The Project Gutenberg EBook of Dio's Rome, Volume V., Books 61-76 (A.D.
54-211), by Cassius Dio

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Title: Dio's Rome, Volume V., Books 61-76 (A.D. 54-211)
       An Historical Narrative Originally Composed In Greek During The Reigns Of
       Septimius Severus, Geta And Caracalla, Macrinus, Elagabalus And Alexander
       Severus: And Now Presented In English Form By Herbert Baldwin Foster

Author: Cassius Dio

Release Date: January 31, 2004 [EBook #10890]

Language: English

Character set encoding: US-ASCII


Produced by Ted Garvin, Ben Courtney and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team







A.B. (Harvard), Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins),
Acting Professor of Greek in Lehigh University

FIFTH VOLUME: Extant Books 61-76 (A.D. 54-211).


Book 61 Book 62 Book 63 Book 64 Book 65 Book 66 Book 67 Book 68
Book 69 Book 70 Book 71 Book 73 Book 74 Book 75 Book 76 Book 77



M. Asinius Marcellus, Manius Acilius Aviola.
(A.D. 54 = a.u. 807 = First of Nero, from Oct. 13th).

Nero Caesar Aug., L. Antistius Vetus.
(A.D. 55 = a.u. 808 = Second of Nero).

Q. Volusius Saturninus, P. Cornelius Scipio.
(A.D. 56 = a.u. 809 = Third of Nero).

Nero Caesar Aug. (II), L. Calpurnius Piso.
(A.D. 57 = a.u. 810 = Fourth of Nero).

Nero Caesar Aug. (III), M. Valerius Messala.
(A.D. 58 = a.u. 811 = Fifth of Nero).

C. Vipsanius Apronianus, L. Fonteius Capito.
(A.D. 59 = a.u. 812 = Sixth of Nero).

Nero Caesar Aug. (IV), Cornelius Lentulus Cossus.
(A.D. 60 = a.u. 813 = Seventh of Nero).

A.D. 54 (a.u. 807)
At the death of Claudius the leadership on most just principles belonged to Britannicus, who had been born a legitimate son of Claudius and in physical development was beyond what would have been expected of his years. Yet by law the power passed to Nero on account of his adoption. No claim, indeed, is stronger than that of arms. Every one who possesses superior force has always the appearance of both saying and doing what is more just. So Nero, having first disposed of Claudius's will and having succeeded him as master of the whole empire, put Britannicus and his sisters out of the way. Why, then, should one stop to lament the misfortunes of other victims?

The following signs of dominion had been observed in his career. At his birth just before dawn rays not cast by any beam of sunlight yet visible surrounded his form. And a certain astrologer from this and from the motion of the stars at that time and their relation to one another divined two things in regard to him,--that he would rule and that he would murder his mother. Agrippina on hearing this became for the moment so beside herself as actually to cry out: "Let him kill me, if only he shall rule." Later she was destined to repent bitterly of her prayer. Some people become so steeped in folly that if they expect to obtain some blessing mingled with evil, they at once through their anxiety for the advantage pay no heed to the detriment. When the time for the latter also comes, they are cast down and would choose not to have secured even the greatest good thing. Yet Domitius, the father of Nero, had a sufficient previous intimation of his son's coming baseness and licentiousness, not by any oracle but through the nature of his own and Agrippina's characters. And he declared: "It is impossible for any good man to be born from me and from her." As time went on, the finding of a serpent skin around Nero's neck when he was but a boy caused the seers to say: "He shall acquire great power from the aged man." Serpents are thought to slough off their old age with their old skin, and so get power.

Nero was seventeen years of age when he began to rule. He first entered the camp, and, after reading to the soldiers all that Seneca had written, he promised them as much as Claudius had been accustomed to give. Before the senate he read such a considerable document,--this, too, written by Seneca,--that it was voted the statements should be inscribed on a silver tablet and should be read every time the new consuls took up the duties of their office. Consequently those who heard him made themselves ready to enjoy a good reign according to the letter of the compilation. At first Agrippina [in company with Pallas, a vulgar and tiresome man,] managed all affairs pertaining to the empire, and she and her son went about together, often reclining in the same litter; usually, however, she would be carried and he would follow alongside. It was she who transacted business with embassies and sent letters to peoples and governors and kings. When this had gone on for a considerable time, it aroused the displeasure of Seneca and Burrus, who were both the most sensible and the most influential of the advisers of Nero. The one was his teacher and the other was prefect of the Pretorians. They took the following occasion to stop this method of procedure. An embassy of Armenians had arrived and Agrippina wished to ascend the platform from which Nero was talking with them. The two men, seeing her approach, persuaded the young man to go down before she could reach there and meet his mother, pretending some form of greeting. After that was done they did not return again, making some excuse to prevent the foreigners from seeing the flaw in the empire. Subsequently they labored to keep any public business from being again committed to her hands.

When they had accomplished this, they themselves took charge of the entire empire and gave it the very best and fairest management that they could. Nero was not in general fond of affairs and was glad to live at leisure. [The reason, indeed, that he had previously distrusted his mother and now was fond of her lay in the fact that now he was free to enjoy himself, and the government was being carried on no less well. And his advisers after consultation made many changes in existing customs, abolishing some things altogether and passing a number of new laws.] They let Nero sow his wild oats with the intention of bringing about in him through the satisfaction of all his desires a changed attitude of mind, while in the meantime no great damage should be done to public interests. Surely they must have known that a young and self-willed spirit, when reared in unreproved license and in absolute authority, so far from becoming satiated by the indulgence of its passions is ruined more and more by these very agencies. Indeed, Nero at first gave but simple dinners; his revels, his drunkenness, his amours were moderate. Afterward, as no one reproved him for them and public business was carried forward none the worse for all of it, he began to believe that what he did was right and that he could carry his practices to even greater lengths. [Consequently he began to indulge in each of these pursuits in a more open and precipitate fashion. And in case his guardians gave him any warning or his mother any rebuke, he would appear abashed while they were present and promise to reform; but as soon as they were gone, he would again become the slave of his desire and yield to those who were dragging him in the other direction,--a straight course down hill.] Next he came to despise instruction, inasmuch as he was always hearing from his associates, "Do you submit to this?" or "Do you fear these people?", "Don't you know that you are Caesar?", "Have not you the authority over them rather than they over you?" He was also animated by obstinacy, not wishing to acknowledge his mother as superior and himself as inferior, nor to admit the greater good sense of Seneca and Burrus.

Finally he passed the possibility of being shamed, dashed to the ground and trampled under foot all their suggestions, and began to follow in the steps of Gaius. When he had once felt a desire to emulate him, he quite outdid him, for he believed that the imperial power must manifest itself among other ways by allowing no one to surpass it even in the vilest deeds. [As he was praised for this by the crowds, and received many pleasant compliments from them, he gave himself no rest. His doings were at first confined to his home and associates, but were later on carried abroad. Thus he attached a mighty disgrace to the whole Roman race and committed many outrages upon the individuals composing it. Innumerable acts of violence and insult, of rape and murder, were committed both by the emperor himself and by those who at one time or another had influence with him. And, as certainly and inevitably follows in all such practices] , great sums of money naturally were spent, great sums unjustly procured, and great sums seized by force. For under no circumstances was Nero niggardly. Here is an illustration. He had ordered no less than two hundred and fifty myriads at one time to be given to Doryphorus, who attended to the state documents of his empire. Agrippina had it all piled in a heap, hoping by showing him the money all together to make him change his mind. Instead, he asked how much the mass before him amounted to, and when he was informed he doubled it, saying: "I was not aware that I had allowed him so little." It can clearly be seen, then, that as a result of the magnitude of his expenditures he would quickly exhaust the treasures in the royal vaults and quickly need new revenues. Hence unusual taxes were imposed and the property of the well-to-do was not left intact. Some lost their possessions to spite him and others destroyed themselves with their livelihoods. Similarly he hated and made away with some others who had no considerable wealth; for, if they possessed any excellent trait or were of a good family, he became suspicious that they disliked him.

Such were the general characteristics of Nero. I shall now proceed to details.

In the matter of horse-races Nero grew so enthusiastic that he adorned famous race-horses that had passed their prime with the regular street costume for men and honored them with money for their fodder. The horsebreeders and charioteers, elated at this enthusiasm of his, proceeded to abuse unjustifiably even the praetors and consuls. But Aulus Fabricius, when praetor, finding that they refused to hold contests on fair terms, dispensed with them entirely. He trained dogs to draw chariots and introduced them in place of horses. When this was done, the wearers of the white and of the red immediately entered their chariots: but, as the Greens and the Blues would not even then participate, Nero at his own cost gave the prizes to the horses, and the regular program of the circus was carried out.

Agrippina showed readiness to attack the greatest undertakings, as is evidenced by her causing the death of Marcus Julius Silanus, to whom she sent some of the poison with which she had treacherously murdered her husband.

Silanus was governor of Asia, and was in no respect inferior to the general character of his family. It was for this, more than for anything else, she said, that she killed him, not wishing to have him preferred before Nero, by reason of the latter's manner of life. Moreover, she turned everything into trade and gathered money from the most insignificant and basest sources.

Laelianus, who was despatched to Armenia in place of Pollio, had been assigned to the command of the night watch. And he was no better than Pollio, for, while surpassing him in reputation, he was all the more insatiable in respect to gain.

A.D. 55 (a.u. 808)

Agrippina found a grievance in the fact that she was no longer supreme in affairs of the palace. It was chiefly because of Acte. Acte had been brought as a slave from Asia. She caught the fancy of Nero, was adopted into the family of Attalus, and was cherished much more carefully than was Nero's wife Octavia. Agrippina, indignant at this and at other matters, first attempted to rebuke him, and set herself to humiliating his associates, some by beatings and by getting rid of others. But when she accomplished nothing, she took it greatly to heart and remarked to him: "It was I who made you emperor," just as if she had the power to take away the authority from him again. She did not comprehend that every form of independent power given to any one by a private citizen immediately ceases to be the property of the giver and belongs to the one who receives it to use against his benefactor.

Britannicus Nero murdered treacherously by poison, and then, as the skin was turned livid by the action of the drug, he smeared the body with gypsum. But as it was being carried through the Forum a heavy rain falling while the gypsum was still damp washed it all away, so that the horror was exposed not only to comment but to view. [After Britannicus was dead Seneca and Burrus ceased to give careful attention to public interests and were satisfied if they might manage them conservatively and still preserve their lives. Consequently Nero now made himself conspicuous by giving free rein to all his desires without fear of retribution. His behavior began to be absolutely insensate, as is shown, for instance, by his punishing a certain knight, Antonius, as a seller of poisons and by further burning the poisons publicly. He took great credit for this action as well as for prosecuting some persons who had tampered with wills; but other people only laughed to see him punishing his own acts in the persons of others.]

His secret acts of licentiousness were many, both at home and throughout the City, by night and by day. He used to frequent the taverns and wandered about everywhere like a private person. Any number of beatings and insults took place in this connection and the evil spread to the theatres, so that those who worked as dancers and who had charge of the horses paid no attention either to praetors or to consuls. They were disorderly themselves and led others to be the same, while Nero not only did not restrain them even by words, but stirred them up all the more. He delighted in their actions and used to be secretly conveyed in a litter into the theatres, where unseen by the rest he watched the proceedings. Indeed, he forbade the soldiers who had usually been in attendance at all public gatherings to appear there any longer. The reason he assigned was that they ought not to superintend anything but strictly military affairs, but his true purpose was to afford those who wished to raise a disturbance the amplest scope. He made use of the same excuse in reference to his not allowing any soldier to attend his mother, saying that no one except the emperor ought to be guarded by them. In this way he displayed his enmity toward the masses, and as for his mother he was already openly at variance with her. Everything that they said to each other, or that the imperial pair did each day, was reported outside the palace, yet it did not all reach the public and hence conjectures were made to supply missing details and different versions arose. What was conceivable as happening, in view of the baseness and lewdness of the pair, was noised abroad as having already taken place, and reports possessing some credibility were believed as true. The populace, seeing Agrippina now for the first time without Pretorians, took care not to fall in with her even by accident; and if any one did chance to meet her he would hastily get out of the way without saying a word.

At one spectacle men on horseback overcame bulls while riding along beside them, and the knights who served as Nero's personal guard brought down with their javelins four hundred bears and three hundred lions. On the same occasion thirty knights belonging to the military fought in the arena. The emperor sanctioned such proceedings openly. Secretly, however, he carried on nocturnal revels throughout the length and breadth of the city, insulting the women, practicing lewdness on boys, stripping those whom he encountered, striking, wounding, murdering. He had an idea that his incognito was impenetrable, for he used all sorts of different costumes and false hair at different times: but he would be recognized by his retinue and by his deeds. No one else would have dared to commit so many and such gross outrages so recklessly.
A.D. 56 (a.u. 809)
It was becoming unsafe even for a person to stay at home, since he would break into shops and houses. It came about that a certain Julius Montanus, [
1] a senator, enraged on his wife's account, fell upon this reveler and inflicted many blows upon him, so that he had to remain several days in concealment by reason of the black eyes he had received. Montanus did not suffer for it, since Nero thought the violence had been all an accident and was for showing no anger at the occurrence, had not the other sent him a letter begging his pardon. Nero on reading the epistle remarked: "So he knew that he was striking Nero." The suicide of Montanus followed hard after.

A.D. 57 (a.u. 810)
In the course of producing a spectacle at one of the theatres, he suddenly filled the place with sea-water so that the fishes and sea-monsters [2] swam in it, and had a naval battle between "Persians" and "Athenians." At the close of it he suddenly withdrew the water, dried the subsoil, and continued land contests, not only between two men at a time but with crowds pitted against other crowds.

A.D. 58 (a.u. 811)
Subsequent to this, oratorical contests took place, and as a result even of these numbers were exiled and put to death.--Seneca also was held to account, one of the charges against him being that he was intimate with Agrippina. [It had not been enough for him to debauch Julia, nor had he become better as a result of exile, but he went on to make advances to such a woman as Agrippina, with such a son.] Not only in this instance but in others he was convicted of doing precisely the opposite of what he taught in his philosophical doctrines. He brought accusations against tyranny, yet he made himself a teacher of tyrants: he denounced such of his associates as were powerful, yet he did not hold aloof from the palace himself: he had nothing good to say of flatterers, yet he had so fawned upon Messalina and Claudius's freedmen [that he had sent them from the island a book containing eulogies upon them; this latter caused him such mortification that he erased the passage.] While finding fault with the rich, he himself possessed a property of seven thousand five hundred myriads; and though he censured the extravagances of others, he kept five hundred three-legged tables of cedar wood, every one of them with identical ivory feet, and he gave banquets on them. In mentioning these details I have at least given a hint of their inevitable adjuncts,--the licentiousness in which he indulged at the very time that he made a most brilliant marriage, and the delight that he took in boys past their prime (a practice which he also taught Nero to follow). Nevertheless, his austerity of life had earlier been so severe that he had asked his pupil neither to kiss him nor to eat at the same table with him. [For the latter request he had a good reason, namely, that Nero's absence would enable him to conduct his philosophical studies at leisure without being hindered by the young man's dinners. But as for the kiss, I can not conceive how that tradition came about. The only explanation which one could imagine, namely, his unwillingness to kiss that sort of mouth, is proved to be false by the facts concerning his favorites. For this and for his adultery some complaints were lodged against him, but at this time he was himself released without formal accusations and succeeded in begging off Pallas and Burrus. Later on he did not come out so well.]

A.D. 59 (a.u. 811)
There was a certain Marcus Salvius Otho, who through similarity of character and sharing in wrongdoing had become so intimate with Nero that he was not even punished for saying one day to the latter: "Then I hope you may see me Caesar." All that came of it was the response: "I sha'n't see you even consul." It was to him that the emperor gave Sabina, of patrician family, after separating her from her husband, and they both enjoyed her together. Agrippina, therefore, fearing that Nero would marry the woman (for he was now beginning to entertain a mad passion for her), ventured upon a most unholy course. As if it were not enough for her story that she had attracted her uncle Claudius into love for her by her blandishments and uncontrolled looks and kisses, she undertook to enslave Nero also in similar fashion. However, I am not sure whether this actually occurred, or whether it was invented to fit their characters: but I state here what is admitted by all, that Nero had a mistress resembling Agrippina of whom he was especially fond because of this very resemblance. And when he toyed with the girl herself or threw out hints about it to others, he would say that he was having intercourse with his mother.

A.D. 59 (a.u. 812)
Sabina on hearing about this began to persuade Nero to get rid of his mother in order to forestall her alleged plots against him. He was likewise incited,-- so many trustworthy men have stated,--by Seneca, whether it was to obscure the complaint against his own name that the latter was anxious or to lead Nero on to a career of unholy bloodguiltiness that should bring about most speedily his destruction by gods and men. But they shrank from doing the deed openly and were not able to put her out of the way secretly by means of poison, for she took extreme precautions against all such things. One day they saw in the theatre a ship that automatically separated in two, let out some beasts, and came together again so as to be once more seaworthy; and they at once had another one built like it. By the time the ship was finished Agrippina had been quite won over by Nero's attentions, for he exhibited devotion to her in every way to make sure that she should suspect nothing and be off her guard. He dared, however, do nothing in Rome for fear the crime should become widely known. Hence he went some distance into Campania accompanied by his mother, and took a sail on the fatal ship itself, which was adorned in the most brilliant fashion to the end that she might feel a desire to use the vessel continually.

When they reached Bauli, he gave for several days most costly dinners at which he showed great solicitude in entertaining his mother. If she were absent he feigned to miss her sorely, and if she were present he was lavish of caresses. He bade her ask whatever she desired and bestowed many gifts without her asking. When he had shaped the situation to this extent [3] , then rising from dinner about midnight he embraced her, and straining her to his breast kissed her eyes and hands, exclaiming: "Mother, farewell, and happiness attend you! For you I live and because of you I rule." He then gave her in charge of Anicetus, a freedman, supposedly to convey her home on the ship that he had prepared.

But the sea would not endure the tragedy about to be enacted on it nor would it submit to assume responsibility for the deception wrought by the monstrous contrivance: therefore, though the ship parted asunder and Agrippina fell into the water, she did not perish. In spite of the fact that it was dark and she was full of strong drink and that the sailors used their oar blades on her, so much so that they killed Acerronia Polla, her fellow voyager, she nevertheless saved her life and reached home. Thereupon she affected not to realize that it was a plot and let not a word of it be known, but sent speedily to her son an account of the occurrence with the implication that it had happened by accident, and conveyed to him the good news (as she assumed it to be) that she was safe. Nero hearing this could not endure the unexpected outcome but punished the messenger as savagely as if he had come to assassinate him, and at once despatched Anicetus with the sailors to make an end of his mother. He would not entrust the killing of her to the Pretorians. When she saw them, she knew for what they had come, and leaping from her bed tore open her clothing; exposing her abdomen, and cried out: "Strike here, Anicetus, strike here, for this bore Nero!"

Thus was Agrippina, daughter of Germanicus, grandchild of Agrippa, descendant of Augustus, slain by the very son to whom she had given the sovereignty and for whose sake she had killed her uncle and others. Nero when informed that she was dead would not believe it, for the monstrousness of his bold deed plunged him in doubts; therefore he desired to behold the victim with his own eyes. So he laid bare her body, looked her all over and inspected her wounds, finally uttering a remark far more abominable even than the crime. What he said was: "I did not know I had so beautiful a mother."

To the Pretorians he gave money evidently to secure their prayers for many such occurrences, and he sent to the senate a message in which he enumerated the offences of which he knew she was guilty, stating also that she had plotted against him and on being detected had committed suicide. Yet for all this calm explanation to the governing body he was frequently subject to agitation at night, so that he would even leap suddenly from his bed. And by day terror seized him at the sound of trumpets that seemed to blare forth some horrid din of war from the spot where lay Agrippina's bones. Therefore he went elsewhere. And when in his new abode he had again the same experience, he distractedly transferred his residence to some other place.

Nero, not having a word of truth from any one and seeing that all approved what he had been doing, thought that either his actions had escaped notice or that he had conducted himself correctly. Hence he became much worse also in other respects. He came to think that all that it was in his power to do was right and gave heed to those whose speech was prompted by fear or flattery as if they told absolute truth. For a time he was subject to fears and questionings, but, after the ambassadors had made him a number of pleasing speeches, he regained courage.

The population of Rome, on hearing the report, though horrified were nevertheless joyful, because they thought that now he would surely come to ruin. Nearly all of the senators pretended to rejoice at what had taken place, participated in Nero's pleasure, and voted many measures of which they thought he would be glad. Publius Thrasea Paetus had also come to the senate-house and listened to the letter. When, however, the reading was done, he at once rose without making any comment and went out. Thus what he would have said he could not, and what he could have said he would not. He behaved in the same way under all other conditions. For he used to say: "If it were a matter of Nero's putting only me to death, I could easily pardon the rest who load him with flatteries. But since among those even who praise him so excessively he has gotten rid of some and will yet destroy others, why should one stoop to indecent behavior and perish like a slave, when like a freeman one may pay the debt to nature? There shall be talk of me hereafter, but of these men not a word save for the single fact that they were killed." Such was the kind of man Thrasea showed himself, and he would always encourage himself by saying: "Nero can kill me, but he can not harm me."

When Nero after his mother's murder reentered Rome, people paid him reverence in public, but in private so long as any one could speak frankly with safety they tore his character to very tatters. And first they hung by night a piece of hide on one of his statues to signify that he himself ought to have a hiding. Second, they threw down in the Forum a baby to which was fastened a board, saying: "I will not take you up for fear you may slay your mother."

At Nero's entrance into Rome they took down the statues of Agrippina. But there was one which they did not cut loose soon enough, and so they threw over it a cloth which gave it the appearance of being veiled. Thereupon somebody at once affixed to the statue the following inscription: "I am abashed and thou art unashamed."

In many quarters at once, also, might be read the inscription:

"Nero, Orestes, Alemeon, matricides."

Persons could actually be heard saying in so many words: "Nero put his mother out of the way." Not a few lodged information that certain persons had spoken in this way, their object being not so much to destroy those whom they accused as to bring reproach, on Nero. Hence he would admit no suit of that kind, either not wishing that the rumor should become more widespread by such means, or out of utter contempt for what was said. However, in the midst of the sacrifices offered in memory of Agrippina according to decree, the sun suffered a total eclipse and the stars could be seen. Also, the elephants drawing the chariot of Augustus entered the hippodrome and went as far as the senators' seats, but at that point they stopped and refused to proceed farther. And the event which one might most readily conjecture to have taken place through divine means was that a thunderbolt descended upon his dinner and consumed it all as it was being brought to him, like some tremendous harpy snatching away his food.

[In spite of this he killed by poison also his aunt Domitia, whom likewise he used to say he revered like a mother. He would not even wait a few days for her to die a natural death of old age, but was eager to destroy her also. His haste to do this was inspired by her possessions at Baiae and Ravenna, which included magnificent amusement pavilions that she had erected and] are in fine condition even now. In honor of his mother he celebrated a very great and costly festival, events taking place for several days in five or six theatres at once. It was then that an elephant was led to the very top of the vault of the theatre and walked down from that point on ropes, carrying a rider. There was another exhibition at once most disgraceful and shocking. Men and women not only of equestrian but even of senatorial rank appeared in the orchestra, the hippodrome, and even the hunting-theatre, like the veriest outcasts. Some of them played the flute and danced or acted tragedies and comedies or sang to the lyre. They drove horses, killed beasts, fought as gladiators, some willingly, others with a very bad grace. Men of that day beheld the great families,--the Furii, the Horatii, the Fabii, Poreii, Valerii, and all the rest whose trophies, whose temples were to be seen,--standing down below the level of the spectators and doing some things to which no common citizen even would stoop. So they would point them out to one another and make remarks, Macedonians saying: "That is the descendant of Paulus"; Greeks, "Yonder the offspring of Mummius"; Sicilians, "Look at Claudius"; the Epirots, "Look at Appius"; Asiatics, "There's Lucius"; Iberians, "There's Publius"; Carthaginians, "There's Africanus"; Romans, "There they all are". Such was the expiation that the emperor chose to offer for his own indecency.

All who had sense, likewise, bewailed the multitude of expenditures. Every costliest viand that men eat, everything else, indeed, of the highest value,--horses, slaves, teams, gold, silver, raiment of varied hues,--was given away by tickets. Nero would throw tiny balls, each one appropriately inscribed, among the populace and that article represented by the token received would be presented to the person who had seized it. The sensible, I say, reflected that, when he spent so much to prevent molestation in his disgraceful course, he would not be restrained from any most outrageous proceedings through mere hope of profit.

Some portents had taken place about this time, which the seers declared imported destruction to him, and they advised him to divert the danger upon others. So he would have immediately put numbers of men out of the way, had not Seneca said to him: "No matter how many you may slay, you can not kill your successor."

It was now that he celebrated a corresponding number of "Preservation Sacrifices," as he called them, and dedicated the forum for the sale of dainties, called Macellum.
Somewhat later he instituted a different kind of feast (called Juvenalia, a word that showed it belonged in some way to "youth"). The occasion was the shaving of his beard for the first time. The hairs he cast into a small golden globe and offered to Jupiter Capitolinus. To furnish amusement members of the noblest families as well as others did not fail to give exhibitions. For instance, Aelia Catella danced: he was first of all a man prominent for family and wealth and also advanced in years,--he was eighty years of age. Others who on account of old age or disease could not do anything on their own account sang as chorus. All devoted themselves to practicing as much as and by whatever way they were able. Regularly appointed "schools" were frequented by the most distinguished men, women, girls, lads, old women, old men. In case any one was unable to appear in any other fashion, he would enter the choruses. And whereas some of them out of shame had put on masks to avoid being recognized, Nero at the request of the populace had them taken off and showed these people to those by whom they had once been ruled. Now most of all it was that these amateur performers and others deemed the dead happy; for many of the foremost men this year had been slain. Some of them, charged with conspiracy against Nero, were surrounded by the soldiers and stoned to death.

And, as there needed to be a fitting climax to these deeds, Nero himself appeared as an actor and Gallio [4] proclaimed him by name. There stood Caesar on the stage wearing the garb of a singing zither-player. Spoke the emperor: "My lords, of your kindness give me ear." Then did the Augustus sing to the zither a thing called "Attis or the Bacchantes," [5] whilst many soldiers stood by and all the people that the seats would hold sat watching. Yet had he (according to the tradition) but a slight voice and an indistinct, so that he moved all present to laughter and tears at once. Beside him stood Burrus and Seneca like teachers prompting a pupil: they would wave their hands and togas at every utterance and draw others on to do the same. Indeed, Nero had ready a peculiar corps of about five thousand soldiers, called Augustans; these would begin the applause, and all the rest, however loath, were obliged to shout aloud with them,--except Thrasea. He would never stoop to such conduct. But the rest, and especially the prominent men, gathered with alacrity even when in grief and joined as if glad in all the shouts of the Augustans. One could hear them saying: "Excellent Caesar! Apollo! Augustus! One like unto the Pythian! By thine own self, O Caesar, no one can surpass thee!" After this performance he entertained the people at a feast on boats on the site of the naval battle given by Augustus: thence at midnight he sailed through a canal into the Tiber.

A.D. 60 (a.u. 813)
This, then, he did to celebrate the shaving of his chin. In behalf of his preservation and the continuance of his authority,--thus he gave notice,--he instituted quinquennial games, naming them Neronia. In honor of the event he also constructed the gymnasium at the dedication of which he made a free distribution of olive oil to the senators and knights. The crown for singing to the zither, moreover, he took without a contest, for all others were debarred on the assumption that they were unworthy of victory. [And immediately in their garb he was enrolled on the very lists of the gymnasium.] Thenceforward all other crowns for zither playing at all the contests were sent to him as the only person competent to win victories of that sort.



Nero Aug. (IV), Cornelius Cossus Cossi F. Lentulus.
(A.D. 60 = a.u. 813 = Seventh of Nero, from Oct. 13th).

Caesonius Paetus, P. Petronius Turpilianus.
(A.D. 61 = a.u 814 = Eighth of Nero).

P. Marius Celsus, L. Asinius Gallus.
(A.D. 62 = a.u. 815 = Ninth of Nero).

C. Memmius Regulus, L. Verginius Rufus.
(A.D. 63 = a.u. 816 = Tenth of Nero).

C. Lecanius Bassus, M. Licinius Crassus Frugi.
(A.D. 64 = a.u. 817 = Eleventh of Nero).

A. Licinius Nerva Silanus, M. Vestinus Atticus.
(A.D. 65 = a.u. 818 = Twelfth of Nero).

A.D. 61 (a.u. 814)
While this sport was going on at Rome, a terrible disaster had taken place in Britain. Two cities had been sacked, eight myriads of Romans and of their allies had perished, and the island had been lost. Moreover, all this ruin was brought upon them by a woman, a fact which in itself caused them the greatest shame. Heaven evidently gave them in advance an indication of the catastrophe. At night there was heard to issue from the senate-house foreign jargon mingled with laughter and from the theatre outcries with wailing: yet no mortal man had uttered the speeches or the groans. Houses under water came to view in the river Thames, [6] and the ocean between the island and Gaul sometimes grew bloody at flood-tide.

The casus belli lay in the confiscation of the money which Claudius had given to the foremost Britons,--Decianus Catus, governor of the island, announcing that this must now be sent back. This was one reason [Lacuna] [7] and another was that Seneca had lent them on excellent terms as regards interest a thousand myriads that they did not want, [8] and had afterward called in this loan all at once and levied on them for it with severity. But the person who most stirred their spirits and persuaded them to fight the Romans, who was deemed worthy to stand at their head and to have the conduct of the entire war, was a British woman, Buduica, [9] of the royal family and possessed of greater judgment than often belongs to women. It was she who gathered the army to the number of nearly twelve myriads and ascended a tribunal of marshy soil made after the Roman fashion. In person she was very tall, with a most sturdy figure and a piercing glance; her voice was harsh; a great mass of yellow hair fell below her waist and a large golden necklace clasped her throat; wound about her was a tunic of every conceivable color and over it a thick chlamys had been fastened with a brooch. This was her constant attire. She now grasped a spear to aid her in terrifying all beholders and spoke as follows:--

"You have had actual experience of the difference between freedom and slavery. Hence, though some of you previously through ignorance of which was better may have been deceived by the alluring announcements of the Romans, yet now that you have tried both you have learned how great a mistake you made by preferring a self-imposed despotism to your ancestral mode of life. You have come to recognize how far superior is the poverty of independence to wealth in servitude. What treatment have we met with that is not most outrageous, that is not most grievous, ever since these men insinuated themselves into Britain? Have we not been deprived of our most numerous and our greatest possessions entire, while for what remains we must pay taxes? Besides pasturing and tilling all the various regions for them do we not contribute a yearly sum for our very bodies? How much better it would have been to be sold to masters once and for all than to ransom ourselves annually and possess empty names of freedom! How much better to have been slain and perish rather than go about with subservient heads! Yet what have I said? Even dying is not free from expense among them, and you know what fees we deposit on behalf of the dead. Throughout the rest of mankind death frees even those who are in slavery; only in the case of the Romans do the very dead live for their profit. Why is it that though none of us has any money,--and how or whence should we get it?,--we are stripped and despoiled like a murderer's victims? How should the Romans grow milder in process of time, when they have conducted themselves so toward us at the very start,--a period when all men show consideration for even newly captured beasts?

"But, to tell the truth, it is we who have made ourselves responsible for all these evils in allowing them so much as to set foot on the island in the first place instead of expelling them at once as we did their famous Julius Caesar,--yes, in not making the idea of attempting the voyage formidable to them, while they were as yet far off, as it was to Augustus and to Gaius Caligula. So great an island, or rather in one sense a continent encircled by water, do we inhabit, a veritable world of our own, and so far are we separated by the ocean from all the rest of mankind that we have been believed to dwell on a different earth and under a different sky and some of their wisest men were not previously sure of even our exact name. Yet for all this we have been scorned and trampled under foot by men who know naught else than how to secure gain. Still, let us even at this late day, if not before, fellow-citizens, friends and relatives,--for I deem you all relatives, in that you inhabit a single island and are called by [10] one common name,--let us do our duty while the memory of freedom still abides within us, that we may leave both the name and the fact of it to our children. For if we utterly lose sight of the happy conditions amid which we were born and bred, what pray will they do, reared in bondage?

"This I say not to inspire you with a hatred of present circumstances,--that hatred is already apparent,--nor with a fear of the future,--that fear you already have,--but to commend you because of your own accord you choose to do just what you ought, and to thank you for cooperating so readily with me and your own selves at once. Be nowise afraid of the Romans. They are not more numerous than are we nor yet braver. And the proof is that they have protected themselves with helmets and breastplates and greaves and furthermore have equipped their camps with palisades and walls and ditches to make sure that they shall suffer no harm by any hostile assault. [11] Their fears impel them to choose this method rather than engage in any active work like us. We enjoy such a superabundance of bravery that we regard tents as safer than walls and our shields as affording greater protection than their whole suits of mail. As a consequence, we when victorious can capture them and when overcome by force can elude them. And should we ever choose to retreat, we can conceal ourselves in swamps and mountains so inaccessible that we can be neither found nor taken. The enemy, however, can neither pursue any one by reason of their heavy armor nor yet flee. And if they ever should slip away from us, taking refuge in certain designated spots, there, too, they are sure to be enclosed as in a trap. These are some of the respects in which they are vastly inferior to us, and others are their inability to bear up under hunger, thirst, cold, or heat, as we can; for they require shade and protection, they require kneaded bread and wine and oil, and if the supply of any of these things fails them they simply perish. For us, on the other hand, any root or grass serves as bread, any plant juice as olive oil, any water as wine, any tree as a house. Indeed, this very region is to us an acquaintance and ally, but to them unknown and hostile. As for the rivers, we swim them naked, but they even with boats can not cross easily. Let us therefore go against them trusting boldly to good fortune. Let us show them that they are hares and foxes trying to rule dogs and wolves."

At these words, employing a species of divination, she let a hare escape from her bosom, and as it ran in what they considered a lucky direction, the whole multitude shouted with pleasure, and Buduica raising her hand to heaven, spoke: "I thank thee, Andraste, [12] and call upon thee, who are a woman, being myself also a woman that rules not burden-bearing Egyptians like Nitocris, nor merchant Assyrians like Semiramis (of these things we have heard from the Romans), nor even the Romans themselves, as did Messalina first and later Agrippina;--at present their chief is Nero, in name a man, in fact a woman, as is shown by his singing, his playing the cithara, his adorning himself:--but ruling as I do men of Britain that know not how to till the soil or ply a trade yet are thoroughly versed in the arts of war and hold all things common, even children and wives; wherefore the latter possess the same valor as the males: being therefore queen of such men and such women I supplicate and pray thee for victory and salvation and liberty against men insolent, unjust, insatiable, impious,--if, indeed we ought to term those creatures men who wash in warm water, eat artificial dainties, drink unmixed wine, anoint themselves with myrrh, sleep on soft couches with boys for bedfellows (and past their prime at that), are slaves to a zither-player, yes, an inferior zither-player. Wherefore may this Domitia-Nero woman reign no more over you or over me: let the wench sing and play the despot over the Romans. They surely deserve to be in slavery to such a being whose tyranny they have patiently borne already this long time. But may we, mistress, ever look to thee alone as our head."

After an harangue of this general nature Buduica led her army against the Romans. The latter chanced to be without a leader for the reason that Paulinus their commander had gone on an expedition to Mona, an island near Britain. This enabled her to sack and plunder two Roman cities, and, as I said, she wrought indescribable slaughter. Persons captured by the Britons underwent every form of most frightful treatment. The conquerors committed the most atrocious and bestial outrages. For instance, they hung up naked the noblest and most distinguished women, cut off their breasts and sewed them to their mouths, to make the victims appear to be eating them. After that they impaled them on sharp skewers run perpendicularly the whole length of the body. All this they did to the accompaniment of sacrifices, banquets, and exhibitions of insolence in all of their sacred places, but chiefly in the grove of Andate,--that being the name of their personification of Victory, to whom they paid the most excessive reverence.

It happened that Paulinus had already brought Mona to terms; hence on learning of the disaster in Britain he at once set sail thither from Mona. He was unwilling to risk a conflict with the barbarians immediately, for he feared their numbers and their frenzy; therefore he was for postponing the battle to a more convenient season. But as he grew short of food and the barbarians did not desist from pressing him hard, he was compelled, though contrary to his plan, to enter into an engagement with them. Buduica herself, heading an army of about twenty-three myriads of men, rode on a chariot and assigned the rest to their several stations. Now Paulinus could not extend his phalanx the width of her whole line, for, even if the men had been drawn up only one deep, they would not have stretched far enough, so inferior were they in numbers: nor did he dare to join battle with one compact force, for fear he should be surrounded and cut down. Accordingly, he separated his army into three divisions in order to fight at several points at once, and he made each of the divisions so strong that it could not easily be broken through. While ordering and arranging his men he likewise exhorted them, saying:

"Up, fellow-soldiers! Up, men of Rome! Show these pests how much even in misfortune we surpass them. It is a shame for you now to lose ingloriously what but a short while ago you gained by your valor. Often have we ourselves and also our fathers with far fewer numbers than we have at the present conquered far more numerous antagonists. Fear not the host of them or their rebellion: their boldness rests on nothing better than headlong rashness unaided by arms and exercise. Fear not because they have set on fire a few cities: they took these not by force nor after a battle, but one was betrayed and the other abandoned. Do you now exact from them the proper penalty for these deeds, that so they may learn by actual experience what they undertook when they wronged such men as us."

After speaking these words to some he came to a second group and said: "Now is the occasion, now, fellow-soldiers, for zeal, for daring. If to-day you prove yourselves brave men, you will recover what has slipped from your grasp. If you overcome this enemy, no one else will any longer withstand us. By one such battle you will both make sure of your present possessions and subdue whatever is left. All soldiers stationed anywhere else will emulate you and foes will be terror-stricken. Therefore, since it is in your own hands either to rule fearlessly all mankind, both the nations that your fathers left under your control and those which you yourselves have gained in addition, or else to be bereft of them utterly, choose rather to be free, to rule, to live in wealth, to enjoy prosperity, than through indolence to suffer the reverse of these conditions."

After making an address of this sort to the group in question, he came up to the third division and said also to them: "You have heard what sort of acts these wretches have committed against us, nay more, you have even seen some of them. Therefore choose either yourselves to suffer the same treatment as previous victims and furthermore to be driven entirely out of Britain, or else through victory to avenge those that perished and also to give to the rest of mankind an example of mild clemency toward the obedient, of necessary severity toward the rebellious. I entertain the highest hopes of victory for our side, counting on the following factors: first, the assistance of the gods; they usually cooperate with the party that has been wronged: second, our inherited bravery; we are Romans and have shown ourselves superior to all mankind in various instances of valor: next, our experience; we have defeated and subdued these very men that are now arrayed against us: last, our good name; it is not worthy opponents but our slaves with whom we are coming in conflict, persons who enjoyed freedom and self-government only so far as we allowed it. Yet even should the outcome prove contrary to our hope,--and I will not shrink from mentioning even this contingency,--it is better for us to fall fighting bravely than to be captured and impaled, to see our own entrails cut out, to be spitted on red hot skewers, to perish dissolved in boiling water, when we have fallen into the power of creatures that are very beasts, savage, lawless, godless. Let us therefore either beat them or die on the spot. Britain shall be a noble memorial to us, even though all subsequent Romans should be driven from it; for in any case our bodies shall forever possess the land."

At the conclusion of exhortations of this sort and others like them he raised the signal for battle. Thereupon they approached each other, the barbarians making a great outcry intermingled with menacing incantations, but the Romans silently and in order until they came within a javelin's throw of the enemy. Then, while the foe were advancing against them at a walk, the Romans started at a given word and charged them at full speed, and when the clash came easily broke through the opposing ranks; but, as they were surrounded by the great numbers, they had to be fighting everywhere at once. Their struggle took many forms. In the first place, light-armed troops might be in conflict with light-armed, heavy-armed be arrayed against heavy-armed, cavalry join issue with cavalry; and against the chariots of the barbarians the Roman archers would be contending. Again, the barbarians would assail the Romans with a rush of their chariots, knocking them helter-skelter, but, since they fought without breastplates, would be themselves repulsed by the arrows. Horseman would upset foot-soldier, and foot-soldier strike down horseman; some, forming in close order, would go to meet the chariots, and others would be scattered by them; some would come to close quarters with the archers and rout them, whereas others were content to dodge their shafts at a distance: and all these things went on not at one spot, but in the three divisions at once. They contended for a long time, both parties being animated by the same zeal and daring. Finally, though late in the day, the Romans prevailed, having slain numbers in the battle, beside the wagons, or in the wood: they also captured many alive. Still, not a few made their escape and went on to prepare to fight a second time. Meanwhile, however, Buduica fell sick and died. The Britons mourned her deeply and gave her a costly burial; but, as they themselves were this time really defeated, they scattered to their homes.--So far the history of affairs in Britain.

A.D. 62 (a.u. 815)
In Rome Nero had before this sent away Octavia Augusta, on account of his concubine Sabina, and subsequently he put her to death. This he did in spite of the opposition of Burrus, who tried to prevent his sending her away, and once said to him: "Well, then, give her back her dowry" (by which he meant the sovereignty). Indeed, Burrus used such unmitigated frankness that on one occasion, when he was asked by the emperor a second time for an opinion on matters regarding which he had already made clear his attitude, he answered bluntly: "When I have once had my say about anything, don't ask me again." So Nero disposed of him by poison. He also appointed to command the Pretorians a certain Ofonius Tigillinus, who outstripped all his contemporaries in licentiousness and bloodiness. [It was he who won Nero away from them and made light of his colleague Rufus. [13] ] To him the famous sentence of Pythias is said to have been directed. She had proved the only exception when all the other attendants of Octavia had joined Sabina in attacking their mistress, despising the one because she was in misfortune and toadying to the other because her influence was strong. Pythias alone had refused though cruelly tortured to utter lies against Octavia, and finally, as Tigillinus continued to urge her, she spat in his face, saying:

"My mistress's privy parts are cleaner, Tigillinus, than your mouth."

The troubles of his relatives Nero turned into laughter and jest. For instance, after killing Plautus [14] he took a look at his head when it was brought to him and remarked: "I didn't know he had such a big nose," as much as to say that he would have spared him, had he been aware of this fact beforehand. And though he spent practically his whole existence in tavern life, he forbade others to sell in taverns anything boiled save vegetables and pea-soup. He put Pallas out of the way because the latter had accumulated great wealth that could be counted by the ten thousand myriads. Likewise he was very liable to peevishness that showed in his behavior, and at such times he would not speak a word to his servants or freedmen but write on tablets whatever he wanted as well as any orders that he had to give them.

A.D. 63 (a.u. 816)
Indeed, when many of those who had gathered at Antium perished, Nero made that, too, an occasion for a festival.
A certain Thrasea gave his opinion to the effect that for a senator the extreme penalty should be exile.

A.D. 64 (a.u. 817)
To such lengths did Nero's self-indulgence go that he actually drove chariots in public. Again, one time after the slaughter of beasts he straightway brought water into the theatre by means of pipes and produced a sea-fight: then he let the water out again and arranged a gladiatorial combat. Last of all he flooded the place once more and gave a costly public banquet. The person who had been appointed director of the banquet was Tigillinus, and a large and complete equipment had been furnished. The arrangements made were as follows. In the center and resting on the water were placed the great wooden wine vessels, over which boards had been fastened. Round about it had been built taverns and booths. Thus Nero and Tigillinus and their fellow-banqueters, being in the center, held their feast on purple carpets and soft mattresses, while all the other people caroused in the taverns. These also entered the brothels, where unrestrictedly they might enjoy absolutely any woman to be found there. Now the latter were some of the most beautiful and distinguished in the city, both slaves and free, some hetaerae, some virgins, some wives,--not merely, that is to say, public wenches, but both girls and women of the very noblest families. Every man was given authority to have whichever one he wished, for the women were not allowed to refuse any one. Consequently, the multitude being a regular rabble, they drank greedily and reveled in wanton conduct. So a slave debauched his mistress in the presence of his master and a gladiator ravished a girl of noble family while her father looked on. The shoving and striking and uproar that went on, first on the part of those who were going in and second on the part of those who stood around outside, was disgraceful. Many men met their death in these encounters, and of the women some were strangled and some were seized and carried off.

After this Nero had the wish (or rather it had always been a fixed purpose of his) to make an end of the whole city and sovereignty during his lifetime. Priam he deemed wonderfully happy in that he had seen his country perish at the same moment as his authority. Accordingly he sent in different directions men feigning to be drunk or engaged in some indifferent species of rascality and at first had one or two or more blazes quietly kindled in different quarters: people, of course, fell into the utmost confusion, not being able to find any beginning of the trouble nor to put any end to it, and meanwhile they became aware of many strange sights and sounds. For soon there was nothing to be observed but many fires as in a camp, and no other phrases fell from men's lips but "This or that is burning "; "Where?"; "How?"; "Who set it?"; "To the rescue!" An extraordinary perturbation laid hold on all wherever they might be, and they ran about as if distracted, some in one direction and some in another. Some men in the midst of assisting their neighbors would learn that their own premises were on fire. Others received the first intimation of their own possessions being aflame when informed that they were destroyed. Persons would run from their houses into the lanes with some idea of being of assistance from the outside, or again they would dash into the dwellings from the streets, appearing to think they could accomplish something inside. The shouting and screaming of children, women, men, and graybeards all together were incessant, so that one could have no consciousness nor comprehension of anything by reason of the smoke and shouting combined. On this account some might be seen standing speechless, as if dumb. All this time many who were carrying out their goods and many more who were stealing what belonged to others kept encountering one another and falling over the merchandise. It was not possible to get anywhere, nor yet to stand still; but people pushed and were pushed back, they upset others and were themselves upset, many were suffocated, many were crushed: in fine, no evil that can possibly happen to men at such a crisis failed to befall them. They could not with ease find even any avenue of escape, and, if any one did save himself from some immediate danger, he usually fell into another one and was lost.

This did not all take place on one day, but lasted for several days and nights together. Many houses were destroyed through lack of some one to defend them and many were set on fire in still more places by persons who presumably came to the rescue. For the soldiers (including the night watch), having an eye upon plunder, instead of extinguishing any blaze kindled greater conflagrations. While similar scenes were being enacted at various points a sudden wind caught the fire and swept it over whatever remained. Consequently no one concerned himself any longer about goods or houses, but all the survivors, standing in a place of safety, gazed upon what seemed to be many islands and cities burning. There was no longer any grief over individual losses, for it was swallowed up in the public lamentation, as men reminded one another how once before most of their city had been similarly laid waste by the Gauls.

While the whole population was in this state of mind and many crazed by the disaster were leaping into the blaze itself, Nero mounted to the roof of the palace, where nearly the whole conflagration could be taken in by a sweeping glance, and having assumed the lyrist's garb he sang the Taking (as he said) of Ilium, which, to the ordinary vision, however, appeared to be the Taking of Rome.

The calamity which the city at this time experienced has no parallel before or since, except in the Gallic invasion. The whole Palatine hill, the theatre of Taurus, and nearly two-thirds of the remainder of the city were burned and countless human beings perished. The populace invoked curses upon Nero without intermission, not uttering his name but simply cursing those who had set the city on fire: and this was especially the case because they were disturbed by the memory of the oracle chanted in Tiberius's day. These were the words:--

"Thrice three hundred cycles of tireless years being ended, Civil strife shall the Romans destroy." [15]

And when Nero by way of encouraging them reported that these verses were nowhere to be found, they changed and went to repeating another oracle, which they averred to be a genuine Sibylline production, namely:--

"Last of the sons of Aeneas a matricide shall govern."

And so it proved, whether this was actually revealed beforehand by some divination or whether the populace now for the first time gave it the form of a divine saying adapted to existing circumstances. For Nero was indeed the last emperor of the Julian line descended from Aeneas.

He now began to collect vast sums from both individuals and nations, sometimes using compulsion, with the conflagration for his excuse, and sometimes obtaining it by "voluntary" offers; and the mass of the Romans had the food supply fund withdrawn.

While he was so engaged, he received news from Armenia and soon after a laurel wreath in honor of victory. The scattered bodies of soldiery in that region had been united by Corbulo, who trained them sedulously after a period of neglect, and then by the very report of his coming had terrified both Vologaesus, king of Parthia, and Tiridates, chief of Armenia. He resembled the primitive Romans in that besides coming of a brilliant family and besides possessing much strength of body he was still further gifted with a shrewd intelligence: and he behaved with great bravery, with great fairness, and with great good faith toward all, both friends and enemies. For these reasons Nero had despatched him to the scene of war in his own stead and had entrusted to him a larger force than to anybody else, being equally assured that the man would subdue the barbarians and would not revolt against him. And Corbulo proved neither of these assumptions false.

All other men, however, had it as a particular grievance against him that he kept faith with Nero. They were very anxious to get him as emperor in place of the actual despot, and this conduct of his seemed to them his only defect.

Corbulo, accordingly, had taken Artaxata without a struggle and had razed the city to the ground. This exploit finished, he marched in the direction of Tigranocerta, sparing all the districts that yielded themselves but devastating the lands of all such as resisted him. Tigranocerta submitted to him voluntarily, and he performed other brilliant and glorious deeds, as a result of which he induced the formidable Vologaesus to accept terms that accorded with the Roman reputation. [For Vologaesus, on hearing that Nero had assigned Armenia to others and that Adiabene was being ravaged by Tigranes, made preparations himself to go on a campaign into Syria against Corbulo, but sent into Armenia Monobazus, king of Adiabene, and Monaeses, a Parthian. These two had shut up Tigranes in Tigranocerta. But since they did not succeed in harming him at all by their siege and as often as they tried conclusions with him were repulsed by both the native troops and the Romans that were in his army, and since Corbulo guarded Syria with extreme care, Vologaesus recognized the hopelessness of his attempt and disbanded his forces. Then he sent to Corbulo and obtained peace on condition that he send a new embassy to Nero, raise the siege, and withdraw his soldiers from Armenia. Nero made him no immediate nor speedy nor definite reply, but despatched Lucius Caesennius Paetus to Cappadocia to see to it that there should be no Armenian uprising.]

