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. , ? . , . . s Porus.

himself, a prince oi gigantic stature, mounted on an
elephant, was taken, after having fought with great courage.
Carried into the presence of the conqueror, Alexander asked
him what he wished to be done for him, for his gallantry and
physical strength excited admiration. Porus replied that he
wished to be treated as a king, which answer still more ex-
cited the admiration of the Greeks. He was accordingly
treated with the utmost courtesy and generosity, and re-
tained as an ally. Alexander was capable of great magnani-
mity, when he was not opposed. He was kind to the family
of Darius, both before and after his assassination by the
satrap Bessus. And his munificence to his soldiers was
great, and he never lost their affections. But he was cruel
and sanguinary in his treatment of captives who had made
him trouble, putting thousands to the sword in cold blood.
As before mentioned, the soldiers were wearied with vic-
tories and hardships, without enioyments, and The soldiers

1 ' y J ' . of Alexander

longed to return to Europe. Hence San gala, in refuse to ad-

_ . . van ce further

India, was the easternmost point to which he pen- to the East. «
etrated. On returning to the river Hydaspes, he construct-
ed a fleet of two thousand boats, in which a part of his



394 Alexander the Great. [Chap. xxy.

army descended the river with himself, while another part
marched along its banks. He sailed slowly down the river
to its junction with the Indus, and then to the Indian ocean.
This voyage occupied nine months, but most of the time was
employed in subduing the various people who opposed his
march. On reaching the ocean, he was astonished and in-
terested by the ebbing and flowing of the tide — a new phe-
nomenon to him. The fleet was conducted from the mouth
of the Indus, round by the Persian Gulf to the mouth of the
Tigris — a great nautical achievement in those days ; but he
himself, with the army, marched westward through deserts,
undergoing great fatigues and sufferings, and with a great
loss of men, horses, and baggage. At Carmania he halted,
and the army for seven days was abandoned to drunken fes-
tivities.

On returning to Persepolis, in Persia, he visited and re-
He returns paired the tomb of Cyrus, the greatest conqueror

to Persepo- L , .

lis- the world had seen before himself. In February,

b. c. 324, he marched to Susa, where he spent several months
in festivities and in organizing his great government, since
he no longer had armies to oppose. He now surrounded
himself with the pomp of the Persian kings, wore their
ins abandon- dress, and affected their habits, much to the dis-

ment to plea-
sure, gust of his Macedonian generals. He had married

a beautiful captive — Roxana, in Bactria, and he now took
two additional wives, Statira, daughter of Darius, and Pary-
satis, daughter of King Ochus. He also caused his princi-
pal officers to marry the daughters of the old Persian gran-
dees, and seemed to forget the country from which he came,
and which he was destined never again to see. Here also he
gave a donation to his soldiers of twenty thousand talents —
about five hundred dollars to each man. But even this did
not satisfy them, and when new re-enforcements arrived, the
old soldiers mutinied. He disbanded the whole of them in
anger, and gave them leave to return to their homes, but
they were filled with shame and regret, and a reconciliation
took place.



Chap. XXV.] Funeral of Hephmtion. 395

It was while he made a visit to Echatana, in the summer
of b. c. 324, that his favorite, Hephaestion, died. Death of He-
His sorrow and grief were unbounded. He cast griSVf°Aiex-
himself upon the ground, cut his hair close, and
refused food and drink for two days. This was the most
violent grief he ever manifested, and it was sincere. He re-
fused to be comforted, yet sought for a distraction from his
grief in festivals and ostentation of life.

In the spring of b. c. 323, he marched to Babylon, where
were assembled envoys from all the nations of the Hig entrance
known world to congratulate him for his prodig- into Babylon,
ious and unprecedented successes, and invoke his friendship,
which fact indicates his wide-spread fame. At Babylon he
laid plans and made preparations for the circumnavigation
and conquest of Arabia, and to found a great maritime city
in the interior of the Persian Gulf. But before setting out,
he .resolved to celebrate the funeral obsequies of Hephaestion
with unprecedented splendor. The funeral pile splendor of
was two hundred feet high, loaded with costly o^Hephass-
decorations, in which all the invention of artists tlon -
was exhausted. It cost twelve thousand talents, or twelve
million dollars of our money. The funeral ceremonies were
succeeded by a general banquet, in which he shared, passing
a whole night in drinking with his friend Medius. This last
feast was fatal. His heated blood furnished fuel for the
raging fever which seized him, and which carried D eath of
him off in a few days, at the age of thirty-two, Alexander -
and after a reign of twelve years and eight months, June,
B. c 323.

