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Title: A History of Rome to 565 A. D.
Author: Boak, Arthur Edward Romilly, 1888-1962
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A History of Rome to 565 A. D." ***

  [Illustration: The Roman Empire in the Second Century A. D.]

                            A HISTORY OF ROME
                              TO 565 A. D.

                       ARTHUR E. R. BOAK, Ph. D.,
                      Professor of Ancient History
                      in the University of Michigan

New York
_All rights reserved_

                            COPYRIGHT, 1921.
                        By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

            Set up and electrotyped. Published December, 1921.



This sketch of the History of Rome to 565 A. D. is primarily intended to
meet the needs of introductory college courses in Roman History. However,
it is hoped that it may also prove of service as a handbook for students
of Roman life and literature in general. It is with the latter in mind
that I have added the bibliographical note. Naturally, within the brief
limits of such a text, it was impossible to defend the point of view
adopted on disputed points or to take notice of divergent opinions.
Therefore, to show the great debt which I owe to the work of others, and
to provide those interested in particular problems with some guide to more
detailed study, I have given a list of selected references, which express,
I believe, the prevailing views of modern scholarship upon the various
phases of Roman History.

I wish to acknowledge my general indebtedness to Professor W. S. Ferguson
of Harvard University for his guidance in my approach to the study of
Roman History, and also my particular obligations to Professor W. L.
Westermann of Cornell, and to my colleagues, Professors A. L. Cross and J.
G. Winter, for reading portions of my manuscript and for much helpful

                                                            A. E. R. BOAK.
University of Michigan,
October, 1921

                            TABLE OF CONTENTS

    INTRODUCTION                                                      PAGE
    PART I
    THE GEOGRAPHY OF ITALY                                               3
    PREHISTORIC CIVILIZATION IN ITALY                                    7
    THE PEOPLES OF HISTORIC ITALY                                       13
    The Etruscans; the Greeks.
    TO 27 B. C.
    EARLY ROME TO THE FALL OF THE MONARCHY                              25
    The Latins; the Origins of Rome; the Early Monarchy; Early
    Roman Society.
    PENINSULA: _C._ 509–265 B. C.
    To the Conquest of Veii, _c._ 392 B. C.; the Gallic Invasion;
    the Disruption of the Latin League and the Alliance of the
    Romans with the Campanians; Wars with the Samnites, Gauls and
    Etruscans; the Roman Conquest of South Italy; the Roman
    The Early Republic; the Assembly of the Centuries and the
    Development of the Magistracy; the Plebeian Struggle for
    Political Equality; the Roman Military System.
    RELIGION AND SOCIETY IN EARLY ROME                                  61
    The Mediterranean World in 265 B. C.; the First Punic War; the
    Illyrian and Gallic Wars; the Second Punic War; the Effect of
    the Second Punic War upon Italy.
    The Second Macedonian War; the War with Antiochus the Great and
    the Ætolians; the Third Macedonian War; Campaigns in Italy and
    The Spanish Wars; the Destruction of Carthage; War with
    Macedonia and the Achæan Confederacy; the Acquisition of Asia.
    THE ROMAN STATE AND THE EMPIRE: 265–133 B. C.                      105
    The Rule of the Senatorial Aristocracy; the Administration of
    the Provinces; Social and Economic Development; Cultural
    The Agrarian Laws of Tiberius Gracchus; the Tribunate of Caius
    Gracchus; the War with Jugurtha and the Rise of Marius; the
    Cimbri and the Teutons; Saturninus and Glaucia; the Tribunate
    of Marcus Livius Drusus; the Italian or Marsic War; the First
    Mithridatic War; Sulla’s Dictatorship.
    THE RISE OF POMPEY THE GREAT: 78–59 B. C.                          151
    Pompey’s Command against Sertorius in Spain; the Command of
    Lucullus against Mithridates; the Revolt of the Gladiators; the
    Consulate of Pompey and Crassus; the Commands of Pompey against
    the Pirates and in the East; the Conspiracy of Cataline; the
    Coalition of Pompey, Cæsar and Crassus.
    B. C.
    Cæsar, Consul; Cæsar’s Conquest of Gaul; the Civil War between
    Cæsar and the Senate; the Dictatorship of Julius Cæsar.
    THE PASSING OF THE REPUBLIC: 44–27 B. C.                           185
    The Rise of Octavian; the Triumvirate of 43 B. C.; the victory
    of Octavian over Antony and Cleopatra; Society and Intellectual
    Life in the Last Century of the Republic.
    THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PRINCIPATE: 27 B. C.–14 A. D.             205
    The Princeps; the Senate, the Equestrians and the Plebs; the
    Military Establishment; the Revival of Religion and Morality;
    the Provinces and the Frontiers; the Administration of Rome;
    the Problem of the Succession; Augustus as a Statesman.
    THE JULIO-CLAUDIAN LINE AND THE FLAVIANS: 14–96 A. D.              226
    Tiberius; Caius Caligula; Claudius; Nero; the First War of the
    Legions or the Year of the Four Emperors; Vespasian and Titus;
    FROM NERVA TO DIOCLETIAN: 96–285 A. D.                             244
    Nerva and Trajan; Hadrian; the Antonines; the Second War of the
    Legions; the Dynasty of the Severi; the Dissolution and
    Restoration of the Empire.
    The Victory of Autocracy; the Growth of the Civil Service; the
    Army and the Defence of the Frontiers; the Provinces under the
    Principate; Municipal Life; the Colonate or Serfdom.
    RELIGION AND SOCIETY                                               293
    Society under the Principate; the Intellectual World; the
    Imperial Cult and the Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism;
    Christianity and the Roman State.
    EMPIRE MAINTAINED: 285–395 A. D.
    Diocletian; Constantine I, the Great; the Dynasty of
    Constantine; the House of Valentinian and Theodosius the Great.
    The Autocrat and his Court; the Military Organization; the
    Perfection of the Bureaucracy; the Nobility and the Senate; the
    System of Taxation and the Ruin of the Municipalities.
    395–493 A. D.
    General Characteristics of the Period; the Visigothic
    Migrations; the Vandals; the Burgundians, Franks and Saxons;
    the Fall of the Empire in the West; the Survival of the Empire
    in the East.
    THE AGE OF JUSTINIAN: 518–565 A. D.                                369
    The Germanic Kingdoms in the West to 533 A. D.; the Restoration
    of the Imperial Power in the West; Justinian’s Frontier
    Problems and Internal Administration.
    The End of Paganism; the Church in the Christian Empire;
    Sectarian Strife; Monasticism; Literature and Art.
    EPILOGUE                                                           403
    CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE                                                405
    BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE                                               415
    INDEX                                                              423

                               LIST OF MAPS

    The Roman Empire in the Second Century A. D.            _Frontispiece_
    The Peoples of Italy about 500 B. C.                                14
    The Environs of Rome                                                24
    Roman Expansion in Italy to 265 B. C.                               32
    The Expansion of Rome in the Mediterranean World                    68
    265–44 B. C.
    The Roman Empire from 31 B. C. to 300 A. D.                        204
    The Roman Empire in 395 A. D.                                      332
    The Roman Empire and the Germanic Kingdoms in 526                  368
    A. D.
    The Roman Empire in 565 A. D.                                      380



The student beginning the study of Roman History through the medium of the
works of modern writers cannot fail to note wide differences in the
treatment accorded by them to the early centuries of the life of the Roman
State. These differences are mainly due to differences of opinion among
moderns as to the credibility of the ancient accounts of this period. And
so it will perhaps prove helpful to give a brief review of these sources,
and to indicate the estimate of their value which is reflected in this

The earliest Roman historical records were in the form of annals, that is,
brief notices of important events in connection with the names of the
consuls or other eponymous officials for each year. They may be compared
to the early monastic chronicles of the Middle Ages. Writing was practised
in Rome as early as the sixth century B. C. and there can be no doubt that
the names of consuls or their substitutes were recorded from the early
years of the republic, although the form of the record is unknown. It is
in the annals that the oldest list of the consuls was preserved, the
Capitoline consular and triumphal Fasti or lists being reconstructions of
the time of Augustus.

The authorship of the earliest annals is not recorded. However, at the
opening of the second century B. C. the Roman pontiffs had in their
custody annals which purported to run back to the foundation of the city,
including the regal period. We know also that as late as the time of the
Gracchi it was customary for the Pontifex Maximus to record on a tablet
for public inspection the chief events of each year. When this custom
began is uncertain and it can only be proven for the time when the Romans
had commenced to undertake maritime wars. From these pontifical records
were compiled the so-called _annales Maximi_, or chief annals, whose name
permits the belief that briefer compilations were also in existence. There
were likewise commentaries preserved in the priestly colleges, which
contained ritualistic formulæ, as well as attempted explanations of the
origins of usages and ceremonies.

Apart from these annals and commentaries there existed but little
historical material before the close of the third century B. C. There was
no Roman literature; no trace remains of any narrative poetry, nor of
family chronicles. Brief funerary inscriptions, like that of Scipio
Barbatus, appear in the course of the third century, and laudatory funeral
orations giving the records of family achievements seem to have come into
vogue about the end of the same century.

However, the knowledge of writing made possible the inscription upon stone
or other material of public documents which required to be preserved with
exactness. Thus laws and treaties were committed to writing. But the
Romans, unlike the Greeks, paid little attention to the careful
preservation of other documents and, until a late date, did not even keep
a record of the minor magistrates. Votive offerings and other dedications
were also inscribed, but as with the laws and treaties, few of these
survived into the days of historical writing, owing to neglect and the
destruction wrought in the city by the Gauls in 387 B. C.

Nor had the Greeks paid much attention to Roman history prior to the war
with Pyrrhus in 281 B. C., although from that time onwards Greek
historians devoted themselves to the study of Roman affairs. From this
date the course of Roman history is fairly clear. However, as early as the
opening of the fourth century B. C. the Greeks had sought to bring the
Romans into relation with other civilized peoples of the ancient world by
ascribing the foundation of Rome to Aeneas and the exiles from Troy; a
tale which had gained acceptance in Rome by the close of the third

The first step in Roman historical writing was taken at the close of the
Second Punic War by Quintus Fabius Pictor, who wrote in Greek a history of
Rome from its foundation to his own times. A similar work, also in Greek,
was composed by his contemporary, Lucius Cincius Alimentus. The oldest
traditions were thus wrought into a connected version, which has been
preserved in some passages of Polybius, but to a larger extent in the
fragments of the _Library of Universal History_ compiled by Diodorus the
Sicilian about 30 B. C. Existing portions of his work (books 11 to 20)
cover the period from 480 to 302 B. C.; and as his library is little more
than a series of excerpts his selections dealing with Roman history
reflect his sources with little contamination.

Other Roman chroniclers of the second century B. C. also wrote in Greek
and, although early in that century Ennius wrote his epic relating the
story of Rome from the settlement of Aeneas, it was not until about 168
that the first historical work in Latin prose appeared. This was the
_Origins_ of Marcus Porcius Cato, which contained an account of the
mythical origins of Rome and other Italian cities, and was subsequently
expanded to cover the period from the opening of the Punic Wars to 149
B. C.

Contemporary history soon attracted the attention of the Romans but they
did not neglect the earlier period. In their treatment of the latter new
tendencies appear about the time of Sulla under patriotic and rhetorical
stimuli. The aim of historians now became to provide the public with an
account of the early days of Rome that would be commeasurate with her
later greatness, and to adorn this narrative, in Greek fashion, with
anecdotes, speeches, and detailed descriptions, which would enliven their
pages and fascinate their readers. Their material they obtained by
invention, by falsification, and by the incorporation into Roman history
of incidents from the history of other peoples. These writers were not
strictly historians, but writers of historical romance. Their chief
representative was Valerius Antias.

The Ciceronian age saw great vigor displayed in antiquarian research, with
the object of explaining the origin of ancient Roman customs, ceremonies,
institutions, monuments, and legal formulæ, and of establishing early
Roman chronology. In this field the greatest activity was shown by Marcus
Terentius Varro, whose _Antiquities_ deeply influenced his contemporaries
and successors.

In the age of Augustus, between 27 B. C. and 19 A. D., Livy wrote his
great history of Rome from its beginnings. His work summed up the efforts
of his predecessors and gave to the history of Rome down to his own times
the form which it preserved for the rest of antiquity. Although it is
lacking in critical acumen in the handling of sources, and in an
understanding for political and military history, the dramatic and
literary qualities of his work have ensured its popularity. Of it there
have been preserved the first ten books (to 293 B. C.), and books 21 to 45
(from 218 to 167 B. C.). A contemporary of Livy was the Greek writer
Dionysius of Halicarnassus, who wrote a work called _Roman Antiquities_,
which covered the history of Rome down to 265 B. C. The earlier part of
his work has also been preserved. In general he depended upon Varro and
Livy, and gives substantially the same view of early Roman history as the

What these later writers added to the meagre annalistic narrative
preserved in Diodorus is of little historical value, except in so far as
it shows what the Romans came to believe with regard to their own past.
The problem which faced the later Roman historians was the one which faces
writers of Roman history today, namely, to explain the origins and early
development of the Roman state. And their explanation does not deserve
more credence than a modern reconstruction simply because they were nearer
in point of time to the period in question, for they had no wealth of
historical materials which have since been lost, and they were not
animated by a desire to reach the truth at all costs nor guided by
rational principles of historical criticism. Accordingly we must regard as
mythical the traditional narrative of the founding of Rome and of the
regal period, and for the history of the republic to the time of the war
with Pyrrhus we should rely upon the list of eponymous magistrates, whose
variations indicate political crises, supplemented by the account in
Diodorus, with the admission that this itself is not infallible. All that
supplements or deviates from this we should frankly acknowledge to be of a
hypothetical nature. Therefore we should concede the impossibility of
giving a complete and adequate account of the history of these centuries
and refrain from doing ourselves what we criticize in the Roman

                                  PART I


                      A HISTORY OF ROME TO 565 A. D.

                                CHAPTER I

                          THE GEOGRAPHY OF ITALY

Italy, ribbed by the Apennines, girdled by the Alps and the sea, juts out
like a “long pier-head” from Europe towards the northern coast of Africa.
It includes two regions of widely differing physical characteristics: the
northern, continental; the southern, peninsular. The peninsula is slightly
larger than the continental portion: together their area is about 91,200
square miles.

*Continental Italy.* The continental portion of Italy consists of the
southern watershed of the Alps and the northern watershed of the
Apennines, with the intervening lowland plain, drained, for the most part,
by the river Po and its numerous tributaries. On the north, the Alps
extend in an irregular crescent of over 1200 miles from the Mediterranean
to the Adriatic. They rise abruptly on the Italian side, but their
northern slope is gradual, with easy passes leading over the divide to the
southern plain. Thus they invite rather than deter immigration from
central Europe. East and west continental Italy measures around 320 miles;
its width from north to south does not exceed seventy miles.

*The peninsula.* The southern portion of Italy consists of a long, narrow
peninsula, running northwest and southeast between the Mediterranean and
Adriatic seas, and terminating in two promontories, which form the toe and
heel of the “Italian boot.” The length of the peninsula is 650 miles; its
breadth is nowhere more than 125 miles. In striking contrast to the plains
of the Po, southern Italy is traversed throughout by the parallel ridges
of the Apennines, which give it an endless diversity of hill and valley.
The average height of these mountains, which form a sort of vertebrate
system for the peninsula (_Apennino dorso Italia dividitur_, Livy xxxvi,
15), is about 4,000 feet, and even their highest peaks (9,500 feet) are
below the line of perpetual snow. The Apennine chain is highest on its
eastern side where it approaches closely to the Adriatic, leaving only a
narrow strip of coast land, intersected by numerous short mountain
torrents. On the west the mountains are lower and recede further from the
sea, leaving the wide lowland areas of Etruria, Latium and Campania. On
this side, too, are rivers of considerable length, navigable for small
craft; the Volturnus and Liris, the Tiber and the Arno, whose valleys link
the coast with the highlands of the interior.

*The **coast-line**.* In comparison with Greece, Italy presents a striking
regularity of coast-line. Throughout its length of over 2000 miles it has
remarkably few deep bays or good harbors, and these few are almost all on
the southern and western shores. Thus the character of the Mediterranean
coast of Italy, with its fertile lowlands, its rivers, its harbors, and
its general southerly aspect, rendered it more inviting and accessible to
approach from the sea than the eastern coast, and determined its
leadership in the cultural and material advancement of the peninsula.

*Climate.* The climate of Italy as a whole, like that of other
Mediterranean lands, is characterized by a high average temperature, and
an absence of extremes of heat or cold. Nevertheless, it varies greatly in
different localities, according to their northern or southern situation,
their elevation, and their proximity to the sea. In the Po valley there is
a close approach to the continental climate of central Europe, with a
marked difference between summer and winter temperatures and clearly
marked transitional periods of spring and autumn. On the other hand, in
the south of the peninsula the climate becomes more tropical, with its
periods of winter rain and summer drought, and a rapid transition between
the moist and the dry seasons.

*Malaria.* Both in antiquity and in modern times the disease from which
Italy has suffered most has been the dreaded malaria. The explanation is
to be found in the presence of extensive marshy areas in the river valleys
and along the coast. The ravages of this disease have varied according as
the progress of civilization has brought about the cultivation and
drainage of the affected areas or its decline has wrought the undoing of
this beneficial work.

*Forests.* In striking contrast to their present baldness, the slopes of
the Apennines were once heavily wooded, and the well-tilled fields of the
Po valley were also covered with tall forests. Timber for houses and ships
was to be had in abundance, and as late as the time of Augustus Italy was
held to be a well-forested country.

*Minerals.* The mineral wealth of Italy has never been very great at any
time. In antiquity the most important deposits were the iron ores of the
island of Elba, and the copper mines of Etruria and Liguria. For a time,
the gold washings in the valleys of the Graian Alps were worked with

*Agriculture.* The true wealth of Italy lay in the richness of her soil,
which generously repaid the labor of agriculturist or horticulturist. The
lowland areas yielded large crops of grain of all sorts—millet, maize,
wheat, oats and barley—while legumes were raised in abundance everywhere.
Campania was especially fertile and is reported to have yielded three
successive crops annually. The vine and the olive flourished, and their
cultivation eventually became even more profitable than the raising of

The valleys and mountain sides afforded excellent pasturage at all
seasons, and the raising of cattle and sheep ranked next in importance to
agricultural pursuits among the country’s industries.

*The **islands**: Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica.* The geographical location of
the three large islands, Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica, links their history
closely with that of the Italian peninsula. The large triangle of Sicily
(11,290 sq. mi.) is separated from the southwest extremity of Italy by the
narrow straits of Rhegium, and lies like a stepping-stone between Europe
and Africa. Its situation, and the richness of its soil, which caused it
to become one of the granaries of Rome, made it of far greater historical
importance than the other two islands. Sardinia (9,400 sq. mi.) and
Corsica (3,376 sq. mi.), owing to their rugged, mountainous character and
their greater remoteness from the coast of Italy, have been always, from
both the economic and the cultural standpoint, far behind the more favored

*The historical significance of Italy’s configuration and location.* The
configuration of the Italian peninsula, long, narrow, and traversed by
mountain ridges, hindered rather than helped its political unification.
Yet the Apennine chain, running parallel to the length of the peninsula,
offered no such serious barriers to that unification as did the network of
mountains and the long inlets that intersect the peninsula of Greece. And
when once Italy had been welded into a single state by the power of Rome,
its central position greatly facilitated the extension of the Roman
dominion over the whole Mediterranean basin.

*The name Italia.* The name Italy is the ancient _Italia_, derived from
the people known as the _Itali_, whose name had its origin in the word
_vitulus_ (calf). It was applied by the Greeks as early as the fifth
century B. C. to the southwestern extremity of the peninsula, adjacent to
the island of Sicily. It rapidly acquired a much wider significance,
until, from the opening of the second century, _Italia_ in a geographical
sense denoted the whole country as far north as the Alps. Politically, as
we shall see, the name for a long time had a much more restricted

                                CHAPTER II


*Accessibility of Italy to external influences.* The long coast-line of
the Italian peninsula rendered it peculiarly accessible to influences from
overseas, for the sea united rather than divided the peoples of antiquity.
Thus Italy was constantly subjected to immigration by sea, and much more
so to cultural stimuli from the lands whose shores bordered the same seas
as her own. Nor did the Alps and the forests and swamps of the Po valley
oppose any effectual barrier to migrations and cultural influences from
central Europe. Consequently we have in Italy the meeting ground of
peoples coming by sea from east and south and coming over land from the
north, each bringing a new racial, linguistic, and cultural element to
enrich the life of the peninsula. These movements had been going on since
remote antiquity, until, at the beginning of the period of recorded
history, Italy was occupied by peoples of different races, speaking
different languages, and living under widely different political and
cultural conditions.

As yet many problems connected with the origin and migrations of the
historic peoples of Italy remain unsolved; but the sciences of archaeology
and philology have done much toward enabling us to present a reasonably
clear and connected picture of the development of civilization and the
movements of these peoples in prehistoric times.

*The Old Stone Age.* From all over Italy come proofs of the presence of
man in the earliest stage of human development—the Paleolithic or Old
Stone Age. The chipped flint instruments of this epoch have been found in
considerable abundance, and are chiefly of the Moustérien and Chelléen
types. With these have been unearthed the bones of the cave bear, cave
lion, cave hyena, giant stag, and early types of the rhinoceros,
hippopotamus, and elephant, which Paleolithic man fought and hunted. In
the Balzi Rossi caves, near Ventimiglia in Liguria, there have been found
human skeletons, some of which, at least, are agreed to be of the
Paleolithic Age. But the caves in Liguria and elsewhere, then the only
habitations which men knew, do not reveal the lifelike and vigorous mural
drawings and carvings on bone, which the Old Stone Age has left in the
caves of France and Spain.

*The New Stone Age.* With the Neolithic or New Stone Age there appears in
Italy a civilization characterized by the use of instruments of polished
stone. Axes, adzes, and chisels, of various shapes and sizes, as well as
other utensils, were shaped by polishing and grinding from sandstone,
limestone, jade, nephrite, diorite, and other stones. Along with these,
however, articles of chipped flint and obsidian, for which the workshops
have been found, and also instruments of bone, were in common use. The
Neolithic people were also acquainted with the art of making pottery, an
art unknown to the Paleolithic Age.

Like the men of the preceding epoch, those of the Neolithic Age readily
took up their abode in natural caves. However, they also built for
themselves villages of circular huts of wicker-work and clay, at times
erected over pits excavated in the ground. Such village sites, the
so-called _fonde di capanne_, are widely distributed throughout Italy.

They buried their dead in caves, or in pits dug in the ground, sometimes
lining the pit with stones. The corpse was regularly placed in a
contracted position, accompanied by weapons, vases, clothing, and food.
Second burials and the practice of coloring the bones of the skeletons
with red pigment were in vogue.

*Climatic change.* The climate of Italy had changed considerably from that
of the preceding age, and a new fauna had appeared. In place of the
primitive elephant and his associates, Neolithic men hunted the stag,
beaver, bear, fox, wolf and wild boar. Remains of such domestic animals as
the ox, horse, sheep, goat, pig, dog, and ass, show that they were a
pastoral although not an agricultural people.

*A new racial element.* The use of polished stone weapons, the manufacture
of pottery, the hut villages and a uniform system of burial rites
distinguished the Neolithic from the Paleolithic civilization. And,
because of these differences, especially because of the introduction of
this system of burial which argues a distinctive set of religious beliefs,
in addition to the fact that the development of this civilization from
that which preceded cannot be traced on Italian soil, it is held with
reason that at the opening of the Neolithic Age a new race entered Italy,
bringing with it the Neolithic culture. Here and there men of the former
age may have survived and copied the arts of the newcomers, but throughout
the whole peninsula the racial unity of the population is shown by the
uniformity of their burial customs. The inhabitants of Sicily and Sardinia
in this age had a civilization of the same type as that on the mainland.

*The Ligurians probably a Neolithic people.* It is highly probable that
one of the historic peoples of Italy was a direct survival from the
Neolithic period. This was the people called the Ligures (Ligurians), who
to a late date maintained themselves in the mountainous district around
the Gulf of Genoa. In support of this view it may be urged (1) that
tradition regarded them as one of the oldest peoples of Italy, (2) that
even when Rome was the dominant state in Italy they occupied the whole
western portion of the Po valley and extended southward almost to Pisa,
while they were believed to have held at one time a much wider territory,
(3) that at the opening of our own era they were still in a comparatively
barbarous state, living in caves and rude huts, and (4) that the Neolithic
culture survived longest in this region, which was unaffected by the
migrations of subsequent ages.

*The Aeneolithic Age.* The introduction of the use of copper marks the
transition from the Neolithic period to that called the Aeneolithic, or
Stone and Copper Age. This itself is but a prelude to the true Bronze Age.
Apparently copper first found its way into Italy along the trade routes
from the Danube valley and from the eastern Mediterranean, while the local
deposits were as yet unworked. In other respects there is no great
difference between the Neolithic civilization and the Aeneolithic, and
there is no evidence to place the entrance of a new race into Italy at
this time.

*The Bronze Age.* The Bronze Age proper in Italy is marked by the
appearance of a new type of civilization—that of the builders of the pile
villages. There are two distinct forms of pile village. The one, called
_palafitte_, is a true lake village, raised on a pile structure above the
waters of the surrounding lake or marsh. The other, called _terramare_, is
a pile village constructed on solid ground and surrounded by an artificial

*The palafitte.* The traces of the _palafitte_ are fairly closely confined
to the Alpine lake region of Italy from Lake Maggiore to Lake Garda. In
general, these lake villages date from an early stage of Bronze Age
culture, for later on, in most cases, their inhabitants seem to have
abandoned them for sites on dry land further to the south. The
lake-dwellers were hunters and herdsmen, but they practised agriculture as
well, raising corn and millet. In addition to their bronze implements,
they continued to use those of more primitive materials—bone and stone.
They, too, manufactured a characteristic sort of pottery, of rather rude
workmanship, which differs strikingly from that of the Neolithic Age. In
the late Bronze Age, at any rate, they cremated their dead and buried the
ashes in funerary urns. For their earlier practice evidence is lacking.

*The terramare.* The _terramare_ settlements are found chiefly in the Po
valley; to the north of that river around Mantua, and to the south between
Piacenza and Bologna. Scattered villages have been found throughout the
peninsula; one as far south as Taranto. The _terramare_ village was
regularly constructed in the form of a trapezoid, with a north and south
orientation. It was surrounded by an earthen wall, around the base of
which ran a wide moat, supplied with running water from a neighboring
stream. Access to the settlement was had by a single wooden bridge, easy
to destroy in time of danger. The space within the wall was divided in the
center by a main road running north and south the whole length of the
settlement. It was paralleled by some narrower roads and intersected at
right angles by others. On one side of this main highway was a space
surrounded by an inner moat, crossed by a bridge. This area was
uninhabited and probably devoted to religious purposes. The dwellings were
built on pile foundations along the roadways. Outside the moat was placed
the cemetery. The dead were cremated and the ashes deposited in ossuary
urns, which were laid side by side in the burial places. The remains were
rarely accompanied by anything but some smaller vases placed in the

*The terramare civilization.* With the _terramare_ people bronze had
almost completely supplanted stone instruments. Bronze daggers, swords,
axes, arrowheads, spearheads, razors, and pins have been preserved in
abundance. However, articles of bone and of horn were also in general use.
The _terramare_ civilization had likewise its special type of hand-made
pottery of peculiar shapes and ornamentation. A characteristic form of
ornamentation was the crescent-shaped handle (_ansa lunata_). The
_terramare_ peoples were both agricultural and pastoral, cultivating wheat
and flax and raising the better known domestic animals; while they also
hunted the stag and the wild boar.

*The peoples of the palafitte and the terramare.* Owing to their custom of
dwelling in pile villages, their practice of cremating their dead, and
other characteristics peculiar to their type of civilization, the peoples
of the _palafitte_ and the _terramare_ are believed to have introduced a
new racial element into Italy. The former probably descended from the
Swiss lake region, while the latter probably came from the valley of the
Danube. These peoples, abandoning the lakes and marshes of the Po valley,
spread southward over the peninsula. Because of this expansion and because
of the striking similarity between the design of the _terramare_
settlements and that of the Roman fortified camps, it has been suggested
that they were the forerunners of the Italian peoples of historic times.

*Other types of Bronze Age culture in Italy.* The Neolithic population of
northern Italy developed a Bronze Age civilization under the stimulus of
contact with the _terramare_ people and the lake-dwellers. In the southern
part of the peninsula and in Sicily, however, the Bronze Age developed
more independently, although showing decided traces of influences from the
eastern Mediterranean. Only in its later stages does it show the effect of
the southward migration of the builders of the pile villages.

*The Iron Age.* The prehistoric Iron Age in Italy has left extensive
remains in the northern and central regions, but such is by no means the
case in the south. The most important center of this civilization was at
Villanova, near Bologna. Here, again, we have to do with a new type of
civilization, which is not a development of the _terramare_ culture. In
addition to the use of iron, this age is marked by the practice of
cremation, with the employment of burial urns of a distinctive type,
placed in well tombs (_tombe a pozzo_). In Etruria, to the south of the
Apennines, the Early Iron Age is of the Villanova type. It seems fairly
certain that both in Umbria and in Etruria this civilization is the work
of the Umbrians, who at one time occupied the territory on both sides of
the Apennines. Regarding the migration of the Umbrians into Italy we know
nothing, but it seems probable that their civilization had its rise in
central Europe. The later Iron Age civilization both in Etruria and
northward of the Apennines has been identified as that of the Etruscans.

*Latium.* In Latium the Iron Age civilization is a development under
Villanovan influences. Here a distinctive feature is the use of a
hut-shaped urn to receive the ashes of the dead. This urn was itself
deposited in a larger burial urn. This civilization is that of the
historic Latins, to whom belong also the hill villages of Latium and the
walled towns, constructed between the eighth and the sixth centuries B. C.

Elsewhere in the northern part of Italy in the Iron Age we have to do with
a culture developing out of that of the _terramare_ period. Likewise in
the east and south of the peninsula the Iron Age is a local development
under outside stimulus.

The preceding sketch of the rise of civilization in Italy has brought us
down to the point where we have to do with the peoples who occupied
Italian soil at the beginning of the historic period, for from the sixth
century it is possible to attempt a connected historical record of the
movements of these Italian races.

                               CHAPTER III


                         I. THE PEOPLES OF ITALY

At the close of the sixth century B. C., the soil of Italy was occupied by
many peoples of diverse language and origin.

*The Ligurians.* The northwest corner of Italy, including the Po valley as
far east as the river Ticinus and the coast as far south as the Arno, was
occupied by the Ligurians.

*The Veneti.* On the opposite side of the continental part of Italy, in
the lowlands to the north of the Po between the Alps and the Adriatic,
dwelt the Veneti, whose name is perpetuated in modern Venice. They are
generally believed to have been a people of Illyrian origin.

*The Euganei.* In the mountain valleys, to the east and west of Lake
Garda, lived the Euganei, a people of little historical importance, whose
racial connections are as yet unknown.

*The Etruscans.* The central plain of the Po, between the Ligurians to the
west and the Veneti to the east, was controlled by the Etruscans. Their
territory stretched northwards to the Alps and eastwards to the Adriatic
coast. They likewise occupied the district called after them, Etruria, to
the south of the Apennines, between the Arno and the Tiber. Throughout all
this area the Etruscans were the dominant element, although it was partly
peopled by subject Ligurians and Italians. Etruscan colonies were also
established in Campania.

  [Illustration: The Peoples of Italy about 500 B. C.]

*The Italians.* Over the central and southwestern portion of the peninsula
were spread a number of peoples speaking more or less closely related
dialects of a common, Indo-germanic, tongue. Of these, the Latini, the
Aurunci (Ausones), the Osci (Opici), the Oenotri, and the Itali occupied,
in the order named, the western coast from the Tiber to the Straits of
Rhegium. Between the valley of the upper Tiber and the Adriatic were the
Umbri, while to the south of these, in the valleys of the central
Apennines and along the Adriatic coast, were settled the so-called
Sabellian peoples, chief of whom were the Sabini, the Picentes, the
Vestini, the Frentani, the Marsi, the Aequi, the Hernici, the Volsci, and
the Samnites. As we have noted, one of these peoples, the Itali, gave
their name to the whole country to the south of the Alps, and eventually
to this group of peoples in general, whom we call Italians, as distinct
from the other races who inhabited Italy in antiquity.

*The Iapygians.* Along the eastern coast from the promontory of Mt.
Garganus southwards were located the Iapygians; most probably, like the
Veneti, an Illyrian folk.

*The Greeks.* The western and southern shores of Italy, from the Bay of
Naples to Tarentum, were fringed with a chain of Hellenic settlements.

*The peoples of Sicily.* The Greeks had likewise colonized the eastern and
southern part of the island of Sicily. The central portion of the island
was still occupied by the Sicans and the Sicels, peoples who were in
possession of Sicily prior to the coming of the Greeks, and whom some
regard as an Italian, others as a Ligurian, or Iberian, element. In the
extreme west of Sicily were wedged in the small people of the Elymians,
another ethnographic puzzle. Here too the Phoenicians from Carthage had
firmly established themselves.

*Iberians in Sardinia and Corsica.* The inhabitants of Sardinia and
Corsica, islands which were unaffected by the migrations subsequent to the
Neolithic Age, are believed to have been of the same stock as the Iberians
of the Spanish peninsula. The Etruscans had their colonies in eastern
Corsica and the Carthaginians had obtained a footing on the southern and
western coasts of Sardinia.

From this survey of the peoples of Italy at the close of the sixth century
B. C., we can see that to the topographical obstacles placed by nature in
the path of the political unification of Italy there was added a still
more serious difficulty—that of racial and cultural antagonism.

                            II. THE ETRUSCANS

*Etruria.* About the opening of the eighth century, the region to the
north of the Tiber, west and south of the Apennines, was occupied by the
people whom the Greeks called Tyrseni or Tyrreni, the Romans Etrusci or
Tusci, but who styled themselves Rasenna. Their name still clings to this
section of Italy (_la Toscana_), which to the Romans was known as Etruria.

*The origin of the Etruscans.* Racially and linguistically the Etruscans
differed from both Italians and Hellenes, and their presence in Italy was
long a problem to historians. Now, however, it is generally agreed that
their own ancient tradition, according to which they were immigrants from
the shores of the Aegean Sea, is correct. They were probably one of the
pre-Hellenic races of the Aegean basin, where a people called Tyrreni were
found as late as the fifth century B. C., and it has been suggested that
they are to be identified with the _Tursha_, who appear among the Aegean
invaders of Egypt in the thirteenth century. Leaving their former abode
during the disturbances caused by the Hellenic occupation of the Aegean
islands and the west coast of Asia Minor, they eventually found a new home
on the western shore of Italy. Here they imposed their rule and their
civilization upon the previous inhabitants. The subsequent presence of the
two elements in the population of Etruria is well attested by
archaeological evidence.

*Walled towns.* The Etruscans regularly built their towns on hill-tops
which admitted of easy defence, but, in addition, they fortified these
towns with strong walls of stone, sometimes constructed of rude polygonal
blocks and at other times of dressed stone laid in regular courses.

*Tombs.* However, the most striking memorials of the presence of the
Etruscans are their elaborate tombs. Their cemeteries contain sepulchres
of two types—trench tombs (_tombe a fossa_) and chamber tombs (_tombe a
camera_). The latter, a development of the former type, are hewn in the
rocky hillsides. The Etruscans practised inhumation, depositing the dead
in a stone sarcophagus. However, under the influence of the Italian
peoples with whom they came into contact, they also employed cremation to
a considerable extent. Their larger chamber tombs were evidently family
burial vaults, and were decorated with reliefs cut on their rocky walls or
with painted friezes, from which we derive most of our information
regarding the Etruscan appearance, dress, and customs. Objects of
Phoenician and Greek manufacture found in these tombs show that the
Etruscans traded with Carthage and the Greeks as early as the seventh

*Etruscan industries.* The Etruscans worked the iron mines of Elba and the
copper deposits on the mainland. Their bronzes, especially their mirrors
and candelabra, enjoyed high repute even in fifth-century Athens. Their
goldsmiths, too, fashioned elaborate ornaments of great technical
excellence. Etruria also produced the type of black pottery with a high
polish known as _bucchero nero_.

*Etruscan art.* In general, Etruscan art as revealed in wall paintings and
in the decorations of vases and mirrors displays little originality in
choice of subjects or manner of treatment. In most cases it is a direct
and not too successful imitation of Greek models, rarely attaining the
grace and freedom of the originals.

*Architecture.* In their architecture, however, although even here
affected by foreign influences, the Etruscans displayed more originality
and were the teachers of the Romans and other Italians. They made great
use of the arch and vault, they created distinctive types of column and
_atrium_ (both later called Etruscan) and they developed a form of temple
architecture, marked by square structures with a high _podium_ and a
portico as deep as the _cella_. Their mural architecture has been referred
to already.

*Writing.* Knowledge of the art of writing reached the Etruscans from the
Greek colony of Cyme, whence they adopted the Chalcidian form of the Greek
alphabet. Several thousand inscriptions in Etruscan have been preserved,
but so far all attempts to translate their language have failed.

*Religion.* The religion of the Etruscans was characterized by the great
stress laid upon the art of divination and augury. Certain features of
this art, especially the use of the liver for divination, appear to
strengthen the evidence that connects the Etruscans with the eastern
Mediterranean. For them the after-world was peopled by powerful, malicious
spirits: a belief which gives a gloomy aspect to their religion. Their
circle of native gods was enlarged by the addition of Hellenic and Italian
divinities and their mythology was greatly influenced by that of Greece.

*Commerce.* The Etruscans were mariners before they settled on Italian
soil and long continued to be a powerful maritime people. They early
established commercial relations with the Carthaginians and the Greeks, as
is evidenced by the contents of their tombs and the influence of Greece
upon their civilization in general. But they, as well as the
Carthaginians, were jealous of Greek expansion in the western
Mediterranean, and in 536 a combined fleet of these two peoples forced the
Phoceans to abandon their settlement on the island of Corsica. For the
Greeks their name came to be synonymous with pirates, on account of their
depredations which extended even as far as the Aegean.

*Government.* In Etruria there existed a league of twelve Etruscan cities.
However, as we know of as many as seventeen towns in this region, it is
probable that several cities were not independent members of the league.
This league was a very loose organization, religious rather than political
in its character, which did not impair the sovereignty of its individual
members. Only occasionally do several cities seem to have joined forces
for the conduct of military enterprises. The cities at an early period
were ruled by kings, but later were under the control of powerful
aristocratic families, each backed by numerous retainers.

*Expansion north of the Apennines, in Latium and in Campania.* In the
course of the sixth century the Etruscans crossed the Apennines and
occupied territory in the Po valley northwards to the Alps and eastwards
to the Adriatic. Somewhat earlier, towards the end of the seventh century,
they forced their way through Latium, established themselves in Campania,
where they founded the cities of Capua and Nola, and gradually completed
the subjugation of Latium itself. This marks the extreme limits of their
expansion in Italy, and before the opening of the fifth century their
power was already on the wane.

*The decline of the Etruscan power.* It was about this time that Rome
freed itself from Etruscan domination, while the other Latins, aided by
Aristodemus, the Greek tyrant of Cyme, inflicted a severe defeat upon the
Etruscans at Aricia (505 B. C.). A land and sea attack upon Cyme itself,
in 474, resulted in the destruction of the Etruscan fleet by Hieron,
tyrant of Syracuse. The year 438 B. C. saw the end of the Etruscan power
in Campania with the fall of Capua before a Samnite invasion. Not long
afterwards, as we shall see, a Celtic invasion drove them from the valley
of the Po. The explanation of this rapid collapse of the Etruscan power
outside Etruria proper is that, owing to the lack of political unity,
these conquests were not national efforts but were made by independent
bands of adventurers. These failed to assimilate the conquered populations
and after a few generations were overthrown by native revolutions or
outside invasions, especially since there was no Etruscan nation to
protect them in time of need. Thus failure to develop a strong national
state was the chief reason why the Etruscans did not unite Italy under
their dominion, as they gave promise of doing in the course of the sixth

*The significance of the Etruscans in the history of Italy.* Our general
impression of the Etruscans is that they were a wealthy, luxury-loving
people, quick to appreciate and adopt the achievements of others, but
somewhat lacking in originality themselves. Cruel, they took delight in
gladiatorial combats, especially in Campania, where the Romans learned
this custom. Bold and energetic warriors, as their conquests show, they
lacked the spirit of discipline and coöperation, and were incapable of
developing a stable political organization. Nevertheless, they played an
important part in the cultural development of Italy, even though here
their chief mission was the bringing of the Italian peoples into contact
with Hellenic civilization.

                             III. THE GREEKS

*Greek colonization.* As early as the eighth century the Greeks had begun
their colonizing activity in the western Mediterranean, and, in the course
of the next two centuries, they had settled the eastern and southern
shores of Sicily, stretched a chain of settlements on the Italian coast
from Tarentum to the Bay of Naples, and established themselves at the
mouth of the Rhone and on the Riviera. The opposition of Carthage shut
them out from the western end of Sicily, and from Spain; the Etruscans
closed to them Italy north of the Tiber; while the joint action of these
two peoples excluded them from Sardinia and Corsica.

In the fifth century these Greek cities in Sicily and Italy were at the
height of their power and prosperity. In Sicily they had penetrated from
the coast far into the interior where they had brought the Sicels under
their domination. By the victory of Himera, in 480 B. C., Gelon of
Syracuse secured the Sicilian Greeks in the possession of the greater part
of the island and freed them from all danger of Carthaginian invasion for
over seventy years. Six years later, his brother and successor, Hieron, in
a naval battle off Cyme, struck a crushing blow at the Etruscan naval
power and delivered the mainland Greeks from all fear of Etruscan
aggression. The extreme southwestern projection of the Italian peninsula
had passed completely under Greek control, but north as far as Posidonia
and east to Tarentum their territory did not extend far from the seaboard.
In these areas they had occupied the territory of the Itali and
Oenotrians, while on the north of the Bay of Naples Cyme, Dicaearchia, and
Neapolis (Naples) were established in the land of the Opici (Osci). The
name Great Greece, given by the Hellenes to South Italy, shows how firmly
they were established there.

*Lack of political unity.* However, the Greeks possessed even less
political cohesion than did the Etruscans. Each colony was itself a
city-state, a sovereign independent community, owning no political
allegiance to its mother city. Thus New Greece reproduced all the
political characteristics of the Old. Only occasionally, in times of
extreme peril, did even a part of the Greek cities lay aside their mutual
jealousies and unite their forces in the common cause. Such larger
political structures as the tyrants of Syracuse built up by the
subjugation of other cities were purely ephemeral, barely outliving their
founders. The individual cities also were greatly weakened by incessant
factional strife within their walls. The result of this disunion was to
restrict the Greek expansion and, eventually, to pave the way for the
conquest of the western Greeks by the Italian “barbarians.”

*The decline of the Greek power in Italy and Sicily.* Even before the
close of the fifth century, the decline of the Western Greeks had begun.
In Italy their cities were subjected to repeated assaults from the
expanding Samnite peoples of the central Apennines. In 421, Cyme fell into
the hands of a Samnite horde, and from that time onwards the Greek cities
further south were engaged in a struggle for existence with the Lucanians
and the Bruttians, peoples of Samnite stock. In Sicily the Carthaginians
renewed their assault upon the Greeks in 408 B. C. For a time (404–367)
the genius and energy of Dionysius I, tyrant of Syracuse, welded the
cities of the island and the mainland into an empire which enabled them to
make head against their foes. But his empire had only been created by
breaking the power of the free cities, and after his death they were left
more disunited and weaker than ever. After further warfare, by 339,
Carthage remained in permanent occupation of the western half of the
island of Sicily, while in Italy only a few Greek towns, such as Tarentum,
Thurii, and Rhegium, were able to maintain themselves, and that with ever
increasing difficulty, against the rising tide of the Italians. Even by
the middle of the fourth century an observant Greek predicted the speedy
disappearance of the Greek language in the west before that of the
Carthaginians or Oscans. However, their final struggles must be postponed
for later consideration.

*The rôle of the Greeks in Italian history.* It was the coming of the
Greeks that brought Italy into the light of history, and into contact with
the more advanced civilization of the eastern Mediterranean. From the
Greek geographers and historians we derive our earliest information
regarding the Italian peoples, and they, too, shaped the legends that long
passed for early Italian history. The presence of the Greek towns in Italy
gave a tremendous stimulus to the cultural development of the Italians,
both by direct intercourse and indirectly through the agency of the
Etruscans. In this spreading of Greek influences, Cyme, the most northerly
of the Greek colonies and one of the earliest, played a very important
part. It was from Cyme that the Romans as well as the Etruscans took their
alphabet. The more highly developed Greek political institutions, Greek
art, Greek literature, and Greek mythology found a ready reception among
the Italian peoples and profoundly affected their political and
intellectual progress. Traces of this Greek influence are nowhere more
noticeable than in the case of Rome itself, and the cultural ascendancy
which Greece thus early established over Rome was destined to last until
the fall of the Roman Empire.

                                 PART II

                    FROM PREHISTORIC TIMES TO 27 B. C.

  [Illustration: The Environs of Rome]

                                CHAPTER IV


                              I. THE LATINS

*Latium and the Latins.* The district to the south of the Tiber, extending
along the coast to the promontory of Circeii and from the coast inland to
the slopes of the Apennines, was called in antiquity Latium. Its
inhabitants, at the opening of the historic period, were the Latins
(_Latini_), a branch of the Italian stock, perhaps mingled with the
remnants of an older population.

They were mainly an agricultural and pastoral people, who had settled on
the land in _pagi_, or cantons, naturally or artificially defined rural
districts. The _pagus_ constituted a rude political and religious unit.
Its population lived scattered in their homesteads. If some few of the
homesteads happened to be grouped together, they constituted a _vicus_,
which, however, had neither a political nor a religious organization.

At one or more points within the cantons there soon developed small towns
(_oppida_), usually located on hilltops and fortified, at first with
earthen, later with stone, walls. These towns served as market-places and
as points of refuge in time of danger for the people of the _pagus_. There
developed an artisan and mercantile element, and there the aristocratic
element of the population early took up their abode, i. e., the wealthier
landholders, who could leave to others the immediate oversight of their
estates. And so these _oppida_ became the centers of government for the
surrounding _pagi_. It is very doubtful if the Latins as a whole were ever
united in a single state. But even if that had once been the case, this
loosely organized state must early have been broken up into a number of
smaller units. These were the various _populi_; that is, the cantons with
their _oppida_. The names of some sixty-five of these towns are known, but
before the close of the sixth century many of the smaller of them had been
merged with their more powerful neighbors.

*The Latin League.* The realization of the racial unity of the Latins was
expressed in the annual festival of Jupiter Latiaris celebrated on the
Alban Mount. For a long time also the Latin cities formed a league, of
which there were thirty members according to tradition. Actually, about
the middle of the fifth century there were only some eight cities
participating in the association upon an independent footing. The central
point of the league was the grove and temple of Diana at Aricia, and it
was in the neighborhood of Aricia that the meetings of the assembly of the
league were held. The league possessed a very loose organization, but we
know of a common executive head—the Latin dictator.

                         II. THE ORIGINS OF ROME

*The site of Rome.* Rome, the Latin _Roma_, is situated on the Tiber about
fifteen miles from the sea. The Rome of the later Republic and the Empire,
the City of the Seven Hills, included the three isolated eminences of the
Capitoline, Palatine and Aventine, and the spurs of the adjoining plateau,
called the Quirinal, Viminal, Esquiline, and Caelian. Other ground, also
on the left bank of the river, and likewise part of Mount Janiculum,
across the Tiber, were included in the city. But this extent was only
attained after a long period of growth, and early Rome was a town of much
smaller area.

*The growth of the city.* Late Roman historians placed the founding of
Rome about the year 753 B. C., and used this date as a basis for Roman
chronology. However, it is absolutely impossible to assign anything like a
definite date for the establishment of the city. Excavations have revealed
that in the early Iron Age several distinct settlements were perched upon
the Roman hills, separated from one another by low, marshy ground, flooded
by the Tiber at high water. These were probably typical Latin walled
villages (_oppida_).

At a very early date some of these villages formed a religious union
commemorated in the festival of the Septimontium or Seven Mounts. These
_montes_ were crests of the Palatine, Esquiline and Caelian hills, perhaps
each the site of a separate settlement.

But the earliest city to which we can with certainty give the name of Rome
is of later date than the establishment of the Septimontium. It is the
Rome of the Four Regions—the Palatina, Esquilina, Collina and Sucusana
(later Suburana)—which included the Quirinal, Viminal, Esquiline, Caelian
and Palatine hills, as well as the intervening low ground. Within the
boundary of this city, but not included in the four regions, was the
Capitoline, which had separate fortifications and served as the citadel
(_arx_). It may be that the organization of this city of the Four Regions
was effected by Etruscan conquerors, for the name Roma seems to be of
Etruscan origin, and, for the Romans, an _urbs_, as they called Rome, was
merely an _oppidum_ of which the limits had been marked out according to
Etruscan ritual. The consecrated boundary line drawn in this manner was
called the _pomerium_.

The Aventine Hill, as well as the part of the plateau back of the
Esquiline, was only brought within the city walls in the fourth century,
and remained outside the _pomerium_ until the time of Claudius.

The location of Rome, on the Tiber at a point where navigation for
sea-going vessels terminated and where an island made easy the passage
from bank to bank, marked it as a place of commercial importance. It was
at the same time the gateway between Latium and Etruria and the natural
outlet for the trade of the Tiber valley. Furthermore, its central
position in the Italian peninsula gave it a strategic advantage in its
wars for the conquest of Italy. But the greatness of Rome was not the
result of its geographic advantages: it was the outgrowth of the energy
and political capacity of its people, qualities which became a national
heritage because of the character of the early struggles of the Roman

Although it is very probable that the historic population of Rome was the
result of a fusion of several racial elements—Latin, Sabine, Etruscan, and
even pre-Italian, nevertheless the Romans were essentially a Latin people.
In language, in religion, in political institutions, they were
characteristically Latin, and their history is inseparably connected with
that of the Latins as a whole.

                         III. THE EARLY MONARCHY

*The tradition.* The traditional story of the founding of Rome is mainly
the work of Greek writers of the third century B. C., who desired to find
a link between the new world-power Rome and the older centers of
civilization: while the account of the reign of the Seven Kings is a
reconstruction on the part of Roman annalists and antiquarians, intended
to explain the origins of Roman political and religious institutions. And,
in fact, owing to the absence of any even relatively contemporaneous
records (a lack from which the Roman historians suffered as well as
ourselves) it is impossible to attempt an historical account of the period
of kingly rule. We can improve but little on the brief statement of
Tacitus (i, 1 _Ann._)—“At first kings ruled the city Rome.”

*The kingship.* The existence of the kingship itself is beyond dispute,
owing to the strength of the Roman tradition on this point and the
survival of the title _rex_ or king in the priestly office of _rex
sacrorum_. It seems certain, too, that the last of the Roman kings were
Etruscans and belong to the period of Etruscan domination in Rome and
Latium. As far as can be judged, the Roman monarchy was not purely
hereditary but elective within the royal family, like that of the
primitive Greek states, where the king was the head of one of a group of
noble families, chosen by the nobles and approved by the people as a
whole. About the end of the sixth century the kingship was deprived of its
political functions, and remained at Rome solely as a lifelong priestly
office. It is possible that there had been a gradual decline of the royal
authority before the growing power of the nobles as had been the case at
Athens, but it is very probable that the final step in this change
coincided with the fall of an Etruscan dynasty and the passing of the
control of the state into the hands of the Latin nobility (about 508
B. C.).

*Institutions of the regal period.* The royal power was not absolute, for
the exercise thereof was tempered by custom, by the lack of any elaborate
machinery of government, and by the practical necessity for the king to
avoid alienating the good will of the community. The views of the
aristocracy were voiced in the Senate (_senatus_) or Council of Elders,
which developed into a council of nobles, a body whose functions were
primarily advisory in character. From a very early date the Roman people
were divided into thirty groups called _curiae_, and these _curiae_ served
as the units in the organization of the oldest popular assembly—the
_comitia curiata_. Membership in the _curiae_ was probably hereditary, and
each _curia_ had its special cult, which was maintained long after the
_curiae_ had lost their political importance. The primitive assembly of
the _curiae_ was convoked at the pleasure of the king to hear matters of
interest to the whole community. It did not have legislative power, but
such important steps as the declaration of war or the appointment of a new
_rex_ required its formal sanction.

*Expansion under the kings.* Under the kings Rome grew to be the chief
city in Latium, having absorbed several smaller Latin communities in the
immediate neighborhood, extended her territory on the left bank of the
Tiber to the seacoast, where the seaport of Ostia was founded, and even
conquered Alba Longa, the former religious center of the Latins. It is
possible that by the end of the regal period Rome exercised a general
suzerainty over the cities of the Latin plain. The period of Etruscan
domination failed to alter the Latin character of the Roman people and
left its traces chiefly in official paraphernalia, religious practices
(such as the employment of _haruspices_), military organization, and in
Etruscan influences in Roman art.

                         IV. EARLY ROMAN SOCIETY

*The Populus Romanus.* The oldest name of the Romans was _Quirites_, a
name which long survived in official phraseology, but which was superseded
by the name _Romani_, derived from that of the city itself. The whole body
of those who were eligible to render military service, to participate in
the public religious rites and to attend the meetings of the popular
assembly, with their families, constituted the Roman state—the _populus

*Patricians and Plebeians.* At the close of the regal period the _populus
Romanus_ comprised two distinct social and political classes. These were
the Patricians and the Plebeians. A very considerable element of the
latter class was formed by the Clients. These class distinctions had grown
up gradually under the economic and social influences of the early state;
and, in antiquity, were not confined to Rome but appeared in many of the
Greek communities also at a similar stage of their development.

The Patricians were the aristocracy. Their influence rested upon their
wealth as great landholders, their superiority in military equipment and
training, their clan organization, and the support of their clients. Their
position in the community assured to them political control, and they had
early monopolized the right to sit in the Senate. The members of the
Senate were called collectively _patres_, whence the name _patricii_
(patricians) was given to all the members of their class. The patricians
formed a group of many _gentes_, or clans, each an association of
households (_familiae_) who claimed descent from a common ancestor. Each
member of a _gens_ bore the gentile name and had a right to participate in
its religious practices (_sacra_).

*Patrons and clients.* Apparently, the clients were tenants who tilled the
estates of the patricians, to whom they stood for a long time in a
condition of economic and political dependence. Each head of a patrician
household was the patron of the clients who resided on his lands. The
clients were obliged to follow their patrons to war and to the political
arena, to render them respectful attention, and, on occasion, pecuniary
support. The patron, in his turn, was obliged to protect the life and
interests of his client. For either patron or client to fail in his
obligations was held to be sacrilege. This relationship, called
_patronatus_ on the side of the patron, _clientela_ on that of the client,
was hereditary on both sides. The origin of this form of clientage is
uncertain and it is impossible for us to form a very exact idea of
position of the clients in the early Roman state, for the like-named
institution of the historic republican period is by no means the one that
prevailed at the end of the monarchy. The older, serf-like, conditions had
disappeared; the relationship was voluntarily assumed, and its
obligations, now of a much less serious nature, depended for their
observance solely upon the interest of both parties.

The patrician aristocracy formed a social caste, the product of a long
period of social development, and this caste was enlarged in early times
by the recognition of new _gentes_ as possessing the qualifications of the
older clans (_patres maiorum_ and _minorum gentium_). But eventually it
became a closed order, jealous of its prerogatives and refusing to
intermarry with the non-patrician element.

*The Plebs.* This latter constituted the plebeians or _plebs_. They were
free citizens—the less wealthy landholders, tradesmen, craftsmen, and
laborers—who lacked the right to sit in the Senate and so had no direct
share in the administration. Beyond question, however, they were included
in the _curiae_ and had the right to vote in the _comitia curiata_. Nor is
there any proof of a racial difference between plebeians and patricians.
It is not easy to determine to what degree the clients participated in the
political life of the community, yet, in the general use of the term, the
plebs included the clients, who later, under the republic, shared in all
the privileges won by the plebeians and who, consequently, must have had
the status of plebeians in the eye of the state.

The sharp social and political distinction between nobles and commons,
between patricians and plebeians, is the outstanding feature of early
Roman society, and affords the clue to the political development of the
early republican period.

  [Illustration: Roman Expansion in Italy to 265 B. C.]

                                CHAPTER V

                              509–265 B. C.

                   I. TO THE CONQUEST OF VEII—392 B. C.

*The alliance of Rome and the Latin League, about 486 B. C.* At the close
of the regal period Rome appears as the chief city in Latium, controlling
a territory of some 350 sq. miles to the south of the Tiber. But the fall
of the monarchy somewhat weakened the position of Rome, for it brought on
hostilities with the Etruscan prince Lars Porsena of Clusium, which
resulted in a defeat for Rome and the forced acceptance of humiliating

This defeat naturally broke down whatever suzerainty Rome may have
exercised over Latium and necessitated a readjustment of the relations
between Rome and the Latin cities. A treaty attributed by tradition to
Spurius Cassius was finally concluded between Rome on the one hand and the
Latin league on the other, which fixed the relations of the two parties
for nearly one hundred and fifty years. By this agreement the Romans and
the Latin league formed an offensive and defensive military alliance, each
party contributing equal contingents for joint military enterprises and
dividing the spoils of war, while the Latins at Rome and the Romans in the
Latin cities enjoyed the private rights of citizenship. The small people
called the Hernici, situated to the east of Latium, were early included in
this alliance. This union was cemented largely through the common dangers
which threatened the dwellers in the Latin plain from the Etruscans on the
north and the highland Italian peoples to the east and south. For Rome it
was of importance that the Latin cities interposed a barrier between the
territory of Rome and her most aggressive foes, the Aequi and the Volsci.

*Wars with the Aequi and Volsci.* Of the details of these early wars we
know practically nothing. However, archæological evidence seems to show
that about the beginning of the fifth century B. C. the Latins sought an
outlet for their surplus population in the Volscian land to the south
east. Here they founded the settlements of Signia, Norba and Satricum. But
this expansion came to a halt, and about the middle of the fifth century
the Volsci still held their own as far north as the vicinity of Antium,
while the Aequi were in occupation of the Latin plain as far west as
Tusculum and Mt. Algidus. Towards the end of the century, however, under
Roman leadership the Latins resumed their expansion at the expense of both
these peoples.

*Veii.* In addition to these frequent but not continuous wars, the Romans
had to sustain a serious conflict with the powerful Etruscan city of Veii,
situated about 12 miles to the north of Rome, across the Tiber. The causes
of the struggle are uncertain, but war broke out in 402, shortly after the
Romans had gained possession of Fidenae, a town which controlled a
crossing of the Tiber above the city of Rome. According to tradition the
Romans maintained a blockade of Veii for eleven years before it fell into
their hands. It was in the course of this war that the Romans introduced
the custom of paying their troops, a practice which enabled them to keep a
force under arms throughout the entire year if necessary. Veii was
destroyed, its population sold into slavery, and its territory
incorporated in the public land of Rome. By this annexation the area of
the Roman state was nearly doubled.

Recent excavations have shown that Veii was a place of importance from the
tenth to the end of the fifth century B. C., that Etruscan influence
became predominant there in the course of the eighth century, and that, at
the time of its destruction, it was a flourishing town, which, like Rome
itself, was in contact with the Greek cultural influences then so powerful
throughout the Italian peninsula.

                         II. THE GALLIC INVASION

*The Gauls in the Po Valley.* But scarcely had the Romans emerged
victorious from the contest with Veii when a sudden disaster overtook them
from an unexpected quarter. Towards the close of the fifth century various
Celtic tribes crossed the Alpine passes and swarmed down into the Po
valley. These Gauls overcame and drove out the Etruscans, and occupied the
land from the Ticinus and Lake Maggiore southeastwards to the Adriatic
between the mouth of the Po and Ancona. This district was subsequently
known as Gallia Cisalpina. The Gauls formed a group of eight tribes, which
were often at enmity with one another. Each tribe was divided into many
clans, and there was continual strife between the factions of the various
chieftains. They were a barbarous people, living in rude villages and
supporting themselves by cattle-raising and agriculture of a primitive
sort. Drunkenness and love of strife were their characteristic vices: war
and oratory their passions. In stature they were very tall; their eyes
were blue and their hair blond. Brave to recklessness, they rushed naked
into battle, and the ferocity of their first assault inspired terror even
in the ranks of veteran armies. Their weapons were long, two-edged swords
of soft iron, which frequently bent and were easily blunted, and small
wicker shields. Their armies were undisciplined mobs, greedy for plunder,
but disinclined to prolonged, strenuous effort, and utterly unskilled in
siege operations. These weaknesses nullified the effects of their
victories in the field and prevented their occupation of Italy south of
the Apennines.

*The sack of Rome.* In 387 B. C., a horde of these marauders crossed the
Apennines and besieged Clusium. Thence, angered, as was said, by the
hostile actions of Roman ambassadors, they marched directly upon Rome. The
Romans marched out with all their forces and met the Gauls near the Allia,
a small tributary of the Tiber above Fidenae. The fierce onset of the
Gauls drove the Roman army in disorder from the field. Many were slain in
the rout and the majority of the survivors were forced to take refuge
within the ruined fortifications of Veii. Deprived of their help and
lacking confidence in the weak and ill-planned walls, the citizen body
evacuated Rome itself and fled to the neighboring towns. The Capitol,
however, with its separate fortifications, was left with a small garrison.
The Gauls entered Rome and sacked the city, but failed to storm the
citadel. Apparently they had no intention of settling in Latium and
therefore, after a delay of seven months, upon information that the Veneti
were attacking their new settlements in the Po valley, they accepted a
ransom of 1000 pounds of gold (about $225,000) for the city and marched
off home. The Romans at once reoccupied and rebuilt their city, and soon
after provided it with more adequate defences in the new wall of stone
later known as the Servian wall.

*Later Gallic invasions.* For some years the Gauls ceased their inroads,
but in 368 another raid brought them as far as Alba in the land of the
Aequi, and the Romans feared to attack the invaders. However, when a fresh
horde appeared in 348 the Romans were prepared. They and their allies
blocked the foe’s path, and the Gauls retreated, fearing to risk a battle.
Rome thus became the successful champion of the Italian peoples, their
bulwark against the barbarian invaders from the north. In 334 the Gauls
and the Romans concluded peace and entered upon a period of friendly
relations which lasted for the rest of the fourth century.

                        CAMPANIANS: 387–334 B. C.

*Wars with the Aequi, Volsci, and Etruscans.* The disaster that overtook
Rome created a profound impression throughout the civilized world and was
noted by contemporary Greek writers. But the blow left no permanent
traces, for only the city, not the state, had been destroyed. It is true
that, encouraged by their enemy’s defeat, the Aequi, Volsci and the
Etruscan cities previously conquered by Rome took up arms, but each met
defeat in turn. Rome retained and consolidated her conquests in southern
Etruria. Part of the land was allotted to Romans for settlement and four
tribal districts were organized there. On the remainder, two Latin
colonies, Sutrium (383) and Nepete (372), were founded. The territory won
from the Volsci was treated in like manner.

In 354 the Romans concluded an alliance with the Samnite peoples of the
south central Apennines. Probably this agreement was reached in view of
the common fear of Gallic invasions and because both parties were at war
with the smaller peoples dwelling between Latium and Campania, so that a
delimitation of their respective spheres of action was deemed advisable.
At any rate, it was in the course of the next few years that Rome
completely subdued the Volsci and Aurunci, while the Samnites overran the
land of the Sidicini.

*The Latin War, 338–336 B. C.* Not long afterwards, the Latins, allied
with the Campanians, were at war with Rome. Even before this, subsequent
to the Gallic capture of Rome, the Romans had fought with individual Latin
cities, but now practically all the cities of the Latin league were in
arms against them. It is possible that both Latins and Campanians felt
their independence threatened by the expansion and alliance of the Romans
and the Samnites and that this was the underlying cause of hostilities.
However that may be, within two years the Latins had been completely
subdued. The Latin league ceased to exist. The individual cities, except
Tibur and Praeneste, lost their independence and were incorporated in the
Roman state. These two cities preserved their autonomy and concluded new
treaties with Rome.

*Alliance with the Campanians, about 334 B. C.* At about the same time,
the majority of the cities of Campania, including Capua, concluded an
alliance with Rome upon the conditions of the Roman alliance with the old
Latin league. These cities retained their independence, and extended and
received the rights of _commercium_ and _connubium_ with Rome. This meant
that the citizen of one city could transact any business in another that
was party to this agreement with the assurance that his contract would be
protected by the law of the second city, while if he married a woman of
that city his children would be considered legitimate heirs to his
property. By virtue of this close alliance, the military resources of
Campania were arrayed on the side of Rome, and Rome and Campania presented
a united front against their common foes. The Roman sphere of influence
was thus extended as far south as the Bay of Naples.

After the Latin war, the territory previously won from the Volsci and
Aurunci was largely occupied by settlements of Roman citizens or by Latin
colonies, for even after the dissolution of the Latin league the Romans
made use of this type of colony to secure their conquests, as well as to
relieve the surplus population of Rome and Latium.


*The conflict of Rome and the Samnites in Campania.* The alliance of Rome
and Campania brought the Romans into immediate contact with the Samnites
and converted these former friends into enemies, since the Samnites
regarded Campania as their legitimate field for expansion and refused to
submit to its passing under the aegis of Rome. However, they had been
unable to prevent the union of Rome with Capua and other cities, for at
the time they were engaged with another enemy, the Tarentines, who were
assisted by Alexander, king of the Molossians (334–331).

The Samnites formed a loose confederacy of kindred peoples, with no strong
central authority. Therefore, although bold and skilful warriors, they
were at a disadvantage in a long struggle where unity of control and
continuity of policy became of decisive importance. Here Rome had the
advantage, an advantage that was increased by the alliances Rome was able
to form in the course of her wars against this enemy. For generations the
excess population of the Samnite valleys had regularly overflowed into the
lowland coast areas, and such migrations had given rise to the Lucanians,
Bruttians, and a large part of the Campanians themselves. However, the
danger of being submerged by fresh waves of Samnites caused the peoples
whose territories bordered on Samnium to look to Rome for support, and so
Rome found allies in the Central Italian peoples, and in the Apulians and
the Lucanians.

*The beginning of hostilities, 325–4.* Hostilities broke out over the
occupation of Naples by the Romans and its incorporation in the Roman
alliance. This step was taken in the interests of the party in the city
that sought Roman protection, and was accomplished in spite of Samnite
opposition. The war was waged chiefly in Campania, in the valley of the
upper Liris, and in Apulia. In 318, a Roman army attempting to penetrate
from Campania into Samnium was cut off and compelled to surrender at the
Caudine Pass. It is probable that as a result of this defeat the Romans
gave up Fregellae (occupied in 328) and other territory on the Liris, and
they may even have made a temporary truce. However, hostilities were soon
resumed. Once again, in 314, the Samnites won a great victory, this time
at Lautulae not far south of Circeii, and their party acquired control in
Campania. But this temporary success was quickly counterbalanced by Roman
victories in Campanian territory.

The war was prolonged by an Etruscan attack upon Roman territory that
necessitated a division of the Roman forces. But in two campaigns (309–7
B. C.), in the course of which a Roman army advanced through Umbria and
invaded northern Etruria, the cities which had taken up arms against Rome
were forced to make peace.

The war against the Samnites could be energetically prosecuted again. By
the construction of the Via Appia the Romans secured a military highway
from Rome to Capua which greatly facilitated the conduct of operations in
Campania. It is probable, too, that the reorganization of the Roman army,
which dates from this period, was beginning to bear fruit. From both
Campania and Apulia the Romans took the offensive, and several severe
defeats forced the Samnites to seek peace in 304. They retained their
independence, but the disputed territory on their borders fell to Rome.

It was about the close of this war that the Aequi, Marsi, Marrucini,
Frentani, Paeligni, some of the Umbrians, and other of the peoples of
Central Italy became federate allies of Rome. Apulia likewise passed under
Roman control. New Latin colonies and new tribal districts marked the
expansion of Roman territory.

*Wars with the Samnites, Gauls and Etruscans, 298–80 B. C.* In 298 war
broke out again between the Romans and Samnites, apparently because the
Lucanians had deserted the Roman alliance for the Samnites. Soon the
Samnites allied themselves with the Etruscans and Gauls, and succeeded in
uniting the forces of the three peoples in Umbria. But this host was
annihilated by the Romans in the battle of Sentinum (295). With this
victory all danger for Rome was over. By systematically ravaging the
enemy’s country the Roman consuls in 290 B. C. forced the Samnites to sue
for peace. They entered the Roman alliance, and a portion of their land
was incorporated in the _ager publicus_ of Rome. A similar fate overtook
the Sabines and Picentes, who had taken sides with the Samnites.

The war with the Etruscans and the Gauls still dragged on. But in 285,
after suffering a severe blow at the hands of the Gallic Senones, the
Romans took vigorous action and drove this people from the land between
Ancona and the Rubicon—the _ager Gallicus_. In the same year the tribe of
the Boii, with Etruscan allies, penetrated as far as the Vadimonian Lake,
where the Romans inflicted upon them a crushing defeat. Another Roman
victory in the next year brought the Boii to terms, and soon the Etruscan
cities one by one submitted to Rome, until by 280 all were Roman allies.

           V. THE ROMAN CONQUEST OF SOUTH ITALY: 281–270 B. C.

*Italians and Greeks in South Italy.* The only parts of the peninsula that
had not yet acknowledged the Roman overlordship were the lands of the
Lucanians and Bruttians and the few Greek cities in the south that still
maintained their independence. Of these latter the chief was Tarentum, a
city of considerable commercial importance. From the middle of the fourth
century these cities had been engaged in continual warfare with the
Lucanians and Messapians, and in the course of their struggles Tarentum
had come to assume the rôle of protector of the Hellenes in Italy. But
even this city had only been able to make head against its foes through
assistance obtained from Greece. In 338, King Archidamus of Sparta, and in
331 Alexander, king of Epirus and uncle of Alexander the Great, fell
fighting in the service of the Italian Greeks. In 303, Cleonymus of
Sparta, more fortunate than his predecessors, compelled the Lucanians to
conclude a peace, which probably included the Romans, at that moment their
allies. A little later (c. 300 B. C.) Agathocles, king of Syracuse,
assisted the Tarentines against the same foe, and incorporated in his own
kingdom the Bruttians and the Greek cities in the southwest. But with his
death in 289, his kingdom, like that of Dionysius I, fell apart and the
Greeks in the west were left again without a protector. Consequently, when
the Lucanians renewed their attacks upon Thurii, that city, being unable
to find succor in Greece and distrusting Tarentum, appealed to Rome (282).
Rome gave ear to the call, relieved and garrisoned Thurii. But this action
brought Roman ships of war into the Gulf of Tarentum contrary to an
agreement between the two cities (perhaps that of 303). Enraged, the
Tarentines attacked the Roman fleet, sank some Roman triremes, and then
occupied Thurii. The ensuing Roman demands for reparation were rejected,
their ambassadors insulted, and war began (281).

*The war with Pyrrhus and Tarentum.* The Tarentines were able to unite
against Rome the Messapians, Lucanians, Samnites and Bruttians, but Roman
successes in the first campaign forced them to call in the aid of Pyrrhus,
king of Epirus. Pyrrhus was probably the most skilful Greek general of the
time, and he brought with him into Italy an army organized and equipped
according to the Macedonian system of Alexander the Great, which had
become the standard in the Greek world. His force comprised 20,000
heavy-armed infantry forming the phalanx, and 3,000 Thessalian cavalry.
Besides, he had a number of war elephants; animals which had figured on
Greek battlefields since Ipsus (301). The first engagement was fought near
Heraclea (280) and after a severe struggle the Romans were driven from the
field. The superior generalship of Pyrrhus, and the consternation caused
by his war elephants, won the day, but his losses were very heavy, and he
himself was wounded. As fighters the Romans had shown themselves the equal
of the foe, and their tactical organization, perfected in the Samnite
Wars, had proved its value in its first encounter with that developed by
the military experts of Greece. As a result of his victory at Heraclea,
Pyrrhus was able to advance as far north as Latium, but withdrew again
without accomplishing anything of importance. The next year, he won
another hard-fought battle near Ausculum in Apulia. Thereupon the Romans
began negotiations which Pyrrhus welcomed, sending the orator Cineas to
Rome to represent him. But, before an agreement was reached, the
Carthaginians, who feared the intervention of Pyrrhus in Sicily, offered
the Romans assistance. Their proffer was accepted; the negotiations with
Pyrrhus ended; and Rome and Carthage bound themselves not to make a
separate agreement with the common foe, while the Carthaginian fleet was
to coöperate with the Romans.

*Pyrrhus in Sicily, 278–5 B. C.* Nevertheless, Pyrrhus determined to
answer an appeal from the Sicilian Greeks and to leave Italy for Sicily.
After the death of Agathocles, tyrant and king of Syracuse (317–289), who
had played the rôle of another Dionysius I, the Greeks in Sicily had
fallen upon evil days. The Carthaginians had renewed their attacks upon
them, and a new foe had appeared in the Mamertini, Campanian mercenary
soldiers who had seized Messana and made it their headquarters for raiding
the territory of the Greek cities. Caught between these two enemies, the
Greeks appealed to Pyrrhus who came to their aid, possibly with the hope
of uniting Sicily under his own control. His success was immediate. The
Carthaginians were forced to give up all their possessions except
Lilybaeum, and Pyrrhus stood ready to carry the war into Africa. But, at
this juncture, the exactions that he laid upon his Sicilian allies and
their fear that his victory would make him their permanent master caused
them to desert his cause and make peace with their foes. Deprived of their
assistance, and seeing that his allies in Italy were hard pressed by the
Romans, he abandoned his Sicilian venture.

*The end of the war.* Pyrrhus returned to Italy, with the loss of his
fleet in a naval battle with the Carthaginians, reorganized his forces,
and advanced into Lucania or Samnium to meet the Romans. While manœuvering
for an attack, one of his divisions sustained a severe repulse at
Beneventum (275), whereupon he abandoned the offensive and retired to
Tarentum. Leaving a garrison in that city he withdrew the rest of his
forces to Greece, with the intention of attacking Antigonus Gonatas in
Macedonia. His initial successes in this enterprise led him to withdraw
his garrison from Tarentum and abandon the Western Greeks to their fate.
Thereupon the Romans soon reduced the Samnites and Lucanians, while
Tarentum and the other Greek cities, one after another, were forced to
submit and enter the Roman alliance. By 270 B. C., all South Italy had in
this way been added to the Roman dominions.

By 265 B. C. after a few more brief struggles with revolting or still
unsubdued communities in central and northern Italy, the Romans had
completed the subjugation of the entire Italian peninsula.

                        VI. THE ROMAN CONFEDERACY

*Roman foreign policy.* By wars and alliances Rome had united Italy. But
it is not to be supposed that this was a goal consistently pursued through
many generations by Roman statesmen. Probably it was not until the end was
nearly within sight that the Romans realized whither their policy was
leading them. Indeed, it is certain that many of Rome’s wars were waged in
defence of Rome’s territory or that of the Roman allies. This seems
particularly true of the period prior to the Gallic inroad of 387.
According to the ancient Roman formula employed in declaring war, that
uttered by the Fetiales, war was looked upon as the last means to obtain
reparation for wrongs that were suffered at the hands of the enemy. Yet,
although the Roman attitude in such matters was doubtless at one time
sincere, we may well question how long this sincerity continued, and
whether the injuries complained of were not sometimes the result of Roman
provocation. Such attempts to place the moral responsibility for a war
upon the enemy are common to all ages and are not always convincing.
However, if we may not convict the Romans of aggressive imperialism prior
to 265, at any rate the methods which they pursued in their relations with
the other peoples of Italy made their domination inevitable in view of the
Roman national character and their political and military organization.
These methods early became established maxims of Roman foreign policy. The
Romans, whenever possible, waged even their defensive wars offensively,
and rarely made peace save with a beaten foe. As a rule, the enemy was
forced to conclude a treaty with Rome which placed his forces at the
disposal of the Roman state. This treaty was regarded as perpetually
binding, and any attempt to break off the relationship it established was
regarded as a _casus belli_. Possibly, the Romans looked upon this as the
only policy which would guarantee peace on their borders, but it
inevitably led to further wars, for it resulted in the continuous
extension of the frontiers defended by Rome and so continually brought
Rome into contact and conflict with new peoples. Nor were the voluntary
allies of Rome allowed to leave the Roman alliance: such action was
treated as equivalent to a declaration of war and regularly punished with
severity. This practice gradually transformed Rome’s independent into
dependent allies. From the middle of the fourth century, it seems that
Rome deliberately sought to prevent the development of a strong state in
the southern part of Italy, and to this end gladly took under her
protection weaker communities that felt themselves threatened by stronger
neighbors, although such action inevitably led to war with the latter.
Furthermore, a conquered state frequently lost a considerable part of its
territory. Portions of this land were set aside for the foundation of
fortress colonies to protect the Roman conquests and overawe the
conquered. The rest was incorporated in the _ager Romanus_ to the profit
of both the rich proprietors and the landless citizens. Usually, the Roman
soldiers shared directly in the distribution of the movable spoils of war;
sometimes a huge booty, as after the subjugation of the Sabines and
Picentes in 290. A long series of successful and profitable wars, for Rome
was ultimately victorious in every struggle after 387, had engendered in
the Roman people a self-confidence and a martial spirit which soon led
them to conquests beyond the confines of Italy. During this period of
expansion within Italy, Roman policy had been guided by the Senate, a body
of unrecorded statesmen of wide outlook and great determination, who not
only made Rome mistress of the peninsula but succeeded in laying enduring
foundations for the Roman power.

*Rome and Italy.* But although Italy was united under the Roman hegemony
it by no means formed a single state. Rather it was an agglomerate of many
states and many peoples, speaking different tongues and having different
political institutions. The largest single element, however, was formed by
the Roman citizens. These were to be found not only in the city of Rome
and its immediate neighborhood, but also settled in the rural tribal
districts (35 in number after 241) organized on conquered territory
throughout the peninsula. In addition, groups of 300 citizens had been
settled in various harbor towns as a sort of resident garrison to protect
Roman interests. In all, down to 183 B. C., 22 of these maritime colonies
were established, whose members in view of their special duties were
excused from active service with the Roman legions. All these were full
Roman citizens, but there were others who, while enjoying the private
rights of Roman citizenship, lacked the right to vote or to hold office
(_cives sine suffragio_). Such were the inhabitants of most of the old
Latin communities and some others which had been absorbed in the Roman
state. Such communities were called _municipia_ (municipalities). Some of
these were permitted to retain their own magistrates and city
organization: others lacked this privilege of local autonomy. Of the
former class, Gabii, conquered during the monarchy, is said to have been
the prototype. This municipal system had the advantage of providing for
local administration and at the same time reconciling the conquered city
to the loss of its freedom. It was a distinctly Roman institution, and
shows the wisdom of the early Roman statesmen who thus marked out the way
for the complete absorption of the vanquished into the Roman citizen body,
which was thus strengthened to meet its continually increasing military
burdens. By 265, the Roman territory in Italy had an area of about 10,000
square miles. It extended along the west coast from the neighborhood of
Caere southwards to the southern border of Campania, and from the latitude
of Rome it stretched northeastwards through the territory of the Sabini to
the Adriatic coast, where the lands of the Picentes and the Senones had
been incorporated in the _ager Romanus_.

*The Latin colonies.* Of the non-Romans in Italy the people most closely
bound to Rome by ties of blood and common interests were the Latin allies.
Outside the few old Latin cities, that had not been absorbed by Rome in
338, these were the inhabitants of the Latin colonies, of which
thirty-five were founded on Italian soil. Prior to the destruction of the
Latin League seven of these colonies had been established, whose settlers
had been drawn half from the Latin cities and half from Rome. After 338,
these colonies remained in alliance with Rome, and those subsequently
founded received the same status. But for these the colonists were all
supplied by Rome. These colonists had to surrender their Roman citizenship
and become Latins, but if any one of them left a son of military age in
his place he had the right to return to Rome. Each colony had its own
administration, usually modelled upon that of Rome, and enjoyed the rights
of _commercium_ and _connubium_ both with Rome and with the other Latin
colonies. These settlements were towns of considerable size, having 2,500,
4,000 or 6,000 colonists, each of whom received a grant of 30 or 50
_iugera_ (20 or 34 acres) of land. Founded at strategic points on
conquered territory, they formed one of the strongest supports of the
Roman authority: at the same time colonization of this character served to
relieve over-population and satisfy land-hunger in Rome and Latium. In all
their internal affairs the Latin cities were sovereign communities,
possessing, in addition to their own laws and magistrates, the rights of
coinage and census. Their inhabitants constituted the _nomen Latinum_,
and, unlike the Roman _cives sine suffragio_, did not serve in the Roman
legions but formed separate detachments of horse and foot.

*The Italian allies.* The rest of the peoples of Italy, Italian, Greek,
Illyrian and Etruscan, formed the federate allies of Rome—the _socii
Italici_. These constituted some 150 separate communities, city or tribal,
each bound to Rome by a special treaty (_foedus_), whereby its specific
relations to Rome were determined. In all these treaties, however, there
was one common feature, namely, the obligation to lend military aid to
Rome and to surrender to Rome the control over their diplomatic relations
with other states. Their troops were not incorporated in the legions, but
were organized as separate infantry and cavalry units (_cohortes_ and
_alae_), raised, equipped and officered by the communities themselves.
However, they were under the orders of the Roman generals, and if several
allied detachments were combined in one corps the whole was under a Roman
officer. The allied troops, moreover, received their subsistence from Rome
and shared equally with the Romans in the spoils of war. In the case of
the seaboard towns, especially the Greek cities, this military obligation
took the form of supplying ships and their crews, whence these towns were
called naval allies (_socii navales_). All the federate allies had
_commercium_, and the majority _connubium_ also, with Rome. Apart from the
foregoing obligations towards Rome, each of the allied communities was
autonomous, having its own language, laws and political institutions.

However, a strong bond of sympathy existed between the local aristocracies
of many of the Italian towns and the senatorial order at Rome. As we have
seen, the foreign relations of Rome were directed by the Senate, which
represented the views of the wealthier landed proprietors, and it was only
natural that the senators should have sought to ally themselves with the
corresponding social class in other states. This class represented the
more conservative, and, from the Roman point of view, more dependable
element, while the support of Rome assured to the local aristocracies the
control within their own communities. Consequently there developed a
community of interest between the Senate and the propertied classes among
the Roman allies.

Thus Rome was at the head of a military and diplomatic alliance of many
separate states, whose sole point of contact was that each was in alliance
with Rome. As yet there was no such thing as an Italian nation. Still it
was from the time that this unity was effected that the name _Italia_
began to be applied to the whole of the peninsula and the term _Italici_
was employed, at first by foreigners, but later by themselves, to
designate its inhabitants.(1)

                                CHAPTER VI


                          I. THE EARLY REPUBLIC

While the Romans were engaged in acquiring political supremacy in Italy,
the Roman state itself underwent a profound transformation as the result
of severe internal struggles between the patrician and the plebeian

*The constitution of the early republic: the magistrates.* Upon the
overthrow of the monarchy, the Romans set up a republican form of
government, where the chief executive office was filled by popular
election. At the head of the state were two annually elected magistrates,
or presidents, called at first praetors but later consuls. They possessed
the _auspicium_ or the right to consult the gods on behalf of the state,
and the _imperium_, which gave them the right of military command, as well
as administrative and judicial authority. Both enjoyed these powers in
equal measure and, by his veto, the one could suspend the other’s action.
Thus from the beginning of the Republic annuality and collegiality were
the characteristics of the Roman magistracy. Nevertheless, the Romans
recognized the advantage of an occasional concentration of all power in
the state in the hands of a single magistrate and so, in times of
emergency, the consuls, acting upon the advice of the senate, nominated a
dictator, who superseded the consuls themselves for a maximum period of
six months. The dictator, or _magister populi_, as he was called in early
times, appointed as his assistant a master of the horse (_magister

*The Senate.* At the side of the magistrates stood the Senate, a body of
three hundred members, who acted in an advisory capacity to the officials,
and possessed the power of sanctioning or vetoing laws passed by the
Assembly of the People. The senators were nominated by the consuls from
the patrician order and held office for life.

*The comitia curiata.* During the early years of the Republic, the popular
Assembly, which had the power of electing the consuls and passing or
rejecting such measures as the latter brought before it, was probably the
old _comitia curiata_. But, as we shall see, it was soon superseded in
most of its functions by a new primary assembly.

*The priesthoods.* In Rome a special branch of the administration was that
of public religion, which dealt with the official relations of the
community towards its divine protectors. This sphere was under the
direction of a college of priests, at whose head stood the _pontifex
maximus_. Special priestly brotherhoods or guilds cared for the
performance of particular religious ceremonies, while the use of
divination in its political aspect was under the supervision of the
college of augurs. With the exception of the _pontifex maximus_, who was
elected by the people from an early date, the priesthoods were filled by
nomination or coöptation. The Roman priesthood did not form a separate
caste in the community but, since these priestly offices were held by the
same men who, in another capacity, acted as magistrates and senators, the
Roman official religion was subordinated to the interests of the state and
tended more and more to assume a purely formal character.

*The lines of constitutional development.* Both the consulate and the
priestly offices, like the senate, were open only to patricians, who thus
enjoyed a complete monopoly of the administration. They had been
responsible for the overthrow of the monarchy, and, consequently, at the
beginning of the Republic they formed the controlling element in the Roman

From conditions such as these the constitutional development in Rome to
287 B. C. proceeded along two distinct lines. In the first place there was
a gradual change in the magistracy by the creation of new offices with
functions adapted to the needs of a progressive, expanding, community;
and, secondly, there was a long struggle between the patricians and the
plebeians, resulting from the desire of the latter to place themselves in
a position of political, legal, and social equality with the former.


*The Assembly of the Centuries.* At a time which cannot be determined with
precision, but most probably early in the fifth century, the Assembly of
the Curiae was superseded for elective and legislative purposes by a new
assembly, called the Assembly of the Centuries (_comitia centuriata_), of
which the organization was modelled upon the contemporary military
organization of the state. The land-holding citizens were divided into
five classes, according to the size of their properties, and to each class
was allotted a number of voting groups, divided equally between the men
under 46 years of age (_juniores_) and those who were 46 and over
(_seniores_). The number of voting groups, called centuries, in each class
was possibly in proportion to the total assessment of that class. Thus the
first class had eighty centuries, the second, third, and fourth classes
had twenty each, while the fifth class had thirty. Outside of the classes,
at first six but later eighteen centuries were allotted to those eligible
to serve as cavalry (_equites_) whose property qualification was at least
that of the first class; four centuries were given to musicians and
mechanics who performed special military service; and one century was
assigned to the landless citizens (_proletarii_). Of the total of 193
centuries, the first class had eighty and the equestrians eighteen:
together ninety-eight, or a majority of the voting units. As they had the
privilege of voting before the other classes, they could, if unanimous,
control the Assembly. The term century, it must be noted, which in its
original military sense had been applied to a detachment of 100 men, in
political usage was applied to a voting group of indefinite numbers. The
organization of this Assembly probably was not completed until near the
end of the fourth century, when the basis for enrollment in the five
census classes was changed from landed estate to the total property
assessment reckoned in terms of the copper _as_.

The old Assembly of the Curiae was not abolished, but lost all its
political functions except the right to pass a law conferring the
_imperium_ upon the magistrates elected by the Assembly of the Centuries.
In addition to electing these magistrates the Centuriate Assembly had the
sole right of declaring war, voted upon measures presented to it by the
consuls, and acted as a supreme court of appeal for citizens upon whom a
magistrate had pronounced the death penalty. However, the measures which
the Assembly approved had for a long time to receive subsequent
ratification by the patrician senators (the _patrum auctoritas_) before
they became laws binding on the community. Finally, the importance of this
sanction was nullified by the requirement of the Publilian (339?) and
Maenian Laws that it be given before the voting took place.

*The magistracy: quaestors and aediles.* It has been indicated already
that the expansion of the Roman magistracy was effected through the
creation of new offices, to which were assigned duties that had previously
been performed by the consular pair or new functions required by the rise
of new conditions in the Roman state.

The first change came in connection with the quaestorship. About the
middle of the fifth century, the officials called quaestors, who had
previously been appointed by the consuls to act as their assistants, were
raised to the status of magistrates and elected by popular vote. Their
number was originally two, but in 421 it was increased to four, two of
whom acted as officers of the public treasury (_quaestores aerarii_),
while two were assigned to assist the consuls when the latter took the

At approximately the same time that the quaestorship became an elective
office, the two curators of the temple of Ceres, called aediles, likewise
attained the position of public officials. They henceforth acted as police
magistrates, market commissioners, and superintendents of public works. As
we shall have occasion to note in another connection, these aediles were
elected from among the plebeians.

*The censors: 443, 435?* The next new office to be created was that of
censor. The censorship was a commission called into being at five-year
intervals and exercised by two men for a period of eighteen months. The
original duty of the censors was to take the census of the citizens and
their property as a basis for registering the voters in the five classes,
for compiling the roster of those eligible for military service, and for
levying the property tax (_tributum_). Probably the reason for the
establishment of this office is to be sought in the heavy demands that
such duties made upon the services of the consuls and the inability of the
latter to complete the census within any one consular year. The censors
further had charge of the letting of public contracts, and, by the end of
the fourth century had acquired the right to compile the list of the
senators. As this latter duty involved an enquiry into the habits of life
of the senators, there arose that aspect of the censors’ power which alone
has survived in the modern conception of a censorship.

*The military tribunes with consular power.* During the period 436 to 362,
on fifty-one occasions the consular college of two was displaced by a
board of military tribunes with consular power (_tribuni militum consulari
potestate_). The number of these military tribunes varied: there were
never less than three, more often four or six, while two boards had eight
and nine tribunes respectively. As their name indicates, these were
essentially military officers, and this lends support to the tradition
that they were elected because the military situation frequently demanded
the presence in the state of more than two magistrates who could exercise
the _imperium_.

*The praetorship.* However, by 362 this method of meeting the increased
burdens of the magistracy was definitely abandoned. For the future two
consuls were annually elected, and, in addition, a magistrate called the
praetor, to whom was assigned the administration of the civil jurisdiction
within the city. The praetor was regarded as a minor colleague of the
consuls and held the _imperium_. Consequently, if need arose, he could
take command in the field or exercise the other consular functions.

*The curule aediles.* In the same year there was established the curule
aedileship. The two curule aediles were at first elected from the
patricians only, and, although their duties seem to have been the same as
those of the plebeian aediles, their office was considered more honorable
than that of the latter.

*Promagistrates.* The Roman magistrates were elected for one year only,
and after 342 reëlection to the same office could only be sought after an
interval of ten years. This system entailed some inconveniences,
especially in the conduct of military operations, for in the case of
campaigns that lasted longer than one year the consul in command had to
give place to his successor as soon as his own term of office had expired.
Thus the state was unable to utilize for a longer period the services of
men who had displayed special military capacity. The difficulty was
eventually overcome by the prolongation, at the discretion of the Senate,
of the command of a consul in the field for an indefinite period after the
lapse of his consulship. The person whose term of office was thus extended
was no longer a consul, but acted “in the place of a consul” (_pro
consule_). This was the origin of the promagistracy. It first appeared in
the campaign at Naples in 325, and, although for a time employed but
rarely, its use eventually became very widespread.

*Characteristics of the magistracy.* Thus the Roman magistracy attained
the form that it preserved until the end of the Republic. It consisted of
a number of committees, each of which, with the exception of the
quaestorship, had a separate sphere of action. But among these committees
there was a regularly established order of rank, running, from lowest to
highest, as follows: quaestors, aediles, censors, praetors, consuls. With
the exception of the censorship that was regularly filled by ex-consuls,
the magistracies were usually held in the above order. Magistrates of
higher rank enjoyed greater authority than all those who ranked below
them, and as a rule could forbid or annul the actions of the latter. A
magistrate could also veto the action of his colleague in office. In this
way the consuls were able to control the activities of all other regular
magistrates. However, the extraordinary office of the dictatorship
outranked the consulship and consequently the dictator could suspend the
action of the consuls themselves. The unity that was thus given to the
administration by this conception of _maior potestas_ was increased by the
presence of the Senate, a council whose influence over the magistracy grew
in proportion as the consulate lost in power and independence through the
creation of new offices.


*The causes of the struggle.* Of greater moment in the early history of
the republic than the development of the magistracy was the persistent
effort made by the plebeians to secure for themselves admission to all the
offices and privileges that at the beginning of the republic were
monopolized by the patricians. Their demands were vigorously opposed by
the latter, whose position was sustained by tradition, by their control of
the organs of government, by individual and class prestige, and by the
support of their numerous clients. But among the plebeians there was an
ever increasing number whose fortunes ranked with those of the patricians
and who refused to be excluded from the government. These furnished the
leaders among the plebs. However, a factor of greater importance than the
presence of this element in determining the final outcome of the struggle
was the demand made upon the military resources of the state by the
numerous foreign wars. The plebeian soldiers shared equally with the
patricians in the dangers of the field, and equality of political rights
could not long be withheld from them. As their services were essential to
the state, the patrician senators were farsighted enough to make
concessions to their demands whenever a refusal would have led to civil
warfare. A great cause of discontent on the part of the plebs was the
indebtedness of the poorer landholders, caused in great part by their
enforced absence from their lands upon military service and the burden of
the _tributum_ or property tax levied for military purposes. Their
condition was rendered the more intolerable because of the operation of
the harsh debtor laws, which permitted the creditor to seize the person of
the debtor and to sell him into slavery.

Evidence that discontent was rife at Rome may be found in the tradition of
three unsuccessful attempts to set up a tyranny, that is, to seize power
by unconstitutional means, made by Spurius Cassius (478), Spurius Maelius
(431), and Marcus Manlius (376), patricians who figure in later tradition
as popular champions.

*The tribunes of the plebs (466 B. C.), and the assembly of the tribes.*
The first success won by the plebeians was in securing protection against
unjust or oppressive acts on the part of the patrician magistrates. In
466, they forced the patricians to acquiesce in the appointment of four
tribunes of the plebs, officers who had the right to extend protection to
all who sought their aid, even against the magistrate in the exercise of
his functions.(2) The tribunes received power to make effective use of
this right from an oath taken by the plebeians that they would treat as
accursed and put to death without trial any person who disregarded the
tribune’s veto or violated the sanctity of his person. The character of
the tribunate and the basis of its power reveal it as the result of a
revolutionary movement and as existing in defiance of the patricians. The
tribunes were elected in an assembly in which the voting units were
tribes, and the number of the tribunes (four) suggests that this assembly
was at first composed of the citizens of the four city regions or tribes,
and that it was the city plebs who were responsible for the establishment
of the tribunate. In this assembly we have the origin of the _comitia
tributa_ or Assembly of the Tribes.

The origin of these tribes is uncertain, but by the middle of the fifth
century the Roman state was divided into twenty or twenty-one districts,
each of which with the citizens resident therein constituted a _tribus_.
Four of these were located in the city: the remainder were rural. In the
preceding chapter we have seen how the number of the tribes was increased
with the incorporation of conquered territory within the Roman state and
its occupation by Roman colonists. The tribes were artificial divisions of
the community, and served as a basis for the raising of the levy and the

*Plebeian aediles.* Associated with the tribunes as officers of the plebs
were two aediles (_aediles plebi_). It has been conjectured that they were
originally the curators of the temple of Ceres (established 492?), which
was in a special sense a plebeian shrine. As we have seen they later
became magistrates of the whole people.

*The codification of the law.* About the middle of the fifth century the
plebeians secured the codification and publication of the law. Hitherto
the law, which consisted essentially of customs and precedents, and was
largely sacral in character, had been known only to the magistrates and to
the priests, that is to members of the patrician order. At this time, two
commissions of ten men each, working in successive years (444–2?) drew up
these customs into a code, which, with subsequent additions, formed what
was later called the Law of the XII Tables. This code was in no sense a
constitution, but embodied provisions of both civil and criminal law, with
rules for legal procedure and police regulations. Notable is the provision
which guaranteed the right of appeal to the Assembly of the Centuries in
capital cases.

*Development of the tribunate and the comitia tributa.* The years which
saw the publication of the code mark an important stage in the struggle of
the orders. Serious trouble arose between the patricians and the plebs
under the second college of law-givers, and the difference was only
settled by a treaty which restored the tribunate, that had been suspended
when the decemvirs were first elected. Henceforth the number of tribunes
was ten instead of four and their position and powers received legal
recognition from the patricians. From this time on, too, the _comitia
tributa_, now embracing all the tribes, the rural as well as the urban,
was a regular institution of the state. The Assembly of the Tribes was
originally, and perhaps always remained in theory, restricted to the
plebeians. And it is improbable that the patricians ever sought to
participate in it. At any rate, there is no adequate reason for believing
in the existence of two assemblies of this sort, the one composed of both
patricians and plebeians and the other of plebeians only.

The Assembly of the Tribes not only elected the plebeian tribunes and
aediles, but soon chose the quaestors also. Furthermore, the patrician
magistrates, finding this Assembly in many ways more convenient for the
transaction of public business than the Assembly of the Centuries which
met in the Campus Martius outside the _pomerium_ and required more time to
register its opinion because of the greater number of voting units, began
to convene it to approve measures, which, if previously sanctioned by a
decree of the Senate, became law. The tribunes likewise presented
resolutions to the Assembly of the Tribes, and these, too, if sanctioned
by the Senate, were binding on the whole community. Such laws were called
plebiscites (_plebi scita_) in contrast with the _leges_ passed by an
assembly presided over by a magistrate with _imperium_. It became the
ambition of the tribunes to obtain for their plebiscites the force of law
without regard to the Senate’s approval.

*The lex Canuleia.* The social stigma which rested upon the plebeians
because they could not effect a legal marriage with the patricians, a
disability that had been maintained by the law of the XII Tables, was
removed by the Canuleian Law in 437.

*The plebs and the magistracy.* The plebeians did not rest content with
having spokesmen and defenders in the tribunes: they also demanded
admission to the consulate and the Senate. In 421 plebeians were admitted
to the quaestorship, and by that time the plebeian aediles could be looked
upon as magistrates, but the patricians tenaciously maintained their
monopoly of the _imperium_ until, in 396, a plebeian was elected a
military tribune with consular power.(3)

Perhaps the appearance of plebeian military tribunes at this time may be
explained on the ground that the vicissitudes of the war with Veii forced
the patricians to accept as magistrates the ablest available men in the
state even if of plebeian origin.

With the military tribunate the plebeians had held an office that
conferred the right to the _imperium_. Consequently, when the consulship
was definitely reëstablished in 362, they could not logically be excluded
from it. In 362 the first plebeian consul was elected, but it was not
until 340 that the practice became established that one consul must, and
the other might, be a plebeian.

After their admission to the consulship the plebeians were eligible to all
the other magistracies. They gained the dictatorship in 356, the
censorship in 351, and the praetorship in 337. Eventually, the curule
aedileship also was opened to them, and was held by patricians and
plebeians in alternate years.

*The plebs and the Senate.* Since the custom was early established that
ex-consuls, and later ex-praetors, should be enrolled in the Senate, with
the opening of these offices to the plebs the latter began to have an
ever-increasing representation in that body. As distinguished from the
_patres_ or patrician senators, the plebeians were called _conscripti_,
“the enrolled,” and this distinction was preserved in the official formula
_patres conscripti_ used in addressing the Senate. In this fusion of the
leading plebeians with the patricians in the Senate we have the origin of
a new aristocracy in the Roman state: the so-called senatorial aristocracy
or _nobilitas_. This consisted of a large group of influential patrician
and plebeian families which, for some time at least, was continuously
quickened and revivified by the accession of prominent plebeians who
entered the Senate by way of the magistracies. Thus the Senate, by opening
its ranks to the leaders of the plebs, contrived to emerge from the
struggle with its prestige and influence increased rather than impaired.

*Appius Claudius, censor, 310 B. C.* An episode which illustrates the
growing democratic tendencies of the time is the censorship of Appius
Claudius, in 310, whose office is memorable for the construction of the
Via Appia and the Aqua Appia, Rome’s first aqueduct. In his revision of
the Senate, Appius ventured to include among the senators persons who were
the sons of freedmen, and he permitted the landless population of the city
to enroll themselves in whatever tribal district they pleased. This latter
step was taken to increase the power of the city plebs, who had previously
been confined to the four city tribes, but who might now spread their
votes over the rural districts, of which there were now twenty-seven.
However, the work of Appius was soon undone. The consuls refused to
recognize the senatorial list prepared by him and his colleague, and the
following censors again restricted the city plebs to the urban tribes.

*The plebs and the priesthood.* The last stronghold of patrician privilege
was the priesthood which was opened to the plebeians by the Ogulnian Law
of 300 B. C. The number of pontiffs and augurs was increased and the new
positions were filled by plebeians. The patricians could no longer make
use of religious law and practice to hamper the political activity of the

*The Hortensian **Law**, 287 B. C.* The end of the struggle between the
orders came with the secession of 287 B. C. Apparently this crisis was
produced by the demands of the farming population who had become heavily
burdened with debt as a result of the economic strain put upon them by the
long Samnite wars. Refusal to meet their demands led to a schism, and the
plebeian soldiers under arms seceded to the Janiculum. A dictator, Quintus
Hortensius, appointed for the purpose, settled the differences and passed
a _lex Hortensia_, which provided that for the future all measures passed
in the _comitia tributa_, even without the previous approval of the
Senate, should become binding on the whole state. Thus the Assembly of the
Tribes as a legislative body acquired greater independence than the
Assembly of the Centuries.

*The two assemblies of the people.* Henceforth, the Assembly of the Tribes
tended to become more and more the legislative assembly _par excellence_,
while the Assembly of the Centuries remained the chief elective assembly.
For legislative purposes the Assembly of the Tribes could be convened by a
magistrate with _imperium_ or by a tribune; for the election of the
plebeian tribunes and aediles it had to be summoned by a tribune; while to
elect the quaestors and curule aediles it must be called together by a
magistrate. For all purposes the Assembly of the Centuries had to be
convened and presided over by a magistrate. It elected the consuls,
praetors, censors and, eventually, twenty-four military tribunes for the
annual levy. It must be kept in mind that these were both primary
assemblies, that each comprised the whole body of Roman citizens, but that
they differed essentially in the organization of the voting groups. As we
have seen the wealthier classes dominated the Assembly of the Centuries,
but in the Assembly of the Tribes, which was the more democratic body, a
simple majority determined the vote of each tribe.

*The increased importance of the tribunate.* The importance of the
tribunes was greatly enhanced by the Hortensian Law, as well as by various
privileges which they had already acquired by 287 or gained shortly after
that date. The more important of these powers were the right to sit in the
Senate, to address, and even to convene that body, and the right to
prosecute any magistrate before the _comitia tributa_. The first of these
powers was a development of the tribunician veto, whereby this was given
to a proposal under discussion in the Senate rather than upon a
magistrate’s attempt to execute it after it had taken the form of a law or
a senatorial decree. To permit the tribunes to interpose their veto at
this stage they had to be allowed to hear the debates in the Senate. At
first they did so from their bench which they set at the door of the
meeting-place, but finally they were permitted to enter the council hall
itself. The power of prosecution made the tribunes the guardians of the
interests of the state against any misconduct on the part of a magistrate.
From this time on the tribunes have practically the status of magistrates
of the Roman people.

The struggle of the orders left its mark on the Roman constitution in
providing Rome with a double set of organs of government. The tribunate,
plebeian aedileship, and _comitia tributa_ arose as purely plebeian
institutions, but they came to be incorporated in the governmental
organization of the state along with the magistracies and the assemblies
that had always been institutions of the whole Roman people.

