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Book XXI

This webpage reproduces part of
Roman History

Cassius Dio

published in Vol. II
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1914

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
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Cassius Dio
Roman History

Thayer's Note: Before e-mailing me with questions, comments, or corrections involving the numbering of Books, chapters, and sections in this text, please read the orientation page.

Fragments of Books XXII thru XXIX

 p409  Book XXII

73 1 Viriathus was a Lusitanian, of very obscure origin, as some think, who gained great renown through his deeds, since from a shepherd he became a robber and later on also a general. He was naturally adapted and had also trained himself to be very swift both in pursuit and in flight, and of powerful endurance in a hand-to‑hand conflict. 2 He was glad enough to get any food that came to hand and whatever drink fell to his lot; most of his life he lived under the open sky and was satisfied with nature's bedding. Consequently he was superior to any heat or cold, and was never either troubled by hunger nor annoyed by any other privation; for he found full satisfaction for all his needs in whatever he had at hand, as if it were the very best. 3 And yet, possessed of such a physique, as the result both of nature and training, he excelled still more in his mental powers. He was swift to plan and accomplish whatever was needful, for he not only knew what must be done, but also understood the proper occasion for it; and he was equally clever at  p411 feigning ignorance of the most obvious facts and knowledge of the most hidden secrets. 4 Furthermore, he was not only general but his own assistant as well in every undertaking, and was seen to be neither humble nor overbearing; indeed, in him obscurity of family and reputation for strength were so combined that he seemed to be neither inferior nor superior to any one. And, in fine, he carried on the war not for the sake of personal gain or power nor through anger, but for the sake of warlike deeds in themselves; hence he was accounted at once a lover of war and a master of war.

74 1 Claudius, the colleague of Metellus, impelled by pride of birth and jealousy of Metellus, since he had chanced to draw Italy as his province, where no enemy was assigned to him, was eager to secure by any means some pretext for a triumph; hence he set the Salassi, a Gallic tribe, at war with the Romans, although no complaints were being made against them. For he had been sent to reconcile them with their neighbours who were quarrelling with them about the water necessary for the gold mines, and he overran their entire country . . . the Romans sent him two of the ten priests.

2 Claudius, even though he realised perfectly well that he had won no victory, nevertheless even then  p413 displayed such arrogance as not to say a word in either the senate or the assembly about the triumph; but acting as if it belonged to him in any case, even if no one should vote to that effect, he asked for the necessary funds.

76 1 As regards their characters, Mummius and Africanus were utterly different from each other in every respect. The latter performed his official duties as censor with the strictest integrity and with impartiality, not esteeming one person above another; indeed, he called to account many of the senators and many of the knights, as well as other individuals. Mummius, on the other hand, was more popular in his sympathies and more charitable; he not only attached no stigma himself to any one, but he even undid many of the acts of Africanus, whenever it was possible. 2 In fact, he was of such an amiable nature that he even lent some statues to Lucullus for the consecration of the temple of Felicitas (which he had built from the booty gained in the Spanish war), and then, when that general was unwilling to return them on the ground that they had become sacred as a result of the dedication, he showed no anger, but permitted his own spoils to lie there offered up in the other's name.

77 1 Pompeius also received many setbacks and incurred great disgrace. There was a river flowing through the country of the Numantines that he wished to  p415 turn aside from its ancient channel and let in upon their fields, and after tremendous exertions he accomplished this; but he lost many soldiers, and no advantage from turning it aside came to the Romans, nor yet any harm to enemy . . .

