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"Alme Sol, curru nitido diem qui
Promis et celas, aliusque et idem
Nasceris, possis nihil urbe Roma
Visere maius."












"I am going to offer to the publick the Translation of a work, which, for
wisdom and force, is in higher fame and consideration, than almost any
other that has yet appeared amongst men:" it is in this way, that Thomas
Gordon begins The Discourses, which he has inserted into his rendering of
Tacitus; and I can find none better to introduce this volume, which my
readers owe to Gordon's affectionate and laborious devotion. Caius
Cornelius Tacitus, the Historian, was living under those Emperors, who
reigned from the year 54 to the year 117, of the Christian era; but the
place and the date of his birth are alike uncertain, and the time of his
death is not accurately known. He was a friend of the younger Pliny, who
was born in the year 61; and, it is possible, they were about the same
age. Some of Pliny's letters were written to Tacitus: the most famous,
describes that eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which caused the death of old
Pliny, and overwhelmed the cities of Pompeii and of Herculaneum. The
public life of Tacitus began under Vespasian; and, therefore, he must have
witnessed some part of the reign of Nero: and we read in him, too, that he
was alive after the accession of the Emperor Trajan. In the year 77,
Julius Agricola, then Consul, betrothed his daughter to Tacitus; and they
were married in the following year. In 88, Tacitus was Praetor; and at the
Secular Games of Domitian, he was one of the _Quindecimviri_: these were
sad and solemn officers, guardians of the Sibylline Verse; and
intercessors for the Roman People, during their grave centenaries of
praise and worship.

_Quaeque Aventinum tenet Algidumque,
Quindecim Diana preces virorum
Curet; et vobis pueorum amicas
Applicet aures._

From a passage in "The Life of Agricola," we may believe that Tacitus
attended in the Senate; for he accuses himself as one of that frightened
assembly, which was an unwilling participator in the cruelties of
Domitian. In the year 97, when the Consul Virginius Rufus died, Tacitus'
was made _Consul Suffectus_; and he delivered the funeral oration of his
predecessor: Pliny says, that "it completed the good fortune of Rufus, to
have his panegyric spoken by so eloquent a man." From this, and from other
sayings, we learn that Tacitus was a famous advocate; and his "Dialogue
about Illustrious Orators" bears witness to his admirable taste, and to
his practical knowledge of Roman eloquence: of his own orations, however,
not a single fragment has been left. We know not, whether Tacitus had
children; but the Emperor Tacitus, who reigned in 275, traced his
genealogy to the Historian. "If we can prefer personal merit to accidental
greatness," Gibbon here observes, "we shall esteem the birth of Tacitus
more truly noble than that of Kings. He claimed his descent from the
philosophic historian, whose writings will instruct the last generations
of mankind. From the assiduous study of his immortal ancestor, he derived
his knowledge of the Roman Constitution and of human nature." This Emperor
gave orders, that the writings of Tacitus should be placed in all the
public libraries; and that ten copies should be taken annually, at the
public charge. Notwithstanding the Imperial anxiety, a valuable part of
Tacitus is lost: indeed we might argue, from the solicitude of the
Emperor, as well as from his own "distinction," that Tacitus could not be
generally popular; and, in the sixteenth century, a great portion of him
was reduced to the single manuscript, which lay hidden within a German
monastery. Of his literary works, five remain; some fairly complete, the
rest in fragments. Complete, are "The Life of Julius Agricola," "The
Dialogue on Orators," and "The Account of Germany": these are,
unfortunately, the minor works of Tacitus. His larger works are "The
History," and "The Annals." "The History" extended from the second
Consulship of Galba, in the year 69, to the murder of Domitian, in the
year 96; and Tacitus desired to write the happy times of Nerva, and of
Trajan: we are ignorant, whether infirmity or death prevented his design.
Of "The History," only four books have been preserved; and they contain
the events of a single year: a year, it is true, which, saw three civil
wars, and four Emperors destroyed; a year of crime, and accidents, and
prodigies: there are few sentences more powerful, than Tacitus'
enumeration of these calamities, in the opening chapters. The fifth book
is imperfect; it is of more than common interest to some people, because
Tacitus mentions the siege of Jerusalem by Titus; though what he says
about the Chosen People, here and elsewhere, cannot be satisfactory to
them nor gratifying to their admirers. With this fragment, about revolts
in the provinces of Gaul and Syria, "The History" ends. "The Annals" begin
with the death of Augustus, in the year 14; and they were continued until
the death of Nero, in 68. The reign of Tiberius is nearly perfect, though
the fall of Sejanus is missing out of it. The whole of Caligula, the
beginning of Claudius, and the end of Nero, have been destroyed: to those,
who know the style of Tacitus and the lives and genius of Caligula and
Nero, the loss is irreparable; and the admirers of Juvenal must always
regret, that from the hand of Tacitus we have only the closing scene, and
not the golden prime, of Messalina.

The works of Tacitus are too great for a Camelot volume; and, therefore, I
have undertaken a selection of them. I give entire, "The Account of
Germany" and "The Life of Agricola": these works are entertaining, and
should have a particular interest for English readers. I have added to
them, the greater portion of the first six books of "The Annals"; and I
have endeavoured so to guide my choice, that it shall present the history
of Tiberius. In this my volume, the chapters are not numbered: for the
omission, I am not responsible; and I can only lament, what I may not
control. But scholars, who know their Tacitus, will perceive what I have
left out; and to those others, who are not familiar with him, the omission
can be no affront. I would say briefly, that I have omitted some chapters,
which describe criminal events and legal tragedies in Rome: but of these,
I have retained every chapter, which preserves an action or a saying of
Tiberius; and what I have inserted is a sufficient specimen of the
remainder. I have omitted many chapters, which are occupied with wearisome
disputes between the Royal Houses of Parthia and Armenia: and I have
spared my readers the history of Tacfarinas, an obscure and tedious rebel
among the Moors; upon whose intricate proceedings Tacitus appears to have
relied, when he was at a loss for better material. To reject any part of
Tacitus, is a painful duty; because the whole of him is good and valuable:
but I trust, that I have maintained the unity of my selection, by
remembering that it is to be an history of Tiberius.

Tiberius Claudius Nero Caesar, the third master of the Roman world,
derived his origin, by either parent, from the Claudian race; the proudest
family, and one of the most noble and illustrious, in the ancient
Commonwealth: the pages of Livy exhibit the generosity, the heroism, and
the disasters, of the Claudii; who were of unequal fortune indeed, but
always magnificent, in the various events of peace and war. Suetonius
enumerates, among their ancestral honours, twenty-eight Consulships, five
Dictators, seven Censorial commissions, and seven triumphs: their
_cognomen_ of Nero, he says, means in the Sabine tongue "vigorous and
bold," _fortis et strenuus_; and the long history of the Claudian House
does not belie their gallant name. Immediately after the birth of
Tiberius, or perhaps before it, his mother Livia was divorced from
Claudius, and married by Augustus: the Empress is revealed mysteriously
and almost as a divine being, in the progress of "The Annals." The Emperor
adopted the offspring of Claudius: among the Romans, these legal adoptions
were as valid as descent by blood; and Tiberius was brought up to be the
son of Caesar. His natural parts were improved and strengthened, by the
training of the Forum and the camp. Tiberius became a good orator; and he
gained victory and reputation, in his wars against the savages of Germany
and Dalmatia: but his peculiar talent was for literature; in this, "he was
a great purist, and affected a wonderful precision about his words." He
composed some Greek poems, and a Latin Elegy upon Lucius Caesar: he also
wrote an account of his own life, an _Apologia_; a volume, which the
Emperor Domitian was never tired of reading. But the favourite pursuit of
Tiberius was Greek divinity; like some of the mediaeval Doctors, he
frequented the by-ways of religion, and amused his leisure with the more
difficult problems in theology: "Who was Hecuba's mother?" "What poetry
the Sirens chaunted?" "What was Achilles' name, when he lay hid among the
women?" The writings of Tiberius have all perished; and in these days, we
have only too much cause to regret, that nothing of his "precision" has
come down to us. The battles of Tiberius are celebrated in the Odes of
Horace: one of the Epistles is addressed to him; and in another, written
to Julius Florus, an officer with Tiberius, Horace enquires about the
learned occupations of the Imperial cohort.

_Quid studiosa Cohors operum struit? Hoc quoque curo._

It was from his commerce with the Ancients, as I always think, that George
Buchanan derived his opinion, strange to modern ears, that "a great
commander must of necessity have all the talents of an author." Velleius
Paterculus, who served with Tiberius in his campaigns, tells us of his
firm discipline, and of his kindness to the soldiers.

The Caesars Caius and Lucius, grandsons of Augustus, Marcellus his nephew,
and Drusus the brother of Tiberius, all died: they died young, rich in
promise, the darlings of the Roman People; "Breves et infaustos Populi
Romani amores;" and thus, in the procession of events, Tiberius became the
heir. "The Annals" open with his accession, and Tacitus has narrated the
vicissitudes of his reign. Velleius Paterculus has written its happier
aspects: he describes how the "Pax Augusta," the "Roman Peace," delivered
every quarter of the world from violence. He celebrates the return of
Justice and prosperity, of order, of mild and equable taxation, of
military discipline and magisterial authority. It is like the Saturnian
Reign, which Virgil sings in the Eclogue "Pollio." The first action of
Tiberius was to canonise his father, and Augustus was translated to the
banquet of the Gods:

_Quos inter Augustus recumbens,
Purpureo bibit ore nectar._

Augustus was his great example; "he not only called him, but considered
him, divine;" "non appelavit eum, sed facit Deum." The Latin of Paterculus
is here so elegant and happy, that, for the pleasure of the learned, I
transcribe it: for others, I have already given something of the sense.
"Revocata in forum fides; submota e foro seditio, ambitio campo, discordia
curia: sepultaeque ac situ obsitae, justitia, aequitas, industria,
civitati, redditae; accessit magistratibus auctoritas, senatui majestas,
judiciis gravitas; compressa theatralis seditio; recte faciendi, omnibus
aut incussa voluntas aut imposita necessitas. Honorantur recta, prava
puniuntur. Suspicit potentem humilis, non timet. Antecedit, non contemnit,
humiliorem potens. Quando annona moderatior? Quando pax laetior? Diffusa
in Orientis Occidentisque tractus, quidquid meridiano aut septentrione
finitur, Pax Augusta, per omnes terrarum orbis angulos metu servat
immunes. Fortuita non civium tantummodo, sed Urbium damna, Principis
munificentia vindicat. Restitutae urbes Asiae: vindictae ab injuriis
magistratuum provinciae. Honor dignis paratissimus: poena in malos sera,
sed aliqua. Superatur aequitate gratia, ambitio virtute: nam facere recte
cives suos, Princeps optimus faciendo docet; cumque sit imperio maximus,
exemplo major est."

Tiberius reigned from the year 14, to the year 37. He died in the villa of
Lucullus, and he was buried in the mausoleum of the Caesars. The manner of
his death is variously related: Tacitus gives one account; Suetonius,
another. According to the last writer, he died like George II., alone,
having just risen from his bed; and he was thus found by his attendants:
"Seneca cum scribit subito vocatis ministris, ac nemine respondente,
consurrexisse; nec procul a lectulo, deficientibus viribus, concidisse."
Tiberius was tall, and beautiful. Suetonius tells us of his great eyes,
which could see in the dark; of his broad shoulders, his martial bearing,
and the fine proportion of his limbs: he describes, too, the unusual
strength of his hands and fingers, especially of the left hand. His health
was good; because, from his thirtieth year, he was his own physician.
"Valetudine prosperrima usus est, tempore quidem principatus paene toto
prope illesa; quamvis a trigesimo aetatis anno arbitratu eam suo rexerit,
sine adjutamento consiliove medicorum." The Emperor Julian describes him
"severe and grim; with a statesman's care, and a soldier's frankness,
curiously mingled:" this was in his old age.

_Down the pale cheek, long lines of shadow slope;
Which years, and curious thought, and suffering give._

At Rome, is a sculpture of Tiberius; he is represented young, seated,
crowned with rays, exceedingly handsome and majestic: if the figure were
not known to be a Caesar, the beholder would say it was a God.

There is another personage in "The Annals," whose history there is
mutilated, and perhaps dissembled; of whose character my readers may like
to know something more, than Tacitus has told them: I mean Sejanus, a man
always to be remembered; because whatever judgment we may form about his
political career, and on this question the authorities are divided, yet it
is admitted by them all, that he introduced those reforms among the
Praetorian Cohorts, which made them for a long time, proprietors of the
throne, and the disposers of the Imperial office. To this minister,
Paterculus attributes as many virtues as he has bestowed upon Tiberius: "a
man grave and courteous," he says, "with 'a fine old-fashioned grace';
leisurely in his ways, retiring, modest; appearing to be careless, and
therefore gaining all his ends; outwardly polite and quiet, but an eager
soul, wary, inscrutable, and vigilant." Whatever he may have been in
reality, he was at one time valued by Tiberius. "The whole Senate," Bacon
says, "dedicated an altar to Friendship as to a Goddess, in respect of the
great Dearness of Friendship between them two:" and in the Essay "Of
Friendship," Bacon has many deep sentences about the favourites of Kings,
their "Participes Curarum." I would summon out of "The Annals," that
episode of Tiberius imprisoned within the falling cave, and shielded by
Sejanus from the descending roof. "Coelo Musa beat:" Sejanus has
propitiated no Muse; and although something more, than the "invida
taciturnitas" of the poet, lies heavy upon his reputation, he shall find
no apologist in me. But over against the hard words of Tacitus, it is only
fair to place the commendations of Paterculus, and even Tacitus remarks,
that after the fall of Sejanus, Tiberius became worse; like Henry VIII.,
after the fall of Wolsey. Livia and Sejanus are said by Tacitus, to have
restrained the worst passions of the Emperor. The two best authorities
contradict one another; they differ, as much as our political organs
differ, about the characters of living statesmen: and who are we, to
decide absolutely, from a distance of two thousand years, at our mere
caprice, and generally without sufficient evidence, that one ancient
writer is correct; and another, dishonest or mistaken? This is only less
absurd, than to prefer the groping style and thoughts of a modern pedant,
usually a German as well, to the clear words of an old writer, who may be
the sole remaining authority for the statements we presume to question; or
for those very facts, upon which our reasonings depend. And how easy it is
to misunderstand what we read in ancient histories, to be deceived by the
plainest records, or to put a sinister interpretation upon events, which
in their own time were passed over in silence or officially explained as
harmless! Let me take an illustration, of what I mean, from something
recent. Every one must remember the last hours of the Emperor Frederick:
the avenues to his palace infested by armed men; the gloom and secrecy
within; without, an impatient heir, and the posting to and fro of
messengers. We must own, that the ceremonials of the Prussian Court
departed in a certain measure from the ordinary mild usage of humanity;
but we attributed this to nothing more, than the excitement of a youthful
Emperor, or the irrepressible agitation of German officials. But if these
events should find a place in history, or if the annals of the Kings of
Prussia should be judged worth reading by a distant Age; who could blame
an historian for saying, that these precautions were not required for the
peaceful and innocent devolution of the crown from a father to his son.
Would not our historian be justified, if he referred to the tumults and
intrigues of a Praetorian election; if he compared these events to the
darkest pages in Suetonius, or reminded his readers of the most criminal
narratives in the authors of the "Augustan History"? From Sejanus and the
Emperor William, I return once more to Tiberius; from the present
_Kaiser_, to a genuine Caesar.

It is not my purpose here to abridge Tacitus, to mangle his translator,
nor to try and say what is better said in the body of the volume: but when
my readers have made themselves acquainted with Tiberius, they may be glad
to find some discussion about him, as he is presented to us in "The
Annals"; and among all the personages of history, I doubt if there be a
more various or more debated character. Mr. Matthew Arnold thus describes

_Cruel, but composed and bland,
Dumb, inscrutable and grand;
So Tiberius might have sat,
Had Tiberius been a cat._

And these verses express the popular belief, with great felicity: I must
leave my readers, to make their own final judgment for themselves. Whether
Tacitus will have helped them to a decision, I cannot guess: he seems to
me, to deepen the mystery of Tiberius. At a first reading, and upon the
surface, he is hostile to the Emperor; there is no doubt, that he himself
remained hostile, and that he wished his readers to take away a very bad
impression: but, as we become familiar with his pages, as we ponder his
words and compare his utterances, we begin to suspect our previous
judgment; another impression steals upon us, and a second, and a third,
until there grows imperceptibly within us a vision of something different.
Out of these dim and floating visions, a clearer image is gradually
formed, with lineaments and features; and, at length, a new Tiberius is
created within our minds: just as we may have seen a portrait emerge under
the artist's hand, from the intricate and scattered lines upon an easel.
Then it dawns upon us, that, after all, Tacitus was not really an intimate
at Capri; that he never received the secret confidences of Tiberius, nor
attended upon his diversions. And at last it is borne in upon us, as we
read, that, if we put aside rumours and uncertain gossip, whatever
Tiberius does and says is unusually fine: but that Tacitus is not
satisfied with recording words and actions; that he supplies motives to
them, and then passes judgment upon his own assumptions: that the evidence
for the murder of Germanicus, for instance, would hardly be accepted in a
court of law; and that if Piso were there found guilty, the Emperor could
not be touched. At any rate, we find it stated in "The Annals," that
"Tiberius by the temptations of money was incorruptible;" and he refused
the legacies of strangers, or of those who had natural heirs. "He wished
to restore the people to severer manners," like many sovereigns; unlike
the most of them, "in his own household, he observed the ancient
parsimony." Besides the "severa paupertas" of Camillus and Fabricius, he
had something of their primitive integrity; and he declined, with scorn,
to be an accomplice in the proposed assassination of Arminius: "non fraude
neque occultis, sed palam et armatum, Populum Romanum hostes suos
ulcisci." He protected magistrates and poor suitors, against the nobles.
He refused to add to the public burdens, by pensioning needy Senators: but
he was charitable to poor debtors; and lavish to the people, whether
Romans or Provincials, in times of calamity and want. Not least admirable
was his quiet dignity, in periods of disturbance and of panic: he refused
to hurry to the mutinous legions, or to a mean rebellion in Gaul; and he
condescended to reason excellently about his behaviour, when his people
were sane enough to listen. He was both sensible and modest: he restrained
the worship of Augustus, "lest through being too common it should be
turned into an idle ceremony;" he refused the worship of himself, except
in one temple dedicated equally to the Senate and to the Emperor. Tiberius
could be pathetic, too: "I bewail my son, and ever shall bewail him," he
says of Germanicus; and again, "Eloquence is not measured by fortune, and
it is a sufficient honour, if he be ranked among the ancient orators."
"Princes are mortal;" he says again, "the Commonwealth, eternal." Then his
wit, how fine it was; how quick his humour: when he answered the tardy
condolences from Troy, by lamenting the death of Hector: when he advised
an eager candidate, "not to embarrass his eloquence by impetuosity;" when
he said of another, a low, conceited person, "he gives himself the airs of
a dozen ancestors," "videtur mihi ex se natus:" when he muttered in the
Senate, "O homines ad servitutem paratos:" when he refused to become a
persecutor; "It would be much better, if the Gods were allowed to manage
their own affairs," "Deorum injurias Dis curae." In all this; in his
leisured ways, in his dislike of parade and ceremonial, in his mockery of
flatterers and venal "patriots"; how like to Charles II., "the last King
of England who was a man of parts." And no one will deny "parts" to
Tiberius; he was equal to the burden of Imperial cares: the latest
researches have discovered, that his provincial administration was most
excellent; and even Tacitus admits, that his choice of magistrates "could
not have been better." He says, in another passage, "The Emperor's domains
throughout Italy, were thin; the behaviour of his slaves modest; the
freed-men, who managed his house, few; and, in his disputes with
particulars, the courts were open and the law equal." This resembles the
account of Antoninus Pius, by Marcus Aurelius; and it is for this modesty,
this careful separation between private and public affairs, that Tacitus
has praised Agricola. I am well contented, with the virtues of the
Antonines; but there are those, who go beyond. I have seen a book entitled
"The History of that Inimitable Monarch Tiberius, who in the xiv year of
his Reign requested the Senate to permit the worship of Jesus Christ; and
who suppressed all Opposition to it." In this learned volume, it is proved
out of the Ancients, that Tiberius was the most perfect of all sovereigns;
and he is shown to be nothing less than the forerunner of Saint Peter, the
first Apostle and the nursing-father of the Christian Church. The author
was a Cambridge divine, and one of their Professors of mathematics: "a
science," Goldsmith says, "to which the meanest intellects are equal."

Upon the other hand, we have to consider that view of Tiberius, which is
thus shown by Milton;

_This Emperor hath no son, and now is old;
Old and lascivious: and from Rome retired
To Capreae, an island small but strong,
On the Campanian shore; with purpose there,
His horrid lusts in private to enjoy._

This theme is enlarged by Suetonius, and evidently enjoyed: he represents
Tiberius, as addicted to every established form of vice; and as the
inventor of new names, new modes, and a new convenience, for unheard-of
immoralities. These propensities of the Emperor are handled by Tacitus
with more discretion, though he does not conceal them. I wish neither to
condemn nor to condone Tiberius: I desire, if it be possible, to see him
as he is; and whether he be good or bad, he is very interesting. I have
drawn attention to what is good in "The Annals," because Tacitus leans
with all his weight upon the bad; and either explains away what is
favourable, or passes over it with too light a stroke. At the end, I must
conclude, as I began, that the character of Tiberius is a mystery. It is a
commonplace, that no man is entirely good nor entirely evil; but the
histories of Tiberius are too contradictory, to be thus dismissed by a
platitude. It is not easy to harmonise Paterculus with Suetonius: it is
impossible to reconcile Tacitus with himself; or to combine the strong,
benevolent ruler with the Minotaur of Capri. The admirers of an almost
perfect prose, must be familiar with a story, which is not the highest
effort of that prose: they will remember a certain man with a double
nature, like all of us; but, unlike us, able to separate his natures, and
to personate at will his good or evil genius. Tiberius was fond of magic,
and of the curious arts: it may be, that he commanded the secrets of which
Mr. Stevenson has dreamed!

The readers of "The Annals" have seen enough of blood, of crime, and of
Tiberius; and I would now engage their attention upon a more pleasing
aspect of Imperial affairs: I wish to speak about the Empire itself; about
its origin, its form, its history: and, if my powers were equal to the
task, I would sketch a model Emperor; Marcus Aurelius, or the elder
Antonine. Gibbon has described the limits of the Roman Empire; which
"comprised the fairest part of the earth, and the most civilised portion
of mankind." Its boundaries were "the Rhine and Danube, on the north; the
Euphrates, on the east; towards the south, the sandy deserts of Arabia and
Africa;" and upon the west, the Atlantic ocean. It was over this extensive
monarchy, that Caesar reigned; by the providence of Caesar, was the whole
defended and administered.

_Quis Parthum paveat? Quis gelidum Scythen
Quis, Germania quos horrida parturit
Fetus, incolumi Caesare?_

The frontiers of the Empire, and its richest provinces, had been obtained
for the most part in the long wars of the Republic. The conquest of Gaul,
and the establishment of the Empire, was achieved by Julius Caesar; and to
him, the civilised world is indebted for that majestic "Roman Peace,"
under which it lived and prospered for nearly nineteen centuries: the
Eastern Empire was maintained in Constantinople, until 1453; and the
Empire of the West continued, though in waning splendour, until the last
Caesar abdicated his throne at the order of Napoleon. The nations of
modern Europe were developed out of the ruin of Caesar's Empire; and from
that, the more civilised among them have obtained the politer share of
their laws, their institutions, and their language: and to Caesar, we are
indebted for those inestimable treasures of antiquity, which the Roman
Empire and the Roman Church have preserved from the barbarians, and have
handed on for the delight and the instruction of modern times. There are
those, who can perceive in Caesar nothing but a demagogue, and a tyrant;
and in the regeneration of the Commonwealth, nothing but a vulgar crime:
among these, I am sorry to inscribe the name of Thomas Gordon. The
supporters of this view are generally misled, by the specious allurements
of the term "Republic." Tiberius, it may be, was not a perfect ruler, and
other sovereigns were even more ferocious; but the excesses of the most
reckless Emperor are hardly to be compared to the wholesale massacres and
spoliations, which attended the last agonies of the expiring Commonwealth.
After the Macedonian and Asiatic wars, we find a turbulent and servile
crowd, instead of the old families and tribes of Roman citizens; instead
of allies, oppressed and plundered provinces; instead of the heroes of the
young Republic, a set of worn-out, lewd, and greedy nobles. By these, the
spoils of the world were appropriated, and its government abused: Caesar
gave the helpless peoples a legal sovereign, and preserved them from the
lawless tyranny of a thousand masters. He narrates himself, that "he found
the Romans enslaved by a faction, and he restored their liberty:" "Caesar
interpellat; ut Populum Romanum, paucorum factione oppressum, in
libertatem vindicat." The march of Caesar into Italy was a triumphal
progress; and there can be no doubt, that the common people received him
gladly. Again he says, "Nihil esse Rempublicam; appellationem modo, sine
corpore et specie;" "The Republic is nothing but an empty name, a phantom
and a shadow." That Caesar should have seen this, is the highest evidence
of his genius: that Cicero did not see it, is to himself, and to his
country, the great misfortune of his career; and to his admirers, one of
the most melancholy events in Roman history. The opinions of Tacitus were
not far removed from the opinions of Cicero, but they were modified by
what he saw of Nerva and of Trajan: he tells us, how Agricola looked
forward to the blessings of a virtuous Prince; and his own thoughts and
writings would have been other, than they are, had he witnessed the
blameless monarchy of Hadrian and the Antonines. The victims of a bad
Emperor were taken usually from among the nobles; many of them were little
better, than their destroyer; and his murders were confined, almost
invariably, within the walls of Rome: but the benefits of the Imperial
system were extended into all the provinces; and the judgment-seat of
Caesar was the protection of innumerable citizens. Many were the mistakes,
many the misfortunes, deplorable the mischiefs, of the Imperial
administration; I wish neither to deny, nor to conceal them: but here I
must content myself with speaking broadly, with presenting a superficial
view of things; and, upon the whole, the system of the Emperors was less
bad than the decayed and inadequate government, out of which it was
developed. For the change from the Republic to the Empire was hardly a
revolution; and the venerable names and forms of the old organisation were
religiously preserved. Still, the Consuls were elected, the Senate met and
legislated, Praetors and Legates went forth into the provinces, the
Legions watched upon the frontiers, the lesser Magistrates performed their
office; but above them was Caesar, directing all things, controlling all
things; the _Imperator_ and Universal Tribune, in whose name all was done;
the "Praesens Divus," on whom the whole depended; at once the master of
the Imperial Commonwealth, and the minister of the Roman People.

"The Annals," and the history of Tiberius, have detained us, for the most
part, within the capital: "The Agricola" brings us into a province of the
Empire; and "The Account of Germany" will take us among the savages beyond
the frontier. I need scarcely mention, that our country was brought within
the Roman influence by Julius Caesar; but that Caesar's enterprise was not
continued by Augustus, nor by Tiberius; though Caligula celebrated a
fictitious triumph over the unconquered Britons: that a war of about forty
years was undertaken by Claudius, maintained by Nero, and terminated by
Domitian; who were respectively "the most stupid, the most dissolute, and
the most timid of all the Emperors." It was in the British wars, that
Vespasian began his great career, "monstratus fatis"; but the island was
not really added to the Empire, until Agricola subdued it for Domitian.
"The Life of Agricola" is of general interest, because it preserves the
memory of a good and noble Roman: to us, it is of special interest,
because it records the state of Britain when it was a dependency of the
Caesars; "adjectis Britannis imperio." Our present fashions in history
will not allow us to think, that we have much in common with those
natives, whom Tacitus describes: but fashions change, in history as in
other things; and in a wiser time we may come to know, and be proud to
acknowledge, that we have derived a part of our origin, and perhaps our
fairest accomplishments, from the Celtic Britons. The narrative of Tacitus
requires no explanation; and I will only bring to the memory of my
readers, Cowper's good poem on Boadicea. We have been dwelling upon the
glories of the Roman Empire: it may be pardonable in us, and it is not
unpleasing, to turn for a moment, I will not say to "the too vast orb" of
our fate, but rather to that Empire which is more extensive than the
Roman; and destined to be, I hope, more enduring, more united, and more
prosperous. Horace will hardly speak of the Britons, as humane beings, and
he was right; in his time, they were not a portion of the Roman World,
they had no part in the benefits of the Roman government: he talks of
them, as beyond the confines of civility, "in ultimos orbis Britannos;" as
cut off by "the estranging sea," and there jubilant in their native
practices, "Visum Britannos hospitibus feros." But Cowper says, no less
truly, of a despised and rebel Queen;

_Regions Caesar never knew,
Thy posterity shall sway;
Where his Eagles never flew,
None invincible as they._

The last battles of Agricola were fought in Scotland; and, in the pages of
Tacitus, he achieved a splendid victory among the Grampian hills. Gibbon
remarks, however, "The native Caledonians preserved in the northern
extremity of the island their wild independence, for which they were not
less indebted to their poverty than to their valour. Their incursions were
frequently repelled and chastised; but their country was never subdued.
The masters of the fairest and most wealthy climates of the globe turned
with contempt from gloomy hills assailed by the winter tempest, from lakes
concealed in a blue mist, and from cold and lonely heaths, over which the
deer of the forest were chased by a troop of naked barbarians." The Scotch
themselves are never tired of asserting, and of celebrating, their
"independence"; Scotland imposed a limit to the victories of the Roman
People, Scaliger says in his compliments to Buchanan:

_Imperii fuerat Romani Scotia lines._

But it may be questioned, whether it were an unmixed blessing, to be
excluded from the Empire; and to offer a sullen resistance to its
inestimable gifts of humane life, of manners, and of civility.

To these things, the Germans also have manifested a strong dislike; and
they are more censurable than the Scotch, because all their knowledge of
the Romans was not derived from the intercourse of war. "The Germany" of
Tacitus is a document, that has been much discussed; and these discussions
may be numbered among the most flagrant examples of literary intemperance:
but this will not surprise us, when we allow for the structure of mind,
the language, and the usual productions of those, to whom the treatise is
naturally of the greatest importance. In the description of the Germans,
Tacitus goes out of his way to laugh at the "licentia vetustatis," "the
debauches of pedants and antiquarians;" as though he suspected the
fortunes of his volume, and the future distinctions of the Teutonic
genius. For sane readers, it will be enough to remark, that the Germany of
Tacitus was limited, upon the west, by the natural and proper boundary of
the Rhine; that it embraced a portion of the Low Countries; and that,
although he says it was confined within the Danube, yet the separation is
not clear between the true Germans and those obscurer tribes, whose
descendants furnish a long enumeration of titles to the present melancholy
sovereign of the House of Austria. Gibbon remarks, with his usual sense,
"In their primitive state of simplicity and independence, the Germans were
surveyed by the discerning eye, and delineated by the masterly pencil of
Tacitus, the first historian who supplied the science of philosophy to the
study of facts. The expressive conciseness of his descriptions has
deserved to exercise the diligence of innumerable antiquarians, and to
excite the genius and penetration of the philosophic historians of our own
time." Upon a few sentences out of the "Germania"; which relate to the
kings, to the holding of land, to the public assemblies, and to the army;
an imposing structure of English constitutional history has been erected:
our modern historians look upon this treatise with singular approval;
because it shows them, they say, the habits of their own forefathers in
their native settlements. They profess to be enchanted with all they read;
and, in their works, they betray their descent from the ancestors they
admire. Gibbon says, prettily, "Whenever Tacitus indulges himself in those
beautiful episodes, in which he relates some domestic transaction of the
Germans or of the Parthians, his principal object is to relieve the
attention of the reader from an uniform scene of vice and misery." Whether
he succeeds, I must leave my readers to decide. Tacitus describes the
quarrels of the Germans; fought, then with weapons; now, with words: their
gambling, their sloth, their drunkenness. "Strong beer, a liquor extracted
with very little art from wheat or barley, and _corrupted_ (as it is
strongly expressed by Tacitus) into a certain semblance of wine, was
sufficient for the gross purposes of German debauchery." Tacitus informs
us, too, "that they sleep far into the day; that on rising they take a
bath, usually of warm water; then they eat." To pass an entire day and
night in drinking, disgraces no one: "Dediti somno ciboque," he says; a
people handed over to sloth and gluttony. Some of these customs are now
almost obsolete; the baths, for instance. In others, there has been little
alteration since the Age of Tacitus; and the Germans have adhered, with
obstinate fidelity, to their primitive habits. Tacitus thought less of
their capacity, upon the whole, than it is usual to think now: "The
Chatti," he says, "for Germans, have much intelligence;" "Leur
intelligence et leur finesse tonnent, dans des Germains." But let us
forget these "Tedeschi lurchi, non ragionam di lor;" and pass on to those
manly virtues, which Tacitus records: To abandon your shield, is the
basest of crimes, "relicta non bene parmula;" nor may a man thus disgraced
be present at their sacred rites, nor enter their council; many, indeed,
after escaping from battle, have ended their infamy with the halter. And
to more shameful crimes, they awarded a sterner punishment:

_Behind flock'd wrangling up a piteous crew
Greeted of none, disfeatured and forlorn:
Cowards, who were in sloughs interr'd alive;
And round them still the wattled hurdles hung
Wherewith they stamp'd them down, and trod them deep,
To hide their shameful memory from men._

Having now surveyed the compositions in this volume, it is proper that we
should at length devote some of our notice to Gordon himself, and to his
manner of presenting Tacitus. Thomas Gordon was born in Scotland; the date
has not yet been ascertained. He is thought to have been educated at a
northern university, and to have become an Advocate. Later, he went to
London; and taught languages. Two pamphlets on the Bangorian controversy
brought him into notice; and he wrote many religious and political
dissertations. "A Defence of Primitive Christianity, against the
Exhorbitant Claims of Fanatical and Dissaffected Clergymen;" "Tracts on
Religion, and on the Jacobite Rebellion of '45;" "The Pillars of
Priestcraft and Orthodoxy Shaken;" "A Cordial for Low Spirits;" are the
titles of some of his compositions. In politics, and in theology, he was a
republican and free-thinker: he translated and edited "The Spirit of
Ecclesiastics in All Ages;" he was a contributor to "The Independent
Whig;" and in a series of "Cato's Letters," he discoursed at ease upon his
usual topics. The Tacitus was published in 1728, in two volumes folio:
long dissertations are inserted in either volume; the literature in them
excellent, the politics not so good: the volumes, as well as the several
parts of them, are dedicated to some Royal and many Noble Patrons. Gordon
has also turned Sallust into English: the book was published in 1744, in
one handsome quarto; "with Political Discourses upon that Author and
Translations of Cicero's Four Orations against Cataline." Walpole made
Gordon the first commissioner of wine licences. It is handed down, that
Gordon was a burly person, "large and corpulent." It is believed, that he
found his way into "The Dunciad," and that he is immortalised there among
the "Canaille crivante;" the line

_Where Tindal dictates and Silenus snores_,

is taken to be Pope's description of him. Gordon died in 1750; at the same
time as Dr. Middleton, the elegant biographer of Cicero: Lord Bolingbroke
is said to have observed, when the news was told him, "Then is the best
writer in England gone, and the worst." That Bolingbroke should have
disliked Gordon and his politics, does not surprise me; but I cannot
understand for what reason he, and other good judges, despised his
writings. "The chief glory of every people arises from its authors," Dr.
Johnson says; and happy the people, I would assert, who have no worse
writers than Thomas Gordon. I wish to draw attention to Gordon's correct
vocabulary, to his bold and pregnant language, and to his scholarly
punctuation. Among our present writers, the art of punctuation is a lost
accomplishment; and it is usual now to find writings with hardly anything
but full stops; colons and semicolons are almost obsolete; commas are
neglected, or misused; and our slovenly pages are strewn with dashes, the
last resources of an untidy thinker, the certain witnesses to a careless
and unfinished sentence. How different, and how superior, is the way of
Gordon; who, though he can be homely and familiar, never lays aside the
well-bred and courteous manners of a polished Age. In his writings, the
leading clauses of a sentence are distinguished by their colons: the minor
clauses, by their semicolons; the nice meaning of the details is
expressed, the pleasure and the convenience of his readers are alike
increased, by his right and elegant use of commas. The comma, with us, is
used as a loop or bracket, and for little else: by the more accurate
scholars of the last Age, it was employed to indicate a finer meaning; to
mark an emphasis, or an elision; to introduce a relative clause; to bring
out the value of an happy phrase, or the nice precision of an epithet. And
thus the authors of the great century of prose, that orderly and spacious
time, assembled their words, arranged their sentences, and marshalled them
into careful periods: without any loss to the subtile meaning of their
thought, or any sacrifice of vigour, they exposed their subject in a
dignified procession of stately paragraphs; and when the end is reached we
look back upon a perfect specimen of the writer's art. We have grown
careless about form, we have little sense for balance and proportion, and
we have sacrificed the good manners of literature to an ill-bred liking
for haste and noise: it has been decided, that the old way of writing is
cumbersome and slow; as well might some guerilla chieftain have announced
to his fellow-barbarians, that Caesar's legions were not swift and
beautiful in their manoeuvres, nor irresistible in their advance. I have
spoken of our long sentences, with nothing but full stops: they are
variegated, here and there, with shorter sentences, sometimes of two
words; this way of writing is common in Macaulay or in the histories of
Mr. Green, and I have seen it recommended in Primers of Literature and
Manuals of Composition. With the jolting and unconnected fragments of
these authorities, I would contrast the musical and flowing periods of Dr.
Johnson's "Lives of the Poets": to study these works in solitude, will
probably be sufficient to justify my preference; but to hear them read
aloud, should convert the most unwilling listener into an advocate of my

Dr. Birkbeck Hill, in the delightful Preface to his Boswell, explains how
he was turned by a happy chance to the study of the literature of the
eighteenth century; and how he read on and on in the enchanting pages of
"The Spectator." "From Addison in the course of time I passed on," he
continues, "to the other great writers of his and the succeeding age,
finding in their exquisitely clear style, their admirable common-sense,
and their freedom from all the tricks of affectation, a delightful
contrast to so many of the eminent authors of our own time." These words
might be used of Gordon: I do not claim for him the style of Addison, nor
the accomplished negligence of Goldsmith; these are graces beyond the
reach of art; but he exhibits the common-sense, and the clear style, of
the eighteenth century. Like all the good writers of his time, he is
unaffected and "simplex munditiis"; he has the better qualities of Pyrrha,
and is "plain in his neatness." In Mr. Ward's edition of the English
Poets, there may be read side by side a notice of Collins and of Gray; the
one by Mr. Swinburne, the other by Mr. Matthew Arnold: I make no allusion
here to the greatness of either poet, to the merits of either style, nor
to the value of either criticism. But the essay upon Gray is quiet in
tone; it has an unity of treatment, and never deserts the principal
subject; it is suffused with light, and full of the most delicate
allusions: the essay on Collins, by being written in superlatives and
vague similes, deafens and perplexes the reader; and the author, by
squandering his resources, has no power to make fine distinctions, nor to
exalt one part of his thesis above another. These two performances
illustrate the last quality in Gordon, and in the old writers, to which I
shall draw attention: they were always restrained in their utterances, and
therefore they could be discriminating in their judgments; they could be
emphatic without noise, and deep without obscurity, ornamental but not
vulgar, carefully arranged but not stiff or artificial. They exhibit the
three indispensable gifts of the finest authorship: "simplicitas
munditiis," "lucidus ordo," "curiosa felicitas."

In this volume, Gordon's punctuation has been generally followed: his
orthography has been modernised a little, though not by my hands, nor with
my consent; and I have observed without regret, that some of Gordon's
original spellings have eluded the vigilance of the printer: that stern
official would by no means listen to my entreaties for the long "SS," the
turn-over words, or the bounteous capitals, which add so much to the
seductive and sober dignity of an eighteenth-century page; but, on the
whole, we have given a tolerable reproduction of Gordon's folio. In the
second edition, he himself made more changes than improvements. I will not
say, that Gordon has always conveyed the exact meaning of the sentences of
Tacitus: but he has done what is better, and more difficult; he has
grasped the broad meaning of his author, and caught something of his lofty
spirit. "A translation," he says, "ought to read like an original;" and
Gordon has not failed, I think, to reach this perfection. It is not
commonly attained among translators: Gordon says, of one rendering of
Tacitus, "'Tis not the fire of Tacitus, but his embers; quenched with
English words, cold and Gothick." Of the author of another version, he
says "Learning is his chief accomplishment, and thence his translation is
a very poor one." This judgment is true of most modern translations from
the Ancients; they may be correct versions, but are miserable English: the
authors, while studying the most perfect models of the art of writing,
have produced copies which are not literature at all. From this low
company, I would rescue Sir Charles Bowen's "Virgil": a delightful poem,
to those who are ignorant of Latin; an exquisite production, and an
amazing triumph, to those who converse with the original. There are many
English translations of Tacitus: the first, by Sir Henry Savile and "one
Greenway"; the former, says Gordon, "has performed like a schoolmaster,
the latter like a school-boy." Anthony Wood writes in another strain, in
the "Athenae Oxonienis": "A rare Translation it is, and the Work of a very
Great Master indeed, both in our Tongue and that Story. For if we consider
the difficulty of the Original, and the Age wherein the Translation lived,
it is both for the exactness of the version, and the chastity of the
Language, one of the most accurate and perfect translations that ever were
made into English." There is a rendering by Murphy, diffuse and poor; a
dilution of Gordon, worthy neither of Tacitus nor of the English tongue.
There are translations, too, into almost every modern language: I would
give the highest praise to Davanzati; a scholar of Tuscany, who lived in
the sixteenth century. In French, I cannot but admire the labours of M.
Burnouf: although the austere rules, the precise constructions, and the
easy comportment of the French prose are not suited to the style of
Tacitus, and something of his weight and brevity are lost; yet the
translator never loses the depth and subtilty of his author's meaning; his
work is agreeable to read, and very useful to consult. The maps and the
genealogical tables in the three volumes of Messrs. Church and Brodribb's
translation are also of the greatest service, and the notes are sometimes
most amusing.

Of Tacitus himself, there is little for me to say: those, who know him,
can judge for themselves; to those who do not, no words are able to convey
an adequate impression. "Who is able to infuse into me," Cardinal Newman
asks, "or how shall I imbibe, a sense of the peculiarities of the style of
Cicero or Virgil, if I have not read their writings? No description,
however complete, could convey to my mind an exact likeness of a tune, or
an harmony, which I have never heard; and still less of a scent, which I
have never smelled: and if I said that Mozart's melodies were as a summer
sky, or as the breath of Zephyr, I shall be better understood by those who
knew Mozart, than by those who did not." These truths are little
remembered by modern critics: though, indeed, it is not possible to convey
to a reader adequate notions about the style of an author, whom that
reader has not pondered for himself; about his thoughts or his subjects,
it may be different. Still, I may write something about the manner of
Tacitus, which will not violate Cardinal Newman's laws, nor be an outrage
to taste and common-sense. "It is the great excellence of a writer," says
Dr. Johnson, "to put into his book as much as it will hold:" and if this
judgment be sound, then is Tacitus the greatest of all writers in prose.
Gordon says of him, "He explains events with a redundancy of images, and a
frugality of words: his images are many, but close and thick; his words
are few, but pointed and glowing; and even his silence is instructive and
affecting. Whatever he says, you see; and all, that you see, affects you.
Let his words be ever so few, his thought and matter are always abundant.
His imagination is boundless, yet never outruns his judgment; his wisdom
is solid and vast, yet always enlivened by his imagination. He starts the
idea, and lets the imagination pursue it; the sample he gives you is so
fine, that you are presently curious to see the whole piece, and then you
have your share in the merit of the discovery; a compliment, which some
able writers have forgot to pay to their readers." I would remark here,
that many of the old writers give me the sense of handling things, they
are definite and solid; while some of the moderns appear to play with
words only, and never to come up with the objects of their pursuit: "we
are too often ravished with a sonorous sentence," as Dr. Johnson says, "of
which, when the noise is past, the meaning does not long remain." But of
Tacitus, Gordon says, "His words and phrases are admirably adapted to his
matter and conceptions, and make impressions sudden and wonderful upon the
mind of man. Stile is a part of genius, and Tacitus had one peculiar to
himself; a sort of language of his own, one fit to express the amazing
vigour of his spirit, and that redundancy of reflections which for force
and frequency are to be equalled by no writer before nor since."

Dr. Johnson, however, says in another place, "Tacitus, Sir, seems to me
rather to have made notes for an historical work, than to have written a
history:" I must own, that upon the subject of Tacitus, I prefer the
sentiments of Gordon; and Montaigne would agree with me, for he says, "I
do not know any author, who, in a work of history, has taken so broad a
view of human events, or given a more just analysis of particular
characters." The impressions of Tacitus are indeed wonderful: I doubt,
whether volumes could bring us nearer to the mutinous legions, than the
few chapters in which he records their history. I am always delighted by
Gordon's way of telling the battle, in which the iron men of Sacrovir were
overthrown; the account begins on page 139. Then how satisfying is the
narrative of the wars in Germany, of the shipwreck, of the funeral of
Varus and the slaughtered legions; how pleasing the description of
Germanicus' antiquarian travels in Egypt, and in Greece. Though Tacitus is
not a maker of "descriptions," in our modern sense: there is but one
"description" in "The Annals," so far as I remember, it is of Capri; and
it is not the sort, that would be quoted by a reviewer, as a "beautiful
cameo of description." With Tacitus, a field of battle is not an occasion
for "word-painting," as we call it; the battle is always first, the
scenery of less importance. He tells, what it is necessary to know; but he
is too wise to think, that we can realise from words, a place which we
have never seen; and too sound in his taste, to forget the wholesome
boundaries between poetry and prose. This is the way of all the ancient
writers. In a work on "Landscape," I remember that Mr. Hamerton mourns
over the Commentaries of Caesar; because they do not resemble the letters
of a modern war-correspondent; Ascham, on the other hand, a man of real
taste and learning, says of the Commentaries, "All things be most
perfectly done by him; in Caesar only, could never yet fault be found." I
agree with Ascham: I think I prefer the Commentaries as they are, chaste
and quiet; I really prefer them to Mr. Kinglake's "Crimean War," or to Mr.
Forbes' Despatches, or even to the most effusive pages of Mr. Stanley's
book on Africa.

In "The Life of Agricola," I would mention the simplicity of the treatment
and the excellence of the taste. Tacitus does not recite the whole of
Roman history, nor assemble all the worthies out of Plutarch. Agricola is
not compared to the pyramids, to the Flavian circus, nor to any works of
art and literature: these flights of imagination were not known to the
Ancients; but in a learned modern, I have seen Dante compared to Wagner's
operas, to the Parthenon and St. Peter's, and to Justinian's code. The
sanctities of private life are not violated; yet we know everything, that
it is decent to know, about Agricola. Lord Coleridge has given a beautiful
rendering of the closing passages of "The Agricola," in his account of Mr.
Matthew Arnold: these elegant papers are not only models of good English;
but are conspicuous, among recent obituary notices, for their fine taste
and their becoming reticence. From the excesses of modern biographers,
Tacitus was in little danger; thanks to his Roman sense, and to the
qualities of the Roman Language. "Economy," says Mr. Symonds, "is
exhibited in every element of this athletic tongue. Like a naked gladiator
all bone and muscle, it relies upon bare sinewy strength." That author
speaks of "the austere and masculine virtues of Latin, the sincerity and
brevity of Roman speech;" and Tacitus is, beyond any doubt, the strongest,
the austerest, the most pregnant of all the Romans. "Sanity," says Mr.
Matthew Arnold, in conclusion, "that is the great virtue of the ancient
literature; the want of that is the great defect of the modern, in spite
of all its variety and power." "It is impossible to read the great
ancients, without losing something of our caprice and eccentricity. I know
not how it is, but their commerce with the ancients appears to me to
produce, in those who constantly practise it, a steadying and composing
effect upon the judgment, not of literary works only, but of men and
events in general. They are like persons who have had a very weighty and
impressive experience; they are more truly than others under the empire of
facts, and more independent of the language current among those with whom
they live."

It has been told of Cardinal Newman, that he never liked to pass a single
day, without rendering an English sentence into Latin. To converse with
the Roman authors, to handle their precise and sparing language, is, I can
well believe it, a most wholesome discipline; and the most efficient
remedy against those faults of diffuseness, of obscurity, and of excess,
which are only too common among the writers of our day. It may have been
to this practice, that Cardinal Newman owed something of his clearness,
and of his exquisite simplicity: and for his style, he should be idolised
by every one who has a taste for literature. I have said many things in
praise of the ancient authors: it pleases me, as I finish, to offer my
humble tribute to an author who is quite our own; to one, who in all his
writings has bequeathed us perfect models of chaste, of lucid, and of
melodious prose.

_September_ 15, 1890.




A.D. 14 AND 15.

Kings were the original Magistrates of Rome: Lucius Brutus founded Liberty
and the Consulship: Dictators were chosen occasionally, and used only in
pressing exigencies. Little more than two years prevailed the supreme
power of the Decemvirate, and the consular jurisdiction of the military
Tribunes not very many. The domination of Cinna was but short, that of
Sylla not long. The authority of Pompey and Crassus was quickly swallowed
up in Caesar; that of Lepidus and Anthony in Augustus. The Commonwealth,
then long distressed and exhausted by the rage of her civil dissensions,
fell easily into his hands, and over her he assumed a sovereign dominion;
yet softened with a venerable name, that of Prince or Chief of the Senate.
But the several revolutions in the ancient free state of Rome, and all her
happy or disastrous events, are already recorded by writers of signal
renown. Nor even in the reign of Augustus were there wanting authors of
distinction and genius to have composed his story; till by the prevailing
spirit of fear, flattery, and abasement they were checked. As to the
succeeding Princes, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero; the dread of
their tyranny, whilst they yet reigned, falsified their history; and after
their fall, the fresh detestation of their cruelties inflamed their
Historians. Hence my own design of recounting briefly certain incidents in
the reign of Augustus, chiefly towards his latter end, and of entering
afterwards more fully into that of Tiberius and the other three; unbiassed
as I am in this undertaking by any resentment, or any affection; all the
influences of these personal passions being far from me.

When, after the fall of Brutus and Cassius, there remained none to fight
for the Commonwealth, and her arms were no longer in her own hands; when
Sextus Pompeius was utterly defeated in Sicily, Lepidus bereft of his
command. Marc Anthony slain; and of all the chiefs of the late Dictator's
party, only Octavius his nephew was left; he put off the invidious name of
Triumvir, and styling himself Consul, pretended that the jurisdiction
attached to the Tribuneship was his highest aim, as in it the protection
of the populace was his only view: but when once he had laid his
foundations wider, secured the soldiery by liberality and donations,
gained the people by store of provisions, and charmed all by the blessings
and sweetness of public peace, he began by politic gradations to exalt
himself, to extend his domination, and with his own power to consolidate
the authority of the Senate, jurisdiction of the Magistrate, and weight
and force of the Laws; usurpations in which he was thwarted by no man: all
the bravest Republicans and his most daring foes were slain in battle, or
gleaned up by the late sanguinary proscriptions; and for the surviving
Nobility, they were covered with wealth, and distinguished with public
honours, according to the measure of their debasement, and promptness to
bondage. Add, that all the creatures of this new Power, who in the loss of
public freedom had gained private fortunes, preferred a servile condition,
safe and possessed, to the revival of ancient liberty with personal peril.
Neither were the Provinces averse to the present Revolution, and
Sovereignty of one; since under that of the people and Senate they had
lived in constant fear and mistrust, sorely rent and harassed as they were
by the raging competition amongst our Grandees, as well as by the grievous
rapine and exactions of our Magistrates; in vain too, under these their
oppressions, had been their appeal to the protection of the laws, which
were utterly enfeebled and borne down by might and violence, by faction
and parties; nay, even by subornation and money.

Moreover, Augustus, in order to fortify his domination with collateral
bulwarks, raised his sister's son Claudius Marcellus, a perfect youth, to
the dignity of Pontiff and that of Aedile; preferred Marcus Agrippa to two
successive Consulships, a man in truth meanly born but an accomplished
soldier, and the companion of his victories; and Marcellus, the husband of
Julia, soon after dying, chose him for his son-in-law. Even the sons of
his wife, Tiberius Nero, and Claudius Drusus, he dignified with high
military titles and commands; though his house was yet supported by
descendants of his own blood. For into the Julian family and name of the
Caesars he had already adopted Lucius and Caius, the sons of Agrippa; and
though they were but children, neither of them seventeen years old,
vehement had been his ambition to see them declared Princes of the Roman
Youth and even designed to the Consulship; while openly, he was protesting
against admitting these early honours. Presently, upon the decease of
Agrippa, were these his children snatched away, either by their own
natural but hasty fate, or by the deadly fraud of their step-mother Livia;
Lucius on his journey to command the armies in Spain; Caius in his return
from Armenia, ill of a wound: and as Drusus, one of her own sons, had been
long since dead, Tiberius remained sole candidate for the succession. Upon
this object, centred all princely honours; he was by Augustus adopted for
his son, assumed Colleague in the Empire, partner in the jurisdiction
tribunitial, and presented under all these dignities to the several
armies: instances of grandeur which were no longer derived from the secret
schemes and plottings of his mother, as in times past, while her husband
had unexceptionable heirs of his own, but thenceforth bestowed at her open
suit. For as Augustus was now very aged, she had over him obtained such
absolute sway, that for her pleasure he banished into the Isle of Planasia
his only surviving grandson, Agrippa Postumus; one, in truth, destitute of
laudable accomplishments, in his temper untractable, and stupidly
conceited of his mighty strength, but branded with no misdemeanour or
transgression. The Emperor had withal set Germanicus, the son of Drusus,
over eight legions quartered upon the Rhine, and obliged Tiberius to adopt
him, though Tiberius had then a son of his own, one of competent years;
but it was the study of Augustus, to secure himself and the succession by
variety of stays and engraftments. War at that time there was none, except
that in Germany, kept on foot rather to abolish the disgrace sustained by
Quinctilius Varus, there slain with his army, than from any ambition to
enlarge the Empire, or for any other valuable advantage. In profound
tranquillity were affairs at Rome. To the Magistrates remained their
wonted names; of the Romans the younger sort had been born since the
battle of Actium, and even most of the old during the civil wars: how few
were then living who had seen the ancient free State!

The frame and economy of Rome being thus totally overturned, amongst the
Romans were no longer found any traces of their primitive spirit, or
attachment to the virtuous institutions of antiquity. But as the equality
of the whole was extinguished by the sovereignty of one, all men regarded
the orders of the Prince as the only rule of conduct and obedience; nor
felt they any anxiety, while Augustus yet retained vigour of life, and
upheld the credit of his administration with public peace, and the
imperial fortune of his house. But when he became broken with the pressure
of age and infirmities; when his end was at hand, and thence a new source
of hopes and views was presented, some few there were who began to reason
idly about the blessings and recovery of Liberty; many dreaded a civil
war, others longed for one; while far the greater part were uttering their
several apprehensions of their future masters; "that naturally stern and
savage was the temper of Agrippa, and by his public contumely enraged into
fury; and neither in age nor experience was he equal to the weight of
Empire. Tiberius indeed had arrived at fulness of years, and was a
distinguished captain, but possessed the inveterate pride entailed upon
the Claudian race; and many indications of a cruel nature escaped him, in
spite of all his arts to disguise it; besides that from his early infancy
he was trained up in a reigning house, and even in his youth inured to an
accumulation of power and honours, consulships and triumphs: nor during
the several years of his abode at Rhodes, where, under the plausible name
of retirement, a real banishment was covered, did he exercise other
occupation than that of meditating future vengeance, studying the arts of
treachery, and practising secret, abominable sensualities: add to these
considerations, that of his mother, a woman inspired with all the tyranny
of her sex; yes, the Romans must be under bondage to a woman, and moreover
enthralled by two youths, who would first combine to oppress the State,
and then falling into dissension, rend it piecemeal."

While the public was engaged in these and the like debates, the illness of
Augustus waxed daily more grievous; and some strongly suspected the
pestilent practices of his wife. For there had been, some months before, a
rumour abroad, that Augustus having singled out a few of his most faithful
servants, and taken Fabius Maximus for his only companion, had, with no
other retinue, sailed secretly over to the Island of Planasia, there to
visit his Grandson Agrippa; that many tears were shed on both sides, many
tokens of mutual tenderness shown, and hopes from thence conceived, that
the unhappy youth would be restored to his own place in his Grandfather's
family. That Maximus had disclosed it to Martia, she to Livia; and thence
the Emperor knew that the secret was betrayed: that Maximus being soon
after dead (dead, as it was doubted, through fear, by his own hands),
Martia was observed, in her lamentations and groans at his funeral, to
accuse herself as the sad cause of her husband's destruction. Whatever
truth was in all this, Tiberius was scarce entered Illyrium, but he was
hastily recalled by his mother's letters: nor is it fully known whether at
his return to Nola, he found Augustus yet breathing, or already
breathless. For Livia had carefully beset the palace, and all the avenues
to it, with detachments of the guards; and good news of his recovery were
from time to time given out. When she had taken all measures necessary in
so great a conjuncture, in one and the same moment was published the
departure of Augustus, and the accession of Tiberius.

The first feat of this new reign was the murder of young Agrippa: the
assassin, a bold and determined Centurion, found him destitute of arms,
and little apprehending such a destiny, yet was scarce able to despatch
him. Of this transaction Tiberius avoided any mention in the Senate: he
would have it pass for done by the commands of Augustus; as if he had
transmitted written orders to the Tribune, who guarded Agrippa, "to slay
him the instant he heard of his grandfather's decease." It is very true
that Augustus had made many and vehement complaints of the young man's
obstinate and unruly demeanour, and even solicited from the Senate a
decree to authorise his banishment: but he never hardened himself against
the sentiments of nature, nor in any instance dipped his hands in his own
blood; neither is it credible that he would barbarously sacrifice the life
of his grandson for the security and establishment of his step-son. More
probable it is, that this hasty murder was purely the work of Tiberius and
Livia; that the young Prince, hated and dreaded by both, fell thus
untimely, to rid the one of his apprehensions and a rival, and to satiate
in the other the rancorous spirit of a step-mother. When the Centurion,
according to the custom of the army, acquainted Tiberius, "that his
commands were executed;" he answered, "he had commanded no such execution,
and the Centurion must appear before the Senate, and for it be answerable
to them." This alarmed Sallustius Crispus, who shared in all his secret
counsels, and had sent the Centurion the warrant: he dreaded that he
should be arraigned for the assassination, and knew it equally perilous
either to confess the truth, and charge the Emperor; or falsely to clear
the Emperor, and accuse himself. Hence he had recourse to Livia, and
warned her, "never to divulge the secrets of the palace, never to expose
to public examination the ministers who advised, nor the soldiers who
executed: Tiberius should beware of relaxing the authority of the Prince,
by referring all things to that of the Senate; since it was the
indispensable prerogative of sovereignty for all men to be accountable
only to one."

Now at Rome, Consuls, Senators, and Roman Knights, were all rushing with
emulation into bondage, and the higher the quality of each the more false
and forward the men; all careful so to frame their faces, as to reconcile
false joy for the accession of Tiberius, with feigned sadness for the loss
of Augustus: hence they intermingled fears with gladness, wailings with
gratulations, and all with servile flattery. Sextus Pompeius and Sextus
Apuleius, at that time Consuls, took first the oath of fidelity to
Tiberius; then administered it to Seius Strabo and Caius Turranius; the
former Captain of the Praetorian Guards, the other Intendant of the Public
Stores. The oath was next given to the Senate, to the people, and to the
soldiery: all by the same Consuls; for Tiberius affected to derive all
public transactions from the legal ministry of the Consuls, as if the
ancient Republic still subsisted, and he were yet unresolved about
embracing the sovereign rule: he even owned in his edict for summoning the
Senate, that he issued it by virtue of the Tribunitial power, granted him
under Augustus. The edict, too, was short and unexceptionably modest. It
imported that, "they were to consider of the funeral honours proper to be
paid his deceased Father: for himself he would not depart from the corpse;
and further than this edict implied, he claimed no share in the public
administration." Yet from the moment Augustus was dead, he usurped all the
prerogatives of imperial state, gave the word to the Praetorian Cohorts;
had soldiers about the palace, guards about his person, went guarded in
the street, guarded to the Senate, and bore all the marks of Majesty: nay,
he writ letters to the several armies in the undisguised style of one
already their Prince: nor did he ever hesitate in expression, or speak
with perplexity, but when he spoke to the Senate. The chief cause of his
obscurity there proceeded from his fear of Germanicus: he dreaded that he,
who was master of so many legions, of numberless auxiliaries, and of all
the allies of Rome; he, who was the darling of the people, might wish
rather to possess the Empire, than to wait for it; he likewise, in this
mysterious way of dealing with the Senate, sought false glory, and would
rather seem by the Commonwealth chosen and called to the Empire, than to
have crept darkly into it by the intrigues of a woman, or by adoption from
a superannuated Prince. It was also afterwards found, that by this
abstruseness and counterfeit irresolution he meant to penetrate into the
designs and inclinations of the great men: for his jealous spirit
construed all their words, all their looks, into crimes; and stored them
up in his heart against a day of vengeance.

