Cassius Dio Cocceianus.

Dio's Roman history, with an English translation online

. (page 19 of 35)
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might not join forces and so be more difficult to
subdue ; and he conquered them very easily, inas-
much as they attacked his divisions only in small
groups. After forcing them to come to terms he
demanded a stated sum of money, as if he were
going to impose no other punishment ; then, send-
ing soldiers everywhere ostensibly to collect the
money, he arrested those who were of militafy
age and sold them, on the understanding that none
of them should be liberated within twenty years.
The best of their land was given to some of the
Pretorians, and later on received the city called
Augusta Praetoria.2 Augustus himself waged- war
upon the Astures and upon the Cantabri at one and
the same time. But these peoples would neither
yield to him, because they were confident on account
of their strongholds, nor would they come to close
quarters, owing to their inferior numbers and the
circumstance that most of them were javelin-
throwers, and, besides, they kept causing him a

1 Probably in a lost, portion of the work, perhaps Book
xxii. Cf. Frag. 74 and Book xlix. 34. * The modern Aosta.


s 2

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great deal of annoyance, always forestalling him by b.o. 25
seizing the higher ground whenever a manoeuvre
was attempted, and lying in ambush for him in the
valleys and woods. Accordingly Augustus found him-
self in very great embarrassment, and having fallen ill
from over-exertion and anxiety, he retired to Tarraco
and there remained in poor health. Meanwhile
Gaius Antistius fought against them and accom-
plished a good deal, not because he was a better
general than Augustus, but because the barbarians
felt contempt for him and so joined battle with the
Romans and were defeated. In this way he captured
a few places, and afterwards Titus ^ Carisius took
Lancia, the principal fortress of the Astures, after
it had been abandoned, and also won over many
other places.

Upon the conclusion of this war Augustus dis-
charged the more aged of his soldiers and allowed
them to found a city in Lusitania, called Augusta
Emerita.2 For those who were still of military age
he arranged some exhibitions in the very camps,
under the direction of Tiberius and Marcellus, since
they were aediles. To Juba he gave portions of
Gaetulia in return for the prince's hereditary domain,
the most of whose inhabitants had been enrolled in
the Roman state, and also the possessions of Bocchus
and Bogud. On the death of Amyntas he did not
entrust his kingdom to the sons of the deceased,
but made it part of the subject temtory. Thus
Galatia together with Lycaonia obtained a Roman
governor, and the portions of Pamphylia formerly
assigned to Amyntas were restored to their own

^ Possibly this praenomen is an error for Publius.
* The modern Merida.


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^ TV Rk., r^ T€ VM. * ^KXtiaey M, om. V.
• oiy M, om. V.


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district. About this same time Marcus Vinicius b.c. 25
took vengeance upon some of the Germans because
they had arrested and slain Romans who entered
their country to trade with them ; and thus he, too,
caused the title of imperator to be bestowed upon
Augustus. For this and his other exploits of this
period a triumph, as well as the title, was voted to
Augustus ; but as he did not care to celebrate it, a
triumphal arch was erected in the Alps in his honour
and he was granted the right always to wear both
the crown and the triumphal garb on the first day
of the year.

After these achievements in the wars Augustus
closed the precinct of Janus, which had been opened
because of these wars. Meanwhile Agrippa beauti-
fied the city at his own expense. First, in honour
of the naval victories he completed the building
called the Basilica of Neptune and lent it added
brilliance by the painting representing the Argonauts.
Next he constructed the Laconian sudatorium. He
gave the name "Laconian" to the gymnasium be-
cause the Lacedaemonians had a greater reputation
at that time than anybody else for stripping and exer-
cising after anointing themselves with oil. Also he
completed the building called the Panthegn. It has "^
this name, perhaps because it received among the
images which decorated it the statues of many gods,
including Mars and Venus ; but my own opinion of
the name is that, because of its vaulted roof, it re-
sembles the heavens. 1 Agrippa, for his part, wished
to place a statue of Augustus there also and to

^ The present Pantheon, as is now recognized, dates from .
the reign of Hadrian. The vast rotunda is surmounted by a |
dome, in the centre of which there is a circular opening )
nearly thirty feet in diameter for the admission of light.


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^ Kalffopos M, Krlfffjiaros V.
^ rSre M, tovto V


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bestow upon him the honour of having the structure b.c. 25
named after him ; but when the emperor would not
accept either honour, he placed in the temple itself
a statue of the former Caesar and in the ante-room
statues of Augustus and himself. This was done,
not out of any rivalry or ambition on Agrippa's part
to make himself equal to Augustus, but from his
hearty loyalty to him and his constant zeal for the
public good ; hence Augustus, so far from censuring
him for it, honoured him the more. For example,
when he himself was prevented by illness from being
in Rome at that time and celebrating there the mar-
riage of his daughter Julia and his nephew Marcellus,
he commissioned Agrippa to hold the festival in his
absence ; and when the house on the Palatine Mount
which had formerly belonged to Antony but liad
later been given to Agrippa and Messalla was burned
down,' he presented money to Messalla, but made
Agrippa share his own house. Agrippa not un-
naturally took great pride in these honours. And
one Gaius Toranius also acquired a good reputation
because while tribune he brought his father, although
a freedman of somebody or other, into the theatre
and made him sit beside him upon the tribunes'
bench. Publius Servilius, too, made a name for him-
self because while praetor he caused to be slain at a
festival three hundred bears and other African wild
beasts equal in number.