                      IV. THE ROMAN MILITARY SYSTEM

Upon the history of no people has the character of its military
institutions exercised a more profound effect than upon that of Rome. The
Roman military system rested upon the universal obligation of the male
citizens to render military service, but the degree to which this
obligation was enforced varied greatly at different periods. For the
mobilization of the man power of the state was dependent upon the type of
equipment, methods of fighting, and organization of tactical units in
vogue at various times, as well as upon the ability of the state to equip
its troops and the strength of the martial spirit of the people.

*The army of the primitive state.* In all probability the earliest Roman
army was one of the Homeric type, where the nobles who went to the
battlefield on horseback or in chariots were the decisive factor and the
common folk counted for little.

*The phalanx organization.* However, at an early date, under Etruscan
influences according to tradition, the Romans adopted the phalanx
organization, making their tactical unit the long deep line of infantry
armed with lance and shield. Those who were able to provide themselves
with the armor necessary for taking their place in the phalanx formed the
_classis_ or “levy.” The rest were said to be _infra classem_, and were
only called upon to act as light troops. But military necessities
compelled the state to incorporate with the heavy-armed infantry
increasingly large contingents of the less wealthy citizens, who could not
provide themselves with the full equipment of those in the _classis_, but
who could form the rear ranks of the phalanx. As a result of this step the
citizens were ultimately divided into five orders or classes on the basis
of their property, and probably in raising the levy the required number of
soldiers of each class was drafted in equal proportions from the several
tribes. The first three classes constituted the phalanx, while the fourth
and fifth continued to serve as light troops (_rorarii_). Those who lacked
the property qualification of the lowest class were only called into
service in cases of great emergency. For such a system the taking of an
accurate census was essential, and it is more than likely that the office
of censor was instituted for this purpose. As we have seen, it was from
this organization of the people for military purposes that there developed
the Assembly of the Centuries.

The introduction of pay for the troops in the field at the time of the
siege of Veii both lessened the economic burden which service entailed
upon the poorer soldiers and enabled the Romans to undertake campaigns of
longer duration, even such as involved winter operations.

*The manipular legion.* How long the phalanx organization was maintained
we do not know: at any rate it did not survive the Samnite wars. In its
place appeared the legionary formation, in which the largest unit was the
legion of about four thousand infantry, divided into maniples of one
hundred and twenty (or sixty) men, each capable of manœuvering
independently. This arrangement admitted of increased flexibility of
movement in broken country, and of the adoption of the _pilum_, or
javelin, as a missile weapon. Both the _pilum_ and the _scutum_, or oblong
shield, were of Samnite origin. While reorganizing their infantry, the
Romans strengthened the _equites_ and developed them as a real cavalry

Apparently property qualifications no longer counted for much in the army
organization, as the men were assigned to their places in the ranks on the
basis of age and experience, and the state furnished the necessary weapons
to those who did not provide their own. By the third century, all
able-bodied men holding property valued at 4000 asses were regularly
called upon for military service. The others were liable to naval service,
but only in cases of great need were they enrolled in the legions.
Ordinarily, the service required amounted to sixteen campaigns in the
infantry and ten in the cavalry. The field army was raised from those
between seventeen and forty-six years of age: those forty-six and over
were liable only for garrison duty in the city. The regular annual levy
consisted of four legions, besides 1800 cavalry. This number could be
increased at need, and the Roman forces in the field were supplemented by
at least an equal number in the contingents from the Italian allies.

The Roman army was thus a national levy: a militia. It was commanded by
the consuls, the annually elected presidents of the state. Yet it avoided
the characteristic weaknesses of militia troops, for the frequency of the
Roman wars and the length of the period of liability for service assured
the presence of a large quota of veterans in each levy and maintained a
high standard of military efficiency. Furthermore, the consuls, if not
always good generals, were generally experienced soldiers, for a record of
ten campaigns was required of the candidate for public office. Likewise
their subordinates, the military tribunes, were veterans, having seen some
five and others ten years’ service. But the factor that contributed above
all else to the success of the Roman armies was their iron discipline. The
consular _imperium_ gave its holder absolute power over the lives of the
soldiers in the field, and death was the penalty for neglect of duty,
disobedience, or cowardice. The most striking proof of the discipline of
the Roman armies is that after every march they were required to construct
a fortified camp, laid out according to fixed rules and protected by a
ditch, a wall of earth, and a palisade for which they carried the stakes.
No matter how strenuous their labors had been, they never neglected this
task, in striking contrast to the Greek citizen armies which could not be
induced to construct works of this kind. The fortified camp rendered the
Romans safe from surprise attacks, allowed them to choose their own time
for joining battle, and gave them a secure refuge after a defeat. It
played a very large part in the operations of the Roman armies, especially
such as were conducted in hostile territory.

                               CHAPTER VII

                        EARLY RELIGION AND SOCIETY

                         I. EARLY ROMAN RELIGION

*Animism.* The Roman religion of the historic republic was a composite of
beliefs and ceremonies of various origins. The basic stratum of this
system was the Roman element: religious ideas that the Romans probably
held in common with the other Latin and Italian peoples. Although traces
of a belief in magic; and of the worship of natural objects and animals,
survived from earlier stages of religious development, it was “animism”
that formed the basis of what we may call the characteristic Roman
religious ideas. Animism is the belief that natural objects are the abode
of spirits more powerful than man, and that all natural forces and
processes are the expression of the activity of similar spirits. When such
powers or _numina_ were conceived as personalities with definite names
they became ‘gods,’ _dei_. And because the primitive Roman gods were the
spirits of an earlier age, for a long time the Romans worshipped them
without images or temples. But each divinity was regarded as residing in a
certain locality and only there could his worship be conducted. The true
Roman gods lacked human attributes: their power was admitted but they
inspired no personal devotion. Consequently, Roman theology consisted in
the knowledge of these deities and their powers and of the ceremonial acts
necessary to influence them.

*The importance of ritual.* The Romans, while recognizing their dependence
upon divine powers, considered that their relation to them was of the
nature of a contract. If man observed all proper ritual in his worship,
the god was bound to act propitiously: if the god granted man’s desire he
must be rewarded with an offering. If man failed in his duty, the god
punished him: if the god refused to hearken, man was not bound to continue
his worship. Thus Roman religion consisted essentially in the performance
of ritual, wherein the correctness of the performance was the chief

But since the power of the gods could affect the community as well as the
individual, it was necessary for the state to observe with the same
scrupulous care as the latter its obligations towards them. The knowledge
of these obligations and how they were to be performed constituted the
sacred law of Rome, which became a very important part of the public law.
This sacred law was guarded by the priesthood, and here we have the source
of the power of the pontiffs in the Roman state. The pontiffs not only
preserved the sacred traditions and customs but they also added to them by
interpretation and the establishment of new precedents. The pontiffs
themselves performed or supervised the performance of all public acts of a
purely religious nature, and likewise prescribed the ritual to be observed
by the magistrate in initiating public acts.

On the other hand the power of the augurs rested upon the belief that the
gods issued their warnings to men through natural signs, and that it was
possible to discover the attitude of the gods towards any contemplated
human action by the observation of natural phenomena. For the augurs were
the guardians of the science of the interpretation of such signs or
auspices in so far as the state was concerned. The magistrate initiating
any important public act had to take the auspices, and if the augurs
declared any flaw therein or held that any unfavorable omen had occurred
during the performance of the said act, they could suspend the
magistrate’s action or render it invalid.

So we see that the Roman priests were not intermediaries between the
individual Roman and his gods, but rather, as has been pointed out before,
officers in charge of one branch of the public administration. They were
responsible for the due observance of the public religious acts, just as
the head of the household supervised the performance of the family cult.

*The cult of the household.* It is in the cult of the household that we
can best see the true Roman religious ideas. The chief divinities of the
household were: Janus, the spirit of the doorway; Vesta, the spirit of the
fire on the hearth; the Penates, the guardian spirits of the
store-chamber; the Lar Familiaris, which we may perhaps regard as the
spirit of the cultivated land; and the Genius of the head of the house,
originally, it is probable, the spirit of his generative powers, which
became symbolic of the life of the family as a whole.

The Romans, strictly speaking, did not practice ancestor-worship. But they
believed that the spirits of the departed were affected by the
ministrations of the living, and, in case these were omitted, might
exercise a baneful influence upon the fortunes of their descendants. Hence
came the obligation to remember the dead with offerings at stated times in
the year.

*The cult of the fields.* As early Rome was essentially an agricultural
community, most of its divinities and festivals had to do with the various
phases of agricultural life. Festivals of the sowing, the harvest, the
vineyard and the like, were annually celebrated in common, at fixed
seasons, by the households of the various _pagi_.

*The state cult.* The public or state cult of Rome consisted mainly in the
performance of certain of the rites of the household and of the _pagi_ by
or for the people as a whole. The state cult of Vesta and of the Penates,
as well as the festival of the Ambarvalia, the annual solemn purification
of the fields, are of this nature. But, in addition, the state religion
included the worship of certain divinities whose personalities and powers
were conceived with greater distinctness. At the beginning of the Republic
the chief of these gods were the triad Juppiter, Juno, and Minerva.
Juppiter Optimus Maximus, called also Capitolinus from his place of
worship, was originally a god of the sky. But, adorned with various other
attributes, he was finally worshipped as the chief protecting divinity of
the Roman State. Juno was the female counterpart of Juppiter and was the
great patron goddess of women. Another important deity was Mars, at one
time an agricultural divinity, who in the state religion developed into
the god of warlike, “martial,” activities.

*Foreign influences.* It was in connection with the state worship that
foreign influences were first felt. Indeed, it is probable that the
association of Juppiter with Juno and Minerva was due to contact with
Etruria. It was from the Etruscans also that the Romans derived their
knowledge of temple construction, the earliest example of which was
probably the temple of Juppiter on the Capitoline said to have been
dedicated in 508 B. C. The use of images was likewise due to Etruscan
influences, although here as in other respects Greek ideas may have been
at work. In general the Romans did not regard the gods of strange people
with hostility, but rather admitted their power and sought to conciliate
them. Thus they frequently transferred to Rome the gods of states that
they had conquered or absorbed. Other foreign divinities, too, on various
grounds were added to the circle of the divine protectors of the Roman

*Religion and morality.* From the foregoing sketch it will be seen that
the Roman religion did not have profound moral and elevating influences.
Its hold upon the Roman people was chiefly due to the fact that it
symbolized the unity of the various groups whose members participated in
the same worship; i. e. the unity of the family and the unity of the
state. Nevertheless, the idea of obligation inherent in the Roman
conception of the relation between gods and men and the stress laid upon
the exact performance of ritual inevitably developed among the Romans a
strong sense of duty, a moral factor of considerable value. Further, the
power of precedent and tradition in their religion helped to develop and
strengthen the conservatism so characteristic of the Roman people.

                         II. EARLY ROMAN SOCIETY

*The household.* The cornerstone of the Roman social structure was the
household (_familia_). That is to say, the state was an association of
households, and it was the individual’s position in a household that
determined his status in the early community. The Roman household was a
larger unit than our family. It comprised the father or head of the
household (_pater familias_), his wife, his sons with their wives and
children, if they had such, his unmarried daughters, and the household

*The patria potestas.* The _pater familias_ possessed authority over all
other members of the household. His power over the free members was called
_patria potestas_, “paternal authority”; over the slaves it was
_dominium_, “lordship.” This paternal authority was in theory unrestricted
and gave the father the right to inflict the death penalty upon those
under his power. But, in practice, the exercise of the _patria potestas_
was limited by custom and by the habit of consulting the older male
members of the household before any important action was taken.

The household estate (_res familiaris_) was administered by the head of
the household. At the death of a _pater familias_ his sons in turn became
the head of _familiae_, dividing the estate. The mother and unmarried
daughters, if surviving, now passed into the power of a son or the next
nearest male relative of the deceased. Although the Roman women were thus
continually in the position of wards, they nevertheless took a prominent
part in the life of the household and did not live the restricted and
secluded lives of the women of Athens and the Greek cities of Asia.

Membership in the household was reckoned only through male descent, for
daughters when they married passed out of the _manus_ or “power” of the
head of their own household into that of the head of the household to
which their husbands belonged.

*Education.* The training of the Roman youth at this time was mainly of a
practical nature. There was as yet little interest in intellectual
pursuits and no Roman literature had been developed. The art of writing,
it is true, had long been known and was employed in the keeping of records
and accounts. Such instruction as there was, was given by the father to
his sons. It consisted probably of athletic exercises, of practical
training in agricultural pursuits, in the traditions of the state and of
the Roman heroes, and in the conduct of public business through attendance
at places where this was transacted.

At the age of eighteen the young Roman entered upon a new footing in
relation to the state. He was now liable to military service and qualified
to attend the _comitia_. In these respects he was emancipated from the
paternal authority. If he attained a magistracy, his father obeyed him
like any other citizen.

The discipline and respect for authority which was acquired in the family
life was carried with him by the Roman into his public relations, and this
sense of duty was perhaps the strongest quality in the Roman character. It
was supplemented by the characteristic Roman seriousness (_gravitas_),
developed under the stress of the long struggles for existence waged by
the early Roman state. In the Roman the highest virtue was piety
(_pietas_), which meant the dutiful performance of all one’s obligations,
to the gods, to one’s kinsmen, and to the state. The Romans were
preëminently a practical people, and their practical virtues laid the
foundation for their political greatness.

*The mos maiorum.* We have already referred to the conservatism of the
Romans, and have seen how this characteristic was affected by their
religious beliefs. It was further strengthened by the respect paid to
parental authority and by the absence of intellectual training. In public
affairs this conservatism was shown by the influence of ancestral
custom—the _mos maiorum_. In the Roman government this became a very
potent factor, since the Roman constitution was not a single comprehensive
document but consisted of a number of separate enactments supplemented by
custom and precedent and interpreted in the light thereof.

                               CHAPTER VIII

                         CARTHAGE; 265–201 B. C.

                 I. THE MEDITERRANEAN WORLD IN 265 B. C.

*Rome a world power.* With the unification of the Italian peninsula Rome
entered upon a new era in her foreign relations. She was now one of the
great powers of the Mediterranean world and was inevitably drawn into the
vortex of world politics. She could no longer rest indifferent to what
went on beyond the confines of Italy. She assumed new responsibilities,
opened up new diplomatic relations, developed a new outlook and new
ambitions. At this time the other first-class powers were, in the east,
the three Hellenistic monarchies—Egypt, Syria, and Macedon,—which had
emerged from the ruins of the empire of Alexander the Great, and, in the
west, the city state of Carthage.

*Egypt.* The kingdom of Egypt, ruled by the dynasty of the Ptolemies,
comprised the ancient kingdom of Egypt in the Nile valley, Cyrene, the
coast of Syria, Cyprus, and a number of cities on the shores and islands
of the Aegean Sea. In Egypt the Ptolemies ruled as foreigners over the
subject native population. They maintained their authority by a small
mercenary army recruited chiefly from Macedonians and Greeks, and by a
strongly centralized administration, of which the offices were in Greek
hands. As the ruler was the sole proprietor of the land of Egypt, the
native Egyptians, the majority of whom were peasants who gained their
livelihood by tilling the rich soil of the Nile valley, were for the most
part tenants of the crown, and the restrictions and obligations to which
they were subject rendered their status little better than that of serfs.
A highly developed but oppressive system of taxation and government
monopolies, largely an inheritance from previous dynasties, enabled the
Ptolemies to wring from their subjects the revenues with which they
maintained a brilliant court life at their capital, Alexandria, and
financed their imperial policy.

  [Illustration: The Expansion of Rome in the Mediterranean World 265–44
  B. C.]

The aim of this policy was to secure Egyptian domination in the Aegean,
among the states of Southern Greece, and in Phoenicia, whose value lay in
the forests of the Lebanon mountains. To carry it into effect the
Ptolemies were obliged to support a navy which would give them the command
of the sea in the eastern Mediterranean. However, the occupation of their
outlying possessions brought Egypt into perpetual conflict with Macedon
and Syria, whose rulers made continued efforts to oust the Ptolemies from
the Aegean and from the Syrian coast.

*Syria.* Syria, the kingdom of the Seleucids, with its capital at Antioch
on the Orontes, was by far the largest of the Hellenistic monarchies in
extent and population, and in wealth it ranked next to Egypt. It stretched
from the Aegean to the borders of India, and included the southern part of
Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, Persia, and northern Syria. But the very size of
this kingdom was a source of weakness, because of the distances which
separated its various provinces and the heterogeneous racial elements
which it embraced. The power of the dynasty was upheld, as in Egypt, by a
mercenary army, and also by the Greek cities which had been founded in
large numbers by Alexander the Great and his successors. However, these
islands of Greek culture did not succeed to any great extent in
Hellenizing the native populations which remained in a state of
subjection, indifferent or hostile to their conquerors. Furthermore the
strength of the Seleucid empire was sapped by repeated revolts in its
eastern provinces and dissensions between the members of the dynasty

*Macedon.* The kingdom of Macedon, ruled by the house of the Antigonids,
was the smallest of the three in extent, population and resources, but
possessed an internal strength and solidarity lacking in the others. For
in Macedon, the Antigonids, by preserving the traditional character of the
patriarchal monarchy, kept alive the national spirit of the Macedonians
and made them loyal to the dynasty. They also retained a military system
which fostered the traditions of the times of Philip II and Alexander, and
which, since the Macedonian people had not lost its martial character,
furnished a small but efficient national army. Outside of Macedon, the
Antigonids held sway over Thessaly and the eastern part of Greece as far
south as the Isthmus of Corinth. Their attempts to dominate the whole
peninsula were thwarted by the opposition of the Aetolian and Achaian
Confederacies, who were supported in this by the Ptolemies.

*The minor Greek states.* In addition to these three great monarchies we
should note as powers of minor importance the Confederacies mentioned
before, the kingdom of Pergamon on the northwest coast of Asia Minor, the
island republic of Rhodes, which was a naval power of considerable
strength, and the kingdom of Syracuse in Sicily, the last of the
independent Greek cities on that island.

*Carthage.* The fourth world power was Carthage, a city state situated on
the northern coast of Africa, opposite the western end of the island of
Sicily, which had created for itself an empire that controlled the western
half of the Mediterranean. Carthage was founded as a colony of the
Phoenician city of Tyre about 814 B. C. In the sixth century, with the
passing of the cities of Phoenicia under the domination, first of Babylon,
and later of the Persian Empire, their colonies in the western
Mediterranean severed political ties with their mother land and had
henceforth to maintain themselves by their own efforts.

*The Carthaginian Empire.* Their weakness was the opportunity of Carthage,
which, in the sixth and following centuries, brought under her control the
other Phoenician settlements, in addition to founding new colonies of her
own. She also extended her sway over the native Libyan population in the
vicinity of Carthage. These Libyans were henceforth tributary and under
the obligation of rendering military service to the Carthaginians: similar
obligations rested upon the dependent Phoenician allies. In the third
century the Carthaginian empire included the northern coast of Africa from
the Gulf of Syrtis westwards beyond the Straits of Gibraltar, the southern
and eastern coasts of Spain as far north as Cape Nao, Corsica, Sardinia,
and Sicily, with the exception of Messana in the extreme northeast and the
Kingdom of Syracuse in the southeastern part of the island. The smaller
islands of the western Mediterranean were likewise under Carthaginian

*The government of Carthage.* At this time the government of Carthage
itself was republican in form and strongly aristocratic in tone. There was
a primary Assembly for all Carthaginian citizens who could satisfy certain
age and property requirements. This body annually elected the two chief
magistrates or suffetes, and likewise the generals. For the former
qualifications of wealth and merit were prescribed. There was also a
Senate, and a Council, whose organization and powers are uncertain. The
Council, the smaller body, prepared the matters to be discussed in the
Senate, which was consulted by the Suffetes on all matters and usually
gave the final decision, although the Assembly was supposed to be
consulted in case the Senate and Suffetes disagreed. The Suffetes
exercised judicial, financial and religious functions, and presided over
the council and senate. The Carthaginian aristocracy, like that of Venice,
was a group of wealthy families whose fortunes, made in commercial
ventures, were handed down for generations in the same houses. From this
circle came the members of the council and senate, who directed the policy
of the state. The aristocracy itself was split into factions, struggling
to control the offices and through them the public policy, which they
frequently subordinated to their own particular interests.

*The commercial policy of Carthage.* The prosperity of Carthage depended
upon her empire and the maintenance of a commercial monopoly in the
western Mediterranean. This policy of commercial exclusiveness had caused
Carthage to oppose Greek colonial expansion in Spain, Sardinia and Sicily,
and had led to treaties which placed definite limits upon the trading
ventures of the Romans and their allies, and of the Greeks from Massalia
and her colonies in France and northern Spain.

*Carthaginian naval and **military** strength.* Such a policy could only
be maintained by a strong naval power, and, in fact, Carthage was the
undisputed mistress of the seas west of the straits of Messana. Unlike
Rome, however, Carthage had no organized national army but relied upon an
army of mercenaries recruited from all quarters of the Mediterranean,
among such warlike peoples as the Gauls, Spaniards, Libyans and Greeks.
Although brave and skillful fighters, these, like all troops of the type,
were liable to become dispirited and mutinous under continued reverses or
when faced by shortage of pay and plunder.

Such was the state with which Rome was now brought face to face by the
conquest of South Italy and which was the first power she was to challenge
in a war for dominion beyond the peninsula. As we have seen, Rome had long
ere this come into contact with this great maritime people.(4) Two
treaties, one perhaps dating from the close of the sixth century, and the
other from 348 B. C., regulated commercial intercourse between the two
states and their respective subjects and allies. A third, concluded in
279, had provided for military coöperation against Pyrrhus, but this
alliance had ceased after the defeat of the latter, and with the removal
of this common enemy a feeling of coolness or mutual suspicion seems to
have arisen between the erstwhile allies.

                  II. THE FIRST PUNIC WAR: 264–241 B. C.

*The origins of the war.* The first war between Rome and Carthage arose
out of the political situation in the island of Sicily. There the town of
Messana was occupied by the Mamertini, a band of Campanian mercenaries,
who had been in the service of Syracuse but who had deserted and seized
this town about 284 B. C. Because of their perpetual acts of brigandage
they were a menace to their neighbors, the Syracusans. The latter, now
under an energetic ruler, Hiero, who had assumed the title of king, in 265
succeeded in blockading Messana and its ultimate capture seemed certain.
In despair the Mamertini sought help from the Carthaginians who sent a
garrison to Messana, for they looked with jealousy upon any extension of
Syracusan territory. However, the majority of the Mamertini sought to be
taken under the protection of Rome and appealed to the Roman Senate for
aid. The senators on the one hand saw that to espouse the cause of the
Mamertini would be to provoke a war with Carthage, an eventuality before
which they shrank, but on the other hand they recognized that the
Carthaginian occupation of Messana would give them the control of the
Straits of Messana and constitute a perpetual threat against southern
Italy. The strength of these conflicting considerations made them
unwilling to assume responsibility for a decision and they referred the
matter to the Assembly of the Centuries. Here the people, elated,
apparently, by their recent victorious wars in Italy, and led on by hopes
of pecuniary advantage to be derived from the war, decided to admit the
Mamertini to the Roman alliance. One consul, Appius Claudius, was sent
with a small force to relieve the town (264).

The Mamertini induced the Carthaginian garrison to withdraw, and then
admitted the Roman force which crossed the straits with the aid of vessels
furnished by their Greek allies in Italy. Thereupon the Carthaginians made
an alliance with the Syracusans, but the Romans defeated each of them.

*Alliance of Rome and Syracuse.* In the next year the Romans sent a larger
army into Sicily to attack Syracuse and met with such success that Hiero
became alarmed, and, making peace upon easy terms, concluded an alliance
with them for fifteen years.(5) Aided by Hiero the Romans now began an
attack upon Agrigentum, the Carthaginian stronghold which threatened
Syracuse. When this was taken in 262, they determined to drive the
Carthaginians from the whole island.

*Rome builds a fleet.* However, Roman operations in Sicily could only be
conducted at considerable risk and the coasts of Italy remained exposed to
continued raids as long as Carthage had undisputed control of the sea.
Consequently the Romans decided to build a fleet that would put an end to
the Carthaginian naval supremacy. They constructed 120 vessels, of which
100 were of the type called quinquiremes, the regular first class
battleships of the day. The complement of each was three hundred rowers
and one hundred and twenty fighting men.(6) With this armament, and some
vessels from the Roman allies, the consul, Gaius Duilius, put to sea in
260 B. C. and won a decisive battle off Mylae on the north coast of
Sicily. As a result of this battle in the next year the Romans were able
to occupy Corsica and attack Sardinia, and finding it impossible to force
a decision in Sicily, they were in a position to attack Carthage in Africa

*The Roman invasion of Africa, 256 B. C.* Another naval victory, off
Ecnomus, on the south coast of Sicily, cleared the way for the successful
landing of an army under the consul Marcus Atilius Regulus. He defeated
the Carthaginians in battle and reduced them to such extremities that they
sought to make peace. But the terms which Atilius proposed were so harsh
that in desperation they resumed hostilities. At this juncture there
arrived at Carthage, with other mercenaries, a Spartan soldier of fortune,
Xantippus, who reorganized the Carthaginian army. By the skilful use of
cavalry and war elephants he inflicted a crushing defeat upon the Romans
and took Atilius prisoner. A Roman fleet rescued the remnants of the
expedition, but was almost totally lost in a storm off the southern
Sicilian coast (255).

*The war in Sicily, 254–241 B. C.* The Romans again concentrated their
efforts against the Carthaginian strongholds in Sicily, which they
attacked from land and sea. In 254 they took the important city of
Panormus, and the Carthaginians were soon confined to the western
extremity of the island. There, however, they successfully maintained
themselves in Drepana and Lilybaeum. Meantime the Romans encountered a
series of disasters on the sea. In 253 they lost a number of ships on the
voyage from Lilybaeum to Rome, in 250 the consul Publius Clodius suffered
a severe defeat in a naval battle at Drepana, and in the next year a third
fleet was destroyed by a storm off Phintias in Sicily.

In 247 a new Carthaginian general, Hamilcar Barca, took command in Sicily
and infused new life into the Carthaginian forces. From the citadel of
Hercte first, and later from Eryx, he continually harassed the Romans not
only in Sicily but even on the coast of Italy. Finally, in 242 B. C., when
their public treasury was too exhausted to build another fleet, the Romans
by private subscription equipped 200 vessels, which undertook the blockade
of Lilybaeum and Drepana. A Carthaginian relief expedition was destroyed
off the Aegates Islands, and it was impossible for their forces, now
completely cut off in Sicily, to prolong the struggle. Carthage was
compelled to conclude peace in 241 B. C.

*The terms of peace.* Carthage surrendered to Rome her remaining
possessions in Sicily, with the islands between Sicily and Italy, besides
agreeing to pay an indemnity of 3200 talents (about $3,500,000) in twenty
years. For the Romans the long struggle had been very costly. At sea alone
they had lost in the neighborhood of 500 ships and 200,000 men. But again
the Roman military system had proven its worth against a mercenary army,
and the excellence of the Roman soldiery had more than compensated for the
weakness in the custom of annually changing commanders. Moreover, the
military federation which Rome had created in Italy had stood the test of
a long and weary war, without any disloyalty being manifest among her
allies. On the other hand, the losses of Carthage had been even more
heavy, and, most serious of all, her sea power was broken and Rome
controlled the western Mediterranean.

*The revolt of the Carthaginian mercenaries.* Weakened as she was after
the contest with Rome, Carthage became immediately thereafter involved in
a life and death struggle with her mercenary troops. These, upon their
return from Sicily, made demands upon the state which the latter found
hard to meet and consequently refused. Thereupon the mercenaries mutinied
and, joining with the native Libyans and the inhabitants of the subject
Phoenician cities (Libyphoenicians), entered upon a war for the
destruction of Carthage. After a struggle of more than three years, in
which the most shocking barbarities were practised on either side and in
which they were brought face to face with utter ruin, the Carthaginians
under the leadership of Hamilcar Barca stamped out the revolt (238 B. C.).

*Rome acquires Sardinia.* Up to this point Rome had looked on without
interference, but now, when Carthage sought to recover Sardinia from the
mutinous garrison there, she declared war. Carthage could not think of
accepting the challenge and bought peace at the price of Sardinia and
Corsica and 1200 talents ($1,500,000). This unjustifiable act of the
Romans rankled sore in the memories of the Carthaginians.

             III. THE ILLYRIAN AND GALLIC WARS: 229–219 B. C.

*The first Illyrian war: 229–228 B. C.* In assuming control of the
relations of her allies with foreign states, Rome had assumed
responsibility for protecting their interests, and it was the fulfillment
of this obligation which brought the Roman arms to the eastern shores of
the Adriatic.

Under a king named Agron an extensive but loosely organized state had been
formed among the Illyrians, a semibarbarous people inhabiting the Adriatic
coast to the north of Epirus. These Illyrians were allied with the kingdom
of Macedonia and sided with the latter in its wars with Epirus and the
Aetolian and Achaean Confederacies. In 231 Agron died and was succeeded by
his queen Teuta, who continued his policy of attacking the cities on the
west coast of Greece and practising piracy on a large scale in the
Adriatic and Ionian seas. Among those who suffered thereby were the south
Italian cities, which in 230 B. C. as the result of fresh and more serious
outrages appealed to Rome for redress. Thereupon the Romans demanded
satisfaction from Teuta and, upon their demands being contemptuously
rejected, they declared war.

*The Romans cross the Adriatic: 229 B. C.* In the next spring, 229 B. C.,
the Romans sent against the Illyrians a fleet and an army of such strength
that the latter could offer but little resistance and in the next year
were forced to sue for peace. Teuta had to give up a large part of her
territory, to bind herself not to send a fleet into the Ionian sea, and to
pay tribute to Rome. Corcyra, Epidamnus, Apollonia, and other cities
became Roman allies.

The fact that Rome first crossed the Adriatic to prosecute a war against
the Illyrians placed her in hostility to their ally, Macedonia, the
greatest of the Greek states. And although Macedonia had been unable to
offer aid to the Illyrians because of dynastic troubles that had followed
the death of King Demetrius (229 B. C.), the Macedonians regarded with
jealous suspicion Rome’s success and the establishment of a Roman sphere
of influence east of the Adriatic. Conversely, the war had established
friendly relations and coöperation between Rome and the foes of Macedon,
the Aetolian and Achaean Confederacies, which rejoiced in the accession of
such a powerful friend. The way was thus paved for the participation of
Rome, as a partizan of the anti-Macedonian faction, in the struggles which
had so long divided the Greek world.

*The second Illyrian war: 220–219 B. C.* The revival of Macedonian
influence led indirectly to Rome’s second Illyrian war. The alliance of
Antigonus Doson with the Achaean Confederacy and his conquest of Sparta
(222 B. C.) united almost the whole of Greece under Macedonian suzerainty.
Thereupon Demetrius of Pharos, a despot whose rule Rome had established in
Corcyra, went over to Macedonia, attacked the cities allied with Rome, and
sent a piratical squadron into Greek waters (220 B. C.). Rome, now
threatened with a second Carthaginian War, acted with energy. Macedonia,
under Philip V, the successor of Antigonus Doson, was involved in a war
with the Aetolians and their allies. Deprived of support from this quarter
Demetrius was speedily driven to take refuge in flight. His subjects
surrendered and Rome took possession of his chief fortresses, Pharos and

*War with the Gauls in North Italy: 225–22 B. C.* In the interval between
these Illyrian Wars Rome became involved in a serious conflict with the
Gallic tribes settled in the Po valley. For about half a century this
people had lived at peace with Rome, ceasing their raids into the
peninsula and becoming a prosperous agricultural and pastoral people. It
is claimed that they became alarmed at the Roman assignment of the public
land on their southern borders, called the Ager Gallicus, to individual
colonists in 233 B. C., and that this caused them to take up arms.
However, this territory had been Roman since 283 B. C. and its settlement
could hardly have been interpreted as an hostile act. More probable is it
that the cause of the new Gallic invasion was the coming of fresh swarms
from across the Alps, which some of the Cisalpine Gauls, who had forgotten
the defeats of the previous generation, perhaps invited, and certainly
joined, for the sake of plunder. In 238 such a band of Transalpines
crossed the Roman frontier and penetrated as far as Ariminum, but serious
dissensions broke out within their own ranks and they had to withdraw.
There was no further inroad attempted until 225 B. C.

*The Gallic invasion of 225 B. C.* In that year a formidable horde, called
the Gasatae, crossed the Alps and, joined by the Boii and Insubres,
prepared to invade Roman territory with a force of 50,000 foot and 20,000
mounted men. The Romans and Italians were seriously alarmed, for the
memory of the fatal day of the Allia had never been effaced. Rome called
for a military census of her whole federation. The lists showed 700,000
infantry and 70,000 cavalry. Expecting the Gauls to advance into Umbria
the Romans stationed an army under one consul at Ariminum. The other
consul was sent to Sardinia, possibly from fear of a Carthaginian attack,
while the defence of Etruria was left to a force of Roman allies.
Alliances were concluded with the Cenomani, a Gallic tribe to the north of
the Po, and with the Veneti.

Avoiding the army at Ariminum the Gauls crossed the Apennines into
Etruria, defeated the Roman allies and plundered the country. But the
consul from Ariminum hastened to the rescue, the army in Sardinia was
recalled, and the Gauls began to withdraw northwards to place their spoils
in safety. The Romans followed and as the army from Sardinia landed to the
north of the foe and cut off their retreat, the latter were surrounded and
brought to bay at Telamon. They were annihilated in a bloody battle won by
the superiority of the Roman tactics and generalship. One of the Roman
consuls fell on the field of battle.

*War against the Boii and Insubres: 224–222 B. C.* Italy was saved, and
now the Romans decided to expel the Boii and the Insubres from the Po
valley as a penalty for their conduct and to prevent future invasions of
this sort by occupying their territory. In three hard-fought campaigns the
Romans, while they failed to exterminate or dispossess these peoples,
reduced them to subjection, forcing them to surrender part of their
territory and to pay tribute. But the Romans did not conquer without
suffering heavy losses, and their ultimate success was to a considerable
degree due to the coöperation of the Cenomani.

*The Roman frontier reaches the Alps.* Between 221 and 219 the Romans
subdued the peoples of the Adriatic coast as far as the peninsula of
Istria. Thus, with the exception of Liguria and the upper valley of the
Po, all Italy to the south of the Alps was brought within the sphere of
Roman influence. The Latin colonies Placentia and Cremona were founded in
the territory taken from the Insubres to secure the Roman authority in
this region, but Hannibal’s invasion of 217 B. C. found the Cisalpine
Gauls ready to revolt against the Roman yoke.

                 IV. THE SECOND PUNIC WAR: 218–202 B. C.

*Carthaginian expansion in Spain.* As we have seen, the Roman seizure of
Sardinia and Corsica and the exaction of a fresh indemnity in 238 left a
longing for revenge in the hearts of the dominant faction at Carthage.
This faction was led by Hamilcar Barca, the victor of the mercenary war,
who saw in Spain the opportunity for repairing the fortunes of his state,
for compensating Carthage for the loss of Sicily and Sardinia, and for
developing an army that would enable him to face the Romans on an equal
footing. The Phoenician subjects of Carthage were hard pressed by the
attacks of the native Iberian peoples when he secured for himself the
command of the Carthaginian forces in the peninsula (238 B. C.). By
skilful generalship and able diplomacy he extended the Carthaginian
dominion over many of the Spanish tribes, and created a strong army,
devoted to himself and his family.

*Hasdrubal.* Consequently, when Hamilcar died in battle in 229 B. C. he
was succeeded in the command by his son-in-law Hasdrubal, who carried on
his predecessor’s policy. He it was who founded the town of New Carthage
(Carthagena) to serve as the center of Carthaginian influence in Spain.
The annual revenue of from 2000 to 3000 talents ($2,400,000 to $3,000,000)
derived from the Spanish silver mines readily induced the Carthaginians to
acquiesce in the almost regal position that the Barcidae enjoyed in Spain.
Thus the latter could carry out their plans without interference from the
home government.

*Hasdrubal’s treaty with Rome, 226 B. C.* But the Carthaginian advance in
Spain aroused the alarm of the Greeks of Massalia, and of her colonies,
Emporiae and Rhodae, whose commercial interests and independence were
thereby endangered. Now the Massaliots had long been in alliance with
Rome,—they were said to have contributed to the ransom which the Romans
paid to the Gauls in 387 B. C.,—and there seems little doubt that they
secured the intervention of Rome on their behalf. In 226 B. C. the Romans
concluded a treaty with Hasdrubal which bound him not to send an armed
force north of the river Ebro. A few years later the Romans entered into a
defensive alliance with the Spanish town of Saguntum, which lay to the
south of the Ebro, but which was not subject to Carthage. The motive of
the Romans in making this alliance is obscure, but it was probably in
answer to a request from the Saguntines.

*Hannibal.* Upon the assassination of Hasdrubal in 221, Hannibal, son of
Hamilcar, then in his twenty-sixth year, was appointed to the command in
Spain. Thereupon, relying upon the army which his predecessors and he
himself had built up in Spain and upon the resources of the Carthaginian
dominions there, he resolved to take a step which would inevitably lead to
war with Rome, namely, to attack Saguntum.

*The siege of Saguntum: 219 B. C.* Using as a pretext a dispute between
the Saguntines and some of his Spanish allies, he laid siege to the town
in 219 B. C. and captured it after a siege of eight months. A Roman
embassy appeared at Carthage to demand the surrender of Hannibal and his
staff as the price of averting war with Rome. But the anti-Roman party was
in the majority and the Carthaginian senate accepted the responsibility
for the act of their general, whatever its consequences might be. The
Roman ambassador replied with the declaration of war.

*The Roman plan of campaign.* The most fateful result of the First Punic
War had been the destruction of the maritime supremacy of Carthage. She
never subsequently thought of contesting Rome’s dominion on the sea, and
consequently, while extending her empire in Spain and Africa she had
neglected to rebuild her navy. This fact was to be of decisive importance
in the coming struggle. Rome, relying upon it, planned an offensive war.
One army, under the consul Publius Cornelius Scipio, was to proceed to
Spain, supported by the fleet of Massalia, and to detain Hannibal there,
while a second army, under the other consul, Tiberius Sempronius, was
assembled in Sicily to embark for Africa.

*The plan of Hannibal.* But the Romans had not taken into account the
military genius of Hannibal, whose audacious plan of carrying the war into
Italy upset their calculations. Realizing that he could not transport his
army to Italy by sea, he was prepared to cross the Pyrenees, traverse
southern Gaul and, crossing the Alps, descend upon Italy from the north.
Among the Gauls of the Po valley he hoped to find recruits for his army,
and expected that, once he was in Italy, the Roman allies would seize this
opportunity of recovering their independence. Deprived of their support
Rome would have to yield. His ultimate object was not the destruction of
Rome, but the breaking up of the Roman federation in Italy, and the
reduction of the Roman state to the limits attained in 340 B. C. This
purpose is apparent from the plan of campaign which he followed after his
arrival in Italy.

*Hannibal’s march into Italy.* Hannibal’s preparations were more advanced
than those of the Romans and, early in the spring of 218 B. C., he set out
from New Carthage for the Pyrenees. Forcing a passage there, he left the
passes under guard and resumed his march with a picked army of Spaniards
and Numidians. His brother Hasdrubal was left in Spain to collect
reinforcements and follow with them. Hannibal arrived at the Rhone and
crossed it by the time that Scipio reached Massalia on his way to Spain.
The latter, failing to force Hannibal to give battle on the banks of the
Rhone, returned in person to Italy, but decided to send his army, under
the command of his brother, to Spain, a decision which had the most
serious consequences for Carthage. Meanwhile Hannibal continued his march
and, overcoming the opposition of the peoples whose territory he
traversed, as well as the more serious obstacles of bad roads, dangerous
passes, cold, and hunger, he crossed the Alps and descended into the plain
of North Italy in the autumn of 218, after a march of five months.(7) His
army was reduced to 20,000 infantry and 6,000 cavalry. Practically all his
elephants perished.

Hannibal at once found support and an opportunity to rest his weary troops
among the Insubres and the Boii, the latter of whom had already taken up
arms against the Romans. At the news of his arrival in Italy Sempronius
was at once recalled from Sicily, but Scipio who had anticipated him
ventured to attack Hannibal with the forces under his command. He was
beaten in a skirmish at the river Ticinus, and Hannibal was able to cross
the Po. Upon the arrival of Sempronius, both consuls attacked the
Carthaginians at the Trebia, only to receive a crushing defeat (December,

*Hannibal invades the peninsula: 217 B. C.* Hannibal wintered in north
Italy and in the spring, with an army raised to 50,000 by the addition of
Celtic recruits, prepared to invade the peninsula. The Romans divided
their forces, stationing one consul at Ariminum and the other at Arretium
in Etruria. Hannibal chose to cross the Apennines and the marshes of
Etruria, where he surprised and annihilated the army of the consul
Flaminius at the Trasimene Lake (217 B. C.). Flaminius himself was among
the slain. This victory was soon followed by a second in which the cavalry
of the army of the second consul was cut to pieces. Hannibal began his
attempt to detach the Italians from the Roman alliance by releasing his
Italian prisoners to carry word to their cities that he had come to set
them free. Thereupon he marched into Samnium, ravaging the Roman territory
as he went.

The Romans in great consternation chose a dictator, Quintus Fabius
Maximus. Fabius recognized the superiority of Hannibal’s generalship and
of the Carthaginian cavalry, and consequently refused to be drawn into a
general engagement. But he followed the enemy closely and continually
threatened an attack, so that Hannibal could not divide his forces for
purposes of raiding and foraging. Still he was able to penetrate into
Campania and thence to recross the mountains into Apulia, where he decided
to establish winter quarters. The strategy of Fabius, which had not
prevented the enemy from securing supplies and devastating wide areas,
grew so irksome to the Romans that they violated all precedent in
appointing Marcus Minucius, the master of the horse and an advocate of
aggressive tactics, as a second dictator. But when the latter risked an
engagement, he was badly beaten and only prompt assistance from Fabius
saved his army from destruction.

*Cannae: 216 B. C.* Next spring found the Romans and Carthaginians facing
each other in Apulia. The Romans were led by the new consuls, Lucius
Aemilius Paulus and Gaius Terentius Varro. The over-confidence of Varro
led to the battle of Cannae, one of the greatest battles of antiquity and
the bloodiest of all Roman defeats. Of 50,000 Romans and allies, about
25,000 were slain and 10,000 captured by the numerically inferior
Carthaginians. The consequences of the battle were serious. For the first
time Rome’s allies showed serious signs of disloyalty. In Apulia and in
Bruttium Hannibal found many adherents; ambassadors from Philip of Macedon
appeared at his headquarters, the prelude to an alliance in the next year;
Syracuse also, where Hiero the friend of Rome had just died, wavered and
finally went over to Carthage; and, most serious of all, Capua opened its
gates to Hannibal.

Still the courage of the Romans never wavered. They at once levied a new
force to replace the army destroyed at Cannae. The central Italian allies,
the Greek cities in the south, and the Latins, remained true to their
allegiance, and the fortified towns of the latter proved to be the pillars
of the Roman strength. For Hannibal, owing to the smallness of his army
and the necessity of maintaining it in a hostile country, had to be
continually on the march and could not undertake siege operations, for
which he also lacked engines of war. Thus the Romans, avoiding pitched
battles, were able to attempt the systematic reduction of the towns which
had yielded to Hannibal and to hamper seriously the provisioning of his
forces. At the same time they still held command of the sea, kept up their
offensive in Spain, and held their ground against Carthaginian attacks in
Sicily and Sardinia.

*Rome recovers Syracuse and Capua: 212–11 B. C.* In 213 the Romans were
able to invest Syracuse. The Syracusans with the aid of engines of war
designed by the physicist Archimedes resisted desperately, but Marcellus,
the Roman general, pressed the siege vigorously, and treachery caused the
city to fall (212 B. C.). Syracuse was sacked, its art treasures carried
off to Rome, and for the future it was subject and tributary to Rome. And
in Italy, although Hannibal defeated and killed the consul Tiberius
Sempronius Gracchus, and was able to occupy the cities of Tarentum
(although not its citadel), Heraclea and Thurii, he could not prevent the
Romans from laying siege to Capua (212 B. C.). The next year he thought to
force them to raise the blockade by a sudden incursion into Latium, where
he appeared before the walls of Rome. But Rome was garrisoned, the army
besieging Capua was not recalled, and Hannibal’s march was in vain. Capua
was starved into submission, its nobility put to the sword, its territory
confiscated, and its municipal organization dissolved.

*Operations against Philip V. of Macedon.* Upon concluding his alliance
with Hannibal, Philip of Macedon hastened to attack the Roman possessions
in Illyria. Here he met with some successes, but failed to take Corcyra or
Apollonia which were saved by the Roman fleet. Furthermore, Rome’s command
of the sea prevented his lending any effective aid to his ally in Italy.
Before long the Romans were able to induce the Aetolians to make an
alliance with them and attack Macedonia. Thereupon other enemies of
Philip, among them Sparta and King Attalus of Pergamon, joined in the war
on the side of Rome. The Achaean Confederacy, however, supported Philip.
The coalition against the latter was so strong that he had to cease his
attacks upon Roman territory and Rome could be content with supporting her
Greek allies with a small fleet, while she devoted her energies to the
other theatres of war.

*The war in Spain: 218–207 B. C.* The fall of Capua came at a moment most
opportune for the Romans, since they had immediate need to send
reinforcements to Spain. Thither, as we have seen, they had sent an army
in 218 B. C. under Gnaeus Scipio, who obtained a foothold north of the
Ebro. In the next year he was joined by his brother Publius Cornelius.
Thereupon the Romans crossed the Ebro and invaded the Carthaginian
dominions to the south. A revolt of the Numidians caused the recall of
Hasdrubal to Africa, and the Romans were able to capture Saguntum and
induce many Spanish tribes to desert the Carthaginian cause. However, upon
the return of Hasdrubal and the arrival of reinforcements from Carthage,
the Carthaginian commanders united their forces and crushed the two Roman
armies one after the other (211 B. C.). Both the Scipios fell in battle
and the Carthaginians recovered all their territory south of the Ebro.

*Publius Cornelius Scipio sent to Spain: 210 B. C.* Undismayed by these
disasters the Romans determined to continue their efforts to conquer Spain
because of its importance as a recruiting ground for the Carthaginian
armies and because the continuance of the war there prevented
reinforcements being sent to Hannibal in Italy. The fall of Capua and the
fortunate turn of events in Sicily enabled them to release fresh troops
for service in Spain, and in 210 B. C., being dissatisfied with the
cautious strategy of the pro-praetor Nero, then commanding north of the
Ebro, the Senate determined to send out a commander who would continue the
aggressive tactics of the Scipios. As the most suitable person they fixed
on Publius Cornelius Scipio, son of the like-named consul who had fallen
in 211. However, he was only in his twenty-fourth year and having filled
no magistracy except the aedileship, he was technically disqualified from
exercising the _imperium_. Therefore, his appointment was made the subject
of a special law in the Comitia, which nominated him to the command in
Spain with the rank of a pro-consul. This is the first authentic instance
of the conferment of the _imperium_ upon a private citizen.

*The capture of New Carthage: 209 B. C.* Seeing that the armies of his
opponents were divided and engaged in reconquering the Spanish tribes,
Scipio resumed the offensive, crossed the Ebro, and by a daring stroke
seized the chief Carthaginian base—New Carthage. Here he found vast stores
of supplies and, more important still, the hostages from the Spanish
peoples subject to Carthage. His liberation of these, and his generous
treatment of the Spaniards in general was in such striking contrast with
the oppressive measures of the Carthaginians, that he rapidly won over to
his support both the enemies and the adherents of the former.

*Hasdrubal’s march to Italy: 208 B. C.* Meanwhile in Italy the Romans
proceeded steadily with the reduction of the strongholds in the hands of
Hannibal. Tarentum was recovered in 210, and although Hannibal defeated
and slew the consuls Gnaeus Fulvius (210) and Marcus Marcellus (208), his
forces were so diminished that his maintaining himself in Italy depended
upon the arrival of strong reinforcements. Since his arrival he had
received but insignificant additions to his army from Carthage, whose
energies had been directed to the other theatres of war. Up to this time
also the Roman activities in Spain had prevented any Carthaginian troops
leaving that country. But after the fall of New Carthage and the
subsequent successes of Scipio, Hasdrubal, despairing of the situation
there, determined to march to the support of his brother by the same route
which the latter had taken. Scipio endeavored to bar his path, but
although Hasdrubal was defeated in battle he and 10,000 of his men cut
their way through the Romans and crossed the Pyrenees (208 B. C.).

*The Metaurus: 207 B. C.* The next spring he arrived among the Gauls to
the south of the Alps. Reinforced by them he marched into the peninsula to
join forces with Hannibal. For the Romans it was of supreme importance to
prevent this. They therefore divided their forces; the consul Gaius
Claudius faced Hannibal in Apulia, while Marcus Livius went to intercept
Hasdrubal. Through the capture of messengers sent by the latter Claudius
learned of his position and, leaving part of his army to detain Hannibal,
he withdrew the rest without his enemy’s knowledge and joined his
colleague Livius. Together they attacked Hasdrubal at the Metaurus; his
army was cut to pieces and he himself was slain. With the battle the doom
of Hannibal’s plans was sealed, and with them the doom of Carthage.
Hannibal himself recognized that all was lost and withdrew into the
mountains of Bruttium.

*The conquest of Carthaginian Spain, and peace with Philip.* For the first
time in the war the Romans could breathe freely and look forward with
confidence to the issue. In the two years (207–206 B. C.) following the
departure of Hasdrubal Scipio completed the conquest of what remained to
Carthage in Spain. In 205 he returned to Rome to enter upon the
consulship, and thereupon went to Sicily to make preparations for the
invasion of Africa, since the Romans were now able to carry out their plan
of 218 B. C. which Hannibal had then interrupted. At this moment, too, the
Romans found themselves free from any embarrassment from the side of
Macedonia. In Greece the war had dragged on without any decided advantage
for either side until 207, when the temporary withdrawal of the Roman
fleet enabled Philip and the Achaean Confederacy to win such successes
that their opponents listened to the intervention of the neutral states
and made peace (206 B. C.). In the next year the Romans also came to terms
with Philip.

*The invasion of Africa: 204 B. C.* In 204 B. C. Scipio transported his
army to Africa. At first, however, he was able to do nothing before the
combined forces of the Carthaginians and the Numidian chief, Syphax, who
had renewed his alliance with them. But in the following year he routed
both armies so decisively that he was able to capture and depose Syphax,
and to set up in his place a rival chieftain, Masinissa, whose adherence
to the Romans brought them a welcome superiority in cavalry. The
Carthaginians now sought to make peace. An armistice was granted them;
Hannibal and all Carthaginian forces were recalled from Italy, and the
preliminary terms of peace drawn up (203 B. C.). Hannibal left Italy with
the remnant of his veterans after a campaign which had established his
reputation as one of the world’s greatest masters of the art of war. For
nearly fifteen years he had maintained himself in the enemy’s country with
greatly inferior forces, and now after inflicting many severe defeats and
never losing a battle he was forced to withdraw because of lack of
resources, not because of the superior generalship of his foes. Before
leaving Italian soil he set up a record of his exploits in the temple of
Hera Lacinia in Bruttium.

*Zama: 202 B. C.* An almost incredible feeling of over-confidence seems to
have been aroused in Carthage by the arrival of Hannibal. The
Carthaginians broke the armistice by attacking some Roman transports and
refused to meet Scipio’s demand for an explanation. Hostilities were
therefore resumed. At Zama the two greatest generals the war had developed
met in its final battle. Hannibal’s tactics were worthy of his reputation
but his army was crushed by the flight of the Carthaginian mercenaries at
a critical moment, and by the Roman superiority in cavalry(8).

*Peace: 201 B. C.* For Carthage all hope of resistance was over and she
had to accept the Roman terms. These were: the surrender of all territory
except the city of Carthage and the surrounding country in Africa, an
indemnity of 10,000 talents ($12,000,000), the surrender of all vessels of
war except ten triremes, and of all war elephants, and the obligation to
refrain from carrying on war outside of Africa, or even in Africa unless
with Rome’s consent. The Numidians were united in a strong state on the
Carthaginian borders, under the Roman ally Masinissa. Scipio returned to
Rome to triumph “over the Carthaginians and Hannibal,” and to receive,
from the scene of his victory, the name of Africanus.


The destruction of the Carthaginian empire left Rome mistress of the
western Mediterranean and by far the greatest power of the time. But this
victory had only been attained after a tremendous struggle, the greatest
probably that the ancient world ever witnessed, a struggle which called
forth in Rome the patriotic virtues of courage, devotion, and
self-sacrifice to a degree that aroused the admiration of subsequent
generations, which drained her resources of men and treasure and which
left ineffaceable scars upon the soil of Italy.

One of the main factors in deciding the issue was the Roman command of the
sea which Carthage never felt able to challenge seriously. Another was the
larger citizen body of Rome, and the friendly relations between herself
and her federate allies. This, with the system of universal military
service, gave her a citizen soldiery which in morale and numbers was
superior to the armies of Carthage. As long as Hannibal was in Italy Rome
kept from year to year upwards of 100,000 men in the field. Once only,
after the battle of Cannae, was she unable to replace her losses by the
regular system of recruiting and had to arm 8000 slaves who were promised
freedom as a reward for faithful service. On the other hand, Carthage had
to raise her forces from mercenaries or from subject allies. As her
resources dwindled the former became ever more difficult to obtain, while
the demands made upon the latter caused revolts that cost much effort to
subdue. It required the personality of a Hannibal to develop an _esprit de
corps_ and discipline such as characterized his army in Italy. A third
factor was the absence in the Roman commanders of the personal rivalries
and lack of coöperation which so greatly hampered the Carthaginians in
Spain and in Sicily. Still one must not be led into the error of supposing
that the Carthaginians did not display tenacity and patriotism to a very
high degree. The senatorial class especially distinguished itself by
courage and ability, and there are no evidences of factional strife
hampering the conduct of the war. The Romans overcame the disadvantage of
the annual change of commanders-in-chief by the use of the proconsulship
and pro-praetorship often long prorogued, whereby officers of ability
retained year after year the command of the same armies. This system
enabled them to develop such able generals as Metellus and the Scipios.

The cost of maintaining her fleet and her armies taxed the financial
resources of Rome to the utmost. The government had to make use of a
reserve fund which had been accumulating in the treasury for thirty years
from the returns of the 5% tax on the value of manumitted slaves, and the
armies in Spain could only be kept in the field by the generosity and
patriotism of several companies of contractors who furnished supplies at
their own expense until the end of the war. An additional burden was the
increased cost of the necessities of life and the danger of a grain
famine, caused by the disturbed conditions in Italy and Sicily and the
withdrawal of so many men from agricultural occupations. In 210 the
situation was only relieved by an urgent appeal to Ptolemy Philopator of
Egypt, from whom grain had to be purchased at three times the usual price.
However, this crisis passed with the pacification of Sicily in the next

Furthermore, a heavy tribute had been levied upon the man power of the
Roman state. The census list of citizens eligible for military service
fell from about 280,000 at the beginning of the war to 237,000 in 209; and
the federate allies must have suffered at least as heavily. The greatest
losses fell upon the southern part of the peninsula. There, year after
year, the fields had been laid waste and the villages devastated by the
opposing armies, until the rural population had almost entirely
disappeared, the land had become a wilderness, and the more prosperous
cities had fallen into decay. From the effects of these ravages southern
Italy never recovered.

                                CHAPTER IX



               I. THE SECOND MACEDONIAN WAR: 200–196 B. C.

*The eastern crisis: 202 B. C.* The Roman senate had been eager to
conclude a satisfactory peace with Carthage as soon as possible in order
to devote its undivided attention to a crisis which had arisen in the
eastern Mediterranean. There Ptolemy IV of Egypt had died in 203 B. C.,
leaving the kingdom to an infant son who was in the hands of corrupt and
dissolute advisors. Egypt had lost her command of the eastern
Mediterranean at the time of Rome’s First Carthaginian War, and later (217
B. C.) had only saved herself in a war against Syria by calling to arms a
portion of the native population. This step had led to internal racial
difficulties which weakened the position of the dynasty. At this juncture
Philip V of Macedon, who had emerged with credit from his recent struggle
with Rome and his foes in Greece, and Antiochus III of Syria, who had just
returned from a series of successful campaigns (212–204 B. C.) which had
recovered for his kingdom its eastern provinces as far as the Indus and
had won for him the surname of “the Great,” judged the moment favorable
for the realization of long-cherished ambitions at the expense of their
rival, Egypt. They formed an alliance for the conquest of the outlying
possessions of the Ptolemies, whereby Philip was to occupy those in the
Aegean, while Antiochus was to seize Phoenicia and Palestine. In 202 B. C.
they opened hostilities.

*The appeal for Roman intervention: 201 B. C.* But the operations of the
forces of Philip in the Aegean brought him into war with Rhodes and with
Attalus, King of Pergamon, while in Greece a quarrel, which developed
between some of his allies and the Athenians, involved him in hostilities
with the latter. From these three states and from Egypt, which, having
been unable to prevent Antiochus from occupying her Syrian possessions,
was now threatened with invasion, envoys were sent to Rome, to request
Roman intervention on their behalf, on the ground that they were friends
(_amici_) of Rome.

*The status of amicitia.* The Romans had adopted the idea of international
friendship (_amicitia_, _philia_) from the Greeks in the course of the
third century. Previously, their only conception of friendly relations
between states was that of alliance (_societas_) based upon a perpetual
treaty (_foedus_), which bound each party to render military assistance to
the other and which neither could terminate at discretion. However, under
the influence of ideas current among the Hellenic states they began to
form friendships, i. e. to open up diplomatic relations with states and
rulers. These _amici_ (friends) could remain neutral in case Rome engaged
in war, or they could render Rome support, which was, however, voluntary
and not obligatory. And Rome enjoyed a similar freedom of action with
regard to them.

*Rome intervenes: 200 B. C.* The Roman Senate, influenced by mixed
motives—sympathy for the Hellenes and their culture, ambition to appear as
arbiters of the fate of the Greek world, a desire for revenge upon Philip
for his partial successes in the late war, and fear of seeing him develop
into a more powerful enemy—was anxious to intervene. But, although the
Roman fetials, the members of the priestly college which was the guardian
of the Roman traditions in international relations, decided that Attalus
and the other Roman _amici_ might be regarded as allies (_socii_) and so
be defended legitimately, the Roman people as a whole shrank from
embarking upon another war. The Comitia once voted against the proposal,
and at a second meeting was only induced to sanction it, when it was
represented to them that they would have to face another invasion of Italy
if they did not anticipate Philip’s action.

*The Roman ultimatum.* The Senate next sent ambassadors to the East to
present an ultimatum to Philip, and at the same time to negotiate with
Antiochus for the cessation of his attacks upon Egypt, for the Romans did
not wish to have his forces added to those of the Macedonian king. When
Philip was engaged in the siege of Abydos on the Hellespont he received
the Roman terms, which were that he should abstain from attacking any
cities of the Greeks or the possessions of Ptolemy, and should submit to
arbitration his disputes with Attalus and the Rhodians. Upon his rejection
of these proposals the war opened.

*The Romans cross the Adriatic.* Late in 200 B. C. a Roman army under the
consul Sulpicius crossed into Illyricum and endeavored to penetrate into
Macedonia. However, both in this and in the succeeding year, the Romans,
although aided by the forces of the Aetolian Confederacy, Pergamon, Rhodes
and Athens, were unable to inflict any decisive defeat upon Philip or to
invade his kingdom.

However, with the arrival of the consul of 198, Titus Flamininus, the
situation speedily changed. The Achaean Confederacy was won over to the
side of Rome, and Flamininus succeeded in forcing Philip to evacuate his
position in Epirus and to withdraw into Thessaly. In the following winter
negotiations for peace were opened, but these led to nothing, for the
Romans demanded the evacuation of Corinth, Chalcis and Demetrias, three
fortresses known as “the fetters of Greece,” and Philip refused to make
this concession.

*Cynoscephalae: 197 B. C.* The next year military operations were resumed
with both armies in Thessaly. Early in the summer a battle was fought on a
ridge of hills called Cynoscephalae (the Dog’s Heads) where the Romans won
a complete victory. Although the Aetolians tendered valuable assistance in
this engagement, the Macedonian defeat was due to the superior flexibility
of the Roman legionary formation over the phalanx. Philip fled to
Macedonia and sued for peace. The Aetolians and his enemies in Greece
sought his utter destruction, but Flamininus realized the importance of
Macedonia to the Greek world as a bulwark against the Celtic peoples of
the lower Danube and would not support their demands. The terms fixed by
the Roman Senate were: the autonomy of the Hellenes, the evacuation of the
Macedonian possessions in Greece, in the Aegean, and in Illyricum, and an
indemnity of 1000 talents ($1,200,000). The conditions Philip was obliged
to accept (196 B. C.).

*The proclamation of Flamininus: 196 B. C.* At the Isthmian games of the
same year Flamininus proclaimed the complete autonomy of the peoples who
had been subject to Macedonia. The announcement provoked a tremendous
outburst of enthusiasm. After spending some time in carrying this
proclamation into effect and in settling the claims of various states,
Flamininus returned to Italy in 194, leaving the Greeks to make what use
they could of their freedom.


*Antiochus in Asia Minor and Thrace.* Even before Flamininus and his army
had withdrawn from Greece the activities of Antiochus had awakened the
mistrust of the Roman Senate and threatened to lead to hostilities. The
Syrian king had completed the conquest of Lower Syria in 198, and then,
profiting by the difficulties in which Philip of Macedon was involved, he
turned his attention towards Asia Minor and Thrace with the hope of
recovering the possessions once held by his ancestor, Seleucus I, in these
quarters. The Romans were at the time too much occupied to oppose him,
and, outwardly, he professed to be the friend of Rome and to be limiting
his activities to the reëstablishing of his empire to its former extent.
Eventually, in 195 B. C., he crossed over into Europe and proceeded to
establish himself in Thrace. Negotiations with the Roman Senate seemed
likely to lead to an agreement that the king should limit his expansion to
Asia and recognize a sort of Roman suzerainty in Europe, when the action
of the Aetolians precipitated a conflict.

*The Aetolians and Rome.* The Aetolians, who had been Rome’s allies in the
war just concluded and who greatly exaggerated the importance of their
services, were disgruntled because the kingdom of Macedonia had not been
entirely dismembered and they had been restrained from enlarging the
territory of the Confederacy at the expense of their neighbors. In short,
they wished to take the place formerly held by Macedonia among the Greek
states. Accustomed to regard war as a legitimate source of revenue, they
did not easily reconcile themselves to Rome’s preservation of peace in
Hellas. Ever since the battle of Cynoscephalae they had striven to
undermine Roman influence among the Greeks, and now they sought to draw
Antiochus into conflict with Rome.

*Antiochus invades Greece: 192 B. C.* In 192 B. C. they elected Antiochus
as commander-in-chief of the forces of their confederacy and seized the
fortress of Chalcis. This they offered to the king, to whom they also made
an unauthorized promise of aid from Macedonia. Thereupon, trusting in the
support promised by the Aetolians, Antiochus sailed to Greece with a small
force of 10,000 men. It so happened that Hannibal, who in 196 B. C. had
been forced to flee his native city owing to the machinations of his
enemies and the Romans, was then at the court of Antiochus, where he had
taken refuge. He advised his protector to invade the Italian peninsula,
but Antiochus rejected the advice, probably with wisdom, for such a course
would have required him to win the control of the sea, which was a task
beyond his resources. But when, throughout his whole campaign, he
neglected to make use of the services of the greatest commander of the
age, he committed a most serious blunder. Had Hannibal led the forces of
Antiochus the task of the Romans would not have been so simple.

*Antiochus driven from Greece: 191 B. C.* In 191 a Roman army under the
consul Acilius Glabrio appeared in Greece and attacked and defeated the
forces of Antiochus at Thermopylae. The king fled to Asia. Contrary to his
hopes he had found but little support in Greece. Philip of Macedon and the
Achaean Confederacy adhered to the Romans, and the Aetolians were rendered
helpless by an invasion of their own country. Furthermore, the Rhodians
and Eumenes, the new King of Pergamon, joined their navies to the Roman

*The Romans cross over to Asia Minor: 190 B. C.* As Antiochus would not
hearken to the terms of peace laid down by the Romans, the latter resolved
upon the invasion of Asia Minor. Two naval battles, won by the aid of
Rhodes and Pergamon, secured the control of the Aegean and in 190 B. C. a
Roman force crossed the Hellespont. For its commander the Senate had
wished to designate Scipio Africanus, the greatest of the Roman generals.
However, as he had recently been consul he was now ineligible for that
office. The obstacle of the law was accordingly circumvented by the
election of his brother Lucius to the consulate and his assignment to this
command, and by the appointment of Publius to accompany him as
extraordinary proconsul, with power equal to his own.

*Magnesia: 190 B. C.* One decisive victory over Antiochus at Magnesia in
the autumn of 190 B. C. brought him to terms. He agreed to surrender all
territory to the north of the Taurus mountains and west of Pamphylia, to
give up his war elephants, to surrender all but ten of his ships of war,
to pay an indemnity of 15,000 talents ($18,000,000) in twelve annual
instalments, and to abstain from attacking the allies of Rome. Still,
unlike Carthage, he was at liberty to defend himself if attacked. The
Romans then proceeded to establish order in Asia Minor. The territories of
their friends, Rhodes and Pergamon, were materially increased, while the
enemies of the latter, the Celts of Galatia were defeated and forced to
pay a heavy indemnity. Rome retained no territory in Asia, but left the
country divided among a number of small states whose mutual jealousies
rendered impossible the rise of a strong power which could venture to set
aside the Roman arrangements.

*The subjugation of the Aetolians: 189 B. C.* The Roman campaign of 191
against the Aetolians had caused the latter, who were also attacked by
Philip of Macedon, to seek terms. However, as the Romans demanded an
unconditional surrender, the Aetolians decided to continue the struggle.
In the next year no energetic measures were taken against them, but in 189
the consul Fulvius Nobilior pressed the war vigorously and besieged their
chief city, Ambracia. But since the obstinate resistance of its defenders
defied all his efforts, and since the Athenians were trying to act as
mediators in bringing the war to a close, the Romans abandoned their
demand for an unconditional surrender and peace was made on the following
conditions. The Aetolian Confederacy gave up all territory captured by its
enemies during the war and entered into a permanent alliance with Rome,
whereby it was bound to send contingents to the Roman armies. Ambracia was
surrendered and destroyed, and the Romans occupied the pirate nest of

               III. THE THIRD MACEDONIAN WAR: 171–167 B. C.

*Rome and the Greek states.* Although by her alliance with the Aetolians
Rome had planted herself permanently on Greek soil, and in the war with
Antiochus had claimed to exercise a sort of protectorate over the Greek
world, still the Senate as yet gave no indication of reversing the policy
of Flamininus, and the Greek states remained as the friends of Rome in the
enjoyment of political independence. However, it was not long before these
friendly relations became seriously strained and Rome was induced to
embark upon a policy of interference in Greek affairs which ultimately put
an end to the apparent freedom of Hellas. The fundamental cause of this
change was that while Rome interpreted Greek freedom to mean liberty of
action provided that the wishes and arrangements of Rome were respected,
the Greeks understood it to mean the perfect freedom of sovereign
communities, and resented bitterly any infringement of their rights.
Keeping in mind these conflicting points of view, it is easy to see how
difficulties were bound to arise which would inevitably be settled
according to the wishes of the stronger power.

*Rome and the Achaeans.* The chief specific causes for the change in the
Roman policy are to be found in the troubles of the Achaean Confederacy
and the reviving ambitions of Macedonia. The Confederacy included many
city-states which had been compelled to join it and which sought to regain
their independence. This the Confederacy was determined to prevent. One
such community was Sparta, and the policy of the Achaeans towards it in
the matter of the restoration of Spartan exiles led to the Spartans
appealing to Rome. The Roman decision wounded the susceptibilities of the
Confederacy without settling the problem, and the tendency of the Achaeans
to stand upon their rights provoked the anger of the Romans. Within the
Confederacy there developed a pro-Roman party ready to submit to Roman
dictatorship, and a national party determined to assert their right to
freedom of action. From 180 B. C. the Romans deliberately fostered the
aristocratic factions throughout the cities of Greece, feeling that they
were the more stable element and more in harmony with the policy of the
Senate. As a consequence the democratic factions began to look for outside
support and cast their eyes towards Macedonia.

*Rome and Macedonia.* Philip V of Macedon considered that the assistance
which he had furnished to Rome in the Syrian War was proof of his loyalty
and warranted the annexation of the territory he had overrun in that
conflict. But the Senate was not inclined to allow the power of Macedonia
to attain dangerous proportions, and he was forced to forego his claims.
Henceforth he was the bitter foe of the Romans. He devoted himself to the
development of the military resources of his kingdom with the ultimate
view of again challenging Rome’s authority in Greece. At his death in 179
B. C. he left an army of from 30,000 to 40,000 men and a treasure of 6,000
talents ($7,200,000). His son and successor Perseus inherited his father’s
anti-Roman policy and entered into relations with the foes of Rome
everywhere in Greece.

*The Third Macedonian War: 171–167 B. C.* But the Senate was kept well
aware of his schemes by his enemies in Greece, especially Eumenes of
Pergamon. Therefore they determined to forestall the completion of his
plans and force him into war. In 172, a Roman commission visited Perseus
and required of him concessions which meant the extinction of his
independence. Upon his refusal to comply with the demands they returned
home and Rome declared war. Now, when success depended upon energetic
action, Perseus sought to avoid the issue and tried to placate the Romans,
but in vain. In 171 a Roman force landed in Greece and made its way to
Thessaly. But in the campaigns of this and the following year the Roman
commanders were too incapable and their troops too undisciplined to make
any headway. Nor did Perseus show ability to take advantage of his
opportunities. Furthermore, by his parsimony he lost the chance to win
valuable aid from the Dardanians, Gesatae, and Celts on his borders.
Finally, in 168, the Romans found an able general in the consul Aemilius
Paulus, who restored the morale of the Roman soldiers and won a complete
victory over Perseus in the battle of Pydna. The Macedonian kingdom was at
an end; its territory was divided into four autonomous republics, which
were forbidden mutual privileges of _commercium_ and _connubium_; a yearly
tribute of fifty talents was imposed upon them; and the royal mines and
domains became the property of the Roman state.

*The aftermath of the war.* Having disposed of Macedon the Romans turned
their attention to the other Greek states with the intention of rewarding
their friends and punishing their enemies. Everywhere death or exile
awaited the leaders of the anti-Roman party, many of whose names became
known from the seizure of the papers of Perseus. Although the Achaeans had
given no positive proof of disloyalty 1000 of their leading men, among
them the historian Polybius, were carried off to Italy nominally to be
given the chance of clearing themselves before the Senate but really to be
kept as hostages in Italy for the future conduct of the Confederacy.

The Rhodians, because they had endeavored to secure a peaceful settlement
between Rome and Perseus, were forced to surrender their possessions in
Asia Minor, and a ruinous blow was dealt to their commercial prosperity by
the establishment of a free port at the island of Delos. Eumenes of
Pergamon, whose actions had aroused suspicions, had to recognize the
independence of the Galatians whom he had subdued. Far worse was the fate
of Epirus. There seventy towns were sacked and their inhabitants to the
number of 150,000 carried off into slavery.

Henceforth it was clear that Rome was the real sovereign in the eastern
Mediterranean and that her friends and allies only enjoyed local autonomy,
while they were expected to be obedient to the orders of Rome. This is
well illustrated by the anecdote of the circle of Popilius. During the
Third Macedonian War, Antiochus IV, Epiphanes, King of Syria, had invaded
Egypt. After the battle of Pydna a Roman ambassador, Popilius by name, was
sent to make him withdraw. Popilius met Antiochus before Alexandria and
delivered the Senate’s message. The king asked for time for consideration,
but the Roman, drawing a circle around him in the sand, bade him answer
before he left the spot. Antiochus yielded and evacuated Egypt.

The spoils of this war with Macedonia brought an enormous booty into the
Roman treasury, and from this time the war tax on property—the _tributum
civium Romanorum_—ceased to be levied. The income of the empire enabled
the government to relieve Roman citizens of all direct taxation.

                     IV. CAMPAIGNS IN ITALY AND SPAIN

During the Macedonian and Syrian Wars the Romans were busy strengthening
and extending their hold upon northern Italy and Spain.

*Cisalpine Gaul.* Cisalpine Gaul, which had been largely lost to the
Romans since Hannibal’s invasion, was recovered by wars with the Insubres
and Boii between 198 and 191 B. C. A new military highway, the _via
Flaminia_, was built from Rome to Ariminum in 187, and later extended
under the name of the _via Aemilia_ to Placentia; another, the _via
Cassia_ (171 B. C.), linked Rome and the Po valley by way of Etruria. New
fortresses were established; Bononia (189) and Aquileia (181) as Latin
colonies; Parma and Mutina (183) as colonies of Roman citizens. In this
way Roman authority was firmly established and the way prepared for the
rapid Latinization of the land between the Apennines and the Alps.

*The Ligurians.* In the same period falls the subjugation of the
Ligurians. In successive campaigns, lasting until 172 B. C., the Romans
gradually extended their sway over the various Ligurian tribes until they
reached the territory of Massalia in southern Gaul. Roman colonies were
founded at Pisa (180) and Luna (177).

*Spain.* The territory acquired from Carthage in Spain was organized into
two provinces, called Hither and Farther Spain, in 197 B. C. But the
allied and subject Spanish tribes were not yet reconciled to the presence
of the Romans and serious revolts broke out. One of these was subdued by
Marcus Porcius Cato in 196, another by Lucius Aemilius Paulus between 191
and 189, and a third by Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus in 179 and 178 B. C.
The settlement effected by Gracchus secured peace for many years. In Spain
were founded Rome’s first colonies beyond the borders of Italy. Italica,
near Seville, was settled in 206, and Carteia in 171; both as Latin

                                CHAPTER X


*Roman foreign policy.* The foreign relations of Rome from 167 to 133
B. C. fall into two distinct periods. In the earlier, Roman foreign policy
is directed towards securing Roman domination throughout the Mediterranean
by diplomatic means. War and annexation of territory are avoided as
causing too great a drain upon the resources of the state and creating
difficult administrative problems. In the later period this policy is
abandoned for one more aggressively imperialistic, which does not hesitate
to appeal to armed force and aims at the incorporation of conquered
territory within the empire. This change of policy was largely due to the
influence of that group in the senate which was eager for foreign
commands, the honors of a triumph, and the spoils of war, as well as that
of the non-senatorial financial interests which sought to open up new
fields for exploitation. It was also felt that the prestige of Rome had
suffered by the disregard of some of her diplomatic representations.

This policy of expansion resulted in prolonged wars in Spain, the
annexation of Carthage and Macedon, the establishment of direct control
over Greece, and the acquisition of territory in Asia Minor. The new
tendencies become apparent shortly before 150 B. C.

                    I. THE SPANISH WARS: 154–133 B. C.

*The revolts of the Celtiberians and the Lusitanians: 154–139 B. C.* In
154 B. C. revolts broke out in both Hither and Farther Spain. A series of
long and bloody campaigns ensued, which were prolonged by the incapacity,
cruelty and faithlessness of the Roman commanders, and caused a heavy
drain upon the military resources of Italy. The chief opponents of the
Romans were the Celtiberians of Hither, and the Lusitanians of Farther
Spain. The desperate character of these wars made service in Spain very
unpopular, and levies for the campaign of 151 were raised with difficulty.
The tribunes interceded to protect certain persons, and when their
intercession was disregarded by the consuls they cast the latter into
prison. In 150 B. C. the pro-consul Galba treacherously massacred
thousands of Lusitanians with whom he had made a treaty. For this he was
brought to trial by Cato, but was acquitted.

The massacre led to a renewed outbreak under Viriathus, an able guerilla
leader who defied the power of Rome for about eight years (147–139 B. C.).
Forced eventually to yield, he was assassinated during an armistice by
traitors suborned by the Roman commander. The complete subjugation of the
Lusitanians soon followed.

*The war with Numantia: 143–133 B. C.* Meantime, after an interval of some
years, in 143 the war had broken out afresh in the nearer province where
the struggle centered about the town of Numantia. In 140 the Roman general
Pompeius made peace upon easy terms with the Numantines, but later
repudiated it, and the Senate ignored his arrangements. Again in 138 the
tribunes interfered with the levy, so great was the popular aversion to
service in Spain. The next year witnessed the disgraceful surrender of the
consul Mancinus and his army, comprising 20,000 Romans, to the Numantines.
By concluding a treaty he saved the lives of his army. But the Roman
Senate perfidiously rejected the sworn agreement of the consul, made him
the scapegoat and delivered him bound to the Numantines, who would have
none of him.

At length, weary of defeats, the Romans re-elected to the consulship for
134 B. C. their tried general Scipio Aemilianus, the conqueror of
Carthage, and appointed him as commander in Spain. His first task was to
restore the discipline in his army. Then he opened the blockade of
Numantia. After a siege of fifteen months the city was starved into
submission and completely destroyed. A commission of ten senators
reorganized the country and Spain entered upon a long era of peace.

              II. THE DESTRUCTION OF CARTHAGE: 149–146 B. C.

*The Third Punic War: 149–146 B. C. Its causes.* The treaty which ended
the Second Punic War had forbidden the Carthaginians the right to make war
outside of Africa, or within it without the consent of Rome. At the same
time their enemy Masinissa had been established as a powerful prince on
their borders. In such a situation future Roman intervention was
inevitable. But for a generation Carthage was left in peace. A pro-Roman
party was in control there and bent all its energies to the peaceful
revival of Carthaginian commerce. And the Romans, after a period of
suspicion which ended with the exile of Hannibal in 196, regarded
Carthaginian prosperity without enmity. However, this prosperity in the
end led to the ruin of the city, for it awakened the envy of the Senate
and the financial interests of Rome, which became only too ready to seize
upon any excuse for the destruction of their ancient rival.

*Cato and Carthage.* The opportunity came through the action of Masinissa.
This chieftain, knowing the restrictions imposed upon Carthage by her
treaty with Rome, and sensing the change in the Roman attitude towards
that city after 167 B. C., revived old claims to Carthaginian territory.
Carthage could only appeal to Rome for protection, but in 161 and 157 the
Roman commissions sent to adjust the disputes decided in favor of
Masinissa. A member of the commission of 157 was the old Marcus Porcius
Cato, who was still obsessed with the fear which Carthage had inspired in
his youth, and who returned from his mission filled with alarm at the
wealth of the city and henceforth devoted all his energies to accomplish
its overthrow. In the following years he concluded all his speeches in the
Senate with the words, “Carthage must be destroyed.”

*The Roman ultimatum: 149 B. C.* A fresh attack by Masinissa occurred in
151 B. C. Enraged, the Carthaginians took the field against him, but
suffered defeat. The Romans at once prepared for war. Conscious of having
overstepped their rights and fearful of Roman vengeance, the Carthaginians
offered unconditional submission in the hope of obtaining pardon. The
Senate assured them of their lives, property and constitution, but
required hostages and bade them execute the commands of the consuls who
crossed over to Africa with an army and ordered the Carthaginians to
surrender their arms and engines of war. The Carthaginians, desirous of
appeasing the Romans at all costs, complied. Then came the ultimatum. They
must abandon their city and settle at least ten miles from the sea coast.
This was practically a death sentence to the ancient mercantile city.
Seized with the fury of despair the Carthaginians improvised weapons and,
manning their walls, bade defiance to the Romans.

*The siege of Carthage: 149–146 B. C.* For two years the Romans, owing to
the incapacity of their commanders, accomplished little. Then
disappointment and apprehension led the Roman people to demand as consul
Scipio Aemilianus, who had already distinguished himself as a military
tribune. He was only a candidate for the aedileship and legally ineligible
for the consulate. But the restrictions upon his candidature were
suspended, and he was elected consul for 147 B. C. A special law entrusted
him with the conduct of the war in Africa. He restored discipline in the
Roman army, defeated the Carthaginians in the field and energetically
pressed the siege of the city. The Carthaginians suffered frightfully from
hunger and their forces were greatly reduced. In the spring of 146 B. C.
the Romans forced their way into the city and captured it after desperate
fighting in the streets and houses. The handful of survivors were sold
into slavery, their city levelled to the ground and its site declared
accursed. Out of the Carthaginian territory the Romans created a new
province, called Africa. The last act in the dramatic struggle between the
two cities was ended.


*The Fourth Macedonian War: 149–148 B. C.* The mutual rivalries among the
Greek states, which frequently evoked senatorial intervention, and the
ill-will occasioned by the harshness of the Romans towards the anti-Roman
party everywhere, caused a large faction among the Hellenes to be ready to
seize the first favorable opportunity for freeing Greece from Roman

Relying upon this antagonism to Rome, a certain Andriscus, who claimed to
be a son of Perseus, appeared in Macedonia in 149 and claimed the throne.
He made himself master of the country and defeated the first Roman forces
sent against him. However, he was crushed in the following year at Pydna
by the praetor Metellus, and Macedonia was recovered. The four republics
were not restored but the whole country was organized as a Roman province
(148 B. C.).

*The Achaeans assert their independence.* The Achaean Confederacy was one
of the states where the feeling against Rome ran especially high. There
the irksomeness of the Roman protectorate was heightened by the return of
the survivors of the political exiles of 167, 300 in number. The
anti-Roman party, supported by the extreme democratic elements in the
cities, was in control of the Confederacy when border difficulties with
Sparta broke out afresh in 149 B. C. The matter was referred to the Senate
for settlement, but the Achaeans did not await its decision. They attacked
and defeated Sparta, confident that the hands of the Romans were tied by
the wars in Spain, Africa and Macedonia.

*The dissolution of the Confederacy: 146 B. C.* The Roman Senate
determined to punish the Confederacy by detaching certain important cities
from its membership. But in 147 the Achaean assembly tempestuously refused
to carry out the orders of the Roman ambassadors, in spite of the fact
that the Macedonian revolt had been crushed. Their leaders, expecting no
mercy from Rome, prepared for war and they were joined by the Boeotians
and other peoples of central Greece. The next year they resolved to attack
Sparta, whereupon the Romans sent a fleet and an army against them under
the consul Lucius Mummius. Metellus, the conqueror of Macedonia, subdued
central Greece and Mummius routed the forces of the Confederacy at
Leucopetra on the Isthmus (146 B. C.). Corinth was sacked and burnt; its
treasures were carried off to Rome; and its inhabitants sold into slavery.
Its land, like that of Carthage, was added to the Roman public domain.
Like Alexander’s destruction of Thebes this was a warning which the other
cities of Greece could not misinterpret. A senatorial commission dissolved
the Achaean Confederacy as well as the similar political combinations of
the Boeotians and Phocians, The cities of Greece entered into individual
relations with Rome. Those which had stood on the side of Rome, as Athens
and Sparta, retained their previous status as Roman allies; the rest were
made subject and tributary. Greece was not organized as a province, but
was put under the supervision of the governor of Macedonia.

                       IV. THE ACQUISITION OF ASIA

*The province of Asia.* In 133 B. C. died Attalus III, King of Pergamon,
the last of his line. In his will he made the Roman people the heir to his
kingdom, probably with the feeling that otherwise disputes over the
succession would end in Roman interference and conquest. The Romans
accepted the inheritance but before they took possession a claimant
appeared in the person of an illegitimate son of Eumenes II, one
Aristonicus. He occupied part of the kingdom, defeated and killed the
consul Crassus in 131, but was himself beaten and captured by the latter’s
successor Perpena in 129.

Out of the kingdom of Pergamon there was then formed the Roman province of
Asia (129 B. C.). The occupation of this country made Rome mistress of
both shores of the Aegean and gave her a convenient bridgehead for an
advance further eastward. The question of the financial administration of
Asia and its relation to Roman politics will be discussed in a subsequent

                                CHAPTER XI

              THE ROMAN STATE AND THE EMPIRE: 265–133 B. C.

The conquest of the hegemony of the Mediterranean world entailed the most
serious consequences for the Roman state itself. Indeed, the wars which
form the subject of the preceding chapters were the ultimate cause of the
crisis that led to the fall of the Roman Republic. In the present chapter
it will be our task to trace the changes and indicate the problems that
had their origin in these wars and the ensuing conquests. Such a survey is
best begun by considering the character of the Roman government during the
epoch in question.


*The Senate’s control over the magistrates, tribunate, and assemblies.*
From the passing of the Hortensian Law in 287 B. C. to the tribunate of
Tiberius Gracchus in 133 B. C. the Senate exercised a practically
unchallenged control over the policy of the Roman state. For the Senate
was able to guide or nullify the actions of the magistrates, the
tribunate, and the assemblies; a condition made possible by the
composition of the Senate, which, in addition to the ex-magistrates,
included all those above the rank of quaestor actually in office, and by
the peculiar organization and limitations of the Roman popular assemblies.

The higher magistrates were simply committees of senators elected by the
assemblies. Their interests were those of the Senate as a whole, and
constitutional practice required them to seek its advice upon all matters
of importance. The Senate assigned to the consuls and praetors their
spheres of duty, appointed pro-magistrates and allotted them their
commands, and no contracts let by the censors were valid unless approved
by the Senate. Except when the consuls were in the city, the Senate
controlled all expenditures from the public treasury.

The chief weapon of the tribunes, their right of veto, which had been
instituted as a check upon the power of the Senate and the magistrates,
became an instrument whereby the Senate bridled the tribunate itself. For,
since after 287 the plebeians speedily came to constitute a majority in
the senate chamber, it was not difficult for this body to secure the veto
of the tribunes upon any measures of which it disapproved, whether they
originated with a consul or a tribune.

And, because the popular assemblies could only vote upon such measures or
for such candidates as were submitted to them by the presiding
magistrates, the Senate through its influence over magistrates and
tribunes controlled both the legislative and elective activities of the

*The Senate and the public policy.* Since the Senate was a permanent body,
easily assembled and regularly summoned by the consuls to discuss all
matters of public concern, it was natural that the foreign policy of the
state should be entirely in its hands—subject, of course, to the right of
the Assembly of the Centuries to sanction the making of war or peace—and
hence the organization and government of Rome’s foreign possessions became
a senatorial prerogative. And, likewise, it fell to the Senate to deal
with all sudden crises which constituted a menace to the welfare of the
state, like the spread of the Bacchanalian associations which was ended by
the _Senatus Consultum_ of 186 B. C. And, finally, the Senate claimed the
right to proclaim a state of martial law by passing the so-called _Senatus
Consultum ultimum_, a decree which authorized the magistrates to use any
means whatsoever to preserve the state.

*Polybius and the Roman Constitution.* Thus in spite of the fact that the
Greek historian and statesman, Polybius, who was an intimate of the
governing circles in Rome about the middle of the second century B. C., in
looking at the form of the Roman constitution could call it a nice balance
between monarchy, represented by the consuls, aristocracy, represented by
the Senate, and democracy, represented by the tribunate and assemblies, in
actual practice the state was governed by the Senate. It is true that the
Senate was not always absolute master of the situation. Between 233 and
217 B. C., the popular leader Caius Flaminius, as tribune, consul and
censor, was able to carry out a democratic policy at variance with the
Senate’s wishes, but with his death the control of the Senate became
firmer than ever. From what has been said it will readily be seen that the
Senate’s power rested mainly upon custom and precedent and upon the
prestige and influence of itself as a whole and its individual members,
not upon powers guaranteed by law. The Roman republic never was a true
democracy, but was strongly aristocratic in character.

*The aristocracy of office.* The Senate was representative of a narrow
circle of wealthy patrician and plebeian families, which constituted the
new nobility that came into being with the cessation of the
patricio-plebeian struggle and which was in truth an office-holding
aristocracy. For, after the initial widening of the circle of families
enobled by admission to the Senate, the third century saw these create for
themselves a real, if not legal, monopoly of the magistracies and thus of
the regular gateway to the senate chamber. This they could do because the
expense involved in holding public offices, which were without salary, and
in conducting the election campaigns, which became increasingly costly as
time went on, deterred all but persons of considerable fortune from
seeking office, and because the exercise of personal influence and the
right of the officer conducting an election to reject the candidature of a
person of whom he disapproved, made it possible to prevent in most cases
the election of any one not _persona grata_ to the majority of the
senators. It was only individuals of exceptional force and ability, like
Cato the Elder, and in later times Marius and Cicero, who could penetrate
the barriers thus established. Such a person was signalled as a _novus
homo_, a “new-comer.”

*The goal of office.* While Rome was hard-pressed by her enemies and while
the issue of the struggle for world empire was still in doubt, the Senate
displayed to a remarkable degree the qualities of self-sacrifice and
steadfastness which so largely contributed to Rome’s ultimate triumph, as
well as great political adroitness in the foreign relations of the state.
But with the passing of all external dangers, personal ambition and class
interest became more and more evident to the detriment of its patriotism
and prestige. Office-holding, with the opportunities it offered for ruling
over subject peoples and of commanding in profitable wars, became a ready
means for securing for oneself and one’s friends the wealth which was
needed to maintain the new standard of luxurious living now affected by
the ruling class of the imperial city. The higher magistracies were
rendered still more valuable in the eyes of the senators when the latter
were prohibited from participating directly in commercial ventures outside
of Italy by a law passed in 219 B. C., which forbade senators to own ships
of seagoing capacity, with the object probably of preventing the foreign
policy of the state from being directed by commercial interests. As a
consequence the rivalry for office became extremely keen, and the
customary canvassing for votes tended to degenerate into bribery both of
individuals and of the voting masses. In the latter case it took the form
of entertaining the public by the elaborate exhibition of lavish
spectacles in the theatre and the arena.

*Attempts to restrain abuses.* However, the sense of responsibility was
still strong enough in the Senate as a whole to secure the passing of
legislation designed to check this evil. The Villian law (_lex Villia
annalis_) of 180 B. C. established a regular sequence for the holding of
the magistracies. Henceforth the quaestorship had to be held before the
praetorship, and the latter before the consulate. The aedileship was not
made imperative, but was regularly sought after the quaestorship, because
it involved the supervision of the public games and festivals, and in this
way gave a good opportunity for ingratiating oneself with the populace.
The tribunate was not considered as one of the regular magistracies, and
the censorship, according to the custom previously established, followed
the consulship. The minimum age of twenty-eight years was set for the
holding of the quaestorship, and an interval of two years was required
between successive magistracies. Somewhat later, about 151 B. C.,
re-elections to the same office were forbidden. In the years 181 and 159
B. C. laws were passed which established severe penalties for the bribery
of electors. Another attempt to check the same abuse was the introduction
of the secret ballot for voting in the assemblies. The Gabinian Law of 139
provided for the use of the ballot in elections; two years later the
Cassian Law extended its use to trials in the _comitia_, and in 131 it was
finally employed in the legislative assemblies.

But these laws accomplished no great results, as they dealt merely with
the symptoms, and not with the cause of the disorder. And the Roman
Senate, deteriorating in capacity and morale, was facing administrative,
military, and social problems, which might well have been beyond its power
to solve even in the days of its greatness. As we have indicated the
Senate’s power rested largely upon its successful foreign policy, but its
initial failures in the last wars with Macedonia and Carthage, and the
long and bloody struggles in Spain, had weakened its reputation and its
claim to control the public policy was challenged, from the middle of the
second century B. C., by the new commercial and capitalist class.

*The Roman Constitution from 265 to 133 B. C.* During the period in
question there were few changes of importance in the political
organization of the Roman state. The dictatorship had been discarded,
although not abolished, before the close of the Hannibalic War, a step
which was in harmony with the policy of the Senate which sought to prevent
any official from attaining too independent a position. In 242 B. C. a
second praetorship, the office of the _praetor peregrinus_ or alien
praetor was established. The duty of this officer was to preside over the
trial of disputes arising between Roman citizens and foreigners. Two
additional praetorships were added in 227, and two more in 197 B. C., to
provide provincial governors of praetorian rank. In 241 B. C. the last two
rural tribal districts were created, making thirty-five tribes in all.
Hereafter when new settlements of Roman colonists were undertaken, or new
peoples admitted to citizenship, they were assigned to one or other of the
old tribes, and membership therein became hereditary, irrespective of
change of residence.

*The reform of the centuries.* At some time subsequent to the creation of
these last two tribes, very probably in the censorship of Flaminius in 220
B. C., a change was made in the organization of the centuriate assembly.
The centuries were organized on the basis of the tribes, an equal number
of centuries of juniors and seniors of each class being assigned to each
tribe.(9) The reform was evidently democratic in its nature, as it
diminished the relative importance of the first class, deprived the
equestrian centuries of the right of casting the first votes—a right now
exercised by a century chosen by lot for each meeting—and placed in
control of the Assembly of the Centuries the same elements as controlled
the Assembly of the Tribes.

*The comitia an antiquated institution.* But by the second century B. C.
the Roman primary assemblies had become antiquated as a vehicle for the
expression of the wishes of the majority of the Roman citizens, because
with the spread of the Roman citizen body throughout Italy it was
impossible for more than a small percentage to attend the meetings of the
Comitia, and this situation became much worse with the settlement of
Romans in their foreign dependencies. It was the failure of the Romans to
devise some adequate substitute for this institution of a primitive
city-state, which was largely responsible for the people’s loss of its
sovereign powers. As it was, the assemblies came to be dominated by the
urban proletariat, a class absolutely unfitted to represent the Roman
citizens as a whole.

*The allies of Rome in Italy.* The Latin and Italian allies, with the
exception of such as were punished for their defection in the war with
Hannibal, remained in their previous federate relationship with Rome.
However, the Romans were no longer careful to adhere strictly to their
treaty rights, and began to trespass upon the local independence of their
allies. Roman magistrates did not hesitate to issue orders to the
magistrates of federate communities, and to punish them for failure to
obey or for lack of respect. The spoils of war, furthermore, were no
longer divided in equal proportions between the Roman and allied troops.
Added to these aggravations came the fact that the allies were after all
dependents and had no share in the government or the financial
administration of the lands they had helped to conquer. But their most
serious grievance was their obligation to military service, which was
exacted without relaxation, and which, owing to reasons which we shall
discuss later, had become much more burdensome than when originally
imposed. It is not surprising, then, to find that by 133 B. C. the
federate allies were demanding to be admitted to Roman citizenship.

However, it was not in Rome or in Italy, but in Rome’s foreign possessions
that the important administrative development of the third and second
centuries occurred.


*The status of the conquered peoples.* The acquisition of Sicily in 241,
and of Sardinia and Corsica in 238 B. C. raised the question whether Rome
should extend to her non-Italian conquests the same treatment accorded to
the Italian peoples and include them within her military federation. This
question was answered in the negative and the status of federate allies
was only accorded to such communities as had previously attained this
relationship or merited it by zeal in the cause of Rome. All the rest were
treated as subjects, not as allies, enjoying only such rights as the
conquerors chose to leave them. The distinguishing mark of their condition
was their obligation to pay a tax or tribute to Rome. Except on special
occasions they were not called upon to render military service.

*The provinces.* At first the Romans tried to conduct the administration
of Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica through the regular city magistrates, but
finding this unsatisfactory in 227 B. C. they created two separate
administrative districts—Sicily forming one, and the other two islands the
second—called provinces from the word _provincia_, which meant the sphere
of duty assigned to a particular official. And in fact special magistrates
were assigned to them, two additional praetors being annually elected for
this purpose. In like manner the Romans in 197 organized the provinces of
Hither and Farther Spain, in 148 the province of Macedonia, in 146 that of
Africa, and in 129 Asia. Subsequent conquests were treated in the same
way. For the Spanish provinces new praetorships were created, “with
consular authority” because of the military importance of their posts. But
for those afterwards organized no new magistracies were added, and the
practice was established of appointing as governor an ex-consul or
ex-praetor with the title of pro-consul or pro-praetor. This method of
appointing provincial governors became, as we shall see, the rule for all
provinces under the republican régime.

*The provincial charter.* Although each province had its own peculiar
features, in general all were organized and administered in the following
way. A provincial charter (_lex provinciae_) drawn up on the ground by a
commission of ten senators and ratified by the Senate fixed the rights and
obligations of the provincials. Each province was an aggregate of
communities (_civitates_), enjoying city or tribal organization, which had
no political bond of unity except in the representative of the Roman
authority. There were three classes of these communities: the free and
federate, the free and non-tributary, and the tributary (_civitates
liberae et foederatae_, _liberae et immunes_, _stipendiariae_). The first
were few in number and although within the borders of a province did not
really belong to it, as they were free allies of Rome whose status was
assured by a permanent treaty with the Roman state. The second class,
likewise not very numerous, enjoyed exemption from taxation by virtue of
the provincial charter, and this privilege the Senate could revoke at
will. The third group was by far the most numerous and furnished the
tribute laid upon the province. As a rule each of the communities enjoyed
its former constitution and laws, subject to the supervision of the Roman

*The Roman governor.* Over this aggregate of communities stood the Roman
governor and his staff. We have already seen how the governor was
appointed and what was his rank among the Roman magistrates. His term of
office was regularly for one year, except in the Spanish provinces where a
term of two years was usual. His duties were of a threefold nature:
military, administrative, and judicial. He was in command of the Roman
troops stationed in the province for the maintenance of order and the
protection of the frontiers; he supervised the relations between the
communities of his province and their internal administration, as well as
the collection of the tribute; he presided over the trial of the more
serious cases arising among provincials, over all cases between
provincials and Romans, or between Roman citizens. Upon entering his
province the governor published an edict, usually modelled upon that of
his predecessors or the praetor’s edict at Rome, stating what legal
principles he would enforce during his term of office. The province was
divided into judicial circuits (_conventus_), and cases arising in each of
these were tried in designated places at fixed times.

*The governor’s staff.* The governor was accompanied by a quaestor, who
acted as his treasurer and received the provincial revenue from the tax
collectors. His staff also comprised three _legati_ or lieutenants,
senators appointed by the senate, but usually nominated by himself, whose
function it was to assist him with their counsel and act as his deputies
when necessary. He also took with him a number of companions (_comites_),
usually young men from the families of his friends, who were given this
opportunity of gaining a knowledge of provincial government and who could
be used in any official capacity. In addition, the governor brought his
own retinue, comprising clerks and household servants.

*The provincial taxes.* The taxes levied upon the provinces were at first
designed to pay the expenses of occupation and defence. Hence they bore
the name _stipendium_, or soldiers’ pay. At a later date the provinces
were looked upon as the estates of the Roman people and the taxes as a
form of rental. The term _tributum_ (tribute), used of the property tax
imposed on Roman citizens did not come into general use for the provincial
revenues until a later epoch. As a rule the Romans accepted the tax system
already in vogue in each district before their occupancy, and exacted
either a fixed annual sum from the province as in Spain, Africa and
Macedonia or one tenth (_decuma_) of the annual produce of the soil, as in
Sicily and Asia. The tribute imposed by the Romans was not higher, but
usually lower than what had been exacted by the previous rulers. The
public lands, mines, and forests, of the conquered state were incorporated
in the Roman public domain, and the right to occupy or exploit them was
leased to individuals or companies of contractors. Customs dues
(_portoria_) were also collected in the harbors and on the frontiers of
the provinces.

*The tax collectors.* Following the custom established in Italy, the Roman
state did not collect its taxes in the provinces through public officials
but leased for a period of five years the right to collect each particular
tax to the private corporation of tax collectors (_publicani_) which made
the highest bid for the privilege. These corporations were joint stock
companies, with a central office at Rome and agencies in the provinces in
which they were interested. It was this system which was responsible for
the greatest evils of Roman provincial administration. For the _publicani_
were usually corporations of Romans, bent on making a profit from their
speculation, and practised under the guise of raising the revenue, all
manner of extortion upon the provincials. It was the duty of the governor
to check their rapacity, but from want of sympathy with the oppressed and
unwillingness to offend the Roman business interests this duty was rarely
performed. Hand in hand with tax collecting went the business of money
lending, for the Romans found a state of chronic bankruptcy prevailing in
the Greek world and made loans everywhere at exorbitant rates of interest.
To collect overdue payments the Roman bankers appealed to the governor,
who usually quartered troops upon delinquent communities until they
satisfied their creditors.

*The rapacity of the governors.* A further source of misgovernment lay in
the greed of the governor and his staff. The temptations of unrestricted
power proved too great for the morality of the average Roman. It is true
that there were not wanting Roman governors who maintained the highest
traditions of Roman integrity in public office, but there were also only
too many who abused their power to enrich themselves. While the shortness
of his term of office prevented a good governor from thoroughly
understanding the conditions of his province, it served to augment the
criminal zeal with which an avaricious proconsul, often heavily indebted
from the expenses of his election campaigns, sought to wring a fortune
from the hapless provincials. Bribes, presents, illegal exactions, and
open confiscations were the chief means of amassing wealth. In this the
almost sovereign position of the governor and his freedom from immediate
senatorial control guaranteed him a free hand.

*The quaestio rerum repetundarum: 149 B. C.* The mischief became so
serious that in 149 B. C. the public conscience awoke to the wrong and
ruin inflicted upon the provinces, and by a Calpurnian Law a standing
court was instituted for the trial of officials accused of extortion in
the provinces. This court was composed of fifty jurors drawn from the
Senate and was presided over by a praetor. From its judgment there was no
appeal. Its establishment marks an important innovation in Roman legal
procedure in criminal cases. It is possible also that the Senate was
encouraged to undertake the organization of new provinces shortly after
149 because it believed that this court would serve as an adequate means
of controlling the provincial governors. But it was useless to expect very
much from such a tribunal. The cost of a long trial at Rome, the
difficulty of securing testimony, the inadequacy of the penalty provided,
which was limited to restitution of the damage inflicted, as well as the
fear of vengeance from future governors, would deter the majority of
sufferers from seeking reparation. Nor could an impartial verdict be
expected from a jury of senators trying one of their own number for an
offense which many of them regarded as their prerogative. And so till the
end of the republic the provincials suffered from the oppression of their
governors, as well as from that of the tax-collectors.


*Outstanding characteristics of the period.* The epoch of foreign
expansion which we are considering was marked by a complete revolution in
the social and economic life of Rome and Italy. It witnessed the spread of
the slave plantations, the decline of the free Italian peasantry, the
growth of the city mob of Rome, the great increase in the power of the
commercial and capitalist class, and the introduction of a new standard of
living among the well-to-do.

*The slave **plantations.* The introduction of the plantation system, that
is, of the cultivation of large estates (_latifundia_) by slave labor, was
the result of several causes: the Roman system of administering the public
domain, the devastation of the rural districts of South Italy in the
Hannibalic War, the abundant supply of cheap slaves taken as prisoners of
war, and the inability of the small proprietors to maintain themselves in
the face of the demands of military service abroad and the competition of
imported grain as well as that of the _latifundia_ themselves.

The public domain that was not required for purposes of colonization had
always been open for pasturage or cultivation to persons paying a nominal
rental to the state. Those who profited most from this system were the
wealthier landholders who could occupy and cultivate very considerable
areas. This fact explains the senatorial opposition to the division and
settlement of the _ager Gallicus_ proposed and carried by the tribune
Flaminius in 233 B. C. The dangers of the practice to the smaller
proprietors caused the passing of laws, probably late in the third
century, which limited the amount of public land to be occupied by any
individual and his family. But these laws were disregarded, for the Senate
administered the public domain and the senators were the wealthy
landholders. After several generations the public lands occupied in this
way came to be regarded as private property. The havoc wrought by Hannibal
in South Italy, where he destroyed four hundred communities, caused the
disappearance of the country population and opened the way for the
acquisition of large estates there, and the law which restricted the
commercial activities of senators and forbade their engaging in tax
collecting or undertaking similar state contracts encouraged them to
invest their capital in Italian land and stimulated the growth of their

The change in agrarian conditions in Italy was also advantageous to large
estates. The cheapness of Sicilian grain rendered it more profitable in
Italy to cultivate vineyards and olive orchards, and to raise cattle and
sheep on a large scale. For the latter wide acreages were needed: a summer
pasturage in the mountains and a winter one in the lowlands of the coast.
Abundant capital and cheap labor were other requisites. And slaves were to
be had in such numbers that their labor was exploited without regard for
their lives. Cato the Elder, who exemplified the vices as well as the
virtues of the old Roman character, treated his slaves like cattle and
recommended that they be disposed of when no longer fit for work. Often
the slaves worked in irons, and were housed in underground prisons
(_ergastula_). The dangers of the presence of such masses of slaves so
brutally treated came to light in the Sicilian Slave War which broke out
in 136 B. C., when over 200,000 of them rebelled and defied the Roman arms
for a period of four years.

