Front Page Titles (by Subject) BOOK XLI. - The History of Rome, Vol. 6
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BOOK XLI. - Titus Livius (Livy), The History of Rome, Vol. 6 [10 AD]
The History of Rome by Titus Livius. Translated from the Original with Notes and Illustrations by George Baker, A.M.. First American, from the Last London Edition, in Six Volumes (New York: Peter A. Mesier et al., 1823). Vol. 6.
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The sacred fire of the temple of Vesta extinguished. Titus Sempronius Gracchus, proconsul, subdues the Celtiberians, receives their submission, and, for a perpetual monument of his exploits, builds a town in Spain, to which he gives the name of Gracchuris. The Vaccæans and Lusitanians subdued by Postumius Albinus, who triumphs over them. Aulus Manlius, consul, marching into Istria, suffers a partial defeat; but afterwards routs the Istrians. Quintus Voconius Saxa proposes a law, that women shall not inherit, which is supported by Cato, and carried. Successful operations, under different commanders, against the Ligurians, Istrians, Sardinians, and Celtiberians. Perseus prepares for war; solicits the assistance of the Carthaginians, of the Grecian states, and of Antiochus Epiphanes. Character of Antiochus.*
II. When the Roman army first reached the lake Timavus, the Istrians took post behind a hill, where they could not be seen; and on its march thence followed it through by-ways, watching attentively for some opportunity that might give them an advantage; nor did any thing that was done, either on land or sea, escape their observation. When they saw the weakness of the advanced guards of the Romans, and that the market-place was filled with an unarmed crowd, who carried on a traffic with the camp, and that they had not fortified themselves either by works on land, or by the help of ships, they made an assault on two of their posts at once, the Placentine cohort, and the two companies of the second legion. A morning fog concealed their design; and when this began to disperse as the sun grew warm, the light, piercing through it in some degree, yet still being far from clear, and, as usual in such cases, magnifying the appearance of every thing, imposed so far on the Romans, that they thought the force of the enemy much greater than it really was. The troops in both the posts were so terrified, that they ran in the utmost confusion to the camp, where they caused much greater alarm than that which they were under themselves; for they could neither tell what had made them fly, nor answer any question that was asked. Then a shouting was heard at all the gates. There were no guards at them capable of withstanding an attack; and the hurry in which the men crowded and pressed against each other, from the want of light, made it suspected that the enemy were already in the camp. One only cry was heard from all, to hasten to the sea. These words were uttered by one alone, yet the cry quickly resounded in every part. At first, therefore, a few with their arms, and many more without them, as if they had received orders so to do, ran off to the seashore; then followed others in greater numbers, and, at length, almost the whole of the army, with the consul himself, who had endeavoured to call back the runaways by commands, advice, and, at last, by entreaties, but all to no purpose. Marcus Licinius Strabo, a military tribune of the third legion, with three companies alone, remained; the rest of his legion having gone off. The Istrians, breaking into the empty camp, and meeting none other to oppose them, came upon him while he was drawing up and encouraging his men at the general’s quarters; on which a fight ensued, more vigorous than could have been expected from so small a band; nor did it cease until the tribune, and those who stood round him, were all slain. The enemy then, tearing down the general’s tent, and seizing on all they could find, went on to the quæstor’s quarters, and the adjoining Forum, called Quintana. In the quæstor’s tent was plenty of all kinds of food ready dressed and laid out, and the couches being placed in order, their chieftain lay down, and began to feast. Presently all the rest, thinking no more of fighting or of the enemy, did the same; and being unaccustomed to any sort of rich food, they greedily gorged themselves with meat and wine.
III. Affairs among the Romans wore a very different aspect. There was nothing but confusion both on land and sea; the mariners struck their tents, and hastily conveyed on board the provisions which had been sent on shore; the soldiers in a panic pressed into the boats, and even into the water. The seamen were in fear lest their vessels should be overcrowded, so that some of them opposed the entrance of the multitude, while others pushed off into the deep. Hence arose a dispute, and in a short time a fight, not without wounds and loss of lives, both of soldiers and seamen; until, by order of the consul, the fleet was removed to a distance from the shore. He next set about separating the armed from the unarmed; and, out of so large a number, he hardly found twelve hundred who had preserved their arms: very few horsemen who had brought their horses with them; while the rest formed only an irregular ill-looking throng, like servants and sutlers, and would certainly have fallen a prey to the enemy, had they thought of pursuing their advantage. At length an express was dispatched to call in the third legion and the foragers; and at the same time the troops began to march back from all parts, in order to retake the camp, and repair their disgrace. The military tribunes of the third legion ordered their men to throw away the forage and wood, and the centurions to mount two elderly soldiers on horses from which the loads were thrown, each horseman taking a young foot-soldier behind him. He told them, “it would reflect great honour on their legion, if they should recover, by bravery, the camp which had been lost by the cowardice of the second; and that this might be easily effected, if the barbarians were surprised while busied in plundering. In like manner as they had taken it, so might it be retaken.” His exhortation was received by the army with tokens of the utmost alacrity; the standards advanced with speed, nor did the soldiers give any delay to the standard-bearers. The consul, and the troops that went back from the shore, reached the rampart first. Lucius Atius, first tribune of the second legion, not only urged on his men, but told them, that “if the Istrians meant to retain the camp which they had taken by the same arms which gave them possession of it, they would, in the first place, have pursued their enemy to the sea; and, in the next place, they would certainly have stationed guards outside the rampart; and that, in all probability, they were lying in sleep, or drowned in wine.”
IV. Saying this, he ordered his own standard-bearer, Aulus Bæculonius, a man of known bravery, to bear in the standard; who replied, that if the men were willing to follow him, he would throw it in. Then, exerting all his strength, he threw the standard across the entrenchment, and was the first that entered the gate. At this juncture arrived, on the other side, Titus Ælius and Caius Ælius, military tribunes of the third legion, with their cavalry; and, quickly after them, the soldiers whom they had mounted in pairs on the beasts of burden; also the consul, with the main body. As to the Istrians, a few, who were not quite so much intoxicated as the rest, had sense enough left to fly; death perpetuated the sleep of the others; and the Romans recovered all their effects unimpaired, except the victuals and wine which had been consumed. The soldiers, too, who had been left sick in the camp, when they saw their countrymen within the trenches, snatched up arms, and committed great slaughter. Caius Popilius, surnamed Sabellus, a horseman, distinguished himself on this occasion above all the rest. He had been left behind in the camp, on account of a wound in his foot, notwithstanding which he did much greater execution among the enemy than any other. Eight thousand Istrians were killed, but not one prisoner taken; for rage and indignation had made the Romans regardless of booty. The King of the Istrians, though in a state of ebriety, was hastily mounted on a horse by his people, and effected his escape. Of the conquerors there were lost two hundred and thirty-seven men; more of whom fell in the fight in the morning, than in the retaking of the camp.
