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Cassius Dio Cocceianus.

Dio's Rome; an historical narrative originally composed in Greek during the reigns of Septimus Severus, Geta and Caracalla, Macrinus, Elagabalus and Alexander Severus: and now presented in English form online

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Online LibraryCassius Dio CocceianusDio's Rome; an historical narrative originally composed in Greek during the reigns of Septimus Severus, Geta and Caracalla, Macrinus, Elagabalus and Alexander Severus: and now presented in English form → online text (page 13 of 24)
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They won possession of the whole of Adiabene. (This
is a portion of Assyria in the vicinity of Ninus ; and
Arbela and Gaugamela, close to which Alexander con-
quered Darius, are also in this same territory. The
country has also been called Atyria in the language of
the barbarians, the double S being changed to T.)

(— 22—) [AdenystrsB was a strong post to which one Sentius^
a centurion, had been sent as an envoy to Mebar-
sapes. He was imprisoned by the latter in that place,
and later, at the approach of the Bomans, he made an
arangement with some of his fellow-prisoners, and
with their aid escaped from his shackles, killed the
commander of the garrison, and opened the gates to his

(«.2e— ) countrymen.] Hereupon they advanced as far as
Babylon itself, being quite free from molestation, since
the Parthian power had been ruined by civil conflicts
and was still at this time involved in dissensions.

.^27 Ckssius Dio Cooceianua in writings concerning the Latins has written

that this city [i. e. Babylon] comprised a circuit of four hundred stades*
(Compare also Tzetzes, Exegesis of Homer's Iliad, p. 141, 16 ff.)

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Here, moreover, Trajan saw the asphalt out of whidi j^ J- ^^|
the walls of Babylon had been built. When mixed with
baked bricks or smooth stones this material affords so
great strength as to render them stronger than rock
or any kind of iron. He also looked at the opening
from which issues a deadly vapor that destroys any
creature living upon the earth and any winged thing
that so much as inhales a breath of it If it extended
far above ground or had several vents, the place
would not be inhabitable; but, as it is, this gas circles
round within itself and remains stationary. ^«^^ ^«**
tures that fly high enough aboTe it and such as remain to one side
are safe. I ga^^ another opening like it at Hierapolis in
Asia, and tested it by means of birds ; I bent over it my-
self and myself gazed down upon the vapor. It is en-
closed in a sort of a cistern and a theatre had been built
over it. It destroys all living things save human beings
that have been emasculated. The reason for that I
can not comprehend. I relate what I have seen as I
have seen it and what I have heard as I have heard it.

Trajan had planned to conduct the Euphrates aT^d^ no
through a channel into the Tigris, in order that boats ^^ ^- ®^^>
might be floated down by this route, affording him an
opportunity to make a bridge. But on learning that it
had a much higher elevation than the Tigris, he did not
do it, fearing that the water might rush pell-mell down
hill and render the Euphrates unnavigable. So he
conveyed the boats across by means of hauling engines
at the point where the space between the rivers is the
least— the whole stream of the Euphrates empties into

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(o^ u 869) ^ sw^^^P »^d from there somehow joins the Tigris —
then crossed the Tigris and entered Ctesiphon. Hav-
ing taken possession of this town Ce was saluted as
imperator and established his right to the title of Par-
thicus. Various honors were voted him by the senate,
among others the privilege of celebrating as many tri-
umphs as he might desire.

After his capture of Ctesiphon he felt a wish to sail
down into the Red Sea. This is a part of the ocean and
has been so named^ from some person formerly ruler
there. Mesene, the island in the Tigris of which Ath-
ambelus was king, he acquired without difficulty. [And
il remained loyal to Trajan, although ordered to pay
tribute.] But through a storm, and the violence of the
Tigris, and the backward flow from the ocean, he fell
into danger. The inhabitants of the so-called palisade
of Spasinus [they were subject to the dominion of Ath-
ambelus] received him kindly.
~m— Thence he came to the ocean itself ^ and when he had
learned its nature and seen a boat sailing to India, he
said: ** I should certainly have crossed over to the
Indi, if I were still young.*' He gave much thought to
the Indi and was curious about their affairs. Alex-
ander he counted a happy man and at the same time
declared that he himself had advanced farther. This
was the tenor of the despatch that he forwarded to the
senate, although he was unable to preserve even what
territory had been subdued. On its receipt he obtained

^ ipodpd from Erythras, who was said to have been drowned in it
(as if in English we should invent a King Redd).

