Cassius Dio Cocceianus.

Dio's Roman history, with an English translation online

. (page 14 of 35)
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2 iKyiyo^ VM, iyy6yois Xiph. ^ oh M, om. V,


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assumed the title of imperator. I do not here refer b.c. 29
to the title which had occasionally been bestowed, in
accordance with the ancient custom, upon generals
in recognition of their victories, — ^for he had re-
ceived that many times before this and received it
many times afterwards in honour merely of his
achievements, so that he won the name of imperator -^
twenty-one times, — but rather the title in its other
use, which signifies the possession of the supreme
power, in which jense it had been voted to Jiis /
father Caesar and to the children and descendants of;
Caesar. '"'^

After this he became censor with Agrippa as his "
colleague, and in addition to other reforms which he
instituted. Tie purged the senate. For as a result of
the civil wars a Targe number of knights and even of
foot-soldiers were in the senate without justification
in merit, so that the membership of that body had
been swollen to a thousand. Now though it was
his wish to remove ^ese men, he did not erase any
of their names himself, but urged them rather, on the
strength of their own knowledge of their families and
their lives, to become their own judges ; he thus first
persuaded some fifty of them to withdraw from the
senate voluntarily, and then compelled one hundred
and forty others to imitate their example. He dis-
franchised none of them, but posted the names of
the second group only ; for he spared the members
of the first group the reproach of the publication ot
their names, because they had not delayed but had
straightway obeyed him. So all these men returned
to private life of their own free will, so far as ap-
pearances were concerned ; but Quintus Statilius
was deposed, decidedly against his will, from the


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^ itirooXdfkti Bind., iiroKdiXti VM.

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tribuneship^ to which he had been appointed. And ^i
Giesar caused some other men to become senators, /
and he enrolled among the ex-consuls two men
of the senatorial class, a certain Gaius Cluvius
and Gaius Furnius, because, after they had already
been elected consuls, they had been unable to
serve, since others had occupied their offices first.
And at the same time he increased the number of
patrician families, ostensibly with the senate's per-
mission, inasmuch as the greater part of the patricians
had perished (indeed no class is so wasted in our
civil wars as the nobility), and because the patricians
are always regarded as indispensable for the per-
petuation of our traditional institutions. In addition^
to these measures he forbade all members of thev
senate to go outside of Italy, unless he himself ^
should command or permit them to do so. This
restriction is still observed down to the present day ;
for no senator is allowed to leave the country for
the purpose of visiting any place except Sicily and
Gallia Narbonensis. But in the case of these regions,
since they are close at hand and the inhabitants are
unarmed and peaceful, those who have any posses-
sions there are conceded the right to repair to them
as often as they like without asking permission. And
since he saw that many of the senators and others
who had been partisans of Antony were still inclined
to be suspicious of him, and was fearful lest they
might set a revolution on foot, he announced that all
the letters that had been found in Antony's strong
boxes had been burned. And it is quite true that
he had destroyed some of them, but he was very
carefiil to keep the larger part, and afterwards he
did not scruple to make use of them, either.


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^ ^upp€VThy H. Steph., ffvpeprhy VM.


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So much for these matters. Caesar also settled b.c. 29
Carthage anew, because Lepidus had laid waste a
part of it and by this act, it was held, had abrogated
the rights of the earlier colonists. And he sent a
summons to Antiochus of Commagene, because he
had treacherously murdered an envoy who had been
despatched to Rome by his brother, who was at
variance with him. Caesar brought him before the
senate, and when judgment had been passed against
him, put him to death. He also obtained Capreae
from the Neapolitans, to whom it originally belonged,
giving other territory in exchange. It lies not far
from the mainland in the region of Surrentum and is
good for nothing, but is renowned even to the
present day because Tiberius had a residence there.


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The following is contained in the Fifty- third of Dio's
Rome: —
How the temple of Apollo on the Palatine was dedicated

(chap. 1).
How Caesar delivered a speech in the senate, as if he were

retiring from the sole rulership, and afterwards assigned

to that body its provinces (chaps. 2-12).
About the appointment of the governors sent to the pro-
vinces (chaps. lS-15).
How Caesar was given the title of Augustus (chap. 16).
About the names which the emperors receive (chaps. 17, 18).
How the Saepta were dedicated (chap. 23).
How Caesar fought against the Astures and Cantabri

(chap. 25).
How Galatia began to be governed by Romans (chap. 26).
How the Basilica of Neptune and the Baths of Agrippa were

dedicated (chap. 27).
How the Pantheon was dedicated (chap. 27).
How Augustus was freed from the obligation of obeying the

laws (chap. 28).
How an expedition was made against Arabia Felix (chap. 29).