78 1 Caepio accomplished nothing worthy of mention against the foe, but visited many injuries upon his own men, so that he even came near being killed by them. For he treated them all, and especially the cavalry, with such harshness and cruelty that a great number of unseemly jokes and stories were told about him during the nights; and the more he grew vexed at it, the more they jested in the endeavour to infuriate him. 2 When it became known what was going on and no one could be found guilty, — though he suspected it was the doing of the cavalry, — since he could not fix the responsibility upon anybody, he turned his anger against them all, and he commanded them, six hundred in number, to cross the river beside which they were encamped, accompanied only by their grooms, and to bring wood from the mountain on which Viriathus was bivouacking. The danger was manifest to all, and the tribunes and lieutenants begged him not to destroy them. 3 The cavalry waited for a little while, thinking he might listen to the others, and when he would not yield, they scorned to entreat him, as he was most eager for them to do, but choosing rather to perish utterly than to speak a respectful word to him, they  p417 set out on the appointed mission. And the horsemen of the allies and other volunteers accompanied them. They crossed the river, cut the wood, and piled it in all around the general's quarters, intending to burn him to death. And he would have perished in the flames, if he had fled away in time.

75 1 Popilius so terrified Viriathus that the latter immediately sent to him in regard to peace before they had made any trial of battle at all, killed some of the leaders of the rebels whose surrender had been demanded by the Romans (among these his son-in‑law, though commanding his own force, was slain) and delivered up the rest, all of whom had their hands cut off by the consul's order. And he would have agreed to a complete truce, if their weapons had not also been demanded; with this condition neither he nor the rest of the soldiers would comply.

 p419  Book XXIII

79 1 The Romans received the Numantine ambassadors, on their arrival, outside the walls, in order that their reception might not seem to imply a ratification of the truce. However, they sent gifts of friendship notwithstanding, since they did not wish to deprive them as yet of the hope of coming to terms. The associates of Mancinus told of the necessity of the compact made and the number of the saved, and stated that they still held all their former possessions in Spain; and they besought their countrymen to look at the matter not in the light of their present immunity, but with reference to the danger that had at the time encompassed the soldiers, and to consider what ought to have been done, but what had been possible. 3 The Numantines, for their part, had much to say about their previous good-will toward the Romans and much also about the subsequent injustice of the latter, by reason of which they had been forced into war, and about the perjury of Pompeius; and they asked for kindly treatment in return for the preservation of Mancinus and the rest. But the Romans terminated the truce and also decided that Mancinus should be given up to the Numantines.

 p421  81 1 Claudius by reason of his harshness would have done many outrageous deeds, had he not been restrained by his colleague Quintus.​1 For the latter, who was amiable and possessed exactly the opposite temperament, did not oppose him with anger in any matter, but in fact occasionally yielded to him, and by gentle behaviour so managed him that he found very few opportunities for irritation.

82 1 Furtius took out among his lieutenant both Pompeius and Metellus, though they were hostile both to him and to each other; for, expecting to achieve some great success, he wished to have in them sure witnesses to his deeds and to receive the evidence of his prowess from their unwilling lips.

 p423  Book XXIV

83 1 Tiberius Gracchus caused an upheaval of the Roman state notwithstanding the fact that he belonged to one of the foremost families through his grandfather, Africanus, that he possessed a natural endowment worthy of the latter, had received a most thorough course of education, and had a proud spirit. For in direct proportion to the number and magnitude of the advantages he possessed was the allurement they offered him to follow his ambition; and when once he had turned aside from what was best, he drifted, quite in spite of himself, into what was worst. 2 It began with his being refused a triumph over the Numantines;​2 he had previously been hoping to be honoured inasmuch as he had conducted the negotiations, but so far from obtaining any such reward, he actually came near being delivered up. Then he decided that deeds were estimated not on the basis of worth or genuineness, but according to mere chance. 3 So he abandoned this road to fame as  p425 unsafe, and since he desired by all means to become a leader in some way, and believed that he could accomplish this better with the aid of the populace than with that of the senate, he attached himself to the former.

