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Title: Pinnock's improved edition of Dr. Goldsmith's History of Rome - $b to which is prefixed an introduction to the study of Roman history, and a great variety of valuable information added throughout the work, on the manners, institutions, and antiquities of the Romans; with numerous biographical and historical notes; and questions for examination at the end of each section. - $c By Wm. C. Taylor.
Author: Goldsmith, Oliver, 1730-1774
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Pinnock's improved edition of Dr. Goldsmith's History of Rome - $b to which is prefixed an introduction to the study of Roman history, and a great variety of valuable information added throughout the work, on the manners, institutions, and antiquities of the Romans; with numerous biographical and historical notes; and questions for examination at the end of each section. - $c By Wm. C. Taylor." ***

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  [Illustration: Coliseum.]









  Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1848, by


  In the clerk's office of the District Court of the United States for
  the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.


  Franklin Buildings, Sixth Street below Arch, Philadelphia.


The researches of Niebuhr and several other distinguished German
scholars have thrown a new light on Roman History, and enabled us to
discover the true constitution of that republic which once ruled the
destinies of the known world, and the influence of whose literature
and laws is still powerful in every civilized state, and will probably
continue to be felt to the remotest posterity. These discoveries have,
however, been hitherto useless to junior students in this country; the
works of the German critics being unsuited to the purposes of schools,
not only from their price, but also from the extensive learning
requisite to follow them through their laborious disquisitions. The
editor has, therefore, thought that it would be no unacceptable
service, to prefix a few Introductory Chapters, detailing such results
from their inquiries as best elucidate the character and condition of
the Roman people, and explain the most important portion of the
history. The struggles between the patricians and plebeians,
respecting the agrarian laws have been so strangely misrepresented,
even by some of the best historians, that the nature of the contest
may, with truth, be said to have been wholly misunderstood before the
publication of Niebuhr's work: a perfect explanation of these
important matters cannot be expected in a work of this kind; the
Editors trust that the brief account given here of the Roman tenure of
land, and the nature of the agrarian laws, will be found sufficient
for all practical purposes. After all the researches that have been
made, the true origin of the Latin people, and even of the Roman city,
is involved in impenetrable obscurity; the legendary traditions
collected by the historians are, however, the best guides that we can
now follow; but it would be absurd to bestow implicit credit on all
the accounts they have given, and the editor has, therefore, pointed
out the uncertain nature of the early history, not to encourage
scepticism, but to accustom students to consider the nature of
historical evidence, and thus early form the useful habit of
criticising and weighing testimony.

The authorities followed in the geographical chapters, are principally
Heeren and Cramer; the treatise of the latter on ancient Italy is one
of the most valuable aids acquired by historical students within the
present century. Much important information respecting the peculiar
character of the Roman religion has been derived from Mr. Keightley's
excellent Treatise on Mythology; the only writer who has, in our
language, hitherto, explained the difference between the religious
systems of Greece and Rome. The account of the barbarians in the
conclusion of the volume, is, for the most part, extracted from
"Koch's Revolutions of Europe;" the sources of the notes, scattered
through the volume, are too varied for a distinct acknowledgment of

       *       *       *       *       *




I. Geographical Outline of Italy

II. The Latin Language and People--Credibility of the Early History

III. Topography of Rome

IV. The Roman Constitution

V. The Roman Tenure of Land--Colonial Government

VI. The Roman Religion

VII. The Roman Army and Navy

VIII. Roman Law.--Finance

IX. The public Amusements and private Life of the Romans

X. Geography of the empire at the time of its greatest extent


I. Of the Origin of the Romans

II. From the building of Rome to the death of Romulus

III. From the death of Romulus to the death of Numa

IV. From the death of Numa to the death of Tullus Hostilius

V. From the death of Tullus Hostilius to the death of Ancus Martius

VI. From the death of Ancus Martius to the death of Taiquinius Priscus

VII. From the death of Tarquinius Priscus to the death of Servius Tullius

VIII. From the death of Servius Tullius to the banishment of Tarquinius

IX. From the banishment of Tarquinius Superbus to the appointment of the
  first Dictator

X. From the Creation of the Dictator to the election of the Tribunes

XI. From the Creation of the Tribunes to the appointment of the Decemviri,

Section 1.--The great Volscian war

 ----   2.--Civil commotions on account of the Agrarian law

XII. From the creation of the Decemviri to the destruction of the city
  by the Gauls, viz.

Section 1.--Tyranny of the Decemviri

 ----   2.--Crimes of Appius--Revolt of the army

 ----   3.--Election of Military Tribunes--Creation of the

 ----   4.--Siege and capture of Veii--Invasion of the Gauls

 ----   5.--Deliverance of Rome from the Gauls

XIII. From the wars with the Samnites to the First Punic war, viz.

Section 1.--The Latin war

 ----   2.--Invasion of Italy by Pyrrhus, king of Epirus

 ----   3.--Defeat and departure of Pyrrhus

XIV. From the beginning of the First Punic war to the beginning of the
  Second, viz.

Section 1.--Causes and commencement of the war--Invasion of Africa by

 ----   2.--Death of Regulus--Final Triumph of the Romans

XV. The Second Punic war, viz.

Section 1.--Commencement of the war--Hannibal's invasion of Italy

 ----   2.--Victorious career of Hannibal

 ----   3.--Retrieval of the Roman affairs--Invasion of Africa by
  Scipio--Conclusion of the war

XVI. Macedonian, Syrian, Third Punic, and Spanish wars

XVII. From the Destruction of Carthage to the end of the Sedition of the
  Gracchi, viz.

Section 1.--Murder of Tiberius Gracchus

 ----   2.--Slaughter of Caius Gracchus and his adherents

XVIII. From the Sedition of Gracchus to the perpetual Dictatorship of
  Sylla, viz.

Section 1.--The Jugurthine and Social wars

 ----   2.--The cruel massacres perpetrated by Marius and Sylla

XIX. From the perpetual Dictatorship of Sylla to the first Triumvirate

XX. From the First Triumvirate to the death of Pompey, viz.

Section 1.--Cæsar's wars in Gaul--Commencement of the Civil war

 ----   2.--Cæsar's victorious career

 ----   3.--The campaign in Thessaly and Epirus

 ----   4.--The battle of Pharsalia----5.--Death of Pompey

XXI. From the Destruction of the Commonwealth to the establishment of the
  first Emperor, Augustus, viz.

Section 1.--Cæsar's Egyptian campaign

 ----   2.--The African campaign

 ----   3.--Death of Cæsar

 ----   4.--The Second Triumvirate

 ----   5.--The Battle of Philippi

 ----   6.--Dissensions of Antony and Augustus

 ----   7.--The Battle of Actium

 ----   8.--The Conquest of Egypt

XXII. From the accession of Augustus to the death of Domitian, viz.

Section 1.--The beneficent Administration of Augustus

 ----   2.--Death of Augustus

 ----   3.--The reign of Tiberius--Death of Germanicus

 ----   4.--Death of Sejanus and Tiberius--Accession of Caligula

 ----   5.--Extravagant cruelties of Caligula--His death

 ----   6.--The Reign of Claudius

 ----   7.--The reign of Nero

 ----   8.--Death of Nero--Reigns of Galba and Otho

 ----   9.--The reigns of Vitellius and Vespasian--The siege of
  Jerusalem by Titus

 ----  10.--The Reigns of Titus and Domitian

 ----  11.--The assassination of Domitian

XXIII. The Five good emperors of Rome, viz.

Section 1.--The Reigns of Nerva and Trajan

 ----   2.--The Reign of Adrian

 ----   3.--The Reign of Antoninus Pius

 ----   4.--The reign of Marcus Aurelius

XXIV. From the accession of Commodus to the change of the seat of
  Government, from Rome to Constantinople, viz.

Section 1.--The Reigns of Commodus, Pertinax, and Didius

 ----   2.--The Reigns of Severus, Caracalla, Maximus, and Heliogabalus

 ----   3.--The reigns of Alexander, Maximin, and Gordian

 ----   4.--The Reigns of Philip, Decius, Gallus, Valerian, Claudius,
  Aurelian, Tacitus, and Probus

 ----   5.--The reigns of Carus, Carinus, Dioclesian, and
  Constantius--Accession of Constantine

 ----   6.--The reign of Constantine XXV.

XXV. From the death of Constantine, to the reunion of the Roman empire
  under Theodosius the Great, viz.

Section 1.--The Reign of Constantius

 ----   2.--The Reigns of Julian Jovian, the Valentinians, and

XXVI. From the death of Theodosius to the subversion of the Western Empire,

Section 1.--The division of the Roman dominions into the Eastern and
  Western empires

 ----   2.--Decline and fall of the Western empire

XXVII. Historical notices of the different barbarous tribes that aided in
  overthrowing the Roman empire

XXVIII. The progress of Christianity

Chronological Index

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *




  Italia! oh, Italia! thou who hast
  The fatal gift of beauty, which became
  A funeral dower of present woes and past,
  On thy sweet brow is sorrow plough'd by shame,
  And annals traced in characters of flame.--_Byron_.

1. The outline of Italy presents a geographical unity and completeness
which naturally would lead us to believe that it was regarded as a
whole, and named as a single country, from the earliest ages. This
opinion would, however, be erroneous; while the country was possessed
by various independent tribes of varied origin and different customs,
the districts inhabited by each were reckoned separate states, and it
was not until these several nations had fallen under the power of one
predominant people that the physical unity which the peninsula
possesses was expressed by a single name. Italy was the name
originally given to a small peninsula in Brut'tium, between the
Scylacean and Napetine gulfs; the name was gradually made to
comprehend new districts, until at length it included the entire
country lying south of the Alps, between the Adriatic and Tuscan seas.
2. The names Hespéria, Satúrnia, and Oenot'ria have also been given
to this country by the poets; but these designations are not properly
applicable; for Hespéria was a general name for all the countries
lying to the west of Greece, and the other two names really belonged
to particular districts.

3. The northern boundary of Italy, in its full extent, is the chain of
the Alps, which forms a kind of crescent, with the convex side towards
Gaul. The various branches of these mountains had distinct names; the
most remarkable were, the Maritime Alps, extending from the Ligurian
sea to Mount Vésulus, _Veso_; the Collian, Graian, Penine, Rhoetian,
Tridentine, Carnic, and Julian Alps, which nearly complete the
crescent; the Euganean, Venetian, and Pannonian Alps, that extend the
chain to the east.

4. The political divisions of Italy have been frequently altered, but
it may be considered as naturally divided into Northern, Central, and
Southern Italy.

The principal divisions of Northern Italy were Ligu'ria and Cisalpine

5. Only one half of Liguria was accounted part of Italy; the remainder
was included in Gaul. The Ligurians originally possessed the entire
line of sea-coast from the Pyrennees to the Tiber, and the mountainous
district now called _Piedmont_; but before the historic age a great
part of their territory was wrested from them by the Iberians, the
Celts, and the Tuscans, until their limits were contracted nearly to
those of the present district attached to Genoa. Their chief cities
were Genúa, _Genoa_; Nicoe'a, _Nice_, founded by a colony from
Marseilles; and As'ta, _Asti_. The Ligurians were one of the last
Italian states conquered by the Romans; on account of their inveterate
hostility, they are grossly maligned by the historians of the
victorious people, and described as ignorant, treacherous, and
deceitful; but the Greek writers have given a different and more
impartial account; they assure us that the Ligurians were eminent for
boldness and dexterity, and at the same time patient and contented.

6. Cisalpine Gaul extended from Liguria to the Adriatic or Upper Sea,
and nearly coincides with the modern district of Lombardy. The country
is a continuous plain divided by the Pa'dus, _Po_, into two parts; the
northern, Gallia Transpada'na, was inhabited by the tribes of the
Tauri'ni, In'subres, and Cenoma'nni; the southern, Gallia Cispada'na,
was possessed by the Boi'i, Leno'nes, and Lingo'nes. 7. These plains
were originally inhabited by a portion of the Etrurian or Tuscan
nation, once the most powerful in Italy; but at an uncertain period a
vast horde of Celtic Gauls forced the passage of the Alps and spread
themselves over the country, which thence received their name.

8. It was sometimes called Gallia Toga'ta, because the invaders
conformed to Italian customs, and wore the toga. Cisalpine Gaul was
not accounted part of Italy in the republican age; its southern
boundary, the river Rubicon, being esteemed by the Romans the limit of
their domestic empire.

9. The river Pa'dus and its tributary streams fertilized these rich
plains. The principal rivers falling into the Padus were, from the
north, the Du'ria, _Durance_; the Tici'nus, _Tessino_; the Ad'dua,
_Adda_; the Ol'lius, _Oglio_; and the Min'tius, _Minzio_: from
the south, the Ta'narus, _Tanaro_, and the Tre'bia. The Ath'esis,
_Adige_; the Pla'vis, _Paive_; fall directly into the Adriatic.

10. The principal cities in Cisalpine Gaul were Roman colonies with
municipal rights; many of them have preserved their names unchanged to
the present day. The most remarkable were; north of the Pa'dus,
Terge'ste, _Trieste_; Aquilei'a; Pata'vium, _Padua_; Vincen'tia,
Vero'na, all east of the Athe'sis: Mantua; Cremo'na; Brix'ia,
_Brescia_; Mediola'num, _Milan_; Tici'num, _Pavia_; and Augusta
Turino'rum, _Turin_; all west of the Athe'sis. South of the Po we find
Raven'na; Bono'nia, _Bologna_; Muti'na, _Modena_; Par'ma, and
Placen'tia. 11. From the time that Rome was burned by the Gauls (B.C.
390), the Romans were harassed by the hostilities of this warlike
people; and it was not until after the first Punic war, that any
vigorous efforts were made for their subjugation. The Cisalpine Gauls,
after a fierce resistance, were overthrown by Marcell'us (B.C. 223)
and compelled to submit, and immediately afterwards military colonies
were sent out as garrisons to the most favourable situations in their
country. The Gauls zealously supported An'nibal when he invaded Italy,
and were severely punished when the Romans finally became victorious.

12. North-east of Cisalpine Gaul, at the upper extremity of the
Adriatic, lay the territory of the Venetians; they were a rich and
unwarlike people, and submitted to the Romans without a struggle, long
before northern Italy had been annexed to the dominions of the

13. Central Italy comprises six countries, Etru'ria, La'tium, and
Campa'nia on the west; Um'bria, Pice'num, and Sam'nium, on the east.

14. Etru'ria, called also Tus'cia (whence the modern name _Tuscany_)
and Tyrrhe'nia, was an extensive mountainous district, bounded on the
north by the river Mac'ra, and on the south and east by the Tiber. The
chain of the Apennines, which intersects middle and Lower Italy,
commences in the north of Etru'ria. The chief river is the Ar'nus,
_Arno_. 15. The names Etruscan and Tyrrhenian, indifferently applied
to the inhabitants of this country, originally belonged to different
tribes, which, before the historic age, coalesced into one people. The
Etruscans appear to have been Celts who descended from the Alps; the
Tyrrhenians were undoubtedly a part of the Pelas'gi who originally
possessed the south-east of Europe. The circumstances of the
Pelasgic migration are differently related by the several historians,
but the fact is asserted by all.[1] These Tyrrhenians brought with
them the knowledge of letters and the arts, and the united people
attained a high degree of power and civilization, long before the name
of Rome was known beyond the precincts of Latium. They possessed a
strong naval force, which was chiefly employed in piratical
expeditions, and they claimed the sovereignty of the western seas. The
first sea-fight recorded in history was fought between the fugitive
Phocians,[2] and the allied fleets of the Tyrrhenians and the
Carthaginians (B.C. 539.)

16. To commerce and navigation the Etruscans were indebted for their
opulence and consequent magnificence; their destruction was owing to
the defects of their political system. There were twelve Tuscan cities
united in a federative alliance. Between the Mac'ra and Arnus were,
Pi'sæ, _Pisa_; Floren'tia, _Florence_; and Fæ'sulæ: between the Arnus
and the Tiber, Volate'rræ, _Volterra_; Volsin'ii, _Bolsena_; Clu'sium,
_Chiusi_; Arre'tium, _Arrezzo_; Corto'na; Peru'sia, _Perugia_, (near
which is the Thrasamene lake); Fale'rii, and Ve'ii.

17. Each of these cities was ruled by a chief magistrate called
_lu'cumo_, chosen for life; he possessed regal power, and is
frequently called a king by the Roman historians. In enterprises
undertaken by the whole body, the supreme command was committed to one
of the twelve _lucumones_, and he received a lictor from each city.
But from the time that Roman history begins to assume a regular form,
the Tuscan cities stand isolated, uniting only transiently and
casually; we do not, however, find any traces of intestine wars
between the several states.

18. The Etrurian form of government was aristocratical, and the
condition of the people appears to have been miserable in the extreme;
they were treated as slaves destitute of political rights, and
compelled to labour solely for the benefit of their taskmasters. A
revolution at a late period took place at Volsin'ii, and the exclusive
privileges of the nobility abolished after a fierce and bloody
struggle; it is remarkable that this town, in which the people had
obtained their rights, alone made an obstinate resistance to the

19. The progress of the Tuscans in the fine arts is attested by the
monuments that still remain; but of their literature we know
nothing; their language is unknown, and their books have perished. In
the first ages of the Roman republic, the children of the nobility
were sent to Etru'ria for education, especially in divination and the
art of soothsaying, in which the Tuscans were supposed to excel. The
form of the Roman constitution, the religious ceremonies, and the
ensigns of civil government, were borrowed from the Etrurians.

20. La'tium originally extended along the coast from the Tiber to the
promontory of Circe'ii; hence that district was called, old La'tium;
the part subsequently added, called new La'tium, extended from Circeii
to the Li'ris, _Garigliano_. The people were called Latins; but
eastward, towards the Apennines, were the tribes of the Her'nici, the
Æ'qui, the Mar'si, and the Sabines; and on the south were the Vols'ci,
Ru'tuli, and Aurun'ci. The chief rivers in this country were the
A'nio, _Teverone_; and Al'lia, which fall into the Tiber; and the
Liris, _Garigliano_; which flows directly into the Mediterranean.

21. The chief cities in old Latium were ROME; Ti'bur, _Tivoli_;
Tus'culum, _Frescati_; Al'ba Lon'ga, of which no trace remains;
Lavin'ium; An'tium; Ga'bii; and Os'tia, _Civita Vecchia_; the chief
towns in new Latium were Fun'di, Anx'ur or Terraci'na, Ar'pinum,
Mintur'næ, and For'miæ.

22. CAMPA'NIA included the fertile volcanic plains that lie between
the Liris on the north, and the Si'lanus, _Selo_, on the south; the
other most remarkable river was the Voltur'nus, _Volturno_. The chief
cities were, Ca'pua the capital, Linter'num, Cu'mæ, Neapo'lis,
_Naples_; Hercula'neum, Pompe'ii, Surren'tum, Saler'num, &c. The
original inhabitants of Campa'nia, were the Auso'nes and Op'ici or
Osci, the most ancient of the native Italian tribes. The Tyrrhenian
Pelas'gi made several settlements on the coast, and are supposed to
have founded Cap'ua. The Etruscans were afterwards masters of the
country, but their dominion was of brief duration, and left no trace
behind. Campa'nia was subdued by the Romans after the Volscian war.

23. The soil of Campa'nia is the most fruitful, perhaps, in the world,
but it is subject to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Mount
Vesu'vius in the early ages of Italy was not a volcano; its first
eruption took place A.D. 79.

24. UM'BRIA extended along the middle and east of Italy, from the
river Rubicon in the north, to the Æ'sis, _Gesano_, dividing it
from Pise'num, and the Nar, _Nera_, separating it from Sam'nium in the
south. The Umbrians were esteemed one of the most ancient races in
Italy, and were said to have possessed the greater part of the
northern and central provinces. They were divided into several tribes,
which seem to have been semi-barbarous, and they were subject to the
Gauls before they were conquered by the Romans. Their chief towns were
Arimi'nium, _Rimini_; Spole'tium, _Spoleto_; Nar'nia, _Narni_; and
Ocricu'lum, _Otriculi_.

25. PICE'NUM was the name given to the fertile plain that skirts the
Adriatic, between the Æ'sis, _Gesano_, and the Atar'nus, _Pescara_.
The chief cities were Anco'na and Asc'ulum Pice'num, _Ascoli_. The
Picentines were descended from the Sabines, and observed the strict
and severe discipline of that warlike race, but they were destitute of
courage or vigour.

26. SAM'NIUM included the mountainous tract which stretches from the
Atar'nus in the north, to the Fren'to in the south. It was inhabited
by several tribes descended from the Sabines[3] and Ma'rsi, of which
the Samnites were the most distinguished; the other most remarkable
septs were the Marruci'ni and Pelig'ni in the north, the Frenta'ni in
the east, and the Hirpi'ni in the south.

27. The Samnites were distinguished by their love of war, and their
unconquerable attachment to liberty; their sway at one time extended
over Campa'nia, and the greater part of central Italy; and the Romans
found them the fiercest and most dangerous of their early enemies. The
chief towns in the Samnite territory were Alli'fæ, Beneventum, and

28. Lower Italy was also called Magna Græ'cia, from the number of
Greek[4] colonies that settled on the coast; it comprised four
countries; Luca'nia and Brut'tium on the west, and Apu'lia and
Cala'bria on the east.

29. LUCA'NIA was a mountainous country between the Sil'arus, _Selo_,
on the north, and the Lä'us, _Lavo_, on the south. The Lucanians were
of Sabine origin, and conquered the Oenotrians, who first
possessed the country: they also subdued several Greek cities on the
coast. The chief cities were Posido'nia or Pæstum, He'lia or Ve'lia,
Sib'aris and Thu'rii.

30. Brut'tium is the modern Cala'bria, and received that name when the
ancient province was wrested from the empire. It included the tongue
of land from the river Läus to the southern extremity of Italy at
Rhe'gium. The mountains of the interior were inhabited by the
Bruta'tes or Brut'tii, a semi-barbarous tribe, at first subject to the
Sibarites, and afterwards to the Lucanians. In a late age they
asserted their independence, and maintained a vigorous resistance to
the Romans. As the Brut'tii used the Oscan language, they must have
been of the Ausonian race. The chief towns were the Greek settlements
on the coast, Consen'tia, _Cosenza_; Pando'sia, _Cirenza_; Croto'na,
Mame'rtum, Petil'ia, and Rhe'gium, _Reggio_.

31. Apu'lia extended along the eastern coast from the river Fren'to,
to the eastern tongue of land which forms the foot of the boot, to
which Italy has been compared. It was a very fruitful plain, without
fortresses or harbours, and was particularly adapted to grazing
cattle. It was divided by the river Au'fidus, _Ofanto_, into Apu'lia
Dau'nia, and Apu'lia Peuce'tia, or pine-bearing Apu'lia. The chief
towns were, in Dau'nia, Sipon'tum and Luce'ria: in Peuce'tia, Ba'rium,
Can'næ, and Venu'sia.

32. Cala'bria, or Messa'pia, is the eastern tongue of land which
terminates at Cape Japy'gium, _Santa Maria_; it was almost wholly
occupied by Grecian colonies. The chief towns were Brundu'sium,
_Brindisi_: Callipolis, _Gallipoli_: and Taren'tum.

33. The islands of Sicily, Corsica, and Sardinia, which are now
reckoned as appertaining to Italy, were by the Romans considered
separate provinces.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. How is Italy situated?

2. By what names was the country known to the ancients?

3. How is Italy bounded on the north?

4. What districts were in northern Italy?

5. What was the extent of Liguria, and the character of its

6. How was Cisalpine Gaul divided?

7. By whom was Cisalpine Gaul inhabited?

8. Why was it called Togata?

9. What are the principal rivers in northern Italy?

10. What are the chief cities in Cisalpine Gaul?

11. When did the Romans subdue this district?

12. Did the Venetians resist the Roman power?

13. What are the chief divisions of central Italy?

14. How is Etruria situated?

15. By what people was Etruria colonized?

16. What were the Tuscan cities?

17. How were the cities ruled?

18. What was the general form of Tuscan government?

19. For what were the Tuscans remarkable?

20. What was the geographical situation of Latium?

21. What were the chief towns in Latium?

22. What towns and people were in Campania?

23. For what is the soil of Campania remarkable?

24. What description is given of Umbria?

25. What towns and people were in Picenum?

26. From whom were the Samnites descended?

27. What was the character of this people?

28. How was southern Italy divided?

29. What description is given of Lucania?

30. By what people was Bruttium inhabited?

31. What is the geographical situation of Apulia?

32. What description is given of Calabria?

33. What islands belong to Italy?


[1] See Pinnock's History of Greece, Chap. I.

[2] See Historical Miscellany, Part II. Chap. I.

[3] These colonies, sent out by the Sabines, are said to have
originated from the observance of the Ver sacrum (_sacred spring_.)
During certain years, every thing was vowed to the gods that was born
between the calends (first day) of March and May, whether men or
animals. At first they were sacrificed; but in later ages this cruel
custom was laid aside, and they were sent out as colonists.

[4] The history of these colonies is contained in the Historical
Miscellany, Part II. Chap. ii.

       *       *       *       *       *



  Succeeding times did equal folly call.
  Believing nothing, or believing all.--_Dryden._

The Latin language contains two primary elements, the first intimately
connected with the Grecian, and the second with the Oscan tongue; to
the former, for the most part, belong all words expressing the arts
and relations of civilized life; to the latter, such terms as express
the wants of men before society has been organized. We are therefore
warranted in conjecturing that the Latin people was a mixed race; that
one of its component parts came from some Grecian stock, and
introduced the first elements of civilization, and that the other was
indigenous, and borrowed refinement from the strangers. The traditions
recorded by the historians sufficiently confirm this opinion; they
unanimously assert that certain bodies of Pelasgi came into the
country before the historic age, and coalesced with the ancient
inhabitants. The traditions respecting these immigrations are so
varied, that it is impossible to discover any of the circumstances;
but there is one so connected with the early history of Rome, that it
cannot be passed over without notice. All the Roman historians
declare, that after the destruction of Troy, Æneas, with a body of the
fugitives, arrived in Latium, and having married the daughter of king
Lati'nus, succeeded him on the throne. It would be easy to show that
this narrative is so very improbable, as to be wholly unworthy of
credit; but how are we to account for the universal credence which it
received? To decide this question we must discuss the credibility of
the early Roman history, a subject which has of late years attracted
more than ordinary attention.

The first Roman historian of any authority, was Fa'bius Pic'tor, who
flourished at the close of the second Punic war; that is, about five
centuries and a half after the foundation of the city, and nearly a
thousand years after the destruction of Troy. The materials from which
his narrative was compiled, were the legendary ballads, which are in
every country the first record of warlike exploits; the calendars and
annals kept by the priests, and the documents kept by noble families
to establish their genealogy. Imperfect as these materials must
necessarily have been under any circumstances, we must remember that
the city of Rome was twice captured; once by Porsenna, and a second
time by the Gauls, about a century and a half before Fabius was born.
On the latter occasion the city was burned to the ground, and the
capital saved only by the payment of an immense ransom. By such a
calamity it is manifest that the most valuable documents must have
been dispersed or destroyed, and the part that escaped thrown into
great disorder. The heroic songs might indeed have been preserved in
the memory of the public reciters; but there is little necessity for
proving that poetic historians would naturally mingle so much fiction
with truth, that few of their assertions could be deemed authentic.
The history of the four first centuries of the Roman state is
accordingly full of the greatest inconsistences and improbabilities;
so much so, that many respectable writers have rejected the whole as
unworthy of credit; but this is as great an excess in scepticism, as
the reception of the whole would be of credulity. But if the
founders of the city, the date of its erection, and the circumstances
under which its citizens were assembled be altogether doubtful, as
will subsequently be shown, assuredly the history of events that
occurred four centuries previous must be involved in still greater
obscurity. The legend of Æneas, when he first appears noticed as a
progenitor of the Romans, differs materially from that which
afterwards prevailed. Romulus, in the earlier version of the story, is
invariably described as the son or grandson of Æneas. He is the
grandson in the poems of Nævius and Ennius, who were both nearly
contemporary with Fabius Pictor. This gave rise to an insuperable
chronological difficulty; for Troy was destroyed B.C. 1184, and Rome
was not founded until B.C. 753. To remedy this incongruity, a list of
Latin kings intervening between Æne'as and Rom'ulus, was invented; but
the forgery was so clumsily executed, that its falsehood is apparent
on the slightest inspection. It may also be remarked, that the actions
attributed to Æneas are, in other traditions of the same age and
country, ascribed to other adventurers; to Evander, a Pelasgic leader
from Arcadia, who is said to have founded a city on the site
afterwards occupied by Rome; or to Uly'sses, whose son Tele'gonus is
reported to have built Tus'culum.

If then we deny the historical truth of a legend which seems to have
been universally credited by the Romans, how are we to account for the
origin of the tale? Was the tradition of native growth, or was it
imported from Greece when the literature of that country was
introduced into Latium? These are questions that can only be answered
by guess; but perhaps the following theory may in some degree be found
satisfactory. We have shown that tradition, from the earliest age,
invariably asserted that Pelasgic colonies had formed settlements in
central Italy; nothing is more notorious than the custom of the
Pelasgic tribes to take the name of their general, or of some town in
which they had taken up their temporary residence; now Æne'a and Æ'nus
were common names of the Pelasgic towns; the city of Thessaloni'ca was
erected on the site of the ancient Æne'a; there was an Æ'nus in
Thrace,[A] another in Thessaly,[A] another among the Locrians, and
another in Epi'rus:[1] hence it is not very improbable but that some
of the Pelasgic tribes which entered Latium may have been called
the Æne'adæ; and the name, as in a thousand instances, preserved after
the cause was forgotten. This conjecture is confirmed by the fact,
that temples traditionally said to have been erected by a people
called the Æne'adæ, are found in the Macedonian peninsula of
Pall'ene,[2] in the islands of De'los, Cythe'ra, Zacy'nthus,
Leuca'dia, and Sicily, on the western coasts of Ambra'cia and Epi'rus,
and on the southern coast of Sicily.

The account of several Trojans, and especially Æne'as, having survived
the destruction of the city, is as old as the earliest narrative of
that famous siege; Homer distinctly asserts it when he makes Neptune

    --Nor thus can Jove resign
  The future father of the Dardan line:
  The first great ancestor obtain'd his grace,
  And still his love descends on all the race.
  For Priam now, and Priam's faithless kind,
  At length are odious, to the all-seeing mind;
  On great Æneas shall devolve the reign,
  And sons succeeding sons the lasting line sustain.
    ILIAD, xx.

But long before the historic age, Phrygia and the greater part of the
western shores of Asia Minor were occupied by Grecian colonies, and
all remembrance of Æne'as and his followers lost. When the narrative
of the Trojan war, with other Greek legends, began to be circulated in
Lati'um, it was natural that the identity of name should have led to
the confounding of the Æne'adæ who had survived the destruction of
Troy, with those who had come to La'tium from the Pelasgic Æ'nus. The
cities which were said to be founded by the Æne'adæ were, Latin Troy,
which possessed empire for three years; Lavinium, whose sway lasted
thirty; Alba, which was supreme for three hundred years; and Rome,
whose dominion was to be interminable, though some assign a limit of
three thousand years. These numbers bear evident traces of
superstitious invention; and the legends by which these cities are
successively deduced from the first encampment of Æne'as, are at
variance with these fanciful periods. The account that Alba was built
by a son of Æne'as, who had been guided to the spot by a white sow,
which had farrowed thirty young, is clearly a story framed from
the similarity of the name to Albus (_white_,) and the circumstance of
the city having been the capital of the thirty Latin tribes. The city
derived its name from its position on the Alban mountain; for _Alb_,
or _Alp_, signifies lofty in the ancient language of Italy, and the
emblem of a sow with thirty young, may have been a significant emblem
of the dominion which it unquestionably possessed over the other Latin
states. The only thing that we can establish as certain in the early
history of La'tium is, that its inhabitants were of a mixed race, and
the sources from whence they sprung Pelasgic and Oscan; that is, one
connected with the Greeks, and the other with some ancient Italian
tribe. We have seen that this fact is the basis of all their
traditions, that it is confirmed by the structure of their language,
and, we may add, that it is further proved by their political
institutions. In all the Latin cities, as well as Rome, we find the
people divided into an aristocracy and democracy, or, as they are more
properly called, Patricians and Plebeians. The experience of all ages
warrants the inference, which may be best stated in the words of Dr.
Faber: "In the progress of the human mind there is an invariable
tendency not to introduce into an undisturbed community a palpable
difference between lords and serfs, instead of a legal equality of
rights; but to abolish such difference by enfranchising the serfs.
Hence, from the universal experience of history, we may be sure that
whenever this distinction is found to exist, the society must be
composed of two races differing from each other in point of origin."

The traditions respecting the origin of Rome are innumerable; some
historians assert that its founder was a Greek; others, Æneas and his
Trojans; and others give the honour to the Tyrrhenians: all, however,
agree, that the first inhabitants were a Latin colony from Alba. Even
those who adopted the most current story, which is followed by Dr.
Goldsmith, believed that the city existed before the time of Rom'ulus,
and that he was called the founder from being the first who gave it
strength and stability. It seems probable that several villages might
have been formed at an early age on the different hills, which were
afterwards included in the circuit of Rome; and that the first of them
which obtained a decided superiority, the village on the Palatine
hill, finally absorbed the rest, and gave its name to "the eternal

There seems to be some uncertainty whether Romulus gave his name
to the city, or derived his own from it; the latter is asserted by
several historians, but those who ascribe to the city a Grecian
origin, with some show of probability assert that Romus (another form
of Romulus) and Roma are both derived from the Greek [Greek: rômê],
_strength_. The city, we are assured, had another name, which the
priests were forbidden to divulge; but what that was, it is now
impossible to discover.

We have thus traced the history of the Latins down to the period when
Rome was founded, or at least when it became a city, and shown how
little reliance can be placed on the accounts given of these periods
by the early historians. We shall hereafter see that great uncertainty
rests on the history of Rome itself during the first four centuries of
its existence.


[1] It is scarcely necessary to remark that the Pelas'gi were the
original settlers in these countries.

[2] In all these places we find also the Tyrrhenian Pelas'gi.

       *       *       *       *       *



  Full in the centre of these wondrous works
  The pride of earth! Rome in her glory see.--_Thomson._

1. The city of Rome, according to _Varro_, was founded in the fourth
year of the sixth _Olympiad_, B.C. 753; but Cato, the censor, places
the event four years later, in the second year of the seventh
Olympiad. The day of its foundation was the 21st of April, which was
sacred to the rural goddess Pa'les, when the rustics were accustomed
to solicit the increase of their flocks from the deity, and to purify
themselves for involuntary violation of the consecrated places. The
account preserved by tradition of the ceremonies used on this
occasion, confirms the opinion of those who contend that Rome had a
previous existence as a village, and that what is called its
foundation was really an enlargement of its boundaries, by taking in
the ground at the foot of the Palatine hill. The first care of
Ro'mulus was to mark out the Pomoe'rium; a space round the walls of
the city, on which it was unlawful to erect buildings.

2. The person who determined the Pomoe'rium yoked a bullock and
heifer to a plough, having a copper-share, and drew a furrow to mark
the course of the future wall; he guided the plough so that all the
sods might fall inwards, and was followed by others, who took
care that none should lie the other way. 3. When he came to the place
where it was designed to erect a gate, the plough was taken up,[1] and
carried to where the wall recommenced. The next ceremony was the
consecration of the commit'ium, or place of public assembly. A vault
was built under ground, and filled with the firstlings of all the
natural productions that sustain human life, and with earth which each
foreign settler had brought from his own home. This place was called
_Mun'dus_, and was supposed to become the gate of the lower world; it
was opened on three several days of the year, for the spirits of the

4. The next addition made to the city was the Sabine town,[2] which
occupied the Quirinal and part of the Capitoline hills. The name of
this town most probably was Qui'rium, and from it the Roman people
received the name Quirites. The two cities were united on terms of
equality, and the double-faced Ja'nus stamped on the earliest Roman
coins was probably a symbol of the double state. They were at first so
disunited, that even the rights of intermarriage did not exist between
them, and it was probably from Qui'rium that the Roman youths obtained
the wives[3] by force, which were refused to their entreaties. 5. The
next addition was the Coelian hill,[4] on which a Tuscan colony
settled; from these three colonies the three tribes of Ram'nes,
Ti'ties, and Lu'ceres were formed. 6. The Ram'nes, or Ram'nenses,
derived their name from Rom'ulus; the Tities, or Titien'ses, from
Titus Tatius, the king of the Sabines; and the Lu'ceres, from
Lu'cumo, the Tuscan title of a general or leader.[5] From this it
appears that the three tribes[6] were really three distinct nations,
differing in their origin, and dwelling apart.

7. The city was enlarged by Tullus Hostilius,[7] after the destruction
of Alba, and the Viminal hill included within the walls; Ancus Martius
added mount Aventine, and the Esquiline and Capitoline[8] being
enclosed in the next reign, completed the number of the seven hills on
which the ancient city stood.

8. The hill called Jani'culum, on the north bank of the Tiber, was
fortified as an outwork by Ancus Martius, and joined to the city by
the bridge; he also dug a trench round the newly erected buildings,
for their greater security, and called it the ditch of the Quirites.
9. The public works erected by the kings were of stupendous magnitude,
but the private buildings were wretched, the streets narrow, and the
houses mean. It was not until after the burning of the city by the
Gauls that the city was laid out on a better plan; after the Punic
wars wealth flowed in abundantly, and private persons began to erect
magnificent mansions. From the period of the conquest of Asia until
the reign of Augustus, the city daily augmented its splendour, but so
much was added by that emperor, that he boasted that "he found Rome a
city of brick, and left it a city of marble."

10. The circumference of the city has been variously estimated, some
writers including in their computation a part of the suburbs;
according to Pliny it was near twenty miles round the walls. In
consequence of this great extent the city had more than thirty gates,
of which the most remarkable were the Carmental, the Esquiline, the
Triumphal, the Naval, and those called Tergem'ina and Cape'na.

11. The division of the city into four tribes continued until the
reign of Augustus; a new arrangement was made by the emperor, who
divided Rome into fourteen wards, or regions.[9] The magnificent
public and private buildings in a city so extensive and wealthy were
very numerous, and a bare catalogue of them would fill a volume;[10]
our attention must be confined to those which possessed some
historical importance.

12. The most celebrated and conspicuous buildings were in the eighth
division of the city, which contained the Capitol and its temples, the
Senate House, and the Forum. The Capitoline-hill was anciently called
Saturnius, from the ancient city of Satur'nia, of which it was the
citadel; it was afterwards called the Tarpeian mount, and finally
received the name of Capitoline from a human head[11] being found on
its summit when the foundations of the temple of Jupiter were laid. It
had two summits; that on the south retained the name Tarpeian;[12] the
northern was properly the Capitol. 13. On this part of the hill
Romulus first established his asylum, in a sacred grove, dedicated to
some unknown divinity; and erected a fort or citadel[13] on the
Tarpeian summit. The celebrated temple of Jupiter Capitoli'nus,
erected on this hill, was begun by the elder Tarquin, and finished by
Tarquin the Proud. It was burned down in the civil wars between
Ma'rius and Syl'la,  but restored by the latter, who adorned it
with pillars taken from the temple of Jupiter at Olympia. It was
rebuilt after similar accidents by Vespa'sian and Domitian, and on
each occasion with additional splendour. The rich ornaments and gifts
presented to this temple by different princes and generals amounted to
a scarcely credible sum. The gold and jewels given by Augustus alone
are said to have exceeded in value four thousand pounds sterling. A
nail was annually driven into the wall of the temple to mark the
course of time; besides this chronological record, it contained the
Sibylline books, and other oracles supposed to be pregnant with the
fate of the city. There were several other temples on this hill, of
which the most remarkable was that of Jupiter Feretrius, erected by
Romulus, where the spolia opima were deposited.

14. The Forum, or place of public assembly, was situated between the
Palatine and Capitoline hills. It was surrounded with temples,
basilicks,[14] and public offices, and adorned with innumerable
statues.[15] On one side of this space were the elevated seats from
which the Roman magistrates and orators addressed the people; they
were called Rostra, because they were ornamented with the beaks of
some galleys taken from the city of Antium. In the centre of the forum
was a place called the Curtian Lake, either from a Sabine general
called Curtius, said to have been smothered in the marsh which was
once there; or from[16] the Roman knight who plunged into a gulf that
opened suddenly on the spot. The celebrated temple of Ja'nus, built
entirely of bronze, stood in the Forum; it is supposed to have been
erected by Numa. The gates of this temple were opened in time of war,
and shut during peace. So continuous we're the wars of the Romans,
that the gates were only closed three times during the space of eight
centuries. In the vicinity stood the temple of Concord, where the
senate frequently assembled, and the temple of Vesta, where the
palla'dium was said to be deposited.

15. Above the rostra was the Senate-house, said to have been
first erected by Tullus Hostilius; and near the Comitium, or place of
meeting for the patrician Curiæ.[17] This area was at first uncovered,
but a roof was erected at the close of the second Pu'nic war.

16. The Cam'pus Mar'tius, or field of Mars, was originally the estate
of Tarquin the Proud, and was, with his other property, confiscated
after the expulsion of that monarch. It was a large space, where
armies were mustered, general assemblies of the people held, and the
young nobility trained in martial exercises. In the later ages, it was
surrounded by several magnificent structures, and porticos were
erected, under which the citizens might take their accustomed exercise
in rainy weather. These improvements were principally made by Marcus
Agrippa, in the reign of Augustus. 17. He erected in the
neighbourhood, the Panthe'on, or temple of all the gods, one of the
most splendid buildings in ancient Rome. It is of a circular form, and
its roof is in the form of a cupola or dome; it is used at present as
a Christian church. Near the Panthe'on were the baths and gardens
which Agrippa, at his death, bequeathed to the Roman people.

18. The theatres and circi for the exhibition of public spectacles
were very numerous. The first theatre was erected by Pompey the Great;
but the Circus Maximus, where gladiatorial combats were displayed, was
erected by Tarquinus Priscus; this enormous building was frequently
enlarged, and in the age of Pliny could accommodate two hundred
thousand spectators. A still more remarkable edifice was the
amphitheatre erected by Vespasian, called, from its enormous size, the

19. Public baths were early erected for the use of the people, and in
the later ages were among the most remarkable displays of Roman luxury
and splendour. Lofty arches, stately pillars, vaulted ceilings, seats
of solid silver, costly marbles inlaid with precious stones, were
exhibited in these buildings with the most lavish profusion.

20. The aqueducts for supplying the city with water, were still more
worthy of admiration; they were supported by arches, many of them a
hundred feet high, and carried over mountains and morasses that might
have appeared insuperable. The first aqueduct was erected by Ap'pius
Clo'dius, the censor, four hundred years after the foundation
of the city; but under the emperors there were not less than twenty of
these useful structures, and such was the supply of water, that rivers
seemed to flow through the streets and sewers. Even now, though only
three of the aqueducts remain, such are their dimensions that no city
in Europe has a greater abundance of wholesome water than Rome.

21. The Cloa'cæ, or common sewers, attracted the wonder of the
ancients themselves; the largest was completed by Tarquin the Proud.
The innermost vault of this astonishing structure forms a semicircle
eighteen Roman palms wide, and as many high: this is inclosed in a
second vault, and that again in a third, all formed of hewn blocks of
pepenno, fixed together without cement. So extensive were these
channels, that in the reign of Augustus the city was subterraneously

22. The public roads were little inferior to the aqueducts and Cloa'cæ
in utility and costliness; the chief was the Appian road from Rome to
Brundu'sium; it extended three hundred and fifty miles, and was paved
with huge squares through its entire length. After the lapse of
nineteen centuries many parts of it are still as perfect as when it
was first made.

23. The Appian road passed through the following towns; Ari'cia,
Fo'rum Ap'pii, An'xur or Terraci'na, Fun'di, Mintur'næ, Sinue'ssa,
Cap'ua, Can'dium, Beneven'tum, Equotu'ticum, Herdo'nia, Canu'sium,
Ba'rium, and Brundu'sium. Between Fo'rum Ap'pii and Terraci'na lie the
celebrated Pomptine marshes, formed by the overflowing of some small
streams. In the flourishing ages of Roman history these pestilential
marshes did not exist, or were confined to a very limited space; but
from the decline of the Roman empire, the waters gradually encroached,
until the successful exertions made by the Pontiffs in modern times to
arrest their baleful progress. Before the drainage of Pope Sixtus, the
marshes covered at least thirteen thousand acres of ground, which in
the earlier ages was the most fruitful portion of the Italian soil.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. When was Rome founded?

2. What ceremonies were used in determining the pomcerium?

3. How was the comitium consecrated?

4. What was the first addition made to Rome?

5. What was the next addition?

6. Into what tribes were the Romans divided?

7. What were the hills added in later times to Rome?

8. Had the Romans any buildings north of the Tiber?

9. When did Rome become a magnificent city?

10. What was the extent of the city?

11. How was the city divided?

12. Which was the most remarkable of the seven hills?

13. What buildings were on the Capitoline hill?

14. What description is given of the forum?

15. Where was the senate-house and comitium?

16. What use was made of the Campus Martius?

17. What was the Pantheon?

18. Were the theatres and circii remarkable?

19. Had the Romans public baths?

20. How was the city supplied with water?

21. Were the cloacæ remarkable for their size?

22. Which was the chief Italian road?

23. What were the most remarkable places on the Appian road?


[1] Hence a gate was called _porta_, from _porta're_, to carry. The
reason of this part of the ceremony was, that the plough being deemed
holy, it was unlawful that any thing unclean should pollute the place
which it had touched; but it was obviously necessary that things clean
and unclean should pass through the gates of the city. It is
remarkable that all the ceremonies here mentioned were imitated from
the Tuscans.

[2] This, though apparently a mere conjecture, has been so fully
proved by Niebuhr, (vol. i. p. 251,) that it may safely be assumed as
an historical fact.

[3] See Chapter II. of the following history.

[4] All authors are agreed that the Coelian hill was named from
Coeles Viben'na, a Tuscan chief; but there is a great variety in the
date assigned to his settlement at Rome. Some make him cotemporary
with Rom'ulus, others with the elder Tarquin, or Servius Tullius. In
this uncertainty all that can be satisfactorily determined is, that at
some early period a Tuscan colony settled in Rome.

[5] Others say that they were named so in honour of Lu'ceres, king of
Ardea, according to which theory the third would have been a
Pelasgo-Tyrrhenian colony.

[6] We shall hereafter have occasion to remark, that the Lu'ceres were
subject to the other tribes.

[7] See History, Chapter IV.

[8] The Pincian and Vatican hills were added at a much later period
and these, with Janiculum, made the number ten.

[9] They were named as follow:

1. Porta Cape'na 2. Coelimon'tium 3. I'sis and Sera'pis 4. Via
Sa'cra 5. Esquili'na 6. Acta Se'mita 7. Vita Lata 8. Forum Roma'num 9.
Circus Flamin'ius 10. Pala'tium 11. Circus Max'imus 12. Pici'na
Pub'lica 13. Aventinus 14. Transtiberi'na.

The divisions made by Servius were named: the Suburan, which comprised
chiefly the Coelian mount; the Colline, which included the Viminal
and Quirinal hills; the Esquiline and Palatine, which evidently
coincided with the hills of the same name.

[10] Among the public buildings of ancient Rome, when in her zenith,
are numbered 420 temples, five regular theatres, two amphitheatres,
and seven circusses of vast extent; sixteen public baths, fourteen
aqueducts, from which a prodigious number of fountains were constantly
supplied; innumerable palaces and public halls, stately columns,
splendid porticos, and lofty obelisks.

[11] From _caput_, "a head."

[12] State criminals were punished by being precipitated from the
Tarpeian rock; the soil has been since so much raised by the
accumulation of ruins, that a fall from it is no longer dangerous.

[13] In the reign of Numa, the Quirinal hill was deemed the citadel of
Rome; an additional confirmation of Niebuhr's theory, that Quirium was
a Sabine town, which, being early absorbed in Rome, was mistaken by
subsequent, writers for Cu'res.

[14] Basilicks were spacious halls for the administration of justice.

[15] It is called _Templum_ by Livy; but the word templum with the
Romans does not mean an edifice, but a consecrated inclosure. From its
position, we may conjecture that the forum was originally a place of
meeting common to the inhabitants of the Sabine town on the Quirinal,
and the Latin town on the Palatine hill.

[16] See Chap. XII. Sect. V. of the following History.

[17] See the following chapter.

       *       *       *       *       *



  As once in virtue, so in vice extreme,
  This universal fabric yielded loose,
  Before ambition still; and thundering down,
  At last beneath its ruins crush'd a world.--_Thomson_.

I. The most remarkable feature in the Roman constitution is the
division of the people into Patricians and Plebeians, and our first
inquiry must be the origin of this separation. It is clearly
impossible that such a distinction could have existed from the very
beginning, because no persons would have consented in a new community
to the investing of any class with peculiar privileges. We find that
all the Roman kings, after they had subdued a city, drafted a portion
of its inhabitants to Rome; and if they did not destroy the subjugated
place, garrisoned it with a Roman colony. The strangers thus brought
to Rome were not admitted to a participation of civic rights; they
were like the inhabitants of a corporate town who are excluded from
the elective franchise: by successive immigrations, the number of
persons thus disqualified became more numerous than that of the first
inhabitants or old freemen, and they naturally sought a share in the
government, as a means of protecting their persons and properties. On
the other hand, the men who possessed the exclusive power of
legislation, struggled hard to retain their hereditary privileges, and
when forced to make concessions, yielded as little as they
possibly could to the popular demands. Modern history furnishes us
with numerous instances of similar struggles between classes, and of a
separation in interests and feelings between inhabitants of the same
country, fully as strong as that between the patricians and plebeians
at Rome.

2. The first tribes were divided by Ro'mulus into thirty _cu'riæ,_ and
each cu'ria contained ten _gentes_ or associations. The individuals of
each gens were not in all cases, and probably not in the majority of
instances, connected by birth;[1] the attributes of the members of a
_gens_, according to Cicero, were, a common name and participation in
private religious rites; descent from free ancestors; the absence of
legal disqualification. 3. The members of these associations were
united by certain laws, which conferred peculiar privileges, called
jura gentium; of these the most remarkable were, the succession to the
property of every member who died without kin and intestate, and the
obligation imposed on all to assist their indigent fellows under any
extraordinary burthen.[2] 4. The head of each gens was regarded as a
kind of father, and possessed a paternal authority over the members;
the chieftancy was both elective and hereditary;[3] that is, the
individual was always selected from some particular family.

5. Besides the members of the gens, there were attached to it a number
of dependents called clients, who owed submission to the chief as
their patron, and received from him assistance and protection. The
clients were generally foreigners who came to settle at Rome, and not
possessing municipal rights, were forced to appear in the courts of
law, &c. by proxy. In process of time this relation assumed a feudal
form, and the clients were bound to the same duties as vassals[4] in
the middle ages.

6. The chiefs of the gentes composed the senate, and were called
"fathers," (patres.) In the time of Romulus, the senate at first
consisted only of one hundred members, who of course represented the
Latin tribe Ramne'nses; the number was doubled after the union with
the Sabines, and the new members were chosen from the Titienses. The
Tuscan tribe of the Lu'ceres remained unrepresented in the senate
until the reign of the first Tarquin, when the legislative body
received another hundred[5] from that tribe. Tarquin the elder was,
according to history, a Tuscan Iticumo, and seems to have owed his
elevation principally to the efforts of his compatriots settled at
Rome. It is to this event we must refer, in a great degree, the number
of Tuscan ceremonies which are to be found in the political
institutions of the Romans.

7. The gentes were not only represented in the senate, but met also in
a public assembly called "comitia curiata." In these comitia the kings
were elected and invested with royal authority. After the complete
change of the constitution in later ages, the "comitia curiata"[6]
rarely assembled, and their power was limited to religious matters;
but during the earlier period of the republic, they claimed and
frequently exercised the supreme powers of the state, and were named
emphatically, The People.

8. The power and prerogatives of the kings at Rome, were similar to
those of the Grecian sovereigns in the heroic ages. The monarch was
general of the army, a high priest,[7] and first magistrate of the
realm; he administered justice in person every ninth day, but an
appeal lay from his sentence, in criminal cases, to the general
assemblies of the people. The pontiffs and augurs, however, were
in some measure independent of the sovereign, and assumed the
uncontrolled direction of the religion of the state.

9. The entire constitution was remodelled by Ser'vius Tul'lius, and a
more liberal form of government introduced. His first and greatest
achievement was the formation of the plebeians into an organized order
of the state, invested with political rights. He divided them into
four cities and twenty-six rustic tribes, and thus made the number of
tribes the same as that of the curiæ. This was strictly a geographical
division, analagous to our parishes, and had no connection with
families, like that of the Jewish tribes.

10. Still more remarkable was the institution of the census, and the
distribution of the people into classes and centuries proportionate to
their wealth. The census was a periodical valuation of all the
property possessed by the citizens, and an enumeration of all the
subjects of the state: there were five classes, ranged according to
the estimated value of their possessions, and the taxes they
consequently paid. The first class contained eighty centuries out of
the hundred and seventy; the sixth class, in which those were included
who were too poor to be taxed, counted but for one. We shall,
hereafter have occasion to see that this arrangement was also used for
military purposes; it is only necessary to say here, that the sixth
class were deprived of the use of arms, and exempt from serving in

11. The people voted in the comitia centuriata by centuries; that is,
the vote of each century was taken separately and counted only as one.
By this arrangement a just influence was secured to property; and the
clients of the patricians in the sixth class prevented from
out-numbering the free citizens.

12. Ser'vius Tul'lius undoubtedly intended that the comitia centuriata
should form the third estate of the realm, and during his reign they
probably held that rank; but when, by an aristocratic insurrection he
was slain in the senate-house, the power conceded to the people was
again usurped by the patricians, and the comitio centuriata did not
recover the right[8] of legislation before the laws[9] of the twelve
tables were established.

13. The law which made the debtor a slave to his creditor was repealed
by Ser'vius, and re-enacted by his successor; the patricians preserved
this abominable custom during several ages, and did not resign it
until the state had been brought to the very brink of ruin.

14. During the reign of Ser'vius, Rome was placed at the head of the
Latin confederacy, and acknowledged to be the metropolitan city. It
was deprived of this supremacy after the war with Porsen'na, but soon
recovered its former greatness.

15. The equestrian rank was an order in the Roman state from the very
beginning. It was at first confined to the nobility, and none but the
patricians had the privilege of serving on horseback. But in the later
ages, it became a political dignity, and persons were raised to the
equestrian rank by the amount of their possessions.

16. The next great change took place after the expulsion of the kings;
annual magistrates, called consuls, were elected in the comitia
centuriata, but none but patricians could hold this office. 17. The
liberties of the people were soon after extended and secured by
certain laws, traditionally attributed to Vale'rius Public'ola, of
which the most important was that which allowed[10] an appeal to a
general assembly of the people from the sentence of a magistrate. 18.
To deprive the plebeians of this privilege was the darling object of
the patricians, and it was for this purpose alone that they instituted
the dictatorship. From the sentence of this magistrate there was no
appeal to the tribes or centuries, but the patricians kept their own
privilege of being tried before the tribunal of the curiæ. 19. The
power of the state was now usurped by a factious oligarchy, whose
oppressions were more grievous than those of the worst tyrant; they at
last became so intolerable, that the commonalty had recourse to arms,
and fortified that part of the city which was exclusively inhabited by
the plebeians, while others formed a camp on the Sacred Mount at some
distance from Rome. A tumult of this kind was called a secession; it
threatened to terminate in a civil war, which would have been both
long and doubtful; for the patricians and their clients were probably
as numerous as the people. A reconciliation was effected, and the
plebeians placed under the protection of magistrates chosen from their
own body, called tribunes of the people.

20. The plebeians, having now authorised leaders, began to struggle
for an equalization of rights, and the patricians resisted them with
the most determined energy. In this protracted contest the popular
cause prevailed, though the patricians made use of the most violent
means to secure their usurped powers. The first triumph obtained by
the people was the right to summon patricians before the comitia
tributa, or assemblies of people in tribes; soon after they obtained
the privilege of electing their tribunes at these comitia, instead of
the centuria'ta; and finally, after a fierce opposition, the
patricians were forced to consent that the state should be governed by
a written code.

21. The laws of the twelve tables did not alter the legal relations
between the citizens; the struggle was renewed with greater violence
than ever after the expulsion of the decem'viri, but finally
terminated in the complete triumph of the people. The Roman
constitution became essentially democratical; the offices of the state
were open to all the citizens; and although the difference between the
patrician and plebeian families still subsisted, they soon ceased of
themselves to be political parties. From the time that equal rights
were granted to all the citizens, Rome advanced rapidly in wealth and
power; the subjugation of Italy was effected within the succeeding
century, and that was soon followed by foreign conquests.

22. In the early part of the struggle between the patricians and
plebeians, the magistracy, named the censorship, was instituted. The
censors were designed at first merely to preside over the taking of
the census, but they afterwards obtained the power of punishing, by a
deprivation of civil rights, those who were guilty of any flagrant
immorality. The patricians retained exclusive possession of the
censorship, long after the consulship had been opened to the

23. The senate,[11] which had been originally a patrician
council, was gradually opened to the plebeians; when the free
constitution was perfected, every person possessing a competent
fortune that had held a superior magistracy, was enrolled as a senator
at the census immediately succeeding the termination of his office.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What is the most probable account given of the origin of the
distinction between the patricians and the plebeians at Rome?

2. How did Romulus subdivide the Roman tribes?

3. By what regulations were the gentes governed?

4. Who were the chiefs of the gentes?

5. What was the condition of the clients?

6. By whom were alterations made in the number and constitution of the

7. What assembly was peculiar to the patricians?

8. What were the powers of the Roman kings?

9. What great change was made in the Roman constitution by Servius

10. For what purpose was the census instituted?

11. How were votes taken in the comitia centuriata?

12. Were the designs of Servius frustrated?

13. What was the Roman law respecting debtors?

14. When did the Roman power decline?

15. What changes were made in the constitution of the equestrian rank?

16. What change was made after the abolition of royalty?

17. How were the liberties of the people secured?

18. Why was the office of dictator appointed?

19. How did the plebeians obtain the protection of magistrates chosen
from their own order?

20. What additional triumphs were obtained by the plebeians?

21. What was the consequence of the establishment of freedom?

22. For what purpose was the censorship instituted?

23. What change took place in the constitution of the senate?


[1] The same remark may be applied to the Scottish clans and the
ancient Irish septs, which were very similar to the Roman _gentes_.

[2] When the plebeians endeavoured to procure the repeal of the laws
which prohibited the intermarriage of the patricians and plebeians,
the principal objection made by the former was, that these rights and
obligations of the gentes (jura gentium) would be thrown into

[3] This was also the case with the Irish tanists, or chiefs of septs;
the people elected a tanist, but their choice was confined to the
members of the ruling family.

[4] See Historical Miscellany Part III. Chap. i.

[5] They were called "patres nunorum gentium," the senators of the
inferior gentes.

[6] The "comitia curiata," assembled in the comi'tium, the general
assemblies of the people were held in the forum. The patrician curiæ
were called, emphatically, the council of the people; (concilium
populi;) the third estate was called plebeian, (plebs.) This
distinction between _populus_ and _plebs_ was disregarded after the
plebeians had established their claim to equal rights. The English
reader will easily understand the difference, if he considers that the
patricians were precisely similar to the members of a close
corporation, and the plebeians to the other inhabitants of a city. In
London, for example, the common council may represent the senate, the
livery answer for the populus, patricians, or comitia curiata, and the
general body of other inhabitants will correspond with the plebs.

[7] There were certain sacrifices which the Romans believed could only
be offered by a king; after the abolition of royalty, a priest, named
the petty sacrificing king, (rex sacrificulus,) was elected to perform
this duty.

[8] Perhaps it would be more accurate to say the _exclusive_ right of
legislation; for it appears that the comitia centuriata were sometimes
summoned to give their sanction to laws which had been previously
enacted by the curiæ.

[9] See Chap. XII.

[10] The Romans were previously acquainted with that great principle
of justice, the right of trial by a person's peers. In the earliest
ages the patricians had a right of appeal to the curiæ; the Valerian
laws extended the same right to the plebeians.

[11] The senators were called conscript fathers, (patres conscripti,)
either from their being enrolled on the censor's list, or more
probably from the addition made to their numbers after the expulsion
of the kings, in order to supply the places of those who had been
murdered by Tarquin. The new senators were at first called conscript,
and in the process of time the name was extended to the entire body.

       *       *       *       *       *



  Each rules his race, his neighbour not his care,
  Heedless of others, to his own severe.--_Homer_.

[As this chapter is principally designed for advanced students, it has
not been thought necessary to add questions for examination.]

The contests respecting agrarian laws occupy so large a space in Roman
history, and are so liable to be misunderstood, that it is necessary
to explain their origin at some length. According to an almost
universal custom, the right of conquest was supposed to involve the
property of the land. Thus the Normans who assisted William I. were
supposed to have obtained a right to the possessions of the Saxons;
and in a later age, the Irish princes, whose estates were not
confirmed by a direct grant from the English crown, were exposed to
forfeiture when legally summoned to prove their titles. The extensive
acquisitions made by the Romans, were either formed into extensive
national domains, or divided into small lots among the poorer classes.
The usufruct of the domains was monopolized by the patricians who
rented them from the state; the smaller lots were assigned to the
plebeians, subject to a tax called tribute, but not to rent. An
agrarian law was a proposal to make an assignment of portions of the
public lands to the people, and to limit the quantity of national land
that could be farmed by any particular patrician.[1] Such a law may
have been frequently impolitic, because it may have disturbed ancient
possessions, but it could never have been unjust; for the property of
the land was absolutely fixed in the state. The lands held by the
patricians, being divided into extensive tracts, were principally used
for pasturage; the small lots assigned to the plebeians were, of
necessity, devoted to agriculture. Hence arose the first great cause
of hostility between the two orders; the patricians were naturally
eager to extend their possessions in the public domains, which enabled
them to provide for their numerous clients, and in remote districts
they frequently wrested the estates from the free proprietors in their
neighbourhood; the plebeians, on the other hand, deemed that they
had the best right to the land purchased by their blood, and saw with
just indignation, the fruits of victory monopolized by a single order
in the state. The tribute paid by the plebeians increased this
hardship, for it was a land-tax levied on estates, and consequently
fell most heavily on the smaller proprietors; indeed, in many cases,
the possessors of the national domains paid nothing.

From all this it is evident that an agrarian law only removed tenants
who held from the state at will, and did not in any case interfere
with the sacred right of property; but it is also plain that such a
change must have been frequently inconvenient to the individual in
possession. It also appears, that had not agrarian laws been
introduced, the great body of the plebeians would have become the
clients of the patricians, and the form of government would have been
a complete oligarchy.

The chief means to which the Romans, even from the earliest ages, had
recourse for securing their conquests, and at the same time relieving
the poorer classes of citizens, was the establishment of colonies in
the conquered states. The new citizens formed a kind of garrison, and
were held together by a constitution formed on the model of the parent
state. From what has been said above, it is evident that a law for
sending out a colony was virtually an agrarian law, since lands were
invariably assigned to those who were thus induced to abandon their

The relations between Rome and the subject cities in Italy were very
various. Some, called _municipia_, were placed in full possession of
the rights of Roman citizens, but could not in all cases vote in the
comitia. The privileges of the colonies were more restricted, for they
were absolutely excluded from the Roman comitia and magistracies. The
federative[2] states enjoyed their own constitutions, but were bound
to supply the Romans with tribute and auxiliary forces. Finally, the
subject states were deprived of their internal constitutions, and were
governed by annual prefects chosen in Rome.

Before discussing the subject of the Roman constitution, we must
observe that it was, like our own, gradually formed by practice; there
was no single written code like those of Athens and Sparta, but
changes were made whenever they were required by circumstances; before
the plebeians obtained an equality of civil rights, the state neither
commanded respect abroad, nor enjoyed tranquillity at home. The
patricians sacrificed their own real advantages, as well as the
interests of their country, to maintain an ascendancy as injurious to
themselves, as it was unjust to the other citizens. But no sooner had
the agrarian laws established a more equitable distribution of
property, and other popular laws opened the magistracy to merit
without distinction of rank, than the city rose to empire with
unexampled rapidity.


[1] The Licinian law provided that no one should rent at a time more
than 500 acres of public land.

[2] The league by which the Latin states were bound (jus Latii) was
more favourable than that granted to the other Italians (jus

       *       *       *       *       *



  First to the gods 'tis fitting to prepare
  The due libation, and the solemn prayer;
  For all mankind alike require their grace,
  All born to want; a miserable race.--_Homer_.

1. We have shown that the Romans were, most probably, a people
compounded of the Latins, the Sabines, and the Tuscans; and that the
first and last of these component parts were themselves formed from
Pelasgic and native tribes. The original deities[1] worshipped by the
Romans were derived from the joint traditions of all these tribes; but
the religious institutions and ceremonies were almost wholly borrowed
from the Tuscans. Unlike the Grecian mythology, with which, in later
ages, it was united, the Roman system of religion had all the gloom
and mystery of the eastern superstitions; their gods were objects of
fear rather than love, and were worshipped more to avert the
consequences of their anger than to conciliate their favour. A
consequence of this system was, the institution of human sacrifices,
which were not quite disused in Rome until a late period of the

2. The religious institutions of the Romans form an essential part of
their civil government; every public act, whether of legislation or
election, was connected with certain determined forms, and thus
received the sanction of a higher power. Every public assembly was
opened by the magistrate and augurs taking the auspices, or signs
by which they believed that the will of the gods could be determined;
and if any unfavourable omen was discovered, either then or at any
subsequent time, the assembly was at once dismissed. 3. The right of
taking auspices was long the peculiar privilege of the patricians, and
frequently afforded them pretexts for evading the demands of the
plebeians; when a popular law was to be proposed, it was easy to
discover some unfavourable omen which prohibited discussion; when it
was evident that the centuries were about to annul some patrician
privilege, the augurs readily saw or heard some signal of divine
wrath, which prevented the vote from being completed. It was on this
account that the plebeians would not consent to place the comitia
tributa under the sanction of the auspices.

4. The augurs were at first only three in number, but they were in
later ages increased to fifteen, and formed into a college. Nothing of
importance was transacted without their concurrence in the earlier
ages of the republic, but after the second punic war, their influence
was considerably diminished.[2] 5. They derived omens from five
sources: 1, from celestial phenomena, such as thunder, lightning,
comets, &c.; 2, from the flight of birds; 3, from the feeding of the
sacred chickens; 4, from the appearance of a beast in any unusual
place; 5, from any accident that occurred unexpectedly.

6. The usual form of taking an augury was very solemn; the augur
ascended a tower, bearing in his hand a curved stick called a lituus.
He turned his face to the east, and marked out some distant objects as
the limits within which he would make his observations, and
divided mentally the enclosed space into four divisions. He next, with
covered head, offered sacrifices to the gods, and prayed that they
would vouchsafe some manifestation of their will. After these
preliminaries he made his observations in silence, and then announced
the result to the expecting people.

7. The Arusp'ices were a Tuscan order of priests, who attempted to
predict futurity by observing the beasts offered in sacrifice. They
formed their opinions most commonly from inspecting the entrails, but
there was no circumstance too trivial to escape their notice, and
which they did not believe in some degree portentous. The arusp'ices
were most commonly consulted by individuals; but their opinions, as
well as those of the augurs, were taken on all important affairs of
state. The arusp'ices seem not to have been appointed officially, nor
are they recognised as a regular order of priesthood.

8. The pontiffs and fla'mens, as the superior priests were designated,
enjoyed great privileges, and were generally men of rank. When the
republic was abolished, the emperors assumed the office of pontifex
maximus, or chief pontiff, deeming its powers too extensive to be
entrusted to a subject.

9. The institution of vestal virgins was older than the city itself,
and was regarded by the Romans as the most sacred part of their
religious system. In the time of Numa there were but four, but two
more were added by Tarquin; probably the addition made by Tarquin was
to give the tribe of the Lu'ceres a share in this important
priesthood. The duty of the vestal virgins was to keep the sacred fire
that burned on the altar of Vesta from being extinguished; and to
preserve a certain sacred pledge on which the very existence of Rome
was supposed to depend. What this pledge was we have no means of
discovering; some suppose that it was the Trojan Palla'dium, others,
with more probability, some traditional mystery brought by the
Pelas'gi from Samothrace.

10. The privileges conceded to the vestals were very great; they had
the most honourable seats at public games and festivals; they were
attended by a lictor with fasces like the magistrates; they were
provided with chariots when they required them; and they possessed the
power of pardoning any criminal whom they met on the way to execution,
if they declared that the meeting was accidental. The magistrates
were obliged to salute them as they passed, and the fasces of the
consul were lowered to do them reverence. To withhold from them marks
of respect subjected the offender to public odium; a personal insult
was capitally punished. They possessed the exclusive privilege of
being buried within the city; an honour which the Romans rarely
extended to others.

11. The vestals were bound by a vow of perpetual virginity, and a
violation of this oath was cruelly punished. The unfortunate offender
was buried alive in a vault constructed beneath the Fo'rum by the
elder Tarquin. The terror of such a dreadful fate had the desired
effect; there were only eighteen instances of incontinence among the
vestals, during the space of a thousand years.

12. The mixture of religion with civil polity, gave permanence and
stability to the Roman institutions; notwithstanding all the changes
and revolutions in the government the old forms were preserved; and
thus, though the city was taken by Porsenna, and burned by the Gauls,
the Roman constitution survived the ruin, and was again restored to
its pristine vigour.

13. The Romans always adopted the gods of the conquered nations, and,
consequently, when their empire became very extensive, the number of
deities was absurdly excessive, and the variety of religious worship
perfectly ridiculous. The rulers of the world wanted the taste and
ingenuity of the lively Greeks, who accommodated every religious
system to their own, and from some real or fancied resemblance,
identified the gods of Olym'pus with other nations. The Romans never
used this process of assimilation, and, consequently, introduced so
much confusion into their mythology, that philosophers rejected the
entire system. This circumstance greatly facilitated the progress of
Christianity, whose beautiful simplicity furnished a powerful contrast
to the confused and cumbrous mass of divinities, worshipped in the
time of the emperors.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. How did the religion of the Romans differ from that of the Greeks?

2. Was the Roman religion connected with the government?

3. How was the right of taking the Auspices abused?

4. Who were the augurs?

5. From what did the augurs take omens?

6. What were the forms used in taking the auspices?

7. Who were the aruspices?

8. What other priests had the Romans?

9. What was the duty of the vestal virgins?

10. Did the vestals enjoy great privileges?

11. How were the vestals punished for a breach of their vows?

12. Why was the Roman constitution very permanent?

13. Whence arose the confusion in the religious system of the Romans?


[1] The reader will find an exceedingly interesting account of the
deities peculiar to the Romans, in Mr. Keightley's very valuable work
on Mythology.

 The poet Ennius, who was of Grecian descent, ridiculed
very successfully the Roman superstitions; the following fragment,
translated by Dunlop, would, probably, have been punished as
blasphemous in the first ages of the republic:--

  For no Marsian augur (whom fools view with awe,)
  Nor diviner, nor star-gazer, care I a straw;
  The Isis-taught quack, an expounder of dreams,
  Is neither in science nor art what he seems;
  Superstitious and shameless they prowl through our streets,
  Some hungry, some crazy, but all of them cheats.
  Impostors, who vaunt that to others they'll show
  A path which themselves neither travel nor know:
  Since they promise us wealth if we pay for their pains,
  Let them take from that wealth and bestow what remains

       *       *       *       *       *



                     Is the soldier found
  In the riot and waste which he spreads around?
  The sharpness makes him--the dash, the tact,
  The cunning to plan, and the spirit to act.--_Lord L. Gower_.

1. It has been frequently remarked by ancient writers that the
strength of a free state consists in its infantry; and, on the other
hand, that when the infantry in a state become more valuable than the
cavalry, the power of the aristocracy is diminished, and equal rights
can no longer be withheld from the people. The employment of mercenary
soldiers in modern times renders these observations no longer
applicable; but in the military states of antiquity, where the
citizens themselves served as soldiers, there are innumerable examples
of this mutual connection between political and military systems. It
is further illustrated in the history of the middle ages; for we can
unquestionably trace the origin of free institutions in Europe to the
time when the hardy infantry of the commons were first found able to
resist the charges of the brilliant chivalry of the nobles. 2. Rome
was, from the very commencement, a military state; as with the
Spartans, all their civil institutions had a direct reference to
warlike affairs; their public assemblies were marshalled like armies;
the order of their line of battle was regulated by the distinction of
classes in the state. It is, therefore, natural to conclude, that the
tactics of the Roman armies underwent important changes when the
revolutions mentioned in the preceding chapters were effected, though
we cannot trace the alterations with precision, because no historians
appeared until the military system of the Romans had been brought to

3. The strength of the Tuscans consisted principally in their cavalry;
and if we judge from the importance attributed to the equestrian rank
in the earliest ages, we may suppose that the early Romans
esteemed this force equally valuable. It was to Ser'vius Tul'lius, the
great patron of the commonalty, that the Romans were indebted for the
formation of a body of infantry, which, after the lapse of centuries,
received so many improvements that it became invincible.

4. The ancient battle array of the Greeks was the phalanx; the troops
were drawn up in close column, the best armed being in front. The
improvements made in this system of tactics by Philip, are recorded in
Grecian history; they chiefly consisted in making the evolutions of
the entire body more manageable, and counteracting the difficulties
which attended the motions of this cumbrous mass.

5. The Romans originally used the phalanx; and the lines were formed
according to the classes determined by the centuries. Those who were
sufficiently wealthy to purchase a full suit of armour, formed the
front ranks; those who could only purchase a portion of the defensive
weapons, filled the centre; and the rear was formed by the poorer
classes, who scarcely required any armour, being protected by the
lines in front. From this explanation, it is easy to see why, in the
constitution of the centuries by Servius Tullius, the first class were
perfectly covered with mail, the second had helmets and breast-plates
but no protection for the body, the third, neither a coat of mail, nor
greaves. 6. The defects of this system are sufficiently obvious; an
unexpected attack on the flanks, the breaking of the line by rugged
and uneven ground, and a thousand similar accidents exposed the
unprotected portions of the army to destruction besides, a line with
files ten deep was necessarily slow in its movements and evolutions.
Another and not less important defect was, that the whole should act
together; and consequently, there were few opportunities for the
display of individual bravery.

7. It is not certainly known who was the great commander that
substituted the living body of the Roman legion for this inanimate
mass; but there is some reason to believe that this wondrous
improvement was effected by Camil'lus. Every legion was in itself an
army, combining the advantages of every variety of weapon, with the
absolute perfection of a military division.

8. The legion consisted of three lines or battalions; the _Hasta'ti_,
the _Prin'cipes_, and the _Tria'rii_; there were besides two classes,
which we may likewise call battalions, the _Rora'rii_, or _Velites_,
consisting of light armed troops, and the _Accen'si_, or
supernumeraries, who were ready to supply the place of those that fell.
Each of the two first battalions contained fifteen manip'uli, consisting
of sixty privates, commanded by two centurions, and having each a
separate standard (_vexil'lum_) borne by one of the privates called
Vexilla'rius; the manip'uli in the other battalions were fewer in
number, but contained a greater portion of men; so that, in round
numbers, nine hundred men may be allowed to each battalion, exclusive of
officers. If the officers and the troop of three hundred cavalry be
taken into account, we shall find that the legion, as originally
constituted, contained about five thousand men. The Romans, however, did
not always observe these exact proportions, and the number of soldiers
in a legion varied at different times of their history.[1]

9. A cohort was formed by taking a manipulus from each of the
battalions; more frequently two manipuli were taken, and the cohort
then contained six hundred men. The cavalry were divided into tur'mæ,
consisting each of thirty men.

10. A battle was usually commenced by the light troops, who skirmished
with missile weapons; the hasta'ti then advanced to the charge, and if
defeated, fell back on the prin'cipes; if the enemy proved still
superior, the two front lines retired to the ranks of the tria'rii,
which being composed of veteran troops, generally turned the scale.
But this order was not always observed; the number of divisions in the
legion made it extremely flexible, and the commander-in-chief could
always adapt the form of his line to circumstances.

11. The levies of troops were made in the Cam'pus Mar'tius, by the
tribunes appointed to command the legions. The tribes which were to
supply soldiers were determined by lot, and as each came forward, the
tribunes, in their turn, selected such as seemed best fitted for war.
Four legions was most commonly the number in an army. When the
selected individuals had been enrolled as soldiers, one was chosen
from each legion to take the military oath of obedience to the
generals; the other soldiers swore in succession, to observe the oath
taken by their foreman.

12. Such was the sacredness of this obligation, that even in the midst
of the political contests by which the city was distracted, the
soldiers, though eager to secure the freedom of their country, would
not attempt to gain it by mutiny against their commanders. On this
account the senate frequently declared war, and ordered a levy as an
expedient to prevent the enactment of a popular law, and were of
course opposed by the tribunes of the people.

13. There was no part of the Roman discipline more admirable than
their form of encampment. No matter how fatigued the soldiers might be
by a long march, or how harassed by a tedious battle, the camp was
regularly measured out and fortified by a rampart and ditch, before
any one sought sleep or refreshment. Careful watch was kept during the
night, and frequent picquets sent out to guard against a surprise, and
to see that the sentinels were vigilant. As the arrangement in every
camp was the same, every soldier knew his exact position, and if an
alarm occurred, could easily find the rallying point of his division.
To this excellent system Polyb'ius attributes the superiority of the
Romans over the Greeks; for the latter scarcely ever fortified their
camp, but chose some place naturally strong, and did not keep their
ranks distinct.

14. The military age extended from the sixteenth to the forty-sixth
year; and under the old constitution no one could hold a civic office
who had not served ten campaigns. The horsemen were considered free
after serving through ten campaigns, but the foot had to remain during
twenty. Those who had served out their required time were free for the
rest of their lives, unless the city was attacked, when all under the
age of sixty were obliged to arm in its defence.

15. In the early ages, when wars were begun and ended in a few days,
the soldiers received no pay; but when the conquest of distant
countries became the object of Roman ambition, it became necessary to
provide for the pay and support of the army. This office was given to
the quæstors, who were generally chosen from the younger nobility, and
were thus prepared for the higher magistracies by acquiring a
practical acquaintance with finance.

16. The soldiers were subject to penalties of life and limb at the
discretion of the commander-in-chief, without the intervention of a
court-martial; but it deserves to be recorded that this power was
rarely abused. 17. There were several species of rewards to excite
emulation; the most honourable were, the civic crown of gold to
him who had saved the life of a citizen; the mural crown to him who
had first scaled the wall of a besieged town; a gilt spear to him who
had severely wounded an enemy; but he who had slain and spoiled his
foe, received, if a horseman, an ornamental trapping; if a foot
soldier, a goblet.

18. The lower classes of the centuries were excused from serving in
the army, except on dangerous emergencies; but they supplied sailors
to the navy. We learn, from a document preserved by Polyb'ius, that
the Romans were a naval power at a very early age. 19. This
interesting record is the copy of a treaty concluded with the
Carthaginians, in the year after the expulsion of the kings. It is not
mentioned by the Roman historians, because it decisively establishes a
fact which they studiously labour to conceal, that is, the weakness
and decline of the Roman power during the two centuries that followed
the abolition of royalty, when the power of the state was monopolized
by a vile aristocracy. In this treaty Rome negociates for the cities
of La'tium, as her dependencies, just as Carthage does for her subject
colonies. But in the course of the following century, Rome lost her
supremacy over the Latin cities, and being thus nearly excluded from
the coast, her navy was ruined.

20. At the commencement of the first Punic war, the Romans once more
began to prepare a fleet, and luckily obtained an excellent model in a
Carthaginian ship that had been driven ashore in a storm. 21. The
vessels used for war, were either long ships or banked galleys; the
former were not much used in the Punic wars, the latter being found
more convenient. The rowers of these sat on banks or benches, rising
one above the other, like stairs; and from the number of these
benches, the galleys derived their names; that which had three rows of
benches was called a _trireme_; that which had four, a _quadrireme_;
and that which had five, a _quinquireme_. Some vessels had turrets
erected in them for soldiers and warlike engines; others had sharp
prows covered with brass, for the purpose of dashing against and
sinking their enemies.

22. The naval tactics of the ancients were very simple; the ships
closed very early, and the battle became a contest between single
vessels. It was on this account that the personal valour of the Romans
proved more than a match for the naval skill of the
Carthaginians, and enabled them to, add the empire of the sea to that
of the land.

23. Before concluding this chapter, we must notice the triumphal
processions granted to victorious commanders. Of these there are two
kinds; the lesser triumph, called an ovation,[2] and the greater,
called, emphatically, the triumph. In the former, the victorious
general entered the city on foot, wearing a crown of myrtle; in the
latter, he was borne in a chariot, and wore a crown of laurel. The
ovation was granted to such generals as had averted a threatened war,
or gained some great advantage without inflicting great loss on the
enemy. The triumph was allowed only to those who had gained some
signal victory, which decided the fate of a protracted war. The
following description, extracted from Plutarch, of the great triumph
granted to Paulus Æmilius, for his glorious termination of the
Macedonian war, will give the reader an adequate idea of the splendour
displayed by the Romans on these festive occasions.

The people erected scaffolds in the forum and circus, and all other
parts of the city where they could best behold the pomp. The
spectators were clad in white garments; all the temples were open, and
full of garlands and perfumes; and the ways cleared and cleansed by a
great many officers, who drove away such as thronged the passage, or
straggled up and down.

The triumph lasted three days; on the first, which was scarce long
enough for the sight, were to be seen the statues, pictures, and
images of an extraordinary size, which were taken from the enemy,
drawn upon seven hundred and fifty chariots. On the second was
carried, in a great many _wains_, the fairest and richest armour of
the Macedonians, both of brass and steel, all newly furbished and
glittering: which, although piled up with the greatest art and order,
yet seemed to be tumbled on heaps carelessly and by chance; helmets
were thrown on shields, coats of mail upon greaves; Cretan targets and
Thracian bucklers, and quivers of arrows, lay huddled among the
horses' bits; and through these appeared the points of naked swords,
intermixed with long spears. All these arms were tied together with
such a just liberty, that they knocked against one another as they
were drawn along, and made a harsh and terrible noise, so that
the very spoils of the conquered could not be beheld without dread.
After these wagons loaded with armour, there followed three thousand
men, who carried the silver that was coined, in seven hundred and
fifty vessels, each of which weighed three talents, and was carried by
four men. Others brought silver bowls, and goblets, and cups, all
disposed in such order as to make the best show, and all valuable, as
well for their magnitude as the thickness of their engraved work. On
the third day, early in the morning, first came the trumpeters, who
did not sound as they were wont in a procession or solemn entry, but
such a charge as the Romans use when they encourage their soldiers to
fight. Next followed young men, girt about with girdles curiously
wrought, who led to the sacrifice one hundred and twenty stalled oxen,
with their horns gilded, and their heads adorned with ribbons and
garlands, and with these were boys that carried dishes of silver and
gold. After these was brought the gold coin, which was divided into
vessels that weighed three talents each, similar to those that
contained the silver; they were in number fourscore, wanting three.
These were followed by those that brought the consecrated bowl which
Emil'ius caused to be made, that weighed ten talents, and was adorned
with precious stones. Then were exposed to view the cups of Antig'onus
and Seleu'cus, and such as were made after the fashion invented by
The'ricles, and all the gold plate that was used at Per'seus's table.
Next to these came Per'seus's chariot, in which his armour was placed,
and on that his diadem. After a little intermission the king's
children were led captives, and with them a train of nurses, masters,
and governors, who all wept, and stretched forth their hands to the
spectators, and taught the little infants to beg and intreat their
compassion. There were two sons and a daughter, who, by reason of
their tender age, were altogether insensible of the greatness of their
misery; which insensibility of their condition rendered it much more
deplorable, insomuch that Per'seus himself was scarce regarded as he
went along, whilst pity had fixed the eyes of the Romans upon the
infants, and many of them could not forbear tears; all beheld the
sight with a mixture of sorrow and joy until the children were past.
After his children and attendants came Per'seus himself, clad in
black, and wearing slippers after the fashion of his country; he
looked like one altogether astonished, and deprived of reason, through
the greatness of his misfortune. Next followed a great company
of his friends and familiars, whose countenances were disfigured with
grief, and who testified, to all that beheld them, by their tears and
their continual looking upon Per'seus, that it was his hard fortune
they so much lamented, and that they were regardless of their own.
After these were carried four hundred crowns of gold, sent from the
cities by their respective ambassadors to Emil'ius, as a reward due to
his valour. Then he himself came, seated on a chariot magnificently,
adorned, (a man worthy to be beheld even without these ensigns of
power) clad in a garland of purple interwoven with gold, and with a
laurel branch in his right hand. All the army in like manner, with
boughs of laurel in their hands, and divided into bands and companies,
followed the chariot of their commander; some singing odes according
to the usual custom, mingled with raillery; others songs of triumph
and the praises of Emil'ius's deeds, who was admired and accounted
happy by all men, yet unenvied by every one that was good.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What political change has frequently resulted from improved
military tactics?

2. Was Rome a military state?

3. Why are we led to conclude that the Romans considered cavalry an
important force?

4. By whom was the phalanx instituted?

5. How was the phalanx formed?

6. What were the defects of the phalanx?

7. By whom was the legion substituted for the phalanx?

8. Of what troops was a legion composed?

9. What was a cohort?

10. What was the Roman form of battle?

11. In what manner was an army levied?

12. How was the sanctity of the military oath proved?

13. What advantages resulted from the Roman form of encampment?

14. How long was the citizens liable to be called upon as soldiers?

15. How was the army paid?

16. What power had the general?

17. On what occasion did the soldiers receive rewards?

18. How was the navy supplied with sailors?

19. What fact concealed by the Roman historians is established by

20. How did the Romans form a fleet?

21. What were the several kinds of ships?

22. What naval tactics did the Romans use?

23. How did an ovation differ from a triumph?

24. Can you give a general description of a triumph?


[1] This is virtually the same account as that given by Niebuhr, but
he excludes the accensi and cavalry from his computation, which brings
down the amount to 3600 soldiers.

[2] From _ovis_, a sheep, the animal on this occasion offered in
sacrifice; in the greater triumph the victim was a milk-white bull
hung over with garlands, and having his horns tipped with gold.

       *       *       *       *       *



  Then equal laws were planted in the state,
  To shield alike the humble and the great.--_Cooke_.

1. In the early stages of society, little difficulty is felt in
providing for the administration of justice, because the subjects of
controversy are plain and simple, such as any man of common sense may
determine; but as civilization advances, the relations between men
become more complicated, property assumes innumerable forms, and the
determination of questions resulting from these changes, becomes a
matter of no ordinary difficulty. In the first ages of the republic,
the consuls were the judges in civil and criminal matters, as the
kings had previously been;[1] but as the state increased, a new class
of magistrates, called prætors, was appointed to preside in the courts
of law. Until the age of the decemvirs, there was no written code to
regulate their decisions; and even after the laws of the twelve tables
had been established, there was no perfect system of law, for the
enactments in that code were brief, and only asserted a few leading
principles. 2. The Roman judges did not, however, decide altogether
according to their own caprice; they were bound to regard the
principles that had been established by the decisions of former
judges; and consequently, a system of law was formed similar to the
common law of England, founded on precedent and analogy. In the later
ages of the empire, the number of law-books and records became so
enormous, that it was no longer possible to determine the law with
accuracy, and the contradictory decisions made at different periods,
greatly increased the uncertainty. To remedy this evil, the emperor
Justinian caused the entire to be digested into a uniform system, and
his code still forms the basis of the civil law in Europe.

3. The trials in courts refer either to the affairs of the
state, or to the persons or properties of individuals, and are called
state, criminal, or civil trials. The two former are the most
important in regard to history.

4. The division of the Roman people into two nations, made the
classification of state offences very difficult. In general, the
council of the patricians judged any plebeian who was accused of
conspiring against their order; and the plebeians on the other hand,
brought a patrician accused of having violated their privileges before
their own tribunal. 5. Disobedience to the commands of the chief
magistrate was punished by fine and imprisonment, and from his
sentence there was no appeal; but if the consul wished to punish any
person by stripes or death, the condemned man had the right of
appealing to the general assembly of his peers.[2] 6. To prevent
usurpation, it was established that every person who exercised an
authority not conferred on him by the people, should be devoted as a
victim to the gods.[3] This, was at once a sentence of outlawry and
excommunication; the Criminal might be slain by any person-with
impunity, and all connection with him was shunned as pollution. 7. No
magistrate could legally be brought to trial during the continuance of
his office, but when his time was expired, he could be accused before
the general assembly of the people, if he had transgressed the legal
limits of his authority. The punishment in this case was banishment;
the form of the sentence declared that the criminal "should be
deprived of fire and water;" that is, the citizens, were prohibited
from supplying him with the ordinary necessaries of life.

8. In all criminal trials, and in all cases where damages were sought
to be recovered for wrongs or injuries, the prætor impanelled a jury,
but the number of which it was to consist seems to have been left
to his discretion. The jurors were called ju'dices, and the opinion of
the majority decided the verdict. Where the votes were equal, the
traverser or defendant escaped; and when half the jury assessed
damages at one amount, and half at another, the defendant paid only
the lesser sum. In disputes about property, the prætor seldom called
for the assistance of a jury.

9. The general form of all trials was the same; the prosecutor or
plaintiff made his complaint, and the defendant was compelled either
to find sufficient bail, or to go into prison until the day of trial.
On the appointed day, the plaintiff, or his advocate, stated his case,
and proceeded to establish it by evidence; the defendant replied; and
the jury then gave their verdict by ballot.

10. In cases tried before the general assembly of the people, it was
allowed to make use of artifices in order to conciliate the popular
favour. The accused and his friends put on mourning robes to excite
pity; they went into the most public places and took every opportunity
of showing their respect for popular power. When Cicero was accused by
Clo'dius for having illegally put to death the associates of Cataline,
the entire senatorian rank changed their robes to show the deep
interest they felt in his fate. At these great trials, the noblest
specimens of forensic eloquence were displayed by the advocates of the
accuser and the accused; but the decisions were usually more in
accordance with the spirit of party than strict justice.

11. The accused, however, might escape, if he could prevail on any of
the tribunes to interpose in his behalf, or the accuser to relinquish
his charge; if unfavourable omens appeared during the trial, it was
usually adjourned, or sometimes the accusation withdrawn; and up to
the very moment of the commencement of the trial, the criminal had the
option of escaping a heavier penalty by going into voluntary exile.

12. The punishments to which state criminals were sentenced, were
usually, in capital cases, precipitation from the Tarpeian rock,
beheading, or strangulation in prison; when life was spared, the
penalties were either exile or fine. Under the emperors severer
punishments were introduced, such as exposure to wild beasts, or
burning alive; and torture, which, under the republic, could not be
inflicted on free citizens, was exercised unsparingly.

13. The punishment of parricides was curious; the criminal having
been beaten with rods, was sown up in a sack together with a serpent,
an ape and a cock, and thrown either into the sea or a river, as if
even the inanimate carcase of such a wretch would pollute the earth.

14. Masters had an absolute, authority over their slaves, extending to
life or limb; and in the earlier ages patrons had similar power over
their clients. The condition of slaves in Rome was most miserable,
especially in the later ages; they were subject to the most
excruciating tortures, and when capitally punished, were generally
crucified. Except in this single particular, the Roman criminal code,
was very lenient and sparing of human life. This was chiefly owing to
the exertions of the plebeians, for the patricians always patronized a
more sanguinary policy; and could do so the more easily, as the
aristocracy retained their monopoly of the administration of justice
much longer than that of civil government.

15. The Roman system of finance was at first very simple, the public
revenue being derived from a land-tax on Quiritary property,[4] and
the tithes of the public lands; but after the conquest of Macedon, the
revenues from other sources were so abundant, that tribute was no
longer demanded from Roman citizens. These sources were:--

1. The tribute of the allies, which was a property tax, differing in
different places according to the terms of their league.

2. The tribute of the provinces, which was both a property and

3. Revenue of the national domains leased out by the censors.

4. Revenue from the mines, especially from the Spanish silver-mines.

5. Duties on imports and exports. And,

6. A duty on enfranchised slaves.

The receipts were all paid into the national treasury, and the senate
had the uncontrolled direction of the general expenditure, as well as
the regulation of the amount of imposts. The officers employed to
manage the affairs of the revenue, were the quæstors, chosen annually,
and under them the scribes, who held their situations for life. Those
who farmed the public revenue were called-publicans, and were
generally persons of equestrian dignity; but in the remote provinces
they frequently sublet to other collectors, who were guilty of great
extortion. The latter are the publicans mentioned in the New

_Questions for Examination_.

1. When did the Romans first appoint judges?

2. How were the decisions of the prætors regulated?

3. How are trials divided?

4. In what manner were offences against the classes of patricians and
plebeians tried?

5. How was disobedience to the chief magistrate punished?

6. What was the penalty for usurpation?

7. How was mal-administration punished?

8. When did the prætors impannel a jury?

9. What was the form of a trial?

10. Were there any other forms used, in trials before the people?

11. Had the criminal any chances of escape?

12. What were the usual punishments?

13. How was parricide punished?

14. In what respect alone was the criminal law of the Romans severe?

15. What were the sources of the Roman revenue?

16. To whom was the management of the finances entrusted?


[1] Niebuhr, however, is of opinion, that judicial officers were
elected by the "comitia curiata," from the earliest ages.

[2] This privilege was conceded to the plebeians by the Valerian law,
but must have been possessed by the patricians from the earliest
times; for Horatius, when condemned for the murder of his sister, in
the reign of Tullus Hostilius, escaped by appealing to the comitia
curiata. The Valerian law had no sanction, that is, no penalty was
annexed to its transgression; and during the two centuries of
patrician usurpation and tyranny, was frequently and flagrantly
violated. On this account the law, though never repealed, was
frequently re-enacted.

[3] The formula "to devote his head to the gods," used to express the
sentence of capital punishment, was derived from the human sacrifices
anciently used in Rome; probably, because criminals were usually
selected for these sanguinary offerings.

[4] The lands absolutely assigned to the plebeians free from rent,
were the most remarkable species of Quiritary property. It was so
called from the Quirites, who formed a constituent part of the Roman
people, and whose name was subsequently given to the entire.

       *       *       *       *       *



Butchered to make a Roman holiday.--_Byron_.

