Cassius Dio Cocceianus.

Dio's Roman history, with an English translation online

. (page 33 of 35)
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prevent decrees from being passed^ a ruling was
made that all decisions reached by those in atten-
dance at any meeting should be valid. Moreover,
ex-consuls were appointed to have oversight over
the grain and bread supplies, so that only a fixed
quantity should be sold to each person. Augustus,
to be sure, gave free of cost to those who were
receiving doles of com as much again in every case
as they were already getting; but when even that
did not suffice for their needs, he forbade even the
holding of public banquets on his birthday.

When many parts of the city were at this time
destroyed by fire, he organized a company of freed-
men, in seven divisions, to render assistance on such
occasions, and appointed a knight in command over
them, expecting to disband them in a short time.
He did not do so, however ; for he found by experi-
ence that the aid they gave was most valuable and
necessary, and so retained them. These night-
watchmen exist to the present day, as a special
corps, one might say, recruited no longer from the
freedmen only, but from the other classes as well.
They have barracks in the city and draw pay from
the public treasury.

Now the masses, distressed by the famine and the .
tax and the losses sustained in the fire, were ill at ^
ease, and they not only openly discussed numerous
plans for a revolution, but also posted at night even
more numerous bulletins. Word was given out that
all this had been planned and managed by one
Publius^ Rufiis, but suspicion was directed to others ;

^ The same man, evidently, who is called Plautius Rufus by
Suetonius (Aug. 19) ; his whole name may have been Publius
Plautius Rufus.


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for as Rufus could neither have devised nor accom-
plished any of these things^ it was believed that
others^ making use of his name^ were planning a
revolution. Therefore an investigation of the affair
was voted for and rewards for information were an-
nounced. Information began to be offered, and this
also contributed to the commotion in the city. This
lasted until the scarcity of grain was at an end and
gladiatorial games in honour of Drusus were given
by Germanicus Caesar and Tiberius Claudius Nero,
his sons. For this mark of honour to the memory of
Drusus comfoi-ted the people, and also the dedication
by Tiberius of the temple of Castor and Pollux, upon
which he inscribed not only his own name, — calling
himself Claudianus instead of Claudius, because of
his adoption into the family of Augustus, — but also
that of Drusus. Tiberius, it should be explained,
continued to carry on the wars, and at the same time
visited the city repeatedly whenever the opportunity
offered; this was partly, to be sure, on account of
various business, but chiefly because he was afraid
that Augustus might take advantage of his absence
to show preference to somebody else.

These were the events in the city that year. In
Achaia the governor died in the middle of his term
and instructions were given to his quaestor and to
his assessor (whom, as I have stated,^ we call envoy)
for the former to administer the province as far as
the Isthmus and the other the remainder. Herod ^
of Palestine, who was accused by his brothers of
some wrongdoing or other, was banished beyond the

1 Cf. liii. 14, 6.

' Archelaus, son of Herod the Great, who used the name
Herod on his coinage.



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» /ire^a^w Reiin., ^ir«rt|« M. * ovJev tip Pflugk, obUya M,

* rairovXoi {rairov\ot) R. Steph., y^rovXoi M.


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Alps and his portion of the domain was confiscated
to the state.

Ehiring this same period many wars also took
place. Pirates overran a good many districts^ so
that Sardinia had no senator as governor for some
years, but was in charge of soldiers with knights as
commanders. Not a few cities rebelled, with the
result that for two years the same men held oflSce. in
the provinces which belonged to the people and
were appointed ^ instead of being chosen by lot ; of
course the pro\'inces which belonged to Caesar were,
in any case, assigned to the same men for a longer
period. But I shall not go into all these matters
minutely, for many things not worthy of record
happened in individual instances and their recital in
detail would serve no useful purpose. I shall give
simply the events worthy of some mention and very
briefly at that, except in the case of those of greatest

The Isaurians began with marauding expeditions,
but were led on into all the horrors of war, until
they were utterly subdued. The Gaetulians, also,
were discontented with their king, juba, and
scorning the thought that they, too, should be ruled
over by the Romans, rose against him. They ravaged
the neighbouring territory, slew many even of the
Romans who made a campaign against them, and, in
fine, gained so great headway that Cornelius Cossus,
who subjugated them, received triumphal honours
and also a title from them.* While these events
were occurring, expeditions against the Grermans
also were being conducted by various leaders>

^ By Augustus, naturally.
. ^.OaetuUcus.

