Cassius Dio Cocceianus.

Dio's Roman history, with an English translation online

. (page 26 of 35)
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to them before the greatest calamities. Owls kept b.c. 12
flitting about the city, and lightning struck the
house on the Alban Mount where the consuls lodge
during the sacred rites. ^ 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.

These were the events connected with Agrippa's
deltth. 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 the 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 con-
vening. 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.

When the province of Asia was in dire need ot
assistance on account of earthquakes, he paid into

1 At the Feriae Latinae. ^ i.e. the " hairy " star.

•* Cf. xlviii. 43, 4. * Praefectm moribus.


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the public treasury from his private funds the b.c. 12
amount of its annual tribute and assigned to it for
two years a governor chosen by lot and not

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. 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.

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 j
were still boys at this time. He first made him, as
he had made Agrippa, divorce his wife, though she
was the daughter of Agrippa by a former nmrriage ,'
and was bringing up one child and was about to j
give birth to another ; and having betrothed Julia to • ^, / ^
him, he sent him out against the Pannonians. This^^
j>eople had for a time been quiet through fear of

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Agrippa, but now after his death they had revolted. b.c. 12
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.
For these achievements the senate voted him a
triumph, but Augustus did not permit him to cele-
brate it, though he granted him the triumphal
honours instead.

Drusus had this same experience. The Sugambri
and their allies had resorted to war, owing to the
absence of Augustus and the fact that the Gauls
were restive under their slavery, and Drusus there-
fore 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. Next he crossed over to the
country of the Usipetes,^ passing ^long 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

^ The Usipetes or Usipil dwelt at this time just east of
the Rhine and north of the Lupia (Lippe).

^ Some have taken this to be the Zuyder Zee (Lacus Flevo),
others the bay at the mouth of the Ems, east of which the
Chauci lived. Presumably he would already have sailed
through the Zuyder Zee to reach the Frisians.


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left high and dry by the ebb of the ocean. ^ He was b.o. 12
saved on this occasion by the Frisians, who had
joined his expedition with their infantry, and with-
drew, since it was now winter. Upon arriving in b.o. 11
Rome he was appointed praetor urbanus, in the
consulship of Quintius Aelius and Paulus Fabius,
although he already had the rank of praetor. At
the beginning of spring he set 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.* 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. Consequently he
proceeded no farther, but retired to friendly terri-
tory, 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 con-
tempt for them, as if they were already captured
and needed only the finishing stroke, and so come

* The Lippe. * The Weser.

* 4e€\-fl<raprds Bk., efK-fitravrds VM. * k^v Rk., Kai VM.

• l\a«€ M, hi\a0€ V. ' &!/ M, om. V.


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to close quarters with them in disorder. This led b.c. ii
to tlieir being worsted, after which they were no
longer so bold, but kept up a petty annoyance of
Ills troops from a distance, while refusing to come
nearer. Drusus accordingly conceived a scorn of
them in his turn and fortified a stronghold against
tliem at the point where the Lupia and the Eliso ^
unite, and also another among the Chatti on the
bank of the Rhine. For these successes he received
tlie 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 em-
peror himself gained this appellation was increased
as the result of the exploits of these two men.

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.
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.

Tiberius subdued the Dalmatians, who began a
rebellion, and later the Pannonians, who ^^^^^^^
revolted, taking advantage of the absence of himselt
and the larger part of his army. He made war
1 The Alme, uniting with the Lippe at Paderborti. TYve
usual claRsical form of the name is Aliso.
* That is, to celebrate an ovcUio. ^^




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upon both of them at once^ shifting now to one b.c.ii
front and now to the other. As a result of his
success he gained the same prizes as Drusus. After
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.

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 after-
wards, 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 Cher-
sonese, where he wrought great havoc. 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 neigh-
bouring tribes which had taken part in the uprising.
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.


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' ainov Zon., iavrov VM.

^ *lou\i€iov Dind., iovviov VM.


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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 vahdity if passed by a smaller
number. 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; and he, afber 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.

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.^
He himself delivered the funeral oration there, and
Orusus delivered one from the rostra ; for the
mourning was publicly observed and the senators
had changed their dress. Her body was carried in

1 Cf. chap. 28, 3.


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B.C. 11


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^ T^ supplied by Rk.

^ iiriT€Tpafifi4voi R. Steph., 4iriy(ypafifi4yoi VM.

^ A€\fi(LTai St. ) iaKfidrai VM.

* inf^ier-fiearo Pflugk, kv^critifaTo VM.


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the procession by her sons-in-law ; but not all the b.c. ii
honours voted for her were accepted by Augustus.

At this same period the priest of Jupiter was
appointed for the first time since Merula,i and the
quaestors were ordered to preserve the decrees
passed at various times^ inasmuch as the tribunes

Online LibraryCassius Dio CocceianusDio's Roman history, with an English translation → online text (page 26 of 35)