V. It happened that Cneius and Lucius Cavillius, with recruits lately enlisted at Aquileia, coming with a convoy of provisions, and not knowing what had passed, were very near going into the camp after it was taken by the Istrians. These men then, leaving their baggage, and flying back to Aquileia, caused a general consternation and alarm, not only there, but, in a few days after, at Rome also; for there it was reported, not only that the camp was taken, and that the troops ran away, as was really the case, but that the whole army was entirely cut off. Wherefore, as usual in cases of uncommon danger, extraordinary levies were ordered by proclamation, both in the city and throughout all Italy. Two legions of Roman citizens were raised, and the Latine allies were ordered to furnish ten thousand foot and five hundred horse. The consul Marcus Junius was sent into Gaul, to demand from the several states of that province, whatever number of troops each was able to supply. At the same time it was mentioned in the decree, that Tiberius Claudius, the prætor, should issue orders for the fourth legion, and five thousand foot and two hundred and fifty horse, of the Latines, to assemble at Pisæ; that, with this force, he should guard that province during the consul’s absence: and that Marcus Titinius, prætor, should order the first legion, and an equal number of allied foot and horse, to meet at Ariminum. Nero, habited in general’s robes, set out for Pisæ, the province allotted him. Titinius, sending Caius Cassius, military tribune, to Ariminum, to command the legion there, employed himself in raising soldiers in Rome. The consul Marcus Junius, (passing over from Liguria into the province of Gaul, and, as he went along, collecting auxiliaries from the Gallic states, and recruits from the colonies,) came to Aquileia. There he learned that the army was safe; wherefore, after dispatching a letter to Rome, to put an end to the alarm, he sent home the Gallic auxiliaries, and proceeded himself to join his colleague. The unexpected news caused great joy at Rome; the levies were stopped, the soldiers who had been enlisted and sworn were discharged, and the troops at Ariminum, who were afflicted with a pestilential sickness, were remanded home. The Istrians, who, with a numerous force, were encamped at no great distance from the consul, when they understood that the other consul was arrived with a new army, dispersed and returned to their several states; when the consuls led back their legions into winter-quarters at Aquileia.
VI. The alarm caused by the affairs of Istria being at length composed, the senate passed an order, that the consuls should settle between themselves which of them should come to Rome, to preside at the elections. Two plebeian tribunes, Aulus Licinius Narva and Caius Papirius Turdus, in their harangues to the people, uttered severe reflections on Manlius, then abroad; and proposed the passing of an order, that although the government of their provinces had already been continued to the consuls for a year, yet Manlius should not hold command beyond the ides of March; in order that he might immediately, on the expiration of his office, be brought to trial. Against this proposition, Quintus Ælius, another tribune, protested; and, after violent struggles, prevailed so far, as to prevent its being passed. About this time, Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus and Lucius Postumius Albinus came home from Spain. The prætor Marcus Titinius gave them an audience of the senate, in the temple of Bellona, that they might represent their services; and demand such honours as they merited, together with a thanksgiving to the immortal gods. At the same time arrived a letter from Titus Æbutius, the prætor, brought by his son to the senate, informing them of great commotions in Sardinia; that the Ilians, having procured aid of the Balarians, had made an inroad into the peaceable part of the province; and that it was not possible to make head against them with a feeble army, whose numbers were greatly diminished by an epidemic sickness. Ambassadors from the Sardinians made the same representations, and besought the senate to send relief to their cities; for as to the country, it was already entirely ruined. This embassy, and every thing relative to Sardinia, was referred to the new magistrates. An embassy from the Lycians, no less entitled to commiseration, complained of the cruel treatment which they suffered from the Rhodians, to whose government they had been annexed by Lucius Cornelius Scipio. “They had formerly,” they said, “been under the dominion of Antiochus; and their bondage under that King, compared to their present condition, appeared an honourable state of liberty; that they were not only oppressed by acts of government, but individuals underwent every suffering, as if really slaves. That themselves, their wives, and children, were abused alike by them; cruelties were practised on their persons, while the vilest aspersions and calumnies were cast on their character. They were openly treated with contemptuous insults, merely for the purpose of exercising an usurped prerogative, and to show that no distinction was made between them and purchased slaves.” The senate was highly displeased at such proceedings, and gave the Lycians a letter to the Rhodians, acquainting them, that “it was the will of the senate, that neither the Lycians should be subjected to the Rhodians as slaves, nor any other freeborn people be reduced to such a state; but that the Lycians should be under the government, and, at the same time, the protection of the Rhodians, in like manner as the allied states were subjected to the Roman people.”
VII. Two triumphs for conquests in Spain were then successively celebrated. First, Sempronius Gracchus triumphed over the Celtiberians and their allies; next day, Lucius Postumius, over the Lusitanians, and the other Spaniards in that quarter. Tiberius Gracchus carried in the procession twenty thousand pounds weight of silver, Albinus forty thousand. They distributed to each of their soldiers twenty-five denariuses,* double to a centurion, triple to a horseman; the same sums to the allied troops as to the Roman. The consul Marcus Junius happened to arrive at Rome at this time from Istria, in order to hold the elections. The plebeian tribunes, Papirius and Licinius, after harassing him in the senate, with questions relative to what had passed in Istria, brought him into the assembly of the people. To their inquiries, the consul answered, that “he had been not more than eleven days in that province; and that, as to what had happened when he was not present, his information, like their own, rested on report.” But they still proceeded to ask, “why, then, did not Manlius rather come to Rome, that he might account to the Roman people for his having quitted Gaul, the province allotted to him, and gone into Istria? When had the senate decreed a war with that nation? When had the people ordered it? But he will say, ‘Though the war was indeed undertaken by private authority, yet it was conducted with prudence and courage.’ On the contrary, it is impossible to say, whether the impropriety in undertaking it, or the misconduct in the carrying it on, was greater. Two advanced guards were surprised by the Istrians; a Roman camp was taken, with whatever infantry and cavalry were in it; the rest, in disorder, without arms, and among the foremost the consul himself, fled to the shore and the ships. But he should answer for all these matters when he became a private citizen, since he had avoided it while consul.”
VIII. The elections were then held, in which Caius Claudius Pulcher and Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus were chosen consuls. Next day, the following persons were elected prætors, Publius Ælius Tubero, a second time, Caius Quintius Flamininus, Caius Numisius, Lucius Mummius, Cneius Cornelius Scipio, and Publius Valerius Lævinus. The city jurisdiction fell, by lot, to Tubero; the foreign, to Quintius; Sicily, to Numisius; and Sardinia, to Mummius; but this last, on account of the importance of the war there, was made a consular province, and bestowed on Gracchus. The lots gave Istria to Claudius; and Gaul, divided into two provinces, to Scipio and Lævinus.Y. R.575.
IX. The senate granted their petitions; and then proceeded on the business of Sardinia and Istria, the provinces which were in a state of war. It was ordered, that two legions should be raised for Sardinia, each containing five thousand two hundred foot, and three hundred horse; and of the allies and Latines, twelve thousand foot and six hundred horse; and that the consul should take ten ships, of five banks of oars, out of any docks he chose. The same numbers of infantry and cavalry were decreed for Istria as for Sardinia. The consuls were ordered to send into Spain, to Marcus Titinius, one legion, with three hundred horse, and five thousand foot, and three hundred horse of the allies. Before the consuls cast lots for their provinces, several prodigies were reported: that, in the Crustumine territory, a stone fell from the sky into the grove of Mars; that, in the Roman territory, a boy was born defective in his limbs; that a serpent with four feet had been seen; that at Capua, many buildings in the Forum were struck by lightning; and, at Puteoli, two ships were burned by lightning. While these prodigies were reported from abroad, one happened in Rome itself; for a wolf, having come in through the Colline gate in the middle of the day, was, for a long time, driven about through the city, and at length, though pursued by great multitudes, escaped through the Esquiline. On account of these prodigies, the consuls sacrificed victims of the larger kinds, and there was a supplication, for one day, at all the shrines. When the sacrifices were duly performed, they cast lots for their provinces; when Istria fell to Claudius, Sardinia to Sempronius. Then Caius Claudius, by direction of the senate, procured a law to be passed respecting the allies, and issued a proclamation, that “any of the allies and Latine confederates, who, themselves, or whose ancestors, had been surveyed among the associated states of Latium in the censorship of Marcus Claudius and Titus Quintius, or at any time since, should all return, each to his respective state, before the calends of November.” Lucius Mummius, the prætor, was commissioned to make inquiry concerning such as did not obey. To the law, and the proclamation of the consul, was added a decree of the senate, that “the dictator, consul, interrex, censor, or prætor, for the time being, before whom any slave should be brought, to receive manumission, should cause the said slave so to be discharged, to make oath, that the person giving him liberty did not do it for the purpose of his being admitted a citizen of any state, of which he was not already a member;” and any one refusing this oath, the decree ordered, should not be manumitted. The cognizance and jurisdiction in this business, for the future, was assigned to Caius Claudius the consul.
