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Book III
Chapter II

This webpage reproduces a chapter of
Augustus
by
John Buchan

published by
Hodder and Stoughton
London 1937

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

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Book IV
Chapter I

Book III: First Citizen

 p164  Chapter III

Creative Evolution
(B.C. 23‑2)

Et du premier consul déjà, par maint endroit,

Le front de l'empereur brisait le masque étroit.

Victor Hugo, Les Feuilles d'Automne.

From 23 B.C. onward two duties concern the historian in his study of Augustus's mind. He has the task of the annalist in recording the sequence of events, but he must sometimes halt in his narrative, survey the posture of affairs, and assess its meaning, for, as in the human body, little changes in habit and structure may have a deep organic significance. In this chapter it is his business to examine the twenty years of evolution during which the Augustan principate reached its mature form.

I

Augustus was impatient to get to the task which he conceived to be his prime duty, that of making life secure and tolerable for every class in the empire. He had had to acquire the requisite powers, but that was only the prologue; the heavy labour would lie in using them to work out a new system of administration and law. The programme was vast, and could only be executed by a strong central government unhampered by periodic changes. He realized, too, that the loss of the old republican freedom must be compensated for by the efficiency of the new authority. If people were forbidden to misgovern themselves they must be satisfied that they were being well governed. A wise paternalism seemed to him an essential concomitant of autocracy.

He went first to Sicily, an island which had drifted into poverty. Once the granary of Rome, it had been ousted from the monopoly of the cornº trade by Egypt, Sardinia and Africa, and its land had largely passed from  p165 tillage to pasture, huge ranches owned by absentee Roman landlords. His aim was to revive the small mixed farm and the free cultivator. He used public land where it was available, and he bought more, and on it he settled seven colonies, partly of veterans and partly of Italian countrymen, hoping in this way to restore the economic balance and to provide a romanizing nucleus in an island which had never fully acquired the Roman tradition.

Agrippa and Julia In 22 B.C. there was an urgent demand for his return to Rome. Floods and famine had terrified the people, and the mob threatened to burn the Senate-house unless Augustus were forthwith made dictator. He refused the dictatorship, which was needless, but took into his own hands the corn supply, and in a few days relieved the scarcity at his private expense. He refused also the perpetual consulship and censorship which were pressed on him; these were empty names, for he already had the powers. But Rome was getting out of hand, so he summoned Agrippa from the East to act as his regent in the capital. Agrippa during 21 B.C. performed his task to admiration. He restored order, and laid an embargo on Egyptian rites which were becoming an unwholesome fashion in Rome. As a proof that he recognized Agrippa as his colleague in the government, Augustus offered him the hand of his daughter Julia, the widow of Marcellus. Maecenas is said to have advised the match on the ground that Agrippa had now grown so powerful that he must either become the Princeps's son-in‑law or be put to death. There was a sad disparity in years, for Julia was at the most eighteen, while her husband was slightly older than her father; moreover, Agrippa had to divorce Marcella, Octavia's daughter and the mother of his children. This union of an elderly soldier, wholly preoccupied with the cares of the state, and a brilliant, pleasure-loving girl was the first of those marriages of convenience which were to endanger Augustus's family peace.

Rome being again in order, Agrippa spent the next two years in Gaul and Spain. In Gaul he set himself to the work of reorganization which Augustus had begun six years before, improving the road system and, after his  p166 usual fashion, beautifying the cities. Nemausus (Nîmes) owed the first of its splendid buildings to his enterprise. Then he was called to Spain, where he completed the conquest of the Cantabrians, his first military service since 31 B.C. He reported his success, not to the Senate, but to Augustus, and refused a triumph, for it was his view that the supreme military glory should not accrue to independent generals, but that all victories should be regarded as won by the Princeps.1

Meanwhile Augustus had left Sicily for Samos, where he spent the winter of 21‑20 B.C. For Greece he did little except separate it from Macedonia and constitute the province of Achaia. The shabby city which had once been Sparta received some slight recognition. Corinth was given certain boons, since it was a Julian colony, but Athens, which had consistently taken the losing side in the civil wars, was left to academic decay. He was no philhellene, as indeed were few of the governing Romans.2 But when he crossed to Asia he found himself on more congenial soil, for Asiatic Hellenism welcomed him as a sovereign in exact accord with its traditions. He travelled through Asia Minor to Syria, relieving poverty in the cities, adjusting the tribute, laying out roads, instituting public works, rewarding merit and punishing incompetence and misgovernment.

Armenia His chief problem was that of the client-kingships, notably Armenia, with which was bound up the security of the eastern frontier. The client-kingship was a useful institution which had already lasted for two centuries, and which enabled Rome to exercise an ultimate control without the burden of day-to‑day government. Armenia was a perplexing business. Geographically it belonged to the Parthian sphere of influence, for it was connected, through Media, with the Iranian plateau, and its people were wholly Iranized. If Rome annexed it, she would be in effect driving a wedge into Parthia and making her frontier defences more difficult; if she left it alone, it  p167 would be at Parthia's mercy and would be a dangerous base for attacks on the empire. So, while Judaea, Cappadocia and Commagene retained their old status, Armenia was in a perpetual flux. Artaxes was its king, and Phraates was king of Parthia, and a son of the latter was a hostage in Rome. Artaxes had ruled badly and was opportunely assassinated, but Augustus, instead of making Armenia a Roman province, gave the throne to the late king's brother, Tigranes. He had sent back the son of Phraates to his father on condition that the Roman standards lost by Crassus and Antony were returned, and he had Tiridates, the pretender to the Parthian throne, as a weapon to be used if necessary. He now compelled the Parthian king to fulfil his bargain, and Tiberius in Syria received the standards, and certain prisoners who had almost forgotten their native land. Rome went wild at the news, for Carrhae had long been a thorn in the national memory and Parthia a brooding nightmare. No poet of eminence refused his tribute,3 and it became for a generation a stock theme in Roman literature. There was now peace with Parthia: Roman sovereignty over Armenia was accepted as the price of it, and Rome had her hands free for her task in the North and West.

It was a diplomatic triumph, though the Roman populace would have preferred a resounding field victory, and Augustus at the close of his life had not lost his pride in it.4 He was well aware that this no final settlement, but only a breathing space. Armenia was to remain a storm centre necessitating periodic campaigns, and Trajan's annexation and Hadrian's withdrawal were no better solutions of the eastern frontier problem. But for the moment he had an easy mind. He spent the winter of 20 B.C. resting at Samos, where he received embassies from many lands, even one from distant India, which brought to the West the first tiger. Death of VirgilEarly in 19 B.C., he crossed to Greece, where he was initiated into the  p168 Eleusinian mysteries, an odd escapade for one of his character. He met Virgil in Athens, and the poet crossed with him to Brundisium, where, on September 22, he died at the age of fifty‑one.

