of the Roman embassy, their spokesman, Quintus Fabius, said that he carried in his bosom peace or war: they might chose either. They answered, "We take what you give us;" whereupon the Roman opened his toga, saying, "I give you war!" The Carthaginians shouted, "So let it be!"
THE SECOND PUNIC WAR.—When the treaty of Catulus was made (241), all patriots at Carthage felt that it was only a truce. They must have seen that Rome would never be satisfied with any thing short of the abject submission of so detested and dangerous a rival. There was a peace party, an oligarchy, at Carthage; and it was their selfishness which ultimately brought ruin upon the state. But the party which saw that the only safety was in aggressive action found a military leader in Hannibal,—a leader not surpassed, and perhaps not equaled, by any other general of ancient or modern times. He combined skill with daring, and had such a command over men, that under the heaviest reverses his influence was not broken. If he was cruel, it is doubtful whether he went beyond the practices sanctioned by the international law of the time and by Roman example. When a boy nine years old, at his father's request he had sworn upon the altar never to be the friend of the Roman people. That father he saw fall in battle at his side. The oath he kept, for Rome never had a more unyielding or a more powerful enemy.
HANNIBAL IN ITALY.—In the summer of 218, Hannibal crossed the Ebro, conquered the peoples between the Ebro and the Pyrenees, and, leaving his brother Hasdrubal in Spain, pushed into Gaul with an army of fifty thousand foot, twelve thousand horse, and thirty-seven elephants. He crossed the swift Rhone in the face of the Gauls who disputed the passage, and then made his memorable march over the Alps, probably by the way now known as the Little St. Bernard pass. Through ice and snow, climbing over crags and circling abysses, amid perpetual conflicts with the rough mountaineers who rolled stones down on the toiling soldiers, the army made its terrible journey into Northern Italy. Fifteen days were occupied in the passage. Half the troops, with all the draught-animals and beasts of burden, perished on the way. The Cisalpine Gauls welcomed Hannibal as a deliverer. No sooner had the valiant consul, Cornelius Scipio, been defeated in a cavalry battle on the Ticinus, a northern branch of the Po (218), and, severely wounded, retreated to Placentia, and his rash colleague, Sempronius, been defeated with great loss in a second battle on the Trebia, than the Gauls joined Hannibal, and reinforced him with sixty thousand troops inured to war. Hannibal, by marching through the swampy district of the Arno, where he himself lost an eye, flanked the defensive position of the Romans. The consul Flaminius was decoyed into a narrow pass; and, in the battle of Lake Trasumenus (217), his army of thirty thousand men was slaughtered or made prisoners. The consul himself was killed. All Etruria was lost. The way seemed open to Rome; but, supported by the Latins and Italians, the Romans did not quail, or lower their mien of stern defiance. They appointed a leading patrician, Quintus Fabius Maximus, dictator. Hannibal, not being able to surprise and capture the fortress of Spoletium, preferred to march towards the sea-coast, and thence south into Apulia. His purpose was to open communication with Carthage, and to gain over to his support the eastern tribes of Italy. Fabius, the Delayer (Cunctator), as he was called, followed and watched his enemy, inflicting what injuries he could, but avoiding a pitched battle. The Roman populace were impatient of the cautious, but wise and effective, policy of Fabius. In the following year (216) the consulship was given to L. Aemilius Paulus—who was chosen by the upper class, the Optimates—and C. Terentius Varro, who was elected by the popular party for the purpose of taking the offensive. Varro precipitated a battle at Cannae, in Apulia, where the Romans suffered the most terrible defeat they had ever experienced. At the lowest computation, they lost forty thousand foot and three thousand horse, with the consul Aemilius Paulus, and eighty men of senatorial rank. No such calamity since the capture of Rome by the Gauls had ever occurred. The Roman Senate did not lose heart. They limited the time of mourning for the dead to thirty days. They refused to admit to the city the ambassadors of Hannibal, who came for the exchange of prisoners. With lofty resolve they ordered a levy of all who could bear arms, including boys and even slaves. They put into their hands weapons from the temples, spoils of former victories. They thanked Varro that he had not despaired of the Republic. Some of the Italian allies went over to Hannibal. But all the Latin cities and all the Roman colonies remained loyal. The allies of Rome did not fall away as did the allies of Athens after the Syracusan disaster. It has been thought, that, if Hannibal had followed up the victory at Cannae by marching at once on the capital, the Roman power might have been overthrown. What might then have been the subsequent course of European history? Even the Roman school-boys, according to Juvenal, discussed the question whether he did not make a mistake in not attacking Rome. But it is quite doubtful whether he could have taken the city, or, even if he had taken it, whether his success would then have been complete. He took the wiser step of getting into his hands Capua, the second city in Italy. He may have hoped to seize a Campanian port, where he could disembark reinforcements "which his great victories had wrung from the opposition at home." Hannibal judged it best to go into winter-quarters at Capua, where his army was in a measure enervated by pleasure and vice. Carthage made an alliance with Philip V. of Macedonia, and with Hiero of Syracuse. But fortune turned in favor of the Romans. At Nola, Hannibal was repulsed by Marcellus (215); and, since he could obtain no substantial help from home, he was obliged to act on the defensive. Marcellus crossed into Sicily, and, after a siege of three years, captured Syracuse, which had been aided in its defense by the philosopher Archimedes. Capua, in 211, surrendered to the Romans, and was visited with a fearful chastisement. Hannibal's Italian allies forsook him, and his only reliance was on his brother in Spain. For a long time, the two brothers, Publius and Cnaeus Scipio, maintained there the Roman cause successfully; but they were defeated and slain (212).
SCIPIO: ZAMA.—Publius Cornelius Scipio, son of one and nephew of the other Scipio just named, a young man twenty-five years old, and a popular favorite, took the command, and gained important successes; but he could not keep Hasdrubal from going to his brother's assistance in Italy. The Romans, however, were able to prevent a junction of his force with that of Hannibal; and Hasdrubal was vanquished and slain by them in the battle of Sena Gallica, near the little river Metaurus (207). Scipio expelled the Carthaginians from Spain, and, having returned to Rome, was made consul (205). His plan was to invade Africa. He landed on the coast, and was joined by Masinissa, the king of Numidia, who had been driven from his throne by Syphax, the ally of Carthage. The defeat of the Carthaginians, and the danger of Carthage itself, led to the recall of Hannibal, who was defeated, in 202, by Scipio in the decisive battle of Zama. Carthage made peace, giving up all her Spanish possessions and islands in the Mediterranean, handing over the kingdom of Syphax to Masinissa, and agreeing to pay a yearly tribute equal to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, for fifty years, to destroy all their ships of war but ten, and to make no war without the consent of the Romans (201). Scipio Africanus, as he was termed, came back in triumph to Rome. The complete subjugation of Upper Italy followed (200-191).
CHAPTER II. CONQUEST OF MACEDONIA: THE THIRD PUNIC WAR: THE DESTRUCTION OF CORINTH (202-146 B.C.).
PHILIP V.: ANTIOCHUS III.—The Romans were now dominant in the West. They were strong on the sea, as on the land. Within fifty years Rome likewise became the dominant power in the East. Philip V. of Macedon had made an alliance with Hannibal, but had furnished him no valuable aid. The Senate maintained that a body of Macedonian mercenaries had fought against the Romans at Zama. Rhodes and Athens, together with King Attalus of Pergamon, sought for help against Philip. The Romans were joined by the AEtolians, and afterwards by the Achaians. In 197, the consul T. Quintius Flamininus defeated him at the battle of Cynoscephalae in Thessaly, and imposed upon him such conditions of peace as left him powerless against the interests of Rome. At the Isthmian games, amid great rejoicing, Flamininus declared the Greek states independent. When they found that their freedom was more nominal than real, and involved a virtual subjection to Rome, the AEtolians took up arms, and obtained the support of Antiochus III., king of Syria. Another grievance laid at the door of this king was the reception by him of Hannibal, a fugitive from Carthage, whose advice, however, as to the conduct of the war, Antiochus had not the wisdom to follow. In 190 he was vanquished by a Roman army at Magnesia, under L. Cornelius Scipio, with whom was present, as an adviser, Scipio Africanus. He was forced to give up all his Asiatic possessions as far as the Taurus mountains. The territory thus obtained, the Romans divided among their allies, Pergamon and Rhodes. About seven years later (183), Hannibal, who had taken refuge at the court of Prusias, king of Bithynia, finding that he was to be betrayed, took poison and died. The ingratitude of his country, or of the ruling party in it, did not move him to relax his exertions against Rome. He continued until his death to be her most formidable antagonist, exerting in exile an effective influence in the East to create combinations against her.