X. While these matters passed at Rome, Marcus Junius and Aulus Manlius, the consuls of the preceding year, after remaining during winter at Aquileia, led their army, early in the spring, into the Istrian territories, and spread their depredations through a great part of the country; on which the Istrians, rather out of grief and indignation at seeing their property plundered, than from any well-grounded hope of being able to make head against these joint forces, flew to arms. They hastily assembled their young men, who ran together from all their cantons; and this raw and tumultuary army made its first onset with more vigour than it was able steadily to support. Four thousand of them were slain in the field; and the rest, renouncing all thoughts of farther opposition, dispersed and fled to their homes. Soon after, they sent ambassadors to the Roman camp to sue for peace, and then delivered up the hostages required of them. When these transactions were made known at Rome, by letters from the proconsul, Caius Claudius, the consul, began to fear that this proceeding might, perhaps, take the province and the army out of his hands; and therefore, without offering vows, without assuming the military habit, and unaccompanied by his lictors, having acquainted his colleague alone with his intention, he set out in the night, and with the utmost speed hastened to the province, where he conducted himself even with less prudence than he had shown in coming. For, in an assembly which he called, after making severe remarks on Manlius’s running away from the camp, which were very offensive to the ears of the soldiers, as they themselves had begun the flight; and, after railing at Marcus Junius, as having made himself a sharer in the disgrace of his colleague, he at last ordered both of them to quit the province. They replied, that when the consul should come, in the regular manner, agreeably to ancient practice; when he should set out from the city, after offering vows in the Capitol, attended by his lictors, and dressed in the military habit, then they would obey his orders. This threw him into such a furious rage, that he called the person who acted as quæstor to Manlius, and ordered him to bring fetters, threatening to send Junius and Manlius to Rome in chains. This man, too, slighted the consul’s command; and the surrounding crowd of soldiers, who favoured the cause of their commanders, and were incensed against Claudius, supplied him with resolution to refuse obedience. At last the consul, overpowered by the reproaches of individuals and the scoffs of the multitude, for they even turned him into ridicule, went back to Aquileia in the ship that had brought him. From thence he wrote to his colleague, desiring him to give notice to that part of the new raised troops, who were enlisted for Istria, to assemble at Aquileia, in order that he should have no delay at Rome, but set out, as soon as the ceremony of offering vows was finished, in the military habit. These directions his colleague punctually executed, and a short day was appointed for the assembling of the troops. Claudius almost overtook his own letter. On his arrival he called an assembly, that he might represent the conduct of Manlius and Junius; and, staying only three days in Rome, he offered his vows in the Capitol, put on the military habit, and, attended by his lictors, set out to his province with the same rapid speed which he had used in the former journey.
XI. A few days before his arrival, Junius and Manlius had laid vigorous siege to the town of Nesartium, in which the principal Istrians, and Epulo their King, had shut themselves up. Claudius, bringing thither the two new legions, dismissed the old army, with its commanders; invested the town himself; and prosecuted the siege with regular works. A river which flowed on the outside of the wall, and greatly impeded the proceedings of the besiegers, while it supplied the besieged with a convenience of water, he, with many days labour, turned out of its course, and conveyed away in another channel. This event, of the water being cut off, terrified the Barbarians, as if effected by some supernatural power; yet still they entertained no thoughts of peace, but set about killing their wives and children; exhibiting a spectacle shocking even to their enemies; and, after putting them to death in open view on the walls, tumbled them down. During this horrid carnage, the soldiers, scaling the walls, effected an entrance into the town. As soon as their King heard the uproar, and understood, from the cries of terror uttered by the flying inhabitants, that the place was captured, he plunged his sword into his breast, that he might not be taken alive: the rest were either killed or made prisoners. After this, two other towns, Mutila and Faveria, were stormed and destroyed. The booty, which exceeded expectation, considering the poverty of the nation, was all given up to the soldiers. Five thousand six hundred and thirty-two persons were sold by auction, and the fomenters of the war were beaten with rods, and beheaded. By the destruction of these three towns, and the death of the King, the whole country of Istria was brought to terms of peace; every one of its states giving hostages, and submitting to the dominion of the Romans.
XII. For some time before the conclusion of the war of Istria, the Ligurians had begun to hold consultations about the renewal of hostilities. Tiberius Claudius, proconsul, who had been consul the year before, at the head of one legion, posted at Pisæ, held the government of that province. He gave information to the senate, by letter, of their proceedings; and they ordered, that “the same letter should be carried to Caius Claudius,” for Gracchus had already crossed over into Sardinia; and they added a decree, that, peace being established in the province of Istria, he should, if he thought proper, lead his army into Liguria. At the same time, a supplication for two days was decreed, in consequence of the account given by the consul, in his letter, of his services performed in Istria. The other consul, Sempronius, likewise, was successful in his operations in Sardinia. He carried his army into the territory of the Ilian tribe of Sardinians, who had received a powerful reinforcement from the Balarians. He fought a pitched battle against the combined forces of the two states, defeated and put them to flight, and made himself master of their camp, having killed twelve thousand of their men. Next day, the consul ordered their arms to be gathered into a heap and burned, as an offering to Vulcan. He then led back his victorious troops into winter-quarters in the allied cities. Caius Claudius, on receipt of the letter of Tiberius Claudius, and the decree of the senate, marched his legions out of Istria into Liguria. The enemy, having advanced into the plains, were encamped on the river Scultenna: here a pitched battle was fought, in which fifteen thousand of the enemy were killed, and about seven hundred captured in the fight, and in the camp, for that too was stormed; and also fifty-one military standards were taken. The Ligurians who survived, fled back into the mountains; the consul ravaged all the low country, but met, nowhere, any appearance of arms. Claudius, having thus in one year subdued two nations, and, what has rarely been achieved in a single consulate, completed the reduction of two provinces, came home to Rome.
XIII. Several prodigies were reported this year: that at Crustuminum; a kind of vulture, which they call the Bloodsucker, cut a sacred stone with its beak; that a cow spoke, in Campania; that, at Syracuse, a brazen statue of a cow was mounted by a farmer’s bull, which had strayed from the herd. A supplication of one day was performed in Crustuminum, on the spot; the cow in Campania was ordered to be maintained at the public expense, and the prodigy at Syracuse was expiated according to directions given by the aruspices, respecting the deities to whom supplications should be offered. This year died, in the office of pontiff, Marcus Claudius Marcellus, who had been consul and censor; and his son, Marcus Marcellus, was chosen into the vacant place. The same year a colony of two thousand Roman citizens was settled at Luna, under the care of Publius Ælius, Lucius Egilius, and Cneius Sicinius, who allotted to each fifty-one acres and a half of land. This land had been taken from the Ligurians, and had been the property of the Etrurians, before it fell into their possession. Caius Claudius, consul, arrived at the city, and, after laying before the senate a detail of his successful services in Istria and Liguria, demanded a triumph, which was granted. He triumphed, in office, over the two nations at once. In this procession he carried three hundred and seven thousand denariuses,* and eighty-five thousand seven hundred and two quinariuses.† To each soldier he gave fifteen denariuses,‡ double to a centurion, triple to a horseman. The allied soldiers received less, by half, than the native troops, for which reason they followed his chariot in silence, to show their disgust.