4 Marcus Octavius, because of a family feud with Gracchus, willingly became his opponent. Thereafter there was no semblance of moderation; but zealously vying, as they did, each to prevail over the other rather than to benefit the state, they committed many acts of violence more appropriate in a despotism than in a democracy, and suffered many unusual calamities appropriate to war rather than to peace. 5 For in addition to their individual conflicts there were many who banded together and indulged in bitter abuse and conflicts, not only throughout the city generally, but even in the very senate-house and the popular assembly. They made the proposed3 law their pretext, but were in reality putting forth every effort in all directions not to be surpassed by each. 6 The result was that none of the usual business was carried on in an orderly way: the magistrates could not perform their accustomed duties, courts came to a stop, no contract was entered into, and other sorts of confusion and disorder were rife everywhere. The place bore the name of city, but was no whit different from a camp.

 p427  7 Gracchus was proposing certain laws for the benefit of those of the populace serving in the army, and was transferring the courts from the senate to the knights, disturbing and overturning all established customs in order that he might be enabled to lay hold on safety in some wise. 8 And when not even this proved of advantage to him, but his term of office was drawing to a close, when he would be immediately exposed to the attacks of his enemies, he attempted to secure the tribune­ship for the following year also, in company with his brother, and to appoint his father-in‑law consul; and to obtain this end he did not hesitate to make any statement or promise anything whatsoever to people. Often, too, he put on mourning and brought his mother and children into the presence of the populace to join their entreaties to his.

84 1 Scipio Africanus indulged his ambition more than was fitting or compatible with his general excellence. Consequently​4 none of his rivals took pleasure in his death, but, although they thought him a great obstacle in this way, even they felt his loss. For they saw that he was valuable to the state and they never expected that he would cause any serious trouble even to them. 2 But after he was out of the way the whole power of the nobles was again diminished, so that the land commissioners ravaged at will practically all of Italy. And this in particular  p429 seems to me to have been the meaning of the mass of stones that had poured down from heaven, falling upon some of the temples and killing men, and of the tears of Apollo. For the god had wept for three days, so that the Romans on the advice of the soothsayers voted to hew the statue in pieces and to sink it in the sea.

 p431  Book XXV

85 1 Gracchus had the same principles as his brother; only the latter had drifted from excellence into ambition and thence into baseness, whereas this man was naturally turbulent and played the rogue voluntarily; and he far surpassed the other in his gift of language. For these reasons his designs were more mischievous, his daring more spontaneous, and his arrogance greater toward all alike. 2 He was the first to walk up and down in the assemblies while delivering a speech and the first to bare his arm; hence neither of these practices has been thought improper since his time. And because his speaking was generally characterised by great condensation of thought and vigour of language and he consequently was unable to restrain himself easily, but was often led to say more than he wished, he used to bring in a flute-player, and from him, as he played an accompaniment, he would gain moderation and self-control; or, if even then he managed to get out of bounds, he would stop. 3 This was the sort of man  p433 who attacked the constitution, and, by assuming no speech or act to be forbidden, in very brief time gained the greatest influence with the populace and the knights. All the nobility and the senatorial party, if he had lived longer, would have been overthrown, but, as it was, his great power caused him to be hated even by his followers, and he was overthrown by his own methods.

 p435  Book XXVI

87 1 The priestesses bore the chief punishment and shame themselves, but they proved the source of great evils to various others as well, while the entire city was agitated on their account. For the people, considering that what was immaculate by law and sacred by religion and decent through fear of punishment had been polluted, were ready to believe that anything most shameful and unholy might be done. 2 For this reason they visited punishment, not only on the convicted, but also on all the rest who had been accused, to show their hatred of what had occurred. Hence the whole affair in which the women were concerned seemed now to have been due not so much to feminine incontinence as to the wrath of some god.

3 Three had known men at the same time. Of these Marcia had acted by herself, granting her favours to one single knight, and would never have been discovered, had not the investigation into the cases of the others extended and involved her also; Aemilia and Licinia, on the other hand, had a multitude of  p437 lovers and carried on their wanton behaviour with each other's help. At first they surrendered themselves to some few privately and secretly, telling each man that he was the only one favoured. 4 Later they themselves bound every one who could suspect and inform against them to certain silence in advance by the price of intercourse with them, and those who had previously enjoyed their favours, though they saw this, yet had to put up with it in order not to be detected through a display of their vexation. So besides holding commerce with various others, now singly, now in groups, sometimes privately, sometimes all together, Licinia enjoyed the society of the brother of Aemilia, and Aemilia that of Licinia's brother. 5 These doings were hidden for a very long time, and though many men and many women, both freemen and slaves, were in the secret, it was kept concealed for a very long period, until one Manius, who seems to have been the first to assist and coöperate in the whole evil, gave information of the matter, because he had not obtained freedom nor any of the other objects of his hope. And since he was very skilful not only at leading women into prostitution, but also in sowing slander and discord among them, . . .