The death of Virgil was felt by Augustus as a grievous personal loss. In temperament the two men had little in common. The lean poet, rustic in speech and manner, whose melancholy eyes and worn features are preserved for us in the Hadrumetum mosaic,5 was far indeed from the splendour which confronts us in the Prima Porta statue. But Augustus had the gift of recognizing the value and significance of much that he imperfectly understood. He could not penetrate into Virgil's secret world, but he realized that in it there was something that meant much to the new society which he sought to create. The broken lines, the strange half-lights, the wistfulness, the aching "desiderium" which make Virgil unique among Latin poets must have been hidden from the solid, four-square master of the world, but he could appreciate the austere exquisiteness of an art which had made a new thing of the Latin tongue. He felt dimly that this man embodied all that was best in his age, both what he himself could enter into and what he could only respect from the outside. Virgil had given the world the flute notes as well as the drums; the exultation of victory and thrill of power, but also the peasant's frugal days and the gracious magic of the countryside.6 All this Augustus understood, but what he most cared for was that in the epic, which had taken him eleven years to complete, the poet had written new scriptures for Rome. Over this work he had watched with eager interest, writing from Spain in 25 B.C. to ask how it was progressing. It was the saga of his own family, the Julian, who claimed descent from the curly-headed son of Aeneas. But it was also the great story of Rome —"tantae molis erat Romanam condere gentem" — a proud memory and a glowing inspiration.  p169 Virgil had been the complete Roman, a lover of wild nature and the North, but also a devotee of cities, for after his youth he left Mantua behind him and lived wholly in Rome and Naples. All Italy, all the empire, was his home. With a sound instinct Augustus forbade the poet's executors to fulfil his wishes and burn the manuscript, thereby preserving for the world an inestimable treasure. To the Romans Virgil was the preacher of a nobler creed of morals and the prophet of a larger destiny, for he gave expression to all that was best in the stock and made the imperial ideal a thing of vision and high poetry. But not less he was the interpreter of humanity in every age, its sufferings and consolations, and therefore the poet not only of the Rome which has gone, but of a spiritual Rome, an Eternal City which can never perish since it is built of man's hopes and dreams.

II

Augustus arrived in Rome in October 19 B.C. There had been trouble there, during Agrippa's absence in Spain, over the consular elections, and he was met in Campania by an anxious deputation of senators and magistrates, glad to welcome the man on whom all classes had come to depend. He refused any kind of triumph and slipped quietly into the city by night. For the next two years he remained in Rome, a period of strenuous labour. Just as his foreign journeys were not mere tours of inspection but crowded with the details of administrative reorganization, so the months spent in the capital were filled with incessant toil. The principate was slowly developing under his hand. In 17 B.C. the ten years' grant of imperium came to an end, and was renewed for another five years. This was a foregone conclusion, but a further step was taken. The co‑regency of Agrippa, now home from Spain, was confirmed. To him were granted an imperium over the provinces for the same term as that of the Princeps, and also the tribunician power. In effect the two men were now joint rulers of the empire, with equal powers, but Augustus remained  p170 the senior by virtue of his personal "auctoritas." The old republican collegiate system had been virtually revived, but instead of two annual consuls there were now two principes with a five-years tenure. This ingenious device temporarily solved the question of the succession. If Augustus died Agrippa would step into his place by the sheer compulsion of fact. He alone had all the strings of government in his hand. Moreover, Julia had borne him two sons, Gaius in 20 B.C. and Lucius in 17 B.C., and Augustus, after the Roman fashion, adopted the children. By universal consent the heir-apparent was now Agrippa, and his successor in turn would naturally be Gaius, who would be trained for the task. A form of hereditary succession was therefore established, but with a republican flavour and a solid constitutional basis.

Administrative Reforms Augustus, according to Dio,7 was also granted for five years the censorian power. Censors had been appointed in 22 B.C. but had proved impotent, and it may be that the Princeps, following his approved practice, acquired the powers without the office.8 Something of the kind was essential if he were to achieve the reforms in manners and morals which he saw to be no less vital than a reform in government. But it is more probable9 that the famous Julian laws on conduct, which will be considered later, were introduced and put into effect by virtue of the tribunician power. As a preliminary Augustus did what he had done ten years before and revised the senatorian roll. This was always an invidious task, for no senator would admit his unworthiness and voluntarily resign. At first he tried to work through a committee of senators, but in the end he was compelled to make the nominations himself and face the odium. He was unable to get the number below six hundred, which was double the size of what he regarded as a workmanlike body. The brevity of his reference to the business in the Res Gestae is a proof of how distasteful he found it. Moreover, it approached very near to an act of autocracy, for he was acting only under the dubious censorian right implicit  p171 in his consular power, which in turn was implicit in his imperium.

These were the more prominent features of two years of extreme busyness. He took every branch of public service for his province, and devoted long hours to municipal administration, to army reorganization, to public works, to the intricacies of finance, while all the time problems for his decision flowed in from every part of the globe. One of his chief reforms was to distribute certain duties of the old magistracies among new select commissions, approved by the Senate but controlled by himself. He had his secretariat also to develop,10 and the new civil service, and he was engaged in carrying out a statistical survey of the empire with a view to a fairer adjustment of taxation. No point was too small for his personal attention. The evidence of epigraphy shows that by a stream of edicts and rescripts and mandates he regulated the minutest details of provincial administration. By and by he created an efficient secretariat, and on questions of policy he had the help of his privy council, but it is clear that the initiative in most cases came from Augustus himself, and that the bulk of the work was his. Agrippa was a great soldier and a builder of genius, but he took little part in the larger matters of statesmanship, while Maecenas was first and foremost a specialist in the imponderabilia of public opinion; his talent was advisory, not executive.