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among other honors the privUege of celebrating a tri- (t u! 869)
amph for as many nations as he pleased. For, on ac-
count of the nmnber of those peoples regarding which
communications in writing were being constantly for-
warded to them, they were unable to understand them
or even to name some of them correctly. So the citi-
zens of the capital prepared a trophy-bearing arch, be-
sides many other decorations in his own forum, and
were getting themselves in readiness to meet him some
distance out when he should return. But he was des-
tined never to reach Rome again nor to accomplish
anything deserving comparison with his previous ex-
ploits, and furthermore to lose even those earlier ac-
quisitions. For, during the time that he was sailing
down the ocean and returning from there again, all his
conquests were thrown into tumult and revolted. And
the garrisons placed among the various peoples were
in some cases driven out and in others killed.

Trajan ascertained this in Babylon.* He had taken —so—
the side-trip there on the basis of reports, unmerited
by aught that he saw (which were merely mounds and
stones and ruins), and for the sake of Alexander, to
whose spirit he offered sacrifice in the room where he
had died. When, therefore, he ascertained it, he sent
Lusius and Maximus against the rebels. The latter
perished after a defeat in the field ; but Lusius was gen-
erally successful, recovering Nisibis, besieging Edessa,
and plundering and burning. Seleucia was also cap-
tured by Erucius Clarus and Julius Alexander, lieu-

1 The Tauolmitz reading, iv itXodp will not fit the context. Just below
f^ou9 (Bekker) has to be read for fioOou^,

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/• ^- "• tenants, and was burned. Trajan, in fear that the
Parthians, too, might begin some revolt, decided to give
them a king of their own. And when he came to Ctesi-
phon he called together in a great plain all the Bomans
and likewise all the Parthians that were there at the
time- He mounted a lofty platform, and, after describ-
ing in lofty language what he had accomplished, he ap-
pointed Parthamaspates king of the Parthians and set
the diadrai upon his head.

i-^^v, 9, 6 jf When VolgBBSus, the son of Sanatruces, confronted
in battle array the followers of Severus and be-
fore coming to an actual test of strength asked and
secured an armistice, Trajan sent envoys to him and
granted him a portion of Armenia in return for peace.
— 31 — Next he came into Arabia and commenced operations
against the people of Hatra, since they, too, had re-
volted. This city is neither large nor prosperous.
The surrounding country is mostly desert and holds
no water (save a small amount, poor in quality) ,
nor timber, nor herb. It is protected by these very
features, which make a siege in any form impos-
sible, and by the Sun, to whom it is, in a way, conse-
crated. It was neither at this time taken by Trajan
nor later by Severus, although they knocked down some
parts of its wall. Trajan sent the cavalry ahead against
the wall but failed in his attempt^ and the attacking
force was hurled back into the camp. As he was riding
by, he barely missed being wounded himself, in spite
of the fact that he had laid aside his imperial attire to
avoid being recognized. Seeing the majestic gray

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head and his august countenance they suspected him ^ ^- ^^
to be the man he was, shot at him, and killed a cavalry-
man in his escort. There were peals of thunder and
rainbow tints glimmered indistinctly. Flashes of light-
ning and spray-like storms, hail and thunderbolts fell
upon the Bomans as often as they made assaults. And
whenever they ate a meal, flies settled on the food and
drink, causing universal discomfort Thus Trajan left
the place and not long after began to fail in health.

Meanwhile the Jews in the region of Cyrene had put —32—
one Andreas at their head and were destroying both
the Bomans and the Greeks. They would cook their
flesh, make belts for themselves of their entrails,
anoint themselves with their blood, and wear their skins
for clothing. Many they sawed in two, from the head
downwards. Others they would give to wild beasts
and force still others to fight as gladiators. In all,
consequently, two hundred and twenty thousand per-
ished. In Egypt, also, they performed many similar
deeds, and in Cyprus under the leadership of Artemio.
There, likewise, two hundred and forty thousand per-
ished. For this reason no Jew may set foot in that
land, but even if one of them is driven upon the island
by force of the wind, he is put to death. Various per-
sons took part in subduing these Jews, one being
Lusius, who was sent by Trajan.

Now Trajan was preparing to make a new expedition ^^f J77
into Mesopotamia. Finding himself, however, held <<*• <*• ^^O)
fast by the clutches of the disease, he started to sail to
Italy himself and left behind Publius ^lius Hadriao
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it' ^' 870) ^^ ^® army in Syria. So the Bomans, who had con-
quered Armenia, most of Mesopotamia, and the Par-
thians, had labored in vain and had vainly undergone
danger. The Parthians disdained Parthamaspates
and began to have kings according to their original
custom. Trajan suspected that his falling sick was
due to the administration of poison. Some declare it
was because his blood, which annually descended into
the lower part of his body, was kept from flowing.
He had also become paralyzed, so that part of his body
was disabled, and his general diathesis was dropsicaL
And on coming to Selinus in Cilicia, which we also call
Traianoupolis, he suddenly expired after a reign of
nineteen yearS; six months, and fifteen days.



