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

. (page 15 of 24)
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 15 of 24)
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TertuUus, Sacerdos. (A. D. 158 = a. u. 911=:Twent7-flrst
of Antoninus.)

Plautius Quintilius, Statins Prisons. (A. D. 159 = a. u. 912
=: Twenty-second of Antoninus.)

T. Clodius Vibius Varus, App. Annius Atilius Bradua. (A. D.
160 = a. u. 913 =: Twenty-third of Antoninus.)

U. ML. Aureliiu Veras Csesar (m), £. ML, Aurelius Com*
modus (II). (A. D. 161=: a. u. 914 = Twenty-fourth of An-
toninus» to March 7th.)


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I. FromDio:

It should be noted that information about Antoninus ^^ "j^^g
Pius is not found in the copies of Dio, probably because («• «*• soi)
the books have met with some accident, so that the his-
tory of his reign is almost wholly unknown, save that
when Lucius Commodus, whom Hadrian had adopted,
died before Hadrian, Antoninus was also adopted by
him and became emperor, and that when the senate de-
murred to giving heroic honors to Hadrian after his
demise on account of certain murders of eminent men,
Antoninus addressed many words to them with tears
and laments, and finally said: '* I will not govern you
either, if he has become base and inimical and a na-
tional foe in your eyes. For you will of course be
annulling all his acts, of which my adoption was one/'
On hearing this the senate both through respect for the
man and through a certain fear of the soldiers be-
stowed the honors upon Hadrian.

Only this in regard to Antoninus is preserved in Dio. '~^"-
Yes, one thing more — that the senate gave him tho
titles both of Augustus and of Pius for some such rea-
son as the following. When in the beginning of his im-
perial reign many men were accused and some of them
had been interceded for by name, he nevertheless
punished no one, saying : * ' I must not begin my career
of supervision with such deeds.**

[When Pharasmanes the Iberian came to Bome with i-xix, 16, s
his wife, he increased his domain, allowed him to offer
sacrifice on the Capitoline, set up a statue of him on



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A ^oi?? horseback in the temple of Bellona, and viewed an ex-

(a. n. 891) ^ ^ . .

erdse in arms of the chieftain, his son, and the other
prominent Iberians.]

We do not find preserved, either, the first part of the
account of Marcus Vems, who ruled after Antoninus
A. D. 130 and all that the latter himself did in the case of Lucius,
^ son of Commodus, whom Marcus made his son-in-law,
and all that Lucius accomplished when sent by his
father to the war against VologSBSus. I shall speak
briefly about these matters, gathering my material
from other books, and then I shall go back to the con-
tinuation of Dio's narrative,
n. From Xiphilinus :
^^ J J3 Antoninus is admitted by all to have been noble and
(a. u. 906) good, not Oppressive to the Christians nor severe to
any of his other subjects; instead, he showed the
Christians great respect and added to the honor in
which Hadrian had been wont to hold them. For
Eusebius, son of Pamphilus, cites in his Church His-
tory^ some letters of Hadrian in which ]the latter is
shown to threaten terrible vengeance upon those who
harm in any way or accuse the Christians, and to swear
by Hercules that they shall receive punishment

Antoninus is said also to have been of an enquiring
turn of mind and not to have held aloof from careful
investigation of even small and commonplace matters ;
for this those disposed to scoff called him Cummin-
(1 u' 914) splitter. Quadratus states that he died at an ad-
vanced age, and that the happiest death befell him, like
unto gentlest slumber.

irv, 9.


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— 4 —

In the days of Antoninus also a most frightful earth-
quake is said to have occurred in the region of Bithynia
and the Hellespont. Various cities were severely
damaged or fell without a building left standing, and
in particular Cyzicus ; and the temple there that was
the greatest and most beautiful of all temples was
thrown down. Its columns were four cubits in thick-
ness and fifty cubits in height, each of a single block of
stone ; and each of the other features of the edifice was
more to be wondered at than to be praised. Some-
where in the interior of the country the peak of a
mountain rose upwards and surges of the sea are said
to have gushed out, while the spray from pure, trans-
parent sea-water was driven to a great distance over
the land.^— So much is the account of Antoninus at
present extant He reigned twenty-four years.

HI. Of Dio [or rather of Eutropius, or John of
Antioch]. Taken from the Writings of Suidas.