*The decline of the free peasantry.* Partly a cause and partly a result of
the spread of the _latifundia_ was the decline of the free Italian
peasantry. As we have seen, the competition of the slave plantations
proved ruinous to those who tilled their own land. But another very potent
cause contributing to this result was the burden imposed by Rome’s foreign
wars. Since only those who had a property assessment of at least 4000
asses were liable to military service, and since the majority of Roman
citizens were engaged in agricultural occupations, the Roman armies were
chiefly recruited from the country population. And no longer for a part of
each year only, but for a number of consecutive years, was the peasant
soldier kept from his home to the inevitable detriment of his fields and
his finances. Furthermore, a long period of military service with the
chances of gaining temporary riches from the spoils of war unfitted men
for the steady, laborious life of the farm. And so many discharged
soldiers, returning to find that their lands had been mortgaged in their
absence for the support of their families, and being unable or unwilling
to gain a livelihood on their small estates, let these pass into the hands
of their wealthier neighbors and flocked to Rome to swell the mob of
idlers there. Then came the heavy losses of the Second Punic and the
Spanish Wars. Although the census list of Roman citizens eligible for
military service shows an increase in the first half of the second century
B. C., between 164 and 136 it sank from 337,000 to 317,000. Yet the levies
had to be raised, even if, as we have seen, they were unpopular enough to
induce the tribunes to intercede against them. The Latin and Italian
allies felt the same drain as the Roman citizens, but had no recourse to
the tribunician intercession. The Senate was consequently brought face to
face with a very serious military problem. The provinces, once occupied,
had to be kept in subjection and defended. Since the Roman government
would not, or dare not, raise armies in the provinces, it had to meet
increasing military obligations with declining resources.

*The urban proletariat.* Another difficulty was destined to arise from the
growth of a turbulent mob in Rome itself. This was in large measure due to
Rome’s position as the political and commercial center of the
Mediterranean world. By the end of this period of expansion the city had a
population of at least half a million, rivalling Alexandria and Antioch,
the great Hellenistic capitals. Although not a manufacturing city, Rome
had always been important as a market, and now her streets were thronged
with traders from all lands, and with persons who could cater in any way
to the wants and the appetites of an imperial city. There was a large
proportion of slaves belonging to the mansions of the wealthy, and of
freedmen engaged in business for themselves or for their patrons. Hither
flocked also the peasants who for various reasons had abandoned their
agricultural pursuits to pick up a precarious living in the city or to
depend upon the bounty of the patron to whom they attached themselves.
Owing to the slowness of transportation by land and its uncertainties by
sea, the congestion of population in Rome made the problem of supplying
the city with food one of great difficulty, since a rise in the price of
grain, or a delay in the arrival of the Sicilian wheat convoy would bring
the proletariat to the verge of starvation. And upon the popular
assemblies the presence of this unstable element had an unwholesome
effect. Dominated as these assemblies were by those who resided in the
city, their actions were bound to be determined by the particular
interests and passions of this portion of the citizen body. Furthermore,
in the _contiones_ or mass meetings for political purposes, non-citizens
as well as citizens could attend, and this afforded a ready means for
evoking the mob spirit in the hope of overawing the Comitia. This danger
would not have been present if the Roman constitution had provided
adequate means for policing the city. As it was, however, beyond the
magistrates and their personal attendants, there were no persons
authorized to maintain order in the city. And since the consuls lacked
military authority within the _pomerium_, there were no armed forces at
their disposal.

*The equestrian order.* The Roman custom of depending as much as possible
upon individual initiative for the conduct of public business, as in the
construction of roads, aqueducts and other public works, the operation of
mines, and the collection of taxes of all kinds, had given rise to a class
of professional public contractors—the _publicani_. Their operations, with
the allied occupations of banking and money-lending, had been greatly
enlarged by the period of war and conquest which followed 265 B. C.
through the opportunities it brought for the exploitation of subject
peoples. Roman commerce, too, had spread with the extension of Roman
political influence. The exclusion of senators from direct participation
in these ventures led to the rise of a numerous, wealthy and influential
class whose interests differed from and often ran counter to those of the
senatorial order. In general they supported an aggressive foreign policy,
with the ruthless exploitation of conquered peoples, and they were
powerful enough to influence the destruction of Carthage and Corinth. In
the course of the second century this class developed into a distinct
order in the state—the equestrians. Since the Roman cavalry had
practically ceased to serve in the field, the term _equites_ came to be
applied to all those whose property would have permitted their serving as
cavalry at their own expense. The majority of these was formed by the
business class, although under the name of equestrians were still included
such members of the senatorial families as had not yet held office.

*The new scale of living.* In the course of their campaigns in Sicily,
Africa, Greece, and Asia Minor, the Romans came into close contact with a
civilization older and higher than their own, where the art of living was
practised with a refinement and elegance unknown in Latium. In this
respect the conquerors showed themselves only too ready to learn from the
conquered, and all the luxurious externals of culture were transplanted to
Rome. But the old Periclean motto, “refinement without extravagance,” did
not appeal to the Romans who, like typical _nouveaux riches_ vied with one
another in the extravagant display of their wealth. The simple Roman house
with its one large _atrium_, serving at once as kitchen, living room, and
bed chamber, was completely transformed. The _atrium_ became a pillared
reception hall, special rooms were added for the various phases of
domestic life; in the rear of the _atrium_ arose a Greek peristyle
courtyard, and the house was filled with costly sculptures and other works
of art, plundered or purchased in the cities of Hellas. Banquets were
served on silver plate and exhibited the rarest and costliest dishes. The
homes of the wealthy were thronged with retinues of slaves, each specially
trained for some particular task; the looms of the East supplied garments
of delicate texture. A wide gulf yawned between the life of the rich and
the life of the poor.

*Sumptuary legislation.* But the change did not come about without
vigorous opposition from the champions of the old Roman simplicity of life
who saw in the new refinement and luxury a danger to Roman vigor and
morality. The spokesman of the reactionaries was Cato the Elder, who in
his censorship in 184 B. C. assessed articles of luxury and expensive
slaves at ten times their market value and made them liable to taxation at
an exceptionally high rate, in case the property tax should be levied. But
such action was contrary to the spirit of the age; the next censors let
his regulations fall into abeyance. Attempts to check the growth of luxury
by legislation were equally futile. The Oppian Law, passed under stress of
the need for conservation in 215 B. C., restricting female extravagance in
dress and ornaments, was repealed in 195, and subsequent attempts at
sumptuary legislation in 181, 161, and 143, were equally in vain.

To resume: in 133 B. C. the Roman state was faced with a bitter contest
between the Senate and the equestrians for the control of the government,
the Comitia was dominated by an unstable urban proletariat, the
provisioning of Rome was a source of anxiety, dissatisfaction was rife
among the Latin and Italian allies, the military resources of the state
were weakening, while its military burdens were greater than ever, and the
ruling circles had begun to display unmistakable signs of a declining
public morality. With a constitution adapted to a city-state Rome was now
forced to grapple with all the problems of imperial government.

                          IV. CULTURAL PROGRESS

*Greek influences.* In addition to creating new administrative problems
and transforming the economic life of Italy, the expansion of Rome gave a
tremendous impulse to its cultural development. The chief stimulus thereto
was the close contact with Hellenic civilization. We have previously
mentioned that Rome had been subject to Greek influences both indirectly
through Etruria and directly from the Greek cities of South Italy, but
with the conquest of the latter, and the occupation of Sicily, Greece, and
part of Asia Minor, these influences became infinitely more immediate and
powerful. They were intensified by the number of Greeks who flocked to
Rome as ambassadors, teachers, physicians, merchants and artists, and by
the multitude of educated Greek slaves employed in Roman households. And
as the Hellenic civilization was more ancient and had reached a higher
stage than the Latin, it was inevitable that the latter should borrow
largely from the former and consciously or unconsciously imitate it in
many respects. In fact the intellectual life of Rome never attained the
freedom and richness of that of Greece upon which it was always dependent.
In this domain, as Horace phrased it, “Captive Greece took captive her
rude conqueror.”

*New tendencies in Roman education.* A knowledge of Greek now became part
of the equipment of every educated man, the training of the sons of the
well-to-do was placed in the hands of Greek tutors, who were chiefly
domestic slaves, and the study of the masterpieces of Greek literature
created the genuine admiration for Greek achievements and the respect that
men like Flamininus showed towards their Greek contemporaries—a respect
which the political ineptitude of the latter soon changed to contempt.
These tendencies were vigorously opposed by the conservative Cato, who
regarded Greek influences as demoralizing. Following the old Roman custom
he personally trained his sons, and had no sympathy with a philhellenic
foreign policy. But even Cato in the end yielded so far as to learn Greek.
The chief patrons of Hellenism were men of the type of Scipio Africanus
the Elder; notably Titus Flamininus, Aemilius Paulus and Scipio
Aemilianus, at whose house gathered the leading intellectuals of the day.
Intimate associates there were the Achaean historian Polybius and the
Stoic philosopher Panaetius of Rhodes.

*Roman literature: I. Poetry.* More than anything else Greek influences
contributed to the rise of Roman literature. Prior to the war with
Hannibal the Romans had no literature, although Latin prose had attained a
certain development in the formulation of laws and treaties and a rude
Latin verse had appeared.

Not unnaturally Roman literature began with translations from the Greek,
and here poetry preceded prose. In the latter half of the third century
B. C., Livius Andronicus, a Greek freedman, translated the _Odyssey_ into
Latin Saturnian verse, as a text-book for school use. He also translated
Greek comedies and tragedies. At about the same time Cnaeus Naevius wrote
comedies and tragedies having Roman as well as Greek subjects. He also
composed an epic poem on the First Punic War, still using the native

Dramatic literature developed rapidly under the demand for plays to be
presented at the public festivals. In the second century appeared the
great comic poet Plautus, who drew his subjects from the Greek New Comedy,
but whose metre and language were strictly Latin. He was followed by
Terence, a man of lesser genius, who depended largely upon Greek
originals, but who was distinguished for the purity and elegance of his
Latin. A later dramatist of note was Lucius Accius, who brought Roman
tragedy to its height. In both comedy and tragedy Greek plots and
characters were gradually abandoned for those of native origin, but
tragedy failed to appeal to the Roman public which was in general too
uneducated to appreciate its worth and preferred the comedy, mime or
gladiatorial combat. A notable figure is Ennius, a Messapian, who began to
write at the close of the third century B. C. He created the Latin
hexameter verse in which he wrote a great epic portraying the history of
Rome from the migration of Aeneas. Another famous member of the Scipionic
circle was Gaius Lucilius, a Roman of equestrian rank, who originated the
one specifically Roman contribution to literary types, the satire. His
poems were a criticism of life in all its aspects, public and private. He
called them “talks” (_sermones_), but they received the popular name of
satires because their colloquial language and the variety of their
subjects recalled the native Italian medley of prose and verse, narrative
and drama, known as the _satura_.

*II. Prose.* Latin prose developed more slowly. The earliest Roman
historical works by Fabius Pictor (after 201 B. C.), Cincius Alimentus,
and others, were written in Greek, for in that language alone could they
find suitable models. It remained for Cato, here as elsewhere the foe of
Hellenism, to create Latin historical prose in his _Origins_, an account
of the beginnings of Rome and the Italian peoples written about 168 B. C.
His earlier work on agriculture was the first book in Latin prose. The
work of the Carthaginian Mago on the same subject was translated into
Latin by a commission appointed by the Senate.

*Oratory.* The demands of public life in Rome had already created a native
oratory. A speech delivered by Appius Claudius in 279 B. C. had been
written down and published, as were several funeral orations from the
close of the third century. But it was Cato who first published a
collection of his speeches, about one hundred and fifty in number, which
enjoyed a great reputation. A new impulse to this branch of literature was
given by the introduction of the systematic study of rhetoric under the
influence of Greek orators and teachers.

*Juristic writings.* In the field of jurisprudence the Romans at this
period, were but little subject to Greek influences. The codification of
the law in the fifth century B. C. had been followed by the introduction
of new principles and forms of action, chiefly through the praetor’s
edict. The necessity arose of harmonizing the old law and the new, and of
systematizing the various forms of legal procedure. Roman juristic
literature begins with Sextus Aelius Paetus (consul in 198 B. C.),
surnamed Catus “the shrewd,” who compiled a work which later generations
regarded as “the cradle of the law.” It was in three parts; the first
contained an interpretation of the XII Tables, the second the development
of the law by the jurists, and the third new methods of legal procedure. A
knowledge of the law had always been highly esteemed at Rome and the
position of a jurist consult, that is, one who was consulted on difficult
legal problems, was one of especial honor. Consequently the study of the
law, together with that of oratory, formed the regular preparation for the
Roman who aimed at a public career.

*Religion.* Greek religion, like Greek literature, had attained a more
advanced stage than that of Rome, and possessed a rich mythology when the
Romans had barely begun to ascribe distinct personalities to their gods.
Hence there came about a ready identification between Greek and Roman
divinities to whom similar powers were ascribed and the wholesale adoption
of Greek mythological lore. By the close of the third century B. C. there
was formally recognized in Rome a group of twelve greater divinities who
were identical with the twelve Olympic gods of Greece. There ensued also a
rapid neglect of the minor Latin divinities whose place was taken by those
of Greek origin. The old impersonal Roman deities had given place to
anthropomorphic Hellenic conceptions. This is reflected in the acceptance
of Greek types for the plastic representations of the gods, a strong
demand for which arose with the acquaintance of the works of art carried
off from Syracuse and other Greek cities. An important factor in this
hellenization of the Roman religion was the influence of the Sibylline
Books, a collection of Greek oracles imported from Cumae in the days of
the Roman kings and consulted in times of national danger.

*The decree of the Senate against Bacchanalian societies: 186 B. C.* But
Greek influence in the sphere of religion went deeper than the
identification of Greek and Roman divinities, for the emotional cult of
Bacchus with its mystic ceremonies and doctrines made its way into Italy
where religious associations for its celebration were formed even in Rome
itself. The demoralizing effects of this worship called forth a senatorial
investigation which resulted, as we have seen, in the suppression of these
associations. A similar action was taken with regard to the Chaldean
astrologers, banished from Italy in 139 B. C.

*The worship of the Great Mother.* Of a different character was the cult
of the Great Mother officially introduced into Rome in the year 204 B. C.
This was in essence a native nature worship of Asia Minor, disguised with
a veneer of Hellenism. It was the first of the so-called Oriental cults to
obtain a footing in the Roman world.

*Skepticism and Stoicism.* Although the formalities of religion in so far
as they concerned public life were still scrupulously observed, there was
an ever increasing skepticism with regard to the existence and power of
the gods of the Graeco-Roman mythology. This was especially true of the
educated classes, who were influenced to a certain extent by the
rationalism of Euhemerus, whose work on the origin of the gods had been
translated by Ennius, but much more by the pantheism of the Stoic
philosophy. The Stoic doctrines, with their practical ethical
prescriptions, made a strong appeal to the Roman character and found an
able expositor in Panaetius of Rhodes who taught under the patronage of
Scipio Aemilianus.

*Public festivals.* Of great importance in the life of the city were the
annual public festivals or games, of which six came to be regularly
celebrated by the middle of the second century, each lasting for several
days. Five of these were celebrated by the aediles, one by the city
praetor. A fixed sum was allotted by the state to defray the expenses of
these exhibits, but custom required that this must be largely supplemented
from the private purse of the person in charge. In this way the aedileship
afforded an excellent opportunity to win public favor by an exhibition of
generosity. To the original horse and chariot races there came to be added
scenic productions, wild beast hunts, and gladiatorial combats, in
imitation of those exhibited by private persons. The first private
exhibition of gladiators was given at a funeral in 264 B. C., and the
first wild beast hunt in 186 B. C. These types of exhibitions soon became
the most popular of all and exercised a brutalizing effect upon the

*The city Rome.* The growth of Rome in population and wealth brought about
a corresponding change in the appearance of the city. Tenement houses of
several stories and high rentals reflected the influx into the capital.
Public buildings began to be erected on a large scale. The Circus
Flaminius dates from the end of the third century, and several basilicas
or large public halls, suitable as places for transacting business or
conducting judicial hearings, were erected by 169 B. C. A new stone bridge
was built across the Tiber, a quay to facilitate the unloading of ships
was constructed on the bank of the river, a third aqueduct brought into
the city, and stone paving laid on many streets. Many temples were
erected, adorned with votive offerings, mainly spoils of war from Greek
cities. But no native art or architecture arose that was worthy of the
imperial position of Rome.

                               CHAPTER XII


*Civil war and imperial expansion.* The century which began with the year
133 B. C. is characterized by a condition of perpetual factional strife
within the Roman state; strife which frequently blazed forth into civil
war and which culminated in the fall of the republican system of

The question at issue was the right of the Senate to direct the policy of
Rome, and this right was challenged by the tribunate and the Assembly of
Tribes, by the equestrian order, and by the great military leaders who
appeared in the course of civil and foreign wars.

For in spite of these unceasing internal disorders this century marks an
imperial expansion which rivalled that of the era of the Punic and
Macedonian Wars. In Gaul the Roman sway was extended to the Rhine and the
Ocean; in the east practically the whole peninsula of Asia Minor, as well
as Syria and Egypt, was incorporated in the Empire. With the exception of
Mauretania (i. e. modern Morocco, which was really a Roman dependency) the
Roman provinces completely encircled the Mediterranean.

At the same time a new Italian nation was created by the admission to
Roman citizenship of all the peoples dwelling in Italy south of the Alps.

The period 133 to 78 B. C. covers the first stage in the struggle which
brought the Republic to an end, and closes with the Senate in full
possession of its old prerogatives, while the powers of the tribunate and
Assembly have been seriously curtailed. In this struggle the Roman citizen
body was aligned in two groups. The one, which supported the claims of the
Senate, was called the party of the “Optimates” or aristocrats; the other,
which challenged these claims, was known as the people’s party or the


*Tiberius Gracchus, tribune, 133 B. C.* The opening of the struggle was
brought on by the agrarian legislation proposed by Tiberius Gracchus, a
tribune for the year 133 B. C. Gracchus, then thirty years of age, was one
of the most prominent young Romans of his time, being the son of the
consul whose name he bore and of Cornelia, daughter of the great Scipio
Africanus. Under his mother’s supervision, he had received a careful
education, which included rhetoric and Greek Stoic philosophy. As quaestor
in Spain in 136 he had distinguished himself for courage and honesty in
dealing with the native population and had acquainted himself with the
military needs of Rome. He saw in the decline of the free peasantry of
Italy the chief menace to the state, and when elected to the tribunate
proposed legislation which aimed to re-establish the class of free Roman
farmers, and thus provide new strength for the Roman armies.

*The land law.* His proposed land law took the form of a re-enactment of a
previous agrarian measure dating, probably, from the end of the third
century B. C. This law had restricted the amount of public land which any
person might occupy to five hundred iugera (about three hundred and ten
acres), an amount which Gracchus augmented by two hundred and fifty iugera
for each of two grown sons. All land held in excess of this limit was to
be surrendered to the state, further occupation of public land was
forbidden, and what was within the legal limit was to be declared private
property. Compensation for improvements on surrendered lands was offered
to the late occupants, and a commission of three men was to be annually
elected with judicial powers to decide upon the rights of possessors (_III
vir agris iudicandis assignandis_). The land thus resumed by the state was
to be assigned by the commissioners to landless Roman citizens in small
allotments, incapable of alienation, and subject to a nominal rental to
the state.

*Deposition of the tribune Octavius.* This proposal aroused widespread
consternation among the Senators, who saw their holdings threatened. In
many cases it had doubtless become impossible for them to distinguish
between their private properties and the public lands occupied by their
families for several generations. The Senate resorted to its customary
procedure in protecting its prerogatives and induced a tribune named
Octavius to veto the measure. But Gracchus was terribly in earnest with
his project of reform and took the unprecedented step of appealing to the
Assembly of the Tribes to depose Octavius, on the ground that he was
thwarting the will of the people. The Assembly voiced their approval of
Tiberius by depriving his opponent of his office. The land bill was
thereupon presented to the Assembly and passed. The first commissioners
elected to carry it into effect were Tiberius himself, his younger brother
Caius, and his father-in-law, Appius Claudius.

*Death of Tiberius Gracchus.* To equip the allotments made to poor
settlers, Tiberius proposed the appropriation of the treasure of King
Attalus III of Pergamon, to which the Roman state had lately fallen heir.
Here was a direct attack upon the Senate’s customary control of such
matters. But before this proposal could be presented to the Comitia, the
elections to the tribunate for 132 fell due. Tiberius determined to
present himself for re-election in order to ensure the carrying out of his
land law and to protect himself from prosecution on the ground of the
unconstitutionality of some of his actions. Such a procedure was unusual,
if not illegal, and the Senate determined to prevent it at any cost. The
elections culminated in a riot in which Gracchus and three hundred
adherents were massacred by the armed slaves and clients of the senators.
Their bodies were thrown into the Tiber. A judicial commission appointed
by the Senate sought out and punished the leading supporters of the
murdered tribune.

*The fate of the land commission.* However, the land law remained in force
and the commission set to work. But in 129 B. C. the commissioners were
deprived of their judicial powers, and, since they could no longer
expropriate land, their activity practically ceased.

Still, the Senate’s opponents were not utterly crushed. In 131 an attempt
was made to legalize re-election to the tribunate, and although the
proposal failed at first, a law to that effect was passed some time prior
to 123 B. C. In the year 129 died Scipio Aemilianus, the conqueror of
Carthage and Numantia, the foremost Roman of the day. Upon returning from
Spain in 132 he had energetically taken sides with the Senate and had
caused the land commissioners to lose their right of jurisdiction. Thereby
he had become exceedingly unpopular with the Gracchan party, and when he
died suddenly in his fifty-sixth year, there were not wanting those who
accused his wife Sempronia, sister of Tiberius and Caius Gracchus, and
others of their family, of being responsible for his decease.

            II. THE TRIBUNATE OF CAIUS GRACCHUS: 124–121 B. C.

*Caius Gracchus, tribune, 123 B. C.* The return of Caius Gracchus from his
quaestorship in Sardinia in 124 B. C. and his immediate election to the
tribunate for the ensuing year heralded the opening of a new phase in the
conflict between the Optimates and the Populares. Caius was a passionate
orator, and a man of greater energy and more violent temperament than his
brother. He entered office pledged to support the agrarian policy of
Tiberius, but likewise determined to avenge the latter’s death and to
wrest from the Senate its control of the government.

*The legislation of Caius Gracchus, 123 B. C.* Upon assuming office Caius
developed an extensive legislative program. Extraordinary judicial
commissions established by the Senate were declared illegal and the
ex-consul Popilius who had been the leader in the prosecution of the
followers of Tiberius, was forced into exile. A law was passed which
provided for a monthly distribution of grain to the city populace at one
half the current market price. In this way an expedient which had
occasionally been resorted to in times of distress was laid as a permanent
obligation upon the government. It has been pointed out above that the
lower classes in the city lived in perpetual danger of famine, and Caius
probably hoped to relieve the state of the perpetual menace of a hungry
proletariat at the capital by improving the arrangements for the city’s
grain supply and lowering the cost of grain to the poor. But in the end
this measure had the evil results of putting a severe drain upon the
treasury and a premium upon idleness. For the moment, however, it made the
city mob devoted adherents of Caius and strengthened his control of the
Assembly. The land law of 133 B. C. was re-enacted and the land
commissioners reclothed with judicial authority. In connection therewith
there was undertaken the extension and improvement of the road system of
Italy. Caius then assured himself of the support of the financial
interests by a law which provided that the whole revenue from the new
province of Asia should be auctioned off at Rome in a lump to Roman
contractors. A rich field was thus opened up to the Roman bankers.

*Caius re-elected tribune for 122 B. C.* The activity of Caius in
supervising the execution of his legislation made him the leading figure
in the government, and he was re-elected to the tribunate for 122 B. C. It
seemed as though a sort of Periclean democracy had been established in
Rome, where the statesman who commanded a majority in the popular assembly
by securing his continuous re-election to the tribunate might supplant the
Senate in directing the public policy.

*The Judiciary Law, 123 B. C.* Gracchus continued his legislative
activity. One of his most important laws was that which deprived senators
of the right to act as judges in the courts, including the permanent
_quaestiones_, and transferred this prerogative to the equestrians. This
was probably done by defining the qualifications of jurors in such a way
as to exclude both senators and those not potentially able to maintain the
equipment of a cavalryman at their own expense, i. e. those assessed at
less than 400,000 sesterces ($20,000). By the Acilian Law of 123, which
reorganized the _quaestio_ for the recovery of damages, the relatives of
senators, who were still eligible to the eighteen equestrian centuries,
were specifically excluded from serving as jurors. In this way the
equestrian order in its widest sense was defined and, being given specific
public duties, was rendered more conscious of its power and special
interests. In consequence the permanent tribunal for trying officials
charged with extortion in the provinces was manned by _equites_ instead of
senators. But the change brought no relief to the subjects of Rome for
this court was now composed of men who were interested in the financial
exploitation of the provincials and who thus were in a position to
intimidate a governor who endeavored to restrain the rapacity of tax
collectors and money-lenders. The control of the law courts became a
standing bone of contention between the Senate and the equestrian order.
Another law, which further restricted the powers of the Senate, dealt with
the allotment of the consular provinces. Previously these had been
assigned by the Senate after the election of the consuls, so that the
activities of one distrusted by the senators could be considerably
restricted. For the future the consular provinces had to be designated
prior to the elections and then assigned to the successful candidates. The
Senate’s control over the consuls was thereby considerably weakened.

*Schemes for **colonization** and **extension** of Roman **citizenship**.*
Caius also secured the passage of an extensive scheme of colonization,
which provided for the establishment of Roman colonies at Capua and
Tarentum, and, what was an innovation, for a colony outside of Italy on
the site of Carthage. He further championed the cause of the Latin and
Italian allies, for whom he sought to secure Roman citizenship. The
Senatorial party thereupon endeavored to undermine his influence with the
people by proposing through the tribune Livius Drusus a more extensive
scheme of colonization, with exemption from rentals for colonists, and
opposing the extension of the franchise to the allied communities, a
measure unpopular with the masses who were jealous of sharing their
privileges with numbers of new citizens.

*The overthrow of Caius Gracchus: 121 B. C.* Caius personally undertook
the foundation of the colony, named Junonia, which was located at
Carthage, and his absence of seventy days on this mission gave the
opposition time to organize their forces. His enemies accused him of
aiming at a tyranny, his proposal for extension of the franchise was
quashed by the veto of Drusus, and he himself failed to secure his
election as tribune for 121. With the opening of that year the Senate
initiated an attack upon some of his measures, especially the founding of
Junonia. The senators were determined to impeach or kill Gracchus, while
he and his friends organized themselves for defence. A riot in which one
of the senatorial faction was killed gave the Senate the pretext to
proclaim a state of martial law and authorize the consul Opimius to take
any steps to safeguard the state. The followers of Gracchus assembled on
the Aventine, their overtures were rejected and upon the refusal of Caius
and his chief adherent Flaccus to appear before the Senate, Opimius
attacked them at the head of the Senators, armed slaves and Cretan
archers. The Gracchans were routed; Caius had himself killed by a faithful
slave, and a judicial commission condemned three thousand of his

*The consequences of the Gracchan disorders.* The memory of the Gracchi
retained a lasting hold upon the affections of the Roman plebs. But
although both were earnest patriots, who made a sincere attempt to reform
existing abuses in the state, one cannot but feel that the success of
their political aims would have brought about no permanent improvement. To
substitute for the Senate the fickle Assembly as the governing force in
the state was no true democratic measure owing to the fact that the
Assembly did not properly represent the mass of the citizen body, and as
the future years were to show, would merely have shifted the reins of
power from one incompetent body to another more incompetent still. As it
was, the Senate, although victorious, emerged from the contest weakened in
authority and prestige, and having left a feeling of bitter resentment in
the hearts of its opponents. It owed its success to violence and not to
legal measures and thus offered a precedent which others might follow
against itself. The alliance between the equestrians and the urban
proletariat while it lasted had proven stronger than the Senate, and this
lesson, too, was not lost upon future statesmen. Besides the loss of some
of its prerogatives, the Senate was weakened by the consolidation of the
business interests as a political party, with which it was brought into
sharp opposition over the question of provincial government. Well might
Caius Gracchus declare that by his judiciary law he had “thrust a dagger
into the side of the Senate.” For the provincials, the result of this law
was to usher in an era of increased oppression and misgovernment. The
refusal of the Romans to grant the franchise to the allies served to
estrange them still further from Rome. On the whole we may say that
conditions in Rome, Italy and the provinces were worse after the time of
the Gracchi than before.

*Fate of the agrarian legislation.* It is impossible to estimate how many
Romans received allotments of land under the Gracchan laws. Although the
census list rose from 317,000 in 136 to 394,000 in 125, we cannot ascribe
this increase altogether to an increase in the number of small
proprietors. The admission of freedmen to citizenship doubtless accounts
for many. Still there was beyond question a decided addition made to the
free peasantry. The colony of Junonia was abandoned, but the settlers in
Africa were left undisturbed on their lands. By 120 the restrictions on
the sale of allotments in Italy were withdrawn; in 118 assignments ceased;
and in 111 rentals to the state were abolished and all lands then held in
possession were declared private property; an enactment which benefited
greatly the wealthy proprietors.


*Foreign wars of the Gracchan Age.* While the Senate and the Gracchi were
struggling for the mastery in Rome, the Roman state engaged in continual
frontier struggles, particularly on the northern borders of Italy and
Macedonia. Most of these wars were of slight importance, but one resulted
in the occupation of the Balearic Islands, in 123–122, which gave Rome
full command of the sea route to Spain. Another, still more important, was
that waged between 125 and 123 in answer to an appeal from Massalia
against the Ligurian Salyes to the north of that city. Their subjugation
gave the Romans the command of the route across the Maritime Alps from
Italy to Gaul. The fortress of Aquae Sextiae was established to guard this

*The Roman advance in Transalpine Gaul.* It now became the object of the
Romans to secure the land route to Spain. But beyond the territory of
their ally Massalia the way was blocked by powerful coalitions of Gallic
tribes. Chief among these were the Allobroges to the east of the Rhone,
the Arverni the greatest of all, whose territory lay west of that river,
from the Loire to the Pyrenees, and the Aedui, to the north of the
Arverni. The Romans made an alliance with the latter people who were at
enmity with the other two, and attacked the Allobroges because they had
received fugitives from the Salyes. The Arverni were drawn into the
conflict on the side of the Allobroges.

*The province of Narbonese Gaul.* In 121 B. C. both these peoples were
decisively beaten in a great battle near the junction of the Isère and the
Rhone by the consul Fabius Maximus and the proconsul Domitius. The Romans
were now masters of all southern Gaul, except Massalia, and organized it
as a province. In 118 B. C. a Roman colony was established at Narbo, which
was with the exception of the abandoned settlement of Junonia, the first
colony of Roman citizens sent beyond the Italian peninsula, although
colonies with Latin rights had been founded in Spain long before. To link
Italy with Spain there was constructed the _via Domitia_, a military road
traversing the new province.

*The Jugurthine War.* It was not long before Rome became involved in a
much more serious conflict that was destined to reveal to the world the
rottenness and incapacity of its ruling class, and to reawaken internal
political strife. In 118 B. C. occurred the death of Micipsa, who had
succeeded Masinissa as king of Numidia. Micipsa left his kingdom to be
ruled jointly by his two sons, Adherbal and Hiempsal, and a nephew,
Jugurtha. The latter was an able, energetic, but ambitious and
unscrupulous prince, who had gained a good knowledge of Roman society
through serving in the Roman army before Numantia. However, the three soon
quarreled and divided the kingdom. It was not long before Jugurtha caused
Hiempsal to be assassinated and drove Adherbal from the country. The
latter fled to Rome to appeal for aid, on the basis of the alliance with
Rome which he had inherited from his ancestors. Thereupon Jugurtha sent
his agents, with well filled purses, to plead his case before the Senate.
So successful was he that a Roman commission appointed to divide Numidia
between himself and Adherbal gave him the western or richest part of the
kingdom. But Jugurtha’s aim was to rule over the whole of Numidia, and so
he provoked Adherbal to war. In 113 B. C. he succeeded in besieging him in
his capital, Cirta, which was defended chiefly by Italians who had settled
there for commercial reasons. Two Roman commissions sent to investigate
the situation succumbed to Jugurtha’s diplomacy, and Cirta was forced to
surrender. Adherbal and all its defenders were put to death.

*Rome declares war.* The slaughter of so many Italians raised a storm in
Rome, where the business elements and populace forced the Senate, which
was inclined to wink at Jugurtha’s disregard of its African settlement, to
declare war. In 111 a Roman army under the consul Bestia invaded Numidia.
Again Jugurtha resorted to bribes and secured terms of peace from the
consul after a sham submission. However, the opponents of the Senate saw
through the trick and forced an investigation. Jugurtha was summoned to
come to Rome under safe conduct to give evidence as to his relations with
the Roman officials in Numidia. He came and contrived to buy the
intervention of two tribunes who prevented his testimony from being taken.
But, relying too much upon his ability to buy immunity for any action, he
ventured to procure the assassination in Rome itself of a rival claimant
to the Numidian throne (110 B. C.). His friends in the Senate dared
protect him no longer and he had to leave Italy.

*A Roman defeat, 109 B. C.* The war reopened but the first operations
ended in the early part of 109 B. C. with the defeat and capitulation of a
Roman army, which was forced to pass under the yoke, to be released when
its commander consented to a recognition of Jugurtha’s position and an
alliance between him and Rome. In this shameful episode bribery and
treachery had played their part. The terms were rejected at Rome, and a
tribunician proposal to try those guilty of misconduct with Jugurtha was
ratified by the Assembly. In the same year the consul Metellus took
command in Africa. One of his officers was Caius Marius. Marius was born
of an equestrian family at Arpinum; he served in the cavalry under Scipio
Aemilianus in the Numantine War; engaged with success in the handling of
state contracts; became tribune in 119, praetor in 116, and propraetor in
Spain in 115 B. C. He was able and ambitious and chafed under the disdain
with which he as a “new man” was treated by the senatorial aristocrats.

*Marius, consul: 107 B. C.* Metellus, in contrast to the former commanders
against Jugurtha, was both energetic and honorable. He began a methodical
devastation of Numidia, and forced Jugurtha to abandon the field and
resort to guerilla warfare. He also tried to stir up disloyalty among the
king’s followers. But he failed to kill or capture the latter, which alone
would terminate the war. Hence when he scornfully refused the request of
Marius to be allowed to return and stand for the consulship in 108, Marius
intrigued to get the command transferred to himself, alleging that
Metellus was purposely prolonging the campaign. Finally, Metellus saw fit
to let him go and he was elected consul for the following year. However,
the Senate, wishing to keep Metellus in command, had not designated
Numidia as a consular province. And so the popular party passed a law in
the Assembly of the Tribes which conferred the command against Jugurtha
upon Marius. The Senate yielded to this encroachment upon its prerogatives
and Marius superseded Metellus in 107. His quaestor was Lucius Cornelius
Sulla, scion of a decayed patrician family, who was destined to become the
bitter rival of his chief.

*The end of the war: 107–105 B. C.* Marius continued the methodical
subjugation of Numidia, but Jugurtha was strengthened by an alliance with
his father-in-law Bocchus, king of Mauretania. However, Marius won several
hard fought battles over the forces of both kings, and finally, through
the agency of Sulla, detached Bocchus from the cause of Jugurtha. Bocchus
treacherously seized his son-in-law and handed him over to the Romans.
This brought the war to an end. Numidia was divided among princes friendly
to Rome, and Marius returned to triumph in Rome, and to find himself
elected consul for the year 104 in defiance of precedent, owing to the
fear of a barbarian invasion of Italy from the north and the popular
confidence in him engendered by his African successes. Jugurtha, after
gracing his victor’s triumph, perished in a Roman dungeon.

*Consequences of the war.* The corruptibility and incapacity, combined
with an utter lack of public responsibility, displayed by the senators in
this war contributed to further weaken the already diminished prestige of
their order. Besides it had again been demonstrated that a coalition of
the equestrians and the city populace could control the public policy, and
in the person of Marius, the war had produced a leader upon whom they
could unite.


*The movements of the Cimbri and Teutons.* The fear of a barbarian
invasion of Italy which caused Marius to be elected to his second
consulship was occasioned by the wanderings of a group of Germanic and
Celtic peoples, chief of which were the Cimbri and the Teutons. In 113
B. C. the former, a Germanic tribe, invaded the country of the Taurisci,
allies of Rome, who dwelt north of the Alps. A Roman army sent to the
rescue was defeated. The Cimbri then moved westwards to the Rhine, where
they were joined by the Teutons (Toygeni), who were probably a branch of
the Celtic Helvetii, by the Tigurini, another division of the same people,
and by the Ambrones, a tribe of uncertain origin. In 111, the united
peoples crossed the Rhine into Gaul and came into conflict with the Romans
in the new province. Two years later the consul Julius Silanus was
defeated by the Cimbri, who demanded lands for settlement within Roman
territory. Their demand was refused and hostilities continued. In 107
another consul, Lucius Cassius, was defeated and slain by the Tigurini. In
106 Quintus Servilius Caepio recovered the town of Tolosa, which had
deserted the Roman cause, and carried off its immense temple treasures.
Three years later he was tried and condemned for defrauding the state of
this booty. In 105, two Roman armies were destroyed by the united tribes
in a battle at Arausio (Orange), in which 60,000 Romans were said to have
fallen. This disaster, the greatest suffered by Rome since Cannae, was
largely brought about by friction between the two Roman commanders. The
way to Italy lay open but the barbarians failed to take advantage of their
opportunity. The Cimbri invaded Spain and the rest remained in Gaul.

*The army reforms of Marius.* In this crisis Marius was appointed to the
command against the Cimbri and their allies, and at once set to work to
create an army for the defence of Italy. The increasing luxury and
refinements of civilization in Italy had begun to undermine the military
spirit among the Romans, especially the propertied classes, and this had
led to a decline of discipline and efficiency in the Roman armies.
Furthermore, the universal obligation to military service was no longer
rigidly enforced, partly because of the residence abroad of so many
citizens. Appeals to volunteers became more and more frequent. No longer
were recruits enrolled for one year only, but took the oath of service for
sixteen years. In building up his new army Marius recognized these new
tendencies. He relied mainly upon voluntary enlistments, admitting to the
ranks, as he had done already in the Jugurthine War, those whose lack of
property had previously disqualified them for service in the legions. The
soldiers now became recognized professionals, who upon their discharge
looked to their commanders to provide for their future. Among the troops
loyalty to the state was supplanted by devotion to a successful general,
and the latter could rely upon his veterans to support him in his
political career. Marius also introduced changes in the arms and equipment
of the soldiers, and he is also credited, although with less certainty,
with the increase in the size of the legion to 6000 men and its division
into ten cohorts as tactical units.

*Marius in Gaul.* During the years 104 and 103 Marius kept his army in
Gaul guarding the passage to Italy, while he completed the training of his
troops and dug a new channel at the mouth of the Rhone to facilitate the
passage of his transports into the river. He was re-elected to the
consulship for 103 and again for 102 since the danger from the barbarians
was not over. In 102 the Cimbri returned from Spain and, joining the other
tribes, prepared to invade Italy. The Teutons and Ambrones followed the
direct route from southern Gaul, while the Cimbri and Tigurini moved to
the north of the Alps to enter Italy by the eastern Alpine passes. Marius
permitted the Teutons and Ambrones to march by him, then he overtook and
annihilated them at Aquae Sextiae. In the meantime, the Cimbri had forced
the other consul, Quintus Lutatius Catulus, to abandon the defence of the
eastern passes and had crossed the Adige into the Po Valley, where they
wintered. Marius returned to Italy to join his colleague and face the new
peril. In the next year, while consul for the fifth time, he met and
destroyed the Cimbri on the Raudine plains near Vercellae. Thus Italy was
saved from a repetition of the Gallic invasion of the fourth century B. C.

The vitality of the Roman state was by no means exhausted as the defeat of
the barbarians shows, and men of energy and ability were not lacking, but
under the existing régime it required a crisis to bring them to the front.

*The Second Sicilian Slave War, 104–101 B. C.* While the barbarians were
knocking at the gates of Italy, Rome was called upon to suppress a series
of disorders in other parts of her empire, some of which were only quelled
after considerable effort. In 104 B. C. occurred a serious rebellion of
the slaves in Sicily, headed by two leaders Salvius and Anthenion, the
former of whom took the title of King Typhon. The rebels became masters of
the open country, defeated the forces sent against them, reduced the
Sicilian cities to the verge of starvation, and were only subdued by a
consular army under Manius Aquillius in 101 B. C.

*War with the Pirates.* Before the slave war in Sicily had been brought to
a close the Romans were forced to make an effort to suppress piracy in the
Mediterranean. Piracy had been on the increase ever since the decline of
the Rhodian sea power, following the Second Macedonian War, for as there
were no longer any rival maritime powers Rome had neglected to maintain a
navy adequate even for policing the seas. The pirates were at the same
time slave traders, who made a business of kidnapping all over the
Mediterranean but particularly in the east to supply the slave mart at
Delos. In 104 B. C. the king of Bithynia complained to the Senate that
one-half of his ablebodied men had been carried into slavery. This traffic
was winked at by the Romans, since they needed slaves in great numbers for
their plantations, and their business interests profited by the trade.
However the depredations of the pirates at length became too serious to be
ignored, and in 102 B. C. the praetor Marcus Antonius was given a special
command against them. They had their chief strongholds on the Cilician
coast and the island of Crete, and Antonius proceeded to Cilicia, where he
destroyed several of their towns and annexed some territory, which became
the province of Cilicia.

Besides these troubles the Romans had to face revolts in Spain which broke
out spasmodically down to 95 B. C., as well as continual inroads of
barbarians from Thrace into the provinces of Macedonia and Illyricum.

                        V. SATURNINUS AND GLAUCIA

*Popular **triumphs** in Rome.* The successes of their champion, Marius,
emboldened the populares to undertake the prosecution of the corrupt and
incapable generals of the _optimates_, a number of whom were brought to
trial and convicted. Another popular victory was won in 104 B. C. when the
_lex Domitia_ transferred the election of new members of the colleges of
augurs and pontiffs from the colleges themselves to a Comitia of seventeen
tribes chosen by lot.

*The sixth consulship of Marius, 100 B. C.* Upon Marius himself his
present prestige had an unwholesome effect. In spite of the fact that he
had violated the constitution by his five consulships, four of which were
held in succession, he determined to seek a sixth term, although there was
now no military danger to excuse his ambition. He leagued himself with the
leaders of the _populares_, Lucius Appuleius Saturninus, who as tribune
had supported Marius in 103, and Caius Servilius Glaucia. Both were
ambitious demagogues, who sought to imitate the rôle of the Gracchi by
introducing a legislative program catering to the popular party. For the
moment they were successful. Marius secured his sixth consulship for 100
B. C., Saturninus became tribune a second time, and Glaucia praetor. But
violence had to be resorted to in order to carry the elections. Saturninus
then introduced bills for the distribution of grain to the city
proletariat at much less than half the market price, for the allotment of
the lands in north Italy which had been ravaged by the Cimbri, and for the
founding of colonies in the provinces. His corn law failed, but the others
were forced through by the aid of the disbanded Marian soldiers. However,
this appeal to mob violence caused the equestrians to desert the popular
leaders, who also lost the sympathy of Marius. Saturninus then sought the
consulship for the next year, and, when it seemed that he would be
defeated, caused one of his most influential rivals to be killed. The
Senate thereupon proclaimed a state of martial law and called upon Marius
to restore order. Saturninus, Glaucia, and their followers occupied the
Capitol, where they were attacked and forced to surrender upon promise
that their lives would be spared. But Marius was unable to protect them
from the vengeance of their foes who massacred all the captives. Again the
Senate had conquered by a resort to force, but this time their opponents
had first appealed to the same means. For the time Marius suffered a
political eclipse; he had shown no political capacity and had been unable
to control or protect his own party which was now divided and discredited.


*The **trial** of Rutilius Rufus: 93 B. C.* The senators and the
equestrians had combined for the moment against the terrorism instituted
by the popular demagogues but the coalition was not lasting. As Caius
Gracchus had foreseen the control of the law courts proved a standing bone
of contention between the two orders. Especially aggravating to the
senators was the use of the court established for the trial of cases of
extortion to force the provincial governors to administer the provinces in
the interest of the Roman financiers. A scandalous instance of this abuse
was the case of Rutilius Rufus in 93 B. C. He had been quaestor under
Mucius Scaevola, in 98 B. C. governor of Asia, where both had sternly
checked any unjust exactions by the agents of the _publicani_. A
trumped-up charge of extortion was now brought against Rutilius, and he
was tried and adjudged guilty. His fate was to serve as a warning to
officers who took their provincial obligations seriously. Rutilius retired
to Asia and lived in great esteem among the people whom he was condemned
for having oppressed.

*The **legislative program** of Livius Drusus: 91 B. C.* Two years later
Marcus Livius Drusus, a tribune, of a prominent senatorial house, brought
forward a proposal for the reform of the juries. He proposed to increase
the number of the Senate to six hundred by the inclusion of three hundred
prominent equestrians, and to have the juries chosen half from the new
Senate and half from the remaining equestrians.(10) Equestrian _jurors_
were to be made liable to prosecution for accepting bribes. To secure
support for his judiciary law, Drusus introduced a bill to found new
colonies and another to provide cheaper grain for the city populace.

However, when he encountered serious opposition to his judicial reform in
the Senate as well as among the _equites_, Drusus combined this and his
other reforms with a law for the enfranchisement of the Italian allies. He
contrived to carry his measures through the Assembly, which was probably
coerced by the presence of large numbers of Italians in the city, but
since he had included several distinct proposals in one bill, which was
unconstitutional, the Senate declared his law invalid. Drusus yielded but
prepared to introduce the franchise bill to be voted on a second time.
Before this could be done he was mysteriously assassinated, doubtless by
an agent of his political opponents. Thus died the last civilian reformer
of Roman history. Later reforms were carried by the power of the sword.

               VII. THE ITALIAN OR MARSIC WAR, 90–88 B. C.

*The Italian Confederacy.* The death of Drusus was the signal for a revolt
of the Italian allies. They had been in close alliance with him, and had
taken steps for concerted action in arms if his bill should fail to pass.
A confederacy was organized, the government of which was vested in a
Senate of five hundred members with absolute powers, having as executive
officers two annual consuls and twelve praetors. The capital of the
confederacy was at Corfinium, in the territory of the Paeligni, which was
renamed Italia. A federal coinage was issued. Before opening hostilities
the Italians made a formal demand for Roman citizenship, which the Senate
definitely refused. Thereupon they declared their independence.

*The resources of the rivals.* The Italian Confederacy embraced
practically all the warlike peoples of central and southern Italy. Of
particular importance were the Marsi who gave their name to the war. In
numbers the Italians were a match for the Romans, and they had acquired
Roman military tactics, organization and discipline through long service
in the Roman armies. They also could count on leaders of approved ability.
But the Latin colonies and the Greek cities in the south remained true to
their allegiance, and thus the Italians were cut off from the coast.
Furthermore Umbria and Etruria, although disaffected, did not at once take
up arms. Rome’s control of the sea enabled her to draw upon the resources
of the provinces in men, money, and supplies, and consequently she was in
a much better position to sustain a prolonged struggle.

*The first year of the war: 90 B. C.* Hostilities opened in 90 B. C. with
the Italian forces attempting to reach Etruria in the north and occupy
Campania in the south and the Romans trying to forestall them by invading
the territory of the allies. In the south the year’s campaign resulted in
numerous Roman disasters. Much of Campania was won by the allies who
succeeded in penetrating to the coast. In the north the Romans also
suffered defeats, but were able to maintain themselves and win several
successes. Here Marius, in the capacity of a _legatus_, rendered valuable

Before the close of the year the revolt began to spread to Etruria and
Umbria. Thereupon the Romans, with the object of securing the support of
their still faithful allies and of weakening the ranks of the rebels,
passed the Julian Law which granted Roman citizenship to all who had not
joined the revolt and all who should at once lay down their arms. In this
way the Umbrians and Etrurians were quieted, the Latins and the Greek
allies rewarded, and many communities, which sought Roman citizenship but
not independence, induced to surrender.

*The second year of the war.* In the following year the fortune of war
changed. The Romans were everywhere successful. The consul Pompeius
practically pacified the north, and the _legatus_ Sulla broke the power of
the allies in south Italy. A second franchise law, the _lex Plautia
Papiria_, helped thin the ranks of the allies by offering Roman
citizenship to all citizens of Italian federate communities who would
claim it within sixty days. A third, the Pompeian Law, gave the franchise
to all non-Romans in Gaul south of the Po, and Latin rights to those north
of the Po river. The Senate was now anxious to bring the war to a close
because affairs in the East had assumed a threatening aspect.

*The end of the war and its significance.* In the course of the year 88
B. C. organized resistance among the rebels died out. The new citizens
were not to be enrolled in all of the thirty-five Roman tribes, a step
which might make them dominate the Assemblies, but they were to vote in
certain tribes only, so that their influence could be restricted.(11)
Naturally, they were dissatisfied with this arrangement and their
enrollment became a burning question of Roman politics. Henceforth all
Italians were Romans and in the course of the next generation the various
racial elements of Italy were gradually welded into a Latin nation. As it
was impossible for the magistrates of Rome to oversee the administration
throughout so wide an area, the Romans organized the Italian towns into
locally self-governing municipalities of the type previously established
on Roman territory. At first these municipalities retained many of their
ancestral laws, customs and institutions, but in time they conformed to a
uniform type, the government of which was modelled upon that of the
capital city Rome. The municipalities were powerful agents in the
Latinization of the peninsula.

                     VIII. THE FIRST MITHRADATIC WAR

*Mithradates VI., Eupator, King of Pontus.* The danger which in 89 B. C.
directed the attention of the Senate to the eastern Mediterranean was the
result of the establishment of the Kingdom of Pontus under an able and
ambitious ruler, Mithradates Eupator, who challenged the supremacy of Rome
in Asia Minor. In 121 B. C. Mithradates had succeeded to the throne of
northern Cappadocia, a small kingdom on the south shore of the Black Sea,
whose Asiatic population was imbued with Hellenistic culture and whose
rulers claimed descent from the ancient royal house of Persia and from
Seleucus, the founder of the Macedonian kingdom of Syria. For seven years
Mithradates shared the throne with his brother, under his mother’s
regency, but in 114 when eighteen years of age, he seized the reins of
government for himself. Subsequently he extended his power over the
eastern and northern shores of the Black Sea as far west as the Danube and
thus built up the kingdom of Pontus, i. e. the coast land of the Black
Sea, a name which later was applied to his native state of north

*His **conflict** with Rome.* However, Mithradates also sought to extend
his sway in Asia Minor, where Greater Cappadocia became the object of his
ambitions. This brought him into conflict with Rome, whose policy was to
prevent the rise of any dangerous neighbor in the East and who refused to
suffer her settlement of Asia Minor to be disturbed. No less than five
times did Mithradates, between 112 and 92 B. C., attempt to bring this
district under his control, but upon each occasion he was forced by Roman
interference to forego the fruits of his victories, since he was not yet
prepared for war with Rome. In 91 B. C. he occupied the kingdom of
Bithynia, which lay between Pontus and the Roman province of Asia, but
again he yielded to Rome’s demands and withdrew. However, when Roman
agents encouraged the King of Bithynia to raid his territory and refused
him satisfaction he decided to challenge the Roman arms, seeing that Rome
was now involved in the war with her Italian allies. War began late in 89
B. C.

*The conquests of Mithradates in Asia, 89–88 B. C.* Mithradates was well
prepared; he had a trained army and a fleet of three hundred ships. He
experienced no difficulty in defeating the local levies raised by the
Roman governor of Asia, and speedily overran Bithynia and most of the
Roman province. Meanwhile his fleet swept the Aegean Sea. The Roman
provincials who had been unmercifully exploited by tax gatherers and
money-lenders greeted Mithradates as a deliverer. At his order on a set
date in 88 B. C. they massacred the Romans and Italians resident in Asia,
said to have numbered 80,000, a step which bound them firmly to the cause
of the king.

*Athens and Delos.* In the same year, 88 B. C. the populace of Athens, in
the hope of overthrowing the oligarchic government which had been set up
in the city with the support of Rome, seized control of the state and
threw themselves into the hands of Mithradates. One of the king’s
generals, Archelaus, while on his way to Athens, exterminated the Italian
colony at Delos, the center of the Roman commercial and banking interests
in the East. From this blow the island port never fully recovered.
Archelaus soon won over most of southern Greece to his master’s cause,
while Mithradates sent a large army to enter Hellas by the northerly route
through Thrace and Macedonia.

*Disorders in Rome.* This situation produced a crisis in Rome. Sulla, who
had been elected consul for 88 B. C., was allotted the command in the East
upon the outbreak of hostilities. However, he had been unable to leave
Italy where he was conducting the siege of Nola in Campania. Marius,
although in his sixty-eighth year, was as ambitious as ever and schemed to
secure the command against Mithradates for himself. In this he was
supported by the equestrians, who knew Sulla to be a firm upholder of the
Senate. Accordingly the Marians joined forces with the tribune Publius
Sulpicius Rufus, who had brought forward a bill to enroll the new citizens
and freedmen equally in each of the thirty-five tribes. Sulpicius
organized a body-guard of equestrians and instituted a reign of terror. He
passed his law by force in spite of the opposition of the consuls. When
Sulla had left the city to join his army, a law was passed in the Assembly
transferring his command in the East to Marius. But Sulla refused to admit
the legality of the act, and, relying upon the support of his troops,
marched on Rome. Having taken the city by surprise, he caused Sulpicius,
Marius, and others of their party to be outlawed. Sulpicius was slain; but
Marius made good his escape to Mauretania. The Sulpician Laws were
abrogated, and Sulla introduced a number of reforms, with the object of
strengthening the position of the Senate. The most significant of these
reforms was the revival of the Senatorial veto over laws proposed in the
Assembly of the Tribes. This done, upon the conclusion of his consulate,
Sulla embarked with his army for Greece early in 87 B. C.

*Siege of Athens and Piraeus, 87–86 B. C.* Driving the forces of Archelaus
and the Athenians from the open country, Sulla began the siege of Athens
and of its harbor town Piraeus in the autumn of 87. Athens was completely
invested, but in spite of hunger the resistance was prolonged until March,
86, when Sulla’s troops penetrated an unguarded spot on the walls and the
city was sacked. A large number of the inhabitants were massacred but the
public buildings were spared. Soon after Piraeus was taken by storm at
terrific cost to the victors, but its citadel Munychia held out until
evacuated by Archelaus.

*Chaeronea and Orchomenus.* From Athens Sulla hastened to meet the army of
Mithradates which had penetrated as far as Boeotia. At Chaeronea the
numerically inferior but better disciplined Romans won a complete victory.
At this juncture there arrived in Greece the consul Flaccus at the head of
another army, with orders to supersede Sulla. The latter, however, was not
disposed to give up his command and as Flaccus feared to force the issue
they came to an agreement whereby each pursued a separate campaign. This
left Sulla free to meet a new Mithradatic army which had crossed the
Aegean. At Orchomenus he attacked and annihilated it. But Mithradates
still controlled the Aegean, and Sulla, being unable to cross into Asia,
was forced to winter in Greece.

*Peace with Mithradates, 85 B. C.* In 85 B. C. Lucius Lucullus, Sulla’s
quaestor, appeared in the Aegean with a fleet that he had gathered among
Rome’s allies in the East. He defeated the fleet of Mithradates and
secured Sulla’s passage to Asia. The king’s position was now precarious.
His exactions had alienated the sympathies of the Greek cities which now
began to desert his cause. Furthermore Flaccus, after recovering Macedonia
and Thrace, had crossed the Bosphorus into Bithynia. There he was killed
in a mutiny of his soldiers and was succeeded by his legate Fimbria, who
was popular with the troops because he gratified their desire for plunder.
But Fimbria was energetic; he defeated Mithradates and recovered the coast
district as far south as Pergamon (86 B. C.). Mithradates was ready for
peace and Sulla was anxious to have his hands free to return to Italy,
where the Marians were again in power. Negotiations were opened by
Mithradates with Sulla and after some delay peace was concluded in 85
B. C. on the following terms: The king was to surrender Cappadocia,
Bithynia, the Roman province of Asia and his other conquests in Asia
Minor, to pay an indemnity of 3000 talents, and give up a part of his
fleet. His kingdom of Pontus remained intact.

*Sulla’s treatment of Asia and Greece, 85–83 B. C.* Sulla spent the
following winter in Asia, readjusting affairs in the province. The
rebellious communities were punished by the quartering of troops upon
them, and by being forced to contribute to Sulla the huge sum of 20,000
talents, or $24,000,000. To raise this amount they were forced to borrow
from Roman bankers and incur a crushing burden of debt. In 84 B. C. Sulla
crossed to Greece, there to complete his preparations for a return to
Italy. The Greek states had suffered heavily in the recent campaigns on
her soil. Sulla had carried off the temple treasures of Olympia, Delphi
and Epidaurus, Attica and Boeotia had been ravaged and depopulated, and
the coasts had been raided by the Mithradatic fleet. From the devastations
of the Mithradatic war Hellas never recovered.

                         IX. SULLA’S DICTATORSHIP

*The Marian party in Rome 87–84 B. C.* While Sulla had been conducting his
successful campaign in Greece, in Italy the Marian party had again won the
upper hand. Scarcely had Sulla left Italy with his army when the consul
Cinna re-enacted the Sulpician Laws. His colleague Gnaeus Octavius and the
senatorial faction drove him from the city and had him deposed from
office. But Cinna received the support of the army in Campania, recalled
Marius, and made peace with the Samnites still under arms by granting them
Roman citizenship. Marius landed in Etruria, raised an army there, and he
and Cinna advanced on Rome. They forced the capitulation of their
opponents, had Cinna reinstated as consul, and had the banishment of
Marius revoked; Sulla’s laws were repealed, and his property confiscated.
Then ensued a massacre of the leading senators, including Octavius the
consul. On 1 January, 86, Marius entered upon his seventh consulship and
died a few days later. His successor, Lucius Valerius Flaccus, was sent to
supersede Sulla, a mission which cost him his life, as related before. In
85 B. C., the war with Mithradates was at an end and the Marians had to
face the prospect of the return of Sulla at the head of a victorious army.
The consuls Cinna and Carbo proceeded to raise troops to oppose him. They
illegally prolonged their office for the next year (84) and made
preparations to cross the Adriatic and meet Sulla in Macedonia. But the
army gathered for this purpose at Brundisium mutinied and murdered Cinna.
Carbo prevented the election of a successor and held office as sole
consul. The Senate had previously begun negotiations with Sulla in an
effort to prevent further civil war. He now demanded the restitution of
property and honors both for himself and all those who had taken refuge
with him. The Senate was inclined to yield, but was prevented by Carbo.

In the spring of 83 B. C. Sulla landed at Brundisium, with an army of
40,000 veterans from whom he exacted an oath of allegiance to himself. He
made known his intentions of respecting all privileges granted to the
Italians, to prevent their joining his enemies. Still the bulk of the new
citizens, particularly in Samnium and Etruria, supported the Marian party.
Sulla was joined at once by the young Cnaeus Pompey, who had raised an
army on his own authority in Picenum, and by other men of influence. In
the operations which followed the leaders of the Marians showed themselves
lacking in coöperation and military skill. Sulla penetrated into Campania,
where he defeated one consul Norbanus, at Mount Tifata. The other consul
Scipio Asiaticus, entered into negotiations with him, and was deserted by
his army which went over to Sulla.

In the following year Sulla advanced into Latium and won a hard fought
victory over the younger Marius, now consul, at Sacriportus. Rome fell
into his hands and Marius took refuge in Praeneste. Sulla then turned
against the second consul, Carbo, in Etruria, and, after several victories
forced him to flee to Africa. In a final effort the Marians, united with
the Samnites, tried to relieve Praeneste; failing to accomplish this they
made a dash upon Rome. But Sulla appeared in time to save the city and
utterly defeat his enemies in a bloody contest at the Colline Gate.
Praeneste fell soon after; Marius committed suicide, and except at a few
isolated points all resistance in Italy was over.

*Sulla’s aims.* Sulla was absolute master of the situation and at once
proceeded to punish his enemies and reward his friends. In cold-blooded
cruelty, without any legal condemnation, his leading opponents were marked
out for vengeance; their names were posted in lists in the forum to
indicate that they might be slain with impunity and that their goods were
confiscated. Rewards were offered to informers who brought about the death
of such victims, and many were included in the lists to gratify the
personal enmities of Sulla’s friends. The goods of the proscribed were
auctioned off publicly under Sulla’s direction, and their children and
grandchildren declared ineligible for public office. From these
proscriptions the equestrians suffered particularly; 2600 of them are said
to have perished, together with ninety senators. The Italian
municipalities also felt Sulla’s avenging hand. Widespread confiscations
of land, especially in Samnium and Etruria, enabled him to provide for
150,000 of his veterans, whose settlement did much to hasten the
latinization of these districts. Ten thousand slaves of the proscribed
were set free by Sulla and took the name of Cornelii from their patron.
These arrangements were given the sanction of legality by a decree of the
Senate and a law which confirmed all his acts as consul and proconsul and
gave him full power for the future.

*Sulla dictator: 82–79 B. C.* But Sulla’s aims went further than the
destruction of the Marian party. He sought to recreate a stable government
in the state. For this he required more constitutional powers than the
right of might. Therefore, since both consuls were dead, he caused the
appointment of an _interrex_ who by virtue of a special law appointed him
a dictator for an unlimited term to enact legislation and reorganize the
commonwealth (_dictator legibus scri__bundis et rei publicae
constituendae_). Sulla’s appointment occurred late in 82 B. C. The scope
of his powers and their unlimited duration gave him monarchical or rather
tyrannical authority.

*Sulla’s reforms.* The general aim of Sulla’s legislation was to restore
the Senate to the position which it had held prior to 133 B. C. and to
guarantee the perpetuation of this condition. His reforms fall into two
classes; firstly, those directed to securing the rule of the _optimates_,
which were not long-lived; secondly, those seeking to increase the
efficiency of the administration, which being of a non-partizan character
enjoyed greater permanency than the preceding. Those of the former sort
constituted a renewal and extension of his reforms of 88 B. C. The
senatorial veto over legislation in the Assembly of Tribes was renewed,
and the tribunes’ intercession restricted to interference with the
exercise of the magistrate’s _imperium_. To deter able and ambitious men
from seeking the tribunate, it was made a bar to further political office.
The senators were once more made eligible for the juries, while the
equestrians were disqualified. The Domitian Law of 104 B. C. was abrogated
and the practise of co-opting the members of the priestly college was
revived. Most important of Sulla’s administrative reforms was that which
concerned the magistracy. The established order of offices in the _cursus
honorum_ was maintained, an age limit set for eligibility to each office,
and an interval of ten years required between successive tenures of the
same post. The number of quaestors was increased to twenty, that of the
praetors raised from six to eight. In connection therewith the method of
appointing provincial governors was regulated. By the organization of the
province of Cisalpine Gaul, the number of provinces was raised to ten, and
the two consuls and eight praetors, upon the completion of their year of
office in Rome, were to be appointed to the provinces as pro-consuls and
propraetors for one year. The pro-magistrates thus lost their original
extraordinary character and this change marks the first step in the
creation of an imperial civil service.

As before, the Senate designated the consular provinces before the
election of the consuls who would be their proconsular governors. The
consuls were not deprived of the right of military command, but, as
before, regularly assumed control of military operations in Italy. The
consular _imperium_ remained senior to that of the provincial governors,
and might be exercised beyond the frontiers of Italy. However, in practise
the consuls were not regularly employed for overseas campaigns, since the
Senate now arrogated to itself what had previously been a prerogative of
the Assembly, namely, the right of selecting any person whatever to
exercise military _imperium_ in any sphere determined by itself. A new
field for the activity of the praetors arose from the establishment of
special jury courts for the trial of cases of bribery, treason, fraud,
peculation, assassination and assault with violence. These were modelled
on the court for damage suits brought against provincial officers, and
superseded the old procedure with its appeal from the verdict of the
magistrate to the Comitia. To provide a sufficient number of jurors for
these tribunals the membership of the Senate was increased from three
hundred to six hundred by enrolling equestrians who had supported Sulla.
This increased number was maintained by the annual admission of the twenty
ex-quaestors, whereby censors were rendered unnecessary for enrolling the
Senators. The administration, especially in its imperial aspects, was more
than ever concentrated in the Senate’s hands.

*Pompey **“**the Great,**”** 79 B. C.* While Sulla was effecting his
settlement of affairs in Rome and Italy, the Marians in Sicily and Africa
were crushed by his lieutenant Cnaeus Pompey. Their leader Carbo was taken
and executed. In 82 B. C. Sulla had caused the Senate to confer upon
Pompey the command in this campaign with the _imperium_ of a propraetor,
although he had not yet held any public office. Having finished his task
Pompey demanded a triumph, an honor which previously had only been granted
to regular magistrates. Sulla at first opposed his wishes, but as Pompey
was insistent and defiant, he yielded to avoid a quarrel, and even
accorded him the name of Magnus or the Great. Pompey celebrated his
triumph 12 March, 79 B. C.

*Sulla’s retirement and death, 78 B. C.* Sulla did not seek political
power for its own sake, and, after carrying his reforms into effect, he
resigned his dictatorship in 79 B. C. He retired to enjoy a life of ease
and pleasure on his Campanian estate, relying for his personal security
and that of his measures upon his veterans and the Cornelian freedmen. In
the following year he died at the age of sixty. Sulla’s genius was rather
military than political. Fond though he was of sensual pleasures, he was
possessed of great ambition which led him to such a position of prominence
that he was forced to adopt the cause of one of the two political factions
in the state. From that point he must crush his enemies or be crushed by
them; and in this lies the explanation of his attempt to extirpate the
Marian party. As a statesman he displayed little imagination or
constructive ability. He could think of nothing better than to restore the
Senate to a position which it had shown itself unable to maintain; and his
persecutions of his political opponents had not crushed out opposition to
the Senate, but left a legacy of hatred endangering the permanence of his

The epoch between the tribunate of Tiberius Gracchus and the death of
Sulla revealed the incapacity of either the Senate or the tribunes and the
Assembly to give a peaceful and stable government to the Roman state.
Sulla’s career, anticipating those of Caesar and Augustus, pointed the way
to the ultimate solution.

                               CHAPTER XIII

                THE RISE OF POMPEY THE GREAT: 78–60 B. C.

*The extraordinary commands.* For the period following the death of Sulla
in 78 B. C. Roman history centers around the lives of a small group of
eminent men, whose ambitions and rivalries are the determining factors in
the political life of the state. This is due to the fact that neither the
Senate nor the Assembly have the power to control the men to whom the
needs of the empire compel them to give military authority. The generation
of Marius and Sulla had seen the rise of the professional army which
revealed itself as the true power in the state, and the disturbances of
the Italian and Civil Wars supplied an abundance of needy recruits who
sought service with a popular and successful general for the sake of the
rewards which it lay in his power to bestow. As military achievements were
the sole sure foundation for political success, able men made it the goal
of their ambition to be entrusted with an important military command. The
dangers of civil and foreign wars at first compelled the Senate to confer
military power upon the few available men of recognized ability even when
it distrusted their ulterior motives, and later such appointments were
made by the Assembly through the coalition of the general and the
tribunate. In this way arose the so-called extraordinary commands, that
is, such as involved a military _imperium_ which in some way exceeded that
of the regular constitutional officers and required to be created or
defined by a special enactment of the Senate or Comitia.

The man who first realized the value of the extraordinary command as a
path to power was Pompey the Great.


*The revolt of Lepidus.* It was not to be expected that Sulla’s measures
would long remain unassailed. Those dispossessed of their property, those
disqualified for office, and the equestrians who sought to regain control
of the courts, were all anxious to undo part of his work. They found a
leader in Lepidus, who as consul in 78 B. C., the very year of Sulla’s
death, sought to renew the distribution of cheap grain to the masses in
Rome, which Sulla had suppressed, to restore the Marian exiles, and
reinstate those who had lost their lands. For the time he failed to carry
his proposals, but in the next year, as proconsul of Cisalpine Gaul, he
raised an army and marched on Rome to seize the consulate for a second
term, since disorders had prevented the election of consuls for that year.
However he was defeated by his former colleague, the proconsul Catulus,
and Pompey, whom the Senate had appointed to a subordinate command in view
of his military expedience. Lepidus crossed over to Sardinia where he died
shortly after, and the bulk of his forces under Marcus Perperna withdrew
to Spain, to join the Marians who were in revolt there.

*Sertorius in Spain, 83–78 B. C.* The rebellion in Spain was headed by
Quintus Sertorius, who had been appointed governor of Hither Spain by
Cinna in 83 B. C. Two years later he was driven out by Sulla’s
representative, but, after various adventures, returned in 80 B. C. to
head a revolt of the Lusitanians. His ability as a guerrilla leader, and
the confidence which he aroused among the native Spaniards soon created
alarm in Rome. Sertorius professed to take the field not against Rome but
against the Senate. He regarded himself as the legitimate governor of
Spain, employed members of the Marian party as his military and civil
subordinates and organized a Senate among the Romans of his following. To
crush the revolt Sulla sent out to Farther Spain Metellus, the consul of
80 B. C., but he failed to make any headway, and Sertorius was able to
overrun Hither Spain also. In 79 B. C. the praetor of that province was
killed in battle, and the same fate befell the proconsul of Narbonese Gaul
who came to the help of Metellus (78 B. C.).

*Pompey sent to Spain, 78 B. C.* It was imperative to send a new commander
and a new army to Spain. As the consuls were unwilling to go, Pompey, who
had refused to disband his army at the orders of Catulus, sought the
command. The Senate could not help itself and, in spite of considerable
opposition, passed a decree conferring upon him proconsular _imperium_ and
entrusting him with the conduct of the war in Hither Spain. Even after the
arrival of Pompey with an army of 40,000 men Sertorius was more than able
to hold his own against his foes in 76 and 75 B. C. At the end of the
latter year Pompey was forced to recross the Pyrenees and appeal to the
Senate for reinforcements. At the same time Sertorius, through the agency
of the pirates, entered into alliance with Mithradates, King of Pontus,
who was again on the point of war with Rome.

The arrival of the desired reinforcements enabled Pompey in 74 and 73
B. C. to turn the tide against Sertorius. To prevent desertions the latter
resorted to severe punishments which alienated the Spaniards, who were
already estranged by the acts of his subordinates. He was further hampered
by dissensions in the ranks of his Roman supporters. The center of
disaffection was Perpenna, who treacherously assassinated Sertorius in 72
B. C. and assumed command of his forces. However he was defeated by
Pompey, taken captive and executed. The revolt was broken and pacification
of Spain speedily accomplished. Pompey was able to return to Rome in 71
B. C.


*The situation in the Near East.* After concluding peace with Sulla in 85
B. C., Mithradates Eupator directed his energies to consolidating his
kingdom and reorganizing his forces in expectation of a renewal of the
struggle with Rome. He recognised that Sulla had been ready to make peace
only because of the situation in Italy and the fact that he had been
unable to secure written confirmation of the terms of the treaty warned
him that the Romans still contemplated his complete overthrow. Indeed he
had been attacked in the years 83 and 82 B. C. by Lucius Murena, the
proconsul of Asia, but had been able to defend himself and Sulla had once
more brought about a cessation of hostilities. Meantime, Tigranes of
Armenia, the ally of Mithradates, had enlarged his dominions by the
annexation of Syria (83 B. C.), where he terminated the rule of the house
of Seleucus, and of Greater Cappadocia.

*The command of Lucullus and Cotta, 74 B. C.* In 75 B. C. occurred the
death of Nicomedes III, King of Bithynia, who left his kingdom to the
Roman people. The Senate accepted the inheritance and made Bithynia a
province, but Mithradates championed the claims of a son of Nicomedes and
determined to dispute the possession of Bithynia with the Romans. He had
raised an efficient army and navy, was leagued with the pirates, and in
alliance with Sertorius, who supplied him with officers and recognized his
claims to Bithynia and other districts in Asia Minor. Rome was threatened
with another serious war. One of the senatorial faction, the consul Lucius
Lucullus, contrived to have assigned to himself by a senatorial decree the
provinces of Cilicia and Asia with command of the main operations against
Mithradates, while his colleague Cotta received Bithynia and a fleet to
guard the Hellespont. At the same time a praetor, Marcus Antonius, was
given an extraordinary command against the pirates with an unlimited
_imperium_ over the Mediterranean Sea and its coast. However, he proved
utterly incompetent, was defeated in an attack upon Crete, and died there.

*Siege of Cyzicus, 74–3 B. C.* Early in 74 B. C., Mithradates invaded
Bithynia. There he was encountered by Cotta, whom he defeated and
blockaded in Chalcedon. Thereupon he invaded Asia and laid siege to
Cyzicus. But Lucullus cut off his communications and in the ensuing winter
he was forced to raise the siege and retire with heavy losses into
Bithynia. The following year a fleet which Lucullus had raised defeated
that of Mithradates. This enabled the Romans to recover Bithynia and
invade Pontus. In 72 B. C. Lucullus defeated Mithradates and forced him to
take refuge in Armenia. In the course of this and the two following years
he completed the subjugation of Pontus by the systematic reduction of its
fortified cities. Cotta undertook the siege of Heraclea in Bithynia and
upon its fall in 71 B. C. returned to Rome. The winter of 71–70 B. C.
Lucullus spent in Asia reorganizing the financial situation. There the
cities were laboring under a frightful burden of indebtedness to Roman
bankers and taxgatherers which had its origin in the exactions of Sulla.
Lucullus interfered on behalf of the provincials and by reducing the
accumulated interest on their debts enabled them to pay off their
obligations within four years. This care for the provincials won for
himself the bitter enmity of the Roman financial interests which sought to
deprive him of his command.

*Invasion of Armenia, 69 B. C.* As the war could not be regarded as
terminated so long as Mithradates was at large, Lucullus demanded his
surrender from Tigranes. When the latter refused Lucullus invaded Armenia,
defeated him and took his capital, Tigranocerta, 69 B. C. In the following
year Lucullus attempted to complete the subjugation of Armenia but was
prevented by the mutinous conduct of his troops. He was unpopular with his
men because he maintained discipline and protected the subject peoples
from the excesses of the soldiers. Also some of his legions had come to
the East with Fimbria in 86 B. C. and clamored for the discharge to which
they were entitled. In 67 B. C. Mithradates reappeared in Pontus and
Lucullus had to return from Armenia to face him, whereupon Tigranes began
to recover lost ground. Because of the mutiny in his army Lucullus was
forced to remain inactive. He had already been superseded in the command
of Asia, Cilicia and Bithynia, which had come under his control with the
return of Cotta, and his enemies in Rome deprived him of the remnants of
his authority in 66 B. C.

              III. THE REVOLT OF THE GLADIATORS: 73–71 B. C.

*Spartacus.* While Pompey was fighting Sertorius in Spain and Lucullus was
pursuing Mithradates in Bithynia a serious slave war arose in Italy. It
began in 73 B. C. with the revolt of a band of gladiators from a training
school in Capua under the leadership of the Thracian Spartacus and the
Gauls, Crixus and Onemaus. Taking refuge on the slopes of Vesuvius they
rapidly recruited large numbers of runaway slaves. They defeated the
armies of two Roman praetors and overran Campania, Lucania, and all
southern Italy. By the end of the year 73 B. C. their number had grown to

In the next year they divided their forces; the Gauls and Germans followed
Crixus, the Thracians Spartacus. The two consuls took the field against
them; Crixus and his horde were defeated in Apulia. Spartacus marched
north, intending to make his way through the Alps to Thrace. The consuls
pursued him, and he defeated them one after the other. Thereupon his
followers refused to leave Italy and turned southwards, plundering as they
went. Again Spartacus defeated the consuls but dared not attack Rome and
retired to South Italy.

*Crassus in command, 71 B. C.* In 71 B. C. the consuls displayed no
enthusiasm to undertake the command against Spartacus, and so the Senate
appointed as extraordinary commander the praetor Marcus Licinius Crassus,
one of Sulla’s veteran officers, who volunteered his services. After
restoring discipline among his troops, Crassus succeeded in penning up
Spartacus in the peninsula of Bruttium. Spartacus hired some Cilician
pirates to transport him to Sicily, but, after receiving their price, they
abandoned him to his fate. He succeeded in breaking through Crassus’
lines, but his forces divided into two detachments, each of which was
caught and beaten. Spartacus fell in battle; while 6000 of his following
were taken and crucified. Crassus had bent all his energies to bring the
revolt to a close before the arrival of Pompey, who was on his way from
Spain. This he might fairly claim to have accomplished although a body of
5000 slaves who had escaped to North Italy were met by Pompey and


*Pompey and Crassus consuls.* Both Pompey and Crassus, flushed by their
victories in Spain and in Italy, now demanded the right to stand for the
consulship for 70 B. C. Both sought triumphs and under this pretext did
not disband their armies. The Senate resisted their claims, for Pompey’s
candidature was clearly unconstitutional, and since Crassus was praetor in
71 he was not eligible for the consulate in the following year.
Furthermore both were distrusted because of their ambitious natures. In
view of this opposition Crassus, in spite of mutual jealousy between
himself and Pompey, made overtures to the latter and they agreed to unite
their forces. They also made a bid for the support of the _populares_ by
promising to restore the tribunate to its former privileges and for that
of the equestrians by promising to reinstate them in the jury courts. This
combination overawed senatorial opposition, their candidatures were
legalized by special bills and both were elected. In their consulate the
tribunes were relieved of the restrictions which Sulla had placed upon
their activities, and the jury courts were reorganized. However, the
latter were not given over completely to the equestrians, but each panel
of jurors was to consist of three equal sections, one drawn from the
Senate, one from the _equites_, and one from the _tribuni aerarii_, the
class of citizens whose assessment was next to that of the _equites_. The
Sullan régime was at an end, and in the tribunate emancipated from the
Senate’s control the ambitious general of the future was to find his most
valuable ally.

*Trial of Verres.* In the same year, prior to the passing of the Aurelian
Law which reformed the juries, occurred the trial of Caius Verres,
ex-propraetor of Sicily, a case notable because the prosecution was
conducted by the young Marcus Tullius Cicero, whose accusation contained
in his published _Orations against Caius Verres_ constitutes a most
illuminating commentary upon provincial misgovernment under the Sullan
régime. The senatorial juries after 82 B. C., had protected the interests
of the provinces no better than had the equestrian juries established by
Caius Gracchus. They had shown themselves shamelessly venal, and a
provincial governor who made judicious disbursements could be confident
that he would be acquitted of any charges of extortion brought against
him. Relying upon this Verres, who was propraetor of Sicily in 73, 72 and
71 B. C., had carried off from that province money and valuables estimated
at 40,000,000 sesterces ($2,000,000). He had openly boasted that he
intended the profits of one year for himself, those of the second for his
friends and patrons, and those of the third for his jurors. At the opening
of the year 70 B. C. the Sicilian cities sued Verres for restitution of
damages and chose Cicero as their advocate. Cicero was a native of
Arpinum, the birthplace of Marius, and was now in his thirty-sixth year.
His upright conduct as quaestor in western Sicily in 75 B. C. had earned
him the confidence of the Sicilians, and his successful conduct of the
defense in several previous trials had marked him as a pleader of
exceptional ability. But Verres had entrusted his case to Quintus
Hortensius Hortalus, regarded at the time as the foremost of Roman
orators, and every conceivable device was resorted to in order to prevent
the case from coming to trial. Another prosecutor appeared, who claimed to
have a better right than Cicero to bring suit against Verres. This
necessitated a trial to decide which could better claim to represent the
Sicilians. Cicero was able to expose the falsity of the claims of his
rival, who was acting in collusion with Verres. He then proceeded to
Sicily where he gathered his evidence in fifty of the hundred and ten days
allowed him for the purpose. Before the hearing the elections for the next
year were held and Hortensius elected consul, but Cicero was returned as
aedile in spite of all the efforts of his opponents to weaken his prestige
by a defeat at the polls.

The trial was set for the fifth of August, and as there were fifty
holidays for various festivals between that date and the end of the year,
the defense hoped to drag out the trial until after January first, when a
praetor friendly to Verres would preside over the court for extortion. But
Cicero defeated their hopes by abstaining from any long formal speech of
accusation and contenting himself with a brief statement of the obstacles
the defense had placed in his way, a threat to punish in his capacity of
aedile any attempts at corruption, and a short statement of the charge
against Verres. He then called his witnesses. Hortensius found himself
without any arguments to combat and could not refute the evidence. Before
the hearing of the witnesses was concluded Verres went into exile. He was
condemned in his absence and Cicero became the leading advocate of the
day. However, it must be admitted that the condemnation of Verres was also
partly due to the danger of the loss of their privileges which threatened
the senatorial jurors.

*The crimes of Verres.* The evidence which had been brought out against
Verres was afterwards used by Cicero in composing his _Second Pleading
against Verres_ (_actio secunda in Verrem_) which was of course never
delivered, but was a political pamphlet in the form of a fictitious
oration. From it we learn the devices of which the governor made use to
amass a fortune at the expense of his province. By initiating false
accusations, by rendering, or intimidating other judges to render unjust
decisions, he secured the confiscation of property the value of which he
diverted to his own pockets. He sold justice to the highest bidder. While
saving himself expense by defrauding the collectors of port dues of the
tax on his valuables shipped out of Sicily, he added to his profits by the
sale of municipal offices and priesthoods. He entered into partnership
with the _decumani_ or collectors of the ten per cent produce tax, and
ordered the cultivators to pay whatever the collectors demanded, and then,
if dissatisfied, seek redress in his court, a redress which, needless to
say, was never gained. He loaned public funds at usurious rates of
interest, and either did not pay in full or paid nothing for corn
purchased from the Sicilian communities for the Roman government, while
charging the state the market price. At the same time he insisted upon the
cities commuting into money payments at rates far above current prices the
grain allotted for the upkeep of the governor’s establishment. At times
the demands made upon cultivators exceeded the total of their annual crop,
and in despair they fled from their holdings. To the money gained by such
methods Verres added a costly treasure of works of art, which he collected
from both individuals and cities by theft, seizure and intimidation. Even
the sacred ornaments of temples were not spared. All who resisted or
denounced him, even Roman citizens, were subjected to illegal
imprisonment, torture or execution. These iniquities were carried out in
defiance of the provincial charter, but there was no power in his province
to restrain him, and the Senate, which should have done so, remained
indifferent to the complaints which were carried to Rome. The sad truth
was that after all Verres was only more shameless and unscrupulous than
the average provincial governor, and consequently the sympathies of the
Senate were with him rather than with his victims—the provincials.


*The pirate scourge.* Both Pompey and Crassus had declined proconsular
appointments at the close of 70 B. C., because there were no provinces
open which promised an opportunity to augment their influence or military
reputation. Accordingly they remained in Rome watching for some more
favorable chance to employ their talents. Pompey found such an opportunity
in the ravages of the Cilician pirates. After the failure of Marcus
Antonius (74–72 B. C.), Caecilius Metellus had been sent to Crete in 69
B. C. and in the course of the next two years reduced the island to
subjection and made it a province. But his operations there did little to
check the pirate plague. So bold had these robbers become that they did
not hesitate to raid the coasts of Italy and to plunder Ostia. When
finally their depredations interrupted the importation of grain for the
supply of the city, a famine threatened, and decisive measures had to be
taken against them.

*The Gabinian Law, 67 B. C.* The only way to deal with the question was to
appoint a commander with power to operate against the pirates everywhere,
and the obvious man for the position was Pompey. However, the Senate
mistrusted him and in addition feared the consequences of creating such an
extensive extraordinary command. But since 71 B. C. Pompey had stood on
the side of the _populares_ and now, like Marius, he found in the
tribunate an ally able to aid him in attaining his goal. In 67 B. C. the
tribune Aulus Gabinius proposed a law for the appointment of a single
commander of consular rank who should have command over the whole sea
within the pillars of Hercules and all Roman territory to a distance of
fifty miles inland. His appointment was to be for three years, he was to
have the power to nominate senatorial _legati_, to raise money in addition
to what he received from the quaestors, and recruit soldiers and sailors
at discretion for his fleet. This command was modelled upon that of
Antonius the praetor in 74 B. C., but conveyed higher authority and
greater resources. The Senate bitterly resisted the passage of the bill
but it passed and the Senate had to relinquish its prerogative of creating
the extraordinary commands. Although no person had been nominated for this
command in the law of Gabinius, the opinion of the voters had been so
clearly expressed in a _contio_ that the Senate had to appoint Pompey. He
received twenty-four _legati_ and a fleet of five hundred vessels.

*The pirates crushed.* Pompey set to work energetically and
systematically. In forty days he swept the pirates from the western
Mediterranean. In forty-nine more he cornered them in Cilicia, where he
forced the surrender of their strongholds. His victory was hastened by the
mildness shown to those who surrendered. They received their lives and
freedom, and in many cases were used as colonists to revive cities with a
declining population. Within three months he had brought the pirate war to
a triumphant conclusion, but his _imperium_ would not terminate for three
years and he was anxious to gather fresh laurels.

*The Manilian Law, 66 B. C.* It so happened that Pompey’s success
coincided with the temporary check to the Roman arms in Pontus, owing to
the disaffection of the troops of Lucullus and the machinations of the
latter’s enemies in Rome. Pompey now sought to have the command of
Lucullus added to his own, and in this he had the support of the
equestrian order. Early in 66 B. C. one of the tribunes, Caius Manilius,
proposed a law transferring to Pompey the provinces of Bithynia and
Cilicia and the conduct of the war against Mithradates and Tigranes.
Cicero, then a praetor, supported the measure in his speech, _For the
Manilian Law_. His support was probably dictated by the fact that he was a
man without family backing and consequently had to have the friendship of
an influential personage if he was to secure the political advancement
which he desired. The Senate strongly opposed any extension of Pompey’s
military authority, but the bill was passed and he took over the command
of Lucullus. He was clothed with power to make peace or war with whom he
chose, and enjoyed an unexampled concentration of authority in his hands.

*The campaigns of Pompey in the East.* Pompey at once advanced into Pontus
and attacked Mithradates. The latter was forced to withdraw into Lesser
Armenia where he was overtaken and his army scattered by Pompey. The king
fled to the neighborhood of the Sea of Asov. Upon the defeat of
Mithradates, Tigranes deserted his cause and submitted to Pompey. He was
permitted to retain his kingdom as a Roman ally. In the following year, 65
B. C., Pompey reduced to submission the peoples situated south of the
Caucasus, between the Black and the Caspian Seas, who had been in alliance
with Mithradates, and so completed the subjugation of Pontus, which he
made into a province (64 B. C.).

In 64 B. C. he turned his attention to Syria, where a state of chaos had
reigned since Lucullus had wrested it from Tigranes and where a scion of
the Seleucids had failed to find recognition. Pompey decided to treat
Syria as a Roman conquest and incorporate it within the empire. He then
interfered in a dynastic struggle in the kingdom of Judaea. After a brief
struggle, in which the temple of Jerusalem was stormed by the Romans, he
installed his nominee as High Priest at the head of the local government.
Judaea was then annexed to the province of Syria (63 B. C.).

While Pompey was in Judaea the death of Mithradates occurred. Deserted by
the Greek cities of the northern Euxine, he formed the plan of joining the
Celtic peoples of the Danube valley and invading Italy. But his army
deserted him for his son Pharnaces, who revolted against his father, and
Mithradates committed suicide. Thereupon Pharnaces made peace with Pompey.

The Mithradatic war was finally over and Pompey, after organizing affairs
in Asia Minor and the adjoining countries, started on a triumphal return
to Italy with his victorious army and rich spoils of war (62 B. C.).

                 VI. THE CONSPIRACY OF CATILINE, 63 B. C.

*The situation in Rome.* While Pompey was adding to his military
reputation in the East he was regarded with jealous and anxious eyes not
only by the Senate but also by the other champions of the popular party,
Crassus who found his wealth no match for Pompey’s military achievements,
and Caius Julius Caesar who was rapidly coming to be one of the leading
figures in Roman public life. Caesar was born in 100 B. C., of the
patrician _gens_ of the Julii, but since his aunt was the wife of Marius,
and he himself had married the daughter of Cinna, his lot was cast with
the Populares. As a young man he had distinguished himself by refusing to
divorce his wife at Sulla’s behest, whereat Sulla was with difficulty
induced to spare his life, saying that he saw in him many a Marius. For
the time being Caesar judged it prudent to withdraw from Rome to Rhodes.
While in the East he was captured by pirates, and after being ransomed,
fulfilled his threat to avenge himself by taking and executing his
captors. After the death of Sulla, Caesar returned to Rome and devoted his
more than average oratorical abilities to the cause of the Marians. In 69
or 68 B. C. he was quaestor in Farther Spain, and shortly afterwards he
became closely associated with Crassus in the attempt to develop a
counterpoise to Pompey’s influence. While aedile in 65 B. C. he curried
favor with the populace by the extraordinary lavishness with which he
celebrated the public festivals, by the restoration of the public
monuments of the campaign of Marius and by supporting the prosecution of
agents in the Sullan proscriptions. The splendor of his shows had obliged
Caesar to contract heavy debts, and Crassus was in all probability his
chief creditor. Both were therefore interested in securing for Caesar a
position in which he could secure the wealth to meet his obligations.

The unrest in Rome was heightened by the presence there of a number of men
of ruined fortunes, both Marians dispossessed by Sulla and those of the
opposite party who had squandered their resources or had been excluded
from the Senate by the censors of 70 B. C. This element was ready to
resort to any means, however desperate, to win wealth or office. Foremost
among them was Lucius Sergius Catilina, a patrician who enjoyed an evil
repute for his share in the Sullan proscriptions and the viciousness of
his private life. Symptomatic of the weakening of the public authority was
the organization of partizan gangs to terrorize opposition and control the

*Cicero elected consul, 64 B. C.* In the year 64 B. C. three candidates
presented themselves for the consulship, Catiline, Caius Antonius, a noble
of the same type as Catiline, and Cicero. The first two were supported by
Caesar and Crassus who hoped to use them for their own ends. Cicero, as a
_novus homo_, was distasteful to the Optimates, but since they felt that
Catiline must be defeated at all costs they supported the orator, who was
elected with Antonius. From that time Cicero ranged himself on the side of
the Optimates, and his political watchword was the “harmony of the
orders,” that is, of the senators and the equestrians. Of the consular
provinces Cicero received by lot Macedonia and Antonius Cisalpine Gaul. As
the latter was dissatisfied Cicero resigned Macedonia to him, in return
for his public assurance of abstaining from opposing Cicero’s acts during
their year of office.

*The land bill of Rullus, 63 B. C.* On the first day of his consulate
Cicero delivered a speech in which he scathingly criticized a land bill
proposed by the tribune Servilius Rullus. This bill aimed to create a land
commission of ten members of praetorian rank, elected in a special
_comitia_ of seventeen tribes, which Rullus was to choose by lot. These
commissioners were to be vested with extraordinary powers for five years,
including the right to sell the public land in Italy and in Pompey’s
recent conquests, to exercise judicial authority, to confiscate lands, to
found colonies, and to enroll and maintain troops. The bill would have
placed in the hands of the commissioners extraordinary military authority
both in Italy and in the provinces, guaranteed by the income derived from
the sale of land. Pompey was excluded from the commission by a clause
requiring the personal appearance of candidates. Everyone was aware that
the measure was devised in the interests of Caesar and Crassus and that
they would dominate the commission. However, the attack upon the Senate’s
control of the public land and the general mistrust of the purposes of a
bill of this sort caused such strong opposition that its sponsors did not
bring the matter to a vote.

*Caesar, **Pontifex** Maximus.* But Caesar could console himself with
victory in another sphere. The position of Pontifex Maximus had become
vacant, and by a tribunician bill the _lex Domitia_, revoked by Sulla, was
again brought into effect and election to the priesthood entrusted to a
_comitia_ of seventeen tribes. In the ensuing election Caesar was

*The Catilinarian conspiracy: 63 B. C.* In July, 63 B. C., occurred the
consular elections for the next year. Catiline was again a competitor, but
now he lacked the support of Crassus and Caesar and appealed directly to
all needy and desperate characters throughout Italy, who hoped to enrich
themselves by violent means. He was bitterly opposed by Cicero and the
Optimates and was defeated. Thereupon he and his followers conspired to
overthrow the government by armed force. Cicero, who was on the watch, got
news of the conspiracy and induced the Senate to pass the “last decree”
empowering him to use any means to save the state. Catiline then left the
city to join the bands his supporters had raised in Etruria. He was
declared a public enemy and a force under the consul Antonius dispatched
against him. December seventeenth was the day set for a rising in Rome,
when the city was to be fired, the consuls and others murdered, and a
reign of terror instituted. But the plan was betrayed by a delegation of
the Gallic Allobroges who happened to be in Rome and whom the conspirators
endeavored to enlist on their side. The leading Catilinarians in Rome were
arrested, and, in accordance with a decree of the Senate, put to death.
Caesar had argued for a milder sentence, but the firm stand of the young
Marcus Porcius Cato, a man of uncompromising uprightness and loyalty to
the constitution, sealed the fate of the plotters. Upon the failure of his
plans in Rome, Catiline endeavored to make his way with his army into
Cisalpine Gaul, but was overtaken and forced to give battle to the forces
of Antonius at Pistoria. He and most of his followers died sword in hand.
The suppression of the conspiracy added to Cicero’s reputation and greatly
strengthened the position of the Senate and the Optimates.

But the whole episode bears testimony to the general weakness of the
government and the danger of the absence of a regular police force for the
maintenance of the public peace.


*Pompey’s return.* Towards the close of the year 62 B. C. Pompey landed in
Italy and, contrary to the expectations of those who feared that he would
prove a second Sulla, disbanded his army. The following September (61) he
celebrated a memorable triumph. He was exceedingly anxious to crown his
achievements by having the Senate ratify his eastern arrangements and
securing land grants for his veterans. However, since the dismissal of his
troops he was no longer feared by the Senate, which insisted on examining
his acts in detail and not ratifying them _en bloc_ as he demanded. Thus
the Optimates lost the opportunity of binding Pompey to their side, and at
the same time they fell out with the equestrians over the demand made by
the _publicani_ who had contracted for the taxes of Asia for a
modification of the terms of their contract on the ground of poor harvests
in the province.

*The coalition of 60 B. C.* No settlement had been reached when Caesar
returned to Rome in 60 B. C. He had been praetor in 62 and for the
following year governor of Further Spain, where he waged successful border
wars, conciliated the provincials and yet contrived to find the means to
satisfy his creditors. He now requested a triumph and the privilege of
standing for the consulate while waiting outside the city for the former
honor. However, when the Senate delayed its decision he gave up the
triumph and became a candidate for the consulate. He now succeeded in
reconciling Pompey and Crassus and the three formed a secret coalition to
secure the election of Caesar and the satisfaction of their particular
aims. This unofficial coalition is known as the First Triumvirate. Through
the influence of his supporters Caesar was easily elected but his
colleague was Calpurnius Bibulus, the nominee of the Optimates.

                               CHAPTER XIV


                        I. CAESAR CONSUL: 59 B. C.

*A rule of force.* At the beginning of his consulship Caesar tried to
induce the Senate to approve his measures, but, when they failed to do so,
he carried them directly to the Assembly. And when Bibulus and Cato
essayed to obstruct legislation in the Comitia he crushed all opposition
by the aid of Pompey’s veterans. Bibulus, protesting against the
illegality of Caesar’s proceedings, shut himself up in his own house. Thus
Caesar carried two land laws for the benefit of the soldiers of Pompey,
induced the Senate to ratify the latter’s eastern settlement, and secured
for the equestrians, whose cause was championed by Crassus, the remission
of one third of the contract price for the revenues of Asia.

*The Vatinian Law.* A lucky chance enabled Caesar to secure his own future
by an extended military command. The Senate had taken pains to render him
harmless by assigning as the consular provinces for 58 the care of forests
and country roads in Italy, but in February, 59, the death of Metellus
Celer, proconsul of Cisalpine Gaul, left vacant a post of considerable
importance in view of the imminent danger of war breaking out in
Transalpine Gaul. Accordingly a law proposed by the tribune Vatinius
transferred to Caesar the command of Cisalpine Gaul and Illyricum, with a
garrison of three legions, for a term of five years beginning 1 March, 59.
To this the Senate, at the suggestion of Pompey, added Transalpine Gaul
and another legion.

*The banishment of Cicero, 58 B. C.* Caesar’s consulship had been an open
defiance of constitutional precedent, and had revealed the fact that the
triumvirate was stronger than the established organs of government, and
that the Roman Empire was really controlled by three men. Well might Cato
say that the coalition was the beginning of the end of the Republic.
Within the triumvirate itself Pompey was the dominant figure owing to his
military renown and the influence of his veterans. Caesar appeared as his
agent, yet displayed far greater political insight and succeeded in
creating for himself a position which would enable him to play a more
independent rôle in the future. The coalition did not break up at the end
of Caesar’s consulship; its members determined to retain their control of
the state policy, and to this end secured for 58 B. C. the election of two
consuls in whom they had confidence. To cement the alliance Pompey married
Caesar’s daughter Julia, and Caesar married the daughter of Piso, one of
the consuls-elect. To secure themselves from attack they felt it necessary
to remove from the city their two ablest opponents, Cato and Cicero. The
latter had refused all proposals to join their side, and had sharply
criticized them on several public occasions. His banishment was secured
through the agency of the tribune Clodius, whose transfer from patrician
to plebeian status Caesar had facilitated. Clodius was a man of ill repute
who hated Cicero because the latter had testified against him when he was
on trial for sacrilege. Early in 58 B. C. Clodius carried a bill which
outlawed any person who had put to death Roman citizens without regular
judicial proceedings. This law was aimed at Cicero for his share in the
execution of the Catalinarian conspirators. Finding that he could not rely
upon the support of his friends, Cicero went into exile without awaiting
trial. He was formally banished, his property was confiscated, and he
himself sought refuge in Thessalonica, where the governor of Macedonia
offered him protection. Cato was entrusted with a special mission to
accomplish the incorporation of Cyprus, then ruled by one of the Egyptian
Ptolemies, into the Roman Empire, and his Stoic conception of duty
prevented him from refusing the appointment. Caesar remained with his army
in the vicinity of Rome until after Cicero’s banishment and then set out
for his province.

                II. CAESAR’S CONQUEST OF GAUL: 58–51 B. C.

*The defeat of the Helvetii and Ariovistus: 58 B. C.* In 58 B. C., when
Caesar entered upon his Gallic command, the Roman province in Transalpine
Gaul (_Gallia __Narbonensis_) embraced the coast districts from the Alps
to the borders of Spain and the land between the Alps and the Rhone as far
north as Lake Geneva. The country which stretched from the Pyrenees to the
Rhine, and from the Rhone to the ocean was called _Gallia comata_ or
“long-haired Gaul,” and was occupied by a large number of peoples of
varying importance. These were usually regarded as falling into three
groups, (1) those of Aquitania, between the Pyrenees and the Loire, where
there was a large Iberian element, (2) those called Celts, in a narrow
sense of the word, stretching from the Loire to the Seine and the Marne,
and (3) the Belgian Gauls, dwelling between these rivers and the Rhine.
Among the latter were peoples of Germanic origin. Although conscious of a
general unity of language, race and customs, the Gauls had not developed a
national state, owing to the mutual jealousy of the individual peoples,
and each tribe was perpetually divided into rival factions supporting
different chiefs. Rome had sought to protect the province of Narbonensis
by establishing friendly relations with some of these Gallic peoples and
had long before (c. 121 B. C.) made an alliance with the Aedui. About 70
B. C. conditions in _Gallia comata_ had been disturbed by an invasion of
Germanic Suevi, from across the Rhine, under their King Ariovistus. He
united with the rivals of the Aedui, the Sequani, and after a number of
years reduced the former to submission. In 59 B. C. he reached an
agreement with Rome, became a “friend” of the Roman people, and, while
abstaining from further aggression, remained firmly established in what is
now Alsace. For some time the Roman province had been alarmed by the
threat of a migration of the Helvetii, then settled in western
Switzerland, and in March, 58 B. C., this people started in search of new
abodes. Caesar reached Gaul in time to prevent their crossing the upper
Rhone, and followed them as they turned westward into the lands of the
Sequani and Aedui. Defeated in two battles, they were forced to return to
their home and to become allies of Rome. The movement of the Helvetii had
given Caesar the opportunity for intervention in _Gallia comata_, and a
pretext for extending his influence there was found in the hostility of
some of the Gauls to Ariovistus, and the knowledge that a band of Suevi
was expected soon to cross the Rhine to reinforce the latter. To frustrate
a German occupation of Gaul now became Caesar’s object. Ariovistus
rejected the demands of Caesar, who thereupon attacked him, defeated him
in the vicinity of Strassburg and drove him across the Rhine. Caesar was
now the dominant power in Gaul, and many of the leading tribes entered
into alliance with Rome. Of the Belgae, however, only the Remi came over
to the side of Rome.

*The conquest of the Belgae, Veneti, and Aquitanians, 57–56 B. C.* In the
next year, 57 B. C., Caesar marched against the united forces of the
Belgae, defeated them, and subdued many tribes, chief of whom were the
Nervii. At the same time his legates received the submission of the
peoples of Normandy and Brittany. In the course of the following winter
some of these, led by the Veneti, broke off their alliance and attacked
Caesar’s garrisons. Thereupon he set to work to build a fleet, with which
in the course of the next summer the fleet of the Veneti was destroyed and
their strongholds on the coast taken (56 B. C.). The same year witnessed
the submission of the Aquitanians, which brought practically the whole of
Gaul under Roman sway.

*Events in Rome, 58–55 B. C.* Meanwhile important changes had taken place
in the situation at Rome. Pompey had broken with Clodius, and supported
the tribune Titus Annius Milo who pressed for Cicero’s recall. A law of
the Assembly withdrew his sentence of outlawry, his property was restored,
and the orator returned in September, 57 B. C., to enjoy a warm reception
both in the municipal towns and at the capital. For the moment Pompey and
the Optimates were on friendly terms, and the former made use of a grain
famine in the city to secure for himself an appointment as curator of the
grain supply (_curator annonae_) for a period of five years. This
appointment carried with it proconsular _imperium_ within and without
Italy, and the control of the ports, markets and traffic in grain within
the Roman dominions. It was really an extraordinary military command.
Pompey relieved the situation but could do nothing to allay the disorders
in Rome, where Clodius and Milo with their armed gangs set law and order
at defiance. The news of Caesar’s victories and the influence which he was
acquiring in the city by a judicious distribution of the spoils of war
fired the ambitions of Pompey and Crassus who were no longer on good terms
with one another. Furthermore, the return of Cato in 56 B. C. had again
given the Optimates an energetic leader. Consequently Caesar felt it
necessary for the coalition to reach a new agreement. Accordingly while
spending the winter in Cisalpine Gaul he arranged a conference at Luca in
April, 56, where the three settled their differences and laid plans for
the future. They agreed that Pompey and Crassus should be consuls in 55
B. C., that the former should be given the Spanish provinces and Libya for
five years, that Crassus should have Syria for an equal period, and that
Caesar’s command in Gaul should be prolonged for another five year term to
run from 1 March, 54.(12)

These arrangements were duly carried out. Since it was too late for Pompey
and Crassus to be candidates at the regular elections in 56 B. C., they
forcibly prevented any elections being held that year. The following
January, after forcing the other candidates to withdraw, they secured
their election. Thereupon a law of the tribune Gaius Trebonius made
effective the assignment of provinces agreed upon at Luca. Once more it
was made plain that the coalition actually ruled the empire. Cicero, who
was indebted to Pompey for his recall, was forced to support the
triumvirate, and the Optimates found their boldest leader in Cato, who had
returned to Rome early in 56 B. C.