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Hadrian without being adopted incoeed% throngli the faror
of Flotina (ohapten 1, 2).

About the asiaieinationi anthoriied by Hadrian: about hii
Taried learning and jealoniies (ohapten 3^ 4).

Hii Tirtne% particularly affability and generoeity: old ar-
rears of debt forgiven (ohapten 5, 8).

Trarels: discipline of the army reformed: interest in hunting
(ohapten 9| 10).

How he honored Antinous with various marks of remem-
brance (chapter 11).

Uprising of Tews on account of the founding of Capitolina:
Bithynia recovered (ohapten 18-14).

The Albanians are held in check: Pharasmanes the Iberian
is honored (chapter 15).

The Temple of Jupiter Olympius and the Fandlenium are
consecrated (chapter 16).

Growing ill, he adopts Commodus, slays Servianus: the dis-
tinguished services of Turbo, Fronto, Similis (ohapten 17-19).

On the death of Commodus he adopts Antoninus, the latter
adopting at the same time Harcus and Verus (ohapten 20, 21).

How Hadrian departed this life (chapten 22, 23).



DURATION OF TIME, IN WHICH THE FOLLOWING WERE

CONSULS.

Quinctius Niger, Vipsanius Apronianus. (A. D. 117 = a. u.
870 = First of Hadrian, from Aug. 11th.)

Hadrianus Aug. (11), Claudius Fuscus SaUnator. (A. D. 118
=: a. u. 871 =; Second of Hadrian.)

Hadrianus Aug. (m), Q. lunius Eusticus. (A. D. 119 =
a. u. 872=^ Third of Hadrian.)

L. Catilius Severus, T. Aurelius Fulvus. (A. D. 120 = a. u.
873 = Fourth of Hadrian.)

L. Annius Verus, Aur. Augurinus. (A. D. 121 =; a. u. 874 =
Fifth of Hadrian.)

Aoilius Aviola, Corellius Pansa. (A. D. 122 = a. u. 876 =
Sixth of Hadrian.)



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Q. Arrini Ptttinni, C. Ventidiai Apronianni. (A. D. 128 ==
a. n. 876 ==< SerentlL of Hadrian.)

Xanini Aoilini Olabrio, C. Bellioini Torqnatnt. (A. D. 124
= a. n. 877 =; Eighth of Hadrian.)

P. Com. Scipio Asiaticni (11), Q. Vettini Aqnilinni. (A. D.
126 = a. n. 878 =: Ninth of Hadrian.)

Annini Vems (III), L. Varins Ambibnlni. (A. D. 126==:
a. n. 879 = Tenth of Hadrian.)

Oallicianns, Cnlini Titianni. (A. D. 127 = a. n. 880=9
Elertnth of Hadrian.)

L. Nonini Asprenas Torquatus (11) , H. Annini Idbo. (A. D.
128=; a. XL. 881 = Twelfth of Hadrian.)

Inventini Celins (11), Harcellni. (A. D. 129 =) a. n. 882 =
Thirteenth of Hadrian.)

Q. Fabini Catnllinni, H. Xlavini Aper. (A. D. 130=; a. xu
883 = Fonrteenth of Hadrian.)

Ser. Octav. Lsnas Pontianni, H. Antonini Snflnni. (A. D.
131 =: a. n. 884 = Fifteenth of Hadrian.)

Angorinni, Severianni (or, acoording to othen, Sergianni).
(A. D. 132 =; a. n. 885 = Sixteenth of Hadrian.)

Hibemi, Innini Silanns Sisenna. (A. D. 133 =: a. u. 886 =:
Serenteenth of Hadrian.)

Beryianni (m), Vibini Yams. (A. D. 134 = a. n. 887 =
Eighteenth of Hadrian.)

Pontiannf, Atilianns. (A. D. 135=: a. n. 888=; Nineteenth
of Hadrian.)

L. Ceionini Commodni Venu, Sex. Vetnlenng Civica Pompei-
anns. (A. D. 136 = a. n. 889 = Twentieth of Hadrian.)

L. jEHum Vems C»sar, P. Cslini Balbinni Vibnllini. (A. D.
137 = a. u. 890 — Twenty-first of Hadrian.)

Camerinus, Niger. (A. D. 138 =; a. n. 891 =Twent7-ieoond
of Hadrian, to Inly 10th.)



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(BOOK 69, BOISSEVAIN.)