Augustus now became consul for the tenth time, b.o. 24
with Gaius Norbanus as colleague, and on the first
day of the year the senate confirmed his acts by


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taking oaths. And when word was brought that he
was already drawing near the city (for his illness had
.delayed his return), and he promised to give the
people four hundred sesterces each, though he for-
bade the posting of the edict concerning the dona-
tives until the senate should give its approval, they
freed him from all compulsion of the laws, in order,
as I have stated,^ that he might be in reality in-
dependent and supreme over both himself and the
laws and so might do everjrthing he wished and
refrain from doing anything he did not wish. This
right was voted to him while he was yet absent ;
and upon his arrival m Rome various other privileges
were accorded hini in honour of his recovery and
return. Marcellus was given the right to be a
senator among the ex-praetors and to stand for the
consulship ten years earlier than was customary,
while Tiberius was permitted to stand for each
office five years before the regular age ; and he was
at once elected quaestor and Marcellus aedile. And
when there were not enough men to serve as
quaestors in the provinces, all drew lots for the
places who during the ten years previous had held
the quaestorship without being assigned to any

These, then, were the noteworthy occurrences that
took place in the city at that time. As soon as
Augustus had departed from Spain, leaving behind
Lucius Aemilius as its governor, the Cantabri and
the Astures revolted ; and sending word to Aemilius,
before revealing to him the least sign whatever of
their purpose, they said that they wished to make a
present to his anny of grain and other things. Then,

1 See chap. 18.


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after securing a considerable number of soldiers, b.c. 24
ostensibly to take back the presents, they conducted
them to places suitable for their purpose and mur.
dered them. Their satisfaction, however, was short-
lived; for their country was devastated, some of
their forts burned, and, worst of all, the hands of all
who were caught were cut off, and so they were
quickly subdued.

While this was going on, another and a new cam-
paign had at once its beginning and its end. It was
conducted by Aelius Gallus, the governor of Egypt,
against the country called Arabia Felix, of which
Sabos was king. At first Aelius encountered no one,
yet he did not proceed without difficulty; for the
desert, the sun, and the water (which had some
peculiar nature) all caused his men great distress, so
that the larger part of the army perished. The
malady proved to be unlike any of the common com-
plaints, but attacked the head and caused it to become
parched, killing forthwith most of those who were
attacked, but in the case of those who survived this
stage it descended to the legs, skipping all the inter-
vening parts of the body, and caused dire injury to
them. There was no remedy for it except a mixture
of olive -oil and wine, both taken as a drink and used
as an ointment ; and this remedy naturally lay within
reach of only a few of them, since the country pro-
duces neither of these articles and the men had not
prepared an abundant supply of them beforehand.
In the midst of this trouble the barbarians also fell


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upon them. For hitherto they had been defeated b,c. 24
whenever they joined battle, and had even been
losing some places ; but now, with the disease as
their ally, they not only won back their own posses-
sions, but also drove the survivors of the expedition
out of the country. These were the first of the
Romans, and, I believe, the only ones^ to traverse
so much of this part of Arabia for the purpose of
making war ; for they advanced as far as the place
called Athlula, a famous locality.^

When Augustus was consul for the eleventh time, b.c. 23
with Calpurnius Piso, he fell so ill once more as to
have no hope of recovery ; at any rate, he arranged
everything as if he were about to die, and gathered
about him the magistrates and the foremost senators
and knights. He did not, to be sure, appoint a suc-
cessor, though all were expecting that Marcellus
would be preferred for this position, but after talking
with them awhile about the public affairs, he gave
Piso the list of the forces and of the public revenues
written in a book, and handed his ring to Agrippa.
And although he lost the power of attending even
to the most urgent matters, yet a certain Antonius
Musa restored him to health by means of cold baths
and cold potions. For this, Musa received a great deal
of money from both Augustus and the senate, as well
as the right to wear gold rings (for he was a freed-
man), and he was granted exemption from taxes,
both for himself and for the members of his profes-
sion, not only those living at the time but also those
of future generations. But it was fated that he who
had taken to himself the functions of Fortune or

^ The place has not been identified ; Strabo (xvi. 4, 24)
calls it Athrula.


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Destiny should speedily be caught in her toils ; for b.o. 23
though Augustus had been saved in this manner, yet
when Marcellus fell ill not long afterward and was
treated in the same way by Musa, he died. Augustus
gave him a public burial after the customary eulogies,
placing him in the tomb which he was building,
and as a memorial to him finished the theatre
whose foundations had already been laid by the
former Caesar ^ and which was now called the theatre
of Marcellus. And he ordered also that a golden
image of the deceased, a golden crown, and a curule
chair should be carried into the theatre at the Ludi
Romani and should be placed in the midst of the
officials having charge of the games.

This he did later ; at the time, after being restored
to health, he brought his will into the senate and
desired to read it, by way of showing people that
he had left no successor to his realm; but he did
not read it, for none would permit it. Absolutely
everybody, however, was astonished at him because,
although he loved Marcellus both as son-in-law and
nephew, and in addition to other honours shown him
had to such an extent helped him make a brilliant

Online LibraryCassius Dio CocceianusDio's Roman history, with an English translation → online text (page 19 of 35)