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This webpage reproduces a Book of
Roman History

Cassius Dio

published in Vol. VI
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1917

The text is in the public domain.

This text has not yet been proofread.
If you find a mistake though,
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Book LV

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.

Vol. VI
Book LIV

The following is contained in the Fifty-fourth of Dio's Rome:—
1. How road commissioners were appointed from among the ex-praetors (chap. 8).
2. How grain commissioners were appointed from among the ex-praetors (chaps. 1 and 17).
3. How Noricum was captured (chap. 20).
4. How Rhaetia was captured (chap. 22).
5. How the Maritime Alps began to yield obedience to the Romans (chap. 24).
6. How the theatre of Balbus was dedicated (chap. 25).
7. How the theatre of Marcellus was dedicated (chap. 26).
8. How Agrippa died and Augustus acquired the Chersonese (chaps. 28, 29).
9. How the Augustalia were instituted (chap. 34).

Duration of time, thirteen years, in which there were the following magistrates (consuls) here enumerated:—

M. Claudius M. F. Marcellus Aeserninus, L. Arruntius L. F.
M. Lollius M. F., Q. Aemilius M. F. Lepidus.
M. Apuleius Sex. F., P. Silius P. F. Nerva.
C. Sentius C. F. Saturninus, Q. Lucretius Q. F. Vispillo.
Cn. Cornelius L. F., P. Cornelius P. F. Lentulus Marcellinus.
C. Furnius C. F., C. Iunius C. F. Silanus.
L. Domitius Cn. F. Cn. N. Ahenobarbus, P. Cornelius P. F. P. N. Scipio.
M. Livius L. F. Drusus Libo, L. Calpurnius L. F. Piso Frugi.
M. Licinius M. F. Crassus, Cn. Cornelius Cn. F. Lentulus.
Tib. Claudius Tib. F. Nero, P. Quintilius Sex. F. Varus.
M. Valerius M. F. Messalla Barbatus, P. Sulpicius P. F. Quirinus.
Paulus Fabius Q. F. Maximus, Q. Aelius Q. F. Tubero.
Iullus Antonius M. F., Africanus Q. Fabius Q. F.

1 1 The following year, in which Marcus Marcellus and Lucius Arruntius were consuls, the city was again submerged by the overflowing of the river, and many objects were struck by thunderbolts, especially the statues in the Pantheon, so that the spear even fell from the hand of Augustus. 2 The pestilence raged throughout all Italy so that no one tilled the land, and I suppose that the same was the case in foreign parts. The Romans, therefore, reduced to dire straits by the disease and by the consequent famine, believed that these woes had come upon them for no other reason than that they did not have Augustus for consul at this time also. 3 They accordingly wished to elect him dictator, and  p285 shutting the senators up in their meeting-place, they forced them to vote this measure by threatening to burn down the building over their heads. Next they took the twenty-four rods and approached Augustus, begging him to consent both to being named dictator and to becoming commissioner of the grain supply, as Pompey had once done. 4 He accepted the latter duty under compulsion, and ordered that two men should be chosen annually, from among those who had served as praetors not less than five years previously in every case, to attend to the distribution of the grain. As for the dictator­ship, however, he did not accept the office, but went so far as to rend his garments when he found himself unable to restrain the people in any other way, either by argument or by entreaty; 5 for, since he was superior to the dictators in the power and honour he already possessed, he properly guarded against the jealousy and hatred which the title would arouse. 2 1 He took the same course also when they wished to elect him censor for life; for, declining to take the office himself, he immediately appointed others to be censors, namely Paulus Aemilius Lepidus and Lucius Munatius Plancus, the latter a brother of that Plancus who had been proscribed, and the former a man who had himself been condemned to die at that same time. 2 These were the last two private citizens to hold the censor­ship together, which was no doubt the meaning of the sign given to them; for the platform, on which they were to perform one of the functions devolving upon them,  p287 collapsed as they ascended it on the first day of their holding the office, and was shattered in pieces, and after that no others of the same rank as these became censors together. 3 Even at this time, in spite of their having been chosen to the position, Augustus performed many of the duties belonging to their office. Of the public banquets, he abolished some altogether and limited the extravagance of others. He committed the charge of all the festivals to the praetors, commanding that an appropriation should be given them from the public treasury, 4 and also forbidding any one of them to spend more than another from his own means on these festivals, or to give a gladiatorial combat unless the senate decreed it, or, in fact, oftener than twice in each year or with more than one hundred and twenty men. To the curule aediles he entrusted the putting out of fires, for which purpose he granted them six hundred slaves as assistants. 5 And since knights and women of rank had given exhibitions on the stage even then, he forbade not only the sons of senators, who had even before this been excluded, but also their grandsons, so far, at least, as these belonged to the equestrian order, to do anything of the sort again.

3 1 Although in these measures he showed himself, in form as well as in name, both law-giver and arbitrary ruler, in his behaviour generally he was moderate, to such a degree, in fact, that he even stood by some of his friends when their official conduct was under investigation. 2 And when a certain Marcus Primus was accused of having made war upon the Odrysae while he was governor of Macedonia, and declared at  p289 one moment that he had done it with the approval of Augustus and at another with that of Marcellus, Augustus came of his own accord to the court-room; and upon being asked by the praetor whether he had instructed the man to make war, he denied it. 3 And when the advocate of Primus, Licinius Murena, in the course of some rather disrespect­ful remarks that he made to him, enquired: "What are you doing here, and who summoned you?" Augustus merely replied: "The public weal." For this he received praise from the people of good sense and was even given the right to convene the senate as often as he pleased; but some of the others despised him. 4 At all events, not a few voted for the acquittal of Primus, and others formed a plot against Augustus. Fannius Caepio was the instigator of it, but others also joined with him. Even Murena was reported to be in the conspiracy, whether truly or by way of calumny, since he was immoderate and unrestrained in his outspokenness toward all alike. 5 These men did not stand trial, and so were convicted by default, on the supposition that they intended to flee; and a little later they were slain. Murena found neither Proculeius, his brother, nor Maecenas, his sister's husband, of any avail to save him, though these men were most highly honoured by Augustus. 6 And inasmuch as some of the jurymen voted to acquit even these conspirators, the emperor made a law that in trials at which the defendant was not present the vote should not be taken secretly and the defendant should be convicted only by a unanimous vote. Now that he took these measures, not in anger, but as really conducive to  p291 the public good, he gave very strong proof; 7 at any rate, when Caepio's father freed one of the two slaves who had accompanied his son in his flight because this slave had wished to defend his young master when he met with death, but in the case of the second slave, who had deserted his son, led him through the midst of the Forum with an inscription making known the reason why he was to be put to death, and afterwards crucified him, the emperor was not vexed. 8 Indeed, he would have allayed all the criticism of those who were not pleased with what had been done, had he not gone further and permitted sacrifices to be both voted and offered as for a victory.

4 1 It was at this time that he restored to the people both Cyprus and Gallia Narbonensis as districts no longer needing the presence of his armies; and thus proconsuls began to be sent to those provinces also. 2 He also dedicated the temple of Jupiter Tonans. Concerning this temple two stories have been handed down, first, that at that time claps of thunder occurred when the ritual was being performed, and, second, that at a later time Augustus had a dream as follows. The people, he thought, approached Jupiter who is called Tonans and did reverence to him, partly because of the novelty of his name and of the form of his statue, and partly because the statue had been set up by Augustus, 3 but chiefly because it was the first they encountered as they ascended the Capitol; and thereupon the Jupiter in the great temple was angry because he was now reduced to second place as compared with the other. At this, Augustus related, he said to Jupiter Capitolinus, "You have Tonans as your sentinel"; 4 and when it was day, he attached a bell to the statue as confirmation of the  p293 vision. For those who guard communities at night carry a bell, in order to be able to signal to the inhabitants whenever they need to do so.