[So Vologaesus attacked Tigranocerta and drove back Paetus, who had come to its aid. When the latter fled he pursued him, beat back the garrison left by Paetus at the Taurus, and shut him up in Rhandea, near the river Arsanias. Then he was on the point of retiring without accomplishing anything; for destitute as he was of heavy-armed soldiers he could not approach close to the wall, and he had no large stock of provender, particularly as he had come at the head of a vast host without making arrangements for food supplies. Paetus, however, stood in terror of his archery, which took effect in the very camp itself, as well as of the cavalry, which kept appearing at all points. Hence he made peace proposals to his antagonist, accepted his terms, and took an oath that he would himself abandon all of Armenia and that Nero should give it to Tiridates. The Parthian was satisfied enough with this agreement, seeing that he was to obtain control of the country without a contest and would be making the Romans his debtors for a very considerable kindness. And, as he learned that Corbulo (whom Paetus several times sent for before he was surrounded) was drawing near, he dismissed the beleaguered soldiers, having first made them agree to build a bridge over the river Arsanias for him. He was not really in need of a bridge, for he had crossed on foot, but he wished to give them a practical example of the fact that he was stronger than they. Indeed, he did not retire by way of the bridge even on this occasion, but rode across on an elephant, while the rest got over as before.

The capitulation had scarcely been made when Corbulo with inconceivable swiftness reached the Euphrates and there waited for the retreating force. When the two armies approached each other you would have been struck with the difference between them and between their generals: one set were fairly aglow with delight at their rapidity; the others were grieved and ashamed of their compact. Vologaesus sent Monaeses to Corbulo with the demand that the newcomer should give up the fort in Mesopotamia. So they held a prolonged conference together right at the bridge crossing the Euphrates, after first destroying the center of the structure. Corbulo having promised to leave the country if the Parthian would also abandon Armenia, both of these things were done temporarily until Nero could learn the outcome of the engagements and begin negotiations with the envoys of Vologaesus, whom the latter had sent a second time. The answer given them by the emperor was that he would bestow Armenia upon Tiridates if this aspirant would come to Rome. Paetus was deposed from his command and the soldiers that had been with him were sent somewhere else. Corbulo was again assigned to the war against the same foes. Nero had intended to accompany the expedition in person, but after falling down during the ceremony of sacrificing he would not venture to go abroad but remained where he was.]

[Corbulo therefore officially prepared for war upon Vologaesus and sent a centurion bidding him depart from the country. Privately, however, he suggested to the king that he send his brother to Rome, and this advice met with acceptance, since Corbulo seemed to have the stronger force. Thus it came about that they both, Corbulo and Tiridates, met at no other place than Rhandea, which suited them both. It appealed to the Parthian because there his people had cut off the Romans and had sent them away under a capitulation, a visible proof of the favor that had been done them. To the Roman it appealed because his men were going to wipe out the ill repute that had attached to them there before. For the meeting of the two was not limited merely to conversation; a lofty platform had been erected on which were set images of Nero, and in the presence of crowds of Armenians, Parthians, and Romans Tiridates approached and did them reverence; after sacrificing to them and calling them by laudatory names he took off the diadem from his head and set it upon them. Monobazus and Vologaesus also came to Corbulo and gave him hostages. In honor of this event Nero was a number of times saluted as imperator and held a triumph, contrary to precedent.] But Corbulo in spite of the large force that he had and the very considerable reputation that he enjoyed did not rebel and was never accused of rebellion. He might easily have been made emperor, since men thoroughly detested Nero but all admired him in every way. [In addition to the more striking features of his submissive behavior he voluntarily sent to Rome his son-in-law Annius, who served as his lieutenant; this was done professedly that Annius might escort Tiridates back, but in fact this relative stood in the position of a hostage to Nero. The latter was so firmly persuaded that his general would not revolt that Corbulo obtained his son-in-law as lieutenant [16] before he had been praetor.]

[And Junius Torquatus, a descendant of Augustus, made himself liable to a most strange indictment. He had squandered his property in a rather lavish way, whether following his native bent or with the intention of not being very rich. Nero therefore declared that, as he lacked many things, he must be covetous of the goods of others, and consequently caused a fictitious charge to be brought against him of aspiring to imperial power.]

A.D. 65 (a.u. 818)
Seneca, however, and Rufus the prefect and some other prominent men formed a plot against Nero. They could no longer endure his ignoble behavior, his licentiousness, and his cruelty. They desired at one and the same time to be rid of these evils and to give Nero his release from them. Indeed, Sulpicius Asper, a centurion, and Subrius Flavius, a military tribune, both belonging to the body-guards, admitted this to him point blank. Asper, when interrogated by the emperor as to the reason for his attempt, replied: "I could help you in no other way." And the response of Flavins was: "I both loved you and hated you above all men. I loved you, hoping that you would prove a good emperor: I have hated you because you do so-and-so. I can not be slave to charioteer or lyre-player."--Information was lodged and these men were punished, besides many others indirectly associated with them. Everything in the nature of a complaint that could be entertained against any one for excessive joy or grief, for words or gestures, was brought forward and was believed. Not one of these complaints, even if fictitious, could be refused credence in view of Nero's actual deeds. Hence conscienceless friends and house servants of some men flourished greatly. Persons guarded against strangers and foes,--for of these they were suspicious,--but were bound to expose themselves whether they would or no to their associates.

It would be no small task to record details about most of those that perished, but the fate of Seneca needs a few words by itself. It was his wish to end the life of his wife Paulina at the same time with his own, for he declared that he had taught her to despise death and that she desired to leave the world in company with him. So he opened her veins as well as his own. As he failed, however, to yield readily to death, his end was hastened by the soldiers; and his dying so speedily enabled Paulina to survive. He did not lay hands upon himself, however, until he had revised the book which he had composed and had deposited with various persons certain other valued possessions which he feared might come into Nero's hands and be destroyed. Thus was Seneca forced to part with life in spite of the fact that he had on the pretext of illness abandoned the society of the emperor and had bestowed upon him his entire property, supposedly to help defray the expense of necessary building operations. His brothers, too, perished after him.

Likewise Thrasea and Soranus, who had no superiors in family, wealth, and every excellence, met their death not because they were accused of conspiracy but because they were what they were. Against Soranus Publius Egnatius Celer, a philosopher, gave false evidence. The victim had had two associates,--Cassius Asclepiodotus of Nicaea and this Publius of Berytus. Now Asclepiodotus so far from speaking against Soranus bore witness to his noble qualities; he was at the time exiled for his pains, but later, under Galba, was restored. Publius in return for his services as blackmailer received money and honors (as did others of the same profession), but subsequently he was banished. Soranus was slain on the charge of having caused his daughter to employ a species of magic, the foundation for this story being that when he was sick his family had offered some sacrifices. Thrasea was executed for not appearing regularly at the senate-house, thus showing that he did not like the measures passed, for not listening to the emperor's singing and zither-playing, for not sacrificing to Nero's Divine Voice as did the rest, and for not giving any public exhibitions: for it was remarked that at Patavium, his native place, he had acted in a tragedy given in pursuance of some old custom at a festival held every thirty years. As he made the incision in his artery, he raised his hand, exclaiming: "To thee, Jupiter, patron of freedom, I pour this libation of blood."

And why should one be surprised that such complaints were fastened upon them, [17] seeing that one man [18] was brought to trial and slain for living near the Forum, for letting out some shops, or for receiving a few friends in them; and another [19] because he possessed a likeness of Cassius, the murderer of Caesar?

The conduct of a woman named Epicharis also deserves mention. She had been included in the conspiracy and all its details had been trusted to her without reserve; yet she revealed none of these though often tortured in all the ways that the skill of Tigillinus could devise. And why should one enumerate the sums given to the Pretorians on the occasion of this conspiracy or the excessive honors voted to Nero and his friends? Let me say only that it led to the banishment of Rufus Musonius, the philosopher. Sabina also perished at this time through an act of Nero's. Either accidentally or intentionally he had given her a violent kick while she was pregnant.

The extremes of luxury indulged in by this Sabina I will indicate in the briefest possible terms. She had gilded girths put upon the mules that carried her and caused five hundred asses that had recently foaled to be milked each day that she might bathe in their milk. She devoted great thought to making her person appear youthful and lustrously beautiful,--and with brilliant results; and this is why, not fancying her appearance in a mirror one day, she prayed that she might die before she passed her prime. Nero missed her so that [after her death, at first, on learning that there was a woman resembling her he sent for and kept this female: later] because a boy of the liberti class, named Sporus, resembled Sabina, he had him castrated and used him in every way like a woman; and in due time he formally married him though he [Nero] was already married to a freedman Pythagoras. He assigned the boy a regular dowry according to contract, and Romans as well as others held a public celebration of their wedding.

While Nero had Sporus the eunuch as a wife, one of his associates in Rome, who had made a specialty of philosophy, on being asked whether the marriage and cohabitation in question met with his approval replied: "You do well, Caesar, to seek the company of such wives. If only your father had had the same ambition and had dwelt with a similar consort!"--indicating that if this had been the case, Nero would not have been born, and the government would have been relieved of great evils.

This was, however, later. At the time with which we are immediately concerned many, as I stated, were put to death and many who purchased their preservation with Tigillinus with a great price were released.

Nero continued to commit many ridiculous acts, among which may be cited his descending at a kind of popular festival to the orchestra of the theatre, where he read some Trojan lays of his own: and in honor of these there were offered numerous sacrifices, as there were over everything else that he did. He was now making preparations to compile in verse a narration of all the achievements of the Romans: before composing any of it, however, he began to consider the proper number of books, and took as his adviser Annaeus Cornutus, who at this time was famed for his learning. This man he came very near putting to death and did deport to an island, because, while some were urging him to write four hundred books, Cornutus said that was too many and nobody would read them. And when some one objected: "Yet Chrysippus, whom you praise and imitate, has composed many more," the savant retorted: "But they are a help to the conduct of men's lives." So Cornutus was punished with exile for this. And Lucanus was enjoined from writing poetry because he was securing great praise for his work.



C. Lucius Telesinus, C. Suetonius Paulinus.
(A.D. 66 = a.u. 819 = Thirteenth of Nero, from Oct. 13th).

Fonteius Capito, Iunius Rufus.
(A.D. 67 = a.u. 820 = Fourteenth of Nero).

C. Silius Italicus, Galerius Trachalus Turpilianus.
(A.D. 68 = a.u. 821, to June 9th).

A.D. 66 (a.u. 819)
In the consulship of Gaius Telesinus and Suetonius Paulinus one event of great glory and another of deep disgrace took place. For one thing Nero contended among the zither-players, and after Menecrates, [20] the teacher of this art, had celebrated a triumph for him in the hippodrome, he appeared as a charioteer. For the other, Tiridates presented himself in Rome, bringing with him not only his own children but those of Vologaesus, of Pacorus, and of Monobazus. They were the objects of interest in a quasi-triumphal procession through the whole country west from the Euphrates.
Tiridates himself was in the prime of life, a notable figure by reason of his youth, beauty, family, and intelligence: and his whole train of servants together with the entourage of a royal court accompanied the advance. Three thousand Parthian horsemen and besides them numerous Romans followed his train. They were received by gaily decorated cities and by peoples who shouted their compliments aloud. Provisions were furnished them free of cost, an expenditure of twenty myriads for their daily support being thus charged to the public treasury. This went on without change for the nine months occupied in their journey. The prince covered the whole distance to the confines of Italy on horseback and beside him rode his wife, wearing a golden helmet in place of a veil, so as not to defy the traditions of her country by letting her face be seen. In Italy he was conveyed in a two-horse carriage sent by Nero and met the emperor at Naples, which he reached by way of the Picentes. He refused, however, to obey the order to put down his dagger when he approached the Roman monarch, and he nailed it firmly to the scabbard. Yet he knelt upon the ground, and with arms crossed called him master and did obeisance.
Nero manifested his approbation of this act and entertained him in many ways, one of which was a gladiatorial show at Puteoli. The person who directed the contests was Patrobius, one of his freedmen. He managed to make it a brilliant and costly affair, as is shown by the fact that on one of the days not a person but Ethiopians, men, women, and children, appeared in the theatre. By way of showing Patrobius some proper honor Tiridates shot at beasts from his elevated seat. And, if we may trust the report, he transfixed and killed two bulls together with one arrow.

After this affair Nero took him up to Rome and set the diadem upon his head. The entire city had been decorated with lights and garlands, and great crowds of people were to be seen everywhere, the Forum, however, being especially full. The center was occupied by the populace, arranged according to rank, clad in white and carrying laurel branches: everywhere else were the soldiers, arrayed in shining armor, their weapons and standards reflecting back the sunbeams. The very roof tiles of the buildings in this vicinity were completely hidden from view by the spectators who had ascended to these points of vantage. Everything was in readiness by the time night drew to a close and at daybreak Nero, wearing the triumphal garb and accompanied by the senate and the Pretorians, entered the Forum. He ascended the rostra and seated himself upon the chair of state. Next Tiridates and his suite passed through rows of heavy-armed men drawn up on each side, took their stand close to the rostra, and did obeisance to the emperor as they had done before.
At this a great roar went up which so alarmed Tiridates that for some moments he stood speechless, in terror of his life. Then, silence having been proclaimed, he recovered courage and quelling his pride made himself subservient to the occasion and to his need, caring little how humbly he spoke, in view of the prize he hoped to obtain. These were his words: "Master, I am the descendant of Arsaces, brother of the princes Vologaesus and Pacorus, and thy slave. And I have come to thee, my deity, to worship thee as I do Mithra. The destiny thou spinnest for me shall be mine: for thou art my Fortune and my Fate."

Nero replied to him as follows: "Well hast thou done to come hither in person, that present in my presence thou mayest enjoy my benefits. For what neither thy father left thee nor thy brothers gave and preserved for thee, this do I grant thee. King of Armenia I now declare thee, that both thou and they may understand that I have power to take away kingdoms and to bestow them." At the end of these words he bade him come up the inclined plane built for this very purpose in front of the rostra, and Tiridates having been made to sit beneath his feet he placed the diadem upon his head. At this there was no end of shouts of all sorts.
According to decree there also took place a celebration in the theatre. Not merely the stage but the whole interior of the theatre round about had been gilded, and all properties brought in had been adorned with gold, so that people came to refer to the very day as "golden." The curtains stretched across the sky-opening to keep off the sun were of purple and in the centre of them was an embroidered figure of Nero driving a chariot, with golden stars gleaming all about him. So much for the setting: and of course they had a costly banquet.

Afterward Nero sang publicly with zither accompaniment and drove a chariot, clad in the costume of the Greens and wearing a charioteer's helmet. This made Tiridates disgusted with him; but for Corbulo the visitor had only praise and deemed the one thing against him to be that he would put up with such a master. Indeed, he made no concealment of his views to Nero's face, but one day said to him: "Master, you have in Corbulo a good slave." The person addressed, however, did not comprehend his speech.--In all other matters he flattered the emperor and ingratiated himself most skillfully, with the result that he received all kinds of gifts, said to have possessed in the aggregate a value of five thousand myriads, and obtained permission to rebuild Artaxata. Moreover, he took with him from Rome many artisans, some of whom he got from Nero, and some whom he persuaded by offers of high wages. Corbulo, however, would not let them all cross into Armenia, but only the ones whom Nero had given him. That caused Tiridates to admire him all the more and to despise his chief.

The return was made not by the same route as he followed in coming,--through Illyricum and north of the Ionian Gulf,--but instead he sailed from Brundusium to Dyrrachium. He viewed also the cities of Asia, which helped to increase his amazement at the strength and beauty of the Roman empire.

Tiridates one day viewed an exhibition of pancratium. One of the contestants fell to the ground and was being pummeled by his opponent. When the prince saw it, he exclaimed: "That's an unfair contest. It isn't fair that a man who has fallen should be beaten."

On rebuilding Artaxata Tiridates named it Neronia. But Vologaesus though often summoned refused to come to Nero, and finally, when the latter's invitations became burdensome to him, sent back a despatch to this effect: "It is far easier for you than for me to traverse so great a body of water. Therefore, if you will come to Asia, we can then arrange [where we shall be able] to meet each other." [Such was the message which the Parthian wrote at last.]

Nero though angry at him did not sail against him, nor yet against the Ethiopians or the Caspian Pylae, as he had intended. [He saw that the subjugation of these regions demanded time and labor and hoped that they would submit to him of their own accord:] and he sent spies to both places. But he did cross over into Greece, not at all as Flamininus or Mummius or as Agrippa and Augustus his ancestors had done, but for the purpose of chariot racing, of playing and singing, of making proclamations, and of acting in tragedies. Rome was not enough for him, nor Pompey's theatre, nor the great hippodrome, but he desired also a foreign tour, in order to become, as he said, victor in all the four contests. [21] And a multitude not only of Augustans but of other persons were taken with him, large enough, if it had been a hostile host, to have subdued both Parthians and all other nations. But they were the kind you would have expected Nero's soldiers to be, and the arms they carried were zithers and plectra, masks and buskins. The victories Nero won were such as befitted that sort of army, and he overcame Terpnus and Diodorus and Pammenes, instead of Philip or Perseus or Antiochus. It is probable that his purpose in forcing the Pammenes referred to, who had been in his prime in the reign of Gaius, to compete in spite of his age, was that he might overcome him and vent his dislike in abuse of his statues.

A.D. 67 (?)
Had he done only this, he would have been the subject of ridicule. So how could one endure to hear about, let alone seeing, an emperor, an Augustus, listed on the program among the contestants, training his voice, practicing certain songs, wearing long hair on his head but with his chin shaven, throwing his toga over his shoulder in the races, walking about with one or two attendants, eyeing his adversaries suspiciously and ever and anon throwing out a word to them in the midst of a boxing match; how he dreaded the directors of the games and the wielders of the whip and spent money on all of them secretly to avoid being shown up in his true colors and whipped; and how all that he did to make himself victor in the citharoedic contest only contributed to his defeat in the Contest of the Caesars? How find words to denounce the wickedness of this proscription in which it was not [22] Sulla that bulletined the names of others, but Nero bulletined his own name? What victory less deserves the name than that by which one receives the olive, the laurel, the parsley, or the fir-tree garland, and loses the political crown? And why should one bewail these acts of his alone, seeing that he also by treading on the high-soled buskins lowered himself from his eminence of power, and by hiding behind the mask lost the dignity of his sovereignty to beg in the guise of a runaway slave, to be led like a blind man, to conceive, to bear children, to go mad [to drive a chariot] , as he acted out time after time the story of Oedipus, and of Thyestes, of Heracles and Alemeon, and of Orestes? The masks he wore were sometimes made to resemble the characters and sometimes had his own likeness. The women's masks were all fashioned to conform to the features of Sabina [in order that though dead she might still move in stately procession. All the situations that common actors simulate in their acting he, too, would undertake to present, by speech, by action, by being acted upon,--save only that] golden chains were used to bind him: apparently it was not thought proper for a Roman emperor to be bound in iron shackles.

All this behavior, nevertheless, the soldiers and all the rest saw, endured, and approved. They entitled him Pythian Victor, Olympian Victor, National Victor, Absolute Victor, besides all the usual expressions, and of course added to these names the honorific designations belonging to his imperial office, so that every one of them had "Caesar" and "Augustus" as a tag.

He conceived a dislike for a certain man because while he was speaking the man frowned and was not overlavish of his praises; and so he drove him away and would not let him come into his presence. He persisted in his refusal to grant him audience, and when the person asked: "Where shall I go, then?" Phoebus, Nero's freedman, replied: "To the deuce!"

No one of the people ventured either to pity or to hate the wretched creature. One of the soldiers, to be sure, on seeing him bound, grew indignant, ran up, and set him free. Another in reply to a question: "What is the emperor doing?" had to answer: "He is in labor pains," for Nero was then acting the part of Canace. Not one of them conducted himself in a way at all worthy of a Roman. Instead, because so much money fell to their share, they offered prayers that he might give many such performances and they in this way get still more.

And if things had merely gone on like this, the affair, while being a source of shame and of ridicule alike, would still have been deemed free from danger. But as a fact he devastated the whole of Greece precisely as if he had been despatched to some war and without regard to the fact that he had declared the country free, also slaying great numbers [of men, women and children. At first he commanded the children and freedmen of those who were executed to leave him half their property at their death, and allowed the original victims to make wills in order to make it seem less likely that he had killed them for their money; and he invariably took all that was bequeathed to him, if not more. In case any one left to him or to Tigillinus less than they were expecting, the wills were of no avail.--Later he deprived persons of their entire property and banished all their children at once by one decree. Not even this satisfied him, but he destroyed not a few of the exiles.] For no one could begin to enumerate all the confiscated possessions of men allowed to live and all the votive offerings that he stole from the very temples in Rome. [The despatch-bearers hurried hither and thither with no piece of news other than "kill this man!" or that that man was dead. No private messages, only state documents, were delivered; for Nero had taken many of the foremost men to Greece under pretence of needing some assistance from them merely in order that they might perish there.
The whole population of Rome and Italy he surrendered like captives to a certain Helius, a Caesarian. The latter had been given absolutely complete authority, so that he might confiscate, banish, and put to death (even before notifying Nero) ordinary persons, knights, and senators alike.]

Thus the Roman domain was at that time a slave to two emperors at once,--Nero and Helius; and I do not feel able to say which was the worse. In most respects they behaved entirely alike, and the one point of difference was that the descendant of Augustus was emulating zither-players, whereas the freedman of Claudius was emulating Caesars. I consider the acts of Tigillinus as a part of Nero's career because he was constantly with him: but Polyclitus and Calvia Crispinilla by themselves plundered, sacked, despoiled all the places they could get at. The former was associated with Helius at Rome, and the latter with Sabina, born Sporus. Calvia had been entrusted with the care of the boy and with the oversight of the wardrobe, though a woman and of high rank; and she saw to it that all were stripped of their possessions.

Now Nero called Sporus Sabina not merely on account of the fact that by reason of resemblance to her he had been made a eunuch, but because the boy like the mistress had been solemnly contracted to him in Greece, with Tigillinus to give the bride away, as the law ordained. All the Greeks held a festal celebration of their marriage, uttering all the customary good wishes (as they could not well help) even to the extent of praying that legitimate children might be born to them. After that Nero took to himself two bedfellows, Pythagoras to treat as a man and Sporus as a woman. The latter, in addition to other forms of address, was termed lady, queen, and mistress.

Yet why should one wonder at this, seeing that this monarch would fasten naked boys and girls to poles, and then putting on the hide of a wild beast would approach them and satisfy his brutal lust under the appearance of devouring parts of their bodies? Such were the indecencies of Nero.

When he received the senators he wore a short flowered tunic with muslin collar, for he had already begun to transgress precedent in wearing ungirt tunics in public. It is stated also that knights belonging to the army used in his reign for the first time saddle-cloths during their public review.

At the Olympic games he fell from the chariot he was driving and came very near being crushed to death: yet he was crowned victor. In acknowledgment of this favor he gave to the Hellanodikai the twenty-five myriads which Galba later demanded back from them. [And to the Pythia he gave ten myriads for giving some responses to suit him: this money Galba recovered.] Again, whether from vexation at Apollo for making some unpleasant predictions to him or because he was merely crazy, he took away from the god the territory of Cirrha and gave it to the soldiers. In fact, he abolished the oracle, slaying men and throwing them into the rock fissure from which the divine afflatus arose. He contended in every single city that boasted any contest, and in all cases requiring the services of a herald he employed for that purpose Cluvius Rufus, an ex-consul. Athens and the Lacedaemonians were exceptions to this rule, being the only places that he did not visit at all. He avoided the second because of the laws of Lycurgus, which stood in the way of his designs, and the former because of the story about the Furies.--The proclamation ran: "Nero Caesar wins this contest and crowns the Roman people and his world." Possessing according to his own statement a world, he went on singing and playing, making proclamations, and acting tragedies.

His hatred for the senate was so fierce that he took particular pleasure in Vatinius, who kept always saying to him: "I hate you, Caesar, for being of senatorial rank."--I have used the exact expression that he uttered.--Both the senators and all others were constantly subjected to the closest scrutiny in their entrances, their exits, their attitudes, their gestures, their outcries. The men that stuck constantly by Nero, listened attentively, made their applause distinct, were commended and honored: the rest were both degraded and punished, so that some, when they could endure it no longer (for they were frequently expected to be on the qui vive from early morning until evening), would feign to swoon and would be carried out of the theatres as if dead.

As an incidental labor connected with his sojourn in Greece he conceived a desire to dig a canal across the isthmus of the Peloponnesus, and he did begin the task. Men shrank from it, however, because, when the first workers touched the earth, blood spouted from it, groans and bellowings were heard, and many phantoms appeared. Nero himself thereupon grasped a mattock and by throwing up some of the soil fairly compelled the rest to imitate him. For this work he sent for a large number of men from other nations as well.

For this and other purposes he needed great sums of money; and as he was a promoter of great enterprises and a liberal giver and at the same time feared an attack from the persons of most influence while he was thus engaged, he destroyed many excellent men. Of most of these I shall omit any mention, merely saying that the stock complaint under which all of them were brought before him was uprightness, wealth, and family: all of them either killed themselves or were slaughtered by others. I shall pause to consider only Corbulo and (of the Sulpicii Scribonii) Rufus and Proculus. These two deserve attention because they were in a way brothers and contemporaries, never doing anything separately but united in purpose and in property as they were in family: they had for a long time administered the affairs of the Germanies and had come to Greece at the summons of Nero, who affected to want something from them. A complaint of the kind which that period so prodigally afforded was lodged against them. They could obtain no hearing on the matter nor even get within sight of Nero; and as this caused them to be slighted by all persons without exception, they began to long for death and so met their end by slitting open their veins.--And I notice Corbulo, because the emperor, after giving him also a most courteous summons and invariably calling him (among other names) "father" and "benefactor," then, as this general approached Cenchrea, commanded that he be slain before he had even entered his presence. Some explain this by saying that Nero was about to sing with zither accompaniment and could not endure the idea of being seen by Corbulo while he wore the long ungirded tunic. The condemned man, as soon as he understood the import of the order, seized a sword, and dealing himself a lusty blow exclaimed: "Your due!" Now for the first time in his career was he ready to believe that he had done ill both in sparing the zither-player and in going to him unarmed.

This is the substance of what took place in Greece. Does it add much to mention that Nero ordered Paris the dancer killed because he wished to learn dancing from him and was disappointed? Or that he banished Caecina Tuscus, governor of Egypt, for bathing in the tub that had been specially constructed for his coming visit to Alexandria?

In Rome about this same time Helius committed many acts of outrage. One of these was his killing of a distinguished man, Sulpicius Camerinus, together with his son; the complaint against them was that whereas they were called Pythici after some of their ancestors they would not abandon possession of this name, thus blaspheming Nero's Pythian victories by the use of a similar title.--And when the Augustans offered to build a shrine to the emperor worth a thousand librae, the whole equestrian order was compelled to help defray the expense they had undertaken.--As for the doings of the senate, it would be a task to describe them all in detail. For so many sacrifices and days of thanksgiving were announced that the whole year would not hold them all.

Helius having for some time sent Nero repeated messages urging him to return as quickly as possible, when he found that no attention was paid to them, went himself to Greece on the seventh day and frightened him by saying that a great conspiracy against him was on foot in Rome. This news made him embark at double quick rate. There was some hope of his perishing in a storm and many rejoiced, but to no purpose: he came safely to land. And cause for destroying some few persons was found in the very fact that they had prayed and hoped that he might perish.

A.D. 68 (a.u. 821)
So, when he marched into Rome, a portion of the wall was torn down and a section of the gates broken in, because some asserted that each of these ceremonies was customary upon the return of garlanded victors from the games. First entered men wearing the garlands which, had been won, and after them others with boards borne aloft on spears, upon which were inscribed the name of the set of games, the kind of contest, and a statement that "Nero Caesar first of all the Romans from the beginning of the world has conquered in it." Next came the victor himself on a triumphal car in which Augustus once had celebrated his many victories: he wore a vesture of purple sprinkled with gold and a garland of wild olive; he held in his hand the Pythian laurel. By his side in the vehicle sat Diodorus the Citharoedist. After passing in this manner through the hippodrome and through the Forum in company with the soldiers and the knights and the senate he ascended the Capitol and proceeded thence to the palace.

A.D. 68 (a.u. 821)
The city was all decked with garlands, was ablaze with lights and smoky with incense, and the whole population,--the senators themselves most of all,--kept shouting aloud: "Vah, Olympian Victor! Vah Pythian Victor! Augustus! Augustus! Hail to Nero the Hercules, hail to Nero the Apollo!! The one National Victor, the only one from the beginning of time! Augustus! Augustus! O, Divine Voice! Blessed are they that hear thee!"--Why should I employ circumlocutions instead of letting you see their very words? The actual expressions used do not disgrace my history: no, the concealment of none of them rather lends it distinction.

When he had finished these ceremonies, he announced a series of horse-races, and transferring to the hippodrome these crowns and all the rest that he had secured by victories in chariot racing, he put them about the Egyptian obelisk. The number of them was one thousand eight hundred and eight. After doing this he appeared as charioteer.--A certain Larcius, a Lydian, approached him with an offer of twenty-five myriads if he would play and sing for them. Nero would not take the money, disdaining to do anything for pay; and so Tigillinus collected it, as the price of not putting Larcius to death. However, the emperor did appear on the stage with an accompanied song and he also gave a tragedy. In the equestrian contests he was seldom absent, and sometimes he would voluntarily let himself be defeated in order to make it more credible that he really won at other times.

Dio 62nd Book: "And he inflicted uncounted woes on many cities."

This was the kind of life Nero led, this was the way he ruled. I shall narrate also how he was put down and driven from his throne.

While Nero was still in Greece, the Jews revolted openly and he sent Vespasian against them. The inhabitants of Britain and of Gaul, likewise, oppressed by the taxes, experienced an even keener distress, which added fuel to the already kindled fire of their indignation.

--There was a Gaul named Gaius Julius Vindex [an Aquitanian] , descended from the native royal race and on his father's side entitled to rank as a Roman senator. He was strong of body, had an intelligent mind, was skilled in warfare and was full of daring for every enterprise. [He was to the greatest degree a lover of freedom and was ambitious; and he stood at the head of the Gauls.] Now this Vindex made an assembly of the Gauls, who had suffered much during the numerous forced levies of money, and were still suffering at Nero's hands. And ascending a tribunal he delivered a long and detailed speech against Nero, saying that they ought to revolt from the emperor and join him in an attack [upon him] ,--"because," said he, "he has despoiled the whole Roman world, because he has destroyed all the flower of their senate, because he debauched and likewise killed his mother, and does not preserve even the semblance of sovereignty. Murders, seizures and outrages have often been committed and by many other persons: but how may one find words to describe the remainder of his conduct as it deserves? I have seen, my friends and allies,--believe me,--I have seen that man (if he is a man, who married Sporus and was given in marriage to Pythagoras) in the arena of the theatre and in the orchestra, sometimes with the zither, the loose tunic, the cothurnus, [
23] sometimes with wooden shoes [24] and mask. I have often heard him sing, I have heard him make proclamations, I have heard him perform tragedy. I have seen him in chains, I have seen him dragged about, pregnant, bearing children, going through all the situations of mythology, by speech, by being addressed, by being acted upon, by acting. Who, then, will call such a person Caesar and emperor and Augustus? Let no one for any consideration so abuse those sacred titles. They were held by Augustus and by Claudius. This fellow might most properly be termed Thyestes and Oedipus, Alcmeon and Orestes. These are the persons he represents on the stage and it is these titles that he has assumed rather than the others. Therefore now at length rise against him: come to the succor of yourselves and of the Romans; liberate the entire world!"

Such words falling from the lips of Vindex met with entire approval from all. Vindex was not working to get the imperial office for himself but chose Servius Sulpicius Galba for that position: this man was distinguished for his upright behavior and knowledge of war, was governor of Spain, and had a not inconsiderable force. He was also nominated by the soldiers as emperor.

Rufus, governor of Germany, set out to make war on Vindex; but when he reached Vesontio he sat down to besiege the city, for the alleged reason that it had not received him. Vindex came against him to the aid of the city and encamped not far off. They then sent messages back and forth to each other and finally held a conference together at which no one else was present and made a mutual agreement,--against Nero, as it was thought. After this Vindex set his army in motion for the apparent purpose of occupying the town: and the soldiers of Rufus, becoming aware of their approach, and thinking the force was marching straight against them, set out without being ordered to oppose their progress. They fell upon the advancing troop while the men were off their guard and in disarray, and so cut down great numbers of them. Vindex seeing this was afflicted with so great grief that he slew himself. For he felt, besides, at odds with Heaven itself, in that he had not been able to attain his goal in an undertaking of so great magnitude, involving the overthrow of Nero and the liberation of the Romans.

This is the truth of the matter. Many afterwards inflicted wounds on his body, and so gave currency to the erroneous supposition that they had themselves killed him.

Rufus mourned deeply his demise, but refused to accept the office of emperor, although his soldiers frequently obtained it. He was an energetic man and had a large, wide-awake body of troops. His soldiers tore down and shattered the image of Nero and called their general Caesar and Augustus. When he would not heed them, one of the soldiers thereupon quickly inscribed these words on one of his standards. He erased the terms, however, and after a great deal of trouble brought the men to order and persuaded them to submit the question [25] to the senate and the people. It is hard to say whether this was merely because he did not deem it right for the soldiers to bestow the supreme authority upon any one (for he declared this to be the prerogative of the senate and the people), or because he was entirely highminded and felt no personal desire for the imperial power, to secure which others were willing to do everything.

[Nero was informed of the Vindex episode as he was in Naples viewing the gymnastic contest just after luncheon. He was naturally far from sorry, and leaping from his seat vied in prowess with some athlete. He did not hurry back to Rome but merely sent a letter to the senate, in which he asked them to regard leniently his non-arrival, because he had a sore throat, implying that when he did come he wanted to sing to them. And he continued to devote the same care and attention to his voice, to his songs, and to the zither tunes, not only just then but also subsequently: so he would not try a tone of his intended program. If he was at any time compelled by circumstances to make some exclamation, yet somebody, reminding him that he was to appear as citharoedist, would straightway check and control him.

It is stated that Nero having offered by proclamation two hundred and fifty myriads to the person who should kill Vindex, the latter when he heard of it remarked: "The person who kills Nero and brings his head to me may take mine in return." That was the sort of man Vindex was.

In general he still behaved in his accustomed manner and he was pleased with the news brought him because he had been expecting in any event to overcome Vindex and because he thought he had now secured a justifiable ground for money-getting and murders. He enjoyed the same degree of luxury; and upon the completion and adornment of the heroum of Sabina he gave it a brilliant dedication, taking care to have inscribed upon it: "The Women have built This to Sabina, the Goddess Venus." And the writing told the truth: for the building had been constructed with money of which a great part had been stolen from women. Also he had his numerous little jokes, of which I shall mention only one, omitting the rest.] One night he suddenly summoned in haste the foremost senators and knights, apparently to make some communication to them regarding the political situation. When they were assembled, he said: "I have discovered a way by which the water organ"--I must write exactly what he said--"will produce a greater and more harmonious volume of sound." Such were his jokes about this period. And little did he reck that both sets of doors, those of the monument and those of the bedchamber of Augustus, opened of their own accord in one and the same night, or that at Albanum it rained so much blood that rivers of it flowed over the land, or that the sea retreated a good distance from Egypt and covered a large portion of Lycia.
But when he heard about Galba's being proclaimed emperor by the soldiers and about the desertion of Rufus, he fell into great fear: he made preparations in person at Rome and he sent against the rebels Rubrius Gallus and some others.

On learning that Petronius, [26] whom he had sent ahead against the rebels with the larger portion of the army, also favored the cause of Galba, Nero reposed no further hope in arms.

Being abandoned by all without exception he began forming plans to kill the senators, burn the city to the ground, and sail to Alexandria. He dropped this hint in regard to his future course: "Even though we be driven from our empire, yet this little artistic gift of ours shall support us there." To such a pitch of folly had he come as to believe that he could live for a moment as a private citizen and would be able to appear as a musician.

He was on the point of putting those measures into effect when the senate first withdrew the guard that surrounded Nero, then entered the camp, and declared Nero an enemy but chose Galba in his place as emperor.

But when he perceived that he had been deserted also by his body-guards (he happened to be asleep in some garden), he undertook to make his escape. Accordingly, he assumed shabby clothing and mounted a horse no better than his attire. Closely veiled he rode while it was yet night towards an estate of Phao, a Caesarian, in company with the owner of the place, and Epaphroditus and Sporus.
While he was on the way an extraordinary earthquake occurred, so that one might have thought the whole world was breaking apart and all the spirits of those murdered by him were leaping up to assail him. Being recognized, they say, in spite of his disguise by some one who met him he was saluted as emperor; consequently he turned aside from the road and hid himself in a kind of reedy place. There he waited till daylight, lying flat on the ground so as to run the least risk of being seen. Every one who passed he suspected had come for him; he started at every voice, thinking it to be that of some one searching for him: if a dog barked anywhere or a bird chirped, or a bush or twig was shaken by the breeze, he was thrown into a violent tremor. These sounds would not let him have rest, yet he dared not speak a word to any one of those that were with him for fear some one else might hear: but he wept and bewailed his fortune, considering among other things how he had once stood resplendent in the midst of so vast a retinue and was now dodging from sight in company with three freedmen. Such was the drama that Fate had now prepared for him, to the end that he should no longer represent all other matricides and beggars, but only himself at last. Now he repented of his haughty insolence, as if he could make one of his acts undone. Such was the tragedy in which Nero found himself involved, and this verse constantly ran through his mind:

"Both spouse and father bid me pitiably die."

After a long time, as no one was seen to be searching for him, he went over into the cave, where in his hunger he ate such bread as he had never before tasted and in his thirst drank water such as he had never drunk before. This gave him such a qualm that he said:

"So this is my famous frigid decocta." [27]

While he was in this plight the Roman people were going wild with delight and offering whole oxen in sacrifice. Some carried small liberty caps, and they voted to Galba the rights pertaining to the imperial office. For Nero himself they instituted a search in all directions and for some time were at a loss to know whither he could have betaken himself. When they finally learned, they sent horsemen to dispose of him. He, then, perceiving that they were drawing near, commanded his companions to kill him. As they refused to obey, he uttered a groan and said:

"I alone have neither friend nor foe."

By this time the horsemen were close at hand, and so he killed himself, uttering that far-famed sentence:

"Jupiter, what an artist perishes in me!"

And as he lingered in his agony Epaphroditus dealt him a finishing stroke. He had lived thirty years and nine months, out of which he had ruled thirteen years and eight months. Of the descendants of Aeneas and of Augustus he was the last, as was plainly indicated by the fact that the laurels planted by Livia and the breed of white chickens perished somewhat before his death.

There was no one who might not hope to lay hands on the sovereignty in a time of so great confusion.

Rufus visited Galba and could obtain from him no important privileges, unless one reckons the fact that a man who had frequently been hailed as emperor was allowed to live. Among the rest of mankind, however, he had acquired a great name, greater than if he had accepted the sovereignty, for refusing to receive it.

Galba, now that Nero had been destroyed and the senate had voted him the imperial authority and Rufus had made advances to him, plucked up courage. However, He did not adopt the name "Caesar," until envoys of the senate had paid him a visit. Nor had he hitherto inscribed the name "emperor" in any document.



C. Silius Italicus, Galerius Trachalus Turpilianus.
(A.D. 68 = a.u. 821, from the 9th of June).

Galba Caes. Aug. (II), T. Vinius.
(A.D. 69 = a.u. 822, to January 15th).

A.D. 68 (a.u. 821)
Thus was Galba declared emperor just as Tiberius had foretold when he said to him: "You also shall have a little taste of sovereignty." The event was likewise foretold by unmistakable omens. He beheld in visions the Goddess of Fortune telling him that she had now stuck by him for a long time yet no one appeared ready to take her into his house; and if she should be barred out much longer she should take up her abode with some one else. During those very days also boats full of weapons and under the guidance of no human being came to anchor off the coast of Spain. And a mule brought forth young, an occurrence which had been previously interpreted as destined to portend the possession of authority by him. Again, a boy that was bringing him incense in the course of a sacrifice suddenly had his hair turn gray; whereupon the seers declared that dominion over the younger generation should be given to his old age.

These, then, were the signs given beforehand that had a bearing on his sovereignty. Personally his conduct was in most ways moderate and he avoided giving offence since he bore in mind that he had not taken the emperor's seat but it had been given him;--indeed, he said so frequently:--unfortunately, he collected money greedily since his wants were numerous, though he spent comparatively little after all, bestowing upon some persons not even denarii but merely asses. His freedmen, however, committed a great number of wrongs, the responsibility for which was laid upon him. Ordinary individuals need only keep themselves from crime, but those who hold sovereign power must see to it that no dependent of theirs practices villany either. For it makes little difference to the ones who suffer wrong at whose hands they happen to be ill treated. Consequently, even though Galba abstained from inflicting injury, yet he was ill spoken of because he allowed these others to commit crimes, or at least was ignorant of what was taking place. Nymphidius and Capito, in particular, were allowed by him to run riot. For instance, Capito, when one day some one appealed a case from his jurisdiction, changed his seat hastily to a high chair near by and then cried out: "Now plead your case before Caesar!" He went through the form of deciding it and had the man put to death. Galba felt obliged to proceed against them for this.

As he drew near the City, the guards of Nero met him and asked that their organization be preserved intact. At first he was for postponing his decision and averred that he wanted to think the matter over. Since, however, they would not obey but kept up a clamor, the army submitted to them. As a consequence about seven thousand of his soldiers lost their lives and the guardsmen were decimated. This shows that even if Galba was bowed down with age and disease, yet his spirit was keen and he did not believe in an emperor's being compelled to do anything unwillingly. A further proof is that when the Pretorians asked him for the money which Nymphidius had promised them, he would not give it, but replied: "I am accustomed to levy soldiers, not to buy them." And when the populace brought urgent pressure to bear on him to kill Tigillinus and some others who had before been wantonly insolent, he would not yield, though he would probably have disposed of them had not their enemies made this demand. Helius, however, as well as Narcissus, Patrobius, Lucusta the poison merchant, and some others who had been active in Nero's day, he ordered to be carried in chains all over the city and afterwards to receive punishment. The slaves, likewise, who had been guilty of any act or speech detrimental to their masters were handed over to the latter for punishment.

Some disdained receiving their own slaves, wishing to be rid of rascally slaves.

Galba demanded the return of all moneys and objects of value which any persons had received from Nero. However, if anybody had been exiled by the latter on the charge of impiety towards the emperor, he restored him to citizenship; and he also transferred to the tomb of Augustus the bones of members of the imperial family who had been murdered, and he set up their images anew.

For this he was praised. On the other hand he was the victim of uproarious laughter for wearing a sword whenever he walked on the street, since he was so old and weak of sinew.

A.D. 69 (a.u. 822)
I shall relate also the circumstances of his death. The soldiers in Germany under control of Rufus became more and more excited because they could not obtain any favors from Galba; and, having failed to secure the object of their desire through the medium of Rufus, they sought to obtain it through somebody else. This they did. With Aulus Vitellius, governor of Lower Germany, at their head they revolted. All that they had in mind regarding him was the nobility of his birth, and they paid no attention to the fact that he had been a favorite of Tiberius and was a slave to the licentious habits of his former master; or perhaps they thought that on this very account he would suit their purpose all the better. Indeed, Vitellius himself deemed himself of so little account that he made fun of the astrologers and used their prediction as evidence against them, saying: "Certainly they know nothing who declare that I shall become emperor." Nero when he heard it also laughed, and felt such contempt for the fellow that he did not try to injure him.

Galba on being informed of his defection adopted Lucius Piso, a youth of good family, affable and prudent, and appointed him Caesar. At the same time Marcus Salvius Otho, angry because he had not been adopted by Galba, brought about once more a beginning of countless evils for the Romans. He was always held in honor by Galba, so much so that on the day of the latter's death he was the only one of the senators to attend him at the sacrifice. And to him most of all was the catastrophe due. For when the diviner declared that Galba would be the victim of conspiracy and therefore urged him by no means to go abroad anywhere, Otho heard it, and hastening down immediately as if on some other errand was admitted within the wall by some few soldiers who were in the conspiracy with him. The next step was the winning over or rather the buying up of the rest, who were displeased at Galba, by means of many promises. From them he received the imperial office at once and later his claim was acknowledged by the others.
Galba on learning what was taking place thought he could bring the men into a better frame of mind and sent some emissaries to the camp for this purpose. Meanwhile a soldier holding aloft a bare blade covered with blood had approached him and said: "Be of good cheer, emperor: I have killed Otho, and no further danger awaits you." Galba, believing this, said to him: "And who ordered you to do that?" He himself started for the Capitol to offer sacrifice. As he reached the middle of the Roman Forum, horsemen and footsoldiers met him and then and there cut down in the presence of many senators and crowds of plebeians the old man, their consul, high priest, Caesar, emperor. After abusing his body in many ways they cut off his head and stuck it on a pole.--So he was struck by a javelin hurled into the very chair in which he was being carried, was wounded at the very moment he was bending forward from it, and only said: "Why, what harm have I done?" Sempronius Densus, a centurion, defended him as long as he was able, and finally, when he could accomplish nothing, let himself be slain with his sovereign. This is why I have included his name, for he richly deserves to be mentioned. Piso also was killed and numerous others, but not in aiding the emperor.

When the soldiers had done this, they cut off their heads, which they then carried to Otho (who was in the camp) and also into the senate-house; and the senators, though terror-stricken, affected to be glad.

Moreover, the senate voted him all the privileges pertaining to his office. He said that he had been forced to do as he did, had been brought within the walls against his will, and had actually risked his life after that by opposing the scheme. He regularly talked in a considerate manner and assumed a kindly expression and attitude; he threw kisses on his fingers to everybody and made many promises. But the fact did not escape men that his rule was sure to be more licentious and oppressive than Nero's. (Indeed, he had immediately applied to himself the latter's name). Galba had lived seventy-two years and twenty-three days, out of which he ruled nine months and thirteen days. Piso perished after him, making this atonement for having been appointed Caesar.

This was the end that befell Galba. But retribution was destined full soon enough to seek out Otho in his turn, as he at once learned. As he was offering his first sacrifice, the omens were seen to be unfavorable, so that he repented of what had been done and said: "What need was there of my playing on the long flutes?" This is a colloquial and proverbial expression that has reference to those who do anything out of their usual line. Later he was so disturbed in his sleep at night that he fell out of the bed and alarmed the guards who slept at the door. They rushed in and found him lying on the ground. Yet once he had entered upon the imperial office he could not put it off; and he remained in it and paid the penalty, in spite of many temperate acts intended to conciliate people. It was not particularly his nature to behave that way, but since on account of Vitellius his prospects were in a somewhat precarious state, he did not wish to alienate the bulk of the population.

Just at this time, to be sure, he annulled the sentences against some senators and granted various slight favors to others. By way of gaining the public approval he constantly frequented the theatres: he bestowed citizenship upon foreigners and made many other attractive announcements. Yet he did not succeed in winning the attachment of any one save a certain few, like himself. [For his restoration of the images of those under accusation and] his life and habits, his keeping Sporus as a companion and employing the rest of the Neronians, alarmed everybody.

They hated him most of all, however, because he had demonstrated the fact that the imperial office was for sale and had put the city in the power of the boldest spirits; likewise because he held the senate and the people in slight esteem and had impressed upon the soldiers also this idea,--that they could kill or again create a Caesar. Moreover, he had brought the soldiers into such a daring and lawless condition by his gifts and his immoderate attentions that one day they forced an entrance just as they were into the palace while a number of the senators were dining there with Otho. before departing they rushed into the banquet-room itself, killing those that strove to bar their progress. And they would have slaughtered everybody found there had not the guests jumped up and hid themselves prior to their irruption. For this behavior the men received money, it being assumed that their act was due to their liking for Otho.

About this time also a man was caught pretending to be Nero. His name was unknown to Dio. And at last he paid the penalty.

Otho, not succeeding by frequent invitations in persuading Vitellius to come and share the imperial office, eventually plunged into open war against him. And he sent soldiers whom he put in charge of several different leaders; this fact was largely responsible for his reverses.

Otho declined battle, saying that he could not see a battle fought between kindred, just as if he had become emperor in some legitimate fashion and had not killed the consuls and the Caesar [
28] and the emperor [29] in Rome itself. There fell in the battles which took place near Cremona four myriads of men on both sides. Here, they say, various omens appeared before the battle, most noteworthy being an unusual bird, such as men had never before beheld, that was seen for a number of days.

After the forces of Otho had been worsted, a certain horseman brought word of the disaster to Otho. When the bystanders refused to credit his report--it chanced that there were many gathered there--and some set to calling him "renegade" and others "enemy," he exclaimed: "Would that this news were false, Caesar: for most gladly would I have died to secure thy victory. As it is, my demise is determined, that no one may think I fled hither to secure my own safety. But do thou be assured that the enemy will ere long arrive, and debate what must be done." Having finished these words, he despatched himself.
This act caused all to believe him, and they were ready to renew the conflict. Those present formed a numerous body and there were not a few others at hand from Pannonia. But the most important consideration, as usual in such cases, was that they loved Otho and were quite devoted to him, not in word but in their hearts. When, however, they besought him not to abandon either himself or them, he waited until the rest, at report of the news, had come running together, and then, after some muttered words to himself, he delivered to the soldiers a speech, from which the following is a brief excerpt:

"Enough, quite enough, has already been done. I hate a civil war, even though I conquer: and I love all Romans, even though they do not side with me. Let Vitellius be victor, since this has pleased the gods; and let the lives of his soldiers also be spared, since this pleases me. It is far better and more just that one should perish for all, rather than many for one, and that I should refuse on account of one single man to embroil the Roman people and cause so great a mass of human beings to perish. I certainly should prefer to be a Mucius, a Decius, a Curtius, a Regulus, rather than a Marius, a Cinna, or a Sulla,--not to mention other names. Therefore do not force me to become one of these men I hate, nor grudge me the privilege of imitating one of those whom I commend. Do you depart to meet the conqueror and do him reverence. As for me, I shall find means to free myself, that all men may be taught by the event that you have chosen such an emperor as has not given you up to save himself but himself to save you."

Of this nature were the words of Otho. Falling upon the ears of the soldiers they aroused both admiration of the man and pity for what might befall him: his troops shed tears of lamentation and mourning, calling him father and terming him dearer than children and parents. ["Upon thee our lives depend," they said, "and for thee we will all die."] This argument continued so for most of the day, Otho begging to be allowed to die and the soldiers refusing to permit him to carry out his wish. Finally, he reduced them to silence and said: "It can not be that I should show myself inferior to this soldier, whom you have seen kill himself for the single reason that he had borne news of defeat to his own emperor. I shall certainly follow in his footsteps, that I may cease to see or hear aught any longer. And you, if you love me in reality, let me die as I desire and do not compel me to live against my will, but take your way to the victor and gain his good graces."