PERSEUS.—Philip V. laid a plan to avenge himself on the Romans, and regain his lost Macedonian territory. Perseus, his son, followed in the same path, having slain his brother Demetrius, who was a friend of Rome. The war broke out in 171. For several campaigns the management of the Roman generals was ill-judged; but at last L. AEmilius Paulus, son of the consul who fell at Cannae, routed the Macedonians at the battle of Pydna. Immense spoils were brought to Rome by the conqueror. Perseus himself, who had sat on the throne of Alexander, adorned the consul's triumphal procession through the streets of Rome. The cantons of Greece, where there was nothing but continual strife and endless confusion, were subjected to Roman influence. One thousand Achaians of distinction, among them the historian Polybius, were carried to Italy, and kept under surveillance for many years. The imperious spirit of Rome, and the deference accorded to her, is illustrated in the interview of C. Popilius Laenas, who delivered to Antiochus IV. of Syria a letter of the Senate, directing him to retire from before Alexandria. When that monarch replied that he would confer with his counselors on the matter, the haughty Roman drew a circle round him on the ground, and bade him decide before he should cross that line. Antiochus said that he would do as the Senate ordered.
THE THIRD PUNIC WAR.—The treaty with Carthage had bound that city hand and foot. Against the encroachments of Masinissa, the Carthaginians could do nothing; but at length they were driven to take up arms to repel them. This act the Romans pronounced a breach of the treaty (149). That stern old Roman, who in his youth had served against Hannibal, M. Porcius Cato, had been unceasing in his exhortation to destroy Carthage. He was in the habit of ending his speeches with the saying, "But I am of opinion that Carthage should be destroyed." The Roman armies landed at Utica. Their hard demands, which included the surrender of war-ships and weapons, were complied with. But when the Carthaginians were required to abandon their city, and to make a new settlement ten miles distant, they rose in a fury of patriotic wrath. The women cut off their hair to make bowstrings. Day and night the people worked, in forging weapons and in building a new fleet in the inner harbor. The Romans were repulsed; but P. Scipio AEmilianus, the adopted son of the first Scipio Africanus, shut in the city by land and by sea, and, in 146, captured and destroyed it. Its defenders fought from street to street, and from house to house. Only a tenth part of the inhabitants were left alive. These were sold into slavery. Carthage was set on fire, and almost entirely consumed. The fire burned for seventeen days. The remains of the Carthaginian wall, when excavated in recent times, "were found to be covered with a layer of ashes from four to five feet deep, filled with half-charred pieces of wood, fragments of iron, and projectiles." Scipio would have preserved the city, but the Senate was inexorable. With the historian Polybius at his side, the Roman commander, as he looked down on the horrors of the conflagration, sorrowfully repeated the lines of Homer,—
"The day shall come when sacred Troy shall be leveled with the plain, And Priam and the people of that good warrior slain."
"Assyria," he is said to have exclaimed, "had fallen, and Persia and Macedon. Carthage was burning: Rome's day might come next." Carthage was converted into a Roman province under the name of Africa.
DESTRUCTION OF CORINTH.—The atrocious crime of the destruction of Carthage was more than matched by the contemporaneous destruction of Corinth. Another rising in Macedonia resulted, in 146, in the conversion of that ancient kingdom into a Roman province. The return to Greece of three hundred Achaian exiles who had been detained in Italy for sixteen years, strengthened the anti-Roman party in Greece, and helped to bring on war with the Achaian league. In 146, after the battle of Leucopetra, Corinth was occupied by the consul L. Mummius. The men were put to the sword; the women and children were sold at auction into slavery; all treasures, all pictures, and other works of art, were carried off to Rome, and the city was consigned to the flames. The other Greek cities were mildly treated, but placed under the governor of Macedonia, and obliged to pay tribute to Rome. At a later date Greece became a Roman province under the name of Achaia.
THE PROVINCES.—At this epoch, there were eight provinces,—Sicily (241), Sardinia (238) and Corsica, two provinces in Spain (205), Cisalpine Gaul, Illyricum (168), Africa (146), Macedonia (146), and Achaia. The first four were governed by Praetors. Later, however, the judicial functions of the praetors kept them in Rome. At the end of the year, the praetor, on laying down his office at home, went as propraetor to rule a province. But where there was war or other grave disturbances, the province was assigned to a consul in office, or to a proconsul, who was either the consul of the preceding year, or an ex-consul, or an ex-praetor who was appointed proconsul. The provinces were generally organized by the conquering general and a senatorial commission. Some cities retained their municipal government. These were the "free cities." The taxes were farmed out to collectors called publicans, who were commonly of the equestrian order. The last military dictator was appointed in 216. In times of great danger, dictatorial power was given to a consul.
LITERATURE AND PHILOSOPHY.—The intercourse of the Romans with the Greeks opened to the former a new world of art, literature, and philosophy, and a knowledge of other habits and modes of life. There were those who regarded the Greek authors and artists with sympathy, and showed an intelligent enthusiasm for the products of Greek genius. Under the patronage of the Scipios, Roman poets wrote in imitation of Greek models. Such were Plautus (who died in 184), and the less original, but more refined, Terence (185-159), who had been the slave of a senator. Ennius (239-169), a Calabrian Greek, wrote epics, and also tragedies and comedies. Him the later Romans regarded as the father of their literature. The beginnings of historical writing—which go beyond mere chronicles and family histories—appear, as in the lost work on Roman history by M. Portias Cato (Cato the Censor, 234-149). The great historian of this period, however, was the Greek Polybius. The Greek philosophy was introduced, in spite of the vigorous opposition of such austere conservatives as Cato. Panaetius (185-112), the Stoic from Rhodes, had a cordial reception at Rome. The Stoic teaching was adapted to the Roman mind. The Platonic philosophy was brought in by Carneades. This was frequently more acceptable to orators and statesmen. Along with the Stoic, the Epicurean school found adherents. Cato—who, although a historian and an orator, was, in theory and practice, a rigid man, with the simple ways of the old time—procured the banishment of Carneades, together with Critolaus the Peripatetic, and the Stoic Diogenes. The schools of oratory he caused to be shut up. He did what he could to prevent the introduction of the healing art, as it was practiced by the Greeks. He preferred the old-fashioned domestic remedies.
THE STATE OF MORALS.—If the opposition of the Conservatives to Greek letters and philosophy was unreasonable, as it certainly proved futile, there was abundant ground for alarm and regret at the changes that were going on in morals and in ways of living. The conquest of Greece and of the East brought an amazing increase of wealth. Rome plundered the countries which she conquered. The optimates, the leading families, who held the chief offices in the state and in the army, grew very rich from the booty which they gained. They left their small dwellings for stately palaces, which they decorated with works of art, gained by the pillage of nations. They built villas in the country, with extensive grounds and beautiful gardens. Even women, released from the former strict subordination of the wife to her husband, indulged lavishly in finery, and plunged into gaieties inconsistent with the household virtues. The optimates, in order to enrich themselves further, often resorted to extortion of various sorts. In order to curry favor with the people, and thereby to get their votes, they stooped to flattery, and to demagogical arts which the earlier Romans would have despised. They provided games, at great expense, for the entertainment of the populace. In the room of the invigorating and of the intellectual contests, which had been in vogue among the Greeks, the Romans acquired an increasing relish for bloody gladiatorial fights of men with wild beasts, and of men against one another. Slaves multiplied to an enormous extent: "as cheap as a Sardinian" was a proverb. The race of plain farmers dwindled away. The trade in slaves became a flourishing branch of business. Field-hands toiled in fetters, and were often branded to prevent escape. If slaves ran away, and were caught, they might be crucified. If a householder were killed by a slave, all the slaves in his house might be put to death. As at Athens, the testimony of slaves was given under torture. Hatred to the master on the part of the slave was a thing of course. "As many enemies as slaves," was a common saying.