When he first met the Senate, he would bear no other business to be
transacted but that about the funeral of Augustus. His last will was
brought in by the Vestal Virgins: in it Tiberius and Livia were appointed
his heirs, Livia adopted into the Julian family, and dignified with the
name of Augusta: into the next and second degree of heirship he adopted
his grandchildren and their children; and in the third degree he named the
great men of Rome, most of them hated by him, but out of vainglory he
named them, and for future renown. His legacies were not beyond the usual
bounds; only he left to the Roman people four hundred thousand great
sesterces, [Footnote: 362,500.] to the populace or common sort, thirty-
five thousand; to every common soldier of the Praetorian Guards, a
thousand small sesterces, [Footnote: 8, 6s. 8d.] and to every soldier of
the Roman legions three hundred. [Footnote: 2, 10s.] The funeral honours
were next considered. The chief proposed were these: Asinius Gallus moved
that "the funeral should pass through the Triumphal Gate:" Lucius
Arruntius, "that the titles of all the laws which he had made, and the
names of all the nations which he had conquered, should be carried before
the corpse:" Valerius Messala added, that "the oath of allegiance to
Tiberius should be renewed every year;" and being asked by Tiberius,
"whether at his instigation he had made that motion?" "I spoke it as my
opinion," says Messala; "nor will I ever be determined by any but my own,
in things which concern the commonweal; let who will be provoked by my
freedom." Only this new turn was wanting to complete the prevailing
flattery of the time. The Senators then concurred in a loud cry, "that
upon their own shoulders they must bear the body to the pile." But
Tiberius declined the offer from an arrogant show of moderation. Moreover,
he cautioned the people by an edict, "not to disturb the funeral functions
with a zeal over-passionate, as they had those of Julius Caesar; nor to
insist that the corpse of Augustus should be burnt rather in the Forum,
than in the field of Mars, which was the place appointed." On the funeral
day the soldiers under arms kept guard; a mighty mockery this to those who
had either seen, or heard their fathers describe, the day when Caesar the
Dictator was slain: servitude was then new, its sorrows yet fresh and
bitter; and liberty unsuccessfully retrieved by a deed which, while it
seemed impious to some, was thought altogether glorious by others, and
hence tore Rome into tumults and the violence of parties: they who knew
that turbulent day, and compared it with the quiet exit of Augustus,
ridiculed the foppery of "calling an aid of soldiers to secure a peaceable
burial to a Prince who had grown old in peace and power, and even provided
against a relapse into liberty, by a long train of successors."

Hence much and various matter of observation concerning Augustus: the
superstitious multitude admired the fortuitous events of his fortune;
"that the last day of his life, and the first of his reign, was the same;
that he died at Nola, in the same village, and in the same house, and in
the same chamber, where his father Octavius died. They observed to his
glory, his many Consulships, equal in number to those of Valerius Corvinus
and of Caius Marius, joined together; that he had exercised the power of
the Tribuneship seven-and-thirty continued years: that he was one-and-
twenty times proclaimed Imperator; with many other numerous honours
repeated to him, or created for him." Men of deeper discernment entered
further into his life, but differed about it. His admirers said, "that his
filial piety to his father Caesar, and the distractions of the Republic,
where the laws no longer governed, had driven him into a civil war; which,
whatever be the first cause, can never be begun or carried, on by just and
gentle means." Indeed, to be revenged on the murderers of his father, he
had made many great sacrifices to the violent genius of Anthony; many to
Lepidus: but when Lepidus was become sunk and superannuated in sloth; when
Anthony was lost headlong in sensuality, there was then no other remedy
for the distracted State, rent piecemeal by its Chiefs, but the
sovereignty of one: Augustus, however, never had assumed to be over his
country King, or Dictator; but settled the government under the legal name
of Prince, or Chief of the Senate: he had extended the Empire, and set for
its bounds the distant ocean and rivers far remote; the several parts and
forces of the State, the legions, the provinces, and the navy, were all
properly balanced and connected; the citizens lived dutifully under the
protection of the law, the Allies in terms of respect, and Rome itself was
adorned with magnificent structures: indeed, in a few instances he had
exerted the arbitrary violence of power; and in but a few, only to secure
the peace of the whole.

In answer to all this, it was urged, that "his filial piety, and the
unhappy situation of the Republic, were pure pretences; but the ardent
lust of reigning, his true and only motive: with this spirit he had
solicited into his service, by bribery, a body of veteran soldiers: and
though a private youth, without post or magistracy, but, in defiance of
law, levied an army: with this spirit he had debauched and bought the
Roman legions under the Consuls, while he was falsely feigning a coalition
with Pompey's republican party: that soon after, when he had procured from
the Senate, or rather usurped the honours and authority of the
Praetorship; and when Hirtius and Pansa, the two Consuls, were slain, he
seized both their armies: that it was doubted whether the Consuls fell by
the enemy, or whether Pansa was not killed by pouring poison into his
wounds; and Hirtius slain by his own soldiers; and whether the young
Caesar was not the black contriver of this bloody treason: that by terror
he had extorted the Consulship in spite of the Senate; and turned against
the Commonwealth the very arms with which the Commonwealth had trusted him
for her defence against Anthony. Add to all this his cruel proscriptions,
and the massacre of so many citizens, his seizing from the public and
distributing to his own creatures so many lands and possessions; a
violation of property not justified even by those who gained by it. But,
allowing him to dedicate to the Manes of the Dictator the lives of Brutus
and Cassius (though more to his honour had it been to have postponed his
own personal hate to public good), did he not betray the young Pompey by
an insidious peace, betray Lepidus by a deceitful show of friendship? Did
he not next ensnare Marc Anthony, first by treaties, those of Tarentum and
Brundusium; then by a marriage, that of his sister Octavia? And did not
Anthony at last pay with his life the penalty of that subdolous alliance?
After this, no doubt there was peace, but a bloody peace; bloody in the
tragical defeat of Lollius, and that of Varus, in Germany; and at Rome,
the Varrones, the Egnatii, the Julii (those illustrious names) were put to
death." Nor was his domestic life spared upon this occasion. "He had
arbitrarily robbed Nero of his wife big with child by her husband; and
mocked the Gods by consulting the Priests; whether religion permitted him
to marry her before her delivery, or obliged him to stay till after. His
minions, Tedius and Vedius Pollio, had lived in scandalous and excessive
luxury: his wife Livia, who wholly controlled him, had proved a cruel
governess to the Commonwealth; and to the Julian house, a more cruel
step-mother: he had even invaded the incommunicable honours of the Gods,
and setting up for himself temples like theirs, would like them be adored
in the image of a Deity, with all the sacred solemnity of Priests and
sacrifices: nor had he adopted Tiberius for his successor, either out of
affection for him, or from concern for the public welfare; but having
discovered in him a spirit proud and cruel, he sought future glory from
the blackest opposition and comparison." For, Augustus, when, a few years
before, he solicited the Senate to grant to Tiberius another term of the
authority of the Tribuneship, though he mentioned him with honour, yet
taking notice of his odd humour, behaviour, and manners, dropped some
expressions, which, while they seemed to excuse him, exposed and upbraided

As soon as the funeral of Augustus was over, a temple and divine worship
were forthwith decreed him. The Senate then turned their instant
supplications to Tiberius, to fill his vacant place; but received an
abstruse answer, touching the greatness of the Empire and his own distrust
of himself; he said that "nothing but the divine genius of Augustus was
equal to the mighty task: that for himself, who had been called by him
into a participation of his cares, he had learnt by feeling them, what a
daring, what a difficult toil was that of government, and how perpetually
subject to the caprices of fortune: that in a State supported by so many
illustrious patriots they ought not to cast the whole administration upon
one; and more easy to be administered were the several offices of the
Government by the united pains and sufficiency of many." A pompous and
plausible speech, but in it little faith and sincerity. Tiberius, even
upon subjects which needed no disguises, used words dark and cautious;
perhaps from his diffident nature, perhaps from a habit of dissembling: at
this juncture indeed, as he laboured wholly to hide his heart, his
language was the more carefully wrapped up in equivoques and obscurity:
but the Senators, who dreaded nothing so much as to seem to understand
him, burst into tears, plaints, and vows; with extended arms they
supplicated the Gods, invoked the image of Augustus, and embraced the
knees of Tiberius. He then commanded the imperial register to be produced
and recited. It contained a summary of the strength and income of the
Empire, the number of Romans and auxiliaries in pay, the condition of the
navy, of the several kingdoms paying tribute, and of the various provinces
and their revenues, with the state of the public expense, the issues of
the exchequer, and all the demands upon the public. This register was all
writ by the hand of Augustus; and in it he had subjoined his counsel to
posterity, that the present boundaries of the Empire should stand fixed
without further enlargement; but whether this counsel was dictated by fear
for the public, or by envy towards his successors, is uncertain.

Now when the Senate was stooping to the vilest importunity and
prostrations, Tiberius happened to say, that, "as he was unequal to the
weight of the whole government; so if they entrusted him with any
particular part, whatever it were, he would undertake it." Here Asinius
Gallus interposed: "I beg to know, Caesar," says he, "what part of the
government you desire for your share?" He was astonished with the
unexpected question, and, for a short space, mute; but recovering himself,
answered, that "it ill became his modesty to choose or reject any
particular branch of the administration, when he desired rather to be
excused from the whole." Gallus, who in his face conjectured sullen signs
of displeasure, again accosted him, and said, "by this question I did not
mean that you should do an impracticable thing, and share that power which
cannot be separated; but I meant to reason you into a confession that the
Commonwealth is but one body, and can be governed only by one soul." He
added an encomium upon Augustus, and reminded Tiberius himself of his many
victories, of the many civil employments which he had long and nobly
sustained: nor even thus could he mollify the wrath of Tiberius, who had
long hated him, for that Gallus had married Vipsania, daughter of Marcus
Agrippa, and formerly wife to Tiberius, who thence suspected that by this
match he meant to soar above the rank of a subject, and possessed too the
bold and haughty spirit of Asinius Pollio his father.

Lucius Arruntius incurred his displeasure next, by a speech not much
unlike that of Gallus: it is true, that towards him Tiberius bore no old
rancour; but Arruntius had mighty opulence, prompt parts, noble
accomplishments, with equal popularity, and hence was marked by him with a
fell eye of suspicion. For, as Augustus, shortly before his decease, was
mentioning those among the great men, who were capable of the supreme
power, but would not accept it; or unequal to it, yet wished for it; or
such, as had both ambition and sufficiency; he had said, that "Marcus
Lepidus was qualified, but would reject it; Asinius would be aspiring, but
had inferior talents; and that Lucius Arruntius wanted no sufficiency, and
upon a proper occasion would attempt it." That he spoke thus of Lepidus
and Asinius, is agreed; but, instead of Arruntius, some writers have
transmitted the name of Cneius Piso: and every one of these great men,
except Lepidus, were afterwards cut off, under the imputation of various
crimes, all darkly framed by Tiberius. Quintus Haterius and Mamercus
Scaurus did thereafter incense his distrustful spirit; the first by asking
him, "How long, Caesar, wilt thou suffer the Commonwealth to remain
destitute of a head?" Scaurus, because he had said "there was room to hope
that the prayers of the Senate would not prove abortive, since he had not
opposed as Tribune, nor rendered invalid, as he might, the motion of the
Consuls in his behalf." With Haterius he fell into instant rage; towards
Scaurus his resentment was more deep and implacable, and in profound
silence he hid it. Wearied at last with public importunity and clamour,
and with particular expostulations, he began to unbend a little; not that
he would own his undertaking the Empire, but only avoid the uneasiness of
perpetually rejecting endless solicitations. It is known how Haterius,
when he went next day to the palace to implore pardon, and throwing
himself at the feet of Tiberius embraced his knees, narrowly escaped being
slain by the soldiers; because Tiberius, who was walking, tumbled down,
whether by chance, or whether his legs were entangled in the arms of
Haterius: neither was he a jot mollified by the danger which threatened so
great a man, who was at length forced to supplicate Augusta for
protection; nor could even she obtain it, but after the most laboured

Towards Livia, too, exorbitant was the flattering court of the Senate.
Some were for decreeing her the general title of Mother; others the more
particular one of Mother Of Her Country; and almost all moved, that to the
name of Tiberius should be added, The Son Of Julia: Tiberius urged in
answer, that "public honours to women ought to be warily adjudged, and
with a sparing hand; and that with the same measure of moderation he would
receive such as were presented to himself." In truth, full of envy as he
was, and anxious lest his own grandeur should sink as that of his mother
rose, he would not suffer so much as a Lictor to be decreed her, and even
forbade the raising her an altar upon her late adoption, or paying her any
such solemnities. But for Germanicus he asked the Proconsular power; and
to carry him that dignity, honourable deputies were sent, as also to
mollify his sorrow for the death of Augustus. If for Drusus he demanded
not the same honour, it was because Drusus was present and already Consul
designed. He then named twelve candidates for the Praetorship; the same
number settled by Augustus; and though the Senate requested him to
increase it, by an oath he bound himself never to exceed.

The privilege of creating Magistrates was now first translated from the
assemblies of the people to the Senate; for though the Emperor had before
conducted all affairs of moment at his pleasure; yet till that day some
were still transacted by the Tribes, and carried by their bent and
suffrages. Neither did the regret of the people for the seizure of these
their ancient rights rise higher than some impotent grumbling. The Senate
too liked the change; as by it they were released from the charge of
buying votes, and from the shame of begging them: and so moderate was
Tiberius, that of the twelve candidates he only reserved to himself the
recommendation of four, to be accepted without opposition or caballing. At
the same time, the Tribunes of the people asked leave to celebrate at
their own expense certain plays in honour of Augustus, such as were to be
called after his name, and inserted in the calendar. But it was decreed,
that out of the Exchequer the charge should be defrayed, and the Tribunes
should in the circus wear the triumphal robe; but to be carried in
chariots was denied them. The annual celebration of these plays was, for
the future, transferred to one of the Praetors, him in particular to whom
should fall the jurisdiction of deciding suits between citizens and

Thus stood affairs at Rome when a sedition seized the legions in Pannonia;
without any fresh grounds, save that from a change of Princes, they meant
to assume a warrant for licentiousness and tumult, and from a civil war
hoped great earnings and acquisitions: they were three legions encamped
together, all commanded by Junius Blesus, who, upon notice of the death of
Augustus and the accession of Tiberius, had granted the soldiers a recess
from their wonted duties for some days, as a time either of public
mourning or festivity. From being idle they waxed wanton, quarrelsome, and
turbulent; greedily listened to mutinous discourses; the most profligate
amongst them had most credit with them, and at last they became passionate
for a life of sloth and riot, utterly averse to all military discipline
and every fatigue of the camp. In the camp was one Percennius; formerly a
busy leader in the embroilments of the theatre, and now a common soldier;
a fellow of a petulant, declaiming tongue, and by inflaming parties in the
playhouse, well qualified to excite and infatuate a crowd. This incendiary
practised upon the ignorant and unwary, such as were solicitous what might
prove their future usage, now Augustus was dead. He engaged them in
nightly confabulations, and by little and little incited them to violence
and disorders; and towards the evening, when the soberest and best
affected were withdrawn, he assembled the worst and most turbulent. When
he had thus ripened them for sedition, and other ready incendiaries were
combined with him, he personated the character of a lawful Commander, and
thus questioned and harangued them:

"Why did they obey, like slaves, a few Centurions and a fewer Tribunes?
When would they be bold enough to demand redress of their heavy
grievances, unless they snatched the present occasion, while the Emperor
was yet new and his authority wavering, to prevail with him by petition,
or by arms to force him? They had already by the misery of many years paid
dear for their patient sloth and stupid silence, since decrepit with age
and maimed with wounds, after a course of service for thirty or forty
years, they were still doomed to carry arms: nor even to those who were
discharged was there any end of the misery of warfare; they were still
kept tied to the colours, and under the creditable title of Veterans
endured the same hardships, and underwent the same labours. But suppose
any of them escaped so many dangers, and survived so many calamities,
where was their reward at last? Why, a long and weary march remained yet
to be taken into countries far remote and strange; where, under the name
of lands given them to cultivate, they had unhospitable bogs to drain, and
the wild wastes of mountains to manure. Severe and ungainful of itself was
the occupation of war: ten Asses [Footnote: About 5d.] a day the poor
price of their persons and lives; out of this, they must buy clothes, and
tents, and arms; out of this, bribe the cruel Centurions for a forbearance
of blows, and occasional exemption from hard duty: but stripes from their
officers, and wounds from their enemies, hard winters and laborious
summers, bloody wars and barren peace, were miseries without end: nor
remained there other cure or relief than to refuse to enlist but upon
conditions certain, and fixed by themselves; particularly, that their pay
be a denarius or sixteen Asses a day, [Footnote: About 8-1/2d.] sixteen
years be the utmost term of serving; when discharged, to be no longer
obliged to follow the colours, but have their reward in ready money, paid
them in the camp where they earned it. Did the Praetorian Guards, they who
had double pay, they who after sixteen years' service were paid off and
sent home, bear severer difficulties, undergo superior dangers? He did not
mean to detract from the merit of their brethren the City guards; their
own lot however it was, to be placed amongst horrid and barbarous nations,
nor could they look from their tents, but they saw the foe."

The whole crowd received this harangue with shouts of applause; but from
various instigations. Some displayed upon their bodies the obvious
impressions of stripes, others their hoary heads, many their vestments
ragged and curtailed, with backs utterly bare; as did all, their various
griefs, in the bitterness of reproach. At length to such excessive fury
they grew, that they proposed to incorporate the three legions into one;
nor by aught but emulation was the project defeated: for to his own legion
every man claimed the prerogative of swallowing and denominating the other
two. They took another method, and placed the three Eagles of the legions,
with the standards of the several cohorts, altogether without rank or
priority; then forthwith digged turf and were rearing a tribunal, one high
enough to be seen at a distance. In this hurry arrived Blesus, who,
falling into sore rebukes, and by force interrupting particulars, called
with vehemence to all: "Dip your hands rather in my blood: to murder your
General will be a crime less shameful and heinous than to revolt from your
Prince; for determined I am, either to preserve the legions in their faith
and obedience, if you kill me not for my intended good office; or my
death, if I fall by your hands, shall hasten your remorse."

For all this, turfs were accumulated, and the work was already breast
high, when, at last, overcome by his spirit and perseverance, they
forbore. Blesus was an able speaker: he told them "that sedition and
mutiny were not the methods of conveying to the Emperor the pretensions of
the soldiers; their demands too were new and singular; such as neither the
soldiers of old had ever made to the ancient Generals, nor they themselves
to the deified Augustus: besides, their claims were ill-timed, when the
Prince, just upon his accession, was already embarrassed with the weight
and variety of other cares. If, however, they meant to try to gain in full
peace those concessions, which, even after a civil war, the conquerors
never claimed; yet why trample upon duty and obedience, why reject the
laws of the army, and rules of discipline? And if they meant to petition,
why meditate violence? They might at least appoint deputies; and in his
presence trust them with their pretensions." Here they all cried out,
"that the son of Blesus, one of their Tribunes, should execute that
deputation; and demand in their name that, after sixteen years' service
they should be discharged: they said they would give him new orders, when
he had succeeded in these." After the departure of the young officer, a
moderate recess ensued; the soldiers however exulted to have carried such
a point: the sending the son of their General, as the public advocate for
their cause, was to them full proof that they had gained by force and
terror that which by modesty and gentle means they would never have

In the meantime those companies which, before the sedition began, were
sent to Nauportum [Footnote: Over-Laybach, in Carniola.] to mend roads and
bridges, and upon other duties, no sooner heard of the uproar in the camp,
but they cast off all obedience, tore away the ensigns, and plundered the
neighbouring villages; even Nauportum itself, which for greatness
resembled a municipal town, was plundered. The endeavours of the
Centurions to restrain this violence, were first returned with mockery and
contempt, then with invectives and contumelies, at last with outrage and
blows. Their vengeance was chiefly bent against the Camp-Marshal,
Aufidienus Rufus: him they dragged from his chariot, and, loading him with
baggage, drove him before the first ranks; they then insulted him, and
asked in scorn, "whether he would gladly bear such enormous burdens,
whether endure such immense marches?" Rufus had been long a common
soldier, then became a Centurion, and afterwards Camp-Marshal; a severe
restorer of primitive strictness and discipline; an indefatigable observer
of every military duty, which he exacted from others with the more rigour,
as he had himself undergone them all with patience.

By the arrival of this tumultuous band the sedition was again awakened to
its former outrage, and the seditious, roving abroad without control,
ravaged the country on every side. Blesus, for an example of terror to the
rest, commanded those who were most laden with plunder, to be punished
with stripes and cast into prison: for the General was still dutifully
obeyed by the Centurions, and by all the soldiers of any merit; but the
criminals refused to submit, and even struggled with the guard who were
carrying them off; they clasped the knees of the bystanders, implored help
from their fellows, now calling upon every individual, and conjuring them
by their particular names; then appealed to them in a body, and
supplicated the company, the cohort, the legion to which they belonged;
warning and proclaiming that the same ignominy and chastisement hung over
them all. With the same breath they heaped invectives without measure upon
their General, and called upon heaven and all the Gods to be their
witnesses and avengers; nor left they aught unattempted to raise effectual
hatred, compassion, terror, and every species of fury. Hence the whole
body rushed to their relief, burst open the prison, unbound and rescued
the prisoners: thus they owned for their brethren, and incorporated with
themselves, infamous revolters, and traitors convict and condemned.

Hence the violence became more raging, and hence more sedition from more
leaders. There was particularly one Vibulenus, a common soldier, who,
exalted on the shoulders of his comrades, before the tribunal of Blesus,
thus declaimed in the ears of a multitude already outrageous, and eager to
hear what he had to say. "To these innocents," says he, "to these
miserable sufferers, our fellow-soldiers, you have indeed restored breath
and liberty: but who will restore life to my poor brother; who my poor
brother to me? He was sent hither by the German armies, with propositions
for our common good; and for this, was last night butchered by that same
Blesus, who in the murder employed his gladiators, bloody men, whom he
purposely entertains and arms for our common execution. Where, oh where,
Blesus, hast thou thrown his unoffending and mangled corpse? Even open
enemies do not inhumanly deny burial to the slain: when I have satiated my
sorrow with a thousand kisses, and a flood of tears; command me also to be
murdered, that these our brethren may together bury my poor brother and
me, slaughtered both as victims, yet both guiltless of any crime but that
of studying the common interest of the legions."

He inflamed those his complaints and expostulations with affecting sighs
and lamentations, beat his breast, tore his face, and showed all the
symptoms of anguish. Then those who carried him giving way, he threw
himself headlong at the feet of his companions; and thus prostrate and
supplicating, in them raised such a spirit of commiseration and such a
storm of vengeance, that one party of them instantly seized and bound the
General's gladiators; another, the rest of his family; while many ran and
dispersed themselves to search for the corpse: and had it not been quickly
manifest that there was no corpse to be found, that the slaves of Blesus
had upon the rack cleared themselves, and that Vibulenus never had any
brother; they had gone nigh to have sacrificed the General. As it was,
they expulsed the Camp-Marshal and Tribunes; and as they fled, plundered
their baggage: they likewise put to death Lucilius the Centurion, whom
they had sarcastically named _Cedo Alteram_, because when upon the back of
a soldier he had broken one wand, he was wont to call for another, and
then a third. The other Centurions lurked in concealment, all but Julius
Clemens, who for his prompt capacity was saved, in order to manage the
negotiations of the soldiers: even two of the legions, the eighth and the
fifteenth, were ready to turn their swords upon each other; and had, but
for the ninth: one Sirpicus, a centurion, was the subject of the quarrel;
him the eighth required to be put to death, and the fifteenth protected
him; but the ninth interposed with entreaties to both, and with threats to
those who would not listen to prayers.

Tiberius, however, close and impenetrable, and ever labouring to smother
all melancholy tidings, was yet driven by those from Pannonia, to despatch
his son Drusus thither, accompanied by the principal nobility and guarded
by two Praetorian cohorts; but charged with no precise instructions, only
to adapt his measures to the present exigency: the cohorts were
strengthened with an extraordinary addition of chosen men, with the
greatest part of the Praetorian horse, and main body of the German, then
the Emperor's guards. Aelius Sejanus, lately joined with his father Strabo
in the command of the Praetorian bands, was also sent, not only as
Governor to the young Prince, but as his credit with the Emperor was known
to be mighty, to deal with the revolters by promises and terrors. When
Drusus approached, the legions, for show of respect, marched out to meet
him; not with the usual symptoms and shouts of joy, nor with gay ensigns
and arms glittering, but in a dress and accoutrements hideous and squalid:
in their countenances too, though composed to sadness, were seen greater
marks of sullenness and contumacy.

As soon as he was within the camp, they secured the entrances with guards,
and in several quarters of it placed parties upon duty: the rest crowded
about the tribunal of Drusus, who stood beckoning with his hand for
silence. Here as often as they surveyed their own numbers and met one
another's resentful looks, they uttered their rage in horrible cries:
again, when upon the tribunal they beheld Caesar, awe and trembling seized
them: now, there prevailed an hollow and inarticulate murmur; next, a
furious clamour; then suddenly a dead silence: so that, by a hasty
succession of opposite passions, they were at once dismayed and dreadful.
When at last the uproar was stayed, he read his father's letters, who in
them declared, "that he would take an affectionate care of the brave and
invincible legions by whom he had sustained successfully so many wars;
and, as soon as his grief was a little abated, deal with the Senate about
their demands; in the meantime he had sent them his son, on purpose to
make them forthwith all the concessions, which could instantly be made
them: the rest were to be reserved for the Senate, the proper distributers
of rewards and punishments by a right altogether unalienable."

The assembly answered, that to Julius Clemens they had intrusted what to
speak in their name: he began with their demands, "to be discharged after
sixteen years' service, to have the reward which, for past services upon
that discharge, they claimed; their pay to be increased to a Roman
denarius; the veterans to be no longer detained under their ensigns." When
Drusus urged, that wholly in the judgment of the Senate and his father,
these matters rested he was interrupted by their clamours: "To what
purpose came he; since he could neither augment their pay, nor alleviate
their grievances? and while upon them every officer was allowed to inflict
blows and death, the son of their Emperor wanted power to relieve them by
one beneficent action. The policy this of the late reign, when Tiberius
frustrated every request of the soldiers, by referring all to Augustus;
now Drusus was come with the same artifices to delude them: were they
never to have a higher visit than from the children of their Prince? It
was, indeed, unaccountable, that to the Senate the Emperor should leave no
part in the direction of the army, only the rewarding of the soldiery:
ought not the same Senate to be consulted as often as a battle was to be
fought, or a private man to be punished? or, were their recompenses to be
adjudged by many masters, but their punishments to remain without any
restraint or moderator whatsoever?"

At last they abandoned the tribunal, and with menaces and insults fell
upon all they met belonging to Drusus, either as guards or friends;
meditating thus to provoke a quarrel, and an introduction to blood.
Chiefly enraged they were against Cneius Lentulus, as one for years and
warlike renown superior to any about the person of Drusus, and thence
suspected to have hardened the Prince, and been himself the foremost to
despise these outrages in the soldiery: nor was it long after, that as he
was leaving Drusus, and from the foresight of danger returning to the
winter quarters, they surrounded him and demanded "whither he went? to the
Emperor or Senate? there also to exercise his enmity to the legions, and
oppose their interest?" and instantly assaulted him with stones. He was
already covered with wounds and blood, and awaiting certain assassination,
when the troops attending Drusus flew to his assistance and saved him.

The following night had a formidable aspect, and threatened the speedy
eruption of some tragical vengeance; when a phenomenon intervened and
assuaged all. The Moon, in the midst of a clear sky, seemed to the
soldiers suddenly to sicken; and they, who were ignorant of the natural
cause, took this for an omen foreboding the issue of their present
adventures: to their own labours, they compared the eclipse of the planet;
and prophesied, "that if to the distressed Goddess should be restored her
wonted brightness and vigour, equally successful would be the issue of
these their struggles." Hence they strove to charm and revive her with
sounds, and by ringing upon brazen metal, and an uproar of trumpets and
cornets, made a vehement bellowing. As she appeared brighter or darker,
they exulted or lamented; but when gathering clouds had utterly bereft
them of her sight, and they believed her now buried in everlasting
darkness; then, as minds once thoroughly dismayed are pliant to
superstition, they bewailed "their own eternal sufferings thus portended,
and that against their misdeeds the angry Deities were contending."
Drusus, who thought it behoved him to improve this disposition of theirs,
and to reap the fruits of wisdom from the operations of chance; ordered
certain persons to go round, and apply to them from tent to tent. For this
purpose, he called and employed the Centurion Julius Clemens, and whoever
else were by honest methods acceptable to the multitude. These insinuated
themselves everywhere, with those who kept watch, or were upon patrol, or
guarded the gates; soothing all with hopes, and by terrors rousing them.
"How long," said they, "shall we hold the son of our Emperor thus
besieged? Where will our broils and wild contentions end? Shall we swear
allegiance to Percennius and Vibulenus? Will Vibulenus and Percennius
support us with pay during our service, and reward us with lands when
dismissed? In short, shall two common men dispossess the Neros and the
Drusi, and to themselves assume the Empire of the Roman People? Let us be
wiser; and as we were the last to revolt, be the first to relent. Such
demands, as comprise terms for all, are ever slowly accorded; but
particulars may, when they please, merit instant favour, and instantly
receive it." These reasonings alarmed them, and filled them with mutual
jealousies. Presently the fresh soldiers forsook the veterans, and one
legion separated from another; then by degrees returned the love of duty
and obedience. They relinquished the guard of the gates: and the Eagles
and other ensigns, which in the beginning of the tumult they had thrown
together, were now restored each to its distinct station.

Drusus, as soon as it was day, summoned an assembly, and though unskilled
in speaking, yet with a haughtiness inherent in his blood, rebuked their
past and commended their present behaviour. "With threats and terrors," he
said, "it was impossible to subdue him; but if he saw them reclaimed to
submission, if from them he heard the language of supplicants, he would
send to his father to accept with a reconciled spirit the petitions of the
legions," Hence, at their entreaty, for their deputy to Tiberius the same
Blesus was again despatched, and with him Lucius Apronius, a Roman Knight
of the cohort of Drusus; and Justus Catonius, a Centurion of the first
order. There followed great debates in the council of Drusus, while some
advised "to suspend all proceeding till the return of the deputies, and by
a course of courtesy the while to soothe the soldiers; others maintained,
that remedies more potent must needs be applied: in a multitude, was to be
found nothing on this side extremes; always imperious where they are not
awed, and to be without danger despised when frightened: to their present
terror from superstition was to be added the dread of their General, by
his dooming to death the authors of the sedition." Rather prompt to
rigorous counsels was the genius of Drusus: Vibulenus and Percennius were
produced, and by his command executed; it is by many recounted, that in
his own tent they were secretly despatched and buried; by others, that
their bodies were ignominiously thrown over the entrenchments, for a
public spectacle of terror.

Search was then made for other remarkable incendiaries. Some were caught
skulking without the camp, and there by the Centurions or Praetorian
soldiers slain; others were by their several companies delivered up, as a
proof of their own sincere faith. The consternation of the soldiers was
heightened by the precipitate accession of winter, with rains incessant
and so violent, that they were unable to stir from their tents, or
maintain common intercourse, nay, scarce to preserve their standards,
assaulted continually by tempestuous winds and raging floods. Dread
besides of the angry Gods still possessed them; nor was it at random, they
thought, that such profane traitors were thus visited with black eclipses
and roaring tempests; neither against these their calamities was there
other relief than the relinquishing of a camp by impiety contaminated and
accursed, and after expiation of their guilt returning to their several
garrisons. The eighth legion departed first; and then the fifteenth: the
ninth, with earnest clamours, pressed for continuing there till the
letters from Tiberius arrived; but when deserted by the other two, their
courage failed, and by following of their own accord, they prevented the
shame of being forced. Drusus seeing order and tranquillity restored,
without staying for the return of the deputies, returned himself to Rome.

Almost at the same time, and from the same causes, the legions in Germany
raised an insurrection, with greater numbers, and thence with more fury.
Passionate too were their hopes that Germanicus would never brook the rule
of another, but yield to the spirit of the legions, who had force
sufficient to bring the whole Empire under his sway. Upon the Rhine were
two armies; that called the higher, commanded by Caius Silius, Lieutenant-
General; the lower, by Aulus Caecina: the command in chief rested in
Germanicus, then busy collecting the tribute in Gaul. The forces however
under Silius, with cautious ambiguity, watched the success of the revolt
which others began: for the soldiers of the lower army had broken out into
open outrages, which took its rise from the fifth legion, and the one-
and-twentieth; who after them drew the first, and twentieth. These were
altogether upon the frontiers of the Ubians, passing the campaign in utter
idleness or light duty: so that upon the news that Augustus was dead, the
whole swarm of new soldiers lately levied in the city, men accustomed to
the effeminacies of Rome, and impatient of every military hardship, began
to possess the ignorant minds of the rest with many turbulent
expectations, "that now was presented the lucky juncture for veterans to
demand entire dismission; the fresh soldiers, larger pay; and all, some
mitigation of their miseries; as also to return due vengeance for the
cruelties of the Centurions." These were not the harangues of a single
incendiary, like Percennius amongst the Pannonian legions; nor uttered, as
there, in the ears of men who, while they saw before their eyes armies
greater than their own, mutinied with awe and trembling: but here was a
sedition of many mouths, filled with many boasts, "that in their hands lay
the power and fate of Rome; by their victories the empire was enlarged,
and from them the Caesars took, as a compliment, the surname of

Neither did Caecina strive to restrain them. A madness so extensive had
bereft him of all his bravery and firmness. In this precipitate frenzy
they rushed at once, with swords drawn, upon the Centurions, the eternal
objects of their resentment, and always the first victims to their
vengeance. Them they dragged to the earth, and upon each bestowed a
terrible portion of sixty blows; a number proportioned to that of
Centurions in a legion. Then bruised, mangled, and half expiring, as they
were, they cast them all out of the camp, some into the stream of the
Rhine. Septimius, who had for refuge fled to the tribunal of Caecina, and
lay clasping his feet, was demanded with such imperious vehemence, that he
was forced to be surrendered to destruction. Cassius Cherea (afterwards
famous to posterity for killing Caligula), then a young man of undaunted
spirit, and one of the Centurions, boldly opened himself a passage with
his sword through a crowd of armed foes striving to seize him. After this
no further authority remained to the Tribunes, none to the Camp-Marshals.
The seditious soldiers were their own officers; set the watch, appointed
the guard, and gave all orders proper in the present exigency; hence those
who dived deepest into the spirit of the soldiery, gathered a special
indication how powerful and obdurate the present insurrection was like to
prove; for in their conduct were no marks of a rabble, where every man's
will guides him, or the instigation of a few controls the whole. Here, all
at once they raged, and all at once kept silence; with so much concert and
steadiness, that you would have believed them under the sovereign
direction of one.

To Germanicus the while, then receiving, as I have said, the tribute in
Gaul, news were brought of the decease of Augustus; whose grand-daughter
Agrippina he had to wife, and by her many children: he was himself the
grandson of Livia, by her son Drusus, the brother of Tiberius; but ever
under heavy anxiety from the secret hate which his uncle and grandmother
bore him: hate the more virulent as its grounds were altogether
unrighteous; for, dear and adored was the memory of his father Drusus
amongst the Roman People, and from him was firmly expected that had he
succeeded to the Empire, he would have restored public liberty: hence
their zeal for Germanicus, and of him the same hopes conceived; as from
his youth he possessed a popular spirit, and marvellous affability utterly
remote from the comportment and address of Tiberius, ever haughty and
mysterious. The animosities too between the ladies administered fresh
fuel; while towards Agrippina, Livia was actuated by the despite natural
to step-mothers: and over-tempestuous was the indignation of Agrippina;
only that her known chastity and love for her husband, always gave her
mind, however vehement, a virtuous turn.

But Germanicus, the nearer he stood to supreme rule, the more vigour he
exerted to secure it to Tiberius: to him he obliged the Sequanians, a
neighbouring people, as also the several Belgic cities, to swear present
allegiance; and the moment he learnt the uproar of the legions, posted
thither: he found them advanced without the camp to receive him, with eyes
cast down, in feigned token of remorse. After he entered the
entrenchments, instantly his ears were filled with plaints and grievances,
uttered in hideous and mixed clamours: nay, some catching his hand, as if
they meant to kiss it, thrust his fingers into their mouths, to feel their
gums destitute of teeth; others showed their limbs enfeebled, and bodies
stooping under old age. As he saw the assembly mixed at random, he
commanded them "to range themselves into companies, thence more distinctly
to hear his answers; as also to place before them their several ensigns,
that the cohorts at least might be distinguished."

With slowness and reluctance it was, that they obeyed him; then beginning
with an encomium upon the "venerable memory of Augustus," he proceeded to
the "many victories and many triumphs of Tiberius," and with peculiar
praises celebrated the "glorious and immortal deeds, which with these very
legions in Germany he had accomplished;" he next boasted the quiet state
of things, the consent of all Italy, the loyal faith of both the Gauls:
and every quarter of the Roman State exempt from disaffection and

Thus far they listened with silence, at least with moderate murmuring; but
the moment he touched their sedition and questioned, "where now was the
wonted modesty of soldiers? where the glory of ancient discipline? whither
had they chased their Tribunes, whither their Centurions?" to a man, they
stripped themselves to the skin, and there exposed the seams of their
wounds and bruises of their chastisements, in the rage of reproach. Then
in the undistinguished voice of uproar, they urged "the exactions for
occasional exemptions, their scanty pay, and their rigorous labours;"
which they represented in a long detail: "ramparts to be reared,
entrenchments digged, trees felled and drawn, forage cut and carried, fuel
prepared and fetched," with every other article of toil required by the
exigencies of war, or to prevent idleness in the soldiery. Above all, from
the veterans arose a cry most horrible: they enumerated thirty years or
upwards undergone in the service; "and besought that to men utterly spent
he would administer respite, nor suffer them to be beholden to death for
the last relief from their toils; but discharge them from a warfare so
lasting and severe, and grant them the means of a comfortable recess."
Nay, some there were who of him required the money bequeathed them by
Augustus; and towards Germanicus uttering zealous vows, with omens of
happy fortune, declared their cordial attachment to his cause if he would
himself assume the Empire. Here, as if already stained with their treason,
he leaped headlong from the Tribunal; but with swords drawn they opposed
his departure, and threatened his life, if he refused to return: yet, with
passionate protestations that "he would rather die than be a traitor," he
snatched his sword from his side, and aiming full at his breast, would
have buried it there, had not those who were next him seized his hand and
by force restrained him. A cluster of soldiers in the extremity of the
assembly exhorted him, nay, what is incredible to hear, some particulars
advancing nearer, exhorted him _to strike home_: in truth one Calusidius,
a common soldier, presented him his naked sword, and added, "it is sharper
than your own;" a behaviour which to the rest, outrageous as they were,
seemed savage, and of horrid example: hence the friends of Germanicus had
time to snatch him away to his tent.

It was here consulted what remedy to apply: for it was advised, that
"ministers of sedition were preparing to be despatched to the other army,
to draw them too into a confederacy in the revolt; that the capital of the
Ubians was destined to be sacked; and if their hands were once inured to
plunder, they would break in, and ravage all Gaul." This dread was
augmented by another: the enemy knew of the sedition in the Roman army,
and were ready to invade the Empire, if its barrier the Rhine were left
unguarded. Now, to arm the allies and the auxiliaries of Rome, and lead
them against the departing legions, was to rouse a civil war: severity was
dangerous: the way of largesses infamous; and alike threatening it was to
the State to grant the turbulent soldiers nothing, or yield them
everything. After revolving every reason and objection, the result was, to
feign letters and directions from Tiberius, "that those who had served
twenty years should be finally discharged; such as served sixteen be under
the ensign and privileges of veterans, released from every duty but that
of repulsing the enemy; and the legacy, which they demanded, should be
paid and doubled."

The soldiers, who perceived that, purely to evade present difficulty, the
concessions were forged, insisted to have them forthwith executed; and
instantly the Tribunes despatched the discharge of the veterans: that of
the money was adjourned to their several winter quarters; but the fifth
legion, and the one-and-twentieth, refused to stir, till in that very camp
they were paid; so that out of the money reserved by himself and his
friends for travailing expenses, Germanicus was obliged to raise the sum.
Caecina, Lieutenant-General, led the first legion and twentieth back to
the capital of the Ubians: an infamous march, when the plunder of their
General's coffers was carried amidst the ensigns and Roman Eagles.
Germanicus, the while, proceeding to the army in higher Germany, brought
the second, thirteenth, and sixteenth legions to swear allegiance without
hesitation: to the fourteenth, who manifested some short suspense, he made
unasked a tender of their money, and a present discharge.

But a party of veterans which belonged to the disorderly legions, and then
in garrison among the Chaucians, as they began a sedition there, were
somewhat quelled by the instant execution of two of their body: an
execution this, commanded by Maenius, Camp-Marshal, and rather of good
example, than done by competent authority. The tumult, however, swelling
again with fresh rage, he fled, but was discovered; so that, finding no
safety in lurking, from his own bravery he drew his defence, and declared
"that to himself, who was only their Camp-Marshal, these their outrages
were not done, but done to the authority of Germanicus, their General, to
the majesty of Tiberius their Emperor." At the same time, braving and
dismaying all that would have stopped him, he fiercely snatched the
colours, faced about towards the Rhine, and pronouncing the doom of
traitors and deserters to every man who forsook his ranks, brought them
back to their winter quarters, mutinous, in truth, but not daring to

In the meantime the deputies from the Senate met Germanicus at the altar
of the Ubians [Footnote: Cologne.], whither in his return he was arrived.
Two legions wintered there, the first and twentieth, with the soldiers
lately placed under the standard of veterans; men already under the
distractions of guilt and fear: and now a new terror possessed them, that
these Senators were come armed with injunctions to cancel every concession
which they had by sedition extorted; and, as it is the custom of the crowd
to be ever charging somebody with the crimes suggested by their own false
alarms, the guilt of this imaginary decree they laid upon Minutius
Plancus, a Senator of consular dignity, and at the head of this
deputation. In the dead of night, they began to clamour aloud for the
purple standard placed in the quarters of Germanicus, and, rushing
tumultuously to his gate, burst the doors, dragged the Prince out of his
bed, and, with menaces of present death, compelled him to deliver the
standard. Then, as they roved about the camp, they met the deputies, who,
having learnt the outrage, were hastening to Germanicus: upon them they
poured a deluge of contumelies, and to present slaughter were devoting
them, Plancus chiefly, whom the dignity of his character had restrained
from flight; nor in this mortal danger had he other refuge than the
quarters of the first legion, where, embracing the Eagle and other
ensigns, he sought sanctuary from the religious veneration ever paid them.
But, in spite of religion, had not Calpurnius, the Eagle-bearer, by force
defeated the last violence of the assault, in the Roman camp had been
slain an ambassador of the Roman People, and with his blood had been
stained the inviolable altars of the Gods; a barbarity rare even in the
camp of an enemy. At last, day returning, when the General, and the
soldiers, and their actions could be distinguished, Germanicus entered the
camp, and commanding Plancus to be brought, seated him by himself upon the
tribunal: he then inveighed against the late "pernicious frenzy, which in
it, he said, had fatality, and was rekindled by no despite in the
soldiers, but by that of the angry Gods." He explained the genuine
purposes of that embassy, and lamented with affecting eloquence "the
outrage committed upon Plancus, altogether brutal and unprovoked; the foul
violence done to the sacred person of an Ambassador, and the mighty
disgrace from thence derived upon the legion." Yet as the assembly showed
more stupefaction than calmness, he dismissed the deputies under a guard
of auxiliary horse.

During this affright, Germanicus was by all men censured, "that he retired
not to the higher army, whence he had been sure of ready obedience, and
even of succour against the revolters: already he had taken wrong measures
more than enow, by discharging some, rewarding all, and other tender
counsels; if he despised his own safety, yet why expose his infant son,
why his wife big with child, to the fury of outrageous traitors, wantonly
violating all the most sacred rights amongst men? It became him at least
to restore his wife and son safe to Tiberius and to the State." He was
long unresolved; besides Agrippina was averse to leave him, and urged,
that "she was the grand-daughter of Augustus, and it was below her spirit
to shrink in a time of danger." But embracing her and their little son,
with great tenderness and many tears, he prevailed with her to depart.
Thus there marched miserably along a band of helpless women: the wife of a
great commander fled like a fugitive, and upon her bosom bore her infant
son: about her a troop of other ladies, dragged from their husbands, and
drowned in tears, uttering their heavy lamentations; nor weaker than
theirs was the grief felt by all who remained.

These groans and tears, and this spectacle of woe, the appearances rather
of a city stormed and sacked, than of a Roman camp, that of Germanicus
Caesar, victorious and flourishing, awakened attention and inquiry in the
soldiers: leaving their tents, they cried, "Whence these doleful wailings?
what so lamentable! so many ladies of illustrious quality, travelling thus
forlorn; not a Centurion to attend them; not a soldier to guard them;
their General's wife amongst them, undistinguished by any mark of her
princely dignity; destitute of her ordinary train; frightened from the
Roman legions, and repairing, like an exile, for shelter to Treves, there
to commit herself to the faith of foreigners." Hence shame and
commiseration seized them, and the remembrance of her illustrious family,
with that of her own virtues; the brave Agrippa her father; the mighty
Augustus her grandfather; the amiable Drusus her father-in-law, herself
celebrated for a fruitful bed, and of signal chastity: add the
consideration of her little son, born in the camp, nursed in the arms of
the legions, and by themselves named Caligula, a military name from the
boots which of the same fashion with their own, in compliment to them, and
to win their affections, he frequently wore. But nothing so effectually
subdued them as their own envy towards the inhabitants of Treves: hence
they all besought, all adjured, that she would return to themselves, and
with themselves remain: thus some stopped Agrippina; but the main body
returned with their entreaties to Germanicus, who, as he was yet in the
transports of grief and anger, addressed himself on this wise to the
surrounding crowd.

"To me neither is my wife or son dearer than my father and the
Commonwealth. But him doubtless the majesty of his name will defend; and
there are other armies, loyal armies, to defend the Roman State. As to my
wife and children, whom for your glory I could freely sacrifice, I now
remove them from your rage; that by my blood alone may be expiated
whatever further mischief your fury meditates; and that the murder of the
great grandson of Augustus, the murder of the daughter-in-law of Tiberius,
may not be added to mine, nor to the blackness of your past guilt. For,
during these days of frenzy what has been too horrid for you to commit?
What so sacred that you have not violated? To this audience what name
shall I give? Can I call you _soldiers_? you who have beset with arms the
son of your Emperor, confined him in your trenches, and held him in a
siege? _Roman citizens_ can I call you? you who have trampled upon the
supreme authority of the Roman Senate? Laws religiously observed by common
enemies, you have profaned; violated the sacred privileges, and persons of
Ambassadors; broken the laws of nations. The deified Julius Caesar quelled
a sedition in his army by a single word: he called all who refused to
follow him, _townsmen_. The deified Augustus, when, after the battle of
Actium, the legions who won it lapsed into mutiny, terrified them into
submission by the dignity of his presence and an awful look. These, it is
true, are mighty and immortal names, whom I dare not emulate; but, as I am
their descendant, and inherit their blood, should the armies in Syria and
Spain reject my orders, and contemn my authority, I should think their
behaviour strange and base: are not the present legions under stronger
ties than those in Syria and Spain? You are the first and the twentieth
legions; the former enrolled by Tiberius himself; the other his constant
companions in so many battles, his partners in so many victories, and by
him enriched with so many bounties! Is this the worthy return you make
your Emperor, and late Commander, for the distinction he has shown you,
for the favour he has done you, and for his liberalities towards you? And
shall I be the author of such tidings to him; such heavy tidings in the
midst of congratulations and happy accounts from every province in the
Empire? Must it be my sad task to acquaint him that his own new levies, as
well as his own veterans who long fought under him; these not appeased by
their discharge, and neither of them satiated with the money given them,
are both still combined in a furious mutiny? must I tell him that here and
only here the Centurions are butchered, the Tribunes driven away, the
Ambassadors imprisoned; that with blood the camp is stained, and the
rivers flow with blood; and that for me his son, I hold a precarious life
at the mercy of men, who owe me duty, and practise enmity?

"Why did you the other day, oh unseasonable and too officious friends! why
did you leave me at their mercy by snatching from me my sword, when with
it I would have put myself out of their power? He who offered me his own
sword showed greater kindness, and was more my friend. I would then have
fallen happy; happy that my death would have hid from mine eyes so many
horrible crimes since committed by my own army; and for you, you would
have chosen another general, such a general, no doubt, as would have left
my death unpunished, but still one who would have sought vengeance for
that of Varus and the three legions; for the Gods are too just to permit
that ever the Belgians, however generously they offer their service, shall
reap the credit and renown of retrieving the glory of the Roman name, and
of reducing in behalf of Rome the German nations her foes. Filled with
this passion for the glory of Rome, I here invoke thy spirit now with the
Gods, oh deified Augustus; and thy image interwoven in the ensigns, and
thy memory, oh deceased father. Let thy revered spirit, oh Augustus, let
thy loved image and memory, oh Drusus, still dear to these legions,
vindicate them from this guilty stain, this foul infamy of leaving to
foreigners the honour of defending and avenging the Roman State. They are
Romans; they already feel the remorses of shame; they are already
stimulated with a sense of honour: improve, oh improve this generous
disposition in them; that thus inspired they may turn the whole tide of
their civil rage to the destruction of their common enemy. And for you, my
fellow-soldiers, in whom I behold all the marks of compunction, other
countenances, and minds happily changed; if you mean to restore to the
Senate its ambassadors; to your Emperor your sworn obedience; to me, your
general, my wife and son; be it the first instance of your duty, to fly
the contagious company of incendiaries, to separate the sober from the
seditious: this will be a faithful sign of remorse, this a firm pledge of

These words softened them into supplicants: they confessed that all his
reproaches were true; they besought him to punish the guilty and
malicious, to pardon the weak and misled, and to lead them against the
enemy; to recall his wife, to bring back his son, nor to suffer the
fosterling of the legions to be given in hostage to the Gauls. Against the
recalling of Agrippina he alleged the advance of winter, and her
approaching delivery; but said, that his son should return, and that to
themselves he left to execute what remained further to be executed.
Instantly, with changed resentments, they ran, and seizing the most
seditious, dragged them in bonds to Caius Cretonius, commander of the
first legion, who judged and punished them in this manner. The legions,
with their swords drawn, surrounded the tribunal; from thence the prisoner
was by a Tribune exposed to their view, and if they proclaimed him guilty,
cast headlong down, and executed even by his fellow-soldiers, who
rejoiced in the execution, because by it they thought their own guilt to
be expiated: nor did Germanicus restrain them, since on themselves
remained the cruelty and reproach of the slaughter committed without any
order of his. The veterans followed the same example of vengeance, and
were soon after ordered into Rhetia, in appearance to defend that province
against the invading Suevians; in reality, to remove them from a camp
still horrible to their sight, as well in the remedy and punishment, as
from the memory of their crime. Germanicus next passed a scrutiny upon the
conduct and characters of the Centurions: before him they were cited
singly; and each gave an account of his name, his company, country, the
length of his service, exploits in war, and military presents, if with any
he had been distinguished: if the Tribunes or his legion bore testimony of
his diligence and integrity, he kept his post; upon concurring complaint
of his avarice or cruelty, he was degraded.

Thus were the present commotions appeased; but others as great still
subsisted, from the rage and obstinacy of the fifth and twenty-first
legions. They were in winter quarters sixty miles off, in a place called
the Old Camp, [Footnote: Xanten.] and had first began the sedition: nor
was there any wickedness so horrid, that they had not perpetrated; nay, at
this time, neither terrified by the punishment, nor reclaimed by the
reformation of their fellow-soldiers, they persevered in their fury.
Germanicus therefore determined to give them battle, if they persisted in
their revolt; and prepared vessels, arms, and troops to be sent down the

Before the issue of the sedition in Illyricum was known at Rome, tidings
of the uproar in the German legions arrived; hence the city was filled
with much terror; and hence against Tiberius many complaints, "that while
with feigned consultations and delays he mocked the Senate and people,
once the great bodies of the estate, but now bereft of power and armies,
the soldiery were in open rebellion, one too mighty and stubborn to be
quelled by two princes so young in years and authority: he ought at first
to have gone himself, and awed them with the majesty of imperial power, as
doubtless they would have returned to duty upon the sight of their
Emperor, a Prince of consummate experience, the sovereign disposer of
rewards and severity. Did Augustus, even under the pressure of old age and
infirmities, take so many journeys into Germany? and should Tiberius, in
the vigour of his life, when the same or greater occasions called him
thither, sit lazily in the Senate to watch senators and cavil at words? He
had fully provided for the domestic servitude of Rome; he ought next to
cure the licentiousness of the soldiers, to restrain their turbulent
spirits, and reconcile them to a life of peace."

But all these reasonings and reproaches moved not Tiberius: he was
determined not to depart from the capital, the centre of power and
affairs; nor to chance or peril expose his person and empire. In truth,
many and contrary difficulties pressed and perplexed him: "the German army
was the stronger; that of Pannonia nearer; the power of both the Gauls
supported the former; the latter was at the gates of Italy. Now to which
should he repair first? and would not the last visited be inflamed by
being postponed? But by sending one of his sons to each, the equal
treatment of both was maintained; as also the majesty of the supreme
power, which from distance ever derived most reverence. Besides, the young
princes would be excused, if to their father they referred such demands as
were for them improper to grant; and if they disobeyed Germanicus and
Drusus, his own authority remained to appease or punish them: but if once
they had contemned their Emperor himself, what other resource was behind?"
However, as if he had been upon the point of marching, he chose his
attendance, provided his equipage, and prepared a fleet: but by various
delays and pretences, sometimes that of the winter, sometimes business, he
deceived for a time even the wisest men; much longer the common people,
and the provinces for a great while.

Germanicus had already drawn together his army, and was prepared to take
vengeance on the seditious: but judging it proper to allow space for
trial, whether they would follow the late example, and consulting their
own safety do justice upon one another, he sent letters to Caecina, "that
he himself approached, with a powerful force; and if they prevented him
not, by executing the guilty, he would put all indifferently to the
slaughter." These letters Caecina privately read to the principal
officers, and such of the camp as the sedition had not tainted; besought
them "to redeem themselves from death, and all from infamy; urged that in
peace alone reason was heard and merit distinguished; but in the rage of
war the blind steel spared the innocent no more than the guilty." The
officers, having tried those they believed for their purpose, and found
the majority still to persevere in their duty, did, in concurrence with
the General, settle the time for falling with the sword upon the most
notoriously guilty and turbulent. Upon a particular signal given they
rushed into their tents and butchered them, void as they were of all
apprehension; nor did any but the centurions and executioners know whence
the massacre began, or where it would end.

This had a different face from all the civil slaughters that ever
happened: it was a slaughter not of enemies upon enemies, nor from
different and opposite camps, nor in a day of battle; but of comrades upon
comrades, in the same tents where they ate together by day, where they
slept together by night. From this state of intimacy they flew into mortal
enmity, and friends launched their darts at friends: wounds, outcries, and
blood were open to view; but the cause remained hid: wild chance governed
the rest, and several innocents were slain. For the criminals, when they
found against whom all this fury was bent, had also betaken themselves to
their arms; neither did Caecina, nor any of the Tribunes, intervene to
stay the rage; so that the soldiers had full permission to vengeance, and
a licentious satiety of killing. Germanicus soon after entered the camp
now full of blood and carcasses, and lamenting with many tears that "this
was not a remedy, but cruelty and desolation," commanded the bodies to be
burnt. Their minds, still tempestuous and bloody, were transported with
sudden eagerness to attack the foe, as the best expiation of their
tragical fury: nor otherwise, they thought, could the ghosts of their
butchered brethren be appeased, than by receiving in their own profane
breasts a chastisement of honourable wounds. Germanicus fell in with the
ardour of the soldiers, and laying a bridge upon the Rhine, marched over
twelve thousand legionary soldiers, twenty-six cohorts of the allies, and
eight regiments of horse; men all untainted in the late sedition.

The Germans rejoiced, not far off, at this vacation of war, occasioned
first by the death of Augustus, and afterwards by intestine tumults in the
camp; but the Romans by a hasty march passed through the Caesian woods,
and levelling the barrier formerly begun by Tiberius, upon it pitched
their camp. In the front and rear they were defended by a palisade; on
each side by a barricade of the trunks of trees felled. From thence,
beginning to traverse gloomy forests, they stopped to consult which of two
ways they should choose, the short and frequented, or the longest and
least known, and therefore unsuspected by the foe: the longest way was
chosen; but in everything else despatch was observed; for by the scouts
intelligence was brought that the Germans did, that night, celebrate a
festival with great mirth and revelling. Hence Caecina was commanded to
advance with the cohorts without their baggage, and to clear a passage
through the forest: at a moderate distance followed the legions; the
clearness of the night facilitated the march, and they arrived at the
villages of the Marsians, which with guards they presently invested. The
Germans were even yet under the effects of their debauch, scattered here
and there, some in bed, some lying by their tables; no watch placed, no
apprehension of an enemy. So utterly had their false security banished all
order and care; and they were under no dread of war, without enjoying
peace, other than the deceitful and lethargic peace of drunkards.

The legions were eager for revenge; and Germanicus, to extend their
ravage, divided them into four battalions. The country was wasted by fire
and sword fifty miles round; nor sex nor age found mercy; places sacred
and profane had the equal lot of destruction, all razed to the ground, and
with them the temple of Tanfana, of all others the most celebrated amongst
these nations: nor did all this execution cost the soldiers a wound, while
they only slew men half asleep, disarmed, or dispersed. This slaughter
roused the Bructerans, the Tubantes, and the Usipetes; and they beset the
passes of the forest, through which the army was to return: an event known
to Germanicus, and he marched in order of battle. The auxiliary cohorts
and part of the horse led the van, followed close by the first legion; the
baggage was in the middle; the twenty-first legion closed the left wing,
and the fifth the right; the twentieth defended the rear; and after them
marched the rest of the allies. But the enemy stirred not, till the body
of the army entered the wood: they then began lightly to insult the front
and wings; and at last, with their whole force, fell upon the rear. The
light cohorts were already disordered by the close German bands, when
Germanicus riding up to the twentieth legion, and exalting his voice,
"This was the season," he cried, "to obliterate the scandal of sedition:
hence they should fall resolutely on, and into sudden praise convert their
late shame and offence." These words inflamed them: at one charge they
broke the enemy, drove them out of the wood, and slaughtered them in the
plain. In the meanwhile, the front passed the forest, and fortified the
camp: the rest of the march was uninterrupted; and the soldiers, trusting
to the merit of their late exploits, and forgetting at once past faults
and terrors, were placed in winter quarters.

The tidings of these exploits affected Tiberius with gladness and anguish:
he rejoiced that the sedition was suppressed; but that Germanicus had, by
discharging the veterans, by shortening the term of service to the rest,
and by largesses to all, gained the hearts of the army, as well as earned
high glory in war, proved to the Emperor matter of torture. To the Senate,
however, he reported the detail of his feats, and upon his valour bestowed
copious praises, but in words too pompous and ornamental to be believed
dictated by his heart. It was with more brevity that he commended Drusus,
and his address in quelling the sedition of Illyricum, but more cordially
withal, and in language altogether sincere; and even to the Pannonian
legions he extended all the concessions made by Germanicus to his own.

There was this year an admission of new rites, by the establishment of
another College of Priests, one sacred to the deity of Augustus; as
formerly Titus Tatius, to preserve the religious rites of the Sabines, had
founded the fraternity of Titian Priests. To fill the society, one-and-
twenty, the most considerable Romans were drawn by lot, and to them added
Tiberius, Drusus, Claudius, and Germanicus. The games in honour of
Augustus began then first to be embroiled by emulation among the players,
and the strife of parties in their behalf. Augustus had countenanced these
players and their art, in complaisance to Maecenas, who was mad in love
with Bathyllus the comedian; nor to such favourite amusements of the
populace had he any aversion himself; he rather judged it an acceptable
courtesy to mingle with the multitude in these their popular pleasures.
Different was the temper of Tiberius, different his politics: to severer
manners, however, he durst not yet reduce the people, so many years
indulged in licentious gaieties.

In the consulship of Drusus Caesar and Caius Norbanus, a triumph was
decreed to Germanicus, while the war still subsisted. He was preparing
with all diligence to prosecute it the following summer; but began much
sooner by a sudden irruption early in the spring into the territories of
the Cattans: an anticipation of the campaign, which proceeded from the
hopes given him of dissension amongst the enemy, caused by the opposite
parties of Arminius and Segestes; two men signally known to the Romans
upon different accounts; the last for his firm faith, the first for faith
violated. Arminius was the incendiary of Germany; but by Segestes had been
given repeated warnings of an intended revolt, particularly during the
festival immediately preceding the insurrection: he had even advised Varus
"to secure himself and Arminius, and all the other chiefs; for that the
multitude, thus bereft of their leaders, would dare to attempt nothing;
and Varus have time to distinguish crimes and such as committed none." But
by his own fate, and the sudden violence of Arminius, Varus fell.
Segestes, though by the weight and unanimity of his nation he was forced
into the war, yet remained at constant variance with Arminius: a domestic
quarrel too heightened their hate, as Arminius had carried away the
daughter of Segestes, already betrothed to another; and the same
relations, which amongst friends prove bonds of tenderness, were fresh
stimulations of wrath to an obnoxious son and an offended father.