At the close of this speech he retired into his apartments and after sending some messages to his intimate friends and some to Vitellius in their behalf he burned all the letters which anybody had written to him containing hostile statements about Vitellius, not wanting them to serve as damaging evidence against anybody. Then he called each one of the persons that were at hand, greeted them, and gave them money. Meantime there was a disturbance made by the soldiers, so that he was obliged to go out and quiet them, and he did not come back until he had sent them to a place of safety, some here, some there. So then, when quiet had been permanently restored, taking a short sword he killed himself. The grief-stricken soldiery took up his body and buried it, and some slew themselves upon his grave. This was the end that befell Otho, after he had lived thirty-seven years lacking eleven days and had reigned ninety days, and it overshadowed the impiety and wickedness of his active career. In life the basest of men he died most nobly. He had seized the empire by the most villainous trick, but took leave of it most creditably.

A series of brawls among the soldiers immediately ensued, and a number of them were slain by one another; afterwards they reached an agreement and set out to meet the victorious party.
Valens was so eager for money and gathered it so assiduously from every source that he put to death the decurion, who had concealed him and had saved his life, on account of a thousand denarii which he thought had been purloined from his possessions.



(Galba (II) and T. Vinius Coss).:
A.D. 69 = a.u. 822, from January 15th.

The following Consules Suffecti took office:

On the Calends of March--T. Virginius Rufus, Vopiscus Pompeius.

On the Calends of May--Caelius Sabinus, T. Flavins Sabinus.

On the Calends of July--T. Arrius Antoninus, P. Marius Celsus (II).

On the Calends of September--C. Fabius Valens, A. Alienus Caecinna (also Roscius Regulus, as Caecinna was condemned on the last day of October).

On the Calends of November--Cn. Caecilius Simplex, C. Quintius Atticus.

A.D. 69 (a.u. 822)
The population of Rome when it heard of the downfall of Otho naturally transferred its allegiance immediately. Otho, whom people previously praised and for whose victory they prayed, they now abused as an enemy, and Vitellius, upon whom they had been invoking curses, they praised and declared emperor. So truly there is nothing constant in human affairs. Those who flourish most and those who are lowliest alike choose unstable standards, and construct their praises and their censures, their honors and their degradations to conform to the accidents of their situation.

News of the death of Otho was brought to him [Vitellius] while in Gaul. There he was joined by his wife and child, whom he placed on a platform and saluted as Germanicus and imperator, though the boy was only six years old.

[Vitellius witnessed gladiatorial combats at Lugdunum and again at Cremona, as if the crowds of men who had perished in the battles and were even then exposed unburied to the elements did not suffice. He beheld the slain with his own eyes, for he traversed all the ground where they lay and gloated over the spectacle as if he were still in the moment of victory; and not even after that did he order them to be buried.] Upon reaching Rome and adjusting affairs to suit him, he issued a bulletin banishing the astrologers and commanding them by this particular day (mentioning a given date) to leave the whole country of Italy. They by night put up in turn another document, in which they announced that he should lose his life by the day on which he actually died. So accurate was their previous knowledge of what should come to pass.

Vitellius was fond of luxury and licentiousness and cared for nothing else human or divine. He had always been the kind of man that would spend his time in taverns and gaming houses, over dancers and charioteers. Incalculable were the sums he spent on such pursuits, and the consequence was that he had many creditors. Now, when he attained to so great authority, his wantonness only increased, and his expenditures went on most of the day and night alike. He was insatiate in filling himself, yet kept constantly vomiting what he ate, apparently living on the mere passage of food. Yet that was what enabled him to hold out; for his fellow banqueters fared very badly. [He was always inviting numbers of the foremost men to his table and he was frequently entertained at their houses.]

On this point one of them, Vibius Crispus, [30] was the author of a most witty remark. Having been compelled for some days by sickness to absent himself from the convivial board, he said: "If I had not fallen ill, I should certainly have died." The entire period of his reign consisted in nothing but carousals and revels. All the most valuable food products were brought together from the ocean itself (not to go farther) from the earth and from the Mediterranean, and were prepared in so costly a fashion that even now some cakes and other dishes are named Vitellian, after him. Why should one go into the details of these affairs? It is admitted by quite everybody that during the period of his reign he expended on dinners two hundred million two thousand five hundred denarii. There came very near being a famine in all costly articles of food, yet it was imperative that they should be provided. Once he had a dish made that cost twenty-five myriads, into which he put a mixture of tongues and brains and livers of fish and certain kinds of birds. As it was impossible to make so large a vessel of pottery, it was made of silver and remained extant for some time, regarded somewhat in the light of a votive offering, until Hadrian finally set eyes on it and had it melted down.

Since I have mentioned this fact, I will also add another, namely that not even Nero's Golden House would satisfy Vitellius. He delighted in and commended the name and the life and all the practices of its former owner, yet he found fault with the structure itself, saying that it had been badly built and was scantily and meanly equipped. When he fell ill one time he looked about for a room to afford him an abode; so little did even Nero's surroundings satisfy him. His wife Galeria ridiculed the small amount of decoration found in the royal apartments. This pair, as they spent other people's money, never stopped to count the cost of anything; but those who invited them to meals found themselves in great trouble [save a few whom he compensated for it] . Yet the same persons would not regularly entertain him the entire day, but one set of men furnished breakfast, another lunch, another dinner, and still another certain viands for dessert calculated to stimulate a jaded appetite. [31] [For all who were able were eager to entertain him.] It is said that after the elapse of a few days he spent a hundred myriads upon a dinner. [His birthday celebration lasted over two days and numbers of beasts and of men were slain.]

[The character of Vitellius, being such as I have described, did not serve to promote temperance on the part of the soldiers, but numerous instances of their wantonness and licentiousness were everywhere at hand.]

Vitellius ascended the Capitol and greeted his mother. She was a sensible woman, and when she first heard that her son had been given the name Germanicus, she said: "My child was Vitellius and not Germanicus."

Vitellius, however, furnished many with material for amusement. They could not restrain their laughter when they beheld wearing a solemn face in the public processions a man whom they knew to have played the strumpet--or saw mounted on a royal steed and clad in a purple riding-habit him who wore, as they were well aware, the Blue costume and curried the race-horses--or viewed ascending the Capitol with so great a crowd of soldiers him whom previously no one could catch a glimpse of even in the Forum because of his throngs of creditors--or gazed at him receiving the adoration of all, whom once nobody liked very well even to kiss. Indeed, those who had lent him anything had laid hold of him when he started out for Germany and would scarcely release him after he had given security. Now, however, so far from laughing at him the same men mourned and hid themselves. But he sought them out, telling them he spared their lives as an equivalent of the debt he owed, and he demanded back his contracts.

[Though his life was of this kind he was not entirely without good deeds. For example, he retained the coinage minted under Nero and Galba and Otho, evincing no displeasure at their images; and whatever gifts had been bestowed upon any persons he held to be valid and deprived no one of any such possession. He did not collect any sums still owing of former public contributions, and he confiscated no one's property. A very few of those who sided with Otho he put to death but did not withhold even the property of these from their relatives. Upon the kinsmen of those previously executed he bestowed all the funds that were found in the public treasury. He did not obstruct the execution of the wills of such as had fought against him and had fallen in the battles. Furthermore he forbade the senators and the knights to fight as gladiators or to appear in any spectacle in the orchestra. And for these measures he was commended.]

He was a constant attendant of the theatres, and this won the attachment of the populace. He ate with the most influential men on free and easy terms, and this gained their favor to an even greater degree. His old companions he never failed to remember and honored them greatly, not (like some others) disdaining to appear to recognize any of them. Many persons have unexpectedly attained to great power feel hate for those who are acquainted with their former humble state. [Vitellius, when Priscus opposed him in the senate and denounced one of the soldiers, called the tribunes to his side as if he had some need of their assistance. He did not himself do Priscus any harm and did not allow the officials to hurt him, but merely said: "Be not indignant, Conscript Fathers, that we two out of your number have had a little dispute with each other." This act seemed to have been due to a kindly disposition. The fact, however, that he wished to imitate Nero and offered sacrifices to his Manes, and that he spent so great sums on dinners, though it caused joy to some, made the sensible grieve, since they were fully aware that not all the money in the whole world would be sufficient for him.]

While he was behaving in this way, evil omens occurred. A comet star was seen, and the moon contrary to precedent appeared to have had two eclipses, being obscured by shadows on the fourth and on the seventh day. Also people saw two suns at once, one in the west weak and pale, and one in the east brilliant and powerful. On the Capitol many huge footprints were seen, presumably of some spirits that had descended that hill. The soldiers who had slept there the night in question said that the temple of Jupiter had opened of itself with great clangor and some of the guards were so terrified that they expired. At the same time that this happened Vespasian, engaged in warfare with the Jews, [sent his son Titus to the emperor Galba to give him a message. But when Titus returned, having learned on the way] of the rebellion of Vitellius and of Otho, he deliberated what ought to be done. [For Vespasian was in general not rashly inclined and he hesitated very much about involving himself in such troublous affairs.]

But people favored him greatly: his reputation won in Britain, his fame derived from the war under way, his kindheartedness and prudence, all led them to desire to have him at their head. Likewise Mucianus urged him strongly, hoping that Vespasian should get the name of emperor and that he as a result of the other's good nature should enjoy an equal share of power. Vespasian's soldiers on ascertaining all these facts surrounded his tent and hailed him as emperor. Portents and dreams pointing him out as sovereign long before had also fallen to the lot of Vespasian, and these will be recited in the story of his life. For the time being he sent Mucianus to Italy against Vitellius, while he himself, after taking a look at affairs in Syria and entrusting to others the conduct of the war against the Jews, proceeded to Egypt. There he collected money, of which of course he needed a great deal, and grin, which he desired to send in as large quantities as possible to Rome. The soldiers in Moesia, hearing how matters stood with him, would not wait for Mucianus,--they had learned that he was en route,--and chose as their general Antonius Primus, [32] who had suffered sentence of exile in Nero's reign but had been restored by Galba and was commander of the legion in Pannonia. This man held supreme authority, although not chosen by the emperor nor by the senate. So great was the soldiers' anger at Vitellius and their zest for plunder. They were doing this for no other purpose except to pillage Italy. And their intention was realized.

Vitellius when he heard about it remained where he was and went on with his luxurious living even to the extent of arranging gladiatorial combats. In the course of these it was proposed that Sporus portray the role of a maiden being ravished, but he would not endure the shame and committed suicide. Vitellius gave the charge of the war to Alienus [33] and certain others. Alienus reached Cremona and occupied the town, but seeing that his own soldiers were out of training as a result of their luxurious life in Rome and impaired by lack of practice, whereas the others were physically well exercised and stout of heart, he was afraid. Subsequently, when friendly proposals came to him from Primus, he called the soldiers together and by indicating the weakness of Vitellius and the strength of Vespasian together with the character of the two men he persuaded them to revolt. Then they removed the images of Vitellius from their standards and took an oath that they would be governed by Vespasian. But, after the meeting had broken up and they had retired to their tents, they changed their minds and suddenly gathering excitedly in force with great outcry they again saluted Vitellius as emperor and imprisoned Alienus for having betrayed them, and they paid no heed to his consular office. Such are the regular practices of civil wars.

The great confusion which under these conditions prevailed in the camp of Vitellius was increased that night by an eclipse of the moon. It was not so much its being obscured (though even such phenomena cause fear to men in excitement) as the fact that the luminary appeared both blood-colored and black and reflected still other terrifying shades. Not for this, however, would the men change their attitude or yield: but when they encountered each other they contended most vigorously, although, as I said, the Vitellians were leaderless; for Alienus had been imprisoned at Cremona.

On the following day, when Primus through messengers tried to induce them to come to terms, the soldiers of Vitellius sent a return message to him urging that he espouse the cause of Vitellius. When, moreover, they joined battle with his soldiers they contended most vigorously. The battle was not the result of any concerted plan. Some few horsemen, as often happens when two forces are encamped opposite each other, were out foraging in front of the others and suddenly made an attack. After that reinforcements came from both armies to each of the two parties in whatever order the troops happened to become aware of the situation,--first to one side, then to the other, now of one kind of fighting force, now of another, infantry or cavalry: and the conflict was marked by vicissitudes until all had hastened to the front. Then they got into some kind of regular formation and carried on the struggle with some order even though leaderless. Alienus, as you remember, had been imprisoned.

From this point on the battle between them was a well matched and evenly balanced affair, not only during the day but at night as well. For the coming of night did not separate them. They were thoroughly angry and determined, although they were acquainted with each other and talked back and forth. Hence not hunger nor fatigue nor cold nor darkness nor wounds nor deaths nor the remains of men that fell on this field before [nor the memory of the disaster nor the number of those that perished to no purpose] mitigated their fierceness. Such was the madness that possessed both sides alike [and so eager were they, incited by the very memories of the spot, which made one party resolved to conquer this time also, and the other not to be conquered this time either. So they fought as against foreigners instead of kindred, and as if all on both sides were absolutely obliged either to perish at once or thereafter to be slaves. Therefore, not even when night came on, as I stated, would they yield; but though tired out and for that reason often resting and indulging in conversation together, they nevertheless continued to struggle] . As often as the moon shone out (it was constantly being concealed by [numerous] clouds [of all shapes that kept passing in front of it] ), one might see them sometimes fighting, sometimes
standing and leaning on their spears, sometimes sitting down. Now and then they would shout in unison on one side the name of Vespasian and on the other that of Vitellius, and again they would challenge each other with abuse and praise of the two men. At intervals one soldier would have a private chat with an opponent:--"Comrade, fellow-citizen, what are we doing? Why are we fighting? Come over to my side." "Oh, no, you come to my side." But what is there surprising about this, considering that when the women of the city in the course of the night brought food and drink to give to the soldiers of Vitellius, the latter after eating and drinking themselves passed the supplies on to their antagonists? One of them would call out the name of his adversary (for they practically all knew one another and were well acquainted) and would say: "Comrade, take and eat this. I give you not a sword, but bread. Take and drink: I hold toward you not a shield but a cup. For whether you kill me or I you, this will afford us a more comfortable leave-taking, and will save from feebleness and weakness the hand with which either you cut me down or I you. These are the consecrated offerings that Vitellius and Vespasian give us while we are yet alive, that they may sacrifice us to the corpses of the past." That would be the style of their conversation, after which they would rest a while, eat a bit, and then renew the battle. Soon they would stop again, and then once more join in conflict.

It went on this way the whole night through till dawn broke. At that time two men of the Vespasian party wrought a notable achievement. Their side was being severely damaged by an engine of some sort, and these two, seizing shields from among the spoils of the Vitellian faction, mingled with the opposing ranks, and made their way to the engine without its being noticed that they did not belong to that side. Thus they managed to cut the ropes of the affair, so that not another missile could be discharged from it. As the sun was rising the soldiers of the third legion, called the Gallic, that wintered in Syria but was now by chance in the party of Vespasian, suddenly according to custom saluted the Sun God. The followers of Vitellius, suspecting that Mucianus had arrived, underwent a revulsion of feeling, and panic-stricken at the shout took to flight. (Another instance of how the smallest things can produce great alarm in men who are completely tired out). They retired within the wall, from which they stretched forth their hands and made supplications. As no one listened to them, they released the consul, and, having arrayed him in his robe of office with the fasces, then sent him as an intercessor. Thus they obtained a truce, for Alienus because of his rank and the way he had been treated easily persuaded Primus to accept their submission.

When, however, the gates were opened and an amnesty had been declared for all, suddenly soldiers came rushing in from all directions and began plundering and setting fire to everything. This catastrophe proved to be one of the greatest recorded. The city was distinguished for the size and beauty of its buildings, and great sums of money belonging to natives and to strangers had been accumulated there. The larger portion of the harm was done by the Vitellians, since they knew exactly which were the houses of the richest men and all about the entrances on the alleys. They showed no scruples about destroying the persons in whose behalf they had fought, but dealt blows, committed murder, and acted as if it were they who had been wronged and had conquered. Thus, counting those that fell in battle, five myriads perished altogether.

Vitellius, on learning of the defeat, was for a time quite disturbed. Omens had contributed to make him uneasy. He had been offering a certain sacrifice, and after it was addressing the soldiers, when a lot of vultures swooped down, scattered the sacred meats, and nearly knocked him from the platform. Accordingly, the news of the defeat troubled him still more, and he quietly sent his brother to Tarracina, a strong city, which the latter occupied. But when the generals of Vespasian approached Rome he became alarmed and took his departure. He did nothing and formed no plan, but in a state of terror was carried back and forth on the billows of chance. One moment he was for clinging to the sovereignty and he was making definite preparations for warfare: the next he was quite willing to give it up and was definitely getting ready to live as a private person. At times he wore the purple chlamys and girded on a sword: again he assumed dark colored clothing. His public addresses both in the palace and in the Forum were now of one tenor, now of another, first urging battle and next terms of peace. At times he was inclined to surrender himself for the public welfare, and later he would clasp his child in his arms, kiss him, and hold him out to the people as if to arouse their pity. Similarly he would dismiss the Pretorians and then send for them again, would leave the palace to retire to his brother's house and then return: in this way he dulled the enthusiasm of almost everybody interested in him. Seeing him dashing hither and thither so frenziedly they ceased to carry out commands with their usual diligence, and began to consider their own interests as well as his. They ridiculed him a great deal, especially when in the assemblies he proffered his sword to the consuls and to the senators present as if to show that by this act he had divested himself of the imperial office. No one of the above persons dared to take it, and the bystanders jeered.

In view of these conditions, when Primus at last drew near, the consuls, Gaius Quintius Atticus and Gnaeus Caecilius Simplex, together with Sabinus (a relative of Vespasian) and the other foremost men held a consultation, the result of which was that they set out for the palace in company with the soldiers that favored their cause, intending to either persuade or force Vitellius to resign his position as emperor. They encountered, however, the Celtae who were guarding him, and getting decidedly the worst of the encounter they fled to the Capitol. Arrived there they sent for Domitian, son of Vespasian, and his relatives, and put themselves in a state of defence. The following day, when their adversaries assailed them, they managed for a time to repulse them; but when the environs of the Capitol were set on fire, its defenders were beaten back by the flame. In this way the soldiers of Vitellius forced their way up, slaughtered many of the resisting party, and after plundering the whole stock of votive offerings burned down with other structures the great temple. Sabinus and Atticus they arrested and sent them to Vitellius. Domitian and the junior Sabinus had made their escape from the Capitol at the first noise of conflict and by concealing themselves in houses had succeeded in eluding observation.

Those soldiers of Vespasian that were led by Quintus Petilius Cerialis [34] (one of the foremost senators and a relative of Vespasian by marriage) and by Antonius Primus--for Mucianus had not yet overtaken them--were by this time close at hand, and Vitellius fell into the depths of terror. The oncoming leaders through the medium of certain messengers and by placing their letters in coffins with dead bodies, in baskets full of fruit, or the reed traps of bird-catchers, learned all that was being done in the city and formed their plans accordingly. Now, when they saw the blaze rising from the Capitol as from a beacon, they made haste. The first of the two to approach the city with his cavalry was Cerialis, [and he was defeated at the very entrance by being cut off with horsemen in a narrow spot. However, he prevented any harm being done by his opponents. For Vitellius, hoping that his proved superiority would afford him an opportunity to make terms, restrained his soldiers] . And having convened the senate he sent envoys chosen from that body together with the vestal virgins to Cerialis as envoys.

Since no one would listen to them and they came very near losing their lives, the emissaries visited Primus, who was also at last approaching; from him they secured an audience, but accomplished nothing. For at this juncture his soldiers came angrily toward him and overcame with ease the guard at the Tiber bridge. (When the latter took their stand upon it and disputed their passage, the horsemen forded the stream and fell upon them from the rear). After this various bodies of men made assaults at various points and committed some of the most atrocious deeds. All the behavior for which they censured Vitellius and his followers, behavior which they pretended was the cause of the war between them, they themselves repeated, slaying great numbers. Many of those killed were struck with pieces of tiling from the roof or cut down in alleyways while jostled about by a throng of adversaries. Thus as many as fifty thousand human beings were destroyed during those days of carnage.

So the city was being pillaged, and the men were some fighting, some fleeing, some actually plundering and murdering by themselves in order that they might be taken for the invaders and so preserve their lives. Vitellius in dread put on a ragged, dirty, little tunic and concealed himself in an obscure alcove where dogs were kept, intending to run off during the night to Tarracina and join his brother. But the soldiers found him after a short search, for he could not long be sure of remaining hid, seeing that he had been emperor. They seized him, a mass of shavings and blood--for the dogs had done him some harm already--and stripping off his clothes they bound his hands behind his back, put a rope around his neck and dragged from the palace the Caesar who had reveled there. Down the Sacred Way they hauled the emperor who had frequently paraded past in his chair of state. Then they conducted the Augustus to the Forum, where he had often addressed the people. Some buffeted him, some plucked at his beard, all ridiculed him, all insulted him, laying especial stress in their remarks on his intemperance, since he had an expansive paunch.
When in shame at this treatment he kept his eyes lowered, the soldiers would prick him under the chin with their daggers, to make him look up even against his will. A certain Celt who saw this would not endure it, but taking pity on him cried: "I will help you, as well as I can alone." Then he wounded Vitellius and killed himself. However, Vitellius did not die of the wound but was haled to the prison, as were also his statues, while many amusing and many disgraceful remarks were made about them. Finally, grieved to the heart at the way he had been treated and what he was compelled to hear, he was heard to exclaim: "Yet I was once your emperor!" At that the soldiers flew into a rage and took him to the top of the Scalae Gemoniae, where they struck him down. His head was cut off and carried about all over the city.

Subsequently his wife saw to his burial. He had lived fifty-four years [and eighty-nine days] and had reigned for a year lacking ten days. His brother had started from Tarracina to come to his assistance, but learned while en route that he was dead. He also encountered a detachment of men sent against him and made terms with them on condition that his life should be spared. In spite of this he was murdered not long afterward. The son of Vitellius, too, perished soon after his father, notwithstanding that Vitellius had killed no relative either of Otho or of Vespasian. After all these various events had taken place, Mucianus came up and administered necessary details in conjunction with Domitian, whom he also presented to the soldiers and had him make a speech, boy though he was. Each of the soldiers received twenty-five denarii.



Fl. Vespasianus Aug. (II), Titus Caesar.
(A.D. 70 = a.u. 823 = Second of Vespasian, from July 1st).

Fl. Vespasianus Aug. (III), M. Cocceius Nerva.
(A.D. 71 = a.u. 824 = Second of Vespasian).

Fl. Vespasianus Aug. (IV), Titus Caesar (II).
(A.D. 72 = a.u. 825 = Third of Vespasian).

Domitianus Caesar (II), M. Valerius Messalinus.
(A.D. 73 = a.u. 826 = Fourth of Vespasian).

Fl. Vespasianus Aug. (V), Titus Caesar (III).
(A.D. 74 = a.u. 827 = Fifth of Vespasian).

Fl. Vespasianus Aug. (VI), Titus Caesar (IV).
(A.D. 75 = a.u. 828 = Sixth of Vespasian).

Fl. Vespasianus (VII), Titus Caesar (V).
(A.D. 76 = a.u. 829 = Seventh of Vespasian).

Fl. Vespasianus (VIII), Titus Caesar (VI).
(A.D. 77 = a.u. 830 = Eighth of Vespasian).

L. Ceionius Commodus, D. Novius Priscus.
(A.D. 78 = a.u. 831 = Ninth of Vespasian).

Fl. Vespasianus (IX), Titus Caesar (VII).
(A.D. 79 = a.u. 832 = First of Titus, from June 23rd).

T. Vespasianus (VIII), Domitianus (VII).
(A.D. 80 = a.u. 833 = Second of Titus).

L. Fl. Silva Nonius Bassus, Asinius Pollio Verrucosus.
(A.D. 81 = a.u. 834 = Third of Titus, to September 13th).

A.D. 70 (a.u. 823)
Such was the course of events on the heels of which Vespasian was declared emperor by the senate and Titus and Domitian were given the title of Caesars. The consular office was assumed by Vespasian and Titus while the former was in Egypt and the latter in Palestine. Vespasian had seen portents and dreams that long beforehand indicated that he was destined to rule. As he was eating dinner in the country, where most of his time was spent, a cow approached him, knelt down, and put her head beneath his feet. Another time, when he was taking food, a dog threw a human hand under the table. And a conspicuous cypress tree, which had been uprooted and overthrown by a violent wind, on the next day stood upright again by its own power and continued to flourish. From a dream he learned that when Nero Caesar should lose a tooth, he should be emperor: and this matter of the tooth became a reality on the following day. Nero himself in his slumbers thought he was bringing the chariot of Jupiter to Vespasian's house. These occurrences, of course, needed interpretation. But in addition a Jew named Josephus, who had previously been disliked by him and imprisoned, gave a laugh and said: "You may imprison me now, but a year later when you become emperor you will release me."

Thus had Vespasian, like some others, been born for the position. While he was as yet absent in Egypt Mucianus administered all the details of government with the help of Domitian. Mucianus feeling that he had himself given the sovereignty to Vespasian exulted greatly at these facts above all,--that he was called "brother" by him, and that he had authority to decide every question that he liked without the emperor's express approval and could issue written orders by merely adding his superior's name. For this purpose, too, he wore a finger ring that had been sent him, which was intended to impress the imperial seal upon documents requiring authorization. [Indeed, Domitian himself gave offices and procuratorships to many persons, appointing prefect after prefect and even consuls.] In fine, they behaved in every way so much like absolute rulers that Vespasian once sent the following message to Domitian: "I thank you, my child, for letting me hold office and that you have not yet dethroned me."

Now Mucianus gathered into the public treasury from every possible quarter vast sums of money, showing an entire readiness to relieve Vespasian of the censure which such a proceeding caused. He was forever declaring that money was the sinews of sovereignty; and in accordance with this belief he was constantly urging Vespasian to obtain funds from every quarter, and for his own part he continued from the outset to collect revenue, thus providing a large amount of money for the empire and acquiring a large amount himself.

In Germany various uprisings against the Romans took place which are not worth mentioning for my purposes, but there was one incident that must cause us surprise. A certain Julius Sabinus, one of the foremost of the Lingones, collected by his own efforts a separate force and took the name of Caesar, declaring that he was a descendant of Julius Caesar. He was defeated in several engagements, whereupon he fled to a field and plunged into a subterranean vault beneath a monument, which he first burned to the ground. His pursuers thought he had perished in the conflagration, but as a matter of fact he hid himself there with his wife for nine years and had two male children by her. The troubles in Germany were settled by Cerialis in the course of a number of battles, in one of which so great a multitude of Romans and barbarians both were slain that the river flowing near by was held back by the bodies of the fallen. Domitian stood in fear of his father because of what he did and still more because of what he intended, for his plans were on no small scale. He happened to be spending most of his time near the Alban Mount, devoting himself to his passion for Domitia, the daughter of Corbulo. Her he took away from her husband, Lucius Lamia Aelianus, and at this time he had her for one of his mistresses, but later he actually married her.

Titus, who was assigned to take charge of the war with the Jews, [undertook to win them over by certain conferences and offers; as they would not yield, he proceeded to direct hostilities. The first battles he fought were rather close; finally he prevailed and took up the siege of Jerusalem. This town had three walls including that surrounding the temple. The Romans accordingly heaped up mounds against the fortifications and brought their engines to bear: then collecting in a dense force they repulsed all sallying parties and with their slings and arrows kept back all the defenders of the wall. Many persons that had been sent by some of the barbarian kings they kept prisoners. The Jews who came to the assistance of their countrymen were many of them from the immediate region and many from kindred districts, not only in this same Roman empire but from beyond the Euphrates, and they, too, kept directing missiles and stones with considerable force on account of the higher ground, some being flung from the hand and some hurled by means of engines. They likewise made night and day sallies as often as occasion offered, set fire to the engines, slew numerous combatants, and by digging out under the wall took away earth from beneath the mound. As for the rams, they lassoed some of them and broke the ends off, others they seized and pulled up with hooks, while by means of thick boards well fastened together and strengthened with iron, which they let down against the face of the wall, they turned aside the assaults of the remainder. The Romans' chief cause of discomfort was the lack of water; their supply was of poor quality and had to be brought from a distance.

The Jews found their underground passages a source of strength. They had these affairs dug from within the city out under the walls to distant points in the country, and going out through them they would attack parties in search of water and harass scattered detachments. Consequently Titus stopped them all up.]

In the course of these operations many on both sides were wounded and killed. Titus himself was struck on the left shoulder by a stone, and as a result of this accident the arm was always weaker. After a time the Romans managed to scale the outside circle, and, pitching their camps between the two encompassing lines of fortification, assaulted the second wall. Here, however, they found the conditions confronting them to be different. When all the inhabitants had retired behind the second wall, its defence proved an easier matter because the circuit to be guarded was so much less. Titus, accordingly, made anew a proclamation offering them immunity. They, however, even under these circumstances held out. And the captives and deserters from the enemy so far as they could do so unobserved spoiled the Roman water supply and slew many men that they could cut off from the main force, so that Titus refused to receive any of them. Meantime some of the Romans, too, growing disheartened, as often happens in a prolonged siege, and furthermore suspecting that the city was really, even as report declared, impregnable, went over to the other side. The Jews although they were short of food treated them kindly, in order to be able to exhibit deserters to their own ranks.

Though a breach in the wall was effected by engines, still the capture did not immediately follow; the defenders killed great numbers that tried to crowd through the opening. Next they set fire to some of the buildings near by, expecting in this way to check the onward progress of the Romans, even should the latter make themselves masters of the entire circuit. In this way they damaged the wall and unintentionally burned down the barrier encompassing their sacred precinct. The entrance to the temple was now laid open to the Romans. The soldiers on account of their superstition would not immediately rush in, but at last, as Titus forced them, they made their way inside. Then the Jews carried on a defence much more vigorous than before, as if they had discovered a rare and unexpected privilege in falling near the temple, while fighting to save it. The populace was stationed in the outer court, the senators on the steps, and the priests in the hall of worship itself. And though they were but a handful fighting against a far superior force they were not subdued until a section of the temple was fired. Then they went to meet death willingly, some letting themselves be pierced by the swords of the Romans, some slaughtering one another, others committing suicide, and others leaping into the blaze. It looked to everybody, and most of all to them, apparently, [that so far from being ruin, it was victory and salvation and happiness to perish along with the temple] .
Even under these conditions many captives were taken, among them Bargiora, [35] the commander of the enemy: he was the only one punished in the course of the triumphal celebration.

Thus was Jerusalem destroyed on the very day of Saturn, which even now the Jews reverence most. To commemorate the event it was ordered that the conquered, while still preserving their own ancestral customs should annually pay a tribute of two denarii to Capitoline Jupiter. As a reward for this success both generals received the title of imperator, but neither had that of Iudaicus, although all the other privileges (including arches bearing trophies) that were proper after so great a victory were voted to them.

Hard upon Vespasian's entrance into Alexandria the Nile overflowed, and rose in one day a palm higher than usual; indeed, such an occurrence, it was said, had taken place only once before. Vespasian himself healed two persons who had come to him because of a vision seen in dreams. One of them, who had a weak hand, he cured by treading upon that member, and the other one, who was blind, by spitting upon his eyes. His divine power herein shown gave him great repute, yet the Alexandrians, far from enjoying his society, detested him heartily; not only in private but in public they were forever making fun of and abusing him. They had expected to receive some great reward from him because they had taken the first steps in making him emperor, but instead of securing anything they had additional contributions levied upon them. Large were the sums he gathered from them, for he omitted not a single source of revenue, no, not even the first that might offer itself, though its character were reprehensible, but he sought money from everybody alike, of secular or religious profession. As for taxes, he renewed many that had been abolished and increased those that were usual [and introduced still other new ones] . And he adopted this same course later in the rest of the subject territory, [in Italy] and in Rome itself. Hence the Alexandrians [both for the reasons mentioned and because most of the royal possessions had been sold were vexed and] threw out various derogatory remarks about him, one of them being: "You want six obols more." Vespasian, consequently, although the most affable of men, became indignant and gave orders that the six obols per man should be levied, and thought seriously about taking vengeance upon them. [The words themselves contained an insult, and of their many undignified and anapaestic rhythms there was not a single one but aroused his anger.] Titus, however, begged them off and Vespasian accordingly spared them. Yet they would not let him alone, and in some assembly they all together shouted at Titus these very words: "We forgive him. He doesn't understand being Caesar."

So they continued to be foolhardy, took their thorough fill of that license which is always working to their detriment, and abused the good nature of the emperor.
[Vespasian soon ceased to notice them. He sent a despatch to Rome rescinding the disfranchisement of such persons as had been condemned for so-called acts of maiestas by Nero and succeeding rulers. His action included living and dead alike, and he moreover stopped the indictments made upon such complaints.--The astrologers he banished from Rome, yet he consulted all of them who were distinguished, and through the influence of Barbillus, a man of that profession, allowed the Ephesians to celebrate some sacred games. This was a privilege he granted to no other city.

He soon had Egypt subdued and sent from there a large supply of grain to Rome. He had left his son Titus at Jerusalem to sack the town, and awaited its capture that he might return to Rome in his son's company. But, as time dragged in the conduct of the siege, he left Titus in Palestine and took passage himself on a merchantman; he sailed in this manner as far as Lycia, and from that country partly by overland journeys and partly by seafaring he came to Brundusium.

After this he came to Rome, meeting Mucianus and other prominent men at Brundusium and Domitian at Beneventum. In consequence of the consciousness of his own designs and of what he had already done, Domitian was ill at ease, and moreover he occasionally feigned madness. He spent most of his time on the Alban estate and did many ridiculous things, one of them being to impale flies on pencils. Even though this incident be unworthy of the dignity of history, yet because it shows his character so well and particularly in view of the fact that he continued the same practice after he became emperor, I have been obliged to record it. Hence that answer was not without wit which some one made to a person who enquired what Domitian was doing. "He is living in retirement," he said, "without so much as a fly to keep him company."
Vespasian though he humbled this upstart's pride greeted all the rest not like an emperor but like a private person, for he remembered his previous experience.

On reaching Rome he bestowed gifts upon both soldiers and populace; he made repairs in the sacred precincts and upon those public works which showed signs of wear and tear; such as had already crumbled to decay he restored; and when they were completed he inscribed upon them not his own name but the names of the persons who had originally reared them.

He immediately began to construct the temple on the Capitoline, being himself the first to carry away some of the soil; and, as a matter of course, he urged the other most prominent men to do this same thing in order that the rest of the populace might have no excuse for shirking this service.

The property of his opponents who had fallen in one conflict or another he delivered to their children or to other kin of theirs; furthermore, he destroyed contracts of long standing representing sums due and owing to the public treasury.

Though he invariably expended in munificent fashion all that was requisite for the public welfare and arranged the festivals on a most sumptuous scale, his own living was very far from costly, and he sanctioned no greater outlay than was absolutely necessary. Therefore even in the taverns he allowed nothing cooked to be sold except pulse. Thus he made it quite plainly evident that he was amassing riches not for his own enjoyment but for the needs of the people.

Vespasian got laughed at every time that he would say, when spending money: "I am making this outlay from my own purse."

He was neither of noble family nor rich.

The general routine of life that he followed was this. He lived but little in the palace, spending most of his time in the so-called Sallustian Gardens. There he received anybody who desired to see him, not only senators but people in general. With his intimate friends he would converse also before dawn while lying in bed; others could greet him on the streets. The doors of the royal residence were open all day long and no guard was stationed at them. He was a regular visitor in the senate, whose members he consulted in regard to all projects, and he frequently tried cases in the Forum. Whatever measures he was prevented by old age from reading aloud, as well as any communications that he sent to the senate when absent, he usually caused to be read by his sons, showing honor by this course to the legislative body. Every day he had many of the senators and others join him at table, and he himself often dined at the houses of his intimate friends.
In general, his forethought for public interests caused him to be regarded as a real emperor. In his ordinary existence he was sociable and lived on a footing of equality with his subjects. He joked in unconventional manner and rather liked jokes upon himself. In case any anonymous documents were posted,--as happens to every emperor,--containing statements insulting to himself, he showed no signs of disturbance but posted in turn a suitable reply.

One day Phoebus approached him to make an apology. It seemed that once, during Nero's reign, Vespasian when in the theatre in Greece had frowned at the misconduct of the emperor (of which he was a witness), whereupon Phoebus had angrily bidden him "Go!" And upon Vespasian's enquiring "Where to?" the other had responded "to the devil." [
36] Now when Phoebus apologized for this speech the monarch did him no harm, in fact vouchsafed him no answer at all, save a curt "Go to the devil yourself!"--Again, when Vologaesus forwarded a letter to the emperor addressed as follows: "Arsaces, King of Kings, to Flavius Vespasian, Greeting," the recipient did not rebuke him but wrote a reply couched in the same terms and added none of his imperial titles.

Helvidius Priscus, the son-in-law of Thrasea, had been brought up in the doctrines of the Stoics and imitated Thrasea's bluntness, though there was no occasion for it. He was at this time praetor and instead of doing aught to increase the honor due to the emperor he would not cease reviling him. Therefore the tribunes once arrested him and gave him in charge of their assistants, at which procedure Vespasian was overcome by emotion and went out of the senate-house in tears, uttering this single exclamation only: "A son shall be my successor or no one at all."

A.D. 71 (a.u. 824)
After Jerusalem had been captured Titus returned to Italy and celebrated a triumph, both he and his father riding in a chariot. Domitian, now in his consulship, also took part in the festivities, mounted upon a charger. Vespasian next established in Rome teachers of both Latin and Greek learning, who drew their pay from the public treasury.

Before long many others who followed the so-called Stoic system made themselves prominent, among whom was Demetrius the cynic. These men, abusing the title of philosophy, kept teaching their disciples publicly many pernicious doctrines, and in this way were gradually corrupting [37] some. Under these circumstances Mucianus, influenced more by anger than by fondness for speaking, uttered many charges against them and persuaded Vespasian to expel all such persons from the city.

Mucianus desired to be honored by all and beyond all, so that he was displeased not merely if a man insulted him but even if any one failed to extol him greatly. Hence, just as he was never tired of honoring those who assisted him to even the slightest extent, so his hatred was most cruel for all who did not so conduct themselves.

Mucianus made a great number of remarkable statements to Vespasian against the Stoics, as, for instance, that they are full of empty boasting, and if one of them lets his beard grow long, elevates his eyebrows, wears his fustian cape thrown carelessly back and goes barefoot, he straightway postulates wisdom, bravery, righteousness as his own. He gives himself great airs, even though he may not understand (as the proverb says) either letters or swimming. They view everybody with contempt and call the man of good family a mollycoddle, the ill-born a dwarfed intellect, a handsome person licentious, an ugly person comely, the rich man an apostle of greed, and the poor man a servile groveler.]

And Vespasian did immediately expel from Rome all the philosophers except Musonius: Demetrius and Hostilianus he confined upon islands. Hostilianus would not stop, to be sure,--he happened to be conversing with somebody when he heard about the sentence of exile against him and merely inveighed all the more strongly against monarchy,--yet he straightway withdrew. Demetrius even now would not yield, and Vespasian bade it be told him: "You are working every way to have me kill you, but I am not slaughtering barking dogs."

It became strikingly clear that Vespasian hated Helvidius Priscus not so much for personal affronts or on account of the friends that the man had abused as because he was a turbulent fellow that cultivated the favor of the rabble, was forever denouncing royalty and praising democracy. Helvidius's behavior, moreover, was consistent with his principles; he banded various men together, as if it were the function of philosophy to insult those in power, to stir up the multitudes, to overthrow the established order of things, and to incite people to revolution. He was a son-in-law of Thrasea and affected to emulate the latter's conduct: his failure to do so was striking. Thrasea lived in Nero's time and disliked the tyrant. Even so, however, he never spoke or behaved toward him in any insulting way: he merely refused to share in his practices. But Helvidius had a grudge against Vespasian and would not let him alone either in private or in public. By what he did he invited death and for his meddlesome interference he was destined ultimately to pay the penalty.

This period saw also the demise of Vespasian's concubine, Caenis. I have mentioned her because she was exceedingly faithful and possessed naturally a most excellent memory. For instance, her mistress Antonia, the mother of Claudius, had had her write secretly to Tiberius about Sejanus and later had ordered the message erased, that no trace of the same might be left. Thereupon she replied: "It is in vain, mistress, that you have issued this command. All of this and whatever else you dictate to me I always carry with me in my soul and it can never be erased." This is one thing I have admired about her and a second is that Vespasian should have been so much pleased with her. This fact gave her the greatest influence, and she collected untold wealth, so that it was even thought that she obtained money by her independent efforts. She received vast sums from all sources and sold to some persons offices, to others procuratorships, the command of campaigns, priesthoods, and to some actually imperial decisions. For Vespasian killed no one to get his money and took care to preserve large numbers of those who freely gave it. The person who secured the funds was his concubine, but it was suspected that Vespasian willingly allowed her to do as she did; and this belief was strengthened by his other acts, a few of which, for the sake of illustration, I shall relate. When certain persons voted to erect to him a statue costing twenty-five myriads, he stretched out his hand and said: "Give me the money; this [38] will serve as its pedestal."--And to Titus, who was angry at the tax on urinating [39] , which was appointed along with the rest, he replied, as he picked up some gold pieces that were the product of it: "See, my child, if they smell at all."

A.D. 75 (a.u. 828)
In the sixth year of Vespasian as magistrate and the fourth of Titus the precinct of Peace was dedicated and the so-called Colossus was set up on the Sacred Way. It is said to have been one hundred feet high, and to have had--according to one account--the figure of Nero, according to others that of Titus. Vespasian would often have beasts slain in the theatres. He did not particularly enjoy gladiatorial combats of men, although Titus during the youthful sports which were celebrated in his own land had once had a sham fight in heavy armor with Alienus. The Parthians, who fell into a war with some peoples, asked for an alliance with him, but he did not go to their aid, saying that it was not proper for him to interfere in other persons' business.

Berenice was at the height of her power and consequently came to Rome along with her brother Agrippa. [
40] The latter was accorded pretorial honors, while she dwelt in the Palace and cohabited with Titus. She expected to be married to him and behaved in all respects as if his wife. But when he perceived that the Romans were displeased at the situation he sent her away; for various reports were in circulation. At this time, too, certain sophists of the cynic school managed somehow to slip into the city: first, Diogenes entered the theatre when it was full of men and denounced them in a long, abusive speech, for which he was flogged; after him Heras, who showed no greater disposition to be obedient, gave vent to many senseless bawlings in the true cynic (dog-like) manner,--and for this behavior was beheaded.

A.D. 79 (a.u. 832)
About the same period that these events took place it happened that at a certain inn such a quantity of overflowed the vessels that it ran out into the street. Moreover, Sabinus the Gaul, already mentioned, the person who had once named himself Caesar, had later taken up arms, had been defeated and had hidden himself in the monument, was discovered [41] and brought to Rome. With him perished also his wife Peponila, who had previously saved his life. She had presented her children before Vespasian and had delivered a most pitiful speech in their behalf: "These little ones, Caesar, I both brought forth and reared in the monument, that we might be a greater number to supplicate you." She caused both him and the rest to weep; no mercy, however, was shown to the family. Meantime the emperor was also the object of a conspiracy on the part of Alienus and Marcellus, although he considered them among his best friends and bestowed honors upon them quite unstintedly. They did not succeed in killing him, though. Upon their being detected, Alienus was slain at once, in the imperial residence itself, as he rose from a meal with his intended victim. Titus issued this order to prevent his carrying his rebellion any further during the night; Alienus had already made arrangements with not a few of the soldiers. Marcellus was brought to trial before the senate and was condemned, whereupon he cut his own throat with a razor. Not even benefits, it may be remarked, can subdue those who are naturally vicious, as is shown by the plotting of these men against him who had done them so many kindnesses.

It was after the episode just narrated that Vespasian fell sick, not, if the truth be known, of his ordinary gout but of fever and passed away at Aquae Cutiliae, [42] so-called, in Sabine territory. Some, who endeavor falsely to incriminate Titus (among them the emperor Hadrian) have spread a report that he was poisoned at a banquet. Portents had occurred in his career indicating his approaching end, such as the comet star which was seen for a considerable period and the opening of the monument of Augustus of its own accord. When the sick man's physician chided him for continuing his usual course of living and attending to all the duties that belonged to his office, he answered: "The emperor ought to die on his feet." To those who said anything to him about the comet he responded: "This is an omen not for me but for the Parthian king. He has flowing hair like the comet, whereas I am baldheaded." When he at length came to the belief that he was to die, he said only: "Now I shall become a god." He had lived to the age of sixty-nine years and eight months. His reign lasted ten years lacking six days. Accordingly, it results that from the death of Nero to Vespasian's becoming emperor a year and twenty-two days elapsed. I have recorded this fact to prevent a misapprehension on the part of any persons who might reckon the time with reference to the men who were in power. They, however, did not legitimately succeed one another, but each of them while his rival was alive and still ruling believed himself to be emperor from the moment that the thought first entered his head. One must not enumerate all the days of their reigns as if those days had followed one after another in orderly succession, but make a single sweeping calculation with the exact time, as I have stated it, in mind.

At his death Titus succeeded to the imperial power. Titus as a ruler committed no act of murder or passion, but showed himself upright, though the victim of plots, and self-controlled, though Berenice came to Rome again. Perhaps this was because he had undergone a change. (To share a reign with somebody else is a very different thing from being one's self an independent ruler. In the former case persons are heedless of the good name of the sovereignty and enjoy greedily the authority it gives them, thus doing many things that make their position the object of envy and slander. Actual monarchs, on the other hand, knowing that everything depends on their decision, have some eye to good repute as well as to other matters. So Titus said to somebody whose society he had previously affected: "It is not the same thing to desire something from another as to decide a case yourself, nor to ask something from another as it is to give it to some one yourself.") Perhaps his satisfactory conduct was also due to his surviving so short a time compared with most rulers, for he was thus given little opportunity for wrongdoing. For he lived after this only two years, two months and twenty days in addition to his thirty-nine years, five months and twenty-five days. People compare this feature of Titus's career with the fullness of years of Augustus, and say that the latter would never have won affection if he had lived a shorter time, nor the former, if he had lived longer. Augustus, though at the outset he had shown himself rather harsh because of the wars and the political factions, was able later in the course of time to become distinguished for his kindnesses: Titus ruled with forbearance and died at the summit of his glory, whereas if he had enjoyed a longer life, it might have been proved that he owes his present fame more to good fortune than to virtue.

It is worth noting that Titus during his reign put no senator to death, nor was any one else slain by him all the time that he was emperor. Cases involving maiestas he would never entertain himself nor allow others to entertain, for he said: "It is impossible for me to be insulted or outraged in any way. I do naught that deserves censure and I care not for what is falsely reported. As for the emperors that are dead and gone, they will avenge themselves in case any one does them wrong, if in very truth they be heroes and possess some power."--He also made various arrangements to render men more secure and free from trouble. One of these was the posting of a notice confirming all gifts bestowed upon any person by the former emperors. This also enabled him to avoid the nuisance of having people petition him individually about the matter.--Informers he banished from the city.

In money matters he was frugal and sanctioned no unnecessary expenditure, yet he did not punish any one for opposite tendencies.

In his reign also the False Nero appeared, who was an Asiatic and called himself Terentius Maximus. He resembled Nero in form and voice: he even sang to the zither's accompaniment. He gained a few followers in Asia and in his onward progress to the Euphrates he secured a far greater number and at length sought a retreat with Artabanus, the Parthian chief, who, out of the anger that he felt toward Titus, both received the pretender and set about preparations for restoring him to Rome. (Compare John of Antioch, frag. 104 Mueller).

Meantime war had again broken out in Britain, and Gnaeus Julius Agricola overran the whole of the hostile region. He was the first of the Romans whom we know to discover that Britain was surrounded by water. Some soldiers had rebelled and after killing centurions and a military tribune had taken refuge in boats. In these they put out to sea and sailed around to the western portion of the country just as the billows and the wind bore them. And without knowing it they came around from the opposite side and stopped at the camps on this side again. At that Agricola sent others to try the voyage around Britain and learned from them, too, that it was an island.

As a result of these events in Britain Titus received the title of imperator for the fifteenth time. Agricola for the rest of his life lived in dishonor and even in want because he had accomplished greater things than a mere general should. Finally he was murdered on this account by Domitian, in spite of having received triumphal honors from Titus.

In Campania remarkable and frightful occurrences took place. A great fire was suddenly created just at the end of autumn. It was this way. The mountain Vesuvius stands over against Naples near the sea and has unquenchable springs of fire. Once it was equally high at all points and the fire rose from the center of it. This is the only portion of it that is in a blaze, for the outside parts of the mountain remain even now unkindled. Consequently, as the latter are never burned, while the interior is constantly growing brittle and being reduced to ashes, the surrounding peaks retain their original height to this day, but the whole section that is on fire, as it is consumed in the course of time, has grown hollow from continual collapse. Thus the entire mountain, if we may compare great things to small, resembles a hunting-theatre. The outlying heights of it support both trees and vines,--many of them,--but the crater is given over to fire and sends up smoke by day, flame by night. It looks as if quantities of incense of all sorts were being burned in it. This goes on all the time, sometimes more, sometimes less. Often it throws up ashes, when there is a general settling in the interior, or again it sends up stones when the air forces them out. It echoes and bellows, too, because its vents are not all together but are narrow and hidden.