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


28 Caesar (VI), M. Vipsanius L. F. Agrippa (II).

27 Caesar (VII), M. Vipsanius L. F. Agrippa (III).

26 Caesar Augustus (VlII), T. Statilius T. F. Taurus (II).

25 Augustus (IX), M. Junius M. F. Silanus.

24 Augustus (X), C. Norbanus C. F. C. N. Flaccus.

23 Augustus (XI), Cn. Calpurnius Cn. F. Cn. N. Piso.

These were the occurrences at that time. The b.c. 28
following year Caesar held office for the sixth time
and conformed in all other respects to the usages

* Ka\iro6pyio$ Xyl., KaXvoi&pvivos VM.

• Ulffwv Dind., v€i<rav VM.


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^ fi4\ov<ra R. Steph., fi4Wovaa VM.


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handed down from the earUest times, and, in par- b.
ticular, he dehvered to Agrippa, his colleague, the
bundles of rods as it was incumbent upon him to do,
while he himself used the other set,^ and on com-
pleting his term of office he took the oath according
to ancestral custom.^ Whether he ever did this
again, I do not know, for he always paid exceptional
honour to Agrippa ; thus he gave him his niece in ^
marriage, and provided him with a tent similar to
his own whenever they were campaigning together,
and the watchword was given out by both of them.
At this particular time, now, besides attending to his
other duties as usual, he completed the taking of
the census, in connection with which his title was
j}rinceps senatus, as had been the practice when
Rome was truly a republic. Moreover, he com-
pleted and dedicated the temple of Apollo on the
Palatine, the precinct surrounding it, and the
libraries. He also celebrated in company with
Agrippa the festival which had been voted in
honour of the victory won at Actium ; and during
this celebration he caused the boys and men of the
nobility to take part in the Circensian games. This
festival was held for a time every four years and was
in charge of the four priesthoods in succession —
I mean the pontifices, the augurs, and the septem-
viri and quindecimviri, as they were called. On
the present occasion, moreover, a gymnastic contest

* Augustus seems to have used twenty-four lictors until
29 B.O., and thereafter twelve, first as consul (until 23), then
as proconsul (until 19), and later on all occasions. Cf. liv. 10, 5.

■ The customary oath taken by the consuls at the close of
their term of office to the effect that they had done nothing
contrary to the laws and had acted for the highest interests
of the state. Cf. xxxvii. 38, 2, and xxxviii. 12, 3.


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* Koi M, om. V.

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was held, a wooden stadium having been constructed
in the Campus Martius, and there was a gladiatorial
combat between captives. These events continued
for several days and were not interrupted even when
Caesar fell ill ; but Agrippa went on with them even
so, discharging Caesar s duties as well as his own.

Now Caesar allowed it to be understood that he
was spending his private means upon these festivals,
and when money was needed for the public treasury,
he borrowed some and supplied the want ; and for
the management of the funds he ordered two
annual magistrates to be chosen from among the
ex-praetors. To the populace he distributed a
quadruple allowance of grain and to some of the
senators he made presents of money. For so many
of them had become impoverished that none was
willing to hold even the office of aedile because of
the magnitude of the expenditures involved ; indeed,
the functions which belonged to that office, and
particularly the judicial functions, were assigned to
the praetors, as had been the custom, the more im-
portant to the praetor urbanus and the rest to the
praetor peregrinus. In addition to all this, Caesar
himself appointed the praetor urbanus, as, indeed,
he often did subsequently. He cancelled all obli-
gations which had been given to the public treasury
previous to the battle of Actium, except those
secured by buildings, and he burned the old notes
of those who were indebted to the state. As for
religious matters, he did not allow the Egyptian rites
to be celebrated inside the pomerium, but made pro-
vision for the temples ; those which had been built
by private individuals he ordered their sons and
descendants, if any survived, to repair, and the rest


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* vpo0€(i Rk., vpoaOeis VM.
2 rovR. Steph.,Ti>VM.

* ifi&y M, &fuv V.


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he restored himself. He did not, however, appro- b.c. 28
priate to himself the credit for their erection, but
allowed it to go as before to the original builders.
And inasmuch as he had put into effect very many ^
illegal and unjust regulations during the factional
strife and the wars, especially in the period of his
joitit rule with Antony and Lepidus, he abolished
them all by a single decree, setting the end of his
sixth consulship as the time for their expiration.
When, now, he obtained approbation and praise for
this act, he desired to exhibit another instance of
magnanimity, that by such a policy he might be
honoured all the more and might have his sovereignty
voluntarily confirmed by the people, so as to avoid
the appearance of having forced them against their
will. Therefore, having first primed his most in-
timate friends among the senators, he entered the
senate in his seventh consulship and read the fol- b.c. 27
, lowing address :