88 1 This was calculated to bring him [Marcus Drusus] glory, first of itself, and secondly in the light of Cato's disaster;​5 and because he also had shown great  p439 leniency toward the soldiers and seemed to have made success of more importance than the truth, he likewise secured a renown greater than his deeds deserved.

89 1 When Jugurtha sent to Metellus in regard to peace, the latter made many demands upon him, one by one, as if each were to be the last, and in this way got from him hostages, arms, the elephants, the captives, and the deserters. All of these last he killed; but he did not conclude peace, since Jugurtha, fearing to be arrested, refused to come to him and since Marius and Gnaeus​6 stood in the way.

2 For he [Marius] was in general seditious and turbulent, friendly to all the rabble, from which he had sprung, and ready to overthrow all the nobility. He ventured with perfect readiness any statement, promise, lie, or false oath wherever he hoped to profit by it. Blackmailing one of the best citizens or commending the veriest rascal he thought mere child's play. And let no one be surprised that such a man could conceal his villainies for so long a time; for, as a result of his exceeding cleverness and the good fortune which he uniformly enjoyed in the fullest measure, he actually acquired a reputation for virtue.

 p441  3 Marius was the more easily able to calumniate Metellus for the reason that the latter belonged to the patricians and was conducting the war in excellent fashion, whereas he himself was just beginning to come forward from a very obscure and humble origin into public notice. The multitude was of course readily inclined to overthrow Metellus through envy, and to advance Marius for his promises; but they were particularly influenced by the report that Metellus had said to Marius, when the latter was asking for his discharge on account of the elections: "You ought to be satisfied if you get to be consul along with my son." Now this son was a mere lad.

4 Gauda was angry at Metellus because in spite of his requests he had received from him neither the deserters nor a garrison of Roman soldiers, or else because he could not sit near him — a privilege ordinarily accorded by the consuls to kings and potentates.

5 After Cirta had capitulated, Bocchus made overtures to Marius; and first he demanded the empire of Jugurtha as the price of his defection, but later, failing to obtain this, simply asked for a truce. So he sent envoys to Rome; but Jugurtha, while  p443 this was taking place, retired to the most desolate portions of his own territory.

6 Marius received the envoys of Bocchus, but said he would make no compact with him unless he should receive Jugurtha as a prisoner at his hands; and this was actually brought about.

 p445  Book XXVII

90 1 Tolosa, which had formerly been in alliance with the Romans, but had revolted, as a result of the hopes placed in the Cimbri, even to the point of keeping the garrison in chains, was suddenly occupied at night by the Romans, after they had been admitted by their friends. They plundered the temples and obtained much money besides; for the place was wealthy from of old, containing among other things the offering of which the Gauls under the leader­ship of Brennus had once despoiled Delphi. No treasure of importance, however, reached the Romans at home, but the soldiers themselves appropriated the most of it; and for this a number were called to account.

91 1 Servilius became the cause of many evils to the army by reason of his jealousy of his colleague; for, though he had in general equal authority, his rank was naturally diminished by the fact that the other was consul. After the death of Scaurus, Mallius had sent for Servilius; but the latter replied that each of  p447 them ought to guard his own province. 2 Then, suspecting that Mallius might gain some success by himself, he grew jealous of him, fearing that he might secure the glory alone, and went to him; yet he neither encamped in the same place nor entered into any common plan, but took up a position between Mallius and the Cimbri, with the evident intention of being the first to join battle and so of winning all the glory of the war. 3 Even thus they inspired their enemies with dread at the outset, as long as their quarrel was concealed, to such an extent that they were brought to desire peace; but when the Cimbri made overtures to Mallius, as consul, Servilius became indignant that they had not directed their embassy to him, gave them no conciliatory reply, and actually came near slaying the envoys.