Such is Vesuvius, and these phenomena regularly occur there at least once a year. But all the other happenings that took place in former time, though they may have seemed great and unusual to those who on each occasion observed them, nevertheless would be reckoned as but slight in comparison with what now occurred even though they should all be rolled into one. This was what befell. Numbers of huge men quite surpassing any human stature,--such creatures as giants are depicted to be,--appeared now on the mountain, now in the country surrounding it, and again in the cities, wandering over the earth day and night and also traversing the air. After this fearful droughts and earthquakes sudden and violent occurred, so that all the level ground in that region undulated and the heights gave a great leap. Reverberations were frequent, some subterranean resembling thunder and some on the surface like bellowings. The sea joined the roar and the sky resounded with it. Then suddenly a portentous crash was heard, as if the mountains were tumbling in ruins. And first there were belched forth stones of huge size that rose to the very summits before they fell; after them came a deal of fire and smoke in inexhaustible quantities so that the whole atmosphere was obscured and the whole sun was screened from view as if in an eclipse.
Thus night succeeded day and darkness light. Some thought the giants were rising in revolt (for even at this time many of their forms could be discerned in the smoke and moreover a kind of sound of trumpets was heard), while others believed that the whole world was disappearing in chaos or fire. Therefore they fled, some from the houses into the streets, others from without into the house; in their confusion, indeed, they hastened from the sea to the land or from the land to the sea, deeming any place at a distance from where they were safer than what was near by. While this was going on an inconceivable amount of ashes was blown out and covered the land and the sea everywhere and filled all the air. It did harm of all sorts, as chance dictated, to men and places and cattle, and the fish and the birds it utterly destroyed. Moreover, it buried two whole cities, Herculaneum and Pompeii, while the populace was seated in the theatre. The entire amount of dust was so great that some of it reached Africa and Syria and Egypt, and it also entered Rome, where it occupied all the air over the city and cast the sun into shadow. There, too, no little fear was felt for several days, since the people did not know and could not conjecture what had happened. They like the rest thought that everything was being turned upside down, that the sun was disappearing in the earth and the earth was bounding up to the sky. This ashes for the time being did them no great harm: later it bred among them a terrible pestilence.

A.D. 80 (a.u. 833)
Another fire, above ground, in the following year spread over a very large portion of Rome while Titus was absent on business connected with the catastrophe that had befallen in Campania. It consumed the temple of Serapis, the temple of Isis, the Saepta, the temple of Neptune, the Baths of Agrippa, the Pantheon, the Diribitorium, the theatre of Balbus, the stage-building of Pompey's theatre, the Octavian buildings together with their books, and the temple of Capitoline Jupiter with its surrounding temples. Hence the disaster seemed to be not of human but of divine contrivance. Any one can estimate from the list of buildings that I have given, how many more must have been destroyed. Titus, accordingly, sent two exconsuls to the Campanians to supervise the founding of settlements and bestowed upon the inhabitants money that came (besides various other sources) from those citizens that had died without heirs. As for himself, he took nothing from individual or city or king, although many kept offering and promising him large sums. In spite of this, he restored everything from funds already at hand.
Most of his deeds had no unusual quality to mark them, but in dedicating the hunting-theatre and the baths that bear his name he produced many remarkable spectacles. Cranes fought with one another, and four elephants, as well as other grazing animals and wild beasts, to the number of nine thousand, were slaughtered, and women (not of any prominence, however,) took part in despatching them. Of men several fought in single combat and several groups contended together in infantry and naval battles. For Titus filled the above mentioned theatre suddenly with water and introduced horses and bulls and some other tractable creatures that had been taught to behave in the liquid element precisely as upon land. He introduced also human beings on boats. These persons had a sea-fight there, impersonating two parties, Corcyreans and Corinthians: others gave the same performance outside in the grove of Gaius and Lucius, a spot which Augustus had formerly excavated for this very purpose. There, on the first day, a gladiatorial combat and slaughter of beasts took place; this was done by building a structure of planks over the lake that faced the images and placing benches round about it. On the second day there was a horse-race, and on the third a naval battle involving three thousand men. Afterwards there was also an infantry battle. The Athenians conquered the Syracusans (these were the names that were used in the naval battle), made a landing on the islet, and having assaulted a wall constructed around the monument took it. These were the sights offered to spectators, and they lasted for a hundred days.

Titus also contributed some things that were of practical use to the people. He would throw down into the theatre from aloft little wooden balls that had a mark, one signifying something to eat, another clothing, another a silver vessel, or perhaps a gold one, or again horses, pack-animals, cattle, slaves. Those who snatched them had to carry them back to the dispensers of the bounty to secure the article of which the name was inscribed.

A.D. 81 (a.u. 834)
When he had finished this exhibition, he wept so bitterly on the last day that all the people saw him, and after this time he performed no other great deed; but the following year, in the consulship of Flavius [43] and Pollio, [44] subsequent to the dedication of the buildings mentioned, he passed away at the same Aquae that was the scene of his father's demise. The common report had it that he was done to death by his brother, for he had previously been the object of that person's plot: but some writers state that a disease carried him off. The tradition is that, while he was still breathing and had a possible chance of recovery, Domitian, to hasten his end, put him in a box packed with a quantity of snow, pretending that the disease required a chill to be administered; and, before his victim was dead, he rode off to Rome, entered the camp, and received the title and authority of emperor, having given the soldiers all that his brother had been wont to give them. Titus, as he expired, said: "I have made but one error." What this was he did not reveal, and no one else feels quite sure about it. Some have conjectured one thing and some another. The prevailing impression, according to one set of historians, is that he referred to keeping his brother's wife, Domitia. Others (whom I am for following) say what he meant was that, after finding Domitian openly plotting against him, he had not killed him, but had chosen rather himself to suffer that fate at his rival's hands and to surrender the government of Rome to a man whose nature will be portrayed in the continuation of my narrative. Titus had ruled for two years, two months, and twenty days, as has been previously stated.



L. Fl. Silva Nonius Bassus, Asinius Pollio Verrucosus Cosa.
(A.D. 81 = a.u. 834 = First of Domitian, from Sept. 13th).

Domitianus Aug. (VIII), T. Flavius Sabinus.
(A.D. 82 = a.u. 835 = Second of Domitian).

Domitianus Aug. (IX), Q. Petilius Rufus (II).
(A.D. 83 = a.u. 836 = Third of Domitian).

Domitianus Aug. (X), T. Aurelius Sabinus.
(A.D. 84 = a.u. 837 = Fourth of Domitian).

Domitianus Aug. (XI), T. Aurelius Fulvus.
(A.D. 85 = a.u. 838 = Fifth of Domitian).

Domitianus Aug. (XII), Ser. Cornelius Dolabella.
(A.D. 88 = a.u. 839 = Sixth of Domitian).

Domitianus Aug. (XIII), A. Volusius Saturninus.
(A.D. 87 = a.u. 840 = Seventh of Domitian).

Domitianus Aug. (XIV), L. Minucius Rufus.
(A.D. 88 = a.u. 841 = Eighth of Domitian).

T. Aurelius Fulvus (II), A. Sempronius Atratinus.
(A.D. 89 = a.u. 842 = Ninth of Domitian).

Domitianus Aug. (XV), M. Cocceius Nerva (II).
(A.D. 90 = a.u. 843 = Tenth of Domitian).

M. Ulpius Traianus, Manius Acilius Glabrio.
(A.D. 91 = a.u. 844 = Eleventh of Domitian).

Domitianus Aug. (XVI), Q. Volusius Saturninus.
(A.D. 92 = a.u. 845 = Twelfth of Domitian).

Sex. Pompeius Collega, Cornelius Priscus.
(A.D. 93 = a.u. 846 = Thirteenth of Domitian).

L. Nonius Asprenas, M. Arricinius Clemens.
(A.D. 94 = a.u. 847 = Fourteenth of Domitian).

Domitianus Aug. (XVII), T. Flavius Clemens.
(A.D. 95 = a.u. 848 = Fifteenth of Domitian).

Manlius Valens, Antistius Vetus.
(A.D. 96 = a.u. 849 = Sixteenth of Domitian, to Sept. 18th).

A.D. 81 (a.u. 834)
Domitian was both, bold and passionate, both treacherous and given to dissembling. Hence, from these two characteristics, rashness on the one hand and craftiness on the other, he did much harm, falling upon some persons with the swiftness of a thunderbolt and damaging others by carefully prepared plots. The divinity that he chiefly revered was Minerva, so that he was wont to celebrate the Panathenaea on a magnificent scale: on this occasion he had contests of poets and chroniclers and gladiators almost every year at Albanum. This district, situated below the Alban Mount, from which it was named, he had set apart as a kind of acropolis. He had no genuine affection for any human being save a few women, but he always pretended to love the person whom at any time he was most determined to slay. He could not be relied upon even by those who did him some favor or helped him in his most revolting crimes, for whenever any persons furnished him with large sums of money or lodged information against numbers of men, he was sure to destroy these benefactors, being especially careful to do so in the case of slaves who had given information against their masters. [Accordingly, such individuals, though, they received money and honors and offices all at once from him, lived in no greater honor and security than other men. The very offences to which they had
A.D. 82 (a.u. 835)
been urged by Domitian commonly were made pretexts for their destruction, the emperor's object being to have the actual perpetrators appear solely responsible for their wrongdoing. It was the same intention which led him once to issue a public notice to the effect that, when an emperor does not punish informers he is the cause of the existence of such a class.]

Though this was his behavior to all throughout the course of his reign, still he quite outdid himself in dealing dishonor and ruin to his father's and brother's friends. [To be sure, he himself posted a notice that he would ratify all the gifts made to any persons by them and by other emperors. But this was mere show.] He hated them because they did not supply all his demands, many of which were unreasonable, as also because they had been held in some honor. [Whatever had enjoyed their affection and the benefit of their influence beyond the ordinary he regarded as hostile to him.] Therefore, although he himself had a passion for a eunuch named Earinus, nevertheless, because Titus had also shown great liking for castrated persons, he carried his desire to cast reflections on his brother's character to the extent of forbidding any one thereafter in the Roman empire to be castrated. In general, he was accustomed to say that those emperors who failed to punish large numbers of men were not good, but merely fortunate. [Personally, he paid no attention to those who praised Titus for not causing a single senator's death, nor did he care that the senate frequently saw fit to pass decrees that the emperor should not be permitted to put to death any of his peers. The emperor, as he believed, was far and away superior to them and might put any one of them out of the way either on his own responsibility or with the consent of the rest; it was ridiculous to suppose that they could offer any opposition or refuse to condemn a man. Some would praise Titus, only not in Domitian's hearing; for such effrontery would be deemed as grave an offence as if they were to revile the emperor in his presence and within hearing: but [Lacuna] [45] because he understood that they were doing this secretly [Lacuna] Then there was another thing] that resembled play-acting. Domitian pretended that he too loved his brother and mourned him. He read, with tears, the eulogies upon him [and hastened to have him enrolled among the heroes] , pretending just the opposite of what he really wished. (Indeed, he abolished the horse-race on Titus's birthday). People in general were not safe whether they sympathized with his indignation or with his joy. In one case they [46] were sure to offend his feelings and in the other to let their lack of genuineness appear.

A.D. 83 (a.u. 836)
His wife, Domitia, he planned to put to death on the ground of adultery, but, having been dissuaded by Ursus, he sent her away and midway on the road murdered Paris, the dancer, because of her. And many people paid honor to that spot with flowers
A.D. 83 (a.u. 836)
and perfumes, he gave orders that they, too, should be slain. After this he took into his house, quite undisguisedly, his own niece,--Julia, that is to say. [Then on petition of the people he became reconciled, to be sure, with Domitia, but continued none the less his relations with Julia.]

He was removing many of the foremost men on many pretexts and by means of murders and banishments. [He also conveyed many to some out-of-the-way place, where he got rid of them; and not a few he caused to die in some way or other by their own acts that they might seem to have suffered death by their own wish and not through outside force.] He did not spare even the vestal virgins, but punished them on charges of their having had intercourse with men. It is further reported that since their examination was conducted in a harsh and unfeeling manner, and many of them were accused and constantly being punished, one of the pontifices, Helvius Agrippa, could not endure it, but, horror-stricken, expired there in the senate where he sat. [Domitian also took pride in the fact that he did not bury alive, as was the custom, the virgins he found guilty of debauchery, but ordered them to be killed by some different way.]

After this he set out for Gaul and plundered some of the tribes across the Rhine enjoying treaty rights,--a performance which filled him with conceit as if he had achieved some great success. Presumably on account of the victory he increased the soldiers' wages, so that whereas each had been receiving seventy-five denarii he commanded that a hundred be given them. Later he thought better of it, but instead of diminishing the amount he curtailed the number of men-at-arms. Both of these steps entailed great injury to the public weal: he had made the defenders of the State too few, while rendering their support an item of great expense.

A.D. 84 (a.u. 837)
Next he made a campaign into Germany and returned without having seen a trace of war anywhere. And what need is there of mentioning the honors bestowed upon him at this juncture for his exploit or from time to time upon the other emperors who were like him? For the object in any case was simply not to arouse the rage of those despots by letting them suspect, in consequence of the small number and insignificance of the rewards, that the people saw through them. Yet Domitian had this worst quality of all, that he desired to be flattered, and was equally displeased with both sorts of men, those who paid court to him and those who did not. He disliked the former because their attitude seemed one of cajolery and the latter because it seemed one of contempt. Notwithstanding [he affected to take pleasure in the honorary decrees voted him by the senate. Ursus he came near killing because he was not pleased with his sovereign's exploits, and then, at the request of Julia, he appointed him consul.] Subsequently, being still more puffed up by his folly, he was elected consul for ten years in succession, and first and only censor for life of all private citizens and emperors: and he obtained the right to employ twenty-four lictors and the triumphal garb whenever he entered the senate-house. He gave October a new name, Domitianum, because he had been born in that month. Among the charioteers he instituted two more parties, calling one the Golden and the other the Purple. To the spectators he gave many objects by means of balls thrown among them; and once he gave them a banquet while they remained in their seats and at night provided for them wine that flowed out in several different places. All this caused pleasure seemingly to the populace, but was a source of ruin to the powerful. For, as he had no resources for his expenditures, he murdered numbers of men, bringing some of them before the senate and accusing others in their absence. Lastly, he put some out of the way by concocting a plot and administering to them secret drugs.

Many of the peoples tributary to the Romans revolted when contributions of money were forcibly extorted from them. The Nasamones are an instance in point. They massacred all the collectors of the money and so thoroughly defeated Flaccus, [
47] governor of Numidia, who attacked them, that they were able to plunder his camp. Having gorged themselves on the provisions and the wine that they found there they fell into a slumber, and Flaccus becoming aware of this fact assailed and annihilated them all and destroyed the non-combatants. Domitian experienced a thrill of delight at the news and remarked to the senate: "Well, I have put a ban on the existence of the Nasamones."

Even as early as this he was insisting upon being regarded as a god and took a huge pleasure in being called "master" and "god." These titles were used not merely orally but also in documents.

A.D. 86 (a.u. 839)
The greatest war that the Romans had on their hands at this time was one against the Dacians. Decebalus was now king of the latter [since Douras, to whom the sovereignty belonged, had voluntarily withdrawn from it in favor of Decebalus, because] . He had a good comprehension of the rules of warfare and was good at putting them in practice, displayed sagacity in advancing, took the right moment for retreating, was an expert in ambuscades, a professional warrior, knew how to make good use of a victory and to turn a defeat to advantage. Hence he showed himself for a long time a worthy antagonist of the Romans.

I call the people Dacians, just as they name themselves and as the Romans do; but I am not ignorant that some of the Greeks refer to them as Getae, whether that is the right term or not. I myself know Getae that live along the Ister, beyond the Haemus range.

Domitian made an expedition against them, to be sure but did not enter into real conflict. [Instead, he remained in a city of Moesia, rioting, as was his wont.] (Not only was he averse to physical labor and timorous in spirit, but also most profligate and lewd toward women and boys alike). But he sent others to officer the war and for the most part he got the worst of it.

A.D. 87(?)
Decebalus, king of the Dacians, carried on negotiations with Domitian, promising him peace. Domitian sent against him Fuscus [
48] with a large force. On learning of it Decebalus sent an embassy to him anew, sarcastically proposing to make peace with the emperor in case each of the Romans should choose to pay two asses as tribute to Decebalus each year; if they should not choose to do so, he affirmed that he should make war and afflict them with great ills.

A.D. 90 (a.u. 843)
Meantime he conceived a wish to take measures against the Quadi and the Marcomani because they had not assisted him against the Dacians. So he entered Pannonia to make war upon them, and the second set of envoys that they sent in regard to peace he killed.

The same man laid the blame for his defeat, however, upon his commanders. All the superior plans he claimed for himself, though he executed none of them, but for the inferior management he blamed others, even though it was through his orders that some accident had taken place. Those who succeeded incurred his hatred and those who failed his censure.

Domitian, being defeated by the Marcomani, took to flight and by hastily sending messages to Decebalus, king of the Dacians, induced him to make a truce with him. The monarch's frequent previous requests had always met with refusal. Decebalus now accepted the arrangement, for he was indeed hard pressed, yet he did not wish personally to hold a conference with Domitian, but sent Diegis with other men to give him the arms and a few captives, whom he pretended were the only ones he had. When this had been accomplished, Domitian set a diadem on the head of Diegis, just as if he had in very truth conquered and could make some one king over the Dacians. To the soldiers he granted honors and money. Like a victor, again, he sent on ahead to Rome, besides many other things, envoys from Decebalus, and something which he affirmed was a letter of his, though rumor declared it had been forged. He graced the festival that followed with many articles pertaining to a triumph, though they did not belong to any booty he had taken;--quite the reverse: and besides allowing the truce he made an outlay of a great deal of money immediately and also presented to Decebalus artisans of every imaginable profession, peaceful and warlike, and promised that he would give him a great deal more. These exhibits came from the imperial furniture which he at all times treated as captive goods, because he had enslaved the empire itself.

A.D. 91 (a.u. 844)
So many rewards were voted him that almost the whole world (so far as under his dominion) was filled with his images and statues of both silver and gold. He also gave an extremely costly spectacle in regard to which we have noted nothing that was striking for historical record, save that virgins contended in the foot-race. After this, in the course of holding what seem to have been triumphal celebrations, he arranged numerous contests. First of all, in the hippodrome he had battles of infantry against infantry, and again battles of cavalry, and next he gave a naval battle in a new place. And there perished in it practically all the naval combatants and numbers of the spectators. A great rain and violent storm had suddenly come up, yet he allowed no one to leave the spectacle; indeed, though he himself changed his clothing to a thick woolen cloak, he would not permit the people to alter their attire. As a result, not a few fell sick and died. By way of consoling them for this, he provided them at public expense a dinner lasting all night. Often, too, he would conduct games at night, and sometimes he would pit dwarfs [
49] and women against each other.

So at this time he feasted the populace as described, but on another occasion he entertained the foremost men of the senate and the knights in the following fashion. He prepared a room that was pitch black on every side, ceiling, walls and floor, and had ready bare couches, all alike, resting on the uncovered ground; then he invited in his guests alone, at night, without their attendants. And first he set beside each of them a slab shaped like a gravestone, bearing a person's name and also a small lamp, such as hangs in tombs. Next well-shaped, naked boys, likewise painted black, entered after the manner of phantoms, and, after passing around the guests in a kind of terrifying dance, took up their stations at their feet. After that, whatever is commonly dedicated in the course of offerings to departed spirits was set before them also, all black, and in dishes of a similar hue. Consequently, every single one of the guests feared and trembled and every moment felt certain that he was to be slain, especially as on the part of everybody save Domitian there was dead silence, as if they were already in the realms of the dead, and the emperor himself limited his conversation to matters pertaining to death and slaughter. Finally he dismissed them. But he had previously removed their servants, who stood at the doorway, and gave them in charge of other, unknown slaves, to convey either to carriages or litters, and by this act he filled them with far greater fear. Scarcely had each one reached home and was beginning to a certain extent to recover his spirits, when a message was brought him that some one was there from the Augustus. While they were expecting, as a result of this, that now at last they should surely perish, one person brought in the slab, which was of silver, then another something else, and another one of the dishes set before them at the dinner, which proved to be made of some costly material. Finally came [50] that particular boy who had been each one's familiar spirit, now washed and decked out. Thus, while in terror all night long, they received their gifts.

Such was the triumph or, as the crowd said, such was the expiatory service that Domitian celebrated for those who had died in Dacia and in Rome. Even at this time, too, he killed off some of the foremost men. And he took away the property of whoever buried the body of any one of them, because the victim had died on ground belonging to the sovereign.

Here are some more events worth recording, that took place in the Dacian War. Julianus, assigned by the emperor to take charge of the war, made many excellent regulations, one being his command that the soldiers should inscribe their own names and those of the centurions upon their shields, in order that those of them who committed any particular good or bad action might be more readily observed by him. Encountering the enemy at Tapai, [51] he killed a very great number of them. Among them Vezinas, who ranked next to Decebalus, since he could not get away alive, fell down purposely as if dead. In this way he escaped notice and fled during the night. Decebalus, fearing that the Romans now they had conquered would proceed against his residence, cut down the trees that were on the site and attached weapons to the trunks, to the end that his foes might think them soldiers, and so be frightened and withdraw. This actually took place.

Chariomerus, king of the Cherusci, had been driven out of his kingdom by the Chatti on account of his friendship for the Romans. At first he gathered some companions and was successful in his attempt to return. Later he was deserted by these men for having sent hostages to the Romans and so became the suppliant of Domitian. He was not accorded an alliance but received money.

Antonius, a certain commander of this period in Germany, revolted against Domitian: him Lucius Maximus overcame and overthrew. For his victory he does not deserve any remarkable praise; [for many others have unexpectedly won victories, and his soldiers contributed largely to his success:] but for his burning all the documents that were found in the chests of Antonius, thus esteeming his own safety as of slight importance in comparison with having no blackmail result from them, I do not see how I may celebrate his memory as it deserves. But Domitian, as he had got a pretext from that source, proceeded to a series of slaughters even without the documents, and no one could well say how many he killed. [Indeed, he condemned himself so for this act that, to prevent any remembrance of the dead surviving, he prohibited the inscribing of their names in the records. Furthermore, he did not even make any communication to the senate regarding those put out of the way, although he sent their heads as well as that of Antonius to Rome and exposed them in the Forum.] But one young man, Julius Calvaster, who had served as military tribune in the hope of getting into the senate, was saved in a most unexpected fashion. Inasmuch as it was being proved that he had frequent meetings with Antonius alone and he had no other way to free himself from the charge of conspiracy, he declared that he had met him for amorous intercourse. The fact that he was of an appearance to inspire passion lent color to his statement. In this way he was acquitted.

After just one more remark about the events of that time, I will cease. Lusianus Proculus, an aged senator, who spent most of his time in the country, had come out with Domitian from Borne under compulsion so as to avoid the appearance of deserting him when in danger and the death that might very likely be the result of such conduct. When the news came, he said: "You have conquered, emperor, as I ever prayed. Therefore, restore me to the country." Thereupon he left him without more ado and retired to his farm. And after this, although he survived for a long time, he never came near him.

During this period some had become accustomed to smear needles with poison and then to prick with them whomsoever they would. Many persons thus attacked died without even knowing the cause, and many of the murderers were informed against and punished. And this went on not only in Rome but over practically the entire civilized world.

To Ulpius Trajan and to Acilius Glabrio, who were consuls then, the same signs are said to have appeared. They foretold to Glabrio destruction, but to Trajan the imperial office. [Numerous wealthy men and women both were punished for adultery, and some of the women had been debauched by him. Many more were fined or executed on other charges.] A woman was tried and lost her life because she had stripped in front of an image of Domitian [and another for having had dealings with astrologers] . Among the many who perished at this time was also Mettius Pompusianus, whom Vespasian had refused to harm in any way after learning from some report that he would one day be sole ruler, but [52] rather honored, saying: "You will certainly remember me and will certainly honor me in return." But Domitian first exiled him to Corsica and later put him to death, one of the complaints being that he had the inhabited world painted on the walls of his bedchamber and another that he had excerpted and was wont to read the speeches of kings and other eminent men that are written in Livy. Also Maternus, a sophist, met his death because in a practice speech [53] he had said something against tyrants. The emperor himself used to visit both those who were to accuse and those who were to give evidence for condemnation, and he would frame and compose everything that required to be said. Often, too, he would talk to the prisoners alone, keeping tight hold of their chains with his hands. In the former case he would not entrust to others what was to be said, and in the latter he feared the men even in their bonds.

In Moesia, [54] the Lygians, who had been at war with some of the Suebi, sent envoys, asking Domitian for an alliance. They obtained one that was strong, not in numbers, but in dignity: in other words, they were granted only a hundred knights. The Suebi, indignant at this, added to their contingent the Iazygae and began to prepare well in advance to cross the Ister.

Masyus, king of the Semnones, and Ganna, a virgin (she was priestess in Celtica after Veleda), came to Domitian and having been honored by him returned.

A.D. 93 (a.u. 846)
As censor, likewise, his behavior was noteworthy. He expelled Caecilius Rufinus from the senate because he danced, and restored Claudius Pacatus, though an ex-centurion, to his master because he was proved to be a slave. What came after, to be sure, can not be described in similar terms,--his deeds, that is to say, as emperor. Then he killed Arulenus Rusticus for being a philosopher and for calling Thrasea sacred, and Herennius Senecio because in his long career he had stood for no office after the quaestorship and because he had compiled the life of Helvidius Priscus. Many others also perished as a result of this same charge of philosophizing, and all remaining members of that profession were again driven from Rome. One Juventius Celsus, however, who had been conspicuous in conspiring with certain persons against Domitian and had been accused of it, saved his life in a remarkable way. When he was on the point of being condemned, he begged that he might speak a few words with the emperor in private. Having gained the opportunity he did obeisance before him and after repeatedly calling him "master," and "god" (terms that were already being applied to him by others), he said: "I have done nothing of the sort. And if I obtain a respite, I will pry into everything and both inform against and convict many persons for you." He was released on these conditions, but did not report any one; instead, by advancing different excuses at different times, he lived until Domitian was killed.

A.D. 95 (a.u. 848)
During this period the road leading from Sinuessa to Puteoli was paved with stones. And the same year Domitian slew among many others Flavius Clemens the consul, though he was a cousin and had to wife Flavia Domitilla, who was also a relative of the emperor's. [55] The complaint brought against them both was that of atheism, under which many others who drifted into Jewish ways were condemned. Some of these were killed and the remainder were at least deprived of their property. Domitilla was merely banished to Pandateria; but Glabrio, colleague of Trajan in the consulship, after being accused on various regular stock charges, and also of fighting with wild beasts, suffered death. This ability in the arena was the chief cause of the emperor's anger against him,--an anger prompted by jealousy. In the victim's consulship Domitian had summoned him to Albanum to attend the so-called Juvenalia and had imposed on him the task of killing a large lion. Glabrio not only had escaped all injury but had despatched the creature with most accurate aim.

As a consequence of his cruelty the emperor was suspicious of all mankind and ceased now to put hopes of safety in either the freedmen or the prefects, whom he usually caused to be tried during their very term of office. Moreover, Epaphroditus, who belonged to Nero, he first drove out and then slew, censuring him for not having defended Nero; his object was by the vengeance that he took in this person's case to terrify his own freedmen long enough in advance to prevent their ever attempting a similar deed.
A.D. 96 (a.u. 849)
It did him no good, however, for he became the object of a conspiracy in the following year and perished in the consulship of Gaius [56] Valens (who died after holding the consular office in his ninetieth year) and of Gaius Antistius.
Those who attacked him and prepared the undertaking were Parthenius his cubicularius (though he was the recipient of such marks of imperial favor as to be allowed to wear a sword) and Sigerus, [57] who was also a member of the excubiae, as well as Entellus, the person entrusted with the care of the state documents, and Stephanus, a freedman. The plot was not unknown to Domitia, the emperor's wife, nor to the prefect Norbanus, nor to the latter's partner in office, Petronius Secundus: at least, this is the tradition. Domitia was ever an object of the imperial hatred and consequently stood in terror of her life; the rest no longer loved their sovereign, some of them because complaints had been lodged against them and others because they were expecting them to be lodged. For my part, I have heard also the following account,--that Domitian, having become suspicious of all these persons, conceived a desire to kill them, and wrote their names on a two-leaved tablet of linden wood, and put it under his pillow on the couch where he was wont to repose; and one of the naked prattling [58] boys, while the emperor was asleep in the daytime, filched it away and kept it without knowing what it contained. Domitia then chanced upon it and reading what was written gave information of the matter to those involved. As a result, they changed their plans somewhat and hastened the plot; yet they did not proceed to action until they had determined who was to succeed to the office. Having conversed with various persons, when they found that no one would accept it (everybody was afraid of them, thinking that they were simply testing people's loyalty) they betook themselves to Nerva. He was of most noble birth and most suitable character and had, besides, encountered danger through being slandered by astrologers [who declared that he should be sovereign.] Thus they the more easily persuaded him to be the next to receive the power. In truth, Domitian, who conducted an investigation of the days and the hours when the foremost men had been born, had consequently ere this despatched not a few even of those who entertained no hopes of gaining any power. [59] And he would have slain Nerva, had not one of the astrologers who favored the latter declared that he would die within a few days. [Believing that this would really prove true, he did not desire to be guilty of this additional murder, inasmuch as Nerva in any event was to meet death so very soon.]

Since no occurrence of such magnitude is without previous indications, various unfavorable tokens appeared in his case, too. In a vision he himself beheld Rusticus approaching him with a sword; and he thought that Minerva, whose statue he kept in his bedchamber, had thrown away her weapons and, mounted upon a chariot drawn by black horses, was being swallowed up in an abyss. But the feature which of all claims our wonder is connected with the name of Larginus Proculus. He had publicly foretold in Germany that the emperor should die on the day when he actually did die, and was, therefore, sent on to Rome by the governor. Brought before Domitian he declared once more that this should be so. A death sentence was postponed in order that he might be put to death after the emperor had escaped the danger. Meanwhile Domitian was slain, his life was saved, and he received a hundred thousand denarii from Nerva. Some one else had on a previous occasion told the ruler both when and how he should perish, and then being asked what manner of death he, the prophet, should meet, he answered that he would be despatched by dogs. Thereupon command was given that the fellow should be burned alive, and the fire was applied to him. But just then there was a great downpour of rain, the pyre was extinguished, and later dogs found him lying upon it with his hands bound behind him and tore him to pieces.

I have one more astonishing fact to record, which I shall touch on after I have given the account of Domitian's end. As soon as he rose to leave the courthouse and was ready to take his afternoon nap, as was his custom, first Parthenius took the blade out of the sword, which always lay under his pillow, so that he should not have the use of that. Next he sent in Stephanus, who was stronger then the rest. The latter smote Domitian, and though it was not an opportune blow the emperor was knocked to the ground, where he lay. Then, fearing an escape, Parthenius leaped in, or, as some believe, he sent in Maximus, a freedman. Thus both Domitian was murdered, and Stephanus perished likewise in a rush that those who had not shared in the conspiracy made upon him.

The matter of which I spoke, saying that it surprises me more than anything else, is this. A certain Apollonius of Tyana on the very day and at that very hour when Domitian was being murdered (this was later confirmed by other events that happened in both places) climbed a lofty stone at Ephesus (or possibly some other town) and having gathered the populace, uttered these words: "Bravo, Stephanus! Good, Stephanus! Smite the wretch! You have struck, you have wounded, you have killed him!!" This is what really took place, though there should be ten thousand doubters. Domitian had lived forty-four years, ten months, and twenty-six days. His reign had lasted fifteen years and five days. His body was stolen away and buried by his nurse, Phyllis.



C. Manlius Valens, C. Antistius Vetus.
(A.D. 96 = a.u. 849 = First of Nerva, from Sept. 18th).

Nerva Caes. Aug. (III), L. Verginius Rufus (III).
(A.D. 97 = a.u. 850 = Second of Nerva).

Nerva Caes. Aug. (IV), Nerva Traianus Caes. (II).
(A.D. 98 = a.u. 851 = Third of Nerva, to January 27th).

C. Sosius Senecio (II), A. Cornelius Palma.
(A.D. 99 = a.u. 852 = Second of Trajan).

Nerva Traianus Aug. (III), Sex. Iul. Frontinus (III).
(A.D. 100 = a.u. 853 = Third of Trajan).

Nerva Traianus Aug. (IV), Sex. Articuleius Paetus.
(A.D. 101 = a.u. 854 = Fourth of Trajan).

C. Sosius Senecio (III), L. Licinius Sura (II).
(A.D. 102 = a.u. 855 = Fifth of Trajan).

Nerva Traianus Aug. (V), Q. Messius Maximus (II).
(A.D. 103 = a.u. 856 = Sixth of Trajan).

Suburanus (II), P. Neratius Marcellus.
(A.D. 104 = a.u. 857 = Seventh of Trajan).

Ti. Iulius Candidus (II), A. Iulius Quadratus (II).
(A.D. 105 = a.u. 858 = Eighth of Trajan).

L. Ceionius Commodus Verus, L. Cerealis.
(A.D. 106 = a.u. 859 = Ninth of Trajan).

C. Sosius Senecio (IV), L. Licinius Sura (III).
(A.D. 107 = a.u. 860 = Tenth of Trajan).

Ap. Trebonius Gallus, M. Atilius Bradua.
(A.D. 108 = a.u. 861 = Eleventh of Trajan).

A. Cornelius Palma (II), C. Calvisius Tullus (II).
(A.D. 109 = a.u. 862 = Twelfth of Trajan).

Clodius Priscinus, Solenus Orfitus.
(A.D. 110 = a.u. 863 = Thirteenth of Trajan).

C. Calpurnius Piso, M. Vettius Bolanus.
(A.D. 111 = a.u. 864 = Fourteenth of Trajan).

Nerva Traianus Aug. (VI), C. Iulius Africanus.
(A.D. 112 = a.u. 865=Fifteenth of Trajan).

L. Celsus (II), Clodius Crispinus.
(A.D. 113 = a.u. 866=Sixteenth of Trajan).

Q. Ninnius Hasta, P. Manilius Vopiscus.
(A.D. 114 = a.u. 867=Seventeenth of Trajan).

L. Vipsanius Messala, M. Pedo Virgilianus.
(A.D. 115 = a.u. 868=Eighteenth of Trajan).

L. Aelius Lamia, Aelianus Vetus.
(A.D. 116 = a.u. 869=Nineteenth of Trajan).

Quinctius Niger, C. Vipsanius Apronianus.
(A.D. 117 = a.u. 870=Twentieth of Trajan, to Aug. 11th).

A.D. 96 (a.u. 849)
After Domitian, the Romans appointed Nerva Cocceius emperor. The hatred felt for Domitian caused his images, many of which were of silver and many of gold to be melted down; and from this source large amounts of money were obtained. The arches, too, of which more had been erected to the late emperor than previously to any one man, were torn down. Nerva also released such as were on trial for maiestas and restored the exiles. All the slaves and freedmen that had conspired against their masters he put to death, and allowed that class of persons to lodge no complaint whatever against their masters. Others were not permitted to accuse anybody for maiestas or for "Jewish living." Many who had been sycophants were condemned to death, among whom was Seras [Lacuna] [60] the philosopher. Now, as a quite extraordinary disturbance arose from the fact that everybody was accusing everybody else, Fronto, the consul, is said to have remarked that it was bad to have an emperor under whom no one could do anything, but worse to have one under whom any one could do everything. Nerva, on hearing this, prohibited the future recurrence of such scenes. But Nerva, as a result of old age and sickness (which was always making him vomit his food), was rather weak.

He also forbade gold statues being made in his honor. He paid back to such as under Domitian had been causelessly deprived of their property all that was still found in the imperial treasury. To the very poor Romans he granted allotments of land worth in the aggregate fifteen hundred myriads, and put certain senators in charge of their purchase and distribution. When he ran short of funds he sold many robes and plate, both silver and gold, besides furniture, both his own and what belonged to the imperial residence, many fields and houses,--in fact, everything save what was quite necessary. He did not, however, haggle over the prices of them, and in this very point benefited many persons. He abolished many sacrifices, many horse-races, and some other spectacles, in an attempt to reduce expenses as far as possible. In the senate he took oath that he would not cause the death of any of the senators and he kept his pledge in spite of plots. And he did nothing without the advice of prominent men. Among his various laws were those prohibiting any one from being made a eunuch and from marrying one's niece. When consul he did not hesitate to take as his colleague Verginius Rufus, though the latter had been frequently saluted as emperor. [61]
A.D. 97 (a.u. 850)
Upon his monument was inscribed when he died: "Having conquered Vindex he ascribed the credit of victory not to himself but to his country." [62]

Nerva ruled so well that he once remarked: "I have done nothing that could prevent me from laying down the imperial office and returning to private life in safety." When Crassus Calpurnius, a grandson of the famous Crassi, formed a plot with some others against him, he made them sit beside him at a spectacle--they were still ignorant of the fact that they had been informed upon--and gave them some swords, nominally to look at and see if they were sharp (as was often done), but really by way of showing that he did not care if he died that moment where he was.

Aelianus Casperius, who was governor under him as he had been under Domitian, and had become one of the Pretorians, incited the soldiers to mutiny against him; his plan was to have them demand some persons for execution. Nerva resisted them stoutly, even to the point of baring his collar-bone and offering them his throat: but he accomplished nothing and those whom Aelianus wished were put out of the way. Wherefore Nerva, subjected to such profound humiliation because of his old age, ascended the Capitol and cried aloud: "To the good fortune of the Roman people and senate and myself I adopt Marcus Ulpius Nerva Trajan."

Subsequently in the senate he designated him Caesar and sent a message to him, written with his own hand (Trajan was governor of Germany):

"The Danaans by thy weapons shall requite my tears." [63]

Thus did Trajan become Caesar and afterwards emperor, although there were relatives of Nerva. But the man did not esteem family relationship above the safety of the State, nor was he less inclined to adopt Trajan because the latter was a Spaniard instead of an Italian or Italiot, [64] or because no foreigner had previously held the Roman sovereignty. It was a person's virtue and not his country that he thought needed examination.

A.D. 98 (a.u. 851)
Soon after this act he passed away, having ruled during the period of one year, four months and nine days. His life prior to that time [65] had comprised sixty-five years, ten months, and ten days.

Trajan, before he became emperor, had had a dream of the following nature. He thought that an old man in purple robe and vesture, moreover adorned with a crown, as the senate is represented in pictures, impressed a seal upon him with a finger ring, first on the left side of his throat and then on the right. When he had been made emperor, he sent a despatch to the senate written with his own hand, which stated, among other things, that he would not slay nor dishonor any man of worth. This he confirmed by oaths not merely at that time but also later.

He sent for Aelianus and the Pretorians who had mutinied against Nerva, pretending that he was going to employ them in some way, and relieved the world of their presence.
A.D. 99 (a.u. 852)
When he had entered Rome he did much toward the administration of state affairs and to please the excellent. To the former business he gave unusual attention, making many grants even to Italian cities for the support of their children, and to good citizens he did continual favors. Plotina, his wife, on first going into the palace turned around so as to face the Scalae and the populace, and said: "My wish is to issue hence the same sort of person as I am now when I enter." And she so conducted herself during the entire sovereignty as to incur no censure.

[The ambassadors who came from the kings were given seats by Trajan in the senatorial row at spectacles.]

A.D. 100 (a.u. 853)
After spending some time in Rome he instituted a campaign against the Dacians; for he made their deeds the object of thought and was irritated at the amount of money they were annually getting. He likewise saw that their power and their pride were increasing. Decebalus, learning of his advance, was frightened, since he well knew that formerly he had conquered not the Romans but Domitian, whereas now he would be fighting against both Romans and Trajan as emperor.

And Trajan had a great reputation for justice, for bravery, and for simple living. He was strong in body (being in his forty-second year when he began to rule) [so that in every enterprise he toiled almost as much as the rest;] and his intellectual powers were at their highest, so that he had neither the recklessness of youth nor the sluggishness of old age. He did not envy nor kill any one, but honored and exalted all without exception that were men of worth, and hence he neither feared nor hated one of them. To slanders he paid very little heed and was no slave of anger. He refrained equally from the money of others and from unjust murders.
He expended vast sums on wars and vast sums on works of peace; and while making very many most necessary repairs on roads and harbors and public buildings, he drained no one's blood for these undertakings. His nature was so noble and magnanimous that even upon the hippodrome he merely inscribed the statement that he had made it suitable for the Roman people when it had crumbled away in spots, and had rendered it larger and more beautiful. For these deeds he was better satisfied to be loved than honored. His meetings with the people were marked by affability and his intercourse with the senate by dignity. He was loved by all and dreaded by none save the enemy. He joined people in hunting and banquets, and in work and plans and jokes. Often he would make a fourth in somebody's litter, and sometimes he would enter persons' houses even without a guard and make himself at home. He lacked education in the exact sense,--book-learning, at least,--but he both understood and carried out its spirit, and there was no quality of his that was not excellent. I know well enough that he was given to wine and boys, but if he had ever committed or endured any base or wicked deed as a result of this, he would have incurred censure. As the case stood, he drank all the wine he wanted, yet remained sober, and his pursuit of pederasty harmed no one. And even if he did delight in war, still he was satisfied with success in it,--with overthrowing a most hostile element and bettering his own side. Nor did the usual thing under such circumstances,--conceit and arrogance on the part of the soldiers,--ever manifest itself during his reign; with such a firm hand did he rule them. For these reasons Decebalus was somewhat justified in fearing him.

When Trajan, in the course of his campaign against the Dacians had come near Tapai, where the barbarians were encamping, a large mushroom was brought to him, on which it said in Latin characters that the Buri and other allies advised Trajan to turn back and make peace. At Trajan's first encounter with the foe he visited many of the wounded on his own side and killed many of the enemy. And when the bandages gave out, he is said not to have spared even his own clothing, but to have cut it up into strips. In honor of the soldiers that had died in battle he ordered an altar erected and the performance of funeral rites annually.

[Decebalus had sent envoys also before the defeat, and no longer the long-haired men, as before, but the chief among the cap-wearers. [66] These threw down their arms and casting themselves upon the earth begged Trajan that if possible Decebalus himself be allowed to meet and confer with him, promising that he would do everything that might be commanded; or, if not, that at least some one should be despatched to agree upon terms with him. Those sent were Sura and Claudius Livianus, the prefect; but nothing was accomplished, for Decebalus did not dare even to come near them. He sent representatives also on this occasion.

Trajan had now seized some fortified mountains and on them found the arms and the captured engines, as well as the standard which had been taken in the time Fuscus.
A.D. 101 (a.u. 854)
Undertaking to ascend the heights themselves, he secured one crest after another amid dangers and approached the capital of the Dacians. Lusius, attacking in another quarter, slaughtered numbers and captured still more alive. Then Decebalus sent envoys.

Decebalus, for this reason, and particularly because Maximus at the same time had possession of his sister and a strong position, was ready to agree without exception to every demand made. It was not that he intended to abide by his agreement, but he wanted to secure a respite from his temporary reverses.] So, though against his will, he made a compact to surrender his arms, engines, and manufacturers of engines, to give back the deserters, to demolish his forts, to withdraw from captured territory, and furthermore to consider the same persons enemies and friends as the Romans did [besides neither giving shelter to any of the deserters, [67] nor employing any soldiers from the Roman empire, for he had acquired the largest and best part of his force by persuading them to come from that quarter] . When he came into Trajan's presence, he fell upon the earth and did obeisance [and cast away his arms. He also sent envoys to the senate to secure these terms, in order that he might have the further ratification of the peace by that body. At the conclusion of this compact the emperor left a camp in Sarmizegethusa, and, having placed garrisons at intervals through the remainder of the territory, returned to Italy.]

A.D. 103 (a.u. 856)
The envoys from Decebalus were introduced in the senate. They laid down their arms, clasped their hands in the posture of captives, and spoke some words of supplication; thus they obtained peace and received back their arms. Trajan celebrated a triumph and was given the title of Dacicus; in the theatre he had contests of gladiators, in whom he delighted, and he brought back dancers once more to the theatre, being in love with one of them, Pylades. However, he did not pay less attention to general administration, as might have been expected of a warlike personage, nor did he hold court the less: on the contrary, he conducted trials now in the forum of Augustus, now in the porch named the Porch of Livia, and often elsewhere on a platform.

And since Decebalus was reported to him to be acting in many ways contrary to the treaty, since he was gathering arms, receiving such as deserted, repairing the forts, sending ambassadors to the neighbors, and injuring those who had previously differed with him, since also he was devastating some land of the Iazygae (which Trajan later would not give back to them when they asked for it), therefore, the senate voted that he was again an enemy. And Trajan again conducted the war against him, commanding in person and not represented by others.

A.D. 104 (a.u. 857)
[As numerous Dacians kept transferring their allegiance to Trajan, and for certain other reasons, Decebalus again requested peace. But since he could not be persuaded to surrender both his arms and himself, he proceeded openly to collect troops and called the surrounding nations to his aid, saying that if they deserted him they themselves would come into danger and that it was safer and easier by fighting on his side to preserve their freedom, before suffering any harm, than if they should allow his people to be destroyed and then later be subjugated when bereft of allies.] And Decebalus in the open field came off poorly, but by craft and deceit he almost compassed the death of Trajan. He sent into Moesia some deserters to see whether they could make away with him, inasmuch as the emperor was generally accessible, and now, on account of the needs of warfare, admitted to conference absolutely every one who desired it. But this plan they were unable to carry out, since one of them was arrested on suspicion and, under torture, revealed the entire plot.

Longinus was the commandant of the Roman camp who had made himself a terror to the Dacian leader in warfare. The latter, therefore, sent him an invitation and persuaded him to meet him, on the pretext that he would perform whatever should be enjoined. He then arrested him and questioned him publicly about Trajan's plans. As the Roman would not yield at all, he took him about with him under guard, though not in bonds. And [Decebalus sending an envoy to Trajan, asked that he might get back the territory as far as the Ister and receive indemnity for all the money he had spent on the war,] in recompense for restoring Longinus to him. An ambiguous answer was returned, of a kind that would not make Decebalus think that the emperor regarded Longinus as of either great value or small, the object being to prevent his being destroyed on the one hand, or being preserved on excessive terms, on the other. So Decebalus delayed, still considering what he should do.

Meanwhile Longinus, having [through his freedman] secured a poison [--he had promised Decebalus that he would reconcile Trajan to the proposition, in order that the Dacian should be as far as possible from suspecting what was to happen, and so not keep an especially careful watch over him. Also, to enable his servant to attain safety, he wrote a letter containing a supplication, and gave it to the freedman to carry to Trajan. Then, when he had gone, at night he took the poison,] drank it and died. [After this event Decebalus asked Trajan to give him back his freedman, promising to give him in return the body of Longinus and ten captives. He sent at once the centurion who had been captured with the dead general, assuming that this man would arrange the matter for him; and it was from the centurion that the whole story of Longinus was learned. However, Trajan neither sent him back, nor surrendered the freedman, deeming his safety more valuable for establishing the dignity of the empire than the of Longinus.]

Now, Trajan constructed over the Ister a stone bridge, for which I cannot sufficiently admire him. His other works are most brilliant, but this surpasses them. There are twenty square pieces of stone, the height of which is one hundred and fifty feet above the foundations and the breadth sixty, and these, standing at a distance of one hundred and seventy feet from one to another, are connected by arches. How then could one fail to be astonished at the expenditure made upon them? Or the manner in which each of them was placed in a river so deep, in water so full of eddies, on ground so slimy? It was impossible, you note, to divert the course of the river in any direction. I have spoken of the breadth of the river; but the stream is not uniformly so limited, since it covers in some places twice and elsewhere thrice as much ground, but the narrowest point, and the one in that region most adapted to bridge-building, has just those dimensions. Yet the very fact that the river here shrinks from a great flood to such a narrow channel and is here confined, though it again expands into a greater flood, makes it all the more violent and deep; and this feature must be considered in estimating the difficulty of preparing a bridge. This achievement, then, shows the greatness of Trajan's designs, though the bridge is of no particular use to us. Merely the piers are standing, affording no means of crossing, as if they were erected for the sole purpose of demonstrating that there is nothing which human energy can not accomplish. Trajan's reason for constructing the bridge was his fear that, some time when the Ister was frozen, war might be made on the Romans across the water, and his desire to enjoy the easy access to them that this work would permit. Hadrian, on the contrary, was afraid that the barbarians might overpower the guard at the bridge and cross into Moesia, and so he removed the surface work.

A.D. 105 (a.u. 858)
Trajan, having crossed the Ister on this bridge, conducted the war with prudence, rather than with haste, and eventually, after a hard struggle, vanquished the Dacians. In the course of these encounters he personally performed many deeds of good generalship and bravery, and his soldiers ran many risks and displayed great prowess on his behalf. It was here that a certain horseman, dangerously wounded, was carried from the battle on the supposition that he could be healed; but, when he found that he could not recover, he rushed from his quarters (since his hurt had not incapacitated him) and stationing himself in the line again he perished, after having displayed great valor.
A.D. 106 (a.u. 859)
Decebalus, when his capital and all his territory had been occupied and he was himself in danger of being captured, committed suicide, and his head was brought to Rome.

In this way Dacia became subject to Rome and Trajan founded cities there. The treasures of Decebalus were also discovered, though hidden beneath the Sargetia river, which ran past his palace. He had made some captives divert the course of the river and had then excavated its bed. There he had placed a large amount of silver and of gold and other objects of great value, that could endure some moisture, had heaped stones over them and piled on earth. After that he had let the river flow over them. The same captives were compelled to deposit his robes and other similar objects in neighboring caves; and when he had effected this, he made away with them to prevent their talking. But Bicilis, a comrade of his, who knew what had been done, was seized and gave this information.--About this same time, Palma, who was governor of Syria, subdued the portion of Arabia, near Petra, and made it subservient to the Romans.

A.D. 107 (a.u. 860)
Upon Trajan's return to Rome the greatest imaginable number of embassies came to him from the barbarians, even the Indi being represented. And he gave spectacles on one hundred and twenty-three days. At these affairs thousands, yes, possibly tens of thousands of animals, both wild and tame, were slaughtered, and fully ten thousand gladiators fought in combat.

About the same period he made the Pontine marshes traversable by means of a stone foundation, and built roads alongside, which he furnished with most magnificent bridges.--All the obsolete money he had melted down.

[He had sworn not to commit bloodshed and he confirmed his promise by his actions in spite of plots. He was by nature not at all given to duplicity or guile or harshness. He loved and greeted and honored the good, and the rest he neglected. His age made him still more inclined to mildness.] When Licinius Sura died, he bestowed upon him a public funeral and a statue. This man had attained such a degree of wealth and pride that he built a gymnasium for the Romans. So great was the friendship and confidence [which Sura showed toward Trajan and Trajan toward him that although the man was often slandered,--as naturally happens in the case of all those who possess any influence with the emperors,--Trajan never felt a moment's suspicion or hatred. On the contrary, when those who envied him became insistent, Trajan] went [uninvited to his house] to dinner. And having dismissed his whole body-guard he first called Sura's physician and had him anoint his eyes and then his barber shave his chin. Anciently the emperors themselves as well as all other people used to do this. It was Hadrian who first set the fashion of wearing a beard. When he had done this, he next took a bath and had dinner. So the next day he said to his friends who were always in the habit of making statements detrimental to Sura: "If Sura had wanted to kill me, he would have killed me yesterday."
Now he did a great thing in running this risk in the case of a man who had been calumniated, but a still greater thing in believing that he would never be harmed by him.