The Ludi Saeculares In 17 B.C. Augustus rested a little from his labours. Most of the preliminary work had been done, and the time had arrived to celebrate the dawn of the new world. There was a living spirit of hope abroad, a sense that the old unhappy days had gone and that Rome was entering upon a second youth. Some great national ceremony was needed to give concreteness to this vision and to impress the imagination of the people. "It must reunite in picturesque harmony the brief in the regeneration of the world, the social ideas of the oligarchy which governed the empire, the Etruscan doctrine of the ten centuries, the Italic legend of the four ages of the world,  p172 the oracles of the Sibyl which announced the approaching reign of Apollo, the recollections of Virgil's eclogue which had predicted the Golden Age, the Pythagorean doctrine of the return of souls to earth, which taught that after four hundred and forty years body and soul lived again in their former state, and society therefore returned to its former condition."11 There must be a consecration of the future by linking it with the past. Virgil had done this in the Aeneid; indeed, he had prophetically foreshadowed such a celebration,

Augustus Caesar, divi genus, aurea condet

saecula qui rursus Latio regnata per arva

Saturno quondam.12

The ceremonial must be traditional, and an appropriate precedent was found in the Ludi Saeculares. These had been instituted in the year of the foundation of the Republic and repeated every century, but the fifth celebration, which should have taken place in 49 B.C., was prevented by the outbreak of civil war. Here was an ancient ritual which might be adapted to a new purpose, and be made the occasion for a solemn union of old and new, religion and policy, church and state.

In February the Senate sanctioned the festival, and entrusted the duty to the Quindecemviri, the College of Fifteen, who in turn chose Augustus and Agrippa as their representatives. The legal adviser of the Princeps, Ateius Capito, adopted the Etruscan idea of the century as one hundred and ten years, and found a Sibylline oracle to support his view.13 The same oracle provided minute details of the ritual, which Augustus modified and enlarged. Dis and Proserpina had been the principal deities of the old rite, but now the inspiration should be rather Apollo14 and Diana, gods of the sunlight and the upper world.

 p173  No more solemn pageant was ever staged in Rome. Heralds were sent through all Italy to summon the country people to the capital. Between the 26th and 28th of May sulphur and bitumen were distributed, for the old rite had begun with a purification, and first-fruits of wheat, barley and beans for the sacrificial cakes. Then, on the last night of May, the ceremonies began. There was a full moon, and about two o'clock in the morning a great concourse assembled in the Field of Mars — once a swamp, but now, by the grace of Augustus, the home of splendid monuments, chief among them the Mausoleum of his own house. There the Princeps sacrificed nine lambs and nine kids to the Fates, and repeated a curious archaic prayer to those goddesses who ruled the destinies of men and nations. Then followed a blaze of torches and fires which turned the silver moonlight to crimson, and one hundred and ten matrons offered a ritual banquet to Juno and Diana.

Next day, the 1st of June, the ceremonies moved to the Capitol, where the marble of the new temples gleamed white in the sun. Augustus and Agrippa each sacrificed a bullock to Jupiter, while on the Field of Mars all day games and plays continued, and a second banquet was given by the Roman mothers. That night in the same place there was again a midnight sacrifice; bloodless this time, for it was of cakes, and the goddesses honoured were the Ilythiae who gave fertility to women. On the 2nd of June, at the Capitol, Augustus and Agrippa sacrificed each a cow to Juno, in the presence of one hundred and ten matrons chosen from the noblest families of Rome. That night in the Field of Mars there was a ceremony which came down from the earliest days, when Augustus sacrificed a pregnant sow to Mother Earth, and implored her blessing on her children.

June 3 was the great day, for it was the day of Apollo and Diana, the divinities of the new light to whom the Roman mind was turning, as the mind of the Middle Ages turned from the austerities of the Father and the Son to the kindly humanity of the Mother of God. In Apollo's temple on the Palatine Augustus and Agrippa offered bloodless sacrifices, and then, after the crabbed  p174 Latin of the ancient prayers, came the Carmen Saeculare, sung by twenty-seven boys and twenty-seven girls. Had Virgil lived no doubt he would have been its author; as it was, Horace wrote it, not over-willingly. It is scarcely his best work; there are finer pieces on the same theme among his odes; but it must rank high among official poems, for it exactly fitted the occasion. Into it he wove every purpose of the ritual — the nocturnal recognition of what was hoar-ancient, the dependence upon the bounty of Mother Earth, the prayers by day to the old Capitoline gods and to the special divinities of the new empire. As the pure voices of the children sang in alternation, first of the reverence due to the Fates, the Earth and the Gods, and then of the achievements and aspirations of their race — Media and Scythia and India offering friendship, Rome herself "bellante prior, jacentem lenis in hostem" — the listening crowds must have demonstrated themselves witnesses both to the rebirth of old piety and the advent of a happier world.15

III

The Ludi Saeculares marked the beginning of two decades of domestic peace. The regular magistrates, assisted by the new special commissions, were perfectly capable of directing affairs in Rome and Italy, and Augustus and Agrippa were free to attend to the trimming of the frontiers and the internal development of the provinces.

Augustus in Gaul The Princeps chose Gaul for his special duty. Its eastern borders were still unquiet, for there were constant little wars with the Alpine clans, and on the Rhine the German tribes, Sugambri, Usipetes and Tencteri, were threatening invasion. The governor, Marcus Lollius, had been defeated by those old antagonists of Julius, and an eagle of the V legion captured, but the invaders had no desire as yet to challenge the might of  p175 Rome, and retired across the Rhine. Augustus took with him his step‑son, Tiberius, now twenty-five years old, who was that year praetor; Drusus, the younger step‑son, now a youth of twenty‑two, assumed his brother's praetorian duties, and Statilius Taurus was appointed prefect of the city. The purpose of Augustus in his journey was not, as some believed, the invasion of Britain, or the settlement of the frontiers, where he looked for no immediate danger, but the completion of the romanizing of Gaul. It was his favourite province, the arena of his family triumphs, and the old gateway at Nîmes, inscribed with his name, still stands to remind us of his close interest in the land. The Narbonese, which was quiet and prosperous, had been transferred from the Princeps to the Senate; all he did there was to establish new colonies, of which Nîmes, Avignon and Aix were the most famous. But the three Celtic Gauls, Aquitania, Lugdunensis and Belgica, needed some attention.

His first task was to correct abuses. The imperial procurator in charge of the revenue at Lugdunum (Lyons) was one Licinus, a Gaul whom Julius had taken prisoner and released, and he had degraded his office by shameless extortion. He was dismissed and retired to Rome, but there is no record of his punishment; the price of his immunity may have been contributions to public works out of his ill‑gotten gains. Augustus then proceeded to a drastic revision of the financial system, for which his census of 27 B.C. had prepared the ground. Taxation on the Roman plan was a difficult thing to introduce in a society which had a tribal and not an urban basis.16 There was a landed tax and a tax on personalty,17 and to these he added a small levy on imports and exports. Lyons was made the mint and the centre of the financial administration, and the way was prepared for that complete romanization which was soon to make it politically the second city of the empire.