H H 2


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especially Tiberius. He advanced first to the river a.d. g
Visurgis and later as far as the Albis, but nothing
noteworthy was accomplished at this time^ although
not only Augustus but also Tiberius was called im-
perator because of the campaign^ and Gains Sentius^
the governor of Germany, received triumphal honours,
inasmuch as the Germans, through their fear of the
Romans, made a truce, not merely once, but twice.
The reason that peace was granted them a second
time, in spiteT of their having broken their truce so
soon, was that the Dalmatians and Pannonians were
in a state of great disturbance and required sharp

The Dalmatians, chafing under the levies of tri-
bute, had hitherto kept quiet, though unwillingly.
But when Tiberius made his second campaign against
the Germans, and Valerius Messallinus, the governor
of Dalmatia and Pannonia at the time, was sent out
with him, taking most of his army along, the Dal-
matians, too, were ordered to send a contingent;
and on coming together for this purpose and behold-
ing the strength of their warriors, they no longer
delayed, but, under the vehement urging of one
Bato, a Desidiatian, at first a few revolted and
defeated the Romans who came against them, and
then the rest also rebelled in consequence of this
success. Next the Breucians, a Pannonian tribe, put
another Bato at their head and marched against
Sirmium and the Romans in that town. They did


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^ KaiKlvas E. Steph., Koi Kivpas M.

' ^va/xax^ffeaOai Dind. , ivafMix4<r€ur$ai M.

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not capture the place, however, for Caecina Severus,
the governor of the neighbouring province of Moesia,
marched rapidly against them, when he heard of
their uprising, and joining battle with them near the
river Dravus,^ vanquished them ; but hoping in some
way to renew the struggle soon, since many of the
Romans also had fallen, they turned their attention
to summoning their allies and were getting together
as many as they could. Meanwhile the Dalmatian
Bato marched upon Salonae, where he was badly
wounded by a stone missile and so accomplished
nothing himself; but he sent out some others, who
wrought havoc along the whole sea-coast as far as
Apollonia, and at that point, in spite of having been
first defeated, won a battle in turn against the
Romans who engaged them. Now when Tiberius
learned of this, fearing that they might invade Italy, he
returned from Germany, sending Messallinus ahead
and following himself with most of his army. But
Bato learned of their approach, and although not yet
well, went to meet Messallinus ; and though he proved
stronger than Messallinus in open conflict, he was
afterward defeated by an ambuscade. Thereupon he
went to Bato, the Breucian, and making common
cause with him in the war, occupied a mountain
named Alma. Here they were defeated by Rhoe-
metalces, the Thracian, who had been sent ahead
against tiiem by Severus, but resisted Severus him-
self vigorously. Later, when Severus withdrew to
Moesia, because the Dacians and Sarmatians were

• rivt . . . fidxv Oddey, rtva . . . yuixnv M.


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ravaging it, and Tiberius and Messallinus were tarry-
ing in Siscia, the Dalmatians overran the territory of
their allies and caused many more to revolt. And
although Tiberius approached them, they would
engage in no pitched battle with him, but kept
moving from one place to another, causing great
devastation ; for, owing to their knowledge of the
country and the lightness of their equipment, they
could easily proceed wherever they pleased. And
when winter set in they did much greater damage,
for they even invaded Macedonia again. As for
these forces, now, Rhoemetalces and his brother
Rhascyporis checked them by a battle; and as for
the others, they did not come to the defence of their
country when it was later ravaged (in the consulship
of Caecilius Metellus and Licinius Silanus), but took
refuge in the mountain fortresses, from which they
made raiding expeditions whenever the chance

When Augustus learned of these things, he began
to be suspicious of Tiberius, who, as he thought,
might speedily have overcome the Dalmatians, but
was delaying purposely, in order that he might be
under arms as long as possible, with the war as his
excuse. He therefore sent out Germanicus, although
he was only a quaestor, and gave him an army com-
posed not only of free-born citizens but also of freed-
men, including those whom he had freed from slavery
by taking them from their masters and mistresses on
payment of their value and the cost of their mainten-
ance for six months. This was not the only measure
he took to meet the need occasioned by the war,
but he also postponed the review of the knights,
which was wont to occur in the Forum. And he


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made a vow with reference to .the Megalensian a.d. r
games because some woman had cut some letters on
her arm and practised some sort of divination. He
knew well, to be sure, that she had not been pos-
sessed by any divine power, but had done this thing
deliberately; but inasmuch as the populace was
terribly wrought up over both the wars and the
famine (which had now set in once more), he, too,
affected to believe the common report and proceeded
to do anything that would make the crowd cheerful,
regarding such measures as necessary. And in view
of the dearth of grain he appointed two ex-consuls
commissioners of the grain supply, granting them
lictors. And as there was need of more money for ,
the wars and for the support of the night-watchmen, '
he introduced the tax of two per cent, on the sale of
slaves, and he ordered that the money which was
regularly paid from the public treasury to the praie-
tors who gave gladiatorial combats should no longer
be expended.

Tlie reason why he sent Germanicus and not
Agrippa to take the field was that the latter pos-
sessed an illiberal nature, and spent most of his time
in fishing, by virtue of which he used to call himself
Neptune. He used to give way to violent anger,
and spoke ill of Livia as a stepmother, while he often
reproached Augustus himself for not giving him the
inheritance his father had left him. When he could
not be made to moderate his conduct, he was banished
and his property was given to the military treasury ;
he himself was put ashore on Planasia, the island
near Corsica.


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Padus, quern Italiae soli fluviorum regem dicunt
cognomento Eridanus, ab Augusto imperatore latis-

Online LibraryCassius Dio CocceianusDio's Roman history, with an English translation → online text (page 33 of 35)