Cassius Dio Cocceianus.

Dio's Roman history, with an English translation online

. (page 30 of 35)
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to him, forestalled action on their part by coming to
terms with the Romans, on condition that he him-
self should renounce Armenia and that his brothers
should remain beyond the sea. The Armenians,
however, in spite of the fact that Tigranes had
perished in a war with barbarians and Erato had
resigned her sovereignty, nevertheless went to war
with the Romans because they were being handed
over to a Mede, Ariobarzanes, who had once come to
the Romans along with Tiridates. This was in the a.d 2
following year, when Publius Vinicius and Publius
Varus were consuls. And though they accomplished
nothing worthy of note, a certain Addon, who was (a.d. s)
holding Artagira, induced Gains to come up close to
the wall, pretending that he would reveal to him
some of the Parthian king's secrets, and then
wounded him, whereupon he was besieged. He held
out fpr a long time ; but when he was at last captured,
not only Augustus but Gains also assumed the title
of imperatoTy and Armenia was given by Augustus
and the senate first to Ariobarzanes and then upon
his death a little later to his son Artabazus. Gains
became ill from his wound, and since he was not
robust to begin with and the condition of his health
had impaired his mind, this illness blunted his facul-
ties still more. At last he begged leave to retire to
private life, and it was his desire to remain some-
where in Syria. Augustus, accordingly, grieved at
heart, communicated his wish to the senate, and


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urged him to come at least to Italy and then do as (a.d. s)
he pleased. So Gaius resigned at once all the duties
of his office and took a trading vessel to Lycia,
where, at Limyra, he passed away. But even before <a d. 4)
Gaius' death the spark of life in Lucius had been
quenched at Massilia. He, too, was being trained
to rule by being despatched on missions to many
places, and it was his custom personally to read the
letters of Gaius in the senate, whenever he was
present. His death was due to a sudden illness.
In connexion with both deaths, therefore, suspicion '^
attached to tivia, and particularly because it was •
just at this time that Tiberius returned to Rome
from Rhodes. Tiberius, it seems, was extremely
well versed in the art of divination by means of the
stars, and had with him Thrasyllus, who was a past^
master of all astrology, so that he had full and accur-
ate knowledge of what fate had in store both for
him and for Gaius and Lucius. And the story goes
that once in Rhodes he was about to push Thrasyllus
from the walls, because he was the only one who
shared all his own thoughts ; but he did not carry
out his intention when he observed that Thrasyllus
was gloomy, — not, indeed, because of his gloom, but
because, when asked why his countenance was over-
cast, the other replied that he had a premonition that
some peril was in store for him. This answer made
Tiberius marvel that he could foresee the mere
project of the plot, and so he conceived the desire
to keep Thrasyllus for his own purposes because of
the hopes he entertained.

Thrasyllus had so clear a knowledge of all matters
that when he descried, approaching afar off, the ship
which was bringing to Tiberius the message from his

4a X

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mother and Augustus to return to Rome, he told a d. 2
him in advance what news it would bring.

The bodies of Lucius and Gains were brought to - (a.d. 4)
Rome by the military tribunes and by the chief men ,
of each city. And the golden targes and spears
which they had received from the knights on entering
the class of youths of military age were set up in
the senate-house.

When Augustus was once called "master" by the
people, he not only forbade that any one should use
this form of address to him, but also took very good
care to enforce his command. And now that his
third ten-year period was completed, he accepted :
the leadership for the fourth time, though ostensibly ad. 3
under compulsion. He had become milder through
age and more reluctant to incur the hatred of any of
the senators, and hence now wished to offend none
of them.

For lending sixty million sesterces for three years
without interest to such as needed it he was praised
and magnified by all.

Once, when a fire destroyed the palace and many
persons offered him large sums of money, he accepted
nothing but an aureus from entire communities and
a denarius from single individuals. I here use the
name aureus, according to the Roman practice, for
the coin worth one hundred sesterces. Some of the
Greeks, also, whose books we read with the object
of acquiring a pure Attic style, have given it this

3 iroT€ VC, r6T€ L'. * r6r€ rh CU, rh V.


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2 yfipoos E (o) corrected from ov). yhpovs ABO.

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Among the Greeks, Dio says, the aureus is ex- a.d. 3
changed for twenty drachmas.^

When Augustus had built his house, he made it _,
all state property, either on account of the con-
tributions made by the people or because he was
high priest and wished to live in apartments that
were at once private and public.

The people urged Augustus very strongly to
restore his daughter from exile, but he answered
that fire should sooner mix with water than she
should be restored. And the people threw many
firebrands into the Tiber ; and though at the time
they accomplished nothing, yet later on they brought
such pressure to bear that she was at least brought
from the island to the mainland.