Gaul was rapidly advancing in wealth, and was already in certain commodities becoming a serious rival to Italy.  p176 It had great natural resources, and in its roads, and especially in its rivers, a highly developed system of transport. In the days of Julius it had been a land of hill towns; under Augustus it became a country of river cities, for trade and not defence was now the pre‑occupation of its inhabitants. The famous old fortresses of Bibracte and Gergovia ceased to exist, and then inhabitants were transferred to new cities in the plains, Augustodunum (Autun) and Augustonemetum (Clermont). But in dealing with native customs he showed himself a far‑seeing government statesman. He did not interfere with tribal rights in his new division of the provinces, and he permitted old worships and old methods of local government to continue unchanged. How vigorous and idiomatic was the native life is shown by the fact that it is the Gallic tribal and not the Roman urban names which have persisted through history — Reims, Paris, Amiens and Langres, not Durocortorum, Lutetia, Samarobriva and Andomatunum.18 For Gaul and Gallic ways Augustus seems to have had a special tenderness. His efforts at romanization were confined to fostering the growth of cities, improving communications, spreading the knowledge of the Latin tongue, and establishing a close personal contact by making himself a readily accessible court of appeal for provincial grievances.19 The treatment of Gaul remains one of his foremost achievements and the one most fraught with happy consequences for the future. Its success is proved by the fact that the land continued so to prosper under the system created by the first Princeps that it was little moved by the follies of his successors.

But internal well-being could not get rid of the border problem. As soon as Rome crossed the Cevennes she entered a new world, which had a rude unity as far as the Cheviots. The conquest of northern Gaul meant sooner or later the conquest of Britain. So, too, in the east the Germans might rise again, or a new Mithradates come out of the dawn, and the straggling, right-angled  p177 frontier formed by the Rhine and the Alps would be ill to defend. In the latter region disorder broke out in 16 B.C., and for almost a decade Rome was involved in frontier wars. Agrippa in the EastAgrippa had gone to the East, where he was to perform his last great piece of imperial service. Accompanied by his wife and his two sons, and much troubled by gout,20 he went first to Athens, which he treated more kindly than Augustus, then to the Thracian Chersonese, of which he was now the owner,21 and thence to Syria. One of his chief duties was the establishment of new colonies for veterans. There he met Herod of Judaea, and at his request visited Jerusalem and offered sacrifices to the god of the Jews.22 After a stately progress through the cities of Asia he moved north early in 14 B.C. and settled a dispute about the throne of the Cimmerian Bosporus, which had been seized by a usurper. This kingdom was of great strategic importance, since it was the only barrier against a Parthian domination of the Euxine. He reported, as before, direct to the Princeps, and declined the triumph offered by the Senate. After a winter in Lesbos he returned to Italy early in 13 B.C. The precautions on the northern front were therefore in the charge of the two young step-sons of Augustus, Tiberius and Drusus.

There was a flickering of unrest all along the border from the Maritime Alps to Dalmatia, partly the turbulence of racial oddments which had found their last sanctuary in the mountains, partly the stirring of powerful tribes who occupied what is now the Grisons, the Tyrol and southern Bavaria. It was a situation which needed young and energetic generals, and Tiberius brilliantly rose to it. In the spring of 15 B.C. they contrived an elaborate strategic movement; Drusus advanced from the south by the Adige while Tiberius came in on the enemy's flank from the west. The former defeated the insurgent Rhaeti and Vindelici in a battle  p178 near Trent, and followed them across the Brenner, while Tiberius won a victory on the shore of Lake Constance. The brothers then joined hands and conquered Bavaria as far as the Danube. The result was a substantial extension of the empire by the annexation of Noricum and the creation of the province of Rhaetia, to be served by the new Via Augusta along the valley of the Adige. The exploits of the young generals roused the enthusiasm of Rome, and in the odes of his fourth book Horace, at the request of Augustus, celebrated the revival of the ancient Roman "virtus." In 13 B.C. Tiberius entered upon his first consulate, and Drusus became legate of Gaul.

Augustus returned to Rome that year with a quiet mind, but the campaigns were not over. There was fresh trouble in Pannonia, which subsided at the threat of Agrippa's advent, but which broke out again in 12 B.C., and Tiberius had to spend the better part of three years on that frontier. But the German border was the main terrain. The Sugambri crossed the Rhine into Brabant, while Drusus was busy consecrating to Augustus the great altar at Lyons which was to be the chief shrine of imperial Gaul. He drove the invaders back across the river, and, with the assent of the Princeps, entered upon a campaign which was definitely intended to advance the Roman frontier to the Elbe, and to put an end once and for all to the German menace. Somewhere near Cologne he bridged the river, defeated the Usipetes and moved against the Sugambri. He had a flotilla on the Rhine, and he cut a canal to the Zuider Zee that his ships might support him by operations along the northern coast. That year he reached the Weser; in 11 B.C. he occupied what is to‑day Westphalia, and built a number of forts. In 10 B.C. he dealt with the Chatti, and in 9 B.C., the year of his first consulate, he pushed through the land of the Cherusci and Marcomanni to the Elbe, where he erected a trophy to mark the limit of Roman control.23 His task was one not only of conquest, but of consolidation, for he left a chain of fortresses behind him, while a line of new garrisons defended the Rhine as far as Strasbourg. It  p179 was a bold forward movement, of which the wisdom will be considered in a later chapter; but his achievement was in the nature of an elaborate raid, for there still remained the slow task of subjugation if Germany were to be a second Gaul.

Death of Drusus It was the last episode in a brief and brilliant life. On his way home, somewhere between the Saale and the Rhine, his horse fell and he broke a thigh. Tiberius, sent by Augustus to his side, in a day and night drove nearly two hundred miles, and found him dying. He accompanied the body on foot all the way to Rome, where, after a splendid funeral, the ashes of the dead soldier were laid in the imperial Mausoleum. The loss of Drusus was a greater tragedy for Rome than the death of Marcellus. The beauty of his person was matched by the grace and dignity of his spirit. He was adored by his troops and by all who came in contact with him, for, unlike his brother, he did not suffer from the ingrained Claudian pride.24 His betrothal to Antonia, the younger daughter of Octavia and Mark Antony, had been hailed by the Roman people as the perfect union of manly and womanly virtue. He possessed, it is plain, military talents as great as those of Tiberius, and a far more humane and engaging character. When death overtook him Rome was coming to regard him with hope and pride as the ultimate heir of the principate.