This prince Antoninus was an excellent man and de-
serves to be compared especially with Numa on account
of the similarity of his reign to that king's, just as
Trajan was seen to resemble Bomulus. The private
life that Antoninus lived was thoroughly excellent and
honorable, and in his position as ruler he seemed to be — *6 —
even more excellent and more prudent. To no one was

1 Ck>mpare also Zoimras V, 12 (p. 80, 11. 3-11 Dind.).

It is not certain whether this earthquake properly belongs to the reign
of Pius or that of Marcus. If to the former, it must have occurred
between 160 and 155 b.c. See Hermes XXVI, pages 444-446 (Boisse-
Tain: Zonaras Quelle fur die Romische Kaieergeschichte von Nerva
his Severus Alecoander) and XXXII, pages 497-608 (B. Keil: Kygi-
keniachee) ; also ByzantiniacJie Zeitsohr^t I, page 30 ff. (article b^

VOL. 5 — 16 241


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— e—

-T —


he harsh or oppressive, but he was gracious and gentle
toward all.

In warfare he sought glorj rather from an impulse of
duty than from one of gain, and was determined to pre-
serve the borders of the empire intact rather than to
extend them to greater distances. In the matter of
men he appointed to the acEministration of public
affairs, so far as possible, those who were particularly
scrupulous about right conduct, and he rewarded good
officials with the honors that were in his power to grant,
whereas he banished the worthless (though without
any harshness) from the conduct of public affairs.

He was admired not alone by those of his own race,
but even by foreigners, as was shown by some of the
neighboring barbarians laying down their arms and
permitting the prince to decide their quarrels by his
vote. And whereas he had in the course of his life as
a private citizen amassed a vast amount of money,
when he entered upon office he expended his own
abundance upon gifts for the soldiers and for his
friends. To the public treasury he left a great deal of
property of all kinds.



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The emperor Marons takes Veme as an associate : he gives him
charge of the Parthian war (chapters 1, 2).

Wars with the lazyges, Marcomani, and Germans (chapters
3 and 5).

Abont the war in Egypt with the Bncoli (chapter 4).

Marcus's tirelessness in hearing cases at law (chapter 6).

The lazyges conquered (chapter 7).

The Qnadi are vanqnished by rain sent from Heaven in
answer to Boman prayers (chapters 8 and 10).

Abont the Thunderbolt Legion from Helitene (chapter 9).

How envoys came to the emperor from a number of bar-
barians, — ^the Quadi, Astingi, lazyges, Karcomani, Naristi
(chapters 11-21).

Bfevolt of Cassius and of Syria (chapters 22-26).

How Cassius was killed, together with his son (chapter 27).

Kindness of Marcus toward the adherents of Cassius: death
of Faustina and honors accorded her (chapters 28-31).

The return of Marcus and his generosity (chapter 32).

With his son Commodus he subjugates the Scythians: he
himself meets death (chapter 33).

Eulogy of Marcus (chapters 34, 36).


M. JEl, Aurel. Yerus Cm. (m), L. 2E1. AureL Commodus
(n). (A. D. 161=; a. u. 914=1 First of Marcus, from March

lunius Busticus, Yettius Aquilinus. (A. D. 162 =; a. u. 915
=3 Second of Marcus.)

L. iElianus, Pastor. (A. D. 163 = a. u. 916=^ Third of

M. Pompeius Macrinus, P. luventius Celsus. (A. S. 164 =:
a. u. 917 =3 Fourth of Marcus.)

L. Arrius Pudens, M. Gavins Orfltus. (A. D. 166 = a. u. 918
= Fifth of Marcus.)

Q. ServiUus Pudens, L. Fufldius Pollio. (A. S. 166=;a. u.
919=1 Sixth of Marcus.)


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L. Anreliiu Yerns Aug. (m), Qnadratus. (A. S. 167 = a. u.
920 =: Seventh of Marcos.)

T. iTuiiiui HontantUy L. Yettins Faidus. (A. S. 168 = a. u.
821 = Eighth of Marcus.)

Q. Sosins PriscuSi P. Cselius Apollinaris. (A. D. 169 = a. n.

922 = Ninth of Marcus.)

M. Cornelius Cethegus, C. Erucius Clarus. (A. D. 170 = a. u.

923 = Tenth of Marcus.)

L. Septimius Severus (II) , L. Alfidius Herennianus. (A. D.
171 =^ a. u. 924 = Eleventh of Marcus.)

Maximus, Orfitus. (A. D. 172 = a. u. 925=; Twelfth of

M. Aurtlius Sevenu (II), T. Claudius Pompeianus. (A. D.
173 = a. u. 926 = Thirteenth of Marcus.)

Oallus, Flaccus. (A. D. 174 =3 a. u. 927 =; Fourteenth of

Piio, lulianus. (A. D. 176=; a. u. 928 =: Fifteenth of

PoUio (H), Aper (H). (A. D. 176 = a. u. 929 = Sixteenth
of Marcus.)