The inferiority of the Romans to the Greeks in intellectual
acquirements, was no where more conspicuous than in their public
amusements. While the refined Grecians sought to gratify their taste
by music, the fine arts, and dramatic entertainments, the Romans
derived their chief pleasure from contemplating the brutal and bloody
fights of gladiators; or at best, such rich shows and processions as
gratify the uneducated vulgar. The games in the circus, with which the
Romans were so delighted, that they considered them of equal
importance, with the necessaries of life, consisted of athletic
exercises, such as boxing, racing, wrestling, and gladiatorial
combats. To these, chariot-racing was added under the emperors, and
exhibitions of combats between wild beasts, and, in numerous
instances, between men and beasts.

2. After the establishment of the naval power of Rome, naumachiæ, or
naval combats, were frequently exhibited in circi built for the
purpose. These were not always sham fights; the contests were, in many
instances, real engagements displaying all the horrors of a sanguinary

3. The custom of exhibiting shows of gladiators, originated in the
barbarous sacrifices of human beings, which prevailed in remote ages.
In the gloomy superstition of the Romans, it was believed that the
manes, or shades of the dead, derived pleasure from human blood, and
they therefore sacrificed, at the tombs of their ancestors, captives
taken in war, or wretched slaves. It was soon found that sport to the
living might be combined with this horrible offering to the dead; and
instead of giving up the miserable victims to the executioner, they
were compelled to fight with each other, until the greater part was

4. The pleasure that the people derived from this execrable amusement,
induced the candidates for office to gratify, them frequently with
this spectacle. The exhibitions were no longer confined to funerals;
they formed an integrant part of every election, and were found more
powerful than merit in opening a way to office. The utter
demoralization of the Roman people, and the facility with which the
tyranny of the emperors was established, unquestionably was owing, in
a great degree to the pernicious prevalence of these scandalous

5. To supply the people with gladiators, schools were, established in
various parts of Italy, each under the controul of a _lanis'ta_, or
fencing-master, who instructed them in martial exercises. The victims
were either prisoners of war, or refractory slaves, sold by their
masters; but in the degenerate ages of the empire, freemen, and even
senators, ventured their lives on the stage along with the regular
gladiators. Under the mild and merciful influence of Christianity
these combats were abolished, and human blood was no longer shed to
gratify a cruel and sanguinary populace.

6. So numerous were the gladiators, that Spar'tacus, one of their
number, having escaped from a school, raised an army of his
fellow-sufferers, amounting to seventy thousand men; he was finally
subdued by Cras'sus, the colleague of Pompey. Ju'lius Cæsar,
during his ædileship, exhibited at one time three hundred and twenty
pairs of gladiators; but even this was surpassed by the emperor
Trajan, who displayed no less than one thousand.

7. The gladiators were named from their peculiar arms; the most common
were the _retiarius_, who endeavoured to hamper his antagonist with a
net; and his opponent the _secutor_.

8. When a gladiator was wounded, or in any way disabled, he fled to
the extremity of the stage, and implored the pity of the spectators;
if he had shown good sport, they took him under their protection by
pressing down their thumbs; but if he had been found deficient in
courage or activity, they held the thumb back, and he was instantly
murdered by his adversary.

9. The Roman theatre was formed after the model of the Greeks, but
never attained equal eminence. The populace always paid more regard to
the dresses of the actors, and the richness of the decoration, than to
ingenious structure of plot, or elegance of language. Scenic
representations do not appear to have been very popular at Rome,
certainly never so much as the sports of the circus. Besides comedies
and tragedies, the Romans had a species of drama peculiar to their
country, called the Atellane farces, which were, in general, low
pieces of gross indecency and vulgar buffoonery, but sometimes
contained spirited satires on the character and conduct of public men.

10. We should be greatly mistaken if we supposed that the theatres in
ancient Rome at all resembled those of modern times; they were
stupendous edifices, some of which could accommodate thirty thousand
spectators, and an army could perform its evolutions on the stage. To
remedy the defects of distance, the tragic actors wore a buskin with
very thick soles, to raise them above their natural size, and covered
their faces with a mask so contrived as to render the voice more clear
and full.[1] Instead of the buskin, comic actors wore a sort of
slipper called a sock.

11. The periodical festivals of the Romans were celebrated with
theatrical entertainments and sports in the circus at the public
expense. The most remarkable of these festivals was the secular,
which occurred only at periods of one hundred and ten years. The
others occurred annually, and were named from the gods to whose honour
they were dedicated.

12. The Romans were a more grave and domestic people than the lively
Greeks; their favourite dress, the toga or gown, was more formal and
stately than the Grecian short cloak; their demeanour was more stern,
and their manners more imposing. The great object of the old Roman
was, to maintain his dignity under all circumstances, and to show that
he could controul the emotions to which ordinary men too readily
yield. Excessive joy or grief, unqualified admiration, or intense
surprise, were deemed disgraceful; and even at a funeral, the duty of
lamenting the deceased was entrusted to hired mourners. Temperance at
meals was a leading feature in the character of the Romans during the
early ages of the republic; but after the conquest of Asia, their
luxuries were more extravagant than those of any nation recorded in
history. But there was more extravagance than refinement in the Roman
luxury; and though immense sums were lavished on entertainments, they
were destitute of that taste and elegance more delightful than the
most costly delicacies.

13. The Roman ladies, enjoyed more freedom than those in any other,
ancient nation. They visited all places of public amusement
uncontrolled, and mingled in general society. The power of the
husband, however, was absolute, and he could divorce his wife at
pleasure without assigning any cause. In the early ages of the
republic this privilege was rarely exercised, and the Roman ladies
were strictly virtuous; but at a later period divorces were
multiplied, and the most shocking depravity was the consequence.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What were the national amusements of the Romans?

2. What were the naumachiæ?

3. Whence arose the custom of gladiatorial combats?

4. Why were these exhibitions of frequent occurrence?

5. How was the supply of gladiators kept up?

6. From what circumstances do we learn the great numbers of the

7. What names were given to the gladiators?

8. How were these combats terminated?

9. What pieces were exhibited on the Roman stage?

10. How did the dramatic entertainments in Rome differ from those of
modern times?

11. Which were the most remarkable Roman festivals?

12. What was the general character of the Roman people?

13. How were women treated in Rome?


[1] Hence the mask was called _persona_, from _personare_, to sound
through. From _persona_ the English word _person_ is derived, which
properly signifies not so much an individual, as the aspect of that
individual in relation to civil society.

       *       *       *       *       *



  The Roman eagle seized
  The double prey, and proudly perch'd on high
  And here a thousand years he plumed his wing
  Till from his lofty eyry, tempest-tost,
  And impotent through age, headlong he plunged,
  While nations shuddered as they saw him fall.--_Anon._

1. The ordinary boundaries of the Roman empire, over which, however,
it sometimes passed, were, in Europe, the two great rivers of the
Rhine and Danube; in Asia, the Euphrates and the Syrian deserts; in
Africa, the tracts of arid sand which fence the interior of that
continent. It thus contained those fertile and rich countries which
surround the Mediterranean sea, and constitute the fairest portion of
the earth.

2. Beginning at the west of Europe,[1] we find, first, Hispa'nia,
_Spain_. Its boundaries are, on the east, the chain of the Pyrenees;
on every other side, the sea. It was divided into three provinces: 1.
Lusita'nia, _Portugal_, bounded on the north by the Du'rius, _Douro_,
and on the south by the Anas; _Guadiana_: 2. Bo'etica, bounded on the
north and west by the A'nas, and on the east by the mountains of
Orospe'da, _Sierra Moreno_: 3. Tarracone'nsis, which includes the
remainder of the Spanish peninsula. 3. Spain was annexed to the Roman
empire after the conclusion of the second _Punic_ war; Lusitania,
after a desperate resistance, was added at a later period.

4. Transalpine Gaul was the name given to the entire country between
the Pyrenees and the Rhine; it consequently included France,
Switzerland, and Belgium.

5. Gaul was divided in four provinces: 1. Narbonen'sis or Bracca'ta,
bounded on the west by the Pyrenees; on the north by the Cevennian
mountains, and on the east by the Va'rus, _Var_: 2. Lugdunen'sis or
Cel'tica, bounded on the south and west by the Li'ger, _Loire_; on the
north by the Sequa'na, _Seine_, and on the east by the A'rar,
_Saone_: 3. Aquita'nica, bounded by the Pyrenees on the south,
and the Li'ger on the north and east: 4. Bel'gica, bounded on the
north and east by the Rhe'nus, _Rhine;_ on the west by the Arar, and
on the south by the Rhoda'nus, _Rhone_, as far as the city Lugdu'num,
_Lyons_. Helve'tia, the modern Switzerland, was included in Belgic
Gaul. This extensive country was not totally subdued before the time
of Julius Cæsar.

6. Italy has been already mentioned in the first chapter; we shall
therefore pass it over and come to the islands in the Mediterranean.

Sici'lia or Trinac'ria, _Sicily_, was the first province that the
Romans gained beyond the confines of Italy. The cities on its coast
were founded by Phoenician and Grecian colonies, but the native
inhabitants retained possession of the interior; one tribe, named the
Sic'uli, are said to have migrated from Italy, and to have given their
name to the island. The Greeks and Carthaginians long contended for
supremacy in this island, but it was wrested from both by the Romans
towards the close of the second _Punic_ war. Nearly at the same time,
the islands of Corsica and Sardinia were annexed to the empire.

7. Britan'nia, divided into Britan'nia Roma'na, which contained
England and the south of Scotland; and Britannia Bar'bara or
Caledo'nia, the northern part of Scotland, into which the Romans never
penetrated. Britain was first invaded by Julius Cæsar, but was not
wholly subdued before the time of Nero. As for Hiber'nia or Ier'ne,
_Ireland_, it was visited by Roman merchants, but never by Roman

8. The countries south of the Danube, were subdued and divided into
provinces during the reign of Augustus. The number of these provinces
was seven: 1. Vindeli'cia, bounded on the north by the Danube; on the
east by the Æ'nus, _Inn_; on the west by Helve'tia, and on the south
by Rhæ'tia: 2. Rhætia, lying between Helve'tia, Vindeli'cia, and the
eastern chain of the Alps: 3. Novi'cum, bounded on the north by the
Danube, on the west by the Æ'nus, _Inn_, on the east by mount Ce'tius
_Kahlenberg_, and on the south by the Julian Alps and the Sa'vus,
_Save_: 4. Panno'nia Superior, having as boundaries, the Danube on the
north and east; the Ar'rabo, _Raab_, on the south; and the Cetian
mountains on the west: 5. Panno'nia Inferior, having the Ar'rabo on
the north; the Ar'rabo on the east; and the Sa'vus on the south: 6.
Moe'sia Superior, bounded on the north by the Danube, on the
south by Mount Scar'dus. _Tihar-dag_; on the west by the Pan'nonia,
and on the east by the river Ce'brus, _Isker_: 7. Moe'sia Inferior,
having the Danube on the north; the Ce'brus on the west; the chain of
mount Hæ'mus on the south, and the Pon'tus Eux'imus, _Black Sea_, on
the east.

9. Illyricum included the districts along the eastern coast of the
Adriatic, from Rhæ'tia to the river Dri'nus, _Drino Brianco_, in the
south, and the Sa'vus, _Save_, on the east. It was subdued by the
Romans about the time of the Macedonian war.

10. Macedon and Greece were subdued after the conquest of Carthage;
for the particulars of their geography, the student is referred to the
introduction prefixed to the last edition of the Grecian History.
Thrace was governed by its own kings, who were tributary to the Romans
until the reign of the emperor Claudian, when it was made a province.

11. Da'cia was first subdued by the emperor Trajan, and was the only
province north of the Danube; its boundaries were, the Carpathian
mountains on the north, the Tibis'eus, _Theiss_, on the west, the
Hiera'sus, _Pruth_, on the east, and the Danube on the south.

12. The principal Asiatic provinces were, Asia Minor, Syria, and
Phoeni'cia. Beyond the Euphra'tes, Arme'nia and Mesopota'mia were
reduced to provinces by Trajan, but abandoned by his successor Adrian.

13. The African provinces were, Egypt, Cyrena'ica, Namidia, and

14. The principal states on the borders of the empire were, Germa'nia
and Sarma'tia in Europe, Arme'nia and Par'thia in Asia, and Æthio'pia
in Africa.

15. Eastern Asia, or India, was only known to the Romans by a
commercial intercourse, which was opened with that country soon after
the conquest of Egypt.

It was divided into India on this side the Ganges, and India beyond
the Ganges, which included Se'rica, a country of which the Romans
possessed but little knowledge. India at the western side of the
Ganges contained, 1. The territory between the In'dus and Gan'ges: 2.
The western coast, now called Malabar, which was the part best known,
and, 3. The island of Taproba'ne, _Ceylon_.

16. The commerce between Europe and southern Asia became important in
the reign of Alexan'der the Great; the greater part of the towns
founded by that mighty conqueror were intended to facilitate this
lucrative trade.[2] After his death, the Ptol'emys of Egypt became the
patrons of Indian traffic, which was unwisely neglected by the kings
of Syria. When Egypt was conquered by the Romans, the commerce with
India was not interrupted, and the principal mart for Indian commerce
under the Roman emperors, was always Alexandria. The jealousy of the
Parthians excluded strangers from their territories, and put an end to
the trade that was carried on between northern India, the shores of
the Caspian sea, and thence to the Ægean. In consequence of this
interruption, Palmy'ra and Alexandri'a became the great depots of
eastern commerce, and to this circumstance they owed their enormous
wealth and magnificence.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What were the boundaries of the Roman empire?

2. How was Spain divided?

3. When was Spain annexed to the Roman empire?

4. What countries were included in Transalpine Gaul?

5. How was Gaul divided?

6. What islands in the Mediterranean were included in the Roman

7. When was Britain invaded by the Romans, and how much of the country
did they subdue?

8. Into what provinces were the countries south of the Danube divided?

9. What was the extent of Illyricum?

10. What were the Roman provinces in the east of Europe?

11. By whom was Dacia conquered?

12. What were the Asiatic provinces?

13. What were the African provinces?

14. What were the principal states bordering on the empire?

15. Was India known to the Romans?

16. What cities under the Romans enjoyed the greatest commerce with


[1] The student will find the particulars of the ancient state of
these countries detailed more fully in Mitchell's Ancient Geography.

[2] See Pinnock's Grecian History.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *



In Alba he shall fix his royal seat.--_Dryden_.

1. The Romans were particularly desirous of being thought descendants
of the gods, as if to hide the meanness of their real ancestry.
_Æne'as_, the son of _Venus_ and _Anchi'ses_, having escaped from the
destruction of Troy, after many adventures and dangers, arrived in
Italy, A.M. 2294, where he was kindly received by Lati'nus, king of
the Latins, who promised him his daughter Lavin'ia in marriage.

2. Turnus, king of the _Ru'tuli_, was the first who opposed Æne'as, he
having long made pretensions to her himself. A war ensued, in which
the Trojan hero was victorious, and Turnus slain. In consequence of
this, Lavin'ia became the wife of Æne'as, who built a city to her
honour, and called it Lavin'ium. Some time after, engaging in a war
against _Mezen'tius_, one of the petty kings of the country, he was
vanquished in turn, and died in battle, after a reign of four years.
3. Asca'nius his son, succeeded to the kingdom; and to him Sil'vius, a
second son, whom he had by Lavin'ia. It would be tedious and
uninteresting to recite a dry catalogue of the kings that followed, of
whom we know little more than the names; it will be sufficient to say,
that the succession continued for nearly four hundred years in the
same family, and that Nu'mitor, the fifteenth from Æne'as, was the
last king of Alba.

Nu'mitor, who took possession of the kingdom in consequence of his
father's will, had a brother named Amu'lius, to whom were left the
treasures which had been brought from Troy. 4. As riches too generally
prevail against right, Amu'lius made use of his wealth to supplant his
brother, and soon found means to possess himself of the kingdom. Not
contented with the crime of usurpation, he added that of murder also.
Nu'mitor's sons first fell a sacrifice to his suspicions; and to
remove all apprehensions of being one day disturbed in his
ill-gotten power, he caused Rhe'a Sil'via, his brother's only
daughter, to become a vestal.

5. His precautions, however, were all frusrtrated in the event. Rhe'a
Sil'via, and, according to tradition, Mars the god of war, were the
parents of two boys, who were no sooner born, than devoted by the
usurper to destruction. 7. The mother was condemned to be buried
alive, the usual punishment for vestals who had violated their vows,
and the twins were ordered to be flung into the river Tiber. 8. It
happened, however, at the time this rigorous sentence was put into
execution, that the river had, more than usual, overflowed its banks,
so that the place where the children were thrown being distant from
the main current, the water was too shallow to drown them. It is said
by some, that they were exposed in a cradle, which, after floating for
a time, was, by the water's retiring, left on dry ground; that a wolf,
descending from the mountains to drink, ran, at the cry of the
children, and fed them under a fig-tree, caressing and licking them as
if they had been her own young, the infants hanging on to her as if
she had been their mother, until Faus'tulus, the king's shepherd,
struck with so surprising a sight, conveyed them home, and delivered
them to his wife, Ac'ca Lauren'tia, to nurse, who brought them up as
her own. 9. Others, however, assert, that from the vicious life of
this woman, the shepherds had given her the nickname of Lupa, or wolf,
which they suppose might possibly be the occasion of this marvellous

10. Romu'lus and Re'mus, the twins, in whatever manner preserved,
seemed early to discover abilities and desires above the meanness of
their supposed origin. From their very infancy, an air of superiority
and grandeur seemed to discover their rank. They led, however, the
shepherd's life like the rest; worked for their livelihood, and built
their own huts. But pastoral idleness displeased them, and, from
tending their flocks, they betook themselves to the chase. Then, no
longer content with hunting wild beasts, they turned their strength
against the robbers of their country, whom they often stripped of
their plunder, and divided it among the shepherds. 11. The youths who
continually joined them so increased in number, as to enable them to
hold assemblies, and celebrate games. In one of their excursions, the
two brothers were surprised. Re'mus was taken prisoner, carried before
the king, and accused of being a plunderer and robber on Nu'mitor's
lands. Rom'ulus had escaped; but Re'mus, the king sent to
Nu'mitor, that he might do himself justice.

12. From many circumstances, Faus'tulus suspected the twins under his
care to be the same that Amu'lius had exposed on the Ti'ber, and at
length divulged his suspicions to Rom'ulus. Nu'mitor made the same
discovery to Re'mus. From that time nothing was thought of but the
tyrant's destruction. He was beset on all sides; and, during the
amazement and distraction that ensued, was taken and slain; while
Nu'mitor, who had been deposed for forty years, recognised his
grandsons, and was once more placed on the throne.

13. The two brothers, leaving Nu'mitor the kingdom of Alba, determined
to build a city upon the spot where they had been exposed and
preserved. But a fatal desire of reigning seized them both, and
created a difference between these noble youths, which terminated
tragically. Birth right in the case of twins could claim no
precedence; they therefore were advised by the king to take an omen
from the flight of birds, to know to which of them the tutelar gods
would decree the honour of governing the rising city, and,
consequently, of being the director of the other. 14. In compliance
with this advice, each took his station on a different hill. To Re'mus
appeared six vultures; in the moment after, Rom'ulus saw twelve. Two
parties had been formed for this purpose; the one declared for Re'mus,
who first saw the vultures; the other for Rom'ulus, who saw the
greater number. Each party called itself victorious; the one having
the first omen, the other that which was most complete. This produced
a contest which ended in a battle, wherein Re'mus was slain. It is
even said, that he was killed by his brother, who, being provoked at
his leaping contemptuously over the city wall, struck him dead upon
the spot.

15. Rom'ulus being now sole commander and eighteen years of age, began
the foundation of a city that was one day to give laws to the world.
It was called Rome, after the name of the founder, and built upon the
Palatine hill, on which he had taken his successful omen, A.M. 3252;
ANTE c. 752. The city was at first nearly square, containing about a
thousand houses. It was almost a mile in circumference, and commanded
a small territory round it of eight miles over. 16. However, small as
it appears, it was yet worse inhabited; and the first method made use
of to increase its numbers, was the opening of a sanctuary for
all malefactors and slaves, and such as were desirous of novelty;
these came in great multitudes, and contributed to increase the number
of our legislator's new subjects.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What was the origin of the Romans?

2. Who first opposed Æneas, and what was the result?

3. Who were the successors of Æneas?

4. What was the conduct of Amulius?

5. What event frustrated his precautions?

6. What followed?

7. What was the sentence on Rhea Silvia and her children?

8. How were the children preserved?

9. What is supposed to have occasioned this marvellous story?

10. What was the character and conduct of Romulus and Remus?

11. In what manner were they surprised?

12. How was the birth of Romulus and Remus discovered, and what
consequences followed?

13. What caused a difference between the brothers?

14. Relate the circumstances which followed?

15. By whom was Rome built, and what was then its situation?

16. By what means was the new city peopled?

       *       *       *       *       *



  See Romulus the great, born to restore
  The crown that once his injured grandsire wore.
  This prince a priestess of our blood shall bear;
  And like his sire in arms he shall appear.--_Dryden_.

1. Scarcely was the city raised above its foundation, when its rude
inhabitants began to think of giving some form to their constitution.
Rom'ulus, by an act of great generosity, left them at liberty to
choose whom they would for their king; and they, in gratitude,
concurred to elect him for their founder. He, accordingly, was
acknowledged as chief of their religion, sovereign magistrate of Rome,
and general of the army. Beside a guard to attend his person, it was
agreed, that he should be preceded wherever he went, by twelve
lictors, each armed with an axe tied up in a bundle of rods;[1] these
were to serve as executioners of the law, and to impress his new
subjects with an idea of his authority.

2. The senate, who were to act as counsellors to the king, was
composed of a hundred of the principal citizens of Rome, consisting of
men whose age, wisdom, or valour, gave them a natural authority over
their fellow-subjects. The king named the first senator, who was
called prince of the senate, and appointed him to the government of
the city, whenever war required his own absence.

3. The patricians, who composed the third part of the legislature,
assumed to themselves the power of authorising those laws which were
passed by the king, or the senate. All things relative to peace or
war, to the election of magistrates, and even to the choosing a king,
were confirmed by suffrages in their assemblies.

4. The plebeians were to till the fields, feed cattle, and follow
trades; but not to have any share in the government, to avoid the
inconveniences of a popular power.

5. The first care of the new-created king was, to attend to the
interests of religion. The precise form of their worship is unknown;
but the greatest part of the religion of that age consisted in a firm
reliance upon the credit of their soothsayers, who pretended, from
observation on the flight of birds, and the entrails of beasts, to
direct the present, and to dive into futurity. Rom'ulus, by an express
law, commanded that no election should be made, nor enterprise
undertaken, without first consulting them.

6. Wives were forbidden, upon any pretext whatsoever, to separate from
their husbands; while, on the contrary, the husband was empowered to
repudiate the wife, and even, in some cases, to put her to death. The
laws between children and their parents were still more severe; the
father had entire power over his offspring, both of fortune and life;
he could imprison and sell them at any time of their lives, or in any
stations to which they were arrived.

7. After endeavouring to regulate his subjects by law, Rom'ulus next
gave orders to ascertain their numbers. The whole amounted to no more
than three thousand foot, and about as many hundred horsemen, capable
of bearing arms. These, therefore, were divided equally into three
tribes, and to each he assigned a different part of the city. Each of
these tribes was subdivided into ten curiæ, or companies, consisting of
a hundred men each, with a centurion to command it; a priest called
curio, to perform the sacrifices, and two of the principal inhabitants,
called duumviri, to distribute justice.

8. By these judicious regulations, each day added strength to the new
city; multitudes of people flocked in from all the adjacent towns, and
it only seemed to want women to insure its duration. In this exigence,
Rom'ulus, by the advice of the senate, sent deputies among the
Sab'ines, his neighbours, entreating their alliance; and, upon these
terms, offering to cement the strictest confederacy with them. The
Sab'ines, who were at that time considered as the most warlike people
of Italy, rejected the proposal with disdain. 9. Rom'ulus, therefore,
proclaimed a feast, in honour of Neptune,[2] throughout all the
neighbouring villages, and made the most magnificent preparations for
celebrating it. These feasts were generally preceded by sacrifices,
and ended in shows of wrestlers, gladiators, and chariot-courses. The
Sab'ines, as he had expected, were among the foremost who came to be
spectators, bringing their wives and daughters with them, to share the
pleasures of the sight. 10. In the mean time the games began, and
while the strangers were most intent upon the spectacle, a number of
the Roman youth rushed in among them with drawn swords, seized the
youngest and most beautiful women, and carried them off by violence.
In vain the parents protested against this breach of hospitality; the
virgins were carried away and became the wives of the Romans.

11. A bloody war ensued. The cities of Cæ'nina,[3] Antem'næ,[4] and
Crustumi'num,[5] were the first who resolved to avenge the common
cause, which the Sab'ines seemed too dilatory in pursuing. But all
these, by making separate inroads, became an easy conquest to
Rom'ulus, who made the most merciful use of his victories; instead of
destroying their towns, or lessening their numbers, he only placed
colonies of Romans in them, to serve as a frontier to repress more
distant invasions.

12. Ta'tius, king of Cures, a Sabine city, was the last, although the
most formidable, who undertook to revenge the disgrace his
country had suffered. He entered the Roman territories at the head of
twenty-five thousand men, and not content with a superiority of
forces, he added stratagem also. 13. Tarpe'ia, who was daughter to the
commander of the Capit'oline hill, happened to fall into his hands, as
she went without the walls of the city to fetch water. Upon her he
prevailed, by means of large promises, to betray one of the gates to
his army. The reward she engaged for, was what the soldiers wore on
their arms, by which she meant their bracelets. They, however, either
mistaking her meaning, or willing to punish her perfidy, threw their
bucklers upon her as they entered, and crushed her to death. 14. The
Sab'ines being thus possessed of the Capit'oline, after some time a
general engagement ensued, which was renewed for several days, with
almost equal success, and neither army could think of submitting; it
was in the valley between the Capit'oline and Quiri'nal hills that the
last engagement was fought between the Romans and the Sab'ines. 15.
The battle was now become general, and the slaughter prodigious; when
the attention of both sides was suddenly turned from the scene of
horror before them to another. The Sab'ine women, who had been carried
off by the Romans, flew in between the combatants, with their hair
loose, and their ornaments neglected, regardless of their own danger;
and, with loud outcries, implored their husbands and their fathers to
desist. Upon this the combatants, as if by natural impulse, let fall
their weapons. 16. An accommodation ensued, by which it was agreed,
that Rom'ulus and Ta'tius should reign jointly in Rome, with equal
power and prerogative; that a hundred Sab'ines should be admitted into
the senate; that the city should retain its former name, but the
citizens, should be called Qui'rites, after Cu'res, the principal town
of the Sab'ines; and that both nations being thus united, such of the
Sab'ines as chose it, should be admitted to live in and enjoy all the
privileges of citizens of Rome. 17. The conquest of Came'ria was the
only military achievement under the two kings, and Ta'tius was killed
about five years after by the Lavin'ians, for having protected some of
his servants who had plundered them and slain their ambassadors; so
that, by this accident, Rom'ulus once more saw himself sole monarch of
Rome. 18. Soon after the death of Ta'tius, a cruel plague and famine
having broken out at Rome, the Camerini embraced the opportunity to
lay waste the Roman territory. But Rom'ulus gave them battle,
killed six thousand on the spot, and returned in triumph to Rome. He
took likewise Fidenæ, a city about forty furlongs distant from his
capital, and reduced the Veien'tes to submission.

19. Successes like these produced an equal share of pride in the
conqueror. From being contented with those limits which had been
wisely assigned to his power, he began to affect absolute sway, and to
controul those laws to which he had himself formerly professed
implicit obedience. The senate was particularly displeased at his
conduct, as they found themselves used only as instruments to ratify
the rigour of his commands. 20. We are not told the precise manner
which they employed to get rid of the tyrant. Some say that he was
torn in pieces in the senate-house; others, that he disappeared while
reviewing his army; certain it is, that, from the secrecy of the fact,
and the concealment of the body, they took occasion to persuade the
multitude that he was taken up into heaven; thus, him whom they could
not bear as a king, they were contented to worship as a god. Rom'ulus
reigned thirty-seven years; and, after his death, had a temple built
to him, under the name of Quiri'nus.

_Questions for Examination._

1. What were the first proceedings of the rude inhabitants of Rome?

2. Of whom was the senate composed?

3. Who were the patricians?

4. Who were the plebeians?

5. What was the first care of the new king? In what did the Religion
of Rome consist?

6. What were the laws between husband and wife, and between parents
and children?

7. What were the regulations directed by Romulus?

8. What was the result of these regulations?

9. What conduct did Romulus adopt in consequence?

10. What treatment did the Sabines experience?

11. Did they tamely acquiesce in this outrage?

12. Who undertook to revenge the disgrace of the Sabines?

13. What was this stratagem, and how was its perpetrator rewarded?

14. Did the possession of the Capitoline put an end to the war?

15. What put a stop to this sanguinary conflict?

16. What were the terms of accommodation?

17. Was this joint sovereignty of long continuance?

18. Was Romulus successful in military affairs?

19. What was the consequence?

20. What was the manner of his death?


[1] This symbol of authority was borrowed from his neighbours, the

[2] More properly in honour of Con'sus, a deity of Sabine origin, whom
the Romans, in a later age, confounded with Neptune. (See Keightley's

[3] A town of Latium, near Rome. (Livy.)

[4] A city of the Sabines, between Rome and the Anio, from whence its
name,--Ante Amnem. (Dionys. Hal.)

[5] A town of Etruria, near Veii. (Virg.)

       *       *       *       *       *



  When pious Numa reigned, Bellona's voice
    No longer called the Roman youth to arms;
  In peaceful arts he bid her sons rejoice,
    And tranquil live, secure from war's alarms.--_Brooke._

1. Upon the death of Rom'ulus, the city seemed greatly divided in the
choice of a successor. The Sab'ines were for having a king chosen from
their body; but the Romans could not endure the thoughts of advancing
a stranger to the throne. In this perplexity, the senators undertook
to supply the place of the king, by taking the government each of them
in turn, for five days, and during that time enjoying all the honours
and all the privileges of royalty. 2. This new form of government
continued for a year; but the plebeians, who saw this method of
transferring power was only multiplying their masters, insisted upon
altering that mode of government. The senate being thus driven to an
election, at length pitched upon Nu'ma Pompil'ius, a Sab'ine, and
their choice was received with universal approbation by the people.[1]

3. Nu'ma Pompil'ius, who was now about forty, had long been eminent
for his piety, his justice, his moderation, and exemplary life. He was
skilled in all the learning and philosophy of the Sab'ines, and lived
at home at Cu'res,[2] contented with a private fortune; unambitious of
higher honours. It was not, therefore, without reluctance, that he
accepted the dignity; which, when he did so, produced such joy, that
the people seemed not so much to receive a king as a kingdom.

4. No monarch could be more proper for them than Nu'ma, at a
conjuncture when the government was composed of various petty states
lately subdued, and but ill united to each other: they wanted a master
who could, by his laws and precepts, soften their fierce dispositions;
and, by his example, induce them to a love of religion, and every
milder virtue. 5. Numa's whole time, therefore, was spent in
inspiring his subjects with a love of piety, and a veneration for the
gods. He built many new temples, instituted sacred offices and feasts;
and the sanctity of his life gave strength to his assertion--that he
had a particular correspondence with the goddess _Ege'ria_. By her
advice he built the temple of _Janus_, which was to be shut in time of
peace, and open in war. He regulated the appointment of the vestal
virgins, and added considerably to the privileges which they had
previously enjoyed.

6. For the encouragement of agriculture, he divided those lands, which
Romulus had gained in war, among the poorer part of the people; he
regulated the calendar, and abolished the distinction between Romans
and Sabines, by dividing the people according to their several trades,
and compelling them to live together. Thus having arrived at the age
of fourscore years, and having reigned forty-three in profound peace,
he died, ordering his body, contrary to the custom of the times, to be
buried in a stone coffin; and his books of ceremonies, which consisted
of twelve in Latin, and as many in Greek, to be buried by his side in

_Questions for Examination._

1. Upon the death of Romulus, what took place in regard to his

2. How long did this order of things continue?

3. What was the character of Numa Pompilius?

4. Was Numa a monarch suited to this peculiar conjuncture?

5. Relate the acts of Numa?

6. What were the further acts of Numa?

7. What orders did he leave at his death?


[1] Nu'ma Pompil'ius was the fourth son of Pompil'ius Pom'po, an
illustrious Sab'ine. He had married Ta'tia, the daughter of Ta'tius,
the colleague of Rom'ulus, and on the death of his wife, gave himself
up entirely to solitude and study. (Plutarch--Livy.)

[2] More probably at Quirium, the Sabine town which was united with
Rome. (See Introduction, Chap. II.)

[3] The age of Nu'ma is scarcely more historical than that of
Rom'ulus, but the legends respecting it are fewer and partake less of
extravagance. Indeed, he had himself discouraged the songs of the
bards, by ordering the highest honours to be paid to Tac'ita, the
Came'na or Muse of Silence. His memory was best preserved by the
religious ceremonies ascribed to him by universal tradition. The later
poets loved to dwell on his peaceful virtues, and on the pure
affection that existed between him and the nymph Egeria. They tell us
that when the king served up a moderate repast to his guests on
earthen-ware, she suddenly changed the dishes into gold, and the plain
food into the most sumptuous viands. They also add, that when he died,
Egeria melted away in tears for his loss, and was changed into a

       *       *       *       *       *


OF ROME.--U.C. 82.

  From either army shall be chose three champions,
  To fight the cause alone.--_Whitehead._

1. At the death of Nu'ma, the government once more devolved upon the
senate, and so continued, till the people elected Tullus Hostil'ius
for their king, which choice had also the concurrence of the other
part of the constitution. This monarch, the grandson of a noble
Roman,[1] who had formerly signalized himself against the Sab'ines,
was every way unlike his predecessor, being entirely devoted to war,
and more fond of enterprise than even the founder of the empire
himself had been; so that he only sought a pretext for leading his
forces to the field.

2. The _Albans_, by committing some depredations on the Roman
territory, were the first people that gave him an opportunity of
indulging his favourite inclinations. The forces of the two states met
about five miles from Rome, prepared to decide the fate of their
respective kingdoms; for, in these times, a single battle was
generally decisive. The two armies were for some time drawn out in
array, awaiting the signal to begin, both chiding the length of that
dreadful suspense, when an unexpected proposal from the Alban general
put a stop to the onset. 3. Stepping in between both armies, he
offered the Romans to decide the dispute by single combat; adding,
that the side whose champion was overcome, should submit to the
conqueror. A proposal like this, suited the impetuous temper of the
Roman king, and was embraced with joy by his subjects, each of whom
hoped that he himself should be chosen to fight the cause of his
country. 4. There were, at that time, three twin brothers in each
army; those of the Romans were called Hora'tii, and those of the
Albans Curia'tii; all six remarkable for their courage, strength, and
activity, and to these it was resolved to commit the management of the
combat.[2] At length the champions met, and each, totally
regardless of his own safety, only sought the destruction of his
opponent. The spectators, in horrid silence, trembled at every blow,
and wished to share the danger, till fortune seemed to decide the
glory of the field. 5. Victory, that had hitherto been doubtful,
appeared to declare against the Romans: they beheld two of their
champions lying dead upon the plain, and the three Curia'tii, who were
wounded, slowly endeavouring to pursue the survivor, who seemed by
flight to beg for mercy. Too soon, however, they perceived that his
flight was only pretended, in order to separate his three antagonists,
whom he was unable to oppose united; for quickly after, stopping his
course, and turning upon the first, who followed closely behind, he
laid him dead at his feet: the second brother, who was coming up to
assist him that had already fallen, shared the same fate. 6. There now
remained but the last Curia'tius to conquer, who, fatigued and
disabled by his wounds, slowly advanced to offer an easy victory. He
was killed, almost unresisting, while the conqueror, exclaiming, "Two
have I already sacrificed to the manes of my brothers, the third I
will offer up to my country," despatched him as a victim to the
superiority of the Romans, whom now the Alban army consented to

7. But the virtues of that age were not without alloy; that very hand
that in the morning was exerted to save his country, was, before
night, imbrued in the blood of a sister: for, returning triumphant
from the field, it raised his indignation to behold her bathed in
tears, and lamenting the loss of her lover, one of the Curia'tii, to
whom she had been betrothed. This so provoked him beyond the powers of
sufferance, that in a rage he slew her: but the action displeased the
senate, and drew after it the condemnation of the magistrate. He was,
however, pardoned, by making his appeal to the people, but obliged to
pass under the yoke; an ignominious punishment, usually inflicted on
prisoners of war.[4]

8. Tullus having greatly increased the power and wealth of Rome by
repeated victories, now thought proper to demand satisfaction of the
Sab'ines for the insults which had been formerly offered to some Roman
citizens at the temple of the goddess Fero'nia, which was common
to both nations A war ensued, which lasted some years, and ended in
the total overthrow of the Sab'ines.

[Illustration: The victorious Horatius killing his sister.]

Hostil'ius died after a reign of thirty-two years; some say by
lightning; others, with more probability, by treason.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. On whom devolved the government on the death of Numa, and what is
the character of his successor?

2. What opportunity first offered of indulging the new king's

3. What proposal was offered, and accepted for deciding the dispute?

4-6. Relate the circumstances which attended the combat, and the
result of it.

7. What act followed the victory?

8. What conquest was next achieved?


[1] It seems to have been part of the compact between the Romans and
Sabines, that a king of each people should reign alternately.

[2] The Hora'tii and Curia'tii were, according to Diony'sius of
Halicarnas'sus, the sons of two sisters, daughters of Sequin'ius, an
illustrious citizen of Alba. One married to Curia'tius, a citizen of
Alba, and the other to Hora'tius, a Roman: so that the champions were
near relatives.

[3] This obedience of the Albans was of short duration; they soon
rebelled and were defeated by Tullus, who razed the city of Alba to
the ground, and transplanted the inhabitants to Rome, where he
conferred on them the privileges of citizens.

[4] Livy, lib. i. cap. 26. Dion. Hal. l. 3.

       *       *       *       *       *



                       Where what remains
  Of Alba, still her ancient rights retains,
  Still worships Vesta, though an humbler way,
  Nor lets the hallow'd Trojan fire decay.--_Juvenal_.

1. After an interregnum, as in the former case, Ancus Mar'tius, the
grandson of Numa, was elected king by the people, and their choice was
afterwards confirmed by the senate. As this monarch was a lineal
descendant from Numa, so he seemed to make him the great object
of his imitation. He instituted the sacred ceremonies, which were to
precede a declaration of war;[1] but he took every occasion to advise
his subjects to return to the arts of agriculture, and to lay aside
the less useful stratagems of war.

2. These institutions and precepts were considered by the neighbouring
powers rather as marks of cowardice than of wisdom. The Latins
therefore began to make incursions upon his territories, but their
success was equal to their justice. An'cus conquered the Latins,
destroyed their cities, removed their inhabitants to Rome, and
increased his dominions by the addition of part of theirs. He quelled
also an insurrection of the _Ve'ii_, the _Fiden'ates_, and the
_Vol'sci_; and over the Sab'ines he obtained a second triumph.

3. But his victories over the enemy were by no means comparable to his
works at home, in raising temples, fortifying the city, making a
prison for malefactors, and building a sea-port at the mouth of the
Ti'ber, called Os'tia, by which he secured to his subjects the trade
of that river, and that of the salt-pits adjacent. Thus having
enriched his subjects, and beautified the city, he died, after a reign
of twenty-four years.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. Who was elected by the people after the interregnum, and what
measures did he pursue?

2. In what light did his enemies consider his institutions? With what
success did they oppose him?

3. What were the other acts of Ancus? How many years did he reign?


[1] First an ambassador was sent to demand satisfaction for the
alleged injury; if this were not granted within thirty-three days,
heralds were appointed to proclaim the war in the name of the gods and
people of Rome. At the conclusion of their speech, they threw their
javelins into the enemy's confines, and departed.

       *       *       *       *       *



  The first of Tarquin's hapless race was he,
  Who odium tried to cast on augury;
  But Nævius Accius, with an augur's skill.
  Preserved its fame, and raised it higher still.--_Robertson_.

1. Lu'cius Tarquin'ius Pris'cus was appointed guardian to the sons of
the late king, and took the surname of Tarquin'ius from the city of
_Tarquin'ia_, whence he last came. His father was a merchant of
Corinth,[1] who had acquired considerable wealth by trade, and had
settled in Italy, upon account of some troubles at home. His son, who
inherited his fortune, married a woman of family in the city of

2. His birth, profession, and country, being contemptible to the
nobles of the place, he, by his wife's persuasion, came to settle at
Rome, where merit also gave a title to distinction. On his way
thither, say the historians, as he approached the city gate, an eagle,
stooping from above, took off his hat, and flying round his chariot
for some time, with much noise, put it on again. This his wife
Tan'aquil, who it seems was skilled in augury, interpreted as a
presage that he should one day wear the crown. Perhaps it was this
which first fired his ambition to pursue it.

3. Ancus being dead, and the kingdom, as usual, devolving upon the
senate, Tarquin used all his power and arts to set aside the children
of the late king, and to get himself elected in their stead. For this
purpose, upon the day appointed for election, he contrived to have
them sent out of the city; and in a set speech, in which he urged his
friendship for the people, the fortune he had spent among them, and
his knowledge of their government, he offered himself for their king.
As there was nothing in this harangue that could be contested, it had
the desired effect, and the people, with one consent, elected him as
their sovereign.

4. A kingdom thus obtained by _intrigue_, was, notwithstanding,
governed with equity. In the beginning of his reign, in order to
recompense his friends, he added a hundred members more to the senate,
which made them, in all, three hundred.

5. But his peaceful endeavours were soon interrupted by the inroads of
his restless neighbours, particularly the Latins, over whom he
triumphed, and whom he forced to beg for peace. He then turned his
arms against the Sabines, who had risen once more, and had passed the
river Ti'ber; but attacking them with vigour, Tarquin routed their
army; so that many who escaped the sword, were drowned in attempting
to cross over, while their bodies and armour, floating down to Rome,
brought news of the victory, even before the messengers could arrive
that were sent with the tidings. These conquests were followed by
several advantages over the Latins, from whom he took many towns,
though without gaining any decisive victory.

6. Tarquin, having thus forced his enemies into submission, was
resolved not to let his subjects grow corrupt through indolence. He
therefore undertook and perfected several public works for the
convenience and embellishment of the city.[2]

7. In his time it was, that the augurs came into a great increase of
reputation. He found it his interest to promote the superstition of
the people; for this was, in fact, but to increase their obedience.
Tan'aquil, his wife, was a great pretender to this art; but Ac'cius
Næ'vius was the most celebrated adept of the kind ever known in Rome.
8. Upon a certain occasion, Tarquin, being resolved to try the augur's
skill, asked him, whether what he was then pondering in his mind could
be effected? Næ'vius, having consulted his auguries, boldly affirmed
that it might: "Why, then," cries the king, with an insulting smile,
"I had thoughts of cutting this whetstone with a razor." "Cut boldly,"
replied the augur; and the king cut it through accordingly.
Thenceforward nothing was undertaken in Rome without consulting the
augurs, and obtaining their advice and approbation.

9. Tarquin was not content with a kingdom, without having also the
ensigns of royalty. In imitation of the Lyd'ian kings, he assumed a
crown of gold, an ivory throne, a sceptre with an eagle on the top,
and robes of purple. It was, perhaps, the splendour of these royalties
that first raised the envy of the late king's sons, who had now,
for above thirty-seven years, quietly submitted to his government. His
design also of adopting Ser'vius Tul'lius, his son-in-law, for his
successor, might have contributed to inflame their resentment. 10.
Whatever was the cause of their tardy vengeance, they resolved to
destroy him; and, at last, found means to effect their purpose, by
hiring two ruffians, who, demanding to speak with the king, pretending
that they came for justice, struck him dead in his palace with the
blow of an axe. The lictors, however, who waited upon the person of
the king, seized the murderers as they were attempting to escape, and
put them to death: but the sons of Ancus, who were the instigators,
found safety in flight.

11. Thus fell Lu'cius Tarquin'ius, surnamed Pris'cus, to distinguish
him from one of his successors of the same name. He was eighty years
of age, and had reigned thirty-eight years.[3]

_Questions for Examination_.

1. Who was Lucius Tarquinius Priscus?

2. What occasioned his removal to Rome, and what circumstances
attended it?

3. Was this presage fulfilled, and by what means?

4. In what manner did he govern?

5. Was Tarquin a warlike prince?

6. How did he improve his victories?

7. By what act did he insure the obedience of his subjects?

8. What contributed to increase the reputation of the augurs?

9. What part of his conduct is supposed, to have raised the envy of
the late king's sons?

10. What was the consequence of this envy and resentment?

11. What was his age, and how long did he reign?


[1] Corinth (now Corito) was a celebrated city of ancient Greece,
situated on the isthmus of that name, about sixty stadia or furlongs
from the sea. Its original name was Ephy're.

[2] Preparations for building the Capitol were made in this reign. The
city was likewise fortified with stone walls, and the cloacæ, or
common sewers, constructed by the munificence of this prince. (See

[3] The history of the elder Tarquin presents insuperable
difficulties. We are told that his original name was Lu'cumo; but
that, as has been mentioned in the Introduction, was the Etrurian
designation of a chief magistrate. One circumstance, however, is
unquestionable, that with him began the greatness and the splendour of
the Roman city. He commenced those vaulted sewers which still attract
the admiration of posterity; he erected the first circus for the
exhibition of public spectacles; he planned the Capitol, and
commenced, if he did not complete, the first city wall. The tradition
that he was a Tuscan prince, appears to be well founded; but the
Corinthian origin of his family is very improbable.

       *       *       *       *       *



  Servius, the king, who laid the solid base
  On which o'er earth the vast republic spread.--_Thomson_.

1. The report of the murder of Tarquin filled all his subjects with
complaint and indignation; while the citizens ran from every quarter
to the palace, to learn the truth of the account, or to take vengeance
on the assassins. 2. In this tumult, Tan'aquil, widow of the late
king, considering the danger she must incur, in case the conspirators
should succeed to the crown, and desirous of seeing her son-in-law his
successor, with great art dissembled her sorrow, as well as the king's
death. She assured the people, from one of the windows of the palace,
that he was not killed, but only stunned by the blow; that he would
shortly recover; and that in the meantime he had deputed his power to
Ser'vius Tul'lius, his son-in-law. Ser'vius, accordingly, as it had
been agreed upon between them, issued from the palace, adorned with
the ensigns of royalty, and, preceded by his lictors, went to despatch
some affairs that related to the public safety, still pretending that
he took all his instructions from the king. This scene of
dissimulation continued for some days, till he had made his party good
among the nobles; when, the death of Tarquin being publicly
ascertained, Ser'vius came to the crown, solely at the senate's
appointment, and without attempting to gain the suffrages of the

3. Ser'vius was the son of a bondwoman, who had been taken at the
sacking of a town belonging to the Latins, and was born whilst his
mother was a slave. While yet an infant in his cradle, a lambent
flame[1] is said to have played round his head, which Tan'aquil
converted into an omen of future greatness.

4. Upon being acknowledged king, he determined to make a great change
in the Roman constitution by admitting the plebeians to a
participation in the civil government. The senate was too weak to
resist the change when it was proposed, but it submitted with great
reluctance. 5. Ser'vius divided all the Romans into classes and
centuries according to their wealth and the amount of taxes paid
to the state. The number of centuries in the first class nearly
equalled that of all the others; a great advantage to the plebeians;
for the lower classes being chiefly clients of the patricians, were
always inclined to vote according to the prejudices or interests of
their patrons.

6. The classification by centuries was also used for military
purposes; the heavy armed infantry being selected from the richer
classes; the light troops, whose arms and armour could be obtained at
less expense, were levied among the lower centuries.

7. In order to ascertain the increase or decay of his subjects, and
their fortunes, he instituted another regulation, which he called a
_lustrum_. By this, all the citizens were to assemble in the Cam'pus
Mar'tius,[2] in complete armour, and in their respective classes, once
in five years, and there to give an exact account of their families
and fortune.

8. Having enjoyed a long reign, spent in settling the domestic policy
of the state, and also not inattentive to foreign concerns, he
conceived reasonable hopes of concluding it with tranquillity and
ease. He even had thoughts of laying down his power; and, having
formed the kingdom into a republic, to retire into obscurity; but so
generous a design was frustrated ere it could be put into execution.

9. In the beginning of his reign, to secure the throne by every
precaution, he had married his two daughters to the two grandsons of
Tarquin; and as he knew that the women, as well as their intended
husbands, were of opposite dispositions, he resolved to cross their
tempers, by giving each to him of a contrary turn of mind; her that
was meek and gentle to him that was bold and furious; her that was
ungovernable and proud, to him that was remarkable for a contrary
character; by this he supposed that each would correct the failings of
the other, and that the mixture would be productive of concord. 10.
The event, however, proved otherwise. Lu'cius, the haughty son-in-law,
soon grew displeased with the meekness of his consort, and placed his
whole affections upon his brother's wife, Tul'lia, who answered his
passion with sympathetic ardour. As their wishes were ungovernable,
they soon resolved to break through every restraint that
prevented their union; they both undertook to murder their respective
consorts; they succeeded, and were soon after married together. 11. A
first crime ever produces a second; from the destruction of their
consorts, they proceeded to conspiring that of the king. They began by
raising factions against him, alleging his illegal title to the crown,
and Lu'cius claiming it as his own, as heir to Tarquin. At length,
when he found the senate ripe for seconding his views, he entered the
senate-house, adorned with all the ensigns of royalty, and, placing
himself upon the throne, began to harangue them on the obscurity of
the king's birth, and the injustice of his title. 12. While he was yet
speaking, Ser'vius entered, attended by a few followers, and seeing
his throne thus rudely invaded, offered to push the usurper from his
seat; but Tarquin, being in the vigour of youth, threw the old king
down the steps which led to the throne; some of his adherents, who
were instructed for that purpose, followed him, as he was feebly
attempting to get to the palace, dispatched him by the way, and threw
his body, all mangled and bleeding, as a public spectacle, into the
street. 13. In the mean time, Tul'lia, burning with impatience for the
event, was informed of what her husband had done, and, resolving to be
among the first who should salute him as monarch, ordered her chariot
to the senate-house. But as her charioteer approached the place where
the body of the old king, her father, lay exposed and bloody; the man,
amazed at the inhuman spectacle, and not willing to trample upon it
with his horses, offered to turn another way; this serving only to
increase the fierceness of her anger, she threw the foot-stool at his
head, and ordered him to drive over the body without hesitation.[3]

14. This was the end of Ser'vius Tul'lius, a prince of eminent justice
and moderation, after an useful and prosperous reign of forty-four

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What effect had the murder of Tarquin on his subjects?

2. By what means was the succession assured to Servius Tullius?

3. Who was Servius?

4. What was the chief object of his reign?

5. What was the nature of the change made by Servius in the Roman

6. Was the classification by centuries used for civil purposes only?

7. What other important measure did he adopt?

8. What hopes did he entertain in his old age?

9. By what means did he hope to secure tranquil possession of the

10. How was it that the event failed to answer his expectations?

11. To what farther crimes did the commencement lead?

12. What followed?

13. What was the conduct of his daughter on this melancholy occasion?

14. What was the character of Servius, and how long did he reign?


[1] A flame of fire gliding about without doing any harm.

[2] A large plain at Rome, without the walls of the city, where the
Roman youth performed their exercises. Cam'pus is the Latin word for
field; and this field or plain was called Mar'tius, because it was
dedicated to Mars, the god of war.

[3] The blood of the good old king is said to have dyed the chariot
wheels, and even the clothes of the inhuman daughter; from that time
the street where it happened was called _vicus sceleratus_, the wicked
or accursed street.

       *       *       *       *       *



  A nobler spirit warm'd
  Her sons; and roused by tyrants, nobler still
  It burn'd in Brutus.--_Thomson_.

1. LU'CIUS TARQUIN'IUS, afterwards called Super'bus, or the Proud,
having placed himself upon the throne, in consequence of this horrid
deed, was resolved to support his dignity with the same violence with
which it was acquired. Regardless of the senate or the people's
approbation, he seemed to claim the crown by an hereditary right, and
refused burial to the late king's' body, under pretence of his being
an usurper. 2. All the good part of mankind, however, looked upon his
accession with detestation and horror: and this act of inefficient
cruelty only served to confirm their hatred. 3. Conscious of this, he
ordered all such as he suspected to have been attached to Ser'vius, to
be put to death; and fearing the natural consequences of his tyranny,
he increased the guard round his person.

4. His chief policy seems to have been to keep the people always
employed either in wars or public works, by which means he diverted
their attention from his unlawful method of coming to the crown. He
first marched against the Sab'ines, who refused to pay him obedience;
and he soon reduced them to submission. 5. In the meantime, many of
the discontented patricians, abandoning their native country, took
refuge in Ga'bii, a city of Latium, about twelve miles from Rome,
waiting an opportunity to take up arms, and drive Tarquin from his
throne. To escape this danger. Tarquin had recourse to the following
stratagem. 6. He caused his son Sextus to counterfeit desertion, upon
pretence of barbarous usage, and to seek refuge among the inhabitants
of the place. There, by artful complaints and studied lamentations,
Sextus so prevailed upon the pity of the people, as to be chosen their
governor, and, soon after, general of their army. 7. At first, in
every engagement, he appeared successful; till, at length, finding
himself entirely possessed of the confidence of the state, he sent a
trusty messenger to his father for instructions. Tarquin made no
answer; but taking the messenger to the garden, he cut down before him
the tallest poppies. Sextus readily understood the meaning of this
reply, and found means to destroy or remove, one by one, the principal
men of the city; taking care to confiscate their effects among the
people. 8. The charms of this dividend kept the giddy populace blind
to their approaching ruin, till they found themselves at last without
counsellors or head; and, in the end, fell under the power of Tarquin,
without even striking a blow.[1]

9. But, while he was engaged in wars abroad, he took care not to
suffer the people to continue in idleness at home. He undertook to
build the Capitol, the foundation of which had been laid in a former
reign; and an extraordinary event contributed to hasten the execution
of his design. A woman, in strange attire, made her appearance at
Rome, and came to the king, offering to sell nine books, which, she
said, were of her own composing. 10. Not knowing the abilities of the
seller, or that she was, in fact, one of the celebrated _Sybils_,
whose prophecies were never found to fail, Tarquin refused to buy
them. Upon this she departed, and burning three of her books, returned
again, demanding the same price for the six remaining. 11. Being once
more despised as an impostor, she again departed, and burning three
more, she returned with the remaining three, still asking the same
price as at first. Tarquin, surprised at the inconsistency of her
behaviour, consulted the augurs, to be advised what to do. These much
blamed him for not buying the nine, and commanded him to take the
three remaining, at whatsoever price they were to be had. 12. The
woman, says the historian, after thus selling and delivering the three
prophetic volumes, and advising him to have a special attention to
what they contained, vanished from before him, and was never seen
after. A trick this, invented probably by Tarquin himself, to impose
upon the people; and to find in the Sybil's leaves whatever the
government might require. However this was, he chose proper persons to
keep them, who, though but two at first, were afterwards increased to
fifteen, under the name of _Quindecemviri_. The important volumes were
put into a stone chest, and a vault in the newly designed building was
thought the properest place to secure them.[2]

13. The people, having been now for four years together employed in
building the Capitol, began, at last, to wish for something new to
engage them; Tarquin, therefore, to satisfy their wishes, proclaimed
war against the Ru'tuli, upon a frivolous pretence of their having
entertained some malefactors, whom he had banished; and invested their
chief city, Ar'dea, which lay about sixteen miles from Rome. 14. While
the army was encamped before this place, the king's son Sextus
Tarquinius, Collati'nus a noble Roman, and some others, sitting in a
tent drinking together, the discourse turned upon wives, each man
preferring the beauty and virtue of his own. Collati'nus offered to
decide the dispute by putting it to an immediate trial, whose wife
should be found possessed of the greatest beauty, and most sedulously
employed at that very hour: being heated with wine, the proposal was
relished by the whole company; and, taking horse without delay, they
posted to Rome, though the night was already pretty far advanced.

15. There they found Lucre'tia, the wife of Collati'nus, not like the
other women of her age, spending the time in ease and luxury, but
spinning in the midst of her maids, and cheerfully portioning out
their tasks. Her modest beauty, and the easy reception she gave her
husband and his friends, so charmed them all, that they unanimously
gave her the preference, but kindled, in the breast of Sextus
Tarquin'ius, a detestable passion, which occasioned the grossest
insult and injury to Lucre'tia, who, detesting the light, and
resolving to destroy herself for the crime of another, demanded her
husband Collati'nus, and Spu'rius, her father, to come to her; an
indelible disgrace having befallen the family. 16. They instantly
obeyed the summons, bringing with them Valerius, a kinsman of her
father, and Junius Bru'tus, a reputed idiot, whose father Tarquin had
murdered, and who had accidentally met the messenger by the way. 17.
Their arrival only served to increase Lucre'tia's poignant anguish;
they found her in a state of the deepest desperation, and vainly
attempted to give her relief. After passionately charging Sextus
Tarquin'ius with the basest perfidy towards her husband and injury to
herself, she drew a poinard from beneath her robe, and instantly
plunging it into her bosom, expired without a groan. 18. Struck with
sorrow, pity, and indignation, Spu'rius and Collati'nus gave vent to
their grief; but Bru'tus, drawing the poinard, reeking, from
Lucre'tia's wound, and lifting it up towards heaven, "Be witness, ye
gods," he cried, "that, from this moment, I proclaim myself the
avenger of the chaste Lucretia's cause; from this moment I profess
myself the enemy of Tarquin and his wicked house; from henceforth this
life, while life continues, shall be employed in opposition to
tyranny, and for the happiness and freedom of my much-loved country."
19. A new amazement seized the hearers: he, whom they had hitherto
considered as an idiot, now appearing, in his real character, the
friend of justice, and of Rome. He told them, that tears and
lamentations were unmanly, when vengeance called so loudly; and,
delivering the poinard to the rest, imposed the same oath upon them
which he himself had just taken.

20. Ju'nius Brutus was the son of Marcus Ju'nius, who was put to death
by Tarquin the Proud, and the grandson of Tarquin the elder. He had
received an excellent education from his father, and had, from nature,
strong sense and an inflexible attachment to virtue; but knowing that
Tarquin had murdered his father and his eldest brother, he
counterfeited a fool, in order to escape the same danger, and thence
obtained the surname of Bru'tus. Tarquin, thinking his folly real,
despised the man; and having possessed himself of his estate, kept him
as an idiot in his house, merely with a view of making sport for his

21. Brutus, however, only waited this opportunity to avenge the cause
of his family. He ordered Lucre'tia's dead body to be brought out
to view, and exposing it in the public forum, inflamed the ardour of
the citizens by a display of the horrid transaction. He obtained a
decree of the senate, that Tarquin and his family should be for ever
banished from Rome, and that it should be capital for any to plead
for, or to attempt his future return. 22. Thus this monarch, who had
now reigned twenty-five years, being expelled his kingdom, went to
take refuge with his family at Ci'ra, a little city of _Etru'ria_. In
the mean time the Roman army made a truce with the enemy, and Bru'tus
was proclaimed deliverer of the people.

Thus ended with Tarquin, after a continuance of two hundred and
forty-five years, the regal state of Rome.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What was the conduct of Lucius Tarquinius at the commencement of
his reign?

2. Was his claim quietly acquiesced in?

3. What means did he adopt for his security?

4. By what means did he divert the people's attention from the
unlawful manner in which he acquired the crown?

5. What happened in the mean time?

6. To what mean artifice did he have recourse?

7. How did Sextus accomplish his father's design?

8. What were the effects of this measure?

9. In what way did he employ his subjects at home during his absence,
and what extraordinary event occurred?

10. Did he accept her offer?

11. Was her second application successful, and what followed?

12. What became of the Sybil, and what is the general opinion
respecting this transaction?

13. Upon what pretence did Tarquin proclaim war against the Rutuli?

14. What remarkable event took place at the siege of Ardea?

15. What was the consequence of this intemperate frolic?

16. How did Lucretia support the loss of her honour?

17. Did they obey her summons, and who did they bring with them?

18. What was the consequence of their arrival?

19. What effect had this dreadful catastrophe on those present?

20. How was this unexpected resolution received?

21. Give some account of Brutus.

22. For what reason, and by what means, did Brutus endeavour the
abolition of royalty?

23. What became of Tarquin after his expulsion?


[1] This story is manifestly a fiction formed from the Greek
traditions respecting Zopy'nus and Thrasybu'lus. It is decisively
contradicted by the fact, that a treaty for the union of the Romans
and Gabians, on equitable terms, was preserved in the Capitol. It was
painted on a shield covered with the hide of the bull which had been
sacrificed at the ratification of the league.

[2] The Capitol, or temple of Jupiter Capitoli'nus.

       *       *       *       *       *




  The great republic seek that glowed, sublime,
  With the mixt freedom of a thousand states.--_Thomson_.

1. The regal power being overthrown, a republican form of government
was substituted in its room. The senate, however, reserved by far the
greatest share of the authority to themselves, and decorated their own
body with all the spoils of deposed monarchy. The centuries of the
people chose from among the senators, instead of a king, two annual
magistrates, whom they called CONSULS,[1] with power equal to that of
the regal, and with the same privileges and the same ensigns of

2. Brutus, the deliverer of his country, and Collati'nus, the husband
of Lucre'tia, were chosen the first consuls in Rome.

3. But this new republic, however, which seemed so grateful to the
people, had like to have been destroyed in its very commencement. A
party was formed in favour of Tarquin. Some young men of the principal
families in the state, who had been educated about the king, and had
shared in all the luxuries and pleasures of the court, undertook to
re-establish monarchy. 4. This party secretly increased every day; and
what may create surprise, the sons of Bru'tus himself, and the
Aqui'lii, the nephews of Collati'nus, were among the number, 5.
Tarquin, who was informed of these intrigues in his favour, sent
ambassadors from Etru'ria to Rome, under a pretence of reclaiming the
estates of the exiles; but, in reality, with a design to give spirit
to his faction. 6. The conspiracy was discovered by a slave who had
accidentally hid himself in the room where the conspirators used to
assemble. 7. Few situations could have been more terribly affecting
than that of Bru'tus: a father placed as a judge upon the life and
death of his own children, impelled by justice to condemn, and by
nature to spare them. 8. The young men pleaded nothing for themselves;
but, with conscious guilt, awaited their sentence in silence and
agony. 9. The other judges who were present felt all the pangs of
nature; Collati'nus wept, and Vale'rius could not repress his
sentiments of pity. Brutus, alone, seemed to have lost all the
softness of humanity; and, with a stern countenance and a tone of
voice that marked his gloomy resolution, demanded of his sons if they
could make any defence, to the crimes with which they had been
charged. This demand he made three several times; but receiving no
answer, he at length turned himself to the executioner: "Now," cried
he, "it is your part to perform the rest." 10. Thus saying, he again
resumed his seat with an air of determined majesty; nor could all the
sentiments of paternal pity, the imploring looks of the people, nor
yet the tears of his sons, who were preparing for execution, alter the
tenor of his resolution. Bru'tus, unmoved by any motive but the public
good, pronounced upon them the sentence of death, and by his office
was obliged to see it put in execution. The prisoners were scourged
and then beheaded, and Bru'tus beheld the cruel spectacle; but, in
spite of his stoic firmness, could not stifle the sentiments of nature
which he sacrificed to the necessity of his office.

11. Tarquin's hopes of an insurrection in his favour being thus
overset, he now resolved to force himself upon his former throne by
foreign assistance. He prevailed upon the _Veians_ to assist him, and,
with a considerable army, advanced towards Rome.

[Sidenote: U.C. 246.]

12. The consuls were not remiss in preparations to oppose him.
Vale'rius commanded the foot, and Bru'tus being appointed to head the
cavalry, went out to meet him on the Roman border. 13. A'runs, the son
of Tarquin, who commanded the cavalry for his father, seeing Bru'tus
at a distance, resolved, by one great attempt, to decide the fate of
the day before the engaging of the armies, when, spurring his horse he
flew to him with fury. Bru'tus perceived his approach, and singled out
from the ranks, they met with such ungoverned rage, that, eager only
to assail, and thoughtless of defending, they both fell dead upon the
field together. 14. A bloody battle ensued, with equal slaughter on
both sides: but the Romans, remaining in possession of the field of
battle, claimed the victory. In consequence, Vale'rius returned in
triumph to Rome.  15. In the mean time Tarquin, no way
intimidated by his misfortunes, prevailed upon Porsen'na, one of the
kings of Etruria, to espouse his cause, and in person to undertake his
quarrel. 16. This prince, equally noted for courage and conduct
marched directly to Rome, with a numerous army, and laid siege to the
city; while the terror of his name and arms filled all ranks of the
people with dismay The siege was carried on with vigour; a furious
attack was made upon the place; the consuls opposed in vain, and were
carried off wounded from the field; while the Romans, flying in great
consternation, were pursued by the enemy to the bridge, over which
both victors and vanquished were about to enter the city in the
confusion. 17. All now appeared lost, when Hora'tius Co'cles, who had
been placed there as sentinel to defend it, opposed himself to the
torrent of the enemy, and, assisted only by two more, for some time
sustained the whole fury of the assault, till the bridge was broken
down behind him. When he found the communication thus cut off,
plunging with his arms into the torrent of the Tiber, he swam back
victorious to his fellow-soldiers, and was received with just

18. Still, however, Porsen'na was determined upon taking the city; and
though five hundred of his men were slain in a sally of the Romans, he
reduced it to the greatest straits, and turning the siege into a
blockade, resolved to take it by famine. 19. The distress of the
besieged soon began to be insufferable, and all things seemed to
threaten a speedy surrender, when another act of fierce bravery, still
superior to that which had saved the city before again brought about
its safety and freedom.

20. Mu'tius, a youth of undaunted courage, was resolved to rid his
country of an enemy that so continued to oppress it; and, for this
purpose, disguised in the habit of an Etru'rian peasant, entered the
camp of the enemy, resolving to die or to kill the king. 21. With this
resolution he made up to the place where Porsen'na was paying his
troops, with a secretary by his side; but mistaking the latter for the
king, he stabbed him to the heart, and was immediately apprehended and
brought into the royal presence. 22. Upon Porsen'na's demanding
who he was, and the cause of so heinous an action, Mu'tius, without
reserve, informed him of his country and his design, and at the same
time thrusting his right hand into a fire that was burning upon the
altar before him, "You see," cried he, "how little I regard the
severest punishment your cruelty can inflict. A Roman knows not only
how to act, but how to suffer; I am not the only person you have to
fear; three hundred Roman youths, like me, have conspired your
destruction; therefore prepare for their attempts." 23. Porsen'na,
amazed at so much intrepidity, had too noble a mind not to acknowledge
merit, though found in an enemy; he therefore ordered him to be safely
conducted back to Rome, and offered the besieged conditions of
peace.[3] 24. These were readily accepted on their side, being neither
hard nor disgraceful, except that twenty hostages were demanded; ten
young men, and as many virgins, of the best families in Rome. 25. But
even in this instance also, as if the gentler sex were resolved to be
sharers in the desperate valour of the times, Cle'lia, one of the
hostages, escaping from her guards, and pointing out the way to the
rest of her female companions, swam over the Tiber on horseback,
amidst showers of darts from the enemy, and presented herself to the
consul. 26. This magistrate, fearing the consequences of detaining
her, sent her back; upon which Porsen'na, not to be outdone in
generosity, not only gave her liberty, but permitted her to choose
such of the hostages of the opposite sex as she should think fit, to
attend her. 27. On her part, she, with all the modesty of a Roman
virgin, chose only such as were under fourteen, alleging, that their
tender age was least capable of sustaining the rigours of slavery.[4]
28. The year after the departure of Porsen'na, the Sab'ines invading
the Roman territories, committed great devastations. The war that
ensued was long and bloody; but at length the Sab'ines were
compelled to purchase a peace, with corn, money, and the cession of
part of their territory.

29. Tarquin, by means of his son-in-law, Man'lius, once more stirred
up the Latins to espouse his interest, and took the most convenient
opportunity when the plebeians were at variance with the senators
concerning the payment of their debts.[5] These refused to go to war,
unless their debts were remitted upon their return: so that the
consuls, finding their authority insufficient, offered the people to
elect a temporary magistrate, who should have absolute power, not only
over all ranks of the state, but even over the laws themselves. To
this the plebeians readily consented, willing to give up their own
power for the sake of abridging that of their superiors. 30. In
consequence of this, Lar'tius was created the first dictator of Rome,
for so was this high office called, being nominated to it by his
colleague in the consulship. 31. Thus the people, who could not bear
the very name of king, readily submitted to a magistrate possessed of
much greater power; so much do the names of things mislead us, and so
little is any form of government irksome to the people, when it
coincides with their prejudices.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What form of government was substituted for the regal?

2. Who were the first consuls?

3. Did this new government appear stable at its commencement?

4. Was this party formidable, and who were the most remarkable of its

5. What share had Tarquin in this conspiracy?

6. By what means was it discovered?

7. In what unhappy situation was Brutus placed?

8. What had the criminals to say in extenuation of their offences?

9. What effect had this scene on the judges?

10. Did not paternal affection cause him to relent?

11. What measures did Tarquin next pursue?

12. What steps were taken to resist him?

13. What remarkable event attended the meeting of the armies?

14. Did this decide the fate of the day?

15. Did Tarquin relinquish his hopes?

16. In what manner did Porsenna attempt the restoration of Tarquin?

17. By what heroic action was the city saved?

18. Did Porsenna persevere in his attempt?

19. What was the consequence?

20. What was this act of heroism?

21. Did he succeed?

22. What followed?

23. How did Porsenna act on the occasion?

24. Were these conditions accepted?

25. What remarkable circumstance attended the delivery of the

26. How did the consul act on the occasion?

27. Whom did she choose?

28. What happened after the departure of Porsenna?

29. What measures did Tarquin next resort to?

30. What was the consequence?

31. What inference may be drawn from this?


[1] These were first called Prætors, next Judices, and afterwards
Consuls: a Consulendo, from their consulting the good of the Common
wealth. They had the royal ornaments, as the golden crown, sceptre,
purple robes, lictors, and the ivory and curule chairs. The crowns and
sceptres were, however, used only on extraordinary days of
triumph.--See Introduction.

[2] For this heroic act, Hora'tius was crowned on his return; his
status was erected in the temple of Vulcan; as much land was given him
as a plough could surround with a furrow in one day, and a tax was
voluntarily imposed to make him a present in some degree suitable to
the service he had performed.

[3] From this time he obtained the additional name of Scævola, or
left-handed, from his having lost the use of his right hand by the

[4] National pride induced the Romans to conceal the fact that the
city was surrendered to Porsenna; Tacitus, however, expressly declares
that it was, and Pliny informs us of the severe conditions imposed by
the conqueror; one of the articles prohibited them from using iron
except for the purposes of agriculture. Plutarch, in his Roman
Questions, declares that there was a time when the Romans paid a tenth
of their produce to the Etrurians, but that they were freed from the
disgraceful tribute by Hercules; this tradition appears to refer to
the conquest of the city by Porsenna.

[5] Besides this, by his emissaries, he engaged the meaner sort of
citizens and the slaves in a conspiracy. The former were, at an
appointed time, to seize the ramparts, and the latter to murder their
masters at the same instant. The gates were then to be opened to the
Tar'quins, who were to enter Rome while it was yet reeking with the
blood of the senators. This conspiracy was discovered to the consul by
two of Tarquin's principal agents.

       *       *       *       *       *


TRIBUNES.--U.C. 255.

  And add the Tribunes, image of the people--_Anon_.

1. LAR'TIUS, being created dictator,[1] entered upon his office,
surrounded with lictors and all the ensigns of ancient royalty; and,
seated upon a throne in the midst of the people, ordered the levies to
be made, in the manner of the kings of Rome. 2. The populace looked
with terror upon a magistrate whom they had invested with
uncontrollable power, and each went peaceably to range himself under
his respective standard. 3. Thus going forth to oppose the enemy, he,
after concluding a truce for a year, returned with his army, and, in
six months, laid down the dictatorship, with the reputation of having
exercised it with blameless lenity.

4. But, though for this time the people submitted to be led forth,
they yet resolved to free themselves from the yoke; and, though
they could not get their grievances redressed, yet they determined to
fly from those whom they could not move to compassion. The grievances,
therefore, continuing, they resolved to quit a city which gave them no
shelter, and to form a new establishment without its limits. They,
therefore, under the conduct of a plebe'ian, named Sicin'ius
Bellu'tus, retired to a mountain, hence called the Mons Sacer, within
three miles of Rome.

5. Upon the news of this defection, the city was filled with tumult
and consternation: those who wished well to the people made every
attempt to scale the walls, in order to join it.[2] 6. The senate was
not less agitated than the rest; some were for violent measures, and
repelling force by force; others were of opinion that gentler arts
were to be used, and that even a victory over such enemies would be
worse than a defeat. At length, it was resolved to send a messenger,
entreating the people to return home, and declare their grievances;
promising, at the same time, an oblivion of all that had passed.

7. This message not succeeding, Mene'nias Agrip'pa, one of the wisest
and best of the senators, was of opinion, that the demands of the
people were to be complied with. It was resolved, therefore, to enter
into a treaty, and to make them such offers as should induce them to
return. 8. Ten commissioners were deputed. The dignity and popularity
of the ambassadors procured them a very respectful reception among the
soldiers, and a conference began. They employed all their oratory;
while Sicin'ius and Lu'cius Ju'nius, who were speakers for the
soldiery, aggravated their distresses with all that masculine
eloquence which is the child of nature.

9. The conference had now continued for a long time, when Mene'nius
Agrip'pa, who had been originally a plebe'ian himself, a shrewd man,
and who, consequently, knew what kind of eloquence was most likely to
please the people, addressed them with that celebrated fable of the
body and the members, which is so finely told by Livy.[3]

10. This fable, the application of which is obvious, had an
instantaneous effect upon the people. They unanimously cried out, that
Agrip'pa should lead them back to Rome; and were making preparations
to follow him, when Lu'cius Junius withheld them; alleging, that
though they ought gratefully to acknowledge the kind offers of the
senate, yet they had no safeguard against their future resentments;
that therefore it was necessary, for the security of the people, to
have certain officers created annually from among themselves, who
should have power to give redress to such of them as should be
injured, and plead the cause of the community. 11. The people, who are
generally of opinion with the last speaker,[4] highly applauded this
proposal, with which, however, the commissioners had not power to
comply; they, therefore, sent to Rome to take the instructions of the
senate, who, distracted with divisions among themselves, and harassed
by complaints from without, were resolved to have peace, at whatever
price it should be obtained; accordingly, as if with one voice, they
consented to the creation of these new officers, who were called
_Tribunes[5] of the People_.

12. The tribunes of the people were at first five in number, though
afterwards their body was increased by five more. They were always
annually elected by the people, and almost always from their body.
They at first had their seats placed before the doors of the senate
house, and, when called in, they were to examine every decree,
annulling it by the word _Veto_, "I forbid it;" or confirming it by
signing the letter _T_, which gave it validity. 13. This new office
being thus instituted, all things were adjusted both on the one side
and the other, and the people, after having sacrificed to the gods of
the mountain, returned back once more in triumph to Rome.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What were the first acts of the dictator?

2. Were his decrees peaceably obeyed?

3. What were his exploits?

4. Were the discontents of the people entirely appeased?

5. How was the news of this defection received?

6. What was its effect on the senate?

7. Was this offer accepted?

8. In what manner was this done, and how were they received?

9. What was the result of this conference?

10. What fable was addressed to the people?

11. What effect did this apology produce?

12. How was this obstacle removed?

13. Who were the tribunes of the people, and what was their authority?

14. Did this new regulation answer the desired end?


[1] The power of the dictator was absolute; he could, of his own will,
make peace or war, levy forces, lead them forth, disband them, and
even dispense with the existing laws, at his pleasure, without
consulting the senate.

[2] The gates had been shut by order of the senate, to prevent further

[3] Titus Livius was born at Pad'ua (the ancient Patavi'nus) in the
year of Rome, 695. He wrote the Roman history, from the foundation of
the city to the year 744, in 140 books, of which only 35 remain and
some of them are still imperfect. Though Livy was treated with great
marks of respect by the emperor Augustus, in whose reign he
flourished, yet he extolled Pompey so highly, that Augustus used to
call him a Pompeian: and though he was by no means backward in
bestowing praises on Brutus and Cassius, the enemies of Augustus, yet
it did not interrupt their friendship. Livy died at his native city,
in the fourth year of the reign of Tiberius, aged 76 years.

[4] This is a severe satire upon the judgment of the multitude;
indeed, it seems intended to show, that when the passions are appealed
to, the judgment is not much consulted; and therefore, that little
reliance ought to be placed on acts resulting from popular

[5] They were called tribunes, because chosen by the tribes. The first
tribunes were L. Ju'nius Bru'tus, C. Sicin'ius Mellu'tus, Pub'lius
Licin'ius, C. Licin'ius, and Sp. Ici'lius Ruga.

       *       *       *       *       *




  Welcome to Rome, renowned Coriolanus!--_Shakspeare_.

1. During the late separation, all tillage had been entirely
neglected, and a famine was the consequence the ensuing season. 2. The
senate did all that lay in their power to remedy the distress; but the
people, pinched with want and willing to throw the blame on any but
themselves, ascribed the whole of their distress to the avarice of the
patricians, who, having purchased all the corn, as was alleged,
intended to indemnify themselves for the abolition of debts, by
selling it out to great advantage. 3. But plenty soon after appeased
them for a time. A fleet of ships, laden with corn, from Sicily, once
more raised their spirits.

4. But Coriola'nus[1] incurred their resentment, by insisting that the
corn should not be distributed till the grievances of the senate were
removed. For this, the tribunes summoned him to a trial before
the people.

[Illustration: Banishment of Coriola'nus.]

5. When the appointed day was come, all persons were filled with the
greatest expectations, and a vast concourse from the adjacent country
assembled and filled the forum. Coriola'nus presented himself before
the people, with a degree of intrepidity that merited better fortune.
His graceful person, his persuasive eloquence, and the cries of those
whom he had saved from the enemy, inclined the auditors to relent. 6.
But, being unable to answer what was alleged against him to the
satisfaction of the people, and utterly confounded with a new charge,
of having embezzled the plunder of _Antium_, the tribunes immediately
took the votes, and Coriola'nus was condemned to perpetual exile.

7. This sentence against their bravest defender struck the senate with
sorrow, consternation and regret. Coriola'nus alone, in the midst of
the tumult, seemed an unconcerned spectator. 8. He returned home,
followed by the lamentations of the most respectable senators and
citizens, to take leave of his wife, his children, and his mother,
Vetu'ria. Thus, recommending all to the care of Heaven, he left the
city, without followers or fortune, to take refuge with Tullus
At'tius,[2] a man of great power among the _Volsci_, who took him
under his protection, and espoused his quarrel.

9. Some pretence was necessary to induce the Volsci to break the
league which had been made with Rome; and, for this purpose, Tullus
sent many of his citizens thither, apparently for the purpose of
seeing some games at that time celebrating; but gave the senate
private information, that the strangers had dangerous intentions of
burning the city. 10. This had the desired effect; the senate issued
an order, that all strangers, whoever they were, should depart from
Rome before sun-set. 11. This order Tullus represented to his
countrymen as an infraction of the treaty, and procured an embassy to
Rome, complaining of the breach, and redemanding all the territories
belonging to the Volsci, of which they had been violently
dispossessed; declaring war in case of refusal. This message, however,
was treated by the senate with contempt. 12. War being, in
consequence, declared on both sides, Coriola'nus and Tullus were made
generals of the Volsci, and accordingly invaded the Roman territories,
ravaging and laying waste all such lands as belonged to the plebeians,
but letting those of the senators remain untouched. 13. In the mean
time, the levies went on but slowly at Rome; the two consuls, who were
re-elected by the people, seemed but little skilled in war, and even
feared to encounter a general whom they knew to be their superior in
the field. The allies also showed their fears, and slowly brought in
their succours: so that Coriola'nus continued to take their towns one
after the other. 14. Fortune followed him in every expedition, and he
was now so famous for his victories, that the Volsci left their towns
defenceless to follow him into the field. The very soldiers of his
colleague's army came over to him, and would acknowledge no other
general. 15. Thus finding himself unopposed in the field, and at the
head of a numerous army, he at length invested the city of Rome
itself, fully resolved to besiege it. 16. It was then the senate and
the people unanimously agreed to send deputies to him, with proposals
for his restoration, in case he would draw off his army. 17.
Coriola'nus received these proposals at the head of his principal
officers, and, with the sternness of a general that was to give the
law, refused their offers.

18. Another embassy was now sent, conjuring him not to exact from his
native city aught but what became Romans to grant. Coriola'nus,
however, naturally severe, still persisted in his former demands, and
granted them only three days for deliberation. 19. In this exigence,
all that was left to be done was another deputation, still more
solemn than either of the former, composed of the pontiffs,
priests, and augurs. These, clothed in their habits of ceremony, and
with a grave and mournful deportment, issued from the city, and
entered the camp of the conqueror: but all in vain, they found him
severe and inflexible.

[Illustration: Coriolanus yielding to the entreaties of his Mother.]

20. When the people saw them return without success, they began to
give up the commonwealth as lost. Their temples were filled with old
men, with women and children, who, prostrate at the altars, put up
their ardent prayers for the preservation of their country. Nothing
was to be heard but anguish and lamentation; nothing to be seen but
scenes of affright and distress. 21. At length it was suggested to
them, that what could not be effected by the intercession of the
senate, or the adjuration of the priests, might be brought about by
the tears of a wife, or the commands of a mother. 22. This deputation
seemed to be approved by all, and even the senate themselves gave it
the sanction of their authority. Vetu'ria, the mother of Coriola'nus,
at first hesitated to undertake so pious a work; knowing the
inflexible temper of her son, and fearing only to show his
disobedience in a new point of light, by his rejecting the commands of
a parent; however, she at last undertook the embassy, and set forward
from the city, accompanied by many of the principal matrons of Rome,
with Volum'nia his wife, and his two children. 23. Coriola'nus, who at
a distance discovered this mournful train of females, was resolved to
give them a denial, and called his officers round him to be witnesses
of his resolution; but, when told that his mother and his wife were
among the number, he instantly came down from his tribunal to
meet and embrace them. 24. At first, the women's tears and embraces
took away the power of words, and the rough soldier himself, hardy as
he was, could not refrain, from sharing their distress. Coriola'nus
now seemed much agitated by contending passions; while his mother, who
saw him moved, seconded her words by the most persuasive eloquence,
that of tears: his wife and children hung around him, entreating for
protection and pity: while the female train, her companions, added
their lamentations, and deplored their own and their country's
distress. 25. Coriola'nus for a moment was silent, feeling the strong
conflict between honour and inclination; at length, as if roused from
a dream, he flew to raise his mother, who had fallen at his feet,
crying out, "O, my mother, thou hast saved Rome, but lost thy son!" He
accordingly gave orders to draw off the army, pretending to the
officers that the city was too strong to be taken. 26. Tullus, who had
long envied Coriola'nus, was not remiss in aggravating the lenity of
his conduct to his countrymen. Upon their return, Coriola'nus is said
to have been slain by an insurrection of the people, and honourably
buried, after a late and ineffectual repentance.

27. Great and many were the public rejoicings at Rome upon the retreat
of the Volscian army;[3] but they were clouded soon after by the
intrigues of Spu'rius Cas'sius, who, wanting to make himself despotic
by means of the people, was found guilty of a number of crimes, all
tending towards altering the constitution; and was thrown headlong
from the Tarpei'an rock,[4] by those very people whose interests he
had endeavoured to extend.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What were the consequences of the late separation?

2. What measures were taken to remedy these misfortunes, and to whom
was the blame of them attributed?

3. What happened to remove the popular discontent?

4. What circumstances raised a fresh commotion?

5. Did Coriolanus obey the summons?

6. What was the issue of the trial?

7. To what sensations did this sentence give rise?

8. What circumstance attended his departure?

9. In what manner did he commence his revenge?

10. Was this information believed?

11. What use did Tullus make of this order?

12. To whom was the conduct of the war committed?

13. Was this invasion vigorously opposed?

14. Was Coriolanus uniformly successful?

15. What did this good fortune induce him to undertake?

16. What measures did the senate adopt on this emergency?

17. How were these proposals received?

18. Were they repeated?

19. What was the next step adopted?

20. Did the Romans boldly resolve to oppose force by force?

21. What new expedient was proposed?

22. Was this proposal adopted?

23. What was the conduct of Coriola'nus on the occasion?

24. Describe this interview.

25. What was the result?

26. Did the Volscians approve of this measure?

27. What followed this happy deliverance?


Like rigid Cincinnatus, nobly poor.--_Thomson_.

1. The year following, the two consuls of the former year, Man'lius
and Fa'bius, were cited by the tribunes to appear before the people.
The Agra'rian law, which had been proposed some time before, for
equally dividing the lands of the commonwealth among the people, was
the object invariably pursued, and they were accused of having made
unjustifiable delays in putting it off.

2. The Agra'rian law was a grant the senate could not think of making
to the people. The consuls, therefore, made many delays and excuses,
till at length they were once more obliged to have recourse to a
dictator; and they fixed upon Quintus Cincinna'tus, a man who had for
some time, given up all views of ambition, and retired to his little
farm, where the deputies of the senate found him holding the plough,
and dressed in the mean attire of a labouring husbandman. 3. He
appeared but little elevated with the addresses of ceremony, and the
pompous habits they brought him; and, upon declaring to him the
senate's pleasure, he testified rather a concern that his aid should
be wanted. He naturally preferred the charms of a country retirement
to the fatiguing splendors of office, and only said to his wife,
as they were leading him away, "I fear, my Atti'lia, that for this
year our little fields must remain unsown." 4. Then, taking a tender
leave, he departed for the city, where both parties were strongly
inflamed against each other. However, he resolved to side with
neither; but, by a strict attention to the interests of his country,
instead of gaining the confidence of faction, to seize the esteem of
all. 5. Thus, by threats and well-timed submission, he prevailed upon
the tribunes to put off their law for a time, and conducted himself so
as to be a terror to the multitude whenever they refused to enlist,
and their greatest encourager whenever their submission deserved it.
6. Having, by these means, restored that tranquillity to the people
which he so much loved himself, he again gave up the splendors of
ambition, to enjoy it with a greater relish on his little farm.

[Sidenote: U.C. 295.] 7. Cincinna'tus had not long retired from his
office, when a fresh exigence of the state once more required his
assistance; and the Æ'qui and the Vol'sci, who, although always
worsted, were still for renewing the war, made new inroads into the
territories of Rome. 8. Minu'tius, one of the consuls who succeeded
Cincinna'tus, was sent to oppose them; but being naturally timid, and
rather more afraid of being conquered than desirous of victory, his
army was driven into a defile between two mountains, from which,
except through the enemy, there was no egress. 9. This, however, the
Æ'qui had the precaution to fortify, by which the Roman army was so
hemmed in on every side, that nothing remained but submission to the
enemy, famine, or immediate death. 10. Some knights who found means of
getting away privately through the enemy's camp, were the first that
brought the account of this disaster to Rome. 11. Nothing could exceed
the consternation of all ranks of people when informed of it: the
senate at first thought of the other consul; but not having sufficient
experience of his abilities, they unanimously turned their eyes upon
Cincinna'tus, and resolved to make him dictator. 12. Cincinna'tus, the
only person on whom Rome could now place her whole dependence, was
found, as before, by the messengers of the senate, labouring in his
field with cheerful industry. 13. He was at first astonished at the
ensigns of unbounded power, with which the deputies came to invest
him; but still more at the approach of the principal of the senate,
who came out to attend him.

[Illustration: Cincinnatus called to the Dictatorship.]

14. A dignity so unlooked for, however, had no effect upon the
simplicity or integrity of his manners; and being now possessed of
absolute power, and called upon to nominate his master of the horse,
he chose a poor man named Tarqui'tius, one who, like himself, despised
riches when they led to dishonour. Thus the saving a great nation was
devolved upon a husbandman taken from the plough, and an obscure
sentinel found among the dregs of the army. 15. Upon entering the
city, the dictator put on a serene look, and entreated all those who
were able to bear arms, to repair, before sunset, to the Cam'pus
Mar'tius (the place where the levies were made) with necessary arms,
and provisions for five days. 16. He put himself at the head of these,
and, marching all night with great expedition, arrived early the next
day within sight of the enemy. Upon his approach, he ordered his
soldiers to raise a loud shout, to apprise the consul's army of the
relief that was at hand. 17. The Æ'qui were not a little amazed when
they saw themselves between two enemies; but still more when they
perceived Cincinna'tus making the strongest entrenchments beyond them,
to prevent their escape, and enclosing them as they had enclosed the
consul. 18. To prevent this, a furious combat ensued; but the Æ'qui,
being attacked on both sides, and unable longer to resist or fly,
begged a cessation of arms. 19. They offered the dictator his own
terms: he gave them their lives, and obliged them, in token of
servitude, to pass under the yoke, which was two spears set upright,
and another across, in the form of a gallows, beneath which the
vanquished were to march. Their captains and generals he made
prisoners of war, being reserved to adorn his triumph. 20. As
for the plunder of the enemy's camp, that he gave entirely up to his
own soldiers, without reserving any part for himself, or permitting
those of the delivered army to have a share. 21. Thus having rescued a
Roman army from inevitable destruction, having defeated a powerful
enemy, having taken and fortified their city, and still more, having
refused any part of the spoil, he resigned his dictatorship, after
having enjoyed it but fourteen days. The senate would have enriched
him, but he declined their proffers, choosing to retire once more to
his farm and his cottage, content with competency and fame.

22. But this repose from foreign invasion did not lessen the tumults
of the city within. The clamours for the Agra'rian law still
continued, and still more fiercely, when Sic'cius Denta'tus, a
plebeian advanced in years, but of an admirable person and military
deportment, came forward to enumerate his hardships and his merits.
This old soldier made no scruple of extolling the various achievements
of his youth; indeed, his merits more than supported his ostentation.
23. He had served his country in the wars forty years: he had been an
officer thirty, first a centurion, and then a tribune; he had fought
one hundred and twenty battles, in which, by the force of his single
arm, he had saved a multitude of lives; he had gained fourteen
civic,[5] three mural,[6] and eight golden crowns; besides
eighty-three chains, sixty bracelets, eighteen gilt spears, and
twenty-three horse-trappings, whereof nine were for killing the enemy
in single combat; moreover, he had received forty-five wounds in
front, and none behind. 24. These were his honours; yet,
notwithstanding all these, he had never received any share of those
lands which were won from the enemy, but continued to drag on a life
of poverty and contempt, while others were possessed of those very
territories which his valour had won, without any merit to deserve
them, or ever having contributed to the conquest.[7] 25. A case
of so much hardship had a strong effect upon the multitude; they
unanimously demanded that the law might be passed, and that such merit
should not go unrewarded. It was in vain that some of the senators
rose up to speak against it, their voices were drowned by the cries of
the people. 26. When reason, therefore, could no longer be heard,
passion, as usual, succeeded; and the young patricians, running
furiously into the throng, broke the balloting urns, and dispersed the
multitude that offered to oppose them. 27. For this they were, some
time after, fined by the tribunes; their resolution, however, for the
present, put off the Agra'rian law.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. On what accusation were Manlius and Fabius cited to appear before,
the people?

2. What measure did the consuls adopt? Where, and in what employment
was Cincinnatus found?

3. What effect had this dignity on Cincinnatus?

4. How did he conduct himself?

5. Were his measures successful?

6. Did Cincinnatus continue in office?

7. Was he permitted to continue in retirement?

8. What was the exigence that required his return to office?

9. What prevented the Romans from forcing their way through?

10. How was this news received at Rome?

11. Whom did they resolve to appoint dictator?

12. How was Cincinnatus now employed when the messengers arrived?

13. What was his behaviour on the occasion?

14. How was he affected by this exaltation?

15. What were his first measures?

16. What followed?

17. How were the enemy affected by his approach?

18. What was the consequence?

19. What were the terms of peace?

20. What became of the plunder?

21. What were his rewards for this important service?

22. Was domestic tranquillity the consequence of foreign conquest?

23. What were these achievements?

24. How was he rewarded?

25. What was the consequence of his appeal to the people?

26. Did the people obtain their demand?

27. How was this outrage punished?


[1] This man's name was originally Ca'ius Mar'cius. He received the
surname of Coriola'nus as a reward for having, by his valour,
occasioned the taking of Cori'oli, the capital of the Vol'sci.
Previous to the occurrence mentioned in the text, he had been
condemned to death by the tribunes, but saved by the interference of
his friends.

[2] Tullus At'tius was a most determined enemy to the Romans, and to
Coriola'nus in particular, for the share he had in humbling the power
of the Vol'sci. It was probably more from a hope of revenge, by means
of this valiant soldier, than any noble principle, that he offered him
his countenance and protection.

[3] The senate commanded a temple to be erected on the spot where the
interview between Coriola'nus and his mother took place, which saved
Rome, and dedicated it to maternal influence?

[4] Tarpe'ian Rock, or Tarpei'us Mons, a hill at Rome, about eighty
feet in perpendicular height, whence the Romans threw down their
condemned criminals.

[5] A civic crown among the Romans, was made of oaken leaves, and
given to those who had saved the life of a citizen.

[6] A mural crown was an honorary reward, given by the ancient Romans
to the soldiers who first scaled the walls of an enemy's city.

[7] "These military toys," said he, "are the only rewards I have
hitherto received. No lands, no share of the conquered countries.
Usurpers, without any title but that of a patrician extraction,
possess them. Is this to be endured? Shall they alone possess the
fruits of our conquests? The purchase of our blood?"

       *       *       *       *       *



OFFICE.--U.C. 302.

  She's gone, forever gone! The king of terrors
  Lays his rude hands upon her lovely limbs.
  And blasts her beauty with his icy breath.--_Dennis_.