5 1 These were the events that occurred in Rome; and at about this same period the Cantabri and the Astures broke out into war again, the Astures on account of the luxurious ways and cruelty of Carisius, and the Cantabri because they perceived that the others were in revolt and because they despised their own governor, Gaius Furnius, since he had but lately arrived and they supposed that he was unacquainted with conditions among them. 2 Nevertheless, he did not appear to them that sort of man when it came to action; for they were defeated and reduced to slavery by him, and the Astures likewise, since he also aided Carisius. Not many of the Cantabri were captured; for when they had no hope of freedom, they did not chooseº to live, either, 3 but some set their forts on fire and cut their own throats, and others of their own choice remained with them and were consumed in the flames, while yet others took poison in the sight of all. Thus the most of them and the fiercest element perished. As for the Astures, as soon as they had been repulsed while besieging a certain stronghold and had later been defeated in battle, they offered no further resistance, but were promptly subdued.

4 About this time the Ethiopians, who dwell beyond Egypt, advanced as far as the city called Elephantine, with Candace as their leader, ravaging everything they encountered. At Elephantine, however, learning that Gaius Petronius, the governor of Egypt, was approaching, they hastily retreated before  p295 he arrived, hoping to make good their escape. But being overtaken on the road, they were defeated and thus drew him after them into their own country. 5 There, too, he fought success­fully with them, and took Napata, their capital, among other cities. This place was razed to the ground, and a garrison left at another point; for Petronius, finding himself unable either to advance farther, on account of the sand and the heat, or advantageously to remain where he was with his entire army, withdrew, taking the greater part of it with him. 6 Thereupon the Ethiopians attacked the garrisons, but he again proceeded against them, rescued his own men, and compelled Candace to make terms with him.

6 1 While this was going on, Augustus went to Sicily in order to settle affairs in that island and elsewhere as far as Syria. While he was still there, the Roman populace fell to quarreling over the election of the consuls. This incident showed clearly that it was impossible for a democratic government to be maintained among them; 2 at any rate, although they had but little authority either in the matter of the elections or of the offices themselves, they fell to rioting. One of the consul­ships, it seems, was being kept for Augustus, and accordingly at the beginning of the year Marcus Lollius alone entered upon office; but when the emperor would not accept the position, Quintus Lepidus and Lucius Silvanus​a became rival candidates and threw everything into such turmoil that Augustus was summoned home by those who retained their senses. 3 He  p297 would not return, however, and when the two candidates themselves came to him, he rebuked them and sent them away, giving orders that the vote should be taken during the absence of them both; thereupon the people were no more quiet than before, but fell into great strife again, until at last Lepidus was chosen. 4 Augustus was displeased at the incident, for he could not devote all his time to Rome alone and did not dare leave the city in a state of anarchy; accordingly, he sought for some one to set over it, and judged Agrippa to be most suitable for the purpose. 5 And as he wished to invest him with a dignity above the ordinary, in order that he might govern the people more easily, he summoned him, compelled him to divorce his wife, although she was the emperor's own niece, and to marry Julia; and he sent him to Rome at once to attend both to the wedding and to the administration of the city. This step is said to have been taken partly on the advice of Maecenas, who in counselling him upon these very matters said: "You have made him so great that he must either become your son-in‑law or be slain." 6 Agrippa, then, checked whatever other ailments he found still festering, and curtailed the Egyptian rites which were again invading the city, forbidding anyone to perform them even in the suburbs within one mile of the city. And when a disturbance arose over the election of the prefect of the city, the official chosen on account of the Feriae, he did not succeed in quelling it, but they went through that year without this official.

 p299  7 1 While Agrippa was thus occupied, Augustus, after arranging various matters in Sicily and making Roman colonies of Syracuse and certain other cities, crossed over into Greece. 2 He honoured the Lacedaemonians by giving them Cythera and attending their public mess, because Livia, when she fled from Italy with her husband and son, had spent some time there. But from the Athenians he took away Aegina and Eretria, from which they received tribute, because, as some say, they had espoused the cause of Antony; and he furthermore forbade them to make anyone a citizen for money. 3 And it seemed to them that the thing which had happened to the statue of Athena was responsible for this misfortune: for this statue on the Acropolis, which was placed to face the east, had turned around to the west and spat blood. 4 Augustus, now, after transacting what business he had in Greece, sailed to Samos, where he passed the winter; and in the spring of the year when Marcus Apuleius and Publius Silius were consuls, he went on into Asia, and settled everything there and in Bithynia. 5 For although these provinces as well as those previously mentioned were regarded as belonging to the people, he did not for that reason neglect them, but gave most careful attention to them all, as if they were his own. Thus he instituted various reforms, so far as seemed desirable, and made donations of money to some, at the same time commanding others to contribute an amount in excess of the tribute. 6 He reduced the people of Cyzicus to slavery because during a factious quarrel they had flogged and put to death some Romans. And when he reached Syria, he took the same action  p301 in the case of the people of Tyre and Sidon on account of their factious quarrelling.

8 1 Meanwhile Phraates, fearing that Augustus would lead an expedition against him because he had not yet performed any of his engagements, sent back to him the standards and all the captives, with the exception of a few who in shame had destroyed themselves or, eluding detection, remained in the country. 2 Augustus received them as if he had conquered the Parthian in a war; for he took great pride in the achievement, declaring that he had recovered without a struggle what had formerly been lost in battle. 3 Indeed, in honour of this success he commanded that sacrifices be decreed and likewise a temple to Mars Ultor on the Capitol, in imitation of that of Jupiter Feretrius, in which to dedicate the standards; and he himself carried out both decrees. Moreover he rode into the city on horseback and was honoured with a triumphal arch. 4 Now all this was done later in commemoration of the event; but at the time of which we are speaking he was chosen commissioner of all the highways in the neighbourhood of Rome, and in this capacity set up the golden mile-stone, as it was called, and appointed men from the number of the ex-praetors, each with two lictors, to attend to the actual construction of the roads. 5 And Julia gave birth to a boy, who received the name Gaius; and a permanent annual sacrifice on his birthday was granted. Now this, like all the other acts mentioned, was done in pursuance  p303 of a decree; on their own initiative, however, the aediles gave games in the Circus and a slaughter of wild beasts on Augustus's birthday.