The return of the Princeps in 13 B.C. was greeted with widespread popular demonstrations of relief and gratitude. As was his custom, he entered the city quietly by night, and next day ascended the Capitol and placed the laurels from his fasces on the knees of the statue of Jupiter. The Senate decreed that an altar dedicated to the Peace of Augustus should be set up in the Field of Mars and made the scene of annual sacrifices. Rome clung to him as her chief security for ordered peace, and whenever difficulties threatened clamoured for his intervention. During his absence in Gaul Horace had pled for his return: "With vows and prayers your country calls for you . . . for with you here the ox plods the  p180 fields in safety, Ceres and bounteous Happiness enrich our farms; our sailors wail waters unvexed by pirates; public Honour stands inviolate; chaste homes are stained by no adulteries, and punishment follows swift on crime. . . . Who fears Parthian, Scythian, German or Spaniard if Augustus be safe? Each man sees day close in peace on his native hills, and trains his vines to the widowed trees, and returns home light of heart to drink his wine and bless thee as god indeed."25 In the old Latin, not in the oriental, fashion, the plain man began to take oath by the genius of Augustus, thinking of him not as a remote deity but as an intimate and friendly patron. His "auctoritas" had now acquired something of the veneration due to one who was god‑like, if not yet a god. His power had brought him reverence, but his "providentia," his affectionate care for his people, was winning him love.

Augustus's extensive travels were at an end, for he had given personal attention to both East and West, and now could make his home in Italy. That year his imperium was renewed for another five years, and Agrippa given the same extension of his joint imperium and his tribunician power. It was renewed again in 8 B.C., this time for ten years. He carried out another revision of the senatorian roll, raising the property qualifications, and in 8 B.C. he held a census. The death of Lepidus in 13 B.C. enabled him at last to become Pontifex Maximus. For six years, while the trumpets sounded on the frontier, he was for the most part in Rome, busied with the details of administration, with ceremonies, and with minor reforms. The Ara Pacis In 9 B.C. the Ara Pacis was formally dedicated. Of this, one of the noblest of Roman monuments, the sculptured friezes have largely survived, and form a superb pageant of Augustan policy, the pictorial counterpart of the Res Gestae. Most beautiful are the children, done with simplicity and tenderness and all the solemn stiffness of infancy.26 Notable, too, is the place given to  p181 Augustus himself, for he takes rank in the groups as an ordinary participant. "It is not so much with the majesty of Empire that the Ara Pacis strikes one, as with that human and personal conception of the Principate which Augustus wished to stress. There is nothing monarchic about these friezes in the oriental sense, which placed a monarch above his subjects, though the dynastic ideal is manifest in the presence of the many descendants."27 Another famous memorial belongs to this period, for in 7 B.C. a monument inscribed with the names of forty‑six conquered Alpine tribes was set up by the Senate on the rock of La Turbie above Monaco between the mountains and the sea.28

Deaths of Agrippa and Maecenas

[image ALT: A photograph of a Roman marble bust of a middle-aged man with wavy to curly hair, of serious but not unkindly demeanor. He is Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, who is discussed on this webpage.]

Bust of Agrippa found in Gabii in 1792, that made its way into Napoleon's collection in 1807; now in the Louvre.

Photo © Livius.Org 2004, by kind permission;
from that site's pages on Agrippa.

In these years Augustus suffered other bereavements than the death of Drusus. In the spring of 12 B.C. Agrippa died at his Campanian villa, after the threat of his coming had stilled the Pannonian revolt. He had been ailing for several years. Augustus himself delivered the funeral oration, speaking behind a curtain, since a Pontifex Maximus might not look on the dead, and the ashes were laid in the Julian Mausoleum. The honour was well deserved, for Agrippa had been a principal architect of empire and the most loyal, as well as the ablest, of Augustus's colleagues. No misunderstanding ever clouded their friendship. The Princeps owed him everything, for without his help in the campaigns against Sextus Pompeius and Mark Antony he could not have conquered, and after Actium Agrippa was his chief instrument, both in the ordering of Rome and in the settlement of the provinces. The affection between the two men was shown by Agrippa's leaving to Augustus the bulk of his vast fortune, and by Augustus's long mourning for his dead friend. That career, begun at eighteen and now closed at fifty‑one, is one of the wonders of history. Agrippa had military gifts of a high  p182 order, and among Roman captains must rank only after Julius and Scipio. He was also a most capable administrator, and adept at carrying out any plan given to him, though in civil affairs he may have been an executant rather than an originator, and his mind a cistern and not a fountain.29 He came out of obscurity; for a little his house blazed like a comet until it ended in the blood and terror of Nero; but he himself stands alone, a type of all the virtues that Rome delighted to honour. He had the ancient "gravitas" and "pietas," but he was also a man of wide culture with a fine taste in art and architecture; he wrote an autobiography, which is unhappily lost, and he was an eager geographer and prepared a map of the world.30 His special achievements were to keep the principate in touch with the middle classes from which he sprang, and by the example of his devotion to the head of the state, in whose name he insisted that all his victories were won, to rivet the loyalty of the army to the civil administration. In habits, in spite of his great wealth and power, he preserved, as one might judge from his honest, blunt features, a fine simplicity.31

Agrippa is indeed one of the most remarkable figures in history for two reasons. Though a parvenu in an aristocratic society, all men spoke, and continue to speak, well of him. The gossiping Roman annalists, who found specks on every other sun, never suggested scandal or criticism about his public or private life. He was to them, as to Dio,32 the noblest Roman of his day. Again, he is the chief instance in history of a man of first-class talents who was content to subordinate them to the interests of a friend. He had many times the military gifts of Augustus, and he was loved by the army, but no dream of disloyalty ever crossed his mind. In this there must have been more than personal affection. It is the highest tribute to the moral and intellectual stature  p183 of Augustus that he maintained his ascendant over this mighty servant.33

In the autumn of 8 B.C. Maecenas died. He had been a sick man for some years, suffering especially from insomnia, and all his life he had been in delicate health. Maecenas is an eternal enigma. The rugged face was no index to a character which was a compound of the effeminate hedonist and the provident and subtle statesman. He had no vulgar ambitions, for, though one of the three most powerful men in state, he never held office, or moved out of the equestrian class. At many crises in his career he gave Augustus shrewd counsel, and he did not hesitate to rebuke him sharply when he was in error. More than any other, perhaps, he saw the delicate compromises on which the principate must be built. But it is clear that was something in him of the antic and the grotesque. He had all the foibles of the aesthete and the foppishness of the petit maître.34 He would fair have been a great writer, but his prose was as harsh as his features — Seneca called it "drunken" — and Augustus laughed at the "scent-dripping curls of his verse";35 all that remains of the latter is an indifferent fragment in priapeans, glorifying life even if lived in pain.36 It would seem that Augustus had not the same steady affection for him that he had for Agrippa; there was some estrangement in his later years, due, said Roman gossip, to an affair between the Princeps and Terentia, his beautiful wife who was many years younger than her husband; but there appears to have been a final reconciliation and Maecenas made Augustus his heir. He did invaluable service to the principate, service which only he could have performed, for he brought the men of letters, who had formerly been republican, to its side, and thereby made the fame of Augustus immortal. Messalla Corvinus had a small circle attached to him, which included Tibullus, but Maecenas in his house on  p184 the Esquiline had the chief salon in Rome, with Virgil, Horace and Propertius as its brightest stars. It was his task to feel to feel the pulse of public opinion and to advise the blunter intelligence of the Princeps, and not less to create opinion both for his day and for all time. Literature can give a notable handicap in the race for posthumous fame. In Britain it has taken a century for the reputation of Castlereagh to be cleared from the slanders of the poets.