Upon these encouragements, Germanicus to the command of Caecina committed
four legions, five thousand auxiliaries, and some bands of Germans,
dwellers on this side the Rhine, drawn suddenly together; he led himself
as many legions with double the number of allies, and erecting a fort in
Mount Taunus, [Footnote: Near Homburg.] upon the old foundations of one
raised by his father, rushed full march against the Cattans; having behind
him left Lucius Apronius, to secure the ways from the fury of inundations:
for as the roads were then dry and the rivers low, events in that climate
exceeding rare, he had without check expedited his march; but against his
return apprehended the violence of rains and floods. Upon the Cattans he
fell with such surprise, that all the weak through sex or age were
instantly taken or slaughtered: their youth, by swimming over the Adrana,
[Footnote: Eder.] escaped, and attempted to force the Romans from building
a bridge to follow them, but by dint of arrows and engines were repulsed;
and then, having in vain tried to gain terms of peace, some submitted to
Germanicus; the rest abandoned their villages and dwellings, and dispersed
themselves in the woods. Mattium, [Footnote: Maden.] the capital of the
nation, he burnt, ravaged all the open country, and bent his march to the
Rhine; nor durst the enemy harass his rear, an usual practice of theirs,
when sometimes they fly more through craft than affright. The Cheruscans
indeed were addicted to assist the Cattans, but terrified from attempting
it by Caecina, who moved about with his forces from place to place; and by
routing the Marsians who had dared to engage him, restrained all their

Soon after arrived deputies from Segestes, praying relief against the
combination and violence of his countrymen, by whom he was held besieged;
as more powerful amongst them than his was the credit of Arminius, since
it was he who had advised the war. The genius this of barbarians, to judge
that men are to be trusted in proportion as they are fierce, and in public
commotions ever to prefer the most resolute. To the other deputies
Segestes had added Segimundus, his son; but the young man faltered a
while, as his own heart accused him; for that the year when Germany
revolted, he, who had been by the Romans created Priest of the altar of
the Ubians, rent the sacerdotal tiara and fled to the revolters: yet,
encouraged by the Roman clemency, he undertook the execution of his
father's orders, was himself graciously received, and then conducted with
a guard to the frontiers of Gaul. Germanicus led back his army to the
relief of Segestes, and was rewarded with success. He fought the
besiegers, and rescued him with a great train of his relations and
followers; amongst them too were ladies of illustrious rank, particularly
the wife of Arminius, the same who was the daughter of Segestes: a lady
more of the spirit of her husband than that of her father; a spirit so
unsubdued, that from her eyes captivity forced not a tear, nor from her
lips a breath in the style of a supplicant: not a motion of her hands, nor
a look escaped her; but, fast across her breast she held her arms, and
upon her heavy womb her eyes were immovably fixed. There were likewise
carried Roman spoils taken at the slaughter of Varus and his army, and
then divided as prey amongst many of those who were now prisoners: at the
same time appeared Segestes, of superior stature; and from a confidence in
his good understanding with the Romans, undaunted. In this manner he

"It is not the first day this, that to the Roman People I have approved my
faith and adherence: from the moment I was by the deified Augustus
presented with the freedom of the city, I have continued by your interest
to choose my friends, by your interest to denominate my enemies; from no
hate of mine to my native country (for odious are traitors even to the
party they embrace), but because the same measures were equally conducing
to the benefit of the Romans and of the Germans; and I was rather for
peace than war. For this reason to Varus, the then General, I applied,
with an accusation against Arminius, who from me had ravished my daughter,
and with you violated the faith of leagues: but growing impatient with the
slowness and inactivity of Varus, and well apprised how little security
was to be hoped from the laws, I pressed him to seize myself, and
Arminius, and his accomplices: witness that fatal night, to me I wish it
had been the last! more to be lamented than defended are the sad events
which followed. I moreover cast Arminius into irons, and was myself cast
into irons by his faction; and as soon as to you, Caesar, I could apply,
you see I prefer old engagements to present violence, and tranquillity to
combustions, with no view of my own to interest or reward, but to banish
from me the imputation of perfidiousness. For the German nation, too, I
would thus become a mediator, if peradventure they will choose rather to
repent than be destroyed: for my son, I intreat you, have mercy upon his
youth, and pardon his error; that my daughter is your prisoner by force I
own: in your breast it wholly lies under which character you will treat
her, whether as one by Arminius impregnated, or by me begotten." The
answer of Germanicus was gracious: he promised indemnity to his children
and kindred, and to himself a safe retreat in one of the old provinces;
then returned with his army, and by the direction of Tiberius, received
the title of _Imperator_. The wife of Arminius brought forth a male child,
and the boy was brought up at Ravenna; his unhappy conflicts afterwards,
with the contumelious insults of fortune, will be remembered in their

The desertion of Segestes being divulged, with his gracious reception from
Germanicus, affected his countrymen variously; with hope or anguish, as
they were prone or averse to the war. Naturally violent was the spirit of
Arminius, and now, by the captivity of his wife, by the fate of his child
doomed to bondage though yet unborn, enraged even to distraction: he flew
about amongst the Cheruscans, calling them to arms; to arm against
Segestes, to arm against Germanicus. Invectives followed his fury; "A
blessed father this Segestes," he cried! "a mighty general this
Germanicus! invincible warriors these Romans! so many troops have made
prisoner of a woman. It is not thus that I conquer; before me three
legions fell, and three lieutenant-generals. Open and honourable is my
method of war, nor waged with big-bellied women, but against men and arms;
and treason is none of my weapons. Still to be seen are the Roman
standards in the German groves, there by me hung up and devoted to our
country Gods. Let Segestes live a slave in a conquered province; let him
to his son recover a foreign priesthood: with the German nations he can
never obliterate his reproach, that through him they have seen between the
Elbe and Rhine rods and axes, and the Roman toga. To other nations who
know not the Roman domination, executions and tributes are also unknown;
evils which we too have cast off, in spite of that Augustus now dead and
enrolled with the Deities; in spite too of Tiberius, his chosen successor:
let us not after this dread a mutinous army, and a boy without experience,
their commander; but if you love your country, your kindred, your ancient
liberty and laws, better than tyrants and new colonies, let Arminius
rather lead you to liberty and glory, than the wicked Segestes to the
infamy of bondage."

By these stimulations, not the Cheruscans only were roused, but all the
neighbouring nations; and into the confederacy was drawn Inguiomerus,
paternal uncle to Arminius, a man long since in high credit with the
Romans: hence a new source of fear to Germanicus, who, to avoid the shock
of their whole forces, and to divert the enemy, sent Caecina with forty
Roman cohorts to the river Amisia, [Footnote: Ems.] through the
territories of the Bructerans. Pedo the Prefect led the cavalry by the
confines of the Frisians: he himself, on the lake, [Footnote: The Zuyder
Zee.] embarked four legions; and upon the bank of the said river the whole
body met, foot, horse, and fleet. The Chaucians, upon offering their
assistance, were taken into the service; but the Bructerans, setting fire
to their effects and dwellings, were routed by Stertinius, by Germanicus
despatched against them with a band lightly armed. As this party were
engaged between slaughter and plunder, he found the Eagle of the
nineteenth legion lost in the overthrow of Varus. The army marched next to
the farthest borders of the Bructerans, and the whole country between the
rivers Amisia and Luppia [Footnote: Lippe.] was laid waste. Not far hence
lay the forest of Teutoburgium, and in it the bones of Varus and the
legions, by report still unburied.

Hence Germanicus became inspired with a tender passion to pay the last
offices to the legions and their leader; the like tenderness also affected
the whole army. They were moved with compassion, some for the fate of
their friends, others for that of their relations here tragically slain;
they were struck with the doleful casualties of war, and the sad lot of
humanity. Caecina was sent before to examine the gloomy recesses of the
forest; to lay bridges over the pools; and upon the deceitful marshes,
causeways. The army entered the doleful solitude, hideous to sight,
hideous to memory. First they saw the camp of Varus, wide in
circumference; and the three distinct spaces, allotted to the different
Eagles, showed the number of the legions. Further, they beheld the ruinous
entrenchment, and the ditch nigh choked up: in it the remains of the army
were supposed to have made their last effort, and in it to have found
their graves. In the open fields lay their bones all bleached and bare,
some separate, some on heaps; just as they had happened to fall, flying
for their lives, or resisting unto death. Here were scattered the limbs of
horses, there pieces of broken javelins; and the trunks of trees bore the
skulls of men. In the adjacent groves were the savage altars; where, of
the tribunes and principal centurions, the barbarians had made a horrible
immolation. Those who survived the slaughter, having escaped from
captivity and the sword, related the sad particulars to the rest: "Here
the commanders of the legions were slain; there we lost the Eagles; here
Varus had his first wound; there he gave himself another, and perished by
his own unhappy hand. In that place, too, stood the tribunal whence
Arminius harangued; in this quarter, for the execution of his captives, he
erected so many gibbets; in that such a number of funeral trenches were
digged; and with these circumstances of pride and despite he insulted the
ensigns and Eagles."

Thus the Roman army buried the bones of the three legions, six years after
the slaughter: nor could any one distinguish whether he gathered the
particular remains of a stranger, or those of a kinsman; but all
considered the whole as their friends, the whole as their relations; with
heightened resentments against the foe, at once sad and revengeful. In
this pious office, so acceptable to the dead, Germanicus was a partner in
the woe of the living; and upon the common tomb laid the first sod: a
proceeding not liked by Tiberius; whether it were that upon every action
of Germanicus he put a perverse meaning, or believed that the affecting
spectacle of the unburied slain would sink the spirit of the army, and
heighten their terror of the enemy; as also that "a general vested, as
Augur, with the intendency of religious rites, became defiled by touching
the solemnities of the dead."

Arminius, retiring into desert and pathless places, was pursued by
Germanicus; who, as soon as he reached him, commanded the horse to
advance, and dislodge the enemy from the post they had possessed.
Arminius, having directed his men to keep close together, and draw near to
the woods, wheeled suddenly about, and to those whom he had hid in the
forest gave the signal to rush out: the Roman horse, now engaged by a new
army, became disordered, and to their relief some cohorts were sent, but
likewise broken by the press of those that fled; and great was the
consternation so many ways increased. The enemy too were already pushing
them into the morass, a place well known to the pursuers, as to the
unapprised Romans it had proved pernicious, had not Germanicus drawn out
the legions in order of battle. Hence the enemy became terrified, our men
reassured, and both retired with equal loss and advantage. Germanicus
presently after returning with the army to the river Amisia, reconducted
the legions, as he had brought them, in the fleet: part of the horse were
ordered to march along the sea-shore to the Rhine. Caecina, who led his
own men, was warned, that though he was to return through unknown roads,
yet he should with all speed pass the causeway called the long bridges: it
is a narrow track this, between vast marshes, and formerly raised by
Lucius Domitius. The marshes themselves are of an uncertain soil, here
full of mud, there of heavy sticking clay, or traversed with various
currents. Round about are woods which rise gently from the plain, and were
already filled with soldiers by Arminius; who, by shorter ways and a
running march, had arrived there before our men, who were loaded with arms
and baggage. Caecina, who was perplexed how at once to repair the causeway
decayed by time, and to repulse the foe, resolved at last to encamp in the
place, that whilst some were employed in the work, others might maintain
the fight.

The Barbarians strove violently to break our station, and to fall upon the
entrenchers: they harassed our men, assaulted the works, changed their
attacks, and pushed everywhere. With the shouts of the assailants, the
cries of the workmen were confusedly mixed; and all things equally
combined to distress the Romans: the place deep with ooze sinking under
those who stood, slippery to such as advanced; their armour heavy; the
waters deep, nor could they in them launch their javelins. The Cheruscans,
on the contrary, were inured to encounters in the bogs; their persons
tall, their spears long, such as could wound at a distance. At last the
legions, already yielding, were by night redeemed from an unequal combat;
but night interrupted not the activity of the Germans, become by success
indefatigable. Without refreshing themselves with sleep, they diverted all
the courses of the springs which rise in the neighbouring mountains, and
turned them into the plains: thus the Roman camp was flooded, the work, as
far as they had carried it, overturned, and the labour of the poor
soldiers renewed and doubled. To Caecina this year proved the fortieth of
his sustaining as officer or soldier the functions of arms; a man in all
the vicissitudes of war, prosperous or disastrous, well experienced and
thence undaunted. Weighing, therefore, with himself all probable events
and expedients, he could devise no other than that of restraining the
enemy to the woods, till he had sent forward the wounded men and baggage;
for, from the mountains to the marshes there stretched a plain fit only to
hold a little army: to this purpose the legions were thus appointed; the
fifth had the right wing, and the one-and-twentieth the left; the first
led the van; the twentieth defended the rear.

A restless night it was to both armies, but in different ways; the
Barbarians feasted and caroused, and with songs of triumph, or with horrid
and threatening cries, filled all the plain and echoing woods. Amongst the
Romans were feeble fires, sad silence, or broken words; they leaned
drooping here and there against the pales, or wandered disconsolately
about the tents, like men without sleep, but not quite awake. A frightful
dream too terrified the General; he thought he heard and saw Quinctilius
Varus, rising out of the marsh all besmeared with blood, stretching forth
his hand, and calling upon him; but that he rejected the call and pushed
him away. At break of day, the legions posted on the wings, through
contumacy or affright, deserted their stations, and took sudden possession
of a field beyond the bogs. Neither did Arminius fall straight upon them,
however open they lay to his assault; but, when he perceived the baggage
set fast in mire and ditches, the soldiers above it disorderly and
embarrassed, the ranks and ensigns in confusion, and, as usual in a time
of distress, every one in haste to save himself, but slow to obey his
officer, he then commanded his Germans to break in, "Behold," he
vehemently cried; "behold again Varus and his legions subdued by the same
fate." Thus he cried, and instantly with a select body broke quite through
our forces, and chiefly against the horse directed his havoc; so that the
ground becoming slippery by their blood and the slime of the marsh, their
feet flew from them, and they cast their riders; then galloping and
stumbling amongst the ranks, they overthrew all they met, and trod to
death all they overthrew. The greatest difficulty was to maintain the
Eagles; a storm of darts made it impossible to advance them, and the
rotten ground impossible to fix them. Caecina, while he sustained the
fight, had his horse shot, and having fallen was nigh taken; but the first
legion saved him. Our relief came from the greediness of the enemy, who
ceased slaying to seize the spoil: hence the legions had respite to
struggle into the fair field and firm ground. Nor was here an end of their
miseries: a palisade was to be raised, an entrenchment digged; their
instruments too for throwing up and carrying earth, and their tools for
cutting turf, were almost all lost; no tents for the soldiers; no remedies
for the wounded; and their food all defiled with mire or blood. As they
shared it in sadness amongst them, they lamented that mournful night, they
lamented the approaching day, to so many thousand men the last.

It happened that a horse, which had broke his collar as he strayed about,
became frightened with noise, and ran over some that were in his way: this
raised such a consternation in the camp, from a persuasion that the
Germans in a body had forced an entrance, that all rushed to the gates,
especially to the postern, as the farthest from the foe, and safer for
flight. Caecina having found the vanity of their dread, but unable to stop
them, either by his authority, or by his prayers, or indeed by force,
flung himself at last across the gate. This prevailed; their awe and
tenderness of their General restrained them from running over his body;
and the Tribunes and Centurions satisfied them the while, that it was a
false alarm.

Then calling them together, and desiring them to hear him with silence, he
reminded them of their difficulties, and how to conquer them: "That for
their lives they must be indebted to their arms, but force was to be
tempered with art; they must therefore keep close within their camp, till
the enemy, in hopes of taking it by storm, advanced; then make a sudden
sally on every side, and by this push they should break through the enemy,
and reach the Rhine. But if they fled, more forests remained to be
traversed, deeper marshes to be passed, and the cruelty of a pursuing foe
to be sustained." He laid before them the motives and fruits of victory,
public rewards and glory, with every tender domestic consideration, as
well as those of military exploits and praise. Of their dangers and
sufferings he said nothing. He next distributed horses, first his own,
then those of the Tribunes and leaders of the legions, to the bravest
soldiers impartially; that thus mounted they might begin the charge,
followed by the foot.

Amongst the Germans there was not less agitation, from hopes of victory,
greediness of spoil, and the opposite counsels of their leaders. Arminius
proposed "to let the Romans march off, and to beset them in their march,
when engaged in bogs and fastnesses." The advice of Inguiomerus was
fiercer, and thence by the Barbarians more applauded: he declared "for
forcing the camp, for that the victory would be quick, there would be more
captives, and entire plunder." As soon, therefore, as it was light, they
rushed out upon the camp, cast hurdles into the ditch, attacked and
grappled the palisade. Upon it few soldiers appeared, and these seemed
frozen with fear; but as the enemy was in swarms, climbing the ramparts,
the signal was given to the cohorts; the cornets and trumpets sounded, and
instantly, with shouts and impetuosity, they issued out and begirt the
assailants. "Here are no thickets," they scornfully cried; "no bogs; but
an equal field and impartial Gods." The enemy, who imagined few Romans
remaining, fewer arms, and an easy conquest, were struck with the sounding
trumpets, with the glittering armour; and every object of terror appeared
double to them who expected none. They fell like men who, as they are void
of moderation in prosperity, are also destitute of conduct in distress.
Arminius forsook the fight unhurt; Inguiomerus grievously wounded; their
men were slaughtered as long as day and rage lasted. In the evening the
legions returned, in the same want of provisions, and with more wounds;
but in victory they found all things, health, vigour, and abundance.

In the meantime a report had flown, that the Roman forces were routed, and
an army of Germans upon full march to invade Gaul; so that under the
terror of this news there were those whose cowardice would have emboldened
them to have demolished the bridge upon the Rhine, had not Agrippina
restrained them from that infamous attempt. In truth, such was the
undaunted spirit of the woman, that at this time she performed all the
duties of a general, relieved the necessitous soldiers, upon the wounded
bestowed medicines, and upon others clothes. Caius Plinius, the writer of
the German wars, relates that she stood at the end of the bridge, as the
legions returned, and accosted them with thanks and praises; a behaviour
which sunk deep into the spirit of Tiberius: "For that all this
officiousness of hers," he thought, "could not be upright; nor that it was
against foreigners only she engaged the army. To the direction of the
generals nothing was now left, when a woman reviewed the companies,
attended the Eagles, and to the men distributed largesses: as if before
she had shown but small tokens of ambitious designs, in carrying her child
(the son of the General) in a soldier's coat about the camp, with the
title of Caesar Caligula: already in greater credit with the army was
Agrippina than the leaders of the legions, in greater than their generals;
and a woman had suppressed sedition, which the authority of the Emperor
was not able to restrain." These jealousies were inflamed, and more were
added, by Sejanus; one who was well skilled in the temper of Tiberius, and
purposely furnished him with sources of hatred, to lie hid in his heart,
and be discharged with increase hereafter. Germanicus, in order to
lighten the ships in which he had embarked his men, and fit their burden
to the ebbs and shallows, delivered the second and fourteenth legions to
Publius Vitellius, to lead them by land. Vitellius at first had an easy
march on dry ground, or ground moderately overflowed by the tide, when
suddenly the fury of the north wind swelling the ocean (a constant effect
of the equinox) the legions were surrounded and tossed with the tide, and
the land was all on flood; the sea, the shore, the fields, had the same
tempestuous face; no distinction of depths from shallows; none of firm,
from deceitful, footing. They were overturned by the billows, swallowed
down by the eddies; and horses, baggage, and drowned men encountered each
other, and floated together. The several companies were mixed at random by
the waves; they waded, now breast high, now up to the chin, and as the
ground failed them, they fell, some never more to rise. Their cries and
mutual encouragements availed them nothing against the prevailing and
inexorable waves; no difference between the coward and the brave, the wise
and the foolish; none between circumspection and chance; but all were
equally involved in the invincible violence of the flood. Vitellius, at
length struggling on to an eminence, drew the legions thither, where they
passed the cold night without fire, and destitute of every convenience;
most of them naked or lamed; not less miserable than men enclosed by an
enemy; for even to such remained the consolation of an honourable death;
but here was destruction every way void of glory. The land returned with
the day, and they marched to the river Vidrus, [Footnote: Weser.] whither
Germanicus had gone with the fleet. There the two legions were again
embarked, when fame had given them for drowned; nor was their escape
believed till Germanicus and the army were seen to return.

Stertinius, who in the meanwhile had been sent before to receive
Sigimerus, the brother of Segestes (a prince willing to surrender himself)
brought him and his son to the city of the Ubians. Both were pardoned; the
father freely, the son with more difficulty, because he was said to have
insulted the corpse of Varus. For the rest, Spain, Italy, and both the
Gauls strove with emulation to supply the losses of the army; and offered
arms, horses, money, according as each abounded. Germanicus applauded
their zeal; but accepted only the horses and arms for the service of the
war. With his own money he relieved the necessities of the soldiers: and
to soften also by his kindness the memory of the late havoc, he visited
the wounded, extolled the exploits of particulars, viewed their wounds,
with hopes encouraged some, with a sense of glory animated others; and by
affability and tenderness confirmed them all in devotion to himself and to
his fortune in war.

The ornaments of triumph were this year decreed to Aulus Caecina, Lucius
Apronius, and Caius Silius, for their services under Germanicus. The title
of Father of his Country, so often offered by the people to Tiberius, was
rejected by him; nor would he permit swearing upon his acts, though the
same was voted by the Senate. Against it he urged "the instability of all
mortal things, and that the higher he was raised the more slippery he
stood." But for all this ostentation of a popular spirit, he acquired not
the reputation of possessing it, for he had revived the law concerning
violated majesty; a law which, in the days of our ancestors, had indeed
the same name, but implied different arraignments and crimes, namely,
those against the State; as when an army was betrayed abroad, when
seditions were raised at home; in short, when the public was faithlessly
administered and the majesty of the Roman People was debased: these were
actions, and actions were punished, but words were free. Augustus was the
first who brought libels under the penalties of this wrested law, incensed
as he was by the insolence of Cassius Severus, who had in his writings
wantonly defamed men and ladies of illustrious quality. Tiberius too
afterwards, when Pompeius Macer, the Praetor, consulted him "whether
process should be granted upon this law?" answered, "That the laws must be
executed." He also was exasperated by satirical verses written by unknown
authors and dispersed; exposing his cruelty, his pride, and his mind
naturally alienated from his mother.

It will be worth while to relate here the pretended crimes charged upon
Falanius and Rubrius, two Roman knights of small fortunes; that hence may
be seen from what beginnings, and by how much dark art of Tiberius, this
grievous mischief crept in; how it was again restrained; how at last it
blazed out and consumed all things. To Falanius was objected by his
accusers, that "amongst the adorers of Augustus, who went in fraternities
from house to house, he had admitted one Cassius, a mimic and prostitute;
and having sold his gardens, had likewise with them sold the statue of
Augustus." The crime imputed to Rubrius was, "That he had sworn falsely by
the divinity of Augustus." When these accusations were known to Tiberius,
he wrote to the consuls, "That Heaven was not therefore decreed to his
father, that the worship of him might be a snare to the citizens of Rome;
that Cassius, the player, was wont to assist with others of his profession
at the interludes consecrated by his mother to the memory of Augustus:
neither did it affect religion, that his effigies, like other images of
the Gods, were comprehended in the sale of houses and gardens. As to the
false swearing by his name, it was to be deemed the same as if Rubrius had
profaned the name of Jupiter; but to the Gods belonged the avenging of
injuries done to the Gods."

Not long after, Granius Marcellus, Praetor of Bithynia, was charged with
high treason by his own Quaestor, Cepio Crispinus; Romanus Hispo, the
pleader, supporting the charge. This Cepio began a course of life which,
through the miseries of the times and the bold wickedness of men, became
afterwards famous: at first needy and obscure, but of a busy spirit, he
made court to the cruelty of the Prince by occult informations; and
presently, as an open accuser, grew terrible to every distinguished Roman.
This procured him credit with one, hatred from all, and made a precedent
to be followed by others, who from poverty became rich; from being
contemned, dreadful; and in the destruction which they brought upon
others, found at last their own. He accused Marcellus of "malignant words
concerning Tiberius," an inevitable crime! when the accuser, collecting
all the most detestable parts of the Prince's character, alleged them as
the expressions of the accused; for, because they were true, they were
believed to have been spoken. To this, Hispo added, "That the statue of
Marcellus was by him placed higher than those of the Caesars; and that,
having cut off the head of Augustus, he had in the room of it set the head
of Tiberius." This enraged him so, that breaking silence, he cried, "He
would himself, in this cause, give his vote explicitly and under the tie
of an oath." By this he meant to force the assent of the rest of the
Senate. There remained even then some faint traces of expiring liberty.
Hence Cneius Piso asked him, "In what place, Caesar, will you choose to
give your opinion? If first, I shall have your example to follow; if last,
I fear I may ignorantly dissent from you." The words pierced him, but he
bore them, the rather as he was ashamed of his unwary transport; and he
suffered the accused to be acquitted of high treason. To try him for the
public money was referred to the proper judges.

Nor sufficed it Tiberius to assist in the deliberations of the Senate
only: he likewise sat in the seats of justice; but always on one side,
because he would not dispossess the Praetor of his chair; and by his
presence there, many ordinances were established against the intrigues and
solicitations of the Grandees. But while private justice was thus
promoted, public liberty was overthrown. About this time, Pius Aurelius,
the Senator, whose house, yielding to the pressure of the public road and
aqueducts, had fallen, complained to the Senate and prayed relief: a suit
opposed by the Praetors who managed the treasury; but he was relieved by
Tiberius, who ordered him the price of his house; for he was fond of being
liberal upon honest occasions: a virtue which he long retained, even after
he had utterly abandoned all other virtues. Upon Propertius Celer, once
Praetor, but now desiring leave to resign the dignity of Senator, as a
burden to his poverty, he bestowed a thousand great sesterces; [Footnote:
8333.] upon ample information, that Celer's necessities were derived from
his father. Others, who attempted the same thing, he ordered to lay their
condition before the Senate; and from an affectation of severity was thus
austere even where he acted with uprightness. Hence the rest preferred
poverty and silence to begging and relief.

The same year the Tiber, being swelled with continual rains, overflowed
the level parts of the city; and the common destruction of men and houses
followed the returning flood. Hence Asinius Callus moved "that the
Sibylline books might be consulted." Tiberius opposed it, equally
smothering all inquiries whatsoever, whether into matters human or divine.
To Ateius Capito, however, and Lucius Arruntius, was committed the care of
restraining the river within its banks. The provinces of Achaia and
Macedon, praying relief from their public burdens, were for the present
discharged of their Proconsular government, and subjected to the Emperor's
lieutenants. In the entertainment of gladiators at Rome, Drusus presided:
it was exhibited in the name of Germanicus, and his own; and at it he
manifested too much lust of blood, even of the blood of slaves: a quality
terrible to the populace; and hence his father was said to have reproved
him. His own absence from these shows was variously construed: by some it
was ascribed to his impatience of a crowd; by others to his reserved and
solitary genius, and his fear of an unequal comparison with Augustus, who
was wont to be a cheerful spectator. But, that he thus purposely furnished
matter for exposing the cruelty of his son there, and for raising him
popular hate, is what I would not believe; though this too was asserted.

The dissensions of the theatre, begun last year, broke out now more
violently, with the slaughter of several, not of the people only, but of
the soldiers, with that of a Centurion. Nay, a Tribune of a Praetorian
cohort was wounded, whilst they were securing the magistrates from
insults, and quelling the licentiousness of the rabble. This riot was
canvassed in the Senate, and votes were passing for empowering the
Praetors to whip the players. Haterius Agrippa, Tribune of the People,
opposed it; and was sharply reprimanded by a speech of Asinius Gallus.
Tiberius was silent, and to the Senate allowed these empty apparitions of
liberty. The opposition, however, prevailed, in reverence to the authority
of Augustus; who, upon a certain occasion, had given his judgment, "that
players were exempt from stripes:" nor would Tiberius assume to violate
any words of his. To limit the wages of players, and restrain the
licentiousness of their partisans, many decrees were made: the most
remarkable were, "That no Senator should enter the house of a pantomime;
no Roman Knight attend them abroad; they should show nowhere but in the
theatre; and the Praetors should have power to punish any insolence in the
spectators with exile."

The Spaniards were, upon their petition, permitted to build a temple to
Augustus in the colony of Tarragon; an example this for all the provinces
to follow. In answer to the people, who prayed to be relieved from the
_centesima_, a tax of one in the hundred, established at the end of the
civil wars, upon all vendible commodities; Tiberius by an edict declared,
"That upon this tax depended the fund for maintaining the army; nor even
thus was the Commonwealth equal to the expense, if before their twentieth
year the veterans were dismissed." So that the concessions made them
during the late sedition, to discharge them finally at the end of sixteen
years, as they were made through necessity, were for the future abolished.

It was next proposed to the Senate, by Arruntius and Ateius, whether, in
order to restrain the overflowing of the Tiber, the channels of the
several rivers and lakes by which it was swelled, must not be diverted.
Upon this question the deputies of several cities and colonies were heard.
The Florentines besought, "that the bed of the Clanis [Footnote: Chiana.]
might not be turned into their river Arnus; [Footnote: Arno.] for that the
same would prove their utter ruin." The like plea was urged by the
Interamnates; [Footnote: Terni.] "since the most fruitful plains in Italy
would be lost, if, according to the project, the Nar, branched out into
rivulets, overflowed them." Nor were the Reatinians less earnest against
stopping the outlets of the Lake Velinus into the Nar; "otherwise," they
said, "it would break over its banks, and stagnate all the adjacent
country; the direction of nature was best in all natural things: it was
she that to rivers had appointed their courses and discharges, and set
them their limits as well as their sources. Regard too was to be paid to
the religion of our Latin allies, who, esteeming the rivers of their
country sacred, had to them dedicated Priests, and altars, and groves;
nay, the Tiber himself, when bereft of his auxiliary streams, would flow
with diminished grandeur." Now, whether it were that the prayers of the
colonies, or the difficulty of the work, or the influence of superstition
prevailed, it is certain the opinion of Piso was followed; namely, that
nothing should be altered,

To Poppeus Sabinus was continued his province of Mesia; and to it was
added that of Achaia and Macedon. This too was part of the politics of
Tiberius, to prolong governments, and maintain the same men in the same
armies, or civil employments, for the most part, to the end of their
lives; with what view, is not agreed. Some think "that from an impatience
of returning cares, he was for making whatever he once liked perpetual."
Others, "that from the malignity of his invidious nature, he regretted the
preferring of many." There are some who believe, "that as he had a crafty
penetrating spirit, so he had an understanding ever irresolute and
perplexed." So much is certain, that he never courted any eminent virtue,
yet hated vice; from the best men he dreaded danger to himself, and
disgrace to the public from the worst. This hesitation mastered him so
much at last that he committed foreign governments to some, whom he meant
never to suffer to leave Rome.

Concerning the management of consular elections, either then or afterwards
under Tiberius, I can affirm scarce anything: such is the variance about
it, not only amongst historians, but even in his own speeches. Sometimes,
not naming the candidates, he described them by their family, by their
life and manners, and by the number of their campaigns; so as it might be
apparent whom he meant. Again, avoiding even to describe them, he exhorted
the candidates not to disturb the election by their intrigues, and
promised himself to take care of their interests. But chiefly he used to
declare, "that to him none had signified their pretensions, but such whose
names he had delivered to the Consuls; others too were at liberty to offer
the like pretensions, if they trusted to the favour of the Senate or their
own merits." Specious words! but entirely empty, or full of fraud; and by
how much they were covered with the greater guise of liberty, by so much
threatening a more hasty and devouring bondage.


A.D. 16-19.

The commotions in the East happened not ungratefully to Tiberius, since
then he had a colour for separating Germanicus from his old and faithful
legions; for setting him over strange provinces, and exposing him at once
to casual perils and the efforts of fraud. But he, the more ardent he
found the affections of the soldiers, and the greater the hatred of his
uncle, so much the more intent upon a decisive victory, weighed with
himself all the methods of that war, with all the disasters and successes
which had befallen him in it to this his third year. He remembered "that
the Germans were ever routed in a fair battle, and upon equal ground; that
woods and bogs, short summers, and early winters, were their chief
resources; that his own men suffered not so much from their wounds, as
from tedious marches, and the loss of their arms. The Gauls were weary of
furnishing horses; long and cumbersome was his train of baggage, easily
surprised, and with difficulty defended; but, if we entered the country by
sea, the invasion would be easy, and the enemy unapprised. Besides, the
war would be earlier begun; the legions and provisions would be carried
together; and the cavalry brought with safety, through the mouths and
channels of the rivers, into the heart of Germany."

On that method therefore he fixed: whilst Publius Vitellius and Publius
Cantius were sent to collect the tribute of the Gauls; Silius, Anteius,
and Caecina had the direction of building the fleet. A thousand vessels
were thought sufficient, and with despatch finished: some were short,
sharp at both ends, and wide in the middle, the easier to endure the
agitations of the waves; some had flat bottoms, that without damage they
might bear to run aground; several had helms at each end, that by suddenly
turning the oars only they might work either way. Many were arched over,
for carrying the engines of war. They were fitted for holding horses and
provisions, to fly with sails, to run with oars, and the spirit and
alacrity of the soldiers heightened the show and terror of the fleet. They
were to meet at the Isle of Batavia, which was chosen for its easy
landing, for its convenience to receive the forces, and thence to
transport them to the war. For the Rhine, flowing in one continual
channel, or only broken by small islands, is, at the extremity of Batavia,
divided as it were into two rivers; one running still through Germany, and
retaining the same name and violent current, till it mixes with the ocean;
the other, washing the Gallic shore, with a broader and more gentle
stream, is by the inhabitants called by another name, the Wahal, which it
soon after changes for that of the river Meuse, by whose immense mouth it
is discharged into the same ocean.

While the fleet sailed, Germanicus commanded Silius, his lieutenant, with
a flying band, to invade the Cattans; and he himself, upon hearing that
the fort upon the river Luppia [Footnote: Lippe.] was besieged, led six
legions thither: but the sudden rains prevented Silius from doing more
than taking some small plunder, with the wife and daughter of Arpus,
Prince of the Cattans; nor did the besiegers stay to fight Germanicus, but
upon the report of his approach stole off and dispersed. As they had,
however, thrown down the common tomb lately raised over the Varian
legions, and the old altar erected to Drusus, he restored the altar; and
performed in person with the legions the funeral ceremony of running
courses to the honour of his father. To replace the tomb was not thought
fit; but all the space between Fort Aliso and the Rhine, he fortified with
a new barrier.

The fleet was now arrived, the provisions were sent forward; ships were
assigned to the legions and the allies; and he entered the canal cut by
Drusus, and called by his name. Here he invoked his father "to be
propitious to his son attempting the same enterprises; to inspire him with
the same counsels, and animate him by his example." Hence he sailed
fortunately through the lakes and the ocean to the river Amisia,
[Footnote: Ems.] and at the town of Amisia the fleet was left upon the
left shore; and it was a fault that it sailed no higher, for he landed the
army on the right shore, so that in making bridges many days were
consumed. The horse and the legions passed over without danger, as it was
yet ebb; but the returning tide disordered the rear, especially the
Batavians, while they played with the waves, and showed their dexterity in
swimming; and some were drowned. Whilst Germanicus was encamping, he was
told of the revolt of the Angrivarians behind him, and thither he
despatched a body of horse and light foot, under Stertinius. who with fire
and slaughter took vengeance on the perfidious revolters.

Between the Romans and the Cheruscans flowed the river Visurgis,
[Footnote: Weser.] and on the banks of it stood Arminius, with the other
chiefs: he inquired whether Germanicus was come; and being answered that
he was there, he prayed leave to speak with his brother. This brother of
his was in the army, his name Flavius; one remarkable for his lasting
faith towards the Romans, and for the loss of an eye in the war under
Tiberius. This request was granted: Flavius stepped forward, and was
saluted by Arminius, who, having removed his own attendance, desired that
our archers ranged upon the opposite banks might retire. When they were
withdrawn, "How came you," says he to his brother, "by that deformity in
your face?" The brother having informed him where, and in what fight, was
next asked, "what reward he had received?" Flavius answered, "Increase of
pay, the chain, the crown, and other military gifts;" all which Arminius
treated with derision, as the vile wages of servitude.

Here began a warm contest: Flavius pleaded "the grandeur of the Roman
Empire, the power of the Emperor, the Roman clemency to submitting
nations, the heavy yoke of the vanquished; and that neither the wife nor
son of Arminius was used like a captive." Arminius to all this opposed
"the natural rights of their country, their ancient liberty, the domestic
Gods of Germany; he urged the prayers of their common mother joined to his
own, that he would not prefer the character of a deserter, that of a
betrayer of his family, his countrymen, and kindred, to the glory of being
their commander." By degrees they fell into reproaches; nor would the
interposition of the river have restrained them from blows, had not
Stertinius hasted to lay hold on Flavius, full of rage, and calling for
his arms and his horse. On the opposite side was seen Arminius, swelling
with ferocity and threats, and denouncing battle. For, of what he said,
much was said in Latin, having as the General of his countrymen served in
the Roman armies.

Next day, the German army stood embattled beyond the Visurgis. Germanicus,
who thought it became not a General to endanger the legions, till for
their passage and security he had placed bridges and guards, made the
horse ford over. They were led by Stertinius, and Aemilius, Lieutenant-
Colonel of a legion; and these two officers crossed the river in distant
places, to divide the foe. Cariovalda, Captain of the Batavians, passed it
where most rapid, and was by the Cheruscans, who feigned flight, drawn
into a plain surrounded with woods, whence they rushed out upon him and
assaulted him on every side; overthrew those who resisted, and pressed
vehemently upon those who gave way. The distressed Batavians formed
themselves into a ring, but were again broken, partly by a close assault,
partly by distant showers of darts. Cariovalda, having long sustained the
fury of the enemy, exhorted his men to draw up into platoons, and break
through the prevailing host; he himself forced his way into their centre,
and fell with his horse under a shower of darts, and many of the principal
Batavians round him; the rest were saved by their own bravery, or rescued
by the cavalry under Stertinius and Aemilius.

Germanicus, having passed the Visurgis, learned from a deserter, that
Arminius had marked out the place of battle; that more nations had also
joined him; that they rendezvoused in a wood sacred to Hercules, and would
attempt to storm our camp by night. The deserter was believed; the enemy's
fires were discerned; and the scouts having advanced towards them,
reported that they had heard the neighing of horses, and the hollow murmur
of a mighty and tumultuous host. In this important conjuncture, upon the
approach of a decisive battle, Germanicus thought it behoved him to learn
the inclinations and spirit of the soldiers and deliberated with himself
how to be informed without fraud: "for the reports of the Tribunes and
Centurions used to be oftener pleasing than true; his Freedmen had still
slavish souls, incapable of free speech; friends were apt to flatter;
there was the same uncertainty in an assemble, where the counsel proposed
by a few was wont to be echoed by all; in truth, the minds of the soldiery
were then best known, when they were least watched; when free and over
their meals, they frankly disclosed their hopes and fears."

In the beginning of night, he went out at the augural gate, with a single
attendant; himself disguised with the skin of a wild beast hanging over
his shoulders; and choosing secret ways, he escaped the notice of the
watch, entered the lanes of the camp, listened from tent to tent, and
enjoyed the pleasing display of his own popularity and fame; as one was
magnifying the imperial birth of his general; another, his graceful
person; and all, his patience, condescension, and the equality of his soul
in every temper, pleasant or grave: they confessed the gratitude due to so
much merit, and that in battle they ought to express it, and to sacrifice
at the same time to glory and revenge these perfidious Germans, who for
ever violated stipulations and peace. In the meantime one of the enemy who
understood Latin rode up to the palisades, and with a loud voice offered,
in the name of Arminius, to every deserter a wife and land, and as long as
the war lasted an hundred sesterces a day. [Footnote: 16s. 8d.] This
contumely kindled the wrath of the legions: "Let day come," they cried,
"let battle be given: the soldiers would seize and not accept the lands of
the Germans; take and not receive German wives; they, however, received
the offer as an omen of victory, and considered the money and women as
their destined prey." Near the third watch of the night, they approached
and insulted the camp; but without striking a blow, when they found the
ramparts covered thick with cohorts, and no advantage given.

Germanicus had the same night a joyful dream: he thought he sacrificed,
and, in place of his own robe besmeared with the sacred blood, received
one fairer from the hands of his grandmother Augusta; so that elevated by
the omen, and by equal encouragement from the auspices, he called an
assembly, where he opened his deliberations concerning the approaching
battle with all the advantages contributing to victory: "That to the Roman
soldiers not only plains and dales, but, with due circumspection, even
woods and forests were commodious for an engagement. The huge targets, the
enormous spears, of the Barbarians could never be wielded amongst thickets
and trunks of trees like Roman swords and javelins, and armour adjusted to
the shape and size of their bodies, so that with these tractable arms they
might thicken their blows, and strike with certainty at the naked faces of
the enemy, since the Germans were neither furnished with headpiece nor
coat of mail, nor were their bucklers bound with leather or fortified with
iron, but all bare basket-work or painted boards; and though their first
ranks were armed with pikes, the rest had only stakes burnt at the end, or
short and contemptible darts; for their persons, as they were terrible to
sight and violent in the onset, so they were utterly impatient of wounds,
unaffected with their own disgrace, unconcerned for the honour of their
general, whom they ever deserted and fled; in distress cowards, in
prosperity despisers of all divine, of all human laws. In fine, if the
army, after their fatigues at sea and their tedious marches by land,
longed for an utter end of their labour, by this battle they might gain
it. The Elbe was now nearer than the Rhine; and if they would make him a
conqueror in those countries where his father and his uncle had conquered,
the war was concluded." The ardour of the soldiers followed the speech of
the general, and the signal for the onset was given.

Neither did Arminius or the other chiefs neglect to declare to their
several bands that "these Romans were the cowardly fugitives of the Varian
army, who, because they could not endure to fight, had afterwards chosen
to rebel. That some with backs deformed by wounds, some with limbs maimed
by tempests, forsaken of hope, and the Gods against them, were once more
presenting their lives to their vengeful foes. Hitherto a fleet, and
unfrequented seas, had been the resources of their cowardice against an
assaulting or a pursuing enemy; but now that they were to engage hand to
hand, vain would be their relief from wind and oars after a defeat. The
Germans needed only remember their rapine, cruelty, and pride; and that to
themselves nothing remained but either to maintain their native liberty,
or by death to prevent bondage."

The enemy, thus inflamed and calling for battle, were led into a plain
called Idistavisus: [Footnote: Near Minden.] it lies between the Visurgis
and the hills, and winds unequally along, as it is straitened by the
swellings of the mountains or enlarged by the circuits of the river.
Behind rose a forest of high trees, thick of branches above but clear of
bushes below. The army of Barbarians kept the plain, and the entrances of
the forest. The Cheruscans alone sat down upon the mountain, in order to
pour down from thence upon the Romans as soon as they became engaged in
the fight. Our army marched thus: the auxiliary Gauls and Germans in
front, after them the foot archers, next four legions, and then Germanicus
with two Praetorian cohorts and the choice of the cavalry; then four
legions more, and the light foot with archers on horseback and the other
troops of the allies; the men all intent to march in order of battle and
ready to engage as they marched.

As the impatient bands of Cheruscans were now perceived descending
fiercely from the hills, Germanicus commanded a body of the best horse to
charge them in the flank, and Stertinius with the rest to wheel round to
attack them in the rear, and promised to be ready to assist them in
person. During this a joyful omen appeared: eight eagles were seen to fly
toward the wood, and to enter it; a presage of victory to the General.
"_Advance_," he cried, "_follow the Roman birds; follow the tutelar
Deities of the legions!_" Instantly the foot charged the enemy's front,
and instantly the detached cavalry attacked their flank and rear: this
double assault had a strange event; the two divisions of their army fled
opposite ways; that in the woods ran to the plain; that in the plain
rushed into the woods. The Cheruscans, between both, were driven from the
hills; amongst them Arminius, remarkably brave, who with his hand, his
voice, and distinguished wounds was still sustaining the fight. He had
assaulted the archers, and would have broken through them, but the cohorts
of the Retians, the Vindelicians, and the Gauls marched to their relief;
however, by his own vigour and the force of his horse, he escaped, his
face besmeared with his own blood to avoid being known. Some have related
that the Chaucians, who were amongst the Roman auxiliaries, knew him, and
let him go; the same bravery or deceit procured Inguiomerus his escape;
the rest were everywhere slain; and great numbers attempting to swim the
Visurgis were destroyed in it, either pursued with darts, or swallowed by
the current, or overwhelmed with the weight of the crowd, or buried under
the falling banks; some seeking a base refuge on the tops of trees, and
concealment amongst the branches, were shot in sport by the archers, or
squashed as the trees were felled: a mighty victory this, and to us far
from bloody!

This slaughter of the foe, from the fifth hour of the day till night,
filled the country for ten miles with carcasses and arms: amongst the
spoils, chains were found, which, sure of conquering, they had brought to
bind the Roman captives. The soldiers proclaimed Tiberius _Imperator_ upon
the field of battle, and raising a mount, placed upon it as trophies the
German arms, with the names of all the vanquished nations inscribed below.

This sight filled the Germans with more anguish and rage than all their
wounds, past afflictions, and slaughters. They, who were just prepared to
abandon their dwellings, and flit beyond the Elbe, meditate war and grasp
their arms: people, nobles, youth, aged, all rush suddenly upon the Roman
army in its march and disorder it. They next chose their camp, a strait
and moist plain shut in between a river and a forest, the forest too
surrounded with a deep marsh, except on one side, which was closed with a
barrier raised by the Angrivarians between them and the Cheruscans. Here
stood their foot; their horse were distributed and concealed amongst the
neighbouring groves, thence, by surprise, to beset the legions in the rear
as soon as they had entered the wood.

Nothing of all this was a secret to Germanicus: he knew their counsels,
their stations, what steps they pursued, what measures they concealed;
and, to the destruction of the enemy, turned their own subtilty and
devices. To Seius Tubero, his Lieutenant, he committed the horse and the
field; the infantry so disposed, that part might pass the level approaches
into the wood, and the rest force the ramparts; this was the most arduous
task, and to himself he reserved it; the rest he left to his Lieutenants.
Those who had the even ground to traverse, broke easily in; but they who
were to assail the rampart, were as grievously battered from above, as if
they had been storming a wall. The General perceived the inequality of
this close attack, and drawing off the legions a small distance, ordered
the slingers to throw, and the engineers to play, to beat off the enemy:
immediately showers of darts were poured from the engines, and the
defenders of the barrier, the more bold and exposed they were, with the
more wounds they were beaten down. Germanicus, having taken the rampart,
first forced his way, at the head of the Praetorian cohorts, into the
woods, and there it was fought foot to foot; behind, the enemy were begirt
with the morass, the Romans with the mountains or the rivers; no room for
either to retreat, no hope but in valour, no safety but in victory.

The Germans had no inferior courage, but they were exceeded in the fashion
of arms and art of fighting. Their mighty multitude, hampered in narrow
places, could not push nor recover their long spears, nor practise in a
close combat their usual boundings and velocity of limbs. On the contrary,
our soldiers, with handy swords, and their breasts closely guarded with a
buckler, delved the large bodies and naked faces of the Barbarians, and
opened themselves a way with a havoc of the enemy: besides, the activity
of Arminius now failed him, either spent through his continual efforts or
slackened by a wound just received. Inguiomerus was everywhere upon the
spur, animating the battle, but fortune rather than courage deserted him.
Germanicus, to be the easier known, pulled off his helmet, and exhorted
his men "to prosecute the slaughter; they wanted no captives," he said;
"only the cutting off that people root and branch would put an end to the
war." It was now late in the day, and he drew off a legion to make a camp;
the rest glutted themselves till night, with the blood of the foe; the
horse fought with doubtful success.

Germanicus, in a speech from the tribunal, praised his victorious army,
and raised a monument of arms with a proud inscription: "That the army of
Tiberius Caesar, having vanquished entirely the nations between the Rhine
and the Elbe, had consecrated that monument to Mars, to Jupiter, and to
Augustus." Of himself, he made no mention, either fearful of provoking
envy, or that he thought it sufficient praise to have deserved it. He had
next commanded Stertinius to carry the war amongst the Angrivarians; but
they instantly submitted; and these supplicants, by yielding without
articles, obtained pardon without reserve.

The summer now declining, some of the legions were sent back into winter
quarters by land; more were embarked with Germanicus upon the river
Amisia, to go from thence by the ocean. The sea at first was serene, no
sound or agitation but from the oars or sails of a thousand ships; but
suddenly a black host of clouds poured a storm of hail; furious winds
roared on every side, and the tempest darkened the deep, so that all
prospect was lost; and it was impossible to steer. The soldiers too,
unaccustomed to the terrors of the sea, in the hurry of fear disordered
the mariners, or interrupted the skilful by unskilful help. At last the
south wind, mastering all the rest, drove the ocean and the sky: the
tempest derived new force from the windy mountains and swelling rivers of
Germany, as well as from an immense train of clouds; and contracting
withal fresh vigour from the boisterous neighbourhood of the north, it
hurled the ships and tossed them into the open ocean, or against islands
shored with rocks or dangerously beset with covered shoals. The ships by
degrees, with great labour and the change of the tide, were relieved from
the rocks and sands, but remained at the mercy of the winds; their anchors
could not hold them; they were full of water, nor could all their pumps
discharge it: hence, to lighten and raise the vessels swallowing at their
decks the invading waves, the horses, beasts, baggage, and even the arms
were cast into the deep.

By how much the German ocean is more outrageous than the rest of the sea,
and the German climate excels in rigour, by so much this ruin was reckoned
to exceed in greatness and novelty. They were engaged in a tempestuous
sea, believed deep without bottom, vast without bounds, or no shores near
but hostile shores: part of the fleet were swallowed up; many were driven
upon remote islands void of human culture, where the men perished through
famine, or were kept alive by the carcasses of horses cast in by the
flood. Only the galley of Germanicus landed upon the coast of the
Chaucians, where wandering sadly, day and night, upon the rocks and
prominent shore, and incessantly accusing himself as the author of such
mighty destruction, he was hardly restrained by his friends from casting
himself desperately into the same hostile floods. At last, with the
returning tide and an assisting gale, the ships began to return, all
maimed, almost destitute of oars, or with coats spread for sails; and
some, utterly disabled, were dragged by those that were less. He repaired
them hastily, and despatched them to search the islands; and by this care
many men were gleaned up; many were by the Angrivarians, our new subjects,
redeemed from their maritime neighbours and restored; and some, driven
into Great Britain, were sent back by the little British kings. Those who
had come from afar, recounted wonders at their return, "the impetuosity of
whirlwinds; wonderful birds; sea monsters of ambiguous forms, between man
and beasts." Strange sights these! or the effects of imagination and fear.

The noise of this wreck, as it animated the Germans with hopes of renewing
the war, awakened Germanicus also to restrain them: he commanded Caius
Silius, with thirty thousand foot and three thousand horse, to march
against the Cattans: he himself, with a greater force, invaded the
Marsians, where he learnt from Malovendus, their general, lately taken
into our subjection, that the Eagle of one of Varus's legions was hid
underground in a neighbouring grove, and kept by a slender guard.
Instantly two parties were despatched; one to face the enemy and provoke
them from their post; the other to beset their rear and dig up the Eagle;
and success attended both. Hence Germanicus advanced with great alacrity,
laid waste the country, and smote the foe, either not daring to engage,
or, wherever they engaged, suddenly defeated. Nor, as we learnt from the
prisoners, were they ever seized with greater dismay: "The Romans," they
cried, "are invincible: no calamities can subdue them: they have wrecked
their fleet; their arms are lost; our shores are covered with the bodies
of their horses and men; and yet they attack us with their usual ferocity,
with the same firmness, and with numbers as it were increased."

The army was from thence led back into winter quarters, full of joy to
have balanced, by this prosperous expedition, their late misfortune at
sea; and by the bounty of Germanicus, their joy was heightened, since to
each sufferer he caused to be paid as much as each declared he had lost;
neither was it doubted but the enemy were humbled, and concerting measures
for obtaining peace, and that the next summer would terminate the war. But
Tiberius by frequent letters urged him "to come home, there to celebrate
the triumph already decreed him; urged that he had already tried enough of
events, and tempted abundant hazards: he had indeed fought great and
successful battles; but he must likewise remember his losses and
calamities, which, however, owing to wind and waves, and no fault of the
general, were yet great and grievous. He himself had been sent nine times
into Germany by Augustus, and effected much more by policy than arms: it
was thus he had brought the Sigambrians into subjection, thus drawn the
Suevians and King Maroboduus under the bonds of peace. The Cheruscans too,
and the other hostile nations, now the Roman vengeance was satiated, might
be left to pursue their own national feuds." Germanicus besought one year
to accomplish his conquest; but Tiberius assailed his modesty with a new
bait and fresh opportunity, by offering him another Consulship, for the
administration of which he was to attend in person at Rome. He added,
"that if the war was still to be prosecuted, Germanicus should leave a
field of glory to his brother Drusus, to whom there now remained no other;
since the Empire had nowhere a war to maintain but in Germany, and thence
only Drusus could acquire the title of Imperator, and merit the triumphal
laurel." Germanicus persisted no longer; though he knew that this was all
feigned and hollow, and saw himself invidiously torn away from a harvest
of ripe glory.

Decrees of the Senate were made for driving astrologers and magicians out
of Italy; and one of the herd, Lucius Pituanius, was precipitated from the
Tarpeian Rock: Publius Marcius, another, was, by the judgment of the
Consuls, at the sound of trumpet executed without the Esquiline Gate,
according to the ancient form.

Next time the Senate sat, long discourses against the luxury of the city
were made by Quintus Haterius, a consular, and by Octavius Fronto,
formerly Praetor; and a law was passed "against using table-plate of solid
gold, and against men debasing themselves with gorgeous and effeminate
silks." Fronto went further, and desired that "the quantities of silver
plate, the expense of furniture, and the number of domestics might be
limited;" for it was yet common for senators to depart from the present
debate and offer, as their advice, whatever they judged conducing to the
interest of the commonweal. Against him it was argued by Asinius Callus,
"That with the growth of the Empire private riches were likewise grown,
and it was no new thing for citizens to live according to their
conditions, but agreeable to the most primitive usage: the ancient
Fabricii and the later Scipios, having different wealth, lived
differently; but all suitably to the several stages of the Commonwealth.
Public property was accompanied with domestic; but when the State rose to
such a height of magnificence, the magnificence of particulars rose too.
As to plate, and train, and expense, there was no standard of excess or
frugality, but from the fortunes of men. The law, indeed, had made a
distinction between the fortunes of senators and knights; not for any
natural difference between them, but that they who excelled in place,
rank, and civil pre-eminence, might excel too in other particulars, such
as conduced to the health of the body or to the peace and solacement of
the soul; unless it were expected, that the most illustrious citizens
should sustain the sharpest cares, and undergo the heaviest fatigues and
dangers, but continue destitute of every alleviation of fatigue and danger
and care." Gallus easily prevailed, whilst under worthy names he avowed
and supported popular vices in an assembly engaged in them. Tiberius too
had said, "That it was not a season for reformation; or, if there were any
corruption of manners, there would not be wanting one to correct them."

During these transactions, Lucius Piso, after he had declaimed bitterly in
the Senate against "the ambitious practices and intrigues of the Forum,
the corruption of the tribunals, and the inhumanity of the pleaders
breathing continual terror and impeachments," declared "he would entirely
relinquish Rome, and retire into a quiet corner of the country, far
distant and obscure." With these words he left the Senate; Tiberius was
provoked; and yet not only soothed him with gentle words, but likewise
obliged Piso's relations, by their authority or entreaties, to retain him.
The same Piso gave soon after an equal instance of the indignation of the
free spirit, by prosecuting a suit against Urgulania; a lady whom the
partial friendship of Livia had set at defiance with the laws. Urgulania
being carried, for protection, to the palace, despised the efforts of
Piso; so that neither did she submit; nor would he desist, notwithstanding
the complaints and resentments of Livia, that in the prosecution "violence
and indignity were done to her own person." Tiberius promised to attend
the trial, and assist Urgulania; but only promised in civility to his
mother, for so far he thought it became him; and thus left the palace,
ordering his guards to follow at a distance. People the while crowded
about him, and he walked with a slow and composed air: as he lingered, and
prolonged the time and way with various discourse, the trial went on. Piso
would not be mollified by the importunity of his friends; and hence at
last the Empress ordered the payment of the money claimed by him. This was
the issue of the affair: by it, Piso lost no renown; and it signally
increased the credit of Tiberius. The power, however, of Urgulania was so
exorbitant to the State, that she disdained to appear a witness in a
certain cause before the Senate: and, when it had been always usual even
for the Vestal Virgins to attend the Forum and Courts of Justice, as oft
as their evidence was required; a Praetor was sent to examine Urgulania at
her own house.

The procrastination which happened this year in the public affairs, I
should not mention, but that the different opinions of Cneius Piso and
Asinius Gallus about it, are worth knowing. Their dispute was occasioned
by a declaration of Tiberius; "that he was about to be absent," and it was
the motion of Piso, "that for that very reason, the prosecution of public
business was the rather to be continued; since, as in the Prince's
absence, the Senate and equestrian order might administer their several
parts, the same would redound to the honour of the Commonwealth." This was
a declaration for liberty, and in it Piso had prevented Gallus, who now in
opposition said, "that nothing sufficiently illustrious, nor suiting the
dignity of the Roman People, could be transacted but under the immediate
eye of the Emperor, and therefore the conflux of suitors and affairs from
Italy and the provinces must by all means be reserved for his presence."
Tiberius heard and was silent, while the debate was managed on both sides
with mighty vehemence; but the adjournment was carried.

A debate too arose between Gallus and the Emperor: for Gallus moved "that
the magistrates should be henceforth elected but once every five years;
that the legates of the legions, who had never exercised the Praetorships,
should be appointed Praetors; and that the Prince should nominate twelve
candidates every year." It was not doubted but this motion had a deeper
aim, and that by it the secret springs and reserves of imperial power were
invaded. But Tiberius, as if he rather apprehended the augmentation of his
power, argued "that it was a heavy task upon his moderation, to choose so
many magistrates, and to postpone so many candidates. That disgusts from
disappointments were hardly avoided in yearly elections; though, for their
solacement, fresh hopes remained of approaching success in the next; now
how great must be the hatred, how lasting the resentment of such whose
pretensions were to be rejected beyond five years? and whence could it be
foreseen that, in so long a tract of time, the same men would continue to
have the same dispositions, the same alliances and fortunes? even an
annual designation to power made men imperious; how imperious would it
make them, if they bore the honour for five years! besides, it would
multiply every single magistrate into five, and utterly subvert the laws
which had prescribed a proper space for exercising the diligence of the
candidates, and for soliciting as well as enjoying preferments."

By this speech, in appearance popular, he still retained the spirit and
force of the sovereignty. He likewise sustained by gratuities, the dignity
of some necessitous Senators: hence it was the more wondered, that he
received with haughtiness and repulse the petition of Marcus Hortalus, a
young man of signal quality and manifestly poor. He was the grandson of
Hortensius the Orator; and had been encouraged by the deified Augustus,
with a bounty of a thousand great sestertia, [Footnote: 8333.] to marry
for posterity; purely to prevent the extinction of a family most
illustrious and renowned. The Senate were sitting in the palace, and
Hortalus having set his four children before the door, fixed his eyes, now
upon the statue of Hortensius, placed amongst the orators; then upon that
of Augustus; and instead of speaking to the question, began on this wise:
"Conscript Fathers, you see there the number and infancy of my children;
not mine by my own choice, but in compliance with the advice of the
Prince: such too was the splendour of my ancestors, that it merited to be
perpetuated in their race; but for my own particular, who, marred by the
revolution of the times, could not raise wealth, nor engage popular
favour, nor cultivate the hereditary fortune of our house, the fortune of
Eloquence: I deemed it sufficient if, in my slender circumstances, I lived
no disgrace to myself, no burden to others. Commanded by the Emperor, I
took a wife; behold the offspring of so many Consuls; behold the
descendants of so many Dictators! nor is this remembrance invidiously
made, but made to move mercy. In the progress of your reign, Caesar, these
children may arrive at the honours in your gift; defend them in the
meantime from want: they are the great-grandsons of Hortensius; they are
the foster sons of Augustus."

The inclination of the Senate was favourable; an incitement this to
Tiberius the more eagerly to thwart Hortalus. These were in effect his
words: "If all that are poor recur hither for a provision of money to
their children, the public will certainly fail, and yet particulars never
be satiated. Our ancestors, when they permitted a departure from the
question, to propose somewhat more important to the State, did not
therefore permit it, that we might here transact domestic matters, and
augment our private rents: an employment invidious both in the Senate and
the Prince; since, whether they grant or deny the petitioned bounties,
either the people or the petitioners will ever be offended. But these, in
truth, are not petitions; they are demands made against order, and made by
surprise: while you are assembled upon other affairs, he stands up and
urges your pity, by the number and infancy of his children; with the same
violence, he charges the attack to me, and as it were bursts open the
exchequer; but if by popular bounties we exhaust it, by rapine and
oppression we must supply it. The deified Augustus gave you money,
Hortalus; but without solicitation he gave it, and on no condition that it
should always be given: otherwise diligence will languish; sloth will
prevail; and men having no hopes in resources of their own, no anxiety for
themselves, but all securely relying on foreign relief, will become
private sluggards and public burdens." These and the like reasonings of
Tiberius were differently received; with approbation by those whose way it
is to extol, without distinction, all the doings of Princes, worthy and
unworthy; by most, however, with silence, or low and discontented murmurs.
Tiberius perceived it, and having paused a little, said "his answer was
particularly to Hortalus; but if the Senate thought fit, he would give his
sons two hundred great sestertia each." [Footnote: 1666.] For this all
the Senators presented their thanks; only Hortalus said nothing; perhaps
through present awe, or perhaps possessed, even in poverty, with the
grandeur of his ancient nobility. Nor did Tiberius ever show further pity,
though the house of Hortensius was fallen into shameful distress.

