1These were the occurrences at that time. The following year Caesar held office for the sixth time and conformed in all other respects to the usages handed down from the earliest times, and, in particular, he delivered to Agrippa, his colleague, the bundles of rods as it was incumbent upon him to do, while he himself used the other set, and on completing his term of office he took the oath according to ancestral custom. 2Whether he ever did this again, I do not know, for he always paid exceptional honour to Agrippa; thus he gave him his niece in marriage, and provided him with a tent similar to his own whenever they were campaigning together, and the watchword was given out by both of them. 3At this particular time, now, besides attending to his other duties as usual, he completed the taking of the census, in connection with which his title was princeps senatus, as had been the practice when Rome was truly a republic. Moreover, he completed and dedicated the temple of Apollo on the Palatine, the precinct surrounding it, and the libraries. 4He also celebrated in company with Agrippa the festival which had been voted in honour of the victory won at Actium; and during this celebration he caused the boys and men of the nobility to take part in the Circensian games. 5This festival was held for a time every four years and was in charge of the four priesthoods in succession—I mean the pontifices, the augurs, and the septemviri and quindecimviri, as they were called. On the present occasion, moreover, a gymnastic contest was held, a wooden stadium having been constructed in the Campus Martius, and there was a gladiatorial combat between captives. 6These events continued for several days and were not interrupted even when Caesar fell ill; but Agrippa went on with them even so, discharging Caesar’s duties as well as his own.
2Now Caesar allowed it to be understood that he was spending his private means upon these festivals, and when money was needed for the public treasury, he borrowed some and supplied the want; and for the management of the funds he ordered two annual magistrates to be chosen from among the ex-praetors. 2To the populace he distributed a quadruple allowance of grain and to some of the senators he made presents of money. For so many of them had become impoverished that none was willing to hold even the office of aedile because of the magnitude of the expenditures involved; indeed, the functions which belonged to that office, and particularly the judicial functions, were assigned to the praetors, as had been the custom, the more important to the praetor urbanus and the rest to the praetor peregrinus. 3In addition to all this, Caesar himself appointed the praetor urbanus, as, indeed, he often did subsequently. He cancelled all obligations which had been given to the public treasury previous to the battle of Actium, except those secured by buildings, and he burned the old notes of those who were indebted to the state. 4As for religious matters, he did not allow the Egyptian rites to be celebrated inside the pomerium, but made provision for the temples; those which had been built by private individuals he ordered their sons and descendants, if any survived, to repair, and the rest he restored himself. 5He did not, however, appropriate to himself the credit for their erection, but allowed it to go as before to the original builders. And inasmuch as he had put into effect very many illegal and unjust regulations during the factional strife and the wars, especially in the period of his joint rule with Antony and Lepidus, he abolished them all by a single decree, setting the end of his sixth consulship as the time for their expiration. 6When, now, he obtained approbation and praise for this act, he desired to exhibit another instance of magnanimity, that by such a policy he might be honoured all the more and might have his sovereignty voluntarily confirmed by the people, so as to avoid the appearance of having forced them against their will. 7Therefore, having first primed his most intimate friends among the senators, he entered the senate in his seventh consulship and read the following address:
3“I am sure that I shall seem to some of you, Conscript Fathers, to have made an incredible choice. For what each one of my hearers would not wish to do himself, he does not like to believe, either, when another claims to have done it, especially as everyone is jealous of anybody who is superior to him and so is more prone to disbelieve any utterance that is above his own standard. 2Besides, I know this, that those who say what appears to be incredible not only fail to persuade others but also appear to be impostors. And indeed, if it were a question of my promising something that I was not intending to put into effect immediately, I should have been exceedingly loath to proclaim it, for fear of gaining, instead of gratitude, some grievous imputation. 3But as it is, when the performance will follow the promise this very day, I feel quite confident, not only that I shall incur no reproach of falsehood, but that I shall surpass all mankind in good repute. 4You see for yourselves, of course, that it is in my power to rule over you for life; for every factious element has either been put down through the application of justice or brought to its senses by receiving mercy, while those who were on my side have been made devoted by my reciprocating their friendly services and bound fast by having a share in the government. 2Therefore none of them desires a revolution, and if anything of the sort should take place, at least the party which will stand by me is even more ready than it was before. My military is in the finest condition as regards both loyalty and strength; there is money and there are allies; and, most important of all, you and the people are so disposed toward me that you would distinctly wish to have me at your head. 3However, I shall lead you no longer, and no one will be able to say that it was to win absolute power that I did whatever has hitherto been done. Nay, I give up my office completely, and restore to you absolutely everything,—the army, the laws, and the provinces,—not only those which you committed to me, 4but also those which I myself later acquired for you. Thus my very deeds also will prove to you that even at the outset I desired no position of power, but in very truth wished to avenge my father, cruelly murdered, and to extricate the city from great evils that came on unceasingly. 5Indeed, I would that I had not gone so far as to assume charge of affairs as I did; that is, I would that the city had not required me for any such task, but that we of this generation also might have lived from the beginning in peace and harmony, as our fathers lived of yore. 2But since some destiny, as it appears, brought you to a position where you had need even of me, young as I still was at the time, and put me to the test, I did everything with a zeal even beyond my years and accomplished everything with a good fortune even beyond my powers, so long as the situation demanded my help. 3And nothing in the world could deter me from aiding you when you were in danger,—neither toil, nor fear, nor threats of foes, nor prayers of friends, nor the multitude of the conspirators, nor the desperation of our adversaries; nay, I gave myself to you unstintingly for any and all the exigencies which have arisen, and what I did and suffered, you know. 4From all this I have derived no gain for myself except that I have kept my country from perishing; but as for you, you are enjoying both safety and tranquillity. Since, then, Fortune, by using me, has graciously restored to you peace without treachery and harmony without faction, receive back also your liberty and the republic; take over the army and the subject provinces, and govern yourselves as has been your wont.