Later, when a German war broke out and Augustus a.d. 4
was worn out in body, by reason of old age and ill-
ness, and incapable of taking the field, he yielded,
partly to the force of circumstances and partly to
the persuasions of Julia, who had now been restored
from banishment, and not only adopted Tiberius, but \ -^
also sent him out against the Germans, granting him
the tribunician power for ten years. Yet suspecting
that he also would lose his poise somehow or other,
and fearing that he would begin a rebellion, he made
him adopt his nephew Germanicus, though Tiberius
had a son of Tns^ own." After this he took courage,
feeling that he had successors and supporters, and
he desired to reorganize the senate once more. So :
he nominated the ten senators whom he most highly

* That is, for the equivalent of eighty, instead of a hundred,

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^ iK€7voy Xyl., iK^ivov M. cod. Coisl.


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honoured and appointed three of them, selected by a
lot, to examine the qualifications of senators. There
were not many, however, who were affected, either
by declaring themselves disqualified when permission
was given them to do so, as had been done on the
previous occasion,^ or by having their names erased
against their will.

Now Augustus caused others to carry through this
business for him ; but he himself took a census, but j
only of the inhabitants of Italy who possessed
property worth at least two hundred thousand ses-
terces, for he did not compel the poorer citizens or
those living outside of Italy to be listed, fearing lest,
if they were disturbed, they would become rebellious.
And in order that he might not appear to be acting
herein in the capacity of censor, for the reason I
mentioned before,^ he assumed the proconsular
power for the purpose of completing the census and
performing the purification. Inasmuch, moreover,
as many of the young men of the senatorial class
and of the knights as well were poor through no
fault of their own, he made up to most of them the
required amount, and in the case of some eighty
increased it to one million two hundred thousand
sesterces. Since also many were freeing their slaves
indiscriminately, he fixed the age which the manu-
mitter and also the slave to be freed by him must
have reached and likewise the legal principles which
should govern the relations of both citizens in
general and the former masters toward slaves who
were set free.

While he was thus occupied, various men formed \
plots against him, notably Gnaeus Cornelius, a son I

1 Cf. lii. 42, 2, and liv. 26, 4. « cf. liv. 1, 5-2, 1.


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of the daughter of Pompey the Great. Augustus .a.d. 4
was consequently in great perplexity for some time, '
since he neither wished to put the plotters to death,
inasmuch as he saw that no greater safety would
accrue to him by their destruction, nor to let them
go, for fear this might induce others to conspire
against him. While he was in doubt what to do and
was finding it impossible either to be free from
apprehension by day or from restlessness by night,
Livia one day said to him : " What means this,
husband ? Why is it that you do not sleep ? "

And Augustus answered : '^What man, wife, could
even for a moment forget his cares, who always has
so many enemies and is so constantly the object of
plots on the part of one set of men or another ? Do
you not see how many are attacking both me and
our sovereignty ? And not even the punishment of
those who are brought to justice serves to check
them; nay, quite the opposite is the result — ^those
who are left are as eager to accomplish their own
destruction also as if they were striving for some
honourable thing."

Then Livia, hearing this, said : " That you should
be the object of plotting is neither remarkable nor
contrary to human nature. For you do a great many
things, possessing so large an empire as you do,
and naturally cause grief to not a few. A ruler can
not, of course, please everybody ; nay, it is inevitable
that even a king whose rule is altogether upright
should make many men his enemies. For those who
wish to do wrong are far more numerous than those
who do right, and it is impossible to satisfy their
desires. Even among such as possess a certain ex-
cellence, some covet many great rewards which they


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Kal TTpdrffiaTa^ Kal <f>povTiSa^ koI <f>o0ov^ inrep
Trai/ra? tou? lSia}TevovTa<; etx^f^v. ifik Se Br) Kal
avTO TovTO Xvirel, Srt Kal dva/yKaiov eari ravd^
ovTco^ yiyvetrdai, koI dSuvarov deparrelav Tivd
avT&v evpedrjvai.^^

3 "'AW' eireihij ye Tive^ toiovtoC eltriv olb*

^ irpdyfjiara Xiph., irpayfia M,

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can not obtain, and some chafe because they are less
honoured than others ; hence both these classes find
fault with the ruler. Therefore it is impossible to
avoid meeting with mischief, either at the hands ot
these or, in addition, at the hands of those who
attack, not you personally, but the monarchy. For
if you were a private citizen, no one would willingly
have done you any harm, unless he had previously
received some injury ; but all men covet the office of
ruler and the good things that office, affords, and
those who already possess some power covet much
more than those who are lacking in this respect. It
is, indeed, the way of men who are wicked and have
very little sense to do so ; in fact, it is implanted in
their nature, just like any other instinct, and it is
impossible either by persuasion or by compulsion to
destroy such instincts in some of them ; for there
is no law and no fear stronger than the instincts im-
planted by nature. Reflect on this, therefore, and
do not be vexed at the shortcomings of the other
sort of men, but as for your own person and your
sovereignty, keep close guard of them, that we may
hold the throne securely, not by the strictness of the
punishments you inflict upon individuals, but by the
strictness with which you guard it."