1. The commonwealth of Rome had now, for nearly sixty years, been
fluctuating between the contending orders that composed it, till at
length each side, as if weary, was willing to respire awhile from the
mutual exertions of its claims. The citizens, of every rank, began to
complain of the arbitrary decisions of their magistrates, and wished
to be guided by a written body of laws which, being known, might
prevent wrongs, as well as punish them. 2. In this both the senate and
the people concurred, as hoping that such laws would put an end to the
commotions that so long had harassed the state. 3. It was thereupon
agreed that ambassadors should be sent to the Greek cities in Italy,
and to Athens, to bring home such laws from thence, as, by experience,
had been found most equitable and useful. For this purpose three
senators, Posthu'mus, Sulpi'cius, and Man'lius, were fixed upon, and
galleys assigned to convoy them, agreeably to the majesty of the Roman
people. 4. While they were upon this commission abroad, a dreadful
plague depopulated the city at home, and supplied the interval of
their absence with other anxiety than that of wishes for their return.
5. In about a year the plague ceased, and the ambassadors returned,
bringing home a body of laws, collected from the most civilised states
of Greece and Italy, which, being afterwards formed into ten tables,
and two more being added, made that celebrated code, called, The Laws
of the Twelve Tables.[1]

6. The ambassadors were no sooner returned, than the tribunes required
that a body of men should be chosen to digest their new laws into
proper form, and to give weight to the execution of them. 7. After
long debate, whether this choice should not be made from the people,
as well as the patricians, it was at last agreed that ten of the
principal senators should be elected, whose power, continuing for
a year, should be equal to that of kings and consuls, and that without
any appeal. 8. Thus the whole constitution of the state at once took a
new form, and a dreadful experiment was about to be tried, of
governing one nation by laws formed from the manners and customs of

9. These _Decemviri_, being now invested with absolute power, agreed
to take the reins of government by turns, each to administer justice
for a day. 10. For the first year, they wrought with extreme
application: and their work being finished, it was expected that they
would be content to give up their office; but, having known the charms
of power, they were unwilling to resign: they pretended that some laws
were yet wanting to complete their design, and entreated the senate
for a continuance in office; which request was readily granted.

11. But they soon threw off the mask of moderation, and, regardless of
the approbation of the senate or the people, resolved to continue,
against all order, in the decemvirate. 12. A conduct so tyrannical
produced discontents, and these were as sure to produce fresh acts of
tyranny. The city was become almost a desert, with respect to all who
had any thing to lose, and the rapacity of the decemvirs was then only
discontinued when they wanted fresh subjects to exercise it upon. 13.
In this state of slavery, proscription, and mutual distrust, not one
citizen was found to strike for his country's freedom; these tyrants
continued to rule without controul, being constantly guarded, not by
the lictors alone, but by a numerous crowd of dependents, clients, and
even patricians, whom their vices had confederated round them.

14. In this gloomy situation of the state, the Æ'qui and Vol'sci,
those constant enemies of the Romans, renewed their incursions, and,
resolving to profit by the intestine divisions of the people, advanced
within about ten miles of Rome.

15. The decemviri, being in possession of all the military as well as
of the civil power, divided their army into three parts; whereof one
continued with Ap'pius in the city, to keep it in awe; the other two
were commanded by his colleagues, and were led, one against the Æ'qui,
and the other against the Vol'sci. 16. The Roman soldiers had now
adopted a method of punishing the generals whom they disliked, by
suffering themselves to be vanquished in the field. They put it
in practice upon this occasion, and shamefully abandoned their camp
upon the approach of the enemy, 17. Never was victorious news more
joyfully received at Rome, than the tidings of this defeat; the
generals, as is always the case, were blamed for the treachery of
their men; some demanded that they should be deposed, others cried out
for a dictator to lead the troops to conquest. 18. Among the rest, old
Sic'cius Denta'tus, the tribune, spoke his sentiments with his usual
openness; and, treating the generals with contempt, pointed out the
faults of their discipline in the camp, and their conduct in the
field. 19. Ap'pius, in the mean time, was not remiss in observing the
dispositions of the people. Denta'tus, in particular, was marked out
for vengeance; and, under pretence of doing him particular honour, he
was appointed legate, and put at the head of the supplies which were
sent from Rome, to reinforce the army. 20. The office of legate was
held sacred among the Romans, as in it was united the authority of a
general, with the reverence due to the priesthood. 21. Denta'tus, no
way suspecting the design, went to the camp with alacrity, where he
was received with all the external marks of respect. But the generals
soon found means of indulging their desire of revenge. 22. He was
appointed at the head of a hundred men to go and examine a more
commodious place for encampment, as he had very candidly assured the
commanders, that their present situation was wrong. 23. The soldiers,
however, who were given as his attendants, were assassins; wretches
who had long been ministers of the vengeance of the decemviri, and who
had now engaged to murder him, though with all those apprehensions
which his reputation (for he was called the Roman _Achilles_) might be
supposed to inspire. 24. With these designs they led him into the
hollow bosom of a retired mountain, where they began to set upon him
behind. 25. Denta'tus too late perceived the treachery of the
decemviri, and was resolved to sell his life as dearly as he could; he
therefore set his back against a rock, and defended himself against
those who pressed most closely. Though now grown old, he had still the
remains of his former valour, and, with his own hand, killed no less
than fifteen of the assailants, and wounded thirty. 26. The assassins
now, therefore, terrified at his amazing bravery, showered their
javelins upon him at a distance, all which he received in his shield
with undaunted resolution.

[Illustration: Death of Dentatus.]

27. The combat, though so unequal in numbers, was managed for
some time with doubtful success, till at length the assailants
bethought themselves of ascending the rock, against which he stood,
and pouring down stones upon him from above. 28. This succeeded: the
old soldier fell beneath their united efforts; after having shown, by
his death, that he owed to his fortitude, and not his fortune, that he
had come off so many times victorious. 29. The decemviri pretended to
join in the general sorrow for so brave a man, and decreed him a
funeral with the first military honours; but their pretended grief,
compared with their known hatred, only rendered them still more
detestable to the people.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. Of what did the Roman citizens complain, and what did they wish?

2. Was this assented to by the nation at large?

3. What means were adopted for this purpose?

4. What happened during their absence?

5. How long did this calamity last?

6. What steps were taken on the return of the ambassadors?

7. Who were chosen for this purpose?

8. Was this proceeding an important one?

9. In what manner did the decemviri govern?

10. How did they discharge the duties of their office?

11. Did they continue in the conscientious discharge of their duties?

12. What was the consequence of this conduct?

13. Was no patriot to be found bold enough to be a champion in his
country's cause?

14. What added to the miseries of the Romans?

15. What steps were taken to oppose them?

16. What was the conduct of the Roman soldiers on this occasion?

17. How was this news received at Rome?

18. Who appeared most conspicuous on this occasion?

19. How was this honest sincerity received?

20. Was the office of legate a respectable one?

21. Did Dentatus suspect treachery?

22. What plan of revenge was adopted?

23. What was the character of his attendants?

24. How did they commence their base design?

25. Was Dentatus aware of their treachery, and what resistance did he

26. Did the assassins boldly engage the hero?

27. What new method of attack did they attempt?

28. Was this plan successful?

29. What was the conduct of the decemviri on this occasion?


  That chastity of look which seems to hang
  A veil of purest light o'er all her beauties.
  And, by forbidding, most inflames!--_Young_.

1. But a transaction still more atrocious than the former, served to
inspire the citizens with a resolution to break all measures of
obedience, so as at last to restore freedom.

2. Ap'pius, sitting one day on his tribunal to dispense justice, saw a
maiden of exquisite beauty, aged about fifteen, passing to one of the
public schools, attended by a matron, her nurse. The charms of the
damsel, heightened by all the innocence of virgin modesty, caught his
attention, and fired his heart. The day following, as she passed, he
found her still more beautiful, and his breast still more inflamed. 3.
He now, therefore, resolved to obtain the gratification of his
passion, whatever should be the consequence, and found means to inform
himself of the maiden's name and family. 4. Her name was Virgin'ia;
she was the daughter of Virgin'ius, a centurion, then with the army in
the field, and had been contracted to Icil'ius, formerly a tribune of
the people, who had agreed to marry her at the end of the present

5. Ap'pius at first resolved to break off this match, and to espouse
her himself; but the laws of the Twelve Tables had forbidden the
patricians to intermarry with the plebeians, and he could not infringe
these, as he was the enactor of them. 6. He determined, therefore, to
make her his slave. 7. After having vainly tried to corrupt the
fidelity of her nurse, he had recourse to another expedient, still
more wicked. He fixed upon one Clau'dius, who had long been the
minister of his crimes, to assert that the beautiful maid was his
slave, and to refer the cause to Ap'pius's tribunal for decision. 8.
Clau'dius behaved exactly according to his instructions; for, taking
with him a band of ruffians like himself, he entered into the public
school, where Virginia was found among her female companions, and
seizing upon her under pretence that she was the daughter of one of
his slaves, was dragging her away, when he was prevented by the
people, drawn together by her cries. 9. At length, after the first
heat of opposition was over, he led the weeping virgin to the tribunal
of Ap'pius, and there plausibly exposed his pretensions. 10. Clau'dius
asserted that she was born in his house, of a female slave, who sold
her to the wife of Virgin'ius, who had been childless. That he had
credible evidences to prove the truth of what he had advanced; but
that, until they could come together, it was but reasonable the slave
should be delivered into his custody, he being her proper master. 11.
Ap'pius pretended to be struck with the justice of his claim; he
observed, that if the reputed father himself were present, he might
indeed be willing to delay the delivery of the maid; but that it was
not lawful for him, in the present case, to detain her from her
master. He, therefore, adjudged her to Clau'dius, as his slave, to be
kept by him till Virgin'ius should arrive, and be able to prove his
paternity. 12. This sentence was received with loud clamours and
reproaches by the multitude, particularly by the women, who came round
the innocent Virgin'ia, desirous to protect her from the judge's fury;
while Icil'ius, her lover, boldly opposed the decree, and obliged
Clau'dius to take refuge under the tribunal of the decemvir. 13. All
things now threatened an open insurrection, when Ap'pius, fearing the
event, thought proper to suspend his judgment, under pretence of
waiting the arrival of Virgin'ius, who was then about eleven miles
from Rome, with the army. 14. The day following was fixed for the
trial. In the mean time Ap'pius privately sent letters to the general
to confine Virgin'ius, as his arrival in town might only serve to
kindle sedition among the people. 15. These letters, however, being
intercepted by the centurion's friends, they sent him a full relation
of the design laid against his liberty and the honour of his only
daughter. 16. Virgin'ius, upon this, pretending the death of a near
relation, got permission to leave the camp, and hastened to Rome,
inspired with indignation and revenge. 17. Accordingly, the next
day, to the astonishment of Ap'pius, he appeared before the tribunal,
leading his weeping daughter by the hand, both of them habited in deep
mourning. 18. Clau'dius, the accuser, began by making his demand.
Virgin'ius next spoke in turn: he represented, that, if he had had
intentions of adopting a suppositious child, he should have fixed upon
a boy rather than a girl; that it was notorious to all, that his wife
had herself nursed this daughter; and that it was surprising such a
claim should be made after a fifteen years' silence; and not till
Virginia was become marriageable, and acknowledged to be exquisitely
beautiful. 19. While the father spoke this, with a stern air, the eyes
of all were turned on Virgin'ia, who stood trembling, with looks of
persuasive eloquence and excessive grief, which added weight to his
remonstrances, and excited compassion. 20. The people, satisfied of
the cruelty of his case, raised an outcry, expressive of their
indignation. 21. Ap'pius, fearing that what had been said might have a
dangerous effect upon the multitude, and under a pretence of being
sufficiently instructed in the merits of the cause, with rage
interrupted him. "Yes," said he, "my conscience obliges me to declare,
that I, myself, am a witness to the truth of the deposition of
Clau'dius. Most of this assembly know that I was left guardian to him.
I was early apprised that he had a right to this young slave; but
public affairs, and the dissensions of the people, have prevented my
doing him justice. However, it is not now too late; and by the power
vested in me for the general good, I adjudge Virgin'ia to be the
property of Clau'dius, the plaintiff. Go, therefore, lictors, disperse
the multitude, and make room for the master to repossess himself of
his slave." 22. The lictors, in obedience to his command, drove off
the throng that pressed round the tribunal; they seized upon
Virgin'ia, and were delivering her up into the hands of Clau'dius: the
multitude were terrified and withdrew; and Virgin'ius, who found that
all was over, seemed to acquiesce in the sentence. 22. He, however,
mildly entreated of Ap'pius to be permitted to take a last farewell of
a child whom he had at least considered as his own, and so satisfied,
he would return to his duty with fresh alacrity. 24. Ap'pius granted
the favour, upon condition that their endearments should pass in his
presence. But Virgin'ius was then meditating a dreadful resolution.

[Illustration: Death of Virginia.]

25. The crowd made way, and Virgin'ius, with the most poignant
anguish, taking his almost expiring daughter in his arms, for a while
supported her head upon his breast, and wiped away the tears that
trickled down her cheeks. 26. He most tenderly embraced her, and
drawing her insensibly to some shops which were on the side of the
forum, snatched up a butcher's knife: "My dearest lost child," cried
Virgin'ius, "thus, thus alone is it in my power to preserve your
honour and your freedom!" So saying, he plunged the weapon into her
heart. Then drawing it out, reeking with her blood, he held it up to
Ap'pius: "Tyrant," cried he, "by this blood I devote thy head to the
infernal gods!" 27. Thus saying, and covered with his daughter's
blood, the knife remaining in his hand, threatening destruction to
whomsoever should oppose him, he ran through the city, wildly calling
upon the people to strike for freedom. By the favour of the multitude
he then mounted his horse, and rode directly to the camp.

28. He no sooner arrived, followed by a number of his friends, than he
informed the army of all that had been done, still holding the bloody
knife in his hand. He asked their pardon and the pardon of the gods,
for having committed so rash an action, but ascribed it to the
dreadful necessity of the times. 29. The army, already predisposed to
revolt by the murder of Denta'tus, and other acts of tyranny and
oppression, immediately with shouts echoed their approbation, and
decamping, left the generals behind, to take their station once more
upon mount Aven'tine, whither they had retired about, forty years
before. The other army, which had been to oppose the Sab'ines, felt a
like resentment, and came over in large parties to join them.

30. Ap'pius, in the mean time, did all he could to quell the
disturbances in the city; but finding the tumult incapable of
controul, and perceiving that his mortal enemies, Vale'rius and
Hora'tius, were the most active in opposition, at first attempted to
find safety by flight; nevertheless, being encouraged by Op'pius, who
was one of his colleagues, he ventured to assemble the senate, and
urged the punishment of all deserters. 31. The senate, however, was
far from giving him the relief he sought for; they foresaw the dangers
and miseries that threatened the state, in case of opposing the
incensed army; they therefore despatched messengers to them, offering
to restore their former mode of government. 32. To this proposal all
the people joyfully assented, and the army gladly obeying, now
returned to the city, if not with the ensigns, at least with the
pleasure of a triumphant entry. 33. Ap'pius and Op'pius both died by
their own hands in prison. The other eight decemvirs went into exile;
and Clau'dius, the pretended master of Virgin'ia, was ignominiously

_Questions for Examination_.

1. Did the Romans tamely submit to the tyranny of the decemviri?

2. Relate the particulars of this transaction.

3. What resolution did Appius form?

4. Who was this maiden?

5. What was Appius's first determination?

6. On what did he next resolve?

7. To what means did he have recourse for the accomplishment of his

8. Did Claudius undertake this base?

9. Was the opposition of the people ultimately successful?

10. How did Claudius attempt to make good his claims?

11. What was the conduct of Appius on this occasion?

12. How was this sentence received?

13. What consequences were likely to ensue, and how were they averted?

14. Was not this pretence a false one?

15. By what means were his designs frustrated?

16. Under what pretence did Virginius obtain leave of absence?

17 What measures did he take on his arrival?

18. How was the trial conducted?

19. How did Virginia support this trying scene?

20. What was the general opinion of the auditors?

21. Did the arguments of Virginius induce Appius to forego his
iniquitous designs?

22. Were his commands obeyed?

23. What was the request of Virginius?

24. Was this favour granted?

25. Describe this affecting scene?

26. What was the catastrophe?

27. What followed?

28. What use did he make of this dreadful circumstance?

29. What was the effect of his address on the army?

30. How was Appius employed in the mean time?

31. Did the senate second his designs?

32. Did the people accede to this proposal?

33. What was the fate of the tyrants?


                        From the plough
  Rose her dictators; fought, o'ercame return'd.
  Yes, to the plough returned, and nail'd their peers.--_Dyer_.

1. In the mean time, these intestine tumults produced weakness within
the state, and confidence in the enemy abroad. The wars with the Æ'qui
and the Vol'sci still continued; and, as each year some trifling
advantage was obtained over the Romans, they, at last, advanced so
far, as to make their incursions to the very walls of Rome.[2]

[Sidenote: U.C. 309]

2. But not the courage only of the Romans, their other virtues also,
particularly their justice, seemed diminished by these contests.

3. The tribunes of the people now grew more turbulent; they proposed
two laws: one to permit plebeians to intermarry with the patricians;
and the other, to permit them to be admitted to the consulship also.
4. The senators received these proposals with indignation, and seemed
resolved to undergo the utmost extremities, rather than submit to
enact these laws. However, finding their resistance only increased the
commotions of the state, they, at last, consented to pass that
concerning marriages, hoping that this concession would satisfy the
people. 5. But they were to be appeased for a very short time only;
for, returning, to their old custom of refusing to enlist upon the
approach of an enemy, the consuls were obliged to hold a private
conference with the chief of the senate, where, after many debates,
Clau'dius proposed an expedient, as the most probable means of
satisfying the people in the present conjuncture. 6. This was to
create six or eight governors in the room of consuls, whereof one
half, at least, should be patricians. 7. This project, which was, in
fact, granting what the people demanded, pleased the whole meeting,
and it was agreed, that the consuls should, contrary to their usual
custom, begin by asking the opinion of the youngest senator. 8. Upon
assembling the senate, one of the tribunes accused them of holding
secret meetings, and managing dangerous designs against the people.
The consuls, on the other hand, averred their innocence; and to
demonstrate their sincerity, gave leave to any of the younger members
of the house to propound their opinions. 9. These remaining silent,
such of the older senators, as were known to be popular, began by
observing that the people ought to be indulged in their request; that
none so well deserved power, as those who were most instrumental in
gaining it; and that the city could not be free until all were reduced
to perfect equality. Clau'dius spoke next, and broke out into bitter
invectives against the people; asserting that it was his opinion that
the law should not pass. 10. This produced some disturbance among the
plebeians; at length, Genu'tius proposed, as had been preconcerted,
that six governors should be annually chosen, with consular authority;
three from the senate, and three from the people; and that, when the
time of their magistracy should be expired, it would be seen whether
they would have the same office continued, or whether the consulship
should be established upon its former footing. 11. This project was
eagerly embraced by the people; yet so fickle were the multitude,
that, though many of the plebeians stood candidates, the choice wholly
fell upon the patricians who had offered themselves.

[Sidenote: U.C. 310.]

12. These new magistrates were called Military Tribunes; they were, at
first, but three: afterwards they were increased to four, and at
length to six; and they had the power and ensigns of consuls: yet,
that power being divided among a number, each singly was of less
authority. 13. The first that were chosen continued in office only
about three months, the augurs having found something amiss in the
ceremonies of their election.

14. The military tribunes being deposed, the consuls once more came
into office; and in order to lighten the weight of business which they
were obliged to sustain, a new office was created; namely, that of
Censors, who were to be chosen every fifth, year.[3] 15. Their
business was to take an estimate of the number and estates of the
people, and to distribute them into their proper classes: to inspect
into the lives and manners of their fellow citizens; to degrade
senators for misconduct; to dismount knights, and to remove plebeians
from their tribes into an inferior class, in case of misdemeanor. 16.
The first censors were Papir'ius and Sempro'nius, both patricians; and
from this order censors continued to be elected for nearly a hundred

17. This new creation served to restore peace for some time among the
orders; and a triumph gained over the Vol'scians, by Gega'nius the
consul, added to the universal satisfaction that reigned among the

[Sidenote: U.C. 313.]

18. This calm, however, was but of short continuance; for, some time
after, a famine pressing hard upon the poor, the usual complaints
against the rich were renewed; and these, as before, proving
ineffectual, produced new seditions. 19. The consuls were accused of
neglect, in not having laid in proper quantities of corn: they,
however, disregarded the murmurs of the populace, content with using
every exertion to supply the pressing necessity.[4] 20. But, though
they did all that could be expected from active magistrates in
procuring provisions, and distributing them to the poor: yet Spu'rius
Mæ'lius, a rich knight, who had bought up all the corn of Tuscany, by
far outshone them in liberality. 21. This demagogue, inflamed with a
secret desire of becoming powerful by the contentions in the state,
distributed corn in great quantities among the poorer sort each day,
till his house became the asylum of all such as wished to exchange a
life of labour for one of lazy dependence. 22. When he had thus gained
a sufficient number of partisans, he procured large quantities of arms
to be brought into his house by night, and formed a conspiracy, by
which he was to obtain the command, while some of the tribunes, whom
he had found means to corrupt, were to act under him, in seizing
upon the liberties of his country. 23. Minu'tius soon discovered the
plot, and, informing the senate, they immediately resolved to create a
dictator, who should have the power of quelling the conspiracy without
appealing to the people. 24. Cincinna'tus, who was now eighty years
old, was chosen once more to rescue his country from impending danger.
25. He began by summoning Mæ'lius to appear, who refused to obey. He
next sent Aha'la, the master of the horse, to compel his attendance;
when, meeting him in the forum, Aha'la, on his refusal, killed him
upon the spot. The dictator applauded the resolution of his officer,
and commanded the conspirator's goods to be sold, his house to be
demolished, and his stores to be distributed among the people.[5]

26. The tribunes of the people were much enraged at the death of
Mæ'lius. In order, therefore, to punish the senate at the next
election, instead of consuls, they insisted upon restoring the
military tribunes, and the senate were obliged to comply.

[Sidenote: U.C. 315.]

The next year, however, the government returned to its ancient
channel, and consuls were chosen.

_Questions for Examination._

1. What was the consequence of those intestine tumults related in the
preceding section?

2. Was it their courage only that was impaired by them?

3. How did the tribunes conduct themselves?

4. How were these proposals received?

5. Did it answer the desired end?

6. What expedient was resorted to?

7. How was it received?

8. What happened on assembling the senate?

9. Did they avail themselves of this permission, and what farther
passed on this occasion?

10. Was his opinion agreeable to the people? What new proposition was
offered by Genutius?

11. Was this plan adopted and acted upon?

12. What were the name, number, and powers of these new magistrates?

13. How long did they continue in office?

14. What government was substituted?

15. What were the duties of the censors?

16. Who were the first censors?

17. What was the consequence of this new creation?

18. Was this satisfaction lasting?

19. How were the consuls affected by it?

20, 21. Through what means did Spurius Manlius obtain credit for being
more liberal than the consuls? And what was his real object?

22. How did he proceed in his designs against the liberties of his

23. By what means was the plot frustrated?

24. Who was appointed dictator?

25. What steps did he take?

26. How were these rigorous measures received?


  Hence every passion, e'en the proudest, stoop'd
  To common good; Camillus, thy revenge,
  Thy glory, Fabius.--_Thomson._

1. The Ve'ians had long been the rivals of Rome: they had even taken
the opportunity of internal distresses to ravage its territories, and
had even threatened its ambassadors sent to complain of these
injuries, with outrage. 2. It seemed, now, therefore, determined that
the city of Ve'ii, whatever it might cost, should fall; and the Romans
accordingly sat down regularly before it, and prepared for a long and
painful resistance. 3. The strength of the place may be inferred from
the continuance of the siege, which lasted for ten years; during which
time, the army continued encamped round it, lying, in winter, under
tents made of the skins of beasts, and, in summer, driving on the
operations of the attack. 4. Various were the successes, and many were
the commanders that directed the siege; sometimes all their works were
destroyed, and many of their men cut off by sallies from the town;
sometimes they were annoyed by an army of Veians, who attempted to
bring assistance from without. 5. A siege so bloody seemed to
threaten depopulation to Rome itself, by a continual drain of its
forces; so that a law was obliged to be made, for all bachelors to
marry the widows of the soldiers who were slain. 6. Fu'rius Camil'lus
was now created dictator, and to him was entrusted the sole power of
managing the long protracted war. 7. Camil'lus, who, without intrigue
or solicitation, had raised himself to the first eminence in the
state, had been made one of the censors some time before, and was
considered as the head of that office; he was afterwards made a
military tribune, and had, in this post, gained several advantages
over the enemy. 8. It was his great courage and abilities in the above
offices that made him be thought most worthy to serve his country on
this pressing occasion. 9. Upon his appointment, numbers of the people
flocked to his standard, confident of success under so experienced a
commander. 10. Conscious, however, that he was unable to take the city
by storm, he, with vast labour, opened a passage under ground, which
led into the very midst of the citadel. 11. Certain thus of success,
and finding the city incapable of relief, he sent to the senate
desiring, that all who chose to share in the plunder of Ve'ii, should
immediately repair to the army. 12. Then, giving his directions how to
enter at the breach, the city was instantly filled with his legions,
to the amazement and consternation of the besieged, who, but a moment
before, had rested in perfect security. 13. Thus, like a second
Troy,[6] was the city of Ve'ii taken, after a ten years' siege, and,
with its spoils, enriched the conquerors; while Camil'lus himself,
transported with the honour of having subdued the rival of his native
city, triumphed after the manner of the kings of Rome, having his
chariot drawn by four milk-white horses; a distinction which did not
fail to disgust the majority of the spectators, as they considered
those as sacred, and more proper for doing honour to their gods than
their generals.

14. His usual good fortune attended Camil'lus in another expedition
against the Falis'ci. He routed their army, and besieged their capital
city Fale'rii, which threatened a long and vigorous resistance. 15.
The reduction of this little place would have been scarcely worth
mentioning in this scanty page, were it not for an action of the
Roman general, that has done him more credit with posterity than all
his other triumphs united. 16. A school-master, who had the care of
the children belonging to the principal men in the city, having found
means to decoy them into the Roman camp, offered to put them into the
hands of Camil'lus, as the surest means of inducing the citizens to a
speedy surrender. 17. The general, struck with the treachery of a
wretch whose duty it was to protect innocence, and not to betray it,
for some time regarded the traitor with a stern silence: but, at last,
finding words, "Execrable villain!" cried the noble Roman, "offer thy
abominable proposals to creatures like thyself, and not to me; what,
though we are the enemies of your city, are there not natural ties
that bind all mankind, which should never be broken? There are duties
required from us in war, as well as in peace: we fight not against the
age of innocence, but against men--men who have used us ill indeed;
but yet, whose crimes are virtues, when compared to thine. Against
such base acts, let it be my duty to use only the Roman ones--valour
and arms." 18. So saying, he ordered him to be stript, his hands to be
tied behind him, and, in that ignominious manner, to be whipped into
the town by his own scholars. 19. This generous behaviour in Camil'lus
effected more than his arms could do; the magistrates of the town
submitted to the senate, leaving to Camil'lus the condition of their
surrender; who only fined them a sum of money to satisfy the army, and
received them under the protection, and into the alliance, of Rome.

20. Notwithstanding the veneration which the virtues of Camil'lus had
excited abroad, they seemed but little adapted to command the respect
of the turbulent tribunes at home, who raised fresh accusations
against him every day. 21. To the charge of being an opposer of their
intended emigration from Rome to Ve'ii, they added that of his having
concealed a part of the plunder of that city, particularly two brazen
gates, for his own use; and appointed him a day on which to appear
before the people. 22. Camil'lus, finding the multitude exasperated
against him on many accounts, and detesting their ingratitude,
resolved not to await the ignominy of a trial; but embracing his wife
and children, prepared to depart from Rome. 23. He had already passed
as far as one of the gates, unattended and unlamented. There he could
suppress his indignation no longer, but, turning his face to the
Capitol, and lifting up his hands to heaven, he entreated all the
gods, that his countrymen might one day be sensible of their injustice
and ingratitude. So saying, he passed forward to take refuge at
Ar'dea, a town at a little distance from Rome, where he afterwards
learned that he had been fined fifteen thousand ases[7] by the
tribunes at Rome.

24. The tribunes were not a little pleased with their triumphs over
this great man; but they soon had reason to repent their injustice,
and to wish for the assistance of one, who alone was able to protect
their country from ruin: for now a more terrible and redoubtable enemy
than the Romans had ever yet encountered, began to make their
appearance. 25. The Gauls, a barbarous nation, had, about two
centuries before, made an irruption from beyond the Alps, and settled
in the northern parts of Italy. They had been invited over by the
deliciousness of the wines, and the mildness of the climate. 26.
Wherever they came they dispossessed the original inhabitants, as they
were men of superior courage, extraordinary stature, fierce in aspect,
barbarous in their manners, and prone to emigration. 27. A body of
these, wild from their original habitations, was now besieging
Clu'sium, a city of Etru'ria, under the conduct of Brennus, their
king. 28. The inhabitants of Clu'sium, frightened at their numbers,
and still more at their savage appearance, entreated the assistance,
or, at least, the mediation of the Romans. 29. The senate, who had
long made it a maxim never to refuse succour to the distressed, were
willing, previously, to send ambassadors to the Gauls, to dissuade
them from their enterprise, and to show the injustice of the
irruption. 30. Accordingly, three young senators were chosen out of
the family of the Fabii, to manage the commission, who seemed more
fitted for the field than the cabinet. 31. Brennus received them with
a degree of complaisance that argued but little of the barbarian, and
desiring to know the business of their embassy, was answered,
according to their instructions, that it was not customary in Italy to
make war, but on just grounds of provocation, and that they desired to
know what offence the citizens of Clu'sium had given to the king of
the Gauls. 32. To this Brennus sternly replied, that the rights of
valiant men lay in their swords; that the Romans themselves had no
right to the many cities they, had conquered; and that he had
particular reasons of resentment against the people of Clu'sium,
as they refused to part with those lands, which they had neither hands
to till, nor inhabitants to occupy. 33. The Roman ambassadors, who
were but little used to hear the language of a conqueror, for a while
dissembled their resentment at this haughty reply; but, upon entering
the besieged city, instead of acting as ambassadors, and forgetful of
their sacred character, they headed the citizens in a sally against
the besiegers. In this combat Fa'bius Ambus'tus killed a Gaul with his
own hand, but was discovered in the act of despoiling him of his
armour. 34. A conduct so unjust and unbecoming excited the resentment
of Brennus, who, having made his complaint by a herald to the senate,
and finding no redress, broke up the siege and marched away with his
conquering army directly for Rome. 35. The countries through which the
Gauls made their rapid progress, gave up all hopes of safety upon
their approach; being terrified at their numbers, the fierceness of
their natures, and their dreadful preparations for war. 36. But the
rage and impetuosity of this wild people were directed solely against
Rome. They went on without doing the least injury in their march,
breathing vengeance only against the Romans. A terrible engagement
soon after ensued, in which the Romans were defeated near the river
Al'lia, with the loss of about forty thousand men.[8]

37. Rome, thus deprived of succour, prepared for every extremity. The
inhabitants endeavoured to hide themselves in the neighbouring towns,
or resolved to await the conqueror's fury, and end their lives with
the ruin of their native city.[9] 38. But, more particularly, the
ancient senators and priests, struck with a religious enthusiasm, on
this occasion resolved to devote their lives to atone for the crimes
of the people, and, habited in their robes of ceremony, placed
themselves in the forum, on their ivory chairs. 39. The Gauls, in the
mean time, were giving a loose to their triumph, in sharing and
enjoying the plunder of the enemy's camp. Had they immediately marched
to Rome, upon gaining the victory, the Capitol would, in all
probability, have been taken; but they continued two days feasting
upon the field of battle, and, with barbarous pleasure, exulting
amidst their slaughtered enemies. 40. On the third day after this easy
victory, Brennus appeared with all his forces before the city. He was
at first much surprised to find the gates open to receive him, and the
walls defenceless; so that he began to impute the unguarded situation
of the place to a Roman stratagem. After proper precaution, he entered
the city, and, marching into the forum, beheld there the ancient
senators sitting in their order, observing a profound silence, unmoved
and undaunted. 41. The splendid habits, the majestic gravity, and the
venerable looks of these old men, who, in their time, had all borne
the highest offices of state, awed the barbarous enemy into reverence;
they mistook them for the tutelar deities of the place, and began to
offer blind adoration; till one, more forward than the rest, putting
forth his hand to stroke the beard of Papyr'ius, an insult the noble
Roman could not endure, he lifted up his ivory sceptre, and struck the
savage to the ground. 42. This proved to be a signal for general
slaughter. Papyr'ius fell first, and all the rest shared his fate
without mercy or distinction.[10] The fierce invaders pursued their
slaughter for three days successively, sparing neither sex nor age;
then, setting fire to the city, burnt every house to the ground.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What was the conduct of the Veians?

2. What resolution was adopted in consequence?

3. Was Veii a strong place?

4. Did the besieged make a vigorous resistance?

5. What consequences were likely to ensue, and how were they obviated?

6. To whom was the conduct of the war now committed?

7. Who was Camillus?

8. By what means did he attain his present dignity?

9. What was the consequence of his appointment?

10. What plan did he adopt to take the city?

11. How did he next proceed?

12. What followed?

13. What was the consequence of this capture, and how did Camillus
comport himself?

14. What was Camillus's next exploit?

15. Was this a conquest of importance?

16. Relate the particulars?

17. How was his proposal received?

18. How was the traitor punished?

19. What was the consequence of this conduct?

20. Was Camillus universally respected?

21. What charges were brought against him?

22. Did Camillus abide the event of a trial?

23. Was he resigned to his fate, and whither did he retire?

24. What followed his departure?

25. Who was the enemy?

26. What were the conduct and character of the Gauls?

27. How were they employed at this conjuncture?

28. What measure did the Clusians adopt for their defence?

29. Was their application successful?

30. Who were appointed for this purpose?

31. How were they received?

32. What was the reply of Brennus?

33. What was the conduct of the ambassadors?

34. What was the consequence of this improper conduct?

35. What sensations were excited in the countries through which they

36. Did the Gauls commit any ravages on their march?

37. What measures were adopted at Rome?

38. Who more particularly displayed their devotedness on this

39. What use did the Gauls make of their victory?

40. What happened on their arrival before the city?

41. What was the effect of this spectacle?

42. What was the consequence of this boldness?


  This is true courage, not the brutal force
  Of vulgar heroes, but the firm resolve
  Of virtue and of reason.--_Whitehead._

1. All the hopes of Rome were now placed in the Capitol; every thing
without that fortress formed an extensive scene of misery, desolation,
and despair.

[Sidenote: U.C. 361.]

2. Brennus first summoned it, with threats, to surrender, but in vain;
then resolving to besiege it in form, hemmed it round with his army.
The Romans, however, repelled the attempt with great bravery: despair
had supplied them with that perseverance and vigour which they seemed
to want when in prosperity.

3. In the meanwhile, Brennus carried on the siege with extreme ardour.
He hoped to starve the garrison into a capitulation; but they,
sensible of his intent, although in actual want, caused loaves to be
thrown into his camp, to convince him of the futility of such
expectations. 4. His hopes were soon after revived, when some of his
soldiers came to inform him, that they had discovered footsteps,[11]
which led up to the rock, by which they supposed the Capitol might be
surprised. 5. Accordingly, a chosen body of his men were ordered by
night upon this dangerous service, which, with great labour and
difficulty, they almost effected. 6. They were got upon the very wall;
the Roman sentinel was fast asleep; their dogs within gave no signal,
and all promised an instant victory, when the garrison was awakened by
the gabbling of some sacred geese, that had been kept in the temple of
Juno. 7. The besieged soon perceived the imminence of their danger,
and each, snatching the weapon that first presented itself, ran to
oppose the assailants. 8. M. Man'lius, a patrician of acknowledged
bravery, was the first who opposed the foe, and inspired courage by
his example. He boldly mounted the rampart, and, at one effort, threw
two Gauls headlong down the precipice; his companions soon came to his
assistance, and the walls were cleared of the enemy with a most
incredible celerity.[12]

9. From this time the hopes of the barbarians began to decline, and
Brennus wished for an opportunity of raising the siege with
credit.[13] His soldiers had often conferences with the besieged while
upon duty, and proposals for an accommodation were wished for by the
common men, before the chiefs thought of a congress. At length, the
commanders on both sides came to an agreement, that the Gauls should
immediately quit the city and territories, upon being paid a thousand
pounds weight of gold.

[Illustration: Manlius defending the Capitol.]

10. This agreement being confirmed by oath on either side, the
gold was brought forth. But, upon weighing, the Gauls fraudulently
attempted to kick the beam, of which the Romans complaining, Brennus
insultingly cast his sword and belt into the scale, crying out that
the only portion of the vanquished was to suffer. 11. By this reply,
the Romans saw that they were at the victor's mercy, and knew it was
in vain to expostulate against any conditions he should please to
impose. 12. But while they were thus debating upon the payment, it was
told them that Camil'lus, their old general, was at the head of a
large army, hastening to their relief, and entering the gates of Rome.
13. Camil'lus actually appeared soon after, and entering the place of
controversy, with the air of one who was resolved not to suffer
imposition, demanded the cause of the contest; of which being
informed, he ordered the gold to be taken and carried back to the
Capitol. "For it has ever been," cried he, "the manner with us Romans,
to ransom our country, not with gold, but with iron; it is I only that
am to make peace, as being the dictator of Rome, and my sword alone
shall purchase it." 14. Upon this a battle ensued, the Gauls were
entirely routed, and such a slaughter followed, that the Roman
territories were soon cleared of the invaders. Thus, by the bravery of
Camil'lus, was Rome delivered from its enemy.[14]

15. The city being one continued heap of ruins, except the Capitol,
and the greatest number of its former inhabitants having gone to take
refuge in Ve'ii, the tribunes of the people urged for the removal of
the poor remains of Rome to that city, where they might have houses to
shelter, and walls to defend them. 16. On this occasion Camil'lus
attempted to appease them with all the arts of persuasion; observing,
that it was unworthy of them, both as Romans and men, to desert the
venerable seat of their ancestors, where they had been encouraged by
repeated marks of divine approbation, in order to inhabit a city which
they had conquered, and which wanted even the good fortune of
defending itself. 17. By these, and such like remonstrances, he
prevailed upon the people to go contentedly to work; and Rome soon
began to rise from its ashes.[15]

18. We have already seen the bravery of Man'lius in defending the
Capitol, and saving the last remains of Rome. For this the people were
by no means ungrateful. They built him a house near the place where
his valour was so conspicuous, and appointed him a public fund for his
support. 19. But he aspired at being more than equal to Camil'lus, and
to be sovereign of Rome. With this view he laboured to ingratiate
himself with the populace, paid their debts, and railed at the
patricians, whom he called their oppressors. 20. The senate was not
ignorant of his speeches or his designs, and created Corne'lius Cossus
dictator, with a view to curb the ambition of Man'lius. 21. The
dictator soon called Man'lius to an account for his conduct. Man'lius,
however, was too much the darling of the populace to be affected by
the power of Cossus, who was obliged to lay down his office, and
Man'lius was carried from confinement in triumph through the city. 22.
This success only served to inflame his ambition. He now began to talk
of a division of the lands among the people, insinuated that there
should be no distinctions in the state; and, to give weight to his
discourses, always appeared at the head of a large body of the dregs
of the people, whom largesses had[15] made his followers. 23. The
city being thus filled with sedition and clamour, the senate had
recourse to another expedient, which was, to oppose the power of
Camil'lus to that of the demagogue. Camil'lus, accordingly, being made
one of the military tribunes, appointed Man'lius a day to answer for
his life. 24. The place in which he was tried was near the Capitol,
whither, when he was accused of sedition, and of aspiring to
sovereignty, he turned his eyes, and pointing to that edifice, put
them in mind of what he had there done for his country. 25. The
multitude, whose compassion or whose justice seldom springs from
rational motives, refused to condemn him, so long as he pleaded in
sight of the Capitol; but when he was brought from thence to the
Pe'teline grove, where the Capitol was no longer in view, they
condemned him to be thrown headlong from the Tarpe'ian rock.[16] 26.
Thus, the place which had been the theatre of his glory, became that
of his punishment and infamy. His house, in which his conspiracies had
been secretly carried on, and which had been built as the reward of
his valour, was ordered to be razed to the ground, and his family were
forbidden ever after to assume the name of Man'lius.

27. Thus the Romans went gradually forward, with a mixture of
turbulence and superstition within their walls, and successful
enterprises without.

28. With what implicit obedience they submitted to their pontiffs, and
how far they might be impelled to encounter even death itself, at
their command, will evidently appear from the behaviour of Cur'tius,
about this time.

[Sidenote: U.C. 392.]

Upon the opening of the gulf in the forum, which the augurs affirmed
would never close till the most precious things in Rome were thrown
into it, this heroic man, clad in complete armour, and mounted on
horseback, boldly leaped into the midst, declaring, that nothing was
more truly valuable than patriotism and military virtue. 29. The gulf,
say the historians, closed immediately upon this, and Cur'tius was
seen no more.[17]

[Sidenote: U.C. 396]

30. This year died the great Camil'lus, deservedly regretted by all.
He was styled a second Romulus, the first having founded, and he
having restored the city. He is said never to have fought a battle
without gaining a victory; never to have besieged a city without
taking it. He was a zealous patriot, ever ready to dismiss his just
resentments for the affronts he received, when the necessities of his
country required his services.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What was the state of Rome at this period?

2. What was the next step taken by Brennus, and how did it succeed?

3. In what manner was the siege carried on?

4. Did he consider the attempt as hopeless?

5. What advantage did he take of this information?

6. Was the attempt successful?

7. What was the consequence?

8. Was there any particular instance of valour?

9. What effect had this failure on the mind of Brennus?

10. In what manner was this agreement carried into execution?

11. What inference did the Romans draw from this insolent speech?

12. What agreeable news did they now hear?

13. Was this information correct?

14. What followed?

15. What was the first measure proposed after this deliverance?

16. Was this proposal carried into effect?

17. Were his remonstrances successful?

18. Was the bravery of Manlius rewarded?

19. Was he content with these favours?

20. What measures were taken to oppose his designs?

21. Was this expedient attended with success?

22. What was the conduct of Manlius after this?

23. What farther measures were taken to punish his ambition?

24. What defence did he set up?

25. Was his plea successful?

26. What is remarkable in his punishment?

27. How did the Roman affairs proceed at this time?

28. Relate a memorable instance of the obedience paid by the Romans to
their pontiffs or priests?

29. What was the consequence of this heroic act?

30. What happened this year, and what was the character of


[1] These laws were engraven on brass, and hung up in the most
conspicuous part of the Forum.

[2] They were, however, defeated, first by the consul Vale'rius, and
next still more decisively by the consuls Quinc'tius and Fu'rius.

[3] The duty of the censors, at first, was merely to perform the
census, or numbering of the people. It was by degrees that they became
_Magistri Morum_, or inspectors and regulators of men's lives and

[4] They appointed an extraordinary magistrate, under the title of
_superintendent of provisions_, and the person named for this office,
L. Minutius, an active and prudent man, immediately sent his agents
into the neighbouring countries to buy corn; but little, however was
procured, as Mælius had been beforehand with him. (Liv. l. iv. c. 13,

[5] The guilt of Mæ'lius was never proved, and no arms were found when
his house was searched. The charge of aiming at royalty is more than
absurd; it is morally impossible. He seems to have aimed at opening
the higher offices of state to the plebeians, and to have looked upon
the consulship with too eager desire. He fell a sacrifice, to deter
the plebeians from aiming at breaking up a patrician monopoly of
power. It is painful to see Cincinna'tus, at the close of a long and
illustrious life, countenancing, if not suggesting this wanton murder.
But, as Niebuhr remarks, "no where have characters been more cruel, no
where has the voice of conscience against the views of faction been so
defied, as in the aristocratic republics, and not those of antiquity
only. Men, otherwise of spotless conduct, have frequently shed the
purest and noblest blood, influenced by fanaticism, and often without
any resentment, in the service of party."

[6] The account of the siege of Ve'ii is full of improbabilities, and
the story of the mine is utterly impossible, for without a compass and
a good plan of the city, such a work could not have been formed. That
Ve'ii, however, was besieged and taken at this time is very certain,
but that is the only part of the legend on which we can rely.

[7] The _as_ was a brass coin, about three farthings of our money.

[8] This day was from henceforth marked as unlucky in their calendar,
and called Allien'sis.

[9] Among others, the Vestals fled from the city, carrying with them
the two Palladiums and the sacred fire. They took shelter at Cære, a
town of Etru'ria, where they continued to celebrate their religious
rites; from this circumstance religious rites acquired the name of

[10] This self-devotion was in consequence of a vow made by these
brave old men, which Fa'bius, the Pontifex Maximus, pronounced in
their names. The Romans believed that, by thus devoting themselves to
the internal gods, disorder and confusion were brought among the

[11] These were the footsteps of Pon'tius Comin'ius, who, with great
prudence and bravery, found means to carry a message from Camil'lus to
the Romans in the Capi'tol, and to return with the appointment of
dictator for Camil'lus.

[12] As a reward for this essential service, every soldier gave
Man'lius a small quantity of corn and a little measure of wine, out of
his scanty allowance; a present of no mean value in their then
distressed situation. On the other hand, the captain of the guard, who
ought to have kept the sentinels to their duty, was thrown headlong
from the Capitol. In memory of this event, a goose was annually
carried in triumph on a soft litter, finely adorned; whilst dogs were
held in abhorrence, and were impaled every year on a branch of elder.

[13] As the Gauls suffered the bodies of the Romans, who were slain in
their frequent encounters, to lie unburied, the stench of their
putrefaction occasioned a plague to break out, which carried off great
numbers of the army of Brennus.

[14] The authenticity of this narrative is more than suspicious.
Polyb'ius, the most accurate of the Roman historians, says that the
Gauls carried their old home with them. Sueto'nius confirms this
account, and adds that it was recovered at a much later period from
the Galli Seno'nes, by Liv'ius Dru'sus; and that on this occasion
Dru'sus first became a name in the Livian family, in consequence of
the victorious general having killed Drau'sus, the Gallic leader.

[15] So little taste, however, for order and beauty, did those display
who had the direction of the works, that the city, when rebuilt, was
even less regular than in the time of Romulus.

[16] This account appears so absurd as to be scarcely credible; in
fact, Manlius was first tried by the "comitia centuriata," and
acquitted. His second trial was before the "comitia curiata," where
his enemies, the patricians, alone had the right of voting. See
Introduction, Chap. III.

[17] Some judicious writers, however, acknowledge that the chasm was
afterwards filled up with earth and rubbish. (Livy, l. 7. c. 6. Val.
Maximus, l. 5. c. 6. et alli.)

       *       *       *       *       *




  The brave man is not he who feels no fear
  For that were stupid and irrational;
  But he, whose noble soul his fear subdues,
  And bravely dares the danger nature shrinks from.--_Baillie_.

1. The Romans had triumphed over the Sab'ines, the Etru'rians, the
Latins, the Her'nici, the Æ'qui, and the Volsci; and now began to look
for greater conquests. They accordingly turned their arms against the
Sam'nites, a people descended from the Sab'ines, and inhabiting a
large tract of southern Italy, which at this day makes, a considerable
part of the kingdom of Naples. 2. Vale'rius Cor'vus, and Corne'lius,
were the two consuls to whose care it first fell to manage this
dreadful contention between the rivals.

3. Vale'rius was one of the greatest commanders of his time; he was
surnamed Cor'vus, from the strange circumstance of being assisted by a
crow in a single combat, in which he killed a Gaul of gigantic
stature. 4. To his colleague's care it was consigned to lead an army
to Sam'nium, the enemy's capital, while Cor'vus was sent to relieve
Cap'ua, the capital of the Capin'ians. 5. Never was a captain more
fitted for command than he. To a habit naturally robust and athletic,
he joined the gentlest manners; he was the fiercest, and yet the most
good-natured man in the army; and, while the meanest sentinel was his
companion, no man kept them more strictly to their duty; but to
complete his character, he constantly endeavoured to preserve his
dignity by the same arts by which he gained it. 6. Such soldiers as
the Romans then were, hardened by their late adversity, and led on by
such a general, were unconquerable. The Samnites were the bravest men
they ever yet had encountered, and the contention between the two
nations was managed on both sides with the most determined resolution.
7. But the fortune of Rome prevailed; the Samnites at length fled,
averring, that they were not able to withstand the fierce looks, and
the fire-darting eye of the Romans. 8. Corne'lius, however, was not at
first so fortunate; for having unwarily led his army into a
defile, he was in danger of being cut off, had not De'cius
possessed himself of a hill which commanded the enemy; so that the
Samnites, being attacked on both sides, were defeated with great
slaughter; not less than thirty thousand of them being left dead upon
the field.

9. Some time after this victory, the forces stationed at Cap'ua
mutinying, compelled Quin'tinus, an eminent old soldier, to be their
leader; and, conducted by their rage, more than by their general, came
within six miles of the city. 10. So terrible an enemy, almost at the
gates, not a little alarmed the senate, who immediately created
Vale'rius dictator, and sent him forth with an army to oppose them.
11. The two armies were now drawn up against each other, while fathers
and sons beheld themselves prepared to engage in opposite causes. 12.
Any other general than Corvus would, perhaps, have brought this civil
war to extremity; but he, knowing his influence among the soldiery,
instead of going forward to meet the mutineers in a hostile manner,
went with the most cordial friendship to embrace, and expostulate with
his old acquaintances. 13. His conduct had the desired effect.
Quin'tius, as their speaker, solicited no more than to have their
defection from their duty forgiven; and for himself, as he was
innocent of their conspiracy, he had no reason to solicit pardon for
offences. 14. Thus this defection, which threatened danger to Rome,
was repaired by the prudence and moderation of a general, whose
ambition it was to be gentle to his friends, and formidable only to
his enemies.

15. A war between the Romans and Latins followed soon after. 16. As
their habits, arms, and language were the same, the exactest
discipline was necessary to prevent confusion in the engagement.
Orders, therefore, were issued, that no soldier should leave his ranks
on pain of death. 17. With these injunctions, both armies were drawn
out and ready, when Me'tius, the general of the enemy's cavalry,
pushed forward from his lines, and challenged any knight in the Roman
army to single combat. 18. For some time there was a general pause, no
soldier daring to disobey his orders, till Ti'tus Man'lius, son of the
consul Man'lius, burning with shame to see the whole body of the
Romans intimidated, boldly advanced against his adversary. 19. The
soldiers, on both sides, for a while suspended the general engagement,
to be spectators of this fierce encounter. The two champions drove
their horses against each other with great violence: Me'tius
wounded his adversary's horse in the neck; but Man'lius, with better
fortune, killed that of Me'tius. The Latin general, fallen to the
ground, for a while attempted to support himself upon his shield; but
the Roman followed his blows, and laid him dead as he was endeavouring
to rise; then despoiling him of his armour, returned in triumph to his
father's tent, where he was preparing for, and giving orders relative
to, the engagement. 20. However he might have been applauded by his
fellow-soldiers, being as yet doubtful what reception he should find
with his father, he came with hesitation, to lay the enemy's spoils at
his feet, and with a modest air insinuated, that what he had done was
entirely from a spirit of hereditary virtue. 21. Alas! he was soon
dreadfully made sensible of his error; when his father, turning away,
ordered him to be led publicly forth before his army. Being brought
forward, the consul, with a stern countenance, and yet with tears,
spoke as follows: "Ti'tus Man'lius, as thou hast regarded neither the
dignity of the consulship, nor the commands of a father; as thou hast
destroyed military discipline, and set a pattern of disobedience by
thy example, thou hast reduced me to the deplorable extremity of
sacrificing my son or my country. But let us not hesitate in this
dreadful alternative; a thousand lives were well lost in such a cause;
nor do I think that thou thyself wilt refuse to die, when thy country
is to reap the advantage of thy sufferings. Lictor, bind him, and let
his death be our future example." 22. At this unnatural mandate the
whole army was struck with horror; fear, for a while, kept them in
suspense; but when they saw their young champion's head struck off,
and his blood streaming upon the ground, they could no longer contain
their execrations and their groans. His dead body was carried forth
without the camp, and, being adorned with the spoils of the vanquished
enemy, was buried with all the pomp of military solemnity.

23. In the mean time, the battle began with mutual fury; and as the
two armies had often fought under the same leaders, they combated with
all the animosity of a civil war. The Latins chiefly depended on
bodily strength; the Romans on their invincible courage and conduct.
24. Forces so nearly matched, seemed only to want the aid of their
deities to turn the scale of victory; and in fact the augurs had
foretold, that whatever part of the Roman army should be distressed,
the commander of that part should devote himself for his country,
and die as a sacrifice to the immortal gods. Man'lius commanded the
right wing, and De'cius the left. 25. Both sides fought with doubtful
success, as their courage was equal; but, after a time, the left wing
of the Roman army began to give ground. 26. It was then that De'cius
resolved to devote himself for his country; and to offer his own life,
as an atonement, to save his army.

27. Thus determined, he called out to Man'lius with a loud voice, and
demanded his instructions, as he was the chief pontiff, how to devote
himself, and what form of words he should use. 28. By his directions,
therefore, being clothed in a long robe, his head covered, and his
arms stretched forward, standing upon a javelin, he devoted himself to
the celestial and infernal gods for the safety of Rome. Then arming
himself, and mounting his horse, he drove furiously into the midst of
the enemy, striking terror and consternation wherever he came, till he
fell covered with wounds. 29. In the mean time the Roman army
considered his devoting himself in this manner, as an assurance of
success; nor was the superstition of the Latins less powerfully
influenced by his resolution; a total route began to ensue: the Romans
pressed them on every side, and so great was the carnage, that
scarcely a fourth part of the enemy survived the defeat.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. Against whom did the Romans next turn their arms?

2. Who were appointed commanders in this war?

3. Who was Valerius?

4. What separate commands were entrusted to the consuls?

5. What was the character of Valerius?

6. What was the character of the hostile armies?

7. To whom did the advantage belong?

8. Was not the division under Cornelius led into a difficulty, and how
was it extricated?

9. What important event next occurred?

10. How were the senate affected by their approach?

11. What are the peculiar evils attendant on civil wars?

12. What steps did Corvus take on this occasion?

13. What was the consequence of this mildness?

14. What reflection may be drawn from this incident?

15. What was the next occurrence of note?

16. What precautions were necessary in this war?

17. In what way was the discipline of the Romans put to the proof?

18. Was his challenge disregarded?

19. Relate the particulars of the combat?

20. What reception did he expect from his father?

21. What was the consequence of his rashness?

22. How was this sentence received by the army?

23. Did a battle ensue?

24. What was wanting to insure the victory?

25. To whom did success incline?

26 What heroic resolution did Decius make?

27. In what way did he do this?

28. What followed?

29. What effect had this sacrifice on the hostile armies?


U.C. 431.

  Absurd the fumed advice to Pyrrhus given,
  More praised than pander'd, specious, but unsound;
  Sooner that hero's sword the world had quell'd,
  Than reason, his ambition.--_Young_

1. But a signal disgrace which the Romans sustained about this time,
in their contest with the Samnites, made a pause in their usual good
fortune, and turned the scale for a while in the enemy's favour.[1] 2.
The senate having denied the Samnites peace, Pon'tius, their general,
was resolved to gain by stratagem, what he had frequently lost by
force. 3. Accordingly, leading his army into the neighbourhood of a
defile, called Cau'dium, and taking possession of all its outlets, he
sent ten of his soldiers, habited like shepherds, with directions to
throw themselves into the way which the Romans were to march. 4.
Exactly to his wishes, the Roman consul, Posthu'mius, met them, and
taking them for what they appeared, demanded the route the Samnite
army had taken: they, with seeming indifference, replied, that
they were going to Luce'ria, a town in Apulia, and were then actually
besieging it. 5 The Roman general, not suspecting the stratagem that
was laid against him, marched directly by the shortest road, which lay
through the defile, to relieve that city; and was not undeceived till
he saw his army surrounded, and blocked up on every side.[2] 6.
Pon'tius, thus having the Romans entirely in his power, first obliged
the army to pass under the yoke, after having stript them of all but
their under garments. He then stipulated, that they should wholly quit
the territories of the Samnites, and that they should continue to live
upon the terms of their former confederacy. 7. The Romans were
constrained to submit to this ignominious treaty, and marched into
Cap'ua disarmed, half naked, and burning with a desire of _retrieving_
their lost honour. 8. When the army arrived at Rome, the whole city
was most sensibly affected at their shameful return; nothing but grief
and resentment were to be seen, and the whole city was put into

9. This was a transitory calamity; the state had suffered a diminution
of its glory, but not of its power.[3] The war was carried on as
usual, for many years; the power of the Samnites declining every day,
while that of the Romans gained fresh vigour from every victory. 10.
Under the conduct of Papir'ius Cursor, repeated triumphs were gained.
Fa'bius Max'imus also had his share in the glory of conquering the
Samnites; and De'cius, the son of that Decius whom we saw devoting
himself, for his country about forty years before, followed the
example of his noble father, and, rushing into the midst of the enemy,
saved the lives of his countrymen with the loss of his own.[4]

11. The Samnites being driven to the most extreme distress, and unable
to defend themselves, were obliged to call in the assistance of a
foreign power, and have recourse to Pyr'rhus, king of Epi'rus,[5]
to save them from impending ruin. 12. Pyr'rhus, a man of great
courage, ambition, and power, who had always kept the example of
Alexan'der, his great predecessor, before his eyes, promised to come
to their assistance; and, in the mean time, despatched a body of three
thousand men, under the command of Cin'eas, an experienced soldier,
and a scholar of the great orator Demos'thenes.[6] 13. Nor did he
himself remain long behind, but soon after put to sea with three
thousand horse, twenty thousand foot, and twenty elephants, in which
the commanders of that time began to place very great confidence. 14.
However, only a small part of this great armament arrived in Italy
with him; for many of his ships were dispersed, and some were totally
lost in a storm.

15. Upon his arrival at Taren'tum,[7] his first care was to reform the
people whom he came to succour. Observing a total dissoluteness of
manners in this luxurious city, and that the inhabitants were rather
occupied with the pleasures of bathing, feasting, and dancing, than
the care of preparing for war, he gave orders to have all their places
of public entertainment shut up, and that they should be restrained in
such amusements as rendered soldiers unfit for battle. 16. In the mean
time the Romans did all which prudence could suggest, to oppose so
formidable an enemy; and the consul Lævi'nus was sent with a numerous
force to interrupt his progress. 17. Pyr'rhus, though his whole army
was not yet arrived, drew out to meet him; but previously sent an
ambassador, desiring to be permitted to mediate between the Romans and
the people of Tarentum. 18. To this Lævi'nus answered, that _he
neither esteemed him as a mediator, nor feared him as an enemy_: and
then leading the ambassador through the Roman camp, desired him to
observe diligently what he saw, and to report the result to his

19. In consequence of this, both armies approaching, pitched their
tents in sight of each other, upon the opposite banks of the river
Ly'ris. Pyr'rhus was always extremely careful in directing the
situation of his own camp, and in observing that of the enemy. 20.
Walking along the banks of the river, and surveying the Roman method
of encamping, he was heard to observe, that these barbarians seemed to
be no way barbarous, and that he should too soon find their actions
equal to their resolution. 21. In the mean time he placed a body of
men in readiness to oppose the Romans, in case they should attempt to
ford the stream before his whole army was brought together. 22. Things
turned out according to his expectations; the consul, with an
impetuosity that marked his inexperience, gave orders for passing the
river where it was fordable; and the advanced guard, having attempted
to oppose him in vain, was obliged to retire to the whole body of the
army. 23. Pyr'rhus being apprised of the enemy's attempt, at first
hoped to cut off their cavalry, before they could be reinforced by the
foot, which were not as yet got over; and led on in person a chosen
body of horse against them. 24. The Roman legions having, with much
difficulty, advanced across the river, the engagement became general;
the Greeks fought with a consciousness of their former fame, and the
Romans with a desire of gaining fresh glory: mankind had seldom seen
two such differently disciplined armies opposed to each other; nor is
it to this day determined whether the Greek phalanx, or the Roman
legion were preferable. 25. The combat was long in suspense; the
Romans had seven times repulsed the enemy, and were as often driven
back themselves; but at length, while the success seemed doubtful,
Pyr'rhus sent his elephants into the midst of the engagement, and
these turned the scale of victory in his favour. 26. The Romans, who
had never before encountered creatures of such magnitude, were
terrified not only at their intrepid fierceness, but at the castles
that were fastened on their backs, filled with armed men. 27. It was
then that Pyr'rhus saw the day was his own; and, sending his
Thessalian cavalry to charge the enemy in disorder, the route became
general. A dreadful slaughter of the Romans ensued, fifteen thousand
men being killed on the spot, and eighteen hundred taken prisoners.
28. Nor were the conquerors in a much better state than the
vanquished, Pyr'rhus himself being wounded, and thirteen thousand of
his forces slain. Night coming on, put an end to the slaughter on both
sides, and Pyr'rhus was heard to exclaim, that one such victory more
would ruin his whole army. 29. The next day, as he walked to view
the field of battle, he could not help regarding with admiration the
bodies of the Romans who were slain. Upon seeing them all with their
wounds in front, their countenances, even in death, marked with noble
resolution, and a sternness that awed him into respect, he was heard
to cry out, in the true spirit of a military adventurer, "Oh! with
what ease could I conquer the world, had I the Romans for soldiers, or
had they me for their king!"

30. Pyr'rhus, after this victory, was still unwilling to drive them to
an extremity, and considering that it was best to treat with an
humbled enemy, he resolved to send his friend Cin'eas,[8] the orator,
to negociate a peace; of whom he often asserted, that he had won more
towns by the eloquence of Cin'eas, than by his own arms. 31. But
Cin'eas, with all his art, found the Romans incapable of being
seduced, either by private bribery, or public persuasion; with a
haughtiness little expected from a vanquished enemy, they insisted
that Pyr'rhus should evacuate Italy, previous to a commencement of a
treaty of peace.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. Were the Romans uniformly successful?

2. Who resolved to use stratagem, and why?

3. By what means did he effect it?

4. What followed?

5. Was the Roman general deceived by this stratagem?

6. What advantage did the Samnite commander take of the situation of
the Romans?

7. Were these terms accepted?

8. How was this news received at Rome?

9. Did this event put an end to the war?

10. Who signalized themselves against the Samnites?

11. What measure did the Samnites adopt in this extremity?

12. What was the character of Pyrrhus, and what effort did he make for
their relief?

13. Did he follow in person?

14. Did this great force arrive in safety?

15. What was his first care?

16. What measures did the Romans adopt?

17. Did Pyrrhus immediately commence hostilities?

18. What answer was returned?

19. What followed?

20. What opinion did Pyrrhus form of the Romans?

21. What were his first measures?

22. Were his precautions justified?

23. In what way did Pyrrhus resist this attack?

24. What is worthy of observation in this engagement?

25. To whom did the victory fall?

26. On what account were the Romans terrified by the appearance of the

27. What completed the route?

28. Was this victory cheaply purchased?

29. What were the sensations of Pyrrhus on viewing the field of

30. What measures did he adopt after this victory?

31. Were the arts of Cineas successful?


                In public life, severe,
  To virtue still inexorably firm;
  But when, beneath his low illustrious roof,
  Sweet peace and happy wisdom smoothed his brow.
  Not friendship softer was, nor love more kind.--_Thomson._

1. Being frustrated, therefore, in his expectations, Cin'eas returned
to his master, extolling both the virtues and the grandeur of the
Romans. The senate, he said, appeared a reverend assembly of
demi-gods; and the city, a temple for their reception. 2. Of this
Pyr'rhus soon after became sensible, by an embassy from Rome,
concerning the ransom and exchange of prisoners. 3. At the head of
this venerable deputation was Fabri'cius, an ancient senator, who had
long been a pattern to his countrymen of the most extreme poverty,
joined to the most cheerful content. 4. Pyr'rhus received this
celebrated old man with great kindness; and willing to try how far
fame had been just in his favour, offered him rich presents; but the
Roman refused. 5. The day after, he was desirous of examining the
equality of his temper, and ordered one of his largest elephants to be
placed behind the tapestry, which, upon a signal given, being drawn
aside, the huge animal raised its trunk above the ambassador's head,
making a hideous noise, and using other arts to intimidate him. 6. But
Fabri'cius, with an unchanged countenance, smiled upon the king, and
told him, that he looked with an equal eye on the terrors of that day,
as he had upon the allurements of the preceding. 7. Pyr'rhus, pleased
to find so much virtue in one he had considered as a barbarian, was
willing to grant him the only favour which he knew could make him
happy; he released the Roman prisoners, entrusting them to Fabri'cius
alone, upon his promise, that, in case the senate were determined to
continue the war, he might reclaim them whenever he thought

8. By this time the Roman army was recovered from its late defeat, and
Sulpi'cius and De'cius, the consuls for the following year, were
placed at its head.

[Sidenote: U.C. 474.]

9. The panic which had formerly seized it from the elephants, now
began to wear off, and both armies met near the city of As'culum,
pretty nearly equal in numbers. 10. Here again, after a long and
obstinate fight, the Grecian discipline prevailed. The Romans, pressed
on every side, particularly by the elephants, were obliged to retire
to their camp, leaving six thousand men upon the field of battle. 11.
But the enemy had no great reason to boast of their triumph, as they
had four thousand slain. Pyr'rhus again observed, to a soldier who was
congratulating him upon his victory, "Another such a triumph, and I
shall be undone." This battle finished the campaign. 12. The next
season began with equal vigour on both sides; Pyr'rhus having received
new succours from home. 13. While the two armies were approaching, and
yet but a small distance, from each other, a letter was brought to old
Fabri'cius, the Roman general, from the king's physician, importing
that, for a proper reward, he would take him off by poison, and thus
rid the Romans of a powerful enemy, and a dangerous war. 14.
Fabri'cius felt all the honest indignation at this base proposal that
was consistent with his former character; he communicated it to his
colleague, and instantly gave it as his opinion, that Pyr'rhus should
be informed of the treachery that was plotted against him. 15.
Accordingly, letters were despatched for that purpose, informing
Pyr'rhus of the affair, and alleging his unfortunate choice of friends
and enemies; that he had trusted and promoted murderers, while he
directed his resentment against the generous and brave. 16. Pyr'rhus
now began to find that these bold barbarians were, by degrees,
schooled into refinement, and would not suffer him to be their
superior, even in generosity. He received the message with as much
amazement at their candour, as indignation at his physician's
treachery. "Admirable Fabri'cius!" cried he, "it would be as easy to
turn the sun from its course, as thee from the path of honour." 17.
Then, making the proper inquiry among his servants, and having
discovered the treason, he ordered his physician to be executed. 18.
Not to be outdone in magnanimity, he immediately sent to Rome all his
prisoners without ransom, and again desired to negociate a peace:
but the Romans still refused, upon any other conditions than had been
offered before.

19. After an interval of two years, Pyr'rhus, having increased his
army by new levies, sent one part of it to oppose the march of
Len'tulus, while he, with the other, went to attack Cu'rius Denta'tus,
before his colleague could come up. 20. His principal aim was to
surprise the enemy by night; but unfortunately, passing through woods,
and the light failing him, his men lost their way; so that at the
approach of morning, he saw himself in sight of the Roman camp, with
the enemy drawn out ready to receive him. The vanguard of both armies
soon met, in which the Romans had the advantage. 21. Soon after, a
general engagement ensuing, Pyr'rhus, finding the balance of the
victory turning still against him, had once more recourse to his
elephants. 22. These, however, the Romans were now too well acquainted
with, to feel any vain terrors from; and having found that fire was
the most effectual means to repel them, they caused a number of balls
to be made, composed of flax and rosin, which were lighted and thrown
against them as they approached the ranks. 23. The elephants, rendered
furious by the flame, and boldly opposed by the soldiers, could no
longer be brought on; but ran back on their own army, bearing down
their ranks, and filling all places with terror and confusion: thus
victory, at length, declared in favour of Rome. 24. Pyr'rhus, in vain,
attempted to stop the flight and slaughter of his troops; he lost not
only twenty-three thousand of his best soldiers, but his camp was also
taken. 25. This served as a new lesson to the Romans, who were ever
open to improvement. They had formerly pitched their tents without
order; but, by this new capture, they were taught to measure out their
ground, and fortify the whole with a trench; so that many of their
succeeding victories are to be ascribed to their improved method of

26. Pyr'rhus, thus finding all hopes fruitless, resolved to leave
Italy, where he found only desperate enemies, and faithless allies;
accordingly, calling together the Taren'tines, he informed them that
he had received assurances from Greece of speedy assistance, and
desiring them to await the event with tranquillity, the night
following he embarked his troops, and returned, undisturbed, into his
native kingdom, with the remains of his shattered forces, leaving
a garrison in Taren'tum merely to save appearances: and in this manner
ended the war with Pyr'rhus, after six years' continuance.

27. As for the poor luxurious Taren'tines, who were the original
promoters of the war, they soon began to find a worse enemy in the
garrison that was left for their defence, than in the Romans who
attacked them from without. The hatred between them and Mi'lo, who
commanded their citadel for Pyr'rhus, was become so great, that
nothing but the fear of their old inveterate enemies, the Romans,
could equal it. 28. In this distress they applied to the
Carthaginians, who, with a large fleet, came and blocked up the port
of Taren'tum; so that this unfortunate people, once famous through
Italy for their refinements and pleasures, now saw themselves
contended for by three different armies, without a choice of a
conqueror. 29. At length, however, the Romans found means to bring
over the garrison to their interest; after which they easily became
masters of the city, and demolished its walls, granting the
inhabitants liberty and protection.

_Questions for Examination._

1. What report did Cineas give of the Romans?

2. By what means did Pyrrhus become convinced of its truth?

3. Who headed this deputation?

4. What reception did he experience?

5. What farther trial was made of his disposition?

6. What effect did this produce in Fabricius?

7. In what way did Pyrrhus evince his satisfaction?

8. In what state was the Roman army at this time?

9. Where did the rival armies meet?

10. What was the event of the engagement?

11. Did it cost the enemy dear?

12. Was the war continued?

13. What proposal was made to Fabricius?

14. How was this proposal received?

15. How was this done?

16. What effect had this conduct on Pyrrhus?

17. What followed?

18. What return did he make to the Romans?

19. How was this war carried on?

20. What views had he in this, and how did they succeed?

21. What expedient did Pyrrhus have recourse to, to insure the

22. How did the Romans endeavour to counteract it?

23. What was the consequence?

24. What loss did Pyrrhus sustain?

25. What advantage did the Romans gain from this victory?

26. What resolution did Pyrrhus form, and how did he effect it?

27. What became of the Tarentines?

28. To whom did they have recourse?

29. How did this terminate?


[1] An additional instance of the severity with which military
discipline was maintained among the Romans, happened a short time
previous to this: L. Papir'ius Cursor, the dictator, having occasion
to quit the army and repair to Rome, strictly forbade Q. Fa'bius
Rullia'nus, his master of the horse, to venture a battle in his
absence. This order Fa'bius disobeyed, and gained a complete victory.
Instead, however, of finding success a palliation of his offence, he
was immediately condemned by the stern dictator to expiate his breach
of discipline by death. In spite of the mutinous disposition of the
army--in spite of the intercessions and threats, both of the senate
and people, Papir'ius persisted in his resolution: but what menaces
and powerful interposition could not obtain, was granted to the
prayers and tears of the criminal's relatives; and Fa'bius lived to
fill some of the highest offices of the state, with honour to himself
and infinite advantage to his country. (Liv. l. 8. c. 30. 35.)

[2] This gives but an indifferent idea of the military skill of those

[3] It appears, however, to have suffered a diminution of its honour
on this occasion, by breaking every article of the treaty of peace
extorted from Posthu'mius. As some atonement for this breach of faith,
they delivered Posthu'mius, and those who signed the treaty, into the
hands of the Samnites, to do with them as they thought fit; but this
generous people instantly set them at liberty. Liv. l. 9. c. 8-11.

[4] U.C. 447. About this time Appius Claudius, the censor,
constructed an aqueduct, seven miles long, for supplying Rome with
water, and that famous road from Rome to Capua, which still remains,
the admiration of all Europe.

[5] Epi'rus, a country situated between Macedonia, Achaia, and the
Ionian sea. (Strabo.)

[6] Demos'thenes, famous for his bold and nervous style of oratory,
flourished at Athens about 320 years before the Christian era.

[7] Taren'tum, now Taren'to, was a town of Calabria, in Italy, situate
on a bay of the same name, near the mouth of the river Gale'sus: it
was celebrated for its fine harbour. (Strabo.)

[8] Cin'eas is said to have possessed so retentive a memory, that the
day after his arrival at Rome, he could salute every senator and
knight by name.

       *       *       *       *       *




                            In every heart
  Are sown the sparks that kindle fiery war,
  Occasion needs but fan them, and they blaze.--_Cowper_.

1. The Romans having destroyed all rival pretensions at home, began to
pant after foreign conquests. 2. The Carthagin'ians were at that time
in possession of the greatest part of Sicily, and, like the Romans,
only wanted an opportunity of embroiling the natives, in order to
become masters of the whole island. 3. This opportunity at length
offered. Hi'ero, king of Sy'racuse, one of the states of that island,
which was as yet unconquered, entreated their aid against the
Mam'ertines, an insignificant people of the same country, and they
sent him supplies both by sea and land. 4. The Mam'ertines, on the
other hand, to shield off impending ruin, put themselves under the
protection of Rome. 5. The Romans, not thinking the Mam'ertines worthy
of the name of allies, instead of professing to assist them, boldly
declared war against Carthage; alleging as a reason, the assistance
which Carthage had lately sent to the southern parts of Italy against
the Romans. In this manner a war was declared between two powerful
states, both too great to continue patient spectators of each other's

6. Carthage, a colony of the Phoeni'cians, was built on the coast of
Africa, near the place where Tunis now stands, about a hundred and
thirty-seven years before the foundation of Rome. 7. As it had been
long growing into power, so it had extended its dominions all along
the coasts: but its chief strength lay in its fleets and commerce. 8.
Thus circumstanced, these two great powers began what is called the
First Punic war. The Carthagin'ians were possessed of gold and
silver, which might be exhausted; the Romans were famous for
perseverance, patriotism, and poverty, which gathered strength by
every defeat.

9. But there seemed to be an insurmountable obstacle to the ambitious
views of Rome, as they had no fleet, or at least none that deserved
the title; while the Carthagin'ians had the entire command at sea, and
kept all the maritime towns in obedience.[1] 10. In such a situation,
under disadvantages which nature seemed to have imposed, any people
but the Romans would have rested; but nothing could conquer or
intimidate them. 11. A Carthagin'ian vessel happened to be driven on
shore, in a storm, and this was sufficient to serve as a model. They
began to apply themselves to maritime affairs; and though without
shipwrights to build, or seamen to navigate a fleet, they resolved to
surmount every obstacle with inflexible perseverance. 12. The consul
Duil'ius was the first who ventured to sea with his new-constructed
armament; he proceeded in quest of the enemy, whom he met near the
Lipari islands; and by means of grappling-irons, he so connected the
ships of the Carthaginians with his own, that the combat became a sort
of land-fight. By this manoeuvre, though his own force was far
inferior to that of the enemy, he gained for Rome her first naval
triumph, taking from the Carthaginians fifty ships, and what they
valued still more, the undisturbed sovereignty of the sea. At Rome
medals were struck and a column was erected in commemoration of the
victory. This column, called Columna Rostrata, because adorned with
the beaks of ships, was struck down by lightning in the interval
between the second and third Punic wars. A new column was erected by
the Emperor Claudius, and the inscription restored, though probably
modernized. It still exists in a state of partial preservation.

13. The Romans soon invaded Sicily, and gained some signal successes,
principally by the aid of their ally, king Hi'ero. On one occasion the
consul Calati'nus was entrapped by the Carthaginians in a defile, and
would certainly have been destroyed but for the bravery of the
military tribune Calpur'nius Flem'ma, who, with three hundred resolute
men, possessed himself of a neighbouring eminence, and so engaged the
attention of the Carthaginians, that the Roman army escaped with very
little opposition. This band of heroes was slaughtered to a man, and
Calpur'nius himself fell dreadfully wounded, but afterwards recovered,
and was rewarded with a corona graminis, or crown made of grass. But
notwithstanding their repeated triumphs, the Romans discovered that
the conquest of Sicily was only to be obtained by humbling the power
of Carthage at home. For this reason the senate resolved to carry the
war into Africa itself, and accordingly they sent Reg'ulus and
Man'lius, with a fleet of three hundred sail, to make the invasion.
14. Reg'ulus was reckoned the most consummate warrior that Rome could
then produce, and a professed example of frugal severity. His
patriotism was still greater than his temperance: all private passions
seemed extinguished in him; at least they were swallowed up in one
great ruling affection, the love of his country. 15. The two generals
set sail with their fleet, which was the greatest that had ever yet
left an Italian port, carrying a hundred and forty thousand men. They
were met by the Carthagin'ians with a fleet equally powerful, and men
more used to the sea. 16. While the fight continued at a distance, the
Carthagin'ians seemed successful; but when the Romans came to grapple
with them, the difference between a mercenary army and one that fought
for fame, was apparent. 17. The resolution of the Romans was crowned
with success; the enemy's fleet was dispersed, and fifty-four of their
vessels taken. 18. The consequence of this victory was an immediate
descent upon the coast of Africa, and the capture of the city Clu'pea,
together with twenty thousand men, who were made prisoners of war.
While Reg'ulus lay encamped here, near the river Bagra'da, he is said
to have slain a monstrous serpent by the help of his battering
engines. Its skin, which was one hundred and twenty feet long, was
sent to Rome and preserved for a long time with great care.

19. The senate being informed of these great successes, and applied to
for fresh instructions, commanded Man'lius back to Italy, in order to
superintend the Sicilian war, and directed that Reg'ulus should
continue in Africa to prosecute his victories there.

[Illustration: The army of Regulus destroying the serpent.]

20. A battle ensued, in which Carthage was once more defeated, and
17,000 of its best troops were cut off. This fresh victory contributed
to throw them into the utmost despair; for more than eighty of their
towns submitted to the Romans. 21. In this distress, the
Carthagin'ians, destitute of generals at home, were obliged to send to
Lacedæ'mon, offering the command of their armies to Xantip'pus, a
general of great experience, who undertook to conduct them.

22. This general began by giving the magistrates proper instructions
for levying their men; he assured them that their armies were hitherto
overthrown, not by the strength of the enemy, but by the ignorance of
their own commanders; he, therefore, required a ready obedience to his
orders, and assured them of an easy victory. 23. The whole city seemed
once more revived from despondence by the exhortations of a single
stranger, and soon from hope grew into confidence. 24. This was the
spirit the Grecian general wished to excite in them; so that when he
saw them thus ripe for the engagement, he joyfully took the field. 25.
The Lacedæmo'nian made the most skilful disposition of his forces; he
placed his cavalry in the wings; he disposed the elephants at proper
intervals, behind the line of the heavy-armed infantry, and bringing
up the light-armed troops before, he ordered them to retire through
the line of infantry, after they had discharged their weapons. 26. At
length both armies engaged; after a long and obstinate resistance the
Romans were overthrown with dreadful slaughter, the greatest part of
their army destroyed, and Reg'ulus himself taken prisoner. 27.
Several other distresses of the Romans followed soon after. They lost
their fleet in a storm, and Agrigen'tum, their principal town in
Sicily, was taken by Karth'alo, the Carthagin'ian general. They built
a new fleet, which shared the fate of the former; for the mariners, as
yet unacquainted with the Mediterranean shores, drove upon quicksands,
and soon after the greater part perished in a storm.[2]

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What did the Romans now desire?

2. What state afforded them an opportunity for this purpose?

3. Were their wishes gratified, and how?

4. What measures did the Mamertines adopt?

5. Did the Romans afford them the assistance they requested?

6. Where was Carthage situated, and when was it built?

7. Was it a powerful state?

8. Had the Romans or the Carthaginians the means most likely to insure

9. Were Rome and Carthage on an equal footing in other respects?

10. Did the Romans attempt to overcome this obstacle?

11. What assisted their endeavours?

12. Who was their first naval commander, and what was his success?

13. What were the means adopted to conquer Sicily?

14. What was the character of Regulus?

15. What was the amount of the force on both sides?

16. On what side did the advantage lie?

17. With whom did the victory remain?

18. What was the consequence of this victory?

19. What were the orders of the senate?

20. What was the next event deserving notice, and its consequences?

21. To what expedient were the Carthaginians obliged to have recourse?

22. What were the first acts of this general?

23. What were the effects his arrival produced?

24. What was the consequence?

25. In what way was the Carthaginian army drawn up?

26. What was the event of the battle?

27. What other disasters did the Romans encounter?


  Who has not heard the Fulvian heroes sung
  Dentatus' scars, or Mutius' flaming hand?
  How Manlius saved the capitol? the choice
  Of steady Regulus?--_Dyer._

1. The Carthagin'ians being thus successful, were desirous of a new
treaty for peace, hoping to have better terms than those insisted upon
by Reg'ulus. They supposed that he, whom they had now for four years
kept in a dungeon, confined and chained, would be a proper solicitor.
It was expected that, being wearied with imprisonment and bondage, he
would gladly endeavour to persuade his countrymen to a discontinuance
of the war which prolonged his captivity. 2. He was accordingly sent
with their ambassadors to Rome, under a promise, previously exacted
from him, to return in case of being unsuccessful. He was even given
to understand that his life depended upon the success of his

3. When this old general, together with the ambassadors of Carthage,
approached Rome, numbers of his friends came out to meet him, and
congratulate him on his return. 4. Their acclamations resounded
through the city; but Reg'ulus refused, with settled melancholy, to
enter the gates. In vain he was entreated on every side to visit once
more his little dwelling, and share in that joy which his return had
inspired. He persisted in saying that he was now a slave belonging to
the Carthagin'ians, and unfit to partake in the liberal honours of his
country. 5. The senate assembling without the walls, as usual, to give
audience to the ambassadors, Reg'ulus opened his commission as he had
been directed by the Carthagin'ian council, and their ambassadors
seconded his proposals. 6. The senate themselves, who were weary of a
war which had been protracted above fourteen years, were no way
disinclinable to a peace. It only remained for Reg'ulus himself to
give his opinion. 7. When it came to his turn to speak, to the
surprise of the whole, he gave his voice for continuing the war. 8. So
unexpected an advice not a little disturbed the senate: they pitied as
well as admired a man who had used such eloquence against his private
interest, and could conclude upon a measure which was to
terminate in his own ruin. 9. But he soon relieved their embarrassment
by breaking off the treaty, and by rising, in order to return to his
bonds and his confinement. 10. In vain did the senate and his dearest
friends entreat his stay; he still repressed their solicitations.
Marcia, his wife, with her children, vainly entreated to be permitted
to see him: he still obstinately persisted in keeping his promise; and
though sufficiently apprised of the tortures that awaited his return,
without embracing his family, or taking leave of his friends, he
departed with the ambassadors for Carthage.

11. Nothing could equal the fury and the disappointment of the
Carthagin'ians, when they, were informed by their ambassadors that
Regulus, instead of hastening a peace, had given his opinion for
continuing the war. 12. They accordingly prepared to punish his
conduct with the most studied tortures. His eye-lids were cut off, and
he was remanded to prison. After some days, he was again brought out
from his dark and dismal dungeon, and exposed with, his face opposite
the burning sun. At last, when malice was fatigued studying all the
arts of torture, he was put into a sort of barrel, stuck full of
spikes, and in this painful position he continued till he died.

13. Both sides now took up arms with more than former animosity. At
length, Roman perseverance was crowned with success; and one victory
followed on the back of another. Fa'bius Bu'teo, the consul, once more
showed them the way to naval victory, by defeating a large squadron of
the enemy's ships; but Luta'tius Cat'ulus gained a victory still more
complete, in which the power of Carthage seemed totally destroyed at
sea, by the loss of a hundred and twenty ships. 14. This loss
compelled the Carthagin'ians again to sue for peace, which Rome
thought proper to grant; but still inflexible in its demands, exacted
the same conditions which Reg'ulus had formerly offered at the gates
of Carthage. 15. These were, that they should lay down a thousand
talents of silver, to defray the charge of the war, and should pay two
thousand two hundred more within ten years; that they should quit
Sicily, with all such islands as they possessed near it; that they
should never make war against the allies of Rome, nor come with any
vessels of war within the Roman dominions; and lastly, that all their
prisoners and deserters should be delivered up without ransom.

[Sidenote: U.C. 513.]

16. To these hard conditions, the Carthagin'ians, now exhausted,
readily subscribed; and thus ended the first Punic war, which had
lasted twenty-four years; and, in some measure, had drained both
nations of their resources.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What were the Carthaginians now desirous of obtaining?

2. Was Regulus employed for this purpose?

3. How was Regulus received by the Romans?

4. What was the conduct of Regulus on this occasion?

5. How did the negociation commence?

6. Were the Romans inclined for peace?

7. What was the opinion of Regulus?

8. What was the effect of this advice?

9. How did Regulus put an end to their embarrassment?

10. Could he not be prevailed on to remain at Rome?

11. How did the Carthaginians receive an account of his conduct?

12. In what way did they punish him?

13. With what success was the war continued?

14. What was the consequence of this loss?

15. What were these terms?

16. Were they agreed to? What was the duration of the first Punic war?


[1] The vessels in which they had hitherto transported their troops,
were principally hired from their neighbours the Locrians, Tarentines,
&c. It is certain that the Romans had ships of war before this period;
but from the little attention they had hitherto paid to naval affairs,
they were, probably, badly constructed and ill managed.

[2] The Romans considering these two disasters as indications of the
will of the gods that they should not contend by sea, made a decree
that no more than fifty galleys should, for the future, be equipped.
This decree, however, did not continue long in force.

       *       *       *       *       *




  Spain first he won, the Pyrenieans pass'd,
  And sleepy Alps, the mounds that nature cast;
  And with corroding juices, as he went,
  A passage through the living rocks he rent,
  Then, like a torrent rolling from on high,
  He pours his headlong rage on Italy.--_Juvenal_.

1. The war being ended between the Carthagin'ians and Romans, a
profound peace ensued, and in about six years after, the temple of
Ja'nus was shut for the second time since the foundation of the
city.[1] 2. The Romans being thus in friendship with all nations, had
an opportunity of turning to the arts of peace; they now began to have
a relish for poetry, the first liberal art which rises in every
civilized nation, and the first also that decays. 3. Hitherto they had
been entertained only with the rude drolleries of their lowest
buffoons, who entertained them with sports called Fescen'nine, in
which a few debauched actors invented their own parts, while raillery
and indecency supplied the place of humour. 4. To these a composition
of a higher kind succeeded, called satire; a sort of dramatic poem, in
which the characters of the great were particularly, pointed out, and
made an object of derision to the vulgar.

[Sidenote: U.C. 514.]

5. After these, came tragedy and comedy, which were borrowed from the
Greeks: indeed, the first dramatic poet of Rome, whose name was
Liv'ius Andronicus, was a native of one of the Greek colonies in
southern Italy. 6. The instant these finer kinds of composition
appeared, this great people rejected their former impurities with
disdain. From thenceforward they laboured upon the Grecian model; and
though they were never able to rival their masters in dramatic
composition, they soon surpassed them in many of the more soothing
kinds of poetry. Elegiac, pastoral, and didactic compositions began to
assume new beauties in the Roman language; and satire, not that rude
kind of dialogue already mentioned, but a nobler sort, was all their

7. While they were thus cultivating the arts of peace, they were not
unmindful of making fresh preparations for war; intervals of ease
seemed to give fresh vigour for new designs, rather than relax their
former intrepidity.

[Sidenote: U.C. 527.]

8. The Illyr'ians were the first people upon whom they tried their
strength. That nation happened to make depredations upon some of the
trading subjects of Rome, which being complained of to Teuta, the
queen of the country, she, instead of granting redress, ordered the
ambassadors, who were sent to demand restitution, to be murdered. 9. A
war ensued, in which the Romans were victorious; most of the Illy'ric
towns were surrendered to the consuls, and a peace at last concluded,
by which the greatest part of the country was ceded to Rome; a yearly
tribute was exacted for the rest, and a prohibition added, that the
Illyr'ians should not sail beyond the river Lissus with more than two
barks, and those unarmed.

10. The Gauls were the next people that incurred the displeasure of
the Romans. 11. A time of peace, when the armies were disbanded, was
the proper season for new irruptions; accordingly, these barbarians
invited fresh forces from beyond the Alps, and entering Etru'ria,
wasted all with fire and sword, till they came within about three
days' journey of Rome. 12. A prætor and a consul were sent to
oppose them, who, now instructed in the improved arts of war, were
enabled to surround the Gauls. 13. It was in vain that those hardy
troops, who had nothing but courage to protect them, formed two fronts
to oppose their adversaries; their naked bodies and undisciplined
forces were unable to withstand the shock of an enemy completely
armed, and skilled in military evolutions. 14. A miserable slaughter
ensued, in which forty thousand were killed, and ten thousand taken
prisoners. 15. This victory was followed by another, gained by
Marcel'lus, in which he killed Viridoma'rus, their king, with his own
hand. 16. These conquests forced them to beg for peace, the conditions
of which served greatly to enlarge the empire. Thus the Romans went on
with success; retrieved their former losses, and only wanted an enemy
worthy of their arms to begin a new war.

17. The Carthagin'ians had made peace solely because they were no
longer able to continue the war. They, therefore, took the earliest
opportunity of breaking the treaty, and besieged Sagun'tum, a city of
Spain, which had been in alliance with Rome; and, though desired to
desist, prosecuted their operations with vigour. 18. Ambassadors were
sent, in consequence, from Rome to Carthage, complaining of the
infraction of their articles, and required that Han'nibal, the
Carthagin'ian general, who had advised this measure, should be
delivered up: which being refused, both sides prepared for a second
Punic war.

19. The Carthaginians trusted the management of it to Han'nibal. 20.
This extraordinary man had been made the sworn foe of Rome, almost
from his infancy; for, while yet very young, his father brought him
before the altar, and obliged him to take an oath, that he would never
be in friendship with the Romans, nor desist from opposing their
power, until he or they should be no more. 21. On his first appearance
in the field, he united in his own person the most masterly method of
commanding, with the most perfect obedience to his superiors. Thus he
was equally beloved by his generals, and the troops he was appointed
to lead. 22. He was possessed of the greatest courage in opposing
danger, and the greatest presence of mind in retiring from it. No
fatigue was able to subdue his body, nor any misfortune to break his
spirit; he was equally patient of heat and cold, and he took
sustenance merely to content nature, not to delight his appetite.
He was the best horseman and the swiftest runner, of the time. 23.
This great general, who is considered as the most skilful commander of
antiquity, having overrun all Spain, and levied a large army composed
of various nations, resolved to carry the war into Italy itself, as
the Romans had before carried it into the dominions of Carthage. 24.
For this purpose, leaving Hanno with a sufficient force to guard his
conquests in Spain, he crossed the Pyrene'an mountains into Gaul, with
an army of fifty thousand foot, and nine thousand horse. He quickly
traversed that country, which was then wild and extensive, and filled
with nations that were his declared enemies.

25. In vain its forests and rivers appeared to intimidate; in vain the
Rhone, with its rapid current, and its banks covered with enemies, or
the Dura branched out into numberless channels, opposed his way; he
passed them all with undaunted spirit, and in ten days arrived at the
foot of the Alps, over which he was to explore a new passage into
Italy. 26. It was in the midst of winter when this astonishing project
was undertaken. The season added new horrors to the scene. The
prodigious height and tremendous steepness of these mountains, capped
with snow; the people barbarous and fierce, dressed in skins, and with
long shaggy hair, presented a picture that impressed the beholders
with astonishment and terror. 27. But nothing was capable of subduing
the courage of the Carthaginian general. At the end of fifteen days,
spent in crossing the Alps, he found himself in the plains of Italy,
with about half his army; the other half having died of cold, or been
cut off by the natives.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What was the consequence of the conclusion of the first Punic war?

2. What advantages did the Romans derive from this interval of peace?

3. What species of entertainment had they hitherto enjoyed?

4. What succeeded these low buffooneries?

5. What was the next species, and from whom was it borrowed?

6. Did their former amusements still continue to please?

7. Were the Romans attentive only to the arts of peace?

8. Who first incurred their resentment, and what was their offence?

9. What was the consequence?

10. Who next incurred the displeasure of the Romans? 11. What was
their offence, and what favourable opportunity did they choose?

12. What steps were taken to oppose them?

13. Did the Gauls make any effectual resistance?

14. What was the result of the battle?

15. Did this victory decide the contest?

16. What advantages occurred to the Romans from this war?

17. Were the Carthaginians sincere in their overture for peace?

18. What was the consequence of this refusal?

19. To whom was the conduct of the war committed by the Carthaginians?

20. What rendered Hannibal particularly eligible to this post?

21. Was he a favourite with the army?

22. Describe his corporeal and mental qualifications?

23. What resolution did he adopt?

24. What measures did he take for that purpose?

25. Was he not deterred by the dangers of the way?

26. What rendered this passage peculiarly difficult?

27. Did these horrors render the attempt unsuccessful?


  With Hannibal I cleft yon Alpine rocks.
  With Hannibal choked Thrasymene with slaughter;
  But, O the night of Cannæ's raging field!
  When half the Roman senate lay in blood.--_Young_.

1. As soon as it was known at Rome, that Han'nibal, at the head of an
immense army, was crossing the Alps, the senate sent Scip'io to oppose
him; the armies met near the little river Tici'nus, and the Roman
general was obliged to retreat with considerable loss. 2. In the mean
time, Han'nibal, thus victorious, took the most prudent precautions to
increase his army; giving orders always to spare the possessions of
the Gauls, while depredations were committed upon those of Rome; and
this so pleased that simple people, that they declared for him in
great numbers, and flocked to his standard with alacrity.

3. The second battle was fought upon the banks of the river Tre'bia.
4. The Carthaginian general, being apprised of the Roman impetuosity,
of which he availed himself in almost every engagement, had sent off a
thousand horse, each with a foot soldier behind, to cross the river,
to ravage the enemy's country, and provoke them to engage. The Romans
quickly routed this force. Seeming to be defeated, they took the
river, and were as eagerly pursued by Sempro'nius, the consul. No
sooner had his army attained the opposite bank, than he perceived
himself half-conquered, his men being fatigued with wading up to their
arm-pits, and quite benumbed by the intense coldness of the water
5. A total route ensued; twenty-six thousand of the Romans were either
killed by the enemy, or drowned in attempting to repass the river. A
body of ten thousand men were all that survived; who, finding
themselves enclosed on every side, broke desperately through the
enemy's ranks, and fought, retreating, till they found shelter in the
city of Placentia.