Hadrian had not been adapted by Trajan. He was — i —
merely a fellaw-dtizen of the latter, had enjoyed Tra- (a! u. 870)
jan's services as guardian, was of near kin to him,
and had married his niece. In fine, he was a companion
of his, sharing his daily life, and had been assigned to
Syria for the Parthian War. However, he had re-
ceived no distinguishing mark of favor from Trajan
and had not been one of the first to be appointed consul.
His position as Caesar and emperor was due to the fact
that, when Trajan died without an heir, Attianus, a
fellow-citizen and former guardian, together with Plo- ^.^
tina, who was in love with him, secured him the appoint-
ment,— their efforts being facilitated by his proximity
and his having a large force under his command. My
father Apronianus, who was governor of Cilicia, had
ascertained accurately the whole story about him. He
used to relate the different incidents, and said in par-
ticular that the death of Trajan was concealed for sev-
eral days to the end that the adoption might be an-
nounced. This was shown also by his letters to the
senate, the signature upon which was not his, but Plo-
tina's. She had not done this in any previous in-
stance.

At the time that he was declared emperor, Hadrian — -a—
was in Antioch, the metropolis of Syria, of which he
was governor. In a dream just before that day he
seemed to see fire descend from heaven in the midst
of clear sky and wholly fair weather and fall first upon

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A. D. 117 the left of his throat a2id then upon the right also,

(a. u. 870) '^ ^ '

though it neither frightened nor injured him. And
Hadrian wrote to the senate, asking that his sover-
eignty be confirmed also by that body, and forbidding
any measure to be voted (as was so often done) either
then or thereafter that contained any special honor
for him, unless he should first himself approve it.

The bones of Trajan were deposited in his column,
and the so-called Parthian games continued for a num-
ber of years. At a later date even this observance,
like many others, was abolished.
^^ Hadrian's rule was in general most humane. [In a
letter he expresses himself with the greatest degree of
consideration for others and swears that he will neither
do anything contrary to the public advantage nor put to
death any senator, calling down destruction upon him-
self, if he shall transgress these principles in any way.
But] Still he was spoken against on account of some
murders of excellent men that he had sanctioned in the
beginning of his reign and near the end of his life.
And for this reason he came near not being enrolled
among the heroes. Those murdered at the beginning
were Palma and Celsus, Nigrinus and Lusius, the first
two for the alleged reason that they had conspired
against him during a hunt, and the others on certain
other complaints, because they had great influence, or
were in a strong position as regards wealth and fame.
Hadrian felt so keenly the talk that was made about
them that he defended himself and declared upon oath
that he had not ordered their deaths. Those that per-

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DIO'S ROMAN HISTORY

ished at the end of the reign were Servianns and his a. d. 117
grandson Fnscus. <•• "• ''''

t Hadrian was a pleasant man to meet and his presence shed a kind
of grace.

As for Hadrian's family, he was a son of [a man of
senatorial rank, an ex-praetor] Hadrianos, [for thns
he was named]. In regard to his disposition, he was
fond of literature in both languages and has left behind
all kinds of prose pieces as well as compositions in
verse. His ambition was insatiable, and as a result
he practiced all conceivable pursuits, even the most
trivial. He modeled and painted and declared that
there was nothing in peace or in war, in imperial or in
private life, of which he was not cognizant. [And this,
of course, did people no harm ; but his jealousy of those
who excelled in any branch was terrible and] ruined
many besides utterly destroying quite a few. [For,]
since he desired to surpass everybody in everything,
[he hated those who attained eminence in any direction.]
This feeling it was which led him to undertake the over-
throw of two sophists, Favorinus the Gaul and Dio-
nysius the Milesian, [by various methods, chiefly] by
stirring up their antagonists [who were of little or no
worth at all]. Dionysius is said to have remarked at
this time to Avidius* Heliodorus, who managed his cor-
respondence: ** CsBsar can give you money and honor,
but he can't make you an orator.*' Favorinus was
about to bring a case before the emperor in regard
to exemption from taxes, a privilege which he desired
to secure in his native city. Suspecting, however, that

1 Boissevain's reading.

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.^* ^' IIL he should be nnsuooesBful and be insulted in addition,