6“You should not be surprised at this purpose of mine, when you see my reasonableness in other respects, my mildness, and my love of quiet, and when you reflect, moreover, that I have never accepted any extraordinary privilege nor anything beyond what the many might gain, though you have often voted many of them to me. 2Do not, on the other hand, condemn me as foolish because, when it is in my power to rule over you and to hold so great a sovereignty over this vast world, I do not wish it. For, if one looks into the merits of the case from the point of view of justice, I regard it as most just for you to manage your own affairs; if from the point of view of expediency, I consider it most expedient, both that I should be free from trouble and not be the object of jealousy and intrigue, and that you should have a government based upon liberty and conducted with moderation and friendly feeling; 3and if, finally, from the point of view of glory, to win which many men are often found ready to choose war and personal risk, will it not add most to my renown to resign so great an empire, will it not add most to my glory to leave so exalted a sovereignty and voluntarily become a private citizen? Therefore, if there is any one of you who believes that no man except me can really and sincerely hold to such ideals and give them utterance, at least let him believe it of me. 4For, though I could recite many great benefits conferred upon you both by me and by my father, for which we beyond all other men could reasonably claim your affection and your honour, I could single out no other act in preference to this, nor could I feel a greater pride in any other thing than in this,—that he refused the monarchy although you offered it to him, and that I, when I hold it, lay it aside.
7“What achievement, indeed, could one compare with these acts of ours? The conquest of Gaul, the enslavement of Pannonia, the subjugation of Moesia, the overthrow of Egypt? Or Pharnaces, or Juba, or Phraates, or the campaign against the Britons, or the crossing of the Rhine? Yet these are greater and more important deeds than even all our forefathers together performed in all previous time. 2Nevertheless, no one of these exploits deserves a place beside my present act, to say nothing of our civil wars, of all which have ever occurred the greatest and most varied in its changing fortunes, which we fought to an honourable conclusion and brought to a humane settlement, overpowering as enemies all who resisted, but sparing as friends all who yielded; therein setting an example, so that if it should be fated that our city should ever again be afflicted, one might pray that it should conduct its quarrel in the same way. 3Indeed, I will go further: that we, when we possessed a strength so great, and when we so clearly stood at the summit of prowess and good fortune, that we could exercise over you, with or without your consent, our arbitrary rule, did not lose our senses or conceive the desire for sole supremacy, but that he thrust that supremacy aside when it was offered him and that I return it after it has been given me,—that, I say, transcends the deeds of a man ! 4I say this, not by way of idle boasting,—indeed, I should not have said it at all, if I were going to derive any advantage whatever from it,—but in order that you may see that, although we can point to many benefits conferred upon the state at large and to many services rendered to individuals of which we might boast, yet we take the greatest pride in this, that what others so desire that they are even willing to do violence to gain it, this we do not accept even under compulsion. 8Who could be found more magnanimous than I,—not to mention again my deceased father,—who more nearly divine? For I,—the gods be my witnesses!—who have so many gallant soldiers, both Romans and allies, who are devoted to me, I, who am supreme over the entire sea within the Pillars of Hercules except for a few tribes, I who possess both cities and provinces in every continent, 2at a time when there is no longer any foreign enemy making war upon me and no one at home is engaged in sedition, but when you are all at peace, are harmonious and strong, and, greatest of all, are content to yield obedience, I, in spite of all this, voluntarily and of my own motion resign so great a dominion and give up so vast a possession. 3So then, if Horatius, Mucius, Curtius, Regulus, and the Decii were willing to encounter danger and to die to win the fame of having done a great and noble deed, why should not I desire even more to do this thing, whereby, without losing my life, I shall excel both them and all the rest of mankind in glory? 4In truth no one of you should think that the ancient Romans sought to win fair fame and reputation for valour, but that in these days every manly virtue has become extinct in the state. And further, let no one suspect that I wish to betray you by delivering you into the hands of a group of wicked men, or by giving you over to government by the mob, from which nothing good ever comes, but rather in all cases and for all mankind nothing but the most terrible evils. 5Nay, it is to you senators, to you who are the best and wisest, that I restore the entire administration of the state. The other course I should never have followed, even had it been necessary for me to die a thousand deaths, or even to assume the sole rule; but this policy I adopt both for my own good and for that of the city. 6For I myself have undergone both labours and hardships and am no longer able to stand the strain, either in mind or in body. Furthermore, I foresee the jealousy and hatred which are engendered in certain persons against even the best men and the plots which arise therefrom. 7It is for these reasons that I choose the life of a private citizen and fair fame rather than that of a sovereign and constant peril. And as for the business of the commonwealth, it would be carried on far better by all in common, inasmuch as it would be transacted by many men together instead of being dependent upon some one man.
9“For these reasons, then, I ask and implore you one and all both to approve my course and to coöperate heartily with me, reflecting upon all that I have done for you alike in war and in public life, and rendering me complete recompense for it all by this one favour,—by allowing me at last to be at peace as I live out my life. Thus you will come to know that I understand not only how to rule but also how to submit to rule, and that all the commands which I have laid upon others I can endure to have laid upon me. 2I ask this because I expect to live in security, if that be possible, and to suffer no harm from anybody by either deed or word,—such is the confidence, based upon my own conscience, which I have in your good-will; 3but if some disaster should befall me, such as falls to the lot of many (for it is not possible for a man to please everybody, especially when he has been involved in wars of such magnitude, both foreign and civil, and has had affairs of such importance entrusted to him), with entire willingness I make my choice to die even before my appointed time as a private citizen, in preference to living forever as the occupant of a throne. 4Indeed, this very choice will bring me renown,—that I not only did not deprive another of life in order to win that office, but went so far as even to give up my life in order to avoid being king; and the man who dares to slay me will certainly be punished, I am sure, both by Heaven and by you, as happened, methinks, in the case of my father. 5For he was declared to be the equal of the gods and obtained eternal honours, whereas those who slew him perished, miserable men, by a miserable death. As for immortality, we could not possibly achieve it; but by living nobly and by dying nobly we do in a sense gain even this boon. 6Therefore, I, who already possess the first requisite and hope to possess the second, return to you the armies and the provinces, the revenues and the laws, adding only a few words of suggestion, to the end that you may not be afraid of the magnitude of the business of administration, or of the difficulty of handling it and so become discouraged, and that you may not, on the other hand, regard it with contempt, with the idea that it can easily be managed, and thus neglect it.