6. The third defeat the Romans sustained was at the lake of
Thrasyme'ne, near to which was a chain of mountains, and between these
and the lake, a narrow passage leading to a valley that was embosomed
in hills. It was upon these hills that Han'nibal disposed his best
troops and it was into this valley that Flamin'ius, the Roman general,
led his men to attack him. 7. A disposition every way so favourable
for the Carthaginians, was also assisted by accident; for a mist
rising from the lake, kept the Romans from seeing their enemies; while
the army upon the mountains, being above its influence, saw the whole
disposition of their opponents. 8. The fortune of the day was such as
might be expected from the conduct of the two generals. The Roman army
was slaughtered, almost before they could perceive the enemy that
destroyed them. About fifteen thousand Romans, with Flamin'ius
himself, fell in the valley, and six thousand more were obliged to
yield themselves prisoners of war.

9. Upon the news of this defeat, after the general consternation was
allayed, the senate resolved to elect a commander with absolute
authority, in whom they might repose their last and greatest
expectations. 10. The choice fell upon Fa'bius Max'imus, a man of
great courage, with a happy mixture of caution. 11. He was apprised
that the only way to humble the Carthaginians at such a distance from
home, was rather by harassing than fighting. For this purpose, he
always encamped upon the highest grounds, inaccessible to the enemy's
cavalry. Whenever they moved, he watched their motions, straitened
their quarters, and cut off their provisions.

12. By these arts, Fa'bius had actually, at one time, enclosed
Han'nibal among mountains, where it was impossible to winter, and from
which it was almost impracticable to extricate his army without
imminent danger. 13. In this exigence, nothing but one of those
stratagems of war, which only men of great abilities invent, could
save him. 14. He ordered a number of small faggots and lighted torches
to be tied to the horns of two thousand oxen, which should be
driven towards the enemy. These, tossing their heads, and funning up
the sides of the mountain, seemed to fill the whole neighbouring
forest with fire; while the sentinels that were placed to guard the
approaches to the mountain, seeing such a number of flames advancing
towards their posts, fled in consternation, supposing the whole body
of the enemy was in arms to overwhelm them. 15. By this stratagem
Han'nibal drew off his army, and escaped through the defiles that led
beneath the hills, though with considerable damage to his rear.

16. Fa'bius, still pursuing the same judicious measures, followed
Han'nibal in all his movements, but at length received a letter from
the senate, recalling him to Rome, on pretence of a solemn sacrifice,
requiring his presence. 17. On his departure from the army, he
strictly charged Minu'tius, his general of the horse, not to hazard an
engagement in his absence. This command he disobeyed, and Fa'bius
expressed his determination to punish so flagrant a breach of military
discipline. 18. The senate, however, favouring Minu'tius, gave him an
equal authority with the dictator. 19. On the arrival of Fa'bius at
the camp, he divided the army with Minu'tius, and each pursued his own
separate plan. 20. By artful management, Han'nibal soon brought the
troops of the latter to an engagement, and they would have been cut
off to a man, had not Fa'bius sacrificed his private resentment to the
public good, and hastened to the relief of his colleague. 21. By their
united forces Han'nibal was repulsed, and Minu'tius, conscious of his
rashness, resigned the supreme command into the hands of the dictator.

22. On the expiration of his year of office, Fa'bius resigned, and
Taren'tius Varro was chosen to the command. 23. Varro was a man sprung
from the dregs of the people, with nothing but confidence and riches
to recommend him. 24. With him was joined Æmil'ius Paulus, of a
disposition entirely opposite; experienced, in the field, cautious in
action, and impressed with a thorough contempt for the abilities of
his plebeian colleague.

25. The Romans finding themselves enabled to bring a competent force
into the field, being almost ninety thousand strong, now again
resolved to meet Han'nibal, who was at this time encamped near the
village of Cannæ, with a wind in his rear, that, for a certain season,
blows constantly one way, which, raising great clouds of dust
from the parched plains behind, he knew must greatly distress an
approaching enemy. In this situation he waited the coming of the
Romans with an army of forty thousand foot, and half that number of
cavalry. 26. The consuls soon appeared to his wish, dividing their
forces into two parts, and agreeing to take the command each day by
turns. 27. On the first day of their arrival, Æmil'ius was entirely
averse to engaging. The next day, however, it being Varro's turn to
command, he, without asking his colleague's concurrence, gave the
signal for battle: and passing the river Au'fidus, that lay between
both armies, put his forces in array. 28. The battle began with the
light-armed infantry; the horse engaged soon after; but the cavalry
being unable to stand against those of Numid'ia, the legions came up
to reinforce them. It was then that the conflict became general; the
Roman soldiers endeavoured, in vain, to penetrate the centre, where
the Gauls and Spaniards fought; which Han'nibal observing, he ordered
part of those troops to give way, and to permit the Romans to embosom
themselves within a chosen body of his Africans, whom he had placed on
their wings, so as to surround them; upon that a terrible slaughter of
the Romans ensued, fatigued with repeated attacks of the Africans, who
were fresh and vigorous. 29. At last the rout became general in every
part of the Roman army; the boastings of Varro were now no longer
heard: while Æmil'ius, who had been wounded by a slinger, feebly led
on his body of horse, and did all that could be done to make head
against the enemy. 30. Unable to sit on horseback, he was forced to
dismount. It was in these deplorable circumstances, that one
Len'tulus, a tribune of the army, flying from the enemy, who at some
distance pursued him, met Æmil'ius, sitting upon a stone, covered with
blood and wounds, and waiting for the coming up of the pursuers. 31.
"Æmil'ius," cried the generous tribune, "you, at least, are guiltless
of this day's slaughter; take my horse and fly." "I thank thee,
Len'tulus," cried the dying consul, "all is over, my part is chosen.
Go, and tell the senate to fortify Rome against the approach of the
conqueror. Tell Fa'bius, that Æmil'ius, while living, ever remembered
his advice; and now, dying, approves it." 32. While he was yet
speaking, the enemy approached; and Len'tulus at some distance saw the
consul expire, feebly fighting in the midst of hundreds. 33. In this
battle the Romans lost fifty thousand men, and so many knights,
that it is said that Han'nibal sent three bushels of gold rings to
Carthage, which those of this order wore on their fingers.[2]

_Questions for Examination._

1. What measures were adopted by the Romans when they heard of
Hannibal's approach?

2. What precautions did Hannibal take?

3. Where was the next battle fought?

4. What was the stratagem employed by Hannibal?

5. What followed?

6. Where was the next engagement?

7. Was this a judicious disposition of the Roman general?

8. What was the result?

9. What expedient did the senate adopt on this occasion?

10. Who was chosen to this office?

11. What method of fighting did he adopt?

12. What was the success of this plan?

13. Was his situation hopeless?

14. Describe his stratagem and its consequences?

15. Did it answer his purpose?

16. Was Fabius continued in office?

17, 18. Of what disobedience was Minutius guilty? Was he punished?

19. How was the army divided?

20, 21. What plan did Fabius pursue? How was its superiority proved?

22, 23, 24. Who succeeded Fabius? What was his character, and that of
his colleague?

25. How were the Carthaginians posted at Cannæ?

26, 27. How did the consuls behave? How did Varro act?

28. What were the circumstances of the engagement?

29. How did the battle terminate?

30. What was the fate of Æmilius?

31. What generous offer was made by Lentulus?

32. Did the consul accept the tribune's offer?

33. Was the loss of the Romans severe?


                  The storming Hannibal
  In vain the thunder of the battle rolled.
  The thunder of the battle they returned
  Back on his Punic shores.--_Dyer_.

1. When the first consternation was abated after this dreadful blow,
the senate came to a resolution to create a dictator, in order to give
strength to their government. 2. A short time after Varro arrived,
having left behind him the wretched remains of his army. As he had
been the principal cause of the late calamity, it was natural to
suppose, that the senate would severely reprimand the rashness of his
conduct. But far otherwise! The Romans went out in multitudes to meet
him; and the senate returned him thanks that he had not despaired of
the safety of Rome. 3. Fa'bius, who was considered as the shield, and
Marcellus, as the sword of Rome, were appointed to lead the armies:
and though Hannibal once more offered them peace, they refused it, but
upon condition that he should quit Italy--a measure similar to that
they had formerly insisted upon from Pyrrhus.

4. Han'nibal finding the impossibility of marching directly to Rome,
or willing to give his forces rest after so mighty a victory, led them
to Cap'ua, where he resolved to winter. 5. This city had long been
considered as the nurse of luxury, and the corrupter of all military
virtue. 6. Here a new scene of pleasure opened to his barbarian
troops: they at once gave themselves up to intoxication; and from
being hardy veterans, became infirm rioters.

7. Hitherto we have found this great man successful; but now we are to
reverse the picture, and survey him struggling with accumulated
misfortunes, and, at last, sinking beneath them.

8. His first loss was at the siege of Nola, where Marcel'lus, the
prætor, made a successful sally. He some time after attempted to raise
the siege of Cap'ua, attacked the Romans in their trenches, and was
repulsed with considerable loss. He then made a feint to besiege Rome,
but finding a superior army ready to receive him, was obliged to
retire. 9. For many years he fought with varied success; Marcel'lus,
his opponent, sometimes gaining, and sometimes losing the advantage,
without coming to any decisive engagement.

10. The senate of Carthage at length came to a resolution of
sending his brother As'drubal to his assistance, with a body of forces
drawn out of Spain. 11. As'drubal's march being made known to the
consuls Liv'ius and Nero, they went against him with great expedition;
and, surrounding him in a place into which he was led by the treachery
of his guides, they cut his whole army to pieces. 12. Han'nibal had
long expected these succours with impatience; and the very night on
which he had been assured of his brother's arrival, Nero ordered
As'drubal's head to be cut off, and thrown into his brother's camp.
13. The Carthaginian general now began to perceive the downfall of
Carthage; and, with a sigh, observed to those about him, that fortune
seemed fatigued with granting her favours.

14. In the mean time, the Roman arms seemed to be favoured in other
parts; Marcel'lus took the city of Syr'acuse, in Sicily, defended by
the machines and the fires of Archime'des,[3] the mathematician. 15.
The inhabitants were put to the sword, and among the rest, Archime'des
himself, who was found, by a Roman soldier, meditating in his study.
16. Marcel'lus, the general, was not a little grieved at his death. A
love of literature at that time began to prevail among the higher
ranks at Rome. Marcel'lus ordered Archime'des to be honourably buried,
and a tomb to be erected to his memory.

17. As to their fortunes in Spain, though for a while doubtful, they
soon recovered their complexion under the conduct of Scip'io
Africa'nus, who sued for the office of proconsul to that kingdom, at a
time when every one else was willing to decline it. 18. Scip'io, now
no more than twenty-four years old, had all the qualifications
requisite for forming a great general, and a good man; he united
courage with tenderness, was superior to Hannibal in the arts of
peace, and almost his equal in those of war. 19. His father had been
killed in Spain, so that he seemed to have an hereditary claim to
attack that country. He, therefore, appeared irresistible, obtaining
many great victories, yet subduing more by his generosity,
mildness, and benevolent disposition, than by the force of arms.[4]

20. He returned with an army from the conquest of Spain, and was made
consul at the age of twenty-nine. It was at first supposed he intended
meeting Hannibal in Italy, and that he would attempt driving him from
thence: but he had formed a wiser plan, which was, to carry the war
into Africa; and, while the Carthaginians kept an army near Rome, to
make them tremble for their own capital.

21. Scip'io was not long in Africa without employment; Hanno opposed
him, but was defeated and slain. Sy'phax, the usurper of Numid'ia, led
up a large army against him. 22. The Roman general, for a time,
declined fighting, till finding an opportunity, he set fire to the
enemy's tents, and attacking them in the midst of the confusion,
killed forty thousand, and took six thousand prisoners.

23. The Carthaginians, terrified at their repeated defeats, and at the
fame of Scip'io's successes, determined to recall Hannibal, their
great champion, out of Italy, in order to oppose the Romans at home.
Deputies were accordingly despatched with a positive command for him
to return and oppose the Roman general, who at that time threatened
Carthage with a siege. 24. Nothing could exceed the regret and
disappointment of Hannibal; but he obeyed the orders of his infatuated
country with the submission of the meanest soldier; and took leave of
Italy with tears, after having kept possession of its most beautiful
parts above fifteen years.

25. Upon his arrival at Leptis, in Africa, he set out for Adrume'tum,
and at last approached Za'ma, a city about seventy-five miles from
Carthage. 26. Scip'io, in the mean time, led his army to meet him,
joined by Massinis'sa, with six thousand horse; and to show his rival
how little he feared his approach, sent back the spies which were
sent to explore his camp, having previously shown them the whole, with
directions to inform Hannibal of what they had seen. 27. The
Carthaginian general, conscious of his inferiority, endeavoured to
discontinue the war by negociation, and desired a meeting with.
Scip'io to confer upon terms of peace; to which the Roman general
assented. 28. But after a long conference, both sides parting
dissatisfied, they returned to their camps, to prepare for deciding
the controversy by the sword. 29. Never was a more memorable battle
fought, whether we regard the generals, the armies, the two states
that contended, or the empire that was in dispute. The disposition
Hannibal made of his men, is said to be superior to any even of his
former arrangements. 30. The battle began with the elephants on the
side of the Carthaginians, which being terrified at the cries of the
Romans, and wounded by the slingers and archers, turned upon their
drivers, and caused much confusion in both wings of their army, where
the cavalry were placed. 31. Being thus deprived of the assistance of
the horse, in which their greatest strength consisted, the heavy
infantry joined on both sides; but the Romans being stronger of body,
the Carthaginians gave ground. 32. In the mean time, Massinissa, who
had been in pursuit of their cavalry, returning and attacking them in
the rear, completed their-defeat. A total rout ensued, twenty thousand
men were killed, and as many taken prisoners. 33. Hannibal, who had
done all that a great and undaunted general could perform, fled with a
small body of horse to Adrume'tum; fortune seeming to delight in
confounding his ability, his valour, and experience.

34. This victory brought on a peace. The Carthaginians, by Hannibal's
advice, submitted to the conditions which the Romans dictated, not as
rivals, but as sovereigns. 35. By this treaty the Carthaginians were
obliged to quit Spain, and all the islands in the Mediterranean. They
were bound to pay ten thousand talents in fifty years; to give
hostages for the delivery of their ships and their elephants; to
restore to Massanis'sa all the territories that had been taken from
him; and not to make war in Africa but by the permission of the
Romans. Thus ended the second Punic war, seventeen years after it had

_Questions for Examination_.

1. By what measure did the senate attempt to retrieve this disaster?

2. Did Varro venture to return, and what was his reception?

3. Who were appointed to carry on the war?

4. What was Hannibal's next step?

5. What was the character of this city?

6. What was the consequence to the Carthaginian army?

7. Was Hannibal uniformly successful?

8. What was his first reverse?

9. What happened to him afterwards?

10. What resolution did the senate of Carthage adopt?

11. Did he effect a junction with his brother?

12. Was Hannibal apprised of these intended succours?

13. What inference did Hannibal draw from this?

14. Were the Romans successful in other parts?

15. What was the fate of its inhabitants?

16. Was his loss deplored?

17. What was the success of the Romans in Spain?

18. What was the character of Scipio?

19. What rendered him particularly eligible for this command?

20. Were his exploits confined to Spain?

21. Had he any formidable opposition to encounter?

22. What was the conduct of Scipio?

23. What measures did the Carthaginians have recourse to on this

24. Was Hannibal pleased at his recall?

25. Whither did he repair on his arrival in Africa?

26. What was the conduct of Scipio?

27. Was Hannibal desirous of continuing hostilities?

28. What was the result?

29. Was the battle of consequence?

30. How did it commence?

31. What followed?

32. What completed the defeat of the Carthaginians?

33. What became of Hannibal?

34. What was the result of the victory?

35. What were the conditions of the treaty?


[1] The first was in the reign of Numa.

[2] Hannibal has been blamed for not having marched to Rome
immediately after this victory; but his army was by no means adequate
to the siege of the city; and the allies of the Romans would have been
able to curtail his quarters and intercept his convoys. He was,
besides, badly provided with provisions and the munitions of war, both
of which he could procure by invading Campania, the course which he
actually pursued.

[3] This great man was equal to an army for the defence of the place.
He invented engines which threw enormous stones against the Romans,
hoisted their ships in the air, and then dashed them against the rocks
beneath, and dismounted their battering engines. He also set fire to
some of the Roman ships by the use of reflectors, or looking-glasses,
directing the sun's rays from a great number of them on the same spot
at the same time.

[4] During his command in Spain, a circumstance occurred which has
contributed more to the fame and glory of Scipio than all his military
exploits. At the taking of New Carthage, a lady of extraordinary
beauty was brought to Scipio, who found himself greatly affected by
her charms. Understanding, however, that she was betrothed to a
Celtibe'rian prince, named Allu'cius, he generously resolved to
conquer his rising passion, and sending for her lover, restored her
without any other recompence than requesting his friendship to the
republic. Her parents had brought a large sum of money for her ransom,
which they earnestly entreated Scipio to accept; but he generously
bestowed it on Allu'cius, as the portion of his bride. (Liv. l. xxvi.
c. 50.)

       *       *       *       *       *


     Beauteous Greece,
  Torn from her joys, in vain, with languid arm,
  Half raised her lusty shield.--_Dyer_.

1. While the Romans were engaged with Hannibal, they carried on also a
vigorous war against Philip, king of Ma'cedon, not a little incited
thereto by the prayers of the Athe'nians; who, from once controlling
the powers of Persia, were now unable to defend themselves. The
Rho'dians with At'talus, king of Per'gamus, also entered into the
confederacy against Philip. 2. He was more than once defeated by
Galba, the consul. He attempted to besiege Athens, but the Romans
obliged him to raise the siege. He tried to take possession of the
Straits of Thermop'ylæ, but was driven from thence by Quin'tus
Flamin'ius, with great slaughter. He attempted to take refuge in
Thes'saly, where he was again defeated, with considerable loss, and
obliged to beg a peace, upon condition of paying a thousand talents.
3. Peace with Philip gave the Romans an opportunity of showing their
generosity, by restoring liberty to Greece.

4. Antio'chus, king of Syria, was next brought to submit to the Roman
arms: after embassies on the one side and on the other, hostilities
were commenced against him five years after the conclusion of the
Macedo'nian war. 5. After many mistakes and great misconduct, he
attempted to obtain a peace, by offering to quit all his places in
Europe, and such in Asia as professed alliance to Rome. 6. But it was
now too late; Scip'io perceived his own superiority, and was resolved
to avail himself of it. 7. Antio'chus, thus driven into resistance,
for some time retreated before the enemy, till, being pressed hard,
near the city of Magnesia he was forced to draw out his men, to the
number of seventy thousand foot, and twelve thousand horse.

8. Scip'io opposed him with forces as much inferior in number, as they
were superior in courage and discipline. Antio'chus, therefore, was in
a short time entirely defeated; his own chariots, armed with scythes,
being driven back upon his men, contributed much to his overthrow. 9.
Being thus reduced to the last extremity, he was glad to procure peace
from the Romans, upon their own terms; which were, to pay fifteen
thousand talents; to quit his possessions in Europe, and in Asia, on
the hither side of Mount Taurus; to give twenty hostages, as pledges
of his fidelity; and to deliver up Hannibal, the inveterate enemy of
Rome, who had taken refuge at his court.

10. In the mean time Hannibal, whose destruction was one of the
articles of this extorted treaty, endeavoured to avoid the threatened
ruin. 11. This consummate general had long been a wanderer, and an
exile from his ungrateful country. He had taken refuge at the court of
Antio'chus who, at first, gave him a sincere welcome, and made
him admiral of his fleet, in which station he showed his usual
skill in stratagem.

[Illustration: Death of Hannibal]

12. But he soon sunk in the Syrian's esteem for projecting schemes
which that monarch had neither genius to understand, nor talents to
execute. 13. Sure, therefore, to find no safety or protection, he
departed by stealth; and, after wandering for a time among the petty
states, which had neither power nor generosity to protect him, he took
refuge at the court of Pru'sias, king of Bythin'ia. 14. In the mean
time, the Romans, with a vindictive spirit utterly unworthy of them,
sent Æmil'ius, one of their most celebrated generals, to demand him of
this king; who, fearing the resentment of Rome, and willing to
conciliate their friendship by this breach of hospitality, ordered a
guard to be placed upon Hannibal, with an intent to deliver him up.
15. The poor old general, thus implacably persecuted from one country
to another, and finding every method of safety cut off, determined to
die. He, therefore, desired one of his followers to bring him poison;
and drinking it, he expired as he had lived, with intrepid bravery.

[Sidenote: U. C 513]

16. A second Macedo'nian war was soon after proclaimed against
Per'seus, the son of that Philip who had been obliged to beg peace of
the Romans. 17. Perseus, in order to secure the crown, had murdered
his brother Deme'trius; and, upon the death of his father, pleased
with the hopes of imaginary triumphs, made war against Rome. 18,
During the course of this war, which continued about three years,
opportunities were offered him of cutting off the Roman army; but
being ignorant how to take advantage of their rashness, he spent the
time in empty overtures for peace. 19. At length Æmil'ius gave
him a decisive overthrow. He attempted to procure safety by flying
into Crete: but being abandoned by all, he was obliged to surrender
himself, and to grace the splendid triumph of the Roman general.[1]

20. About this time Massinis'sa, the Numidian, having made some
incursions into a territory claimed by the Carthaginians, they
attempted to repel the invasion. 21. This brought on a war between
that monarch and them; while the Romans, who pretended to consider
this conduct of theirs as an infraction of the treaty, sent to make a
complaint. 22. The ambassadors who were employed upon this occasion,
finding the city very rich and flourishing, from the long interval of
peace which it had now enjoyed for nearly fifty years, either from
motives of avarice to possess its plunder, or from fear of its growing
greatness, insisted much on the necessity of a war, which was soon
after proclaimed, and the consuls set out with a thorough resolution
utterly to demolish Carthage.

The territory thus invaded by Massinis'sa, was Tysca, a rich province,
undoubtedly belonging to the Carthaginians. One of the ambassadors
sent from Rome was the celebrated Cato, the censor, who, whatever his
virtues may have been, appears to have imbibed an inveterate hatred to
Carthage. For, on whatever subject he debated in the senate, he never
failed to conclude in these words, "I am also of opinion that Carthage
should be destroyed." The war, however, which had broken out in Spain,
and the bad success of the Roman arms in that quarter, for some time
delayed the fate of that devoted city; and it might, perhaps, have
stood much longer, had not some seditious demagogues incited the
populace to insult the Roman ambassador, and to banish those senators
who voted for peace.

To account for the apparent pusillanimity of the Carthaginians, it is
necessary to observe, that they had suffered repeated defeats in their
war with Massinis'sa; and that fifty thousand of their troops, after
having been blocked up in their camp till from want they were obliged
to submit to the most humiliating conditions, were inhumanly massacred
by Gulus'sa, the son of the Numidian king. The Romans chose this
distressing juncture to declare war against them.

As one proof of their sincere desire for peace, they had
previously delivered up to the Romans all their arms and warlike
engines, of which they possessed prodigious magazines; thus leaving
themselves still more defenceless than before.

23. The wretched Carthaginians, finding that the conquerors would not
desist from making demands, while the vanquished had any thing to
give, attempted to soften the victors by submission; but they received
orders to leave the city, which was to be levelled with the ground.
24. This severe command they received with all the distress of a
despairing people: they implored for a respite from such a hard
sentence: they used tears and lamentations; but finding the consuls
inexorable, they departed with a gloomy resolution, prepared to suffer
the utmost extremities, and fight to the last for their seat of

25. Those vessels, therefore, of gold and silver, which their luxury
had taken such pride in, were converted into arms. The women parted
also with their ornaments, and even cut off their hair to be converted
into strings for the bowmen. As'drubal, who had been lately condemned
for opposing the Romans, was now taken from prison to head their army;
and such preparations were made, that when the consuls came before the
city, which they expected to find an easy conquest, they met with such
resistance as quite dispirited their forces and shook their
resolution. 26. Several engagements were fought before the walls, with
disadvantage to the assailants; so that the siege would have been
discontinued, had not Scip'io Æmilia'nus, the adopted son of
Africa'nus, who was now appointed to command it, used as much skill to
save his forces after a defeat, as to inspire them with fresh hopes of
a victory. 27. But all his arts would have failed, had he not found
means to seduce Phar'nes, the master of the Carthaginian horse, who
came over to his side. The unhappy townsmen soon saw the enemy make
nearer approaches; the wall which led to the haven was quickly
demolished; soon after the forum itself was taken, which offered to
the conquerors a deplorable spectacle of houses nodding to their fall,
heaps of men lying dead, hundreds of the wounded struggling to emerge
from the carnage around them, and deploring their own and their
country's ruin. The citadel soon after surrendered at discretion. 28.
All now but the temple was subdued, and that was defended by deserters
from the Roman army, and those who had been most forward to undertake
the war. These expected no mercy, and finding their condition desperate,
set fire to the building, and voluntarily perished in the flames. This
was the end of one of the most renowned cities in the world, for arts,
opulence, and extent of dominion; it had rivalled Rome for above a
hundred years, and, at one time, was thought to have the superiority.

[Illustration: Destruction of Carthage.]

29. The conquest of Carthage was soon followed by many others. The
same year Corinth, one of the noblest cities of Greece, was levelled
to the ground. Scip'io also having laid siege to Numan'tia, the
strongest city in Spain, the wretched inhabitants, to avoid falling
into the hands of the enemy, fired the city, over their own heads; and
all, to a man, expired in the flames. Thus Spain became a Roman
province, and was governed thenceforward by two annual prætors.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. With whom were the Romans at war besides Carthage, and who assisted
in it?

2. What was the success of Philip in this war?

3. What was the consequence of peace with Philip?

4. Who next fell under the displeasure of the Romans?

5. What was the result?

6. Were his offers accepted?

7. Did Antiochus boldly face the Romans?

8. What were the strength and character of the Roman army, and what
the result of the battle?

9. Was he able to make further resistance?

10. Was Hannibal delivered up?

11. What occasioned Hannibal to put himself in the power of Antiochus?

12. Was this kindness lasting?

13. Whither did he next betake himself?

14. Was he in safety at this court?

15. How did Hannibal escape his persecution?

16. Against whom did the Romans next direct their arms?

17. What occasioned it?

18. Was Perseus a skilful general?

19. What was the result of the war?

20. What farther happened about this time?

21. What was the consequence?

22. Was this misunderstanding peaceably accommodated?

23. By what means did the Carthaginians endeavour to avert their fate?

24. Did they obey these orders?

25. What extraordinary efforts were made for the defence of the city?

26. Were the Romans successful in their attempts?

27. Describe the progress of the siege.

28. Was the city now completely in the power of the Romans?

29. What other conquests were made by the Romans?


[1] From this time, Macedon became a Roman province.

       *       *       *       *       *



GRACCHI.--U.C. 621.

  Seldom is faction's ire in haughty minds
  Extinguished but by death; it oft, like flame
  Suppressed, breaks forth again, and blazes higher.--_May._

1. The Romans being now left without a rival, the triumphs and the
spoils of Asia introduced a taste for splendid expense, and this
produced avarice and inverted ambition. 2. The two Gracchi were the
first who saw this strange corruption among the great, and resolved to
repress it, by renewing the Licinian law, which had enacted that no
person in the state should possess above five hundred acres of land.
3. Tibe'rius Gracchus, the elder of the two, was, both for the
advantages of his person and the qualities of his mind, very different
from Scipio, of whom he was the grandson. He seemed more ambitious of
power than desirous of glory; his compassion for the oppressed was
equal to his animosity against the oppressors; but unhappily his
passions, rather than his reason, operated even in his pursuits
of virtue; and these always drove him beyond the line of duty. 4. This
was the disposition of the elder Gracchus, who found the lower orders
of people ready to second all his proposals. 5. The above law, though
at first carried on with proper moderation, greatly disgusted the
rich, who endeavoured to persuade the people that the proposer only
aimed at disturbing the government, and throwing all things into
confusion. 6. But Gracchus, who was a man of the greatest eloquence of
his time, easily wiped off these impressions from the minds of the
people, already irritated by their wrongs, and at length the law was

7. The death of At'talus, king of Per'gamus, furnished Gracchus with a
new opportunity of gratifying the meaner part of the people at the
expense of the great. 8. This king had by his last will made the
Romans his heirs; and it was now proposed, that the money so left
should be divided among the poor, in order to furnish them with proper
utensils for cultivating the lands which became theirs by the late law
of partition. 9. This caused still greater disturbances than before,
and the senate assembled upon the occasion, in order to concert the
most proper methods of securing these riches to themselves, which they
now valued above the safety of the commonwealth. 10. They had numerous
dependents, who were willing to give up liberty for plenty and ease.
These, therefore, were commanded to be in readiness to intimidate the
people, who expected no such opposition, and who were now attending to
the harangues of Gracchus in the capitol. 11. Here, as a clamour was
raised by the clients of the great on one side, and by the favourers
of the law on the other, Gracchus found his speech entirely
interrupted, and begged in vain to be attended to; till at last,
raising his hand to his head, to intimate that his life was in danger,
the partisans of the senate gave out that he wanted a diadem. 12. In
consequence of this an universal uproar spread itself through all
ranks of the people; the corrupt part of the senate were of opinion
that the consul should defend the commonwealth by force of arms; but
this prudent magistrate declining such violence, Scip'io Nas'ica,
kinsman to Gracchus, immediately rose up, and preparing himself for
the contest, desired that all who would defend the dignity and
authority of the laws, should follow him. 13. Upon this, attended by a
large body of senators and clients armed with clubs, he went directly
to the Capitol, striking down all who ventured to resist.

14. Tibe'rius Gracchus, perceiving by the tumult that his life was in
danger, endeavoured to fly; and throwing away his robe to expedite his
escape, attempted to get through the throng; but happening to fall
over a person already on the ground, Sature'ius, one of his colleagues
in the tribuneship, who was of the opposite faction, struck him dead
with a piece of a seat; and not less than three hundred of his hearers
shared the same fate, being killed in the tumult. 15. Nor did the
vengeance of the senate rest here, but extended to numbers of those
who seemed to espouse his cause; many of them were put to death, many
were banished, and nothing was omitted to inspire the people with an
abhorrence of his pretended crimes. Soon after the death of Gracchus a
rebellion broke out in Sicily among the slaves, who, exasperated by
the cruelties exercised upon them by their masters, revolted, and
having seized Enna, chose one Eunus for their king. This new monarch
gained considerable advantages over the Romans, took the strong city
of Tauromin'ium, and protracted the war upwards of six years. At
length he was completely defeated by the consul Rupil'ius, and his
followers slaughtered or executed: as for Eunus, he died in prison.

16. Ca'ius Gracchus was but twenty-one upon the death of Tibe'rius his
brother; and as he was too young to be much dreaded by the great, so
he was at first unwilling to incur their resentment by aims beyond his
reach; he therefore lived in retirement, unseen and forgotten. 17.
But, while he thus seemed desirous of avoiding popularity, he was
employed in his solitude in the study of eloquence, which was the
surest means to obtain it. 18. At length, when he thought himself
qualified to serve his country, he offered himself a candidate for the
_quæstorship_ to the army in Sardin'ia, which he easily obtained. His
valour, affability, and temperance in this office were remarked by
all. 19. The king of Numid'ia sending a present of corn to the Romans,
ordered his ambassadors to say, that it was a tribute to the virtues
of Ca'ius Gracchus. 20. This the senate treated with scorn, and
ordered the ambassadors to be treated with contempt, as ignorant
barbarians, which so inflamed the resentment of young Gracchus, that
he immediately came from the army to complain of the indignity thrown
upon his reputation, and to offer himself for the tribuneship of the
people. 21. It was then that this youth, who had been hitherto
neglected, proved a more formidable enemy than even his brother
had been. Notwithstanding the warmest opposition from the senate, he
was declared tribune by a very large majority; and he now prepared for
the career which his brother had run before him.

22. His first effort was to have Pompil'ius, one of the most
inveterate of his brother's enemies, cited before the people; but
rather than stand the event of a trial, he chose to go into voluntary
banishment. 23. He next procured an edict, granting the freedom of the
city to the inhabitants of La'tium, and soon after to all the people
on the hither side of the Alps. 24. He afterwards fixed the price of
corn at a moderate standard, and procured a monthly distribution of it
among the people. 25. He then proceeded to an inspection into the late
corruptions of the senate; in which the whole body being convicted of
bribery, extortion, and the sale of offices (for at that time a total
degeneracy seemed to have taken place,) a law was made, transferring
the power of judging corrupt magistrates from the senate to the
knights, which made a great alteration in the constitution.

26. Gracchus, by these means, being grown not only popular, but
powerful, was become an object at which the senate aimed all their
resentment. 27. But he soon found the populace a faithless and
unsteady support. They began to withdraw all their confidence from
him, and to place it upon Drusus, a man insidiously set up against him
by the senate. 28. It was in vain that he revived the Licin'ian law in
their favour, and called up several of the inhabitants of the
different towns of Italy to his support; the senate ordered all to
depart from Rome, and even sent one stranger to prison whom Gracchus
had invited to live with him, and honoured with his table and
friendship. 29. To this indignity was shortly after added a disgrace
of a more fatal tendency; for, standing for the tribuneship a third
time, he was rejected. It was supposed that the officers, whose duty
it was to make the return, were bribed to reject him, though fairly

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What consequences followed this great prosperity of the Roman arms?

2. Who first resolved to repress the corruption which had taken place
in the manners of the people?

3. What was the character of Tiberius Gracchus?

4. Had he any influence with the people?

5. How was the Licinian law received?

6. Did the people believe them?

7. What furthered his views?

8. What advantages occurred to the Romans by his death?

9. What was the effect of this will?

10. What measures did they adopt for this purpose?

11. What was the consequence of their interference?

12. Was this insinuation believed?

13. Did Scipio use violence?

14. What was the fate of Gracchus and his friends?

15. Were his enemies satisfied with this vengeance?

16. What became of Caius Gracchus in the mean time?

17. Was he really desirous of avoiding popularity?

18. In what way did he bring himself into notice?

19. What proof of esteem was given him?

20. How was this compliment received?

21. What was the consequence of this resentment?

22. What was his first effort?

23. What was his next act?

24. What was the next?

25. What followed?

26. What was the consequence of these acts?

27. Did he find steady friends?

28. Were his measures of precaution successful?

29. What farther indignities did he experience?


  Say, Romans, whence so dire a fury rose,
  To glut with Latin blood your barbarous foes?
  Could you in wars like these provoke your fate?
  Wars, where no triumphs on the victors wait?--_Rowe's Lucan_.

1. It was now seen that the fate of Gracchus was resolved on.
Opim'ius, the consul, was not contented with the protection of the
senate, the knights, and a numerous retinue of slaves and clients; he
ordered a body of Candians, who were mercenaries in the Roman service,
to follow and attend him. 2. Thus guarded, and conscious of the
superiority of his forces, he insulted Gracchus whereever he met him,
doing all in his power to produce a quarrel, in which he might have a
pretence for despatching his enemy in the fray. 3. Gracchus avoided
all recrimination, and, as if apprised of the consul's designs, would
not even wear any arms for his defence. 4. His friend Ful'vius
Flaccus, however, a zealous tribune, was not so remiss, but resolved
to oppose party against party, and for this purpose brought up several
countrymen to Rome, who came under pretence of desiring
employment. 5. When the day for determining the controversy was
arrived, the two parties, early in the morning, attended at the
Capitol, where, while the consul was sacrificing, according to custom,
one of the lictors taking up the entrails of the beast that was slain
in order to remove them, could not forbear crying out to Flac'cus and
his party, "Make way, ye factious citizens, for honest men." 6. This
insult so provoked, the party to whom it was addressed, that they
instantly fell upon him, and pierced him to death with the instruments
they used in writing, which they then happened to have in their hands.
7. This murder caused a great disturbance in the assembly. Gracchus,
who saw the consequences that were likely to ensue, reprimanded his
party for giving his enemies such advantage over him; and now prepared
to lead his followers to Mount Av'entine. 8. It was there he learned,
that a proclamation had been made by the consuls, that whosoever
should bring either his head, or that of Flaccus, should receive its
weight in gold as a reward. 9. It was to no purpose that he sent the
youngest son of Flaccus, who was yet a child, with proposals for an
accommodation. The senate and the consuls, who were sensible of their
superiority, rejected all his offers, and resolved to punish his
offence with nothing less than death; and they offered pardon also to
all who should leave him immediately. 10. This produced the desired
effect; the people fell from him by degrees, and left him with very
inferior forces. 11. In the meantime, Opim'ius, the consul, who
thirsted for slaughter, leading his forces up to Mount Av'entine, fell
in among the crowd with ungovernable fury. A terrible slaughter of the
scarcely resisting multitude ensued, and not less than three thousand
citizens were slain upon the spot. 12. Flaccus attempted to find
shelter in a ruinous cottage; but, being discovered, was slain, with
his eldest son. Gracchus, at first, retired to the temple of Dian'a,
where he resolved to die by his own hand, but was prevented by two of
his faithful friends and followers, Pompo'nius and Lucin'ius, who
forced him to seek safety by flight. Thence he made the best of his
way across a bridge that led from the city, still attended by his two
generous friends, and a Grecian slave, whose name was Philoc'rates.
13. But his pursuers still pressed upon him from behind, and when come
to the foot of the bridge, he was obliged to turn and face the enemy.
His two friends were soon slain, defending him against the crowd; and
he was forced to take refuge, with his slave, in a grove beyond
the Ti'ber, which had long been dedicated to the Furies. 14. Here,
finding himself surrounded on every side, and no way left of escaping,
he prevailed upon his slave to despatch him. The slave immediately
after killed himself, and fell down upon the body of his beloved
master. The pursuers coming up, cut off the head of Gracchus, and
placed it for a while as a trophy on a spear. 15. Soon after, one
Septimule'ius carried it home, and taking out the brain artfully
filled it with lead, in order to increase its weight, and then
received of the consul seventeen pounds of gold as his recompence.

16. Thus died Cai'us Gracchus. He is usually impeached by historians,
as guilty of sedition; but from what we see of his character, the
disturbance of public tranquillity was rather owing to his opposers
than to him; so that, instead of calling the tumults of that time the
sedition of the Gracchi, we should rather call them the sedition of
the senate against the Gracchi; since the efforts of the latter were
made in vindication of a law to which the senate had assented; and the
designs of the former were supported by an extraneous armed power from
the country, that had never before meddled in the business of
legislation, and whose introduction gave a most irrecoverable blow to
the constitution. 17. Whether the Gracchi were actuated by motives of
ambition or of patriotism, in the promulgation of the law, it is
impossible to determine; but from what appears, justice was on their
side, and all injury on that of the senate. 18. In fact, this body was
now changed from that venerable assembly, which we have seen
overthrowing Pyr'rhus and Hannibal, as much by their virtues as their
arms. They were now only to be distinguished from the rest of the
people by their superior luxuries; and ruled the commonwealth by the
weight of an authority gained from riches and mercenary dependents.
19. The venal and the base were attached to them from motives of
self-interest; and they who still ventured to be independent, were
borne down, and entirely lost in an infamous majority. 20. In short,
the empire at this period came under the government of a hateful
aristocracy; the tribunes, who were formerly accounted protectors of
the people, becoming rich themselves, and having no longer opposite
interests from those of the senate, concurred in their oppressions;
for the struggle was not now between patricians and plebeians, who
only nominally differed, but between the rich and the poor. 21.
The lower orders of the state being by these means reduced to a degree
of hopeless subjection, instead of looking after liberty, only sought
for a leader; while the rich, with all the suspicion of tyrants,
terrified at the slightest appearance of opposition, entrusted men
with uncontrollable power, from whom they had not strength to withdraw
it when the danger was over. 22. Thus both parties of the state
concurred in giving up their freedom; the fears of the senate first
made the dictator, and the hatred of the people kept him in his
office. Nothing can be more dreadful to a thinking mind than the
government of Rome from this period, till it found refuge under the
protection of Augus'tus.[1]

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What appearances now threatened the life of Gracchus?

2. How did he commence hostilities?

3. How did Gracchus attempt to divert the storm?

4. Were his friends equally prudent?

5. What unhappy incident increased the animosity?

6. How was this insult revenged?

7. What was the consequence of this outrage?

8. What news did he hear on his arrival?

9. Did he attempt to conciliate his enemies, and were his attempts

10. Was this offer accepted?

11. What was the conduct of the consul?

12. What was the fate of the chiefs?

13. Did Gracchus effect his escape?

14. Did he fall into the hands of his enemies?

15. What artifice did avarice contrive?

16.' Was the conduct of Gracchus deserving of praise or blame?

17. By what motives were the Gracchi supposed to be actuated?

18. What was the character of the senate at this period?

19. What was the character of their adherents?

20. What was the nature of their government?

31. What concurred to perpetuate this tyranny?


[1] From the death of Gracchus until the first consulship of Marius,
Rome was governed by a venal and profligate oligarchy, formed from a
coalition of the most powerful families. Shame was unknown to this
body; the offices of state were openly sold to the highest bidder,
redress of grievances was to be obtained only by paying a heavier sum
for vengeance than the oppressor would give for impunity: advocacy of
popular rights was punished as treason, and complaints were treated as
criminal acts of sedition. The young patricians, under such a system,
became the scourge of the state, for nothing remained safe from their
violence or their lust, when the monopoly of judicial office by their
friends and relatives insured them impunity for every excess, however
flagrant or disgraceful.

       *       *       *       *       *




  By brutal Marius, and keen Sylla, first
  Effused the deluge dire of civil blood,
  Unceasing woes began.--_Thomson_.

1. While the Romans were in this state of deplorable corruption at
home, they nevertheless were very successful in their transactions
with foreign powers.

2. Among other victories, a signal one was gained over Jugur'tha, king
of Numid'ia. He was grandson to Massinis'sa, who sided with Rome
against Hannibal, and educated with the two young princes, who were
left to inherit the kingdom. 3. Being superior in abilities to both,
and greatly in favour with the people, he murdered Hiemp'sal, the
eldest son, but Adher'bal, the younger, escaped, and fled to the
Romans for succour. 4. Jugur'tha, sensible how much avarice and
injustice had crept into the senate, sent his ambassadors to Rome with
large presents, which so successfully prevailed, that the senate
decreed him half the kingdom thus acquired by murder and usurpation,
and sent ten commissioners to divide it between him and Adher'bal. 5.
The commissioners, of whom Opim'ius, the enemy of Gracchus, was one,
willing to follow the example which the senate had set them, were also
bribed to bestow the richest and most populous parts of that kingdom
upon the usurper. 6. But Jugur'tha resolved to possess himself of the
whole: and willing to give a colour to his ambition, he only made, in
the beginning, incursions in order to provoke reprisals, which he knew
how to convert into seeming aggression. 7. This scheme failing, he
resolved to throw off the mask, and besieging Adher'bal in Cirta, his
capital, he at length got him into his power, and murdered him. 8. The
Roman people, who had still some generosity remaining, unanimously
complained of this treachery, and procured a decree that Jugur'tha
should be summoned in person before them, to give an account of all
such as had accepted bribes. 9. Jugur'tha made no difficulty of
throwing himself upon the clemency of Rome; but not giving the
people satisfaction, he had orders to depart the city.[1] 10. In the
meantime, Alba'nus, the consul, was sent with an army to follow him,
who giving up the direction of it to Au'lus, his brother; a person who
was every way unqualified for the command, the Romans were compelled
to hazard a battle upon disadvantageous terms; and the whole army, to
avoid being cut to pieces, was obliged to pass under the yoke.

11. In this condition Metel'lus, the succeeding consul, found affairs
upon his arrival in Numid'ia; officers in whom the soldiers had no
confidence, an army without discipline, and an enemy ever watchful and
intriguing. 12. However, by his great attention to business, and by
integrity that shuddered at corruption, he soon began to retrieve the
affairs of Rome, and the credit of the army. In the space of two
years, Jugur'tha was overthrown in several battles, forced out of his
own dominions, and constrained to beg a peace. 13. Thus all things
promised Metel'lus a happy termination of the war; but he was
frustrated in his expectations by the intrigues of Ca'ius Ma'rius, his
lieutenant, who came in to reap that harvest of glory which the
other's industry had sown. 14. Ca'ius Ma'rius was born in a village
near Apin'ium, of poor parents, who gained their living by their
labour. As he had been bred up in a participation of their toils, his
manners were as rude as his countenance was frightful. He was a man of
extraordinary stature, incomparable strength, and undaunted bravery.

15. When Metel'lus was obliged to solicit at Rome for a continuance of
his command, Ma'rius, whose ambition knew no bounds, was resolved to
obtain it for himself, and thus gain all the glory of putting an end
to the war. 16. To that end he privately inveighed against Metel'lus
by his emissaries at Rome, and having excited a spirit of discontent
against him, he had leave granted him to go there to stand for the
consulship, which he obtained, contrary to the expectation and
interest of the nobles.

17. Marius, being thus invested with the supreme power of managing the
war, showed himself every way fit for the commission. His vigilance
was equal to his valour, and he quickly made himself master of the
cities which Jugur'tha had yet remaining in Numid'ia.[2] 18. This
unfortunate prince, finding himself unable to make opposition singly
was obliged to have recourse for assistance to Bocchus, king of
Maurita'nia, to whose daughter he was married. A battle soon after
ensued, in which the Numid'ians surprised the Roman camp by night, and
gained a temporary advantage. However, it was but of short
continuance, for Ma'rius soon after overthrew them in two signal
engagements, in one of which not less than ninety thousand of the
African army were slain. 19. Bocchus now finding the Romans too
powerful to be resisted, did not think it expedient to hazard his own
crown, to protect that of his ally; he, therefore, determined to make
peace, upon whatever conditions he might obtain it; and accordingly
sent to Rome, imploring protection. 20. The senate received the
ambassadors with their usual haughtiness, and without complying with
their request, granted the suppliant, not their friendship, but their
pardon. Notwithstanding, after some time, he was given to understand,
that the delivering up of Jugur'tha to the Romans would, in some
measure, conciliate their favour, and soften their resentment. 21. At
first the pride of Bocchus struggled against such a proposal; but a
few interviews with Sylla reconciled him to this treacherous measure,
and Jugur'tha was given up, being drawn into an ambuscade by the
specious pretences of his ally, who deluded him by desiring a
conference; and being made a prisoner, he was loaded with chains, and
carried by Ma'rius to Rome, a deplorable instance of blighted
ambition. 22. He did not long survive his overthrow, being condemned
by the senate to be starved to death in prison, a short time after he
had been made to adorn the triumph of the conqueror.[3]

23. Ma'rius, by this and two succeeding victories over the Gauls,
having become very formidable to distant nations in war, became soon
after much more dangerous to his fellow-citizens in peace. 24. The
strength which he had given to the popular party every day grew more
conspicuous, and the Italians, being frustrated by the intrigues of
the senate in their aims of gaining the freedom of Rome, resolved upon
obtaining by force, what was refused them as a favour. This gave rise
to the Social War, in which most of the states of Italy entered into a
confederacy against Rome, in order to obtain a redress of their

25. After a lapse of two years, this war having continued to rage with
doubtful success, the senate began to reflect that, whether conquered
or conquerors, the power of the Romans was in danger of being
destroyed. 26. To soften, therefore, their compliance by degrees, they
began by giving the freedom of the city to such of the Italian states
as had not revolted. They then offered it to such as would lay down
their arms. 27. This unexpected bounty had its effect; the allies,
with mutual distrust, offered each a separate treaty; the senate took
them one by one into favour, but gave the freedom of the city in such
a manner, that, not being empowered to vote until all the other tribes
had given their suffrages, they had very little weight in the

28. This destructive war being concluded, the senate began to think of
turning their arms against Mithrida'tes, the most powerful and warlike
monarch of the east.[4] 29. For this expedition Ma'rius had long been
preparing, but Sylla had interest enough to get himself appointed to
the expedition. Ma'rius, however, tried all his arts with the people
to get his appointment reversed; and the command of the army, intended
to oppose Mithrida'tes, was ordered to be transferred from Sylla to
Ma'rius. 30. In consequence of this, Ma'rius immediately sent officers
from Rome, to take the command in his name. But instead of being
obeyed, the officers were slain, and Sylla was entreated by the army
to lead them directly to take signal vengeance upon all his enemies at

31. Accordingly, his soldiers entered the city sword in hand, as
a place taken by storm. Ma'rius and Sulpi'cius, at the head of a
tumultuary body of their partisans, attempted to oppose their
entrance; and the citizens themselves, who feared the sackage of the
place, threw down stones and tiles from the houses upon the intruders.
32. So unequal a conflict lasted longer than could have been expected;
at length Ma'rius and his party were obliged to seek safety by flight,
after having vainly offered liberty to the slaves who would assist

_Questions for Examination._

1. Was this internal degeneracy of the Roman people accompanied by ill
success abroad?

2. What signal victory did they obtain, and who was Jugurtha?

3. By what means did he obtain the crown?

4. How did he propitiate the Romans?

5. How did these commissoners? discharge their trust?

6. Was Jugurtha satisfied with this allotment?

7. Did this answer his purpose?

8. Did the Romans suffer this treachery to pass unpunished?

9. Did Jugurtha obey this summons?

10. Were hostilities commenced against him, and what was the result?

11. What was the condition of the army when Metellus assumed the

12. Did this deplorable state continue?

13. Did Metellus enjoy the fruits of his victories?

14. Who was Caius Marius?

15. What resolution did he adopt?

16. By what artifices did he succeed in his design?

17. What was the conduct of Marius in his new command?

18. To whom did Jugurtha have recourse in his extremity?

19. Did Bocchus continue to befriend Jugurtha?

20. Was his request complied with?

21. Did Bocchus submit to this condition?

22. What became of Jugurtha after this?

23. How did Marius conduct himself after his victories?

24. What was the consequence of his attempts at popularity?

25. Was this war of long continuance?

26. What measure did the senate adopt to end it?

27. What was the consequence of this measure?

28. Against whom did the senate next turn their arms?

29. Who was appointed to command this expedition?

30. What was the consequence of this order?

31. Did Sylla comply with their request?

32. What was the issue of the contest?

[Illustration: Marius sitting among the Ruins of Carthage.]


                      It is a vain attempt
  To bind th' ambitious and unjust by treaties.--_Thomson_.

1. Sylla, now finding himself master of the city, began by modelling
the laws so as to favour his outrages; while Ma'rius, driven out of
Rome and declared a public enemy at the age of seventy, was obliged to
save himself, unattended and on foot, from the pursuit of those who
sought his life. 2. After having wandered for some time in this
deplorable condition, he found every day his dangers increase, and his
pursuers making nearer advances. In this distress he concealed himself
in the marshes of Mintur'næ, where he continued a night up to the chin
in a quagmire. 3. At break of day he left this dismal place, and made
towards the seaside, in hopes of finding a ship to facilitate his
escape; but being known and discovered by some of the inhabitants, he
was conducted to a neighbouring town, with a halter round his neck,
without clothes, and covered with mud; and in this condition was sent
to prison. 4. The governor of the place, willing to conform to the
orders of the senate, soon after sent a Cim'brian slave to despatch
him; but the barbarian no sooner entered the dungeon for this purpose
than he stopped short, intimidated by the dreadful visage and awful
voice of the fallen general, who sternly demanded if he had the
presumption to kill Ca'ius Ma'rius? The slave, unable to reply, threw
down his sword, and rushing back from the prison, cried
out, that he found it impossible to kill him! 5. The governor,
considering the fear of the slave as an omen in the unhappy exile's
favour, gave him his freedom; and, commending him to his fortune,
provided him with a ship to convey him from Italy. 6. He was forced by
a tempest on the coast of Sicily. A Roman quæstor, who happened to be
there, resolved to seize him; and he lost sixteen of his crew, who
were killed in their endeavours to cover his retreat to the ship. He
afterwards landed in Africa, near Carthage, and, overwhelmed with
melancholy, sat himself down amongst the ruins of that desolate place.
He soon, however had orders from the prætor to retire. 7. Marius, who
remembered his having once served this very man in necessity, could
not suppress his indignation at finding ingratitude every where: and,
preparing to obey, bid the messenger tell his master, that he had seen
Ma'rius sitting among the ruins of Carthage; intimating the greatness
of his fall, by the desolation that was around him. 8. He once more
embarked, and not knowing where to land without encountering an enemy,
he spent the winter at sea, expecting every hour the return of a
messenger from his son, whom he had sent to solicit protection from
the African prince, Mandras'tal. 9. After long expectation, instead of
the messenger, his son himself arrived, having escaped from the
inhospitable court of that monarch, where he had been kept, not as a
friend, but as a prisoner, and had returned just time enough to
prevent his father from sharing the same fate. 10. In this situation
they were informed that Cinna, one of their party who had remained at
Rome, had put himself at the head of a large army, collected out of
the Italian states, who had espoused his cause. Nor was it long before
they joined their forces at the gates of Rome. Sylla was at that time
absent in his command against Mithri'dates. 11. Cinna marched into the
city; but Ma'rius stopped, and refused to enter, alleging, that having
been banished by a public decree, it was necessary to have another to
authorise his return. It was thus that he desired to give his
meditated cruelties the appearance of justice; and while he was about
to destroy thousands, to pretend an implicit veneration for the laws.
12. An assembly of the people being called, they began to reverse his
banishment; but they had scarcely gone through three of the tribes,
when, incapable of restraining his desire of revenge, he entered the
city at the head of his guards, and massacred all who had been
obnoxious to him, without remorse or pity. 13. Several who sought to
propitiate the tyrant's rage, were murdered by his command in his
presence; many even of those who had never offended him were put to
death; and, at last, even his own officers never approached him but
with terror. 14. Having in this manner satiated his revenge, he next
abrogated all the laws which were enacted by his rival, and then made
himself consul with Cinna. 15. Thus gratified in his two favourite
passions, vengeance and ambition, having once saved his country, and
now deluged it with blood, at last, as if willing to crown the pile of
slaughter which he had made, with his own body, he died the month
after, not without suspicion of having hastened his end. 16. In the
mean time these accounts were brought to Sylla, who had been sent
against Mithrida'tes, and who was performing many signal exploits
against him; hastily concluding a peace, therefore, he returned home
to take vengeance on his enemies at Rome. 17. Nothing could intimidate
Cinna from attempting to repel his opponent. Being joined by Car'bo,
(now elected in the room of Vale'rius, who had been slain) together
with young Ma'rius, who inherited all the abilities and the ambition
of his father, he determined to send over part of the forces he had
raised in Dalma'tia to oppose Sylla before he entered Italy. Some
troops were accordingly embarked; but being dispersed by a storm, the
others that had not yet put to sea, absolutely refused to go. 18. Upon
this, Cinna, quite furious at their disobedience, rushed forward to
persuade them to their duty. In the mean time one of the most mutinous
of the soldiers being struck by an officer, returned the blow, and was
apprehended for his crime. This ill-timed severity produced a tumult
and a mutiny through the whole army; and, while Cinna did all he could
to appease it, he was run through the body by one of the crowd. 19.
Scip'io, the consul, who commanded against Sylla, was soon after
allured by proposals for a treaty; but a suspension of arms being
agreed upon, Sylla's soldiers went into the opposite camp, displaying
those riches which they had acquired in their expeditions, and
offering to participate with their fellow-citizens, in case they
changed their party. 20. In consequence of this the whole army
declared unanimously for Sylla; and Scip'io scarcely knew that he was
forsaken and deposed, till he was informed of it by a party of the
enemy, who, entering his tent, made him and his son prisoners.

21. In this manner both factions, exasperated to the highest
degree, and expecting no mercy on either part, gave vent to their fury
in several engagements. The forces on the side of young Ma'rius, who
now succeeded his father in command, were the most numerous, but those
of Sylla better united, and more under subordination. 22. Carbo, who
commanded for Ma'rius in the field, sent eight legions to Prænes'te,
to relieve his colleague, but they were met by Pompey, afterwards
surnamed the Great, in a defile, who slew many of them, and dispersed
the rest. Carbo soon after engaged Metel'lus, but was overcome, with
the loss of ten thousand slain, and six thousand taken prisoners. 23.
In consequence, Urba'nus, one of the consuls, killed himself, and
Carbo fled to Africa, where, after wandering a long time, he was at
last delivered up to Pompey, who, to please Sylla, ordered him to be
beheaded. 24. Sylla, now become undisputed master of his country,
entered Rome at the head of his army. Happy, had he supported in peace
the glory which he had acquired in war; or, had he ceased to live when
he ceased to conquer!

25. Eight thousand men, who had escaped the general carnage,
surrendered themselves to the conqueror; he ordered them to be put
into the Villa Pub'lica, a large house in the Campus Mar'tius; and, at
the same time, convoked the senate: there, without discovering the
least emotion, he spoke with great fluency of his own exploits, and,
in the mean time, gave private directions that all those wretches whom
he had confined, should be slain. 26. The senate, amazed at the horrid
outcries of the sufferers, at first thought that the city was given up
to plunder; but Sylla, with an unembarrassed air, informed them, that
it was only some criminals who were punished by his order, and that
the senate ought not to make themselves uneasy at their fate. 27. The
day after he proscribed forty senators, and sixteen hundred knights;
and after an intermission of two days, forty senators more, with an
infinite number of the richest citizens. 28. He next resolved to
invest himself with the dictatorship, and that for a perpetuity; and
thus uniting all civil as well as military power in his own person, he
thought he might thence give an air of justice to every oppression.
29. Thus he continued to govern with capricious tyranny, none daring
to resist his power, until, contrary to the expectation of all
mankind, he laid down the dictatorship, after having held it not quite
three years.

[Illustration: Sylla reproaching the little image of Apollo with his

30 After this, he retired into the country, and abandoned himself to
debauchery; but he did not long survive his abdication; he was seized
with a horrible distemper, and died a loathsome and mortifying object,
and a melancholy proof of the futility of human ambition.[5]

The character of Sylla exhibits a singular compound of great and mean
qualities. Superstition was one of its features. It is said that
having suffered a defeat in the course of the Social War, in Italy, he
drew from his bosom a little image of Apollo, which he had stolen from
the temple of Delphi, and had ever since carried about him when
engaged in war. Kissing it with great devotion, he expostulated with
the god, for having brought him to perish dishonourably, with his
countrymen, at the gates of his native city, after having raised him
by many victories to such a height of glory and greatness.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What were the first acts of Sylla?

2. What became of Marius?

3. To what dangers was he exposed?

4. Was an attempt made on his life?

5. How did the governor treat the fugitive general?

6. What ingratitude was shown to Marius?

7. What was his reply?

8. From what African prince did he ask aid?

9. Was it granted?

10. What opportunity was taken by the Marian party to renew the

11. To what scruple did Marius pretend?

12. What proves it a pretence?

13. What cruelties were practised by Marius?

14. What laws did he change? 15. How did Marius die?

16. How did Sylla act when he learned the news of the change?

17. What caused a tumult in Cinna's army?

18. How did it end?

19. What artifice was practised on Scipio?

20. What was the result?

21. Describe the relative condition of the rival forces?

22. Did Pompey obtain any victory?

23. What was the consequence?

24. Which faction finally prevailed?

25. What massacre was perpetrated by Sylla?

26. How did he excuse it? 27. Were these his only cruelties?

28. What magistracy did Sylla usurp?

29. How did he govern?

30. In what manner did the tyranny of Sylla terminate?


[1] So astonished was Jugur'tha at the mercenary disposition
discovered by the Romans, that he is said to have exclaimed, on
leaving the city, "Oh, Rome! thou wouldst thyself be sold, could a
chapman be found to purchase thee."

[2] It has been said with great truth, that "the wicked have no
friends." Jugur'tha experienced this. Bomil'car, who professed the
warmest attachment to Jugur'tha, was gained over by the proconsul
Metel'lus to persuade his master, that submission to the Romans was
absolutely necessary. Jugur'tha accordingly sent an embassy to the
proconsul, professing his readiness to submit to any terms. Upon this
he was required to send to the Romans 200,000 pounds weight of silver,
all his elephants, a certain number of horses and arms, and all
deserters. The king complied exactly with these hard conditions; but
after thus weakening his resources, he found himself still obliged to
continue the war, or submit to such farther impositions as would have
endangered, not only his crown, but his life.

[3] Never did any one more deservedly suffer than this treacherous and
cruel man.

[4] This king incurred the resentment of the Romans by making war on
some of their allies, and by putting Op'pius and Aquil'ius to death.
Upbraiding the Romans with their avarice and corruption, he caused
melted gold to be poured down the throat of the latter.

[5] Two events, important in the history of Rome, occurred about this
time. Serto'rius, a Roman general, in Spain, had rebelled against the
government of Syl'la, and defeated every army sent against him, till
Pompey took the command; and even then the result appeared doubtful,
till Serto'rius, being assassinated by his own officers put an end to
the war. Spar'tacus, a gladiator, having escaped from confinement, and
assembled a number of his followers, commenced what is called the
second Servile War. His army gradually increasing, he became a
formidable enemy to the Roman state; overthrew the prætors and consuls
sent against him; but was at length defeated by Crassus, and the
remains of his army cut in pieces by Pompey, who met them on his
return from Spain.

       *       *       *       *       *



  With Tully she her wide reviving light
  To senates holds, a Catiline confounds.
  And saves awhile from Cæsar sinking Rome.--_Thomson_.

1. Upon the death of Sylla, the jealousies of Pompey and Crassus, the
two most powerful men in the empire, began to excite fresh
dissensions. Pompey was the most beloved general, but Crassus the
richest man in Rome.

2. The first opportunity that was offered of discovering their mutual
jealousy, was upon disbanding their troops. Neither chose to begin; so
that the most fatal consequences were likely to arise from their
dissension. At length Crassus, stifling his resentment, laid down his
command; and the other followed his example immediately after. 3.
The next trial between them was, who should be foremost in obtaining
the favour of the people. Crassus entertained the populace at a
thousand tables, distributed corn to the families of the poor, and fed
the greatest part of the citizens for nearly three months. Pompey, on
the other hand, laboured to abrogate the laws made against the
authority of the people by Sylla; restored to the knights the power of
judging, which had been formerly granted them by Gracchus; and gave
back to the tribunes all their former privileges. 4. Thus each gave
his private aims an appearance of zeal for the public good; so that
what was in reality ambition in both, took with one the name of
liberality; with the other, that of a love of freedom.

5. An expedition, in which Pompey cleared the Mediterranean, which was
infested by pirates, having added greatly to his reputation, the
tribunes of the people hoped it would be easy to advance their
favourite still higher. 6. Man'lius, therefore, one of the number,
preferred a law, that all the armies of the empire, the government of
Asia, and the management of the war which was renewed against
Mithrida'tes, should be committed to Pompey alone. The law passed,
with little opposition, and the decree was confirmed.

7. Being thus appointed to the command of that important war, he
departed for Asia. 8. Mithrida'tes had been obliged by Lucul'lus to
take refuge in Lesser Armenia, and thither that general was preparing
to follow him, when his whole army abandoned him; so that it remained
for Pompey to terminate the war, which he effected with great ease and
expedition, adding a large extent of dominion to the Roman empire, and
returning to Rome in triumph at the head of his conquering army.

9. But the victories of Pompey rather served to heighten the glory
than to increase the power of Rome; they made it more a glaring object
of ambition, and exposed its liberties to greater danger. Those
liberties, indeed, seemed devoted to ruin on every side; for, even
while he was pursuing his conquests abroad, Rome was at the verge of
ruin from a conspiracy at home. 10. This conspiracy was projected and
carried on by Ser'gius Cat'iline, a patrician by birth, who resolved
to build his own power on the downfall of his country. 11. He was
singularly formed, both by art and nature, to conduct a conspiracy: he
was possessed of courage equal to the most desperate attempts, and of
eloquence to give a colour to his ambition: ruined in his
fortunes, profligate in his manners, vigilant in pursuing his aims, he
was insatiable after wealth, only with a view to lavish it on his
guilty pleasures. 12. Cat'iline having contracted debts in consequence
of such an ill-spent life, was resolved to extricate himself from them
by any means, however unlawful. Accordingly, he assembled about thirty
of his debauched associates, and informed them of his aims, his hopes,
and his settled plans of operations. 13. It was resolved among them,
that a general insurrection should be raised throughout Italy, the
different parts of which he assigned to different leaders. Rome was to
be fired at several places at once; and Cat'iline, at the head of an
army raised in Etru'ria, was, in the general confusion, to possess
himself of the city, and massacre all the senators. Len'tulus, one of
his profligate assistants, who had been prætor, or judge in the city,
was to preside in their general councils; Cethe'gus, a man who
sacrificed the possession of great present power to the hopes of
gratifying his revenge against Cicero,[1] was to direct the massacre
through the city; and Cas'sius was to conduct those who fired it.

14. But the vigilance of Ci'cero being the chief obstacle to their
designs, Catiline was very desirous to see him taken off before he
left Rome; upon which two knights of the company undertook to kill him
the next morning in his bed, in an early visit, on pretence of
business. 15. But the meeting was no sooner over, than Ci'cero had
information of all that passed in it; for, by the intrigues of a woman
named Ful'via, he had gained over Cu'rius, her lover, one of the
conspirators, to send him a punctual account of all their
deliberations. 16. Having taken proper precautions to guard himself
against the designs of his morning visitors, who were punctual to the
appointment, he next took care to provide for the defence of the city;
when, assembling the senate, he consulted what was best to be done in
such a time of danger.

[Illustration: Curius, disclosing Catiline's conspiracy to Fulvia.]

17. The first step taken was to offer considerable rewards for farther
discoveries, and then to prepare for the defence of the state.
18. Cat'iline, to show how well he could dissemble, or justify any
crime, went boldly to the senate, declaring his innocence;[2] but,
when confronted by the eloquence of Ci'cero, he hastily withdrew,
declaring aloud, that since he was denied a vindication of himself,
and driven headlong into rebellion by his enemies, he would extinguish
the flame which was raised about him in universal ruin. 19. After a
short conference with Len'tulus and Cethe'gus, he left Rome by night,
with a small retinue, to hasten towards Etru'ria, where Man'lius, one
of the conspirators, was raising an army to support him.[3]

20. In the mean time Ci'cero took proper precautions to secure all
those of the conspiracy who remained in Rome. Len'tulus, Cethe'gus,
Cas'sius, and several others, were put into confinement; and soon
after strangled in prison.

21. While his associates were put to death in the city, Cat'iline had
raised an army of twelve thousand men, of which a fourth part only
were completely armed, the rest being furnished with such weapons as
chance afforded; darts, lances, and clubs. 22. He refused, at first,
to enlist slaves, who flocked to him in great numbers, trusting to the
strength of the conspiracy; but upon the approach of the consul, who
was sent against him, and upon the arrival of the news that his
confederates were put to death, the face of affairs altered. 23.
His first attempt, therefore, was, by long marches, to make his escape
over the Appenines into Gaul; but in this his hopes were disappointed;
all the passes being guarded by an army superior to his own. 24. Being
thus hemmed in on every side, and seeing all things desperate, with
nothing left him but either to die or conquer, he resolved to make one
vigorous effort against that army which pursued him. Anto'nius, the
consul, being sick, the command devolved upon Petrei'us, who, after a
fierce and bloody action in which he lost a considerable part of his
best troops, put Cat'iline's forces to the rout, and destroyed his
whole army.[4]

25. The extinction of this conspiracy seemed only to leave an open
theatre for the ambition of the great men to display itself in. Pompey
was now returned in triumph from conquering the east, as he had before
been victorious in Europe and Africa.

26. Crassus was the richest man in Rome, and next to Pompey, possessed
the greatest authority; his party in the senate was even greater than
that of his rival, and the envy raised against him was less. He and
Pompey had long been disunited by an opposition of interests and of
characters; however, it was from a continuance of their mutual
jealousies that the state was in some measure to expect its future
safety. 27. It was in this situation of things that Julius Cæsar, who
had lately gone, as prætor, into Spain, and had returned with great
riches and glory, resolved to convert their mutual jealousy to his own
advantage. 28. This celebrated man was descended from popular and
illustrious ancestors. He warmly espoused the side of the people, and
shortly after the death of Sylla, procured the recall of those whom
Sylla had banished. He had all along declared for the populace against
the senate, and became their most favourite magistrate. 29. This
consummate statesman began by offering his services to Pompey,
promising to assist him in getting all his acts passed,
notwithstanding the senate's opposition. Pompey, pleased at the
acquisition of a person of so much merit, readily granted him his
confidence and protection. 30. He next applied to Crassus, who, from
former connections, was disposed to become still more nearly his
friend. 31. At length, finding them not averse to an union of
interests, he took an opportunity of bringing them together; and,
remonstrating with them on the advantages as well as the necessity of
a reconciliation, he had art enough to persuade them to forget former
animosities. 32. A combination was thus formed, by which they agreed
that nothing should be done in the commonwealth without their mutual
concurrence and approbation. This was called the first Trium'virate,
by which we find the constitution weakened by a new interest which had
not hitherto taken place, very different from that of the senate or
the people, and yet dependent on both.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What followed on the death of Sylla?

2. What first discovered their mutual jealousy?

3. What was the next trial between them?

4. Under what pretences did they hide their real views?

5. What farther raised the reputation of Pompey?

6. What means were had recourse to for this purpose?

7, 8. What was the state of the war in Asia?

9. What were the consequences of Pompey's victories?

10. Who was the author, and what was the object of this conspiracy?

11. What was the character of Catiline?

12. What occasioned this conspiracy?

13. How was it to be carried into execution?

14. What was the chief obstacle to its accomplishment, and how was
this obstacle to be removed?

15. Was Cicero informed of their proceedings?

16. What precautions did he take in consequence?

17. What was the first step taken?

18. What was the conduct of Catiline on this occasion?

19. Did he continue in Rome?

20. Did the other conspirators escape?

21. How was Catiline employed in the mean time?

22. Had he a fair prospect of success?

23. Did he boldly face his opponents?

24. What followed?

25. Did the extinction of this conspiracy give peace to Rome?

26. Who were the contending parties, and what was the consequence of
this dissension?

27. Who profited by these jealousies?

28. Who was Julius Cæsar, and by what means did he acquire popularity?

29. What was his first step towards power?

30. To whom did he next apply?

31. What consequence resulted from his application?

32. What agreement was entered into by them, and what were they


[1] Ci'cero, the first of Roman orators, as Demos'thenes was of the
Greek, was born at Arpin'um, a town of the Volsci, and studied under
the most celebrated orators and philosophers of Greece. His style of
eloquence was copious, highly ornamented, and addressed more to the
passions than to the judgment of his hearers. He was consul at the
time of Cat'iline's conspiracy; and, for his eminent services in
detecting and frustrating it, was honoured with the title of Pater

[2] On his entrance, the senators near whom he attempted to seal
himself, quitting their places, left him quite alone.

[3] On his arrival, he assumed all the insignia of a supreme
magistrate being preceded by lictors carrying the axes and fasces.

[4] Cataline himself, finding his affairs desperate, threw himself
into the midst of the enemy, and there found the death he sought.

       *       *       *       *       *



POMPEY.--U.C. 694.

  How happy was I, in my lawful wars
  In Germany, in Gaul, and Brittany!
  When every night with pleasure I set down
  What the day ministered; then sleep came sweetly.
                    _Beaumont and Fletcher_.

1. The first thing that Cæsar did, upon forming the Trium'virate, was
to avail himself of the interest of his confederates to obtain the
consulship. 2. The senate had still some influence left; and though
they were obliged to concur in choosing him, yet they gave him for a
colleague one Bib'ulus, whom they supposed would be a check upon his
power. 3. But the opposition was too strong for even superior
abilities to resist; so that Bib'ulus, after a slight attempt in
favour of the senate, remained inactive. 4. Cæsar began his schemes
for empire by ingratiating himself with the people; he procured a law
for dividing certain lands in Campa'nia among such of the poor
citizens as had at least three children. This proposal was just enough
in itself, and it was criminal only from the views of the proposer.

5. Having thus strengthened himself at home, he deliberated with his
confederates about sharing the foreign provinces of the empire. 6. The
partition was soon made: Pompey chose Spain; for, being fatigued with
conquest, and satiated with military fame, he was willing to take his
pleasures at Rome. Crassus chose Syria; which province, as it had
hitherto enriched the generals who had subdued it, would, he hoped,
gratify him in this his favourite pursuit. To Cæsar were left the
provinces of Gaul, composed of fierce and powerful nations, most of
them unsubdued, and the rest only professing a nominal subjection. 7.
As this was appointing him rather to conquer than command, the
government was granted him for five years, as if by its continuance to
compensate for its danger.

8. It would be impossible, in this narrow compass, to enumerate the
battles Cæsar fought, and the states he subdued, in his expeditions
into Gaul and Britain, which continued eight years.

[Illustration: Cæsar landing in Britain.]

9. The Helvetians[1] were the first that were brought into subjection,
with the loss of nearly two hundred thousand men; those who
remained after the carnage were sent by Cæsar in safety to the forests
whence they had issued.[2] 10. The Germans, with Ariovis'tus at their
head, were next cut off, to the number of eighty thousand, their
monarch himself narrowly escaping in a little boat across the Rhine.
The Belgæ[3] suffered such a terrible overthrow, that marshes and
rivers were rendered impassable from the heaps of slain. 11. The
Ner'vians,[4] who were the most warlike of those barbarous nations,
made head for a short time, and fell upon the Romans with such fury,
that their army was in danger of being utterly routed; but Cæsar
himself, hastily catching up a buckler, rushed through his troops into
the midst of the enemy; by which means he so turned the fate of the
day, that the barbarians were all cut off to a man. 12. The Celtic
Gauls were next brought under subjection. After them, the Sue'vi, the
Mena'pii, and all the nations from the Mediterranean to the British
sea. 13. Thence, stimulated by the desire of conquest, he crossed over
into Britain, upon pretence that the natives had furnished his enemies
with continual supplies. 14. Upon approaching the shores, he found
them covered with men to oppose his landing, and his forces were in
danger of being driven back, till the standard-bearer of the
tenth legion boldly leapt ashore, and being well assisted by Cæsar,
the natives were put to flight. 15. The Britons being terrified at
Cæsar's power, sent to desire a peace, which was granted them, and
some hostages delivered. A storm, however, soon after destroying great
part of his fleet, they resolved to take advantage of the disaster,
and marched against him with a powerful army. But what could naked
undisciplined troops do against forces that had been exercised under
the greatest generals, and hardened by the conquest of the greatest
part of the world? Being overthrown, they were obliged once more to
sue for peace. Cæsar granted it, and returned to the continent.

16. While Cæsar was thus increasing his reputation and riches abroad,
Pompey, who remained in Rome, steadily co-operated with his ambition,
and advanced his interests, while he vainly supposed he was forwarding
his own. By this means Cæsar was continued five years longer in Gaul.
17. Nor was Pompey roused from his lethargy till the fame of that
great commander's valour, riches, and humanity, began to make him
suspect they would soon eclipse his own. 18. He now therefore did all
in his power to diminish Cæsar's reputation; obliging the magistrates
not to publish any letters they received till he had diminished the
credit of them, by spreading disadvantageous reports. 19. One or two
accidents, also, helped to widen the separation; namely, the death of
Julia,[5] Pompey's wife, who had not a little contributed to improve
the harmony that subsisted between them; and the destruction of
Crassus, who had conducted the war against the Parthians with so
little prudence, that he suffered them to get the advantage of him in
almost every skirmish; when, incapable of extricating himself, he fell
a sacrifice to his own rashness in trusting himself to a perfidious

It was at this period that T. Maurius Milo, being a candidate for the
office of consul, during the heat of the canvassing happened, when
riding into the country, to meet Clodius, a turbulent man, who
favoured his opponent.

[Illustration: Exposure of Clodius's body in the Forum.]

The meeting was accidental, but a skirmish between their
attendants drew on a contest which terminated in the death of
Clodius. The body was brought into Rome where it was exposed, all
covered with blood and wounds, to the view of the populace, who
flocked around it in crowds to lament the miserable fate of their
leader. The next day the mob, headed by a kinsman of the deceased,
carried the body, with the wounds exposed, into the forum; and the
enemies of Milo, addressing the crowd with inflammatory speeches,
wrought them up to such a frenzy that they carried the body into the
senate-house, and, tearing up the benches and tables, made a funeral
pile, and, together with the body, burnt the house itself, and then
stormed the house of Milo, but were repulsed. This violence, and the
eloquence of Cicero in his defence, saved Milo from the punishment
which he had good reason to fear for the assassination of Clodius.

20. Cæsar, who now began to be sensible of the jealousies of Pompey,
took occasion to solicit for the consulship, together with a
prolongation of his government in Gaul, desirous of trying whether
Pompey would thwart or promote his pretensions. 21. In this Pompey
seemed to be quite inactive; but, at the same time, privately employed
two of his creatures, who alleged in the senate that the laws did not
permit a person who was absent to offer himself as a candidate for
that high office. 22. Pompey's view in this was to allure Cæsar from
his government, in order to stand for the consulship in person. 23.
Cæsar, however, perceiving his artifice, chose to remain in his
province, convinced that while he headed an army devoted to him, he
could give law as well as magistrates to the state.

24. The senate, which was devoted to Pompey, because he had for some
time attempted to defend them from the encroachments of the people,
ordered home the two legions which were in Cæsar's army belonging to
Pompey, as it was pretended, to oppose the Parthians, but in reality
to diminish Cæsar's power. 25. Cæsar saw their motive: but as his
plans were not yet ripe for execution, he sent them home in pursuance
of the orders of the senate, having previously attached the officers
to him by benefits, and the soldiers by bounties. 26. The next step
the senate took, was to recall Cæsar from his government, as his time
was very near expiring. But Cu'rio, his friend in the senate, proposed
that Cæsar should not leave his army till Pompey had set him the
example. 27. This for a while perplexed Pompey; however, during the
debate, one of the senate declaring that Cæsar had passed the Alps,
and was marching with his whole army directly towards Rome, the
consul, immediately quitting the senate, went with his colleagues to a
house where Pompey at that time resided. He there presented him with a
sword, commanding him to march against Cæsar, and fight in defence of
the commonwealth. 28. Pompey declared he was ready to obey, but with
an air of pretended moderation added, that it was only in case more
gentle expedients could not be employed. 29. Cæsar, who was instructed
in all that passed, though he was still in Gaul, was willing to give
his aims all the appearance of justice. He agreed to lay down his
employment when Pompey should do the same. But the senate rejected his
propositions, blindly confident of their power, and relying on the
assurances of Pompey. Cæsar, still unwilling to come to an open
rupture with the state, at last was content to ask the government of
Illyr'ia, with two legions; but this also was refused him. 30. Finding
all attempts at an accommodation fruitless, and conscious, if not of
the goodness of his cause, at least of the goodness of his troops, he
began to draw them down towards the confines of Italy; and passing the
Alps with his third legion, stopped at Raven'na, whence he once more
wrote to the consuls, declaring that he was ready to resign all
command in case Pompey would do so. 31. On the other hand, the senate
decreed, that Cæsar should lay down his government, and disband
his forces within a limited time; and, if he refused obedience, that
he should be declared an enemy to the commonwealth.

_Questions for Examination._

1. What was Cæsar's first act after the Triumvirate had been formed?

2. Whom did the senate appoint as Cæsar's colleague, and why?

3. Had Bibulus any controul over Cæsar?

4. How did Cæsar commence his schemes?

5. How did he farther promote his views?

6. How were the provinces allotted?

7, 8. Was Cæsar's a desirable allotment?

9. Who were the first that submitted to Cæsar's arms?

10. Who were the next?

11. Who made the most formidable resistance?

12. What other nations were subdued by Cæsar?

13. Did these conquests content him?

14. What opposition did he experience on the British coast?

15. What followed this defeat?

16. In what way were Cæsar's views promoted?

17. Did not Pompey suspect his intentions?

18. When undeceived, what measures did he pursue?

19. What contributed to widen the breach?

20. How did Cæsar ascertain the disposition of Pompey towards him?

21. Did Pompey take an active part?

22. What was Pompey's view in this?

23. Did Cæsar fall into the snare?

24. Which side did the senate favour?

25. Did Cæsar give up the legions?

26. What was the next step they took?

27. What was the consequence of this proposal?

28. Did Pompey obey this command?

29. What was Cæsar's conduct on this occasion?

30. How did he next proceed?

31. What measure did the senate adopt?


  On him thy hate, on him thy curse bestow.
  Who would persuade thee Cæsar is thy foe;
  And since to thee I consecrate my toil,
  Oh! favour thou my cause, and on thy soldier smile.--_Lucan._

1. Cæsar, however, seemed no way disturbed at these violent
proceedings; the night before his intended expedition into Italy, he
sat down to table cheerfully, conversing with his friends on subjects
of literature and philosophy; and apparently disengaged from every
ambitious concern. After some time, rising up, he desired the
company to make themselves joyous in his absence, and that he would be
with them in a moment: in the mean time, having ordered his chariot to
be prepared, he immediately set out, attended by a few friends, for
Arim'inum, a city upon the confines of Italy, whither he had
despatched a part of his army the morning before. 2. This journey by
night, which was very fatiguing, he performed with great diligence,
sometimes walking, and sometimes on horseback; till at the break of
day, he came up with his army, which consisted of about five thousand
men, near the Ru'bicon, a little river which separates Italy from
Gaul, and which marked the limits of his command. 3. The Romans had
ever been taught to consider this river as the sacred boundary of
their domestic empire. 4. Cæsar, therefore, when he advanced at the
head of his army to the side of it, stopped short upon the bank, as if
impressed with terror at the greatness of his enterprise. He could not
pass it without transgressing the laws; he therefore pondered for some
time in fixed melancholy, looking and debating with himself whether he
should venture in. "If I pass this river," said he to one of his
generals, "what miseries shall I bring upon my country! and if I now
stop short I am undone." 5. After a pause he exclaimed, "Let us go
where the gods and the injustice of our enemies call us." Thus saying,
and renewing all his former alacrity, he plunged in, crying out, "The
die is cast." His soldiers followed him with equal promptitude, and
having passed the Ru'bicon, quickly arrived at Arim'inum, and made
themselves masters of the place without any resistance.

6. This unexpected enterprise excited the utmost terror in Rome; every
one imagining that Cæsar was leading his army to lay the city in
ruins. At the same time were to be seen the citizens flying into the
country for safety, and the inhabitants of the country coming to seek
shelter in the city. 7. In this universal confusion, Pompey felt all
that repentance and self-condemnation, which must necessarily arise
from the remembrance of having advanced his rival to his present pitch
of power: wherever he appeared, many of his former friends were ready
to tax him with his supineness, and sarcastically to reproach his
ill-grounded presumption. 8. "Where is now," cried Favo'nius, a
ridiculous senator of this party, "the army that is to rise at your
command? let us see if it will appear by stamping."[7] Cato
reminded him of the many warnings he had given him; which, however, as
he was continually boding nothing but calamities, Pompey might very
justly be excused from attending to. 9. Being at length wearied with
these reproaches, which were offered under colour of advice, he did
all that lay in his power to encourage and confirm his followers: he
told them that they should not want an army, for that he would be
their leader. He confessed, indeed, that he had all along mistaken
Cæsar's aims, judging only from what they ought to have been; however,
if his friends were still inspired with the love of freedom, they
might yet enjoy it in whatever place their necessities should happen
to conduct them. 16. He let them know that their affairs were in a
very promising situation: that his two lieutenants were at the head of
a very considerable army in Spain, composed of veteran troops that had
made a conquest of the east: besides these, there were infinite
resources, both in Asia and Africa, together with the succours they
were sure to receive from all the kingdoms that were in alliance with
Rome. 11. This speech served in some measure to revive the hopes of
the confederacy. The greatest part of the senate, his private friends
and dependents, with all those who expected to make their fortunes by
espousing his cause, agreed to follow him. But being in no capacity to
resist Cæsar at Rome, he resolved to lead his forces to Cap'ua, where
the two legions that served under Cæsar in Gaul were stationed.

12. Cæsar in the mean time, after having vainly attempted to bring
Pompey to an accommodation, resolved to pursue him into Cap'ua before
he could collect his forces. Accordingly, he marched on to take
possession of the cities that lay between him and his rival, not
regarding Rome, which he knew would fall of course to the conqueror.

13. Corfin'ium was the first city that attempted to stop the rapidity
of his march. It was defended by Domi'tius, who had been appointed by
the senate to succeed him in Gaul. Cæsar quickly invested it; and
though Domi'tius sent frequently to Pompey, exhorting him to come and
raise the siege, he was at length obliged to endeavour to escape
privately. 14. His intentions being divulged, the garrison resolved to
consult their own safety by delivering him up to the besiegers. Cæsar
readily accepted their offers, but kept his men from immediately
entering the town. 15. After some time, Len'tulus the consul, who was
one of the besieged, came out to implore forgiveness for himself and
the rest of his confederates, putting Cæsar in mind of their ancient
friendship, and acknowledging the many favours he had received at his
hands. 16. To this Cæsar, who would not wait the conclusion of his
speech, generously replied, that he came into Italy not to injure the
liberties of Rome and its citizens, but to restore them. 17. This
humane reply being quickly carried into the city, the senators and the
knights, with their children, and some officers of the garrison, came
out to claim the conqueror's protection, who, just glancing at their
ingratitude, gave them their liberty, with permission to go
wheresoever they should think proper. 18. But while he dismissed the
leaders, he took care upon this, as upon all other occasions, to
attach the common soldiers to his interest, sensible that he might
stand in need of the army; but that while he lived, the army could
never stand in need of a commander.

19. Pompey, who was unable to continue in Rome, having intelligence of
what had passed upon this occasion, retreated to Brundu'sium, where he
resolved to stand a siege, in order to retard the enemy, until the
forces of the empire should be united to oppose him. 20. His aim in
this succeeded to his wish; and after having employed Cæsar for some
time in a fruitless siege, he privately carried his forces over to
Dyrrach'ium, where the consul had levied a body of troops for his
assistance. 21. However, though he made good his escape, he was
compelled to leave all Italy at the mercy of his rival, without a town
or an army that had strength to oppose his progress.

22. Cæsar, who could not follow Pompey for want of shipping, went back
to Rome, to take possession of the public treasures, which his
opponent, by a most unaccountable oversight, had neglected to take
with him. 23. Upon his coming up to the door of the treasury,
Metel'lus, the tribune, who guarded it, refused to let him pass; but
Cæsar, with emotion, laying his hand upon his sword, threatened to
strike him dead. "Know, young man," cried he, "it is easier to do this
than say it." This menace had its effect; Metel'lus retired, and
Cæsar took out of the treasury three hundred thousand pounds weight of
gold, and an immense quantity of silver.

24. Having thus provided for continuing the war, he departed from
Rome, resolved to subdue Pompey's lieutenants, Afra'nius and
Petrei'us, who had been long in Spain at the head of a veteran army,
which had ever been victorious. 25. Cæsar, however, who knew the
abilities of its present commanders, jocosely said, as he was
preparing to march, "I am going to fight an army without a general,
and return to fight a general without an army."

26. The first conflict which he had with Afra'nius and Petrei'us was
rather unfavourable. It was fought near the city of Ilerda,[8] and
both sides claimed the honour of the victory. But, by various
stratagems, he reduced them at last to such extremity of hunger and
drought, that they were obliged to yield at discretion. 27. Clemency
was his favourite virtue; he dismissed them all with the kindest
professions, and then sent them home to Rome loaded with shame, and
with obligations to publish his virtues, and confirm the affections of
his adherents. 28. Thus, in the space of about forty days, he became
master of Spain, and returned again victorious to Rome. The citizens
on this occasion received him with fresh demonstrations of joy, and
created him dictator and consul. But the first of these offices he
laid down when he had held it eleven days.

_Questions for Examination._

1. How did Cæsar conduct himself on the night previous to his intended
journey to Italy?

2. Did he accomplish his journey in safety?

3. What rendered this little river of consequence?

4. Did Cæsar pass it without hesitation?

5. How did he determine?

6. What effect was produced at Rome by this enterprise?

7. How was Pompey affected by it?

8. What taunting expressions were used on this occasion?

9. What was Pompey's conduct in reply?

10. How did he represent the state of affairs?

11. What was the consequence of this statement?

12. How was Cæsar employed in the mean while?

13. What city first arrested his progress?

14. Did he succeed in his endeavour?

15. What attempt was made to incline Cæsar to mercy?

16. What was Cæsar's reply?

17. What was the consequence of this reply?

18. Did he dismiss the soldiers likewise?

19. Whither did Pompey retreat, and with what view?

20. Did he succeed in his aims?

21. What was the consequence of his retreat?

22. Did Cæsar follow Pompey?

23. Was he opposed in his attempt?

24. What was his next enterprise?

25. What was Cæsar's opinion of these commanders?

26. Were they easily conquered?

27. What use did he make of his victory?

28. What was the duration of this campaign, and what were its


                      O war! what art thou?
  At once the proof and scourge of man's fall'n state!
  After the brightest conquest, what appears
  Of all thy glories? for the vanquish'd, chains!
  For the proud victors, what? Alas! to reign
  O'er desolated nations.--_H. More_.

1. While Cæsar was thus employed, Pompey was active in making
preparations in Epi'rus and Greece to oppose him. 2. All the monarchs
of the East had declared in his favour, and sent very large supplies.
He was master of nine effective Italian legions, and had a fleet of
five hundred large ships, under the conduct of Bib'ulus, an active and
experienced commander. Added to these, he was supplied with large sums
of money, and all the necessaries for an army, from the tributary
provinces round him. 3. He had attacked Antony and Dolabel'la, who
commanded for Cæsar in that part of the empire, with such success,
that the former was obliged to fly, and the latter was taken prisoner.
Crowds of the most distinguished citizens and nobles from Rome came
every day to join him. He had at one time above two hundred senators
in his camp, among whom were Ci'cero and Ca'to, whose approbation of
his cause was equivalent to an army.

4. Notwithstanding these preparations, Cæsar shipped off five of his
twelve legions at Brundu'sium, and fortunately steered through the
midst of his enemies, timing it so well that he made his passage in
one day.

[Illustration: Cæsar embarking in a fishing boat.]

5. Still, however, convinced that the proper time for making proposals
for a peace was after gaining advantage, he sent one Ru'fus, whom he
had taken prisoner, to effect an accommodation with Pompey,
offering to refer all to the senate and people of Rome; but Pompey
once more rejected the overture, considering the people of Rome too
much in Cæsar's interest to be relied on.

6. Pompey had been raising supplies in Macedo'nia when he was first
informed of Cæsar's landing upon the coast of Epi'rus: he now resolved
immediately to march to Dyrrach'ium, in order to cover that place from
Cæsar's attempts, as all his ammunition and provisions were deposited
there. 7. The first place where both armies came in sight of each
other was on the opposite banks of the river Ap'sus; and as both were
commanded by the two greatest generals then in the world; the one
renowned for his conquests in the East, and the other celebrated for
his victories over the western parts of the empire, a battle was
eagerly desired by the soldiers on either side. 8. But neither of the
generals was willing to hazard it upon this occasion: Pompey could not
rely upon his new levies; and Cæsar would not venture an engagement
till he was joined by the rest of his forces.

9. Cæsar had waited some time with extreme impatience for the coming
up of the remainder of his army, and even ventured alone in an open
fishing-boat to hasten its arrival; but he was driven back by a
storm.[9] 10. However, his disappointment was soon relieved by an
information of the landing of the troops at Apollo'nia; he,
therefore, decamped in order to meet them; and to prevent Pompey, with
his army, from engaging them on their march, as he lay on that side of
the river where the succours had been obliged to come on shore.

11. Pompey, being compelled to retreat, led his forces to Aspara'gium,
where he was sure of being supplied with every thing necessary for his
army, by the numerous fleets which he employed along the coasts of
Epi'rus: there he pitched his camp upon a tongue of land (as mariner's
express it) that jutted into the sea, where also was a small shelter
for his ships. 12. In this place, being most advantageously situated,
he began immediately to intrench his camp; which Cæsar perceiving, and
finding that he was not likely soon to quit so advantageous a post,
began also to intrench behind him. 13. As all beyond Pompey's camp
towards the land side was hilly and steep, Cæsar built redoubts upon
the hills, stretching from shore to shore, and then caused lines of
communication to be drawn from hill to hill, by which he blocked up
the camp of the enemy. 14. He hoped by this blockade to force his
opponent to a battle, which he ardently desired, and which the other
with equal industry declined. Thus both sides continued for some time
employed in designs and stratagems, the one to annoy and the other to
defend. 15. Cæsar's men daily carried on their works to straiten the
enemy; those of Pompey, having the advantage of numbers, did the same
to enlarge themselves, and severely galled the enemy by their slingers
and archers. 16. Cæsar, however, was indefatigable; he caused blinds
or mantalets to be made of the skins of beasts, to cover his men while
at work; he cut off all the water that supplied the enemy's camp, and
the forage from the horses, so that there remained no more subsistence
for them. 17. But Pompey at last resolved to break through his lines,
and gain some other part of the country more convenient for
encampment. Accordingly, having informed himself of the condition of
Cæsar's fortifications from some deserters who came over to him, he
ordered the light infantry and archers on board his ships to attack
Cæsar's entrenchments by sea, where they were least defended. 18. This
was done with such effect, that though Cæsar and his officers used
their utmost endeavours to hinder Pompey's designs, yet by means of
reiterated attempts, he at last effected his purpose of extricating
his army from its present camp, and of encamping in another place
by the sea, where he had the convenience both of forage and shipping.
19. Cæsar being thus frustrated in his views of blocking up the enemy,
and perceiving the loss he had sustained, resolved at last to force
Pompey to a battle, though upon disadvantageous terms. 20. The
engagement began by attempting to cut off a legion which was posted in
a wood; and this brought on a general battle. The conflict was for
some time carried on with great ardour, and with equal fortune; but
Cæsar's army being entangled in the entrenchments of the old camps
lately abandoned, began to fall into disorder; upon which Pompey
pressing his advantage, they at last fled with precipitation. Great
numbers perished in the trenches and on the banks of the river, or
were pressed to death by their fellows. 21. Pompey pursued his success
to the very camp of Cæsar; but either from surprise, under the
suddenness of his victory, or fearful of an ambuscade, he with drew
his troops into his own camp, and thus lost an opportunity of
completing his victory.