9 1 This is what was going on in the city. Augustus administered the subject territory according to the customs of the Romans, but permitted the allied nations to be governed in their own traditional manner; and he did not regard it as desirable either to make any additions to the former or to extend the latter by any new acquisitions, but thought it best to be satisfied with precisely what they already possessed, and he communicated this opinion to the senate. 2 Therefore he undertook no war, at any rate for the time being, but actually gave away certain principalities — to Iamblichus, the son of Iamblichus, his ancestral dominion over the Arabians, and to Tarcondimotus, the son of Tarcondimotus, the kingdom of Cilicia, which his father had held, except for a few places on the coast.​b These latter together with Lesser Armenia he granted to Archelaus, because the Mede, who previously had ruled them, was dead. 3 To Herod he entrusted the tetrarchy of a certain Zenodorus, and to one Mithridates, though still a mere boy, he gave Commagene, inasmuch as its king had put the boy's father to death. 4 And since the other Armenians had preferred charges against Artaxes and had summoned his brother Tigranes, who was in Rome, the emperor sent Tiberius to drive Artaxes out of the kingdom and to reinstate Tigranes. 5 And although nothing was accomplished by Tiberius commensurate with his preparations, since before his arrival the Armenians slew Artaxes, yet he assumed a lofty bearing, especially after sacrifices had been  p305 voted to commemorate what he had done, as though he had accomplished something by valour. 6 And his thoughts were already on the monarchy, inasmuch as, when he was approaching Philippi, a tumult was heard coming from the field of battle, as if from an army, and fire blazed up spontaneously from the altars which Antony had built in the fortified camp. 7 Tiberius, accordingly, was feeling elated over these occurrences. But Augustus, for his part, returned to Samos and once more passed the winter there. In recognition of his stay he gave the islanders their freedom, and he also attended to many matters of business. 8 For a great many embassies came to him, and the people of India, who had already made overtures, now made a treaty of friendship, sending among other gifts tigers, which were then for the first time seen by the Romans, as also, I think by the Greeks. They also gave him a boy who had no shoulders or arms, like our statues of Hermes. 9 And yet, defective as he was, he could use his feet for everything, as if they were hands: with them he would stretch a bow, shoot missiles, and put a trumpet to his lips. How he did this I do not know; I merely state what is recorded. 10 One of the Indians, Zarmarus, for some reason wished to die, — either because, being of the caste of sages, he was on this account moved by ambition, or, in accordance with the traditional custom of the Indians, because of old age, or because he wished to make a display for the benefit of Augustus and the Athenians (for Augustus had reached Athens);— he was therefore initiated into the mysteries of the two goddesses, which were held  p307 out of season on account, they say, of Augustus, who also was an initiate, and he then threw himself alive into the fire.

10 1 The consul that year was Gaius Sentius; and when it became necessary for a colleague to be elected (for Augustus on this occasion, also, did not accept the position after it had been kept open for him), factious quarrelling again took place and murders occurred, so that the senators voted a guard for Sentius; 2 and when he was unwilling to use it, they sent envoys to Augustus, each with two lictors. Now when the emperor learned of these things, realizing that there would be no end to the evil, he did not this time deal with the matter as he had before, but appointed one of the envoys themselves, Quintus Lucretius, to the consul­ship, though this man's name had been posted in the list of the proscribed and he hastened to Rome himself. 3 For this and other things he had done while absent from the city many honours of all sorts were voted him, none of which he would accept, save the founding of an altar to Fortuna Redux (for this was the name they gave to her), and the provision that the day on which he arrived should be numbered among the holidays and be called Augustalia. 4 Since even then magistrates and the rest made preparations beforehand to go out to meet him, he entered the city by night; and on the following day he gave Tiberius the rank of an ex-praetor and allowed Drusus to stand for various offices five years earlier than was the practice.  p309 5 And inasmuch as there was no similarity between the conduct of the people during his absence, when they quarrelled, and while he was present, when they were afraid, he accepted an election, on their invitation, to the position of supervisor of morals for five years, and took the authority of censor for the same period and that of consul for life, and in consequence had the right to use the twelve rods always and everywhere and to sit in the curule chair between the two men who were at the time consuls. 6 After voting these measures they begged him to set everything to rights and to enact whatever laws he liked; and the laws which should be proposed by him they called "leges Augustae" from that very moment, and desired to take an oath that they would abide by them. He accepted all the other measures, believing them to be necessary, but did not require the oaths from them; 7 for he well knew that, if any measure they decreed should represent their judgment, they would observe it even without taking an oath, but if it should not, they would pay no heed to it, even if they should offer ten thousand guarantees.

11 1 Augustus, then, was engaged with these matters; and one of the aediles voluntarily resigned his office by reason of poverty. As for Agrippa, as soon as he had settled whatever business was urgent in Rome, whither he had been sent from Sicily on the occasion mentioned, he was then assigned to the provinces of Gaul; 2 for the people there not only were quarrelling among themselves, but also were being harassed by the Germans. After putting a stop to those troubles, too, he went over to Spain. It seems that the Cantabri who had been captured alive in the war  p311 and sold, had killed their masters in every case, and returning home, had induced many to join in their rebellion; and with the aid of these they had seized some positions, walled them in, and were plotting against the Roman garrisons. 3 It was against these people, then, that Agrippa led an expedition. But he had some trouble also with his soldiers; for not a few of them were too old and were exhausted by the continual wars; and fearing the Cantabri as men hard to subdue, they would not obey him. 4 Nevertheless, partly by admonishing and exhorting them, and partly by inspiring them with hopes, he soon made them yield obedience. In fighting against the Cantabri, however, he met with many reverses; for they not only had gained practical experience, as a result of having been slaves to the Romans, but also despaired of having their lives granted to them again if they were taken captive. 5 But finally Agrippa was success­ful; after losing many of his soldiers, and degrading many others because they kept being defeated (for example, he gave orders that the entire Augustan legion, as it had been called, should no longer bear that name), he at length destroyed nearly all of the enemy who were of military age, deprived the rest of their arms, and forced them come down from their fortresses and live in the plains. 6 Yet he sent no communication concerning them to the senate, and did not accept a triumph, although one was voted at the behest of Augustus, but showed moderation in these matters as was his wont; and once, when asked by the consul for his opinion about his brother, he would not give it. 7 At  p313 his own expense he brought into the city the water-supply known as the Aqua Virgo, and named it the Augusta. The emperor took such great delight in this that once, when there was a great scarcity of wine and people were loudly complaining, he declared that Agrippa had in a most competent manner seen to it that they should never perish of thirst.

12 1 Such was the character of this man; but others both strove for triumphs and celebrated them, not only for no exploits comparable to this, but merely for arresting robbers or for restoring harmony to cities that were torn by factious strife. 2 For Augustus, at least in the beginning, bestowed these rewards lavishly upon certain men, and those whom he honoured by public funerals were very many. Accordingly, while these men gained lustre through such distinctions, Agrippa was promoted to the supreme power, one might say, by him. 3 For Augustus saw that the public business required strict attention, and feared that he himself might, as often happens to men of his position, fall victim to a plot. (As for the breastplate which he often wore beneath his dress, even when he entered the senate, he believed that it would be of but scanty and slight assistance to him.) 4 He therefore first added five years to his own terms as princeps, since his ten-year period was about to expire (this was in the consul­ship of Publius and Gnaeus Lentulus), and then he granted to Agrippa many privileges almost equal to his own, especially the tribunician power for the same length of time. 5 For that number of years, he said at the time, would be enough for them; though not long afterward he  p315 obtained the other five years of his imperial power in addition, so that the total number became ten again.