10“And yet, after all, I feel no hesitancy about suggesting to you in a summary way what ought to be done in each of the leading departments of administration. And what are these suggestions? In the first place, guard vigilantly the established laws and change none of them; for what remains fixed, even though it be inferior, is more advantageous than what is always subject to innovations, even though it seem to be superior. 2Next, pay strict heed to do whatever these laws enjoin upon you and to refrain from whatever they forbid, and do this not only in word but also in deed, not only in public but also in private, that you may obtain, not penalties, but honours. 3Entrust the offices both of peace and of war to those who are the most excellent and the most prudent, harbouring no jealousy of any man, and indulging in rivalry, not to advance the private interests of this or that man, but to keep the city safe and make it prosperous. 4Honour men who show this spirit, but punish those who act otherwise in political life. Treat your private means as the common property of the state, but refrain from the public funds as belonging to others. Guard strictly what you already have, but never covet that which does not belong to you. 5Do not treat the allies and subject nations insolently nor exploit them for gain, and in dealing with the enemy, neither wrong him nor fear him. Have your arms always in hand, but do not use them either against one another or against those who keep the peace. 6Maintain the soldiers adequately, so that they may not on account of want desire anything which belongs to others; keep them in hand and under discipline, that they may not become presumptuous and do harm.
7“But why make a long speech by going through everything in detail which it behooves you to do? For you may easily understand from these hints how all other matters should be handled. I will close with this one further remark, that if you will conduct the government in this manner, you will both enjoy prosperity yourselves and you will gratify me, who found you engaged in wretched strife and made you what you now are; 8but if there is any part whatever of this programme that you shall prove unable to carry out, you will cause me to regret my action and you will at the same time cast the city again into many wars and grave dangers.”
11While Caesar was reading this address, varied feelings took possession of the senators. A few of them knew his real intention and consequently kept applauding him enthusiastically; of the rest, some were suspicious of his words, while others believed them, and therefore both classes marvelled equally, the one at his cunning and the other at his decision, and both were displeased, the former at his scheming and the latter at his change of mind. 2For already there were some who abhorred the democratic constitution as a breeder of strife, were pleased at the change in government, and took delight in Caesar. Consequently, though they were variously affected by his announcement, their views were the same. 3For, on the one hand, those who believed he had spoken the truth could not show their pleasure,—those who wished to do so being restrained by their fear and the others by their hopes,—and those, on the other hand, who did not believe it did not dare accuse him and expose his insincerity, some because they were afraid and others because they did not care to do so. 4Hence all the doubters either were compelled to believe him or else pretended that they did. As for praising him, some had not the courage and others were unwilling; on the contrary, both while he was reading and afterwards, they kept shouting out, begging for a monarchical government and urging every argument in its favour, until they forced him, as it was made to appear, to assume autocratic power. 5His very first act was to secure a decree granting to the men who should compose his bodyguard double the pay that was given to the rest of the soldiers, so that he might be strictly guarded. When this was done, he was eager to establish the monarchy in very truth.
12In this way he had his supremacy ratified by the senate and by the people as well. But as he wished even so to be thought democratic, while he accepted all the care and oversight of the public business, on the ground that it required some attention on his part, 2yet he declared he would not personally govern all the provinces, and that in the case of such provinces as he should govern he would not do so indefinitely; and he did, in fact, restore to the senate the weaker provinces, on the ground that they were peaceful and free from war, while he retained the more powerful, alleging that they were insecure and precarious and either had enemies on their borders or were able on their own account to begin a serious revolt. 3His professed motive in this was that the senate might fearlessly enjoy the finest portion of the empire, while he himself had the hardships and the dangers; but his real purpose was that by this arrangement the senators should be unarmed and unprepared for battle, while he alone had arms and maintained soldiers. 4Africa, Numidia, Asia, Greece with Epirus, the Dalmatian and Macedonian districts,[*] Crete and the Cyrenaic portion of Libya, Bithynia with Pontus which adjoined it, Sardinia and Baetica were held to belong to the people and the senate; 5while to Caesar belonged the remainder of Spain,—that is, the district of Tarraco and Lusitania,—and all the Gauls,—that is, Gallia Narbonensis, Gallia Lugdunensis, Aquitania, and Belgica, both the natives themselves and the aliens among them. 6For some of the Celts, whom we call Germans, had occupied all the Belgic territory along the Rhine and caused it to be called Germany, the upper portion extending to the sources of that river, and the lower portion reaching to the British Ocean. 7These provinces, then, together with Coele-Syria, as it is called, Phoenicia, Cilicia, Cyprus and Egypt, fell at that time to Caesar’s share; for afterwards he gave Cyprus and Gallia Narbonensis back to the people, and for himself took Dalmatia instead. 8This same course was followed subsequently in the case of other provinces also, as the progress of my narrative will show; but I have enumerated these provinces in this way because at the present time each one of them is governed separately, whereas in the beginning and for a long period thereafter they were administered two and three together. 9The others I have not mentioned because some of them were acquired later, and the rest, even if they were already subjugated, were not being governed by the Romans, but either had been left autonomous or had been attached to some kingdom or other. All of them which came into the Roman empire after this period were added to the provinces of the one who was emperor at the time.
13Such, then, was the apportionment of the provinces. And wishing, even then, to lead the Romans a long way from the idea that he was at all monarchical in his purposes, Caesar undertook for only ten years the government of the provinces assigned him; for he promised to reduce them to order within this period, and boastfully added that, if they should be pacified sooner, he would the sooner restore them, too, to the senate. 2Thereupon he first appointed the senators themselves to govern both classes of provinces, except Egypt. This province alone he assigned to a knight, the one we have already named, for the reasons mentioned there. Next he ordained that the governors of senatorial provinces should be annual magistrates, chosen by lot, except when a senator enjoyed a special privilege because of the large number of his children or because of his marriage. 3These governors were to be sent out by vote of the senate in public meeting; they were to carry no sword at their belt nor to wear military uniform; 4the name of proconsul was to belong not only to the two ex-consuls but also to the others who had merely served as praetors or who held at least the rank of ex-praetors; both classes were to employ as many lictors as were usual in the capital; and they were to assume the insignia of their office immediately upon leaving the pomerium and were to wear them constantly until they returned. 5The other governors, on the other hand, were to be chosen by the emperor himself and were to be called his envoys and propraetors, even if the men selected were ex-consuls. Thus, of these two titles which had been in vogue so long under the republic, he gave that of praetor to the men chosen by him, on the ground that from very early times it had been associated with warfare, calling them propraetors; and he gave the name of consul to the others, on the ground that their duties were more peaceful, styling them proconsuls. 6For he reserved the full titles of consul and praetor for Italy, and designated all the governors outside of Italy as acting in their stead. So, then, he caused the appointed governors to be known as propraetors and to hold office for as much longer than a year as should please him; he made them wear the military uniform, and a sword, with which they are permitted to execute even soldiers. 7For no one else, whether proconsul, propraetor, or procurator, has been given the privilege of wearing a sword without also having been accorded the right to put a soldier to death; indeed, this right has been granted, not only to the senators, but also to the knights who are entitled to wear a sword. 8So much for this. All the propraetors alike employ five lictors, and, indeed, all of them except those who were ex-consuls at the time of appointment to governorships receive their title from this very number. Both classes alike assume the decorations of their position of authority when they enter their appointed province and lay them aside immediately upon completing their term of office.