*Caesar’s crossing of the Rhine and invasion of Britain: 55–54 B. C.*
During the winter following the subjugation of the Veneti, two Germanic
tribes, the Usipetes and the Tencteri, crossed the lower Rhine into Gaul.
In the next summer, 55 B. C., Caesar attacked and annihilated their
forces, only a few escaping across the river. As a warning against future
invasion, Caesar bridged the Rhine and made a demonstration upon the right
bank, destroying his bridge when he withdrew. Towards the close of the
summer he crossed the Straits of Dover to Britain, to punish the Britons
for aiding his enemies in Gaul. But owing to the lateness of the season
and the smallness of his force he returned to Gaul after a brief

In the following year, after gathering a larger fleet, he again landed on
the island with a force of almost 30,000 men. This time he forced his way
across the Thames and received the submission of Cassivellaunus, the chief
who led the British tribes against the invaders. After taking hostages,
and receiving promises of tribute, Caesar returned to Gaul. Britain was in
no sense subdued, but the island had felt the power of Rome, and, besides
enlarging the geographical knowledge of the time, Caesar had brought back
numbers of captives. In Rome the exploit produced great excitement and

*Revolts in Gaul: 54–53 B. C.* Although the Gauls had submitted to Caesar,
they were not yet reconciled to Roman rule, which put an end to their
inter-tribal wars and to the feuds among the nobility. Consequently, many
of the tribes were restive and not inclined to surrender all hopes of
freedom without another struggle. In the course of the winter 54–53 B. C.
the Nervii, Treveri and Eburones in Belgian Gaul attacked the Roman
detachments stationed in their territories. One of these was cut to pieces
but the rest held their ground until relieved by Caesar, who stamped out
the rebellion.

*Vercingetorix, 52 B. C.* A more serious movement started in 52 B. C.
among the peoples of central Gaul who found a national leader in
Vercingetorix, a young noble of the Arverni. The revolt took Caesar by
surprise when he was in Cisalpine Gaul and his troops still scattered in
winter quarters. He recrossed the Alps with all haste, secured the
Narbonese province and succeeded in uniting his forces. These he
strengthened with German cavalry from across the Rhine. However, a
temporary check in an attack upon the position of Vercingetorix at
Gergovia caused the Aedui to desert the Roman cause, and the revolt spread
to practically the whole of Gaul. Caesar was on the point of retiring to
the province, but after repulsing an attack made upon him he was able to
pen up Vercingetorix in the fortress of Alesia. A great effort made by the
Gauls to relieve the siege failed to break Caesar’s lines, and the
defenders were starved into submission. The crisis was over, although
another year was required before the revolting tribes were all reduced to
submission and the Roman authority re-established (51 B. C.). Caesar used
all possible mildness in his treatment of the conquered and the Gauls were
not only pacified but won over. In the days to come they were among his
most loyal supporters. The conquest of Gaul was an event of supreme
importance for the future history of the Roman empire, and for the
development of European civilization as well. For the time _Gallia comata_
was not formed into a province. Its peoples were made allies of Rome,
under the supervision of the governor of Narbonese Gaul, under obligation
to furnish troops and for the most part liable to a fixed tribute.
Caesar’s campaign in Gaul had given him the opportunity to develop his
unusual military talents and to create a veteran army devoted to himself.
His power had become so great that both Pompey and the Optimates desired
his destruction and he was in a position to refuse to be eliminated
without a struggle. The plots laid in Rome to deprive him of his power had
made him hasten to quell the revolt of the Gauls with all speed. When this
was accomplished he was free to turn his attention to Roman affairs.

*Crassus in Syria, 55–53 B. C.* After the assignment of the provinces by
the Trebonian Law in 55 B. C., Crassus set out for Syria intending to win
military power and prestige by a war against the Parthians, an Asiatic
people who, once the subjects of the Persians and Seleucids, had
established a kingdom which included the provinces of the Seleucid empire
as far west as the Euphrates. Crassus had no real excuse for opening
hostilities, but the Parthians were a potentially dangerous neighbor and a
campaign against them gave promise of profit and glory. Accordingly, in 54
B. C., Crassus made a short incursion into Mesopotamia and then withdrew
to Syria. The next year he again crossed the Euphrates, intending to
penetrate deeply into the enemy’s country. But he had underestimated the
strength of the Parthians and the difficulties of desert warfare. In the
Mesopotamian desert near Carrhae his troops were surrounded and cut to
pieces by the Parthian horsemen; Crassus himself was enticed into a
conference and treacherously slain, and only a small remnant of his force
escaped (53 B. C.). But the Parthians were slow in following up their
advantage and Crassus’ quaestor, Cassius Longinus, was able to hold Syria.
Still Roman prestige in the East had received a severe blow and for the
next three centuries the Romans found the Parthians dangerous neighbors.
The death of Crassus tended to hasten a crisis in Rome for it brought into
sharp conflict the incompatible ambitions of Pompey and Caesar, whose
estrangement had already begun with the death of Pompey’s wife Julia in 54
B. C.

*Affairs in Rome, 54–49 B. C.* At the end of his consulship Pompey left
Rome but remained in Italy, on the pretext of his curatorship of the grain
supply, and governed his province through his legates. In Rome disorder
reigned; no consuls were elected in 54 B. C. nor before July of the
following year; the partizans of Clodius and Milo kept everything in
confusion. Pompey could have restored order but preferred to create a
situation which would force the Senate to grant him new powers, so he
backed Clodius, while Milo championed the Optimates. Owing to broils
between the supporters of the candidates, no consuls or praetors could be
elected for 52 B. C. In January of that year Clodius was slain by Milo’s
body-guard on the Appian Way, and the ensuing outburst of mob violence in
the city forced the Senate to appeal to Pompey. He was made sole consul,
until he should choose a colleague, and was entrusted with the task of
restoring order. His troops brought quiet into the city; Milo was tried on
a charge of public violence, convicted, and banished. Pompey had attained
the height of his official career; he was sole consul, at the same time he
had a province embracing the Spains, Libya, and the sphere assigned to him
with the grain curatorship, he governed his provinces through _legati_,
and his armies were maintained by the public treasury. In reality he was
the chief power in the state, for without him the Senate was helpless, and
he was justly regarded by contemporaries as the First Citizen or Princeps.
In many ways his position foreshadowed the Principate of Augustus.
However, Pompey did not wish to overthrow the republican régime; his
ambition was to be regarded as the indispensable and permanent mainstay of
the government and to enjoy corresponding power and honor. In such a
scheme there was no room for a rival, and therefore he determined upon
Caesar’s overthrow. This decision put him on the side of the extreme
Optimates, who were alarmed by Caesar’s wealth, influence and fame and
feared him as a dangerous radical. They had no hesitation in choosing
between Pompey and Caesar.

*Pompey’s attack upon Caesar: 52 B. C.* The latter’s immediate aim was to
secure the consulship for 48 B. C. and to retain his proconsular command
until the end of December, 49. He knew that he had reached a position
where his destruction was the desire of many, and that the moment he
surrendered his _imperium_ he would be open to prosecution by those
seeking to procure his ruin. But he had no intention of placing himself in
the power of his enemies. The consulship would not only save him from
prosecution but would enable him to confirm his arrangements in Gaul,
reward his army, and secure his own future by another proconsular
appointment. However, to secure his election, he had to be exempted from
presenting himself in person for his candidature in 49, and this
permission was accorded him by a tribunician law early in 52 B. C. So far
his position was strictly legal, but Pompey, whose own consulship was
unconstitutional, now broke openly with Caesar by passing legislation
which would undermine the latter’s position. One of Pompey’s laws
prohibited candidacies for office _in absentia_, and when Caesar’s friends
protested, he added to the text of the law after it had passed a clause
exempting Caesar from its operation; a procedure of more than dubious
legality. A second law provided that in future provincial governorships
should not be filled by the city magistrates just completing their term of
office but by those whose terms had expired five years previously. This
latter law may have been intended to check the mad rivalry for provincial
appointments, but its immediate significance lay in the fact that it
permitted a successor to be appointed to take over Caesar’s provinces on 1
March, 49 B. C. He would thus have to stand as a private citizen for the
consulship and would no longer enjoy immunity from legal attack. At the
same time Pompey had his own command in Spain extended for another five

*Negotiations between Caesar, Pompey and the Senate, 51–50 B. C.* The
question of appointing a successor to Caesar’s provinces filled the next
two years and was the immediate cause of civil war. Caesar claimed that
his position should not be affected by the Pompeian law, and pressed for
permission to hold his command until the close of 49 B. C. The extreme
conservatives sought to supersede him on March first of that year, but
Caesar’s friends and agents thwarted their efforts. Pompey was not willing
to have Caesar’s command to run beyond 13 November, 49. Cicero, who had
distinguished himself by his uprightness as governor of Cilicia in 51,
strove to effect a compromise, but in vain. Caesar offered to give up
Transalpine Gaul and part of his army, if allowed to retain the Cisalpine
province but the overture was rejected. Finally, in December, 50 B. C., he
formally promised to resign his provinces and disband his troops, if
Pompey would do the same, but the Senate insisted upon his absolute
surrender. On 7 January, 49 B. C., the Senate passed the “last decree”
calling upon the magistrates and proconsuls (i. e. Pompey) to protect the
state, and declaring Caesar a public enemy. Caesar’s friends left the city
and fled to meet him in Cisalpine Gaul, where he and his army were in
readiness for this emergency.


*Caesar’s conquest of Italy and Spain, 49 B. C.* The senatorial
conservatives had forced the issue and for Caesar there remained the
alternative of victory or destruction. He possessed the advantages of a
loyal army ready for immediate action and the undisputed control over his
own troops. On the other hand, his opponents had no veteran troops in
Italy, and although Pompey acted as commander-in-chief of the senatorial
forces, he was greatly hampered by having at times to defer to the
judgment of the consuls and senators who were in his camp. It was
obviously to Caesar’s advantage to take the offensive and to force a
decision before his enemies could concentrate against him the resources of
the provinces. Hence he determined to act without delay, and, upon
receiving news of the Senate’s action on 7 January, he crossed the
Rubicon, which divided Cisalpine Gaul and Italy, with a small force,
ordering the legions beyond the Alps to join him with all speed. The
Italian municipalities opened their gates at his approach and the newly
raised levies went over to his side. Everywhere his mildness to his
opponents won him new adherents. Pompey decided to abandon Italy and
withdraw to the East, intending later to concentrate upon the peninsula
from all sides; a plan made feasible by his control of the sea. Caesar
divined his intention and tried to cut off his retreat at Brundisium, but
could not prevent his embarkation. With his army and the majority of the
Senate Pompey crossed to Epirus. Owing to his lack of a fleet Caesar could
not follow and returned to Rome. There some of the magistrates were still
functioning, in conjunction with a remnant of the Senate. Being in dire
need of money, he wished to obtain funds from the treasury, and when this
was opposed by a tribune, Caesar ignored the latter’s veto and forcibly
seized the reserve treasure which the Pompeians had left behind in their
hasty flight. In the meantime Caesar’s lieutenants had seized Sardinia and
Sicily, and crossed over into Africa. He himself determined to attack the
well organized Pompeian forces in Spain and destroy them before Pompey was
ready for an offensive from the East. On his way to Spain, Caesar began
the siege of Massalia which closed its gates to him. Leaving the city
under blockade he hastened to Spain, where after an initial defeat he
forced the surrender of the Pompeian armies. Some of the prisoners joined
his forces; the rest were dismissed to their homes. Caesar hastened back
to Massalia. The city capitulated at his arrival, and was punished by
requisitions, the loss of its territory and the temporary deprivation of
its autonomy. From here Caesar pressed on to Rome, where he had been
appointed dictator by virtue of a special law. After holding the elections
in which he and an approved colleague were returned as consuls for 48, he
resigned his dictatorship and set out for Brundisium. There he had
assembled his army and transports for the passage to Epirus.

*Pharsalus, 48 B. C.* During Caesar’s Spanish campaign Pompey had gathered
a large force in Macedonia, nine Roman legions reinforced by contingents
from the Roman allies. His fleet, recruited largely from the maritime
cities in the East, commanded the Adriatic. Nevertheless, at the opening
of winter (Nov. 49 B. C.) Caesar effected a landing on the coast of Epirus
with part of his army and seized Apollonia. However, Pompey arrived from
Macedonia in time to save Dyrrhachium. Throughout the winter the two
armies remained inactive, but Pompey’s fleet prevented Caesar from
receiving reinforcements until the spring of 48 B. C., when Marcus
Antonius effected a crossing with another detachment. As Caesar’s troops
began to suffer from shortage of supplies he was forced to take the
offensive and tried to blockade Pompey’s larger force in Dyrrhachium.
However, the attempt failed, his lines of investment were broken, and he
withdrew to Thessaly. Thither he was followed by Pompey, who suffered
himself to be influenced by the overconfident senators to risk a battle.
Near the town of Old Pharsalus he attacked Caesar but was defeated and his
army dispersed. He himself sought refuge in Egypt and there he was put to
death by order of the king whose father he had protected in the days of
his power. Pompey’s great weakness was that his resolution did not match
his ambition. His ambition led him to seek a position incompatible with
the constitution; but his lack of resolution did not permit him to
overthrow the constitution. The Optimates had sided with him only because
they held him less dangerous than Caesar and had he been victorious they
would have sought to compass his downfall.

*Caesar in the East, 48–47 B. C.* After Pharsalus Caesar had set out in
pursuit of Pompey, but arrived in Egypt after the murder of his foe. His
ever pressing need of money probably induced Caesar to intervene as
arbiter in the name of Rome in the dynastic struggle then raging in Egypt
between the twenty-year-old Cleopatra and her thirteen-year-old brother,
Ptolemy XIV Dionysus, who was also, following the Egyptian custom, her
husband. Caesar got the young king in his power and brought back
Cleopatra, whom the people of Alexandria had driven out. Angered thereat,
and resenting his exactions, the Alexandrians rose in arms and from
October, 48, to March, 47 B. C., besieged Caesar in the royal quarter of
the city. Having but few troops with him Caesar was in dire straits and
was only able to maintain himself through his control of the sea which
enabled him to eventually receive reinforcements. His relief was effected
by a force raised by Mithradates of Pergamon who invaded Egypt from Syria.
In co-operation with him Caesar defeated the Egyptians in battle; Ptolemy
Dionysus perished in flight; and Alexandria submitted. Cleopatra was
married to a still younger brother and put in possession of the kingdom of
Egypt. Caesar had succumbed to the charms of the Egyptian queen and
tarried in her company for the rest of the winter. He was called away to
face a new danger in Pharnaces, son of Mithradates Eupator, who had taken
advantage of the civil war to recover Pontus and overrun Lesser Armenia,
Cappadocia and Bithynia. Hastening through Syria Caesar entered Pontus and
defeated Pharnaces at Zela. After settling affairs in Asia Minor he
proceeded with all speed to the West, where his presence was urgently

*Thapsus, 46 B. C.* Both the fleet and the army of Pompey had dispersed
after Pharsalus, but Caesar’s delay in the East had given the republicans
an opportunity to reassemble their forces. They gathered in Africa where
Caesar’s lieutenant Curio, who had invaded the province in 49 B. C., had
been defeated and killed by the Pompeians through the aid of King Juba of
Numidia. From Africa they were now preparing to attack Italy. In Rome,
Caesar had been appointed dictator for 47 B. C. with Antony as his master
of the horse. Here disorder reigned as a result of the distress arising
from the financial stringency brought on by the war. Antony, who was in
Rome, had proved unable to deal with the situation. Caesar reached Italy
in September, 47 B. C., and soon restored order in the city. He was then
called upon to face a serious mutiny of his troops who demanded the
fulfillment of his promises of money and land and their release from
service. By boldness and presence of mind Caesar won them back to their
allegiance and set out for Africa in December, 47 B. C. He landed with
only a portion of his troops and at first was defeated by the republicans
under Scipio and Juba. But he was supported by King Bogud of Mauretania
and a Catalinarian soldier of fortune, Publius Sittius, and after
receiving reinforcements from Italy he besieged the seaport Thapsus.
Scipio came to the rescue but was completely defeated in a bloody battle
near the town. The whole of the province fell into Caesar’s hands. Cato,
who was in command of Utica, did not force the citizens to resist but
committed suicide; the other republican leaders, including Juba, either
followed his example, or were taken and executed by the Caesarians. From
Africa Caesar returned to Rome where he celebrated a costly triumph over
Gaul, Egypt, Pharnaces and Juba. He was now undisputed master of the state
and proceeded according to his own judgment to settle the problem of
governing the Roman world.


*The problem of imperial government.* From 28 July, 46, to 15 March, 44
B. C., Caesar ruled the Roman Empire with despotic power, his position
unchallenged except for a revolt of the Pompeian party in Spain which
required his attention from the autumn of 46 to the spring of 45 B. C. His
victory over Pompey and the republicans had placed upon him the obligation
to provide the empire with a stable form of government and this
responsibility he accepted. Sulla, when faced with the same problem, had
been content to place the Senate once more at the head of the state, but
from his own experience Caesar knew how futile this policy had been. Nor
could the ideal of Pompey commend itself as a means of ending civil war
and rebellion. Caesar was prepared to deal much more radically with the
old régime, but death overtook him before he had completed his
reorganization. What was the goal of his policy will best be understood
from a consideration of his official position during the year and a half
which followed the battle of Thapsus.

*Caesar’s offices, powers and honors.* Caesar’s autocratic position rested
in the last instance upon the support of his veterans, of the associates
who owed their advancement to him, and of such small forces as he kept
under arms, but his position was legalized by the accumulation in his
hands of various offices, special powers and unusual honors. Foremost
among his offices came the dictatorship. We have seen that he had held
this already for a short time in 49 and again in 47. In 46 B. C. he was
appointed dictator for ten years, and in the following year for life. At
the same time he was consul, an office which he held continuously from 48
B. C., in 45 as sole consul, but usually with a colleague. In addition to
these offices he enjoyed the tribunician authority (_tribunicia
potestas_), that is, the power of the tribunes without the name. This
included the right to sit with the tribunes and the right of intercession,
granted him as early as 48 B. C., and also personal inviolability
(_sacrosanctitas_) which he received in 45. He had been Chief Pontiff
since 63, and in 48 B. C. was admitted to all the patrician priestly
corporations. And in 46 B. C. he was given the powers of the censorship
under the title of “prefect of morals” (_praefectus morum_), at first for
three years and later for life. In addition to these official positions of
more or less established scope, Caesar received other powers not dependent
upon any office. He was granted the right to appoint to both Roman and
provincial magistracies, until in 44 B. C. he had the authority to
nominate half the officials annually; and in reality appointed all. In 48
B. C. he received the power of making war and peace without consulting the
Senate, in 46 the right of expressing his opinion first in the Senate
(_ius primae sententiae_), and in 45 the sole right to command troops and
to control the public moneys. In the next year ratification was given in
advance to all his future arrangements, and magistrates entering upon
office were required to swear to uphold his acts. The concentration of
these powers in his person placed Caesar above the law, and reduced the
holders of public offices to the position of his servants. Honors to match
his extraordinary powers were heaped upon Caesar, partly by his own
desire, partly by the servility and fulsome flattery of the Senate. He was
granted a seat with the consuls in the Senate, if he should not be consul
himself; he received the title of parent or father of his country
(_parens_ or _pater patriae_); his statue was placed among those of the
kings of Rome, his image in the temple of Quirinus; the month Quinctilis,
in which he was born, was renamed Julius (July) in his honor; a new
college of priests, the Julian Luperci, was created; a temple was erected
to himself and the Goddess Clementia, and a priest (flamen) appointed for
his worship there; and he was authorized to build a house on the Palatine
with a pediment like a temple. Most of these honors he received after his
victory over the Pompeians in Spain in 45 B. C. However, the title
_imperator_ (Emperor), which was regularly the prerogative of a general
who was entitled to a triumph and was surrendered along with his military
_imperium_, was employed by Caesar continuously from 49 until after the
battle of Thapsus in 46, when he celebrated his triumph over the Gauls and
his other non-Roman enemies. He assumed it again after Munda in the
following year.

*Caesar’s aim—monarchy.* Taking into account the powers which Caesar
wielded and his lifelong tenure of certain offices there can be no doubt
that he not only had established monarchical government in Rome but also
aimed to make his monarchy permanent. And this gives the explanation why
he accepted honors which were more suited to a god than to a man, for
since the time of Alexander the Great deification had been accepted in the
Greek East as the legal and moral basis for the exercise of absolute
power, and as distinguishing a legitimate autocracy from a tyranny. To a
polytheistic age, familiar with the idea of the deification of “heroes”
after death and permeated in its educated circles with the teaching of
Euhemerus that the gods were but men who in their sojourn upon earth had
been benefactors of the human race, the deification of a monarch in no way
offended religious susceptibilities. The Romans were acquainted with
monarchies of this type in Syria and in Egypt. Indeed this was the only
type of monarchy familiar to the Romans of the first century B. C., if we
exclude the Parthian and other despotisms, and it was bound to influence
any form of monarchical government set up in Rome. The plebs actually
hailed Caesar as “_rex_,” and at the feast of the Lupercalia in February,
44 B. C., Antony publicly offered him a crown. It is possible that he
would have assumed the title if popular opinion had supported this step.
And there may well have been some truth in the rumor that he contemplated
marriage with Cleopatra, who came to Rome in 46 B. C., for a queen would
be a fit mate for a monarch and such a step would have effected the
peaceful incorporation of Egypt into the Roman Empire.

*Caesar’s reforms.* Upon returning to Rome after the battle of Thapsus
Caesar began a series of reforms which affected practically every side of
Roman life. One of the most useful was the reform of the Roman calendar.
Hitherto the Romans had employed a lunar year of three hundred and
fifty-five days (the calendar year beginning on March first and the civil
year, since 153 B. C., on January first) which was approximately corrected
to the solar year by the addition of an intercalary month of twenty-two
days in the second, and one of twenty-three days in the fourth year, of
cycles of four years. For personal or political motives the pontiffs had
trifled with the intercalation of these months until in 46 B. C. the Roman
year was completely out of touch with the solar year. With the assistance
of the Greek astronomer Sosigenes, Caesar introduced the Egyptian solar
year of approximately 365¼ days, in such a way that three years of 365
days were followed by one of 366 days in which an extra day was added to
February after the twenty-fourth of the month. The new Julian calendar
went into effect on 1 January, 45 B. C. Another abuse was partially
rectified by the reduction of the number who were entitled to receive
cheap grain in Rome from about 320,000 to 150,000. The Roman plebeian
colleges and guilds, which had become political clubs and had contributed
to the recent disorders in the city, were dissolved with the exception of
the ancient association of craftsmen. The _tribuni aerarii_ were removed
from the jury courts and the penalties for criminal offences increased.
Plans were laid for a codification of the Roman law but this was not
carried into effect. Municipal administration in Rome and the Italian
towns was regulated by the Julian Municipal Law, which brought uniformity
into the municipal organization of Italy. The Roman magistracies were
increased in number; the quaestorships from twenty to forty, and the eight
praetorships finally to sixteen. At the same time the priesthoods were
likewise enlarged. Administrative needs and the wish to reward a greater
number of followers probably influenced these changes. A number of new
patrician families were created to take the places of those which had died
out. The membership of the Senate was increased to 900, and many new men,
including ex-soldiers of Caesar and enfranchised Gauls, were enrolled in
it. Caesar provided for his veterans by settling them in Italian
municipalities and in colonies in the provinces. The deserted sites of
Carthage and Corinth were repeopled with Roman colonists and once more
became flourishing cities. In this way Caesar promoted the romanization of
the provinces, a policy which he had begun with his conferment of the
franchise upon the Transpadane Gauls in 49, and continued in the case of
many Spanish communities. This romanization of the provinces and the
admission of provincials to the Senate points to an imperial policy which
would end the exploitation of the provinces in the interests of a
governing caste and a city mob.

*Munda, 45 B. C.* Caesar proved himself a magnanimous conqueror. No Sullan
proscriptions disgraced his victory. After Pharsalus he permitted all the
republican leaders who submitted (among them Cicero), to return to Rome.
Even after Thapsus at the intercession of his friends he pardoned bitter
foes like Marcus Marcellus, one of the consuls of 50 B. C. But there
remained some irreconcilables led by his old lieutenant Labienus, Varus,
and Gnaeus and Sextus Pompey, sons of Pompey the Great, who after
Pharsalus had betaken themselves with a small naval force to the western
Mediterranean. In 46 B. C. they were joined by Labienus and Varus and
landed in Spain where they rallied to their cause the old Pompeian
soldiers who had entered Caesar’s service but whose sympathies had been
alienated by one of his _legati_, Quintus Cassius. The Caesarian
commanders could make no headway against them and it became necessary for
the dictator to take the field in person. In December 46 B. C. he set out
for Spain. Throughout the winter he sought in vain to force the enemy to
battle, but in March 45 the two armies met at Munda, where Caesar’s eight
defeated the thirteen Pompeian legions. The Caesarians gave no quarter and
the Pompeian forces were annihilated; Labienus and Varus fell on the
field, Gnaeus Pompey was later taken and put to death, but his brother
Sextus escaped. Caesar returned to Italy in September, 45 B. C., and
celebrated a triumph for his success.

*The **assassination** of Julius Caesar, 15 March, 44 B. C.* His victory
at Munda had strengthened Caesar’s autocratic position, and was
responsible for the granting of most of the exceptional honors which we
have noted above. It was now clear at Rome that Caesar did not intend to
restore the republic. In the conduct of the government he allowed no
freedom of action to either Senate or Assembly, and although in general
mild and forgiving he was quick to resent any attempt to slight him or
question his authority. The realization that Caesar contemplated the
establishment of a monarchy aroused bitter animosity among certain
representatives of the old governing oligarchy, who chafed under the
restraints imposed upon them by his autocratic power and resented the
degradation of the Senate to the position of a mere advisory council. It
could hardly be expected that members of the Roman aristocracy with all
their traditions of imperial government would tamely submit to being
excluded from political life except as ministers of an autocrat who was
until lately one of themselves. This attitude was shared by many who had
hitherto been active in Caesar’s cause, as well as by republicans who had
made their peace with him. And so among these disgruntled elements a
conspiracy was formed against the dictator’s life. The originator of the
plot was the ex-Pompeian Caius Cassius, whom Caesar had made praetor for
44, and who won over to his design Marcus Junius Brutus, a member of the
house descended from the Brutus who was reputed to have delivered Rome
from the tyranny of the Tarquins. Brutus had gone over to Caesar after the
battle of Pharsalus and was highly esteemed by him, but allowed himself to
be persuaded that it was his duty to imitate his ancestor’s conduct. Other
conspirators of note were the Caesarians Gaius Trebonius and Decimus
Junius Brutus. In all some sixty senators shared in the conspiracy. They
set the Ides of March, 44, as the date for the execution of the plot.
Caesar was now busily engaged with preparations for a war against the
Parthians, who had been a menace to Syria ever since the defeat of
Crassus. This defeat Caesar aimed to avenge and, in addition, to
definitely secure the eastern frontier of the empire. An army of sixteen
legions and 10,000 cavalry was being assembled in Greece for this
campaign, and Caesar was about to leave Rome to assume command. He is said
to have been informed that a conspiracy against his life was on foot, but
to have disregarded the warning. He had dismissed his body-guard of
soldiers and refused one of senators and equestrians. On the fatal day he
entered the Senate chamber, where the question of granting him the title
of king in the provinces was to be discussed. A group of the conspirators
surrounded him, and, drawing concealed daggers, stabbed him to death. He
fell at the foot of Pompey’s statue.

*Estimate of Caesar’s career.* By the Roman writers who preserved the
republican tradition Brutus, Cassius, and their associates were honored as
tyrannicides who in the name of liberty had sought to save the republic.
Cato, who had died rather than witness the triumph of Caesar, became their
hero. But this is an extremely narrow and partizan view. The republic
which Caesar had overthrown was no system of popular government but one
whereby a small group of Roman nobles and capitalists exploited for their
own personal ends and for the satisfaction of an idle city mob millions of
subjects in the provinces. The republican organs of government had ceased
to voice the opinion even of the whole Roman citizen body. The governing
circles had proven themselves incapable of bringing about any improvement
in the situation and had completely lost the power of preserving peace in
the state. Radical reforms were imperative and could only be effective by
virtue of superior force. In his resort to corruption and violence in
furthering his own career and in his appeal to arms to decide the issue
between himself and the Senate, Caesar must be judged according to the
practices of his time. He was the child of his age and advanced himself by
means which his predecessors and contemporaries employed. That he was
ambitious and a lover of power is undeniable but hardly a cause for
reproach; and who shall blame him, if when the Senate sought to destroy
him by force, he used the same means to defend himself. His claim to
greatness lies not in his ability to outwit his rivals in the political
arena or outgeneral his enemies on the field of battle, but in his
realization, when the fate of the civilized world was in his hands, that
the old order was beyond remedy and in his courage in attempting to set up
a new order which promised to give peace and security both to Roman
citizens and to the provincials. Caesar fell before he had been able to
give stability to his organization, but the republic could not be
quickened into life. After Caesar some form of monarchical government was

                                CHAPTER XV

                 THE PASSING OF THE REPUBLIC: 44–27 B. C.

                         I. THE RISE OF OCTAVIAN

*The political situation after Caesar’s death.* Caesar had made no
arrangements for a successor, and his death produced the greatest
consternation in Rome. The conspirators had made no plans to seize the
reins of power, and instead of finding their act greeted with an outburst
of popular approval, they were left face to face with the fact that
although Caesar was dead the Caesarian party lived on in his veterans and
the city populace, led by the consul Mark Antony, and Marcus Aemilius
Lepidus, Caesar’s master of the horse. The Senate met on 17 March, and it
was evident that a majority of its members supported the assassins, but
they were afraid of the legion which Lepidus had under his orders and the
Caesarian veterans in the city. Antony, who had obtained possession of
Caesar’s papers and money, took the lead of the Caesarian party and came
to terms with their opponents. It was agreed that the conspirators should
go unpunished, but that the acts of Caesar should be ratified, even those
which had not yet been carried into effect, that his will should be
approved, and that he should receive a public funeral.

The reading of Caesar’s will revealed that he had left his gardens on the
right bank of the Tiber as a public park, had bequeathed a donation of
three hundred sesterces (about fifteen dollars) to each Roman citizen and
had adopted his grand-nephew Caius Octavius as his son and heir to
three-fourths of his fortune. By a speech delivered to the people on the
day of Caesar’s funeral Antony skilfully enflamed popular sentiment
against Caesar’s murderers. The mob seized the dictator’s corpse, burned
it in the forum and buried the ashes there. The chief conspirators did not
dare to remain in the city; Decimus Brutus went to his province of
Cisalpine Gaul, Marcus Brutus and Cassius lingered in the neighborhood of
Rome. Antony was master of the situation in the capital and overawed
opposition by his bodyguard of 6000 veterans. He held in check Lepidus and
other Caesarians who called for vengeance upon the conspirators. Lepidus
was won over by his election to the position of Pontifex Maximus to
succeed Caesar and was induced to leave the city for his province of
Hither Spain to check the progress of Sextus Pompey, who had reappeared in
Farther Spain and defeated the Caesarian governor. It was hoped that
Sextus would be satisfied with permission to return to Rome and
compensation for his father’s property. Caesar’s arrangements for the
provincial governorships had assigned Macedonia to Antony and Syria to
Dolabella, who became Antony’s colleague in the consulate at Caesar’s
death. This assignment Antony altered by a law which granted him Cisalpine
Gaul and the Transalpine district outside the Narbonese province for a
term of six years in violation of a law of Caesar’s, which limited
proconsular commands to two years. Dolabella was to have Syria for a like
period and Decimus Brutus was given Macedonia in exchange for Cisalpine
Gaul. The consuls were to occupy their provinces at once. To Brutus and
Cassius were assigned for the next year the provinces of Crete and Cyrene;
while for the present they were given a special commission to collect
grain in Sicily and Asia. The two left Italy for the East with the
intention of seizing the provinces there before the arrival of Dolabella.
They hoped to raise a force which would enable them to check Antony’s
career, for it was evident that Antony regarded himself as Caesar’s
political heir and was planning to follow the latter’s path to absolute

*Caius Octavius.* But he found an unexpected rival in the person of
Caesar’s adopted son, Caius Octavius, a youth of eighteen years, who at
the time of Caesar’s death was at Apollonia in Illyricum with the army
that was being assembled for the Parthian War. Against the advice of his
parents he returned to Rome and claimed his inheritance. His presence was
unwelcome to Antony, who had expended Caesar’s money, and refused to
refund it. Thereupon Octavius raised funds by selling his own properties
and borrowing, and began to pay off the legacies of Caesar. By this means
he soon acquired popularity with the Caesarians. The formalities of his
adoption were not completed until the following year, but from this time
on he took the name of Caesar.(13)

Antony underestimated the capacities of this rather sickly youth and
continued to refuse him recognition, but was soon made aware of his
mistake. He himself was anxious to occupy his province of Cisalpine Gaul,
and since Decimus Brutus refused to evacuate it, Antony determined to
drive him out and obtained permission to recall for that purpose the four
legions from Macedonia. Before their arrival Octavian raised a force among
Caesar’s veterans in Campania, and on the march from Brundisium to Rome
two of the four Macedonian legions deserted to him. The Caesarians were
now divided into two parties, and Octavian began to coöperate with the
republicans in the Senate. The latter were thus encouraged to oppose
Antony with whom reconciliation was impossible. Cicero, who had not been
among the conspirators but who had subsequently approved Caesar’s murder,
was about to leave Italy to join Brutus when he heard of the changed
situation in Rome and returned to assume the leadership of the republican
party. Antony left Rome for the Cisalpine province early in December, 44
B. C., and Cicero induced the Senate to enter into a coalition with
Octavian against him. In his _Philippic Orations_ he gave full vent to his
bitter hatred of Antony and so aroused the latter’s undying enmity.

*The war at Mutina, December 44–April 43 B. C.* In Cisalpine Gaul Decimus
Brutus, relying upon the support of the Senate, refused to yield to Antony
and was blockaded in Mutina. The Senate made preparations for his relief.
Antony was ordered to leave the province, and Hirtius and Pansa, who
became consuls in January, 43, took the field against him. The aid of
Octavian was indispensable and the Senate conferred upon him the
propraetorian _imperium_ with consular rank in the Senate. The combined
armies defeated Antony in two battles in the vicinity of Mutina, forcing
him to give up the siege and flee towards Transalpine Gaul. But Pansa died
of wounds received in the first engagement and Hirtius fell in the course
of the second. Ignoring Octavian, the Senate entrusted Brutus with the
command and the task of pursuing Antony. The power of the Senate seemed
reëstablished, for Marcus Brutus and Cassius had succeeded in their design
of getting control of the eastern provinces, Dolabella having perished in
the conflict, and were at the head of a considerable military and naval
force. The Senate accordingly conferred upon them supreme military
authority (_maius imperium_), and gave to Sextus Pompey, then at Massalia,
a naval command. At last Cicero could induce the senators to declare
Antony a public enemy. He no longer felt the support of Octavian a
necessity and expressed the attitude of the republicans towards him in the
saying “the young man is to be praised, to be honored, to be set
aside.”(14) But it was soon evident that the experienced orator had
entirely misjudged this young man who, so far from being the tool of the
Senate, had used that body for his own ends. Octavian refused to aid
Decimus Brutus, and demanded from the Senate his own appointment as
consul, a triumph, and rewards for his troops. His demands were rejected,
whereupon he marched upon Rome with his army, and occupied the city. On 19
August, he had himself elected consul with Quintus Pedius as his
colleague. The latter carried a bill which established a special court for
the trial of Caesar’s murderers, who were condemned and banished. The same
penalty was pronounced upon Sextus Pompey. The Senate’s decree against
Antony was revoked.

*The Triumvirate, 43 B. C.* On his way to Transalpine Gaul Antony had met
with Lepidus, whom the Senate had summoned from Spain to the assistance of
Decimus Brutus. But Lepidus was a Caesarian and, alarmed by the success of
Marcus Brutus and Cassius, allowed his troops to go over to Antony.
Decimus Brutus had taken up the pursuit of Antony and joined forces with
Plancus, governor of Narbonese Gaul. However, upon news of the events in
Rome, Plancus abandoned Brutus and joined Antony. Brutus was deserted by
his troops and killed while a fugitive in Gaul.

                     II. THE TRIUMVIRATE OF 43 B. C.

Octavian had taken care to have the defense of Italy against Antony and
Lepidus entrusted to himself, and hastened northwards to meet the advance
of their forces. But both sides were ready to come to terms and unite
their forces for the purpose of crushing their common enemies, Brutus and
Cassius. Accordingly, at a conference of the three leaders on an island in
the river Renus near Bononia, a reconciliation between Antony and Octavian
was effected and plans laid for their coöperation in the immediate future.
The three decided to have themselves appointed triumvirs for the
settlement of the commonwealth (_triumviri reipublicae __constituendae_)
for a term of five years. They were to have consular _imperium_ with the
right to appoint to the magistracies and their acts were to be valid
without the approval of the Senate. Furthermore, they divided among
themselves the western provinces; Antony received those previously
assigned to him, Lepidus took the Spains and Narbonese Gaul; while to
Octavian fell Sardinia, Sicily and Africa. Octavian was to resign his
consulship, but in the next year to be joint commander with Antony in a
campaign against the republican armies in the East while Lepidus protected
their interests in Rome. The triumvirate was legalized by a tribunician
law (the _lex Titia_) of 27 November, 43, and its members formally entered
upon office on the first of January following. Unlike the secret coalition
of Pompey, Crassus and Caesar, the present one constituted a commission
clothed with almost supreme public powers.

*Proscriptions.* The formation of the coalition was followed by the
proscription of the enemies of the triumvirs, partly for the sake of
vengeance but largely to secure money for their troops from the
confiscation of the properties of the proscribed. Among the chief victims
was Cicero, whose death Antony demanded. He died with courage for the sake
of the republican ideal to which he was devoted, but it must be recognized
that this devotion was to the cause of a corrupt aristocracy, whose crimes
he refused to share, although he forced himself to condone and justify
them. The exactions of the triumvirs did not end with the confiscation of
the goods of the proscribed; special taxes were laid upon the propertied
classes in Italy and eighteen of the most flourishing Italian
municipalities were marked out as sites for colonies of veterans.

*Divus Julius.* In 42 B. C. Octavian dedicated a temple to Julius Caesar
in the forum where his body had been burned. Later by a special law Caesar
was elevated among the gods of the Roman state with the name of Divus
Julius. Meanwhile Octavian had found difficulty in occupying his allotted
provinces. Africa was eventually conquered by one of his lieutenants, but
Sextus Pompey, who controlled the sea, had occupied Sardinia and Sicily.
His forces were augmented by many of the proscribed and by adventurers of
all sorts, and Octavian could not dislodge him before setting out against
Brutus and Cassius.

*Philippi, 42 B. C.* These republican generals had raised an army of
80,000 troops, in addition to allied contingents, and taken up a position
in Thrace to await the attack of the triumvirs. In the summer of 42 B. C.
the latter transported their troops across the Adriatic in spite of the
fleet of their enemies, and the two armies faced each other near Philippi
on the borders of Macedonia and Thrace. An indecisive battle was fought in
which Antony defeated Cassius, who committed suicide in despair, but
Brutus routed the troops commanded by Octavian. Shortly afterwards Brutus
was forced by his soldiers to risk another battle. This time he was
completely defeated, and took his own life.

*The division of the Empire.* The triumvirs now redistributed the
provinces among themselves, Cisalpine Gaul was incorporated in Italy,
whose political boundaries at length coincided with its geographical
frontier. The whole of Transalpine Gaul was given to Antony, Octavian
received the two Spains, while Lepidus was forced to content himself with
Africa. He was suspected by his colleagues of having intrigued with Sextus
Pompey, and they were now in a position to weaken him at the risk of his
open hostility. From the time of the meeting near Bononia Antony had been
the chief personage in the coalition and his prestige was enhanced by his
success at Philippi. It was now agreed that he should settle conditions in
the eastern provinces and raise funds there, while Octavian should return
to Italy and carry out the promised assignment of lands to their troops.
This decision was of momentous consequence for the future. In the summer
of 41 B. C. Antony received a visit from Cleopatra at Tarsus in Cilicia.
Her personal charms and keen intelligence, which had enthralled the great
Julius, exercised an even greater fascination over Antony, whose cardinal
weaknesses were indolence and sensual indulgence. He followed Cleopatra to
Egypt, where he remained until 40 B. C.

*Octavian in Italy, 42–40 B. C.* In Italy Octavian was confronted with the
task of providing lands for some 170,000 veterans. The eighteen
municipalities previously selected for this purpose proved insufficient,
and a general confiscation of small holdings took place, whereby many
persons were rendered homeless and destitute. Few, like the poet Virgil,
found compensation through the influence of a powerful patron. A heavy
blow was dealt to the prosperity of Italy. The task of Octavian was
greatly hampered by opposition from the friends of Antony, led by the
latter’s wife Fulvia and his brother Lucius Antonius. Hostilities broke
out in which Lucius was besieged in Perusia and starved into submission
(40 B. C.). Fulvia went to join Antony, while others of their faction fled
to Sextus Pompey who still held Sicily. Of great importance to Octavian
was his acquisition of Gaul which came into his hands through the death of
Antony’s legate, Calenus. An indication of the approaching break between
Octavian and Antony was the former’s divorce of his wife Clodia, and his
marriage with Scribonia, a relative of Sextus Pompey, whom he hoped to win
over to his side.

*Treaty of Brundisium, 40 B. C.* While Octavian had been involved in the
Perusian war, the Parthians had overrun the province of Syria, and in
conjunction with them Quintus Labienus, a follower of Brutus and Cassius,
penetrated Asia Minor as far as the Aegean coast. Antony thereupon
returned to Italy to gather troops to reëstablish Roman authority in the
East. Both he and Octavian were prepared for war and hostilities began
around Brundisium, which refused Antony admittance. However, a
reconciliation was effected, and an agreement entered into which was known
as the treaty of Brundisium. It was provided that Octavian should have
Spain, Gaul, Sardinia, Sicily and Dalmatia, while Antony should hold the
Roman possessions east of the Ionian sea; Lepidus retained Africa, and
Italy was to be held in common. To cement the alliance Antony, whose wife
Fulvia had died, married Octavia, sister of Octavian.

*The treaty of Misenum, 39 B. C.* In the following year Antony and
Octavian were forced to come to terms with Sextus Pompey. He still
defiantly held Sicily and in addition wrested Sardinia from Octavian. His
command of these islands and of the seas about Italy enabled him to cut
off the grain supply of Rome, where a famine broke out. This brought about
a meeting of the three at Misenum in which it was agreed that Sextus
should govern Sardinia, Sicily and Achaia for five years, should be consul
and augur, and receive a monetary compensation for his father’s property
in Rome. In return he engaged to secure peace at sea and convoy the grain
supply for the city. However, the terms of the treaty were never fully
carried out and in the next year Octavian and Sextus were again at war.
The former regained possession of Sardinia but failed in an attack upon

*Treaty of Tarentum, 37 B. C.* Meanwhile Antony had returned to the East
where in the years 39–37 B. C. his lieutenants won back the Asiatic
provinces from Labienus and the Parthians and drove the latter beyond the
Euphrates. He now resolved to carry out the plan of Julius Caesar for the
conquest of the Parthian kingdom. This necessitated his return to Italy to
secure reinforcements. But, his landing was opposed by Octavian who was
angry because Antony had not supported him against Sextus Pompey, whom
Antony evidently regarded as a useful check upon his colleague’s power.
However, Octavia managed to reconcile her brother and her husband, and the
two reached a new agreement at Tarentum. Here it was arranged that Antony
should supply Octavian with one hundred ships for operations against
Pompey, that Lepidus should coöperate in the attack upon Sicily, and that
both he and Octavian should furnish Antony with soldiers for the Parthian
war. As the power of the triumvirs had legally lapsed on 31 December, 38
B. C., they decided to have themselves reappointed for another five years,
which would terminate at the close of 33 B. C. This appointment like the
first was carried into effect by a special law.

*The defeat of Sextus Pompey, 36 B. C.* Octavian now energetically pressed
his attack upon Sicily, while Lepidus coöperated by besieging Lilybaeum.
At length, in September, 36 B. C., Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, Octavian’s
ablest general, destroyed the bulk of Pompey’s fleet in a battle off
Naulochus. Pompey fled to Asia, where two years later he was captured by
Antony’s forces and executed. After the flight of Sextus, Lepidus
challenged Octavian’s claim to Sicily, but his troops deserted him for
Octavian and he was forced to throw himself upon the latter’s mercy.
Stripped of his power and retaining only his office of chief pontiff, he
lived under guard in an Italian municipality until his death in 12 B. C.
His provinces were taken by Octavian. The defeat of Sextus Pompey and the
deposition of Lepidus gave Octavian sole power over the western half of
the empire, and inevitably tended to sharpen the rivalry and antagonism
which had long existed between himself and Antony. In the same year
Octavian was granted the tribunician sacrosanctity and the right to sit on
the tribune’s bench in the Senate.


*The Parthian war, 36 B. C.* After the Treaty of Tarentum Antony proceeded
to Syria to begin preparations for his campaign against the Parthians
which he began in 36 B. C. Avoiding the Mesopotamian desert, he marched to
the north through Armenia into Media Atropatene in the hope of surprising
the enemy. However, having met with a repulse in his siege of the fortress
Phraata (or Praaspa), he was forced to retreat. He was vigorously pursued
by the Parthians, but by skilful generalship managed to conduct the bulk
of his army back to Armenia. Still he lost over 20,000 of his troops, and
his reputation suffered severely from the complete failure of the
undertaking. And so he prepared once more to take the offensive. As he
attributed the failure of the late expedition to the disloyalty of the
king of Armenia, Antony marched against him, treacherously took him
prisoner and occupied his kingdom (34 B. C.). Thereupon he entered into an
alliance with the king of Media Atropatene, a vassal of Parthia, and
formed ambitious projects for the conquest of the eastern provinces of the
empires of Alexander the great and the Seleucids. But these plans could
only be executed with the help of the military resources of Italy and the
western provinces that were now completely in the hands of Octavian. In
view of the jealousy existing between the two triumvirs it was not likely
that Octavian would willingly provide Antony with the means to increase
his power, and so the latter was prepared to resort to force to make good
his claim upon Italy.

*Antony and Cleopatra.* Another factor in the quarrel was Antony’s
connection with Cleopatra. While in Antioch in 36 B. C. he openly married
Cleopatra, and in the next year refused his legal wife, Octavia,
permission to join him. This was equivalent to publicly renouncing his
friendship with Octavian. Although it cannot be said that Antony had
become a mere tool of Cleopatra, he was completely won over to her plans
for the future of Egypt; namely, that since Egypt must sooner or later be
incorporated in the Roman empire, this should be brought about by her
union with the ruler of the Romans. Consequently, since her marriage with
Antony she actively supported his ambition to be the successor of Julius
Caesar. Their aims were clearly revealed by a pageant staged in Alexandria
in 34 B. C., in which Antony and Cleopatra appeared as the god Dionysus
and the goddess Isis, seated on golden thrones. In an address to the
assembled public Antony proclaimed Cleopatra “queen of queens,” and ruler
of Egypt, Cyprus, Crete and Coele-Syria; joint ruler with her was Ptolemy
Caesarion, the son she had borne to Caesar. The two young sons of Antony
and Cleopatra were proclaimed “kings of kings”; the elder as king of
Armenia, Media and the Parthians, the younger as king of Syria, Phoenicia
and Cilicia. To their daughter, Cleopatra, was assigned Cyrene. These
arrangements aroused great mistrust and hostility towards Antony among the
Romans, who resented the partition of Rome’s eastern provinces in the
interest of oriental potentates. Relying upon this sentiment, Octavian in
33 B. C. refused Antony’s demands for troops and joint authority in Italy.
Antony at once postponed the resumption of the Parthian war and prepared
to march against his rival.

*The outbreak of hostilities, 32 B. C.* The final break came early in 32
B. C. The triumvirate legally terminated with the close of 33 B. C. and
two consuls of Antony’s faction came into office for the following year.
To win support in Rome, Antony wrote to the Senate offering to surrender
his powers as triumvir and restore the old constitution. His friends
introduced a proposal that Octavian should surrender his _imperium_ at
once, but this was vetoed by a tribune. Octavian then took charge of
affairs in Rome, and the consuls, not daring to oppose him, fled to
Antony, accompanied by many senators of his party. Thereupon Octavian
caused the Assembly to abrogate the former’s _imperium_ and also his
appointment to the consulship for 31 B. C. To justify his actions and
convince the Italians of the danger which threatened them from the
alliance of Antony and Cleopatra, Octavian seized and published Antony’s
will which had been deposited in the temple of Vesta. The will confirmed
the disposition which he had made of the eastern provinces in the interest
of the house of Cleopatra. Octavian was now able to bring about a
declaration of war against the Egyptian queen and to exact an oath of
loyalty to himself from the senators in Rome and from the municipalities
of Italy and the western provinces. It was this oath of allegiance which
was the main basis of his authority for the next few years. In reply to
these measures, Antony formally divorced Octavia and refused to recognize
the validity of the laws which deprived him of his powers.

*Actium, 31 B. C.* In the fall of 33 B. C. Antony and Cleopatra began
assembling their forces in Greece with the intention of invading Italy. By
the next year they had brought together an army of about 100,000 men,
supported by a fleet of 500 ships of war. However, no favorable occasion
for attempting a landing in Italy presented itself and both the fleet and
the army went into winter quarters in the gulf of Ambracia (32–1 B. C.).
In the spring of 31 B. C. Octavian with 80,000 men and 400 warships
crossed over to Epirus and took up a position facing his opponents who had
taken their station in the bay of Actium at the entrance to the gulf of
Ambracia. His most capable general was Agrippa. Owing to discord which had
arisen between Cleopatra and his Roman officers, Antony remained inactive
while detachments of Octavian’s forces won over important points in
Greece. Antony began to suffer from a shortage of supplies and some of his
influential followers deserted to the opposite camp. At length he risked a
naval battle, in the course of which Cleopatra and the Egyptian squadron
set sail for Egypt and Antony followed her. His fleet was defeated and his
army, which attempted to retreat to Macedonia, was forced to surrender.
There is little doubt that Cleopatra had for some time been contemplating
treachery to Antony, and her desertion was probably based on the
calculation that if Octavian should prove victorious she would be able to
claim credit for her services, while if Antony should be the victor, she
was confident of obtaining pardon for her conduct. Probably she did not
anticipate that Antony would join her in flight. At any rate, when Antony
abandoned his still undefeated fleet and army he sealed both his fate and
hers. The victor advanced slowly eastwards and in the summer of 30 B. C.
began his invasion of Egypt. Antony’s attempts at defense were unavailing;
his troops went over to Octavian who occupied Alexandria. In despair he
committed suicide. For a time Cleopatra, who had frustrated Antony’s last
attempt at resistance, hoped to win over Octavian as she had won Caesar
and Antony, so that she might save at least Egypt for her dynasty. But
finding her efforts unavailing, she poisoned herself rather than grace
Octavian’s triumph. The kingdom of Egypt was added to the Roman empire,
not as a province but as part of an estate to be directly administered by
the ruler of the Roman world who took his place as the heir of the
Pharaohs and the Ptolemies. The treasures of Egypt reimbursed Octavian for
the expenses of his late campaigns. After reëstablishing the old provinces
and client kingdoms in the East, Octavian returned to Rome in 29 B. C.,
where he celebrated a three-day triumph over the non-Roman peoples of
Europe, Asia and Africa, whom he or his generals had subjugated during his

At the age of thirty-three Octavian had made good his claim to the
political inheritance of Julius Caesar. His victory over Antony closed the
century of civil strife which had begun with the tribunate of Tiberius
Gracchus. War and the proscriptions had exacted a heavy toll from Romans
and Italians; Greece, Macedonia and Asia had been brought to the verge of
ruin; the whole empire longed for peace. Everywhere was Octavian hailed as
the savior of the world and, as the founder of a new golden age, men were
ready to worship him as a god.


*The upper classes.* The characteristics of Roman society in the last
century of the republic are the same which we have previously seen
developing as a result of Rome’s imperial expansion. The upper classes of
society comprise the senatorial nobility and the equestrians; the former
finding their goal in public office, the latter in banking and financial
ventures, and both alike callously exploiting the subjects of Rome in
their own interests. Of this one example will suffice. Marcus Brutus, the
conspirator, who enjoyed a high repute for his honorable character, loaned
money to the cities of Cyprus at the exorbitant rate of 48% and influenced
the senate to declare the contract valid. He did not hesitate to secure
for his agents military authority with which to enforce payment, and was
much disappointed when Cicero, as governor of Cilicia and Cyprus, refused
to give his representative such power or to allow him to collect more than
12% interest on his debt.

As corruption characterized the public, so did extravagance and luxury the
private life of the governing classes. The palaces of the wealthy in Rome
were supplemented by villas in the Sabine hills, in the watering places of
the Campanian coast, and other attractive points. The word villa, which
originally designated a farm house, now meant a country seat equipped with
all the modern conveniences of city life.

The solidarity of the family life which had been the foundation of Roman
morality was fast disappearing. In general, wives no longer came under the
authority (_manus_) of their husbands upon marriage, and so retained
control of their properties acquired by inheritance or dowry through a
guardian from their own families. Consequently women played an
increasingly independent and important part in the society of the day. In
Rome at least the age was one of a low tone in morals, and divorces were
of common occurrence. At the same time social intercourse was
characterized by a high degree of urbanity—the good manners which mark the
society of cultured men.

*The plebs.* Of the life of the plebs who thronged the high tenement
houses and narrow streets of Rome we know very little. But until the
Assembly was overawed or superseded by armed forces the city populace
could not be ignored by the upper classes. Their votes must be courted by
magnificent displays at the public games, by entertainments and largesses
of all kinds, and care must be taken to provide them with food to prevent
their becoming a menace to the public peace. This latter problem was
solved as we have seen after the time of Caius Gracchus by providing them
with a monthly allowance of corn, at first at a greatly reduced price, but
after 57 B. C. gratuitously. Julius Caesar found about 320,000 persons
sharing in this distribution, and reduced the number to 150,000 male
citizens. The city mob thus became to a certain degree state pensioners,
and placed a heavy burden on the treasury. There can be no doubt that the
ranks of the urban proletariat were swelled by peasants who had lost their
holdings in the course of the civil wars and the settlements of discharged
soldiers on Italian soil, but the chief increase came from the manumission
of slaves, who as _liberti_ or freedmen became Roman citizens. Sulla’s
10,000 Cornelii were of this number. The influx of these heterogeneous
elements radically changed the character of the city populace which could
no longer claim to be mainly of Roman and Italian stock but embraced
representatives of all races of the Mediterranean world. The population
was further augmented by the great numbers of slaves attached to the
houses of the wealthy or engaged in various industrial occupations for
their masters or others who hired their services.

In the rural districts of Italy the plantation system had been widely
extended and agriculture and grazing were in the main carried on by slave
labor. Yet the free farmers had by no means entirely disappeared and free
labor was employed even on the _latifundia_ themselves. The discharged
veterans who were provided with lands attest the presence of considerable
numbers of free landholders.

*Religion.* In religion this period witnessed a striking decline of
interest and faith in the public religion of the Roman state. This was in
part due to the influence of Greek mythology which changed the current
conceptions of the Roman divinities and to Greek philosophy with its
varying doctrines as to the nature and powers of the gods. The latter
especially affected the upper classes of society upon whom fell the duty
of maintaining the public cults. From the time of the Gracchi the public
priesthoods declined in importance; and in many cases they were used
solely as a tool for political purposes. The increase in the numbers of
the priestly colleges and the substitution of election for coöptation
brought in many members unversed in the ancient traditions, and the
holders of the priesthoods in general showed great ignorance of their
duties, especially with regard to the ordering of the state calendar. Some
religious associations like the Arval Brotherhood ceased to exist and
knowledge of the character of some of the minor deities was completely
lost. The patrician priesthoods, which involved serious duties and
restricted the freedom of their incumbents were avoided as much as
possible. At the same time the private religious rites, hereditary within
family groups, fell into decay. While the attitude of educated circles
towards the state cults was thus one of indifference or skepticism, it is
hard to speak of that of the common people. Superstitious they were beyond
a doubt, but in the performance of the state cults they had never actively
participated. The more emotional cults of the oriental type made a greater
appeal to them if we may judge from the difficulty which the Senate
experienced in banishing the priests of Isis from the city.

*Stoicism and Epicureanism.* The philosophic systems which made the most
converts among the educated Romans were Stoicism and Epicureanism. The
former, as we have seen, had been introduced to Rome by Panaetius, whose
teaching was continued by Posidonius. It appealed to the Romans as
offering a practical rule of life for men engaged in public affairs. On
the other hand, the doctrine of Epicurus that men should withdraw from the
annoyances of political life and seek happiness in the pursuit of
pleasure, that is, intellectual pleasure, was interpreted by the Roman as
sanctioning sensual indulgence and became the creed of those who gave
themselves up to a life of ease and indolence.

*Literature.* The last century of the republic saw the completion of the
amalgamation of Greek and Roman culture which had begun in the previous
epoch. The resulting Graeco-Roman culture was a bi-lingual civilization
based upon Greek intellectual and Roman political achievement which it was
the mission of the empire to spread to the barbaric peoples of the western
provinces. The age was marked by many-sided, keen, intellectual activity
which brought Rome’s intellectual development to its height. Yet this
Graeco-Roman culture was almost exclusively a possession of the higher

*The drama.* In the field of dramatic literature the writing of tragedy
practically ceased and comedy took the popular forms of caricature
(_fabula Atellana_) and the mime, or realistic imitation of the life of
the lower classes. Both forms were derived from Greek prototypes but dealt
with subjects of everyday life and won great popularity in the theatrical
exhibitions given at the public games.

*Poetry: Catullus, 87–c. 54 B. C.* The best exponent of the poetry of the
age is Catullus, a native of Verona in Cisalpine Gaul, who as a young man
was drawn into the vortex of fashionable society at the capital. This new
poetry appealed to a highly educated class, conversant alike with the
literature of the Greek classic and Hellenistic periods as well as with
modern production, and able to appreciate the most elaborate and
diversified meters. The works of Catullus show the wide range of form and
subject which appealed to contemporary taste. Translations and copies of
Greek originals find their place alongside epigrams and lyric poems of
personal experience. It is his poetry of passion, of love and hate, which
places him among the foremost lyric poets of all time.

*Lucretius, 98–53 B. C.* An exception among the poets of his time was
Lucretius, who combined the spirit of a poet with that of a religious
teacher. He felt a mission to free the minds of men from fear of the power
of the gods and of death. To this end he wrote a didactic epic poem, _On
the Nature of Things_, in which he explained the atomic theory of
Democritus which was the foundation of the philosophical teachings of
Epicurus. The essence of this doctrine was that the world and all living
creatures were produced by the fortuitous concourse of atoms falling
through space and that death was simply the dissolution of the body into
its component atomic elements. Consequently, there was no future existence
to be dreaded. True poetic value is given to the work by the author’s
great imaginative powers and his keen observation of nature and human
life. Lucretius made the Latin hexameter a fitting medium for the
expression of sustained and lofty thought.

*Oratory.* It was through the study and practice of oratory that Roman
prose attained its perfection between the time of the Gracchi and Julius
Caesar. Political and legal orations were weapons in the party strife of
the day and were frequently polished and edited as political pamphlets.
Along with political documents of this type appeared orations that were
not written to be delivered in the forum or senate chamber but were
addressed solely to a reading public. Among the great forensic orators of
the age were the two Gracchi, of whom the younger, Caius, had the
reputation of being the most effective speaker that Rome ever knew. Others
of note were Marcus Antonius, grandfather of the triumvir, Lucius Licinius
Crassus, and Quintus Hortensius Hortalus. But it was Cicero who brought to
its perfection the Roman oration in its literary form.

*Cicero, 106–43 B. C.* Cicero was beyond question the intellectual leader
of his day. He was above all things an orator and until past the age of
fifty his literary productivity was almost entirely in that field. In his
latter years he undertook the great task of making Hellenistic philosophy
accessible to the Roman world through the medium of Latin prose. In
addition to his speeches and oratorical and philosophic treatises Cicero
left to posterity a great collection of letters which were collected and
published after his death by his freedman secretary. His correspondence
with his friends is a mine of information for the student of society and
politics in the last century of the republic.

*Caesar, 100–44 B. C.* Julius Caesar made his genius felt in the world of
letters as well as of politics. Though an orator of high rank, he is
better known as the author of his lucid commentaries on the Gallic war and
on the Civil war, which present the view that he desired the Roman public
to take of his conflict with the senate.

*Sallust, 86–36 B. C.* Foremost among historical writers of the period was
Caius Sallustius Crispus, “the first scientific Roman historian.”
Subsequent generations ranked him as the greatest Roman historian. His
chief work, a history of the period 78–67 B. C., is almost entirely lost,
but two shorter studies on the Jugurthine war and Cataline’s conspiracy
have been preserved. In contrast to Cicero, he is the protagonist of

*Varro, 116–27 B. C.* Of great interest to later ages were the works of
the antiquarian and philologist, Marcus Terentius Varro, the most learned
Roman of his time. His great work on Roman religious and political
antiquities has been lost, but a part of his study _On the Latin Language_
is still extant, as well as his three books _On Rural Conditions_. The
latter give a good picture of agricultural conditions in Italy towards the
end of the republic.

*Jurisprudence.* To legal literature considerable contributions were made
both in the domain of applied law and of legal theory. We have already
noticed the appeal which the Stoic philosophy made to the best that was in
Roman character and many of the leading Roman jurists accepted its
principles. It was natural then that Roman legal philosophy should begin
under the influence of the Stoic doctrine of a universal divine law ruling
the world, this law being an emanation of right reason, i. e. the divine
power governing the universe. The most influential legal writers of the
period were Quintus Mucius Scaevola who compiled a systematic treatment of
the civil law in eighteen books, and Servius Sulpicius Rufus, the
contemporary of Cicero. Sulpicius was a most productive author, whose
works included _Commentaries_ on the XII Tables, and on the Praetor’s
Edict, as well as studies on special aspects of Roman law.

                                 PART III

            THE PRINCIPATE OR EARLY EMPIRE: 27 B. C.–285 A. D.

  [Illustration: The Roman Empire from 31 B. C. to 300 A. D.]

                               CHAPTER XVI


                             I. THE PRINCEPS

*The settlement of 27 B. C.* During his sixth and seventh consulships, in
the years 28 and 27 B. C., Octavian surrendered the extraordinary powers
which he had exercised during the war against Antony and Cleopatra and, as
he later expressed it, placed the commonwealth at the disposal of the
Senate and the Roman people. But this step did not imply that the old
machinery of government was to be restored without modifications and
restrictions or that Octavian intended to abdicate his position as arbiter
of the fate of the Roman world. Nor would he have been justified in so
doing, for such a course of action would have led to a repetition of the
anarchy which followed the retirement and death of Sulla, and, in
disposing of his rivals, Octavian had assumed the obligation of giving to
the Roman world a stable form of government. Public sentiment demanded a
strong administration, even if this could only be attained at the expense
of the old republican institutions.

But while ambition and duty alike forbade him to relinquish his hold upon
the helm of state, Octavian shrank from realizing the ideal of Julius
Caesar and establishing a monarchical form of government. From this he was
deterred both by the fate of his adoptive father and his own cautious,
conservative character which gave him such a shrewd understanding of Roman
temperament. His solution of the problem was to retain the old Roman
constitution as far as was practicable, while securing for himself such
powers as would enable him to uphold the constitution and prevent a
renewal of the disorders of the preceding century. What powers were
necessary to this end, Octavian determined on the basis of practical
experience between 27 and 18 B. C. And so his restoration of the
commonwealth signified the end of a régime of force and paved the way for
his reception of new authority legally conferred upon him.

*The imperium.* Nothing had contributed more directly to the failure of
the republican form of government than the growth of the professional army
and the inability of the Senate to control its commanders. Therefore, it
was absolutely necessary for the guardian of peace and of the constitution
to concentrate the supreme military authority in his own hands.
Consequently on 13 January, 27 B. C., the birthday of the new order,
Octavian, by vote of the Assembly and Senate, received for a period of ten
years the command and administration of the provinces of Hither Spain,
Gaul and Syria, that is, the chief provinces in which peace was not yet
firmly established and which consequently required the presence of the
bulk of the Roman armies. Egypt, over which he had ruled as the successor
of the Ptolemies since 30 B. C., remained directly subject to his
authority. As long as he continued to hold the consulship, the _imperium_
of Octavian was senior (_maius_) to that of the governors of the other
provinces which remained under the control of the Senate. In effect, his
solution of the military problem was to have conferred upon himself an
extraordinary command which found its precedents in those of Lucullus,
Pompey and Caesar, but which was of such scope and duration that it made
him the commander-in-chief of the forces of the empire.

*The titles Augustus and Imperator.* On 16 January of the same year the
Senate conferred upon Octavian the title of Augustus (Greek, _Sebastos_)
by which he was henceforth regularly designated. It was a term which
implied no definite powers, but, being an epithet equally applicable to
gods or men, was well adapted to express the exalted position of its
bearer. A second title was that of Imperator. Following the republican
custom, this had been conferred upon Augustus by his army and the Senate
after his victory at Mutina in 43 B. C., and in imitation of Julius Caesar
he converted this temporary title of honor into a permanent one. Finally,
in 38 B. C., he placed it first among his personal names (as a
_praenomen_). After 27 B. C. Augustus made a two-fold use of the term; as
a permanent _praenomen_, and as a title of honor assumed upon the occasion
of victories won by his officers. From this time the _praenomen_ Imperator
was a prerogative of the Roman commander-in-chief. However, during his
principate Augustus did not stress its use, since he did not wish to
emphasize the military basis of his power. But in the Greek-speaking
provinces, where his power rested exclusively upon his military authority,
the title Imperator was seized upon as the expression of his unlimited
_imperium_ and was translated in that sense by _autocrator_. From the
_praenomen_ imperator is derived the term emperor, commonly used in modern
times to designate Augustus and his successors.

*The tribunicia potestas, 23 B. C.* From 27 to 23 B. C. the authority of
Augustus rested upon his annual tenure of the consulship and his
provincial command. But in the summer of 23 B. C. he resigned the
consulship and received from the Senate and people the tribunician
authority (_tribunicia potestas_) for life. As early as 36 B. C. he had
been granted the personal inviolability of the tribunes, and in 30 B. C.
their right of giving aid (_auxilium_). To these privileges there must now
have been added the right of intercession and of summoning the _comitia_
(_jus agendi cum populo_).(15) In this way Augustus acquired a control
over comitial and senatorial legislation and openly assumed the position
of protector of the interests of the city plebs. He was moreover amply
compensated for the loss of civil power which his resignation of the
consulship involved, and at the same time he got rid of an office which
must be shared with a colleague of equal rank and the perpetual tenure of
which was a violation of constitutional tradition. The tribunician
authority was regarded as being held for successive annual periods, which
Augustus reckoned from 23 B. C.

*Special powers and honors.* At the time of the conferment of the
tribunician authority, a series of senatorial decrees added or gave
greater precision to the powers of Augustus. He received the right to
introduce the first topic for consideration at each meeting of the Senate,
his military _imperium_ was made valid within the _pomerium_, but, in view
of his resignation of the consulship, became proconsular in the provinces.
It was probably in 23 B. C. also that Augustus received the unrestricted
right of making war or peace, upon the occasion of the coming of an
embassy from the king of the Parthians. In the next year he was granted
the right to call meetings of the Senate. Three years later he was
accorded the consular insignia, with twelve lictors, and the privilege of
taking his seat on a curule chair between the consuls in office. These
marks of honor gave him upon official occasions the precedence among the
magistrates which his authority warranted. On the other hand, in 22 B. C.
Augustus refused the dictatorship or the perpetual consulship, which were
conferred upon him at the insistence of the city populace; and in the same
spirit he declined to accept a general censorship of laws and morals
(_cura legum et morum_) which was proffered to him in 19 B. C.

*The principate.* It was by the gradual acquisition of the above powers
that the position which Augustus was to hold in the state was finally
determined. This position may be defined as that of a magistrate, whose
province was a combination of various powers conferred upon him by the
Senate and the Roman people, and who differed from the other magistrates
of the state in the immensely wider scope of his functions and the greater
length of his official term. But these various powers were separately
conferred upon him and for each he could urge constitutional precedents.
It was in this spirit of deference to constitutional traditions that
Augustus did not create for himself one new office which would have given
him the same authority nor accept any position that would have clothed him
with autocratic power. Therefore, as he held no definite office, Augustus
had no definite official title. But the reception of such wide powers
caused him to surpass all other Romans in dignity; hence he came to be
designated as the _princeps_, i. e. the first of the Roman citizens
(_princeps civium Romanorum_). From this arose the term principate to
designate the tenure of office of the princeps; a term which we now apply
also to the system of government that Augustus established for the Roman
Empire. The crowning honor of his career was received by Augustus in 2
A. D., when the senate, upon the motion of one who had fought under Brutus
at Philippi, conferred upon him the title of “Father of His Country”
(_pater patriae_), thus marking the reconciliation between the bulk of the
old aristocracy and the new régime.

*Renewal of the imperium.* His _imperium_, which lapsed in 18 B. C.,
Augustus caused to be reconferred upon himself for successive periods of
five or ten years, thus preserving the continuity of his power until his
death in 14 A. D.


*The three orders.* The social classification of the Romans into the
senatorial, equestrian and plebeian orders passed, with sharper
definitions, from the republic into the principate. For each class a
distinct field of opportunity and public service was opened; for senators,
the magistracies and the chief military posts; for the _equites_ a new
career in the civil and military service of the princeps, and for the
plebs service as privates and subaltern officers in the professional army.
However, these orders were by no means closed castes; the way lay open to
able and successful men for advancement from the lower to the higher
grades, and for the consequent infusion of fresh vitality into the ranks
of the latter.

*The Senate and the senatorial order.* The senatorial order was composed
of the members of the Senate and their families. Its distinctive emblem
was the broad purple stripe worn on the toga. Sons of senators assumed
this badge of the order by right of birth; equestrians, by grant of the
princeps. However, of the former those who failed to qualify for the
Senate were reduced to the rank of equestrians. The possession of property
valued at 1,000,000 sesterces ($50,000) was made a requirement for
admission to the Senate.

The prospective senator was obliged to fill one of the minor city
magistracies known as the board of twenty (_viginti-virate_), next to
serve as a legionary tribune and then, at the age of twenty-five, to
become a candidate for the quaestorship, which gave admission to the
Senate. From the quaestorship the official career of the senator led
through the regular magistracies, the aedileship or tribunate, and the
praetorship, to the consulship. As an ex-praetor and ex-consul a senator
might be appointed a promagistrate to govern a senatorial province; a
legate to command a legion or administer an imperial province; or a
curator in charge of some administrative commission in Rome or Italy.

During the republic the Senate had been the actual center of the
administration and Augustus intended that it should continue to be so for
the greater part of the empire. Through the ordinary magistrates it should
govern Rome and Italy, and through the promagistrates the senatorial
provinces. Furthermore, the state treasury, the _aerarium saturni_,
supported by the revenues from Italy and the Senate’s provinces, remained
under the authority of that body. However, to render it capable of
fulfilling its task and to reëstablish its prestige, the Senate which now
numbered over one thousand had to be purged of many undesirable members
who had been admitted to its roll during the recent civil wars. Therefore,
in 28 B. C., Augustus in his consular capacity supervised a revision of
the senatorial list whereby two hundred unworthy persons were excluded. On
that occasion his name was placed at the head of the new roll as the
_princeps senatus_. A second recension ten years later reduced the total
membership to six hundred. A third, in 4 A. D., commenced through a
specially chosen committee of three with the object of further reducing
their number was not carried out. The Senate was automatically recruited
by the annual admission of the twenty quaestors, but in addition the
princeps enjoyed the right of appointing new members who might be entered
upon the roll of the Senate among the past holders of any magistracy. In
this way many prominent equestrians were admitted to the senatorial order.

*The equestrian order.* For the conduct of his share of the public
administration the princeps required a great number of assistants in his
personal employ. For his legates to command the legions or his provinces
with delegated military authority Augustus could draw upon the senators,
but both custom and the prestige of the Senate forbade their entering his
service in other capacities. On the other hand, freedmen and slaves, who
might well be employed in a clerical position, obviously could not be made
the sole civil servants of the princeps. Therefore, Augustus drew into his
service the equestrian order whose business interests and traditional
connection with the public finances seemed to mark them out as peculiarly
fitted to be his agents in the financial administration of the provinces.

The equestrian order in general was open to all Roman citizens in Italy
and the provinces who were eighteen years of age, of free birth and good
character, and possessed a census rating of 400,000 sesterces ($20,000).
Admission to the order was in the control of the princeps, and carried the
right to wear a narrow purple stripe on the toga and to receive a public
horse, the possession of which qualified an equestrian for the imperial
civil and military service. With the bestowal of the public horse Augustus
revived the long neglected annual parade and inspection of the _equites_.

Like the career of the senators, that of the equestrians included both
military and civil appointments. At the outset of his _cursus honorum_ the
equestrian held several military appointments, which somewhat later came
regularly to include a prefecture of a corps of auxiliary infantry, a
tribunate of a legionary cohort, and a prefecture of an auxiliary cavalry
corps. Thereupon he was eligible for a procuratorship, that is, a post in
the imperial civil service, usually in connection with the administration
of the finances. After filling several of these procuratorships, of which
there were a great number of varying importance, an equestrian might
finally attain one of the great prefectures, as commander of the city
watch, administrator of the corn supply of Rome, commander of the imperial
guards, or governor of Egypt. At the end of his equestrian career he might
be enrolled in the senatorial order. Thus through the imperial service the
equestrian order was bound closely to the princeps and from its ranks
there gradually developed a nobility thoroughly loyal to the new régime.

*The Comitia and the plebs.* The _comitia_, which had so long voiced the
will of the sovereign Roman people was not abolished, although it could no
longer claim to speak in the name of the Roman citizens as a whole. It
still kept up the form of electing magistrates and enacting legislation,
but its action was largely determined by the recommendations of the
princeps and his tribunician authority.

While the city plebs, accustomed to receive its free distributions of
grain, and to be entertained at costly public spectacles, was a heavy
drain upon the resources of the state, the vigorous third estate in the
Italian municipalities supplied the subaltern officers of the legions.
These were the centurions, who were the mainstay of the discipline and
efficiency of the troops, and from whose ranks many advanced to an
equestrian career.


*Reorganization of the army.* Upon his return to Italy in 30 B. C.,
Augustus found himself at the head of an army of about 500,000 men. Of
these he released more than 300,000 from service and settled them in
colonies or in their native municipalities upon lands which it was his
boast to have purchased and not confiscated. This done, he proceeded to
reorganize the military establishment. Accepting the lessons of the civil
wars, he maintained a permanent, professional army, recruited as far as
possible by voluntary enlistment. This army comprised two main categories
of troops, the legionaries and the auxiliaries.

*The legions and auxilia.* The legionaries were recruited from Roman
citizens or from provincials who received Roman citizenship upon their
enlistment. Their units of organization, the legions, comprised nearly
6000 men, of whom 120 were cavalry and the rest infantry. The number of
legions was at first eighteen, but was later raised to twenty-five, giving
a total of about 150,000 men. The auxiliaries, who took the place of the
contingents of Italian allies of earlier days, were recruited from among
the most warlike subject peoples of the empire and their numbers were
approximately equal to the legionaries. They were organized in small
infantry and cavalry corps (cohorts and _alae_), each 480 or 960 strong.
At the expiration of their term of service the auxiliaries were granted
the reward of Roman citizenship.

*The praetorians.* A third category of troops, which, although greatly
inferior in number to the legions and auxiliaries, played an exceptionally
influential rôle in the history of the principate, was the praetorian
guard. This was the imperial bodyguard which attended Augustus in his
capacity of commander-in-chief of the Roman armies. It owed its influence
to the fact that it was stationed in the vicinity of Rome while the other
troops were stationed in the provinces. Under Augustus the praetorian
guard comprised nine cohorts, each 1000 strong, under the command of two
praetorian prefects of equestrian rank. The praetorians were recruited
exclusively from the Italian peninsula, and enjoyed a shorter term of
service and higher pay than the other corps.

*Conditions of service.* It was not until 6 A. D. that the term of
enlistment and the conditions of discharge were definitely fixed. From
that date service in the praetorian guard was for sixteen years, in the
legions for twenty and in the _auxilia_ for twenty-five. At their
discharge the praetorians received a bonus of 5000 denarii ($1000), while
the legionaries were given 3000 denarii ($600) in addition to an
assignment of land. The discharged legionaries were regularly settled in
colonies throughout the provinces. To meet this increased expense Augustus
was obliged to establish a military treasury (the _aerarium militare_),
endowed out of his private patrimony, and supported by the revenue derived
from two newly imposed taxes, a five per cent inheritance tax (_vincesima
hereditatium_) which affected all Roman citizens, and a one per cent tax
on all goods publicly sold (_centesima rerum venalium_).

*The fleets.* For the policing of the coast of Italy and the adjacent seas
Augustus created a permanent fleet with stations at Ravenna and Misenum.
Conforming to the comparative unimportance of the Roman naval, in contrast
to their military establishment, the personnel of this fleet was recruited
in large measure from imperial freedmen and slaves. Only after Augustus
were these squadrons and other similar ones in the provinces placed under
equestrian prefects.

The military system of Augustus strongly emphasized and guaranteed the
supremacy of Italy and the Italians over the provincials. Both the
officers and the elite troops were drawn almost exclusively from Italy or
the latinized parts of the western provinces. In like manner the
reservation of the higher grades of the civil administration, the second
prop of Roman rule, for Roman senators and equestrians, as well as the
exclusion of the provincial imperial cult from Italian soil, marked
clearly the distinction between the conquering and the subject races of
the empire. Yet it was Augustus himself who pointed the way to the
ultimate romanization of the provincials by the bestowal of citizenship as
one of the rewards for military service and by the settlement of colonies
of veterans in the provinces.


*The ideals of Augustus.* A counterpart to the governmental reorganization
effected by Augustus was his attempt to revive the old time Roman virtues
which had fallen into contempt during the last centuries of the republic.
This moral regeneration of the Roman people he regarded as the absolutely
essential basis for a new era of peace and prosperity. And the reawakening
of morality was necessarily preceded by a revival of the religious rites
and ceremonies that in recent times had passed into oblivion through the
attraction of new cults, the growth of skepticism, or the general disorder
into which the public administration had fallen as a result of civil

*The revival of public religion.* One step in this direction was the
reëstablishment of the ancient priestly colleges devoted to the
performance of particular rites or the cult of particular deities. To
provide these colleges with the required number of patrician members
Augustus created new patrician families. He himself was enrolled in each
of these colleges and, at the death of Lepidus in 12 B. C., was elected
chief pontiff, the head of the state religion. A second measure was the
repair of temples and shrines which had lapsed into decay. The temple of
Jupiter Capitolinus, those of Quirinus and the Magna Mater, besides
eighty-two other shrines of lesser fame, were repaired or restored by him.
One of his generals, Munatius Plancus, renewed the temple of Saturn in the
forum. A new temple was erected by Augustus to Mars the Avenger on the
forum begun by Julius Caesar, another to the deified Julius himself on the
old forum, and a third on the Palatine hill to Apollo, to whom he rendered
thanks for the victory at Actium.

*The Lares and the Genius Augusti.* Among the divinities whose cult was
thus quickened into life were the Lares, the guardian deities of the
crossways, whose worship was especially practiced by the common folk.
Between the years 12 and 7 B. C. each of the two hundred and sixty-five
_vici_ into which the city of Rome was then divided was provided with a
shrine dedicated to the Lares and the Genius of Augustus, that is, the
divine spirit which watched over his fortunes. This worship was conducted
by a committee of masters, annually elected by the inhabitants of these
quarters. In this way the city plebs while not worshipping the princeps
himself, were yet encouraged to look upon him as their protector and

*The imperial cult.* A new religion which was to be symbolic of the unity
of the empire and the loyalty of the provincials was the cult of Rome and
Augustus, commonly known as the imperial cult. The worship of the goddess
Roma, the personification of the Roman state, had sprung up voluntarily in
the cities of Greece and Asia after 197 B. C. when the power of Rome began
to supplant the authority of the Hellenistic monarchs for whom deification
by their subjects was the theoretical basis of their autocratic power.
This voluntary worship had also been accorded to individual Romans, as
Flamininus, Sulla, Caesar and Mark Antony. As early as 29 B. C. the cities
of Pergamon in Asia and Nicomedia in Bithynia erected temples dedicated to
Roma and Augustus, and established quinquennial religious festivals called
_Romaia Sebasta_. Other cities followed their example and before the death
of Augustus each province in the Orient had at least one altar dedicated
to Roma and the princeps. From the East the imperial cult was officially
transplanted to the West.

In the year 12 B. C. an altar of Rome and Augustus was established at the
junction of the rivers Rhone and Sâone, opposite the town of Lugdunum
(modern Lyons), the administrative center of Transalpine Gaul apart from
the Narbonese province. Here the peoples of Gaul were to unite in the
outward manifestation of their loyalty to Roman rule. A similar altar was
erected at what is now Cologne in the land of the Ubii between 9 B. C. and
9 A. D. Both in the East and in the West the maintenance of the imperial
cult was imposed upon provincial councils, composed of representatives of
the municipal or tribal units in which each province was divided.

The imperial cult in the provinces was thus the expression of the absolute
authority of Rome and Augustus over the subjects of Rome, but for that
very reason Augustus could not admit its development on Italian soil; for
to do so would be to deny his claim to be a Roman magistrate, deriving his
authority from the Roman people, among whom he was the chief citizen, and
would stamp his government as monarchical and autocratic. Therefore,
although the poet Horace, voicing the public sentiment, in 27 B. C.
acclaimed him as the new Mercury, and both municipalities and individuals
in southern Italy spontaneously established his worship, this movement
received no official encouragement and never became important. However,
from the year 12 B. C. onwards, there were established religious colleges
of _Augustales_, or priestly officers called _Sevìri Augustales_, in many
Italian municipalities for the celebration of the cult of Augustus either
alone or in conjunction with some other divinity such as Mercury or
Hercules. As these Augustales were almost exclusively drawn from the class
of freedmen who were no longer admitted to full Roman citizenship,
Augustus avoided receiving worship from the latter, while assuring himself
of the loyalty of the _liberti_ and gratifying their pride by encouraging
a municipal office to which they were eligible.

*The leges Juliae and the lex Papia Poppaea.* However, Augustus was not
content to trust solely to the moral effects of religious exercises and
resorted to legislative action to check the degenerate tendencies of his
age. The Julian laws of 19 and 18 B. C. aimed at the restoration of the
soundness of family life, the encouragement of marriage, and the
discouragement of childlessness, by placing disabilities upon unmarried
and childless persons. These measures provoked great opposition, but
Augustus was in earnest and supplemented his earlier laws by the _lex
Papia Poppaea_ of 9 A. D. which gave precedence to fathers over less
fortunate persons among the candidates for public office. A commentary on
the effectiveness of his earlier laws was the fact that both the consuls
who sponsored this later one were themselves unmarried. To prevent the
Italian element among the citizens from being swamped by a continuous
influx of liberated slaves, Augustus placed restrictions upon the right of
manumission and refused freedmen the public rights of Roman citizens,
although granting these to their sons. By example as well as by precept he
sought to hold in check the luxurious tendencies of the age, and in his
own household to furnish a model of ancient Roman simplicity.

*The Secular Games, 17 B. C.* To publicly inaugurate the new era in the
life of the state begun under his auspices, Augustus celebrated the
festival of the Secular Games in the year 17 B. C., for which Horace wrote
the inaugural ode, his _Carmen Saeculare_.


*The Dyarchy.* The division of the provinces between Augustus and the
Senate in 27 B. C. had the effect of creating an administrative dyarchy,
or joint rule of two independent authorities, for the empire. However, the
original allotment of the provinces underwent some modification subsequent
to 27 B. C. In 23 B. C., Augustus transferred to the Senate Narbonese Gaul
where the rapid progress of colonization had made it “more a part of Italy
than a province.” In exchange he took over Illyricum, where the progress
of the Roman arms had been interrupted by the outbreak of the war with
Antony and where the Romans were confronted by warlike and restless
peoples of the hinterland. Somewhat later Cilicia also became an imperial
province and in 6 A. D. Sardinia was placed under an imperial procurator
because of disturbances on the island. Southern Greece, previously
dependent upon the province of Macedon, was placed under the government of
the Senate as the province of Achaea. New administrative districts
organized by Augustus out of territories conquered by his generals
remained under his control.

*Survey and census of the empire.* The main expense of the military and
civil establishment of the empire was defrayed by the revenues from the
provinces. As a basis for an accurate estimate of their resources for
purposes of taxation and recruitment Augustus caused a comprehensive
census of the population and an evaluation of property to be taken in each
newly organized district, and provided for a systematic revision of the
census in all the imperial provinces. In addition a general chart of the
empire was compiled on the basis of an extended survey conducted under the
direction of Agrippa.

*The foreign policy of Augustus.* As we have seen, Augustus since he was
commander-in-chief of the Roman armies and in charge of the administration
of the most important border provinces, was entrusted by the senate with
the direction of the foreign relations of the state. Here his aims
conformed to the general conservatism of his policies and were directed
towards securing a defensible frontier for the empire which should protect
the peace that he had established within its borders. His military
operations were conducted with due regard to the man power and the
financial resources of the state. To secure the defensible frontier at
which he aimed it was necessary for Augustus to incorporate in the empire
a number of border peoples whose independence was a menace to the peace of
the provinces and to establish some client kingdoms as buffer states
between Roman territory and otherwise dangerous neighbors.

*The settlement in Spain.* The northwestern corner of the Spanish
peninsula was still occupied by independent peoples, the Cantabri, Astures
and the Callaeci, who harassed with their forays the pacified inhabitants
of the Roman provinces. To secure peace in this quarter Augustus
determined upon the complete subjugation of these peoples. From 27 to 24
B. C. he was present in Spain and between these years his lieutenants
Antistius, Carisius and Agrippa conducted campaigns against them in their
mountain fastness, and, overcoming their desperate resistance, settled
them in the valleys and secured their territory by founding colonies of
veterans. A subsequent revolt in 20–19 was crushed by Marcus Agrippa.

*The pacification of the Alps, 25–8 B. C.* A similar problem was presented
by the Alpine peoples, who not only made devastating raids into northern
Italy but also in the west occupied the passes which offered the most
direct routes between Italy and Transalpine Gaul. In 26 B. C. occurred a
revolt of the Salassi, in the neighborhood of the Little St. Bernard, who
had been subdued eight years before. In the following year they were
completely subjugated, and those who escaped slaughter were sold into
slavery. In 16 B. C. the district of Noricum, i. e., modern Tyrol and
Salzburg, was occupied by Publius Silius Nerva, in consequence of a raid
of the Noricans into the Istrian peninsula. In 15 B. C., the step-son of
Augustus, Nero Claudius Drusus, crossed the Brenner Pass and forced his
way over the Vorarlberg range to Lake Constance, subduing the Raeti on his
way. On the shores of Lake Constance he met his elder brother, Tiberius
Claudius Nero, who had marched eastwards from Gaul. Together they defeated
and subjugated the Vindelici. On the north the Danube was now the Roman
frontier. A number of isolated campaigns completed the subjugation of the
remaining Alpine peoples by 8 B. C. Raetia and Noricum were organized as
procuratorial provinces, while the smaller Alpine districts were placed
under imperial prefects.

*Gaul and Germany.* Caesar had left the land of Gallia Comata crushed but
still unsettled and not fully incorporated in the empire. It fell to the
lot of Augustus to complete its organization, which was accomplished
between 27 and 13 B. C. Subsequent to the transfer of the Narbonese
province to the Senate _Gallia comata_ was divided into three districts;
Aquitania, Lugdunensis and Belgica, which, however, during the lifetime of
Augustus, formed an administrative unity, under one governor with
subordinate _legati_ in each district. The colony of Lugdunum was the seat
of the administration, as well as of the imperial cult. No attempt was
made to latinize the three Gauls by the founding of Roman colonies; but
they remained divided into sixty-four separate peoples, called
_civitates_, with a tribal organization under the control of a native
nobility. As early as 27 B. C. Augustus took a census in Gaul, and on this
basis fixed its tax obligations. The rich lands of Gaul were as important
a source of imperial revenue as its vigorous population was of recruits
for the Roman auxiliary forces.

But the Gauls were restive under their new burdens and were in addition
liable to be stirred up by the Germanic tribes who came from across the
Rhine. An invading horde of Sugambri in 16 B. C. defeated a Roman army
and, upon a renewed inroad by the same people in 12 B. C., Augustus
determined to cross the Rhine and secure the frontier of Gaul by the
subjugation of the Germans to the north. The Germans, like the Gauls at
the time of the Roman conquest, were divided into a number of independent
tribes usually at enmity with one another and hence incapable of forming a
lasting combination against a common foe. Individually they were powerful
and courageous, but their military efficiency was impaired by their lack
of unity and discipline.

Drusus, conqueror of the Raeti, was appointed to command the Roman army of
invasion. He first secured the Rhine frontier by the construction of a
line of fortresses stretching from Vindonissa (near Basle) to Castra
Vetera (near Xanten), the latter of which, with Mogontiacum (Mainz) were
his chief bases. Then, crossing the river, in four campaigns (12–9 B. C.)
he overran and subjugated the territory between the Rhine and the Elbe.
His operations were greatly aided by his fleet, for which he constructed a
canal from the Rhine to the Zuider Zee, and which facilitated the conquest
of the coast peoples, among them the Batavi, who became firm Roman allies.
On the return march from the Elbe in 9 B. C., Drusus was fatally injured
by a fall from his horse. His brother Tiberius succeeded him in command
and strengthened the Roman hold on the transrhenene conquests. Drusus was
buried in Rome, whither Tiberius escorted his corpse on foot, and was
honored with the name Germanicus.

*Illyricum and Thrace.* To the east of the Adriatic the Roman provinces of
Illyricum and Macedonia were subject to constant incursions of the
Pannonians, Getae (or Dacians) and Bastarnae, peoples settled in the
middle and lower Danube valley. Marcus Licinius Crassus, Governor of
Macedonia, in 30 and 29 B. C. defeated the Getae and Bastarnae, crossed
the Balkans, carried the Roman arms to the Danube and subdued the Moesi to
the south of that river. However, it required a considerable time before
the various Thracian tribes were finally subdued and a client kingdom
under the Thracian prince Cotys was interposed between Macedonia and the
lower Danube. Meantime, the Pannonians had been conquered in a number of
hard fought campaigns which were brought to a successful conclusion by
Tiberius (12–9 B. C.) who made the Drave the Roman boundary. The
contemporaneous conquest of Pannonia and of Germany between the Rhine and
the Elbe was one of the greatest feats of Roman arms and reveals the army
of the empire at the height of its discipline and organization. In 13
B. C., during a lull in these frontier struggles, the Senate voted the
erection of an altar to the peace of Augustus (the _ara pacis Augustae_),
in grateful recognition of his maintenance of peace within the empire.

*The revolt of Illyricum and Germany.* For several years following the
death of Drusus no further conquests were attempted until 4 A. D., when
Tiberius was again appointed to command the army of the Rhine. After
assuring himself of the allegiance of the Germans by a demonstration as
far as the Elbe and by the establishment of fortified posts, he prepared
to complete the northern boundary by the conquest of the kingdom of the
Marcomanni, in modern Bohemia, between the Elbe and the Danube. In 6 A. D.
Tiberius was on the point of advancing northward from the Danube, in
coöperation with Gaius Saturninus, who was to move eastwards from the
Rhine, when a revolt broke out in Illyricum which forced the abandonment
of the undertaking and the conclusion of peace with Marbod, the king of
the Marcomanni. The revolt, in which both Pannonians and Dalmatians
joined, was caused by the severity of the Roman exactions, especially the
levies for the army. For a moment Italy trembled in fear of an invasion;
in the raising of new legions even freedmen were called into service. But
the arrival of reinforcements from other provinces enabled Tiberius after
three years of ruthless warfare to utterly crush the desperate resistance
of the rebels (9 A. D.). The organization of Pannonia as a separate
province followed the reëstablishment of peace.

Until the last year of the war in Illyricum the Germanic tribes had
remained quiet under Roman overlordship. But in 9 A. D., provoked by the
attempt of the new Roman commander, Publius Quinctilius Varus, to subject
them to stricter control, they united to free themselves from foreign
rule. In the coalition the Cherusci and Chatti were the chief peoples, and
Arminius, a young chieftain of the Cherusci, was its leading spirit. Varus
and his army of three legions were surprised on the march in the Teutoberg
Forest and completely annihilated. Rome was in panic over the news, but
the Germans did not follow up their initial success. Tiberius was again
sent to the post of danger and vindicated the honor of Rome by two
successful expeditions across the Rhine. But no attempt was made to
recover permanently the lost ground. The frontier of the Elbe was given up
for that of the Rhine with momentous consequences for the future of the
empire and of Europe. The coast peoples, however, remained Roman allies
and a narrow strip of territory was held on the right bank of the Rhine.
The reason lay in the weakness of the Roman military organization, caused
by the strain of the Illyrian revolt and the difficulty of finding
recruits for the Roman legions among the Italians. The cry of Augustus,
“Quinctilius Varus, give back my legions,” gives the clue to his
abandonment of Germany.

*The eastern frontier.* In the East alone was Rome confronted by a power
which was in any way a match for her military strength and which had
disastrously defeated two Roman invasions. The conquest of this, the
Parthian kingdom, appeared to Augustus to offer no compensation comparable
to the exertions it would entail and therefore he determined to rest
content with such a reassertion of Roman supremacy in the Near East as
would wipe out the shame of the defeats of Crassus and Antony and
guarantee Roman territory from Parthian attack. He was prepared to accept
the natural frontier of the Euphrates as the eastern boundary of Roman
territory. Between the Roman provinces in Asia Minor and the upper
Euphrates lay a number of client kingdoms, Galatia, Pontus, Cappadocia and
Lesser Armenia, and Commagene. At the death of Amyntas, king of Galatia,
in 25 B. C., his kingdom was made into a province, but the others were
left under their native dynasts. Across the Euphrates lay Armenia, a
buffer state between the Roman possessions and Parthia, which was of
strategic importance because it commanded the military routes between Asia
Minor and the heart of the Parthian country. To establish a protectorate
over Armenia was therefore the ambition of both Rome and Parthia. During
the presence of Augustus in the East (22–19 B. C.), Tiberius placed a
Roman nominee on the Armenian throne, and received from the Parthian king,
Phraates IV, the Roman standards and captives in Parthian hands, a success
which earned Augustus the salutation of _imperator_ from his troops. Later
Phraates sent four of his sons as hostages to Rome. But the Roman
protectorate over Armenia was by no means permanent; its supporters had
soon to give way to the Parthian party. Gaius Caesar between 1 B. C. and 2
A. D. restored Roman influence, but again the Parthians got the upper hand
and held it until 9 A. D., when Phraates was overthrown and was succeeded
by one of his sons whom Augustus sent from Rome at the request of the

*Judaea and Arabia.* To the south of the Roman province of Syria lay the
kingdom of Judaea, ruled by Herod until his death in 4 B. C., when it was
divided among his sons. Subsequently Judaea proper was made a province
administered by a Roman procurator. To the east of the Dead Sea was the
kingdom of the Nabataean Arabs, who controlled the caravan routes of the
Arabian peninsula and who were firm Roman allies. With their aid a Roman
army under Aelius Gallus in 25 B. C. sought to penetrate into the rich
spice land of Arabia Felix, but suffered such losses in its march across
the desert that it was forced to return without effecting a conquest. At
the same time Gaius Petronius defeated the Ethiopians under Queen Candace
and secured the southern frontier of Egypt. Through the ports of Egypt on
the Red Sea a brisk trade developed with India, from which distant land
embassies on various occasions came to Augustus. Further west in Africa,
Augustus added the kingdom of Numidia to the province of Africa, and
transferred its ruler, Juba II, whose wife was Cleopatra, daughter of
Antony the triumvir, to the kingdom of Mauretania (25 B. C.).

The conquests of Augustus established in their essential features the
future boundaries of the Roman Empire. At his death he left it as a maxim
of state for his successor to abstain from further expansion.

                      VI. THE ADMINISTRATION OF ROME

*The problem of police.* One of the great problems which had confronted
the Roman government from the time of the Gracchi was the policing of Rome
and the suppression of mob violence. To a certain extent the establishment
of the praetorian guard served to overawe the city mob, although only
three of its cohorts were at first stationed in the city. As a supplement
to the praetorians Augustus organized three urban cohorts, each originally
1500 strong, who ranked between the legionaries and praetorians. Between
12 and 7 B. C. the city was divided for administrative purposes into
fourteen regions, subdivided into 265 _vici_ or wards. Each region was put
in charge of a tribune or aedile. A force of six hundred slaves under the
two curule aediles was formed as a fire brigade. But as these proved
ineffective in 6 A. D. Augustus created a corps of _vigiles_ to serve as a
fire brigade and night watch. This corps consisted of seven cohorts, one
for every two regions, and was under the command of an equestrian prefect
of the watch (_praefectus vigilum_).

*The Annona.* Another vital problem was the provision of an adequate
supply of grain for the city. A famine in 22 B. C. produced so serious a
situation that the Senate was forced to call upon Augustus to assume the
responsibility for this branch of the administration. At first he tried to
meet the situation through the appointment of curators of senatorial rank,
but after 6 A. D. he created the office of prefect of the grain supply,
filled by an equestrian appointee of the princeps. His duty was to see
that there was an adequate supply of grain on hand for the market at a
reasonable price and in addition to make the monthly distribution of free
grain to the city plebs. The number of recipients of this benefit was
fixed at 200,000.

In this way Augustus was forced to take over one of the spheres of the
government which he had intended should remain under the direction of the
Senate and to witness himself the first step towards the breakdown of the
administrative dyarchy which he had created.


*The policy of Augustus.* In theory the position of the princeps was that
of a magistrate who derived his powers from the Senate and the Roman
people, and hence the choice of his successor legally lay in their hands.
However, Augustus realized that to leave the field open to rival
candidates would inevitably lead to a recrudescence of civil war.
Therefore he determined to designate his own successor and to make the
latter’s appointment a matter beyond dispute. Furthermore, his own career
as the son and heir of Julius Caesar warned him that this heir to the
principate must be found within his own household, and his precarious
health was a constant reminder that he could not await the approach of old
age before settling this problem. And so, from the early years of his
office, he arranged the matrimonial alliances of his kinsfolk in the
interests of the state without regard to their personal preferences, to
the end that in the event of his decease there would be a member of the
Julian house prepared to assume his laborious task. Yet the unexpected
length of his life caused Augustus to outlive many of those whom he from
time to time looked upon as the heirs to his position in the state.

*Marcus Marcellus and Agrippa.* Augustus had one daughter Julia, by his
second wife Scribonia. He had no sons, but Livia Drusilla, whom he took as
his third wife in 36 B. C., brought him two stepsons, Tiberius and Drusus.
Yet not one of these but his nephew, Marcus Marcellus, was his first
choice for a successor. Marcellus received Julia as his wife in 25 B. C.,
the next year at the age of nineteen he was admitted to the Senate, and in
23 B. C., as aedile, he won the favor of the populace by his magnificent
public shows. When Marcellus died in 23 B. C., Augustus turned to his
loyal adherent Agrippa, to whom Julia was now wedded. In 18 B. C. Agrippa
received proconsular _imperium_ and the _tribunicia potestas_ for five
years, powers that were reconferred with those of Augustus in 13 B. C.

*Tiberius.* But in the next year Agrippa died, and Augustus, regarding his
eldest stepson Tiberius, the conqueror of Noricum, as the one best
qualified to succeed himself, forced him to divorce the wife to whom he
was devoted and to marry Julia. At that time he was given the important
Illyrian command and in 6 B. C. the tribunician authority was granted him
for a five year term. But Tiberius, recognizing that he was soon to be set
aside for the two elder sons of Agrippa and Julia, Gaius and Lucius
Caesar, whom Augustus had adopted and taken into his own house, and being
disgusted with the flagrant unfaithfulness of Julia, retired into private
life at Rhodes, thereby incurring the deep enmity of his stepfather.

*Gaius and Lucius Caesar.* Gaius and Lucius Caesar assumed the garb of
manhood (the _toga virilis_) at the age of fifteen in 5 and 2 B. C.,
respectively. To celebrate each occasion Augustus held the consulship, and
placed them at the head of the equestrian order with the title _principes
iuventutis_. They were exempted from the limitations of the _cursus
honorum_ so that each might hold the consulate in his twentieth year. In 1
A. D. Gaius was sent to the East with proconsular imperium to settle fresh
trouble in Armenia. There in the siege of a petty fortress he received a
wound from which he died in 4 A. D. Two years previously Lucius had fallen
a victim to fever while on his way to Spain. In the meantime Augustus had
experienced another blow in his discovery of the scandalous conduct of
Julia. Her guilt was the more unpardonable in view of the efforts of her
father to restore the moral tone of society. She was banished to the
island rock of Pandataria, her companions in crime were punished, the most
with banishment, one with death on a charge of treason (1 B. C.). Her
elder daughter, also called Julia, later met the same fate for a like

*Tiberius.* At the death of Gaius Caesar, Augustus turned once more to
Tiberius, who had been permitted to leave Rhodes at the intercession of
Livia. In 4 A. D. he was adopted by Augustus and received the _tribunicia
potestas_ for ten years. In 13 A. D. his tribunician power was renewed and
he was made the colleague of Augustus in the _imperium_. Tiberius himself
had been obliged to adopt his nephew Germanicus, the son of Drusus, who
married Agrippina, the younger daughter of Agrippa and Julia. Association
in authority and adoption where necessary had become the means of
designating the successor in the principate.

                      VIII. AUGUSTUS AS A STATESMAN

*The death of Augustus.* In 14 A. D. Augustus held a census of the Roman
citizens in the empire. They numbered 4,937,000, an increase of 826,000
since 28 B. C. In the same year he set up in Rome an inscription recording
his exploits and the sums which he had expended in the interests of the
state. A copy of this has been found inscribed on the walls of the temple
of Roma and Augustus at Ancyra, and hence is known as the Monument of
Ancyra. On 19 August, 14 A. D., Augustus died at Nola in Campania, at the
age of seventy-six.

*An estimate of his statesmanship.* Opinions have differed and probably
always will differ upon the question whether or not Augustus sought to
establish a disguised form of monarchical government. Still, in his favor
stands the fact that, although when a young man confronted or allied with
rivals who sought his destruction he seized power by illegal means, after
the fate of the state was in his hands and he had reëstablished an orderly
form of government, he conscientiously restricted himself to the use of
the powers which were legally conferred upon him. So ably did he
conciliate public opinion that the few conspiracies formed against his
life and power had no serious backing and constituted no real danger to
himself or his system. To have effected so important a change in the
constitution with so little friction is proof of a statesmanship of a high

His principate marks the beginning of a new epoch in Roman history and
determined the course of the subsequent political development of the
empire. And the system he inaugurated finds its greatest justification in
the era of the _pax Romana_ which it ushered in.