4 The soldiers forced Servilius to go to Mallius and consult with him about the situation. But far from reaching an accord, they became as a result of the meeting even more hostile than before; for they fell into strife and abuse, and parted in a disgraceful fashion.

92 1 After Gnaeus Domitius had brought suit against Scaurus, one of the latter's slaves approached him and offered to give much damaging evidence against his  p449 master; but Domitius did not investigate the matter, and moreover arrested the fellow and handed him over to Scaurus.

93 1 Publius Licinius Nerva, who was praetor in the island, on learning that the slaves were not being justly treated in some respects, or else because he sought an occasion for profit, — for he was not inaccessible to bribes, — sent round a notice that all who had any charges to bring against their masters should come to him and he would assist them. 2 Accordingly, many of them banded together, and some declared they were being wronged and others made known other grievances against their masters, thinking they had secured an opportunity for accomplishing all that they wished against them without bloodshed. The freemen, after consultation, resisted them and would not make any concessions. 3 Therefore Licinius, inspired with fear by the united front of both sides and dreading that some great mischief might be done by the defeated party, would not receive any of the slaves, but sent them away, thinking that they would suffer no harm or that at any rate they would be scattered and so could cause no further disturbance. But the slaves, fearing their masters because they had dared to raise their voices at all against them, organized a band and by common consent turned to robbery.

94 1 After the defeat of the barbarians, though many  p451 had fallen in battle, some few were saved. Whereupon Marius, by way of encouraging and rewarding these [the soldiers], sold all the plunder to them at a nominal price, to prevent its being thought that he had bestowed favours outright upon any one. By this act Marius, who previously had enjoyed the favour of the populace alone, because sprung from that class and raised to power by it, now won over even the nobles by whom he had been hated, so that he was praised by all alike. He received from a willing and harmonious people a reëlection for the following year, to enable him to complete his conquests.

2 The Cimbri, when once they had halted, lost much of their spirit and consequently became enfeebled and sluggish in both mind and body. The reason was that in place of their former outdoor life they lodged in houses, and instead of their former cold plunges they used warm baths; whereas they had been wont to eat raw meat, they now gorged themselves with richly spiced dishes and relishes of the country, and they steeped themselves, contrary to their custom, in wine and strong drink. These practices extinguished all their fiery spirit and enervated their bodies, so that they could no longer bear toils or hardships, whether heat or cold or loss of sleep.

93 4 The people of Messana, not expecting to meet with any harm, had deposited in that place for safe-keeping all their most valuable and precious possessions. Athenio, a Cilician who held the chief  p453 command of the robbers, on learning this, attacked them while they were celebrating a public festival in the suburbs, killed many of them as they were scattering about, and almost took the city by storm. After building a wall to fortify Macella, a strong position, he proceeded to do great injury to the country.

 p455  Book XXVIII

95 1 The son of Metellus besought everybody to such an extent both in private and in public to let his father return from exile that he received the cognomen Pius, i.e. Dutiful.

2 Furius cherished such enmity against Metellus because the latter when censor had taken his horse away.

3 Publius Furius, under indictment for the acts he had performed while tribune, was slain by the Romans in the very assembly. He richly deserved to die, to be sure, for he was a seditious person, who after first joining Saturninus and Glaucia had veered about, deserted to the opposing faction, and joined them in attacking his former associates; yet it was not proper for him to perish in just this way. This deed, then, seemed to have a certain justification . . . .

97 1 Rutilius, an upright man, they most unjustly condemned;  p457 for he was brought into court by a preconcerted plan of the knights on the charge of having received bribes while serving in Asia as lieutenant under Quintus Mucius, and was fined by them. They did this in their anger because he had ended many of their irregularities in connection with the collecting of taxes.