To this Augustus replied : ^^ But, wife, I, too, am
aware that no high position is ever free from envy
and treachery, and least of all a monarchy. Indeed,
we should be equals of the gods if we had not
troubles and cares and fears beyond all men in
private station. But precisely this is what causes my
grief, — that this is inevitably so and that no remedy
for it can be found."

"Yet," said Li via, "since some men are so con-


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TrdvTG)^ dSiKeiv iffiXecv,** elirev 17 Aiovia, " fjfielfi
ye avToif^ <f)v\aTT(o/jL€da. I%o/a€v Sk koI arpa-

Ttft)Ta9 TTOWOU?, SiV 01 flkv TT/OO? TOU? irdXjBfJilOV^

avTtT€TayfjL€voi oi Se koI irepl ak ovre^ <f>povpov(rw
rifid<:, KoX Oepa'ireiav TroWrjv, &ar€ fcal ot/coi koI
6^(0 Si* avToif^ da'<l>a\w ^rjv"

4 'Tir6ka/3a>v ovv 6 Avyovtrrof;' " on fiev iroXKoX
TToXKcLKi,^ Koi utt' avT&v T&v avvovTODv i<f>ddprj~
aav, ovhivT €<l>i], " Seofiac Xiyeiv. irpb^ yap
ToJ? aWoi9 Koi TOUT €V Tot^ fjLOvapxicu^ %aX€7ra)-
TaTov iariv, on fjurj fiovov tov<: iroXcfdov^, ciairep
oi aXKoiy aXKk koI tov^ <f>i)uov^^ ^o^ovfieOa,

6 KaX iroXv ye 7rX€toi;9 vtto t&v toiovtcop, are xal
dei, KaX p.ed^ 7ip.epav KaX vvKTcop, KaX yvfivovfiivoi^
a<f>Lat> KaX Kadevhovai (Tina tc xaX irord vtt*
avT&v irapeaKevaap^va \ap.pdvov(Ti avyyiyvo-
fiivcov, iirelSovXevOrfaav fj vtto t&v p^rjSev irpoarf-
KovToav Td T€ ydp dWa, koi irpo^ piv eKsivov^

€<TTl TOVTOV^ dvTlTd^ai, TTpO^ Sk TOVTOV^ aVT0V<:

6 ovK ea-Tiv d\X<p tivX avp^p^dy^ ypijaaaOai, &a8*
7jp!iv hid TrdvTcov heivov p.€v ttjv ip7jp,uiv Seivov
8k KaX TO irXrjOo^, KaX <f>o$€pov p,€v ttjv d(f>vXa^iap
(fyo/SepcoTdTOv^; Sk avTovs tou? <f)vXaKa^, KaX %aX6-

7rOU9 p,€V T0U9 €)(dpOV^ %aX€7rO)T€pOI/9 8h T0U9

<f>iXov<: €ivar (f>iXov<!; ydp dvdyKT) irdvTa^ a^d^,

7 Kav /i^ w<r4, KaXeiadai. el S' ovv n^ xaX yptfOT&v
avT&v Tvypii aXV ovti ye ovt<o iriaTevtreiev dp
a'<l>i(Tiv &aT€ KaX^ Kadapa KaX d<f)povT laTq) kcu
dvxnroTTTfp ttj yjrvxv TrpoaopjXeiv. tovto t€ oip

^ <pi\iovs M, <l>iXovs Xiph.

2 Kal added (between lines) by corrector in M, om. Xiph.


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stituted as to want to do wrong in any event, let us a.d. 4
guard against them. We have many soldiers who
protect us, some arrayed against foreign foes and
others about your person, and also a large retinue, so
that by their help we may live in security both at
home and abroad."

'^ I do not need to state," Augustus answered and
said, ^^that many men on many occasions have
perished at the hands of their immediate associates.
For monarchies have this most serious disadvantage
in addition to all the rest, that we have not only our %
enemies to fear, as have other men, but also our 1
friends. And a far greater number of rulers have '
been plotted against by such persons than by those
who have no connexion with them at all, inasmuch
as his friends are with the ruler both day and night,

Online LibraryCassius Dio CocceianusDio's Roman history, with an English translation → online text (page 30 of 35)