At the end of the year, a triumphal arch was raised near the Temple of
Saturn; a monument this for the recovery of the Varian Eagles, under the
conduct of Germanicus, under the auspices of Tiberius. A temple was
dedicated to Happy Fortune near the Tiber, in the gardens bequeathed to
the Roman People by Caesar, the Dictator. A chapel was consecrated to the
Julian family, and statues to the deified Augustus, in the suburbs called
Bovillae. In the consulship of Caius Celius and Lucius Pomponius, the six-
and-twentieth of May, Germanicus Caesar triumphed over the Cheruscans, the
Cattans, the Angrivarians, and the other nations as far as the Elbe. In
the triumph were carried all the spoils and captives, with the
representations of mountains, of rivers, and of battles; so that his
conquests, because he was restrained from completing them, were taken for
complete. His own graceful person, and his chariot filled with his five
children, heightened the show and the delight of the beholders; yet they
were checked with secret fears, as they remembered "that popular favour
had proved malignant to his father Drusus; that his uncle Marcellus was
snatched, in his youth, from the burning affections of the populace; and
that ever short-lived and unfortunate were the favourites of the Roman

Tiberius distributed to the people, in the name of Germanicus, three
hundred sesterces a man, [Footnote: 2, 10s.] and named himself his
colleague in the Consulship. Nor even thus did he gain the opinion of
tenderness and sincerity: in effect, on pretence of investing the young
Prince with fresh preferment and honours, he resolved to alienate him from
Rome; and, to accomplish it, craftily framed an occasion, or snatched such
an one as chance presented. Archelaus had enjoyed the kingdom of
Cappadocia now fifty years; a Prince under the deep displeasure of
Tiberius, because, in his retirement at Rhodes, the King had paid him no
sort of court or distinction: an omission this which proceeded from no
disdain, but from the warnings given him by the confidents of Augustus;
for that the young Caius Caesar, the presumptive heir to the sovereignty,
then lived, and was sent to compose and administer the affairs of the
East; hence the friendship of Tiberius was reckoned then dangerous. But
when, by the utter fall of the family of the Caesars, he had gained the
Empire, he enticed Archelaus to Rome, by means of letters from his mother,
who, without dissembling her son's resentment, offered the King his mercy,
provided he came and in person implored it. He, who was either ignorant of
the snare, or dreaded violence if he appeared to perceive it, hastened to
the city, where he was received by Tiberius with great sternness and
wrath, and soon after accused as a criminal in the Senate. The crimes
alleged against him were mere fictions; yet, as equal treatment is unusual
to kings, and to be treated like malefactors intolerable; Archelaus, who
was broken with grief as well as age, by choice or fate ended his life;
his kingdom was reduced into a province, and by its revenues Tiberius
declared the tax of a hundredth penny would be abated, and reduced it for
the future to the two hundredth. At the same time died Antiochus, king of
Comagena, as also Philopator, king of Cilicia; and great combustions shook
these nations; whilst of the people many desired Roman government, and
many were addicted to domestic monarchy. The provinces, too, of Syria and
Judea, as they were oppressed with impositions, prayed an abatement of

These affairs, and such as I have above related concerning Armenia,
Tiberius represented to the Fathers, and "that the commotions of the East
could only be settled by the wisdom and abilities of Germanicus; for
himself, his age now declined, and that of Drusus was not yet sufficiently
ripe." The provinces beyond the sea were thence decreed to Germanicus,
with authority superior to all those who obtained provinces by lot, or the
nomination of the Prince; but Tiberius had already taken care to remove
from the government of Syria Creticus Silanus, one united to Germanicus in
domestic alliance, by having to Nero, the eldest son of Germanicus,
betrothed his daughter. In his room he had preferred Cneius Piso, a man of
violent temper, incapable of subjection, and heir to all the ferocity and
haughtiness of his father Piso; the same who, in the civil war, assisted
the reviving party against Caesar in Africa with vehement efforts; and
then followed Brutus and Cassius, but had at last leave to come home, yet
disdained to sue for any public offices; nay, was even courted by Augustus
to accept the Consulship. His son, besides his hereditary pride and
impetuosity, was elevated with the nobility and wealth of Plancina his
wife; scarce yielded he to Tiberius, and, as men far beneath him, despised
the sons of Tiberius; neither did he doubt but he was set over Syria on
purpose to thwart the measures and defeat all the views of Germanicus.
Some even believed that he had to this purpose secret orders from
Tiberius, as it was certain that Livia directed Plancina to exert the
spirit of the sex, and by constant emulation and indignities persecute
Agrippina. For the whole court was rent, and their affections secretly
divided between Drusus and Germanicus. Tiberius was partial to Drusus, as
his own son by generation; others loved Germanicus; the more for the
aversion of his uncle, and for being by his mother of more illustrious
descent; as Marc Anthony was his grandfather, and Augustus his great-
uncle. On the other side, Pomponius Atticus, a Roman knight, by being the
great-grandfather of Drusus, seemed thence to have derived a stain upon
the images of the Claudian house; besides, Agrippina, the wife of
Germanicus, did in the fruitfulness of her body and the reputation of her
virtue far excel Livia, the wife of Drusus. Yet the two brothers lived in
amiable dearness and concord, no wise shaken or estranged by the reigning
contention amongst their separate friends and adherents.

Drusus was soon after sent into Illyricum in order to inure him to war,
and gain him the affections of the army; besides, Tiberius thought that
the youth, who loved wantoning in the luxuries of Rome, would be reformed
in the camp, and that his own security would be enlarged when both his
sons were at the head of the legions. But the pretence of sending him was
the protection of the Suevians, who were then imploring assistance against
the powers of the Cheruscans. For these nations, who since the departure
of the Romans saw themselves no longer threatened with terrors from
abroad, and were then particularly engaged in a national competition for
glory, had relapsed, as usual, into their old intestine feuds, and turned
their arms upon each other. The two people were equally powerful, and
their two leaders equally brave; but differently esteemed, as the title of
king upon Maroboduus had drawn the hate and aversion of his countrymen;
whilst Arminius, as a champion warring for the defence of liberty, was the
universal object of popular affection.

Hence not only the Cheruscans and their confederates, they who had been
the ancient soldiery of Arminius, took arms; but to him too revolted the
Semnones and Langobards, both Suevian nations, and even subjects of
Maroboduus; and by their accession he would have exceeded in puissance,
but Inguiomerus with his band of followers deserted to Maroboduus; for no
other cause than disdain, that an old man and an uncle like himself should
obey Arminius, a young man, his nephew. Both armies were drawn out, with
equal hopes; nor disjointed, like the old German battles, into scattered
parties for loose and random attacks; for by long war with us they had
learnt to follow their ensigns, to strengthen their main body with parties
of reserves, and to observe the orders of their generals. Arminius was now
on horseback viewing all the ranks: as he rode through them he magnified
their past feats; "their liberty recovered; the slaughtered legions; the
spoils of arms wrested from the Romans; monuments of victory still
retained in some of their hands." Upon Maroboduus he fell with
contumelious names, as "a fugitive, one of no abilities in war; a coward
who had sought defence from the gloomy coverts of the Hercynian woods, and
then by gifts and solicitations courted the alliance of Rome; a betrayer
of his country, and a lifeguard-man of Caesar's, worthy to be exterminated
with no less hostile vengeance than in the slaughter of Quinctilius Varus
they had shown. Let them only remember so many battles bravely fought; the
events of which, particularly the utter expulsion of the Romans, were
sufficient proofs with whom remained the glory of the war."

Neither did Maroboduus fail to boast himself and depreciate the foe. "In
the person of Inguiomerus," he said (holding him by the hand), "rested the
whole renown of the Cheruscans; and from his counsels began all their
exploits that ended in success. Arminius, a man of a frantic spirit, and a
novice in affairs, assumed to himself the glory of another, for having by
treachery surprised three legions, which expected no foe, and their
leader, who feared no fraud; a base surprise, revenged since on Germany
with heavy slaughters, and on Arminius himself with domestic infamy, while
his wife and his son still bore the bonds of captivity. For himself, when
attacked formerly by Tiberius at the head of twelve legions, he had
preserved unstained the glory of Germany, and on equal terms ended the
war. Nor did he repent of the treaty, since it was still in their hands to
wage anew equal war with the Romans, or save blood and maintain peace."
The armies, besides the incitements from these speeches, were animated by
national stimulations of their own. The Cheruscans fought for their
ancient renown; the Langobards for their recent liberty; and the Suevians
and their king, on the contrary, were struggling for the augmentation of
their monarchy. Never did armies make a fiercer onset; never had onset a
more ambiguous event; for both the right wings were routed, and hence a
fresh encounter was certainly expected, till Maroboduus drew off his army
and encamped upon the hills; a manifest sign this that he was humbled.
Frequent desertions too leaving him at last naked of forces, he retired to
the Marcomannians, and thence sent ambassadors to Tiberius to implore
succours. They were answered, "That he had no right to invoke aid of the
Roman arms against the Cheruscans, since to the Romans, while they were
warring with the same foe, he had never administered any assistance."
Drusus was, however, sent away, as I have said, with the character of a
negotiator of peace.

The same year twelve noble cities of Asia were overturned by an
earthquake: the ruin happened in the night, and the more dreadful as its
warnings were unobserved; neither availed the usual sanctuary against such
calamities, namely, a flight to the fields, since those who fled, the
gaping earth devoured. It is reported "that mighty mountains subsided,
plains were heaved into high hills: and that with flashes and eruptions of
fire, the mighty devastation was everywhere accompanied." The Sardians
felt most heavily the rage of the concussion, and therefore most
compassion: Tiberius promised them an hundred thousand great sesterces,
[Footnote: 83,000.] and remitted their taxes for five years. The
inhabitants of Magnesia, under Mount Sipylus, were held the next in
sufferings, and had proportionable relief. The Temnians, Philadelphians,
the Aegeatans, Apollonians, with those called the Mostenians or
Macedonians of Hyrcania, the cities too of Hierocaesarea, Cyme, and
Tmolus, were all for the same term eased of tribute. It was likewise
resolved to send one of the Senate to view the desolations and administer
proper remedies: Marcus Aletus was therefore chosen, one of Praetorian
rank; because, a Consular Senator then governing Asia, had another of the
like quality been sent, an emulation between equals was apprehended, and
consequently opposition and delays.

The credit of this noble bounty to the public, he increased by private
liberalities, which proved equally popular: the estate of the wealthy
Aemilia Musa, claimed by the exchequer, as she died intestate, he
surrendered to Aemilius Lepidus, to whose family she seemed to belong; as
also to Marcus Servilius the inheritance of Patuleius, a rich Roman
knight, though part of it had been bequeathed to himself; but he found
Servilius named sole heir in a former and well-attested will. He said such
was "the nobility of both, that they deserved to be supported." Nor did he
ever to himself accept any man's inheritance, but where former friendship
gave him a title. The wills of such as were strangers to him, and of such
as, from hate and prejudice to others, had appointed the Prince their
heir, he utterly rejected. But, as he relieved the honest poverty of the
virtuous, so he degraded from the Senate (or suffered to quit it of their
own accord) Vibidius Varro, Marius Nepos, Appius Appianus, Cornelius
Sylla, and Quintus Vitellius, all prodigals, and only through debauchery

About this time Tiberius finished and consecrated what Augustus began, the
Temples of the Gods consumed by age or fire: that near the great Circus,
vowed by Aulus Posthumius the Dictator, to Bacchus, Proserpina, and Ceres.
In the same place the Temple of Flora, founded by Lucius Publicius and
Marcus Publicius while they were Aediles. The Temple of Janus, built in
the Herb Market by Caius Duillius, who first signalised the Roman power at
sea, and merited a naval triumph over the Carthaginians. That of Hope was
dedicated by Germanicus: this temple Atilius had vowed in the same war.

The Consuls for the following year were, Tiberius the third time,
Germanicus the second. This dignity overtook Germanicus at Nicopolis, a
city of Achaia, whither he arrived by the coast of Illyricum, from
visiting his brother Drusus, then abiding in Dalmatia; and had suffered a
tempestuous passage, both in the Adriatic and Ionian Sea: he therefore
spent a few days to repair his fleet, and viewed the while the Bay of
Actium renowned for the naval victory there; as also the spoils
consecrated by Augustus, and the Camp of Anthony, with an affecting
remembrance of these his ancestors; for Anthony, as I have said, was his
great uncle, Augustus his grandfather; hence this scene proved to
Germanicus a mighty source of images pleasing and sad. Next he proceeded
to Athens, where in concession to that ancient city, allied to Rome, he
would use but one Lictor. The Greeks received him with the most elaborate
honours, and to dignify their personal flattery, carried before him
tablatures of the signal deeds and sayings of his ancestors.

Hence he sailed to Eubea, thence to Lesbos, where Agrippina was delivered
of Julia, who proved her last birth; then he kept the coast of Asia and
visited Perinthus and Byzantium, cities of Thrace, and entered the straits
of Propontis, and the mouth of the Euxine; fond of beholding ancient
places long celebrated by fame: he relieved at the same time, the
provinces wherever distracted with intestine factions, or aggrieved with
the oppressions of their magistrates. In his return he strove to see the
religious rites of the Samothracians, but by the violence of the north
wind was repulsed from the shore. As he passed, he saw Troy and her
remains, venerable for the vicissitude of her fate, and for the birth of
Rome: regaining the coast of Asia, he put in at Colophon, to consult there
the oracle of the Clarian Apollo: it is no Pythoness that represents the
God here, as at Delphos, but a Priest, one chosen from certain families,
chiefly of Miletus; neither requires he more than just to hear the names
and numbers of the querists, and then descends into the oracular cave;
where, after a draught of water from a secret spring, though ignorant for
the most part of letters and poetry, he yet utters his answers in verse,
which has for its subject the conceptions and wishes of each consultant.
He was even said to have sung to Germanicus his hastening fate, but as
oracles are wont, in terms dark and doubtful.

But Cneius Piso, hurrying to the execution of his purposes, terrified the
city of Athens by a tempestuous entry, and reproached them in a severe
speech, with oblique censure of Germanicus, "that debasing the dignity of
the Roman name, he had paid excessive court, not to the Athenians by so
many slaughters long since extinct, but to the then mixed scum of nations
there; for that these were they who had leagued with Mithridates against
Sylla, and with Anthony against Augustus." He even charged them with the
errors and misfortunes of ancient Athens; her impotent attempts against
the Macedonians; her violence and ingratitude to her own citizens. He was
also an enemy to their city from personal anger; because they would not
pardon at his request one Theophilus condemned by the Areopagus for
forgery. From thence sailing hastily through the Cyclades, and taking the
shortest course, he overtook Germanicus at Rhodes, but was there driven by
a sudden tempest upon the rocks: and Germanicus, who was not ignorant with
what malignity and invectives he was pursued, yet acted with so much
humanity, that when he might have left him to perish, and to casualty have
referred the destruction of his enemy; he despatched galleys to rescue him
from the wreck. This generous kindness however assuaged not the animosity
of Piso; and scarce could he brook a day's delay with Germanicus, but left
him in haste to arrive in Syria before him: nor was he sooner there, and
found himself amongst the legions, than he began to court the common men
by bounties and caresses, to assist them with his countenance and credit,
to form factions, to remove all the ancient centurions and every tribune
of remarkable discipline and severity, and, in their places, to put
dependents of his own, or men recommended only by their crimes; he
permitted sloth in the camp, licentiousness in the towns, a rambling and
disorderly soldiery, and carried the corruption so high, that in the
discourses of the herd, he was styled _Father of the Legions_. Nor did
Plancina restrain herself to a conduct seemly in her sex, but frequented
the exercises of the cavalry, and attended the decursions of the cohorts;
everywhere inveighing against Agrippina, everywhere against Germanicus;
and some even of the most deserving soldiers became prompt to base
obedience, from a rumour whispered abroad, "that all this was not
unacceptable to Tiberius,"

These doings were all known to Germanicus; but his more instant care was
to visit Armenia, an inconstant and restless nation this from the
beginning; inconstant from the genius of the people, as well as from the
situation of their country, which bordering with a large frontier on our
provinces, and stretching thence quite to Media, is enclosed between the
two great Empires, and often at variance with them; with the Romans
through antipathy and hatred, with the Parthians through competition and
envy. At this time and ever since the removal of Vonones, they had no
king; but the affections of the nations leaned to Zeno, son of Polemon,
king of Pontus, because by an attachment, from his infancy, to the
fashions and customs of the Armenians, by hunting, feasting, and other
usages practised and renowned amongst the barbarians, he had equally won
the nobles and people. Upon his head therefore, at the city of Artaxata,
with the approbation of the nobles, in a great assembly, Germanicus put
the regal diadem; and the Armenians doing homage to their king, saluted
him, _Artaxias_, a name which from that of their city, they gave him. The
Cappadocians, at this time reduced into the form of a province, received
for their governor Quintus Veranius; and to raise their hopes of the
gentler dominion of Rome, several of the royal taxes were lessened.
Quintus Servaeus was set over the Comagenians, then first subjected to the
jurisdiction of a Praetor.

From the affairs of the allies, thus all successfully settled, Germanicus
reaped no pleasure, through the perverseness and pride of Piso, who was
ordered to lead by himself or his son, part of the legions into Armenia,
but contemptuously neglected to do either. They at last met at Cyrrum, the
winter quarters of the tenth legion, whither each came with a prepared
countenance; Piso to betray no fear, and Germanicus would not be thought
to threaten. He was indeed, as I have observed, of a humane and
reconcilable spirit: but, officious friends expert at inflaming
animosities, aggravated real offences, added fictitious, and with manifold
imputations charged Piso, Plancina, and their sons. To this interview
Germanicus admitted a few intimates, and began his complaints in words
such as dissembled resentment dictates. Piso replied with disdainful
submissions; and they parted in open enmity. Piso hereafter came rarely to
the tribunal of Germanicus; or, if he did, sate sternly there, and in
manifest opposition: he likewise published his spite at a feast of the
Nabathean King's, where golden crowns of great weight were presented to
Germanicus and Agrippina; but to Piso and the rest, such as were light:
"This banquet," he said, "was made for the son of a Roman prince, not of a
Parthian monarch:" with these words, he cast away his crown, and uttered
many invectives against luxury: sharp insults and provocations these to
Germanicus; yet he bore them.

In the consulship of Marcus Silanus and Lucius Norbanus, Germanicus
travelled to Egypt, to view the famous antiquities of the country; though
for the motives of the journey, the care and inspection of the province
were publicly alleged: and, indeed, by opening the granaries, he mitigated
the price of corn, and practised many things grateful to the people;
walking without guards, his feet bare, and his habit the same with that of
the Greeks; after the example of Publius Scipio, who, we are told, was
constant in the same practices in Sicily, even during the rage of the
Punic War there. For these his assumed manners and foreign habit, Tiberius
blamed him in a gentle style, but censured him with great asperity for
violating an establishment of Augustus, and entering Alexandria without
consent of the Prince. For Augustus, amongst other secrets of power, had
appropriated Egypt, and restrained the senators, and dignified Roman
knights from going thither without licence; as he apprehended that Italy
might be distressed with famine by any who seized that province, the key
to the Empire by sea and land, and defensible by a light band of men
against potent armies.

Germanicus, not yet informed that his journey was censured, sailed up the
Nile, beginning at Canopus, [Footnote: Near Aboukir.] one of its mouths:
it was built by the Spartans, as a monument to Canopus, a pilot buried
there, at the time when Menelaus returning to Greece was driven to
different seas and the Lybian continent. Hence he visited the next mouth
of the river sacred to Hercules: him the nations aver to have been born
amongst them; that he was the most ancient of the name, and that all the
rest, who with equal virtue followed his example, were, in honour, called
after him. Next he visited the mighty antiquities of ancient Thebes;
[Footnote: Karnak and Luxor.] where upon huge obelisks yet remained
Egyptian characters, describing its former opulency: one of the oldest
priests was ordered to interpret them; he said they related "that it once
contained seven hundred thousand fighting men; that with that army King
Rhamses had conquered Lybia, Ethiopia, the Medes and Persians, the
Bactrians and Scythians; and to his Empire had added the territories of
the Syrians, Armenians, and their neighbours the Cappadocians; a tract of
countries reaching from the sea of Bithynia to that of Lycia:" here also
was read the assessment of tribute laid on the several nations; what
weight of silver and gold; what number of horses and arms; what ivory and
perfumes, as gifts to the temples; what measures of grain; what quantities
of all necessaries, were by each people paid; revenues equally grand with
those exacted by the denomination of the Parthians, or by the power of the

Germanicus was intent upon seeing other wonders: the chief were; the
effigies of Memnon, a colossus of stone, yielding when struck by the solar
rays, a vocal sound; the Pyramids rising, like mountains, amongst rolling
and almost impassable waves of sand; monuments these of the emulation and
opulency of Egyptian kings; the artificial lake, a receptacle of the
overflowing Nile; and elsewhere abysses of such immense depth, that those,
who tried, could never fathom. Thence he proceeded to Elephantina and
Syene, two islands, formerly frontiers of the Roman empire, which is now
widened to the Red Sea.

Whilst Germanicus spent this summer in several provinces, Drusus was
sowing feuds amongst the Germans, and thence reaped no light renown; and,
as the power of Maroboduus was already broken, he engaged them to persist
and complete his ruin. Amongst the Gotones was a young man of quality, his
name Catualda, a fugitive long since from the violence of Maroboduus, but
now in his distress, resolved on revenge: hence with a stout band, he
entered the borders of the Marcomannians, and corrupting their chiefs into
his alliance, stormed the regal palace, and the castle situate near it. In
the pillage were found the ancient stores of prey accumulated by the
Suevians; as also many victuallers and traders from our provinces; men who
were drawn hither from their several homes, first by privilege of traffic,
then retained by a passion to multiply gain, and at last, through utter
oblivion of their own country, fixed, like natives, in a hostile soil.

To Maroboduus on every side forsaken, no other refuge remained but the
mercy of Caesar: he therefore passed the Danube where it washes the
province of Norica, and wrote to Tiberius; not however in the language of
a fugitive or supplicant, but with a spirit suitable to his late grandeur,
"that many nations invited him to them, as a king once so glorious; but he
preferred to all the friendship of Rome." The Emperor answered, "that in
Italy he should have a safe and honourable retreat, and, when his affairs
required his presence, the same security to return." But to the Senate he
declared, "that never had Philip of Macedon been so terrible to the
Athenians; nor Pyrrhus, nor Antiochus to the Roman people." The speech is
extant: in it he magnifies "the greatness of the man, the fierceness and
bravery of the nations his subjects; the alarming nearness of such an
enemy to Italy, and his own artful measures to destroy him." Maroboduus
was kept at Ravenna, for a check and terror to the Suevians; as if, when
at any time they grew turbulent, he were there in readiness to recover
their subjection: yet in eighteen years he left not Italy, but grew old in
exile there; his renown too became eminently diminished; such was the
price he paid for an over-passionate love of life. The same fate had
Catualda, and no other sanctuary; he was soon after expulsed by the forces
of the Hermundurans led by Vibilius, and being received under the Roman
protection, was conveyed to Forum Julium, a colony in Narbon Gaul. The
barbarians their followers, lest, had they been mixed with the provinces,
they might have disturbed their present quiet, were placed beyond the
Danube, between the rivers Marus and Cusus, and for their king had
assigned them Vannius, by nation a Quadian.

As soon as it was known at Rome, that Artaxias was by Germanicus given to
the Armenians for their king, the fathers decreed to him and Drusus the
lesser triumph: triumphal arches were likewise erected, on each side of
the Temple of Mars the Avenger, supporting the statues of these two
Caesars; and for Tiberius, he was more joyful to have established peace by
policy, than if by battles and victories he had ended the war.

Germanicus returning from Egypt, learned that all his orders left with the
legions, and the eastern cities, were either entirely abolished, or
contrary regulations established: a ground this for his severe reproaches
and insults upon Piso. Nor less keen were the efforts and machinations of
Piso against Germanicus; yet Piso afterwards determined to leave Syria,
but was detained by the following illness of Germanicus: again when he
heard of his recovery, and perceived that vows were paid for his
restoration; the Lictors, by his command, broke the solemnity, drove away
the victims already at the altars; overturned the apparatus of the
sacrifice; and scattered the people of Antioch employed in celebrating the
festival. He then departed to Seleucia, waiting the event of the malady
which had again assaulted Germanicus. His own persuasion too, that poison
was given him by Piso, heightened the cruel vehemence of the disease:
indeed, upon the floors and walls were found fragments of human bodies,
the spoils of the grave; with charms and incantations; and the name of
Germanicus graved on sheets of lead; carcasses half burnt, besmeared with
gore; and other witchcrafts, by which souls are thought doomed to the
infernal gods: besides there were certain persons, charged as creatures of
Piso, purposely sent and employed to watch the progress and efforts of the

These things filled Germanicus with apprehensions great as his resentment:
"If his doors," he said, "were besieged, if under the eyes of his enemies
he must render up his spirit, what was to be expected to his unhappy wife,
what to his infant children?" The progress of poison was thought too slow;
Piso was impatient, and urging with eagerness to command alone the
legions, to possess alone the province: but Germanicus was not sunk to
such lowness and impotence, that the price of his murder should remain
with the murderer: and by a letter to Piso, he renounced his friendship:
some add, that he commanded him to depart the province. Nor did Piso tarry
longer, but took ship; yet checked her sailing in order to return with the
more quickness, should the death of Germanicus the while leave the
government of Syria vacant.

Germanicus, after a small revival, drooping again; when his end
approached, spoke on this wise to his attending friends: "Were I to yield
to the destiny of nature; just, even then, were my complaints against the
Gods, for hurrying me from my parents, my children, and my country, by a
hasty death, in the prime of life: now shortened in my course by the
malignity of Piso, and his wife, to your breasts I commit my last prayers:
tell my father, tell my brother, with what violent persecutions afflicted,
with what mortal snares circumvented, I end a most miserable life by death
of all others the worst. All they whose hopes in my fortune, all they
whose kindred blood, and even they whose envy, possessed them with
impressions about me whilst living, shall bewail me dead; that once great
in glory, and surviving so many wars, I fell at last by the dark devices
of a woman. To you will be place left to complain in the Senate, and place
to invoke the aid and vengeance of the laws. To commemorate the dead with
slothful wailings, is not the principal office of friends: they are to
remember his dying wishes, to fulfil his last desires. Even strangers will
lament Germanicus: you are my friends: if you loved me rather than my
fortune, you will vindicate your friendship: show the people of Rome my
wife, her who is the grand-daughter of Augustus, and enumerate to them our
six children. Their compassion will surely attend you who accuse; and the
accused, if they pretend clandestine warrants of iniquity, will not be
believed; if believed, not pardoned." His friends, as a pledge of their
fidelity, touching the hand of the dying prince, swore that they would
forego their lives sooner than their revenge. Then turning to his wife, he
besought her "that in tenderness to his memory, in tenderness to their
common children, she would banish her haughty spirit, yield to her hostile
fortune, nor, upon her return to Rome, by an impotent competition for
ruling, irritate those who were masters of rule." So much openly, and more
in secret; whence he was believed to have warned her of guile and danger
from Tiberius. Soon after he expired, to the heavy sorrow of the province,
and of all the neighbouring countries; insomuch that remote nations and
foreign kings were mourners: such had been his complacency to our
confederates; such his humanity to his enemies! Alike venerable he was,
whether you saw him or heard him; and without ever departing from the
grave port and dignity of his sublime rank, he yet lived destitute of
arrogance and untouched by envy.

The funeral, which was performed without exterior pomp or a procession of
images, drew its solemnity from the loud praises and amiable memory of his
virtues. There were those who from his loveliness, his age, his manner of
dying, and even from the proximity of places where both departed, compared
him in the circumstances of his fate, to Great Alexander: "Each of a
graceful person, each of illustrious descent; in years neither much
exceeding thirty; both victims to the malice and machinations of their own
people, in the midst of foreign nations: but Germanicus gentle towards his
friends; his pleasures moderate; confined to one wife; all his children by
one bed; nor less a warrior, though not so rash, and however hindered from
a final reduction of Germany, broken by him in so many victories, and
ready for the yoke: so that had he been sole arbiter of things, had he
acted with the sovereignty and title of royalty, he had easier overtaken
him in the glory of conquests, as he surpassed him in clemency, in
moderation, and in other virtues." His body, before its commitment to the
pile, was exhibited naked in the Forum of Antioch, the place where the
pile was erected: whether it bore the marks of poison, remained undecided:
for, people as they were divided in their affections, as they pitied
Germanicus, and presumed the guilt of Piso, or were partial to him, gave
opposite accounts.

It was next debated amongst the legates of the legions and the other
senators there, to whom should be committed the administration of Syria:
and after the faint effort of others, it was long disputed between Vibius
Marsus and Cneius Sentius: Marsus at last yielded to Sentius, the older
man and the more vehement competitor. By him one Martina, infamous in that
province for practices in poisoning, and a close confidant of Plancina,
was sent to Rome, at the suit of Vitellius, Veranius, and others, who were
preparing criminal articles against Piso and Plancina, as against persons
evidently guilty.

Agrippina, though overwhelmed with sorrow, and her body indisposed, yet
impatient of all delays to her revenge, embarked with the ashes of
Germanicus, and her children; attended with universal commiseration, "that
a lady, in quality a princess, wont to be beheld in her late splendid
wedlock with applauses and adorations, was now seen bearing in her bosom
her husband's funeral urn, uncertain of vengeance for him and fearful for
herself; unfortunate in her fruitfulness, and from so many children
obnoxious to so many blows of fortune." Piso the while was overtaken at
the Isle of Cos by a message, "that Germanicus was deceased," and
received it intemperately, slew victims and repaired with thanksgiving to
the temples: and yet, however immoderate and undisguised was his joy, more
arrogant and insulting proved that of Plancina, who immediately threw off
her mourning, which for the death of a sister she wore, and assumed a
dress adapted to gaiety and gladness.

About him flocked the Centurions with officious representations, "that
upon him particularly were bent the affections and zeal of the legions,
and he should proceed to resume the province, at first injuriously taken
from him and now destitute of a governor." As he therefore consulted what
he had best pursue, his son Marcus Piso advised "a speedy journey to Rome:
hitherto," he said, "nothing past expiation was committed; nor were
impotent suspicions to be dreaded; nor the idle blazonings of fame: his
variance and contention with Germanicus was perhaps subject to hate and
aversion, but to no prosecution or penalty; and, by bereaving him of the
province, his enemies were gratified: but if he returned thither, as
Sentius would certainly oppose him with arms, a civil war would thence be
actually begun: neither would the Centurions and soldiers persist in his
party; men with whom the recent memory of their late commander, and an
inveterate love to the Caesarian general, were still prevalent."

Domitius Celer, one in intimate credit with Piso, argued on the contrary,
"that the present event must by all means be improved; it was Piso and not
Sentius who had commission to govern Syria; upon him, were conferred the
jurisdiction of Praetor, and the badges of magistracy, and with him the
legions were instructed: so that if acts of hostility were by his
opponents attempted, with how much better warrant could he avow assuming
arms in his own right and defence, who was thus vested with the authority
of general, and acted under special orders from the Emperor. Rumours too
were to be neglected, and left to perish with time: in truth to the
sallies and violence of recent hate the innocent were often unequal: but
were he once possessed of the army, and had well augmented his forces,
many things, not to be foreseen, would from fortune derive success. Are we
then preposterously hastening to arrive at Rome with the ashes of
Germanicus, that you may there fall, unheard and undefended, a victim to
the wailings of Agrippina, a prey to the passionate populace governed by
the first impressions of rumour? Livia, it is true, is your confederate;
Tiberius is your friend; but both secretly: and indeed none will more
pompously bewail the violent fate of Germanicus, than such as for it do
most sincerely rejoice."

Piso of himself prompt to violent pursuits, was with no great labour
persuaded into this opinion, and, in a letter transmitted to Tiberius,
accused Germanicus "of luxury and pride: that for himself, he had been
expulsed, to leave room for dangerous designs against the State, and now
resumed, with his former faith and loyalty, the care of the army." In the
meantime he put Domitius on board a galley, and ordered him to avoid
appearing upon the coasts or amongst the isles, but, through the main sea,
to sail to Syria. The deserters, who from all quarters were flocking to
him in crowds, he formed into companies, and armed all the retainers to
the camp; then sailing over to the continent, intercepted a regiment of
recruits, upon their march into Syria; and wrote to the small kings of
Cilicia to assist him with present succours: nor was the younger Piso slow
in prosecuting all the measures of war, though to adventure a war had been
against his sentiments and advice.

As they coasted Lycia and Pamphilia, they encountered the ships which
carried Agrippina, with hostile spirit on each side, and each at first
prepared for combat; but as equal dread of one another possessed both,
proceeded not further than mutual contumelies. Vibius Marsus particularly
summoned Piso, as a criminal, to Rome, there to make his defence: he
answered with derision "that when the Praetor, who was to sit upon
poisonings, had assigned a day to the accusers and the accused, he would
attend." Domitius, the while, landing at Laodicea, a city of Syria, would
have proceeded to the winter quarters of the sixth legion, which he
believed to be the most prone to engage in novel attempts, but was
prevented by Pacuvius, its commander. Sentius represented this by letter
to Piso, and warned him, "at his peril to infect the camp by ministers of
corruption; or to assail the province of war;" and drew into a body such
as he knew loved Germanicus, or such as were averse to his foes: upon them
he inculcated with much ardour, that Piso was with open arms attacking the
majesty of the Prince, and invading the Roman State; and then marched at
the head of a puissant body, equipped for battle and resolute to engage.

Neither failed Piso, though his enterprises had thus far miscarried, to
apply the securest remedies to his present perplexities; and therefore
seized a castle of Cilicia strongly fortified, its name Celendris: for, to
the auxiliary Cilicians, sent him by the petty kings, he had joined his
body of deserters, as also the recruits lately intercepted, with all his
own and Plancina's slaves; and thus in number and bulk had of the whole
composed a legion. To them he thus harangued: "I who am the lieutenant of
Caesar, am yet violently excluded from the province which to me Caesar has
committed: not excluded by the legions (for by their invitation I am
arrived), but by Sentius, who thus disguises under feigned crimes against
me, his own animosity and personal hate: but with confidence you may stand
in battle, where the opposite army, upon the sight of Piso, a commander
lately by themselves styled their _Father_, will certainly refuse to
fight; they know too, that were right to decide it, I am the stronger; and
of no mean puissance in a trial at arms." He then arrayed his men without
the fortifications, on a hill steep and craggy, for all the rest was
begirt by the sea: against them stood the veterans regularly embattled,
and supported with a body of reserve; so that here appeared the force of
men, there only the terror and stubbornness of situation. On Piso's side
was no spirit, nor hope, nor even weapons save those of rustics, for
instant necessity hastily acquired. As soon as they came to blows, the
issue was no longer doubtful than while the Roman cohorts struggled up the
steep: the Cilicians then fled, and shut themselves up in the castle.

Piso having the while attempted in vain to storm the fleet, which rode at
a small distance, as soon as he returned, presented himself upon the
walls; where, by a succession of passionate complaints and entreaties, now
bemoaning in agonies the bitterness of his lot, then calling and cajolling
every particular soldier by his name, and by rewards tempting all, he
laboured to excite a sedition; and thus much had already effected, that
the Eagle-bearer of the sixth legion revolted to him with his Eagle. This
alarmed Sentius, and instantly he commanded the cornets and trumpets to
sound, a mound to be raised, the ladders placed, and the bravest men to
mount, and others to pour from the engines volleys of darts and stones,
and flaming torches. The obstinacy of Piso was at last vanquished; and he
desired "that upon delivering his arms he might remain in the castle till
the Emperor's pleasure, to whom he would commit the government of Syria,
were known;" conditions which were not accepted; nor was aught granted him
save ships and a passport to Rome.

After the illness of Germanicus grew current there, and all its
circumstances, like rumours magnified by distance, were related with many
aggravations; sadness seized the people; they burned with indignation, and
even poured out in plaints the anguish of their souls. "For this," they
said, "he had been banished to the extremities of the Empire, for this the
province of Syria was committed to Piso, and these the fruits of Livia's
mysterious conferences with Plancina: truly had our fathers spoken
concerning his father Drusus; that the possessors of rule beheld with an
evil eye the popular spirit of their sons; nor for aught else were they
sacrificed, but for their equal treatment of the Roman People, and
studying to restore the popular state." These lamentations of the populace
were, upon the tidings of his death, so inflamed, that, without staying
for an edict from the magistrates, without a decree of Senate, they by
general consent assumed a vacation; the public courts were deserted,
private houses shut up, prevalent everywhere were the symptoms of woe,
heavy groans, dismal silence; the whole a scene of real sorrow, and
nothing devised for form or show; and, though they forbore not to bear the
exterior marks and habiliments of mourning; in their souls they mourned
still deeper. Accidentally some merchants from Syria, who had left
Germanicus still alive, brought more joyful news of his condition: these
were instantly believed, and instantly proclaimed: each, as fast as they
met, informed others, who forthwith conveyed their light information with
improvements and accumulated joy to more, and all flew with exultation
through the city; and, to pay their thanks and vows, burst open the temple
doors: the night too heightened their credulity, and affirmation was
bolder in the dark. Nor did Tiberius restrain the course of these
fictions, but left them to vanish with time: hence with more bitterness
they afterwards grieved for him, as if anew snatched from them.

Honours were invented and decreed to Germanicus, various as the affections
and genius of the particular Senators who proposed them: "that his name
should be sung in the Salian hymns; curule chairs placed for him amongst
the priests of Augustus, and over these chairs oaken crowns hung; his
statue in ivory precede in the Cercensian games; none but one of the
Julian race be, in the room of Germanicus, created flamen or augur:"
triumphal arches were added; one at Rome; one upon the banks of the Rhine;
one upon Mount Amanus, in Syria; with inscriptions of his exploits, and a
testimony subjoined, "that he died for the Commonwealth:" a sepulchre at
Antioch, where his corpse was burnt; a tribunal at Epidaphne, the place
where he ended his life. The multitude of statues, the many places where
divine honours were appointed to be paid him, would not be easily
recounted. They would have also decreed him, as to one of the masters of
eloquence, a golden shield, signal in bulk as in metal; but Tiberius
offered to dedicate one himself, such as was usual and of a like size
with others; for that eloquence was not measured by fortune; and it was
sufficient glory, if he were ranked with ancient writers. The battalion
called after the name of the Junii was now, by the equestrian order,
entitled the battalion of Germanicus, and a rule made that, on every
fifteenth of July, these troops should follow, as their standard, the
effigies of Germanicus: of these honours many continue; some were
instantly omitted, or by time are utterly obliterated.

In the height of this public sorrow, Livia, sister to Germanicus, and
married to Drusus, was delivered of male twins: an event even in middling
families, rare and acceptable, and to Tiberius such mighty matter of joy,
that he could not refrain boasting to the fathers, "that to no Roman of
the same eminence, before him, were never two children born at a birth:"
for to his own glory he turned all things, even things fortuitous. But to
the people, at such a sad conjuncture, it brought fresh anguish; as they
feared that the family of Drusus thus increased, would press heavy upon
that of Germanicus.

The same year the lubricity of women was by the Senate restrained with
severe laws; and it was provided, "that no woman should become venal, if
her father, grandfather or husband, were Roman knights." For Vistilia, a
lady born of a Praetorian family, had before the Aediles published herself
a prostitute; upon a custom allowed by our ancestors, who thought that
prostitutes were by thus avowing their infamy, sufficiently punished.
Titidius Labeo too was questioned, that in the manifest guilt of his wife,
he had neglected the punishment prescribed by the law; but he alleged that
the sixty days allowed for consultation were not elapsed; and it was
deemed sufficient to proceed against Vistilia, who was banished to the
Isle of Seriphos. Measures were also taken for exterminating the
solemnities of the Jews and Egyptians; and by decree of Senate four
thousand descendants of franchised slaves, all defiled with that
superstition, but of proper strength and age, were to be transported to
Sardinia; to restrain the Sardinian robbers; and if, through the malignity
of the climate, they perished, despicable would be the loss: the rest were
doomed to depart Italy, unless by a stated day they renounced their
profane rites.

After this Tiberius represented that, to supply the place of Occia, who
had presided seven and fifty years with the highest sanctimony over the
Vestals, another virgin was to be chosen; and thanked Fonteius Agrippa and
Asinius Pollio, that by offering their daughters, they contended in good
offices towards the Commonwealth. Pollio's daughter was preferred; for
nothing else but that her mother had ever continued in the same wedlock:
for Agrippa, by a divorce, had impaired the credit of his house: upon her
who was postponed, Tiberius, in consolation, bestowed for her fortune a
thousand great sestertia. [Footnote: 8300.]

As the people murmured at the severe dearth of corn, he settled grain at a
price certain to the buyer, and undertook to pay fourteenpence a measure
to the seller: neither yet would he accept the name of _Father of his
Country_, a title offered him before, and for these bounties, now again;
nay, he sharply rebuked such as styled these provisions of his, _divine
occupations_, and him, _Lord_: hence freedom of speech became cramped and
insecure, under such a Prince; one who dreaded liberty, and abhorred

I find in the writers of those times, some of them Senators, that in the
Senate were read letters from Adgandestrius, prince of the Cattans,
undertaking to despatch Arminius, if in order to it poison were sent him;
and an answer returned, "that not by frauds and blows in the dark, but
armed and in the face of the sun, the Roman People took vengeance on their
foes." In this Tiberius gained equal glory with our ancient captains, who
rejected and disclosed a plot to poison King Pyrrhus. Arminius however,
who upon the departure of the Romans and expulsion of Maroboduus, aimed at
royalty, became thence engaged in a struggle against the liberty of his
country; and, in defence of their liberty, his countrymen took arms
against him: so that, while with various fortune he contended with them,
he fell by the treachery of his own kindred: the deliverer of Germany
without doubt he was; one who assailed the Roman power, not like other
kings and leaders, in its first elements, but in its highest pride and
elevation; one sometimes beaten in battle, but never conquered in war:
thirty-seven years he lived; twelve he commanded; and, amongst these
barbarous nations, his memory is still celebrated in their songs; but his
name unknown in the annals of the Greeks, who only admire their own
national exploits and renown; nor even amongst the Romans does this great
captain bear much distinction, while, overlooking instances of modern
prowess and glory, we only delight to magnify men and feats of old.


A.D. 20-22.

Agrippina, notwithstanding the roughness of winter, pursuing without
intermission her boisterous voyage, put in at the Island Corcyra,
[Footnote: Corfu.] situate over against the coasts of Calabria. Here to
settle her spirit, she spent a few days, violent in her grief, and a
stranger to patience. Her arrival being the while divulged, all the
particular friends to her family, mostly men of the sword, many who had
served under Germanicus, and even many strangers from the neighbouring
towns, some in officiousness towards the Emperor, more for company,
crowded to the city of Brundusium, the readiest port in her way and the
safest landing. As soon as the fleet appeared in the deep, instantly were
filled, not the port alone and adjacent shores, but the walls and roofs,
and as far as the eye could go; filled with the sorrowing multitude. They
were consulting one from one, how they should receive her landing,
"whether with universal silence, or with some note of acclamation." Nor
was it manifest which they would do, when the fleet stood slowly in, not
as usual with joyful sailors and cheerful oars, but all things impressed
with the face of sadness. After she descended from the ship, accompanied
with her two infants, carrying in her bosom the melancholy urn, with her
eyes cast steadily down; equal and universal were the groans of the
beholders: nor could you distinguish relations from strangers, nor the
wailings of men from those of women, unless that the new-comers, who were
recent in their sallies of grief, exceeded Agrippina's attendants, wearied
out with long lamentations.

Tiberius had despatched two Praetorian cohorts, with directions, that the
magistrates of Calabria, Apulia and Campania, should pay their last
offices to the memory of his son: upon the shoulders therefore of the
Tribunes and Centurions his ashes were borne; before went the ensigns
rough and unadorned, with the fasces reversed. As they passed through the
colonies, the populace were in black, the knights in purple; and each
place, according to its wealth, burnt precious raiment, perfumes and
whatever else is used in funeral solemnities: even they whose cities lay
remote attended: to the Gods of the dead they slew victims, they erected
altars, and with tears and united lamentations, testified their common
sorrow. Drusus came as far as Terracina, with Claudius the brother of
Germanicus, and those of his children who had been left at Rome. The
Consuls Marcus Valerius and Marcus Aurelius (just then entered upon their
office), the Senate, and great part of the people, filled the road; a
scattered procession, each walking and weeping his own way: in this
mourning, flattery had no share; for all knew how real was the joy, how
hollow the grief, of Tiberius for the death of Germanicus.

Tiberius and Livia avoided appearing abroad: public lamentation they
thought below their grandeur; or perhaps they apprehended that their
countenances, examined by all eyes, might show deceitful hearts. That
Antonia, mother to the deceased, bore any part in the funeral, I do not
find either in the historians or in the city journals: though, besides
Agrippina, and Drusus, and Claudius, his other relations are likewise
there recorded by name: whether by sickness she was prevented; or whether
her soul vanquished by sorrow, could not bear the representation of such a
mighty calamity. I would rather believe her constrained by Tiberius and
Livia, who left not the palace; and affecting equal affliction with her,
would have it seem that, by the example of the mother, the grandmother too
and uncle were detained.

The day his remains were reposited in the tomb of Augustus, various were
the symptoms of public grief; now the vastness of silence; now the uproar
of lamentation; the city in every quarter full of processions; the field
of Mars on a blaze of torches: here the soldiers under arms, the
magistrates without the insignia, the people by their tribes, all cried in
concert that "the Commonwealth was fallen, and henceforth there was no
remain of hope;" so openly and boldly that you would have believed they
had forgot, who bore sway. But nothing pierced Tiberius more than the
ardent affections of the people towards Agrippina, while such titles they
gave her as "the ornament of her country, the only blood of Augustus, the
single instance of ancient virtue;" and, while applying to heaven, they
implored "the continuance of her issue, that they might survive the
persecuting and malignant."

There were those who missed the pomp of a public funeral, and compared
with this the superior honours and magnificence bestowed by Augustus on
that of Drusus the father of Germanicus; "that he himself had travelled,
in the sharpness of winter, as far as Pavia, and thence, continuing by the
corpse, had with it entered the city; round his head were placed the
images of the Claudii and Julii; he was mourned in the Forum; his encomium
pronounced in the Rostras; all sorts of honours, such as were the
inventions of our ancestors, or the improvements of their posterity, were
heaped upon him. But to Germanicus were denied the ordinary solemnities,
and such as were due to every distinguished Roman. In a foreign country
indeed, his corpse because of the long journey, was burnt without pomp;
but afterwards, it was but just to have supplied the scantiness of the
first ceremony by the solemnity of the last: his brother met him but one
day's journey; his uncle not even at the gate. Where were those generous
observations of the ancients; the effigies of the dead borne on a bed,
hymns composed in memory of their virtue, with the oblations of praise and
tears? Where at least were the ceremonies and even outside of sorrow?"

All this was known to Tiberius; and, to suppress the discourses of the
populace, he published an edict, "that many illustrious Romans had died
for the Commonwealth, but none so vehemently lamented: this however was to
the glory of himself and of all men, if a measure were observed. The same
things which became private families and small states, became not Princes
and an Imperial People: fresh grief indeed required vent and ease by
lamentation; but it was now time to recover and fortify their minds. Thus
the deified Julius, upon the loss of an only daughter; thus the deified
Augustus, upon the hasty death of his grandsons, had both vanquished their
sorrow. More ancient examples were unnecessary; how often the Roman People
sustained with constancy the slaughter of their armies, the death of their
generals, and entire destruction of their noblest families: Princes were
mortal; the Commonwealth was eternal: they should therefore resume their
several vocations." And because the Megalesian games were at hand, he
added, "that they should even apply to the usual festivities."

The vacation ended, public affairs were resumed; Drusus departed for the
army in Illyricum, and the minds of all men were bent upon seeing
vengeance done upon Piso. They repeated their resentments, that while he
wandered over the delightful countries of Asia and Greece, he was
stifling, by contumacious and deceitful delays, the evidences of his
crimes; for it was bruited abroad, that Martina, she who was famous for
poisonings, and sent, as I have above related, by Cneius Sentius towards
Rome, was suddenly dead at Brundusium; that poison lay concealed in a knot
of her hair, but upon her body were found no symptoms of self-murder.

Piso, sending forward his son to Rome, with instructions how to soften the
Emperor, proceeded himself to Drusus: him he hoped to find less rigid for
the death of a brother, than favourable for the removal of a rival.
Tiberius, to make show of a spirit perfectly unbiassed, received the young
man graciously, and honoured him with the presents usually bestowed on
young noblemen. The answer of Drusus to Piso was, "That if the current
rumours were true, he stood in the first place of grief and revenge; but
he hoped they were false and chimerical, and that the death of Germanicus
would be pernicious to none." This he declared in public, and avoided all
privacy: nor was it doubted but the answer was dictated by Tiberius; when
a youth, otherwise easy and unwary, practised thus the wiles and cunning
of age.

Piso having crossed the sea of Dalmatia, and left his ships at Ancona,
took first the road of Picenum and then the Flaminian way, following the
legion which was going from Pannonia to Rome, and thence to garrison in
Africa. This too became the subject of popular censure, that he
officiously mixed with the soldiers, and courted them in their march and
quarters: he therefore, to avoid suspicion; or, because when men are in
dread, their conduct wavers, did at Narni embark upon the Nar, and thence
sailed into the Tiber. By landing at the burying-place of the Caesars, he
heightened the wrath of the populace: besides, he and Plancina came
ashore, in open day, in the face of the city who were crowding the banks,
and proceeded with gay countenances; he attended by a long band of
clients, she by a train of ladies. There were yet other provocations to
hatred; the situation of his house, proudly overlooking the Forum, and
adorned and illuminated as for a festival; the banquet and rejoicings held
in it, and all as public as the place.

The next day Fulcinius Trio arraigned Piso before the Consuls, but was
opposed by Vitellius, Veranius, and others, who had accompanied
Germanicus: they said, "that in this prosecution Trio had no part; nor did
they themselves act as accusers, but only gathered materials, and, as
witnesses, produced the last injunctions of Germanicus." Trio dropped that
accusation; but got leave to call in question his former life: and now the
Emperor was desired to undertake the trial; a request which the accused
did not at all oppose, dreading the inclinations of the people and Senate:
he knew Tiberius, on the contrary, resolute in despising popular rumours,
and in guilt confederate with his mother: besides that truth and
misrepresentations were easiest distinguished by a single judge, but in
assemblies odium and envy often prevailed. Tiberius was aware of the
weight of the trial, and with what reproaches he was assaulted. Admitting
therefore a few confidants, he heard the charge of the accusers, as also
the apology of the accused; and left the cause entire to the Senate.

Drusus returned the while from Illyricum; and though the Senate had for
the reduction of Maroboduus, and other his exploits the summer before,
decreed him the triumph of ovation; he postponed the honour, and privately
entered the city. Piso, for his advocates, desired Titus Arruntius,
Fulcinius, Asinius Gallus, Eserninus Marcellus, and Sextus Pompeius: but
they all framed different excuses; and he had, in their room, Marcus
Lepidus, Lucius Piso and Liveneius Regulus. Now earnest were the
expectations of all men, "how great would prove the fidelity of the
friends of Germanicus; what the assurance of the criminal, what the
behaviour of Tiberius; whether he would sufficiently smother, or betray
his sentiments." He never had a more anxious part; neither did the people
ever indulge themselves in such secret murmurs against their Emperor, nor
harbour in silence severer suspicions.

When the Senate met, Tiberius made a speech full of laboured moderation:
"That Piso had been his father's lieutenant and friend; and lately
appointed by himself, at the direction of the Senate, coadjutor to
Germanicus in administering the affairs of the East: whether he had there
by contumacy and opposition exasperated the young Prince, and exulted over
his death, or wickedly procured it, they were then to judge with minds
unprejudiced. For, if he who was the lieutenant of my son violated the
limits of his commission, cast off obedience to his general, and even
rejoiced at his decease and at my affliction; I will detest the man, I
will banish him from my house, and for domestic injuries exert domestic
revenge; not the revenge of an Emperor. But for you; if his guilt of any
man's death whatsoever is discovered, show your just vengeance, and by it
satisfy yourselves, satisfy the children of Germanicus, and us his father
and grandmother. Consider too especially, whether he vitiated the
discipline and promoted sedition in the army; whether he sought to debauch
the affections of the soldiers, and to recover the province by arms: or
whether these allegations are not published falsely and with aggravations
by the accusers, with whose over-passionate zeal, I am justly offended:
for, whither tended the stripping the corpse and exposing it to the eyes
and examination of the populace; with what view was it proclaimed even to
foreign nations, that his death was the effect of poison; if all this was
still doubtful, and remains yet to be tried? It is true I bewail my son,
and shall ever bewail him: but neither do I hinder the accused to do what
in him lies to manifest his innocence, even at the expense of Germanicus,
if aught blamable was in him. From you I entreat the same impartiality:
let not the connection of my sorrow with this cause, mislead you to take
crimes for proved because they are imputed. For Piso; if the tenderness of
kinsmen, if the faith of friends, has furnished him with patrons, let them
aid him in his peril, show their utmost eloquence, and exert their best
diligence. To the same pains, to the same firmness I exhort the accusers.
Thus much we will grant to the memory of Germanicus, that the inquest
concerning his death, be held rather here than in the Forum, in the Senate
than the common Tribunals. In all the rest, we will descend to the
ordinary methods. Let no man in this cause consider Drusus's tears; let
none regard my sorrow, no more than the probable fictions of calumny
against us."

Two days were then appointed for maintaining the charge; six for preparing
the defence, and three for making it. Fulcinius began with things stale
and impertinent, about the ambition and rapine of Piso in his
administration of Spain: things which, though proved, brought him under no
penalty, if acquitted of the present charge; nor, though he had been
cleared of former faults, could he escape the load of greater enormities.
After him Servaeus, Veranius, and Vitellius, all with equal zeal, but
Vitellius with great eloquence urged "that Piso, in hatred to Germanicus,
and passionate for innovations, had by tolerating general licentiousness,
and the oppression of the allies, corrupted the common soldiers to that
degree, that by the most profligate he was styled _Father of the Legions_:
he had, on the contrary, been outrageous to the best men, above all to the
friends and companions of Germanicus; and, at last, by witchcraft and
poison destroyed Germanicus himself: hence the infernal charms and
immolations practised by him and Plancina: he had then attacked the
Commonwealth with open arms; and, before he could be brought to be tried,
they were forced to fight and defeat him."

In every article but one his defence was faltering. For, neither his
dangerous intrigues in debauching the soldiery, nor his abandoning the
province to the most profligate and rapacious, nor even his insults to
Germanicus, were to be denied. He seemed only to wipe off the charge of
poison; a charge which in truth was not sufficiently corroborated by the
accusers, since they had only to allege, "that at an entertainment of
Germanicus, Piso, while he sat above him, with his hands poisoned the
meat." It appeared absurd that amongst so many attending slaves besides
his own, in so great a presence, and under the eye of Germanicus, he would
attempt it: he himself required that the waiters might be racked, and
offered to the rack his own domestics: but the Judges were implacable,
implacable from different motives; Tiberius for the war raised in the
province; and the Senate could never be convinced that the death of
Germanicus was not the effect of fraud. Some moved for the letters written
to Piso from Rome; a motion opposed by Tiberius no less than by Piso. From
without, at the same time, were heard the cries of the people, "that if he
escaped the judgment of the Senate, they would with their own hands
destroy him." They had already dragged his statues to the place from
whence malefactors were precipitated, and there had broken them; but by
the orders of Tiberius they were rescued and replaced. Piso was put into a
litter and carried back by a tribune of a Praetorian cohort; an attendance
variously understood, whether as a guard for his safety, or a minister of

Plancina was under equal public hatred, but had more secret favour: hence
it was doubted how far Tiberius durst proceed against her. For herself;
while her husband's hopes were yet plausible, she professed "she would
accompany his fortune, whatever it were, and, if he fell, fall with him."
But when by the secret solicitations of Livia, she had secured her own
pardon, she began by degrees to drop her husband, and to make a separate
defence. After this fatal warning, he doubted whether he should make any
further efforts; but, by the advice of his sons, fortifying his mind, he
again entered the Senate: there he found the prosecution renewed, suffered
the declared indignation of the Fathers, and saw all things cross and
terrible; but nothing so much daunted him as to behold Tiberius, without
mercy, without wrath, close, dark, unmovable, and bent against every
access of tenderness. When he was brought home, as if he were preparing
for his further defence the next day, he wrote somewhat, which he sealed
and delivered to his freedman: he then washed and anointed, and took the
usual care of his person. Late in the night, his wife leaving the chamber,
he ordered the door to be shut; and was found, at break of day, with his
throat cut, his sword lying by him.

I remember to have heard from ancient men, that in the hands of Piso was
frequently seen a bundle of writings, which he did not expose, but which,
as his friends constantly averred, "contained the letters of Tiberius and
his cruel orders towards Germanicus: that he resolved to lay them before
the Fathers and to charge the Emperor, but was deluded by the hollow
promises of Sejanus: and that neither did Piso die by his own hands, but
by those of an express and private executioner." I dare affirm neither;
nor yet ought I to conceal the relations of such as still lived when I was
a youth. Tiberius, with an assumed air of sadness, complained to the
Senate, that Piso, by that sort of death, had aimed to load him with
obloquy; and asked many questions how he had passed his last day, how his
last night? The freedman answered to most with prudence, to some in
confusion. The Emperor then recited the letter sent him by Piso. It was
conceived almost in these words: "Oppressed by a combination of my enemies
and the imputation of false crimes; since no place is left here to truth
and my innocence; to the Immortal Gods I appeal, that towards you, Caesar,
I have lived with sincere faith, nor towards your mother with less
reverence. For my sons I implore her protection and yours: my son Cneius
had no share in my late management whatever it were, since, all the while,
he abode at Rome: and my son Marcus dissuaded me from returning to Syria.
Oh that, old as I am, I had yielded to him, rather than he, young as he
is, to me! Hence more passionately I pray that innocent as he is, he
suffer not in the punishment of my guilt: by a series of services for
five-and-forty years, I entreat you; by our former fellowship in the
consulship; by the memory of the deified Augustus, your father; by his
friendship to me; by mine to you, I entreat you for the life and fortune
of my unhappy son. It is the last request I shall ever make you." Of
Plancina he said nothing.

Tiberius, upon this, cleared the young man of any crime as to the civil
war: he alleged "the orders of his father, which a son could not disobey."
He likewise bewailed "that noble house, and even the grievous lot of Piso
himself, however deserved," For Plancina he pleaded with shame and guilt,
alleging the importunity of his mother; against whom more particularly the
secret murmurs of the best people waxed bitter and poignant. "Was it then
the tender part of a grandmother to admit to her sight the murderess of
her grandson, to be intimate with her, and to snatch her from the
vengeance of the Senate? To Germanicus alone was denied what by the laws
was granted to every citizen. By Vitellius and Veranius, the cause of that
prince was mourned and pleaded: by the Emperor and his mother, Plancina
was defended and protected. Henceforth she might pursue her infernal arts
so successfully tried, repeat her poisonings, and by her arts and poisons
assail Agrippina and her children; and, with the blood of that most
miserable house, satiate the worthy grandmother and uncle." In this mock
trial two days were wasted; Tiberius, all the while, animating the sons of
Piso to defend their mother: when the pleaders and witnesses had
vigorously pushed the charge, and no reply was made, commiseration
prevailed over hatred. The Consul Aurelius Cotta was first asked his
opinion: for, when the Emperor collected the voices, the magistrates
likewise voted. Cotta's sentence was, "that the name of Piso should be
razed from the annals, part of his estate forfeited, part granted to his
son Cneius, upon changing that name; his son Marcus be divested of his
dignity, and content with fifty thousand great sestertia, [Footnote:
42,000.] be banished for ten years: and to Plancina, at the request of
Livia, indemnity should be granted."

Much of this sentence was abated by the Emperor; particularly that of
striking Piso's name out of the annals, when "that of Marc Anthony, who
made war upon his country; that of Julius Antonius, who had by adultery
violated the house of Augustus, continued still there." He also exempted
Marcus Piso from the ignominy of degradation, and left him his whole
paternal inheritance; for, as I have already often observed, he was to the
temptations of money incorruptible, and from the shame of having acquitted
Plancina, rendered then more than usually mild. He likewise withstood the
motion of Valerius Messalinus, "for erecting a golden statue in the Temple
of Mars the Avenger;" and that of Caecina Severus, "for founding an altar
to revenge." "Such monuments as these," he argued, "were only fit to be
raised upon foreign victories; domestic evils were to be buried in
sadness." Messalinus had added, "that to Tiberius, Livia, Antonia,
Agrippina and Drusus, public thanks were to be rendered for having
revenged the death of Germanicus;" but had omitted to mention Claudius.
Messalinus was asked by Lucius Asprenas, in the presence of the Senate,
"Whether by design he had omitted him?" and then at last the name of
Claudius was subjoined. To me, the more I revolve the events of late or of
old, the more of mockery and slipperiness appears in all human wisdom and
the transactions of men: for, in popular fame, in the hopes, wishes and
veneration of the public, all men were rather destined to the Empire, than
he for whom fortune then reserved the sovereignty in the dark.

A few days after, Vitellius, Veranius and Servaeus, were by the Senate
preferred to the honours of the Priesthood, at the motion of Tiberius. To
Fulcinius he promised his interest and suffrage towards preferment, but
advised him "not to embarrass his eloquence by impetuosity." This was the
end of revenging the death of Germanicus; an affair ambiguously related,
not by those only who then lived and interested themselves in it, but
likewise the following times: so dark and intricate are all the highest
transactions; while some hold for certain facts, the most precarious
hearsays; others turn facts into falsehood; and both are swallowed and
improved by the credulity of posterity. Drusus went now without the city,
there to renew the ceremony of the auspices, and presently re-entered in
the triumph of _ovation_. A few days after died Vipsania his mother; of
all the children of Agrippa, the only one who made a pacific end: the rest
manifestly perished, or are believed to have perished, by the sword,
poison, or famine.

The qualifying of the Law Papia Poppaea was afterwards proposed; a law
which, to enforce those of Julius Caesar, Augustus had made when he was
old, for punishing celibacy and enriching the Exchequer. Nor even by this
means had marriages and children multiplied, while a passion to live
single and childless prevailed: but, in the meantime, the numbers
threatened and in danger by it increased daily, while by the glosses and
chicane of the impleaders every family was undone. So that, as before the
city laboured under the weight of crimes, so now under the pest of laws.
From this thought I am led backwards to the first rise of laws, and to
open the steps and causes by which we are arrived to the present number
and excess; a number infinite and perplexed.

The first race of men, free as yet from every depraved passion, lived
without guile and crimes, and therefore without chastisements or
restraints; nor was there occasion for rewards, when of their own accord
they pursued righteousness: and as they courted nothing contrary to
justice, they were debarred from nothing by terrors. But, after they had
abandoned their original equality, and from modesty and shame to do evil,
proceeded to ambition and violence; lordly dominion was introduced and
arbitrary rule, and in many nations grew perpetual. Some, either from the
beginning, or after they were surfeited with kings, preferred the
sovereignty of laws; which, agreeable to the artless minds of men, were at
first short and simple. The laws in most renown were those framed for the
Cretans by Minos; for the Spartans by Lycurgus; and afterwards such as
Solon delivered to the Athenians, now greater in number and more
exquisitely composed. To the Romans justice was administered by Romulus
according to his pleasure: after him, Numa managed the people by religious
devices and laws divine. Some institutions were made by Tullus Hostilius,
some by Ancus Martius; but above all our laws were those founded by
Servius Tullius; they were such as even our kings were bound to obey.