XIV. While this triumphing over the Ligurians was celebrated, that people, perceiving that not only the consular army returned to Rome, but also that the legion at Pisæ had been disbanded by Tiberius Claudius, laid aside their fears, and, collecting an army, secretly crossed the mountains by winding paths, and came down into the plains; where, after ravaging the lands of Mutina, by a sudden assault they gained possession of the city itself. When an account of this was brought to Rome, the senate ordered Caius Claudius, the consul, to hold the elections as soon as possible, and (after appointing magistrates for the ensuing year) to go back to his province, and rescue the colony out of the hands of the enemy. The elections were held as the senate had directed; and Cneius Cornelius Scipio Hispalus, with Quintus Petillius Spurinus, were chosen consuls. Then were elected prætors, Marcus Popillius Lænas, Publius Licinius Crassus, Marcus Cornelius Scipio, Lucius Papirius Maso, Marcus Aburius, and Lucius Aquilius Gallus. Caius Claudius, consul, was continued in command for a year in the province of Gaul; and he was ordered, lest the Istrians should follow the example of the Ligurians, to send into Istria the allied Latine troops, which he had brought home to attend his triumph.Y. R.576.
XV. While the senate was employed in these affairs, Caius Cornelius, being called by a messenger, went out of the senatehouse; and, after a short time, returned with a troubled countenance, and told the Conscript Fathers, that the liver of a fat ox, which he had sacrificed, had melted away; that when this was told to him by the person who dressed the victims, he did not believe it, but went himself and ordered the water to be poured out of the vessel in which the entrails were boiled; when he saw all entire but the liver, which had been unaccountably consumed. While the Fathers were under much terror on account of this prodigy, their alarm was augmented by the other consul, who informed them, that, on account of the first victim having wanted the head of the liver, he had sacrificed three oxen, and had not yet found favourable omens. The senate ordered him to continue sacrificing the larger victims, until he should find the desired tokens. It is said, that the victims offered to the other deities, at length presented good omens; but that in those offered to Health, Petillius could find none such. Then the consuls and prætors cast lots for their provinces, when Pisæ fell to Cneius Cornelius; Liguria to Petillius. Of the prætors, Lucius Papirius Maso obtained the city jurisdiction; Marcus Abutius, the foreign; Marcus Cornelius Scipio Maluginensis, the Farther Spain; Lucius Aquilius Gallus, Sicily. Two of them petitioned to be excused from going into their provinces. First, Marcus Popillius requested he might not be obliged to go to Sardinia, alleging, that, “Gracchus was bringing that province into a state of tranquillity; that the senate had assigned him the prætor Titus Æbutius, as an assistant; and that it was by no means expedient to interrupt the train of business, for the completion of which there was no method so efficacious as the continuing the management in the same hands; for, between the transferring of the command, and the successor coming (a stranger to the business of the province), it often happened, that very favourable opportunities were lost.” The excuse of Popilius was admitted. Then Publius Licinius Bassus alleged, that he was prevented from going into his province by solemn sacrifices, necessary to be performed. That which had fallen to his lot was the Hither Spain. But he was ordered either to proceed thither, or to swear, in the public assembly, that he was hindered by the performance of solemn anniversary sacrifices. When this determination was made in the case of Publius Licinius, Marcus Cornelius demanded that his oath, of the like import, might be admitted as an excuse for his not going into the Farther Spain. Both the prætors accordingly took an oath in the same words. It was ordered, that Marcus Titinius and Titus Fonteius, proconsuls, should remain in Spain, with authority as before; and that a reinforcement should be sent to them, of three thousand Roman foot, with three hundred horse; and five hundred Latine foot, with three hundred horse.
XVI The Latine festival was celebrated on the third day before the nones of May;* and because, on the offering of one of the victims, the magistrate had not prayed for the roman people, the quirites, a scruple arose concerning the validity of the performance. The matter being laid before the senate, and referred by them to the college of pontiffs, the the latter determined, that the Latine festival had not been duly performed, and must be repeated; and that the Lanuvians, who had given cause for the repetition, should furnish the victims. Besides the concern, excited by matters of a religious nature, another incident caused no small degree of uneasiness. The consul Cneius Cornelius, as he was returning from the Alban mount, fell down, and lost the use of one half of his limbs; he was carried to the waters of Cumæ, where, his disorder still increasing, he died. His body was conveyed to Rome to be buried, and the funeral obsequies were performed with great magnificence: he was likewise a pontiff. The other consul, Quintus Petillius, was ordered to hold an assembly, as soon as the auspices could be taken, for the election of a consul in the room of his late colleague, and to proclaim the Latine festival. Accordingly, by proclamation, he fixed the election for the third day before the nones of August,* and the Latine festival for the third before the ideas of the same month.† While people’s minds were much troubled, from the apprehension of the displeasure of the gods; to add thereto, several prodigies were reported to have happened: that a blazing torch was seen in the sky at Tusculum; that the temple of Apollo, and many private buildings, at Gabii, and a wall and gate at Graviscæ, were struck by lightning. The senate ordered these to be expiated as the pontiffs should direct. While the consuls were detained, at first by religious ceremonies, and afterwards, one of them, by the death of the other, and then by the election and the repetition of the Latine festival, Caius Claudius marched the army to Mutina, which the Ligurians had taken the year before. Within three days from the commencement of the siege he retook it, and delivered it back to the colonists: on this occasion eight thousand Ligurians were killed within the walls. He immediately dispatched a letter to Rome, in which he not only represented this success, but likewise boasted, that, through his good conduct and good fortune, there was not one enemy of the Roman people left on this side the Alps; and that a large tract of land had been taken, sufficient, if distributed in shares, for the accommodation of many thousand people.
XVII. During the same period, Tiberius Sempronius, after gaining many victories, and killing fifteen thousand of the enemy, totally subdued the people of Sardinia, and reduced, under the Roman dominion, every state in the island that had revolted. On those which had formerly been tributary, double takes were imposed and levied; the rest paid a contribution in corn. When he had thus restored peace in the province, and received hostages from all parts of the island, to the number of two hundred and thirty, he sent deputies to Rome, to give information of these transactions, and to request of the senate, that in consideration of those services, performed under the conduct and auspices of Tiberius Sempronius, a thanksgiving might be offered to the immortal gods, and permission granted him to quit the province, and bring home the army with him. The senate gave audience to the deputies in the temple of Apollo, ordered a thanksgiving for two days, and that the consuls should sacrifice forty victims of the larger kinds; but commanded the proconsul, Tiberius Sempronius, and his army, to continue in the province for the year. Then the election for filling the vacant place of a consul, which had been fixed by proclamation for the third day before the nones of August,* was finished in one day, and the consul Quintus Petillius declared Caius Valerius Lævinus duly elected his colleague, who was to assume immediately the administration of his office. This man had been long ambitious of the government of a province, and, very seasonably for the gratification of his wishes, a letter now arrived with intelligence, that the Ligurians were again in arms. Wherefore, on the nones of August,† he assumed the military habit; and ordered that, on account of this alarm, the third legion should march into Gaul, and join Caius Claudius, proconsul, and that the commanders of the fleet should sail with their ships to Pisæ, and coast along the Ligurian shore, to terrify that people by the sight of a naval power also. The other consul, Quintus Petillius, had appointed a day for his troops to assemble in the same place. On the other hand, Caius Claudius, proconsul, on hearing of the rebellion in Liguria, hastily collected some soldiers, in addition to those whom he had with him at Parma, and with this force marched to the frontiers of Liguria.