He indicated no successor. Nor could one man have gov-
erned so vast an empire with so little machinery of govern-
ment. His achievements threw into the shade those of all
previous conquerors, and he was, most emphatically, the
Great King — the type of all worldly power. " He His bonnd _
had mastered, in defiance of fatigue, hardship, les » ambition -
and combat, not merely all the eastern half of the Persian
empire, but unknown Indian regions beyond. Besides Mace-



396 Alexander the Great. [Chap. XXV.

don, Greece, and Thrace, he possessed all the treasures and
forces which rendered the Persian king so formidable," and
he was exalted to all this power and grandeur by conquest
at an age when a citizen of Athens was intrusted with im-
portant commands, and ten yeai's less than the age for a
Roman consul. But he was unsatisfied, and is said to have
wept that there were no more worlds to conquer. He would,
had he lived, doubtless have encountered the Romans, and
all their foes, and added Italy and Spain and Carthage to his
empire. But there is a limit to human successes, and when
his work of chastisement of the nations was done, he died.
But he left a fame never since surpassed, and " he overawes
the imagination more than any personage of antiquity." He
had transcendent merits as a general, but he was much in-
debted to fortunate circumstances. He thought of new con-
quests, rather than of consolidating what he had made, so
that his empire must naturally be divided and subdivided
His death a at his death. Though divided and subdivided, the

fortunate _, _ _ „

event. effect oi those conquests remained to future genera-

tions, and had no small effect on civilization, and yet, instead
of Hellenizing Asia, he rather Asiatized Hellas. That process,
so far as it was carried out, is due to his generals — the Dia-
dochi — Antigonas, Ptolemy, Seleucus, Lysimachus, &c.,who
divided between them the empire. But Hellenism in reality
never to a great extent passed into Asia. The old Oriental
Effects of habits and sentiments and intellectual qualities
quests. remained, and have survived all succeeding con-

quests. Oriental habits and opinions rather invaded the
western world with the progress of wealth and luxury.
Asia, by the insidious influences of effeminated habits, un-
dermined Greece, and even Rome, rather than received from
Europe new impulses or sentiments, or institutions. A new
and barbarous country may prevail, by the aid of hardy
warriors, adventurous and needy, over the civilized nations
which have been famous for a thousand years, but the con-
quered country almost invariably has transmitted its habits
and institutions among the conquerors, so much more majes-



Chap. XXV.] Reflections. 397

tic are ideas than any display of victorious brute forces.
Dynasties are succeeded by dynasties, but civilization sur-
vives, when any material exists on which it can work.

Athens was never a greater power in the world than at
the time her political ruin was consummated. Hence the
political changes of nations, which form the bulk of all his-
tories, are insignificant in comparison with those ideas and
institutions which gradually transform the habits and opin-
ions of ordinary life. Yet it is these silent and gradual
changes which escape the notice of historians, and are the
most difficult to be understood and explained, for lack of
sufficient and definite knowledge. Moreover, it is the feats
of extraordinary individuals in stirring enterprise and hero-
ism which have thus far proved the great attraction of past
ages to ordinary minds. No history, truly philosophical,
would be extensively read by any people, in any age, and
leagt of all by the young, in the process of education.

The remaining history of Greece has little interest until
the Roman conquests, which will be presented in the next
book.



BOOK III.

THE KOMAJST EMPIEE.



CHAPTEE XXVI.

HOME IN ITS INFANCY, UNDER KINGS.

In presenting the growth of that great power which
gradually absorbed all other States and monarchies so as to
form the largest empire ever known on earth, I shall omit a
notice of all other States, in Italy and Europe, until they
were brought into direct collision with Rome herself.

The early history of Rome is involved in obscurity, and
obscurity of although many great writers have expended vast
toryofRome. learning and ingenuity in tracing the origin of
the city and its inhabitants, still but little has been estab-
lished on an incontrovertible basis. We look to poetry and
legends for the foundation of the " Eternal City."

These legends are of peculiar interest. ./Eneas, in his

flight from Troy, after many adventures, reaches

Italy, marries the daughter of Latinus, king of the

people, who then lived in Latium, and builds a city, which he

names Lavinium, and unites his Trojan followers with the

aboriginal inhabitants.