L. Aurel. Commodus Aug., Quintilius. (A. D. 177=; a. u.
930 = Seventeenth of Marcus.)

Bufus, Orfitus. (A. D. 178 = a. u. 931 = Eighteenth of

Commodus Aug. (II), T. Annius Aurel. Yems (II). (A. D.
179 = a. u. 932 = Nineteenth of Marcus.)

L. Fulvius Brattius Fnesens (II), Sextus Quintilius Condi-
anus. (A. S. 180 = a. u. 933 = Twentieth of Marcus, to March


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Marcus Antoninus/ the philosopher, upon obtaining /"j^T-,
the sovereignty at the death of Antoninus, who adopted (a. u. 914 )
him, had immediately taken to share the authority with
him the son of Lucius Commodus, Lucius Verus. He
was personally weak in body and he devoted the
greater part of his time to letters. It is told that even
when he was emperor he showed no shame (or hesita-
tion) at going to a teadier for instruction, but became
a pupil of Sextus, the Boeotian philosopher,^ and did
not hesitate to go to hear the lectures of Hermogenes
on rhetoric. He was most inclined to the Stoic school.
— Lucius, on the other hand, was strong and rather
young, and better suited for military enterprises.
Therefore, Marcus made him his son-in-law by marry-
ing him to his daughter Lucilla, and sent him to the
Parthian war.

For VologfiBSus had begun war by assailing on all — «—
sides the Soman camp under Severianus, situated in
Elegeia, a place in Armenia ; and h^ had shot down and
destroyed the whole force, leaders and all. He was
now proceeding with numbers that inspired terror
against the cities of Syria. Lucius, accordingly, on ^ ^ j^g
coming to Antioch collected a great many soldiers, and <«• ««• ^i^)
with the best commanders under his supervision took
up a position in the city, spending his time in ordering
all arrangements and in gathering the contingent for
the war. He entrusted the armies themselves to Cas-
sius. The latter made a noble stand against the attack

i^SeztuB of Chseronea, grandson of Plutarch" (Capitolinus, Fita
U. Aniumi Philo9ophi, 3, 2).



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A. D. 165 of Vologaesus, and finally the chieftian was deserted
by his allies and began to retire ; then Cassins pursued
him as far as Seleucia and destroyed it and razed to
the ground the palace of VologaBSus at Ctesiphon. In
the course of his return he lost a great many soldiers
through famine and disease, yet he started off to Syria
with the men that were left. Lucius attained glory by
these exploits and felt a just pride in them, yet his ex-
treme good fortune did him no good. For he is said
to have subsequently plotted against his father-in-law

A. D. 169 Marcus and to have perished by poison before he could

(a. u. 922) accomplish anything.

Fragments of Dio from Suidas (thought by de Valois
to belong to Book LXXI).

[H Martins Verus sends out Thucydides to conduct
Sohaemus into Armenia; and he, in spite of lack of
arms, applied himself sturdily to this distant task with
the inherent good sense that he showed in all business
falling to his lot. Marcus had the gift not only of
overpowering his antagonists or anticipating them by
swiftness or outwitting them by deceit (on which quali-
ties generals most rely), but also of persuading them
by trustworthy promises and conciliating them by gen-
erous gifts and luring them on by tempting hopes. He
was suave in all that he did or said, and soothed the
vexed and angry feelings of each adversary while
greatly raising his hopes. He knew well the right time
for flattery and presents and entertainment at table.
And since in addition to these talents he showed per-
sistency in endeavor and activity together with speed
against his foes, he made it plain to the barbarians that



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his friendship was better worth gaimng than his
enmity. So when he arrived at the New city, which a
garrison of Romans placed there by Priscns was occu-
pying, and f onnd them attempting mutiny, ho took care,
both by word and by deed, to bring them to a better
temper, and he made the city the foremost of Armenia.]