2 Rutilius made a very noble defence, saying everything which an upright man would natural say who was being blackmailed and who grieved far more for the condition of the state than for his own fortunes; he was convicted, however, and immediately stripped of his property. This process more than anything else revealed the fact that he had in no wise deserved the sentence passed upon him. For he was found to possess much less than his accusers had charged him with having appropriated from Asia, and he could trace all that he had back to just and lawful sources of acquisition. 3 Such was his unworthy treatment, and Marius was not without a hand in his conviction; for a man so excellent and of such good repute had been an annoyance to him. Therefore Rutilius, indignant at the conduct of affairs in the city, and disdaining to live longer in the company of such a creature, withdrew, though under no compulsion, and actually went back to Asia. There for a time he dwelt in Mytilene; 4 then, after that place had  p459 suffered injury in the Mithridatic war, he removed to Smyrna and there lived to the end of his life without any desire to return home. And yet in all this he suffered not a whit either in reputation or wealth. For he received many gifts from Mucius and a vast number from all the peoples and kings as well who had ever had dealings with him, until he possessed far more than his original wealth.

96 1 There were other factional leaders, but the greatest influence was possessed by Marcus​7 in the one group, and by Quintus​8 in the other; these men were eager for power, insatiate in their ambition, and consequently very prone to strife. 2 These qualities they possessed in common; but Drusus had the advantage of birth, and also of wealth, which he lavishly expended upon those who at any time made demands upon him, while the other greatly surpassed him in audacity and daring, and by the timeliness of his plots, as well as his malignity in carrying them out. It was not strange, therefore, since they balanced each other in a way, partly by their likenesses and partly by their differences, that they brought the discord to such a high pitch that it continued even after the death of both.

3 Drusus and Caepio, formerly great friends and united by mutual ties of marriage, became personal  p461 enemies of each other and carried their feud even into politics.

4 Dio, Book XXVIII. "And plotting against the consuls."9

5 Dio, Book XXVIII. "Not only did he fail to convince any, in spite of the fact that he spoke the truth in part."

 p463  Book XXIX

98 1 Lupus, suspecting that the patricians making the campaign with him were revealing his plans to the enemy, sent word about them to the senate before he had any definite information, and in consequence, inasmuch as they were not well disposed toward each other to begin with, because of their strife, he set them still more at variance. And the disturbance would have been even more serious, had not some of the Marsians been detected mingling with the foraging parties of the Romans and entering the ramparts under the guise of allies, where they took note of what was said and done in the camp and reported it to their own men. Accordingly they ceased to be angry with the patricians.

2 Marius suspected Lupus,​10 although a relative, and through jealousy and the hope of being appointed consul for even the seventh time, as the only man who could bring success out of the existing situation, bade him delay; their men, he said, would have  p465 provisions even though they delayed, whereas the other side would not be able to hold out for any considerable time, since the war was in their country.

3 The Picentes overcame those who had not joined their rebellion and abused them in the sight of their friends, while from the heads of their wives they tore out the hair along with the skin.

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 Ap. Claudius Pulcher and Q. Fulvius Nobilior were censors in B.C. 136.

2 The excerptor is here guilty of carelessness, as the word πρυτανεύσας shows. This word is used of "obtaining" a truce or peace on behalf of another, and has no connection with a triumph. In place of "triumph" we should probably read therefore "treaty": "It began with the rejection of his treaty with the Numantines." Dio doubtless mentioned a triumph in connection with the honours expected.

3 The law proposed by Gracchus.

4 Apparently this particle refers back to some eulogistic remark about Scipio omitted by the excerptor.

5 In his campaign against the Scordisci, a Thracian tribe, in B.C. 114.

6 Perhaps an error for Gauda.

7 M. Livius Drusus.

8 Q. Servilius Caepio.

9 Said of M. Livius Drusus, on trial before the senate.

10 There is a deep-seated error here, due no doubt to the excerptor's carelessness. According to Orosius (5.18.11), it was Lupus, the consul, who was suspicious of the motives of his lieutenant Marius in advising him to postpone a conflict.

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