Latium was a small country, bounded on the north by the
Tiber, on the east by the Liris and Vinius, and on

Latium. 11-11

the south and west by the Tuscan Sea. It was im-
mediately surrounded by the Etruscans, Sabines, Equi, and



Chap, xxvl] Foundation of Rome. 399

Marsi. "When Latium was originally settled we do not
know, but the people .doubtless belonged to the Indo-
European race, kindred to the early settlers of Europe.
Latium was a plain, inclosed by mountains and traversed
by the Tiber, of about seven hundred square miles. Be-
tween the Alban Lake and the Alban Mount, was Alba — the
original seat of the Latin race, and the mother city of Rome.
Here, according to tradition, reigned Ascanius, the son of
.iEneas, and his descendants for three hundred years were
the Latin tribes. After eleven generations of kings, Amulius
usurps the throne, which belonged to Numitor, the elder
brother, and dooms his only daughter, Silvia, to perpetual
virginity as a Vestal. Silvia, visited by a god, gives birth to
twins, Romulus and Remus. The twins, exposed by the order
of Amulius, are suckled by a she-wolf, and brought up by
one of the king's herdsmen. They feed their flocks on the
Palatine, but a quarrel ensuing between them and the herds-
men of Numitor on the Aventine, their royal origin is dis-
covered, and the restoration of Numitor is effected. But
the twins resolve to found a city, and Rome p„„ n ci a tion
arises on the Palatine, an asylum for outlaws and ofEome -
slaves, who are provided with wives by the " rape of the
Sabine women."

Thus, according to the legends, was the foundation of
Rome, on a hill about fourteen miles from the mouth of the
Tiber, and on a site less healthy than the old Latin towns,
b. c. 751, or 753. According to the speculations of Mommsen,
it would seem that Rome was at a very early period the
resort of a lawless band of men, who fortified The early
themselves on the Palatine, and perhaps other inhabltants -
hills, and robbed the small merchants, who sailed up and
down the Tiber, as well as the neighboring rural population,
even as the feudal barons intrenched themselves on hills over-
looking plains and rivers. But all theories relating to the
foundation of Rome are based either on legend or speculation.
Until we arrive at certain facts, I prefer those based on legend,
such as have been accepted for more than two thousand years.



400 Home in its Infancy. [Chap. XXYI.

It is but little consequence whether Romulus and Remus are
real characters, or poetic names. This is probable, that the
Kome founded situation of Rome was favorable in ancient times
in violence. for rapine, even if it were not a healthy locality.
The first beginnings of Rome were violence and robbery,
and the murder of Remus by Romulus is a type of its early
history, and whole subsequent career.

Romulus and his associate outlaws, now intrenched on
The SaWne the Palatine, organize a city and government, and
Kome. extend the limits. The rape of the Sabines leads

to war, and Titus Tatius, king of the Sabines, obtains pos-
session of the Capitoline Hill — the smallest but most famous
of the seven hills on which Rome was subsequently built.
In the valley between, on which the forum was afterward
built, the combatants are sepai*ated by the Sabine wives of
the outlaws, and the tribes or nations are united under the
name of Ramnes and Tities, the Sabines retaining the capitol
and the Quirinal, and the Romans the Palatine. Some
Etruscans, in possession of the Cselian Hill, are incorporated
as a third tribe, called Luceres. But it is probable that the
Sabine element prevailed. Each tribe contains ten curiae of
a hundred citizens, which, with the three hundred horsemen,
form a body of three thousand three hundred citizens, who
alone enjoyed political rights.

The government, though monarchical, was limited. The
king was bound to lay all questions of moment before the
assembly of the thirty durise, called the Comitia Curiata. But
The consti- tne king had a council called the /Se?iate, composed
tution. of one hundred members, who were called JPatres,

or Fathers, and doubtless were the heads of clans called
Gentes. The Gentes were divided into JFamilke, or families.
These Patres were the heads of the patrician houses — that
class who alone had political rights, and who were Roman
citizens.

Romulus is said to have reigned justly and ably for thirty-
NumaPom- seven years, and no one could be found worthy to
pUius. succeed him. At length the Roman tribe, the



Chap, xxvi.] The Horatii and the Curiatii. 401

Ramnes, elected ¥uma Pompilius, from the Sabines, a man

of wisdom and piety, and said to have acquired his learning

from Pythagoras. This king instituted the religious and

civil legislation of Rome, and built the temple of Janus in

the midst of the Forum, whose doors were shut in peace and

opened in war, but were never closed from his death to the

reign of Augustus, but a brief period after the first Punic

war.