*The weakness of his system.* Yet it must be admitted that this system
contained two innate weaknesses. Firstly, it was built up around the
personality of Augustus, who could trust himself not to abuse his great
power, and secondly, the princeps, as commander-in-chief of the Roman
army, was immeasurably more powerful than the second partner in the
administration, the Senate, and able to assert his will against all
opposition. Now, as has well been observed, the working of the principate
depended upon the coöperation of the Senate and the self-restraint of the
emperors, consequently, when the former proved incapable and the latter
abused their power, the inevitable consequence was an autocracy. That
Augustus realized this himself towards the end of his life is highly
probable, yet as the one who brought order out of chaos and gave peace to
an exhausted world his name will always be one of the greatest in the
history of Rome or indeed of the human race.

                               CHAPTER XVII


                         I. TIBERIUS, 14–37 A. D.

*Tiberius princeps.* At the death of Augustus, Tiberius by right of his
_imperium_ assumed command of the army and through his tribunician
authority convoked the Senate to pay the last honors to Augustus and
decide upon his successor. Like Julius Caesar, Augustus was deified, and a
priestly college of Augustales, chosen from the senatorial order was
founded to maintain his worship in Rome. In accordance with a wish
expressed in his will, his widow Livia was honored with the name Augusta.
Tiberius received the title of Augustus and the other honors and powers
which his predecessor had made the prerogatives of the princeps. His
_imperium_, however, was conferred for life, and not for a limited period.
The ease of his succession shows how solidly the principate was
established at the death of its founder.

*Character and policy.* Tiberius was now fifty-six years of age. He had
spent the greater part of his life in the public service, and consequently
had a full appreciation of the burden of responsibility which the princeps
must assume. He was the incarnation of the old Roman sense of duty to the
state, and at the same time exhibited the proud reserve of the Roman
patricians. Stern in his maintenance of law and order, he made an
excellent subordinate, but when called upon to guide the policy of state,
he displayed hesitation and lack of decision. The incidents of his
marriage with Julia and his exile had rendered him bitter and suspicious,
and he utterly lacked the personal charm and adaptability of his
predecessor. Thus he was temperamentally unsuited to the position he was
called upon to fill and this was responsible for his frequent
misunderstandings with the Senate. Such an incident occurred in the
meetings of the Senate after the death of Augustus. Tiberius, conscious of
his unpopularity, sought to have the Senate press upon him the appointment
as the successor of Augustus, and so feigned reluctance to accept, a
course which made the senators suspect that he was laying a trap for
possible rivals. Yet there was no princeps who tried more conscientiously
to govern in the spirit of Augustus, or upheld more rigidly the rights and
dignity of the Senate. At the beginning of his principate he transferred
from the Assembly to the Senate the right of the election to the
magistracies, thus relieving the senators from the expense and annoyance
of canvassing the populace.

*Mutinies in Illyricum and on the Rhine.* Two serious mutinies followed
the accession of Tiberius, one in the army stationed in Illyricum, the
other among the legions on the Rhine. Failure to discharge those who had
completed their terms of service and the severity of the service itself
were the grounds of dissatisfaction. The Illyrian mutiny was quelled by
the praetorian prefect Lucius Aelius Seianus; the army of the Rhine was
brought back to its allegiance by Germanicus, the son of Drusus, whom
Tiberius had adopted at the command of Augustus in 4 A. D. He had married
Agrippina, daughter of Agrippa and Julia, and was looked upon as the heir
of Tiberius in preference to the latter’s younger and less able son,

*The campaigns of Germanicus, 14–17 A. D.* To restore discipline among his
troops and relieve them from the monotony of camp life, as well as to
emulate the achievements of his father, Germanicus, without the
authorization of Tiberius, led his army across the Rhine. The German
tribes were still united in the coalition formed in the time of Varus,
and, under their leaders Arminius and Inguiomerus, offered vigorous
opposition to the Roman invasion. Nevertheless, in three successive
campaigns (14–16 A. D.), Germanicus ravaged the territory between the
Rhine and the Weser and inflicted several defeats upon the Germans. Still
Arminius and his allies were by no means subdued, and the Romans had
sustained heavy losses. One army had narrowly escaped the fate of the
legions of Varus, and twice had the transports of Germanicus suffered
through storms in the North Sea. For these reasons Tiberius forbade the
prolongation of the war and recalled Germanicus. With his departure, each
of the three Gauls was made an independent province, and two new
administrative districts called Upper and Lower Germany, under legates of
consular rank, were created on the left bank of the Rhine. Freed from the
danger of Roman interference, the Germanic tribes led by Arminius now
engaged in a bitter struggle with Marbod, king of the Marcomanni, which
ultimately led to the overthrow of the latter’s kingdom. Not long
afterwards Arminius himself fell a victim to the jealousy of his fellow
tribesmen (19 A. D.).

*Eastern mission and death of Germanicus, 17–19 A. D.* After his return
from Gaul, Germanicus was sent by Tiberius to settle affairs in the East,
where the Armenian question had again become acute. While he was in Syria,
a bitter quarrel developed between himself and Piso, the legate of the
province. Accordingly, when Germanicus fell ill and died there, many
accused Piso of having poisoned him. Although the accusation was false
Piso was called to Rome to stand his trial on that charge, and, finding
that the popularity of Germanicus had biased popular opinion against him,
and that Tiberius refused him his protection because of his attempt to
assert his rights by armed force, he committed suicide. Agrippina, the
ambitious wife of Germanicus, believed that Tiberius from motives of
jealousy had been responsible for her husband’s death. She openly
displayed her hostility to the princeps, and by plotting to secure the
succession for her own children, helped to bring about their ruin and her

*The withdrawal of Tiberius from Rome, 26 A. D.* The decision of Tiberius
to leave Rome in 26 A. D. and take up his residence on the island of Capri
had important consequences. One was that the office of city prefect, who
was the representative of the princeps, became permanent. It was filled by
a senator of consular rank who commanded the urban cohorts and had wide
judicial functions.

*The plot of Seianus.* In the second place the absence of Tiberius gave
his able and ambitious praetorian prefect Aelius Seianus encouragement and
opportunity to perfect the plot he had formed to seize the principate for
himself. He it was who concentrated the praetorian guard, now 10,000
strong, in their camp on the edge of the city, and paved the way for their
baneful influence upon the future history of the principate. Having caused
the death of Drusus, the son of Tiberius, by poison, in 23 A. D., he
intrigued to remove from his path the sons of Germanicus, Drusus and Nero.
They and their mother Agrippina were condemned to imprisonment or exile on
charges of treason. In 31 A. D. Seianus attained the consulate and
received proconsular _imperium_ in the provinces. He allied himself with
the Julian house by his betrothal to Julia, the grand-daughter of
Tiberius. But in the same year the princeps became aware of his plans.
Tiberius acted with energy. Seianus and many of his supporters were
arrested and executed.

*The last years of Tiberius.* The discovery of Seianus’ treachery seems to
have affected the reason of the aging princeps. His fear of treachery
became an obsession. The law of treason (_lex de maiestate_) was
rigorously enforced and many persons were condemned to death, among them
Agrippina and her sons. The senators lived in terror of being accused by
informers (_delatores_), and in their anxiety to conciliate the princeps
they were only too ready to condemn any of their own number.

The memory of his later years caused Tiberius to pass down in the
traditions of the senatorial order, represented by Tacitus and Suetonius,
as a ruthless tyrant, and to obscure his real services as a conscientious
and economical administrator. His parsimony in expenditures of the public
money won him unpopularity with the city mob, but was a blessing to the
provincials to whose welfare Tiberius directed particular attention, while
he vigorously protected them against the oppression of imperial officials.
During his rule the peace of the empire was disturbed only by a brief
rising in Gaul (21 A. D.) and a rather prolonged struggle with Tacfarinas,
a rebellious Berber chieftain, in Numidia (17–24 A. D.).

                     II. CAIUS CALIGULA, 37–41 A. D.

*Accession.* Tiberius left as his heirs his adoptive grandson Caius, the
sole surviving son of Germanicus, better known by his childhood name of
Caligula, acquired in the camps on the Rhine, and his grandson by birth,
Tiberius Gemellus. Upon Caius, the elder of the two, then twenty-five
years of age, the Senate immediately conferred the powers of the
principate. The resentment of the senators towards his predecessor found
vent in refusing him the posthumous honor of deification. Caius adopted
his cousin, but within a year had him put to death.

*Early months of his rule.* The early months of his rule seemed the dawn
of a new era. The pardoning of political offenders, the banishment of
informers, the reduction of taxes, coupled with lavishness in public
entertainments and donations, all made Gaius popular with the Senate, the
army and the city plebs. However, he was a weakling in body and in mind,
and a serious illness, brought on by his excesses, seems to have left him
mentally deranged.

*Absolutism his ideal.* Reared in the house of Antonia, daughter of Antony
and Octavia, in company with eastern princes of the stamp of Herod
Agrippa, he naturally came to look upon the principate as an autocracy of
the Hellenistic type. In his attempt to carry this conception into effect,
the vein of madness in his character led him to ridiculous extremes. Not
content with claiming deification for himself and his sisters, he built a
lofty bridge connecting the Palatine Hill with the Capitoline, so that he
might communicate with Jupiter, his brother god. He prescribed the
sacrifices to be offered to himself, and was accused of seeking to imitate
the Ptolemaic custom of sister marriage. Thoroughly consistent with
absolutism was his scorn of republican magistracies and disregard of the
rights of the Senate; likewise his attempt to have himself saluted as
_dominus_ or “lord.”

*The conflict with the Jews.* His demand for the acknowledgment of his
deification by all inhabitants of the empire brought Caius into conflict
with the Jews, who had been exempted from this formal expression of
loyalty. In Alexandria there was a large Jewish colony, which enjoyed
exceptional privileges and was consequently hated by the other
Alexandrians. Their refusal to worship the images of Caius furnished the
mob with a pretext for sacking the Jewish quarters and forcibly installing
statues of the princeps in some of their synagogues. The Jews sent a
delegation to plead their case before Caius but could obtain no redress.
In the meantime Caius had ordered Petronius, the legate of Syria, to set
up his statue in the temple at Jerusalem, by force, if need be. However,
the prudent Petronius, seeing that this would bring about a national
revolt among the Jews delayed obeying the order, and the death of Caius
relieved him of the necessity of executing it at all.

*Tyranny.* In less than a year the reckless extravagance of Caius had
exhausted the immense surplus Tiberius had left in the treasury. To secure
new funds he resorted to openly tyrannical measures, extraordinary taxes,
judicial murders, confiscations, and forced legacies. By these means money
was extorted not only from Romans of all classes but provincials also.
Ptolemy, king of Mauretania, was executed for the sake of his treasure and
his kingdom made a province.

*Assassination.* Caius contemplated invasions of Germany and of Britain,
but the former ended with a military parade across the Rhine and the
latter with a march to the shores of the Straits of Dover. The fear
awakened by his rule of capricious violence soon resulted in conspiracies
against his life. In January, 41 A. D., he was assassinated by a tribune
of the imperial guards.

                        III. CLAUDIUS, 41–54 A. D.

*Nominated by the Praetorians.* In the choice of a successor to Caius the
power of the praetorian guard was first clearly demonstrated. Caius was
the last male representative of the Julian _gens_, and at his death the
Senate debated the question of restoring the republic. However, the
decision was made for them by the praetorians, who dragged from his hiding
place and saluted as Imperator the surviving brother of Germanicus,
Tiberius Claudius Germanicus. The Senate had to acquiesce in his
nomination and grant him the powers of the princeps.

*Character.* Claudius was already fifty-one years old, but because of his
ungainly figure and limited mentality had never been seriously considered
for the principate. He was learned and pedantic, but lacking in energy and
resolution. His greatest weakness was that he was completely under the
influence of his wives, of whom he had in succession four, and his
favorite freedmen.

*Policy.* In general the policy of Claudius followed that of Augustus and
Tiberius. But in 47 A. D. he assumed the censorship for five years, an
office which Augustus had avoided because it set its holder directly above
the Senate.

In the capacity of censor, Claudius extended to the Gallic Aedui the _jus
honorum_ and consequently the right of admission to the Senate. This was
in accord with his policy of generously granting citizenship to the
provincials. The census taken in 47 and 48 A. D. showed approximately six
million Romans, nearly a million more than in the time of Augustus.
Claudius also renewed the attempt of Julius Caesar to occupy the island of
Britain. In 43 A. D. his legates Aulus Plautius, Vespasian and Ostorius
Scapula subdued the island as far as the Thames, and in the following
years extended their conquests farther northward. The southern part of the
island became the province of Britain. In 46 A. D., Thrace was
incorporated as a province at the death of its client prince.

*Influence of freedmen.* During the rule of Claudius the real heads of the
administration were a group of able freedmen, Narcissus, Pallas, Polybius
and, later, Callistus. While it is true that they abused their power to
amass riches for themselves, they contributed a great deal to the
organization of the imperial bureaucracy. Their influence caused the
widespread employment of imperial freedmen in procuratorial positions.

*Agrippina the younger.* In 49 A. D. the plot of Messalina, the third wife
of Claudius, and her lover Gaius Silius, to depose the princeps in favor
of Silius, endangered the power of the trio Pallas, Narcissus and
Callistus. It was Narcissus who revealed the conspiracy to Claudius,
secured his order for the execution of Messalina, and saw that it was
carried into effect. But it was Pallas who induced the princeps to take as
his fourth wife his own niece Agrippina, whose ambitions were to prove his

*Death of Claudius.* By Messalina Claudius had a son Britannicus and a
daughter Octavia, but Agrippina determined to secure the succession for
Domitius, her son by her previous husband Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus. In
50 A. D., Domitius was adopted by Claudius as Nero Claudius Caesar. The
following year he received the _imperium_, and was thus openly designated
as the future princeps. In 53 A. D. Nero was married to Octavia and a year
later Claudius died, poisoned, as all believed, by Agrippina, who feared
that further delay would endanger her plans.

                          IV. NERO, 54–68 A. D.

*The quinquennium Neronis.* Agrippina had previously made sure of the
support of the praetorians, and so the appointment of Nero to the
principate transpired without opposition. The first five years of his rule
were noted as a period of excellent administration. During that time his
counsels were guided by the praetorian prefect, Afranius Burrus from
Narbonese Gaul, and by Lucius Annaeus Seneca, the famous writer and orator
from Spain, whom Agrippina had appointed as his tutor in 49 A. D.

*Fall of Agrippina.* This epoch is also characterized by the attempt of
Agrippina to act as regent for her son and retain the influence she had
acquired during the later years of the life of Claudius. But in this she
was opposed both by Nero himself and his able advisors. In 55 A. D. Nero
caused his adoptive brother Britannicus to be poisoned, through fear that
he might prove a rival. Finally, under the influence of his mistress,
Poppaea Sabina, the wife of Titus Salvius Otho, he had Agrippina murdered
(59 A. D.). Thereupon he divorced Octavia, who was later banished and put
to death, and married Poppaea.

*The government of Nero.* Freed from the fear of any rival influence,
Nero, now twenty-two years of age, took the reins of government into his
own hands. After the death of Burrus in 62, Seneca lost his influence over
the princeps, who took as his chief advisor the worthless praetorian
prefect, Tigellinus. The Senate, whose support he had courted in his
opposition to Agrippina, now found itself without any influence; and,
since his wanton extravagances emptied the treasury, Nero was forced to
resort to oppressive measures to satisfy his needs. The sole object of his
policy was the gratification of his capricious whims. In the conviction
that he was an artist of extraordinary genius, he hungered for the
applause of the successful performer, and in 65 A. D. publicly appeared in
the theatre as a singer and musician. Nothing could have more deeply
alienated the respect of the upper classes of Roman society. Eager to
duplicate his theatrical successes in the home of the Muses, in 66 A. D.
Nero visited Greece and exhibited his talent at the Olympian and Delphic

*The fire in Rome and the first persecution of the Christians, 64 A. D.*
In 64 A. D. a tremendous fire, which lasted for six continuous days and
broke out a second time, devastated the greater part of the city of Rome.
Subsequently, Nero was accused of having caused the fire, but there is
absolutely no proof of his guilt. However, he did seize the opportunity to
rebuild the damaged quarter on a new plan which did away with the
offensive slum districts, and to erect his famous “Golden House,” a
magnificent palace and park on the Esquiline. Popular opinion demanded
some scapegoat for the disaster, and Nero laid the blame upon the
Christians in Rome, possibly at the instigation of the Jews whose
community was divided by the spread of Christian doctrines. Many
Christians were condemned as incendiaries, and suffered painful and
ignominious deaths. This was the first persecution of the Christians.

*The Armenian problem, 51–67 A. D.* In 51 A. D. an able and ambitious
ruler, Vologases, came to the Parthian throne. He soon found a chance to
set his brother Tiridates on the throne of Armenia and was able to
maintain him there until the death of Claudius. However, at the accession
of Nero, Caius Domitius Corbulo was sent to Cappadocia to reassert the
Roman suzerainty over Armenia. At first Vologases abandoned Armenia, owing
to a revolt in Parthia, but in 58 A. D. Tiridates reappeared on the scene
and war broke out. In two campaigns Corbulo was able to occupy the country
and set up a Roman nominee as the Armenian king (60 A. D.). It was not
long before the latter was driven out by Vologases, who succeeded in
surrounding a Roman force under Caesennius Paetus, the new commander in
Cappadocia, and forcing him to purchase his safety by concluding an
agreement favorable to the Parthian (62 A. D.). The situation was saved by
Corbulo, then legate of Syria, who was finally entrusted with the sole
command of operations and forced Vologases to meet the Roman terms (63
A. D.). Tiridates retained the Armenian throne, but acknowledged the Roman
overlordship by coming to Rome to receive his crown from Nero’s hands.

*The revolt in Britain, 60 A. D.* Under Claudius the Romans had extended
their dominion in Britain as far north as the Humber, and westwards to
Cornwall and Wales. In 59 A. D. Suetonius Paulinus occupied the island of
Mona (Anglesea), the chief seat of the religion of the Druids. While he
was engaged in this undertaking a serious revolt broke out among the Iceni
and Trinovantes, who lived between the Wash and the Thames. It was caused
by the severity of the Roman administration and in particular the
ill-treatment of Boudicca, the queen of the Iceni, who headed the
insurrection, by Roman procurators. The Roman towns of Camulodunum
(Colchester), Verulamium (St. Alban’s), and Londinium (London) were
destroyed, and 70,000 Romans were said to have been massacred. A Roman
legion was defeated in battle and it was not until Paulinus returned and
united the scattered Roman forces that the insurgents were checked. The
Britons were decisively defeated and Boudicca committed suicide.

*The conspiracy of Piso, 65 A. D.* About 62 A. D. there began a long
series of treason trials in Rome occasioned partly by the desire to
confiscate the property of the accused and partly by the suspicion which
is the inevitable concomitant of tyranny. The resulting insecurity of the
senatorial order naturally produced a real attempt to overthrow the
princeps. A wide-reaching conspiracy, in which one of the praetorian
prefects was involved and which was headed by the senator Gaius Calpurnius
Piso, was discovered in 65 A. D. Among those who were executed for
complicity therein were the poet Lucan and his uncle Seneca. Other notable
victims of Nero’s vengeance were Thrasea Paetus and Borea Sonarus, the
Stoic senators, whose guilt was their silent but unmistakable disapproval
of his tyrannical acts. No man of prominence was safe; even the famous
general Corbulo was forced to commit suicide in 67 A. D.

*The rebellion of Vindex, 68 A. D.* Upon Nero’s return from Greece, a more
serious movement began in Gaul where Caius Julius Vindex, the legate of
the province of Lugdunensis, raised the standard of revolt and was
supported by the provincials who were suffering under the pressure of
taxation. Vindex was joined by Sulpicius Galba, governor of Hither Spain,
and other legates. The commander of Upper Germany, Verginius Rufus, who
remained true to Nero, defeated Vindex, but, the revolt spread to the
troops of Verginius himself and these hailed their commander as imperator.
He, however, refused the honor and gave the Senate the opportunity to name
the princeps. Nero’s fate was sealed by his own cowardice and the
treachery of the prefect Sabinus, who bought the support of the praetorian
guards for Galba. The Senate followed their lead, and Nero, who had fled
from Rome, had himself killed by a faithful freedman. With him ends the
Julio-Claudian dynasty.


*The power of the army.* The year 68–69 witnessed the accession of four
emperors, each the nominee of the soldiery. And, while up to this time the
praetorians had exercised the right of acclamation in the name of the army
as a whole, now the legions stationed on the various frontiers asserted
for themselves the same privilege. As Tacitus expresses it, the fatal
secret of the empire was discovered, namely, that the princeps could be
nominated elsewhere than in Rome. Although the principate may be said to
have been founded by the universal consent of the Roman world,
nevertheless, from its inception the power of the princeps had rested
directly upon his military command, and the civil war of 68–69 showed how
completely the professional army was master of the situation.

*Galba, 68 A. D.* Galba, who succeeded Nero, was a man of good family but
moderate attainments and soon showed himself unable to maintain his
authority. That he would have been held “fit to rule, had he not ruled,”
is the judgment of Tacitus. He had never been enthusiastically supported
by the Rhine legions nor the praetorians, and his severity in maintaining
discipline, added to his failure to pay the promised donative, completely
alienated the loyalty of the guards. At the news that the troops in Upper
and Lower Germany had declared for Aulus Vitellius, legate of the latter
province (1 Jan., 69), Galba sought to strengthen his position by adopting
as his son and destined successor, Lucius Calpurnius Piso, a young man of
high birth but no experience. By this step he offended Marcus Salvius
Otho, the onetime husband of Nero’s wife Poppaea Sabina, who had been one
of Galba’s staunch adherents and hoped to succeed him. Otho now won over
the disgruntled praetorian guards who slew Galba and Piso, and proclaimed
Otho Imperator.

*Otho, Jan.–April, 69.* The Senate acquiesced in their decision but not so
the legions of Vitellius which were already on the march to Italy. They
crossed the Alps without opposition but were checked by the forces of Otho
at Bedriacum, north of the Po. Without waiting for the arrival of
reinforcements from the Danubian army, Otho ordered an attack upon the
Vitellians at Cremona. His army was defeated and he took his own life.

*Vitellius, April–December, 69 A. D.* Thereupon Vitellius was recognized
as princeps by the Senate and his forces occupied Rome. Vitellius owed his
nomination to the energy of the legates Valens and Caecina, and, although
well-meaning and by no means tyrannical, showed himself lacking in energy
and force of character. He was unable to control the license of his
soldiery who plundered the Italian towns or his officers who enriched
themselves at the public expense, while he devoted himself to the
pleasures of the table.

Meanwhile the army of the East, which had recognized Galba, Otho and, at
first, Vitellius also, set up its own Imperator, Titus Flavius
Vespasianus, who as legate of Judaea was conducting a war against the
Jews. Vespasian himself proceeded to occupy Egypt and thus cut off the
grain supply of Rome while his ablest lieutenant, Mucianus, set out for
Italy. The Danubian legions, who had supported Otho, now declared
themselves for Vespasian and, led by Antonius Primus, marched at once upon
Italy. The fleet at Ravenna espoused Vespasian’s cause, and Caecina, who
led the Vitellians against Primus, contemplated treachery. His troops,
however, were loyal, but were defeated in a bloody night battle at Cremona
and the way lay open to Rome. Vitellius then opened negotiations and
offered to abdicate, but his soldiers would not let him and suppressed a
rising in Rome led by the brother of Vespasian. Thereupon the city was
stormed and sacked by the army of Primus. Vitellius himself was slain.

*Vespasian, December, 69 A. D.* Vespasian obtained his recognition as
princeps from the Senate and the troops in the West. He entered Rome early
in 70 A. D.

                   VI. VESPASIAN AND TITUS, 69–81 A. D.

*Caesar an imperial title.* Following the example of Galba, Vespasian on
his accession took the name of Caesar, which became from this time a
prerogative of the family of the princeps. The new princeps inherited from
his predecessors two serious wars, both national revolts against Roman
rule, the one in Gaul and Lower Germany, the other in Judaea.

*The revolt of the Batavi, 69 A. D.* The movement in Lower Germany was
headed by Julius Civilis, a Batavian chieftain, formerly an officer in the
Roman service, who won over the eight Batavian cohorts attached to the
Rhine army. At first he posed as a supporter of Vespasian against
Vitellius, but at the news of the former’s victory he renounced his
allegiance to Rome and called to his aid Germanic tribes from across the
Rhine. At the same time the Gallic Treveri and Lingones, the former led by
Julius Classicus and Julius Tutor, the latter by Julius Sabinus, rose in
rebellion and sought to establish an empire of the Gauls with its capital
at Trèves (Augusta Treverorum). They were joined by the Roman legions
stationed on the Rhine. However, the remaining peoples of Gaul refused to
join the revolt, preferring the Roman peace to a renewal of the old
intertribal struggles.

Upon the arrival of an adequate Roman force despatched by Vespasian the
mutinous legions returned to their duty, the Treveri and Lingones were
subdued, and Civilis forced to flee into Germany. The Batavi returned to
their former status of Roman allies under the obligation of furnishing
troops to the Roman armies (70 A. D.). But Rome had seen the danger of
stationing national corps under their native officers in their home
countries. Henceforth the auxiliaries were no longer organized on a
national basis and served in provinces other than those in which they were

*The Jewish War, 66–70 A. D.* From the year 6 A. D. Judaea had formed a
Roman procuratorial province except for its brief incorporation in the
principality of Agrippa I (41–44 A. D.). During this time the Jews had
occupied a privileged position among the Roman subjects, being exempted
from military service and the obligation of the imperial cult,
notwithstanding the design of Caligula to set up his image in the temple
at Jerusalem. These privileges were the source of constant friction
between the Jews and the Greco-Syrian inhabitants of the cities of
Palestine, which frequently necessitated the interference of Roman
officials. Another cause of unrest was the pressure of the Roman taxation,
which rendered agriculture unprofitable and drove many persons from the
plains to the mountains to find a livelihood through brigandage. But a
more deeply-seated cause of animosity to Roman rule lay in the fact that
the Jewish people were a religious community and that for them national
loyalty was identical with religious fanaticism. The chief Jewish sects
were those of the Sadducees and the Pharisees, of whom the former composed
the aristocracy and the latter the democracy. The Sadducees were supported
by the Romans and monopolized the offices of the religious community,
whereas the Pharisees courted the support of the masses by a policy of
hostility to Rome and religious intolerance. It is improbable that the
Pharisees actually sought to bring about a revolt but they kindled a fire
which they could not control and strengthened the development of a party
of direct action, the Zealots, who aimed to liberate Judaea from the Roman
force, trusting in the support of Jehovah. By 66 A. D. all Judaea was in a
ferment and it required but little incitement to produce a national

*Massacres in Caesarea and Jerusalem, 66 A. D.* Such a provocation was
afforded by the decision of the Roman government that Jews were not
entitled to citizenship in Caesarea, the Roman capital of Judaea, and by a
massacre of the Jews by the Greeks in a riot which followed. However, at
the same time in Jerusalem the Zealots had overpowered the Roman garrison
of one cohort, and massacred both the Romans and their Jewish supporters.
At the news, further massacres took place in the towns of Syria and Egypt,
the Jews suffering wherever they were in a minority but avenging their
countrymen where they got the upper hand. The Romans awoke to the
seriousness of the situation when the legate of Syria, Cestius Gallus, who
had marched on Jerusalem, was forced to beat an ignominious retreat.

*Vespasian in command, 67 A. D.* In 67 A. D. Vespasian was appointed to
the command of an army of 50,000 assembled for the reconquest of Judaea.
In this and the following year he reduced the open country and isolated
fortresses, and was ready to begin the blockade of Jerusalem, where the
majority of the Jews had fled for refuge. However, Vespasian’s elevation
to the principate caused a suspension of hostilities for ten months,
during which factional strife raged fiercely within the city.

*Siege of Jerusalem, 70 A. D.* The conclusion of the war Vespasian
entrusted to his eldest son Titus, who at once began the siege of
Jerusalem (70 A. D.). The city had a double line of fortifications, and
within the inner wall were two natural citadels, the temple and the old
city of Mount Zion. The population, augmented by great numbers of
refugees, suffered terribly from hunger but resisted with the fury of
despair. The outer and inner walls were stormed, and then the Romans
forced their way into the temple which was destroyed by fire. Mount Zion
defied assault but was starved into submission. Jerusalem was destroyed,
and Judaea became a province under an imperial legate. The political
community of the Jews was dissolved and they were subjugated to a yearly
head-tax of two denarii (40 cents) each, payable to the temple of Jupiter
Capitolinus, in consideration of which they enjoyed their previous
immunities. The victory of Titus was commemorated by the arch which still
stands near the Roman forum.

*The frontiers.* The disorders of the recent wars rendered it necessary
for Vespasian to reorganize many branches of the administration, a task
which won for him the name of the second founder of the principate. The
security of the frontiers received his particular attention. In Germany he
annexed the territory between the Rhine above its junction with the Main
and the upper Danube, henceforth known as the Agri Decumates from the
tithe (_decuma_) paid as rental by colonists who settled there. Further
east on the Danube two strong legionary camps were constructed at
Carnuntum and Vindobona (Vienna). The Euphrates frontier was strengthened
by the establishment of Roman garrisons at Melitene and Satala on the
Upper Euphrates, and by annexing to the Syrian province the kingdom of
Commagene, which Gaius had restored to its native dynasty. Other client
principalities met a like fate. Among the soldiery discipline was restored
by disbanding four of the mutinous Rhine legions and replacing them with
new units. The praetorian guard, dissolved by Vitellius, was reconstituted
out of Italian cohorts following the precedent set by Augustus.

*The finances.* The most serious problem was that of the finances, for the
extravagance of the preceding emperors had left the government in a state
of bankruptcy and the provinces financially exhausted. Vespasian estimated
that the sum of $2,000,000,000 was required to make the necessary outlays.
To obtain this amount it was necessary to impose new taxes and avoid all
needless expenditures. Yet he not only succeeded in making the state
solvent but was able to carry out extensive building operations in Italy
and in the provinces. In Rome the Capitoline Temple which had been burned
in the fighting with the Vitellians was rebuilt, a temple of Peace was
erected on the forum, and the huge Colosseum arose on the site of one of
the lakes of Nero’s Golden House. Vespasian also granted state support to
the teachers of Greek and Roman oratory in Rome.

In 74 A. D. Vespasian assumed the censorship and took a census of the
empire in addition to filling the ranks of the Senate which had been
depleted by the late civil wars. He was generous in his grants of
citizenship to provincials, and bestowed the Latin right on all the
non-Roman communities of Spain, as a preliminary step to their complete

*Vespasian and the senate.* Vespasian was the first princeps who was not
of the Roman nobility. He was a native of the Italian municipality of
Reate and his family was only of equestrian rank. He was furthermore an
eminently practical man who made no attempt to disguise the fact that he
was the real master in the state. Significant in this respect was his
revival of the _praenomen_ imperator, which had been neglected by the
successors of Augustus. He treated the Senate with respect, and recognized
its judicial authority, but excluded it from all effective share in the
government. A senatorial decree and a law of the _comitia_ conferred upon
Vespasian the powers of the principate, yet he dated the beginning of his
reign from the day of his salutation as Imperator by his army. All these
things, combined with his refusal to punish the informers of Nero’s reign,
earned him the ill-will of the senators. Some of them proceeded to open
criticism of the princeps and a futile advocacy of republicanism in the
form of a cult of Brutus and Cato the Younger. The leader of this group
was Helvidius Priscus, son-in-law of Paetus Thrasea, whom Nero had put to
death, and like him a Stoic. Although not very dangerous, such opposition
could not be ignored and Priscus was banished. He was later executed,
probably for conspiracy. In all probability it was the antimonarchical
tendency of contemporary Stoic teachings that induced Vespasian to banish
philosophers from Rome.

*The praetorian prefecture.* To forestall any disloyalty in the praetorian
guard, Vespasian made his son Titus praetorian prefect. Titus also
received the _imperium_ and _tribunicia potestas_, and when Vespasian died
in 79 A. D. succeeded to the principate.

*Titus, 79–81 A. D.* His rule lasted little over two years, and is chiefly
remarkable for two great disasters. In 79 A. D. an eruption of the volcano
of Vesuvius buried the cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabii in
Campania. Beneath the heavy deposit of volcanic ashes the buildings of
these towns have been preserved from disintegration, and the excavation of
the site of Pompeii has revealed with wonderful freshness the life of an
Italian municipality under the principate. The following year Rome was
devastated by a fire which raged for three days and destroyed Vespasian’s
new temple of Capitoline Jupiter. In September, 81 A. D., Titus died,
deeply mourned by the whole Roman world.

                        VII. DOMITIAN, 81–96 A. D.

*Character and policy.* Titus was followed by his younger brother
Domitian, whom, on account of his ambition, neither Vespasian nor Titus
had permitted to share in the government. Domitian was a thorough autocrat
and his administration was characterized by great vigor and capacity. Far
from being a mere tyrant, he paid great attention to the welfare of the
provinces and exercised a strict supervision over his officers. He also
displayed a real interest in literature and replaced the libraries
destroyed in the fire of 80 A. D.

His autocratic policy is clearly seen in his assumption of the censorship
as perpetual censor in 84 A. D., whereby he acquired complete control over
the composition of the Senate, a power which, without the title, was
henceforth one of the prerogatives of the princeps. Even more emphatically
does his absolutism come to light in the title _dominus__ et deus_ (Lord
and God), which he required from the officers of his household, and by
which he was generally designated, although he did not employ it himself
in official documents. For the cult of the deified emperors Domitian
erected a special temple in Rome, and he also established a priestly
college of Flaviales, modelled on the Augustales of Rome, to perpetuate
the worship of his deified father and brother.

*Frontier policy: Britain.* The desire for military successes as a support
for his absolutism led Domitian to adopt an aggressive frontier policy. In
Britain, Julius Agricola, legate from 77 to 84 A. D., led the Roman
legions north of the Clyde and Firth of Forth and defeated the united
Caledonians under their chief Galgacus (84 A. D.). He also sent his fleet
around the north of Scotland and proved that Great Britain was an island.
But his projects, which included an invasion of Ireland, seemed too costly
to Domitian who recalled him, possibly in view of the military situation
on the continent. The conquest of Scotland was not completed and the Roman
authority was confined to the territory south of the Tyne.

*Germany.* In 83 A. D. Domitian led an army across the Rhine from Mainz
and annexed the district of Wetterau, where the lowlands were already in
Roman hands although the hills were still occupied by the hostile Chatti.
A chain of forts was built to protect the conquered region. In the winter
of 88–89 A. D. the legate of Upper Germany, Antonius Saturninus, was
hailed as Imperator by the two legions stationed at Mainz. Aid was
expected by the mutineers from the German tribes, but this failed to
materialize and the movement was suppressed by loyal troops, possibly from
the lower province. In consequence of this mutiny Domitian adopted the
policy of not quartering more than one legion in any permanent camp. At
the same time he separated the financial administration of the German
provinces from that of Gallia Belgica.

*The lower Danube.* More powerful neighbors faced the Romans along the
middle and lower Danube, and in dealing with these the policy of Domitian
was less successful. These people were the Germanic tribes of the
Marcomanni and Quadi in Bohemia, the Sarmatian Iazyges between the Danube
and the Theiss, and the Dacians, who occupied the greater portion of
modern Hungary and Roumania. The most powerful of all were the Dacians,
among whom a king named Decebalus had built up a strong state. In 85 A. D.
they crossed the Danube into Moesia, where they defeated and killed the
Roman governor. Thereupon Domitian himself took command and drove the
Dacians back across the river. But the pretorian prefect Cornelius Fuscus
in attempting to invade Dacia suffered a disastrous defeat in which he and
most of his army perished. His successor Tettius Julianus was more
successful. However, a complete victory was prevented by Domitian, who
rashly invaded the territory of the Marcomanni and Iazyges, and was
defeated by them. He thereupon made peace with Decebalus, who gave up his
prisoners of war and acknowledged the formal overlordship of Rome, but
received an annual subsidy from Domitian in addition to the services of
Roman military engineers (89 A. D.). Although Domitian celebrated a
triumph for his exploits, his victory was by no means certain and his
settlement was only temporary. In the course of the Dacian war Moesia was
divided into two provinces.

*Conflict with the Senate.* Feeling that the army was the surest support
of his power, Domitian sought to secure its fidelity by increasing the pay
of the soldiers by one third. This new expense, added to the outlays
necessitated by his wars, the construction of public works, like the
restoration of the Capitoline Temple, and the celebration of public
festivals, forced him to augment the taxes and this produced discontent in
the provinces. In Rome, particularly after the revolt of Saturninus, his
relations with the Senate became more and more strained. Many prominent
senators were executed on charges of treason; the teachers of philosophy
were again banished from Italy; and notable converts to Judaism or
Christianity were prosecuted, the latter on the ground of atheism. The
general feeling of insecurity produced the inevitable result; a plot in
which the praetorian prefects and his wife Domitia were concerned was
formed against his life; he was assassinated, 18 September, 96 A. D. His
memory was cursed by the Senate and his name erased from public monuments.
It was the oppression of the last years of Domitian’s rule that so
strongly biased the attitude of Tacitus towards the principate and its

                              CHAPTER XVIII

                  FROM NERVA TO DIOCLETIAN: 96–285 A. D.

                    I. NERVA AND TRAJAN, 96–117 A. D.

*Nerva and the Senate.* Before assassinating Domitian, the conspirators
had secured a successor who would be supported by the Senate and not prove
inacceptable to the pretorians. Their choice was the elderly senator
Marcus Cocceius Nerva, one of a family distinguished for its juristic
attainments. He took an oath never to put a senator to death, recalled the
philosophers and political exiles, and permitted the prosecution of
informers. But he was lacking in force and did not feel his position
sufficiently secure to refuse the demands of the praetorian guard for
vengeance upon the murderers of Domitian. Therefore to strengthen his
authority he adopted a tried soldier, Marcus Ulpius Traianus, the legate
of Upper Germany. Trajan received the tribunician authority and
proconsular _imperium_ (97 A. D.).

*The alimenta.* Nerva’s administration benefitted Italy in particular. Not
only were the taxes and other obligations of the Italians lessened, but
the so-called alimentary system was devised in the interests of poor
farmers and the children of poor parents. Under this system of state
charity, sums of money were lent to poor landholders at low rates of
interest on the security of their land. The interest from these loans was
paid over to their respective municipalities and expended by them in
supporting the pauper children. The scheme was perfected and extended by
the succeeding princes.

*An era of internal peace.* With Nerva begins a period in the history of
the principate that is characterized by amicable relations between the
princeps and the Senate. The basis of this concord was the agreement by
the successive emperors to acknowledge the freedom of senators from the
imperial jurisdiction. There was no longer any question of an active
participation by the Senate as a whole in the administration, nevertheless
it continued to exercise its influence through the official posts reserved
for senators. In addition to the establishment of these harmonious
relations, the peaceful succession of a number of able rulers who were
designated by adoption and association in the powers of the principate has
caused this epoch to be regarded as one of the happiest periods of Roman

Nerva died in January, 98 A. D., after a rule of less than two years, and
was succeeded by Trajan, who assumed office at Cologne.

*Trajan’s character and policy.* Trajan was a native of the Roman colony
of Italica in Spain, and the first provincial to attain the principate.
His accession is evidence not only for the degree of romanization in the
Spanish provinces but also for the decline of the dominance of the
strictly Italian element within the empire and the transformation of the
Italian into an imperial nobility of wealth and office. The new princeps
was above all things a soldier, and the desire for military glory was his
chief weakness. At the same time he was an energetic and conscientious
administrator, and showed a personal interest in the welfare of Italy and
the provinces, as we see from his correspondence with the younger Pliny,
governor of Bithynia in 111–113 A. D. He respected the rights of the
Senate and repeated Nerva’s oath not to condemn one of that body to death.

*The **conquest** of Dacia, 101–106 A. D.* In the third year of his rule
Trajan undertook the conquest of Dacia, for Domitian’s agreement with
Decebalus was regarded as a disgrace and the existence of a strong Dacian
kingdom was a perpetual menace to the Danubian frontier. Decebalus was
still king of the Dacians and proved himself a valiant opponent, but in
two well-conducted campaigns (101–102 A. D.) Trajan forced him to sue for
peace. He was obliged to give up his engines of war with the Roman
engineers whom he had received from Domitian, to acknowledge Roman
overlordship and render military service to Rome. Trajan built a permanent
stone bridge across the Danube below the Iron Gates to secure
communication with the northern bank, and returned to Rome to celebrate
his victory with a triumph. But Decebalus was not content to remain as a
Roman vassal and made preparations to recover his people’s independence.
In 105 A. D. he opened hostilities by an invasion of Moesia. However,
Trajan hurried to the scene, secured the support of the neighboring
tribes, and in the following year entered Dacia. His victory was complete,
the capital of Decebalus was captured, the king took his own life, and
such of the Dacians as did not abandon their country were hunted down and
exterminated. Dacia was made a Roman province, and was peopled with
settlers from various parts of the empire, particularly from Asia Minor.
The new province was of importance both on account of its gold mines and
its position as a bulwark defending the provinces to the south of the
Danube. To commemorate his Dacian wars, Trajan erected a stone column, one
hundred feet high, in the new forum which bore his name. The column, which
is still in place, is adorned with a spiral band of sculptured reliefs
that vividly trace the course of the military operations.

On other frontiers also Trajan strengthened or extended the boundaries of
the empire. In 106 he annexed the kingdom of the Nabataean Arabs to the
east of Palestine and Syria. From this was formed the province of Arabia.
In Africa also the Romans occupied new territory, and secured it against
Berber raids by creating new fortresses at Lambaesis and Timgad.

*The Parthian war, 114–116 A. D.* The peaceful relations which had existed
between Rome and Parthia since the time of Nero were broken in 114 A. D.
when the Parthian king Chosroes drove out the Armenian ruler, who had
received his crown from Trajan’s hands, and set his own son Parthamasiris
in his stead. Trajan at once repaired to the East and concentrated an army
for the invasion of Armenia. Parthamasiris offered to acknowledge the
Roman suzerainty over Armenia, but Trajan determined to effect a definite
settlement of the eastern frontier by the permanent occupation of Armenia
and, for strategic reasons, of Mesopotamia also. In 114 he effected an
easy conquest of Armenia, and in the next year annexed Upper Mesopotamia.
He now resolved to complete his success by the overthrow of the Parthian
kingdom. Accordingly, in 116 A. D., he overran Assyria and made it a
province, and then pressed on to the Persian gulf, capturing Seleucia,
Babylon and the Parthian capital Ctesiphon on his way. From dreams of
further conquests Trajan was recalled by a serious revolt in Mesopotamia
which was only subdued with great effort, and in 117 A. D. Chosroes was
able to reoccupy his capital. At the same time the eastern provinces were
disturbed by a rising of the Jews, which began in Cyrene in 115 A. D. and
spread to Cyprus, Egypt and Mesopotamia. Horrible massacres were
perpetrated both by the Jews and their enemies, and large numbers of
troops had to be employed before order was restored.

News of revolts in Africa and Britain, and of troubles on the Danubian
border, led Trajan to set out for Rome. On the way he fell ill and died at
Selinus in Cilicia on 8 August, 117 A. D.

                        II. HADRIAN, 117–138 A. D.

*Hadrian princeps.* Trajan left no male heir and had associated no one
with himself in the _imperium_ or tribunician power. However, on his
deathbed he adopted his cousin and one-time ward, Publius Aelius
Hadrianus, also a native of Italica. Hadrian was married to Sabina, a
grand-daughter of Trajan’s sister Marciana. He had had a distinguished
military career and in 117 A. D. was commander of the army in Syria. At
the news of his adoption his troops saluted him as Imperator and his
nomination was confirmed by the Senate. The only opposition came from some
of the ablest of Trajan’s officers, notably Lusius Quietus, who soon
plotted against his life. But their conspiracy was detected and the Senate
condemned to death the four leaders in the plot.

*Hellenism.* Hadrian was a man of restless energy and extraordinary
versatility. He had a keen appreciation of all forms of art and
literature, and a great admiration for Hellenism; an admiration which
probably arose from a realization of the fact that the culture of the
Roman empire was in its foundations Hellenic, but which caused him to be
scornfully dubbed a “Greekling” by the Roman aristocracy.

*General character of Hadrian’s government.* In public life he displayed
the greatest devotion to duty, in the belief that “the ruler exists for
the state, not the state for the ruler,” and there was no branch of the
public administration that was not affected by his zeal. Two extended
tours, one in 121–126 and the other in 129–132 A. D., made him acquainted
with conditions in the provinces and enabled him to take measures to
promote their welfare. The Senate he treated with all outward marks of
respect, taking the oath to respect the lives of its members, but at the
same time he regarded it as a negligible factor in the government.

*Military policy.* Realizing that Trajan’s policy of imperial expansion
had overtaxed the economic resources of the empire, he began his rule by
abandoning the new provinces of Mesopotamia and Assyria, and reverting to
the previous Roman policy in Armenia, where a Parthian prince acknowledged
his overlordship. He devoted his energies to strengthening the system of
frontier defences and raising the standards of discipline and efficiency
among the soldiers. Aside from the suppression of the revolts which had
broken out in the last years of Trajan’s rule, his most serious military
undertaking was the quelling of a new rising of the Jews in Palestine,
which followed the foundation of a Roman colony on the site of Jerusalem.
Only after a two years’ struggle (132–134 A. D.) was the rebellion

*Judicial and administrative reforms.* To aid him in the administration of
justice, Hadrian formed a permanent council of eminent jurists. He, too,
was responsible for codifying and editing in a final form the praetor’s
edict, upon which was based the procedure of the Roman civil law. This
task was carried out by the jurist Salvius Julianus. With the object of
relieving the city courts of an excessive burden of judicial business,
Hadrian divided Italy into four districts, and appointed an official of
consular rank to administer justice in each. This was a further step in
removing Italy from the control of the Senate and approximating its status
to that of a province. Hadrian’s administrative reforms were the result of
the steady increase in the sphere of public business carried on by the
officers of the princeps, and furthered the development of a centralized
bureaucracy. By creating new offices—among them the post of advocate of
the fiscus (_advocatus fisci_) as an alternative for the subaltern
military offices—he greatly increased the importance of the equestrian
career and the influence of the _equites_ in the government. In the three
departments of the military, civil and judicial administration the
principate of Hadrian marks a distinct epoch.

*Building activity.* Everywhere throughout the empire Hadrian built and
repaired with the greatest zeal; but particularly in Rome and Athens. In
Rome, among other structures, he built the great double temple of Venus
and Roma and his own mausoleum, the present Castel Sant’ Angelo. At Athens
he completed the great temple of Olympian Zeus, begun by Pisistratus in
the sixth century B. C., and added a new quarter to the city.

*The choice of a successor.* In 136 A. D., Hadrian fell seriously ill and,
having no children, adopted Lucius Ceionius Commodus under the name of
Lucius Aelius Caesar, and clothed him with the tribunician authority.
Hadrian himself withdrew from Rome to his splendid villa at Tibur.
However, Aelius died at the beginning of 138 A. D., and thereupon the
princeps adopted an elderly senator named Titus Aurelius Antoninus, who in
turn adopted the son of the deceased Aelius and his own nephew, Marcus
Annius Verus. Antoninus received the _imperium_ and tribunician power and
became the partner of Hadrian in the principate. After a long and painful
illness the latter died in July, 138 A. D. His later years were clouded by
ill health which rendered him moody and suspicious, and probably led to
the execution of his brother-in-law and the latter’s grandson on a charge
of conspiracy. He had never been popular with the Senate and this step
widened the breach between them. Only the energetic action of his
successor prevented the execration of his memory and secured his

                    III. THE ANTONINES, 138–192 A. D.

*Antoninus Pius, 138–161 A. D.* Antoninus, who received the name of Pius
in the first year of his rule, was the personification of ancient Roman
piety, i. e. the dutiful performance of obligations in public and private
life. His mildness and uprightness enabled him to act in perfect harmony
with the senators, and as a concession to them he removed the four
_consulares juridici_ whom Hadrian had appointed in Italy.

*His public policy.* Antoninus adhered to Hadrian’s peaceful foreign
policy, but had to wage several border wars and suppress some
insurrections in the provinces. In Britain a line of fortifications was
constructed from the Firth of Forth to the Clyde. Antoninus laid great
emphasis upon an upright administration of justice. At this time, too, the
Roman law was greatly enriched through the introduction of principles of
equity and began to receive at the hands of the jurists the systematic
form by which it was later characterized. In 147 A. D. he conferred the
title of Caesar upon the elder of his adopted sons, Marcus Aurelius, whom
he had previously married to his daughter, and took him as an associate in
the government. Upon the death of Antoninus in March, 161 A. D., Aurelius
succeeded to the principate.

*The dual principate—Marcus Aurelius, 161–180 A. D., and Lucius Verus,
161–169.* Marcus Aurelius at once took as associate in the principate his
adoptive brother, Lucius Verus, and for the first time two Augusti shared
the _imperium_. But the real power rested in the hands of Aurelius, for
Verus was a weak character, indolent and sensual. Although he did not take
the oath not to put a senator to death, and restored the _consulares
iuridici_ removed by Antoninus, the elder Augustus respected the Senate
and remained on good terms with it. Marcus Aurelius was by nature a
student and philosopher, a devoted follower of the Stoic rule of life; his
_Meditations_ bear testimony to the true nobility of his character. Such
was the princeps who was fated to spend his remaining years in an
unceasing struggle against the enemies of the state and, true to his
principles, he obeyed the call of duty and devoted himself unsparingly to
the public service.

*Parthian war: 161–65 A. D.* Even before the death of Antoninus, Vologases
III of Parthia had begun hostilities and had overrun Armenia. The Roman
legate of Cappadocia was defeated and the Parthians broke into Syria,
where they won another victory. The situation was critical. Aurelius sent
his colleague Verus to the scene, and although the latter displayed
neither energy nor capacity, his able generals restored the fortunes of
the Roman arms. In 163 Statius Priscus reëstablished Roman authority over
Armenia and placed a Roman vassal on the throne. In 164–65, Avidius
Cassius invaded Mesopotamia and took the Parthian capitals Seleucia and
Ctesiphon. Yet, on the march back, he suffered considerable losses from
hunger and disease, and a peace was made with Parthia which gave the
Romans territory in upper Mesopotamia to the east of the Euphrates (166
A. D.). But the returning troops brought with them a plague which ravaged
the whole empire and caused widespread depopulation.

*Wars with the Marcomanni, Quadi and Iazyges: 167–175 A. D.* In the
meantime a dangerous situation had arisen on the Danubian frontier, where,
probably in consequence of the pressure of migratory peoples, the
Marcomanni, Quadi and the Sarmatian Iazyges united in an attempt to force
their way into the Roman provinces. The army of the Danube had been
weakened to reinforce the Syrian troops in the Parthian war and this
enabled the barbarians to penetrate the frontier defences and ravage
Noricum and Pannonia as far as Aquileia at the head of the Adriatic. The
two Augusti proceeded to the scene of war, and after a protracted struggle
in which Dacia suffered from a hostile invasion, the enemy were forced to
make peace. The Marcomanni submitted in 172, and the Quadi and Sarmatians
in 175 A. D. They were forced to surrender the prisoners carried off from
the Roman provinces, over 160,000 in number, and to furnish military aid
to Rome, while large numbers of them were settled on waste lands south of
the Danube under the obligation of tilling the soil and rendering military
service. The Roman victory was commemorated by the erection of a column at
Rome with sculptures picturing incidents of the war, in imitation of
Trajan’s memorial. In addition to the prosecution of this war, the
strength of the empire had been taxed by serious outbreaks in Mauretania,
Gaul and Egypt.

*Revolt of Avidius Cassius, 175 A. D.* The complete subjugation of the
northern foe was hindered by the revolt of Avidius Cassius, the general
who had distinguished himself in the Parthian war and had suppressed the
revolt in Egypt. Verus, the colleague of Aurelius, had died in 169, and at
a rumor of the death of Aurelius himself in 175 A. D., Cassius proclaimed
himself Imperator in Syria. Thereupon Aurelius hastened to conclude peace
with the Sarmatians and proceeded to the East. Upon his arrival he found
that Cassius had been killed by his own soldiers. Soon afterwards
Commodus, the son of Aurelius, received the title Augustus and became
co-ruler with his father (177 A. D.).

*Second war with the Marcomanni and Quadi, 177–180 A. D.* In 177 A. D. war
broke out anew with the Quadi and Marcomanni. Aurelius again took command
on the Danube and after two years’ fighting had won so complete a victory
that he contemplated the annexation of the region occupied by these
peoples. But for a second time he was robbed of the fruits of his toil, on
this occasion by the hand of death, 17 March, 180 A. D. The principate
passed to his son and colleague, Commodus.

*Lucius Aurelius Commodus, **sole princeps**, 180–192 A. D.* Lucius
Aurelius Commodus, the ignoble son of a noble father, is one of the few in
the long line of Roman rulers of whom nothing good can be said. Cowardly,
cruel and sensual, he gave himself up to a life of pleasure and left the
conduct of the government in the hands of a succession of favorites, who
used their power to further their own interests. He abandoned the war with
the Marcomanni and Quadi without carrying out his father’s plans and
granted them peace on lenient terms so that he might return to the
enjoyments of the capital. His chief ambition was to win fame as a
gladiator. He frequently appeared in the arena, and finally determined to
assume the consulate on 1 January, 193 A. D. in a gladiator’s costume.
However, on the preceding night he was assassinated at the instigation of
the pretorian prefect, Quintus Aemilius Laetus.

             IV. THE SECOND WAR OF THE LEGIONS, 193–197 A. D.

*Pertinax: January–March, 193 A. D.* The new princeps (Publius Helvius
Pertinax, a senator of low birth but proved military capacity) was the
nominee of Laetus. However, his strictness in enforcing discipline among
the troops and his economies, necessitated by the exhausted condition of
the public finances, soon alienated the goodwill of the praetorians and
Laetus himself. After less than three months’ rule he was killed in a
mutiny of the pretorian guard (March, 193 A. D.).

*Didius Julianus.* Their choice for a successor was an old and wealthy
senator, Didius Julianus, who purchased his nomination by the promise of a
high donative. But his rule was destined to be short for, as in 68 A. D.,
the armies on the frontiers asserted their claim to appoint the princeps.

*The **rivals**: Severus, Niger and Albinus.* Almost simultaneously three
commanders were saluted as Imperator by their soldiers. These were
Pescennius Niger in Syria, Clodius Albinus in Britain, and Septimius
Severus in Upper Pannonia. With their nominations a second war of the
legions began. Severus had the advantage of position and immediately
marched on Rome as the avenger of Pertinax. He also was able to arrange a
truce with Albinus by promising to recognize him as his successor with the
title of Caesar. The praetorians offered no resistance to the Danubian
army; Julianus was deposed by the Senate and put to death (June, 193
A. D.); and the Senate ratified the nomination of Severus.

*Defeat of Niger and Albinus.* But the position of Severus was not yet
secure, for Niger had been recognized in the eastern provinces and also
had a strong following in Rome. He was preparing to march upon Italy and
had already occupied Byzantium. Severus at once set out to anticipate his
attack. After investing Byzantium he crossed over to Asia Minor and
defeated the forces of his rival near Cyzicus and Nicaea, forcing them to
withdraw south of the Taurus mountains. The Cilician Gates were forced and
Niger decisively beaten in a battle at Issus (194 A. D.). He tried to
escape into Parthia but was overtaken and killed. Severus advanced across
the Euphrates to punish the Parthian king for his support of Niger. He
occupied northern Mesopotamia, and made Nisibis a Roman colony and
frontier fortress (196 A. D.). In the same year Byzantium was taken, its
fortifications destroyed, and its inhabitants deprived of the right of
municipal organization. Severus had brought his Parthian campaign to a
hasty conclusion, for in the West Clodius Albinus, feeling his position
insecure, had assumed the title of Augustus and occupied Gaul. Severus now
elevated his eldest son Bassianus, better known as Caracalla, to the
position of Caesar with the additional title of _imperator designatus_,
and set out to meet the usurper. In a great battle at Lugdunum, in which
150,000 men are said to have fought on either side, the army of Severus
was victorious and Albinus fell by his own hand (197 A. D.). Many of his
adherents, including numerous senators, were put to death.

               V. THE DYNASTY OF THE SEVERI, 197–235 A. D.

*The Parthian war of 197–199 A. D.* Severus was now unchallenged ruler of
the empire. Shortly after the defeat of Albinus, he returned to the East
and resumed hostilities against the Parthians, whose king, Vologases IV,
had taken advantage of his absence to invade Armenia and Mesopotamia and
was besieging Nisibis. Severus relieved the beleaguered town and pressed
on into the enemy’s territory, where he sacked the two Parthian capitals,
Seleucia and Ctesiphon, in 198 A. D. By a peace arranged in the next year
northern Mesopotamia was ceded to Rome and was organized as a province
under a governor of equestrian rank.

*A **military monarchy**.* Septimius Severus was a native of Leptis in
Africa. He came from an equestrian family and had begun his official
career as an advocate of the _fiscus_. To secure the prestige of noble
lineage he caused himself to be proclaimed as the adopted son of Marcus
Aurelius, and took the latter’s family name of Antoninus for himself and
his house. His rule was frankly autocratic in character and he made no
attempt to disguise the fact that his authority rested upon the support of
the soldiery. Light is thrown upon Severus’ policy in general by the
significant fact that under him Rome, which he adorned with magnificent
structures, received the title _sacra_ (sacred), a term regularly used to
designate things under the control of the princeps. The activity of the
Senate was limited to registering its approval of his measures, and
equestrians were appointed to military posts hitherto filled only by
senators. The special privileges which Italy and the Italians had
continued to enjoy were equally disregarded. The title proconsul, which
Trajan and his successors had used in the provinces, was now employed by
Severus in Italy. In 193 he disbanded the old praetorian guard, which had
been recruited from Italy and the more thoroughly latinized provinces, and
organized a new corps of picked troops drawn from the legions in general,
but especially those of the Danubian army. Severus enrolled three new
legions for the Parthian war and placed them under the command of
equestrian prefects instead of senatorial legates. Two of these legions
were stationed in Mesopotamia, but the third was quartered at the Alban
Mount in Latium. This step had the effect of reducing Italy to the status
of a garrisoned province, but it was probably taken with the view of
providing a larger reserve force to supplement the frontier garrisons.
Severus also was the author of many reforms which improved the conditions
or increased the rewards of military service. The pay of the troops was
raised, the legionaries were allowed to contract a legal marriage when in
service, and the equestrian career was opened to veteran centurians.
However, there seems to be no proof that Severus deliberately fostered the
barbarization of the army by the exclusion of Italian centurians, or that
he ruined the discipline of the soldiers by permitting the married
legionaries to reside outside of barracks. To rescue the government from
the state of insolvency into which it had been brought by his
predecessors, Severus stood in need of a large sum of money. This he
secured by confiscating the estates of the adherents of Niger and Albinus.

Of signal importance was the increase in the power of the praetorian
prefecture at this time. This office was for a number of years held by a
single prefect, Publius Fulvius Plautianus, whose daughter was married to
the eldest son of Severus. However, his great power proved his undoing,
and in 205 A. D. he was executed on a charge of treason made by his own
son-in-law. At his death two prefects were again appointed, one of whom
was Papinian, the greatest of all Roman jurists. His appointment seems to
indicate a division between the military and the civil functions of the
prefecture. For from this time the prefect exercised supreme jurisdiction
over criminal cases in Italy beyond the hundredth milestone from the city,
and in the matter of appeals from the judgments of provincial governors.
In the absence of the princeps he also presided over the imperial judicial
council. Following Papinian other eminent jurists filled this office.
Furthermore, the supervision of the transportation of grain to Rome was
transferred from the prefect of the grain supply to the praetorian
prefect, and the former officer merely supervised its distribution within
the city.

*War in Britain, 208–211 A. D.* Like Hadrian, Severus paid great attention
to strengthening the frontier defences of the empire, particularly the
fortifications which linked the Rhine and the Danube. In 208 A. D. when
Britain was invaded by the Caledonians, he took the field, accompanied by
his two sons. He reinforced Hadrian’s earthen wall between the Tyne and
the Solway by a wall of stone, and carried on guerilla warfare against the
tribes of the northern part of the island. However, they had not been
completely pacified when he died at York in February, 211 A. D., leaving
the principate to his sons, Caracalla and Geta, both of whom had
previously received the title of Augustus.

*Caracalla, 211–217 A. D.* The bitter enmity which had long existed
between the two brothers continued during a year of joint rule, and
divided the empire into rival factions. Then Caracalla, who had previously
sought to make himself sole ruler, succeeded in having Geta assassinated.
Many of the latter’s friends, among them the prefect Papinian, were
executed. Caracalla was cruel and vicious, and displayed no capacity for
governing. He relied solely upon the goodwill of the soldiery and courted
their support by increased pay and lavish donatives. In 212 A. D., by the
famous Antonian Constitution (_constitutio Antoniniana_) he extended Roman
citizenship to all the provincials of the empire, except those who were in
a condition of vassalage, such as some of the barbarian peoples who had
been settled on waste lands within the Roman borders, and not citizens of
organized municipalities (_dediticii_). This act was the logical
culmination of the policy of his predecessors who had granted citizenship
to many provincial municipalities and had sanctioned its automatic
extension to soldiers of the legions and auxiliary corps. Perhaps
Caracalla’s chief motive was to supply a fresh source of income for the
treasury, which was sadly depleted by his extravagances, for he greatly
increased the number of those liable to the five per cent inheritance tax
which fell only upon Roman citizens. A second motive may well have been
the desire to secure a uniformity of legal status and of municipal
organization throughout the empire.

*Germanic and Parthian wars.* In 213 A. D. an attack of a confederacy of
German tribes, the Alamanni, upon the Raetian frontier was successfully
repelled, and in the next year Caracalla set out for the East, where he
planned to conduct a Parthian war in imitation of the conquests of his
idol, Alexander the Great. In 215, the Parthian king, Vologases V, came to
terms, but when he was dethroned by his brother, Artabanos V, who refused
Caracalla’s request for the hand of his daughter, Caracalla prepared to
invade Parthian territory. But before he embarked on his venture he was
assassinated by the order of the praetorian prefect Marcus Opellius
Macrinus, April, 217 A. D.

*Macrinus, 217–218 A. D.* Macrinus was recognized without opposition as
Caracalla’s successor, and bestowed upon his young son Diadumenianus the
title of Caesar. He was the first princeps who had not attained senatorial
rank. As a ruler he displayed moderation and good sense, but was lacking
in force. He purchased peace from the Parthians, abolished oppressive
taxes, and sought to lessen the military burden by cancelling the
increases of pay which Caracalla had granted to the troops. This latter
step cost him the support of the soldiery, and part of the Syrian army
declared its allegiance to the fourteen-year-old Bassianus, a great-nephew
of Julia Domna, the Syrian wife of Septimius Severus. Bassianus could
claim to be a representative of the house of Severus, and consequently was
hailed as Imperator under the name of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. However,
he is better known as Elagabalus, for he was by hereditary right the
priest of the Sun God worshipped under that name at Emesa.

Macrinus tried to suppress the revolt, but he was defeated near Antioch,
and he and his son were captured and killed (June, 218 A. D.).

*Elagabalus, 218–222 A. D.* Thereupon Elagabalus was universally
recognized as princeps and entered Rome in the following year. There he
introduced the worship of the sun as the supreme deity of the Roman world,
and added to the imperial title that of “most exalted priest of the
Unconquered Sun God Elagabalus.” His rule was a riot of debauch, in which
his associates were worthless favorites, whom he appointed to the highest
offices. His grandmother, Julia Maesa, really conducted the government
and, realizing his unfitness to rule, forced him to adopt his cousin
Severus Alexander with the title of Caesar in 221 A. D. When Elagabalus
sought to rid himself of his relative the praetorians forced him to make
Alexander his colleague, and finally murdered him (March, 222 A. D.).

*Severus Alexander, 222–235 A. D.* Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander was
now sole ruler. However, since he was a mere youth, his mother, Julia
Mamaea, daughter of Julia Maesa, exercised the powers of a regent. As he
grew up Alexander showed himself well-meaning and conscientious, but
lacking in self-reliance, and he never emancipated himself from his
mother’s tutelage. During his rule the Senate enjoyed a temporary revival
of influence. Two councils of senators, one of sixteen and one of seventy
members, acted as an imperial cabinet and an advisory legislative council,
respectively. At this time, too, the praetorian prefecture became a
senatorial office in that it conferred senatorial rank upon its holder. An
attempt was made to remedy public abuses, in particular to restore
discipline among the troops, and to reduce the military expenditure. But
the army had gotten out of hand, especially the praetorians, from whose
anger Alexander was unable to protect the noted jurist Paul, who held the
praetorian prefecture.

*The new Persian empire.* The widespread military insubordination was all
the more dangerous since new and more aggressive foes began to threaten
the integrity of the empire. In 227 A. D. the Parthian dynasty of the
Arsacids was overthrown by the Persian Ardaschir (Artaxerxes) who founded
the dynasty of the Sassanids. The establishment of this new Persian
kingdom was accompanied by a revival of the national Persian religion,
Zoroastrianism, and of the Persian claims to the eastern Roman provinces.
In 231 the Persians drove the Roman troops out of Mesopotamia and
penetrated Cappadocia and Syria. Alexander himself then went to the East,
where he took the offensive in the following year. The details of his
campaign are uncertain, but at any rate Mesopotamia was recovered and
Alexander celebrated a triumph over the Persians in Rome (233 A. D.).

*The Germanic campaign and death of Severus Alexander.* But the northern
frontier was threatened by the attacks of Germanic tribes, and in 234
Alexander assumed the conduct of operations on the Rhine, with his
headquarters at Mainz. The barbarians were induced to make peace, but only
by the payment of subsidies, and this cost Alexander the respect of the
army, who were disgruntled at his policy of retrenchment and his
subservience to his mother. A mutiny broke out, led by Gaius Julius Verus
Maximinus, a Thracian of peasant origin who had risen from the ranks to
high command. Alexander and Julia Mamaea were put to death, and Maximinus
was proclaimed Augustus (March, 235 A. D.). With his accession began a
half century of confusion and anarchy.


*The end of the pax Romana.* The period of fifty years from 235 to 285
A. D. is a prolonged repetition of the shorter epochs of civil war of
68–69 and 193–197 A. D. During this interval twenty-six Augusti, including
such as were colleagues in the _imperium_, obtained recognition in Rome
and of these only one escaped a violent death. In addition, there were
numerous usurpers or “tyrants,” as candidates who failed to make good
their claims to the principate were called. Almost all of these emperors
were the nominees of the soldiery, and at least possessed military
qualifications that were above the average. In general they
conscientiously devoted themselves to the task of restoring order in the
empire, but their efforts were in the main nullified by the treachery of
their own troops and the rise of rival emperors.

*The mutiny of the army.* The main cause of this disorganization lay in
the fact that the professional army had lost all sense of loyalty to the
empire, an attitude already frequently evidenced by the praetorians, and
by the legions also under Caracalla and his successors. Recruited, as the
latter now were, almost entirely from the frontiers of the Roman world,
they felt no community of interest with the inhabitants of the peaceful
provinces and turned upon them, like unfaithful sheep dogs upon the flocks
whom it was their duty to guard. The sole object of the troops was to
enrich themselves by plunder and the extortion of high pay and frequent
largesses from the emperor whom they supported. Hence, in the expectation
of fresh rewards, each army hailed as Imperator the commander who had led
it to victory over foreign foes or revolting soldiers of Rome.

*Barbarian invasions.* In addition to constant civil war, the Roman world
was exposed to all the horrors of barbarian invasions. We have already
noticed the rise of a new Persian state whose object was the
reëstablishment of the empire as it had existed prior to the conquests of
Alexander the Great. Likewise on the whole extent of the northern frontier
new and more aggressive peoples assaulted and penetrated the frontier
defences. On the North Sea coast, between the Rhine and the Weser were the
Saxons whose ships raided the shores of Britain and Gaul. Facing the
Romans along the lower Rhine were the Franks, along the upper Rhine the
Alamanni, further east on the upper Danube the Marcomanni, while on the
eastern frontier of Dacia and to the north of the Black Sea were situated
the Goths and the Heruli. The withdrawal of troops from some sectors of
the frontier to meet attacks at others and the neglect of their duty by
the army corps who plunged into the maelstrom of civil war in support of
various candidates for the imperial power gave the northern barbarians the
opportunity to sweep down in destructive hordes upon the peaceful and
undefended provinces.

*Dissolution of the empire.* The natural consequence of the failure of the
imperial government to defend the provinces from hostile invasions was
that the provincials began to take measures for their own protection and
to transfer their allegiance from the Roman emperors to local authorities,
who proved a more efficient help in time of trouble. These separatist
tendencies were active both in the East and in the West and led to a
temporary dissolution of the unity of the Empire.

*Pestilence.* A third scourge which afflicted the Roman world at this
critical period was a pestilence which, originating in the East, entered
the Empire about 252 A. D., and raged for fifteen years.

*Valerian and Gallienus: 253–268 A. D.* The fortunes of the Empire reached
their lowest ebb under Valerian and his son Gallienus (253–268 A. D.). In
256, the Persians invaded Mesopotamia and Syria, and captured Antioch.
Valerian at once undertook the defence of the eastern provinces, leaving
Gallienus in charge of the West. Antioch was recovered, but when Valerian
entered Mesopotamia to relieve the blockade of Edessa, he was defeated by
the Persian king Sapor, and taken prisoner (258 A. D.). He died soon
afterwards in captivity. The Persians not only reoccupied Antioch but also
seized Tarsus in Cilicia and Caesarea in Cappadocia, and ravaged Asia
Minor to the shores of the Aegean Sea.

While Valerian was waging his ill-fated war in the East, the rest of the
empire was in a continual state of turmoil. In 257 the Goths and other
peoples overran Dacia, crossed the Danube and penetrated as far south as
Macedonia and Achaia. In 258 a revolt broke out in Mauretania. The Berber
tribesmen, led by an able chief, Faraxen, invaded the province of Numidia,
and were only reduced to submission by the capture of their leader (260
A. D.). At the same time the Alamanni broke into Raetia, and made their
way over the Alps into the Po valley. Gallienus hastened to the rescue and
defeated them near Milan. But in his absence in Italy the Franks crossed
the Rhine and poured in devastating hordes over Gaul and Spain. The Roman
possessions on the right bank of the Rhine were lost at this time and
never recovered.

*The empire of the Gauls.* At the news of the death of Valerian the
commander in Pannonia, Ingenuus, raised the standard of revolt. After
defeating him, Gallienus found another serious rival in Regalianus, whom,
however, he was likewise able to overcome. But at the same time (258
A. D.), Marcus Cassius Latinius Postumus, whom Gallienus had left in
command in Gaul, assumed the imperial title, after a victory gained over a
body of Franks. He was able to clear Gaul of its foes and make himself
master of Britain and Spain. Gallienus was powerless to depose him.
Postumus did not endeavor to establish a national Gallic state but
regarded himself as exercising the Roman _imperium_ in a portion of the
empire. He fixed his capital at Trèves, and organized a senate and other
institutions on the Roman model. His coins bore the inscription _Roma

*Palmyra.* In the Orient the Persians were unable to retain their hold on
Syria and Asia Minor. Their withdrawal was in large measure caused by the
activities of Odaenathus, the ruler of the city of Palmyra, who inflicted
a severe defeat upon Sapor and recovered Roman Mesopotamia. Thereupon two
brothers, Fulvius Macrianus and Fulvius Quietus, sons of an officer who
had distinguished himself against the Persians, were acclaimed as emperors
in Asia Minor. However, the one was defeated in attempting to invade
Europe and the other was overthrown by Odaenathus. In recognition of his
services Gallienus bestowed upon him the title of “Commander of the East”
(_dux orientis_), with the duty of protecting the East (264 A. D.). In
Palmyra, he ruled as _basileus_, or king, and although he nominally
acknowledged the overlordship of the Roman emperor, he was practically an
independent sovereign.

*The Goths.* A fresh peril arose in the maritime raids of the Goths,
Heruli, and other tribes who had seized the harbors on the north coast of
the Black Sea. With the ships that they thus secured they ravaged the
northern coast of Asia Minor as early as 256 A. D. In 262 they forced the
passage of the Bosphorus and Hellespont and plundered the shores of the
Aegean. Their most noted raid was in 267, when they sacked the chief
cities of Greece, including Athens.

No less than eighteen usurpers, for the most part officers who had risen
from the ranks, had unsuccessfully challenged the authority of Gallienus
in the various provinces. At last, in 268 A. D., one of his leading
generals, Aureolus, laid claim to the imperial title. Gallienus defeated
him and was besieging him in Milan, when he was killed at the instigation
of his officers, who proclaimed as his successor one of their own number,
Marcus Aurelius Claudius.

*Claudius Gothicus, 268–270 A. D.* The rule of Claudius lasted only two
years, in which his greatest achievement was the crushing defeat which he
inflicted upon the Goths who had again overrun Greece and the adjacent
lands (269 A. D.). This victory won him the name of Gothicus. Upon the
death of Claudius in 270 A. D., the army chose Lucius Domitius Aurelianus
as emperor.

*Lucius Domitius Aurelianus, 270–275 A. D.* Aurelian’s first task was to
clear Italy and the Danubian provinces of barbarian invaders. Two
incursions of the Alamanni into Raetia and Italy were repulsed, the latter
with great slaughter. But the emperor recognized that the security of
Italy could no longer be guaranteed and so he ordered the fortification of
the Italian cities. The imposing wall which still marks the boundary of
part of ancient Rome was begun by Aurelian. A horde of Vandals were beaten
and driven out of Pannonia and a victory was won over the Goths in Moesia.
But the exposed position of Dacia, and the fact that it was already in
large part occupied by the barbarians, induced Aurelian to abandon it
altogether. The rest of the Roman settlers were withdrawn to Moesia, where
a new province of Dacia was formed behind the barrier of the Danube.

*The overthrow of Palmyra.* Aurelian was now ready to attempt his second
and greater task, the restoration of imperial unity. And in this the East
first claimed his attention. There Vaballathus, the son of Odaenathus,
ruled over Palmyra, supported and directed by his mother, Zenobia. At the
outset Aurelian had recognized his position but in 271 Vaballathus assumed
the title of Augustus and thereby declared his independence of Roman
suzerainty. He was able to extend his authority over Egypt and a great
part of Asia Minor. In 272 Aurelian set out to bring back the East to its
allegiance. He speedily recovered Asia Minor, and entered Syria, where he
signally defeated the famous Palmyrene archers and mailed horsemen at
Emesa. He then crossed the desert and laid siege to Palmyra itself.
Zenobia tried to escape, but was taken, and the city surrendered. The
queen and her family were carried off to Rome but Palmyra was at first
spared. However, it rebelled again when Aurelian had set out for Rome.
Thereupon the emperor returned with all speed and recaptured the city.
This time it was utterly destroyed. The authority of Rome was once more
firmly reëstablished in the East.

*The reconquest of Gaul.* Following his conquest of Palmyra, Aurelian
proceeded to overthrow the already tottering empire of the Gauls. At the
death of Postumus in 268, Spain and Narbonese Gaul had acknowledged the
Roman emperor Claudius Gothicus. After several successors of Postumus had
been overthrown by the mutinous Gallic soldiery, Publius Esuvius Tetricus
was appointed emperor in Gaul and Britain. However, foreseeing the speedy
dissolution of his empire, he secretly entered into negotiations with
Aurelian. The latter invaded Gaul and met the Gallic army at the plain of
Chalons. In the course of the battle, Tetricus went over to Aurelian, who
won a complete victory. Britain and Gaul submitted to the conqueror (274
A. D.). Thus the unity of the empire was restored and Aurelian assumed the
title of “Restorer of the World” (_restitutor orbis_).

*Dominus et deus natus.* Not only was Aurelian one of the greatest of
Roman commanders; he also displayed sound judgment in his administration.
Here his chief work was the suppression of the debased silver currency and
the issuing of a much improved coinage. Aurelian regarded himself as an
absolute monarch and employed on his coins the titles _dominus et deus
natus_—“born Lord and God.” He likewise reëstablished in Rome the official
cult of the Unconquered Sun God, previously introduced by Elagabalus. One
of the characteristics of this cult was the belief that the monarch was
the incarnation of the divine spirit, a belief which gave a moral
justification to absolutism.

*Probus, 276–282 A. D.* Aurelian was murdered in 275 A. D., and was
succeeded by Tacitus, who met a like fate after a rule of less than two
years. He was followed by Marcus Aurelius Probus, an able Illyrian
officer. Probus was called upon to repel fresh invasions of Germanic
peoples, to subdue the rebellious Isaurians in Asia Minor and suppress a
revolt in Egypt. Everywhere he successfully upheld the authority of the
empire, but his strict discipline eventually cost him the favor of the
soldiers who hailed as Imperator Marcus Aurelius Carus. Probus was put to
death (282 A. D.). Like his predecessor, Carus was a general of great
ability. He appointed his eldest son Carinus Augustus as his co-ruler, and
left him in charge of the West while he embarked on a campaign against the
Persians. This was crowned with complete success and terminated with the
capture of Ctesiphon. But on his return march he died, probably at the
hands of his troops (283 A. D.). His younger son, the Caesar Numerianus,
who took command of the army, was assassinated by the praetorian prefect
Aper. However, the choice of the army fell upon Gaius Valerius Aurelius
Diocletianus, who assumed the imperial title in September, 284 A. D. But
Carinus had retained his hold upon the West and advanced to crush
Diocletian. In the course of a battle at the river Margus in Moesia he was
murdered by his own officers (285 A. D.), and with the victory of
Diocletian a new period of Roman history begins.

                               CHAPTER XIX


                       I. THE VICTORY OF AUTOCRACY

*The senate and the appointment of the princeps.* In the preceding
chapters we have traced in outline the political history of the principate
to the point where it had become an undisguised military autocracy. This
change is clearly seen in connection with the imperial nomination. The
appointment to the principate originally involved the conferment of the
_imperium_, the tribunician power and other rights and privileges. The
_imperium_ might be bestowed either by a senatorial decree or through the
acclamation as _imperator_ by a part of the soldiery. Each of these forms
was regarded as valid, but was regularly confirmed by the other. But the
tribunician authority and the remaining powers of the princeps were
conferred only by a decree of the Senate, confirmed, during the first
century at least, by a vote of the Assembly of the Centuries. However,
after the accession of Carus (282 A. D.), the Senate, which could no
longer claim to exercise any authority in the state, ceased to participate
in the appointment of the new ruler. This marks the formal end of the

*The Senate’s loss of administrative power. I. Rome and Italy.* The
constitutional history of the principate is the story of the gradual
absorption of the Senate’s powers by the princeps and the supplanting of
the Senate’s officers by those in the imperial service. It has been well
said that Augustus aimed at the impossible when he sought to be the chief
magistrate in the state without being at the same time the head of the
administration. He had intended that the Senate should conduct the
administration of Rome, Italy and the ungarrisoned provinces, but, as we
have seen, he himself had been brought by force of circumstances to take
the initial steps in infringing upon the Senate’s prerogatives. Not only
did he take over the duties of provisioning and policing the city by
establishing the prefectures of the grain supply and the watch, but he
also assumed responsibility for the upkeep of the public buildings,
streets and aqueducts of Rome, as well as the highways of Italy. These
departments of public works were put in charge of commissioners of
senatorial rank, called curators, whom the princeps nominated. However,
from the time of Claudius equestrian officials, entitled procurators, were
appointed to these departments and became their real directors. Finally,
under Septimius Severus, the senatorial curators were dispensed with.

*II. The aerarium.* Augustus had left to the Senate the control of the
public treasury, the _aerarium_, which was maintained by revenues from the
senatorial provinces and Italy. But when the princeps came to assume
control of those branches of the administration the expense of which was
defrayed by the _aerarium_, it was inevitable that the treasury itself
should pass in some degree under his supervision. And so in 44 A. D. the
princeps began to designate two quaestors to be in charge of the treasury
for a three-year period. Under Nero the place of these quaestors was taken
by two prefects appointed in the same manner but from among the
ex-praetors. The importance of the _aerarium_ declined in proportion as
its revenues passed into the hands of the ministers of the princeps, until
in the period between Septimius Severus and Diocletian it sank to the
position of a municipal chest for the city of Rome.

*III. The senatorial provinces.* In the early principate the senatorial
provinces were administered by appointees of the Senate, all of whom now
bore the title of proconsul, assisted as in former days by quaestors.
However, only the proconsul of Africa was at the same time commander of a
provincial garrison, and his command was transferred to the imperial
governor of Numidia by Caligula. Even in the time of Augustus the imperial
procurators had appeared in the senatorial provinces in charge of the
revenues which were at the disposal of the princeps, and, before the close
of the third century they were in complete control of the financial
administration of these provinces. But long before this, by the opening of
the second century, the princeps had usurped the Senate’s privilege of
appointing the proconsuls. The result was that by the close of the
principate all the provinces without distinction were equally under
imperial control.

*Restriction of Senate’s elective powers.* It was Tiberius who transferred
to the Senate the electoral functions of the Assembly but he, as Augustus
before him, limited the Senate’s freedom of action by the recommendation
of imperial candidates for the lower magistracies. From the time of Nero
the consulship also was regularly filled by nominees of the emperors. The
custom of appointing several successive consular pairs in the course of
each year, each pair functioning for two or four months, greatly weakened
the influence of the consulate, while it enabled the emperors to gratify
the ambitions of a larger number of candidates for that office.

*Loss of legislative functions.* The rapid disappearance of the Assembly
resulted in the transfer of its sovereign legislative powers to the
Senate. The decrees of the Senate thus acquired the validity of laws and
after the time of Nerva comitial legislation completely ceased. However,
the influence of the princeps encroached more and more upon the
legislative freedom of the Senate until in the time of the Severi the
senatorial decrees were merely proclamations of the princeps (_orationes
principis_) which were read to the Senate and approved by it. Furthermore,
the princeps developed independent legislative power and by the middle of
the second century the ordinances or constitutions of the princeps had
acquired the force of law. Early in the third century legislation of this
type altogether superseded the senatorial decrees. The imperial
constitutions included edicts, _decreta_, or judicial verdicts, responses
to the petitions of officers of the princeps or private citizens, and
mandates or instructions to his subordinates. Originally, the edicts were
only valid during the principate of their author and the other forms of
constitutions merely applied to special cases. However, in course of time,
they all alike came to be recognized as establishing rules of public and
private law which remained in force unless they were specifically revoked
by another imperial constitution.

*The administration of justice.* The republican system of civil and
criminal jurisdiction was inherited by the principate, and the courts of
the praetors continued to function for Rome and Italy, while the
proconsuls were in charge of the administration of justice in the
senatorial provinces. In addition the Senate, under the presidency of the
consuls, acted as a tribunal for the trial of political offences and
criminal charges brought against members of the senatorial order. The
Senate also served as a court of appeals from the decisions of the
proconsuls. But from the time of Augustus the princeps exercised an
unlimited right of jurisdiction which enabled him to take cases under his
personal cognizance (_cognitio_), or appoint a delegate to try them. The
imperial officials administered justice in their respective spheres by
virtue of delegated authority and consequently appeals from their courts
were directed to the princeps. The development of judicial functions by
the military and administrative officials of the princeps in Rome—the
praetorian prefect, the city prefect, the prefects of the watch and the
prefect of the grain supply—seriously encroached upon the judicial power
of the praetors. In addition, the _consulares_ of Hadrian, and the
_iuridici_ of Marcus Aurelius further limited the sphere of the praetorian
courts. Ultimately, under Septimius Severus, we find the city prefect as
the supreme judicial authority for all criminal cases arising in Rome or
within a radius of one hundred miles of the city and also exercising
appellate jurisdiction in civil cases within the same limits, subject
however, to an appeal to the court of the princeps. For the rest of Italy,
the court of the praetorian prefect was now the highest tribunal in both
criminal and civil suits. By this time also the princeps had acquired
supreme appellate jurisdiction for the whole empire, a power which was
regularly exercised by the praetorian prefect acting in his place, In the
third century the Senate ceased to exercise any judicial authority

As a result of the above processes the princeps became in the end the sole
source of legislative, administrative and judicial authority. The
republican magistrates had become practically municipal officers, and one
of them, the aedileship, disappeared in the third century. The complete
victory of the princeps over the Senate is marked by the exclusion of
senators from military commands under Gallienus, and their removal from
the provincial governorships in which they had continued to exercise civil
authority between the time of Aurelian and the accession of Diocletian.

*The friction between the Senate and the princeps.* It might be thought
that owing to the gradual admission to the Senate of the nominees of the
princeps that harmony would have been established between the two
administrative heads of the state. But although this new nobility was
thoroughly loyal to the principate, they proved just as tenacious of the
rights of the Senate as the descendants of the older nobility who
preserved the tradition of senatorial rule. Augustus and Tiberius
endeavored to govern in concord with the Senate by organizing an advisory
council appointed from the Senate, but their successors abandoned the
practice. The friction between the princeps and the Senate was due in part
to the realization that it was from the senatorial order that rivals might
arise and in part to the fact that those emperors who did not interpret
their position, as did Augustus, in the light of a magistracy responsible
to the Senate, were bound to regard the Senate’s powers as restrictions
upon their own freedom of action, and as an unnecessary complication of
the administration. The chief services of the Senate were to provide a
head for the government when the principate was vacant, and to furnish the
only means for the expression of opinion with regard to the character of
the administration of the individual emperors. The spontaneous deification
or the _damnatio memoriae_ of a deceased princeps was not without weight,
for it expressed the opinion of the most influential class in the state.

While the Senate as a body was thus stripped of its power, the senatorial
order remained a powerful class. Originally embracing the chief
landholders of Italy, it came to include those of the whole empire.
Collectively the senators lost in influence, but individually they gained.
By the end of the second century the senatorial order had acquired an
hereditary title, that of _clarissimus_ (most noble), indicative of their


*The first steps.* The necessary counterpart to the assumption of
administrative duties by the princeps was the development of an imperial
civil service, the officials of which were nominated by the princeps, and
promoted or removed at his pleasure. In this Augustus had taken the first
steps by the establishment of equestrian procuratorships and prefectures,
and the opening up of an equestrian career, but the number of these posts
greatly increased with the extension of the administrative sphere of the
princeps at the expense of the Senate. The idea of conducting the
government through various departments manned by permanent salaried
officials was absolutely foreign to the Roman republic, which only
employed such servants for clerical positions of minor importance in Rome.
However, the chaotic conditions which had resulted from the republican
system showed the need of a change, and the concentration of a large share
of the administration in the hands of the princeps both required and gave
the opportunity for the development of an organized civil service. This
development was unquestionably stimulated and influenced by the
incorporation in the Roman empire of the kingdom of Egypt, which possessed
a highly organized bureaucratic system that continued to function
unchanged in its essential characteristics.

*The imperial secretaryships.* At first the imperial civil service lacked
system and there was little or no connection between the various
administrative offices in Italy and in the provinces. Augustus and his
immediate successors conducted the administration as part of their private
business, keeping in touch with the imperial officials through the private
secretaries of their own households, that is to say, their freedmen, who,
in another capacity, conducted the management of the private estate of the
princeps. An important change was introduced under Claudius, when his
influential freedmen caused the creation within the imperial household of
a number of secretaryships with definite titles that indicated the sphere
of their duties. The chief of these secretaryships were the _a
rationibus_, the _ab epistulis_, the _a libellis_, the _a __cognitionibus_
and the _a studiis._ The _a rationibus_ acted as a secretary of the
treasury, being in charge of the finances of the empire which were
controlled by the princeps; the _ab epistulis_ was a secretary for
correspondence, who prepared the orders which the princeps issued to his
officials and other persons; the _a libellis_ was a secretary for
petitions, who received all requests addressed to the princeps; the _a
__cognitionibus_ served as a secretary for the imperial inquests,
entrusted with the duty of preparing the information necessary for the
rendering of the imperial decision in the judicial investigations
personally conducted by the princeps (_cognitiones_); and the _a studiis_,
or secretary of the records, had the duty of searching out precedents for
the guidance of the princeps in the conduct of judicial or administrative
business. The establishment of these secretaryships in the imperial
household tended to centralize more completely the imperial administration
and to give it greater uniformity and regularity. At the same time the
influence of the freedmen who occupied these important positions was
responsible for the admission of freedmen to many of the minor
administrative procuratorships. It was under Claudius also that the
preliminary military career of the procurators was more definitely fixed.

*The reforms of Hadrian and Septimius Severus.* Hadrian took the next
decisive step in the development of the central administrative offices
when he transformed the secretaryships of the imperial household into
secretaryships of state by filling them with equestrians of procuratorial
rank in place of imperial freedmen. From this time the latter were
restricted to minor positions in the various departments. Under Hadrian
also there was a marked increase in the number of administrative
procuratorships owing to the final abolition of the system of farming the
revenues and their subsequent direct collection by imperial officials as
well as the establishment of the public post as a means of intercourse
throughout all the provinces. It was possibly with the object of supplying
the necessary officials to undertake these new tasks that Hadrian created
the office of the advocate of the _fiscus_ as an alternative for the
preliminary military career of the procurators.

Septimius Severus, as we have seen, opened the posts of the civil
administration to veteran officers upon the completion of a long period of
military service. Thus, although a purely civil career was established,
which led ultimately to the highest prefectures, nevertheless, during the
principate the civil administrative offices were never completely
separated from the traditional preliminary military service. It was
Septimius Severus also who made the praetorian prefect, as the
representative of the princeps, the head of the civil as well as of the
military administration.

*The salary and titles of the equestrian officials.* The ordinary career
of an official in the imperial civil service included a considerable
number of procuratorships in various branches of the administration, both
in Rome, Italy and the provinces. Although from the time of Augustus a
definite salary was attached to each of these offices, it was not until
after the reforms of Hadrian that four distinct classes of procurators
were recognized on the basis of the relative importance of their offices
expressed in terms of pay. These four classes of procurators were the
_tercenarii_, _ducenarii_, _centenarii_ and _sexagenarii_, who received
respectively an annual salary of 300,000, 200,000, 100,000 and 60,000
sesterces; this classification remained unchanged until the close of the
third century. At that time the highest class included the imperial
secretaries of state, whose title was now that of _magister_, or master.
The salary of the four chief prefectures was probably higher still.

Following the example of the senatorial order, the equestrians also
acquired titles of honor, which depended upon their official rank. From
the time of Hadrian the title _vir eminentissimus_ (most eminent) was the
prerogative of the praetorian prefects. Under Marcus Aurelius appear two
other equestrian titles, _vir perfectissimus_ and _vir egregius_. In the
third century the latter was borne by all the imperial procurators, while
the former was reserved for the higher prefectures (apart from the
praetorian), the chief officials of the treasury and the imperial

*Administration of the finances: (I). The Fiscus.* The most important
branch of the civil administration was that of the public finances, which
merits special consideration. Augustus did not centralize the
administration of the provincial revenues which were at his disposal, but
created a separate treasury or _fiscus_ for each imperial province.
However, he did establish the _aerarium militare_ at Rome for the control
of the revenues destined for the pensioning of veteran troops.
Furthermore, Augustus drew a sharp distinction between the public revenues
which were administered by the princeps in his magisterial capacity, and
the income from his own private property or patrimony. For the expenditure
of the former he acknowledged a strict accountability to the Senate. The
policy of Augustus was followed by Tiberius and Caligula, but under
Claudius a central _fiscus_ was organized at Rome for the administration
of all the public revenues of the princeps. The provincial _fisci_
disappeared, and the military treasury became a department of the
_fiscus_. This new imperial _fiscus_ was under the direction of the _a
rationibus_. From this time the princeps ceased to hold himself
accountable for the expenditure of the public imperial revenues, and the
_fiscus_ assumes an independent position alongside of the old _aerarium_
of the Roman people, which, as we have shown, it ultimately deprived of
all share in the control of the public finances. However, the distinction
between the public and private revenues of the princeps was still
observed, and the _patrimonium_ was independently administered by a
special procurator.

*(II). The Patrimonium.* But with the extinction of the Julio-Claudian
house and the accession of Vespasian the patrimony of the Caesars passed
as an appendage of the principate to the new ruler. It then became state
property, and as it had grown to enormous size owing to the inheritances
of Augustus and the confiscations of Caligula and Nero, the _patrimonium_
was organized as an independent branch of the imperial financial
administration. The personal estate of the princeps was henceforth
distinguished as the _patrimonium privatum_. This situation continued
until the accession of Septimius Severus, whose enormous confiscations of
the property of the adherents of Niger and Albinus were incorporated in
his personal estate. This, the _patrimonium privatum_, was now placed
under a new department of the public administration called the _ratio_ or
_res privata_. The old _patrimonium_ became a subordinate branch of the
_fiscus_. The title of the secretary of the treasury in charge of the
_fiscus_ was now changed to that of _rationalis_, while the new secretary
in charge of the privy purse was called at first _procurator_, and later
_magister_, _rei privatae_. The reform of Severus, which gave to the
private income of the princeps a status in the administration comparable
to that of the public revenues, is a further expression of the monarchical
tendencies of his rule.

*The officiales.* The subaltern personnel of the various bureaus, the
clerks, accountants, etc., during the first two centuries of the
principate was composed almost entirely of imperial freedmen and slaves.
Among these there was apparently no fixed order of promotion or uniform
system of pay, nor could they ever advance to the higher ranks of the
service. However, from the time of Severus soldiers began to be employed
in these capacities and a military organization was introduced into the
bureaus. The way was thus gradually paved for completely dispensing with
the services of freedmen and slaves in any part of the civil


*The barbarization of the army.* It will be recalled that the military
policy of Augustus aimed at securing the supremacy of the Roman element in
the empire by restricting admission to the legions to Roman citizens or to
freeborn inhabitants of provincial municipalities who received a grant of
citizenship upon entering the service. The gradual abandonment of this
policy is one of the most significant facts in the military history of the

*The territorial recruitment of the legions.* Under the Augustan system
the legions in the West were recruited from Italy and the romanized
provinces of the West, the eastern legions from the Greek East and
Galatia. But the increasing reluctance of the Italians to render military
service led to the practical, although not to the theoretical, exemption
of Italy from this burden which now rested more heavily upon the latinized
provinces. An innovation of utmost importance was the introduction of the
principle of territorial recruitment for the legions by Hadrian.
Henceforth these corps were recruited principally from the provinces in
which they were stationed, and consequently freedom from the levy was
extended to the ungarrisoned provinces, Baetica, Narbonese Gaul, Achaia
and Asia. The effect of Hadrian’s reform is well illustrated by a
comparison of the various racial elements in the legions stationed in
Egypt under the early principate with those in the same legions in the
time of Marcus Aurelius. The lists of the veterans discharged from these
legions under Augustus or Tiberius show that fifty per cent were recruited
from Galatia, twenty-five per cent from the Greek municipalities in Egypt,
fifteen per cent from Syria and the Greek East, and the remainder from the
western provinces. A similar list from 168 A. D. shows sixty-five per cent
from Egypt, the remainder from the Greek East, and none from Galatia or
the West. In general, the consequence of Hadrian’s policy was to displace
gradually in the legions the more cultured element by the more warlike,
but less civilized, population from the frontiers of the provinces. It was
Hadrian also who opened the pretorian guard to provincials from Spain,
Noricum and Macedonia. As we have seen, Severus recruited the pretorians
from the legions and so deprived the more thoroughly latinized parts of
the empire of any real representation in the ranks of the army.

*The auxiliaries.* The auxiliary corps, unlike the legions, were not
raised by Augustus from Roman citizens but from the non-Roman provincials
and allies. At first they were recruited and stationed in their native
provinces, but after the revolt of the Batavi in 68 A. D. they were
regularly quartered along distant frontiers. From the time of Hadrian,
they were generally recruited, in the same manner as the legions, from the
districts in which they were in garrison. The extension of Roman
citizenship to practically the whole Roman world by Caracalla in 212 A. D.
removed the basic distinction between the legions and the auxiliaries.

*The numeri.* A new and completely barbarous element was introduced by
Hadrian into the Roman army by the organization of the so-called _numeri_,
corps of varying size, recruited from the non-Romanized peoples on the
frontiers, who retained their local language, weapons and methods of
warfare but were commanded by Roman prefects. The conquered German peoples
settled on Roman soil by Marcus Aurelius and his successors supplied
contingents of this sort.

*The strength of the army.* At the death of Augustus the number of the
legions was twenty-five; under Vespasian it was thirty; and Severus
increased it to thirty-three, totalling over 180,000 men. A corresponding
increase had been made in the numbers of the auxiliaries. From about
150,000 in the time of Augustus they had increased to about 220,000 in the
second century. The total number of troops in the Roman service at the
opening of the third century was therefore about 400,000; one of the
largest professional armies the world has ever seen.

*The system of frontier defence.* A second momentous fact in the military
history of the principate was the transformation of the army from a field
force into garrison troops. This was the result of the system developed
for the defence of the frontiers. Augustus, for the first time in the
history of the Roman state endeavored to preclude the possibility of
indefinite expansion by attaining a frontier protected by natural barriers
beyond which the Roman power should not be extended. Roughly speaking
these natural defences of the empire were the ocean on the west, the Rhine
and the Danube on the north, and the desert on the east and south. At
strategic points behind this frontier Augustus stationed his troops in
large fortified camps, in which both legionaries and auxiliaries were
quartered. These camps served as bases of operations and from them
military roads were constructed to advantageous points on the frontier
itself to permit the rapid movement of troops for offensive or defensive
purposes. Such roads were called _limites_ or “boundary paths,” a name
which subsequently was used in the sense of frontiers. These _limites_
were protected by small forts manned by auxiliary troops.

*The fortification of the limites.* Although Claudius and Vespasian
discarded the maxims of Augustus in favor of an aggressive border policy
they adhered to his system for protecting their new acquisitions in
Britain and the Agri Decumates. However, these conquests and that of the
Wetterau region by Domitian pushed the frontier beyond the line of natural
defences and led to the attempt to construct an artificial barrier as a
substitute. It was Domitian who took the initial step in this direction by
fortifying the _limites_ between the Rhine and Main, and the Main and the
Neckar, with a chain of small earthen forts connected by a line of wooden
watchtowers. To the rear of this advanced line there were placed larger
stone forts, each garrisoned by a corps of auxiliaries, and connected by
roads to the posts on the border. While the auxiliary troops were thus
distributed along the frontiers in small detachments, the larger legionary
cantonments were broken up, and after 89 A. D. no camp regularly contained
more than a single legion. Trajan, who also waged his frontier wars
offensively, merely improved the system of communication between the
border provinces by building military highways along the line of the
frontier from the Rhine to the Black Sea, in Arabia, and in Africa.

In the matter of frontier defence, as in so many other spheres, a new
epoch begins with Hadrian. He reverted abruptly to the defensive policy of
Augustus and began to fortify the _limites_ on a more elaborate scale. The
frontier between the Rhine and the Danube was protected by an unbroken
line of ditch and palisade, in which stone forts, each large enough for an
auxiliary cohort, took the place of the earthen forts of Domitian. At the
same time the _limes_ was shortened and straightened, and the secondary
line of forts abandoned. In Britain a wall of turf was constructed from
the Tyne to the Solway, and in the Dobrudja a similar wall linked the
Danube to the Black Sea. The eastern frontier of Dacia was likewise
defended by a line of fortifications. Here, as on the other borders, the
Roman sphere of influence, and even of military occupation, extended
beyond the fortified _limes_.

Antonius Pius followed Hadrian’s example and ran an earthen rampart with
forts at intervals from the Forth to the Clyde in northern Britain. This
line of defence was abandoned by Septimius Severus, who rebuilt Hadrian’s
rampart in the form of a stone wall with small forts at intervals of a
mile and intervening watch towers. In addition seventeen larger forts were
constructed along the line of the wall. The _limes_ in Germany was
strengthened by the addition of a ditch and earthen wall behind Hadrian’s
palisade, but along the so-called Raetian _limes_, between the Danube and
the Main, another stone wall, 110 miles long, took the place of the
earlier defences. A similar change was made in the fortifications of the
Dobrudja. However, this system was not followed out in the East or in
Africa, where the _limes_ was guarded merely by a chain of blockhouses.

*The consequences of permanent fortifications.* The result of the
construction of permanent fortifications along the frontier was the
complete immobilization of the auxiliary corps. Stationed continuously as
they were for the most part in the same sectors from early in the second
century, and recruited, in increasing proportion, from among the children
of the camps, it only required the granting to them of frontier lands by
Severus Alexander, upon condition of their defending them, to complete
their transformation into a border militia (_limitanei_). At the same time
the scattering of the legions along the line of the frontiers made the
assembling of any adequate mobile force a matter of considerable time. And
the fortifications themselves, while useful in checking predatory raids by
isolated bands and in regulating intercourse across the frontiers, proved
incapable of preventing the invasion of larger forces. Consequently, when
in the third century the barbarians broke through the _limites_ they found
no forces capable of checking them until they had penetrated deeply into
the heart of the provinces.

The chaos which followed the death of Severus Alexander was the result of
a military policy which left the richest and most highly civilized parts
of the empire without any means of self-defence; created a huge
professional army the rank and file of which had come to lose all contact
with the ungarrisoned provinces, all interest in the maintenance of an
orderly government and all respect for civil authority; and at the same
time rendered the army itself incapable of performing the task for which
it was organized.

On the other hand the army had been one of the most influential agents in
the spread of the material and cultural aspects of Roman civilization. The
great highways of the empire, bridges, fortifications and numerous public
works of other sorts were constructed by the soldiers. Every camp was a
center for the spread of the Latin language and Roman institutions and the
number of Roman citizens was being augmented continuously by the stream of
discharged auxiliaries whose term of service had expired. In the
_canabae_, or villages of the civilian hangers-on of the army corps,
sprang up organized communities of Roman veterans with all the
institutions and material advantages of municipal life. The constant
movement of troops from one quarter of the empire to another furnished a
ready medium for the exchange of cultural, in particular of religious,
ideas. To the ideal of the empire the army remained loyal throughout the
principate, although this loyalty came at length to be interpreted in the
light of its own particular interests. Not only was the army the support
of the power of the princeps; it was also the mainstay of the _pax Romana_
which endured with two brief interruptions from the battle of Actium to
the death of Severus Alexander and was the necessary condition for the
civilizing mission of Rome.


It is to the provinces that one must turn to win a true appreciation of
the beneficial aspects of Roman government during the principate. As
Mommsen(16) has said: “It is in the agricultural towns of Africa, in the
homes of the vine-dressers on the Moselle, in the flourishing townships of
the Lycian mountains, and on the margin of the Syrian desert that the work
of the imperial period is to be sought and found.” In this sphere the
chief tasks of the principate were the correction of the abuses of the
republican administration and the extension of Graeco-Roman civilization
over the barbarian provinces of the west and north. How well this latter
work was done is attested not merely by the material remains of once
flourishing communities but also by the extent to which the civilization
of Western Europe rests upon the basis of Roman culture.

*Number of the provinces.* At the establishment of the principate there
were about thirteen provinces, at the death of Augustus twenty-eight, and
under Hadrian forty-five. In the course of the third century the latter
number was considerably increased. The new provinces were formed partly by
the organization of newly conquered countries as separate administrative
districts and partly by the subdivision of larger units. At times this
subdivision was made in order to relieve a governor of an excessively
heavy task and to improve the administration, and at times it proceeded
from a desire to lessen the dangers of a revolt of the army by breaking up
the larger military commands.