Death of Horace A few weeks later Horace, as he had predicted long ago,37 followed his patron to the grave. He was in his fifty-seventh year, and had just finished his Ars Poetica. He was a plump little man with hair prematurely grizzled, and he had always been something of a valetudinarian. Towards Maecenas he felt a warm gratitude, and for that strange poseur he may also have had a temperate liking, but between him and Augustus there was a strong affection. Horace was a court poet, but no courtier; he was not afraid to laugh gently at Augustus's paternalism and his belief in making people virtuous by statute, and he cherished and gave constant expression to a kind of literary republicanism. There was never a more independent poet-laureate. The two men, indeed, had much in common, for both looked at life with a cool realism which was not allowed to become cynical; both loved the old ways of the land; both detested snobbery, luxury and ill‑bred display. There was a hard core in the mind of each and a pleasing, astringent dryness. To the poet, whom he would have made his private secretary, Augustus wrote in the undress style which a man keeps for his intimates. "Consider yourself a privileged guest in my house . . . you will be always sure of a welcome. . . . What a warm feeling I have for you, you can learn from Septimus among others, for the other day I was talking about you in his presence. You need not suppose because you are so grand as to reject my overtures that I mean to get on the same high horse and pay you back."38 Yet Horace's urbane and critical soul was fired by Augustus's aims, and he turned the dull things of policy into a poetic vision. In his odes, with their thunder of  p185 place-names, he makes vivid the territorial immensity of the empire. He paints with exquisite art the charm of the deep country and the lure of the simple life. He pays to the makers of empire a tribute which has ever since echoed in men's ears. This poet, whose works, like Virgil's, soon displaced in Roman schools the aridities of Livius Andronicus, made it his task to interpret the Augustan ideal to that educated middle class which was the true strength of Rome. Above all he stood by the Princeps in his cult of Apollo, the chosen god of the new humanism. His highest praise for Augustus is that he is Apollo's servant. It is Apollo, patron of enlightenment and peace, who is chiefly celebrated in the Carmen Saeculare, and at the dedication of Augustus's greatest building, the temple of Phoebus on the Palatine, Horace does not, like Propertius, gloat over the architectural magnificence, but asks from the god those gifts which Augustus was striving to bring to Rome:

What blessing shall the bard entreat

Of new‑shrined Phoebus as we pour

The wine‑cup? Not the mounds of wheat

On some Sardinian threshing floor;

Not Indian gold or ivory — no,

Not flocks that o'er Calabria stray,

Nor fields that Liris, still and slow,

Is eating, unperceived, away.

. . . . .

Oh grant me, Phoebus, calm content,

Strength unimpaired, a mind entire,

Old age without dishonour spent

Nor unbefriended by the lyre!39

IV

The death of Agrippa left Julia a widow. Once more the succession was unsettled, and Augustus set himself to buttress it. He had Agrippa's sons in mind as his ultimate heirs, but meantime he must find someone in Agrippa's place and provide for Julia. So he compelled  p186 Tiberius to divorce his wife Vipsania, Agrippa's daughter by a former marriage, and espouse Agrippa's widow. Tiberius was deeply attached to Vipsania, by whom he had a son, and he had little respect for Julia, whose manners had a levity which frightened him, and whose tastes were far other than his own. With bitter regret he complied with the Princeps's command, and ever after, when by chance he met Vipsania, it was noted that his eyes followed her longingly, and that he could not refrain from tears. Julia went with him to his Dalmatian campaign and bore him a child which died. When, after the death of Drusus, he went north to deal with the Sugambri and the German frontier, she remained in Rome and lived a life of her own.

In 7 B.C. Tiberius was in Rome, where he celebrated a triumph for his northern wars and entered upon his second consulship. He then returned to Germany for two years to complete the settlement of the frontier. So far his career had been one of steady advancement, and he had been on the best of terms with his step-father. Gaius and Lucius Augustus's view of the succession was that Tiberius should succeed to the position of Agrippa and be Princeps in the event of his premature death, while Gaius and Lucius should take the place of Marcellus, and ultimately perpetuate in the highest office the Julian descent. In 6 B.C. Tiberius was given tribunician power for five years. But it was not easy for a proud and ambitious man to accommodate himself to a situation where the heavy work would fall to him and the reward to others. Gaius and Lucius, the one now fourteen and the other eleven years of age, had had a dangerous upbringing. As the heirs-presumptive to the principate all men had flattered them, and it may be presumed that their mother was not the wisest guardian of youth, while their father Agrippa had been constantly abroad on his campaigns. Augustus had done his part by laying down a severe curriculum of studies and providing the best tutors, but he was too busy to give much personal attention to the matter. The consequence was that the boys were spoilt, and were growing up arrogant and headstrong. Already Tiberius found them a trial, and their pride was not abated by the  p187 honours which the Senate insisted on showering upon them. Gaius was elected consul, though Augustus would not permit him to accept the post, and both were allowed to become consuls-designate, the holding of office being postponed for five years. In 5 B.C., when Augustus entered on his twelfth consulship, Gaius assumed the garb of manhood, being introduced into public life by the Princeps himself; the Senate gave him the immediate right of attending its meetings; and the Roman knights hailed him as "princeps juventutis." The direct meaning of this title was that he was now chief of the future officers of the army, but the implication was that its holder was designated as the Princeps's successor.40 Three years later, in the thirteenth and last consulship of Augustus, the same honours and privileges were decreed to Lucius.