13 1 When he had done this, he purged the senatorial body. For the members seemed to him to be too numerous even now, and he saw nothing good in a large throng; moreover, he hated not only those who were notorious for some baseness, but also those who were conspicuous for their flattery. 2 And when, as on the previous occasion, no one would resign of his own free will, and Augustus, in his turn, did not wish to incur blame alone, he himself selected the thirty best men (a point which he afterwards confirmed by oath) and bade them, after first taking the same oath, choose five at a time, relatives not to be included, by writing the names on tablets. 3 After this he made the groups of five cast lots, with the arrangement that the one man in each group who drew the lot should be a senator himself and should write down five other names according to the same plan. The original thirty, of course, were to be included among those who were available for selection by the second thirty and for the drawing of lots. And since some who were chosen were out of town, others were drawn in their place and discharged the duties that belonged to them. 4 At first all this went on for several days in the way described; but when various abuses crept in, Augustus no longer trusted the lists to the quaestors and no longer submitted the groups of five to the lot, but he himself thenceforth made the selection and himself chose the senators who were still required in order to make the number of men appointed six hundred in all. 14 1 It had, indeed, been his  p317 plan to limit the senators to three hundred, as in the early times, and he thought he ought to be well content if that number of men were found who were worthy of the senate. But the number he actually enrolled was six hundred, since all alike were displeased with the other arrangement; for it turned out that those whose names would be stricken off the roll would be much more numerous than those who kept their places, so that the present senators were more afraid of being reduced to the ranks than hopeful of being in the new senate. 2 Indeed, he did not stop even when this was done, but subsequently took other measures. It seems that certain unsuitable persons were even then found on the lists; and one Licinius Regulus,​c indignant because his name had been erased, whereas his son and several others to whom he thought himself superior had been selected by the lot, rent his clothing in the very senate, 3 laid bare his body, enumerated his campaigns, and showed them his scars; and Articuleius Paetus, one of those who were to remain senators, earnestly begged that he might retire from his seat in the senate in favour of his father, who had been rejected. Consequently Augustus purged the senate again, removing some and choosing others in their places. 4 And since, even so, the names of many had been stricken out, and some of them, as usually happens in such a case, found fault with him on the ground that they had been unjustly expelled, he at that time accorded them the right to attend spectacles and celebrate festivals along with the senators, wearing the same garb as they, and for the future he allowed them to stand for the various offices. 5 The majority of them came back in the course of time into the senate;  p319 but some few were left in an intermediate position, being regarded as belonging neither to the senate nor to the people.

15 1 After these events, many immediately and many later were accused, whether truly or falsely, of plotting against both the emperor and Agrippa. 2 It is not possible, of course, for those on the outside to have certain knowledge of such matters; for whatever measures a ruler takes, either personally or through the senate, for the punishment of men for alleged plots against himself, are generally looked upon with suspicion as having been done out of spite, no matter how just such measures may be. 3 For this reason it is my purpose to report in all such cases simply the recorded version of the affair, without busying myself with anything beyond the published account, except in perfectly patent cases, or giving a hint as to the justice or injustice of the act or as to the truth or falsity of the report. 4 Let this explanation apply also to everything that I shall write hereafter. As for the time of which we are speaking, Augustus executed a few men; in the case of Lepidus, however, although he hated the man, among other reasons, because his son had been detected in a plot against him and had been punished, yet he did not wish to put him to death, but kept subjecting him to insult from time to time in various ways. 5 Thus he would order him to come back to the city from his estate in the country, whether he wished to do so or not, and would always take him to the meetings of the senate, in order that he might be subjected to the utmost to jeering and  p321 insults, so that he might realize his loss of power and dignity. In general he did not treat him as worthy of any consideration on his part, and on the occasions referred to called on him for his vote the last of all the ex-consuls. 6 For while he was wont to put the vote to the other senators in the regular order, in the case of the ex-consuls he used to call on one first, another second, and others third and fourth, and so on, just as he pleased; and the consuls also did the same. Thus it was that he used to treat Lepidus. 7 And when Antistius Labeo wrote down the name of Lepidus among those who might be senators, at the time when the process of selection which we have described was being followed, the emperor first declared that he had perjured himself, and he threatened to punish him. Thereupon Labeo replied: "Why, what harm have I done by keeping in the senate one whom you even now permit to be high priest?" 8 At this Augustus desisted from his anger; for though he had often been asked, both privately and publicly, to take this priesthood, he did not feel that it was right to do so while Lepidus lived. This reply of Antistius was regarded as a happy one, as was also another remark of his: when it was said in the senate, on one occasion, that the senators ought to take turns in guarding Augustus, Antistius, not daring to speak in opposition nor yet willing to assent, remarked, "As for me, I snore, and so cannot sleep at the door of his chamber."

16 1 Among the laws that Augustus enacted was one which provided that those who had bribed anyone in order to gain office should be debarred from office for  p323 five years. He laid heavier assessment upon the unmarried men and upon the women without husbands, and on the other hand offered prizes for marriage and the begetting of children. 2 And since among the nobility there were far more males than females, he allowed all who wished, except the senators, to marry freedwomen, and ordered that their offspring should be held legitimate.

3 Meanwhile a clamor arose in the senate over the disorderly conduct of the women and of the young men, this being alleged as a reason for their reluctance to enter into the marriage relation; and when they urged him to remedy this abuse also, with ironical allusions to his own intimacy with many women, 4 he at first replied that the most necessary restrictions had been laid down and that anything further could not possibly be regulated by decree in similar fashion. Then, when he was driven into a corner, he said: "You yourselves ought to admonish and command your wives as you wish; that is what I do." 5 When they heard that, they plied him with questions all the more, wishing to learn what the admonitions were which he professed to give Livia. He accordingly, though with reluctance, made a few remarks about women's dress and their other adornment, about their going out and their modest behaviour, not in the least concerned that his actions did not lend credence to his words. 6 Another instance of such inconsistency had occurred while he was censor. Some one brought before him a young man who had taken as his wife a married woman with whom he had previously committed adultery, and made ever so many accusations against the  p325 man, and Augustus was at a loss what to do, not daring to overlook the affair nor yet to administer any rebuke. At length, though with difficulty, he recovered himself and said: "Our factious quarrels have borne many terrible fruits; let us, then, forget them and give our attention to the future, that nothing of the sort may occur again." 7 Inasmuch, too, as certain men were betrothing themselves to infant girls and thus enjoying the privileges granted to married men, but without rendering the service expected of them, he ordered that no betrothal should be valid if the man did not marry within two years of such betrothal, — that is, that the girl must in every case be at least ten years old at her betrothal if the man was to derive any advantages from it, since, as I have stated, girls are held to have reached the marriageable age on the completion of twelve full years.

17 1 Besides these several enactments, Augustus further provided that, for the distribution of grain, one candidate, who must have served as praetor three years previously, should be nominated each year by each of the officials then serving, and that, from these nominees, four men should be chosen by lot to serve in succession as distributors of grain. 2 And he commanded that the office of prefect of the city, who was chosen for the Feriae, should always be filled by the election of one man, and that the Sibylline verses, which had become indistinct through lapse of time, should be copied off by the priests with their own hands, in order that no one  p327 else might read them. 3 He permitted all to stand for office who possessed property worth four hundred thousand sesterces and were eligible by the laws to hold office. This was the senatorial rating which he at first established; but later he raised it to one million sesterces. Upon some of those who lived upright lives but possessed less than the four hundred thousand sesterces in the first instance, or the million in the second, he bestowed the amount lacking. 4 And because of this he allowed the praetors who so desired to spend on the public festivals three times the amount granted them from the treasury. Thus, even if some were vexed at the strictness of his other regulations, yet by reason of this action and also because he restored one Pylades, a dancer, who had been exiled on account of sedition, they remembered them no longer. 5 Hence Pylades is said to have rejoined very cleverly, when the emperor rebuked him for having quarrelled with Bathyllus, a fellow-artist, and a favourite of Maecenas: "It is to your advantage, Caesar, that the people should devote their spare time to us."

18 1 These were the occurrences of that year. In the consul­ship of Gaius Furnius and Gaius Silanus, Agrippa again acknowledged the birth of a son, who was named Lucius; and Augustus immediately adopted him together with his brother Gaius, not waiting for them to become men, but appointing them then and there successors to his office, in order that fewer plots might be formed against him. 2 He transferred the festival of Honor and Virtus to the days which are at present theirs, commanded those who celebrated triumphs to erect out of their  p329 spoils some monument to commemorate their deeds, and held the fifth celebration of the Ludi Saeculares. He ordered the orators to give their services as advocates without pay, on pain of a fine of four times the amount they received; 3 and he forbade those who were drawn as jurymen from time to time to enter any person's house during their year of service. And since the members of the senate showed a lack of interest in attending its sessions, he increased the fines for those who were late without a good excuse.