He established the College of Pontiffs, who directed all

the ceremonies of religion and regulated festivals Estabiish-
. , , menl of re -

and the system of weights and measures ; also the Hgion.

College of Augurs, who interpreted by various omens the
will of the gods ; and also the College of Heralds, who
guarded the public faith. He fixed the boundaries of fields,
divided the territory of Pome into districts, called pagi, and
regulated the calendar.

According to the legends, Tullus Hostilius was the third
king of Rome, elected by the curiae. He assigned Tllllus Hos .
the Cselian Mount for the poor, and the strangers tllius -
who flocked to Rome, and was a warlike sovereign. The
great event of his reign was the destruction of Alba. The
growing power of Rome provoked the jealousy of this
ancient seat of Latin power, and war ensued. The armies
of the two States were drawn up in battle array, when it
was determined that the quarrel should be settled by three
champions, chosen from each side. Hence the beautiful
story of the Curiatii and the Horatii, three brothers The Horatii
on each side. Two of the Horatii were slain, and riatii.
the three Curiatii were wounded. The third of the Horatii
affected to fly, and was pursued by the Curiatii, but as they
were wounded, the third Roman subdued them in detail, and
so the Albans became subjects of the Romans. The con-
queror met his sister at one of the gates, who, being be-
trothed to one of the Curiatii, reproached him for the death
of her lover, which so incensed him that he slew her. Thus
early does patriotism surmount natural affections among the
Romans. But Horatius was nevertheless tried for his life by

26



402 Rome in its Infancy. [Chap. XXVI.

two judges and condemned. He appealed to the people,
who reversed the judgment — the first instance on record
of an appeal in a capital case to the people, which subse-
quently was the right of Roman citizens.

Hostilities again breaking out between Alba and Borne,
Destruction tne former city was demolished and the inhabitants
of Alba. removed to the Caelian Mount and enrolled among
the citizens. By the destruction of Alba, Rome obtained
the presidency over the thirty cities of the Latin confederacy.
Tullus, it would seem, was an unscrupulous king, but able,
and to him is ascribed the erection of the Curia Hostilia,
where the Senate had its meetings.

The Sabine Ancus Martius was the fourth king, b. c. 640,
who pursued the warlike policy of his predecessor, conquer-
ing many Latin towns, and incorporating their inhabitants
with the Romans, whom he settled on Mount Aventine.
They were freemen, but not citizens. They were called
The origin of plebeians, with modified civil, but not political
plebeians. rights, and were the origin of that great middle
class which afterward became so formidable. The plebeians,
though of the same race as the Romans, were a conquered
people, and yet were not reduced to slavery like most con-
quered people among the ancients. They had their Gentes
and Familiar, but they could not intermarry with the patri-
cians. Though they were not citizens, they were bound to
fight for the State, for which, as a compensation, they
retained their lands, that is, their old possessions.

On the death, b. c. 616, of Ancus Martius, Lucius Tar-
quinius, of an Etruscan family, became king, best known as
Tavquinius Tarquinius Priscus. He had been guardian of the
Pnscus. two sons of Ancus, but offered himself as candi-
date for the throne, from which it would appear that the
monarchs were elected by the people.

He carried on successful war against the Latins and
Sabines, and introduced from Etruria, by permission of the
Senate, a golden crown, an ivory chain, a sceptre topped
with an eagle, and a crimson robe studded with gold —



Chap. XXVI.] The Servian Constitution* 403

emblems of royalty. But he is best known for various
public works of great magnificence at the time, as Hispublic
well as of public utility. Among these was the work -
Cloaca Maxima, to drain the marshy land between the Pala-
tine and the Tiber — a work so great, that Niebuhr ranks it
with the pyramids. It has lasted, without the displacement
of a stone, for more than two thousand years. It shows that
the use of the arch was known at that period. The masonry
of the stones is perfect, joined together without cement.
Tarquin also instituted public games, and reigned with more
splendor than we usually associate with an infant State.

This king, who excited- the jealousy of the patricians, was
assassinated b. c. 578, and Servius Tullius reigned serviusTui-
in his stead. He was the greatest of the Roman llus '
kings, and arose to his position by eminent merit, being
originally obscure. He married the daughter of Tarquin,
and shared all his political plans.