22. After this defeat, which was by no means decisive, Cæsar marched,
with all his forces united in one body, directly to Gom'phi, a town in
the province of Thes'saly. But the news of his defeat at Dyr'rachium
had reached this place before him; the inhabitants, therefore, who had
before promised him obedience, now changed their minds, and, with a
degree of baseness equal to their imprudence, shut their gates against
him. 23. Cæsar was not to be injured with impunity. Having represented
to his soldiers the great advantage of forcing a place so very rich,
he ordered the scaling ladders to be got ready, and causing an assault
to be made, proceeded with such vigour that, notwithstanding the
height of the walls, the town was taken in a few hours. 24. Cæsar left
it to be plundered, and, without delaying his march, went forward to
Metrop'olis, another town of the same province, which yielded at his
approach. By this means he soon became possessed of all Thes'saly,
except Laris'sa, which was garrisoned by Scip'io, with his legion who
commanded for Pompey. 25. During this interval, Pompey's officers
continually soliciting their commander to come to a battle, he, at
length, resolved to renounce his own judgment in compliance with those
about him, and gave up all schemes of prudence for those dictated by
avarice and passion. 26. Advancing, therefore, into Thes'saly, within
a few days after the taking of Gom'phi, he drew down upon the
plains of Pharsa'lia, where he was joined by Scip'io, his lieutenant,
and the troops under his command. There, waiting the coming of Cæsar,
he resolved to engage, and, by a single battle, decide the fate of

_Questions for Examination._

1. How was Pompey engaged at this time?

2. What advantages did he possess?

3. What farther contributed to give him hopes of success?

4. Was Cæsar discouraged by these formidable preparations?

5. Was he resolutely bent on hostilities?

6. What was Pompey's first measure?

7. Where did the armies first come in sight of each other?

8. Was an immediate engagement the consequence?

9. Was this junction soon effected?

10. What was the consequence?

11. What was Pompey's next measure?

12. Did he remain long in this place?

13. What means did Cæsar adopt to distress the enemy?

14. What did he promise himself from the adoption of this plan?

15. How were both armies employed?

16. What was the conduct of Cæsar on this occasion?

17. How did Pompey frustrate his designs?

18. Was he successful in his attempts?

19. What was Cæsar's resolution on this occasion?

20. By what means did he effect this?

21. Did Pompey make the most of his victory?

22. Whither did Cæsar betake himself, and what was the consequence of
his defeat?

23. Did he quietly submit to this insult?

24. What revenge did he take?

25. How did Pompey act on this occasion?

26. Where was this great contest about to be decided?


  Each had proposed an empire to be won;
  Had each once known a Pompey for his son,
  Had Cæsar's soul informed each private breast.
  A fiercer fury could not be expressed.--_Lucan_.

1. Cæsar had employed all his art for some time in sounding the
inclinations of his men; and finding his army once more resolute and
vigorous, he advanced towards the plains of Pharsa'lia, where Pompey
was encamped.

2. The approach of two armies, composed of the best and bravest troops
in the world, together with the greatness of the prize for which they
contended, filled every mind with anxiety, though with different
expectations. 3. Pompey's army, being most numerous, turned all their
thoughts to the enjoyment of the victory; Cæsar's considered only the
means of obtaining it; Pompey's army depended upon their numbers, and
their many generals; Cæsar's upon their discipline, and the conduct of
their single commander. 4. Pompey's partisans hoped much from the
justice of their cause; Cæsar's alleged the frequent proposals which
they had made for peace without effect. Thus the views, hopes and
motives of both seemed different, whilst their hatred and ambition
were the same. 5. Cæsar, who was ever foremost in offering battle, led
out his army to meet the enemy; but Pompey, either suspecting his
troops, or dreading the event, kept his advantageous situation at the
foot of the hill near which he was posted. 6. Cæsar, unwilling to
attack him at a disadvantage, resolved to decamp the next day, hoping
to weary out his antagonist, who was not a match for him in sustaining
the fatigues of duty. 7. Accordingly the order for marching was given,
and the tents were struck, when word was brought him that Pompey's
army had now quitted their intrenchments, and advanced farther into
the plain than usual; so that he might engage them at less
disadvantage. 8. Upon this he caused his troops to halt, and, with a
countenance of joy, informed them that the happy time was at last
come, which they had so long wished for, and which was to crown their
glory, and terminate their fatigues. He then drew up his troops in
order, and advanced towards the place of battle. 9. His forces did not
amount to above half those of Pompey; the army of the one was about
forty-five thousand foot, and seven thousand horse: that of the other
not exceeding twenty-two thousand foot, and about a thousand horse.
10. This disproportion, particularly in the cavalry, had filled Cæsar
with apprehensions; he therefore had some days before picked out the
strongest and nimblest of his foot soldiers, and accustomed them to
fight between the ranks of his cavalry. By their assistance, his
thousand horse was a match for Pompey's seven thousand, and had
actually got the better in a skirmish that happened between them some
days before.

11. Pompey, on the other hand, had a strong expectation of success; he
boasted that he could put Cæsar's legions to flight without striking a
single blow; presuming that as soon as the armies formed, his cavalry,
on which he placed his greatest expectations, would out-flank and
surround the enemy. In this disposition Pompey led his troops to
battle. 12. As the armies approached, the two generals went from rank
to rank, encouraging their men, exciting their hopes, and lessening
their apprehensions. 13. Pompey represented to his men that the
glorious occasion which they had long besought him to grant was now
before them. "What advantages," said he, "could you wish, that you are
not now possessed of. Your numbers, your vigour, a late victory, all
assure us of a speedy and an easy conquest of those harassed and
broken troops, composed of men worn out with age, and impressed with
the terrors of a recent defeat; but there is still a stronger bulwark
for our protection than the superiority of our strength; and that is,
the justice of our cause. You are engaged in the defence of liberty
and of your country; you are supported by its laws, and followed by
its magistrates; the world are spectators of your conduct, and wish
you success: on the contrary, he whom you oppose is a robber, an
oppressor of his country, already nearly sunk with the consciousness
of his crimes, as well as the ill success of his arms. Show then, on
this occasion, all that ardour and detestation of tyranny which should
animate Romans, and do justice to mankind."

14. Cæsar, on his part, went among his men with that steady serenity
for which he was so much admired in the midst of danger. He insisted
on nothing so strongly, as his frequent and unsuccessful endeavours
for peace. He spoke with terror of the blood he was about to shed, and
pleaded the necessity that urged him to it. He deplored the many brave
men that were to fall on both sides, and the wounds of his country,
whoever might be victorious. 15. His soldiers answered only with looks
of ardour and impatience. He gave the signal to begin. The word on
Pompey's side was, "Her'cules the Invincible:" that on Cæsar's,
"Ve'nus the Victorious." 16. There was no more space between both
armies than to give room for the charge: Pompey therefore ordered his
men to receive the first shock without moving from their places,
expecting the enemy's ranks to be put into disorder. Cæsar's soldiers
were now rushing on with their usual impetuosity, when, perceiving the
enemy motionless, they all stopt short, as if by general consent, and
halted in the midst of their career. 17. A terrible pause ensued, in
which both armies continued to gaze upon each other with mutual terror
and dreadful serenity. At length, Cæsar's men having taken breath, ran
furiously upon the enemy, first discharging their javelins, and
then drawing their swords. The same method was observed by Pompey's
troops, who as firmly sustained the attack. His cavalry also were
ordered to charge at the very onset, which, with the multitude of
archers and slingers, soon obliged Cæsar's men to give ground. 18.
Cæsar instantly ordered the six cohorts, that were placed as a
reinforcement, to advance, and to strike at the enemy's faces. 19.
This had its desired effect: Pompey's cavalry, that were just before
sure of the victory, received an immediate check. The unusual method
of fighting pursued by the cohorts, their aiming entirely at the
visages of the assailants, and the horrible disfiguring wounds they
made, all contributed to intimidate them so much, that instead of
defending their persons, they endeavoured only to save their
faces.[10] 20. A total rout ensued; they fled to the neighbouring
mountains, while the archers and slingers, who were thus abandoned,
were cut to pieces. 21. Cæsar now commanded the cohorts to pursue
their success, and charge Pompey's troops upon the flank: this charge
the enemy withstood for some time with great bravery, till Cæsar
brought up his third line, which had not yet engaged. 22. Pompey's
infantry being thus doubly attacked, in front by fresh troops, and in
the rear by the victorious cohorts, could no longer resist, but fled
to their camp. The flight began among the strangers. Pompey's right
wing still valiantly maintained their ground. 23. Cæsar, however,
convinced that the victory was certain, with his usual clemency cried
out to pursue the strangers, but to spare the Romans; upon which they
all laid down their arms and received quarter. The greatest slaughter
was among the auxiliaries, who fled on all sides. 24. The battle had
now lasted from break of day till noon, and the weather was extremely
hot; nevertheless, the conquerors remitted not their ardour, being
encouraged by the example of a general, who thought his victory
incomplete till he should become master of the enemy's camp.
Accordingly, marching on foot at their head, he called upon them to
follow and strike the decisive blow. 25. The cohorts which were left
to defend the camp, for some time made a formidable resistance;
particularly a great number of Thra'cians and other barbarians, who
were appointed for that purpose; but nothing could resist the
ardour of Cæsar's victorious army; the enemy were at last driven from
the trenches, and compelled to fly to the mountains.

_Questions for Examination._

1. What was the state of Cæsar's army immediately before the battle of

2. What effect had the approaching event on the minds of men?

3. What were the respective advantages of each army?

4. On what did they principally build their hopes?

5. Who was the first to offer battle?

6. How did Cæsar act on this occasion?

7. What followed?

8. What effect had this intelligence on Cæsar's plan?

9. Of what number of troops were each of the armies composed?

10. What did Cæsar consider necessary to be done to remedy this

11. What were Pompey's expectations and boasts?

12. What was the conduct of the generals?

13. Repeat Pompey's address to his troops?

14. How did Cæsar encourage his men?

15. What effect had this speech, and what was the word on both sides?

16. In what manner did the attack commence?

17. Describe the progress of the battle?

18. What means did Cæsar adopt to prevent a defeat?

19. Was this measure successful?

20. What was the consequence?

21. What were Cæsar's farther commands?

22. What followed?

23. What use did Cæsar make of his victory?

24. Did not fatigue abate the ardour of Cæsar's troops?

25. Did they attempt to defend the camp?


  Sad Pompey's soul uneasy thoughts infest,
  And his Cornelia pains his anxious breast,
  To distant Lesbos fain he would remove.
  Far from the war, the partner of his love.--_Lucan._

1. Cæsar, seeing the field and camp strewed with his fallen
countrymen, was strongly affected at the melancholy prospect, and
cried out to one that stood near him, "They would have it so." 2. In
the camp, every object presented fresh instances of the blind
presumption and madness of his adversaries. On all sides were to be
seen tents adorned with ivy and myrtle, couches covered with purple,
and sideboards loaded with plate. Every thing gave proof of the
highest luxury, and seemed rather the preparatives for a banquet, or
the rejoicings for a victory, than dispositions for a battle. 3. A
camp so richly furnished would have engaged the attention of any
troops but Cæsar's; but there was still something to be done, and he
permitted them not to pursue any other object than their enemies. 4. A
considerable body having retired to the adjacent mountains, he
prevailed on his soldiers to join him in the pursuit, in order to
oblige these to surrender. He began by inclosing them with a line
drawn at the foot of the mountain; but they quickly abandoned a post
which was untenable for want of water, and endeavoured to reach the
city of Laris'sa. 5. Cæsar, leading a part of his army by a shorter
way, intercepted their retreat. However, these unhappy fugitives again
found protection from a mountain, at the foot of which ran a rivulet
that supplied them with water. 6. Night approaching, Cæsar's men were
almost spent, and fainting with their incessant toil since morning;
yet still he prevailed upon them to renew their labours, and cut off
the rivulet that supplied the defendants. 7. The fugitives, thus
deprived of all hopes of succour or subsistence, sent deputies to the
conqueror, offering to surrender at discretion. During this interval
of negociation, a few senators that were among them, took the
advantage of the night to escape, and the rest, next morning, gave up
their arms, and experienced the conqueror's clemency. In fact, he
addressed them with great gentleness, and forbade the soldiers to
offer violence, or to take any thing from them. 8. Thus Cæsar gained
the most complete victory that had ever been obtained; and by his
great clemency after the battle, seemed to have deserved it. His loss
amounted only to two hundred men; that of Pompey to fifteen thousand;
twenty-four thousand men surrendered themselves prisoners of war, and
the greatest part of these entered into Cæsar's army, and were
incorporated with the rest of his forces. 9. To the senators and Roman
knights, who fell into his hands, he generously gave liberty to retire
wherever they thought proper; and as for the letters which Pompey had
received from those who wished to be thought neutral, Cæsar burnt them
all without reading, as Pompey had done on a former occasion. 10. Thus
having performed all the duties of a general and a statesman, he sent
for the legions which had passed the night in camp, to relieve those
which had accompanied him in the pursuit, and arrived the same day at

11. As for Pompey, who had formerly shown such instances of courage
and conduct, when he saw his cavalry routed, on which he had placed
his sole dependence, he absolutely lost his reason. 12. Instead of
thinking how to remedy this disorder by rallying such troops as fled,
or by opposing fresh forces to stop the progress of the conqueror,
being totally amazed by this first blow, he returned to the camp, and
in his tent waited the issue of an event which it was his duty to have
directed, not to follow. There he remained for some moments
speechless, till being told that the camp was attacked--"What!" says
he, "are we pursued to our very intrenchments?" when, immediately
quitting his armour for a habit more suited to his circumstances, he
fled on horseback to Laris'sa: thence, perceiving that he was not
pursued, he slackened his pace, giving way to all the agonizing
reflections which his deplorable situation must naturally suggest. 13.
In this melancholy manner he passed along the vale of Tempe, and
pursuing the course of the river Pe'neus, at last arrived at a
fisherman's hut; here he passed the night, and then went on board a
little bark, keeping along the sea-shore, till he descried a ship of
some burden, which seemed preparing to sail. In this he embarked; the
master of the vessel still paying him that homage which was due to his
former station.

14. From the mouth of the river Pe'neus he sailed to Amphip'olis,
where, finding his affairs desperate, he steered to Les'bos, to take
with him his wife Corne'lia, whom he had left there, at a distance
from the dangers and distresses of war. 15. She, who had long
flattered herself with the hopes of victory, now felt the agonizing
reverse of fortune: she was desired by the messenger, whose tears more
than his words proclaimed her unspeakable misfortunes, to hasten away
if she expected to see Pompey, who had but one ship, and even that not
his own. 16. Her grief, which before was violent, became now
insupportable: she fainted, and lay without signs of life. At length
recovering, and reflecting that it was no time for vain lamentations,
she fled through the city to the seaside.

17. Pompey received and embraced her, and in silent despair supported
her in his arms. "Alas!" said Corne'lia, "you who, before our
marriage, appeared in these seas as the commander of five hundred
sail, are now reduced to make your escape in a single vessel. Why come
you in search of an unfortunate woman? Why was I not left to a
fate which now you are under the necessity of sharing with me? Happy
for me had I executed, long since, my design of quitting this life!
But fatally have I been reserved to add to Pompey's sorrows."

[Illustration: Death of Pompey.]

18. Pompey instanced the uncertainty of all human affairs, and
endeavoured by every argument to give her comfort; then, taking her
under his protection, he continued his course, stopping no longer than
was necessary for a supply of provisions at the ports which occurred
in his passage. 19. He now determined upon applying to Ptol'emy, king
of Egypt, to whose father he had been a considerable benefactor.
Ptol'emy was yet a minor, and had not the government in his own hands,
but was under the direction of an administration. 20. His council
insidiously contrived that Pompey should be invited on shore, and
murdered before he should come into the king's presence. Achil'las,
commander of the forces, and Septim'ius, a Roman, who had formerly
been a centurion in Pompey's army, undertook to carry the treacherous
design into execution. Attended by three or four more, they put off in
a little bark, and rowed to Pompey's ship, that lay about a mile from
the shore.

21. Pompey now took leave of Corne'lia, repeating to her a verse of
Soph'ocles, signifying, that "he who trusts his freedom to a tyrant,
from that moment becomes a slave." He then gave his hand to Achil'las,
and, with only two of his own attendants, stepped into the bark. 22.
The frantic Corne'lia hung over the side of the deck, weeping and
exclaiming against his separation from her. "Alas!" said she,
"whither art thou going?"

  He spoke; but she, unmoved at his commands,
  Thus loud exclaiming, stretch'd her eager hands;
  "Whither, inhuman! whither art thou gone?
  Still must I weep our common griefs alone?"
                                        ROWE'S LUCAN.

In wild astonishment she followed him with her eyes, and uttering to
the winds her fruitless lamentations.

23. The mariners, regardless of her sorrows, rowed towards land,
without a word passing among them, till Pompey, by way of breaking
silence, looking at Septim'ius, whose face he recollected. "Methinks,
friend," said he, "you once served under me." Septim'ius noticing
these words only by a contemptuous nod of the head, Pompey betook
himself to a paper, on which he had minuted a speech intended to be
made to the king, and began reading it. In this manner they approached
the shore; whilst Corne'lia, whose insufferable sorrow had never let
her lose sight of her husband, began to conceive hopes, perceiving
that the people on the strand crowded down along the coast as if eager
to receive him. 24. Alas! these hopes were soon destroyed. At the
instant that Pompey rose, supporting himself upon his freedman's arm,
Septim'ius stabbed him in the back, and Achil'las instantly seconded
the blow. 25. Pompey, perceiving his death inevitable, calmly disposed
himself to meet it with decency; and covering his face with his robe,
without a word resigned himself to his fate. 26. At this horrid sight,
Corne'lia and her attendants shrieked, so as to be heard to the very
shore. But the danger they were in allowing no time to look on, they
immediately set sail, and, the wind proving favourable, fortunately
escaped the pursuit of the Egyptian galleys. 27. In the mean time,
Pompey's murderers, having taken off his head, embalmed it for a
present to Cæsar, whilst the body was thrown naked on the strand, and
exposed to the view of those whose curiosity was to be satisfied. 28.
But his faithful freedman, Philip, still kept near it; and when the
crowd dispersed, he washed it in the sea, and looking round for
materials to burn it, perceived the wrecks of a fishing-boat, of which
he composed a pile. 29. While he was thus piously employed, he was
accosted by an old Roman soldier, who had served under Pompey in his
youth. "Who art thou?" said he  "that art making these humble
preparations for Pompey's funeral?"--"One of his freedmen," answered
Philip.--"Alas," replied the soldier, "permit me to share with you the
honour of this sacred action. Among all the miseries of my exile, it
will be my last sad comfort, that I have been able to assist at the
funeral of my old commander, and to touch the body of the bravest
general that ever Rome produced."

30. Thus were the last rites performed to Pompey. But his ashes
(according to Plutarch) were carefully collected, and carried to
Corne'lia, who deposited them at his villa near Alba, in Italy. 31. We
are told, too, that the Egyptians afterwards erected a monument to
him, on the spot on which his funeral pile had been raised, with an
inscription to this purpose:--"How poor a tomb covers the man who once
had temples erected to his honour!"

32. From Pompey's death we may date the extinction of the republic.
From this period the senate was dispossessed of its power; and Rome
henceforward was never without master.

_Questions for Examination._

1. How was Cæsar affected by the result of the battle?

2. What appearance did Pompey's camp present?

3. Did Cæsar's troops immediately begin to plunder?

4. What became of the fugitives?

5. Did they succeed in the attempt?

6. Were the labours of Cæsar's soldiers now at an end?

7. What effect had this on the fugitives?

8. Was this victory of importance, and what was the loss on both

9. In what manner did Cæsar behave to the vanquished?

10. What followed?

11. What was the conduct of Pompey on this occasion?

12. Mention your reasons for this assertion?

13. Proceed in relating farther particulars?

14. Whither did he next steer his course?

15, 16. What effect had the tidings on Cornelia?

17. Relate what passed at their interview?

18. How did Pompey attempt to comfort her?

19. What determination did he now form? 20. What was his intended

21. Did Pompey fall into the snare?

22. Was his separation from his wife a painful one?

23. What passed in the boat?

24. Were Cornelia's hopes well founded?

25. Did Pompey resist this treacherous attack?

26. Was Cornelia a witness to this horrid transaction?

27. How was the body of Pompey treated?

28. Had he no friend to perform the last offices for him?

29. By whom was he assisted?

30. What became of his remains?

31. What respect did the Egyptians afterwards pay to his memory?

32. What was the face of affairs after Pompey's death?


[1] The inhabitants of the country now called Switzerland.

[2] The Helvetians, finding their country too narrow for their
increased population, had determined on emigration. Being denied by
Cæsar a passage through his province, hostilities commenced, which
terminated us above. (Cæsar de Bel. Gal.)

[3] Inhabitants of the country between the Rhine and the Loire.

[4] Inhabitants of the modern province of Hainault.

[5] She was the daughter of Cæsar.

[6] Crassus was inveigled into the power of Surena, the Parthian
general, under the pretence of treating for peace. His head was cut
off and sent to Orodes, the king of Parthia, who poured molten gold
down his throat.

[7] This alludes to a boasting speech made some time before by Pompey,
when he told the senate not to be alarmed at the news of Cæsar's
approach, for that he had only to stamp, and an army would rise at his

[8] Now Lerida in Catalonia.

[9] It was on this occasion that he encouraged the master of the
vessel, to whom he had not before made himself known, with these
memorable words--"Fear nothing, for thou carriest Cæsar and all his

[10] Cæsar calls the young patricians that composed Pompey's cavalry
"pretty young dancers."

       *       *       *       *       *




                    When our ear is pierced
  With the sad notes which mournful beauty yields,
  Our manhood melts in sympathizing tears.--_Fenton_.

1. Cæsar has been much celebrated for his good fortune, but his
abilities seem equal to the highest success. He possessed shining
qualities, tarnished by ambition only. His talents were such as would
have rendered him victorious at the head of any army; and he would
have governed in any republic that had given him birth. 2. Having now
gained a most complete victory, his success seemed only to increase
his activity, and inspire him with fresh resolution to face new
dangers. He determined, therefore, to pursue his last advantage, and
follow Pompey to whatever country he had retired; convinced that,
though he might gain new triumphs, he should never enjoy security
until his rival was in his power.

3. Accordingly, losing no time, he set sail for Egypt, and arrived at
Alexandria with about four thousand men: a very inconsiderable force
to keep so powerful a kingdom under subjection. 4. The first accounts
he received were of Pompey's miserable end; and soon after, one of the
murderers came with his head and his ring, as a most grateful present
to the conqueror. 5. But Cæsar had too much humanity to be pleased
with so horrid a spectacle--with the sad remains of the man he once
loved; his partner in power. He turned from it with disgust; and,
after a short pause, gave vent to his pity in a flood of tears. He
ordered the head to be burned with the most costly perfumes, and
placed the ashes in a temple, which he built and dedicated to the
goddess Nem'esis, the avenger of cruel and inhuman deeds.

6. It should seem that the Egyptians, by this time, had some hopes of
breaking off all alliance with the Romans, which they considered, as
in fact it was, only another name for subjection. They first took
offence at Cæsar's carrying the ensigns of Roman power before him as
he entered the city. Photi'nus also treated him with great disrespect,
and even attempted his life. 7. Cæsar, however, concealed his
resentment till he had a force sufficient to punish his treachery;
sending, therefore, privately, for the legions which he had formerly
enrolled for Pompey's service, as being the nearest to Egypt, he, in
the mean time, pretended to repose an entire confidence in the king's
ministers, making great entertainments, and assisting at the
conferences of the philosophers, who were numerous at Alexandria. 8.
However, he soon changed his manner, when he found himself in no
danger from the ministers' attempts: and declared, that, being a Roman
consul, it was his duty to settle the succession of the Egyptian

9. There were at that time two pretenders to the crown of Egypt;
Ptol'emy, the acknowledged king, and the celebrated Cleopa'tra, his
sister, to whom, by the custom of the country, he was married; and
who, by his father's will, shared jointly in the succession. 10. Not
contented with the participation of power, Cleopa'tra aimed at
governing alone; but being opposed in her views by the Roman senate,
who confirmed her brother's title to the crown, she was banished into
Sy'ria, with Arsin'oe, her younger sister. 11. Cæsar gave her new
hopes of aspiring to the kingdom, and sent both to her and her brother
to plead their cause before him. But Photi'nus, the young king's
guardian, disdaining to accept this proposal, backed his refusal by
sending an army of twenty thousand men to besiege him in Alexandria.
12. Cæsar bravely repulsed the enemy; but finding the city of too
great extent to be defended by so small an army as his, he retired to
the palace, which commanded the harbour, and there purposed to make
his stand. 13. Achil'las, who commanded the Egyptians, attacked him
with great vigour, and aimed at making himself master of the fleet
that lay before the palace. 14. Cæsar, however, too well knew the
importance of those ships in the hands of an enemy; and therefore
burnt them all, in spite of every effort to prevent him. He next
possessed himself of the isle of Pha'ros, by which he was enabled to
receive supplies; and, in this situation, determined to withstand the
united force of the Egyptians.[1]

15. In the mean time, Cleopa'tra, having heard of the present turn in
her favour, resolved to depend on Cæsar's patronage for gaining the
government, rather than on her own forces. But no arts, as she justly
conceived, were so likely to influence Cæsar as the charms of her
person, which were irresistible. 16. She was now in the bloom of youth
and beauty, while every feature borrowed grace from the lively turn of
her temper. To the most enchanting address she joined the most
harmonious voice. With all these accomplishments, she possessed a
great share of the learning of the times, and could give audience to
the ambassadors of seven different nations without an interpreter. 17.
The difficulty was, how to gain admission to Cæsar, as her enemies
were in possession of all the avenues that led to the palace. For this
purpose she went on board a small vessel, and, in the evening, landed
near the palace; where, being wrapt up in a coverlet, she was carried
as a bundle of clothes into the very presence of Cæsar. 18. Her
address instantly struck him; her wit and understanding fanned the
flame; but her affability entirely brought him over to second her

19. While Cleopa'tra was thus employed in forwarding her own views,
her sister, Arsin'oe was also strenuously engaged in the camp, in
pursuing a separate interest. She had found means, by the assistance
of one Gan'ymede, her confidant, to make a large division in the
Egyptian army in her favour; and, soon after, by one of those sudden
revolutions which are common in barbarian camps to this day, she
caused Achil'las to be murdered, and Gan'ymede to take the command in
his stead, and to carry on the siege with greater vigour than before.
20. Gan'ymede's principal effort was by letting in the sea upon those
canals which supplied the palace with fresh water; but this
inconvenience Cæsar remedied by digging a great number of wells. His
next endeavour was to prevent the junction of Cæsar's twenty-fourth
legion, which he twice attempted in vain. He soon after made himself
master of a bridge which joined the isle of Pha'ros to the
continent, from which post Cæsar was resolved to dislodge him. 21. In
the heat of the action, some mariners, partly through curiosity, and
partly through ambition, came and joined the combatants; but, being
seized with a panic, instantly fled, and spread a general terror
through the army. All Cæesar's endeavours to rally his forces were in
vain, the confusion was past remedy, and numbers were drowned or put
to the sword in attempting to escape. 22. Now, therefore, seeing the
irremediable disorder of his troops, he fled to a ship, in order to
get to the palace that was just opposite; but he was no sooner on
board, than such crowds entered after him, that being apprehensive of
the ship's sinking, he jumped into the sea, and swam two hundred paces
to the fleet which lay before the palace, all the time holding his
Commentaries in his left hand above the water, and his coat of mail in
his teeth.

23. The Alexandrians, finding their efforts to take the palace
ineffectual, endeavoured at least to get their king out of Cæsar's
power, as he had seized upon his person in the beginning of their
disputes. For this purpose they made use of their customary arts of
dissimulation, professing the utmost desire of peace, and only wanting
the presence of their lawful prince to give a sanction to the treaty.
24. Cæsar was sensible of their perfidy, but concealed his suspicions,
and gave them their king, as he was under no apprehensions from the
abilities of a boy. Ptol'emy, however, the instant he was set at
liberty, instead of promoting the peace, made every effort to give
vigour to his hostilities.

25. In this manner was Cæsar hemmed in for some time by an artful and
insidious enemy, and surrounded with almost insurmountable
difficulties; but he was at last relieved from this mortifying
situation by Mithrida'tes Pergame'nus, one of his most faithful
partizans, who came with an army to his assistance. This general
marched into Egypt, took the city of Pelu'sium, repulsed the Egyptian
army with loss, and, at last, joining with Cæsar, attacked their camp
with a great slaughter of the Egyptians. Ptol'emy himself, attempting
to escape on board a vessel, was drowned by the ship's sinking. 26.
Cæsar thus became master of all Egypt, without any farther opposition.
He appointed Cleopa'tra, with her younger brother, who was then an
infant, joint governors, according to the intent of their father's
will, and drove out Arsin'oe, with Gan'ymede, to banishment.

27. Having thus given away kingdoms, he now, for a while, seemed
to relax from the usual activity of his conduct, being captivated with
the charms of Cleopa'tra. Instead of quitting Egypt to go and quell
the remains of Pompey's party, he abandoned himself to his pleasures,
passing whole nights in feasting with the young queen. He even
resolved on attending her up the Nile, into Ethiopia; but the brave
veterans, who had long followed his fortune, boldly reprehended his
conduct, and refused to be partners in so infamous an expedition. 23.
Thus at length roused from his lethargy, he resolved to prefer the
call of ambition to that of love; and to leave Cleopa'tra, in order to
oppose Pharna'ces, the king of Bosphorus, who had made some inroads
upon the dominions of Rome in the East.

29. This prince, who had cruelly deposed his father, the great
Mithrida'tes, being ambitious of conquering those dominions, seized
upon Arme'nia and Col'chis, and overcame Domit'ius, who had been sent
against him. 30. Upon Cæsar's march to oppose him, Pharna'ces, who was
as much terrified at the name of the general as at the strength of his
army, laboured, by all the arts of negociation, to avert the impending
danger. 31. Cæsar, exasperated at his crimes and ingratitude, at first
dissembled with the ambassadors; and using all expedition, fell upon
the enemy unexpectedly, and, in a few hours, obtained an easy and
complete victory. Pharna'ces attempting to take refuge in his capital,
was slain by one of his own commanders--a just punishment for his
former parricide. Cæsar achieved this conquest with so much ease, that
in writing to a friend at Rome, he expressed the rapidity of his
victory in three words, "VENI, VIDI, VICI."[2] A man so accustomed to
conquest might, perhaps, think a slight battle scarcely worth a long
letter; though it is more probable that these memorable words were
dictated rather by vanity than indifference.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What were the abilities and character of Cæsar?

2. Did he rest satisfied with his present successes?

3. Whither did he steer his course?

4. What occurred on his arrival?

5. Was Cæsar pleased with this spectacle?

6. What was the conduct of the Egyptians towards Cæsar?

7. Did Cæsar resent this conduct?

8. Did he continue this appearance of confidence?

9. Who were at this time the sovereigns of Egypt?

10. What rendered Cæsar's interference necessary?

11. Was this interference agreeable to the Egyptians?

12. How did Cæsar conduct himself on this occasion?

13. Was the attack formidable?

14. How did Cæsar prevent the designs of the enemy?

15. What was the conduct of Cleopatra?

16. What attractions did she possess?

17. What obstacles presented themselves, and how were they overcome?

18. Was Cæsar captivated by her charms?

19. What measures did Arsinoe pursue?

20. What attempts did the enemy make to annoy Cæsar, and how were they

21. What unlucky accident occasioned the miscarriage of Cæsar's

22. How did Cæsar escape?

23. What did the Alexandrians next attempt?

24. Did Cæsar comply with their wishes?

25. How was Cæsar delivered from this dangerous situation?

26. What was the consequence of this victory?

27. Did Cæsar pursue his career of victory?

28. What was the consequence of this boldness?

29. What farther cause of offence had Pharnaces given?

30. Did Pharnaces boldly oppose the invader?

31. Did he succeed?


  Oh, my friends,
  How is the toil of fate, the work of ages,
  The Roman empire fallen! Oh, cursed ambition!
  Fallen into Cæsar's hand: our great forefathers
  Had left him nought to conquer but his country.--_Addison's Cato._

1. Cæsar, having settled affairs in this part of the empire, embarked
for Italy, where he arrived sooner than his enemies could expect, but
not before his presence there was absolutely required. 2. During his
absence, he had been created consul for five years, dictator for one
year, and tribune of the people for life. 3. But Antony, who in the
mean time governed for him in Rome, had filled the city with riot and
debauchery, and many commotions ensued, which nothing but the arrival
of Cæsar could appease. 4. By his moderation and humanity he soon
restored tranquillity to the city, scarcely making any distinction
between those of his own and the opposite party. 5. Having, by gentle
means, restored his authority at home, he prepared to march into
Africa, where Pompey's party had found time to rally under Scipio
and Cato, assisted by Juba, king of Maurita'nia; and, with his usual
diligence, landed with a small party in Africa, while the rest of his
army followed him. 6. Scipio coming to a battle soon after, received a
complete and final overthrow, with little, or no loss on the side of
the victor. Juba, and Petrei'us his general, killed each other in
despair. Scipio, attempting to escape by sea into Spain, fell in among
the enemy, and was slain; so that of all the generals of that undone
party, Cato was now the only one that remained.

7. This extraordinary man, whom prosperity could not elate, nor
misfortunes depress, having retired into Africa, after the battle of
Pharsa'lia, had led the wretched remains of Pompey's army through
burning deserts, and tracts infested with serpents of various
malignity, and was now in the city of Utica, which he had been left to
defend. 8. In love, however, with the show of Roman government, Cato
had formed the principal citizens into a senate, and conceived a
resolution of holding out the town. But the enthusiasm for liberty
subsiding among his followers, he was resolved no longer to force men
to be free, who seemed naturally prone to slavery. 9. He now,
therefore, desired some of his friends to save themselves by sea, and
bade others submit to Cæsar's clemency; observing, that, as to
himself, he was at last victorious. After this, supping cheerfully
among his friends, he retired to his apartment, where he behaved with
unusual tenderness to his son, and to all his friends. When he came
into his bed-chamber, laying himself down, he took up Plato's Dialogue
on the Immortality of the Soul, and read for some time. Casting his
eyes to the head of his bed, he wondered much not to see his sword
there, which had been conveyed away by his son's order while they were
at supper. Calling to one of his domestics to know what was become of
it, and receiving no answer, he resumed his studies; and some time
after asked again for his sword. When he had done reading, and
perceived that nobody obeyed him, he called for his domestics one
after the other, and with a peremptory air again demanded his sword.
10. His son, with tears, besought him to change his resolution; but,
receiving a stern reprimand, desisted from his persuasions. His sword
being at length brought to him, he seemed satisfied, and cried out,
"Now, again, I am master of myself." He took up the book again, which
having pursued, he fell into a sound sleep. Upon awaking, he
called to one of his freedmen to know if his friends were embarked, or
if any thing yet remained that could be done to serve them. The
freedman, assuring him that all was quiet, was ordered to leave the
room. Cato no sooner found himself alone, than, seizing his sword, he
stabbed himself below his chest. The blow not despatching him, he fell
from his bed and overturned a table, on which he had been drawing some
geometrical figures. At the noise of the fall, his servants shrieked,
and his son and friends immediately flew to the room. They found him
weltering in his blood, with his bowels appearing through the wound.
11. The surgeon, perceiving that his intestines were not wounded, was
replacing them; but Cato recovering himself, and understanding their
intention was to preserve his life, forced the surgeon from him, and,
with a fierce resolution, tore out his bowels and expired.

12. Upon the death of Cato, the war in Africa being completed, Cæsar
returned in such triumph to Rome, as if he had abridged all his former
triumphs only to increase the splendour of this. The citizens were
astonished at the magnificence of the procession, and at the number of
the countries he had subdued. 13. It lasted four days: the first was
for Gaul, the second for Egypt, the third for his victories in Asia,
and the fourth for that over Juba in Africa. His veteran soldiers,
scarred with wounds, and now laid up for life, followed their
triumphant general, crowned with laurels, and conducted him to the
Capitol. 14. To every one of those he gave a sum equivalent to about a
hundred and fifty pounds sterling, double that sum to the centurions,
and four times as much to the superior officers. The citizens also
shared his bounty: to every one he distributed ten bushels of corn,
ten pounds of oil, and a sum of money equal to about two pounds
sterling. After this he entertained the people at above twenty
thousand tables, treated them with combats of gladiators, and filled
Rome with a concourse of spectators from every part of Italy.

15. The people, intoxicated with pleasure, thought their freedom too
small a return for such benefits. They seemed eager only to find out
new modes of homage, and unusual epithets of adulation for their great
enslaver. He was created, by a new title, _Magis'ter Mo'rum_, or
Master of the Morals of the People. He received the title of Emperor
and father of his country. His person was declared sacred; and, in
short, upon him alone were devolved for life all the great
dignities of the state. 16. It must be owned, that so much power could
never have been entrusted to better keeping. He immediately began his
empire by repressing vice and encouraging virtue. He committed the
power of judicature to the senators and knights alone; and by many
sumptuary laws restrained the scandalous luxuries of the rich. He
proposed rewards to all such as had many children, and took the most
prudent method of re-peopling the city, which had been exhausted in
the late commotions.

17. Having thus restored prosperity once more to Rome, he again found
himself under a necessity of going into Spain to oppose an army which
had been raised there under the two sons of Pompey, and Labie'nus his
former general. 18. He proceeded in this expedition with his usual
celerity, and arrived in Spain before the enemy thought him yet
departed from Rome. Cne'ius Pompey, and Sextus, Pompey's sons,
profiting by their unhappy father's example, resolved, as much as
possible, to protract the war; so that the first operations of the two
armies were spent in sieges and fruitless attempts to surprise each
other. 19. However, Cæsar, after taking many cities from the enemy,
and pursuing his adversary with unwearied perseverance, at last
compelled him to come to a battle upon the plain of Munda. 20. Pompey
drew up his men, by break of day, upon the declivity of a hill, with
great exactness and order. Cæsar drew up likewise in the plains below;
and after advancing a little way from his trenches, ordered his men to
make a halt, expecting the enemy to come down from the hill. This
delay made Cæsar's soldiers begin to murmur; while Pompey's with full
vigour poured down upon them, and a dreadful conflict ensued. 21. The
first shock was so dreadful, that Cæsar's men, who had hitherto been
used to conquer, now began to waver. Cæsar was never in so much danger
as now; he threw himself several times into the very thickest of the
battle. "What," cried he, "are you going to give up to a parcel of
boys your general, who is grown grey in fighting at your head?" 22.
Upon this, his tenth legion exerted themselves with more than usual
bravery; and a party of horse being detached by Labie'nus from the
camp in pursuit of a body of Numid'ian cavalry, Cæsar cried aloud that
they were flying. This cry instantly spread itself through both
armies, exciting the one as much as it depressed the other. 23. Now,
therefore, the tenth legion pressed forward, and a total rout soon
ensued. Thirty thousand men were killed on Cne'ius Pompey's side,
and amongst them Labie'nus, whom Cæsar ordered to be buried with the
funeral honours of a general officer. Cne'ius Pompey escaped with a
few horsemen to the seaside; but finding his passage intercepted by
Cæsar's lieutenant, he was obliged to seek for a retreat in an obscure
cavern. He was quickly discovered by some of Cæsar's troops, who
presently cut off his head, and brought it to the conqueror. His
brother Sextus, however, concealed himself so well, that he escaped
all pursuit; and afterwards, from his piracies, became noted and
formidable to the people of Rome.

24. Cæsar, by this last blow, subdued all his avowed enemies; and the
rest of his life was employed for the advantage of the state. He
adorned the city with magnificent buildings; he rebuilt Carthage and
Corinth, sending colonies to both cities: he undertook to level
several mountains in Italy, to drain the Pontine marshes near Rome;
and he designed to cut through the Isthmus of Peloponne'sus. 25. Thus,
with a mind that could never remain inactive, he pondered mighty
projects and schemes, beyond the limits of the longest life; but the
greatest of all was his intended expedition against the Parthians, by
which he designed to revenge the death of Crassus, who having
penetrated too far into their country, was overthrown, taken prisoner,
and put to a cruel death, by having molten gold poured down his
throat, as a punishment for his former avarice. From Parthia, Cæsar
intended to pass through Hyrca'nia, and enter Scyth'ia, along the
banks of the Caspian sea; then to open a way through the immeasurable
forests of Germany into Gaul, and so to return to Rome. These were the
aims of ambition; but the jealousy of a few individuals put an end to
them all.

_Questions for Examination._

1. What was Cæsar's next step?

2. What honours were awarded him in his absence?

3. What was the conduct of his deputy?

4. How did he put an end to these disturbances?

5. What was his next enterprise?

6. What was the success of the campaign?

7. How was Cato situated?

8. What measure had he pursued?

9. When all hope had forsaken him, what was his conduct?

10. Was no effort made to change his resolution, and what

11. Was the wound mortal?

12. What happened after the death of Cato?

13. Describe the triumph.

14. Was not Cæsar extremely liberal?

15. What returns were made for this extraordinary liberality?

16. Was he deserving of these honours?

17. Was he destined to pass the rest of his life in tranquillity?

18. Describe the opening of the campaign?

19. Were the sons of Pompey successful in their attempts?

20. What were the dispositions of the two armies?

21. What memorable expression did the danger of the conflict draw from

22. What was the consequence of this exclamation?

23. What was the result of the battle?

24. In what manner did Cæsar employ himself at this time?

25. What were his most important resolutions?


  O mighty Cæsar! dost thou lie so low?
  Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils,
  Shrunk to this little measure?--_Shakspeare._

1. Cæsar having been made perpetual dictator, and received from the
senate accumulated honours, it began to be rumoured that he intended
to make himself king. In fact, he was possessed of the power; but the
people, who had an aversion to the name, could not bear his assuming
the title. 2. Whether he really designed to assume that empty honour,
must for ever remain a secret; but certain it is, that the
unsuspecting openness of his conduct created something like confidence
in the innocence of his intentions. 3. When informed by those about
him of the jealousies of many who envied his power, he was heard to
say, that he would rather die once by treason, than live continually
in the apprehension of it. When advised by some to beware of Brutus,
in whom he had for some time reposed the greatest confidence, he
opened his breast, all scarred with wounds, saying, "Do you think
Brutus cares for such poor pillage as this?" and, being one night at
supper, as his friends disputed among themselves what death was
easiest, he replied, "That which is most sudden and least foreseen."
But, to convince the world how little he apprehended from his enemies,
he disbanded his Spanish guards, and thus facilitated the enterprise
against his life.

4. A deep conspiracy was now laid against him, into which no less than
sixty senators entered. They were still the more formidable, as the
generality of them were of his own party; and, having been raised
above other citizens, felt more strongly the weight of a single

[Illustration: Brutus and Cassius conspiring against Cæsar.]

At the head of this conspiracy were Brutus, whose life Cæsar had
spared after the battle of Pharsalia, and Cassius, who was pardoned
soon after; both prætors for the present year. 5. Brutus made it his
chief glory to have descended from that Brutus who first gave liberty
to Rome. The passion for freedom seemed to have been transmitted to
him with the blood of his ancestors. But, though he detested tyranny,
yet could he not forbear loving the tyrant from whom he had received
the most signal benefits.

6. The conspirators, to give a colour of justice to their proceedings,
put off the execution of their design to the ides of March,[3] the day
on which Cæsar was to be offered the crown. 7. The augurs had foretold
that this day would be fatal to him. The night preceding he heard his
wife, Calphur'nia, lamenting in her sleep. Being awakened, she
confessed to him, that she dreamt of his being assassinated in her
arms. 8. These omens, in some measure, began to change his intention
of going to the senate; but one of the conspirators coming in,
prevailed upon him to keep his resolution, telling him of the reproach
that would attend his staying at home till his wife should have lucky
dreams, and of the preparations that were made for his appearance. 9.
As he went along to the senate, a slave who hastened to him with
information of the conspiracy, attempted to come near him, but was
prevented by the crowd. Artemido'rus, a Greek philosopher, who had
discovered the whole plot, delivered him a memorial, containing the
heads of his information; but Cæsar gave it, with other papers, to one
of his secretaries, without reading, as was visual in matters of this
nature. Having at length entered the senate-house, where the
conspirators were prepared to receive him, he met one Spuri'na, an
augur, who had foretold his danger, to whom he said smiling, "Well,
Spuri'na, the ides of March are come."--"Yes," replied the augur, "but
they are not yet gone." 10. No sooner had he taken his place, than the
conspirators approached, under pretence of saluting him: Cimber, who
was one of them, in a suppliant posture, pretended to sue for his
brother's pardon, who had been banished by Cæsar's order. The
conspirators seconded him with great earnestness; and Cimber, seeming
to sue with still greater submission, took hold of the bottom of his
robe; holding him, so as to prevent his rising. 11. This was the
signal agreed on; when Casca, who was behind, instantly stabbed him in
the shoulder, Cæsar sprung around, and, with the steel of his tablet,
wounded him in the arm. The conspirators were all alarmed; when, being
inclosed round, he received a second stab, from an unseen hand, in the
breast; while Cassius wounded him in the face. He still defended
himself with great vigour, rushing among them, and throwing down such
as opposed him, till he saw Brutus among the conspirators, who, coming
up, struck his dagger into his thigh. 12. Cæsar, from that moment,
thought no more of defending himself; but, looking upon Brutus, cried
out, "_Et tu Brute!_"--And you too, O Brutus! Then covering his head,
and spreading his robe before him, in order to fall with decency, he
sunk down at the base of Pompey's statue: after having received three
and twenty wounds, from those whom he vainly supposed he had disarmed
by his benefits.

[Sidenote: U.C. 709.]

13. Cæsar was killed in his fifty-sixth year, and about fourteen years
after he had begun the conquest of the world.

[Illustration: Death of Julius Cæsar.]

14. If we examine his history, we shall be at a loss whether most
to admire his great abilities, or his wonderful fortune. To pretend to
say, that from the beginning he planned the subjection of his native
country, is doing no great credit to his well-known penetration, as a
thousand obstacles lay in his way, which fortune, rather than conduct,
was to surmount; no man, therefore, of his sagacity, would have begun
a scheme in which the chances of succeeding were so many against him.
It is most probable that, like all very successful men, he made the
best of every occurrence; and his ambition rising with his good
fortune, from at first being content with humbler aims, he at last
began to think of governing the world, when he found scarcely any
obstacle to oppose his designs. Such is the disposition of man, whose
cravings after power are then most insatiable when he enjoys the
greatest share.[4]

16. As soon as the conspirators had despatched Cæsar, they retired to
the Capitol, and guarded its accesses by a body of gladiators which
Brutus had in pay.

17. The friends of the late dictator now began to find that this was
the time for coming into greater power than before, and for satisfying
their ambition under the pretence of promoting justice: of this number
was Antony. 18. He was a man of moderate abilities, of excessive
vices, ambitious of power only because it gave his pleasures a
wider range to riot in; but skilled in war, to which he had been
trained from his youth.[5] He was consul for this year, and resolved,
with Lep'idus, who like himself was fond of commotions, to seize this
opportunity of gaining a power which Cæsar had died for usurping.
Lep'idus, therefore, took possession of the Forum,[6] with a band of
soldiers at his devotion; and Antony, being consul, was permitted to
command them. 19. Their first step was to possess themselves of
Cæsar's papers and money, and the next to assemble the senate. 20.
Never had this august assembly been convened upon so delicate an
occasion, as to determine whether Cæsar had been a legal magistrate,
or a tyrannical usurper; and whether those who killed him merited
rewards or punishments. Many of them had received all their promotions
from Cæsar, and had acquired large fortunes in consequence of his
appointments: to vote him an usurper, therefore, would be to endanger
their property; and yet, to vote him innocent, might endanger the
state. In this dilemma they seemed willing to reconcile extremes; they
approved all the acts of Cæsar, and yet granted a general pardon to
the conspirators.

21. This decree was very far from giving Antony satisfaction, as it
granted security to a number of men who were the avowed enemies of
tyranny, and who would be foremost in opposing his schemes of
restoring absolute power. As, therefore, the senate had ratified all
Cæsar's acts without distinction, he formed a plan of making him rule
when dead as imperiously as he had done when living. 22. Being
possessed of Cæsar's books of accounts, he so far gained over his
secretary as to make him insert whatever he thought proper. By these
means, great sums of money, which Cæsar would never have bestowed,
were distributed among the people; and every man who had any seditious
designs against the government was there sure to find a gratuity. 23.
Things being in this situation, Antony demanded of the senate that
Cæsar's funeral obsequies should be performed. This they could not
decently forbid, as they had never declared him a tyrant:
accordingly, the body was brought forth into the Forum with the utmost
solemnity; and Antony, who charged himself with these last duties of
friendship, began his operations upon the passions of the people by
the prevailing motives of private interest. 24. He first read to them
Cæsar's will, in which he made Octavius, his sister's grandson, his
heir, permitting him to take the name of Cæsar, and bequeathed him
three parts of his private fortune; which, in case of his death,
Brutus was to have inherited. To the Roman people were left the
gardens which he possessed on the other side of the Tiber; and to
every citizen three hundred sesterces. Unfolding Cæsar's bloody robe,
pierced by the daggers of the conspirators, he observed to them the
number of stabs in it. He also displayed a waxen image, representing
the body of Cæsar, all covered with wounds. 25. The people could no
longer retain their indignation, but unanimously cried out for
revenge, and ran, with flaming brands from the pile, to set fire to
the houses of the conspirators. In this rage of resentment, meeting
with one Cinna, whom they mistook for another of the same name that
was in the conspiracy, they tore him in pieces. 26. The conspirators
themselves, however, being well guarded, repulsed the multitude with
no great trouble; but perceiving the general rage of the people, they
thought it safest to retire from the city.

27. In the mean time, Antony, who had excited this flame, resolved to
make the most of the occasion. But an obstacle to his ambition seemed
to arise from a quarter in which he least expected it, namely, from
Octa'vius, afterwards called Augus'tus, who was the grand-nephew and
adopted son of Cæsar. A third competitor also for power appeared in
Lep'idus, a man of some authority and great riches. 28. At first, the
ambition of these three seemed to threaten fatal consequences to each
other; but, uniting in the common cause, they resolved to revenge the
death of Cæsar, and dividing their power, they formed what is called
the Second Triumvirate.

_Questions for Examination._

1. What design was Cæsar supposed to entertain?

2. Was this rumour well founded?

3. When hints of danger were given him, what was his conduct?

4. What was the consequence of this imprudence?

5. What was the character of Brutus?

6. What time was fixed for the conspiracy to take place?

7. Had Cæsar any intimations of his danger?

8. Was he at all influenced by them?

9. Were no other attempts made to warn him of his approaching fate?

10. In what way did the conspirators commence their attempt?

11. What followed?

12. What was the consequence of this?

13. What was Cæsar's age?

14. Did Cæsar plan the conquest of his country from the first?

15. By what means did he accomplish it?

16. How did the conspirators escape the vengeance of the people?

17. What advantage was taken of this event?

18. What was the character of Antony, and what resolution did he form?

19. What were his first acts?

20. How were the seriate situated on this occasion?

21. Was Antony satisfied with this decree?

22. How did he accomplish this?

23. What was his next measure?

24. By what means did he effect his purpose?

25. What was the consequence of this artful conduct?

26. Did the conspirators fall victims to their fury?

27. Had Antony no rivals in his attempts to acquire power?

28. What was the result of this rivalship?


  Come, Antony, and young Octavius, come,
  Revenge yourself alone on Cassius,
  For Cassius is aweary of the world.--_Shakspeare._

1. The meeting of these three usurpers of their country's freedom, was
upon a little island of the river Rhenus.[7] Their mutual suspicions
were the cause of their meeting in a place where they had no fear of
treachery; for, even in their union, they could not divest themselves
of mutual diffidence. 2. Lep'idus first entered; and, finding all
things safe, made the signal for the other two to approach. At their
first meeting, after saluting each other, Augustus began the
conference, by thanking Antony for putting Dec'imus Brutus to death;
who, being abandoned by his army, had been taken, as he was
endeavouring to escape into Macedo'nia, and was beheaded by Antony's
soldiers. 3. They then entered upon the business that lay before them,
without any retrospection to the past.

[Illustration: The Second Triumvirate preparing their Proscription

Their conference lasted three days; and, in this period, they
settled a division of the government, and determined the fate of
thousands. 4. The result of this conference was, that the supreme
authority should be lodged in their hands, under the title of the
Trium'virate, for the space of five years; that Antony should have
Gaul; Lep'idus, Spain, and Augustus, Africa and the Mediterranean
islands. As for Italy, and the eastern provinces, they were to remain
in common, until their general enemy should be subdued; and, among
other articles of union, it was agreed that all their enemies should
be destroyed, of which each presented a list. 5. In these were
comprised, not only the enemies but the friends of the Trium'virate,
since the partisans of the one were found among the opposers of the
other. Thus Lep'idus gave up his brother Æmil'ius Paulus to the
vengeance of his colleague; Antony permitted the proscription of his
uncle Lucius; and Augustus delivered up the great Ci'cero, who was
assassinated shortly after by Antony's command.[8]

6. In the mean time Brutus and Cassius, the principal of the
conspirators against Cæsar, being compelled to quit Rome, went into
Greece, where they persuaded the Roman students at Athens to declare
in the cause of freedom; then parting, the former raised a powerful
army in Macedonia, while the latter went into Syria, where he soon
became master of twelve legions, and reduced his opponent, Dolabella,
to such straits as to force him to lay violent hands on himself. 7.
Both armies joined at Smyr'na: the sight of such a formidable force
began to revive the declining spirits of the party, and to reunite the
two generals still more closely, between whom there had been, some
time before, a slight misunderstanding. In short, having quitted Italy
like distressed exiles, without having one soldier or one town that
owned their command, they now found themselves at the head of a
flourishing army, furnished with every necessary for carrying on the
war, and in a condition to support a contest on which the empire of
the world depended.

8. It was in this flourishing state of their affairs that the
conspirators formed a resolution of marching against Cleopatra, who
had made great preparations to assist their opponents. 9. However,
they were diverted from this purpose by information that Augustus and
Antony were now upon their march, with forty legions, to oppose them.
Brutus, therefore, moved to have their army pass over into Greece and
Macedonia, and there meet the enemy: but Cassius so far prevailed as
to have the Rho'dians and Ly'cians first reduced, who had refused
their usual contributions. 10. This expedition was immediately put in
execution, and extraordinary contributions were thus raised, the
Rho'dians having scarcely anything left them but their lives. The
Ly'cians suffered still more severely; for having shut themselves up
in their capital town Nanthus, they defended the place against Brutus
with so much fury, that neither his arts nor entreaties could prevail
upon them to surrender. [11]. At length, the town being set on fire by
their attempting to burn the works of the Romans, Brutus, instead of
laying hold of this opportunity to storm the place, made every effort
to preserve it, entreating his soldiers to try all means of
extinguishing the fire; but the desperate frenzy of the citizens
was not to be mollified. 12. Far from thinking themselves obliged to
the generous enemy for the efforts which they made to save them, they
resolved to perish in the flames. Instead of extinguishing, therefore,
they did all in their power to augment the fire, by throwing in wood,
dry reeds, and all kinds of fuel. 13. Nothing could exceed the
distress of Brutus upon seeing the townsmen thus resolutely bent on
destroying themselves. He rode about the fortifications, stretching
out his hands to the Xan'thians, and conjuring them to have pity on
themselves and their city; but, insensible to his expostulations, they
rushed into the flames with desperate obstinacy, and the whole soon
became a heap of undistinguishable ruin. 14. At this horrid spectacle
Brutus melted into tears, offering a reward to every soldier who
should bring him a Ly'cian alive. The number of those whom it was
possible to save from their own fury amounted to no more than one
hundred and fifty. 15. Some writers, however, affirm that the town was
burnt to the ground, and the inhabitants destroyed, by the command of
Brutus; and that those who surrendered at discretion, he deprived of
all their public and private property.

16. Brutus and Cassius met once more at Sardis where they resolved to
have a private conference together. They shut themselves up in the
first convenient house, with express orders to their servants to give
admission to no one. 17. Brutus began by reprimanding Cassius for
having disposed of offices for money, which should ever be the reward
of merit, and for having overtaxed the tributary states. Cassius
repelled the imputation of avarice with the more bitterness, as he
knew the charge to be groundless. The debate grew warm; till, from
loud speaking, they burst into tears. 18. Their friends, who were
standing at the door, overheard the increasing vehemence of their
voices, and began to tremble for the consequences, till Favo'nius, who
valued himself upon a cynical boldness, that knew no restraint,
entering the room with a jest, calmed their mutual animosity. 19.
Cassius was ready enough to forego his anger, being a man of great
abilities, but of an uneven disposition; not averse to pleasure in
private company, and, upon the whole, of morals not quite correct. But
the conduct of Brutus was perfectly steady. An even gentleness, a
noble elevation of sentiment, a strength of mind over which neither
vice nor pleasure could have an influence, and an inflexible firmness
in the cause of justice, composed the character of this great
man. 20. After their conference night coming on, Cassius invited
Brutus and his friends to an entertainment, where freedom and
cheerfulness, for a while, took place of political anxiety, and
softened the severity of wisdom. Upon retiring home it was that Brutus
thought he saw a spectre in his tent. 21. He naturally slept but
little, and was capable of bearing want of rest by long habit and
great sobriety. He never allowed himself to sleep in the daytime, as
was common in Rome; and only gave so much of the night to repose as
could barely renew the functions of nature. But now, oppressed with
various cares, he allowed himself a still shorter time after his
nightly repast; and, waking about midnight, generally read or studied
till morning. 22. It was in the dead of night, says Plutarch, when the
whole camp was perfectly quiet, that Brutus was thus employed; reading
by a lamp that was just expiring. On a sudden he thought he heard a
noise, as if somebody was approaching, and looking towards the door,
perceived it open. A gigantic figure of frightful aspect stood before
him, and continued to gaze upon him with silent severity. 23. Brutus
is reported to have asked, "Art thou a dæmon or a mortal? and why
comest thou to me?" "Brutus," answered the phantom, "I am thy evil
genius--thou shalt see me again at Philippi."[9] "Well, then," replied
Brutus, without being discomposed, "we shall meet again." Upon this
the phantom vanished; when Brutus, calling to his servants, asked if
they had seen anything; to which they answering in the negative, he
resumed his studies. 24. Struck with so strange an occurrence, he
mentioned it to Cassius, who rightly considered it as the effect of an
imagination disordered by vigilance and anxiety. 25. Brutus appeared
satisfied with this solution; and as Antony and Augustus were now
advanced into Macedonia, he and his colleague passed over into Thrace,
and drew near to Philippi, where the forces of the Trium'viri were
posted to receive them.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. Where was the first meeting of the Triumvirate, and why was it

2. What precautions did they take?

3. What farther was done?

4. What was the result of the conference?

5. Who were the proscribed?

6. What became of Brutus and Cassius?

7. What effect had this success on the minds of their party?

8. What was their first resolution?

9. Did they put it in execution?

10. What was the consequence to the Rhodians and Lycians?

11. What unfortunate accident hastened the fate of the town?

12. Did they not second the efforts of Brutus?

13. By what means did Brutus attempt to divert them from their

14, 15. By what method did he endeavour to save some of the Lycians?

16. Where did Brutus and Cassius meet, and what ensued?

17. Was their interview an amicable one?

18. Did no one interpose?

19. What were the characters of these great men?

20. What happened after the conference?

21. What were the peculiar habits of Brutus?

22. What happened to him while thus employed?

23. What conversation passed between them?

24. Did he mention the circumstance to any one?

25. Did Brutus assent to this opinion, and what followed?


  I dare assure you that no enemy
  Shall ever take alive the noble Brutus.--_Shakspeare_.

1. Mankind now began to regard the approaching armies with terror and
suspense. The empire of the world depended upon the fate of a battle.
From victory, on the one side, they had to expect freedom; on the
other, a sovereign with absolute command. 2. Brutus was the only man
who looked upon these great events with calmness and tranquillity.
Indifferent as to success, and satisfied with having done his duty, he
said to one of his friends, "If I am victorious, I shall restore
liberty to my country: if not, by dying, I shall myself be delivered
from slavery. My condition is fixed; I run no hazards." 3. The
republican army consisted of fourscore thousand foot, and twenty
thousand horse. The army of the Trium'viri amounted to a hundred
thousand foot and thirteen thousand horse. 4. Thus complete on both
sides, they met and encamped near each other upon the plains of
Philip'pi. Near the town were two little hills, about a mile distant
from each other; upon these hills, Brutus and Cassius fixed their
camps, and kept up a free communication, which mutually defended each
other. 5. In this commodious situation they could act as they thought
proper, and give battle just when it was thought to their advantage to
engage. Behind was the sea, which furnished them with all kinds of
provisions; and, at twelve miles distance, the island of Thasos, which
served them for a general magazine. 6. The Trium'viri, on the other
hand, were encamped on the plain below, and were obliged to bring
provisions from fifteen leagues' distance; so that their scheme and
interest were to forward a battle as soon as possible. This they
offered several times, drawing out their men from the camp, and
provoking the enemy to engage. 7. On the contrary, the enemy contented
themselves with drawing up their troops at the head of their camps,
without descending to the plain. This resolution of postponing the
battle, was the chance that the republican army had for victory; and
Cassius, sensible of his advantage, resolved to harass rather than
engage the enemy. 8. But Brutus, who began to suspect the fidelity of
some of his officers, used all his influence to persuade Cassius to
change his resolution. "I am impatient," said he, "to put an end to
the miseries of mankind; and in this I hope to succeed whether I
conquer or fall." 9. His wishes were soon gratified; for Antony's
soldiers having, with great labour, made a road through the marsh
which lay to the left of Cassius's camp, by that means opened a
communication with the island of Thasos, which lay behind him. Both
armies, after several attempts to possess themselves of this road,
resolved at length to come to a general engagement. 10. This, however,
was contrary to the advice of Cassius, who found himself forced, as
Pompey had formerly been, to expose the liberty of Rome to the hazard
of a battle. On the ensuing morning, the two generals gave the signal
for engaging, and conferred together a little while before the battle
began. 11. Cassius desired to be informed how Brutus intended to act
in case they should be unsuccessful. To this Brutus replied,
"Formerly, in my writings, I condemned the death of Cato, and
maintained, that avoiding calamities by suicide is an insolent attempt
against Heaven, that allotted them: but I have altered my opinion; I
have given up my life to my country, and I think I have a right to my
own way of ending it.[10] I am resolved, therefore, to change a
miserable being here for a better hereafter, if fortune turn against
me." 12. "My friend," cried Cassius, embracing him, "now may we
venture to face the enemy; for either we shall be conquerors, or we
shall have no cause to fear those that be so." 13. Augustus being
sick, the forces of the Triumviri were commanded by Antony alone, who
began the engagement by a victorious attack upon the lines of Cassius.
Brutus, on the other side, made a dreadful irruption on the army of
Augustus, and drove forward with so much intrepidity, that he broke
them upon the very first charge. Upon this, he penetrated as far as
the camp, and slaughtering those that were left for its defence, his
troops immediately began to plunder. 14. In the mean time, however,
the lines of Cassius were forced, and his cavalry put to flight. There
was no effort that this unfortunate general did not exert to make his
infantry stand; stopping those that fled, and himself seizing the
colours to rally them. But the valour of an individual was
insufficient to inspire a timorous army. 15. At length, despairing of
success, Cassius retired to his tent and killed himself. Brutus was
soon informed of the defeat of Cassius, and in a little time after, of
his death; scarcely able to restrain the excess of his grief for a man
whom he lamented as the last of the Romans.

16. Brutus, now become sole general, assembled the dispersed troops of
Cassius, and animated them with fresh hopes of victory. As they had
lost their all from the plundering of their camp, he promised two
thousand denarii to each man to make them amends. 17. Inspired with
new ardour, they admired the liberality of their general, and, with
loud shouts, proclaimed his intrepidity. Still, however, he wanted
confidence to face the adversary, who offered him battle the ensuing
day. His aim was to starve the enemy, who were in extreme want of
provisions, from their fleet having been lately defeated. 18. But his
single opinion was overruled by the army, who now grew every day more
confident of their strength, and more arrogant to their general. At
last, therefore, after a respite of twenty days, he was obliged to
comply with their solicitations to try the fate of a battle. Both
armies were drawn out, and they remained a long while opposite
to each other without offering to engage. It is said, that he himself
had lost much of his ardour by having again seen, or fancied that he
saw, the spectre, in the night preceding. However, he encouraged his
men, and gave the signal for battle. As usual, he had the advantage
where he commanded in person; bearing down the enemy at the head of
his infantry, and supported by his cavalry, making great slaughter.
19. But the forces which had belonged to Cassius were seized with a
panic, and communicating their terror to the rest, the whole army at
last gave way. Brutus, surrounded by the most valiant of his officers,
fought long with amazing valour. The son of Cato, and the brother of
Cassius, fell fighting by his side. At last, he was obliged to yield
to necessity, and fled. 20. In the mean time, the two Triumviri,
assured of victory, expressly ordered that the general should by no
means be suffered to escape. Thus the whole body of the enemy being
intent on the person of Brutus alone, his capture seemed inevitable.
21. In this deplorable exigence, Lucil'ius, his friend, resolved, by
his own death, to effect his general's delivery. 22. Seeing a body of
Thracian horse closely pursuing Brutus, and just upon the point of
taking him, he boldly threw himself in their way, telling them that
_he_ was Brutus. The Thra'cians overjoyed with so great a prize,
immediately despatched some of their companions with the news of their
success to the army. 23. Upon this, the ardour of the pursuit abating,
Antony marched out to meet his prisoner, either to hasten his death,
or insult his misfortunes. He was followed by a great number of
officers and soldiers, some silently deploring the fate of so virtuous
a man, others reproaching that mean desire of life far which he
consented to undergo captivity. 24. Antony now seeing the Thracians
approach, began to prepare himself for the interview; but the faithful
Lucilius, advancing with a cheerful air--"It is _not_ Brutus," said
he, "that is taken; fortune has not yet had the power of committing so
great an outrage upon virtue. As for my life, it is well lost in
preserving his honour; take it, for I have deceived you." Antony,
struck with so much fidelity, pardoned him, loaded him with benefits,
and honoured him with his friendship.

25. In the mean time, Brutus, with a small number of friends, passed
over a rivulet; and night coming on, sat down under a rock, which
concealed him from the pursuit of the enemy. After taking breath, and
casting his eyes to heaven, he repeated a line from Eurip'ides,
containing a wish to the gods, "That guilt should not pass in this
life without punishment." To this he added another from the same poet:
"O unhappy virtue! I have worshipped thee as a real good; but thou art
a vain empty name, and the slave of fortune." He then called to mind,
with great tenderness, those whom he had seen perish in battle. 26. He
sent out one Statil'ius to give him information of those that
remained; but Statil'ius never returned, being killed by a party of
the enemy's horse. Brutus, judging rightly of his fate, now resolved
to die likewise; and entreated those who stood round him to give him
their last sad assistance: but they all refused so melancholy a
service. 27. He then retired aside with his friend Strato, requesting
him to perform the last office of friendship. Upon Strato's refusal,
he ordered one of his slaves to execute what he so ardently desired;
but Strato crying out, "that it never should be said that Brutus, in
his last extremity, stood in need of a slave for want of a friend,"
turned aside his head, and presenting the sword's point, Brutus threw
himself upon it, and immediately expired, in the forty-third year of
his age. A.U. 711.

_Questions for Examination._

1. What great event was now depending?

2. What were Brutus's feelings on this occasion?

3. What was the respective strength of the armies?

4. Where did they meet and encamp?

5. What were the advantages of this situation?

6. Were the Triumviri equally well situated?

7. Were the enemy equally ready to engage?

8. What induced Brutus to combat this resolution?

9. Did he obtain his wish?

10. Did Cassius wish to engage?

11. What passed between the generals on this occasion?

12. What was the reply of Cassius?

13. What happened at the commencement of the battle?

14. Was Cassius equally successful?

15. What did he do in his extremity, and what effect had it on Brutus?

16. Did Brutus attempt to recover the victory?

17. What followed?

18. Were his intentions agreeable to his troops, and what was the

19. What decided the victory against him?

20. What orders were issued by the Triumviri or this occasion?

21. By whom was his deliverance attempted?

22. How did he accomplish this?

23. What was the consequence?

24. Relate the circumstances of their interview?

25. What happened to Brutus in the mean time?

26. How did he attempt to gain intelligence, and what followed his

27. Relate the manner of his death?


  But anxious cares already seized the queen;
  She fed within her veins a flame unseen:
  The hero's valour, acts, and birth, inspire
  Her soul with love, and fan the secret fire.--_Dryden_.

1. From the moment of Brutus's death, the Trium'viri began to act as
sovereigns, and to divide the Roman dominions among them as their own
by right of conquest. 2. However, though there were apparently three
who participated all power, yet, in fact, only two were actually
possessed of it, since Lep'idus was admitted at first merely to curb
the mutual jealousy of Antony and Augustus, and was possessed neither
of interest in the army, nor authority among the people. 3. Their
earliest care was to punish those whom they had formerly marked for
vengeance. Horten'sius, Dru'sus, and Quintil'ius Va'rus, all men of
the first rank in the commonwealth, either killed themselves or were
slain. A senator and his son were ordered to cast lots for their
lives, but both refused; the father voluntarily gave himself up to the
executioner, and the son stabbed himself before his face. Another
begged to have the rites of burial after his death: to which Augus'tus
replied, "that he would soon find a grave in the vultures that would
devour him." 4. But chiefly the people lamented to see the head of
Brutus sent to Rome to be thrown at the foot of Cæsar's statue. His
ashes, however, were sent to his wife Portia, Cato's daughter, who,
following the examples of both her husband and father, killed herself,
by swallowing coals. 5. It is observed, that of all those who had a
hand in the death of Cæsar, not one died a natural death.

6. The power of the Triumviri being thus established upon the ruin of
the commonwealth, they now began to think of enjoying that homage to
which they had aspired. 7. Antony went into Greece to receive the
flattery of that refined people, and spent some time at A'thens,
conversing with the philosophers, and assisting at their disputes in

[Illustration: Antony with Cleopatra In Egypt]

Thence he passed over into Asia, where all the monarchs of the
east, who acknowledged the Roman power, came to pay him their
obedience; while the fairest princesses strove to gain his favour by
the greatness of their presents or the allurements of their beauty. 8.
In this manner he proceeded from kingdom to kingdom, attended by a
succession of sovereigns, exacting contributions, distributing
favours, and giving away crowns with capricious insolence. He
presented the kingdom of Cappado'cia to Sy'senes, in prejudice of
Ariara'thes, only because he was pleased with the beauty of Glaph'yra,
the mother of the former. He settled Herod in the kingdom of Judea,
and supported him. But among all the sovereigns of the east, who
depended upon Antony, Cleopatra, the celebrated queen of Egypt, was
the most distinguished.

9. It happened that Sera'pion, her governor in the isle of Cyprus, had
formerly furnished some succours to Cassius and the conspirators; and
it was thought proper she should answer for his conduct. Accordingly,
having received orders from Antony to clear herself of the imputation
of infidelity, she readily complied, equally conscious of the goodness
of her cause and the power of her beauty. 10. She was now in her
twenty-seventh year, and consequently had improved those allurements
by art, which in earlier age are seldom attended to Her address and
wit were still farther heightened; and though there were some women in
Rome that were her equals in beauty, none could rival her in the
powers of conversation; 11. Antony was in Tarsus, a city of Cili'cia,
when Cleopatra resolved to attend his court in person. She sailed down
the river Cydnus to meet him, with the most sumptuous pageantry. The
stern of her galley was covered with gold, its sails were purple
silk, its oars silver, and they kept time to the sound of flutes and
cymbals. She exhibited herself reclining on a couch spangled with
stars of gold, and such other ornaments as poets and painters had
usually ascribed to Venus. On each side were boys like cupids, fanning
her by turns, while beautiful nymphs, dressed like Nereids and Graces,
were placed at proper distances around her: the sweets that were
burning on board her galley perfumed the banks of the river as she
passed, while an infinite number of people gazed upon the exhibition
with delight and admiration. 12. Antony soon became captivated with
her beauty, and found himself unable to defend his heart against that
passion which proved the cause of his future misfortunes. When
Cleopa'tra had thus secured her power, she set out on her return to
Egypt. Antony, quitting every other object, presently hastened after
her, and there gave himself up to all that case and softness to which
his vicious heart was prone, and which that luxurious people were able
to supply.

13. While he remained thus idle in Egypt, Augustus, who took upon him
to lead back the veteran troops, and settle them in Italy, was
assiduously employed in providing for their subsistence. 14. He had
promised them lands at home, as a recompense for their past services;
but they could not receive their new grants without turning out the
former inhabitants. 15. In consequence of this, multitudes of women,
with their children in their arms, whose tender years and innocence
excited compassion, daily filled the temples and the streets with
their lamentations. Numbers of husbandmen and shepherds came to
deprecate the conqueror's intention, or to obtain a habitation in some
other part of the world. 16. Among this number was Virgil, the poet,
to whom mankind owe more obligations than to a thousand conquerors,
who, in an humble manner, begged permission to retain his patrimonial
farm. 17. Virgil obtained his request;[11] but the rest of his
countrymen at Mantua,[12] and Cremo'na, were turned out without mercy.

18. Italy and Rome now felt the most extreme miseries.  The
insolent soldiers plundered at will; while Sextus Pompey, being master
of the sea, cut off all foreign communication, and prevented the
people from receiving their usual supplies of corn. To these mischiefs
were added the commencement of another civil war. 19. Fulvia, the wife
of Antony, whom he had left behind at Rome, felt for some time all the
rage of jealousy, and resolved to try every method of bringing back
her husband from Cleopa'tra. 20. She considered a breach with Augustus
as the only probable means of rousing him from his lethargy; and,
accordingly, with the assistance of Lucius, her brother-in-law, she
began to sow the seeds of dissension. The pretext was, that Antony
should have a share in the distribution of lands as well as Augustus.
21. This produced negotiations between them, and Augustus offered to
make the veterans themselves umpires in this dispute. Lucius refused
to acquiesce; and being at the head of more than six legions, mostly
composed of such as were dispossessed of their lands, he resolved to
compel Augustus to accept of whatever terms he should offer. Thus a
new war was excited between Augustus and Antony; or, at least, the
generals of Antony assumed the sanction of his name. 22. Augustus was
victorious; Lucius was hemmed in between two armies, and constrained
to retreat to Peru'sia, where he was closely besieged by the opposite
party. He made many desperate sallies, and Fulvia did all in her power
to relieve him, but without success, so that, being at last reduced to
extremity by famine, he delivered himself up to the mercy of the
conqueror. Augustus received him honourably, and generously pardoned
him and all his followers.[13]

23. Antony having heard of his brother's overthrow, and of his wife
being compelled to leave Italy, was resolved to oppose Augustus. He
accordingly sailed at the head of a considerable fleet, and had an
interview with Fulvia at Athens. 24. He much blamed her for
occasioning the late disorders, testified the utmost contempt for her
person, and, leaving her upon her death-bed, hastened into Italy to
fight Augustus. They both met at Brundu'sium, and it was now thought
that the flames of civil war were going to blaze out once more. 25.
The forces of Antony were numerous, but mostly newly raised;
however, he was assisted by Sextus Pompei'us, who, in those
oppositions of interest, was daily coming into power. Augustus was at
the head of those veterans who had always been irresistible, but who
seemed no way disposed to fight against Antony, their former general.
26. A negociation was therefore proposed, and a reconciliation was
effected: all offences and affronts were mutually forgiven; and, to
cement the union, a marriage was concluded between Antony and Octavia,
the sister of Augustus. 27. A new division of the Roman empire was
made between them; Augustus was to have command of the West--Antony of
the East; while Lepidus was obliged to content himself with the
provinces in Africa. As for Sextus Pompei'us, he was permitted to
retain all the islands he already possessed, together with
Peloponnesus; he was also granted the privilege of demanding the
consulship, though absent, and of discharging that office by a friend.
It was stipulated to leave the sea open, and to pay the people what
corn was due out of Sicily. Thus a general peace was concluded, to the
great satisfaction of the people, who now expected an end to all their

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What ensued on the death of Brutus?

2. Were the triumviri possessed of equal power?

3. What were their first measures?

4. By what were the people most affected?

5. What observation has been made on these events?

6. What was the consequence of the establishment of their power?

7. Whither did Antony betake himself for that purpose?

8. How was he employed?

9. By what means did Cleopatra incur his displeasure?

10. What personal advantages did she possess?

11. Did she appear before Antony as an humble suppliant?

12. What was the result of the interview?

13. How was Augustus employed in the mean time?

14. What recompense had he promised these troops?

15. What was the consequence of this tyranny?

16. What remarkable person was among the sufferers?

17. Was his request granted?

18. What was the state of Italy at this time?

19. What occasioned it?

20. What did she consider as the most probable means of reclaiming

21. Were terms of accommodation offered and accepted?

22. What was the event of the war?

23. What was Antony's conduct on the occasion?

24. Did he approve of his wife's proceedings?

25. Were the two armies of nearly equal strength?

26. What was the consequence?

27. What further measures were adopted?


  _Octavia_. --You have been his ruin.
  Who made him cheap at Rome, but Cleopatra?
  Who made him scorned abroad, but Cleopatra?
  At Actium who betrayed him? Cleopatra.--_Dryden_.

1. The only obstacle to the ambition of Augustus was Antony, whom he
resolved to remove; and for that purpose rendered his character at
Rome as contemptible as he possibly could. In fact, Antony's conduct
did not a little contribute to promote the endeavours of his ambitious
partner. 2. He had marched against the Parthians with a prodigious
army, but was forced to return with the loss of the fourth part of his
forces, and all his baggage.

3. However, Antony seemed quite regardless of contempt: alive only to
pleasure, and totally disregarding the business of the state, he spent
his whole time in the company of Cleopatra, who studied every art to
increase his passion and vary his entertainments. 4. Few women have
been so much celebrated for the art of giving novelty to pleasure, and
making trifles important. Still ingenious in filling up the time with
some new strokes of refinement, she was at one time a queen, then a
_bac'chanal_, and sometimes a huntress. 5. Not contented with sharing
with her all the delights which Egypt could afford, Antony was
resolved to enlarge his sphere of luxury, by granting her some of
those kingdoms which belonged to the Roman empire. He gave her all
Pheni'cia, Celo-Syria, and Cy'prus, with a great part of Cili'cia,
Ara'bia, and Jude'a, gifts which he had no right to bestow, but which
he pretended to grant in imitation of Hercules. 6. This complication
of vice and folly at last totally exasperated the Romans, and
Augus'tus, willing to take the advantage of their resentment, took
care to exaggerate all his defects. 7. At length, when he found the
people sufficiently irritated against him, he resolved to send
Octa'via, who was then at Rome, to Antony, as if with a view of
reclaiming her husband; but, in fact, to furnish a sufficient pretext
for declaring war against him, as he knew she would be dismissed with

8. Antony was now in the city of Leucop'olis, revelling with
Cleopatra, when he heard that Octa'via was at Athens, upon her journey
to visit him. This was very unwelcome news both to him and Cleopa'tra;
the latter, fearing the charms of her rival, endeavoured to convince
Antony of the strength of her passion, by her sighs, her looks, and
well-feigned melancholy. He frequently caught her in tears, which she
seemingly attempted to hide, and of which she appeared extremely
reluctant to tell him the cause. 9. These artifices, together with the
ceaseless flattery and importunity of her creatures, prevailed so much
on Antony's weakness, that he commanded Octa'via to return home
without seeing her; and still more to exasperate the people of Rome,
he resolved to repudiate her, and take Cleopa'tra as his wife. 10. He
accordingly assembled the people of Alexandria in the public theatre,
where was raised an alcove of silver, under which were placed two
thrones of gold, one for himself, and the other for Cleopa'tra. There
he seated himself, dressed as Bacchus, while Cleopatra sat beside him,
clothed in the ornaments and attributes of I'sis, the principal deity
of the Egyptians. 11. On that occasion he declared her queen of all
the countries which he had already bestowed upon her, while he
associated Cæsa'rio, her son by Cæsar, as her partner in the
government. To the two children of himself by her, he gave the title
of King of Kings, with very extensive dominions; and, to crown his
absurdities, he next sent a minute account of his proceedings to the
two consuls at Rome.

12. In the mean time, Augustus had a sufficient pretext for declaring
war, and informed the senate of his intentions. However, he deferred
the execution of his design for a while, being then employed in
quelling an insurrection of the Illy'rians. 13. The following year was
chiefly taken up in preparations against Antony, who, perceiving his
intentions, remonstrated to the senate, that he had many causes of
complaint against his colleague, who had seized upon Sicily without
affording him a share; alleging that he had also dispossessed
Lep'idus, and kept to himself the province he had commanded; and that
he had divided all Italy among his own soldiers, leaving nothing to
recompense those in Asia. 14. To this complaint Augustus was content
to make a sarcastic answer, implying that it was absurd to complain of
his distribution of a few trifling districts in Italy, when Antony,
having conquered Par'thia might now reward his soldiers with
cities and provinces.[14] 15. This sarcasm provoked him to send his
army without delay into Europe, to meet Augustus, while he and
Cleopa'tra followed to Sa'mos,[15] in order to prepare for carrying on
the war with vigour. 16. When arrived there, it was ridiculous enough
to behold the odd mixture of preparations for pleasure and for war. On
one side, all the kings and princes from Egypt to the Euxine Sea had
orders to send him supplies of men, provisions, and arms; on the
other, comedians, dancers, buffoons, and musicians, were ordered to
attend him.

17. His delay at Sa'mos, and afterwards at A'thens, where he carried
Cleopa'tra to receive new honours, proved extremely favourable to the
arms of Augustus, who was at first scarcely in a situation to oppose
him, had he gone into Italy; but he soon found time to put himself in
a condition for carrying on the war, and shortly after declared it
against him in form. At length both sides found themselves in
readiness to begin, and their armies were suitable to the greatness of
the empire for which they contended. 18. The one was followed by all
the forces of the East; the other drew after him all the strength of
the West. Antony's force composed a body of one hundred thousand foot,
and twelve thousand horse, while his fleet amounted to five hundred
ships of war. Augustus mustered but eighty thousand foot, but equalled
his adversary in the number of cavalry; his fleet was but half as
numerous as Antony's; however, his ships were better built, and manned
with better soldiers.

19. The great decisive engagement, which was a naval one, was fought
near Ac'tium,[16] a city of Epi'rus, at the entrance of the gulf of
Ambra'cia. Antony ranged his ships before the mouth of the gulf; and
Augustus drew up his fleet in opposition. Neither general assumed any
fixed station to command in, but went about from ship to ship,
wherever his presence was necessary. In the mean time the two land
armies, on the opposite sides of the gulf, were drawn up, only as
spectators of the engagement, and couraged the fleets, by their
shouts, to engage. 20. The battle began on both sides after a manner
not practised upon former occasions. The prows of their vessels were
armed with brazen beaks, with which it was usual to drive furiously
against each other; but Antony's ships being large, unwieldy, and
badly manned, were incapable of the necessary swiftness, while those
of Augustus, from the lightness of their construction, were fearful of
the rude encounter: the battle, therefore, rather resembled a land
fight, the ships being brought alongside each other. They fought with
great ardour, without advantage on either side, except from a small
appearance of disorder in the centre of Antony's fleet. 21. But, all
on a sudden, Cleopa'tra determined the fortune of the day. She was
seen flying from the engagement with her sixty sail, struck, perhaps,
with the terrors natural to her sex; and, to increase the general
amazement, Antony himself precipitately followed, leaving his fleet at
the mercy of the conquerors; while the army on land submitted, being
thus abandoned by their general.

22. When Cleopa'tra fled, Antony pursued her in a quinquireme,[17] and
coming alongside her ship, entered it without any desire of seeing
her. She was in the stern, and he went to the prow, where he remained
silent and melancholy. In this manner he continued three whole days,
during which, either through indignation or shame, he neither saw nor
spoke to Cleopa'tra. The queen's female attendants, however,
reconciled them, and every thing went on as before. 23. Still he had
the consolation to suppose his army continued faithful to him, and
accordingly despatched orders to conduct it into Asia. But he was soon
undeceived when he arrived in Africa, where he was informed of their
submission to his rival.[18] 24. This so transported him with rage,
that with difficulty he was prevented from killing him self. At
length, at the entreaty of his friends, he returned to Alexandria. 25.
Cleopa'tra seemed to retain that fortitude in her misfortunes, which
had utterly abandoned her admirer. Having amassed considerable riches,
by means of confiscations and other acts of violence, she formed a
very singular and unheard of project.

[Illustration: Sea-fight, near Actium.]

26. This was to convey her whole fleet over the Isthmus of Su'ez into
the Red Sea, and thereby save herself, with all her treasures, in
another region beyond the power of Rome. 27. Some of her vessels were
actually transported thither, pursuant to her orders; but the Arabians
having burnt them, and Antony dissuading her from the design, she
abandoned it for the more improbable scheme of defending Egypt against
the conqueror. 28. She omitted nothing in her power to put this in
practice, and made all kinds of preparations for war, hoping, at
least, by these means to obtain better terms from Augustus. In fact,
she had been more in love with Antony's fortune than his person; and
if she could have fallen upon any method of saving herself, though
even at his expense, there is little doubt but she would have embraced
it with gladness. 29. She had still hopes from the power of her
charms, though she was almost arrived at the age of forty: and was
desirous of trying upon Augustus those arts which had already been so
successful. Thus, in three embassies which were sent from Antony to
Augustus in Asia, the queen had always her secret agents, charged with
proposals in her name. Antony desired no more than that his life might
be spared, and to have the liberty of passing the remainder of his
days in obscurity. To these requests Augustus made no reply. 30.
Cleopa'tra also sent him public proposals in favour of her children;
but at the same time privately resigned to him her crown, with all the
ensigns of royalty. To the queen's public proposal no answer was
given; to her private offer he replied by giving her assurances of his
favour, in case she would send away Antony, or put him to death. 31.
These private negociations were not so concealed but they came to the
knowledge of Antony, whose jealousy and rage every occurrence now
contributed to heighten. He built a small solitary house upon a mole
in the sea, and shut himself up, a prey to those passions that are the
tormentors of unsuccessful tyranny. There he passed his time; shunning
all commerce with man kind, and professing to imitate Timon,[19] the
man-hater. 32. However, his furious jealousy drove him from this
retreat into society; for hearing that Cleopa'tra had secret
conferences with one Thyrsus, an emissary from Augustus, he seized
upon him, ordered him to be cruelly scourged, and sent him back to his
patron. At the same time he sent letters by him importing that Thyrsus
had been chastised for insulting a man in misfortunes; but withal he
gave Augustus permission to revenge himself by scourging Hippar'chus,
Antony's freedman, in the same manner. The revenge, in this case,
would have been highly pleasing to Antony, as Hippar'chus had left
him, to join the fortunes of his more successful rival.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What obstacle remained to the ambition of Augustus, and how did he
attempt its removal?

2. How was Antony at this time employed?

3. Did he keenly feel his misfortune?

4. Was she eminently skilled in the art of pleasing?

5. Was not Antony lavish in his favours to her?

6. What was the consequence of this folly?

7. By what means did he seek a quarrel?

8. How was this measure approved by Antony and Cleopatra?

9. What imprudent resolutions did he adopt?

10. Did he do this publicly?

11. What farther favours did he bestow on her?

12. Did Augustus immediately commence hostilities?

13. What complaints did Antony make of Augustus?

14. Did Augustus notice these accusations?

15. What effect had his reply on Antony?

16. Were these military preparations formidable?

17. What advantages did Antony offer Augustus?

18. What was the respective strength of the armies?

19. Describe the preparations for this great conflict?

20. Was the engagement well contested?

21. What extraordinary circumstance decided its fate?

22. Did he reproach Cleopatra for her timidity?

23. Had Antony any resources left?

24. How did he receive this news?

25. How did Cleopatra act in this exigence?

26. What was this project?

27. Was it put in execution?

28. How did she attempt this, and with what views?

29. What farther hopes had she of favour?

30. What proposals did she make, and how were they received?

31. Was Antony aware of these negociations?

32. Did he persist in thus secluding himself?


  O sun, thy uprise I shall see no more:
  Fortune and Antony part here.--_Shakspeare_.

1. Augustus advanced with another army against Pellu'sium,[20] which,
by its strong situation, might have retarded his progress for some
time. But the governor of the city, either wanting courage to defend
it, or previously instructed by Cleopa'tra to give it up, permitted
him to take possession; so that Augus'tus had now no obstacle in his
way to Alexan'dria, whither he marched with all expedition. 2. Antony,
upon his arrival, sallied out to oppose him, fighting with
desperation, and putting the enemy's cavalry to flight. 3. This slight
advantage once more revived his declining hopes; and, being naturally
vain, he re-entered Alexan'dria in triumph. Then going, armed as he
was, to the palace, and embracing Cleopa'tra, he presented to her a
soldier who had distinguished himself in the engagement. 4. The queen
rewarded him very magnificently, presenting him with a helmet and
breastplate of gold. With these, however, the soldier deserted in the
night to the other army, prudently resolving to secure his riches by
keeping on the strongest side. 5. Antony, not able to bear this
defection without fresh indignation, resolved to make a bold expiring
effort by sea and land; but previously offered to fight his
adversary in single combat. Augus'tus, however, too well knew the
inequality of their situations to comply with this forlorn proposal;
he, therefore, coolly replied, "Antony has ways enough to die besides
in single combat."

6. The next day, he posted the few troops he had remaining upon a
rising ground near the city, whence he sent orders to his galleys to
engage the enemy. There he waited to be a spectator of the combat; and
at first he had the satisfaction to see them advance in good order. 7.
But his joy was soon turned into rage, when he beheld his ships only
saluting those of Augus'tus, and both fleets uniting together and
sailing back into the harbour, and at the same time his cavalry
deserting him. He tried, however, to lead on his infantry; but these
were easily vanquished, and he himself compelled to return into the
town. 8. His fury was now ungovernable, crying out as he passed that
he was betrayed by Cleopa'tra, and delivered up to those who, for her
sake alone, were his enemies. In these suspicions he was not deceived;
for it was by secret orders from the queen that the fleet passed over
to the enemy.

9. Cleopa'tra had for a long while dreaded the effects of Antony's
jealousy; and had some time before prepared a method of obviating the
effects of any sudden sallies it might produce. 10. Near the temple of
Isis she had erected a building, which was seemingly designed for a
sepulchre. Hither she moved her treasure and most valuable effects,
covering them with torches, fagots, and other combustible matter. 11.
This sepulchre she designed to answer a double purpose, as well to
screen her from the sudden resentments of Antony, as to make Augustus
believe that she would burn all her treasure, in case he refused
proper terms of capitulation. Here, therefore, she retired from
Antony's fury--shutting the fortified gates, and giving orders to have
it reported that she was dead. 12. This news soon reached Antony, and
it recalled all his former love and tenderness. Subject to every gust
of passion, and each of them in the extreme, he now lamented her death
with the same violence that he had just before seemed to desire it.
"Miserable man!" exclaimed he, "what is there now worth living for?
since all that could soothe or soften my cares is departed! O
Cleopa'tra! our separation does not so much afflict me, as the
disgrace I suffer, in permitting a woman to instruct me in the ways of

[Illustration: Death of Eros.]

13. He now called to him one of his freedmen, named Eros, whom he
had engaged, by oath, to kill him, whenever fortune should drive him
to this last resource, and commanded him to perform his promise. This
faithful follower drew his sword, as if going instantly to strike the
blow, when, turning his face, he plunged it into his own bosom, and
dropped at his master's feet. 14. Antony, for a while, hung over his
faithful servant, charmed with his fidelity. Then snatching up the
sword he stabbed himself in the belly, and fell backward upon a couch.
15. The wound was mortal; yet the blood stopping, he recovered his
spirits, and earnestly conjured those who were come into the room to
put an end to his life; but they all fled, seized with fright and
horror. 16. He continued in this miserable condition till he was
informed by one of the queen's secretaries, that his mistress was
still alive, and begged that he would suffer himself to be transported
to the monument where she was. He was accordingly brought to the
sepulchre; but Cleopa'tra, attended by her two women only, durst by no
means permit the gate to be opened, but from the window threw down
cords, with which, with great difficulty, they drew him up. 17.
Antony, bathed in his blood, held out his hands to Cleopa'tra, and
faintly endeavoured to raise himself from the couch on which he had
been laid. The queen gave way to sorrow, tore her clothes, beat her
breast, and kissing the wound of which he was dying, called him her
husband, her lord, her emperor. 18. Antony entreated her to moderate
the transports of her grief, and to preserve her life, if she could be
able to do it with honour. "As for me, lament not my
misfortunes," he said; "but congratulate me upon the happiness which I
have enjoyed; I have lived the greatest and most powerful of men; and
though I fall, my fate is not ignominious; _a Roman myself, I am, at
last, by a Roman overcome_" Having thus said, he expired.

19. Proculei'us now made his appearance by command of Augus'tus, who
had been informed of Antony's desperate conduct. He was sent to try
all means of getting Cleopa'tra into his power. 20. Augustus had a
double motive for his solicitude on this occasion; one was--to prevent
her destroying the treasures she had taken with her into the tomb; the
other--to preserve her person, as an ornament to grace his triumph.
21. Cleopa'tra, however, was upon her guard, and rejected any
conference with Proculei'us, except through the gate, which was well
secured. At length, having procured a ladder, he, with two of
Augustus's soldiers, entered by the same window through which Antony
had been drawn up. Cleopa'tra, perceiving what had happened, drew a
poinard, that hung at her girdle, to stab herself; but Proculei'us
forced it from her. 22. Augustus, pleased to find her in his power,
sent Epaphrodi'tus to bring her to his palace, and to watch her with
the utmost circumspection. He was ordered to use her, in every
respect, with that deference and submission which were due to her
rank, and to do every thing in his power to render her captivity

23. Though kings and generals made interest for Antony's body, in
order to pay the last honours to it, this consolation was reserved for
Cleopa'tra. She alone was permitted to have the honour of granting
Antony the rites of burial, and was furnished with every thing
becoming his dignity to receive, or her love to offer. 24. Yet still
she languished under her new confinement. Her many losses, her frantic
sorrow, the blows which she had given her bosom, produced a fever,
which she wished to increase. She resolved, by abstaining from
nourishment, to starve herself to death, under the pretence of a
regimen necessary for her disorder. 25. But Augus'tus, being made
acquainted with the real motive by her physicians, began to threaten
her, with regard to the safety of her children, in case she should
perish. The fear of being the cause of their death was a motive she
could not resist. Cleopa'tra, therefore, allowed herself to be treated
as was thought proper, and she recovered.