So it was that the confidence of his mind was strengthened by his own knowledge of his dealings with Sura instead of being influenced by the fancies of others.

Indeed, when he first handed to him [
68] who was to be prefect of the Pretorians the sword which the latter required to wear by his side, he bared the blade, holding it up said: "Take this sword, to the end that if I rule well, you may use it for me, but if ill, against me."

He also set up images of Sosia and Palma and Celsus, [69] --so greatly did he esteem them above others. Those, however, who conspired against him (among whom was Crassus) he brought before the senate and caused to be punished.

A.D. 114 (a.u. 867)
Again he gathered collections of books. And he set up in the Forum an enormous column, to serve at once as a sepulchral monument to himself and as a reminder of his work in the Forum. The whole region there was hilly and he dug it down for a distance equaling the height of the column, thus making the Forum level.

Next he made a campaign against the Armenians and Parthians on the pretext that the Armenian king [70] had obtained his diadem not at his hands but from the Parthian king. [71] His real reason, however, was a desire to win fame. [On his campaign against the Parthians, when he had reached Athens, an embassy from Osrhoes met him asking for peace and proffering gifts. This king had learned of his advance and was terrified because Trajan was wont to make good his threats by deeds. Therefore he humbled his pride and sent a supplication that war be not made against him: he asked Armenia for Parthomasiris, who was likewise a son of Pacorus, and requested that the diadem be sent to him. He had put a stop, he said, to the reign of Exedares, who was beneficial neither to the Romans nor to the Parthians.

The emperor neither received the gifts, nor sent any answer or command, save that friendship is determined by deeds and not by words; and that accordingly when he should reach Syria he would do what was proper.

And being of this mind he proceeded through Asia, Syria, and adjoining provinces to Seleucia. Upon his coming to Antioch, Abgarus the Osrhoenian did not appear in person, but sent gifts and a friendly communication. For, as he dreaded both him and the Parthians, he was trying to play a double game and for that reason would not come to confer with him.]

[Lusius Quietus was a Moor, himself a leader of the Moors, and had belonged to [72] a troop in the cavalry. Condemned for base conduct he was temporarily relieved of his command and dishonored. [73] But later, when the Dacian war came on and the army stood in need of the Moorish alliance, he came to it of his own accord and gave great exhibitions of prowess. For this he was honored, and in the second war performed far greater and more numerous exploits. Finally, he advanced so far in bravery and good fortune during this war which we are considering that he was enrolled among the ex-praetors, became consul, and governed Palestine. To this chiefly was due the jealousy and hatred felt for him, and his destruction.]
Now when Trajan had invaded the hostile territory, the satraps and kings of that region approached him with gifts. One of these gifts was a horse taught to do obeisance. It would kneel with its front legs and place its head beneath the feet of whoever stood near.

Parthomasiris behaved in rather violent fashion. In his first letter to Trajan he had signed himself as king, but when no answer came to his epistle, he wrote again, omitting this title, and asked that Marcus Junius, the governor of Cappadocia, be sent to him, implying that he wanted to prefer some request through him. Trajan, accordingly, sent him the son of Junius, and himself went ahead to Arsamosata, of which he took possession without a struggle. Then he came to Satala and rewarded with gifts Anchialus, the king of the Heniochi and Machelones. At Elegeia in Armenia he awaited Parthomasiris. He was seated upon a platform in the trenches. The prince greeted him, took off his diadem from his head, and laid it at his feet. Then he stood there in silence, expecting to receive it back. At this the soldiers shouted aloud, and hailed Trajan imperator as if on account of some victory. (They termed it an uncrowned, [74] bloodless victory to see the king, a descendant of Arsaces, a son of Pacorus, and a nephew of Osrhoes, standing beside Trajan without a diadem, like a captive). The shout terrified the prince, who thought that it heralded insult and destruction for him. He turned about as if to flee, but, seeing that he was hemmed in on all sides, begged as a favor not to be obliged to speak before the crowd. Accordingly, he was escorted into the tent, where he had none of his wishes granted.
So out he rushed in a rage, and from there out of the camp, but Trajan sent for him, and again ascending the platform bade him speak in the hearing of all everything that he desired. This was to prevent any person from spreading a false report through ignorance of what had been said in private conference. On hearing this exhortation Parthomasiris no longer kept silence, but with great frankness made many statements, some of them being to the effect that he had not been defeated or captured, but had come there voluntarily, believing that he should not be wronged and should receive back the kingdom, as Tiridates had received it from Nero. Trajan made appropriate replies to all his remarks and said that he should abandon Armenia to no one. It belonged to the Romans and should have a Roman governor. He would, however, allow Parthomasiris to depart to any place he pleased. So he sent the prince away together with his Parthian companions and gave them an escort of cavalry to ensure their meeting no one and adopting no rebellious tactics. All the Armenians who had come with him he commanded to remain where they were, on the ground that they were already his subjects.

[Leaving garrisons at opportune points Trajan came to Edessa, and there for the first time he set eyes upon Abgarus. Previously this person had sent envoys and gifts to the prince frequently, but he himself for different reasons at different times failed to put in an appearance. The same was true also of Mannus, the phylarch of adjoining Arabia, and Sporaces, phylarch of Anthemusia. On this occasion, however, he was persuaded partly by his son Arvandes, who was beautiful and in the prime of youth and therefore on good terms with Trajan, and partly by the fear of the latter's presence near by; consequently he met him on the road, made his apologies, and obtained pardon. He had a powerful intercessor in the boy. Accordingly, he became a friend of Trajan's and entertained him with a banquet. At the dinner in question he presented his boy in some kind of barbaric dance.]

[When Trajan came into Mesopotamia, Mannus sent a herald to him, and Manisarus despatched envoys in regard to peace, because, he said, Osrhoes was making a campaign against him, and he was ready to withdraw from Armenia and Mesopotamia so far as captured. Thereupon the emperor replied that he would not believe him until he should come to him and confirm his offers by deeds, as he was promising. He was also suspicious of Mannus, especially because the latter had sent an auxiliary force to Mebarsapes, king of Adiabene, and then had lost it all at the hands of the Romans. Therefore Mannus never waited for the Romans to draw near but took his course to Adiabene to find shelter with the other two princes. Thus were Singara and some other points occupied by Lusius, without a battle.]

When he had captured the whole country of Armenia and had won over also many of the kings, some of whom, since they submitted, he treated as his friends, and others, though disobedient, he subdued without resort to arms, the senate voted to him many honors of various descriptions, and they bestowed upon him the title of Optimus, i.e., Excellent.--He was always accustomed to trudge on foot with his entire army and he had the ordering and arrangement of the troops throughout the entire expedition, leading them sometimes in one order and sometimes in another; and he forded as many rivers as they did. Sometimes he even had his scouts circulate false reports, in order that the soldiers might at the same time practice military manoeuvres and be so impervious to alarm as to be ready for anything. After he had captured Nisibis and Batnae he was given the title of Parthicus. But he took greater pride in the name of Optimus than in all the rest, inasmuch as it belonged rather to his character than to his arms.

A.D. 115 (a.u. 868)
While he was staying in Antioch, a dreadful earthquake occurred. Many cities were damaged, but Antioch was most of all unfortunate. Since Trajan was wintering there and many soldiers and many private persons had flocked thither from all directions for lawsuits, embassies, business, or sightseeing, there was no nation nor people that went unscathed. Thus in Antioch the whole world under Roman sway suffered disaster.

There were many thunderstorms to start with and portentous winds, but no one could have expected that so many evils would result from them. First came, on a sudden, a great bellowing roar, and there followed it a tremendous shock. The whole earth was up-heaved and buildings leaped into the air. Those that were lifted up collapsed and were smashed to pieces,
A.D. 115 (a.u. 868)
while others were beaten this way and that as if by the surges and were turned about. The wrecks were strewn a long distance over the countryside. The crash of grinding and breaking timbers, tiles, and stones together became most frightful, and an inconceivable mass of dust arose, so that no one could see any person nor say or hear anything. Many persons were hurt even outside the houses, being picked up and tossed violently about, and then with a momentum as in a fall from a cliff dashed to the earth. Some were maimed, others killed. Not a few trees leaped into the air, roots and all.

The number of those found in the houses who perished was beyond discovery. Multitudes were destroyed by the very force of the collapse and crowds were suffocated in the debris. Those who lay with a part of their bodies buried under the stones or timbers suffered fearful agony, being able neither to live nor to find an immediate death.

Nevertheless many even of these were saved, as was natural in such overwhelming numbers of people. And those outside did not all get off safe and sound. Numbers lost their legs or their shoulders and some [Lacuna] their [Lacuna] heads. Others vomited blood. One of these was Pedo the consul, and he died at once. In brief, there was no form of violent experience that those people did not undergo at that time. And as Heaven continued the earthquake for several days and nights, the people were dismayed and helpless, some crushed and perishing under the weight of the buildings pressing upon them, and others dying of hunger in case it chanced that by the inclination of the timbers they were left alive in a clear space, it might be in a kind of arch-shaped colonnade. When at last the trouble had subsided, some one who ventured to mount the ruins caught sight of a live woman. She was not alone but had also an infant, and had endured by feeding both herself and her child with her milk. They dug her out and resuscitated her together with her offspring, and after that they searched the other heaps but were no longer able to find in them any living creature save a child sucking at the breasts of its mother, who was dead. As they drew out the corpses they no longer felt any pleasure at their own escape.

So great were the disasters that had overwhelmed Antioch at this time. Trajan made his way out through a window of the room where he was. Some being of more than human stature had approached him and led him forth, so that he survived with only a few small bruises. As the shocks extended over a number of days, he lived out of doors in the hippodrome. Casium itself, too, was so shaken that its peaks seemed to bend and break and to be falling upon the city. Other hills settled, and quantities of water not previously in existence came to light, while quantities more escaped by flowing away.

Trajan about spring time proceeded into the enemy's country. Now since the region near the Tigris is barren of timbers fit for shipbuilding, he brought the boats which had been constructed in the forests surrounding Nisibis on wagons to the river. The vessels had been arranged in such a way that they could be taken apart and put together. He had very hard work in bridging the stream opposite Mount Carduenum, for the opposing barbarians tried to hinder him. Trajan, however, had a great abundance of both ships and soldiers, and so some boats were fastened together with great speed while others lay motionless in front of them, carrying heavy infantry and archers. Still others kept making dashes this way and that, as if they intended to cross. As a result of these tactics and from their very astonishment at seeing so many ships at once appear en masse from a land devoid of trees the barbarians gave way and the Romans crossed over. 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 conquered 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).

[Adenystrae was a strong post to which one Sentius, a centurion, had been sent as an envoy to Mebarsapes. He was imprisoned by the latter in that place, and later, at the approach of the Romans, he made an arrangement 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 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.

Cassius Dio Cocceianus 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, 15 ff).

Here, moreover, Trajan saw the asphalt out of which 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. Hence creatures that fly high enough above it and such as remain to one side are safe. I saw another opening like it at Hierapolis in Asia, and tested it by means of birds; I bent over it myself and myself gazed down upon the vapor. It is enclosed 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.

A.D. 116 (a.u. 869)
Trajan had planned to conduct the Euphrates 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 a swamp and from there somehow joins the Tigris--then crossed the Tigris and entered Ctesiphon. Having taken possession of this town he was saluted as imperator and established his right to the title of Parthicus. Various honors were voted him by the senate, among others the privilege of celebrating as many triumphs 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 [
75] from some person formerly ruler there. Mesene, the island in the Tigris of which Athambelus was king, he acquired without difficulty. [And it 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 Athambelus] received him kindly.

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. Alexander 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 among other honors the privilege of celebrating a triumph for as many nations as he pleased. For, on account of the number of those peoples regarding which communications in writing were being constantly forwarded to them, they were unable to understand them or even to name some of them correctly. So the citizens of the capital prepared a trophy-bearing arch, besides 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 destined never to reach Rome again nor to accomplish anything deserving comparison with his previous exploits, and furthermore to lose even those earlier acquisitions. 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. [76] He had taken 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 generally successful, recovering Nisibis, besieging Edessa, plundering and burning. Seleucia was also captured by Erucius Clarus and Julius Alexander, lieutenants, 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 Ctesiphon he called together in a great plain all the Romans and likewise all the Parthians that were there at the time. He mounted a lofty platform, and, after describing in lofty language what he had accomplished, he appointed Parthamaspates king of the Parthians and set the diadem upon his head.

LXXV, 9, 6
When Volgaesus, the son of Sanatruces, confronted in battle array the followers of Severus and before 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.

Next he came into Arabia and commenced operations against the people of Hatra, since they, too, had revolted. 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 impossible, and by the Sun, to whom it is, in a way, consecrated. 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 head and his august countenance they suspected him to be the man he was, shot at him, and killed a cavalryman in his escort. There were peals of thunder and rainbow tints glimmered indistinctly. Flashes of lightning and spray-like storms, hail and thunderbolts fell upon the Romans 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 one Andreas at their head and were destroying both the Romans 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 perished. In Egypt, also, they performed many similar deeds, and in Cyprus under the leadership of Artemio. There, likewise, two hundred and forty thousand perished. 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 persons took part in subduing these Jews, one being Lusius, who was sent by Trajan.

A.D. 117 (a.u. 870)
Now Trajan was preparing to make a new expedition into Mesopotamia. Finding himself, however, held fast by the clutches of the disease, he started to sail to Italy himself and left behind Publius Aelius Hadrian with the army in Syria. So the Romans, who had conquered Armenia, most of Mesopotamia, and the Parthians, 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.



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

Hadrianus Aug. (II), Claudius Fuseus Salinator.
(A.D. 118 = a.u. 871 = Second of Hadrian).

Hadrianus Aug. (III), Q. Iunius Rusticus.
(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).

Acilius Aviola, Corellius Pansa.
(A.D. 122 = a.u. 875 = Sixth of Hadrian).

Q. Arrius Paetinus, C. Ventidius Apronianus.
(A.D. 123 = a.u. 876 = Seventh of Hadrian).

Manius Acilius Glabrio, C. Bellicius Torquatus.
(A.D. 124 = a.u. 877 = Eighth of Hadrian).

P. Corn. Scipio Asiaticus (II), Q. Vettius Aquilinus.
(A.D. 125 = a.u. 878 = Ninth of Hadrian).

Annius Verus (III), L. Varius Ambibulus.
(A.D. 126 = a.u. 879 = Tenth of Hadrian).

Gallicianus, Caelius Titianus.
(A.D. 127 = a.u. 880 = Eleventh of Hadrian).

L. Nonius Asprenas Torquatus (II), M. Annius Libo.
(A.D. 128 = a.u. 881 = Twelfth of Hadrian).

Iuventius Celsus (II), Marcellus.
(A.D. 129 = a.u. 882 = Thirteenth of Hadrian).

Q. Fabius Catullinus, M. Flavius Aper.
(A.D. 130 = a.u. 883 = Fourteenth of Hadrian).

Ser. Octav. Laenas Pontianus, M. Antonius Rufinus.
(A.D. 131 = a.u. 884 = Fifteenth of Hadrian).

Augurinus, Severianus (or, according to others, Sergianus).
(A.D. 132 = a.u. 885 = Sixteenth of Hadrian).

Hiberus, Iunius Silanus Sisenna.
(A.D. 133 = a.u. 886 = Seventeenth of Hadrian).

Servianus (III), Vibius Varus.
(A.D. 134 = a.u. 887 = Eighteenth of Hadrian).

Pontianus, Atilianus.
(A.D. 135 = a.u. 888 = Nineteenth of Hadrian).

L. Ceionius Commodus Verus, Sex. Vetulenus Civica Pompeianus.
(A.D. 136 = a.u. 889 = Twentieth of Hadrian).

L. Aelius Verus Caesar, P. Caelius Balbinus Vibullius.
(A.D. 137 = a.u. 890 = Twenty-first of Hadrian).

Camerinus, Niger.
(A.D. 138 = a.u. 891 = Twenty-second of Hadrian, to July 10th).

A.D. 117 (a.u. 870)
Hadrian had not been adopted by Trajan. He was merely a fellow-citizen of the latter, had enjoyed Trajan'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 received 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 Plotina, who was in love with him, secured him the appointment,--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 particular that the death of Trajan was concealed for several days to the end that the adoption might be announced. This was shown also by his letters to the senate, the signature upon which was not his, but Plotina's. She had not done this in any previous instance.

At the time that he was declared emperor, Hadrian 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 the left of his throat and then upon the right also, though it neither frightened nor injured him. And Hadrian wrote to the senate, asking that his sovereignty 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 number 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 himself, 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 perished at the end of the reign were Servianus and his grandson Fuscus.

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] Hadrianus, [for thus 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 overthrow of two sophists, Favorinus the Gaul and Dionysius 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 [77] Heliodorus, who managed his correspondence: "Caesar 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 he should be unsuccessful and be insulted in addition he entered the courtroom, 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 born in it."

Now Hadrian spared these men, although he was displeased 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 Apollodorus the architect, who had planned the various creations of Trajan in Rome,--the forum, the odeum, and the gymnasium. The excuse given was that he had been guilty of some misdemeanor, 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 sent him his own plan of the temple of Venus and Roma by way of showing him that a great work could be accomplished without his aid, and he asked Apollodorus 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 conspicuously on the Sacred Way, and might have received
A.D. 117 (a.u. 870)
within its expanse the engines, so that they could be built unobserved 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 so 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 nature] the emperor was such a person [that he was jealous 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 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.

As a leader of the Roman people he was distinguished 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 Domitian'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 displeased 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 request, 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.

He transacted through the senate all serious and most urgent business and he held court with the assistance 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 to public inspection. Sometimes he would join the consuls when they were trying cases, and he 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 admitted 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 Rome 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 hunting, and he breakfasted without wine; in fact, most of his food was served 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 their country seats and houses. As might have been expected, then, he set up in his forum images for many who were dead and many still alive. No one of his associates, moreover, displayed insolence nor sold aught that he should pronounce or perform, as the Caesarians and other attendants in the suite of emperors have made it their custom to do.

This is a kind of preface, of a summary nature, I have been giving in regard to his character. I shall also touch upon all the details that require mention.

The Alexandrians had been rioting and nothing would make them stop until they received a letter from Hadrian rebuking them. So true it is that an emperor's word has more power than force of arms.

A.D. 118 (a.u. 871)
On coming to Rome he canceled debts owing to the imperial treasury and to the public treasury of the Romans, setting a limit of sixteen years, from which and as far back as which this provision was to be observed. On his own birthday he gave a spectacle to the people free of charge, and slaughtered numbers of wild beasts,--one hundred lions and a like number of lionesses biting the dust on this one occasion. Gifts, likewise, he brought about by means of balls both in the theatres and in the hippodrome, one lot for the men and one lot for the women. Indeed, he had also commanded them to battle separately.

This, then, was what happened that year. Euphrates the philosopher also died a death of his own choosing; and Hadrian assented to his drinking hemlock in consideration of his extreme age and sickliness. Hadrian went from one province to another, visiting the districts and cities and observing all the garrisons and fortifications. Some of these he removed to more desirable locations, some he abolished, and he founded some new ones. He personally oversaw and investigated absolutely everything, not merely the usual appurtenances of camps,--I mean weapons and engines and ditches and enclosures and palisades,--but also the private affairs of each one, and the lives, the dwellings and the characters both of the men serving in the organization, and of the commanders themselves. Many cases of too delicate living and equipment he harmonized with military needs and reformed in various ways. He exercised the men in every variety of battle, honoring some and reproving others. He taught all of them what they ought to do. And to make sure that they should obtain benefit from observing him, he led everywhere a severe existence and walked or rode horseback on all occasions. Never at this period did he enter either a chariot or a four-wheeled vehicle. He covered his head neither in heat nor in cold, but alike in Celtic snows and under scorching Egyptian suns he went about with it bare.
A.D. 119 (a.u. 872)
In fine, so thoroughly by action and exhortations did he train and discipline the whole military force throughout the whole empire that even now the methods then introduced by him are the soldiers' law of campaigning. This best explains why he lived for the most part at peace with foreign nations. As they saw what support he had and were victims of no injustice, but instead received money, they made no uprising. So excellently had his soldiery been trained, that the cavalry of the so-called Batavians swam the Ister with their heavy armor on. Seeing this the barbarians stood in terror of the Romans, and turning their attention to their own affairs [
78] they employed Hadrian as an arbitrator of their differences.

He also constructed theatres and held games as he traveled about from city to city, dispensing, however, with the imperial paraphernalia. This he never used outside of Rome. His own country, though he did her great honor and bestowed many proud possessions on her, he nevertheless did not set eyes upon.

He is said to have been enthusiastic over hunting. Indeed, he broke his collar-bone in this pursuit and came near losing a leg. And to a city that he founded in Mysia he gave the name of Adrianotherae.
A.D. 121 (a.u. 874)
However, he did not, while so occupied, leave undone any of the duties pertaining to his office. Of his enthusiasm for hunting his horse Borysthenes, which was his favorite steed for the chase, gives us an indication. When the animal died, he prepared a tomb for him, set up a slab, and placed an inscription upon it. Hence it is scarcely surprising that when Plotina died, the woman through whom he had secured the imperial office, and who was passionately in love with him, he honored her to the extent of wearing mourning garments for nine days, building a temple to her, and composing several hymns to her memory.

When Plotina was dead, Hadrian praised her and said: "Though she asked much of me, she was never refused aught." By this he surely meant to say: "Her requests were of such a character that they neither burdened me nor afforded me any justification for saying no."

He was so skillful in hunting that once he brought down a huge boar with a single blow.

On reaching Greece he became a spectator at the Mysteries.

A.D. 122 (a.u. 875)
After this he passed through Judaea into Egypt and offered sacrifice to Pompey, about whom, he is said to have uttered this verse:

Strange lack of tomb for one with shrines o'erwhelmed! [79]

And he restored his monument, which had fallen to ruin. In Egypt also he restored the so-called City of Antinous. Antinous was from Bithynium, a city of Bithynia which we also call Claudioupolis; he had been a favorite of the emperor and had died in Egypt, either by falling into the Nile, as Hadrian writes, or, as is more probably the truth, by being offered in sacrifice. For Hadrian, as I have stated, was in general a great dabbler in superstitions and employed divinations and incantations of all kinds. Accordingly, he honored Antinous either because of his love for him or because he had voluntarily submitted to death (it being necessary that a life be surrendered voluntarily for the accomplishment of the ends he had in view), by building a city on the spot where he had suffered this fate and naming it after him: and he further set up likenesses, or rather sacred statues of him, practically all over the world. Finally, he declared that he had seen a star which he assumed to belong to Antinous, and gladly lent an ear to the fictitious tales woven by his associates to the effect that the star had really come into being from the spirit of Antinous and had then appeared for the first time.
A.D. 133 (a.u. 886)
On this account he became the object of some ridicule [as also because the death of his sister Paulina he had not immediately paid her any honor[Lacuna]]

A.D. 133 (a.u. 886)
In Jerusalem he founded a city in place of the one razed to the ground, naming it Aelia Capitolina, and on the site of the temple of the god he raised a new temple to Jupiter. This brought on a war that was not slight nor of brief duration, for the Jews deemed it intolerable that foreign races should be settled in their city and foreign religious rites be planted there. While Hadrian was close by in Egypt and again in Syria, they remained quiet, save in so far as they purposely made the weapons they were called upon to furnish of poorer quality, to the end that the Romans might reject them and they have the use of them. But when he went farther away, they openly revolted. To be sure, they did not dare try conclusions with the Romans in the open field, but they occupied advantageous positions in the country and strengthened them with mines and walls, in order that they might have places of refuge whenever they should be hard pressed, and meet together unobserved under ground; and in these subterranean passages they sunk shafts from above to let in air and light.
At first the Romans made no account of them. Soon, however, all Judaea had been up-heaved, and the Jews all over the world were showing signs of disturbance, were gathering together, and giving evidence of great hostility to the Romans, partly by secret and partly by open acts; many other outside nations, too, were joining them through eagerness for gain, and the whole earth, almost, was becoming convulsed over the matter. Then, indeed, did Hadrian send against them his best generals, of who Julius Severus was the first to be despatched, from Britain, of which he was governor, against the Jews. He did not venture to attack his opponents at any one point, seeing their numbers and their desperation, but by taking them in separate groups by means of the number of his soldiers and his under-officers and by depriving them of food and shutting them up he was able, rather slowly, to be sure, but with comparatively little danger, to crush and exhaust and exterminate them. Very few of them survived.
Fifty of their most important garrisons and nine hundred and eighty-five of their most renowned towns were blotted out. Fifty-eight myriads of men were slaughtered in the course of the invasions and battles, and the number of those that perished by famine and disease and fire was past all investigating. Thus nearly the whole of Judaea was made desolate, an event of which the people had had indications even before the war. The tomb of Solomon, which these men regarded as one of their sacred objects, fell to pieces of itself and collapsed and many wolves and hyenas rushed howling into their cities.

Many Romans, moreover, perished in the war. Wherefore Hadrian in writing to the senate did not employ the opening phrase commonly affected by the emperors: "If you and your children are in health, it shall be well: I and the armies are in health."

A.D. 134(?)
Severus [
80] he sent into Bithynia, which needed no force of arms but a governor and presiding officer who was just and prudent and had a reputation. All these qualifications Severus possessed. And he managed and administered both their private and their public affairs in such a way that we [81] are still, even to-day wont to remember him. [Pamphylia in place of Bithynia was given into the jurisdiction of the senate and the lot.]

This, then, was the ending that the war with the Jews took. A second war was started among the Alani (they are Massagetae) by Pharasmanes. On Albanis and Media he inflicted severe injury and then laid hold on Armenia and Cappadocia, after which, as the Alani were on the one hand persuaded by gifts from Vologaesus and on the other stood in dread of Flavius Arrianus, the governor of Cappadocia, he stopped. [Envoys were sent from Vologaesus and from the Iazygae; the former made some charges against Pharasmanes and the latter wanted to confirm the peace. [?] [82] introduced them to the senate and was empowered by that body to return appropriate answers; and accordingly he prepared and read to them his responses.]

Hadrian completed the Olympieum in Athens, in which his own statue also stands, and consecrated there a serpent, which was brought from India. He also presided at the Dionysia, the greatest office within the gift of the people, and arrayed in the local costume carried it through brilliantly. He allowed the Greeks, too, to build his sepulchre (called the Panellenium), and instituted a series of games to be connected with it; and he granted to the Athenians large sums of money, annual corn distribution, and the whole of Cephallenia.--Among various laws that he enacted was one to the effect that no senator, either personally or through the medium of another, should have any tax farmed out to him.
A.D. 135 (a.u. 888)
After he had come to Rome, the crowd at a spectacle shouted their request for the emancipation of a certain charioteer: but he replied by means of a writing on a board: "It is not right for you either to ask me to free another's slave or to force his master to do so."

He now began to be sick, having suffered even before this from blood gushing from his nostrils: this flow now grew very much more copious, so that he despaired of his life. Consequently, he appointed as Caesar for the Romans Lucius Commodus, although this man frequently vomited blood.
A.D. 136 (a.u. 889)
Servianus and his grandson Fuscus, the former a nonagenarian and the latter eighteen years of age, were put to death on the ground that they were displeased at this action. Servianus before being executed asked for fire, and as he offered incense he exclaimed: "That I am guilty of no wrong, ye; O Gods, are well aware: and as for Hadrian I pray only this, that he may desire to die and not be able." And, indeed, Hadrian did come to his end only after often praying that he might expire and often feeling a desire to kill himself. There is in existence also a letter of his which lays stress on this very matter, showing what a dreadful thing it is for a man to desire to die and not be able. This Servianus had been by Hadrian deemed capable of filling the imperial office. He had once at a banquet told his friends to name for him ten men who were competent to be sole rulers, and then after a moment's pause, had added: "I want to know nine: I have one already, Servianus."

Other excellent men, also, had come to light during that period, of whom the most distinguished were Turbo and Similis, who, indeed, were honored with statues.

Turbo was a man of great qualities as a general, who had become prefect (or commander of the Pretorians). He committed no act of luxury or haughtiness, but lived like one of the multitude: the entire day he spent in proximity to the palace and often he would go there even shortly before midnight, when some of the others were beginning to sleep. A characteristic anecdote is that which brings in the name of Cornelius Fronto, at this time reputed to be the foremost Roman advocate in lawsuits. One evening very late he was returning home from dinner and ascertained from a man whose counsel he had promised to be that Turbo was holding court. Accordingly, just as he was, in his dress for dinner, he went into his courtroom and greeted him not with the morning salutation, I wish you joy, but with that belonging to the evening, I trust your health continues good.

Turbo was never seen at home in the daytime even when he was sick; and to Hadrian, who advised him to remain quiet, he replied: "The prefect ought to die on his feet."

Similis, who was of greater age and more advanced rank, in character was second to none of the great men, I think. Very slight things may serve us as evidence. When he was centurion, Trajan had summoned him to enter his presence before the prefects, whereupon he said: "It is a shame for you, Caesar, to be talking with a centurion, while the prefects stand outside." And he took unwillingly at that time the command of the Pretorians, and after taking it resigned it. Having with difficulty secured his release he spent the rest of his life, seven years, quietly in the country, and upon his tomb he had this inscription placed: "Similis lies here, who existed so-and-so many years, but lived for seven."

Julius (?) Fabius (?), not being able to endure his son's effeminacy, desired to throw himself into the river.

A.D. 138 (a.u. 891)
Hadrian became consumptive as a result of the great loss of blood, and that led to dropsy. And as it happened that Lucius Commodus was suddenly removed from the scene by the outgushing of a large quantity of blood all at once, he convened at his house the foremost and most renowned of the senators; and lying on a couch he spoke to them as follows: "I, my friends, was not permitted by nature to secure offspring, but you have made it possible by legal enactment. There is this difference between the two ways,--that a begotten son turns out to be whatever sort of person Heaven pleases, whereas one that is adopted a man takes to himself because he chooses just that sort of being. Thus in process of nature a maimed and
A.D. 138 (a.u. 891)
senseless creature is often given to a parent, but by process of voluntary decision one of sound body and sound mind is certain to be selected. For this cause I formerly chose out Lucius from among all, a person of such attainments as I could never have prayed to find in a child. But since the Heavenly Power has taken him from among us, I have found an emperor in his place whom I now give you, one who is noble, mild, tractable, prudent, neither young enough to do anything reckless nor old enough to neglect aught,--one brought up according to the laws, who has held possession of authority according to his country's traditions, so that he is not ignorant of any matters pertaining to his office, but can handle them all effectively. I refer to Aurelius Antoninus here. Although I know him to be the most retiring of men and to be far from desiring any such thing, still I do not think that he will deliberately disregard either me or you but will accept the office even against his will."

So it was that Antoninus became emperor. Since he was destitute of male children, Hadrian adopted for him Commodus's son Commodus and, moreover, besides the latter, Marcus Annius Verus; for he wished to appoint those who were afterwards to be emperors for as long a time ahead as possible. (This Marcus Annius, earlier named Catilius, was a grandson of Annius Verus who had thrice been consul and prefect of the city). And though Hadrian urged Antoninus to adopt them both, he preferred Verus on account of his kinship and his age and because he already exhibited an extremely strong cast of mind. This led him to apply to the young man the name Verissimus, with a play upon the meaning of the Latin word.

By certain charms and species of magic Hadrian was relieved of the water, but shortly was full of it again. Since, therefore, he was constantly growing worse and might be said to be slowly perishing day by day, he began to long for death. Often he would ask for poison and a sword, but no one would give them to him. As no one would obey him, although he promised money and immunity, he sent for Mastor, an Iazygian barbarian that had become a captive, whom he had employed in hunts on account of his strength and daring. Then, partly by threatening him and partly by making promises, he compelled the man to undertake the duty of killing him. He drew a colored line around a spot beneath the nipple that had been shown him by Hermogenes the physician, in order that he might there be struck a finishing blow and perish painlessly. But even this plan did not succeed, for Mastor became afraid of the project and in terror withdrew. The emperor lamented bitterly the plight in which the disease had placed him and bitterly his powerlessness, in that he was not able to make away with himself, though he might still, even when so near death, destroy anybody else. Finally he abandoned his careful regimen and through using unsuitable foods and drinks met his death, saying and shouting aloud the popular saying: "Many physicians have ruined a king."

He had lived sixty-two years, five months and nineteen [83] days, and had been emperor twenty years and eleven months. He was buried near the river itself, close to the Aelian bridge; that was where he had prepared his tomb, for the one belonging to Augustus was full and no other body was deposited there.

This emperor was hated [by the people, in spite of his excellent reign] on account of the early and the late murders, since they had been unjustly and impiously brought about. Yet he had so little of a bloodthirsty disposition that even in the case of some who took pains to thwart him he deemed it sufficient to write to their native lands the bare statement that they did not please him. And if any man who had children was absolutely obliged to receive punishment, still, in proportion to the number of his children he would also lighten the penalty imposed. [Notwithstanding, the senate persisted for a long time in its refusal to vote him divine honors, and in its strictures upon some of those who had committed excesses during his reign and had been honored therefor, when they ought to have been chastised.]

After Hadrian's death there was erected to him a huge equestrian statue representing him with a four-horse team. It was so large that the bulkiest man could walk through the eye of each horse, yet because of the extreme height of the monument persons passing along on the ground below are wont to think that the horses themselves as well as Hadrian are very small.



Camerinus, Niger.
(A.D. 138 = a.u. 891 = First of Antoninus, from July 10th).

Antoninus Pius Aug. (II), Bruttius Praesens.
(A.D. 139 = a.u. 892 = Second of Antoninus).

Antoninus Pius Aug. (III), Aurelius Caesar (II).
(A.D. 140 = a.u. 893 = Third of Antoninus).

M. Peducaeus Sylloga Priscinus, T. Hoenius Severus.
(A.D. 141 = a.u. 894 = Fourth of Antoninus).

L. Cuspius Rufinus, L. Statius Quadratus.
(A.D. 142 = a.u. 895 = Fifth of Antoninus).

C. Bellicius Torquatus, Tib. Claudius Atticus Herodes.
(A.D. 143 = a.u. 896 = Sixth of Antoninus).

Avitus, Maximus.
(A.D. 144 = a.u. 897 = Seventh of Antoninus).

Antoninus Pius Aug. (IV), M. Aurelius Caesar (II).
(A.D. 145 = a.u. 898 = Eighth of Antoninus).

Sex. Erucius Clarus (II), Cn. Claudius Severus.
(A.D. 146 = a.u. 899 = Ninth of Antoninus).

Largus, Messalinus.
(A.D. 147 = a.u. 900 = Tenth of Antoninus).

L. Torquatus (III), C. Iulianus Vetus.
(A.D. 148 = a.u. 901 = Eleventh of Antoninus).

Sergius Scipio Orfitus, Q. Nonius Priscus.
(A.D. 149 = a.u. 902 = Twelfth of Antoninus).

Gallicanus, Vetus.
(A.D. 150 = a.u. 903 = Thirteenth of Antoninus).

Quintilius Condianus, Quintilius Maximus.
(A.D. 151 = a.u. 904 = Fourteenth of Antoninus).

M. Acilius Glabrio, M. Valerius Homullus.
(A.D. 152 = a.u. 905 = Fifteenth of Antoninus).

C. Bruttius Praesens, A. Iunius Rufinus.
(A.D. 153 = a.u. 906 = Sixteenth of Antoninus).

L. Ael. Aurelius Commodus, T. Sextius Lateranus.
(A.D. 154 = a.u. 907 = Seventeenth of Antoninus).

C. Iulius Severus, M. Rufinius Sabinianus.
(A.D. 155 = a.u. 908 = Eighteenth of Antoninus).

M. Ceionius Silvanus, C. Serius Augurinus.
(A.D. 158 = a.u. 909 = Nineteenth of Antoninus).

Barbaras, Regulus.
(A.D. 157 = a.u. 910 = Twentieth of Antoninus).

Tertullus, Sacerdos.
(A.D. 158 = a.u. 911 = Twenty-first of Antoninus).

Plautius Quintilius, Statius Priscus.
(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).

M. Ael. Aurelius Verus Caesar (III), I. Ael. Aurelius Commodus (II).
(A.D. 161 = a.u. 914 = Twenty-fourth of Antoninus, to March 7th).

I. From Dio:

A.D. 138 (a.u. 891)
It should be noted that information about Antoninus Pius is not found in the copies of Dio, probably because the books have met with some accident, so that the history 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 demurred 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 national 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 bestowed the honors upon Hadrian.

Only this in regard to Antoninus is preserved in Dio. Yes, one thing more--that the senate gave him the titles both of Augustus and of Pius for some such reason as the following. When in the beginning of his imperial 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."

LXIX, 15, 3
[When Pharasmanes the Iberian came to Rome with his wife, he increased his domain, allowed him to offer sacrifice on the Capitoline, set up a statue of him on horseback in the temple of Bellona, and viewed an exercise in arms of the chieftain, his son, and the other prominent Iberians.]

A.D. 139 (a.u. 892)
We do not find preserved, either, the first part of the account of Marcus Verus, who ruled after Antoninus 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 Vologaesus. I shall speak briefly about these matters, gathering my material from other books, and then I shall go back to the continuation of Dio's narrative.

II. From Xiphilinus:

A.D. 153 (a.u. 906)
Antoninus is admitted by all to have been noble and 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 History [
84] 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 Cumminsplitter.

A.D. 161 (a.u. 914)
Quadratus states that he died at an advanced age, and that the happiest death befell him, like unto gentlest slumber.

A.D. 177(?)
In the days of Antoninus also a most frightful earthquake 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 thickness 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. Somewhere 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, transparent sea-water was driven to a great distance over the land. [85] --So much is the account of Antoninus at present extant. He reigned twenty-four years.

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

This prince Antoninus was an excellent man and deserves 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 Romulus. The private life that Antoninus lived was thoroughly excellent and honorable, and in his position as ruler he seemed to be even more excellent and more prudent. To no one was he harsh or oppressive, but he was gracious and gentle toward all.

In warfare he sought glory rather from an impulse of duty than from one of gain, and was determined to preserve the borders of the empire intact rather than to extend them to greater distances. In the matter of men he appointed to the administration 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.



M. Ael. Aurel. Verus Caes. (III), L. Ael. Aurel. Commodus (II).
(A.D. 161 = a.u. 914 = First of Marcus, from March 7th).

Iunius Rusticus, Vettius Aquilinus.
(A.D. 162 = a.u. 915 = Second of Marcus).

I. Aelianus, Pastor.
(A.D. 163 = a.u. 916 = Third of Marcus).

M. Pompeius Macrinus, P. Iuventius Celsus.
(A.D. 164 = a.u. 917 = Fourth of Marcus).

L. Arrius Pudens, M. Gavius Orfitus.
(A.D. 165 = a.u. 918 = Fifth of Marcus).

Q. Servilius Pudens, L. Fufidius Pollio.
(A.D. 166 = a.u. 919 = Sixth of Marcus).

L. Aurelius Verus Aug. (III), Quadratus.
(A.D. 167 = a.u. 920 = Seventh of Marcus).

T. Iunius Montanus, L. Vettius Paulus.
(A.D. 168 = a.u. 921 = Eighth of Marcus).

Q. Sosius Priscus, P. Caelius Apollinaris.
(A.D. 169 = a.u. 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 Marcus).

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

Gallus, Flaccus.
(A.D. 174 = a.u. 927 = Fourteenth of Marcus).

Piso, Iulianus.
(A.D. 175 = a.u. 928 = Fifteenth of Marcus).

Pollio (II), Aper (II).
(A.D. 176 = a.u. 929 = Sixteenth of Marcus).

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

Rufus, Orfitus. (A.D. 178 = a.u. 931 = Eighteenth of Marcus).

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

L. Fulvius Bruttius Praesens (II), Sextus Quintilius Condianus.
(A.D. 180 = a.u. 933 = Twentieth of Marcus, to March 17th).

A.D. 161 (a.u. 914)
Marcus Antoninus, the philosopher, upon obtaining the sovereignty at the death of Antoninus, who adopted 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 hesitation) at going to a teacher for instruction, but became a pupil of Sextus, the Boeotian philosopher, [86] 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 marrying him to his daughter Lucilla, and sent him to the Parthian war.

For Vologaesus had begun war by assailing on all sides the Roman camp under Severianus, situated in Elegeia, a place in Armenia; and he 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.
A.D. 162 (a.u. 915)
Lucius, accordingly, on coming to Antioch collected a great many soldiers, and 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 Cassius. The latter made a noble stand against the attack
A.D. 165 (a.u. 918)
of Vologaesus, and finally the chieftain was deserted by his allies and began to retire; then Cassius pursued him as far as Seleucia and destroyed it and razed to the ground the palace of Vologaesus 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 extreme good fortune did him no good.
A.D. 169 (a.u. 922)
For he is said to have subsequently plotted against his father-in-law Marcus and to have perished by poison before he could accomplish anything.

* * * * *

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

[Martius 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 qualities generals most rely), but also of persuading them by trustworthy promises and conciliating them by generous 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 persistency in endeavor and activity together with speed against his foes, he made it plain to the barbarians that his friendship was better worth gaining than his enmity. So when he arrived at the New city, which a garrison of Romans placed there by Priscus was occupying, and found them attempting mutiny, he 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 soldiers 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 quantities, 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 barbarians fell, the rest gave way.]

A.D. 172 (a.u. 925)
Cassius, however, was bidden by Marcus to have the superintendence of all Asia. The emperor himself fought for a long time, in fact almost his whole life, one might say, with the barbarians in the Ister region, the Iazyges and the Marcomani, first one and then the other, and he used Pannonia as his starting point.

The Langobardi and the Obii [
87] to the number of six thousand crossed the Ister, but the cavalry under Vindex [88] marched out and the infantry 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 Iallius Bassus [89] (administrator of Pannonia) Bellomarius [90] , 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 Pompeianus 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.

A.D. 168(?)
Yet, when a most violent struggle and brilliant victory 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 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.

A.D. 171 (a.u. 924)
When in one battle the Marcomani were successful and killed Marcus Vindex, the prefect, he erected three statues in his memory.

A.D. 172 (a.u. 925)
After conquering them Marcus received the title of Germanicus. We give the name "Germans" to those who dwell in the northern regions.

The so-called Bucoli began a disturbance in Egypt, and under the leadership of Isidorus, a priest, [92] 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 capturing Alexandria, and would have done so, had not Cassius been sent against them from Syria as directing general. He succeeded in spoiling the concord that existed among them and sundering them one from another, for on account of their numbers and desperation he had not ventured to attack them united. So when they fell into factional disputes he easily subdued them.

Now it was in Marcus's war against the Germans (if mention ought to be made of these matters), that a captive lad on being asked some questions by him rejoined: "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 campaign, 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 wear.

The emperor, as often as he had leisure from war, held court and used to order that a most liberal supply of water be measured out for the speakers. [93] He made inquiries and answers of greater length, so that exact justice was ensured by every possible expedient. When thus engaged he would often hold court to try the same case for eleven or even twelve days and sometimes
A.D. 172 (a.u. 926)
at night. He was industrious and applied himself diligently to all the duties of his office; and there was nothing which he said or wrote or did that he regarded a minor matter, but sometimes he would consume whole days on the finest point, putting into practice his belief that the emperor should do nothing hurriedly. 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 together 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. [94] 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.

A.D. 172(?) 173(?)
The Iazyges were conquered by the Romans on land 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 Iazyges, perceiving that they were being pursued, awaited the foe's onset, expecting easily to overcome them, since their opponents were not accustomed to ice. Accordingly, some of the barbarians dashed straight at them, while others rode around to attack the flanks, for their horses were trained to run safely even over a surface of this kind. The Romans, seeing this, were not alarmed, but made a close formation, placing themselves so as to face all of them at once. The majority laid down their shields and resting one foot upon them, so that they might slip less, received the enemy's assault. Some seized bridles, others shields and spear-shafts, and drew them towards them. Then, becoming involved in close conflict, they knocked down both men and horses, for on account of their momentum the enemy could not help slipping. The Romans also slipped down: but in case one of them fell on his back he dragged his adversary down on top of him and then by winding his legs about him as in a wrestling match would get him underneath; and if one fell on his face, he made his opponent fall before he did, also on his face. The barbarians, being unused to a contest of this sort, and having lighter equipment, were unable to resist, so that but few escaped out of a large force.

A.D. 174 (a.u. 927)
So Marcus made the Marcomani and Iazyges subservient by a series of great struggles and dangers. A great war against the so-called Quadi also fell to his lot and it was his good fortune to win an unexpected victory, or rather it was given him from Heaven. At a time when the Romans had run into danger in the battle the Heavenly Power most unexpectedly saved them. The Quadi had surrounded them at an opportune spot and the Romans were fighting valiantly with their shields locked together: and the barbarians ceased fighting, expecting to capture their enemies easily by heat and thirst. So they posted guards all about and hemmed them in to prevent their getting water anywhere, for the barbarians were far superior in numbers. The Romans fell into dire distress from their fatigue and wounds and the sun's heat and their thirst, and for these reasons could neither fight nor march in any direction but were standing and being scorched in line of battle and at their several posts, when suddenly numbers of clouds rushed together and a great rain, certainly of divine origin, came pouring down. Indeed, there is a story that Arnouphis, an Egyptian wizard, who was a companion of Marcus, invoked by means of enchantments various deities and in particular Mercury, god of the air, and by this means attracted the rain.

This is what Dio says about it, but he seems to be telling an untruth, whether voluntarily or involuntarily; I am more inclined to think it is voluntarily. It surely must be so, for he was not ignorant of the fact that one company of the soldiers had the special name of "The Thunderbolt" (he mentions it in the list along with the rest), [97] and this was due to no other cause (nor is any other reported) save that event which gave rise to the title in this very war,--an event which enabled the Romans to survive on this occasion and brought destruction upon the barbarians. It was not Arnouphis, the wizard, for Marcus is not accounted to have taken pleasure in the company of wizards and charms. But what I have reference to is as follows: Marcus had a company (and the Roman name for company is "legion") of soldiers from Melitene. They were all worshipers of Christ. Now it is stated that in that battle, when Marcus was in a quandary over having been surrounded and feared the loss of his whole army, the prefect approached him and said that those called Christians can accomplish anything whatever by their prayers, and that among them there chanced to be a whole company of this sect. Marcus, on hearing this, made an appeal to them to pray to their God. And when they had prayed, the God immediately gave ear, hurling a thunderbolt upon the enemy and encouraging the Romans with rain. Marcus was astounded at what happened and honored the Christians by an official decree, while the legion he named "The Thunderbolt." It is said also that there is a letter of Marcus extant on this matter. But the Greeks, though they know that the company was called "Thunderbolt" and bear witness to the fact themselves, make no statement whatever about the reason for the appellation.

Dio goes on to say that when the rain poured down at first all bent their faces upwards and received it in their mouths. Then some held their shields and their helmets as pails, and they themselves took fullmouthed draughts of it and gave their horses to drink. The barbarians making a charge upon them, they drank and fought at the same time; and some who were wounded gulped down together the water and the blood that flowed into their helmets. The most of them had given so much attention to drinking that they would have suffered some great damage from the enemy's onset had not a violent hail and numbers of thunderbolts fallen upon the latter's ranks. In the same spot one might see water and fire descending from Heaven at the same time: the one side was being drenched and drinking, the other was being burned with fire and dying. The fire did not touch the Romans, but if it fell anywhere among them it was straightway extinguished. On the other hand, the shower did the barbarians no good, but like oil served rather to feed the flames that fed on them, and they searched for water while in the midst of rain. Some wounded themselves in the attempt to put out the fire with blood, and others ran over to the side of the Romans, convinced that they alone had the saving water. Marcus finally took pity on them. He was for the seventh time saluted as imperator by the soldiers. And although he was not wont to accept any such honor before the senate voted it, [98] nevertheless this time he took it under the assumption that it was bestowed from Heaven, and he sent a despatch to that effect to the senate.--Moreover Faustina was named "Mother of the Legions."

[Marcus [Antoninus] remained in Pannonia in order to transact business with the embassies of the barbarians. 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 potentate, 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 restore the remainder as well. However, the right of free intercourse even at markets was not granted them, the intention being to prevent the Iazyges and the Marcomani, 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. Besides these who came to Marcus, many others despatched 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 captives and deserters who were fit for it were similarly treated. Others received land, in Dacia or in Pannonia or in Moesia and Germany or in Italy itself. A few of them who settled at Ravenna made an uprising and even dared to take possession of the city: and for this reason he did not again bring any barbarian into Italy, but made even those who had previously come there find homes outside.]

Detachments of both Astingi and Lacringi had come to lend assistance to Marcus.

[The Astingi, whose leaders were Raus and Raptus, 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 children in the keeping of Clemens, [91] with the apparent intention 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 committed 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 temporary enemies. Now these performed some of their promises. The Cotini made similar propositions, but upon getting control of Tarrutenius Paternus, secretary of the emperor's Latin letters, under the pretext of requiring his aid for a campaign against the Marcomani, they not only failed to take this course but did him frightful injury and thereby ensured their own destruction later.]

[Envoys were also sent to Marcus by the Iazyges, requesting peace, but they did not obtain any. For Marcus, knowing their race to be untrustworthy, and, furthermore, because he had been deceived by the Quadi, wished to annihilate them absolutely. [95] The Quadi had not only made alliances at this time with the Iazyges, but previously, too, were wont to receive in their own land Marcomanian fugitives who might be hard pressed, while that tribe was at war with the Romans. Nor did they do aught else that they had agreed, for they did not restore all the captives, but only a few, and these were such as they could not sell nor use for any work as helpers. And whenever they did give back any of those in good condition, they would keep their relatives at home in order that the men given up might desert again to join their friends. They also expelled their king, Furtius, and on their own responsibility made Ariogaesus king instead. Consequently the emperor did not confirm him, since he had not been legally installed, nor renew the treaty of peace, though they promised to return fifty thousand captives if he would.]

[Against Ariogaesus Marcus was so bitter that he issued a proclamation to the effect that any one who would bring him alive should receive a thousand gold pieces, and any one who killed him and exhibited his head, five hundred. Yet in other cases this emperor was always accustomed to treat even his most stubborn foes humanely; for instance, he did not kill, but merely sent to Britain Tiridates, a satrap who roused a tumult in Armenia and the person who slew the king of the Heniochi and then held the sword in Verus's [96] face, when the latter rebuked him for it. This, then, shows the extent of his irritation against Ariogaesus at the time. However, when the man was later captured he did him no harm, but sent him away to Alexandria.]