Upon the expulsion of Tarquin; the people, for the security of their
freedom against the encroachment and factions of the Senate, and for
binding the public concord, prepared many ordinances: hence were created
the Decemviri, and by them were composed the twelve tables, out of a
collection of the most excellent institutions found abroad. The period
this of all upright and impartial laws. What laws followed, though
sometimes made against crimes and offenders, were yet chiefly made by
violence, through the animosity of the two Estates, and for seizing
unjustly withholden offices or continuing unjustly in them, or for
banishing illustrious patriots, and to other wicked ends. Hence the
Gracchi and Saturnini, inflamers of the people; and hence Drusus vying, on
behalf of the Senate, in popular concessions with these inflamers; and
hence the corrupt promises made to our Italian allies, promises
deceitfully made, or, by the interposition of some Tribune, defeated.
Neither during the war of Italy, nor during the civil war, was the making
of regulations discontinued; many and contradictory were even then made.
At last Sylla the Dictator, changing or abolishing the past, added many of
his own, and procured some respite in this matter, but not long; for
presently followed the turbulent pursuits and proposals of Lepidus, and
soon after were the Tribunes restored to their licentious authority of
throwing the people into combustions at pleasure. And now laws were not
made for the public only, but for particular men particular laws; and
corruption abounding in the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth abounded in

Pompey was, now in his third Consulship, chosen to correct the public
enormities; and his remedies proved to the State more grievous than its
distempers. He made laws such as suited his ambition, and broke them when
they thwarted his will; and lost by arms the regulations which by arms he
had procured. Henceforward for twenty years discord raged, and there was
neither law nor settlement; the most wicked found impunity in the excess
of their wickedness; and many virtuous men, in their uprightness met
destruction. At length, Augustus Caesar in his sixth Consulship, then
confirmed in power without a rival, abolished the orders which during the
Triumvirate he had established, and gave us laws proper for peace and a
single ruler. These laws had sanctions severer than any heretofore known:
as their guardians, informers were appointed, who by the Law Papia Poppaea
were encouraged with rewards, to watch such as neglected the privileges
annexed to marriage and fatherhood, and consequently could claim no legacy
or inheritance, the same, as vacant, belonging to the Roman People, who
were the public parent. But these informers struck much deeper: by them
the whole city, all Italy, and the Roman citizens in every part of the
Empire, were infested and persecuted: numbers were stripped of their
entire fortunes, and terror had seized all; when Tiberius, for a check to
this evil, chose twenty noblemen, five who were formerly Consuls, five who
were formerly Praetors, with ten other Senators, to review that law. By
them many of its intricacies were explained, its strictness qualified; and
hence some present alleviation was yielded.

Tiberius about this time, to the Senate recommended Nero, one of the sons
of Germanicus, now seventeen years of age, and desired "that he might be
exempted from executing the office of the Vigintivirate, [Footnote:
Officers for distributing the public lands; for regulating the mint, the
roads, and the execution of criminals.] and have leave to sue for the
Quaestorship five years sooner than the laws directed." A piece of
mockery, this request to all who heard it: but, Tiberius pretended "that
the same concessions had been decreed to himself and his brother Drusus,
at the request of Augustus." Nor do I doubt, but there were then such who
secretly ridiculed that sort of petitions from Augustus: such policy was
however natural to that Prince, while he was but yet laying the
foundations of the Imperial power, and while the Republic and its late
laws were still fresh in the minds of men: besides, the relation was
lighter between Augustus and his wife's sons, than between a grandfather
and his grandsons. To the grant of the Quaestorship was added a seat in
the College of Pontiffs; and the first day he entered the Forum in his
manly robe, a donative of corn and money was distributed to the populace,
who exulted to behold a son of Germanicus now of age. Their joy was soon
heightened by his marriage with Julia, the daughter of Drusus. But as
these transactions were attended with public applauses; so the intended
marriage of the daughter of Sejanus with the son of Claudius was received
with popular indignation. By this alliance the nobility of the Claudian
house seemed stained; and by it Sejanus, already suspected of aspiring
views, was lifted still higher.

At the end of this year died Lucius Volusius and Sallustius Crispus; great
and eminent men. The family of Volusius was ancient, but, in the exercise
of public offices, rose never higher than the Praetorship; it was he, who
honoured it with the Consulship: he was likewise created Censor for
modelling the classes of the equestrian order; and first accumulated the
wealth which gave that family such immense grandeur. Crispus was born of
an equestrian house, great nephew by a sister to Caius Sallustius, the
renowned Roman historian, and by him adopted: the way to the great offices
was open to him; but, in imitation of Maecenas, he lived without the
dignity of Senator, yet outwent in power many who were distinguished with
Consulships and triumphs: his manner of living, his dress and daintiness
were different from the ways of antiquity; and, in expense and affluence,
he bordered rather upon luxury. He possessed however a vigour of spirit
equal to great affairs, and exerted the greater promptness for that he hid
it in a show of indolence and sloth: he was therefore, in the time of
Maecenas, the next in favour, afterwards chief confidant in all the secret
counsels of Augustus and Tiberius, and privy and consenting to the order
for slaying Agrippa Posthumus. In his old age he preserved with the Prince
rather the outside than the vitals of authority: the same had happened to
Maecenas. It is the fate of power, which is rarely perpetual; perhaps from
satiety on both sides, when Princes have no more to grant, and Ministers
no more to crave.

Next followed the Consulship of Tiberius and Drusus; to Tiberius the
fourth, to Drusus the second: a Consulship remarkable, for that in it the
father and son were colleagues. There was indeed the same fellowship
between Tiberius and Germanicus, two years before; but besides the
distastes of jealousy in the uncle, the ties of blood were not so near. In
the beginning of the year, Tiberius, on pretence of his health, retired to
Campania; either already meditating a long and perpetual retirement; or to
leave to Drusus, in his father's absence, the honour of executing the
Consulship alone: and there happened a thing which, small in itself, yet
as it produced mighty contestation, furnished the young Consul with matter
of popular affection. Domitius Corbulo, formerly Praetor, complained to
the Senate of Lucius Sylla, a noble youth, "that in the show of
gladiators, Sylla would not yield him place." Age, domestic custom, and
the ancient men were for Corbulo: on the other side, Mamercus Scaurus,
Lucius Arruntius, and others laboured for their kinsman Sylla: warm
speeches were made, and the examples of our ancestors were urged, "who by
severe decrees had censured and restrained the irreverence of the youth."
Drusus interposed with arguments proper for calming animosities, and
Corbulo had satisfaction made him by Scaurus, who was to Sylla both
father-in-law and uncle, and the most copious orator of that age. The same
Corbulo, exclaiming against "the condition of most of the roads through
Italy, that through the fraud of the undertakers and negligence of the
overseers, they were broken and unpassable;" undertook of his own accord
the cure of that abuse; an undertaking which he executed not so much to
the advantage of the public as to the ruin of many private men in their
fortunes and reputation, by his violent mulcts and unjust judgments and

Upon this occasion Caecina Severus proposed, "that no magistrate should go
into any province accompanied by his wife." He introduced this motion with
a long preface, "that he lived with his own in perfect concord, by her he
had six children; and what he offered to the public he had practised
himself, having during forty years' service left her still behind him,
confined to Italy. It was not indeed, without cause, established of old,
that women should neither be carried by their husbands into confederate
nations nor foreign. A train of women introduced luxury in peace, by their
fears retarded war, and made a Roman army resemble, in their march, a
mixed host of barbarians. The sex was not tender only and unfit for
travel, but, if suffered, cruel, aspiring, and greedy of authority: they
even marched amongst the soldiers, and were obeyed by the officers. A
woman had lately presided at the exercises of the troops, and at the
decursions of the legions. The Senate themselves might remember, that as
often as any of the magistrates were charged with plundering the
provinces, their wives were always engaged in the guilt. To the ladies,
the most profligate in the province applied; by them all affairs were
undertaken, by them transacted: at home two distinct courts were kept, and
abroad the wife had her distinct train and attendance. The ladies, too,
issued distinct orders, but more imperious and better obeyed. Such
feminine excesses were formerly restrained by the Oppian, and other laws;
but now these restraints were violated, women ruled all things, their
families, the Forum, and even the armies."

This speech was heard by few with approbation, and many proclaimed their
dissent; "for, that neither was that the point in debate, nor was Caecina
considerable enough to censure so weighty an affair." He was presently
answered by Valerius Messalinus, who was the son of Messala, and inherited
a sparkling of his father's eloquence: "that many rigorous institutions of
the ancients were softened and changed for the better: for, neither was
Rome now, as of old, beset with wars, nor Italy with hostile provinces;
and a few concessions were made to the conveniences of women, who were so
far from burdening the provinces, that to their own husbands there they
were no burden. As to honours, attendance and expense, they enjoyed them
in common with their husbands, who could receive no embarrassment from
their company in time of peace. To war indeed we must go equipped and
unencumbered; but after the fatigues of war, what was more allowable than
the consolations of a wife? But it seemed the wives of some magistrates
had given a loose to ambition and avarice. And were the magistrates
themselves free from these excesses? were not most of them governed by
many exorbitant appetites? did we therefore send none into the provinces?
It was added, that the husbands were corrupted by their corrupt wives: and
were therefore all single men uncorrupt? The Oppian Laws were once thought
necessary, because the exigencies of the State required their severity:
they were afterwards relaxed and mollified, because that too was expedient
for the State. In vain we covered our own sloth with borrowed names: if
the wife broke bounds, the husband ought to bear the blame. It was
moreover unjustly judged, for the weak and uxorious spirit of one or a
few, to bereave all others of the fellowship of their wives, the natural
partners of their prosperity and distress. Besides, the sex, weak by
nature, would be left defenceless, exposed to the luxurious bent of their
native passions, and a prey to the allurements of adulterers: scarce under
the eye and restraint of the husband was the marriage bed preserved
inviolate: what must be the consequence, when by an absence of many years,
the ties of marriage would be forgot, forgot as it were in a divorce? It
became them, therefore, so to cure the evils abroad as not to forget the
enormities at Rome." To this Drusus added somewhat concerning his own
wedlock. "Princes," he said, "were frequently obliged to visit the remote
parts of the Empire: how often did the deified Augustus travel to the
East, how often to the West, still accompanied with Livia? He himself too
had taken a progress to Illyricum, and, if it were expedient, was ready to
visit other nations; but not always with an easy spirit, if he were to be
torn from his dear wife, her by whom he had so many children." Thus was
Caecina's motion eluded.

When the Senate met next, they had a letter from Tiberius. In it he
affected to chide the fathers, "that upon him they cast all public cares;"
and named them M. Lepidus and Junius Blesus, to choose either for
Proconsul of Africa. They were then both heard as to this nomination:
Lepidus excused himself with earnestness; he pleaded "his bodily frailty,
the tender age of his children, and a daughter fit for marriage." There
was another reason too, of which he said nothing; but it was easily
understood: Blesus was uncle to Sejanus, and therefore had the prevailing
interest. Blesus too made a show of refusing, but not with the like
positiveness, and was heard with partiality by the flatterers of power.

The same year the cities of Gaul, stimulated by their excessive debts,
began a rebellion. The most vehement incendiaries were Julius Florus and
Julius Sacrovir; the first amongst those of Treves, the second amongst the
Aeduans. They were both distinguished by their nobility, and by the good
services of their ancestors, who thence had acquired of old the right of
Roman citizens; a privilege rare in those days, and then only the prize of
virtue. When by secret meetings, they had gained those who were most
prompt to rebel; with such as were desperate through indigence, or, from
guilt of past crimes, forced to commit more; they agreed that Florus
should begin the insurrection in Belgia; Sacrovir amongst the neighbouring
Gauls. In order to this, they had many consultations and cabals, where
they uttered seditious harangues; they urged "their tribute without end,
their devouring usury, the pride and cruelty of their Governors: that they
had now a glorious opportunity to recover their liberty; for that since
the report of the murder of Germanicus, discord had seized the Roman
soldiery: they need only consider their own strength and numbers; while
Italy was poor and exhausted; the Roman populace weak and unwarlike, the
Roman armies destitute of all vigour but that derived from foreigners."

Scarce one city remained untainted with the seeds of this rebellion; but
it first broke at Angiers and Tours. The former were reduced by Acilius
Aviola, a legate, with the assistance of a cohort drawn from the garrison
at Lyons. Those of Tours were suppressed by the same Aviola, assisted with
a detachment sent from the legions, by Visellius Varro, lieutenant-
governor of lower Germany. Some of the chiefs of the Gauls had likewise
joined him with succours, the better to disguise their defection, and to
push it with more effect hereafter. Even Sacrovir was beheld engaged in
fight for the Romans, with his head bare, a _demonstration_, he pretended,
_of his bravery_; but the prisoners averred, that "he did it to be known
to his countrymen, and to escape their darts."

An account of all this was laid before Tiberius, who slighted it, and by
hesitation fostered the war. Florus the while pushed his designs, and
tried to debauch a regiment of horse, levied at Treves, and kept under our
pay and discipline: he would have engaged them to begin the war, by
putting to the sword the Roman merchants; and some few were corrupted, but
the body remained in their allegiance. A rabble however, of his own
followers and desperate debtors, took arms and were making to the forest
of Arden, when the legions sent from both armies by Visellius and Caius
Silius, through different routes to intercept them, marred their march:
and Julius Indus, one of the same country with Florus, at enmity with him,
and therefore more eager to engage him, was despatched forward with a
chosen band, and broke the ill-appointed multitude. Florus by lurking from
place to place, frustrated the search of the conquerors: but at last, when
he saw all the passes beset with soldiers, he fell by his own hands. This
was the issue of the insurrection at Treves.

Amongst the Aeduans the revolt was stronger, as much stronger as the state
was more opulent; and the forces to suppress it were to be brought from
afar. Augustodunum, [Footnote: Autun.] the capital of the nation, was
seized by Sacrovir, and in it all the noble youth of Gaul, who were there
instructed in the liberal arts. By securing these pledges he aimed to bind
in his interest their parents and relations; and at the same time
distributed to the young men the arms, which he had caused to be secretly
made. He had forty thousand men, the fifth part armed like our legions,
the rest with poles, hangers, and other weapons used by hunters. To the
number were added such of the slaves as had been appointed to be
gladiators; these were covered, after the fashion of the country, with a
continued armour of iron; and styled _Crupellarii_; a sort of militia
unwieldy at exercising their own weapons, and impenetrable by those of
others. These forces were still increased by volunteers from the
neighbouring cities, where, though the public body did not hitherto avow
the revolt, yet the zeal of particulars was manifest: they had likewise
leisure to increase from the contention of the two Roman generals; a
contention for some time undecided, while each demanded the command in
that war. At length Varro, old and infirm, yielded to the superior vigour
of Silius.

Now at Rome, "not only the insurrection of Treves and of the Aeduans, but
likewise, that threescore and four cities of Gaul had revolted; that the
Germans had joined in the revolt, and that Spain fluctuated;" were reports
all believed with the usual aggravations of fame. The best men grieved in
sympathy for their country: many from hatred of the present government and
thirst of change, rejoiced in their own perils: they inveighed against
Tiberius, "that in such a mighty uproar of rebellion, he was only employed
in perusing the informations of the State accusers." They asked, "did he
mean to surrender Julius Sacrovir to the Senate, to try him for treason?"
They exulted, "that there were at last found men, who would with arms
restrain his bloody orders for private murders." And declared "that even
war was a happy change for a most wretched peace." So much the more for
this, Tiberius affected to appear wrapped up in security and unconcern; he
neither changed place nor countenance, but behaved himself at that time as
at other times; whether from elevation of mind, or whether he had learned
that the state of things was not alarming, and only heightened by vulgar

Silius the while sending forward a band of auxiliaries, marched with two
legions, and in his march ravaged the villages of the Sequanians, next
neighbours to the Aeduans, and their associates in arms. He then advanced
towards Augustodunum; a hasty march, the standard-bearers mutually vying
in expedition, and the common men breathing ardour and eagerness: they
desired, "that no time might be wasted in the usual refreshments, none of
their nights in sleep; let them only see and confront the foe: they wanted
no more, to be victorious." Twelve miles from Augustodunum, Sacrovir
appeared with his forces upon the plains: in the front he had placed the
iron troop; his cohorts in the wings; the half-armed in the rear: he
himself, upon a fine horse, attended by the other chiefs, addressed
himself to them from rank to rank; he reminded them "of the glorious
achievements of the ancient Gauls; of the victorious mischiefs they had
brought upon the Romans; of the liberty and renown attending victory; of
their redoubled and intolerable servitude, if once more vanquished."

A short speech; and an unattentive, and disheartened audience! For, the
embattled legions approached; and the crowd of townsmen, ill appointed and
novices in war, stood astonished, bereft of the present use of eyes and
hearing. On the other side, Silius, though he presumed the victory, and
thence might have spared exhortations, yet called to his men, "that they
might be with reason ashamed that they, the conquerors of Germany, should
be thus led against a rabble of Gauls as against an equal enemy: one
cohort had newly defeated the rebels of Tours; one regiment of horse,
those of Treves; a handful of this very army had routed the Sequanians:
the present Aeduans, as they are more abounding in wealth, as they wallow
more in voluptuousness, are by so much more soft and unwarlike: this is
what you are now to prove, and your task to prevent their escape." His
words were returned with a mighty cry. Instantly the horse surrounded the
foe; the foot attacked their front, and the wings were presently routed:
the iron band gave some short obstruction, as the bars of their coats
withstood the strokes of sword and pike: but the soldiers had recourse to
their hatchets and pick-axes; and, as if they had battered a wall, hewed
their bodies and armour: others with clubs, and some with forks, beat down
the helpless lumps, who as they lay stretched along, without one struggle
to rise, were left for dead. Sacrovir fled first to Augustodunum; and
thence, fearful of being surrendered, to a neighbouring town, accompanied
by his most faithful adherents. There he slew himself; and the rest, one
another: having first set the town on fire, by which they were all

Now at last Tiberius wrote to the Senate about this war, and at once
acquainted them with its rise and conclusion, neither aggravating facts
nor lessening them; but added "that it was conducted by the fidelity and
bravery of his lieutenants, guided by his counsels." He likewise assigned
the reasons why neither he, nor Drusus, went to that war; "that the Empire
was an immense body; and it became not the dignity of a Prince, upon the
revolt of one or two towns, to desert the capital, whence motion was
derived to the whole: but since the alarm was over, he would visit those
nations and settle them." The Senate decreed vows and supplications for
his return, with other customary honours. Only Cornelius Dolabella, while
he strove to outdo others, fell into ridiculous sycophancy, and moved
"that from Campania he should enter Rome in the triumph of ovation." This
occasioned a letter from Tiberius: in it he declared, "he was not so
destitute of glory, that after having in his youth subdued the fiercest
nations, and enjoyed or slighted so many triumphs, he should now in his
old age seek empty honours from a short progress about the suburbs of

Caius Sulpitius and Decimus Haterius were the following Consuls. Their
year was exempt from disturbances abroad; but at home some severe blow was
apprehended against luxury, which prevailed monstrously in all things that
create a profusion of money. But as the more pernicious articles of
expense were covered by concealing their prices; therefore from the
excesses of the table, which were become the common subject of daily
animadversion, apprehensions were raised of some rigid correction from a
Prince, who observed himself the ancient parsimony. For, Caius Bibulus
having begun the complaint, the other Aediles took it up, and argued "that
the sumptuary laws were despised; the pomp and expense of plate and
entertainments, in spite of restraints, increased daily, and by moderate
penalties were not to be stopped." This grievance thus represented to the
Senate, was by them referred entire to the Emperor. Tiberius having long
weighed with himself whether such an abandoned propensity to prodigality
could be stemmed; whether the stemming it would not bring heavier evils
upon the public; how dishonourable it would be to attempt what could not
be effected, or at least effected by the disgrace of the nobility, and by
the subjecting illustrious men to infamous punishments; wrote at last to
the Senate in this manner:

"In other matters, Conscript Fathers, perhaps it might be more expedient
for you to consult me in the Senate; and for me to declare there, what I
judge for the public weal: but in the debate of this affair, it was best
that my eyes were withdrawn; lest, while you marked the countenances and
terror of particulars charged with scandalous luxury, I too should have
observed them, and, as it were, caught them in it. Had the vigilant
Aediles first asked counsel of me, I know not whether I should not have
advised them rather to have passed by potent and inveterate corruptions,
than only make it manifest, what enormities are an overmatch for us: but
they in truth have done their duty, as I would have all other magistrates
fulfil theirs. But for myself, it is neither commendable to be silent; nor
does it belong to my station to speak out; since I neither bear the
character of an Aedile, nor of a Praetor, nor of a Consul: something still
greater and higher is required of a Prince. Every one is ready to assume
to himself the credit of whatever is well done, while upon the Prince
alone are thrown the miscarriages of all. But what is it, that I am first
to prohibit, what excess retrench to the ancient standard? Am I to begin
with that of our country seats, spacious without bounds; and with the
number of domestics, a number distributed into nations in private
families? or with the quantity of plate, silver, and gold? or with the
pictures, and works, and statues of brass, the wonders of art? or with the
gorgeous vestments, promiscuously worn by men and women? or with what is
peculiar to the women, those precious stones, for the purchase of which
our corn is carried into foreign and hostile nations.

"I am not ignorant that at entertainments and in conversation, these
excesses are censured, and a regulation is required: and yet if an equal
law were made, if equal penalties were prescribed, these very censurers
would loudly complain, _that the State was utterly overturned, that snares
and destruction were prepared for every illustrious house, that no men
could be guiltless, and all men would be the prey of informers_. And yet
bodily diseases grown inveterate and strengthened by time, cannot be
checked but by medicines rigid and violent: it is the same with the soul:
the sick and raging soul, itself corrupted and scattering its corruption,
is not to be qualified but by remedies equally strong with its own flaming
lusts. So many laws made by our ancestors, so many added by the deified
Augustus; the former being lost in oblivion, and (which is more heinous)
the latter in contempt, have only served to render luxury more secure.
When we covet a thing yet unforbid, we are apt to fear that it may be
forbid; but when once we can with impunity and defiance overleap
prohibited bounds, there remains afterwards nor fear nor shame. How
therefore did parsimony prevail of old? It was because, every one was a
law to himself; it was because we were then only masters of one city: nor
afterwards, while our dominion was confined only to Italy, had we found
the same instigations to voluptuousness. By foreign conquests, we learned
to waste the property of others; and in the Civil Wars, to consume our
own. What a mighty matter is it that the Aediles remonstrate! how little
to be weighed in the balance with others? It is wonderful that nobody
represents, that Italy is in constant want of foreign supplies; that the
lives of the Roman People are daily at the mercy of uncertain seas and of
tempests: were it not for our supports from the provinces; supports, by
which the masters, and their slaves, and their estates, are maintained;
would our own groves and villas maintain us? This care therefore,
Conscript Fathers, is the business of the Prince; and by the neglect of
this care, the foundations of the State would be dissolved. The cure of
other defects depends upon our own private spirits: some of us, shame will
reclaim; necessity will mend the poor; satiety the rich. Or if any of the
Magistrates, from a confidence of his own firmness and perseverance, will
undertake to stem the progress of so great an evil; he has both my
praises, and my acknowledgment, that he discharges me of part of my
fatigues: but if such will only impeach corruptions, and when they have
gained the glory, would leave upon me the indignation (indignation of
their own raising); believe me, Conscript Fathers, I am not fond of
bearing resentments: I already suffer many for the Commonwealth; many that
are grievous and almost all unjust; and therefore with reason I intreat
that I may not be loaded with such as are wantonly and vainly raised, and
promise no advantage to you nor to me."

The Senate, upon reading the Emperor's letter, released the Aediles from
this pursuit: and the luxury of the table which, from the battle of Actium
till the revolution made by Galba, flowed, for the space of an hundred
years, in all profusion; at last gradually declined. The causes of this
change are worth knowing. Formerly the great families, great in nobility
or abounding in riches, were carried away with a passion for magnificence:
for even then it was allowed to court the good graces of the Roman People,
with the favour of kings, and confederate nations; and to be courted by
them: so that each was distinguished by the lustre of popularity and
dependances, in proportion to his affluence, the splendour of his house,
and the figure he made. But after Imperial fury had long raged in the
slaughter of the Grandees, and the greatness of reputation was become the
sure mark of destruction; the rest grew wiser: besides, new men frequently
chosen Senators from the municipal towns, from the colonies, and even from
the provinces, brought into the Senate their own domestic parsimony; and
though, by fortune or industry, many of them grew wealthy as they grew
old, yet their former frugal spirit continued. But above all, Vespasian
proved the promoter of thrifty living, being himself the pattern of
ancient economy in his person and table: hence the compliance of the
public with the manners of the Prince, and an emulation to practise them;
an incitement more prevalent than the terrors of laws and all their
penalties. Or perhaps all human things go a certain round; and, as in the
revolutions of time, there are also vicissitudes in manners: nor indeed
have our ancestors excelled us in all things; our own age has produced
many excellences worthy of praise and the imitation of posterity. Let us
still preserve this strife in virtue with our forefathers.

Tiberius having gained the fame of moderation; because, by rejecting the
project for reforming luxury, he had disarmed the growing hopes of the
accusers; wrote to the Senate, to desire the _Tribunitial Power_ for
Drusus. Augustus had devised this title, as best suiting the unbounded
height of his views; while avoiding the odious name of _King_ or
_Dictator_, he was yet obliged to use some particular appellation, under
it to control all other powers in the State. He afterwards assumed Marcus
Agrippa into a fellowship in it; and, upon his death, Tiberius; that none
might doubt, who was to be his successor. By this means, he conceived, he
should defeat the aspiring views of others: besides, he confided in the
moderation of Tiberius, and in the mightiness of his own authority. By his
example, Tiberius now advanced Drusus to the supreme Magistracy; whereas,
while Germanicus yet lived, he acted without distinction towards both. In
the beginning of his letter he besought the Gods "that by his counsels the
Republic might prosper," and then added a modest testimony concerning the
qualities and behaviour of the young Prince, without aggravation or false
embellishments; "that he had a wife and three children, and was of the
same age with himself, when called by the deified Augustus to that office:
that Drusus was not now by him adopted a partner in the toils of
government, precipitately; but after eight years' experience made of his
qualifications; after seditions suppressed, wars concluded, the honour of
triumph, and two Consulships."

The Senators had foreseen this address; hence they received it with the
more elaborate adulation. However, they could devise nothing to decree,
but "statues to the two Princes, altars to the Gods, arches," and other
usual honours: only that Marcus Silanus strove to honour the Princes by
the disgrace of the Consulship: he proposed "that all records public and
private should, for their date, be inscribed no more with the names of the
Consuls, but of those who exercised the Tribunitial power." But Haterius
Agrippa, by moving to have "the decrees of that day engraved in letters of
gold, and hung up in the Senate," became an object of derision; for that,
as he was an ancient man, he could reap from his most abominable flattery
no other fruit but that of infamy.

Tiberius, while he fortified the vitals of his own domination, afforded
the Senate a shadow of their ancient jurisdiction; by referring to their
examination petitions and claims from the provinces. For there had now
prevailed amongst the Greek cities a latitude of instituting sanctuaries
at pleasure. Hence the temples were filled with the most profligate
fugitive slaves: here debtors found protection against their creditors;
and hither were admitted such as were pursued for capital crimes. Nor was
any force of Magistracy or laws sufficient to bridle the mad zeal of the
people, who confounding the sacred villainies of men with the worship
peculiar to the Gods, seditiously defended these profane sanctuaries. It
was therefore ordered that these cities should send deputies to represent
their claims. Some of the cities voluntarily relinquished the nominal
privileges, which they had arbitrarily assumed: many confided in their
rights; a confidence grounded on the antiquity of their superstitions, or
on the merits of their kind offices to the Roman People. Glorious to the
Senate was the appearance of that day, when the grants from our ancestors,
the engagements of our confederates, the ordinances of kings, such kings
who had reigned as yet independent of the Roman power; and when even the
sacred worship of the Gods were now all subjected to their inspection, and
their judgment free, as of old, to ratify or abolish with absolute power.

First of all the Ephesians applied. They alleged, that "Diana and Apollo
were not, according to the credulity of the vulgar, born at Delos: in
their territory flowed the river Cenchris; where also stood the Ortygian
Grove: there the big-bellied Latona, leaning upon an olive tree, which
even then remained, was delivered of these deities; and thence by their
appointment the Grove became sacred. Thither Apollo himself, after his
slaughter of the Cyclops, retired for a sanctuary from the wrath of
Jupiter: soon after, the victorious Bacchus pardoned the suppliant
Amazons, who sought refuge at the altar of Diana: by the concession of
Hercules, when he reigned in Lydia, her temple was dignified with an
augmentation of immunities; nor during the Persian monarchy were they
abridged: they were next maintained by the Macedonians, and then by us."

The Magnesians next asserted their claim, founded on an establishment of
Lucius Scipio, confirmed by another of Sylla: the former after the defeat
of Antiochus; the latter after that of Mithridates, having, as a testimony
of the faith and bravery of the Magnesians, dignified their temple of the
Leucophrynaean Diana with the privileges of an inviolable sanctuary. After
them, the Aphrodisians and Stratoniceans produced a grant from Caesar the
Dictator, for their early services to his party; and another lately from
Augustus, with a commendation inserted, "that with zeal unshaken towards
the Roman People, they had borne the irruption of the Parthians." But
these two people adored different deities: Aphrodisium was a city devoted
to Venus; that of Stratonicea maintained the worship of Jupiter and of
Diana Trivia. Those of Hierocaesarea exhibited claims of higher antiquity,
"that they possessed the Persian Diana, and her temple consecrated by King
Cyrus." They likewise pleaded the authorities of Perpenna, Isauricus, and
of many more Roman captains, who had allowed the same sacred immunity not
to the temple only, but to a precinct two miles round it. Those of Cyprus
pleaded right of sanctuary to three of their temples: the most ancient
founded by Aerias to the Paphian Venus; another by his son Amathus to the
Amathusian Venus; the third to the Salaminian Jupiter by Teucer, the son
of Telamon, when he fled from the fury of his father.

The deputies too of other cities were heard. But the Senate tired with so
many, and because there was a contention begun amongst particular parties
for particular cities; gave power to the Consuls "to search into the
validity of their several pretensions, and whether in them no fraud was
interwoven;" with orders "to lay the whole matter once more before the
Senate." The Consuls reported that, besides the cities already mentioned,
"they had found the temple of AEsculapius at Pergamus to be a genuine
sanctuary: the rest claimed upon originals, from the darkness of
antiquity, altogether obscure. Smyrna particularly pleaded an oracle of
Apollo, in obedience to which they had dedicated a temple to Venus
Stratonices; as did the Isle of Tenos an oracular order from the same God,
to erect to Neptune a statue and temple. Sardis urged a later authority,
namely, a grant from the Great Alexander; and Miletus insisted on one from
King Darius: as to the deities of these two cities; one worshipped Diana;
the other, Apollo. And Crete too demanded the privilege of sanctuary, to a
statue of the deified Augustus." Hence diverse orders of Senate were made,
by which, though great reverence was expressed towards the deities, yet
the extent of the sanctuaries was limited; and the several people were
enjoined "to hang up in each temple the present decree engraven in brass,
as a sacred memorial, and a restraint against their lapsing, under the
colour of religion, into the abuses and claims of superstition."

At the same time, a vehement distemper having seized Livia, obliged the
Emperor to hasten his return to Rome; seeing hitherto the mother and son
lived in apparent unanimity; or perhaps mutually disguised their hate:
for, not long before, Livia, having dedicated a statue to the deified
Augustus, near the theatre of Marcellus, had the name of Tiberius
inscribed after her own. This he was believed to have resented heinously,
as a degrading the dignity of the Prince; but to have buried his
resentment under dark dissimulation. Upon this occasion, therefore, the
Senate decreed "supplications to the Gods; with the celebration of the
greater Roman games, under the direction of the Pontifs, the Augurs, the
College of Fifteen, assisted by the College of Seven, and the Fraternity
of Augustal Priests." Lucius Apronius had moved, that "with the rest might
preside the company of heralds." Tiberius opposed it; he distinguished
between the jurisdiction of the priests and theirs; "for that at no time
had the heralds arrived to so much pre-eminence: but for the Augustal
Fraternity, they were therefore added, because they exercised a priesthood
peculiar to that family for which the present vows and solemnities were
made," It is no part of my purpose to trace all the votes of particular
men, unless they are memorable for integrity, or for notorious infamy:
this I conceive to be the principal duty of an historian, that he suppress
no instance of virtue; and that by the dread of future infamy and the
censures of posterity, men may be deterred from detestable actions and
prostitute speeches. In short, such was the abomination of those times, so
prevailing the contagion of flattery, that not only the first nobles,
whose obnoxious splendour found protection only in obsequiousness; but all
who had been Consuls, a great part of such as had been Praetors, and even
many of the unregistered Senators, strove for priority in the vileness and
excess of their votes. There is a tradition, that Tiberius, as often as he
went out of the Senate, was wont to cry out in Greek, _Oh men prepared for
bondage!_ Yes, even Tiberius, he who could not bear public liberty,
nauseated this prostitute tameness of slaves.


A.D. 23-28.

When Caius Asinius and Caius Antistius were Consuls, Tiberius was in his
ninth year; the State composed, and his family flourishing (for the death
of Germanicus he reckoned amongst the incidents of his prosperity) when
suddenly fortune began to grow boisterous, and he himself to tyrannise, or
to furnish others with the weapons of tyranny. The beginning and cause of
this turn arose from Aelius Sejanus, captain of the Praetorian cohorts. Of
his power I have above made mention; I shall now explain his original, his
manners, and by what black deeds he strove to snatch the sovereignty. He
was born at Vulsinii, son to Sejus Strabo, a Roman knight; in his early
youth, he was a follower of Caius Caesar (grandson of Augustus) and lay
then under the contumely of having for hire exposed himself to the
constupration of Apicius; a debauchee wealthy and profuse: next by various
artifices he so enchanted Tiberius, that he who to all others was dark and
unsearchable, became to Sejanus alone destitute of all restraint and
caution: nor did he so much accomplish this by any superior efforts of
policy (for at his own stratagems he was vanquished by others) as by the
rage of the Gods against the Roman State, to which he proved alike
destructive when he flourished and when he fell. His person was hardy and
equal to fatigues; his spirit daring but covered; sedulous to disguise his
own counsels, dexterous to blacken others; alike fawning and imperious; to
appearance exactly modest; but in his heart fostering the lust of
domination; and, with this view, engaged at one time in profusion,
largesses, and luxury; and again, often laid out in application and
vigilance; qualities no less pernicious, when personated by ambition for
the acquiring of Empire.

The authority of his command over the guards, which was but moderate
before his time, he extended, by gathering into one camp all the
Praetorian cohorts then dispersed over the city; that thus united, they
might all at once receive his orders, and by continually beholding their
own numbers and strength, conceive confidence in themselves and prove a
terror to all other men. He pretended, "that the soldiers, while they
lived scattered, lived loose and debauched; that when gathered into a
body, there could, in any hasty emergency, be more reliance upon their
succour; and that when encamped, remote from the allurements of the town,
they would in their discipline be more exact and severe." When the
encampment was finished, he began gradually to allure the affections of
the soldiers, by all the ways of affability, court, and familiarity: it
was he too who chose the Centurions, he who chose the Tribunes. Neither in
his pursuits of ambition did the Senate escape him; but by distinguishing
his followers in it with offices and provinces, he cultivated power and a
party there: for, to all this Tiberius was entirely resigned; and even so
passionate for him, that not in conversation only, but in public, in his
speeches to the Senate and people, he treated and extolled him, as _the
sharer of his burdens_; nay, allowed his effigies to be publicly adored,
in the several theatres, in all places of popular convention, and even
amongst the Eagles of the legions.

But to his designs were many retardments: the Imperial house was full of
Caesars; the Emperor's son a grown man, and his grandsons of age: and
because the cutting them off all at once, was dangerous; the treason he
meditated, required a gradation of murders. He however chose the darkest
method, and to begin with Drusus; against whom he was transported with a
fresh motive of rage. For, Drusus impatient of a rival, and in his temper
inflammable, had upon some occasional contest, shaken his fist at Sejanus,
and, as he prepared to resist, given him a blow on the face. As he
therefore cast about for every expedient of revenge, the readiest seemed
to apply to Livia his wife: she was the sister of Germanicus, and from an
uncomely person in her childhood, grew afterwards to excel in loveliness.
As his passion for this lady was vehement, he tempted her to adultery, and
having fulfilled the first iniquity (nor will a woman, who has sacrificed
her chastity, stick at any other) he carried her greater lengths, to the
views of marriage, a partnership in the Empire, and even the murder of her
husband. Thus she, the niece of Augustus, the daughter-in-law of Tiberius,
the mother of children by Drusus, defiled herself, her ancestors, and her
posterity, with a municipal adulterer; and all to exchange an honourable
condition possessed, for pursuits flagitious and uncertain. Into a
fellowship in the guilt was assumed Eudemus, physician to Livia; and,
under colour of his profession, frequently with her in private. Sejanus
too, to avoid the jealousy of the adulteress, discharged from his bed
Apicata his wife, her by whom he had three children. But still the
mightiness of the iniquity terrified them, and thence created caution,
delays, and frequently opposite counsels.

During this, in the beginning of the year, Drusus one of the sons of
Germanicus, put on the manly robe; and upon him the Senate conferred the
same honours decreed before to his brother Nero. A speech was added by
Tiberius with a large encomium upon his son, "that with the tenderness of
a father he used the children of his brother." For, Drusus, however rare
it be for power and unanimity to subsist together, was esteemed
benevolent, certainly not ill-disposed, towards these youths. Now again
was revived by Tiberius the proposal of a progress into the Provinces; a
stale proposal, always hollow, but often feigned. He pretended "the
multitude of veterans discharged, and thence the necessity of recruiting
the armies; that volunteers were wanting, or if already such there were,
they were chiefly the necessitous and vagabonds, and destitute of the like
modesty and courage." He likewise cursorily recounted the number of the
legions, and what countries they defended: a detail which I think it
behoves me also to repeat; that thence may appear what was then the
complement of the Roman forces, what kings their confederates, and how
much more narrow the limits of the Empire.

Italy was on each side guarded by two fleets; one at Misenum, one at
Ravenna; and the coast joining to Gaul, by the galleys taken by Augustus
at the battle of Actium, and sent powerfully manned to Forojulium.
[Footnote: Frjus.] But the chief strength lay upon the Rhine; they were
eight legions, a common guard upon the Germans and the Gauls. The
reduction of Spain, lately completed, was maintained by three. Mauritania
was possessed by King Juba; a realm which he held as a gift from the Roman
People: the rest of Africa by two legions; and Egypt by the like number.
Four legions kept in subjection all the mighty range of country, extending
from the next limits of Syria, as far as the Euphrates, and bordering upon
the Iberians, Albanians, and other Principalities, who by our might are
protected against Foreign Powers. Thrace was held by Rhoemetalces, and the
sons of Cotys; and both banks of the Danube by four legions; two in
Pannonia, two in Moesia. In Dalmatia likewise were placed two; who, by the
situation of the country, were at hand to support the former, and had not
far to march into Italy, were any sudden succours required there: though
Rome too had her peculiar soldiery; three city cohorts, and nine
Praetorian, enlisted chiefly out of Etruria and Umbria, or from the
ancient Latium and the old Roman colonies. In the several Provinces,
besides, were disposed, according to their situation and necessity, the
fleets of the several confederates, with their squadrons and battalions; a
number of forces not much different from all the rest: but the particular
detail would be uncertain; since, according to the exigency of times, they
often shifted stations, with numbers sometimes enlarged, sometimes

It will, I believe, fall in properly here to review also the other parts
of the Administration, and by what measures it was hitherto conducted,
till with the beginning of this year the Government of Tiberius began to
wax worse. First then, all public, and every private business of moment,
was determined by the Senate: to the great men he allowed liberty of
debate: those who in their debates lapsed into flattery, he checked: in
conferring preferments, he was guided by merit, by ancient nobility,
renown in war abroad, by civil accomplishments at home; insomuch that it
was manifest, his choice could not have been better. There remained to the
Consuls, there remained to the Praetors the useful marks of their
dignities; to inferior magistrates the independent exercise of their
charges; and the laws, where the power of the Prince was not concerned,
were in proper force. The tributes, duties, and all public receipts, were
directed by companies of Roman knights: the management of his own revenue
he committed only to those of the most noted qualifications; mostly known
by himself, and to some known by reputation alone: and when once taken,
they were continued, without all restriction of term; since most grew old
in the same employments. The populace were indeed aggrieved by the dearth
of provisions; but without any fault of the Prince: nay, he spared no
possible expense nor pains to remedy the effects of barrenness in the
earth, and of wrecks at sea. He provided that the Provinces should not be
oppressed with new impositions; and that no extortion, or violence should
be committed by the magistrates in raising the old: there were no infamous
corporal punishments, no confiscations of goods.

The Emperor's possessions through Italy, were thin; the behaviour of his
slaves modest; the freedmen who managed his house, few; and in his
disputes with particulars, the courts were open and the law equal. All
which restraints he observed, not, in truth, in the ways of complaisance
and popularity; but always stern, and for the most part terrible; yet
still he retained them, till by the death of Drusus they were abandoned:
for, while he lived they continued; because Sejanus, while he was but
laying the foundations of his power, studied to recommend himself by good
counsels. He then had besides, an avenger to dread, one who disguised not
his enmity, but was frequent in his complaints; "that when the son was in
his prime, another was called, as coadjutor, to the Government; nay, how
little was wanting to his being declared colleague in the Empire? That the
first advances to sovereignty are steep and perilous; but, once you are
entered, parties and instruments are ready to espouse you. Already a camp
for the guards was formed, by the pleasure and authority of the captain:
into whose hands the soldiers were delivered: in the theatre of Pompey his
statue was beheld: in his grandchildren would be mixed the blood of the
Drusi with that of Sejanus. After all this what remained but to supplicate
his modesty to rest contented." Nor was it rarely that he uttered these
disgusts, nor to a few; besides, his wife being debauched, all his secrets
were betrayed.

Sejanus therefore judging it time to despatch, chose such a poison as by
operating gradually, might preserve the appearances of a casual disease.
This was administered to Drusus by Lygdus the eunuch, as, eight years
after, was learnt. Now during all the days of his illness, Tiberius
disclosed no symptoms of anguish (perhaps from ostentation of a firmness
of spirit) nay, when he had expired, and while he was yet unburied, he
entered the Senate; and finding the Consuls placed upon a common seat, as
a testimony of their grief; he admonished them of their dignity and
station: and as the Senators burst into tears, he smothered his rising
sighs, and, by a speech uttered without hesitation, animated them. "He, in
truth, was not ignorant," he said, "that he might be censured, for having
thus in the first throbs of sorrow, beheld the face of the Senate; when
most of those who feel the fresh pangs of mourning, can scarce endure the
soothings of their kindred, scarce behold the day: neither were such to be
condemned of weakness: but for himself, he had more powerful consolations;
such as arose from embracing the Commonwealth, and pursuing her welfare."
He then lamented "the extreme age of his mother, the tender years of his
grandsons, his own days in declension;" and desired that, "as the only
alleviation of the present evils, the children of Germanicus might be
introduced." The Consuls therefore went for them, and having with kind
words fortified their young minds, presented them to the Emperor. He took
them by the hand and said, "Conscript Fathers, these infants, bereft of
their father, I committed to their uncle; and besought him that, though he
had issue of his own, he would rear and nourish them no otherwise than as
the immediate offspring of his blood; that he would appropriate them as
stays to himself and posterity. Drusus being snatched from us, to you I
address the same prayers; and in the presence of the Gods, in the face of
your country, I adjure you, receive into your protection, take under your
tuition the great-grandchildren of Augustus; children, descended from
ancestors the most glorious in the State: towards them fulfil your own,
fulfil my duty. To you, Nero; to you, Drusus, these Senators are in the
stead of a father; and such is the situation of your birth, that on the
Commonwealth must light all the good and evil which befalls you."

All this was heard with much weeping, and followed with propitious prayers
and vows: and had he only gone thus far, and in his speech observed a
medium, he had left the souls of his hearers full of sympathy and
applause. But, by renewing an old project, always chimerical and so often
ridiculed, about "restoring the Republic, reinstating it again in the
Consuls, or whoever else would undertake the administration;" he forfeited
his faith even in assertions which were commendable and sincere. To the
memory of Drusus were decreed the same solemnities as to that of
Germanicus; with many super-added; agreeably to the genius of flattery,
which delights in variety and improvements. Most signal was the lustre of
the funeral in a conspicuous procession of images; when at it appeared in
a pompous train, Aeneas, father of the Julian race; all the kings of Alba,
and Romulus founder of Rome; next the Sabine nobility, Attus Clausus, and
his descendants of the Claudian family.

In relating the death of Drusus, I have followed the greatest part of our
historians, and the most faithful: I would not however omit a rumour which
in those times was so prevailing that it is not extinguished in ours;
"that Sejanus having by adultery gained Livia to the murder, had likewise
engaged by constupration the affections and concurrence of Lygdus the
eunuch; because Lygdus was, for his youth and loveliness, dear to his
master, and one of his chief attendants: that when the time and place of
poisoning, were by the conspirators concerted; the eunuch carried his
boldness so high, as to charge upon Drusus a design of poisoning Tiberius;
and secretly warning the Emperor of this, advised him to shun the first
draught offered him in the next entertainment at his son's: that the old
man possessed with this fictitious treason, after he had sate down to
table, having received the cup delivered it to Drusus, who ignorantly and
gaily drank it off: that this heightened the jealousy and apprehensions of
Tiberius, as if through fear and shame his son had swallowed the same
death, which for his father he had contrived."

These bruitings of the populace, besides that they are supported by no
certain author, may be easily refuted. For, who of common prudence (much
less Tiberius so long practised in great affairs) would to his own son,
without hearing him, present the mortal bane; with his own hands too, and
cutting off for ever all possibility of retraction? Why would he not
rather have tortured the minister of the poison? Why not inquired into the
author of the poison? Why not observed towards his only son, a son
hitherto convicted of no iniquity, that slowness and hesitation, which,
even in his proceedings against strangers, was inherent in him? But as
Sejanus was reckoned the framer of every wickedness, therefore, from the
excessive fondness of Tiberius towards him, and from the hatred of all
others towards both, things the most fabulous and direful were believed of
them; besides that common fame is ever most fraught with tales of horror
upon the departure of Princes: in truth, the plan and process of the
murder were first discovered by Apicata, wife of Sejanus, and laid open
upon the rack by Eudemus and Lygdus. Nor has any writer appeared so
outrageous to charge it upon Tiberius; though in other instances they have
sedulously collected and inflamed every action of his. My own purpose in
recounting and censuring this rumour, was to blast, by so glaring an
example, the credit of groundless tales; and to request of those into
whose hands our present undertaking shall come, that they would not prefer
hearsays, void of credibility and rashly swallowed, to the narrations of
truth not adulterated with romance.

To proceed; whilst Tiberius was pronouncing in public the panegyric of his
son, the Senate and People assumed the port and accent of mourners, rather
in appearance than cordially; and in their hearts exulted to see the house
of Germanicus begin to revive. But this dawn of fortune, and the conduct
of Agrippina, ill disguising her hopes, quickened the overthrow of that
house. For Sejanus, when he saw the death of Drusus pass unrevenged upon
his murderers, and no public lamentation following it; undaunted as he was
in villainy since his first efforts had succeeded; cast about in himself,
how he might destroy the sons of Germanicus, whose succession to the
Empire was now unquestionable. They were three; and, from the
distinguished fidelity of their governors, and incorruptible chastity of
Agrippina, could not be all circumvented by poison. He therefore chose to
attack her another way; to raise alarms from the haughtiness and contumacy
of her spirit; to rouse the old hatred of Livia the elder, and the guilty
mind of his late accomplice, Livia the younger; that to the Emperor they
might represent her "as elated with the credit and renown of her
fruitfulness; and that confiding in it, and in the zeal of the populace,
she grasped with open arms at the Empire." The young Livia acted in this
engagement by crafty calumniators; amongst whom she had particularly
chosen Julius Posthumus, a man every way qualified for her purposes; as he
was the adulterer of Mutilia Prisca, and thence a confidant of her
grandmother's; (for over the mind of the Empress, Prisca had powerful
influence) and by their means the old woman, in her own nature tender and
anxious of power, was rendered utterly irreconcilable to the widow of her
grandson. Such too as were nearest the person of Agrippina, were promoted
to be continually enraging her tempestuous heart by perverse

This year also brought deputations from the Grecian cities; one from the
people of Samos; one from those of Cos; the former to request that the
ancient right of Sanctuary in the Temple of Juno might be confirmed; the
latter to solicit the same confirmation for that of Aesculapius. The
Samians claimed upon a decree of the Council of Amphictyons, the supreme
Judicature of Greece, at the time when the Greeks by their cities founded
in Asia, possessed the maritime coasts. Nor had they of Cos a weaker
title to antiquity; to which likewise accrued the pretensions of the place
to the friendship of Rome: for they had lodged in the Temple of
Aesculapius all the Roman citizens there, when by the order of King
Mithridates, such were universally butchered throughout all the cities of
Asia and the Isles. And now after many complaints from the Praetors, for
the most part ineffectual, the Emperor at last made a representation to
the Senate, concerning the licentiousness of the players; "that in many
instances they raised seditious tumults, and violated the public peace;
and, in many, promoted debauchery in private families: that the _Oscan
Farce_, formerly only the contemptible delight of the vulgar, was risen to
such a prevailing pitch of credit and enormity, that it required the
authority of the Senate to check it." The players therefore were driven
out of Italy.

The same year carried off one of the twins of Drusus, and thence afflicted
the Emperor with fresh woe; nor with less for the death of a particular
friend. It was Lucillius Longus, the inseparable companion of all the
traverses of his fortune smiling or sad; and, of all the Senators, the
only one who accompanied him in his retirement at Rhodes. For this reason,
though but a new man, the Senate decreed him a public funeral; and a
statue to be placed, at the expense of the Treasury, in the square of
Augustus. For by the Senate, even yet, all affairs were transacted;
insomuch that Lucillius Capito, the Emperor's Comptroller in Asia, was, at
the accusation of the Province, brought upon his defence before them: the
Emperor too upon this occasion protested with great earnestness, "that
from him Lucillius had no authority but over his slaves, and in collecting
his domestic rents: that if he had usurped the jurisdiction of Praetor,
and employed military force, he had so far violated his orders; they
should therefore hear the allegations of the Province." Thus the accused
was upon trial condemned. For this just vengeance, and that inflicted the
year before on Caius Silanus, the cities of Asia decreed a temple to
Tiberius, and his mother, and the Senate; and obtained leave to build it.
For this concession Nero made a speech of thanks to the Senators and his
grandfather; a speech which charmed the affections of his hearers, who, as
they were full of the memory of Germanicus, fancied it was him they heard,
and him they saw. There was also in the youth himself an engaging modesty,
and a gracefulness becoming a princely person: ornaments which, by the
known hatred that threatened him from Sejanus, became still more dear and

I am aware that most of the transactions which I have already related, or
shall hereafter relate, may perhaps appear minute, and too trivial to be
remembered. But, none must compare these my annals with the writings of
those who compiled the story of the ancient Roman People. They had for
their subjects mighty wars, potent cities sacked, great kings routed and
taken captive: or if they sometimes reviewed the domestic affairs of Rome,
they there found the mutual strife and animosities of the Consuls and
Tribunes; the agrarian and frumentary laws, pushed and opposed; and the
lasting struggles between the nobles and populace. Large and noble topics
these, at home and abroad, and recounted by the old historians with full
room and free scope. To me remains a straitened task, and void of glory;
steady peace, or short intervals of war; the proceedings at Rome sad and
affecting; and a Prince careless of extending the Empire: nor yet will it
be without its profit to look minutely into such transactions, as however
small at first view, give rise and motion to great events.

For, all nations and cities are governed either by the populace, by the
nobility, or by single rulers. As to the frame of a state chosen and
compacted out of all these three, it is easier applauded than
accomplished; or if accomplished, cannot be of long duration. So that, as
during the Republic, either when the power of the people prevailed, or
when the Senate bore the chief sway; it was necessary to know the genius
of the commonalty, and by what measures they were to be humoured and
restrained; and such too who were thoroughly acquainted with the spirit of
the Senate and leading men, came to be esteemed skilful in the times, and
men of prowess: so now when that establishment is changed, and the present
situation such as if one ruled all; it is of advantage to collect and
record these later incidents, as matters of public example and
instruction; since few can by their own wisdom distinguish between things
crooked and upright; few between counsels pernicious and profitable; and
since most men are taught by the fate of others. But the present detail,
however instructive, yet brings scanty delight. It is by the descriptions
and accounts of nations; by the variety of battles; by the brave fall of
illustrious captains, that the soul of the reader is engaged and
refreshed. For myself, I can only give a sad display of cruel orders,
incessant accusations, faithless friendships, the destruction of
innocents, and endless trials, all attended with the same issue, death and
condemnation: an obvious round of repetition and satiety! Besides that the
old historians are rarely censured; nor is any man now concerned whether
they chiefly magnify the Roman or Carthaginian armies. But, of many who
under Tiberius suffered punishment, or were marked with infamy, the
posterity are still subsisting; or if the families themselves are extinct,
there are others found, who from a similitude of manners, think that, in
reciting the evil doings of others, they themselves are charged: nay, even
virtue and a glorious name create foes, as they expose in a light too
obvious the opposite characters. But I return to my undertaking.

Whilst Cornelius Cossus and Asinius Agrippa were Consuls, Cremutius Cordus
was arraigned for that, "having published annals and in them praised
Brutus, he had styled Cassius the last of the Romans:" a new crime, then
first created. Satrius Secundus and Pinarius Natta were his accusers;
creatures of Sejanus: a mortal omen this to the accused; besides that
Tiberius received his defence with a countenance settled into cruelty. He
began it on this wise, casting away all hopes of life:

"As to facts, I am so guiltless, Conscript Fathers, that my words only are
accused: but neither are any words of mine pointed against the Emperor, or
his mother; who are the only persons comprehended in the law concerning
violated majesty. It is alleged that I have praised Brutus and Cassius;
men whose lives and actions have been compiled by a cloud of writers, and
their memory treated by none but with honour. Titus Livius, an historian
eminently famous for eloquence and veracity, signalised Pompey with such
abundant encomiums, that he was thence by Augustus named Pompeianus; nor
did this prejudice their common friendship. Neither Scipio, nor Afranius,
nor even this same Cassius, nor this same Brutus, are anywhere mentioned
by him as _traitors_ and _parricides_, the common nicknames now bestowed
on them; but often, as great and memorable men. The writings of Asinius
Pollio have conveyed down the memory of the same men, under honourable
characters. Corvinus Messala gloried to have had Cassius for his general:
and yet both Pollio and Corvinus became signally powerful in wealth and
honours under Augustus. That book of Cicero's, in which he exalted Cato to
the skies; what other animadversion did it draw from Caesar the Dictator,
than a written reply, in the same style and equality as if before his
judges he had made it? The letters of Marc Anthony; the speeches of
Brutus, are full of reproaches, and recriminations against Augustus; false
in truth, but urged with signal asperity: the poems of Bibaculus and those
of Catullus, stuffed with virulent satires against the Caesars, are still
read. But even the deified Julius, even the deified Augustus, bore all
these invectives and disdained them; whether with greater moderation or
wisdom, I cannot easily say. For, if they are despised, they fade away; if
you wax wroth, you seem to avow them to be just.

"Instances from the Greeks I bring none: with them not the freedom only,
but even the licentiousness of speech, is unpunished: or if any correction
is returned, it is only by revenging words with words. It has been ever
allowed, without restriction or rebuke, to pass our judgment upon those
whom death has withdrawn from the influence of affection and hate. Are
Cassius and Brutus now in arms? do they at present fill with armed troops
the fields of Philippi? or do I fire the Roman People, by inflammatory
harangues, with the spirit of civil rage? Brutus and Cassius, now above
seventy years slain, are still known in their statues, which even the
conqueror did not abolish: and as these exhibit their persons, why not the
historian their characters? Impartial posterity to every man repays his
proper praise: nor will there be wanting such as, if my death is
determined, will not only revive the story of Cassius and Brutus, but even
my story." Having thus said he withdrew from the Senate, and ended his
life by abstinence. The Fathers condemned the books to be by the Aediles
burned; but they still continued concealed and dispersed: hence we may
justly mock the stupidity of those, who imagine that they can, by present
power, extinguish the lights and memory of succeeding times: for, quite
otherwise, the punishment of writers exalts the credit of the writings:
nor did ever foreign kings, or any else, reap other fruit from it, than
infamy to themselves, and glory to the sufferers.

To proceed; for this whole year there was such an incessant torrent of
accusations, that even during the solemnity of the Latin festival, when
Drusus for his inauguration, as Governor of Rome, had ascended the
Tribunal, he was accosted by Calpurnius Salvianus with a charge against
Sextus Marius: a proceeding openly resented by the Emperor, and thence
Salvianus was banished. The city of Cyzicus was next accused, "of not
observing the established worship of the deified Augustus;" with
additional crimes, "of violences committed upon some Roman citizens." Thus
that city lost her liberties; which by her behaviour during the
Mithridatic war, she had purchased; having in it sustained a siege; and as
much by her own bravery, as by the aid of Lucullus, repulsed the king, But
Fonteius Capito, who had as Proconsul governed Asia, was acquitted, upon
proof that the crimes brought against him by Vibius Serenus were forged:
and yet the forgery drew no penalty upon Serenus: nay, the public hate
rendered him the more secure: for, every accuser, the more eager and
incessant he was, the more sacred and inviolable he became: the sorry and
impotent were surrendered to chastisement.

About the same time, the furthermost Spain besought the Senate by their
ambassadors, "that after the example of Asia, they might erect a temple to
Tiberius and his mother." Upon this occasion, the Emperor, always resolute
in contemning honours, and now judging it proper to confute those, who
exposed him to the popular censure, of having deviated into ambition;
spoke in this manner: "I know, Conscript Fathers, that it is generally
blamed, and ascribed to a defect of firmness in me, that when the cities
of Asia petitioned for this very thing, I withstood them not. I shall
therefore now unfold at once the motives of my silence then, and the rules
which for the future I am determined to observe. Since the deified
Augustus bad not opposed the founding at Pergamus a temple to himself and
the city of Rome; I, with whom all his actions and sayings have the force
of laws, followed an example already approved; and followed it the more
cheerfully, because to the worship bestowed upon me, that of the Senate
was annexed. But as the indulging of this, in one instance, will find
pardon; so a general latitude of being adored through every province,
under the sacred representations of the Deities, would denote a vain
spirit; a heart swelled with ambition. The glory too of Augustus will
vanish, if by the promiscuous courtship of flattery it comes to be
vulgarly prostituted.

"For myself, Conscript Fathers, I am a mortal man; I am confined to the
functions of human nature; and if I well supply the principal place
amongst you, it suffices me. This I acknowledge to you; and this
acknowledgment, I would have posterity to remember. They will do abundant
right to my memory, if they believe me to have been worthy of my
ancestors; watchful of the Roman state; unmoved in perils, and in
maintaining the public interest, fearless of private enmities. These are
the temples which in your breasts I would raise; these the fairest
portraitures, and such as will endure. As to temples and statues of stone,
if the idol adored in them comes to be hated by posterity, they are
despised as his sepulchres. Hence it is I here invoke the Gods, that to
the end of my life they would grant me a spirit undisturbed, and
discerning in duties human and divine: and hence too I here implore our
citizens and allies, that whenever my dissolution comes, they would with
approbation and benevolent testimonies of remembrance, celebrate my
actions and retain the odour of my name." And thenceforward he persevered
in slighting upon all occasions, and even in private conversation, this
divine worship of himself. A conduct which was by some ascribed to
modesty; by many to a conscious diffidence; by others to degeneracy of
spirit. "Since the most sublime amongst men naturally covet the most
exalted honours: thus Hercules and Bacchus amongst the Greeks, and with us
Romulus, were added to the society of the Gods: Augustus too had chosen
the nobler part, and hoped for deification: all the other gratifications
of Princes were instantly procured: one only was to be pursued insatiably;
the praise and perpetuity of their name. For by contemning fame, the
virtues that procure it, are contemned."

Now Sejanus, intoxicated with excess of fortune, and moreover stimulated
by the importunity of Livia, who, with the restless passion of a woman,
craved the promised marriage, composed a memorial to the Emperor. For, it
was then the custom to apply to him in writing, though he were present.
This of Sejanus was thus conceived: "That such had been towards him the
benevolence of Augustus; such and so numerous, since, the instances of
affection from Tiberius, that he was thence accustomed, without applying
to the Gods, to carry his hopes and prayers directly to the Emperors: yet
of them he had never sought a blaze of honours: watching and toils like
those of common soldiers, for the safeguard of the Prince, had been his
choice and ambition. However what was most glorious for him he had
attained; to be thought worthy of alliance with the Emperor: hence the
source of his present hopes: and, since he had heard that Augustus, in the
disposal of his daughter, had not been without thoughts even of some of
the Roman knights; he begged that if a husband were sought for Livia,
Tiberius would remember his friend; one whose ambition aimed no higher
than the pure and disinterested glory of the affinity: for that he would
never abandon the burden of his present trust; but hold it sufficient to
be, by that means, enabled to support his house against the injurious
wrath of Agrippina; and in this he only consulted the security of his
children. For himself; his own life would be abundantly long, whenever
finally spent in the ministry of such a Prince."

For a present answer, Tiberius praised the loyalty of Sejanus;
recapitulated cursorily the instances of his own favours towards him, and
required time, as it were for a thorough deliberation. At last he made
this reply: "That all other men were, in their pursuits, guided by the
notions of convenience: far different was the lot and situation of
Princes, who were in their action to consider chiefly the applause and
good liking of the public: he therefore did not delude Sejanus with an
obvious and plausible answer; that Livia could herself determine whether,
after Drusus, she ought again to marry, or still persist his widow, and
that she had a mother and grandmother, nearer relations and more
interested to advise. He would deal more candidly with him: and first as
to the enmity of Agrippina; it would flame out with fresh fury, if by the
marriage of Livia, the family of the Caesars were rent as it were into two
contending parties: that even as things stood, the emulation of these
ladies broke into frequent sallies, and, by their animosities, his
grandsons were instigated different ways. What would be the consequence,
if, by such a marriage, the strife were inflamed? For you are deceived,
Sejanus, if you think to continue then in the same rank as now; or that
Livia, she who was first the wife of the young Caius Caesar, and
afterwards the wife of Drusus, will be of a temper to grow old with a
husband no higher than a Roman knight: nay, allowing that I suffered you
afterwards to remain what you are; do you believe that they who saw her
father, they who saw her brother, and the ancestors of our house, covered
with the supreme dignities, will ever suffer it? You in truth propose,
yourself, to stand still in the same station: but the great magistrates
and grandees of the state, those very magistrates and grandees who, in
spite of yourself, break in upon you, and in all affairs court you as
their oracle, make no secret of maintaining that you have long since
exceeded the bounds of the Equestrian Order, and far outgone in power all
the confidants of my father; and from their hatred to you, they also
censure me. But still, Augustus deliberated about giving his daughter to a
Roman knight. Where is the wonder, if perplexed with a crowd of
distracting cares, and apprised to what an unbounded height above others
he raised whomsoever he dignified with such a match, he talked of
Proculeius, and some like him; remarkable for the retiredness of their
life, and nowise engaged in the affairs of state? But if we are influenced
by the hesitation of Augustus, how much more powerful is the decision;
since he bestowed his daughter on Agrippa, and then on me? These are
considerations which in friendship I have not withheld: however, neither
your own inclinations, nor those of Livia, shall be ever thwarted by me.
The secret and constant purposes of my own heart towards you, and with
what further ties of affinity, I am contriving to bind you still faster to
me; I at present forbear to recount. Thus much only I will declare, that
there is nothing so high but those abilities, and your singular zeal and
fidelity towards me, may justly claim: as when opportunity presents,
either in Senate, or in a popular assembly, I shall not fail to testify."