26. In the mean time Augustus made his entry into Alexandria, taking
care to mitigate the fears of the inhabitants,  by conversing
familiarly with Ar'cus, a philosopher, and a native of the place. The
citizens, however, trembled at his approach. And when he placed
himself upon the tribunal, they prostrated themselves, with their
faces to the ground, before him, like criminals who waited the
sentence for their execution. 27. Augus'tus presently ordered them to
rise, telling them that three motives induced him to pardon them: his
respect for Alexander, who was the founder of their city; his
admiration of its beauty; and his friendship for Ar'cus, their fellow
citizen. 28. Two only of particular note were put to death upon this
occasion; Antony's eldest son, Antyl'lus, and Cæsa'rio, the son of
Julius Cæsar, both betrayed into his hands by their respective tutors,
who themselves suffered for their perfidy shortly after. As for the
rest of Cleopa'tra's children, he treated them with great gentleness,
leaving them to the care of those who were intrusted with their
education, to whom he gave orders to provide them with every thing
suitable to their birth. 29. Cleopa'tra, being recovered, Augus'tus
visited her in person: she received him lying on a couch; but, upon
his entering the apartment, rose up, habited in a loose robe, and
prostrated herself before him. Her misfortunes had given an air of
severity to her features; her hair was dishevelled, her voice
trembling, her complexion pale, and her eyes swollen with weeping;
yet, still, her natural beauty seemed to gleam through the distresses
that surrounded her; and the grace of her motions, and the alluring
softness of her looks, still bore testimony to the former power of her
charms. 30. Augus'tus raised her with his usual complaisance, and,
desiring her to sit, placed himself beside her. 31. Cleopa'tra had
been prepared for this interview, and made use of every art to
propitiate the conqueror. She tried apologies, entreaties and
allurements, to obtain his favour and soften his resentment. She began
by attempting to justify her conduct; but when her skill failed
against manifest proofs, she turned her defence into supplications.
She reminded him of Cæsar's humanity to those in distress; she read
some of his letters to her, full of tenderness, and expatiated upon
the intimacy that subsisted between them. "But of what service," cried
she, "are now all his benefits to me! Why did I not die with him! Yet,
still he lives--methinks I see him still before me! he revives in
you." 32. Augus'tus, who was no stranger to this method of address,
remained firm against all attacks; answering with a cold
indifference which obliged her to give her attempts a different
turn. 33. She now addressed his avarice, presenting him with an
inventory of her treasure and jewels. This gave occasion to a very
singular scene, that may serve to show that the little decorums of
breeding were then by no means attended to as in modern times. 34. One
of her stewards having alleged, that the inventory was defective, and
that she had secreted a part of her effects, she fell into the most
extravagant passion, started from her couch, and snatching him by the
hair, gave him repeated blows on the face. Augus'tus, smiling at her
indignation, led her to the couch, and desired her to be pacified. To
this she replied, that it was insufferable to be insulted in the
presence of one whom she so highly esteemed. "And admitting," cried
she, "that I have secreted a few ornaments, am I to blame, when they
are reserved, not for myself, but for Liv'ia and Octa'via, whom I hope
to make my intercessors with you?" 35. The apology, which intimated a
desire of living, was not disagreeable to Augustus, who politely
assured her she was at liberty to keep whatever she had reserved, and
that in everything she should be indulged to the height of her
expectations. He then took leave, and departed, imagining he had
reconciled her to life, and to the indignity of being shown in the
intended triumph, which he was preparing for his return to Rome; but
in this he was deceived. 36. Cleopa'tra had all this time corresponded
with Dolabel'la, a young Roman of high birth in the camp of Augustus,
who, from compassion, or perhaps from stronger motives, was interested
in her misfortunes. By him she was secretly informed that Augustus
determined to send her and her children, within three days, to Rome,
to grace his triumphant entry. 37. She, at length, therefore,
determined upon dying; but first throwing herself upon Antony's
coffin, bewailed her captivity, and renewed her protestations not to
survive him. Having bathed, and ordered a sumptuous banquet, she
attired herself in the most splendid manner. After partaking of the
banquet, she commanded all, except her two women, to leave the
apartment. She had contrived to have an asp secretly conveyed to her
in a basket of fruit, and then wrote to Augustus, to inform him of her
fatal purpose, desiring to be buried in the same tomb with Antony. 38.
Augustus, upon receiving the letter, instantly despatched messengers
in hopes to stop the fulfilment of her intentions; but they arrived
too late.

[Illustration: Death of Cleopatra.]

Upon entering the chamber, they beheld Cleopa'tra lying dead upon
her couch, arrayed in royal robes. Near her, I'ras, one of her
faithful attendants, was stretched at the feet of her mistress; and
Char'mion,[21] the other, scarcely alive, was settling the diadem upon
Cleopa'tra's head. "Alas!" cried one of the messengers, "is this well
done, Charmion?" "Yes," replied she, "it is well done--such a death
become a glorious queen, descended from a race of glorious ancestors."
Pronouncing these words, she dropped and expired with her much loved

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What new conquest was achieved by Augustus?

2. What was Antony's conduct on his arrival?

3. Was he elated by this slight success?

4. How was he rewarded, and in what manner did he evince his

5. What were Antony's feelings and conduct on the occasion?

6. Did he attempt farther hostilities?

7. Was this satisfaction well founded?

8. How was he affected by this ill success?

9. Was Cleopatra prepared for these misfortunes?

10. What precautions had she taken?

11 What was her design in building this sepulchre?

12. Was Antony affected by this news?

13. What followed?

14. Did Antony persist in his purpose?

15. Did he immediately expire?

16. Had he another interview with Cleopatra?

17, 18. Relate the particulars of this interview?

19. How did Augustus act on this occasion?

20. Why was Augustus anxious to preserve this life of Cleopatra?

21. Did he obtain ready admittance to her, and what was the

22. How was she treated?

23. By whom were the last honours paid to Antony?

24. Did this kindness reconcile her to her situation?

25. By what means did Augustus overcome her resolution?

26. What circumstance attended the entrance of Augustus into

27. Were their fears realized?

28. Who fell victims on the occasion?

29. Did Augustus visit Cleopatra, and how was he received?

30. What was his conduct towards her?

31. How did Cleopatra conduct herself at this interview?

32. Was Augustus moved by her artifices?

33. Mention her next attempt and its consequence.

34. Relate the particulars.

35. Was the apology accepted?

36. With whom did Cleopatra correspond, and what did she learn?

37. What resolution did she form, and how did she accomplish it?

38. Did not Augustus attempt to prevent her resolution, and was he


[1] In this contest the famous Alexan'drian library, consisting, it is
said, of 700,000 volumes, was accidentally burnt.

[2] I came, I saw, I conquered.

[3] The Romans divided their months into three parts; namely, Calends,
Nones, and Ides; all which they reckoned backwards. The Ides were
always eight in number. The Nones sometimes four, at others six. The
Calends varied according to the length of the month, and also with the
Nones, as they were four or six. The Calends always began on the first
of every month, and were counted backwards to the Ides, which fell on
the 15th of March, May, July, and October; and on the 13th of other
months; so that the Nones began on the 5th of each month when four,
and on the 7th when six in number. The Nones, therefore, always ended
on the 2d day of the month.

[4] Though Cæsar's ambition led him to usurp a power to which the
Romans were not willing to submit, it appears that he used it with
unexampled moderation. He was beloved and revered by the people,
honoured and almost adored by his friends, and esteemed and admired
even by his enemies. Absolute power could not have been in better

[5] It was the general opinion of the conspirators that Antony should
be cut off with Cæsar; but Brutus pleaded for and obtained his safety.
This kindness was ill repaid.

[6] The Forum was a public place at Rome, where lawyers and orators
made their speeches in matters of property of the state, or in
criminal cases.

[7] Now the Rheno, which runs through Bologna and falls into the Po.

[8] It is impossible to paint the horrors of this dreadful
proscription. Nothing was to be seen but blood and slaughter; the
streets were covered with dead bodies; the heads of the most
illustrious senators were exposed on the rostra, and their bodies left
to be devoured by dogs and birds of prey; three hundred senators, and
above two thousand knights, besides a vast number of others of
considerable rank, fell victims on this occasion. Many noble instances
of fidelity were displayed by slaves at this terrible conjuncture,
several chose rather to die on the rack, in the most exquisite
torments, than betray the place where their masters were concealed.

[9] A city on the confines of Macedonia, noted for the battle between
Brutus and Cassius, and Mark Antony and Augustus, B.C. 42; and also
the Epistle of Paul to the people of Philip'pi.

[10] This is very erroneous reasoning: suicide is, no doubt a heinous
crime: but Brutus appears to have been governed by his apprehension of
danger, instead of being convinced by the sober dictates of his

[11] On showing the order for the restoration of his property, he was
nearly killed by the centurion who was in possession, and escaped only
by swimming across a river. To these melancholy events he alludes in
his first Eclogue.

[12] Mantua was a very ancient town, supposed to be older than Rome.
It is still called Mantua, and is the capital of a duchy of the same

[13] He, however, displayed his usual cruelty towards the inhabitants,
causing three hundred senators to be sacrificed at an altar erected to
the memory of Julius Cæsar, and delivering up the city to plunder and
the flames.

[14] The severity of this sarcasm lay in its being directly contrary
to truth, as Antony had been defeated by the Par'thians.

[15] Samos, a celebrated island in the Archipel'ago. It has been
rendered famous for the worship and a temple of Juno, with a noted
Asylum. Its capital was of the same name, and is memorable for the
birth of Pythag'oras.

[16] Actium is famous for a temple of Apollo.

[17] A galley with five banks of oars.

[18] They continued unshaken in their fidelity for seven days after
the battle of Actium, notwithstanding the advantageous offers made
them by Augustus, in hopes Antony would return and put himself at
their head, but finding themselves disappointed, and abandoned by
their principal officers, they at length surrendered.

[19] Ti'mon, the misanthrope, was born near Athens, B.C. 420. He
declared himself the enemy of the human race, and had a companion
named Apeman'tus, who possessed a similar disposition. The latter
asking him one day why he paid such respect to Alcibi'ades, "It is,"
said the churl, "because I foresee he will prove the ruin of the
Athe'nians, my countrymen."(Plutarch.)

[20] A strong city of Egypt.

[21] Pronounced Kar'mion.

[22] Cleopatra was forty years old at the time of her death, and had
wed twelve years with Antony.

       *       *       *       *       *



  Happy Augustus! who so well inspired,
  Couldst throw thy pomp and royalties aside.
  Attentive to the wise, the great of soul.
  And dignify thy mind. Thrice glorious days.
  Auspicious to the muses!--_Dyer_.

1. By the death of Antony, Augus'tus having become master of the Roman
empire, returned to Rome in triumph; where, by feasts and magnificent
shows, he began to obliterate the impressions of his former cruelty;
and thenceforward resolved to secure, by his clemency, a throne, the
foundations of which were laid in blood. 2. He was now at the head of
the most extensive empire that mankind had ever beheld. The former
spirit of the Romans, and those characteristic marks that
distinguished them from others, were now totally lost. The city was
inhabited by a concourse from all the countries of the world; and
being consequently divested of all just patriotic principles, perhaps
a monarchy is the best form of government that could be found to
unite its members. 3. However, it was very remarkable, that during
these long contentions among themselves, and these horrid devastations
by civil war, the state was daily growing more formidable and
powerful, and completed the destruction of all the kings who presumed
to oppose it.

4. The first care of Augus'tus was to assure himself of the friends of
Antony; to which end he publickly reported that he had burnt all
Antony's letters and papers without reading them, convinced that,
while any thought themselves suspected, they would be fearful of even
offering him their friendship.

5. He had gained the kingdom by his army, but he resolved to govern it
by the senate. This body, though greatly fallen from its ancient
splendor, he knew to be the best constituted, and most remarkable for
wisdom and justice. To the senate, therefore, he gave the chief power
in the administration of his government, while he himself secured the
fidelity of the people and the army by donatives, and acts of favour.
6. By these means the odium of severity fell upon the senate, and the
popularity of pardon was solely his own. Thus restoring splendor to
the senate and discountenancing corruption, he pretended to reserve to
himself a very moderate share of authority, to which none could
object: namely, power to compel all ranks of the state to do their
duty. 7. This was, in fact, reserving absolute dominion in his own
hands; but the misguided people began to look upon his moderation with
astonishment: they considered themselves as restored to their former
freedom, except the capacity of promoting sedition; and the senate
supposed their power re-established in all things but their tendency
to injustice. It was even said that the Romans, by such a government,
lost nothing of the happiness that liberty could produce, and were
exempt from all the misfortunes it could occasion. 8. This observation
might have some truth under such a monarch as Augustus now appeared to
be; but they were afterwards taught to change their sentiments under
his successors, when they found themselves afflicted with all the
punishments that tyranny could inflict, or sedition make necessary.

9. After having established this admirable order, Augustus found
himself agitated by different passions; and considered, a long time,
whether he should keep the empire, or restore the people to their
ancient liberty. 10. But he adopted the advice of Mæce'nas,
which was, to continue in power: and he was afterwards swayed by him
on every occasion. By the advice of that minister, he became gentle,
affable, and humane: he encouraged men of learning, and gave them much
of his time and his friendship. These in their turn relieved his most
anxious hours, and circulated his praise throughout the empire.

11. Thus having given peace and happiness to his subjects, and being
convinced of the attachment of all orders of the state to his person,
he resolved upon impressing the people with an idea of his
magnanimity, by making a show of resigning his authority. 12. To this
end, having previously instructed his creatures in the senate how to
act, he addressed them in a studied speech, importing the difficulty
of governing so extensive an empire; a task to which, he said, none
but the immortal gods were equal. He modestly urged his own inability,
though impelled by every motive to undertake it; and then, with a
degree of seeming generosity, freely gave up all that power which his
arms had gained, and which the senate had confirmed, giving them to
understand, that the true spirit of the Romans was not lost in him.
13. This speech operated upon the senate variously, as they were more
or less in the secret. Many believed the sincerity of his conduct as
an act of heroism unequalled by any thing that had hitherto appeared;
others, though ignorant of his motives, distrusted his designs. Some
there were, who, having greatly suffered during the popular
commotions, were fearful of their being renewed; but the majority, who
were properly instructed by his ministers, frequently attempted to
interrupt him while speaking, and received his proposals with
pretended indignation. 14. These unanimously besought him not to
resign the administration; and, upon his continuing to decline their
request, they in a manner compelled him to comply. However, that his
person might be in greater security, they immediately decreed that the
pay of his guard should be doubled. 15. On the other hand, that he
might seem to make concessions on his side, he permitted the senate to
govern the weak, internal provinces, while the most powerful
provinces, and those that required the greatest armies for their
defence, were taken entirely under his own command. Over these he
assumed the government for ten years only, leaving the people still in
hopes of regaining their ancient freedom; at the same tune, however,
laying his measures so well,  that his government was renewed
every ten years, to his death.

16. This show of resignation only served to confirm him in the empire,
and in the hearts of the people. New honours were heaped upon him. He
was now first called Augustus (a name I have hitherto used as that by
which he is best known in history.) A laurel was ordered to be planted
at his gates. That house was called the palace wherever he made his
abode. He was confirmed in the title of father of his country, and his
person declared sacred and inviolable. 17. In short, flattery seemed
on the rack to find out new modes of pleasing him; but, though he
despised the arts of the senate, he permitted their homage, well
knowing that, among mankind, titles produce a respect which enforces

18. Upon entering into his tenth consulship, the senate, by oath,
approved of all his acts, and set him wholly above the power of the
laws. They, some time after, offered to swear not only to all the laws
he had made, but such as he should make for the future. 19. It was
customary with fathers, upon their death-beds, to command their
children to carry oblations to the Capitol, with an inscription, that
at the day of their deaths they left Augustus in health. It was
determined that no man should be put to death on such days as the
emperor entered the city. Upon a dearth of provisions, the people
entreated him to accept of the dictatorship; but he would by no means
assume the title of dictator, which had been abolished by law.

20. An accumulation of titles and employments did not in the least
diminish his assiduity in fulfilling the duties of each. Several very
wholesome edicts were passed by his command, tending to suppress
corruption in the senate, and licentiousness in the people. 21. He
ordained that none should exhibit a show of gladiators without an
order from the senate; and then not oftener than twice a year, nor
with more than a hundred and twenty at a time. This law was extremely
necessary at so corrupt a period of the empire, when armies of these
unfortunate men were brought at once upon the stage, and compelled to
fight, often, till half of them were slain. 22. It had been usual also
with the knights, and women of the first distinction, to exhibit
themselves as dancers upon the theatre; he ordered that not only
these, but their children and grand-children should be restrained from
such exercises for the future. 23. He fined many that had refused
to marry at a certain age, and rewarded such as had many children. He
enacted that the senators should be held in great reverence; adding to
their dignity what he had taken from their power. 24. He made a law,
that no man should have the freedom of the city without a previous
examination into his merit and character. He appointed new rules and
limits to the manumission of slaves, and was himself very strict in
the observance of them. With regard to dramatic performers, of whom he
was very fond, he severely examined their morals, not allowing
licentiousness in their lives, nor indecency in their actions. Though
he encouraged the athletic exercises, he would not permit women to be
present at them. 25. In order to prevent bribery in suing for offices,
he took considerable sums of money from the candidates by way of
pledge; and if any indirect practices were proved against them, they
were obliged to forfeit all. 26. Slaves had been hitherto disallowed
to confess anything against their own masters; but he abolished the
practice, and first sold the slave to another, which altering the
property, his examination became free. 27. These and other laws, all
tending to extirpate vice or deter from crimes, gave the manners of
the people another complexion; and the rough character of the Roman
soldier was now softened into that of the refined citizen.[1]

_Questions for Examination._

1. What was the consequence of the death of Antony?

2. What was the character of the Roman people at this time?

3. Did these convulsions weaken the empire?

4. What was the first care of Augustus?

5. In what way did he propose to govern?

6. What were the consequences of this conduct?

7. What advantages did the Romans fancy they enjoyed?

8. Was this observation correct?

9. What conflicting passions agitated the mind of Augustus?

10. Whose advice did he adopt, and what was that advice?

11. What artifice did he employ to confirm his power?

12. How did he make his intentions known?

13. What effect was produced by this proposal?

14. What was their conduct on this occasion?

15. What farther artifices did he employ?

16. What were the consequences of this affected moderation?

17. Was he imposed upon by these arts?

18. What farther instances of abject servility did the senate display?

19. What else was done to his honour?

20. Did these honours render him remiss?

21. What salutary law did he enact?

22. What next?

23. What regulations concerning marriage, and respect to senators, did
he enforce?

24. How did he improve the morals of the people?

25. How did he prevent bribery?

26. By what means did he promote justice?

27. What was the consequence of these regulations?


  The death of those distinguished by their station,
  But by their virtue more, awakes the mind
  To solemn dread, and strikes a saddening awe.--_Young_.

1. Augustus, by his own example, tended greatly to humanize his
fellow-citizens; for being placed above all equality, he had nothing
to fear from condescension. He was familiar with all, and suffered
himself to be reprimanded with the most patient humility. Though, by
his sole authority, he could condemn or acquit whomsoever he thought
proper, he gave the laws their proper course, and even pleaded for
persons he desired to protect. 2. When the advocate for Pri'mus[2]
desired to know, with an insolent air, what brought Augustus into
court, the emperor calmly replied, "The public good." When one of his
veteran soldiers entreated his protection, Augustus bid him apply to
an advocate. "Ah!" replied the soldier, "it was not by proxy that I
served you at the battle of Ac'tium." Augustus was so pleased that he
pleaded his cause and gained it for him. One day a petition was
presented to him with so much awe as to displease him. "Friend," cried
he, "you seem as if you were offering something to an elephant rather
than to a man; be bolder." 3. Once as he was sitting in judgment,
Mæce'nas perceiving that he was inclined to be severe, and not being
able to get to him through the crowd, he threw a paper into his lap,
on which was written, "Arise, executioner!" Augustus read it without
displeasure, and immediately rising, pardoned those whom he was
disposed to condemn. 4. But what most of all showed a total
alteration, was his treatment of Corne'lius Cinna, Pompey's grandson.
This nobleman had entered into a conspiracy against him: Augustus sent
for the other conspirators, reprimanded them, and dismissed them. But
resolving to mortify Cinna by the greatness of his generosity--"I have
twice," says he, "given you your life, as an enemy and as a
conspirator: I now give you the consulship; let us therefore be
friends for the future; let us contend only in showing whether my
confidence or your fidelity shall be victorious."

5. In the practice of such virtues he passed a long reign. In fact, he
seemed the first Roman who aimed at gaining a character by the arts of
peace, and who obtained the affections of the soldiers without any
military talents of his own: nevertheless, the Roman arms, under his
lieutenants, were crowned with success.

6. But he had uneasiness of a domestic nature that distressed him. He
had married Liv'ia, the wife of Tibe'rius Nero, by the consent of her
husband, when she was six months advanced in her pregnancy. She was an
imperious woman, and, conscious of being beloved, controlled him at
her pleasure. 7. She had two sons, Tibe'rius the elder, and Dru'sus,
who was born three months after she had been married to Augustus, and
who was thought to be his own son. The elder of these, Tibe'rius, whom
he afterwards adopted, and who succeeded him in the empire, was a good
general, but of a suspicious and obstinate temper, and of a conduct so
turbulent and restless, that he was at last exiled for five years to
the island of Rhodes, where he chiefly spent his time in a retired
manner, conversing with the Greeks, and addicting himself to
literature, of which, however he afterwards made but a bad use.

8. But the greatest affliction that Augustus experienced was from the
conduct of his daughter Julia, whom he had by Scribo'nia, his former
wife. Julia, whom he married to his general Agrip'pa, and afterwards
to Tibe'rius, set no bounds to her misconduct. She was arrived at that
excess of wickedness, that the very court where her father presided
was not exempt from her infamies. 9. Augustus, at first, had thoughts
of putting her to death: but, after consideration, he banished her to
Pandata'ria.[3] He ordered that no person should come near her
without his permission, and sent her mother Scribo'nia along with her,
to bear her company. When any one attempted to intercede for Julia,
his answer was, "that fire and water should sooner unite than he with
her." 10. Augustus, having survived most of his contemporaries, at
length, in the seventy-fourth year of his age, began to think of
retiring from the fatigues of state, and of constituting Tibe'rius his
partner in the throne. He desired the senate to salute him no longer
at the palace, nor take it amiss, if, for the future, he could not
converse with them, as formerly.

[Sidenote: U.C. 762.]

11. From that time Tibe'rius was joined in the government of the
provinces with him, and invested with nearly the same authority.
However, Augustus could not entirely forsake the administration, which
habit had rendered a source of pleasure; and he still continued a
watchful guardian, and showed himself, to the last, a lover of his
people. 12. Finding it now, therefore, very inconvenient to come to
the senate, by reason of his age, he desired to have twenty
privy-counsellors assigned him for a year; and it was decreed, that
whatever measures were resolved upon by them and the consuls, should
have entirely the force of a law. 13. He seemed apprehensive of his
approaching end, for he made his will, and delivered it to the vestal
virgins. He then solemnized the census, or numbering the people, whom
he found to amount to four millions one hundred and thirty-seven
thousand; which shows Rome to be equal to four of the greatest cities
of modern times. 14. While these ceremonies were performing, in the
midst of a mighty concourse of people in the Cam'pus Mar'tius, it is
said that an eagle flew round the emperor several times, and,
directing its flight to a neighbouring temple, perched over the name
of Agrippa: this omen was, by the augurs, conceived to portend the
death of the emperor. 15. Shortly after, having accompanied Tibe'rius
in his march into Illyr'ia, he was taken ill. Returning thence, he
sent for Tibe'rius and his most intimate friends. A few hours before
his death he ordered a looking-glass to be brought, and his hair to be
adjusted with more than usual care. He then addressed his friends,
whom he beheld surrounding his bed, and desired to know whether he had
properly played his part in life; to which, being answered in the
affirmative, he cried out with his last breath, "Then give me your
applause." Thus, at the age of seventy-six, after reigning forty-four
years, he expired in the arms of Liv'ia, bidding her remember
their marriage and their last farewell.[4]

16. The death of the emperor caused inexpressible grief throughout the
whole empire. It was, by some, supposed that his wife Liv'ia had some
hand in hastening it, with a view to procure the succession more
speedily for her son. However this was, she took care, for a time, to
keep the important event concealed, by guarding all the passages to
the palace; sometimes giving out that he was recovered, and then
pretending a relapse. At length, having settled the succession to her
mind, she published the emperor's death; and at the same time, the
adoption of Tibe'rius to the empire. 17. The emperor's funeral was
performed with great magnificence. The senators being in their places,
Tibe'rius, on whom that care devolved, pronounced a consolatory
oration. After this his will was read, wherein he made Tibe'rius and
Liv'ia his heirs. 18. He was studious of serving his country to the
very last, and the sorrow of the people seemed equal to his assiduity.
It was decreed, that all the women should mourn for him a whole year.
Temples were erected to him, divine honours were allowed him, and one
Nume'rius At'ticus, a senator, willing to convert the adulation of the
times to his own benefit, received a large sum of money for swearing
that he saw him ascending into heaven; so that no doubt remained among
the people concerning his divinity.

19. Such were the honours paid to Augustus, whose power began in the
slaughter, and terminated in the happiness of his subjects; so that it
was said of him, "that it had been good for mankind if he had never
been born, or if he had never died." 20. It is possible that the
cruelties exercised in his triumvirate were suggested by his
colleagues. In the case of Cæsar's death, he might think that revenge
was virtue. Certain it is, that severities were necessary to restore
public tranquillity; for, until the Roman spirit should be eradicated,
no monarchy could be secure. 21. He indulged his subjects in the
appearance of a republic, while he made them really happy in the
effects of a most absolute monarchy, administered with the most
consummate prudence. In this last quality he seems to have excelled
most monarchs; and indeed, could we separate Octavius from Augustus,
he was one of the most faultless princes in history. 22. About this
time our Saviour was born in Jude'a.[5]

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What was the general conduct of Augustus?

2. Mention some instances of his moderation?

3. What farther instance of his moderation is on record?

4. How did he most decidedly show the alteration in his disposition?

5. In what was he particularly remarkable?

6. Was he happy in domestic life?

7. What family had she, and what was the character of her son?

8. Had he no other domestic trials?

9. In what way was she punished?

10. Was the reign of Augustus of considerable length?

11. Did he associate Tiberius with him in the government?

12. By what means did he lighten the burden of government?

13. By what measure did he prepare for his approaching end?

14. What omen portended his death?

15. How did he meet his end?

16. How were the people affected by his death, and why was it for a
time concealed?

17. How was his funeral celebrated?

18. What honours were decreed him?

19. Were those honours deserved?

20. What excuses may be made for his early cruelties?

21. By what means did he secure his power?

22. What remarkable event happened in his reign?


                              Thy acts,
  Thy fame, Germanicus, will long outlive
  The venomed shafts of envy; and the praise
  Of patriot tongues shall follow thee in death.--_Clarke._

[Sidenote: U.C. 762. A.D. 10.]

1. Tibe'rius was fifty-six years old when he took upon him the
government of the Roman empire. He had lived in a state of profound
dissimulation under Augustus, and was not yet hardy enough to show
himself in his real character. In the beginning of his reign nothing
appeared but prudence, generosity, and clemency.[6] 2. But the
successes of his nephew, German'icus, son of his late brother Dru'sus,
over the Germans, first brought his natural disposition to light, and
discovered the malignity of his mind without disguise. 3. He was
hardly settled on his throne, when he received intelligence that the
legions in Panno'nia, hearing of the death of Augustus, and desirous
of novelty, had revolted; but these were soon quieted, and
Percen'nius, their leader, slain. 4. A commotion in Germany was
attended with much more important consequences. The legions in that
part of the empire were conducted by German'icus, a youth of most
admirable qualities, who had been at the late emperor's request,
adopted, in order to succeed to the empire. These forces had taken the
opportunity of his absence to revolt, and now began to affirm that the
whole Roman empire was in their power, and that its principal grandeur
was owing to the success of their arms; when German'icus returned,
therefore, they unanimously resolved to choose him emperor. 5. This
general was the darling of the soldiers, and almost idolized, so that
he might, with very little difficulty, have raised himself to the
highest dignity in the state; but his duty prevailed over his
ambition; he rejected their offers with the utmost indignation, and
used the most indefatigable endeavours to quell the sedition. This he
effected, though with extreme hazard, by cutting off many of the
principal revolters, and then by leading the troops against the
Germans, who were considered as the common enemies of the empire.

6. Tiberius was as much pleased with the loyalty of German'icus, as he
was distressed at his superior popularity; his success, also,
immediately after, against the Germans, still more excited the
emperor's envy and private disgust. He overthrew the enemy in several
battles, subduing many wild and extensive countries. 7. These
victories, however, only served to inflame the emperor's jealousy: and
every virtue in the general now became a new cause of offence. This
dislike began to appear by Tiberius's making use of every pretence to
draw German'icus from the legions: but he was obliged to postpone his
purpose on account of a domestic insurrection made in Italy by one
Cle'mens, whom he put to death by a private execution in a secret
apartment of the palace.

9. Having thus got rid of his domestic enemy, he turned his thoughts
to the most specious means of bringing home German'icus from the
legions in Germany. He began by procuring him a triumph for his late
victories, and when writing to him to return in order to enjoy those
honours which the senate had decreed; adding, that he had reaped
enough of glory in a country to which he had been sent nine times, and
been each time victorious; concluding, that so great a number of
triumphs was sufficient; and the most signal vengeance which could be
inflicted on this turbulent people was to permit them to continue
their intestine divisions. 10. German'icus was met on his return, many
miles from the city, by a vast multitude, who received him with marks
of adoration rather than respect. The gracefulness of his person; his
triumphal chariot, in which were carried his five children; and the
recovered standards of the army of Va'rus, threw the people into a
phrenzy of joy and admiration.[7]

11. German'icus was now appointed to a new dignity. He departed from
Rome on an expedition to the east, carrying with him his wife
Agrippi'na, and his children. 12. But Tibe'rius, to restrain his
power, had sent Cne'ius Pi'so governor into Syr'ia. This Pi'so was a
person of furious and headstrong temper, and, in every respect, fit to
execute those fatal purposes for which he was designed. 13. His
instructions were, to oppose German'icus upon every occasion, to
excite hatred against him, and even to procure his death if an
opportunity should offer. He accordingly took every opportunity of
abusing German'icus; and taxed him with diminishing the Roman glory,
by his peculiar protection of the Athe'nians. 14. German'icus
disregarded his invectives, being more intent on executing the
business of his commission, than on counteracting the private designs
of Pi'so. 15. Piso, however, and his wife Planci'na, who is recorded
as a woman of an implacable and cruel disposition, continued to defame
him. German'icus opposed only patience and condescension to all their
invectives, and, with that gentleness which was peculiar to him,
repaid their resentments by courtesy. 16. He was not ignorant of their
motives, and was rather willing to evade than oppose their
enmity. He, therefore, took a voyage into Egypt, under pretence of
viewing the celebrated antiquities of that country; but, in reality,
to avoid the machinations of Pi'so, and those of his wife, which were
still more dangerous. 17. Upon his return he fell sick, and, whether
from a mind previously alarmed, or from more apparent marks of
treachery, he sent to let Pi'so know, that he broke off all further
connections. Growing daily worse, his death appeared to be inevitable.
18. Finding his end approaching, he addressed his friends, who stood
around his bed, to the following effect: "Had my death been natural, I
might have reason to complain of being thus snatched away from all the
endearments of life, at so early an age; but my complaints are
aggravated, in falling the victim of Pi'so's and Planci'na's
treachery. Let the emperor, therefore, I conjure you, know the manner
of my death, and the tortures I suffer. Those who loved me when
living--those who even envied my fortune--will feel some regret, when
they hear of a soldier, who had so often escaped the rage of the
enemy, falling a sacrifice to the treachery of a woman. Plead then my
cause before the people--you will be heard with pity--and if my
murderers should pretend to have acted by command, they will either
receive no credit or no pardon." 19. As he spoke these words, he
stretched forth his hand, which his weeping friends tenderly pressing,
most earnestly vowed that they would lose their lives rather than
their revenge. The dying prince, then turning to his wife, conjured
her, by her regard to his memory, and by all the bonds of nuptial
love, to submit to the necessity of the times, and to evade the
resentment of her more powerful enemies by not opposing it.[8] 20.
Nothing could exceed the distress of the whole empire, upon hearing of
the death of German'icus, and the people of Rome seemed to set no
bounds to it. 21. In this universal confusion, Pi'so seemed marked for
destruction. He and his wife stood charged with the death of
German'icus, by giving him a slow poison. Indeed, even the emperor
himself, with his mother Liv'ia, incurred a share of the general
suspicion. 22. This was soon after greatly increased by the arrival of
Agrippi'na, the widow of German'icus, a woman of invincible courage,
and in high esteem for her virtue. She appeared bearing the urn
containing the ashes of her husband, and, attended by all her
children, went to the tomb of Augustus. 23. When she approached the
city, she was met by the senate and people of Rome, both with
acclamations and expressions of sorrow. The veteran soldiers, who had
served under German'icus, gave the sincerest testimonies of their
concern. The multitude, while the ashes were depositing, regarded the
ceremony in profound silence; but presently broke out into loud
lamentations, crying out, The commonwealth is now no more.

24. Tibe'rius permitted the accusation of Pi'so, though he was justly
supposed to be merely the instrument of his own vengeance. This
general was accused before the senate of the death of German'icus, and
of other crimes.

25. He put an end to his trial, which had been drawn out to a great
length, by committing suicide.[9] His wife Planci'na, who was
universally believed to be most culpable, escaped punishment by the
interest of Liv'ia.

26. Tibe'rius, having now no object of jealousy to keep him in awe,
began to pull off the mask, and appear more in his natural character
than before. 27. In the beginning of his cruelties, he took into his
confidence Seja'nus, a Roman knight, who found out the method of
gaining his affection by the most refined degree of dissimulation, and
was an overmatch for his master in his own arts.[10] It is not well
known whether he was the adviser of all the cruelties that ensued; but
certain it is, that from the beginning of his ministry, Tibe'rius
seemed to become more fatally suspicious.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What were the age and character of Tiberius on his accession?

2. What first showed him in his true colours?

3. What was the first news he heard?

4. Was there not a more formidable revolt?

5. Did Germanicus accept this dignity?

6. Did Tiberius properly appreciate this conduct?

7. Was he pleased with his success?

8. How did this appear?

9. What followed this execution?

10. How was Germanicus received?

11. How was he next employed?

12. What restraints were imposed on him?

13. What were Piso's instructions, and how did he execute them?

14. How did Germanicus act on the occasion?

15. Did Piso persevere in his base attempts?

16. Was Germanicus aware of their design?

17. What happened on his return?

18. Repeat his speech on his death-bed.

19. What farther passed on this occasion?

20. Was his untimely end lamented?

21. Who incurred the popular hatred on this occasion?

22. How was this increased?

23. What honours were paid her?

24. Was the tyrant's vile agent rewarded for his services?

25. What was the issue?

26. How did Tiberius conduct himself after this?

27. Who was his prime minister?


  Some ask for envied power; which public hate
  Pursues, and hurries headlong to their fate;
  Down go the titles; and the statue crowned,
  Is by base hands in the next river drowned.--_Juvenal_.

1. Seja'nus began his administration by using all his address to
persuade Tiberius to retire to some agreeable retreat, remote from
Rome; from this he expected many advantages, since there could be no
access to the emperor but through him. 2. The emperor, either
prevailed upon by his persuasions, or pursuing the natural turn of his
temper, left Rome and went into Campa'nia, under pretence of
dedicating temples to Ju'piter and Augustus. Growing weary, however,
of places where mankind might follow him with their complaints and
distresses, he withdrew himself into the delightful island of Ca'preæ;
and buried in this retreat, gave himself up to abandoned pleasures,
regardless of the miseries of his subjects. 3. From this time he
became more cruel, and Seja'nus increased his distrusts. Secret spies
and informers were placed in all parts of the city, who converted the
most harmless actions into subjects of offence. 4. In consequence of
this, Ne'ro and Dru'sus, the children of German'icus, were declared
enemies to the state, and afterwards starved to death in prison;
while Agrippi'na, their mother, was sent into banishment. Sabi'nus,
Asin'ius, Gal'lus, and Syria'eus, were, upon slight pretences,
condemned and executed. 5. In this manner Seja'nus proceeded, removing
all who stood between him and the empire; and every day increasing his
confidence with Tibe'rius, and his power with the senate. The number
of his statues exceeded even those of the emperor; people swore by his
fortune, in the same manner as they would have done had he been upon
the throne; and he was more dreaded than even the tyrant who actually
enjoyed the empire. 6. But the rapidity of his rise seemed only
preparatory to the greatness of his downfall. All we know of his first
disgrace with the emperor is, that Sati'rus Secun'dus was the man who
had the boldness to accuse him of treason; and Anto'nia, the mother of
German'icus, seconded the accusation. 7. The senate, who had long been
jealous of his power, and dreaded his cruelty, immediately took this
opportunity of going beyond the orders of Tibe'rius; instead of
sentencing him to imprisonment, they directed his execution.[11] 8.
Whilst he was conducting to his fate, the people loaded him with
insult and execration; pursued him with sarcastic reproaches; and
threw down his statues. He himself was strangled by the executioner.

9. His death only lighted up the emperor's rage for farther
executions. Planci'na, the wife of Pi'so, and others, were put to
death for being attached to Seja'nus. He began to grow weary of single
executions, and gave orders that all the accused should be put to
death together, without further examination. The whole city was, in
consequence, filled with slaughter and mourning. 10. When one
Carnu'lius killed himself, to avoid the torture, "Ah!" cried
Tibe'rius, "how has that man been able to escape me!" When a prisoner
had earnestly entreated that he would not defer his death: "Know,"
said the tyrant, "I am not sufficiently your friend to shorten your

11. In this manner he lived, odious to the world, and troublesome to
himself; an enemy to the lives of others, a tormentor of his own.[12]
At length, in the 22d year of his reign, he began to feel the
approaches of dissolution, and his appetite totally forsook him. 12.
He now, therefore, found it was time to think of a successor, and
fixed upon Calig'ula:[13] willing, perhaps, by the enormity of
Calig'ula's conduct, with which he was well acquainted, to lessen the
obloquy of his own.

13. Still, however, he seemed desirous to avoid his end; and strove,
by change of place, to cut off the inquietude of his own reflections.
He left his favourite island, and went upon the continent; and at
last, fixed at the promontory of Mise'num.[14] There he fell into
faintings, which all believed to be fatal. 14. Calig'ula supposing him
actually dead, caused himself to be acknowledged by the Prætorian
soldiers,[15] and went forth from the emperor's apartment amidst the
applauses of the multitude; when, all of a sudden, he was informed
that the emperor was likely to recover. 15. This unexpected account
filled the whole court with terror and alarm; every one who had before
been earnestly testifying his joy, now reassumed his pretended sorrow,
and forsook the new emperor, through a feigned solicitude for the fate
of the old. 16, Calig'ula seemed thunderstruck; he preserved a gloomy
silence, expecting nothing but death, instead of the empire at which
he aspired. 17. Marco, however, who was hardened in crimes, ordered
that the dying emperor should be despatched, by smothering him with
pillows; or, as some will have it, by poison. Thus died Tibe'rius in
the seventy-eighth year of his age, after reigning twenty-two

[Sidenote: U.C. 780 A.D. 37.]

18. It was in the eighteenth year of this emperor's reign that Christ,
(after having spent two years in the public ministry, instructing the
multitude in the way of salvation,) was crucified; as if the universal
depravity of mankind wanted no less a sacrifice than this to reclaim
them. Pi'late sent to Tibe'rius an account of Christ's passion,
resurrection, and miracles, and the emperor made a report of the whole
to the senate, desiring that Christ might be accounted a god by the
Romans. 19. But the senate, displeased that the proposal had not come
first from themselves, refused to allow of his apotheosis; alleging an
ancient law, which gave them the superintendence in all matters of
religion. They even went so far as to command, by an edict, that all
Christians should leave the city; but Tibe'rius, by another edict,
threatened death to such as should accuse them; by which means they
continued unmolested during the rest of his reign.

20. The vices of Calig'ula were concealed under the appearance of
virtue in the beginning of his reign. In less than eight months,
however, every trace of moderation and clemency vanished; while
furious passions, unexampled avarice, and capricious cruelty, reigned
uncontrolled; and pride, impiety, lust, and avarice, appeared in all
their native deformity.

21. Calig'ula's pride first appeared in his assuming to himself the
title of ruler; which was usually granted only to kings. He would also
have taken the crown and diadem, had he not been advised, that he was
already superior to all the monarchs of the world. 22. Not long after
he assumed divine honours, and gave himself the names of such
divinities as he thought most agreeable to his nature. For this
purpose he caused the heads of the statues of Jupiter, and some other
gods, to be struck off, and his own to be put in their places. He
frequently seated himself between Castor and Pollux, and ordered that
all who came to this temple to worship should pay their adorations
only to himself. 23. However, such was the extravagant inconsistency
of this unaccountable idiot, that he changed his divinity as often as
he changed his clothes; being at one time a male deity, at another a
female; sometimes Jupiter or Mars; and not unfrequently Venus or
Diana. 24. He even built and dedicated a temple to his own divinity,
in which his statue of gold was every day dressed in robes similar to
those which he himself wore, and worshipped by crowds of adorers.
His priests were numerous; the sacrifices made to him were of the most
exquisite delicacies that could be procured; and the dignity of the
priesthood was sought by the most opulent men of the city. However, he
admitted his wife and his horse to that honour; and to give a
finishing stroke to his absurdities, became a priest to himself. 25.
His method of assuming the manners of a deity was not less ridiculous;
he often went out at full moon, and courted it in the style of a
lover. He employed many inventions to imitate thunder, and would
frequently defy Jupiter, crying out with a speech of Homer, "Do you
conquer me, or I will conquer you." He frequently pretended to
converse in whispers with the statue of Jupiter, and usually seemed
angry at its replies, threatening to send it back into Greece, whence
it came. Sometimes, however, he would assume a better temper, and seem
contented that Jupiter and he should dwell together in amity.

26. Of all his vices, prodigality was the most remarkable, and that
which in some measure gave rise to the rest. The luxuries of former
emperors were simplicity itself when compared to those which he
practised. He contrived new ways of bathing, when the richest oils and
most precious perfumes were lavished with the utmost profusion. His
luxuries of the table were of immense value, and even jewels, as we
are told, were dissolved in his sauces. He sometimes had services of
pure gold presented before his guests, instead of meat, observing that
a man should be an economist or an emperor.

27. The manner in which he maintained his horse will give some idea of
his domestic extravagance. He built a stable of marble, and a manger
of ivory; and whenever the animal, which he called Incita'tus, was to
run in the race, he placed sentinels near its stable, the night
preceding, to prevent its slumbers from being broken.[16]

_Questions for Examination._

1. What was the first measure of Sejanus?

2. Did the emperor yield to his persuasions?

3. What consequences ensued from this measure?

4. Who were the first sufferers?

5. Did Sejanus increase his influence?

6. Was this elevation permanent?

7. To what punishment was he condemned?

8. What occurred at his execution?

9. Was this the only victim to the cruelty of Tiberius?

10. How did Tiberius aggravate his cruelties?

11. Did these cruelties long continue?

12. How did he act on this?

13. Was he resigned to his fate?

14. What followed on this?

15. How was this news received?

16. Did Caligula boldly meet the consequences?

17. How was this averted?

18. What highly remarkable event happened in this reign?

19. Was his desire gratified?

20. What was the conduct of Caligula on this occasion?

21. By what acts did he display his pride?

22. Did his arrogance carry him farther than this?

23. Under what name did he assume divine honours?

24. Of what farther absurdities was he guilty?

25. Relate other follies of his?

26. What was his principal vice?

27. Give an instance of his domestic extravagance?


  For him no prayers are poured, no pæans sung,
  No blessings chanted from a nation's tongue.--_Brereton._

1. The impiety, however, of Calig'ula was but subordinate to his
cruelties. He slew many of the senate, and afterwards cited them to
appear. He cast great numbers of old and infirm men to the wild
beasts, to free the state from such unserviceable citizens. He usually
fed his wild beasts with the bodies of those wretches whom he
condemned; and every tenth day sent off numbers of them to be thus
devoured, which he jocosely called clearing his accounts. One of those
who was thus exposed, crying out that he was innocent,[17] Calig'ula
ordered him to be taken up, his tongue to be cut out, and then
thrown into the amphitheatre as before. 2. He took delight in killing
men with slow tortures, that, as he expressed it, they might feel
themselves dying, being always present at such executions himself,
directing the duration of the punishment, and mitigating the tortures
merely to prolong them. 3. In fact, he valued himself for no quality
more than his unrelenting temper, and inflexible severity, when he
presided at an execution. 4. Upon one occasion, being incensed with
the citizens, he wished that the Roman people had but one neck, that
he might dispatch them at one blow.

5. Such insupportable and capricious cruelties produced many secret
conspiracies against him; but they were for a while deferred upon
account of his intended expedition against the Germans and Britons.

[Sidenote: U.C. 793. A.D. 41]

6. For this purpose he caused numerous levies to be made, and talked
with so much resolution, that it was universally believed he would
conquer all before him. 7. His march perfectly indicated the
inequality of his temper; sometimes it was so rapid that the cohorts
were obliged to leave their standards behind them; at other times it
was so slow, that it more resembled a pompous procession than a
military expedition. 8. In this disposition he would cause himself to
be carried on a litter, on eight men's shoulders, and ordered all the
neighbouring cities to have their streets well swept and watered, that
he might not be annoyed with dust. 9 However, all these mighty
preparations ended in nothing. Instead of conquering Britain, he
merely gave refuge to one of its banished princes; and this he
described, in his letter to the senate, as taking possession of the
whole island. 10. Instead of conquering Germany, he only led his army
to the seashore in Gaul: there, disposing his engines and warlike
machines with great solemnity, and drawing up his men in order of
battle, he went on board his galley, with which coasting along, he
commanded his trumpets to sound, and the signal to be given as if for
an engagement. 11. His men, who had previous orders, immediately fell
to gathering the shells that lay upon the shore into their helmets, as
their spoils of the conquered ocean, worthy of the palace and the
capitol. 12. After this doughty expedition, calling his army together,
like a general after victory, he harangued them in a pompous manner,
and highly extolled their achievements; then, distributing money among
them, and congratulating them upon their riches, he dismissed them,
with orders to be joyful: and, that such exploits should not pass
without a memorial, he ordered a lofty tower to be erected by the

13. Cassius Cher'ea, a tribune of the Prætorian bands, was the person
who at last freed the world from this tyrant. Besides the motives
which he had in common with other men, he had received repeated
insults from Calig'ula, who took all occasions of turning him into
ridicule, and impeaching him with cowardice, merely because he
happened to have an effeminate voice. Whenever Cher'ea came to demand
the watch-word from the emperor, according to custom, he always gave
him either Venus, Adonis, or some such, implying softness and

14. Cher'ea secretly imparted his design to several senators and
knights, whom he knew to have received personal injuries from
Calig'ula. While these were deliberating upon the most certain and
speedy method of destroying the tyrant, an unexpected incident gave
new strength to the conspiracy. 15. Pempe'dius, a senator of
distinction, being accused before the emperor of having spoken of him
with disrespect, the informer cited one Quintil'ia, an actress, to
confirm the accusation. 16. Quintil'ia, however, was possessed of a
degree of fortitude not frequently found even in the other sex. She
denied the fact with obstinacy; and, being put to the torture, bore
the severest tortures of the rack with unshaken constancy. 17. Indeed,
so remarkable was her resolution, that though acquainted with all the
particulars of the conspiracy, and although Cher'ea was the person
appointed to preside at her torture, she revealed nothing; on the
contrary, when she was led to the rack, she trod upon the toe of one
of the conspirators, intimating at once her knowledge of their
conspiracy, and her resolution not to divulge it. 18. Thus she
suffered, until all her limbs were dislocated; and, in that deplorable
state, was presented to the emperor, who ordered her a gratuity for
what she had endured.

19. Cher'ea could no longer contain his indignation, at being thus
made the instrument of a tyrant's cruelty. After several deliberations
of the conspirators, it was at last resolved to attack him during the
Palatine games, which lasted four days,[19] and to strike the
blow when his guards should not have the opportunity to defend him.
20. The first three days of the games passed. Cher'ea began to
apprehend that deferring the completion of the conspiracy might be the
means of divulging it; he even dreaded that the honour of killing the
tyrant might fall to the lot of some other person bolder than himself.
At last he resolved to defer the execution of his plot only to the day
following, when Calig'ula should pass through a private gallery, to
some baths near the palace.

21. The last day of the games was more splendid than the rest; and
Calig'ula seemed more sprightly and condescending than usual. He
enjoyed the amusement of seeing the people scramble for the fruits and
other rarities by his order thrown among them, being no way
apprehensive of the plot formed for his destruction. 22. In the mean
time the conspiracy began to transpire: and, had he any friends
remaining, it could not have failed of being discovered. A senator who
was present, asking one of his acquaintance if he had heard any thing
new, and the other replying in the negative, said "you must know, that
this day will be represented the death of a tyrant." The other
immediately understood him, but desired him to be cautious. 23. The
conspirators waited many hours with extreme anxiety; and Calig'ula
seemed resolved to spend the whole day without any refreshment. So
unexpected a delay exasperated Cher'ea; and, had he not been
restrained, he would suddenly have perpetrated his design in the midst
of all the people. 24. At that instant, while he was hesitating,
Aspore'nus,[20] one of the conspirators, persuaded Calig'ula to go to
the bath, and take some slight refreshment, that he might the better
enjoy the rest of the entertainment. 25. The emperor, rising up, the
conspirators used every precaution to keep off the throng, and to
surround him themselves, under pretence of great assiduity. Upon his
entering a little vaulted gallery that led to the bath, Cher'ea struck
him to the ground with his dagger, crying out, "Tyrant, think
upon this." The other conspirators closed in upon him; and while
the emperor was resisting, and crying out that he was not yet dead,
they dispatched him with thirty wounds.

26. Such was the merited death of Calig'ula, in the 29th year of his
age, after a short reign of not four years. His character may be
summed up in the words of Sen'eca; namely, "Nature seemed to have
brought him forth, to show what mischief could be effected by the
greatest vices supported by the greatest authority."

_Questions for Examination_.

1. Of what enormities was Caligula guilty?

2. How did he heighten his cruelties?

3. On what did he chiefly value himself?

4. What monstrous wish did he express?

5. What was the consequence of such atrocities?

6. What preparations did he make?

7. How did his disposition display itself on this occasion?

8. How did he sometimes travel?

9. What exploits did he perform?

10. Did he not make a show of some great enterprise?

11. How did it end?

12. Of what farther follies was he guilty?

13. By whom was he assassinated, and by what provocations was his fate

14. Were others made privy to the design?

15. Relate this incident.

16. Did Quintilia confirm the accusation?

17. What rendered this resolution more remarkable?

18. What was the result?

19. Was the _crisis_ much longer deferred?

20. Was this resolution put in practice?

21. Was Caligula at all apprehensive of what was in agitation?

22. Was the secret inviolably kept?

23. How was the design nearly frustrated?

24. What induced Caligula to alter his intention?

25. Relate the manner of his death.

26. Repeat the summary of his character as given by Seneca.


U.C. 794.--A.D. 42.

                                 Old as I am,
  And withered as you see these war-worn limbs,
  Trust me, they shall support the mightiest load
  Injustice dares impose.--_Mason's Caractacus_.

1. As soon as the death of Calig'ula was made public it produced the
greatest confusion. The conspirators, who only aimed at destroying a
tyrant, without attending to the appointment of a successor, had
all sought safety by retiring to private places. 2. Some soldiers
happening to wander about the palace, discovered Clau'dius,
Calig'ula's uncle, lurking in a secret place where he had hid himself.
Of this person, who had hitherto been despised for his imbecility,
they resolved to make an emperor: and accordingly they carried him
upon their shoulders to the camp, where they proclaimed him at a time
when he expected nothing but death.

3. Clau'dius was now fifty years old. The complicated diseases of his
infancy had, in some measure, affected all the faculties of his mind
as well as body, and he seemed, both in public and domestic life,
incapable of conducting himself with propriety.[21]

4. The commencement of his reign, however, as had been the case with
all the bad emperors, gave the most promising hopes. It began by an
act of oblivion for all former words and actions, and by disannulling
all the cruel edicts of Calig'ula. 5. He showed himself more moderate
than his predecessors with regard to titles and honours. He forbade
all persons, under severe penalties, to sacrifice to him, as they had
done to Calig'ula. He was assiduous in hearing and examining
complaints; and frequently administered justice in person with great
mildness. To his solicitude for the internal advantages of the state,
he added that of a watchful guardianship over the provinces. He
restored Jude'a to Her'od Agrip'pa,[22] which Calig'ula had taken from
Her'od Antipas, his uncle, the man who had put John the Baptist to
death, and who was banished by order of the present emperor.[23]

[Illustration: Triumph of Claudius.]

6. He even undertook to gratify the people by foreign conquest.
The Britons, who had for nearly a hundred years been left in quiet
possession of their own island, began to seek the mediation of Rome,
to quell their intestine commotions. 7. The principal man who desired
to subject his native country to the Roman dominion, was one Ber'icus,
who persuaded the emperor to make a descent upon the island,
magnifying the advantages that would attend the conquest of it. 8. In
pursuance of his advice, therefore, Plau'tius, the prætor, was ordered
to go into Gaul, and make preparations for this great expedition. At
first, indeed, his soldiers seemed backward to embark, declaring that
they were unwilling to make war beyond the limits of the world; for so
they judged Britain to be. However, they were at last persuaded to go,
and the Britons were several times overthrown.

[Sidenote: A.D. 46.]

9. These successes soon after induced Claud'ius to go into Britain in
person, under pretence that the natives were still seditious, and had
not delivered up some Roman fugitives, who had taken shelter among
them. 10. However, this exhibition seemed rather calculated for show
than service: the time he continued in Britain, which was in all but
sixteen days, was more taken up in receiving homage than extending his
conquests. 11. Great rejoicings were made upon his return to Rome: the
senate decreed him a splendid triumph; triumphal arches were erected
to his honour, and annual games instituted to commemorate his
victories. 12. In the mean time the war was vigorously prosecuted by
Plau'tius, and his lieutenant Vespasian, who, according to
Sueto'nius, fought thirty battles, and reduced a part of the island
into the form of a Roman province.

[Sidenote: A.D. 51]

13. However, this war broke out afresh under the government of
Osto'rius, who succeeded Plau'tius. The Britons, either despising him
for want of experience, or hoping to gain advantages over a person
newly come to command, rose up in arms, and disclaimed the Roman
power. 14. The Ice'ni, who inhabited Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridge, and
Huntingdonshire; the Can'gi, in Wiltshire and Somersetshire; and the
Brigan'tes, in Yorkshire, &c. made a powerful resistance, though they
were at length overcome; but the Silu'res, or inhabitants of South
Wales, under their king Carac'tacus, were the most formidable
opponents the Roman generals had ever yet encountered. 15. This brave
barbarian not only made a gallant defence, but often claimed a
doubtful victory. He, with great conduct, removed the seat of war into
the most inaccessible parts of the country, and for nine years kept
the Romans in continued alarm.

16. Upon the approach of Osto'rius, however, Carac'tacus, finding
himself obliged to come to a decisive engagement, addressed his
countrymen with calm resolution, telling them that this battle would
either establish their liberty, or confirm their servitude; that they
ought to remember the bravery of their ancestors, by whose valour they
were delivered from taxes and tribute; and that this was the time to
show themselves equal to their progenitors. 17. But nothing that
undisciplined valour could perform availed against the conduct of the
Roman legions. After an obstinate fight, the Britons were entirely
routed: the wife and daughter of Carac'tacus were taken prisoners; and
he himself, seeking refuge from Cartisman'dua, queen of the
Brigan'tes, was treacherously delivered up to the conquerors. 18. When
he was brought to Rome, nothing could exceed the curiosity of the
people to behold a man who had, for so many years, braved the power of
the empire. Carac'tacus testified no marks of base dejection. When he
was led through the streets, and observed the splendor of every object
around him--"Alas!" cried he, "how is it possible that people
possessed of such magnificence at home, could think of envying
Carac'tacus a humble cottage in Britain!" 19. When he was brought
before the emperor, while the other prisoners sued for pity with the
most abject lamentations, Carac'tacus stood before the tribunal with
an intrepid air, and though he was willing to accept of pardon,
was not mean enough to sue for it. "If," said he, "I had yielded
immediately, and without opposing you, neither would my fortune have
been remarkable, nor your glory memorable; you could not have been
victorious, and I had been forgotten. If now, therefore, you spare my
life, I shall continue a perpetual example of your clemency."
Clau'dius generously pardoned him, and Osto'rius was decreed a

20. In the beginning of his reign Clau'dius gave the highest hopes of
a happy continuance; but he soon began to lessen his care for the
public, and to commit to his favourites all the concerns of the
empire. This prince, weak from his infancy, was little able, when
called to govern, to act but under the direction of others. 21. One of
his chief instructors was his wife Messa'lina: whose name is become a
common appellation for women of abandoned character. By her was
Clau'dius urged on to commit cruelties, which he considered only as
wholesome severities; while her crimes became every day more
notorious, and exceeded what had ever been in Rome. For her crimes and
enormities, however, she, together with her accomplice Cai'us Sil'ius,
suffered that death they both had so justly deserved.

22. Clau'dius afterwards married Agrippi'na, the daughter of his
brother German'icus, a woman of a cruel and ambitious spirit, whose
only aim being to procure the succession of Nero, her son by a former
marriage, she treated Claudius with such haughtiness, that he was
heard to declare, when heated with wine, that it was his fate to smart
under the disorders of his wives, and to be their executioner. 23.
This expression sunk deep in her mind, and engaged all her faculties
to prevent the blow; she therefore resolved not to defer a deed which
she had meditated long before, which was to poison him. She for some
time debated within herself in what quantity the poison should be
administered, as she feared that too strong a dose would discover the
treachery, while one too weak would fail of its effect. 24. At length
she determined upon a poison of singular efficacy to destroy his
intellects, and yet not suddenly to terminate his life; it was given
among mushrooms, a dish the emperor was particularly fond of. 25.
Shortly after he had eaten, he dropped down insensible; but this
caused no alarm, as it was usual with him to eat till he had stupified
his facilities, and been obliged to be carried from the table to his
bed. 26. His constitution, however, seemed to overcome the
effects of the potion; but Agrippi'na resolving to make sure of him,
directed a wretch of a physician, her creature, to introduce a
poisoned feather into his throat, under pretence of making him vomit,
and thus to dispatch him, which had its intended effect. Thus died
Clau'dius the First, the complicated diseases of whose infancy seemed
to have affected and perverted all the faculties of his mind. He was
succeeded by Nero, the son of Agrippi'na by her first husband. Nero
had been adopted by Clau'dius.

_Questions for Examination._

1. What happened on the death of Caligula?

2. Who was appointed his successor?

3. What was the character of Claudius?

4. How did he conduct himself?

5. By what farther acts did he distinguish his accession?

6. Did he adopt any warlike measure?

7. By whom was he persuaded to interfere?

8. Who was sent into that country, and what occurred in consequence?

9. What resolution did Claudius form?

10. Did he perform any memorable exploits?

11. Was his return celebrated?

12. Was the war in Britain now at an end?

13. Did this finish the war?

14. Who were the most formidable adversaries of the Romans?

15. How did he distinguish himself?

16. By what means did he strengthen the courage of his troops?

17. Were his efforts successful?

18. What happened on his arrival in Rome?

19. What was his behaviour before the emperor?

20. Did Claudius continue to govern well?

21. Who was the chief instigator of his cruelties?

22. Who was the second wife of Claudius, and what was her conduct
towards him?

23. What was the consequence of this unguarded expression?

24. On what did she at length resolve?

25. What effect did it produce?

26. Did he recover?

[Illustration: Rome set on fire, by order of Nero.]


U.C. 793--A.D. 55.

  That so, obstructing those that quenched the fire,
  He might at once destroy rebellious Rome.--_Lee_.

1. Nero, though but seventeen years old, began his reign with the
general approbation of mankind. He appeared just, liberal, and humane.
When a warrant for the execution of a criminal was brought to be
signed, he would cry out with compassion, "Would to heaven that I had
never learned to write!"

2. But as he increased in years, his native disposition began to show
itself. The execution of his mother Agrippi'na was the first alarming
instance he gave of his cruelty. After attempting to get her drowned
at sea, he ordered her to be put to death in her palace; and coming to
gaze upon the dead body, was heard to say, that he had never thought
his mother so handsome a woman.

The manner of his attempt to drown her was extremely singular. He
caused a vessel to be constructed that, by withdrawing some bolts,
would separate in the open sea, and thus give her death the appearance
of a shipwreck. Agrippi'na, naturally suspicious, at first refused to
go on board; but, lulled into security by the artful blandishments of
her son, she embarked. The attempt was made; but Agrippi'na was taken
up by some fisher-boats, and conveyed to her own villa. The very great
calmness of the sea prevented the possibility of its being
considered as an accident. Agrippi'na, however, dissembled her
suspicions, and informed the emperor of her wonderful escape. Three
years after the death of his mother, he murdered his tutor Burrhus,
and also his wife Octavia, a young princess of admirable virtue and
beauty that he might marry the infamous Poppæ'a.

3. The mounds of virtue being thus broken down, Nero gave a loose to
appetites that were not only sordid, but inhuman. There was a sort of
odd contrast in his disposition: for while he practised cruelties
sufficient to make the mind shudder with horror, he was fond of those
amusing arts which soften and refine the heart. He was particularly
addicted, even from childhood, to music, and not totally ignorant of
poetry; chariot-driving was his favourite pursuit; and all these he
frequently exhibited in public.

4. Happy had it been for mankind, had he confined himself to these;
and contented with being contemptible, sought not to become formidable
also. His cruelties exceeded all his other extravagancies. 5. A great
part of the city of Rome was consumed by fire in his time, and to him
most historians ascribe the conflagration. It is said that he stood
upon a high tower, during the continuance of the flames, enjoying the
sight, and singing, in a theatrical manner to his harp, verses upon
the burning of Troy. Of the fourteen quarters into which Rome was
divided, only four remained entire. None were permitted to lend
assistance towards extinguishing the flames; and several persons were
seen setting fire to the houses, alleging that they had orders for so
doing. 6. However this be, the emperor used every art to throw the
odium of so detestable an action from himself, and fix it upon the
Christians, who were at that time gaining ground in Rome.

7. Nothing could be more dreadful than the persecution raised against
them upon this false accusation. Some were covered with the skins of
wild beasts, and, in that disguise, devoured by the dogs; some were
crucified, and others burnt alive. "When the day was not sufficient
for their tortures, the flames in which, they perished," says
Ta'citus, "served to illuminate the night:" while Nero, dressed in the
habit of a charioteer, regaled himself with a view of their tortures
from his gardens, and entertained the people at one time with their
sufferings, at another with the games of the circus. 8. In this
persecution St. Paul was beheaded, and St. Peter crucified, with his
head downwards; a mode of death he chose, as being more dishonourable
than that of his divine master. Upon the ruins of the demolished
city, Nero founded a palace, which he called his Golden House. It
contained within its inclosure, artificial lakes, large wildernesses,
spacious parks, gardens, orchards, vineyards, &c. &c. The entrance of
the stately edifice was sufficiently lofty to admit a colossal statue
of Nero, 120 feet high. The galleries, erected on three rows of tall
pillars, were each a mile in length. The palace itself was tiled with
gold (probably gilding), the walls covered with the same metal, and
richly adorned with precious stones and mother-of-pearl: and the
ceiling of one of the banqueting rooms represented the firmament beset
with, stars, turning about incessantly night and day, and showering
sweet waters on the guests.

9. A conspiracy formed against Nero, by Piso, a man of great power and
integrity, which was prematurely discovered, opened a train of
suspicions that destroyed many of the principal families in Rome. 10.
The two most remarkable personages who fell on this occasion, were
Sen'eca[24], the philosopher, and Lucan the poet, his nephew.

Epicha'ris, a woman of infamous character, who by some means was
implicated in the conspiracy, deserves to be mentioned as an instance
of female fortitude. She was condemned to the torture, but the united
force of racks, stripes and fire, could not extort a word from her.
The next day she was conducted in a chair to be tortured afresh, (for
her limbs were so mangled and disjointed, that she could not stand,)
she hung herself with her girdle to the top of the chair, voluntarily
suspending the whole weight of her body to the noose: thus a woman
once a slave, cheerfully endured the most exquisite torture, and even
death, to save persons she scarcely knew, and from whom she had never
received any favours.

Nero, either having real testimony, or else hating him for his
virtues, sent a tribune to Sen'eca[24], informing him that he was
suspected as an accomplice. The tribune found the philosopher at table
with Pauli'na, his wife; and informing him of his business, Sen'eca
replied without emotion, that his welfare depended upon no man; that
he had never beenaccustomed to indulge the errors of the emperor,
and would not do it now. 11. When this answer was brought to Nero, he
demanded whether Sen'eca seemed afraid to die; the tribune replying
that he did not appear in the least terrified; "Then go to him again,"
cried the emperor, "and give him my orders to die." Accordingly he
sent a centurion to Sen'eca, signifying that it was the emperor's plea
sure that he should die. Sen'eca seemed no way discomposed, but
displayed the fortitude of conscious integrity. He endeavoured to
console his wife, and exhorted her to a life of persevering virtue.
12. She seemed resolved, however, not to survive him, and pressed her
request to die with him so earnestly, that Sen'eca, who had long
looked upon death as a benefit, at last gave his consent; and the
veins of both their arms were opened at the same time. 13. As Sen'eca
was old, and much enfeebled by the austerities of his life, the blood
flowed but slowly; so that he caused the veins of his legs and thighs
to be opened also. His pains were long and violent, but they were not
capable of repressing his fortitude or his eloquence. He dictated a
discourse to two secretaries, which was read with great avidity after
his death, but which has since perished in the lapse of time. 14. His
agonies being now drawn out to a great length, he at last demanded
poison from his physician; but this also failed of its effect, his
body being already exhausted, and incapable of exciting its operation.
He was from this carried into a warm bath, which only served to
prolong his sufferings; at length, therefore, he was put in a stove,
the vapour of which quickly dispatched him. 15. In the mean time his
wife, Pauli'na, having fallen into a swoon with the loss of blood, had
her arms bound up by her domestics, and by this means survived her
husband for some years; but by her conduct during the rest of her
life, she seemed never to forget her affection and his example.

16. The death of Lucan was not less remarkable. After he had lost a
great quantity of blood from the veins of his arms, perceiving his
hands and legs already dead, while the vital parts still continued
warm and vigorous, he called to mind the description of his own poem
of the Pharsa'lia, of a person dying in similar circumstances, and
expired while he was repeating the passage.

[Sidenote: U.C. 817. A.D. 66.]

17. The death of C. Petro'nius, about this time, is too remarkable to
be passed over in silence. This person, whom some historians suppose
to be the author of the piece entitled T. Petro'nii Arbi'tri
Saty'ricon, was an Epicu'rean, both in principle and practice. In a
court like that of Nero, he was esteemed for his refinements in
luxury, and became the emperor's tutor in this exquisite art. 18.
Accused of being privy to Piso's conspiracy, he was committed to
prison. Petro'nius, who could not endure the anxiety of suspense,
resolved upon putting himself to death, by causing his veins to be
opened. 19. In the mean time, he conversed with his friends, not upon
maxims of philosophy, or grave subjects, but upon such topics as had
amused his gayest revels. He listened while they recited the lightest
poems; and by no action, no word, no circumstance, showed the
perplexity of a dying person. 20. Shortly after him, Numi'cius
Thermus, Bare'a Sora'nus, and Pe'tus Thra'sea, were put to death. The
valiant Cor'bulo, who had gained Nero so many victories over the
Parthians, followed next. Nor did the empress Poppæ'a herself escape.
21. At length human nature grew weary of bearing her persecutor; and
the whole world seemed to rouse, as if by common consent, to rid the
earth of a monster.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What was Nero's conduct at the commencement of his reign?

2. Did this disposition continue?

3. What was there peculiar in his disposition?

4. Were these his greatest faults?

5. Of what heinous crime is he accused?

6. On whom was the odium of this barbarous action cast?

7. What was the consequence to these unhappy men?

8. What eminent persons suffered on this occasion?

9. Did not these cruelties give birth to conspiracies?

10. What persons of note suffered in consequence?

11. Did this defence save his life?

12. Were his exhortations effectual?

13. Relate the circumstances of Seneca's death?

14. Were not other means resorted to?

15. Did not Paulina survive him?

16. Describe the death of Lucan.

17. What other victim of Nero's cruelty deserves mention?

18. What brought him into danger?

19. How did he meet death?

20. Were not other illustrious persons sacrificed?

21. Were these cruelties committed with impunity?


  O breath of public praise,
  Short-lived and vain; oft gained without desert,
  As often lost unmerited: composed
  But of extremes---_Havard._

1. Ser'vius Galba, at that time governor of Spain, was remarkable for
his wisdom in peace, and his courage in war; but as a display of
talents under corrupt princes is dangerous, he, for some years, had
seemed to court obscurity and an inactive life. 2. Willing, however,
to rid his country of the monster that now occupied the throne, he
accepted the invitation of Vindex, to march with an army towards Rome.
3. From the moment he declared against Nero, the tyrant considered
himself as fallen. He received the account as he was at supper, and
instantly struck with terror, overturned the table with his foot,
breaking two crystal vases of immense value. He fell into a swoon, and
on his recovery tore his clothes and struck his head, crying out,
"that he was utterly undone." 4. He now called for the assistance of
Locus'ta, a woman famous in the art of poisoning, to furnish him with
the means of death; but being prevented in this, and the revolt
becoming general, he went in person from house to house; but the doors
were shut against him. Being reduced to a state of desperation, he
desired that one of his favourite gladiators might dispatch him; but
even in this request not one would obey. "Alas," cried he, "have I
neither friend nor enemy?" then running desperately forth, he seemed
resolved to plunge headlong into the Ti'ber. 5. But his courage failed
him; he made a sudden stop, as if willing to re-collect his reason,
and asked for some sacred place where he might reassume his courage,
and meet death with becoming fortitude. 6. In this distress, Pha'on,
one of his freedmen, offered him his country-house, about four miles
distant, where he might for some time remain concealed. Nero accepted
the offer; and, with his head covered, hiding his face with his
handkerchief, he mounted on horseback, attended by four of his
domestics, of whom the wretched Sporus was one. 7. His journey, though
short, was crowded with adventures. An earthquake gave him the first
alarm. The lightning from heaven next flashed in his face. Round him
he heard nothing but confused noises from the camp, the cries of the
soldiers imprecating a thousand evils upon his head. 8. A traveller,
meeting him on the way, cried, "Those men are in pursuit of Nero."
Another asked him if there was any news of Nero in the city. His horse
taking fright at a dead body that lay near the road, he dropped
his handkerchief, when a soldier addressing him by name, he quitted
his horse, and forsaking the highway, entered a thicket that led
towards the back part of Pha'ron's house, making the best of his way
among the reeds and brambles with which the place was overgrown. 9.
During this interval, the senate, finding the Præto'rian guards had
taken part with Galba, declared him emperor, and condemned Nero to
die, _mo're majo'rum;_ that is, according to the rigour of the ancient
laws. 10. When he was told of the resolution of the senate, he asked
what was meant by being punished according to the rigour of the
ancient laws? To this it was answered, that the criminal was to be
stripped naked, his head fixed in a pillory, and in that posture he
was to be scourged to death. 11. Nero was so terrified at this, that
he seized two poniards, which he had brought with him: after examining
their points, he returned them, however, to their sheaths, pretending
that the fatal moment was not yet arrived. 12. He then desired Sporus
to begin the lamentations which were used at funerals; he next
entreated that one of his attendants would die, to give him courage by
his example, and afterwards began to reproach his own cowardice,
crying out, "Does this become Nero? Is this trifling well-timed?
No!--let me be courageous!" In fact, he had no time to spare; for the
soldiers who had been sent in pursuit of him, were just then
approaching the house. 13. Upon hearing, therefore, the sound of the
horses' feet, he set a dagger to his throat, with which, by the
assistance of Epaphrod'itus, his freedman and secretary, he gave
himself a mortal wound. 14. However, he was not yet dead when one of
the centurions, entering the room and pretending that he came to his
relief, attempted to stop the blood with his cloak. But Nero,
regarding him with a stern countenance, said, "It is now too late! Is
this your fidelity?" Upon which, with his eyes fixed and frightfully
staring, he expired; exhibiting, even after death, a ghastly spectacle
of innoxious tyranny. 15. He reigned thirteen years, seven months, and
twenty-eight days, and died in the thirty-second year of his age.

[Sidenote: U.C. 820, A.D. 69]

16. Galba was seventy-two years old when he was declared emperor, and
was then in Spain with his legions. He soon found that his being
raised to the throne was but an inlet to new disquietudes. 17. He
seemed to have three objects in view: to curb the insolence of the
soldiers; to punish those vices which had risen to an enormous
height in the last reign; and to replenish the exchequer, which had
been drained by the prodigality of his predecessors. 18. However,
permitting himself to be governed by favourites, he at one time showed
himself severe and frugal; at another remiss and prodigal; condemning
some illustrious persons without any hearing, and pardoning others,
though guilty. In consequence of this, seditions were kindled, and
factions promoted. 19. Galba was sensible that, besides his age, his
want of an heir rendered him less respected: he resolved, therefore,
to adopt a person whose virtues might deserve such advancement, and
protect his declining age from danger; but his favourites wished to
give him an heir of their own choosing; so that there arose a great
contention among them upon this occasion. 20. Otho made earnest
application for himself, alleging the great services he had done the
emperor, as being the first man of note who came to his assistance
when he declared against Nero. 21. However, Galba, being fully
resolved to consult the public good alone, rejected his suit; and, on
a day appointed, ordered Piso Lucia'nus to attend him. The character
given by historians of Piso is, that he was every way worthy of the
honour designed him. 22. Taking this youth by the hand, Galba adopted
him to succeed in the empire, giving him the most wholesome lessons
for guiding his future conduct. Piso showed that he was highly
deserving this distinction, in all his deportment there appeared such
modesty, firmness, and equality of mind as bespoke him rather capable
of discharging than ambitious of obtaining his present dignity. 23.
But the army and the senate did not seem equally disinterested upon
this occasion; they had been so long used to bribery and corruption,
that they could now bear no emperor who was not in a capacity of
satisfying their avarice. The adoption, therefore, of Piso, was coldly
received; for his virtues were no recommendation in a time of
universal depravity. 24. Otho, who had long been a favourite of Galba,
and hoped to be adopted a successor in the empire, finding himself
disappointed, and stimulated by the immense load of debt which he had
contracted by his riotous way of living, resolved upon obtaining the
empire by force, since he could not do it by peaceable succession.
Having corrupted the fidelity of the army, he stole secretly from the
emperor while he was sacrificing, and, assembling the soldiers,
he, in a short speech, urged the cruelties and the avarice of
Galba. 25. Finding his invectives received with universal shouts by
the army, he entirely threw off the mask, and avowed his intention of
dethroning him. The soldiers being ripe for sedition, immediately
seconded his views, and taking Otho upon their shoulders, declared him
emperor; and to strike the citizens with terror, carried him, with
their swords drawn, into the camp.

26. Soon after, finding Galba in some measure deserted by his
adherents, the soldiers rushed in upon him, trampling under foot the
crowds of people that then filled the forum. 27. Galba seeing them
approach, seemed to recollect all his former fortitude; and bending
his head forward, bid the assassins strike it off, if it were for the
good of the people. 28. The command was quickly obeyed. The soldier
who struck it off stuck it upon the point of a lance, and
contemptuously carried it round the camp; his body remaining unburied
in the streets till it was interred by one of his slaves. His short
reign of seven months was as illustrious by his own virtues as it was
contaminated by the vices of his favourites, who shared in his

29. Otho, who was now elected emperor, began his reign by a signal
instance of clemency, in pardoning Marius Celsus, who had been highly
favoured by Galba; and not content with barely forgiving, he advanced
him to the highest honours, asserting that "fidelity deserved every

30. In the mean time, the legions in Lower Germany having been
purchased by the large gifts and specious promises of Vitel'lius their
general, were at length induced to proclaim him emperor; and,
regardless of the senate, they declared that they had an equal right
to appoint to that high station, with the cohorts at Rome.

31. Otho departed from Rome with all haste to give Vitel'lius battle.
The army of Vitel'lius, which consisted of seventy thousand men, was
commanded by his generals Va'lens and Cecin'na, he himself remaining
in Gaul, in order to bring up the rest of his forces. Both sides
hastened to meet each other with so much animosity and precipitation,
that three considerable battles were fought in the space of three
days, in all of which Otho and the Romans had the advantage. 32. These
successes, however, were but of short continuance, for Va'lens and
Cecin'na, who had hitherto acted separately, joining their forces, and
strengthening their armies with fresh supplies, resolved to come
to a general engagement. Otho's forces were partially over thrown
at Bedria'cum, a village near Cremo'na, in Lombardy, in Italy; and
though he had still numerous armies at his devotion, he killed himself
shortly after, having reigned three months and five days, and was
succeeded by Vitel'lius.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What was the character of Sergius Galba?

2. Did he at length emerge from his obscurity?

3. Was he formidable to Nero?

4. What was the conduct of Nero on this emergency?

5. Did he actually do so?

6. Was his request complied with?

7. What befell him by the way?

8. What farther happened?

9. What occurred in the interval?

10. How did Nero receive this intelligence?

11. Did he resolve to await this terrible punishment?

12. How did he contrive to put off the fatal moment?

13. What at length put an end to this irresolution?

14. Was he dead when the soldiers arrived?

15. How long did he reign?

16. What was the age of Galba on his accession?

17. What were his principal views?

18. Was his conduct regular and consistent?

19. What important measure did he adopt?

20. Who was the chief candidate on the occasion?

21. Was he chosen?

22. Was Piso the chosen successor, and what was his character?

23. Was this adoption generally approved?

24. Did not Otho attempt to set him aside?

25. Was he favourably received?

26. Did Galba suppress this rebellion?

27. What was his behaviour on the occasion?

28. Was this command obeyed, and what treatment did Galba experience?

29. How did Otho commence his reign?

30. Did he reign without a rival?

31. What was the consequence of this rivalship?

32. Was Otho finally successful?


A.D. 70.

  Afflicted Israel shall sit weeping down,
  Fast by the stream where Babel's waters run;
  Their harps upon the neighbouring willows hung.
  Nor joyous hymn encouraging their tongue.
  Nor cheerful dance their feet; with toil oppressed,
  Their wearied limbs aspiring but to rest.--_Prior._

1. Vitel'lius was declared emperor by the senate, and received the
marks of distinction which were now accustomed to follow the
appointments of the strongest side.

2. He had been accustomed from his youth to dissipation and applause.
Caligula was pleased with his skill in driving a chariot; Claudius
loved him because he was a great gamester; and he gained the favour of
Nero by wishing him to sing publicly in the theatre. Upon his arrival
at Rome, he entered the city, not as a place he came to govern with
justice, but as a town that was become his own by the laws of

3. Vitel'lius soon gave himself up to all kinds of luxury and
profuseness; but gluttony was his favourite vice. His entertainments,
seldom indeed at his own cost, were prodigiously expensive. He
frequently invited himself to the tables of his subjects; in the same
day breakfasting with one, dining with another, and supping with a
third. 4. By such vices and by enormous cruelties, he became a burthen
to himself, and odious to all mankind. Having become insupportable to
the inhabitants of Rome, the legions of the east unanimously resolved
to make Vespa'sian emperor.

Vespa'sian was by no means of an illustrious family, his father being
only a collector of the tax called quadragesima. Nor was his conduct,
previous to his accession to the imperial throne, calculated to do him
honour, as he was guilty of the meanest flattery and servility to
ingratiate himself with men in power. Yet, as a general, he was
indefatigable in his duties, and of unquestionable valour; abstemious
in his diet, and plain in his dress. On attaining to the imperial
dignity he appears to have laid aside every vice except avarice. His
elevation neither induced him to assume arrogant and lofty airs, nor
to neglect those friends who had shown themselves deserving of
his favour.

[Illustration: Coliseum.]

Desirous of convincing the world that he owed his good fortune to
merit alone, he disdained to court the soldiers by largesses; in
short, he displayed a nobleness of disposition worthy of the most
illustrious birth, and befitting the exalted station to which he had
arrived. This prince was the founder of the noble amphitheatre, called
the Coliseum, which remains to this day. Twelve thousand Jewish
captives were employed in its erection, and it was capable of
containing 80,000 spectators seated, and 30,000 standing. It is now in

5. During the preparations against him, Vitel'lius, though buried in
sloth and luxury, resolved to make an effort to defend the empire; and
his chief commanders, Va'lens and Cecin'na, were ordered to make all
possible preparations to resist the invaders. 6. The first army that
entered Italy with a hostile intention was under the command of
Anto'nius Pri'mus, who was met by Cecin'na, near Cremo'na. A battle
was expected to ensue; but a negociation taking place, Cecin'na was
prevailed upon to change sides, and declared for Vespa'sian.[25] His
army, however, quickly repented of what they had done, and,
imprisoning their general, attacked Anto'nius, though without a
leader. 7. The engagement continued the whole night; and in the
morning, after a short repast, both armies engaged a second time; when
the soldiers of Anto'nius saluting the rising sun, according to
custom, the Vitel'lians supposed that they had received new
reinforcements, and betook themselves to flight, with the loss of
thirty thousand men.

8. In the mean time, Vitel'lius made offers to Vespa'sian of resigning
the empire in his favour, provided his life were spared, and a
sufficient revenue allotted for his support. In order to enforce this
proposal, he issued from his palace in deep mourning, with all his
domestics weeping round him. 9. He then went to offer the sword of
justice to Cecil'ius, the consul, which he refusing, the abject
emperor prepared to lay down the ensigns of empire in the Temple of
Concord; but being interrupted by some who cried out, that he himself
was Concord, he resolved, upon so weak an encouragement, still to
maintain his power, and immediately prepared for his defence.

10. During this fluctuation of counsels, one Sabi'nus, who had advised
Vitel'lius to resign, perceiving his desperate situation, resolved, by
a bold step, to favour Vespa'sian; and accordingly seized upon the
capitol. But he was premature in his attempt; for the soldiers of
Vitel'lius attacked him with great fury; and prevailing by their
numbers, soon laid that beautiful building in ashes. 11. During this
dreadful conflagration, Vitel'lius was feasting in the palace of
Tibe'rius, and beheld all the horrors of the assault with
satisfaction. 12. Sabi'nus was taken prisoner, and shortly after
executed by the emperor's command. Young Domi'tian, his nephew, who
was afterwards emperor, escaped by flight, in the habit of a priest;
and the rest, who survived the fire, were put to the sword.

13. But Anto'nius, Vespa'sian's commander, being arrived before the
walls of the city, the forces of Vitel'lius resolved upon defending it
to the utmost extremity. It was attacked with fury; while the army
within, sallying out upon the besiegers, defended it with equal
obstinacy. The battle lasted the whole day; the besieged were driven
back into the city, and a dreadful slaughter made of them in the
streets which they vainly attempted to defend.

14. Vitel'lius was soon found hidden in an obscure corner, whence he
was taken by a party of the conquering soldiers. Still, however,
desirous of adding a few hours to his miserable life, he begged to be
kept in prison till the arrival of Vespa'sian at Rome, pretending that
he had secrets of importance to discover. 15. But his entreaties were
vain; the soldiers binding his hands behind him, and throwing a halter
round his neck, led him along, half naked, into the public forum,
loading him with all the bitter reproaches their malice could suggest,
or his cruelty might deserve. At length, being come to the place of
punishment, they put him to death with blows: and then dragging the
dead body through the streets with a hook, they threw it, with
all possible ignominy, into the river Tiber.

[Sidenote: A.D. 70.]

16. Vespa'sian was now declared emperor by the unanimous consent both
of the senate and the army; and dignified with all those titles which
now followed rather the power than the merit of those who were
appointed to govern. 17. Having continued some months at Alexan'dria,
in Egypt, where it is said he cured a blind man and a cripple by
touching them, he set out for Rome. Giving his son, Ti'tus, the
command of the army that was to lay siege to Jerusalem, he himself
went forward, and was met many miles from Rome by all the senate, and
the inhabitants, who gave the sincerest testimony of their joy, in
having an emperor of such great and experienced virtue. 18. Nor did he
in the least disappoint their expectations; as he showed himself
equally assiduous in rewarding merit and pardoning his adversaries; in
reforming the manners of the citizens, and setting them the best
example in his own.

19. In the mean time Titus carried on the war against the Jews with
vigour. This obstinate and infatuated people had long resolved to
resist the Roman power, vainly hoping to find protection from heaven,
which their impieties had utterly offended. 20. Their own historian
represents them as arrived at the highest pitch of iniquity; while
famines, earthquakes, and prodigies, all conspired to forebode their
approaching ruin. 21. Nor was it sufficient that heaven and earth
seemed combined against them; they had the most bitter dissensions
among themselves, and were divided into two parties, who robbed and
destroyed each other with impunity: constantly pillaging, yet boasting
their zeal for the religion of their ancestors.

22. At the head of one of these parties was an incendiary, whose name
was John. This fanatic affected sovereign power, and filled the whole
city of Jeru'salem, and all the towns around, with tumult and pillage.
In a short time a new faction arose, headed by one Si'mon, who,
gathering together multitudes of robbers and murderers who had fled to
the mountains, attacked many cities and towns, and reduced all Idume'a
under his power. 23. Jeru'salem, at length, became the theatre in
which these two demagogues exercised their mutual animosity: John was
possessed of the temple, while Si'mon was admitted into the city; both
equally enraged against each other; while slaughter and devastation
were the consequence of their pretensions. Thus did a city
formerly celebrated for peace and unity, become the seat of tumult and

24. In this miserable situation, Ti'tus began his operations within
six furlongs of Jeru'salem, during the feast of the passover, when the
place was filled with an infinite multitude of people, who had come
from all parts to celebrate that great solemnity. 25. The approach of
the Romans produced a temporary reconciliation between the contending
factions within the city; so that they unanimously resolved to oppose
the common enemy, and decide their domestic quarrels at a more
convenient season. 26. Their first sally, which was made with much
fury and resolution, put the besiegers into great disorder, and
obliged them to abandon their camp, and fly to the mountains; however,
rallying immediately after, the Jews were forced back into the city,
while Ti'tus, in person, showed surprising instances of valour and

27. The city was strongly fortified with three walls on every side,
except where it was fenced by precipices. Ti'tus began by battering
down the outward wall, which, after much fatigue and danger, he
effected; in the mean time showing the greatest clemency to the Jews,
and offering them repeated assurances of pardon. Five days after the
commencement of the siege, Ti'tus broke through the second wall; and
though driven back by the besieged, he recovered his ground, and made
preparations for battering the third wall, which was their last
defence. 28. But first he sent Jose'phus, their countryman, into the
city, to exhort them to yield; who using all his eloquence to persuade
them, was answered only with scoffs and reproaches. 29. The siege was
now therefore carried on with greater vigour than before; formidable
engines for throwing darts and stones were constructed, and as quickly
destroyed by the enemy. At length it was resolved in council to
surround the whole city with a trench, and thus prevent all relief and
all succours from abroad. 30. This, which was quickly executed, seemed
no way to intimidate the Jews. Though famine, and pestilence its
necessary attendant, began now to make the most horrid ravages among
them, yet this desperate people still resolved to hold out. 31. Ti'tus
now cut down all the woods within a considerable distance of the city;
and causing more batteries to be raised, he at length beat down the
wall, and in five days entered the citadel by force. 32. The Jews,
however, continued to deceive themselves with absurd expectations,
while many false prophets deluded the multitude, by declaring that
they should soon have assistance from God. The heat of the battle was
now gathered round the inner wall of the temple, while the defendants
desperately combatted from the top. 33. Ti'tus was desirous of saving
this beautiful structure; but a soldier casting a brand into some
adjacent buildings, the fire communicated to the temple; and
notwithstanding the utmost endeavours on both sides, the whole edifice
was quickly consumed. 34. The sight of the temple in ruins effectually
served to damp the ardour of the Jews. They now began to suppose that
heaven had forsaken them, while their cries and lamentations echoed
from the adjacent mountains. Even those who were almost expiring,
lifted up their dying eyes to bewail the loss of their temple, which
they valued more than life itself. 35. The most resolute, however,
still endeavoured to defend the upper and stronger part of the city,
named Sion; but Ti'tus, with his battering engines, soon made himself
entire master of the place. 36. John and Simon were taken from the
vaults where they had concealed themselves; the former was condemned
to perpetual imprisonment, and the latter reserved to grace the
conqueror's triumph. The greatest part of the populace were put to
the sword; and the city was, after a six month's siege, entirely
razed, and its site ploughed up; so that according to our Saviour's
prophecy, not one stone remained upon another. Those who perished in
this siege amounted to about a million; the captives to almost a
hundred thousand.[26]

_Questions for Examination_.

1. Who succeeded Otho?

2. In what way did he assume the sovereignty?

3. How did he conduct himself in his new station?

4. What were the consequences of this conduct?

5. Did Vitellius tamely submit to his rival?

6. Who first commenced hostilities?

7. What followed?

8. What was the conduct of Vitellius on this occasion?

9. What farther measures did he adopt?

10. Were the friends of Vespasian idle at this juncture?

11. How was Vitellius engaged at the time of this disaster?

12. What became of Sabinus?

13. What was the consequence of this success on the part of Vitellius?

14. What became of the fallen emperor?

15. Was his request granted?

16. Did Vespasian quietly succeed?

17. What were his first measures?

18. Were they disappointed in their expectations?

19. What was the state of the Jewish war?

20. What was the state of the Jewish nation?

21. Were they united among themselves?

22. Who were at the head of these factions?

23. What was the chief theatre of their enormities?

24. At what remarkable season did Titus commence his attack?

25. What effect did this attack produce?

26. Did the Jews bravely defend their city?

27. What progress did Titus make in the siege?

28. Did he make no attempt to persuade the Jews to surrender?

29. What measures were then adopted?

30. Did these formidable measures terrify the Jews?

31. By what means did Titus gain the city?

32. Was all opposition now at an end?

33. Was the temple destroyed?

34. What effect did this sad event produce?

35. Were there none who attempted farther resistance?

36. What became of the inhabitants and their chiefs?


  This world, 'tis true.
  Was made for Cæsar--but for Titus too;
  And which more blest? who chain'd his country, say,
  Or, he whose virtue sigh'd to lose a day!--_Pope_.

1. Upon the taking of Jerusalem, the soldiers would have crowned Titus
as conqueror; but he modestly refused the honour, alleging, that he
was only an instrument in the hand of heaven, that manifestly declared
its wrath against the Jews. 2. At Rome, however, all men's mouths were
filled with the praises of the conqueror, who had not only showed
himself an excellent general, but a courageous combatant. His return,
therefore, in triumph, with Vespa'sian his father, was marked with all
the magnificence and joy in the power of men to express. All things
that were esteemed valuable or beautiful were brought to adorn this
great occasion. 3. Among the rich spoils were exposed vast quantities
of gold, taken out of the temple; but the Book of the Holy Law was not
the least remarkable among the magnificent profusion. 4. This was the
first time that ever Rome saw the father and the son triumphant
together. A triumphal arch was erected upon this occasion, on which
were described the victories of Titus over the Jews; and it remains
almost entire to this day.

5. Few emperors have received a better character from historians than
Vespasian; yet his numerous acts of generosity and magnificence could
not preserve his character from the imputation of rapacity and
avarice; for it is well known that he descended to some very unusual
and dishonourable imposts.

6. Having reigned ten years, beloved by his subjects, and deserving
their affection, he was seized with an indisposition at Campa'nia,
which he perceived would be fatal. 7. Finding his end approaching, he
exerted himself, and cried out, "An emperor ought to die standing;"
whereupon, raising himself upon his feet, he expired in the arms of
those who sustained him.

[Sidenote: A.D. 79.]

8. Titus was joyfully received as emperor, and began his reign with
the practice of every virtue that became a sovereign and a man. During
the life of his father, there had been many imputations against him
both for cruelty, lust, and prodigality; but upon his exaltation to
the throne, he seemed to have entirely taken leave of his former
vices, and became an example of the greatest moderation and humanity.
9. His first step towards gaining the affections of his subjects, was
the moderating of his passions, and bridling his inclinations. 10. He
discarded those who had been the ministers of his pleasures, though he
had formerly taken great pains in the selection. 11. This moderation,
added to his justice and generosity, procured him the love of all good
men, and the appellation of the _Delight of Mankind_; which all his
actions seemed calculated to insure.

12. Ti'tus took particular care to punish all informers, false
witnesses, and promoters of dissension. Wretches who had their rise in
the licentiousness and impunity of former reigns, were now become so
numerous, that their crimes called loud for punishment. 13. Of these
he daily made public example, condemning them to be scourged in the
public streets, dragged through the theatre, and then banished into
the uninhabited parts of the empire, or sold as slaves. 14. His
courtesy and readiness to do good have been celebrated even by
Christian writers; his principal rule being, not to send away a
petitioner dissatisfied. One night, recollecting that he had done
nothing beneficial to mankind during the day, he cried out, "I have
lost a day!" A sentence too remarkable not to be had in remembrance.

