Cassius Dio Cocceianus.

Dio's Roman history, with an English translation online

. (page 22 of 35)
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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. 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. 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


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voted to commemorate what he had done, as though b.c. 20
he had accomplished something by valour. And his .
thoughts were already on the monarchy, inasmuch as,
when he was approaching Philippi, a tumult was
heard coming from the field of the battle, as if from
an army, and fire blazed up spontaneously from the
altars which Antony had built in the fortified camp.
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. For a great many embassies came to him,
and the people of India, who had already made over-
tures, now made a treaty of friendship, sending among
other gifts tigers, which were then for the first ti^ne
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. And yet, defective
as he was, he could use his feet for everything, as it
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. 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 be-
cause 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

1 Demeter and Kor6.


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out of season on account, they say, of Augustus, who b.c. 20
also was an initiate, and he then threw himself alive
into the fire.

The consul that year was Gaius Sentius ; and when b.c. 19
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 ; 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. For this and the 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. Since even then the 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 the
various offices five years earlier than was the practice.

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/\And inasmuch as there was no similarity between the b.c. 19
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 in-
vitation, to the position of supervisor of morals i for -x
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
cons uls. ^/ A.fter voting these measures they begged
him to set everything to rights and to enact what-
ever laws he liked ; and the laws which should be
proposed by him they called " leges Augustae " from >
that very moment, and desired lb 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; 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.

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 ; for the people there not only were quarrel-
ling 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

^ PraefectuB moribtia. ^ See chap. 6, 6.


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and sold, had killed their masters in every ease, 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. 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. Never-
theless, 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. 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 to
come down from their fortresses and live in the
plains. 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. At

* Nothing of this sort is recorded elsewhere. The passage
may be corrupt ; it has been proposed to read irph for vwep,
•* ahead of the consul's brother," i.e. out of his turn.

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' a^t<riy R. Steph., cr^io-i M.


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his own expense he brought into the city the water- b.c. 19
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 de-
clared that Agrippa had in a most competent
manner seen to it that they should never perish of

Such was the character of this man; but others
both strove for triumphs and celebrated them, not
only for no exploits comparable to his, but merely
for arresting robbers or for restoring harmony to
cities that were torn by factious strife. For Augus-
tus, at least in the beginning, bestowed these rewards
lavishly upon certain men, and those whom he hon-
oured by public funerals were very many. Accord-
ingly, while these men gained lustre through such
distinctions, Agrippa was promoted to the supreme
jjower, one might say, by him. 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
til a 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.) He therefore first added five years to his own
tema as princeps, since his ten-year period was about
to expire (this was in the consulship of Publius and b.c. is
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.
For that number of years, he said at the time, would
be enough for them ; though not long afterward he


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' dWa w4yr€ Rk., vivrt &\\a Reim., xoAAct M.
' ivf<&pa Rk. , i<&pa M. " -wov Pfliigk, irw M.
* ^h T&v Capps, v^* M.

Digitized by VjOOQIC


obtained the other five years of his imperial power ii
addition^ so that the total number became ten again.
When he had done this, h ^ purged f }}f^ ^i^natf OT J*'
hod^^ For the members seemed to him to be to
numerous even now, and he saw nothing good in
large throng ; moreover, he hated not only thos
who were notorious for some baseness, but also thos
who were conspicuous for their flattery. And wher
as on the previous occasion,^ no one would resign c
his own free will, and Augustus, in his turn, did nc
wish to incur blame alone, he himself selected th
thirty best men (a point which he afterwards coe
firmed by oath) and bade them, after first taking th
same oath, choose five at a time, relatives not to b
included, by writing the names on tablets. After thi
he made the groups of five cast lots, with the arrange
ment that the one man in each group who drew th
lot should be a senator himself and should writ
down five other names according to the same plai
The original thirty, of course, were to be include
among those who were available for selection b
the second thirty and for the drawing of lot
And since some who were chosen were out c
town, others were drawn in their place and dii
charged the duties that belonged to them. A
first all this went on for several days in the way d(
scribed ; but when various abuses crept in, Augustu
no longer entrusted the lists to the quaestoi
and no longer submitted the groups of five to th
lot, but he himself thenceforth made the selectio
and himself chose the senators who were still r<
quired in order to make the number of men aj
pointed six hundred in-all. It had, indeed, been h