A.D. 174(?) 175(?)
When Pertinax in consideration of his brave exploits obtained the consulship, there were nevertheless some who showed displeasure at the fact that he was of obscure family, and quoted the line from tragedy:

"Such things the wretched war brings in its train." [99]

They did not know that he should yet be sovereign.

A.D. 176(?)
[At the request of the Marcomani, as expressed by their envoys and in view of the fact that they had followed all the injunctions laid upon them, even if sullenly and hesitatingly, he released to them one half of the adjoining territory, so that they could settle for a distance of about thirty-eight stades [100] from the Ister, and established the places and the days for their meeting together (these had not been previously determined), and he exchanged hostages with them.]

A.D. 175 (a.u. 928)
[The Iazyges, also, when they had experienced reverses, came to an agreement, Zanticus himself appearing as suppliant before Antoninus. Previously they had imprisoned Banadaspus, their second king, for making proposals to him. Now, however, all the foremost men came in company with Zanticus and made the same compact as that accepted by the Quadi and the Marcomani, except in so far as they were required [101] to dwell twice as far away from the Ister as those tribes. It was his wish to root them out utterly. That they were still strong at this time and could have done the Romans great harm is evident from the fact that they gave back one hundred thousand captives out of a body in which many had been sold, many were dead, and many had run away and been recaptured. They supplied Antoninus at once with a cavalry force of eight thousand allies, fifty-five hundred of whom he sent to Britain.]

[The revolt of Cassius and Syria forced Marcus Antoninus, even contrary to his wishes, to come to terms with the Iazyges. He was so upset at the news that he did not even communicate to the senate the basis of the reconciliation made with them, as he was wont to do in all other cases.]
[The Iazyges sent an embassy and asked to be released from some of the agreements they had made, and a certain leniency was shown them, to prevent their being entirely alienated. Yet neither they nor the Buri were willing to join the Roman alliance until they received pledges from Marcus that he would without fail prosecute the war to the uttermost. They were afraid that he might make a treaty with the Quadi, as before, and leave enemies dwelling at their doors.]

[Marcus gave audience to such persons as came in the capacity of envoys from outside nations, but all were not received on the same footing. This varied according as the individual states were worthy to receive citizenship, or freedom from taxes, or perpetual or temporary exemption from tribute, or to enjoy permanent support. And when the Iazyges proved themselves most useful to him, he released them from many of the restrictions imposed upon them,--indeed, from all, save from the arrangements made in regard to their gatherings and mutual intercourse, and the provisions that they should not use boats of their own and should keep away from the islands in the Ister. And he permitted them to go through Dacia and have dealings with the Rhoxolani as often as the governor of Dacia would give them permission.]

[The Quadi and the Marcomani sent envoys to Marcus, saying that the two myriads of soldiers that were in the forts would not allow [106] ] them to pasture or till the soil or do anything else with freedom, but kept receiving many deserters from them and captives of theirs; yet the soldiers themselves were enduring no great hardships, inasmuch as they had bath-houses and all necessary provisions in abundance. The Quadi, consequently, would not endure the watch kept on them from fortifications and undertook to withdraw en masse to the territory of the Semnones. But Antoninus learned beforehand of their intention and by barring the roads thither prevented them. This showed that he desired not to acquire their territory, but to punish the members of the tribe.]

[And the Naristi, having encountered hardships, deserted to the number of three thousand at once and received land in our territory.]

Upon the rebellion of Cassius in Syria, Marcus, in great alarm, summoned his son Commodus from Rome, since he was now able to enter the ranks of the iuvenes. Now Cassius, who was a Syrian from Cyrrhus, had shown himself an excellent man and the sort of person one would desire to have as emperor: only he was a son of one Heliodorus, [102] who had been delighted to secure the governorship of Egypt as a result of his oratorical skill. But in this uprising he made a terrible mistake, and it was all due to his having been deceived by Faustina. The latter, who was a daughter of Antoninus Pius, seeing that her husband had fallen ill, and expecting that he might die at any moment, was afraid that the imperial office might revert to some outsider and she be left in private life; for Commodus was both young and rather callow, besides. So she secretly induced Cassius to make preparations to the end that if anything should happen to Antoninus he might take both her and the sovereignty.
Now while he was in this frame of mind, a message came that Marcus was dead (in such circumstances reports always make matters worse than they really are) and immediately, without waiting to confirm the rumor, he laid claim to the empire on the ground that it had been bestowed upon him by the soldiers at this time quartered in Pannonia. And in spite of the fact that before long he learned the truth, nevertheless, since he had once made a move, he would not change his attitude but speedily won over the whole district bounded by the Taurus, and was making preparations to maintain his ascendancy by war. Marcus, on being informed of his uprising by Verus, the governor of Cappadocia, for a time concealed it; but, as the soldiers were being mightily disturbed by the reports and were doing a deal of talking, he called them together and read an address of the following nature:

"Fellow-soldiers, I have not come before you to express indignation, nor yet in a spirit of lamentation. Why rage against Fate, that is all-powerful? But perchance it is needful to bewail the lot of those who are undeservedly unfortunate, a lot which is now mine. Is it not afflicting for us to meet war after war? Is it not absurd to be involved in civil conflict? Are not both these conditions surpassed in affliction and in absurdity by the proof before us that there is naught to be trusted among mankind, since I have been plotted against by my dearest friend and have been thrust into a conflict against my will, though I have committed no crime nor even error? What virtue, what friendship shall henceforth be deemed secure after this experience of mine? Has not faith, has not hope perished? If the danger were mine alone, I should give the matter no heed,--I was not born to be immortal,--but since there has been a public secession (or rather obsession) and war is fastening its clutches upon all of us alike, I should desire, were it possible, to invite Cassius here and argue the case with him in your presence or in the presence of the senate; and I would gladly, without a contest, withdraw from my office in his favor, if this seemed to be for the public advantage. For it is on behalf of the public that I continue to toil and undergo dangers and have spent so much time yonder outside of Italy, during mature manhood and now in old age and weakness, though I can not take food without pain nor get sleep free from anxiety.

"But since Cassius would never be willing to agree to this (for how could he trust me after having shown himself so untrustworthy towards me?), you, at least, fellow-soldiers, ought to be of good cheer. Cilicians, Syrians, Jews and Egyptians have never proved your superiors nor shall so prove, even if they assemble in numbers ten times your own, whereas they are now by the same proportion inferior. Nor yet would Cassius himself now appear worthy of any particular consideration, however much he may seem to possess the qualities of generalship, however many successes he may seem to have gained. An eagle is not formidable at the head of an army of daws, nor a lion commanding fawns; and it was not Cassius, but you, that brought to an end the Arabian or the famous Parthian War. Again, even though he is renowned as a result of his achievements against the Parthians, yet you have Verus, who has won more victories than he and has acquired more territory in a not less, but more distinguished manner.--But probably he has already changed his mind, on hearing that I am alive, for surely he has done this on no other assumption than that I was dead. And if he resists still further, yet when he learns that we are approaching, he will surely hesitate both out of fear of you and out of respect for me.

"There is only one thing I fear, fellow-soldiers (you shall be told the whole truth), and that is that he may either kill himself because ashamed to come into our presence, or some one else upon learning that I shall come and am setting out against him may do it. Then should I be deprived of a great prize both of war and of victory, and of a magnitude such as no human being ever yet obtained. What is this? Why, to forgive a man that has done you an injury, to remain a friend to one who has transgressed friendship, to continue faithful to one who has broken faith. Perhaps this seems strange to you, but you ought not to disbelieve it. For all goodness has not yet perished from among mankind, but there is still in us a remnant of the ancient virtue. And if any one does disbelieve it, that renders the more ardent my desire that men may see accomplished what no one would believe could come to pass. That would be one profit I could derive from present ills, if I could settle the affair well and show to all mankind that there is a right way to handle even civil wars."

This is what Marcus both said to the soldiers and wrote to the senate, in no place abusing Cassius, save he constantly termed him ungrateful. Nor, indeed, did Cassius ever utter or write anything of a nature insulting to Marcus.

Marcus at the time he was preparing for the war against Cassius would accept no barbarian alliance although he found a concourse of foreign nations offering their services; for he said that the barbarians ought not to know about troubles arising between Romans.

While Marcus was making preparations for the civil war, many victories over various barbarians were reported at one and the same time with the death of Cassius. The latter while walking had encountered Antonius, a centurion, who gave him a sudden wound in the neck, though the blow was not entirely effective. And Antonius, borne away by the impetus of his horse, left the deed incomplete, so that his victim nearly escaped; but meantime the decurion had finished what was left to do. They cut off his head and set out to meet the emperor.

Marcus Antoninus [was so much grieved at the destruction of Cassius that he would not even endure to see the severed head, but before the murderers drew near gave orders that it should be buried.]

Thus was this pretender slain after a dream of sovereignty lasting three months and six days, and his son was murdered somewhere else. And Marcus upon reaching the provinces that had joined in Cassius's uprising treated them all very kindly and put no one, either obscure or prominent, to death.

[The same man would not slay nor imprison nor did he put under any guard any one of the senators associated with Cassius. He did not so much as bring them before his own court, but merely sent them before the senate, nominally under some other complaint, and appointed them a fixed day on which to have their case heard. Of the rest he brought to justice a very few, who had not only cooperated with Cassius to the extent of some overt action but were personally guilty of some crime. A proof of this is that he did not murder nor deprive of his property Flavius Calvisius, the governor of Egypt, but merely confined him on an island. The records made about his case Marcus caused to be burned, in order that no reproach might attach to him from them. Furthermore he released all his relatives.]

A.D. 176 (a.u. 929)
About this same time Faustina died, either of the gout from which she had suffered or from less natural causes and to avoid being convicted of her compact with Cassius.--Moreover, Marcus destroyed the documents [found in the chests of Pudens], [103] not even reading them, in order that he might not learn even a name of any of the conspirators who had written something against him and that he might not [therefore] be reluctantly forced to hate any one. Another account is that Verus, who was sent ahead into Syria, of which he had secured the governorship, found them among the effects of Cassius and put them out of the way, saying that this course would most probably be agreeable to the emperor, but even if he should be angry, it would be better that he [Verus] himself should perish than many others. Marcus was so averse to slaughter that he saw to it that the gladiators in Rome contended without danger, like athletes; for he never permitted any of them to have any sharp iron, but they fought with blunt weapons, rounded off at the ends. [And so far was he from countenancing any slaughter that though at the request of the populace he ordered to be brought in a lion trained to eat men, he would not look at the beast nor emancipate its teacher, in spite of the long-continued and urgent demands of the people. Instead, he commanded proclamation to be made that the man had done nothing to deserve freedom.]

In his great grief over the death of Faustina he wrote to the senate that no one of those who had cooperated with Cassius was dead, as if in this fact alone he could find some consolation for Faustina's loss. "May it never happen," he continued, "that any one of you is slain during [104] my lifetime either by my vote or by your own." Finally he said: "If I do not obtain this request, I shall hasten on to death." So pure and excellent and godfearing did he show himself throughout his career. [Nothing could force him to do anything inconsistent with his character, neither the wickedness of daring attempts nor the expectation of similar events to follow as the result of pardon. To such an extent did he refrain from inventing any imaginary conspiracy and concocting any tragedy that had not taken place, that he released even those who most openly rose against him and took arms against him and against his son, whether they were generals or heads of tribes or kings, and he put none of them to death either by his own action or by that of the senate or by any other arrangement whatever. Wherefore I actually believe that if he had captured Cassius himself alive, he would certainly have saved him from injury.] For he conferred benefits upon many who had been murderers,--so far as lay in their power,--of himself and his son.

A law was at this time passed that no one should be governor in the province from which he had originally come, because the revolt of Cassius had occurred during his administration of Syria, which included his native district. It was voted by the senate that silver images of Marcus and Faustina should be set up in the temple of Venus and Roma, and that an altar should be erected whereon all the maidens married in the city and their bridegrooms should offer sacrifice; also that a golden image of Faustina should be carried in a chair to the theatre on each occasion that the emperor should be a spectator, and that it should be placed in the seat well forward, where she herself was wont to take her place when alive, and that the women of chief influence should all sit round about it.

Marcus went to Athens, where after being initiated into the mysteries he bestowed honors upon the Athenians and gave teachers to all men in Athens, for every species of knowledge, these teachers to receive an annual salary. On his return to Rome he made an address to the people; and while he was saying, among other things, that he had been absent many years, they cried out: "Eight!" and indicated this also with their hands, in order that they might receive an equal number of gold pieces for a banquet. He smiled and himself uttered the word "Eight." After that he distributed to them two hundred denarii apiece, more than they had ever received before.--In addition to doing this, he forgave all persons all their debts to the imperial and to the public treasury for a space of forty-six years, outside of the sixteen granted by Hadrian. And all the documents relating to these debts he ordered burned in the Forum.
A.D. 177 (a.u. 930)
--He gave money to many cities, one of them being Smyrna, that had suffered terribly by an earthquake; he also assigned the duty of building up this place to an ex-praetor of senatorial rank. Therefore I am surprised at the censures even now passed upon him to the effect that he was not a man of large calibre. For, whereas in ordinary matters he was really quite frugal, he never demurred at a single necessary expenditure (though, as I have said,
105] he hurt no one by levies), and he necessarily laid out very large sums beyond the ordinary requirements.

The Scythian imbroglio, which needed his attention, caused him to give his son a wife, Crispina, sooner than he actually wished. The Quintilii could not end the war, although there were two of them and they possessed prudence, courage, and considerable experience. Consequently the rulers themselves were forced to take the field.
A.D. 178 (a.u. 931)
Marcus also asked the senate for money from the public treasury, not because it had not been placed in the sovereign's authority, but because Marcus was wont to declare that this and everything else belonged to the senate and the people. "We," said he (speaking to the senate), "are so far from having anything of our own that we even live in a house of yours." He set out, therefore, after these remarks, and after hurling the bloody spear, that lay in the temple of Bellona, into hostile territory. (I heard this from men who accompanied him).
A.D. 179
Paternus was given a large detachment and sent to the scene of fighting. The barbarians held out the entire day, but were all cut down by the Romans. And Marcus was for the tenth time saluted as imperator.

A.D. 180 (a.u. 933)
Had he lived longer, he would have subdued the whole region: as it was, he passed away on the seventeenth of March, not from the effects of the sickness that he had at the time, but by the connivance of his physicians, as I have heard on good evidence, who wanted to do a favor to Commodus.

When at the point of death he commended his son to the protection of the soldiers (for he did not wish his death to appear to be his fault); and to the military tribunes, who asked him for the watchword, he said: "Go to the rising sun: I am already setting." After he was dead he obtained many marks of honor and was set up in gold within the senate-house itself.

So this was the manner of Marcus's demise, [who besides all other virtues was so godfearing that even on the dies nefasti he sacrificed at home; and he ruled better than any that had ever been in power. To be sure, he could not display many feats of physical prowess; yet in his own person he made a very strong body out of a very weak one.] Most of his life he passed in the service of beneficence, and therefore he erected on the Capitol a temple to that goddess and called her by a most peculiar name, which had never before been current. [
107] He himself refrained from all offences, [and committed no faults voluntarily:] but the offences of others, particularly those of his wife, he endured, and neither investigated them nor punished them. In case any person did anything good, he would praise him and use him for the service in which he excelled, but about others he did not trouble himself, [saying: "It is impossible for one to create such men as one wishes to have, but it is proper to employ those in existence for that in which each of them may be useful to the commonwealth."]
That all his actions were prompted not by pretence but by real virtue is strikingly clear. He lived fifty-eight years, ten months, and twenty-two days, and of this time he had spent considerable as assistant to the previous Antoninus and had himself been emperor nineteen years and eleven days, yet from first to last he remained the same and changed not a particle. So truly was he a good man, without any pretence about him. He was vastly helped by his education being an expert in rhetoric and in philosophical argument. In the one he had Cornelius Fronto and Claudius Herodes for teachers, and in the other, Junius Rusticus and Apollonius of Nicomedea, [108] both of whom followed Zeno's school. As a result, great numbers pretended to engage in philosophy, in order that they might be enriched by the emperor.

After all, however, he owed his great attainments chiefly to his natural disposition; for even before he enjoyed the society of those men he was unflinchingly set upon virtue. While still a boy he delighted all his relations, who were numerous and influential and wealthy, and was loved by all of them. This, most of all, led Hadrian to adopt him into his family, and Marcus, for his part, did not grow haughty [but, though young and a Caesar he dutifully played the part of servant to Antoninus through all the latter's reign and ungrudgingly did honor to the other men of eminence. Before going to see his father he used to greet the most worthy men in the house near the Tiber where he lived, and in the very apartment where he slept; and all this time, instead of wearing the attire allowed by his rank, he went dressed as a private citizen. He visited many who were sick and invariably met his teachers at the proper time. Dark garments were what he wore on going out when not in his father's company, and he never used the attendant for himself alone. Upon being appointed leader of the knights he entered the Forum with the rest, although he was Caesar. This shows how excellent was his own natural disposition, though it was aided to the greatest degree by education.] He was always steeped in Greek and Latin rhetorical and philosophical learning [though he had reached man's estate and had hopes of becoming emperor] .

Before he was made Caesar he had a dream in which he seemed to have shoulders and hands of ivory and to use them in all respects as he did his real limbs.

As a result of his great labors and studies he was extremely frail in body, yet from the very start he enjoyed such good health that he used to fight in armor and on a hunt struck down wild boars while on horseback. [And not only in his early youth but even later he wrote most of his letters to his intimate friends with his own hand.] However, he did not meet the good fortune that he deserved, for he was not strong [in body] and was involved in the greatest variety of troubles throughout practically the whole period that he was ruler. But I am sure I admire him all the more for this very reason, that amid unusual and extraordinary happenings he both himself survived and preserved the empire. One thing in particular contributed to his lack of happiness,--the fact that after rearing and educating his son in the best possible way he was monstrously disappointed in him. This matter must now form the subject of our discourse, for our history now descends from a kingdom of gold to one of iron and rust, [
109] as affairs did for the Romans of that day.



L. Fulvius Bruttius Praesens (II), Sextus Quintilius Condianus.
(A.D. 180 = a.u. 933 = First of Commodus, from March 17th).

Commodus Aug. (III), Antistius Burrus.
(A.D. 181 = a.u. 934 = Second of Commodus).

C. Petronius Mamertinus, Cornelius Rufus.
(A.D. 182 = a.u. 935 = Third of Commodus).

Commodus Aug. (IV), Aufidius Victorinus (II).
(A.D. 183 = a.u. 936 = Fourth of Commodus).

L. Eggius Marullus, Cn. Papirius Aelianus.
(A.D. 184 = a.u. 937 = Fifth of Commodus).

Maternus, Bradua.
(A.D. 185 = a.u. 938 = Sixth of Commodus).

Commodus Aug. (V), Acilius Glabrio (II).
(A.D. 186 = a.u. 939 = Seventh of Commodus).

Crispinus, Aelianus.
(A.D. 187 = a.u. 940 = Eighth of Commodus).

C. Allius Fuscianus (II), Duillius Silanus (II).
(A.D. 188 = a.u. 941 = Ninth of Commodus).

Iunius Silanus, Servilius Silanus.
(A.D. 189 = a.u. 942 = Tenth of Commodus).

Commodus Aug. (VI), M. Petronius Septimianus.
(A.D. 190 = a.u. 943 = Eleventh of Commodus).

Apronianus, Bradua.
(A.D. 191 = a.u. 944 = Twelfth of Commodus).

Commodus Aug. (VII), P. Helvius Pertinax (II).
(A.D. 192 = a.u. 945 = Thirteenth of Commodus, to Dec. 31st).

A.D. 180 (a.u. 933)
This [Commodus] was not naturally wicked, but was originally as free from taint as any man ever was. His great simplicity, however, and likewise his cowardice made him a slave of his companions and it was through them that he first, out of ignorance, missed the better life and then was attracted into licentiousness and bloodthirsty habits, which soon became second nature. [And this, I think, Marcus clearly perceived beforehand.] He was nineteen years old when his father died, leaving him many guardians, among whom were numbered the best men of the senate. But to their suggestions and counsels Commodus bade farewell, and, after making a truce with the barbarians, he hastened to Rome.

[For the Marcomani by reason of the number of their people that were perishing and the damage constantly being done to their farms no longer had either food or men in any numbers. Thus they sent only two of their foremost representatives and two others that were of inferior rank as envoys in regard to peace. And whereas he might easily have put an end to their resistance, he so detested exertion and was so eager for the comforts of city life that he made terms with them. Besides the conditions which his father had settled upon with them new ones were now imposed requiring them to restore to him the deserters and the captives that they took after this time and to contribute annually a stipulated amount of grain,--a demand from which he subsequently released them. He obtained some weapons from them and also soldiers, thirteen thousand from the Quadi and a smaller number from the Marcomani. In return for this contingent he relieved them of the requirement of an annual levy. However, he issued further orders that they should not assemble often nor in many parts of the country, but once each month, in one place, in the presence of a Roman centurion; and again, that they should not make war upon the Iazyges, the Buri, or the Vandili. On these terms a reconciliation was effected and all the garrisons in their country beyond the detached border territory were abandoned [Lacuna] ]

A.D. 181(?)
[Commodus also granted peace to an embassy from the Buri. Previously he would not have it, though often asked, because they were strong and because it was not peace they wanted, but the securing of a respite for further preparations. Now, however, since they were exhausted, he made terms with them and accepted hostages. From the Buri he received back many captives and from the others [110] fifteen thousand, and he compelled the others [111] to take oath that they would never dwell in nor use as pasture forty stadia of their territory, nearest to Dacia. The same (?) Sabinianus also reduced twelve thousand of the neighboring Dacians who had been driven out of their own country and were on the point of aiding the rest. [112] He promised these that some land in our Dacia should be given them.]

Frequent plots were formed by various persons against Commodus [for he did many reprehensible deeds] and he murdered great numbers both of men and of women, some openly and some by secret poison,--in a word, practically all those who had attained eminence during his father's lifetime and his own. Exceptions were Pompeianus and Pertinax and Victorinus: these for some reason unknown to me he did not kill. THIS AND WHAT FOLLOWS I STATE NOT ON THE AUTHORITY OF ANOTHER'S TRADITION, BUT FROM MY OWN OBSERVATION. On coming to Rome he had a conference with the senate, at which he talked a great deal of nonsense, one thing that he said in praise of himself being that he had once on horseback saved the life of his father, who had fallen into a deep mire. Of such a nature were his lofty pratings.
A.D. 182 (a.u. 935)
As he was entering the hunting theatre, Claudius Pompeianus laid a snare for him. He held up a sword in the narrow passage which served as an entrance and said: "See, this is what the senate has sent you."

This man had taken as his spouse the daughter of Lucilla, but had intimate relations both with the daughter herself and with the girl's mother; in this way he had become friendly with Commodus, so that he was his companion at banquets and in the diversions of youth. Lucilla, who was neither more respectable nor more continent than her brother Commodus, detested the girl's husband, Pompeianus. It was for this reason that she persuaded the aforementioned to undertake the attack upon Commodus, and she not only caused his destruction, but was herself detected and put out of the way. Commodus killed also Crispina, because he was angry with her for some act of adultery. Previous to their execution both women had keen banished to the island of Capreae.

There was a certain Marcia, mistress of Quadratus (one of the men murdered at this time) and Eclectus, his cubicularius: the latter became also the cubicularius of Commodus, and the former, first, the emperor's mistress and later the wife of Eclectus; and she beheld them also perish by violence. The tradition is that she very much favored the Christians and did them many kindnesses, as she was enabled to do through possessing all influence with Commodus.

Commodus killed also Julianus [Salvius, [
113] and Tarrutenius Paternus, who was numbered among the exconsuls, and others with them; he furthermore put to death some woman of the nobility. [114] Yet Julianus after the death of Marcus could at once have done anything at all that he pleased against him, since he possessed great renown, was in charge of a large army, and enjoyed the devotion of his soldiers: and he refused to make any rebellious move, both because of his own uprightness and because of the good will that he bore to Marcus, though dead. And Paternus, if he had plotted against Commodus, as he was accused of doing, could easily have murdered him while he himself still commanded the Pretorians; but he had not done it.] The emperor murdered likewise Condianus and Maximus Quintilius; for they had a great reputation on account of education and military ability and fraternal harmony and wealth. Their notable talents led to the suspicion that, even if they were not planning any hostile movement, still they were not pleased with the state of affairs. Thus, even as they had lived together, so they died together, and one child as well. They had exhibited the most striking example ever seen of affection for each other, and at no time had they been divided, even in their political offices. They had grown prosperous and exceedingly wealthy and were wont to govern together and to assist each other in trying cases at law.

Sextus Condianus, son of Maximus, who surpassed the generality of men in character and education, when be heard that sentence of death had been passed upon him, too, drank hare's blood (he was at that time located in Syria); and after this he mounted a horse and purposely fell from it. Then, as he vomited the blood (which was supposed to be his own), he was taken up in the expectation of his immediate demise and conveyed into a dwelling. The man himself now disappeared from view, but a ram's body was placed in a coffin, in his place and burned. Thereafter, by constantly changing his appearance and clothing, he wandered about, now here, now there. And when this story was reported (for it is impossible to conceal for a long time so weighty a matter), there was hue and cry after him in every place, bar none. Many were punished in his stead on account of their resemblance, and many, too, who were alleged to have shared his confidences or to have received and hidden him. Several, moreover, who had perhaps never even seen him, were deprived of their property. But no one knows whether he was really killed (though a great number of heads purporting to be his were carried to Rome) or whether he made good his escape.

Some other person, after the death of Commodus, dared to assert that he was Sextus and to undertake the recovery of his wealth and dignities. And he played the part well while many persons asked him numbers of questions: when, however, Pertinax enquired of him something about Grecian affairs, with which the real Sextus had been well acquainted, he suffered the greatest embarrassment, not being able even to understand what was said. [So it was that nature had made him like Condianus in form and practice like him in other ways, but he did not share in his education.]

This matter came to my own ears, and another thing that I saw I shall now describe. There is in the city of Mallus, in Cilicia, an oracle of Amphilochus, that gives responses by means of dreams. It had given warning also to Sextus, in a way that he indicated by a drawing. The picture that he put on a board represented a boy strangling two serpents and a lion pursuing a fawn. I was with my father, then governor of Cilicia, and could not comprehend what they meant until I learned that Sextus's brothers had been, as it were, strangled by Commodus (who later emulated Hercules), just as Hercules, when an infant, is related to have strangled the serpents sent against him by Juno: similarly, the Quintilii were hanged; I learned also that Sextus was a fugitive and was being pursued by a more powerful adversary.

I should render my narrative unduly irksome, were I to set down carefully every single man put to death by this ruler,--all that he despatched because of false information, because of unjustified suspicions, because of notable wealth, because of distinguished family, because of unusual education, or for any other excellence.

[Commodus displayed in Rome itself many marks of wealth and very many more, even, of love for the beautiful. Indeed, he performed one or two acts of public benefit. Manilius, a kinsman of Cassius, who had been secretary of his Latin letters and had possessed the greatest influence with him, was caught after a flight, but the emperor would not listen to a word of his, though he promised to lay a great deal of information, and burned all the conspirator's documents without reading them.]

A.D. 184 (a.u. 937)
He had also some wars with the barbarians beyond Dacia, in which Albinus and Niger, who later fought the emperor Severus, won fame, but the greatest conflict was the one in Britain. When the tribes in the island, passing beyond the wall that separated them from the Roman legions, proceeded to commit many outrages and cut down a general, together with the soldiers that he had, Commodus was seized with fear and sent Marcellus Ulpius against them. This man, who was temperate and frugal and always followed strict military rules in regard to food and all other details when he was at war, became in course of time haughty and arrogant. He was conspicuously incorruptible in the matter of bribes, but was not of a pleasant or kindly nature. He showed himself more wakeful than any other general, and, as he desired his associates also to be alert, he wrote orders on twelve tablets (such as are made out of linden wood) [almost] every evening, and bade a man carry them to various persons at various hours, that they, believing the general to be always awake, might not themselves take their fill of sleep. Nature had made him able in the first place to go without sleep and he had developed this faculty a great deal more by abstinence from food. [Of scarcely anything did he eat his fill and] in order to avoid satisfying his hunger even with bread he sent to Rome for the loaves: [this was not because he could not eat what was prepared in that region, but] it was done with the purpose that the age of the article might prevent him eating ever so little more than what was absolutely necessary. [His gums, which were sore, were easily made to bleed by the dryness of the bread. And he made it his practice to affect sleeplessness even more than was the case, that he might have a reputation for being always awake.] This was the kind of man Marcellus was, who inflicted great damage upon the barbarians in Britain. Later he narrowly escaped being destroyed by Commodus on account of his peculiar excellence, but was, nevertheless, released.

A.D. 185 (a.u. 938)
Perennis, commander of the Pretorians after Paternus, met destruction on account of a rebellion of the soldiers. For, since Commodus had devoted himself to chariot-racing and licentiousness and paid scarcely any attention to matters pertaining to the empire, Perennis was compelled to manage not only military affairs, but everything else, and to preside over the government. The soldiers, accordingly, when anything did not go to suit them, laid the blame upon Perennis and cherished anger against him.

The soldiers in Britain chose Priscus, a lieutenant, emperor. But he deprecated their action, saying "I am as little suited for emperor as you are for soldiers."

The lieutenants in Britain had been rebuked for their turbulence (indeed, they had not become quiet until Pertinax put a stop to their discord), and now they chose of their number fifteen hundred javelin-slingers, whom they sent into Italy. They had approached Rome without meeting any hindrance, when Commodus met them and enquired: "Why is this, fellow-soldiers? What does your presence signify?" Their answer was: "We are here because Perennis is plotting against you, and intends to make his son emperor." Commodus believed them, especially since Cleander dwelt at length upon the point. (The latter was often prevented by Perennis from doing all that he desired, and consequently entertained a bitter hatred for him). Therefore he delivered the prefect to the soldiers of whom he was commander, and did not venture to despise fifteen hundred men, though he had many times that number of Pretorians. So Perennis was abused and struck down, and his wife and sister and two sons were also killed.

Thus was he slain though he deserved a far different fate both on his own account and for the interest of the entire Roman domain. Only, it may be remarked that his fondness for office had been the chief cause of the ruin of his colleague Paternus. Privately he was never remotely concerned about either fame or wealth, but lived a most incorruptible and temperate life, and for Commodus he preserved his empire in entire safety. [For the emperor wholly followed his amusements and gave himself over to chariot-driving and cared not a whit for any political interests; nor, indeed, had he given his mind to the matter ever so zealously, could he have accomplished aught by reason of his luxurious living and inexperience.]

And the Caesarians, having got rid of this man, with Cleander at their head entered upon every form of outrage, selling all privileges, doing violence, plunging into licentiousness.

Commodus during most of his life was given to idleness and horses and battles of beasts and of men. Aside from his performances at home he despatched many beasts in public and many men on many occasions. With his own hands and without assistance he gave the finishing stroke to five hippopotami at one time and to two elephants on separate days. Moreover, he killed rhinoceroses and a camelopard. This is what I have to say in general with reference to his whole career.

To Victorinus, prefect of the city, a statue was granted. [He died not as the victim of a plot. At one time what might be called a loud rumor and many reports were circulating in regard to his destruction] and, though Commodus frequently wished to get him out of the way, he still kept putting it off and shrinking from the deed until the man grew very bold, and one day approaching Perennis said: "I hear that you wish to kill me. Why then do you delay? Why do you put it off, when you might do it this very day?" [But not even this caused him to suffer any harm at the hands of any one else; it was a self-sought death that he suffered, and the fact seems strange, inasmuch as he had been honored among the foremost men by Marcus and in mental excellence and forensic eloquence stood second to none of his contemporaries. Indeed, by mentioning two incidents in his history I shall reveal his whole character.]

Once, when he was governor of Germany, he at first attempted by private persuasion indoors to induce his lieutenant not to accept bribes. As the latter would not listen to him, he mounted the tribunal and [after bidding the herald proclaim him] took oath that he had never received bribes and never would receive any. Next he bade his under-officer also take oath; and when this person refused to perjure himself, he ordered him to be dismissed from office. [And later as commandant of Africa he had an associate of similar character to the man just mentioned. He did not, to be sure, treat him in the same way, but put him aboard a boat and sent him back to Rome.] This is the kind of man Victorinus was.

As for Cleander, who after Perennis possessed greatest influence, he had been sold along with his fellow-slaves and had been brought to Rome along with them for the purpose of carrying burdens. As time went on he attained such prominence that he slept before the chamber of Commodus, married the emperor's concubine Damostratia, and put to death Saoterus of Nicomedea (who had held the position before him) besides many others. Yet this victim had possessed very great influence, so that the Nicomedeans obtained from the senate the right of holding a series of games and of building a temple to Commodus. At any rate, Cleander, raised to greatness by the power of Fortune, granted and sold senatorships. praetorships, procuratorships, leaderships,--in a word everything. Some by expending all that they possessed had finally become senators. It came to be said of Julius Solon (an exceedingly obscure man) that he had been deprived of his property and banished to the senate.
A.D. 189 (a.u. 942)
Not only did Cleander do this, but he appointed twenty-five consuls for one year,--something which never occurred before or after. One of those consuls was Severus, who later became emperor. The man obtained money, therefore, from every quarter and amassed more wealth than had ever yet belonged to those nominated cubicularii. A great deal of it he gave to Commodus and his concubines and a great deal of it he spent on houses, baths, and other works useful to individuals and to cities.

This Cleander, who had soared to so exalted a height, himself fell suddenly and perished in dishonor. It was not the soldiers that killed him, as they had Perennis, but the populace. There occurred a real and pressing famine, which was increased to the utmost severity by Papirius Dionysius, the grain commissioner, in order that Cleander, whose thefts would seem as much responsible for it as any cause, might both incur hatred and suffer destruction at the hands of the Romans. So it fell out. There was a horse-race on, and as the horses were about to contend for the seventh time a crowd of children ran into the race course, at their head a tall and sturdy maiden. As a result of what subsequently happened she was deemed by people to have been a divinity. The children shouted many wild words of complaint, which the people took up again and began to bawl anything that came into their heads. Finally, the throng jumped down and started to find Commodus (who was then in the Quintilian suburb), invoking many blessings on his head but many curses upon Cleander. The latter sent some soldiers against them, who wounded and killed a few, but encouraged by their numbers and the strength of the Pretorians they became still more urgent. They drew near to Commodus before information reached him from any source of what was going on. Then the famous Marcia, wife of Quadratus, brought him the news. And Commodus was so terrified,--he was always the veriest coward,--that he at once ordered Cleander to be slain and also his child, who was in Commodus's hands to be reared. The child was dashed to the earth and perished, and the Romans, taking the body of Cleander, dragged it away and abused it and carried his head all about the city on a pole. They also wounded some other men who had possessed great power during his ascendancy.

Commodus, taking a respite from his lusts and sports, developed a taste for blood and proceeded to compass the death of distinguished men. Among these was Julianus the prefect, whom he used to embrace and caress in public and saluted as "father." Another was Julius Alexander, who was executed for having brought down a lion by a lucky cast of his javelin while on horseback. [115] This victim, on becoming aware of the presence of his assassins, murdered them by night and likewise put out of the way all his own enemies at Emesa, his native town. After doing this he mounted a horse and started toward the barbarians; and he would have escaped, had he not carried a favorite along with him. He was himself a most excellent horseman, but he would not think of abandoning the lad, who was tired out, and so when he was being overtaken he killed both the boy and himself. Dionysius, too, the grain commissioner, met his death by the orders of Commodus.

Moreover, a pestilence, as great as any I know, took place, for it should be noted that two thousand persons several times died in Rome on a single day. Many more, not merely in the capital but throughout almost the entire empire, perished by the hands of scoundrels, who smeared some deadly drugs on tiny needles, and, for pay, infected men with the poison by means of these instruments. The same thing had happened before in the reign of Domitian. [116] But the death of these unfortunates was not regarded as of any importance.

A.D. 190 (a.u. 943)
Still, the effect of Commodus upon the Romans was worse than that of all pestilences and all villanies. One feature was that whatever honors they were wont to vote to his father out of pure regard they were compelled by fear and by strict injunction to assign also to the son. He gave orders that Rome itself be called Commodiana, the legions "Commodian," and the day on which this measure was voted "Commodiana." Upon himself he bestowed, in addition to very many other titles, that of Hercules. Rome he termed "the Immortal," "the Fortunate," "the Universal Colony of the Earth" (for he wished it to seem a settlement of his own). In his honor a gold statue was erected of a thousand pounds' weight, together with a bull and a cow. Finally, all the months were likewise called after him, so that they were enumerated as follows: Amazonian, Invincible, Fortunate, Pious, Lucius, Aelius, Aurelius, Commodus, August, Herculean, Roman, Transcendent. For he had assumed these different names at different times. "Amazonian" and "Transcendent," however, he applied exclusively to himself, to indicate that in absolutely every respect he unapproachably surpassed all mankind. So extravagantly did the wretch rave. And to the senate he would send a despatch couched in these terms: "Caesar Imperator, Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus, Augustus, Pius, Beatus, Sarmaticus, Germanicus, Maximus, Britannicus, Peacemaker of the World, Invincible, Roman Hercules, High Priest, Holder of Tribunician Authority for the eighteenth term, Imperator for the eighth time, Consul for the seventh time, Father of the Fatherland, to consuls, praetors, tribunes and the Commodian Fortunate Senate, Greeting." Great numbers of statues were erected displaying him in the garb of Hercules. And it was voted that his age should be called the "Golden Age" and that entries to correspond with this should in every case be made in the records.

Now this Golden One, this Hercules, this God (such was another designation of his) one day in the afternoon rode suddenly from the suburbs with haste into Rome and conducted thirty horse-races in two hours. These proceedings had much to do with his running short of money. He was also fond of bestowing gifts and frequently presented the populace with one hundred and forty denarii apiece. But most of his expenditures were for the objects that I have mentioned. [So it was that neither his general income nor what was provided by Cleander (though incalculable in amount) sufficed him, and he was compelled to bring charges against both women and men,--charges not serious enough for capital punishment but prolific in threats and terror.] Some of these persons he murdered, to others he sold preservation in return for their property [and got something from them by constraint under the pretence that it was a voluntary offering] . And finally on his birthday he ordered us, our wives, and our children each to contribute two aurei [a year as] a kind of first-fruits, and the senators in all the other cities five denarii per head. [Of this, too, he saved not the smallest part, but spent it all disgracefully on beasts and gladiators.]

A.D. 192 (a.u. 945)
In public he nowhere drove chariots except sometimes on a moonless night. He became very desirous to play the character also in public, but, being ashamed to be seen doing this, he kept it up constantly at home, wearing the Green uniform. Beasts, moreover, in large numbers were slaughtered at his house and many also in public. Again, he would contend as gladiator: (at home he killed a man in this way, and, in pretending to shave others, instead of taking off the hairs he sliced off one man's nose, another's ears, and some other feature of a third;) but in public his contests were [117] minus the steel and human blood. Before entering the theatre he would put on a cleeved tonic of silk, white interwoven with gold, and we greeted him standing there in this attire. When he actually went in he donned a pure purple dress sprinkled with gold, assuming also a similar chlamys of Greek pattern and a crown made of Indic gems and gold, and carried such a herald's staff as Mercury does. The lion skin and club were carried before him along the streets, and at the theatres were invariably placed on a gilded chair, whether he was present or absent. He himself would enter the theatre in the garb of Mercury, and casting off everything else begin his performance in simple tunic and unshod.

On the first day he individually killed a hundred bears by shooting down at them from the top of the elevated circle. The whole theatre had been divided up by some diameters built in, which supported a circular roof and intersected each other, the object being that the beasts, divided into four herds, might be more easily speared at short range from any point. In the midst of the struggle he grew weary, and taking from a woman some sweet wine cooled in a club-shaped cup drank it down at a gulp. At this both the populace and we on the instant all shouted this phrase, common at drinking bouts: "Long life to you!"

Let no one think that I sully the dignity of history in noting down such happenings. In general I should have preferred not to mention it, but since it was one of the emperor's acts and I was myself present, taking part in everything seen and heard and spoken, I have judged it proper to suppress none of the details, but to hand them down to the attention of those who shall live hereafter, just as I should do in the case of anything else especially great and important. And, indeed, all the remaining events that took place in my lifetime I shall polish and elaborate more than earlier occurrences for the reason that my evidence is that of a contemporary and I know no one else who has my ability at reducing notable things to writing that has studied them so exhaustively as I.

It was on the first day, then, that this took place. On the others he frequently went down from the raised section to the bottom of the circle and slaughtered all the tame animals that he approached, some of them also being led to him or brought before him in nets. He also killed a tiger, a hippopotamus, and an elephant. After accomplishing this, he retired, but at the conclusion of breakfast fought again as a gladiator. The form of fighting which he practiced and the armor which he used was that pertaining to the so-called secutor: in his right hand he held the shield and in his left the wooden sword. He prided himself very greatly upon being left-handed. His antagonist would be some professional athlete, or, perhaps, gladiator, with a cane; this was sometimes a man that the emperor himself challenged and sometimes one that the people chose. In this and other matters he acted the same way as the other gladiators, except that they go in for a very small sum, whereas Commodus had twenty-five myriads from the gladiatorial fund given him each day. There stood beside him during the contest Aemilius Laetus, the prefect, and Eclectus, his cubicularius. He went through a skirmish, and, of course, conquered, and then, just as he was, he kissed them [118] with his helmet on. After this the rest did some fighting.--The first day he personally paired all the combatants, either down below, where he wore all the attire of Mercury, including a gilded wand, or else from his place on the elevated platform; and we took his proceeding as an omen. Later he ascended his customary seat and from that point viewed the remainder of the spectacle with us. Nothing more was done that resembled child's play, but great numbers of men were killed. At one place somebody delayed about slaying and he fastened the various opponents together and bade them all fight at once. At that the men so bound struggled one against another and some killed those who did not belong to their group, since the numbers and the limited space had brought them into proximity.

That spectacle as here described lasted fourteen days. While the contests were going on we senators invariably attended, along with the knights, save that Claudius Pompeianus the elder never appeared, but sent his sons, remaining away himself. He chose rather to be put to death for this than to behold the child of Marcus as emperor conducting himself so.--Besides all the rest that we did, we shouted whatever we were bidden and this sentence continuously: "Thou art lord, and thou art foremost, of all most fortunate: thou dost conquer, thou shalt conquer; from everlasting, Amazonian, thou dost conquer!"

Of the rest of the people many did not even enter the theatre and some managed to steal out quietly, for they were partly ashamed of what was being done and partly afraid. A story was current that he would like to shoot a few of them as Hercules had the Stymphalian birds. This story was believed, too, because once he had gathered all the men in the city who by disease or some other calamity had lost their feet, had fastened some dragon's extremities about their knees, and after giving them sponges to throw instead of stones had killed them with blows of a club, on the pretence that they were giants.

This fear was shared by all, both us and the rest. Here is another way in which he menaced us senators,--an act which he certainly expected would be the death of us. He had killed an ostrich, and cutting off its head he came toward where we were sitting. In his left hand he held the spoils and in the right stretched aloft his bloody sword. He spoke not a word, but with a grin wagged his head to and fro, intimating that he would subject us to this same treatment. And many on the spot would have perished by the sword for laughing at him (for it was laughter and not grief that overcame us), had I not myself chewed a laurel leaf, which I got from my garland, and brought the rest who were sitting near me to munch similar sprigs, so that in the constant motion of our jaws we might conceal the fact that we were laughing. After this occurrence he raised our spirits, since before fighting again as a gladiator he bade us enter the theatre in the equestrian garb and with woolen cloaks. (This was something we never do when going into the theatre unless some emperor has passed away). And on the last day his helmet was carried out by the gates through which the dead are taken out. That made us all without exception think that he was surely about to meet his end in some way.

And he did die (or rather was despatched) before a great while. Laetus and Eclectus, displeased at the way he acted, and moreover filled with fear at the threats he uttered against them when he was checked in any of his whims, formed a plot against him. Commodus was anxious to slay both the consuls (Erucius Clarus and Sosius Falco) and on the first of the month to issue as consul and secutor at once from the place where the gladiators are kept. He had the first cell in their quarters, as if he were one of them. Let no one be incredulous about this, for he even cut off the head of the Colossus and put one of his own there instead; and then, having given it a club and placed a bronze lion at its feet so as to make it look like Hercules, he inscribed, besides the titles that belonged to him, also this sentence: "First of secutors to engage; the only left-handed fighter that has conquered twelve times"--I think it is--"a thousand."

[Lacuna] was written by Lucius Commodus Hercules, and upon it was inscribed the well known couplet, viz.: "Hercules I, Jove's son, Lord of Fair Fame, Not Lucius, howsoe'er constrained thereto."

For these reasons Laetus and Eclectus, making Marcia their confidante, attacked him. At night on the last of the year, when people were busy with merry-making, they had Marcia administer poison to him in cooked beef. The wine he had consumed and his always immoderate use of the baths kept him from succumbing at once, and instead he vomited; this caused him to suspect the attempt and he uttered some threats. Then they sent Narcissus, an athlete, to him and had this man strangle him in the midst of a bath. This was the end that Commodus met after ruling twelve years, nine months, and fourteen days. He had lived thirty-one years and four months, and with him the imperial house of the true Aurelii ceased.

After this there occurred most violent wars and factional disturbances. The compilation of facts in this work of mine has been due to the following chance. I had written and published a book about the dreams and signs which caused Severus to expect the imperial power; and he, happening to look at a copy that was sent him by me, wrote me a long and complimentary acknowledgment. This letter I received about nightfall and soon after went to sleep. And in my slumbers Heaven commanded me that a history be written. So it came about that I wrote the narrative with which I am at this moment concerned. And because it pleased Severus himself and other people very much, I then conceived a desire to compile a record of all other matters of Roman interest. Therefore I decided no longer to leave that treatise as a separate composition, but to incorporate it in this present history, in order that in one undertaking I might write positively everything from the beginning as far as Fortune sees fit to permit. I have obtained this goddess, it appears, as the guide of the conduct of my life, and therefore I am dependent on her entirely: she gives me strength for my historical research when I am respectful and subdued before her, and wins me back to work by means of dreams when I am discouraged and give up the task: she grants me delightful hopes in regard to the future, that time will allow this history to survive and never let its brightness be dimmed. To gather an account of everything done by the Romans from the beginning until the death of Severus has taken me ten years, and to arrange it in literary form twelve years more. The rest will be written as opportunity offers.

Prior to the death of Commodus there were the following signs. Many ill-boding eagles wandered about the Capitol uttering cries that portended naught of peace, and an owl hooted there.
A.D. 191 (a.u. 944)
A fire, starting by night in some dwelling, laid hold of the temple of Peace and spread to the stores of Egyptian and Arabian wares: then, leaping to a great height, it entered the palace and burned a very large portion of it, so that the documents belonging to the empire almost all perished. This as much as anything made it clear that the injury would not stop in the City but extend over the entire civilized world. The conflagration could not be extinguished by human hands, although great numbers of civilians and great numbers of soldiers were carrying water and Commodus himself came from the suburbs to cheer them on. Only after it had destroyed everything on which it had fastened did it spend its force and reach a limit.



five months
(from the Calends of January to the Calends of June), in which the following were consuls:

1. Quintus Sosius Falco, C. Erucius Clarus.

2. Flavius Sulpicianus, Fabius Cilo Septiminus
(from the Calends of March).

3. Silius Messala
(from the Calends of May).

(A.D. 193 = a.u. 946).

A.D. 193 (a.u. 946)
Pertinax was one of those men to whom no exception can be taken, but he ruled only for an exceedingly brief space of time and was then put out of the way by the soldiers. While the fate of Commodus was still a secret the party of Eclectus and Laetus came to him and acknowledged [119] what had been done. On account of his excellence and reputation they were glad to select him. He, after seeing them and hearing their story, sent his most trustworthy comrade to view the body of Commodus. When the man confirmed the report of the act, he was then conveyed secretly into the camp and caused the soldiers consternation; but through the presence of the adherents of Laetus and by means of promises [120] to give them three thousand denarii per man, he won them over. They would certainly have remained content, had he not phrased the conclusion of his speech somewhat as follows: "There are many unpleasant features, fellow-soldiers, in the present situation, but the rest with your help shall be set right again." On hearing this they took occasion to suspect that all the irregular privileges granted them by Commodus would be abolished. Though irritated, they nevertheless remained quiet, concealing their anger.

On leaving the fortifications he came to the senate-house while it was still night, and after greeting us (so far as a man might approach him in the midst of such a jostling throng) he said in an impromptu way: "I have been named emperor by the soldiers; however, I don't desire the office and am going to resign it this very day because of my age and health and the unpleasant condition of affairs." This was no sooner said than we gave the selection our genuine approbation and chose him in very truth; for he was noble in spirit and strong in body, except that he walked a little lame.

In this way was Pertinax declared emperor and Commodus an enemy, while both senate and people denounced the latter long and savagely. They desired to hale away his body and tear it limb from limb, as they did his images; but, when Pertinax told them that the corpse had already been interred, they spared his remains but glutted their rage on his representations, calling him all sorts of names. But "Commodus" or "emperor" were two that no one applied to him. In stead, they termed him "wretch" and "tyrant," adding in jest titles like "the gladiator," "the charioteer," "the left-handed," "the ruptured man." To the senators, who had been excited most by fear of Commodus, the crowd called out: "Huzza, huzza, you are saved, you have conquered!" All the shouts that they had been accustomed to raise with a kind of rhythmic swing to pay court to Commodus in the theatres they now chanted metamorphosed into the most ridiculous nonsense. Since they had got rid of one ruler, and as yet had nothing to fear from his successor, they made the most of their freedom in the intervening time and secured a reputation for frankness by their fearlessness. They were not satisfied merely to be relieved of further terror, but desired to show their courage by wanton insolence.

[Public opinion regarding Pertinax was so different from that in the case of Commodus that those who heard what had happened, suspecting that this story had been spread by Commodus to test them, in several instances (governors of provinces being particularly involved) imprisoned the men who brought the news. It was not that they did not wish it to be true, but they were more afraid of seeming to have helped destroy Commodus than of not attaching themselves to Pertinax. For under the latter one who even committed an error of this kind might still breathe freely, but under the former not even a faultless person could feel safe.]