NUMANTIAN WAR.—The intolerable oppression of the provinces occasionally provoked resistance. It was in Spain that the Romans found it most difficult to quell the spirit of freedom. The Lusitanians in the territory now called Portugal, under a gallant chieftain, Viriathus, maintained for nine years a war in which they were mostly successful, and were finally worsted only in consequence of the perfidious assassination of their leader (149-140). The Celtiberians, whose principal city, Numantia, was on the upper Douro, kept up their resistance with equal valor for ten years (143-133). On one occasion a Roman army of twenty thousand men was saved from destruction by engagements which the Senate, as after the surrender at the Caudine Forks, repudiated. In 133, after a siege of eighteen months, Numantia was taken by Scipio Africanus AEmilianus. It was hunger that compelled the surrender; and the noblest inhabitants set fire to the town, and slew themselves, to avoid falling into the hands of the enemy.
PERGAMON.—More subservience the Romans found in the East. In the same year that the desperate resistance of the Numantians was overcome, Attalus III., king of Pergamon, an ally of Rome, whose sovereignty extended over the greater part of Asia Minor, left his kingdom and all his treasures, by will, to the Roman people. There was a feeble struggle on the part of the expectant heir, but the Romans formed the larger part of the kingdom into a province. Phrygia Major they detached, and gave to Mithridates IV., king of Pontus, who had helped them in this last brief contest.
PERIOD IV. THE ERA OF REVOLUTION AND OF THE CIVIL WARS. (146-31 B.C.)
CHAPTER I. THE GRACCHI: THE FIRST MITHRIDATIC WAR: MARIUS AND SULLA (146-78 B.C.).
CONDITION OF ROME.—We come now to an era of internal strife. The Romans were to turn their arms against one another: Yet it is remarkable that the march of foreign conquest still went on. It was by conquests abroad that the foremost leaders in the civil wars rose to the position which enabled them to get control in the government at home. The power of the Senate had been more and more exalted. Foreign affairs were mainly at its disposal. The increase in the number of voters in the comitia, and their motley character, made it more easy for the aristocracy to manage them. Elections were carried by the influence of largesses and by the exhibition of games. Practically the chief officers were limited to a clique, composed of rich families of both patrician and plebeian origin, which was diminishing in number, while the numbers of the lower class were rapidly growing larger. The gulf between the poor and the rich was constantly widening. The last Italian colony was sent out in 177 B.C., and the lands of Italy were all taken up. Slaves furnished labor at the cost of their bare subsistence. It was hard for a poor man to gain a living. Had the Licinian Laws (p. 137) been carried out, the situation would have been different. The public lands were occupied by the members of some forty or fifty aristocratic families, and by a certain number of wealthy Italians. A great proletariate—a needy and disaffected lower class—was growing up, which boded no good to the state.
TIBERIUS GRACCHUS.—This condition of things moved Tiberius Gracchus, the son of Cornelia, who was the daughter of the great Scipio Africanus, to bring forward his Agrarian Laws. The effect of them would have been to limit the amount of the public domain which any one man could hold, and to divide portions of it among poor citizens. In spite of the bitter opposition of the nobility, these laws were passed (133). But Gracchus had been obliged to persuade the people to turn a tribune, who resisted their passage, out of office, which was an unconstitutional act. In order to carry out the laws, he would have to be re-elected tribune. But the optimates, led by the consul Scipio Nasica, had been still more infuriated by other proposals of Gracchus. They raised a mob, and slew him, with three hundred of his followers. This gave the democratic leaders a temporary advantage; but violent measures on their own side turned the current again the other way, and proceedings under the laws were quashed.
CAIUS GRACCHUS.—The laws of Caius Gracchus, the brother of Tiberius, were of a more sweeping character. He caused measures to be passed, and colonies to be sent out, by decrees of the people, without any action of the Senate. He renewed the agrarian law. He caused a law to be passed for selling corn for less than the cost, to all citizens who should apply for it. He also caused it to be ordained, that juries should be taken from the knights, the equites, instead of the Senate. These were composed of rich men. The tendency of the law would be to make the equestrian order distinct, and thus to divide the aristocracy. The proposal (122), which was not passed, to extend the franchise to the Latins, and perhaps to the Italians, cost him his popularity, although the measure was just. The Senate gave its support to a rival tribune, M. Livius Drusus, who outbid Gracchus in the contest for popular favor. In 121 Gracchus was not made tribune. In the disorder that followed, he, with several hundred of his followers, was killed by the optimates. Before long most of his enactments were reversed. The law for the cheap sale of corn, the most unwise of his measures, continued.
THE JUGURTHINE WAR.—An interval of tranquility followed. But the corruption of the ruling class was illustrated in connection with the Jugurthine war. Jugurtha, the adopted son of the king of Numidia, the ally of Rome, wishing the whole kingdom for himself, killed one of the sons of the late king, and made war upon the other, who applied to the Romans for help. The commission sent out by the Senate was bribed by Jugurtha. Not until he took the city of Cirta, and put to death the remaining brother, with all his army, was he summoned to Rome. There, too, his money availed to secure him impunity, although he caused a Numidian prince to be murdered in Rome itself. When the Romans finally entered on the war with Jugurtha, he bribed the generals, so that little was effected. The indignation of the people was raised to such a pitch that they would not leave the direction of the war in the hands of Quintus Metellus, whom the Senate had sent out, and who defeated Jugurtha (108), but insisted on giving the chief command to one of his subordinate officers, Caius Marius (107), the son of a peasant, wild and rough in his manners, but of extraordinary talents as a soldier. He brought the war to an end. Jugurtha was delivered up by the prince with whom he had taken refuge to L. Cornelius Sulla, one of the generals under Marius, and in 105, with his two sons, marched in chains before the triumphal car of Marius through the streets of Rome. Marius was now the leader of the popular party, and the most influential man in Rome.
THE CIMBRI AND TEUTONES.—The power of Marius was augmented by his victories over the Cimbri and the Teutones. These were hordes of barbarians who appeared in the Alpine regions, the Cimbri being either Celts, or, like the Teutones, Germans. The Cimbri crossed the Alps in 113, and defeated a Roman consul. They turned westward towards the Rhine, traversed Gaul in different directions, defeating through a series of years the Roman armies that were sent against them. These defeats the democratic leaders ascribed, not without reason, to the corrupt management of the aristocratic party. In 103 the Cimbri and the Teutones arranged for a combined attack on Italy. Marius was made consul; and in order to meet this threatened invasion, which justly excited the greatest anxiety, he was chosen to this office five times in succession (104-100). Having repulsed the attack of the barbarians on his camp, he defeated them in two great battles, the first at Aquce Sextice (Aix in Provence) in 102, and the second at Vercellce, in Upper Italy, in 101. These successes, which really saved Rome, made Marius for the time the idol of the popular party.
THE ARMY.—At about this time a great change took place in the constitution of the army. The occupation of a soldier had become a trade. Besides the levy of citizens, there was established a recruiting system, which drew into the ranks the idle and lazy, and a system of re-inforcements, by which cavalry and light-armed troops were taken from subject and vassal states. Thus there arose a military class, distinct, as it had not been of old, from the civil orders, and ready to act separately when its own interest or the ambition of favorite leaders might prompt.
SATURNINUS.—Marius lacked the judgment and the firmness required by a statesman, especially in troublous times. When Saturninus and Glaucia brought forward a series of measures of a radical character in behalf of the democratic cause, and the consul Metellus, who opposed them, was obliged to go into voluntary exile, Marius, growing ashamed of the factious and violent proceedings of the popular party, was partially won over to the support of the Senate. When C. Memmius, candidate for consul, was killed with bludgeons by the mob of Saturninus and Glaucia, and there was fighting in the forum and the streets, he helped to put down these reckless innovators (99). But his want of hearty cooperation with either party made him hated by both. Metellus was recalled from banishment. Marius went to Asia, and visited the court of Mithridates.