15. In the first year of his reign, an eruption of Mount
Vesu'vius overwhelmed many towns,[27] throwing its ashes into
countries more than a hundred miles distant. Upon this memorable
occasion, Pliny, the naturalist, lost his life; being impelled by too
eager a curiosity to observe the eruption, he was suffocated in the
flames. 16. This and other disasters were, in some measure,
counterbalanced by the successes in Britain, under Agrico'la. This
excellent general, having been sent into Britain towards the latter
end of Vespasian's reign, showed himself equally expert in quelling
the refractory, and civilizing those who had formerly submitted to the
Roman power. 17. The Ordovi'ces, or inhabitants of North Wales, were
the first that were subdued. He then made a descent upon the isle of
An'glesey, which surrendered at discretion. 18. Having thus rendered
himself master of the whole country, he took every method to restore
discipline to his whole army, and to introduce politeness among those
whom he had conquered. He exhorted them, both by advice and example,
to build temples, theatres, and stately houses. He caused the sons of
their nobility to be instructed in the liberal arts, and to be taught
the Latin language; and induced them to imitate the Roman modes of
dress and living. 19. Thus, by degrees, this barbarous people began to
assume the luxurious manners of their conquerors, and even to
outdo them in all the refinements of sensual pleasure. 20. Upon
account of the successes in Britain, Titus was saluted Impera'tor[28]
for the fifteenth time; but he did not long survive this honour, being
seized with a violent fever at a little distance from Rome. He expired
shortly after, but not without suspicion of treachery from his brother
Domi'tian, who had long wished to govern. He died in the forty-first
year of his age, having reigned two years, two months, and twenty

[Sidenote: A.D. 81.]

21. The beginning of Domi'tian's reign was universally acceptable to
the people, as he appeared equally remarkable for his clemency,
liberality and justice.[29] 22. But he soon began to show the natural
deformity of his mind. Instead of cultivating literature, as his
father and brother had done, he neglected all kinds of study,
addicting himself wholly to meaner pursuits, particularly archery and
gaming. 23. He was so very expert an archer, that he would frequently
cause one of his slaves to stand at a great distance, with his hand
spread as a mark, and would shoot his arrows with such exactness, as
to stick them all between his fingers. 24. He instituted three sorts
of contests to be observed every five years, in music, horsemanship
and wrestling; but at the same time he banished all philosophers and
mathematicians from Rome. 25. No emperor before him entertained the
people with such various and expensive shows. During these diversions
he distributed great rewards, sitting as president himself, adorned
with a purple robe and crown, with the priests of Ju'piter, and the
college of Fla'vian priests about him. 26. The meanness of his
occupations in solitude, was a just contrast to his exhibitions of
public ostentation. He usually spent his hours of retirement in
catching flies, and sticking them through with a bodkin; so that one
of his servants, being asked if the emperor were alone, answered, that
he had not so much as a fly to bear him company. 27. His vices seemed
every day to increase, and his ungrateful treatment of Agrico'la
afforded a convincing proof of his natural malevolence. 28.
Domi'tian was always particularly fond of obtaining a military
reputation, and therefore felt jealous of it in others. He had marched
some time before into Gaul, upon a pretended expedition against the
Catti, a people of Germany, and without even seeing the enemy,
resolved to have the honour of a triumph upon his return to Rome. For
that purpose he purchased a number of slaves, whom he dressed in
German habits, and at the head of this miserable procession he entered
the city, amid the apparent acclamations and concealed contempt of all
his subjects.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. How did Titus conduct himself after this important conquest?

2. How was he received at Rome?

3. What were the most remarkable among the spoils?

4. What peculiarity attended this triumph?

5. What was the character of Vespasian?

6. How many years did Vespasian reign?

7. Did he not display great resolution at the hour of death?

8. How did Titus commence his reign?

9. By what means did he gain the love of his subjects?

10. What sacrifices did he make for this purpose?

11. Did he succeed in his views?

12. What class of delinquents met his most decided disapprobation?

13. What punishment was inflicted on them?

14. What were his chief virtues?

15. What remarkable event occurred in this reign, and what eminent
personage became its victim?

16. By what successes was this disaster counterbalanced?

17. What were his first enterprizes?

18. What methods did he take to civilize the conquered countries?

19. Were his measures successful?

20. Did Titus long enjoy the glory of this conquest?

21. How did Domitian commence his reign?

22. Did he persevere in his meritorious conduct?

23. In what exercise did he excel?

24. Did he encourage the arts and sciences?

25. Was he magnificent in his exhibitions?

26. How did he employ himself in private?

27. Did time render him less vicious?

28. By what means did he attempt to acquire military fame?


                 What wretch would groan
  Beneath the galling load of power, or walk
  Upon the slippery pavements of the great!--_Somerville._

1. The success of Agric'ola in Britain affected Domit'ian, with an
extreme degree of envy. This excellent general pursued the advantages
which he had already obtained; he subdued the Caledo'nians, and
overcame Gal'gacus, the British chief, who commanded an army of thirty
thousand men; afterwards sending out a fleet to scour the coast, he
discovered Great Britain to be an island. He likewise discovered and
subdued the Orkneys; and thus reduced the whole into a civilized
province of the Roman empire. 2. When the account of these successes
was brought to Domitian, he received it with a seeming pleasure, but
real uneasiness. He thought Agric'ola's rising reputation a tacit
reproach upon his own inactivity; and instead of attempting to
emulate, he resolved to suppress the merits of his services. 3. He
ordered him, therefore, external marks of approbation, and took care
that triumphal ornaments, statues, and other honours should be decreed
him; but at the same time he removed him from his command, under a
pretence of appointing him to the government of Syria. 4. By these
means Agric'ola surrendered up his province to Sallus'tius Lucul'lus,
but soon found that Syria was otherwise disposed of. Upon his return
to Rome, which was privately and by night, he was coolly received by
the emperor; and dying some time after in retirement, it was generally
supposed that his end was hastened by Domi'tian's direction.

5. Domi'tian soon found the want of so experienced a commander, in the
many irruptions of the barbarous nations that surrounded the empire.
The Sarma'tians in Europe, joined with those of Asia, made a
formidable invasion, at once destroying a whole legion, and a general
of the Romans. The Da'cians, under the conduct of Dece'balus, their
king, made an irruption, and overthrew the Romans in several
engagements. 6. At last, however, the barbarians were repelled, partly
by force, and partly by the assistance of money, which only served to
enable them to make future invasions with greater advantage. 7. But in
whatever manner the enemy might have been repelled, Domi'tian was
resolved not to lose the honours of a triumph. He returned in great
splendour to Rome; and, not contented with thus triumphing twice
without a victory, he resolved to take the surname of German'icus,
for his conquests over a people with whom he never contended.

8. In proportion as the ridicule increased against him, his pride
seemed every day to demand greater homage. He would permit his statues
to be made only of gold and silver; he assumed to himself divine
honours; and ordered that all men should address him by the same
appellations which they gave to the Divinity. 9. His cruelty was not
inferior to his arrogance; he caused numbers of the most illustrious
senators and others to be put to death, upon the most trifling
pretences. One Æ'lius La'ma was condemned and executed only for
jesting, though there was neither novelty nor poignancy in his humour.
Occea'nus was murdered only for celebrating the nativity of O'tho.
Pomposia'nus shared the same fate, because it was foretold by an
astrologer that he should be emperor. Sallus'tius Lucul'lus his
lieutenant in Britain, was destroyed only for having given his name to
a new sort of lances of his own invention. Ju'nius Rus'ticus died for
publishing a book, in which he commended Thra'sea and Pris'cus, two
philosophers, who opposed Vespa'sian's coming to the throne.

10. Lu'cius Anto'nius, governor of Upper Germany, knowing how much the
emperor was detested at home, resolved upon striking for the throne;
and accordingly assumed the ensigns of imperial dignity. 11. As he was
at the head of a formidable army, his success remained a long time
doubtful; but a sudden overflow of the Rhine dividing his army, he was
set upon at that juncture by Norman'dus, the emperor's general, and
totally routed. The news of this victory, we are told, was brought to
Rome by supernatural means, on the same day that the battle was
fought. 12. Domi'tian's severity was greatly increased by this
short-lived success. In order to discover the accomplices of the
adverse party, he invented new tortures: sometimes cutting off the
hands--at other times thrusting fire into the bodies of those whom he
suspected of being his enemies. 13. In the midst of these severities,
he aggravated his guilt by hypocrisy--never pronouncing sentence
without a preamble full of gentleness and mercy. The night before he
crucified the comptroller of his household, he treated him with the
most flattering marks of friendship, and ordered him a dish of meat
from his own table. He carried Areti'nus Cle'mens with him in his own
litter the day he resolved upon his death. 14. He was particularly
terrible to the senate and nobility, the whole body of whom he
frequently threatened to extirpate entirely. At one time he surrounded
the senate-house with his troops, to the great consternation of the
senators. At another, he resolved to amuse himself with their terrors
in a different manner. 15. Having invited them to a public
entertainment, he received them all very formally at the entrance of
his palace, and conducted them into a spacious hall, hung round with
black, and illuminated by a few melancholy lamps, that diffused no
more light than was just sufficient to show the horrors of the place.
All around were to be seen coffins, with the names of each of the
senators written upon them, together with other objects of terror, and
instruments of execution. 16. While the company beheld all these
preparations with silent agony, several men having their bodies
blackened, each with a drawn sword in one hand, and a flaming torch in
the other, entered the hall, and danced round them. 17. After some
time, when, from the knowledge of Domi'tian's capricious cruelty, the
guests expected nothing less than instant death, the doors were set
open, and one of the servants came to inform them, that the emperor
gave all the company leave to withdraw.

18. His cruelties were rendered still more odious by his avarice. 19.
The last part of the tyrant's reign was more insupportable than any of
the preceding. Ne'ro exercised his cruelties without being a
spectator; but a principal part of the Roman miseries, during his
reign, was to behold the stern air and fiery visage of the tyrant,
which he had armed against sensibility by continued intemperance,
directing the tortures, and maliciously pleased with adding poignance
to every agony.

20. But a period was soon to be put to this monster's cruelties. Among
the number of those whom he at once caressed and suspected, was his
wife, Domi'tia, whom he had taken from Æ'lius La'ma, her former
husband. 21. It was the tyrant's method to put down the names of all
such as he intended to destroy, in his tablets, which he kept about
him with great circumspection. Domi'tia fortunately happening to get a
sight of them, was struck at finding her own name in the catalogue of
those destined to destruction. 22. She showed the fatal list to
Norba'nus and Petro'nius, præfects of the prætorian bands, who found
themselves among the number of devoted victims; as likewise to
Steph'anus, the comptroller of the household, who came into the
conspiracy with alacrity. They fixed upon the eighteenth day of
September for the completion of their great attempt. 23. Upon the
emperor's preparing to go to the bath on the morning of that day,
Petro'nius his chamberlain came to inform him that Steph'anus desired
to speak upon an affair of the utmost importance. The emperor having
given orders that his attendants should retire, Steph'anus entered
with his hand in a scarf, which he had worn thus for some days, the
better to conceal a dagger, as none were permitted to approach the
emperor with arms. 24. He began by giving information of a pretended
conspiracy, and exhibited a paper, in which the particulars were
specified. While Domi'tian was reading the contents with eager
curiosity, Steph'anus drew his dagger and struck him with much
violence; but the wound not being mortal, Domi'tian caught hold of the
assassin and threw him upon the ground, calling out for assistance.
But Parthe'nius, with his freedman, a gladiator, and two subaltern
officers, now coming in, they ran furiously upon the emperor and
dispatched him: Steph'anus, however, was slain by the guards, but the
other conspirators escaped in the tumult.

25. It is rather incredible, what some writers relate concerning
Apollo'nius Tyane'us, who was then at Ephesus. This person, whom some
call a magician, and some a philosopher, but who more probably was
only an impostor, was, just at the minute in which Domi'tian was
slain, lecturing in one of the public gardens of the city; but
stopping short, on a sudden he cried out, "Courage, Steph'anus, strike
the tyrant!" then, after a pause, "Rejoice, my friends, the tyrant
dies this day;--this day do I say?--the very moment in which I kept
silence he suffered for his crimes! He dies!"

26. Many prodigies are said to have portended his death; and if the
Roman historians are to be credited, more preternatural appearances
and predictions announced this event, than its importance
deserved.[30] The truth seems to be, that a belief in omens and
prodigies was again become prevalent, as the people were evidently
relapsing into pristine barbarity, ignorance being ever the proper
soil for a harvest of imposture.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What advantages did Agricola gain in Britain?

2. How did Domitian receive the account of Agricola's success?

3. In what way did the emperor treat him?

4. To whom did Agricola surrender up his province?

5. What nations afterwards made irruptions into the Roman provinces?

6. By what means were the barbarians at length repelled?

7. What surname did Domitian assume?

8. To what extravagance did his pride lead him?

9. What trifling pretexts were made use of by Domitian to put to death
some of the most illustrious Romans?

10. Who now assumed the ensigns of the imperial dignity?

11. By what general was Lucius Antonius defeated?

12. What new cruelties were resorted to by the emperor?

13. By what hypocritical conduct was he distinguished?

14. To whom was he particularly terrible?

15, 16, 17. What terrific ceremonies did he invent on one occasion?

18. Was the result fatal to them?

19. Did not his cruelties become still more insupportable at the
latter part of his reign?

20. Who was among the number that he at the same time caressed and

21. Whose name did Domitia discover among his list of victims?

22. To whom did she show the fatal list, and what was resolved on?

23. What means were used by Stephanus to assassinate the emperor?

24. Relate the particulars of the assassination.

25. What exclamation is Apollonius Tyaneus said to have made at
Ephesus, at the time of Domitian's death?

26. Did not the Romans relapse into their pristine state of barbarity
about this period?


[1] In his sixth consulship Augustus commanded a census to be made,
when there was found the astonishing number of 4,060,000 inhabitants
in Rome, which was fifty miles in circumference.

[2] M. Primus, while governor of Macedon, had made an irruption into
the country of the Odrysians; for this he was prosecuted, and pleaded
that it was by the emperor's orders. Augustus denying this, L. Murena
put the impudent question to him mentioned in the text.

[3] An island on the coast of Lucania, in Italy; now called Santa

[4] The date of Augustus's reign is here reckoned from the death of
Antony, when he became sole monarch; but if it be reckoned from his
first coming into power, soon after the death of Julius Cæsar, it is
nearly 56 years. Augustus carried on his wars principally by his
lieutenants, but he went personally into Spain and Gaul. His bravery,
however, has been greatly called in question, and many flagrant
instances of his cowardice recorded. How true they may be is not easy
to determine.

[5] The temple of Janus was now shut for the third time since the
foundation of the city.

[6] He began his reign, however, with the murder of Agrippa Posthumus,
the grandson of Augustus.

[7] Varus had been surprised by the Germans, defeated, and his whole
army cut to pieces. Augustus was so grieved at this disgrace and loss,
that, for a long time, he wore mourning, and frequently was heard to
cry out, in the agony of his grief, "Restore me my legions, Varus."

[8] Germanicus died in the 34th year of his age, and was universally
mourned for, not only by the Roman people, but by the princes in
alliance with Rome, and even by the proud monarch of Parthia. (Suet.
l. 4. c. 5.)

[9] He was found in the morning with his throat cut, and his sword
lying by him; but whether this was done by his own hand, or by the
orders of Tiberius, is not known. (Tacitus.)

[10] Sejanus, though simply a Roman knight, was descended from an
illustrious family, and was, in the very beginning of Tiberius's
reign, associated with his father in the command of the prætorian
guards. By removing these from their usual quarters in the city, and
uniting them in one body in a camp, he laid the foundation of that
power, which they afterwards usurped, of disposing of the empire at
their pleasure.

[11] To such a pitch of meanness were the Roman senators arrived, that
when the emperor's letter arrived, the senators, thinking it contained
orders for bestowing on Sejanus the tribunitial power, crowded around
him, each striving to be foremost in congratulating him on his new
dignity; but they no sooner learned the real contents of the fatal
letter than all forsook him; even those who sat near him removed to
another part of the house, lest they should be accounted his friends.
(Dio.) The populace likewise broke in pieces those very statues which,
a few hours before, they had adored.

[12] It has been well said of Tiberius, "This great prince--this
sovereign of Rome--with his numerous armies, his prætorian bands, and
his unlimited power, was in hourly fear of secret assassins,
incessantly prompted by his own apprehensions; with all the eclat of
empire, the most miserable being in his dominions. His power, indeed,
was unlimited, but so was his misery; the more he made others suffer,
the faster he supplied his own torments. Such was his situation and
life, and such were the natural consequences of the abuse of power."

[13] He was so named from _caliga_, a sort of military boot which he
usually wore.

[14] A promontory, port, and town in Italy, near Naples.

[15] The Prætorian bands were instituted by Augustus, to guard his
person, and maintain his authority. Under bold and warlike emperors,
they were kept in tolerable subjection: but when the reins of
government were held by feeble hands, they became the disturbers,
instead of preservers, of the public peace; and, at length, deposed
and set up emperors at their pleasure.

[16] Some still more extraordinary accounts are given of this horse:
it is said that he appointed it a house, furniture, and kitchen, in
order to treat all its visitors with proper respect. Sometimes he
invited Incita'tus to his own table, and presented it with gilt oats,
and wine in a golden cup. He would often swear, "by the safety of his
horse!" and it is even said that it was his intention to have
appointed it to the consul-ship, had not his death prevented it.

[17] One day on visiting the amphitheatre, finding there were no
criminals condemned to fight with wild beasts, he ordered numbers of
the spectators to be thrown to them, previously causing their tongues
to be cut out, that they might not, by their cries, disturb his
inhuman diversions.

[18] It is said that the tower which stands at the entry of the port
of Bologne, called La tour d'ordre, is that built by Calig'ula on this

[19] Palatine games were so called from their being celebrated on the
Palatine Hill, which was the most considerable of the seven hills on
which Rome was built. This was the first hill occupied by Rom'ulus,
and where he fixed his residence, and kept his court; as also did
Tul'lus, Hostil'ius, Augus'tus, and all the succeeding emperors; and
hence it is that the residence of princes is called Palatium or

[20] He is by some called Am'pronus.

[21] His mother Anto'nia, used to call him a human monster; and his
nephew, Calig'ula, when he had butchered many of his kindred, saved
him merely for a laughing-stock. The kindest word Agustus gave him was
that of Misel'lus, (poor wretch.) This example was followed by others.
If he happened to come to table when the guests had taken their
places, no one showed him the least civility; and when he slept, as he
sometimes did, after meals, they would divert themselves by throwing
the stones of fruit at him, or by wakening him with a blow of a rod or

[22] Her'od Agrip'pa was the grandson of Herod the Great; who, at the
birth of our Saviour, caused all the infants of Bethlehem to be
massacred, in hopes that he would fall in the number. Her'od Agrip'pa
to please the Jews, also persecuted the Christians; and put to death
St. James the Great.

[23] He put to death Cher'ea and some others of the murderers of his

[24] Sen'eca, a celebrated philosopher, and a son of Sen'eca the
orator, was born at Corduba, in Spain, A.D. 8. This town was also the
birthplace of his father. (Strabo and Lucan.) Corduba was founded by
the Romans, B.C. 150, and in process of time it became the residence
of the Moorish kings, and where they continued till their expulsion
into Africa. It was in the vicinity of this city that Cæsar fought his
last battle with the sons of Pompey.

[25] Vespasian was at that time conducting the war in Jude'a, in Asia.

[26] The destruction of Jerusalem happened in the year of our Lord 70.

[27] Hercula'neum, Pompe'ii, &c. This eruption happened August 24,
A.D. 79. These towns, after having been buried under the lava for more
than 1600 years, were discovered in the beginning of the last century:
Hercula'neum, in 1713, about 24 feet under ground, by labourers
digging a well, and Pompe'ii 40 years after, about 12 feet below the
surface; and from the houses and streets which, in a great measure,
remain perfect, have been drawn busts, statues, manuscripts,
paintings, &c. which contribute much to enlarge our notions concerning
the ancients, and develope many classical obscurities. (Mala.) In the
year following this dreadful eruption, a fire happened at Rome, which
consumed the capitol, the pantheon, the library of Augustus, the
theatre of Pompey, and a great many other buildings. In the ruins of
Hercula'neum there have lately been found loaves which were baked
under the reign of Titus, and which still bear the baker's mark,
indicating the quality of the flour, which was probably prescribed by
the regulation of the police. There have also been found utensils of
bronze, which, instead of being tinned, like ours, are all silvered;
the ancients doubtless preferred this method, as more wholesome and
more durable. The excavations at Pompe'ii continue to furnish the
royal museum at Naples with all kinds of valuable objects: some
buildings have lately been discovered at Pompe'ii, remarkable for the
richness of their architecture. At Paggo'ia, another town buried by
the lava from Vesuvius, some sepulchres have been found, which are
stated to be magnificently adorned with sculpture of the finest kind.

[28] Impera'tor, a title of honour among the Romans, conferred on
victorious generals by their armies, and afterwards by the senate.

[29] It is a remarkable fact, that the most odious tyrants that ever
sat on the Roman throne, commenced their reigns with a display of all
the virtues that adorn humanity: on the contrary, Augustus, who was
truly the father of his people, began his reign with cruelties that
afforded but a melancholy presage of his future administration.

[30] In the reign of Domi'tian, a violent persecution raged against
the Christians. During this persecution St. John was confined to the
Isle of Patmos, in the Archipelago, where he wrote the Apoc'alypse, or

       *       *       *       *       *




  These slaves, whom I have nurtur'd, pamper'd, fed.
  And swoln with peace, and gorg'd with plenty, till
  They reign themselves--all monarchs in their mansions.
  Now swarm forth in rebellion, and demand
  His death, who made their lives a jubilee.--_Byron_.

1. When it was publicly known that Domi'tian[1] was slain, the senate
began to load his memory with every reproach. His statues were
commanded to be taken down, and a decree was made, that all his
inscriptions should be erased, his name struck out of the registers of
fame, and his funeral obsequies omitted. 2. The people, who now
took but little part in the affairs of government, looked on his death
with indifference; the soldiers alone, whom he had loaded with
favours, and enriched by largesses, sincerely regretted their

3. The senate, therefore, resolved to provide a successor before the
army could have an opportunity of taking the appointment upon itself,
and Cocce'ius Ner'va was chosen to the empire the same day on which
the tyrant was slain. 4. He is said to have been of an illustrious
family in Spain, and above sixty-five years old when he was called to
the throne, an elevation which he owed solely to his virtues,
moderation, respect to the laws, and the blameless tenor of his life.

5. The people, long accustomed to tyranny, regarded Nerva's gentle
reign with rapture, and even gave to his imbecility (for his humanity
was carried too far for justice) the name of benevolence. 6. Upon
coming to the throne he solemnly swore, that no senator of Rome should
be put to death by his command during his reign, though guilty of the
most heinous crimes. 7. This oath he so religiously observed, that
when two senators had conspired his death, he used no kind of severity
against them; but, sending for them to let them see he was not
ignorant of their designs, he carried them with him to the public
theatre; there presenting each a dagger, he desired them to strike,
assuring them that he should make no resistance. 8. He had so little
regard for money, that when one of his subjects found a large
treasure, and wrote to the emperor for instructions how to dispose of
it, he received for answer, that he might use it; the finder however
replying, that it was a fortune too large for a private person to use,
Nerva, admiring his honesty, wrote him word that then he might abuse

9. A sovereign of such generosity and mildness was not, however,
without his enemies. Vigil'ius Ru'fus, who had opposed his accession,
was not only pardoned, but made his colleague in the consulship.
Calpur'nius Cras'sus also, with some others, formed a conspiracy to
destroy him; but Nerva was satisfied with banishing those who were
culpable, though the senate were for inflicting more rigorous
punishments. 10. But the most dangerous insurrection was that of
the prætorian bands, who, headed by Caspa'rius Olia'nus, insisted upon
revenging the late emperor's death, whose memory was still dear to
them, from his frequent liberalities. 11. Nerva, whose kindness to
good men rendered him more obnoxious to the vicious, did all in his
power to stop the progress of this insurrection; he presented himself
to the mutinous soldiers, and laying bare his bosom, desired them to
strike there rather than be guilty of so much injustice. 12. The
soldiers, however, paid no regard to his remonstrances; but seizing
upon Petro'nius and Parthe'nius, slew them in the most ignominious
manner. Not content with this, they even compelled the emperor to
approve of their sedition, and to make a speech to the people, in
which he thanked the cohorts for their fidelity.

13. So disagreeable a constraint upon the emperor's inclinations was
in the end attended with the most happy effects, as it caused the
adoption of Trajan[3] to succeed him; for, perceiving that in the
present turbulent disposition of the times, he stood in need of an
assistant in the empire, setting aside all his own relations, he fixed
upon Ul'pius Tra'jan, an utter stranger to his family, who was then
governor in Upper Germany, as his successor. 14. About three months
after this, having put himself into a violent passion with one
Reg'ulus, a senator, he was seized with a fever of which he died,
after a reign of one year, four months, and nine days.

15. He was the first foreigner that ever reigned in Rome, and justly
reputed a prince of great generosity and moderation. He is also
celebrated for his wisdom, though with less reason; the greatest
instance given of it during his reign, being the choice of his

[Sidenote: U.C. 851. A.D. 98.]

16. On hearing of the death of Nerva, Trajan prepared to come to Rome
from Germany, where he was governor. He received upon his arrival a
letter from Plu'tarch, the philosopher, who had the honour of being
his master, to the following purport:--"Since your merits and not your
importunities, have advanced you to the empire, permit me to
congratulate you on your virtues, and my own good fortune. If your
future government proves answerable to your former worth, I shall
be happy; but if you become worse for power, yours will be the danger,
and mine the ignominy of your conduct. The errors of the pupil will be
charged upon his instructor. Sen'eca is reproached for the enormities
of Nero; and Soc'rates and Quintil'ian have not escaped censure for
the misconduct of their respective scholars. But you have it in your
power to make me the most honoured of men, by continuing what you are.
Retain the command of your passions; and make virtue the rule of all
your actions. If you follow these instructions, then will I glory in
having presumed to give them: if you neglect what I advise, then will
this letter be my testimony that you have not erred through the
counsel and authority of Plu'tarch." I insert this letter, because it
is a striking picture of this great philosopher's manner of addressing
the best of princes.

17. This good monarch's application to business, his moderation
towards his enemies, his modesty in exaltation, his liberality to the
deserving, and his frugal management of the resources of the state,
were the subjects of panegyric among his contemporaries, and continue
to be the admiration of posterity.

18. The first war he was engaged in after his coming to the throne was
with the Da'cians, who, during the reign of Domi'tian, had committed
numberless ravages upon the provinces of the empire. To revenge these,
he raised a powerful army, and with great expedition marched into
those barbarous countries, where he was vigorously opposed by
Deceb'alus, the Da'cian king, who for some time withstood his boldest
efforts. 19. At length, however, this monarch being constrained to
come to a general battle, and no longer able to protract the war, was
routed with great slaughter. The Roman soldiers upon this occasion
wanting linen to bind up their wounds, the emperor tore his own robes
to supply them. 20. This victory compelled the enemy to sue for peace,
which they obtained upon very disadvantageous terms; their king coming
into the Roman camp, and acknowledging himself a vassal of the Roman

21. Upon Trajan's return, after the usual triumphs and rejoicings, he
was surprised with an account that the Da'cians had renewed
hostilities. Deceb'alus, their king, was a second time adjudged an
enemy to the Roman state, and Tra'jan again entered his dominions. 22.
In order to be enabled to invade the enemy's territories at pleasure,
he undertook a most stupendous work, which was no less than
building a bridge across the Dan'ube. 23. This amazing structure,
which was built over a deep, broad, and rapid river, consisted of more
than twenty-two arches; the ruins, which remain to this day, show
modern architects how far they were surpassed by the ancients, both in
the greatness and boldness of their designs. 24. Upon finishing this
work, Tra'jan continued the war with great vigour, sharing with the
meanest of his soldiers the fatigues of the campaign, and continually
encouraging them to their duty by his own example. 25. By these means,
notwithstanding the country was spacious and uncultivated, and the
inhabitants brave and hardy, he subdued the whole, and added the
kingdom of Da'cia as a province to the Roman empire. Deceb'alus made
some attempts to escape; but being surrounded, he slew himself. 26.
These successes seemed to advance the empire to a greater degree of
splendor than it had hitherto acquired. Ambassadors came from the
interior parts of India, to congratulate Trajan on his successes, and
solicit his friendship. On his return, he entered Rome in triumph, and
the rejoicings for his victories lasted a hundred and twenty days.

27. Having given peace and prosperity to the empire, he was loved,
honoured, and almost adored. He adorned the city with public
buildings; he freed it from such men as lived by their vices; he
entertained persons of merit with familiarity; and so little did he
fear his enemies, that he could scarcely be induced to suppose he had

_Questions for Examination_.

1. How was the account of Domitian's death received?

2. Was he regretted by any description of his subjects?

3. What consequences ensued from this regret?

4. Who was Cocceius Nerva?

5. Was his government acceptable to the people?

6. What afforded a presage of his future mild administration?

7. Did he keep this oath inviolate?

8. Was Nerva avaricious?

9. Was his reign free from disturbances?

10. Were all conspiracies repressed from this time?

11. Did Nerva exert himself to quell it?

12. Were his endeavours successful?

13. What important consequences ensued from these commotions?

14. What occasioned his death?

15. What was his character?

16. How did Trajan act on his accession, and what advice did he

17. What sentiments did his subjects entertain of their new emperor?

18. With whom did he commence hostilities?

19. What was the event of the campaign?

20. What was the consequence of this victory?

21. Did peace continue long?

22. What great undertaking did he accomplish in this expedition?

23. Was it a difficult work?

24. What followed the building of the bridge?

25. What was the event of this second campaign?

26. What advantages arose from this conquest?

27. Did Trajan suffer prosperity to make him neglectful of his duties?


  With fatal heat impetuous courage glows.--_Johnson_.

[Sidenote: U.C. 860. A.D. 107.]

1. It had been happy for Trajan's memory, had he shown equal clemency
to all his subjects; but about the ninth year of his reign, he was
persuaded to look upon the Christians with a suspicious eye, and great
numbers of them were put to death by popular tumults and judicial
proceedings. 2. However, the persecution ceased after some time; for
the emperor, finding that the Christians were an innocent and
inoffensive people, suspended their punishments.

3. During this emperor's reign there was a dreadful insurrection of
the Jews in all parts of the empire. This wretched people, still
infatuated, and ever expecting some signal deliverance, took the
advantage of Tra'jan's expedition to the east, to massacre all the
Greeks and Romans whom they could get into their power. 4. This
rebellion first began in Cyre'ne, a Roman province in Africa; from
thence the flame extended to Egypt, and next to the island of Cyprus.
Dreadful were the devastations committed by these infatuated people,
and shocking the barbarities exercised on the unoffending inhabitants.
5. Some were sawn asunder, others cast to wild beasts, or made to kill
each other, while the most unheard-of torments were invented and
exercised on the unhappy victims of their fury. Nay, to such a pitch
was their animosity carried, that they actually ate the flesh of their
enemies, and even wore their skins. 6. However, these cruelties were
of no long duration: the governors of the respective provinces making
head against their tumultuous fury, caused them to experience the
horrors of retaliation, and put them to death, not as human beings,
but as outrageous pests of society. In Cy'prus it was made capital for
any Jew to set foot on the island.

7. During these bloody transactions, Tra'jan was prosecuting his
successes in the east, where he carried the Roman arms farther than
they had ever before penetrated; but resolving to visit Rome once
more, he found himself too weak to proceed in his usual manner. He
therefore determined to return by sea; but on reaching the city of
Seleu'cia, he died of an apoplexy, in the sixty-third year of his age,
after a reign of nineteen years, six months, and fifteen days.

[Sidenote: A.D. 117.]

8. A'drian, the nephew of Trajan, was chosen to succeed him. He began
his reign by pursuing a course opposite to that of his predecessor,
taking every method of declining war, and promoting the arts of peace.
His first care was to make peace with the Par'thians, and to restore
Chos'roes, for he was satisfied with preserving the ancient limits of
the empire, and seemed no way ambitious of extensive conquest.

9. A'drian was one of the most remarkable of the Roman emperors for
the variety of his endowments. He was highly skilled in all the
accomplishments both of body and mind. He composed with great beauty,
both in prose and verse, he pleaded at the bar, and was one of the
best orators of his time. 10. Nor were his virtues fewer than his
accomplishments. His moderation and clemency appeared by pardoning the
injuries which he had received when he was yet but a private man. One
day meeting a person who had formerly been his most inveterate
enemy--"My good friend," said he, "you have escaped; for I am made
emperor." He was affable to his friends, and gentle to persons of
meaner stations; he relieved their wants, and visited them in
sickness; it being his constant maxim, that he had been elected
emperor, not for his own good, but for the benefit of mankind at

11. These virtues were, however, contrasted by vices of considerable
magnitude; or rather, he wanted strength of mind to preserve his
rectitude of character without deviation.

12. He was scarcely settled on the throne, when several of the
northern barbarians began to devastate the frontier provinces of the
empire. These hardy nations, who now found the way to conquer by
issuing from their forests, and then retiring on the approach of
a superior force, began to be truly formidable to Rome. 13. A'drian
had thoughts of contracting the limits of the empire, by giving up
some of the most remote and least defensible provinces; in this,
however, he was overruled by friends, who wrongly imagined that an
extensive frontier would intimidate an invading enemy. 14. But though
he complied with their remonstrances, he broke down the bridge over
the Dan'ube, which his predecessor had built, sensible that the same
passage which was open to him, was equally convenient to the
incursions of his barbarous neighbours.

15. Having staid a long time at Rome, to see that all things were
regulated and established for the safety of the public, he prepared to
make a progress through his whole empire. 16. It was one of his
maxims, that an emperor ought to imitate the sun, which diffuses
warmth and vigour over all parts of the earth. He, therefore, took
with him a splendid court, and a considerable force, and entered the
province of Gaul, where he caused the inhabitants to be numbered. 17.
From Gaul he went into Germany, thence to Holland, and afterwards
passed over into Britain; where, reforming many abuses, and
reconciling the natives to the Romans, he, for the better security of
the southern parts of the kingdom, built a wall of wood and earth,
extending from the river E'den, in Cumberland, to the Tyne, in
Northumberland, to prevent the incursions of the Picts, and other
barbarous nations of the north. 18. From Britain, returning through
Gaul, he directed his journey to Spain, his native country, where he
was received with great joy. 19. Returning to Rome, he continued there
for some time, in order to prepare for his journey into the east,
which was hastened by a new invasion of the Par'thians. His approach
compelling the enemy to peace, he pursued his travels without
molestation. He visited the famous city of Athens; there making a
considerable stay, he was initiated into the Eleusin'ian mysteries,
which were accounted the most sacred in the Pagan mythology, and took
upon him the office of archon or chief magistrate. 20. In this place,
also, he remitted the severity of the Christian persecution. He was
even so far reconciled to their sect, as to think of introducing
Christ among the number of the gods. 21. From thence he crossed over
into Africa, and spent much time in reforming abuses, regulating the
government, deciding controversies, and erecting magnificent
buildings. Among the rest, he ordered Carthage[4] to be rebuilt,
calling it after his own name, Adrian'ople.[5] 22. Again he returned
to Rome; travelled a second time into Greece; passed over into Asia
Minor; from thence into Syr'ia; gave laws and instructions to all the
neighbouring kings; entered Pal'estine, Arabia, and Egypt, where he
caused Pompey's tomb, that had been long neglected, and almost covered
with sand, to be repaired and beautified. 23. He gave orders for the
rebuilding of Jerusalem; which was performed with great expedition by
the assistance of the Jews, who now began to conceive hopes of being
restored to their long lost kingdom. 24. But these expectations only
served to aggravate their calamities: for, being incensed at the
privileges which were granted the Pagan worshippers in their new city,
they fell upon the Romans and Christians that were dispersed
throughout Jude'a, and unmercifully put them all to the sword. 25.
A'drian, sending a powerful body of men against them, obtained many
signal, though bloody victories, over the insurgents. The war was
concluded in two years, by the demolition of above one thousand of
their best towns, and the destruction of nearly six hundred thousand
men in battle.

26. Having thus effectually quelled this dangerous insurrection, he
banished all those who remained in Judea; and by a public decree
forbade them to come within view of their native soil. But he was soon
after alarmed by a dangerous irruption of the barbarous nations to the
northward of the empire; who, entering Me'dia with great fury and
passing through Arme'nia, carried their devastations as far as
Cappado'cia. Preferring peace, however, upon any terms, to an
unprofitable war, A'drian bought them off by large sums of money; so
that they returned peaceably into their native wilds, to enjoy their
plunder, and to meditate fresh invasions.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. Was Trajan uniformly merciful?

2. Was the persecution of long duration?

3. What remarkable event happened in this reign?

4. Where did the rebellion principally rage?

5. What were these barbarities?

6. Were no steps taken to repress this insurrection?

7. How was Trajan employed at this time, and what was his end?

8. Who succeeded him?

9. What was the character of Adrian?

10. Was he a virtuous character?

11. Were not his virtues counterbalanced?

12. By whom was the empire now invaded?

13. What wise measure did Adrian contemplate?

14. What remarkable edifice did he destroy?

15. Was he attentive to the concerns of the empire?

16. Why did he do this?

17. What places did he next visit?

18. Whither did he next proceed?

19. Mention his further progress, and the incidents that occurred.

20. Was he merciful to the Christians?

21. Whither did he next repair, and how did he employ himself?

22. Proceed in the description of his route.

23. Did he not favour the Jews?

24. Did they profit by this favourable disposition in the emperor?

25. Was this cruelty punished?

26. What followed this dangerous insurrection?


  Trajan and he,[6] with the mild sire and son
  His son of virtue; eased awhile mankind;
  And arts revived beneath their gentle beam.--_Thomson_.

1. Having spent thirteen years in travelling and reforming the abuses
of the empire, A'drian at last resolved to end his fatigues at Rome.
2. Nothing could be more grateful to the people than his resolution of
coming to reside for the rest of his days among them; they received
him with the loudest demonstrations of joy; and though he now began to
grow old and unwieldy, he remitted not the least of his former
assiduity and attention to the public welfare. 3. His chief amusement
was in conversing with the most celebrated men in every art and
science, frequently asserting, that he thought no kind of knowledge
inconsiderable, or to be neglected, either in his private or public
capacity. 4. He ordered the knights and senators never to appear in
public, but in the proper habits of their orders. He forbade
masters to kill their slaves, as had been before allowed; but
ordained that they should be tried by the laws. 5. He still further
extended the lenity of the laws to those unhappy men, who had long
been thought too mean for justice: if a master was found killed in his
house, he would not allow all his slaves to be put to the torture as
formerly, but only such as might have perceived and prevented the

6. In such employments he spent the greatest part of his time; but at
last finding the duties of his station daily increasing, and his own
strength proportionally upon the decline, he resolved on adopting a
successor, and accordingly chose Antoni'nus to that important station.

7. While he was thus careful in providing for the future welfare of
the state, his bodily infirmities became so insupportable, that he
vehemently desired some of his attendants to dispatch him. 8.
Antoni'nus, however, would by no means permit any of the domestics to
be guilty of so great an impiety, but used all the arts in his power
to reconcile the emperor to sustain life. 9. His pain daily
increasing, he was frequently heard to cry out, "How miserable a thing
it is to seek death, and not to find it!" After enduring some time
these excruciating tortures, he at last resolved to observe no
regimen, saying, that kings sometimes died merely by the multitude of
their physicians. 10. This conduct served to hasten that death he
seemed so ardently to desire; and it was probably joy upon its
approach which dictated the celebrated stanzas that are so well
known;[7] and while repeating which he expired, in the sixty-second
year of his age, after a prosperous reign of twenty-one years and
eleven months.

11. Titus Antoni'nus, his successor, was born at Lavin'ium, near Rome,
but his ancestors came originally from Nismes, in Gaul. His father was
a nobleman, who had enjoyed the highest honours of the empire.

[Sidenote: U.C. 891]

At the time of his succeeding to the throne he was above fifty years
old, and had passed through many of the most important offices of the
state with great integrity and application. 12. His virtues in private
life were no way impaired by his exaltation, as he showed himself one
of the most excellent princes for justice, clemency, and moderation;
his morals were so pure, that he was usually compared to Numa, and was
surnamed the Pious, both for his tenderness to his predecessor
A'drian, when dying, and his particular attachment to the religion of
his country.

13. He was an eminent rewarder of learned men, to whom he gave large
pensions and great honours, collecting them around him from all parts
of the world. 14. Among the rest, he sent for Apollo'nius, the famous
stoic philosopher, to instruct his adopted son, Mar'cus Aure'lius.
Apollo'nius being arrived, the emperor desired his attendance; but the
other arrogantly answered, that it was the scholar's duty to wait upon
the master, not the master upon the scholar. 15. To this reply,
Antoni'nus only returned with a smile, "That it was surprising how
Apollo'nius, who made no difficulty of coming from Greece to Rome,
should think it hard to walk from one part of Rome to another;" and
immediately sent Mar'cus Aure'lius to him.[8] 16. While the good
emperor was thus employed in making mankind happy, in directing their
conduct by his own example, or reproving their follies by the keenness
of rebuke, he was seized with a violent fever, and ordered his friends
and principal officers to attend him. 17. In their presence he
confirmed the adoption of Mar'cus Aure'lius; then commanding the
golden statue of Fortune, which was always in the chamber of the
emperors, to be removed to that of his successor, he expired in the
seventy-fourth year of his age, after a prosperous reign of
twenty-two years and almost eight months.[9]

[Sidenote: U.C. 914.]

18. Mar'cus Aure'lius, though left sole successor to the throne, took
Lu'cius Ve'rus as his associate and equal, in governing the state. 19.
Aure'lius was the son of An'nius Ve'rus, of an ancient and illustrious
family, which claimed its origin from Nu'ma. Lu'cius Ve'rus was the
son of Com'modus, who had been adopted by A'drian, but died before he
succeeded to the throne. 20. Aure'lius was as remarkable for his
virtues and accomplishments, as his partner in the empire was for his
ungovernable passions and debauched morals. The one was an example of
the greatest goodness and wisdom; the other of ignorance, sloth, and

21. The two emperors were scarcely settled on the throne, when the
empire was attacked on every side, from the barbarous nations by which
it was surrounded. The Cat'ti invaded Germany and Rhoe'tia, ravaging
all with fire and sword; but were repelled by Victori'nus. The Britons
likewise revolted, but were repressed by Capur'nius. 22. But the
Parthians, under their king Volog'esus, made an irruption still more
dreadful than either of the former; destroying the Roman legions in
Arme'nia; then entering Syria, they drove out the Roman governor, and
filled the whole country with terror and confusion. To repel this
barbarous eruption, Ve'rus went in person, being accompanied by
Aure'lius part of the way.

23. Ve'rus, however, proceeded no farther than An'tioch, and there
gave an indulgence to every appetite, rioting in excesses unknown even
to the voluptuous Greeks; leaving all the glory of the field to his
lieutenants, who were sent to repress the enemy. 24. These, however,
fought with great success; for in the four years that the war lasted,
the Romans entered far into the Parthian country, and entirely subdued
it; but upon their return their army was wasted to less than half its
original number by pestilence and famine. 25. This, however, was no
impediment to the vanity of Ve'rus, who resolved to enjoy the honours
of a triumph, so hardly earned by others. Having appointed a king over
the Arme'nians, and finding the Parthians entirely subdued, he assumed
the titles of Arme'nius and Parthi'cus; and on his return to Rome, he
partook of a triumph with Aure'lius, which was solemnized with great
pomp and splendour.

26. While Ve'rus was engaged in this expedition, Aure'lius was
sedulously intent upon distributing justice and happiness to his
subjects at home. He first applied himself to the regulation of
public affairs, and to the correcting of such faults as he found in
the laws and policy of the state. 27. In this endeavour he showed a
singular respect for the senate, often permitting them to determine
without appeal; so that the commonwealth seemed in a manner once more
revived under his equitable administration. 28. Besides, such was his
application to business, that he often employed ten days together on
the same subject, maturely considering it on all sides, and seldom
departing from the senate-house till the assembly was dismissed by the
consul. 29. But he was daily mortified with accounts of the enormities
of his colleague; being repeatedly assured of his vanity and
extravagance. 30. However, feigning himself ignorant of these
excesses, he judged marriage to be the best method of reclaiming him;
and, therefore, sent him his daughter Lucil'la, a woman of great
beauty, whom Ve'rus married at Antioch. 31. But even this was found
ineffectual, for Lucil'la proved of a disposition very unlike her
father; and, instead of correcting her husband's extravagances only
contributed to inflame them. 32. Aure'lius still hoped that, upon the
return of Ve'rus to Rome, his presence would keep him in awe, and that
happiness would at length be restored to the state. In this he was
also disappointed. His return seemed fatal to the empire; for his army
carried back the plague from Par'thia, and disseminated the infection
into the provinces through which it passed.

33. Nothing could exceed the miserable state of things upon the return
of Ve'rus. In this horrid picture were represented an emperor, unawed
by example or the calamities surrounding him, giving way to unheard-of
crimes; a raging pestilence spreading terror and desolation through
all parts of the western world; earthquakes, famines, inundations,
almost unexampled in history; the products of the earth through all
Italy devoured by locusts; the barbarous nations around the empire
taking advantage of its various calamities, and making their
irruptions even into Italy itself. 34. The priests doing all they
could to put a stop to the miseries of the state, by attempting to
appease the gods, vowing and offering numberless sacrifices;
celebrating all the sacred rites that had ever been known in Rome. 35.
To crown the whole, these enthusiasts, as if the impending calamities
had not been sufficient, ascribed the distresses of the state to the
impieties of the Christians. A violent persecution ensued in all
parts of the empire; and Justin Martyr, Polycarp'us, and a prodigious
number of less note, suffered martyrdom.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. Did Adrian enjoy repose from this time?

2. Was this resolution agreeable to the people?

3. How did he amuse himself?

4. What new edicts did he issue?

5. Did he not ameliorate the condition of slaves?

6. Was he still equal to the fatigues of the empire?

7. Were not his sufferings great?

8. Were his wishes complied with?

9. Were these arts successful?

10. What was the consequence of this conduct?

11. Who was his successor?

12. Did he preserve his virtue on his exaltation?

13. Was he a favourer of learning?

14. What anecdote is related of one of these?

15. What was the emperor's reply?

16. Did he experience a long and prosperous reign?

17. Whom did he appoint as his successor?

18. Was Marcus Aurelius sole emperor?

19. Who were Aurelius and Lucius Verus?

20. Were their characters similar?

21. Was their reign peaceable?

22. Was there not a more formidable invasion still?

23. Did Verus show himself worthy of the trust?

24. Were they successful?

25. Did Verus appear to feel this misfortune?

26. How was Aurelius employed in the mean time?

27. Did he do this solely by his own authority?

28. Was he hasty in his decisions?

29. Was he acquainted with the follies of his colleague?

30. How did he attempt his reformation?

31. Was this effectual?

32. What farther hopes did Aurelius entertain?

33. What was the state of the empire at this period?

34. What were the means made use of to avert these calamities?

35. To whom were they imputed?


  And wise Aurelius, in whose well-taught mind,
  With boundless power unbounded virtue join'd.
  His own strict judge, and patron of mankind.--_Pope._

1. In this scene of universal tumult, desolation and distress, there
was nothing left but the virtues and the wisdom of one man to restore
tranquillity and happiness to the empire. 2. Aure'lius began his
endeavours by marching against the Marcoman'ni and Qua'di, taking
Ve'rus with him, who reluctantly left the sensual delights of Rome for
the fatigues of a camp. 3. They came up with the Marcoman'ni near the
city of Aquile'ia, and after a furious engagement, routed their whole
army; then pursuing them across the Alps, overcame them in several
contests; and, at last, entirely defeating them, returned into Italy
without any considerable loss.

[Sidenote: U.C. 022 A.D. 169.]

4. As the winter was far advanced, Ve'rus was determined on going to
Rome, in which journey he was seized with an apoplexy that put an end
to his life, at the age of thirty-nine, having reigned in conjunction
with Aure'lius nine years.

5. Aure'lius, who had hitherto sustained the fatigues of governing,
not only an empire, but his colleague, began to act with greater
diligence, and more vigour than ever. After thus subduing the
Marcoman'ni, he returned to Rome, where he resumed his attempts to
benefit mankind by a farther reformation.

6. But his good endeavours were soon interrupted by a renewal of the
former wars. In one of the engagements that ensued, he is said to have
been miraculously relieved when his army was perishing with thirst, by
the prayers of a Christian legion[10] which had been levied in his
service; for we are told, that there fell such a shower of rain, as
instantly refreshed the fainting army. The soldiers were seen holding
their mouths and their helmets towards heaven, to catch the water
which came so wonderfully to their relief. 7. The same clouds which
served for their rescue, discharged so terrible a storm of hail,
accompanied with thunder, against the enemy, as astonished and
confused them. By this unlooked-for aid, the Romans, recovering
strength and courage, renewed the engagement with fresh vigour, and
cut the enemy to pieces. 8. Such are the circumstances of an event,
acknowledged by Pagan as well as Christian writers; only with this
difference, that the latter ascribe the miracle to their own, the
former to the prayers of their emperor. However this be, Aure'lius
seemed so sensible of miraculous assistance, that he immediately
relaxed the persecution against the Christians, and wrote to the
senate in their favour.

9. Soon after this event, Avid'ius Cas'sius, one of the generals
who had fought with such success against the Parthians, assumed the
imperial purple, but was shortly after killed in an engagement. When
his head was brought to Aure'lius, he expressed great sorrow, turned
his eyes away, and caused it to be honourably interred, complaining
that he had been robbed of an opportunity of showing mercy. On being
blamed for his too great lenity to the relatives and friends of
Cas'sius, he sublimely replied, "We have not lived nor served the gods
so ill, as to think that they would favour Cas'sius."

10. He usually called philosophy his mother, in opposition to the
court, which he considered as his step-mother. He also frequently
said, "the people are happy whose kings are philosophers." He was,
independent of his dignity, one of the most considerable men then
existing; and, though he had been born in the meanest station, his
merits as a writer (for his works remain to this day) would have
insured him immortality.

11. Having thus restored prosperity to his subjects, and peace to
mankind, news was brought him that the Scyth'ians, and other barbarous
nations of the north, were up in arms, and invading the empire. 12. He
once more, therefore, resolved to expose his aged person in the
defence of his country, and made speedy preparations to oppose
them.--He went to the senate, and desired to have money out of the
public treasury. He then spent three days in giving the people
lectures on the regulation of their lives; and, having finished,
departed upon his expedition, amidst the prayers and lamentations of
his subjects. Upon going to open his third campaign, he was seized at
Vienna with the plague, which stopped his farther progress. Nothing,
however, could abate his desire of being beneficial to mankind. 14.
His fears for the youth and unpromising disposition of Com'modus, his
son and successor, seemed to give him great uneasiness. He therefore
addressed his friends and the principal officers that were gathered
round his bed, expressing his hope, that as his son was now losing his
father, he would find many in them. 15. While thus speaking, he was
seized with a weakness which stopped his utterance, and brought on
death. He died in the fifty-ninth year of his age, having reigned
nineteen years. It seemed as if the glory and prosperity of the empire
died with this greatest of the Roman emperors.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. To whom did the Romans look for a restoration of the tranquillity
of the empire?

2. Against whom did Aurelius march, and who accompanied him?

3. Where did they come up with the Marcomanni, and what was the result
of the engagement?

4. What was the fate of Verus?

5. How did Aurelius act on his return to Rome?

6. What miraculous event was ascribed to the prayers of a Christian

7. How did it operate on the enemy?

8. Did not Aurelius, in consequence, interest himself in favour of the

9. What reply did Aurelius make to these who blamed him for his lenity
to the friends of Cassius?

10. What sayings are recorded of him, and what was his character?

11. What news was brought to Aurelius soon after peace had been

12. In what way did he occupy himself previous to his departure to
oppose the enemy?

13. At what place was he seized with the plague?

14. What seemed to give him great uneasiness?

15. How old was Aurelius when he died, and how many years had he


[1] Domi'tian was the last of those emperors commonly called the
Twelve Cæsars.

[2] Nerva, the most remarkable man in Rome for his virtues, recalled
all the Christians who had been banished or had emigrated under the
persecution of Domi'tian.

[3] It was customary among the Romans, for a person destitute of a son
to adopt one from another family; and the son thus adopted became
immediately invested with the same rights and privileges as if he had
been born to that station; but he had no longer any claim on the
family to which he originally belonged.

[4] Car'thage, the celebrated capital of Africa Pro'pria, was built by
the Tyr'ians, under Dido. This city, the mistress of Spain, Si'cily,
and Sardin'ia, was long the rival of Rome, till it was totally
destroyed by Scip'io the Second, surnamed Africa'nus, B.C. 147. In its
height of prosperity, it contained upwards of 700,000 inhabitants.

[5] This must be distinguished from Adrian'ople, the second city of
European Turkey, which was founded about A.M. 2782, and repaired by
the emperor Adrian, A.D. 122. Hence, its name.

[6] The poet here alludes to Titus, whom he has before been
commending; his actions are described in Chap. XXII. Sect X.

[7] These stanzas are--

  Animula, vagula, blandula,
  Hospes, comesque corporis
  Quæ nonc abibis in loca,
  Pallidula, rigida, nudula?
  Nec, ut soles, dabis jocos.

Thus imitated by Prior:

    Poor little pretty fluttering thing,
      Must we no longer live together?
    And dost thou prune thy trembling wing
      To take thy flight thou know'st not whither?
    Thy hum'rous vein, thy pleasing folly,
      Lie all neglected, all forgot;
  And pensive, wav'ring, melancholy,
      Thou dread'st and hop'st thou know'st not what

[8] Antoni'nus being made a model of wisdom and virtue, he was as much
respected by foreigners as by his own people?

[9] This emperor was remarkably favourable to the Christians, and
wrote thus to his governors in Asia:--"If any one shall, for the
future, molest the Christians, and accuse them merely on account of
their religion, let the person who is arraigned be discharged, though
he is found to be a Christian, and the accuser be punished according
to the rigour of the law."

[10] Legion, a body of soldiers in the Roman army, consisting of 300
horse and 4000 foot. Figuratively, an army, a military force, or a
great number.

       *       *       *       *       *




  O name of country, once how sacred deem'd!
  O sad reverse of manners, once esteem'd!
  While Rome her ancient majesty maintain'd,
  And in his capitol while Jove imperial reign'd.--_Horace_.

1. The merits of Aurelius procured Commodus an easy accession to the
throne.[1] He was acknowledged emperor by the army, by the senate and
people, and afterwards by all the provinces.

2. But his whole reign was a tissue of wantonness and folly, cruelty
and injustice, rapacity and corruption. So strong a similitude was
there between his conduct and that of Domi'tian, that a reader might
imagine he was going over the history of the same reign. 3. He spent
the day in feasting, and the night in the most abominable
wickedness. He would sometimes go about the markets in a frolic, with
small wares, as a petty chapman; sometimes he affected to be a
horse-courser; at other times he drove his own chariot, in a slave's
habit. Those he promoted resembled himself, being the companions of
his pleasures, or the ministers of his cruelties.

4. If any person desired to be revenged on an enemy, by bargaining
with Com'modus for a sum of money, he was permitted to destroy him in
any manner he thought proper. He commanded a person to be cast to the
wild beasts for reading the life of Calig'ula in Sueto'nius. He
ordered another to be thrown into a burning furnace, for accidentally
overheating his bath. He would sometimes, when he was in a pleasant
humour, cut off men's noses, under pretence of shaving their beards;
and yet he was himself so jealous of all mankind, that he thought it
necessary to be his own barber.

5. At length, upon the feast of Janus, resolving to fence before the
people, as a common gladiator, three of his friends remonstrated with
him upon the indecency of such behaviour: these were Læ'tus, his
general; Elec'tus, his chamberlain; and Mar'cia, of whom he always
appeared excessively fond. 6. Their advice was attended with no other
effect than that of exciting him to resolve upon their destruction. 7.
It was his method, like that of Domi'tian, to set down the names of
all such as he intended to put to death in a roll, which he carefully
kept by him. However, at this time, happening to lay the roll on his
bed, while he was bathing a another room, it was taken up by a little
boy whom he passionately loved. The child, after playing with it some
time brought it to Mar'cia, who was instantly alarmed at the contents.
8. She immediately discovered her terror to Læ'tus and Elec'tus, who,
perceiving their dangerous situation, instantly resolved upon the
tyrant's death. 9. After some deliberation, it was agreed to dispatch
him by poison; but this not succeeding, Mar'cia hastily introduced a
young man, called Narcis'sus, whom she prevailed upon to assist in
strangling the tyrant. Com'modus died in the thirty-first year of his
age, after an impious reign of twelve years and nine months.

[Sidenote: U.C. 945. A.D. 192.]

10. Such were the secrecy and expedition with which Com'modus was
assassinated, that few were acquainted with the real circumstances of
his death. His body was wrapt up as a bale of useless furniture,
and carried through the guards, most of whom were either drunk or

11. Hel'vius Per'tinax, whose virtues and courage rendered him worthy
of the most exalted station, and who had passed through many changes
of fortune, had been previously fixed upon to succeed him. When,
therefore, the conspirators repaired to his house, to salute him
emperor, he considered it as a command from the emperor Com'modus for
his death. 12. Upon Læ'tus entering his apartment, Per'tinax, without
any show of fear, cried out, that for many days he had expected to end
his life in that manner, wondering that the emperor had deferred it so
long. He was not a little surprised when informed of the real cause of
their visit; and being strongly urged to accept of the empire, he at
last complied. 13. Being carried to the camp, Per'tinax was proclaimed
emperor, and soon after was acknowledged by the senate and citizens.
They then pronounced Com'modus a parricide, an enemy to the gods, his
country, and all mankind; and commanded that his corpse should rot
upon a heap of dirt. 14. In the mean time they saluted Per'tinax as
emperor and Cæsar, with numerous acclamations, and cheerfully took the
oaths of obedience. The provinces soon after followed the example of
Rome; so that he began his reign with universal satisfaction to the
whole empire, in the sixty-eighth year of his age.

15. Nothing could exceed the justice and wisdom of this monarch's
reign, during the short time it continued. But the prætorian soldiers,
whose manners he attempted to reform, having been long corrupted by
the indulgence and profusion of their former monarch, began to hate
him for his parsimony, and the discipline he had introduced among
them. 16. They therefore resolved to dethrone him; and accordingly, in
a tumultuous manner, marched through the streets of Rome, entered his
palace without opposition, where a Tungrian soldier struck him dead
with a blow of his lance. 17. From the number of his adventures he was
called the tennis-ball of fortune; and certainly no man ever went
through such a variety of situations with so blameless a character. He
reigned but three months.

[Sidenote: U.C. 954. A.D. 201]

18. The soldiers having committed this outrage, made proclamation,
that they would sell the empire to whoever would purchase it at the
highest price. 19. In consequence of this proclamation, two
bidders were found, namely, Sulpicia'nus and Did'ius. The former
a consular person, prefect of the city, and son-in-law to the late
emperor Per'tinax. The latter a consular person likewise, a great
lawyer, and the wealthiest man in the city. 20. Sulpicia'nus had
rather promises than treasure to bestow. The offers of Did'ius, who
produced immense sums of ready money, prevailed. He was received into
the camp, and the soldiers instantly swore to obey him as emperor. 21.
Upon being conducted to the senate-house, he addressed the few that
were present in a laconic speech, "Fathers, you want an emperor, and I
am the fittest person you can choose." The choice of the soldiers was
confirmed by the senate, and Did'ius was acknowledged emperor, in the
fifty-seventh year of his age. 22. It should seem, by this weak
monarch's conduct when seated on the throne, that he thought the
government of an empire rather a pleasure than a toil. Instead of
attempting to gain the hearts of his subjects, he gave himself up to
ease and inactivity, utterly regardless of the duties of his station.
He was mild and gentle indeed, neither injuring any, nor expecting to
be injured. 23. But that avarice by which he became opulent, still
followed him in his exaltation; so that the very soldiers who elected
him soon began to detest him, for qualities so opposite to a military
character. 24. The people also, against whose consent he was chosen,
were not less his enemies. Whenever he issued from his palace, they
openly poured forth their imprecations against him, crying out, that
he was a thief, and had stolen the empire. 25. Did'ius, however,
patiently bore all their reproach, and testified his regard by every
kind of submission. 26. Soon after Seve'rus, an African by birth,
being proclaimed by his army, began his reign by promising to revenge
the death of Per'tinax.

27. Did'ius upon being informed of his approach towards Rome, obtained
the consent of the senate to send him ambassadors, offering to make
him a partner in the empire. 28. But Seve'rus rejected this offer,
conscious of his own strength, and of the weakness of the proposer.
The senate appeared to be of the same sentiment; and perceiving the
timidity and weakness of their present master, abandoned him. 29.
Being called together, as was formerly practised in the times of the
commonwealth, by the consuls, they unanimously decreed, that Did'ius
should be deprived of the empire, and that Severus should be
proclaimed in his stead. They then commanded Did'ius to be slain, and
sent messengers for this purpose to the palace, who, having found
him, with a few friends that still adhered to his interest, they
struck off his head.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. Did Commodus succeed peaceably?

2. Did he imitate his father's virtues?

3. Mention some of his follies?

4. Mention some of his wanton cruelties?

5. Who remonstrated with him on this conduct?

6. What effect did this remonstrance produce?

7. How was this discovered?

8. What was the consequence?

9. How was it affected?

10. Were the circumstances of his death generally known?

11. Who succeeded him?

12. Did Pertinax discover any signs of fear?

13. What ensued on his compliance?

14. Was he acceptable to the Roman people?

15. How did he govern?

16. What was the consequence?

17. By what appellation was he distinguished, and why?

18. How was the imperial purple next disposed of?

19. Who were the candidates?

20. Who was the successful candidate?

21. Was he acknowledged by the senate?

22. What was his conduct as emperor?

23. What gained him the hatred of the soldiers?

24. Was he a favourite of the people?

25. How did Didius bear this?

26. What new competitor for the throne appeared?

27. How did Didius act on this occasion?

28. Was his offer accepted?

29. What was the event?


  There's nought so monstrous but the mind of man,
  In some conditions, may be brought to approve;
  Theft, sacrilege, treason, and parricide,
  When flattering opportunity enticed,
  And desperation drove, have been committed
  By those who once would start to hear them named.--_Lillo_.

1. Seve'rus having overcome Niger, A.D. 194, and Albinus, A.D. 198,
who were his competitors for the empire, assumed the reins of
government, uniting great vigour with the most refined policy; yet his
African cunning was considered as a singular defect in him. 2. He is
celebrated for his wit, learning, and prudence; but execrated for
his perfidy and cruelty. In short, he seemed equally capable of
the greatest acts of virtue, and the most bloody severities. 3. He
loaded his soldiers with rewards and honours, giving them such
privileges as strengthened his own power, while they destroyed that of
the senate; for the soldiers, who had hitherto showed the strongest
inclination to an abuse of power, were now made arbiters of the fate
of emperors. 4. Being thus secure of his army he resolved to give way
to his natural desire of conquest, and to turn his arms against the
Parthians, who were then invading the frontiers of the empire. 5.
Having, therefore, previously given the government of domestic policy
to one Plau'tian, a favourite, to whose daughter he married his son
Caracal'la, he set out for the east, and prosecuted the war with his
usual expedition and success. 6. He compelled submission from the king
of Arme'nia, destroyed several cities of Ara'bia Felix, landed on the
Parthian coast, took and plundered the famous city of Ctes'iphon,
marched back through Pal'estine and Egypt, and at length returned to
Rome in triumph. 7. During this interval, Plau'tian, who was left to
direct the affairs of Rome, began to think of aspiring to the empire
himself. Upon the emperor's return, he employed a tribune of the
prætorian cohorts, of which he was commander, to assassinate him, and
his son Caracal'la. 8. The tribune informed Seve'rus of his
favourite's treachery. He at first received the intelligence as an
improbable story, and as the artifices of one who envied his
favourite's fortune. However, he was at last persuaded to permit the
tribune to conduct Plau'tian to the emperor's apartments to be a
testimony against himself. 9. With this intent the tribune went and
amused him with a pretended account of his killing the emperor and his
son; desiring him, if he thought fit to see them dead, to go with him
to the palace. 10. As Plau'tian ardently desired their death, he
readily gave credit to the relation, and, following the tribune, was
conducted at midnight into the innermost apartments of the palace. But
what must have been his surprise and disappointment, when, instead of
finding the emperor lying dead, as he expected, he beheld the room
lighted up with torches, and Seve'rus surrounded by his friends,
prepared in array to receive him. 11. Being asked by the emperor, with
a stern countenance, what had brought him there at that unseasonable
time, he ingenuously confessed the whole, entreating forgiveness
for what he had intended. 12. The emperor seemed inclined to pardon;
but Caracal'la, his son, who from the earliest age showed a
disposition to cruelty, ran him through the body with his sword. 13.
After this, Seve'rus spent a considerable time in visiting some cities
in Italy, permitting none of his officers to sell places of trust or
dignity, and distributing justice with the strictest impartiality. He
then undertook an expedition into Britain, where the Romans were in
danger of being destroyed, or compelled to fly the province. After
appointing his two sons, Caracal'la and Ge'ta, joint successors in the
empire, and taking them with him, he landed in Britain, A.D. 208, to
the great terror of such as had drawn down his resentment. 14. Upon
his progress into the country, he left his son Ge'ta in the southern
part of the province, which had continued in obedience, and marched,
with his son Caracal'la, against the Caledo'nians. 15. In this
expedition, his army suffered prodigious hardships in pursuing the
enemy; they were obliged to hew their way through intricate forests,
to drain extensive marshes, and form bridges over rapid rivers; so
that he lost fifty thousand men by fatigue and sickness. 16. However,
he surmounted these inconveniences with unremitting bravery, and
prosecuted his successes with such vigour, that he compelled the enemy
to beg for peace; which they did not obtain without the surrender of a
considerable part of their country. 17. It was then that, for its
better security, he built the famous wall, which still goes by his
name, extending from Solway Frith on the west, to the German Ocean on
the east. He did not long survive his successes here, but died at
York, in the sixty-sixth year of his age, after an active, though
cruel reign of about eighteen years.

[Sidenote: U.C.964 A.D.211]

18. Caracal'la and Ge'ta, his sons, being acknowledged as emperors by
the army, began to show a mutual hatred to each other, even before
their arrival at Rome. But this opposition was of no long continuance;
for Caracal'la, being resolved to govern alone, furiously entered
Ge'ta's apartment, and, followed by ruffians, slew him in his mother's
arms. 19. Being thus sole emperor, he went on to mark his course with
blood. Whatever was done by Domi'tian or Ne'ro, fell short of this
monster's barbarities.[2]

[Illustration: Massacre of the Alexandrians.]

20. His tyrannies at length excited the resentment of Macri'nus, the
commander of the forces in Mesopota'mia who employed one Mar'tial, a
man of great strength, and a centurion of the guards, to dispatch him.
21. Accordingly, as the emperor was riding out one day, near a little
city called Carræ, he happened to withdraw himself privately, upon a
natural occasion, with only one page to hold his horse. This was the
opportunity Mar'tial had so long and ardently desired: when, running
to him hastily, as if he had been called, he stabbed the emperor in
the back, and killed him instantly. 22. Having performed this hardy
attempt, he, with apparent unconcern, returned to his troop; but,
retiring by insensible degrees, he endeavoured to secure himself by
flight. His companions, however, soon missing him, and the page giving
information of what had been done, he was pursued by the German horse,
and cut in pieces.

23. During the reign of this execrable tyrant, which continued six
years, the empire was every day declining; the soldiers were entirely
masters of every election; and as there were various armies in
different parts, so there were as many interests opposed to each

[Sidenote: U.C.970 A.D.217]

24. The soldiers, after remaining without an emperor two days, fixed
upon Macri'nus, who took all possible methods to conceal his being
privy to Caracal'la's murder. The senate confirmed their choice
shortly after; and likewise that of his son, Diadumenia'nus, whom he
took as partner in the empire. 25. Macri'nus was fifty-three
years old when he entered upon the government. He was of obscure
parentage; some say by birth a Moor, who, by the mere gradation of
office, being made first prefect of the prætorian bands, was now, by
treason and accident, called to fill the throne.

26. He was opposed by the intrigues of Mosa, and her grandson
Heliogaba'lus; and being conquered by some seditious legions of his
own army, he fled to Chalcedon,[3] where those who were sent in
pursuit overtook him, and put him to death, together with his son
Diadumenia'nus, after a short reign of one year and two months.

[Sidenote: U.C.971 A.D.218]

27. The senate and citizens of Rome being obliged to submit, as usual,
to the appointment of the army, Heliogaba'lus ascended the throne at
the age of fourteen. His short life was a mixture of effeminacy, lust,
and extravagance. 28. He married six wives in the short space of four
years, and divorced them all. He was so fond of the sex, that he
carried his mother with him to the senate-house, and demanded that she
should always be present when matters of importance were debated. He
even went so far as to build a senate-house for women, appointing them
suitable orders, habits and distinctions, of which his mother was made
president. 29. They met several times; all their debates turned upon
the fashions of the day, and the different formalities to be used at
giving and receiving visits. To these follies he added cruelty and
boundless prodigality; he used to say, that such dishes as were
cheaply obtained were scarcely worth eating.

30. However, his soldiers mutinying, as was now usual with them, they
followed him to his palace, pursuing him from apartment to apartment,
till at last he was found concealed in a closet. Having dragged him
from thence through the streets, with the most bitter invectives, and
dispatched him, they attempted once more to squeeze his pampered body
into a closet; but not easily effecting this, they threw it into the
Tiber, with heavy weights, that none might afterwards find it, or give
it burial. This was the ignominious death of Heliogaba'lus, in the
eighteenth year of his age, after a detestable reign of four

_Questions for Examination_.

1. Who succeeded Didius Julianus?

2. What was the character of Severus?

3. By what means did he strengthen his power?

4. What were his first acts?

5. To whom did he commit the government in his absence?

6. What were his exploits?

7. How did Plautian conduct himself in this important post?

8. How was this treachery discovered?

9. How was this effected?

10. Did Plautian fall into the snare?

11. How did he act on the occasion?

12. Was he pardoned?

13. How did Severus next employ himself?

14. What were his first measures in Britain?

15. Was it a difficult campaign?

16. Did he overcome these difficulties?

17. What famous work did he execute, and where did he die?

18. Who succeeded him, and how did the two emperors regard each

19. What was the conduct of Caracalla on thus becoming sole

20. Were these cruelties tamely suffered?

21. How was this effected?

22. Did the assassin escape?

23. What was the state of the empire during this reign?

24. Who succeeded Caracalla?

25. Who was Macrinus?

26. By whom was he opposed, and what was his fate?

27. How did Heliogabalus govern?

28. Give a few instances of his folly?

29. Did they enter into his views, and of what farther follies and vices
was he guilty?

30. What was his end?


  I know that there are angry spirits
  And turbulent mutterers of stifled treason,
  Who lurk in narrow places, and walk out
  Muffled, to whisper curses in the night;
  Disbanded soldiers, discontented ruffians,
  And desperate libertines who brawl in taverns.--_Byron_.

[Sidenote: U.C. 975 A.D. 222]

1. Heliogaba'lus was succeeded by Alexander, his cousin-german,[4]
who, being declared emperor without opposition, the senate, with their
usual adulation, were for conferring new titles upon him; but he
modestly declined them all. 2. To the most rigid justice he added the
greatest humanity. He loved the good, and was a severe reprover of the
lewd and infamous. His accomplishments were equal to his virtues. He
was an excellent mathematician, geometrician, and musician; he
was equally skilful in painting and sculpture; and in poetry few of
his time could equal him. In short, such were his talents, and such
the solidity of his judgment, that though but sixteen years of age, he
was considered equal in wisdom to a sage old man.

3. About the thirteenth year of his reign the Upper Germans, and other
northern nations, began to pour down in immense swarms upon the more
southern parts of the empire. They passed the Rhine and the Danube
with such fury, that all Italy was thrown into the most extreme
consternation. 4. The emperor, ever ready to expose his person for the
safety of his people, made what levies he could, and went in person to
stem the torrent, which he speedily effected. It was in the course of
his successes against the enemy that he was cut off by a mutiny among
his own soldiers. He died in the twenty-ninth year of his age, after a
prosperous reign of thirteen years and nine days.

[Sidenote: U.C.988 A.D.235]

5. The tumults occasioned by the death of Alexander being appeased,
Max'imin, who had been the chief promoter of the sedition, was chosen
emperor. 6. This extraordinary man, whose character deserves a
particular attention, was born of very obscure parentage, being the
son of a poor herdsman of Thrace. He followed his father's humble
profession, and had exercised his personal courage against the robbers
who infested that part of the country in which he lived. Soon after,
his ambition increasing, he left his poor employment and enlisted in
the Roman army, where he soon became remarkable for his great
strength, discipline, and courage. 7. This gigantic man, we are told,
was eight feet and a half high; he had strength corresponding to his
size, being not more remarkable for the magnitude than the symmetry of
his person. His wife's bracelet usually served him for a thumb ring,
and his strength was so great that he was able to draw a carriage
which two oxen could not move. He could strike out the teeth of a
horse with a blow of his fist, and break its thigh with a kick. 8. His
diet was as extraordinary as his endowments: he generally ate forty
pounds weight of flesh every day, and drank six gallons of wine,
without committing any debauch in either. 9. With a frame so athletic,
he was possessed of a mind undaunted in danger, neither fearing nor
regarding any man. 10. The first time he was made known to the emperor
Seve'rus, was while he was celebrating games on the birth day of
his son Ge'ta. He overcame sixteen in running, one after the other; he
then kept up with the emperor on horseback, and having fatigued him in
the course, he was opposed to seven of the most active soldiers, and
overcame them with the greatest ease. 11. These extraordinary exploits
caused him to be particularly noticed; he had been taken into the
emperor's body guard, and by the usual gradation of preferment came to
be chief commander. In this situation he had been equally remarkable
for his simplicity, discipline, and virtue; but, upon coming to the
empire, he was found to be one of the greatest monsters of cruelty
that had ever disgraced power; fearful of nothing himself, he seemed
to sport with the terrors of all mankind.

12. However, his cruelties did not retard his military operations,
which were carried on with a spirit becoming a better monarch. He
overthrew the Germans in several battles, wasted all their country
with fire and sword for four hundred miles together, and formed a
resolution of subduing all the northern nations, as far as the ocean.
13. In these expeditions, in order to attach the soldiers more firmly
to him, he increased their pay; and in every duty of the camp he
himself took as much pains as the meanest sentinel in his army,
showing incredible courage and assiduity. In every engagement, where
the conflict was hottest, Max'imin was seen fighting in person, and
destroying all before him; for, being bred a barbarian, he considered
it his duty to combat as a common soldier, while he commanded as a

14. In the mean time his cruelties had so alienated the minds of his
subjects, that secret conspiracies were secretly aimed against him.
None of them, however, succeeded, till at last his own soldiers, long
harassed by famine and fatigue, and hearing of revolts on every side,
resolved to terminate their calamities by the tyrant's death. 15. His
great strength, and his being always armed, at first deterred them
from assassinating him; but at length the soldiers, having made his
guards accomplices in their designs, set upon him while he slept at
noon in his tent, and without opposition slew both him and his son,
whom he had made his partner in the empire. 16. Thus died this most
remarkable man, after an usurpation of about three years, in the
sixty-fifth year of his age. His assiduity when in a humble station,
and his cruelty when in power, serve to evince, that there are some
men whose virtues are fitted for obscurity, as there are others
who only show themselves great when placed in an exalted station.

[Sidenote: U.C. 991. A.D. 238.]

17. The tyrant being dead, and his body thrown to dogs and birds of
prey, Pupie'nus and Balbie'nus, who had usurped the imperial purple,
continued for some time emperors, without opposition. 18. But,
differing between themselves, the prætorian soldiers, who were the
enemies of both, set upon them in their palace, at a time when their
guards were amused with seeing the Capit'oline games; and dragging
them from the palace towards the camp, slew them both, leaving their
dead bodies in the street, as a dreadful instance of unsuccessful

[Sidenote: U.C. 991. A.D. 238.]

19. In the midst of this sedition, as the mutineers were proceeding
along, they by accident met Gor'dian, the grandson of him who was
slain in Africa: him they declared emperor on the spot. 20. This
prince was but sixteen years old when he began to reign, but his
virtues seemed to compensate for his want of experience. His principal
aims were to unite the opposing members of government, and to
reconcile the soldiers and citizens to each other. 21. The army,
however, began as usual to murmur; and their complaints were artfully
fomented by Philip, an Arabian, who was prætorian prefect, and aspired
to the sovereignty. Things thus proceeded from bad to worse. 22.
Philip was at first made equal to Gor'dian in the command of the
empire; shortly after he was invested with the sole power; and at
length, finding himself capable of perpetrating his long meditated
cruelty, Gor'dian was by his order slain, in the twenty-second year of
his age, after a successful reign of nearly six years.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. Who succeeded Heliogabalus?

2. What was his character?

3. Was his reign peaceable?

4. How did Alexander act on the occasion?

5. Who succeeded Alexander?

6. Who was Maximin?

7. Describe his person.

8. What farther distinguished him?

9. Was his mind proportioned to his body?

10. How did he attract the notice of Severus?

11. By what means did he attain rank in the army?

12. Was he equally a terror to his foreign enemies?

13. By what means did he gain the confidence of his soldiers?

14. What effect had his cruelties on the minds of his subjects?

15. How did they accomplish their purpose?

16. How long did he reign, and what inference may be drawn from his

17. Who next mounted the imperial throne?

18. What was their end?

19. Who succeeded Pupienus and Balbienus?

20. What were the character and views of this prince?

21. Was his administration approved of by all?

22. Did Philip accomplish his ambitious design?

SECTION IV. U.C. 996.--A.D. 243.

  What rein can hold licentious wickedness,
  When down the hill he holds his fierce career--_Shakspeare_.

1. Philip having thus murdered his benefactor, was so fortunate as to
be immediately acknowledged emperor by the army. Upon his exaltation
he associated his son, a boy of six years of age, as his partner in
the empire; and, in order to secure his power at home, made peace with
the Persians, and marched his army towards Rome. 2. However, the army
revolting in favour of De'cius, his general, and setting violently
upon him, one of his sentinels at a blow cut off his head, or rather
cleft it asunder, separating the under jaw from the upper. He died in
the forty-fifth year of his age, after a short reign of about five

[Sidenote: U.C. 1001. A.D. 248.]

3. De'cius was universally acknowledged as his successor. His activity
and wisdom seemed, in some measure, to stop the hastening decline of
the Roman empire. The senate seemed to think so highly of his merits,
that they voted him not inferior to Tra'jan; and indeed he appeared in
every instance to consult their dignity, and the welfare of all the
inferior ranks of people. 4. But no virtues could now prevent the
approaching downfall of the state; the obstinate disputes between the
Pagans and the Christians within the empire, and the unceasing
irruptions of barbarous nations from without, enfeebled it beyond the
power of remedy. 5. He was killed in an ambuscade of the enemy, in the
fiftieth year of his age, after a short reign of two years and six

[Sidenote: U.C. 1004. A.D. 251.]

6. Gal'lus, who had betrayed the Roman army, had address enough to get
himself declared emperor by that part of it which survived the
defeat; he was forty-five years old when he began to reign, and
was descended from an honourable family in Rome. 7. He was the first
who bought a dishonourable peace from the enemies of the state,
agreeing to pay a considerable annual tribute to the Goths, whom it
was his duty to repress. He was regardless of every national calamity,
and was lost in debauchery and sensuality. The Pagans were allowed a
power of persecuting the Christians through all parts of the state. 8.
These calamities were succeeded by a pestilence from heaven, that
seemed to have spread over every part of the earth, and continued
raging for several years, in an unheard-of manner; as well as by a
civil war, which followed shortly after between Gallus and his general
Æmilia'nus, who, having gained a victory over the Goths, was
proclaimed emperor by his conquering army. 9. Gallus hearing this,
soon roused from the intoxications of pleasure, and prepared to oppose
his dangerous rival: but both he and his son were slain by Æmilia'nus,
in a battle fought in Mossia. His death was merited, and his vices
were such as to deserve the detestation of posterity. He died in the
forty-seventh year of his age, after an unhappy reign of two years and
four months, in which the empire suffered inexpressible calamities.

[Sidenote: U.C. 1006. A.D. 253.]

10. The senate refused to acknowledge the claims of Æmilia'nus; and an
army that was stationed near the Alps chose Vale'rian, who was their
commander, to succeed to the throne. 11. He set about reforming the
state with a spirit that seemed to mark a good and vigorous mind. But
reformation was now grown almost impracticable. 12. The Persians under
their king Sapor, invading Syr'ia, took the unfortunate Vale'rian
prisoner, as he was making preparations to oppose them; and the
indignities as well as the cruelties, which were practised upon this
unhappy monarch, thus fallen into the hands of his enemies, are almost
incredible. 13. Sapor, we are told, used him as a footstool for
mounting his horse; he added the bitterness of ridicule to his
insults, and usually observed, that an attitude like that to which
Vale'rian was reduced, was the best statue that could be erected in
honour of his victory. 14. This horrid life of insult and sufferance
continued for seven years; and was at length terminated by the cruel
Persian commanding his prisoner's eyes to be plucked out, and
afterwards causing him to be flayed alive.

[Sidenote: U.C. 1012. A.D. 259.]

15. When Vale'rian was taken prisoner, Galie'nus, his son, promising
to revenge the insult, was chosen emperor, being then about
forty-one years old. However, it was soon discovered that he sought
rather the splendours than the toils of empire; for, after having
overthrown Ingen'uus, who had assumed the title of emperor, he sat
down, as if fatigued with conquest, and gave himself up to ease and
luxury. 16. At this time, no less than thirty pretenders were seen
contending with each other for the dominion of the state, and adding
the calamities of civil war to the rest of the misfortunes of this
devoted empire. These are usually mentioned in history by the name of
the thirty tyrants. 17. In this general calamity, Galie'nus, though at
first seemingly insensible, was at length obliged for his own security
to take the field, and led an army to besiege the city of Milan, which
had been taken by one of the thirty usurping tyrants. In this
expedition he was slain by his own soldiers: Mar'tian, one of his
generals, having conspired against him.

[Sidenote: U.C. 1021. A.D. 268.]

18. Fla'vius Clau'dius being nominated to succeed, was joyfully
accepted by all orders of the state, and his title confirmed by the
senate and the people. 19. He was a man of great valour and conduct,
having performed the most excellent services against the Goths, who
had long continued to make irruptions into the empire; but, after a
great victory over that barbarous people, he was seized with a
pestilential fever at Ser'mium in Panno'nia, of which he died, to the
great regret of his subjects, and the irreparable loss of the Roman

[Sidenote: U.C. 1023. A.D. 270.]

20. Upon the death of Clau'dius, Aure'lian was acknowledged by all the
states of the empire, and assumed the command with a greater share of
power than his predecessors had enjoyed for a long time before. 21.
This active monarch was of mean and obscure parentage in Da'cia, and
about fifty-five years old at the time of his coming to the throne. He
had spent the early part of his life in the army, and had risen
through all the gradations of military rank. He was of unshaken
courage and amazing strength. He, in one engagement, killed forty of
the enemy with his own hand; and at different times above nine
hundred. In short, his valour and expedition were such, that he was
compared to Julius Cæsar; and, in fact, only wanted mildness and
clemency to be every way his equal. 22. Among those who were compelled
to submit to his power, was the famous Zeno'bia, queen of Palmy'ra. He
subdued her country, destroyed her city, and took her prisoner.
Longi'nus, the celebrated critic, who was secretary to the queen, was
by Aure'lian's order put to death. Zeno'bia was reserved to grace his
triumph; and afterwards was allotted such lands, and such an income,
as served to maintain her in almost her former splendour. 23. But the
emperor's severities were at last the cause of his own destruction.
Mnes'theus, his principal secretary, having been threatened by him for
some fault which he had committed, formed a conspiracy against him,
and as the emperor passed, with a small guard, from Ura'clea, in
Thrace, towards Byzan'tium, the conspirators set upon him at once and
slew him, in the sixtieth year of his age, after a very active reign
of almost five years.

[Sidenote: U.C. 1028. A.D. 275.]

24. After some time the senate made choice of Ta'citus, a man of great
merit, and no way ambitious of the honours that were offered him,
being at that time seventy-five years old. 25. A reign begun with much
moderation and justice, only wanted continuance to have made his
subjects happy: but after enjoying the empire about six months, he
died of a fever in his march to oppose the Persians and Scyth'ians,
who had invaded the eastern parts of the empire. 26. During this short
period the senate seemed to have possessed a large share of authority,
and the histories of the times are liberal of their praises to such
emperors as were thus willing to divide their power.

27. Upon the death of Ta'citus, his half-brother took upon himself the
title of emperor, in Cile'sia: but being twice defeated by Pro'bus, he
killed himself in despair, when the whole army, as if by common
consent, cried out that Pro'bus should be emperor. 28. He was then
forty-four years old; was born of noble parentage, and bred a soldier.
He began early to distinguish himself for his discipline and valour:
being frequently the first man that scaled the walls, or that burst
into the enemy's camp. He was equally remarkable for single combat,
and for having saved the lives of many eminent citizens. Nor were his
activity and courage when elected to the empire less apparent than in
his private station. 29. Every year now produced new calamities to the
state; and fresh irruptions on every side threatened universal
desolation. Perhaps at this time no abilities, except those of
Pro'bus, were capable of opposing such united invasions. 30. However,
in the end, his own mutinous soldiers, taking their opportunity, as he
was marching into Greece, seized and slew him, after he had reigned
six years and four months with general approbation. He was
succeeded by Ca'rus.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. Did Philip succeed without opposition?

2. Was his reign of long duration?

3. What was the character of Decius?

4. Did he restore the empire to its former grandeur?

5. What was his end?

6. Who succeeded him?

7. What was his character?

8. What farther calamities distinguished this reign?

9. What effect had this news on Gallus?

10. Who succeeded Gallus?

11. What were his first acts and their effects?

12. What disaster befel him?

13. How was he treated in captivity?

14. Did he long survive this cruelty?

15. Who succeeded him?

16. Was Galienus the only pretender to the throne?

17. What measures did Galienus adopt on this?

18. Who succeeded Galienus?

19. What were his character and end?

20. Who succeeded Claudius?

21. Who was Aurelian?

22. Over whom did he triumph?

23. What occasioned his destruction?

24. Who succeeded Aurelian?

25. Did he govern well?

26. What distinguished his reign?

27. Who succeeded Tacitus?

28. What were the qualifications of Probus?

29. What was the state of the empire at this time?

30. What was the end of Probus?


U.C. 1035.--A.D. 282.

  Forbid it, gods! when barbarous Scythians come
  From their cold north to prop declining Rome.
  That I should see her fall, and sit secure at home.--_Lucan_.

1. Ca'rus, who was prætorian prefect to the deceased emperor, was
chosen by the army to succeed him; and he, to strengthen his
authority, united his two sons, Cari'nus and Nume'rian, with him in
command; the elder of whom was as much sullied by his vices, as the
younger was remarkable for his virtues, his modesty, and courage.

2. The next object of Ca'rus was to punish the murderers of
Pro'bus, and procure public tranquillity. Several nations of the west
having revolted, he sent his son Cari'nus against them, and advanced
himself against the Sarma'tians, whom he defeated, with the loss of
sixteen thousand men killed, and twenty thousand prisoners. Soon after
this he entered Persia, and removed to Mesopota'mia. Vera'nes the
second, king of Persia, advancing against him, was defeated, and lost
Ctes'iphon, his capital. This conquest gained Ca'rus the surname of
Per'sieus; but he had not enjoyed it long, when he was struck dead, by
lightning, in his tent, with many of his attendants, after a reign of
about sixteen months. Upon the death of Ca'rus, the imperial power
devolved on his sons Cari'nus and Nume'rian, who reigned jointly. In
the first year of their accession, having made peace with the
Persians, Cari'nus advanced against Ju'lian, who had caused himself to
be proclaimed in Vene'tia,[5] and whom he defeated; when he returned
again into Gaul.

3. Cari'nus was at this time in Gaul, but Nume'rian, the younger son,
who accompanied his father in his expedition was inconsolable for his
death, and brought such a disorder upon his eyes, with weeping, that
he was obliged to be carried along with the army, shut up in a close
litter. 4. The peculiarity of his situation, after some time, excited
the ambition of A'per, his father-in-law, who supposed that he could
now, without any great danger, aim at the empire himself. He therefore
hired a mercenary villain to murder the emperor in his litter; and,
the better to conceal the fact, gave out that he was still alive, but
unable to endure the light. 5. The offensive smell, however, of the
body, at length discovered the treachery, and excited an universal
uproar throughout the whole army. 6. In the midst of this tumult,
Diocle'sian, one of the most noted commanders of his time, was chosen
emperor, and with his own hand slew A'per, having thus, as it is said,
fulfilled a prophecy, that Diocle'sian should be emperor after he had
slain a boar.[6]

[Sidenote: U.C. 1057. A.D. 284.]

7. Diocle'sian was a person of mean birth; he received his name from
Dio'clea, the town in which he was born, and was about forty years old
when he was elected to the empire. He owed his exaltation entirely to
his merit; having passed through all the gradations of office with
sagacity, courage, and success.

8. In his time, the northern hive, as it was called poured down
its swarms of barbarians upon the Roman empire. Ever at war with the
Romans, they issued forth whenever that army that was to repress their
invasions was called away; and upon its return, they as suddenly
withdrew into their cold, barren, and inaccessible retreats, which
themselves alone could endure. 9. In this manner the Scyth'ians,
Goths, Sarma'tians, Ala'ni, Car'sii, and Qua'di, came down in
incredible numbers, while every defeat seemed but to increase their
strength and perseverance. 10. After gaining many victories over
these, and in the midst of his triumphs, Diocle'sian and Maxim'ian,
his partners in the empire, surprised the world by resigning their
dignities on the same day, and both retiring into private stations.
11. In this manner Diocle'sian lived some time, and at length died
either by poison or madness, but by which of them is uncertain. His
reign of twenty years was active and useful; and his authority, which
was tinctured with severity, was adapted to the depraved state of
morals at that time.

[Sidenote: U.C. 1057. A.D. 304.]

12. Upon the resignation of the two emperors, the two Cæsars, whom
they had before chosen, were universally acknowledged as their
successors, namely, Constan'tius Chlo'rus, so called from the paleness
of his complexion, a man virtuous, valiant, and merciful; and
Gele'rius, who was brave, but brutal, incontinent and cruel. 13. As
there was such a disparity in their tempers, they readily agreed, upon
coming into full power, to divide the empire. Constan'tius was
appointed to govern the western parts, and died at York, in Britain,
A.D. 396, appointing Con'stantine, his son, as his successor.
Gale'rius was seized with a very extraordinary disorder, which baffled
the skill of his physicians, and carried him off.

[Sidenote: U.C. 1064. A.D. 311.]

14. Con'stantine, afterwards surnamed the Great, had some competitors
at first for the throne.--Among the rest was Maxen'tius, who was at
that time in possession of Rome, and a stedfast assertor of Paganism.
15. It was in Constantine's march against that usurper, we are told,
that he was converted to Christianity, by a very extraordinary
appearance. 16. One evening, the army being on its march towards Rome,
Constantine was intent on various considerations upon the fate of
sublunary things, and the dangers of his approaching expedition.
Sensible of his own incapacity to succeed without divine assistance,
he employed his meditations upon the opinions that were then
agitated among mankind, and sent up his ejaculations to heaven to
inspire him with wisdom to choose the path he should pursue. As the
sun was declining, there suddenly appeared a pillar of light in the
heavens, in the fashion of a cross, with this inscription, EN TOTTO
NIKA, IN THIS OVERCOME. 17. So extraordinary an appearance did not
fail to create astonishment, both in the emperor and his whole army,
who reflected on it as their various dispositions led them to believe.
Those who were attached to Paganism, prompted by their aruspices,
pronounced it to be a most inauspicious omen, portending the most
unfortunate events; but it made a different impression on the
emperor's mind; who, as the account goes, was farther encouraged by
visions the same night. 18. He, therefore, the day following, caused a
royal standard to be made, like that which he had seen in the heavens,
and commanded it to be carried before him in his wars, as an ensign of
victory and celestial protection. After this he consulted with the
principal teachers of Christianity, and made a public avowal of that
holy religion.

19. Con'stantine having thus attached his soldiers to his interest,
who were mostly of the Christian persuasion, lost no time in entering
Italy, with ninety thousand foot and eight thousand horse, and soon
advanced almost to the very gates of Rome. Maxen'tius advanced from
the city with an army of a hundred and seventy thousand foot, and
eighteen thousand horse. 20. The engagement was fierce and bloody,
till the cavalry of the latter being routed, victory declared upon the
side of his opponent, and he himself was drowned in his flight by the
breaking down of a bridge, as he attempted to cross the Tiber.

21. In consequence of this victory, Con'stantine entered the city, but
disclaimed all the praises which the senate and people were ready to
offer; and ascribed his successes to a superior power. He even caused
the cross, which he was said to have seen in the heavens, to be placed
at the right hand of all his statues, with this inscription: "That
under the influence of that Victorious Cross, Con'stantine had
delivered the city from the yoke of tyrannical power, and had restored
the senate, and people of Rome to their ancient authority." He
afterwards ordained that no criminal should, for the future, suffer
death upon the cross, which had formerly been the most usual way of
punishing slaves convicted of capital offences. 22. Edicts were soon
after issued, declaring that the Christians should be eased of
all their grievances, and received into places of trust and authority.

23. Things continued in this state for some time. Con'tantine
contributing every thing in his power to the interest of religion, and
the revival of learning, which had long been upon the decline, and was
almost wholly extinct in his dominions. 24. But, in the midst of these
assiduities, the peace of the empire was again disturbed by the
preparations of Maxim'ian, who governed in the east; and who, desirous
of a full participation of power, marched against Licin'ius with a
very numerous army. 25. In consequence of this step, after many
conflicts, a general engagement ensued, in which Maxim'ian suffered a
total defeat; many of his troops were cut to pieces, and those that
survived submitted to the conqueror. Having, however, escaped the
general carnage, he put himself at the head of another army, resolving
to try the fortune of the field; but his death prevented the design.
26. As he died by a very extraordinary kind of madness, the
Christians, of whom he was the declared enemy, did not fail to ascribe
his end to a judgment from heaven. But this was the age in which false
opinions and false miracles made up the bulk of every history.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. Who succeeded Probus?