'^ I am sure that I shall seem to some of you. Con-
script Fathers, to have made an incredible choice.
For what each one of my hearers would not wish
to do himself, he does not like to believe, either,
when another claims to have done it, especially as
everyone is jealous of anybody who is superior to
him and so is more prone to disbelieve any utter-
ance that is above his own standard. Besides, I
know this, that those who say what appears to be
incredible not only fail to persuade others but also
appear to be impostors. And indeed, if it were a
question of my promising something that I was not
intending to put into effect immediately, I should
have been exceedingly loath to proclaim it, for fear
of gaining, instead of gratitude, some grievous im-


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3 vvv 8' o7roT€ eifOiff; /cal Trjfiepov iira/coXovdijaei to
epyov avrS, irdvv OapaovvTco^ ex^i^ P'V P'ovov
/jLr)S€fi[av alaxvvv^ ylrevBoXoyla^; oipXtjaecv, dWA

4 Kal iravra^ av6pa)irov^ evSo^Ca vc/CTjaeii^, on fikv
yap irdpearl fioi Sect iravro^ vfi&v ap'Xjeiv, koI
avTol opare* ro re ycLp (rratTidaav irav tjtoi
SifcaicoOev ireiravTai rj fcal ikerjffev (r€aa><l>p6vi'
(TTat} /cal TO avvapdfi€v6v p^c rfj re dp^i^fj r&v
€V€py€(n&v ^fceicoTai fcal rfj Koivcovia r&v irpa-

2 ypdrayv ayyvpcoTai>, &crT€ p^rjTe i7n6vp,rjaai riva
V€(OTep(ov epycov, k&v apa ti Kal toiovto yivijTaif
TO yovv /3or]0rja-ov rjpXv erotpov en Kal pdXXov
etvai. rd re arpaTLforiKa aKpd^ei p^i Kal evvoia
Kal pcopjf, Kal 'xprfpara €(tti koI trvp^p^axoc, kcu
TO p^eytaTov, ovt(o koX vpel^ Kal 6 Brjp^^ Sid-
K€ia0€ 7r/)09 pe &aT€ Kal irdw &v TrpofTrarelaOai ^

3 vn ip,ov ideXrjaai, ov pivroi Kal im irXelov
vpa^ i^rjyqaopLaL, ovBe ipel Tt9 a>9 eycb T?j9
avrap'xJ'Ct^ iv€Ka irdvTa Tct irpoKaTeipyaapiva
eirpa^a* dXXct d<f>ii]pi rijv dp^vv diraa-av Kal
airoBiScop^i vpHv irdvTa dirXo^^, tA oirXa roif^
vopov^ Tct €0inj, ovx 07rft)9 eKelva oaa pLOi vp^i^

4 iTreTpeyjrare, dXXa koI oaa auTo? /a€tA ravff* vpuv
7rpoa'€KTr](Tdp,rjv, cva Kal i^ avT&v tcjv epycov
KaTapau7)T€ Tova , on ovo air apx^j^ ovva-
creia^ tiv6<; iTreSvprjaa, a\V 6vT(d<; t& t€ warpl
Scivw a-<f>ay€vn Tcpapriaai Kal ttiv ttoXiv €k
peydXav Kal iiraXXTjXayv KaK&v i^eXiadat rjOe-

5 Xr)(ra, o<^€Xov pev yctp prjS^ iTna-TtjvaC ttotc
ovTcct T0t9 TTpdypaar tovt eaTcv, 6(f>€Xov pij

• irpocrrarucrOai M, wpoararutrOe V,

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putation. But as it is, when the performance will b.c. 27
follow the promise this very day, I feel quite con-
fident, not only that I shall incur no reproach of
falsehood, but that I shall surpass all mankind in
good repute. Y^u see for yourselves, of cour§e,
that it is in my power to rule over you for. life ; for
every factious element has either been put down ,
through the application of justice or brought to its
senses by receiving mercy, while those who were on '
my side have been made devoted by my reciprocat-
ing their friendly services and bound fast by having
a share in the government. Therefore none of them
desires a revolution, and if anything of the sort
should take place, at least the party which will
stand by me is even more ready than it was before.
My military is in the finest condition as regards both
loyalty and strength ; there is money and there are
allies ; and, most important of all, you and the
people are so disposed toward me that you would
distinctly wish to have me at your head. However, ^^
I shall lead you no longer, and no one will be able '
to say that it was to win absolute power that I did
whatever has hitherto been done. Nay, I give up
my office completely, and restore to you absolutely

Online LibraryCassius Dio CocceianusDio's Roman history, with an English translation → online text (page 14 of 35)