THE MURDER OF DRUSUS.—Nearly ten years of comparative quiet ensued. The long continued complaints of the Italians found at last a voice in the measures of M. Livius Drusus, a tribune, who, in 91, proposed that they should have the right of citizenship. Two other propositions, one referring to the relations of the Equites and the Senate, and the other for a new division of lands, had been accepted by the people, but were by the Senate declared null. Before Drusus could bring forward the law respecting Italian citizenship, he was assassinated. Neither Senate nor people was favorable to this righteous measure.
THE ITALIAN OR SOCIAL WAR (90-88 B.C.).—The murder of Drusus was the signal for an insurrection of the Italian communities. They organized for themselves a federal republic. The peril occasioned by this great revolt reconciled for the moment the contending parties at Rome. In the North, where Marius fought, the Romans were generally successful: in the South, the allies were at first superior; but in 89, in spite of Sulla's bold forays, they were worsted. But it was by policy, more than by arms, that the Romans subdued this dangerous revolt. They promised full citizenship to those who had not taken part in the war, and to those who would at once cease to take part in it (90). Finally, when it was plain that Rome was too strong to be overcome, the conflict was ended by granting to the allies all that they had ever claimed (89). Rome had now made ALL ITALY (south of Cisalpine Gaul), except the Samnites and Lucanians, EQUAL WITH HERSELF. But Italy had been ravaged by desolating war: the number of small proprietors was more than ever diminished, and the army and the generals were becoming the predominant force in the affairs of the state.
WAR WITH MITHRIDATES.—Mithridates, king of Pontus, in the north-east of Asia Minor, was as ardent an enemy of the Romans as Hannibal had been. With the help of his son-in-law Tigranes, king of Armenia, he had subdued the neighboring kings in alliance with Rome. The Asiatic states, who were ruled by the Romans, were impatient of the oppression under which they groaned. When checked by the Romans, Mithridates had paused for a while, and then had resumed again his enterprise of conquest. In 88 the Grecian cities of Asia joined him; and, in obedience to his brutal order, all the Italians within their walls, not lelss than eighty thousand in number, but possibly almost double that number, were put to death in one day. The whole dominion of the Romans in the East was in jeopardy.
MARIUS AND SULLA.—Sulla was elected consul in 88, and was on the point of departing for Asia. He was a soldier of marked talents, a representative of the aristocratic party, and was more cool and consistent in his public conduct than Marius. Marius desired the command against Mithridates for himself. P. Sulpicius, one of his adherents, brought forward a revolutionary law for incorporating the Italians and freedmen among the thirty-five tribes. The populace, under the guidance of the leaders of the Marian faction, voted to take away the command from Sulla, and to give it to Marius. Sulla refused to submit, and marched his army to Rome. It was impossible to resist him. Sulpicius was killed in his flight. Marius escaped from Italy, and, intending to go to Africa, was landed at Minturnae. To escape pursuit, he had to stand up to the chin in a marsh. He was put in prison, and a Gaulish slave was sent to kill him. But when he saw the flashing eyes of the old general, and heard him cry, "Fellow, darest thou kill Caius Marius?" he dropped his sword, and ran. Marius crossed to Africa. Messengers who were sent to warn him to go away, found him sitting among the ruins of Carthage.
THE MARIANS IN ROME.—Sulla restored the authority of the Senate. During Sulla's absence, Cinna, the consul of the popular party, sought to revive the laws of Sulpicius by violent means (87). Driven out of the city, he came back with an army which he had gathered in Campania, and with old Marius, who had returned from Africa. He now took vengeance on the leaders of the Optimates. For five days the gates were closed, and every noble who was specially obnoxious, and had not escaped, was killed by Marius, who marched through the streets at the head of a body of soldiers. In 86 Marius and Cinna were made consuls. Sulla was declared to be deposed. Marius, who was now more than seventy years old, died (86). The fever of revenge, and the apprehension of what might follow on Sulla's return, drove sleep from his eyelids. A brave soldier, he was incompetent to play the part of a statesman. He went to his grave with the curse of all parties resting upon him.
RETURN OF SULLA.—Sulla refused to do any thing against his adversaries at home, or for the help of the fugitive nobles who appealed to him, until the cause of the country was secure abroad. He captured Athens in 86, defeated Archelaus, the general of Mithridates, in a great battle at Chaeronea; and, by this and subsequent victories, he forced Mithridates to conclude peace, who agreed to evacuate the Roman province of Asia, to restore all his conquests, surrender eighty ships of war, and pay three thousand talents (84). Sulla's hands were now free. In 83 he landed at Brundisium. He was joined by Cneius Pompeius, then twenty-three years old, with a troop of volunteers. Sulla did not wish to fight the Italians. He issued a proclamation, therefore, giving them the assurance that their rights would not be impaired. This pledge had the desired effect. The army of the Consuls largely outnumbered his own. Sulla lingered in South Italy to make good his position there. The Samnites joined the Marians, and moved upon Rome with the intent to destroy it. They were defeated before they could enter the city. The Marians in Spain were defeated afterwards, as were the same party in Sicily and Africa by Pompeius.
CRUELTY OF SULLA.—The cruelty of Sulla, after his victory, was more direful than Rome had ever witnessed. It appeared to spring from no heat of passion, but was cold and shameless. After a few days, there was a massacre of four thousand prisoners in the Circus. Their shrieks and groans were heard in the neighboring Temple of Bellona, where Sulla was in consultation with the Senate. Many thousands—not far from three thousand in Rome alone—were proscribed and murdered, and the property of all on these lists of the condemned was confiscated.
THE LAWS OF SULLA.—In his character as Dictator, Sulla remade the constitution, striking out the popular elements to a great extent, and concentrating authority in the Senate. The Tribunes were stripped of most of their power. The Senate alone could propose laws. In the Senate, the places in the juries were given back (p. 154). Besides these and other like changes, the right of suffrage was bestowed on ten thousand emancipated slaves; while Italians and others, who had been on the Marian side, were deprived of it. In the year 80 B.C., Sulla caused himself to be elected Consul. The next year he retired from office to his country estate, and gave himself up to amusements and sensual pleasure. A part of his time—for he was not without a taste for literature—he devoted to the writing of his memoirs, which, however, have not come down to us. He died in 78.
CHAPTER II. POMPEIUS AND THE EAST: TO THE DEATH OF CRASSUS (78-53 B.C.).
WAR WITH SERTORIUS.—Not many years after Sulla's death, his reforms were annulled. This was largely through the agency of Cneius Pompeius, who had supported Sulla, but was not a uniform or consistent adherent of the aristocratic party. He did not belong to an old family, but had so distinguished himself that Sulla gave him a triumph. Later he rose to still higher distinction by his conduct of the war against Sertorius in Spain, a brave and able man of the Marian party, who was supported there for a long time by a union of Spaniards and Romans. Not until jealousy arose among his officers, and Sertorius was assassinated, was the formidable rebellion put down (72).
THE GLADIATORIAL WAR.—Pompeius had the opportunity still further to distinguish himself on his way back from Spain. A gladiator, Spartacus, started a revolt among his companions. He called about him slaves and outlaws until with an army of one hundred thousand men he defeated the Roman generals, and threatened Rome itself. For two years they ravaged Italy at their will. They were vanquished by Marcus Crassus in 71, in two battles, in the last of which Spartacus fell. The remnant of them, a body of five thousand men, who had nearly reached the Alps, were annihilated by Pompeius.