(a. t*. 870) ^

he entered the court-room^ to be sure, but made no other
statement save: ^^ My teacher stood this night in a
dream by my side and bade me do service for my
country, since I have been bom in it/'
— 4 — Now Hadrian spared these men, although he was dis-
pleased with them, for he could find no satisfactory
pretext to use against them that might compass their
destruction. But he first banished and later actually
^ put to death ApoUodorus the architect, who had
planned the various creations of Trajan in Eome,—
the forum, the odeum, and the gymnasium. The excuse
given was that he had been guilty of some misde-
meanor, but the true reason was that, when Trajan was
consulting him on some point about the works, he had
said to Hadrian, who broke in with some remark : ^ ^ Be
off and draw gourds. You don't understand any of
these matters." It happened that Hadrian at the
time was pluming himself upon some such drawing.
When he became emperor, therefore, he remembered
the slight and would not endure the man's freedom of
speech. He swit him his own plan of the temple of
Venus and Eoma by way of showing him that a great
work could be accomplished without his aid, and he
asked ApoUodorus whether the structure was a good
one. The latter in his reply said about the temple that
it ought to have been made to tower aloft in the air
and have been scooped out beneath. Then, as a result
of being higher, it would have stood out more conspicu-
ously on the Sacred Way, and might have received

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within its expanse the engines, so that they conld be .^ ^' J^^
bnilt nnobserved and could be brought into the theatre
without any one's being aware of it beforehand. In
regard to the statues, he said that they Had been made
too tall for the height adopted in the principal room.
** If the goddesses *', he said, ** wish to get up and go
out, they will be unable to do so. * * When he wrote this
80 bluntly to Hadrian, the latter was both vexed and
exceedingly pained because he had fallen into a mistake
that could not be set right. He restrained neither his
anger nor his grief, but murdered the man. [By na-
ture] the emperor was such a person [that he was jeal-
ous not only of the living, but also of the dead. For
instance,] he abolished Homer and introduced in his
stead Antimachus, whose name many persons had not
previously known.

These acts were charged against him as offences,
and so were also his great exactness, his superfluous
labors, and his divided interests. But he healed the
wounds made and recovered favor by his general care,
his foresight, his grandeur and his skill. Again, he
did not stir up any war and ended those already in
progress. He deprived no one of money unjustly, and
upon many peoples and private citizens and senators
and knights he bestowed large sums. He did not wait
to be asked, but was certain to act each time according
to each man's needs. The military he trained with
great precision, so that its strength rendered it neither
disobedient nor insolent. Allied and subject cities he
aided most munificently. He had seen many that no

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i^' ^' 870^ other emperor had even set eyes upon, and he assisted
practically all of them, giving to some water, to others
harbors, or food, or public works, or money, and to
still others various honors.

—6— As a leader of the Eoman people he was distin-
guished for force rather than for flattery. Once, at a
gladiatorial contest, when the crowd was urging its
petition strongly, he not only would not grant
its wish, but further ordered this command of Domi-
tian's to be proclaimed: **Be silent.*' The words
were not uttered, though. The herald raised his hand
and by that very gesture quieted the people as he had
been accustomed to do. (They are never silenced by
proclamation.) Then, when they had become quiet, he
said: ** This is what he wishes.'* Hadrian was not
in the least angry with the herald; on the contrary, he
honored him for not publishing the rudeness of the
order. He could endure such things and was not dis-
pleased if he was aided in any unexpected way and by
chance comers. It must be admitted that once, when a
woman passed him on some road and preferred a re-
quest, he at first said to her: ** I haven't time."
Afterwards, when she cried out loudly, saying:
** Don't be emperor, then", he turned about and
granted her a hearing.

(—7—) He transacted through the senate all serious and
most urgent business and he held court with the assist-
ance of prominent men now in the palace or again in
the Forum, the Pantheon, and in many other places,
always on a platform, so that what was done was open

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to public inspection. Sometimes he would join the con- ,j^ ^- IIL
suls when they were trying cases, and lie showed them
honor at the horse-races. When he returned home he
was accustomed to be carried in a litter, in order not
to trouble any one to accompany him. On days
neither sacred nor public he remained at home, and ad-
mitted no one even long enough to greet him, unless
it were some urgent matter; this was to relieve the
courtiers of needless annoyance. Both in Bome and
abroad he always kept the noblest men about him; -
and he used to join them at banquets, which led to his
being often carried in their litters as one of a party of
four. As frequently as possible he went hxmting, and
he breakfasted without wine ; in fact, most of Ws food was

serred without any accompanying beverage; and often in the midst
of a meal he would turn his attention to a case at law: later he

would drive in the company of all the foremost and
best men, and their eating together was the occasion
for all kind of discussions. When his friends were
very ill, he would go to see them, and he used to attend
their festivals, besides evincing pleasure at visiting


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Online LibraryCassius Dio CocceianusDio's Rome; an historical narrative originally composed in Greek during the reigns of Septimus Severus, Geta and Caracalla, Macrinus, Elagabalus and Alexander Severus: and now presented in English form → online text (page 13 of 24)