He is most celebrated for remodeling the constitution. He
left the old institutions untouched, but added new ones. He
made a new territorial division of the State, and created a
popular assembly. He divided the whole population into
thirty tribes, at the head of each of which was a

, ., -n i m -i • i i <v - His reforms.

tribune, .bach tribe managed its own local affairs,
and held public meetings. These tribes included both patri-
cians and plebeians. This was the commencement of the
power of the plebs, which was seen with great jealousy by
the patricians.

The basis or principle of the new organization of Servius
was the possession of property. All free citizens, Based on
whether patricians or plebeians, were called to de- P r0 P ert 7-
fend the State, and were enrolled in the army. The equites,
or cavalry, took the precedence in the army, and was com
posed of the wealthy citizens. There were eighteen centu
ries of these knights, six patrician and twelve plebeian, all
having more than one hundred thousand ases. They were
armed with sword, spear, helmet, shield, greaves, and cuirass.
The infantry was composed of the classes, variously armed,



404 ■ Home in its Infancy. [Ciiap. XXVI.

of which, including equites, there were one hundred and
New division ninety-four centuries, one hundred of whom were
of the people. Q ^ t ] ie g rgt ran ]^ heavily armed — all men possess-
ing one hundred thousand ases. Each class was divided
into seniores — men between forty-five and sixty, and jun-
iores — from seventeen to forty-five. The former were liable to
be called out only in emergencies. This division of the citi-
zens was a purely military one, and each century had one
vote. But as the first class numbered one hundred centu-
ries, each man of which was worth land valued at one hun-
dred thousand ases, it could cast a larger vote than all the
other classes, which numbered only ninety-four together.
Thus the rich controlled all public affairs.

To this military body of men, in which the rich prepon-
derated, Servius committed all the highest functions of the
Comitia State, for the Comitia Centuriata possessed elect-
Centumta. i ve ^ judicial, and legislative functions. Servius
also rendered many other benefits to the plebeians. He di-
vided among them the lands gained from the Etruscans. He
inclosed the city with a wall, which remained for centuries,
embracing the seven hills on which Rome was built. But it
is as the hero of the plebeian order that he is famous, and
paid the penalty for being such. He was assassinated, prob-
ably by the instigation of the patricians, by his son-in-law,
Lucius Tarquinius, who mounted his throne as Tarquinius
Superbus, the last king of Rome, b. c. 534. The daughter
of the murdered king, Tullia, who rode in her chariot over
his bleeding body, is enrolled among the infamous women
of antiquity.

Tarquinius Superbus, a usurper and murderer, abrogated
the popular laws of Servius Tullius, and set aside even the
„, , assembly of the Curiae, and degraded and deci-

Tlio despot- J .

ism of Tar- mated the Senate, and appropriated the confiscated

quiu. >ii.i

estates of those whom he destroyed. He reigned
as a despot, making treaties without consulting the Senate,
and living for his pleasure alone. But he ornamented the
city with magnificent edifices, and completed the Circus Maxi-



Chap. XXVI.] Lucretia. 405

mus as well as the Capitoline Temple, which stood five hun-
dred years. He was also successful in war, and exalted the
glory of the Roman name.

An end came to his tyranny by one of those events on
which poetry and history have alike exhausted ah 1 their fas-
cinations. It was while Tarquin was conducting a war
against Ardea, and the army was idly encamped before the
town, that the sons of Tarquin, with their kinsmen, were
supping in the tent of Sextus, that conversation turned upon
the comparative virtue of their wives. By a simul- The ]e „ eai
taneous impulse, they took horse to see the man- of Lacretia -
ner in which these ladies were at the time employed. The
wives of Tarquin's sons at Rome were found in luxurious
banquets with other women. Lucretia, the wife of Collati-
nus, was discovered carding wool in the midst of her maid-
ens. The boast of Collatinus that his wife was the most
virtuous was confirmed. But her charms or virtues made a
deep impression on the heart or passions of Sextus, and he
returned to her dwelling in Collatia to jDropose infamous
overtures. They were proudly rejected, but the disappoint-
ed lover, by threats and force, accomplished his purpose.
Lucretia, stung with shame, made known the crime of Sex-
tus to her husband and father, who hastened to her house,



Online LibraryJohn LordAnceint states and empires → online text (page 34 of 55)