POMPEIUS: CRASSUS: CICERO.—Crassus was a man of great wealth and of much shrewdness. Pompeius was bland and dignified in his ways, a valiant, though sometimes over-cautious, general. These two men, in 70 B.C., became consuls. They had resolved to throw themselves for support on the middle class at Rome. Pompeius, sustained by his colleague, secured the abrogation of some of the essential changes made by Sulla. The Tribunes received back their powers, and the independence of the Assembly of the Tribes was restored. The absolute power of the Senate over the law-courts was taken away. These measures were carried in spite of the resistance of that body. Pompeius was aided by the great advocate, Marcus Tullius Cicero. He was born at Arpinum in 106 B.C., of an equestrian family. He had been a diligent student of law and politics, and also of the Greek philosophy, and aspired to distinction in civil life. He studied rhetoric under Molo, first at Rome and then at Rhodes, during a period of absence from Italy, which continued about two years. On his return (in 77 B.C.), he resumed legal practice. Cicero was a man of extraordinary and various talents, and a patriot, sincerely attached to the republican constitution. He was humane and sensitive, and much more a man of peace than his eminent contemporaries. His foibles, the chief of which was the love of praise, were on the surface; and, if he lacked some of the robust qualities of the great Roman leaders of that day, he was likewise free from some of their sins. The captivating oratory of Cicero found a field for its exercise in the impeachment of Verres, whose rapacity, as Roman governor of Sicily, had fairly desolated that wealthy province. Cicero showed such vigor in the prosecution that Verres was driven into exile. This event weakened the senatorial oligarchy, and helped Pompeius in his contest with it.
WAR WITH THE PIRATES.—In 69 B.C., Pompeius retired from office; but, two years later, he assumed command in the war against the pirates. These had taken possession of creeks and valleys in Western Cilicia and Pamphylia, and had numerous fleets. Not confining their depredations to the sea, they plundered the coasts of Italy, and stopped the grain-ships on which Rome depended for food. Pompeius undertook to exterminate this piratical community. By the Gabinian Law, he was clothed with more power than had ever been committed to an individual. He was to have absolute command over the Mediterranean and its coasts for fifty miles inland. He used this unlimited authority for war purposes alone, and, in three months, completely accomplished the work assigned him. He captured three thousand vessels, and put to death ten thousand men. Twenty thousand captives he settled in the interior of Cilicia.
POMPEIUS IN THE EAST.—The success of Pompeius was the prelude to a wider extension of his power and his popularity. After the return of Sulla from the East, another Mithridatic War (83-81), the second in the series, had ended in the same terms of peace that had been agreed upon before (p. 157). In 74 the contest began anew against Mithridates, and Tigranes of Armenia, his son-in-law. For a number of years Lucullus, the Roman commander, was successful; but finally Mithridates regained what he had lost, and kept up his aggressive course. In 66 B.C., on a motion that was supported by Cicero, but opposed by the aristocratic party in the Senate, Pompeius was made commander in the East for an indefinite term. So extensive powers had never before been committed to a Roman. He drove Mithridates out of Pontus into Armenia. Tigranes laid his crown at the feet of the Roman general, and was permitted to retain Armenia. Mithridates fled beyond the Caucasus, and, in 63 B.C., committed suicide. Pompeius overthrew the Syrian kingdom of the Seleucidae. He entered Judaea, captured Jerusalem from Aristobulus the reigning prince, and placed his brother Hyrcanus on the throne, who became tributary to Rome. Pompeius with his officers entered the sanctuary of the temple, and was surprised to find there neither image nor statue. He established in the Roman territories in Asia the two provinces, Pontus and Syria, and re-organized the province of Cilicia. Several kingdoms he allowed to remain under Roman protection. After this unexampled exercise of power and responsibility as the disposer of kingdoms, he slowly returned to Italy, dismissed his army at Brundisium, and entered the capital as a private citizen, where, in 61 B.C., he enjoyed a magnificent triumph that lasted for two days.
THE ROMAN TRIUMPH.—The most coveted reward of a victorious general was a triumph. It was granted by a vote of the Senate and according to certain rules, some of which, however, were often relaxed. The general must have held the office of dictator, consul, or praetor; at least five thousand of the enemy must have been slain in a single battle; the war must have been against public foes, etc. The general, with his army, remained without the city until the triumph had been decreed by the Senate, which also assembled without the walls to deliberate on the question. The pageant itself, in later times, was of the most splendid character. It consisted of a procession which entered the "Triumphal Gate," and passed through the Via Sacra, up the Capitoline Hill to the Temple of Jupiter, where sacrifices were offered. In front were the Senate, headed by the magistrates. Then came a body of trumpeters, who immediately preceded the long trains of carriages and frames which displayed the spoils of conquest, including statues, pictures, gorgeous apparel, gold and silver, and whatever else had been borne away from the conquered people. Pictures of the country traversed or conquered, and models of cities and forts, were exhibited. Behind the spoils came flute-players, and these were followed by elephants and other strange animals. Next were the arms and insignia of the hostile leaders; and after them marched the leaders themselves and their kindred, and all the captives of less rank, in fetters. The crowns and other tributes voluntarily given to the general by Roman allies next appeared, and then the central figure of the procession, the imperator himself, standing in a chariot drawn by four horses, clad in a robe embroidered with gold, and a flowered tunic, in his right hand a bough of laurel and in his left a scepter, with a wreath of laurel on his brow, and a slave standing behind, and holding a crown over his head. Behind him in the procession were his family, then the mounted equites and the whole body of the infantry, their spears adorned with laurels, making the air ring with their shouts and songs. Meantime the temples were open, and incense was burned to the gods; buildings were decorated with festal garlands; the population, in holiday dress, thronged the steps of the public buildings and stages erected to command a view, and in every place where a sight of the pageant could be obtained. As the procession climbed the Capitoline Hill, some of the captives of rank were taken into the adjoining Mamertine prison, and barbarously put to death. In the lower chamber of that ancient dungeon, which the traveler still visits, Jugurtha and many other conquered enemies perished. After the sacrifices had been offered, the imperator sat down to a public feast with his friends in the temple, and was then escorted home by a crowd of citizens.
The ovation was a lesser triumph. The general entered the city on foot, and the ceremonies were of a much inferior cast.
CONSPIRACY OF CATILINE.—Meanwhile at Rome, the state had been endangered by the combination of democrats and anarchists in the conspiracy of Catiline. The well-contrived plot of this audacious and profligate man was detected and crushed by the vigilance and energy of the consul Cicero, whose four speeches on the subject, two to the Senate and two to the people, are among the most celebrated of all his orations. Catiline was forced to fly from Rome; and several of his prominent accomplices were put to death by the advice of Cato (the younger), the leader of the Senatorial party, and by the vote of the Senate. This was done without asking for the verdict of the people, and for this reason was not warranted by the law; but it was declared to be needful for the salvation of the state. The next year Catiline was killed in battle, and his force dispersed by the army of the Senate. A turn of party feeling afterwards exiled Cicero for departing from the law in the execution of the conspirators.
JULIUS CAESAR.—Another person strong enough to be the rival of Pompeius was now on the stage of action. This was Caius Julius Caesar, who proved himself to be, on the whole, the foremost man of the ancient Roman world. Caesar's talents were versatile, but in nothing was he weak or superficial. He was great as a general, a statesman, an orator, and an author. With as much power of personal command over men as Hannibal had possessed, he was likewise an agreeable companion of men of letters and in general society. Every thing he did he appeared to do with ease. By his family connections he was naturally designated as the leader of the popular, Marian party. He was the nephew of Marius and the son-in-law of Cinna. Sulla had spared his life, although he had courageously refused to obey the dictator's command to put away his wife; but he had been obliged to quit Rome. At the funeral of Julia, the widow of Marius, he had been bold enough to exhibit the bust of that hero,—an act that involved risk, but pleased the multitude. He was suspected of being privy to Catiline's plot, and in the Senate spoke against the execution of his confederates. In 65 he was elected Aedile, but his profuse expenditures in providing games plunged him heavily in debt; so that it was only by advances made to him by Crassus that he was able, after being praetor, to go to Spain (in 61), where, as propraetor, he first acquired military distinction. Prior to his sojourn in Spain, by his bold political conduct, in opposition to the Senate, and on the democratic side, he had made himself a favorite of the people.