*Senatorial and imperial provinces.* As we have seen the provinces were
divided into two classes, senatorial or public and imperial or Caesarian,
corresponding to the division of administrative authority between the
Senate and the princeps. The general principle laid down by Augustus that
the garrisoned provinces should come under the authority of the princeps
was adhered to, and consequently certain provinces were at times taken
over by the latter in view of military necessities while others were given
up by him to the Senate. As a rule newly organized provinces were placed
under imperial governors, so that these soon came to outnumber the
appointees of the Senate. Eventually, as has been observed in connection
with the history of the civil service, the public provinces passed
completely into the hands of the princeps.

*Administrative officials.* The governors of the senatorial provinces were
entitled proconsuls, even if they were of pretorian rank. However, Asia
and Africa were reserved for ex-consuls. Following the law of Pompey, a
period of five years intervened between the holding of a magistracy and a
promagisterial appointment. Each proconsul was assisted by a _quaestor_,
and by three propraetorian _legati_ whose appointment was approved by the
princeps. The imperial governors were of two classes, _legati Augusti_ and
procurators. In the time of Hadrian there were eleven proconsuls,
twenty-four _legati Augusti_ and nine procurators, besides the prefect of
Egypt. The subordinates of the _legati Augusti_ were the legates in
command of the legions, and the fiscal procurators. The procuratorial
governors, at first called prefects, were equestrians, and were placed in
command of military districts of lesser importance which were garrisoned
by auxiliaries only. An exception to this practice was made in the case of
Egypt, which senators were forbidden to enter, and which was governed by a
prefect who ranked next to the praetorian prefect and had under his orders
a garrison of three legions. These governmental procurators had, in
addition to their military duties, the task of supervising financial
administration. The title _praeses_ (plural _praesides_) which was used in
the second century for the imperial governors of senatorial rank, came to
designate the equestrian governors when these supplanted the _legati_ in
the latter half of the third century.

As under the republic, the governors exercised administrative, judicial,
and, in the imperial provinces, military authority. However, with the
advent of the principate the government of the empire aimed to secure the
welfare and not the spoliation of its subjects, and hence a new era dawned
for the provinces. All the governors now received fixed salaries and thus
one of their chief temptations to abuse their power was removed.
Oppressive governors were still to be found, but they were readily brought
to justice—the senatorial governors before the Senate and the imperial
before the princeps—and condemnations, not acquittals, were the rule. It
was from the exactions of the imperial fiscal procurators rather than
those of the governors that the provinces suffered under the principate.
Although the term of the senatorial governors, as before, was limited to
one year, tried imperial appointees were frequently kept at their posts
for a number of years in the interests of good government.

It has been mentioned before that under Augustus the taxation of the
provinces was revised to correspond more closely to their taxpaying
capacity. Under the principate these taxes were of two kinds, direct or
_tributa_ and indirect or _vectigalia_. The _tributa_, consisted of a
poll-tax (_tributum capitis_), payable by all who had not Roman or Latin
citizenship, and a land and property tax (_tributum soli_), from which
only communities whose land was granted the status of Italian soil (_ius
Italicum_) were exempt. The chief indirect taxes were the customs dues
(_portoria_), the five per cent tax on the value of emancipated slaves,
possibly the one per cent tax on sales, and the five per cent inheritance
tax which was levied on Roman citizens only. In the imperial provinces the
land tax was a fixed proportion of the annual yield of the soil, whereas
in the senatorial provinces it was a definite sum (_stipendium_) annually
fixed for each community.

The principate did not break abruptly with the republican practice of
employing associations of _publicani_ in collecting the public revenues.
It is true that they had been excluded from Asia by Julius Caesar, and it
is possible that Augustus dispensed with them for the raising of the
direct taxes in the imperial provinces, but even in the time of Tiberius
they seem to have been active in connection with the _tributa_ in some of
the senatorial provinces. Their place in the imperial provinces was taken
by the procurator and his agents, in the senatorial at first by the
proconsul assisted by the taxpaying communities themselves and later by
imperial officials.

On the other hand the indirect taxes long continued to be raised
exclusively by the corporations of tax collectors in all the provinces.
However, the operations of these _publicani_ were strictly supervised by
the imperial procurators. In place of the previous custom of paying a
fixed sum to the state in return for which they acquired a right to the
total returns from the taxes in question, the _publicani_ now received a
fixed percentage of the amount actually collected. Under Hadrian the
companies of _publicani_ engaged in collecting the customs dues began to
be superseded by individual contractors (_conductores_), who like the
companies received a definite proportion of the amount raised. About the
time of Commodus the system of direct collection by public officials was
introduced and the contractors gave way to imperial procurators. In the
same way, the five percent taxes on inheritances and manumissions were at
first farmed out, but later (under Hadrian in the case of the former)
collected directly by agents of the state.

*The municipalities.* Each province was an aggregate of communes
(_civitates_), some of which were organized towns, while others were
tribal or village communities. From the opening of the principate it
became a fixed principle of imperial policy to convert the rural
communities into organized municipalities, which would assume the burden
of local administration. Under the Republic the provincial communities had
been grouped into the three classes, free and federate (_liberae et
foederatae_), free and immune (_liberae et immunes_), and tributary
(_stipendiariae_). In addition to these native communities there had begun
to appear in the provinces Roman and Latin colonies. Towards the close of
the Republic and in the early principate the majority of the free
communities lost their immunity from taxation and became tributary. Some
of them exchanged the status of federate allies of Rome for that of Roman
colonies. During the same period the number of colonies of both types was
greatly increased by the founding of new settlements or the planting of
colonists in provincial towns. Some of the latter also acquired the status
of Roman municipalities. Thus arose a great variety of provincial
communities, which is well illustrated by conditions in the Spanish
province of Baetica (Farther Spain) under Vespasian. At that time this
province contained nine colonies and eight municipalities of Roman
citizens; twenty-nine Latin towns; six free, three federate, and one
hundred and twenty tributary communities.

We have already mentioned the policy of transforming rural communities
into organized municipalities. How rapidly this transformation took place
may be gathered from the fact that in Tarraconesis (Hither Spain) the
number of rural districts sunk from one hundred and fourteen to
twenty-seven between the time of Vespasian and that of Hadrian. A parallel
movement was the conversion of the native towns into Roman colonies and
municipalities, often through the transitional stage of Latin communities,
a status that now existed in the provinces only. The acquirement of Roman
or Latin status brought exemption from the poll-tax, while the former
opened the way to all the civil and military offices of the empire. An
added advantage was won with the charter of a Roman colony, for this
usually involved immunity from the land tax also. The last step in the
Romanization of the provincial towns was Caracalla’s edict of 212 A. D.
which conferred Roman citizenship upon all non-Roman municipalities
throughout the empire.

*The three Gauls and Egypt.* From this municipalization of the provinces
two districts were at first excluded on grounds of public policy. These
districts were the three Gauls (Aquitania, Lugdunensis and Belgica) and
Egypt. At the time of its conquest Gaul was a rich agricultural country,
with sharply defined tribal communities, but little or no city
development. This condition Augustus judged well adapted, under strict
imperial control, to furnishing recruits and supplies of money and kind
for the great army of the Rhine. Therefore he continued the division of
Gaul in tribal units (_civitates_), sixty-four in number, each controlled
by its native nobility. His policy was in general adhered to for about two
hundred years, but in the course of the third century the municipal system
was introduced by converting the chief town of each _civitas_ into a
municipality with the rest of the _civitas_ as its _territorium_ or
district under its administrative control.

In Egypt Augustus by right of conquest was the heir of the Ptolemies and
was recognized by the Egyptians proper as “king of upper Egypt and king of
lower Egypt, lord of the two lands, _autocrator_, son of the Sun.” For the
Greek residents he was an absolute deified ruler of the Hellenistic type.
Thus Egypt, although a part of the Roman empire, was looked upon as
subject to the rule of the princeps alone. And, as in the theory of
government, so in the political institutions of the country the Romans
adapted to their purposes existing conditions in place of introducing
radical changes.

In the time of Augustus there were three Greek towns in Egypt, Alexandria
the capital, Ptolemais and Naucratis. To these Hadrian added a third,
Antinoopolis. Ptolemais, Naucratis and Antinoopolis enjoyed municipal
institutions, but Alexandria because of the turbulence of its population
was ruled by imperial officials following the Ptolemaic practice. The rest
of the population of the country lived in villages throughout the Nile
Valley, which was divided for administrative purposes into thirty-six
districts called nomes (_nomoi_). The bulk of the land of Egypt was
imperial or public domain land, and the great majority of the Egyptian
population were tenants on the imperial domain. For the collection of the
land tax, poll tax, professional and other taxes, for the supervision of
irrigation, and for the maintenance of the public records of the
cultivated acreage and the population (for which a census was taken every
fourteen years) there had been developed a highly organized bureaucracy
with central offices at Alexandria and agents in each of the nomes. This
system of government was maintained by the Romans, and profoundly
influenced the organization of the imperial civil service. At the head of
the administration of Egypt stood the prefect, an equestrian because of
his position as a personal employee of the princeps, and because the power
concentrated in his hands would have proved a dangerous temptation to a
senator. The chief burden laid upon Egypt was to supply one third of the
grain consumed at Rome, or about 5,000,000 bushels annually. This amount
was drawn partly from the land tax which was paid in kind and partly from
grain purchased by the government.

The first step towards spreading municipal government throughout all Egypt
was taken in 202 A. D., when Septimius Severus organized a _boule_, or
senate of the Greek type, in Alexandria and in the metropolis or seat of
administration of each nome. His object was to create in each metropolis a
body which could be made to assume definite responsibilities in connection
with the administration. However, it was not until after Diocletian that
these villages received a full municipal organization.

The principate’s greatest service to the provinces was the gift of two and
a half centuries of orderly government, which led in many quarters to a
material development unequalled in these regions before or since. It is in
these centuries that the history of Rome becomes the history of the
provinces. At the opening of the period the Italians occupied a privileged
position within the empire, at its close they and their one-time subjects
were on the same level. The army and the senatorial and equestrian orders
had been thoroughly provincialized, and the emperors had come to be as a
rule of provincial birth. Rome was still the seat of the administration,
but this and the corn dole to the city proletariat were the only things
that distinguished it from a provincial city.

The imperial government of Rome had crushed out all vestiges of national
loyalty among the peoples it had absorbed, and had failed to create any
political institutions which would have permitted the provincials, as
such, to have participated in the government of the empire. With the
gradual decline of municipal autonomy the great mass of the provincials
were deprived of the last traces of an independent political life. The
provincial councils established for the maintenance of the imperial cult
did indeed occasionally voice the complaints of the provincials but never
acquired active political powers. And that the Roman administration proved
a heavy burden is attested by the numerous complaints against the weight
of taxation and the necessity which many emperors felt of remitting the
arrears of tribute.

                            V. MUNICIPAL LIFE

The Roman empire was at bottom an aggregate of locally self-governing
communities, which served as units for conscription, taxation and
jurisdiction. They were held together by the army and the civil service,
and were united by the bonds of a common Graeco-Roman civilization. These
municipalities were of two general types, the Hellenic in the East and the
Latin in the West.

The Hellenic municipalities were developments from the _poleis_, or
city-states, which existed prior to the Roman conquest in Greece and the
Hellenized areas of Asia and Africa. Municipal towns organized in these
areas subsequent to the Roman occupation were of the same type. Their
language of government, as well as of general intercourse, was Greek. The
characteristic political institutions of the Hellenic municipalities were
a popular assembly, a council or _boule_ and annual magistrates. The
assembly had the power to initiate legislation; the council and
magistrates were elected by it or were chosen by lot. But even under the
Roman republic these democratic institutions were considerably modified in
the interests of the wealthier classes. Timocratic constitutions were
established with required property qualifications for citizenship and for
the council and offices. The principate saw a further development along
the same lines. The assemblies lost their right to initiate legislation, a
power which passed to the magistrates, while the council tended to become
a body of ex-magistrates who held their seats for life. However, in spite
of this approximation to the Latin type, the Greek official terminology
remained unchanged throughout the first three centuries A. D.

The Latin type of municipality was that which developed on Italian soil
with the extension of Roman domination over the peninsula, and which was
given uniformity by the legislation of Julius Caesar. With the
Romanization of the western part of the empire it spread to Africa, Spain,
Gaul, Britain, Germany and the Danubian provinces. In spite of the
distinctions in status between Roman and Latin colonies and _municipia_,
all these classes of municipalities were of the same general type which is
revealed to us in the Julian Municipal Law (45 B. C.), the charter of the
Roman _Colonia Genetiva Julia_ (44 B. C.), and those of the Latin
municipalities of Malaca and Salpensa (81–84 A. D.).

The constitutions of these municipalities were patterned closely after
that of Rome, although certain titles, like those of consul and Senate
were reserved for the capital city. Like Rome, the municipal towns had
their officials, their council (_curia_, _ordo_), and their plebs. The
chief magistrates were a pair of duovirs (or at times a college of
quattuovirs), who were assisted by two aediles, and two quaestors The
duovirs were in charge of the local administration of justice, and in
general conducted the public affairs of the community. Every fifth year
the duovirs were called _quinquennales_ and took the census. The aediles
had charge of public works, and market and police regulations, while the
quaestors were the local treasury officials. All the officials were
elected by popular vote, but a definite property qualification was
required of each candidate. If no candidates presented themselves for any
particular office, provision was made for the nomination of candidates who
must serve if elected. At his election each magistrate paid into the
treasury, or expended in accordance with the direction of the council, a
definite sum of money (_summa honoraria_), which varied for each office in
different communities. Oftentimes these officers did not restrict
themselves to the required sum but took this opportunity for displaying
their municipal loyalty. As other prominent citizens followed their
example the municipalities were richly provided with useful and ornamental
public works donated by the richer classes. Thus the municipal offices,
being unsalaried, were a heavy drain upon the resources of their holders,
but at the same time they offered almost the sole opportunity for
gratifying the political ambitions of the population of the provinces. In
addition to these civil officials, each community had its colleges of
pontiffs and augurs.

The members of the _curia_ were called _decuriones_, and were usually one
hundred in number. They comprised those who had held some local
magistracy, and others having the requisite property qualification who
were enrolled directly (_adlecti_) in the council. The council supervised
the work of the magistrates and really directed the municipal
administration. As in early Rome, so in the municipalities the people were
grouped in _curiae_, which were the voting units in the local assembly or
_comitia_. This assembly elected the magistrates and had legislative
powers corresponding to those of the Roman assemblies. However, in the
course of the second century A. D. these legislative powers passed into
the hands of the council, whose decrees became the sole form of municipal

*The collegia.* While the plebs of Rome and the municipalities alike had
little opportunity for political activity they found a compensation in the
social life of their guilds or colleges. These were associations of
persons who had some common tie, such as a common trade or profession, a
common worship, or the humble desire to secure for themselves a decent
burial by mutual coöperation. Thus arose professional, religious, and
funerary colleges. The organization of the colleges was modelled on that
of the municipalities. They had their patrons, their presidents
(_magistri_, or _quinquennales_), their quaestors, and their treasury
sustained by initiation fees, monthly dues, fines, contributions, gifts
and legacies. The membership was called plebs or _populus_. The chief
factor in the life of the colleges was the social element and their most
important gatherings were for the purpose of holding a common banquet. The
professional colleges in no way corresponded to the modern trades unions;
they attempted no collective bargaining with regard to wages, prices or
working hours, although they did not altogether neglect the common
interests of their profession.

Apparently until late republican times no restrictions had been placed
upon the forming of such collegiate associations, but in 64 B. C. all such
unions in Rome had been abolished because of the disorders occasioned by
political clubs. In 58 B. C. complete freedom of association was restored,
only to be revoked again by Julius Caesar who permitted only the old and
reputable professional and religious colleges to remain in existence.
Under Augustus a law was passed which regulated for the future the
character, organization and activities of these associations. New colleges
could only be established in Italy or the provinces if sanctioned by a
decree of the Senate or edict of the princeps, and membership in an
unauthorized college was a treasonable offence. Trajan authorized the
unrestricted formation of funerary colleges (_collegia tenuiorum_) in
Rome, and Septimius Severus extended this privilege to Italy and the
provinces. Under Marcus Aurelius the colleges were recognized as juristic
persons, with power to manumit slaves and receive legacies. Not only
persons of free birth but also freedmen and slaves, and in many cases
women as well as men, were freely admitted to membership in the colleges.

*The decline of the municipalities.* The prosperity of the empire depended
upon the prosperity of the municipalities and it is in the latter that the
first symptoms of internal decay are noticeable. These symptoms were
economic decline and the consequent loss of local autonomy. The reasons
for the economic decline are hard to trace. Among them we may perhaps
place the ruin of many of the wealthier families by the requirements of
office-holding, the withdrawal of others who were eligible for the
imperial service with its salaried offices; overtaxation, bad management
of local finances, and the disappearance of a free peasantry in the
surrounding rural districts who had furnished a market for the
manufacturers and merchants of the towns. The devastating wars of the
third century with the resultant general paralysis of trade and commerce,
plus the depopulation caused by plague and barbarian invasions, struck the
municipalities a crushing blow from which they never recovered.

As early as the time of Trajan the imperial government found it necessary
to appoint officials called curators to reorganize the financial
conditions in one or more municipalities, sometimes those of a whole
province. At first these were irregular officials, senators or
equestrians, but by the third century they had become a fixture in
municipal administration and were chosen from among the local
_decuriones_. Another evidence of the same conditions is the change which
took place in the position of the local magistracies. In the second
century these offices were still an honor for which candidates voluntarily
presented themselves, although there were unmistakable signs that in some
districts they were coming to be regarded as a burden. In the third
century the magistracies had become an obligation resting upon the local
senatorial order, and to which appointments were made by the _curia_. The
_decurionate_ also had become a burden which all who possessed a definite
census rating must assume. To assure itself of its revenues in view of the
declining prosperity of the communities the imperial government had hit
upon the expedient of making the local decurions responsible for
collecting the taxes, and consequently had been forced to make the
decurionate an obligatory status. The _curia_ and municipal magistracies
had ended by becoming unwilling cogs in the imperial financial

This loss of municipal independence was accompanied by the conversion of
the voluntary professional colleges into compulsory public service
corporations. From the opening of the principate the government had
depended largely upon private initiative for the performance of many
necessary services in connection with the provisioning of the city of
Rome, a task which became increasingly complicated when the state
undertook the distribution of oil under Septimius Severus, of bread in
place of grain and of cheap wine under Aurelian. Therefore such colleges
as the shipowners (_navicularii_), bakers (_pistores_), pork merchants
(_suarii_), wine merchants (_vinarii_), and oil merchants (_olerarii_)
received official encouragement. Their members individually assumed public
contracts and in course of time came to receive certain privileges because
it was recognized that they were performing services necessary to the
public welfare. Marcus Aurelius, Severus and Caracalla were among the
emperors who thus fostered the professional guilds. Gradually the idea
developed that these services were public duties (_munera_) to which the
several colleges were obligated, and hence Severus Alexander took the
initiative in founding new colleges until all the city trades were thus
organized. The same princeps appointed judicial representatives from each
guild and placed them under the jurisdiction of definite courts. The
colleges from this time onward operated under governmental supervision and
really formed a part of the machinery of the administration, although they
had not yet become compulsory and hereditary organizations.

The history of the colleges in the municipalities paralleled that of the
Roman guilds, although it cannot be traced so clearly in detail. The best
known of the municipal colleges are those of the artificers (_fabri_), the
makers of rag cloths (_centonarii_), and the wood cutters (_dendrophori_).
The organization of these colleges was everywhere encouraged because their
members had the obligation of acting as a local fire brigade, but in the
exercise of their trades they were not in the service of their respective

It was in the latter part of the third century, when the whole fabric of
society seemed threatened with destruction, that the state, with the
object of maintaining organized industry and commerce, placed upon the
properties of the members of the various colleges in Rome and in the
municipalities the burden of maintaining the work of these corporations; a
burden which soon came also to be laid upon the individual members
thereof. In this way the plebeian class throughout the empire sank to the
status of laborers in the service of the state.

                       VI. THE COLONATE OR SERFDOM

While the municipal decurions, and the Roman and municipal plebs had thus
sunk to the position of fiscally exploited classes, the bulk of the
agricultural population of the empire had fallen into a species of serfdom
known to the Romans as the colonate, from the use of the word _colonus_ to
denote a tenant farmer. This condition arose under varying circumstances
in the different parts of the empire, but its development in Italy and the
West was much influenced by the situation in some of the eastern
provinces, where the peasantry were in a state of quasi-serfdom prior to
the Roman conquest.

*Egypt.* In Egypt under the Ptolemies the inhabitants of village
communities were compelled to perform personal services to the state,
including the cultivation of royal land not let out on contract, each
within the boundaries of the community in which he was registered (his
_idia_). With the introduction of Roman rule this theory of the _idia_ was
given greater precision. All the land of each village had to be tilled by
the residents thereof, either as owners or tenants. At times, indeed, the
inhabitants of one village might be forced to cultivate vacant lands at a
distance. During the seasons of sowing and harvest the presence of every
villager was required in his _idia_. The crushing weight of taxation,
added to the other obligations of the peasantry caused many of them to
flee from their _idia_, and this led to an increasing amount of unleased
state land. As a large number of private estates had developed, chiefly
because of the encouragement extended to those who brought waste land
under cultivation, the government forced the property holders to assume
the contracts for the vacant public lands in their districts. With the
introduction of the municipal councils in the course of the third century,
these were made responsible for the collection of the taxes of each nome.
To enable the councillors, who were property holders, to fulfill this
obligation, their tenants were forbidden to leave their holdings. And so,
as state or private tenants, the peasants came to be bound to the soil.

The development in Asia Minor was similar. There the royal lands of the
Seleucids became the public land of Rome, and out of this the Roman
magnates of the later Republic developed vast estates which in turn were
concentrated in the hands of Augustus. These imperial domains were
cultivated by peasants, who lived in village communities and paid a yearly
rental for the land they occupied. The rest of the land of Asia formed the
territories dependent upon the Greek cities, and was occupied by a native
population who were in part free peasants settled in villages. On the
imperial domains the village came to be the _idia_ to which the peasant
was permanently attached for the performance of his liturgies or
obligatory services, while on the municipal territories the agricultural
population was bound to the soil as tenants of the municipal landholders,
the local senators, upon whom had been placed the responsibility for the
payment of the taxes of their municipalities.

*Africa.* In Africa the transformation was effected differently. There, at
the opening of the principate, outside of the municipal territories, the
land fell into _ager publicus_, private estates of Roman senators and
imperial domains. Under the early emperors, particularly Nero, the bulk of
the private estates passed by legacy and confiscation into the control of
the princeps, who also took over the administration of the public domain
in so far as it was not absorbed in new municipal areas. This domain land
was divided into large districts (_tractus_, _regiones_) which were
directly administered by imperial procurators. Each district comprised a
number of estates (_saltus_, _fundi_). Whatever slave labor had at one
time been used in African agricultural operations was, by the early
principate, largely displaced by free laborers, called _coloni_. These
_coloni_ were either Italian immigrants or tributary native holders of the
public land.

The estates were usually managed as follows. The procurators leased them
to tenant contractors (_conductores_), who retained a part of their lease
holds under their own supervision, and sublet the remainder to tenant
farmers (_coloni_). The relation of these _coloni_ to the contractors as
well as to the owners of private estates or their bailiffs (_vilici_), was
regulated by an edict of a certain Mancia, apparently a procurator under
the Flavians. By this edict the _coloni_ were obliged to pay a definite
proportion of their crop as rental, and in addition to render a certain
number of days’ work, personally and with their teams, on the land of the
person from whom they held their lease. The _coloni_ comprised both
landless residents on the estates and small landholders from neighboring
villages. They were encouraged to occupy vacant domain land and bring it
under cultivation. Over plough land thus cultivated they obtained the
right of occupation for life, but orchard land became an hereditary
possession, while in both cases the occupant was required to pay rental in
kind to the state. Hadrian also tried to further the development of
peasant landholders by permitting the _coloni_ to occupy any lands not
tilled by the middlemen, and giving them rights of possession over all
types of land. However, the forced services still remained and these
constituted the chief grievance of the _coloni_. And here the government
was on the horns of a dilemma, for if the middlemen were restrained from
undue exactions often large areas remained untilled, and if the _coloni_
were oppressed they absconded and left their holdings without tenants.

It was in the course of the third century that the failure to create an
adequate class of independent small farmers caused the state to fall back
upon the development of large private estates as the only way of keeping
the land under cultivation and maintaining the public revenues. As a
result of this change of policy the middlemen were transformed from
tenants into proprietors, and, like the landholders of Egypt, they were
forced to assume the lease of vacant public land adjacent to their
estates. But to make it possible for the proprietors to fulfill this
obligation the state had to give them control over the labor needed to
till the soil. Hence the _coloni_ were forbidden to leave the estates
where they had once established themselves as tenants. In Africa the
estate became the _idia_ or _origo_ corresponding to the village in Egypt.
In the municipal territories the landholders of the towns played the rôle
of the middlemen on the imperial domains.

*Italy.* In Italy, unlike Africa, conditions upon the private, rather than
the imperial, domains determined the rise of the colonate. At the close of
the Republic the land of Italy was occupied by the _latifundia_ and
peasant holdings, the former of which were by far the most important
factor in agricultural life. It will be recalled that the _latifundia_
were great plantations and ranches whose development had been facilitated
by an abundant supply of cheap slave labor. However, even in the first
century B. C. these plantations were partly tilled by free peasants,
either as tenants or day laborers, and under the principate there was a
gradual displacement of slaves by free _coloni_. The causes for this
transformation lay in the cutting off of the main supply of slaves through
the suppression of the slave-trading pirates and the cessation of
aggressive foreign wars, the decrease in the number of slaves through
manumissions, the growth of humanitarian tendencies which checked their
ruthless exploitation, and the realization that the employment of free
labor was in the long run more profitable than that of slaves,
particularly when the latter were becoming increasingly expensive to
procure. The _coloni_ worked the estates of the landowners for a certain
proportion of the harvest. As elsewhere, in Italy it was fiscal necessity
which converted the free _coloni_ into serfs. With the spread of waste
lands, due partly to a decline of the population, the state intervened on
behalf of the landlords as it had in the provinces and attached the
peasants to the domain where they had once been voluntary tenants.
Elsewhere throughout the empire, although the process cannot be traced in
detail, a similar transformation took place.

Perhaps the ultimate responsibility for the development of the colonate
may rest upon the attempt of the imperial government to incorporate within
the empire vast territories in a comparatively low state of civilization,
and upon the fiscal system whereby it was designed that the expenses
imposed by this policy should be met. In the West the administration
strove to develop a strong class of prosperous peasants as state tenants;
in the East its object was to maintain this class which was already in
existence. But the financial needs of the state caused such a heavy burden
to be laid upon the agricultural population that the ideal of a prosperous
free peasantry proved impossible of realization. The ravages of war and
plague in the second and third centuries also fell heavily upon the
peasants. As a last resource to check the decline of agriculture the
government placed the small farmer at the disposal of the rich landlord
and made him a serf. The results were oppression, poverty, lack of
initiative, a decline in the birth rate, flight and at the end an increase
of uncultivated, unproductive land. The transplanting of conquered
barbarians within the empire swelled the class of the _coloni_ but proved
only a partial palliative to the general shrinkage of the agricultural
elements. But the converse to the development of the colonate was the
creation of a powerful class of landholders who were the owners of large
domains exempt from the control of municipal authorities.

                                CHAPTER XX

                           RELIGION AND SOCIETY

                     I. SOCIETY UNDER THE PRINCIPATE

*Imperial Rome.* Roman society under the Principate exhibits in general
the same characteristics as during the last century of the Republic. Rome
itself was a thoroughly cosmopolitan city, where the concentration of
wealth and political power attracted the ambitious, the adventurous and
the curious from all lands. Whole quarters were occupied by various
nationalities, most prominent among whom were the Greeks, the Syrians, and
the Jews, speaking their own languages and plying their native trades.
With the freeborn foreign population mingled the thousands of slaves and
freedmen of every race and tongue. During the first and second century the
population of Rome must have been in the neighborhood of one million, but
in the third century it began to decline as a result of pestilence and the
general bankruptcy of the empire. Inevitably in such a city there were the
sharpest contrasts between riches and poverty, and the luxurious palaces
of the wealthy were matched by the squalid tenements of the proletariat.
In outward appearance Rome underwent a transformation which made her
worthy to be capital of so vast an empire. This was largely due to the
great number of public buildings erected by the various emperors and to
the lavish employment of marble in public and private architecture from
the time of Augustus. The temples, basilicas, fora, aqueducts, public
baths, theatres, palaces, triumphal arches, statues, and parks combined to
arouse the enthusiastic admiration of travelers and the pride of its
inhabitants. But, although after the great fire of 64 A. D. many
improvements were made in the plan of the city, restrictions placed upon
the height of buildings, and fireproof construction required for the lower
stories, still the streets remained narrow and dingy, the lofty tenements
were of flimsy construction, in perpetual danger of collapse, and
devastating conflagrations occurred periodically.

The task of feeding the city plebs and providing for their entertainment
was a ruinous legacy left by the Republic to the principate. Although the
number of recipients of free corn was not increased after Augustus, the
public spectacles became ever more numerous and more magnificent. Under
Tiberius eighty-seven days of the year were regularly occupied by these
entertainments but by the time of Marcus Aurelius there were one hundred
and thirty-five such holidays. In addition came extraordinary festivals to
celebrate special occasions, like the one hundred and twenty-three day
carnival given by Trajan at his second Dacian triumph in 106 A. D. The
spectacles were of three main types; the chariot races in the circus, the
gladiatorial combats and animal baiting in the amphitheatre, and the
dramatic and other performances in the theatre. The expense of these
celebrations fell upon the senatorial order and the princeps. Indeed the
most important function of the consulship, praetorship and, until its
disappearance in the third century, the aedileship, came to be the
celebration of the regular festivals. The sums provided for such purposes
by the state were entirely inadequate and so the cost had to be met
largely from the magistrates’ private resources. The extraordinary
spectacles were all given at the expense of the princeps who also at times
granted subventions to favored senators from the imperial purse. The cost
of the public shows placed as heavy a drain upon the fortunes of the
senatorial order as did the _summa honoraria_ upon the holders of
municipal offices.

A new feature of Roman society under the principate was the growth of the
imperial court. In spite of the wishes of Augustus and some of his
successors to live on a footing of equality with the rest of the nobility,
it was inevitable that the exceptional political power of the princeps
should give a corresponding importance to his household organization.
Definite offices developed within the imperial household not only for the
conduct of public business but also for the control of slaves and freedmen
in the domestic service of the princeps. The chief household officials
were the chamberlain _a cubiculo_ and the chief usher (_ab admissione_).
Because of their intimate personal association with the princeps their
influence over him was very great, and as a rule they did not hesitate to
use their position to enrich themselves at the expense of those who sought
the imperial favor. From among the senators and equestrians the princeps
chose a number of intimate associates and advisors who were called his
“friends.” When forming part of his cortege away from Rome they were known
as his companions (_comites Augusti_). In connection with the imperial
audiences a certain degree of ceremonial developed, with fixed forms of
salutation which differentiated the rank and station of those attending
these functions. In the society of the capital the personal tastes of the
princeps set the fashion of the day.

*Clients.* Characteristic of the times was the new form of clientage which
was a voluntary association of master and paid retainer. Under the
republic eminent men had throngs of adherents to greet them at their
morning reception and accompany them to the forum. It had now become
obligatory for practically every man of wealth to maintain such a retinue,
which should be at his beck and call at all hours of the day and be
prepared to serve him in various ways. In return the patron helped to
support his clients with fees, food, and gifts of clothing, and rendered
them other favors. The clients were recruited partly from freedmen, partly
from citizens of low birth, and partly from persons of the better class
who had fallen upon evil days. In general the lot of these pensioners does
not seem to have been a very happy one—even the slaves of their patrons
despised them—and their large numbers are to be attributed to the superior
attractions of city over country life, and to the stigma which in Rome
rested upon industrial employment.

*Slaves and freedmen.* In the early principate slave-holding continued on
as large a scale as in the late republic. The palaces of the wealthy in
Rome could count slaves by hundreds; on the larger plantations they were
numbered by thousands. Trained slaves were also employed in great numbers
in various trades and industries. Their treatment varied according to
their employment and the character of their owners, but there was a steady
progress towards greater humanitarianism, largely due to the influence of
philosophic doctrines. In the age of the Antonines this produced
legislation which limited the power of the master over his slave. As time
went on the number of slaves steadily diminished, in part because of the
cessation of continual foreign wars after the time of Augustus, in part
because of the great increase of manumissions. Not only were large numbers
set free at the death of their owners as a final act of generosity, but
also many found it profitable to liberate their slaves and provide them
with capital to engage in business for themselves. Many slaves also had
good opportunities for accumulating a small store of money (_peculium_)
with which they could purchase their freedom.

The result of these wholesale manumissions was a tremendous increase in
the freedmen class. Foreseeing the effect that this would have upon the
Roman citizen body, Augustus endeavored to restrict the right of
emancipation. By the _lex Fufia Caninia_ (2 B. C.) testamentary
manumissions were limited to a fixed proportion of the total number of
slaves held by the deceased, and not more than one hundred allowed in any
case. The _lex Aelia Sentia_ (4 A. D.) placed restrictions upon the
master’s right of manumission during his lifetime, and the Junian law of
about the same time prevented slaves liberated without certain formalities
from receiving Roman citizenship although granting them the status of
Latins. Even freedmen who became Romans lacked the right of voting or of
holding office in Rome or the municipalities, unless they received from
the princeps the right to wear the gold ring which gave them the
privileges of freeborn citizens. In spite of these laws the number of the
freedmen grew apace, and there is no doubt that in the course of the
principate the racial characteristics of the population of Rome and of the
whole peninsula of Italy underwent a complete transformation as a result
of the infusion of this new element, combined with the emigration of
Italians to the provinces.

The importance of the rôle played by the freedmen in Roman society was in
proportion to their numbers. From them were recruited the lower ranks of
the civil service, they filled every trade and profession, the commerce of
the empire was largely in their hands, they became the managers of estates
and of business undertakings of all sorts. The eager pursuit of money at
all costs was their common characteristic, and “freedman’s wealth” was a
proverbial expression for riches quickly acquired. The more successful of
their class became landholders in Italy and aped the life and manners of
the nobility. Their lack of good taste, so common to the _nouveaux riches_
of all ages, afforded a good target for the jibes of satirists and is
caricatured in the novel of Petronius. We have already seen the influence
of the few among them who by the emperors’ favor attained positions of
political importance. Despise the freedmen though they might, the Romans
found them indispensable for the conduct of public and private business.

*Commerce and industry.* The restoration of peace within the empire, the
suppression of piracy, the extension of the Roman military highways
throughout all the provinces, the establishment of a single currency valid
for the whole empire, and the low duties levied at the provincial customs
frontiers combined to produce an hitherto unexampled development of
commercial enterprise. Traders from all parts of the provinces thronged
the ports of Italy, and one merchant of Hierapolis in Phrygia has left a
record of his seventy-two voyages there. But Roman commerce was not
confined within the Roman borders, it also flourished with outside
peoples, particularly those of the East. From the ports of Egypt on the
Red Sea large merchant fleets sailed for southern Arabia and India, while
a brisk caravan trade through the Parthian and Bactrian kingdoms brought
the silks of China to the Roman markets. Even the occasional presence of
Roman merchants in China is vouched for by Chinese records. Among all the
races of the empire the most active in these mercantile ventures were the
Syrians, whose presence may be traced not only in the commercial centers
of the East, but also in the harbors of Italy and throughout all the
western provinces.

The increased opportunities for trading stimulated the development of
manufacturing, for not only could raw materials be more easily procured
but towns favorably situated for the manufacture of particular types of
goods could find a wider market for their products. However, industrial
organization never attained a high degree of development. In the
production of certain wares, such as articles of bronze, silver, glass,
and, especially, pottery and bricks, the factory system seems to have been
employed, with a division of labor among specialized artisans. In general,
however, this was not the case and each manufactured article was the
product of one man’s labor. In Italy, and probably throughout the western
provinces, the bulk of the work of this sort was done by slaves and

At the same time the art of agriculture had been developed to a very high
degree, and Columella, an agricultural writer of the time of Nero, shows a
good knowledge of the principles of fertilization and rotation of crops.

However, this material prosperity, which attained its height early in the
second century of our era, declined from reasons which have already been
described until the whole empire reached a state of economic bankruptcy in
the course of the third century. The progressive bankruptcy of the
government is shown by the steady deterioration of the coinage. Under Nero
the denarius, the standard silver coin, was first debased. This debasement
continued until under Septimius Severus it became one half copper.
Caracalla issued a new silver coin, the Antoninianus, one and a half times
the weight of the denarius of the day. Both these coins rapidly
deteriorated in quality until they became mere copper coins with a wash of
silver. Aurelian made the first attempt to correct this evil by issuing
only the Antoninianus and giving this a standard value.

To pass a moral judgment upon society under the principate is a difficult
task. The society depicted in the satires of Juvenal and in Martial, in
the court gossip of Suetonius, or in the polemics of the Christian writers
seems hopelessly corrupt and vicious. But their picture is not complete.
The letters of Pliny reveal an entirely different world with a high
standard of human conduct, whose ideals are expressed in the philosophic
doctrines of Seneca and Marcus Aurelius. And the funerary inscriptions
from the municipalities, where life was more wholesome and simple than in
the large cities, pay a sincere tribute to virtue in all its forms. The
luxurious extravagance of imperial Rome has been equalled and surpassed in
more recent times, and, apart from the vices of slavery and the arena,
modern society has little wherewith to reproach that of the principate.

                        II. THE INTELLECTUAL WORLD

*Literature.* The principate had two literatures; one Greek, the other
Roman. But the forms of literary production were the same in each, and the
Roman authors took rank with those of Greece in their respective fields.
For the Romans could boast that they had adapted the Latin tongue to the
literary types of the older culture world, while preserving in their work
a spirit genuinely Roman.

*The Augustan age.* The feeling of relief produced by the cessation of the
civil wars, and the hopes engendered by the policy of Augustus inspired a
group of writers whose genius made the age of Augustus the culminating
point in the development of Roman poetry, like the age of Cicero in Roman
prose. Foremost among the poets of the new era was Virgil (70–19 B. C.),
the son of a small landholder of Mantua, whose _Aeneid_, a national epic,
the glorification alike of Rome and of the Julian house, placed him with
Homer in the front rank of epic poets for all time. His greatest
contemporary was Horace (65–8 B. C.), the son of a freedman from South
Italy. It was Horace who first wrote Latin lyrics in the complicated
meters of Greece, and whose genial satire and insight into human nature
have combined with his remarkable happiness of phrase to make him the
delight of cultivated society both in antiquity and modern times. The
leading elegiac poets were Propertius, Tibullus and Ovid (43 B. C.–17
A. D.). In his _Fasti_ and _Metamorphoses_ the latter recounted with
masterly narrative skill the legends of Greek and Roman mythology. His
elegies reveal the spirit of the pleasure-seeking society of new Rome and
show the ineffectiveness of the attempt of Augustus to bring about a moral
regeneration of the Roman people. This, probably, was the true ground for
his banishment from Rome. Livy (59 B. C.–17 A. D.) was the one prose
writer of note in the Augustan age. His history of Rome is a great work of
art, an _Aeneid_ in prose, which celebrated the past greatness of Rome and
the virtues whereby this had been attained—those virtues which Augustus
aimed to revive.

*The age of Nero.* From Augustus to Nero there are no names of note in
Roman literature, but under the latter came a slight reawakening of
literary productivity. Seneca (4 B. C.–65 A. D.), a Spaniard from Corduba,
Nero’s tutor, minister and victim, is best known as the exponent of the
practical Stoic religion and the only Roman tragedian whose works have
survived. His nephew Lucan (39–65 A. D.) portrayed in his epic, the
_Pharsalia_, the struggle of the republicans against Julius Caesar. His
work shows a reawakening of a vain republican idealism and is the
counterpart to the Stoic opposition in the senate. Petronius (d. 66
A. D.), the arbiter of the refinements of luxury at Nero’s court,
displayed his originality by giving, in the form of a novel, a skilful and
lively picture of the society of the freedmen in the Greek municipalities
of South Italy.

*The Flavian era.* Under the Flavians, Pliny the Elder (23–79 A. D.), a
native of Cisalpine Gaul, compiled his _Natural History_, which he aimed
to make an encyclopaedia of information on the whole world of nature. It
is a work of monumental industry but displays a lack of critical acumen
and scientific training. At about the same time there taught in Rome the
Spaniard Quintilian (d. 95 A. D.), who wrote on the theory and practice of
rhetoric, expressing in charming prose the Ciceronian ideal of life and
education. His countryman Martial (d. 102 A. D.) gave in satiric epigrams
glimpses of the meaner aspects of contemporary life.

*Tacitus and his contemporaries.* The freer atmosphere of the government
of Nerva and Trajan allowed the senatorial aristocracy to voice feelings
carefully suppressed under the terror of Domitian. Their spokesman was
Tacitus (55–116 A. D.), a man of true genius, who ranks next to Thucydides
as the representative of artistic historical writing in ancient times. His
_Treatise on the Orators_, his _Life of Agricola_, and his descriptive
account of the German peoples (_Germania_) were preludes to two great
historical works, the _Annals_ and the _Histories_, which together covered
the period from 14–96 A. D. His attitude is strongly influenced by the
persecutions of senators under Domitian, and is the expression of his
personal animosity and that of the descendants of the older republican
nobility towards the principate in general. A friend of Tacitus, the
younger Pliny (62–113 A. D.), imitated Cicero in collecting and publishing
his letters. This correspondence is valuable as an illustration of the
life and literary diletantism of educated circles of the day, as also for
the light it throws upon the administrative policies of Trajan. An
embittered critic of the age was the satirist Juvenal (d. about 130
A. D.), from Aquinum in Italy, who wrote from a stoical standpoint but
with little learning and narrow vision. Somewhat later the first literary
history of Rome was written by Suetonius (75–150 A. D.), who is better
known as the author of the _Lives of the Caesars_ (from Julius to
Domitian), a series of gossipy narratives which set the style for future
historical writing in Rome.

With Hadrian begins the period of archaism in Roman literature, that is,
an artificial return to the Latin of Cato, Ennius and Plautus, an
unmistakable symptom of intellectual sterility.

*Provincial literature.* The progress of Romanization in the provinces is
clearly marked by the participation of provincials in the literary life of
Rome. From the Cisalpine, from Narbonese Gaul, and from Spain, men with
literary instincts and ability had been drawn to the capital as the sole
place where their talents would find recognition. But gradually some of
the provinces developed a Latin culture of their own. The first evidences
of this change came from the age of the Antonines, when a Latin literature
made its appearance in the province of Africa. Its earliest representative
was the sophist Apuleius, the author of the romance entitled _The Golden

*Christian literature.* It was in Africa also that a Latin Christian
literature first arose, and it was the African Christian writers who made
Latin the language of the church in Italy and the West. Of these Christian
apologists the earliest and most influential was Tertullian of Carthage,
whose literary activity falls in the time of the Severi. Cyprian and
Arnobius continued his task in the third century. In Minucius Felix, a
contemporary of Tertullian, the Christian community at Rome found an able
defender of the faith.

*Jurisprudence.* In all other sciences the Romans sat at the feet of the
Greeks, but in that of jurisprudence they displayed both independence and
originality. The growth of Roman jurisprudence was not hampered but
furthered by the establishment of the principate, for the development of a
uniform administrative system for the whole empire called for the
corresponding development of a uniform system of law. The study of law was
stimulated by the practice of Augustus and his successors who gave to
prominent jurists the right of publicly giving opinions (_jus publice
respondendi_) by his authority on the legal merits of cases under trial. A
further encouragement was given by Hadrian’s organization of his judicial
council. The great service of the jurists of the principate was the
introduction into Roman law of the principles of equity founded on a
philosophic conception of natural law and the systematic organization and
interpretation of the body of the civil law. Roman jurisprudence reached
its height between the accession of Hadrian and the death of Severus
Alexander. The chief legal writers of this period were Julian in the time
of Hadrian, Gaius in the age of the Antonines, his contemporary Scaevola,
the three celebrated jurists of the time of the Severi—Papinian, Paul and
Ulpian, all pretorian prefects,—and lastly Modestine, who closes the long
line of classic juris-consults.

*Greek literature.* If we except the brief period of the Augustan age, the
Greek literature of the principate stands both in quantity and quality
above the Latin. Even Augustus had recognized Greek as the language of
government in the eastern half of the empire, and with the gradual
abandonment of his policy of preserving the domination of the Italians
over the provincials Greeks stood upon the same footing as the Latin
speaking provincials in the eyes of the imperial government. In Rome the
Greek author received the same recognition as his Roman _confrère_. Greek
historians, geographers, scientists, rhetoricians and philosophers wrote
not only for Greeks, but for the educated circles of the whole empire. And
it was in Greek that the princeps Marcus Aurelius chose to write his
Meditations. Nor should it be forgotten that Greek was the language of the
early Christian writers, beginning with the Apostle Paul. By the opening
of the third century the champions of the new faith had begun to rank
among the leading authors of the day in the East as well as in the West.

*Plutarch (c. 50–120 A. D.) and Lucian (c. 125–200 A. D.)**.* The best
known names in the Greek literature of the principate are Plutarch and
Lucian. Plutarch’s _Parallel Lives_ of famous Greeks and Romans possess a
perpetual freshness and charm. Lucian was essentially a writer of prose
satires, a journalist who was “the last great master of Attic eloquence
and Attic wit.” In the realm of science, Ptolemy the astronomer, and Galen
the student of medicine, both active in the second century, profoundly
influenced their own and subsequent times.

*Philosophy.* As we have seen, the doctrines of Stoicism continued to
appeal to the highest instincts of Roman character. Besides Seneca and
Marcus Aurelius this creed found a worthy exponent in the ex-slave
Epictetus, who taught between 90 and 120 A. D. at Nicopolis in Epirus.
With Plotinus (204–270 A. D.), Greek philosophy became definitely
religious in character, resting upon the basis of revelation and belief,
not upon that of reason.

*Art.* Roman art found its chief inspiration in, and remained in close
contact with, Roman public life. The artists of the principate may well
have been Greeks, but they wrought for Romans and had to satisfy Roman
standards of taste. Realism and careful attention to details may be said
to be the two great characteristics of Roman art. This is true both of
Roman sculpture, which excelled in statues, portrait busts, and the
bas-reliefs depicting historical events with which public monuments were
richly decorated, and of the repoussé and relief work which adorned table
ware and other articles of silver, bronze and pottery. The Roman fondness
for costly decorations is well illustrated by the elaborateness of the
frescoes and the mosaics of the villas of Pompeii, and other sites where
excavations have revealed the interiors of Roman public and private
buildings. The erection of the many temples, basilicas, baths, aqueducts,
bridges, amphitheatres and other structures in Rome, Italy and other
provinces supplied a great stimulus to Roman architecture and engineering.
It was in the use of the arch and the vault, particularly the vault of
concrete, that the Roman architects excelled, and their highest
achievements were great vaulted structures like the Pantheon and the Baths
of Caracalla. The most striking testimony to the grandeur of Rome comes
from the remains of Roman architecture in the provinces—from such imposing
ruins as the Porta Nigra of Trèves, the theatre at Orange, the Pont du
Gard near Nîmes, the bridge over the Tagus at Alcantara and the
amphitheatres of Nîmes in France and El-Djemm in Tunisia. But, like the
literature, the Roman art of the principate in time experienced a loss of
creative power. It reached its height under the Flavians and Trajan and
then a steady deterioration set in.

*Causes of intellectual decline.* The third century A. D. witnessed a
general collapse of ancient civilization, no less striking in its cultural
than in its political and economic aspects. This cultural decline was the
result of political causes which had been gradually undermining the
foundations of a vigorous intellectual life. The culture of Greece
culminated in its scientific achievements of the third century B. C. At
that time in comparison with the Greeks the neighboring, peoples were at
best semi-barbarians; in the eastern Mediterranean the Greeks were the
dominant race, still animated by a strong love of political freedom. But
the Roman conquest with its ruthless exploitation of the provinces ruined
the Greek world economically and broke the morale of the Greek peoples,
forcing them to seek their salvation in fawning servility to Rome. The
consequence was that as the Greeks came under the dominion of Rome their
creative impulses withered, their intellectual progress ceased and their
eyes were turned backward upon their past achievements. And the Italians
themselves were on too low an intellectual level to develop a culture of
their own. They had not progressed beyond the adoption of certain aspects
of Greek culture before the century of civil wars between 133 and 30 B. C.
resulted in the establishment of a type of government which gradually
crushed out the spirit of initiative in the Latin speaking world. The
material prosperity and peace during the first two centuries of the
principate made possible the diffusion of a uniform type of culture
throughout the empire as a whole, but after the age of Augustus this is
characterized both in the East and in the West by its imitation of the
past and its lack of creative power. The third century A. D. with its long
period of civil war, foreign invasions, and economic chaos, dealt a fatal
blow to the material basis of ancient civilization. The collapse of
Graeco-Roman culture was rapid and complete, resembling the breakdown of
the civilization of the Aegean Bronze age toward the close of the second
millennium before the Christian era. Culturally, the fourth century A. D.
belongs to the Middle Ages.


*The religious transformation of the Roman world.* The religious
transformation of the Roman world during the principate was fully as
important for future ages as its political transformation. This religious
development consisted in the diffusion throughout the empire of a group of
religions which originated in the countries bordering the eastern shores
of the Mediterranean and hence are generally known as Oriental cults. And
among these oriental religions are included both Judaism and Christianity.

*The state cults.* However, the worship of the divinities of Graeco-Roman
theology by no means died out during the first three centuries of the
Christian era. It continued to flourish in the state cult of Rome, and the
municipal cults of the Italian and provincial towns. With the romanization
of the semi-barbarous provinces Graeco-Roman deities displaced or
assimilated to themselves the gods of the native populations. Druidism,
the national religion of Gaul and Britain, was suppressed chiefly because
it fostered a spirit of resistance to Roman rule. But the most widespread
and vigorous of the state cults was the worship of the princeps.

*The imperial cult.* We have already discussed the establishment of the
imperial cult by Augustus, as a visible expression of the loyalty of the
provincials and their acknowledgment of the authority of Rome and the
princeps. We have also seen how this cult was perpetuated by the
provincial councils organized for that purpose. After the death of
Augustus the imperial cult in the provinces gradually came to include the
worship of both the ruling Augustus and the _Divi_, or deceased emperors,
who had received deification at the hands of the Senate. This practise was
established in all the eastern provinces after the time of Claudius, and
in the West under the Flavians. In Rome where the cult of the ruling
princeps was not practised, Domitian converted the temple of Augustus into
a temple of the _Divi_ or the Caesars.

*The pagan Oriental cults.* The pagan Oriental cults whose penetration of
the European provinces is so marked a feature in the religious life of the
principate were the cults of the peoples of western Asia and Egypt which
had become Hellenized and adapted for world expansion after Alexander’s
conquest of the Persian empire. From this time onward they spread
throughout the Greek culture world but it was not until the establishment
of the world empire of Rome with its facilities for, and stimulus to,
intercourse between all peoples within the Roman frontiers that they were
able to obtain a foothold in western Europe. Their penetration of Italy
began with the official reception of the cult of the Great Mother of
Pessinus at Rome in 205 B. C., but the Roman world as a whole held aloof
from them until the close of the republic. However, during the first two
centuries of the principate they gradually made their way over the western
parts of the empire.

The expansion of the Oriental cults followed the lines of the much
frequented trade routes along which they were carried by travelers,
merchants and colonies of oriental traders. The army cantonments were also
centers for their diffusion, not only through the agency of troops
recruited in the East but also through detachments which had seen service
there in the course of the numerous wars on the eastern frontiers.
Likewise the oriental slaves were active propagandists of their native

The explanation of the ready reception of these cults among all classes of
society is that they guaranteed their adherents a satisfaction which the
official religions were unable to offer. The state and municipal cults
were mainly political in character, and with the disappearance of
independent political life they lost their hold upon men who began to seek
a refuge from the miseries of the present world in the world of the spirit
and the promise of a future life. This want the Oriental cults were able
to meet with the doctrines of a personal religion far different from the
formal worship of the Graeco-Roman deities.

Certain characteristics of doctrine and ritual were common to the majority
of the Oriental cults. They had an elaborate ritual which appealed both to
the senses and to the emotions of the worshippers. By witnessing certain
symbolic ceremonies the believer was roused to a state of spiritual
ecstasy in which he felt himself in communion with the deity, while by the
performance of sacramental rites he felt himself cleansed from the
defilements of his earthly life and fitted for a purer spiritual
existence. A professional priesthood had charge of the worship, ministered
to the needs of individuals, and conducted missionary work. To an age of
declining intellectual vigor, when men gave over the attempt to solve by
scientific methods the riddle of the universe, they spoke with the
authority of revelation, giving a comforting theological interpretation of
life. And they appealed to the conscience by imposing a rigid rule of
conduct, the observance of which would fit the believer for a happier
existence in a future life.

The most important of these oriental divinities were the Great Mother of
Pessinus, otherwise known as Cybele, worshipped in company with the male
deity Attis; the Egyptian pair Isis and Serapis; Atayatis or the Syrian
goddess, the chief female divinity of North Syria; a number of Syrian gods
(Ba’als) named from the site of their Syrian shrines; and finally Mithra,
a deity whose cult had long formed a part of the national Iranian
religion. Towards all these cults the Roman state displayed wide
toleration, only interfering with them when their orgiastic rites came
into conflict with Roman conceptions of morality. But in spite of this
toleration it required a long time before the conservative prejudices of
the upper classes of Roman society were sufficiently undermined to permit
of their participation in these foreign rites. For one hundred years after
the introduction of the worship of the Magna Mater Romans were prohibited
from enrolling themselves in the ranks of her priesthood. A determined but
unsuccessful attempt was made by the Senate during the last century of the
republic to drive from Rome the cult of Isis, the second of these
religions to find a home in Italy, and in 42 B. C. the triumvirs erected a
temple to this goddess. Augustus, however, banished her worship beyond the
_pomerium_. But this restriction was not enforced by his successors, and
by 69 A. D. the cult of the Egyptian goddess was firmly established in the
capital. The various Syrian deities were of less significance in the
religious life of the West, although as we have seen Elagabalus set up the
worship of one of them, the Sun god of Emesa, as an official cult at Rome.

The Oriental cult which in importance overshadowed all the rest was
Mithraism, one of the latest to cross from Asia into Europe. In
Zoroastrian theology Mithra appears as the spirit who is the chief agent
of the supreme god of light Ormuzd in his struggle against Ahriman, the
god of darkness. He is at the same time a beneficent force in the natural
world and in the moral world the champion of righteousness against the
powers of evil. Under Babylonian and Greek influences Mithra was
identified with the Sun-god, and appears in Rome with the title the
Unconquered Sun-god Mithra (_deus invictus sol Mithra_). Towards the close
of the first century A. D. Mithraism began to make its influence felt in
Rome and the western provinces, and from that time it spread with great
rapidity. Mithra, as the god of battles, was a patron deity of the
soldiers, who became his zealous missionaries in the frontier camps. His
cult was also regarded with particular favor by the emperors, whose
authority it supported by the doctrine that the ruler is the chosen of
Ormuzd and an embodiment of the divine spirit. It is not surprising then
that Aurelian, whose coins bore the legend _dominus et deus natus_ (born
god and lord), made the worship of the Unconquered Sun-god the chief cult
of the state.

*Philosophy.* Attention has already been called to the value of Stoicism
in supplying its adherents with a highly moral code of conduct. Other
philosophical systems, notably Epicureanism, likewise inculcated
particular rules of life. But the philosophical doctrines which were best
able to hold their own with the new religions were those of Neoplatonism
and Neopythagoreanism, which came into vogue in the course of the second
century, and exhibited a combination of mysticism and idealism well suited
to the spirit of the age.

*Astrology and magic.* Throughout the principate all classes of society
were deeply imbued with a superstitious fatalism which caused them to
place implicit belief in the efficacy of astrology and magic. Chaldean and
Egyptian astrologers enjoyed a great reputation, and were consulted on all
important questions. They were frequently banished from Rome by the
emperors who feared that their predictions might give encouragement to
their enemies. However, these very emperors kept astrologers in their own
service, and the decrees of banishment never remained long in force. The
almost universal belief in miracles and oracles caused the appearance of a
large number of imposters who throve on the credulity of their clients.
One of the most celebrated of these was the Alexander who founded a new
oracle of Aesculapius at Abonoteichus in Paphlagonia, the fame of which
spread throughout the whole empire and even beyond its borders. In his
exposé of the methods employed by this false prophet, the satirist Lucian
gives a vivid picture of the depraved superstition of his time.

At the close of the principate the pagan world presented a great confusion
of religious beliefs and doctrines. However, the various pagan cults were
tolerant one of another, for the followers of one god were ready to
acknowledge the divinity of the gods worshipped by their neighbors. On the
contrary, the adherents of Judaism and Christianity refused to recognize
the pagan gods, and hence stood in irreconcilable opposition to the whole
pagan world.


*The Jews of the Roman empire.* Alexander the Great’s conquest of the Near
East had thrown open to the Jews the whole Graeco-Macedonian world, and
Jewish settlements rapidly appeared in all its important commercial
centers. The Jewish colonies were encouraged by the Hellenistic monarchs
who granted them immunity from military service, protection in the
exercise of their religion, and a privileged judicial status in the cities
where they were established. In course of time the number of Jews in these
_diaspora_ became much greater than in Judaea itself. Although the Jews
resident outside of Syria had adopted the Greek language, and were
influenced in many ways by their contact with Hellenistic culture, they
still formed part of the religious community presided over by the High
Priest at Jerusalem, and in addition to the annual contribution of two
drachmas to the temple of Jehovah, every Jew was expected to visit
Jerusalem and offer up sacrifice in the temple at least once in the course
of his life. Moreover, they were active in proselytizing and made many
converts among the Greeks and other peoples with whom they came into
contact. However, their connection with Judaea was purely religious and
not political in character.

The privileged status which the Jews had enjoyed in the Hellenistic states
was recognized by the Romans and was specifically confirmed by Augustus,
although this policy caused considerable dissatisfaction among their Greek
fellow townsmen. Furthermore, in deference to the peculiarity of their
religion, the Jews were not required to participate in the imperial cult.
However, the imperial government made no attempt to foster settlements of
the Jews in the western provinces, and during the early principate the
only considerable Jewish colony west of the Adriatic was that in Rome.
With the exception of Caligula, who tried to force the imperial cult upon
the Jews, the successors of Augustus did not interfere with the Jewish
religion, except to forbid its propaganda. The expulsions of the Jews from
Rome under Tiberius and Claudius were not religious persecutions but
police measures taken for the maintenance of good order within the city.

*Christianity and Judaism.* The Christian religion had its origin in
Judaea as a result of the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, who was
crucified by the Roman authorities in the principate of Tiberius, after
having been condemned for blasphemy by the Sanhedrin, the Jewish high
court for the enforcement of the law of Moses. From Judaea Christianity
spread to the Jewish _diaspora_ through the missionary activity of the
disciples and other followers of Jesus, particularly the Apostle Paul.
Although the Christian propaganda was not confined to these Jewish
communities, it was among them that the first Christian congregations
arose, and this, with the Jewish origin of the new faith, caused the
Christians to be regarded by the Roman government as a sect of the Jews.
In 49 A. D. Claudius banished the Jews from Rome because of disorders
among them between the Christians and the adherents of the older faith.
Nero’s persecution of the Christians in 64 A. D. was, as we have seen, not
undertaken on religious grounds, and was perhaps due to Jewish
instigation. On the whole, the Christians benefited by the attitude of
Rome towards their sect, for it gave them the benefit of the immunities
which the adherents of Judaism enjoyed.

Although the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A. D. brought about the
predominance of the non-Jewish element in the Christian ranks, until the
end of the rule of the Flavians the Roman official world made no
distinction between Jew and Christian. Domitian apparently exacted the
_didrachma_ from both alike. Towards the close of his reign, in 95 A. D.,
this princeps executed or banished a number of Romans of senatorial rank
on charges of atheism or conversion to Judaism. Among the victims were
some who professed Christianity. At the same time the Christian
communities of Asia Minor seem to have suffered a rather serious
persecution on the part of the state. However, this may have been due to
disturbances between the Christian and the non-Christian elements in the
Greek cities, and there is no definite proof that Domitian made the
suppression of Christianity part of the public policy.

*Christianity and the Roman state.* After Domitian, Christians were no
longer liable to the _didrachma_, and therefore lost their claim to the
privileges and exemptions of the Jews. A conflict with the secular power
was rendered inevitable by the very nature of Christianity, which was
non-Roman, non-national, and monotheistic, refusing recognition to the
cults of the state, and denying the divinity of the ruler. The Romans
regarded the imperial cult from the political standpoint and considered
the refusal to recognize the divinity of the princeps as an act of
treason. On the other hand, Christians looked upon the question as a
matter of conscience and morality and regarded the worship of the princeps
as an act of idolatry. They could pray for him, but not to him. These two
points of view were impossible of reconciliation. Furthermore, since the
worship of the state gods formed such an integral part of the public life
of each community, it was inevitable that those who refused to participate
in this worship should be looked upon as atheists and public enemies. On
another ground also the Christians were liable to punishment under the
_lex maiestatis_, namely, as forming unauthorized religious associations.
These constituted the crimes for which the Christians were actually
punished from the close of the first to the middle of the third century of
our era.

*Popular accusations against the Christians.* However, throughout this
period the state did not take the initiative against Christians as such,
but only dealt with those individuals against whom specific charges were
laid by private initiative or the action of local magistrates. These
popular accusations charged the Christians with forming illegal
associations, with seeking the destruction of mankind (as _odiatores
humani generis_), and with perpetrating all sorts of monstrous crimes in
their religious rites. Such accusations were partly due to the belief of
the early Christian church in the immediate coming of the kingdom of
Christ, to their consequent scorn of wealth and public honors, and to the
secrecy which surrounded the exercise of their religion.

*The imperial policy from Trajan to Maximus.* The attitude of the Roman
government towards the Christians in the early second century is clearly
seen from the correspondence between Trajan and Pliny the younger, the
governor of Bithynia in 112 A. D. This correspondence fails to reveal any
specific law prohibiting Christianity, but shows that the admission of the
name of Christian, accompanied by the refusal to worship the gods of the
state and the princeps, constituted sufficient grounds for punishment.
Thus a great deal of discretion was left to the provincial governor, who
was directed to pay no attention to anonymous accusations but who was
expected to repress Christianity whenever its spread caused conflicts with
the non-Christian element under his authority. A rescript of Hadrian to
Minucius Fundanus, proconsul of Asia, ordained that Christians should
receive the benefit of a regular trial, and that they should not be
condemned for the name, but for some definite crime, _e. g._, for treason.
An exception to the general policy of the emperors in the second century
was the persecution of the Christian community at Lyons authorized by
Marcus Aurelius. With the state straining every nerve in its struggle with
the barbarians, he regarded the Christians as defaulters to the cause of
the empire, and as unreasonable, ecstatic transgressors of the law. The
attitude of Septimius Severus towards the Christians was in harmony with
the procedure of Trajan and Hadrian. In 202 A. D. he ordered the governor
of Syria to forbid Jewish proselytizing and Christian propaganda, but
forbade that Christians should be sought out with the object of
persecution. Severus Alexander showed himself well-disposed towards
Christianity and the brief persecution of Maximinus the Thracian was
merely a spasmodic expression of hatred against those protected by his

*The persecutions of the third century.* By the middle of the third
century the Christian church was in a flourishing condition. It numbered
among its adherents men in all walks of life, its leaders were men of
culture and ability, and abandoning the attitude of the early church
towards the Kingdom of Heaven, the Christians were taking an active part
in the society in which they lived. The number of the Christians was so
great as to disquiet the government, since in view of their attitude
towards the cults of the state they were still traitors in the eyes of the
law. And so in their struggle against the forces which threatened the
dissolution of the empire, certain of its rulers sought to stamp out
Christianity as a means of restoring religious and political harmony and
loyalty among their subjects. The Christians were regarded as enemies
within the gates and the calamities of the time were attributed to the
anger of the gods towards these unbelievers. In 250 A. D. Decius reversed
the principle enunciated by Septimius Severus and ordained that Christians
were to be sought out and brought to trial. This was accomplished by
ordering all the citizens of the empire by municipalities to perform
public acts of worship to the gods of the state. Those who refused were
punished. The persecution of Decius was terminated by his death in 251,
but his policy was renewed by Valerian in 257 A. D. In that year Valerian
required the Christians to offer sacrifice publicly, forbade their
reunions and closed their cemeteries. In 258 he ordered the immediate
trial of bishops, priests and other officers of the churches, and set
penalties for the various grades of the clergy who persisted in their
beliefs. But Valerian’s persecution also was brief and ended with his
defeat and capture by the Persians in 258 A. D. Naturally, in so large a
body as the Christians now were not all were animated by the zeal and
sincerity of the early brethren, and under threat of punishment many, at
least openly, abjured their faith. However, many others cheerfully
suffered martyrdom and by their example furthered the Christian cause.
Truly, “the blood of the martyrs was the seed of the church.” The
persecutions tried the church sorely, but it emerged triumphant from the

*Organization of the Christian church.* The early Christians formed a
number of small, independent communities, united by ties of common
interest, of belief, and of continual intercourse. Although the majority
of their members were drawn, from the humbler walks of life, they were by
no means confined to the proletariat. In their organization these
communities were all of the same general type, resembling the Roman
religious _collegia_, but local variations were common. Each church
community was directed by a committee, whose members were called at times
elders (presbyters), at times overseers (bishops). These were assisted by
deacons, who, like themselves, were elected by the congregation to which
they belonged. Among the presbyters or bishops one may have acted as
president. The functions of the bishops were primarily administrative,
including the care of the funds of the association, the care of the poor,
the friendless, and traveling brethren, and of discipline among the
members of the community. The deacons were the subordinates of the
bishops, and assisted in the religious services and the general
administration of the community.

But before the close of the principate this loose organization had been
completely changed as a result of separatist tendencies among the
Christians themselves and the increasing official oppression to which they
were exposed. The opposition to these forces resulted in a strict
formulation of evangelic doctrine and a firmer organization of the church
communities. This organization came to be centralized in the hands of the
bishops, now the representatives of the communities. The episcopate was no
longer collegiate, but monarchical, and claimed authority by virtue of
apostolic succession. Apparently the president of the committee of bishops
or presbyters had become the sole bishop, and the presbyters had become
priests subject to his authority, although at times presiding over
separate congregations. The bishops were now regularly nominated by the
clergy, approved by the congregation, and finally inducted into office by
the ceremony of ordination. Besides their administrative powers, the
bishops had the guardianship of the traditions and doctrines of the
church. The clergy were now salaried officers, sharply distinguished from
the laity, who gradually ceased to participate actively in the government
and regulation of worship of their respective communities, and these
communities had developed into corporations organized on a juristic basis,
promising redemption to their members and withholding it from deserters.

*The primacy of Rome.* In the third century, a movement took place for the
organization of the separate churches in larger unions, and in this way
the provincial synods arose. In these the metropolitan bishops, that is,
those from the provincial administrative centers, assumed the leadership.
Among the churches of the empire as a whole two rival tendencies made
themselves manifest. The one was to accord equal authority to all the
bishops, the other to recognize the supremacy of the bishop of Rome. The
claim for the primacy of the Roman see was based upon the imperial
political status of Rome, and the special history of the Roman church. It
was strongly pressed by certain bishops of the second century who laid
emphasis upon the claim of the Roman bishopric to have been established by
the Apostle Peter.

                                 PART IV

               THE AUTOCRACY OR LATE EMPIRE: 285–565 A. D.

                               CHAPTER XXI

                        MAINTAINED; 285–395 A. D.

                       I. DIOCLETIAN: 285–305 A. D.

*The epoch-making character of Diocletian’s reign.* Upon Diocletian
devolved the task of bringing order out of chaos, of rebuilding the
shattered fabric of the Roman empire, of reëstablishing the civil
administration and taking effective measures to secure an enduring peace.
Like many of the emperors of the third century, Diocletian was an Illyrian
of humble origin who by sheer ability and force of character had won his
way up from the ranks to the imperial throne. In attacking the problem of
imperial restoration he displayed restless energy and versatility, a
thorough-going radicalism which knew little respect for traditions, and a
supreme confidence in his ability to restore the economic welfare of the
empire by legislative means. In his administrative reforms he gave
expression to the tendencies which had been at work in the later
principate and with him begins the period of undisguised autocracy, in
which the emperor, supported by the army and the bureaucracy, is the sole
source of authority in the state. Like Augustus, Diocletian was the
founder of a new régime; one in which the absolutist ideal of Julius
Caesar finally attained realization.

*Maximian co-emperor, 286 A. D.* One of the first acts of Diocletian was
to coöpt as his associate in the _imperium_, with the rank of Caesar, a
Pannonian officer named Valerius Maximianus. In 286 Maximian received the
title of Augustus and equal authority with Diocletian. However, the latter
always dominated his younger colleague, and really determined the imperial
policy. In conformity with the undisguised absolutism of his rule,
Diocletian assumed the divine title of Jovius, and that of Herculius was
bestowed upon Maximian. Diocletian’s choice of a co-emperor was determined
largely by the conviction that the burden of empire was too heavy to be
borne by one man. He therefore entrusted the defense of the western
provinces to Maximian, while he devoted his attention to the Danubian and
eastern frontiers. Maximian’s first task was to quell a serious revolt of
the Gallic peasants, called Bagaudae, occasioned by the exactions of the
state and the landholders. After crushing this outbreak (285 A. D.), he
successfully defended the Rhine frontier against the attacks of Franks,
Alamanni and Burgundians (286–88 A. D.). However, in the meantime a
usurper had arisen in Carausius, an officer entrusted with the defense of
the Gallic coast against the North Sea pirates, who made himself master of
Britain and proclaimed himself Augustus (286 A. D.). Maximian was unable
to subdue him, and the two emperors were forced against their will to
acknowledge him as their colleague.

*Regulation of the succession.* Diocletian saw in the absence of a strict
regulation of the succession a fertile cause of civil strife. To do away
with this, and to discourage the rise of usurpers, as well as to relieve
the Augusti of a part of their military and administrative burdens, he
determined to appoint two Caesars as the assistants and destined
successors of Maximian and himself. His choice fell upon Gaius Galerius
and Flavius Valerius Constantius, both Illyrian officers of tried military
capacity. They received the title of Caesar on 1 March, 293 A. D. To
cement the tie between the Caesars and the Augusti, Diocletian adopted
Galerius and gave him his daughter in marriage, while Maximian bound
Constantius to himself in the same way. It was the plan of Diocletian that
the Augusti should voluntarily abdicate after a definite period, and be
succeeded by the Caesars, who in turn should then nominate and adopt their

*The division of the empire.* To each of the four rulers there was
assigned a part of the empire as his particular administrative sphere.
Diocletian took Thrace, Egypt and the Asiatic provinces, fixing his
headquarters at Nicomedia. Maximian received Italy, Raetia, Spain and
Africa, and took up his residence at Milan. To Galerius were allotted the
Danubian provinces and the remainder of the Balkan peninsula, with Sirmium
as his residence; while Constantius, to whose lot fell the provinces of
Gaul, established himself at Trèves. However, this arrangement was not a
fourfold division of the empire, for the Caesars were subject to the
authority of the Augusti, and imperial edicts were issued in the name of
all four rulers. Additional unity was given to the government by the
personal ascendancy which Diocletian continued to maintain over his
associates. One result of this arrangement was that Rome ceased to be the
permanent imperial residence and capital of the empire, Milan and later
Ravenna being preferred as the seat of government for the West. This
change was largely the result of the exclusion of the Senate from all
active participation in the government, and the fact that Rome retained
traditions of republican and senatorial rule incompatible with the spirit
of the new order. Yet, in spite of its loss of prestige, the Eternal City
continued to hold a privileged status, and its citizens were fed and
amused at the expense of the empire.

*The restoration of the frontiers.* The division of the military authority
among four able commanders enabled the government to deal energetically
with all frontier wars or internal revolts. In 296 Constantius recovered
Britain from Allectus, who three years previously had overthrown Carausius
and proclaimed himself Augustus. In 297 Maximian was forced to appear in
person in Africa to suppress a revolt of the Quinquegentiani. Meanwhile,
Diocletian crushed a usurper named Achilles in Egypt and repulsed the
invading Blemyes. Galerius, under the orders of Diocletian, after
repelling attacks of the Iazyges (294 A. D.) and Carpi (296 A. D.), was
called upon to meet a Persian invasion of Armenia and Mesopotamia. He was
at first severely defeated, but, after being reinforced, won a decisive
victory over Narses, the Persian king, and recovered Armenia. Diocletian
himself won back Mesopotamia and the Persians were forced to acknowledge
the Roman suzerainty over Armenia, while the Roman frontier in Mesopotamia
was advanced to the upper Tigris. In all parts of the empire the border
defenses were repaired and strengthened.

*Army reforms; provincial organization.* The military reforms of
Diocletian aimed to correct the weakness revealed in the previous system
by the wars of the third century. He created a powerful mobile force—the
_comitatenses_; while organizing the permanent garrison along the frontier
in the form of a border militia—the _limitanei_. At the same time, the
military and civil authority in the provinces was sharply divided to
prevent a dangerous concentration of power in the hands of any one
official. And the same motive is to be traced in the subdivision of the
province, the number of which was raised to 101. These were grouped in
thirteen dioceses, administered by _vicarii_ (vicars), who were
subordinate to the praetorian prefects.

*The edict of prices, 301 A. D.* Diocletian also made a thorough revision
of the system of taxation, and tried, but without success, to establish a
satisfactory monetary standard. A more conspicuous failure, however, was
his attempt to stabilize economic conditions by government regulation. By
the Edict of Prices issued in 301, he fixed a uniform price for each
commodity and every form of labor or professional service throughout the
empire. The penalty of death was provided for all who demanded or offered
more than the legal price. The law proved impossible to enforce. It took
no account of the variations of supply and demand in the various parts of
the empire, of the difference between wholesale and retail trade, or in
the quality of articles of the same kind. In spite of the severe penalty
prescribed, the provisions of the law were so generally disregarded that
the government abandoned the attempt to carry them into effect.

*Persecution of the Christians, 302 A. D.* Equally unsuccessful were his
measures for the suppression of Christianity. For nearly half a century
following Valerian’s persecution the Christians had enjoyed immunity from
repressive legislation. They had continued to increase rapidly in numbers
and it has been estimated that at this time perhaps two-fifths of the
population of the empire were adherents of the Christian faith. The reason
for the revival of persecution by Diocletian is uncertain, although it may
possibly have been at the instigation of Galerius, who displayed the
greatest zeal in carrying it into effect. In 302 Diocletian issued three
edicts, ordering the confiscation of church property, the dismissal of
Christians from civil offices, the abrogation of their judicial rights,
the enslavement of Christians of plebeian status, the arrest and
imprisonment of the heads of the church, and heavy penalties for those who
refused to offer sacrifice to the state gods, while granting liberty to
all who did so. In 304, a fourth edict ordered all citizens without
exception to make public sacrifice and libation to the gods. The degree to
which these edicts were enforced varied in the different parts of the
empire. The most energetic persecutors were Maximian and Galerius, while
in Gaul Constantius made little or no effort to molest the Christians. The
persecution lasted with interruptions till 313 A. D. Many leading
Christians met a martyr’s death, but the church emerged from the ordeal
more strongly organized and aggressive than before. Its victory made it a
political force of supreme importance.

*Abdication, 305 A. D.* On 1 May, 305 A. D., Diocletian and Maximian,
after a joint rule of twenty years, formally abdicated their authority and
retired into private life. Diocletian withdrew to his palace near Salona
in Dalmatia, and Maximian, much against his will, to an estate in Lucania.
Galerius and Constantius succeeded them as Augusti.

               II. CONSTANTINE I, THE GREAT: 306–337 A. D.

*Constantine Caesar, 306 A. D.* Diocletian’s plan for securing an orderly
succession of rulers for the empire had neglected to take into account
individual ambitions and the strength of dynastic loyalty among the
soldiers. Its failure was forecast in the appointment of the new Caesars.
Galerius, who was the more influential of the new Augusti, disregarded the
claims of Constantine, the son of Constantius, and nominated two of his
own favorites, Severus and Maximinus Daia. In this Constantius acquiesced
but when he died in Britain in 306 A. D., his army acclaimed Constantine
as his successor. Galerius was forced to acknowledge him as Caesar.

*The revolt of Maxentius, 306 A. D.* In the same year Maxentius, the son
of Maximian, took advantage of the opposition aroused in Rome by the
attempt of Galerius to make the city subject to taxation, and caused
himself to be proclaimed Caesar. He was supported by his father, who
emerged from his enforced retirement, and defeated and brought about the
death of Severus, whom Galerius had made Augustus, and sent to subdue him.
Maxentius then took the title of Augustus for himself. The same rank was
accorded to Constantine by Maximian, who made an alliance with him and
gave him his daughter, Fausta, in marriage. Upon the failure of an attempt
by Galerius to overthrow Maxentius, an appeal was made to Diocletian to
return to power and put an end to the rivalries of his successors (307
A. D.). He refused to do so, but induced Maximian, who had quarrelled with
his son, to withdraw a second time from public life. Licinius, who had
been made Caesar by Galerius in place of Severus, became an Augustus,
while Daia and Constantine each received the title of Son of Augustus
(_filius Augusti_), a distinction which Constantine, from the beginning,
and Daia, soon afterwards, ignored. Thus, by 310 A. D., there were five
Augusti (including Maxentius), in the empire and no Caesars. It was not
long before the ambitions of the rival emperors led to a renewal of civil

*The rival Augusti, 310–312 A. D.* In 310 Maximian tried to win over the
army of Constantine, but his attempt failed and cost him his life. The
following year Galerius died, after having, in concert with Constantine
and Licinius, issued an edict which put an end to the persecution of the
Christians and granted them the right to practice their religion; an
admission that the state had failed in its plan to stamp out the religion
of Christ. The empire was then divided as follows: Constantine held
Britain, Gaul and Raetia, Maxentius Spain, Italy and Africa, Licinius the
Illyrian and Balkan provinces, and Maximinus Daia the lands to the east of
the Aegean, including Egypt. The attempt of Maxentius to add Raetia to his
dominions brought him into conflict with Constantine. Constantine allied
himself with Licinius, and Maxentius found a supporter in Maximinus.
Without delay Constantine invaded Italy, and routed the troops of
Maxentius at Verona. He then pressed on to Rome and won a final victory
not far from the Milvian bridge (312 A. D.). Maxentius perished in the
rout. It was in this campaign, as a result of a vision, that Constantine
adopted as his standard the _labarum_, a cross combined with the Christian
monogram formed of the first two letters of the Greek word _Christos_

*Constantine and Licinius, 313–324 A. D.* In 313 Constantine and Licinius
met at Milan, where they issued a joint edict of toleration, which placed
Christianity upon an equal footing with the pagan cults of the state.
Although this edict enunciated the principle of religious toleration for
the empire, it was issued with a view to win the political support of the
Christians and pointed unmistakably to Christianity as the future state
religion. Shortly after the publication of the Edict of Milan, Maximinus
Daia crossed the Bosphorus and invaded the territory of Licinius. He was
defeated by the latter, who followed up his advantage and occupied Asia
Minor. Upon the death of Maximinus, which followed within a short time,
Licinius fell heir to the remaining eastern provinces. These now received
the religious toleration previously extended to the rest of the empire.

However, the concord between the surviving Augusti was soon broken by the
ambitions of Constantine, who felt aggrieved since Licinius controlled a
larger share of the empire than himself. A brief war ensued, which was
terminated by an agreement whereby Licinius ceded to Constantine the
dioceses of Moesia and Pannonia (314 A. D.). In 317 they jointly nominated
as Caesars and their successors, Crispus and Constantine, the younger sons
of Constantine, and Licinianus, the son of Licinius. However, although
they continued to act in harmony for some years longer, it was evident
that they still regarded one another with jealous suspicion. This came
clearly to light in the difference of their policies towards the
Christians. The more Constantine courted their support by granting them
special privileges, the more Licinius tended to regard them with disfavor
and restrict their religious liberty. Finally, in 322 A. D., when
repelling a Gothic inroad, Constantine led his forces into the territory
of Licinius, who treated the trespass as an act of war. Constantine won a
signal victory at Adrianople and his son Crispus destroyed the fleet of
Licinius at the Hellespont. These disasters induced Licinius to withdraw
to Asia Minor. There he was completely defeated by Constantine near
Chrysopolis (18 September, 324 A. D.). Licinius surrendered upon assurance
of his life, but the following year he was executed on a charge of
treason. Constantine was now sole emperor.

*Constantine sole emperor, 324–337 A. D.* Constantine’s administrative
policy followed in the steps of Diocletian, whose organization he
elaborated and perfected in many respects. The praetorian prefecture was
deprived of its military authority, which was conferred upon the
newly-created military offices of master of the horse and the foot
(_magister equitum_ and _peditum_). This completed the separation between
the military and civil offices. Diocletian’s field force was strengthened
by the creation of new mobile units, and his efficient army enabled
Constantine to defend the empire against all barbarian attacks. Upon waste
lands within the frontiers he settled Sarmatians and Vandals, while he
greatly increased the barbarian element in the army as a whole, but
particularly among the officers of higher rank.

*Constantinople, 330 A. D.* Of special importance for the future history
of the empire was the founding of a new capital, called Constantinople, on
the site of ancient Byzantium. After four years’ preparation, the new city
was formally dedicated on 11 May, 330 A. D. The choice of the site of the
new capital of the empire was determined by its strategic importance. It
was conveniently situated with respect to the eastern and Danubian
frontiers, and well adapted as a link between the European and Asiatic
parts of the empire. The aim of the emperor was to make Constantinople a
new Rome, and he gave it the organization and the institutions of Rome on
the Tiber. A new Senate was established there; likewise the public
festivals and free bread for the populace. For the latter purpose the
grain of Egypt was diverted from Rome to Constantinople.

*Constantine and the succession.* Like Diocletian, Constantine realized
the necessity of having more than a single ruler for the empire, but he
determined to choose his associates from the members of his own household.
Accordingly, following Crispus and Constantine, his younger sons,
Constantius and Constans, were given the title of Caesar, while
Licinianus, the son of Licinius, was gotten rid of in 326. In the same
year Crispus was also put to death. The cause of his fall is uncertain. It
involved the death of his stepmother, Fausta, the mother of Constantine’s
other sons. Ultimately, the three surviving Caesars were set over
approximately equal portions of the empire. In 335 Constantine the younger
governed Britain, Gaul and Illyricum; Constans ruled Italy, Africa and
Pannonia; and Constantius was in control of Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt.
In that year Constantine appointed as a fourth Caesar his nephew,
Delmatius, to whom he intended to entrust the government of Thrace,
Macedonia and Achaea. At the same time, Annabalianus, a brother of
Delmatius, was designated as the future ruler of Pontus and Armenia, with
the title of King of Kings.

*Constantine’s Christianity.* Constantine died in May, 337 A. D. shortly
after having been baptized into the Christian church. Although his mother,
Helena, was a Christian, it seems improbable that Constantine himself was
from the first an adherent of that faith. On the whole, one may say that
his attitude towards Christianity was determined largely by political
rather than religious convictions. However, his mother’s influence and his
father’s toleration of Christianity doubtless predisposed him to consider
the Christians with favor. He soon sought the support of the Christians on
political grounds, and his successes over his rivals seem to have
confirmed him in this policy. Finally, he appears to have seen in
Christianity the religion best suited to a universal faith for the empire.
However, Constantine himself did not raise Christianity to that position,
although he prepared the way to this end. Although he forbade the
performance of private sacrifices and magical rites, in other respects he
adhered faithfully to his policy of religious toleration. He took the
title of _pontifex maximus_, maintained the imperial cult, and until 330
issued coins with the image of the Sun-god, with whom the emperor was
often identified. His designation of Sunday as a general holiday in 321
was in full accord with this policy of toleration, for although this was
the day celebrated by the Christians as “the Lord’s day,” as the “day of
the Sun” it could be celebrated by pagans also. Nevertheless, he exhibited
an ever-increasing personal leaning towards Christianity, and granted
special privileges to the Christian clergy. He caused his sons to be
brought up as Christians, and really established a special relation
between the emperor and the church. For his services to the cause of
Christianity he well merited the title of “the Great,” bestowed upon him
by Christian historians.

              III. THE DYNASTY OF CONSTANTINE: 337–363 A. D.

*Constantine II, Constans and Constantius, 337–340 A. D.* Constantine’s
plans for the succession were thwarted by the troops at Constantinople,
who, instigated, as was said, by Constantius, refused to acknowledge any
other rulers than the sons of Constantine and put to death the rest of his
relatives, with the exception of his two youthful nephews, Gallus and
Julian. Constantius and his two brothers then declared themselves Augusti
and divided the empire. Constantine II received Spain, Gaul and Britain,
Constantius Thrace, Egypt and the Orient, while the youngest, Constans,
took the central dioceses, Africa, Italy and Illyricum. However, this
arrangement endured only for a brief time. The peace was broken by
Constantine, who encroached upon the territory of Constans, and affected
to play the rôle of the senior Augustus. However, he was defeated and
killed at Aquileia by the troops of Constans, who annexed his dominions.

*Constantius and Constans, 340–350 A. D.* The joint rule of Constantius
and Constans lasted for ten years. The latter showed himself an energetic
sovereign and maintained peace in the western part of the empire. At
length, however, his harshness and personal vices cost him the loyalty of
his own officers, who caused him to be deposed in favor of Magnentius, an
officer of Frankish origin (350 A. D.). And while Magnentius secured
recognition in Italy and the West, the army in Illyricum raised its
commander, Vetranio, to the purple.

*Constantius sole emperor, 350–360 A. D.* From 338 A. D. Constantius had
been engaged in an almost perpetual but indecisive struggle with Sapor II,
king of Persia, over the possession of Mesopotamia and Armenia. It was not
until late in 350 that he was able to leave the eastern frontier to
attempt to reëstablish the authority of his house in the West. He soon
came to an agreement with Vetranio, who seems to have accepted the title
of Augustus solely to save Illyricum from Magnentius. Vetranio passed into
honorable retirement, but when Constantius refused to recognize Magnentius
as Augustus the latter marched eastwards to enforce his claims. He was
defeated in a desperate battle at Mursa in Pannonia (351 A. D.), where the
victory was won by the mailed horsemen of Constantius, who from this time
onwards formed the most effective arm in the Roman service. In the next
year Constantius recovered Italy, and in 353 invaded Gaul, whereupon
Magnentius took his own life.

*Gallus, Caesar, 351–4 A. D.* Constantius had no son, and so to strengthen
his position, he made his cousin, Gallus, Caesar and placed him in charge
of the Orient when he set out to meet Magnentius in 351 A. D. But Gallus
soon showed himself unworthy of his office. His mistreatment of the
representatives of the emperor sent to investigate his conduct caused him
to be suspected of treasonable ambitions, and he was recalled and put to
death in 354 A. D.

*Julian, Caesar, 335 A. D.* However, Constantius still found himself in
need of an associate in the _imperium_. In addition to the danger of
invasion on both northern and eastern frontiers, came the revolt of
Silvanus at Cologne in 355, which, although quickly suppressed, was a
reminder that every successful general was potentially a candidate for the
throne. Accordingly, at the advice of the empress Eudoxia, he called from
the enforced seclusion of a scholar’s life Julian, the younger brother of
Gallus, whom he made Caesar and dispatched to Gaul (355 A. D.). Since the
fall of Magnentius the Gallic provinces had been exposed to the
devastating incursions of Franks and Alemanni, and the first task of the
young Caesar was to deal with these barbarians. In a battle near
Strassburg in 357 he broke the power of the Alemanni, and drove them over
the Rhine. The Franks were forced to acknowledge Roman overlordship, but
the Salian branch of that people were allowed to settle to the south of
the Rhine (358 A. D.). In addition to displaying unexpected capacities as
a general, Julian showed himself a forceful and upright administrator,
whose chief aim was to revive the prosperity of his sorely-tried

*Julian, Augustus, 360 A. D.* In 359 A. D. a fresh invasion of Mesopotamia
by Sapor II called Constantius to the East. The seriousness of the
situation there caused him to demand considerable reinforcements from the
army in Gaul. This was resented both by the soldiers themselves and by
Julian, who saw in the order a prelude to his own undoing, for he knew the
suspicious nature of his cousin, and was aware that his own successes and
the restraint he imposed upon the rapacity of his officials had aroused
the enmity of those who had the emperor’s confidence. However, after a
vain protest, he yielded; but the troops took matters into their own
hands, mutinied and hailed Julian as Augustus. His ambitions, which had
been awakened by the taste of power, and the precariousness of his present
situation led him to accept the title (360 A. D.). He then sought to
obtain from Constantius recognition of his position and the cession of the
western provinces. The latter rejected his demand, although he did not
deem it advisable to leave the East unprotected at that moment and attempt
to reassert his authority. Julian then took the offensive to enforce his
claims, and, upon the retirement of the Persian army, Constantius hastened
to meet him. But on the march he fell ill and died in Cilicia, having
designated Julian as his successor.

*The pagan reaction.* The importance of Julian’s reign lies in his attempt
to make paganism once more the dominant religion of the empire. His own
early saturation with the fascinating literature of Hellenism and the
mystical strain in his character made Julian an easy convert to
Neo-platonism. He had become a pagan in secret before he had been called
to the Caesarship, and after the death of Constantius openly proclaimed
his apostacy. While he adhered in general to the principle of religious
toleration and did not institute any systematic persecution of the
Christians, he prohibited them from interpreting classical literature in
the schools, forced them to surrender many pagan shrines which they had
occupied, deprived the clergy of their immunities, endeavored to sow
dissension in their ranks by supporting unorthodox bishops, and stimulated
a literary warfare against them in which he himself took a prominent part.
Following the example of Maximinus Daia, Julian attempted to combat
Christianity with its own weapons, and tried to establish a universal
pagan church with a clergy and liturgy on the Christian model. He also
sought to infuse paganism with the morality and missionary zeal of
Christianity. But his efforts were in vain; the pagan cults had lost their
appeal for the masses, and the only converts were those who sought to win
the imperial favor by abandoning the Christian faith.

*Persian war and death, 363 A. D.* In his administration of the empire
Julian pursued the same policy as in Gaul. He checked the greed of
government officials, abolished oppressive offices, and in every way tried
to restrain extravagances and lighten the burdens of his subjects. The war
with Persia which had begun under Constantius had not been concluded and
Julian was fired by the ambition to imitate the career of Alexander the
Great and overthrow the Persian kingdom. After long preparations he began
his attack early in 363 A. D. He succeeded in reaching Ctesiphon where he
defeated a Persian army. But his attempt to penetrate further into the
enemy’s country failed for want of supplies, and he was forced to begin a
retreat. On the march up the Tigris valley he was mortally wounded in a
skirmish (26 June, 363 A. D.), and with his death ended the rule of the
dynasty of Constantine the Great.

*Jovian, 363–4 A. D.* The army chose as his successor Jovian, the
commander of the imperial guard. To rescue his forces, Jovian made peace
with Sapor, surrendering the Roman territory east of the Tigris, with part
of Mesopotamia, and abandoning the Roman claim to suzerainty over Armenia.
Julian’s enactments against the Christians were abrogated and religious
toleration proclaimed. After a brief reign of eight months, Jovian died at
Antioch in 364 A. D.


*Valentinian I and Valens, Augusti, 364 A. D.* At the death of Jovian the
choice of the military and civil officials fell upon Flavius
Valentinianus, an officer of Pannonian origin. He nominated as his
co-ruler his brother, Valens, whom he set over the East, reserving the
West for himself.

Valentinian’s reign was an unceasing struggle to protect the western
provinces against barbarian invaders. The emperor personally directed the
defense of the Rhine and Danubian frontiers against the incursions of the
Alemanni, Quadi and Sarmatians, while his able general Theodosius cleared
Britain of Picts, Scots and Saxons, and suppressed a dangerous revolt of
the Moors in Africa. In 375 Valentinian died at Brigetio in the course of
a war with the Sarmatians. Although imperious and prone to violent
outbursts of temper, he had shown himself tireless in his efforts to
protect the empire from foreign foes and his subjects from official
oppression. In this latter aim, however, he was frequently thwarted by the
intrigues of his own officers.

*Gratian and Valentinian II.* As early as 367 Valentinian had appointed as
a third Augustus his eldest son, Gratian, then only seven years old. The
latter now succeeded to the government of the West, although the army also
acclaimed as emperor his four-year-old brother, Valentinian II.

*The Gothic invasion, 376 A. D.* Meanwhile Valens, who exercised the
imperial power in the East, had been involved in protracted struggles with
the Goths along the lower Danube and with the Persians, whose attempt to
convert Armenia into a Persian province constituted a threat too dangerous
to be ignored. Peace had been established with the Goths in 369, but in
376 new and unexpected developments brought them again into conflict with
the Romans.

The cause lay in the westward movement of the Huns, a nomadic race of
Mongolian origin, whose appearance in the regions to the north of the
Black Sea marks the beginning of the period of the great migrations. In
375 A. D. they overwhelmed the Greuthungi, or East Goths, and assailed the
Thervingi, or West Goths. Unable to defend themselves, the latter in 376
sought permission to settle on Roman territory to the south of the Danube.
Valens acceded to their request upon the condition of their giving up
their weapons. The reception and settlement of the Goths was entrusted to
Roman officers who neglected to enforce the surrender of their arms, while
they enriched themselves by extorting high prices from the immigrants for
the necessities of life. Thereupon, threatened by starvation, the Goths
rebelled, defeated the Romans, and began to plunder the country (377
A. D.). The news of this peril summoned Valens from the East, but Gratian
was hindered from coming to the rescue by an incursion of the Alemanni
into Gaul. However, as soon as he had defeated the invaders he hastened to
the assistance of his uncle. Without awaiting his arrival, Valens rashly
attacked the Goths at Hadrianople. His army was cut to pieces, he himself
slain, and Goths overran the whole Balkan peninsula (378 A. D.).

*Theodosius I, the Great, 378 A. D.* To meet this crisis, Gratian
appointed as Augustus, Theodosius, the son of the Theodosius who had
distinguished himself as a general under Valentinian I, but who had fallen
a victim to official intrigues at the latter’s death. The new emperor
undertook with vigor the task of clearing Thrace and the adjoining
provinces of the plundering hordes of Goths. By 382 he had forced them to
sue for peace and had settled them on waste lands to the south of the
Danube. There they remained as an independent people under their native
rulers, bound, however, to supply contingents to the Roman armies in
return for fixed subsidies. They thus became imperial _foederati_.

*The revolt of Arbogast and Eugenius, 392 A. D.* In 391 Theodosius reduced
the Goths to submission when a revolt of the troops in Britain raised
Magnus Maximus to the purple. Gratian had shown himself a feeble
administrator and had alienated the sympathies of the bulk of his troops
by his partiality towards the Germans in his service. Maximus at once
crossed into Gaul and was confronted by Gratian at Paris. But the latter
was deserted by his army, and was captured and put to death. The authority
of Maximus was now firmly established in Britain, Gaul and Spain. He
demanded and received recognition from Theodosius, who was prevented from
avenging Gratian’s death by threatening conditions in the East. The third
Augustus, the young Valentinian II, acquired for the time an independent
sphere of authority in Italy. However, in 387 A. D. Maximus suddenly
crossed the Alps and forced him to take refuge with Theodosius. Having
come to terms with Persia, Theodosius refused to sanction the action of
Maximus and marched against him. The troops of Maximus were defeated, and
he himself captured and executed at Aquileia (388 A. D.). Gaul and the
West were speedily recovered for Theodosius by his general, Arbogast.

*Theodosius and Ambrose.* While Theodosius was at Milan in 390 occurred
his famous conflict with Bishop Ambrose. In a riot at Thessalonica the
commander of the garrison had been killed by the mob, and Theodosius, in
his anger, had turned loose the soldiery upon the citizens, of whom seven
thousand are said to have been butchered. Scarcely had Theodosius issued
the order when he was seized with regret, and endeavored to countermand
it; but it was too late. Upon the news of the massacre, Ambrose excluded
the emperor from his church and refused to admit him to communion until he
had publicly done penance for his sin. For eight months Theodosius refused
to yield, but Ambrose remained obdurate, and the emperor finally humbled
himself and publicly acknowledged his guilt. The question at issue was not
the supremacy of secular or religious authority, but whether the emperor
was subject to the same moral laws as other men. Nevertheless, it required
a high degree of courage for the bishop to assert the right of the church
to pass judgment in such a matter upon the head of the state.

*The revolt of Arbogast and Eugenius, 392 A. D.* In 391 Theodosius
returned to the East, leaving Valentinian as emperor in the West with his
residence at Vienna in Gaul. But the powerful Arbogast, whom Theodosius
had placed in command of the western troops, refused to act under the
orders of the young Augustus, and finally compassed his death (392 A. D.).
However, he did not dare, in view of his Frankish origin, to assume the
purple himself, and so induced a prominent Roman official named Eugenius
to accept the title of Augustus. The authority of Eugenius was
acknowledged in Italy and all the West, but Theodosius refused him
recognition and prepared to crush the usurper. In the autumn of 394 A. D.,
at the river Frigidus, near Aquileia, Theodosius won a complete victory
over Arbogast and Eugenius. The former committed suicide and the latter
was put to death.

Early in the next year Theodosius died, leaving the empire to his two
sons, Arcadius and Honorius, upon both of whom he had previously conferred
the rank of Augustus. The success of Theodosius in coping with the Gothic
peril and in suppressing the usurpers Maximus and Eugenius, combined with
his vigorous championship of orthodox Christianity, won for him the title
of the “Great.” With the accession of Arcadius and Honorius and the
permanent division of the empire into an eastern and a western half, there
begins a new epoch of Roman history.

  [Illustration: The Roman Empire in 395 A. D.]

                               CHAPTER XXII


                      I. THE AUTOCRAT AND HIS COURT

*Powers and titles of the emperor.* The government of the late Roman
empire was an autocracy, in which the emperor was the active head of the
administration and at the same time the source of all legislative,
judicial and military authority. For the exercise of this authority the
support of the army and the bureaucracy was essential. All the sovereign
rights of the Roman people were regarded as having been transferred to the
imperial power. The emperor was no longer the First of the Roman
citizens—the _primus inter pares_—but all within the empire were in equal
degree his subjects. This view of the exalted status of the emperor was
expressed in the assumption of the divine titles Jovius and Herculius by
Diocletian and Maximian. Their Christian successors, although for the
greater part of the fourth century they accepted deification from their
pagan subjects, found a new basis for their absolutism in the conception
of the emperor as the elect of God, who ruled by divine guidance. Thus the
emperor could speak of the _imperium_ which had been conferred upon him by
the heavenly majesty. The adjectives “sacred” and “divine” were applied
not only to the emperor’s person but also to everything that in any way
belonged to him, and the “imperial divinity” was an expression in common

As the sole author of the laws, the emperor was also their final
interpreter; and since he acted under divine guidance those who questioned
his decisions, and those who neglected or transgressed his ordinances,
were both alike guilty of sacrilege. The emperor was held to be freed from
the laws in the sense that he was not responsible for his legislative and
administrative acts, yet he was bound by the laws in that he had to adhere
to the general principles and forms of the established law of the state,
and had to abide by his own edicts, for the imperial authority rested upon
the authority of the laws.

The titles of the emperor bore witness to his autocratic power. From the
principate he had inherited those of Imperator, the significance of which
was revealed in its Greek rendering of Autocrator, and Augustus, which was
as well suited to the new as to the old position of the emperor. More
striking, however, was the use of _dominus_ or _dominus noster_, a title
which, as we have seen, was but rarely used during the principate, but
which was officially prescribed by Diocletian. The term princeps, although
it has long lost its original significance, still continued to be employed
in official documents, at times in conjunction with _dominus_.

*Imperial regalia.* The imperial regalia likewise expressed the emperor’s
autocratic power. With Diocletian the military garb of the principate was
discarded for a robe of silk interwoven with gold and Constantine I
introduced the use of the diadem, a narrow band ornamented with jewels,
which formed part of the insignia of the Persian monarchs, and was
symbolic of absolutism in the ancient world.

*The succession.* We have seen how the scheme devised by Diocletian for
regulating the succession to the throne broke down after his retirement.
His successors refused to abdicate their imperial authority and only
surrendered it with life itself. In the appointment of new emperors two
principles found recognition—election and coöptation. The system of
election was a legacy from the principate, and recourse was regularly had
to it when the imperial throne was vacant. The elected emperor was usually
the choice of the leading military and civil officials, approved by the
army. In Constantinople, from the fifth century at least, the nomination
was made by these officers in conjunction with the reorganized senate, and
the new emperor was proclaimed before the people assembled in the
Hippodrome. The emperors thus appointed claimed to have been elected by
the officials, the Senate, and the army with the sanction of the people.
However, as the history of the time shows, the right of election might be
exercised at any time, and a victorious usurper became a legal ruler. Thus
the autocracy, as has been aptly remarked, was tempered by a legal right
of revolution. As this method of election guaranteed a high average of
ability among emperors, so the custom of coöptation gave opportunity to
admit the claim of dynastic succession. An Augustus could appoint as his
colleague the one whom he wished to succeed him on the throne. However, it
is to be noted that a son who was thus elevated to the purple became
emperor by virtue of his father’s will and not by the right of birth.

*The imperial court.* Under Diocletian the organization and ceremonial of
the imperial palace were thoroughly remodelled. The servants of the
household—ushers, chamberlains, grooms and the like—were now formed into
corps on a military basis, with a definite regulation of insignia, pay,
term of service and promotion. In harmony with the general spirit of the
autocracy, the court ceremonial was designed to widen the gulf between the
ruler and his subjects and to protect his person by rendering it
inaccessible. Surrounded by all the pomp and pageantry of an oriental
potentate, the Roman emperor was removed from contact with all but his
immediate _entourage_. The effect of this seclusion was to enhance the
power of the few who were permitted to come into touch with him, in
particular the officials of the imperial household. The personal servants
of the emperor were placed on the same level as the public administrative
officers, and the most important of them, the grand chamberlain, before
the close of the fourth century had become one of the great ministers of
state, with a seat in the imperial cabinet. In conformity with the
assumption of the title _dominus_ and of the diadem, was the requirement
of prostration from all who were admitted to an audience with the emperor.
In addition to its civilian employees, the palace had its special armed
guard. These household troops were the scholarians, organized by
Constantine I when he disbanded the praetorian guards who had upheld the
cause of Maxentius.

                      II. THE MILITARY ORGANIZATION

*General characteristics.* The chief characteristics of the military
organization of the late empire were the complete separation of civil and
military authority except in the person of the emperor, the sharp
distinction between the mobile forces and the frontier garrisons, and the
ever-increasing predominance of the barbarian element, not merely in the
rank and file of the soldiers, but also among the officers of highest

*The limitanei.* The troops composing the frontier garrisons were called
_limitanei_, or borderers; also, when stationed along a river frontier,
_riparienses_. They were the successors of the garrison army of the
principate and were distributed among small fortified posts (_castella_).
To each of these garrisons there was assigned for purposes of cultivation
a tract of land free from municipal authority. These lands were exempt
from taxation, and, although they were not alienable, the right to occupy
them passed from father to son with the obligation to military service.
Thus the _limitanei_ were practically a border militia. Their numbers were
materially increased by Diocletian but reduced again by Constantine I who
transferred their best units to the field army. The _limitanei_ ranked
below the field troops; their physical standards were lower, and their
rewards at the end of their term of service inferior.