1 Cf. lii. 42.


Digitized by VjOOQIC


Koaiov^ avToif^ tcara to ap')(alov Troiijaah fcal
irdvv ayairrfTov vofii^oov elvat Toaoinov<; a^lov<;
Tov avvehpiov (T(f>&v €vp€0rjvar hva'XjepavdmoDV Be
irdmoDV 6/jLoieo^ (t^ yap ttoXv irX6Lov<; t&v ififie-
vovvTODV iv avTtS T0U9 Siaypa(fyr}a'Ofiivov<; edrecrOai,
<f>ofi€ca0ac fiakXov auToif^ fiij iSicoTeva'aya'tv rf
wpoaSoKav on fcal ^ovKevcrovaiv avve^aive) tov<;

2 €^a/co<rLov^ KareXi^aTO, Kal ovSe ivravOa eaTrj,
dW^ KoX fjL€Ta TOVTO, iireihrj Tive^ ovk iiriTTjSeioL
Kol Tore iyyeypafi/jiivoi Tjaav, koX Avklvlo^ re Tt9
'P?770i;Xo9, dr/avaKTrjaa^ on tov T€ vUo^ xal
aWcov TToW&p, &p^ KpeLcTdOiv elvai rj^iov, Biei-
XeyfJiivayv diraXrjywTTTOy ttjv t€ iaOrJTa iv avT^ tw

3 ^ovXevTffpCtp KaTepprj^aTOy koI to awfia yv/xvaxra^
Ta9 T€ o-TpaTeia^ KaTr^piOfirjcraTO Koi t^9 oxika^
irpoaeirehei^e cr^icrit iccu ^ApTi/cvXeiof;^ IlacTo<;^
ev fikv TO If; ^ovkevaovaiv &v t^ B^ Btj iraTpX ifc-
ireTTTayfcoTL 7rapaxo>p^(Tai t^9 ^ovkeia^ d^imv .
i/ciT€V€V, i^€Taafiov aidi<; atfxov iTron^a-aTO, xai

4 Tiva^ d7ra\\d^a<; aXXou9 avTi/caTcXe^ev, iireihri
T€ TToXXol Kal ft)9 Bi€yeypdd)aTO, Kal TLve^ avTov
Be atTfca9,* ola iv tw ToiovTtp <f>iXei av/jLJSaiveiv,
©9 Kal dBiKO)^ dTreXrjXafiivoi €l)(pv, t6t€ t€^
avToc<i Kal avvOedaaaOai koX avvea-Tcdaaadai
To2<i fiovXevovai, Ty avTrj CKevfj 'x^payfievoif;, avve^
Xo>pv<^.€> f^f^X ^9 TO eireiTa t^9 dp^d^ aiTclv iiri-

6 Tpeylte, Kal avT&v oi fiev 7rXistov9 eTravrjXOov

* &y supplied by R. Steph.

* *ApTtKv\4tos Gary, *ApriKv\'fitos M.
^ ncuTos Bk., ircTos M.

^ ahrhy 8i* alrias Bk., avTwv curias M.
« T€ Bk., 7« M.

Digitized by VjOOQIC


plan to limit the senators to three hundred, as in , b c. is
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 dis-
pleased 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 hope-
ful of being in the new senate. 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, 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, 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
Augjjstus purged the senate again, removing some ^
and choosing others in their places. And since, even
so, the names of many had been stricken out, and

Online LibraryCassius Dio CocceianusDio's Roman history, with an English translation → online text (page 22 of 35)