XVIII. On the approach of Caius Claudius, the enemy, reflecting that this was the same commander who had defeated them at the river Scultenna, resolved to rely on situation, rather than arms, for their defence against a force with which they had so unsuccessfully struggled. With this design, they took post on two mountains, called Letum and Balista; and, for greater security, they surrounded their encampment with a wall. Some, who were too slow in removing from the low grounds, were surprised, and put to the sword,—one thousand five hundred in number. The others kept themselves close on the mountains; and retaining, in the midst of their fears, their native savage disposition, vented their fury on the prey taken at Mutina. The prisoners they mangled in a shocking manner, and put to death; the cattle they butchered in the temples, rather than decently sacrificed; and then, (satiated with the destruction of living creatures,) they turned their fury against things inanimate, dashing against the walls even vessels made for use, rather than for show. Quintus Petillius, the consul, fearing that the war might be brought to a conclusion before he arrived in the province, wrote to Caius Claudius to bring the army into Gaul, saying, that he would wait for him at the Long Plains. Claudius, immediately on receipt of the letter, marched out of Liguria, and at the appointed place gave up the command of the army to the consul. To these plains came, in a few days after, the other consul Caius Valerius. Here they agreed on a division of their forces; but before they separated, both together performed a purification of the troops. They then cast lots for their routes, it having been resolved that they should not assail the enemy on the same side. Valerius clearly performed his part of the ceremony with propriety; but with regard to Petillius, as the augurs afterwards pronounced, the procedure was faulty, for he was not in the consecrated place when he put his lot into the urn, which was afterwards carried in. They then began their march in different directions; Petillius led his troops against the ridge of Balista and Letum, which joined the two together with one continued range, and encamped at the foot of it. We are told, that, while he was here encouraging his soldiers, whom he had assembled for the purpose, without reflecting on the ambiguity of the word, he uttered this ominous expression: “Before night I will have Letum.”* He made his troops march up the mountain in two places at the same time. The division, where he commanded in person, advanced briskly; the other was repulsed by the enemy; and the consul riding up thither, to remedy the disorder, rallied indeed his troops, but exposing himself too carelessly in the front, was pierced through with a javelin, and fell. The commanders of the enemy did not know that he was killed; and the few of his own party, who saw the disaster, carefully covered the body from view, knowing that, on the concealment of what had happened, the victory depended. The rest of the troops, horse and foot, though deprived of their leader, dislodged the enemy, and took possession of the mountains. Five thousand of the Ligurians were slain, and of the Roman army only fifty-two were lost. Besides this evident completion of the unhappy omen, the keeper of the chickens was heard to say, that there had been a defect in the auspices, and that the consul was not ignorant of it. Caius Valerius, when he was informed of the death of Quintus Petillius, made the army, thus bereft of its commander, join his own; then, attacking the enemy again, he shed copious streams of their blood, to appease the shade of his departed colleague. He had the honour of a triumph over the Ligurians. The legion, at whose head the consul was killed, was severely punished by the senate; their year’s pay was stopped, and that campaign was not allowed in their number, for not exposing themselves to the enemy’s weapons in defence of their commander. About this time ambassadors came to Rome from the Dardanians, who were greatly distressed by the numerous army of Bastarnians, under Clondicus, mentioned above. These ambassadors, after describing the vast multitude of the Bastarnians, their tall and huge bodies, and their daring intrepidity in facing danger, added, that there was an alliance between them and Perseus, and that the Dardanians were really more afraid of him than even of the Bastarnians; and therefore begged of the senate to send them assistance. The senate thereupon agreed, that ambassadors should be sent to examine into the affairs of Macedonia; and Aulus Postumius was immediately commissioned to go thither. The colleague: joined with him were some young men, that he might have the principal direction and management of the embassy. The senate then took into consideration the election of magistrates for the ensuing year, on which subject there was a long debate; for people skilled in the rules of religion and politics affirmed, that, as the regular consuls of the year had died, one by the sword, the other by sickness, the substituted consul was not qualified to hold the elections.Y. R.577.
XIX. On the hither side of the river Audena, Quintus Mucius made war on those who had wasted the lands of Luna and Pisæ, reduced them all to subjection, and stripped them of their arms. On account of these services, performed under the conduct and auspices of the two consuls, the senate voted a thanksgiving for three days, and sacrifices of forty victims. The commotions which broke out in Gaul and Liguria, at the beginning of this year, were thus speedily suppressed, without any great difficulty; but the apprehensions of the public, respecting a war with Macedonia, still continued. For Perseus laboured to embroil the Bastarnians with the Dardanians; and the ambassadors, sent to examine into the state of affairs in Macedonia, returned to Rome, and brought certain information, that hostilities had commenced in Dardania. At the same time, came envoys from King Perseus, with assurances, that he had neither invited the Bastarnians, nor countenanced any of their proceedings. The senate neither acquitted the King of the imputation, nor urged it against him; they only ordered warning to be given him, to be very careful to show, that he considered the treaty between him and the Romans as inviolable. The Dardanians, perceiving that the Bastarnians, so far from quitting their country, as they had hoped, became daily more troublesome, as they were supported by the neighbouring Thracians and Scordiscians, thought it necessary to make some effort against them, though without any reasonable prospect of success. Accordingly, they assembled together in arms from all quarters, at the town that was nearest to the camp of the Bastarnians. It was now winter, and they chose that season of the year, as supposing that the Thracians and Scordiscians would return to their own countries. As soon as they heard that these were gone, and the Bastarnians left by themselves, they divided their forces into two parts, that one might march openly along the straight road to attack the enemy; and that the other, going round through a wood, which lay out of sight, might assault them on the rear. But, before these could arrive at the enemy’s post, the fight commenced, and the Dardanians were beaten, and pursued to the town, which was about twelve miles from the Bastarnian camp. The victors immediately invested the place, not doubting that, on the day following, either the enemy would surrender it, or they might take it by storm. Meanwhile, the other body of Dardanians, which had gone round, not having heard of the defeat of their countrymen, easily possessed themselves of the camp of the Bastarnians, which had been left without a guard. The Bastarnians, thus deprived of all their provisions and warlike stores, and having no means of replacing them in a hostile country and at that unfavourable season, resolved to return to their native home. When they arrived at the Danube,they found it, to their great joy, covered with ice so thick as to seem capable of sustaining any weight. But, when it came to be pressed under the immense weight of the whole body of men and cattle, crowding together in their haste, after supporting the burthen for a long time, it suddenly split into numberless pieces, and plunged the entire multitude in the deep. The greatest part were instantly swallowed up; many, striving to swim out, were sunk by the fragments of the ice, and a very few escaped to either bank, none without being severely cut or bruised. About this time, Antiochus, son to Antiochus the Great, who had been for a long time a hostage at Rome, came into possession of the kingdom of Syria, on the death of his brother Seleucus. For Seleucus, whom the Greeks call Philopator, having received the kingdom of Syria greatly debilitated by the misfortunes of his father, during a reign of twelve years never distinguished himself by any memorable enterprise; and, at this time, called home from Rome this his younger brother, sending, in his stead, his own son Demetrius, according to the terms of the treaty, which allowed the changing of the hostages from time to time. Antiochus had but just reached Athens on his way, when Seleucus was murdered, in consequence of a conspiracy formed by Heliodorus, one of the nobles. This man aimed at the crown for himself, but was obliged to fly by Attalus and Eumenes, who put Antiochus in possession of it, expecting great advantages to themselves from having him bound to them in gratitude for a service so important. They now began to harbour some jealousy of the Romans, on account of several trifling causes of disgust. Antiochus was received by the people with such transports of joy, that they gave him the surname of Epiphanes, or Rising Star, because, when aliens to the royal blood were about to seize the throne, he appeared like a propitious star, to assert his hereditary right. He was not deficient in capacity or vigour of mind to make a figure in war; butsuch perversity and indiscretion prevailed in his whole conduct and behaviour, that they soon changed the surname which they had given him, and instead of Epiphanes, called him Epimanes, or madman; for many were the acts of folly ar madness which he committed. He used frequently to go out, without the knowledge of any of his servants, clad in garments embroidered with gold; at one time to annoy the passengers, by throwing stones at them; at another to amuse himself by flinging handfuls of money among the crowd, to be scrambled for. He allowed himself to commit the most egregious follies and the vilest indecencies in common tippling houses and in the public baths; drinking with strangers, and mingling with the lowest of the people. Among many other instances of his folly, it is mentioned that he used to lay aside his royal robes, and put on a gown, as he had seen the candidates for office do at Rome, and then go about the Forum saluting and embracing each of the plebeians; soliciting at one time for the ædileship, at another for the plebeian tribuneship, until at last he obtained the office by the suffrages of the people, and then, according to the Roman custom, he took his seat in an ivory chair, where he heard causes, and listened to debates on the most trivial matters.