In answer to this, Sejanus no longer soliciting the marriage, but filled
with higher apprehensions, besought him "to resist the dark suggestions of
suspicion; to despise the pratings of the vulgar, nor to admit the hostile
breath of envy." And as he was puzzled about the crowds which incessantly
haunted his house; lest by keeping them off he might impair his power; or
by encouraging them, furnish a handle for criminal imputations; he came to
this result, that he would urge the Emperor out of Rome, to spend his life
remote from thence in delightful retirements. From this counsel he foresaw
many advantages: upon himself would depend all access to the Emperor; all
letters and expresses would, as the soldiers were the carriers, be in
great measure under his direction; in a little time, the Prince, now in
declining age, and then softened by recess, would more easily transfer
upon him the whole charge of the Empire: he should be removed from the
multitude of such as to make their court, attended him at Rome; and thence
one source of envy would be stopped. So that by discharging the empty
phantoms of power, he should augment the essentials. He therefore began by
little and little to rail at the hurry of business at Rome, the throng of
people, the flock of suitors: he applauded "retirement and quiet; where,
while they were separate from irksome fatigues, nor exposed to the
discontents and resentments of particulars, all affairs of moment were
best despatched."

Next were heard ambassadors from the Lacedaemonians and Messenians, about
the right that each people claimed to the Temple of Diana Limenetis; which
the Lacedaemonians asserted to be theirs, "founded in their territory, and
dedicated by their ancestors," and offered as proofs the ancient authority
of their annals, and the hymns of the old poets. "It had been in truth
taken from them by the superior force of Philip of Macedon, when at war
with him; but restored afterwards by the judicial decision of Julius
Caesar and Marc Anthony." The Messenians, on the contrary, pleaded, "the
ancient partition of Peloponnesus amongst the descendants of Hercules;
whence the territory where the temple stood, had fallen to their king; and
the monuments of that allotment still remained, engraven in stone and old
tables of brass; but, if the testimony of histories and poets were
appealed to; they themselves had the most and the fullest. Nor had Philip,
in his decision, acted by power, but from equity: the same afterwards was
the adjudgment of King Antigonus; the same that of the Roman commander
Mummius. Thus too the Milesians had awarded, they who were by both sides
chosen arbitrators: and thus lastly it had been determined by Atidius
Geminus, Praetor of Achaia." The Messenians therefore gained the suit. The
citizens also of Segestum applied on behalf of "the Temple of Venus on
Mount Eryx; which fallen through age, they desired might be restored."
They represented the story of its origin and antiquity; a well-pleasing
flattery to Tiberius; who frankly took upon himself the charge, as kinsman
to the Goddess. Then was discussed the petition from the citizens of
Marseilles; and what they claimed, according to the precedent of Publius
Rutilius, was approved: for Rutilius, though by a law expelled from Rome,
had been by those of Smyrna adopted a citizen: and as Volcatius Moschus,
another exile, had found at Marseilles the same privilege and reception,
he had to their Republic, as to his country, left his estate.

During the same Consuls, a bloody assassination was perpetrated in the
nethermost Spain, by a boor in the territory of Termes. By him, Lucius
Piso, Governor of the Province, as he travelled careless and unattended,
relying on the established peace, was surprised, and despatched at one
deadly blow. The assassin however escaped to a forest, by the fleetness of
his horse; and there dismissed him: from thence travelling over rocks and
pathless places, he baffled his pursuers: but their ignorance of his
person was soon removed; for his horse being taken and shown through the
neighbouring villages, it was thence learned who was the owner; so that he
too was found; but when put to the rack to declare his accomplices, he
proclaimed with a mighty and assured voice, in the language of his
country, "that in vain they questioned him; his associates might stand
safely by and witness his constancy: and that no force of torture could be
so exquisite as from him to extort a discovery." Next day as he was
dragged back to the rack, he burst with a vehement effort from his guard,
and dashed his head so desperately against a stone, that he instantly
expired. Piso is believed to have been assassinated by a plot of the
Termestinians; as in exacting the repayment of some money, seized from the
public, he acted with more asperity, than a rough people could bear.

In the Consulship of Lentulus Getulicus and Caius Calvisius, the triumphal
ensigns were decreed to Poppeus Sabinus for having routed some clans of
Thracians, who living wildly on the high mountains, acted thence with the
more outrage and contumacy. The ground of their late commotion, not to
mention the savage genius of the people, was their scorn and impatience,
to have recruits raised amongst them, and all their stoutest men enlisted
in our armies; accustomed as they were not even to obey their native kings
further than their own humour, nor to aid them with forces but under
captains of their own choosing, nor to fight against any enemy but their
own borderers. Their discontents too were inflamed by a rumour which then
ran current amongst them; that they were to be dispersed into different
regions; and exterminated from their own, to be mixed with other nations.
But before they took arms and began hostilities, they sent ambassadors to
Sabinus, to represent "their past friendship and submission, and that the
same should continue, if they were provoked by no fresh impositions: but,
if like a people subdued by war, they were doomed to bondage; they had
able men and steel, and souls determined upon liberty or death." The
ambassadors at the same time pointed to their strongholds founded upon
precipices; and boasted that they had thither conveyed their wives and
parents; and threatened a war intricate, hazardous and bloody.

Sabinus amused them with gentle answers till he could draw together his
army; while Pomponius Labeo was advancing with a legion from Moesia, and
King Rhoemetalces with a body of Thracians who had not renounced their
allegiance. With these, and what forces he had of his own, he marched
towards the foe, now settled in the passes of the forest: some more bold
presented themselves upon the hills: against the last, the Roman general
first bent his forces in battle, and without difficulty drove them thence,
but with small slaughter of the Barbarians, because of their immediate
refuge. Here he straight raised an encampment, and with a stout band took
possession of a hill, which extended with an even narrow ridge to the next
fortress, which was garrisoned by a great host of armed men and rabble:
and as the most resolute were, in the way of the nation, rioting without
the fortification in dances and songs, he forthwith despatched against
them his select archers. These, while they only poured in volleys of
arrows at a distance did thick and extensive execution; but, approaching
too near, were by a sudden sally put in disorder. They were however
supported by a cohort of the Sigambrians, purposely posted by Sabinus in
readiness against an exigency; a people these, equally terrible in the
boisterous and mixed uproar of their voices and arms.

He afterwards pitched his camp nearer to the enemy; having in his former
entrenchments left the Thracians, whom I have mentioned to have joined us.
To them too was permitted "to lay waste, burn, and plunder; on condition
that their ravages were confined to the day; and that, at nights, they
kept within the camp, secure under guard." This restriction was at first
observed; but, anon lapsing into luxury, and grown opulent in plunder,
they neglected their guards, and resigned themselves to gaiety and
banquetting, to the intoxication and sloth of wine and sleep. The enemy
therefore apprised of their negligence, formed themselves into two bands;
one to set upon the plunderers; the other to assault the Roman camp, with
no hopes of taking it; but only that the soldiers alarmed with shouts and
darts, and all intent upon their own defence, might not hear the din of
the other battle: moreover to heighten the terror, it was to be done by
night. Those who assailed the lines of the legions were easily repulsed:
but, the auxiliary Thracians were terrified with the sudden encounter, as
they were utterly unprepared. Part of them lay along the entrenchments;
many were roaming abroad; and both were slain with the keener vengeance,
as they were upbraided "for fugitives and traitors, who bore arms to
establish servitude over their country and themselves."

Next day Sabinus drew up his army in view of the enemy, on ground equal to
both; to try, if elated with their success by night, they would venture a
battle: and, when they still kept within the fortress, or on the cluster
of hills, he began to begird them with a siege; and strengthening his old
lines and adding new, enclosed a circuit of four miles. Then to deprive
them of water and forage, he straitened his entrenchment by degrees, and
hemmed them in still closer. A bulwark was also raised, whence the enemy
now within throw, were annoyed with discharges of stones, darts, and fire.
But nothing aggrieved them so vehemently as thirst, whilst only a single
fountain remained amongst a huge multitude of armed men and families:
their horses too and cattle, penned up with the people, after the
barbarous manner of the country, perished for want of provender: amongst
the carcasses of beasts lay those of men; some dead of thirst, some of
their wounds; a noisome mixture of misery and death; all was foul and
tainted with putrefaction, stench, and filthy contamination. To these
distresses also accrued another, and of all calamities the most
consummate, the calamity of discord: some were disposed to surrender;
others proposed present death, and to fall upon one another. There were
some too who advised a sally, and to die avenging their deaths. Nor were
these last mean men, though dissenting from the rest.

But there was one of their leaders, his name Dinis, a man stricken in
years, who, by long experience, acquainted with the power and clemency of
the Romans, argued, "that they must lay down their arms, the same being
the sole cure for their pressing calamities;" and was the first who
submitted, with his wife and children to the conqueror. There followed him
all that were weak through sex or age, and such as had a greater passion
for life than glory. The young men were parted between Tarsa and Turesis;
both determined to fall with liberty: but Tarsa declared earnestly "for
instant death; and that by it all hopes and fears were at once to be
extinguished;" and setting an example, buried his sword in his breast. Nor
were there wanting some who despatched themselves the same way. Turesis
and his band stayed for night: of which our General was aware. The guards
were therefore strengthened with extraordinary reinforcements: and now
with the night, darkness prevailed, its horror heightened by outrageous
rain; and the enemy with tumultuous shouts, and by turns with vast
silence, alarmed and puzzled the besiegers. Sabinus therefore going round
the camp, warned the soldiers, "that they should not be misguided by the
deceitful voice of uproar, nor trust to a feigned calm, and thence open an
advantage to the enemy, who by these wiles sought it; but keep immovably
to their several posts; nor throw their darts at random."

Just then came the Barbarians, pouring in distinct droves: here, with
stones, with wooden javelins hardened in the fire, and with the broken
limbs of trees, they battered the palisade: there with hurdles, faggots
and dead bodies, they filled the trench: by others, bridges and ladders,
both before framed, were planted against the battlements; these they
violently grappled and tore, and struggled hand to hand with those who
opposed them. The Romans, on the other side, beat them back with their
bucklers, drove them down with darts, and hurled upon them great mural
stakes and heaps of stones. On both sides were powerful stimulations: on
ours the hopes of victory almost gained, if we persisted; and thence the
more glaring infamy, if we recoiled: on theirs, the last struggle for
their life; most of them, too, inspired with the affecting presence of
their mothers and wives, and made desperate by their dolorous wailings.
The night was an advantage to the cowardly and the brave; by it, the
former became more resolute; by it, the latter hid their fear: blows were
dealt, the striker knew not upon whom; and wounds received, the wounded
knew not whence: such was the utter indistinction of friend and foe. To
heighten the general jumble and blind confusion, the echo from the
cavities of the mountain represented to the Romans the shouts of the enemy
as behind them: hence in some places they deserted their lines, as
believing them already broken and entered: and yet such of the enemy, as
broke through, were very few. All the rest, their most resolute champions
being wounded or slain, were at the returning light driven back to their
fort; where they were at length forced to surrender; as did the places
circumjacent of their own accord. The remainder could then be neither
forced nor famished; as they were protected by a furious winter, always
sudden about Mount Haemus.

At Rome, discord shook the Prince's family: and, to begin the series of
destruction, which was to end in Agrippina, Claudia Pulchra her cousin was
accused; Domitius Afer the accuser. This man, just out of the Praetorship,
in estimation small, but hasty to signalise himself by some notable
exploit however heinous, alleged against her the "crimes of prostitution,
of adultery with Furnius, of magical execrations and poison prepared
against the life of the Emperor." Agrippina ever vehement, and then in a
flame for the peril of her kinswoman, flew to Tiberius, and by chance
found him sacrificing to the Emperor his father. Having got this handle
for upbraiding him, she told him "that it ill became the same man to slay
victims to the deified Augustus and to persecute his children: his divine
spirit was not transfused into dumb statues: the genuine images of
Augustus were the living descendants from his celestial blood: she herself
was one; one sensible of impending danger, and now in the mournful state
of a supplicant. In vain were foreign crimes pretended against Pulchra;
when the only cause of her concerted overthrow was her affection for
Agrippina, foolishly carried even to adoration; forgetful as she was of
the fate of Sosia, a condemned sufferer for the same fault." All these
bitter words drew small answer from the dark breast of Tiberius: he
rebuked her by quoting a Greek verse; "That she was therefore aggrieved,
because she did not reign:" Pulchra and Furnius were condemned. Afer,
having thus displayed his genius, and gained a declaration from Tiberius,
pronouncing him _eloquent in his own independent right_, was ranked with
the most celebrated orators: afterwards in prosecuting accusations, or in
protecting the accused, he flourished more in the fame of eloquence than
in that of uprightness: however, old age eminently sunk the credit and
vigour of his eloquence; while, with parts decayed, he still retained a
passion for haranguing. [Footnote: Dum fessa mente, retinet silentii

Agrippina still fostering her wrath, and seized too with a bodily
disorder, received the Emperor, come purposely to see her, with many tears
and long silence. At last she accosted him with invidious expostulations
and prayers; "that he would relieve her solitude, and give her a husband.
She was still endowed with proper youth; to virtuous women there was no
consolation but that of marriage; and Rome afforded illustrious men who
would readily assent to entertain the wife of Germanicus, and his
children." Tiberius was not ignorant to what mighty power in the state,
that demand tended; but, that he might betray no tokens of resentment or
fear, he left her, though instant with him, without an answer. This
passage, not related by the authors of our annals, I found in the
commentaries of her daughter Agrippina; her, who was the mother of the
Emperor Nero, and has published her own life with the fortunes of her

As to Agrippina; still grieving and void of foresight, she was yet more
sensibly dismayed by an artifice of Sejanus, who employed such, as under
colour of friendship warned her, "that poison was prepared for her, and
that she must shun eating at her father-in-law's table." She was a
stranger to all dissimulation: so that as she sat near him at table, she
continued stately and unmoved; not a word, not a look escaped her, and she
touched no part of the meat. Tiberius observed her, whether accidentally,
or that he was before apprised; and, to be convinced by a more powerful
experiment, praising the apples that stood before him, presented some with
his own hand to his daughter-in-law. This only increased the suspicion of
Agrippina; and, without ever putting them to her mouth, she delivered them
to the servants. For all this, the reserved Tiberius let not a word drop
from him openly; but, turning to his mother; "There was no wonder," he
said, "if he had really taken harsh measures with her, who thus charged
him as a poisoner." Hence a rumour spread, "that her doom was contrived;
and that the Emperor not daring to pursue it publicly, chose to have her
despatched in secret."

Tiberius, as a means to divert upon other matters the popular talk,
attended assiduously the deliberations of the Senate; and there heard for
many days the several Ambassadors from Asia, mutually contending, "in what
city should be built the temple lately decreed." For this honour eleven
cities strove, with equal ambition, though different in power: nor did the
pleas urged by all, greatly vary; namely, "the antiquity of their
original, and their distinguished zeal for the Roman People, during their
several wars with Perseus, Aristonicus, and other kings." But the
Trallians, the Laodiceans, the Magnesians and those of the Hypaepis, were
at once dismissed, as insufficient for the charge. Nor, in truth, had they
of Ilium, who represented, "that Troy was the mother of Rome," any
superior advantage, besides the glory of antiquity. The plea of the
Halicarnassians took some short consideration: they asserted, "that for
twelve hundred years, no earthquake had shaken their town; and that they
would fix in a solid rock the foundations of the temple." The same
considerations were urged by the inhabitants of Pergamus; where already
was erected a temple to Augustus; a distinction which was judged
sufficient for them. The cities too of Ephesus and Miletus seemed fully
employed in the ceremonies of their own distinct deities; the former in
those of Diana; the other, in those of Apollo. Thus the dispute was
confined to Sardis and Smyrna. The first recited a decree of the
Etrurians, which owned them for kinsmen: "for that Tyrrhenus and Lydus,
sons of King Atys, having between them divided their people, because of
their multitude, Lydus re-settled in his native country; and it became the
lot of Tyrrhenus to find out a fresh residence; and by the names of these
chiefs the parted people came afterwards to be called, Lydians in Asia,
Tyrrhenians in Italy. That the opulence of the Lydians spread yet farther,
by their colonies sent under Pelops into Greece, which from him afterwards
took its name." They likewise urged "the letters of our Generals; their
mutual leagues with us during the war of Macedon; their plenty of rivers,
temperate climate, and the fertility of the circumjacent country."

The Smyrnaeans having likewise recounted their ancient establishment,
"whether Tantalus, the son of Jupiter; or Theseus, the son also of a God;
or one of the old Amazons, were their founder;" proceeded to
considerations in which they chiefly trusted; their friendly offices to
the Roman People, having aided them with a naval force, not in their
foreign wars only, but in those which infested Italy. "It was they who
first reared a temple to the City of Rome, in the Consulship of Marcus
Porcius; then, in truth, when the power of the Roman People was already
mighty, but however not yet raised to its highest glory; for the city of
Carthage still stood, and potent kings governed Asia. Witness too their
generosity to Sylla, when the condition of his army ready to famish in a
cruel winter and a scarcity of clothes, being related to the citizens of
Smyrna then assembled; all that were present divested themselves of their
raiments, and sent them to our legions." Thus when the votes of the
Senators were gathered, the pretensions of Smyrna were preferred. It was
also moved by Vibius Marsus, that Lentulus, to whom had fallen the
province of Asia, should be attended by a Legate extraordinary, to
supervise the building of the temple; and as Lentulus himself through
modesty declined to choose one, several who had been Praetors were drawn
by lot, and the lot fell upon Valerius Naso.

In the meantime, according to a purpose long meditated, and from time to
time deferred, Tiberius at last retired to Campania; in profession, to
dedicate a temple to Jupiter at Capua, and one at Nola to Augustus; but in
truth determined to remove, for ever, from Rome. The cause of his
departure, I have before referred to the stratagems of Sejanus; but though
in it I have followed most of our authors; yet, since after the execution
of Sejanus, he persisted for six years in the like dark recess; I am
rather influenced by a stronger probability, that the ground of his
absence is more justly to be ascribed to his own spirit, while he strove
to hide in the shades of solitude, what in deeds he proclaimed, the rage
of his cruelty and lust. There were those who believed that, in his old
age, he was ashamed of the figure of his person; for he was very lean,
long and stooping, his head bald, his face ulcerous, and for the most
besmeared with salves: he was moreover wont, during his recess at Rhodes,
to avoid the public, and cover his debauches in secrecy. It is also
related that he was driven from Rome by the restless aspiring of his
mother, whom he scorned to admit a partner in the sovereignty; nor yet
could entirely seclude, since as her gift he had received the sovereignty
itself. For, Augustus had deliberated about setting Germanicus at the head
of the Roman state; his sister's grandson, and one adored by all men: but
subdued by the solicitations of his wife, he adopted Tiberius; and caused
Tiberius to adopt Germanicus. With this grandeur of her own procuring,
Livia upbraided her son; and even reclaimed it.

His going was narrowly accompanied; by one Senator, Cocceius Nerva,
formerly Consul, and accomplished in the knowledge of the laws; and,
besides Sejanus, by one dignified Roman knight, Curtius Atticus. The rest
were men of letters, chiefly Greeks; whose conversation pleased and amused
him. The skilled in astrology declared, "that he had left Rome in such a
conjunction of the planets, as for ever to exclude his return." Hence a
source of destruction to many, who conjectured his end to be at hand, and
published their conjectures: for, it was an event too incredible to be
foreseen, that for eleven years he should of choice be withdrawn from his
country. The sequel discovered the short bounds between the art and the
falsehood of the art, and what obscurities perplex even the facts it
happens to foretell. _That he should never return to Rome_, proved not to
be falsely said: as to everything else about him they were perfectly in
the dark; since he still lived, never far distant, sometimes in the
adjacent champain, sometimes on the neighbouring shore, often under the
very walls of the city; and died at last in the fulness and extremity of

There happened to Tiberius, about that time, an accident, which, as it
threatened his life, fired the empty prognostics at Rome; but to himself
proved matter of more confidence in the friendship and faith of Sejanus.
They were eating in a cave at a villa, thence called _Spelunca_, between
the Amyclean Sea and the mountains of Fondi: it was a native cave, and its
mouth fell suddenly in, and buried under it some of the attendants: hence
dread seized all, and they who were celebrating the entertainment fled: as
to Sejanus; he covered the Emperor's body with his own, and stooping upon
his knees and hands, exposed himself to the descending ruin; such was the
posture he was found in by the soldiers, who came to their relief. He grew
mightier from thence; and being now considered by Tiberius as one
regardless of himself, all his counsels, however bloody and destructive,
were listened to with blind credulity: so that he assumed the office of a
judge against the offspring of Germanicus, and suborned such as were to
act the parts of accusers, and especially to pursue and blacken Nero, the
next in succession; a young Prince modest indeed, but forgetful of that
restraint and circumspection which his present situation required. He was
misguided by his freedmen and the retainers to his house; who eager to be
masters of power, animated him with intemperate counsels; "that he would
show a spirit resolute and assured; it was what the Roman People wished,
what the armies longed for: nor would Sejanus dare then to resist; though
he now equally insulted the tameness of an old man and the sloth of a
young one."

While he listened to these and the like suggestions, there escaped him, no
expressions, in truth, of any criminal purpose; but sometimes such as were
resentful and unguarded: these were catched up by the spies placed upon
him, and charged against him with aggravations; neither was he allowed the
privilege of clearing himself. Several threatening appearances moreover
dismayed him: some avoided to meet him; others having just paid him the
salute, turned instantly away: many, in the midst of conversation, broke
off and left him; while the creatures of Sejanus stood still fearlessly by
and sneered upon him. For Tiberius; he always entertained him with a stern
face, or a hollow smile; and whether the youth spoke or said nothing,
there were crimes in his words, crimes in his silence: nor was he safe
even at the dead of night; since his uneasiness and watchings, nay, his
very sighs and dreams were, by his wife, divulged to her mother Livia, and
by Livia to Sejanus; who had also drawn his brother Drusus into the
combination, by tempting him with the immediate prospect of Empire, if his
elder brother, already sinking, were once set effectually aside. The
genius of Druses naturally furious, instigated besides by a passion for
power, and by the usual hate and competition between brothers, was further
kindled by the partiality of Agrippina, who was fonder of Nero. However,
Sejanus did not so far favour Drusus, but that against him too he was even
then ripening the studied measures of future destruction; as he knew him
to be violent, and thence more obnoxious to snares.

In the end of the year departed these eminent persons; Asinius Agrippa, of
ancestors more illustrious than ancient, and in his own character not
unworthy of them: and Quintus Haterius, of a Senatorian family, and
himself, while he yet lived, famous for eloquence: but the monuments of
his genius, since published, are not equally esteemed. In truth, he
prevailed more by rapidity than accuracy: insomuch that, as the elaborate
compositions of others flourish after them; so that enchanting melody of
voice in Haterius, with that fluency of words which was personal to him,
died with him.

In the Consulship of Marcus Licinius and Lucius Calpurnius, the casualty
of an instant, its beginning unforeseen, and ended as soon as begun,
equalled in calamity the slaughter and overthrow of mighty armies. One
Atilius had undertaken to erect an amphitheatre at Fidena, [Footnote:
Castel Giubileo, near Rome.] there to exhibit a combat of gladiators: he
was of the race of freedmen, and as he began it from no exuberance of
wealth, nor to court popularity amongst the inhabitants, but purely for
the meanness of gain, he neither established solid foundations, nor raised
the timber-work with sufficient compactness. Thither thronged from Rome
those of every sex and age, eager for such shows; as during the reign of
Tiberius they were debarred from diversions at home; and, the nearer the
place, the greater the crowds: hence the calamity was the more dreadful;
for, as the theatre was surcharged with the multitude, the structure
burst, and sinking violently in, while its extremities rushed impetuously
out, huge was the press of people, who intent upon the gladiators within,
or gathered round the walls, were crushed by the deadly ruin, and even
buried under it. And verily, they who in the first fury of the havoc were
smitten with final death, escaped as far as in such a doleful disaster
they could escape, the misery of torture: much more to be lamented were
those, who bereft of joints and pieces of their body, were yet not
forsaken of life; those who by day could with their eyes behold their
wives and children imprisoned in the same ruins; and by night could
distinguish them by their groans, and howlings.

Now others from abroad excited by the sad tidings, found here their
several sorrows: one bewailed his brother, one his kinsman, another his
parents: even they whose friends or kindred were absent on a different
account, were yet terrified: for, as it was not hitherto distinctly known
upon whom the destruction had lighted, the dread was widened by
uncertainty. When the ruins began to be removed, great about the dead was
the concourse of the living; frequent the kisses and embraces of
tenderness and sorrow: and even frequent the contention about the
propriety of the dead; where the features distorted by death or bruises,
or where parity of age or resemblance of person, had confounded the slain,
and led into mistakes their several claimers. Fifty thousand souls were
destroyed or maimed by this sad stroke: it was therefore for the future
provided by a decree of Senate, "that no man under the qualification of
four hundred thousand sesterces, [Footnote: 3,300.] should exhibit the
spectacle of gladiators; and no amphitheatre should be founded but upon
ground manifestly solid." Atilius was punished with exile. To conclude;
during the fresh pangs of this calamity, the doors of the Grandees were
thrown open; medicines were everywhere furnished; they who administered
medicines, were everywhere employed to attend: and at that juncture the
city though sorrowful of aspect, seemed to have recalled the public spirit
of the ancient Romans; who, after great battles, constantly relieved the
wounded, sustained them by liberality, and restored them with care.

The public agonies from this terrible blow, were not yet deadened, when
another supervened; and the city felt the affliction and violence of fire,
which with uncommon rage utterly consumed Mount Caelius. "It was a deadly
and mournful year," they said, "and under boding omens the Prince had
formed the design of his absence." It is the way this of the multitude;
who to malignant counsels are wont to ascribe events altogether
fortuitous. But the Emperor dissipated their murmurs, by bestowing on each
sufferer money to the value of his sufferings: hence he had the thanks of
men of rank, in the Senate; and was by the populace rewarded with
applauses, "for that without the views of ambition, without the
application of friends, he had of his own accord even sought out the
unknown, and by his bounty relieved them." It was likewise moved and
decreed in Senate, "that Mount Caelius should be for the future styled
_Mount Augustus_, since there the statue of Tiberius, standing in the
house of Junius the Senator, escaped unhurt in the flames, though
devouring all round them:" it was remembered, that the same rare exemption
had formerly happened to Claudia Pulchra; that her statue being twice
spared by the fury of fire, had thence been placed and consecrated by our
ancestors in the Temple of the Mother of the Gods. Thus sacred were the
Claudian race, and dear to the deities; and therefore the place, where the
Gods had testified such mighty honour towards the Prince, ought to be
dignified with consecration.

It will not be impertinent to insert here, that this mount was of old
named _Querquetulanus_, from a grove of oak which grew thick upon it. It
was afterwards called _Mount Caelius_, from Caeles Vibenna, who having led
to Rome a body of Tuscan auxiliaries, was presented with that settlement
by Tarquinius Priscus, or some other of our kings; for in this particular,
writers differ: about other circumstances there remains no dispute; that
these forces were very numerous, and extended their dwellings all along
the plain below, as far as the Forum. Hence the _Tuscan Street_, so called
after these strangers.

Tiberius, having dedicated the temples in Campania; though he had by an
edict warned the public, "that none should interrupt his quiet;" and
though soldiers were posted to keep off all confluence from the
neighbouring towns; nevertheless, hating the towns themselves, and the
colonies, and every part in the continent, imprisoned himself in Capreae,
[Footnote: Capri.] an island disjoined from the point of the Cape of
Surrentum by a channel of three miles. I should chiefly believe that he
was taken with its solitude, as the sea above it is void of havens, as the
stations for the smallest vessels are few and difficult, and as none could
put in unperceived by the Guards. The genius of the climate is mild in
winter, from the shelter of a mountain which intercepts the rigour of the
winds: its summers are refreshed by gales from the west; and the sea open
all round it, makes a delightful view: from thence too was beheld a most
lovely landscape, before the eruptions of Mount Vesuvius had changed the
face of the prospect. It is the tradition of fame that the Greeks occupied
the opposite region, and that Capreae was particularly inhabited by the
Teleboi. However it were, Tiberius then confined his retirement to twelve
villas, their names famous of old and their structure sumptuous. And the
more intent he had formerly been upon public cares, he became now so much
the more buried in dark debauches, and resigned over to mischievous
privacy: for, there remained still in him his old bent to suspicions, and
rash faith in informers; qualities which even at Rome Sejanus had always
fostered, and here inflamed more vigorously; his devices against Agrippina
and Nero being no longer a secret. About them guards were placed, by whom
every petty circumstance, the messages they sent or received, their visits
and company, their open behaviour, their private conversation, were all as
it were minuted into journals: there were others, too, instructed to warn
them to fly to the armies in Germany; or that embracing the statue of the
deified Augustus in the great Forum, they would there implore the aid and
protection of the Senate and People of Rome. And these counsels, though
rejected by them, were fathered and charged upon them, as just ripe for


A.D. 29-31.

In the Consulship of Rubellius and Fusius, each surnamed Geminus, died
Julia Augusta, the mother of Tiberius, in the extremity of age. She was
descended from the Claudian house; adopted through her father into the
Livian family; into the Julian, by Augustus; and both by adoption and
descent, signally noble: her first marriage was with Tiberius Nero; and by
him she had children: her husband, after the surrender of Perusia,
[Footnote: Perugia.] in the Civil War, became a fugitive; but, upon peace
made between Sextus Pompeius and the Triumvirate, returned to Rome.
Afterwards, Octavius Caesar smitten with her beauty, snatched her from her
husband; whether with or against her own inclinations, is uncertain; but
with such precipitation, that, without staying for her delivery, he
married her yet big with child by Tiberius. Henceforward she had no issue;
but, by the marriage of Germanicus and Agrippina, her blood came to be
mixed with that of Augustus in their great-grandchildren. In her domestic
deportment, she conformed to the venerable model of antiquity; but with
more complaisance than was allowed by the ladies of old: an easy courteous
wife, an ambitious mother; and well comporting with the nice arts of her
husband, and the dissimulation of her son: her funeral was moderate, and
her last will lay long unfulfilled: her encomium was pronounced in public
by Caligula, her grandson, [Footnote: Great-grandson.] afterwards Emperor.

Tiberius by a letter excused himself to the Senate, for not having paid
his last offices to his mother; and, though he rioted in private luxury
without abatement, pleaded "the multitude of public affairs." He likewise
abridged the honours decreed to her memory, and, of a large number,
admitted but very few: for this restriction he pretended modesty, and
added, "that no religious worship should be appointed her; for that the
contrary was her own choice." Nay, in a part of the same letter, he
censured _feminine friendships_; obliquely upbraiding the Consul Fusius, a
man highly distinguished by the favour of Augusta, and dexterous to engage
and cajole the affections of women; a gay talker, and one accustomed to
play upon Tiberius with biting sarcasms; the impressions of which never
die in the hearts of Princes.

From this moment, the domination waxed completely outrageous and
devouring: for while she lived, some refuge still remained, as the
observance of Tiberius towards his mother was ever inviolate; nor durst
Sejanus arrogate precedence of the authority of a parent: but now, as let
loose from all restraint, they broke out with unbridled fury: so that
letters were despatched avowedly against Agrippina and Nero; and as they
were read in the Senate soon after the death of Augusta, the people
believed them to have been sent before and by her suppressed. The
expressions were elaborately bitter; and yet by them no hostile purpose of
taking arms, no endeavour to change the State, was objected to the youth;
but only "the love of boys, and other impure pleasures:" against Agrippina
he durst not even feign so much; and therefore arraigned "her haughty
looks, her impetuous and stubborn spirit." The Senate were struck with
deep silence and affright: but, as particular men will always be drawing
personal favour from public miseries, there were some who, having no hopes
founded upon uprightness, demanded that "they should proceed upon the
letters:" amongst these the foremost in zeal was Cotta Messalinus, with a
terrible motion: but, the other leading men, and chiefly the magistrates,
were embarrassed by fear: for Tiberius, though he had sent them a flaming
invective, left all the rest a riddle.

In the Senate was one Junius Rusticus, appointed by the Emperor to keep a
journal of their proceedings, and therefore thought well acquainted with
his purposes. This man, by some fatal impulse (for he had never before
shown any instance of magnanimity) or blinded by deceitful policy, while
forgetful of present and impending dangers, he dreaded future
possibilities, joined the party that hesitated, and even warned the
Consuls "not to begin the debate:" he argued "that in a short moment the
highest affairs might take a new turn: and an interval ought to be allowed
to the old man to change his passion into remorse." At the same time, the
people, carrying with them the images of Agrippina and Nero, gathered
about the Senate, and proclaiming their good wishes for the prosperity of
the Emperor, cried earnestly, "that the letters were counterfeit; and,
against the consent of the Prince, the doom of his family was pursued:" so
that nothing tragical was that day transacted. There were also dispersed
amongst them several speeches, said to have been uttered in Senate by the
Consulars, as their motions and advices against Sejanus; but all framed,
and with the more petulance as the several authors exercised their
satirical wit in the dark. Hence Sejanus boiled with greater rage, and
hence had a handle for branding the Senate, "that by them the anguish and
resentments of the Prince were despised: the people were revolted; popular
and disaffected harangues were publicly read and listened to: new and
arbitrary acts of Senate were passed and published: what more remained,
but to arm the populace and place at their head, as leaders and Imperial
commanders, those whose images they had already chosen for standards?"

Tiberius having therefore repeated his reproaches against his grandson and
daughter-in-law: having chastised the people by an edict, and complained
to the Senate, "that by the fraud of a single Senator the Imperial dignity
should be battled and insulted, required that the whole affair should be
left to himself, entire and untouched." The Senate hesitated no longer,
but instantly proceeded, not now in truth to decree penalties and capital
vengeance; for that was forbid them; but to testify "how ready they were
to inflict just punishments, and that they were only interrupted by the
power and pleasure of the Prince."...

[_Here begins a lamentable chasm in this "Annal" for almost three years;
and by it we have lost the detail of the most remarkable incidents in this
reign, the exile of Agrippina into the Isle of Pandataria; of Nero, into
that of Pontia; and the murder of both there by the orders of Tiberius:
the conspiracy and execution of Sejanus, with that of all his friends and
dependents: the further wickedness of Livia, and her death._]

Now though the rage of the populace was expiring, and though most men were
mollified by former executions; it was determined to condemn the other
children of Sejanus. They were therefore carried both to prison, the boy
sensible of his impending doom; but the girl so ignorant, that she
frequently asked; "For what offence? and whither did they drag her? she
would do so no more; and they might take the rod and whip her." The
writers of that time relate, "that as it was a thing unheard, for a virgin
to suffer capital punishment, she was deflowered by the executioner just
before he tied the rope; and that being both strangled, the tender bodies
of these children were cast into the place where the carcasses of
malefactors are exposed, before they are flung into the Tiber."...


A.D. 32-37.

Cneius Domitius and Camillus Scribonianus had begun their Consulship, when
the Emperor, having crossed the channel between Capreae [Footnote: Capri.]
and Surrentum, [Footnote: Sorrento.] sailed along the shore of Campania;
unresolved whether he should proceed to Rome; or counterfeiting a show of
coming, because he had determined not to come. He often approached to the
neighbourhood of the city, and even visited the gardens upon the Tiber;
but at last resumed his old retirement, the gloomy rocks and solitude of
the sea, ashamed of his cruelties, and abominable lusts; in which he
rioted so outrageously, that after the fashion of royal tyrants, the
children of ingenuous parentage became the objects of his pollution: nor
in them was he struck with a lovely face only, or the graces of their
persons; but in some their amiable and childish innocence, in others their
nobility and the glory of their ancestors, became the provocatives of his
unnatural passion. Then likewise were devised the filthy names, till then
unknown, of the _Sellarii_ and _Spintriae_, expressing the odious lewdness
of the place, and the manifold postures and methods of prostitution
practised in it. For supplying his lust with these innocent victims, he
entertained, in his service professed procurers, to look them out and
carry them off. The willing they encouraged with presents, the backward
they terrified with threats; and upon such parents or kindred as withheld
the infants, they exercised force, seizure, and, as upon so many captives,
every species of licentious rage.

At Rome in the beginning of the year, as if the iniquities of Livia had
been but just discovered, and not even long since punished, furious orders
were passed against her statues too, and memory; with another, "that the
effects of Sejanus should be taken from the public treasury, and placed in
that of the Emperor:" as if this vain translation could any wise avail the
State. And yet such was the motion of these great names, the Scipios, the
Silani, and the Cassii; who urged it, each almost in the same words, but
all with mighty zeal and earnestness: when all on a sudden, Togonius
Gallus, while he would be thrusting his own meanness amongst names so
greatly illustrious, became the object of derision: for he besought the
Prince "to choose a body of Senators of whom twenty, drawn by lot and
under arms, should wait upon him and defend his person, as often as he
entered the Senate." He had been weak enough to credit a letter from the
Emperor, requiring "the guard and protection of one of the Consuls, that
he might return in safety from Capreae to Rome." Tiberius however returned
thanks to the Senate for such an instance of affection; but as he was wont
to mix pleasantry with things serious, he asked, "How was it to be
executed? what Senators were to be chosen? who to be omitted? whether
always the same, or a continued succession? whether young Senators, or
such as had borne dignities? whether those who were Magistrates, or those
exercising no magistracy? moreover what a becoming figure they would make,
grave Senators, men of the gown, under arms at the entrance of the Senate!
in truth he held not his life of such importance, to have it thus
protected by arms." So much in answer to Togonius, without asperity of
words; nor did he farther, than this, press them to cancel the motion.

But Junius Gallio escaped not thus. He had proposed "that the Praetorian
soldiers, having accomplished their term of service, should thence acquire
the privilege of sitting in the fourteen rows of the theatre allotted to
the Roman knights." Upon him Tiberius fell with violent wrath, and, as if
present, demanded, what business had he with the soldiers? men whose duty
bound them to observe only the orders of the Emperor, and from the Emperor
alone to receive their rewards. Gallio had forsooth discovered a
recompense which had escaped the sagacity of the deified Augustus? Or was
it not rather a project started by a mercenary of Sejanus, to raise
sedition and discord; a project tending to debauch the rude minds of the
soldiers with the show and bait of new honour; to corrupt their
discipline, and set them loose from military restrictions? This reward,
had the studied flattery of Gallio; who was instantly expelled the Senate,
and then Italy: nay, it became a charge upon him, that his exile would be
too easy, having for the place of it chosen Lesbos, an island noble and
delightful; he was therefore haled back to Rome and confined a prisoner in
the house of a Magistrate. Tiberius in the same letter demanded the doom
of Sextus Paconianus, formerly Praetor, to the extreme joy of the Senate,
as he was a man bold and mischievous, one armed with snares, and
continually diving into the purposes and secret transactions of all men;
and one chosen by Sejanus, for plotting the overthrow of Caligula. When
this was now laid open, the general hate and animosities long since
conceived against him, broke violently out, and had he not offered to make
a discovery, he had been instantly condemned to death.

The next impeached was Cotta Messalinus, the author of every the most
bloody counsel, and thence long and intensely hated. The first opportunity
was therefore snatched to fall upon him with a combination of crimes; as
that he had called Caius Caligula by the feminine name of _Caia Caligula_,
and branded him with constuprations of both kinds; that when he celebrated
among the Priests the birthday of Augusta, he had styled the entertainment
a _funeral supper_; and that complaining of the great sway of Marcus
Lepidus, and of Lucius Arruntius, with whom he had a suit about money, he
had added; "they indeed will be supported by the Senate, but I by my
little Tiberius." [Footnote: Tiberiolus meus.] Of all this he stood
exposed to conviction by men of the first rank in Rome; who being earnest
to attack him, he appealed to Caesar: from whom soon after a letter was
brought in behalf of Cotta; in it he recounted "the beginning of their
friendship," repeated "his many good services to himself," and desired
"that words perversely construed, and humorous tales told at an
entertainment, might not be wrested into crimes."

Most remarkable was the beginning of that letter; for in these words he
introduced it: "What to write you, Conscript Fathers, or in what manner to
write, or what at all not to write at this instant; if I can determine,
may all the Deities, Gods and Goddesses, doom me still to more cruel
agonies than those under which I feel myself perishing daily." So closely
did the bloody horror of his cruelties and infamy haunt this man of blood,
and became his torturers! Nor was it at random what the wisest of all men
[Footnote: Socrates.] was wont to affirm, that if the hearts of tyrants
were displayed, in them might be seen deadly wounds and gorings, and all
the butcheries of fear and rage; seeing what the severity of stripes is to
the body, the same to the soul is the bitter anguish of cruelty, lust, and
execrable pursuits. To Tiberius not his imperial fortune, not his gloomy
and inaccessible solitudes could ensure tranquillity; nor exempt him from
feeling and even avowing the rack in his breast and the avenging furies
that pursued him.

After this, it was left to the discretion of the Senate to proceed as they
listed against Caecilianus the Senator, "who had loaded Cotta with many
imputations;" and it was resolved, "to subject him to the same penalties
inflicted upon Aruseius and Sanquinius, the accusers of Lucius Annuntius."
A more signal instance of honour than this had never befallen Cotta; who
noble in truth, but through luxury indigent, and, for the baseness of his
crimes, detestable, was by the dignity of this amends equalled in
character to the most venerable reputation and virtues of Arruntius.

About the same time died Lucius Piso, the Pontiff; and, by a felicity,
then rare in so much splendour and elevation, died by the course of
nature. The author he never himself was of any servile motion, and ever
wise in moderating such motions from others, where necessity enforced his
assent. That his father had sustained the sublime office of Censor, I have
before remembered: he himself lived to fourscore years, and for his
warlike feats in Thrace, had obtained the glory of triumph. But from hence
arose his most distinguished glory, that being created Governor of Rome, a
jurisdiction newly instituted, and the more difficult, as not yet settled
into public reverence, he tempered it wonderfully and possessed it long.

For, of old, to supply the absence of the Kings, and afterwards of the
Consuls, that the city might not remain without a ruler, a temporary
Magistrate was appointed to administer justice, and watch over exigencies:
and it is said that by Romulus was deputed Denter Romulius; Numa Marcius,
by Tullus Hostilius; and by Tarquin the Proud, Spurius Lucretius. The same
delegation was made by the Consuls; and there remains still a shadow of
the old institution, when during the Latin festival, one is authorised to
discharge the Consular function. Moreover, Augustus during the Civil Wars,
committed to Cilnius Maecenas of the Equestrian Order, the Government of
Rome and of all Italy. Afterwards, when sole master of the Empire, and
moved by the immense multitude of people and the slowness of relief from
the laws, he chose a Consular to bridle the licentiousness of the slaves,
and to awe such turbulent citizens as are only quiet from the dread of
chastisement. Messala Corvinus was the first invested with this authority,
and in a few days dismissed, as a man insufficient to discharge it. It was
then filled by Taurus Statilius, who, though very ancient, sustained it
with signal honour. After him Piso held it for twenty years, with a credit
so high and uninterrupted, that he was distinguished with a public
funeral, by decree of the Senate.

A motion was thereafter made in Senate by Quinctilianus, Tribune of the
People, concerning a Book of the Sibyl, which Caninius Gallus, one of the
College of Fifteen, had prayed "might be received by a decree amongst the
rest of that Prophetess." The decree passed without opposition, but was
followed by letters from Tiberius. In them having gently chid the Tribune,
"as young and therefore unskilled in the ancient usages," he upbraided
Gallus, "that he who was so long practised in the science of sacred
ceremonies, should without taking the opinion of his own college, without
the usual reading and deliberation with the other Priests, deal, by
surprise, with a thin Senate, to admit a prophetic book of an uncertain
author." He also advertised them "of the conduct of Augustus, who, to
suppress the multitude of fictious predictions everywhere published under
the solemn name of the Sibyl, had ordained, that within a precise day,
they should be carried to the City Praetor; and made it unlawful to keep
them in private hands." The same had likewise been decreed by our
ancestors, when after the burning of the capitol in the Social War, the
Rhymes of the Sibyl (whether there were but one, or more) were everywhere
sought, in Samos, Ilium, and Erythrae, through Africa too and Sicily and
all the Roman colonies, with injunctions to the Priests, that, as far as
human wit could enable them, they would separate the genuine. Therefore,
upon this occasion also, the book was subjected to the inspection of the

Under the same Consuls, the dearth of corn had nigh raised a sedition. The
populace for many days urged their wants and demands in the public
theatre, with a licentiousness towards the Emperor, higher than usual. He
was alarmed with this bold spirit, and censured the Magistrates and
Senate, "that they had not by the public authority quelled the people." He
recounted "the continued supplies of grain which he had caused to be
imported; from what provinces, and in how much greater abundance than
those procured by Augustus." So that for correcting the populace, a decree
passed framed in the strain of ancient severity: nor less vigorous was the
edict published by the Consuls. His own silence, which he hoped would be
taken by the people as an instance of moderation, was by them imputed to
his pride.

In the meanwhile, the whole band of accusers broke loose upon those who
augmented their wealth by usury, in contradiction to a law of Caesar the
Dictator, "for ascertaining the terms of lending money, and holding
mortgages in Italy;" a law waxed long since obsolete, through the selfish
passions of men, sacrificing public good to private gain. Usury was, in
truth, an inveterate evil in Rome, and the eternal cause of civil discord
and seditions, and therefore restrained even in ancient times, while the
public manners were not yet greatly corrupted. For, first it was ordained
by a law of the twelve tables, "that no man should take higher interest
than twelve in the hundred;" when, before, it was exacted at the pleasure
of the rich. Afterwards by a regulation of the Tribunes it was reduced to
six, and at last was quite abolished. By the people, too, repeated
statutes were made, for obviating all elusions, which by whatever frequent
expedients repressed, were yet through wonderful devices still springing
up afresh. Gracchus the Praetor was therefore now appointed to inquire
into the complaints and allegations of the accusers; but, appalled with
the multitude of those threatened by the accusation, he had recourse to
the Senate. The Fathers also were dismayed (for of this fault not a soul
was guiltless) and sought and obtained impunity from the Prince; and a
year and six months were granted for balancing all accounts between
debtors and creditors, agreeably to the direction of the law.

Hence a great scarcity of money: for, besides that all debts were at once
called in; so many delinquents were condemned, that by the sale of their
effects, the current coin was swallowed up in the public treasury, or in
that of the Emperor. Against this stagnation, the Senate had provided,
"that two-thirds of the debts should by every creditor be laid out upon
lands in Italy." But the creditors warned in the whole; [Footnote:
Demanded payment in full.] nor could the debtors without breach of faith
divide the payment. So that at first, meetings and entreaties were tried;
and at last it was contested before the Praetor. And the project applied
as a remedy; namely, that the debtor should sell, and the creditor buy,
had a contrary operation: for the usurers hoarded up all their treasure
for purchasing of lands, and the plenty of estates to be sold, miserably
sinking the price; the more men were indebted, the more difficult they
found it to sell. Many were utterly stripped of their fortunes; and the
ruin of their private patrimony drew headlong with it that of their
reputation and all public preferment. The destruction was going on, when
the Emperor administered relief, by lending a hundred thousand great
sesterces [Footnote: About 830,000.] for three years, without interest;
provided each borrower pawned to the people double the value in
inheritance. [Footnote: Gave a security to the State, on landed property.]
Thus was credit restored; and by degrees private lenders too were found.

About the same time, Claudia, daughter to Marcus Silanus, was given in
marriage to Caligula, who had accompanied his grandfather to Capreae,
having always hid under a subdolous guise of modesty, his savage and
inhuman spirit: even upon the condemnation of his mother, even for the
exile of his brothers, not a word escaped him, not a sigh, nor groan. So
blindly observant of Tiberius, that he studied the bent of his temper and
seemed to possess it; practised his looks, imitated the change and fashion
of his dress, and affected his words and manner of expression. Hence the
observation of Passienus the Orator, grew afterwards famous, "that never
lived a better slave nor a worse master." Neither would I omit the presage
of Tiberius concerning Galba, then Consul. Having sent for him and sifted
him upon several subjects, he at last told him in Greek, "and thou, Galba,
shalt hereafter taste of Empire;" signifying his late and short
sovereignty. This he uttered from his skill in astrology, which at Rhodes
he had leisure to learn; and Thrasullus for his teacher, whose capacity he
proved by this following trial.

As often as he consulted this way concerning any affair, he retired to the
roof of the house, attended by one freedman trusted with the secret. This
man strong of body, but destitute of letters, guided along the astrologer,
whose art Tiberius meant to try, over solitary precipices (for upon a rock
the house stood) and, as he returned, if any suspicion arose that his
predictions were vain, or that the author designed fraud, cast him
headlong into the sea, to prevent his making discoveries. Thrasullus being
therefore led over the same rocks, and minutely consulted, his answers
were full, and struck Tiberius; as approaching Empire and many future
revolutions were specifically foretold him. The artist was then
questioned, "whether he had calculated his own nativity, and thence
presaged what was to befall him that same year, nay, that very day?"
Thrasullus surveying the positions of the stars, and calculating their
aspects, began at first to hesitate, then to quake, and the more he
meditated, being more and more dismayed with wonder and dread, he at last
cried out, "that over him just then hung a boding danger and well-nigh
fatal." Forthwith Tiberius embraced him, congratulated him "upon his
foresight of perils, and his security from them;" and esteeming his
predictions as so many oracles, held him thenceforward in the rank of his
most intimate friends.

For myself, while I listen to these and the like relations, my judgment
wavers, whether things human are in their course and rotation determined
by Fate and immutable necessity, or left to roll at random. For upon this
subject the wisest of the ancients and those addicted to their Sects, are
of opposite sentiments. [Footnote: The Epicureans.] Many are of opinion
"that to the Gods neither the generation of us men nor our death, and in
truth neither men nor the actions of men, are of any importance or
concernment: and thence such numberless calamities afflict the upright,
while pleasure and prosperity surround the wicked." Others [Footnote: The
Stoics.] hold the contrary position, and believe "a Fate to preside over
events; a fate however not resulting from wandering stars, but coeval with
the first principles of things, and operating by the continued connection
of natural causes. Yet their philosophy leaves our course of life in our
own free option; but that after the choice is made, the chain of
consequences is inevitable: neither is that good or evil, which passes for
such in the estimation of the vulgar: many, who seem wounded with
adversity, are yet happy; numbers, that wallow in wealth, are yet most
wretched: since the first often bear with magnanimity the blows of
fortune; and the latter abuse her bounty in baneful pursuits." For the
rest, it is common to multitudes of men "to have each their whole future
fortunes determined from the moment of their birth: or if some events
thwart the prediction, it is through the mistakes of such as pronounce at
random, and thence debase the credit of an art, which, both in ages past
and our own, hath given signal instances of its certainty." For, to avoid
lengthening this digression, I shall remember in its order, how by the son
of this same Thrasullus the Empire was predicted to Nero.

During the same Consulship flew abroad the death of Asinius Gallus: that
he perished through famine was undoubted; but whether of his own accord,
or by constraint, was held uncertain. The pleasure of the Emperor being
consulted, "whether he would suffer him to be buried;" he was not ashamed
to grant such a piece of mock mercy, nor even to blame the anticipations
of casualty, which had withdrawn the criminal, before he was publicly
convicted: as if during three intermediate years between his accusation
and his death, there wanted time for the trial of an ancient Consular, and
the father of so many Consulars. Next perished Drusus, condemned by his
grandfather to be starved; but by gnawing the weeds upon which he lay, he
by that miserable nourishment protracted life the space of nine days. Some
authors relate that, in case Sejanus had resisted and taken arms, Macro
had instructions to draw the young man out of confinement (for he was kept
in the palace) and set him at the head of the people: afterwards because a
report ran, "that the Emperor was about to be reconciled to his daughter-
in-law and grandson;" he chose rather to gratify himself by cruelty, than
the public by relenting.

Tiberius not satiated with the death of Drusus, even after death pursued
him with cruel invectives, and, in a letter to the Senate, charged him
with "a body foul with prostitution; with a spirit breathing destruction
to his own family, and rage against the Republic;" and ordered to be
recited "the minutes of his words and actions, which had been long and
daily registered," A proceeding more black with horror could not be
devised! That for so many years, there should be those expressly
appointed, who were to note down his looks, his groans, his secret and
extorted murmurs; that his grandfather should delight to hear the
treacherous detail, to read it, and to the public expose it, would appear
a series of fraud, meanness and amazement beyond all measure of faith,
were it not for the letters of Actius the Centurion, and Didymus the
Freedman; who in them declare, particularly, the names of the slaves set
purposely to abuse and provoke Drusus, with the several parts they acted;
how one struck him going out of his chamber, and how another filled him
with terrors and dismay. The Centurion too repeated, as matter of glory,
his own language to Drusus, language full of outrage and barbarity, with
the words uttered by him under the agonies of famine; that, at first,
feigning disorder of spirit, he vented, in the style of a madman, dismal
denunciations against Tiberius; but after all hopes of life had forsaken
him, then, in steady and deliberate imprecations, he invoked the direful
vengeance of the Gods, "that as he had slaughtered his son's wife,
slaughtered the son of his brother, and his son's sons, and with
slaughters had filled his own house; so they would in justice to the
ancestors of the slain, in justice to their posterity, doom him to the
dreadful penalties of so many murders." The Senators, in truth, upon this
raised a mighty din, under colour of detesting these imprecations: but it
was dread which possessed them, and amazement, that he who had been once
so dark in the practice of wickedness, and so subtle in the concealment of
his bloody spirit, was arrived at such an utter insensibility of shame,
that he could thus remove, as it were, the covert of the walls, and
represent his own grandson under the ignominious chastisement of a
Centurion, torn by the barbarous stripes of slaves, and imploring in vain
the last sustenance of life.

Before the impressions of this grief were worn away, the death of
Agrippina was published. I suppose she had lived thus long upon the hopes,
which from the execution of Sejanus she had conceived; but, feeling
afterwards no relaxation of cruelty, death grew her choice: unless she
were bereaved of nourishment, and her decease feigned to have been of her
own seeking. For, Tiberius raged against her with abominable imputations,
reproaching her "with lewdness; as the adulteress of Asinius Gallus; and
that upon his death she became weary of life." But these were none of her
crimes: Agrippina impatient of an equal lot, and eager for rule, had
thence sacrificed to masculine ambition all the passions and vices of
women. The Emperor added, "that she departed the same day on which Sejanus
had suffered as a traitor two years before, and that the same ought to be
perpetuated by a public memorial." Nay, he boasted of his clemency, in
"that she had not been strangled, and her body cast into the charnel of
malefactors." For this, as for an instance of mercy the Senate solemnly
thanked him, and decreed "that, on the seventeenth of October, the day of
both their deaths, a yearly offering should be consecrated to Jupiter for

Not long after, Cocceius Nerva, in full prosperity of fortune, in perfect
vigour of body, formed a purpose of dying. As he was the incessant
companion of the Prince, and accomplished in the knowledge of all laws
divine and humane, Tiberius having learnt his design, was earnest to
dissuade him, examined his motives, joined entreaties, and even declared,
"how grievous to his own spirit it would prove, how grievous to his
reputation, if the nearest of his friends should relinquish life, without
any cause for dying." Nerva rejected his reasoning, and completed his
purpose by abstinence. It was alleged, by such as knew his thoughts, that
the more he saw into the dreadful source and increase of public miseries,
the more transported with indignation and fear, he resolved to make an
honest end, in the bloom of his integrity, e'er his life and credit were
assaulted. Moreover the fall of Agrippina, by a reverse hardly credible,
procured that of Plancina. She was formerly married to Cneius Piso; and,
though she exulted publicly for the death of Germanicus, yet when Piso
fell, she was protected by the solicitations of Augusta, nor less by the
known animosity of Agrippina. But as favour and hate were now withdrawn,
justice prevailed, and being questioned for crimes long since sufficiently
manifest, she executed with her own hand that vengeance, which was rather
too slow than too severe,

In the Consulship of Paulus Fabius and Lucius Vitellius, after a long
vicissitude of ages, the phoenix arrived in Egypt, and furnished the most
learned of the natives and Greeks with matter of large and various
observations concerning that miraculous bird. The circumstances in which
they agree, with many others, that, however disputed, deserve to be known,
claim a recital here. That it is a creature sacred to the sun, and in the
fashion of its head, and diversity of feathers, distinct from other birds,
all who have described its figure, are agreed; about the length of its
life, relations vary. It is by the vulgar tradition fixed at five hundred
years: but there are those, who extend it to one thousand four hundred and
sixty-one; and assert that the three former phoenixes appeared in reigns
greatly distant, the first under Sesostris, the next under Amasis; and
that one was seen under Ptolomy the third King of Egypt of the Macedonian
race, and flew to the city of Heliopolis, accompanied by a vast host of
other birds gazing upon the wonderful stranger. But these are, in truth,
the obscure accounts of antiquity: between Ptolomy and Tiberius the
interval was shorter, not two hundred and fifty years: hence some have
believed that the present was a spurious phoenix, and derived not its
origin from the territories of Arabia, since it observed nothing of the
instinct which ancient tradition attributes to the genuine: for that the
latter having completed his course of years, just before his death builds
a nest in his native land, and upon it sheds a generative power, from
whence arises a young one, whose first care, when he is grown, is to bury
his father: neither does he undertake it unadvisedly, but by collecting
and fetching loads of myrrh, tries his strength in great journeys; and as
soon as he finds himself equal to the burden, and fit for the long flight,
he rears upon his back his father's body, carries it quite to the altar of
the sun, and then flies away. These are uncertain tales, and their
uncertainty heightened by fables; but that this bird has been sometimes
seen in Egypt, is not questioned.

The same year the city suffered the grievous calamity of fire, which burnt
down that part of the Circus contiguous to Mount Aventine and the Mount
itself: a loss which turned to the glory of the Prince, as he paid in
money the value of the houses destroyed. A hundred thousand great
sesterces [Footnote: About 830,000.] he expended in this bounty, which
proved the more grateful to the people as he was ever sparing in private
buildings: in truth, his public works never exceeded two, the Temple of
Augustus and the scene [Footnote: The stage.] of Pompey's Theatre; nor,
when he had finished both, did he dedicate either, whether obstructed by
old age, or despising popularity. For ascertaining the damage of
particulars, the four sons-in-law of Tiberius were appointed, Cneius
Domitius, Cassius Longinus, Marcus Vincinus and Rubellius Blandus;
assisted by Publius Petronius, nominated by the Consuls. To the Emperor
likewise were decreed several honours, variously devised according to the
different drift and genius of such as proposed them. Which of these he
meant to accept, or which to reject, the approaching issue of his days,
has buried in uncertainty. For not long after, Cneius Acerronius and Caius
Pontius commenced Consuls; the last under Tiberius. The power of Macro was
already excessive; who, as he had at no time neglected the favour of
Caligula, courted it now more and more earnestly every day. After the
death of Claudia, whom I have mentioned to have been espoused to the young
Prince, he constrained Ennia his own wife to stimulate the affections of
Caligula and to secure him by a promise of marriage. The truth is, he was
one that denied nothing that opened his way to sovereignty; for although
of a tempestuous genius, he had yet in the school of his grandfather, well
acquired all the hollow guises of dissimulation.

His spirit was known to the Emperor; hence he was puzzled about
bequeathing the Empire: and first as to his grandsons; the son of Drusus
was nearer in blood, and dearer in point of affection, but as yet a child;
the son of Germanicus had arrived at the vigour of youth, and the zeal of
the people followed him, a motive this to his grandfather, only to hate
him. He had even debates with himself concerning Claudius, because of
solid age and naturally inclined to honest pursuits; but the defect of his
faculties withstood the choice. In case he sought a successor apart from
his own family, he dreaded lest the memory of Augustus, lest the name of
the Caesars should come to be scorned and insulted. For, it was not so
much any study of his, to gratify the present generation and secure the
Roman State, as to perpetuate to posterity the grandeur of his race. So
that his mind still wavering and his strength decaying, to the decision of
fortune he permitted a counsel to which he was now unequal. Yet he dropped
certain words whence might be gathered that he foresaw the events and
revolutions which were to come to pass after him: for, he upbraided Macro,
by no dark riddle, "that he forsook the setting sun and courted the
rising:" and of Caligula, who upon some occasional discourse ridiculed
Sylla, he foretold, "that he would have all Sylla's vices, and not one of
his virtues." Moreover, as he was, with many tears, embracing the younger
of his grandsons, and perceived the countenance of Caligula implacable and
provoked; "thou," said he, "wilt slay him, and another shall slay thee."
But, however his illness prevailed, he relinquished nothing of his vile
voluptuousness; forcing patience, and feigning health. He was wont too to
ridicule the prescriptions of physicians, and all men who, after the age
of thirty, needed to be informed by any one else, what helped or hurted
their constitutions.

At Rome, the while, were sown the sanguinary seeds of executions to be
perpetrated even after Tiberius. Laelius Balbus had with high treason
charged Acutia, some time the wife of Publius Vitellius; and, as the
Senate were, after her condemnation, decreeing a reward to the accuser,
the same was obstructed by the interposition of Junius Otho, Tribune of
the People: hence their mutual hate, which ended in the exile of Otho.
Thereafter Albucilla, who had been married to Satrius Secundus, him that
revealed the conspiracy of Sejanus, and herself famous for many amours,
was impeached of impious rites devised against the Prince. In the charge
were involved, as her associates and adulterers, Cneius Domitius, Vibius
Marsus, and Lucius Arruntius. The noble descent of Domitius I have above
declared: Marsus too was distinguished by the ancient dignities in his
house, and himself illustrious for learning. The minutes, however,
transmitted to the Senate imported, "that in the examination of the
witnesses, and torture of the slaves, Macro had presided:" neither came
these minutes accompanied with any letter from the Emperor against the
accused. Hence it was suspected, that, while he was ill, and perhaps
without his privacy, the accusations were in great measure forged by
Macro, in consequence of his notorious enmity to Arruntius.