19 1 Next he set out for Gaul, during the consul­ship of Lucius Domitius and Publius Scipio, making the wars that had arisen in that region his excuse. 2 For since he had become disliked by many as a result of his long stay in the capital, and now was offending many who committed some act contrary to his decrees by the punishments he was inflicting, and at the same time, by sparing many others, was being compelled to transgress his own enactments, he decided to leave the country, somewhat after the manner of Solon. 3 Some even suspected that he had gone away on account of Terentia, the wife of Maecenas, and intended, inasmuch as there was much talk about them in Rome, to live with her abroad free from all gossip. So great, indeed, was his passion for her that he once made her enter a contest of beauty against Livia. 4 Before setting out he dedicated the temple of Quirinus, which he had rebuilt. I mention this for the reason that he adorned it with seventy-six columns, which was the exact number of the years he lived, and thus caused some to declare that he had chosen this number deliberately and not by mere chance. 5 So he dedicated this temple at this time, and also exhibited  p331 gladiatorial combats, Tiberius and Drusus representing him in the matter after the senate had granted them permission. 6 Then he committed to Taurus the management of the city together with the rest of Italy (for he had sent Agrippa again to Syria and no longer looked with equal favour upon Maecenas because of the latter's wife), and taking Tiberius, though praetor at the time, along with him, he set out on his journey. Tiberius, it appears, had become praetor in spite of his already holding the rank of a praetor; and Drusus now performed all the duties of his office in pursuance of a decree. 7 The night following their departure the temple of Iuventus was burned to the ground. Other portents also had occurred: a wolf had rushed into the Forum by the Sacred Way and had killed people, and not far from the Forum ants were conspicuously swarming together; moreover, a flame like a torch had shot from the south towards the north all night long. Because of all these signs prayers were offered for the return of Augustus. 8 Meanwhile they held the quadrennial celebration of his sovereignty, Agrippa, represented by his fellow-priests, bearing the expense; for he had been consecrated as one of the quindecemviri, upon whom the management of the festival devolved in regular succession.

20 1 There were many other disturbances, too, during that period. The Camunni and Vennii, Alpine tribes, took up arms against the Romans, but were conquered and subdued by Publius Silius. 2 The Pannonians in company with the Norici overran  p333 Istria; but the former, upon being discomfited by Silius and his lieutenants, both came to terms again themselves and caused the Norici to be subjected to the same slavery. 3 The uprisings in Dalmatia and in Spain were quelled in a short time. Macedonia was ravaged by the Dentheleti and the Scordisci. In Thrace somewhat earlier Marcus Lollius, while aiding Rhoemetalces, the uncle and guardian of the sons of Cotys, had subjugated the Bessi. Later Lucius Gallus conquered the Sarmatians for the same reason and drove them back across the Ister. 4 The greatest, however, of the wars which at that time fell to the lot of the Romans, and the one presumably which drew Augustus away from the city, was that against the Germans. It seems that the Sugambri, Usipetes, and Tencteri had first seized in their own territory some of the Romans and had crucified them, 5 after which they had crossed the Rhine and plundered Germania and Gaul. When the Roman cavalry approached, they surprised them from ambush; then, pursuing them as they fled, they fell in unexpectedly with Lollius, the governor of the province, and conquered him also. 6 On learning of all this, Augustus hastened against them, but found no warfare to carry on; for the barbarians, learning that Lollius was making preparations and that the emperor was also taking the field, retired into their own territory and made peace, giving hostages.

21 1 For this reason Augustus had no need of arms, but in arranging other matters he consumed the  p335 whole of this year, as well as the next, in which Marcus Libo and Calpurnius Piso were consuls. 2 For not only had the Gauls suffered much at the hands of the Germans, but much also at the hands of a certain Licinus. And of this, I think, the sea-monster had given them full warning beforehand; twenty feet broad and three times as long, and resembling a woman except for its head, it had come in from the ocean and become stranded on the shore. 3 Now Licinus was originally a Gaul, but after being captured by the Romans and becoming a slave of Caesar's, he had been set free by him, and by Augustus had been made procurator of Gaul. 4 This man, then, with his combination of barbarian avarice and Roman dignity, tried to overthrow every one who was ever counted superior to him and to destroy every one who was strong for the time being. He not only supplied himself with plenty of funds for the requirements of the office to which he had been assigned, but also incidentally collected plenty for himself and for his friends. 5 His knavery went so far that in some cases where the people paid their tribute by the month he made the months fourteen in number, declaring that the month called December was really the tenth, and for that reason they must reckon two more (which he called the eleventh and the twelfth respectively) as the last, and contribute the money that was due for these months. 6 It was these quibbles that brought him into danger; for the Gauls secured the ear of Augustus and protested indignantly, so that the  p337 emperor in some matters shared their vexation and in others tried to excuse Licinus. He claimed to be unaware of some of his extortions and affected not to believe others, while some matters he actually concealed, feeling ashamed to have employed such a procurator. 7 Licinus, however, devised another scheme as follows, and laughed them all to scorn. When he perceived that Augustus was displeased with him and that he was likely to be punished, he brought the emperor into his house, and showing him many treasures of silver and gold and many other valuables piled up in heaps, 8 he said: "I have gathered all this purposely, master, for you and for the rest of the Romans, lest the natives, by having control of so much money, should revolt. At any rate, I have kept it all for you and now give it to you."

Thus Licinus was saved, by pretending that he had sapped the strength of the barbarians in order to serve Augustus. 22 1 Drusus and Tiberius in the meantime were engaged in the following exploits. The Rhaetians, who dwell between Noricum and Gaul, near the Tridentine Alps which adjoin Italy, were overrunning a large part of the neighbouring territory of Gaul and carrying off plunder even from Italy; and they were harassing such of the Romans or their allies as travelled through their country. 2 Now these acts of theirs seemed to be about what was to be expected of nations which had not accepted terms of peace; but they went further and destroyed all the males among their captives, not only those who had already come into the world, but also those who were still in the women's wombs, the sex of  p339 whom they discovered by some means of divination. 3 For these reasons, then, Augustus first sent against them Drusus, who speedily routed a detachment of them which came to meet him near the Tridentine mountains, and in consequence received the rank of praetor. Later, when the Rhaetians had been repulsed from Italy, but were still harassing Gaul, Augustus sent out Tiberius also. 4 Both leaders then invaded Rhaetia at many points at the same time, either in person or through their lieutenants, and Tiberius even crossed the lake with ships. In this way, by encountering them separately, they terrified them and not only easily overwhelmed those with whom they came into close quarters at any time, inasmuch as the barbarians had their forces scattered, but also captured the remainder, who in consequence had become weaker and less spirited. 5 And because the land had a large population of males and seemed likely to revolt, they deported most of the strongest men of military age, leaving behind only enough to give the country a population, but too few to begin a revolution.