THE FIRST TRIUMVIRATE.—Pompeius was distrusted and feared by the Senate; but, on seeing that he took no measures to seize on power at Rome, they proceeded to thwart his wishes, and denied the expected allotments of land to his troops. The circumstances led to the formation of the first Triumvirate, which was an informal alliance between Pompeius, Caesar, and Crassus, against the Senatorial oligarchy, and for the protection and furtherance of their own interests. Caesar became consul in 59 B.C. He gave his daughter Julia in marriage to Pompeius. Gaul, both Cisalpine, and Transalpine (Gallia Narbonensis), was given to Caesar to govern for five years. Cato was sent off to take possession of the kingdom of Cyprus. Cicero, who was midway between the two parties, was exiled on motion of the radical tribune, Clodius. But the independent and violent proceedings of this demagogue led Pompeius to co-operate more with the Senate. Cicero was recalled (57 B.C.). A jealousy, fomented by the Senate, sprang up between Pompeius and Crassus. By Caesar's efforts, a better understanding was brought about between the triumvirs, and it was agreed that his own proconsulship should be prolonged for a second term of five years. Pompeius received the Spains, and Crassus, who was avaricious, was made proconsul of Syria, and commander of the armies in the Oriental provinces. In an expedition against the Parthians in 53, he perished.
CAESAR IN GAUL.—The campaigns of Caesar in Gaul covered a period of eight years. An admirable narrative of them is presented by himself in his Commentaries.
THE GAULS.—The Gauls were Celts. The Celts were spread over the most of Gaul, over Britain and the north of Italy. In Gaul, there were three general divisions of people, each subdivided into tribes. These were the Belgae, the Galli, and the Aquitani, the last of whom, however, were not Celts, but, like the Iberians in Spain, belonged to a pre-Celtic race. The Helvetii and Vindelici were in Switzerland. The Celts of Gaul had attained to a considerable degree of civilization. Their gods were the various objects of nature personified. Their divinities are described by Caesar as corresponding in their functions to the gods of Rome. Their priests were the Druids, a close corporation, but not hereditary. They not only conducted worship: they were the lawgivers, judges, and physicians of the people. They possessed a mysterious doctrine, which they taught to the initiated. They held a great yearly assembly for the trial of causes. The Bards stood in connection with the Druidical order. In worship, human sacrifices were offered in large numbers, the victims being prisoners, slaves, criminals, etc. There were temples, but thick groves were the favorite seats of worship. Caesar says that the Gauls were strongly addicted to religious observances. In their character they are described as brave and impetuous in an onset, but as lacking persistency.
The Celts in Britain were less civilized than their kinsfolk across the channel. But in their customs and religious beliefs and usages, they were similar to them. They probably came over from Gaul.
CONQUEST OF GAUL.—The first victory of Caesar was in conflict with the Helvetii, who had invaded Gaul, and whom he drove back to their homes in the Alps. The Gallic tribes applied to him for help against the Germans, who had been led over the Rhine by Ariovistus, chief of the Suevi. Him Caesar forced to return to the other side of the river. The Gallic tribes, fearing the power of Caesar, stirred up the Belgae, the most warlike of all the Gauls. These Csesar subdued, and also, with less difficulty, conquered the other nations of Gaul. Twice, in conflict with the Germans, he crossed the Rhine near Bonn and Andernach (55 and 53 B.C.). Twice, also (55 and 54 B.C.), he landed in Britain. On the second expedition he crossed the Thames. In 52 there was a general insurrection of the Gauls under Vercingetorix, a brave chieftain, to conquer whom required all of Caesar's strength and skill. The result of eight years of hard and successful warfare was the subjugation of all Gaul from the Rhine to the Pyrenees. The Celts were subdued, and steps taken which resulted in their civilization. A barrier was placed in the way of the advance of the Germans, which availed for this end during several centuries. By his successes in Gaul, Csesar acquired a fame as a general, which partly eclipsed the glory previously gained by Pompeius in the East. He became, also, the leader of veteran legions who were devoted to his interests.
CHAPTER III. POMPEIUS AND CAESAR: THE SECOND TRIUMVIRATE.
THE CIVIL WAR.—The rupture between Pompeius and Caesar brought on another civil war, and subverted the Roman republic. They were virtually regents. The triumvirs had arranged with one another for the partition of power. The death of Crassus took away a link of connection which had united the two survivors. The death of Julia, the beautiful daughter of Caesar, in 54 B.C., had previously dissolved another tie. Pompeius contrived to remain in Rome, and to govern Spain by legates. Each of the two rivals had his active and valiant partisans in the city. The spoils of Gaul were sent to be expended in the erection of costly buildings, and in providing entertainments for the populace. To Pompey, in turn, Rome owed the construction of the first stone theater, which was dedicated with unprecedented show and splendor. Bloody conflicts between armed bands of adherents of the two leaders were of daily occurrence. Clodius, an adherent of Caesar and a reckless partisan, was slain by Milo, in a conflict on the Appian Way. The Senate and the republicans, of whom Cato was the chief, in order to curb the populace, and out of enmity to Caesar, allied themselves with Pompeius. It was determined to prevent him from standing as a candidate for the consulship, unless he should lay down his command, and come to Rome. He offered to resign his military power if Pompeius would do the same. This was refused. Finally he was directed to give up his command in Gaul before the expiration of the time which had been set for the termination of it. This order, if carried into effect, would have reduced him to the rank of a private citizen, and have left him at the mercy of his enemies. The tribunes, including his devoted supporter, Marcus Antonius, in vain interposed the veto, and fled from the city. Caesar determined to disobey the order of the Senate. His legions—two had been withdrawn on the false pretext of needing them for the Parthian war—clung to him, with the exception of one able officer, T. Labienus. Caesar acted with great promptitude. He crossed the Rubicon, the boundary of the Gallic Cisalpine province, before Pompeius—who had declared, that with a stamp of his foot he could call up armed men from the ground—had made adequate preparations to meet him. The strength of Pompeius was mainly in the East, the scene of his former glory; and he was, perhaps, not unwilling to retire to that region, taking with him the throng of aristocratic leaders, who fled precipitately on learning of the approach of Caesar. Pompeius sailed from Brundisium to Epirus. Cicero, who had ardently desired an accommodation between the rivals, was in an agony of doubt as to what course it was right and best for him to take, since he saw reason to dread the triumph of either side. Reluctantly he decided to cast in his lot with the Senate and its newly gained champion.
PHARSALUS: THAPSUS: MUNDA.—Caesar gained the advantage of securing the state treasure which Pompeius had unaccountably left behind him, and was able to establish his power in Italy. Before pursuing Pompeius, he marched through Gaul into Spain (49 B.C.), conquered the Pompeian forces at Ilerda, and secured his hold upon that country. He then crossed the Adriatic, He encountered Pompeius, who could not manage his imprudent officers, on the plain of Pharsalus (48 B.C.), where the senatorial army was completely overthrown. Pompeius sailed for Egypt; but, just as he was landing, he was treacherously assassinated. His head was sent to Caesar, who wept at the spectacle, and punished the murderers. Caesar gained friends everywhere by the exercise of a judicious clemency, which accorded with his natural disposition. He next went to Egypt. There he was met by Cleopatra, whose dazzling beauty captivated him. She reigned in conjunction with her younger brother, who, according to the Egyptian usage, was nominally her husband. The Egyptians were roused against Caesar, and, on one occasion, he saved his life by swimming; but he finally defeated and destroyed the Egyptian army. At Zela, in Pontus, he met and vanquished Pharnaces, the revolted son of Mithridates, and sent the laconic message, "Veni, vidi, vici" (I came, I saw, I conquered). Early in 46 he landed in Africa, and, at Thapsus, annihilated the republican forces in that region. A most powerful combination was made against him in Spain, including some of his old officers and legionaries, and the two sons of Pompeius. But in the hard-fought battle at Munda (March, 45 B.C.), when Caesar was himself in great personal danger, he was, as usual, triumphant.
CAESAR AS A CIVILIAN.—Marvelous as the career of Caesar as a general was, his merit as a civilian outstrips even his distinction as a soldier. He saw that the world could no longer be governed by the Roman rabble, and that monarchy was the only alternative. He ruled under the forms of the old constitution, taking the post of dictator and censor for life, and absorbing in himself the other principal republican offices. The whole tendency of his measures, which were mostly of a very wholesome character, was not only to remedy abuses of administration, but to found a system of orderly administration in which Rome should be not the sole mistress, but simply the capital, of the world-wide community which had been subjected to her authority.