[* • Bridging. — By the Romans the streams and
rivers are bridged with the greatest ease, since the sol-
diers are always practicing at it, and it is carried on
like any other warlike exercise on the Ister and the
Rhine and the Euphrates. The manner of doing it
(which I think not everybody knows) is as follows. The
boats, by means of which the river is bridged, are flat.
They are anchored up stream a little above the spot
where the bridge is to be constructed. When the signal
is given, they first let one ship drift down' stream close
to the bank that they are holding. When it has come
opposite the spot to be bridged, they throw into the
water a basket filled with stones and fastened with a
cord, which serves as an anchor. Made fast in this
way the ship is joined to the bank by planks and
bridgework, which the vessel carries in large quanti-
ties, and immediately a floor is laid to the farther edge.
Then they release another ship at a little distance from
this one and another one after that until they run the
bridge to the opposite bank. The boat which is near
the hostile side carries also towers upon it and a gate
and archers and catapults.

As many weapons were hurled at the men engaged in
bridging, Cassius ordered weapons and catapults to be
discharged. And when the front rank of the bar-
barians fell, the rest gave way.]



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Cassins, however, was bidden by Marcus to have the /"^ "^^g
superintendence of all Asia. The emperor himself («. «. 926)
fought for a long time, in fact almost his whole life, one
might say, with the barbarians in the Ister region, the
lazyges and the Marcomani, first one and then the
other, and he used Pannonia as his starting point.

f The Langobardi and the Obiii to the number of six thousand
crossed the Ister, but the cavalry under Vindex^ marched out and
the infatnry commanded by Candidus got the start of them, so that
an utter rout of the barbarians was instituted. The barbarians, thrown
into consternation by such an outcome of their very first undertaking,
despatched as envoys to the headquarters of lallius BassusS (adminis-
trator of Pannonia) Bellomarius,^ king of the Marcomani, and ten
more, for they selected one man per nation. The envoys took oaths to
cement the peace and departed homewards.

Many of the Celtae, too, across the Rhine, advanced
to the confines of Italy and inflicted much serious harm
upon the Romans. They, in turn, were followed up by
Marcus, who opposed to them the lieutenants Pom-
peianus and Pertinax. Pertinax, who later became
emperor, greatly distinguished himself. Among the
corpses of the barbarians were found also the bodies
of women in armor.

Yet, when a most violent struggle and brilliant vie- a.d.168(T)
tory had taken place, the emperor nevertheless refused
the petition of the soldiers for money, making this
statement: *' Whatever excess they obtain above the
customary amount will be wrung from the blood of their

lOr perhaps Oti,

>Jf. Mocriniua Aviiua Caioniu§ Vindew.

s if. laUius Ba9SU9.

^Or perhaps Badamariua.



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parents and their kinsmen. For respecting the fate of
the empire Heaven alone can decide.'' — And he ruled
them so temperately and firmly that even in the course
of so many and great wars he was impelled neither by
flattery nor by fear to do aught that was unfitting.
— 11 — [Marcus [Antoninus] remained in Pannonia in order
to transact business with the embassies of the bar-
barians. Many came to him also at this time. Some
promised an alliance: they were led by Battarius, a
child twelve years old, and they received money and
succeeded in restraining Tarbus, a neighboring poten-
tate, who had come into Dacia, was demanding money,
and threatening to make war if he should not get it.
Others, like the Quadi, were asking for peace, and they
obtained it, the emperor's purpose being to have them
detached from the Marcomani. Another reason was
that they gave horses and cattle, surrendered all the
deserters and the captives at first to the number of
thirteen thousand, though later they promised to re-
store the remainder as well. However, the i;ight of
free intercourse even at markets was not granted them,
the intention being to prevent the lazyges and the Mar-
comani, whom they had sworn not to receive nor let
pass through their country, from either mingling with
them or presenting themselves also in the guise of
Quadi,— a plan which would enable them to reconnoitre
the Roman position and to purchase provisions. Be-
sides these who came to Marcus, many others de-
spatched envoys, some by tribes and some by nations,
offering to surrender themselves. Some of them were
sent on campaigns to other parts of the world, and the



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captives and deserters who were fit for it were simi-
larly treated. Others received land, in Dacia or in
Pannonia or in Mcesia and Germany or in Italy itself.
A few of them who settled at Ravenna made an up-
rising and even dared to take possession of the city:
and for this reason he did not again bring any bar-
barian into Italy, but made even those who had pre-
viously come there find homes outside.]

t Detachments of both Astingi and Lacringi had come to lend assist-
ance to Marcus.