14It was thus and on these conditions that the custom was established of sending out ex-praetors and ex-consuls respectively as governors of the two classes of provinces. In the one case, the emperor would commission a governor to any province he wished and when he wished, and many secured provincial commands while still praetors or consuls, as sometimes happens even at the present day. 2In the case of the senatorial provinces, he assigned Asia and Africa on his own responsibility to the ex-consuls, and all the other provinces to the ex-praetors; but by public decree, applicable to all the senatorial governors, he forbade the allotment of any senator to a governorship before the expiration of five years from the time he had held office in the city. 3For a time all who fulfilled these requirements, even if they exceeded the number of the provinces, were allotted to governorships; but later, inasmuch as some of them did not govern well, the appointment of these officials, too, was put in the emperor’s hands. And thus it is, in a manner of speaking, the emperor who assigns these governors also to their commands; 4for he always orders the allotment of precisely the number of governors that there are provinces, and orders to be drawn whomsoever he pleases. Some emperors have sent men of their own choosing to these provinces also, and have allowed certain of them to hold office for more than a year; and some have assigned certain provinces to knights instead of to senators.
5These were the principles established at that time in regard to the particular class of senators who had the right to inflict the death penalty upon their subjects in the provinces. For it should be stated that there is a class who have not this right,—those, namely, who are sent to the provinces styled the “provinces of the senate and people,”—I mean those who serve either as quaestors, being designated by lot to this office, or asassessors to those who hold the actual authority. 6For this would be the correct way for me to style these officials, having regard not to their name, but to their duties as just described, although others in hellenizing their title call these also “envoys.” Concerning this title, however, enough has been said in what precedes. 7As to assessors in general, each governor chooses his own, the ex-praetors selecting one from their peers or even from their inferiors, and the ex-consuls three from among those of equal rank, subject to the emperor’s approval. For, although a certain change was made in regard to these men also, yet it soon lapsed and it will be sufficient to mention it at the proper time.
15This is the system followed in the case of the provinces of the people. To the others, which are called the imperial provinces and have more than one citizen-legion, are sent officials who are to govern them as lieutenants; these are appointed by the emperor himself, generally from the ex-praetors, though also from the ex-quaestors, or men who have held an office between the praetorship and the quaestorship.
2These positions, then, appertain to the senators. Passing now to the knights, the emperor himself selects knights to be sent out as military tribunes (both those who are prospective senators and the others; concerning their difference in rank I have already spoken), despatching some of them to take command of the garrisons of purely citizen-legions, and others of the foreign legions as well. In this matter he follows the custom then instituted by Caesar. 3The procurators (for this is the name we give to the men who collect the public revenues and make disbursements according to the instructions given them) he sends out to all the provinces alike, to those of the people as well as to his own, and to this office knights are sometimes appointed and sometimes even freedmen; but the proconsuls may exact the tribute from the people they govern. 4The emperor gives instructions to the procurators, the proconsuls, and the propraetors, in order that they may be under definite orders when they go out to their provinces. For both this practice and the giving of salaries to them and to the other officials was established at this time. 5In former times, of course, certain persons had made a business of furnishing the officials with all they needed for the conduct of their office, drawing upon the treasury for the money; but under Caesar these officials now for the first time began to receive a fixed salary. This was not assigned to them all on the same basis, but approximately as their needs required; and the procurators, indeed, get the very title of their rank from the amount of the salaries assigned to them. 6The following regulations were laid down for them all alike: they were not to raise levies of soldiers or to exact money beyond the amount appointed, unless the senate should so vote or the emperor so order; and when their successors arrived, they were to leave the province at once, and not to delay on the return journey, but to get back within three months.
16These regulations were established at that time, to speak generally; for in reality Caesar himself was destined to have absolute control of all matters for all time, because he was not only master of the funds (nominally, to be sure, he had separated the public funds from his own, but as a matter of fact, he always spent the former also as he saw fit), but also commanded the soldiers. 2At all events, when his ten-year period came to an end, there was voted to him another five years, then five more, after that ten, and again another ten, and then ten for the fifth time, so that by the succession of ten-year periods he continued to be sole ruler for life. 3And it is for this reason that the subsequent emperors, though no longer appointed for a specified period, but for their whole life once for all, nevertheless always held a celebration every ten years, as if then renewing their sovereignty once more; and this is done even at the present day.
4Now Caesar had received many privileges and honours even previously, when the question of declining the sovereignty and that of apportioning the provinces were under discussion. For the right to place the laurel trees in front of the royal residence and to hang the crown of oak above them was then voted him to symbolise that he was always victor over his enemies and the saviour of the citizens. 5The royal residence is called Palatium, not because it was ever decreed that this should be its name, but because Caesar dwelt on the Palatine and had his military headquarters there, though his residence gained a certain degree of fame from the mount as a whole also, because Romulus had once lived there. 6Hence, even if the emperor resides somewhere else, his dwelling retains the name of Palatium. And when Caesar had actually carried out his promises, the name Augustus was at length bestowed upon him by the senate and by the people. 7For when they wished to call him by some distinctive title, and men were proposing one title and another and urging its selection, Caesar was exceedingly desirous of being called Romulus, but when he perceived that this caused him to be suspected of desiring the kingship, 8he desisted from his efforts to obtain it, and took the title of “Augustus,” signifying that he was more than human; for all the most precious and sacred objects are termed augusta. Therefore they addressed him also in Greek as Sebastos, meaning an august personage, from the passive of the verb sebazo, “to revere.”