XX. He never thought of adhering to any rule, but rambled incessantly, adopting by turns, every kind of behaviour, insomuch, that no one could judge with certainty as to his real character. Sometimes he would not speak to his friends, nor scarcely afford a smile to his acquaintance. By a preposterous kind of liberality, he made himself and others subjects of ridicule; for to some, in the most elevated stations, and who thought highly of themselves, he would give childish presents of sweetmeats, cakes, or toys; while on others, who, having no claims, expected nothing, he would bestow large sums of money. Wherefore to many he appeared not to know what he was doing; some said that he acted from a silly sportive temper; others, that he was evidently mad. In two great and honourable instances, however, he showed a spirit truly royal,—in the presents which he made to several cities, and the honour he paid to the gods. To the inhabitants of Megalopolis in Arcadia, he made a promise to build a wall round their city, and he gave them the greater part of the money requisite for the purpose. At Tegea he began to erect a magnificent theatre of marble. At Cyzicum, he presented a set of golden utensils for the service of one table in the Prytaneum, the state-room of the city, where such as are entitled to that honour dine together. To the Rhodians he gave presents of every kind that their convenience required, but none very remarkable. Of the magnificence of his notions, in every thing respecting the gods, the temple of Jupiter Olympius at Athens was of itself a sufficient testimony; being the only one in the world, the plan of which was suitable to the greatness of the deity. He likewise ornamented Delos with altars of extraordinary beauty, and abundance of statues. A magnificent temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, which he promised to build at Antioch, of which not only the ceilings, but all the walls were to be covered with plates of gold, and many other edifices which he intended in various places he did not finish, as his reign was short. His magnificence in the exhibition of public shows, also surpassed that of all former kings, both by their uncommon splendour, usual in his own kingdom, and by the great number of Grecian performers. He gave a show of gladiators in the Roman manner, which at first, among a people unaccustomed to such sights, caused more terror than pleasure; but by frequently repeating them, sometimes permitting the combatants to go no farther than wounds, at other times to proceed to extremities, he rendered such kind of shows not only familiar to people’s eyes, but even agreeable, and kindled in the young men a passion for arms; insomuch that, although, at the beginning, he was obliged to entice gladiators from Rome, by high rewards, he soon found a sufficientnumber in his own dominions willing to perform for a moderate hire. The shows which he exhibited, formed, in every respect, a perfect contrast to his own character, which was a compound of every thing that was absurd and trifling: nothing could be more magnificent than these were: nothing more vile and contemptible than the King himself. To return, however, to the Roman affairs, from which the mention of this King has caused us to digress too far. Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, after holding the government of Sardinia two years, resigned it to Servius Cornelius Sulla, the prætor, and, coming home to Rome, triumphed over the Sardinians. We are told that he brought such a multitude of captives from that island, that from the long continuance of the sale, “Sardinians for sale,” became a vulgar proverb, to denote things of little price. Both the consuls (Scævola and Lepidus) triumphed over the Ligurians; Lepidus over the Gauls also. Then were held the elections of magistrates for the ensuing year. Spurius Postumius Albinus and Quintus Mucius Scævola were chosen consuls.Y. R.578.
XXI.The provinces assigned to the consuls were Gaul and Liguria. On the prætors casting lots, the city jurisdiction fell to Caius Cassius Longinus, and the foreign, to Lucius Cornelius Scipio. The province of Sardinia fell to Marcus Atilius, who was ordered to sail over to Corsica, with a new legion, raised by the consuls, consisting of five thousand foot and three hundred horse; and while he was engaged in carrying on the war there, Cornelius was continued in command, that he might hold the government of Sardinia. To Cneius Servilius Cæpio, for the service of the Farther Spain, and to Publius Furius Philus for that of the hither Spain, were assigned,—to each, three thousand Roman foot, with one hundred and fifty horse, and five thousand Latine foot with three hundred horse. Sicily was decreed to Lucius Claudius without any reinforcement. The consuls were ordered to levy two more legions, of the regular numbers in foot and horse, and to call on the allies for ten thousand foot and six hundred horse: but they met great difficulty in making the levies; for the pestilence which, the year before, had fallen on the cattle, in the present year attacked the human species. Such as were seized by it, seldom survived the seventh day; those who did survive, lingered under a tedious disorder, which generally turned to a quartan ague. The mortality was greatest among the slaves, of whom heaps lay unburied on all the roads. Nor were there conductors of funerals sufficient to bury even the people of free condition. The bodies were consumed by putrefaction, without being touched by the dogs or vultures; and it was universally observed, that, during that and the preceding year, while the mortality of cattle and men was so great, no vultures were any where seen. Of the public priests, there died, by this contagion, Cneius Servilius Cæpio, father of the prætor, a pontiff; Tiberius Sempronius Longus, son of Tiberius, decemvir of religious rites; Publius Ælius Pætus, and Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, augurs; Caius Mamilius Vitulus, chief curio; and Marcus Sempronius Tuditanus, a pontiff. In the vacant places of pontiffs* were chosen Caius Sulpicius Galba, in the room of Tuditanus. New augurs were appointed, Titus Veturius Gracchus Sempronianus, in place of Gracchus; and Quintus Ælius Pætus, in place of Publius Ælius. Caius Sempronius Longus was made decemvir of religious rites, and Caius Scribonius Curio, chief curio. The plague continuing, the senate voted that the decemvirs should consult the Sibylline books; and, by their directions, a supplication of one day was performed; and the people, assembled in the forum, made a vow, in words dictated by Quintus Marcius Philippus, that “if the sickness and pestilence should be removed out of the Roman territory, they would solemnize a festival and thanksgiving of two days’ continuance.” In the district of Veii, a boy was born with two heads; at Sinuessa, one with a single hand; and at Oximum, a girl with teeth; in the middle of the day, the sky being perfectly clear, a rainbow was seen, stretching over the temple of Saturn, in the Roman Forum, and three suns shone at once; and, the following night, many lights were seen, gliding through the air, about Lanuvium. The people of Cære affirmed that there had appeared in their town a snake, with a mane, having its body marked with spots like gold; and it was fully proved, that an ox had spoken in Campania.
XXII. On the nones of June,† the ambassadors returned from Africa. They had first waited on King Masinissa; whence they proceeded to Carthage; but they received much more certain information respecting the proceedings in that city from the King than from the Carthaginians themselves. They said, they had sufficient proof, that ambassadors had come from King Perseus, and that the senate had given them audience, by night, in the temple of Æsculapius; and the King asserted, that the Carthaginians had sent ambassadors to Macedonia, which they themselves did not positively deny. The senate, hereupon, resolved to send an embassy to Macedonia. They made choice of Caius Lælius, Marcus Valerius Messala, and Sextus Digitius, who accordingly proceeded thither. About this time, Perseus, in order to chastise some of the Dolopians, who were refractory, and insisted on the matters in dispute being determined by the Romans, and not by the King, marched an army into their country, and reduced the whole nation under his jurisdiction and dominion. Thence he passed through the mountains of Œta, and, on account of some religious scruples affecting his mind, went up to Delphos, to apply to the oracle. His sudden appearance in the middle of Greece caused a great alarm, not only in the neighbouring states, but even in Asia, whither an account of the disturbance was brought to King Eumenes. He staid only three days at Delphos, and then returned to his own dominions, through Phthiotis, Achaia, and Thessaly, without doing the least injury or damage to those countries. He did not think it sufficient to conciliate the esteem of the several states through which his road lay; but dispatched either ambassadors or letters to every one of the Grecian powers, requesting that they would “think no more of the animosities which had subsisted between them and his father; for that the disputes had not been so violent as that they might not, and ought not, to be dropped. On his part, there was no kind of obstacle to the forming of a cordial friendship.” Above all, he wished, particularly, to find some way of ingratiating himself with the Achæan nation.