Pertinax was a Ligurian from Alba Pompeia; his father was not of noble birth and he himself had just enough literary training for ordinary needs. Under these conditions he had become an associate of Claudius Pompeianus, through whose influence he had become a commander in the cavalry, and had reached such a height that he now came to be emperor over his former friend. And I at that time, during the reign of Pertinax, saw Pompeianus for the first and last occasion. He was wont to live mostly in the country on account of Commodus [and very seldom came down to the city] , making his age and a disease of the eyes his excuse [and he had never before, when I was present, entered the senate] . Moreover, after Pertinax he was always ill. [During his reign he saw and was well [121] and advised.] Pertinax honored him mightily in every way and in the senate made him take the seat beside him. [The same privilege he accorded also to Acilius Glabrio. This man, too, at that period both heard and saw. It was to these, then, that he granted such surpassing honor.] Toward us also he behaved in a very sociable way. He was easy of access, listened readily to any one's request, and cordially answered as he thought right. Again, he gave us banquets marked by moderation. Whenever he failed to invite us, he would send to various persons various foods, even the least costly. For this the wealthy and vainglorious made great sport of him, but the rest of us, who valued excellence above debauchery, approved his course.

While he was still in Britain, after that great revolt which he quelled, and was being accorded praise on all sides, a horse named Pertinax won a race at Rome. It belonged to the Greens and was picked as a winner by Commodus. So, when its partisans raised a great shout, proclaiming "It is Pertinax," the others, their opponents, in disgust at Commodus likewise prayed (speaking with reference to the man, not the horse): "Would that it might be so!" Later, when this same horse by reason of age had given up racing and was in the country, it was sent for by Commodus, who brought it into the hippodrome, gilded its hoofs, and adorned its back with a gilded skin. And people suddenly seeing it cried out again: "It is Pertinax!" The very expression was itself ominous, since it occurred at the last horse-race that year, and immediately after it the sovereignty passed to Pertinax. A similar import was attached to the club, for Commodus when about to fight on the final day had given it to Pertinax.

It was in this way that Pertinax came into power. He obtained all the proper titles and a new one for wishing to be democratic. That is, he was named Princeps Senatus, according to ancient custom. He at once reduced to order everything that was previously irregular and lacking in discipline. He showed in his capacity of emperor kindliness and uprightness, unimpeachable management, and a most careful consideration for the public welfare. Pertinax did everything, in fact, that a good emperor should do, and he removed the stigma of disgrace from the memories of those who had been unjustly put to death; moreover, he took oath that he would never sanction such a penalty. Immediately some recalled their relatives and some their friends with tears and joy at once; formerly not even these exhibitions of emotion were allowed. After this they exhumed the bodies, some of which were found entire and some in fragments, according as decay and time had caused each of them to fare, and they gave them decent treatment and deposited them in their ancestral tombs.

At this time the treasury was suffering from such lack of funds that only twenty-five myriad denarii could be found. Pertinax therefore had difficulty in raising money from the images and the arms, the horses and the trappings, and the favorites of Commodus, but gave to the Pretorians all that he had promised and to the people one hundred denarii apiece. All the articles that Commodus had gathered by way of luxury and for armed combats and for chariot driving were exposed in the auction-room, the principal object sought being their sale, though there was a further intention to show what were the late emperor's deeds and practices and to ascertain who would purchase such articles.

Laetus consistently spoke well of Pertinax and abused Commodus [relating all the latter's evil deeds] .

He [
122] summoned some barbarians that had received a large sum of gold coin from Commodus in return for preservation of peace (the party was already on the road) and demanded its return, saying: "Tell your people that Pertinax is ruler." The foreigners knew his name very well as a result of the reverses they had suffered when he made a campaign against them with Marcus.--Let me tell you another similar act of his intended to cast reflections upon Commodus. He found that some filthy clowns and buffoons, disgusting in appearance, with still more disgusting names and habits, had been made extremely wealthy by Commodus on account of their wantonness and licentiousness; accordingly, he made public their titles and the amounts they had acquired. The former caused laughter and the latter wrath and grief, for there were some of them that possessed just the sums for which the emperor had slain numbers of senators. However, Laetus did not remain permanently loyal to Pertinax, or perhaps we might even say not for a moment. Since he did not get what he wanted, he proceeded to incite the soldiers against him (as will be related).

Pertinax appointed as prefect of the city his father-in-law, Flavius Sulpicianus, a man who in any case deserved the position. Yet he was unwilling to make his wife Augusta or his son Caesar, though we voted him permission. He rejected emphatically each proposition, whether because he had not yet firmly rooted his own power, or because he did not choose to let his unchaste consort sully the name of Augusta. As for his son, who was still a child, he did not care to have him spoiled by the dignity [123] and the hope implied in the name before he should be educated. Indeed, he would not even bring him up in the palace, but on the very first day of his sovereignty he put aside everything that had belonged to him previously and divided it between his children--he had also a daughter--and gave orders that they should live at their grandfather's house; there he visited them occasionally in the capacity of father and not of emperor.

Now, since the soldiers were no longer allowed to plunder nor the Caesarians to indulge their licentiousness, they hated him bitterly. The Caesarians attempted no revolt, because they were unarmed, but the Pretorian soldiers and Laetus formed a plot against him. In the first place they selected Falco the consul for emperor, because he was prominent for both wealth and family, and purposed to bring him to the camp while Pertinax was at the coast investigating the corn supply. The latter, learning of the plan, returned in haste to the City, and coming before the senate said: "You should not be ignorant, Conscript Fathers, that though I found but twenty-five myriad denarii, I have distributed as much to the soldiers as did Marcus and Lucius, to whom were left sixty-seven thousand five hundred myriads. It is the surprising Caesarians who have been responsible for this deficiency of funds." Pertinax told a lie when he said that he had bestowed upon the soldiers an equal amount with Lucius and Marcus; for the one had given them about five thousand and the other about three thousand denarii apiece. The soldiers and the Caesarians, who were present in the senate in great numbers, became mightily indignant and muttered dangerously. But as we were about to condemn Falco [and were already declaring him an enemy] Pertinax rose and cried out: "Heaven forbid that any senator, while I am ruler, be put to death even for a just cause!" [And in this way Falco's life was saved, and thenceforth he lived in the country, preserving a cautious and respectful demeanor.]

But Laetus, using Falco as a starting point, destroyed many of the soldiers on the pretence that the emperor ordered it. The rest, when they became aware of it, were afraid that they should perish, too, and raised a tumult. Two hundred bolder than their mates invaded the palace with drawn swords. Pertinax had no warning of their approach until they had got upstairs. Then his wife rushed in and informed him what had happened. On learning this he behaved in a way which one may call noble or senseless or however one pleases. For, whereas he might probably have killed his assailants (since he had the night-guard and the cavalry by to protect him and there were also many other people in the palace at the time), or might at any rate have concealed himself and made his escape to some place or other, and might have closed the doors of the palace and the other intervening doors, he, nevertheless, adopted neither alternative. Instead, hoping to awe them by his presence and thus gain a hearing and persuade them to their duty, he confronted the approaching band, which was already indoors. No one of their fellow soldiers had barred the way, and the porters and other Caesarians so far from making any door fast had opened absolutely all the entrances. The soldiers, seeing him, at first were
abashed, save one, and rested their eyes on the floor and began thrusting their swords back into their scabbards. But the one exception leaped forward, exclaiming: "This sword the soldiers have sent you," and forthwith made a dash at him, striking him a blow. Then his comrades did not restrain themselves and felled their emperor together with Eclectus. The latter alone had not deserted him and defended him as far as he was able, even to the extent of wounding several. Wherefore I, who still earlier believed that he had shown himself a man of worth, now thoroughly admired him. The soldiers cut off the head of Pertinax and stuck it on a spear, glorying in the deed. Thus did Pertinax, who undertook to restore everything in a brief interval, meet his end. He did not comprehend, though a well trained man of affairs, that it is impossible with safety to reform everything at once, but that the constitution of a government requires, if anything does, both time and wisdom. He had lived sixty-seven years lacking four months and three days. He had reigned eighty-seven days.

When the fate of Pertinax was reported, some ran to their homes and some to those of the soldiers, and paid heed to their own safety. It happened that Sulpicianus had been despatched by Pertinax to the camp to set in order matters there, and he consequently stayed there and took action looking to the appointment of an emperor. But there was a certain Didius Julianus [of senatorial rank but eccentric character] , an insatiate money-getter and reckless spender, always anxious for a change in the government, who on account of the last named proclivity had been driven out by Commodus to his own city, Mediolanum. He, accordingly, on hearing of the death of Pertinax, hastily made his way to the camp, and standing near the gates of the fort made offers to the soldiers in regard to the Roman throne. Then ensued a most disgraceful affair and one unworthy of Rome. For just as is done in some market and auction-room, both the city and her whole empire were bid off. The sellers were the people who had killed their emperor, and the would-be buyers were Sulpicianus and Julianus, who vied to outbid each other, one from within, the other from without. By their increases they speedily reached the sum of five thousand denarii per man. Some of the guard kept reporting and saying to Julianus: "Sulpicianus is willing to give so much; now what will you add?" And again to Sulpicianus: "Julianus offers so much; how much more do you make it?" Sulpicianus would have won the day, since he was inside and was prefect of the city and was the first to say five thousand, had not Julianus raised his bid, and no longer by small degrees but by twelve hundred and fifty denarii at once, which he offered with a great shout, indicating the amount likewise on his fingers. Captivated by the difference and at the same time through fear that Sulpicianus might avenge Pertinax (an idea that Julianus put into their heads) they received the highest bidder inside and designated him emperor.

So toward evening the new ruler turned his steps with speed toward the Forum and senate-house. He was escorted by a vast number of Pretorians with numerous standards as if prepared for action, his object being to scare both us and the populace and thereby secure our allegiance. The soldiers called him "Commodus," and exalted him in various other ways. As the news was brought to us each individually, and we ascertained the truth, we were possessed with fear of Julianus and the soldiers, especially all of us who had [Lacuna] any favors for Pertinax. [124] [Lacuna] I was one of them, for I had been honored by Pertinax in various ways, owing to him my appointment as praetor, and when acting as advocate for others at trials I had frequently proved Julianus in the wrong on many points. Nevertheless, we put in an appearance, and partly for this very reason, since it did not seem to us to be safe to hide at home, for fear that act in itself might arouse suspicion. So when bath [125] and dinner were both over, we pushed our way through the soldiers, entered the senate-house, and heard the potentate deliver a characteristic speech, in the course of which he said: "I see that you need a ruler, and I myself am better fitted than any one else to direct you. And I should mention all the advantages I can offer, if you did not know them perfectly and had not already had experience with me. Consequently, I felt no need of being attended by many soldiers, but have come to you alone, that you may ratify what has been given me by them." "I am here alone" is what he said, when he had surrounded the entire exterior of the senate-house with heavily armed men and had a number of soldiers in the senate-house itself. Moreover, he mentioned our being aware what kind of person he was, and made us both hate and fear him.

In this way he got his imperial power confirmed also by decrees of the senate and returned to the palace. Finding the dinner that had been prepared for Pertinax he made great fun of it, and sending out to every place from which by any means whatever something expensive could be procured at that time of day he satisfied his hunger (the corpse was still lying in the building) and then proceeded to amuse himself by dicing. Among his companions was Pylades the dancer. The next day we went up to visit him, feigning in looks and behavior much that we did not feel, so as not to let our grief be detected. The populace, however, openly frowned upon the affair, spoke its mind as much at it pleased, and was ready to do what it could. Finally, when he came to the senate-house and was about to sacrifice to Janus before the entrance, all bawled out as if by preconcerted arrangement, terming him empire-plunderer and parricide. He affected not to be angry and promised them some money, whereupon they grew indignant at the implication that they could be bribed and all cried out together: "We don't want it, we won't take it!" The surrounding buildings echoed back the shout in a way to make one shudder. When Julianus had heard their response, he could endure it no longer, but ordered that those who stood nearest should be slain. That excited the populace a great deal more, and it did not cease expressing its longing for Pertinax or its abuse of Julianus, its invocations of the gods or its curses upon the soldiers. Though many were wounded and killed in many parts of the city, they continued to resist and finally seized weapons and made a rush into the hippodrome. There they spent the night and the ensuing day without food or drink, calling upon the remainder of the soldiery (especially Pescennius Niger and his followers in Syria) with prayers for assistance. Later, feeling the effects of their outcries and fasting and loss of sleep, they separated and kept quiet, awaiting the hoped for deliverance from abroad.

"I do not assist the populace: for it has not called upon me."

Julianus after seizing the power in this way managed affairs in a servile fashion, paying court to the senate as well as to men of any influence. Sometimes he made offers, again he bestowed gifts, and he laughed and sported with anybody and everybody. He was constantly going to the theatre and kept getting up banquets: in fine, he left nothing undone to win our favor. However, he was not trusted; his servility was so abject that it made him an object of suspicion. Everything out of the common, even if it seems to be a kindness to somebody, is regarded by men of sense as a trap.

The senate had at one time voted him a golden statue and he refused to accept it, saying: "Give me a bronze one so that it may last; for I perceive that the gold and silver statues of the emperors that ruled before me have been torn down, whereas the bronze ones remain." In this he was not right: since 'tis excellence that safeguards the memory of potentates. And the bronze statue that was bestowed upon him was torn down after he was overthrown.

This was what went on in Rome. Now I shall speak about what happened outside and the various revolutions. There were three men at this time who were commanding each three legions of citizens and many foreigners besides, and they all asserted their claims,--Severus, Niger, and Albinus. The last-named governed Britain, Severus Pannonia, and Niger Syria. These were the three persons darkly indicated by the three stars that suddenly came to view surrounding the sun, when Julianus in our presence was offering the Sacrifices of Entrance in front of the senate-house. These heavenly bodies were so very brilliant that the soldiers kept continually looking at them and pointing them out to one another, declaring moreover that some dreadful fate would befall the usurper. As for us, however much we hoped and prayed that it might so prove, yet the fear of the moment would not permit us to gaze at them, save by occasional glances. Such are the facts that I know about the matter.

Of the three leaders that I have mentioned Severus [was] the shrewdest [in being able to foresee the future with accuracy, to manage present affairs successfully, to ascertain everything concealed as well as if it had been laid bare and to work out every complicated situation with the greatest ease.] He understood in advance that after deposing Julianus the three would fall to blows with one another and offer combat for the possession of the empire, and therefore determined to win over the rival who was nearest him. So he sent a letter by one of his trusted managers to Albinus, creating him Caesar. Of Niger, who was proud of having been invoked by the people, he had no hopes. Albinus on the supposition that he was going to share the empire with Severus remained where he was: Severus made all strategic points in Europe, save Byzantium, his own and hastened toward Rome. He did not venture outside a protecting circle of weapons, having selected his six hundred most valiant men in whose midst he passed his time day and night; these did not once put off their breastplates until they reached Rome.

[This Fulvius [
126] (?) too, who when governor of Africa had been tried and condemned by Pertinax for rascality, avarice, and licentiousness, was later elevated to the highest position by the same man, now become emperor, as a favor to Severus.]

Julianus on learning the condition of affairs had the senate make Severus an enemy and proceeded to prepare against him. [In the suburbs he constructed a rampart, wherein he set gates, that he might take up a position there outside and fight from that base.] The City during these days became nothing more nor less than a camp, pitched, as it were, in hostile territory. There was great turmoil from the various bodies of those bivouacked and exercising,--men, horses, elephants. The mass of the population stood in great fear of the armed men [because the latter hated them.] Occasionally laughter would overcome us. The Pretorians did nothing that was expected of their name and reputation, for they had learned to live delicately. The men summoned from the fleet that lay at anchor in Misenum did not even know how to exercise. The elephants found the towers oppressive and so would not even carry their drivers any longer [but threw them off also] . What caused us most amusement was his strengthening the palace with latticed gates and strong doors. For, as it seemed likely that the soldiers would never have slain Pertinax so easily if the building had been securely fastened, Julianus harbored the belief that in case of defeat he would be able to shut himself up there and survive.

Moreover, he put to death both Laetus and Marcia, so that all the conspirators against Commodus had now perished. Later Severus gave Narcissus also to the beasts, making the proclamation (verbatim): "This is the man that strangled Commodus." The emperor likewise killed many boys for purposes of enchantments, thinking that he could avert some future calamities, if he should ascertain them in advance. And he kept sending man after man to find Severus and assassinate him. [Vespronius Candidus, a man of very distinguished rank but still more remarkable for his sullenness and boorishness, came near meeting his end at the hands of the soldiers.]

The avenger had now reached Italy and without striking a blow took possession of Ravenna. The men whom his opponent kept sending to him to either persuade him to turn back or else block his approaches were won over. The Pretorians, in whom Julianus reposed most confidence, were becoming worn out by constant toil and were getting terribly alarmed at the report of Severus's proximity. At this juncture Julianus called us together and bade us vote for Severus to be his colleague in office.

The soldiers were led to believe by communications from Severus that, if they would surrender the assassins of Pertinax and themselves offer no hostile demonstration, they should receive no harm; therefore they arrested the men who had killed Pertinax and announced this very fact to Silius Messala, the consul. The latter assembled us in the Athenaeum, [
127] so called from the fact that it was a seat of educational activity, and informed us of the news from the soldiers. We then sentenced Julianus to death, named Severus emperor, and bestowed heroic honors upon Pertinax. So it was that Julianus came to be slain as he was reclining in the palace itself; he had only time to say: "Why, what harm have I done? Whom have I killed?" He had lived sixty years, four months, and the same number of days, out of which he had reigned sixty-six days.

Dio, 74th Book: "Men of intelligence should neither begin a war nor seek to evade it when it is thrust upon them. They should rather grant pardon to him who voluntarily conducts himself properly, in spite Of any previous transgression, [Lacuna]



Q. Sosius Falco, C. Erucius Clarus.
(A.D. 193 = a.u. 946 = First of Severus, from the Calends of June).

I. Septimius Severus Aug. (II), D. Clodius Septimius Albinus Caes.
(A.D. 194 = a.u. 947 = Second of Severus).

Scapula Tertullus, Tineius Clemens.
(A.D. 195 = a.u. 948 = Third of Severus).

C. Domitius Dexter (II), L. Valerius Messala Priscus.
(A.D. 196 = a.u. 949 = Fourth of Severus).

Severus upon becoming emperor in the manner described punished with death the | Pretorians | who had contrived the fate of Pertinax. Before reaching Rome he summoned those remaining [Pretorians] , surrounded them in a plain while they still did not know what was going to happen to them, and having reproached them long and bitterly for their transgression against their emperor he relieved them of their arms, took away their horses, and expelled them from Rome. The majority reluctantly proceeded to throw away their arms and let their horses go, and scattered uninjured, in their tunics. One man, as his horse refused to leave him, but kept following him and neighing, slew both the beast and himself. To the spectators it seemed that the horse also was glad to die.

When he had attended to this matter Severus entered Rome; he went as far as the gates on horseback and in cavalry costume, but from that point on changed to citizen's garb and walked. The entire army, both, infantry and cavalry, in full armor accompanied him. The spectacle proved the most brilliant of all that I have witnessed, for the whole city had been decked with wreaths of blossoms and laurel and besides being adorned with richly colored stuffs blazed with lights and burning incense. The population, clad in white and jubilant, gave utterance to many hopeful expressions. The soldiers were present, conspicuous by their arms, as if participating [
128] in some festival procession, and we, too, were walking about in our best attire. The crowd chafed in their eagerness to see him and to hear him say something, as if his voice had been somehow changed by his good fortune, and some of them held one another up aloft to get a look at him from a higher position.

Having entered in this style he began to make us rash promises, such as the good emperors of old had given, to the effect that he would not put any senator to death. He not only took oath concerning this matter, but what was of greater import he also ordered it ratified by public decree, and passed an ordinance that both the emperor and the person who helped him in any such deed should be considered an enemy,--themselves and also their children. Yet he was himself the first to break the law and instead of keeping it caused the death of many persons. Even Julius Solon himself, who framed this decree according to imperial mandate, was a little later murdered. The emperor did many things that were not to our liking. [He was blamed for making the city turbulent by the multitude of soldiers and he oppressed the commonwealth by excessive expenditure of funds: he was blamed most of all for placing his hope of safety in the strength of his army and not in the good-will of his companions.] But some found fault with him especially because, whereas it had been the custom for the body-guard to be drawn from Italy, Spain, Macedonia and Noricum only,--a plan which furnished men more distinguished in appearance and of simpler habits,--he had abolished this method, [He ruled that any vacancies should be filled from all the legions alike; this he did with the idea that he should find them as a result more conversant with military practices and should be setting up warfare as a kind of prize for the excellent. As a matter of fact he incidentally ruined all the most reliable men of military age in Italy, who turned their attention to robbery and gladiatorial fighting in place of the service that had previously claimed it.] and filled the city with a throng of motley soldiers, most savage in appearance, most terrifying in their talk, and most uncultured to associate with.

The signs which led him to expect the sovereignty were these. When he had been registered in the senate-house, it seemed to him in a vision that a she-wolf suckled him, as was the case with Romulus. On the occasion of his marrying Julia, Faustina, the wife of Marcus, prepared their bedchamber in the temple of Venus opposite the palace; and once, when he was asleep, water gushed from his hand as from a spring; and when he was governor of Lugdunum, the whole Roman domain approached and greeted him,--all this in dreams, I mean. At another time he was taken by some one to a point affording a wide view; and as he gazed from it over all the earth and all the sea he laid his fingers on them as one might on some instrument [129] capable of all harmonies, and they answered to his touch. Again, he thought that in the Roman Forum a horse threw Pertinax, who was already mounted, but readily took him on its back. These things he had already learned from dreams, but in his waking hours he had, while a youth, ignorantly seated himself upon the imperial chair. This accident, taken with the rest, indicated rulership to him in advance.

Upon attaining that condition he erected a heroum to Pertinax and commanded that his name should be repeated in the course of all prayers and of all oaths. A gold image of him was ordered brought into the hippodrome on a car drawn by elephants and three gilded thrones for him conveyed into the remaining theatres. His funeral, in spite of the time elapsed since his death, took place as follows:

In the Forum Romanum a wooden platform was constructed hard by the stone one, upon which was set a building without walls but encompassed by columns, with elaborate ivory and gold decoration. In it a couch of similar material was placed, surrounded by heads of land and sea creatures, and adorned with purple coverlets interwoven with gold. Upon it had been laid a kind of wax image of Pertinax, arrayed in triumphal attire. A well-formed boy was scaring the flies away from it with peacock feathers, as though it were really a person sleeping. While it was lying there in state, Severus, we senators, and our wives approached, clad in mourning garb. [
130] The ladies sat in the porticos, and we under the open sky. After this there came forward, first, statues of all the famous ancient Romans, then choruses of boys and men, intoning a kind of mournful hymn to Pertinax. Next were all the subject nations, represented by bronze images, attired in native garb. And the guilds in the City itself,--those of the lictors and the scribes and the heralds, and all others of the sort,--followed on. Then came images of other men who were famous for some deed or invention or brilliant trait. Behind them were the cavalry and infantry in armor, the race-horses, and all the funeral offerings that the emperor and we and our wives, together with distinguished knights and peoples and the collegia of the city, had sent. They were accompanied by an altar, entirely gilded, the beauty of which was enhanced by ivory and Indic jewels.
When these had gone by, Severus mounted the Platform of the Beaks and read a eulogy of Pertinax. We shouted our approval many times in the midst of his discourse, partly praising and partly bewailing Pertinax, but our cries were loudest when he had ceased. Finally, as the couch was about to be moved, we all together uttered our lamentations and all shed tears. Those who carried the bier from the platform were the high priests and the officials who were completing their term of office, as well as any that had been appointed for the ensuing year. These gave it to certain knights to carry. The rank and file of us went ahead of the bier, some beating our breasts and others playing on the flute some dirge-like air; the emperor followed behind all, and in this order we arrived at the Campus Martius. Here there had been built a pyre, tower-shaped and triple pointed, adorned with ivory and gold together with certain statues. On its very summit was lodged a gilded chariot that Pertinax had been wont to drive. Into this the funeral offerings were cast and the bier was placed in it, and next Severus and the relatives of Pertinax kissed the image. Our monarch ascended a tribunal, while we the senate, except officials, took our places on the benches, that with safety and convenience alike we might view what went on. The magistrates and the equestrian order, arrayed in a manner becoming their station, besides the cavalry of the army and the infantry, passed in and out performing intricate evolutions, both traditional and newly invented. Then at length the consuls applied fire to the mound, which being done an eagle flew up from it. In this way was immortality secured for Pertinax [who (although bodies of men engaged in warfare usually turn out savage and those given to peace cowardly) excelled equally in both departments, being an enemy to dread, yet shrewd in the arts of peace. His boldness, wherein bravery appears, he displayed towards foreigners and rebels, but his clemency, wherewith is mingled justice, towards friends and the orderly elements of society. When advanced to preside over the destinies of the world, he was never ensnared by the increase of greatness so as to show himself in some things more subservient and in others more haughty than was fitting. He underwent no change from the beginning to the very end, but was august without sullenness, gentle without humiliating lowliness, prudent, yet did no injury, just without inquisitorial qualities, a close administrator without stinginess, highminded, but devoid of boasts.] Now Severus made a campaign against Niger. The latter was an Italian, one of the knights, remarkable for nothing either very good or very bad, so that one could either greatly praise or greatly censure him. [Wherefore he had been assigned to Syria by Commodus.] He had as a lieutenant, together with others, Aemilianus, who [by remaining neutral and watching the course of events] was thought to surpass all the senators of that day in understanding and in experience of affairs; for he had been tested in many provinces. [These conditions and the fact that he was a relative of Albinus had made him conceited.] [Niger was not in general a well-balanced man and though he had very great abilities still fell into error. But at this time he was more than usually elated, so that he showed how much he liked those who called him "the new Alexander"; and when one man asked, "Who gave you permission to do this?" he pointed to his sword and rejoined, "This did." When the
war broke out Niger had gone to Byzantium and from that point conducted a campaign against Perinthus. He was disturbed, however, by unfavorable omens that came to his notice. An eagle perched upon a military shrine and remained there till captured, in spite of attempts to scare it away. Bees made wax around the military standards and about his images most of all. For these reasons he retired to Byzantium.]

A.D. 194 (a.u. 947)
Now Aemilianus while engaged in conflict with some of the generals of Severus near Cyzicus was defeated by them and slain. After this, between the narrows of Nicaea and Cius, they had a great war of various forms. Some battled in close formation on the plains; others occupied the hill-crests and hurled stones and javelins at their opponents from the higher ground; still others got into boats and discharged their bows at the enemy from the lake. At first the adherents of Severus, under the direction of Candidus, were victorious; for they found their advantage in the higher ground from which they fought. But the moment Niger himself appeared a pursuit in turn was instituted by Niger's men and victory was on their side. Then Candidus caught hold of the standard bearers and turned them to face the enemy, upbraiding the soldiers for their flight; at this his followers were ashamed, turned back, and once more conquered those opposed to them. Indeed, they would have destroyed them utterly, had not the city been near and the night a dark one.

The next event was a tremendous battle at Issus, near the so-called Gates. In this contest Valerianus and Anullinus [131] commanded the army of Severus, whereas Niger was with his own ranks and marshaled them for war. This pass, the Cilician "Gates", [132] is so named on account of its narrowness. On the one side rise precipitous mountains, and on the other sheer cliffs descend to the sea. So Niger had here made a camp on a strong hill, and he put in front heavy-armed soldiers, next the javelin slingers and stone throwers, and behind all the archers. His purpose was that the foremost might thrust back such as assailed them in hand-to-hand conflict, while the others from a distance might be able to bring their force into play over the heads of the others. The detachment on the left and that on the right were defended by the sea-crags and by the forest, which had no issue. This is the way in which he arranged his army, and he stationed the beasts of burden close to it, in order that none of them should be able to flee in case they should wish it. Anullinus after making all this out placed in advance the heavier part of his force and behind it his entire light-armed contingent, to the end that the latter, though discharging their weapons from a distance might still retard the progress of the enemy, while the solidity of the advance guard rendered the upward passage safe for them. The cavalry he sent with Valerianus, bidding him, so far as he could, go around the forest and unexpectedly fall upon the troops of Niger from the rear. When they came to close quarters, the soldiers of Sevents placed some of their shields in front of them and held some above their heads, making a testudo, and in this formation they approached the enemy. So the battle was a drawn one for a long while, but eventually Niger's men got decidedly the advantage both by their numbers and by the topography of the country. They would have been entirely victorious, had not clouds gathered out of a clear sky and a wind arisen from a perfect calm, while there were crashes of thunder and sharp flashes of lightning and a violent rain beat in their faces. This did not trouble Severus's troops because it was behind them, but threw Niger's men into great confusion since it came right against them. Most important of all, the opportune character of this occurrence infused courage in the one side, which believed it was aided by Heaven, and fear in the other, which felt that the supernatural was warring against them; thus it made the former strong even beyond its own strength and terrified the latter in spite of real power. Just as they were fleeing Valerianus came in sight. Seeing him, they turned about, and after that, as Anullinus beat them back, retreated once more. Then they wandered about, running this way and that way, to see where they could break through.

It turned out that this was the greatest slaughter to take place during the war in question. Two myriads of Niger's followers perished utterly. The fact was indicated also by the priest's vision. While Severus was in Pannonia, the priest of Jupiter saw in a vision a black man force his way into the emperor's camps and meet his death by superior numbers. And by turning the name of Niger into Greek people recognized that he was the one meant by the "black" person mentioned. Directly Antioch had been captured (not long after) Niger fled from it, making the Euphrates his objective point, for he intended to seek refuge among the barbarians. His pursuers, however, overtook him; he was taken and had his head struck off. This head Severus sent to Byzantium and caused to be reared on a cross, that the sight of it might incline the Byzantines to his cause. The next move of Severus was to mete out justice to those who had belonged to Niger's party. [Of the cities and individuals he chastised some and rewarded others. He executed no Roman senator, but deprived most of them of their property and confined them on islands. He was merciless in his search for money. Among other measures he exacted four times the amount that any individuals or peoples had given to Niger, whether they had done so voluntarily or under compulsion. He himself doubtless perceived the injustice of it,] [133] but as he required great sums, he paid no attention to the common talk.

Cassius Clemens, a senator, while on trial before Severus himself, did not hide the truth but spoke with such frankness as the following report will show:

"I," he said, "was acquainted with neither you nor Niger, but as I found myself in his part of the world, I accepted the situation heartily, not with the idea of being hostile to you but with the purpose of deposing Julianus. I have, then, committed no wrong in this, since I labored originally for the same ends as you, nor should I be censured for failing to desert the master whom I had once secured by the will of Heaven and for not transferring my allegiance to you. You would not yourself have liked to have your intimate circle and fellow judges here betray your cause and go over to him. Examine therefore not our bodies nor our names but the events themselves. For in every point in which you condemn us you will be passing sentence upon yourself and your associates. However secure you may be from conviction in any suit or by any court finding, still, in the report of men, of which an eternal memory shall survive, you will be represented as making against yourself the same charges as have led to punishment [
134] in the case of others."--Severus admired this man for his frankness and allowed him to keep half his property.

[Many who had never even seen Niger and had not cooperated with him were victims of abuse on the charge that they had been members of his party.]

A.D. 195 (a.u. 948)
The Byzantines performed many remarkable deeds both during the life and after the death of Niger. This city is favorably located with reference both to the continents and to the sea that lies between them, and is strongly intrenched by the nature of its position as well as by that of the Bosporus. The town sits on high ground extending into the sea. The latter, rushing down from the Pontus with the speed of a mountain torrent assails the headland and in part is diverted to the right, forming there the bay and harbors. But the greater part of the water passes on with great energy past the city itself toward the Propontis. Moreover, the place had walls that were very strong. Their face was constructed of thick squared stones, fastened together by bronze plates, and the inner side of it had been strengthened with mounds and buildings so that the whole seemed to be one thick wall and the top of it formed a circuit betraying no flaws and easy to guard. Many large towers occupied an exposed position outside it, with windows set close together on every side so that those assaulting the fortification in a circle would be cut off between them. Being built at a short distance from the wall and not in a regular line, but one here and another there over a rather crooked route, they were sure to command both sides of any attacking party. Of the entire circuit the part on the land side reached a great height so as to repel any who came that way: the portion next to the sea was lower. There, the rocks on which it had been reared and the dangerous character of the Bosporus were effective allies. The harbors within the wall had both been closed with chains and their breakwaters carried towers projecting far out on each side, making approach impossible for the enemy. And, in fine, the Bosporus was of the greatest aid to the citizens. It was quite inevitable that once any person became entangled in its current he should willy-nilly be cast up on the land. This was a feature quite satisfactory to friends, but impossible for foes to deal with.

It was thus that Byzantium had been fortified. The engines, besides, the whole length of the wall, were of the most varied description. In one place they threw rocks and wooden beams upon parties approaching and in another they discharged stones and missiles and spears against such as stood at a distance. Hence over a considerable extent of territory no one could draw near them without danger. Still others had hooks, which they would let down suddenly and shortly after draw up boats and machines. Priscus, a fellow-citizen of mine, had designed most of them, and this fact both caused him to incur the death penalty and saved his life. For Severus, on learning his proficiency, prevented his being executed. Subsequently he employed him on various missions, among others at the siege of Hatra, and his contrivances were the only ones not burned by the barbarians. He also furnished the Byzantines with five hundred boats, mostly of one bank, but some of two banks, and equipped with beaks. A few of them were provided with rudders at both ends, stern and prow, and had a double quota of pilots and sailors in order that they might both attack and retire without turning around and damage their opponents while sailing back as well as while sailing forward.

Many, therefore, were the exploits and sufferings of the Byzantines, since for the entire space of three years they were besieged by the armaments of practically the whole world. A few of their experiences will be mentioned that seem almost marvelous. They captured, by making an opportune attack, some boats that sailed by and captured also some of the triremes that were in their opponents' roadstead. This they did by having divers cut their anchors under water, after which they drove nails into the ship's bottom and with cords attached thereto and running from friendly territory they would draw the vessel towards them. Hence one might see the ships approaching shore by themselves, with no oarsman nor wind to urge them forward. There were cases in which merchants purposely allowed themselves to be captured by the Byzantines, though pretending unwillingness, and after selling their wares for a huge price made their escape by sea.

A.D. 196 (a.u. 949)
When all the supplies in the town had been exhausted and the people had been set fairly in a strait with regard to both their situation and the expectations that might be founded upon it, at first, although beset by great difficulties (because they were cut off from all outside resources), they nevertheless continued to resist; and to make ships they used lumber taken from the houses and braided ropes of the hair of their women. Whenever any troops assaulted the wall, they would hurl upon them stones from the theatres, bronze horses, and whole statues of bronze. When even their normal food supply began to fail them, they proceeded to soak and eat hides. Then these, too, were used up, and the majority, having waited for rough water and a squall so that no one might man a ship to oppose them, sailed out with the determination either to perish or to secure provender. They assailed the countryside without warning and plundered every quarter indiscriminately. Those left behind committed a monstrous deed; for when they grew very faint, they turned against and devoured one another.

This was the condition of the men in the city. The rest, when they had laden their boats with more than the latter could bear, set sail after waiting this time also for a great storm. They did not succeed, however, in making any use of it. The Romans, noticing
A.D. 196 (a.u. 949)
that their vessels were overheavy and depressed almost to the water's edge, put out against them. They assailed the company, which was scattered about as wind and flood chose to dispose them, and really engaged in nothing like a naval contest but crushed the enemy's boats mercilessly, striking many with their boat-hooks, ripping up many with their beaks, and actually capsizing some by their mere onset. The victims were unable to do anything, however much they might have wished it: and when they attempted to flee in any direction either they would be sunk by force of the wind, which encountered them with the utmost violence, or else they would be overtaken by the enemy and destroyed. The inhabitants of Byzantium, as they watched this, for a time called unceasingly upon the gods and kept uttering now one shout and now another at the various events, according as each one was affected by the spectacle or the disaster enacted before his eyes. But when they saw their friends perishing all together, the united throng sent up a chorus of groans and wailings, and thereafter they mourned for the rest of the day and the whole night. The entire number of wrecks proved so great that some drifted upon the islands and the Asiatic coast, and the defeat became known by these relics before it was reported. The next day the Byzantines had the horror increased even above what it had been. For, when the surf had subsided, the whole sea in the vicinity of Byzantium was covered with corpses and wrecks with blood, and many of the remains were cast up on shore, with the result that the catastrophe, now seen in its details, appeared even worse than when in process of consummation.

The Byzantines straightway, though against their will, surrendered their city. The Romans executed all the soldiers and magistrates except the pugilist who had greatly aided the Byzantines and injured the Romans. He perished also, for in order to make the soldiers angry enough to destroy him he immediately hit one with his fist and with a leap gave another a violent kick.

Severus was so pleased at the capture of Byzantium that to his soldiers in Mesopotamia (where he was at this time) he said unreservedly: "We have taken Byzantium, too!" He deprived the city of its independence and of its civil rank, and made it tributary, confiscating the property of the citizens. He granted the town and its territory to the Perinthians, and the latter, treating it after the manner of a village, committed innumerable outrages. So far he seemed in a way to be justified in what he did. His demolition of the walls of the city grieved the inhabitants no more than did the loss of that reputation which the appearance of the walls had caused them to enjoy; and incidentally he had abolished a strong Roman outpost and base of operations against the barbarians from the Pontus and Asia. I was one that viewed the walls after they had fallen, and a person would have judged that they had been taken by some other people than the Romans. I had also seen them standing and had heard them "speak." There were seven towers extending from the Thracian gates to the sea. If a man approached any of these but the first, it was silent; but if he shouted a few words at that one or threw a stone at it, it not only echoed and spoke itself but caused the second to do the same thing. In this way the sound passed through them all alike, and they did not interrupt one another, but all in their proper turn, one receiving the impulse from the one before it, took up the echo and the voice and sent it on.



Scapula Tertullus, Tineius Clemens,
(A.D. 195 = a.u. 948 = Third of Severus, from the Calends of June).

C. Domitius Dexter (II), L. Valerius Messala Priscus.
(A.D. 196 = a.u. 949 = Fourth of Severus).

Ap. Claudius Lateranus, Rufinus.
(A.D. 197 = a.u. 950 = Fifth of Severus).

Ti. Saturninus, C. Gallus.
(A.D. 198 = a.u. 951 = Sixth of Severus).

P. Cornelius Anullinus, M. Aufidius Fronto.
(A.D. 199 = a.u. 952 = Seventh of Severus).

Ti. Claudius Severus, C. Aufidius Victorinus.
(A.D. 200 = a.u. 953 = Eighth of Severus).

L. Annius Fabianus, M. Nonius Mucianus.
(A.D. 201 = a.u. 954 = Ninth of Severus).

L. Septimius Severus Aug. (III), M. Aurel. Antoninus Aug.
(A.D. 202 = a.u. 955 = Tenth of Severus).

A.D. 195 (a.u. 948)
Of such a nature were the walls of Byzantium. During the progress of this siege Severus out of a desire for fame had made a campaign against the barbarians,--the Osrhoeni, the Adiabeni, and the Arabians. [The Osrhoeni and Adiabeni having revolted were besieging Nisibis: defeated by Severus they sent an embassy to him after the death of Niger, not to beg his clemency as wrongdoers but to demand reciprocal favors, pretending to have brought about the outcome for his benefit. It was for his sake, they said, that they had destroyed the soldiers who belonged to Niger's party. Indeed, they sent a few gifts to him and promised to restore the captives and whatever spoils were left. However, they were not willing either to abandon the walled towns they had captured or to accept the imposition of tributes, but they desired those in existence to be lifted from the country. It was this that led to the war just mentioned.]

When he had crossed the Euphrates and invaded hostile territory, where the country was destitute of water and at this summer season had become especially parched, he came dangerously near losing great numbers of soldiers. Wearied as they were by their tramping and the hot sun, clouds of dust that they encountered harrassed them greatly, so that they could no longer walk nor yet speak, but only utter the word "Water, water!" When [moisture] appeared, on account of [its] strangeness it attracted no more attention than if it had not been found, till Severus called for a cup, and having filled it with water drank it down in full view of all. Upon this some others likewise drank and were invigorated. Soon after Severus entered Nisibis and himself waited there, but despatched Lateranus and Candidus and Laetus severally among the aforementioned barbarians. These upon attaining their goals proceeded to lay waste the land of the barbarians and to capture their cities. While Severus was greatly priding himself upon this achievement and feeling that he surpassed all mankind in both understanding and bravery, a most unexpected event took place. One Claudius, a robber, who overran Judaea and Syria and was sought for in consequence with great hue and cry, came to him one day with horsemen, like some military tribune, and saluted and kissed him. The visitor was not discovered at the time nor was he later arrested. [And the Arabians, because none of their neighbors was willing to aid them, sent an embassy a second time to Severus making quite reasonable propositions. Still, they did not obtain what they wanted, inasmuch as they had not come in person.]

A.D. 196 (a.u. 949)
The Scythians, too, were in fighting humor, when at this juncture during a deliberation of theirs thunder and lightning-flashes with rain suddenly broke over them, and thunderbolts began to fall, killing their three foremost men. This caused them to hesitate.

Severus again made three divisions of his army, and giving one to Laetus, one to Anullinus, and one to Probus, sent them out against ARCHE [Lacuna] ; [
135] and they, invading it in three divisions, subdued it not without trouble. Severus bestowed some dignity upon Nisibis and entrusted the city to the care of a knight. He declared he had won a mighty territory and had rendered it a bulwark of Syria. It is shown, on the contrary, by the facts themselves that the place is responsible for our constant wars as well as for great expenditures. It yields very little and uses up vast sums. And having extended our borders to include men who are neighbors of the Medes and Parthians rather than of ourselves, we are always, one might say, fighting over those peoples.

Before Severus had had time to recover breath from his conflicts with the barbarians he found a civil war on his hands with Albinus, his Caesar. Severus after getting Niger out of the way was still not giving him the rank of Caesar and had ordered other details in that quarter as he pleased; and Albinus aspired to the preeminence of emperor. [136] While the whole world was moved by this state of affairs we senators kept quiet, at least so many of us as inclining openly neither to one man nor the other yet shared their dangers and hopes. But the populace could not restrain itself and showed its grief in the most violent fashion. It was at the last horse-race before the Saturnalia, and a countless throng of people flocked to it. I too was present at the spectacle because the consul was a friend of mine and I heard distinctly everything that was said,--a fact which renders me able to write a little about it.

It came about in this way. There had gathered (as I said) more people than could be computed and they had watched the chariots contesting in six divisions (which had been the way also in Oleander's time), applauding no one in any manner, as was the custom. When these races had ceased and the charioteers were about to begin another event, then they suddenly enjoined silence upon one another and all clapped their hands simultaneously, shouting, besides, and entreating good fortune for the public welfare. They first said this, and afterward, applying the terms "Queen" and "Immortal" to Rome, they roared: "How long are we to suffer such experiences?" and "Until when must we be at war?" And after making a few other remarks of this kind they finally cried out: "That's all there is to it!" and turned their attention to the equestrian contest. In all of this they were surely inspired by some divine afflation. For not otherwise could so many myriads of men have started to utter the same shouts at the same time like some carefully trained chorus or have spoken the words without mistake just as if they had practiced them.

This manifestation caused us still greater disturbance as did also the fact that so great a fire was of a sudden seen by night in the air toward the north that some thought that the whole city and others that the sky itself was burning. But the most remarkable fact I have to chronicle is that in clear weather a fine silvery rain descended upon the forum of Augustus, I did not see it in the air, but noticed it after it had fallen, and with it I silverplated some small bronze coins. These retained the same appearance for three days: on the fourth all the substance rubbed upon them had disappeared.

A certain Numerianus, who taught children their letters, started from Rome for Galatia with I know not what object, and by pretending to be a Roman senator sent by Severus to gather an army he collected at first just a small force by means of which he destroyed a few of Albinus's cavalry, whereupon he unblushingly made some further promises in behalf of Severus. Severus heard of this and thinking that he was really one of the senators sent him a message of praise and bade him acquire still greater power. The man did acquire greater power and gave many remarkable exhibitions of ability besides obtaining seventeen hundred and fifty myriads of denarii, which he forwarded to Severus. After the latter's victory Numerianus came to him, making no concealment, and did not ask to become in very truth a senator. Indeed, though he might have been exalted by great honors and wealth, he did not choose to accept them, but passed the remainder of his life in some country place, receiving from the emperor some small allowance for his daily subsistence.

A.D. 197 (a.u. 950)
The struggle between Severus and Albinus near Lugdunum is now to be described. At the outset there were a hundred and fifty thousand soldiers on each side. Both leaders took part in the war, since it was a race for life and death, though Severus had previously not been present at any important battle. Albinus excelled in rank and in education, but his adversary was superior in warfare and was a skillful commander. It happened that in a former battle Albinus had conquered Lupus, one of the generals of Severus, and had destroyed many of the soldiers attending him. The present conflict took many shapes and turns. The left wing of Albinus was beaten and sought refuge behind the rampart, whereupon Severus 's soldiers in their pursuit burst into the enclosure with them, slaughtered their opponents and plundered their tents. Meantime the soldiers of Albinus arrayed on the right wing, who had trenches hidden in front of them and pits in the earth covered over only on the surface, approached as far as these snares and hurled javelins from a distance. They did not go very far but turned back as if frightened, with the purpose of drawing their foes into pursuit. This actually took place. Severus's men, nettled by their brief charge and despising them for their retreat after so short an advance, rushed upon them without a thought that the whole intervening space could not be easily traversed. When they reached the trenches they were involved in a fearful catastrophe. The men in the front ranks as soon as the surface covering broke through fell into the excavations and those immediately behind stumbled over them, slipped, and likewise fell. The rest crowded back in terror, their retreat being so sudden that they themselves lost their footing, upset those in the rear, and pushed them into a deep ravine. Of course there was a terrible slaughter of these soldiers as well as of those who had fallen into the trenches, horses and men perishing in one wild mass. In the midst of this tumult the warriors between the ravine and the trenches were annihilated by showers of stones and arrows.

Severus seeing this came to their assistance with the Pretorians, but this step proved of so little benefit that he came near causing the ruin of the Pretorians and himself ran some risk through the loss of a horse. When he saw all his men in flight, he tore off his riding cloak and drawing his sword rushed among the fugitives, hoping either that they would be ashamed and turn back or that he might himself perish with them. Some did stop when they saw him in such an attitude, and turned back. Brought in this way face to face with the men close behind them they cut down not a few of them, thinking them to be followers of Albinus, and routed all their pursuers. At this moment the cavalry under Laetus came up from the side and decided the rest of the issue for them. Laetus, so long as the struggle was close, remained inactive, hoping that both parties would be destroyed and that whatever soldiers were left on both sides would give him supreme authority. When, however, he saw Severus's party getting the upper hand, he contributed to the result. So it was that Severus conquered.

Roman power had suffered a severe blow, since the numbers that fell on each side were beyond reckoning. Many even of the victors deplored the disaster, for the entire plain was seen to be covered with the bodies of men and horses. Some of them lay there exhausted by many wounds, others thoroughly mangled, and still others unwounded but buried under heaps. Weapons had been tossed about and blood flowed in streams, even swelling the rivers. Albinus took refuge in a house located near the Rhone, but when he saw all its environs guarded, he slew himself. I am not telling what Severus wrote about it, but what actually took place. The emperor after inspecting his body and feasting his eyes upon it to the full while he let his tongue indulge in appropriate utterances, ordered it,--all but the head,--to be cast out, and that he sent to Rome to be exposed on a cross. As he showed clearly by this action that he was very far from being an excellent ruler, he alarmed even more than before the populace and us by the commands which he issued. Now that he had vanquished all forces under arms he poured out upon the unarmed all the wrath he had nourished against them during the previous period. He terrified us most of all by declaring himself the son of Marcus and brother of Commodus; and to Commodus, whom but recently he was wont to abuse, he gave heroic honors.
While reading before the senate a speech in which he praised the severity and cruelty of Sulla and Marius and Augustus as rather the safer course, and deprecated the clemency of Pompey and Caesar because it had proved their ruin, he introduced a defence of Commodus, and inveighed against the senate for dishonoring him unjustly though the majority of their own body lived even worse lives. "For if", said he, "this is abominable, that he with his own hands should have killed beasts, yet at Ostia yesterday or the day before one of your number, an old man that had been consul, indulged publicly in play with a prostitute who imitated a leopard. 'He fought as a gladiator,' do you say? By Jupiter, does none of you fight as gladiator? If not, how is it and for what purpose that some persons have bought his shields and the famous golden helmets?" At the conclusion of this reading he released thirty-five prisoners charged with having taken Albinus's side and behaved toward them as if they had incurred no charge at all. They were among the foremost members of the senate. He condemned to death twenty-nine men, as one of whom was reckoned Sulpicianus, the father-in-law of Pertinax.

All pretended to sympathize with Severus but were confuted as often as a sudden piece of news arrived, not being able to conceal the sentiments hidden in their hearts. When off their guard they started at reports which happened to assail their ears without warning. In such ways, as well as through facial expression and habits of behavior, the feelings of every one of them became manifest. Some also by an excess of affectation only betrayed their attitude the more.

LXXIV, 9, 5
Severus endeavored in the case of those who were receiving vengeance at his hands [Lacuna] [
137] to employ Erucius Clarus [138] as informer against them, that he might both put the man in an unpleasant position and be thought to have more fully justified conviction in view of his witness's family and reputation. He promised Clarus to grant him safety and immunity. But when the latter chose rather to die than to make any such revelations, he turned to Julianus and persuaded him to play the part. For this willingness he released him in so far as not to kill nor disenfranchise him; but he carefully verified all his statements by tortures and regarded as of no value his existing reputation.

[In Britain at this period, because the Caledonians did not abide by their promises but made preparations to aid the Maeatians, and because Severus at the time was attending to the war abroad, Lupus was compelled to purchase peace for the Maeatians at a high figure, and recovered some few captives.]

A.D. 198 (a.u. 951)
The next thing Severus did was to make a campaign against the Parthians. While he was busied with civil wars, they had been free from molestation and had thus been able by an expedition in full force to capture Mesopotamia. They also came very near reducing Nisbis, and would have done so, had not Laetus, who was besieged there, preserved the place. Though previously noted for other political and private and public excellences, in peace as well as in wars, he derived even greater glory from this exploit. Severus on reaching the aforesaid Nisibis encountered an enormous boar. With its charge it killed a horseman who, trusting to his own strength, attempted to run it down, and it was with difficulty stopped and killed by many soldiers,--thirty being the number required to stop it; the beast was then conveyed to Severus.