23 1 This same year Vedius Pollio died, a man who in general had done nothing deserving of remembrance, as he was sprung from freedmen, belonged to the knights, and had performed no brilliant deeds; but he had become very famous for his wealth and for his cruelty, so that he has even gained a place in history. 2 Most of the things he did it would be wearisome to relate, but I may mention that he kept in reservoirs  p341 huge lampreys​d that had been trained to eat men, and he was accustomed to throw to them such of his slaves as he desired to put to death. Once, when he was entertaining Augustus, his cup-bearer broke a crystal goblet, and without regard for his guest, Pollio ordered the fellow to be thrown to the lampreys. 3 Hereupon the slave fell on his knees before Augustus and supplicated him, and Augustus at first tried to persuade Pollio not to commit so monstrous a deed. Then, when Pollio paid no heed to him, the emperor said, "Bring all the rest of the drinking vessels which are of like sort or any others of value that you possess, in order that I may use them," 4 and when they were brought, he ordered them to be broken. When Pollio saw this, he was vexed, of course; but since he was no longer angry over the one goblet, considering the great number of the others that were ruined, and, on the other hand, could not punish his servant for what Augustus also had done, he held his peace, though much against his will. 5 This is the sort of person Pollio was, who died at this time. Among his many bequests to many persons he left to Augustus a good share of his estate together with Pausilypon, the place between Neapolis and Puteoli, with instructions that some public work of great beauty should be erected there. 6 Augustus razed Pollio's house to the ground, on the pretext of preparing for the erection of the other structure, but really with the purpose that Pollio should have no monument in the city;  p343 and he built a colonnade, inscribing on it the name, not of Pollio, but of Livia.

7 However, he did this later. At the time we are considering he colonized numerous cities in Gaul and in Spain, restored to the people of Cyzicus their freedom, and gave money to the Paphians, who had suffered from an earthquake, besides allowing them, by a decree, to call their city Augusta. 8 I record this, not that Augustus and the senators, too, did not aid many other cities both before and after this occasion, in case of similar misfortunes, — indeed, if one should mention them all, the work involved in making the record would be endless, — but my purpose is to show that the senate even assigned names to cities as a mark of honour and that the inhabitants did not, as is usually done now, make out for themselves in each instance lists of names according to their own pleasure.

24 1 The next year Marcus Crassus and Gnaeus Cornelius were consuls; and the curule aediles, after resigning their office because they had been elected under unfavourable auspices, received it again, contrary to precedent, at another meeting of the assembly. 2 The Basilica of Paulus was burned and the flames spread from it to the temple of Vesta, so that the sacred objects there were carried up to the Palatine by the Vestal Virgins, — except the eldest, who had become blind, — and were placed in the house of the priest of Jupiter. 3 The basilica was afterwards rebuilt, nominally by Aemilius, who was  p345 the descendant of the family of the man who had formerly erected it, but really by Augustus and the friends of Paulus. At this time the Pannonians revolted again and were subdued, and the Maritime Alps, inhabited by the Ligurians who were called Comati, and were still free even then, were reduced to slavery. 4 And the revolt among the tribes of the Cimmerian Bosporus was quelled. It seems that one Scribonius, who claimed to be a grandson of Mithridates and to have received the kingdom from Augustus after the death of Asander, married Asander's wife, named Dynamis, who was really the daughter of Pharnaces and the granddaughter of Mithridates and had been entrusted with the regency by her husband, and thus he was holding Bosporus under his control. 5 Agrippa, upon learning of this, sent against him Polemon, the king of that part of Pontus bordering on Cappadocia. Polemon found Scribonius no longer alive, for the people of Bosporus, learning of his advance against them, had already put him to death; but when they resisted Polemon through fear that he might be allowed to reign over them, he engaged them in battle. 6 But although he conquered them, he was unable to reduce them to submission until Agrippa came to Sinope with the purpose of conducting a campaign against them. Then they laid down their arms and were delivered up to Polemon; and the woman Dynamis became his wife, naturally not without the sanction of Augustus. 7 For these successes sacrifices were offered in the name of Agrippa, but the triumph which was voted him was not celebrated. Indeed, he did not so much  p347 as notify the senate of what had been accomplished, and in consequence subsequent conquerors, treating his course as a precedent, also gave up the practice of sending reports to the public; and he would not accept the celebration of the triumph. 8 For this reason, — at least, such is my opinion, — no one else of his peers was permitted to do so any longer, either, but they enjoyed merely the distinction of triumphal honours.

25 1 Now when Augustus had finished all the business which occupied him in the several provinces of Gaul, of Germany and of Spain, having spent large sums from others, having bestowed freedom and citizen­ship upon some and taken them away from others, he left Drusus in Germany and returned to Rome himself in the consul­ship of Tiberius and Quintilius Varus. 2 Now it chanced that the news of his coming reached the city during those days when Cornelius Balbus was celebrating with spectacles the dedication of theatre which is even to‑day called by his name; and Balbus accordingly began to put on airs, as if it were he himself that was going to bring Augustus back, — although he was unable even to enter his theatre, except by boat, on account of the flood of water caused by the Tiber, which had overflowed its banks, — and Tiberius put the vote to him first, in honour of his building the theatre. 3 For the senate convened, and among its other decrees voted to place an altar in the senate-chamber itself, to commemorate the return of Augustus,  p349 and also voted that those who approached him as suppliants while he was inside the pomerium should not be punished. Nevertheless, he accepted neither of these honours, and even avoided encountering the people on this occasion also; 4 for he entered the city at night. This he did nearly always when he went out to the suburbs or anywhere else, both on his way out and on his return, so that he might trouble none of the citizens. The next day he welcomed the people in the palace, and then, ascending the Capitol, took the laurel from around his fasces and placed it upon the knees of Jupiter; and he also placed baths and barbers at the service of the people free of charge on that day. 5 After this he convened the senate, and though he made no address himself by reason of hoarseness, he gave his manuscript to the quaestor to read and thus enumerated his achievements and promulgated rules as to the number of years the citizens should serve in the army and as to the amount of money they should receive when discharged from service, in lieu of the land which they were always demanding. 6 His object was that the soldiers, by being enlisted henceforth on certain definite terms, should find no excuse for revolt on this score. The number of years was twelve for the Pretorians and sixteen for the rest; and the money to be distributed was less in some cases and more in others. These measures caused the soldiers neither pleasure nor anger for the time being, because they neither obtained all they desired nor yet failed of all; but in the rest of the population the measures aroused confident hopes that they would not in future be robbed of their possessions.

26 1 He next dedicated the theatre named after Marcellus. In the course of the festival held for this  p351 purpose the patrician boys, including his grandson Gaius, performed the equestrian exercise called "Troy," and six hundred wild beasts from Africa were slain. 2 And to celebrate the birthday of Augustus, Iullus, the son of Antony, who was praetor, gave games in the Circus and a slaughter of wild beasts, and entertained both the emperor and the senate, in pursuance of a decree of that body, upon the Capitol.

3 After this there was another purging of the lists of the senate. At first, as we have seen, the rating of senators had been fixed at four hundred thousand sesterces, because many of them had been stripped of their ancestral estates by the wars, and then, as time went on and men acquired wealth, it had been raised to one million sesterces. Consequently no one was any longer found who would of his own choice become a senator; 4 on the contrary, sons and grandsons of senators, some of them really poor and others reduced to humble station by the misfortunes of their ancestors, not only would not lay claim to the senatorial dignity, but also, when already entered on the lists, swore that they were ineligible. 5 Therefore, previous to that time, while Augustus was still absent from the city, a decree had been passed that the Vigintiviri, as they were called, should be appointed from the knights; and thus none of these men eligible to be senators was any longer enrolled in the senate without having also held one of the other offices that led to it. 6 These Vigintiviri are what is left of the Vigintisexviri, of whom three are in charge of criminal trials, another three attend to  p353 the coinage of the money, four look after the streets in the city, and ten are assigned to the courts which are allotted to the Centumviri; 7 for the two who were once entrusted with the roads outside the walls and the four who used to be sent to Campania had been abolished. This was one decree that was passed during the absence of Augustus; there was also another providing that, since no one was any longer ready to seek the tribune­ship, some of the ex-quaestors who were not yet forty years old should be appointed to the office by lot. 8 But on the present occasion Augustus himself made an investigation of the whole senatorial class. With those who were over thirty-five years of age he did not concern himself, but in the case of those who were under that age and possessed the requisite rating he compelled them to become senators, unless one of them was physically disabled. 9 He examined their persons himself, but in regard to their property he accepted sworn statements, the men themselves and others as witnesses taking an oath and rendering an account of their poverty as well as of their manner of life.