Tiberius found the position impossible. There was fresh trouble in the East, for Armenia was in process of revolt, and Augustus offered him the task of bringing it to order. He declined and, in spite of the entreaties of his mother, retired to Rhodes, where for the next seven years he gave himself up to astronomical studies. It was a strange incident in a life of vigorous action, and Rome speculated assiduously on the cause. Tiberius's own defence many years later was that, if he remained in Rome, not only would his military renown overshadow anything that the young princes might do, but that it would be hard for him to keep the peace with two vainglorious boys; and he quoted as a precedent Agrippa's retirement in 23 B.C. to avoid the appearance of rivalry with Marcellus.41 Such perhaps was the main motive for his exile, but another may be found in the growing unhappiness of his marriage. Julia had entered upon those indiscreet pleasures which, three years later, were to bring disaster.

The character of Tiberius is hard to assess, for there  p188 is a deep gulf between the marshal of Augustus and the tired and cynical man who was Augustus's successor. He was now not far from his fortieth year and in the prime of his bodily and mental powers. As a soldier he was just short of the first rank, respected but not loved by his troops, a master of detail and a stern devotee of duty. He was a true aristocrat, for he despised popularity and scorned to conciliate an opponent. The evidence shows that in his youth and early middle life he cultivated a republican austerity, and lived, on the whole, hard and temperately, though now and then he had a drinking bout. He was something of a scholar, too, for he knew Greek well, and wrote verses in that tongue, while he was always a keen antiquarian. But he had none of those graces which are implied in the word "blanditia." His manners were awkward and unconciliatory, and this was due not to shyness but to a deep spiritual pride. He had in the fullest degree the Claudian arrogance, which was apt in old age to degenerate into a kind of madness.42

In the absence of Tiberius, Augustus found his labours multiplied. With Agrippa and Maecenas dead, he had no colleague of his own calibre, and, with the exception of L. Domitius Ahenobarbus, the grandson of Julius's old enemy, and perhaps Quirinius, he had no marshal of conspicuous talent. It is an obscure period in the story of the principate, and it must have been a wretched time for the Princeps. He was ailing and weary, and he was growing old. Pater Patriae But he did not relax his labours, and early in 2 B.C. he was cheered by a proof of the gratitude of the people. The Senate voted him the title of "pater patriae," which of all the many honours he received he valued most.43 The resolution was moved by the old republican Messalla Corvinus, who had fought on the right wing at Philippi. "Good fortune and divine  p189 favour," he said, "attend thee and thy house, Caesar Augustus; for thus we feel that we are praying for enduring prosperity for our country and happiness for our city. The Senate and the People of Rome hail thee Father of thy Country." Augustus, with tears in his eyes, replied: "Conscript fathers, I have attained my highest hopes. What more have I to ask of the immortal gods than that I may retain this, your unanimous approval, to the last day of my life?"44 The title, with its old republican tradition, made of the empire a family over which he had the "patria potestas." It now became the fashion at banquets for the guests to drink his health with this formula, rising and declaiming, "Father of thy country, Caesar, the best of men."45

V

Herod of Judaea Looking round the world at this time one is struck by the absence of commanding figures. Augustus had a lonely pre‑eminence. There was no man in any part of the empire likely to challenge his authority, or in the lands beyond the frontier, though such an one was coming to maturity in the German forests. Nor, with a single exception, was there any protected prince who rose above mediocrity. The exception was Herod of Judaea, and his territory and his people were of all the client-kingdoms the most interesting to the Roman mind. Palestine, like Armenia, had high strategical importance in the defence of the eastern frontier against Parthia. The Jews, now scattered throughout the globe, were a perpetual conundrum to Rome, and Herod himself, in his extraordinary career, captured the Roman imagination. He had that touch of genius which makes a man incalculable.

 p190  There had been a Jewish colony in Rome since the days of the Gracchi, and now there were perhaps as many of the race there in proportion to the population as there are in America to‑day. Rome had been good to them, and had granted them exemption from any service inconsistent with their creed. Julius had given them privileges, and Augustus and Agrippa had been notably respectful to their faith. They had considerable underground influence, for their banking business played a large part in imperial finance. Of their religion the Romans had a very confused idea. Obviously their rites were very different from the common heady mysteries of the East. A few of the educated classes recognized the grandeur of their monotheism, and some were even converts, but to the ordinary man their creed was unintelligible. There were many stories about the great temple in Jerusalem, where some said the object of worship was a silver ass, and others a mysterious spirit that dwelt in an old box. In Rome they lived for the most part in the suburb beyond the Tiber, and, while tolerated and even respected, they were not loved.46

The ruler of the homeland of this odd people was Herod, a convert, who had been born in Idumea. The epithet of "Great" is not misapplied in his case, for he was a man of infinite audacity and resource. He had consistently taken the wrong side in the civil wars, and had always emerged the friend of the victor. He had been for Cassius against Antony, and for Antony against Octavian, and in each case had won power by his treasons. Having obtained by crime the wretched little domain of Judaea, he made of it a considerable kingdom. He professed Judaism but he was no true Jew, and he repeatedly outraged the sanctities of that faith. His aim was to combine Judaism with Hellenism, and to have behind him the strong arm of Rome. Augustus appreciated and supported his purpose, for he wanted someone to control the turbulent populace of Jerusalem and to be a barrier against Parthia.

Herod attempted to ride two horses and failed with  p191 both. He did succeed in making Judaea the most important of the client-kingdoms, but he won the undying hatred of all orthodox Jews, especially the aristocracy, and he failed to hellenize his land beyond the surface. On the one side he sacrificed to Jupiter Capitolinus: turned Samaria into Sebaste, and created the great port of Caesarea, both in honour of Augustus; made of the High Priesthood a family benefice; filled his court with Greek-trained Jews, like Nicolaus of Damascus; established theatres and games on the Roman model even in Jerusalem; made his subjects swear by the name of the Princeps, and sacrificed daily in his honour. About 18 B.C. he paid a state visit to Rome. At the same time he professed himself a devout Jew, pled the cause of the Jews in Asia Minor before the Princeps, and began on a magnificent scale the rebuilding of the Temple at Jerusalem. About 8 B.C. he fell out of favour with Augustus, who said bitterly that he would rather be Herod's pig than his son.47 After that, till he died in 4 B.C., a sense of failure sharpened his passion for cruelty. He broke every law of Jewry, put his sons to death, massacred the Pharisees, and descended to the grave in an orgy of blood. It is probable that he had become mad. The way was prepared for the end of the client-kingdom, the transformation of Judaea into an ordinary Roman province, and the exacerbation of Jewish feeling which ended in the destruction of Jerusalem.