The Parthians did not wait for him but retired homeward. (Their leader was Vologaesus, whose brother was accompanying Severus). Hence Severus equipped boats on the Euphrates and reached him partly by marching, partly by sailing. The newly constructed vessels were exceedingly manageable and well appointed, for the forest along the Euphrates and those regions in general afforded the emperor an abundant supply of timber. Thus he soon had seized Seleucia and Babylon, both of which had been abandoned. Subsequently he captured Ctesiphon and permitted his soldiers to plunder the whole town, causing a great slaughter of men and taking nearly ten myriads alive. However, he did not pursue Vologaesus nor yet occupy Ctesiphon, but as if the sole purpose of his campaign had been to plunder it, he thereupon departed. This action was due partly to lack of acquaintance with the country and partly to dearth of provisions. His return was made by a different route, because the wood and fodder found on the previous route had been exhausted. Some of his soldiers made their retreat by land along the Tigris, following the stream toward its source, and some on boats.

A.D. 199(?)
Next, Severus crossed Mesopotamia and made an attempt on Hatra, which was not far off, but accomplished nothing. In fact, even the engines were burned, many soldiers perished, and vast numbers were wounded. Therefore Severus retired from the place and shifted his quarters. While he was at war, he also put to death two distinguished men. The first was Julius Crispus, a tribune of the Pretorians. The cause of his execution was that indignant at the damage done by the war he had casually uttered a verse of the poet Maro, in which one of the soldiers fighting on the side of Turnus against Aeneas bewails his lot and says: "To enable Turnus to marry Lavinia we are meanwhile perishing, without heed being paid to us." [139] Severus made Valerius, the soldier who had accused him, tribune in his place. The other whom he killed was Laetus, and the reason was that Laetus was proud and was beloved by the soldiers. They often said they would not march, unless Laetus would lead them. The responsibility for this murder, for which he had no clear reason save jealousy, he fastened upon the soldiers, making it appear that they had ventured upon the act contrary to his will.

A.D. 200(?)
After laying in a large store of food and preparing many engines he in person again led an attack upon Hatra. He deemed it a disgrace, now that other points had been subdued, that this one alone, occupying a central position, should continue to resist. And he lost a large amount of money and all his engines except those of Priscus, as I stated earlier, [140] besides many soldiers. Numbers were annihilated in foraging expeditions, as the barbarian cavalry (I mean that of the Arabians) kept everywhere assailing them with precision and violence. The archery of the Atreni, too, was effective over a very long range. Some missiles they hurled from engines, striking many of Severus's men-at-arms, for they discharged two missiles in one and the same shot and there were also many hands and many arrows to inflict injury. They did their assailants the utmost damage, however, when the latter approached the wall, and in an even greater degree after they had broken down a little of it. Then they threw at them among other things the bituminous naphtha of which I wrote above [141] and set fire to the engines and all the soldiers that were struck with it. Severus observed proceedings from a lofty tribunal.
A portion of the outer circuit had fallen in one place and all the soldiers were eager to force their way inside the remainder, when Severus checked them from doing so by giving orders that the signal for retreat be sounded clearly on all sides. The fame of the place was great, since it contained enormous offerings to the Sun God and vast stores of valuables; and he expected that the Arabians would voluntarily come to terms in order to avoid being forcibly captured and enslaved. When, after letting one day elapse, no one made any formal proposition to him, he commanded the soldiers again to assault the wall, though it had been built up in the night. The Europeans who had the power to accomplish something were so angry that not one of them would any longer obey him, and some others, Syrians, compelled to go to the assault in their stead, were miserably destroyed. Thus Heaven, that rescued the city, caused Severus to recall the soldiers that could have entered it, and in turn when he later wished to take it caused the soldiers to prevent him from doing so. The situation placed Severus in such a dilemma that when some one of his followers promised him that, if he would give him only five hundred and fifty of the Europeans, he would get possession of the city without any risk to the rest, the emperor said within hearing of all: "And where can I get so many soldiers?" (referring to the disobedience of the soldiers).

A.D. 200 (a.u. 953)
Having prosecuted the siege for twenty days he next came to Palestine and sacrificed to the spirit of Pompey: and into [upper] Egypt [he sailed along the Nile and viewed the whole country, with some small exceptions. For instance, he was unable to pass the frontier of Ethiopia on account of pestilence.] And he made a search of everything, including what was very carefully hidden, for he was the sort of man to leave nothing, human or divine, uninvestigated. Following this tendency he drew from practically all their hiding places all the books that he could find containing anything secret, and he closed the monument of Alexander, to the end that no one should either behold his body any more or read what was written in these books.

This was what he did. For myself, there is no need that I should write in general about Egypt, but what I know about the Nile through verifying statements from many sources I am bound to mention. It clearly rises in Mount Atlas. This lies in Macennitis, close to the Western ocean itself, and towers far above all mountains, wherefore the poets have called it "Pillar of the Sky." No one ever ascended its summits nor saw its topmost peaks. Hence it is always covered with snow, which in summer time sends down great quantities of water. The whole country about its base is in general marshy, but at this season becomes even more so, with the result that it swells the size of the Nile at harvest time. This is the river's source, as is evidenced by the crocodiles and other beasts that are born alike on both sides of it. Let no one be surprised that we have made pronouncements unknown to the ancient Greeks. The Macennitae live near lower Mauretania and many of the people who go on campaigns there also visit Atlas. It is thus that the matter stands.

Plautianus, who enjoyed the special favor of Severus and had the authority of prefect, besides possessing the fullest and greatest influence on earth, had put to death many men of renown and his own peers [Lacuna] [After killing Aemilius Saturninus he took away all the most important prerogatives belonging to the minor officers of the Pretorians, his subordinates, in order that none of them might be so elated by his position of eminence as to lie in wait for the captaincy of the body-guards. Already it was his wish to be not simply the only but a perpetual prefect.] He wanted everything, asked everything from everybody, and got everything. He left no province and no city unplundered, but sacked and gathered everything from all sides. All sent a great deal more to him than they did to Severus. Finally he sent centurions and stole tiger-striped horses sacred [142] to the Sun God from the island in the Red Sea. This mere statement, I think, must instantly make plain all his officiousness and greediness. Yet, on second thought, I will add one thing more. At home he castrated one hundred nobly born Roman citizens, though none of us knew of it until after he was dead. From this fact one may comprehend the extent alike of his lawlessness and of his authority. He castrated not merely boys or youths, but grown men, some of whom had wives; his object was that Plautilla his daughter (whom Antoninus afterward married) should be waited upon entirely by eunuchs [and also have them to give her instruction in music and other branches of art. So we beheld the same persons eunuchs and men, fathers and impotent, gelded and bearded. In view of this one might not improperly declare that Plautianus had power beyond all men, over even the emperors themselves. For one thing, his portrait statues were not only far more numerous but also larger than theirs, and this not simply in outside cities but in Rome itself, and they were at this time reared not merely by individuals but by no less a body than the senate itself. All the soldiers and the senators took oaths by his Fortune and all publicly offered prayer for his preservation.

The person principally responsible for this state of affairs was Severus himself. He yielded to Plautianus in all matters to such a degree that the latter occupied the position of emperor and he himself that of prefect. In short, the man knew absolutely everything that Severus said and did, but not a person was acquainted with any of Plautianus's secrets. The emperor made advances to his daughter on behalf of his own son, passing by many other maidens of high rank. He appointed him consul and virtually showed an anxiety to have him for successor in the imperial office. Indeed, once he did say in a letter: "I love the man so much that I pray to die before he does."]

[Lacuna] so that [Lacuna] some one actually dared to write to him as to a fourth Caesar. Though many decrees in his honor were passed by the senate he accepted only a few of them, saying to the senators: "It is through your hearts that you show your love for me, not through your decrees."

At temporary stopping-places he endured seeing him located in superior quarters and enjoying better and more abundant food than he. Hence in Nicaea (my native country) when he once wanted a hammer-fish, large specimens of which are found in the lake, he sent to Plautianus to get it. So if he thought at all of doing aught to diminish this minister's leadership, yet the opposite party, which contained far greater and more brilliant members, saw to it that any such plan was frustrated. On one occasion Severus went to visit him, when he had fallen sick at Tyana, and the soldiers attached to Plautianus would not allow the visitor's escort to enter with him. Moreover, the person who arranged cases to be pled before Severus was once ordered by the latter in a moment of leisure to bring forward some case or other, whereupon the fellow refused, saying: "I can not do this, unless Plautianus bid me." So greatly did Plautianus have the mastery in every way over the emperor that he [frequently treated] Julia Augusta [in an outrageous way,--for he detested her cordially,--and] was always abusing [her violently] to Severus, and conducted investigations against her as well as tortures of noble women. For this reason she began to study philosophy and passed her days in the company of learned men.--As for Plautianus, he proved himself the most licentious of men, for he would go to banquets and vomit meantime, inasmuch as the mass of foods and wine that he swallowed made it impossible for him to digest anything. And whereas he made use of lads and girls in perfectly notorious fashion, he would not permit his own wife to see or be seen by any person whomsoever, not even by Severus or Julia [to say nothing of others] .

At this period there took place also a gymnastic [143] contest, at which so great a multitude assembled under compulsion that we wondered how the race-course could hold them all. And in this contest Alamanni [144] women fought most ferociously, with the result that jokes were made about other ladies, who were very distinguished. Therefore, from this time on every woman, no matter what her origin, was prohibited from fighting in the arena.

On one occasion a good many images of Plautianus were made (what happened is worth relating) and Severus, being displeased at their number, melted down some of them. As a consequence a rumor penetrated the cities to the effect that the prefect had been overthrown and had perished. So some of them demolished his images,--an act for which they were afterward punished. Among these was the governor of Sardinia, Racius Constans, a very famous man, whom I have mentioned, however, for a particular reason. The orator who accused Constans had made this statement in addition to others: "Sooner may the sky collapse than Plautianus suffer any harm at the hands of Severus, and with greater cause might any one believe even that report, were any story of the sort circulated." Now, though the orator made this declaration, and though moreover Severus himself volubly affirmed it to us, who were helping him try the case, and stated "it is impossible for Plautianus to come to any harm at my hands," still, this very Plautianus did not live the year out, but was slain and all his images destroyed.--Previous to this a vast sea-monster had come ashore in the harbor named for Augustus, and had been captured. A representation of him, taken into the hunting-theatre, admitted fifty bears in its interior. Again, for many days a comet star had been seen in Rome and was said to portend nothing favorable.



L. Septimius Severus Aug. (III), M. Aur. Antoninus Aug.
(A.D. 202 = a.u. 955 = Tenth of Severus, from the Calends of June).

P. Septimius Geta, Fulvius Plautianus (II).
(A.D. 203 = a.u. 956 = Eleventh of Severus).

L. Fabius Septimius Cilo (II), L. Flavius Libo.
(A.D. 204 = a.u. 957 = Twelfth of Severus).

M. Aur. Antoninus Aug. (II), P. Septimius Geta Caesar.
(A.D. 205 = a.u. 958 = Thirteenth of Severus).

Nummius Albinus, Fulv. Aemilianus.
(A.D. 206 = a.u. 959 = Fourteenth of Severus).

Aper, Maximus.
(A.D. 207 = a.u. 960 = Fifteenth of Severus).

M. Aur. Antoninus Aug. (III), P. Septim. Geta Caesar (II).
(A.D. 208 = a.u. 961 = Sixteenth of Severus).

Civica Pompeianus, Lollianus Avitus.
(A.D. 209 = a.u. 962 = Seventeenth of Severus).

M. Acilius Faustinus, Triarius Rufinus.
(A.D. 210 = a.u. 963 = Eighteenth of Severus).

Q. Epid. Ruf. Lollianus Gentianus, Pomponius Bassus.
(A.D. 211 = a.u. 964 = Nineteenth of Severus, to Feb. 4th).

A.D. 202 (a.u. 955)
Severus to celebrate the first decade of his reign presented to the entire populace accustomed to receive dole and to the soldiers of the pretorian guard gold pieces equal in number to the years of his sovereignty. He took the greatest delight in this achievement, and, as a matter of fact, no one had ever before given so much to whole masses of people. Upon this gift five hundred myriads of denarii were expended. Another event was the marriage between Antoninus, son of Severus, and Plautilla, the daughter of Plautianus. The latter gave as much for his daughter's dowry as would have sufficed for fifty women of royal rank. We saw the gifts as they were being carried through the Forum into the palace. We were banqueted, likewise, in the meantime, partly in royal and partly in barbarian fashion on whatever is regularly eaten cooked or raw, and we received other animal food also alive. At this time, too, there occurred all sorts of spectacles in honor of Severus's return, the completion of his first decade, and his victories. At these spectacles sixty wild boars of Plautianus upon a given signal began a combat with one another, and there were slain (besides many other beasts) an elephant and a crocotta. [145] The last named animal is of Indian origin, and was then for the first time, so far as I am aware, introduced into Rome. It has the skin of lion and tiger mingled and the appearance of those animals, as also of the wolf and fox, curiously blended. The entire cage in the theatre had been so constructed as to resemble a boat in form, so that it would both receive and discharge four hundred beasts at once, [146] and then, as it suddenly fell apart, there came rushing up bears, lionesses, panthers, lions, ostriches, wild asses, bisons (this is a kind of cattle of foreign species and appearance),--the result being that altogether seven hundred wild and tame beasts at once were seen running about and were slaughtered. For, to correspond with the duration of the festival, seven days, the number of animals was also seven times one hundred.

On Mount Vesuvius a great gush of fire burst out and there were bellowings mighty enough to be heard in Capua, where I live whenever I am in Italy. This place I have selected for various reasons, chief of which is its quiet, that enables me to get leisure from city affairs and to write on this compilation. As a result of the Vesuvian phenomena it was believed that there would be a change in the political status of Plautianus. In very truth Plautianus had grown great and more than great, so that even the populace at the hippodrome exclaimed: "Why do you tremble? Why are you pale? You possess more than the three." They did not say this to his face, of course, but differently. And by "three" they indicated Severus and his sons, Antoninus and Geta. Plautianus's pallor and his trembling were in fact due to the life that he lived, the hopes that he hoped, and the fears that he feared. Still, for a time most of this eluded Severus's individual notice, or else he knew it but pretended the opposite. When, however, his brother Geta on his deathbed revealed to him the whole attitude of Plautianus,--for Geta hated the prefect and now no longer feared him,--the emperor set up a bronze statue of his brother in the Forum and no longer held his minister in equal honor; indeed, the latter was stripped of most of his power. Hence
A.D. 203 (a.u. 956)
Plautianus became violently enraged, and whereas he had formerly hated Antoninus for slighting his daughter, he was now especially indignant, feeling that his son-in-law was responsible for his present disgrace, and began to behave more harshly toward him.
For these reasons Antoninus became both disgusted with his wife (who was a most shameless creature), and offended at her father himself, because the latter kept meddling in all his undertakings and rebuking him for everything that he did. Conceiving a desire to be rid of the man in some way or other he accordingly had Euodus, his nurse, persuade a certain centurion, Saturninus, and two others of similar rank to bring him word that Plautianus had ordered some ten centurions, to whose number they also belonged, to kill both Severus and Antoninus; and they read a certain writing which they pretended to have received bearing upon this very matter. This was done as a surprise at the observances held in the palace in honor of the heroes, at a time when the spectacle had ceased and dinner was about to be served. That fact was largely instrumental in showing the story to be a fabrication. Plautianus would never have dared to impose such a bidding upon ten centurions at once, certainly not in Rome, certainly not in the palace, nor on that day, nor at that hour; much less would he have written it. Nevertheless, Severus believed the information trustworthy because he had the night before seen in a dream Albinus alive and plotting against him.
In haste, therefore, he summoned Plautianus, as if upon some other business. The latter hurried so (or rather, Heaven so indicated to him approaching disaster) that the mules that were carrying him fell in the palace yard. And when he sought to enter, the porters in charge of the bolts admitted him alone inside and would permit no one to enter with him, just as he himself had done in the case of Severus at Tyana. He grew a little suspicious at this and became terrified; as he had, however, no pretext for withdrawing, he went in. Severus conversed with him very mildly: "Why have you seen fit to do this! For what reason have you wished to kill us?" He gave him opportunity to speak and prepared to listen to his defence.

In the midst of the accused's denial and surprise at what was said, Antoninus rushed up, took away his sword, and struck him with his fist. He was ready to put an end to Plautianus with his own hand after the latter said: "You wanted to get the start of me in any killing!" Being prevented, however, by his father, Antoninus ordered one of his attendants to slay Plautianus. Somebody plucked out a few hairs from his chin and carried them to Julia and Plautilla (who were together) before they had heard a word of the affair, and said: "Behold your Plautianus!" This speech aroused grief in one and joy in the other.

Thus the man who had possessed the greatest influence of all my contemporaries, so that everybody both feared and trembled before him more than before the very emperors, [
147] the man who had hung poised upon greater hopes than they, was slain by his son-in-law and thrown from the top of the palace into some street. Later, at the order of Severus, he was taken up and buried.

Severus next called a meeting of the senate in the senate-house. He uttered no accusation against Plautianus, but himself deplored the weakness of human nature, which was not able to endure excessive honors, and blamed himself that he had so honored and loved the man. Those, however, who had informed him of the victim's plot he bade tell us everything; but first he expelled from the senate-chamber some whose presence was not necessary, and by revealing nothing to them intimated that he did not altogether trust them.

Many were brought into danger by the Plautianus episode and some actually lost their lives. But Coeranus was accustomed to declare (what most people are given to pretending with reference to the fortunate) that he was his associate. As often as these friends of the prefect were wont to be called in before the others desiring to greet the great man, it was his custom to accompany them as far as the bars. So he did not share his secrets, but remained in the space midway, giving Plautianus the impression that he was outside and those outside the idea that he was within. This caused him to be the object of greater suspicion,--a feeling which was strengthened by the fact that Plautianus once in a dream saw fishes issue from the Tiber and fall at his feet, whereupon he declared that Coeranus should rule the land and water. This man, after being confined to an island for seven years, was later recalled, was the first Egyptian to be enrolled in the senate, and became consul, like Pompey, without holding any previous office. Caecilius Agricola, however, numbered among the deceased's foremost flatterers and second to no man on earth in rascality and licentiousness, was sentenced to death. He went home, and after drinking his fill of chilled wine, shattered the cup which had cost him five myriads, and cutting his veins fell dead upon the fragments.
As for Saturninus and Euodus, they were honored at the time but were later executed by Antoninus. While we were engaged in voting eulogies to Euodus, Severus restrained us by saying: "It is disgraceful that in one of your decrees there should be inscribed such a statement respecting a man that is a Caesarian." It was not the only instance of such an attitude, but he also refused to allow all the other imperial freedmen either to be insolent or to swagger; for this he was commended. The senate once, while chanting his praises, uttered without reserve no less a sentiment than this: "All do all things well since you rule well!"

Plautilla and Plautius, the children of Plautianus, were temporarily allowed to live, being banished to Lipara; but in the reign of Antoninus they were destroyed, though they had been existing in great fear and wretchedness and though their life was not even blessed by a goodly store of necessities.

The sons of Severus, Antoninus and Greta, felt as if they had got rid of a pedagogue in Plautianus, and their conduct was from this time on irresponsible. They outraged women and abused boys, they embezzled moneys and made friends of the gladiators and charioteers, emulating each other in the similarity of their deeds and full of strife in their respective rivalries. If one attached himself to any cause, the other would be sure to choose the opposite side. Finally, they were pitted against each other in some kind of exercise with teams of ponies and drove with such fierce opposition that Antoninus fell out of the two-wheeled car and broke his leg. [During his son's sickness that followed this accident Severus neglected not one of his duties, but held court and managed all affairs pertaining to his office. For this he was praised. But he was blamed for murdering Plautianus Quintillus. [148] He executed also many of the senators, some of whom had been accused before him, and made their defence and had been convicted. But Quintillus,] a man of noblest birth, for a long term of years counted among the foremost members of the senate, standing at the gates of old age, one who lived in the country, interfered in no one's business and did naught amiss, nevertheless became the prey of sycophants and was put out of the way. As he was near death he called for his funeral garments, which he had long since kept in readiness. On seeing that they had fallen to pieces through lapse of time, he said: "Why did we delay this!" And as he perfumed the place with burning incense, he remarked: "I offer the same prayer as Servianus offered over Hadrian." [149] --Besides his death there were also gladiatorial contests, in which among other features ten tigers were slaughtered at once.

After this came the dénouement of the Apronianus affair,--a startling story even in the hearing. He incurred censure because his nurse is said to have seen once in a vision that he should enjoy sovereignty, and because he was believed to employ some magic to this end. He was condemned while absent in his governorship of Asia. When the evidence taken in his case was read to us, there was found written there this statement,--that one person in charge of the investigation had enquired who had told the dream and who had heard it, and that the man interrogated had said among other things: "I saw a certain baldheaded senator taking a peep there." On hearing this we all became terror-stricken, for neither had the man spoken nor Severus written any one's name. In their state of panic even those who had never visited the house of Apronianus, and not only the baldheaded but those whose foreheads were indifferently bare grew afraid. No one felt easy save those who had unusually thick hair. We all looked around at such men, and a whisper ran about: "It's so-and-so. No, it's so-and-so." I will not conceal how I was then affected, however absurd it may be. I felt with my hand to see whether I had any hair on my head; and a number of others behaved in the very same way. We were very careful to direct our gaze upon baldish persons as if we could thereby divert our own danger upon them. This we did until it was further read that the particular baldhead in question wore a purple toga. When this statement came out, we turned our eyes upon Baebius Marcellinus. He had been aedile at the time and was extremely bald. So he stood up and coming forward said: "He will certainly be able to point me out, if he has seen me." We commended this speech, the informer was brought in while the senator stood by, and for a long time was silent, looking about for the man to point out. Finally, following the direction of an almost imperceptible nod that somebody gave, he said that this was he.

Thus was Marcellinus convicted of a baldhead's peeping, [150] and bewailing his fate he was conducted out of the senate-house. When he had passed through the Forum, he refused to advance farther, but right where he was took leave of his children, four in number, and uttered this most affecting speech: "There is only one thing that I am sorry for, children; it is that I must leave you behind alive." Then he had his head cut off before Severus learned even that he had been condemned.

Just vengeance, however, befell Pollenius Sebennus, who had preferred the charge that caused his death. He was delivered by Sabinus to the Norici, for whom he had shown scant consideration during his governorship of them, and went through a most disgraceful experience. We saw him stretched on the ground, pleading piteously, and had he not obtained mercy, thanks to his uncle Auspex, [151] he would have perished pitiably. This Auspex was the cleverest imaginable man for jokes and chit-chat, for despising all mankind, gratifying his friends, and making reprisals upon his enemy. Many bitter and witty epigrams of his spoken to various people are reported, and many to Severus himself. Here is one of the latter. When the emperor was enrolled in the family of Marcus, Auspex said: "I congratulate you, Caesar, upon having found a father." This implied that up to this time his obscure origin had made him as good as fatherless.

A.D. 206-7(?)
It was at this period that one Bulla, an Italian, established a robber band of about six hundred men and for two years continued to plunder Italy under the very noses of the emperors and of so great bodies of soldiers. Pursuit was instituted by numerous persons, and Severus emulously followed his trail, but the fellow was never really seen when seen, never found when found, never apprehended when caught. This was due to his great bribes and his cleverness. He got wind of everybody that was setting out from Rome and everybody that was putting into port at Brundusium, learning who and how many they were, and what and how much they had with them. His general method was to take a part of what they had and then let them go at once. Artisans, however, he detained for a time and after making use of their skill dismissed them with something extra as a present. Once two of his robbers had been captured and were to be given to beasts, whereupon the chief paid a visit to the keeper of the prison, pretending that he was the governor of his native place (?) and needed some such men, and in this way he secured and saved them. Again, he approached the centurion who was charged with abolishing brigandage and in disguise accused his own self; he further promised, if the centurion would accompany him, to deliver the robber to him. So, pretending that he was leading him to Felix (this was another name of the chief), he brought him to a hill-encompassed spot, suitable for ambuscade, and easily seized him. Later he assumed the garb of a magistrate, ascended the tribunal, and having called the centurion caused his head to be shaved, and said: "Take this message to your masters: 'Feed your slaves, if you want to make an end of brigandage.'" Bulla had, indeed, a very great number of Caesarians, some who had been poorly paid and some who had gone absolutely without pay.

Severus, informed of these events one at a time, was moved to anger to think that while having other men win victory in warfare in Britain, he himself in Italy had proved no match for a robber. At last he despatched a tribune from his body-guard with many horsemen and threatened him with terrible punishments if he should not bring the culprit alive. Then this commander ascertained that the chief was maintaining relations of intimacy with the wife of another, and through the agency of her husband persuaded her on promise of immunity to cooperate with them. As a result the elusive leader was arrested while asleep in a cave. Papinianus the prefect asked him: "For what reason did you become a robber?" The other rejoined: "For what reason are you a prefect?" And thereafter by solemn proclamation he was given to beasts. His robber band broke up, for the entire strength of the six hundred lay in him.

A.D. 208 (a.u. 961)
Severus, seeing that his children were departing from their accustomed modes of life and that his legions were becoming enervated by idleness, set out on a campaign against Britain, though he knew that he should not return. He knew this chiefly from the stars under which he had been born, for he had them painted upon the ceilings of the two halls in the palace where he was wont to hold court. Thus they were visible to all, save the portion which "regarded-the-hour" when he first saw the light (i.e., his horo-scope). This he had not engraved in the same way in both the rooms.--He knew it also by the report of the seers. And a thunderbolt struck a statue of his standing near the gates through which he intended to march out and looking off along the road leading to his destination, and it had erased three letters from his name. For this reason, [152] as the seers indicated, he did not come back again but departed from life two years after this. He took with him very great sums of money.

There are two principal races of the Britons,--the Caledonians and the Maeatians. The titles of the rest have all been reduced to these two. The Maeatians live near the cross wall which cuts the island in two, and the Caledonians are behind them. Both inhabit wild and waterless mountains, desolate and swampy plains, holding no walls, nor cities, nor tilled fields, but living by pasturage and hunting and a few fruit trees. The fish, which are inexhaustible and past computing for multitude, they do not taste. They dwell coatless and shoeless in tents, possess their women in common, and rear all the offspring as a community. Their form of government is mostly democratic and they are very fond of plundering.

Consequently they choose their boldest spirits as leaders. They go into battle on chariots with small, swift horses. There are also infantry, very quick at running and very firm in standing their ground. Their weapons are shield and short spear, with a bronze apple attached to the end of the ground-spike, so that when the instrument is shaken it may clash and inspire the enemy with terror. They also have daggers. They can endure hunger and cold and any kind of wretchedness. They plunge into the swamps and exist there for many days with only their heads above water, and in the forests they support themselves upon bark and roots and in all [
153] cases they have ready a kind of food of which a piece the size of a bean when eaten prevents them from being either hungry or thirsty. Of such a nature is the island of Britain, and such are the inhabitants that the enemy's country has. For it is an island, and the fact (as I have stated) [154] was clearly proved at this time. The length of it is seven thousand one hundred and thirty-two stades. Its greatest breadth is two thousand three hundred and ten, and its least is three hundred.
Of all this we hold a little less than a half. So Severus, desiring to subjugate the whole of it, invaded Caledonia. While traversing the territory he had untold trouble in cutting down the forests, reducing the levels of heights, filling up the swamps, and bridging the rivers. He fought no battle and beheld no adversary in battle array. The enemy purposely put sheep and cattle in front of them for the soldiers to seize, in order that the latter might be deceived for a longer time and wear themselves out. The Romans received great damage from the streams and were made objects of attack when they were scattered. Afterward, being unable to walk, they were slain by their own friends to avoid capture, so that nearly as many as fifty thousand died.

But the emperor did not desist till he had approached the extremity of the island. Here he observed very accurately to how slight a degree the sun declined below the horizon [
155] and the length of days and nights both summer and winter. Thus having been conveyed through practically the whole of the hostile region,--for he was really conveyed in a covered chair most of the way on account of his weakness,--he returned to
A.D. 210 (a.u. 963)
friendly territory, first forcing the Britons to come to terms on condition that he should abandon a good part of their territory.

Antoninus also disturbed him and involved him in vain worry by his intemperate life, by his evident intention to murder his brother if the chance should present itself, and finally by plotting against his own father. Once he leaped suddenly out of his quarters, shouting and bawling and feigning to have been wronged by Castor. This man was the best of the Caesarians attending upon Severus, had been trusted with his opinions, and had been assigned the duties of chamberlain. Certain soldiers with whom previous arrangements had been made hereupon gathered and joined the outcry; but they were checked in short order, as Severus himself appeared on the scene and punished the more unruly among them.

On another occasion both were riding to meet the Caledonians for the purpose of receiving them and holding a conference about a truce, and Antoninus undertook to kill his father outright with his own hand. They were going along on their horses, for Severus, although his feet were rather shrunken [
156] by an ailment, nevertheless was on horseback himself and the rest of the army was following: the enemy's force, too, was likewise a spectator. At this juncture, in the midst of the silence and order, Antoninus reined up his horse and drew his sword, apparently intending to strike his father in the back. Seeing this, the other horsemen in the detachment raised a cry of alarm, which scared the son, so that he did nothing further. Severus turned at their shout and saw the sword; however, he uttered not a syllable but ascended the tribunal, finished what he had to do, and returned to the general's tent. Then he called his son and Papinianus and Castor, ordered a sword to be placed within easy reach, and upbraided the youth for having dared to do such a thing at all and especially for having been on the point of committing so great a crime in the presence of all the allies and the enemy. Finally he said: "Now if you desire to slay me and have done, put an end to me here. You are strong: I am an old man and prostrate. If you have no objection to this, but shrink from becoming my actual murderer, there stands by your side Papinianus the prefect, whom you may order to put me out of the way. He will certainly do anything that you command, since you are emperor." Though he spoke in this fashion, he still did the plotter no harm, in spite of the fact that he had often blamed Marcus for not ending the life of Commodus and that he had himself often threatened his son with this treatment. Such words, however, were invariably spoken in a fit of anger: on this occasion he allowed his love of offspring to get the better of his love of country; yet in doing so he simply betrayed his other child, for he well knew what would happen.

Upon another revolt of the inhabitants of the island he summoned the soldiers and bade them invade the rebels' country, killing whomsoever they should encounter. He added these verses:

"Let none escape utter destruction At our hands. Yea, whatso is found in the womb of the mother, Child unborn though it be, let it not escape utter destruction!" [157]

When this had been done and the Caledonians as well as the Maeatians revolted, he proceeded with preparations to make war upon them in person. While he was thus engaged his sickness carried him off on the fourth of February.
A.D. 211 (a.u. 964)
Antoninus, it is said, contributed something to the result. Before he closed his eyes he is reputed to have spoken these words to his children (I shall use the exact phraseology without embellishment): "Be harmonious, enrich the soldiers, scorn everybody else." After this his body arrayed in military garb was placed upon a pyre, and as a mark of honor the soldiers and his children ran about it. Those present who had any military gifts threw them upon it and the sons applied the fire. Later his bones were put in a jar of purple stone, conveyed to Rome, and deposited in the tomb of the Antonines. It is said that Severus sent for the jar a little before his death and after feeling it over remarked: "Thou shalt hold a man that the world could not hold."

He was slow-moulded but strong, though he eventually grew very weak from gout: mentally he was very keen and very firm. He wished for more education than he got and for this reason he was sagacious rather than a good talker. Toward friends not forgetful, to enemies most oppressive, he was capable of everything that he desired to accomplish but careless of everything said about him. Hence he gathered money from every source (save that he killed no one to get it) [and met all necessary expenditures quite ungrudgingly. He restored very many of the ancient buildings and inscribed upon them his own name to signify that he had repaired them so as to be new structures, and from his private funds. Also he spent a great deal uselessly upon renovating and repairing other places] , erecting, for instance, to Bacchus and Hercules a temple of huge size. Yet, though his expenses were enormous, he left behind not merely a few myriad denarii, easily reckoned, but a great many. Again, he rebuked such persons as were not chaste, even going to the extent of enacting certain laws in regard to adultery, with the result that there were any number of prosecutions for that offence. When consul I once found three thousand entered on the docket. But inasmuch as very few persons appeared to conduct their cases, he too ceased to trouble his head about it. Apropos of this, a quite witty remark is reported of the wife of Argentocoxus, a Caledonian, to Julia Augusta, when the latter after the treaty was joking her about the free intercourse of her sex in Britain with men. Thereupon the foreigner asserted: "We fulfill the necessities of nature in a much better way than you Roman women. We have dealings openly with the best men, whereas you let yourselves be debauched in secret by the vilest." This is what the British woman said.

The following is the style of life that Severus led in time of peace. He was sure to be doing something before dawn, while it was still night, and after this he would go to walk, telling and hearing of the interests of the empire. Then he held court, and separately (unless there were some great festival); and indeed, he did this very well. Those on trial were allowed plenty of water [158] and he granted us, his coadjutors, full liberty to speak.--He continued to preside till noonday. After that he went riding as much as he could. Next he took some kind of exercise and a bath. He then consumed a not meagre lunch, either by himself or with his children. Next, as a rule, he enjoyed a nap. Later he rose, attended to his remaining duties of administration, and while walking about occupied himself with discussions of both Greek and Latin lore. Then, toward evening, he would bathe again and dine with his attendants. Very seldom did he have any outsider to dinner and only on days when it was quite unavoidable did he arrange expensive banquets.--He lived sixty-five years, nine months, and twenty-five days, for he was born on the eleventh of April. Of this he had ruled seventeen years, eight months and three days. In fine, he showed himself so active that even expiring he gasped: "Come, give it to us, if we have anything to do!"


Footnote 1: C. Iulius Montanus C.F. (Cp. Suetonius, Life of Nero, chapter 60).

Footnote 2: χτηνη of the MSS. was changed to χητη on the conjecture of Sylburgius, who was followed by Bekker, Dindorf, and Boissevain. (Compare also Suetonius, Life of Nero, chapter 12).

Footnote 3: Adopting Reiske's conjecture, nv.

Footnote 4: L. Iunius Gallio.

Footnote 5: The title of one of Nero's poems.

Footnote 6: Compare Tacitus, Annals, XIV, 32 ("visamque speciem in aestuario Tamesae subversae Coloniae").

Footnote 7: It would seem natural to supply "for the uprising," as does Reiske.

Footnote 8: The meaning of this phrase (αχουσιν) is not wholly clear. Naber purposes to substitute αιτυσιν ("that they were asking for").

Footnote 9: Known commonly as Boadicea.

Footnote 10: Reading χεχλημενους (van Herwerden).

Footnote 11: Corruptions in the text emended by Reiske.

Footnote 12: Not much information is preserved regarding this indigenous goddess of Britain. Reimar asserts that she is practically identical with Boccharte, Astarte, or Venus.

Footnote 13: Foenius Rufus.

Footnote 14: Rubellirs Plautus.

Footnote 15: Compare Book Fifty-seven, chapter 18.

Footnote 16: Reading υπαρχον (Boissevain) for υπατον.

Footnote 17: A slight gap in the MS. exists here, filled by a doubtful conjecture of Boissevain's.

Footnote 18: Salvidienus Orfitus (according to Suetonius, Life of Nero, chap. 37).

Footnote 19: C. Cassius Longinus (ibid).

Footnote 20: This proper name is the result of an emendation by Reimar.

Footnote 21: Literally "victor of the periodos." This was a name applied to an athlete who had conquered in the Pythian, Isthmian, Nemean and Olympian games.

Footnote 22: ου supplied by Reiske.

Footnote 23, 24: The two kinds of footwear mentioned here appear in the Greek as χοθορνος and εμβατης respectively. These words are often synonymous, and both may refer, as a rule, to high boots. In the present passage, however, some kind of contrast is evidently intended, and the most acceptable solution of the question is that given by Sturz, in his edition, who says that the χοθορνος seems to have been used by Nero only in singing, whereas he wore the εμβατης (as also the mask) while acting.

Footnote 25: τα πραγματα supplied by Polak.

Footnote 26: P. Petronius Turpilianus.

Footnote 27: Reading απεψθον (Reimar, Cobet et al.).

Footnote 28, 29: Piso and Galba are meant.

Footnote 30: Q. Vibius Crispus.

Footnote 31: This little phrase is taken direct from Plato's Critias, 115 B.

Footnote 32: M. Antonius Primus.

Footnote 33: A. Caevina Alienus.

Footnote 34: The epitome of Dio spells uniformly Cerealius.

Footnote 35: Properly Simon Bar-Giora (patronymic).

Footnote 36: This sentiment is expressed in the Greek by "to the crows."

Footnote 37: Reading υποδιεψθειρον (Dindorf).

Footnote 38: i.e., the hollowed hand (compare Suetonius Vespasian, chapter 23).

Footnote 39: This refers to conveniences in the public streets.

Footnote 40: This Agrippa, known also as Herodes II, was an intimate friend of the Jewish historian Josephus and a companion of Titus at the siege of Jerusalem. It was before him, moreover, that the apostle Paul made his defence in A.D. 60.

Footnote 41: The meaning is clear. Cobet (Mnemosyne, N.S.X). thinks that ephorathae expresses the idea more accurately than the commonly accepted ephanerothae (Boissevain also ephorathae).

Footnote 42: These are mineral springs, chiefly sulphurous in nature, both hot and cold, situated near the town of Cutiliae, famous for its pool with the "floating island." Celsus (On Medicine, Book Four, chapter 5 (=12)) recommends bathing and standing in such cold mineral springs as those at Cutiliae in cases where a patient suffers from inability of the stomach to assimilate food.--The town itself is between Reate and Interocrea among the Sabines. (And compare Suetonius, Vespasian, chapter 24).

Footnote 43: L. Flavius Silva Nonius Bassus.

Footnote 44: Asinius Pollio Verrucosus.

Footnote 45: A gap must probably be construed here. Bekker (followed by Dindorf) regarded it as coming after "secretly" and consisting of but a word or two (e.g. "he hated them") but Boissevain locates it as indicated above and believes that considerably more is missing.

Footnote 46: Reading εμελλον (Dindorf, Boissevain).

Footnote 47: Probably Cn. Suellius Flaccus.

Footnote 48: Cornelius Fuscus, pretorian prefect.

Footnote 49: Reading νανους (Dindorf)

Footnote 50: Verb supplied by Xylander.

Footnote 51: Pape thinks that the proper Latin form of this word be Tabae.

Footnote 52: Reading αλλα (Dindorf).

Footnote 53: Hartman (Mnemosyne, N. S. XXI, p. 395) would read αστιον for ασχω ν. "Maternus met his death because he had made some witty remark against tyrants." H. maintains that Domitian could not know what Maternus said in his closet; but to the present translator the MS. tradition seems to lend to this incident a greater homogeneousness of detail with the preceding, and he retains it simply on that basis.

Footnote 54: An error of the excerptor. The Lygians lived north of Moesia.

Footnote 55: His sister's daughter.

Footnote 56: An error, possibly emanating from Dio. The man's right name is T. Manlius Valens.

Footnote 57: Probably the person who is called Saturius in Suetonius, Domitian, chapter 17.

Footnote 58: Compare Book Forty-eight, chapter 44.

Footnote 59: As the MS tradition of this sentence is corrupt, the emendations of Polak have been adopted.

Footnote 60: The name is suspicious and possibly a corrupt reading.

Footnote 61: Compare Book Sixty-three, chapter 25 of Dio, and also Tacitus, Historiae I, 9.

Footnote 62: Compare also Pliny's Letters, Book Six, number 10.

Footnote 63: From Homer's Iliad, Book One, verse 42.

Footnote 64: Dio means by Italian one born in Italy, by Italiot one who settles in Italy.

Footnote 65: Reading προβεβιω χει (Boissevain).

Footnote 66: Latin, pileati. The distinction drawn is that between the plebeians and the nobles, to whom reference is made respectively by the terms "unshorn" and "covered." Compare here the make up of the Marcomanian embassy in Book Seventy-two, chapter two.

Footnote 67: Reading αυτομολω ν τινα (Boissevain).

Footnote 68: Saburanus. (?)

Footnote 69: L. Publilius Celsus.

Footnote 70: Exedares.

Footnote 71: Osrhoes.

Footnote 72: Some puzzling corruption in the MS.

Footnote 73: Probably in the days of Domitian.

Footnote 74: Reading ασελινον (Bekker) = "without the parsley crown" (such as was bestowed upon victors in some of the Greek games).

Footnote 75: ερυθρα from Erythras, who was said to have been drowned in it (as if in English we should invent a King Redd).

Footnote 76: The Tauchnitz reading, εν πλοιω will not fit the context. Just below ιθους (Bekker) has to be read for μυθους.

Footnote 77: Boissevain's reading.

Footnote 78: Reading επι (Dindorf) instead of περι.

Footnote 79: Compare Appian, Civil Wars, Book Two, chapter 86 (also Spartianus, 14, 4).

Footnote 80: Not the same person as is mentioned in the previous chapter.

Footnote 81: i.e., "we natives of Bithynia" (Dio's country).

Footnote 82: It is impossible to determine, from the date of this fragment, whether the subject should be Hadrian or Antoninus Pius.

Footnote 83: Seventeen, according to the common tradition.

Footnote 84: IV, 9.

Footnote 85: Compare also Zonaras V, 12 (p. 80, II. 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 150 and 155 B.C. See Hermes XXVI, pages 444-446 (Boissevain: Zonaras Quelle für die Romische Kaisergeschichte von Nerva bis Severus Alexander) and XXXII, pages 497-508 (B. Keil: Kyzikenisches); also Byzantinische Zeitschrift I, page 30 ff. (article by de Boor).

Footnote 86: "Sextus of Chaeronea, grandson of Plutarch" (Capitolinus, Vita M. Antoni Philosophi, 3, 2).

Footnote 87: Or perhaps Osi.

Footnote 88: M. Macrinius Avitus Catonius Vindex.

Footnote 89: M. Iallius Bassus.

Footnote 90: Or perhaps Badomarius.

Footnote 91: Sex. Cornelius Clemens.

Footnote 92: Omitting χαι.

Footnote 93: This refers to the contrivance known as the clepsydra or water-clock, which measured time by the slow dropping of water from an upper into a lower vessel, somewhat on the plan of the hour-glass.

Footnote 94: See Galen, On Antidotes, Book Two, chapter 17, and On Theriac (to Piso), chapter 2.

Footnote 95: Reading εξελειν (Boissevain) in place of the MS. εξελθειν.

Footnote 96: P. Martius Verus.

Footnote 97: The reference is evidently to Book Fifty-five, chapter 23, but it should be observed that the names, though very possibly having the same sense, are not identical. The legion is here called χεραυνοψολος (= Fulminatrix or Fulminata) but in 55, 23 χεραυνοψορος (= Fulminifera).

Footnote 98: Cp. Mommsen, Staatsrecht, 12, p. 123 (or 13, p. 124); also III, p. 1108.

Footnote 99: From Euripides, The Suppliants, verse 119.

Footnote 100: Or five miles.

Footnote 101: Reading ημαλλον (Boissevain).

Footnote 102: C. Avidius Heliodorus (cp. Book Sixty-nine, chapter 3).

Footnote 103: Reimar suggested that perhaps Pudens was secretary of the Greek letters of Cassius, as Manlius (Book Seventy-two, chapter 7) was of his Latin letters.

Footnote 104: Reading επ εμου (Dindorf).

Footnote 105: The reference here made by Dio may very possibly be to a passage reproduced by Zonaras (XII, 1), regarding the authenticity of which Boissevain is nevertheless somewhat doubtful. For the sake of completeness a translation is here given (ουμην [Lacuna] εβιασατο):

"Yet he was not thereby induced to secure money from the subject nations. On one occasion, indeed, with wars impending, he had come short for funds and still did not devise any new tax nor endure to ask money from any one. Instead, he exposed in the Forum all the heirlooms of the palace, even down to this or that piece of finery belonging to his wife, and solicited their purchase by any person so disposed. This brought him a store of coin, which he distributed to the soldiers. By success in the war he gained many times the amount in question, and he issued a proclamation to the effect than any one so disposed among the purchasers of the imperial property might return the article purchased and receive its value. Some did so, but the majority declined. And nobody was compelled to restore any object thus acquired."

Footnote 106: Supplying, with Reiske, επετρεπον.

Footnote 107: What this name was no one knows. Sylburgius conjectured that it might be Aequanimitas.

Footnote 108: Since Apollonius was really from Chalcedon, an error may here charged to Dio's or some one else's account.

Footnote 109: Reading χατιω μενην (Dindorf, following Reiske).

Footnote 110, 111, 112: The MS. is here very possibly corrupt.

Footnote 113: P. Salvius Julianus.

Footnote 114: Vitrasia Faustina by name.

Footnote 115: Boissevain suggests that the "Roman Hercules" perhaps feared that Alexander might diminish his glory.

Footnote 116: See Book Sixty-seven, chapter 11.

Footnote 117: It is just barely possible that the o = riginal gave some different idea from "his contests were" (cp. the text of Boissée).

Footnote 118: Supplying ους (after Reimar).

Footnote 119: Reading εμηνυσαν (Dindorf, after H. Stephanus).

Footnote 120: Reading επηγγειλατο (Dindorf, after Bekker).

Footnote 121: Reading ερρω το (Dindorf).

Footnote 122: Pertinax is meant.

Footnote 123: Reading ογχο (Reimar) for the MS. ορχο.

Footnote 124: A slight gap in the MS., where we should perhaps read: "all of us who had done any favors for Pertinax or anything to displease Julianus" (Boissevain).

Footnote 125: Reading λελουμενοι (Reiske) for the MS. δεδουλωμενοι.

Footnote 126: The name, so far as can be discerned in the MS., may be Fulvius or Flavius or Fabius. The position and import of the fragment are alike doubtful.

Footnote 127: Located on the Capitol, and established by Hadrian.

Footnote 128: Reading πομπευοντες (Dindorf, after Bekker).

Footnote 129: Compare Plato, Republic, 399 C.

Footnote 130: Reading πενθιχως (Sylburgius, Boissevain et al.).

Footnote 131: P. Cornelius Anullinus.

Footnote 132: Compare Xenophon's Anabasis, I, 4, 4-5.

Footnote 133: The MS. text is faulty, and the translation, ventured independently, corresponds approximately to a suggestion by van Herwerden in Boissevain's edition.

Footnote 134: Supplying, with Reiske, σοι [Lacuna] χολασθηναι.

Footnote 135: The MS. is corrupt. Adiabene, Atrene and Arbelitis have all been suggested as the district to which Dio actually referred here.

Footnote 136: Omitting αυτου (as Dindorf).

Footnote 137: Some words appear to have fallen out at this point (so Dindorf).

Footnote 138: C. Iulius Erucius Clarus Vibianus.

Footnote 139: Two and a half lines beginning with verse 371 in Book Eleven of Virgil's Aeneid.

Footnote 140: Compare Book Seventy-four, chapter 11.

Footnote 141: Compare the beginning of Book Thirty-six (supplied from Xiphilinus).

Footnote 142: Supplying θερους (Reiske's conjecture).

Footnote 143: Reading γυμνιχων for γυναιχων, which is possibly corrupt.

Footnote 144: Reading Αλαμανναι for αλουμεναι, which is undoubtedly corrupt.

Footnote 145: Hesychius says of this beast merely that it is a quadruped of Aethiopia. Strabo calls it a cross between wolf and dog.

Pliny (Natural History, VIII, 21 (30)) gives the following description:

"Crocottas are apparently the offspring of dog and wolf; they crush all their food with their teeth and forthwith gulp it down to be assimilated by the belly."

Again, of the Leucrocotta:

"A most destructive beast about the size of an ass, with legs of a deer, the neck, tail and breast of a lion, a badger's head, cloven hoof, mouth slit to the ears, and, in place of teeth, a solid line of bone."

Also, in VIII, 30 (45), he says:

"The lioness of Ethiopia by copulation with a hyaena brings forth the crocotta."

Capitolinus (Life of Antoninus Pius, 10, 9) remarks that the first Antoninus had exhibited the animal in Rome.

Further, see Aelian, VII, 22.

Footnote 146: These cages were often made in various odd shapes and opened automatically. Compare the closing sentences of the preceding book.

Footnote 147: Reading αυτοχρατορων (emendation of H. Stephanus).

Footnote 148: This person's name is properly M. Plautius Quintillus.

Footnote 149: Compare Book Sixty-nine, chapter 17.

Footnote 150: The phrase φαλαχρου παραχυψεως has a humorous ring to it, and I am inclined to believe, especially considering the situation, that Dio had in his mind while writing this the familiar proverb ονου παραχυψεως, a famous response given by a careless ass-driver, whose animal being several rods in advance of its lagging master had stuck its head into an open doorway and thereby scattered the nucleus of a promising aviary. The fellow was haled to court to answer to a charge of contributory negligence and when some bystander asked him for what misdeed he had been brought to that place, he rejoined with a great air of injured innocence: "For an ass's peeping!"

Footnote 151: A. Pollenius Auspex.

Footnote 152: The significance of this happening is explained as follows. Taking the Greek form of Severus, namely ΣΕΒΗΡΟΣ and erasing the first three letters you have left ΗΡΟΣ = ΗΡΩΣ =heros, "hero." When a thunderbolt substitutes the word "hero" for the emperor's name, the supposition naturally arises that the ruler will soon be numbered among the heroes, that is, that he will cease to exist as a mortal man.

Footnote 153: The reading is a little doubtful. Possibly "in such cases" (παρα ταυτα). (Boissevain).

Footnote 154: Compare Book Thirty-nine, chapter 50, which, in turn, refers to Book Sixty-six, chapter 20.

Footnote 155: Compare Tacitus, Agricola, chapter 12 (two sentences, Dierum [Lacuna] affirmant).

Footnote 156: Reading υποτετηχς (suggestion of Boissevain, who does not regard Naber's emendation, Mnemosyne, XVI, p. 113, as feasible).

Footnote 157: Homer's Iliad, VI, verse 57, with a slight change at the end.

Footnote 158: The water-clock again. Compare Book Seventy-one, chapter 6.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Dio's Rome, Volume V., Books 61-76
(A.D. 54-211), by Cassius Dio


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