27 1 Nor did he, while showing such strictness in the public business, neglect his private affairs; indeed, he rebuked both Tiberius, because at the festival, given under Tiberius' management, in fulfilment of a vow for the emperor's return, he had seated Gaius at the emperor's side, and the people for honouring Gaius with applause and eulogies. 2 On the death of  p355 Lepidus he was appointed high priest and the senate accordingly wished to vote him other honours (?); but he declared that he would not accept any of them, and when the senators urged him, he rose and left the meeting. 3 That measure, therefore, now failed of passage, and he also received no official residence; but, inasmuch as it was absolutely necessary that the high priest should live in a public residence, he made a part of his own house public property. The house of the rex sacrificulus, however, he gave to the Vestal Virgins, because it was separated merely by a wall from their apartments.

4 When Cornelius Sisenna was censured for the conduct of his wife, and stated in the senate that he had married her with the knowledge and on the advice of the emperor, Augustus became exceedingly angry. He did not, to be sure, say or do anything violent, but rushed out of the senate-house, and then returned a little later, choosing to take this course, though it was not the correct thing to do, as he said to his friends afterward, rather than to remain where he was and be compelled to do something harsh.

28 1 Meanwhile he increased the power of Agrippa, who had returned from Syria, by giving him the tribunician power again for another five years, and he sent him out to Pannonia, which was eager for war, entrusting him with greater authority than the officials outside Italy ordinarily possessed. 2 And Agrippa set out on the campaign in spite of the fact that the winter had already begun (this was the year in which Marcus Valerius and Publius Sulpicius were the consuls); but when the Pannonians became terrified at his approach and gave up their  p357 plans for rebellion, he returned, and upon reaching Campania, fell ill. 3 Augustus happened to be exhibiting, in the name of his sons, contests of armed warriors at the Panathenaic festival, and when he learned of Agrippa's illness, he set out for Italy; and finding him dead, he conveyed his body to the capital and caused it to lie in state in the Forum. He also delivered the eulogy over the dead, after first hanging a curtain in front of the corpse. 4 Why he did this, I do not know. Some, however, have stated that it was because he was high priest, others that it was because he was performing the duties of censor. But both are mistaken, since neither the high priest is forbidden to look at a corpse, nor the censor, either, except when he is about to complete the census; but if he looks upon a corpse then, before his purification, all his work has to be done over again. 5 Now Augustus not only did what I have recorded, but also had the funeral procession of Agrippa conducted in the manner in which his own was afterward conducted, and he buried him in his own sepulchre, though Agrippa had taken one for himself in the Campus Martius.

29 1 Such was the end of Agrippa, who had in every way clearly shown himself the noblest of the men of his day and had used the friendship of Augustus with a view to the greatest advantage both of the emperor himself and of the commonwealth. 2 For the more he surpassed others in excellence, the more inferior he kept himself of his own free will to the emperor; and while he devoted all the wisdom and valour he himself possessed to the highest interests of Augustus, he lavished all the  p359 honour and influence he received from him upon benefactions to others. 3 It was because of this in particular that he never became obnoxious to Augustus himself nor invidious to his fellow-citizens; on the contrary, he helped Augustus to establish the monarchy, as if he were really a devoted adherent of the principle of autocratic rule, and he won over the people by his benefactions, as if he were in the highest degree a friend of popular government. 4 At any rate, even at his death he left them gardens and the baths named after him, so that they might bathe free of cost, and for this purpose gave Augustus certain estates. And the emperor not only turned these over to the state, but also distributed to the people four hundred sesterces apiece, giving it to be understood that Agrippa had so ordered. 5 And, indeed, he had inherited most of Agrippa's property, including the Chersonese on the Hellespont, which had come in some way or other into Agrippa's hands. Augustus felt his loss for a long time and hence caused him to be honoured in the eyes of the people; and he named the posthumous son born to him Agrippa. 6 Nevertheless, he did not allow the citizens at large, although none of the prominent men wished to attend the festivals, to omit any of the time-honoured observances, and he in person superintended the gladiatorial combats, though they were often held without his presence. 7 The death of Agrippa, far from being merely a private loss to his own household, was at any rate such a public loss to all the Romans that portents occurred on this occasion in such numbers as are wont to happen  p361 to them before the greatest calamities. Owls kept flitting about the city, and lightning struck the house on the Alban Mount where the consuls lodge during the sacred rites. 8 The star called the comet hung for several days over the city and was finally dissolved into flashes resembling torches. Many buildings in the city were destroyed by fire, among them the hut of Romulus, which was set ablaze by crows which dropped upon it burning meat from some altar.

30 1 These were the events connected with Agrippa's death. After this Augustus was chosen supervisor and corrector of morals for another five years; for he received this office also for limited periods, as he did the monarchy. He ordered the senators to burn incense in their assembly hall whenever they held a session, and not to pay their usual visit to him, his purpose being, in the first instance, that they should show reverence to the gods, and, in the second, that they should not be hindered in convening. 2 And inasmuch as extremely few candidates sought the tribune­ship, because its power had been abolished, he made a law that the magistrates in office should each nominate one of the knights who possessed not less than one million sesterces, and that the plebs should then fill the vacancies in the tribune­ship from this list, with the understanding that, if the men desired to be senators later, they might do so, or otherwise they should return again to the equestrian order.

3 When the province of Asia was in dire need of assistance on account of earthquakes, he paid into  p363 the public treasury from his private funds the amount of its annual tribute and assigned to it for two years a governor chosen by lot and not appointed.

4 On one occasion, when Apuleius and Maecenas were subjected to abuse in court when a case of adultery was being tried, not because they had behaved wantonly themselves, but because they were actively aiding the man on trial, Augustus entered the court-room and sat in the praetor's chair; he took no harsh measures, but simply forbade the accuser to insult either his relatives or his friends, and then rose and left the room. 5 For this action and others the senators honoured him with statues, paid for by private subscription, and also by giving bachelors and spinsters the right to behold spectacles and to attend banquets along with other people on his birthday; for neither of these things had been permitted previously.

31 1 When now Agrippa, whom he loved because of his excellence and not because of any kinship, was dead, Augustus felt the need of an assistant in the public business, one who would far surpass all the others in both rank and influence, so that he might transact all business promptly and without being the object of envy and intrigue. Therefore he reluctantly chose Tiberius; for his own grandsons were still boys at this time. 2 He first made him, as he had made Agrippa, divorce his wife, though she was the daughter of Agrippa by a former marriage and was bringing up one child and was about to give birth to another; and having betrothed Julia to him, he sent him out against the Pannonians. This people had for a time been quiet through fear of  p365 Agrippa, but now after his death they had revolted. 3 Tiberius subdued them after ravaging much of their country and doing much injury to the inhabitants, making as much use as possible of his allies the Scordisci, who were neighbours of the Pannonians and were similarly equipped. He took away the enemy's arms and sold most of the men of military age into slavery, to be deported from the country. 4 For these achievements the senate voted him a triumph, but Augustus did not permit him to celebrate it, though he granted him the triumphal honours instead.