THE GOVERNMENT OF CAESAR.—Caesar made the Senate an advisory body. He increased the number of senators, bringing in provincials as well as Roman citizens. He gave full citizenship to all the Transpadane Gauls, and to numerous communities in Transalpine Gaul, in Spain, and elsewhere. He established a wide-spread colonization, thus planting his veterans in different places abroad, and lessening the number of proletarians in Italy. He rebuilt Carthage and Corinth. He re-organized the army, and the civil administration in the provinces. In the space of five years, while he was busy in important wars, he originated numerous governmental measures of the utmost value.
THE MOTIVES OF CAESAR.—The designs of Caesar and of his party are to be distinguished from what they actually accomplished. Caesar was not impelled by a desire to improve the government of the provinces, in taking up arms against the Senate. Nor did he owe his success to the support of provincials; although, in common with the rest of the democratic party at Rome, he was glad to have them for allies. The custom had grown up of virtually giving to eminent generals, absolute power for extended intervals. This was done, for example, in the case of Marius, on the occasion of the invasion of the Cimbrians and Teutones. In such exigencies, it was found necessary to create what was equivalent to a military dictatorship. The idea of military rule became familiar. The revolution made by Caesar was achieved by military organization, and was a measure of personal self-defense on his part. Being raised to the supreme power, he sought to rule according to the wise and liberal ideas which were suggested by the actual condition of the world, and the undesirableness of a continued domination of a single city, with such a populace as that of Rome. Before he could carry out his large schemes, he was cut down.
ASSASSINATION OF CAESAR.—Caesar was tired of staying in Rome, and was proposing to undertake an expedition against the Parthians. Neither his clemency nor the necessity and the merits of the government sustained by him, availed to shield him against the machinations of enemies. The aristocratic party detested his policy. He was suspected of aiming at the title, as well as the power, of a king. A conspiracy made up of numerous senators who secretly hated him, of other individuals influenced by personal spite, and of republican visionaries like Cassius and Junius Brutus, who gloried in what they considered tyrannicide, assaulted him on the ides of March (March 15, 44 B.C.) in the hall of Pompeius, whither he had come to a session of the Senate. He received twenty-three wounds, one of which, at least, was fatal, and fell, uttering, a tradition said, a word of gentle reproach to Brutus, one who had been counted a special friend. Cicero had acquiesced in the new government, and eulogized Caesar and his administration. But even he expressed his satisfaction at the event which left the republic without a master. An amnesty to those who slew Caesar was advocated by him, and decreed by the Senate.
THE SECOND TRIUMVIRATE.—The Senate gave to the leading conspirators provinces; to Decimus Brutus, Cisalpine Gaul. But at Rome there was quickly a re-action of popular wrath against the enemies of Csesar, which was skillfully fomented by Marcus Antonius in the address which he made to the people over his dead body, pierced with so many wounds. The people voted to give Cisalpine Gaul to Antonius, and he set out to take it from Decimus Brutus by force of arms. Cicero delivered a famous series of harangues against Antonius, called the Philippics. Antonius, being defeated, fled to Lepidus, the governor of Transalpine Gaul. Octavius, the grand-nephew and adopted son of Caesar, a youth of eighteen, now became prominent, and at first was supported by the Senate in the hope of balancing the power of Antonius. But in October, 43, Octavianus (as he was henceforward called), Antonius, and Lepidus together formed a second triumvirate, which became legal, by the ratification of the people, for the period of five years. A proscription for the destruction of the enemies of the three contracting parties was a part of this alliance. A great number were put to death, among them Cicero, a sacrifice to the vengeance of Antonius. War against the republicans was the necessary consequence. At Philippi in Thrace, in the year 42, Antonius and Octavianus defeated Brutus and Cassius, both of whom committed suicide. Porcia, the wife of Brutus, and the daughter of Cato, on hearing of her husband's death, put an end to her own life. Many other adherents of the republic followed the example of their leaders. The victors divided the world between themselves, Antonius taking the east, Octavianus the west, while to the weak and avaricious Lepidus, Africa was assigned; but he was soon deprived of his share by Octavianus.
CIVIL WAR: ACTIUM.—Antonius was enamoured of Cleopatra, and, following her to Egypt, gave himself up to luxury and sensual gratification. Civil war between Octavianus and the followers of Antonius in Italy (40, 41 B.C.) was followed by the marriage of Octavia, the sister of Octavianus, to Antonius. But after a succession of disputes between the two regents, there was a final breach. Antonius (35) went so far as to give Roman territories to the sons of Cleopatra, and to send to Octavia papers of divorce. The Senate, at the instigation of Octavianus, deprived his unworthy colleague of all his powers. War was declared against Cleopatra. East and West were arrayed in arms against one another. The conflict was determined by the naval victory of Octavianusat Actium (Sept. 2, 31 B.C.). Before the battle was decided, Cleopatra fled, and was followed by Antonius. When the latter approached Alexandria, Antonius, deceived by the false report that Cleopatra had destroyed herself, threw himself upon his sword and died. Cleopatra, finding herself unable to fascinate the conqueror, but believing that he meant that she should adorn his public triumph at Rome, poisoned herself (30). Egypt was made into a Roman province. The month Sextilis, on which Octavianusreturned to Rome, received in honor of him the name of "August," from "Augustus," the "venerated" or "illustrious," the name given him in 27 B.C. by the Roman people and Senate. He celebrated three triumphs; and, for the third time since the city was founded, the Temple of Janus was closed.
PERIOD V. THE IMPERIAL MONARCHY: TO THE MIGRATIONS OF THE TEUTONIC TRIBES (375 A.D.).
CHAPTER I. THE REIGN OF AUGUSTUS.
AUGUSTUS AS A RULER.—The long-continued, sanguinary civil wars made peace welcome. Augustus knew how to conceal his love of power under a mild exterior, and to organize the monarchy with a nominal adherence to republican forms. The controlling magistracies, except the censorship, were transferred to him. As Imperator, he had unlimited command over the military forces, and was at the head of a standing army of three hundred and forty thousand men. To him it belonged to decide on peace and war. The Senate became the real legislative body, issuing senatus-consulta. There was also a sort of "cabinet council" chosen by him from its members. The authority of the Tribunes belonged to him, and thus the popular assemblies became more and more a nullity. "The Senate was made up of his creatures; the people were won by bread and games; the army was fettered to him by means of booty and gifts." While the forms of a free state remained, all the functions of authority were exercised by the ruler.
STATE OF THE EMPIRE.—(1) Its Extent. The Roman Empire extended from the Atlantic to the Euphrates, a distance of more than three thousand miles, and from the Danube and the English Channel—later, from the friths of Scotland—to the cataracts of the Nile and the African desert. Its population was somewhere from eighty millions to one hundred and twenty millions. It was composed of the East and the West, a distinction that was not simply geographical, but included deeper characteristic differences. (2) The Provinces. The provinces were divided (27 B.C.) into the proconsular, ruled by the Senate, and the imperial, ruled by the legates of Augustus. His authority, however, was everywhere supreme. Over all the empire extended the system of Roman law, the rights and immunities of which belonged to Roman citizens everywhere. (3) The Two Languages. It was a Romano-Hellenic monarchy. Local dialects remained; but the Greek language was the language of commerce, and of polite intercourse in all places. The Greek tongue and Hellenic culture were the common property of the nations. The Latin was prevalent west of the Adriatic. It was adopted in Africa, Spain, Gaul, and in other provinces. It was the language of courts and of the camp. (4) Journeys and Trade. The Roman territory was covered with a net-work of magnificent roads. Journeys for purposes of trade and from motives of curiosity were common. Religious pilgrimages to famous shrines were frequent. The safety and peace which followed upon the civil wars stimulated traffic and intercourse between the different regions united under the imperial government.
LITERATURE.—The Augustan period was the golden age of Roman literature. Literary works were topics of conversation in social circles. Libraries were collected by the rich. The shops of booksellers were places of resort for cultivated people. There were active and liberal patrons of poets and of other men of letters. Such patrons were Maecenas, Horace's friend, and Augustus himself. Then favors were repaid by praises and flattery, as we see in the verses of Horace, Virgil, and especially of Ovid. The lectures of grammarians and rhetoricians, of philosophers and physicians, were largely attended. Literary societies were formed. Periodicals and bulletins were published, in which the proceedings of the Senate and of the courts were recorded. The business of scribes—copyists of manuscripts—engaged a vast number of persons.