In 7 B.C. Quirinius, the governor of Syria, who had just completed a successful campaign against the brigands of the Taurus, decreed a census of this distracted little land, that census which, for taxation purposes, was held every fifteen years. All Jews had to attend at the centre of their tribe. A certain Joseph — a carpenter from Nazareth in the pleasant country of Galilee — was compelled to journey south in the winter weather to Bethlehem in the Judaean uplands, the city of David, for he was of the tribe of David. With him went Mary, his betrothed. There at Bethlehem, in a hovel where the  p192 stars shone through the thatch, a son was born. The name given to the child was Jesus.48


The Author's Notes:

1 For the constitutional significance of this view see Momms. Staatsr., I.135; its originator was Julius, in his use of "legati."

2 Dio Chrysostom, in addressing Trajan, speaks of "Socrates, an old and poor Athenian of whom you may have heard." Or. III.1.

Thayer's Note: The reader will notice that in the Loeb edition linked above, we have a much flatter translation. But while it is possible, the Greek — "Σωκράτης Ἀθήνησι, πρεσβύτης ἀνὴρ καὶ πένης, ὃν καὶ σὺ γιγνώσκεις ἀκοῇ" — in fact probably warrants an even stronger rendering: "Socrates, an old and poor Athenian, of whom even you may have heard."

3 e.g., Virg. Aen. VII.604‑6; Hor. Ep. I.1218; Od. IV.15; Propertius III.10, IV.4, 5, 12,º V.6;º Ovid Fast. V.567‑94.

Thayer's Note: I've been unable to fix the Propertius citations. There is no Book V; there is no IV.12. If you can fix them, please drop me a line, of course.

4 See Mon. Anc. V.40‑3, "Parthos trium exercituum Romanorum spolia et signa reddere mihi supplicesque amicitiam populi Romani petere coegi."

5 Found in 1896 at Sousse in Tunisia. See Mackail's ed. of the Aeneid (1930), xlvii.

6 An example is in Book VIII of the Aeneid, the description of the shield of Aeneas, in which a beautiful simile is drawn from the Italian peasant mother who has to rise before dawn.

7 LIV.10.

8 As in 29 B.C. See p138 supra.º

9 See the passage in Mon. Anc. I.37‑9.

10 Suetonius (Vit. Hor.) says that he tried to get Horace as private secretary, but that the poet refused.

11 Ferrero, V.81.

12 "Caesar Augustus, son of a god, who shall establish the age of gold in Latium over fields that once were Saturn's realm." Aen. VI.792‑4.

13 For the calculations see Zosimus II.6; Censorinus, de die natali, XVII.10; Nilsson in Pauly-Wissowa, 1696 sqq.

14 See on this point C. Pascal, "Il culto di Apollo in Roma nel secolo di Augusto" in Bull. del. C. A. (1894), XXII.52‑88.

15 The evidence for the Ludi Saeculares is largely epigraphical and will be found in C. I. L. and Dessau. An inscription discovered in the bed of the Tiber in 1891 gives us the official programme, ending with the words, "Carmen composuit Q. Horatius Flaccus." C. I. L. VI.32323. See also J. Gagé, Recherches sur les Jeux séculaires (Paris, 1934).

16 For popular discontent in Gaul, cf. Tac. Ann. III.40; Hist. IV.74.

17 This, and not a poll‑tax, seems to be the true meaning of "tributum capitis."

18 See on this point Rice Holmes, II.59‑60; Arnold, Studies of Roman Imperialism, 88.

19 Jullian, Hist. de la GauleIV, has a full study of this subject.

20 Pliny N. H. VII.45.

21 Dio LIV.29.

22 Agrippa went out of his way to conciliate the Jews, and was very popular among them. One of their synagogues in Rome bore his name. Cf. Josephus, Ant. XVI.2; C. I. G. 9907.

23 It is impossible from the ancient authorities to be certain as to the exact order of the events of 11‑9 B.C.

24 "insita Claudiorum superbia."

25 Od. IV.5.

26 "In the Ara Pacis the child makes a triumphant entry into art, and attains a position there from which he has never been dislodged. He is no longer the diminutive man or woman of Greek art, nor are his charms and grace those of the conventional Hellenistic putti, but real childhood in its infinite variety is pictured here." E. Strong, Art in Anc. Rome, I.155.

27 C. A. H. X.548; cf. Vol. of Plates, IV.112 sqq., and Colini in Enc. Italiana, s.v. "Ara Pacis."

28 C. I. L. V.7817; Pliny N. H. III.136.

29 There is no evidence that apart from army and navy reorganization, and probably the Roman city police, Agrippa contributed much to the main structure.

30 Pliny N. H. III.17. It was finished by Augustus.

31 "vir rusticitati proprior quam deliciis." Ibid., XXXV.26.

32 LIV.29 ἄριστος τῶν καθ’  ἑαυτὸν ἀνθρώπων διαφανῶς γενόμενος . . .

33 "The Dependence of a great Man upon a greater is a Subjection that lower Men cannot easily comprehend." Lord Halifax, Thoughts and Reflections.

34 Cf. Vell. II.88; Juv. I.66, XII.39; Seneca, Ep. 114.

35 Suet. Div. Aug. 86.

36 Seneca, Ep. 101.

37 Od. II.17.

38 Suet. Vit. Hor.

39 Od. I.31 (Conington's translation).

40 The Pisan cenotaph (Dessau, 140) speaks of Gaius at his death as "jam designatus justissimus ac simillumus parentis sui virtutibus princeps." The title had republican associations, and is used by Cicero, ad Fam. III.11.

41 Vell. II.99; Suet. Tib. 10.

42 Suet. Tib. 68; Pliny N. H. XXVIII.2; Tac. Ann. I.4. Tacitus, Suetonius and Dio have drawn a dark picture of the vices of Tiberius, but the first-century writers, like Philo and Velleius, give a different account, and Seneca, Pliny, Josephus, Plutarch and even Juvenal, are silent on the subject.

43 Mon. Anc. VI.24‑7.

44 Suet. Div. Aug. 58.

45 Ovid Fast. II.637‑8. The title had been long in unofficial use (Dio LV.10; Dessau, 96, 101); both Cicero and Julius had received it, the former informally; Horace anticipated it — "Hic ames dici Pater atque Princeps." Od. I.2.

46 Tacitus's kindest epithets are "genus invisum diis" — "instituta sinistra" — "deterrima gens" — "despectatissima pars servientium."

47 The pig was, of course, anathema to the Jew. The point of the saying is the use of the Greek words ὗς and υἱός.

48 Luke ii.2. Tertullian makes Saturninus the governor of Syria (adv. Marc., IV.19), but see Sir W. Ramsay in Expositor, Nov., 1912, and J. R. S. VII.273; cf. also Lewin, Fasti Sacri, XXIII sqq. and Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible, s.v. "Chronology." The likeliest date for the Nativity seems to be 7 B.C.


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