[The Astingi, whose leaders were Raus and Raptus, — la —
came into Dacia to settle, in the hope of receiving both
money and land in return for terms of alliance. As
they did not obtain this, they put their wives and chil-
dren in the keeping of Clemens,^ with the apparent in-
tention of acquiring the land of the Costobocci by force
of arms ; and upon conquering them they injured Dacia
no less. The Lacringi, fearing that Clemens out of
dread might lead these newcomers into the land which
they were inhabiting, attacked them off their guard and
won a decisive victory. As a result, the Astingi com-
mitted no further deeds displaying hostility to the
Romans, but by making urgent supplication to Marcus
received money from him and asked that land might be
given them if they should harm in some way his tem-
porary enemies. Now these performed some of their
promises. The Cotini made similar propositions, but
upon getting control of Tarrutenius Patemus, secre-
tary of the emperor's Latin letters, under the pretext
of requiring his aid for a campaign against the Mar-

i£fea?. Cornelius Clemena.



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comaiii, they not only failed to take this course bnt did
him frightful injury and thereby ensured their own
destruction later.]
A, D. 171 When in one battle the Marcomani were successful

(a. u. 924)

and kiUed Marcus Vindex, the prefect, he erected three

statues in his memory. After conquering them Mar-

(—3—) cus received the title of Germanicus. We give the

A. D 172

(a. II. 925) name '* Germans '* to those who dwell in the northern
—4— The so-called Bucoli began a disturbance in Egypt,
and under the leadership of Isidorus, a priest,^ caused
the rest of the Egyptians to revolt. They had first,
arrayed in women's garments, deceived the Roman
centurion, making him think that they were Bucoli
women and wanted to give him gold pieces in exchange
for their husbands, and then striking him down when
he approached them. His companion they sacrificed,
and after taking a common oath over his entrails they
devoured them. Isidorus surpassed in bribery all his
contemporaries. Next, having conquered the Romans
in Egypt in regular battle they came very near cap-
turing Alexandria, and would have done so, had not
Cassius been sent against them from Syria as direct-
ing general. He succeeded in spoiling the concord that
existed among them and sundering them one from
another, for on account of their numbers and despera-
tion he had not ventured to attack th^n united. So
when they fell into factional disputes he easily subdued

1 Omitting xaC



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Now it was in Marcus's war against the Germans (if — 5 —
mention ought to be made of these matters), that a cap- (a. u, 925)
tive lad on being asked some questions by him re-
joined : ' ' I can not answer you because of the cold. So
if you want to find out anything, command that a coat
be given me, if you have one/'— And a soldier one
night, who was doing guard duty on the Ister, hearing
a shout of his fellow-soldiers in captivity on the other
side, at once swam the stream just as he was, released
them, and brought them back.

One prefect of Marcus's was Bassaeus Rufus, a good
man on the whole, but uneducated and boorish, having
been brought up in poverty in his early youth.
[Wherefore he had been disinclined to go on the cam-
paign, and what Marcus said was incomprehensible to
him.] Once some one had interrupted him in the midst
of trimming a vine that wound about a tree, and when
he did not come down at the first bidding, the person
rebuked him, and said: *' Come down there, prefect."
This he said thinking to humiliate him for his previous
haughtiness ; yet later Fortune gave him this title to

The emperor, as often as he had leisure from war, — e—
held court and used to order that a most liberal supply
of water be measured out for the speakers.* He made
inquiries and answers of greater length, so that exact
justice was ensured by every possible exi>edient.
When thus engaged he would often hold court to try
the same case for eleven or even twelve days and some-

iTMs refers to the contrivance known as the clepsydra or water-
dock, which measured time by the slow dropping of water from an
upper into a lower vessel, somewhat on the plan of the hour-glass.



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/^* ^' Hf V times at night. He was industrious and applied him-

(a. 11. 925) ° ^^

self diligently to all the duties of his oflBce; and there
was nothing which he said or wrote or did that he re-
garded as a minor matter, but sometimes he would con-
sume whole days on the finest point, putting into prac-
tice his belief that the emperor should do nothing hur-
riedly. For he thought that if he should slight even
the smallest detail, it would bring him reproach that
would overshadow all his other achievements. Yet he
was so frail in body that at first he could not endure
the cold, but when the soldiers had already come to-
gether in obedience to orders he would retire before
speaking a word to them; and he took but very little
food always, and that at night. It was never his custom
to eat during the daytime unless it were some of the
drug called theriac^ This drug he took not so much
because he feared anything as because his stomach
and chest were in bad condition. And it is related that
this practice enabled him to endure the disease as well
as other hardships.
—7— The lazyges were conquered by the Romans on land

A D 172 ( T)

173 (?) at this time and subsequently on the river. By this I
mean not that any naval battle took place, but that the
Romans followed them as they fled over the frozen
Ister and fought there as on dry land. The lazyges,

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 15 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

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 15 of 24)