17In this way the power of both people and senate passed entirely into the hands of Augustus, and from his time there was, strictly speaking, a monarchy; for monarchy would be the truest name for it, no matter if two or three men did later hold the power at the same time. 2The name of monarchy, to be sure, the Romans so detested that they called their emperors neither dictators nor kings nor anything of the sort; yet since the final authority for the government devolves upon them, they must needs be kings. 3The offices established by the laws, it is true, are maintained even now, except that of censor; but the entire direction and administration is absolutely in accordance with the wishes of the one in power at the time. And yet, in order to preserve the appearance of having this power by virtue of the laws and not because of their own domination, the emperors have taken to themselves all the functions, including the titles, of the offices which under the republic and by the free gift of the people were powerful, with the single exception of the dictatorship. 4Thus, they very often became consuls, and they are always styled proconsuls whenever they are outside the pomerium. The name of “imperator” is held by them all for life, not only by those who have won victories in battle, but also by those who have not, in token of their independent authority, and this has displaced the titles “king” and “dictator.” 5These last titles they have never assumed since the time they first fell out of use in the conduct of the government, but the functions of those offices are secured to them under the appellation of “imperator.” By virtue of the titles named they secure the right to make levies, to collect funds, declare war, make peace, 6rule foreigners and citizens alike everywhere and always,—even to the extent of being able to put to death both knights and senators inside the pomerium,—and all the other privileges once granted to the consuls and other officials possessing independent authority; 7and by virtue of holding the censorship they investigate our lives and morals as well as take the census, enrolling some in the equestrian and senatorial classes and erasing the names of others from these classes, according to their will. 8By virtue of being consecrated in all the priesthoods and of their right to bestow most of these positions upon others, as well as from the fact that, even if two or three persons hold the imperial office at the same time, one of them is high priest, they hold in their own hands supreme authority over all matters both profane and sacred. 9The tribunician power, as it is called, which used to be conferred only upon men of the greatest influence, gives them the right to nullify the effects of measures taken by any other official, in case they do not approve it, and makes them immune from scurrilous abuse; and if they appear to be wronged in even the slightest degree, not merely by deed, but even by word, they may destroy the guilty party, as one accursed, without a trial. 10The emperors, it should be explained, do not think it right to be tribunes, inasmuch as they belong altogether to the patrician class, but they assume the power of the tribunes to its full extent, as it was when it was greatest; and in numbering the years they have held the imperial office they use the tribunician power to mark the stages, the theory being that they receive it year by year along with those who are regularly made tribunes. 11These are the institutions which they have taken over from the republic, essentially in the form in which they severally existed then, and also making use of these same names, their purpose being to create the impression that they possess no power that has not been granted them. 18And further, they have acquired also another prerogative which was given to none of the ancient Romans outright and unreservedly, and the possession of this alone would enable them to exercise the powers above named and the others besides. For they have been released from the laws, as the very words in Latin declare; that is, they are free from all compulsion of the laws and are bound by none of the written ordinances. 2Thus by virtue of these democratic names they have clothed themselves with all the powers of the government, to such an extent that they actually possess all the prerogatives of kings except their paltry title. For the appellation “Caesar” or “Augustus” confers upon them no peculiar power, but merely shows in the one case that they are heirs of the family to which they belong, and in the other the splendour of their official position. 3The term “Father” perhaps gives them a certain authority over us all—the authority which fathers once had over their children; yet it did not signify this at first, but betokened honour, and served as an admonition both to them, that they should love their subjects as they would their children, and to their subjects, that they should revere them as they would their fathers.
4Such is the number and nature of the appellations which those who possess the imperial power employ in accordance with the laws and with what has now become tradition. At present all of them are, as a rule, bestowed upon the emperors at one and the same time, with the exception of the title of censor; but to the earlier emperors they were voted separately at different times. 5As regards the censorship, some of them took it in accordance with the ancient practice, and Domitian, in fact, took it for life, but this is no longer done at the present day; for, inasmuch as they possess its powers, they are not elected to the office and do not use the title except in connexion with the census.
19In this way the government was changed at that time for the better and in the interest of greater security; for it was no doubt quite impossible for the people to be saved under a republic. Nevertheless, the events occurring after this time can not be recorded in the same manner as those of previous times. 2Formerly, as we know, all matters were reported to the senate and to the people, even if they happened at a distance; hence all learned of them and many recorded them, and consequently the truth regarding them, no matter to what extent fear or favour, friendship or enmity, coloured the reports of certain writers, was always to a certain extent to be found in the works of the other writers who wrote of the same events and in the public records. 3But after this time most things that happened began to be kept secret and concealed, and even though some things are perchance made public, they are distrusted just because they can not be verified; for it is suspected that everything is said and done with reference to the wishes of the men in power at the time and of their associates. 4As a result, much that never occurs is noised abroad, and much that happens beyond a doubt is unknown, and in the case of nearly every event a version gains currency that is different from the way it really happened. Furthermore, the very magnitude of the empire and the multitude of things that occur render accuracy in regard to them most difficult. 5In Rome, for example, much is going on, and much in the subject territory, while, as regards our enemies, there is something happening all the time, in fact, every day, and concerning these things no one except the participants can easily have correct information, and most people do not even hear of them at all. 6Hence in my own narrative of later events, so far as they need to be mentioned, everything that I shall say will be in accordance with the reports that have been given out, whether it be really the truth or otherwise. In addition to these reports, however, my own opinion will be given, as far as possible, whenever I have been able, from the abundant evidence which I have gathered from my reading, from hearsay, and from what I have seen, to form a judgment that differs from the common report.
20Caesar, as I have said, received the name of Augustus, and a sign of no little moment to him occurred that very night; for the Tiber overflowed and covered all of Rome that was on low ground, so that it was navigable for boats. From this sign the soothsayers prophesied that he would rise to great heights and hold the whole city under his sway. 2And while various persons were trying to outbid one another in different kinds of flattery toward him, one Sextus Pacuvius, or, as others say, Apudius, surpassed them all. In the open senate, namely, he dedicated himself to him after the fashion of the Spaniards and advised the others to do the same. 3And when Augustus hindered him, he rushed out to the crowd that was standing near, and, as he was tribune, compelled first them and then the rest, as he went up and down the streets and lanes, to dedicate themselves to Augustus. 4From this episode we are wont even now to say, in appealing to the sovereign, “We have dedicated ourselves to you.”