XXIII. This nation, and the state of Athens, had carried their resentment to such a length, as to prohibit the Macedonians entering their territories. In consequence of this, Macedonia became a place of refuge for slaves running away out of Achaia; for, as the Achæans had forbidden the inhabitants of Macedonia to set foot in their territories, they could not presume to pass the boundaries of that kingdom. When Perseus observed this, he seized all the fugitives, and wrote a letter to the Achæans, telling them, that, out of good will toward them he had sent home their slaves who had fled into his dominions; but that they ought to consider of the proper means of preventing such elopements for the future. When this letter was read by the prætor Xenarchus, who wished to recommend himself to the notice of the King, the greater part who were present, but especially those who had lost their slaves, commended the moderation and kindness with which it was written; but Callicrates, one who thought that the safety of the nation depended on the treaty with Rome being preserved inviolate, delivered his sentiments to this effect:—“Achæans,—some of you seem to consider the business under consideration, as being of little consequence. Now, for my part, I think it of the utmost importance; and that, instead of being under consideration, it is already in a manner decided. We prohibited the kings of Macedonia, and all their subjects, from entering our territories, and made a perpetual decree, not to receive from those sovereigns either ambassadors or messengers, who might attempt to draw us from our duty; yet we, I say, listen to what may, in some measure, be deemed the discourse of the King, though absent, and what is more, approve of his discourse. Although brute beasts generally reject and shun the food laid in their way for their destruction; yet we, blinded by the specious offer of an insignificant favour, swallow the bait, and would, for the sake of recovering a parcel of wretched slaves, of no value worth mentioning, suffer our independence to be undermined and subverted. Is there a man among you who does not see, that the result expected from this business, is an alliance with the King, and consequently a dissolution of the treaty with Rome, the grand support of all our interests? That there must be a war between Perseus and the Romans, is not, I believe, a matter of doubt; it was expected during the life of Philip, and would have taken place, if his death had not interrupted its progress; it will, now, that he is dead, most certainly ensue. Philip, you all know, had two sons, Demetrius and Perseus. Demetrius was far superior in birth, on the mother’s side, in merit, capacity, and in the esteem of the Macedonian nation. But Philip, having set up the crown as the prize of hatred towards the Romans, put Demetrius to death, for no other crime than having contracted a friendship with that people; and raised Perseus to the throne, because he knew that his own antipathy to the Romans would descend to him, with the crown. Accordingly, how has the present king employed himself since his father’s death, but in preparing for the war? In the first place, to the terror of all the surrounding nations he brought the Bastarnians into Dardania; where, if they had made a lasting settlement, they would have proved more troublesome neighbours to Greece, than the Gauls are to Asia. Disappointed in that hope, he did not drop his design of a war; nay, if we choose to speak the truth, he has already commenced hostilities. He subdued Dolopia, by force of arms; and would not listen to their appeal to the arbitration of the Romans. Then, crossing Œta, that he might show himself in the very heart of Greece, he went up to Delphos. What, think you, was his view in taking a journey so uncommon? He next traversed Thessaly; and as to his refraining on his rout from doing injury to the people whom he hated, I dread his machinations the more on that very account. He then sent a letter to us, with show of an act of kindness, and in which it is recommended that we consider of such measures as may prevent our needing the same in future, that is, to repeal the decree by which the Macedonians are excluded from Peloponnesus, to receive again ambassadors from him their king; to renew intimacies contracted with his principal subjects; so if, in a short time, we should see Macedonian armies, himself at their head, crossing over the narrow streight from Delphos into Peloponnesus, and thus be blended with this people, while they are arming themselves against the Romans. My opinion is, that we ought not to resolve on any new proceeding, but to keep every thing in its present state, until the question shall be decided with certainty, whether these our fears be well or ill grounded. If the peace between the Romans and Macedonians shall continue inviolate, then may we also have a friendship and intercourse with Perseus; but to think of such a measure now, appears to me both premature and dangerous.”
XXIV. After him, Arco, brother to the prætor Xenarchus, said:—“Callicrates has laid me, and every one who differs in opinion from him, under a difficulty in delivering our sentiments; for after his pleading in favour of the Roman alliance, alleging designs formed, and meditated attacks on that state, yet (although there be no design formed, or attack meditated,) whoever dissents from him, must seem to argue against the cause of the Romans. In the first place, as if he had just left the senate-house of the Roman people, or had been admitted into the privy councils of kings, he knows and tells us every transaction that passed in secret. Nay more, inspired with a divining faculty, he pronounces what would have happened if Philip had lived, how Perseus became heir of the kingdom; what are the intentions of the Macedonians, and what the thoughts of the Romans. But we, who neither know for what cause, nor in what manner, Demetrius perished, nor what Philip would have done, if he had lived, must accommodate our resolutions to the transactions that have passed in open view. We know that Perseus, on his coming to the throne, sent ambassadors to Rome, and received the title of King from the senate, and we hear that ambassadors came from Rome to the King, and were graciously received by him. As far as I can judge, all these circumstances do not prognosticate hostility; and the Romans cannot be offended, if, as we followed their lead in war, so we follow now their example in peace. For my part, I cannot see, why we alone, of all mankind, wage implacable war against this kingdom. Are we exposed to insult by a close neighbourhood to Macedonia? or are we like the Dolopians, whom Perseus subdued lately, the weakest of all states? No; on the contrary, thanks to the bounty of the gods, we are sufficiently secured, as well by our own strength, as by the remoteness of our situation. But we have as much reason to apprehend ill treatment, as the Thessalians and the Ætolians; we have no more credit or influence with the Romans, though ever their friends and allies, than the Ætolians who, but lately, were their enemies. Whatever reciprocal rights the Ætolians, the Thessalians, the Epirots, in short, every state in Greece, allow to subsist between them and the Macedonians, let us allow the same. Why are we, alone, to carry inveterate rancour so far as to oppose the common claims of mankind? Admitting that Philip’s conduct was such as to justify our passing the decree against him, which we did when he was in arms, and making war on us; yet how has Perseus, a prince just seated on the throne, whom we cannot charge with any kind of injustice toward us, and who endeavours, by his own kindness, to obliterate the memory of his father’s quarrels;—how has he deserved, at our hands, that we should be his only enemies? I may go farther, and affirm, that so great have been our obligations to the former kings of Macedon, that the ill usage, suffered from a single prince of their line, if any has really been suffered from Philip, ought to be forgotten, especially after his death. When a Roman fleet was lying at Cenchræ, and the consul, with his army, was at Elatia, we were three days in council, deliberating whether we should follow the Romans or Philip. Now, granting that the fear of immediate danger from the Romans had no influence on our judgments, yet there was, certainly, something that made our deliberation last so long; and that was, the connection which had long subsisted between us and the Macedonians; the distinguished favours which we had, of old, received from their kings. Let the same considerations prevail at present,—not to make us his singular friends, but to hinder us from becoming his singular enemies. Let us not, Callicrates, pretend what is not even thought of. No one advises us to form a new alliance, or sign a new treaty, by which we might inconsiderately entangle ourselves, but merely to open the intercourse of affording and demanding justice; and so as not, by excluding his subjects from our territories, to exclude our slaves from his dominions; nor yet to let the latter have a hiding-place to fly to. How does this operate against the Roman treaty? Why do we give an air of importance and suspicion to a matter which is trifling and open to the world? Why do we raise groundless alarms? Why, for the sake of ingratiating ourselves still more particularly with our allies, render others odious and suspected? If war shall take place, even Perseus himself does not doubt our taking part with the Romans. While peace continues, let animosities, if they are not terminated, be at least suspended.” Those who approved the King’s letter expressed their approbation of this speech; but the chief men in the assembly represented it as so humiliating, on their side, that the King, without deigning even to employ an embassy on the occasion, should compass his end by a letter of a few lines, that it was agreed to postpone coming to any resolution on the subject. Perseus afterward sent ambassadors, when the council was sitting at Megalopolis; but those who dreaded a rupture with Rome, took care to prevent their being admitted to audience.