*The palatini and comitatenses.* To remedy the greatest weakness in the
army of the principate, namely, its lack of mobility, Diocletian formed a
permanent field force to accompany the emperor on his campaigns, for it
was his intention that the emperors should personally lead their armies.
Since the field troops thus formed the _comitatus_, or escort, of the
emperor they received the name of _comitatenses_. Later certain units of
the _comitatenses_ were called _palatini_, or palace troops, a purely
honorary distinction. The _palatini_ and _comitatenses_ were stationed at
strategic points well within the frontiers.

*Numbers.* In both the garrison and field armies the old legion was broken
up into smaller detachments, to each of which the name legion was given.
They still continued to be recruited from Romans, but were regarded as
inferior in caliber to the _auxilia_, the light infantry corps which were
largely drawn from barbarian volunteers. A great number of new cavalry
units were formed, so that the proportion of cavalry to infantry was
largely increased. At the opening of the fifth century the troops
stationed in Spain, in the Danubian provinces, in the Orient and in Egypt
had a nominal strength of 554,500 of which 360,000 were _limitanei_ and
194,500 field troops. However, it is extremely doubtful if the separate
detachments were maintained at their full numbers. The scholarians,
organized as an imperial bodyguard by Constantine I, numbered 3500. They
were divided into seven companies called _scholae_, from the fact that a
particular _schola_, or waiting hall in the palace, was assigned to each.

*Recruitment.* In the late empire the ranks of the Roman army stood open
to all free men who possessed the requisite physical qualifications.
Slaves were also enrolled from the fifth century onwards but their
admission to military service brought them freedom. Recruits were either
volunteers or conscripts. The universal liability to service existed until
the time of Valentinian I, although in practice it was limited to the
municipal plebs and the agricultural classes. Valentinian placed the
obligation to furnish a specified number of recruits upon the landholders
of certain provinces, and levied a corresponding monetary tax upon the
other provinces. He also made it obligatory for the sons of soldiers to
present themselves for service. Many barbarian peoples, settled within the
empire, were likewise under an obligation to furnish a yearly number of
recruits, who, however, were regarded as volunteers. Still voluntary
recruitment was the rule under the late empire even more than under the
principate, and the majority of the volunteers for military service were
of barbarian origin. Corps of all sorts were named after barbarian
peoples, and while barbarian officers received Roman citizenship, the rank
and file remained aliens.

*Discipline.* The chief reason for the victories of the Roman armies of
the early principate over their barbarian foes lay in their superior
discipline and organization. And the burden of maintaining this discipline
had rested upon the junior officers or centurions who came from the
senatorial order of the Roman municipalities. By the end of the third
century the centuriate had disappeared for lack of volunteers of this
class and with its disappearance began a decline in discipline and
training. The construction of the fortified camp was no longer required,
the soldier’s heavy pack was discarded, and before the close of the fourth
century the burdensome defensive armor was also given up. In equipment and
tactics the Roman troops of the late empire were on a level with their
barbarian opponents. Just as the Roman empire was unable to assimilate the
barbarian settlers within its frontiers, so the Roman army proved unable
to absorb the barbarian elements within its ranks.

*Foederati.* The decline in efficiency of the Roman troops and the
confessed inability of the state to deal with its military obligations led
to the taking into the Roman pay of warlike peoples along the Roman
frontiers. Such peoples were called federated allies (_foederati_), and
guaranteed to protect the territory of the empire in return for a
stipulated remuneration in money or supplies. Such were the terms upon
which the Goths were granted lands south of the Danube by Theodosius the
Great. But in this case, as in others, it is hard to distinguish between
subsidies paid to _foederati_ and the payments made by many emperors to
purchase immunity from invasion by dangerous neighbors. A danger inherent
in the system was that the _foederati_ might at any moment turn their arms
against their employers. Retaining as they did their political autonomy
and serving under their own chiefs, the _foederati_ were not regarded as
forming a part of the imperial forces.

*The duces and the magistri militum.* We have already referred to the
complete separation of military and civil authority. This was carried out
as far as the border troops were concerned by Diocletian. He divided the
frontiers into military districts which corresponded to the provinces and
placed the garrisons in each under an officer with the title of _dux_. The
_duces_ of highest rank were regularly known as _comites_ (counts). Under
Diocletian the praetorian prefects remained the highest military officers,
and were in command of the field army. As we have seen, Constantine I
deprived the praetorian prefecture of its military functions and appointed
two new commanders-in-chief—the master of the foot (_magister peditum_)
and the master of the horse (_magister equitum_). Under the successors of
Constantine these offices were increased in number and the distinction
between infantry and cavalry commands was abandoned. Consequently, the
titles of master of the horse and master of the foot were altered to those
of masters of horse and foot, masters of each service, or masters of the
soldiers. In the East by the close of the fourth century there were two
masters of the soldiers at Constantinople, each commanding half of the
palatini in the vicinity of the capital, and three others commanding the
_comitatenses_ in the Orient, Thrace and Illyricum, respectively. In the
West there were two masterships at the court, and a master of the horse in
the diocese of Gaul.

But while in the East the several masters of the soldiers enjoyed
independent commands, in the West by 395 A. D. there had developed a
concentration of the supreme military power in the hands of one master,
who united in his person the two masterships at the court. The master in
Gaul, with the _duces_ and _comites_ in the provinces were under his
orders. This subordination was emphasized by the fact that the heads of
the office staff (_principes_) of the _comites_ and _duces_ were appointed
by the master at the court. On the other hand, in the East, these
_principes_ were appointed by a civil official, the master of the offices,
who was also charged with the inspection of the frontier defences, and
from the opening of the fifth century exercised judicial authority over
the _duces_. The latter, however, remained the military subordinates of
the masters of the soldiers. Thus the concentration of military power in
the West in the hands of a single commander-in-chief prepared the way for
the rise of the king-makers of the fifth century, while the division of
the higher command in the East prevented a single general from completely
dominating the political situation.

*Judicial status of the soldiers.* Characteristic of the times was the
removal of soldiers from the jurisdiction of the civil authority. In the
fourth century they could only be prosecuted on criminal charges in the
courts of their military commanders, and in the fifth century they were
granted this privilege in civil cases also.


*The administrative divisions of the empire.* The administrative machinery
of the late empire was simply an outgrowth from, and a more complete form
of, the bureaucracy which had developed under the principate. All the
officers of the state were now servants of the emperor, appointed by him
and dismissed at his pleasure. At the basis of the administrative
organization lay the division of the empire into prefectures, dioceses and
provinces. By the close of the fourth century there were one hundred and
twenty provinces, grouped into fourteen dioceses, which made up the four
prefectures of Gaul, Italy, Illyricum and the Orient.(17) This division of
the empire into four prefectures was carried out under Constans and
Constantius. Until the death of Constantine I, the pretorian prefecture
had remained an office associated with the person of the emperor, and from
the time of Diocletian the number of praetorian prefects had corresponded
to the number of Augusti, each emperor appointing one for his own part of
the empire. This practice was followed by the sons of Constantine. But
after Constans had overthrown Constantine II he left the latter’s
territory under the administration of a special prefect, thus establishing
the prefecture of Gaul. He afterwards appointed another prefect for
Illyricum, which was separated from the jurisdiction of the prefect of
Italy. When Constantius became sole emperor in 351, he retained the three
prefectures of Constans, and his own previous dominions constituted the
fourth, that of the Orient. In 379, Gratian, the emperor in the West,
transferred the Illyrian prefecture from his sphere to that of Theodosius,
his colleague in the East.

*The praetorian prefects and their subordinates.* Each province had a
civil governor, variously known as proconsul, consular, _corrector_ or
_praeses_, according to the relative importance of his governorship. The
provincial governors, with a few exceptions, were subject to the vicars,
who were in charge of the several dioceses, and who, in turn, were under
the administrative control of the four praetorian prefects, the heads of
the prefectures. The prefects and their subordinates were in charge of the
raising of taxes paid in kind and of the administration of justice for the
provincials. Italy was now divided into several provinces and Italian soil
was no longer exempt from taxation. With the exception of the population
of Rome, the inhabitants of Italy were upon the same footing as those of
the other provinces, with whom they shared the name of provincials.

*The central administrative bureaus.* The remaining branches of the civil
administration were directed by a group of ministers resident at the
court, with subordinates in the various administrative departments. These
ministers were the master of the offices, the quaestor, the count of the
sacred largesses and the count of the private purse. The master of the
offices united in his hands the control of the secretarial bureaus of the
palace, the oversight over the public post, the direction of the
_agentes-in-rebus_, who constituted the imperial secret service, the
command of the scholarians, the supervision of several branches of the
palace administration, and jurisdiction over practically all of the
personal servants of the emperor. As we have seen, in the East he also
exercised certain authority over the _duces_. The quaestor (to be
distinguished from the holders of the urban quaestorships) was a minister
of justice, part of whose duties consisted in the preparation of imperial
legislation. The count of the sacred largesses was the successor to the
_rationalis_, who had been in charge of the imperial fiscus under the
principate. He was charged with the collection and disbursement of the
public revenues which were paid in money, and his title was derived from
the fact that the funds under his control were used for the imperial
donations or largesses. He likewise had the supervision of the imperial
factories engaged in the manufacture of silks, and other textiles. The
count of the private purse was the head of the department of the _res
privata_ and in charge of the revenues from the imperial domains. These
ministers with certain other administrative officials of the court and the
chief officers of the imperial household, such as the grand chamberlain,
were known as the palace dignitaries (_dignitates palatinae_).

Rome and Constantinople were exempt from the authority of the praetorian
prefects, and were each administered by a city prefect. Two consuls were
nominated annually, one at Rome and one at Constantinople, and gave their
names to the official year, but their duties were limited to furnishing
certain entertainments for the populace of the capitals. This was also the
sole function of the praetorship and quaestorship, which were now filled
by imperial appointment upon the recommendation of the city prefects.

*The imperial council of state.* The system of graded subordination, which
placed the lower officials in each department under the orders of those
having wider powers, brought about the ultimate concentration of the civil
and military administration in the hands of about twenty officers who were
directly in touch with the emperor and responsible to him alone. From
these were drawn the members of the council of state or imperial
consistory (so-called from the obligation to remain standing in the
presence of the emperor). Permanent members of this council were the four
ministers of the court mentioned above, who were known as the counts of
the consistory, and also the grand chamberlain.

*The officia.* The officials who were at the head of administrative
departments, civil or military, had at their disposal an _officium_ or
bureau, the members of which were known as _officiales_. These subaltern
employees of the state were free men, no longer slaves or freedmen like
their predecessors of the principate. As in the case of the palace
servants their numbers, terms of service (_militia_), promotion and
discharge were fixed by imperial edicts, and they were not placed at the
mercy of the functionary whose office staff they formed. Indeed, owing to
the permanent character of the organization of the _officia_, the burden
of the routine administration fell upon their members, and not upon their
temporary director, for whose acts they were made to share the
responsibility. This was particularly true of the bureau chief
(_princeps_), who was regularly appointed from the _agentes-in-rebus_ as a
spy upon the actions of his superior. Like the soldiers, the civil service
employees enjoyed exemption from the ordinary courts of justice and the
privilege of defending themselves in the courts of the chief of that
branch of the administration to which they were attached.

*Official corruption.* The attitude of the emperor towards his chief
servants was marked by mistrust and suspicion. The policy which led to the
attempt to weaken the more powerful offices by the separation of civil and
military authority and by the subdivision of the administrative districts
was adhered to in the provisions for direct communication between the
emperor and the subordinates of the great ministers, and the highly
developed system of state espionage whereby the ruler kept watch upon the
actions of his officers. However, in spite of the efforts of the majority
of the emperors to secure an honest and efficient administration, the
actual result of the development of this elaborate bureaucratic system was
the erection of an almost impassable barrier between the emperor and his
subjects. Neither did their complaints reach his ears, nor were his
ordinances for their relief effective, because the officials coöperated
with one another to conceal their misdemeanors and to enrich themselves at
the expense of the civilian population. So thoroughly had the spirit of
“graft” and intrigue penetrated all ranks of the civil and military
service that to gratify their personal ambitions they were even willing to
compromise the safety of the empire itself. The burden imposed upon the
tax payers by the vast military and civil establishment was immensely
aggravated by the extortions practised by representatives of both
services, whose rapacity knew no bounds.

                     IV. THE NOBILITY AND THE SENATE

*The senatorial order.* The conflict between the principate and the Senate
resulted, as we have seen, in the exclusion of members of the senatorial
order from all offices of state. But it was unthinkable that the great
landed proprietors should be permanently shut out of the public service,
and with the loss of any claim to authority by the Senate as a body there
was no longer any objection to their entering the service of the emperor.
Consequently, the essential distinction between the senatorial and
equestrian orders vanished and a new senatorial order arose into which was
merged a large equestrian element.

*The clarissimate.* The distinguishing mark of this new senatorial order
was the right to the title _clarissimus_, which might be acquired by
inheritance, by imperial grant, or by the attainment of an office which
conferred the clarissimate upon its holder, either during his term of
service or upon his retirement. Practically all of the higher officials in
the imperial service were _clarissimi_ and there was consequently a great
increase in the number of senators in the course of the fourth century.
The place of the equestrian order was in part filled by the
perfectissimate, an inferior order of rank conferred upon lower imperial
officials and municipal senators.

*The higher orders of rank.* The development of an oriental court life
with its elaborate ceremonial demanding a fixed order of precedence among
those present at imperial audiences, and the increase in the number and
importance of the public officials, which necessitated a classification of
the various official posts from the point of view of rank, led to the
establishment of new and more exclusive rank classes within the circle of
the _clarissimi_. There were in the ascending order the _spectabiles_, or
Respectables, and the _illustres_, or Illustrious. The illustriate was
conferred solely upon the great ministers of state. Under Justinian, in
the sixth century, there was established the still higher order of the
_gloriosi_ (the Glorious). The official positions, to which these titles
of rank were attached, were called dignities (_dignitates_), and the great
demand for admission to these rank classes, which entitled their members
to valuable privileges, caused the conferment of many honorary dignities,
i. e., titles of official posts with their appropriate rank but without
the duties of office.

*The patricians and counts.* The other titles of nobility were those of
patrician and count. The former, created by Constantine I in imitation of
the older patrician order, was granted solely to the highest dignitaries,
although it was not attached to any definite official post. It was
Constantine also who revived the _comitiva_, which had been used
irregularly of the chief associates of the princeps until the death of
Severus Alexander, and put it to a new use. The term count became a title
of honor definitely attached to certain offices, but also capable of being
conferred as a favor or a reward of merit. Like the other titles of rank
the patriciate and the _comitiva_ brought with them not only precedence
but also valuable immunities.

Nothing illustrates more clearly the importance of official positions than
the division of the people of the empire as a whole into two classes—the
_honestiores_ (more honorable) and the _humiliores_ (more humble or
plebeians). The former class, which included the imperial senators, the
soldiers and the veterans, were exempt from execution except with the
emperor’s consent, from penal servitude, and, with some limitations, from
torture in the course of judicial investigations.

*The Senate.* The Senate at Rome was not abolished but continued to
function both as a municipal council and as the mouthpiece of the
senatorial order. After the founding of Constantinople a similar Senate
was established there for the eastern part of the empire. At first all
_clarissimi_ had a right to participate in the meetings of the Senate, and
their sons were expected to fill the quaestorship. However, after the
middle of the fifth century only those having the rank of _illustris_ were
admitted to the senate chamber, and the active Senate became a gathering
of the highest officials and ex-officials of the state. In addition to
their functions as municipal councils, the Senates made recommendations
for the quaestorship and praetorship, discussed with the imperial
officials the taxes which affected the senatorial order and even
participated to a certain extent in drafting imperial legislation.

*The senators and the municipalities.* The most important privilege
enjoyed by the senators was their exemption from the control of the
officials of the municipalities within whose territories their estates
were situated. As we shall see, this was one of the chief reasons for the
extension of their power in the provinces.


*The system of taxation.* The debasement of the Roman coinage in the
course of the third century resulted in a thorough disorganization of the
public finances, for the taxes and disbursements fixed in terms of money
had no longer their previous value. Diocletian completely reorganized the
financial system by introducing a general scheme of taxation and
remuneration in produce in place of coin, and by establishing a new method
of assessment. This latter consisted in the division of the land, cattle
and agricultural labor into units of equal tax value. The unit of taxation
for land was the _iugum_, which differed in size for arable land,
vineyards and orchards, as well as for soils of varying fertility. A fixed
number of cattle likewise constituted a _iugum_, assessed at the same
value as a _iugum_ of land. The unit of labor, regarded as the equivalent
of the _iugum_ was the _caput_, which was defined as one man or two women
engaged in agricultural occupations. Thus the workers were taxed in
addition to the land they tilled.

*The indiction.* The amount of the land tax to be raised each year was
announced in an annual proclamation called an indiction (_indictio_), and
a revaluation of the tax units was made periodically. The term indiction
was also used of the period between two reassessments, which occurred at
first every five, but after 312 A. D. every fifteen, years. The indictions
thus furnished the basis for a new system of chronology. From the taxes
raised in kind the soldiers and those in the civil service received their
pay in the form of an allowance (_annona_), which might under certain
conditions be commuted for its monetary equivalent.

*Special taxes.* In addition to the land tax raised in the form of produce
on the basis of the _iuga_ and _capita_, there were certain other taxes
payable in money. The chief of these were: the _chrysargyrum_, a tax
levied on all trades; the _aurum coronarium_, a nominally voluntary but
really compulsory contribution paid by the municipal senators every five
years to enable the emperor to distribute largesses to his officials and
troops; the _aurum oblaticium_, a similar payment made by the senatorial
order of the empire; and the _collatio glebalis_ or _follis senatoria_, a
special tax imposed upon senators by Constantine I.

*Munera.* Besides the taxes, the government laid upon its subjects the
burden of performing certain public services without compensation. The
most burdensome of these charges (_munera_) were the upkeep of the public
post, and the furnishing of quarters (_hospitium_) and rendering other
services in connection with the movement of troops, officials and
supplies. So heavy was the burden of the post that it denuded of draught
animals the districts it traversed and had to be abandoned in the sixth
century. It was in connection with the exaction of these charges, the
collection of the revenue in kind, and in the administration of justice
that the imperial officials found opportunity to practice extortions which
weighed more heavily upon the taxpayers than the taxes themselves.

*The curiales.* The class which suffered most directly from the
established fiscal system was that of the _curiales_, as the members of
the municipal senatorial orders were now called. In the course of the
third century the status of _curialis_ had become hereditary, and was an
obligation upon all who possessed a definite property qualification, fixed
at twenty-five _iugera_ of land in the fourth century. Since the local
senates had become agents of the _fiscus_ in collecting the revenues from
their municipal territories, the _curiales_, through the municipal
officers or committees of the local council, had to apportion the quotas
of the municipal burden among the landholders, to collect them, and be
responsible for the payment of the total amount to the public officers.
They were also responsible for the maintenance of the public post and the
performance of other services resting upon the municipalities. Inevitably
the _curiales_ sought to protect themselves by shifting the burden of
taxation as much as possible upon the lower classes in the municipal
territory who regarded them as oppressors. “Every _curialis_ is a tyrant”
(_quot curiales, tot tyranni_), says a fourth century writer.

The exactions of the imperial officers proved more than the _curiales_
could meet, and they sought to withdraw from their order and its
obligations. But the government required responsible landholders and so
they were forbidden to dispose of their properties or to leave their place
of residence without special permission. And when they tried to find
exemption by entering the imperial senatorial order, the military or civil
service, or the clergy, these avenues of escape were likewise closed. Only
those who had filled all the municipal offices might become _clarissimi_
and immune from the curial obligations, and only clergy of the rank of
bishops were excused, while the lower orders had to supply a substitute or
surrender two-thirds of their property before they could leave the
_curia_. Valentinian I attempted to aid the _curiales_ by appointing
officials known as _defensores __civitatium_ or _plebis_—“defenders of the
cities” or “of the plebs”—whose duty it was to check unjust exactions and
protect the common people against officials and judges. These _defensores_
were at first persons of influence, chosen by the municipalities and
approved by the emperor. They were empowered to try certain cases
themselves, and had the right to address themselves directly to the
emperor without reference to the provincial governor. However, the
_defensores_ accomplished little, and in the fifth century their office
had become an additional obligatory service resting upon the _curiales_.
By 429 A. D. hardly a _curialis_ with adequate property qualifications
could be found in any city, and by the sixth century the class of
municipal landholders had practically disappeared.

*The hereditary corporations.* We have seen how, in the course of the
third century, the professional corporations were burdened with the duty
of performing certain public services in the interest of the communities
to which they belonged. The first step taken by the state to insure the
performance of these services was to make this duty a charge which rested
permanently upon the property of the members of the corporations
(_corporati_), no matter into whose possession it passed. But men as well
as money were needed for the performance of these charges, and
consequently, in order to prevent a decline in the numbers of the
_corporati_, the state made membership in these associations an hereditary
obligation. This was really an extension of the principle that a man was
bound to perform certain services in the community in which he was
enrolled (his _origo_). Finally, the emperors exercised the right of
conscription, and attached to the various corporations which were in need
of recruits persons who were engaged in less needed occupations.

The burden of their charges led the _corporati_, like the _curiales_, to
seek refuge in some other profession. They tried to secure enrollment in
the army, among the _officiales_, or to become _coloni_ of the emperor or
senatorial landholders. But all these havens of refuge were closed by
imperial edicts, and when discovered the truant _corporatus_ was dragged
back to his association. Only those who attained the highest office within
their corporation were legally freed from their obligations.

Although the corporations probably retained their former organization and
officers, their active heads were now called _patroni_, and these directed
the public services of their colleges. In Rome and Constantinople the
colleges were under the supervision of the city prefects, in the
municipalities under that of the local magistrates and provincial
governors. The professional colleges are the only ones which survived
during the late empire. The religious and funerary associations vanished
with the spread of Christianity and the general impoverishment of the
lower classes.

*The coloni.* Among the agricultural classes the forces which had
developed in the course of the principate were still at work. In the
fourth century the attachment of the tenant farmers and peasant laborers
to the soil was extended to the whole empire. The status of the _coloni_
became hereditary, like that of the _corporati_. Their condition was half
way between that of freedmen and that of slaves, for while they were bound
to the estate upon which they resided and passed with it from one owner to
another, they were not absolutely under the power of the owner and could
not be disposed of by him apart from the land. They had also other rights
which slaves lacked, yet as time went on their condition tended to
approximate more and more closely to servitude. “Slaves of the soil,” they
were called in the sixth century. As this status of serfdom was hitherto
unknown in Roman law, a great many imperial enactments had to be issued
defining the rights and duties of the _coloni_.

*The growth of private domains.* The development of vast private estates
at the expense of the public and imperial domains was another prominent
characteristic of the times. This was the result of the failure of the
state to check the spread of waste lands, in spite of its attempt to
develop the system of hereditary leaseholds to small farmers. To maintain
the level of production the government opened the way for the great
proprietors to take over all deserted lands under various forms of
heritable lease or in freehold tenure. The system of attaching waste lands
to those of the neighboring landholders and making the latter responsible
for their cultivation was an added cause of the growth of large estates.
The result of this development was that the state tenants became _coloni_
of the great landlords, and the latter were responsible for the taxes and
other obligations of their _coloni_ to the state. The weight of these
obligations rested as before upon the _coloni_, and led to their continued
flight and a further increase in waste land. Like the _curiales_ and
_corporati_, the _coloni_ tried to exchange their status by entering the
public service or attaining admission to some other social class. But, in
like manner also, they found themselves excluded from all other
occupations and classes. Only the fugitive _colonus_ who had managed to
remain undetected for thirty years (in the case of women twenty years)
could escape being handed back to the land which he had deserted.

*The power of the landed nobility.* The immunities of the senatorial order
and the power of the high officials tended to give an almost feudal
character to the position of the great landed proprietors. These had
inherited the judicial powers of the procurators on the imperial estates
and transferred this authority to their own domains. Over their slaves and
_coloni_ they exercised the powers of police and jurisdiction. As they
were not subject to the municipal authorities, and, during the greater
part of the fourth century, were also exempt from the jurisdiction of the
provincial governors they assumed a very independent position, and did not
hesitate to defy the municipal magistrates and even the minor agents of
the imperial government. Their power made their protection extremely
valuable, and led to a new type of patronage. Individuals and village
communities, desirous of escaping from the exactions to which they were
subject in their municipal districts, placed themselves under the
patronage of some senatorial landholder and became his tenants. And he did
not hesitate to afford them an illegal protection against the local
authorities. Complaints by the latter to higher officials secured little
redress for they were themselves proprietors and sided with those of their
own class. The power of the state was thus nullified by its chief servants
and the landed aristocracy became the heirs of the empire.

*Resumé.* The transformation which society underwent during the empire may
be aptly described as the transition from a régime of individual
initiative to a régime of status, that is, from one in which the position
of an individual in society was mainly determined by his own volition to
one in which this was fixed by the accident of his birth. The population
of the empire was divided into a number of sharply defined castes, each of
which was compelled to play a definite rôle in the life of the state. The
sons of senators, soldiers, _curiales_, _corporati_, and _coloni_ had to
follow in their fathers’ walks of life, and each sought to escape from the
tasks to which he was born. In the eyes of the government _collegiati_,
_curiales_, and _coloni_ existed solely to pay taxes for the support of
the bureaucracy and the army. The consequence was the attempted flight of
the population to the army, civil service, the church or the wilderness.
Private industry languished, commerce declined, the fields lay untilled; a
general feeling of hopelessness paralyzed all initiative. And when the
barbarians began to occupy the provinces they encountered no national
resistance; rather were they looked upon as deliverers from the burdensome
yoke of Rome.

                              CHAPTER XXIII



*The partition of the empire.* With the death of Theodosius the Great the
empire passed to his sons, Arcadius a youth of eighteen, whom he had left
in Constantinople, and Honorius a boy of eleven, whom he had designated as
the Augustus for the West. However, in the East the government was really
in the hands of Rufinus, the pretorian prefect of Illyricum, while an even
greater influence was exercised in the West by Stilicho, the Vandal master
of the soldiers, whom Theodosius had selected as regent for the young
Honorius. The rivalry of these two ambitious men, and the attempt of
Stilicho to secure for Honorius the restoration of eastern Illyricum,
which had been attached by Gratian to the sphere of the eastern emperor,
were the immediate causes of the complete and formal division of the
empire into an eastern and a western half, a condition which had been
foreshadowed by the division of the imperial power throughout the greater
part of the fourth century.

The fiction of imperial unity was still preserved by the nomination of one
consul in Rome and one in Constantinople, by the association of the
statues of both Augusti in each part of the empire, and by the issuance of
imperial enactments under their joint names. Nevertheless, there was a
complete separation of administrative authority, the edicts issued by one
emperor required the sanction of the other before attaining validity
within his territory, and upon the death of one Augustus the actual
government of the whole empire did not pass into the hands of the
survivor. The empire had really split into two independent states.

*The Germanic invasions.* In addition to the partition of the empire, the
period between 395 and 493 is marked by the complete breakdown of the
Roman resistance to barbarian invasions, and the penetration and
occupation of the western provinces and Italy itself by peoples of
Germanic stock. The position of Roman and barbarian is reversed; the
latter become the rulers, the former their subjects, and the power passes
from the Roman officials to the Germanic kings. Finally, a barbarian
soldier seats himself upon the throne of the western emperor, and a
Germanic kingdom is established in Italy.

*The military dictators.* During this period of disintegration, the real
power in the western empire was in the hands of a series of military
dictators, who with the office of master of the soldiers secured the
position of commander-in-chief of the imperial armies. Beside them the
emperors exercised only nominal authority. But as these dictators were
either barbarians themselves, or depended upon barbarian troops for their
support, they were continually intrigued against and opposed by the Roman
or civilian element, headed by the civil officers of the court. Yet the
fall of one “kingmaker” was always followed by the rise of another, for by
their aid alone could the Romans offer any effective resistance to the
flood of barbarian invasion.

*The empire maintained in the East.* But while the western empire was thus
absorbed by the Germanic invaders, the empire in the East was able to
offer a successful resistance both to foreign invasions and the ambitions
of its own barbarian generals. This is in part accounted for by the
greater solidarity and vigor of the Hellenic civilization of the eastern
provinces, and the military strength of the population, particularly in
Asia Minor, and in part by the success of the bureaucracy in holding the
generals in check, a task which was facilitated by the division of the
supreme military authority among several masters of the soldiers. The
strength of the eastern empire caused the West to look to it for support
and the western emperors upon several occasions were nominated, and at
other times given the sanction of legitimacy, by those in the East.

                      II. THE VISIGOTHIC MIGRATIONS

*The revolt of Alaric, 395 A. D.* Seizing the opportunity created by the
death of Theodosius and the absence of the army of the East which he had
led into Italy, Alaric, a prince of the Visigothic _foederati_, began to
ravage Thrace and Macedonia with a band of his own people, aided by other
tribes from across the Danube. He was opposed by Stilicho who was leading
back the troops of the eastern emperor and intended to occupy eastern
Illyricum. However, the latter was ordered by Arcadius to send the army of
the East to Constantinople and complied. This gave Alaric free access to
southern Greece which he systematically plundered. However, Stilicho again
intervened. He transported an army by sea to the Peloponnesus, and
maneuvered Alaric into a precarious situation, but came to terms with him,
possibly because of a revolt which had broken out in Africa. Stilicho was
declared an enemy by Arcadius, while Alaric, after devastating Epirus,
settled there with his Goths, and extorted the title of _magister militum_
from the eastern court.

*The death of Stilicho, 408 A. D.* In 401 A. D., when Stilicho was
occupied with an inroad of Vandals and Alans into Raetia, Alaric invaded
Italy. However, Stilicho forced him to withdraw, and foiled a second
attempt at invasion in 403 A. D. But Alaric did not long remain inactive.
He now held the title of master of the soldiers from Honorius and had
agreed to help Stilicho to accomplish his designs upon Illyricum. But when
the western empire was embarrassed by new invasions and the appearance of
a usurper in Gaul, he made his way into Noricum and demanded an indemnity
and employment for his troops. By the advice of Stilicho his demands,
which included a payment of 4000 pounds of gold, were complied with.
Shortly afterwards, Stilicho fell a victim to a plot hatched by the court
officials who were jealous of his influence (408 A. D.).

*The Visigoths in Italy.* The death of Stilicho removed the only capable
defender of Italy and, when Honorius refused to carry out the agreement
with Alaric, the latter crossed the Alps. Honorius shut himself up in
Ravenna, and the Goths marched on Rome, which ransomed itself at a heavy
price. As Honorius still refused to make him master of the soldiers and to
give him lands and supplies for his men, Alaric returned to Rome and set
up a new emperor, named Attalus. Yet Honorius, supported by troops from
the eastern empire, remained obdurate, and a disagreement between Alaric
and Attalus led to the latter’s deposition. Rome was then occupied by the
Goths who plundered it for three days (410 A. D.). Alaric’s next move was
to march to south Italy with the intention of crossing to Sicily and
Africa. But his flotilla was destroyed by a storm, and while retracing his
steps northwards he suddenly took sick and died.

*The Goths in Gaul and Spain.* Alaric’s successor was his brother-in-law,
Ataulf, who led the Visigoths into Gaul (412 A. D.), where he at first
allied himself with a usurper, Jovinus, but soon deserted him to take
service with the Romans. However, when Honorius failed to furnish him
supplies, he seized Narbonne and other towns in southern Gaul and married
the emperor’s sister, Placidia, whom the Goths had carried off captive
from Rome. He again attempted to come to terms with the Romans, but
failed, and Constantius, the Roman master of the soldiers, who had
succeeded to the position and influence of Stilicho, forced him to abandon
Gaul. Ataulf and the Goths crossed the Pyrenees into Spain, where he died
in 415 A. D. His successor Wallia, being hard pressed by famine and
failing in an attempt to invade Africa, came to terms with the Romans. He
surrendered Placidia and in the name of the emperor attacked the Vandals
and Alans who had occupied parts of Spain. Alarmed by his success
Constantius recalled the Goths to Gaul, where they were settled in
southern Aquitania (418 A. D.).

*The Visigothic kingdom in Gaul.* The status of the Goths in Gaul was that
of _foederati_, bound to render military aid to Rome, but governed by
their own kings. The latter, however, had no authority over the Roman
population among whom the Goths were settled. This condition was
unsatisfactory to the Gothic rulers who sought to establish an independent
Gothic kingdom. Theodoric I, the successor of Wallia, forced the Romans to
acknowledge his complete sovereignty over Aquitania, but failed in his
attempt to conquer Narbonese Gaul. However, he joined forces with the
Romans against Attila the Hun and was largely responsible for checking the
latter at the battle of the Mauriac plain (451 A. D.) in which he lost his
life. For a time the Goths remained on friendly terms with the imperial
authority but under Euric, who became king in 466 A. D., the anti-Roman
faction was in the ascendant and they embarked upon a policy of expansion.
In 475 Euric, after a protracted struggle, gained possession of the
district of Auvergne, and the Roman emperor acknowledged his sovereignty
over the country between the Atlantic and the Rhone, the Loire and the
Pyrenees, besides some territory in Spain. Two years later the district
between the Rhone and the Alps, south of the Durance, was added to the
Visigothic kingdom.

                             III. THE VANDALS

*The invasions of 406 A. D.* In 405 A. D. an invading horde of Vandals and
Alans, who had descended upon Italy, was utterly defeated by Stilicho. But
in the following year fresh swarms of the same peoples, united with the
Suevi, crossed the Rhine near Mainz and plundered Gaul as far as the
Pyrenees. For a short time they were held in check by the usurper
Constantine, who held sway in Gaul and Spain. However, when he was
involved in a struggle with a rival, Gerontius, they found an opportunity
to make their way into Spain (409 A. D.).

*The occupation of Spain.* The united peoples speedily made themselves
masters of the whole Iberian peninsula. But in spite of their successes
over the Roman troops, the lack of supplies forced them to come to terms
with the empire. In 411 they became Roman _foederati_ and were granted
lands for settlement. Under this agreement the Asdingian Vandals and the
Suevi occupied the northwest of Spain, the Alans the center, and the
Silingian Vandals the south. However, the Roman government had only made
peace with the Vandals and their allies under pressure, and seized the
first opportunity to rid themselves of these unwelcome guests. In 416
Constantius authorized the Visigoths under Wallia to attack them in the
name of the emperor. Wallia was so successful that he utterly annihilated
the Silingian Vandals, and so weakened the Alans that they united
themselves with the Asdingian Vandals, who escaped destruction only
through the recall of the Visigoths to Gaul. However, the Vandals quickly
recovered from their defeats, waged successful war upon the Suevi, who had
reached an agreement with the Romans, and occupied the whole of southern

*The Vandal kingdom in Africa.* In 429 A. D. the Vandals under the
leadership of their king Gaiseric crossed into Africa, attracted by the
richness of its soil and its strategic importance as one of the granaries
of the Roman world. Their invasion was facilitated by the existence of a
state of war between Count Bonifacius, the military governor of Africa,
and the western emperor. The number of the invaders was estimated at
80,000, of whom probably 15,000 or 20,000 were fighting men.

In spite of the reconciliation between Bonifacius and the imperial
government and their united opposition, Gaiseric was able to overrun the
open country although he failed to capture the chief cities. In 435 A. D.
peace was concluded and the Vandals were allowed to settle in Numidia,
once more as _foederati_ of the empire. However, in 439 A. D. Gaiseric
broke the peace and treacherously seized Carthage. This step was followed
by the organization of a fleet which harried the coasts of Sicily. In 442
the western emperor acknowledged the independence of the Vandal kingdom.
Peace continued until 455, when the assassination of the emperor
Valentinian III gave Gaiseric the pretext for a descent upon Italy and the
seizure of Rome which was systematically plundered of its remaining
treasures, although its buildings and monuments were not wantonly
destroyed. Among the captives was Eudoxia, widow of the late emperor, and
her daughters, who were valuable hostages in the hands of Gaiseric.

The lack of coöperation between the eastern and western empires against
the Vandals enabled them to extend their power still further. Their fleets
controlled the whole of the Mediterranean and ravaged both its western and
its eastern coasts. A powerful expedition fitted out by the eastern
emperor Leo I in 468 for the invasion of Africa ended in utter failure,
and in 476 his successor Zeno was compelled to come to terms and
acknowledge the authority of the Vandals over the territory under their
control. At the death of Gaiseric in 477 A. D. the Vandal kingdom included
all Roman Africa, the Balearic Islands, Corsica, Sardinia, and the
fortress of Lilybaeum in Sicily.


*The Burgundian invasion of Gaul.* The invasion of Gaul by the Vandals and
Alans in 406 A. D. was followed by an inroad of the Burgundians, Ripuarian
Franks and Alemanni. The two latter peoples established themselves on the
left bank of the Rhine, while the Burgundians penetrated further south. In
433 the Burgundians were at war with the empire and were defeated by
Aetius, the Roman master of the soldiers in Gaul. Subsequently they were
settled in the Savoy. Thence, about 457, they began to expand until they
occupied the whole valley of the Rhone as far south as the Durance.

Yet on the whole they remained loyal _foederati_ of the empire. They
fought under Aetius against Attila in 451, and their kings bore the Roman
title of _magister militum_ until the reign of Gundobad (473–516), who was
given the rank of patrician by the emperor Olybrius.

*The Salian Franks.* The Salian Franks, as those who had once dwelt on the
shores of the North Sea were called in contrast to the Ripuarians, whose
home was on the banks of the Rhine, crossed the lower Rhine before the
middle of the fourth century and occupied Toxandria, the region between
the Meuse and the Scheldt. They were defeated by Julian who, however, left
them in possession of this district as Roman _foederati_. The disturbances
of the early fifth century enabled the Salian Franks to assert their
independence of Roman suzerainty, and to extend their territory as far
south as the Somme. Still, they fought as Roman allies against the Huns in
451 A. D., and their king Childeric, who began to rule shortly afterwards,
remained a faithful _foederatus_ of Rome until his death in 481 A. D.

In 486 A. D. Clovis, the successor of Childeric, overthrew the Gallo-Roman
state to the south of the Somme and extended his kingdom to meet the
Visigoths on the Loire. Thus the whole of Gaul passed under the rule of
Germanic peoples.

*The Saxons in Britain.* After the decisive defeat of the Picts and Scots
by Theodosius, the father of Theodosius the Great, in 368 and 369 A. D.,
the Romans were able to maintain the defence of Britain until the close of
the fourth century. But in 402 Stilicho was obliged to recall part of the
garrison of the island for the protection of Italy, and in 406
Constantine, who had laid claim to the imperial crown in Britain, took
with him the remaining Roman troops in his attempt to obtain recognition
on the continent. The ensuing struggles with the barbarians in Gaul
prevented the Romans from sending officials or troops across the channel,
and the Britons had to depend upon their own resources for their defense.

The task proved beyond their strength and it is probable that by the
middle of the fifth century the Germanic tribes of Saxons, Angles and
Jutes were firmly established in the eastern part of Britain. Because of
the uncivilized character of these peoples, of the fact that Roman culture
was not very deeply rooted among the native population, and of the
desperate resistance offered by the latter to the invaders, the subsequent
struggle for the possession of the island resulted in the obliteration of
the Latin language and the disappearance of that material civilization
which had developed under four centuries of Roman rule.

                    V. THE FALL OF THE WESTERN EMPIRE

*Honorius, 395–432 A. D.* After the murder of Stilicho in 408 A. D.,
Honorius was faced with the problem of restoring his authority in Gaul,
where for a time he had been forced to acknowledge the rule of a rival
emperor Constantine who had donned the purple in Britain in 406 A. D.
Constantius, a Roman noble who had succeeded Stilicho as master of the
soldiers, was despatched to Gaul in 411 and soon overthrew the usurper.
Two years later another rival, Jovinus, was crushed with the help of the

Constantius, the leader of the anti-barbarian faction of the court, was
now the mainstay of the power of Honorius and used his influence to
further his own ambitions. After the surrender of the princess Placidia by
the Visigoths he induced the emperor to grant him her hand in marriage
(417 A. D.). In 421 A. D. Honorius appointed him co-emperor, but he was
not recognized as an Augustus at Constantinople and died in the same year.
His death was followed by a quarrel between the emperor and his sister, as
a result of which Placidia and her son took refuge under the protection of
the eastern emperor, Theodosius II.

*Valentinian III, 425–455 A. D.* Honorius died in 423 A. D., leaving no
children, and Castinus, the new master of the soldiers, secured the
nomination of John, a high officer of the court, as his successor.
However, Theodosius refused him recognition and his authority was defied
by Bonifacius, an influential officer who had established himself in
Africa. Valentinian, the five-year-old son of Placidia and Constantius,
was escorted to Italy by forces of the eastern empire and John was
deposed. His chief supporter Aetius, who had brought an army of Huns to
his aid, was induced to dismiss his troops and accept a command in Gaul
with the rank of count. Placidia, who had returned to Italy with
Valentinian, became regent with the title of Augusta.

*Aetius.* During the reign of Valentinian III interest centers about the
career of Aetius, “last of the Romans.” In 429, after getting rid of his
enemy Felix, who had succeeded to the position of Castinus, Aetius himself
became master of the soldiers and the real ruler of the empire. However,
the Augusta Placidia endeavored to compass his downfall by an appeal to
Bonifacius, who after his revolt of 427 A. D. had fought in the imperial
cause against the Vandals. In 432 Bonifacius returned to Italy and was
appointed master of the soldiers in place of Aetius. The latter appealed
to arms, was defeated near Ariminum, and forced to flee for refuge to his
friends the Huns. But as Bonifacius died not long after his victory,
Aetius, with the backing of the Huns, was able to force the emperor to
reappoint him master of the soldiers in 433 A. D. From that time until his
death in 454 he directed the imperial policy in the West. He received
embassies from foreign peoples and the latter made treaties with him and
not with the emperor.

*Attila’s invasion of Gaul, 451 A. D.* The chief efforts of Aetius were
directed towards the preservation of central and southeastern Gaul for the
empire. In this he was successful, holding in check the Franks on the
north, the Burgundians on the east, and the Goths in the southwest. But
though Gaul was saved, Africa was lost to the Vandals, Britain to the
Saxons and the greater part of Spain to the Suevi. The success of Aetius
in Gaul was principally due to his ability to draw into his service large
numbers of Hunnish troops, owing to the influence he had acquired with the
leaders of that people while a hostage among them. At this time the Huns
occupied the region of modern Hungary, Rumania, and South Russia. They
comprised a number of separate tribes, which in 444 A. D. were united
under the strong hand of King Attila, who also extended his sway over
neighboring Germanic and Scythian peoples.

At first Attila remained on friendly terms with Aetius but his ambitions
and his interference in the affairs of Gaul led to friction and to his
demand for the hand of Honoria, sister of Valentinian III, with half of
the western empire as her dowry. When the emperor refused to comply Attila
led a great army across the Rhine into Gaul and laid siege to Orleans.
Their common danger brought together the Romans and the Germanic peoples
of Gaul, and Aetius was able to face the Huns with an army strengthened by
the presence of the kings of the Visigoths and the Franks. Repulsed at
Orleans, Attila withdrew to the Mauric plains where, in the vicinity of
Troyes, a memorable battle was fought between the Huns and the forces of
Aetius. Although the result was indecisive, Attila would not risk another
engagement and recrossed the Rhine. The next year he invaded Italy, but
the presence of famine and disease among his own forces and the arrival of
troops from the Eastern Empire induced him to listen to the appeal of a
Roman embassy, led by the Roman bishop Leo, and to withdraw from the
peninsula without occupying Rome. Upon his death in 453 A. D. his empire
fell to pieces and the power of the Huns began to decline.

*Maximus and Avitus, 455–6 A. D.* The death of Attila was soon followed by
that of Aetius, who was murdered by Valentinian at the instigation of his
chamberlain Heraclius (454 A. D.). This rash act deprived him of the best
support of his authority and in the next year Valentinian himself fell a
victim to the vengeance of followers of Aetius. With him ended the dynasty
of Theodosius in the West. The new emperor, a senator named Petronius
Maximus, compelled Valentinian’s widow, Eudoxia, to marry him, but when
the Vandal Gaiseric appeared in Italy in answer to her call he offered no
resistance and perished in flight. Maximus was succeeded by Avitus, a
Gallic follower of Aetius, whom he had made master of the soldiers. But
after ruling little more than a year Avitus was deposed by his own master
of the soldiers, Ricimer (456 A. D.).

*Ricimer.* Ricimer, a German of Suevic and Gothic ancestry, who succeeded
to the power of Aetius, was the virtual ruler of the western empire from
456 until his death in 472. Backed by his mercenary troops he made and
unmade emperors at his pleasure, and never permitted his nominees to be
more than his puppets. Majorian, who was appointed emperor in 457 A. D.,
was overthrown by Ricimer in 461, and was followed by Severus. After the
death of Severus in 465 no emperor was appointed in the West for two
years. The imperial power was nominally concentrated in the hands of the
eastern emperor, Leo, while Ricimer was in actual control of the
government in Italy. In 467, Leo sent as emperor to Rome, Anthemius, a
prominent dignitary of the eastern court, whose daughter was married to
Ricimer in order to secure the coöperation of the latter in a joint attack
of the two empires upon the Vandal kingdom in Africa. However, in 472
Ricimer broke with Anthemius who had endeavored with the support of the
Roman Senate to free himself from the influence of the powerful barbarian.
Anthemius was besieged in Rome, and put to death following the capture of
the city. Thereupon Ricimer raised to the purple Olybrius, a son-in-law of
Valentinian III. But both the new emperor and his patron died in the
course of the same year (472 A. D.).

*The last years of the western empire.* In 473 A. D. Gundobad, the nephew
of Ricimer, caused Glycerius to be proclaimed emperor. However, his
appointment was not recognized by Leo, who nominated Julius Nepos. The
next year Nepos invaded Italy and overthrew his rival, only to meet a like
fate at the hands of Orestes, whom he had made master of the soldiers (475
A. D.). Orestes did not assume the imperial title himself, but bestowed it
upon his son Romulus, known as Augustulus. But Orestes was unable to
maintain his position for long. The Germanic mercenaries in Italy—Herculi,
Sciri, and others—led by Odovacar, demanded for themselves lands in Italy
such as their kinsmen had been granted as _foederati_ in the provinces.
When their demands were refused they mutinied and slew Orestes. Romulus
was forced to abdicate, and Odovacar assumed the title of king (476
A. D.). The soldiers were settled on Italian soil and the barbarians
acquired full control of the western empire.

*The kingship of Odovacar, 476–493 A. D.* With the deposition of Romulus
Augustulus, the commander-in-chief of the barbarian soldiery, long the
virtual ruler in the western empire, was recognized as legally exercising
this power. The imperial authority was united in the person of the eastern
emperor who sanctioned the rule of Odovacar by granting him the title of
patrician, which had been held already by Aetius, Ricimer and Orestes. The
barbarian king was at the same time the imperial regent in Italy.

But it was only in Italy that Odovacar obtained recognition. The last
remnants of Roman authority vanished in Gaul and Spain, while Raetia and
Noricum were abandoned to the Alamanni, Thuringi and Rugii.

*The Ostrogothic conquest of Italy, 488–493 A. D.* In 488 A. D. the
position of Odovacar in Italy was challenged by Theodoric, king of the
Ostrogoths. This people after having long been subject to the Huns,
recovered their freedom at the death of Attila, and settled in Pannonia as
_foederati_ of the eastern empire. Theodoric, who became sole ruler of the
Ostrogoths in 481 A. D., had proved himself a troublesome ally of the
emperor Zeno who mistrusted his ambitions. Accordingly when Theodoric
demanded an imperial commission to attack Odovacar in Italy, Zeno readily
granted him the desired authority in order to remove him to a greater
distance from Constantinople. In 488 Theodoric set out with his followers
to invade Italy. Odovacar was defeated in two battles and, in 490 A. D.,
blockaded in Ravenna. After a long siege he agreed to surrender upon
condition that he and Theodoric should rule jointly over Italy. Shortly
afterwards he and most of his followers were treacherously assassinated by
the Ostrogoths (493 A. D.). Theodoric now ruled Italy as king of the
Ostrogoths and an official of the Roman empire, probably retaining the
title of master of the soldiers which he had held in the East.


*Arcadius, 395–408 A. D.* The year of the death of Theodosius the Great
saw the Asiatic provinces of the empire overrun by the Huns who ravaged
Syria and Asia Minor, while the Visigoths under Alaric devastated the
Balkan peninsula. The absence of the eastern troops in Italy prevented the
government from offering any effective opposition to either foe. And when
Stilicho came to the rescue from Italy and was holding the Visigoths in
check, his rival the praetorian prefect Rufinus, who directed the policy
of the young Arcadius, induced the emperor to order Stilicho to withdraw
and sent the troops of the East to Constantinople. This order resulted in
the death of Rufinus, who was killed by the returning soldiery at the
orders of their commander, the Goth Gaïnas.

The influential position of Rufinus at the court fell to the
grand-chamberlain Eutropius, who had been an enemy of the late prefect. He
had induced Arcadius to marry Eudoxia, daughter of a Frankish chief,
instead of the daughter of Rufinus, as the latter had desired. The fall of
Eutropius was brought about by Gaïnas, now a master of the soldiers, who
sought to play the rôle of Stilicho in the East. He was supported by the
empress Eudoxia, who chafed under the domination of the chamberlain. In
399 on the occasion of a revolt of the Gothic troops in Phrygia, Gaïnas
held aloof and the failure of the nominee of Eutropius to crush the
movement gave him the opportunity to bring about the latter’s dismissal
and eventually his death.

But Gaïnas did not long retain his power. He quarrelled with the empress,
and the Arianism of himself and his followers roused the animosity of the
population of the capital. A massacre of the Goths in Constantinople
followed and with the aid of a loyal Goth Fravitta, Gaïnas was driven
north of the Danube where he was slain by the Huns (400 A. D.). The
influence of Eudoxia was now paramount. However, she found a critic in the
eloquent bishop of Constantinople, John Chrysostom, who inveighed against
the extravagance and dissipation of the society of the court, and directed
his censures towards the empress in particular. Ultimately, Eudoxia was
able to have him deposed from his see in 404 A. D., a few months before
his death. Four years later Arcadius himself died, leaving the empire to
his eight-year-old son Theodosius II.

*Theodosius II, 408–450 A. D.* At the opening of the reign of Theodosius
II the government was in the hands of the praetorian prefect Anthemius,
who had shown himself an able administrator during the last years of
Arcadius. However, in 414, the emperor’s elder sister, Pulcheria, was made
regent with the title of Augusta. She was a strong personality and for
many years completely dominated the emperor who was lacking in
independence of character and energy. In 421 Pulcheria selected as a wife
for Theodosius, Athenais, the daughter of an Athenian sophist, who took
the name of Eudocia upon accepting Christianity. After a lapse of some
years differences arose between the empress and her sister-in-law which
led to the latter’s withdrawal from the court (after 431 A. D.). But,
about 440, Eudocia lost her influence over the emperor; she was compelled
to retire from Constantinople and reside in Jerusalem, where she lived
until her death in 460. The reins of power then passed to the grand
chamberlain Chrysapius, whose corrupt administration rivalled that of his
predecessor Eutropius.

During the reign of Theodosius II the peace of the eastern empire was
broken by a war with Persia and by inroads of the Huns. The Persian war
which began in 421 as a result of persecutions of the Christians in Persia
was brought to a victorious conclusion in the next year. A second war, the
result of a Persian invasion in 441, ended with a Persian defeat in 442.
But with the Huns the Romans were not so fortunate. In 434, king Rua, the
ruler of the Huns in the plains of Hungary, had extorted from the empire
the payment of an annual tribute to secure immunity from invasion. At the
accession of Attila and his brother in 433, this tribute was raised to 700
pounds of gold and the Romans were forbidden to give shelter to fugitives
from the power of the Huns. But the payment of tribute failed to win a
permanent respite, for Attila was bent on draining the wealth of the
empire and reducing it to a condition of helplessness. In 441–43 the Huns
swarmed over the Balkan provinces and defeated the imperial armies. An
indemnity of 6000 pounds of gold was exacted and the annual payment
increased to 2100 pounds. Another disastrous raid occurred in 447. The
empire could offer no resistance, and so Chrysapius plotted the
assassination of Attila, but the plot was detected. Attila claimed to
regard himself as the overlord of Theodosius.

In 438 there was published the Theodosian code, a collection of imperial
edicts which constituted the administrative law of the empire, and which
was accepted in the West as well as in the East. Theodosius died in 450,
without having made any arrangements for a successor.

*Marcian, 450–57 A. D.* The officials left the choice of a new emperor to
the Augusta Pulcheria. She selected Marcian, a tried officer, to whom she
gave her hand in formal marriage. Marcian proved himself an able and
conscientious ruler. He refused to continue the indemnity to Attila, and
was able to adhere to this policy owing to the latter’s invasion of the
West and subsequent death. It was he who permitted the Ostrogoths to
settle as _foederati_ in Pannonia (454 A. D.).

*Leo I, 457–474 A. D.* At the death of Marcian in 457 the imperial
authority was conferred upon Leo, an officer of Dacian origin. His
appointment was due to the Alan Aspar, one of the masters of the soldiers,
whose power in the East rivalled that of Ricimer in the West. But Leo did
not intend to be the puppet of the powerful general, whose loyalty he
eventually came to suspect. Accordingly as a counterpoise to the Gothic
mercenaries and _foederati_, the mainstay of Aspar’s power, he drew into
his service the Isaurians, the warlike mountaineers of southern Anatolia,
who had defied the empire under Arcadius and Theodosius. The emperor’s
eldest daughter was given in marriage to Zeno, an Isaurian, who was made
master of the soldiers in the Orient. However, in 470 Aspar was still
strong enough to force Leo to bestow the hand of his second daughter upon
his son Leontius and to appoint the latter Caesar. But in the following
year when Zeno returned to Constantinople the Alan and his eldest sons
were treacherously assassinated in the palace.

*Leo II, 473–4 A. D.* In 473 Leo took as his colleague and destined
successor his grandson, also called Leo, the son of Zeno. The death of the
elder Leo occurred early in 474, and the younger soon crowned his father
Zeno as co-emperor. When Leo II died before the close of the same year,
Zeno became sole ruler.

*Zeno, 474–491 A. D.* The reign of Zeno was an almost uninterrupted
struggle against usurpers and revolting Gothic _foederati_. In 474
occurred an outbreak of the latter led by their king Theodoric the son of
Triarius, called Strabo or “the Squinter,” who ruled over the Goths
settled in Thrace as a master of the soldiers of the empire. Before this
revolt was over, the unpopularity of the Isaurians induced Basiliscus, the
brother-in-law of Leo I, to plot to seize the throne for himself. He was
supported by his sister, the ex-empress Verina, and Illus, the chief
Isaurian officer in Zeno’s service. The conspirators seized Constantinople
and proclaimed Basiliscus emperor (475 A. D.). But his heretical religious
views aroused strong opposition, and he was deserted by both Verina and
Illus. Zeno re-entered the capital and Basiliscus was executed.

During the revolt Zeno had been supported by Theoderic the Amal, a Gothic
prince who was a rival of Theoderic son of Triarius. The emperor therefore
tried to crush the latter with the help of the former, but the two
Theoderics came to an agreement and acted in concert against Zeno (478
A. D.). In 479 peace was made with Strabo, but hostilities continued with
the Amal. At this time another insurrection broke out in Constantinople,
under the leadership of Marcian, a son-in-law of Leo I, as a protest
against the predominance of the Isaurians, in particular Illus. However,
this revolt was easily put down.

Theoderic son of Triarius was killed in 481, and in 483 Zeno made peace
with Theoderic the Amal, creating him patrician and master of the
soldiers, and granting him lands in Dacia and lower Moesia. These
concessions were made in consequence of the antagonism which had developed
between the emperor and his all-powerful minister Illus. This friction
culminated in 484 A. D. when Illus, who was master of the soldiers in the
Orient, induced the dowager empress Verina to crown a general, named
Leontius, as emperor. But outside of Isauria the movement found little
support and after a long siege in an Isaurian fortress the leaders of the
revolt were taken and put to death (488 A. D.). In the meantime Theoderic
the Amal had asked and received an imperial warrant for the conquest of
Italy, and with the departure of the Goths the eastern empire was
delivered from the danger of Germanic domination. Zeno died in April, 491
A. D.

*Anastasius, 491–518 A. D.* The choice of a successor was left to the
empress Ariadne, who selected as emperor and her husband an experienced
officer of the court, Anastasius. The first act of Anastasius was to
remove the Isaurian officials and troops from Constantinople. This led to
an Isaurian rebellion in southern Asia Minor which was not stamped out
until 498. In the struggle the power of the Isaurians was broken, their
strongholds were captured, part of their population transported to Thrace,
and they ceased to be a menace to the peace of the empire.

In the place of the Goths new enemies appeared on the Danubian border in
the Slavic Getae and the Bulgars who overran the depopulated provinces of
the northern Balkan peninsula. So extended were their ravages and so
utterly did the imperial troops fail to hold them in check that Anastasius
was obliged to build a wall across the peninsula, upon which the city of
Constantinople stands, for the protection of the capital itself.
Anastasius had also to cope with a serious Persian war which began with an
invasion of Roman Armenia and Mesopotamia by King Kawad in 502 A. D. After
four years of border warfare, in which the Persians gained initial success
but the fortune of the Roman arms was restored by the master of the
offices Celer, peace was reëstablished on the basis of the _status quo

The civil administration of Anastasius is noteworthy for the abolition of
the tax called the _chrysargyrum_ (498 A. D.), and his relief of the
_curiales_ from the responsibility for the collection of the municipal
taxes. A testimony of the increasing influences of Christian morality was
the abolition of certain pagan festivals and of combats between gladiators
and wild beasts in the circus.

But in spite of the justness and efficiency of his administration the
reign of Anastasius was marked by several popular upheavals in
Constantinople, and in other cities of the empire as well. The cause lay
in his sympathy for the monophysite doctrine which was vigorously opposed
by the orthodox Christians. In 512 the appointment of a monophysite bishop
at Constantinople provoked a serious rebellion which almost cost
Anastasius his throne.

Although the emperor was able to quiet the city rabble by a display of
cool courage the prevailing religious discord encouraged Vitalian, the
commander of the Bulgarian _foederati_ in the Thracian army, to raise the
standard of revolt (514 A. D.). He defeated all forces sent against him
and endangered the safety of the capital. However, he was induced to
withdraw by a ransom of 5000 pounds of gold and the office of master of
the soldiers in Thrace. But the truce was only temporary, and in 515 he
again advanced on Constantinople. This time his forces met with a crushing
defeat on land and sea, and the rebellion came to an end. Three years
later Anastasius died.

  [Illustration: The Roman Empire and the Germanic Kingdoms in 526
  A. D.]

                               CHAPTER XXIV

                   THE AGE OF JUSTINIAN: 518–565 A. D.


*The Germans and the Romans.* The passing of Italy and the western
provinces under the sway of Germanic kings was accomplished, as we have
seen, by the settlement of large numbers of barbarians in the conquered
territories. This necessitated a division of the soil and a definition of
the status of the Romans with respect to the invaders, who were everywhere
less numerous than the native population. These questions were settled in
different ways in the several kingdoms.

*Under the Visigoths.* In the Visigothic kingdom in Gaul the Goths and the
Romans lived side by side as separate peoples, each enjoying its own laws,
and the Romans were not regarded as subjects having no rights against
their conquerors. However, intermarriage between the two races was
forbidden. The law which applied to the Romans was published by King
Alaric in 506 A. D., and is known as the _Lex Romana Visigothorum_, or the
Breviary of Alaric; his predecessor Euric had caused the compilation of a
code of the Gothic customary law in imitation of the imperial Theodosian

The settlement of the Goths on the land took the form of _hospitium_ or
quartering. By this arrangement the Roman landholders gave up to the Goths
two thirds of their property, both the land itself and the cattle,
_coloni_ and slaves which were on it. The shares which the Goths received
were not subject to taxation.

For the purposes of administration the Roman provincial and municipal
divisions were retained (_provinciae_ and _civitates_), the former being
placed under _duces_ and the latter under _comites civitatum_. The Goths
settled within these districts formed their national associations of tens,
hundreds, and thousands, under native Gothic officers. But the adoption of
a more settled form of life deeply affected the Gothic tribal
institutions. The Gothic national assembly could no longer be easily
called together and came to exist in the form of the army alone. In the
division of the land the more influential warriors and friends of the king
received the larger shares and this helped the rise of a landed nobility.
The government was concentrated at the capital, Toulouse, where central
ministries were established modelled on those of the Roman court. This led
to a considerable strengthening of the royal power. The language of
government remained Gothic for the Goths and Latin for the Romans, but the
leading Goths appear to have been familiar with both tongues.

*Under the Vandals.* In the Vandal kingdom of Africa the position of the
Romans was much less favorable. They were treated as conquered subjects,
and, as under the Goths, intermarriage between them and the conquering
race was prohibited. In the province of Zeugitana (old Africa), where the
Vandal settlement occurred, the Roman landowners were completely
dispossessed and their estates turned over to new proprietors. The
_coloni_ and other tenants, however, remained on the soil, and the Vandal
landlords entrusted the management of their properties to Roman stewards.
Elsewhere the Romans were undisturbed in their possessions.

The Roman administrative territorial divisions were retained, but the
regions settled by the Vandals stood outside of these and had a separate
organization. Here the Vandals preserved their tribal divisions of
hundreds and thousands. The administration of justice for the Vandals was
in the hands of their own officials and according to their customary laws;
for the Romans it rested with their previous authorities in accordance
with Roman law but under the supervision of the Vandal king.

The Vandal kingdom was a strongly centralized monarchy. This led to the
development of a nobility based on employment in the imperial service. The
African climate and the sudden acquirement of wealth which enabled them to
enjoy all the luxurious extravagance of Roman life in the upper classes of
society soon produced an enervating effect upon the northern conquerors.
On the other hand, although they were completely lacking in political
rights, the Roman agricultural population of Africa felt the rule of the
Vandals to be less oppressive than that of the Roman bureaucracy.

*Under the Ostrogoths.* In Italy, Odovacar had maintained the Roman
administrative system in its entirety and Theoderic continued his policy.
He made no attempt to found a new state but regarded himself as one of the
rulers of the Roman empire. In 497 he asked and received from Anastasius
the symbols of imperial power which Odovacar had sent to Constantinople
upon the deposition of Romulus Augustulus in 476. From this time the
Gothic king may be regarded as a colleague of the eastern emperor. Not
merely did he retain the Roman administrative organization but all his
civil officials were Romans. He published an edict which constituted a
code of law applicable to Goths and Romans alike. So thoroughly Roman was
Theoderic’s administration that even the army was open to Romans, who are
found among his prominent generals.

The Ostrogoths received assignments of land in Italy but it seems probable
that there was no confiscation of private property, one third of the state
lands being allotted for this purpose. Ravenna was the royal residence and
center of government, but the Roman Senate exercised a great deal of
influence and until the later years of his reign cordially supported the
authority of Theoderic.

*The Burgundians and the Franks.* The Burgundians in the Rhone valley
effected their settlement like the Visigoths according to the system of
_hospitium_. In general their relations with the Roman population were
peaceful, intermarriage between the two peoples was sanctioned, and the
Burgundian kings showed themselves appreciative of Roman culture.
Gundobad, who reigned from 473 to 516, issued both a code of Burgundian
laws and the Burgundian Roman Law (_Lex Romana Burgundionum_) which
applied to his Roman subjects and also to the Burgundians in their
disputes with Romans. The Franks in the course of their advance to the
Seine had annihilated the Roman population of northern Gaul. However, in
the region between the Seine and the Loire they left the Romans in
undisturbed possession of their property, the Frankish kings making no
distinction between their Frank and Roman subjects.

*The religious question.* In addition to racial differences, there was
also a religious line of demarcation between the Goths, Vandals and
Burgundians on the one hand, and the Roman population on the other. The
Goths and neighboring Germanic peoples had been converted to Christianity
in the latter half of the fourth century, largely through the missionary
activities of Ulfila, who translated the Bible into Gothic. However, they
had been won to the Arian and not the Nicaean creed, and consequently were
regarded as heretics by the orthodox Romans, who never became reconciled
to rulers of another confession than themselves. This hostility led
frequently to government intervention and persecution. But in this respect
the policy of the several Germanic kingdoms varied under different rulers.

In general the Visigoths pursued a policy of toleration, leaving the
orthodox clergy undisturbed except when the latter were guilty of
disloyalty in giving support to outside enemies. At the time of their
settlement in Zeugitana the Vandals confiscated the property of the
orthodox church in that province and turned it over to their own Arian
clergy. Elsewhere in Africa the Catholics remained unmolested during the
reign of Gaiseric but were persecuted by his successors. In the
Ostrogothic kingdom in Italy Theoderic, although an Arian, gave complete
freedom to the orthodox church throughout the greater part of his rule.
However, his policy changed when the eastern emperor, Justin, began to
persecute the Arians within his dominions in 523 A. D. The ban upon
Arianism found support among the Romans in Italy, particularly among the
orthodox clergy and the senators. This caused Theoderic to suspect that
the emperor’s action had been stimulated by a faction in the Roman Senate,
and led to the execution of Boethius and other notables on the charge of
treason. Realizing the effect that the imperial proscription of Arianism
would produce upon the relations of his Roman and Gothic subjects,
Theoderic sent a delegation, headed by the bishop of Rome, to
Constantinople to secure the annulment of the anti-Arian decree. When he
failed to attain this, he resolved upon a general persecution of the
Catholics which was forestalled, however, by his death in 526 A. D.

The Burgundians were also Arians, and this prevented their winning the
loyal support of the orthodox clergy, who, however, recognized the
authority of the Burgundian kings. Although Sigismund, the son of
Gundobad, who came to the throne in 516, was converted to orthodoxy, it
was too late to heal this religious breach before the fall of the
Burgundian power.

Unlike their neighbors, the Visigoths and Burgundians, the Franks were
pagans when they established themselves upon Roman territory and remained
so until toward the close of the fifth century. In 496 the Frankish king
Clovis was converted to Christianity, and to the orthodox, not the Arian,
belief, a fact of supreme importance in his relations with the other
Germanic peoples in Gaul.

*The expansion of the Franks.* The foreign policy of Theoderic was
directed towards strengthening his position in Italy by establishing
friendly relations with the western Germanic kingdoms and maintaining
peace and a balance of power among them. To this end he contracted a
series of family alliances with the rulers of these states. In 492 he
himself wedded a sister of Clovis the Frank, and gave his own sister in
marriage to the Vandal king Thrasamund. One of his daughters became the
wife of Sigismund, king of the Burgundians, and another was married to
Alaric II, who succeeded Euric as king of the Visigoths.

However, Theoderic’s scheme was rudely disturbed by the ambitions of
Clovis. In 496 the latter conquered the Alamanni. He next forced the
Burgundians to acknowledge his overlordship, and with these as his allies
in 507 he attacked the Visigothic kingdom. The conquests of Euric in Gaul
and Spain had overtaxed the strength of the Visigothic people and weakened
their hold upon the territory they occupied. Furthermore, their Roman
subjects gave active aid to the orthodox Clovis. In a battle near Poitiers
the Visigoths were defeated and their king, Alaric II, slain. Theoderic
had been hindered from intervening previously by the outbreak of
hostilities between himself and the emperor Anastasius, who gave his
sanction to the action of Clovis and sent him the insignia of the
consulship. Now, however, the Ostrogothic king came to the aid of the
Visigoths. He repulsed the Franks and Burgundians before Arles (508
A. D.). and recovered Narbonese Gaul. However, the greater part of
Aquitania remained in the hands of the Franks. Theoderic established his
grandson Amalaric as king of the Visigoths and exercised a regency in his
name (510 A. D.). Clovis died in 511 and the expansion of the Franks
ceased for a time. However, the death of Theoderic in 526 was the signal
for fresh disturbances. The Visigothic king Amalaric at once asserted his
independence in southern Gaul and in Spain. But not long afterwards, in
531, he fell in battle against the Franks, who seized the remaining
Visigothic possessions in Gaul except Septimania—the coast district
between the Pyrenees and the Rhone. Three years later they overthrew the
kingdom of the Burgundians and so brought under their sway the whole of
Gaul outside of Septimania and Provence.

In 533 A. D. the situation in the west was as follows. Gaul was mainly in
the hands of the Franks, Spain was under the Visigoths, the Vandals were
still established in Africa, and the Ostrogoths in Italy. Both of the
latter kingdoms, however, were showing signs of internal weakness. In
addition to the hostility between the Germanic conquerors and the subject
Roman population, factional strife had broken out over the succession to
the throne. Evidence of the declining power of the Vandals in particular
was the success of the Moorish tribes in winning their independence. By
525 both Mauretania and Numidia had been abandoned to them, and the tribes
of Tripolis had shaken off the Vandal yoke. In 530 the Moors of southern
Byzacene inflicted a severe defeat on the Vandals, which led to the
deposition of the ruling king. The weakness of these states seemed to
offer a favorable opportunity for the reëstablishment of the imperial
authority in the West.


*Justin I, 518–527 A. D.* Anastasius died in 518 and was succeeded by
Justin, an Illyrian of humble origin who had risen to the important post
of commander of the imperial body guard (_comes excubitorum_). Unlike his
predecessor Justin was an adherent of the orthodox faith, and at the
opening of his reign an exceedingly influential position was held by the
general Vitalian, who had been the champion of orthodoxy against
Anastasius. He became master of the soldiers at Constantinople and in 520
was honored with the consulship. But his power and unscrupulous ambitions
constituted a real menace to the emperor and induced the latter to procure
his murder. Justin ruled for nine years. He was an experienced soldier,
but illiterate, and personally unequal to the task of imperial government.
The guiding spirit of his administration was his nephew Justinian, who was
largely responsible for Vitalian’s removal. In fact the reign of Justin
served as a brief introduction to the long rule of Justinian himself, whom
his uncle crowned as his colleague in 527 A. D., and who became sole
emperor at the latter’s death in the same year.

*Justinian’s imperial policy.* Justinian was by birth a Latin peasant from
near Scupi (modern Uskub) in Upper Moesia, but through his uncle he had
been able to enjoy all the educational advantages offered by the schools
of Constantinople. In public life he showed himself a laborious and
careful administrator, of an extremely autocratic, and yet at the same
time somewhat vacillating, character. He was a devout Christian, zealous
for the propagation of the orthodox faith, with a strong liking for, and
considerable learning in, questions of dogmatic theology. He regarded
religious and secular affairs as equally subject to the imperial will, and
in each sphere he exercised absolute authority. In him the ideal of
autocracy found its most perfect embodiment.

The goal of Justinian’s imperial policy was the recovery of the lands of
the western empire from their Germanic rulers and the reëstablishment of
imperial unity in the person of the eastern emperor. The attainment of
unity of belief throughout the Christian world he regarded as no less
important than that of political unity: one empire, one church, was his

*Reconciliation with the western Church: 519 A. D.* The way was paved for
the reconquest of the Roman West by a reconciliation with the Roman bishop
Hormisdas, as a result of which orthodoxy was once more formally received
at Constantinople and a persecution of the monophysites and other heretics
inaugurated in the eastern empire (519 A. D.). Although this union with
Rome was brought about while the influence of Vitalian was predominant, it
had the cordial support of Justinian, who recognized that the good will of
the clergy and the Roman population of the western provinces would in this
way be won for the eastern emperor. Such proved to be the case, and the
subsequent wars for the recovery of the West assumed the aspect of
crusades for the deliverance of the followers of the orthodox church from
Arian domination.

*Outbreak of the Vandal war, 533 A. D.* The deposition of Hilderic, who
had been on friendly terms with the eastern empire, and the accession of
Gelimer who reverted to an anti-Roman policy, afforded Justinian a pretext
for intervention in the Vandal kingdom. In conformity with his policy of
treating the Germanic kings as vassal princes of the empire, he demanded
the reinstatement of Hilderic, and when this was refused, he prepared to
invade Africa. An expeditionary force of ten thousand foot and five
thousand horse, accompanied by a powerful fleet, was placed under the
command of the able general Belisarius and despatched from Constantinople
in 533 A. D. An alliance concluded with the Ostrogoths forestalled the
possibility of their coming to the aid of the Vandals.

*The military condition of the empire.* The imperial armies of the sixth
century were entirely composed of mercenary troops. While the voluntary
enlistment of barbarians had been a regular method of recruitment from the
time of Diocletian, such troops were at first enrolled directly in the
imperial service. But by the opening of the sixth century it had become
customary for private individuals, as a rule officers of repute, to enlist
troops in their personal service. Such troops were known as _bucellarii_,
from the word _bucella_, signifying soldiers’ bread. These _bucellarii_
were usually taken into the service of the state along with their leaders,
and were then maintained at the public expense. It was with mercenaries of
this type that the ranks of Justinian’s armies were largely filled. For
the most part they were veteran troops and good fighters, but with all the
weaknesses of their class. They were greedy of plunder, impatient of
discipline, and both officers and men displayed a conspicuous lack of
loyalty. The most effective troops were the _cataphracti_, mailed horsemen
armed with bow, lance and sword. Beside them the infantry played only a
subordinate rôle. The fact that the government was obliged to rely upon
_condottieri_ for its own maintenance reveals the internal decay of the
whole imperial system, and the smallness of the forces which it could put
into the field shows the weakness of its resources compared with the aims
of Justinian and explains the protracted character of the wars of the
period. In fact, the emperor was on the point of abandoning the invasion
of Africa for financial reasons, when the prophecy of an eastern bishop
induced him to persevere.

*The reconquest of Africa, 533–4 A. D.* The landing of Belisarius in
Africa (September, 533) completely surprised the Vandals. Gailimer was
defeated in battle and Belisarius occupied Carthage. A second defeat
before the close of the year sealed the fate of the Vandal kingdom. Early
in 534 Gailimer surrendered and all resistance came to an end. The Vandal
insular possessions—Sardinia, Corsica and the Balearic Islands—fell to the
Romans without further opposition.

*Revolts of the Moors.* However, the Moors, who had managed to assert
their independence against the Vandals, were not disposed to pass under
the Roman yoke without a struggle. A revolt which broke out in 535 was not
finally crushed until 539; and another, which was complicated by a mutiny
of the imperial troops, raged between 546 and 548. In the end, the Roman
authority was reëstablished over all the African provinces except
Mauretania Caesariensis and Tingitana. The previous system of civil
administration was revived and elaborate measures taken to secure the
defence of the frontiers. However, the ravages of the Moors and the war of
restoration had played sad havoc with economic conditions in Africa, and
in spite of government assistance, its former prosperity was never
revived. Still, Africa had been recovered for the empire and was destined
to remain a part of it until the Saracen invasion nearly a century and a
half later.

*The recovery of Italy, first phase, 535–540 A. D.* The overthrow of the
Vandal kingdom had scarcely been accomplished when events in Italy gave
Justinian the desired pretext for the invasion of the peninsula. Upon the
death of King Athalaric, Theoderic’s grandson and successor, in 534, his
mother, the regent Amalasuntha, had married Theodahad, whom she made her
consort. Shortly afterwards, however, he caused her to be imprisoned and,
when she appealed to Justinian for aid, put her to death. As the avenger
of his former ally, Justinian made war upon the Gothic king. The
possession of Africa gave the Romans an excellent base of operations
against Italy. In 535 Belisarius invaded Sicily with 7500 men and speedily
reduced the whole island, while another Roman army marched on Dalmatia.
From Sicily Belisarius crossed into South Italy, where he found little
resistance. The inactivity of Theodahad produced a revolt among his own
people. He was deposed, and Witiges became king in his place. The new king
was able to purchase the neutrality of the Franks, who were in alliance
with Justinian, by ceding to them the Ostrogothic possessions in South
Gaul. However, Belisarius continued his advance and occupied Rome
(December, 536 A. D.). There he was besieged for a year (March, 537 to
March, 538) by the Goths, who were in the end forced to abandon the
blockade and fall back upon North Italy. At the same time, the eunuch
Narses arrived in Italy at the head of a new Roman army. But since his
presence was largely due to Justinian’s mistrust of Belisarius, he failed
to coöperate with the latter and accomplished nothing before his recall in
539. The last episode of the campaign was the siege of Ravenna (539–540
A. D.), which was defended by the Gothic king. With its fall and his
capture in 540, the resistance of the Goths came to an end. Italy was
declared a Roman province, the civil administration was reëstablished, and
Belisarius was recalled to assume the command against Persia.

*Second phase, 541–554 A. D.* But the withdrawal of Belisarius and his
best troops led to a revolt of the Goths under the leadership of the brave
and energetic Totila (or Baduila) in 541. Within the next three years he
drove the Roman garrisons from the greater part of Italy, including Rome.
Belisarius was despatched against him, but was given inadequate support
and accomplished nothing except the recovery of Rome, which he held until
he was recalled at his own request in 548. The drain of a fresh Persian
war upon the resources of the empire forced Justinian to the temporary
abandonment of Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily and Italy, apart from Ravenna and
a few other fortresses. At last in 552 he was able to resume the struggle
and entrusted the conduct of the war to Narses, whose ability as a
commander was superior to that of Belisarius himself. The army of Narses
numbered over 30,000, and consisted chiefly of barbarian auxiliaries, in
particular Lombards, who had been settled as _foederati_ in Noricum since
547. Narses marched upon Italy by way of Illyricum and reached the Roman
base at Ravenna. Thence he advanced towards Rome and met and defeated the
Goths in a decisive engagement in Umbria (552 A. D.). Totila fell in the
battle. A second victory in Campania in the following spring forced the
surviving Goths to come to terms. They were allowed to leave Italy and
seek a new home beyond the Roman borders. A fresh enemy then appeared in
the Franks, who had been nominal allies of the Goths but had rendered them
little assistance. A horde of Alamanni and Franks swept down upon Italy
and penetrated deep into the peninsula. But Narses annihilated one of
their divisions at Capua (554 A. D.), and the remainder were decimated by
disease and forced to withdraw. The Roman sway was firmly established over
Italy as far as the Alps; but Raetia, Noricum and the Danubian provinces
remained lost to the empire.

The long and bitter wars of restoration had wrought frightful damage to
the material welfare of Italy, and the heavy financial burdens imposed by
the Roman administrative system aroused bitter protests. The measures of
relief attempted proved insufficient, the middle class disappeared, the
richer landed proprietors left the peninsula, and, as in Africa, the
former prosperity was never recalled.

*The attempted recovery of Spain, 554 A. D.* Following the conclusion of
hostilities in Italy, Justinian seized the opportunity which presented
itself for intervention in Spain. He sent an army to the support of the
rebel Agila against Athanagild, the king of the Visigoths (554 A. D.). The
Roman forces occupied Corduba, Carthagena and other coast towns, but on
the death of Athanagild, Agila succeeded to his throne and headed the
Visigothic opposition to the Romans, who were unable to advance further.
However, they retained what they had already conquered.

*Extent of the Roman conquests.* Justinian’s policy had resulted in the
overthrow of the Vandal and Ostrogothic kingdoms, and in the recovery for
the empire of Africa, Italy, the Mediterranean islands, and a strip of the
Spanish coast. More, the empire was too weak to accomplish.


*Barbarian invasions of the Balkan peninsula.* The strain which the policy
of expansion in the West imposed upon the strength of the empire is
clearly seen in the failure to defend the Danubian frontier and the
ineffective conduct of the Persian wars. Time after time hordes of Bulgars
and Slavs poured into the Balkans. Especially destructive were the inroads
of 540 and 559. In the former the invaders penetrated as far as the
Isthmus of Corinth; in the latter they threatened the capital itself, but
were driven off by the aged Belisarius.

*The Persian wars.* In 527, the Persian king Kawad declared war upon the
empire. The struggle was indecisive, and, at the death of Kawad in 532,
Justinian, who wished to be free at any price to pursue his western
policy, was able to conclude peace with his successor, Chosroes I, upon
condition of paying an annual indemnity. But the successes of Justinian in
the West aroused the jealousy and ambitions of Chosroes in 539. The
Persians overran Syria and captured Antioch, carrying off its population
into captivity (540). However, they failed to take Edessa (544). In
Mesopotamia an armistice was concluded in 545, although war continued
between the Arab dependents of both states, and in the district of Lazica
(ancient Colchis), a Roman protectorate which transferred its allegiance
to Persia. Finally, a fifty years’ peace was concluded in 562 A. D. The
Roman suzerainty over Lazica was acknowledged by the Persians, but the
Romans obligated themselves to pay the Persians a heavy annual subsidy, in
return for which the Persians undertook the defence of the Caucasus. In
this way the Persians became technically Roman _foederati_; however, as in
the case of the Visigoths in the fourth century, this was equivalent to a
confession that the Romans were unable to subdue their enemy, who looked
upon the subsidy as tribute.

  [Illustration: The Roman Empire in 565 A. D.]

*The empress Theodora.* In 523 Justinian married Theodora, a former
professional pantomime actress from the purlieus of the Hippodrome, after
he had induced his uncle to cancel the law which forbade the marriage of
senators and actresses. And when Justinian became emperor in 527, Theodora
was crowned with him as Augusta. From that time until her death in 553 she
was in a very real sense joint ruler with her husband. Whatever the
character of her previous career, her private life as empress was beyond
reproach. She was fond of power, jealous of the influence of others with
the emperor, and unforgiving towards those who thwarted her purposes; both
Belisarius and John of Cappadocia, the powerful praetorian prefect, were
driven from the emperor’s service by her enmity. On the other hand, she
was a woman of dauntless courage, and possessed of remarkable foresight in
political affairs.

*The **“**Nika**”** riot, 532 A. D.* The courage of the empress was
conspicuously displayed on the occasion of the great riot of the factions
of the Hippodrome—the Greens and the Blues—in 532 A. D. These factions had
been organized in Constantinople in imitation of the circus factions of
Rome, but had acquired a different character and a greater importance in
the new capital. The two factions divided between them the entire urban
population, and had their regularly appointed leaders, who enjoyed a
recognized place in the administrative organization of the city. These
parties may be regarded as the last survival of the Hellenic popular
assembly of the city-state, and owing to the extreme centralization of the
administration at Constantinople, they were able to exercise considerable
pressure upon the government.

The emperor and the court regularly supported one or other of the parties.
Anastasius had favored the Greens, but Justinian was a partizan of the
Blues. The rivalry of the factions was intense, and culminated, in the
early years of Justinian’s reign, in open warfare, which gave the lower
elements the opportunity for the perpetration of crimes of all sorts. The
punishment of notorious criminals of both factions in 532 led to their
uniting in a revolt which nearly cost the emperor his throne. At first the
mob demanded the release of their partizans, and the dismissal of John,
the praetorian prefect, whose financial policy was extremely oppressive,
of Trebonian, the able but unscrupulous quaestor, and of the prefect of
the city. Later, emboldened by their success, they crowned as emperor
Hypatius, a nephew of Anastasius. The situation became extremely critical,
for, with the exception of the palace, the whole city fell into the hands
of the rebels, whose battle cry was “Nika” or “Conquer.” Justinian and his
councillors had already resolved upon flight, when Theodora, by a spirited
speech in which she declared that she would die before abandoning the
capital, reanimated their hearts and induced them to alter their decision.
By a judicious use of bribes they induced the Blues to desert the Greens,
and the imperial troops exacted a bloody vengeance from the rebellious
populace. For the future the population of the capital was politically a
negligible quantity.

*The codification of the Roman law.* One of the greatest monuments to the
reign of Justinian is the _corpus iuris civilis_, a codification of the
Roman law by a commission of expert jurists, headed by Trebonian. The
object of this codification was the collection in a convenient form of all
the sources of law then in force, and the settlement of controversies in
the interpretative juristic literature. The compilation was divided into
three parts; the _Code of Justinian_, the _Digest_ or _Pandects_, and the
_Institutes_. The _Code_ was a collection of all imperial constitutions of
general validity; it was first published in 529, but a revised edition was
issued in 534. The _Digest_, which was issued in 533, consisted of
abstracts from the writings of the most famous Roman jurists
systematically arranged so as to present the whole civil law in so far as
it was not contained in the _Code_. The _Institutes_ was a brief manual
designed as a text-book for the use of students of the law. From the time
of their promulgation these compilations constituted the sole law of the
empire and alone carried validity in the courts and formed the only
material for instruction in the law schools of recognized status—those at
Rome, Constantinople and Berytus. Provision was made for the publication
of future legislation in a fourth compilation—the _Novels_ or _New

*St. Sophia.* Justinian’s administration was characterized by great
building activity. He was zealous in the construction of frontier
defences, the rebuilding of ruined cities, the founding of new ones, and
the erection of religious edifices. Among the latter the most famous was
the great church of the Holy Wisdom (St. Sophia), which took the place of
an older building destroyed in the Nika riot. Transformed into a
Mohammedan mosque, it remains to the present day as the greatest
architectural monument of the eastern Roman empire. The execution of
grandiose works of this sort augmented the heavy expenditures necessitated
by Justinian’s foreign policy, and required the continual wringing of
fresh contributions from the already overburdened taxpayers. In raising
the revenues needed to meet the demands upon the fiscus, the emperor found
the prefect John an invaluable agent.

*Justinian’s religious policy.* Throughout the whole of his reign
Justinian strove with unflagging zeal to secure a united Christian church
within the empire. To this end he did not hesitate to make use of the
autocratic power which he claimed in religious as well as secular affairs
and which was formally admitted by the synod of 536, which declared that
“Nothing whatsoever may occur in the church contrary to the wishes and
orders of the emperor.” His own views Justinian set forth in extensive
writings on dogmatic questions. The reconciliation with Rome in 519, so
necessary for the recovery of the West, had alienated the Monophysites,
who were predominant in Egypt, Syria and Mesopotamia, especially among the
lower classes of society. For the rest of his reign Justinian strove
indefatigably to heal this breach, a policy in which he was largely
influenced by Theodora, who was personally sympathetic with the
Monophysites and saw the danger to the empire in the continued hostility
of the eastern peoples. An ecumenical council summoned by him at
Constantinople in 553 accepted a formula of belief upon which he hoped
both orthodox and monophysites could unite. The Pope Vergilius was forced
to submit to Justinian’s will, but the clergy of Italy and Africa regarded
the new doctrine as heretical, and some openly condemned it. Nor was the
desired end attained, for the Monophysites still refused to be
conciliated. A final edict, issued in 565, went still further in its
recognition of the tenets of this sect, but the emperor’s death
forestalled its enforcement and saved the orthodox clergy from the
alternative of submission or persecution.

A far harsher treatment was meted out to the Arians, who were treated as
hereticals and punished as criminals. A rebellion of the Samaritans,
occasioned by their persecution, was stamped out in blood. A determined
effort was made to eradicate the last remains of the old Hellenic faith
which still claimed many adherents of note. In 529 the endowment of
Plato’s Academy was confiscated and the teaching of philosophy forbidden
at Athens. The persecution of heretics and unbelievers was accompanied by
a vigorous missionary movement which carried the Christian gospel to the
peoples of southern Russia, the Caucasus, Arabia, the Soudan and the oases
of the Sahara.

*The **condition** of the empire at the death of Justinian.* Justinian
died on 14 November, 565 A. D. He left the empire completely exhausted by
the conquest of the western provinces. The national antagonism between
Greeks and Romans which was coming more and more clearly to light was not
effectively bridged by a formal church union, and a mistaken religious
policy had fostered the growth of national ambitions among the native
populations of Syria and Egypt and led to further disunion with the
empire. Under Justinian the annual consulship, for a thousand years
identified with the life of the Roman state, was abolished (540 A. D.). In
the government of the provinces Justinian took the initial steps towards
abandoning the principle of the division of civil and military authority,
which was so marked a feature of Diocletian’s organization, and thus
prepared the way for the later form of the _themes_, or military
districts, in which the military commanders were at the head of the civil
government as well. It was in his reign also that the culture of the
silkworm was introduced into the empire by Persian monks, who had lived in
China, learned the jealously guarded secrets of this art, and brought some
eggs of the silkworm out of the country concealed in hollow canes. The
manufacture of silk goods had long been a flourishing industry in certain
cities of the Greek East and was made an imperial monopoly by Justinian.
The introduction of the silkworm rendered this trade to a large degree
independent of the importation of raw silk from the Orient.

As Justinian was the last emperor whose native tongue was Latin, so he was
the last who maintained that language as the language of government at
Constantinople and upheld the traditions of the Roman imperial policy.

                               CHAPTER XXV


                          I. THE END OF PAGANISM

*The paganism of the late empire.* In spite of the tremendous impulse
given to the spread of Christianity by Constantine’s policy of toleration
and by its adoption as the religion of the imperial house, the extinction
of paganism was by no means rapid. While the chief pagan religions during
the fourth century were the Oriental cults and the Orphic mysteries of
Eleusis, which strongly resembled them in character, the worship of the
Graeco-Roman Olympic divinities still attracted numerous followers. But,
although paganism persisted in many and divers forms, these, by a process
of religious syncretism, had come to find their place in a common
theological system. This development had its basis in the common
characteristics of the Oriental cults, each of which inculcated the belief
in a supreme deity, and received its stimulus through the conscious
opposition of all forms of paganism to Christianity, which they had come
to recognize as their common, implacable foe. The chief characteristic of
later paganism was its tendency to monotheism—a belief in one abstract
divinity of whom the various gods were but so many separate
manifestations. The development of a harmonious system of pagan theology
was greatly aided by Neoplatonic philosophy, which may be regarded as the
ultimate expression of ancient paganism. Neoplatonism was essentially a
pantheism, in which all forms of life were regarded as emanations of the
divine mind. But Neoplatonism was more than a philosophical system; it was
a religion, and, like the Oriental cults, preached a doctrine of salvation
for the souls of men. Such was the paganism by which the Christians of the
late empire were confronted, and which, because of its many points of
resemblance to their own beliefs and practices, they admitted to be a
dangerous rival. At the same time, this similarity made the task of
conversion less difficult.

*Causes of the persistence of paganism.* There were several reasons for
the persistence of paganism. The Oriental and Orphic cults exercised a
powerful hold over their votaries, and made an appeal very similar to that
of Christianity. Stoicism, with its high ideal of conduct, remained a
strong tradition among the upper classes of society; and Neoplatonism had
a special attraction for men of intelligence and culture. Roman
patriotism, too, fostered loyalty to the gods under whose aegis Rome had
grown great, and until the close of the fourth century the Roman Senate
was an indefatigable champion of the ancient faith. But more potent than
all these causes was the fact that, apart from some works of a theological
character, the whole literature of the day was pagan in origin and in
spirit. This was the only material available for instruction in the
schools, and formed the basis of the rhetorical studies which constituted
the higher education of the time. Thus, throughout the whole period of
their intellectual training, the minds of the young were subjected to
pagan influences.

*The persecution of paganism.* Constantine the Great adhered strictly to
his policy of religious toleration and, although an active supporter of
Christianity, took no measures against the pagan cults except to forbid
the private sacrifices and practice of certain types of magical rites. He
held the title of pontifex maximus and consequently was at the head of the
official pagan worship. With his sons, Constantius and Constans, the
Christian persecution of the pagan began. In 341 they prohibited public
performance of pagan sacrifices, and they permitted the confiscation of
temples and their conversion into Christian places of worship. With the
accession of Julian this persecution came to an end, and there was in the
main a return to the policy of religious toleration, although Christians
were prohibited from interpreting classical literature in the schools. The
attempt of Julian to create a universal pagan church proved abortive and
his scheme did not survive his death. His successors, Jovian, Valentinian
I and Valens, adhered to the policy of Constantine the Great.

Gratian was the first emperor to refuse the title of pontifex maximus, and
to deprive paganism of its status as an official religion of Rome. In 382
he withdrew the state support of the priesthoods of Rome, and removed from
the Senate house the altar and statue of Victory, which Julian had
restored after its temporary removal by Constantius. This altar was for
many of the senators the symbol of the life of the state itself, and their
spokesman Symmachus made an eloquent plea for its restoration. However,
owing to the influence of Ambrose, the bishop of Milan, the emperor
remained obdurate, and a second appeal to Valentinian II was equally in
vain. Although the brief reign of Eugenius produced a pagan revival in
Rome, the cause of paganism was lost forever in the imperial city. In the
fifth century the Senate of Rome was thoroughly Christian.

Theodosius the Great was even more energetic than his colleague Gratian in
the suppression of paganism. In 380 he issued an edict requiring all his
subjects to embrace Christianity. In 391 he ordered the destruction of the
great temple of Serapis at Alexandria, an event which sounded the death
knell of the pagan cause in the East. The following year Theodosius
absolutely forbade the practice of heathen worship under the penalties for
treason and sacrilege. Theodosius II continued the vigorous persecution of
the heathen. Adherence to pagan beliefs constituted a crime, and in the
Theodosian Code of 438 the laws against pagans find their place among the
laws regulating civic life. It was during the reign of Theodosius II, in
415, that the pagan philosopher and mathematician, Hypatia, fell a victim
to the fanaticism of the Christian mob of Alexandria.

Still, many persons of prominence continued to be secret devotees of pagan
beliefs, and pagan philosophy was openly taught at Athens until the
closing of the schools by Justinian. The acceptance of Christianity was
more rapid in the cities than in the rural districts. This gave rise to
the use of the term pagan (from the Latin _paganus_, “rural”) to designate
non-Christian; a usage which became official about 370. And it was among
the rural population that pagan beliefs and practices persisted longest.
However, between the fifth and the ninth centuries paganism practically
disappeared within the lands of the empire.

The long association with paganism and the rapid incorporation of large
numbers of new converts into the ranks of the church were not without
influence upon the character of Christianity itself. The ancient belief in
magic contributed largely to the spread of the belief in miracles, and the
development of the cult of the saints was stimulated by the pagan
conception of inferior divinities, demigods, and daemons, while many pagan
festivals were Christianized and made festivals of the church.


*The emperor and the church.* The religious policy of Constantine the
Great had the effect of making Christianity a religion of state and
incorporating the Christian church in the state organism. Thereby the
clergy gained the support of the imperial authority in spreading the
belief of the church and in enforcing its ordinances throughout the
empire. Yet this support was won at the price of the recognition of the
autocratic power of the emperor over the church as well as in the
political sphere. Subsequently, however, this recognition was only
accorded to orthodox emperors; that is those who supported the traditional
doctrine of the church as sanctioned in its general councils.

Constantine made use of his supremacy over the church to enforce unity
within its ranks. However, he did not champion any particular creed but
limited his interference to carrying into effect the decisions of the
church councils or synods which he summoned to pass judgment upon
questions which threatened the unity of the church and the peace of the

These councils were a development from the provincial synods, which had
previously met to decide church matters of local importance. Procedure in
the councils was modelled upon that of the Roman Senate; the meetings were
conducted by imperial legates, their decisions were issued in the form of
imperial edicts, and it was to the emperor that appeals from these decrees
were made. The first of the great councils was the Synod of Arles, a
council of the bishops of the western church, summoned by Constantine in
314 to settle the Donatist schism in the church in Africa. This was
followed in 325 by the first universal or ecumenical council of the whole
Christian church which met at Nicaea to decide upon the orthodoxy of the
teachings of Arius of Alexandria.

Constantine’s successors followed his example of summoning church councils
to settle sectarian controversies, though, unlike him, many of them sought
to force upon the church the doctrines of their particular sect. As the
general councils accentuated rather than allayed antagonisms, the eastern
emperor Zeno substituted a referendum of the bishops by provinces. But
this precedent was not followed. Justinian was the emperor who asserted
most effectively his authority over the church. He issued edicts upon
purely theological questions and upon matters of church discipline without
reference to church councils, and he received from the populace of
Constantinople the salutation of “High Priest and King.”(18) The decision
of the council of 553 provoked an attack upon the sacerdotal power of the
emperor by Facundus, bishop of Hermiana in Africa, who declared that not
the emperor but the priests should rule the church. Nevertheless, this
opposition had no immediate effect, and Justinian remained the successful
embodiment of “Caesaro-papism.”

*The growth of the papacy.* The late empire witnessed a rapid extension of
the authority of the bishopric of Rome, which had even previously laid
claim to the primacy among the episcopal sees. In the West the title
“pope” (from the Greek _pappas_, “father”) became the exclusive
prerogative of the bishop of Rome. The papacy was the sole western
patriarchate, or bishopric, with jurisdiction over the metropolitan and
provincial bishops, and was the sole representative of the western church
in its dealings with the bishops of the East. At the council of Serdica
(343 A. D.) it was decided that bishops deposed as a result of the Arian
controversy might refer their cases to the Pope Julius for final decision,
and, in the course of the fifth century, eastern bishops frequently
appealed to the decision of the pope on questions of orthodoxy. However,
the eastern church never fully admitted the religious jurisdiction of the
papacy. The ideal of the papacy became the organization of the church on
the model of the empire, with the pope as its religious head.

The claims of the papacy were pushed with vigor by Innocent I (402–417
A. D.) and Leo I (440–461 A. D.). The latter laid particular stress upon
the primacy of Peter among the Apostles and taught that this had descended
to his apostolic successors. It was Leo also who induced the western
emperor Valentinian III in 455 to order the whole western church to obey
the bishop of Rome as the heir to the primacy of Peter. The Pope Gelasius
(492–496 A. D.) asserted the power of the priests to be superior to the
imperial authority, but the establishment of the Ostrogothic kingdom in
Italy and the reconquest of the peninsula by the eastern emperor weakened
the independence of the Roman bishopric. Justinian was able to compel the
popes to submit to his authority in religious matters.

*The patriarchate of Constantinople.* A rival to the papacy developed in
the patriarchate of Constantinople, which at the Council of Constantinople
in 381 was recognized as taking precedence over the other eastern
bishoprics and ranking next to that of Rome, “because Constantinople is
New Rome.” However, the primacy of the bishop of Constantinople in the
eastern church was challenged by the older patriarchates of Ephesus,
Antioch and Alexandria, all of which had been apostolic foundations, while
the claims of Constantinople to that honor were more than dubious. Between
381 and 451 the bishops of Alexandria successfully disputed the doctrinal
authority of the see of Constantinople, but at the council of Chalcedon
(451 A. D.) Pulcheria and Marcian reasserted the primacy of the patriarch
of the capital. At this time also the bishopric of Jerusalem was
recognized as a patriarchate. The patriarch of Constantinople was now
placed on an equality with the pope, a recognition against which the Pope
Leo protested in vain. However, the patriarchs of Constantinople never
acquired the power and independence of the popes. Situated as they were in
the shadow of the imperial palace, and owing their ecclesiastical
authority to the support of the throne, they rarely ventured to oppose the
will of the emperor. Under Justinian the patriarch held the position of a
“minister of state in the department of religion.”

*The temporal power of the clergy.* When Christianity became a religion of
state it was inevitable that the Christian clergy should occupy a
privileged position. This recognition was accorded them by Constantine the
Great when he exempted them from personal services (_munera_) in 313 and
taxation in 319 A. D. Those who entered the ranks of the clergy were
expected to abandon all worldly pursuits, and an imperial edict of 452
excluded them from all gainful occupations. In addition to their
ecclesiastical authority in matters of belief and church discipline, the
bishops also acquired considerable power in secular affairs. In the days
of persecution the Christians had regularly submitted legal differences
among themselves to the arbitration of their bishops, rather than resort
to the tribunals of state. Constantine the Great gave legal sanction to
this episcopal arbitration in civil cases; Arcadius, however, restricted
its use to cases in which the litigants voluntarily submitted to the
bishop’s judgment. The bishops enjoyed no direct criminal jurisdiction,
although since the right of sanctuary was accorded to the churches, they
were frequently able to intercede with effect for those who sought asylum
with them. In the enforcement of moral and humanitarian legislation the
state called for the coöperation of the bishops.

The influential position of the bishops as the religious heads of the
municipalities led to their being accorded a definite place in the
municipal administration. In protecting the impoverished taxpayers against
the imperial officers they were more effective than the “_defensores
plebis_.” And in the days of the barbarian invasions, when the
representatives of the imperial authority were driven from the provinces,
the bishops became the leaders of the Roman population in their contact
with the barbarian conquerors.

                          III. SECTARIAN STRIFE

*Sectarianism.* The history of the church from Constantine to Justinian is
largely the history of sectarian strife, which had its origin in doctrinal
controversies. While the western church in general abstained from acute
theological discussions and adhered strictly to the orthodox or
established creed, devoting its energies to the development of church
organization, the church of the East, imbued with the Greek philosophic
spirit, busied itself with attempts to solve the mysteries of the
Christian faith and was a fruitful source of heterodoxy. Strife between
the adherents of the various sects was waged with extreme bitterness and
frequently culminated in riots and bloodshed. Toleration was unknown and
heretics, like pagans, were classed as criminals and excluded from
communion with the orthodox church. Of the many sects which arose in the
fourth and fifth centuries, two were of outstanding importance. These were
the Arians and the monophysites.

*Arianism.* Arianism had its rise in an attempt to express with
philosophical precision the relation of the three members of the Holy
Trinity; God the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. About 318 A. D., Arius,
a presbyter of Alexandria, taught that God was from eternity but that the
Son and the Spirit were his creations. Over the teaching of Arius, a
controversy arose which threatened the unity of the church. Accordingly,
Constantine intervened and summoned the ecumenical council of Nicaea to
decide upon the orthodoxy of Arius. The council accepted the formula of
Athanasius that the Son was of the same substance (_homo-ousion_) as the
Father, which was the doctrine of the West. Arius was exiled.

The struggle, however, was by no means over, for the Nicene creed found
many opponents among the eastern bishops who did not wish to exclude the
Arians from the church. The leader of this party was Eusebius of Caesarea.
In 335 they brought about the deposition of Athanasius, who had been
bishop of Alexandria since 328. After the death of Constantine, Athanasius
was permitted to return to his see, only to be expelled again in 339 by
Constantius, who was under the influence of Eusebius. He took refuge in
the West, where the Pope Julius gave him his support. At a general council
of the church held at Serdica (Sofia) in 343 there was a sharp division
between East and West, but the supporters of Athanasius were in the
majority, and he and the other orthodox eastern bishops were reinstated in
their sees (345 A. D.).

When Constantius became sole ruler of the empire (353 A. D.) the enemies
of Athanasius once more gained the upper hand. The emperor forced a
general council convoked at Milan in 353 to condemn and depose Athanasius,
while the Pope Liberius, who supported him, was exiled to Macedonia. A new
council held at Sirmium in 357 tried to secure religious peace by
forbidding the use of the word “substance” in defining the relation of the
Father and the Son, and sanctioned only the term _homoios_ (like). The
adherents of this creed were called Homoeans. Although they were not
Arians, their solution was rejected by the conservatives in both East and
West. In 359 a double council was held, the western bishops meeting at
Ariminum, the eastern at Seleucia. The result was the acceptance of the
Sirmian creed, although the western council had to be almost starved
before it yielded. Under Julian and Jovian the Arians enjoyed full
toleration, and while Valentinian I pursued a similar policy, Valens went
further and gave Arianism his support.

In the meantime, however, the labors of the three great
Cappadocians,—Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus and Gregory of
Nyssa—had already done much to reconcile the eastern bishops to the
Nicaean confession and, with the accession of Theodosius I, the fate of
Arianism was sealed. A council of the eastern church met at Constantinople
in 381 and accepted the Nicene creed. The Arian bishops were deposed and
assemblies of the heretics forbidden by imperial edicts. Among the
subjects of the empire Arianism rapidly died out, although it existed for
a century and a half as the faith of several Germanic peoples.