2. Mention the actions of Carus, and the manner of his death.

3. How were his sons affected by this catastrophe?

4. What was the consequence?

5. How was this atrocious act discovered?

6. Did Aper reap the reward of his treachery?

7. Who was Dioclesian?

8. By whom was the empire now invaded?

9. Were they effectually repelled?

10. What remarkable event now occurred?

11. What was the end of Dioclesian?

12. Who succeeded Dioclesian and Maximian?

13. How did they conduct the administration?

14. Did Constantine succeed without any opposition?

15. Did not a remarkable occurrence happen about this time?

16. Repeat the particulars.

17. What effect had this appearance on the emperor and his men?

18. What orders did he issue in consequence?

19. What was the respective strength of the hostile armies?

20. What was the result of the engagement?

21. What use did Constantine make of his victory?

22. What edicts did he publish on the occasion?

23. How was Constantine employed after this?

24. Did the peace long continue?

25. What was the consequence?

26. To what was his death ascribed?


                     A crown? what is it?
  It is to bear the miseries of a people!
  To hear their murmurs, feel their discontents,
  And sink beneath a load of splendid care!
  To have your best success ascribed to Fortune.
  And Fortune's failures all ascribed to you!
  It is to sit upon a joyless height,
  To every blast of changing fate exposed!
  Too high for hope! too great for happiness!--_H. More_.

1. Con'stantine and Licin'ius thus remaining undisputed possessors of,
and partners in the empire, all things promised a peaceable
continuance of friendship and power. 2. However, it was soon found
that the same ambition that aimed after a part, would be content with
nothing less than the whole. Pagan writers ascribe the rupture between
these two potentates to Con'stantine; while the Christians, on the
other hand, impute it wholly to Licin'ius. 3. Both sides exerted all
their power to gain the ascendancy; and at the head of very formidable
armies came to an engagement near Cy'balis, in Panno'nia. 4.
Con'stantine, previous to the battle, in the midst of his Christian
bishops, begged the assistance of heaven; while Licin'ius, with equal
zeal, called upon the Pagan priests to intercede with the gods in
their favour. 5. The success was on the side of truth. Con'stantine,
after experiencing an obstinate resistance, became victorious, took
the enemy's camp, and after some time compelled Licin'ius to sue for a
truce, which was agreed upon. 6. But this was of no long continuance;
for, soon after, the war breaking out afresh, the rivals came once
more to a general engagement, and it proved decisive. Licin'ius was
entirely defeated, and pursued by Con'stantine into Nicome'dia, where
he surrendered himself up to the victor; having first obtained an oath
that his life should be spared, and that he should be permitted to
pass the remainder of his days in retirement. 7. This, however,
Con'stantine shortly after broke; for either fearing his designs, or
finding him actually engaged in fresh conspiracies, he commanded him
to be put to death, together with Mar'tian, his general, who some time
before had been created Cæsar.

8. Con'stantine being thus become sole monarch, resolved to establish
Christianity on so sure a basis that no new revolution should shake
it. He commanded that, in all the provinces of the empire, the orders
of the bishops should he implicitly obeyed. He called also a general
council, in order to repress the heresies that had already crept
into the church, particularly that of A'rius. 9. To this council, at
which he presided in person, repaired about three hundred and eighteen
bishops, besides a multitude of presbyters and deacons; who all,
except about seventeen, concurred in condemning the tenets of A'rius,
who, with his associates, was banished into a remote part of the

10. Thus he restored universal tranquillity to his dominions, but was
not able to ward off calamities of a more domestic nature. As the
wretched historians of this period are entirely at variance with each
other, it is not easy to explain the motives which induced him to put
his wife Faus'ta, and his son Cris'pus, to death.

11. But it is supposed, that all the good he did was not equal to the
evil the empire sustained by his transferring the imperial seat from
Rome to Byzan'tium, or Constantino'ple, as it was afterwards called.
12. Whatever might have been the reasons which induced him to this
undertaking; whether it was because he was offended at some affronts
he had received at Rome, or that he supposed Constantino'ple more in
the centre of the empire, or that he thought the eastern parts more
required his presence, experience has shown that they were all weak
and groundless. 13. The empire had long before been in a most
declining state: but this, in a great measure, gave precipitation to
its downfall. After this, it never resumed its former splendour, but,
like a flower transplanted into a foreign clime, languished by
degrees, and at length sunk into nothing.

14. At first, his design was to build a city, which he might make the
capital of the world: and for this purpose he made choice of a
situation at Chal'cedon, in Asia Minor; but we are told that, in
laying out the ground plan, an eagle caught up the line, and flew with
it over to Byzan'tium, a city which lay on the opposite side of the
Bosphorus. 15. Here, therefore, it was thought expedient to fix the
seat of empire; and, indeed, nature seemed to have formed it with all
the conveniences, and all the beauties which might induce power to
make it the seat of residence.

16. It was situated on a plain, that rose gently from the water: it
commanded that strait which unites the Mediterranean with the Euxine
sea, and was furnished with all the advantages which the most
indulgent climate could bestow.

[Sidenote: U.C. 1084. A.D. 330.]

17. The city, therefore, he beautified with the most magnificent
edifices; he divided it into fourteen regions; built a capitol,
an amphitheatre, many churches, and other public works; and having
thus rendered it equal to the magnificence of his first idea, he
dedicated it in a very solemn manner to the God of martyrs; and in
about two years after repaired thither with his whole court.

18. This removal produced no immediate alteration in the government of
the empire. The inhabitants of Rome, though with reluctance, submitted
to the change; nor was there, for two or three years, any disturbance
in the state, until at length the Goths, finding that the Romans had
withdrawn all their garrisons along the Danube, renewed their inroads,
and ravaged the country with unheard-of cruelty. 19. Con'stantine,
however, soon repressed their incursions, and so straitened them, that
nearly a hundred thousand of their number perished by cold and hunger.

20. Another great error ascribed to him is, the dividing the empire
among his sons. Con'stantine, the emperor's eldest son, commanded in
Gaul and the western provinces; Constan'tius, the second, governed
Africa and Illyr'icum; and Con'stans, the youngest, ruled in Italy.
21. This division of the empire still further contributed to its
downfall; for the united strength of the state being no longer brought
to repress invasion, the barbarians fought with superior numbers, and
conquered at last, though often defeated. When Con'stantine was above
sixty years old, and had reigned about thirty, he found his health

22. His disorder, which was an ague, increasing, he went to
Nicome'dia, where, finding himself without hopes of a recovery, he
caused himself to be baptised. He soon after received the sacrament,
and expired.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What was the state of the empire at this period?

2. Was this peace lasting, and by whom was it broken?

3. Was the contest likely to be vigorous?

4. In what way did the two emperors prepare for the conflict?

5. What was the result?

6. Was this truce religiously observed?

7. Did Constantine fulfil his engagement?

8. What was Constantine's resolution on becoming sole monarch, and
what steps did he take?

9. By whom was it attended, and what was the result?

10. Was he happy in his domestic relations? 11. Was the removal
of the seat of the empire beneficial to the state?

12. Were his reasons for doing so well grounded?

13. What was the consequence?

14. What was his original intention, and what induced him to alter it?

15. Was it a Convenient spot?

16. Describe its situation.

17. What alteration did he make, and to whom was it dedicated?

18. What was the immediate effect of this transfer?

19. Were they vigorously opposed?

20. Of what error is Constantine accused besides?

21. What was the consequence of this division?

22. Relate the particulars of his death.


[1] Com'modus was the first emperor that was born in his father's
reign, and the second that succeeded his father in the empire.

[2] Being offended by the Alexan'drians, he commanded them to be put
to the sword without distinction of sex, age, or condition; every
house was filled with carcases, and the streets were obstructed with
dead bodies; this was merely in revenge for some lampoons they had
published against him.

[3] A city of Bithyn'ia, in Asia Minor, opposite to Constantinople.

[4] A Term generally applied to the children of brothers or sisters.

[5] Now called Venice.

[6] A'per signifies a boar.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Dr. Goldsmith having concluded his History too abruptly, it has been
thought advisable to cancel his last Chapter, and substitute the
following brief notice of the events which occurred from the death of
Constantine to the final extinction of the Empire of the West._

       *       *       *       *       *




                        Talents, angel bright.
  If wanting worth, are shining instruments
  In false ambition's hands, to finish faults
  Illustrious, and give infamy renown.--_Young_.

1. The character of the prince who removed the seat of empire and made
a complete revolution in the civil and religious institutions of his
country, is naturally one on which the opinions of historians are
divided, according to their sentiments respecting the great changes
that he effected. The heathen writers describe him as a monster of
tyranny; the Christian fathers are anxious to conceal his faults and
exaggerate his virtues, as if the nature of Christianity was in some
degree affected by the character of its first and greatest patron. The
truth is, that the character of Constantine, like that of other great
conquerors, varied with the circumstances of his life. While engaged
in the contest for empire, while employed in making unparalleled
political changes, he displayed the fortitude of a hero, and wisdom of
a legislator; but when complete success reduced him to inactivity,
when his vigorous mind was no longer stimulated by fear or hope,
prosperity roused all his bad passions by affording an opportunity for
their indulgence; and the virtues which had insured victory
disappeared when there was no longer any stimulus to rouse them into
action. The fourteen years of profound peace that preceded the
emperor's death, form a period of great external splendour, but of
real and rapid decay; the court was distinguished at once by avarice
and prodigality; the money raised by heavy taxes, unknown in former
ages, was lavished on unworthy favourites or wasted in idle
exhibitions of magnificence. 2. A mind relaxed by prosperity is
peculiarly open to suspicion; the ears of the monarch were greedily
lent to every tale brought to him by malignant spies and informers;
such encouragement increased the number of those wretches; every
street and almost every house in the capital, contained some one ever
on the watch to pick up any unguarded expression which might be
distorted into treason or sedition. It was not likely that a monarch
who had consented to the murder of his own son, on the most groundless
charges, would be more merciful to those who had no natural claims
upon his forbearance; execution followed execution with fearful
rapidity, until the bonds of society were broken, and every man
dreaded his neighbour, lest by misinterpreting a word or look, he
should expose him to the indiscriminate cruelty of the sovereign.

3. The example of their father's tyranny produced an effect on the
minds of his sons, which no education, however excellent or judicious,
could remove. Pious Christian pastors, learned philosophers, and
venerable sages of the law, were employed to instruct the three
princes, Constanti'ne, Constan'tius, and Con'stans; but the effects of
their labours never appeared in the lives of their pupils.

4. For some reasons which it is now impossible to discover, the great
Constantine had raised two of his nephews to the rank of princes, and
placed them on an equality with his own children. Before the emperor's
body was consigned to the tomb, this impolitic arrangement brought
destruction on the entire Flavian family. A forged scroll was produced
by the bishop of Nicome'dia, purporting to be Constantine's last will,
in which he accused his brothers of having given him poison, and
besought his sons to avenge his death. 5. Constan'tius eagerly
embraced such an opportunity of destroying the objects of his
jealousy; his two uncles, seven of his cousins, the patrician
Opta'lus, who married the late emperor's sister, and the prefect
Abla'vius, whose chief crime was enormous wealth, were subjected to a
mock trial, and delivered to the executioner. Of so numerous a
family Gal'lus and Julian alone were spared; they owed their
safety to their concealment, until the rage of the assassins had
abated. 6. After this massacre, the three brothers, similar in name,
and more alike in crime, proceeded to divide their father's dominions:
Constantine took for his share the new capital and the central
provinces; Thrace and the East were assigned to Constan'tius;
Con'stans received Italy, Africa, and the western Illy'ricum.

7. The weakness produced by this division encouraged the enemies of
the Romans, whom the dread of Constantine's power had hitherto kept
quiet, to take up arms. Of these the most formidable was Sa'por king
of Persia. 8. The abilities of Sapor showed that he merited a throne;
he had scarcely arrived at maturity when he led an army against Tha'ir
king of Arabia, who had harassed Persia during his minority; the
expedition was completely successful. Tha'ir was slain, and the
kingdom subdued. The young conqueror did not abuse his victory; he
treated the vanquished with such clemency, that the Arabs gave him the
title of _Doulacnaf_ or protector of the nation.

[Sidenote: A.D. 338.]

9. On the death of Constantine, Sa'por invaded the eastern provinces
of the Roman empire; he was vigorously opposed by Constan'tius, and
the war was protracted during several years with varying fortune. At
the battle of Sin'gara, the Romans surprised the Persian camp, but
were in their turn driven from it with great slaughter by the troops
which Sapor had rallied. The eldest son of the Persian king was,
however, brought off as a prisoner by the Romans, and the barbarous
Constan'tius ordered him to be scourged, tortured, and publicly
executed. 10. Though Sa'por had been victorious in the field, he
failed in his chief design of seizing the Roman fortresses in
Mesopota'mia; during twelve years he repeatedly besieged Ni'sibis,
which had been long the great eastern bulwark of the empire, but was
invariably baffled by the strength of the place, and the valour of the
garrison. At length both parties became wearied of a struggle which
exhausted their resources, and new enemies appearing, they resolved to
conclude a peace. Sa'por returned home to repel an invasion of the
Scythians; Constan'tius, by the death of his two brothers, found
himself involved in a civil war which required his undivided

11. Constan'tine had scarcely been seated on his throne, when he
attempted to wrest from Con'stans some of the provinces which had
been assigned as his portion. He rashly led his army over the Julian
Alps, and devastated the country round Aquile'ia where, falling into
an ambuscade, he perished ingloriously. Con'stans seized on the
inheritance of the deceased prince, and retained it during ten years,
obstinately refusing to give any share to his brother Constan'tius.
12. But the tyranny of Con'stans at last became insupportable.
Magnen'tius, an enterprising general, proclaimed himself emperor, and
his cause was zealously embraced by the army. Con'stans was totally
unprepared for this insurrection; deserted by all except a few
favourites, whom dread of the popular hatred they had justly incurred
prevented from desertion, he attempted to escape into Spain, but was
overtaken at the foot of the Pyrenees, and murdered. 13. The
prefectures of Gaul and Italy cheerfully submitted to the usurpation
of Magnen'tius; but the legions of Illyr'icum elected their general,
Vetra'nio, emperor, and his usurpation was sanctioned by the princess
Constanti'na, who, regardless of her brother's rights, placed the
diadem upon his head with her own hands. 14. The news of these events
hastened the return of Constan'tius to Europe; on his arrival at the
capital, he received embassies from the two usurpers, offering terms
of accommodation; he rejected the terms of Magnen'tius with disdain,
but entered into a negociation with Vetra'nio. The Illyrian leader,
though a good general, was a bad politician; he allowed himself to be
duped by long discussions, until the greater part of his army had been
gained over by Constan'tius; he then consented to a personal
interview, and had the mortification to see his soldiers, with one
accord, range themselves under the banners of their lawful sovereign.
Vetra'nio immediately fell at the feet of Constan'tius, and tendered
his homage, which was cheerfully accepted; he was not only pardoned,
but rewarded; the city of Pru'sa, in Bythnia, was allotted to him as a
residence, and a pension assigned for his support. 15. The war against
Magnen'tius was maintained with great obstinacy, but at first with
little success; the emperor was confined in his fortified camp, while
the troops of the usurper swept the surrounding country, and captured
several important posts. Constan'tius was so humbled, that he even
proposed a treaty, but the terms on which Magnen'tius insisted were so
insulting, that the emperor determined to encounter the hazard of a
battle. Scarcely had he formed this resolution, when his army was
strengthened by the accession of Sylva'nus, a general of some
reputation, who, with a large body of cavalry, deserted from the

16. The decisive battle between the competitors for the empire, was
fought under the walls of Mur'sa, a city on the river Drave.
Magnen'tius attempted to take the place by storm, but was repulsed;
and almost at the same moment, the imperial legions were seen
advancing to raise the siege. The army of Magnen'tius consisted of the
western legions that had already acquired fame in the wars of Gaul;
with battalions of Germans and other barbarous tribes, that had of
late years been incorporated with the regular forces. In addition to
the imperial guards, Constan'tius had several troops of those oriental
archers, whose skill with the bow was so justly celebrated; but far
the most formidable part of his army were his mail-clad cuirassiers,
whose scaly armour, and ponderous lances, made their charge almost
irresistible. The cavalry on the emperor's left wing commenced the
engagement, and broke through the Gallic legions in the first charge;
the hardy veterans again rallied, were again charged, and again
broken; at length, before they could form their lines, the light
cavalry of the second rank rode, sword in hand, through the gaps made
by the cuirassiers, and completed their destruction. Meantime, the
Germans and barbarians stood exposed, with almost naked bodies, to the
destructive shafts of the oriental archers; whole troops, stung with
anguish and despair, threw themselves into the rapid stream of the
Drave, and perished. Ere the sun had set, the army of Magnen'tius was
irretrievably ruined; fifty-four thousand of the vanquished were
slain, and the loss of the conquerors is said to have been even

17. From this battle the ruin of the Roman empire may be dated; the
loss of one hundred thousand of its best and bravest soldiers could
not be repaired, and never again did any emperor possess a veteran
army equal to that which fell on the fatal plains of Mur'sa. The
defeat of Magnen'tius induced the Italian and African provinces to
return to their allegiance; the Gauls, wearied out by the exactions
which distress forced the usurper to levy, refused to acknowledge his
authority, and at length his own soldiers raised the cry of "God save
Constan'tius." To avoid the disgrace of a public execution,
Magnen'tius committed suicide, and several members of his family
imitated his example. The victor punished with relentless severity all
who had shared in the guilt of this rebellion; and several who had
been compelled to join in it by force shared the fate of those by
whom it had been planned.

18. The Roman, empire was now once more united under a single monarch;
but as that prince was wholly destitute of merit, his victory served
only to establish the reign of worthless favourites. Of these the most
distinguished was the chamberlain, Euse'bius, whose influence was so
great that he was considered the master of the emperor; and to whose
instigation many of the crimes committed by Constan'tius must be

19 Gal'lus and Ju'lian, who had escaped in the general massacre of the
Flavian family, were detained as prisoners of state in a strong
castle, which had once been the residence of the kings of Cappado'cia.
Their education had not been neglected, and they had been assigned a
household proportionate to the dignity of their birth. At length the
emergencies of the state compelled Constan'tius to nominate an
associate in the government of the empire; and Gal'lus now in the
twenty-fifth year of his age, was summoned from his retirement,
invested with the title of Cæsar, and married to the princess
Constan'tina. 20. The latter circumstance proved his ruin; stimulated
by the cruel ambition of his wife, he committed deeds of tyranny,
which alienated the affections of his subjects, and acts bordering on
treason, that roused the jealousy of Constan'tius. He was summoned to
appear at the imperial court to explain his conduct, but was seized on
his journey, made a close prisoner, and transmitted to Po'la a town in
Ist'ria, where he was put to death.

21. Julian, the last remnant of the Flavian family, was, through the
powerful intercession of the empress, spared, and permitted to
pursue his studies in Athens. In that city, where the Pagan philosophy
was still publicly taught, the future emperor imbibed the doctrines of
the heathens, and thus acquired the epithet of Apostate, by which he
is unenviably known to posterity. Julian was soon recalled from his
retirement, and elevated to the station which his unfortunate brother
had enjoyed. His investiture with the royal purple took place at
Milan, whither Constantius had proceeded to quell a new insurrection
in the western provinces.

22. Before the emperor returned to the east, he determined to revisit
the ancient capital; and Rome, after an interval of more than thirty
years, became for a brief space the residence the sovereign. He
signalized his visit by presenting to the city an obelisk, which at a
vast expense he procured to be transported from Egypt. 23. The
renewed efforts of the Persians and other enemies of the empire in the
East, recalled Constan'tius to Constantinople, while Julian was
employed in driving from Gaul the barbarous tribes by which it had
been invaded. The conduct of the young Cæsar, both as a soldier and a
statesman, fully proved that literary habits do not disqualify a
person from discharging the duties of active life; he subdued the
enemies that devastated the country, and forced them to seek refuge in
their native forests; he administered the affairs of state with so
much wisdom, temperance, and equity, that he acquired the enthusiastic
love of his subjects, and richly earned the admiration of posterity.
24. The unexpected glory obtained by Julian, awakened the jealousy of
Constan'tius; he sent to demand from him a large body of forces, under
the pretence that reinforcements were wanting in the East; but the
soldiers refused to march, and Julian, after some affected delays,
sanctioned their disobediance. A long negociation, in which there was
little sincerity on either side, preceded any hostile step; both at
length began to put their armies in motion, but the horrors of civil
war were averted by the timely death of Constan'tius, who fell a
victim to fever, aggravated by his impatience, at a small village near
Tar'sus in Cili'cia.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What was the character of Constantine the Great?

2. Did any evil result from the employment of spies?

3. In what manner were the sons of Constantine educated?

4. What conspiracy was formed against part of the imperial family?

5. Did any of the Flavian family escape from the massacre?

6. How was the empire divided between the sons of Constantine?

7. Who was the most formidable enemy of the empire?

8. How did the king of Persia behave in the Arabian war?

9. What were the chief events in the war between Sapor and
Constantius? 10. How were Sapor and Constantius forced to make peace?

11. What was the fate of the younger Constantine?

12. By whom was Constans dethroned?

13. What parties embraced the cause of Vetranio?

14. How did Constantius treat the Illyrian general?

15. Was Magnentius deserted by any of his forces?

16. What were the circumstances of the battle of Mursa?

17. What important results were occasioned by this great battle?

18. Who was the prime minister of Constantius?

19. Whom did the emperor select as an associate?

20. How was Gallus brought to an untimely end?

21. Where was Julian educated?

22. Did Constantius visit Rome?

23. How did Julian conduct himself in Gaul?

24. What led to the war between Julian and Constantius?


  To him, as to the bursting levin,
  Brief, bright, resistless course was given,
  Till burst the bolt on yonder shore,
  Burn'd, blaz'd, destroy'd--and was no more.--_Scott_.

1. Julian was in his thirty-second year when by the death of his
cousin he became undisputed sovereign of the Roman empire; his worst
error was his apostacy from Christianity; he hated the religion he had
deserted, and laboured strenuously to substitute in its place an idle
system which combined the most rational part of the old heathen system
with the delusive philosophy of the schools. Vanity was his besetting
sin; he chose to be considered a philosopher rather than a sovereign,
and to acquire that title he thought fit to reject the decencies of
this life, and the best guide to that which is to come. A treatise is
extant from Julian's pen, in which he expatiates with singular
complacency on the filth of his beard, the length of his nails, and
the inky blackness of his hands, as if cleanliness was inconsistent
with the philosophic character! In every other respect, the conduct of
Julian merits high praise; he was just, merciful, and tolerant; though
frequently urged to become a persecutor, he allowed his subjects that
freedom of opinion which he claimed for himself, unlike Constan'tius,
who, having embraced the Arian heresy, treated his Catholic subjects
with the utmost severity. 2. But, though Julian would not inflict
punishment for a difference of opinion, he enacted several
disqualifying laws, by which he laboured to deprive the Christians of
wealth, of knowledge, and of power; he ordered their schools to be
closed, and he jealously excluded them from all civil and military
offices. 3. To destroy the effects of that prophecy in the Gospel to
which Christians may appeal as a standing miracle in proof of
revelation,--the condition of the Jews,--Julian determined to rebuild
the temple of Jerusalem, and restore the children of Israel to the
land of their fathers. Historians worthy of credit inform us, that his
plan was defeated by a direct miraculous interposition, and there are
few historical facts supported by more decisive testimony; but even if
the miracle be denied, the prophecy must be considered as having
received decisive confirmation, from the acknowledged fact, that the
emperor entertained such a design, and was unable to effect its

[Illustration: Julian the Apostate, ordering the Christian schools to
be closed.]

4. The mutual hatred of the Pagans and Christians would probably have
rekindled the flames of civil war, had not Julian fallen in an
expedition against the Persians. 5. The emperor triumphantly advanced
through the dominions of Sa'por as far as the Ti'gris; but the
Asiatics, though defeated in the field, adopted means of defence more
terrible to an invader than arms. They laid waste the country,
destroyed the villages, and burned the crops in the Roman line of
march; a burning sun weakened the powers of the western veterans, and
when famine was added to the severity of the climate, their sufferings
became intolerable. 6. With a heavy heart Julian at last gave orders
to commence a retreat, and led his exhausted soldiers back over the
desert plains which they had already passed with so much difficulty.
The retrograde march was terribly harassed by the light cavalry of the
Persians, a species of troops peculiarly fitted for desultory warfare.
The difficulties of the Romans increased at every step, and the
harassing attacks of their pursuers became more frequent and more
formidable; at length, in a skirmish which almost deserved the name of
a battle, Julian was mortally wounded, and with his loss the Romans
dearly purchased a doubtful victory.

7. In the doubt and dismay which followed the death of Ju'lian, a few
voices saluted Jo'vian, the first of the imperial domestics, with the
title of emperor, and the army ratified the choice. The new sovereign
successfully repelled some fresh attacks of the Persians, but
despairing of final success, he entered into a treaty with
Sa'por, and purchased a peace, or rather a long truce of thirty years,
by the cession of several frontier provinces.

[Illustration: Jovian issuing the edict in favour of Christianity.]

8. The first care of Jo'vian was to fulfil the stipulated articles;
the Roman garrisons and colonies so long settled in the frontier towns
that they esteemed them as their native soil, were withdrawn; and the
Romans beheld with regret the omen of their final destruction in the
first dismemberment of the empire. The first edict in the new reign
contained a repeal of Julian's disqualifying laws, and a grant of
universal toleration. This judicious measure at once showed how
ineffectual had been the efforts of the late emperor to revive the
fallen spirit of paganism; the temples were immediately deserted, the
sacrifices neglected, the priests left alone at their altars; those
who, to gratify the former sovereign assumed the dress and title of
philosophers, were assailed by such storms of ridicule, that they laid
aside the designation, shaved their beards, and were soon
undistinguished in the general mass of society. 9. Jo'vian did not
long survive this peaceful triumph of Christianity; after a reign of
eight months, he was found dead in his bed, having been suffocated by
the mephitic vapours which a charcoal fire extracted from the fresh
plaster, on the walls of his apartment.

[Sidenote: A.D. 364.]

10. During ten days the Roman empire remained without a sovereign, but
finally the soldiers elevated to the imperial purple, Valentinian, the
son of count Gratian, an officer of distinguished merit. He chose as
his associate in the government his brother Valens, whose only claim
seems to have rested on fraternal affection; to him he entrusted the
rich prefecture of the East, while he himself assumed the
administration of the western provinces, and fixed the seat of his
government at Milan. 11. Though in other respects cruel, Valentinian
was remarkable for maintaining a system of religious toleration; but
Valens was far from pursuing such a laudable course. He had imbibed
the errors of Arius, and bitterly persecuted all who remained faithful
to the Catholic doctrines. By this unwise conduct he provoked a
formidable rebellion, which was headed by Proco'pius, an able general,
whom unjust persecution had stimulated to revolt. 12. The success of
the usurper was at first so great, that Va'lens was ready to yield up
his throne; but being dissuaded from this inglorious resolution, he
entrusted the conduct of the war to the aged prefect Sallust, who had
twice refused the imperial diadem. The followers of Proco'pius soon
deserted to those leaders whose names were endeared to their
recollections by the remembrance of former glories; and the
unfortunate leader, forsaken by all, was made prisoner and delivered
to the executioner.

13. In the mean time, Valenti'nian was engaged in a desperate warfare
with the German and other barbarous nations, who had recovered from
the losses which they had suffered under Ju'lian. On every frontier of
the western empire hordes of enemies appeared, eager for plunder,
regardless of their own lives, and merciless to those of others. 14.
The Picts and Scots rushed from the mountains of Caledo'nia upon the
colonies of North Britain, and devastated the country with fire and
sword, almost to the walls of London. The task of quelling these
incursions was entrusted to the gallant Theodo'sius, and the event
proved that Valentinian could not have made a better choice. In the
course of two campaigns, the invaders were driven back to their
forests, and a Roman fleet sweeping the coasts of Britain, made them
tremble for the safety of their own retreats.

15. The success of the emperor against the Saxons, the Franks, the
Alleman'ni[1], the Qua'di, and other tribes on the Rhine and Danube,
was not less conspicuous than that of Theodo'sius in Britain. 16. The
Qua'di, humbled by a severe defeat, sent ambassadors to deprecate his
displeasure; but while Valenti'nian was angrily upbraiding the
deputies for their unprovoked hostility, he ruptured a blood-vessel
and died almost instantaneously. He was succeeded by his sons Gra'tian
and Valenti'nian II.

17. A much more important change took place in the eastern world; the
first admission of the barbarian tribes into the empire, which
they finally destroyed.

[Illustration: The body of Valens, found upon the field of battle.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 376.]

The nation of the Goths had been from remote ages settled on the banks
of the Danube, and were by that river divided into two nations, the
Ostrogoths on the east, and the Visigoths on the west. They had for
many years enjoyed the blessings of profound peace under the
government of their king Herman'ric, when they were suddenly alarmed
by the appearance of vast hordes of unknown enemies on their northern
and eastern frontiers. These were the Huns, a branch of the great
Mongolian race, which, from the earliest time, had possessed the vast
and wild plains of Tartary. Terrified by the numbers, the strength,
the strange features and implacable cruelty of such foes, the Goths
deserted their country, almost without attempting opposition, and
supplicated the emperor Va'lens to grant them a settlement in the
waste lands of Thrace. This request was cheerfully granted, and the
eastern empire was supposed to be strengthened by the accession of a
million of valiant subjects, bound both by interest and gratitude to
protect its frontiers.

18. But the avarice of Va'lens and his ministers defeated these
expectations; instead of relieving their new subjects, the Roman
governors took advantage of their distress to plunder the remains of
their shattered fortunes, and to reduce their children to slavery.
Maddened by such oppression, the Goths rose in arms, and spread
desolation over the fertile plains of Thrace. Va'lens summoned his
nephew, Gratian, to his assistance; but before the emperor of the west
arrived, he imprudently engaged the Goths near Adrianople, and with
the greater part of his army fell on the field. 19. This was the
most disastrous defeat which the Romans had sustained for several
centuries; and there was reason to dread that it would encourage a
revolt of the Gothic slaves in the eastern provinces, which must
terminate in the ruin of the empire. To prevent such a catastrophe,
the senate of Constantinople ordered a general massacre of these
helpless mortals, and their atrocious edict was put into immediate
execution. 20. The Goths attempted to besiege both Adrianople and
Constantinople, but, ignorant of the art of attacking fortified
places, they were easily repelled; but they however succeeded in
forcing their way through the Thracian mountains, and spread
themselves over the provinces to the west, as far as the Adriatic sea
and the confines of Italy. The march of the emperor Gratian had been
delayed by the hostility of the Alleman'ni, whom he subdued in two
bloody engagements; but as he advanced towards Adrianople, fame
brought the news of his uncle's defeat and death, which he found
himself unable to revenge.

21. Feeling that the affairs of the East required the direction of a
mind more energetic than his own, he determined to invest with the
imperial purple, Theodo'sius, the son of that general who had rescued
Britain from the barbarians. How great must have been his confidence
in the fidelity of his new associate, who had a father's death to
revenge; for the elder Theodo'sius, notwithstanding his splendid
services, had fallen a victim to the jealous suspicions of the

22. The reign of Theodo'sius in the East lasted nearly sixteen years,
and was marked by a display of unusual vigour and ability. He broke
the power of the Goths by many severe defeats, and disunited their
leading tribes by crafty negociations. But the continued drain on the
population, caused by the late destructive wars, compelled him to
recruit his forces among the tribes of the barbarians, and a change
was thus made in the character and discipline of the Roman army, which
in a later age produced the most calamitous consequences. The
exuberant zeal, which led him to persecute the Arians and the pagans,
occasioned some terrible convulsions, which distracted the empire, and
were not quelled without bloodshed. He, however, preserved the
integrity of the empire, and not a province was lost during his

23. The valour which Gratian had displayed in the early part of his
life, rendered the indolence and luxury to which he abandoned himself,
after the appointment of Theodo'sius, more glaring. The general
discontent of the army induced Max'imus, the governor of Britain, to
raise the standard of revolt, and, passing over to the continent, he
was joined by the greater part of the Gallic legions. When this
rebellion broke out Gratian was enjoying the sports of the field in
the neighbourhood of Paris, and did not discover his danger until it
was too late to escape. He attempted to save his life by flight, but
was overtaken by the emissaries of the usurper, near Lyons, and
assassinated. 24. Theodo'sius was induced to make peace with Max'imus,
on condition that the latter should content himself with the
prefecture of Gaul, and should not invade the territories of the
younger Valentin'ian. 25. Ambition hurried the faithless usurper to
his ruin; having by perfidy obtained possession of the passes of the
Alps, he led an overwhelming army into Italy, and Valenti'nian, with
his mother Justi'na, were scarcely able, by a hasty flight, to escape
to the friendly court of Theodo'sius.

26. The emperor of the East readily embraced the cause of the
fugitives; the numerous troops of barbarian cavalry which he had taken
into pay, enabled him to proceed with a celerity which baffled all
calculation. 27. Before Maximus could make any preparations for his
reception, Theodosius had completely routed his army, and was already
at the gates of Aquilei'a, where the usurper had taken refuge. The
garrison, secretly disinclined to the cause of Maximus, made but a
faint resistance, the town was taken, and the unfortunate ruler led as
a captive into the presence of his conqueror, by whom he was delivered
to the executioner.

Theodo'sius, having re-established the authority of the youthful
Valentin'ian, returned home. But the emperor of the West did not long
enjoy his restored throne; he was murdered by Arbogas'tes, his prime
minister, who dreaded that the abilities displayed by the young prince
would enable him, when arrived to maturity, to shake off the authority
of an unprincipled servant. 28. The assassin was afraid himself to
assume the purple, but he procured the election of Euge'nius, a man
not wholly unworthy of empire. Theodo'sius was called by these events
a second time to Italy; he passed the Alps, but found his further
progress impeded by the judicious disposition which Arbogas'tes had
made of his forces. Defeated in his first attack, Theodo'sius renewed
the engagement on the following day, and being aided by the seasonable
revolt of some Italian legions, obtained a complete victory.
Euge'nius was taken prisoner, and put to death by the soldiers.
Arbogas'tes, after wandering some time in the mountains, lost all hope
of escape, and terminated his life by suicide.

29. The empire was thus once more reunited under the government of a
single sovereign; but he was already stricken by the hand of death.
The fatigues of the late campaign proved too much for a constitution
already broken by the alternate pleasures of the palace and the toils
of the camp; four months after the defeat of Euge'nius, he died at
Milan, universally lamented.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What was the character of Julian?

2. To what disqualifications did he subject the Christians?

3. How was Julian frustrated in his attempt to weaken the prophetic
evidence of Christianity?

4. How was a civil contest between the Pagans and Christians averted?

5. What success had Julian in the Persian invasion?

6. How did Julian die?

7. Who succeeded Julian?

8. What were the most important occurrences in the reign of Jovian?

9. What caused Jovian's death?

10. Who were the successors of Jovian?

11. How did Valens provoke a revolt?

12. By what means was the rebellion of Procopius suppressed?

13. What barbarous nations attacked the Roman empire?

14. In what state was Britain at this period?

15. Over what enemies did the emperor triumph?

16. What occasioned the death of Valentinian?

17. What caused the introduction of the Goths into the Roman empire?

18. How did the imprudence of Valens cause his destruction?

19. What atrocious edict was issued by the senate of Constantinople?

20. How was Gratian prevented from avenging his uncle's death?

21. To whom did Gratian entrust the eastern provinces?

22. How did Theodosius administer the government of the East?

23. By whom was Gratian deposed and slain?

24. On what conditions did Theodosius make peace with Maximus?

25. Were these conditions observed?

26. How did the war between Theodosius and Maximus terminate?

27. Did Valentinian long survive his restoration?

28. How did Theodosius act on the news of Valentinian's murder?

29. What caused the death of Theodosius?


[1] From this powerful tribe Germany is still called, by the French,

       *       *       *       *       *




  With eye of flame, and voice of fear,
  He comes, the breaker of the spear,
  The scorner of the shield!--_Anon._

1. The memory of their father's virtues protected the feeble youth of
Arca'dius and Hono'rius, the sons of Theodo'sius; by the unanimous
consent of mankind, they were saluted emperors of the East and West,
and between them was made the final and permanent division of the
Roman empire. Though both parts were never re-united under a single
ruler, they continued for several centuries to be considered as one
empire, and this opinion produced important consequences even in a
late period of the middle ages. The dominions of Arca'dius extended
from the lower Danube to the confines of Ethiopia and Persia;
including Thrace, Greece, Asia Minor, Syria, and Egypt. Hono'rius, a
youth in his eleventh year, received the nominal sovereignty of Italy,
Africa, Gaul, Spain, and Britain, with the provinces of No'ricum,
Panno'nia, and Dalma'tia. The great and martial prefecture of
Illyr'icum was divided equally between the two princes, the boundary
line of whose dominions consequently nearly coincided with that which
separates the Austrian states from the Turkish provinces. 2. The
Western empire, to the history of which we must now confine ourselves,
though equal to the Eastern in extent, wealth, and population, was
incomparably weaker, and already appeared rapidly tending to decay.
The Caledonians in Britain, and the German tribes on the northern
frontiers, harassed the imperial troops by frequent incursions; on the
east, the Goths were hourly becoming more formidable, and the African
provinces were threatened by the Moors. 3. The internal state of the
empire furnished little ground for hope that these various enemies
could be subdued; the principle of union no longer existed; the proud
title of Roman citizen was an empty name, Rome itself had ceased to be
the metropolis, and was now only protected by the memory of her former

4. Stil'icho, a general of superior abilities, and a statesman of
profound wisdom, acted as the guardian of Hono'rius. He was descended
from the perfidious race of the Vandals, and unfortunately possessed,
in an eminent degree, the cunning, treachery, and cruelty that
characterised his nation. The administration of the Eastern empire was
entrusted by Arca'dius, to Rufi'nus, who possessed all the bad
qualities of Stil'icho without his redeeming virtues. The ministers of
the two empires hated each other most cordially, and each secretly
sought to remove his powerful rival; but the superior craft of
Stil'icho, and his great influence over the soldiers, made him
conqueror. 5. He was ordered to lead into the East a fair proportion
of the army which Theodo'sius had assembled, and in obedience to the
requisition, he marched towards Constantinople, at the head of the
Gothic legions. The approach of his great rival with a powerful army
alarmed the timid Rufi'nus; he obtained a peremptory edict from
Arca'dius, commanding Stil'icho to return to Italy, and the
promptitude with which the order was obeyed lulled the Eastern
minister into fatal negligence. The troops arrived near
Constantinople, under the guidance of Gai'nas a Gothic leader, and the
emperor, accompanied by his minister, came out to welcome and review
the soldiers. As Rufi'nus rode along the ranks, endeavouring to
conciliate favour by studied courtesy, the wings gradually advanced,
and enclosed the devoted victim within the fatal circle of their arms.
Before he was aware of his danger, Gai'nas gave the signal of death; a
soldier rushing forward plunged his sword into his breast, and the
bleeding corpse fell at the very feet of the alarmed emperor. 6. His
mangled body was treated with shocking indignity, and his wife and
daughter would have shared his fate, had they not placed themselves
under the protection of religion, and sought refuge in the sanctuary.

7. Stil'icho derived no advantage from this crime which he had
planned, but not executed; Arca'dius chose for his new minister,
Eutro'pius, one of his servants, and Gai'nas declared himself the
determined enemy of his former general.

8. The national hatred between the Greeks and the Romans was excited
by the rival ministers, and thus at a moment when union alone would
delay ruin, the subjects of Arca'dius and Hono'rius were induced to
regard each other not only as foreigners, but as enemies. 9. The
revolt of Gil'do, in Africa, under the pretence of transferring his
allegiance from the Western to the Eastern empire, was sanctioned by
the court of Constantinople. Such an event was peculiarly alarming, as
Italy at the time imported most of the corn necessary to the
subsistence of the people, from the African provinces. The vigour of
Stil'icho warded off the danger; he sent a small but veteran army
into Africa, before which Gildo's hosts of unarmed and undisciplined
barbarians fled almost without a blow. The usurper was taken and
executed; his partizans were persecuted with merciless impolicy.

10. The Goths, who had remained quiet during the reign of the great
Theodo'sius, disdained submission to his unwarlike successors; under
the pretence that the subsidy prudently paid them by the late emperor
was withheld, they raised the standard of revolt, and chose for their
leader Al'aric, the most formidable enemy that the Romans had hitherto
encountered. Instead of confining his depredations to the northern
provinces, already wasted by frequent incursions, Alaric resolved to
invade Greece, where the din of arms had not been heard for centuries.
11. The barbarian encountered little or no resistance, the memorable
pass of Thermop'ylæ was abandoned by its garrison; Athens purchased
inglorious safety by the sacrifice of the greater part of its wealth;
the Corinthian isthmus was undefended, and the Goths ravaged without
opposition the entire Peloponne'sus. Unable to protect themselves, the
Greeks sought the aid of Stilicho, and that great leader soon sailed
to their assistance; he inflicted a severe defeat on the Goths, but
neglected to improve his advantages; and before he could retrieve his
error, news arrived that the faithless court of Constantinople had
concluded a treaty of peace with Al'aric. Stilicho, of course,
returned to Italy; while the eastern emperor, with incomprehensible
folly, nominated the Gothic leader, master-general of eastern

12. Italy soon excited the ambition and cupidity of Alaric; he
determined to invade that country, and, after surmounting all
impediments, appeared with his forces before the imperial city of
Milan. The feeble Hono'rius would have fled with his effeminate court
into some remote corner of Gaul, had not the indignant remonstrances
of Stil'icho induced him to remain, until he could assemble forces
sufficient to protect the empire. For this purpose the brave general
hurried into Gaul, assembled the garrisons from the frontier towns,
recalled a legion from Britain, and strengthened his forces by taking
several German tribes into pay. 13. But before Stil'icho could return,
the empire had been brought to the very brink of ruin; Hono'rius,
affrighted by the approach of the Goths, fled from Milan to As'ta, and
was there closely besieged. When the town was on the point of
capitulating, the emperor was saved by the opportune arrival of
Stil'icho, before whom Alaric retired. He was closely pursued, and the
armies of the Romans and barbarians came to an engagement nearly on
the same ground where Marius had so many years before defeated the
Cimbri. 14. The Goths were completely beaten, and a second victory
obtained over them near Vero'na seemed to insure the deliverance of
Italy; but Al'aric was still formidable, and the favourable terms
granted him by Stil'icho, proved, that in the opinion of that general,
the Gothic king, though defeated, was unconquered.

15. The late invasion so alarmed the timid Hono'rius, that he resolved
to fix his residence in some remote and strong fortress; and for this
purpose he selected Raven'na, an ancient city, but which had not
previously obtained notoriety. 16. Before Italy had recovered from the
terrors of the Gothic invasion, a new host of barbarians rushed from
the shores of the Baltic, bore down before them all opposition in
Germany and Gaul; and had passed the Alps, the Po, and the Apennines,
ere an army could be assembled to resist them. 17. Radagai'sus, the
leader of these hordes, was a more formidable enemy even than Alaric;
the Goths had embraced Christianity, and their fierce passions were in
some degree moderated by the mild precepts of the gospel; but
Radagai'sus was a stranger to any religion but the cruel creed of his
fathers, which taught that the favour of the gods could only be
propitiated by human sacrifices. 18. The wealthy city of Florence was
besieged by the barbarians, but its bishop, St. Ambrose, by his
zealous exhortations, and by holding out the hope of divine
assistance, prevented the garrison from yielding to despair. Stil'icho
a second time earned the title of the deliverer of Italy; Radagai'sus
was defeated and slain; but the remains of his forces escaped into
Gaul, and spread desolation over that entire province, from which the
garrisons had been withdrawn for the defence of Italy. 19. An usurper,
named Constantine, about this time appeared in Britain, and soon
established his minority both in Gaul and Spain, which had been
virtually deserted by the emperor. Al'aric offered his services to
repress the rebellion, and to purchase either his assistance or his
forbearance, a large subsidy was voted to him by the senate, through
the influence of Stil'icho. 20. But the reign of this great man was
drawing fast to a close; Olym'pius, a miserable favourite, who owed
his first elevation to Stil'icho, filled the emperor's mind with
suspicion, and a secret resolution to destroy the minister was
adopted. 21. By exciting the jealousy of the legions against the
auxiliary forces that Stil'icho employed, Olym'pius was enabled to
gain the army to his side, and the last great supporter of the Roman
name fell by the swords of those soldiers whom he had so often led to
victory. His friends, including the best and bravest generals of the
army, shared his fate; many of them were racked, to extort from them a
confession of a conspiracy which never existed; and their silence
under the tortures at once proved their own innocence and that of
their leader.

_Questions for Examination_.

1. What division was made of the Roman empire between the sons of

2. By what enemies was the Western empire assailed?

3. What was the internal condition of the state?

4. To what ministers did the emperors trust the administration?

5. How did Stilicho prevail over Rufinus?

6. What instances of savage cruelty were exhibited by the murderers of

7. Did Stilicho derive any advantage from the death of his rival?

8. What rivalry broke out between the subjects of the eastern and
western empire?

9. How did the revolt of Gildo in Africa end?

10. Why did the Goths attack the eastern empire?

11. How did the Gothic invasion of Greece end?

12. Did the western emperor display any courage when Italy was

13. How was Honorius saved from ruin?

14. Was this defeat destructive of the Gothic power?

15. Where did Honorius fix the seat of his government?

16. What new hordes invaded Italy?

17. Why were the northern barbarians more formidable than the Goths?

18. How was Florence saved?

19. On what occasion was a subsidy voted to Alaric?

20. Who conspired against Stilicho?

21. In what manner was Stilicho slain?


      Time's immortal garlands twine
  O'er desolation's mournful shrine.
  Like youth's embrace around decline.--_Malcolm_.

1. Al'aric, posted on the confines of Italy, watched the distractions
of the peninsula with secret joy; he had been unwisely irritated by
the delay of the subsidy which had formerly been promised him,
and when payment was finally refused, he once more led his followers
into Italy.

[Sidenote: A.D. 408.]

2. The feeble successors of Stil'icho had made no preparations for
resistance; they retired with their master into the fortress of
Raven'na, while the Goths, spreading ruin in their march, advanced to
the very walls of Rome. Six hundred years had now elapsed since an
enemy had appeared to threaten THE ETERNAL CITY; a worse foe than
Hannibal was now at their gates, and the citizens were more disabled
by luxury from attempting a defence, than their ancestors had been by
the carnage of Can'næ.[1] 3. The strength of the walls deterred the
Goth from attempting a regular siege, but he subjected the city to a
strict blockade. Famine, and its usual attendant, pestilence, soon
began to waste the miserable Romans; but even the extreme of misery
could not induce them to sally forth, and try their fortune in the
field. They purchased the retreat of Al'aric by the sacrifice of their
wealth; and the victorious Goth formed his winter quarters in Tuscany,
where his army was reinforced by more than forty thousand of his
countrymen who had been enslaved by the Romans.

4. The presence of a victorious leader, with one hundred thousand men,
in the very centre of Italy, ought to have taught the imperial court
at Raven'na prudence and moderation; but such was their incredible
folly that they not only violated their engagements with Al'aric, but
added personal insult to injury. Rome was once more besieged, and as
Al'aric had seized the provisions at Os'tia, on which the citizens
depended for subsistence, the Romans were forced to surrender at
discretion. 5. At the instigation of the Gothic king, At'talus, the
prefect of the city, was invested with the imperial purple, and
measures were taken to compel Hono'rius to resign in his favour. But
At'talus proved utterly unworthy of a throne, and after a brief reign
was publicly degraded; the rest of his life was passed in obscurity
under the protection of the Goths. 6. A favourable opportunity of
effecting a peace was now offered, but it was again insolently
rejected by the wretched Hono'rius, and a herald publicly proclaimed
that in consequence of the guilt of Al'aric, he was for ever excluded
from the friendship and alliance of the emperor.

7. For the third time Al'aric proceeded to revenge the insults of
the emperor on the unfortunate city of Rome. The trembling senate made
some preparations for defence but they were rendered ineffectual by
the treachery of a slave, who betrayed one of the gates to the Gothic
legions. That city which had been for ages the mistress of the world,
became the prey of ruthless barbarians, who spared, indeed, the
churches and sanctuaries, but placed no other bound to their savage
passions. For six successive days the Goths revelled in the sack of
the city; at the end of that period they followed Al'aric to new
conquests and new devastations. 8. The entire south of Italy rapidly
followed the fate of the capital, and Al'aric determined to add Sicily
to the list of his triumphs. Before, however, his army could pass the
Strait, he was seized with an incurable disease, and his premature
death protracted for a season the existence of the Western empire.[2]
9. Al'aric was succeeded by his brother Adol'phus, who immediately
commenced negociations for a treaty; the peace was cemented by a
marriage between the Gothic king and Placid'ia, the sister of the
emperor. The army of the invaders evacuated Italy, and Adol'phus,
leading his soldiers into Spain, founded the kingdom of the Visigoths.
10. Adolphus did not long survive his triumphs; Placid'ia returned to
her brother's court, and was persuaded to bestow her hand on
Constan'tius, the general who had suppressed the rebellion of
Constan'tine. Britain, Spain, and part of Gaul had been now
irrecoverably lost; Constan'tius, whose abilities might have checked
the progress of ruin, died, after the birth of his second child;
Placid'ia retired to the court of Constantinople, and at length
Hono'rius, after a disgraceful reign of twenty-eight years, terminated
his wretched life.

11. The next heir to the throne was Valenti'nian, the son of
Placid'ia; but John, the late emperor's secretary, took advantage of
Placid'ia's absence in the east, to seize on the government. The
court of Constantinople promptly sent a body of troops against the
usurper, and John was surprised and taken prisoner at Raven'na. 12.
Valenti'nian III., then in the sixth year of his age, was proclaimed
emperor, and the regency entrusted to his mother, Placid'ia. The two
best generals of the age, Æ'tius and Bon'iface, were at the head of
the army, but, unfortunately, their mutual jealousies led them to
involve the empire in civil war.

13. Bon'iface was recalled from the government of Africa through the
intrigues of his rival, and when he hesitated to comply, was
proclaimed a traitor. Unfortunately the African prefect, unable to
depend on his own forces, invited the Vandals to his assistance.
Gen'seric, the king of that nation, passed over from Spain, which his
barbarous forces had already wasted, and the African provinces were
now subjected to the same calamities that afflicted the rest of the
empire. 14. Bon'iface became too late sensible of his error; he
attempted to check the progress of the Vandals, but was defeated, and
Africa finally wrested from the empire. He returned to Italy, and was
pardoned by Placid'ia; but the jealous Æ'tius led an army to drive
his rival from the court; a battle ensued, in which Æ'tius was
defeated; but Bon'iface died in the arms of victory. Placid'ia was at
first determined to punish Æ'tius as a rebel; but his power was too
formidable, and his abilities too necessary in the new dangers that
threatened the empire; he was not only pardoned, but invested with
more than his former authority.

15. The hordes of Huns that had seized on the ancient territory of the
Goths, had now become united under the ferocious At'tila, whose
devastations procured him the formidable name of "The Scourge of God."
The Eastern empire, unable to protect itself from his ravages,
purchased peace by the payment of a yearly tribute, and he directed
his forces against the western provinces, which promised richer
plunder. He was instigated also by secret letters from the princess
Hono'ria, the sister of the emperor, who solicited a matrimonial
alliance with the barbarous chieftain. Æ'tius being supported by the
king of the Goths, and some other auxiliary forces, attacked the Huns
in the Catalaunian plains, near the modern city of Chalons in France.
16. After a fierce engagement the Huns were routed, and it was not
without great difficulty that At'tila effected his retreat. The
following year he invaded Italy with more success; peace, however, was
purchased by bestowing on him the hand of the princess Hono'ria,
with an immense dowry. Before the marriage could be consummated,
At'tila was found, dead in his bed, having burst a blood-vessel during
the night.

17. The brave Æ'tius was badly rewarded by the wretched emperor for
his eminent services; Valentinian, yielding to his cowardly
suspicions, assassinated the general with his own hand. 18. This crime
was followed by an injury to Max'imus, an eminent senator, who, eager
for revenge, joined in a conspiracy with the friends of Æ'tius; they
attacked the emperor publicly, in the midst of his guards, and slew

19. The twenty years which intervened between the assassination of
Valentinian, and the final destruction of the Western empire, were
nearly one continued series of intestine revolutions. 20. Even in the
age of Cicero, when the empire of Rome, seemed likely to last for
ever, it was stated by the augurs that the _twelve vultures_ seen by
Romulus,[3] represented the _twelve centuries_ assigned for the fatal
period of the city. This strange prediction, forgotten in ages of
peace and prosperity, was recalled to the minds of men when events, at
the close of the twelfth century, showed that the prophecy was about
to be accomplished. It is not, of course, our meaning, that the
ominous flight of birds, the prophetic interpretation, and its almost
literal fulfilment, were any thing more than an accidental
coincidence; but, it must be confessed, that it was one of the most
remarkable on record.

21. Maximus succeeded to the imperial throne, and found that the first
day of his reign was the last of his happiness. On the death of his
wife, whose wrongs he had so severely revenged, he endeavoured to
compel Eudox'ia, the widow of the murdered emperor, to become his
spouse. In her indignation at this insulting proposal, Eudox'ia did
not hesitate to apply for aid to Gen'seric, king of those Vandals that
had seized Africa; and the barbarian king, glad of such a fair
pretence, soon appeared with a powerful fleet in the Tiber. 22.
Max'imus was murdered in an insurrection, occasioned by these tidings;
and Gen'seric, advancing to Rome, became master of the city, which
was, for fourteen days pillaged by the Moors and Vandals. Eudox'ia had
reason to lament her imprudent conduct; she was carried off a captive
by the ferocious Vandal, along with her two daughters, the last
of the family of the great Theo'dosius and many thousand Romans were
at the same time dragged into slavery.

23. The army in Gaul saluted their general, Avi'tus, emperor, and the
Roman senate and people at first acquiesced in the choice. Rut Avi'tus
was soon found unfit to hold the reins of power at a time of so much
danger and difficulty; the senate, influenced by Ri'cimer, the
commander of the barbarian auxiliaries, voted his deposition. He died
shortly after, whether by disease or violence is uncertain.

24. The powerful Ri'cimer now placed upon the throne Ju'lian
Majo'rian, who united in an eminent degree the qualities of a brave
soldier and a wise statesman. The coasts of Italy had long been wasted
by Gen'seric, king of the Vandals, and in order to put an end to their
incursions, the emperor determined to attack the pirates in Africa,
the seat of their power. The judicious preparations which he made were
disconcerted by treason; Ri'cimer, who had hoped to rule the empire
while Majo'rian enjoyed the empty title of monarch, was disappointed
by the abilities which the new emperor displayed. Some of his
creatures betrayed the Roman fleet to the torches of the Vandals; and
Ri'cimer took advantage of the popular discontent occasioned by this
disaster, to procure the dethronement of his former friend. Majo'rian
died five years after his deposition, and the humble tomb which
covered his remains was consecrated by the respect and gratitude of
succeeding generations.

25. Ri'cimer's next choice was more prudent; at his instigation the
obsequious senate raised to the throne Lib'ius Sev'erus, of whom
history records little more than his elevation, and his death, which
occurred in the fifth year after his election. During the nominal
reign of Sev'erus and the interregnum that followed, the entire power
of the state was possessed by Ri'cimer, whom barbarian descent alone
prevented from being acknowledged emperor. He was unable, however, to
protect Italy from the devastations of the Vandals; and to obtain the
aid of Le'o, the Eastern emperor, he was forced to acknowledge
Anthe'mius, who was nominated to the throne of the West by the court
of Constantinople.

[Illustration: Fall of Constantinople.]

26. The perfidious Ricimer soon became dissatisfied with Anthe'mius,
and raised the standard of revolt. Marching to Rome he easily became
master of the city, and Anthe'mius was slain in the tumult. The
unhappy Romans were again subjected to all the miseries that military
licentiousness could inflict; for forty days Ricimer exulted in the
havoc and ruin of the imperial city; but a disease, occasioned by
excessive intemperance, seized on his vitals, and death freed Rome
from the tyrant.

27. Olyb'ius, the successor of Anthe'mius, dying after a short reign
of three months, Glyce'rius, an obscure soldier, assumed the purple at
Raven'na, but was soon dethroned by Ju'lius Ne'pos, whom the court of
Constantinople supported. A treaty by which the most faithful
provinces of Gaul were yielded to the Visigoths, produced so much
popular discontent, that Ores'tes, a general of barbarian auxiliaries,
was encouraged to revolt, and Ne'pos, unable to defend the throne,
abdicated, and spent the remainder of his unhonoured life in

[Sidenote: A.D. 476.]

28. Ores'tes placed the crown on the head of his son Rom'ulus
Momyl'lus, better known in history by the name of Augus'tulus. He was
the last of the emperors; before he had enjoyed his elevation many
months, he was dethroned by Odoa'cer, a leader, of the barbarian
troops, and banished to a villa that once belonged to the wealthy
Lucul'lus, where he was supported by a pension allowed him by the
conqueror[4]. 29. Odoa'cer assumed the title of king of Italy, but
after a reign of fourteen years, he was forced to yield to the
superior genius of Theod'oric, king of the Ostrogoths, under whose
prudent government Italy enjoyed the blessings of peace and
prosperity, to which the country had been long a stranger.

30. Thus finally fell the Roman empire of the west, while that of the
east survived a thousand years, notwithstanding its fierce internal
dissensions, which alone would have sufficed to destroy any other; and
the hosts of barbarians by which it was assailed. The almost
impregnable situation of its capital, whose fate usually decides that
of such empires, joined to its despotism, which gave unity to the
little strength it retained, can alone explain a phenomenon
unparalleled in the annals of history. At length, on the 29th of May,
1453, Constantinople was taken by Mohammed the Second, and the
government and religion established by the great Constantine, trampled
in the dust by the Moslem conquerors.

_Questions for Examination._

1. What induced Alaric to invade Italy a second time?

2. Did the emperor and his ministers make adequate preparations for

3. How was Alaric induced to raise the siege of Rome?

4. Why did Alaric besiege Rome a second time?

5. Whom did the Goths make emperor?

6. What favourable opportunity of making peace did Honorius lose?

7. By what means did the Goths become masters of Rome?

8. Where did Alaric die?

9. What events marked the reign of Adolphus?

10. What remarkable persons died nearly at the same time?

11. What was the fate of the usurper John?

12. To whom was the government entrusted during Valentinian's

13. By whom were the Vandals invited to Africa?

14. What was the fate of Boniface?

15. How were the Huns instigated to invade Italy?

16. Under what circumstances did Attila die?

17. Of what great crimes was Valentinian III. guilty?

18. How was Valentinian slain?

19. 20. What strange prophecy was now about to be fulfilled?

21. What terminated the brief reign of Maximus?

22. Had Eudoxia reason to lament her invitation to the Vandals?

23. Why was the emperor Avitus dethroned?

24. How did Ricimer procure the deposition of Majorian?

25. What changes followed on the death of Majorian?

26. How did Ricimer terminate his destructive career?

27. What changes took place after the death of Arthemius?

28. Who was the last Roman emperor?

29. What kingdoms were founded on the ruins of the western empire?

20. How was the existence of the eastern empire prolonged?


[1] See Chapter xv. Sect. ii.

[2] The ferocious character of the barbarians was displayed in the
funeral of their chief. The unhappy captives were compelled to divert
the stream of the river Busenti'nus, which washed the walls of
Consen'tia, (now Cosenza, in farther Cala'bria, Italy,) in the bed of
which the royal sepulchre was formed: with the body were deposited
much of the wealth, and many of the trophies obtained at Rome. The
river was then permitted to return to its accustomed channel, and the
prisoners employed in the work were inhumanly massacred, to conceal
the spot in which the deceased hero was entombed. A beautiful poem on
this subject, entitled, The Dirge of Alaric the Visigoth, has
appeared, which is attributed to the honourable Edward Everett.

[3] See Chapter i.

[4] See Chapter xxvii.

       *       *       *       *       *



  Lo! from the frozen forests of the north,
  The sons of slaughter pour in myriads forth!
  Who shall awake the mighty? Will thy woe,
  City of thrones, disturb the world below?
  Call on the dead to hear thee! let thy cries
  Summon their shadowy legions to arise,
  Array the ghosts of conquerors on thy walls
  Barbarians revel in their ancient halls!
  And their lost children bend the subject knee,
  Amidst the proud tombs and trophies of the free!--_Anon._

1. We have already mentioned that the barbarous nations which joined
in the destruction of the Roman empire, were invited to come within
its precincts through the weakness or folly of successive sovereigns
who recruited their armies from those hardy tribes, in preference to
their own subjects, enervated by luxury and indolence. The grants of
land, and the rich donations by which the emperors endeavoured to
secure the fidelity of these dangerous auxiliaries, encouraged them to
regard the Roman territories as their prey; and being alternately the
objects of lavish extravagance and wanton insult, their power was
increased at the same time that their resentment was provoked. 2.
Towards the close of the year 406, the Vandals, the Suevi, and the
Alans, first sounded the tocsin of invasion, and their example was
followed by the Goths, the Burgundians, the Alleman'ni, the Franks,
the Huns, the Angli, the Saxons, the Heruli, and the Longobar'di, or
Lombards. The chief of these nations, with the exception of the Huns
were of German origin. It is not easy in every instance to discover
the original seat of these several tribes, and trace their successive
migrations, because, being ignorant of letters, they only retained
some vague traditions of their wanderings.


3. This tribe was, like the Burgundians and Lombards, a branch of the
ancient Sue'vi, and inhabited that part of Germany which lies between
the Elbe and the Vis'tula. Being joined by some warriors from
Scandinavia, they advanced towards the south, and established
themselves in that part of Da'cia which included the modern province
of Transylva'nia, and part of Hungary. Being oppressed in their
new settlement by the Goths, they sought the protection of Constantine
the Great, and obtained from him a grant of lands in Pannonia, on
condition of their rendering military service to the Romans. 4. About
the commencement of the fifth century, they were joined by the ALANS,
a people originally from mount Cau'casus, and the ancient Scythia: a
branch of which having settled in Sarma'tia, near the source of the
Borysthenes _(Dnieper)_, had advanced as far as the Danube, and there
made a formidable stand against the Romans. In their passage through
Germany, the Vandals and Alans were joined by a portion of the Suevi,
and the confederate tribes entering Gaul, spread desolation over the
entire country.

5. From thence the barbarians passed into Spain and settled in the
province, from them named Vandalu'sia, since corrupted to Andalusia.
On the invitation of Count Boniface, the Vandals proceeded from Spain
to Africa, where they founded a formidable empire. After remaining
masters of the western Mediterranean for nearly a century, the eastern
emperor Justinian sent a formidable force against them under the
command of the celebrated Belisa'rius. This great leader not only
destroyed the power of these pirates, but erased the very name of
Vandals from the list of nations.


6. The Goths, the most powerful of these destructive nations, are said
to have come originally from Scandina'via; but when they first began
to attract the notice of historians, we find them settled on the banks
of the Danube. Those who inhabited the districts towards the east, and
the Euxine sea, between the Ty'ras _(Dniester)_ the Borys'thenes
_(Dnieper)_ and the Tan'ais _(Don)_ were called Ostrogoths; the
Visigoths extended westwards over ancient Dacia, and the regions
between the Ty'ras, the Danube, and the Vistula.

7. Attacked in these vast countries by the Huns, as has been mentioned
in a preceding chapter, some were subjugated, and others compelled to
abandon their habitations. They obtained settlements from the
emperors, but being unwisely provoked to revolt, they became the most
formidable enemies of the Romans. After having twice ravaged Italy and
plundered Rome, they ended their conquests by establishing themselves
in Gaul and Spain.

8. The Spanish monarchy of the Visigoths, which in its flourishing
state comprised, besides the entire peninsula, the province of
Septima'nia (_Langucaoc_) in Gaul, and Mauritania, Tingeta'na,
(_north-western Africa_) on the opposite coasts of the Mediterranean,
lasted from the middle of the fifth to the commencement of the eighth
century, when it was overthrown by the Moors. 9. The Thuringians, whom
we find established in the heart of Germany, in the middle of the
fifth century, appear to have been a branch of the Visigoths.


10. A number of petty German tribes having entered into a confederacy
to maintain their mutual independence, took the name of Franks, or
Freemen. The tribes which thus associated, principally inhabited the
districts lying between the Rhine and the Weser, including the greater
part of Holland and Westphalia. 11. In the middle of the third
century, they invaded Gaul, but were defeated by Aurelian, who
afterwards became emperor. In the fourth, and towards the beginning of
the fifth century, they permanently established themselves as a
nation, and gave the name of _Francia_, or _France_, to the provinces
lying between the Rhine, the Weser, the Maine, and the Elbe; but about
the sixth century that name was transferred to ancient Gaul, when it
was conquered by the Franks.


12. The Alleman'ni were another confederation of German tribes, which
took its name from including a great variety of nations. It is
scarcely necessary to remark, that the name is compounded of the words
_all_ and _man_ which still continue unchanged in our language. Their
territories extended between the Danube, the Rhine, and the Maine, and
they rendered themselves formidable to the Romans by their frequent
inroads into Gaul and Italy during the third and fourth centuries.


13. The Saxons began to be conspicuous about the close of the second
century. They were then settled beyond the Elbe, in modern Holstein;
having for their neighbours the ANGLI, or ANGLES, inhabiting Sleswick.
These nations were early distinguished as pirates, and their
plundering expeditions kept the shores of western Europe in constant
alarm. Being invited by the Britons to assist in repelling the
invasions of the Picts, they subdued the southern part of the island,
which has ever since retained the name of England, from its conquerors
the An'gli. When the Franks penetrated into Gaul, the Saxons passed
the Elbe, and seizing on the vacated territory, gave the name of
Saxony to ancient France.


14. The Huns were the most ferocious and sanguinary of the barbarians.
They seem to have been originally Kalmuck or Mongolian Tartars, and,
during the period of their supremacy, seem never to have laid aside
the savage customs which they brought from their native deserts. 15.
After having expelled the Goths from the banks of the Danube, they
fell upon the eastern empire, and compelled the court of
Constantinople to pay them tribute. They then, under the guidance of
Attila, invaded Italy, and after devastating the peninsula, captured
and plundered Rome. After the death of Attila, the Huns were broken up
into a number of petty states, which maintained their independence
until the close of the eighth century, when they were subdued by


16. The Burgundians were originally inhabitants of the countries
situated between the Oder and the Vistula. They followed nearly the
track of the Visigoths, and at the beginning of the fifth century had
established themselves on the Upper Rhine and in Switzerland. On the
dissolution of the empire, they seized on that part of Gaul, which
from them retains the name of Burgundy.


17. The Lombards, more properly called Longo-bardi, from the length of
their beards, are supposed by some to have been a branch of the
Sue'vi, and by others to have migrated from Scandina'via. They joined
with the Avars, a fierce Asiatic people, in attacking the Gep'idæ,
then in possession of that part of Dacia lying on the left bank of the
Danube, but who are supposed to have come thither from some more
northern country. The Avars and Lombards triumphed, but the former
soon turned their arms against their allies, and compelled them to
seek new habitations. 18. About the middle of the sixth century they
invaded Italy, which the Eastern emperors had just before wrested
from the Turks, and made themselves masters of the northern part;
which has since borne the name of Lombardy.


19. These were the last of the barbarian hordes, and are not mentioned
by any author before the sixth century. They first appeared in the
east of Europe, and spreading themselves over the central provinces,
occupied the greater part of the countries that now constitute the
dominions of Austria. The Sla'vi warred chiefly against the Eastern
empire, and their contest with the Grecian forces on the Danube, in
the sixth and seventh centuries, shook the throne of Constantinople.
The VENE'DI and the AN'TES were tribes of the Slavi.


20. The piratical inhabitants of Norway and Denmark were called by the
Franks, Normans, or, Men of the North; in Ireland they were named
Ostmen, or, Men of the East. Their depredations began to attract
notice early in the seventh century, but did not become formidable
before the ninth: when they obtained possession of that part of France
now called Normandy. In the two following centuries they wrested
England from the Saxons, and established kingdoms in Sicily and
southern Italy.


21. The Bulgarians were of Scythian or Tartar origin, and became
formidable to the Eastern empire in the latter part of the seventh
century. In the beginning of the ninth, Cruni'nus, their king,
advanced to the gates of Constantinople; but the city proving too
strong, he seized Adrianople, and returned home loaded with booty. The
successors of Cruni'nus did not inherit his abilities, and the
Bulgarians soon sunk into comparative insignificance.


22. In concluding this chapter, it may be proper to give some account
of the subverters of the Eastern empire, and of their irruption into
Europe. The Arabs, called in the middle ages Saracens, are supposed to
be descended from Ishmael, the son of Abraham and Hagar. During all
the changes of dynasties and empires in the eastern and western
world, they retained their independence, though almost constantly at
war with the surrounding states. "Their hand was against every man,
and every man's hand was against them." In the beginning of the
seventh century, Mohammed, a native of Mecca, descended from a noble
family, laid claim to the title of a prophet, and being aided by a
renegade Christian, formed a religious system, which, after
encountering great opposition, was finally adopted by the principal
tribes of Arabia. The successors of Mohammed, called Caliphs, resolved
to propagate the new religion by the sword, and conquered an empire,
more extensive than that of the Romans had been. The entire of central
and southern Asia, including Persia, India, and the provinces of the
Eastern empire owned their sway; northern Africa was soon after
subdued, and in the beginning of the eighth century, the Saracenic
Moors established their dominion in Spain. 23. It is probable, even,
that all Europe would have submitted to their yoke, if the French
hero, Charles Martel,[1] had not arrested their victorious career, and
defeated their numerous armies on the plains of _Poitiers_, A.D.

24. The empire of the Caliphs soon declined from its original
splendour, and its ruin finally proceeded from the same cause that
produced the downfall of Rome, the employment of barbarian
mercenaries. The soldiers levied by the Caliphs, were selected from
the Tartar tribes that had embraced the religion of Mohammed; they
were called Turcomans or Turks, from Turkistan, the proper name of
western Tartary. These brave, but ferocious warriors, soon wrested the
sceptre from the feeble caliphs, and completed the conquest of western
Asia. The crusades for a time delayed the fate of the Greek empire,
but finally the Turks crossed the Hellespont, and having taken
Constantinople, (A.D. 1453,) established their cruel despotism over
the fairest portion of Europe.

_Questions for Examination._

1. How were the barbarians first brought into the Roman empire?

2. When did the first great movement of the Northern tribes take

3. Where did the Vandals first settle?

4. From whence did the Alans come?

5. In what countries did the Vandals establish their power?

6. Where did we first find the Goths settled?

7. To what countries did the Goths remove?

8. How long did the kingdom of the Visigoths continue?

9. What branch of the Goths settled in Germany?

10. From what did the Franks derive their name?

11. Which was the ancient, and which the modern France?

12. What is the history of the Allemanni?

13. In what countries did the Saxons and Angles settle?

14. Whence did the Huns come?

15. How far did their ravages extend?

16. What territory did the Burgundians seize?

17. How did the alliance between the Lombards and Avars injure the
former people?

18. Where was the kingdom of the Lombards established?

19. What is told respecting the Slavi?

20. Who were the Normans?

21. What is the history of the Bulgarians?

22. What great conquests were achieved by the Arabs under Mohammed and
his successors?

23. By whom was the Saracenic career of victory checked?

24. How was the empire of the Turks established?


[1] See Taylor's History of France.

[2] Here also the heroic Black Prince took John, king of France,
prisoner. See Taylor's France.

       *       *       *       *       *



  Waft, waft, ye winds, his story,
    And you, ye oceans, roll,
  Till, like a sea of glory,
    It spreads from pole to pole.--_Heber_.

1. Judea became a Roman province some years before the birth of Jesus
Christ, and the Jews, who had hitherto been conspicuous for their
attachment to their native land, were induced, by the spirit of trade,
to spread themselves over the empire. 2. The exclusive nature of their
religion kept them in a marked state of separation from their fellow
subjects; the worshipper of Osi'ris scrupled not to offer sacrifices
to Jupiter; the Persian, the Indian, and the German, bowed before the
Roman altars; but the sons of Abraham refused to give the glory of
their God to graven images, and were regarded by their idolatrous
neighbours at first with surprise, and afterwards with contempt. 3.
The appearance of the Messiah in Palestine, and the miraculous
circumstances of his life, death, and resurrection, did not fill the
world with their fame, because his preaching was principally addressed
to his countrymen, the first object of his mission being "the lost
sheep of the house of Israel."

4. The disciples, after their Divine Master was taken from them,
proceeded to fulfil his last commandments, by preaching the gospel "to
every nation," and an opportunity of spreading its blessings was
afforded by Jewish synagogues having been previously established in
most of the great cities through the empire. Independent of the
sustaining providence of its Almighty Author, there were many
circumstances that facilitated the progress and prepared the way for
the final triumph of Christianity. 5. In the first place, Paganism had
lost its influence; men secretly laughed at the fabulous legends about
Jupiter and Rom'ulus, the sacrifices had become idle forms, and the
processions a useless mockery. Philosophers had not scrupled to cover
with ridicule the whole system of Heathenism, and there were not a few
who professed themselves Atheists. 6. Without some system of religion
society cannot exist; for a sanction stronger than human laws is
necessary to restrain the violence of passion and ardent desires. The
innate feeling that our existence is not dependent on our mortal
frame, disposes men to search for some information respecting a future
state; the heathen system was at once obscure and absurd; the
philosophers avowedly spoke from conjecture; but by the Gospel, "life
and immortality were brought to light." 7. The influence of a purer
faith was discernible in the lives and actions of the first
Christians; they lived in an age of unparalleled iniquity and
debauchery, yet they kept themselves "unspotted from the world;" those
who were once conspicuous for violence, licentiousness, and crime,
became, when they joined the new sect, humble, temperate, chaste, and
virtuous; the persons who witnessed such instances of reformation were
naturally anxious to learn something of the means by which so great a
change had been effected. 8. A fourth cause was, that Christianity
offered the blessings of salvation to men of every class; it was its
most marked feature, that "to the poor the gospel was preached," and
the wretch who dared not come into the pagan temple, because he had no
rich offering to lay upon the altar, was ready to obey the call of him
who offered pardon and love "without money and without price."

9. In the course of the first century of the Christian era churches
were established in the principal cities of the empire, but more
especially in Asia Minor; and the progress of Christianity, which had
been at first disregarded, began to attract the notice of the ruling
powers. Too indolent to investigate the claims of Christianity,
and by no means pleased with a system which condemned their vices, the
Roman rulers viewed the rapid progress of the new religion with
undisguised alarm. The union of the sacerdotal and magisterial
character in the Roman policy, added personal interest to the motives
that urged them to crush this rising sect; and the relentless Ne'ro at
length kindled the torch of persecution. 10. But "the blood of the
martyrs proved the seed of the Church;" the constancy with which they
supported the most inhuman tortures, their devotion and firm reliance
on their God in the moments of mortal agony, increased the number of
converts to a religion which could work such a moral miracle.
Persecution also united the Christians more closely together, and when
the reign of terror ended with the death of Nero, it was found that
Christianity had derived additional strength from the means taken to
insure its destruction.

11. The successive persecutions inflicted by the policy or the bigotry
of the following emperors had precisely the same results; and at
length the Christians had acquired such strength, that their aid, as a
body, became a matter of importance in contests for the empire.

12. The mild administration of Constantino, while he was only prefect
of Gaul, the protection which he afforded to the Christians, and the
favour that he showed to their religion, induced them to aid him with
all their might in his struggle for the throne. Brought thus into
contact with the professors of the new doctrine, Constantine was
induced to examine the foundations of its high claims--perfect
conviction was the result, and on his accession to the imperial
purple, the Christian church was legally established. 13. During the
reign of the apostate Julian, Christianity was discouraged, but not
persecuted; his premature death, however, removed the last impediment
to its final triumph, which was consummated in the reign of the great
Theodo'sius. 14. Under that emperor the last vestiges of the pagan
worship were destroyed, its idols overthrown, its altars demolished,
and its temples closed. The world had become ripe for such a
revolution, as the temples had been long before almost universally

15. Since that period Christianity has prevailed in Europe, and formed
the great bond of the social happiness and the great source of the
intellectual eminence enjoyed in that quarter of the globe. Let us
hope that the exertions now made to diffuse its blessings over
the benighted portions of the earth will prove successful, and that
"peace and happiness, truth and justice, religion and piety" will
prevail from pole to pole.

_Questions for Examination._

1. What was the state of the Jews at the coming of Christ?

2. How were the Jews preserved separate from other nations?

3. What probable cause may be assigned for the neglect of the
Christian miracles?

4. How did the dispersion of the Jews afford an opportunity for the
propagation of Christianity?

5. What was the state of paganism when Christianity was first

6. What great mystery is brought to light by the gospel?

7. How did the lives of the first Christians contribute to the rapid
progress of Christianity?

8. To what class of people was the gospel more particularly addressed?

9. What induced the rulers of the Roman empire to persecute

10. Was Christianity crushed by persecution?

11. What proves the great strength early acquired by Christians?

12. By whom was Christianity legally established?

13. Under whose government did it receive a slight check?

14. When were the last vestiges of paganism abolished?

15. What have been the political effects of the establishment of

       *       *       *       *       *



  1230 (Supposed) Pelasgic migration to Italy.

  1184 (Supposed) Arrival of Æneas in Latium.

  753  (Supposed) foundation of the city of Rome.

  750  Union of the Romans and Sabines.

  716  Death of Romulus.

  714  Virtuous Administration of Numa.

  671  Accession of Tullus Hostilius.

  665  Duel between the Horatii and Curiatii--Destruction of Alba.

  639  Accession of Ancus Martius.

  616  {---- ---- Tarquinius Priscus.
       {The Augurs acquire importance in the state.

  578  {Death of Tarquinius Priscus.
       {Accession of Servius Tullius.
       {The establishment of the Centuries.

  534  {Murder of Servius Tullius.
       {Accession of Tarquinius Superbus.
       {Gabii taken by stratagem.

  509  {Expulsion of Tarquinius Superbus.
       {Establishment of Consuls.

  508  {Conspiracy for the restoration of the Tarquinii.
       {Death of Brutus.

  507  War with Porsenna.

  498  Lartius the first Dictator created.

  493  {The Roman populace retire to Mons Sacer.
       {Tribunes of the people appointed.

  487  {Exile of Coriolanus.
       {Rome besieged by Coriolanus.
       {His retreat and death.

  484  Condemnation and death of Cassius.

  459  First Dictatorship of Cincinnatus.

  457  Second ditto.

  454  The Romans send to Athens for Solon's laws.

  451  The laws of the Twelve Tables--The Decemviri.

  449  The expulsion of the Decemviri.

  443  Military Tribunes chosen instead of Consuls.

  442  The Censorship instituted.

  439  Mælius murdered by Ahala.

  406  The siege of Veii begun.

  396  Veii taken by Camillus.

  391  The Gauls invade Italy.

  390  {The battle of Allia. Rome sacked by the Gauls.
       {The Gauls defeated by Camillus.

  383  Manlius put to death on a charge of treason.

  361  Curtius devotes himself in the Forum.

  342  Beginning of the Samnite war.

  339  {Manlius puts his son to death for disobedience.
       {Decius devotes himself for his country.

  320  A Roman army forced to surrender to the Samnites in the
         Caudine Forks.

  280  Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, invades Italy.

  272  ---- finally defeated by Curius Dentatus.

  270  Tarentum surrendered to the Romans.

  264  Commencement of the first Punic war.

  260  The Carthaginian fleet defeated by Duilius.

  256  Regulus defeated by Xantippus.

  252  Regulus sent to negociate peace. His death.

  241  End of the first Punic war.

  234  {The temple of Janus shut, and Rome at peace, for
          the first time since the death of Numa.
       {Literature cultivated at Rome.

  229  War with the Illyrians.

  225  {The Gauls invade Italy a second time.
       {---- ---- are defeated by Marcellus, who
       gains the spolia opima.

  218  {The second Punic war begins.
       {Hanniball invades Italy.
       {Battle of the Ticenus.
       { ----  of the Trebia.

  217  ---- of the lake Thrasymene.

  216  ---- of Cannæ.

  214  The Romans begin an auxiliary war against Philip of Macedon.

  212  Syracuse taken by Marcellus.

  207  Asdrubal defeated and slain.

  202  Battle of Zama and end of the second Punic war.

  197  Philip conquered by the Romans.

  192  The Romans wage war against Antiochus.

  189  Death of Hannibal.

  171  Commencement of the second Macedonian war.

  168  Macedon became a Roman province.

  149  The third Punic war begins.

  147  Carthage destroyed by Scipio, and Corinth by Munimius.

  132  Sedition of Trius Gracchus.

  126  Revolt of the slaves in Sicily.

  122  Seditions of Caius Gracchus.

  121  Murder of Caius Gracchus. Persecution of the popular party.

  111  The Jugurthine war begins, and lasts five years.

  91   The social war begins, and lasts three years.

  89   The Mithridatic war begins, and lasts twenty-six years.

  88   The civil war between Marius and Sylla.

  86   {Cruelties of Marius.
       {Death of Marius.

  82   Sylla created dictator.

  78   Death of Sylla.

  73   The insurrection of the slaves under Spartacus  _note_.

  66   Mithridates conquered by Pompey.

  63   Catiline's conspiracy detected.

  60   The first Triumvirate. Cæsar, Pompey, and Crassus.

  55   Cæsar invades Britain.

  53   Crassus slain in Parthia.

  50   Civil war between Cæsar and Pompey.

  48   {The battle of Pharsalia.
       {Death of Pompey.

  47   Alexandria taken by Cæsar.

  46   {The war in Africa.
       {Death of Cato.

  45   {The war in Spain.
       {The battle of Munda.

  44   Cæsar murdered in the senate house.

  43   {Formation of the second Triumvirate--Antony.
          Octavius (Augustus) and Lepidus.
       {The Proscription.  The murder of Cicero.

  42   The battle of Philippi.

  32   Octavius (Augustus) and Antony prepare for war.

  31   The battle of Actium.

  30   {The death of Antony.
       {Alexandria surrendered.
       {Death of Cleopatra.

  27   The title of Augustus given to Octavius.


  4    Birth of JESUS CHRIST (four years before the vulgar era).

  14   Death of Augustus.

  19   Death of Germanicus by poison.

  26   The retreat of Trius to Capreæ.

  31   Disgrace and downfall of Sejanus.

  33   The Crucifixion.

  37   The Accession of Caligula.

  41   Caligula murdered by Cherea.

  43   Claudius invades Britain.

  51   Caractacus carried captive to Rome.

  54   Nero succeeds Claudius.

  59   Nero murders his mother.

  64   First general persecution of the Christians.

  65   Seneca, Lucan, and others, executed for conspiracy.

  68   Suicide of Nero. Accession of Galba.

  69   {Death of Galba.
       {Defeat and death of Otho.
       {Defeat and death of Vitellius. Accession of Vespasian.

  70   Siege and capture of Jerusalem.

  79   {Death of Vespasian. Accession of Titus.
       {Eruption of Vesuvius: destruction of Herculaneum.

  81   Death of Titus. Accession of Domitian.

  88   The Dacian war.

  96   {Assassination of Domitian.
       {Accession of Nerva.

  98   Death of Nerva. Accession of Trajan.

  107  Third general persecution of the Christians.

  117  Death of Trajan. Accession of Adrian.

  121  A wall to restrain the incursions of the Picts
        and Scots erected in Britain by Adrian.

  131  Great rebellion of the Jews.

  136  Death of Adrian. Accession of Antoninus Pius.

  161  Accession of Marcus Aurelius, and Lucius Verus.

  162  The Parthian war.

  169  The war with the Marcomanni.

  180  {Death of Marcus Aurelius.
       {Accession of Commodus.

  192  {Commodus murdered by Marcia and Lætus.
       {Assassination of Pertinax.

  200  {Roman empire offered for sale.
       {Severus subdues the Parthians.

  211  Death of Severus at York. Accession of Caracalla and Geta.

  217  Assassination of Caracalla.

  218  Accession of Heliogabalus.

  222  {His miserable death.
       {Accession of Alexander Severus.

  235  Death of Alexander. Maximin elected emperor.

  236  Assassination of Maximin.

  238  Accession of Gordian.

  244  His murder by Philip.

  248  Philip killed by his soldiers: succeeded by Decius.

  251  Decius slain in an ambuscade: succeeded by Gallus.

  254  Death of Gallus: a disputed succession.

  270  Accession of Aurelian.

  275  Brief reign of Tacitus.

  282  Assassination of the emperor Probus.

  284  Accession of Dioclesian.

  304  The reign of Constantius and Galerius.

  312  Victory of Constantino over Maxentius.

  319  Favour showed to the Christians.

  324  Defeat of Licinius.

  325  Legal establishment of Christianity.

  328  The seat of government removed from Rome to
        Byzantium, which city from thenceforward takes
        the name of Constantinople, from the
        emperor Constantine.

  337  {Death of Constantine, and division of
         the empire among his sons.
       {Destruction of the Flavian Family.

  338  War between Constantius and Sapor.

  340  Constantine the younger defeated and slain by his
        brother Constans.

  350  Constans killed by Magnentius.

  351  Magnentius totally defeated at the fatal battle of Mursa.

  354  Gallas put to death by Constantius.

  360  The civil war between Constantius and Julian
         prevented by the death of the former.

  362  Julian's attempt to rebuild the temple of Jerusalem defeated.

  363  Death of Julian in the Persian war. Brief reign of Jovian.

  364  The empire divided between Valenlinian and Valens.

  376  {The Goths permitted to settle in Thrace.
       {First appearance of the Huns in Europe.

  378  The emperor Valens defeated by the Goths at Adrianople.

  379  Theodosius becomes emperor of the East.

  388  The usurper Maximus defeated and slain.

  392  Reunion of the Eastern and Western empires, under Theodosius.

  395  Death of Theodosius, and final separation of the
        Eastern and Western empires.

  398  Revolt of Gildo in Africa.

  405  Stilicho obtains two victories over the Goths.

  406  The Vandals and Alans settle in Gaul.

  408  Alaric, king of the Goths, besieges Rome.

  410  Rome taken and plundered by the Goths.

  412  Beginning of the Vandal kingdom in Spain.

  415  Commencement of the kingdom of the Visigoths.

  423  Death of Honorius. Accession of Valentinian.

  430  The Vandals invited to Africa by count Boniface.

  447  The Huns under the guidance of Attila, ravage Europe.

  449  The Britons, deserted by the Romans, invite the Sarons and Angles
         to their assistance.

  455  Rome taken and plundered by Genseric, the king of the African

  476  Augustulus, the last emperor of the West deposed, Odoacer takes
         the title of king of Italy.

  453  Subversion of the Eastern empire.


       *       *       *       *       *










The series comprise the following works, viz.




There are no works published in this country that are more in demand, or
that have a wider circulation than those of Mr. Mitchell. There are
upwards of 350,000 copies of his geographical works sold annually, and
more than 250 workmen are constantly employed upon them. The
arrangements of the publishers are such, that they are enabled to give
the most correct and latest geographical discoveries and improvements of
any firm in the United States. They publish the only full series of
geographics in the country, and having in constant employ a strong
geographical force of map engravers, &c., and being very largely engaged
in the publication of the various State and other maps, they are enabled
to present the school series correct, both in maps and matter, up to the
date of publication.






Illustrated by 120 Engravings and 14 coloured Maps.


The publishers have embraced the opportunity of a new revision of the
work to augment its size, so that the book is now a third larger than
any of the preceding editions.

The Maps for the present edition have all been redrawn and re-engraved.
They are on a much larger scale, more distinct, and fuller in
information than those of the previous editions, or any similar work
extant. The true boundaries of all the Western States and Territories
are exhibited, California, Utah, &c., and proper attention given to all
political changes up to the present time.





Comprising a Description of the present state of the World, and its five
great Divisions,




Designed for the instruction of Youth in Schools and Families.


Mitchell's Intermediate Geography, the last published book of the
series, has been before the public but a short time, yet it has been
extensively introduced and is now largely used in public and private
schools throughout the Union. It has been adopted independently, or in
connection with other numbers of the series, by the Public School
Directors of the cities of

  New York,    Philadelphia,   Baltimore,
  Washington,  St. Louis,      Albany,
  Rochester,   Cleveland,      Syracuse,
  Utica,       Schenectady,    Oswego, &c. &c.

By numerous county boards in the various States, and a great number of
the towns and villages of the whole country.


This work is designed to occupy a medium place between the Author's
Primary, and the well known School Geography and Atlas, of which last
book it contains about two-thirds of the amount of matter.

Like the Primary Geography, the Map Questions are upon the same or
opposite page to the map itself, so that in no case have the leaves to
be turned to find an answer to the question.

Superior excellence is claimed for this book, on account of the natural
and progressive order of the lessons,--of the conciseness and
truthfulnes of the descriptive matter,--of the number, correctness, and
uniform excellence of the Maps,--from the fact that the book is
faithfully revised as often as political changes in our own or other
countries require it,--that the pronunciations of the difficult
geographical names are given,--and finally, on account of the superior
mechanical execution of the work.

As a specimen of numerous recommendations the publishers have received,
they submit the following:

_Copy of a petition of the Public School Teachers of the City of Troy,
New York, addressed to the Board of Education of said city._

GENTLEMEN,--Having examined Mitchell's Intermediate and Primary
Geographies, and faithfully compared them with Smith's, in regard to
accuracy of definitions, reliability of topography, and faithfulness of
the descriptive part, we, the undersigned, teachers, are respectively of
opinion that the interests of your public schools require that the
former geographies be substituted, to be used in our schools in the room
of the latter, and we respectfully request that this change may be made.


    N.H. BENSON,
    J.A. PETERS,

  _Principals of the Public Schools of the City of Troy._












Consisting of Tables of Contemporary Sovereigns and eminent Persons,
copious Explanatory Notes, Remarks on the Politics, Manners and
Literature of the Age, and an Outline of the Constitution.




Author of a Manual of Ancient and Modern History, &c. &c.






Author of a Manual of Ancient and Modern History, &c. &c., and Editor of
Pinnock's Improved editions of Goldsmith's Greece, Rome, and England.






















Pinnock's England, Greece, Rome, and France, have become school
classics. In order to make this series more complete, the volumes have
been revised by that well-known historian, W.C. Taylor, LL.D., of
Trinity College, Dublin.

The popularity of these books is almost without a parallel. Teachers
unacquainted with them, will on examination give them a decided
preference to any other historical series published.

_From the Pennsylvania Inquirer, Philadelphia_.

these histories is almost without a parallel among our school books.
Their use is co-extensive with the English language, and their names are
familiar to all who have received an English education. But if permitted
to remain as they came from the hands of the author, they would soon be
antiquated; for not only is the stream of modern history flowing onward,
but numerous scholars are constantly making researches into that of
ancient times. These works are therefore frequently revised, and thus
the labours of successive individuals are added to those of the gifted
man who wrote them. The present edition is quite an improvement on the
former ones. Several important matters which had before been omitted,
have been introduced into the text, numerous notes and several new cuts
have been added, and every chapter commences with one or more well
selected poetical lines, which express the subject of the chapter, and
will assist the memory as well as improve the taste of the student. We
feel assured that these additions will increase the reputation which
these works have hitherto so deservedly sustained.

_From_ JOHN M. KEAGY, _Friends' Academy, Philadelphia._

I consider Pinnock's edition of Goldsmith's History of England as the
best edition of that work which has as yet been published for the use of
schools. The tables of contemporary sovereigns and eminent persons, at
the end of each chapter, afford the means of many useful remarks and
comparisons with the history of other nations. With these views, I
cheerfully recommend it as a book well adapted to school purposes.

_From_ MR. J.F. GOULD, _Teacher, Baltimore._

Having examined Pinnock's improved edition of Dr. Goldsmith's History of
Rome, I unhesitatingly say, that the style and elegance of the language,
the arrangement of the chapters, and the questions for examination,
render it, in my estimation, a most valuable school book:--I therefore
most cheerfully recommend it to teachers, and do confidently trust that
it will find an extensive introduction into the schools of our country.


_From the New York Evening Post._

A well written and authentic History of France possesses unusual
interest at the present time. It becomes especially valuable when, as in
the present case, it has been prepared with questions as a text-book for
common schools and seminaries, by a scholar so accomplished as Dr.
Taylor. The work has passed through three editions in England. The
American editor has added one chapter on the late revolutions, bringing
the history down to 1848, and has added to its value by illustrations
throughout, portraying the costume and the principal events of the
reigns of which it treats.

This treatise goes back to the origin of the Celtic race, or the
Cimbrians, as the offspring of Gomer, peopling the north and east of
Europe on the one hand, and to the descendants of Cush--under the names
of Scythians, Tartars, Goths, and Scots, warlike, wandering tribes, on
the other, tracing the migrations of the latter till they drove the
Celts westward, and the Rhine forms the boundary between the two
nations. From the Gauls it goes on to the reign of the Franks,
Charlemagne, the Carlovingian race, the history of Normandy, and the
history of France from the first crusade through its lines of monarchies
and its revolutions, to 1848. The style is clear and forcible, and from
the compactness of the work, forming, as it does, a complete chain of
events in a most important part of the history of Europe, it will be
found interesting and valuable for general readers, or as a text-book in
our schools. It is comprised in 444 pages, 12mo., and contains a
chronological index and genealogy of the kings of France.

Want of space prevents us from inserting all the recommendations
received: we however present the names of the following gentlemen, who
have given their recommendations to the Histories:

  SIMEON HART, Jr., _Farmington, Conn._
  REV. D.R. AUSTIN, _Principal of Monmouth Academy, Monson, Mass._
  T.L. WRIGHT, A.M., _Prin. E. Hartford Classical and English School._
  REV. N.W. FISKE, A.M., _Professor Amherst College, Mass._
  E.S. SNELL, A.M., _Professor Amherst College, Mass._
  REV. S. NORTH, _Professor Languages, Hamilton College, N.Y._
  W.H. SCRAM, A.M., _Prin. Classical and English Academy, Troy, N.Y._
  JAMES F. GOULD, _Principal of Classical School, Baltimore._
  A.B. MYERS, _Principal of Whitehall, Academy, New York._
  HORACE WEBSTER, _Professor Geneva College, N.Y._
  W.C. FOWLER, _Professor Middlebury College, Vermont._
  B.S. NOBLE, _Bridgeport, Conn._
  REV. S.B. HOWE, _Late President of Dickenson College._
  B.F. JOSLIN, _Professor Union College, N.Y._

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