Domitius therefore by preparing for his defence, and Marsus by seeming
determined to famish, both protracted their lives. Arruntius chose to die;
and to the importunity of his friends, urging him to try delays and
evasions, he answered, "that the same measures were not alike honourable
to all men: his own life was abundantly long; nor had he wherewithal to
reproach himself, save that he had submitted to bear thus far an old age
loaded with anxieties, exposed to daily dangers, and the cruel sport of
power; long hated as he was by Sejanus, now by Macro, always by some
reigning minister; hated through no fault of his own, but as one
irreconcilable to baseness and the iniquities of power. He might, in
truth, outlive and avoid the few and last days of Tiberius: but how escape
the youth of his heir? If upon Tiberius at such an age, and after such
consummate experience, the violent spirit of unbridled dominion had
wrought with such efficacy, as entirely to transport and change him; was
it likely that Caligula, he who had scarce outgrown his childhood, a youth
ignorant of all things, or nursed and principled in the worst, would
follow a course more righteous under the guidance of Macro; the same
Macro, who, for destroying Sejanus, was employed as the more wicked of the
two, and had since by more mischiefs and cruelties torn and afflicted the
Commonweal? For himself; he foresaw a servitude yet more vehement, and
therefore withdrew at once from the agonies of past and of impending
tyranny." Uttering these words, with the spirit of a prophet, he opened
his veins. How wisely Arruntius anticipated death, the following times
will terribly demonstrate. For Albucilla; she aimed at her own life, but
the blow being impotent, she was by order of Senate dragged to execution
in the prison. Against the ministers of her lusts it was decreed, "that
Grasidius Sacerdos, formerly Praetor, should be exiled into an island;
Pontius Fregellanus be degraded from the Senate; and that upon Laelius
Balbus the same penalty be inflicted:" his punishment particularly proved
matter of joy, as he was accounted a man of pestilent eloquence, and
prompt to attack the innocent.

About the same time, Sextus Papinius of a Consular family, chose on a
sudden a frightful end, by a desperate and precipitate fall. The cause was
ascribed to his mother, who, after many repulses, had by various
allurements and the stimulations of sensuality, urged him to practices and
embarrassments from whence, only by dying, he could devise an issue. She
was therefore accused in the Senate; and, though in a prostrate posture
she embraced the knees of the Fathers, and pleaded "the tenderness and
grief of a mother, the imbecility of a woman's spirit under such an
affecting calamity;" with other motives of pity in the same doleful
strain; she was banished Rome for ten years, till her younger son were
past the age of lubricity.

As to Tiberius; already his body, already his spirits failed him; but his
dissimulation failed him not. He exerted the same vigour of mind, the same
energy in his looks and discourse; and even sometimes studied to be gay,
by it to hide his declension however notorious. So that, after much
shifting of places, he settled at the Promontory of Misenum, in a villa of
which Lucullus was once Lord. There it was discovered that his end was at
hand, by this device. In his train was a physician, his name Charicles,
signal in his profession, one, in truth, not employed to govern the
Prince's health, but wont however to afford his counsel and skill.
Charicles, as if he were departing to attend his own affairs, under the
appearance of paying duty and kissing his hands, touched his pulse. But
the artifice beguiled not Tiberius; for he instantly ordered the
entertainment to be served up; whether incensed, and thence the more
smothering his wrath, is uncertain: but, at table he continued beyond his
wont, as if he meant that honour only for a farewell to his friend. But
for all this Charicles satisfied Macro, "that the flame of life was
expiring, and could not outlast two days." Hence the whole court was
filled with close consultations, and expresses were despatched to the
generals and armies. On the 16th of March, so deep a swoon seized him,
that he was believed to have paid the last debt of mortality: insomuch
that Caligula, in the midst of a great throng, paying their
congratulations, was already appearing abroad, to assume the first offices
of sovereignty, when sudden notice came, "that Tiberius had recovered his
sight and voice, and, to strengthen his fainting spirits, had called for
some refreshment." Hence dread seized all, and the whole concourse about
Caligula dispersed, every man resuming false sorrow, or feigning
ignorance: he himself was struck speechless, and thus fallen from the
highest hopes, waited for present death. Macro continued undismayed, and
ordering the apartment to be cleared, caused the feeble old man to be
smothered with a weight of coverings. Thus expired Tiberius in the
seventy-eighth year of his age.

He was the son of Nero, and on both sides a branch of the Claudian House;
though his mother had been ingrafted by adoptions into the Livian, and
next into the Julian stock. From his first infancy, his life was chequered
by various turns and perils: for, then he followed, like an exile, his
proscribed father; and when taken in quality of a step-son into the family
of Augustus, he long struggled there with many potent rivals, during the
lives of Marcellus and Agrippa; next of the young Caesars, Caius and
Lucius. His brother Drusus too eclipsed him, and possessed more eminently
the hearts of the Roman People. But above all, his marriage with Julia,
most egregiously threatened and distressed him; whether he bore the
prostitutions of his wife, or relinquished the daughter of Augustus. Upon
his return thereafter from Rhodes, he occupied for twelve years the
Prince's family, now bereft of heirs, and nigh four-and-twenty ruled the
Roman State. His manners also varied with the several junctures of his
fortune: he was well esteemed while yet a private man; and, in discharging
public dignities under Augustus, of signal reputation: covert and
subdolous in feigning virtue so long as Germanicus and Drusus survived: a
mixed character of good and evil during the days of his mother: detestably
cruel; but secret in his lewdness, while he loved or feared Sejanus: at
last he abandoned himself, at once, to the rage of tyranny and the sway of
his lusts: for, he had then conquered all the checks of shame and fear,
and thenceforth followed only the bent of his own abominable spirit.


The whole of Germany is thus bounded; separated from Gaul, from Rhoetia
and Pannonia, by the rivers Rhine and Danube; from Sarmatia and Dacia by
mutual fear, or by high mountains: the rest is encompassed by the ocean,
which forms huge bays, and comprehends a tract of islands immense in
extent: for we have lately known certain nations and kingdoms there, such
as the war discovered. The Rhine rising in the Rhoetian Alps from a summit
altogether rocky and perpendicular, after a small winding towards the
west, is lost in the Northern Ocean. The Danube issues out of the mountain
Abnoba, one very high but very easy of ascent, and traversing several
nations, falls by six streams into the Euxine Sea; for its seventh channel
is absorbed in the Fenns.

The Germans, I am apt to believe, derive their original from no other
people; and are nowise mixed with different nations arriving amongst them:
since anciently those who went in search of new dwellings, travelled not
by land, but were carried in fleets; and into that mighty ocean so
boundless, and, as I may call it, so repugnant and forbidding, ships from
our world rarely enter. Moreover, besides the dangers from a sea
tempestuous, horrid and unknown, who would relinquish Asia, or Africa, or
Italy, to repair to Germany, a region hideous and rude, under a rigorous
climate, dismal to behold or to manure; [Footnote: To cultivate.] unless
the same were his native country? In their old ballads (which amongst them
are the only sort of registers and history) they celebrate _Tuisto_, a God
sprung from the earth, and _Mannus_ his son, as the fathers and founders
of the nation. To _Mannus_ they assign three sons, after whose names so
many people are called; the Ingaevones, dwelling next the ocean; the
Herminones, in the middle country; and all the rest, Istaevones. Some,
borrowing a warrant from the darkness of antiquity, maintain that the God
had more sons, that thence came more denominations of people, the
Marsians, Cambrians, Suevians, and Vandalians, and that these are the
names truly genuine and original. For the rest, they affirm Germany to be
a recent word, lately bestowed: for that those who first passed the Rhine
and expulsed the Gauls, and are now named Tungrians, were then called
Germans: and thus by degrees the name of a tribe prevailed, not that of
the nation; so that by an appellation at first occasioned by terror and
conquest, they afterwards chose to be distinguished, and assuming a name
lately invented were universally called _Germans_.

They have a tradition that Hercules also had been in their country, and
him above all other heroes they extol in their songs when they advance to
battle. Amongst them too are found that kind of verses by the recital of
which (by them called _Barding_) they inspire bravery; nay, by such
chanting itself they divine the success of the approaching fight. For,
according to the different din of the battle, they urge furiously, or
shrink timorously. Nor does what they utter, so much seem to be singing as
the voice and exertion of valour. They chiefly study a tone fierce and
harsh, with a broken and unequal murmur, and therefore apply their shields
to their mouths, whence the voice may by rebounding swell with greater
fulness and force. Besides there are some of opinion, that Ulysses, whilst
he wandered about in his long and fabulous voyages, was carried into this
ocean and entered Germany, and that by him Asciburgium was founded and
named, a city at this day standing and inhabited upon the bank of the
Rhine: nay, that in the same place was formerly found an altar dedicated
to Ulysses, with the name of his father Laertes added to his own, and that
upon the confines of Germany and Rhoetia are still extant certain
monuments and tombs inscribed with Greek characters. Traditions these
which I mean not either to confirm with arguments of my own or to refute.
Let every one believe or deny the same according to his own bent.

For myself, I concur in opinion with such as suppose the people of Germany
never to have mingled by inter-marriages with other nations, but to have
remained a people pure, and independent, and resembling none but
themselves. Hence amongst such a mighty multitude of men, the same make
and form is found in all, eyes stern and blue, yellow hair, huge bodies,
but vigorous only in the first onset. Of pains and labour they are not
equally patient, nor can they at all endure thrift and heat. To bear
hunger and cold they are hardened by their climate and soil.

Their lands, however somewhat different in aspect, yet taken all together
consist of gloomy forests or nasty marshes; lower and moister towards the
confines of Gaul, more mountainous and windy towards Noricum and Pannonia;
very apt to bear grain, but altogether unkindly to fruit trees; abounding
in flocks and herds, but generally small of growth. Nor even in their oxen
is found the usual stateliness, no more than the natural ornaments and
grandeur of head. In the number of their herds they rejoice; and these are
their only, these their most desirable riches. Silver and gold the Gods
have denied them, whether in mercy or in wrath, I am unable to determine.
Yet I would not venture to aver that in Germany no vein of gold or silver
is produced; for who has ever searched? For the use and possession, it is
certain they care not. Amongst them indeed are to be seen vessels of
silver, such as have been presented to their Princes and Ambassadors, but
holden in no other esteem than vessels made of earth. The Germans however
adjoining to our frontiers value gold and silver for the purposes of
commerce, and are wont to distinguish and prefer certain of our coins.
They who live more remote are more primitive and simple in their dealings,
and exchange one commodity for another. The money which they like is the
old and long known, that indented, [Footnote: With milled edges.] or that
impressed with a chariot and two horses. Silver too is what they seek more
than gold, from no fondness or preference, but because small pieces are
more ready in purchasing things cheap and common.

Neither in truth do they abound in iron, as from the fashion of their
weapons may be gathered. Swords they rarely use, or the larger spear. They
carry javelins or, in their own language, _framms_, pointed with a piece
of iron short and narrow, but so sharp and manageable, that with the same
weapon they can fight at a distance or hand to hand, just as need
requires. Nay, the horsemen also are content with a shield and a javelin.
The foot throw likewise weapons missive, each particular is armed with
many, and hurls them a mighty space, all naked or only wearing a light
cassock. In their equipment they show no ostentation; only that their
shields are diversified and adorned with curious colours. With coats of
mail very few are furnished, and hardly upon any is seen a headpiece or
helmet. Their horses are nowise signal either in fashion or in fleetness;
nor taught to wheel and bound, according to the practice of the Romans:
they only move them forward in a line, or turn them right about, with such
compactness and equality that no one is ever behind the rest. To one who
considers the whole it is manifest, that in their foot their principal
strength lies, and therefore they fight intermixed with the horse: for
such is their swiftness as to match and suit with the motions and
engagements of the cavalry. So that the infantry are elected from amongst
the most robust of their youth, and placed in front of the army. The
number to be sent is also ascertained, out of every village _an hundred_,
and by this very name they continue to be called at home, _those of the
hundred band_: thus what was at first no more than a number, becomes
thenceforth a title and distinction of honour. In arraying their army,
they divide the whole into distinct battalions formed sharp in front. To
recoil in battle, provided you return again to the attack, passes with
them rather for policy than fear. Even when the combat is no more than
doubtful, they bear away the bodies of their slain. The most glaring
disgrace that can befall them, is to have quitted their shield; nor to one
branded with such ignominy is it lawful to join in their sacrifices, or to
enter into their assemblies; and many who had escaped in the day of
battle, have hanged themselves to put an end to this their infamy.

In the choice of kings they are determined by the splendour of their race,
in that of generals by their bravery. Neither is the power of their kings
unbounded or arbitrary: and their generals procure obedience not so much
by the force of their authority as by that of their example, when they
appear enterprising and brave, when they signalise themselves by courage
and prowess; and if they surpass all in admiration and pre-eminence, if
they surpass all at the head of an army. But to none else but the Priests
is it allowed to exercise correction, or to inflict bonds or stripes. Nor
when the Priests do this, is the same considered as a punishment, or
arising from the orders of the general, but from the immediate command of
the Deity, Him whom they believe to accompany them in war. They therefore
carry with them when going to fight, certain images and figures taken out
of their holy groves. What proves the principal incentive to their valour
is, that it is not at random nor by the fortuitous conflux of men that
their troops and pointed battalions are formed, but by the conjunction of
whole families, and tribes of relations. Moreover, close to the field of
battle are lodged all the nearest and most interesting pledges of nature.
Hence they hear the doleful howlings of their wives, hence the cries of
their tender infants. These are to each particular the witnesses whom he
most reverences and dreads; these yield him the praise which affect him
most. Their wounds and maims they carry to their mothers, or to their
wives, neither are their mothers or wives shocked in telling, or in
sucking their bleeding sores. [Footnote: Nec illae numerare aut exigere
plagas pavent.] Nay, to their husbands and sons whilst engaged in battle,
they administer meat and encouragement.

In history we find, that some armies already yielding and ready to fly,
have been by the women restored, through their inflexible importunity and
entreaties, presenting their breasts, and showing their impending
captivity; an evil to the Germans then by far most dreadful when it
befalls their women. So that the spirit of such cities as amongst their
hostages are enjoined to send their damsels of quality, is always engaged
more effectually than that of others. They even believe them endowed with
something celestial and the spirit of prophecy. Neither do they disdain to
consult them, nor neglect the responses which they return. In the reign of
the deified Vespasian, we have seen _Veleda_ for a long time, and by many
nations, esteemed and adored as a divinity. In times past they likewise
worshipped _Aurinia_ and several more, from no complaisance or effort of
flattery, nor as Deities of their own creating.

Of all the Gods, Mercury is he whom they worship most. To him on certain
stated days it is lawful to offer even human victims. Hercules and Mars
they appease with beasts usually allowed for sacrifice. Some of the
Suevians make likewise immolations to _Isis_, Concerning the cause and
original of this foreign sacrifice I have found small light; unless the
figure of her image formed like a galley, show that such devotion arrived
from abroad. For the rest, from the grandeur and majesty of beings
celestial, they judge it altogether unsuitable to hold the Gods enclosed
within walls, or to represent them under any human likeness. They
consecrate whole woods and groves, and by the names of the Gods they call
these recesses; divinities these, which only in contemplation and mental
reverence they behold.

To the use of lots and auguries, they are addicted beyond all other
nations. Their method of divining by lots is exceeding simple. From a tree
which bears fruit they cut a twig, and divide it into two small pieces.
These they distinguish by so many several marks, and throw them at random
and without order upon a white garment. Then the Priest of the community,
if for the public the lots are consulted, or the father of a family if
about a private concern, after he has solemnly invoked the Gods, with eyes
lifted up to heaven, takes up every piece thrice, and having done thus
forms a judgment according to the marks before made. If the chances have
proved forbidding, they are no more consulted upon the same affair during
the same day: even when they are inviting, yet, for confirmation, the
faith of auguries too is tried. Yea, here also is the known practice of
divining events from the voices and flight of birds. But to this nation it
is peculiar, to learn presages and admonitions divine from horses also.
These are nourished by the State in the same sacred woods and groves, all
milk-white and employed in no earthly labour. These yoked in the holy
chariot, are accompanied by the Priest and the King, or the Chief of the
community, who both carefully observe his actions and neighing. Nor in any
sort of augury is more faith and assurance reposed, not by the populace
only, but even by the nobles, even by the Priests. These account
themselves the ministers of the Gods, and the horses privy to his will.
They have likewise another method of divination, whence to learn the issue
of great and mighty wars. From the nation with whom they are at war they
contrive, it avails not how, to gain a captive: him they engage in combat
with one selected from amongst themselves, each armed after the manner of
his country, and according as the victory falls to this or to the other,
gather a presage of the whole.

Affairs of smaller moment the chiefs determine: about matters of higher
consequence the whole nation deliberates; yet in such sort, that whatever
depends upon the pleasure and decision of the people, is examined and
discussed by the chiefs. Where no accident or emergency intervenes, they
assemble upon stated days, either when the moon changes, or is full: since
they believe such seasons to be the most fortunate for beginning all
transactions. Neither in reckoning of time do they count, like us, the
number of days but that of nights. In this style their ordinances are
framed, in this style their diets appointed; and with them the night seems
to lead and govern the day. From their extensive liberty this evil and
default flows, that they meet not at once, nor as men commanded and afraid
to disobey; so that often the second day, nay often the third, is consumed
through the slowness of the members in assembling. They sit down as they
list, promiscuously, like a crowd, and all armed. It is by the Priests
that silence is enjoined, and with the power of correction the Priests are
then invested. Then the King or Chief is heard, as are others, each
according to his precedence in age, or in nobility, or in warlike renown,
or in eloquence; and the influence of every speaker proceeds rather from
his ability to persuade than from any authority to command. If the
proposition displease, they reject it by an inarticulate murmur: if it be
pleasing, they brandish their javelins. The most honourable manner of
signifying their assent, is to express their applause by the sound of
their arms.

In the assembly it is allowed to present accusations, and to prosecute
capital offences. Punishments vary according to the quality of the crime.
Traitors and deserters they hang upon trees. Cowards, and sluggards, and
unnatural prostitutes they smother in mud and bogs under an heap of
hurdles. Such diversity in their executions has this view, that in
punishing of glaring iniquities, it behoves likewise to display them to
sight: but effeminacy and pollution must be buried and concealed. In
lighter transgressions too the penalty is measured by the fault, and the
delinquents upon conviction are condemned to pay a certain number of
horses or cattle. Part of this mulct accrues to the King or to the
community, part to him whose wrongs are vindicated, or to his next
kindred. In the same assemblies are also chosen their chiefs or rulers,
such as administer justice in their villages and boroughs. To each of
these are assigned an hundred persons chosen from amongst the populace, to
accompany and assist him, men who help him at once with their authority
and their counsel.

Without being armed they transact nothing, whether of public or private
concernment. But it is repugnant to their custom for any man to use arms,
before the community has attested his capacity to wield them. Upon such
testimonial, either one of the rulers, or his father, or some kinsman
dignify the young man in the midst of the assembly, with a shield and
javelin. This amongst them is the _manly robe_, this the first degree of
honour conferred upon their youth. Before this they seem no more than part
of a private family, but thenceforward part of the Commonweal. The
princely dignity they confer even upon striplings, whose race is eminently
noble, or whose fathers have done great and signal services to the State.
For about the rest, who are more vigorous and long since tried, they crowd
to attend: nor is it any shame to be seen amongst the followers of these.
Nay, there are likewise degrees of followers, higher or lower, just as he
whom they follow judges fit. Mighty too is the emulation amongst these
followers, of each to be first in favour with his Prince; mighty also the
emulation of the Princes, to excel in the number and valour of followers.
This is their principal state, this their chief force, to be at all times
surrounded with a huge band of chosen young men, for ornament and glory in
peace, for security and defence in war. Nor is it amongst his own people
only, but even from the neighbouring communities, that any of their
Princes reaps so much renown and a name so great, when he surpasses in the
number and magnanimity of his followers. For such are courted by
Embassies, and distinguished with presents, and by the terror of their
fame alone often dissipate wars.

In the day of battle, it is scandalous to the Prince to be surpassed in
feats of bravery, scandalous to his followers to fail in matching the
bravery of the Prince. But it is infamy during life, and indelible
reproach, to return alive from a battle where their Prince was slain. To
preserve their Prince, to defend him, and to ascribe to his glory all
their own valorous deeds, is the sum and most sacred part of their oath.
The Princes fight for victory; for the Prince his followers fight. Many of
the young nobility, when their own community comes to languish in its
vigour by long peace and inactivity, betake themselves through impatience
to other States which then prove to be in war. For, besides that this
people cannot brook repose, besides that by perilous adventures they more
quickly blazon their fame, they cannot otherwise than by violence and war
support their huge train of retainers. For from the liberality of their
Prince, they demand and enjoy that _war-horse_ of theirs, with that
_victorious javelin_ dyed in the blood of their enemies. In the place of
pay, they are supplied with a daily table and repasts; though grossly
prepared, yet very profuse. For maintaining such liberality and
munificence, a fund is furnished by continual wars and plunder. Nor could
you so easily persuade them to cultivate the ground, or to await the
return of the seasons and produce of the year, as to provoke the foe and
to risk wounds and death: since stupid and spiritless they account it, to
acquire by their sweat what they can gain by their blood.

Upon any recess from war, they do not much attend the chase. Much more of
their time they pass in indolence, resigned to sleep and repasts.
[Footnote: "Dediti somno, ciboque:" handed over to sloth and gluttony.]
All the most brave, all the most warlike, apply to nothing at all; but to
their wives, to the ancient men, and to every the most impotent domestic,
trust all the care of their house, and of their lands and possessions.
They themselves loiter. [Footnote: Are rude and lazy.] Such is the amazing
diversity of their nature, that in the same men is found so much delight
in sloth, with so much enmity to tranquillity and repose. The communities
are wont, of their own accord and man by man, to bestow upon their Princes
a certain number of beasts, or a certain portion of grain; a contribution
which passes indeed for a mark of reverence and honour, but serves also to
supply their necessities. They chiefly rejoice in the gifts which come
from the bordering countries, such as are sent not only by particulars but
in the name of the State; curious horses, splendid armour, rich harness,
with collars of silver and gold. Now too they have learnt, what we have
taught them, to receive money.

That none of the several people in Germany live together in cities, is
abundantly known; nay, that amongst them none of their dwellings are
suffered to be contiguous. They inhabit apart and distinct, just as a
fountain, or a field, or a wood happened to invite them to settle. They
raise their villages in opposite rows, but not in our manner with the
houses joined one to another. Every man has a vacant space quite round his
own, whether for security against accidents from fire, or that they want
the art of building. With them in truth, is unknown even the use of mortar
and of tiles. In all their structures they employ materials quite gross
and unhewn, void of fashion and comeliness. Some parts they besmear with
an earth so pure and resplendent, that it resembles painting and colours.
They are likewise wont to scoop caves deep in the ground, and over them to
lay great heaps of dung. Thither they retire for shelter in the winter,
and thither convey their grain: for by such close places they mollify the
rigorous and excessive cold. Besides when at any time their enemy invades
them, he can only ravage the open country, but either knows not such
recesses as are invisible and subterraneous; or must suffer them to escape
him, on this very account that he is uncertain where to find them.

For their covering a mantle is what they all wear, fastened with a clasp
or, for want of it, with a thorn. As far as this reaches not they are
naked, and lie whole days before the fire. The most wealthy are
distinguished with a vest, not one large and flowing like those of
Sarmatians and Parthians, but girt close about them and expressing the
proportion of every limb. They likewise wear the skins of savage beasts, a
dress which those bordering upon the Rhine use without any fondness or
delicacy, but about which such who live further in the country are more
curious, as void of all apparel introduced by commerce. They choose
certain wild beasts, and, having flayed them, diversify their hides with
many spots, as also with the skins of monsters from the deep, such as are
engendered in the distant ocean and in seas unknown. Neither does the
dress of the women differ from that of the men, save that the women are
orderly attired in linen embroidered with purple, and use no sleeves, so
that all their arms are bare. The upper part of their breast is withal
exposed. Yet the laws of matrimony are severely observed there; nor in
the whole of their manners is ought more praiseworthy than this: for they
are almost the only Barbarians contented with one wife, excepting a very
few amongst them; men of dignity who marry divers wives, from no
wantonness or lubricity, but courted for the lustre of their family into
many alliances.

To the husband, the wife tenders no dowry; but the husband, to the wife.
The parents and relations attend and declare their approbation of the
presents, not presents adapted to feminine pomp and delicacy, nor such as
serve to deck the new married woman; but oxen and horse accoutred, and a
shield, with a javelin and sword. By virtue of these gifts, she is
espoused. She too on her part brings her husband some arms. This they
esteem the highest tie, these the holy mysteries, and matrimonial Gods.
That the woman may not suppose herself free from the considerations of
fortitude and fighting, or exempt from the casualties of war, the very
first solemnities of her wedding serve to warn her, that she comes to her
husband as a partner in his hazards and fatigues, that she is to suffer
alike with him, to adventure alike, during peace or during war. This the
oxen joined in the same yoke plainly indicate, this the horse ready
equipped, this the present of arms. 'Tis thus she must be content to live,
thus to resign life. The arms which she then receives she must preserve
inviolate, and to her sons restore the same, as presents worthy of them,
such as their wives may again receive, and still resign to her

They therefore live in a state of chastity well secured; corrupted by no
seducing shows and public diversions, by no irritations from banqueting.
Of learning and of any secret intercourse by letters, they are all equally
ignorant, men and women. Amongst a people so numerous, adultery is
exceeding rare; a crime instantly punished, and the punishment left to be
inflicted by the husband. He, having cut off her hair, expells her from
his house naked, in presence of her kindred, and pursues her with stripes
throughout the village. For, to a woman who has prostituted her person, no
pardon is ever granted. However beautiful she be, however young, however
abounding in wealth, a husband she can never find. In truth, nobody turns
vices into mirth there, nor is the practice of corrupting and of yielding
to corruption, called the custom of the Age. Better still do those
communities, in which none but virgins marry, and where to a single
marriage all their views and inclinations are at once confined. Thus, as
they have but one body and one life, they take but one husband, that
beyond him they may have no thought, no further wishes, nor love him only
as their husband but as their marriage. [Footnote: "Sed tamquam
matrimonium ament."] To restrain generation and the increase of children,
is esteemed an abominable sin, as also to kill infants newly born. And
more powerful with them are good manners, than with other people are good

In all their houses the children are reared naked and nasty; and thus grow
into those limbs, into that bulk, which with marvel we behold. They are
all nourished with the milk of their own mothers, and never surrendered to
handmaids and nurses. The lord you cannot discern from the slave, by any
superior delicacy in rearing. Amongst the same cattle they promiscuously
live, upon the same ground they without distinction lie, till at a proper
age the free-born are parted from the rest, and their bravery recommend
them to notice. Slow and late do the young men come to the use of women,
and thus very long preserve the vigour of youth. Neither are the virgins
hastened to wed. They must both have the same sprightly youth, the like
stature, and marry when equal and able-bodied. Thus the robustness of the
parents is inherited by the children. Children are holden in the same
estimation with their mother's brother, as with their father. Some hold
this tie of blood to be most inviolable and binding, and in receiving of
hostages, such pledges are most considered and claimed, as they who at
once possess affections the most unalienable, and the most diffuse
interest in their family. To every man, however, his own children are
heirs and successors: wills they make none: for want of children his next
akin inherits; his own brothers, those of his father, or those of his
mother. To ancient men, the more they abound in descendants, in relations
and affinities, so much the more favour and reverence accrues. From being
childless, no advantage nor estimation is derived.

All the enmities of your house, whether of your father or of your kindred,
you must necessarily adopt; as well as all their friendships. Neither are
such enmities unappeasable and permanent: since even for so great a crime
as homicide, compensation is made by a fixed number of sheep and cattle,
and by it the whole family is pacified to content. A temper this,
wholesome to the State; because to a free nation, animosities and faction
are always more menacing and perilous. In social feasts, and deeds of
hospitality, no nation upon earth was ever more liberal and abounding. To
refuse admitting under your roof any man whatsoever, is held wicked and
inhuman. Every man receives every comer, and treats him with repasts as
large as his ability can possibly furnish. When the whole stock is
consumed, he who had treated so hospitably guides and accompanies his
guest to a new scene of hospitality; and both proceed to the next house,
though neither of them invited. Nor avails it, that they were not: they
are there received, with the same frankness and humanity. Between a
stranger and an acquaintance, in dispensing the rules and benefits of
hospitality, no difference is made. Upon your departure, if you ask
anything, it is the custom to grant it; and with the same facility, they
ask of you. In gifts they delight, but neither claim merit from what they
give, nor own any obligation for what they receive. Their manner of
entertaining their guests is familiar and kind.

The moment they rise from sleep, which they generally prolong till late in
the day, they bathe, most frequently in warm water; as in a country where
the winter is very long and severe. From bathing, they sit down to meat;
every man apart, upon a particular seat, and at a separate table. They
then proceed to their affairs, all in arms; as in arms, they no less
frequently go to banquet. To continue drinking night and day without
intermission, is a reproach to no man. Frequent then are their broils, as
usual amongst men intoxicated with liquor; and such broils rarely
terminate in angry words, but for the most part in maimings and slaughter.
Moreover in these their feasts, they generally deliberate about
reconciling parties at enmity, about forming affinities, choosing of
Princes, and finally about peace and war. For they judge, that at no
season is the soul more open to thoughts that are artless and upright, or
more fired with such as are great and bold. This people, of themselves
nowise subtile or politic, from the freedom of the place and occasion
acquire still more frankness to disclose the most secret motions and
purposes of their hearts. When therefore the minds of all have been once
laid open and declared, on the day following the several sentiments are
revised and canvassed; and to both conjectures of time, due regard is had.
They consult, when they know not how to dissemble; they determine, when
they cannot mistake.

For their drink, they draw a liquor from barley or other grain; and
ferment the same, so as to make it resemble wine. Nay, they who dwell upon
the bank of the Rhine deal in wine. Their food is very simple; wild fruit,
fresh venison, or coagulated milk. They banish hunger without formality,
without curious dressing and curious fare. In extinguishing thirst, they
use not equal temperance. If you will but humour their excess in drinking,
and supply them with as much as they covet, it will be no less easy to
vanquish them by vices than by arms.

Of public diversions they have but one sort, and in all their meetings the
same is still exhibited. Young men, such, as make it their pastime, fling
themselves naked and dance amongst sharp swords and the deadly points of
javelins. From habit they acquire their skill, and from their skill a
graceful manner; yet from hence draw no gain or hire: though this
adventurous gaiety has its reward, namely, that of pleasing the
spectators. What is marvellous, playing at dice is one of their most
serious employments; and even sober, they are gamesters: nay, so
desperately do they venture upon the chance of winning or losing, that
when their whole substance is played away, they stake their liberty and
their persons upon one and the last throw. The loser goes calmly into
voluntary bondage. However younger he be, however stronger, he tamely
suffers himself to be bound and sold by the winner. Such is their
perseverance in an evil course: they themselves call it honour.

Slaves of this class, they exchange away in commerce, to free themselves
too from the shame of such a victory. Of their other slaves they make not
such use as we do of ours, by distributing amongst them the several
offices and employments of the family. Each of them has a dwelling of his
own, each a household to govern. His lord uses him like a tenant, and
obliges him to pay a quantity of grain, or of cattle, or of cloth. Thus
far only the subserviency of the slave extends. All the other duties in a
family, not the slaves, but the wives and children discharge. To inflict
stripes upon a slave, or to put him in chains, or to doom him to severe
labour, are things rarely seen. To kill them they sometimes are wont, not
through correction or government, but in heat and rage, as they would an
enemy, save that no vengeance or penalty follows. The freedmen very little
surpass the slaves, rarely are of moment in the house; in the community
never, excepting only such nations where arbitrary dominion prevails. For
there they bear higher sway than the free-born, nay, higher than the
nobles. In other countries the inferior condition of freedmen is a proof
of public liberty.

To the practice of usury and of increasing money by interest, they are
strangers; and hence is found a better guard against it, than if it were
forbidden. They shift from land to land; and, still appropriating a
portion suitable to the number of hands for manuring, anon parcel out the
whole amongst particulars according to the condition and quality of each.
As the plains are very spacious, the allotments are easily assigned. Every
year they change, and cultivate a fresh soil; yet still there is ground to
spare. For they strive not to bestow labour proportionable to the
fertility and compass of their lands, by planting orchards, by enclosing
meadows, by watering gardens. From the earth, corn only is exacted. Hence
they quarter not the year into so many seasons. Winter, Spring, and
Summer, they understand; and for each have proper appellations. Of the
name and blessings of Autumn, they are equally ignorant.

In performing their funerals, they show no state or vainglory. This only
is carefully observed, that with the corpses of their signal men certain
woods be burned. Upon the funeral pile they accumulate neither apparel nor
perfumes. Into the fire, are always thrown the arms of the dead, and
sometimes his horse. With sods of earth only the sepulchre is raised. The
pomp of tedious and elaborate monuments they contemn, as things grievous
to the deceased. Tears and wailings they soon dismiss: their affliction
and woe they long retain. In women, it is reckoned becoming to bewail
their loss; in men, to remember it. This is what in general we have
learned, in the original and customs of the whole people of Germany. I
shall now deduce the institutions and usages of the several people, as far
as they vary one from another; as also an account of what nations from
thence removed, to settle themselves in Gaul.

That the Gauls were in times past more puissant and formidable, is related
by the Prince of authors, the deified Julius; [Footnote: Julius Caesar.]
and hence it is probable that they too have passed into Germany. For what
a small obstacle must be a river, to restrain any nation, as each grew
more potent, from seizing or changing habitations; when as yet all
habitations were common, and not parted or appropriated by the founding
and terror of Monarchies? The region therefore between the Hercynian
Forest and the rivers Moenus [Footnote: Main.] and Rhine, was occupied by
the Helvetians; as was that beyond it by the Boians, both nations of Gaul.
There still remains a place called _Boiemum_, which denotes the primitive
name and antiquity of the country, although the inhabitants have been
changed. But whether the Araviscans are derived from the Osians, a nation
of Germans passing into Pannonia, or the Osians from the Araviscans
removing from thence into Germany, is a matter undecided; since they both
still use the language, the same customs and the same laws. For, as of old
they lived alike poor and alike free, equal proved the evils and
advantages on each side the river, and common to both people. The
Treverians and Nervians aspire passionately to the reputation of being
descended from the Germans; since by the glory of this original, they
would escape all imputation of resembling the Gauls in person and
effeminacy. Such as dwell upon the bank of the Rhine, the Vangiones, the
Tribocians, and the Nemetes, are without doubt all Germans. The Ubians are
ashamed of their original; though they have a particular honour to boast,
that of having merited an establishment as a Roman Colony, and still
delight to be called _Agrippinensians_, after the name of their founder:
they indeed formerly came from beyond the Rhine, and, for the many proofs
of their fidelity, were settled upon the very bank of the river; not to be
there confined or guarded themselves, but to guard and defend that
boundary against the rest of the Germans.

Of all these nations, the Batavians are the most signal in bravery. They
inhabit not much territory upon the Rhine, but possess an island in it.
They were formerly part of the Cattans, and by means of feuds at home
removed to these dwellings; whence they might become a portion of the
Roman Empire. With them this honour still remains, as also the memorials
of their ancient association with us: for they are not under the contempt
of paying tribute, nor subject to be squeezed by the farmers of the
revenue. Free from all impositions and payments, and only set apart for
the purposes of fighting, they are reserved wholly for the wars, in the
same manner as a magazine of weapons and armour. Under the same degree of
homage are the nation of the Mattiacians. For such is the might and
greatness of the Roman People, as to have carried the awe and esteem of
their Empire beyond the Rhine and the ancient boundaries. Thus the
Mattiacians, living upon the opposite banks, enjoy a settlement and limits
of their own; yet in spirit and inclination are attached to us: in other
things resembling the Batavians, save that as they still breathe their
original air, still possess their primitive soil, they are thence inspired
with superior vigour and keenness. Amongst the people of Germany I would
not reckon those who occupy the lands which are under decimation, though
they be such as dwell beyond the Rhine and the Danube. By several
worthless and vagabond Gauls, and such as poverty rendered daring, that
region was seized as one belonging to no certain possessor: afterwards it
became a skirt of the Empire and part of a province, upon the enlargement
of our bounds and the extending of our garrisons and frontier.

Beyond these are the Cattans, whose territories begin at the Hercynian
Forest, and consist not of such wide and marshy plains, as those of the
other communities contained within the vast compass of Germany; but
produce ranges of hills, such as run lofty and contiguous for a long
tract, then by degrees sink and decay. Moreover the Hercynian Forest
attends for a while its native Cattans, then suddenly forsakes them. This
people are distinguished with bodies more hardy and robust, compact limbs,
stern countenances, and greater vigour of spirit. For Germans, they are
men of much sense and address. [Footnote: "Leur intelligence et leur
finesse tonnent, dans des Germains."] They dignify chosen men, listen to
such as are set over them, know how to preserve their post, to discern
occasions, to rebate their own ardour and impatience; how to employ the
day, how to entrench themselves by night. They account fortune amongst
things slippery and uncertain, but bravery amongst such as are never-
failing and secure; and, what is exceeding rare nor ever to be learnt but
by a wholesome course of discipline, in the conduct of the general they
repose more assurance than in the strength of the army. Their whole forces
consist of foot, who besides their arms carry likewise instruments of iron
and their provisions. You may see other Germans proceed equipped to
battle, but the Cattans so as to conduct a war. [Footnote: "Alios ad
proelium ire videas, Chattos ad bellum."] They rarely venture upon
excursions or casual encounters. It is in truth peculiar to cavalry,
suddenly to conquer, or suddenly to fly. Such haste and velocity rather
resembles fear. Patience and deliberation are more akin to intrepidity.

Moreover a custom, practised indeed in other nations of Germany, yet very
rarely and confined only to particulars more daring than the rest,
prevails amongst the Cattans by universal consent. As soon as they arrive
to maturity of years, they let their hair and beards continue to grow, nor
till they have slain an enemy do they ever lay aside this form of
countenance by vow sacred to valour. Over the blood and spoil of a foe
they make bare their face. They allege, that they have now acquitted
themselves of the debt and duty contracted by their birth, and rendered
themselves worthy of their country, worthy of their parents. Upon the
spiritless, cowardly and unwarlike, such deformity of visage still
remains. [Footnote: "Manet squalor."] All the most brave likewise wear an
iron ring (a mark of great dishonour this in that nation) and retain it as
a chain; till by killing an enemy they become released. Many of the
Cattans delight always to bear this terrible aspect; and, when grown white
through age, become awful and conspicuous by such marks, both to the enemy
and their own countrymen. By them in all engagements the first assault is
made: of them the front of the battle is always composed, as men who in
their looks are singular and tremendous. For even during peace they abate
nothing in the grimness and horror of their countenance. They have no
house to inhabit, no land to cultivate, nor any domestic charge or care.
With whomsoever they come to sojourn, by him they are maintained; always
very prodigal of the substance of others, always despising what is their
own, till the feebleness of old age overtakes them, and renders them
unequal to the efforts of such rigid bravery.

Next to the Cattans, dwell the Usipians and Tencterians; upon the Rhine
now running in a channel uniform and certain, such as suffices for a
boundary. The Tencterians, besides their wonted glory in war, surpass in
the service and discipline of their cavalry. Nor do the Cattans derive
higher applause from their foot, than the Tencterians from their horse.
Such was the order established by their forefathers, and what their
posterity still pursue. From riding and exercising of horses, their
children borrow their pastimes; in this exercise the young men find matter
for emulating one another, and in this the old men take pleasure to
persevere. Horses are by the father bequeathed as part of his household
and family, horses are conveyed amongst the rights of succession, and as
such the son receives them; but not the eldest son, like other effects, by
priority of birth, but he who happens to be signal in boldness and
superior in war.

Contiguous to the Tencterians formerly dwelt the Bructerians, in whose
room it is said the Chamavians and Angrivarians are now settled; they who
expulsed and almost extirpated the Bructerians, with the concurrence of
the neighbouring nations: whether in detestation of their arrogance, or
allured by the love of spoil, or through the special favour of the Gods
towards us Romans. They in truth even vouchsafed to gratify us with the
sight of the battle. In it there fell above sixty thousand souls, without
a blow struck by the Romans; but, what is a circumstance still more
glorious, fell to furnish them with a spectacle of joy and recreation. May
the Gods continue and perpetuate amongst these nations, if not any love
for us, yet by all means this their animosity and hate towards each other:
since whilst the destiny of the Empire thus urges it, fortune cannot more
signally befriend us, than in sowing strife amongst our foes.

The Angrivarians and Chamavians are enclosed behind, by the Dulgibinians
and Chasuarians; and by other nations not so much noted: before, the
Frisians face them. The country of Frisia is divided into two; called the
greater and lesser, according to the measure of their strength. Both
nations stretch along the Rhine, quite to the ocean; and surround vast
lakes such as once have borne Roman fleets. We have moreover even ventured
out from thence into the ocean, and upon its coasts common fame has
reported the pillars of Hercules to be still standing: whether it be that
Hercules ever visited these parts, or that to his renowned name we are
wont to ascribe whatever is grand and glorious everywhere. Neither did
Drusus who made the attempt, want boldness to pursue it: but the roughness
of the ocean withstood him, nor would suffer discoveries to be made about
itself, no more than about Hercules. Thenceforward the enterprise was
dropped: nay, more pious and reverential it seemed, to believe the
marvellous feats of the Gods than to know and to prove them. [Footnote:
"Coelum ipsum petimus stultitia."]

Hitherto, I have been describing Germany towards the west. To the
northward, it winds away with an immense compass. And first of all occurs
the nation of the Chaucians: who though they begin immediately at the
confines of the Frisians, and occupy part of the shore, extend so far as
to border upon all the several people whom I have already recounted; till
at last, by a circuit, they reach quite to the boundaries of the Cattans.
A region so vast, the Chaucians do not only possess but fill; a people of
all the Germans the most noble, such as would rather maintain their
grandeur by justice than violence. They live in repose, retired from
broils abroad, void of avidity to possess more, free from a spirit of
domineering over others. They provoke no wars, they ravage no countries,
they pursue no plunder. Of their bravery and power, the chief evidence
arises from hence, that, without wronging or oppressing others, they are
come to be superior to all. Yet they are all ready to arm, and if an
exigency require, armies are presently raised, powerful and abounding as
they are in men and horses; and even when they are quiet and their weapons
laid aside, their credit and name continue equally high.

Along the side of the Chaucians and Cattans dwell the Cheruscans; a people
who finding no enemy to rouse them, were enfeebled by a peace overlasting
and uniform, but such as they failed not to nourish. A conduct which
proved more pleasing than secure; since treacherous is that repose which
you enjoy amongst neighbours that are very powerful and very fond of rule
and mastership. When recourse is once had to the sword, modesty and fair
dealing will be vainly pleaded by the weaker; names these which are always
assumed by the stronger. Thus the Cheruscans, they who formerly bore the
character of _good and upright_, are now called _cowards and fools_; and
the fortune of the Cattans who subdued them, grew immediately to be
wisdom. In the ruin of the Cheruscans, the Fosians, also their neighbours,
were involved; and in their calamities bore an equal share, though in
their prosperity they had been weaker and less considered.

In the same winding tract of Germany live the Cimbrians, close to the
ocean; a community now very small, but great in fame. Nay, of their
ancient renown, many and extensive are the traces and monuments still
remaining; even their entrenchments upon either shore, so vast in compass
that from thence you may even now measure the greatness and numerous bands
of that people, and assent to the account of an army so mighty. It was on
the six hundred and fortieth year of Rome, when of the arms of the
Cimbrians the first mention was made, during the Consulship of Caecilius
Metellus and Papirius Carbo. If from that time we count to the second
Consulship of the Emperor Trajan, the interval comprehends near two
hundred and ten years; so long have we been conquering Germany. In a
course of time, so vast between these two periods, many have been the
blows and disasters suffered on each side. In truth neither from the
Samnites, nor from the Carthaginians, nor from both Spains, nor from all
the nations of Gaul, have we received more frequent checks and alarms; nor
even from the Parthians: for, more vigorous and invincible is the liberty
of the Germans than the monarchy of the Arsacides. Indeed, what has the
power of the East to allege to our dishonour; but the fall of Crassus,
that power which was itself overthrown and abased by Ventidius, with the
loss of the great King Pacorus bereft of his life? But by the Germans the
Roman People have been bereft of five armies, all commanded by Consuls; by
the Germans, the commanders of these armies, Carbo, and Cassius, and
Scaurus Aurelius, and Servilius Caepio, as also Marcus Manlius, were all
routed or taken: by the Germans even the Emperor Augustus was bereft of
Varus and three legions. Nor without difficulty and loss of men were they
defeated by Caius Marius in Italy, or by the deified Julius in Gaul, or by
Drusus or Tiberius or Germanicus in their native territories. Soon after,
the mighty menaces of Caligula against them ended in mockery and derision.
Thenceforward they continued quiet, till taking advantage of our domestic
division and civil wars, they stormed and seized the winter entrenchments
of the legions, and aimed at the dominion of Gaul; from whence they were
once more expulsed, and in the times preceding the present, we gained a
triumph over them rather than a victory.

I must now proceed to speak of the Suevians, who are not, like the Cattans
and Tencterians, comprehended in a single people; but divided into several
nations all bearing distinct names, though, in general they are entitled
Suevians, and occupy the larger share of Germany. This people are
remarkable for a peculiar custom, that of twisting their hair and binding
it up in a knot. It is thus the Suevians are distinguished from the other
Germans, thus the free Suevians from their slaves. In other nations,
whether from alliance of blood with the Suevians, or, as is usual, from
imitation, this practice is also found, yet rarely, and never exceeds the
years of youth. The Suevians, even when their hair is white through age,
continue to raise it backwards in a manner stern and staring; and often
tie it upon the top of their head only. That of their Princes, is more
accurately disposed, and so far they study to appear agreeable and comely;
but without any culpable intention. For by it, they mean not to make love
or to incite it: they thus dress when proceeding to war, and deck their
heads so as to add to their height and terror in the eyes of the enemy.

Of all the Suevians, the Semnones recount themselves to be the most
ancient and most noble. The belief of their antiquity is confirmed by
religious mysteries. At a stated time of the year, all the several people
descended from the same stock, assemble by their deputies in a wood;
consecrated by the idolatries of their forefathers, and by superstitious
awe in times of old. There by publicly sacrificing a man, they begin the
horrible solemnity of their barbarous worship. To this grove another sort
of reverence is also paid. No one enters it otherwise than bound with
ligatures, thence professing his subordination and meanness, and the power
of the Deity there. If he fall down, he is not permitted to rise or be
raised, but grovels along upon the ground. And of all their superstition,
this is the drift and tendency; that from this place the nation drew their
original, that here God, the supreme Governor of the world, resides, and
that all things else whatsoever are subject to him and bound to obey him.
The potent condition of the Semnones has increased their influence and
authority, as they inhabit an hundred towns; and from the largeness of
their community it comes, that they hold themselves for the head of the

What on the contrary ennobles the Langobards is the smallness of their
number, for that they, who are surrounded with very many and very powerful
nations, derive their security from no obsequiousness or plying; but from
the dint of battle and adventurous deeds. There follow in order the
Reudignians, and Aviones, and Angles, and Varinians, and Eudoses, and
Suardones and Nuithones; all defended by rivers or forests. Nor in one of
these nations does aught remarkable occur, only that they universally join
in the worship of _Herthum_; that is to say, the Mother Earth. Her they
believe to interpose in the affairs of men, and to visit countries. In an
island of the ocean stands the wood _Castum_; in it is a chariot dedicated
to the Goddess, covered over with a curtain, and permitted to be touched
by none but the Priest. Whenever the Goddess enters this her holy vehicle,
he perceives her; and with profound veneration attends the motion of the
chariot, which is always drawn by yoked cows. Then it is that days of
rejoicing always ensue, and in all places whatsoever which she descends to
honour with a visit and her company, feasts and recreation abound. They go
not to war; they touch no arms; fast laid up is every hostile weapon;
peace and repose are then only known, then only beloved, till to the
temple the same priest reconducts the Goddess when well tired with the
conversation of mortal beings. Anon the chariot is washed and purified in
a secret lake, as also the curtains; nay, the Deity herself too, if you
choose to believe it. In this office it is slaves who minister, and they
are forthwith doomed to be swallowed up in the same lake. Hence all men
are possessed with mysterious terror; as well as with a holy ignorance
what that must be, which none see but such as are immediately to perish.
Moreover this quarter of the Suevians stretches to the middle of Germany.

The community next adjoining, is that of the Hermondurians; (that I may
now follow the course of the Danube, as a little before I did that of the
Rhine) a people this, faithful to the Romans. So that to them alone of all
the Germans, commerce is permitted; not barely upon the bank of the Rhine,
but more extensively, and even in that glorious colony in the province of
Rhoetia. They travel everywhere at their own discretion and without a
guard; and when to other nations, we show no more than our arms and
encampments, to this people we throw open our houses and dwellings, as to
men who have no longing to possess them. In the territories of the
Hermondurians rises the Elbe, a river very famous and formerly well known
to us; at present we only hear it named.

Close by the Hermondurians reside the Nariscans, and next to them the
Marcomanians and Quadians. Amongst these the Marcomanians are most signal
in force and renown; nay, their habitation itself they acquired by their
bravery, as from thence they formerly expulsed the Boians. Nor do the
Nariscans or Quadians degenerate in spirit. Now this is as it were the
frontier of Germany, as far as Germany is washed by the Danube. To the
times within our memory the Marcomanians and Quadians were governed by
kings, who were natives of their own, descended from the noble line of
Maroboduus and Tudrus. At present they are even subject to such as are
foreigners. But the whole strength and sway of their kings is derived from
the authority of the Romans. From our arms, they rarely receive any aid;
from our money very frequently.

Nor less powerful are the several people beyond them; namely, the
Marsignians, the Gothinians, the Osians and the Burians, who altogether
enclose the Marcomanians and Quadians behind. Of those, the Marsignians
and the Burians in speech and dress resemble the Suevians. From the Gallic
language spoken by the Gothinians, and from that of Pannonia by the
Osians, it is manifest that neither of these people are Germans; as it is
also from their bearing to pay tribute. Upon them as upon aliens their
tribute is imposed, partly by the Sarmatians, partly by the Quadians. The
Gothinians, to heighten their disgrace, are forced to labour in the iron
mines. By all these several nations but little level country is possessed:
they are seated amongst forests, and upon the ridges and declivities of
mountains. For, Suevia is parted by a continual ridge of mountains; beyond
which, live many distinct nations. Of these the Lygians are most numerous
and extensive, and spread into several communities. It will suffice to
mention the most puissant; even the Arians, Helvicones, Manimians;
Elysians and Naharvalians. Amongst the Naharvalians is shown a grove,
sacred to devotion extremely ancient. Over it a Priest presides apparelled
like a woman; but according to the explication of the Romans, 'tis
_Castor_ and _Pollux_ who are here worshipped. This Divinity is named
_Alcis_. There are indeed no images here, no traces of an extraneous
superstition: yet their devotion is addressed to young men and to
brothers. Now the Aryans, besides their forces, in which they surpass the
several nations just recounted, are in their persons stern and truculent;
and even humour and improve their natural grimness and ferocity by art and
time. They wear black shields, their bodies are painted black, they choose
dark nights for engaging in battle; and by the very awe and ghastly hue of
their army, strike the enemy with dread, as none can bear this their
aspect so surprising and as it were quite infernal. For, in all battles
the eyes are vanquished first.

Beyond the Lygians dwell the Gothones, under the rule of a King; and
thence held in subjection somewhat stricter than the other German nations,
yet not so strict as to extinguish all their liberty. Immediately
adjoining are the Rugians and Lemovians upon the coast of the ocean, and
of these several nations the characteristics are a round shield, a short
sword and kingly government. Next occur the communities of the Suiones,
situated in the ocean itself; and besides their strength in men and arms,
very powerful at sea. The form of their vessels varies thus far from ours,
that they have prows at each end, so as to be always ready to row to shore
without turning; nor are they moved by sails, nor on their sides have
benches of oars placed, but the rowers ply here and there in all parts of
the ship alike, as in some rivers is done, and change their oars from
place to place, just as they shift their course hither or thither. To
wealth also, amongst them, great veneration is paid, and thence a single
ruler governs them, without all restriction of power, and exacting
unlimited obedience. Neither here, as amongst other nations of Germany,
are arms used indifferently by all, but shut up and warded under the care
of a particular keeper, who in truth too is always a slave: since from all
sudden invasions and attacks from their foes, the ocean protects them:
besides that armed bands, when they are not employed, grow easily
debauched and tumultuous. The truth is, it suits not the interest of an
arbitrary Prince, to trust the care and power of arms either with a
nobleman or with a freeman, or indeed with any man above the condition of
a slave.

Beyond the Suiones is another sea, one very heavy and almost void of
agitation; and by it the whole globe is thought to be bounded and
environed, for that the reflection of the sun, after his setting,
continues till his rising, so bright as to darken the stars. To this,
popular opinion has added, that the tumult also of his emerging from the
sea is heard, that forms divine are then seen, as likewise the rays about
his head. Only thus far extend the limits of nature, if what fame says be
true. Upon the right of the Suevian Sea the Aestyan nations reside, who
use the same customs and attire with the Suevians; their language more
resembles that of Britain. They worship the Mother of the Gods. As the
characteristic of their national superstition, they wear the images of
wild boars. This alone serves them for arms, this is the safeguard of all,
and by this every worshipper of the Goddess is secured even amidst his
foes. Rare amongst them is the use of weapons of iron, but frequent that
of clubs. In producing of grain and the other fruits of the earth, they
labour with more assiduity and patience than is suitable to the usual
laziness of Germans. Nay, they even search the deep, and of all the rest
are the only people who gather _amber_. They call it _glasing_, and find
it amongst the shallows and upon the very shore. But, according to the
ordinary incuriosity and ignorance of Barbarians, they have neither
learnt, nor do they inquire, what is its nature, or from what cause it is
produced. In truth it lay long neglected amongst the other gross
discharges of the sea; till from our luxury, it gained a name and value.
To themselves it is of no use: they gather it rough, they expose it in
pieces coarse and unpolished, and for it receive a price with wonder. You
would however conceive it to be a liquor issuing from trees, for that in
the transparent substance are often seen birds and other animals, such as
at first stuck in the soft gum, and by it, as it hardened, became quite
enclosed. I am apt to believe that, as in the recesses of the East are
found woods and groves dropping frankincense and balms, so in the isles
and continent of the West such gums are extracted by the force and
proximity of the sun; at first liquid and flowing into the next sea, then
thrown by winds and waves upon the opposite shore. If you try the nature
of amber by the application of fire, it kindles like a torch; and feeds a
thick and unctuous flame very high scented, and presently becomes
glutinous like pitch or rosin.

Upon the Suiones, border the people Sitones; and, agreeing with them in
all other things, differ from them in one, that here the sovereignty is
exercised by a woman. So notoriously do they degenerate not only from a
state of liberty, but even below a state of bondage. Here end the
territories of the Suevians.

Whether amongst the Sarmatians or the Germans I ought to account the
Peucinians, the Venedians, and the Fennians, is what I cannot determine;
though the Peucinians, whom some call Basstarnians, speak the same
language with the Germans, use the same attire, build like them, and live
like them, in that dirtiness and sloth so common to all. Somewhat they are
corrupted into the fashion of the Sarmatians by the intermarriages of the
principal sort with that nation: from whence the Venedians have derived
very many of their customs and a great resemblance. For they are
continually traversing and infesting with robberies all the forests and
mountains lying between the Peucinians and Fennians. Yet they are rather
reckoned amongst the Germans, for that they have fixed houses, and carry
shields, and prefer travelling on foot, and excel in swiftness. Usages
these, all widely differing from those of the Sarmatians, who live on
horseback and dwell in waggons. In wonderful savageness live the nation of
the Fennians, and in beastly poverty, destitute of arms, of horses, and of
homes; their food, the common herbs; their apparel, skins; their bed, the
earth; their only hope in their arrows, which for want of iron they point
with bones. Their common support they have from the chase, women as well
as men; for with these the former wander up and down, and crave a portion
of the prey. Nor other shelter have they even for their babes, against the
violence of tempests and ravening beasts, than to cover them with the
branches of trees twisted together: this a reception for the old men, and
hither resort the young. Such a condition they judge more happy than the
painful occupation of cultivating the ground, than the labour of rearing
houses, than the agitations of hope and fear attending the defence of
their own property or the seizing that of others. Secure against the
designs of men, secure against the malignity of the Gods, they have
accomplished a thing of infinite difficulty; that to them nothing remains
even to be wished.

What further accounts we have are fabulous: as that the Hellusians and
Oxiones have the countenances and aspect of men, with the bodies and limbs
of savage beasts. This, as a thing about which I have no certain
information, I shall leave untouched.


Amongst the Ancients, it was common to transmit to posterity the
characters and exploits of memorable men: nor in truth in our own times
has the Age, however indifferent about what concerns itself, failed to
observe the like usage, whenever any spirit eminent for great and signal
virtue has vanquished and triumphed over the blindness of such as cannot
distinguish right from wrong, as well as over the spite of malignants;
for, spite and blindness are evils common to great States and to small.
But, as in those early times there was found greater propensity to feats
of renown, and more scope to perform them; so whoever excelled in a happy
genius was naturally led to display the merits and memory of the virtuous
dead, without all view to court favour, or to gain advantages, but only by
the motives and recompense flowing from a benevolent and conscientious
mind. Indeed there were several who, in recounting their own lives,
concluded, that they thence showed rather a confidence in their own
integrity and demeanour than any mark of arrogance. Neither was the
account which Rutilius and Scaurus gave of themselves, thence the less
credited or the more censured. So true it is, that the several virtues are
best understood and most prized, during the same times in which they are
most easily produced. But to myself, who am going to relate the life of a
person deceased, I find pardon necessary; which I should not have asked,
were I not about to revive and traverse times so sanguinary, and baneful
to all virtue.

We find it recorded, that for celebrating the praises of Paetus Thrasea,
Arulenus Rusticus suffered a deadly doom; as did Herennius Senesce, for
those of Helvidius Priscus. Nor upon the persons of the authors only was
this cruelty inflicted, but also upon the books themselves; since to the
Triumvirate of Justice orders were sent, that in the Forum and place of
popular elections, the works of men so illustrious for parts and genius
should be burned. Yes, in this very fire they imagined, that they should
abolish the voice and utterance of the Roman People, with the liberty of
the Senate, and all the ideas and remembrances of humankind. For, they had
besides expelled all the professors of philosophy, [Footnote: When
Vespasian's worthless son "cleared Rome of what most sham'd him:" Domitian
banished Epictetus, and the other philosophers.] and driven every laudable
science into exile, that nought which was worthy and honest might anywhere
be seen. Mighty surely was the testimony which we gave of our patience;
and as our forefathers had beheld the ultimate consummation of liberty, so
did we of bondage, since through dread of informers and inquisitions of
State, we were bereft of the common intercourse of speech and attention.
Nay, with our utterance we had likewise lost our memory; had it been
equally in our power to forget, as to be silent.

Now indeed at length our spirit returns. Yet, though from the first dawn
of this very happy age begun by the reign of Nerva, he blended together
two things once found irreconcilable, public liberty and sovereign power;
and though Trajan his adopted successor be daily augmenting the felicity
of the State; insomuch that for the general security not only hopes and
vows are conceived, but even firm assurance follows these vows, and their
full accomplishment is seen; such however is the frailty of man and its
effects, that much more slow is the progress of the remedies than of the
evils; and as human bodies attain their growth by tedious degrees, and are
subject to be destroyed in an instant, so it is much easier to suppress
than to revive the efforts of genius and study. For, upon the mind there
steals a pleasure even in sloth and remissness, and that very inactivity
which was at first hated, is at last loved. Will it not be found that
during a course of fifteen years (a mighty space in the age of mortal man)
numbers perished through fortuitous disasters, and all men noted for
promptness and spirit were cut off by the cruelty of the Emperor? Few we
are, who have escaped; and if I may so speak, we have survived not only
others but even ourselves, when from the middle of our life so many years
were rent; whence from being young we are arrived at old age, from being
old we are nigh come to the utmost verge of mortality, all in a long
course of awful silence. I shall however find no cause of regret from
having framed an historical deduction of our former bondage, as also a
testimony of the public blessings which at present we enjoy; though, in
doing it, my style be negligent and unpolished. To the honour of Agricola
my wife's father, this present book is in the meantime dedicated; and, as
'tis a declaration of filial duty and affection, will thence be commended,
at least excused.

* * * * *

A.D. 40. Cnaeus Julius Agricola was born in the ancient and illustrious
Colony of Forojulium, [Footnote: Frjus.] and both his grandfathers were
Procurators to the Emperors; a dignity peculiar to the Equestrian Order.
His father Julius Graecinus was a Senator, and noted for eloquence and
philosophy. By these his virtues, he earned the wrath of Caligula. For, he
was by him ordered to accuse Marcus Silanus, and put to death for
refusing. His mother was Julia Procilla, a lady of singular chastity.
Under her eye and tender care he was reared, and spent his childhood and
youth in the continual pursuit and cultivation of worthy accomplishments.
What guarded him from the allurements of the vicious (besides his own
virtuous disposition and natural innocence) was, that for the seat and
nursery of his studies, whilst yet very little, he had the city of
Marseilles; a place well tempered and framed, as in it all the politeness
of the Greeks and all the provincial parsimony are blended together. I
remember he was wont to declare, that in his early youth he studied
Philosophy and the Law with more avidity than was allowable to a Roman and
a Senator; till the discretion of his mother checked his spirit, engaged
with passion and ardour in the pursuit. In truth, his superior and
elevated genius thirsted, with more vehemence than caution, after the
loveliness and lustre of a name and renown so mighty and sublime. Reason
and age afterwards qualified his heat; and, what is a task extremely hard,
he satisfied himself with a limited measure of philosophy.