Pacuvius ordered all to offer sacrifice in view of this occurrence, and before the multitude he once declared that he was going to make Augustus his heir on equal terms with his own son,—not that he had much of anything, but because he hoped to receive still more; and so it actually turned out. 21Augustus attended to all the business of the empire with more zeal than before, as if he had received it as a free gift from all the Romans, and in particular he enacted many laws. I need not enumerate them all accurately one by one, but only those which have a bearing upon my history; 2and I shall follow this same course also in the case of later events, in order not to become wearisome by introducing all that kind of detail that even the men who devote themselves to such studies do not know to a nicety. 3He did not, however, enact all these laws on his sole responsibility, but some of them he brought before the public assembly in advance, in order that, if any features caused displeasure, he might learn it in time and correct them; for he encouraged everybody whatsoever to give him advice, in case any one thought of any possible improvement in them, and he accorded them complete liberty of speech, and actually changed some provisions of the proposed laws. 4Most important of all, he took as advisers for periods of six months the consuls (or the other consul, when he himself also held the office), one of each of the other kinds of officials, and fifteen men chosen by lot from the remainder of the senatorial body, with the result that all legislation proposed by the emperors is usually communicated after a fashion through this body to all the other senators; 5for although he brought certain matters before the whole senate, yet he generally followed this plan, considering it better to take under preliminary advisement most matters and the most important ones in consultation with a few; and sometimes he even sat with these men in the trial of cases. 6The senate as a body, it is true, continued to sit in judgment as before, and in certain cases transacted business with embassies and heralds, from both peoples and kings; and the people and the plebs, moreover, continued to meet for the elections; but nothing was done that did not please Caesar. 7It was he, at any rate, who selected and placed in nomination some of the men who were to hold office, and though in the case of others he adhered to the ancient custom and left them under the control of the people and the plebs, yet he took care that none should be appointed who were unfit or as the result of partisan cliques or bribery.
22It was in this way, broadly speaking, that he administered the empire. I shall now relate in detail also such of his acts as call for mention, together with the names of the consuls under whom they were performed. In the year already named, perceiving that the roads outside the walls had become difficult to travel as the result of neglect, he ordered various senators to repair the others at their own expense, and he himself looked after the Flaminian Way, since he was going to lead an army out by that route. 2This road was finished promptly at that time, and statues of Augustus were accordingly erected on arches on the bridge over the Tiber and at Ariminum; but the other roads were repaired later, at the expense either of the public (for none of the senators liked to spend money upon them) or of Augustus, as one chooses to put it. 3For I am unable to distinguish between the two funds, no matter how extensively Augustus coined into money silver statues of himself which had been set up by certain of his friends and by certain of the subject peoples, purposing thereby to make it appear that all the expenditures which he claimed to be making were from his own means. 4Therefore I have no opinion to record as to whether a particular emperor on a particular occasion got the money from the public funds or gave it himself. For both courses were frequently followed; and why should one enter such expenditures as loans or as gifts respectively, when both the people and the emperor are constantly resorting to both the one and the other indiscriminately?
5These were the acts of Augustus at that time. He also set out to make an expedition into Britain, but on coming to the provinces of Gaul lingered there. For the Britons seemed likely to make terms with him, and the affairs of the Gauls were still unsettled, as the civil wars had begun immediately after their subjugation. He took a census of the inhabitants and regulated their life and government. From Gaul he proceeded into Spain, and established order there also.
23After this he became consul for the eighth time, together with Statilius Taurus, and Agrippa dedicated the structure called the Saepta; 2for instead of undertaking to repair a road, Agrippa had adorned with marble tablets and paintings this edifice in the Campus Martius, which had been constructed by Lepidus with porticos all around it for the meetings of the comitia tributa, and he named it the Saepta Iulia in honour of Augustus. 3And Agrippa not only incurred no jealousy on this account, but was greatly honoured both by Augustus himself and by all the rest of the people. 4The reason was that he consulted and coöperated with Augustus in the most humane, the most celebrated, and the most beneficial projects, and yet did not claim in the slightest degree a share in the glory of them, but used the honours which the emperor bestowed, not for personal gain or enjoyment, but for the benefit of the donor himself and of the public. 5On the other hand, Cornelius Gallus was encouraged to insolence by the honour shown him. Thus, he indulged in a great deal of disrespectful gossip about Augustus and was guilty of many reprehensible actions besides; for he not only set up images of himself practically everywhere in Egypt, but also inscribed upon the pyramids a list of his achievements. 6For this act he was accused by Valerius Largus, his comrade and intimate, and was disfranchised by Augustus, so that he was prevented from living in the emperor’s provinces. After this had happened, many others attacked him and brought numerous indictments against him. 7The senate unanimously voted that he should be convicted in the courts, exiled, and deprived of his estate, that this estate should be given to Augustus, and that the senate itself should offer sacrifices. Overwhelmed by grief at this, Gallus committed suicide before the decrees took effect; 24and the insincerity of the majority of people was again proved by his case, in that they now treated the man whom formerly they had been wont to flatter in such a way that they forced him to die by his own hand, and then went over to Largus because he was beginning to grow powerful—though they were certain to vote the same measures against him also, if a similar situation should arise in his case. 2Proculeius, however, conceived such contempt for Largus that once, on meeting him, he clapped his hand over his nose and mouth, thereby hinting to the bystanders that it was not safe even to breathe in the man’s presence. 3Another man, although unknown to him, approached him with witnesses and asked Largus if he knew him; then, when the other replied that he did not, he recorded his denial on a tablet, as though the rascal could not blackmail even a man whom he had not previously known. 4But we see how most men rather emulate the deeds of others, even though they be evil deeds, than guard against their fate, by what Marcus Egnatius Rufus did at this very time. He had been an aedile, and in addition to having performed his duties well in many other ways, had with his own slaves and other persons whom he hired helped to save the houses that took fire during his year of office, and 5in return for all this he had received from the people the amount of the expenditures incurred in the discharge of his office and had been elected praetor contrary to law. But he became so elated over these very honours and so contemptuous of Augustus, that he issued a bulletin to the effect that he had handed the city over unimpaired and intact to his successor. 6All the most prominent men became indignant at this, Augustus himself most of all; and he was not long afterward to teach the fellow a lesson, not to exalt his mind above the mass of mankind. For the time being, however, he ordered the aediles to take care that no building took fire, and if anything of the sort did happen, to put the fire out.