32 1 Drusus had this same experience. The Sugambri and their allies had resorted to war, owing to the absence of Augustus and the fact that Gauls were restive under their slavery, and Drusus therefore seized the subject territory ahead of them, sending for the foremost men in it on the pretext of the festival which they celebrate even now around the altar of Augustus at Lugdunum. He also waited for the Germans to cross the Rhine, and then repulsed them. 2 Next he crossed over to the country of the Usipetes, passing along the very island of the Batavians, and from there marched along the river to the Sugambrian territory, where he devastated much country. He sailed down the Rhine to the ocean, won over the Frisians, and crossing the lake, invaded the country of the Chauci, where he ran into danger, as his ships were  p367 left high and dry by the ebb of the ocean. 3 He was saved on this occasion by the Frisians, who had joined his expedition with their infantry, and withdrew, since it was now winter. Upon arriving in Rome he was appointed praetor urbanus, in the consul­ship of Quintus Aelius and Paulus Fabius, although he already had the rank of praetor. 33 1 At the beginning of spring he sent out again for the war, crossed the Rhine, and subjugated the Usipetes. He bridged the Lupia, invaded the country of the Sugambri, and advanced through it into the country of the Cherusci, as far as the Visurgis. 2 He was able to do this because the Sugambri, in anger at the Chatti, the only tribe among their neighbours that had refused to join their alliance, had made a campaign against them with all their population; and seizing this opportunity, he traversed their country unnoticed. He would have crossed the Visurgis also, had he not run short of provisions, and had not the winter set in and, besides, a swarm of bees been seen in his camp. 3 Consequently he proceeded no farther, but retired to friendly territory, encountering great dangers on the way. For the enemy harassed him everywhere by ambuscades, and once they shut him up in a narrow pass and all but destroyed his army; indeed, they would have annihilated them, had they not conceived a contempt for them, as if they were already captured and needed only the finishing stroke, and so come  p369 to close quarters with them in disorder. 4 This led to their being worsted, after which they were no longer so bold, but kept up a petty annoyance of his troops from a distance, while refusing to come nearer. Drusus accordingly conceived a scorn of them in his turn and fortified a stronghold against them at the point where the Lupia and the Eliso unite, and also another among the Chatti on the bank of the Rhine. 5 For these successes he received the triumphal honours, the right to ride into the city on horseback, and to exercise the powers of a proconsul when he should finish his term as praetor. Indeed, the title of imperator was given him by the soldiers by acclamation as it had been given to Tiberius earlier; but it was not granted to him by Augustus, although the number of times the emperor himself gained this appellation was increased as the result of the exploits of these two men.

34 1 While Drusus was thus occupied, the festival belonging to his praetor­ship was celebrated in the most costly manner; and the birthday of Augustus was honoured by the slaughter of wild beasts both in the Circus and in many other parts of the city. 2 This was done almost every year by one of the praetors then in office, even if not authorised by a decree; but the Augustalia, which are still observed, were then for the first time celebrated in pursuance of a decree.

3 Tiberius subdued the Dalmatians, who began a rebellion, and later the Pannonians, who likewise revolted, taking advantage of the absence of himself and the larger part of his army. He made war  p371 upon both of them at once, shifting now to one front and now to the other. 4 As a result of this Dalmatia was given over into the keeping of Augustus, because of the feeling that it would always require armed forces both on its own account and because of the neighbouring Pannonians.

5 These men, then, were thus engaged. At this same period Vologaesus, a Bessian from Thrace and a priest of the Dionysus worshipped by that people, gained a following by practising many divinations, and with these adherents revolted. He conquered and killed Rhascyporis, the son of Cotys, and afterwards, thanks to his reputation for supernatural power, he stripped Rhoemetalces, the victim's uncle, of his forces without a battle and compelled him to take flight. In pursuit of him he invaded the Chersonese, where he wrought great havoc. 6 Because of these deeds of his and because of the injuries the Sialetae were causing to Macedonia, Lucius Piso was ordered to proceed against them from Pamphylia, where he was governor. The Bessi, now, when they heard that he was drawing near, retired homeward ahead of him. So he came into their country, and though defeated at first, vanquished them in turn and ravaged both their land and that of the neighbouring tribes which had taken part in the uprising. 7 At this time he reduced all of them to submission, winning over some with their consent, terrifying others into reluctant surrender, and coming to terms with others as the result of battles; and later, when some of them rebelled, he again enslaved them. For these successes thanksgivings and triumphal honours were granted him.

 p373  35 1 While these events were occurring, Augustus took a census, making a list of all his own property like any private citizen; and he also made a roster of the senate. As he saw that sometimes there were not many present at the meetings of that body, he ordered that its decrees should be passed even when less than four hundred were present; for hitherto no decree could have validity if passed by a smaller number. 2 When the senate and the people once more contributed money for statues of Augustus, he would set up no statue of himself, but instead set up statues of Salus Publica, Concordia, and Pax. The citizens, it seems, were nearly always and on every pretext collecting money for this same object, and at last they ceased paying it privately, as one might call it, but would come to him on the very first day of the year and give, some more, some less, into his own hands; 3 and he, after adding as much or more again, would return it, not only to the senators but to all the rest. I have also heard the story that on one day of the year, following some oracle or dream, he would assume the guise of a beggar and would accept money from those who came up to him.

4 This is the tradition, whether credible to any one or not. That year he gave Julia in marriage to Tiberius, and when his sister died, he caused her body to lie in state in the shrine of Julius; and on this occasion also he had a curtain over the corpse. 5 He himself delivered the funeral oration there, and Drusus delivered one from the rostra; for the mourning was publicly observed and the senators had changed their dress. Her body was carried in  p375 the procession by her sons-in‑law; but not all the honours voted for her were accepted by Augustus.

36 1 At this same period the priest of Jupiter was appointed for the first time since Merula, and the quaestors were ordered to preserve the decrees passed at various times, inasmuch as the tribunes and aediles, who had previously been entrusted with this duty, were performing it through their assistants, and in consequence some mistakes and confusion occurred.

2 It was voted that the temple of Janus Geminus, which had been opened, should be closed, on the ground that the wars had ceased. It was not closed, however, for the Dacians, crossing the Ister on the ice, carried off booty from Pannonia, and the Dalmatians rebelled against the exactions of tribute. 3 Against these people Tiberius was sent from Gaul, whither he had gone in company with Augustus; and he reduced them again to submission. The Germans, particularly the Chatti, were either harassed or subjugated by Drusus. The Chatti, it seems, had gone to join the Sugambri, having abandoned their own country, which the Romans had given them to dwell in. 4 Afterwards Tiberius and Drusus returned to Rome with Augustus, who had been tarrying in Lugdunensis much of the time, keeping watch on the Germans from near at hand; and they carried out whatever decrees had been passed in honour of their victories or did whatever else devolved upon them.

Thayer's Notes:

a Prof. John D. Morgan writes me that the competitor called 'Lucius Silvanus' was certainly Lucius (Iunius) Silanus, a younger brother of M. Silanus (consul in 25 B.C.). Lucius Silanus's name is given in CIL IX.332 = ERCanosa 21; the inscription, from Regio II Apulia et Calabria, at Canosa di Puglia, the ancient Canusium, reads:

L. Silano M. f.

D. n. praetori auguri

b If Augustus kept a few key ports for Rome, it must almost certainly have been in order to keep the notorious Cilician pirates in check. In today's parlance, these are naval bases.

c Prof. John D. Morgan writes:

the person called 'Licinius Regulus' was almost certainly Livineius Regulus. Licinii Reguli are otherwise unknown, whereas several Livineii Reguli are known in the late republic and early principate.

d Dr. Federico Poole, an Egyptologist in Naples, points out:

What is meant here, I think, is the fish we Italians still call by its Latin name of murena: the moray, still feared for its bite by local scuba divers.

To me at least, he seems clearly right. We must chalk "lamprey" up to translation error by Dr. Cary: only a moray would be large and carnivorous enough to eat a human being.

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Page updated: 22 Aug 17