A.D. 59-62. The first rudiments of war he learnt in Britain, under that
prudent and vigilant commander Suetonius Paulinus; by whom he was chosen
and distinguished, as his domestic companion. Neither did Agricola behave
licentiously, after the manner of young men, who turn warfare into riot;
nor assumed the title and office of a Tribune without the sufficiency, in
order to use it slothfully in feats of pleasure and absence from duty, but
to know the Province, to be known to the army, to learn of such as had
experience, to follow such as were worthy and brave, to seek for no
exploits for ostentation, to refuse none through fear, and in all his
pursuits was equally zealous and active. Indeed at no time had Britain
been under greater combustions, nor our affairs there more precarious. Our
veterans were slaughtered, our colonies burned down, our armies surprised
and taken. At that juncture the struggle was for life; afterwards, for
victory. Now though all these affairs were transacted by the counsels and
conduct of another than Agricola, and though the stress of the whole, with
the glory of recovering the Province, accrued to the General; they all
however proved to the young man matters of skill, of experience and
stimulation; and there seized his soul a passion for military glory, a
spirit disgustful to the times, when of men signally eminent a malignant
opinion was entertained, and when as much peril arose from a great
character as from a bad.

A.D. 62-68. Departing from hence to Rome for the exercise of public
dignities, he there married Domitia Decidiana, a lady splendid in her
descent; and to him, who was aspiring to higher honours, this marriage
proved a great ornament and support. In marvellous unanimity they also
lived, in a course of mutual tenderness and mutual preference; a temper
commendable in both, only that the praise of a good wife rises in
proportion to the contumely of a bad. His lot as Quaestor fell upon Asia,
where he had Salvius Titianus for Proconsul. But neither the Province nor
the Proconsul corrupted his probity, though the country was very rich,
nay, prepared as a prey for men corruptly disposed; and Titianus, a man
bent upon all acts of rapine, was ready, upon the smallest encouragement,
to have purchased a mutual connivance in iniquity. In Asia he was enriched
by the birth of a daughter, tending at once to his consolation and the
support of his family; for the son born to him before, he very soon lost.
The interval between his bearing the office of Quaestor and that of
Tribune of the People, and even the year of his Tribuneship, he passed in
repose and inactivity; as well aware of the spirit of the times under
Nero, when sloth and heaviness served for wisdom. With the like indolence
he held the Praetorship, and in the same quiet and silence. For upon him
the jurisdiction of that dignity fell not. The public pastimes and the
empty gaieties of the office, he exhibited according to the rules of good
sense and to the measure of his wealth, in a manner though remote from
prodigality, yet deserving popular applause. As he was next appointed by
Galba to make research into the gifts and oblations appertaining to the
temples, he proceeded with such diligence and an examination so strict,
that the State suffered from no sacrilege save that of Nero.

A.D. 69 and 70. In the year following he suffered a grievous blow in his
spirit and family. For, Otho's fleet, which continued roving upon the
coast and pursuing rapine, whilst they were ravaging Intemelium [Footnote:
Vinitimiglia.] (a part of Liguria) slew the mother of Agricola upon her
estate there, and plundered the estate itself with a great part of her
treasure, which had indeed proved the cause of the murder. As he therefore
went from Rome to solemnise her funeral, he had tidings upon the road that
Vespasian was pursuing the sovereignty, and instantly espoused his party.
In the beginning of this reign all the exercise of power and the
government of the city, were entirely in the hands of Mucianus; for,
Domitian was yet extremely young, and, of the Imperial fortune of his
father, assumed nothing further than a latitude for debauchery. Mucianus,
who had despatched Agricola to levy forces, and found him to have acted in
that trust with uprightness and magnanimity, preferred him to the command
of the twentieth legion; as soon as he was informed, that he who commanded
it before was engaged in seditious practices. Indeed that legion had with
great slowness and reluctance been brought to swear allegiance to
Vespasian, nay, was grown over mighty and even formidable to the
commanders-in-chief: so that their own commander was found void of
authority to control them; though it is uncertain whether from the temper
of the man or from that of the soldiers. Thus Agricola was chosen, at once
to succeed him, and to punish delinquency in them; and exercising
moderation altogether rare, would rather have it thought, that he had
found them unblamable than made them so.

A.D. 72. Over Britain at that juncture Vettius Bolanus bore rule, but with
more complacency than suited a province so fierce and untamed. Hence
Agricola restrained his own heat, and held within bounds the ardour of his
spirit, as he was well skilled how to show his obedience, and had
thoroughly learned to blend what was honourable with what was profitable:
soon after this, Britain received for its Governor Petilius Cerialis, one
of Consular quality. The virtue and abilities of Agricola had now ample
space for producing suitable effects. But to him at first Cerialis
communicated only the dangers and fatigues: with him anon he likewise
shared the glory; frequently, for trial of his prowess, committed to his
conduct a part of the army; sometimes, according to the measure of his
success, set him at the head of forces still larger. Nor did Agricola ever
vaunt his exploits to blazon his own fame. To his general, as to the
Author of all, he, as his instrument and inferior, still ascribed his good
fortune. Thus from his bravery in the execution of his orders, from his
modesty in recounting his deeds of bravery, he escaped envy, yet failed
not to gain glory.

A.D. 73-78. Upon his return from commanding a legion, the deified
Vespasian raised him to the rank of a patrician, and afterwards invested
him with the government of the Province of Aquitaine; a government of the
foremost dignity, and given as previous to the Consulship, to which that
Prince had destined him. There are many who believe, that to military men
subtilty of spirit is wanting; for that in camps the direction of process
and authority, is rather rough and void of formality; and that where hands
and force are chiefly used, there the address and refinements usual to
Courts are not exercised. Yet Agricola, assisted by his natural prudence,
though he was then engaged only with men of peace and the robe, acquitted
himself with great facility and great uprightness. He carefully
distinguished the seasons of business and the seasons of recess. Whenever
he sat in Council or upon the Tribunals of justice, he was grave,
attentive, awful, generally addicted to compassion. The moment he had
fulfilled the duties of his office, he personated no longer the man of
power: he had then cast off all sternness, all airs of State, and all
rigour. Nay, what is very rarely to be seen, his complaisance neither
weakened his authority, nor did his severity make him less amiable. It
were an injury to the virtues of so great a man, to particularise his just
dealings, his temperance, and the cleanness of his hands. [Footnote:
"Integritatem atque abstinentiam referre."] In truth glory itself was what
he pursued, not by any ostentation of bravery, nor by any strain of
artifice or address; though of that pursuit even the best men are often
fond. Thus he was far from maintaining any competition with his equals in
station, far from any contest with the Procurators of the Prince: since,
to conquer in this contention he judged to be no glory; and to be crushed
by them were disgrace. His administration here lasted hardly three years,
ere he was recalled to the present possession of the Consulship. With this
employment there accrued the public opinion, that for his province Britain
would be assigned him, from no words which had dropped from him about it,
but because he was deemed equal to the office. Common fame does not always
err; sometimes it even directs the public choice. To myself yet very
young, whilst he was Consul, he contracted his daughter, a young lady even
then of excellent hopes, and, at the end of his Consulship, presented her
in marriage. He was then forthwith promoted to the government of Britain,
as also invested with the honour of the Pontificate.

The account which I shall here present of the situation and people of
Britain, a subject about which many authors have written, comes not from
any design of setting up my own exactness and genius against theirs, but
only because the country was then first thoroughly subdued. So that such
matters as former writers have, without knowing them, embellished with
eloquence, will by me be recounted according to the truth of evidence and
discoveries. Of all the islands which have reached the knowledge of the
Romans, Britain is the largest. It extends towards Germany to the east,
towards Spain to the west. To the south it looks towards Gaul. Its
northern shore, beyond which there is no land, is beaten by a sea vast and
boundless. [Footnote: "Belluosus, qui remotis Obstrepit Oceanus
Britannis."] Britain is by Livy and Fabius Rusticus, the former the most
eloquent of the ancient historians, the latter of the moderns, compared in
shape to an oblong shield, or a broad knife with two edges. And such in
effect is its figure on this side Caledonia, whence common opinion has
thus also fashioned the whole. But a tract of territory huge and
unmeasurable stretches forward to the uttermost shore, and straitening by
degrees, terminates like a wedge. Round the coast of this sea, which
beyond it has no land, the Roman fleet now first sailed, and thence proved
Britain to be an island, as also discovered and subdued the Isles of
Orkney till then unknown. Thule was likewise descried, hitherto hid by
winter under eternal snow. This sea they report to be slow and stagnate,
difficult to the rowers, and indeed hardly to be raised by the force of
winds. This I conjecture to be because land and mountains, which are the
cause and materials of tempests, very rarely occur in proportion to the
mighty mass of water, a mass so deep and uninterrupted as not to be easily
agitated. An inquiry into the nature of the ocean and of the tide, is not
the purpose of this work, and about it many have written. One thing I
would add, that nowhere is the power of the sea more extensive than here,
forcing back the waters of many rivers, or carrying them away with its
own; nor is its flux and ebbings confined to the banks and shore; but it
works and winds itself far into the country, nay forms bays in rocks and
mountains, as if the same were its native bed.

For the rest; who were the first inhabitants of Britain, whether natives
of its own, or foreigners, can be little known amongst a people thus
barbarous. In their looks and persons they vary; from whence arguments and
inferences are formed. For, the red hair of the Caledonians and their
large limbs, testify their descent to be from Germany. The swarthy
complexion of the Silures, and their hair, which is generally curled, with
their situation opposite to the coast of Spain, furnish ground to believe,
that the ancient Iberians had arrived from thence here, and taken
possession of the territory. They who live next to Gaul are also like the
Gauls; whether it be that the spirit of the original stock from which they
sprang, still remains, or whether in countries near adjoining, the genius
of the climate confers the same form and disposition upon the bodies of
men. To one who considers the whole, it seems however credible, that the
Gauls at first occupied this their neighbouring coast. That their sacred
rites are the same, you may learn from their being possessed with the same
superstition of every sort. Their speech does not much vary. In daring and
dangers they are prompted by the like boldness, and with the like affright
avoid them when they approach. In the Britons however superior ferocity
and defiance is found, as in a people not yet softened by a long peace.
For we learn from history, that the Gauls too flourished in warlike
prowess and renown: amongst them afterwards, together with peace and
idleness, there entered effeminacy; and thus with the loss of their
liberty they lost their spirit and magnanimity. The same happened to those
of the Britons who were conquered long ago. The rest still continue such
as the Gauls once were.

Their principal force consists in their foot. Some nations amongst them
make also war in chariots. The more honourable person always drives: under
his leading his followers fight. They were formerly subject to Kings. They
are now swayed by several chiefs, and rent into factions and parties,
according to the humour and passions of those their leaders. Nor against
nations thus powerful does aught so much avail us, as that they consult
not in a body for the security of the whole. It is rare that two or three
communities assemble and unite to repulse any public danger threatening to
all. So that whilst only a single community fought at a time, they were
every one vanquished. The sky from frequent clouds and rain is dull and
hazy. Excessive cold they feel not. Their days in length surpass ours.
Their nights are very clear, and at the extremity of the country, very
short; so that between the setting and return of the day, you perceive but
small interval. They affirm, that were it not for the intervention of
clouds, the rays of the sun would be seen in the night, and that he doth
not rise and fall, but only pass by: for that the extremities of the
earth, which are level, yielding but a low shadow, prevent darkness from
rising high and spreading; and thence night is far short of reaching the
stars and the sky. The soil is such, that except the olive and the vine,
and other vegetables, which are wont to be raised in hotter climes, it
readily bears all fruits and grain, and is very fertile. It quickly
produces, but its productions ripen slowly; and of both these effects
there is the same cause, the extreme humidity of the earth and of the sky.
Britain yields gold and silver, with other metals, all which prove the
prize and reward of the Conquerors. The sea also breeds pearls, but of a
dark and livid hue, a defect by some ascribed to the unskilfulness of such
as gather them. For, in the Red Sea they are pulled from the rocks alive
and vigorous. In Britain they are gathered at random, such as the sea
casts them upon the shore. For myself; I am much apter to believe, that
nature has failed to give the pearls perfection, than that we fail in
avarice. [Footnote: "Ego facilius crediderim naturam margaritis de esse;
quam nobis avaritiam."]

The Britons themselves are a people who cheerfully comply with the levies
of men, and with the imposition of taxes, and with all the duties enjoined
by Government; provided they receive no illegal treatment and insults from
their governors: those they bear with impatience. Nor have the Romans any
further subdued them than only to obey just laws, but never to submit to
be slaves. Even the deified Julius Caesar, the first of all the Romans who
entered Britain with an army, though by gaining a battle he frightened the
natives, and became master of the coast; [Footnote: Caesar conquered to
the north of the Thames.] yet may be thought to have rather presented
posterity with a view of the country, than to have conveyed down the
possession. Anon the civil wars ensued, and against the Commonwealth were
turned the arms of her own chiefs and leaders. Thus Britain was long
forgot, and continued to be so even during peace. This was what Augustus
called _Reason of State_, but what Tiberius styled the _Ordinance of
Augustus_. That Caligula meditated an invasion of Britain in person, is
well known: but he possessed a spirit, as precipitate and wild, so
presently surfeited with any design whatever; besides that all his mighty
efforts against Germany were quite baffled. The deified Claudius
accomplished the undertaking; having thither transported the legions, with
a number of auxiliary forces, and associated Vespasian into the direction
of the design: an incident which proved the introduction to his
approaching fortune. There, nations were subdued, Kings taken captive, and
Vespasian placed to advantage in the eye of the Fates.

The first Governor of Consular quality, was Aulus Plautius, then Ostorius
Scapula, both signal in war: and by degrees the nearest part of Britain
was reduced into the condition of a Province. To secure it, a colony of
veterans was likewise settled. To the British King Cogidunus certain
communities were given, a Prince who even till our times continued in
perfect fidelity to us. For, with the Roman People it is a custom long
since received, and practised of old, that for establishing the bondage of
nations, they are to employ even Kings as their instruments. Afterwards
followed Didius Gallus, and just preserved what acquisitions his
predecessors had made; only that further in the island he raised some
forts, and very few they were, purely for the name and opinion of having
enlarged his government. Next to Didius came Veranius, and died in less
than a year. Then immediately succeeded Suetonius Paulinus, who during two
years commanded with success, subdued fresh nations and established
garrisons. Trusting to these he went to assail the Isle of Anglesey, as a
place which supplied the revolters with succours, and thus left the
country behind him exposed to the enemy.

For, the Britons, when through the absence of the Governor they were eased
of their fear, began to commune together concerning the miseries of
bondage, to recount their several grievances, and so to construe and
heighten their injuries as effectually to inflame their resentments.
"Their patience," they said, "availed them nothing, further than to invite
the imposition of heavier burdens upon a people who thus tamely bore any.
In times past they had only a single King: they were now surrendered to
two. One of these the Governor-General, tyrannised over their bodies and
lives; the Imperial Procurator, who was the other, over their substance
and fortunes. Equally pernicious to their subjects was any variance
between these their rulers, as their good intelligence and unanimity.
Against them the one employed his own predatory bands, as did the other
his Centurions and their men; and both exercised violence alike, both
treated them with equal insults and contumely. To such height was
oppression grown, that nothing whatever was exempt from their avarice,
nothing whatever from their lust. He who in the day of battle spoiled
others, was always stronger than they. But here it was chiefly by the
cowardly and effeminate that their houses were seized, their children
forced away, and their men obliged to enlist; as if their country were the
only thing for which the Britons knew not how to die. In truth, what a
small force would all the soldiers arrived in the island appear; would the
Britons but compute their own numbers? It was from this consideration that
Germany had thrown off the same yoke, though a country defended only by a
river, and not like this, by the ocean. To animate themselves to take
arms, they had their country, their wives, their parents; whilst these
their oppressors were prompted by nothing but their avarice and
sensuality: nor would they fail to withdraw from the island, as even the
deified Julius had withdrawn, would the natives but imitate the bravery of
their forefathers, and not be dismayed with the issue of an encounter or
two. Amongst people like themselves reduced to misery, superior ardour was
ever found, as also greater firmness and perseverance. Towards the
Britons, at this juncture even the Gods manifested compassion, since they
thus kept the Roman General at such a distance, thus held the Roman army
confined in another island. Nay, already they themselves had gained a
point the most difficult to be gained, that they could now deliberate
about measures common to all: for, doubtless more perilous it were to be
discovered forming such counsels, than openly to put them in execution."

When with these and the like reasons they had instigated one another, they
unanimously took arms under the leading of Boudicea, [Footnote: Boadicea.]
a woman of royal descent; for, in conferring sovereignty, they make no
distinction of sexes. They then forthwith assailed on every side the
soldiers dispersed here and there in forts, and having stormed and sacked
the several garrisons, fell upon the colony itself, as the seat and centre
of public servitude: nor was any kind of cruelty omitted, with which rage
and victory could possibly inspire the hearts of Barbarians. In truth, had
not Paulinus, upon learning the revolt of the Province, come with notable
speed to its relief, Britain had been lost. Yet by the success of a single
battle, he reduced the country to its old subjection, though several
continued in arms, such namely as were conscious of inciting the
rebellion, and under personal dread from the spirit of the Governor. He,
though otherwise a signal commander, yet treated such as had surrendered
themselves in a manner very imperious; and, as one who likewise avenged
his own particular injury, thence exerted the greater rigour. Insomuch
that in his room Petronius Turpilianus was sent, as one whose behaviour
would prove more relenting, one who being unacquainted with the
delinquencies of the enemies, would be more gentle in accepting their
remorse and submission. Turpilianus, when he had quite appeased the late
commotions, ventured upon nothing further, and then delivered the Province
to Trebellius Maximus. He, still more unwarlike and inactive than his
predecessor, and nowise trained in camps and armies, maintained the
tranquillity of the Province by a method of softness and complaisance. The
Barbarians had now likewise learned to forgive such vices as humoured them
in pleasure and ease. Moreover, the civil wars which then intervened,
furnished a proper excuse for the lazy behaviour of the Governor. But he
found himself greatly embarrassed with faction and discord; for that the
soldiers, who had ever been inured to expeditions and feats in the field,
were through idleness grown turbulent and licentious. Trebellius, by
flight and lurking, escaped the present fury of the army: he afterwards
resumed the command, but with an authority altogether precarious, without
all spirit and destitute of all dignity; as if between him and them
articles had been settled, that the soldiers should retain their
licentious behaviour, and the General be permitted to enjoy his life.
During this mutiny no blood was spilled. Neither did Vettius Bolanus, as
the civil war yet subsisted, exert any discipline in Britain. Towards the
enemy there still remained the same sloth and negligence, with the same
insolent spirit in the camp: this difference only there was, that Bolanus
was a man perfectly innocent; and being subject to no hate, as he was free
from all crimes, he had instead of authority over them, only gained their

But, when Vespasian had, with the possession of the world, also recovered
Britain, in it were seen great commanders, noble armies, and the hopes of
the enemy quite abated, Petilius Cerialis, particularly, at his first
entrance, struck them at once with general terror, by attacking the
community of the Brigantes, reckoned the most populous of the whole
Province. There followed many encounters, such as sometimes proved very
bloody. So that he held most part of their country as his conquest, or
continued to ravage it by war. In truth, though the exploits of Cerialis
would have eclipsed the vigilance and fame of any other successor, yet
Julius Frontinus sustained in his turn the mighty task; and, as he was a
man as great and able as he found scope and safety to be, he by the sword
utterly subdued the powerful and warlike nation of the Silures; though
besides the bravery of the enemy, he was likewise obliged to struggle with
the difficulties of places and situation.

A.D. 78. Such was the condition in which Agricola found Britain, such to
have been the vicissitudes of the war there, upon his arrival about the
middle of summer, a time when the Roman soldiers, supposing the service of
the season to be concluded, were securely bent upon inaction and repose,
as were the enemy upon any opportunity to annoy the Romans. The Community
of the Ordovicans had not long before his coming slaughtered, almost
entirely, a band of horse stationed upon their confines; and by an essay
so notable the Province in general became roused; while such as were
intent upon present war, commended the action as an example and a call to
the whole, and others were for delaying till they had discovered the
spirit of the new Lieutenant-General. Now though the summer was over,
though the troops were severed and lay dispersed over the Province, though
the soldiers had assured themselves of rest for the residue of the year (a
heavy obstacle and very discouraging to one who is commencing war), nay,
though many judged it better only to guard the places which were
threatened and precarious; yet Agricola determined to meet the danger.
Hence drawing together the choice bands of the legions, with a small body
of auxiliaries, he led them against the Ordovicans; and as these dared not
descend into equal ground, he, who by sharing equal danger, would inspire
his men with equal courage, marching in person before his army, conducted
them to the encounter upon the ascent. Almost the whole nation was here
cut off; but as he was well aware, that it behoved him to urge and
maintain this his fame, and that with the issue of his first attempts all
the rest would correspond, he conceived a design to reduce the Isle of
Anglesey, a conquest from which Paulinus was recalled by the general
revolt of Britain, as above I have recounted. But, as this counsel was
suddenly concerted, and therefore ships were found wanting, such was the
firmness and capacity of the General, that without ships he transported
his men. From the auxiliaries he detached all their chosen men, such as
knew the fords, and according to the usage of their country were dexterous
in swimming, so as, in the water, at once to manage themselves, and their
horses and arms. These, unencumbered with any of their baggage, he caused
to make a descent and onset so sudden, that the enemy were quite struck
with consternation, as men who apprehended nothing but a fleet and
transports, and a formal invasion by sea, and now believed no enterprise
difficult and insurmountable to such as came thus determined to war. Thus
they sued for peace and even surrendered the island; and thence Agricola
was already considered as a very great and even renowned commander: for
that, at his first entrance into the Province, a time which other
governors are wont to waste in show and parade, or in courting compliment
and addresses, he preferred feats of labour and of peril. Nor did he apply
this his good fortune and success to any purpose of vainglory: so that
upon the bridling of such as were vanquished before, he would not bestow
the title of an expedition or of victory; nor in truth would he so much as
with the bare honour of the laurel distinguish these his exploits. But
even by disguising his fame, he enlarged it; as men considered how vast
must be his future views, when he thus smothered in silence deeds so

For the rest; as he was acquainted with the temper of the people in his
Province; as he had also learned from the conduct and experience of
others, that little is gained by arms where grievances and oppressions
follow, he determined to cut off all the causes of war. Beginning
therefore with himself and those appertaining to him, he checked and
regulated his own household; a task which to many proves not less
difficult than that of governing a province. By none of his domestics,
bond or freed, was aught that concerned the public transacted. In raising
the soldiers to a superior class, he was swayed by no personal interest or
partiality, nor by the recommendation and suit of the Centurions, but by
his own opinion and persuasion, that the best soldiers were ever the most
faithful. All that passed he would know; though all that was amiss he
would not punish. Upon small offences he bestowed pardon; for such as were
great he exercised proportionable severity. Nor did he always exact the
punishment assigned, but frequently was satisfied with compunction and
remorse. In conferring offices and employments he rather chose men who
would not transgress, than such as he must afterwards condemn for
transgressing. Though the imposition of tribute and of grain had been
augmented, yet he softened it by causing a just and equal distribution of
all public burdens; since he abolished whatever exactions had been devised
for the lucre of particulars, and were therefore borne with more regret
than the tribute itself. For, the inhabitants were forced to bear the
mockery of attending at their own barns, locked up by the publicans, and
of purchasing their own corn of the monopolists, nay, of selling it
afterwards back again at a poor price. They were moreover enjoined to take
long journeys, and carry grain across the several countries to places
extremely distant; insomuch that the several communities, instead of
supplying the winter-quarters which lay adjoining, must furnish such as
were remote and difficultly travelled, to the end, that what was easy to
be had by all, might produce gain to a few.

A.D. 79. By suppressing these grievances immediately in his first year, he
gained a high character to a state of peace; a state which, either through
the neglect or connivance of his predecessors, was till then dreaded no
less than that of war. But, upon the coming of summer, he assembled his
army; then proceeded to commend such of the men who in marching observed
their duty and rank, and to check such as were loose and straggling. He
himself always chose the ground for encamping: the salt marshes, friths,
and woods he himself always first examined, and to the enemies all the
while allowed not a moment's quiet or recess, but was ever distressing
them with sudden incursions and ravages. Then, having sufficiently alarmed
and terrified them, his next course was to spare them, thus to tempt them
with the sweetness and allurements of peace. By this conduct, several
communities which till that day had asserted a state of equality and
independence, came to lay down all hostility, gave hostages, and were
begirt with garrisons and fortresses, erected with such just contrivance
and care, that no part of Britain hitherto known escaped thenceforward
from being annoyed by them.

The following winter was employed in measures extremely advantageous and
salutary. For, to the end that these people, thus wild and dispersed over
the country, and thence easily instigated to war, might by a taste of
pleasures be reconciled to inactivity and repose, he first privately
exhorted them, then publicly assisted them, to build temples, houses and
places of assembling. Upon such as were willing and assiduous in these
pursuits he heaped commendations, and reproofs upon the lifeless and slow.
So that a competition for this distinction and honour, had all the force
of necessity. He was already taking care to have the sons of their chiefs
taught the liberal sciences, already preferring the natural capacity of
the Britons to the studied acquirements of the Gauls; and such was his
success, that they who had so lately scorned to learn the Roman language,
were become fond of acquiring the Roman eloquence. Thence they began to
honour our apparel, and the use of the Roman gown grew frequent amongst
them. [Footnote: "Inde etiam habitus nostri honor, et frequens toga."] By
degrees they proceeded to the incitements and charms of vice and
dissoluteness, to magnificent galleries, sumptuous bagnios, and all the
stimulations and elegance of banqueting. Nay, all this innovation was by
the unexperienced styled politeness and humanity, when it was indeed part
of their bondage.

A.D. 80. During the third year of his command, in pursuit of his conquests
he discovered new people, by continuing his devastations through the
several nations quite to the mouth of the Tay: so the frith is called.
Whence such terror seized the foe, that they durst not attack our army
though sorely shaken and annoyed by terrible tempests: nay, the Romans had
even time to secure possession by erecting forts. It was observed of
Agricola by men of experience, that never had any captain more sagely
chosen his stations for commodiousness and situation; for that no place of
strength founded by him, was ever taken by violence, or abandoned upon
articles or despair. From these their strongholds frequent excursions were
made; for, against any long siege they were supplied with provisions for a
year. Thus they passed the winter there without all apprehension: every
single fort defended itself. So that in all their attempts upon them the
enemies were baffled, and thence reduced to utter despair; for that they
could not, as formerly they were wont, repair their losses in the summer
by their success in the winter; since now whether it were winter or
summer, they were equally defeated. Neither did Agricola ever arrogate to
himself the glory of exploits performed by others: were he a Centurion or
were he Commander of a legion, in the General he was sure to find a
sincere witness of his achievements. By some he is said to have been over
sharp in his reproofs, since he was one who, as to them that were good he
abounded in courtesy, appeared withal stern and unpleasant to the bad. But
from his anger no spleen remained. In him you had no dark reserves, no
boding silence to fear. More honourable he thought it to give open offence
than to foster secret hate.

A.D. 81. The fourth summer was employed in settling and securing what
territories he had overrun: indeed would the bravery of the armies and the
glory of the Roman name, have suffered it, there had been then found in
Britain itself a boundary to our conquests there. For, into the rivers
Glota and Bodotria [Footnote: The Clyde and Forth.] the tide from each
opposite sea flows so vastly far up the country, that their heads are
parted only by a narrow neck of land, which was now secured with
garrisons. Thus of all on this side we were already masters; since the
enemy were driven as it were into another island.

A.D. 82. In the fifth year of the war, Agricola passing the Frith, himself
in the first ship that landed, in many and successful encounters subdued
nations till that time unknown, and placed forces in that part of Britain
which fronts Ireland, more from future views than from any present fear.
In truth Ireland, as it lies just between Britain and Spain, and is
capable of an easy communication with the coast of Gaul, would have proved
of infinite use in linking together these powerful limbs of the Empire. In
size it is inferior to Britain, but surpasses the islands in our sea. In
soil and climate, as also in the temper and manners of the natives, it
varies little from Britain. Its ports and landings are better known,
through the frequency of commerce and merchants. A petty King of the
country, expelled by domestic dissension, was already received into
protection by Agricola, and under the appearance of friendship, reserved
for a proper occasion. By him I have often heard it declared, that with a
single legion and a few auxiliaries Ireland might be conquered and
preserved; nay, that such an acquisition were of moment for the securing
of Britain, if, on all sides the Roman arms were seen, and all national
liberty banished as it were out of sight.

A.D. 83. For the rest; on the summer which began the sixth year of his
administration, as it was apprehended, that the nations forward would
universally take arms, and that the ways were all infested with the
enemy's host, his first step was to coast and explore the large
communities beyond Bodotria [Footnote: The Forth.] by the means of his
fleet, which was from the beginning employed by him as part of his forces,
and in attending him at this time made a glorious appearance, when thus by
sea and land the war was urged. In truth, the same camp often contained
the foot and the horse and the marines, all intermixed, and rejoicing in
common, severally magnifying their own feats, their own hazards and
adventures: here were displayed the horrors of steep mountains and dismal
forests; there the outrages of waves and tempests. These boasted their
exploits by land and against the foe: those the vanquished ocean; all
vying together according to the usual vaunts and ostentation of soldiers.
Upon the Britons also, as from the captives was learned, the sight of the
fleet brought much consternation and dismay; as if, now that their
solitary ocean and recesses of the deep were disclosed and invaded, the
last refuge of the vanquished was cut off. To action and arms, the several
people inhabiting Caledonia had immediate recourse, and advanced with
great parade, made still greater by common rumour (as usual in things that
are unknown), for that they daringly assailed our forts, and by thus
insulting and defying us, created much fear and alarm. Nay, there were
some who covering real cowardice under the guise of prudence and counsel,
exhorted a return to the nether side of Bodotria, [Footnote: To retreat
south of the Forth.] for that it were more eligible to retire back than to
be driven. He was apprised the while, that the enemy meant to attack him
in divers bands: so that, as they surpassed him in numbers and in the
knowledge of the country, he too divided his army into three parts, and
thus marched, to prevent their surrounding him.

As soon as this disposition of his was known to the enemy, they suddenly
changed theirs, and all in a body proceeded to fall upon the ninth legion
as the least sufficient and weakest of all; and, as the assault was in the
night they slew the guards and entered the trenches, aided by the general
sleep or general dismay there. They were already pursuing the fight in the
camp itself, when Agricola having from his spies learnt what route the
enemy had taken, and closely following their track, commanded the lightest
of his foot and cavalry to charge them, whilst yet engaged, in the rear,
and the whole army presently after to give a mighty shout. Moreover at
break of day, the Roman banners were beheld refulgent. Thus were the
Britons dismayed with double peril and distress; and to the Romans their
courage returned. Hence seeing their lives secure, they now maintained the
conflict for glory. They even returned the attack upon the enemy: insomuch
that in the very gates of the camp a bloody encounter ensued, till the
enemy were quite routed; for both these our armies exerted their might,
the one contending to show that they had brought relief, the other to
appear not to have wanted assistance. Indeed, had not the woods and
marshes served for shelter to the fugitives, by this victory the war had
been determined.

By this success, with such valour gained, and followed with such renown,
the army was become elated and resolute. With fierce din they cried, "That
to their bravery nothing could prove insurmountable. They must penetrate
into the heart of Caledonia, and advance in a continual succession of
battles, till they had at last found the utmost limits of Britain." Thus
it was that they, who a little before had been so wary and so wise, were
now, after the event was determined, grown full of boasts and intrepidity.
Such is the lot of warfare, very unequal and unjust: in success all men
assume part: the disasters are all imputed to one. Now the Britons,
conjecturing the victory to proceed not from superior courage, but from
circumstances improved and the address of our General, lost nothing of
their spirit and defiance, but armed their young men, removed their wives
and children into places of security, and in general conventions of their
several communities engaged them in a league ratified by solemn
sacrifices. And thus they mutually retired for the winter, with minds on
both sides abundantly irritated.

During the same summer, a cohort of Usipians levied in Germany and thence
transported to Britain, adventured upon a feat very desperate and
memorable. When they had slain the Centurion and soldiers placed amongst
them for training them in discipline, and to serve them for patterns and
directors, they embarked in three pinnaces, forcing the pilots to conduct
them; and since one of these forsook them and fled away, they suspected
and therefore killed the other two. As the attempt was not yet divulged,
their launching into the deep was beheld as a wonder. Anon they were
tossed hither and thither at the mercy of the waves: and, as they often
engaged for spoil with several of the Britons, obliging them to defend
their property thus invaded, in which conflicts they frequently proved
victorious, and were sometimes defeated, they were at last reduced to want
so pressing, as to feed upon one another, first upon the weakest, then
upon whomsoever the lot fell. In this manner were they carried round about
Britain, and having lost their vessels through ignorance how to manage
them, they were accounted robbers and pirates, and fell into the hands
first of the Suevians, afterwards of the Frisians. Nay, as they were
bought and sold for slaves, some of them, through change of masters, were
brought over to our side of the Rhine, and grew famous from the discovery
of an adventure so extraordinary.

A.D. 84. In the beginning of the summer, Agricola suffered a sore blow in
his family, by losing his son born about a year before. A misfortune which
he neither bore with an ostentation of firmness and unconcern, like many
other men of magnanimity, nor with lamentations and tears worthy only of
women. Besides that for this affliction, war proved one of his remedies.
When therefore he had sent forward the navy, which by committing
devastations in several places, would not fail to spread a mighty and
perplexing terror, he put himself at the head of his army lightly
equipped, and to it had added some of the bravest Britons, such as had
been well proved through a long course of peace. Thus he arrived at the
Grampian Hills, upon which the enemy were already encamped. For, the
Britons, nothing daunted by the issue of the former battle, and boldly
waiting either to take vengeance or to suffer bondage, taught withal at
last, that a general union was the best way to repel common danger, had by
embassies and confederacies drawn together the forces of all their
communities. Even then were to be seen thirty thousand men in arms, and
their youth from every quarter were still continuing to flock in, as were
also such of their elderly men as were yet vigorous and hale, they who
were signal in war, and now carried with them their several ensigns of
honour formerly gained in the field. And now Galgacus, he who amongst
their several leaders surpassed all in valour and descent, is said to have
spoke in this strain to the multitude all very pressing for battle,

"Whenever I contemplate the causes of the war, and the necessity to which
we are reduced, great is my confidence that this day and this union of
yours will prove the beginning of universal liberty to Britain. For,
besides that bondage is what we have never borne, we are so beset that
beyond us there is no further land; nor in truth is there any security
left us from the sea whilst the Roman fleet is hovering upon our coasts.
Thus the same expedient which proves honourable to brave men, is to
cowards too become the safest of all others, even present recourse to
battle and arms. The other Britons, in their past conflicts with the
Romans, whence they found various success, had still a remaining source of
hope and succour in this our nation. For, of all the people of Britain we
are the noblest, and thence placed in its innermost regions, and, as we
behold not so much as the coasts of such as are slaves, we thus preserve
even our eyes free and unprofaned by the sight of lawless and usurped
rule. To us who are the utmost inhabitants of the earth, to us the last
who enjoy liberty, this extremity of the globe, this remote tract unknown
even to common fame, has to this day proved the only protection and
defence. At present the utmost boundary of Britain is laid open; and to
conquer parts unknown, is thought matter of great pomp and boasting.
Beyond us no more people are found, nor aught save seas and rocks; and
already the Romans have advanced into the heart of our country. Against
their pride and domineering you will find it in vain to seek a remedy or
refuge from any obsequiousness or humble behaviour of yours. Plunderers of
the earth these, who in their universal devastations finding countries to
fail them, investigate and rob even the sea. If the enemy be wealthy, he
inflames their avarice; if poor, their ambition. They are general
spoilers, such as neither the eastern world nor the western can satiate.
They only of all men thirst after acquisitions both poor and rich, with
equal avidity and passion. To spoil, to butcher, and to commit every kind
of violence, they style by a lying name, _Government_; and when they have
spread a general desolation, they call it _Peace_. [Footnote: "Ubi
solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant."]

"Dearest to every man are his children and kindred, by the contrivance and
designation of nature. These are snatched from us for recruits, and doomed
to bondage in other parts of the earth. Our wives and sisters, however
they escape rapes and violence as from open enemies, are debauched under
the appearance and privilege of friendship and hospitality. Our fortunes
and possessions they exhaust for tribute, our grain for their provisions.
Even our bodies and limbs are extenuated and wasted, while we are doomed
to the drudgery of making cuts through woods, and drains in bogs, under
continual blows and outrages. Such as are born to be slaves are but once
sold, and thenceforward nourished by their lords. Britain is daily paying
for its servitude, is daily feeding it. Moreover, as in a tribe of
household slaves, he who comes last serves for sport to all his fellows;
so in this ancient state of slavery to which the world is reduced, we, as
the freshest slaves and thence held the most contemptible, are now
designed to destruction. For, we have no fields to cultivate, nor mines to
dig, nor ports to make; works for which they might be tempted to spare us
alive: besides that ever distasteful to rulers is magnanimity and a daring
spirit in their subjects. Indeed our very situation, so solitary and
remote, the more security it affords to us, does but raise the greater
jealousy in them. Seeing therefore you are thus bereft of all hopes of
mercy, rouse now at last all your courage, both you to whom life is
dearest, and you to whom glory. The Brigantes, even under the leading of a
woman, burned their colony, stormed their entrenchments, and, had not such
success degenerated into sloth, might have quite cast off the yoke of
slavery. Let us who still preserve our forces entire, us who are still
unsubdued, and want not to acquire liberty but only to secure it, manifest
at once, upon the first encounter, what kind of men they are that
Caledonia has reserved for her own vindication and defence.

"Do you indeed believe the Romans to be equally brave and vigorous in war,
as during peace they are vicious and dissolute? From our quarrels and
divisions it is that they have derived their renown, and thus convert the
faults of their enemies to the glory of their own army; an army compounded
of many nations so different, that as it is success alone which holds them
together, misfortunes and disasters will surely dissolve them. Unless you
suppose that the Germans there, that the Gauls, and many of the Britons
(whom with shame I mention), men who however have been all much longer
their enemies than their slaves, are yet attached to them by any real
fidelity and affection, whilst presenting their blood to establish a
domination altogether foreign and unnatural to them all. What restrains
them is no more than awe and terror, frail bonds of endearment; and when
these are removed, such who cease to fear, will immediately begin to
manifest their hate. Amongst us is found whatever can stimulate men to
victory. The Romans have no wives to hearten and to urge them. They have
here no fathers and mothers to upbraid them for flying. Many of them have
no country at all, or at least their country is elsewhere. But a few in
number they are, ignorant of the region and thence struck with dread,
whilst to their eyes, whatever they behold around them, is all wild and
strange, even the air and sky, with the woods and the sea; so that the
Gods have in some sort delivered them enclosed and bound into our hands.

"Be not dismayed with things of mere show, and with a glare of gold and of
silver: this is what can neither wound, nor save. In the very host of the
enemy we shall find bands of our own. The Britons will own and espouse
their own genuine cause. The Gauls will recollect their former liberty.
What the Usipians have lately done, the other Germans will do, and abandon
the Romans. Thereafter nothing remains to be feared. Their forts are
ungarrisoned; their colonies replenished with the aged and infirm; and
between the people and their magistrates, whilst the former are averse to
obedience, and the latter rule with injustice, the municipal cities are
weakened and full of dissensions. Here you see a general, here an army:
there you may behold tributes and the mines, with all the other train of
calamities and curses ever pursuing men enslaved. Whether all these are to
be for ever imposed, or whether we forthwith avenge ourselves for the
attempt, this very field must determine. As therefore you advance to
battle, look back upon your ancestors, look forward to your posterity."

They received his speech joyfully, with chantings, and terrible din, and
many dissonant shouts, after the manner of barbarians. Already too their
bands moved, and the glittering of their arms appeared, as all the most
resolute were running to the front: moreover the army was forming in
battle array; when Agricola; who indeed saw his soldiers full of alacrity,
and hardly to be restrained even by express cautions, yet chose to
discourse to them in the following strain. "It is now the eighth year, my
fellow-soldiers, since through the virtue and auspicious fortune of the
Roman Empire, and by your own services and fidelity you have been pursuing
the conquest of Britain. In so many expeditions that you have undertaken,
in so many battles as you have fought, you have still had constant
occasion either to be exerting your bravery against the foe, or your
patience and pains even against the obstacles of nature. Neither, during
all these struggles, have we found any cause of mutual regret, I to have
conducted such soldiers, or you to have followed such a captain. We have
both passed the limits which we found, I those known to the ancient
governors, you those of former armies; and we possess the very extremity
of Britain, not only in the bruitings of fame and vulgar rumour, but
possess it with our camps and arms. Britain is entirely discovered, and
entirely subdued. In truth, as the army has been marching, whilst in
passing morasses and mountains and rivers you have been fatigued and
distressed, I was wont to hear every man remarkably brave ask, _When shall
we see the enemy, when be led to battle?_ Already they are come, roused
from their fastnesses and lurking holes. Here you see the end of all your
wishes, here scope for all your valour, and all things promising and
propitious, if you conquer; but all cross and disastrous, should you be
vanquished. For, as to have thus marched over a tract of country so
immense, to have passed through gloomy forests, to have crossed arms of
the deep, is matter of glory and applause whilst we advance against the
enemy; so if we fly before them, whatever is now most in our favour, will
then prove most to our peril. We know not the situation of the country so
well as they know it; we have not provisions so abundant as they have: but
we have limbs and arms; and in these, all things. For myself; it is a rule
long since settled by me, that safety there is none either to the army or
to the general, in turning their backs upon the foe. Hence it is not only
more eligible to lose life honourably than to save it basely, but security
and renown both arise from the same source. Neither would it be a fate
void of glory to fall in this the utmost verge of earth and of nature.

"Were the people now arrayed against you such as were new to you, were you
to engage with bands never before tried, I should animate you by the
examples of other armies. At present, only recollect and enumerate your
own signal exploits, only ask and consult your own eyes. These are they
whom but the last year you utterly discomfited, only by the terror of your
shouting, when, trusting to the darkness of the night, they by stealth
attacked a single legion. These are they who of all the Britons are the
most abandoned to fear and flight, and thence happen thus long to survive
all the rest. It is with us as with those who make inroads into woods and
forests. As beasts of the greatest strength there, are driven thence by
the superior force of such as pursue them, and as the timorous and
spiritless fly even at the cry of the pursuers: in like manner, all the
bravest Britons are long since fallen by the sword. They that remain are
only a crowd, fearful and effeminate: nor can you consider them as men
whom you have therefore reached, because they have persisted to oppose
you, but as such whom you have surprised as the last and forlorn of all,
who struck with dread and bereft of spirit, stand benumbed in yonder
field, whence you may gain over them a glorious and memorable victory.
Here complete all your expeditions and efforts: here close a struggle of
fifty years with one great and important day, so that to the army may not
be imputed either the procrastination of the war, or any cause for
reviving it."

Apparent, even whilst Agricola spoke, was the ardour of the soldiers,
mighty their transport and applause at the end of his speech, and
instantly they flew to their arms. Thus inflamed and urging to engage, he
formed them so that the strong band of auxiliary foot, who were eight
thousand men, composed the centre. The wings were environed with three
thousand horse. The legions without advancing stood embattled just without
the entrenchment; for that mighty would be the glory of the victory, were
it, by sparing them, gained without spilling any Roman blood; and they
were still a sure stay and succour, should the rest be repulsed. The
British host was ranged upon the rising grounds, at once for show and
terror, in such sort that the first band stood upon the plain, and the
rest rose successively upon the brows of the hills, one rank close above
another, as if they had been linked together. Their cavalry and chariots
of war filled the interjacent field with great tumult and boundings to and
fro. Agricola then, fearing from the surpassing multitude of the enemy,
that he might be beset at once in the front and on each flank, opened and
extended his host. Yet, though thence his ranks must prove more relaxed,
and many advised him to bring on the legions, he, who rather entertained a
spirit of hope, and in all difficulties was ever firm, dismissed his horse
and advanced on foot before the banners.

In the beginning of the onset the conflict was maintained at a distance.
The Britons, they who were possessed at once of bravery and skill, armed
with their huge swords and small bucklers, quite eluded our missive
weapons, or beat them quite off, whilst of their own they poured a torrent
upon us, till Agricola encouraged three Batavian cohorts and two of the
Tungrians, to close with the enemy and bring them to an engagement hand to
hand; as what was with those veteran soldiers a long practice, and become
familiar, but to the enemy very uneasy and embarrassing, as they were
armed with very little targets and with swords of enormous size. For, the
swords of the Britons, which are blunt at the end, are unfit for grapling
and cannot support a close encounter. Hence the Batavians thickened their
blows, wounded them with the iron bosses of their bucklers, mangled their
faces, and, bearing down all who withstood them upon the plain, were
already carrying the attack up to the hills: insomuch that the rest of the
cohorts, incited by emulation and sudden ardour, joined with those and
made havoc of all whom they encountered. Nay, such was the impetuosity and
hurry of the victory, that many were left behind but half dead, others not
so much as wounded. In the meantime their troops of cavalry took to
flight: the chariots of war mingled with the battalions of foot; and
though they had so lately struck terror, were now themselves beset and
entangled with our thick bands, as also with the unevenness and intricacy
of the place. Of a combat of cavalry this bore not the least appearance:
since here, standing obstinately foot to foot, they pressed to overthrow
each other by the weight and bodies of their horses. Moreover the war-
chariots, now abandoned and straggling, as also the horses destitute of
managers and thence wild and affrighted, were running hither and thither
just as the next fright drove them; insomuch that all of their own side,
who met them or crossed their way, were beaten down by them.

Now those of the Britons who were lodged upon the ridges of the hills and
had hitherto no share in the encounter, like men yet pressed by no peril
looked with scorn upon our forces as but few in number, and began to
descend softly and to surround them in the rear, whilst they were urging
their victory. But Agricola, who had apprehended this very design,
despatched to engage them four squadrons of horse, such as he had reserved
near him for the sudden exigencies of the field; and by this providence of
his, the more furiously they had advanced, the more keenly were they
repulsed and utterly routed. Thus against the Britons themselves their own
devices were turned; and by the order of the General, the squadrons of
cavalry which charged in front, wheeled about and assailed the enemy
behind. Then in truth, all over the open fields was to be seen a spectacle
prodigious and tragical, incessant pursuits, wounds and captivity, and the
present captives always slaughtered, as often as others occurred to be
taken. Now the enemy behaved just as they happened to be prompted by their
several humours. Sometimes they fled in large troops with all their arms,
before a smaller number that pursued them: others, quite unarmed, rushed
into peril, and desperately presented themselves to instant death. On all
sides lay scattered arms and carcasses, and mangled limbs, and the ground
was dyed with blood. Nay, now and then even by the vanquished was exerted
notable wrath and bravery. When once they drew near the woods, they
rejoined and rallied, and thus circumvented the foremost pursuers, such
as, without knowing the country, had rashly ventured too far. Whence we
must have suffered some notable disaster, from such confidence void of
caution, had not Agricola who was assiduously visiting every quarter,
ordered the stoutest cohorts lightly equipped to range themselves in the
form of a toil [Footnote: A net or web, to encompass them; such as
Herodotus describes, for clearing out a vanquished enemy.] to invest them,
also some of the cavalry to dismount, and enter the strait passes, and the
rest of the horse, at the same time, to beat the more open and passable
parts of the woods. Now, as soon as they perceived our forces to continue
the pursuit with ranks regular and close, they betook themselves to open
flight, in no united bands as before, no one man regarding or awaiting
another; but quite scattered, and each shunning any companion, they all
made to places far remote and desert. What ended the pursuit was night and
a satiety of slaughter. Of the enemy were slain ten thousand. There fell
of our men three hundred and forty, amongst these Aulus Atticus, commander
of a cohort; one by his own youthful heart, as also by a fiery horse,
hurried into the midst of the enemies.

It was indeed a night of great joy to the conquerors, both from victory
and spoil. The Britons, who wandered in despair, men and women uttering in
concert their dismal wailings, dragged along their wounded, called to such
as were unhurt, deserted their houses, nay, in rage even set them on fire;
made choice of lurking holes, then instantly forsook them; then met to
consult, and from their counsels gathered some hope: sometimes, upon
beholding their dearest pledges of nature, their spirits became utterly
sunk and dejected; sometimes, by the same sight, they were roused into
resolution and fury. Nay, 'tis very certain, that some murdered their
children and wives, as an act of compassion and tenderness. The next day
produced a more ample display of the victory; on all sides a profound
silence, solitary hills, thick smoke rising from the houses on fire, and
not a living soul to be found by the scouts. When from these, who had been
despatched out every way, it was learnt, that whither the enemy had fled
no certain traces could be discovered, and that they had nowhere rallied
in bodies; when the summer was likewise passed and thence an impossibility
of extending the operations of war, he conducted his army into the borders
of the Horestians. After he had there received hostages, he ordered the
Admiral of the Fleet to sail round Britain. For this expedition he was
furnished with proper forces, and before him was already gone forth the
terror of the Roman power: he himself the while led on his foot and horse
with a slow pace, that thus the minds of these new nations might be awed
and dismayed even by prolonging his march through them: he then lodged his
army in garrisons for the winter. The fleet too having found a favourable
sea, entered with great fame, into the harbour of Rhutupium: [Footnote:
Supposed to be Sandwich Haven.] for, from thence it had sailed, and
coasting along the nethermost shore of Britain, thither returned.

With this course and situation of things Agricola by letters acquainted
the Emperor; tidings which, however modestly recounted, without all
ostentation, or any pomp of words, Domitian received as with joy in his
countenance, so with anguish in his soul: such was his custom. His heart
indeed smote him for his late mock triumph over the Germans, which he knew
to be held in public derision; as to adorn it he had purchased a number of
slaves, who were so decked in their habits and hair, as to resemble
captives in war. But here a victory mighty and certain, gained by the
slaughter of so many thousands of the enemy, was universally sounded by
the voice of fame, and received with vast applause. Terrible above all
things it was to him, that the name of a private man should be exalted
above that of the Prince. In vain had he driven from the public tribunals
all pursuits of popular evidence and fame, in vain smothered the lustre of
every civil accomplishment, if any other than himself possessed the glory
of excelling in war: nay, however he might dissemble every other distaste,
yet to the person of the Emperor properly appertained the virtue and
praise of being a great General. Tortured with these anxious thoughts, and
indulging his humour of being shut up in secret, a certain indication that
he was fostering some sanguinary purpose, he at last judged it the best
course, upon this occasion, to hide and reserve his rancour till the first
flights of fame were passed, and the affection of the army cooled. For,
Agricola held yet the administration of Britain.

To him therefore he caused to be decreed in Senate the triumphal
ornaments, a statue crowned with laurel, with whatever else is bestowed
instead of a real triumph, and heightened this his compliment with many
expressions full of esteem and honour. He directed moreover a general
expectation to be raised, that to Agricola was destined the Province of
Syria, a Government then vacant by the death of Atilius Rufus, a man of
Consular quality, since the same was reserved only for men of illustrious
rank. Many there were who believed, that an Imperial freedman, one much
trusted with the secret designs of his master, was by him despatched to
carry the instrument appointing Agricola Governor of Syria, with orders to
deliver it to him, were he still in Britain; that the freedman met
Agricola crossing the Channel, and without once speaking to him, returned
directly to Domitian. It is uncertain whether this account be true, or
only a fiction framed in conformity to the character and genius of the
Prince. To his successor, in the meantime, Agricola had surrendered the
Province now settled in perfect peace and security. Moreover, to prevent
all remarks upon the manner of his entry into Rome, from any popular
distinction paid him, and any concourse of people to meet him, he utterly
declined this observance of his friends, and came into the city by night;
and by night, as he was directed, went to the palace. He was there
received by the Emperor, with a short embrace, but without a word said;
then passed, undistinguished, amongst the crowd of servile courtiers. Now
in order to soften with other and different virtues the reputation of a
military man, a name ever distasteful to those who live themselves in
idleness, he resigned himself entirely to indolence and repose. In his
dress he was modest; in his conversation courteous and free, and never
found accompanied with more than one or two of his friends. Insomuch that
many, such especially as are wont to judge of great men by their retinue
and parade, all calculated to gain popular admiration, when they had
beheld and observed Agricola, sought to know whence proceeded his mighty
fame: there were indeed but few who could account for the motives of his

Frequently, during the course of that time, was he accused in his absence
before Domitian, and in his absence also acquitted. What threatened his
life was no crime of his, nor complaint of any particular for injuries
received, nor aught else save the glorious character of the man, and the
spirit of the Emperor hating all excellence and every virtue. With these
causes there concurred the most mischievous sort of all enemies, they who
extolled him in order to destroy him. Moreover in the Commonwealth there
ensued such times as would not permit the name of Agricola to remain
unmentioned: so many were the armies which we had lost in Moesia, in
Dacia, in Germany, in Pannonia; all by the wretched conduct of our
Generals, either altogether impotent or foolhardy: so many withal were the
brave officers, with so many bands of men overthrown and taken. Neither
was the question and contest now about maintaining the limits of the
Empire and guarding the rivers which served for its boundaries, but about
defending the standing encampments of the legions and preserving our own
territories. Thus, when public misfortunes were following one another in a
continual train, when every year was become signal for calamities and
slaughters, Agricola was by the common voice of the populace required for
the command of our armies. For, all men were comparing his vigour, his
firmness, and his mind trained in war, with the sloth and timidity of the
others. With discourses of this strain, it is certain that even the ears
of Domitian himself were teased; whilst all the best of his freedmen
advised and pressed him to this choice, out of pure affection and duty, as
did the worst out of virulence and envy; and to whatever appeared most
malignant that Prince was ever prone. In this manner was Agricola, as well
through his own virtues as through the base management of others, pushed
upon a precipice even of glory.

A.D. 90. The year was now arrived when to the lot of Agricola was to fall
the Proconsulship of Asia or of Africa: and, as Civica had been lately
murdered (even whilst Proconsul of the former Province), Agricola was
neither unprepared what course to pursue, nor Domitian unfurnished with an
example to follow. It happened too, that certain persons, men apprised of
the secret purposes of the Prince, made it their business to accost
Agricola and ask him, whether he meant in earnest to take possession of
his Province. Nay, they began, at first indeed with some reserve, to extol
a life of tranquillity and repose; anon they proffered their good offices
to procure his demission and excuse: at last, throwing off all disguise,
and proceeding at once to dissuade and to intimidate him, they prevailed
with him to be carried, with this as his suit, to Domitian. He, already
prepared to dissemble his sentiments, and assuming a mien of haughtiness,
not only received the petition of Agricola to be excused, but when he had
granted it, suffered himself to be presented with formal thanks, Nor was
he ashamed of conferring a grace so unpopular and odious. To Agricola
however he gave not the salary which was wont to be paid to Proconsuls,
and which he himself had continued to some. Whether he were affronted that
it was not asked, or whether restrained by his own guilty mind, lest he
might seem to have purchased with money what he had hindered by his
interposition and power. It is the nature of men, that whomsoever they
injure they hate. Now Domitian was in his temper apt to be suddenly
transported into rage, and, in proportion as he smothered his vengeance,
the more irreconcilable he always certainly proved. Yet by the prudence
and moderation of Agricola, he was softened. For, by no contumacy of his,
nor by any vain ostentation of a spirit of liberty ill-timed, did he court
fame or urge his fate. Let such who are wont to admire things daring and
forbidden, know, that even under evil Princes great men may be produced,
and that by the means of modesty and observance, provided these be
accompanied with application and vigour, they may rise to an equal measure
of public estimation and praise with that of many, who through a conduct
very stubborn and precipitate, but of no advantage to the Commonweal, have
distinguished themselves by dying only to gain a great name.

A.D. 93. Afflicting to us his family proved the end of his life, sorrowful
to his friends; and even to foreigners and such as knew him not, matter of
trouble and condolence. The commonalty likewise, and such people as were
void of employment, [Footnote: Or it may be thus translated: "The body of
the people though chiefly intent upon such affairs as concerned not the
State."--GORDON. Burnouf is better: "Ce peuple, qu'occupent d'autres
intrts."] were not only frequent in their visits to his house, but in
all public places, in all particular companies made him the subject of
their conversation. Nor, when his death was divulged, was there a soul
found who either rejoiced at it, or presently forgot it. What heightened
the public commiseration and concern, was a prevailing rumour that he was
despatched by poison. That there was any proof of this, I dare not aver.
Yet it is true, that during the whole course of his illness, Domitian
caused frequent visits to be made him, indeed much more frequent than
Princes are wont to make, both by his favourite freedmen and most trusty
physicians; whether through real concern for his health, or solicitude to
learn the probability of his death. It is well known that on the day in
which he expired, continual accounts were, by messengers purposely placed,
every instant transmitted to the Emperor, how fast his end was
approaching; and no one believed, that he would thus quicken such tidings,
had he been to feel any sorrow from hearing them. In his face however and
even in his spirit, he affected to show some guise of grief; for, he was
now secure against the object of his hate, and could more easily dissemble
his present joy, than lately his fear. It was abundantly notorious how
much it rejoiced him, upon reading the last will of Agricola, to find
himself left joint heir with his excellent wife and tender daughter. This
he took to have been done out of judgment and choice, and in pure honour
to himself. So blind and corrupt was his mind rendered by continual
flattery, as not to know, that to no Prince but a bad one will any good
father bequeath his fortune.

Agricola was born on the 13th of June, during the third Consulship of the
Emperor Caligula. He died on the 24th of August, during the Consulship of
Collega and Priscus, in the fifty-sixth year of his age. If posterity be
desirous to know his make and stature; in his person he was rather genteel
and regular than tall. [Footnote: Decentior quam sublimior fuit.] In his
aspect there was nothing terrible. His looks were extremely graceful and
pleasing. A good man you would have readily believed him, and been glad to
have found that he was a great man. Nay, though he was snatched away
whilst his age was yet in full vigour, if however his life be measured by
his glory, he attained to a mighty length of days. For, every true
felicity and acquisition, namely, all such as arise from virtue, he had
already enjoyed to the full. As he had been likewise dignified with the
Consular and triumphal honours, what more could fortune add to his lustre
and renown? After enormous wealth he sought not: an honourable share he
possessed. As behind him he left surviving his daughter and his wife, he
may be even accounted happy; since by dying whilst his credit was nowise
impaired, his fame in its full splendour, his relations and friends yet in
a state of security, he escaped the evils to come. For, as before us he
was wont to express his wishes, that he might survive to see this truly
blessed Age, and Trajan swaying the sovereignty, wishes which he uttered
with presages as of what would surely ensue; so it was a wondrous
consolation attending the quickness of his death, that thence he evaded
the misery of the latter times, when Domitian, who had ceased to exert his
tyranny by starts only and intermissions, was come now to rend the
Commonwealth by cruelties without all respite, and to overthrow it as it
were by one great and deadly stroke.

For, Agricola saw not the Court of the Senate besieged, nor the Senate
enclosed by armed men, nor the butchery of so many men of Consular
dignity, nor the flight and exile of so many ladies of the prime nobility,
all effected in one continued havoc. Till then Carus Metius, the accuser,
was only considerable for having been victorious in one bloody process;
till then the cruel motions of Messallinus rang only within the palace at
Alba; [Footnote: A country palace of Domitian.] and in those days Massa
Bebius (afterwards so exercised in arraigning the innocent) was himself
arraigned as a criminal. Presently after we, with our own hands, dragged
Helvidius to prison and execution: we beheld the melancholy doom of
Mauricus and Rusticus: we found ourselves besprinkled with the innocent
blood of Senecio. Even Nero withheld his eyes from scenes of cruelty, he
indeed ordered murders to be perpetrated, but saw not the perpetration.
The principal part of our miseries under Domitian, was to be obliged to
see him and be seen by him, at a time when all our sighs and sorrows were
watched and marked down for condemnation; when that cruel countenance of
his, always covered with a settled red, whence he hardened himself against
all shame and blushing, served him to mark and recount all the pale
horrors at once possessing so many men. Thou therefore, Agricola, art
happy, not only as thy life was glorious, but as thy death was seasonable.
According to the account of such who heard thy last words, thou didst
accept thy fate cheerfully and with firmness, as if thou thus didst thy
part to show the Emperor to be guiltless. But to myself and thy daughter,
besides the anguish of having our father snatched from us, it proves a
fresh accession of sorrow, that we had not an opportunity to attend thee
in thy sickness, to solace thy sinking spirits, to please ourselves with
seeing thee, please ourselves with embracing thee. Doubtless, we should
have greedily received thy instructions and sayings, and engraved them for
ever upon our hearts. This is our woe, this a wound to our spirit, that by
the lot of long absence from thee thou wast already lost to us for four
years before thy death. There is no question, excellent father, but that
with whatever thy condition required thou wast honourably supplied, as
thou wast attended by thy wife, one so full of tenderness for her husband:
yet fewer tears accompanied thy course, and during thy last moments
somewhat was wanting to satisfy thine eyes.

If for the _Manes_ of the just any place be found; if, as philosophers
hold, great spirits perish not with the body, pleasing be thy repose.
Moreover, recall us thy family from this our weakness in regretting thee,
and from these our effeminate wailings, to the contemplation of thy
virtues, for which it were unjust to lament or to mourn. Let us rather
adorn thy memory with deathless praises and (as far as our infirmities
will allow) by pursuing and adopting thy excellencies. This is true
honour, this the natural duty incumbent upon every near relation. This is
also what I would recommend to thy daughter and thy wife, so to reverence
the memory of a father, and a husband, as to be ever ruminating upon all
his doings, upon all his sayings, and rather to adore his immortal name,
rather the image of his mind than that of his person. Not that I mean to
condemn the use of statues, such as are framed of marble or brass. But as
the persons of men are frail and perishing, so are likewise the
portraitures of men. The form of the soul is eternal, such as you cannot
represent and preserve by the craft of hands or by materials foreign to
its nature, nor otherwise than by a similitude and conformity of manners.
Whatever we loved in Agricola, whatever we admired, remains, and will for
ever remain implanted in the hearts of men, through an eternity of ages,
and conveyed down in the voice of fame, in the record of things. For, many
of the great ancients, by being buried in oblivion, have thence reaped the
fate of men altogether mean and inglorious: but Agricola shall ever
survive in his history here composed and transmitted to posterity.


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