WRITINGS OF CICERO.—Cicero (106-43), in his philosophic writings, reproduces the thoughts and speculations of the Greek sages, in the manner of a cultivated and appreciative student. His speeches and his epistles, especially those to his friend, Atticus, lift the veil, as it were, and afford us most interesting glimpses of the civil and social life of the Romans of that day.
THE POETS.—One of the most original of the Latin poets is Lucretius (95-51 B.C.), whose poem "On the Nature of Things" is an effort to dispel superstitious fear by inculcating the Epicurean doctrine that the world is self-made through the movement and concussion of atoms, and that the gods leave it to care for itself. A contemporary of Lucretius, and a poet of equal merit, but in an altogether different vein, is Catullus. He is chiefly noted for his lyrics. Virgil (70-19 B.C.), in the Aeneid, has produced a genuine Roman epic, although his dependence on Homer is obvious throughout, and in the Bucolics, and in particular in the Georgics, where he shows most originality, has made himself immortal as a pastoral poet. Horace (65-8 B.C.), like most of the Roman authors, in many of his poems is inspired by his Greek models, but, in his Satires and Poetic Epistles, expresses the character of his own genius. His "Odes," for their beauty and melody and the variety of their topics, rank among the best of all productions of their kind. Ovid (43 B.C.-A.D. 18), in his chief work, the Metamorphoses, handled the mythical tales of the Greeks, and, in his poems on Love, likewise introduced many Grecian tales. He was much influenced by the Alexandrian poets.
THE HISTORIANS.—In historical composition, most of the Roman authors had Greek patterns before their eyes. Nevertheless, Livy (59 B.C.-A.D. 17), thirty-five of the one hundred and forty-two books of whose "Annals" have been preserved, and Sallust, to whom we are indebted for narratives of the conspiracy of Cataline and of the Jugurthine war, are far from being servile copyists. The simple and lucid but graceful style of the Commentaries of Caesar makes this work an example of the purest Latin prose.
LAW WRITERS.—In one department, that of jurisprudence, the Romans were eminently original. The writings of the great jurists were simple and severe, and free from the rhetorical traits which Roman authors in other departments borrowed from the Greeks.
OTHER AUTHORS.—Among other eminent authors of this period are the great Roman antiquary Varro (116-27 B.C.); the elegiac poets, Tibullus and Propertius; Phaedrus, the Roman Aesop; the historian, Cornelius Nepos; and the Greek historical writers of that day, Diodore of Sicily and Dionysius of Halicarnassus; also Strabo, the Greek geographer (64 B.C.-A.D. 24).
THE INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY.
THE JEWS AND THEIR DISPERSION.—There were three ancient peoples, each of which fulfilled an office of its own in history. The Greeks were the intellectual people, the Romans were founders in law and politics: from the Hebrews the true religion was to spring. At the epoch of the birth of Jesus, the Hebrews, like the Greeks and Romans, were scattered abroad, and mingled with all other nations. Wherever they went they carried their pure monotheism, and built their synagogues for instruction in the law and for common worship. In the region of Babylon, a multitude of Jews had remained after the captivity. Two out of the five sections of Alexandria were occupied by them. At Antioch in Syria, the other great meeting-place of peoples of diverse origin and religion, they were very numerous. In the cities of Asia Minor, of Greece and Macedonia, in Illyricum and in Rome, they were planted in large numbers. Jewish merchants went wherever there was room for profitable trade. Generally regarded with aversion on account of their religious exclusiveness, they nevertheless made so many proselytes that the Roman philosopher, Seneca, said of them, "The conquered have given laws to the conquerors." Prophecy had inspired the Jews with an abiding and fervent expectation of the ultimate conquest of heathenism, and prevalence of their faith. If the hope of a temporal Messiah to free them from the Roman yoke, and to lead them to an external victory and dominion, burned in the hearts of most, there were some of a more spiritual mind and of deeper aspirations, who looked for One who should minister to the soul, and bring in a reign of holiness and peace.
PREPARATION FOR CHRISTIANITY AMONG THE HEATHEN.—In the heathen world, there was not wanting a preparation for such a Deliverer. The union of all the nations in the Roman Empire had lessened the mutual antipathy of peoples, melted down barriers of feeling as well as of intercourse, and weakened the pride of race. An indistinct sense of a common humanity had entered the breasts of men. Writers, like Cicero, talked of a great community, a single society of gods and men. The Stoic philosophy had made this idea familiar. Mankind, it was said, formed one city. Along with this conception, precepts were uttered in favor of forbearance and fraternal kindness between man and man. In religion, there was a drift towards monotheism. The old mythological religion was decaying, and traditional beliefs as to divine things were dissolving. Many minds were yearning for something to fill the void,—for a more substantial ground of rest and of hope. They longed for a goal on which their aspirations might center, and to which their exertions might tend. The burden of sin and of suffering that rested on the common mass excited at least a vague yearning for deliverance. The Roman Empire, with all its treasures and its glory, failed to satisfy the hearts of men. The dreams of philosophy could not be realized on the basis of ancient society, where the state was every thing, and where no higher, more comprehensive and more enduring kingdom could spring into being.
CHRIST AND THE APOSTLES.—Four years before the date assigned for the beginning of the Christian era, Jesus was born. Herod, a tyrannical king, servile in his attitude toward the Romans, and subject to them, was then ruling over the Jews in Palestine. But, when Jesus began his public ministry, the kingship had been abolished, and Judaea was governed by the procurator, Pontius Pilate (A.D. 26). Jesus announced himself as the Messiah, the founder of a kingdom "not of this world;" the members of which were to be brethren, having God for their Father. He taught in a tone of authority, yet with "a sweet reasonableness;" and his wonderful teaching was accompanied with marvelous works of power and mercy, as "he went about doing good." He attached to himself twelve disciples, among whom Peter, and the two brothers James and John, were the men of most mark. These had listened to the preaching of John, the prophet of the wilderness, by whom Jesus had been recognized as the Christ who was to come. The ministry of the Christ produced a wide-spread excitement, and a deep impression upon humble and truth-loving souls. But his rebuke of the ruling class, the Pharisees, for their formalism, pretended sanctity, self-seeking, and enslavement to tradition, excited in them rancorous enmity. His disappointment of the popular desire for a political Messiah chilled the enthusiasm of the multitude, many of whom had heard him gladly. After about three years, he was betrayed by one of his followers, Judas Iscariot; was accused of heterodoxy and blasphemy before the Jewish Sanhedrim; the consent of Pilate to his death was extorted by a charge of treason based on the title of "king," which he had not refused; and he was crucified between two malefactors. Not many days elapsed before his disciples rallied from their despondency, and boldly and unitedly declared, before magistrates and people, that he had manifested himself to them in bodily form, in a series of interviews at definite places and times. They proclaimed his continued though invisible reign, his perpetual presence with them, and his future advent in power. In his name, and on the ground of his death, they preached the forgiveness of sins to all who should believe in him, and enter on a life of Christian obedience. In the year 33 or 34, the death of Stephen, the first martyr, at the hands of a Jewish mob, for a time dispersed the church at Jerusalem, and was one step towards the admission of the Gentiles to the privileges of the new faith. But the chief agent in effecting this result, and in thus giving to Christianity its universal character and mission, was the Apostle Paul, a converted Pharisee. Antioch in Syria became the cradle of the Gentile branch of the church, and of the missions to the heathen, in which Paul was the leader; while Peter was efficient in spreading the gospel among the Jews in Palestine and beyond its borders. By Paul numerous churches were founded in the course of three extended missionary journeys, which led him beyond Asia into Macedonia, Greece, and Illyricum. By him the gospel was preached from Jerusalem to Rome, where he died as a martyr under Nero in 67 or 68. Not far from the same time, according to a credible tradition, Peter, also, was put to death at Rome. The preachers of the Christian faith pursued their work with a fearless and untiring spirit, and met the malignant persecution of the Jews and the fanatical assaults of the heathen with patient endurance and with prayer for the pardon and enlightenment of their persecutors.