25In this same year Polemon, the king of Pontus, was enrolled among the friends and allies of the Roman people; and the privilege was granted the senators of occupying the front seats in all the theatres of his realm. 2Augustus was planning an expedition into Britain, since the people there would not come to terms, but he was detained by the revolt of the Salassi and by the hostility of the Cantabri and Astures. The former dwell at the foot of the Alps, as I have stated, whereas both the other tribes occupy the strongest part of the Pyrenees on the side of Spain, together with the plain which lies below. 3For these reasons Augustus, who was now consul for the ninth time, with Marcus Silanus as colleague, sent Terentius Varro against the Salassi. Varro invaded their country at many points at the same time, in order that they might not join forces and so be more difficult to subdue; and he conquered them very easily, inasmuch as they attacked his divisions only in small groups. 4After forcing them to come to terms he demanded a stated sum of money, as if he were going to impose no other punishment; then, sending soldiers everywhere ostensibly to collect the money, he arrested those who were of military age and sold them, on the understanding that none of them should be liberated within twenty years. 5The best of their land was given to some of the Pretorians, and later on received the city called Augusta Praetoria. Augustus himself waged war upon the Astures and upon the Cantabri at one and the same time. But these peoples would neither yield to him, because they were confident on account of their strongholds, 6nor would they come to close quarters, owing to their inferior numbers and the circumstance that most of them were javelin-throwers, and, besides, they kept causing him a great deal of annoyance, always forestalling him by seizing the higher ground whenever a manoeuvre was attempted, and lying in ambush for him in the valleys and woods. 7Accordingly Augustus found himself in very great embarrassment, and having fallen ill from over-exertion and anxiety, he retired to Tarraco and there remained in poor health. Meanwhile Gaius Antistius fought against them and accomplished a good deal, not because he was a better general than Augustus, 8but because the barbarians felt contempt for him and so joined battle with the Romans and were defeated. In this way he captured a few places, and afterwards Titus Carisius took Lancia, the principal fortress of the Astures, after it had been abandoned, and also won over many other places.
26Upon the conclusion of this war Augustus discharged the more aged of his soldiers and allowed them to found a city in Lusitania, called Augusta Emerita. For those who were still of military age he arranged some exhibitions in the very camps, under the direction of Tiberius and Marcellus, since they were aediles. 2To Juba he gave portions of Gaetulia in return for the prince’s hereditary domain, the most of whose inhabitants had been enrolled in the Roman state, and also the possessions of Bocchus and Bogud. 3On the death of Amyntas he did not entrust his kingdom to the sons of the deceased, but made it part of the subject territory. Thus Galatia together with Lycaonia obtained a Roman governor, and the portions of Pamphylia formerly assigned to Amyntas were restored to their own district. 4About this same time Marcus Vinicius took vengeance upon some of the Germans because they had arrested and slain Romans who entered their country to trade with them; and thus he, too, caused the title of imperator to be bestowed upon Augustus. 5For this and his other exploits of this period a triumph, as well as the title, was voted to Augustus; but as he did not care to celebrate it, a triumphal arch was erected in the Alps in his honour and he was granted the right always to wear both the crown and the triumphal garb on the first day of the year.
After these achievements in the wars Augustus closed the precinct of Janus, which had been opened because of these wars. 27Meanwhile Agrippa beautified the city at his own expense. First, in honour of the naval victories he completed the building called the Basilica of Neptune and lent it added brilliance by the painting representing the Argonauts. Next he constructed the Laconian sudatorium. He gave the name “Laconian” to the gymnasium because the Lacedaemonians had a greater reputation at that time than anybody else for stripping and exercising after anointing themselves with oil. 2Also he completed the building called the Pantheon. It has this name, perhaps because it received among the images which decorated it the statues of many gods, including Mars and Venus; but my own opinion of the name is that, because of its vaulted roof, it resembles the heavens. 3Agrippa, for his part, wished to place a statue of Augustus there also and to bestow upon him the honour of having the structure named after him; but when the emperor would not accept either honour, he placed in the temple itself a statue of the former Caesar and in the ante-room statues of Augustus and himself. 4This was done, not out of any rivalry or ambition on Agrippa’s part to make himself equal to Augustus, but from his hearty loyalty to him and his constant zeal for the public good; hence Augustus, so far from censuring him for it, honoured him the more. 5For example, when he himself was prevented by illness from being in Rome at that time and celebrating there the marriage of his daughter Julia and his nephew Marcellus, he commissioned Agrippa to hold the festival in his absence; and when the house on the Palatine Mount which had formerly belonged to Antony but had later been given to Agrippa and Messalla was burned down, he presented money to Messalla, but made Agrippa share his own house. 6Agrippa not unnaturally took great pride in these honours. And one Gaius Toranius also acquired a good reputation because while tribune he brought his father, although a freedman of somebody or other, into the theatre and made him sit beside him upon the tribunes’ bench. Publius Servilius, too, made a name for himself because while praetor he caused to be slain at a festival three hundred bears and other African wild beasts equal in number.
28Augustus now became consul for the tenth time, with Gaius Norbanus as colleague, and on the first day of the year the senate confirmed his acts by taking oaths. And when word was brought that he was already drawing near the city (for his illness had delayed his return), and he promised to give the people four hundred sesterces each, 2though he forbade the posting of the edict concerning the donatives until the senate should give its approval, they freed him from all compulsion of the laws, in order, as I have stated, that he might be in reality independent and supreme over both himself and the laws and so might do everything he wished and refrain from doing anything he did not wish. 3This right was voted to him while he was yet absent; and upon his arrival in Rome various other privileges were accorded him in honour of his recovery and return. Marcellus was given the right to be a senator among the ex-praetors and to stand for the consulship ten years earlier than was customary, while Tiberius was permitted to stand for each office five years before the regular age; and he was at once elected quaestor and Marcellus aedile. 4And when there were not enough men to serve as quaestors in the provinces, all drew lots for the places who during the ten years previous had held the quaestorship without being assigned to any province.
29These, then, were the noteworthy occurrences that took place in the city at that time. As soon as Augustus had departed from Spain, leaving behind Lucius Aemilius as its governor, the Cantabri and the Astures revolted; and sending word to Aemilius, before revealing to him the least sign whatever of their purpose, they said that they wished to make a present to his army of grain and other things. 2Then, after securing a considerable number of soldiers, ostensibly to take back the presents, they conducted them to places suitable for their purpose and murdered them. Their satisfaction, however, was short-lived; for their country was devastated, some of their forts burned, and, worst of all, the hands of all who were caught were cut off, and so they were quickly subdued.