XXV. Sometime before this, the Ætolians vented their fury on each other, with such violence, and so much blood was shed by the contending parties, that the total extinction of the nation seemed to be at no great distance. Then both parties, being wearied, sent ambassadors to Rome, and also opened a negociation between themselves for the restoration of concord; but this was broken off, by an act of barbarity, which revived their old quarrels. Some exiles from Hypata, who were of the faction of Proxenus, had received a promise of being re-admitted into their native city; and Eupolemus, first magistrate of the state, having pledged the public faith for their security, they returned home, to the number of eighty persons of distinction. Eupolemus went out, among the rest of the multitude, to meet them; they were received and saluted with every expression of kindness, and right hands were reciprocally given. But no sooner did they enter the gate, than they were all put to death, while they, in vain, appealed to the faith pledged to them, and the gods who witnessed the transaction. On this the war blazed out anew, with greater fury than ever. Caius Valerius Lævinus, Appius Claudius Pulcher, Caius Memmius, Marcus Popillius, and Lucius Canuleius, being sent as ambassadors by the senate, arrived in that country. The deputies of both parties debated the business before them at Delphos, with great heat on both sides; but Proxenus particularly distinguished himself, and appeared to have greatly the advantage, both in the merits of his cause, and his talents as an orator. A few days after, he was poisoned by his wife Orthobula, who being convicted of the crime went into banishment. Crete was torn in pieces by the same kind of madness; but, on the arrival of Quintus Minucius, lieutenant-general, who was sent with ten ships, to quiet their contentions, the inhabitants had some prospect of peace; however, they only concluded a suspension of arms for six months, after which the war was again renewed with much greater violence. About this time, the Lycians, too, suffered many hardships from the Rhodians. But the wars of foreign nations, among themselves, or the several methods in which they were conducted, it is not my business to detail; having, in the relation of those affairs, in which the Romans were concerned, a task of more than sufficient weight.
XXVI. In Spain, the Celtiberians, (who, since their reduction by Tiberius Gracchus, and their consequent surrender to him, had remained quiet; Marcus Titinius, prætor, holding the government of the province,) on the arrival of Appius Claudius, resumed their arms, and commenced hostilities, with a sudden attack on the Roman camp. At the first dawn the centinels on the rampart, and the men on guard before the gates, descrying the enemy approaching at a distance, gave the alarm. Appius Claudius instantly displayed the signal of battle; and, after exhorting the troops, in few words, ordered them to rush out by three gates at once. But they were opposed by the Celtiberians in the very passage, and, in consequence, the fight was for some time equal on both sides, as, on account of the narrowness of the same, the Romans could not all come into action. Pressing forwards, however, and following close on each other, they made their way beyond the trenches, so that they were able to stretch out their line, until it extended as far as the wings of the enemy, who were endeavouring to surround them; and now they made their onset with such sudden impetuosity, that the Celtiberians could not support the assault. Before the second hour, they were driven from the field: fifteen thousand were either killed or made prisoners, and thirty-two standards were taken. Their camp, also, was stormed the same day, and a conclusion put to the war; for those who survived the battle fled by different ways to their several towns, and, thenceforward, submitted quietly to the Roman government.
XXVII. Quintus Fulvius Flaccus and Aulus Postumius being created censors, this year, reviewed the senate. Marcus Æmilius Lepidus, chief pontiff, was chosen chief of the senate. Nine senators were expelled. The remarkable censures pronounced, were on Marcus Cornelius Maluginensis, who had been prætor in Spain two years before; on Lucius Cornelius Scipio, then prætor and exercising the jurisdiction between natives and foreigners; and on Cneius Fulvius, brother to the censor, and, as Valerius Antias says, partner in property. The consuls, after offering vows in the Capitol, set out for their provinces. Marcus Æmilius was commissioned by the senate to suppress an insurrection of the Patavians in Venetia; for their own ambassadors had given information that the disputes between contending factions had become so violent as to produce a civil war. The ambassadors who had gone into Ætolia, to suppress commotions of a similar kind, reported, on their return, that the outrageous temper of that nation could not be restrained. The consul’s arrival among the Patavians saved them from ruin; and, having no other business in the province, he returned to Rome. The present censors were the first who engaged workmen to pave the streets of Rome with flint stones, to make roads, outside the city, with gravel, and to form raised foot-ways on the sides. They caused bridges to be built in several places, and seats in the theatre to be set apart for the prætors and ædiles; fixed up goals in the Circus, with balls on the goals for marking the number of courses of the chariots; and erected iron grates, through which wild beasts might be let in. They caused the Capitoline hill to be paved with flint, and erected a piazza from the temple of Saturn, in the Capitol, to the senate-house, and over that a public hall. On the outside of the gate Trigemina, they also paved a market-place with stones, and inclosed it with a paling; repaired the Æmilian portico; and formed an ascent, by stairs, from the Tiber to the market-place. They paved, with flint, the portico, from the same gate to the Aventine, and built a courthouse; contracted for walls to be built at Galatia and Oximum, and, selling lots of ground there, which belonged to the public, employed the money arising from the sale in building shops round the Forums of both places. Fulvius Flaccus (for Postumius declared, that, without a decree of the senate, or order of the people, he would not expend any money belonging to them) agreed for building a temple of Jupiter at Pisaurum, and another at Fundi; for bringing water to Pollentia; for paving the street of Pisaurum, and for many various works at Sinuessa; among which were, the drawing round a sewer to fall into the river, the inclosing of the Forum with porticos and shops, and erecting three statues of Janus. These works were all executed under the direction of Fulvius, and gained him a high degree of favour with those colonists. These censors were also very active and strict in their superintendence of the morals of the people. Many knights were deprived of their horses.
XXVIII. At the close of the year, there was a thanksgiving, for one day, on account of the advantages obtained in Spain under the conduct and auspices of Appius Claudius, proconsul; when twenty victims, of the larger kinds, were sacrificed. There was also a supplication, for one day, at the temples of Ceres, Liber, and Liberia, on account of a violent earthquake which had happened in Sabinia, and demolished a great number of buildings. When Appius Claudius came home from Spain, the senate voted that he should enter the city in ovation. The election of consuls now came on, and, after a very warm contest, in consequence of the great number of candidates, the choice fell on Lucius Postumius Albinus and Marcus Popillius Lænas.Y. R.579.
[*]This book is very imperfect: a great part of the beginning of it is lost; and there are, besides, considerable chasms in other parts of it. The supplemental passages which the translator has introduced, to complete the connection, are taken from Crevier. They are printed in a different character.
[*]9,914l. 0s. 10d.
[†]1,325l. 12s. 1d.
[*]Lethum, the name of the place, in the Latin language, signifies death.
[*]So in the original; the name of the person who was chosen in the room of Cæpio being lost.
[†]7th of June.
[*]8072l. 18s. 4d.
[*]Book XXXIV. c. 1.