*The monophysite controversy.* While the point at issue in the dogmatic
controversies of the fourth century was the relation of God to the Son and
the Holy Spirit, the burning question of the fifth and sixth centuries was
the nature of Christ. And, like the former, the latter dispute arose in
the East, having its origin in the divergent views of the theological
schools of Antioch and Alexandria. The former laid stress upon the two
natures in Christ—the divine and the human; the latter emphasized his
divinity to the exclusion of his humanity, and hence its adherents
received the name of monophysites. The Antiochene position was the
orthodox or traditional view of the church, and was held universally in
the West, where the duality of Christ was accepted without any attempt to
determine the relationship of his divine and human qualities. Beneath the
doctrinal controversy lay the rivalry between the patriarchates of
Alexandria and Constantinople, and the awakening national antagonism of
the native Egyptian and Syrian peoples towards the Greeks. The conflict
began in 429 with an attack of Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, upon the
teachings of Nestorius, the patriarch of Constantinople. Cyril, taking the
view that the nature of Christ was human made fully divine, justified the
use of the word _Theotokos_ (Mother of God), which was coming to be
applied generally to the Virgin Mary. Nestorius criticized its use, and
argued in favor of the term Mother of Christ. In the controversy which
ensued, Cyril won the support of the bishop of Rome, who desired to weaken
the authority of the see of Constantinople, and Nestorius was condemned at
the council of Ephesus in 431.

The next phase of the struggle opened in 448, when Dioscorus, the occupant
of the Alexandrine see, assailed Flavian, the patriarch of the capital,
for having deposed Eutyches, a monophysite abbot of Constantinople. At the
so-called “Robber Council” of Ephesus (449 A. D.) Dioscorus succeeded in
having Flavian deprived of his see. But the pope, Leo I. pronounced in
favor of the doctrine of the duality of Christ, and in 451 the new emperor
Marcian called an ecumenical council at Chalcedon which definitely
reasserted the primacy of the see of Constantinople in the East, approved
the use of _Theotokos_, and declared that Christ is of two natures. The
attempt to enforce the decisions of this council provoked disturbances in
Egypt, Palestine and the more easterly countries. In Palestine it required
the use of armed force to suppress a usurping monophysite bishop. In Egypt
the enforcement led to a split between the orthodox Greek and the
monophysite Coptic churches.

As the opposition to the decree of Chalcedon still disturbed the peace of
the church, the emperor Zeno in 482, at the instigation of the patriarchs
Acacius of Constantinople and Peter of Alexandria, sought to settle the
dispute by exercise of the imperial authority. He issued a letter to the
church of Egypt called the _Henoticon_, which, while acknowledging the
councils of Nicaea and Constantinople, condemned that of Chalcedon, and
declared that “Christ is one and not two.” This doctrine was at once
condemned by the Pope Silvanus. The rupture with Rome lasted until 519,
when a reconciliation was effected at the price of complete submission by
the East and the rehabilitation of the council of Chalcedon. This in turn
antagonized the monophysites of Syria and Egypt and caused Justinian to
embark upon his hopeless task of reëstablishing complete religious unity
within the empire by holding the western and winning back the eastern

Justinian hoped to reconcile the monophysites by an interpretation of the
discussions of the council of Chalcedon which would be acceptable to them.
This led him, in 544, to condemn the so-called Three Chapters, which were
the doctrines of the opponents of the monophysites. And although this step
implied a condemnation of the council of Chalcedon itself, and was
consequently opposed in the West, he forced the fifth ecumenical council
of Constantinople in 553 to sanction it. However, neither this concession
nor the still greater one of the edict of 565 availed to win back the
extreme monophysites of Egypt and Syria, where opposition to the religious
jurisdiction of Constantinople had taken a national form, and the
religious disunion in the East continued until these lands were lost to
the empire.

                             IV. MONASTICISM

*The origin of monasticism.* Monasticism (from the Greek _monos_,
“single”), which became so marked a feature of the religious life of the
Middle Ages, had its origin in the ascetic tendencies of the early
Christian church, which harmonized with the eastern religious and
philosophic ideal of a life of pure contemplation. The chief
characteristics of early Christian asceticism were celibacy, fasting,
prayer, surrender of worldly goods, and the adoption of a hermit’s life.
This renouncement of a worldly life was practised by large numbers of both
men and women, especially in Egypt. It was there that organized monastic
life began early in the fourth century under the influence of St. Anthony
in northern and Pachomius in southern Egypt.

*Anthony and Pachomius in Egypt.* Anthony was the founder of a monastic
colony, which was a direct development from the eremitical life. He laid
down no rule for the guidance of the lives of the monks, but permitted the
maximum of individual freedom. It was Pachomius who first established a
truly cenobitical monastery, in which the monks lived a common life under
the direction of a single head, the abbot, according to a prescribed rule
with fixed religious exercises and daily labor. The organization of
convents for women accompanied the foundation of the monasteries. However,
the Antonian type of monkhood continued to be the more popular in Egypt,
where monasticism flourished throughout the fourth, but began to decline
in the fifth, century.

*Eastern monasticism.* From Egypt the movement spread to Palestine, but in
Syria and Mesopotamia there was an independent development from the local
eremitical ideals. Characteristic of Syrian asceticism were the pillar
hermits who passed their lives upon the top of lofty pillars. The founder
of the Greek monasticism was Basil (c. 360 A. D.), who copied Pachomius in
organizing a fully cenobitical life. He discouraged excessive asceticism
and emphasized the value of useful toil. The eastern monks were noted for
their fanaticism and they took a very prominent part in the religious
disorders of the time. The abuses of the early, unregulated monastic life
led to the formulation of monastic rules and the subjection of the monks
to the authority of the bishops.

*Monasticism in the west: Benedict.* Monasticism was introduced in the
West by Athanasius, who came from Egypt to Rome in 339. From Italy it
spread to the rest of western Europe. The great organizer of western
monasticism was Benedict, who lived in the early sixth century, and
founded the monastery at Monte Cassino about 520 A. D. His monastic rule
definitely abandoned the eremitical ideal in favor of the cenobitical. In
addition to worship and work, the Benedictine rule made reading a monastic
duty. This stimulated the collection of libraries in the monasteries and
made the monks the guardians of literary culture throughout the Middle

As yet no distinct monastic orders had developed, but each monastery was
autonomous under the direction of its own abbot.

                          V. LITERATURE AND ART

*General characteristics.* The period between the accession of Diocletian
and the death of Justinian saw the gradual disappearance of the ancient
Graeco-Roman culture. In spite of Diocletian’s reëstablishment of the
empire, there was a steady lowering of the general cultural level. This
was due chiefly to the progressive barbarization of the empire and to the
decline of paganism which lay at the roots of ancient civilization. The
one creative force of the time was Christianity, but, save in the fields
of religion and ethics, it did little to stem the ebbing tide of old world

*Literature.* The dying out of this culture is clearly to be seen in the
history of the Greek and Roman literatures of the period, each of which
shows the same general traits. In the fourth century, under the impulse of
the restoration of Diocletian, there is a brief revival of productivity in
pagan literature. But this is characterized by archaism and lack of
creative power. The imitation of the past produces not only an
artificiality of style, but also of language, so that literature loses
touch with contemporary life and the language of the literary world is
that of previous centuries, no longer that of the people. Rhetorical
studies are the sole form of higher education, and are in part responsible
for the archaism and artificiality of contemporary literature, owing to
the emphasis which they laid upon literary form to the neglect of
substance. In the fifth century, following the complete triumph of
Christianity, pagan literature comes to an end.

The recognition of Christianity as an imperial religion by Constantine,
its subsequent victorious assault upon paganism, and the intensity of
sectarian strife gave to Christian literature a freshness and vigor
lacking in the works of pagan writers, and produced a wealth of
apologetic, dogmatic and theological writings. But the Christian authors
followed the accepted categories of the pagan literature, and while
producing polemic writings, works of translation and of religious
exegesis, they entered the fields of history, biography, oratory and
epistolography. Thus arose a profane, as well as a sacred, Christian
literature. And since Christian writers were themselves men of education
and appealed to educated circles, their works are dominated by the current
rhetorical standards of literary taste. Yet in some aspects, in particular
in sacred poetry and popular religious biography, they break away from
classical traditions and develop new literary types.

But after the first half of the fifth century originality and productivity
in Christian literature also are on the wane. This is in part due to the
effects of the struggle of the empire with barbarian peoples; in part to
the suppression of freedom of religious thought by the orthodox church.
Even after the extinction of paganism the classical literatures of Greece
and Rome afforded the only material for a non-religious education. And
since they no longer constituted a menace to Christianity, the church
became reconciled to their use for purposes of instruction, and it was to
the church, and especially to the monasteries, that the pagan literature
owes its preservation throughout the Dark Ages.

A symptom of the general intellectual decline of the later empire is the
dying out of Greek in the western empire. While up to the middle of the
third Christian century the world of letters had been bi-lingual, from
that time onwards, largely as a result of the political conditions which
led to a separation of the eastern and western parts of the empire, the
knowledge of Greek began to disappear in the West until in the late empire
it was the exception for a Latin-speaking man of letters to be versed in
the Greek tongue.

*Pagan Latin literature.* A wide gulf separated the pagan Latin literature
of the fourth century from that of the early principate. Poetry had
degenerated to learned tricks, historical writing had taken the form of
epitomies, while published speeches and letters were but empty exhibitions
of rhetorical skill. The influence of rhetorical studies made itself felt
in legal phraseology, which now lost its former clarity, directness and
simplicity. Still there are a few outstanding literary figures who deserve
mention because they are so expressive of the tendencies of the time or
because they have been able to attain a higher level.

*Ausonius and Symmachus (c. 345–405 A. D.).* The career of Ausonius, a
professor of grammar and rhetoric at Bordeaux, whose life covers the
fourth century, shows how highly rhetorical instruction was valued. His
ability procured him imperial recognition, and he became the tutor of
Gratian, from whom he received the honor of the consulate in 379. His
poetical works are chiefly clever verbal plays, but one, the _Mosella_,
which describes a voyage down the river Moselle, is noteworthy for its
description of contemporary life and its appreciation of the beauty of
nature. Quintus Aurelius Symmachus, city prefect, and the leader of the
pagan party in Rome under Gratian and Valentinian II, is a typical
representative of the educated society of the time which strove to keep
alive a knowledge of classical literature. He left a collection of
orations and letters, poor in thought, but rich in empty phrase.

*Ammianus Marcellinus, fl. 350–400 A. D.* A man of far different stamp was
Ammianus Marcellinus, by birth a Greek of Antioch, and an officer of high
rank in the imperial army. Taking Tacitus as his model, he wrote in Latin
a history which continued the former’s work for the period from 96 to 378
A. D. Of this only the part covering the years 353 to 378 has survived.
His history is characterized by sound judgment and objectivity, but is
marred by the introduction of frequent digressions extraneous to the
subject in hand and by a strained rhetorical style. However, it remains
the one considerable pagan work in Latin prose from the late empire.

*Claudius Claudianus and Rutilius Namatianus (both fl. 400 A. D.).* The
“last eminent man of letters who was a professed pagan” in the western
empire was Claudius Claudianus. Claudian was by birth an Egyptian Greek
who took up his residence in Rome about 395 A. D. and attached himself to
the military dictator, Stilicho. He chose to write in Latin, and composed
hexameter epics which celebrated the military exploits of his patron. He
also wrote mythological epics and elegiacs. Claudian found his inspiration
in Ovid and reawakened the charm of Augustan poetry. A contemporary of
Claudian, and, like him a pagan, was Rutilius Namatianus, who was a native
of southern Gaul but a resident of Rome where he attained the highest
senatorial offices. His literary fame rests upon the elegiac poem in which
he described his journey from Rome to Gaul in 416 A. D., and revealed the
hold which the imperial city still continued to exercise upon men’s minds.

*Christian Latin literature: Lactantius (d. about 325 A. D.).* It is among
the writers of Christian literature that the few great Latin authors of
the time are to be found. At the beginning of the fourth century stood
Lactantius, an African, who became a teacher of rhetoric in Nicomedia,
where he was converted to Christianity. His chief work was the _Divinae
Institutiones_, an introduction to Christian doctrine, which was an
attempt to create a philosophical Christianity. His purity of style has
caused him to be called the “Christian Cicero.”

*Ambrose, (d. 397 A. D.).* Ambrose, the powerful bishop of Milan, who
exercised such great influence with Gratian and Theodosius the Great, also
displayed great literary activity. In general, his writings are
developments of his sermons, and display no very great learning. Their
power depended upon the strength of his personality. More important from a
literary standpoint are the hymns which he composed for use in church
services to combat in popular form the Arian doctrines. In his verses
Ambrose adhered to the classic metrical forms, but in the course of the
next two centuries these were abandoned for the use of the rhymed verse,
which itself was a development of the current rhetorical prose.

*Jerome, 335–420 A. D.* The most learned of the Latin Christian writers of
antiquity was Jerome (Hieronymus), a native of northern Bosnia, whose
retired, studious life was in striking contrast to the public, official
career of Ambrose. A Greek and Hebrew scholar, in addition to his dogmatic
writings he made a Latin translation of the Old Testament from the Hebrew
(the basis of the later _Vulgate_), and another of the Greek _Church
History_ of Eusebius.

*Augustine, 354–430 A. D.* The long line of notable literary figures of
the African church is closed by Augustine, the bishop of Hippo who died
during the siege of his city by the Vandals in 430 A. D. In his early life
a pagan, he found inspiration and guidance in the philosophy of Plato and
Aristotle. But while Jerome was still dominated by Greek religious
thought, Augustine was the first Latin Christian writer to emancipate
himself from this dependence and display originality of form and ideas in
his works. Of these the two most significant are the _Confessions_ and _On
the City of God_. The _Confessions_ reveal the story of his inner life,
the struggle of good and evil in his own soul. The work _On the City of
God_ was inspired by the sack of Rome by Alaric in 410 and the accusation
of the pagans that this was a punishment for the abandonment of the
ancient deities. In answer to this charge Augustine develops a
philosophical interpretation of history as the conflict of good and evil
forces, in which the Heavenly City is destined to triumph over that of
this world. His work prepared the way for the conception of the Roman
Catholic Church as the city of God.

*Boethius (d. 524 A. D.) and Cassiodorus (c. 480–575 A. D.).* Between the
death of Augustine and the death of Justinian the West produced no
ecclesiastical literary figure worthy of note. However, under the
Ostrogothic régime in Italy, profane literature is represented by two
outstanding personalities—Boethius and Cassiodorus. The patrician Boethius
while in prison awaiting his death sentence from Theoderic composed his
work _On the Consolation of Philosophy_, a treatise embued with the finest
spirit of Greek intellectual life. Cassiodorus, who held the posts of
quaestor and master of the offices under Theoderic, has left valuable
historical material in his _Variae_, a collection of official letters
drawn up by him in the course of his administrative duties. His chief
literary work was a history of the Goths, of which unfortunately only a
few excerpts have remained. In his later years Cassiodorus retired to a
monastery which he founded and organized according to the Benedictine
rule. There he performed an inestimable service in fostering the
preservation of secular as well as ecclesiastical knowledge among the
brethren, thus giving to the Benedictine monks the impulse to intellectual
work for which they were so distinguished in medieval times.

*Greek Christian literature; Religious prose.* It was in the fourth
century that Greek Christian prose literature reached its height. Among
its leading representatives were Athanasius, the bishop of Alexandria who
fought the Arian heresy; Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, the founder of
church history; Gregory of Nazianzus, church orator and poet; and Basil,
bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, the organizer of Greek monasticism.
Above them all in personality and literary ability stood John Chrysostom
(the Golden-mouth), patriarch of Constantinople under Arcadius. With the
fifth century came a decline in theological prose; men resorted to
excerpts and collections. But at this time began the development of the
popular monastic narratives and lives of the saints which served as the
novels and romances of the time.

*Religious poetry.* It was subsequent to the fourth century also that
Christian religious poetry attained its bloom. Here a break was made with
classical tradition in the adoption of accentual in place of quantitative
verse. This was in harmony with the disappearance of distinctions of
syllabic quantity from popular speech. The use of rhythm in verse was
introduced by Gregory of Nazianzus, but the chief and most productive
representative of the new poetry was Romanus, a converted Syrian Jew whose
activity falls in the reign of Justinian.

*Greek profane literature.* Contemporary profane Greek literature exhibits
less originality and interest. Historical writing was continued in strict
imitation of classical models by both Christian and pagan writers. Of
exceptional historical value are the works of Procopius, the historian of
the wars of Justinian, who like Ammianus Marcellinus shared in an official
capacity in the events which he described. A more popular form of
historical writing was the compilation of chronicles of world history,
collections of excerpts put together for the most part by men who failed
to understand their sources. The profane verse of the time is represented
by narrative poems, such as the _Dionysiaca_ and the metrical version of
the Gospel of St. John composed by Nonnus in Egypt (c. 400 A. D.), and by
a rich epigrammatic literature.

In the eastern empire literary productivity continued, although on the
decline, slightly longer than in the West, but by the middle of the sixth
century there also it had come to an end.

*Art.* The art of the late empire exhibits the same general
characteristics as the literature. Not only was there a general lack of
originality and creative capacity, but even the power of imitating the
masterpieces of earlier times was conspicuously lacking. The Arch of
Constantine erected in 312 A. D. affords a good illustration of the
situation. Its decoration mainly consists of sculptures appropriated from
monuments of the first and second century, beside which the new work is
crude and unskilful. A comparison of the imperial portraits on the coins
of the fourth century with those of the principate up to the dynasty of
the Severi reveals the same decline in taste and artistic ability.

In the realm of art as in literature Christianity supplied a new creative
impulse, which made itself felt in the adaptation of pagan artistic forms
to Christian purposes. The earliest traces of Christian art are to be
found in the mural paintings of the underground burial vaults and chapels
of the Roman catacombs, and in the sculptured reliefs which adorned the
sarcophagi of the wealthy. These were popular branches of contemporary art
and the influence of Christianity consisted in the artistic representation
of biblical subjects and the employment of Christian symbolical motives.
These forms of Christian art decayed with the general cultural decline
that followed the third century.

The most important and original contribution of Christianity to the art of
the late empire was in the development of church architecture. To meet the
needs of the Christian church service, which included the opportunity to
address large audiences, there arose the Christian basilica, which took
its name from the earlier profane structures erected to serve as places
for the conduct of public business, but which differed considerably from
them in its construction. In general the basilica was a long rectangular
building, divided by rows of columns into a central hall or nave and two
side halls or aisles. The walls of the nave rose above the roof of the
aisles, and allowed space for windows. The roof was flat or gabled, and,
like the wall spaces, covered with paintings or mosaics. The rear of the
structure was a semicircular apse which held the seats of the bishop and
the lower clergy. To the original plan there came to be added the
transept, a hall at right angles to the main structure between it and the
apse. This gave the basilica its later customary crosslike form.

While the basilica became the almost universal form of church architecture
in Italy and the West, in the East preference was shown for round or
polygonal structures with a central dome, an outgrowth of the Roman
rotunda, which was first put to Christian uses in tombs and grave chapels.
A rich variety of types, combining the central dome with other
architectural features arose in the cities of Asia and Egypt. The
masterpiece of this style was the church of St. Sophia erected by
Justinian in Constantinople in 537 A. D. Another notable example from the
same period is the church of San Vitale at Ravenna.

In the mosaics which adorn these and other structures of the time are to
be seen the traces of a Christian Hellenistic school of painting which
gave pictorial expression to the whole biblical narrative. These mosaics
and the miniature paintings employed in the illuminated manuscripts
survived as prominent features of Byzantine art.


*The Lombard and Slavic invasions.* In 568 A. D., three years after the
death of Justinian, the Lombards descended upon Italy from Pannonia and
wrested from the empire the Po valley and part of central Italy. The
Romans were confined to Ravenna, Rome, and the southern part of the
peninsula. Towards the close of the sixth century (after 581 A. D.)
occurred the migrations of the Bulgars and Slavs across the Danube which
resulted in the Slavic occupation of Illyricum and the interposition of a
barbarous, heathen people between the eastern empire and western Europe.
Early in the seventh century the Roman possessions in Spain were lost to
the Goths.

*The papacy and the Holy Roman Empire.* The weakness of the imperial
authority in the West led to the strengthening of the papacy and its
acquisition of political power in Italy. It was the papacy also which kept
alive in western Europe the ideal of a universal imperial church, for the
whole of western Christendom came to acknowledge the supremacy of the
Roman see. Nor was the conception of a reëstablished western empire lost
to view; and it was destined to find realization in the Holy Roman empire
of Charlemagne and his successors. Of great importance for the future
development of European civilization was the fact that the western part of
the Roman empire had passed under the control of peoples either already
Christianized or soon to become so, and that the church, chiefly through
the monasteries, was thus enabled to become the guardian of the remnants
of ancient culture.

*The Byzantine empire.* The loss of the western provinces and Illyricum
transferred the center of gravity in the empire from the Latin to the
Greek element and accelerated the transformation of the eastern Roman
empire into an essentially Greek state—the Byzantine empire. The Byzantine
empire inherited from the Roman its organization and the name _Romaioi_
(Romans) for its citizens, but before the close of the sixth century Greek
had supplanted Latin as the language of government. This transformation
further accentuated the religious differences between East and West, which
led ultimately to the separation of the Greek and Roman Catholic Churches.

*The Mohammedan invasion.* Before the middle of the seventh century Egypt
and Syria were occupied by the Saracens, whose conquest was facilitated by
the animosity of the monophysite native populations towards the rule of an
orthodox emperor. However, the loss of these territories gave fresh
solidarity to the empire in the East by restricting its authority to the
religiously and linguistically homogeneous, and thoroughly loyal,
population of Asia Minor and the eastern Balkan peninsula. This solidarity
enabled the Byzantine empire to fulfill its historic mission of forming
the eastern bulwark of Christian Europe against the Turk throughout the
Middle Ages.

                           CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE

NOTE. Owing to the uncertainty of the chronological record of early Roman
history it must be admitted that little reliance can be placed upon the
accuracy of most of the traditional dates prior to 281 B. C. For this
period I have followed, in the main, Diodorus.

B. C.   ?                   Paleolithic Age.
        ?                   Neolithic Age. Ligurian settlement in Italy.
        2500–2000           Beginning of the Age of Bronze. Palafitte
                            Lake Villages. Terramare villages.
        1000                Beginning of the Iron Age.
        IX–VIII cent.       Etruscan settlement in Etruria.
        814                 Founding of Carthage.
        VIII cent.          Greek colonization of Sicily and South Italy
        VII–VI cent.        Etruscan expansion in the Po Valley, Campania
                            and Latium.
        508                 Overthrow of Etruscan supremacy at Rome. End
                            of the early monarchy. The first consuls
                            appointed. Dedication of the Capitoline
                            temple. Commercial treaty with Carthage.
        486                 Alliance of Rome and the Latins.
        466                 Four tribunes of the plebs appointed.
        444–2               The Decemvirate. Codification of the Law.
        437                 Lex Canuleia.
        436                 Office of military tribune with consular
                            powers established.
        435                 Censorship established.
        392                 Capture of Veii.
        387                 Battle of the Allia. Sack of Rome by the
        362                 The praetorship established.
        339                 Lex Publilia.
        338–6               The Latin War.
        334                 Alliance of Rome and the Campanians.
        325–304             Samnite War.
        318                 The Caudine Forks.
        309–7               War with the Etruscans.
        310                 Appius Claudius Censor.
        300                 Lex Ogulnia.
        298–290             War with Samnites, Etruscans and Gauls.
        295                 Battle of Sentinum.
        290                 Subjugation of Samnium.
        287                 Secession of the Plebs. Lex Hortensia.
        285                 Occupation of the Ager Gallicus. Defeat of
                            Gauls and Etruscans at Lake Vadimo.
        281–272             War with Tarentum and Pyrrhus.
        280                 Battle of Heraclea.
        279                 Battle of Ausculum. Alliance of Rome and
        278                 Pyrrhus invades Sicily.
        275                 Battle of Beneventum.
        264–241             First Punic War.
        263                 Alliance of Rome and Syracuse.
        260                 Naval Victory at Mylae.
        256–5               Roman invasion of Africa.
        250                 Roman naval disaster at Drepana.
        242                 Battle of the Aegates Is. Office of _praetor
                            peregrinus_ established.
        241                 Sicily ceded to Rome.
        241–238             Revolt of the Carthaginian mercenaries.
                            Sardinia and Corsica ceded to Rome.
        237                 Hamilcar in Spain.
        232                 Colonization of the _ager Gallicus_.
        229–8               First Illyrian War.
        229                 Hasdrubal succeeds Hamilcar in Spain.
        227                 Provinces of Sicily, and Sardinia and Corsica
        226                 Roman treaty with Hasdrubal.
        225                 Gauls defeated at Telamon.
        224–22              Conquest of Boii and Insubres.
        221                 Hannibal Carthaginian commander in Spain.
        220 ?               Reform of the Centuriate Assembly.
        220–19              Second Illyrian War.
        219                 Siege of Saguntum.
        218–201             Second Punic War.
        218                 Hannibal’s passage of the Pyrenees and the
                            Alps. Roman invasion of Spain.
        217                 Battle of Trasimene Lake. Q. Fabius dictator.
        216                 Cannae. Revolt of Capua.
        215                 Alliance of Hannibal and Philip V of Macedon.
                            First Macedonian War.
        214                 Revolt of Syracuse.
        212                 Syracuse recovered. Roman Alliance with the
        211                 Capua reconquered. Roman disasters in Spain.
        210                 P. Cornelius Scipio Roman commander in Spain.
        207                 Battle of the Metaurus.
        205                 Peace between Philip of Macedon and Rome.
        204                 Scipio invades Africa.
        202                 Zama.
        200–196             Second Macedonian War.
        201                 Annexation of Carthaginian Spain. Provinces
                            of Hither and Farther Spain organized.
        197                 Battle of Cynoscephalae.
        196                 Flamininus proclaims the “freedom of the
        192–189             War with Antiochus the Great and the
        191                 Antiochus defeated at Thermopylae.
        190                 Battle of Magnesia.
        186                 Dissolution of the Bacchanalian societies.
        184                 Cato the Elder censor.
        181                 _Lex Villia annalis._
        171–167             Third Macedonian War.
        168                 Battle of Pydna.
        166                 Achaean political prisoners held in Italy.
        149–146             Third Punic War.
        149                 _Lex Calpurnia._
        149–148             Fourth Macedonian War.
        148                 Macedonia a Roman province.
        147–139             War with Viriathus in Spain.
        146                 Revolt of the Achaeans. Sack of Corinth.
                            Dissolution of the Achaean Confederacy.
                            Destruction of Carthage. Africa a Roman
        143–133             Numantine War.
        136–132             Slave War in Sicily.
        133                 Kingdom of Pergamon willed to Rome. Tribunate
                            of Tiberius Gracchus.
        129                 Province of Asia organized.
        123–122             C. Gracchus tribune.
        121                 Province of Narbonese Gaul organized.
        113                 Siege of Cirta.
        111–105             Jugurthine War.
        105                 Romans defeated by Cimbri and Teutones at
        104–100             Successive consulships of Marius. Slave war
                            in Sicily.
        104                 _Lex Domitia._
        102                 Teutones defeated at Aquae Sextiae.
        101                 Cimbri defeated at Vercellae.
        100                 Affair of Saturninus and Glaucia.
        91                  Tribunate of Livius Drusus.
        90–88               Italian or Marsic War.
        90                  _Lex Julia._
        89                  _Lex Plautia Papiria. Lex Pompeia._
        89–85               First Mithradatic War.
        88                  Massacre of Italians in Asia. Mithradates
                            invades Greece.
        87                  Marian revolt at Rome.
        87–6                Siege of Athens and Peiraeus.
        86                  Seventh consulship of Marius. Chaeronea and
        83                  Sulla’s return to Italy.
        82–79               Sulla dictator.
        77–71               Pompey’s command in Spain.
        75                  Bithynia a Roman province.
        74–63               Second Mithradatic War.
        74–66               Command of Lucullus in the East.
        73–71               Revolt of the gladiators.
        70                  First consulate of Pompey and Crassus. Trial
                            of Verres.
        67                  _Lex Gabinia._
        66                  _Lex Manilia._
        63                  Cicero consul. The conspiracy of Cataline.
                            Annexation of Syria. Death of Mithradates.
        60                  Coalition of Pompey, Caesar and Crassus.
        59                  Caesar consul. _Lex Vatinia._
        58                  Cicero exiled.
        58–56               Subjugation of Gaul.
        57                  Cicero recalled. Pompey _curator annonae_.
        56                  Conference at Luca.
        55                  Second consulate of Pompey and Crassus.
        55–54               Caesar’s invasions of Britain.
        53                  Death of Crassus at Carrhae.
        52–1                Revolt of Vercingetorix.
        52                  Pompey sole consul.
        49–46               War between Caesar and the Senatorial
        48                  Pharsalus. Death of Pompey.
        48–7                Alexandrine War.
        47                  War with Pharnaces.
        46                  Thapsus.
        45                  Munda. _Lex Julia municipalis._
        44                  Assassination of Julius Caesar (15 Mar.).
        44–3                War at Mutina.
        43                  Octavian consul. Antony, Lepidus and Octavian
        42                  Battles of Philippi.
        41                  War at Perusia.
        40                  Treaty of Brundisium.
        39                  Treaty of Misenum.
        37                  Treaty of Tarentum. The second term of the
                            Triumvirate begins.
        36                  Defeat of Sextus Pompey. Lepidus deposed.
                            Parthian War.
        31                  Battle of Actium.
        30                  Death of Antony and Cleopatra. Annexation of
        27                  Octavian princeps and Augustus.
        27 B. C.–14 A. D.   AUGUSTUS.
        25                  Annexation of Galatia.
        23                  Augustus assumes the _tribunicia potestas_.
        20                  Agreement with Parthia.
        18                  _Lex Julia de maritandis ordinibus._
        16                  Conquest of Noricum.
        15                  Subjugation of the Raeti and Vindelici.
        14–9                Conquest of Pannonia.
        12                  Augustus pontifex maximus. _Ara Romae et
                            Augusti_ at Lugdunum. Invasion of Germany.
                            Death of M. Agrippa.
        9                   Death of Drusus.
        6                   Subjugation of the Alpine peoples completed.
A. D.   6–9                 Revolt of Pannonia.
        9                   Revolt of Arminius. _Lex Papia Poppaea._
        14–37               TIBERIUS.
        14–17               Campaigns of Germanicus.
        19                  Death of Germanicus.
        26                  Tiberius retires to Capri.
        31                  Fall of Seianus.
        37–41               CAIUS CALIGULA.
        40                  Annexation of Mauretania.
        41–54               CLAUDIUS.
        43                  Invasion and annexation of southern Britain.
        48                  Aedui receive the _ius honorum_.
        54–68               NERO.
        58–63               Parthian War.
        59–60               Rebellion of Boudicca.
        64                  Great Fire in Rome.
        65                  Conspiracy of Piso. Death of Seneca.
        66–67               Nero in Greece.
        66                  Rebellion of the Jews.
        68                  Rebellion of Vindex.
        68 June–69 Jan.     GALBA.
        69 Jan.–March       OTHO.
        69 April–Dec.       VITELLIUS.
        69 Dec.–79          VESPASIANUS.
        69                  Revolt of Civilis and the Batavi.
        70                  Destruction of Jerusalem. End of the Jewish
        79–81               TITUS.
        79                  Eruption of Vesuvius. Destruction of Pompeii
                            and Herculaneum.
        81–96               DOMITIANUS.
        83                  Battle of Mons Graupius. War with the Chatti.
        84                  Domitian perpetual censor.
        85–89               Dacian Wars.
        88–89               Revolt of Saturninus.
        96–98               NERVA.
        98–117              TRAJAN.
        101–102             First Dacian War.
        105–106             Second Dacian War. Annexation of Dacia.
        106                 Annexation of Arabia Petrea.
        114–117             Parthian War.
        114                 Occupation of Armenia and Upper Mesopotamia.
        115                 Jewish Rebellion in Cyrene.
        116                 Annexation of Assyria and Lower Mesopotamia.
                            Revolt in Mesopotamia.
        117–138             HADRIANUS.
        117                 Abandonment of Assyria and Mesopotamia.
                            Armenia a client kingdom.
        121–126             Hadrian’s first tour of the provinces.
        129–134             Second tour of the provinces.
        132–134             Revolt of the Jews in the East.
        138–161             ANTONINUS PIUS.
        161–180             MARCUS AURELIUS.
        161–169             LUCIUS VERUS.
        161–166             Parthian War.
        166                 Great plague spreads throughout the empire.
        167–75              War with Marcomanni, Quadi and Iazyges.
        175                 Revolt of Avidius Cassius.
        177–192             COMMODUS.
        177–180             War with Quadi and Marcomanni.
        180                 Death of Marcus Aurelius, Commodus sole
        193 Jan.–Mar.       PERTINAX.
        193 Mar.–June       DIDIUS JULIANUS.
        193                 Revolts of Septimius Severus, Pescennius
                            Niger, Clodius Albinus.
        193–211             SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS.
        194                 Defeat of Pescennius Niger.
        195–6               Invasion of Parthia.
        197                 Defeat of Albinus at Lugdunum.
        197–99              Parthian War renewed. Conquest of Upper
        208                 Caledonians invade Britain.
        211–217             CARACALLA and
        211–212             GETA.
        212                 _Constitutio Antoniniana._
        214                 Parthian War.
        217–218             MACRINUS.
        218–222             ELAGABALUS.
        222–235             SEVERUS ALEXANDER.
        227                 Establishment of the Persian Sassanid
        230–233             War with Persia.
        234                 War on the Rhine frontier.
        235–238             MAXIMINUS.
        238                 GORDIANUS I and GORDIANUS II. BALBINUS and
        238–244             GORDIANUS III.
        243–249             PHILIPPUS ARABS.
        247–249             PHILIPPUS JUNIOR.
        249–251             DECIUS.
        249                 Persecution of the Christians.
        251–253             GALLUS and VOLUSIANUS.
        253                 AEMILLIANUS.
        253–258             VALERIANUS and
        253–268             GALLIENUS.
        257                 Persecution of the Christians renewed.
        258                 Valerian defeated and captured by the
                            Persians. Postumus establishes an _imperium
        259                 Valerian dies in captivity. Gallienus sole
        267                 Sack of Athens by the Goths.
        268–270             CLAUDIUS GOTHICUS.
        270                 QUINTILLUS.
        270–275             AURELIANUS.
        271                 Revolt of Palmyra.
        272                 Reconquest of Palmyra and the East.
        274                 Recovery of Gaul and Britain.
        275–276             TACITUS.
        276                 FLORIANUS.
        276–282             PROBUS.
        282–283             CARUS.
        283–285             CARINUS.
        284–305             DIOCLETIANUS and
        286–305             MAXIMIANUS.
        286                 Revolt of Carausius in Britain.
        293                 Galerius and Constantine Caesars.
        296                 Recovery of Britain.
        297                 Persian invasion.
        301                 Edict of Prices.
        302–304             Edicts against the Christians.
        305                 Abdication of Diocletian and Maximian.
                            Galerius and Constantius. Severus and Daia
        306                 GALERIUS and SEVERUS. Constantinus Caesar.
                            Revolt of Maxentius.
        307                 GALERIUS, LICINIUS, CONSTANTINUS, DAIA and
        311                 Edict of Toleration.
        312                 Battle of Saxa Rubra.
        313                 Edict of Milan. Fall of Daia.
        324                 Battle of Chrysopolis.
        324–337             CONSTANTINUS sole Augustus.
        325                 Council of Nicaea.
        330                 Constantinople the imperial residence.
        337–340             CONSTANTINUS II.
        337–350             CONSTANS.
        337–361             CONSTANTIUS.
        342                 Council of Serdica.
        350                 Revolt of Magnentius.
        351                 Gallus Caesar. Battle of Mursa.
        354                 Death of Gallus.
        355                 Julian Caesar.
        357                 Julian’s victory over the Alemanni at
        359                 War with Persia.
        360–363             JULIANUS.
        363                 Invasion of Persia. Death of Julian.
        363–364             JOVIANUS.
        364–375             VALENTINIANUS I.
        364–378             VALENS.
        367–383             GRATIANUS.
        375–392             VALENTINIANUS II.
        376                 Visigoths cross the Danube.
        378                 Battle of Hadrianople.
        378–395             THEODOSIUS I.
        380–82              Settlement of Visigoths as _foederati_ in
        381                 Council of Constantinople.
        382                 Altar of Victory removed from the Senate.
        383                 Revolt of Maximus in Britain. Death of
        383–408             ARCADIUS.
        388                 Maximus defeated and killed.
        390                 Massacre at Thessalonica.
        391                 Edicts against Paganism. Destruction of the
        392                 Revolt of Arbogast. Murder of Valentinian II.
                            Eugenius proclaimed Augustus.
        394                 Battle of Frigidus. Death of Arbogast and
        394–423             HONORIUS.
        395                 Death of Theodosius I. Division of the
                            Empire. ARCADIUS emperor in the East,
                            HONORIUS in the West, Revolt of Alaric and
                            the Visigoths.
        396                 Alaric defeated by Stilicho in Greece.
        406                 Barbarian invasion of Gaul. Roman garrison
                            leaves Britain.
        408                 Murder of Stilicho. Alaric invades Italy.
        408–450             THEODOSIUS II eastern emperor.
        409                 Vandals, Alans and Sueves invade Spain.
        410                 Visigoths capture Rome. Death of Alaric.
        412                 Visigoths enter Gaul.
        415                 Visigoths cross into Spain.
        418                 Visigoths settled in Aquitania.
        423–455             VALENTINIANUS III western emperor,
        427                 Aetius _magister militum_.
        429                 Vandal invasion of Africa.
        438                 The Theodosian Code.
        439                 Vandals seize Carthage.
        450                 MARCIANUS eastern emperor.
        451                 Battle of the Mauriac Plains. Council of
        453                 Death of Attila.
        454                 Aetius assassinated. Ostrogoths settled in
        455                 MAXIMUS western emperor. Vandals sack Rome.
        455–456             AVITUS western emperor. Ricimer _magister
        457–474             LEO I eastern emperor.
        457–461             MARJORIANUS western emperor.
        461–465             SEVERUS western emperor.
        465–467             No emperor in the West.
        467–472             ANTHEMIUS western emperor.
        472                 OLYBRIUS western emperor. Death of Ricimer.
        473–474             GLYCERUS western emperor. LEO II eastern
        474–475 (480)       NEPOS western emperor.
        474–491             ZENO eastern emperor.
        475–476             ROMULUS AUGUSTULUS western emperor.
        476                 Odovacar king in Italy.
        477                 Death of Gaiseric.
        486                 Clovis conquers Syagrius and the Romans in
        488                 Theoderic and the Ostrogoths invade Italy.
        491–518             ANASTASIUS eastern emperor.
        493                 Defeat and death of Odovacar.
        506                 _Lex Romana Visigothorum._
        507                 Clovis defeats the Visigoths.
        518–527             JUSTINUS I eastern emperor.
        526                 Death of Theoderic.
        527–565             JUSTINIANUS eastern emperor.
        532                 The “Nika” riot.
        533–534             Reconquest of Africa.
        534                 Franks overthrow the Burgundian kingdom.
        529–534             Publication of the _Corpus Iuris Civilis_.
        535–554             Wars for the recovery of Italy.
        554                 Re-occupation of the coast of Spain.
        565                 Death of Justinian.

                           BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

The titles given below are intended to form a group of selected references
for the guidance of students who may desire a more detailed treatment of
the various problems of Roman history than has been given in the text. For
the sources, as well as for a more detailed bibliography, readers may
consult B. Niese, _Grundriss der römischen Geschichte_, 4th ed., 1910, and
G. W. Botsford, _A Syllabus of Roman History_, 1915.


Leuze, O., _Die römische Jahrzählung_; Lewis, Sir G. C., _The Credibility
of Early Roman History_; Niese, B., _Römische Geschichte_, pp. 10–17, and
_passim_; Schanz, M., _Geschichte der römischen Litteratur_; Kornemann,
E., _Der Priestercodex in der Regia_; Wachsmuth, C., _Einleitung in das
Studium der alten Geschichte_.

                                CHAPTER I

Duruy, V., _Histoire des Romains_, i, pp. i–xxxiv; Encyclopedia
Brittanica, 11th ed., art. _Italy_; Kiepert, H., _Manual of Ancient
Geography_, ch. ix; Nissen, H., _Italische Landeskunde_, vol. i.

                                CHAPTER II

The view given in the text follows Jones, H. S., _Companion to Roman
History_ (a brief synopsis); Grenier, A., _Bologne villanovienne et
étrusque_; Modestov, B., _Introduction à l’histoire romain_; and Peet, T.
E., _The Stone and Bronze Ages in Italy and Sicily_. For different
reconstructions, see De Sanctis, G., _Storia dei Romani_, i, chs. ii–iii;
Pais, E., _Storia Critica di Roma_, 2nd ed., i, ch. viii; Ridgeway, W.,
_Who were the Romans?_ _Proc. British Academy_, 1907.

                               CHAPTER III

I. The Races of Italy. See the references for chapter ii, and De Sanctis,
_Storia_, ii, ch. iii; Niese, _Geschichte_, p. 23 ff.; Pais, _Storia
Critica_, i, ch. viii; Kretchmer, P., in Gercke und Norden’s _Einleitung
in die Altertumswissenschaft_, i, p. 172, for the problem of the Italian

II. The Etruscans. Dennis, G., _Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria_; Korte
und Skutsch, art. _Etrusker_, Pauly-Wissowa, vi. pp. 730–806; Martha, J.,
_L’art étrusque_; Modestov, _Introduction_, pt. 2; Niese, _Geschichte_ pp.
26 ff.

III. The Greeks. Beloch, J., _Griechische Geschichte_, i, 2nd ed., pp. 229
ff., Bury, J. B., _History of Greece_, ch. ii; De Sanctis, _Storia_, i,
ch. ix; Freeman, E., _History of Sicily_.

                                CHAPTER IV

I. The Latins. Beloch, J., _Der Italische Bund_; Frank, T., _Economic
His__tory of Rome_, ch. i; Kornemann, E., _Polis und Urbs_, _Beiträge zur
alten Geschichte_, 1905; Rosenberg, A., _Der Staat der alten Italiker_;
_Zur Geschichte des Latines Bundes_, _Hermes_, 1919.

II. Origins of Rome. Carter, J. B., _Roma Quadrata and the Septimontium_,
_Amer. Jour. of Arch._, 1908; id., _Evolution of the City of Rome_, _Proc.
Amer. Phil. Soc._, 1909; Frank, _Economic History_, ch. ii; _Notes on the
Servian Wall_, _Am. Jour. Arch._, 1918; Jones, _Companion_, pp. 31 ff.;
Kornemann, see I; Meyer, E., _Der Ursprung des Tribunats und die Gemeinde
der vier Tribus_, _Hermes_ xxx; Platner, S. B., _Topography and Monuments
of Ancient Rome_, 2nd ed.

III and IV. Early Monarchy and Early Roman Society. Botsford, G. W., _The
Roman Assemblies_, chs. i, ii and ix; De Sanctis, _Storia_, i, chs. vi,
vii, viii, x; Niese, _Geschichte_, pp. 18–23, 32 ff.; Pais, _Storia
Critica_, i, 2; Pelham, H., _Outlines of Roman History_, bk. i, chs. i and

                                CHAPTER V

Beloch, _Der Italische Bund_; Cavaignac, E., _Histoire de l’Antiquité_ ii.
pp. 378–88, 475–88, iii, pp. 61–92, 173–85; De Sanctis, _Storia_, ii, chs.
xv, xvi, xviii–xxii; Frank, _Roman Imperialism_, chs. i–iv; Heitland, W.
T., _The Roman Republic_, i. pp. 75–78, 101–113, 135–74; Meyer,
_Geschichte des Altertums_, v, pp. 132 ff.; Niese, _Geschichte_, pp.
44–55, 64–80; Pais, _Storia Critica_, vols. ii–iii; Pelham, _Outlines_,
pp. 68–107; Reid, J. S., _The Municipalities of the Roman Empire_, chs.
iii–iv; Rosenberg, A., _Zur Geschichte des Latines Bundes_; _Die
Entstehung des so-gennanten Foedus Cassianum und des latinischen Rechts,
Hermes_, 1920.

                                CHAPTER VI

Botsford, _Roman Assemblies_, chs. iii–xiii; Cavaignac, _Histoire_, ii,
pp. 478–83; De Sanctis, _Storia_, ii, chs. xii, xiv, xvii; Frank,
_Economic History_, chs. iii–iv; Heitland, _Roman Republic_, ii, chs.
viii–xiv, xvi, xx; Kahrstedt, U., _Zwei Beiträge Zur älteren röm.
Geschichte_, _Rh. Museum_, 1918; Mommsen, Th., _Staatsrecht_ (see
Indices); Niese, _Geschichte_, pp. 81–84; Pais, _Storia Critica_, as for
Chap. V.

                               CHAPTER VII

I. Early Roman Religion: Bailey, C., _The Religion of Ancient Rome_;
Carter, J. B., _The Religion of Numa_; _The Religious Life of Ancient
Rome_, ch. i; Fowler, W. Warde, _The Roman Festivals_; _The Religious
Experience of the Roman People_, Lectures, i–xii; Mommsen, _History of
Rome_, i, chap. xii; Wissowa, G., _Religion und Kultus der Römer_, pp.

II. Early Roman Society: Heitland, W., _Roman Republic_, i, chs. vi and
xii; Fowler, W. Warde, _Rome_, ch. iii; Launspach, C. W. L., _State and
Family in Early Rome_, ch. xi.

                               CHAPTER VIII

Cavaignac, _Histoire_, vol. iii, bk. iii, chs. i, iv–vi; De Sanctis,
_Storia_, iii, 1–2; Frank, _Roman Imperialism_, chs. vi–vii; Ferguson, W.
S., _Greek Imperialism_, chs. v–vii; Gsell, S., _Histoire ancienne de
l’Afrique du nord_, vols. i, ii, iii; Heitland, _Roman Republic_, vol. i,
chs. xxi–xxvi; Mommsen, _History_, bk. iii, chs. i–vi; Niese,
_Geschichte_, pp. 96–126.

                                CHAPTER IX

Cavaignac, _Histoire_, vol. iii, bk. iii, chs. vii–viii; Colin, G., _Rome
et la Grèce_; Frank, _Roman Imperialism_, chs. viii, ix, x; Heitland,
_Roman Republic_, vol. ii, chs. xxvii–xxxii; Mommsen, _History_, bk. iii,
chs. vii–x; Niese, _Geschichte_, pp. 126–48.

                                CHAPTER X

Cavaignac, _Histoire_, vol. iii, bk. iv, ch. i; Colin, _Rome et la Grèce_;
Frank, _Roman Imperialism_, chs. x–xi; Heitland, _Roman Republic_, vol.
ii, chap, xxxiii; Mommsen, _History_, bk. iv, ch. i; Niese, _Geschichte_,
pp. 155–66.

                                CHAPTER XI

For the Administration: Arnold, W. T., _The Roman System of Provincial
Administration_, 3rd ed., chs. ii–iii, vi, pt. 1; Botsford, _Roman
Assemblies_, chs. xiii–xv; Cavaignac, _Histoire_, vol. iii, bk. iii, ch.
ix; Frank, _Roman Imperialism_, chs. vi, xii; Heitland, _Roman Republic_,
vol. ii, ch. xxxiv; Mommsen, _Staatsrecht_, and _History_, bk. iii, ch.
xi; Greenidge, _Public Life_, chs. vi and viii; Marquardt, J. R.,
_Staatsverwaltung_, bk. i; Niese, _Geschichte_, pp. 148–53; Rostowzew,
_Studien zur Geschichte des römischen Kolonats_, ch. iii.

For the Social and Economic Development: in addition to the works cited
above, see Ferrero, G., _Greatness and Decline of Rome_, vol. i, ch. ii;
Frank, _Economic History_, chs. vi–vii; Meyer, E., _Die Wirtschaftliche
Entwickelung des Altertums_, _Kleine schriften_, 79 ff.; _Die Sklaverei im
Altertum_, id., 169 ff.; Mommsen, _History_, bk. iii, ch. xii.

For Literature, Art and Religion: Fowler, _Religious Experience_, Lecture
xiii; Leo, F., _Römische Litteratur_, in Hinneberg’s _Kultur der
Gegenwart_; Mackail, J. W., _Roman Literature_, bk. i, chs. i–iii;
Mommsen, _History_, bk. iii, chs. xiii–xiv; Norden, E., _Römische
Litteratur_, in Gercke und Norden’s _Einleitung_; Schanz, M., _Geschichte
der römischen Litteratur_, vol. 1, pt. 1; Wissowa, _Religion und Kultur_,
pp. 54–65.

                               CHAPTER XII

Cavaignac, _Histoire_, bk. iv, chs. ii, iv; Drumann-Groebe, _Geschichte
Roms in seiner Uebergange von der republicanischen zur monarchischen
Verfassung_, vol. ii, art. L. Cornelius Sulla; Ferrero, _Greatness and
Decline_, bk. i, chs. iii, iv, v; Frank, _Roman Imperialism_, chs. xii–xv;
Greenidge, _A History of Rome from 133 B. C.–69 A. D._ vol. i, to 104
B. C., Heitland, _Republic_, vol. ii, ch. xxxv–xlvii; Mommsen, _History_,
bk. iv, chs. i–ix; Niese, _Geschichte_, pp. 166–205; Oman, Ch., _Seven
Roman Statesmen_, chs. i–v, the Gracchi, Marius and Sulla.

                               CHAPTER XIII

Boak, A. E. R., _The Extraordinary Commands from 80–48 B. C._, _Amer.
Hist. Rev._, xxiv, 1918; Botsford, _Assemblies_, as above; Cowles, F. H.,
_Gaius Verres_; Drumann-Groebe, _Geschichte Roms_, articles on L.
Lucullus, Cn. Pompeius Magnus, M. Crassus Triumvir, C. Julius Caesar, M.
Tullius Cicero; Ferrero, _Greatness and Decline_, chs. vi–xvi; Frank,
_Roman Imperialism_, chs. xvi; Heitland, _Roman Republic_, vol. iii, chs.
48–52; Mommsen, _History_, bk. v, chs. i–vi; Niese, _Geschichte_, pp.
205–27; Oman, _Seven Roman Statesmen_, chs. vi, viii, Pompey and Crassus.

                               CHAPTER XIV

Botsford, _Assemblies_, as above; Drumann-Groebe, as above; Ferrero,
_Greatness and Decline_, vol. 1, chs. xvii–xviii, vol. ii; Frank, _Roman
Imperialism_, ch. xvii; Fowler, W., _Julius Caesar_; Heitland, _Roman
Republic_, vol. iii, chs. liii–lviii; Meyer, Ed., _Caesar’s Monarchie und
das Principat des Pompeius_; Mommsen, _History_, bk. v, chs. vii–xi;
Niese, _Geschichte_, pp. 227–257; Oman, _Seven Roman Statesmen_, chs. vii,
ix, Cato and Caesar; Strachan-Davidson, _Cicero_.

                                CHAPTER XV

Political History: Botsford, _Roman Assemblies_, as above; Drumann-Groebe,
as above, and the art. on Octavianus; Gardthausen, V., _Augustus und Seine
Zeit_, i, chs. i–v; Ferrero, _Greatness and Decline_, vols. iii and iv;
Heitland, _Republic_, chs. lix–lx; Niese, _Geschichte_, pp. 257–276;
Strachan-Davidson, _Cicero_.

Social and Economic Conditions: Boissier, G., _Cicero and His Friends_;
Frank, _Economic History_, chs. ix–xvi; Fowler, _Social Life at Rome in
the Age of Cicero_; Louis P., _Le Travail dans le monde romain_, pt. ii.

Religion, Literature and Art: Duff, J. W., _A Literary History of Rome_,
pp. 269–431; Fowler, _Religious Experience_, chs. xiv–xvii; _Roman Ideas
of Deity in the last century before the Christian Era_; Leo, _Römische
Litteratur_; Mackail, _Latin Literature_, bk. i, chs. iv–vii; Mommsen,
_History_, bk. v, ch. xii; Norden, _Röm. Litteratur_; Schanz, _Geschichte
d. röm. Litteratur_, i, 2; Wissowa, _Religion und Kultur_, pp. 54–65. For
Art and Architecture see the various topics discussed in Cagnat, R., and
Chapot, V., _Manuel d’archéologie romain_, i; Platner, _Topography and
Monuments_; Stuart Jones, _Companion to Roman History_.

                               CHAPTER XVI

Arnold, W. T., _Studies in Roman Imperialism_, chs. i–ii; v. Domazewski,
_Geschichte der römischen Kaiser_, i, pp. 1–250; Ferrero, _Greatness and
Decline_, vol. v; Gardthausen, _Augustus und seine Zeit_; Greenidge,
_Public Life_, ch. x; Hirschfeld, O., _Die Organization der drei Gallien
durch Augustus_, _Beitr. zur alten Gesch._, 1907; McFayden, D., _The
Princeps and the Senatorial Provinces_, _Class. Phil._, XVI; Meyer, Ed.,
_Kaiser Augustus_, in _Kleine Schriften_, pp. 441 ff.; Niese,
_Geschichte_, pp. 276–304; Pelham, _Essays on Roman History_, iv and v;
Schiller, H., _Geschichte der röm. Kaiserzeit_, bk. ii, ch. i, §§ 25–31;
Stuart Jones, H., _The Roman Empire_, ch. i; Van Nostrand, J. J., _The
Reorganization of Spain by Augustus_.

                               CHAPTER XVII

Von Domazewski, _Römische Kaiser_, i, pp. 251–305; ii, pp. 1–158; Niese,
_Geschichte_, pp. 304–331; Pelham, _Essays_, iii, _The Early Roman
Emperors_; Schiller, _Römische Kaiserzeit_, ii, ch. i, §§ 32–44; ch. ii,
§§ 53–56; Stuart Jones, _Roman Empire_, chs. ii–iv. More special: for
Caligula, H. Willrich, _Beiträge zur alten Geschichte_, 1903, pp. 85 ff.,
288 ff., 395 ff.; for Nero, Henderson, B., _The Life and Principate of the
Emperor Nero_; for the period 68–69, Hardy, G. S., _Studies in Roman
History_, 2nd ser., _The Four Emperors’ Year_; Henderson, _Civil War and
Rebellion in the Roman Empire_.

                              CHAPTER XVIII

Von Domazewski, _Römische Kaiser_, ii, pp. 168–318; Gibbon, E., _Decline
and Fall of the Roman Empire_, ed. Bury, i, chs. i–xii; Niese,
_Geschichte_, pp. 331–376; Schiller, _Römische Kaiserzeit_, vol. i, ch.
ii, §§ 57–59; chs. iii–iv; Stuart Jones, chs. v–ix. More special:
Gregorovius, F., _The Emperor Hadrian_; Platnauer, M., _The Life and Reign
of Septimius Severus_; J. Stuart Hay, _The Amazing Emperor Heliogabalus_.

                               CHAPTER XIX

The Imperial Administration: In addition to the general historical works
cited for the preceding chapters, see Boissier, G., _L’opposition sous les
Caesars_; Bussell, F. W., _The Roman Empire, Essays on Constitutional
History_, i, chs. i–iii; Greenidge, _Public Life_, ch. x; Hirschfeld, O.,
_Die kaiserliche Verwaltungsbeamten bis auf Diocletian_ (indispensable);
Keyes, C. W., _The Rise of the Equites in the Third Century of the Roman
Empire_; McFayden, D., _History of the Title Imperator under the Roman
Empire; The Princeps and the Senatorial Provinces_; Mattlingly, H.,
_Imperial Civil Service of Rome_; Mommsen, _Staatsrecht_, ii, 2, _Der
Principat_; Schulz, O., _Das Wesen des römischen Kaisertums im dritten
Jahrhundert_. On the spirit of Roman imperialism: Bryce, _The Ancient
Roman Empire and the British Empire in India_; Cromer, _Ancient and Modern
Imperialism_; Lucas, E. P., _Greater Rome and Greater Britain_.

The Army: Cagnat, _L’Armée romain d’Afrique_, 2nd ed.; _L’Armée
d’Occupation de l’Egypte sous la Domination romaine_; Chapot, V., _La
Frontière de l’Euphrate_; Cheesman, G. L., _The Auxilia of the Roman
Imperial Army_; Von Domazewski, _Die Rangordnung des römischen Heeres_,
_Bonner Jahrbücher_, 117; Hardy, _Studies in Roman History_, 2nd ser., i,
_The Army and Frontier Relations of the German Provinces_; Pelham,
_Essays_, viii, _The Roman Frontier System_; ix, _The Roman Frontier in
Southern Germany_; Stuart Jones, _Companion to Roman History_.

The Provinces: Arnold, _The Roman System of Provincial Administration_,
chs. iv, vi, pt. 2, vii; Bouchier, _The Roman Province of Syria_; Carette,
E., _Les Assemblées provinciales de la Gaule romaine_; Chapot, V., _La
province romaine proconsulaire d’Asie_; Guiraud, P., _Les Assemblées
provinciales dans l’empire romain_; Halgan, C., _L’Administration des
provinces sénatoriales sous l’empire romain_; Hardy, _Studies in Roman
History_, 1st ser., xiii, _Provincial Concilia from Augustus to
Diocletian_; Haverfield, F. J., _The Romanization of Roman Britain_, 3rd
ed.; Jullian, C., _Histoire de la Gaule_, vols. iv, v; Mommsen, _The
Provinces of the Roman Empire_; Milne, J. G., _A History of Egypt under_
_Roman Rule_: Wilcken, U., for Egypt, in Mitteis und Wilcken, _Grundzüge
und Chrestomatie der Papyruskunde_, i, 1.

The Municipalities: Dill, S., _Roman Society from Nero to Marcus
Aurelius_, bk. ii, chs. ii, iii; Liebenam, _Städteverwaltung im römischen
Reiche_; Hardy, _Roman Laws and Charters_; Reid, J. S., _Municipalities of
the Roman Empire_, chs. vii–xv; Waltzing, J. P., _Les Corporations
professionelles chez les Romains_.

Colonate: Pelham, _Essays_, xiii, _The Imperial Domains and the Colonate_;
Rostowsew, _Studien zur Geschichte des römischen Kolonats_; art.
_colonus_, in _Handwörterbuch der Staatswissenschaften_; Wilcken, see
Provinces, above.

                                CHAPTER XX

Social Conditions: Dill, S., _Roman Society from Nero to Marcus Aurelius_;
Frank, _Economic History_, chs. xi–xvi; Friedländer, L., _Roman Life and
Manners under the Early Empire_, vols. i–ii; Louis, P., _Le Travail dans
le monde romain_; Waltzing, _Les Corporations professionelles_.

The Imperial Cult and Paganism: Burlier, E., _Le Culte imperial_; Cumont,
F., _Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism_; Dill, _Roman Society_;
Ferguson, W. S., _Legalized Absolutism en route from Greece to Rome_,
_Amer. Hist. Rev._, 1912; Friedländer, _Roman Life and Manners_, vol. iii;
Geffcken, J., _Der Ausgang des griechisch-römischen Heidentums_, 1920;
Glover, T. R., _Conflict of Religions in the Early Roman Empire_; Heinen,
H., _Zur Begründung des römischen Kaiserkults_, _Beiträge zur alten
Geschichte_, 1910; Kornemann, E., _Zur Geschichte der antiken
Herrscherkulte_, _id._, 1900; Reitzenstein, R., _Die hellenisteschen
Mysterienreligionen_; Wissowa, _Religion und Kultur_, pp. 66–83.

Christianity and the Roman State: Guimet, E., _Les chrétiens et l’empire
romain_, _la Nouvelle Revue_, 1909; Hardy, _Studies in Roman History_, 1st
ser., chs. i–x; Harnack, A., _The Expansion of Christianity in the First
Three Centuries_; Flick, A. C., _The Rise of the Medieval Church_, see
contents (excellent bibliography); Juster, J., _Les Juifs dans l’empire
romain_; Manaresi, A., _L’impero romano e il cristianesimo_; Ramsay, Sir
W., _The Christian Church in the Roman Empire before 170 A. D._; Walker,
W., _A History of the Western Christian Church_, pp. 1–108.

Literature and Art: Beloch, J., _Der Verfall der antiken Kultur_, _Hist.
Zeitschr_. 1900; Cagnat and Chapot, _Manuel d’archéologie romaine_;
Friedländer, L., _Roman Life and Manners_; Leo, _Römische Litteratur_;
Mackail, _Roman Literature_, pp. 91–259; Norden, E., _Römische
Litterature_; Schanz, _Geschichte der röm. Litteratur_, pts. ii–iii;
Strong, E., _Roman Sculpture_; Stuart Jones, _Companion to Roman History_;
Walters, H., _The Art of the Romans_.

                               CHAPTER XXI

_Cambridge Medieval History_, vol. i, chs. i–iii, vii, viii, with
exhaustive bibliography; Gibbon, _Decline and Fall_, ed. Bury, chs.
xiii–xxvii; Niese, _Geschichte_, pp. 376–402; Schiller, _Röm. Kaiserzeit_,
vol. ii; Seeck, O., _Geschichte des Untergangs der antiken Welt_; Stuart
Jones, _Roman Empire_, chs. x–xi. Special: Geffcken, J., _Kaiser Julian_.

                               CHAPTER XXII

General: Bury, J. B., _A History of the Later Roman Empire_, bk. i, ch.
iv; Bussell, _The Roman Empire_, bk. ii, chs. i–ii; Reid, J. S., _Camb.
Med. Hist._, vol. i, ch. ii; Karlowa, O., _Römische Rechtsgeschichte_, i,
pp. 822–929; Schiller, _Römische Kaiserzeit_, ii, bk. iii, ch. i; Seeck,
_Geschichte_, vol. ii, bk. iii.

Special: Bell, N., _The Byzantine Servile State in Egypt_, _Jour. Egypt.
Arch._, iv; Boak, _Roman Magistri in the Civil and Military Service of the
Empire_, _Harvard Studies in Class. Phil._, 1915; _The Master of the
Offices in the Later Roman and Byzantine Empires_; Hirschfeld, _Die
Ranktitel der röm. Kaiserzeit_, _Sitzungsbericht der Berliner Akademie_,
1901; Liebenam, _Städteverwaltung_; Rostowzew, see chap, xix, colonate;
Waltzing, _Corporations Professionelles_; Wilcken, see chap. xix,

                              CHAPTER XXIII

Bury, _Later Roman Empire_, i, chs. ii–vi; Bussell, _Roman Empire_, i, bk.
ii, chs. ii–iv; bk. iii, ch. i; _Cambridge Medieval History_, i, chs.
ix–xvi; Gelzer, H., _Abriss der Byzantinischen Geschichte_, i, _Die
vorjustinianische Epoche_; Gibbon, _Decline and Fall_, chs. xxix–xxxix;
Lavisse et Rombaud, _Histoire General_, i, chs. ii–iv; Niese,
_Geschichte_, pp. 402–21.

                               CHAPTER XXIV

Bury, _Later Roman Empire_, i, bk. iv, chs. i–x; Bussell, _Roman Empire_,
i. bk. iii, ch. ii; _Cambridge Medieval History_, ii, chs. i, ii, iv, vi;
Diehl, Ch., _Justinien et la civilization byzantine au 6 siècle_; Gelzer,
_Abriss_, ii, _Das Zeitalter Justinians_; Gibbon, _Decline and Fall_, chs.
xl–xliv; Holmes, W. G., _The Age of Justinian and Theodora_; Lavisse et
Rombaud, _Histoire Generale_, see chap, xxiii; Niese, _Geschichte_, pp.
422 ff.

                               CHAPTER XXV

Religion: Boissier, G., _La Fin du paganisme_; _Cambridge Medieval
History_, i, chs. iv–vi, xvii–xviii; Geffcken, see ch. xx, religion;
Flick, _Medieval Church_, chs. vii–ix, xiii–xiv; Walker, W., _Western
Church_, period iii; Wissowa, _Religion und Kultur_, pp. 84–90. See also
the historical works cited for the preceding chapters.

Literature and Art: Dalton, O. M., _Byzantine Art and Archaeology_; Diehl,
Ch., _L’art byzantine_; Mackail, _Latin Literature_, pp. 260–286; Norden,
_Römische Litteratur_; Krumbacher, K., _Byzantinische
Litteraturgeschichte_; Schanz, _Geschichte der röm. Litteratur_, pt. iv;
_Camb. Med. Hist._, i, xxi, _Early Christian Art_.


Note: All Romans, except emperors and literary men, are to be found under
their _gens_ name: _e. g._ for Cato see Porcius. All others are indexed
under the name most commonly used in English: _e. g._ Trajan, Horace,

      A. = Aulus.
_      A cognitionibus_, secretary for imperial inquest, 269.
_      A cubiculo_, _see_ Chamberlain.
_      A libellis_, secretary for petitions, 269.
_      A rationibus_,
            secretary of the treasury, 269, 271;
            title changed, 272.
_      A studiis_, secretary of the records, 269.
_      Ab admissione_, chief usher, 294.
_      Ab epistulis_, secretary for correspondence, 269.
      L. Accius, tragic poet, 121.
      Achæa, senatorial province of, 216.
      Achæan Confederacy, the,
            opposed to Macedonia, 69;
            allied with Macedonia, 75;
            supports Philip V, 83, 85;
            joins Rome, 91;
            loyal to Rome, 93;
            friction with Rome, 95;
            forced to send hostages to Rome, 96;
            asserts independence, 102–103;
            dissolved, 103.
      Acilian law (_lex Acilia de repetundis_), 129.
      Acilius Glabrio, consul, defeats Antiochus at Thermopylæ, 93.
      Actium, battle of, 195.
      Adherbal, joint ruler of Numidia, 132–133.
      Advocate of the fiscus (_advocatus fisci_), 248.
      Ædileship, the,
            and public games, 123,
            (1) the plebeian, 50, 54;
                  becomes magistracy, 55;
                  becomes magistracy, 55;
            (2) the curule, 51;
                  opened to plebeians, 56;
                  under the Principate, 294;
            (3) in municipalities, 284.
      Ædui, the,
            allies of Rome, 132, 168;
            desert Rome, 171;
            admitted to Roman Senate, 231.
      Ægates Islands, the, battle of, 74.
      S. Ælius Pætus, consul, juristic writer, 122.
      L. Ælius Seianus,
            prætorian prefect, 227;
            plot of, 228–229.
      M. Æmilius Lepidus,
            consul, 152;
            proconsul, revolt of, 152.
      M. Æmilius Lepidus,
            master of the horse, 185;
            pontifex maximus, 186;
            in Second Triumvirate, 188–189;
            deposed, 192.
      Æmilius Papinianus, jurist, prætorian prefect, 254.
      L. Æmilius Paullus, consul, at Cannæ, 82.
      L. Æmilius Paullus, consul, defeats Perseus, 96.
      Æneolithic Age, the, 9.
      Æqui, the, 15;
            wars of, with Rome, 33–34, 36;
            Roman allies, 39.
_      Ærarium militare_, the, establishment of, 212, 271.
_      Ærarium Saturni_, the,
            state treasury, under senatorial authority, 209;
            evolution of, under the Principate, 265.
      Aetius, Flavius,
            master of the soldiers, defeats Burgundians, 356;
            made count, 358;
            career of, 358–359;
            death, 360.
      Ætolian Confederacy, the,
            hostile to Macedonia, 69;
            joins Rome against Philip V, 83;
            concludes peace, 85;
            supports Rome again, 90;
            joins Antiochus against Rome, 92;
            subjugated by Rome, 94.
      Africa, Roman province of,
            organized, 102;
            rise of serfdom in, 289–290;
            conquered by Vandals, 355–356;
            reconquered by Justinian, 376–377.
      Agathocles, King of Syracuse, 40, 41.
_      Agentes-in-rebus_, 340.
_      Ager Gallicus_, 39.
_      Ager publicus_, 39.
_      Ager Romanus_, 43, 44.
      Agrarian laws,
            of the Gracchi, 126–128;
            failure of, 131;
            of Saturninus, 138;
            proposed —— of Rullus, 163.
_      Agri Decumates_, the, annexed, 239.
            Italy adapted to, 4;
            changing conditions of, 115;
            development of, under the Principate, 297.
      Agrippa, _see_ M. Vipsanius Agrippa.
            granddaughter of Augustus, 224, 227;
            plots for the succession, 228;
            condemned to death, 229.
      Agrippina, niece and wife of Claudius,
            schemes of, 232;
            murdered, 233.
_      Alæ_, 45.
      Alamanni, the, 256, 259;
            defeated by Gallienus, 260;
            by Aurelian, 265;
            by Julian, 326;
            by Valens, 329–330;
            by Narses, 378.
      Alans, the, invasions of, with the Vandals, 355.
      Alaric, prince of the Visigoths,
            invasion of Greece, 352–353;
            invasion of Italy, 353.
      Alba Longa, 29.
      Alban, Count, the, 26.
      Albinus (Decimus Clodius ——),
            saluted Imperator, 252;
            death, 253.
      Alexander, king of Epirus, 40.
      Alexander Severus, _see_ Severus Alexander.
      Alexandria, capital of Egypt, 67;
            Cæsar besieged in, 177;
            government of, 281.
      Alimentary system (_alimenta_), the, instituted, 244.
      Allia, the, battle of, 35.
      Allies, the, _see_ Italian allies.
      Allobroges, the,
            conquered by Rome, 132;
            betray Cataline’s conspiracy, 164.
      Ambrones, the, 135, 136.
      Ambrose, bishop of Milan,
            conflict with Theodosius I, 330–331;
            writings of, 399.
_      Amicitia_, status of, 90.
      Ammianus Marcellinus, historical writer, 398.
      Anastasius, eastern emperor, 365–367.
      Ancyra, Monument of, 225.
      Andriscus, Macedonian pretender, 102.
      Animism, of early Roman religion, 61.
      L. Annæus Seneca,
            writer, 299;
            counsellor of Nero, 232, 233, 235.
      T. Annius Milo, tribune, 169, 172–173.
      Annona, the, 222.
      Anthemius, western emperor, 360.
      Anthenion, leader of slave rebellion, 137.
      Antinoöpolis, 281.
            Seleucid capital, 69;
            depopulated by Persians, 379.
      Antiochus III, the Great, king of Syria,
            attacks Egypt, 89;
            war with Rome, 92–93.
      Antiochus IV, Epiphanes, king of Syria, forced to evacuate Egypt,
      Antonine Constitution, the, 255.
      Antoninus Pius (Titus Ælius Aurelius ——),
            adopted by Hadrian, 249;
            principate of, 249.
      C. Antonius, consul, 162, 164.
      L. Antonius, brother of Mark Antony, 190–191.
      M. Antonius, prætor, command against pirates in 102 B. C., 137.
      M. Antonius, prætor, extraordinary command against pirates in 74
      B. C., 154.
      M. Antonius (Mark Antony),
            master of the horse, 176, 177;
            consul, 185;
            takes charge after Cæsar’s death, 185–186;
            in Second Triumvirate, 188–190;
            in the East and Egypt, 190, 192–194;
            projects of Cleopatra and, 193–194;
            war with Octavian, 194–195;
            suicide of, 195.
      Appius Claudius, censor, 56.
      Appius Claudius, land commissioner, 127.
      L. Appuleius Saturninus,
            tribune, proposed legislation of, 138;
            overthrown, 139.
      L. Apuleius, writer, 300.
      Apulia, 38–39.
      Apulians, the, allies of Rome, 38.
_      Aqua Appia_, 56.
      Aquæ Sextiæ, fortress,
            established, 132;
            Teutons annihilated at, 136.
      Aquileia, Latin colony, 97.
      M’. Aquillius, consul, subdues rebellious slaves, 137.
            administrative district of Gaul, 218;
            Roman province, 227;
            Visigothic kingdom in, 354.
      Aquitanians, the, conquered by Cæsar, 169.
      Arabia, Roman attempt to conquer, 221.
      Arabs, the Nabatæans,
            Roman allies, 221;
            kingdom of, made Roman province, 246.
      Arausio, defeat of Roman armies at, 135.
            general of Theodosius, 330;
            revolt of, 331.
      Arcadius (Flavius ——),
            co-emperor, 331;
            rules in East, 351, 362–363.
      Archelaus, general of Mithridates, 143, 144.
      Archidamus, king of Sparta, 40.
      Archimedes, physicist and mathematician, at Syracuse, 82.
            Roman, 302–303;
            Christian, 402.
      Arianism 391–393.
      Arians, Justinian’s treatment of, 383.
            battle at, 18;
            meetings of Latin League at, 26.
      Ariovistus, king of the Suevi, 168.
            Lucullus’s invasion of, 154, 155;
            occupied by Antony, 193;
            Roman protectorate over, 221;
            struggle between Rome and the Parthians over, 234;
            conquered by Trajan, 246;
            Roman authority in, re-established, 250;
            won from Persians by Diocletian, 319;
            Roman claim to, abandoned, 328.
      Arminius, German chieftain, 220, 227–228.
      Army, Roman,
            primitive, 58;
            phalanx organization of, 58–59;
            manipular legion in, 59;
            composition of, 60;
            discipline of, 60;
            reformed by Marius, 136;
            by Augustus, 211–212;
            power of in naming princeps, 235;
            quartering of auxiliaries under Vespasian, 238;
            of legions under Domitian, 242;
            pay of, increased, 243;
            reformed by Sept. Severus, 254;
            attitude of, 258;
            barbarization of, 272, 275;
            struggle of under the Principate, 274;
            cultural influence of, 276–277;
            reformed by Diocletian, 319;
            by Constantine I, 323;
            of the late Empire, 335–339;
            of the Age of Justinian, 375–376;
      _      See also_ auxiliaries _and_ legion.
      Arnobius, Christian writer, 301.
            Roman, 302–303;
            of the late Empire, 401–402.
      Artabanos V, king of the Parthians, 256.
      Arverni, the, conquered by Rome, 132.
      Asia, Roman province of,
            organized, 103–104;
            revenue of, auctioned off at Rome, 128;
            massacre of Romans in, 143;
            Sulla’s repression of, 145;
            Lucullus’s remedial measures in, 154;
            serfdom in, 289.
      Aspar, master of the soldiers, 364.
      Assemblies, the Roman,
            character of, 57;
            become antiquated, 109;
            dominated by urban proletariat, 110.
      Assembly of the Centuries, the,
            organization of, 49;
            powers of, 49, 54;
            compared with Assembly of the Tribes, 57;
            approves alliance with the Mamertini, 72;
            confers proconsular _imperium_ on Scipio, 84;
            induced to declare war on Philip V, 90;
            reform of, 109;
            loses right to elect magistrates, 227;
            confirms powers of princeps, 264.
      Assembly of the _Curiæ_, the,
            in regal period, 28;
            in early Republic, 48;
            superseded by Assembly of the Centuries, 49.
      Assembly of the Tribes, the,
            origin of, 53, 54;
            powers increased, 55;
            effect of Hortensian law on, 57;
            use of, by Ti. Gracchus, 126–127;
            C. Gracchus, 128;
            confers command of army upon Marius, 134;
            enrollment of Italians in, 142;
            creates extraordinary commands, 159–160;
            loses right to elect magistrates, 227.
            made Roman province, 246;
            abandoned, 247.
      Astrology, fondness of Romans for, 307.
      Astures, the, 217.
      Ataulf, leader of the Visigoths, 353–354.
      Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, 392, 400.
            friend of Rome, 90;
            aids Rome against Philip V, 91;
            ally of Rome, 103;
            joins Mithridates, 143;
            siege of, by Sulla, 144.
      M. Atilius Regulus, consul, invades Africa, 73.
      Atomic theory of Democritus, the, explained by Lucretius, 199.
_      Atrium_, the, in Roman houses, 118.
      Attalus I, king of Pergamon,
            joins Rome against Macedonia, 83;
            appeals to Rome against Philip V, 89.
      Attalus III, king of Pergamon, wills kingdom to Rome, 103, 127.
            king of the Huns, 359;
            relations of, with eastern emperor, 363–364.
            college of, 48;
            number increased, 57;
            functions of, 62;
            new members chosen by Tribes, 138.
      Augustales, 215, 226.
      Augustine, bishop of Hippo, writings of, 399–400.
      Augustus (C. Julius Caesar Octavianus, _q. v._),
            position of in 27 B. C., 206;
            receives _tribunicia potestas_ and other powers, 207;
            restores Senate, 209–210;
            puts equestrian order on definite basis, 210;
            attempts moral and religious revival, 213–215;
            cult of Rome and, 214;
            foreign policy of, 217, 222;
            conquests in the north, 217–220;
            in the east, 220–222;
            administration of Rome under, 222;
            policy of, regarding the succession, 223–224;
            death and estimate of, 225;
            deified, 226.
            title of, 206;
            shared by two principes, 249.
      Aurelian (Lucius Domitius Aurelianus), principate and campaigns of,
      Aurelian law (_lex Aurelia_), the, 156.
      Aurelius (princeps), _see_ Marcus Aurelius.
      M. Aurelius Cotta, consul, 154–155.
      Aurunci (Ausones), the, 13, 36.
      Ausculum, 41.
      Ausonius, poet, 397–398.
_      Auspicium_, defined, 47.
      Auxiliaries (_auxilia_),
            of Augustan army, 212;
            denationalized, 238;
            territorial recruitment of, 273;
            strength of, 274;
            effect of permanent fortifications on, 276;
            of late Empire, 336.
      Avidius Cassius, general,
            Parthian victories of, 250;
            revolt of, 251.
      Avitus (Eparchius ——), western emperor, 360.

      Bacchanalian association, dissolved, 106, 122, 123.
      Balearic Islands, the, occupied by Rome 132.
      Basil, founds Greek monasticism, 395, 400, 402.
            Roman, 124;
            Christian, 402.
      Basiliscus, proclaimed emperor, 365.
      Bastarnæ, the, 219.
      Batavi, the, 219;
            revolt of, 237, 238.
      Belgæ, the, 168–169.
_      Belgica (Gallia ——)_
            administrative district of Gaul, 218;
            Roman province, 227.
      Belisarius, campaigns of, 375, 376, 377, 379.
      Benedict, monastic rule of, 395–396.
      Beneventum, 41.
            of early Christian church, 312, 313;
            metropolitan, 313;
            temporal power of, under late Empire, 390, 391.
            occupied by Mithridates VI of Pontus, 143;
            surrendered, 145;
            made Roman province, 153.
      Bocchus, king of Mauretania, aids Jugurtha, then Rome, 134.
      Bœthius, Christian writer, 400.
      Boii, the, 39, 77, 81.
      Bonifacius, Count,
            governor of Africa, 355–356;
            master of the soldiers, 358.
      Bononia, Latin colony, 97.
      Boudicca, queen of a British tribe, 234.
      Bribery, laws against, 108.
            Cæsar’s invasions of, 170;
            conquests in, under Claudius, 231;
            revolt of, under Boudicca, 234;
            Agricola in, 242;
            Sept. Severus, 255;
            the Saxons invade, 357.
      Britannicus (Ti. Claudius Britannicus), son of Claudius, 232, 233.
      Bronze Age, the, 9–11.
      Brundisium, treaty of, 191.
      Bruttians, the, 38.
      Brutus, _see_ M. Junius Brutus _and_ D. Junius Brutus.
_      Bucellarii_, 376.
      Bulgars, the,
            invade eastern empire, 366, 379;
            occupy Illyricum, 403.
      Bureaucratic system, Egyptian and Roman, 268–269; 282.
      Burgundians, the,
            invade Gaul, 356;
            treatment of Roman subjects, 371;
            religion of, 372.
      Burrus, Afranius, prætorian prefect, 232.
      Byzantine empire, 403, 404.
      Byzantium, punished by Sept. Severus, 253.

      C. = Caius (Gaius).
      Q. Cæcilius Metellus Macedonicus,
            prætor, defeats Andriscus, 102;
            subdues central Greece, 103.
      Q. Cæcilius Metellus Numidicus, consul, commands against Jugurtha,
      Cæsar, _see_ C. Julius Cæsar.
            imperial title, 237;
            title of imperial assistants, 318.
      Caius Cæsar (Caligula), principate of, 229–231.
      Calendar, the, Cæsar’s reform of, 180–181.
      Caligula, _see_ Caius Cæsar.
      Callæci, the, 217.
      Callistus, freedman of Claudius, 232.
      Calpurnian Law (_lex Calpurnia_), the, 114.
      M. Calpurnius Bibulus, consul, 165.
      C. Calpurnius Piso, senator, conspiracy of, 235.
      Camp, camps,
            Roman military, 60;
            on frontiers, 274.
            fertility of, 5;
            alliance of, with Rome, 39.
      Cannæ, battle of, 81–82.
      Cantabri, the, 217.
            Mithridates, king of northern, 142;
            greater coveted by Mithridates, 142;
            surrendered, 145;
            conquered by Tigranes, 153.
            founded, 18;
            Roman ally, 37;
            deserts to Hannibal, 81;
            recovered by Rome, 82–83.
      Caracalla (Marcus Aurelius Antoninus = Bassianus),
            principate of, 255, 256;
            Edict of, 255.
      Carausius, proclaimed Augustus, 318, 319.
      Carbo, _see_ Cn. Papirius Carbo.
      Carinus (Marcus Aurelius ——), co-ruler, in West, 263.
      Carnuntum, legionary camp, 239.
            gains foothold in Sicily and Sardinia, 15;
            attacks Sicilian Greeks, 20, 41;
            allied with Rome against Pyrrhus, 41;
            founding of, 70;
            government of, 70–71;
            commercial policy of, 71;
            resources of, 71;
            treaties with Rome, 70, 71;
            wars with Rome, _see_ Punic Wars;
            cedes Sicily to Rome, 74;
            loss of sea power of, 74;
            war with mercenaries, 74, 75;
            cedes Sardinia and Corsica to Rome, 75;
            cedes Spain and African possessions to Rome, 86;
            reasons for defeat of, in Second Punic War, 86;
            last struggle with Rome and destruction of, 100–102.
      Carus (Marcus Aurelius ——), princeps, campaign against Persians,
      Cassian Law (_lex Cassia tabellaria_), the, 108.
      Cassiodorus, Christian writer, 400.
      C. Cassius,
            ex-prætor, 182, 185;
            war with Antony and Octavian, 189–190.
      Cassivellaunus, British chief, 170.
      Castra Vetera, 218.
      Cataphracti, in late Roman army, 376.
      Cato, _see_ M. Porcius Cato.
      Catullus, (Caius Valerius ——), poet, 199.
      Caudine Pass, battle of the, 38.
      Celtiberians, the, revolts of, 99–100.
      Cenomani the, Roman allies, 78.
      Censorship, the,
            origin and powers of, 50, 59;
            plebeians eligible to, 56;
            of Appius Claudius, 56;
            rendered unnecessary by Sullan reform of Senate, 149;
            assumed by Claudius, 231;
            by Vespasian, 240;
            by Domitian, 241.
            instituted in Rome, 49;
            taken by censors, 50;
            basis of army organization, 59;
            lists of, in Second Punic War, 88;
            increase of, between 136 and 125 B. C., 131;
            of the empire under Augustus, 216;
            of 14 A. D., 224;
            of 47 A. D., 231;
            of 74 A. D., 240.
_      Centenarii_, 270.
      Centurions, 217;
            disappearance of, 337.
      Chæronea, victory of Sulla at, 144.
      Chaldean astrologers,
            banished from Italy, 123;
            great vogue of, 307.
      Chamberlain, the, of imperial court, 294, 335.
      Chatti, the, 220.
      Cherusci, the, 220.
      Childeric, king of the Salian Franks, 357.
      Chosroes, king of the Parthians, 246.
      Chosroes I, king of the Persians, conflicts with Eastern Empire,
      379, 381.
            rise of, and connection with Judaism, 309;
            comes into conflict with Roman state, 310;
            effect of paganism on, 387;
            contribution of, to art, 402.
      Christians, the,
            first persecution of, 233;
            lose privileges of Jews, 310;
            accusations against, 310;
            imperial policy toward, in second century, 310–311;
            in third century, 311–312;
            persecutions of, 312;
            under Diocletian, 320, 322;
            treatment of, by Constantine I, 324–325;
            by Julian, 327–328.
      Chrysopolis, battle at, 323.
            the early Christian, 311;
            organization of, 312–313;
            movement for primacy of Rome in, 313;
            Justinian’s reconciliation with western, 375;
            relation of, to the emperor, 388–389;
            councils of, 388–389;
            growth of the Papacy, 389;
            of the Patriarchate, 390;
            sectarian strife in, 391–394;
            architecture, 402.
      Cicero, _see_ M. Tullius Cicero.
            pirate stronghold, 137;
            made Roman province, 137;
            an imperial province, 216.
      Cimbri and Teutons, the,
            invade Gaul and Spain, 135;
            invade Italy, 136–137.
      L. Cincius Alimentus, historical writer, 121.
      Circus Flaminius, 129.
      Cirta, siege of, 133.
      Cisalpine Gaul,
            settled by Gauls, 34–35;
            occupied by Romans, 77–78;
            lost, 80;
            reconquered, 97;
            organized as province, 148.
      Citizenship, Roman,
            granted to Italians, 141;
            obtained by service in army, 211–212;
            extended by Caracalla, 255;
            given to barbarian officers, 337.
      City Prefect, 228, 341;
            judicial functions of, 267.
_      Cives optimo iure_, 46.
_      Cives sine suffragio_, 44, 45.
      Civil service, the imperial,
            first step in creation of, 149;
            growth of, 268–272;
            under Hadrian, 248;
            of late Empire, 340–342.
      Civil War, 174–178.
      Civilis, Julius, Batavian chieftain, 237.
_      Civitates_,
            in provinces, 111, 280;
            in Gaul, 281.
_      Clarissimi_, 268;
            under late Empire, 343.
_      Classes_, in Roman army, 59.
_      Classis_, _see_ levy.
      Claudian (Claudius Claudianus), poet, 398.
      Claudius (Tiberius Claudius Germanicus), principate of, 231, 232.
      C. Claudius, consul, at Metaurus, 85.
      Claudius Gothicus (Marcus Aurelius), principate of, 261.
      Cleonymus, of Sparta, 40.
      Clergy, the, power of, under late Empire, 390–391.
            early status of, 30;
            in the Principate, 295.
      P. Clodius, tribune, 167, 169, 172.
            and Cæsar, 176, 177, 180;
            and Antony, 190, 193, 195;
            at Actium, 195;
            death, 195.
            king of the Salian Franks, 357;
            conversion of, 372;
            conquests of, 375.
      Clusium, 33, 35.
      Cn. = Cnæus (Gnæus).
      Codification of Roman law by decemvirs under Justinian, 382.
      Cohorts (_cohortes_),
            (1) of regular army, 45;
            (2) urban, 222;
            command of, 228.
      Coinage, debasement of, 298.
      Colleges (_collegia_),
            character and types of, 285;
            regulation of, 286, 287–288;
            burdens of, 292;
            made hereditary, 347;
            of late Empire, 347–348.
      Colonate, the, _see_ serfdom.
            free laborers, 289, 290;
            obligations of, in Africa, 290;
            in Italy, 291;
            under the late Empire, 348–349.
            (1) Latin, 33, 37, 44, 45;
            loyal to Rome in Second Punic War, 82;
            grievances of, 110;
            loyal in Marsic War, 140;
            in provinces, 280;
            (2) Roman, 44;
            established by C. Gracchus, 130;
            in provinces, 280.
_      Comitatenses_, 319, 336.
            (1) associates of provincial governors, 112;
            Augusti, 295;
            (2) titles of officials of late Empire, _see_ Counts.
            (1) of Rome, under Augustus, 211;
            loses right to elect magistrates, 227;
            loses legislative powers, 266;
            (2) of municipalities, 285.
      _      See also_ Assemblies.
_      Comitia centuriata_, _see_ Assembly of the Centuries.
_      Comitia curiata_, _see_ Assembly of the Curiæ.
_      Comitia tributa_, _see_ Assembly of the Tribes.
      Commagene, kingdom of, annexed, 240.
      Commerce, development of, under Principate, 297.
_      Commercium_, 37, 45.
      Commodus (Lucius Ælius Aurelius ——),
            becomes co-ruler, 251;
            principate of, 251, 252.
_      Connubium_, 37, 45.
_      Conscripti_, 56.
      Consistory, the imperial, 341.
      Constans (Flavius Julius ——),
            Cæsar, 324;
            co-emperor, 325.
      Constantine I, the Great (Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus),
            Cæsar, 321;
            co-emperor, 322;
            sole emperor, 323–325;
            founds Constantinople, 323–324;
            —— and Christianity, 324–325;
            policy of, toward the Church, 388.
      Constantine II (Flavius Claudius Constantinus),
            Cæsar, 323;
            co-emperor, 325.
      Constantinople, founding of, 323–324.
      Constantius I (Caius Flavius Valerius ——),
            Cæsar, 318;
            emperor, 321.
      Constantius II (Flavius Julius ——),
            Cæsar, 324;
            co-emperor, 325–326;
            sole emperor, 325–327.
      Constantius, master of the soldiers, made co-emperor with Honorius,
_      Constitutio Antoniniana_, _see_ Antonine Constitution.
_      Constitutiones principis_, 266.
_      Consulares iuridici_,
            of Hadrian, 248;
            removal by Antoninus, 249;
            restored, 250.
      Consulate, consulship, the,
            established, 47;
            powers, 47;
            limited to patricians, 48;
            military duties of, 60;
            Senatorial control over, weakened, 129;
            held successively by Marius, 134;
            under the principate, 261, 294;
            of late Empire, 341;
            abolished, 383.
_      Contiones_, 117.
      Contractors (_conductores_), 289–290.
      Corfinium, 140.
      Corinth, destroyed, 103.
      Corn doles, 197, 294.
      Corn Law,
            of C. Gracchus, 128;
            proposed —— of Saturninus, 138;
            of Drusus, 139.
      Cornelia, “mother of the Gracchi,” 126.
      L. Cornelius Cinna, consul, opposes Sulla and Senatorial party, 146.
      Cn. Cornelius Scipio,
            ex-consul, _legatus_ in Spain, 83;
            killed, 83.
      L. Cornelius Scipio, brother of Africanus, consul in war with
      Antiochus, 93.
      P. Cornelius Scipio,
            consul, sets out for Spain, 79;
            defeated at Ticinus, 81;
            at Trebia, 81;
            killed in Spain, 83.
      P. Cornelius Scipio Æmilianus,
            consul, takes Numantia, 100;
            destroys Carthage, 102;
            patron of letters, 120, 121, 123;
            aids Senate against Gracchus, 127;
            death, 127, 128.
      P. Cornelius Scipio Africanus,
            ex-aedile, given pro-consular _imperium_ in Spain, 84;
            takes New Carthage, 84;
            conquers Carthaginian Spain, 85;
            consul, invades Africa, 85;
            defeats Hannibal, surnamed Africanus, 86;
            extraordinary pro-consul in Asia, 93, 126.
      L. Cornelius Sulla,
            quæstor under Marius, 134;
      _      legatus_ in Marsic war, 141;
            consul, 144;
            wages war against Mithridates, 144, 145;
            return to Italy and dictatorship of, 146–149;
            reforms of, 148, 149;
            retirement and death of, 149, 150;
            character and achievements of, 150.
_      Corporati_, of late Empire, 347.
      Corporations, _see_ colleges.
_      Corpus juris civilis_, 382.
      Corruption, of officials in late Empire, 342.
            geography of, 4;
            inhabitants of, 15;
            ceded to Rome, 75;
            a province, 111.
      Count, counts, (_comites_),
            of late Empire, 338, 343;
            of the sacred largesses, 340, 341;
            of the private purse, 341;
            of the consistory, 341.
      Court, the imperial,
            growth of, 294–295;
            of late Empire, 335.
      Court of extortion, the, 114;
            reorganized by Acilian law, 129;
            use of, in interest of financiers, 139.
      Crassus, _see_ M. Licinius Crassus.
      Cremona, 78;
            battles at, 236, 237.
      Crete, made Roman province, 159.
      Crispus (Flavius Julius ——), Cæsar, 323, 324.
      Crixus, leader of slaves, 155.
            captured by Trajan, 246;
            by Avidius Cassius, 250;
            sacked by Sept. Severus, 253;
            captured by Carus, 263.
            household, 62;
            of the fields, 63;
            state, 63;
            of Bacchus, 123;
            of the Great Mother, 123;
            decline of state, 198;
            of the Lares and Genius Augusti, 214;
            of Rome and Augustus (imperial), 214, 215, 304, 305;
            oriental cults (_q. v._).
            Greek influences on Italian, 21;
            on Roman, 119, 120, 198–199;
            decline of Roman, 303, 304.
      Curatorship, the,
            in senatorial career, 209, 265;
            for reorganizing finances, 286.
_      Curia_, the,
            municipal council, 284, 285;
            obligations of, 287.
_      Curiæ_, the,
            (1) in Rome, 28;
            (2) in municipalities, 284.
_      Curiales_,
            of late Empire, 346–347;
            relieved from collections of taxes, 366.
_      Cursus honorum_,
            of senatorial order, 209;
            of equestrian order, 210.
      Cyme, Greek colony of, 18, 19, 21.
      Cynoscephalæ, battle of, 91.
      Cyprian (Thascius Cæcilius Cyprianus), Christian writer, 301.
      Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, 393.
      Cyzicus, siege of, 154.

      D. = Decimus.
            made Roman province, 246;
            abandoned, and new province formed, 261.
      Dacians, the, 242;
            war with Domitian, 243;
            with Trajan, 245–246.
      Deacons, of early Christian church, 312.
      Decebalus, king of the Dacians, 243, 245.
      Decemvirs, the, for codifying laws, 54.
      Decius (Caius Messius Trajanus ——), princeps, persecution of the
      Christians under, 311–312.
_      Decuma_, _see_ Taxes.
_      Decuriones_, 285;
            obligations of, 287.
_      Defensores civitatium_ or _plebis_, 346–347.
            of ruler, significance of, 180;
            of Julius Cæsar, 189;
            of Augustus, 226.
      Delos, Italian colony at, exterminated, 143.
            appointment and powers of, 47;
            plebeians eligible to office of, 56;
            Cæsar permanent dictator, 178.
      Didius Julianus, principate of, 252.
      Dignities (_dignitates_), of late Empire, 343.
      Dioceses, 320;
            distribution of under late Empire, 339 _and note 1_.
      Diocletian (Caius Valerius Aurelius Diocletianus),
            assumes imperial title, 263;
            reign of, 317, 321;
            division of empire by, 318;
            reforms army, 319, 320;
            abdicates, 321.
      Dionysius I, tyrant of Syracuse, 20, 40, 41.
      Divus Julius, 189.
_      Dominus_, title, 334.
_      Dominus et deus_, title, 242.
_      Dominus et deus natus_, title of Aurelian, 262.
      Domitian (Titus Flavius Domitianus), principate of, 241, 243.
      Domitian law (_lex Domitia_), the, 138;
            abrogated, 148;
            reënacted, 163.
      Cn. Domitius Corbulo, general,
            campaign of, 234;
            death of, 235.
      Drama, the Roman or Latin,
            of third and second centuries B. C., 120–121;
            of last century B. C., 199.
      Drepana, naval battle at, 74.
      Drusus, _see_ M. Livius Drusus.
      Drusus, Nero Claudius,
            step-son of Augustus, 217, 218;
            death, 219;
            surname Germanicus, 219.
_      Ducenarii_, 270.
_      Duces_, of late Empire, 338.
      C. Duilius, consul, 73.
_      Duovirate_, the, in municipalities, 284.
      Dyarchy, the, 216.

      Eburones, the, 171.
            (1) of the prætor, in Roman law, 122;
            final form of, 248;
            (2) of the princeps, 266.
      Edict, the,
            of Caracalla, 255;
            of Milan, 322;
            of Prices, 320.
            in early Rome, 65;
            after the Punic Wars, 120.
            the Ptolemaic monarchy in, 67, 69;
            loss of sea power of, 89;
            friendship of, with Rome, 90;
            Cæsar’s conquest of, 176, 177;
            added to Roman empire, 195;
            status of, 206;
            bureaucratic system of, 269, 282;
            late municipalization of, 281–283;
            serfdom in, 288, 289.
      Elagabalus (Marcus Aurelius Antoninus-Bassianus),
            selected Imperator, 256;
            principate of, 256, 257.
            (1) early Roman, _see_ princeps;
            (2) late Roman, powers and titles of, 333, 334;
            regalia of, 334;
            elections and coöptation of, 334;
            court of, 335.
      Empire, the Roman,
            division of, under Diocletian, 318;
            partition of, after Theodosius I, 351;
            condition of, at death of Justinian, 384.
      Q. Ennius, poet, 121, 123.
      Epictetus, philosopher, 302.
      Epicureanism, in Rome, 198.
      Epirus, sacked by Romans, 96.
      Equestrian order, the,
            growth of, 117, 118;
            secures right to act as judges in courts, 129;
            effect on, 129;
            deserts Saturninus and Glaucia, 138;
            suffers from Sullan proscriptions, 147;
            debarred from juries by Sulla, 148;
            character of, 196;
            position and characteristics of, under Augustus, 210, 211;
            importance increased by Hadrian, 248;
            titles of, 271;
            merged with senatorial order, 342.
            (1) cavalry in Roman army, 59;
            (2) in Assembly of the Centuries, 49;
            (3) a propertied class, _see_ Equestrian order.
_      Ergastula_, 116.
            Iron age in, 11;
            location of, 15.
      Etruscans, the,
            location of, 13, 16;
            name of 15;
            origin of, 16;
            culture of, 16–17;
            in Latium and Campania, 18;
            in Po valley, 18;
            decline of power of, 18–19;
            historical significance of, 19;
            wars of, with Rome, 36, 38–39;
            Roman allies, 39.
      Eudocia, empress, 363.
      Eudoxia, empress, 362–363,
      Euganei, the, 13.
      Eugenius, revolt of, 331.
      Euhemerus, philosopher, 123, 180.
      Eumenes II, king of Pergamon,
            aids Rome against Antiochus, 93;
            enemy of Perseus, 95;
            suspected by Romans, 96.
      Euric, king of the Visigoths, 354, 369.
      Eusebius, historical writer, 400.
      Eutropius, grand chamberlain, 362.
      Extraordinary commands,
            origin and definition of, 151;
            created by Assembly, 159–160.

      Q. Fabius Maximus, dictator, strategy of, 81.
      Q. Fabius Maximus, consul, defeats Gallic tribes, 132.
      Q. Fabius Pictor, historical writer, 121.
            public, 123;
            Secular Games, 216;
            increase of, 294.
_      Fetiales_, 43, 90.
      Finances, administration of, under the principate, 271–272.
      Fire, great,
            of Nero, 233;
            of 80 A. D., 241.
_      Fiscus_, establishment of, 271.
      Flaccus, _see_ L. Valerius Flaccus.
      T. Flamininus, consul,
            defeats Philip V, 91;
            proclaims freedom of the Hellenes, 91.
      C. Flaminius, tribune, censor,
            killed at Trasimene Lake, 81;
            defies the Senate, 106;
            and the reform of the Centuries, 109.
_      Flaviales_, college of, 242.
      C. Flavius Fimbria, _legatus_, in Mithridatic war, 145.
      Fleet, _see_ navy.
_      Fœderati_, of late Empire, 337–338.
_      Fœdus_, perpetual treaty, used by Romans in Italy, 45, 90.
_      Fonde di capanne_, 8.
      Franks, the, 259;
            invade Roman empire, 260;
            Salian, allowed to settle, 326;
            kingdom of, in Gaul, 356–357;
            Roman subjects of, 371;
            religion of, 372;
            conquests of, 373;
            incursion of, into Italy, 378.
            of Sulla, 147;
            augment Roman plebs, 197;
            become Augustales, 215;
            rights of, restricted by Augustus, 215;
            influence of, under Claudius, 232, 269;
            influence of, in civil service, 269, 270, 272;
            increase of, under principate, 266;
            laws restricting increase of, 266;
            occupations of, 266.
      Frontier defense, system of, 274–276.
      Fulvia, wife of Mark Antony, 190.
      Cn. Fulvius, consul, killed, 84.
      P. Fulvius Plautianus, prætorian prefect, 254.

      Gabii, 44.
      Gabinian Law (_lex Gabinia_), the,
            (1) on use of the ballot, 108;
            (2) on command against pirates, 159–160.
      A. Gabinius, tribune, 159.
      Gailimer (Gelimer), king of the Vandals, 375, 376.
      Gaïnas, master of the soldiers, 362.
      Gaiseric, king of the Vandals, 355–356.
      Gaius, the jurist, 301.
      Gaius and Lucius Cæsar, grandsons of Augustus, 224.
            Celts of, defeated by Romans, 94;
            independence recognized, 96;
            made Roman province, 231.
      Galba (Servius Sulpicius ——), 235;
            principate of, 236.
      Galen (Claudius Galenus), student of medicine, 302.
      Galerius (Caius Galerius Valerius Maximianus),
            Cæsar, 318;
            emperor, 321;
            death, 322.
_      Gallia Cisalpina_, _see_ Cisalpine Gaul.
_      Gallia comata_, 168;
            divided, 218.
_      Gallia Narbonensis_, _see_ Narbonese Gaul.
      Gallienus (Publius Licinius Egnatius ——), principate and campaigns
      of, 259, 261.
      Gallus (Flavius Claudius Constantius ——), Cæsar, 326.
      Gasatæ, the, invade Italy, 77.
            peoples of 168;
            Cæsar’s campaigns in, 168–172;
            an imperial province, 206;
            administration of, under Augustus, 218;
            empire of Postumus in, 260;
            reconquered by Aurelian, 262;
            late municipalization of, 281;
            kingdom of Visigoths in, 354;
            Burgundian invasion of, 356;
            kingdom of Salian Franks in, 357;
            invaded by Attila and the Huns, 359.
      Gauls, the,
            invade Italy, 34;
            character of, 34–35;
            sack Rome, 35;
            wars with Rome, 35, 39;
            renew invasions of peninsula, 76–77;
            empire of the, 237, 260.
      Gelasius, Pope, 389.
_      Gentes_, 29–30.
      Germanicus, _see_ Drusus, Nero Claudius.
      Germanicus Cæsar,
            son of Drusus, 224;
            campaigns of, 227–228;
            death, 228.
            Roman invasion of, 12 B. C., 218;
            revolt of, 220;
            administrative districts created in, 227;
            campaigns of Germanicus in, 227;
            Domitian in, 242;
            lost to Rome, 260.
      Geta (Publius Septimius ——), co-ruler, 255.
      Getæ, the, 219;
            invade eastern empire, 366.
      Gladiatorial combats, preferred by Roman public, 121, 123.
      Gladiators, revolt of the, 155–156.
      Glycerius, proclaimed emperor, 360.
            primitive Roman, 61;
            identified with Greek divinities, 122.
      Goths, the, 259;
            invade Roman empire, 259, 260, 261;
            invasion of, in 376 A. D., 329–330;
            relations between Romans and, 369, 370.
      _      See also_ Visigoths, Ostrogoths.
      Gracchi, the, _see_ Ti. Sempronius Gracchus, tribune, _and_ C.
      Sempronius Gracchus.
      Gratian (Gratianus),
            co-emperor, 329, 330;
            attitude toward paganism, 386.
      Great Mother, cult of the, introduced in Rome, 123.
            devastated by Mithridatic war, 145;
            Southern, becomes province of Achæa, 216.
      Greeks, the,
            location of, in the West, 15;
            colonization of, 19;
            lack of unity among, 20;
            decline of power of, 20–21;
            rôle of, 21;
            southern —— join Mithridates, 143;
            status of, in Rome and the empire, 301.
      _      See also the individual states._
      Gregory of Nazianzus, Christian writer, 400, 401.
      Guilds, _see_ colleges.
      Gundobad, king of the Burgundians, 356, 371.

      Hadrian (Publius Ælius Hadrianus),
            principate of, 247–249;
            Hellenism of, 247;
            reforms of civil service, 270;
            reforms army, 273, 274;
            improvement of _limes_ and frontier defense, 275.
      Hamilcar Barca,
            in Sicily, 74;
            conquers mercenaries, 75;
            in Spain, 78.
      Hannibal, son of Hamilcar Barca,
            Carthaginian commander in Spain, 79;
            takes Saguntum, 79;
            invades Italy, 80–81;
            withdraws from Italy, 86;
            defeated at Zama, 86;
            at court of Antiochus,