3While this was going on, another and a new campaign had at once its beginning and its end. It was conducted by Aelius Gallus, the governor of Egypt, against the country called Arabia Felix, of which Sabos was king. 4At first Aelius encountered no one, yet he did not proceed without difficulty; for the desert, the sun, and the water (which had some peculiar nature) all caused his men great distress, so that the larger part of the army perished. 5The malady proved to be unlike any of the common complaints, but attacked the head and caused it to become parched, killing forthwith most of those who were attacked, but in the case of those who survived this stage it descended to the legs, skipping all the intervening parts of the body, and caused dire injury to them. There was no remedy for it except a mixture of olive-oil and wine, both taken as a drink and used as an ointment; 6and this remedy naturally lay within reach of only a few of them, since the country produces neither of these articles and the men had not prepared an abundant supply of them beforehand. In the midst of this trouble the barbarians also fell upon them. 7For hitherto they had been defeated whenever they joined battle, and had even been losing some places; but now, with the disease as their ally, they not only won back their own possessions, but also drove the survivors of the expedition out of the country. 8These were the first of the Romans, and, I believe, the only ones, to traverse so much of this part of Arabia for the purpose of making war; for they advanced as far as the place called Athlula, a famous locality.
30When Augustus was consul for the eleventh time, with Calpurnius Piso, he fell so ill once more as to have no hope of recovery; at any rate, he arranged everything as if he were about to die, and gathered about him the magistrates and the foremost senators and knights. He did not, to be sure, appoint a successor, though 2all were expecting that Marcellus would be preferred for this position, but after talking with them awhile about the public affairs, he gave Piso the list of the forces and of the public revenues written in a book, and handed his ring to Agrippa. 3And although he lost the power of attending even to the most urgent matters, yet a certain Antonius Musa restored him to health by means of cold baths and cold potions. For this, Musa received a great deal of money from both Augustus and the senate, as well as the right to wear gold rings (for he was a freedman), and he was granted exemption from taxes, both for himself and for the members of his profession, not only those living at the time but also those of future generations. 4But it was fated that he who had taken to himself the functions of Fortune or Destiny should speedily be caught in her toils; for though Augustus had been saved in this manner, yet when Marcellus fell ill not long afterward and was treated in the same way by Musa, he died. 5Augustus gave him a public burial after the customary eulogies, placing him in the tomb which he was building, and as a memorial to him finished the theatre whose foundations had already been laid by the former Caesar 6and which was now called the theatre of Marcellus. And he ordered also that a golden image of the deceased, a golden crown, and a curule chair should be carried into the theatre at the Ludi Romani and should be placed in the midst of the officials having charge of the games.
31This he did later; at the time, after being restored to health, he brought his will into the senate and desired to read it, by way of showing people that he had left no successor to his realm; but he did not read it, for none would permit it. 2Absolutely everybody, however, was astonished at him because, although he loved Marcellus both as son-in -law and nephew, and in addition to other honours shown him had to such an extent helped him make a brilliant success of the festival which he gave as aedile 3that he had sheltered the Forum during the whole summer by means of curtains stretched overhead and had exhibited on the stage a dancer who was a knight, and also a woman of high birth, nevertheless he had not entrusted to him the monarchy, but actually had preferred Agrippa before him. 4Thus it would appear that he was not yet confident of the youth’s judgment, and that he either wished the people to regain their liberty or for Agrippa to receive the leadership from them. For he well understood that Agrippa was exceedingly beloved by them and he preferred not to seem to be committing the supreme power to him on his own responsibility. 32When he recovered, therefore, and learned that Marcellus because of this was not friendly toward Agrippa, he immediately sent the latter to Syria, so that no occasion for scoffing or for skirmishing might arise between them by their being together. And Agrippa straightway set out from the city, but did not reach Syria; instead, acting with even more than his usual moderation, he sent his lieutenants thither, and tarried himself in Lesbos.
2Besides doing all these things in the manner related, Augustus appointed ten praetors, feeling that he no longer required a larger number; and this happened for several years. Most of them were to perform the same duties as formerly, but two were to be in charge of the financial administration each year. 3Having arranged these matters in detail, he went to the Alban Mount and resigned the consulship. For ever since conditions had become settled, both he himself and most of his colleagues had held the office for the whole year, and he now wished to end this practice, in order that as many as possible might become consuls; and he resigned outside the city, to prevent being hindered from his purpose. 4For this act he received praise, as also because he chose in his stead Lucius Sestius, who had always been an enthusiastic follower of Brutus, had fought with him in all his wars, and even at this time kept alive his memory, had images of him, and delivered eulogies upon him. Augustus, it would appear, so far from disliking the man’s devotion and loyalty, actually honoured these qualities in him. 5And because of this the senate voted that Augustus should be tribune for life and gave him the privilege of bringing before the senate at each meeting any one matter at whatever time he liked, even if he were not consul at the time; they also permitted him to hold once and for all and for life the office of proconsul, so that he had neither to lay it down upon entering the pomerium nor to have it renewed again, and they gave him in the subject territory authority superior to that of the governor in each instance. 6As a result both he and the emperors after him gained a certain legal right to use the tribunician power as well as their other powers; for the title of tribune itself was taken neither by Augustus nor by any other emperor.
33And it seems to me that he then acquired these privileges as related, not by way of flattery, but because he was truly honoured; for in most ways he comported himself toward the Romans as if they were free citizens. Thus, when Tiridates in person and envoys from Phraates came to settle their mutual recriminations, he brought them before the senate; 2and afterwards, when the decision of the question had been referred to him by that body, he did not surrender Tiridates to Phraates, but sent back to the latter his son whom he had once received from him and was keeping, on condition that the captives and the military standards taken in the disasters of Crassus and of Antony should be returned.
3During this same year one of the minor aediles died and Gaius Calpurnius succeeded him, in spite of having served previously as one of the major aediles. This is not recorded as having occurred in the case of any other man. During the Feriae there were two prefects of the city for each day; and one of them held the office in spite of the fact that he had not yet the standing even of a youth.
4Livia, now, was accused of having caused the death of Marcellus, because he had been preferred before her sons; but the justice of this suspicion became a matter of controversy by reason of the character both of that year and of the year following, which proved so unhealthful that great numbers perished during them. 5And, just as it usually happens that some sign occurs before such events, so on this occasion a wolf was caught in the city, fire and storm damaged many buildings, and the Tiber, rising, carried away the wooden bridge and made the city navigable for boats during three days.